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e zine
couple weeks
Traffic Building: The 30 Day Challenge 30 Days Later
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My father and I had a bit of a competition that we started 31 days ago. It was essentially a challenge to see what was better for driving traffic to our websites, quality or quantity writings. An e-zine site had offered a 30 day competition, challenging participants to write 30 articles in 30 days. The site promised increased traffic to your website and the potential to make some money. Dad and I were hooked.

Dad is an artist and tries to sell some of his work online; and I had recently started a blog in an effort to affiliate with Amazon and sell some books. From what I had read, I was convinced that quantity of decent writing would prevail over quality. The contest was two weeks old when I last spoke to Dad. He had yet to pull the trigger on his first piece, as he thought it needed just a bit more revision to be perfect. Dad called yesterday to accept his defeat.

"Hey, Chum," Dad said as I answered the phone. Chum is a nickname I got when I was young, and hope to never outgrow.

"Hey, Dad," I answered flopping in a chair. "What's up?"

'Nothing on this end," he said. "Just calling to check on you."

I could hear the defeat in his voice. I struggled to hold back a smile. Surely gloating this early on in the conversation would not be appropriate.

"Things here are good," I said, my heart doing a little jig in my chest. "You know, I have just sort of been writing on my blog, trying to drive traffic."

"I know, I have been reading your stuff. You really have been writing a ton," he said.

I smiled. The skin on my face felt tight. I couldn't help myself, "I know, I have written like 70 pieces since I started a month ago. I really have been in a groove. I have been having so much fun writing; I can barely stand to be away from the computer." I thought I had been a bit too braggadocios. I controlled an inhale through my nostrils. "How about you?"

"I got my one piece in a couple weeks ago," he answered. "

"One Piece?" I was shocked. My cheeks were touching my temples.

"Yes, just the one, but it was really a fine piece of writing," He said.

How could the guy even answer? My cheeks relaxed. I wobbled between pride and pity. My mind raced for a comment that would be respectful and show grace. One piece? One piece in 30 days? How could that possibly compare with my 70 plus pieces? I could not speak. Instead I just swallowed hard.

Dad broke the silence, "How's your traffic been?"

The comment redirected me. My chest inflated, "I think it is going great," I may have shouted. "I had over 2,500 people read my stuff by the end of the month." I could not let my moment in the sun pass, "The more I write, the more people that come to read what I have written. If I can just keep..."

"Is that a day?" Dad cut me off.

"Excuse me?"

"Is that 2,500 people a day, or just 2,500 people for the month?" Dad asked.

My Dad is getting older, but I did not realize his mind was wasting so fast. "That's for the whole month." I said gently.

"Oh," he responded.

Poor guy.

"By the end of the month I was having 3,000 unique visitors everyday," he said.

"What?" Later I would imagine myself answering like Harold from Harold and Maude after Maude reveals to Harold that she has taken some sleeping pills. If you haven't seen it, you should.

"Yeah," Dad continued, "I think I finished the month at a bit over 30,000 visits."

My head was swimming. He had to have lost it. I pictured him being committed to a nursing home or mental ward. 30,000 visits, as if. "Dad," I said trying to bring him back from his delirium. "Do mean a three followed by four zeros, or only three?"

"That's definitely four," he answered. "Thirty thousand one hundred and nineteen. See I told you that quality was better than quantity."

That smug bastard. The gloves were off now. "You're telling me that your one article published two weeks ago has driven 30,000 people to your website? There is no way in..."

"Now, I never said it was the article that drove the traffic," he cut me off.

"What do you mean? It's not the article?" I was feeling detached from my surroundings.

"Well, I mean I guess it could be," He answered. "But I did something else to drive the traffic to myself in addition to the write a quality article."

Something else? What could he have possibly done to drive that much more traffic to his site than mine? I mean I had written a number of guest blogs, I back linked to social networks, I commented on other blogs, I was now tweeting. I had followers in Thailand for crying-out-loud.

"Dad, what more could you have possibly done than me to drive that much traffic?" I was incredulous.

"At the beginning of the month, rather than write an article, I bought some advertising. It's about when you put a product out."

"Advertising?" I spat.

"Yeah," he answered. "I got some ad words at Google and from a couple of other paid media sites. I spent about $500, but I think it was really worth it."

"You spent $500 dollars on advertising? How is that fair?"

"The contest was to see who could drive the most traffic to their website. You made it a challenge to see if quantity was a better driver than quality."

"You wrote one piece." I said. I mean what would you have said?

"I wrote one piece and got 30,000 visits," Dad responded.

"You cheated," I was going to take my glove, ball, and, bat and go home.

"You never said that we couldn't do more," he said calmly. "I guess tweeting and all the other stuff you were doing counts, but paying an advertiser to drive traffic to your site doesn't count?"

It is hard to argue with reason. "Well at least I am not out 500 bucks," I said cradling my head between my phone and other hand.

"You don't think I sold some paintings with 30,000 targeted visitors coming to my website, never mind the ad revenues I will get?"

"You made some money? How much?" I had written for about 200 hours over the month and had one Amazon sale of 23 dollars and seven cents to my credit."

"I don't like to kiss and tell," Dad said. "But remember I am off to Monterrey for the next two weeks for a bit of a vacation."

"How much? How much did you make?" This was unbelievable.

"Give my love to Eydie and the kids," he said

"Dad, really." We both had better just calm down. "Dad. Dad? Dad!"

The phone was dead. Dad apparently had to get off the phone to finish packing for Monterrey. And that is how our competition ended. I guess one really well written piece and $500 in paid media advertising is better than a mess of crappy articles, guest blogs, tweets, and comments. This may be the last article I write, though I doubt it. I can't call myself the loser if I don't quit. Maybe I just need to increase my numbers a bit more. Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

Thank you. I haven't stopped but I sure have taken a break. Your nice comment may change that! Thank you.

  about 6 years ago

Really enjoyed reading your article! You have a very interesting way of writing, so don't stop with your articles please:)

  about 6 years ago

Oops. Thank you. Again, I am likely to continue thanks to your nice comments.

  about 6 years ago
S. Gray  

Enjoyed reading your article...I may have to take your Dad's idea into consideration :-)

  about 6 years ago

He really did change the way I marketed my online sales. He sold a few dollars worth, while I sold a few pennies.

  about 6 years ago

Yes I did. Sadly, I learned slower than I wrote and I was not able to capitalize (as well as I could have) on my traffic. Ah well Thanks for the comment. J.

  about 7 years ago

I've taken your approach with similar results. Might have to take Dad's idea. Did you do the 30 for 30 contest on this site by chance?

  about 7 years ago

This is based on a true relationship I have with my Dad. The story is fictitious but the sentiment is real. ANYONE PLEASE SHARE OR COMMENT!!!!

  about 7 years ago
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