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.