I am going to tell you some secrets in this article. Perhaps they are known by those of us who have had blogs for a while but may be new to new bloggers.
I have been writing articles for my blog for about 4 months now and have gotten about 1350 visitors in the past month based upon Google Analytics. When I analyzed the sources of traffic, here is what I found:
Referred traffic is non-search traffic coming from other web sites. Of the referred traffic, probably half is paid clicks from StumbleUpon or Google. I pay about a nickel a click from both sites so I don’t spend a whole lot of money. In fact, I now have Google Adwords set to 25 cents per day. I think StumbleUpon is about the same.
The other half of this traffic comes from posting comments in other blogs, click throughs from feedburner (my rss feed), and links people give me from their websites out of the goodness of their own heart. I probably get about 15 to 20 clicks per day from my twitter account also; I am not sure where these are accounted for, they may be in Other.
Direct traffic is when people enter your website name in their browser. However, I cheat a bit. I own about 100 web site names and get about 10 to 15 clicks on average per day from them. That only accounts for half of the direct traffic though. The other half is returning visitors and referrals from past visitors I believe.
My search traffic is actually a bit misleading because the vast majority of searches that found my site in the past month are looking for my name, a specific article title, the web site name, or something else that looks specifically like the visitor is trying to find the site. I do get a few new visitors a day from organic searches of non-specific search terms and hopefully they also become regular readers.
It’s hard to tell what other traffic is in Google Analytics because it doesn’t really break it out for you to show you where other traffic comes from. I was thinking it might be my twitter traffic from when I post an article or other referrals that it can’t classify.
Unlike what you might believe, generic, organic searches are only a very small part of my overall traffic; but the volume is growing quickly. More important than getting on the search engines is giving your visitors something worthwhile to find. Good content brings people back along with their friends.
I did buy some of my traffic but really I spend very little, maybe $100 per month total. This is just my impatience because ultimately it will mean nothing. The relationship I build with you, my reader, will mean the most. Where do you get most of your traffic?