Two days ago, I almost lied in a blog post.
Well, on Wednesday, I wrote a post titled, “Who likes you enough to help you get better?”
But that wasn’t what I originally wanted to title it. I initially thought about naming it,
“Who likes you enough to say that you suck?”
I thought that title might drive better blog traffic. It felt dramatic and exclamatory. I once wrote a post called “Please, shut up,” and that one did well. Maybe that “in your face” style would have the same impact here. There was only one problem though, it wasn’t true.
The post wasn’t about someone telling me that I suck. It was about someone helping me get better. And, although I could stretch and exaggerate my way to somehow make the post fit the title, that would mean I was allowing traffic to dictate what I wrote. I don’t want to change the truth of my content in order to drive more traffic.
I named that one post “Please, shut up,” because despite it being an exclamatory title, it fit the truth of the post. Shutting up was what that post was about. Other times, I will soften my title because the desire for traffic is wounding my larger desire for truth. There’s a fine line there, and I honestly can’t tell you exactly where it is. It’s not always an either/or decision. Sometimes truth drives far more traffic than all the crazy, exaggerated content would.
Regardless of what type of blog you have, whether you write posts, share photos, or video the type of meals you’re cooking, etc., we all face this tension. The tension between truth and traffic. And how we respond to it is the difference between a good blog and a great blog, a viral site and a vital site.
Have you ever worried about the traffic numbers of your blog?