Yesterday, I used the word “traffic” as a tag in a blog post.
(The post existed only to send readers over to the Snark Tank, where I had added content. Snarky content. I’m not proud. But that’s why the Snark Tank is over there on a separate page).
What I didn’t realize was what a loaded “tag” the word “traffic” was.
I meant road traffic – you know, cars on concrete or asphalt?
Not blog traffic.
It took me an hour or two to figure out why my home page was getting such a spike in views – near record number of views, and several “likes,” which was odd, because the stats indicated that less than half the people who viewed the blog post actually clicked through to the Snark Tank, which was the whole purpose of the (one-line) post.
One guy somehow managed to “like” the post three times.
Several of the new “likers” and a few new followers have blogs that appear to be about – well, how to get more traffic on your blog. I always try to check out new “likers” and “followers” to see what might have drawn them here, and to see if their “like” or “follow” might lead me to a blog I’d love to read.
In this case, for the most part, no such luck.
Look, I was very late to the blogging party and, as it turns out, quite naive about the blogging enterprise when I created this blog in October of 2017.
I though blogs were for writing. And reading. And reading other people’s writing.
It hadn’t occurred to me that there was a universe of blogs that existed seemingly only to promote their existence (“Here’s a blog! Like my blog!”) without really offering much else, except additional promotion of an underlying business enterprise.
In this instance, the “likers” and new followers seemed to be marketers marketing their ability to market things, including blogs. SEO and all that.
Look, I understand the need to “monetize:” I’ve got a store, I’ve got a “donate” button, but they’re mostly just to try to make a little scratch so I don’t have to interrupt the flow of the blog with ads. So far, zippo on that front anyway.
But my goal with this blog is not to simply pile up a big number of “followers” who don’t actually read or interact with anything I write.
My goal was to contribute something, some small thing, that entertains, or might brighten a day, share an emotion, validate an experience or just help me as a writer (and a person) and you as a reader (and a person) to not feel so alone. “Learning from loss to live with love and laughter,” right? And gratitude.
So I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I’m going to let go of followers who appear to have chosen to follow my blog only to draw my attention to some thing, or some service, they want to sell me. Hey, grab me with with your writing, and I might buy your book – but I’m not going to buy your ten or twelve or whatever secrets to SEO success, OK?
I’m positive the folks I let go of won’t notice that they aren’t seeing Ridiculouswoman in their feed. Because I’m positive they just clicked “like” or “follow” because of the tag “traffic” and didn’t actually read a word of the post itself.
Not even that one-line post.
They might come back. OK.
If they actually are following and read all the way to here (yeah, and over in the Snark Tank, I’m sayin’ “fat chance”) I think owe it to them to repeat that I don’t trade likes for likes or follows for follows. I’m looking for community here – and I’m so grateful that I’ve found it, even if it is smaller than what these marketing experts define as successful for a blog.
So good luck to all, and I wish all you marketers who market your ability to market things much success. I just define success differently. As in the rare comment that let’s me know you actually read my writing and it touched you, impressed you, amused you or inspired you. Sumpin’ like that.
Thanks for your attention. We now return to our regularly (ok, irregularly) scheduled blogging, already in progress.
Off to weed the garden, I remain,
Your naive, hoping-to-find-your-great-writing-on-your-amazing-blog,
4 thoughts on “By “Traffic” I Meant Cars, Not Clicks”
Goes to show you can’t judge a blog by its tags.😉
ditto the above reply
I honestly don’t mind following back someone who reads me if they interest me. Even if their most recent post is not particularly interesting to me, their about page may be, or a previous blog they wrote…something. Maybe they have an interesting title, or picture…so yes, this ‘traffic’ tag thing is ridiculous, isn’t it.
The advertising and SEO push and marking stuff, I try to recognize that some people simply want to make a buck or two, but many of them…borderline irritating. So I simply ignore them. It’s not easy inside WordPress as there are many, but like you, I check out my followers. And there are still enough out there who write, like me, for community and words and reading, so I guess I’ll keep this gig up for a bit longer. 🙂
Oh and please, don’t even get me started on ROAD traffic. We have two seasons in Canada: winter, and construction. ARGH.
Same seasons in Chicago! Grateful for good rail service.
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