Even those of us who blog for purely personal reasons appreciate some validation, whether comments, likes, or just pageviews. Encouraging that feedback is one of the most frustrating things for many bloggers; when we hit “publish,” we want to see the little bar graph go up, up, and away and when we don’t, it’s discouraging. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what readers respond to — a labor of love sinks like a stone, while a five-minute rant makes the rounds on Twitter.
There’s plenty of advice on attracting and engaging readers (some of it from us), most of which requires time and effort without guaranteed success . . . although there is one foolproof method: pay for traffic. But is paid traffic the perfect way to bring in new readers, or does it undermine the point of a blog?