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One of the Q2 goals I set at the beginning of April was to achieve a certain level of web traffic by the end of the second quarter. My goal was to achieve a 40% traffic increase (measured in terms of unique visitors per month) over the 3-month period between March 31 and June 30. This meant about a 12% increase per month with compounding, which I felt was ambitious but achievable.
April traffic increased by only 4% over March, but May yielded an 86% increase on top of April, for a compound 94% increase from March to May. Moreover June traffic (and we’re not even 3 days into the month) has almost surpassed May’s total traffic already, so the overall quarterly traffic growth will be way beyond 100%. The site was already getting a decent level of traffic before this increase, but now there are tens of thousands more unique visitors than there were in March.
So how was this achieved?
While I’d love to take credit for it and have been putting some marketing effort into this site, most of this traffic surge was beyond my expectations and planning. A couple of recent blog posts, How to Become an Early Riser and How to Give Up Coffee, somehow exploded like ideaviruses. New links to these posts from other blogs and forums sprouted everywhere, and within days the first post was picked up by kottke.org, and the second by fark.com, the #14 and #5 blogs according to Technorati’s top 100. So thanks for all the traffic, Jason and Drew!
But despite the sharp traffic spikes generated by those two major sites, most of the new traffic seems to have come from the long tail of large numbers of small and medium-sized blogs. I can partially track how mention of these posts spread from blog to forum to blog almost like a virus. These posts also reached top 10 spots on some sites that track popular blog posts. The early riser post made it to #2 on the popular list on del.icio.us and received well over 100 “diggs” on digg.com.
And this “virus” is still in its infectious stage.
I must say this has me a bit stumped. I thought these were relatively benign posts, and of all the things I’ve written, I never would have suspected that these would be the ones that would tip. If anyone can explain why these posts are so popular, I’m all ears — especially if you’re one of the fellow bloggers who linked to one or both of them. Is it really that hard for some people to wake up early?
I’ve also received a surge in email from people applying these ideas and telling me about their results thus far, most of it extremely positive.
Consequently, most of the people now reading this blog are new to it, having been aware of this site for less than two weeks. So if you’re one of them, welcome! I recommend starting with The Courage to Live Consciously, which is designed to get you thinking about your own personal growth from a high level of awareness.