The Heck with Pageviews: You Want Quality over Quantity

Top Blog Posts @ Traces of Inspiratoin

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The above image is proof that more pageviews do not equal more discussion.

I blog for myself. My goal when crafting blog posts is not to get eyeballs. If I do get them, that’s fine. I don’t do SEO (beyond just having good code). I don’t name my posts to cater to search engines. I don’t have “digg this!” or “add to del.icio.us!” buttons every thirty pixels up and down the page.

I’ve had three posts that have generated… relatively considerable attention. I say relatively, because they are nowhere close to what an A-lister… or C-lister, would get on an average post (I’m guessing).

The first goes as far back as October of 2006. It was my first (seemingly harmless) post about Ella’s oat allergy. So far, that post has generated 39 comments, with another post about Ella getting seven more oat allergy-related comments.

Then there’s “The Blog is the New Resume”. That one hit Techmeme and sent quite a few visitors my way. That one has a whopping 63 comments, many of them coming from people writing their own blog posts on the subject and linking back. In fact, so much conversation was giong on that I posted a followup to push the discussion to the forefront. That post yielded another 31 comments.

Lastly came my most popular post ever. “Google Transit Comes Through: Best Customer Service EVER” was a goofy story about Google sending me a Superman cape after they put me through some hell. This post got me 20 comments, mostly trackbacks, along with 11 on the original post. Kind of a meager amount given the traffic for that post was FOURTEEN times my next most popular post (heck, even more than three times as much as my home page!).

Not only did the Google Transit post not generate as many comments, but the discussion for the oat allergy and blog as resume posts have been insightful and collaborative. The Google post is kind of like… oh, neat. And then you’re done with it. The other posts are topics that can resonate.

So, it’s not all about getting your blog posts in front of as many faces as possible. Get it in front of the right people, share a conversation, and learn from your readers. Your Technorati rank can wait.

3 Comments

  1. On July 23rd, 2007 at 5:35 pm mark said:

    Adam,

    Excellent point and examples. I’m still working out my own system, and certainly agree with you that substance is key over the long haul – those that offer some utility, probably gain sustained readership. Without utility, it seems like a course for the endless pandering to “what color is paris hilton’s underware?” type of posts. Sometimes that utility is humor, and so the Fake Steve’s of the world, first and best in their genre do a quality job while driving the volume. Oat alergy, lime disease from tick bites, feline hyperthyroidism – these are things that happen in people’s lives and they search for daily. While there are plenty of ‘content’ sites for each of these things, and of course wikipedia if nothing else, a good blog post with first hand, personal experience seems to drive engagement. I set a new personal volume record a couple weeks back with my follow up on drystack stone. Seems there are a lot of DIY masons out there, and seeing someone else DO something first hand has it’s value too.
    But, to your point above, all I achieved (and momentarily at that) were page views. Engagement wasn’t there.

  2. On July 23rd, 2007 at 11:22 pm Adam Darowski said:

    Hey Mark, thanks for the comment. That’s right, I think my first comment on your blog was about feline hyperthyroidism. I still get tons of blog-as-resume trackbacks. The Google story has died. That must say something, too.

  3. On July 25th, 2007 at 2:09 pm Thomas said:

    During my conversation with Jeremiah Owyang, he echoed these sentiments. He went even further to say there isn’t any one metric you should use to measure the success of your blog. Technorati, Google Page Rank and Alexa can all be gamed.

    Decide the goals you have for your blog, and then use multiple tools to measure that success.