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A Blog Traffic Strategy: Quality vs Quantity

This guest post is by Marcello Arrambide of Wandering Trader.

When it comes to blogging, there are different mentalities around both the quantity of traffic and the quality of traffic. At different stages in a website’s development, we tend to focus on one or the other, but when we start a new blog, we primarily want to get traffic to it. Even if you are a famous celebrity, your new website isn’t going to get anywhere without some effort.

If you write quality content, eventually the traffic will come. Check out this great post from John Burnside to get a better understanding of site traffic in general.

I am a day trader that has forayed into travel blogging and I’ve been able to start generating $1,000 in revenue off my travel blog in six months. My approach has been to try to become an authority online before I start focusing on anything else. Without having a legitimate blog, trying to do anything else in your niche is pointless. So becoming a legitimate source of information online should be your first priority. This will enable to you attract organic Google searches more quickly—with or without focusing on SEO.

Why you should focus on quantity first

You want to give your site a jump-start. When you have a group of friends, you don’t let them drive your car, or come to your house right away. You want to see them a few times and have a conversation. Eventually, over time the new people gain your trust, and you become friends.

The Internet is very similar to a new friend joining a group. Google isn’t going to automatically start sending people your way if you just started writing about a topic. Who are you to Google? Similarly, President Obama did not run for President before he ran for senate. You don’t get a high-paying job unless you have extensive experience in the field or in school.

By focusing on quantity first, you can build an audience and spread the word that you’re an authority in your niche. Google will start to peek into your activity once you have an audience of some size. Once Google finds you, and is able to prove that you have an audience alongside quality content, your site will be able to grow traffic organically. Without any traffic, Google and other big online entities aren’t going to take you seriously. How do you expect to get the word out if no one is coming to your site?

How to focus on quantity

There are several different ways to build traffic to your site. The best way to immediately get new visitors is by focusing on StumbleUpon and Reddit. What these two sites do is provide a surge of new visitors to your site to provide you with exposure, and start legitimizing your site in the eyes of Google and Alexa.

However, the quality of the visitors that come from StumbleUpon and Reddit is absolutely atrocious. Bounce rates are over 80% and the page views are normally one or under. This means that out of all the people that come to your blog from StumbleUpon and Reddit, over 80% of the traffic immediately leaves once they see your site and look at a page. These numbers are derived from the stats of seven travel bloggers that I personally know, who have over 15,000 unique visitors on their sites.

Why would you want anyone to visit your site if they’re only going to look at an average of one page and leave? The answer is because that traffic really does count overall. I have personally tested traffic levels that correlate directly with surges in traffic from both sites. Once I get a surge in visitors, my keywords hits have immediately gone up, my Alexa score has dropped, and I have instantly gained hits on Google for that specific post.

The reason why you want to start with this technique is because by getting a surge in traffic, the major search sites, as well as your visitors, will see you as a legitimate blog much faster. Plus, what advertiser doesn’t like you to have more traffic? Not only will these sites provide you with short-term and long-term benefits, it’s also easy to get started on both sites, and it doesn’t take up much of your time. StumbleUpon will generally continue to send traffic to all your posts, while Reddit will usually give you a surge that stops after a few days.

Once you have a consistent flow of traffic, you can start focusing quality. With all those visitors coming to your site, thanks to your focus on traffic quantity, you might attract the eyes of someone important. You may get direct traffic the next day and possibly another surge from another person.

Focusing on quality

Once you have a consistent flow of traffic, you can then start to focus on the quality of traffic. If you have good content, over time, traffic quality will build on itself as you become an authority in your niche.

Speeding up the process is time-consuming, especially when you have to go out and find that quality traffic. Think of it this way: if you are looking for quality then you are going to have to provide quality. Engage with other people in your niche by thinking out of the box. If you are focusing on travel, for example, and you’re living in Buenos Aires, then consider searching for expat communities in Buenos Aires. My Argentina tourist attractions post didn’t get any traffic until I posted it in a forum. Now it’s sitting on the second page of Google for that term. I get random visitors to my blog all the time for people who have included links in forums related to travel and day trading.

In summary, once you have established your authority on the Internet with both companies like Google and Alexa, and visitors to your site, you can focus exclusively on traffic quality. It’s a love and hate relationship for me because I hate to receive such low-quality traffic to my blog, but in the end, it’s worth it, because it helps with Google rankings. Once you combine that with other factors like link-building, you can create a powerful three-punch combination of tactics to reach new heights with your blog.

What’s your traffic strategy? Share your experience in the comments.

Day Trading from 7 different countries Marcello Arrambide has begun to chronicle his travels around the world on his Wandering Trader Travel Blog. He has traveled to over 40 countries in his lifetime and is currently exploring South America. You can find out more about Marcello on his Facebook Page. or RSS Feed.

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Comments

  1. I am a big fans of quality traffic! You can spread the links as many as possible on forum, blog, etc…However, if the traffic is not come from targeted site, it is useless. Eventually we all like to have visitors turn into subscribers and then customers.

    So, I will just focus on driving targeted traffic :) Having quality content is essential to keep the visitors coming back and hopefully convert stray traffic into targeted traffic.

    Cheers,
    Ming

  2. Roblol says:

    I’m new to blogging and this was pretty helpful information. Right now I’m in the quantity phase. I’ve been promoting my websites in a bunch of high traffic forums. I’ve had a significant boost in page views because of it but I do see a high bounce rate.

    This is my first blog so I’m going to need to experiment and try to increase quality hits on the fly. I feel my content is pretty good, but the design of my blog is what really needs work. Thanks for the ideas though!

    • While you should be focusing on getting a slew of high quality posts on your blog ASAP, I’m going to have to disagree with one thing mentioned in this article:

      “If you write quality content, eventually the traffic will come.”

      I don’t believe this to always be so, not without some proactive steps to promote your site.

      If you don’t go out of your way to get the first few visitors, than who will come and share/link back to your site? I think that it is up to you to get the ball rolling, then this sentence holds true.

    • Very True Gregory! Good luck with your new blog if you focus on quantity first you can certainly get the word out there first! Cheers

  3. Darrell says:

    I have been working through this recently — I can spike the number of veiwers pretty easily, but that is not creating the long lasting readership that I desire. I am finding that a balance between quality and quantity is working for me.

  4. Will says:

    Great post. We aggressivley hit both sides to keep an influx of new vistors and build a loyal fan base. Lots of work, but it is rewarding to watch our community grow.

  5. Mushfique says:

    This is one of the most important factor to make your blog a successful one. Without quality content no quality traffic !

  6. In the last few weeks since I’ve been using Stumbleupon, my numbers have been slowly and steadily going up. As you mentioned, Rediit gave a large but fleeting spike. I hadn’t thought that spike of low quality traffic was good but after reading your post I’ll have to rethink it.

    • I think you may be heading in the right direction Ann.. get lots of people to your blog and focus on quality traffic.. good luck!

  7. Daniel White says:

    Focusing too much on one side can severely cripple the other, so mixing a little quality with quantity can lead to wonders being made. It also really depends on what kind of blog you are running, a magazine news-style type blog will usually see quantity, while a more informational niche can see more quality.

  8. Jack says:

    I agree.

    From my experience quantity is wants needed to get the wheels spinning. Once you have a steady influx of traffic then spending time on building solid relations with your readers and other bloggers are key!

    • You could focus on both Jack in my experience I have had better results focusing on quantity first.. even if its just in the very beginning. Say the first week or two first.

  9. Henrik Falk says:

    Do you simply submit your blog posts to Stumble and Reddit?
    My experience is that submissions of your own blog posts to Reddit usually aren’t well received.

    • It depends on how you post them Henrik. Stumble has more to do with who stumbles your content while Reddit had more to do with the category that you post it too. If you have post that is out of this world then you will get a surge from either. For the most part traffic from those two sites are low quality unless you have the very rare post that is sensational

  10. This is a good piece of advice. I have been contemplating on whether to compromise quantity for quality or vice versa. Am at the moment focusing more on quality content to enable me drive quality traffic to my site. I’ll take your advice on some of the quantity ideas you’ve detailed in your article to help me increase my online presence. Thanks very much!

  11. Tom says:

    I have to completely agree with you. Focus on quality over quantity.

  12. D. Heath says:

    Quantity traffic is great for getting a new site indexed by Google. Quality traffic is great for becoming a destination site. Thanks for reminding me about Reddit!

  13. Hi Marcello,

    Interesting strategy.

    I focus on quality and quantity. Put our great content but also aim for volume, for traffic. You can have both is you concentrate on providing valuable content and spread the word by sharing other people’s content, leveraging your presence.

    Thanks for sharing.

    RB

  14. Melvin says:

    I’ve been blogging for about 2 months now – which is still pretty recent. I’ve been working out on quantity for the moment and tried posting some of my links to related forums. So far there are a few hits and new visitors came from here and there.

    I totally believe that you have to focus on quantity first but please don’t forget that if a new visitor saw your blog post which you mainly focus on quantity and severely dropped the quality, that might sacrifice the chance of getting a loyal readership. The more posts you have the more links where they can find you. But be ready when the reader clicks on your link. You should be able to meet what they really needed.

    Great article and I’ve learn some new points from here. Thanks for sharing this Marcello.

    • Your welcome Melvin! Im not trying to say to not focus on quality at all.. if you put out content that has no value then you will never get any readership. Focus on quantity first but also make sure to put out quality content

  15. For me, quality always comes first because if you want to build a community of people around the ideas on your site, you’d better focus on quality. But it’s a personal choice and style.

    • Hey Richard… you should always write quality content but in the beginning you should focus on getting more people to your blog rather than getting quality readership. You will find that you will get a nice jump. By focusing on quantity you will find that you will start to build a nice following. It doesn’t mean you should put out content that has no value though.. you should always put out content that has high value

  16. JC says:

    I read recently that stumble upon will block or stop your url if you keep submitting from the same domain name?

    • Hey JC, stumble will only block you if you stumble your site over and over again. If you do it randomly you will be okay.. also try to focus on stumbling different sites over time

  17. my blog has already amassed close to 5,000 RSS Subscribers in JUST A YEAR

    interesting points in this post – in my experience focusing strictly on quality and seo have allowed me to take advantage of both quality and quantity of traffic.

    quality – good on page material keeps readers engaged, coming back and spreading the word for me

    quantity – focus on SEO while crafting each content piece gives it the best chance to attract free, organic search traffic over time

  18. Edmund Peh says:

    Totally agree with you on focusing on quality and then traffic will come. My site is only 4 months old but I am already getting good rankings for some of the pages. The visitors know what is quality content when they found it.

  19. Mikko says:

    Google does not care how many visitors you get thru the links as any SEO consultant would tell you.

    • Actually Mikko… with my testing I have found that when I get stumble and reddit traffic surges.. they directly coincide with more keywords being hit on Google. It actually does matter in my opinion.

  20. Mike says:

    Great artcle, I am most definitely in the quantity stage at the moment and thank fully my blog is based around one key word so ranking will on that one only will hopefully bring me the desired results, although i will most definitely be adding more quality content to show more authority.

  21. Vijay Sharma says:

    Interesting points you have mentioned. I love the analogy you have given of a new friend in the group that makes things so easy to understand. Thanks a ton.!!!

  22. I always put this to heart whenever I make blog posts. People want more quality instead of quantity. That’s why I’m really thankful that there are several who find this as a great way to blog.

    - Jack Leak

  23. Bintang says:

    I used Stumble and Reddit once.
    But it bring no traffict to my blog.

    Because of my blog is not in english?

  24. Great article, Marcello. Another way to drive targeted traffic is through LinkedIn. If you’re a business blogger, feeding your posts to Twitter and then auto-posting your tweets to LinkedIn results in some pretty good traffic. And, if you’re growing your LinkedIn account by connecting with people that you’d actually want to chat with in real life, then you should be able to garner some nice loyalty.

  25. Joseph says:

    Like most writers, traffic is very important to me. But my primary focus is on sustained traffic i.e. quality traffic. I’ve found that stumbleupon works better when I submit my articles to a hub website within my niche than if that same article appears on my own website. There are times when the article gets hundreds of stumbles in a matter of hours but the same article doesn’t necessarily get stumbled on my own website. Stumbleupon seems to work better for me if the stumbles come from other sources.

    Still, quality article is the type which brings people back again and again; this is the type of traffic which allows websites and blogs to go the distance.

  26. Wow, this is great! thanks, I haven’t made a profile on reddit yet but going to do so right now…