Yesterday traffic to my blog doubled. On top of the usual load of about 350 visitors, I had 350 investment bankers: At 1pm Dealbreaker posted a link to my guest rant, and in the next hour alone, 100 people came. No joke.

Of course, my traffic statistics were endlessly interesting to me throughout all this. But by the end of the day, all I could think about was how I have no system for capturing these extra visitors. I can tell from my traffic analysis that most people from Dealbreaker did not read other posts. I’m still thinking today about what would hook them.

As a former software marketing executive I think “squandered sales leads.” But then I think, hold it, I’m not even selling anything.

This reminds me of the time I worked at a Fortune 100 company during the very beginning of the Internet. A team of four of us (yes, that’s all it took back then) launched the web site and rumor had it that our site was the second online store — right behind Dell. A big deal, right? But no one in the company cared, probably because there was no strategy for making the web site huge, only a strategy for getting it up.

Now, like then, I am doing something large (read: consumes a large amount of my time) and I’m not sure why.

This is a career issue we should all think about. Here are the questions to ask:
1. What is your next career step?
2. What is your plan for using what you do today to get to your next step?
3. How can you let people know where you’re headed so they can help?

If you can’t answer these three questions then you don’t even know if you should be doing the stuff you’re doing today.

I don’t have great answers to those questions right now, but I realized from all this extra, one-time traffic how connected I feel to the people who do read the blog regularly. I realize that the community aspect is one of my favorite parts about the blog. So I know that when I have answers to those three questions, it will include the idea of community.

Meanwhile, I continue to post. And you know what? I know I have some affinity to those investment bankers, because below the Dealbreaker post about my blog is a post that I think is so funny.

7 replies
  1. Pat Patterson
    Pat Patterson says:

    Congratulations on your burgeoning traffic! I’ve had similar traffic storms (most amusingly, for this). I heard a fellow blogger say that the way to capture traffic was to always try to link to a relevant earlier post if possible. Then you start to see people clicking across articles.

  2. Free Chastain
    Free Chastain says:

    1. What is your next career step?
    Im afraid to move foward
    2. What is your plan for using what you do today
    to get to your next step?
    I try to help people with what I do
    3. How can you let people know where you're headed so they can help?
    That is my biggest problem is asking for help

    I think theese are wonderful tips and it has made me think about how I eed to change my way of thinking

  3. Cherry Oman
    Cherry Oman says:

    Thanks for your blog. my job depresses me. unfortunately half of it is my fault. i have just realised that i do not posess the kind of skills they require to produce the level of work my employer wants. i dont know what to do. everyday im given a technical task in financial modelling, and i do not know the answer, i feel sick to my stomach and i feel like a fraud and that everybody hates me , now that they have found out that my fancy degree is of no value to them. my supervisor compains about me behind my back. theyve asked me to up my game, but i dont know how. or if i even really am capable of doing so. help me.

  4. Chrissie
    Chrissie says:

    If you’re not selling anything-what is the website all about? and how are you making a living? I’m interested in blogging (I’ve written 13 books {non fiction}) but not sure where it gets me…

  5. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “What am I doing here, anyway?”

    The obvious answer is you’re trying to hook us and it seems as though you have done a good job. :) This observation is based on the number of readers cited at the time this post was written and now.

    Blogs are fascinating from the community aspect (as you say) as well as the ever changing content. It’s also interesting to read from your perspective when your blog was fairly new. It seems to me you have taken your own advice and answered the three questions above for yourself. It’s always good to stop and look back once in awhile to see where you’ve been and where you’re headed.

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