Traffic, or popularity, isn’t always good

Lars Martinson’s website usually averaged a hundred hits per day. He submitted an ebook to Reddit and received nearly 50,000 hits in a single day. Great right? Well, not really. He only sold 23 ebooks. He also learned a few valuable lessons and he jotted them down in 3 Things I Learned When My Site’s Traffic Increased 25,000% in One Day.

So when I saw all the people that visited my website, I wasn’t expecting any miracles. But still, I couldn’t help but run the numbers: if just half a percent of the visitors bought something, that’d mean hundreds of sales… it was hard not to get just a little excited.

But alas, the 48,342 people that visited my site resulted in an additional 23 e-comics sales compared to the previous day. So about 0.048% of the extra visitors made a purchase.

/via Boing Boing.

In 2009 I gave a talk at Less Conf in Jacksonville, Florida. In one segment I covered the pitfalls of popularity. I’ve embedded that segment below.