By now we all know that in order to make money from a blog all we need is good content coupled with good traffic. It’s funny how these two simple things really aren’t that simple at all. In fact, we struggle with this every day. We struggle with providing good content and most really don’t have an idea on how to get traffic.
In John Chow’s monthly income report, he always emphasizes that to make money with blogging you need to have a good traffic. That is still the case today. Although it is entirely possible to make money with traffic that is not as big as with this blog, the general conclusion still, is you need good traffic.
This is where the need of marketing comes in. We have to get noticed so we have to market our blogs competently. That’s the only way to get a good amount of traffic. That being said, we as bloggers try different ways to market our blogs, some are unconventional, some are unique and most are obsolete ones. The problem with this is sometimes it brings more harm than traffic. This is what I call bad marketing.
What is Bad Marketing in Blogging?
Bad Marketing happens when you promote your blog for all the wrong and ugly reasons. Because of the nature of the internet, we sometimes tend to “pitch” our blog to a huge variety of people and as a result, not really all of the audience we’re marketing to are the ones targeted to our readership. And in fact, it’s more likely that you will just annoy these people rather than have them visit your site.
Bad marketing also occurs because of bad marketing practices. Sometimes we’re targeting the right people but the problem is we’re not doing it competently enough. Promoting and marketing your blog is more than just “hey here’s my blog, click the link and subscribe to my feed”. And up to now, a lot of people are still in this wrong mentality.
Ways to Kill Your Blog with Bad Marketing
1. Aggressive Link Spamming
This is one of the most common thing I see bloggers do ever since. What a blogger usually does is comment on blog post and then explicitly puts his link and asks people to visit the blog. Obviously that doesn’t make sense and makes more harm! Who wants to visit a website just because you are told? It also doesn’t work because first and foremost, comments are nofollowed and second bloggers are wise enough to understand whether a blog is worth paying a visit to.
This bad practice also occurs in forums and social media sites. I often see people who post to forums and then beg ask people to look at his/her blog. Remember forums and social sites are good and tight communities. You just once make a bad action there, they’re more likely gonna tune you out forever.
2. Wrong Targeting
One of my favourite forums is the wickedfire forum because of the affiliate marketing resource and help that I get there (I know most of you don’t like there). What happens a lot of times is that there is one new member each in every while that would post there promoting his blog or a certain ‘premium’ ebook. Of course knowing the nature of the forum, that guy would then start getting criticisms and rickroll which would open up heated arguments. Long story short, it’s the whole forum versus that one poor guy. The guy would later get banned.
The lesson is simple, know the audience. Know who your readers are, make sure you’re certain about the demographics. After all you don’t introduce sex to 10 year old kids right?
3. Mass Promotion
Before, mass promotion is a quick way to get good readership to a blog but now it has become obsolete.
Mass promotion is basically when you promote your site to a wide no.of audience without really offering anything unique. Think of it as writing a non-personalized email to VIP’s, which is its equivalent to blogging. The problem with this tactic is that people have gone tired with this. It’s just like any other thing they’ve seen before.
The best way to combat this is to actually write something useful first and then try to bait them to go to your site. Providing that you have superb content, people would start reading more and eventually subscribe.
4. Offering something not really present
I was into BlogCatalog the other day and I’ve seen an interesting discussion there about some guy who has a blog and offering people are free food coupon for a comment in his blog. Like many other fool bloggers, I was enticed and I went to the site. I commented and read some of the posts which are really good. Long story short, the guy revealed he really doesn’t have any coupons and just people to read his blog. I, myself obviously was disappointed.
Overdelivering is really an overused word nowadays. People don’t just get it. What you offer and the value behind it are two different things. Right now in my blog, Im offering a free info product about Blog Marketing but is it really valuable in terms of learning how to competently market your blog? That’s the same question that you need to ask to yourself.
5. Not Scaling, not tracking
Obviously marketing is about trying and testing, trial and error. There are good traffic tactics right now but at the end of the day, you’re still not sure its useful tomorrow.
Tracking just like in anything is crucial here because this will determine whether its still worth doing those marketing tactics or not anymore. You need to measure it and if its successful, then maybe tweak some more and test again. Not just in blogging but pretty much everywhere, tracking and testing are the two things that can either make you successful or broke.
A good reason why most bloggers really don’t get a lot of traffic is because they don’t market their blogs competitively. It’s amazing that the industry is so huge yet there’s a skew towards people who don’t really make any money from their blog because of lack of traffic. If you think you are marketing your site well but hardly making any progress then maybe it’s time for you to re-evaluate you marketing practices.