Welcome to the seventh update of the Traffic and Conversion series!
This is a monthly post where I detail traffic optimization strategies for this blog.
Today’s post will discuss a mistake I made over two years ago. It was something I did when I first started this blog. And the goal of this post to help you avoid making the same mistake.
Before we get to that, let’s go over the numbers from last month:
March 2012 Statistics
First lets recap the stats from February:
- 35,165 Visits
- 78.38% Bounce Rate
- 1:07 Time on Site
So what happened in March?
Let’s take a look at the metrics from the last month:
I use three metrics to measure the “success” of my traffic generation efforts. Here’s how they did in February:
- 46,413 Visits (31.99% Increase)
- 77.45% Bounce Rate (1.18% Increase)
- 0:57 Time on Site (13.89% Decrease)
Once again, my raw traffic numbers are exploding. I’m getting a lot more visitors.
The problem is I consider most of this to be junk traffic. Case in point, I have one blog post that received 23,503 visitors who are looking for an image of spring:
That’s over half of my traffic who care nothing about affiliate marketing or building an Internet business. There is no way to convert this traffic or make it useful. Trust me…I’ve tried.
So I’ve decided to stop worrying about junk traffic and focus my effort on converting my core audience. (More on this later.)
Finally, it was another light month of publishing blog posts because I was busy working on my new free report. Here are the stats for what was published in March:
- How a 19.98% Traffic Increase Can HURT Your Site (Time on Page – 4:13)
- 8 Ways to Make Money with Niche Sites (Time on Page – 6:21)
- Build My Rank Has Been Shut Down! (Time on Page – 4:17)
- Free Report: 111 Affiliate Marketing Strategies for a Six-Figure Income (Time on Page – 3:49)
- How to Make Money on YouTube (with 5 Case Studies) (Time on Page – 6:06)
Not the greatest month of blogging. Definitely some room for improvement in the number of posts and getting people to stick around to read them.
Which brings me to…
This blog was started back in January 2010 for a few odd reasons:
I was going through a bad breakup. I was trapped in my house because of a horrible blizzard. And I needed something to keep my mind occupied.
My logic was: “I’m bored, so why not start a blog?”
I already had success with affiliate marketing. So I thought it would be super easy to make money from blogging.
Boy, was I wrong!
The mistake I made was NOT picking a solid niche. At first, I blogged about my interests: Lifestyle design, making money online, personal development, physical fitness, and traveling.
For 2010, I literally wrote about EVERYTHING.
I spent most of this time living out of a backpack, traveling through Europe. So I never took the time to analyze why I was blogging. The end result is my content didn’t target a specific audience.
I turned things around (a little) in the 2nd year… I picked the “Internet Lifestyle” as the main theme for this blog. So I wrote everything I know about online success: Affiliate marketing, email list building, converting traffic, search engine optimization, and niche websites.
The main problem is you can create an infinite amount of articles for EACH topic.
So again…I wasn’t picking a solid niche.
This January was the start of my third year of blogging. During a plane ride to a conference in Austin, I was realized how “burned out” I was on blogging.
At this point, I had two choices:
1) Make my blog work.
2) Quit doing it.
I also realized something else… I was failing because my blog did NOT target a specific audience. Sure, I was writing content for Internet entrepreneurs. But I wasn’t speaking to a specific sub-niche.
On the plane ride home, I wrote pages of notes. My new plan was to talk about my #1 area of expertise –> Building an authority affiliate marketing business.
Authority affiliate marketing is how I make the bulk of my income. So why not make it the focus of my blog?
When I got back home, I made a few dramatic changes:
- I dumped every advertisement that didn’t relate to affiliate marketing
- I started writing the “111 affiliate strategies” report (It’s finished!)
- I mapped out a killer autoresponder sequence that genuinely helps affiliate marketers
- I sketched out a blog design that will convert visitors into subscribers (This is being done right now)
- I planned an affiliate marketing specific publishing schedule
- I posted an article that detailed my new content strategy.
All of these actions are designed to build a list of people who are specificically interested in learning about authority affiliate marketing.
So what’s the point of this story?
Well, it all goes back to the #1 mistake that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Most bloggers (myself included) limit their success by NOT identifying a specific market and audience.
It isn’t enough to pick a niche. You have to target a VERY specific audience within that market. Only then will you be able to build a loyal audience who will buy whatever you’re promoting.
Here’s an example…
I love running. But I would never pick “running” as a niche market. There’s too much competition and it’s a generalized topic. Instead, I’d try to position myself as an expert in one of these areas:
- Running Ultra-Marathons (50K and beyond)
- Trail and/or hill running
- Injury free training and racing
- Getting faster at short distances (1 mile to 10K)
- Running plyometrics
Each of these small topics can be used to build an audience within the running community. All a runner needs to do is regularly publish content related to this sub-niche and people WILL find him (or her.) That’s how you build an audience!
Case in point…
Right now, I’m training for the Pikes Peak Marathon in August. This is massively difficult race that includes a 7,000 feet elevation increase and a severe drop in oxygen levels. It’s tough as hell! And you have to train really hard to even survive it.
So to prepare for it, do you think I’m reading:
1) General blogs about running
2) A blog written by ONE person who geeks out about running mountains and ultra-marathons
You better believe I’m picking the second option! (It’s iRunFar.com by the way)
My point is this…
Getting lots of web traffic is great! But it won’t convert if it’s not the right kind of web traffic. I learned this the hard way in the last few years.
You need to pick a niche. Then you need to pick a tightly focused topic within that niche. And then you need to create DEEP content that discusses this specific subject.
This is what I’m doing moving forward!
Want to join me?
Comment below…To Your "Internet Lifestyle",