We’ve all been to blogs where you see hundreds of comments on each and every post. And we can see by the counters that zillions of people are sharing that content, following that blogger on Facebook and talking him up all over the web. “Wow! This is a popular blog! I wish my blog were this popular :(”
There are all kinds of online tools you can see to find out who’s linking to your blog and where all that traffic is coming from. Plug your URL into Alexa, Klout, LinkPopularity.com, Topsy.com, or better yet – Google Analytics – and you’ll see exactly who’s sharing your content. But seeing where that traffic is coming from and understanding how to use that information are two different things. A better question would be:
Why is your site popular?
I’ve been on more than one “popular-looking” blog where the comment field is loaded with hundreds of trash-talking idiots, there to poke fun at the blogger. Yeah, it’s a popular gathering place. But to what end?
You can tell by looking at your Google analytics where every single visitor is coming from, even if they’re following links from other blogs. Visit those blogs and see why that traffic is coming to your content. Are they laughing about you in a forum or are they having a serious discussion and they’re turning to you for more information?
Has another blogger written a post and recommended you to his own followers? If so, why? What did he tell them they’d find at your blog? And is that what you really want to be known for? Have you been quoted in a popular article somewhere? If so, you need to determine why so you can create more relevant content for those readers arriving from that article.
What are you getting out of all this “popularity”?
It’s important to know who’s coming to your blog and why you’re suddenly so popular because you could have one million visitors in the next day, but if they’re coming to your blog for the wrong reason then it’s not going to do you a bit of good.
All those comments you see and all those Facebook likes are wonderful. But somebody has to monitor those comments, interact with those commentors, and engage with those people on Facebook – and all of that takes time. Your blog is you business and you know what that means – Time Equals Money.
I’ve personally talked to at least six bloggers over the last few weeks, all with PR4 and PR5 blogs that get hundreds of comments and shares, every time they post. And ya know what? They’re not making any money. It’s not how much traffic and activity you have that matters. It’s the quality of the traffic and activity. So stop worrying about being “popular” – it’s just a waste of time. Focus instead on filling a need for a specific, targeted segment of traffic and let somebody else entertain the peanut gallery.