Going Viral to Build Defensible Traffic

Late last year Darren Rowse on Problogger had a post about How to Build a ‘Digg Culture’ on your Blog. The post discuses how going viral can increase your reader/subscribers over time which build in long term defensible traffic. The graphs he used were hypothetical but accurate. Last week I created the situation so thought I’d show you some real stats.

Here’s the scenario, over the first two day period (1) I had a semi-commercial viral campaign launch and a press release get issued. On day (2) I pushed out a “top X ways to do Y” viral post. Here’s a graph of visits, page views, average page views, and rss subscribers.


This is almost exactly what Darren was trying to show in his post, each successive viral effort compounds and builds previous one. I’ve found that you do lose generally between 10-30% of the new subscribers within the next two weeks. You can minimize the loss by having a series of high quality user centric posts follow up your viral efforts. If you have good material that your readers normally submit on their own (which is encouraged by the use of social bookmark buttons) you are golden. Chances are in the begining you are going to have to “prime the pump” by submitting yourself or asking friends to submit on your behalf.

In his post Andy asks Is Your Site Defensible?

Does your site have a significant number of subscribers? Subscribers can be be to your RSS feed or email newsletter or anything really–the point is, you have repeat visitors and don’t depend entirely on transient traffic.

These RSS subscribers build up some insurance or buffer zone between you and the bewilderingly random movements of search engine algorithms. Lastly you are still going to need to create quality content on a regular basis to keep these new readers coming back. Once you can get to the point where it’s profitable start thinking like the CEO and pay someone to write for you. Like SEO it’s not a do it once and forget it effort. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The above graph was created with the Stats Reports WordPress Plugin which gets data from with Google Analytics and Feedburner.


Tags: , , viral+traffic

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