Can I be honest with you?
Most of the advice on the web about increasing your blog’s traffic is completely useless.
It’s either outdated or overly simplified. And at times it’s just plain wrong.
What worked 10 years ago, doesn’t work now. Blogging has changed and if it was so easy to generate traffic, all bloggers would be rich.
Over the past few years, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. I’m not a “know it all,” but do know enough to get you going on the right path.
For now, I just want you to put the following six myths to rest.
Myth #1: Blogging is a Great Way to Generate Free Traffic
You’d think I would agree with this one. I’m a blogger after all.
But have you ever heard the saying “nothing in life is ever free?”
Free traffic is a fairy tale.
Yes, you can generate blog traffic without paying money for it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s free.
Try building a blog and never doing anything with it. See if readers will flock to it.
Actually, don’t do it… it would be a huge waste of time. Nobody is ever going to find out your blog exists unless you do something about it.
Traffic is never free, you must trade your time in order to generate it.
Your time is the most valuable form of currency you have, and it’s the one thing you must trade in order to generate traffic.
You have to spend time researching, writing blog posts, generating back-links, and finding affiliates, etc. This, if done properly will boost your blog’s traffic and eventually generate income.
How much time you invest, depends on you and what your goals are.
However, there’s no way your blog is ever going to generate traffic without your investment of time.
… And as they say… Time is money!
Lastly, remember that you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a whole bunch of traffic if you’re not willing to spend a whole bunch of time generating it.
Myth #2: You Must Optimize Your Blog for Google
Google is responsible for 5.6 billion searches a day, and you’d be crazy not to want a piece of that pie.
However, is Google the only way to generate traffic for your blog?
The answer is a resounding NO!
Don’t get me wrong, most of this blog’s traffic comes from Google and I love it.
However, Google isn’t the only kid in town, and has its downsides as well:
- Takes time: Nobody can rank in Google overnight. Plan to wait a good 6 months before you see a substantial amount of traffic from it.
- Penalties: Google updates its ranking algorithm constantly and sometimes penalizes websites for no apparent reason. Being penalized by Google can kill your blog’s traffic overnight.
- Nobody really understands it: Depending on who you ask, Google has over 200 ranking factors. However, no matter what anybody tells you, they don’t really know because Google doesn’t publish such data. We are certain that back-links and content are important but how important is anybody’s guess.
- Fluctuates: There comes a time when your Google traffic will be steady, but in the beginning, it can fluctuate greatly. This makes it difficult to predict your income and/or traffic.
- Competitive: Everybody is competing for the top spot on Google. Sometimes there’s just too much firepower at the top for you to get there.
Once again, I love Google and think it’s the best way for generating traffic to your blog, however, it’s not the be-all, end-all that many believe.
If your blog is geared towards women, you might be better off focusing on generating traffic from Pinterest which has over 250 million users, of which 81% happen to be female.
Perhaps you’re in a very competitive field and generating traffic through blog commenting is best for you.
When starting out, depending on your niche, you might be better off concentrating your efforts on other ways of generating traffic and letting Google do its thing.
Myth #3: There Are Thousands of Ways to Generate Blog Traffic
Let me clarify something… There’s an absurd amount of ways to generate blog traffic.
Which one is right for you? How do you choose?
If you aren’t careful, you’ll run a big chance of coming down with a huge case of analysis paralysis. There are just too many options to choose from.
However, I have a solution for you…
There are only five sources that matter:
- Search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
- Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
- Links/Referral: Other sites linking and/or referring to yours.
- Ads: Paid for advertising that leads back to your blog.
- Social Bookmarking: Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, etc.
Over the years, many of the tactics for generating traffic within the above-mentioned categories have changed, but none of the categories have.
The trick is choosing the ones that work best for you and running with it.
Which takes us to…
Myth #4: One Traffic Source if Better than Another
Bloggers argue all the time about the “best” traffic source, but here’s the thing:
With traffic, everything is contextual.
In the blogging niche (this blog), for example, search engine traffic is king. Nothing comes even close.
In the lifestyle market, Instagram and social media rule the world. Not even the all-mighty Google can compete.
In other words, the “best” traffic source for your blog completely depends on what niche you’re in.
Not to mention, the biggest factor in deciding which is the “best” traffic source for your blog is…
Yes, that’s right. You and only you can decide what’s your blog’s best traffic source.
There’s no point in forcing yourself into becoming a social media savant if that’s not your thing just because you are a lifestyle blogger.
Your strengths and weaknesses are better at determining which traffic source is best for you than anything else.
If you’re an introvert, Google and social bookmarking sites might be best. However, if you like being seen, social media might be your best friend.
You can decide to mix it up or focus on one source.
I recommend having multiple sources of traffic just in case something out of your control happens.
Remember how back in the day MySpace was the largest social media platform in the world? Today, it’s an afterthought.
Don’t let any company’s failures control your destiny.
Myth #5: You Must be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Bloggers love traffic from social media and so should you.
The problem is, there are billions of social media platforms out there. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Snapfish, and the list just keeps growing.
So what do most bloggers do?
They try to have a presence on the most popular ones and divide their time between them. However, this usually gets them nowhere.
Instead of splitting your time between a bunch of platforms hoping that one will eventually work, focus your time on the one that best suits your blog and run with it.
This is especially true if you’re just starting out because you won’t have a base to stand on and trying to create one on many different platforms will eat up all your time and most likely not get you anywhere.
Focus is key to your success!
Myth #6: You Need “X” Amount of Traffic to Succeed
First of all, only you know what you want out of your blog.
Perhaps you want to retire and live off your blog, or maybe you’re just trying to make some side money to help pay the rent.
Only you know what success looks like for you, and therefore nobody can tell you how much traffic you need to achieve it.
Also, while some bloggers need 100,000 visitors to generate $10,000, others only need 20,000.
This is totally dependent on your strategy for generating income from your blog and how efficient you are at it.
If you decide to offer a course for $100, that means you only need 100 people to sign up to generate $10,000. Perhaps you can reach those numbers with 1,000 visitors to your site, or maybe you need 100,000 because your sales pitch is horrible.
There are too many factors to consider when deciding how much traffic is need to generate “x” amount of dollars, and only you and the path you take can determine that.
Never listen to anyone that tells you “x amount of traffic will generate x amount of dollars.”
Even if you copied their strategies step-by-step the chances of you getting the exact same results are nil.
Instead, write down your goals and decide which strategies work best to accomplish them. And never stop until accomplish them.
Blogging is Complicated
You’re probably wanting me to give you a magic pill to generate traffic and make tons of money.
Hate to break it down to you, but there’s no such pill… or at least not one you can by.
You could hire a reputable agency to do all the work for you, but if you have that kind of money, you’re probably not landing on this blog.
I have good news for you though…
I can provide you a roadmap for success. The road will be bumpy, with many twists and turns, but if you commit to it, I’ll put you in the right path to growing your blog’s traffic and reaching your goals.
It’s up to you how far you want to go…
For now, here are some articles you might find useful:
Traffic Generation FAQ
Why is organic traffic important?
Organic traffic is important because you don't have to pay for it. Organic traffic is generated by ranking well in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
How can I get free traffic?
You can get free traffic by creating valuable content, promoting it, and applying specific SEO tactics that are meant to help you move up the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)
How do you promote your website?
The best way to promote your website is on social media, on forums, by commenting on relevant sites, and by having influencers share your content.
Is SEO free?
SEO stands for Seach Engine Optimization and yes it's free. Many people pay for it, but you can do it on your own if you are willing to invest your time into it.