Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Quality vs. success—illustrated by the preceding post

with one comment

I have often made the observation that highly talented people, high-quality products, excellent ideas, whatnot, are not necessarily successful—while less talented people, lower-quality products, …, can be so to a high degree.

The explanations are many, some “worthy” (e.g. that hard work can make a considerable difference), many “unworthy” (e.g. better marketing, luck with timing, knowing the right people).

My Friday post provides an excellent example: I read an article series in a newspaper that I found offensive, threw together a counter-post without deliberation and planning, and probably spent less than half the time on the actual writing than I do on the average text of that size. In fact, the day after publishing, I spotted no less than five very obvious typos that I felt forced to correct after the fact. I often make errors even in published texts, but in this case my proof-reading cannot have deserved the name.

Still, my post took less than 24 hours to become the most visited on my two-months old blog. (Whether the most read is another question: Other articles may have accumulated a larger number of reads while on the home page.) Further, Saturday broke my daily-hits record by a full 50 %—two thirds of the hits landing on that one post.

How did this success (relative to earlier posts) come about? Simple: A link to my post showed up on one of the articles discussed (possibly through a trackback)—and a small portion of the newspaper’s visitors proceeded to visit me.

In effect, I did not see this traffic because I wrote a post that was more valuable or better written than my other posts—but because I accidentally rode on the “popularity coattails” of the newspaper.

(Similar stories are not unusual on WordPress. I have heard of a few cases where a blog got a months worth of traffic in a day, after a high-traffic site linked to it.)

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Written by michaeleriksson

April 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm

One Response

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  1. I had–and continue to have–a similar experience. I posted a list of unique illnesses writers might consider including in their novels (to intrigue readers). One was the brown recluse spider bite. I’ve had literally thousands of people visit just for the picture of a spider bite rather than my content.

    Jacqui

    April 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm


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