Yesterday was a hockey stick day on The Tender meaning that everything was chirping along nicely with folks enjoying content and then, kablam, fat links from Laughing Squid, The Daily What, StumbleUpon, and Facebook (due to people sharing it there I suppose). What was the hotness they were linking to? This article that was nearly a month old.
Many people might be saying, “Hey, it’s good traffic though! More traffic is good!” Well, yes and no. These bursts of traffic do create a few new feed followers, but overall, they’re just an explosion that leads to little more than bandwidth consumption. Thankfully that doesn’t cost what it did 10 years ago or this would be even more of a problem. Also, I’m very thankful that I’ve never had anything go “BoingBoing” as that site can cripple even the best of servers.
So mostly it’s a case of all flash and no substance. It may seem cool for a day or two, but it ultimately goes away leaving in place whatever organic traffic that I’ve worked to grow over the time the site has been around. And that’s what it all comes down to anyways: loyal site users. Without those, your site is really one continual blister after another.