From the BlogContact Me Now

Why Building Website Traffic Is About Content And Relationships

We all want more traffic to our websites, right?

wave.jpgWe dream of the day that we get that massive wave from Digg or StumbleUpon. And when we do, it’s a rush, right? We watch our stats climb by the minute – 500….1,000….5,000….10,000 visitors – “oh God, don’t let it end!”

But it does end. It ends as an ocean wave ends: breaking on the shore, splashing its wake up the sands and retreating once more to whence it came. Such it is with our blog traffic.

These social content sites are great, don’t get me wrong. And I’m not suggesting not to use them. I use them and will continue too. But the deluge of traffic they bring can often give us a false sense of our blog’s health.

Essential Keystrokes’ Char wrote about this recently in her Web Traffic – I’ll Take Quality Over Quantity. In her post, she explained how the traffic she got from Digg in a recent post was matched, and in quality perhaps surpassed, by a link in a post from a prominent blogger like Darren Rowse.

Now, don’t run out and link to Darren or Brian Clark thinking that’s the way to get traffic. Though it could be if you’re doing what Char does – write great content. Which is why Darren picked up her link.

But how did Darren find Char to link too? The relationship, of course. Darren had to know Char exists in order to find a link to her. That begins with the relationship.

Same is true of another good friend, Adam Kayce at Monk at Work. Recently, he had a post picked up by lifehack.org. Adam’s blog is fairly new, yet growing at a nice rate. However, when he got picked up by lifehacker, he got a nice, large traffic blip with a number of first-time commenters. His traffic has increased by a nice rate since. But most interesting is that his feed subscribers almost doubled in the few days after.

So even though social content sites are certainly useful, it seems that writing great content and building relationships is the key to building traffic.

What’s been your experiences? Am I right….wrong….short-sighted….somewhere in between?

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Comments

  1. Joanna Young says:

    Hello Dawud

    I think it depends on what your blogging purpose is. Lots of visitors is nice – but what feels great (for me) is when you start to make connections that sizzle somehow, when you find other people who share ideas, values, words, dreams, outlook, when you find each other’s work, when people help you out, when your stories start to intertwine.

    I love feeling part of a network of bloggers who are open to ideas, intriguing and intrigued, curious, open, generous…

    Quality offers something different to quantity.

    Joanna

  2. You’re right. The key is learning how to use social media tools to build real relationships.

    I have a question back at you. Let’s assume you find someone that you think may be a potential relationship. How do you know? Then what specific tasks do you do to explore/build that relationship?

  3. Mark,

    I don’t want to seem down on the social content sites – ’cause I’m not. I love them. At the same time, I feel it’s important to know where they place in relation to conversational blogging.

    Great question…and one I think I’m going to have to answer in a post or a series of posts – which I’ll begin working on very soon, now that you’ve asked.

    One tidbit…I move from the comment box to email when I find someone I’d like to connect with. Often a simple, unassuming email will give you all the info you need to see if things should/could go further.

  4. I agree with the quality over quantity statement. After a big Digg or other tidal wave of link love, it’s the ones that remain and return that open the door to a relationship.

    The rest are lookie-loos. I want the real readers not the peekers. :D

  5. Lorelle,

    I’m with you…I want readers too. Not only readers but I’m interested in the conversation and ultimately the relationships.

    I know that we all need/want traffic – the more the better, right? Yet successful bloggers want more than just big traffic spikes.

  6. Joanna,

    Yes, yes, and yes. The sizzle, I love it!

    And I agree…different techniques for different purposes. For my purposes, I’m interested in the conversation – in relationships. So while it’s important for me to expand my reach, I try to focus more on the readers and commenters I have. Balance…

  7. Hi Dawud

    I agree with Joanna. On one of my blogs (extension of our static websites) I want as many visitors as possible – hopefully clicking further to our static websites to see all our products etc (and from next week on, buying on-line).
    On my other blogs I want readers, conversationalist etc. Those two blogs have ‘conversational’ tools in them (MyBlogLog, TheGoodBlogs etc) to ‘encourage’ relationships.
    (and I like both ways ;-))

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  8. Karin,

    Yes, I certainly want increased traffic as well. What I find happening sometimes with my clients is that they confuse massive traffic with increased interest in their business. I’ve found this to not always be true. Sometimes, yes.

    I try to help my clients understand that what they ultimately want are visitors that are specifically interested in their business. Otherwise, their web stats (traffic) are not going to accurately represent the success of their site/business.

  9. Hi Dawud

    Agree with you. That’s the reason I check the stats every week (statcounter) not just on amount of visitors, but also how long and how many pages and of course if they return.

    Plus we have a ‘policy’ in place to ask any customer coming to our showroom (or on the phone) to ask where they have heard from us the first time. 70% say: website ;-)

    Karin H.

  10. Hi Dawud,
    I absolutely agree with you, being in a network of bloggers and establishing relationships with them is what it’s all about.

  11. I am not a big fan of sites like Stumbleupon. The traffic you get from there is low quality and for a short period.
    I believe writing good articles about subjects you’re good at is a better idea.
    And you will get the traffic in the end.
    :D

  12. Karin,

    That’s a great conversion rate. I use stats in a similar way. Traffic is nice to see. But I’m much more interested, truthfully, in the conversations and relationships I’m building through my blog.

    Dee,

    Right on!

    John,

    I agree with you. I know that when I use Stumble or Digg, I get a huge traffic wave and then a few people stick around. That’s why I won’t write just for Digg. I write for content, for you, and let everything else fall whare it may.

  13. I hear you Dawud ;-)
    Conversations are the main issue on my conversation blogs, traffic is nice, but not most important.

    (But then again, my customers – website visitors – are the ones who pay my wages, in the end ;-))

    Karin H.

  14. Karin,

    I definitely second that. It’s the people who trust me enough through my blog that hire me to help them, pay me, and then allow me to keep blogging.

  15. Web Hosting says:

    Great post. I think your absolutely right. Social networking / book marking sites are great for traffic, but it’s not the same as establishing relationships and real link backs etc. Great advice here.

  16. Hi everyone,

    Social bookmarking has worked for me but I do not have all not my eggs in one basket. I submit articles post on blogs and submit to a few directories and more..

  17. Thanks for such a well rounded article. By reading it I got some new ideas and confirmed some of my blog methods are good.

  18. This makes sense, I am just learning the social marketing side of things, I have been focused on building large content sites who get mostly organic traffic. This bring a new spin into what i do on a daily basis.

  19. I am of the opinion that no doubt good traffic attracts but there must be some kind of relationship with your visitors..I don’t remember the name of a blog but there I saw such a think..I am also with the quality over quantity statement..

  20. Nice article. It answered all my questions! Keep up the good work!

  21. I find that social networking traffic is a bit like traffic exchange visitors. In both cases; instead of having an interested visitor you get a curious visitor. Don’t get me wrong curiosity sometimes converts to an interest but it’s fairly rare. In my book good old search engine traffic can’t be beat. Traffic from blogs comes in second place.
    Thanks for the great posts.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Dawud Miracle wrote “Why building Website Traffic Is About Content And Relationships” and he’s absolutely right. Comparing quantity (produced by social networks such as Digg and StumbleUpon) with quality (traffic coming from top bloggers), I agree with Char at Essential Keystrokes and would rather have 100 quality visitors than 1,000 or more social site visitors. [...]

  2. advertising » Why Building Website Traffic Is About Content And Relationships says:

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