The number of views used to be the only metric that mattered when I started to write every day. I was obsessed albeit for just about 8 days before I began to focus on what matters the most — creating something meaningful for yourself. Not others, but yourself.
It’s easy to get distracted by metrics, variables and other advancements that help you drive traffic to your website. They’re really enticing. I know. But they also keep you from doing the main thing — showing up. Emphasis on showing up than creating content since the latter commoditize your efforts and I would never want to do that. What I do here is for an audience of just one person, me. No one else actually matters.
But here’s an interesting observation, while you put in a significant effort to create content (stuff, as I like to call it) every single day or every single week, we silently hope and pray that someone from your audience consumes it, likes it and shares it further. More traffic! Right? Even if it’s just one person from Iceland who randomly bumped into your blog after searching for some random stuff and mistyping it in the search bar. That blip in the dashboard sure does make you happy, doesn’t it?
The challenge is that the feeling doesn’t last forever, which makes it impossible for you to keep going on because you don’t see an incentive in doing what you’re doing. And once that question creeps in, you’re basically a dead duck. You’ll go back to your 9-to-5 doing what you have been doing and rant about how “ineffective” these “stupid content marketing strategies” are.
You’re probably right. Only partially. It didn’t work but it’s supposed to be that way. Creating content is all about the long game. The way I see it, you create content today not to be consumed right now or in about a couple of hours but in about a month or a year or even 10 years from now! That’s what I mean by long term. Which also brings me to the next point — the SEO hacks won’t really work if you’re in the long game. What you need to have is a distribution system that is simple and logical. Keep at it and the traffic will grow, eventually. Of course, chances are it may still fail because of reasons only the gods and folks at Google know. But does it even matter?
For you, it may but for the ones who’ve really stuck out for long (think of Seth Godin, Tim Ferris, Stewart Brand, Chase Jarvis, and others) they’ll keep creating what they always have and keep sharing what they create. Without giving a damn about what’s trending or what’s not because they’re not creating for the moment but for some moment, someday.