After Action Review: 100,000 Blog Readers in 24 Hours

I’ve been blogging fairly consistently now for about 4 years.  I try not to focus on metrics, just spend time writing posts.  I try to write for myself, not to write for fame or fortune or impact…

However, there has always been a little dream that sits at the corner of my conscious mind of a massive wave of visitors.  Imagine if 100,000 readers found this post today…  It was a dream…

Until this month.

24 hours, 100,000 Visitors

Over a 24 hour period between 14 and 15th May, over 100,000 readers swarmed in to this blog to read a specific post.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 15.54.30
WordPress Statistics of Visitors to Blog: http://www.conorneill.com

The post: Amazon Staff Meetings: “No Powerpoint”

Why?  Where did everyone come from?

The visitors were sparked by this tweet by Edward Tufte, professor at Yale and data visualization guru:

Following this tweet, a major discussion at Reddit began:

See the Main Discussion: http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/1ebavs/amazon_staff_meetings_no_powerpoint/

Highlights of the Reddit Discussion

  • [friedice5005] Powerpoint isn’t the problem. It’s a very useful tool to augment information you are trying to get across. The problem is people people who are bad at it using it as a crutch. Powerpoint should basically be an outline of what you’re talking about with MAJOR discussion points and any images or graphs you need to show. It should not be blocks of text that you read verbatim.
  • [via Yajirobi ] if you dont integrate people into it, they just sleep. Forcing them with made up questions is a bad idea too. Getting random questions from the audience is the best way to do it. Its a GIFT. They make the presentation good for you, without any effort from your part.
  • [via EngineerVsMBA]I experienced this system, and I loved it. I will use it in every job from here on out. Let me explain why:1.) It requires meaningful preparation by the presenter. They cannot hide behind pretty slides, and you can’t use the usual confusion tactics. If you can’t fit it in six pages, you didn’t prepare enough…

After the Flood

After the flood, what changed?

The real simple answer… nothing much.  The blog has gone back to its previous daily visitor numbers.  I had a moderate upsurge in email subscribers to my Free Online Speaking Course.  I had 16 comments on the post.  The post did get 2,200 Facebook Likes, it got 1,324 ReTweets,  821 LinkedIn Shares – so there is a sort of residual flow of new visitors.

It is a strange sensation to watch the visits rack up, and then just float away.

A good reminder that fame is illusive… and not really the goal… and a dangerous distraction 😉  Anyone know what’s up with Psy of Gangnam Style these days now that the frenzy has past?

Maybe I could do a little bit of work on improving conversion of visitors into readers, and readers into subscribers?  Anyone got good ideas on how to make a blog into a community, or make it a more “sticky” destination?

11 responses to “After Action Review: 100,000 Blog Readers in 24 Hours”

  1. Keri Vandongen Avatar
    Keri Vandongen

    Your posts are remarkable, Conor- you write about your unique perspective on topics that are well researched and popular. I think your blogs are still a secret. Have you considered guest- posting or doing a webinar on a major blog that has an engaging audience? ~Keri

    1. Very kind Keri 😉 I have written a few posts out on lifehack – but happy to steadily build up a community of readers and commenters 😉

  2. Big congrats, Conor and well deserved! I had something similar happen to me on my blog back in April, though not to the same extent. In fact, it was an old post that I had written that, like yours, got picked up on Reddit. The first and only time that it has happened. 20,000+ hits in 24 hours, which surprised me greatly. But I laughed when I saw the screenshot of your stats – the same curve as mine!

    The spike was nice, but I am happy to grow my blog organically just as you have done. Keep on providing the great value that you do. If you write it, they will come!


    1. Thanks John. I think the most valuable benefit was a clearing up of the purpose of my blog – the flood comes and goes, but my own process of learning through public reflection in blog posts remains… I am refocussing 100% on posting what I want to learn about, not “linkbait” 😉

      1. Exactly! Do what you love, the readers will come of their own accord. And keep coming back.

  3. Hello Conor

    I think you have a very sticky blog by the way. You use most of the techniques described in the great book “Made to stick” under the acronym SUCCES



    Best regards

    1. Thank you. I have done a few things. I deliberately avoid the pop-up email capture forms and other “intrusive” means…

  4. Congratulations on 100k! I wouldn’t consider this proof that fame is elusive, but rather a sign of all the good things to come. Psy was a fad. Comparing your recent success with his would be unfair for him; You’ll still be enlightening us with brilliance long after he’s been forgotten.

    1. Next stop… My own TV show… But that is only for mega-gurus!

  5. Richard Atkinson Avatar
    Richard Atkinson

    Fair play to you my old B5 crewmate. Those are serious numbers, well done indeed.

    I have no more idea than you – or Psy most likely – how to make it sticky. Believe your stoic conclusion is on the money mind.


    1. Thanks Richard. All the best from Barcelona to you!

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