Social Media Top (Five): How to Get Traffic Without Really Trying

How to Get Blog Traffic Without Really Trying:

I often refer to this blog- along with my other social media ventures- as a lab. I want to see what works, what people like, what gets you to read, respond and interact. Lately, I have had three instances that showed working methods of driving traffic to this blog, and for the most part I didn’t really try;

  • Include a link in a comment on a mainstream media article: OK< for this one I did try-- I purposely included a link to a relevant blog post in a comment I left on a Boston.com (Boston Globe) article about the “Crack o’ Dawn” cycling club.
    When a mainstream media news site lets you leave links in comments (I reckon many still don’t even have links in their main stories- tsk, tsk), it turns out to be a good place to generate looks for your own site. For me, I had run into the same group of riders and had some video on a recent blog post, so was able to offer something relevant (not spammy, which of course is a no-no). I got steady traffic from that source for several days.
  • Predict the death of a major celebrity: Two years ago, i wrote a post titled “Michael Jackson is Dead.” It was not about the King of Pop but rather about the quite-famous-in-his-own-right writer of the authoritative guide to scotch whiskeys. Frankly, he deserved the headline as much as Jacko does. Two years later, the performer Michael Jackson dies, and my post turns up in search engines, causing a huge, temporary and amusing traffic spike. Useful, maybe not. But an interesting look into the psyche of search.
  • mj stat

  • Have an authoritative Internet guru accidentally link to your post. When Cluetrain Manifesto co-author David Weinberger tried to link on Twitter to the “United Breaks Guitars” video that was just beginning to get attention via YouTube, a typo in the URL shortener he was using ended up leading his readers to, of all places, my blog. Actually it was a pretty good post about public relations from a year or so ago. Another traffic spike, which through coincidence and nothing else ended up sending some a ton of potentially relevant traffic my way. Thanks, David! And thanks for the tip on the video too.

    weinberger stat

Speaking of United Breaks Guitars, here is the video– it’s very well done, and a great way for someone with the means to get the upper hand against horrible customer service. From what I understand, United responded well, but a real response would be for customer service to prevent these kinds of reactions from happening in the first place. I won’t acknowledge applause for United liking the video. That’s not enough.

While I’m at it, here’s a statement Dave Carroll posted after United’s reaction. It’s only fair:

That’s not five, but it’s what I got for now

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