Make something great

Derek Powazek’s rant about SEO generated a lot of heat yesterday and while I agree with him on most counts I don’t want to dwell on the “SEO is good/bad debate”. I do, however, want to quote his closing advice on how to get traffic on the web:

Make something great. Tell people about it. Do it again.

That’s it. Make something you believe in. Make it beautiful, confident, and real. Sweat every detail. If it’s not getting traffic, maybe it wasn’t good enough. Try again.

Then tell people about it. Start with your friends. Send them a personal note – not an automated blast from a spam cannon. Post it to your Twitter feed, email list, personal blog. (Don’t have those things? Start them.) Tell people who give a shit – not strangers. Tell them why it matters to you. Find the places where your community congregates online and participate. Connect with them like a person, not a corporation. Engage. Be real.

Then do it again. And again. You’ll build a reputation for doing good work, meaning what you say, and building trust.

It’ll take time. A lot of time. But it works. And it’s the only thing that does.

I read this out in a workshop today and someone (Michelle?) asked me for a copy. Here it is.

(If you are interested in the SEO thing, be sure and read Derek’s calmer follow-up post.)