If you’ve been reading my blog you know that a couple of weeks back I got involved with the Technorati Favorites Exchange meme. I thought it would be an interesting experiment in networking and traffic building. And getting into the Technorati Favorites Top 100 seemed possible.

So I did it. I spent a good part of a couple of days adding blogs to my Technorati Faves and then visiting their blogs and commenting so that they would know I added them and then would add me. Soon, I was faved by almost 200 bloggers and climbed to number 87 on the Top 100 list. A little more effort and I could have climbed another 20-30 slots (I’m about to drop off the list).

Overall, I’ve made the statement that I thought the meme was a waste of time – my time and the time of the people who read my blog. To you who read my blog regularly, once more, I’m sorry to have wasted your time. Please keep reading because I hope to turn this into a positive.

Did I gain from the meme? Sure I did – a bit of traffic and some readers. I’m happy about gaining the readers. Am I disgruntled at the results, as Richard Cunningham suggests? No. Not at all, actually. Do I think bloggers should meme-link? Yes, I do actually. First, however, I feel it’s important to be clear what we’re aiming for.

This is the point I feel is being missed…participating in memes should be something you do to serve your core blogging goal.

Let’s face it, memes are going to increase your reach, land you more traffic and potentially grow your readership. No question about it. And if constantly increasing reach, traffic and readership is the core goal of your blog, great – do every meme that comes your way. Personally, I have no problem with it, if that’s your goal.

But what if your goal is great content, engaging conversation and building relationships with your readers? Then does meme-linking serve your existing readers? Maybe, but maybe not. That’s what’s being missed by some of the comments I’ve seen around the Technorati Faves Exchange.

For instance, Gary Lee suggested, “I think it would be fair to mention how many backlinks you have also received from this meme just to show that their have been some benefits.” Likewise, Maki’s take was, “The fact that you've received 69 comments in the previous post is also not a waste of time.”

Both great points. But, they’re missing my point – the meme doesn’t serve my blogging goal – which is to create great content, engaging conversation and build relationships. Sure, it increases my traffic which may allow me some new readers. But it does so at the expense of my current readers. And since no where in my blogging goals do I mention getting new readers and increasing my traffic, I simply don’t feel that these types of meme-links are valuable for my blog. It seems, instead that I’m sacrificing my current readers to reach new ones. And I don’t think that’s necessary.

Of course, Maki’s point is a bit off in that only 1 of those 69 comments was to engage me in a conversation. The rest were just link hunters. That’s fine, I participated in the meme and expected that. But it isn’t the type of commenting I’m looking for. I’m looking for commenting that lead to rich conversation – such as in these three posts.

Mark Goodyear gets it with his comments, “Memes are fun, but typically they distract a blog from its thematic purpose” and “the best inbound links come from a carefully targeted market.” As does thepaperbull with his comment, “I wanted to know how many people favorited me because they valued my site / content.” And Ruhuel added in his comments, “I too prefer consistent traffic over superficial traffic.”

All of them speak closer to what I feel is being missed in all this – The most useful memes are those that benefit everyone involved and your readers first. Memes aimed at just increasing links and traffic simply don’t add value to my readers. So I’m not going to participate in them any longer. Memes, however, that do add value by being content focused – such as Ben Yoskovitz's Ultimate Guide to Productivity and Mohit Singhania's Be Original Project – I will continue to participate in – and have (respectively).

So Doris, gilda*su, and Ari, when you asked me about gaining new readers – of course I’m grateful. Not for the traffic nor the favorite links. What I’m grateful for is you – you as a reader and a commenter. As you can see from this post, I care deeply for the people who take the time to read my blog. And for those who comment and engage in the conversation. That’s why I put so much of time and all of myself into it.

And that’s why I don’t want to waste your time with writing about memes that are just about building my traffic. You deserve quality content from me, instead. And I trust in you that if you find value in my blog, you’ll not only continue to read, but you’ll get my feed, you’ll link to me from your blog and you’ll share my blog with others. That’s how I’ve built my traffic so far. No tricks. And I love the results.

Are there faster ways? Sure. I could do a lot to grow my traffic in ways that aren’t about my readers and my content. But I won’t do that – at least not any more. My blog goal is about creating conversation and building relationship and that’s what I’ll focus on.

Your thoughts?

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jean Browman says

    I’m one of the new readers you gained. I discovered your site a couple of days ago and have visited it multiple times for inspiration. I’m in the process of creating a website and blog and at the moment feel completely inadequate. I sort of liked what I was doing until I saw your work.
    I’m not a professional, do you ever deal with amateurs?
    Anyway, I’ll keep plugging away because my blog goal is the same as yours–to create conversation and build relationships. Thanks!

  2. Dawud Miracle says

    Jean,

    Thank you so much. I’m certainly interested in speaking to you about your needs. Perhaps I can help in some form. Best thing to do is take advantage my Free 25-Minute Phone Consultation. No obligation and we’ll know at the end of the call what we can do together.

  3. mblair says

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m reading you regularly too as a result of the exchange.

    I did want to point out that for both Maki and myself, the experiment was related to our core missions as we both focus on social media marketing in our blogs. Honestly, if I had a blog about golf or something, I feel it would have been a bit of a distraction.

    Even my participation was limited because of my concerns about the indiscriminate nature of the linking and how it would be perceived.

    I do think though that there are some big upsides in the exchange in that it gets some bloggers looking outside their bookmarks at some other blogs. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy StumbleUpon so much as well.

  4. Dawud Miracle says

    Randa,

    That’s exactly what I thought. But going by the comments I was getting I felt I needed to be clearer.

    At least this way I got to speak more directly about my blogging goal.

  5. Mark Goodyear says

    Thanks for the link, Dawud. I can’t resist giving this long comment:

    You said, I don’t want to waste your time with writing about memes that are just about building my traffic.

    Here’s the thing. Technorati doesn’t even build traffic–except maybe organically. Technorati ranking only measures traffic potential through in-bound links.

    There are so many link farms and other link exchange scams out there. Even bloggers inside the top 10,000 can be virtually useless.

    For example, this afternoon I was examining stats on a test we ran. I sorted the participating blogs by technorati rank–expecting mediocre results. 3 of the top 5 in technorati ranking were some of the least successful at moving traffic. I can only assume there was no traffic to move.

    Their technorati rank was just aggregating their obsession with link farms. These entire blogs were based on empty memes. They were facades.

    Meanwhile, one blog with a technorati rank of 300,000 outperformed 2/3 of the group!

  6. Dawud Miracle says

    mblair,

    First, thank you.

    I do agree with what you’re saying…bloggers do need, I feel, to look outside their circles for content. And many of use do, which is how we find each other.

    I fully get that you and Maki have core missions that would make sense for you to experiment with a meme like this. And I commend you for doing so.

    As you said, if you topic was different, this meme may have been more of a distraction than a benefit. That’s how I feel. I’m grateful to Maki for getting the word out. It was a good experiment, if for nothing else then it reminding me my core mission. And the added readers are nice too.

    I do hope that my content fits your liking and that you join in the conversation from time to time. The relationships that I’ve built through my blog is why I’m blogging. I only wish that to continue…

  7. mblair says

    Oh, I’ll definitely be around 🙂 You’ve got a very enjoyable blog, and I’ve subscribed to your feed.

    Keep up the great work!

  8. Dawud Miracle says

    mblair,

    Great, thanks. I’ve already grabbed your feed as well so perhaps you’ll see me too.

    Mark,

    Very interesting study. Are you going to write a post about it? I’d love to hear more.

    I can certainly understand what you’re saying. When you look at the most linked to blogs, there’s no way to really evaluate whether it’s about link farming or great content. All I can say is I know what side of the fence I’m on. Now I feel like I’ve made that clear.

    Thanks for your comments. And, you’re always welcome to leave long comments here. It’s about the conversation. And sometimes I need to listen before I speak.

  9. Doris says

    Got it dawud…. I agree that memes should be in line with our blogging goals. You made a good point and I must say I’m glad to stumble upon your site in the course of the techno fave exchange. That’s the start of relationship building, I suppose.

  10. Deborah says

    Hey Dawud,

    I agree with you in that many of thse memes can be a distraction to your blog theme and to your readers.

    The Technorati train proved beneficial to me; I was able to find blogs / bloggers that I would never have found otherwise, and have made some great connections with some bloggers, as well as gained some new readers due to the exchange.

    I also took part inthe Ultimate Guide to Productivity. Even though it doesn’t fit my theme, I feel it provided some good reads, with links to others involved for further posts on the topic.

    I’ve seen a number of other memes where they appear more like link farms to drive traffic and have decided against being involved in them.

    At ant rate, glad to have met you in the exchange.

    Cheers!

  11. Dave says

    Dawud,

    Thanks for restating the reasons we blog: conversations and relationships. I found your site when you linked to me and Liz mentioned your name in a conversation. It’s a great start to what I hope will be an ongoing relationship. Love your stuff!

  12. Deborah says

    Thanks, Dawud.

    I’m looking forward to it.

    I’m quite new to blogging, so I have yet to learn about RSS. Mark Blair gave me some excellent links for info on it. Now I just have to find the time to learn the process.

    But I have bookmarked you to come visit 🙂 I hope that you’ll stop by and keep on touch too.

  13. Dawud Miracle says

    Deborah,

    I’m glad we’ve met as well.

    I hear you about traffic and readership. It’s a real catch-22. But you know, I continue to be exposed to new readers without participating in memes like this. That being true, then there is a trade-off between using meme-linking to increase traffic versus offering great content to your readers. I simply choose the latter.

    And still, I’m grateful for those who have found me through the meme.

    Dave,

    Sure. It’s amazing how easy it can be to forget for a few moments what this is all about – at least for me. The draw of big stats can be enticing. That’s why, I feel, it’s important to be clear in our goals. I’m not blogging for traffic and rankings. I’m blogging for conversation and relationships.

    Liz has mentioned you a few times as well. I love your blog, though I just recently joined in the conversation. I do look forward to growing our relationship. Thanks.

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