Two major strategies of growing a blog. So on one hand, we have viral traffic, the one that comes as a result of generating buzz on relevant communities and reaching out to influencers, asking for support. And on the other hand, we have a slow traffic, the one that comes as a result of putting effort into making your content rank high in Google. So which strategy is easier and more effective?
First of all, I have to mention that these are actually two extreme cases which in reality don’t exist, one without the other. I mean, there is no way to consistently go viral and not get a single visitor from Google as well as there is no way to pull massive traffic from Google and not have a single person share your content on Twitter or Facebook. But in order to prove my point, I will discuss them individually. So here are the main challenges associated with each strategy. If you want to grow your blog with viral traffic, you have to be really good at creating content that will resonate with your target audience. It should resonate with them so much that they won’t be able to resist the urge to share it with others. That’s the challenge, number one. But why? Reality doesn’t happen out of nowhere. You need to get support from influential people in your industry who will promote your content to their huge audiences and kick start the viral effect. Influential people are insanely hard to pitch. So that’s the challenge number two. And finally, the goal of your blog is to consistently reach new people who will become your new customers. So if you rely on viral spikes of traffic, you’ll have to regularly produce sticky viral content and regularly get support from industry influencers, because if you stop publishing, your traffic will fade. And that’s the challenge number three. Now, what are the challenges of growing your blog with your traffic that comes from Google?
Well, your content still needs to be awesome. It doesn’t necessarily need to resonate with people that much, but it has to be insanely useful to them, which is still a challenge, if you ask me. However, the real challenge is to get back links to your piece of content, because BUCKLINGS is one of the key things that push you up. And Google search results and building back links is something that most people struggle with. But here’s something positive about this traffic you don’t have to publish regularly. That’s because the traffic from Google doesn’t fade over time unless, of course, your competitors put enough work to track you. But I’m about to teach you how to make sure that it won’t happen. So that is my year comparison of two blog growth strategies. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m favoring Ezard traffic over viral traffic. Well, the truth is, I don’t have any truly viral articles in my own portfolio, but almost every single post that we publish at a Trev’s blog ranks on the front page of Google for its targeted keywords. And still, I do believe that viral traffic can be a worthwhile strategy for growing a blog. So I went ahead and brought a guest whose articles are read by millions of people. This guy is seriously good at generating buzz with his content and we recorded a very insightful interview on the topic. Make sure you check it out in the bonus materials to this course. But for now, let me dove a bit deeper into viral versus ethical dilemma and explain where my strong bias towards the latter is coming from. First of all, most newbie bloggers have a wrong understanding of how viral traffic works. Here is the picture that they have in their head. You publish an article and read it to your followers. Some of them like it and tweet it to their followers. Some of their followers like it and tweeted to their followers, this goes on and on. And because of this snowball effect, your article goes viral and gets tons of traffic, right? Wrong. A few years ago, guys from Pulsar started how content goes viral by examining a bunch of real viral campaigns. And these are the visualizations that they have created with the data that they collected. What their study had shown is that content doesn’t go viral. In a way I just described. There’s no such thing as a snowball effect, even the opposite viral content actually spreads in a decade.
Let me explain. Content only goes viral if exposed to a super huge audience. In other words, someone with a huge Twitter following has to read your article so that thousands of his followers would retweeted to their followers. These two steps of the viral outburst bring the most traffic and visibility. And from there, there goes a rather quick decay in the amount of tweets and traffic back to these visualizations of real viral campaigns. You can clearly see the big hubs that started the chain reaction. But here’s the thing. The fact that an influencer has tweeted something doesn’t mean that all his followers will pick it up and retweeted. That is why the top two challenges of viral content that I’ve listed earlier are creating super sticky content that everyone would want to share with others and pitching the biggest influencers in your space to kick start the viral effort. Both of these challenges are incredibly hard to crack, and that is why I am not a fan of chasing viral content.