I posted this to my Twitter account early today and thought I’d share it here since I know many bloggers are curious about it. I usually prefer not to write much about blogging these days (it’s my medium, not my message), but I like to offer some inspiration to help other bloggers when I can.
Q: Out of curiosity, do you think my web traffic went up, down, or no change since I started blogging about polyamory and open relationships?
After I posted this question, dozens of replies came in on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, with the vast majority predicting that traffic went up. They were correct.
A: Blog page views are up 14% since I began blogging on polyamory. Forum traffic is up 28%. More readers, tons more discussion. People are curious.
The highest daily spikes occurred in early January after I posted my first article on this topic… and again after Erin and I posted our podcast on Loving Relationships. Overall traffic remained elevated after those spikes.
Since StevePavlina.com’s baseline traffic is high (millions of page views per month), it takes a lot of new visitors (tens of thousands at least) to generate a noticeable spike percentage-wise. Anything short of an Oprah appearance just doesn’t make much difference.
In absolute terms, I’m expecting an increase of roughly one million page views this month.
Our discussion forums have seen a significant increase in new posts about relationship topics, polyamorous or otherwise. We also have several new poly-experienced members who’ve been discussing their polyamorous relationships and sharing advice with other members. I’ve been participating in such discussions as well.
Due to this traffic increase, I’ll probably have to upgrade our web server soon. Forum members have been reporting sporadic “server busy” messages for the past few weeks. Synchronistically, my web host just announced a new line of hosting solutions that should be ideal for our needs. Nice timing.
Many people are sending me private emails and Facebook messages to tell me about their interest in polyamory and their desire to learn more about it, but they don’t feel comfortable discussing it publicly. I can understand that. Being poly-curious in a non-poly world creates some special challenges.
Some poly-curious people clearly have a hard time accepting their true feelings about relationships, so their thoughts are still mixed with shame, guilt, and fear. I can understand that as well.
Did I opt to write about polyamory just because it was controversial and therefore might bring in more web traffic? No. Page views aren’t my digital self-esteem. I don’t pick topics simply because they’re controversial. Creating drama isn’t my intent.
I’m writing about polyamory and open relationships because this is what I’m most passionate about right now. I know that when I share my passion with others, explaining what I’m learning along the way, people find value in it. As I work through my own blocks and issues, I’m able to help others become aware of similar issues operating in their own lives. This work is very rewarding to be sure, but not because it’s sometimes controversial.
Generating some controversy is unavoidable due to the nature of my work. Sometimes the socially accepted solutions just don’t work for me, so I have to look elsewhere. When I share insights and solutions that differ greatly from what most of us are raised to believe, people need time to react to it. But eventually the initial reaction fades, and afterwards most people are able to take such topics seriously and consider them more deeply.
I could predict that this topic would generate some controversy at first, but I was anxious to get past that part with minimal fuss, so we can progress to a deeper, more serious exploration of it.
I figured that the people who couldn’t handle this topic would get upset, take their parting shots, and leave. I can then assume that those who remain are genuinely curious to learn more. I want to write for people who really care to read what I’m able to share. I have no desire to entertain those who are merely looking for a drama fix. If I wanted to create digital entertainment, I’d have remained a computer game developer.
I’m glad to see that so many people are genuinely interested in learning more about relationship alternatives, even if they aren’t able to come out publicly. I’ll do my best to keep sharing what I’m learning from my personal exploration as openly and honestly as I can.
I completely understand if you can’t express any public support for what I’m doing. That’s perfectly okay. But I do appreciate the private support that tells me you really want to learn more about this. It’s good to know that my work is causing people to re-examine their own relationships much more consciously.
My goal isn’t to make you polyamorous. My goal is to help you take a closer look at your relationships, to figure out what you truly want, to fully accept what you want, and then to bring your desires into your life. It doesn’t matter if your relationship model looks completely different than mine. Your happiness and fulfillment is what matters.
If you’re a blogger, you’ll likely find that your very best material comes from sharing your true passion with others, even if you think people will reject you for it. If you can be open and honest in sharing your heart’s desires, you’ll likely find that many others feel the same as you do, and they will be curious to hear what you have to say. They may not be ready to admit it publicly yet, but you can still show them that it’s okay to be who they are.
By loving and accepting yourself as you are, you show others how to love and accept themselves.