This “word” is Negative!

“Traffic” is one of the most frequently used words in the Internet marketing advice world. A few headlines from recent emails include: “How to drive traffic to your site.” — “Where does your traffic go?” — “Earn more from your web traffic, and “Get insane blog traffic free.”

A couple of weeks back I was preparing a speech for a group when I realized that “traffic” was a poor choice of wording for a group that was looking to fill their group with paying members. The more that I thought about the concept of “traffic” verses “audience or group,” the more I realized that the word “traffic” is impersonal and generates negative images (traffic jam, caught in traffic) while the word “audience or group” is positive (the audience loved the concert, an excited group reaction).

Would you rather be “traffic” on a website or “a group or audience member”?

Sometimes the words that we use to describe what we want to achieve actually get in the way of us generating the results that we want. Thinking of people attending your blog or coming to your website as an opportunity to cultivate a group member is a subtle but effective way to improve your communication with your prospects and increase your customer base by changing your words.

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10 thoughts on “This “word” is Negative!

  1. That’s one of the reasons I never feel that I want to participate in this “social craze”. Why would I want to practice my inner peace mantra to avoid “road rage” :-).

    People never consider the variations in meanings many of our utterances take. And, therein lies the crux of what you and I want to do- induce effective communication.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome! I like to personally refer to my “traffic” as readers or my community. Sometimes when I write, though, I use the word traffic – – don’t think I’ll be doing that again :).

  3. Words can mean the same things ‘technically’ speaking but in reality can infer a much different meaning. There is so much power in language and I have to say I would be far more interested in reading a post or an article about ways to gain readers or group members then ‘traffic’.

    Thanks for this!

  4. Kenneth you bring up a good point. And in fact, the word traffic probably should be a negative keyword so you are not attracting people searching for ‘traffic’ news or ‘traffic’ tickets!

  5. Hi, Kenneth. You make excellent points. I consider those who visit my blog to be individual readers or collectively, an audience. To do any less would decrease the effectiveness of communication.

  6. I had never considered this. Thanks for putting forward such a wonderful thought. I would always like it if people referred me as “a reader” or a part of a community! Like the TLC community! :)

  7. I’ll ditto everyone’s remarks so far, Kenneth, and add that residing in Southern California means dealing with NIGHTMARE traffic every day!

    I’ve never liked the word, “traffic”, but like you, I see it used all over the internet in every conceivable niche and industry.

    So let’s be revolutionaries and start a new trend. :)

    I prefer to use “loyal readership” to refer to those who read my blog and “target audience” to those who may be interested in what I have to offer.

    And all my efforts and energies spent on social media venues, I refer to as “building community”.

    For some odd reason, I also don’t care for the term “tribe”, either. Just sayin’ … :)

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