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Are You a Traffic Hound or Blog Authority?

Articles about blogging tipsAccording to Chris Garrett:

With a made-for-adsense blog the goal is to get a torrent of traffic with the majority of visitors leaving right away via your highest paying adsense ads. At the other end of the continuum is a pure authority blog, for example Seth Godin, where the goal is to build up a loyal following who are motivated to buy books and hear him speak. Fast-food stand versus four-course banquet. One wants as many people as possible to leave quickly, the other wants a more concentrated and targeted group to stick around.

A traffic hound, clickthrough advertising blog is only interested in traffic, not the source or type of traffic. It’s all about the numbers and doing everything it takes to make those clicks happen.

An authority blog is about building connections with that traffic. In today’s blogging jargon, it’s about the relationships. You want return customers coming back for more and telling their friends about what you have to offer. You want to build a reputation and become the source for the right information for the right people in the right industry.

Garrett mentions that most who have tried any “get rich quick” scheme, online or offline, don’t find much personal satisfaction in the process. Blog for the relationships and there is tremendous satisfaction and peaceful nights of sleep when you know you’ve made a difference in the lives of others.

What is your blog’s business plan? Is it about the traffic? The advertising? Getting the flow of money coming in the door no matter what you have to do with your blog to get it?

Or is it honestly about making connections with your readers? Helping them to understand themselves and their work better. Sharing lessons with them and from them with your readers. Becoming the helpful expert in your industry.

The answer to these questions might seem simple. Sure, you want to be the blogger on the white horse wearing the white suit and hat, riding in to save the day with your blog. But look at your blog. Look at your blog content. Are you wearing a little grey or black today? Or maybe you are wearing red and purple, the colors of the seductress, luring people in for reasons that have little to do with altruism?

Are you a traffic hound or a blog authority? Does it show? How?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.
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6 Comments

  1. Posted June 13, 2007 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    While getting on Digg, or Slashdot, or Reddit can lead to a huge one-time traffic boost, my experiences have been that those traffic boosts usually fade away and don’t result in many long-term subscribers.

    If you shoot to become an authority, write good content, and give your readers reasons to visit on a recurring basis, blog traffic will be a natural byproduct.

  2. Posted June 13, 2007 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    You make it sound black and white, when it’s really not. What about people that do care about the relationships, but also want to have a few ads/paid reviews here and there? I personally would love to have connections to my readers on the level of Seth Godin, or Steve Pavlina, but I do want to try other things to make dough.

    But as I’ve said on my blog countless times, I promise not to flood my blog with ads, and if I go too far, someone needs to tell me. I’d do the same for others.

  3. Posted June 13, 2007 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The most important statistics to me are the average length of the visit, average visits per visitor and how many comments are being left. Those metrics let me know that I’m writing useful and/or interesting content that keep people coming back for more.

  4. Posted June 15, 2007 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Can’t I be both? I want to be all things to all people. :D

  5. Posted November 20, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Is there an inbetween place. What about a blog that has some adsense and great content, but is not centered around adsense or trying to be and authority. Weren’t blogs originally for writing your own views and providing information that was useful. Sure everone would love to make money but giving quality content and great information I think is better. I love your blog posts / matthew faulkner

  6. Mazri
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Of coz site or blog without traffic is useless. Do not create blog for the first place if no traffic come.


3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] answer Lorelle’s question. I am neither and I am [...]

  2. [...] could best present a good first impression, as further reinforced by a response to the entry by VanFossen. In her response, Lorelle affirms that those blogs that seek to only gain traffic and click ads [...]

  3. […] Are You a Traffic Hound or Blog Authority? […]

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