There comes a time in the blogging cycle when you start to look beyond ideas of what to write next, and start thinking of how to get more people reading. You want traffic. There’s plenty of advice how to get it out there, only the methods that don’t cost anything to put in place (forum posting, commenting on other related blogs etc) all have a different cost: time. When you’re fitting your blog in around a dayjob, that’s not always easy. Actually, to tell the truth, it’s NEVER easy. Fun, maybe (there are some way cool forums and blogs out there) but not easy to fit into an already overcrowded schedule.
Yes I know, someone’s going to suggest using the time I spend commuting. One problem with that. I’m in Australia, and we don’t have universal coverage. In fact, the internet (and a lot of phones) drop out one station after I get on, and only come back with a decent signal about one stop before I get off. So there’s not much point in me getting wireless access to try and use that time, let alone hauling around my ten ton (ten year old, almost) brick of a laptop.
So, having gone through the 30 day challenge this year, which ended up turning to paid traffic towards the end, I started thinking about it.
Then one of the forums I’ve been posting on had an offer – $1000 visitors for a dollar, or something ridiculous like that. I waited for a few reviews, and then decided to splurge. Suddenly I had some traffic coming in.
All excited, I got another email, saying that now the toolbar that was generating traffic had some serious numbers, and as a customer I had a special offer. 25,000 for $25. I thought “why not” and bought.
Admittedly, I put a couple of websites up to receive the traffic. I figured, why not make it pay for itself and send a few people to some of my favourite affiliate programs. Well, according to their control panel, a few thousand visited each offer. Guess how many bought. Yup. Zero.
As for helping out with this site, I have to say that after an initial small surge (this was in early December, AFTER the spike from somebody sending a funny poem through to stumbleupon you see below – that sent me nearly 600 people in one day. The image is below, and the second last dot is where I bought the traffic) the figures they said I saw didn’t match up with what google analytics (or even my webhost) say I got. Maybe that’s because those measure ‘unique visits’ and the same people clicked through a few times, but I don’t think that can account for all the difference.
So, lesson learnt. If you’re going to pay for traffic, pay for TARGETED traffic. $26 later, I’m glad that’s all I spent. Having also now started seeing a slow but steady increase since getting ‘stumbled’ (feel free to click the button at the right 😉 I’ve also come to the conclusion that the best way to generate traffic is to have something available that people want to tell their friends about! So, for the moment, I’m leaving the paid traffic strategy alone, and instead working for a while to build value.
PS I’m still working on my clickbank strategies, so this week until I hit the clickbank limit, I’m going to include a link to ONE clickbank product that I’ve bought myself with each post. Today’s is one that has some fantastic bonuses that I’ll be using in my next 30 day trial – I love Law of Attraction stuff! You’re invited to check it out for yourself. No pressure, but if you do like it and buy through my link, I’m still offering a $97 bonus on top (but only til Jan 3, 2009).