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.