The Luxury Resort Type of Blog
Ever since I have banned Google search on my blog I rely solely on direct, social media and other referral traffic. Oh, well, there is some search traffic from the likes of Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and Blekko but it’s negligible. The majority of people worldwide are still hooked to Google.
At the end of the day my traffic diminished significantly. I was worried about that at first, after all it looks bad for an SEO to have as low traffic as this. Then I stopped caring, especially as the search traffic I got before I gave up trying to make Google happy was awful, mostly offtopic and parasitical (to steal images or to find blog comments to spam). As some of you know
I prefer visitors instead of traffic. I don’t want masses of people I can’t even recognize. I’d like to welcome each and every one of you personally.
I tested some customer service chat software already. I haven’t found a perfect tool yet though. So recently while perusing my analytics data looking up what particular visitors look at and read I dawned on me that it’s not bad to have less traffic. It’s actually better.
Now you probably think I’m either insane or I try to hide my failure by attempting to convince it’s not a failure at all. Well, let me tell you why I think so before you judge me.
Traffic Costs Money
I will start with the obvious things: cost.
Yes, each and every visitor costs you money.
Luckily most hosting packages these days can cope with blog traffic like mine. So I don’t have to pay more just to be able to cope with the high number of people wanting to reach my site. That can happen quickly though for blogs dealing with less niche-oriented audiences. Even I could write something for a large audience to get thousands of people to read it.
I don’t usually write for huge crowds recently. There are other costs though. I have written lately about webfonts. Most free webfonts are low quality and bad for readability. Quality webfonts cost money. They are paid usually depending on how large the traffic to your site is. So the more useless traffic you get the more you need to pay for your webfonts.
It’s not only webfonts that are paid depending on traffic numbers. Free but super-complex Google Analytics that can be accessed by Google employees and will count some referrers dozens of times is not enough for some of you. You may want to use a paid analytics tools to measure your site’s success. Then again you will notice that many tools have plans that depend on traffic numbers. The more people see your site the more you pay.
Inviting Google traffic like paying for people who steal from your store or take a leak against your building.
The sheer cost of paying for traffic that is just polluting your blog with comment spam or stealing your images is not the main point why large traffic is not the ideal goal for a blog like mine. Imagine this in real life. What would your blog look like as a travel destination? Would it be a high rise building on a crowded beach or would it be a luxury resort in a quiet place? Would you like to travel to a place full of litter, exhausts, billboards and concrete? Or would you prefer an exclusive hotel surrounded by green and lots of empty space to roam free?
Reducing clutter and distraction also works to get more conversions. As reading a blog doesn’t usually cost money everybody can potentially do it. Without Google only a selected few will do though. Most people are either regulars or come via a recommendation aka share or link.
I’ve recently read a book called How to Lose Friends and Alienate People after watching the movie of the same name a few times. It’s a hilarious satirical comedy about a British underground publisher joining a glossy magazine in New York City. In the book the importance of being on guest lists is perhaps the most important issue.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Sidney Young, the British journalist does not get invited to the important parties. Much of the book covers anecdotes of him trying to get in. The main reason he wants in is beacuse it’s so difficult. The party organizers are very keen on limiting the number of guests. They want only the VIPs inside. My blog is similar to this in a way. You only get in when you know about it.
To me, not having hundreds or thousands of visitors like I used to but often just dozens is an eye-opening experience.
I only get people who really matter to visit me. Almost everybody who enters SEO 2.0 either knows me and the blog already or knows someone else who does. Even the search visitors are not the mainstream type of people. These web-savvy individuals are smart enough to use a modem Google alternative like DuckDuckGo or even Yandex.
Personally I make money by blogging and consulting. So I need only a few quality clients. It’s easier to find these by having only a limited number of visitors than having to deal with an amorphous mass of traffic that drives by my door so that I can’t hear what my prospects say. B2B blogging is not about huge traffic, it’s about getting the few people who matter to visit you.
Your blog is like your virtual office where you can welcome just a few people per day. You don’t have to friends with everybody. You don’t need thousands of people to like you. A luxury resort can thrive with just a few clients too.
* Creative Commons image by Bart Speelman