InetDaemon.Com is poised to cross the 35 million hits mark by the end of 2010. The site is receiving just about 3 million hits a month, a long, long way from what it was 15 years ago when I first created the site to help out AOL users struggling with these new-fangled computers and this weird thing called the Internet.
The content of InetDaemon.Com is a bit esoteric and probably interesting only to a small crowd of gear-heads and engineers who want to know how things really work. That limited interest has limited the growth of the site, but I’m not interested in growing InetDaemon.Com, I’m interested in growing good engineers, in short, helping people. I created InetDaemon.Com in 1996 or so and time has marched on. Now there is About.com, Answers.com, Wikipedia and a host of other sites, but InetDaemon.Com was the first to put actual tutorials online in a format that is clear, concise and sufficiently technical to pass a certification exam.
Over the years, I have repeatedly discovered that someone cut and pasted one of my tutorials into Wikipedia or elsewhere and then took credit for it by linking the stolen Wiki content back to thier own website in an effort to get better search engine ranking by ripping off content from InetDaemon.Com. A quick check at the Wayback Machine (www.archive.org) easily confirms that it’s my content and that my page predates and the Wiki pages, and the content is an exact copy, and the Wikipedia admins pull the content (they won’t fix the links or the attributions, the Wiki admins pull the content as if the content itself is no good). Just one of several reasons why I don’t like Wikipedia–it’s heavilly plagiarized and there are very few safeguards against theft of copyrighted materials.
I have never bought ad space or advertised the site or promoted the site in any way, other than to show friends and co-workers the front page or send someone a link to a tutorial that might help them out. I have never paid for links at the top of the lists in search engines. I have never done anything special in the way of link exchanges or other marketing techniques. In short, I’ve never marketed the site.
So what is my secret for drawing millions of hits?
Good content, best practices, and a great audience interested in what I’m writing.
Build it right the first time and the audience will come. No amount of SEO in the world will grow a site to this size if the site is merely spam links and ad banners. You need good content that people will find interesting and will come back to later.
InetDaemon.Com could never have reached this level without support from my loyal readers.