Blogging is the new big thing on the internet. Easily updated, content-laden sites are being set up by everyone. People are blogging for the sake of self-expression. Others are using blogs as a marketing tool. You have political bloggers, gadget-loving bloggers, and gossip bloggers. Name a topic, and there is someone blogging about it.
All of these bloggers have one thing in common. They want visitors. From a commercial standpoint, traffic flow is essential to making a blog a financial success. Even those whose aims are loftier and merely want to express their thoughts and ideas generally choose blogging as medium because others can access their sentiments. Everyone wants traffic.
This longing for readers has spurred the creation of blog traffic exchanges. These sites allow you to peruse other blogs in order to earn credits that are then used to send others to look at your blog. Generally, it’s a “two for one” trade. For every two blogs you view, the site will send someone to check out your offering. These sites usually require you to stay on a blog for about thirty seconds prior to earning a credit, thus trying to insure that you will actually pay some level of attention to the blog in front of you.
These sites have become exceptionally popular. That’s no surprise. After all, traffic exchanges generally cost nothing to join, and they do guarantee some flow of visitors to your blog in exchange for your time investment. With millions of bloggers searching for ways to uncover new sources of traffic, the offer of blog traffic exchanges is often accepted.
Unfortunately, blog traffic exchanges really don’t produce a great deal of value for users. There are two reasons why blog traffic exchanges don’t really work.
First, the traffic sent to your blog is basically untargeted. Let’s say you have a blog about being a work at home mother and the challenges you face. The traffic exchange will send you everyone from the army corporal operating a military blog to an angst-ridden teen who has her own gothic poetry blog. These visitors have no real interest in your topic and won’t add to the community there – or the blog’s potential profit. Untargeted traffic is simply not worth much in most cases.
Second, most of the traffic sent to your blog will be more focused on waiting for the mandatory time to elapse than they are in what you have written. The users of blog exchange programs, after all, are other bloggers seeking traffic. They are participating because they want to send people to their blogs – not because they have a burning interest in what others are writing. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule, but overall the prevalent motivation is getting more traffic, not finding new blogs to read regularly.
If you doubt this, try a blog traffic exchange program for yourself and observe your own behavior and instincts while “surfing for credits.” You may start with the best of intentions, but after seeing a few blogs on topics that aren’t really interesting, you will find your eye wandering to the timer. You will be ready to move on to the next blog at the first available opportunity. Keep track of how many blogs you see that really met a need for you. Observe how many other blogs you have decided to visit again some day.
After only a few hours of participation, you will soon realize that you are being exposed to a lot of blogs that offer little for you and that you are probably finding yourself wishing you could cruise through more blogs faster. You will find that your motivation for doing this is decidedly selfish – you want people to visit your blog.
Just remember, that is what everyone else participating is feeling, too. Blog traffic exchanges won’t get truly targeted traffic to your blog. They also won’t bring active community participants or regular readers.
There are hundreds of ways to build blog traffic that can get you the kind of visitors you want – the kind who will come voluntarily and often because they share your interests or truly look forward to reading your insights. Your time is better spent pursuing traffic of this sort, instead of whiling away the hours cruising through other blogs in hopes of snagging a few visitors in the process.