Focusing On SEO and Social To Get More Blog Traffic? Here’s Why You’re Wasting Your Time.

Tired of the slow, slogging nature of trying to get blog traffic by depending on SEO, living on the content hamster wheel, or being told you have to “engage” on social media all day to attract people over to your blog? Me too.

Do you find it to be a struggle to get more blog traffic? Do you feel a bit deflated because your traffic isn’t what you want it to be?

Let me ask you this…

Are you tired of the slow, slogging nature of trying to get blog traffic by depending on SEO, living on the content hamster wheel, or being told you have to “engage” on social media all day to attract people over to your blog?

If this is you, then please read this blog post from beginning to end. It’ll be one of the more important posts you’ve read in awhile.

I’m going to explain to you that you DON’T have a traffic problem. And I’m going to show you how you can get all the traffic you want. This really is an evolution of how to think about traffic for your blog.

Want Some Rice?

instant-brownI first heard this analogy at Traffic & Conversion and it summed it up perfectly…

If you want some rice today, how do you get it?

Well, you go out to the field and prep it with fertilizer. Then, maybe a month later, you flood the field with water. Soak the rice in water and then you get into a plane, fly over the field and drop the seeds all over the field into the furrows. Then, you wait like 4 or 5 months for the rice to grow. Once it reaches the proper height, then you harvest it. Oh, then you mill it so that you can FINALLY drop some rice into a pot and boil it up.

Mmmm…. you’ve got some rice. Sure did take awhile, tho. 😉

Is this what you do when you want some rice?

Or do you just go to the store and buy a box of Uncle Bens?

I’m bettin’ its the latter. You don’t make your own rice from scratch. You simply go to the store and buy it.

Why is that?

Because rice is a commodity. It is bought and sold. Sure, some people grow it, but then everybody else simply buys it.

2 Ways To Get More Blog Traffic

At the simple, bird’s eye level, there are 2 ways to get blog traffic. They are:

  1. Grow it up organically.
  2. Buy it.

I hope you see the parallel. 🙂 Blog traffic is a lot like rice. Traffic, too, is a commodity.

You can go through all the work to grow up your traffic yourself organically, but in most cases, that’s going to take a helluva lot longer than growing a field of rice. You’re told you need to post to your blog often, do podcasting, do videos, track every move that Google makes so you can SEO your stuff, share your stuff on social media, be “engaged”, contact influencers, guest post…

AAAHHHHHHHH! That’s insane!


You can just go to the traffic store.

Whip yourself up a nice dose of traffic – and have it by the end of the day. The wonders of going to the traffic store!

I Have To Admit… This Is New To Me

My long-time readers know… I’m a bit of an “old dog” in this whole blogging thing. I’ve been at it a damn long time. Going on 17 years now (as of this writing, anyway). They say it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks and perhaps there’s some truth to that.

I’ve spent my entire career doing organic “free” traffic. And it has worked. I mean, I’ve not really had a traffic problem and I still don’t. But, at the same time…

I’ve been at this 17 years. 🙂 Who the hell wants to have a 17 year ramp up period?

Not only that, but organic traffic isn’t as targeted. On the whole, it is less efficient than simply going to the traffic store.

But, I resisted it for awhile. That old blogger school of thought is a hard one to toss. I’ve spent so much time building up my traffic through free ways that it is hard to shift gears.

But, I have. Slowly. I am running more paid traffic now. And it will most definitely be ramping up.

Case in point, just yesterday, I had a lead come into the Academy via a Facebook ad. This person ended up opting in, then proceeded to buy every offer in that particular sales funnel. All in all, this person spent about $334. My cost per lead? $0.52.


Now obviously not everybody does that. But, the numbers still work out in my favor. It is currently costing me (with this particular campaign) about 52 cents to get a person onto my email list. From there, it is up to my sales funnel to recoup the investment. And it does.

Even this old dog is willing to learn a new trick with those kind of numbers! 🙂

Why You Don’t Have A Traffic Problem

Bloggers go around with this mindset that traffic is scarce. That it is hard to come by. That you have to work your ass off to get it.

But, that’s like saying rice is hard to get. I mean, rice isn’t scarce. You can find it everywhere. You can just go to the store and buy it cheaply. And none of us even consider trying to grow our own.

Well, traffic isn’t much different. Traffic is everywhere. You just want to get some of it.

It is like money. Money isn’t scarce. Money is everywhere. Other people have it. You want some of it so you can have more. How do you get them to give you some of their money? Well, you give them something which they value more than the money in their pocket and they’ll give it to you. Pretty simple, really.

Traffic works the same way. It is, quite literally, a transaction.

Sites like Google, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter… these sites have TONS of traffic. And they’re inviting you to come to their traffic stores and simply buy some. And, doing so makes traffic extremely predictable. I mean, it is GOING to happen.

But, of course, traffic is made up of real people. Real, flesh and blood people. And just because you paid to get them to come over to your site doesn’t mean they’re going to opt-in or buy something. So, from there, it is just a matter of giving them value. All the things we already know. Be useful, be valuable, and they’ll reward you with their email address or perhaps a sale.

So, you don’t have a traffic problem. What you have is a problem in your approach:

  1. You avoid paid traffic because you think the idea of spending money for traffic is bad, or that you can’t afford it. But…
  2. The reason you think you can’t afford it is because your blog isn’t monetized in the right way.

I mean, look….

If you would be guaranteed to make $2 for every $1 you spent, I highly doubt you’d refuse to spend a buck. You wouldn’t be sitting there saying “Oh, I can’t afford to spend one dollar”. No, you’d happily spend it because you know you’ll get back two bucks!

So, it isn’t that you can’t afford to go to the traffic store. It is that your blog is set up to operate at a loss.

I mean, if you went to the store, bought some rice, then walked outside the store and poured that rice right into the trash can… it’d be natural to say that buying that rice was a waste of money. You can’t “afford” it.

But, the way most bloggers have their blogs set up, its pretty much the same thing. You would pay to bring the traffic, and it’d go absolutely nowhere. Result? Waste of money.

Your Solution To Traffic Is… REAL Monetization

Blog-Monetization-ModelIf you want more traffic to your blog, your area of focus should NOT be on all those organic outreach methods.

Yeah, I said it.

If you want more blog traffic, you are WASTING YOUR TIME if you put all your focus on writing more content, doing SEO, engaging on social. All that stuff.

Instead, you need to monetize your blog properly. Implement the Blog Profit Funnel model – and you can get all the help you need to do it inside the Monetization Lab.

Focus on building up the business machine which goes behind your blog. Because having that backend in place is what is going to allow you to go to the traffic store.

In fact, you’ll be happy as a clam to go to the traffic store and spend some money… because you’re going to be making it back. And, do some tweaking and set things up right (all stuff we do in the Monetization Lab), and you’ll very shortly be profiting from that traffic.

Your email list will be growing. You’ll be generating revenue. And your blog traffic will increase.

This isn’t even a matter of speculation. It is a guarantee. It is predictable because it is based on simple math. If you go to the traffic store, you’re GOING to get traffic. It WILL happen. The “trick” (if you want to call it that) is to handle the incoming traffic in the correct way so that you’re not set up for a loss.

It all starts with getting the product/market fit right (and we have two courses inside the Lab for that… and all the feedback you’ll ever need inside the Lab member community).

Once you get that product/market fit in place, growing your blog and your business is basically a math problem.

Does This Mean Free Traffic Methods Are A Waste?

Not at all, but we need to see them for what they are.

Churning out more content, staying current on all the SEO trends, spending hours trying to build up your Facebook page or “engage” on Twitter… all that stuff is the equivalent of trying to grow your own rice. Sure, it works but it is slow going. VERY slow going.

That doesn’t make it a bad thing. But, the internet is evolving. It is harder than it has ever been to grow a site from scratch using free methods alone. And trust me, it isn’t really free. All that time spent, all those months spent on Twitter where you could have been making actual money. Sure, you might not technically be spending money, but trust me, that doesn’t mean it is free. You’re paying for it with your time, your frustration, and lost opportunity.

Today, I think the ideal traffic generation strategy for a blog is a combination of organic and paid.

In other words, you still want to be doing all the usual outreach methods that us bloggers usually think of, but we ALSO want to “prime the pump” using paid traffic. If you set up properly so that you can do paid traffic, then it will absolutely magnify and speed up the effects of all your organic traffic building.

Why Now Is The Time, Too

I’ll end off with this…

Now is the time to get in on this. To take your monetization seriously in order to provide funding for your paid traffic. Why? Because a vast majority of bloggers aren’t doing it.

Most bloggers are still screwing around with purely organic traffic, wondering why it isn’t working as well as it used to. And while many are familiar with the concept of paid traffic, they quickly dismiss it because it costs money.

It is short-sighted thinking on their part.

At the same time, more and more people are catching on. Me, for instance. 🙂 Like I said, it took this “old dog” a little longer to have the light bulb go off on this because I had been doing it the old way for so long.

As more and more people have that light bulb go off, prices will increase. Plus, if you perfect your game in paid traffic before most others do, you’ve got a leg up.

So, take some action on this, my friend. 🙂

You’ll see me talk more about it around the Blog Marketing Academy. But also…

Consider joining us inside the Monetization Lab. We’ve got a clear goal we’re working on inside the Lab – and we’re doing it together. So, why work on this alone?


  1. Kudos, I am so tired of hearing from all of the other bloggers out there how long and grueling it is to get from here to success. In my experience most successful things work fairly quickly because they work. Great and motivational blog post!

  2. Lot’s of common sense here. I am not afraid of buying traffic but I need products to sell in order to make use of that traffic.Just like with a store. No point in getting lots of foot traffic only to present you would be customers with empty shelves.

    I am now building a new site and I want to fill the shelves before I open up. Would appreciate any help on doing that. Bye the way I prefer the shopping basket thing to be done elsewhere, I don’t want to jump through the hoops of getting a merchant account yet.

    Just about to sign up now.

    1. Couple things for you, Bob:

      (1) No need to “fill the shelves”. In other words, you don’t need a full product line. Just start with one front-end product. You can build the rest of the funnel as time goes on.
      (2) Look into Stripe. Much easier than a standard merchant account. And if you’re doing info products, don’t bother with a full shopping cart.

  3. Love the post and I have to agree. Using both organic and paid traffic has served me well. I’m also looking into more media buying and so far it’s been good.

    PS. Just started listening to the podcast David. Very cool way of repurposing content as well. Subscribed to it! 🙂

  4. I probably should have posted this as a comment rather than in an email–so I’ll do so:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m back. I hope you remember me. I’ve found solutions to many of the areas in which I was “stuck” and have been running my blog weekly for about a year. Longer, but not as steadily.

    I definitely ‘get’ what you’re saying about organic traffic not being enough, the hamster wheel, and that buying traffic is fine. I’m glad to hear you say that. I always thought so. I had also come to the conclusion that buying traffic is worth it if you figure out how to do it effectively.

    Your courses and membership were always great but I was stuck technically. Now I’ve discovered and odesk to outsource my technical projects (whew!). I sure wish I knew about them before.

    What I found before was that I couldn’t keep up with your suggestions, mostly because I was not technically proficient enough. I’m hoping there will be enough specific guidance and that I have found the right channels for help in technical areas so that I can most benefit from what you offer (always wonderful).

    I’m so glad that your ideas have passed beyond selling ad space on the blog, bc it didn’t fit my coaching profession. Does your new program work for various coaching professionals such as myself? (Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching)

    I DO agree that I’m lacking a business model and am at a loss for how to effectively plan so I just ‘bleester’ along.

    Perhaps you could suggest the best place for me to start (which course, or just sign up for this membership?)

    Thanking you in advance for your attention.

    Susan French

    1. Hey Susan. 🙂

      To be clear, “my ideas” passed beyond selling ad space quite some time ago. Even in my earliest training back in 2009 and 2010, I was talking about how banner ads were a pretty bad way to “monetize” a blog. Just wanted to make that clear. 🙂

      Go check out my revised “Getting Started” page. It’ll give you a run-down of the overall business model. And it is certainly something you could set up around your practice. And, yes, to get assistance in setting up the details, that’s what the Monetization Lab is for. 🙂

  5. Thank you David.

    I’ve been busily trying to optimise key words but reading this gives me motivation to get my mail chimp sorted and write that ebook.
    Thanks for helping us bloggers out. I love your work.
    Sammy and scott

    1. Thanks, Sammy. Yeah, this is a big shift in how most bloggers think of this. Quite frankly, it changes your whole approach. But, at the same time, it works and it is a helluva lot faster than the way most people try to do it. Plus, you’re “monetized” from day one.

  6. Isn’t this a chicken and egg thing? So you have to pay for traffic before you can make a sale, and then you can go pay for more traffic.

    Now, I don’t have a problem in paying for targeting traffic and definitely plan on doing so in the near future, but the reason most waste their time with SEO is that they have no real plan.

    SEO today is more about content marketing and creating content that influencers like as well as their readers. If those influencers are interested in what you have to say, then their readers should be your readers too.

    I am working on a campaign right now that I expect to be rather successful but I am also monetizing with my Sales Funnel that includes a Content Upgrade, Front End offer and Main Product/Service. This is going to be the first time I try this new way of thinking about SEO. But I think if SEO is done correctly and strategically, I believe SEO can still be done without wasting your time.

    1. It isn’t really a chicken and egg thing. You CAN make a sale without paying for traffic… its just that you’ll have that slow slog that it takes to build the traffic organically.

      What I recommend is that people begin with the end in mind. Build out the first part of the sales funnel – with at least one product in the pipeline. Lead magnet on top, of course. Then, helps to target building up the blog around it. And then you can start running paid traffic early. It isn’t a guarantee that you won’t lose a little money in the beginning, because you don’t know how well the product will convert. But, in the beginning, you’re always paying for a little bit of data, then you can tweak.

      Creating content for influencers is all well and good, but I don’t like feeling like I’m dependent on other people to spread my message in order to grow my business.

  7. Hi David – I love this post and the simple analogy of rice and traffic that makes it all make sense!

    I went through the exact same thing, and found that blogging can be like trying to join an Interstate using a 500-mile long on-ramp. You’ll get there eventually, but there’s a chance you might run out of gas first!

    I use Facebook ads more and more these days, and (to my surprise at first), they actually have had a positive ROI. As you said, it all comes down to setting up the blog for success to begin with, as well as knowing how to do the ads of course.

    I’ll be sharing this with my group, too, as I know this applies to them as well.

    Great article, thanks!



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