You guys may remember that I recently had a post published on The Huffington Post. I was so excited, nervous, thrilled, terrified and in shock about it! To see my words go up on a major site like that made me so proud of this blog and all of the writing I’ve done over the last decade.
I’d read that some people had an incredible response to being published on Huff Po. They had a crazy influx of blog visitors that they couldn’t keep up with. Their affiliate income skyrocketed. They gained thousands of new followers and rode that wave for however long it took to make those people permanent readers and turn into a full time blogger with a loyal and engaged following.
That wasn’t me. My submission at Huff Po went up on May 11, 2016. The post was received well. It got positive comments, has been shared 300 times and gotten 288 Facebook likes.
Out of curiosity today, I checked my Google Analytics to see what sort of referral rate I had. The last time someone came to my blog from that post was September 16. Between May 10 and September 19, I had 43 referrals from the full or mobile Huffington Post site.
I don’t know how many of those 43 clicks stayed. If you’re one of them, Hi!! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for staying! You are very special to me :).
But to put that into context, that is fewer than the number of referrals I’ve gotten from my friend Jenny’s blog, Paragon 2 Pieces. She keeps a blogroll in her side bar for lawyers, former MBA students, etc. She runs a great blog and I’m sure that it’s part of why people trust the links in her blog roll.
Of course, it’s significantly fewer than all of the sites where I actively promote posts and where other people can share my posts, like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. It’s even fewer than Instagram, which as far as I can tell, only shows you a referral if the person is looking at your account on their computer (not mobile) and clicks a link.
Am I telling you that working to get published on The Huffington Post was a waste of time? Absolutely not. And here’s why.
Getting Published on The Huffington Post Changed My Life
I keep this blog pretty private. Or at least, I used to. J has always been super encouraging of it. No matter how many times I tell him it’s a nerdy or lame hobby, he disagrees. And he has never kept it a secret. He’s told people about it since we started dating. And I didn’t know that until one day one of his friends mentioned my blog to me and I was like “*choke. cough* excuse me, what?”
Other friends of mine that somehow knew about my blog have been similarly supportive. Apparently in 2016 it’s cool to have a blog. Who knew? But I still kept it a semi-secret. However, I always told myself that if I got published somewhere big, I would share it on my personal Facebook page.
And guess what? people went crazy for it. Everyone was so positive and encouraging. I took a screen shot of my post back then because I knew it would be a momentous occasion. I also figured there was a chance I would chicken out and delete it (I didn’t).
That’s not to say it wasn’t scary. I was terrified. I actually woke up several times that night, nervous about it. I was worried people would comment mean things about my writing, this blog, or the fact that I have this hobby at all. I was worried people would say the topic was stupid, that I was a loser for writing at all, and who cares if I got published on The Huffington Post?!
But they didn’t. And it’s been life changing for me. I was so scared to share this very personal space, and everyone was so warm and welcoming about it! Now I share a post here or there on my personal page and people who are interested have been so kind. Not only have they been nice, they’ve told me that my openness here is relatable. Some have even asked for advice about credit card payoff and how to start a blog! It’s been a really cool experience.
I don’t share every post with my personal Facebook friends. And sometimes I’ll share a post and then get nervous and delete it. Other times I will schedule a post to my personal page, and then go in and change it to a Facebook Page post instead. But overall, it’s been amazing. I am so thankful to be able to chat about my love for blogging with my IRL friends.
I would have never had the courage to share this space with my friends and family if it weren’t for getting published on The Huffington Post. And that’s way more valuable than page views.