There’s an infinite variety of ways you can use to bring traffic to your blog. Many of those methods cost money, though, and spending money on blog traffic is for chumps. Well, chumps and businesses that have the money to spend. You’re not a chump. You’re reading this blog, that’s verification enough.
So, you’re looking for free traffic. Thankfully, you can get free traffic almost as easily as you can get paid traffic. Just remember; in most cases, paying for traffic is a substitute for earning traffic over time. You’re using money to take the place of time. Many of the methods below will earn you great traffic over time, but they don’t have the immediate effect of a few bucks thrown into PPC.
The first thing to do is check the validity of your site and post SEO. You want to make sure your meta title and description are both optimized for the content and keyword you’re targeting. You also want that keyword in an H1 title and a few times in the content, though you need to be careful not to use it too many times.
In general, today’s SEO largely relies on content value and depth. Google likes posts when they have plenty of utility or go deep into a topic, rather than posts that cover a superficial level in a few hundred words. You don’t need to worry too much about keyword density; as long as you mention what you’re talking about, you should be fine. If you’re not mentioning your subject, well, your content has issues.
There are some other SEO factors to consider, like link anchor text, internal site linking and image optimization. You can read more about them here.
You need to be building a following on social media, so that you can leverage that audience when you want new users to browse your content, or returning readers to see what you wrote. This can be spun into PPC later, but for now, organic growth is fine.
Post to Facebook. Facebook has the largest audience and the most interest tracking of any site. It’s also the best for future PPC, in terms of social media. A site without a Facebook page is doing itself a disservice.
Post to Twitter. Twitter also has a ton of users, but doesn’t have the same feed filtering that Facebook uses. It’s great for immediate announcements of new content, and it works well to contribute your content in relevant, ongoing discussions.
Post to Google+. You may not want to have a Google+ account, but it’s worth it for one simple reason; it’s a Google property. Most of SEO comes down to appeasing Google, and posting new content to Google+ allows them to check if the content is new or not. Consider it a fast-track to indexation, particularly for new sites.
You can also post your content on other social networks, though which you choose is up to you. Here’s a good rundown of others and their benefits.
There are going to be a number of other blogs in your industry. Rather than treat them as competitors, think of them as potential partners. When you write a new post and think their audience may be interested, send them a link or a minor press release.
You can also do this for those blogs that do a weekly content roundup for interests posts in your industry. You might not always make the cut with everything you write, but if you save the best posts you make, you do two things. First, you show them excellent content they can include. Second, you get them checking your blog for more valuable content they might want to feature.
You can also participate in industry discussions to drum up interest. I know blog comments and forum posts aren’t exactly top-tier advertising these days, but the fact is, people use forums and people read comments. If your link is in a post or a comment – only if it’s relevant, of course – you’ll get that added exposure. Those people will see that you answered their question with a resource and will check that resource.
There are a lot of blogs on the Internet, and that means a lot of people need to be writing content. If those people are a little tired of it, they’ll probably jump at the chance to have one of their post slots filled by something someone else wrote. This isn’t true for all blogs; some don’t accept guest posts.
Some blogs also have very strict rules for guest posts. These are good blogs to write for, if their readership is large enough; they vet content, and if you made the cut, you must be good.
Your goal is to write something related to your blog and post it on another site. If that other site allows links, link to related content on your own blog, typically as reference material. If they don’t allow links, don’t worry about it; just having your name out there will help build your authorial reputation, which boosts interest in your other content.
Drafting in racing is a concept where the lead car is forced to disrupt the air as it passes, while cars riding close behind it take advantage of the already disrupted air to pass with lower resistance.
With content drafting, you watch your competitors and look for their guest posts on other sites. When you see them land a guest post on a high tier site, you know that site accepts guest posts and you see an idea they already accepted.
At this point, you need to pitch a post to that same site. You’ll have a decent change of being accepted, because your competitor already was, and you’re just as good. You can even pitch a topic that directly refutes your competitor, if you want to stir up a little controversy.
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