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Driving More Visitors To Your Blog; Are You Ready For The Work?

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014
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As with the post I wrote the other day about high quality content (did you watch the video?), it seems that something else I’m always reading about these days I had actually written on a couple of times, but a very long time ago.

Trocadéro scene # 10
Gregory Bastien via Compfight

Back then we talked about traffic, whereas these days we talk more about visitors. The way I see it, traffic was always about numbers, ala sales and marketing, where the more people you can get to come to you or see what you have to offer the better the opportunities for making sales. It sounded good but in today’s world we talk more about visitors, which is getting people to your space who are more targeted and more likely to consume what you have to offer. Indeed it seems people are scared of high numbers if they’re not getting anything out of it.

Yet, when I wrote that first post in October 2008 asking people what they’d do to get more traffic, it really wasn’t giving many ideas on how to get it, but asking how far folks might be willing to go to get that traffic. I had tested one of those traffic websites that under delivered and under performed years earlier on my business blog and talked about that and the disappointment that type of thing brings. Seems there are still companies selling traffic and people buying it; stop that because it doesn’t work.

The next time I wrote about it in March 2009, I came at the topic a different way in debating some of the tactics advocated on another blog post on driving massive traffic to one’s blog. I took on each point and broke it down, saying what worked, what didn’t, and giving opinions on the rest if I didn’t have experience with it. A lot of that stuff is still valid, so I hope you check it out.

It’s time for another one of these, but I’m offering an early caveat. A lot of this stuff I haven’t done. That’s because, as some of you know, I’m traveling these days for my consulting business, and I’m just tired in the evenings, and one the weekends is when I try to get in some writing as well as catch up on some rest.

However, some of these tactics I have done in the past. Some I’ve read about. And after so many years blogging I know how to do a lot of this stuff, but some I’ll never do.

Why? Some of it will take a lot of work, consistent work. Not everyone is cut out for it. There are some folks who are very good with it, following processes they’ve developed so they can earn their living online. But for most folks, trying to understand what working 12-16 hours a day for yourself is incomprehensible. You have to love it and you have to be willing to take some chances.

Nothing says you have to jump all in full speed immediately. Some of these things I’m going to offer you can ease into until you see how it works for you. I’m not here telling you how to make money though; I’ve done that in the past and, well, most folks weren’t ready for all of that either.

Jellyfish Invasion
Creative Commons License Benson Kua via Compfight

Still, I figure it’s as good a time as any to give you 10 ideas and then allow you to decide which of them you want to try. There won’t be tons of detail here; it’s my hope you’ll figure out what I mean by what I write. But if you have any questions, ask me in the comments. By the way, these aren’t in any particular order, and only four of these have anything specific to do with your blog. Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Make your blog a dofollow blog. This blog is a dofollow blog, a decision I made back in 2008 because I was feeling magnanimous with the world. Fast forward to today and I might think about it a little more but I’d still do it. I find this strange, but people actually go out looking for dofollow blogs to comment on, and will skip those that don’t have it. Truthfully I’m of the feeling that people should comment wherever they want without worrying about it, but since there are still people looking for it your blog could stand out because of it.

2. Accept guest posts. I hear some regular readers of this blog saying “Hey, I thought you hated guest posters”. I wouldn’t go that far with it, even if I did write about problems I’ve had with guest posting requests for my finance blog, the only blog I ever really accepted them from. Still, if you’re looking to increase traffic to your blog (I have to go there first so I can come back to visitors), one of the best ways to do it is to have a lot of consistent content. And if other people are willing to write that content for you so you only have to do it here and there, it’s something to think about.

Personally I found it to be a lot more trouble that it was worth after a while, but my finance blog did jump pretty high and for a while I was earning some nice cash from folks wanting to advertise on the site.

3. Add CommentLuv to your blog. This is the last point that’s specific to your blog, and I’ll give you two reasons why. The first is that people love commenting on blogs that have it if they have the ability to select which of their blog posts they want to highlight. It gives commenters a second link back to their site by them commenting also; they love that.

The second reason is more for you though. It’s going to be followed up more in point #5, but for the moment I’ll just say that when you use CommentLuv, you’ll often see articles that interest you that you may want to go check out.

4. Find 10 bloggers who you either respect, who are in your niche, or whose blogs are ranked high and comment on their blogs consistently. Here’s where the first real bit of work is going to start coming in, and it’s only part one.

There are many top bloggers in the “make money” realm who will tell you that to become influential you have to know influential people. What makes a blogger prominent? Truthfully, it’s the amount of visitors they get, and often it’s manifested in the number of comments they get on almost every single post they write. Some of them accept guest posts (see #2) and maybe if you hang around enough they’ll accept a guest post from you, which may or may not help your visibility.

I wrote “comment consistently”; what I meant to say was comment on every single post that shows up on their blogs. This means even on those guest posts that might not interest you. It also works best if you can be an early commenter. Often on popular blogs that get a lot of comments, the owners will respond to early comments, but then then get back to work and may not ever come back to view any other comments on published posts. You obviously want to be seen by others, but you want your name seen by these folks also. Even if they never respond, if your name gets into their field of vision often enough, it’ll at least seem familiar to them as time goes on.

Grupal 21ª KDD (EXPLORED)
Creative Commons License Salvador Moreira via Compfight

5. Find anywhere from 1 to 9 other people whose blogs you like, whether they’re in your niche or not, but make sure they’re popular. Why are you doing this? Because not all of the first group are going to write something every day.

Wait, didn’t I mention that part? You want visitors? You willing to work? Part of this means that you have to comment on at least 10 blogs a day. You start with your #4 group first, and if they don’t have anything new then you move to this group. Now, it’s possible that none of the first 10 will have a post on a single day, but pretty improbable. However, if it happens then I’m giving you a break by only having to comment on 9 of them; aren’t I nice? :-)

6. Post at least 3 of your blog posts 5 times a day on Twitter and Google Plus, and connect at least one of your blogs to LinkedIn. I’ll give you an opportunity to diversify a little bit here if you have more than one blog and you have articles coming from more than one of them on the same day.

Why are you doing this? Both of them move really fast. On Twitter, if you’re connected to someone who’s following 10,000 people (heck, even 1,000 people), there’s a major probability that they won’t ever see anything you put up. For that matter, if you’re connected to a more than 100 people who are connected to more than 100 people, and you only post a blog link once a day, you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of anyone ever seeing it.

Doing what I’m telling you to do brings your odds of your content being seen up to 1.5 per thousand. Those still aren’t great odds but 5 times a day means you’re posting something either approximately every 4 hours and 45 minutes or every 1 hour and 36 minutes. That’s just the math; the reality is that there are specific times when there are spikes in the number of people who are online, and if you research you’ll find out when you should be trying to make your posts visible.

Still, you want to spread them out. Yes, you’d have a greater chance of being seen by people if you posted all 15 of your links in the same hour, but some folks will keep seeing those links, get irritated by you, and leave.

Google Plus is close to the same thing, only your audience is much bigger. You could decide to send your links only to people you’re connected to, but they won’t like that very much. Instead, you’re posting to Public, but it still works out in your favor. Those people following you are more likely to see your stuff than on Twitter; that’s just how it goes. And if you have enough content, you can get away with sharing some of it more times than not as long as you space it out a few days or so. And if people comment on it, then people they’re connected to sees it; talk about opportunities to go viral!

Oh yeah, LinkedIn. I have my business blog linked there, and what happens is that every post I write there goes directly to LinkedIn. I find myself getting comments on my blog posts there, and other people see those comments who are connected to me on LinkedIn. So they may never make it to my blog but they’ll see my stuff.

However, don’t do on LinkedIn what I mentioned doing on Twitter and Google Plus; they won’t like it. Instead, if you join some groups and your content is pertinent to the people in that group, try to start a discussion using your blog link at least twice a week. But always write up a one paragraph description of what your post is about; they hate links without them.

7. Share posts from others you’re connected with and be sure to add their Twitter handle or Google Plus name to the post. You getting tired yet? Here’s the thing; even though it’s all about you, it shouldn’t look like it’s all about you. Sharing is a good way to give your audience more things you care about, but sharing people’s names means they know you did it. They’ll either thank you or not, but they’ll see your name because they’ll get notified of the mention, and if you do it enough for certain people they’ll definitely get to know you and want to know more about you. And if you happen to go to their blogs and comment… :-)

Planet Orange
Creative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

8. Ask if you can write a guest post. I hate this by the way, and I’ve never asked anyone if I could write a guest post for them. However, I’ve had 14 guest posts over all the years on this blog from people I knew beforehand and I didn’t mind sharing them at the time.

Here’s two realities of this however. One, you might not get any traffic from writing those guest posts. I’ve almost never gotten any visits from blogs where I’ve written a guest post (I’ve always been asked). However, the owners of those blogs remembered that I did it and you’ll always be in their minds, and if they’re popular that’s a good thing.

Oh yeah; make sure that guest post is as good as, if not better, than anything you’ll ever put on your blog. As an example, look at this epic post on social networking that I wrote for Adrienne Smith’s blog. Heck, this particular post is getting close to that one, which was more than 2,800 words. I didn’t get any visitors from that blog post, but Adrienne gives me mad respect and, well, look at how highly her blog is ranked and look at how many comments that post got.

9. Find a community on Google Plus that’s all about your topic or create your own. Is your energy level still up there? If so, this is a place where you can actually post all your stuff, your thoughts and beliefs, hold contests, whatever. It’s also the one and only time, if you create your own community, where you can invite (only do it once though) everyone you’re following. Some people will join just because they like you but that’s okay. You’re also inviting the public, and there will be some of those folks you’re not connected to that will probably join.

The thing about having your own community is that it’s hard to keep it going with a lot of content if you’re handling it all on your own, or, like me, traveling so much that you don’t have the time to put into it properly. Thus, you can do two things.

One, you can name some other people moderators if they’ll take it on, and they’ll help you with content.

Or two, you can invite anyone in the community to post their own links for discussion topics as long as they’re on the same topic as your community.

If you can get and keep people engaged they’ll all remember your name because you started it, and of course those folks will want to visit your blogs to read what you’ve written, since you’re only giving them the links.

10. Make sure what you’re writing on your blog is share worthy. If you build it they will come. If it’s lousy they’ll leave and never come back. I’m not getting into the number of words or colors or fonts or having contests or any of that type of thing. I am saying that you might want to review what I wrote in my last post, the first link on this post, as an introductory guide to trying to make your blog a place where people will be informed, educated or entertained. See the symmetry of this post now? ;-)

There you are, tips on what to do to get massive visitors to your blog. As I said, if you try to do all of these immediately it’s a lot of work, you’ll burn out and quit probably. Instead, look at these tips, see what you can do with some of them, and take some baby steps, then teenage steps and see if any of it works for you.

By the way, #6 and #8 are the only two I’ve never done at all… well, I’ve written guest posts, but I’ve never asked if I could write one so I can stick with that. Remember, Matt Cutts said if you’re looking to write guest posts for SEO reasons don’t do it, but if you’re looking to do it to increase your visibility, you’re good to go.

Whew, I’m tired, but I hope I’ve given you your money’s worth. By the time you’re reading this I’ll probably be on an airplane heading home for a long weekend, but if you leave comments you know I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
 

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27 Comments »

I got about halfway through this and realized my answer to your first question was probably, “Nope.”

Besides, if I consistently commented on every blog I like, I wouldn’t be the peripatetic no-niche blogger that I am.

I’m tired, just thinking about it. Time for coffee…

Reply

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Holly, I’m surprised it took you that long. Overall it’s not really for you or I, but there are people who want to grow their blogs and I know this script will work. And it’s work!

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February 27th, 2014 | 9:35 PM

In the last 3 years, I wasn’t ready. On 25th, I signed up a contract with SoftLayer and I am ready now. Until today, my main project was not able to handle the visits, Mitch. Literally the website used to get inaccessable after 20 simultaneous connection and I was holding up.
I agree with the rest of the tips. Of course for blog is not much of a problem server to handle the requests, but anything beyond WordPress can be a tough call.
By the way, do you guest blog?

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Goodness Carl, how did you miss this post? http://www.imjustsharing.com/how-to-write-a-guest-post/

You know, you’ve brought up a different point than what I was covering, but it’s something I touched upon years ago. If one drives more visitors to their blog, at some point they might have to upgrade their hosting package to accommodate all of that, which then means they’ll have to pay more for hosting. If that’s the case, they should be trying to earn enough money off their blog or website to at least pay for it.

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Kaloyan Banev Reply:

I think that I’ve read the article, but for some reason I didn’t left a comment.
Yeah, this is the exact point, project need to be build in a way to scale it quickly and plan the future. I doubt that most bloggers plan this. Even WordPress based blogs are easy to handle and doesn’t require alot of resources, things change dramatically when number of simultaneous conneciton is high.
Though blog traffic spikes can’t keep the momentum for very long time so cloud based server and pay what you use in terms of bandwidth, RAM and processon power is the perfect option.
Kaloyan Banev recently posted…WebmaisterPro on SoftLayer Server and New FeaturesMy Profile

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February 28th, 2014 | 5:02 AM

This is one topic that can never be overwritten. The problem of every blogger is traffic and no matter how much have been written about how to drive traffic to your blog a lot of people still seem to complain.

Well it is simple, like i always say even if you adhere to all that is said here if you content quality is poor or your site is poorly designed with slow speed, then your efforts can as well be in vain.

So before you go looking for traffic ensure to have a content quality people will be most naturally drawn to read with a catchy title and neat blog design.

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Exactly Nwosu, although nothing says quality content has to be boring or staid or stay on one specific topic. One of the reasons I’m enjoying doing videos is that I can deviate from a topic at a moment’s notice, just like all the big YouTubers do. One should be ready to do that on their blogs here and there just to keep people interested and off guard a little bit.

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February 28th, 2014 | 12:09 PM

Hi Mitch,

I hope by now you realize numbers 4 & 5 are why I’m here again.
I’ve only had one guest post on my blog. In my industry a lot of what is online is opinionated. I’m hesitant to accept someone’s offer to write a post and then read their submission and have to tell them “No, that’s not going on my blog.”

It seems like Google Plus is really becoming the big thing. I just looked into some relevant communities for my blog based on location but the pickings are slim. I’ll need to search deeper and probably be less specific.

Reply

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Aaron, I’m honored by your words. You’re right, your industry offers lots of different advice and it can be confusing, especially for someone like me, who every once in a while has talked about some truths as per my own life. That’s one of the issues about accepting guest posts. Take a look at the link I shared with Carl because I’ve touched upon different things that guest posters do that’s wrong, as well as offer tips on how those who want to guest post might do it better. But I do know there are lots of people in your industry writing on your topic; however, maybe something to think about is finding people who might be interested in learning what you have to offer because of their own working out efforts. For instance, take a look at this post of mine, then follow the link to a post a friend of mine named Renee wrote and see the types of blogs and people who you might attract in some fashion: http://www.imjustsharing.com/dont-be-bullied-about-your-blog-or-web-space/

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February 28th, 2014 | 6:57 PM

Wow, now I know why my traffic grows slowly. Someone really needs to be looking for what I have to offer because I am not all that visible. Oh well,

Aside from my own laziness, I have great appreciation for what you share. I am constantly intrigued, read it, and then think, “Wow, those are good ideas,” just before I go back to my wicked ways.

It does give me great insight into why some people blow by my blog now and then.

Reply

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

LOL! Thanks Mother… lol again… Mother! (If you’ve ever watched any Warner Brothers cartoons that last line might be familiar to you lol) Anyway, as I wrote in the post, maybe you start slowly, finding a couple of people to follow and connect with, and if it takes off with those couple of folks you then branch out and find more. Baby steps still gets you to where you want to go, albeit a little bit slower. :-)

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February 28th, 2014 | 7:28 PM

Hi Mitch,

Great tips and article! Driving traffic is the biggest and hardest part when it comes to blog success, or any other website success in general.
However I have to admit I’ve never thought about all these points you explained will drive more traffic, such as the first one: Now when I deeper think about that, you’re totally right. Some people will only comment on ‘dofollow’ blogs and won’t waste their time commenting on ‘nofollow’ ones because they think these don’t have any affect on SEO. In my opinion both dofollow and nofollow impact on SEO rightly combined.
I went a little off-topic but just wanted to give my opinion about that :)

Thanks for sharing your post. It’s very detailed and rich described. I learned some new things from it.

Best regards and have a great day,
Adam

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Glad you enjoyed it Adam and I hope you found something to take away with you that you can use in some fashion.
Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Driving More Visitors To Your Blog; Are You Ready For The Work?My Profile

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March 2nd, 2014 | 9:33 AM

There is a lot of work that awaits you the moment your blog catch the attention of your visitors. You need your eyes wide open and your mental health should be well. :P Since you have to deal with people, they may ask you questions, leave you some messages, comments and there is more beyond that just like what you have acknowledged in your list.

You need to maintain it for them (and for you as well).

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Metz, I’ve been handling that sort of thing for years but you’re right, some folks aren’t ready for the success once it comes. So, these are good methods for driving traffic, but people need to figure out if they’re ready for it.
Mitch Mitchell recently posted…10 Social Media/Networking Don’ts In 2 MinutesMy Profile

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March 4th, 2014 | 4:20 AM

So can you explain a do follow vs a no follow blog?

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

With all you know I’d have figured you already knew this one Joanne. Basically search engines rank websites based on links that people have on other websites. With blogs, you have the option of not allowing those links to count for people who comment on your site, just like adding the rel=nofollow value a a href link you might create. You also have the option of saying “hey, I’m good, go ahead and let that link count for something” to the search engines, and that’s dofollow.

Some folks, like me, allow all links to be dofollow. Some pick and choose, and some don’t allow it at all. At that point it’s up to those who comment to decide if it’s a big deal for them or not. Truth be told, Google knows about those links anyway, they just don’t count them; I have to admit I don’t know what the point is then. lol

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March 4th, 2014 | 9:21 PM

Yes, yes, yes and yes. I think a lot of bloggers are surprised at how much work it takes to get that traffic coming to your blog. I remember when I was starting out there was a whole different crowd around then. I don’t think any of them are still blogging.

A friend of mine from college was asking me to help him start a blog. I was pretty excited to get him set up, until I realized that he thought he was going to plop up a bunch of ads and quit his job right away.

The conversation went like this:

me: “you realize blogging actually takes a significant amount of work to be successful, and especially to make money at it.”

him: “I don’t want to do a whole lot of work on this thing.”

me: “then you will not be getting a whole lot of money!”

I wish it were that easy. I certainly don’t follow a lot of these practices, but I’m ok with that, I’m not expecting to live off my blog.

Although, some people seem to come out of nowhere, get accepted or promoted by the right people, and suddenly they’re “A-List”. Oh, well…I shouldn’t be a hater.

I guess my rambling about killing X-Men is not exactly scintillating reading, so that’s on me.

Great post and essentially a blueprint for those truly serious about this blogging thing…

Reply

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

John, I see your blog overall as more of a personal blog than anything else, although it’s also pretty entertaining; when I know what you’re talking about. lol Thing is, you share tons of other people’s blogs on Twitter but I don’t see you getting any reciprocation from them. Then again the same happens to me; oh well…

Overall it really is a lot of work. I think Darren Rowse said something like when he started he was working on it all at least 16 hours a day. That’s the kind of commitment it takes for some, and for others… well, if they hit on the right theme, if you will, rather than niche, they’ll do just fine also.

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John Garrett Reply:

Yeah those were a lot of Triberr links. I was in way too many Tribes, so I recently scaled it way back. Less social media and more comics, etc.

To be fair, I wasn’t posting very much so there wasn’t much opportunity to share my links :) I still believe in Triberr, but in my opinion it’s best when you form your own tribe with people handpicked by you. keep it small and relevant.

I don’t think the amount of work it takes to be successful at blogging is disproportionate with the kind of work it takes to be successful at anything. A lot of people think blogging is the same as typing out Facebook status updates, but when it’s time to sit down and write that post and you have a blank page in front of you that’s when you realize you’ve got some work ahead of you lol

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good perspective and totally true. It can get tiring but when one notices some rewards, one gets energized. I loved the traffic but without a true product to market all those visitors weren’t turning into anything for me. That has to be part of the plan at some point for some of us.

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March 4th, 2014 | 11:00 PM

I remember when I first started blogging Mitch I was everywhere. I was leaving quality comments on as many blogs and forums as I had time to. It took a fair bit of time but it worked. Because of all the comments I was leaving people were getting used to me commenting and because of the quality of comments I was leaving people were starting to follow my links to my blog.

As you know I was always a believer in dofollow and I installed commentluv as soon as I found out about it.

I’ve scaled back a hell of a lot now but I’m still getting a fair amount of traffic.
Sire recently posted…Lucky Numbers For USA PowerballMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Sire, you and Dennis Edell used to be everywhere and I used to find that just so amazing. Yes, you definitely have cut way back, and yet I think you’ve earned the break.

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Sire Reply:

I sure have Mitch. ;)

Honestly though, I wish I still had that drive but I’m afraid I’ve let other things in my life take over, like keeping the wife happy and all :)
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Keeping wives happy; the nerve! lol

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March 8th, 2014 | 6:04 AM

I’m kinda surprised, this is the first blog-post about driving more traffic that i have read in a while and have no mention of Facebook, and Facebook socializing and referrals.
I guess it is true then, Facebook is dying and losing people’s interest day after day!
but in my opinion, why are we looking at things backwards ?
what do you want all that traffic to do on your blog? or is it just to count more numbers ?
quality vs quantity.
if your goal is to generate more writing clients then “dofollow” and “commentluv” are of no use to you.
if you wish just to count more pageviews selling impression ads, that’s a different tactic.
the visitors count itself is not a goal to measure the success of a blog, how much revenue is it making that’s the end goal. what makes you money, that what you should focus on.
Best wishes!
Mitch recently posted…Loading, Website Design Lebanon, full-service marketing and advertising companyMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Hi Mitch,

First, over the last few years it’s been pretty much proven that you don’t drive traffic from Facebook to a blog. You can drive it to a sales page if what you’re selling is what someone is interested in buying, but that’s about it. And, as you noticed I’m talking about blogging mainly.

Second, to your point about numbers, any sales seminar you ever take (and I’ve taken quite a few) talks about numbers. Whether it’s targeted or not, the more numbers you have the more opportunities you have to sell, or in my case communicate. I wrote a previous post you must have missed asking why people blog, and saying that the reason I blog, other than because I like it, is because I want to be a professional speaker, thus I want to show on this blog and my other blogs what I know. The more people I can reach the more opportunities I have for someone to invite me to speak for their organizations. And in my case it doesn’t have to be tightly niched or specifically targeted as much as other people, since I’m showing I can speak on a wide variety of topics.

So, I think I’ve answered the why for visitors and money. As to the others, I tend to believe that there are simple solutions that help drive said traffic. Once again, I did a study that I wrote about on this blog back in 2008 where I was able to show how more people commented on blogs that offered CommentLuv, and how my traffic had increased almost 40% after I’d added it. As for dofollow, I never did a study on that because I’ve pretty much always had it. And, based on what I said earlier, more visitors means more opportunities.

Now, if you believe that every person who shows up at your site is going to buy, meaning you’re okay with 10 visitors to your site per month, more power to you. However, as an independent consultant for 12 1/2 years I’ve learned that I do better if I can continue trying to reach as many people as possible. Thus, the reason I wrote this post. :-)

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March 9th, 2014 | 7:05 AM
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