This guest post is by Marcello Arrambide of Wandering Trader.
When it comes to blogging, there are different mentalities around both the quantity of traffic and the quality of traffic. At different stages in a website’s development, we tend to focus on one or the other, but when we start a new blog, we primarily want to get traffic to it. Even if you are a famous celebrity, your new website isn’t going to get anywhere without some effort.
If you write quality content, eventually the traffic will come. Check out this great post from John Burnside to get a better understanding of site traffic in general.
I am a day trader that has forayed into travel blogging and I’ve been able to start generating $1,000 in revenue off my travel blog in six months. My approach has been to try to become an authority online before I start focusing on anything else. Without having a legitimate blog, trying to do anything else in your niche is pointless. So becoming a legitimate source of information online should be your first priority. This will enable to you attract organic Google searches more quickly—with or without focusing on SEO.
Why you should focus on quantity first
You want to give your site a jump-start. When you have a group of friends, you don’t let them drive your car, or come to your house right away. You want to see them a few times and have a conversation. Eventually, over time the new people gain your trust, and you become friends.
The Internet is very similar to a new friend joining a group. Google isn’t going to automatically start sending people your way if you just started writing about a topic. Who are you to Google? Similarly, President Obama did not run for President before he ran for senate. You don’t get a high-paying job unless you have extensive experience in the field or in school.
By focusing on quantity first, you can build an audience and spread the word that you’re an authority in your niche. Google will start to peek into your activity once you have an audience of some size. Once Google finds you, and is able to prove that you have an audience alongside quality content, your site will be able to grow traffic organically. Without any traffic, Google and other big online entities aren’t going to take you seriously. How do you expect to get the word out if no one is coming to your site?
How to focus on quantity
There are several different ways to build traffic to your site. The best way to immediately get new visitors is by focusing on StumbleUpon and Reddit. What these two sites do is provide a surge of new visitors to your site to provide you with exposure, and start legitimizing your site in the eyes of Google and Alexa.
However, the quality of the visitors that come from StumbleUpon and Reddit is absolutely atrocious. Bounce rates are over 80% and the page views are normally one or under. This means that out of all the people that come to your blog from StumbleUpon and Reddit, over 80% of the traffic immediately leaves once they see your site and look at a page. These numbers are derived from the stats of seven travel bloggers that I personally know, who have over 15,000 unique visitors on their sites.
Why would you want anyone to visit your site if they’re only going to look at an average of one page and leave? The answer is because that traffic really does count overall. I have personally tested traffic levels that correlate directly with surges in traffic from both sites. Once I get a surge in visitors, my keywords hits have immediately gone up, my Alexa score has dropped, and I have instantly gained hits on Google for that specific post.
The reason why you want to start with this technique is because by getting a surge in traffic, the major search sites, as well as your visitors, will see you as a legitimate blog much faster. Plus, what advertiser doesn’t like you to have more traffic? Not only will these sites provide you with short-term and long-term benefits, it’s also easy to get started on both sites, and it doesn’t take up much of your time. StumbleUpon will generally continue to send traffic to all your posts, while Reddit will usually give you a surge that stops after a few days.
Once you have a consistent flow of traffic, you can start focusing quality. With all those visitors coming to your site, thanks to your focus on traffic quantity, you might attract the eyes of someone important. You may get direct traffic the next day and possibly another surge from another person.
Focusing on quality
Once you have a consistent flow of traffic, you can then start to focus on the quality of traffic. If you have good content, over time, traffic quality will build on itself as you become an authority in your niche.
Speeding up the process is time-consuming, especially when you have to go out and find that quality traffic. Think of it this way: if you are looking for quality then you are going to have to provide quality. Engage with other people in your niche by thinking out of the box. If you are focusing on travel, for example, and you’re living in Buenos Aires, then consider searching for expat communities in Buenos Aires. My Argentina tourist attractions post didn’t get any traffic until I posted it in a forum. Now it’s sitting on the second page of Google for that term. I get random visitors to my blog all the time for people who have included links in forums related to travel and day trading.
In summary, once you have established your authority on the Internet with both companies like Google and Alexa, and visitors to your site, you can focus exclusively on traffic quality. It’s a love and hate relationship for me because I hate to receive such low-quality traffic to my blog, but in the end, it’s worth it, because it helps with Google rankings. Once you combine that with other factors like link-building, you can create a powerful three-punch combination of tactics to reach new heights with your blog.
What’s your traffic strategy? Share your experience in the comments.
Day Trading from 7 different countries Marcello Arrambide has begun to chronicle his travels around the world on his Wandering Trader Travel Blog. He has traveled to over 40 countries in his lifetime and is currently exploring South America. You can find out more about Marcello on his Facebook Page. or RSS Feed.