Traffic Generation Methods: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Steven18 responsesBlogging
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Everybody knows there’s more than one way to get traffic to your blog. Some are easier than others, some are more effective than others and some are just … wrong. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly ways of getting traffic to your blog.

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Generating natural backlinks is the best way to boost your blog’s ranking, which in turn increases your traffic. But natural backlinks take time to develop because they only happen when other bloggers link to your content from their own blogs. If you think about it, what type of content do you typically link to? Only the best, right? You don’t mind sending your readers to quality content on other blogs but you don’t want to send them off on a wild goose chase. When another blogger links to you from one of his own blog posts that natural backlink carries more authority with the search engines.

Of course, you can also build your own “natural” backlinks by creating Squidoo lenses or Hubpages or Weebly blogs and your blog will still get that boost. However, now you’re going to have to create additional high-quality content so you have something to populate those other sites. You’re doing twice the work whereas, if you simply put the effort into creating quality content for your blog, other bloggers would take care of those links for you.

Blog commenting is another good way to get traffic to your blog. If your comment adds something to the conversation other commentors will start following your link. As a bonus, if you comment regularly on the same blogs, you’ll also start to develop relationships with those other bloggers. Soon, they’ll start reading and commenting on your blog, and linking to your content. And now we’re back to those wonderful natural backlinks again!

There are lots of ugly ways to get traffic and most of them will cost you money – lots of money in some cases – with very poor results. You can visit Fiverr and purchase one or two thousand Twitter followers for just five bucks. You can pay someone to post your links on his network of crappy blogs. You can pay a virtual assistant to leave comments on 30 or 40 blogs a day. You can buy programs that scrape email addresses and then pay someone else to send emails and you can pay people to visit your blog.

All of these ugly ways to get traffic have two things in common – they cost money and they don’t work. You know yourself how difficult it is to get 2,000 targeted Twitter followers and yet here’s someone who’s willing to send you 2,000 more today – and for just five bucks? How targeted do you think that traffic will be? Even if this guy sent you 10,000 followers you’d still have 10,000 people visiting your blog who couldn’t care less what you’re promoting. You’ve wasted money and you’ve wasted the time you had to spend dealing with this seller.

Like it or not, the best ways to generate traffic are free, they require nothing more than a bit of elbow grease on your part. Work hard to produce top-quality content that other bloggers will want to link to and you’ll generate the kind of links the search engines love. Try to take shortcuts, though, and you’ll seen learn the true definition of “ugly” when you see all of that un-targeted traffic traipsing through your blog.

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  1. Jack Durish

    It took me a year and a half to raise my website traffic from a few dozen visits per month to almost 40,000 last month. I’m guessing that I did all the right things the right way. I never purchased a list of Tweeple. I never paid anyone to send traffic my way. I just posted every day (I use a weekly schedule that is posted at the head of my blog). I try to appeal to an audience that shares my core values. I know that I may upset the others, but that never stopped me from having an opinion. I commented on other blogs when I had something constructive to add to the conversation and, sure enough, those blogs sent traffic my way. All I’m really saying is, give it a chance. Don’t get discouraged, unless you’re a twit and don’t have anything interesting to say.

    1. Congratulations on such a growth, Jack. It sounds like you have a good and well-planned approach to your blog’s progress.

      However, I just visited your site, and the auto-playing video that you can’t even pause or stop is an instant no-no for me.

    2. Jack Durish

      You may have missed my opening statement that you can click on through to anything you want without listening to the video. It’s only for first timers

    3. I got your opening statement Jack. I understood that I can click through to other pages, however, if I’m a little slow or if I have several tabs opened at the same time, the video will just start playing every single time, and I usually just close the tab without trying to understand more.

  2. Lori

    This is a really great post. It’s amazing what kind of scams come through the woodwork. It’s equally amazing how many “gurus” say that FREE is junk. As we try to get more and more readership, we become desperate in trying to get our names out there when it just makes it all so impersonal and we end up getting lost in the shuffle – more is not better. I am certain that I will not read the TWEETS of 10,000 people. Thanks for keeping it real!

    1. Thanks a lot for your comment Lori. You made a good point: it’s all about keeping it real!

  3. I was just discussing this with another artist today. We love blog comments but rarely get any. What I’ve found is that people will interact with me if I link the blog posts to Facebook; they’re comfortable talking on Facebook but not on my blog itself, even when I’m inviting feedback. Which is fine with me, just interesting to note.

    Another way I’m expanding my reach right now is by doing a series of animal portraits that people can watch as it’s in progress. This means posting finished pieces but also some behind-the-scenes shots of what I do and how I do it. I’m getting a lot of feedback from people who are enjoying following along, and they are sharing things with their friends — which almost never happened before I began the series. I’m very happy with the results and planning to continue doing “ongoing story” series in 2013.

    1. That’s a very interesting approach Tracie. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  4. Matt


    I just found you on twitter and came to your blog the way you just described now I am hope you follow me and check out my blog

    thanks for the great content

    1. Thanks for your comment Matt!

  5. I think that quantity also matters, especially when it comes to making visitors return to your blog. If you post one or two articles per month you will not see a big increase in visits because you are always loosing previous readers. In my mind the only secret in getting more traffic is working your hat off and posting quality articles as often as you can – the rest will come naturally.

    1. You would be surprised… Not every blogger takes the daily posting path. There are some very big well-known bloggers who post only once or twice a month and are able to achieve tremendous results.

  6. Roshan Grossman

    Hi Steven!

    Thanks for a very helpful and informative blog post! I’m new-ish to blogging (started my blog in October 2012).

    It’s good to hear that growing a blog organically and authentically really is the way to go. When you put content out there and you don’t really see any interaction…apart from peoples’ likes/comments when I post a link on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn…it can get discouraging. I’d like to think that my content isn’t complete crap so I will continue to write, post, promote and comment on other blogs to see where I’m at 6 months from now.

    If you do have a chance to check out my blog and have constructive feedback, please let me know! Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Roshan! Growing a blog takes time… Don’t get discouraged!

  7. Wendy Mccance

    The article was great and your website in general has so many great articles to read. I feel like I’ve learned so much already. I just posted an article raving about your site with a link so my readers can have the same great experience I had. Thanks so much for sharing all of this knowledge.

    1. Wow Wendy, I can never thank you enough for all these kind words :)

  8. Wendy Mccance

    I posted a link on my blog about how great your website is. I hope you have noticed a flood of traffic. My readers have been thrilled with your sight. All the best!!

    1. Thanks a lot for the link Wendy. I did notice it.

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