The difference a year can make
I had stopped posting for about 10 months. Just got too busy with my new job.
Before that, I had been blogging for about a year, almost daily. I had built a readership of about 500 readers a week. My most popular post, ‘how to have a successful career in advertising‘, culminated at about 5000 views. But they were mainly due to the now defunct Scamp linking to my blog. God knows how many visitors he was getting daily!
But the point is, a year ago, most of my traffic was coming from other blogs linking to mine and from my readership (through Netvibe, Feeds and Google reader), and the odd forward email.
After a year, I thought I’d have pretty much lost everyone who used to read the blog, apart from a handful of people who would have forgotten to delete my blog from their RSS aggregator.
I wrote the post ‘the end of the road for digital agencies‘ just to see if it’d get picked up. It didn’t. So I decided to spam my virtual friends, and shared it on Facebook, as probably half of the people I know work in advertising and digital. That would be about 150.
So that got picked up by a few people and the blog ended up with about 300 views, which I thought as rather encouraging. Even though I could see that it only did a few rounds in some digital agencies in London that I must have annoyed.
I reiterated the same process for the last post ‘10 things to do for digital agencies‘. But something happened. From my Facebook friends, in a matter of minutes, itwas first picked up by http://twitter.com/fruchter, whom I don’t know. But he’s got a good following on Twitter. And then somehow ended on Ben Shaw‘s twitter feeds. And then bang it was gone.
3 business days later, the post has been read by 1,600 people, as of Monday evening.
50% of that traffic came directly from the first 4-5 people who were first to picked it up, but then created a second, bigger wave of twitter feeds.
I’d say out of that, 30% was indirect traffic coming from Twitter, people finding it in Twitter and passing it on. It is quite interesting to follow how people were sometimes adding some variations to the headline to make it more punchy:
’10 things digital agencies should be doing‘,
’10 things all digital agencies should be doing ‘
’10 things all digital agencies should be doing – right now!’
I find it fascinating to look at how it has spread from one tweet to another, from one country to another. The chronogical history of who spread the tweets reveals different spheres of influence.
So it must have stroke a chord with our digital audience. But strangely, overall only 2 blogs linked to it, and drove minimal traffic to the post. Barely no one bothered to link to it from a website anymore. They were all tweeting it.
About 5% of the traffic came from Facebook, but other than my link update. [I know that doesn’t make 100%. I’m leaving room for error.]
And now after these glorious three days and some very nice comments, I’m witnessing the post slow death into the digital abyss.
Without Twitter, this post wouldn’t have reached the usual couple of hundreds.There wouldn’t have been a tool out there for people to spread it so easilyand rapidly.
Watching it rise and decline in a matter of hours was strangely addictive. No big insight here, just wanted to share what was to me a new discovery with you, dear anonymous reader. Not twitter, of course, but the fact that people would actually tweet my ugly, long, badly written, wordy post, that did not include any ground breaking augmented reality business card thingy or the new HD trailer of Tron. I was incredibly surprised by its power.
I hear a lot of power moaning that Twitter is becoming a link sharing facility, no more mood updates as it was supposed to be and what it had been originally build for. But as William Gibson said, “The street finds its own uses for things.” And I personally think this is where its future’s at.
I’m going on holiday as of the end of the week.