How I got 42,000 views in 24 hours
My best guess as to why my first ‘Medium’ post was so popular.
Author’s Note: My wiriting is built for speed, not fur comfort. So,their may be airs present.
Yesterday, I decided to take a break from working on my startup Qwake for a few hours and write an unrelated blog post called “I lasted 37 hours on Android.” I put a couple of hours into it, and felt satisfied with the overall project when finished. I thought it would be great if a few people eventually read it.
I was absolutely shocked the next morning when I checked my statistics to see that more than 10,000 people had already read my blog post. I was incredibly surprised, to say the least. At my last startup, we spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours driving that much traffic to our site. How could it possibly be this easy? Had I been doing something wrong this whole time?
I'm definitely not a complete expert when it comes to Internet Marketing, although I will say that I'm rapidly learning as time goes on. With that said, below are my speculations as to why I was able to ultimately rack up more than 42,000 views in just the span of one day.
Create a Debate
People are very passionate about technology and are particularly defensive of the devices that they employ. It is no surprise that there is somewhat of a healthy feud between iPhone and Android. My blog post seemed to capitalize on this dichotomy and peak the interest of both Android and iPhone users alike.
In all honesty, my post was not targeted to specific audience or demographic. I simply just wanted to share my words. I seem to have tapped into a vein of passion that allowed me to rack up the views that I did. In summary, when looking to get views, choose topics that evoke passionate responses from multiple parties. Create a little stir.
At the bottom of my post I urged people to respond to my Twitter handle @GregMuender and/or keep the conversation going using #AndroidVsIPhone. Apparently, this worked. I received dozens of mentions and received a healthy amount of traction with the #. The platform that I used for my post (Medium) has tools built in to allow for seamless social sharing. Leverage these tools to the maximum extent. Create an atmosphere of simple sharing and contribution for your user. Granted, with a platform like Medium, you are relatively limited in how much you can encourage or empower your users and readers to share. (I could be wrong, but adding HTML share widgets doesn’t appear to work.) However, if you have your own bespoke blog or website that allows you more flexibility, so create share/follow buttons. (Caution: You can go over the top here.)
When I first discovered I had over 10,000 views, I began to investigate. Lo and behold, my post was on the the front page of Digg.com. This further fueled the fire and displayed my content on yet another powerful distribution platform. The post was also in the top 20 for Medium on the home page. At this point, I decided to proactively gain exposure and submitted my article to both Reddit and LinkedIn.
Create Quality Content
Nearly anybody can publish a blog post now, so inherently, there is a lot of crap out there. Stand out by having a fluid flow, keep the errors at a minimum, and create a narrative. Take the extra time to develop meaningful, rich, and unique content, and it will pay off big time.
Pictures Are Paramount
Tell your story with pictures. Preferably, your own pictures. I used a total of 5 pictures that I took myself to help tell the story. Ensure your pictures are clear, creative, and possess basic fundamentals of photography, like composition and appropriate lighting.
Engage With Your Audience
As the Social Media King Gary Vaynerchuck will attest to, respond to each and every one of your comments. (Side note: His books Crush It and The Thank You Economy are must-reads, IMO.) Your audience will become huge fans if they know that you took the time to personally respond to them. They’ll be more likely to follow you, continue to consume your content, and share with their networks.
**Post Publish Edit: Did Gary Vaynerchuck ultimately respond to my mention? Of course he did!
Leverage Current Headlines & Trends
My post about switching from iPhone to Android was published 2 days before the launch of the iPhone 5S, and on the eve of iOS7 being available for download. I’m sure the possibility & curioisty of switching was at the forefront of many people’s minds more so than say, 6 months ago.
In the writing of my blog post, I was inspired by a few others. I thought it was necessary to name them for two reasons. First, I thought it was merely respectful to cite the sources used in developing my writing. Second, by reaching out to other contributors and letting them know that they had been mentioned in my post, they were likely to share with their audience. In my “37 hours” post, I briefly discussed an article by Stammy, so I mentioned him when I tweeted about my post. He then retweeted to his 22,900 followers, further driving traffic to my post.
When the dust settled some 24 hours after I posted, I had 42,790 views. Not bad for a first timer. I definitely got lucky and it was unexpected, but nonetheless I hope to decipher a formula to the science of getting meaningful page views. In reading this, I hope you have a better understanding, too.
Have more suggestions? Disagree/agree with what I’ve said? You know the drill by now; engage with me on Twitter @gregmuender and keep the conversation going with #42000Views.