During the research, I am doing for my Online Marketing Guide I came across a common problem, one that I have been facing.
In the past, this blog used to get around 10,000 unique visitors to technical posts. It ranked rather well in google and that is what I can attribute most of the traffic to. However, since I took the blog down for about 1 year my ranking dropped, but I realized so did the landscape. I have found many technical blogs no longer get the traffic they once enjoyed.
This traffic can be motivating in itself to keep going and trying things out. It gives us clues about what people are interested in and helps drive us forward when things seem hard.
So where did it all go?
While I feel like I am pointing a finger of blame here… I am bringing you a solution in just a moment.
But it is the rise of sites like Quora and StackExchange that I would say is directly responsible for this drop in traffic (there are others but I actually like these, I even got a “Famous Question” award recently).
What happens now is partially speculation on my part but it makes sense.
First, I think people are answering questions on these sites because it is easier to have a question posed and answer it. It is much harder to identify a problem and figure out the solution and report on that.
Second, I think people instead of searching Google (or other) to find the answers or information they are looking for now head straight to the question sites to ask their question. Quora actually lets you type your question in and then if a similar enough answer pops up you would just click on it.
Don’t get me wrong I love these sites. While I do think they are changing the landscape of the internet we have grown accustomed to over the last 10 years or so when blogging and podcasting seemed to be “the thing”. This is the natural trend of things. But it doesn’t mean blogs are dead or anything like that.
And I think the solution is rather simple. If you are looking for traffic then you should be answering questions on these sites, blogging about your answers and linking back to your blog where appropriate. Simple as that.
Find things to answer and answer them well. Provide more in-depth tutorials, explanations, or advice on your blog and link back where you are allowed and it will not be seen as spammy. And that means spammy here and now but also in the future.
These sites also offer a unique opportunity to those that are smart, in that they will show you the trend. They do a better job than Google ever did of giving you insight into what people want to know right now. They let you make an instant connection and then if you are able to link back give you the traffic you have been looking for. Win-Win in my book.