Here’s a short but powerful post I’ve been wanting to write for a long long time.
It starts with an analogy:
A blog is like a bar.
Let’s say we own a bar together. Without people actually coming into the bar, there’s really no point in having it. Right? It’s the customers who come inside that will make us successful. This is why that online, everything is traffic this, and traffic that. More traffic is what everyone wants and people are paying BIG MONEY for it. There’s so much talk about traffic, search engine optimization, keyword research and advertising, that many people often forget about the second part of the equation, which is what happens when people finally arrive to the “bar”? Sadly, many of those people (often paid for through advertising or pay-per click), just leave and never come back. What a waste…
It’s not the customers who come inside that will make us successful, it’s the customers who come inside and have a drink or two.
It’s as if we did the proper research to find the best location to open our bar, posted up fliers everywhere, and even ran a few ads in some local magazines and newspapers, and when people finally did step through the doors to check us out, they just turned around and left because our bar was uninviting, dirty, confusing, boring, loud, it had bad drinks, it was hard to see, etc.
It’s hard to get people to come into the door, but it’s SO easy for them to leave.
Online it’s even tougher. It just takes a nanosecond to close a web browser, and people these days are going from website to website like there’s no tomorrow. If you don’t have a good first impression, or fail to give them information they’re looking for – you’re going to lose potential subscribers, leads, and money.
Back to the bar analogy. What’s better than people coming into the bar and having a drink or two?
Answer: people coming into the bar to have a drink or two every single day, aka. the regulars.
The regulars are so important to any business. Often, they are what keep a business alive. Yes, it’s nice because they’ll give you business day in and day out no matter what, but it’s so much more than that. The regulars will support, help, believe and stand up for a business when it is in need. Online, the regulars are our subscribers, followers and people who have opt-ed into an email newsletter. These are people that have taken the time to click an RSS feed or enter their email in an opt-in box, which immediately establishes a rapport between the website and the reader, which as I just mentioned, is vital for the success of most blogs.
So, there are two important lessons to be learned here:
1) Traffic is cool, but traffic means nothing unless people stick around. First impressions are SUPER important. Is there anything on your website or other websites you’ve seen that might make people want to leave? And secondly,
2) Make sure you give your traffic that does decide to stay around a chance to become a regular. I’ll go deeper into this thought in the next post.
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