Paris Hilton had a big week last week. So did my company’s site PopCrunch.
PopCrunch was averaging about 2000-3000 unique visitors per day. Then we hired a full time writer (a great move by the way and evidence that it works to invest a lot into a single site rather than many). Then came ParisExposed.
Traffic soared to more than 20,000 uniques per day last week. AdSense income was (and is) through the roof (it actually scared me because I thought there was some weird click fraud going on at first). The bad news? We had to move the site between three different servers in the course of 2 days. Each move we were told that the site was just pulling in too much traffic and was breaking the httpd process (even our MidPhase VPS broke).
We finally moved to a high-end cluster server with a company called Mosso that has been nothing short of phenomenal (I’m not being paid to tell you this, btw). Sure, it costs $100/month, but let me tell you that the peace of mind that I have with these guys is just priceless.
Anyway, at first I wasn’t sure what to think about paying $100 for a single site server. What if the site traffic died off? What if this is all because of a short term phenomenon?
Tough questions to deal with, but once a site blows up, you’ve really got to make it stay blown up. You’ve got to work your ass off to make sure it doesn’t fall back to a pre-blow-up state. You’ve got to take the momentum and run with it. Invest in the site’s success by leveraging the momentum and working it in your long term advantage. Diversify your content so that you’re not dependent on a single search term. Just get out there and start working and don’t look back for a few days. These opportunities only come once in a while. Make sure that instead of one-time blow-up, you turn it into long-term blow up. Make it last. But also make sure to invest in the infrastructure to maximize your success, even if it seems a little risky.
In the end, when you’re site blows up, you’ll probably get mucho exhausto, but, dude, it’s just plain exhilarating.