Content + Distribution = FREE TRAFFIC
In this article, I’m going to discuss ways you can generate free website traffic.
Despite the plethora of 1-click software programs we’re constantly pitched, most do not live up to their claims; at least for the long haul.
I’ve found that these 10 traffic getting methods when implemented, will drive loads of traffic to your website or blog for zero cost.
You’ll have to roll up your sleeves and do some work. I didn’t say it was easy, but if you’re a newbie with little or no budget, these methods will get you traffic – which ultimately translates into profits. Then you can either outsource the methods or use your profits to”buy” traffic.
10 Methods For Driving FREE Traffic
1. YouTube and Other Video Sites
YouTube is my first choice because YouTube videos get ranked super fast. And thanks to software (free and paid), there are lots of ways to create great videos. Here are a few suggestions:
- Smartphone Camera. Got an iPhone or Android smartphone? Then you’re in business. With a little practice, you can be pumping out quality videos advertising your product or service in no time.
- Animoto. Animoto used to be free. Now they charge $8.99/month for a basic membership. You can create real videos using images. You can add a limited amount of text and they even provide soundtracks to boot. Animoto is super-simple to learn and there are plenty of tutorials. Go to Animoto.com and sign up for a free 7-day trial.
- Jing. Think of Jing as Camtasia’s little brother. Both are produced by TechSmith. Camtasia will cost you over $300, while Jing is FREE. The tradeoff is that you are limited to a 5-minute video, which by the way is plenty of time to produce a cool screen capture video. Find out more about Jing here.
- Windows MovieMaker. My least favorite choice is Windows Moviemaker. However, in a pinch, it too works and there is no limitation on the length of the video.
A video is a powerful traffic method… if you take action!
2. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is another proven way to get targeted relevant traffic to your website. While there are software programs that can help with the heavy lifting, the most effective way to drive traffic with blog comments is to post them manually. This increases your chances of getting your blog comments approved by the blog owner.
The method is straightforward. Find blogs related to your niche. Read through the content and leave a comment that is relevant to the article and the adds value for the reader. Make sure you enter your information where requested and the URL to your site or the post/page of the article you’re promoting. When possible you can live a link within your comment recommending the reader visit your page for more information. DO NOT SPAM! It will only get your comment deleted.
There are only a couple of automated blog commenting software programs that I recommend.
ScrapeBox. ScrapeBox is a monster program that can create tens-of-thousands of blog comments. It is used by affiliate/online marketers (considered ‘BlackHat’) and it does have a steep learning curve. The software sells for $97 and it has many specialized uses. To address what Scrapebox can do will require a post devoted solely to Scrapebox. Maybe I’ll do one in the near future.
Comment Kahuna is another blog commenting software program that I’ve used for years and it is what I’d recommend starting with. It is not a ‘blackhat’ software, but it will save you loads of time identifying blogs in your niche where you can leave a relevant comment, add your link and drive targeted traffic to your blog or offer.
3. Forum Posting
Forum Posting is another popular method. In many ways, forums are the precursors to modern-day Social Media sites like Facebook. People join forums because of shared interests. Dog lovers join forums about dogs to get tips, share stories and learn more about their breed, etc.
The process is simple. Find forums in your niche and join them. Set up your profile, remember to add a link to your website in the profile and then become active in the forum. Leave comments, tips, etc. when appropriate. Avoid trying to sell anything; at least in the beginning. As you become known in the forum, and if you’ve been sharing good stuff you’ll gain the respect of forum members. Then over time, you can begin to share links to relevant content on your site, products, etc. with the forum members. The trick here is to join multiple forums and to engage consistently.
As of late, lots of marketers simple join forums to get the back-link from the profile. While it’s a tactic that works when used correctly, just putting a link your profile will not get you traffic. You have to engage with others in the forum, establish credibility and contribute useful content when appropriate.
I also use forum profile links as a component of ‘Tiered Linking’ in SEO campaigns as well as participating in niche specialized forums regularly.
If you choose the ‘forum’ route, just know that it is not a quick fix to getting traffic.
4. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your site, especially if you can create great content. Bloggers are always in search of relevant content as everyone grows weary of writing articles. The idea here is to contact the blog owner and offer to contribute content on their site. Nothing is guaranteed. You will more than likely have to send them content and wait for them to approve it. However, if what you send is high quality they will use it. As a guest blogger, you will be able to add a link back to your website. Guest blogging helps to establish you as an authority in your niche. Definitely drives traffic and it’s worth doing.
Matt Cutts (Google as a software engineer) recently posted an article on his blog, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO about Google’s concerns that Guest Blogging is being used as a method to game the Google algorithm for backlinks. It’s worth reading, especially if you are using Guest Bloggers on your personal blog.
Watch this video made by Matt Cutts on Guest Blogging. As long as you’re not trying to game the system, you will not incur the wrath of the Google gods!
No, article marketing is not dead. Although the power article marketing once had has diminished, it’s still a method I use even now. Millions of people still use Article Directories as sources of content. Your goal if you should decide to use this method is to rise above your competition by creating quality content and optimizing it to outrank your competitors. The next most important, but often overlooked aspect of article marketing is the ‘Authors/Resource’ box. This is where you get to put in your link (often 2x) and refer the reader to your site for more information.
Tip – use the resource box to build your email list. Instead of sending readers to your blog/website home page, create a squeeze page and collect their name and email address. This is a far better way to use article marketing. You will get traffic and a lead.
6. Free Classifieds
Classified sites have been around forever. It kind of old school, but will still get you traffic if done correctly. In order to get clicks with classifieds, it all comes down to your copywriting skills. Classified ads are “tiny” and you’ve got to get your point across quickly and ‘sensationally’. Give people a reason to want to click your link. Examples of sites that offer classified ads are below.
7. Social Media Sites
Social Media sites are more popular than ever. An added benefit is your content can go VIRAL, exploding traffic to your website. Popular Social Media sites include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, MySpace, Tagged, MeetUp, etc.
Each platform has its own rules – but they are easy enough to comprehend and there are plenty of guides that can help you learn how to master them.
8. Press Releases
The Press Release is a useful way to generate traffic. (1) They can rank quickly and rank high in the search engines, (2) they establish your brand and (3) they establish your authority in your niche.
9. Social Bookmarking
You should submit your content to as many social bookmarking sites as possible. Again, people are always in search of information. Social bookmarking sites make it easy for searchers to find relevant content that has already been codified for them. By bookmarking your content on multiple sites, you increase the chances of it being found getting traffic as the result. Sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, etc. have huge audiences. With Social Bookmarking, as with Classified Ads, it comes down to your copywriting. Your title and description have to be compelling to entice readers to click through.
I have to admit, I do use software to handle my social bookmarking chores. When I first started it was easy because there were only a handful of these sites. Today there are thousands. Automation makes this chore simple and efficient.
10. Offline Traffic
Put your website URL on business cards, flyers, postcards, coffee mugs, t-shirts… anywhere you can think of.
To maximize your traffic efforts, use the above methods together. Never rely on just one method of getting traffic.
If you found this post helpful, consider sharing it below. If you have specific questions about a particular method leave a comment and I’ll be sure to respond ASAP!