Hey everyone! Wow...it's almost hard to believe that we're already on week 9 of this series. As always, your support really means a ton to me! As far as the lesson goes today, we're going to talk about something that really hindered my ability to make money even 9 months to a year into my first blog. I knew that traffic would bring me money, so all I really thought about was traffic. Night and day, I would be doing one thing or another to chase traffic. That eventually lead to some pretty harsh realities. With that said, today, I'm going to give you a few examples of chasing traffic, and share with you some things that you can do to better spend your time! Before we get to all of that, we've got another Personal Finance MVP to award for a stellar performance this week...
This Week's PF MVP Goes To...James!
As many of you already know, this week's nominees were chosen by Debt Debs. Although I've happened across Retirement Savvy here and there, I never seemed to have the time to really give the blog a chance any of the times I stumbled upon it. Well, when Debs nominated James, I figured "I've gotta get to know this blog!" So, I've been following faithfully now for a week; and James, you've got a new fan! When I started digging through the posts at Retirement Savvy, I really started to enjoy the personality strewn throughout the entire blog. With great tips, information, and personal stories, I can definitely see why you've voted him as your MVP for this week! Thank you James for continuing to add value to the finance community!
Chasing Traffic And Why It Will Make You Fail
Remember that girl (or guy) in school that you really wanted to be your girlfriend (or boyfriend), but she (or he) didn't "like you like that"? Do you remember how bad you wanted that relationship? I know...pathetic, right? Although you were a good lookin', talented kid, in her (or his) eyes, your desperation was just a turn off! As failure persists, you get more and more drained. Eventually, you start to wonder...
Is it even worth it anymore?
Chasing Traffic Does The Exact Same Thing
Believe it or not, chasing girls (or boys) that don't want to give you the time of day is a lot like chasing traffic. When I first started blogging, I was a huge traffic chaser. I was on websites and forums finding bigger and better ways to get traffic. The only thing wrong with this whole thing is that the techniques I put into play would generally fail. If something did work, it brought traffic that would bounce fast for a day or two and that was it! Here are some of the biggest mistakes I made chasing traffic while I ran my first blog (That turned out to be a complete failure!)...
- I Took Part In Traffic Exchanges - Traffic exchanges are websites that allow you to browse other websites in an i frame and count the sites you visit. In return they send other website owners to your site. Most of them have 15 second minimum view limits. So, what I would see is a huge spike in traffic that lasted somewhere between 15 and 17 seconds on one page. That's just enough to get through the first couple of sentences in a post! (epic fail)
- I Purchased Traffic - Have you ever come across those sites that say "we'll give you 1,000 hits for $10"? Well, I have too, and I tried them. I've probably spent $2k or $3k buying traffic in bulk. In the end, it turned out to be the same type of traffic I got from traffic exchanges and was a complete waste of my money. (epic fail #2)
- I Took Part In Automation - I remember when I first came across the concept of spinning one article into thousands and mass publishing them everywhere, or sending a robot out to do comments for you. When I first started, I saw little increases in my traffic. A few months later, I finally started making a tiny bit of money right before Google said "Uh Uh buddy, you go bye bye!" and slapped me with a dried up Penguin! Needless to say, that was the end of blog #1. (Even Epicer Fail) (Epicer Fail meaning - OOOOOOUUUUUUCCCCCCHHHHHHH...coined term CNA Finance (lol))
The Fundamental Issue With Chasing Traffic
If you're chasing traffic, you adopt a very singular focus. The bottom line is...all traffic chasers care about is traffic. Although traffic is a great thing, there's far more important things to worry about. After all, if you do other things right, traffic just comes...well, organically (imagine that)! When you're chasing traffic, you don't give yourself time to think about...
- Stellar Articles - I know, everyone says it, CONTENT IS KING. Do you know why they say that? Because it's true! If you throw something together in an hour because you need a piece of content for this or that keyword, no one's going to actually want to read it! You have to take your time when writing posts, bring in a little personality, and most importantly take a unique approach generally providing a solution to a real problem.
- Relationship Building - The most important thing I've done for my blog aside from making sure to take my time on articles is relationship building! This involves commenting, reaching out to bloggers in your community, being active in social networks, and most of all, actually caring about the people you connect with in the process. The simple fact is, it's almost impossible to have a successful blog if you're not willing to become part of the blogging community!
- User Experience - Although writing awesome articles is a big part of user experience, it's not the only part. As a blog owner, you have to think about things like how fast a page loads, how many ads are on a page, ease of navigation, color combinations, and more. It's your job to make sure that when someone visits your blog, it doesn't take a year and a day to load, it's visually appealing, and it's not convoluted with ads.
The Bottom Line
It's kind of funny when you think about it. If you're chasing traffic, traffic is going to be hard to come by; but if you're working on the few things I mentioned above, traffic is going to come naturally. Thanks for joining me today everyone, see ya next week for the next "Why Most Bloggers Fail" edition. Don't forget to vote for your MVP in the comments!
This Week's PF MVP Nominees
To vote for your MVP, leave a comment below or email your vote to CNAFinanceHelp@gmail.com!