There are endless debates among internet marketers about what makes good website traffic, and what constitutes bad traffic. While most arguments are quite valid, however, there is also another side to the proverbial coin – so allow me to offer a fresh perspective on the topic…

Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the arguments:

1. Some say paid traffic is best – because you know exactly how much traffic you will be getting, and you can soon see what your ROI will be. You can pick where the traffic comes from, and (depending on the supplier) you may have several targeting options.

On the downside, however, many people have lost substantial amounts of money on various forms of paid traffic.

2. Some say that social media traffic is best – because you have access to hundreds of millions of social media users, and it’s free (unless, of course, you invest in Facebook or Twitter ads, in which case it’s not simply social media traffic any more).

On the downside, however, besides the fact that it takes a while to really gain momentum, it simply doesn’t work for some people (and some niches – for instance, how many people would be re-sharing a cure for piles or Candida?).

3. Others believe that SEO traffic is best, because it is “passive”, “free” traffic.

However, besides the fact that many people just don’t “get” SEO techniques, Google keeps changing the rules, and there are still only 10 spots on the first page.

4. Many people agree that traffic from safelists and traffic exchanges are “junk traffic” – yet many people have built their entire businesses on those sources. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know how many big names in internet marketing regularly use them (albeit purchased traffic) in order to use newbies.

The bottom line is that, regardless of the traffic source, there will be some people saying it is a good traffic source, while there will be others claiming it is a source of bad traffic.

In short, any source of traffic CAN work.

So – that still leaves the original question:

How do you know what is “good” traffic, and what is “bad” traffic?

There are three things you need to look at:

1. The people you are trying to reach – who are these people, and where do they hang out? If you try to reach them, whether via free or paid methods, in the wrong place, you are going to come up empty handed. For instance – if you want to sell a Clickbank product on beating acne, you will be wasting your time on traffic exchanges. If you are selling high ticket items, you would be wasting your time investing in PPV advertising (because those ads are predominantly shown to people who downloaded free stuff). If you want to sell a cure for arthritis, don’t bother with Tumblr, where most of the users are young people.

2. The limitations of what you feel comfortable with – some people are just not comfortable with direct prospecting on social media. This is especially true for people with a low self esteem, or extreme introverts. On the other hand, if you face a language barrier challenge, content creation may be a problem for you. If you are tight on cash (which many internet marketers are), then paid traffic might simply be out of your reach.

3. Profitability – or a good effort versus reward ratio – is the bottom line. It simply makes no sense to put a hundred hours of work into something that will make you twenty dollars. Also, it makes no sense to spend more than you are making back, unless your losses are minimal, and you have a solid back end campaign after you got the prospect onto a mailing list.

Keep in mind, however, that when it comes to things like blogging and SEO, it’s extremely difficult to measure those figures over the short term – firstly because of the fact that your efforts compound as you continue, giving you more leverage, and secondly because it takes a while before Google gives you credit for what you have done.

Personally, I prefer to use a combination of blogging and paid traffic – because the paid traffic is there “on tap” when I want it, while the blog grows in (SEO) authority as I keep adding content.

So – if it works for YOU, it’s good traffic. If not, it’s bad traffic – either figure out what you are doing wrong, and fix it, or move on to something else.

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