Tag Archives: traffic

Traffic And Buyers

Our friend Sire and I have had some interesting conversations lately on two topics. One is the concept of trying to drive more traffic to one’s blog. The other was how to turn people into buyers, especially if they’re actually clicking on your links.

Traffic Jam
Marcelo Campi via Compfight

Let’s address the first topic of traffic first. I’ve actually broached this subject many times, in different ways. I asked what people would do to get more traffic. In that post I talked about those websites that you can pay that supposedly will send you lots of traffic. It’s not targeted, and you’re not sure any of those people actually clicked and read your stuff, but you’re somehow getting traffic.

I mentioned free traffic exchanges. I mentioned the concept of better SEO and organically driving traffic to you and your site. And I mentioned myself the idea of blog commenting to drive traffic as well. I like the last two the best, although SEO can take awhile and blog commenting is a lot of work.

Of course, there was my rant against those folks who write all these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog but copy what everyone else has been writing; I hate that kind of thing. I also have shared something where Alvin Phang talks about how he drives traffic to his blog. And I also have asked people how far they’re willing to go for promotion, although that wasn’t specifically for traffic, but if you promote yourself well you’re probably going to get better traffic.

The reality is that it’s hard getting traffic to come to your site unless you can figure out a way to stand apart. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with content anymore; sure, content adds value, but I’ve been to some blogs where the entire post is two paragraphs, or is a lot of nothing, and that post will generate 50 comments.

It might have something to do with blog commenting, because people see what you have to say and if they like it they’ll visit you. I think this thing Kristi does every Friday called Fetching Fridays is a wonderful concept, but wow, what a lot of work!

It generates lots of visits because the people she highlights love it, and people who drop by get to see lots of topics and visit blogs they may never have heard of that have articles they want to see. No, I won’t be doing anything like that on a regular basis, so you’ll just have to deal with my occasional highlight of websites you might not know about.

One other thing. This concept of niche blogging is a good one, but just selecting a niche isn’t going to get it done as far as driving lots of traffic, or even making a lot of money. Today I posted my 201st post on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, as today is the blog’s anniversary (200 posts a year there, 300 here… man, I’m tired!). The niche is finance, which one would have thought was a big issue in this past year with the terrible economy, but it’s generated very little income, few visitors by comparison, and not all that many comments. So, it really depends on picking a niche that you know everyone else is really interested in, then being able to consistently write on that niche without being boring or stealing from others for inspiration.

In other words, other than blog commenting and figuring out how to promote yourself better, I have nothing to add on how to drive traffic to a blog or website; at least not fast.

Now, on to the topic of turning people into buyers. Sire stated on his blog that he believes it could be tied into getting more traffic. I disagreed with that assertion. We both put up our monthly income stats. I made nothing for Commission Junction in November, but I had 283 people actually click on the links, which means they checked out products or the websites. But no buyers. Sire had around 170 or so, and the same thing. Most sales professionals will tell you that you should average at least 1% sales; we both missed that.

One of my friends, Monique, wrote to say that she felt if one actually talked about the product then marketed it that it would generate sales. I didn’t totally dismiss it, because that does sound like a great strategy, but I’ve done that. I talked about my Casio watch and even put the watch I bought at the bottom; no clicks. I’ve written on other products, and I’ll be writing on another product soon; nothing. I’ve actually written 2 posts on the ebook 20 Ways To Make $100 a Day, and never gotten a click, even though I bought the book and it’s what’s led me to my latest career in writing and blog writing for others.

Is it a matter of trust? Well, this guy named Todd asked if people like and trust you, and I commented that I hoped so, but I wasn’t really sure. I get visitors, have subscribers, but no buyers. So, does that mean people don’t trust me, or just that I’m not offering anything that they need?

Then I said to Sire that we had to look at each other to see what makes us respond to buying things. And we really don’t have an answer for that; I think that’s interesting, and something worth exploring. Actually, I asked people before what makes them buy stuff, and got at least a few comments on it. I’m asking again, because I’d love to hear from more people on the subject. And of course the question comes up as to the types of ads people respond to better, banner ads, product ads, or text ads. I’ve tried them all; still no idea.

Either way, it’s probably the question of the ages for anyone trying to market themselves online. I have a lot of questions, but not all that many answers. Anyone figured out the full formula yet? Let us know.
 

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Problogger

You know, I’ve mentioned the name many times, and it hit me that many people might not have any idea who or what I’m talking about. So, here we go, me talking about a blogging superstar.

rowse04

Darren Rowse runs a blog and website called Problogger, and he’s one of the very few people who gets to get away with telling the rest of us how to do it and not say he’s full of stuff because he’s one of the first million dollar a year bloggers in the world. He’s a guy who offers so much information that I believe everyone can benefit from visiting his site.

Let’s take this step by step. Rowse was a former seminary student who decided on a career change and wanted to explore the world of blogging. He started writing his blog in September 2004, and like most of the rest of us, most of his early posts were good but had no real readers; at least had no commenters. It would be a good thing for people to think about looking through some of his early posts, which are also educational as it regards better blogging, as well as to see that everyone has a humble beginning.

At some point Rowse figured out that making money by blogging really is about two things. One, you have to start driving a lot of traffic to your site. Two, you have to be ready to accept paid advertising.

He did both, first finding his way to driving great traffic to his site by keeping his content at a very high quality level, sometimes writing 3 or 4 posts a day. Then he set up a rate for advertisers to put ads on his site, and he was off to the races. He even experimented briefly with Text Link Ads, making some money but getting out before he lost all of his page rank (I wasn’t as smart; lost mine for about a year…), yet they remain one of his sponsors, which he likes to call them instead of advertisers. I know because I asked him about this, and he actually responded to my query. That doesn’t happen often with people who get lots of comments.

To be totally fair to everyone else, he didn’t just sit on one blog to make all this money. He set up a consortium of bloggers called B5 Media (which was sold in 2012). If you check out his full website rather than just his blog you’ll see he takes on more than just blogging. He also has other blogs that he writes, including a popular one on photography.

He added video a few years ago and people seem to like listening to what he has to say, based on the number of comments he has on almost every single post. And he now has a series of writers who write some of his content; in essence, it’s now more of a full time business than just a guy sitting at his desk writing blog posts.

Problogger is one of the most genuine sites about blogging and almost exclusively blogging. Darren Rowse proved that you can make money blogging. He also showed that it takes more than just writing posts to make that money, which many people don’t realize. It’s about more than just writing quality posts and writing comments on other people’s blogs to drive traffic your way. You have to think of it as a business and do business types of things to make money at it.

Now you know why I mention him and his site so often. It’s good stuff; check it out.
 

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The Secret Is There’s No Secrets

Back in March, I wrote kind of a rant post on people who keep writing these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog. In it, I griped that these people keep writing the same thing, almost to the point where I wondered if people are just copying what someone else says without putting any real thought into it.

Six months later, I’m still seeing the same kind of thing, only these days people are couching it within the phrase “The Secrets To…” or something like that.

I read a couple earlier today, knowing what I was going to see and was still irked by it. One talked about how to get more visitors to your blog. The other was about how to get free advertising to one’s blog. Both are the same exact things I’ve seen before; nothing new, and not even written all that originally. Like I said, it’s as if people are just copying it from someone else’s site.

Now, I’ll be a little bit fair. Maybe, to someone, this is all new information. It’s just hard to believe, after I’ve been doing this for so many years, that this is new stuff for all that many people, especially the people who are writing it. And, to be fair again, I guess the other problem is that there’s not really much new that anyone can really offer on most of these subjects.

I mean, really, what’s new that someone can come along with to help drive traffic to their blogs anyway? The only things I really haven’t seen much of is sending email to everyone in your email address book asking them to visit your blog, leave a comment, and invite others to stop by. That’s something I’ve done, but only when I feel I’ve written a post that deserves a bit of attention. I’ve never asked anyone to Digg or Delicious or anything else to my posts other than sharing them. I do have that little thing above the comments box where people can do it if they so choose, and I do appreciate it when it happens (though I’m not on Digg or Stumble Upon, so I always wonder how I get traffic from those two places).

The other thing is to try to do offline marketing to see if you can drive people to your blog. I’ve seen postcards sent out to get people to visit websites, but never a blog. I’m thinking the costs of doing it would be prohibitive; after all, those costs are prohibitive when you’re using that kind of marketing for other reasons to begin with.

So, like the myth of “You Can Make 100,000 A Day If You Buy This Program,” the myth of “The Secret Of” is just that; a myth. Now, this isn’t to be confused with something I talk about all the time, that being the movie The Secret, something I’ve mentioned often but never really written about; I’m going to have to get that done soon, probably on my other blog, as it talks about the Laws of Attraction, and I need to have it bringing more people to me than sending people elsewhere.

So, we’re agreed? No more belief in “secrets of” other than what I’ve put below?

The Secret



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A Look At Page Views

Last time we talked about traffic and visits, and this time we’re going to take a look at page view statistics.

I tend to think of page view statistics as more important to how people feel about my content than the traffic, which is really more to help impress those who might want to advertise on my site. Page views show just what people are looking at, and how long they’re looking at it.

Doing it like last time, we’ll start with my web host statistics on page views. My hosting company, 1and1.com, only gives me two statistics on page views. One is the total number of page views I receive per day, which is a statistic that does nothing for me, and the other is the total number of visits each of my articles has received for the month. Since that’s one I can compare with Google Analytics, we’re going to start there.

One odd thing about web host statistics is that they seem to track plugin activity as a page on your site, which Analytics wouldn’t do. It’s important that I mention this up front because, per my host, my most visited page each month is my Broken Link Checker plugin, which of course no one else would see. Also in the top five are the admin panel, threaded comments, and robots.txt. So, I’m ignoring those and only going for actual articles.

A quick reminder; the words in this color, except for these two, are links to articles within my site. I remind folks of that from time to time. The navy is just for highlights.

In looking at what 1&1 believes are my most popular articles, this is what we have:

January

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 386
Page Rank SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 251
About page – 249
My Favorite Eighteen Blog Posts Of 2008 – 233

February

Why Don’t More People Comment On Blogs – 251
Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 219
My Favorite Eighteen Blog Posts Of 2008 – 203
The Ads On This Blog – 195

March

The Keys – 353
Visa Black Card – 302
About page – 294
Blogging Tips – 271

According to Google Analytics, these are my top articles for the same time periods:

January

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 116
Page Rank SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 70
How Do You Twitter – 45
December Statistics Report – Everything – 41

February

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 85
Upgrade To WordPress 2.7.1; How – 81
Nine Best Blogs Of 2009 – My List – 54
At Least Be Professional In Your Writing – 54

March

The Keys – 140
Visa Black Card – 137
Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 110
Nine Best Blogs Of 2009 My List – 69

One thing I like is how some of my articles show up two months in a row; that always feels good, knowing you’ve touched enough people that an article has more life than some others.

Now, I’ve said page views is the most important thing to me, but the main statistic for page views has to do with length of time someone stays on the site. The longer people stay, the more you know they’re reading your article, or articles, and that means you’ve captured someone’s attention, and that they’re not only popping by, looking at a few words, leaving a comment based on a couple of lines, and moving on. At least you hope that’s not what they’re doing.

Hosting companies don’t track this, which is why it’s great having Google Analytics. For these same three months, here are top times for my articles, with at least 10 visits:

March – the average was 3 minutes and 27 seconds:

Keys To Leadership – 8:55
Is The Dream A Fraud – 7:59
Upgrade To WordPress 2.7.1; How? – 7:58

February – the average was 4 minutes and 21 seconds:

At Least Be Professional In Your Writing – 9:07
The Art Of Hype – 7:41
My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 6:45

January – the average was 3 minutes and 2 seconds:

The Psychology Of Gambling – 9:03
SEO & Multiple Web Pages – 7:19
Page Rank SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 7:05

To me, for the number of visits I had each month, and the length of some of my articles, knowing that the average time people spend here means to me that people are actually reading the content, and that makes me feel pretty good, better than the traffic numbers indicate. It’s probably the people who know me and keep coming back who are the ones actually reading, but that still feels nice.

It’s also interesting to see that the articles that people stayed around the longest to read differentiate from the articles that had the most page views. Just so you know, if you’re looking at these stats, you could decide to pull together a combination of both the main article itself and the comments page, which Analytics also keeps statistics on, but I left that one alone for now.

So, that’s the two part study on traffic and page views, the two most important things for your blogs or websites. There is one last brief study, but I’m saving that one to add to my little SEO project, rain or shine. Stay tuned.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

Six Things I’ve Learned About Affiliate Marketing

I’ve written on this blog many times that I’m not the best affiliate marketer in the world. Well, I’d have to say that part is true, based on my history. However, what I can’t say is that I haven’t learned how to do any type of affiliate marketing, and if I decided to redo a few things, I believe I could actually start making some nice money at it. It would probably take some time to get to a point where I could be making enough to pay all my bills, but I actually do believe I could do it.

So, if I were going to start today with something brand new, what would I do, based on what I’ve learned thus far? Let’s look at my list:

1. I’d take time to think about a niche where not only could I write at least 100 articles about it, but that would somehow surround a product. I mentioned this in a comment on Sire’s blog once in response to a question someone else asked. I know someone who created a blog about hydroponic gardening, which means it was truly a small, defined niche. It was the only subject she wrote about on that blog, as it was new latest hobby. And, along with pictures she took herself, she had Adsense on her blog, but also had products related to hydroponic gardening. She was earning close to $1,000 a month on just that blog alone. She recreated that type of thing a few times, and was living fairly well. However, this wouldn’t only have to be a blog; a nice website might do the same thing.

2. I’d take more time to think of a domain name that people might actually know what it is they’re visiting for. With my Medical Billing Answers site, I did this very thing. It’s been making consistent Adsense money for me over the last five months, which is really nice. The problem is that there’s no consistent product that relates to it other than some books, and books aren’t quite a great seller, plus they have a low margin of return.

3. Set up internal linking from the beginning. When I started this blog, I had no real concept of internal linking. When I created my Reviews Of Everything site, I knew to create menus with categories, but I didn’t do a great job of setting it up for proper internal linking. Now I’m good at internal linking as it pertains to this blog, but I haven’t gone back to do it with my business blog, and I haven’t done it for most of my other sites. I have done it for my main business site, which has helped greatly, and I did it from the beginning with Top Finance Blog. I think if you create a niche site or blog, that will work wonders for you.

4. Join more than one affiliate program, but have an idea of what and how you want to market those items. I’ve only done this well for my Top Finance Blog, where I knew I would only market finance related items. With my medical billing site, I never thought about anything except for Adsense initially, and with my Services And Stuff site, I never thought out how to lay out my product advertising, so it’s a mish-mosh of stuff that just doesn’t work well. Even with my Reviews site, I have laid things out properly, but not matched up items well, which messes up sales greatly.

5. Research better. I’m supposedly the king of research, but when all is said and done, when I created the sites I’ve created thus far, each was more of a whim than any concerted thought of how I would market anything. Even with Top Finance Blog, I didn’t think about monetizing it until two months after I started it, and I wasn’t sure then how I was going to do it. My medical billing site was the best planned site of all of them, and it makes the most money, and, oddly enough, it was an industry I didn’t have to research because I know it pretty well. For my next site, you can bet I’ll research, then select a niche, then pick the right domain name, select products beforehand, then I’ll set it all up and go for it.

6. No matter how well you set things up, you still need traffic. The most perfect site in the world won’t generate anything without traffic. There are really only two ways to drive traffic. One, through search engines, which means you need to not only do great search engine optimization, but hope to have a niche that will drive either lots of traffic or has loyal readers who’ll buy because they like your information. Two, through efforts such as what we bloggers try to do, or email, or things like Adwords, or hooking with folks who will help to drive traffic.

I think that’s enough for now. Of course, add anything you’d like to the mix, because that’s what we do around here, we share information and ideas. And I could have added a seventh, though it’s more negative, that being that sometimes affiliates drop you because they don’t feel you’re making enough sales, as I’ve been dropped recently by Apple stores and Newegg, though Newegg dropped me because I’m in New York state; so, those two will never be mentioned around here again.


Business.com PPC

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