2005 was the year I finally got a little bored with updating my web sites. Yes, I had a lot going on, but what frankly bored me was the extremely high traffic I’ve been getting since late 2004.
I registered this domain names and then others back in 1996. At the time I was doing quite a bit of freelancing and was annoyed by that whole process, especially editors who insisted on making often-insulting changes to my copy. I knew I was temperamentally unfit for working at a newspaper or making a living off of that, so I was primarily doing it for the exposure anyway.
So when I really got serious about updating the various sites I run, my goal was to top the 1 million page views/month mark. Frankly, I set that goal because I thought it was unrealistic. In 2005, however, the average was 1.3 million page views/month. So far this year it has been almost 1.6 million page views/month. WTF? How did that happen?
That level of traffic also means an unbelievable amount of e-mail related to the site, most of which I just ignore (especially since much of it is abusive in nature).
Anyway, I keep running across these articles that suggest different techniques to attracting lots of traffic to your blog. Usually, almost all of them are wrong-headed. The absolute worst suggestion I keep seeing on such lists is to find some high traffic blogger and try to get them to link to you.
From my experience even when this happens it doesn’t really lead to that much additional traffic. But more importantly, its lead to all these crappy blogs where the authors are clearly writing to get such links and the result is the blog/web site is simply a genetically defective clone of the high traffic blogs they’re targeting.
This also creates a series of in-bred blogs who are simply echoes of the “big guys.” The result is that most of the media biases and divisions are being reproduced by amateur websites and weblogs. Want to really get high traffic? Try a little critical reasoning and extensive fact checking instead of simply parroting the conventional wisdom of your particular ideological/etc. niche.
(I.e. it helps to be an anti-social curmudgeon — at least its worked for me so far).