Putting butts in the seats? What is that all about? Seems a bit of a strange subject!
Well, yes, the title is a bit unconventional, for sure. However, what I am basically saying is that if you have a blog or some kind of website, you want to bring an audience to read it! You want the “seats” in the auditorium to be filled up with people’s butts who are sitting there reading the content that you have published.
If you don’t have an audience, why publish at all?
A little over a week ago, I published an article entitled “Facebook is for Dummies.” In that article, I explained that I use Facebook to draw a bigger audience, primarily by using a WordPress plugin called “WordBooker.” In the past couple of days, a friend of mine left a comment on that article asking if I can further explain how to get people to visit a blog. I had sort of thought that the post itself was a pretty good explanation of how to get traffic using Facebook, but upon further reflection, I decided to write this article.
Frankly, there are a lot of things that you can do to bring people to your website. However, having them go to your site is only the first step, and frankly, getting them to come is worth very little. What you want to do is get them to come back over and over again. So, if I put up a link on Facebook, encouraging somebody to come to this site, that’s great, but in terms of making money, it is not worth much. But, if that person comes to my site and sees that they like the site, and it makes them come back over and over again, then I have a chance to make some money. If you only get the reader to come to your site one time, about the best you can hope for is to make a few cents from an ad click. Making a few cents is good, but not worth much unless you can do it over and over again.
So, how do you get the person to come back again and again? You provide content that engages the reader and that they enjoy reading. You provide content that is good enough that the reader will come back again just to check if there is anything new on your site. Maybe they will subscribe to your site via RSS.
My friend who made the comment has websites. He really is a friend too, we have met each other a number of times in person, and have known each other over the Internet for about 15 years now. So, it’s not just somebody that I don’t even know. He is my friend, and I don’t want to be hard on him or mean to him. I will, though, use his site for an example. The site that he listed on his comment is a site that is basically a list of hotels in a certain city. If you are traveling to that city, you can go to his site and find a list of hotels to choose from. There are a couple of problems with the site that will, in my opinion, make it very difficult to ever make much money from the site:
- There is no engaging content on the site. In other words, just a list of hotels is not something that a “reader” will get excited about. Nobody is going to come back again, excited to see if there are any new hotels on the site. Honestly, the only people who will be coming to the site are, possibly, people who will be visiting that city. Nobody will make a return visit to the site unless they are going to visit the city again. Even then, they probably won’t come back to the site, because they have already become familiar with the city in question, and will stay at the same hotel again, or one that they learned about on their last visit to the city. Further, on the subject of having engaging content, the site really has none at all. There are no reviews of the hotels, no pictures of the hotels, nothing of the sort. The only content is the name of the hotel, their address, and phone number. None of this information is anything that is going to get somebody excited about visiting the site. Maybe if he gave the ability to submit reviews of hotels by people who have already visited, it might spruce up the content a bit, but would still be quite limited.
- As far as money making, the potential of this site is very limited. Perhaps Google may place an AdSense ad on the site with a link to a hotel that somebody will click. Other than that, as the site is currently set up, there is little potential to make money. Perhaps one of the things my friend should consider is that he could offer hotels to have premium listings on the site. They would pay him a fee annually or at whatever interval he chooses, to place a more premium listing on his site. The listing would be given “feature status” so that it would be easily found, and more likely viewed by his readers.
As I say, I am not trying to pick on my friend, I am trying to help him, as he did like me for some help in his comment.
My friend asked about Facebook, though. How can he use it to gain more readers? A coming article here on Virtual Earner will address that, so tune in again!
Saw your post on “nothing to write”, good one. I have been able to generate material on a very regular basis for my Wisconsin Skier site. Last winter from right after Xmas ’09 through April of ’10 I had at least one post per day. I set a goal other than win a Pulitzer on every post and the writing got easier.
The inspiration is with me now but with a 5:45 – 6:15 job I don’t have the time anymore and often forget material I brainstorms while programming data waerhouse feeds.
I am quite convinced as are you that AdSense doesn’t quite cut it and I’m skeptical any sort of general advertising will really do it unless you crank massive volumes of traffic or run a site with narrow local interest., and of course the other angle I am working at is to build a brand and then market branded gear & clothing.
Hi Mark – Yeah, you don’t need a pulitzer prize for every article… ha ha… maybe every other article is OK! 😉
Seriously, depending on your niche, advertising, whether AdSense or other types of direct advertising can make serious money. You gotta have the right niche for it, though! 😆