The ‘Very, Very’ Rule Of Building Traffic For Your Blog

I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who are wondering, “What in the world do I have to do to build traffic? Do I have to work for Nick Denton? Presents — do I have to give Glenn Reynolds presents? Do I have to be a well known writer like Andrew Sullivan who switches over to blogging to build big traffic (incidentally, I think the Daily Dish is going to be better this month than it has been in a long, long, time =D)?”

No, you don’t have to do any of those things (although once you crack 3000 readers a day there is a secret ceremony you have to participate in. You run a gauntlet blindfolded while bloggers like Steven Den Beste & Eugene Volokh take whacks at you with 1000 page books on 18th century law & engineering. I still have nightmares about it).

But, don’t worry about that now. For the moment, all you have to do is read ‘RWN’s Golden Rule For Building Traffic For Your Blog (Otherwise Known As The ‘Very, Very’ Rule)’. Ready? Then let’s make…uh…like something that goes…and uh…go.

“Remember that you will have to be very, very, good, for a very, very, long time, while working very, very, hard to promote your work and you will be very, very, underappreciated the whole time.”

Think of it as “paying your dues”, “doing leg work”, “bad karma”, whatever floats your boat — but it takes forever to build traffic — unless you’re Michelle Malkin or Wonkette who must have had internet faeries sprinkle magic traffic increasing pixie dust on their blogs to help them grow so fast….awwww, that was ungracious of me.

Michelle is well known, incredibly talented, & has built one of the best political blogs out there right off the bat. She deserves all the success she has had so far and more. And Wonkette is uh….well…hmmm…a lot of people, myself included, really enjoyed the nifty faux lesbian pics she did with blogger/prostitute Jessica Cutler. That was really…uhm…

Ok…moving on…

Do you want to know how much traffic I had after a year of doing 8-12 updates a day on RWN (I had different format back then, sort of like the one Daily Pundit has today)? 300 sets of eyeballs per day on average.

Today, I am averaging 6000 readers a day over the course of a month…Of course, that number would probably be higher if I got a link from the guys over at The Corner or if Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit noticed my existence again. Neither of those blogs has linked me in months and months, despite the fact that I link them all the time, ranked them as my #1 & #2 favorite blogs, & have nothing but good things to say about them, I can’t buy a link from either of them. Where’s the love fellas? That’s all I’m saying. Where. Is. The. Love? (Look for an upcoming post on “link whoring” soon).

But still, I know you’re probably going “Hawkins, you said ‘My Sacrifice’ was your favorite song of all-time and I simply don’t trust any man who believes Creed made the best song in the history of music.”

I admit, that’s a fair point. So don’t just take my word for it, listen to one Drew Curtis, the man who runs Fark, a page that has more than a million readers per day. Here’s a slightly edited transcript of a conversation we had on ICQ, back in Feb of 2003…

Drew Curtis: All of 1999 we got 50,000 pageviews. These days we get 5,000,000 per week (**Note that the numbers are higher now**) those are no BS numbers either. Everytime I ask someone how many page views they get, they automatically multiply by 5-10 times

John Hawkins: 50,000 for the whole year? It was basically the same page back then too right?

Drew Curtis: Yup. Check out the archives, it’s saved. Yeah 50k for the whole year. But think about it, why would a page written from scratch as someone’s personal homepage be any higher? I thought 50k was a freakin avalanche.

John Hawkins: Oh — I know — I’ve been though it myself — but a lot of people think they’re going to create a web page and then boom — two months later they’re going to be pulling 10k people a day.

Drew Curtis: Yeah I think just about everyone does. I get emails from folks all day. If you don’t stick to it for at least two years straight day in day out it won’t take off.

So all you conservative bloggers out there, take Drew’s advice. Stick to it for at least two years straight and contribute money to RWN…

Ok, Drew didn’t actually say you should donate money to RWN, but he was probably thinking it. Even if he wasn’t, he should have been, and besides, I must mention the Chewbacca Defense at this point…

Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense!

Why would a Wookiee — an eight foot tall Wookiee — want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

But more importantly, you have to ask yourself: what does that have to do with what we’re talking about?

If it does not make sense, you should contribute money to RWN, and think about it later. I rest my case.


“Remember that you will have to be very, very, good, for a very, very, long time, while working very, very, hard to promote your work and you will be very, very, underappreciated the whole time.”

PS: This advice only applies to conservative bloggers. Any of you liberals who don’t grow as fast as Wonkette? Just go ahead and cut your losses, quit blogging, and make giant puppet heads for the big “No War With Iran” protests that’ll be going on right after W bombs the ayatollahs in his 2nd term. The Commies who run those protests need dupes like you to grow and thrive! So don’t let them down!

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