Play in the Bigger Pond – Part 1

Like many other people who blog regularly, taking the time and trouble to create good quality, helpful posts, I have been wondering what on earth I need to do in order to significantly raise the profile of my blog. You know the problem: you read all the posts you can find on the subject of how to do this and quite a lot of that advice boils down to the creation of good-quality, fresh, original content. Now, you’re a writer, so you are not at all concerned about being able to do that, but after several months, if not years, of producing some of your best content, on a daily basis, you are left wondering why you have not yet managed to create that high-traffic blog you dreamed about at the beginning.

You start searching the good-old internet and you come across post after post telling you what you already know. You find the same old advice: social bookmarking, comments, join in with the conversation, create quality content and so on and so forth. Now, of course, I don’t mean to imply that any of that is bad advice. However, the point is that a) you knew that already and b) you have already been doing that stuff. Your problem turns out to be a much bigger one than the guy who is just starting out because a lot of the advice you find actually comes from people who have no idea how to create a high traffic site. It is therefore ill-informed and turns out to be the usual recycled ideas that are simply not going to propel you to the heights to which you aspire.

Do you relate to this situation? That’s the position I find myself in right now. I have created a very successful site. Many people would be extremely happy with the level of success I am currently enjoying, but in order to reach my goals, I need to find the way forward and the obstacles to that are a) the people who know how to do this are not telling, and b) the people who are telling are not doing. In other words, I no longer expect the answer to this question to be found by me searching the web. This situation has led me to return to me favourite method of making breakthroughs – the business of listening to my inner, or higher self; the process of introspection.

As I have considered the question of how to improve my Google rankings even further, there is one phrase that keeps recurring in my mind. It is this: ‘play in the bigger pond’. Now, I know that you might be thinking, ‘surely, that should be swim in the bigger pond’. Perhaps my inner self cares less about English and mixed metaphors, but the same phrase keeps returning to my mind, ‘play in the bigger pond’. Perhaps my inner self chose the word deliberately to illustrate a deeper truth in just those few words. ‘Swim in the bigger pond’ means, I think, to network with higher quality sites, partner with better-connected contacts and associate with better distribution channels; to ‘play in the bigger pond’ means to do all of that, but it also encompasses the idea of having fun whilst doing it. So, I have decided to let this phrase become my mantra.

Over the coming months, I am going to find out what it means to ‘play in the bigger pond’ and I am going to concentrate my efforts on doing exactly that. The first thing I intend to do is to put a little sign over my desk with those words on it. That will serve as my reminder for what I about to attempt. In three months – I think that will be enough time for me to evaluate my new methods, whatever they turn out to be – I will have some answers. This method (The Deming Cycle), coupled with the principle of testing the ideas I receive from my inner-self, is the only way I can seem to get them these days. At present, I have no plan: just the mantra with which to work. Each day, I will simply look at those words, read them a few times, let the message sink in and then … yes, I’ll go play. I will find bigger and better ways to network, connect and grow. Hang on, is that a plan I can feel hatching? Perhaps.

Well, as with any improvement initiative, it is always worth doing a bit of base-lining to measure your starting point; otherwise how can you know if you have improved? So, to that end, here are some of my current stats.

Figures below are for last month (May 2011), taken from my Webalizer stats:

  • Total Hits 2,804,022
  • Total Visits 124,475

So, looking at my Webalizer stats for last month, I can see that the site received 124,475 visitors which amounts to 4,015 visitors per day. In the next post I will consider what it means to ‘play in the bigger pond’ in a bit more detail.

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