Learn How to Increase Blog Traffic for Free
Generating traffic is the lifeblood of your online business. Without sufficient traffic, your site and blog will never accomplish their purpose. And while there are numerous pay options to generate traffic, there are an equal number of effective and free tools and approaches. Here are some great traffic generators:
Share your expertise with people asking questions about your industry. In return, you’ll get a steady flow of traffic to your site. You will be the expert, after all. To ensure that you get traffic from all the time you spend answering questions, be sure to spend time on your forum marketing signature. Your signature tells other forum members who you are and how to read more about you.
Very similar to forum marketing, blog commenting only differs in the platform it uses. Instead of being in a public forum, the commenting takes place within an individual blog. The linkback works very simply. In almost all blog platforms (Word Press, Blogger, etc) there is a field to enter your URL (your site address). If your comment catches a readers attention, they’ll click on the link and visit your site.
Be careful not to post comment spam. There is a need for caution when sharing links in the comment itself. Many bloggers don’t take well to this, as it comes across as a blatant attempt to siphon their traffic to your site. Unless the link you are posting directly answers a question, it's best not to do it.
The other benefit to blog commenting, even if you don’t get many direct visitors, is that the search engines see the link and your site gets a small boost. If you post enough comments on enough unique blogs (different domains) then you’ll see a significant boost in traffic.
When most users first sign up and start using Twitter it can be hard to see how it could ever bring significant traffic. Over time and with regularity Twitter quickly becomes a principal source of traffic. Many blogs use automation tools to feed links and past posts to their Twitter account. A favorite of mine is called Tweet Old Post. It takes past blog posts and tweets the title and URL to your account. Many blogs generate hundreds, even thousands of new visitors every month using this simple WordPress plug-in.
The concept of using eBay as a sales platform is quite simple. Post a product (often at a loss or at cost) to generate attention and post your URL in the description as a source for more information about the product or the subject. Because of the size and traffic on eBay, you’ll reach thousands of new prospects. Other sales platforms to consider CraigsList and Amazon.
One of the fastest ways to generate non-purchased traffic is to have a contest. It is a great way to generate hundreds of inbound links, as bloggers love to share relevant contests with their readers, being the one to break the news. Many site owners have found it most effective to give away one very large prize, rather than numerous smaller ones.
Everyone loves to dream about that huge trip to Europe, rather than the free song download. Big prizes create big results. In addition to the boost of traffic, be sure to require something of the visitors to enter. Consider requiring a simple newsletter subscription. That way you have their contact information should they win, and you also can keep them informed about new content as you publish.
Blog Design Adjustments
Tweaking your site just a little can make huge differences to your traffic over time. Effective cross-linking, for example, will help Google to index your content, and help your human readers to see what other relevant content you have. These changes will also make a better visitor experience and keep your readers on your site longer - which is never a bad thing.
Getting your site (and posts) listed with a top content aggregator can send a flood of traffic. Consider Alltop.com. The benefit of an aggregator (a site that aggregates, or collects blog posts) is that they have a larger and broader readership than you do. By placing links to your content on these popular platforms, you can count on more traffic. But there’s a catch: they don’t accept just any site. While this is great for you when you are accepted, it can be hard to get accepted when your site is still new.
This is most simply done via an RSS feed. This not only makes it easy for readers to follow your site but also notifies readers immediately upon publishing new content. It's a great way to bring readers back to your site every time you publish a new piece of content. A popular tool to manage RSS feeds is FeedBurner (by Google).
Write Great Content
Nothing will build your traffic better than great content. Regardless of if it is blog posts, video or audio (or a combination of all three) you need to consistently produce great content. Great content encourages visitors to share your posts - via social media and links on their own sites and blogs. This social sharing by your readers has more weight than any purchased ad could ever carry.
Build Your Blog Community
By taking the time to engage individual readers your site will benefit from increased traffic. An engaged community will happily share your content and refer new visitors to your site.
This is a popular one. But how should you do it? First of all, a guest post should only be done on a popular site (more popular than yours). And it should be your best stuff. A mediocre post will bring mediocre results. Post a compelling piece that adds real value to the site you are contributing to. This will help you get another opportunity to post.
And give a lot of thought to your bio line. A well-written bio will help motivate readers to click through to your site. In addition to publishing great guest posts, it’s also important to accept guest posts. This helps widen your base of content and takes some writing pressure off of you. Be sure to publish a clear set of blogging guidelines - this will help reduce the number of low-quality posts that you will receive.
WordPress (along with many other blogging platforms) has a great feature called trackbacks. What are Trackbacks? When you mention another blog on your site, their blog (if it is also on a supporting platform) will get a notification that they have been mentioned. It creates a link back for readers to follow. It is an easy and effective way to both share great content and get contextual linkbacks.
Creating video takes time but is worth the effort. Once the video is created, don’t stop with YouTube. Syndicate your video content with a service like OneLoad (owned by TubeMogul). OneLoad will take your video and share it across numerous platforms. Non-commercial use is free and the next level is $75 per month. Works flawlessly and exposes your message and content to millions of more people.
When you upload your videos, it’s important to take a few minutes to research the best tags for your post. One great way is to check out similar and popular video posts. You can mirror theirs and thus increase the odds of showing up as a related video on theirs. This simple approach can increase video views and site traffic many times over.
Cool Site of the Day
This extremely popular site has the power to send a huge amount of traffic to your site, should it be chosen as the Cool Site of the Day. They accept submissions, so if you have a unique site it’s worth the time to submit. If you are accepted you will see thousands of new visitors in a matter of hours.