Building A One-Legged Stool?

You know me and my fondness for Wordpress. I am a massive fan of building your own homebase on Wordpress and OWNING it. And stop relying on external services in a lazy fashion.

But, that doesn’t mean we don’t use external channels.

I know the natural inclination of many (including me) is to post all our good stuff to our Wordpress site. Keep it “in house”. Plus, Wordpress rocks for SEO and we want that SEO “juice” pointing to us, right?

I just had a little reminder, tho.

It happened when I happened to log into my profile on Medium after a LONG time of not doing anything with it. And I saw that I was still getting views on my stuff there and I have almost 2,000 followers. Considering I hadn’t posted anything on Medium in well over 2 years… and never did anything all that seriously with it anyway… I found that interesting.

Medium is like Youtube for bloggers.

Medium is ranked #346 of all sites on the internet. 153 million visits per month. Over 60 million active users.

Sure, that isn’t Youtube-level traffic, but it is pretty damn respectable for a purely-written medium.

I should probably begin (or, I should say, re-begin) doing something on Medium.

This isn’t just about Medium, though. It is about the bigger picture. And a reminder of how we should look at web traffic.

It is all too easy to get tunnel vision about posting things to our own blogs so that we have all our content in our own little hands and we get all the SEO value from it. But, the internet presents us with a LOT of potential channels. And…

If you want to build a river of traffic to your blog, you need to have a lot of little streams feeding into that river.

The river doesn’t just begin out of “thin air”. And how reliable is your traffic if the entire starting point of that river is Google? Google can change their algorithm on a freakin’ dime.

Posting solely to your own blog and hoping for SEO would be like building a one-legged stool. It would be damn near impossible to get it to stand up. And even if you do manage to find that magic balancing point, it isn’t as if it would take much to knock it over.

Medium is a channel. A potential little stream of traffic. Doesn’t even matter if the SEO value of that content isn’t what you want. And it is a great channel, too, for people who do best with the written word. Like I said, it is like Youtube for bloggers.

A good, solid 3-legged stool will stand on it’s own. And, the way we build that online for ourselves is to have multiple channels moving.

You can think of each channel like a little feeder stream into the larger river.

SEO is a channel. One that many people over-worry about, frankly. After all, if it was important enough for you to do all that work to try to rank #1 for a keyword phrase in Google, then it is probably also important enough where you could just pay to be there and be at the top of the SERPs before the day is over.

Facebook is a channel. Youtube is a channel. iTunes is a channel. Rumble, Twitter, Ustream, LinkedIn…. the list goes on.

This doesn’t mean you have to be active everywhere. That’s just overwhelming. Takes too much time and you’ll probably suck at it unless you have a team of VAs to help you do it.

But, we don’t have to be perfect at it. You can just be decent on a few and get results. You don’t have to use them all or master them all.

You’re just building up little streams. Little streams of traffic that, over time, can form a river. Pick and choose which ones you want to mess with. Don’t try to do it all. Too many, in my opinion, try to “be everywhere” and they’re just spraying the internet with useless garbage. If you’re going to work on building up a stream, do it for real. Put something solid there that is worthy of people paying attention to. The world doesn’t need more noise.

Personally, I think I would focus on the higher quality, content-driven channels. Things like Youtube or Medium. Perhaps iTunes if you’re into podcasting.

I would NOT spend much time trying to build up large channels on Facebook or Twitter. Too much noise, frankly. You can EARN traffic from those platforms by creating stuff worthy of sharing, but I wouldn’t waste my own time purposely trying to post good content on those platforms. That’s just me.

Anyway, this isn’t some article that I present to you from the perspective of some “guru” who is doing it all right.

Like I said, I just logged into Medium this morning to have a look-see. I haven’t been actualliy using it in awhile. It is HARD to try to work all these channels correctly. And, I don’t do a very good job of it.

So, this article is more of a reminder. Both to you… as well as myself.

When it comes to traffic, we don’t want to be building a one-legged stool with no stability.

I think it is worth sitting down and putting together a real strategy. One that brings in multiople channels, but also respects your time and your strengths.

Just be intentional about it. And don’t forget that those channels are out there and are important. It isn’t all about Google and SEO. And your traffic efforts cannot sit there and take place just by publishing stuff to your blog.