First order of business: I’ve been M.I.A. (ya think?) lately thanks to overloading on client work. I managed to totally burn myself out working a full-time (temporary) gig managing the SEO for a rather lucrative client – but actually dropped off the map far as this blog is concerned.
Taking on that gig was not the best business decision on my part, I bit off more than I could chew. In the meantime, my blog and own business endeavors (like my book editing) totally fell off the dark side of the moon.
For that, I have to beg your pardon. As a web publisher, I’m nothing without readers, and readers want something to read last I checked. Well things have changed now, the project that was taking me over 40 hours a week is done and I’m focusing once more on my own business.
Back to blogging, and onto other clients. Speaking of clients, I’m offering an in-depth SEO audit service. Details to follow.
Since I left this blog with a conspicuously missing 3-part message on recovering from Penguin, I wanted to finish the series out.
Let’s see – where were we? Ah, yes: traffic diversification.
Traffic Beyond SEO
When I left off, I began a monthly course called Tidal Wave Traffic, and due to time constraints I stopped after 3 issues. Not because I ran out of ideas: the well runs deep when it comes to traffic ideas.
Honestly there is no limit to how to generate traffic (it’s just hard when you’re programmed like I am to think of traffic as a direct result of old school link building) – but I couldn’t balance my workload and still churn out an issue of the traffic course, so I had to cancel that project altogether.
But the good news is that I did manage to put out 3 issues – and none of them had to do with SEO or Google directly. The topics were:
- Twitter Traffic
- Johnny Appleseed Method
- Traffic 2 Step
Since the first issue is self-explanatory (and if you are a Twitterati then don’t bother, but if you could use some pointers, it’s a solid issue), let me address the other two methods:
The Johnny Appleseed Method is how to leverage various content channels in a strategic way so you get traffic from popular platforms. Mainly it’s focused on taking one “seed” and dispersing it in various “soil” if you will, using various media.
The Traffic 2-Step is focused on networking to broadcast your message, focusing not on platforms but on building and leveraging strategic relationships and planning so your content gets the benefit of existing social networks and market leaders.
Since I wrote the guides, naturally I think they’re all class acts – but if you want an issue, then hit the PayPal buy now button and in the drop-down menu, select which issue(s) you want.
If you need more than one issue, I think you can select a quantity – I’m still a PayPal noob…but I did get so far to include a handy-dandy drop-down menu to choose an issue. (All that without my mom’s help, too.)
Each issue is only $9.79, and if you’re not satisfied then let me know within 60 days and I’ll issue a refund no questions asked.
The Key is Traffic Without SEO
Let me tread carefully here – because I don’t want to give mixed signals but apparently can’t help myself.I have not by any stretch given up on SEO.
I’m not trying to advise my readers to give up on search engine traffic.
As long as there’s a search engine, there will be SEO (they have to rank something, the key is discovering what ranks and why – and if you want to figure that out, you could always hire me to discover it – more details later).
But if you want to protect your assets and not worry about the fluctuations at the Mother Ship of search (Queen of Penguins and Pandas): you’ll want to broaden your reach beyond mere rankings.
Another benefit of getting traffic without SEO is that while you wait to rank, you can get traffic immediately.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
There are websites that don’t even think about link-building but they get tons of visits from social media, simply by tapping into a passionate market that’s likely to share their content.
For the best story on that, I’d look into what James Penn of www.BigBlogTraffic.com has to say (by the way, he was the inspiration behind me putting out Tidal Wave Traffic; his course ran longer than mine, and he has totally gone off the Google reservation in terms of traffic generation: I’d highly recommend you read his material).
Read his recent blog post here:
In that post, James shares one terribly ugly website built on Blogger that gets an insane amount of traffic from social media. My jaw was on the floor when I saw the site: it didn’t look to be much worth bragging about…and they don’t even create their own content.
That doesn’t matter, though: they turn a fat profit and get visitors in droves. Google algorithm: eat dust. Read the post, it was unreal to me…
Read James Penn’s blog on leveraging social media channels, or if you haven’t picked up your copy yet – try Kristi Hines’ Ultimate Blog Post Promotion Guide which was recently updated. And if you’re still hurting for ideas, please see the following:
That’s a short list because I don’t have all the time in the world to read, so I pick a few winners for a topic and tend to stick with those. For me, Kristi Hines, James Penn, Ana Hoffman and Corbett Barr are the 4 Horsemen of
the Apocalypse Traffic.
If you have other experts in the field of traffic you want to tell others about, leave a comment below!
Don’t Feel Social? Pay the Piper
The “4 Horsemen” listed above don’t simply talk about social media at their respective blogs, by the way. That’s just one common factor I’ve noticed from all of them – another avenue is to simply get into advertising.
Assuming of course you want to pay for your online endeavors – and if you’re already profiting, you may as well reinvest some profits into traffic.
Watch an SEO friend of mine (Michelle) turn to PPC. Read here how she first started, you may know her already if you’ve read my blog for any length of time since I’ve read her blog and have shared about her endeavors online from the start.
This is still an avenue I haven’t explored outside of a few attempts at media buying (primarily using BuySellAds.com), to varying degrees of success, so I don’t want to weigh in other than to say: PPC ad traffic is the last scalable source of traffic.
SEO used to be scalable with link spamming (or “link-building” if you want to call it something with a nice ring to it). I don’t believe link-building will be scalable the way it used to be pre-Penguin, there is no going back to those “good ol’ days” of SEO.
(That’s my opinion and please feel free to prove me wrong by experimenting yourself. Just drop by here to share your results and maybe you can guest post about it?)
But buying ads and managing your performance on the various ad networks (Facebook, Google, Bing) – that will always be scalable.
The good news? You can generate traffic without worrying a lick about your ranking in the SERPs. It’s scalable (did I say that already?). It’s more or less predictable…
Bad news? It ain’t free. But then again, SEO was never “free,” either. There are some cautions – like setting up a limit for your budget, making sure to track and adjust properly so you’re not buying dead ads, etc…and naturally the occasional horror story you’ll read time to time about different advertisers getting their AdWords accounts banned for whatever reason (Google being Google, that sort of thing happens because frankly they’re competing in your market)…
But for the most part, PPC is a way to diversify traffic and not worry too much about algorithmic ups and downs.
And if you haven’t picked up on the broader picture here, folks: you could make the case that all the SEO turmoil is designed to drive you to pony up for advertising anyway.
Oh – the other good news is that AdWords isn’t the only game in town when it comes to PPC, but by most accounts – Google is still the 800-pound gorilla here. I’ll leave that opinion for Michelle and others to verify, like I mentioned, I’m not (yet) doing PPC advertising enough to talk about it.
Adapt. Build Something Worthwhile
The big lesson for me and for you here is that you may think that Google killed SEO. They didn’t, they just changed the goal posts.
The time for belly-aching is long gone, but one thing is for sure: marketing hasn’t really changed. The trouble is that “old school” SEO (like spinning articles and hitting “submit” for ranking well) worked predictably well.
Some of you are still doing it and still may be seeing results by changing things like your anchor text (keep it branded is all I’ll say)…if that’s you, leave a comment and let’s hear about your results. But many of you will simply give up altogether because it’s tiring to catch up, tiring to stay on top of an ever-changing industry…
And to that I say, “Good luck out there.” Inwardly my capitalist pig says, “More room for my sites at the top.” But honestly it’s a sad reality that many simply aren’t able to keep their income because of the search rules changing.
If you’re sticking to it and want my honest opinion: search isn’t dead. But relying on it for your sole traffic source – well that isn’t great advice.
To make money at this industry, you’ll have to adapt and broaden your traffic beyond Google and Bing. Especially if you’re an affiliate marketer or ecommerce business owner: to you I have to say “Diversify.”
Succeeding at this business means you start with something people want. Start with something worthwhile – a service, a product, an experience – and once you have that foundation down, traffic is almost a moot point.
I say “almost” because traffic doesn’t magically appear for most of us.
But if you start out with a keyword-stuffed, ad plastered ugly site – well good luck. I wouldn’t hold my breath – but good luck with that.
Penguin was a wakeup call. Penguin 2.0 is said to be a big earthquake waiting to happen, it hasn’t hit yet far as I know. Panda is on the loose, looking for thin content to punish…meanwhile, you have a business to run and mouths to feed.
How much of your future should be spent worrying about algorithms? If you market your website properly and connect with your audience: you won’t need to worry about the weather at Google, Inc.
One Final Thought
Traffic generation is not a thing in itself.
Traffic generation comes when you have a proper mix of the following:
1) Market Knowledge
2) Networking Skills
3) A Story (or Product or Service or Experience or ALL The Above) Worth Sharing
I would say more but I’d rather end with: don’t get stuck in a box. SEO is a box: if it defines your customer acquisition or profitability, you’re doomed. No business should solely rely on any one source of traffic – ever.
So don’t box your business in by limiting your traffic resources to just one – have 2 or 3 big winners at least. Oh, and if you have any ideas to add to the discussion, leave a comment below and let’s compare crib notes!
Thanks again for reading.
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