Traffic is the lifeblood of any business.
Doesn’t matter whether it’s online business or offline business, if you want to make money you need to have traffic, that is you need to have a steady inflow of customers who will buy from you.
Before I focus on the subject of this blog post, i.e. ways to generate traffic for your blog, let me ask you a question first.
If you have an offline store, what do you do to bring customers to your store?
You place an ad in a local newspaper.
You buy advertising space wherever you can, it could be a banner on the fence or it could be a billboard over the road.
You leave the leaflets wherever you go, you put up posters promoting your store on a poster pillar and whatnot.
You’ve got to do everything to pull customers into your store, otherwise your business will die.
And it’s no different online.
You want to make money with your blog? You need to have traffic on it.
You want to make money with your video? You need to drive a lot of visitors to this video.
You want to make money with your online course?
Then you need to make sure that many people interested in this course get to know about it and visit your page.
1. Social Media
You can get a lot of traffic from social media to your blog.
According to shareaholic.com
Collectively, the top 8 social networks drove 31.24% of overall traffic to sites in December 2014, up from 22.71% the same time last year.
Although these stats are from 2014, social media is still responsible for generating a big chunk of traffic.
That is why if you care about traffic on your blog you should be active on social media.
However you can’t be active on all of them.
Focus on 1-2 social media channels (those where your target buyers are spending time), say, Facebook and Twitter and share your content, share other people’s content, comment, retweet, like etc.
You can create a large following on Facebook by sending friend requests to the right people (those interested in your niche).
Then just post relevant content on your Facebook wall to get your followers to know you better and trust you more.
You can also create Facebook groups and Fanpages.
It’s always good at the beginning to invest some money into paid advertising on Facebook just to promote your Fanpage or your group.
To learn more about Facebook marketing, please check the following articles:
If you’re interested in driving traffic from Pinterest please read How to Get Traffic to My Website From Pinterest.
Forums have existed since the beginning of the Internet and they’re a valuable source of traffic, so you shouldn’t ignore them.
Doesn’t matter what you’re blogging about, be it making money online, personal development, Forex, meditation etc. you will most likely find a forum that is related to your chosen niche.
How to find the right forum?
Just type into Google:
“your niche” + forum
“your keyword” + forum
forums + “your niche” or “your keyword”
Create an account, put a link to your blog in your account and also place a link to your blog or a landing page in your signature.
That way whenever you ask a question or give an answer on the forum, everyone will see the link in your signature.
Remember to give valuable answers – only this way you will attract attention.
And the more attention you attract the higher are the chances that people will check your account to see who you are and will click on the link leading to your blog in the signature.
Also, whenever it’s appropriate, you can place a link to your blog post within the answer you give on the forum.
However don’t do it too often, because other members of the community may start to treat you like a spammer.
3. Commenting on other blogs
Another good strategy of driving traffic to your blog is leaving valuable comments on other blogs within your niche.
It’s simple. Just find a relevant blog and see if there are any comments underneath the articles.
If you see no comments there, then in my opinion it doesn’t make sense to leave your comments there either.
4. Guest posting
Publishing guest posts on other people’s blogs can really increase the traffic on your blog over time.
However it’s not enough to create just one guest post.
You need to be consistent and submit guest posts for publication at least twice a month for, say, 12 months.
Only then can you expect to notice a surge of traffic to your blog.
According to Social Media Today: YouTube has become the 2nd Largest Search Engine – bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask & AOL combined.
It has over a billion users and each day videos published on YouTube generate billions of views.
According to this infographic: 1 out of every 2 internet users are on YouTube, and if YouTube were a country it would be one of the biggest countries in the world.
It is said that by 2017, 69% of the world’s Internet traffic will be video.
What does it mean to you as a marketer?
You have to be on YouTube.
If you’re not taking advantage of this search engine, you’re wasting a lot of traffic.
How can you use YouTube to bring more traffic to your blog?
It’s simple, whenever you create and publish a blog post, turn it into a video.
When you do this you will have the same content in two different forms.
One in the form of a text on your blog and the other in the form of a video on YouTube.
For example, if you created a blog post “20 best ways to prepare for an interview”, create a video “7 best ways to prepare for an interview” and then at the end of the video inform the viewer that if they want to see all 20 tips they should visit your blog.
Leave a link to your blog in the description under the video, or create an annotation or a card.
Several quick tips to make your videos rank higher on Google.
First of all you need to optimize your YouTube channel properly.
Use your keyword wherever you’re allowed to use it on your channel, eg. in the description of your channel, in the title of your channel.
- Use your long tail keyword in the title of the video and put it at the front of the title, e.g. How to lose belly fat quickly with a good diet. (“how to lose belly fat” is your keyword).
- Use your keyword in the description of the video preferably at the beginning of the first paragraph.
- Use your keyword in the tags.
- Build social bookmarks to your video. Just put links to your video on these sites.
- The next thing you can do is embed your video on web 2.0 sites, such as: Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Blogger, Flickr, Tumblr, Livejournal, blog.co.uk etc.
All the above things should help you to rank your videos higher on Google and YouTube.
And the higher it is in the search results, the more likely someone will find it, watch it and then will click on the link and visit your blog.
To learn more about how to rank YouTube videos, click here.
6. Press releases
Press releases are usually not cheap but it is a great way to drive more visitors to your blog, website, sales page or anywhere else you wish.
Remember though that you shouldn’t target too competitive keywords in your PR, otherwise it won’t rank so well on Google.
Always look for low to medium competition keywords. Then you have a chance to rank on the first page of Google with your press release within minutes after its publication.
Writing a press release in the correct way can be tough, but don’t worry. Many press release distribution services offer to write a press release for you. I would definitely take advantage of it.
In this way you can be sure that your press release will be accepted for publication.
You can put a clickable link to your blog post in a PR or you can embed a video in it – this will help to rank your post and a video higher on Google and over time it will drive more traffic to them.
There are also some free press release distribution services, however paid services are much better in my opinion.
My favorite media outlet is Press Advantage.
Click here to learn more about how to write a press release, and start utilizing press releases to drive more traffic to your blog.
Why do you need to be using Slideshare as a way to generate traffic to your site?
Because it offers you targeted search results.
There are more than 70 million visitors which access Slideshare every month and 80% of them do so through targeted searches.
This means you have the opportunity to communicate a specific message about your brand, offer a value proposition, and begin to build relationships immediately.
It’s also an untapped resource.
Only 1 in 5 internet marketers have a plan for Slideshare right now.
This means it can become a visitor magnet for your site when you use it in the right way.
Now here’s the best news of all.
You don’t need to create new content to make it useable on Slideshare.
You can repurpose your existing blog content into slides so that traffic can be driven back to your site.
You don’t even need a following on a Slideshare channel to see a boost in your traffic.
The Key Here Is High Quality Content
You’re already creating high quality content for your site because you want it to rank.
With Slideshare, you must simply create more specificity to the subject matter at hand.
Your Slideshare presentation is like the Encyclopedia of You.
It all starts with a powerful, but straight-forward headline for your presentation.
Keywords should probably be put into the title since they transfer over to the URL upon publishing and cannot be changed.
Remember to keep your title to 55 characters.
Then you can use your subheadings in each blog post to create new transition slides.
That’s an easy way to create visual content that is easy to consume, yet doesn’t force you into using new creative energies.
It’s also important to make sure that your slides are friendly enough that they can be shared on social media platforms.
Something as simple as creating an attractive first slide to serve as a thumbnail image can grab the attention of a potential visitor in 3 seconds or less and compel them to click on the presentation.
Put in as much specific information as you can into the presentation to get the best possible results.
Slideshare can be a powerful resource to drive traffic to your site if you tell an authentic story that is filled with useful facts.
8. Email marketing
If you have an email list then just send an email to your subscribers letting them know that you’ve just published a new blog post.
This is the fastest way to bring visitors to your blog.
Of course whether your email subscribers will open your email or not depends on your relationship with them.
If you built your email list and then you just kept sending your subscribers promotional offers without giving them any value first, then probably your email open rates will be very low.
There are some marketers who say that in the first 3-4 emails you should give value to your subscribers and then in the next email you can try to sell them something.
Others say that they see no problem in sending promotional emails to their subscribers straight away after they have subscribed to their email lists.
I think it all depends on your online status.
If you’re a popular marketer, you’ve built a brand for yourself then you can sell to your list without giving them much value first.
It’s because your email subscribers already know who you are. And they will buy from you because they believe that whatever you’re promoting is worth buying.
However if you’re not so well known then you need to take a different approach.
I like sending emails informing my subscribers about a new blog post which I published.
Then usually at the bottom of each email I put a link to some offer that I’m promoting.
So on the one hand I give them value in the form of a blog post, and on the other hand I have a chance to promote whatever I want in my email.
I think it’s a very non- intrusive way of monetizing a blog.
If you want to learn how to build an email list, please check this blog post.
9. Content optimization
When creating a blog post you should remember about a few things that will help your content rank higher on Google and drive more traffic to your blog.
I’m talking here about:
- Keyword research
- On-page SEO
First of all, you don’t always need to create a blog post around the given keyword. Of course that would be ideal, but it’s not necessary.
If you create 10 blog posts and in each of them you target a specific keyword, then in the next blog post you create you don’t have to focus on any keywords.
Just keep writing, trying to give value to your readers and in the end you will always rank for some keywords (even if you don’t focus on them).
The longer your post is the more keywords you will rank for naturally.
OK, but what keyword should you target if you want to rank highly on Google and drive more traffic to your blog?
The answer is simple: long tail keywords.
Short tail keywords usually consist of two words, e.g. make money.
Long tail keywords usually consist of at least 3-4 words, e.g. how to make money working at home.
Although it seems that head keywords would drive more traffic to your blog the truth is that they are too competitive and too general.
If someone types in Google: make money, this person may just be looking for some general information about making money whether offline or online.
It’s a very general keyword and even if you ranked for this keyword on the 1st page of Google, the traffic from it might have no to little value for you.
If however someone types in Google: how to make money blogging, then we know that this person is interested in making money with a blog.
And if you run a blog on which you teach how to make money blogging, then the traffic coming from this specific keyword will be very valuable for you.
That is why it is better to rank for long tail keywords which are more specific, less competitive and it’s more likely that you will make money from the traffic coming from such keywords.
Results from Jaaxy:
Results from ubersuggest:
However I think that the easiest way to find long tail keywords is by looking at the Searches related to … at the bottom of Google page.
Just type in Google, say, make money blogging and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Once you’ve found your keyword it’s time to create a blog post.
You create blog posts because you want people to read them.
If you use the right keywords and optimize your blog posts properly, so that they have a better chance to rank on the 1st page of Google, then you will drive a lot of traffic to them.
- Use your keyword in the title of the article. Put it at the front of the title – this helps to rank for the given keyword. E.G. How to make money blogging in 10 simple steps instead of 10 simple steps that will show you how to make money blogging.
- Use your keyword in the first 100-150 words of the article.
- Use subheadings (H2 tags). You can use your keyword in one of the subheadings. In other subheadings you can use secondary keywords (LSI keywords).
- Link to other relevant articles on your blog (internal linking). This will keep your visitors longer on your blog and it’s an indication for Google that your blog is valuable.
- Link out to other relevant websites and blogs. It’s always best to link out to high authority pages such as Wikipedia or well-know blogs. This way you will show Google that you made an effort to find more information about the given subject relevant to your blog post and that you want your readers to learn more by visiting other sites.
- Write longer blog posts. Aim for at least 1500 words.
- Add engaging images and videos to your posts. They reduce bounce rate and increase time on site. What’s more posts with images, videos and diagrams are shared more often on social media.
- Optimize images that you put in your posts. Use your target keyword in the image file name and in Alt Text.
- Don’t forget to place social sharing buttons either above and below each blog post or next to it (floating social bar).
- Make your page’s URL short and include a keyword in it, e.g. http://yourdomainname.com/make-money-blogging
There is also an off-page SEO and you can read more about it here.
10. Create good headlines
Being #1 on Google doesn’t mean that you will drive more traffic to your site than your competitors.
If for example your headline is not as good as your competitor’s headline who is ranking below you, then it’s very likely that people will click on your competitor’s link instead of yours.
That is why you should focus on creating attention-grabbing headlines.
According to copyblogger:
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
How can you create more powerful headlines?
Use specific numbers. For example: 17 ways to lose weight much faster.
Or: Lose weight much faster: 17 ways how to do it.
You can replace the word “ways” with “tips”, “ideas”, “tricks”, “secrets”, “strategies”.
In your headline indicate who exactly is your blog post for.
For example: for beginners, for single moms, for teenagers.
11 Tips on How to Make Money Online For Beginners.
You can also ask questions in your headlines. The reader will think that you’re going to reveal some secret in your blog post and will be more willing to read it.
Why do people gain weight even if they eat healthy food?
How do some marketers rank their videos quickly on the 1st page of Google?
Try to make your headlines unique, specific and evoke a sense of urgency.
How I made $100, 000 online last year [and how you can do it too in 5 simple steps]
Or: How I made $100, 000 online last year [learn my strategies now]
Use adjectives in your headlines to make them more powerful.
Here’s a short list of such adjectives provided by Jeff Goins:
50 Free Tools that You Can Use to Create Great Banners.
15 Strange Tips that Will Help You Rank Your Blog Higher on Google.
If you want to learn more about creating catchy headlines, read the blog posts below:
11. Blog more frequently
Well, I think it’s pretty easy to understand why you should blog more frequently.
The more blog posts you create the more keywords you will be ranking for.
According to seositecheckup.com
… the more frequently you update your website with articles, downloads, and new web pages, the more frequently a search engine will stop by to visit your website. When search engines look at your site more frequently, you have the opportunity to achieve higher rankings based on the content you provide.
When you publish new content, you present yet more opportunities for your site to contain more keywords. Keywords are high on the algorithm chart for search engine indexing and ranking. Frequently added content, such as blog or article postings, allows you to optimize the article with pertinent keywords that can attract visitors to your site.
Of course it doesn’t mean that you should be cranking out mediocre content as often as you can just to rank for more keywords.
It’s all about creating quality and detailed content as often as you can.
If you can’t do it every day (most bloggers can’t) then do it twice a week or even once a week. This way you will create 4 quality blog posts each month.
And if once a week is still too much for you, then do it once a month.
It’s better to publish one great piece of content once a month then create 5 mediocre pieces of content every week.
The Internet is full of mediocre content. If you want to stand out and attract visitors to your site you need to create something better.
However it’s not enough to write a great blog post, publish it and then leave it hoping that people will somehow find it.
You need to promote it.
12. Link out to influencers
Some internet marketers say that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.
How to promote your content online?
- social media
- email list
- press releases
- paid advertising
- link out to influencers
What do I mean by linking out to influencers?
When you’re writing a blog post on the given subject, it’s very likely that there are other posts online on the same or similar subject.
You can always link out to those other blog posts (especially if they’re on high authority sites) in your content.
For example, if you’re writing a blog post about cooking, you can link out to one of the articles on pinchofyum.
If you’re writing a blog post about exercising and staying fit, you can link out to a relevant article on simplyshredded.
Then, once your post is ready and published you can send an email to the people who run those blogs and tell them that you found their articles so good that you decided to link to them in your content.
If your blog post is really good and relevant to the topic of their blogs, then it is quite likely that they will share it with their followers on social media for example.
However your blog post needs to be really great.
It’s very unlikely that they will want to share your post with their audience if it’s just mediocre, that is why I told you earlier that it is better to write one great blog post once a month then 5 mediocre blog posts 5 days a week.
Of course it would be fantastic if you could create 2,3 or 5 great posts a week, but that’s totally up to you.
The more influencers you link out to in your blog posts the higher are the chances that you will drive more traffic to your blog if they decide to share your piece of content with their audience.
One more method, probably the fastest method of promoting your content online and bringing a lot of visitors to your blog is paid advertising.
13. Paid advertising
To be honest with you, I don’t use this method often.
But if I wanted to do it, I would go to Facebook and promote my content published on my Facebook fanpage. For $50 you can reach many Facebook users.
However if you run a cooking blog or a fashion blog and most of your audience is on Pinterest, then promote your content on Pinterest.
I prefer to pay for something that will stay online and will drive traffic to my offer even if I stop paying for it. That is why very often I choose YouTube.
If you go to Facebook and create a paid campaign for two days, after this period of time your ad will be stopped and no one else will ever see it until you pay for it again.
With YouTube videos it’s different.
You create a video, then you pay some money to get it ranked on the first page of Google.
Once it’s ranked on the first page you don’t have to do anything else with it and it will still rank highly on Google and drive traffic to your offer for a long time.
When after some time you notice that is has slipped off the first page , then again you can pay some money to get it back on the first page and once you reach your goal, you stop paying and enjoy first page rankings.
This way you don’t have to pay for advertising all the time.
And that is why YouTube is my favorite way of promoting content on the Internet.
There are different trainings online that will teach you how to rank your YouTube videos.
My favorite one is VidPenguin.
And my favorite tool for creating YouTube videos is VideoScribe.
But of course you can create videos in different ways.
You can make animated videos with VideoScribe, or you can record yourself talking to the camera or you can record your computer screen using Camtasia or Screencast-O-Matic.
Choose the method which you like most.
If you want to be successful online you need to learn how to generate traffic for your blog, website, sales page or whatever else you’re promoting on the Internet.
Without targeted traffic you will have a hard time selling anything online.
I know that it takes time and effort to drive traffic to your blog, but remember – you’re trying to build your own business that will be making you money for years to come.
So even if it’s going to be hard at the beginning, don’t get discouraged.
If you keep working on your blog continuously for a few years you will start generating so much traffic that eventually you won’t need to resort to other methods of driving visitors to your site.
However, for the time being, if you’re still not satisfied with the number of visitors coming to your blog, then just use the methods I mentioned above.
I am sure that if you focus on different sources of generating traffic for your site, sooner or later you will notice significant results.
OK, it’s your turn now. How do you drive traffic to your blog? Which method do you find most successful? Let me know in the comments below.