When to Hit it Big With Your Web App

Over at Read/Write Web, Emre Sokullu has written an interesting piece about the different paces at which Web apps should aspire to hit the Web 2.0 homerun: Aha, you think, the cheapest and shortest path is viral marketing - via blogs and social news sites. So you turn to your favorite sites like digg, del.icio.us, TechCrunch and (of course) Read/WriteWeb. Somehow your email to Michael Arrington or Richard MacManus gets noticed above the hundreds of others, so your site gets featured and then other blog coverage follows! Yippee, this is the fame you were waiting for! But a few days later....absolute silence.

Emre's advice for most Web startups is to focus on niches and then broaden your user base.

In my experience, web traffic is spikey. When you plot healthy web traffic on a graph, you should get big spikes, occasional troughs and steady, upward growth. If you're lucky enough to get Dugg, and drive that huge chunk of incoming traffic, then probably some subset of those Digg users will hang around. Those folks represent an upward blip in your daily, regular traffic.

The real trick, of course, is in converting those spikes into customers. If you've built your site with the right calls to action (whether that be buy, download, contribute, subscribe and so forth) in the right spots, you can take full advantage when Digg comes a knocking.

Tags: web-20, marketing, traffic, visitors, digg