Steve Rubel is right: It’s Not About the Traffic

March 1, 2006

I called out Steve the other week about being wrong about RSS (and a whole pile of people disagreed with me…) but I’ve got to balance the ledger, so I’ve found something that I couldn’t agree with more: It’s Not About the Traffic.

Writes Steve:

See, anytime a blogger thinks blogging is just about getting more traffic then I really question why they’re in it. I lose my trust in them because I think they’re baiting me (which in this case, Copyblogger did). What’s more, I certainly don’t see any need to establish a closer bond by opting into their feed.

My suggestion is that if you’re blogging solely for building Web traffic and Google Juice, go build a Web site and advertise it on Google instead. Blogs are about being part of a community. Join it, add value to it, but don’t focus on the traffic.

It goes back to sayings such as all good things come to those who wait. There was another saying as well, along the lines of your return is only as good as the work you put in. The work you put in, in blogging terms anyway, includes being part of the community as well. Too many people these days focus on traffic and ignore the other fundamentals of blogging, sure, sometimes you do get a lot of traffic this way, but it’s nothing that will set you up in the longer term.

9 responses to Steve Rubel is right: It’s Not About the Traffic

  1. So Duncan, tell me… Have I ignored the fundamentals of blogging so far? I just need to know, because this whole Rubel thing has caught me quite off guard. I mean, based on the number of words I’ve written, and the things I’ve given to my readers, in my first two months of blogging, I thought Steve would be proud of me.

    And yes, I know blogging is for the long haul. But you praised Rubel’s two-month-into-it PR stunt in 2004 as “brilliant” in your goodbye post. I’ll tell you what, my definition of “brilliant” is getting noticed in 2006. And it’s only going to get worse from here.

    I really need some guidance here from the masters. 🙂

    Your thoughts?

  2. Darren,
    you make a good point. Brian, its why I didn’t even mention you in the post, because I agree with what Steve is saying, but Im not exactly sure what it has to do with you, outside of the fact he thinks you’re link bait I guess?

  3. Funny, I am starting to think that Steve was the one link-baiting, but in more of a controversial way (not that he needs the traffic). Giving away something of value can certainly be “link bait,” but isn’t that more in keeping with putting my readers first?

    Well, just thought I’d ask. I know you didn’t mention me by name, but I’m specifically called out in the text you’ve quoted plus anyone who follows the linkback might just get the impression that you agree with everything he is saying, since I was the lucky victim of his post.

    Carry on. 🙂

  4. And I don’t know what Steve is talking about with me “baiting him,” I pitched him by Delicious just like he specifically requests that readers do!

    Doesn’t this all seem odd?

  5. for standard review by the US Food and Drug

  6. Whether my blog gets 50 unique visitors a day or 200 doesn’t matter. What matters is the number of unique visitors that convert to customers. My traffic figures show me that some posts bring traffic that does not convert to customers, therefore Steve is actually right. When I post a home I sold, bloggers don’t visit my blog as much, but new customers contact me in droves. Go figure.

  7. Perhaps it’s about SPAM, or so the recent SPAM comments would lead one to believe.

  8. Hi, I think you are totally right. Great!