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How To Build Traffic Without Marketing

By Yaro Starak
32 Comments

There’s something I’ve come to realize about most of my fellow bloggers – you guys and girls are not great at marketing.

Don’t take offense, marketing is not something that comes naturally and most people enter the blogging world as writers or hobbyists, not business people.

Some look at marketing as advertising and their current perception of advertising is akin to lying. With that attitude in place, no self respecting blogger wants to learn how to lie in order to promote their blog. This may be an inaccurate assumption about marketing, but let’s face facts, most people don’t know what marketing is and their world view of the advertising industry is framed on their experience with television commercials, magazine advertisements and billboards.

Some might say I’m a good marketer, but I want to be honest with you – if I had a choice, I’d rather sit down and just write to my blog and not worry about how I’m going to “get my message out there”. I’m lucky because I have some momentum here at Entrepreneurs-Journey.com, so in a lot of ways I can just publish content and my traffic will grow, but chances are for you, if you build it, readers won’t just show up and read your blog because it’s there.

…or will they?

The Long Road To Blog Traffic

The Long Road To Blog Traffic

You’ve possibly read the varying arguments about targeting the Long Tail for traffic as a blogger. Some argue that you can’t leverage the long tail for traffic in the same way that a business like Amazon does for profit selling goods.

This is true, in some respects. Amazon, iTunes and companies and services like them, have massive scale and can reach the entire long tail of a product catalog and thus truly leverage the full breadth of the tail.

Bloggers cannot realistically do this since it would mean writing content to hit every single topic and keyword phrase in a niche – effectively millions of articles.

Any blogger who has managed to stick to writing regular content for at least three months – and it really kicks in after about six to eight months – knows about the gift you receive from Google. If you check your traffic statistics regularly, the traffic coming from Google and in lessor respects from the other search engines, will increase if you stick to regular content production long enough.

Thanks to search engines, bloggers who specialize in writing voluminous amounts of content but with poor marketing skills or a lack of motivation to do much more than put creative thought out on their blog, can still succeed – it’s just a bit slower this way.

One Visitor At A Time

Blogs are great for attracting search traffic. We know this. Any person who has looked into the world of search engine optimization and dug a little deeper will understand that blogs are not a “magic button” for search engines, yet even bloggers who spend little time building links (again, they don’t want to market their blog), still manage to attract readers from Google.

How can this be? Why do blogs organically attract traffic from search engines so easily?

At the heart of the justification is the ease of publication of content. Before blogs, people who were prolific content producers faced technical challenges distributing their work online using clunky content management systems or plain old HTML. Today, with WordPress installed our budding writer can publish content at will and thus, Google rewards them.

Even if you are not great at building links, you don’t “get” social marketing and no A-list blogger has ever linked to you, it’s still possible to create a traffic asset based on your ability to write.

So how can you build traffic without marketing? By attracting one visitor at a time…

Let me first state a fact – this is not the quick way to build traffic, but it does work, and for those of you who enjoy writing but not marketing, this is your salvation.

The key is to focus on producing content – and lots of it. Quality helps, as does working your keywords to target the right phases, but even if you don’t know your keywords from your house keys and your writing quality is closer to the back of the cereal box, provided you put original thought out on your blog and do so VERY regularly, you can build traffic.

The reason why this works is sort of like the long tail, but not nearly as comprehensive. Look at each article you produce as a hook to bring in just one visitor per day.

Google Loves Content

If you publish a blog and the Google search bot finds it (submitting a sitemap should do it) and it indexes your content and comes back again tomorrow to find more content, the bots will continue to return to your blog day after day.

Search bots monitor websites to see how often they update. If you publish new content daily or even multiple times a day, the bot will learn to expect this from you and return daily to index your words. The result is very quick indexing of your articles, usually within 24 hours or less.

That of course does not guarantee a first page position for popular search terms, but it does mean your content is in Google. To gain top rankings for popular search terms you need incoming links from authority sites, this is SEO 101 stuff (see The Top 8 Search Engine Optimization Techniques) and for this to happen you need to market your blog, and well – that’s not what this article is about.

However, with your content in Google that means your articles will rank for something. You will even get first page results but they will be very very specific keyword phrases that only a handful of people search for (i.e. not popular phrases). To put it simply, Google won’t send you hundreds of visitors to just the one article, but you might get one or two visitors coming through from very targeted or very random searches.

If every article you produce brings in one search visitor, if you publish 1,000 articles you should have 1,000 new visitors coming to your site per day right? Well not quite, it’s never as linear as that, but the principle is there – if you rank for thousands of unpopular phrases the trickles of traffic can add up to a river.

The nature of search is very complex and very random. What people search for changes constantly so you can’t expect a consistent or predictable outcome, but, if you have enough content out there then simply because of the breadth of your blog you can bring in consistent traffic.

Consider The Competition

Competition in your industry plays a big part. If you publish 1,000 articles but so do another 1,000 bloggers, then it is harder to capture the traffic.

Google has access to whatever exists on websites. If your industry is made up of a lot of prolific content publishers then it’s harder to compete – Google has a lot of options in terms of where to send traffic to. However, for a lot niches, there just isn’t a prolific blogger or content producer, or at least not many.

Consider your own industry – how many bloggers do you know of that have published more than 500 articles? It’s just not common, most people don’t have the commitment or the ability to write frequently for a long time.

On the flipside, you also need to consider the overall audience size. For this to work there has to be people conducting searches. There’s no point publishing 1,000 articles if there are only 100 people who actually care about the topic.

The Writers Way

In general, as long as you have picked a topic area with a reasonable following, content will attract traffic regardless of how good a marketer you are. Just remember this is a path for those who love to write and have ample patience. It might take months or even years, but if you put enough content of at least some value to a few people, Google can handle the rest.

If you are in a hurry and words like “leverage” and “exponential growth” are more your style, marketing is the only way to get you there. The best combine both worlds, ample content and clever marketing, but it’s nice to know you can still be “just a writer” and succeed…for now.

Bear in mind it will get harder and harder to work the volume model over time because of all the other people publishing, creating competition for search traffic. In the end, if you do want true long term stability and market dominance, authority through content production and marketing is the only path.

Today, in our blogosphere, opportunities abound for those who are intelligent, experienced and knowledgeable, and prepared to translate those qualities into content for others. If you put in the hard work now, you can be sitting pretty in a few years enjoying the lionshare of traffic and sitting in a position that is difficult for others to supplant.

Yaro Starak
Writing

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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32 Comments

  • Much food for thought there Yaro. I believe that with simple SEO techniques set up then blogs are an incredibly valuable marketing tool for a business. I know someone who ranked #1 for their keyword about 30 minutes after they published their post. That’s an extreme example and relied heavily on being a niche that didn’t have many natural search results for the keyword phrase but I’m sure it has be expanded upon by others, especially in areas where Adwords are incredibly expensive. Coming near the top of natural search and great blog content go hand in hand.

  • My hope is that google or the blogosphere in the next few years will be able to deal with quality. At the moment it only deals with quantity.

    In this way I hope those who are content to keep writing quality content will always be able to make it without marketing.

    There is a market opportunity for blog agents I think.

  • Trying to produce and market a non-internet-marketing blog is a good experience. On an internet marketing blog you will get lots of attention just by saying “How I make $2000 a day”. A blog on a general subject it is just not as easy.

  • Make sense to try. Thanks for your idea.

  • Organic search is indeed awesome but difficult to build. This also plays to the idea of having a topic targeted blog. If you have a general blog that covers a wide breadth of topics gathering organic search traffic is a slow process.

  • Great post, Yaro.

    One thing I talk about over and over again is the importance of good content that adds value to the reader’s life. Good content, in volume, combined with good marketing, would seem to be the most stable way to blogging success.

  • Jon

    On the other hand, Could writing 1000 articles for 100 people who are all very interested in purchasing high end items be worth it if the margin is high enough?

  • Nice post, and something I agree with.

    Sometimes you have to put the writer’s cap on to product good content, then the marketer’s cap to promote blog, then email markter’s cap to send emails to lists etc…

    Nice to know that being “just a writer” cna produce some desired results.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  • This is a lesson that I learned from an ecommerce site I ran for the first time, to tell you the truth. I realized if you put a certain amount of products up each day, soon you would have thousands of products each getting search engine hits.
    It would nice to one day just write though. That’s my eventual goal.

  • I agree with Evan, it would be great if the search engines could measure quality. But even as a human how would you go about measuring that? Robert Pirsig of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” went literally crazy trying to determine what quality was. I’d rather just write, thank you very much.

    I like this article because it made people see that ranking in the search engines is accessible to everyone, not just the techies.

  • This post is featured in today’s Daily Blog Summary along with other top posts from the top 50 Make Money Blogging sites. Good job!

  • As both a writer and reader I most definitely agree that providing good quality content is the way to go. The more good quality content your blog amasses over time the more love Goggle will give you.

    I’m not holding my breath for Google to be able to start measuring quality, as I don’t see that happening effectively at least not any time soon, but our readers are the best content quality judges. If they don’t like the content they will not come back.

  • Good take on writing for your audience.

    In one of my blogs, I used to write 3 blog posts a day, commenting on articles I found on the Net. Last week, I decided to post 1 blog post every other day but with more insights and tips in it, and the traffic goes up!

    Content rules!

  • Great food for thought! It’s amazing the long tail keywords that bring me traffic today – they have very little to do with my blog in the first place yet everyday there are about 10 readers per obscure term.

    Though no doubt marketing is the way to go, not only because of speed but because of targeting, after all, some say that 90% of marketing is simply choosing the market that you want to speak to.

  • The multiple-word key phrases build up over time. Trouble is it is slow slogging–especially when you have an odd-ball niche like mine, “Con Man’s Blog.”

    Interesting tips here. Worth pondering.

  • I prefer to let my blog run its course but that could be because I am poor in marketing.

  • [...] 5. How To Build Traffic Without Marketing [...]

  • “advertising and their current perception of advertising is akin to lying”

    I think that is very true, however, I think that a lot of internet marketers now use blogs… and they have absolutely no problem lying.

    As for taking advantage of traffic / using it to sell, take a look at my “blog”… it runs in wordpress but has a few bespoke additions ;-)

    Now I just need some better quality content to go with it…

    Regards, Jez

  • Hi Yaro – I must admit, it took me a long time to get much Google traffic. But, you’re right – the more you post, the more keyphrases you get ranked for.

    And I like the way you explain that the more you write – the less competition there is. I wish I’d read this a few weeks ago though. I got rid of some of my worst posts – so I only have 319. Still a long way to go before I hit a thousand, but I’ll get there.

  • [...] How to Build Traffic Without Marketing (Entrepreneur’s Journey) – Is it possible to build your blog traffic without active marketing? Yaro Starak says yes, and his article describes how search engine traffic, like that from Google, can be attracted with a healthy supply of blog content. [...]

  • What I find interesting is that depending on the day of the week, I’ll lean more toward one or the other.

    Some days it’s a focus on marketing, while others I just want to write. This latter is especially compelling when those long tail phrases quickly end up on the front page of Google.

  • This is true… many bloggers aren’t able to market as well as they want… but the fact that blogging platforms allow them to update content so easily gives them a great advantage over many other websites!

    Good post!

  • Hi!

    Content of an article matters, writers or bloggers are writing or blogging not because they have to, but the main reason would because they something to publish relevant, if not notable, articles for public welfare.

  • With a blog it is so easy to keep updating frequently with new content and what tells google how much of an authority a site is like a site that is constantly updating every day or two? Great post. Thanks for the share!

  • I agree with you Yaro, Thanks anyway for the traffic niche, but i have a poor english grammar that most of blogger natural language? So, can you suggested to me how build a traffic on my poor english grammar and My natural Language? Indonesian?

  • Del

    Yeah, content matters and one must enjoy writing and sharing, because it will be a long haul.

  • Thanks for the post

    Just to throw a spanner in the works publishing as a writer can actually gain more momentum from their ‘hobby’ projects than from their ‘marketing’ projects

    I built a business website and did all the traffic generation stuff ie SEO, PPC, article marketing

    And in my down time I decided to build a website on one of my favorite hobbies. No SEO at least not overt, not article marketing and before you know it my ‘hobby’ site was getting 10 times the traffic the other was getting.

    So what did i do?

    Duh, I monetized the ‘hobby’ site of course

    Just goes to show, writing great content out of a love for it, ie the writer, can actually be very effective

  • As always Yaro, you’re advice is informative and sound. With the challenges of SEO evolve, it’s important that long term strategies do pay off. Kudos on the post.

  • If only the content production course wasn’t such a long and slow path to success.. :)
    oh well, I guess putting in the extra effort yields enough rewards to be worth it.

  • Yaro is a great motivator. He gives hope who dont do well and those who does well. great job

  • Marketing is important for bringing in traffic. At least a comment or promoting in forum have to be consistently carried out with content building. To beat the competition you have to put your blog higher- where it is most visible.

    http://mylifepages.blogspot.com

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