Reaching New Customers By Expanding Your Vision

by Seth

I‘ll be honest.  Searching for new readers and customers is hard.

The work does not scare me though, it’s the fear of not being able to attract readers and customers even after I’ve put in the work.  I’m guessing this fear is not new to you or to me but is something every blogger and internet marketer is faced with everyday.  The great question: “Where am I going to get more customers from?”

First, the enthusiasm of starting a new blog venture is exhilarating.  After a few weeks of checking your stats and analytics every day the exhilaration turns to disappointment.   Soon your disappointment turns to frustration and then to the thoughts of quitting.

I see this pattern over and over again each week with a number of clients I work with.  They all are looking for a quick fix and the same boring marketing ideas someone else tried to work for their blog.  Before they get any further I give them a little expert advice:

Blogging is a long-term business venture, not a short-term fix

If they want to make money fast then I tell them to learn the stock market (risky), get an offline job, or sell a service (design, etc.).  Now I  know beginners can make money from blogging because I did when I started out.  Beginning bloggers can also pick up traffic very fast if they have the knowledge, skills, and time.

Understanding What Traffic Is

This sounds pretty childish but I have found far too many bloggers don’t even realize what traffic is.  Yes they know its someone going on their website/blog but other than that they have only a visualization of numbers and graphs.

First, Traffic or customers/readers are people.  Now that statement isn’t usually life shattering or new, but too many bloggers actually forget that simple fact.

Second, traffic is not a measure of money made.  There are some blogs that are so good at what they do that with very few visits then convert their few hundred visitors into buyers and subscribers.  There are also blogs with thousands of readers but making no money or getting no new subscribers.  Traffic is not a direct measurement for money-making methods.

Third, traffic increases when the people viewing your blog actually like what they see.  In other words the more value your blog has to the reader the more likely they are to: come back, keep reading, and tell a friend.  Making a quality blog visitors can land on (view) is the #1 priority of blog owners.

Understanding Why You Need Traffic

You are probably rolling your eyes right now. Stop and keep reading.

I am not talking about the most basic reasons for traffic like for someone to see your blog.  I am talking about a concept that is deeper and more intricate.  You will need to do some inward introspection and goal setting too. The reason will be somewhat individual to each of you but makes the biggest difference in your blogging.  Why do you want traffic?

When I asked myself this question a few years ago everything changed for me.. no really it did.  You see bloggers want more traffic because traffic is good.  Traffic in our minds mean making money, becoming popular online, and sharing our message.  But what is it that you want to do with those goals?  Why are you working so hard to get visitors?

StairwayLet me give you an example of what I am talking about.

A recent client of mine has a very nice blog on traveling.  They write thoughtful articles that are valuable resources for their readers.  The last few months as I have helped them learn more about blogging I have seen their traffic jump by 74% and they are becoming more excited about their success.  The problem is they are not trying to do anything with their traffic.  They are working their guts out to get traffic just to have it.  In other words they want traffic just for the sake of having traffic!

Now that might sound dumb, but that’s what 90% of all bloggers are doing.  They say they want to earn money online, make a difference, or accomplish some other goal but they are not using the traffic they have and don’t even understand really why they need traffic.

Like we talked about earlier, traffic really means people.  People read, buy, and participate on blogs.  Or at least that is the goal.  If you are not optimizing your blog to convert your traffic into readers, buyers, and community members then stop promoting your blog right now! Everything you are doing will be for nothing!

Instead figure out what your goals are with the blog and how you want to accomplish them.  What are your visitors doing to accomplish your goals? How can you help them help you?  Once you understand why you need your traffic and what they can do for you then it’s a lot easier to understand how to get new traffic.

How to Get New Customers/Readers

Here’s where I hope to inspire you the most.

Up until this point I have been trying to help you see traffic for what it is.. people and a means to accomplish your goals.  As such the route you take to find more people to see your blog and reach your goals is much more different then the route you take to get “Traffic”.

Here are some of the key differences in thinking about traffic as people, like your family, friends and co-workers:

  1. You are more likely to share your very best resources with them.
  2. You wont publish what you are not proud of.
  3. You will try to be as helpful to them as possible.
  4. You will think about the problems they have and provide solutions/resources for them.
  5. You will be more focused on providing meaningful experiences then you will be with attacking them with useless ads and links they don’t need or care about.
  6. Your relationships will get better.
  7. Your community will increase because you care enough to respond to every comment and ask people sincerely what they think.
  8. You will reach out to other people who need your resources and provide them with the solutions.
  9. You will not be working for free, and you will end up with more money because your approach is about relationships and achieving goals together.
  10. You will have more traffic then ever before.

Hopefully you see the positive effects of how seeing traffic in a more pure and positive light will improve the way you blog and in turn the traffic you get.  Here are some more tips to help you get new traffic that are somewhat original to way too many bloggers.

  • Connect with other bloggers – You are not mingling with the enemy! The more bloggers you get to know the more traffic you will get.  Meet people who are doing the same thing you are doing by leaving comments, writing personal emails, and connecting with your favorite social media.  If you leave a comment on new blogger in your niche, they WILL check out your blog and want to get to know you.  Meet 2 new bloggers every day or 5 every week and you will be getting more traffic in no time.  Your comments will also improve dramatically.
  • Write More Content – A lot of blogs write too few posts because they either do not have the time or energy to post high quality content regularly.  In response to this and the many things said on the post “What is Quality Content“, find easier methods for writing quality content.  Try using different posting strategies.  Add podcasts, videos, images, or a variety of other posting methods that are both new and interesting and less time-consuming then a 1500 word article.  Learn to mix it up and you will not only get more readers but they will be more interactive.
  • Leave a Trail – Stop making everyone hunt for you because they will never find you that way!  Instead leave a trail where ever you go.  Carry business cards, talk to other bloggers in your niche (topic) and comment on every post you read.  Over time people will have seen you everywhere and want to know more about your blog.  An example is of a recent barrage of guest posts by Josh > The World’s Strongest Librarian.  He guest posted on over 40 blogs and I saw his name everywhere.  Eventually I stopped by his site and I am sure thousands of others did too after seeing him on a number of their favorite blogs.

Now that you are pumped to treat traffic like people and starting thinking about your blog differently, don’t forget to connect with other bloggers, write more content, and leave a trail.  You will thank me if you do this.  It’s what all my clients do!

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Eric B. December 1, 2009 at 1:08 am

Thank you very much. These are some very useful ideas in this post.

I especially like the part about understanding what traffic really is. It makes you think more about what you really want to do with this traffic.
.-= Eric B.´s last blog ..Designing an Effective Admin Back-End =-.

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Seth December 1, 2009 at 8:56 am

Eric that is definitely what I am trying to help everyone see > what they want to do with the traffic.

If you can understand how you want to use traffic its a lot easier to find traffic and then convert it into something useful.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..Reaching New Customers By Expanding Your Vision =-.

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ZK @ Web Marketing Blog October 6, 2010 at 4:37 am

Yes many times we forget the basic and hence we fail.

Really well described article, awesome seth.

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Phaoloo December 1, 2009 at 2:31 am

Writing the same thing day by day will kill bloggers. So finding something new, fresh and even in other niche to write about may keep our enthusiasms and gain more traffic.
.-= Phaoloo´s last blog ..How To Build A Remarkable Career In Computer Programming =-.

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Seth December 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

Its true fresh content is a great way to get new readers and keep the ones you already have!
.-= Seth´s last blog ..Reaching New Customers By Expanding Your Vision =-.

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ZK @ Web Marketing Blog October 6, 2010 at 4:38 am

For the fresh and attractive contents I think Darren is master on it.

Everytime I land there I got new thoughts and new approach. Simply awesome.

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Dana @ Online Knowledge December 1, 2009 at 4:20 am

get new readers and maintain the old readers surely a killer combination to make in top of blogosphere. The difficult part is how to do it.

Your three tips may be the solution for it.
.-= Dana @ Online Knowledge´s last blog ..Big No Thanks in Thanks Giving =-.

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Seth December 1, 2009 at 9:09 am

I think the 3 tips I mentioned are a great way to start building personal and long term readers.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..Reaching New Customers By Expanding Your Vision =-.

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Chris Peterson December 1, 2009 at 5:43 am

Thank you so much. Your techniques are very useful. I particularly interest the subject about “how to get new customers/Readers”
Instead of writing same thing, we should write something new ways that others not have.

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Seth December 1, 2009 at 9:48 am

Right.. creating new and interesting content goes a long way towards bringing in new readers.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..Reaching New Customers By Expanding Your Vision =-.

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worship songs December 1, 2009 at 7:38 am

Thanks and appreciate you MR.SERTh for an interesting, informative and great post full of valuable knoweldge. Totally agree with “If they want to make money fast then I ……..they have the knowledge, skills, and time.” because this is also my own experience.I have not earn smart money from blogging so I have changed my field and start selling services.
.-= worship songs ´s last blog ..Amazing Grace – One Of The Best Worship Songs =-.

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King Sidharth December 1, 2009 at 7:42 am

This was like Thanksgiving Dinner – fulfilling and tasty. I now realize your point. Our readers are not some points on Google Analytics Graph or pie chart from different countries. They are humans, they have feelings, they are curious, they are seeking and as a blogger it is my prime duty to give them my best.
Whatever time they spend of my blog shouldn’t be a waste but insightful and thought provoking.
I cannot agree more with the point that there are blogs with few hundred readers and they really grow as strong community and blogger makes good money. While there are others with humongous traffic and no community or conversion. I want to read more about it.
Thanks Seth… looks like you gained back a twitter follower. LOL

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 10:34 am

I think there are some excellent resources available online about converting traffic into more than just numbers. Just look at the way many of the best blogs are set up.

They are set up to maximize the user experience… which is essential to treating traffic like real people.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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king.sidharth December 2, 2009 at 10:49 am

And I must say Blogussion is one of them
.-= king.sidharth´s last blog ..World Aids Day – I Will Be Human =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 10:51 am

I’m going to be posting on this subject very soon so stay tuned for an awesome upcoming post.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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king.sidharth December 2, 2009 at 10:59 am

Cool! Can’t wait!!

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ZK @ Web Marketing Blog October 6, 2010 at 4:40 am

I simply love visiting Blogussion …

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Ms. Freeman December 1, 2009 at 10:11 am

I agree with the Write More Content, but at this time I don’t have the traffic to support more content. It agian a Catch 22…I don’t want to publish stuff that doesn’t get read, but I need to publish more in order to get read.

Bonk! :)
.-= Ms. Freeman´s last blog ..Do You Have Permission To Use That Photo? =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 10:36 am

It is a catch 22 isn’t it! But I would write more content anyways. Otherwise you will never get more traffic. The more articles you have the more likely you are to get search engine traffic and referrals. Content is a powerful way to drive traffic.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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king.sidharth December 2, 2009 at 10:57 am

This happens often: Should I write awesome content in hope of getting Awesome no. of people to read it or should I wait and get awesome no. of people and then write awesome content.
Well, I’d agree with Seth here. Keep on writing awesome content. no matter how small your audience is. If they find it awesome, they will share it with others and if you teach them somehting good they are sure to be a word of mouth marketing for you. If you are an expert in your niche then writing so much awesome content or else use Idea Mapping
For eg: If you go back in Archives of Blogssuion right from their first post, content was awesome and they just had 5-10 comments and they have not only maintained the quality but have improved it too.
.-= king.sidharth´s last blog ..World Aids Day – I Will Be Human =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Thanks for offering a great resource.. Mind mapping is really important.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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King Sidharth December 2, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Thanks to Alex,
He is the one who wrote it!
.-= King Sidharth´s last blog ..15 Year Old’s Advice on Healing Through Meditation =-.

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David Walker December 1, 2009 at 10:32 am

We all live for traffic, no matter how passionate we are about our blogs and niches. It’s a form of validation that we have got someone’s attention and thus, are good enough. The link baiting, the SEO articles, the guest posting, the commenting, Social Media..

Thank you Seth for giving me a new more positive way of looking at traffic; as people, my family, my friends, my community, my tribe. Makes a big difference to my outlook.

I had also read about Josh on copyblogger.com when he wrote about his amazing guest posting marathon. Yes, I followed the trail and landed up at his blog.
That’s not even leaving a trail, that’s trailblazing ;)
.-= David Walker´s last blog ..Live Webinar – Thursday 3 December 5pm EST =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 10:37 am

Trailblazing! I like that a lot! Its a powerful visualization of what we all should be doing!
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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Cpanel Web hosting December 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Useful post, getting quality traffic quality is always part of a marketing discussion, however plan your site for visitors (people), Not Traffic!
.-= Cpanel Web hosting´s last blog ..Features of cPanel web hosting =-.

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Dave Doolin | Website In A Weekend December 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Somebody has to say it: traffic with no potential to convert is worthless. That is, it has no worth.

I realize that sounds cold-blooded, but people do value what they pay for. I know I do! And I’m willing to buy when I find value.
.-= Dave Doolin | Website In A Weekend´s last blog ..DIY WordPress: Creating Sidebars On-the-Fly in WordPress =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 10:45 am

Its true and not cold-blooded. No matter why you blog you have some goal in mind and if your visitors are not helping you reach that goal [conversion] then it is not worth it.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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Chris Palmer December 1, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Seth,
I always enjoy your posts. You have a unique way of turning what would usually be the norm and putting a different spin on it.

Lately I’ve really been getting into this ‘business is personal’ thing. I read a few books by Marty Neumeier and realized that business is all about being transparent and personal.

Blogging is no different.

Although I’ve been focusing intently on what my blog is for, who it is for, and why they should care, I tend to ignore the fact that it can ‘make me money’. Just like a marriage, the money conversation can turn the whole thing around and make it counter productive.

For now, I’m focusing on working hard (having fun at the same time) on my blogs by pushing out relevant, fresh, and different content with no expectations of a return. My return will be the satisfaction that someone enjoyed the content. That’s pay enough for me!

The one thing I really take from this post is turning that traffic (people) into subscribers, followers, and hopefully evangelists.

Thanks for the post! Stumbled!

(PS, how do I get that ‘recent’ post tag inside by comments?)

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

Chris its great to hear you are enjoying these recent posts. To get commentluv (recent posts) inside your comments then you just need to click the commentluv box below your comments or register with commentluv.

Business is personal is a fantastic mantra.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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Kok Siong Chen December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm

I totally agree with you that if there is no traffic to your blog, your efforts mean nothing. I work hard to drive traffic to my new blog now. Hope that i can see the result soon. Thanks for sharing!
.-= Kok Siong Chen´s last blog ..Cancer Research on Natural Compound (Cancer Review) =-.

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highlights on hair December 2, 2009 at 2:50 am

What is posted on the internet stays on the internet. Timeless posts will stand the test of time. In my experience, publish something great and trust that it will eventually get read – and if it is worth reading, word of mouth will make sure it gets read in large numbers. I have loads of posts like that on another blog of mine, so it is not a theory!
.-= highlights on hair´s last blog ..5th of 20 amazing facts about hair =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 10:52 am

Its true the good stuff is always found. Also the more you have (quality) the more likely the rest of your other quality articles are found. Every new post is one step closer to more traffic.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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chandan December 2, 2009 at 12:50 am

Hi Seth thank you for the nice post. I think keep in touch with other blogs is really very important. Recently some bloggers announce top commentator of the last month and I come to the top commentator list on many blogs. They announce some prizes, prizes are not so important but it help our blog branding.
.-= chandan´s last blog ..How to submit article to article directories =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Being a very good commentator is important. Its a great way to spread your brand, meet other bloggers, and learn a lot.
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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Dennis Edell December 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Everyone’s heard the saying, it’s easier to keep current customers then to keep trying to acquire new ones. yes indeed everyone’s herd it, i just wish more actually understood it to it’s fullest potential.

There is also a saying from all Direct Sales/MLM leaders, every one person knows 1000 people.

Yea I know it sounds nuts, but think about it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve “hung out” with 1000 people (unless perhaps you drink a wee too much), however, unless you’re a hermit I bet you’ve “met” quite a few, yes? As the title reads, expand your vision!

Do they know at least a little something about your business?

Keep your current people happy and they will do a large percentage of new work for you.

I wrote a post a while back on gaining 100 subscribers in 2 months or less. I do contribute a lot of that to my own blog commenting promotion, but my natural inbound links (others linking to me of their own accord) also spiked nicely in that time.
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Whoopsy Commentluv Is Busted! You Have Permission To Leave ONE Link. =-.

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Seth December 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Keeping customers is right. Your comment is expert advice that bloggers would be wise to follow. Thanks for reminding us to keep what we have!
.-= Seth´s last blog ..How Making Money Blogging Has Been Looked at the Wrong Way by Thousands of Bloggers =-.

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Jake Rocheleau December 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Sweet article as always, great info for marketing blogs and websites in general.
.-= Jake Rocheleau´s last blog ..11 Design Related Social News Sites for Web Design Articles =-.

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Seth December 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Thanks a lot!
.-= Seth´s last blog ..Wired Weekend #5: The Best Blogging Tips from Around the Web =-.

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Jovenysana May 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Hi! that was helpful I’m a recent health blogger, I’m starting to handle this whole thing, it’s a little overwhelming, but i’m having so much fun! so thanx again and good luck! great stuff you have here…
.-= Jovenysana´s last blog .. =-.

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Mike Mintz June 2, 2010 at 3:30 am

Seth,

Came across this post just now and really enjoyed it. I’ve struggled with most of these issues in the past, especially converting blog readers into customers. Most of my problem has been not having a product to sell b/c I haven’t taken the time to put my content together in an e-book or other info product. You post has shown me that I need better end results for my readers. My current blog/project is meant to serve as a resource to my consulting clients and hopefully generate new ones. Most of what I write about is based off of actual client questions so in that way I am adding value. Still, I’m seeing more and more (through your example and Alex’s of course) that I need to do something with the traffic I am getting.

Thanks,

Mike
.-= Mike Mintz´s last blog ..Three Tips for Online Work Life Balance =-.

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