Why Targeting Other Bloggers Is A Losing Strategy In The Long Run

There is something I’ve noticed with people who launch blogs. They usually end up in various blogging networks (Entrecard or BlogCatalog), following blogs about blogging (Problogger) and Make Money Online sites, and end up spending most of their time trying to attract traffic from other bloggers.

I’m here to tell you it is a losing strategy.

Bloggers are one on the worst groups you can spend time trying to attract, yet it is the one group which new bloggers spend most of their time trying to attract. The reason is they seem to be the low hanging fruit. When you have zero traffic, you can go to one of the blogging network sites like MyBlogLog and suddenly get lots of “friends” with little effort. Likewise, sites like Entrecard can bring you hundreds of visits per day and all you have to do is click on hundreds of pages per day.

The thing is, all those other bloggers are just like you. They only care about jacking up their own traffic. For the most part, the traffic you get from them isn’t real. It only exists so far as you are willing to perform the charade for them. Moreover, the size of the group you can target is only so big.

I laugh when people on many of the blogging boards talk dreamily about A-List bloggers like Jeremy Shoemaker or Daren Rowe. I have nothing against these guys personally, but walk down the street and find out how many people have ever heard of them. The answer is zero.

Bloggers target other bloggers because they are easy traffic, not because they are good traffic. They are online, accessible, and desperate for traffic just as much as you are. Like eating raw sugar, you can get a quick traffic rush, but in the long run, they are just empty calories. (and I should note, I put myself in this category. I do follow about 100 blogs, but most of them I discovered on my own and are subjects that interest me. I don’t follow them just because they follow me.)

The real audience you want to target are the average internet users who are interested in your subject area. They will most likely be using Yahoo, AOL, or MSN as a portal, and they are much, much harder to attract than bloggers. They may not know how to use RSS. There are, however, millions and millions of them. They are the protein, the real meat of what you can develop a following from.

This is why you see so many MMO and BAB sites. They are just going for the low hanging fruit and copying what they see others doing.

There are no easy tricks to attracting that big pool of average users. The fact that they aren’t as internet savvy means you have your work cut out for you. I’d suggest going directly to forums on major sites, and avoid the blogging networks.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.

6 replies on “Why Targeting Other Bloggers Is A Losing Strategy In The Long Run”

This is a pretty decent post. You make a great point, though, I would have liked to see more concrete solutions to the problem of building traffic.

I agree that following and commenting on hundreds of blogs is no way to gain readership, but I think completely discounting them is a mistake as well.

The best strategy, if you have the diligence to pursue it, is to write blog posts for forums/social bookmarking sites (web 2.0 versions of forums) that you can continually link back to in your forum posts … and …

follow blogs with the same amount of authority as you. They’ll be much more likely to drop you a blog roll link (which is really what you’re aiming for).

That’s my two sense

but, getting some link juice is worth it in the early days, no?

I agree with @Mike Bradbury — give us the goods on how to build traffic 😉

I wouldn’t really call building traffic a problem. It’s easy to build traffic, but since it’s a cumulative process (and everyone wants everything now it), you get a lot of low quality blogs & comments like gary said.

But commenting & following blogs related to your own will help expand your readership, your own content and the direction your blog heads toward.

Very informative and useful post and I had to leave a comment. I am an absolute newbie in blogging but after doing it for a couple of months I have realized what is the thing that the most of the bloggers are suffering from – it’s all about the readers, and I guess only way to develop that is by building traffic to your blog. Now there is so many ways to do it, I wonder which one is the best? Cheers.

Great posting, and great analogy. It’s refreshing to hear some unique thoughts about the matter. Forums are definitely a great way to go. Since I haven’t come out of the mythical google sandbox yet, most of my traffic is direct links from useful forum posts, and also helping out on the tripadvisor forums. The trick is not to sound like you are spamming the forums, but to actually provide useful info that makes people want to visit your site to see what else you have to offer. The result has been great, my average visitor time according to google analytics is about 4 minutes. That’s pretty good in my opinion.

I’m finding it takes a lot of work to make a blog monetarily worth it. There is no easy solution. In the end it’s always the fruit that’s way high up in the tree that is the ripest. Ya gotta be willing to climb.

I’m glad I found your site, you’ve got some great insights. Thanks a lot!

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