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Reader Email - Traffic Building Argument

Sun, Jul 27, 2008

Blog Flipping

I received this email a couple of days ago, and I thought that the response would be best answered for all to see.  It’s a phenomenal question, and I think that we might all be able to weigh in with differing opinions, comments, and our general thoughts.  First of all, welcome Korprit, and thanks for taking the time to send this email.

Korprit writes —

I know your probably hella busy, but in the last few days I have become a fan of
siteflipu and would like to get your opinion/insight on something.

Basically I am trying to find the truth about traffic building and have found
two competing arguments about methodology.  Both are highly visible and

I wrote a post about it on my site and would REALLY
like to get your opinion.  Not asking for much (no link or anything like that,
though i would not say no heh), just your thoughts, even if it is an email
response with your insights and experience about how/why one side or the other
has got it wrong.

thanks for your time and for taking the time and effort to help out newbies
like me!!

I think that’s a phenomenal question, and pardon me for quoting most of your post, but I feel it’s the most effective way to generate an answer.  For those that are curious, you can view the original post - Traffic Building Opinions.  So let’s see what two sides of the fence we’re talking about…

Side 1 - Forum & Business Opinion

Many of the webmaster forums I read are frequented by online business owners, professional SEO consultants, etc. Every board has a traffic building forum and it is lined with: “don’t buy into the BS, you started a business and like every other business it takes time”.

What they are referring to is getting the word out and creating a customer base. That customer base can be either generic traffic (for CPC) or conversions.

Regardless of the intended usage for the traffic, it is widely believed and enforced, on these boards, that there is NO quick way to build traffic.

Side 2 - Guru/Underground

Then we have the ‘get rich quick’ or ‘build traffic overnight’ crowd. The belief here is that certain information is blatantly obvious and yet under utilized. That link whoring and/or massive link building can produce a HUGE effect extremely quickly. They believe and report that any site can be built up to satiating levels in a relatively short amount of time (weeks to months instead of years).

These gurus reportedly monetize the PROCESS and not the site. However, if it is possible to monetize the process, would it not also be true that the process is effective? Else there would be no product right?

Now that we know which sides are in question, we can effectively deliver an answer.  And the short answer is this… there is no short answer.

My opinion on the subject is kinda like my views on a lot of things, middle of the road.  I can see the benefits, and the drawbacks of both sides, but when used together, they can be quite effective.  When building traffic for my new sites, I take a mixture of the two approaches.  I have quick methods that deliver largely insignificant amounts of traffic, but in the process it builds some future readers, and then I have longer term methods such as relationship building, and seo that delivers more “targeted” future readers.   There is no right answer here.

Side one is correct, but flawed… as is side two.  For a talented marketer, traffic building doesn’t have to take years.  I can consistently get sites to 4-500 unique visitors daily, in under 30 days.  Most of that traffic would disappear should I stop promoting, but it’s there nonetheless.  Also, I don’t buy the argument from most of these guys that the only “significant” traffic is derived from search engines.  Google doesn’t send repeat visitors.  Google sends people looking for the answer to their questions, and if they come back later, consider yourself lucky.  However, no other traffic source sends repeat visitors either… that part’s up to you.

As flawed as side one is, the good part is that it’s SAFE.  Side two is flawed as well, but some advice from “guru’s” can quickly get you on the wrong side of your SEO campaign.  I’ve seen many guru’s preach things that worked temporarily, only to get discovered and subsequently banned from the sites they were targeting.  By now we’ve all heard of sites getting pagerank penalties, others getting de-indexed, the .info devaluation, and many more.  These were due to the “guru’s” giving out tips that make little to no sense for longterm success, but instead focused solely on the short term gain.  And it got them where?

So in short, my answer is this.  The best marketer uses bits from both sides of the argument, plus augments their own ideas into the plan that aren’t featured into either side of the debate.  Be creative, use your head, and don’t get too caught up in the “quick fix”.  More often than not, the slow but steady approach that we learned about as kids in “The Tortoise and the Hare” is the most solid, albeit boring approach to long term success.

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11 Comments For This Post

  1. theaffiliatepost Says:

    Dude…what happened to your site?


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    It needed an overhaul, so I designed a logo and header, switched themes and did some tweaking. Hopefully you guys like it.


    The Affiliate Post reply on July 29th, 2008:

    It’s growing on me! Was just a real shock to the system. Looks like you have been working hard on it though Bryan. Good Job, I know how you like to keep us on our toes.


  2. CoachKip Says:

    wow shocking site change, not just subtle but out loud and huge.

    Interesting conversation here, I am wondering how to get that 4-500 traffic at a sustained level. In other words it does seem easy to get some traffic in a short amount of time, I never really tried it so intensely before and it was work, but it was easy. The question is what about the good quality traffic. What about that traffic that converts into clicks and $$$$$?

    Or does it not matter in a site flipping sense. Is traffic at 4-500 people enough to show that the site is worthy of selling no matter the quality of the traffic?

    Traffic is king, but what counts and what doesn’t?


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    I think the thing that all of you need to get out of your head is the “quality traffic myth”. Speaking statistically, organic traffic is suppose to be “quality”, but did you know that according to stats it only monetizes 1-3% more than un-targeted traffic, and it takes MUCH more time to build a steady stream of it?

    Just to give you an example, my 2 best converting keywords on this site are keywords that I didn’t target. So it may be quality traffic since it’s organic, but it monetizes only slightly higher than the “junk” social bookmarking traffic that I get. Of course, this is the MMO niche, so there truly is no such thing as quality traffic, since the traffic you are targeting historically doesn’t buy anything.

    In the beginning stages (up to 18 months), just focus on building traffic in any way possible. You’d be amazed at the results that you get.


    JK swopes reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Great stuff Bryan! We always hear about this, but I know so many people that get good results from any traffic! Traffic is good, yes, targeted traffic is good to, but, I’ll never turn down random traffic, you get some long term readers/buyers that way as well.

    What is targeted traffic really? Even though we may target it by keywords, ppc ads and such, isn’t it still random? The only thing in my mind that qualifies as non random traffic is people who open their browser and type in your web address!

    And, those people were once random traffic as well, unless they are your buddies and you told them about your site!

    Am I crazy? Maybe I’m way off here.


  3. JK swopes Says:

    Cool stuff man! I agree with you on both points. It’s a matter of analyzing what works, and crafting it into your own plan. By the way…the site looks great


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Thanks JK. Always appreciated!


  4. Forest Says:

    Hey Bryan,

    I’m liking the design change.It’s extremely different and for a second I wondered where I was!

    As for traffic building I think list capturing is always the most important for long term revisits.


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Email lists are the KEY to long-term success with ANY site. You are right on the money Forest!


  5. zania Says:

    Wow! That was a shock when the page opened!
    I like it though

    As to your argument, I agree with your summing up. We use the pieces which work for us, we be creative - ‘think out of the box’, and if some of those pieces do not work, we ask ourselves why and move on, using the pieces which do work (if you see what I mean, lol!).

    I do think it depends very much on the market you are aiming for in which approach you use. If you simply want to make money via underground methods, then you can (although it always takes longer than some gurus tell you it will), but in doing so, you have to expect a possible de-indexing (sometimes on a large scale…). If it’s just the sales you are after in the short term (and you are happy to move on without remorse), then fair enough, but if you are thinking of flipping that short term site, then obviously it’s not such a great plan!

    On the other hand SAFE is good for long term. You won’t make real money overnight, or even for quite a while, but it’s safe…. if that’s all you want..


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Couldn’t agree more. And I love your post on One Man’s Goal Zania.


    zania reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Glad you liked the post on One Man’s Goal.
    Pity about the PR slap Marc received though. I hope he can pull himself back from that one. He’s got plenty of help and lots of belief in himself, but I just wonder how much more he can take.
    Fingers crossed though…


    Nick reply on July 28th, 2008:

    He’s never going to anything until he starts posting more. When I go to a site six days in a row and there is no new content, I lose interest real fast. I was the top commenter on that site for like 10 months running, now my name is nowhere to be found. The reason I say this is because it was habitual to type that address into my browser, it takes a lot to break that, the last time I went there was to see if his PR dropped. That should tell him something.

  6. korprit Says:

    thanks for the response

    i can see how its possible to get multiple hundreds of visitors/day through extensive marketing (posting, social bookmarks, ppc, etc.), but you touched on exactly why i am seeking the answer to this question. sustained traffic.

    as i mentioned in another comment, my goal here is to learn traffic building and so called ‘keyword sniping’ (though not the blackhat method). The thought of passive web sites bringing in passive income has me intrigued, and where there’s hundreds (if not thousands) of people posting BANS .info sites, virtually none of them do ANY seo whatsoever, let alone take the time to build ANY organic traffic.

    my thoughts are more toward building an automated site and focusing on building traffic toward it. since building traffic is the hard part (not building a site) it makes sense to try and clear the air, especially since flipping would only be a PART of the overall equation in equity building.

    thanks for the feedback


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    First of all, DO NOT set up a BANS site on a .info domain. All across the board .info domains with BANS on them are gettin de-indexed, or not indexed at all. Google is starting to realize that cheap .info’s are a spammers heaven.

    Second, don’t buy BANS. You can do the same thing, and have much more functionality with Wordpress, and the eBay affiliate program.

    And third… just build traffic. Don’t concern yourself with where it comes from for the time being. My advice, if you post 5 times a week, do one highly targeted keyword post out of the 5. It takes time to research, build links, etc. so don’t try it every day. If you can build one high quality post that’s going to get indexed a week, that’s 52 posts a year you’ll receive organic traffic from. Not counting the one’s you rank for on accident.


    korprit reply on July 28th, 2008:

    no worries, i don’t have a BANS site in the works that was an example of how i think many people miss the point that traffic is key and without it you are really missing the big picture.

    if you can build traffic, you can do anything your mind can dream up. Hence why my entire goal (even in a tough niche) is to learn how to do so. if i can turn around and sell my ‘experiment’ blogs in the process…all the better


    zania reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Just to add to that (and definitley agreeing - especially about BANS)

    If anyone already has some BANS info sites which have been de-indexed(or never indexed), the way to go seems to be to set up a blog on another domain and redirect the traffic to your BANS site.


  7. Nick Says:

    I’ll give anyone a hundred dollars that can actually show me they are making REAL money with a BANS site. In BANS terms, real money is like 10 bucks a month, but in my terms REAL money is at least 500 a month.


    zania reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Agreed… I guess (although I wouldn’t call 500 dollars a month real money…).

    The idea behind BANS was to build many sites and get a small income from each, rather than one or two BANS sites.
    Trouble is, it was always going to get found out, if only by the sudden sheer numbers of people promoting ebay stock this way.

    I couldn’t get involved, even if I had wanted to, as I cannot be an affiliate for eBay because of the country I come from.
    I just watched it with interest from the sidelines…


    Nick reply on July 28th, 2008:

    yea, i wouldn’t call 500 bucks a month real money either. not even close, but i was being generous for the bet, or challenge here.


  8. Missy Says:

    Nick: I do believe there are a few souls, who are making good with BANS. But as is the same with blogging, it is only a few souls. The rest are just scraping by.

    Bryan: I read somehwere that the best traffic for CPC is organic search. For backlinks and commets, it is social bookmarking traffic. For monetization it is organic search. For community is is your RSS readership.

    Each source provides the blogger with different things. If you’re focused on Adsense, then the Googlers is what you want to target.

    With private ads, just a boatload of traffic, or target readership.

    Ok i’m now totally rambling. Sorry.

    Forest: I really digg your email acquisition on Frugal Zeitgest. Good stuff.


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Right on the money Missy. I didn’t want to get into a posting mini-series, but you’ve summed it up quite nicely. This is why I recommend going after ANY and ALL traffic in the beginning. Just like JK says, some sticks.


  9. Missy Says:

    To be honest, im not crazy about this new look. I quite liked the greenish one. But im sure it will grow on me, as i dont come here for the design anyways.

    Good on ya, Bryan!


  10. Nick Says:

    I’ve talked to Brian, and like me he just kinda got sick of all the crap that goes into managing a magazine layout. It’s not a lot of work, but sometimes it just gets tired and all you want to do is focus on writing.


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    100% correct. I hate having to mess with resizing two different images, and messing with the custom section. I want to focus on getting an article out quickly when I want to do so. Magazine themes aren’t right for most blogs, and I don’t think it was right for this one at all… but I couldn’t find another theme that caught my eye.


  11. Forest Says:

    Cheers missy…. I did my first subscriber only thing today and it seems like it was appreciated as I got a few emails back.


    Bryan Clark reply on July 28th, 2008:

    Awesome job Forest. Glad to hear you are putting the plan in action. Hopefully it pans out to some great subscriber numbers.


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