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?
Let 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:
- You are more likely to share your very best resources with them.
- You wont publish what you are not proud of.
- You will try to be as helpful to them as possible.
- You will think about the problems they have and provide solutions/resources for them.
- 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.
- Your relationships will get better.
- Your community will increase because you care enough to respond to every comment and ask people sincerely what they think.
- You will reach out to other people who need your resources and provide them with the solutions.
- 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.
- 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!