It is something we all want.
And we use several methods to get traffic.
Social media and blog commenting are among them. But, they suck as traffic sources.
In an argument, I like to go against the crowd/masses, even if that goes against my principles.
Same is true for blog posts. I have always been fascinated and interested in writing articles that are usually against what other bloggers say (My post on why you shouldn’t plan before writing is an example). Now, to the article.
Most of us have written about driving traffic through various traffic sources (As far as the main ones go, they are: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Blog Commenting, Guest Posting and SEO).
We have to spend our time based on the type of traffic we need. We can divide traffic into various groups based on different factors such as visitor loyalty (visit length and bounce rate), based on sources (direct vs referral) and based on their visit (first time visitor vs returning).
In this article, we will talk about what the several traffic sources are best and how we can use them to achieve our specific goals with traffic (for the purpose of this article, your goal is to drive more new visitors to your blog).
Note: In my 3 years of blogging, this is the only post I have edited and added information after writing the post; I have a lot of expectation for this post – So, if you find it useful, please do share and comment the post. Thank You!
The first thing we need to do with traffic generation is to identify our goals with traffic.
- Do we need first time visitors or do we need to bring back our old visitors?
- Do we need more visitors (with high bounce rate and low visitor length) or do we need less visits (with low bounce rate and high visitor length)?
- Do we need direct traffic or referral traffic (for the most part, this doesn’t matter much).
Once we answer these questions, we will be able to identify our goals and make a decision (=choose one or two traffic generation methods to work with).
Now, let’s take a look at various traffic sources and what they are best for.
Commenting Traffic Source – Bringing Back Visitors
Commenting is best for bringing back our old visitors or buddies. I comment on a certain number of blogs on a consistent basis, because I want those guys – who are my blogging friends – to read my content and share it to the world. From my own experience with a recent commenting experiment, I can tell you that commenting is best for bringing back old visitors. Sure, commenting can also bring us new visitors – but not much, compared to other traffic sources. Another advantage to commenting as a traffic sources is that visitors we get through our comments are most likely to be loyal with our blog; we get low number of visitors with low bounce rate and high visitor length.
Conclusion: Use commenting as a traffic source when you have plenty of time to spare or when you want to bring back old visitors (or get some real loyal visitors).
How to get more new traffic out of commenting?
It is about engagement within your comments more than anything. When you are commenting on other blogs, comment not just on the articles, but also on the comments left by other bloggers (This allows you to engage with the blog owner and the commentator). The more you do this, the more exposure you get and the more likely you are to get new visits.
I will be writing another post in detail about generating maximum new traffic from commenting – just follow my social profiles for updates
Social Media Sites as a Traffic Source
Yup. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are all suited for bringing back visitors. Sure, they can also bring us new visitors. But the chances are low. Let me explain: In most social media sites, your posts are only visible to people who follow/friend/like your page/circle you.
Let me give you an example:
You want to promote your site – let’s say there is a potential visitor A.
Your post might only be visible to visitor A if you and Visitor A has many common connections – and if, only if the common connections shares, comments and or likes/pluses your post.
Yes, there are also social media sites that are geared towards bringing new visitors – such as Stumble Upon and Pinterest – The only problem is that visitors from these sites are usually not loyal, they don’t stick around (high bounce rate and low visitor length). If you want more visits, then sites such as StumbleUpon and Pinterest might sound attractive to you
Conclusion: Social media sites as a traffic source isn’t a good idea, but then again, it depends upon the situation. If you get lot of retweets/shares/comments on a specific tweets or status you posted (And if your potential visitor and you have a lot of common connections), then you are definitely going to get more traffic – new visitors – out of it.
The best way to get more traffic and followers via Social media is to participate on blog chats, blog groups and blog pages. For instance:
In LinkedIn, we have the Blogengage LinkedIn group (started a few days back). In the LinkedIn group, Bloggers share our opinion and experience on weekly discussions, polls and other discussions posted by members. I encourage you to join the group.
You can read more about generating new traffic through social media at my blog - Is Social Media A Good Traffic Source? No!.
Guest Posting as a Traffic Source- Best For New Visitors
Guest posting, by far is the best way to gain more exposure – and more new visitors. It is also the best way to get more loyal visitors (like I mentioned earlier loyal visitors means they stick around for a while). But, like any other method, guest posting also has its own disadvantages.
The best method to approach guest posting is with consistency. The more you guest post on a site, more likely you get more new visitors (Some people may visit your site after they read your posts, but there are many others who wait a while – whose impressions of you weren’t good enough to convince them to visit your blog). In that case, writing another guest post is the best solution. But, as time passes on, the audience will become familiar with you, and you will eventually start loosing out on new visitors (because the new visitors you got earlier were converted into returning/loyal visitors).
So, along with consistency, you need variety. You need to guest post on several blogs on several occasions for the best results – and I mean, more new (and loyal) visitors.
Extra: As you may know, I am kind of a regular contributor here are Basic Blog Tips (I do take long breaks in between, because I want to counter act familiarity – The more I wrote here, the more familiar I became to you all. So, I take breaks – and in those breaks, I am sure that BBT has grown with some new readers – and I am mainly writing this article with them in mind
So, here is my best tip:
Write guest posts on several blogs on several occasions in a consistent manner with long breaks in between
Well, I don’t have a good conclusion.
That’s just my point on why commenting and social media sucks as traffic sources – more specifically, traffic sources for new visitors.
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Go Guest Post.