A few weeks ago I created a post on one of my old blogs. Soon after, I submitted it to one of my favorite social sharing sites StumbleUpon. The next day something strange happened. Traffic on the site shot up to over 1,500. The next day traffic hovered at around 1,000 and then the following day shot back up to around 1,500. I was happy at this point for what seemed like a modest increase in traffic for a blog that generally gets around 75 to a 100 visitors a day.
And then the floodgates opened.
The next day traffic rose to over 15,000 visitors and each day after it kept climbing until for three days straight, traffic was over 55,000 unique visitors, at one point reaching over 57,000 visitors. Since then traffic has gradually started to decrease bringing the total to over 425,000 unique visitors during the course of just 2 1/2 weeks. Along with the traffic increases my AdSense earnings rose as well.
I wish I could tell you that all of this new traffic and revenue generation was all part of a carefully designed and perfectly executed marketing plan. But the truth is that I was completely thrown off guard when (what appears to be) a seemingly meaningless post when viral. The truth is the only thing I was even thinking about was having a good time. In fact that whole blog is completely focused around my own entertainment. I rarely even update it.
I program for a living. But, you know what? Most of the time programming isn’t fun. Building things is fun. And if you want to build things online then you need to program. Unfortunately, the more I build things for a living the less I build things for fun.
We have all heard the saying, “to be successful do something that you enjoy” and how many times have we heard bloggers and “gurus” tell us to monetize our hobbies? But, trying to monetize what you are passionate about forces you to lose focus on what you enjoy in the first place. I mean come on admit it, if you monetized one of your hobbies you would be doing your best to continually optimize every element. Then it becomes less of what makes you happy and more about what makes you rich.
I am not going to try and build a business by posting stupid pictures on the internet. I am just going to do it because it makes me happy and if I make a few dollars along the way, then so be it!