In my last post I talked about the disadvantages of attracting traffic from social media sites like Digg and how visitors from these types of sites never stick around to become loyal readers. In summary, with the exception of improving your Technorati and Alexa rank, there is not much benefit to being Dugg and it often leaves one with a slow server and little to no sustaining traffic.
I have fallen out of my childish love affair of hitting the front page of Digg and now only care to build targeted and natural traffic, even if it takes significantly longer.
In this next article, I am going to highlight some of the best methods to build targeted traffic and increase the amount of loyal readers your blog receives.
Identifying Your Niche
The first step to building targeted traffic is to clearly identify your blog’s niche. Whether it be entertainment or technology, you must have a clear understanding of the purpose of your blog. If you are concentrating on writing about too many topics, a majority of visitors will be disinterested with your content.
I used to write a lot about exotic sports cars, but I realized there is little relevance to writing about sports cars on a business development blog.
Aiming For Your Target
Once you clearly define what niche your blog best belongs in, it is time to seek out already popular similar-interest blogs and either become a “known” member of their community, advertise, or both.
For example, readers who visit Zoomstart, a blog about business-related topics, may also enjoy reading my blog, and vice-versa. Community interaction is best done by leaving insightful and thought-provoking comments on a blog. It also doesn’t hurt to link to other articles that you think your readers may find useful. What goes around, comes around, and eventually you may see your readers linking to your powerful posts also.
Personally getting to know the authors of similar blogs is also a good idea. That way, you can pick their brain and find out what has and hasn’t worked for them. I talk to a number of my readers on a daily basis via MSN, AIM, Skype, etc. I very much enjoy answering my reader’s questions and also learning from them as well. Anyone can teach us.
Advertising To Your Target
The goal of any advertising campaign is to achieve the highest number of conversions possible. That being said, it is best to advertise to a selective audience. I recently started advertising my web development business, infinFX, at Meridian Crest, because my business offers services some of Scot’s readers may be interested in.
Most PPC advertising networks, such as Google Adwords, also allow you to very selectively target a specific demographic or particular audience you are trying to reach.
ReviewMe is also an excellent way to attract super-targeted traffic. Mitchell Harper recently paid ShoeMoney to write a review of his site. Despite being quite expensive, ShoeMoney’s review sent Mitch 1,500 targeted visitors, among dozens of newsletters and RSS subscribers.
If You Must Target Social Media
If you absolutely insist on targeting gobs of traffic from social media sites like Digg, be aware that even they cater to particular demographics. It is no secret the majority of Digg’s users are technically savvy males between the ages of 18-35, while Reddit’s users are more interested in political issues and Netscape serves more general news towards a less technically savvy audience.
In closing, I hope to have outlined the importance of aiming for targeted traffic and the best methods to go about doing so. When working to build traffic for your blog, always try to position yourself next to similar and credible sources. Clearly identify your blog’s purpose, target similar blogs or communities, and work to become a known entity within those communities through interacting, advertising, or some combination thereof.