I’ve tried with varying intensity over the years, to generate traffic to this blog. I’ve long imagined that consistency – primarily in the frequency and regularity of updates, but also in subject matter – would be the key to generating traffic. Apparently, I am incapable of either of those types of consistency, so I still don’t know whether this hypothesis is true or not. And I may never know.
Despite this lack of consistency, on most days I’ll get from 5 to 20 unique viewers. This seems like a fair number to me. Occasionally someone will come through and read everything that’s on here (close to 50 posts now), which seems cool. A visit of that nature means that a person spent some time reading stuff I wrote. What’s a drag is they usually don’t comment, so I don’t know what they thought about it. I tell myself that it’s the onerous barriers to commenting (you need to be signed into a WordPress account to comment) that are to blame for the reader’s silence, although I’m pretty sure that’s an excuse, because for the record, I don’t think it’s that hard to comment. In the end it’s another hypothesis that may never be proven, one way or the other.
There are also days when I’ll somehow catch a breeze on Google and get 50 or more unique visitors in a day. But generally there has been little rhyme or reason to the traffic – not that I can discern anyway.
Until Dave Grohl.
I wrote an entry titled, “You Know Who Really Sucks? Dave Grohl, That’s Who” earlier this year and it’s the most popular entry I’ve ever posted. By far.
Which is kind of funny. For a couple of reasons. One, because apparently a lot of people Google “Dave Grohl Sucks” or some variation on those words and two, because I don’t really think Dave Grohl sucks (ok well, maybe a little). Closer to the truth is that I don’t really care about him. He’s just a bro. And bros, or whatever you want to call kind of run-of-the-mill-machismo-dudes are for the most part, boring. Dave Grohl’s art, his raison d’etre, just doesn’t do it for me. Nothing personal.
Which makes it lame that a post about a guy I don’t really care all that much about, accounts for 75 percent of my traffic.
Further along that line of reasoning – when I’m in my right mind – I know most people on this earth are just trying to make it through the day. We, humans, are basically good and deserve to be celebrated – or at least not derided. Even Dave Grohl, if only for the fact that he’s a human being. We’re all, in one way or another – in most things that we do – trying to distract ourselves from the big question, which usually boils down to, “Why am I here?” I don’t always feel that benevolent, but for the most part it’s about the most chilled-out outlook I can come up with on a consistent basis. So I feel bad about saying negative shit about people. Even rich celebrities. Writing that kind of thing is just not what I want to be about.
Which leads me to my central difficulty. What’s a worthwhile thing to spend time thinking about? I am a writer. I sit around and think about shit, until I can’t sit with it anymore. Then I write it down.
It begins with me going back and forth about something internally. “Why are you thinking about that?” I’ll ask myself. “Is that a worthwhile thought?” or “Can you imagine a world where you wrote that down?” Which usually leads to “Can you imagine a world where you didn’t write that down? “Eventually I’ll end up thinking about whatever it is so long, that I finally say, “Might as well bang it out, maybe then maybe it won’t drive you crazy any more.” And I do. It usually doesn’t add up to much. Sometimes I’ll put what I’ve written on the internet. Sometimes I regret it. Usually not.
I don’t regret the “Dave Grohl Sucks” post. I stand behind the sentiments expressed within. But… The but is, must I stoop to insults in order to get read?
Life is strange. You try and attract traffic by writing what comes from the heart. Every once in a while that writing connects. It’s rewarding when it does. There is nothing better than when someone leaves a comment that says, “Interesting” or “I felt that too!” Generally though, it’s crickets.
Then you write a post – the “Dave Grohl Sucks” post is really just a rant that could have alternately been titled, “I Wish Kurt Cobain Hadn’t Killed Himself” – and it quadruples your traffic. It turns out a negative turn-of-phrase that’s not even true can quadruple your readership. Oh well. I wish that wasn’t how it worked, but what are you gonna do?
Funny, this world of ours.
P.S. Want to do me a favor? Leave a comment.