It's true that online traffic will make or break an online business. Making profit online from a business venture is exciting, but without enough traffic, it’s hard for a blog to take off. Recently on our free webinar training, we were discussing various ways to generate blog traffic. Options vary, and some blog owners purchase services and others try organic methods to increase their readership. As a new blogger, it’s understandable being on a budget. Luckily there are still ways to improve blog traffic without spending a lot up front! Here are some great ways to generate traffic for free:
Commenting on Blogs
Commenting on blogs is an easy way to get web traffic to your blog because usually, blog owners like to return the favor by heading over to your blog to comment. They may also help a new blogger out by linking to your blog or mentioning to their readers that you’re new to the blogging scene. Small Business recommends not to comment with spam, however. If you comment without putting links in your comments, over time you never know what friendships and traffic you may receive from kind bloggers!
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.
Small Business also recommends running a contest to get more traffic on your blog. It’s an excellent way for people to get interested in your blog and also keep them informed should they sign up as a subscriber.
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.
Find Out Where Your Audience Hangs Out
If your audience has a prime hang out, spot Wordstream says it’s up to you to find it. Do they hang out on Facebook groups or Instagram? Do your research without burning through too much time. After you get involved in the community, form relationships, and continue to keep your audience engaged, you should reap the benefits in no time at all.
When it comes to promoting your blog, it’s essential that you’re strategic about where you spend your time. While it’s nice to establish your presence across a range of social networks, you’ll quickly burn out trying to excel with every social site.
Dip your feet and see which social networks work best for you. Is your blog heavy on the visuals? You’ll probably want to set your sights on LinkedIn. Is your blog catered more towards nerd culture? Find the right subreddits and you could strike it big.
If you’re looking for seagulls, you go to the seashore. To drive blog traffic, you need to go to where your flock hangs out. Know where to find your bird of a feather. Understanding your audience is also key for building strong referral links from relevant websites.
Start an Email List
As soon as possible you should start an email list, which Start Blogging Online argues is an excellent way to get more traffic to your blog. After you have enough subscribers, you can send out regular newsletters with links to your latest blog posts.
Start an Email List: Ask most successful bloggers what the top source of traffic to their blog is and they’ll tell you that email is in the top 3. Highly successful blogger Darren Rowse always record a traffic spike (the kind that almost doubles his blog traffic) whenever he sends an email to his list about a new blog post (see a screenshot of one of his traffic spikes below).
Email is such a powerful medium for generating traffic that many bloggers vouch for it; the reason is simple, all things being equal, your email list will only keep growing and rarely decrease. Even more, unlike your blog traffic that can fluctuate, you have access to a database of the people on your email list and can always email them.
The best email management tool is constant contact. I recommend you sign up and start building your list immediately. You can get a 20% discount if you purchase here. Don’t wait.
Here’s another screenshot from Neil Patel showing traffic to his new blog in 30 days from a list size of 3,612 visitors:
If you haven’t started building an email list, start now. Install the free SumoMe plugin and use their email list building options including the ScrollBar, Popup and Welcome Mat.
Referral Marketing Campaign
Similar to having a contest, Mention argues that setting up a referral marketing campaign is just as effective. In exchange for a reader sharing your latest blog post, for example, you give them a free ebook or something similar. Make sure the “reward” is compelling enough for readers to share your blog or post because otherwise, they’ll be more likely to pass on the opportunity.
We all know social media shares drive traffic to your blog post.
However, even if your content is really good, less than half the people who visit your post will share it with their friends on social media.
But what if you give your readers an incentive to share your post? In other words, when they share it with their friends, you give them something in return.
This is known as an incentivized click trigger.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Create a complimentary resource
Let me show you how I did this on my blog post “How to reach 1 million people through guest blogging.”
On a post where I show people how to get a guest post accepted on a popular blog, I figured a complimentary resource could be called “101 blogs accepting guest posts”. After all, once you know how to get your post accepted, it might make sense to know where to pitch your post.
Step 2: Create your referral campaign
Next, you’re going to head over to Birchfield, or another referral marketing tool.
Next, copy and paste the code into your blog post. (Note: Personally, I put this in the top 25% of the blog post in order to give it the most visibility.)
Step 3: Create a call-to-action
Next, you’re going to create a simple call to action. Remember, my complimentary resource is called “101 Blogs Accepting Guest Posts.” So I simply tell my readers how they can get access to it.
Once the person clicks either the Twitter or Facebook button, they’ll be asked to share the message that you created for them. This makes it as easy as possible for your readers to share your post with their friends and followers.
And finally, the reader will be able to download your complimentary resource.
Write Killer Headlines
Boring headlines are just that, boring. If a reader isn’t impressed by the title how will they get excited to read the post? The headline must be compelling enough for a reader to click over to the post and read the content. Wordstream recommends writing sensational headlines to continue to hold a reader’s attention.
As a blogger, you should always ensure that you’re creating irresistibly awesome headlines. Your headline is what gets visitors to your site and captures their interest.
Some even suggest that your headline is more important than your actual post! If you have a great content piece hiding behind a shabby headline, it’ll die a quick death. Appearances are everything, and just as you wouldn’t show up to a wedding wearing your stay-home-sick clothes, you can’t rely on lackluster headlines to promote your blog posts.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different headlines. Share your post multiple times with different headlines and see which style works best.
As you can see, there are many ways to get free traffic to your blog without spending a penny. It may take a lot of work, but imagine the pay off when your blog helps you make income online! Head over to learn more about our free webinar training that’ll help you gain additional ways on how to bring and keep the traffic on your blog and make money!