Traffic is one thing that we always wish we had more of.
As a matter of fact, we all pay very close attention to Alexa ranking, despite the fact that it’s an extremely unreliable way to measure traffic levels. To be quite honest, that’s the first thing I look at when I visit a new blog.
It seems like traffic is the most desirable and the hardest thing to get and many bloggers are determined to go to the ends of the earth and back to increase their readership.
However, not all traffic is worth getting.
I am sure you would agree that TARGETED traffic is what we really want.
After all, I’d rather have 10 loyal readers that keep coming back, commenting, sharing my stuff with their followers, and following my recommendations for the best internet marketing tools around, than 1000 visitors that do nothing but increase my bounce rate.
There is also the issue of cost. Not necessarily monetary cost, but mostly the cost of time.
Many bloggers assume that as long as it is free and they are willing to put in the time, it’s all good and worth the effort.
I bet to differ.
Your time is the most precious commodity you have and I’d rather see you spend it writing quality content, networking with well-connected bloggers, and interacting with your readers – the money-making activities, in other words.
So here’s the list of traffic generation strategies that are definitely NOT worth their time, as far as I am concerned.
1. Forum posting
It used to be a good traffic generator when people actually were interested in truly networking and building relationships. Then came the spammers and ruined it for the rest of us.
Now forum posting has become a bunch of noise, a place for anyone to squeeze in their links and shout out “Look at what I’ve got!”, rather than cultivate a true presence.
I am not saying that forums are entirely worthless. They could still be used in 2 ways:
– this a bit unusual way: How I Discovered a Brilliant Way To Use My Least Favorite Traffic Generation Strategy
Instead of using forums, I would strongly suggest joining one of the following niche communities – SERPd.com (for SEO, blogging, link building) or Blokube.com (a great blogging community – fairly new and quickly growing).
These are great places to network, post your content, build DoFollow links, learn from the best in the industry. And the best part is you WILL be heard there. No spammers are tolerated and the more active you are, the quicker you get noticed and the more traffic you will end up generating.
2. Classified ads
Yes, it’s a good place to generate some quick links, but boy, does it take time!
Just like forums, classified ads used to be a great place to generate some attention for your site, create some backlinks, and even bring in some sales.
However, since the spammers had their day with them and the posting rules got very tight, it became a simple time waster.
It’s a no in my book.
3. Buy traffic
I can’t believe I still get this question “Should I just buy some traffic?”
And what? Your site will all of a sudden fly off the charts and you’ll become an overnight success? Google will love you? You’ll put a brand new Mercedes in your driveway?
No, no, and no.
You’ll get your visitors all right – most of the times, anyway.
But they will be the worst kind: the ones who are paid pennies to visit websites, stay for 20-30 seconds on them, and forget they ever existed.
You will never makes any sales, create readership, or get on the good sides of search engines – could actually have an opposite effect.
So save your money and work for your traffic, like everyone else does.
That’s THE way to build a solid online business.
4. Traffic Exchanges
Back when I was a newbie and had no idea how to generate traffic, this sounded like a good idea. And why not? It’s not like I need time to eat, sleep, or spend with my family, right?
So get some clicks to your site, big deal. They are from people who are as desperate and as stupid as you are. They are not buyers, they are not interested in your content or you. They just don’t know any better.
It’s like buying traffic, really, just with your time.
5. Pay Per Click
I am sure there will be plenty of people who will thank me for writing this, since it will mean they will get a bigger piece of the paid traffic pie.
And you know what, I am more than happy to oblige!
Here’s my problem with Pay Per Click traffic in general, and Google AdWords specifically: it requires careful studying and a nice-size budget to be successful.
I am all for knowledge and acquiring new skills.
What I am against is focusing your traffic-generating efforts on an area that can’t be leveraged in any way and entirely depends on the size of your budget. You have traffic while money lasts; once it dries up, so will your traffic.
Twitter PPC doesn’t work too well either, according to Mavis Nong.
The only ppc traffic that is worth trying out is Facebook paid advertising. Why? Because of the amount of traffic it gets, because there is not much competition just yet, and Facebook advertising rules are much more favorable than those of Google.
Of course, you still need to know what you are doing before you open up your wallet. Here’s where I learned everything I know about Facebook paid advertising: Facebook Ad Power.
What it comes down to is this: NO traffic generation strategy will ever work for you if you don’t know what you are doing.
Here is my formula for successful traffic generation:
- Pick a traffic generation strategy.
- Learn everything you can about it – that might include investing in good courses on the subject.
- Master the strategy, which includes producing traffic and leads from it on a daily basis.
- Move on to the next strategy.
My special thanks to Heather Stephens, Robert Strong, and Peter Fuller for ideas for this post.
Agree? Disagree? Want to add something? Comment to show me that you’re alive!