How to get a million hits on your blog in two years, one month, and fourteen days.
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.
- Two-C: recruit guest bloggers who’ll show you up while you’re not around. Grandpa Steve and Mister Pterodactyl have always filled in for me while I’m on the annual TrogloVacation with the TrogloFam. Last year, Mr. P posted the single most successful blog post in TrogloPundit history. While I was in Pennsylvania, nowhere near a computer.
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.
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.