TRAFFIC, WHERE ART THOU?
Hello traffic ninja, and welcome to the guide on how to get free traffic to your website. I understand that feeling. After spending so much time on a spanking new site, there is nobody visiting it.
What do we do? How can we get more pairs of eyes on the website? The easiest way to get traffic? Throw swats of cash into paid advertising.
Yep, but that is probably not good in the long run, nor is it any good for people without much money. So this is where the guide comes in handy, sharing all the shameless self promotion methods that I have used (or know) to get traffic – for free.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
There is actually no secret sauce to getting traffic. The only way to get more traffic, is to promote your website aggressively. Traffic, is mainly divided into 5 “categories” these days, and we shall address how to win them one-by-one.
Also, if you have do not have any traffic tracking on your website, I will suggest getting started with Google Analytics now – It’s free.
Direct traffic comes from, people directly entering your website address into their browser.
Yep, took a genius to figure that out. The methods to drive direct traffic are also pretty straightforward.
A1) WORD OF MOUTH
The good old school method. Let your family and friends know of your website, and ask them to visit. Spread the word, and who knows how far it will go.
A2) FREE ADVERTISING
If you are running a business website, this should be pretty easy. You can just register you website with free listings and get plenty of free advertising opportunities. Two of the usual suspects are Yelp and Craigslist.
A3) BUSINESS CARDS
This is not exactly a free method, but can still be pretty cheap. Design and print some business cards, give them to friends and people who might be interested.
Another interesting way to distribute your cards is to put them into related library books.
Who does not know Facebook?
What you need to do, is to create a Facebook page, and join a few groups related to your website’s niche.
Share your posts to the groups, and watch the traffic go. But remember – do not spam. Do not piss off the admin and Facebook.
B2) GOOGLE PLUS
Big brother Google has their own social media platform. Yes, they do. It is called Google+, and strangely, not the entire world know about it.
While it may not be the most popular, it is still a very good platform to tap into. The usual tactic applies – create a new page for your website / business, start posting, and share in communities. Do not spam though.
Reddit is a powerful platform if you know how to tap on it. Subscribe to sub-reddits and share your posts.
Beware though, Reddit has become a community that hates random posts, and you might need to do some “warming up” with the community first. Oh. Watch out for the trolls too. Don’t feed them.
Twitter seems to be losing it’s shine slowly, but still, it is too big to be ignored. So go get yourself a Twitter account, and start tweeting.
Pinterest is an interesting place. It is a very graphical social sharing platform, and if you want to win over Pinterest, post a lot of good pictures and infographics.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that targets professionals. A good place to source for the more serious crowd.
StumbleUpon is a platform that recommends content, by users for users. Simply add your page in, and assign an interest.
Referral traffic is traffic that came from a link on another website.
Rather than waiting for links and traffic to happen, the best way is to build them ourselves.
Scoop.it is probably one of the easiest places to get you backlinks and referral traffic. Simply start your own topic, and share your posts. No spamming, no adult, gambling and drugs related contents please.
Flipboard is similar to Scoop.it, and it’s more “magazine oriented”. Nothing too different though, start your magazine and share your posts.
C3) FORUM POSTING
The age old method. Put a link back to your website in your signature, and start posting. This method is sort of getting more difficult as forums are slowly dying out, and less forums actually allow you to put a link now.
C4) GUEST POSTING
Another age old method, and a pain to do. If you are interested, look for “blogs that accept guest posts” on Google, and try to write some guest posts for those blogs.
As you might have guessed, there are way too many bloggers today, and guest blogging will only accept very high quality posts. Still worth a shot though, if you are trying to write for very popular sites.
C5) ANSWERING QUESTIONS
C6) COMMENT ON BLOGS
Yet another old school method. Simply find blogs, and comment on them. Make sure that you have a link back to your own website in the profile. You can find blogs that accepts comments with Drop My Link.
C7) SHARE SLIDES AND PDF
Already have a great article? Why not make full use of it? Compress it into slides, make a PDF and distribute it… just remember to add a link back to your own website within. I usually haunt LinkedIn Slide Share and Issuu to distribute the slides.
C8) POST A VIDEO
If you are not camera shy, take a short video to supplement your post. Post it on YouTube, and maybe on a semi-regular basis as well. As you build up a following, a constant stream of traffic will start going to your website.
Organic traffic is not grown with natural methods, and without pesticides. It is simply traffic that results from people searching for certain things on the Internet.
Free organic traffic is actually hard to get, and it will involve you writing good content and promoting things in the long run.
In short, it’s called search engine optimization (SEO). Free organic traffic is slow to earn, but once you start the ball rolling, it will probably never stop.
D1) WRITE GOOD CONTENT
How do we grow organic traffic? Remember how the “gurus” always say “write good content and traffic will come”?
That is partially true, and goal is to score your articles on the first page of search results. Easier said than done, but it begins with writing good content. Let me just leave my ninja writing tips here.
D2) SHARE IT, POST IT
Yes, it’s weird. We need traffic to attract more traffic. But in general, we want social signals and backlinks. With these, your article should slowly move up the ranking ladder, and eventually, you will get organic traffic.
D3) REVIEW IT
So what happens if your article stops moving up the ranking ladder? Review it, beef it up, and promote it again.
This is one of the most traditional source of traffic, and one of the most difficult to get. I mean, how the heck do you even get your website into many emails for free? If there is a will, there is a way.
E1) EMAIL ALL YOUR FRIENDS
The simplest method, especially when you have a lot of overseas friends. Well, if your friends don’t mind, that is. No harm letting them know that you have a website, and need some help with it.
E2) FREE EMAIL LISTS
But as you guessed it, they are email exchanges and you will get a lot of junk mail. You will not get quality traffic out of these, but at least it’s free.
UNTESTED AND BONUS METHODS
These are a few odd ball methods that don’t seem to fit anywhere. One thing to note though, I have not tried all of these methods. I just happened to stumble on a few of these, and try it at your own risk.
F1) FROM WEBSITE TO CHROME STORE
Difficulty : ?
Do you know the Google browser called Chrome? Do you know that there is a Chrome store dedicated to it’s plugins?
The even more unknown part – do you know that you can add your website to the Chrome store. It’s not free though. I have not tried this method, and I do not know if it even works. I guess you will have to try this to find out yourself.
F2) SOCIAL EXCHANGE
What is social exchange? It is simply sharing someone else’s post, and someone else will share yours. You visit someone’s page, and someone visits yours.
I am usually not a huge fan of exchange programs… as they are pretty low quality and low on interest. But the only legit program that I found is Viral Content Bee – Worth to check it out if you are interested.
F3) HELP A REPORTER OUT (HARO)
This is a program where reporters seek out some help with their scoop from the public. Well, who knows? You might get lucky. Check HARO out.
METHODS THAT DO NOT WORK
These are the methods that did not work.
These are what I call “junk traffic”, sure there are hits going to the website, but they are either bot traffic or uninterested humans.
G1) BUYING TRAFFIC FROM FIVERR
For those who are not aware, there is this website called Fiverr, where you can buy services for just $5. Among those are some rather shady deals like “unlimited real human traffic for 6 months”.
Well no shame in confession – I have tried those out of curiosity before. Did it work? Yep. Traffic came in, but that did absolutely nothing to my website.
No sales, no social likes and shares, nothing.
So much for the “real human traffic”, which should be “real traffic generated by human using an app”. Don’t waste your money on those, it really does nothing more than wasting your bandwidth.
G2) FREE TRAFFIC EXCHANGE
There are plenty of these traffic exchange programs, such as Hit4Hit and HitLeap. The huge problem with these traffic exchange, is that everything is automated. Which defeats the entire purpose. You will get a lot of traffic, but so what?
Again, there is no human interaction. No sales, no social likes and shares, no interest what-so-ever. Don’t waste your time on these.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
So we have come to the end of this guide. I hope that this list of free traffic sources is enough for you to get rolling. While one traffic source may not seem much, you will get a tsunami as you stack all of them up.
I will try to add more traffic ideas as time go by. But in the meanwhile, good luck with your website and may the force be with you.
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