Blog economics of hate

The easiest way to draw traffic to your site all you have to do is hate on people.

My definition of flaming content online: To bad mouth purely for the sake of creating traffic, link baiting, retweeting, Facebooking, and otherwise bad-mouthing a person, organization, company, or news item for a purely selfish reason. (Read here to see what it is like to receive these criticisms)

Why does this work? When someone reads something that you write, they are left with a number of choices. Do nothing, comment, talk about it, share it, tweet it, email it, or bookmark it.

Over time, you learn that people are more likely to link to or forward something that is salacious than they are something that is benign, informative, or encouraging. That’s just the nature of consuming new media. The result is that some people write purely to draw traffic and since “flaming sells” they know that flaming people/organizations will draw more notoriety, traffic, and the hope for… income.

Here’s a formula that I’ve seen play out for the past several years.

  • Normal content = x1
  • Flaming content = x5

That’s pretty much what it looks like. If your Twitter account, Facebook profile, or blog flames someone you’ll get more traffic. Why? People love to read rants.

So are you saying that all blog traffic is drawn to flame speech? Not at all. And here is why:

  • Remarkable content = x10 (or more)

Which leads to my point: Most people write hate/flame based content because they don’t have the time/guts/brains/skills to write something remarkable in the first place. In other words, it is easier for them to draw traffic with flame-worthy content than it is to draw traffic with remarkable content.

Adam’s Law of Traffic: Write something remarkable and everyone will talk about it. Write about something you hate about someone and some people will talk about it. Write about normal stuff and only your mama will talk about it.

Bonus math: Since mountains of people like to copy the thoughts of others… sometimes giving credit and other times not.

Copied content + traffic = x5






7 responses to “Blog economics of hate”

  1. benjamin kerns Avatar

    I love this way to evaluate content. I read this matrix in the immerse journal a couple of months ago. it is has been a good discipline to not use my blog as a place to incite, but rather challenge and inspire.

    the sad part is that in 2 months I have only had 1 “remarkable” post.

    thanks for all you do. blessings.

  2. Matthew McNutt Avatar

    There are so many times I’ve been tempted to flame a business, person, etc., but my personal rule has been all along that that’s not what I want my blog to be about. It is tempting, though, because you’re right – it’s an easy way to get traffic! We humans do love to rip each other apart!

  3. D. Scott Miller Avatar

    While I do “lift” others thoughts for my blog, I’m always careful to give credit where credit is due (and I am about to start doing the same with the images I lift to illustrate – a practice that is regretfully overdue on my site.)

    I also believe that what helps to make a posting remarkable is adding my own remarks (not flaming) to those comments. As bloggers, we DO have an “editorial voice” and we need to determine if it is positively contributing to the conversation or just dumping our own stuff.

  4. Stuart Avatar

    Man this is so true and good stuff. You see this all the time and it really is sad. It also comes with the territory when you grow in notoriety. A quick Google search of the influential pastors out there will turn up just as many hate blogs as it will positive material.

  5. Stuart Avatar

    Also, forgot to say how much I love this:

    “Remarkable content = x10 (or more)”

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