Before I went to bed last night, I checked out my Google AdSense stats to see how things were going, and I was a little shocked at the number of “page impressions” that came up. The stats said 883, and I thought that had to be off base because this site has only been live since Monday the 14th. I mean, I’ve been running another site, Blog Louisville [edit: link removed], since October 13th, and I’ve never had more than 157 visitors in a day over there…Granted, the content has a local slant to it, but still–I don’t go around expecting nearly 900 visitors after just a couple days of activity. Passing it off as a possible fluke, I headed to bed and didn’t really think too much about it.
Got up this morning and had to rub my eyes a few times, though. Urchin stats said I had 975 visitors on Wednesday the 16th, so Google was totally right…surprisingly up to the minute, too. Anyway, I was SHOCKED, and then I immediately began to ask “what happened??” On Tuesday, I submitted my Starbucks entry to reddit. The submission generated approximately 300 additional visits on Tuesday and, come to find out, another 200 or so on Wednesday. The article rose to at least #10 on reddit’s “hottest” page (that was the highest I saw it, but I wasn’t checking it all the time, either), so that’s the reason for most of the associated traffic. Still doesn’t explain the 975, though, so I dug a little deeper.
Urchin’s referral drilldown showed an astounding 663 visits from an MSNBC article.
Turns out, this is the home of “Bloggernecking,” a special feature of MSNBC that is basically one guy’s musings on what he perceives to be hot blog content on the web. Although the article was just thrown in the mix with a bunch of others, it still received 663 hits from this modest link! Very cool stuff. On a side note, it looks as if the “Bloggernecker” has a completely cushy job. He’s simply perusing the “hottest” links on reddit and then cross-posting them on his own blog. I’m sure the guy takes two hour lunches and gets paid modestly to IM his buddies the rest of the day, too. Oh, and I’ll also bet there’s a couple hours in there devoted to his fantasy football picks. Either way, he’s my new best friend thanks to his recognition of my article :)
A few conclusions can be drawn from my little whirlwind internet tour, even though the relative scale on which I experienced this has been extraordinarily small. The bottom line is that you can use services like reddit.com or maybe digg.com to promote something that you write. If you’ve written something that’s really good, really amusing, or just plain interesting, you’ll probably experience a fairly significant boost in traffic just from the direct exposure that you’ll be receiving. On top of that, you may get the secondhand exposure (like I did through MSNBC) that simply blasts your number of visitors into an entirely new dimension. Bottom line: there’s tools out there you can use to promote your blogs, and if you couple that with great content, you’ll come out a winner.