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How to get a million hits on your blog in two years, one month, and fourteen days.

March 27, 2011

The date was February 13, 2009. I wrote something about friggatriskaidekaphobia, if I remember correctly.

That was one million hits ago.

Earlier today – just before 4 p.m. Central, in fact – The TrogloPundit joined the One Million Hits club. Are you from Lexington, Kentucky? Did you click to an Automotivators of the Week post at just before 5 p.m. your time? I’m pretty sure it was you.

Part of me wants to downplay the achievement. What’s another number, really? Everybody’s going to reach it sooner or later, no matter how slow the traffic trickles in. It’s just a matter of time.

Plus, I’m a little disappointed in the club. I thought it’d be more like Hooters, but with winged-back leather chairs.

Ha! Like I’d downplay this. Like I’m “humble” or something. Honestly, I can’t believe I even blogged all that with a straight face.

As I am now the recipient of One Million Hits, and therefore Better Than You, I will now deign to bless you with the collective wisdom of the last 775 days. What’s that, you say? You want to get a million hits on your blog in only two years, one month, and fourteen days, too?

Then do what I say.

  • One: have a cool name. Something memorable. Something different, that also allows you to modify it for alternate uses. For example: TrogloPundit; TrogloWife; TrogloFans; TrogloGroupies.

How do you think Instapundit got so famous?

Your name should also evoke…something. Something you can refer back to from time to time. It’s called branding, see. In my case, unfortunately, branding comes with eyeless fish and phosphorescent moss, and also stalactites, which I swear if I bang my head on one of those one more time…

For those of you who have already chosen a name and are thus unable to take advantage of my sage advice, well, I guess Ann Althouse is doing okay. So it’s not the end of the world.

  • Two: make lots of friends. Pretty self explanatory. Friends link you. Friends click over to read you. Friends put you in their blogrolls. So, really, what I’m saying here is: be nice to people because it benefits you. Because it’ll get you on their “featured blog” lists. Not because being a nice person is, y’know, nice.
  • Two-B: link to places that send traffic back. By this, I do not mean making other bloggers grateful, thus resulting in links. I mean automatic trackbacks. Memeorandum is okay, if you can get past their algorithm. But unless you get your own thread over there, you won’t get much in the way of hits. It’s really more a place to be seen.

Big-time blogs like Hot Air and Michelle Malkin, though: they automatically track back. If you get in early, with an enticing headline, it can bring the traffic in.

Thanks, you jerk.

  • Three: post about celebrities. Preferably the good-looking female kind.

It hurts my ego to say this, but more than half of my daily hits come from people doing google searches for Gina Carano, Danica Patrick, Hayden Panettiere, and the like. Sometimes Will Smith or Johnny Depp. Lately, Elizabeth Taylor.

While it’s true that hits is hits, I count such random guy-wandering-into-the-closest-bar-to-get-out-of-the-rain hits with far less affection than those from people who actually visit The Trog to see what’s posted here today.

But not so much less that I don’t count them at all. Because what am I, Gandhi?

  • Three-A: if you’re posting about celebrities anyway, include a picture. And if you’re including a picture, let Wombat Socho know you did. And Bill Teach, and GatorDoug. Because they’ll link you for it, and there’s a lot of sick bastards out there just trolling around for pictures of hot celebrities, so they’ll click.
  • Four: look, not to be rude here, but whaddaya expect? That I’m going to tell you all my secrets? Sorry, but I’m keeping this one to myself. Awwww, whaddayagonna do? Go cry about it on your own blog? Tell all your readers what a jerk I am?

Go ahead, you putz.

  • Five: enjoy yourself. This is the most important thing. A blog will eat your life. I swear, blogging is like crack. If you’re going to do it, you’d better do it in some what that you enjoy.

Find a way to enjoy it. Are pictures your thing? Photoshops? Short bits of snark? Fisking? Reporting? Picking fights with whomever you see first when you get on the internet?

Then do that.

As much as I kvetch about most of my hits coming from people who have no idea who I am; don’t care what I have to say; won’t ever be back (they just want to see Gina Carano’s tummy), sometimes writing about celebrities is just fun. They do weird stuff, see. I enjoy it.

Nobody really cares about Brett Favre, but I enjoyed following his road to the all-time NFL fumbles record. Plenty of readers may roll their eyes and think “oh, lord, more automotivators,” but I like doing those. It’s fun.

So I do them.

Sure, sometimes I’ll find myself in “just post something” mode. Sure, sometimes I stress out over finding just the right title. Just the right caption. I struggle to convey exactly what I want in a pithy, clever, memorable way that others will want to quote.

Sometimes writing seems more like sitting on a hot stove than sitting next to a pretty girl. But, hey, if it was easy, everybody would do it. Getting that tough post just right can be enjoyable, too. It’s achievement, even if I’m the only one who recognizes that.

  • Five-A: take the absolute best line from your blog post and make it your title, even if you like it better in the post body. Lure those rss-feed lurkers out. Get your Twitter followers to click, too.

You are automatically feeding your blog posts to Twitter, aren’t you?

  • Five-A-ii: have good content. Like I even have to say this part. If your content sucks, nobody’s gonna click. If you’re just saying the exact same thing about the exact same things as everybody else, why should anybody click?
  • Five-A-iii: have a gimmick. Or, preferably, several. Just not mine.

You may notice that three of my five rules can also be found in Robert Stacy McCain’s classic post: “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year,” which was posted, you may notice, two days after The TrogloPundit was born.

It was like fate.

Well, pshaw. I’m not swiping his ideas. He was pre-imagining mine.

I’m stopping here, because this is really long already, and there’s basketball on, and I’m getting a little hungry. I’ve linked a few people in this post – a few of the people who helped me reach One Million Hits – but not nearly everybody. Not nearly enough.

Fishersville Mike, for example. How’d I not link him? The Bobatollah. The Robot. Brian J.

John Hawkins, fer cry-eye. How’d I miss him? And Matthew Archbold. And Joy! I never linked Joy!

You get the point. So:

Today, on the day of my One Millionth Hit, I will refuse no request. Even the requests you don’t actually make.

28 Comments
  1. March 27, 2011 4:14 pm

    Congrats! Welcome to the club. 42 million and counting…

  2. March 27, 2011 4:17 pm

    Congratulations Lance! Here’s to a million more in less than a year.

    Cheers!

  3. March 27, 2011 5:36 pm

    I celebrate my 8th year of blogging next week, and I’m not going to clear 300k by then.

    Personally, I just expect a million visitors have blocked JavaScript and that Sitemeter reset the counter in 2005 and 2007.

  4. March 27, 2011 5:37 pm

    Also, thanks for the link.

  5. March 27, 2011 6:03 pm

    Don’t be too hasty. I’m petitioning Judge Sumi for a TRO against claiming a million. See ya at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Trog.

  6. March 27, 2011 6:35 pm

    I wish I could say I was going for quality, but instead I have to congratulate you on quantity.

  7. March 27, 2011 7:03 pm

    You Shameless Hussy. Congrats, When will you post your next Danica photo? I’m waiting.

    GREAT job on your blog.

    Keep up your GREAT work.

  8. Gatordoug permalink
    March 27, 2011 8:13 pm

    Lance! Thanks and congrats! BTW, we can now both say that the BUTLER did us in!

  9. March 27, 2011 8:40 pm

    Congratulations, Lance! Some of us are pacing ourselves (and holding out for the winged-back leather chairs!)

  10. March 27, 2011 9:32 pm

    Nice job Lance. kepp up the awesome work.

  11. misterpterodactyl permalink
    March 27, 2011 11:42 pm

    “Thanks, you jerk.”
    Yeah, okay. And precisely what do you have to complain about? I got my first Instalanche, and it was on somebody else’s blog.
    How many people can say that?

  12. March 28, 2011 12:03 am

    “I got my first Instalanche, and it was on somebody else’s blog. How many people can say that?”
    Actually, I can! (The second one was on my own blog.)

  13. March 28, 2011 9:48 am

    “I got my first Instalanche, and it was on somebody else’s blog. How many people can say that?”

    Yeah, okay. Good point.

  14. William Teach permalink
    March 28, 2011 10:04 am

    Congratulations, Lance! Here’s to many more millions!

  15. March 28, 2011 10:51 am

    Congrats!

    And in order to help me reach 200 hits ;) feel free to use my personal vent outlet and frustration release tool.

    My take on the media:
    http://herbegerenews.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/obama-must-be-held-accountable/

  16. March 28, 2011 12:51 pm

    I linked you, dude!

  17. March 28, 2011 9:35 pm

    Congratulations! I’m almost to 900K in just over two years.

  18. bobbelvedere permalink
    March 29, 2011 7:42 pm

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah…whatever.

    Linked to at:
    Happy Happy Joy Joy

  19. April 2, 2011 10:52 pm

    Fab news on your accomplishment! I learned quite a bit – thanks for the schooling!

    One more celeb hottie to add to the list you cited to increase traffic: Anna Chapman, the femme fatale Russian spy. Be sure to include photos. Her semi-nude photos bring in untold numbers of drooling men from across the globe. You’re welcome…

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