In the last few months, I’ve met some amazingly successful bloggers. Yesterday I spent about 35 minutes talking to a super-cool blogger (Desi) who gets gobs of traffic. We were talking from about 4:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and while we were talking,I found out that her site had already had 36,000 unique visitors for the day. FOR. THE. DAY. Whatha$#$%^$!!! You can check out her traffic monster here: The 36th Avenue.
After our conversation, I got thinking about the differences between her and other people I’ve worked with and talked to who struggle. She has obviously created a traffic machine – why do other people have such a hard time with this?
I’ve worked with a lot of people who struggle to get into the right mindset and if you’re in this boat, search traffic is going to be extremely hard to come by. I’m talking to you if:
- You don’t have a network of friends in your niche.
- You aren’t focused on making every post shareable.
- You aren’t actively trying to make connections.
- You aren’t trying to get your work onto other sites.
- You don’t write about topics of interest
- You are only trying to get search traffic
You Don’t Have A Network Of Friends In Your Niche
I’m telling you – if you want search traffic, having a network of friends in your niche is the most crucial thing you can do. Working alone, you have a long road ahead of you and I see this again and again.
Collaboration is extremely powerful. I’m always looking for new people to collaborate with because I know that I can’t compete without their help (and they can’t compete without mine).
I’ve found that most people fear that they will never find friends in their niche. I relate with that because I’m about as introverted as they come. It’s hard for me to branch out. My solution? I force myself to do it. What has happened as I’ve done this? I’ve found some really cool people who want and need to collaborate with me just as much as I want and need to collaborate with them.
Collaborating with A-listers in your niche isn’t what you’re going for. A lot of people are trying to connect with them and frankly, you don’t have a lot of value to provide them. You need to be collaborating with people who are at or near your current level but that’s a topic for another post.
Not having friends in your niche affects you mostly because at the end of the day, you don’t get linked to by enough sites that have real traffic. If all of your links come from sites without traffic, it’s a bad signal for Google.
You Aren’t Focused On Making Every Post Shareable
I rarely see people fail to develop search traffic if all of their posts are shareable. When your content gets shared, it inevitably will lead to links and links lead to search traffic. You should be looking mainly to create useful content that leads to pins on Pinterest, likes on Facebook and Google+, and retweets.
This isn’t going to come all at once. When you don’t have an audience, it’s hard to get shares. You have to just focus on creating stuff that’s shareable, even if it isn’t actively getting shared. The progress will come.
You Aren’t Actively Trying To Make Connections On Social Media
It’s very difficult to develop consistent search traffic if you aren’t trying to make connections.
Let’s say you take the time to write an awesomely shareable blog post that you KNOW people will like. How do you let people know about it? If you aren’t making connections, this gets pretty difficult, doesn’t it? If you had even 100 people who you’ve connected with on your site or via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, it could make a HUGE difference.
Things get especially exciting once you’re able to increase those numbers. If you have a few thousand people subscribed to you by email or have a few thousand Twitter followers and/or Facebook fans, it’s a lot easier to get some love for your post. One of them may link to it or share it with someone who will link to it.
Blogs that get gobs of search traffic are able to do this on a consistent basis. They may not get hundreds of links to a single post, but all of their posts get some shares and they get linked to here and there.
I see a lot of people who have to try to manually create all of their links and this ultimately doesn’t work that well. There’s no leverage in it and at the end of the day, search engines will notice the lack of social signals.
You Aren’t Trying To Get Your Work Onto Other Sites
Your search traffic will never be that great if you don’t get talked about on other sites. Other sites need to link to you and talk about you for search engines to like you. When you are starting out, getting this to happen is really difficult. You solve this by being proactive – by writing posts (or creating audio/video) that other sites would want to publish.
For those of you who are starting out, this is really key in the beginning. It’s a great way to get the ball rolling.
You Don’t Write About Topics Of Interest
I’ve come across a lot of blogs that provide a lot of value, but don’t create blog posts that are created around searchable topics. Or, you may create blog posts around searchable topics without using searchable terms in your posts.
You should be actively using the Adwords Keyword Tool (or another keyword tool) to discover the topics that people search for in your niche. You should then be creating shareable posts that cover those topics. Use a catchy title that contains your topic/keywords.
You Are Only Trying To Get Search Traffic
I’ve mentored a lot of people and can tell you that this obstacle is the hardest to overcome. If you are trying to develop search traffic without developing other kinds of traffic, I believe that ultimately you will fail. You might succeed for a while, but that success will probably be cut short.
It’s easy to develop a little search traffic without providing much value, especially if you pick an easy keyword. You can just write a post about the topic and write some guest posts about that topic that link back to your post. You might rank for a while and get some solid traffic.
The problem lies in the types of sites that will be willing to publish your sub-par guest posts and link to your sub-par content. As soon as Google tightens up their algorithm again, you could be filtered out. On top of that, other people could come along and publish better work that will get shared and linked to. When that happens, it’s likely that you’ll get knocked out since your work won’t get shared or linked to. If you and your competitors links look similar and your competitor has social signals, you will lose.
I’ve found that it’s a huge uphill battle to keep getting traffic when I’m only focused on developing search traffic. I have been able to win that battle temporarily many times but ultimately, those projects fail to consistently produce. They always die.
People who are stuck in this mindset tend to quit when they lose their search traffic. They start feeling like it isn’t worth it. They often start over and build search traffic and then quit again once the search traffic dies out. It’s a vicious cycle.
The Search Traffic Game Has Changed
I know a lot of people who are still hanging on to the old ways of doing SEO. They still want to just ‘build links’ and make full-time incomes. At best, this will be a very shaky way of doing things going forward. The people who are going to thrive from here on out will learn how to create shareable blog posts and meaningful connections with other people. Combine that with solid SEO strategy and you can really create some traction.
Some of you are already brilliant at this, others have some work to do. What do YOU need to work on most? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.