This is a guest post by Jane Sheeba.
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.
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.