So You Want Traffic? This Is NOT Gonna Help

This is a guest post by Jane Sheeba.

Empty Road
Is your blog traffic THIS empty? (Photo by Jason Hines)

Traffic. It is the key to every blog. Bloggers need traffic, no matter for whatever reason they are blogging. Every blog needs just more and more eyeballs.

Traffic means sales, popularity, promotion and everything else a blogger needs. And gaining traffic is not so easy. You have to “earn” every single visitor out of hard work.

You could have read a lot about what to do to earn visitors for your blog. But there are certain things that you need to stop doing if you are serious about getting traffic.

The funny thing is, you get a feeling that doing the things mentioned below will give you traffic, but you are wrong. Let me explain.

Traffic Mistake #1 – Trying to Make Every Post Link Bait

Yes, it is true that link baits generate a lot of traffic. If you are not familiar about what a link bait is here is a little definition in my own words.

A link bait is a post which is usually a killer post (need not be a long post, but has some killer idea, tip or trick or is an indepth analysis of something that leaves you with loads of resources). Such a post doesn’t want you to beg people to ask to link to you. They get linked naturally.

Having lots of link bait posts is a great thing for every blog because your build links naturally without putting much effort (apart from writing such a killer post, of course). Isn’t that a blessing? Sure it is. But the point is, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard or kind of “be too hard on yourself”. Not every post you write can become a link bait. That is a fact, just accept it and let go.

Now I am not discouraging you here from trying to create link bait. You should indeed write a killer post always and give your best in every blog post. That shows your commitment and expertise as a blogger.

But sometimes not all posts turn out to be killers. You know, some posts happen to be even fillers and spoilers. But should you sit up and worry about that? I wouldn’t. You have to accept the fact with that post and let go and move on. There is no point in trying to make every post perfect. You know what? You cannot make a blog post perfect. There is a simple reason behind it.

“Perfect” is a relative word. When you make something perfect, it is just being perfect to you. It need not be so for me.

I know that it is tempting to write a killer post every day, but sometimes you can and sometimes you cannot. Sadly when you cannot do that and at the same time when you push yourself to do it, that turns out to be an awkward outcome. The result? You drive away your traffic.

Traffic Mistake #2 – Writing for Search Engines

OK search engine traffic is what everyone wants, coz that’s organic and natural. In order to get a lot of search engine traffic you have to optimize your blog (in general) and every blog post.

Search engine optimization is a separate niche on its own which is evergreen. There is so much going on around in that area and there are so many people and companies earning some good bucks with SEOing blogs. So yes, I completely understand that you will not be found by eyeballs if you ignore this SEO thing. But you cannot be obsessed with it. And, people won’t like you if you are obsessed with it.

What happens when you are obsessed with it? You over optimize your posts. You stuff your metadata with keywords. You stuff your posts and image alt descriptions with keywords. The net result? Your post looks like they were written by an alien for some other alien. And then, you know what happens…

Traffic Mistake #3 – Getting Dirty

Oh who doesn’t want to get noticed? And what is the easiest way to get noticed without putting in much effort? Getting dirty by writing controversial posts just for the sake of attention. I don’t mean controversial posts which really have a point, but the posts that are criticizing popular bloggers or services for no real good reason.

You can do these if you really have a point, but if you are doing it just for the sake of getting attention and traffic, you will get both, but perhaps for the last time at that post.

Traffic Mistake #4 – Obsessing about Stats

This one is funny. Many bloggers think that when they check stats often, they are very responsible about their blog traffic and hence they will get more traffic. Well I can see that funny smile on your face. But you may also be one of those bloggers.

Analyzing your traffic is very important. You must know which keywords get you traffic, analyze the sites that bring your traffic (it could be your comment or a killer guest post) and so on. So you must be aware of every entity that counts to bring you traffic. It is only when you know it, you will be able to optimize that technique to get even more traffic.

But should you be checking your stats every 30 mins for that? A BIG NO. I know about the passionate newbies out there. All they do is to reload their stats page every 10 minutes and either get excited about that 1 NEW visit or get demotivated to see no new visits in the past 24 hours. In general, you will be demotivated by poor stats, so staying away from them and not getting to much into stats is a great thing for your productivity. Checking stats won’t bring you traffic. Doing things will.

Checking stats once in a week or a fortnight is generally OK though.

The Conclusion

I know, some of you won’t be happy. But if you are serious about traffic, just check with the above points and avoid them. Be realistic. Blogging is neither magic nor luck. It is mere smart work (hard work+expertise) that pays off.





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Comments

  1. says

    There’s a whole lot you can do wrong. There are so many blogs about blogging right now and so many ideas bouncing around that you sometimes get lost and have no idea who to trust. Blogging with passion and writing for humans are the ebst way to get authority and traffic in a particular niche.
    Marty just posted How to Create a Google Plus Page for Business

  2. says

    Jane!

    I was smiling about obsessed with stats haha, that’s me, I admit :-)

    I know I should decrease how often I checked my stat, however, I am kinda addicted, hard to stop, so to speak :)

    Lesson I learnt from this is, having a lot of visitors can’t really mean they are targetted visitors that I want..

    It’s absolutely best to have less visitors but targetted, than a lot but non-quality visitors..

    Kind regards

    Kimi.
    Kimi just posted Acer Aspire TimelineX AS4830TG-6450 Review 14-Inch Aluminum Laptop (Cobalt Blue)

  3. says

    Hi Jane, great write up. Sometimes we worry so much about trying to get traffic we forget to avoid things that don’t bring us traffic in the midst of it all. Regarding stats I used to be obsessed but not anymore. I rarely log in and see what they are at. I’ll tell you what I will be spending a lot of time on is Adwords haha! I’ve been working hard on providing quality content lately and it’s exciting to see people start visiting daily and engaging. I hope I can continue on this path and see seen more growth with the community. Thanks for the tips Jane.
    bbrian017 just posted #engaged @blogengage is our new trend for #blogengage

  4. says

    In regards to “Writing for Search Engines”, only bad SEOs do the things you mentioned. Keyword stuffing your posts, meta tags, alt tags, etc is bad SEO practice. Good SEOs focus on writing posts that are targeted to users and have the relevant keywords worked in naturally.

    If you write a blog post for SEO and do it RIGHT, then the post will also be great for users (part of what a good SEO does is focus on users).
    Adam just posted The Star Wars Trilogies: Comparing The DVD & Blu-ray Releases

  5. says

    Funny though, that some people will group together 1 and number 3. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen an ‘expert’ tell people in a guide for link bait that ‘attacking’ someone can help your link bait succeed! There’s a big difference between an attack and starting a debate, but I guess sometimes it’s a fine line to walk. ~David Walker
    David Walker just posted Why I Thought About You All Weekend

  6. says

    All of this is so, so true.

    Having a reputable brand and writing to solve problems builds better links and generates far more useful traffic (the kind that converts) than any quick fixes.

  7. says

    I do not consider merely a traffic as a sign of success in blogging. The true factor of success in blogging is returning traffic. A blogger who is just concentrating on the traffic will repeatedly make these mistakes until you don’t explain the advantages of increasing traffic and how to make a reader comeback. If you focus on this this factor this is will alone eliminate all the traffic mistakes
    Umair just posted Facebook Comments Are Now Being Indexed By Google! All Good?

  8. says

    Hi Jane,

    Great article to read on. I agreed many blog owners or site owners are obsessed with statistics. Checking regularly your stats often consume your lot of time and you must avoid it.

    Google likes user friendly articles, means people can understand your article and ultimately like it. So it’s our duty to produce good articles which interest your audiences.
    Aanchal just posted Web Design India

  9. says

    Nice Info!!!!

    From my point of view every blogger wants traffic on his/her each and every blog post and it is true this is neither magic or nor luck only good things are play good role in that like quality in content.

    So i think this post will prove very useful for all newbie bloggers.
    sam just posted Goa Carnival 2012

  10. says

    Jane I loved your post. This is honestly helped out today. I was just thought of this issue yesterday, and I might was little disappointed. I totally agree, and also want to believe, your conclusion about luck and work, on the other hand. I will recall the famous saying, “Let’s make things happen, and do not just let them happen”. Many thanks to Jane for this fabulous post. All the tips, advices and information were very helpful.
    Nick just posted Osprey Atmos Backpack Review and Coupons

  11. says

    Great post Jane as always. The content it is very important this days to have a successful blog. Writhing from hart will sure do the trick and give you an extra edge. For me (as for others) it was quite hard at beginning because of the low writhing skills. Now I have more experience and I like to think that I write more good and engaging. If you want to be good try to write as much as you can, this is my advice.
    Bit Doze just posted Best WordPress eCommerce Themes And Why Use WordPress As A eCommerce Platform

  12. says

    Jane,

    Of course, as usual, you make some great points here. Some of these steps may help to get you traffic but not to keep them. (such as writing for search engines)

    Personally I make the attempt to do the “link bait” type posts frequently. But I am aware that you can’t push this to the extreme. Good enough is good enough. And I don’t try to do this daily.

    Really a lot of this is about moderation. Stats, articles, SEO, trying to write quality. They are all good things. At least good when taken in moderation. If you push any pf these to the extreme they lead to wasted time and going astray. Not the way to get the best results you may desire.
    Steve just posted Build My Rank Review – THE Best Way to Get Backlinks?

  13. says

    Hi Jane,

    I used to be like Kimi, looking at stats all the time. I still do but I look at the goals I have set for conversion. You can go overboard with SEO but changing the img tags is not noticeable for the reader so not doing it is questionable. If you write around a topic people want to read about SEO will be a lot easier anyway so that’s my starting point.

    I got a great question from one of my readers today. That in its own is a few posts and I am sure he will share it so win win. Your customers should always be the inspiration for your content.

    Nik
    Nik just posted How to find the right career coach

  14. says

    Boy am I so the opposite of guilty on mistake number 2. If anything, I throw SEO out the window in favor of “stream of thought”. That’s not going to get me ANYWHERE, but I just.. I choke up when I try to direct my topics based on keywords I want to get ranked for. not quite sure how to get over that hump actually.

    I enjoyed this post a lot, and featured it in todays Friday Follow post on my blog – the link is in the CommentLuv below if you wanna check it out :D

    Nice post Jane, and Love the blog Karen!
    Jenny Barron just posted Follow Friday and Blogs To Adore!

  15. says

    I feel…bad for people who are running sites with “traffic” (or, really, “profits”) as their *bottom line*, #1 concern. Unless of course that person is swimming in pools of golden coins, then I don’t feel “bad” for them of course! But I mean the little guy or gal who is desperately trying to raise traffic without having a higher purpose/goal/interest. It’s my belief that traffic as *the most important thing* (“the bottom line”) is the wrong view, and it doesn’t create anything useful for other humans or society at large.
    freddy k just posted Tips for Win/Win Negotiations

  16. says

    Hi Jane,
    Great post as always. You are so spot on about this issue.

    For a long time I was trying to make every single post a link bait or get it to rank for something, until I realized, I was spending way too much time and getting much less result than If I were putting more effort towards creating a few really good link baits.

    Most of your blog posts are going to be fillers, you just have to come to terms with it. Of course, you dont have to sacrifice quality here, but you cant make every post the best post. Thanks Jane.
    Satrap just posted 10 Ways to Make Money on the Side

  17. says

    Of course traffic is very important for the sites and I agree with you about the points that it is unbearable when a post appears to be a link bait. I know that many bloggers write only for search engines and they gt what they want, but at the same time their blogs don’t develop at all. you are right that traffic is a smart work that should be done regularly and should ahve exact plan

    • says

      Anna, recently SEO has become a term to be obsessed with. Some bloggers take it too seriously and they ultimately forget people :)

  18. says

    I agree and disagree about making every post link-bait. I agree in that your posts should for the most part be geared toward helping the reader.

    Every now and then on one of my blogs I get an idea that would be awesome link bait and I run with it, but mostly I write for my reader. I know that if I write something that is truly unique (not like most blog posts out there – yawn), helpful and well-written, chances are that it will draw some links or at least some tweets and likes.

    And so we come full circle – link bait really means, for the most part, a really awesome and useful post. In that send, every post you write should be link-bait. Do you write one post a day? Or two? How many are truly unique, useful and awesome? One or two a week? Then why are you writing the other truly useless and repetitive posts that have already been written a dozen times by others? From that perspective, why not just write the ones that are truly worthwhile …which makes every post you write link bait.
    David just posted Joe Pye Weed: The Man Behind The Plant

  19. says

    Hi Jane,

    Excellent post. I think # 4 is a big killer for many people. I know I still struggle with it from time to time. It’s so easy to want to keep checking all of your stats…your sales stats, your traffic stats, your signup and autoresponder stats, etc.

    Yes, it’s exciting when you see a sale come in, a new signup, or a surge of traffic, but it’s a huge time waster. If I could go back now and substitute all the time I’ve spent checking stats with writing blog posts, I’d probably have hundreds more articles and blog posts out on the internet.

    So I definitely agree. Stats are important, but don’t obsess or you’re simply taking time away from the things that really matter.
    DJ Briggs just posted How To Keep A Guy Interested – Simple Tips On How To Attract A Man And Make Him Want You

  20. says

    I check my stats usually just once per day, and when I do I spend about 5-10 minutes looking at them. I find it kind of boring analyzing all the keywords, where traffic comes from, where they exit, and all that. I just look at the daily visitors and page views and that is about it. I could see how it would be easy to spend a lot of time with them though. Try spending 30 mins or an hour per day looking at stats and how much does that add up to in a full month? Quite a bit that I could be doing other things with.
    Ray just posted Content is sometimes king

  21. says

    I think many people start out blogging because they read about the success of other bloggers. The problem is that they try to mimic the successful bloggers and don’t create a blog that is unique to them. That is one of the problems that I have seen, and a good reason why a blog doesn’t receive much traffic.

    I am a stats junky so I am obsessed with the stats for my blog. Then again, I haven’t met too many bloggers that aren’t guilty of doing point #4.
    Paul Salmon just posted Best 5 Twitter Marketing Tips For Blog Promotion

  22. says

    Very informative and helpful. Personally, much of my blogging has dealt with smaller niche circles. The traffic that I get isnt astronomical, but I gain dedicated followers from it. What do you think about/recommend for the area of niche marketing on the web?
    Pete Goumas just posted Touch Of Europe Coupons & Review

  23. says

    Jane, #1 speak is too close for comfort for me. Always putting pressure on yourself to create amazing content can take its toll. I also find that sometimes it’s better for me to be on the other side of the conversation. Reading other people’s great content helps with ideation of great content ideas. Thanks for providing a great post!

    – Brian
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