Is blogging a struggle for you sometimes? I know it is a passion for most of us, and we love doing it. But sometimes it becomes a struggle. How to get more traffic, how to get more comments, how to come up with fresh topics…
My struggle was if I should enter the contest. My first one. I just decided to have fun and do it. There is so much to write on the topic of traffic generation that I didn’t want to miss the chance.
So how about me helping you by reminding you of some usual traffic sources and telling you about some you might have missed along the way?
I will tell you about those that brought me the most traffic over the years. If you are in a niche, don’t go away – the tips are not only for blogs about blogging.
Use video/image/other files to get traffic
Youtube.com is an awesome place to find targeted traffic. How can you get more traffic besides creating great and viral videos?
- Make sure to add your blog’s URL to an opening or closing “scene” of the video.
- Add a link to your blog in the description (must be related of course).
- Create video responses to related videos with a lot of views.
Vimeo.com, like YouTube, will house your videos. Don’t forget your blog’s URL in the opening scene!
Flickr.com is great not only for photographers but bloggers as well.
- Any time you use a photo from Flickr, make a comment under it and include a link to your post. Photographers love seeing how their photos are used. I have had great traffic results with it, especially if you use an image in a funny, non-related way (a bunny reading a book on a post about Google PR).
Slideshare.net is a place where you can post slide shows to promote your blog and get more traffic. Not sure what a slide show would do to get traffic?
- Turn your most popular posts into slide shows. As simple as that.
Scribd.com lets you upload documents and share them with a big community of readers.
- Write useful how-tos for your niche and make them available for download. Don’t forget to include some links to your blog. PDF files work great for this. All files I make available for download can be shared and given away as long as they are not edited (so my link is shared along with them). Great guides get shared a lot!
Wikimedia.org is a great place to find new, targeted traffic.
- Let’s say you have a great image of a travel destination (Rome, Italy, for example). Upload it to Wikimedia with a Commons license and go to Wikipedia. Find a project that is related to your image (Rome, Italy). Go to a project and attach your image as a related image to the Rome page. Your photo will be a new traffic source for your blog.
iTunes – podcasting is a great way to get fresh, targeted traffic. With millions and millions of users this is still a traffic generation source that is not saturated as some others.
The usual traffic generation sources
Commenting on other blogs – we all know about this way of traffic generation. But don’t rely only on posting a comment. Answer other people’s questions as well. And visit a new blog every once in a while, don’t stay on the same ones all the time!
If you are commenting on a blog that has Comment Luv enabled, make sure to master the art of good blog post titles.
Guest posting – again, a well known traffic source, but how much of it are you really using? Are you afraid of guest posting on bigger blogs? Go to new, up and coming blogs which are more likely to accept your post. You never know, few months from now, one of those blogs might be “the next big blog”.
Round ups – There is nothing better for traffic than being included in a round up on a blog like Kikolani or NittyGriddy. But you never are… If you think you wrote a great post that deserves to be in a round up like that, contact the blogger and offer your post. Great posts are not always discovered by themselves.
Social bookmarking sites
Digg.com – you don’t have much success with it? Stop submitting your posts, submit and digg other people’s posts and connect with as many “diggers” as you can. They will return the favor.
StumbleUpon.com – the best strategy is to do the same as I wrote for Digg. An extra thing to do would be being very active as a stumbler. Seems that the more active you are, the more “valuable” your submissions and votes are.
My biggest success with SU was a friend of mine (a pretty active one) submitting one of my posts. Talk about 1.000 new visitors in a day (low bounce rate and long times they spent on the blog was the cherry on top of a chocolate cake).
Reddit.com – I had great success with this site by submitting funny and controversial stuff. Funny images will bring you crazy amounts of traffic.
Delicious.com – Although there were some rumors it will be shut down, it is still working and bringing the traffic. Same tactics as other bookmarking sites. Great posts with numbers in the title (like this one) often get a lot of traffic from Delicious.
Google Buzz and Yahoo Buzz allow you to share blog posts. Any kind of sharing is a potential for traffic generation.
Amplify.com is a sharing site where you can connect with people, spark conversations and get more traffic for your blog.
Bookmarking and voting for bloggers
There are 5 sites I use for bookmarking best blog posts and voting for them.
I don’t submit all of my posts and I try to vote often for posts I like. Try to connect with people and vote on their posts. Keep it real and don’t go “blind voting” for everything on the home page.
These sites can bring very targeted traffic to your blog considering they are pretty focused. Not to mention that once you have a great post shared on those sites (and it makes it to a home page) you will have your blog flooded with targeted visitors.
Traffic generation by writing content for other sites
Ezinearticles.com, although hit by the new Google algorithm, it is a great source of highly targeted traffic. The bounce rate of visitors I get from EZA is always less than 20%! Choosing a good keyword for an article can result in incredible amounts of traffic. I have been receiving a lot of traffic from a single well written article for a year and a half now!
I will not list other article sites cause it would look like pumping up numbers of traffic sources in this post, but there are many of them that can bring fresh eyes to your blog.
Squidoo.com and Hubpages.com will not only bring you targeted traffic but can also be a nice source of income. If you don’t want to spend too much time on these sites, you can always make a single page about your blog and update it from time to time with links to your must-read and most popular posts.
About.com – How many times have you tried to do something and needed instructions? You Google it and it brings up how-tos from About.com. Well, you can contribute to this site with some of the how-tos for your niche and get traffic from it. Additional tip – there is an About.com Forum where you can be helpful to people in need and get additional traffic to your blog.
Never underestimate Wikipedia and WikiHow. These two sites are an awesome place to further promote your blog and get, again, targeted traffic. Depending on your niche, you can contribute some great tips and bring thousands of visitors back to your blog.
One forgotten traffic generation source
The Forums – yes, I know some bloggers are telling you that you can not get anything from the Forums, but I can prove them wrong. One example: I met one of my dear blogging friends on a Forum way before I started blogging. She has been helping me since. Instead of struggling with some newbie mistakes, I skipped most of them and went straight for success. Most forums allow links in signatures – use it!
Your niche will determine which forums you will visit, but great forums for bloggers are Website Babble, My blog guest, Warrior forum, Blog Frog, etc.
Social media sources
Facebook.com – Do I need to explain this one? You can use your personal profile to post about your blog, you can use groups and pages. Ask your friends to share your blog post to their wall and groups and wait for all the traffic to pour in.
While on Facebook, I need to mention Networked Blogs. I use this application to post my RSS on my personal profile wall and my blog’s fan page. You can also use this application to follow other blogs in the network and rate them.
This is one of my biggest traffic referrals at the moment. You should use all possible tools to get your blog shared on Facebook as much as possible because with so many users, Facebook can bring a lot of traffic to your blog.
Twitter.com is one of the best ways to get your blog out there. Main thing – communicate and connect, don’t spam. Tweet relevant and quality posts and don’t self-promote too much. Don’t forget to participate in Twitter chats. I get a lot of “fresh” visitors from those chats!
LinkedIn.com is a place where you can get traffic from more than one source.
Connect with people you know and they will see your updates. If you are a good writer and post great content, you will receive traffic from them. You can generate traffic by joining LinkedIn groups and helping people in your niche by pointing them to your relevant posts. Besides groups, there is an answers section. Answer questions the best you can and point people to relevant links (your blog).
Yahoo Groups – join groups in your “area of expertise”. Again, do the best you can to help people.
Paid traffic sources
Facebook ads are a great way to get highly targeted traffic to your blog (landing page, fan page, what ever). Although not a free traffic source, it is a great one. The price is not very high and I think it is pretty acceptable considering that you can choose demographics of Facebook users that will see your ad. I had great success getting traffic that converts on one of my niche sites.
Google Adwords is a well known paid traffic generation source. I, presonally, did not get too much into it since it takes some learning to make it work for you. But you can easily find coupons for $75 to try it out, so why not? Those who can use Google Adwords well convert that traffic into subscribers and buyers in no time.
Ads on related blogs. Most blogs are open for advertising and you can always buy advertising space on them. Choosing a blog that is related to your niche (while not directly competing with you) and has a lot of visitors is a great way to get more traffic.
Answer sites – Why aren’t bloggers using them more?
This is one of my favorite ways of traffic generation. Using answer sites is not only a great way to generate targeted traffic but establish yourself as a “know it all” in your niche.
The main tip about using answer sites is not to link to your blog every time you answer a question. Especially if the post is not closely related to the question. Answer some questions for the sake of answering them. You will always have links in your bio/profile, so if you answer a question like a rock star (without a link), some traffic will come from people checking out your profile.
Vark.com is owned by Google. Interesting, right? Last time I checked, their links were dofollow. All you need to do is choose topics you are interested in and you will get relate dquestions that need answers. Answer the best way you can, and if it is convenient, point people to your blog with a related link.
Yahoo Answers is one of my favorite traffic generation sources when it comes to answer sites. It has been one of my main traffic sources on a niche site for a long time, even after I haven’t used it for months. The main thing is to give your best when answering. If your answers are chosen as the best ones, you will have more respect in the eyes of the visitors so… yes, more of them will come to check out your blog.
Google answers is one of the great answer sites you can use for traffic generation. I mean, isn’t everything that is connected to Google something we should master?!
Quora.com is a pretty new but already very popular site among bloggers. Connect, ask questions and answer them. Same “laws” apply like on any answer site.
Fluther.com is great in a way that it will find questions related to your expertise. After using it for awhile, the site gets “smarter” as it learns more about you and offers you questions related to your niche.
Other great answer sites you should start using today:
- Wiki answers
- Yedda.com or AOLAnswers.com (same site)
A few more interesting sources of fresh traffic
eBay.com can generate traffic in more than one way. You can sell reports and e-books you write (write some useful how-tos and sell them for very low price, the point in this case is the traffic, not the money). There is also an about page you can create, where you can put a link to your blog.
Craigslist.org – Yes, you can post ads and generate traffic. Depending on your niche the ads will be different. You have a “blog about blogging” and can’t imagine how you could post an ad? Aren’t you offering a service? That is an ad right there.
Paper.li is a site that automatically creates “newspapers” based on who you follow on Twitter. You can base it on Twitter lists or make other settings. When it posts to your Twitter, it will mention one or two people who are featured in it. How about sending tweets mentioning all the people featured in it that you haven’t connected with yet?
Generating traffic by offline promotion
You can always generate some traffic by promoting your blog offline. I can think of many ideas, but here are just a few (depends a lot on the type of blog you have):
– handing flyers to your targeted audience (University students, high school students, coffee drinkers…)
– buying an ad in printed magazines or local newspapers
– giving away free samples of what ever you offer on your blog
I bet there is at least one traffic source mentioned here that you have not used yet, and I am sure there are some I forgot to mention.