Force of Good turned three 10 days ago. Unlike previous years the day came and went without notice. FoG continues to grow, and grow at an accelerating rate. Here are some stats for the past three years. Visitors and comments are cumulative.
One Two Three
Visitors 2,525 15,317 58,483
Comments 52 305 990
Ranking* 788,400 189,138 180,054
Traffic is up 325%. Visitors in 2009 have already surpassed the number for the entire year of 2008. The current run rate indicates about 90,000 visitors this year.
Comments are up more then traffic. And while I have no hard evidence to prove this, it is my firm belief that comments are a prime driver of traffic growth and not the other way around. My writing has pretty much stayed the same since I started FoG. The community has grown and is feeding off itself. The community and the content that it is creating is improving both the quality of the conversation and the intensity of the discussion. It’s a good thing. A beautiful thing.
The purpose of sharing this information is not a chest pounding exercise. It’s to share a real world example of something you hear experts say all the time. It takes time to build a blog. FoG is a living example of that premise. If you keep at it long enough all of a sudden your blog tips. I think that point is when the number of comments exceeds the number of posts. It took just over two years for that to happen here. And once that happens it really is no longer my blog. It belongs to the folks that read and the folks that comment. I just try to get things started by providing interesting pieces to get the conversation moving.
My purpose for creating FoG was to find my voice again, learn about social media, see how it works, and a bit of shameless self-promotion. I have achieved these objectives. I have also accomplished something that I really did not set out to do.
A few years ago I was introduced to Kirsten Dixson. Kirsten is a personal branding guru and coauthor of Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand. We hit it off and she encouraged me to go through a personal branding exercise. Part of this exercise included 360 degree feedback where people that you have worked with in the past essentially describe the brand attributes of you. The single word that people used most to describe me? Intelligent. There is a problem with intelligent. It’s like cool. If you say you are cool, you’re not. If you going around saying you are intelligent it’s worse. And what I think FoG has enabled me to do is demonstrate to a part of the world that interests me that I am smart capable person without actually having come out and say it. Until now. The point being a blog enables you to establish what you are and what you stand for to an ever growing audience.
The other brand attributes? Enterprising, passionate, visionary, and unique. Unique really was quirky, but who wants to be known as that?