Day in and day out I check my stats on PMetrics. I admit, I’m addicted and it’s become a bad obsession. Sometimes I sit for hours (or at least minutes) watching visitors interact on the site via Spy. Not sure if I should commend the programmers or curse them.
Anyways, since I’ve had my site up, it has grown steadily and plateaued twice. The first plateau happened around 400-500 unique visitors a day. At that time, I was indexed well in Yahoo, but Google was refusing to list me. I struggled along at that level for months – may even have been close to a year — I didn’t really keep track and then one day — BOOM — I jumped up to 800 visitors a day. It was a happy day. I danced, I rejoiced. Google finally got around to listing me. Unfortunately that’s about where I’ve been ever since.
I have to admit, I rely heavily on search engine traffic for visitors. I have never gotten the hang of getting links from prominent sites in my niche, and feel really odd about begging for them — so I don’t. I get the feeling that is more about the level of tech know-how in my niche and not so much about whether my site deserves it. Of course, I’m a little biased there, but there are comments in forums all over the place that say I’m not doing a half bad job.
I see the tips about commenting on other blogs and developing relationships with other people in my niche. I’d love to, honest, but very few good blogs exist elsewhere on my subject where I can develop those relationships. I’ve looked. In the end, it means my strategic linking goals aren’t panning out very well. About 7-12% of my traffic comes from links other than search engines – so unfortunately if I ever lose my rankings, things are going to hurt.
I keep trying to increase traffic levels and I’ve seen excellent comments about my site in forums all over the place. It feels like I’m on the edge of another explosion and every day I check and see the same numbers. Sometimes it spikes above a thousand, but mostly it hits the same mark day by day. Maybe I’m overly optimistic and I’ve tapped out my current niche…
How do you determine the saturation point of your niche? That point where no matter what you do, you’re not going to get another increase. How do you know when you’ve tweaked everything as much as it can be tweaked and you are getting the most traffic you are ever going to get? I realize more content, means more search terms and possibly more visitors — and overall that’s basically all I do in hopes of increasing traffic. I look at my site and what my visitors are asking for in the forums and then give it to them. Hopefully in the end, that is the best strategy – although hope is not really a viable course of action when you are looking for success.
One thing I want to be careful about is diluting the overall theme of my site by branching off into other areas, but at some point it naturally has to happen, unless topics are absolutely endless in your niche. Either you branch out or you build another site.
Maybe that is the way to go? A few smaller sites that all together make up a larger number of people. So when do you decide that your site has peaked and it’s time to spend less time on it and more time on another venture? If this is your avenue of growth, I think you have to be very careful and ensure the community that you built around your current blog is self sustaining. If you don’t you go spend hours on another site that you were using to nurture your community and suddenly you take that away — can’t be good for business. In my case, I have built a large community of users. Unfortunately, not enough experts and a lot of beginners are frequent meaning if I spend less time on it, the community is going to suffer. I like to think I’m overly important I guess. Attracting tech savvy experts in my niche has not been an easy task.
So, What is a good level of traffic for a site? I realize in some niches it may be 300 visitors a day and others it may be 30000. There has to be an “average” consensus. What constitutes a decent traffic level? For example:
- 0-100: Quit while you’re ahead
- 101-500: There may be hope
- 501-1500: Low, but getting there
- 1501-5000: Medium – Should be making a decent income
- 5001-????: High – enjoy life on the island.
I think if you devise some method to determine the maximum size of your niche, then you have some way to know when your site has met is maximum traffic potential. You will get the signal you need to stop putting anymore resources – time and sweat into it and add something else in order to continue your upwards income climb. It’s also the signal that you better have a site that takes care of itself (or you’re paying someone a portion of the profits to take care of it for you), so you can devote some time to something else.
How do you determine whether your hitting a decent traffic level in your niche?