May 28 2007

It’s Not Always About Traffic

Introduction: Who is Garry Conn?

Successful Blogging Tips Hello, my name is Garry Conn. I run a personal blog site titled, Garry Conn dot Com. I help thousands of readers by delivering successful blogging tips. I have been an author here on Blog about Your Blog coming up on a month now. I have been wanting to publish my first post here since the day I registered. But, you know how that goes… wanting to be at multiple places at once. Life just doesn’t work that way, I wish it did! :)

From the first time I ventured into this community it was really love at first sight. What an opportunity to gain more readers to your site. The concept is simple. Provide excellent content here, which helps this community grow and the content being published here has a direct reflection on yourself. Meaning, if people don’t like what you write here, then it can generally be assumed that the readers won’t like what you write on your main site too. So the incentive to write good quality posts here is extremely high… and it should be! The end result couldn’t be more perfect. You have a handful of highly skilled and creative bloggers who collaborate onto one site where we all create a prefect experience for the blog reader. In my opinion, this is one of the most insightful and creative concepts I have seen in awhile.

It’s Not Always About Traffic:

I have mentioned this on my site many times. While getting traffic to your site definitely is important, what is more important is what you do with the traffic that does come into your site. Meaning, what is your conversion rate? If you have 100 visits per day, how many people do you convert into regular readers? My focus has never been on scoring tons of traffic to my personal blog. I knew that in due time, traffic would naturally increase. Today, there isn’t a day that goes by where another blogger doesn’t mention me on a post or add my site to their blogroll. Why? Because, since day one I have written articles that are intended to help just one person. If I can end the day knowing that I have helped just one person, I feel great. When you read my articles, I am speaking directly to you… the article was written specifically for you. When you are done reading, if I haven’t made you say, “wow!” then I have failed.

So, for me… I would rather have 10 visits per day knowing that I have a 100% conversion. Because in the long haul, I will have more traffic coming into my blog compared to another blog who focuses on volume. In other words, I would rather have 10 visits per day @ 100% conversion compared to having 1000 visits per day @ 1% conversion. The numbers equal the same and far as the total number of regular readers converted… but the difference between the two stats is simple: One site is so in tune with their readers interest, it converts 100% of the traffic into permanent readers while the other is failing because only 1% is being pulled in. 99% of the people come and go… and don’t look back.

How Do I Convert Traffic Into Readers?

  • Rule #1 is to be yourself. There are so many people out there that live double lives. Typically after spending about a week on these sites I can start to see right through them. FAKE! The most important thing you can do to be successful blogging and convert traffic into regular readers is to be yourself.
  • Rule #2 is to allow people to learn who you are. This can be done by publishing an about me page. An about me page should be a page where you simply put your cards on the table and spill the beans. You should express the things that are important to you, talk about your interests and also explain about what your site is about. If readers don’t know the purpose of your blog, they will have no reason to continue to visit.
  • Rule #3 is to interact with your readers. The easiest way to do this is to reply to their comments. If a reader has taken the time to comment on an article that you wrote, be polite and comment back. Also, when you do comment back, try to pick the reader’s brain a little bit… ask for additional thoughts and encourage your new reader to elaborate more on their thoughts. Another way to interact with your readers is to visit their own blog and comment on their articles. Not only doesn’t this encourage the reader to come back to your site, but it also plants seeds for other readers to come over and check your site out. Lastly, having a contact page as well openly accepting blogroll link exchanges are very useful.
  • Rule #4 is to be a leader and an expert. The whole foundation of the Internet is information, in the mid 90’s “The Information Super Highway” was a popular coining of the Internet. And still to this day in our wonderful world of Web 2.0, not much as changed. People seek the knowledge of others. And with blogging, people are pulled to leaders and experts. If you author a blog, you are an expert in what you write and talk about. Do not publish weakness about your topic. People expect you to take the lead and follow your advise. If you illustrate to your readers that you are not a strong leader, they will flock away to someone else who can lead them.
  • Rule #5 is to reward your readers. Publishing your top commenters high up on your sidebar and offering different ways to help promote your readers gives them incentive to stick around more. Not only do you help your readers by writing quality content but you also help them by sharing the link love and traffic. Don’t be selfish. Give back to your community because without them you would be nothing.

Summary:

To sum things up… having a ton of traffic to your site is important. But converting all your traffic into regular readers is more important. Focus long and hard on keeping the traffic you do get instead of focusing on getting more. If you maintain 10 visits per day and convert 100% everyday, by the end of the year you are looking at having 36,500 visits per day… all of which are regular readers and contributors.

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11 Comments on this post

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  1. Blog About Your Blog wrote:

    [...] gives people this perception, you are not going to succeed.  In my last post titled, “It’s Not Always About Traffic“, I explained how it is not as important to focus on getting tons of traffic to your site as [...]

    June 4th, 2007 at 11:24 pm
  2. Successful Blogging Tips by Garry Conn dot Com | Successful Blogging Tips #05 wrote:

    [...] I want to personally invite ALL my readers to read a wonderful article I wrote on Blog about Your Blog titled, “It’s Not Always About The Money“. This is actually a continuation of my first post titled, “It’s Not Always About Traffic“. [...]

    June 5th, 2007 at 10:15 pm
  3. Best of 2007 on Blog about your Blog wrote:

    [...] It’s Not Always About Traffic [...]

    December 30th, 2007 at 5:15 am
  1. Mark said:

    Hi Garry, glad to see you’re over here, too. What you say resonates with me and has for a long time. The benefit you speak of about BAYB is exactly what motivates me to write and write and write some more.

    I do have a couple of questions:

    1) I’ve heard the word “conversion” many times before and even see it in Google Analytics. But how do I know when a conversion has taken place? I surmise seeing my feed subscription increase is one direct way. And certainly the regulars I see on my blog who comment on my posts is another way. But is there something else I’m not using to my advantage to understand completely that I’ve converted someone?

    2) I use widgets on my blogs. One of those widgets is to show the most recent comments being made which includes the author of the comment and a brief blurb. But I have yet to see a widget for the top commenters though. A plugin, yes, but a widget, no. Is there one you can direct me to?

    And for those of you learning about Garry for the first time, do yourself a favor and make him part of your regular web reads. He’s always writing interesting and useful information and is incredibly courteous to his readers!

    May 28th, 2007 at 10:41 pm
  2. GarryConn said:

    Hello Mark, thanks for taking the time to write the comment. You have obviously invested some time into writing it so let me address each part of it.

    “The benefit you speak of about BAYB is exactly what motivates me to write and write and write some more.”

    It is good to see that other people share the same feeling I have. BAYB is a great place to provide bloggers with the highest level of quality writing. I was sold instantly on the site.

    “I’ve heard the word “conversion” many times before and even see it in Google Analytics. But how do I know when a conversion has taken place? I surmise seeing my feed subscription increase is one direct way. And certainly the regulars I see on my blog who comment on my posts is another way. But is there something else I’m not using to my advantage to understand completely that I’ve converted someone?”

    Mark, the word, “conversion” is used frequently in many type of statistics. An example would be on a car sales lot. The total number of people that were browsing the cars in relation to the number of people who purchased a car would be a typical sales conversion. Years ago when I worked at Lenscrafters they had a little hit meter on their entrance way which recorded the amount of people who came into the store. They would then get a percentage of people who visited in relation to the amount of people who purchased eyeglasses. How one knows if a conversion takes place is determined after the individual established a certain goal for their site. An example would be how many people comment on a post in relation to how many people viewed it. In this example you could easily use Analytics or SiteMeter to record the number of page views each post receives and then divide the number of comments into that number to get a conversion. For me, I use a bunch of different traffic analysis programs. Each program delivers a variety of different statistics. With me being a stats and numbers freak (this was engrained in my brain by the many years I worked at Lenscrafters) I tend to use a mixture of the data delivered from all programs to answer different questions I want to know about my sites. So to answer your question, the only thing I would do in your situation is maybe investigate using multiple traffic analysis programs on your sites. I use Google Analytics, Site Meter, Xtreme Tracking, Awstats and MyBlogLog Stats. From there I can compare each program for consistencies and also get data from one program that isn’t made available on another.

    “I use widgets on my blogs. One of those widgets is to show the most recent comments being made which includes the author of the comment and a brief blurb. But I have yet to see a widget for the top commenters though. A plugin, yes, but a widget, no. Is there one you can direct me to?”

    I mistakenly used the word widget when really it is a plugin. On my sites I use the plugin called, “Show Top Commentators”. You can download and learn more about this plugin here.

    “And for those of you learning about Garry for the first time, do yourself a favor and make him part of your regular web reads. He’s always writing interesting and useful information and is incredibly courteous to his readers!”

    Thank you very much for the compliment. This comment kind of goes hand in hand as an example of what I am talking about in the article. Helping my readers and spending time with them to answer their questions is very important. The paradox of being a blogger is so funny. Most bloggers are born writers yet, to blog and be successful doing it, a writer is practically required to be a marketing expert, a programmer, and a site administrator. And in the world we live in, we can’t expect a brain surgeon to fix your car, just as we can’t expect an auto mechanic to repair a computer… yet in the wonderful world of blogging… a creative writer has no choice but to wear all hats. And that simple fact alone is what my site is about. Helping people successfully extract the the information out of their brains onto this e-paper we call blogs and most importantly showing them how to gain the respect and trust from readers who stumble upon their sites. The tips and advise I offer bloggers is like no other. I encourage people to be creative, I hope to spark ideas in my readers generated from my own ideas. There is a handful of experts out there and as Technorati quotes, 83.5 millions blogs out in the blogosphere. Most of which are all desperate for attention… and my site shows them how to get it.

    May 29th, 2007 at 1:11 am
  3. Jennifer said:

    Great article Garry! Conversion is important and there are some types of sites that almost automatically have a higher conversion than others, like personal sites almost always have fairly low conversion. It is hard to get someone that interested in our boring lives. LOL….

    May 29th, 2007 at 10:23 am
  4. GarryConn said:

    Your site has grown a lot since I started following it… and a few months back when I help you with a few SEO changes, it looks like it is doing well. You pull up on the third page of Google when some one types, “School Bus Driver“, which basically your site is ranked 21 out of 2.78 million other sites. That’s not too bad.

    A great way to improve your conversion is to identify what people are looking for on your site. Review your analysis programs to see which search phrases you get hits for… Also, a great program that you may want to install is a program called, HitTail. Some times authors don’t choose what to write because the readers will in many cases dictate what they want you to write. Programs like HitTail allow you to discover the things that people are looking for when they access your site. From there you can add more content that is relevant to what your mainstream readers are looking for. It’s a great program and i use it for my sites.

    May 29th, 2007 at 8:44 pm
  5. Jennifer said:

    Yeah, my site is doing much better than it used too as far as some stuff goes. I still think it has lower conversion just because of the nature of the site. I don’t want to change it away from being very personal because well, that is what it is, a personal site.

    This HitTail program looks great. I have it installed, but haven’t got any traffic results from it yet. I have installed another traffic links out counter called Crazy Egg. It offers some neat looking statistics too.

    Thanks Garry.

    May 30th, 2007 at 3:23 am
  6. Ed the Editor said:

    Hey Garry, plenty of good points well made.

    I am an author here, but I seem to have run out of steam tonight and can’t quite string a proper question together!

    Referring to your observation about the need for quality posts here to drive readers to your own site, I think I have 2 hurdles when I write here. Not only do readers need to like my work enough to go look at my own site, but before they read anything on my site, they have to like the style of the homepage too, which isnt exactly pitched at the same degree of sensibleness of BAYB.

    May 31st, 2007 at 11:36 pm
  7. Garry Conn said:

    @Ed,

    Your site is very creative and unique. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love it.

    June 6th, 2007 at 10:08 am
  8. trademark said:

    I use HitTail quite a bit, and it works very well. It really helps identify keywords.

    January 24th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

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