Whether you are blogging for fun, for your community, for your employer or to promote your own business, you need readers to find your site and get hooked on it so that they become faithful followers.
Most online business works on one system: Drive traffic and convert that traffic into subscribers. This will help your blog to grow over time.
There are many ways to get free traffic and paid traffic. Most business websites that I know of use the PPC or advertising model to get traffic to their blog. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but we all know that advertising can become a black hole for money, and there are plenty of ways to promote your blog for free. So — what’s the best way of getting and keeping your readers without resorting to paid advertising?
Ways to get free traffic to your website:
The key is not to seek out one perfect method. It’s more about refining what you are already doing.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you use a good blogging platform such as WordPress. This will help you to get started quickly and to work more efficiently. In addition, you have more control over the SEO of your blog when you are using a self-hosted WordPress blog.
If you are new to WordPress, you can refer to the WordPress guide to get started.
SEO, choosing the right keywords for your blog and creating backlinks to your blog are undoubtedly important factors in getting free traffic. This is an effective strategy because blog readers love information, and they will be reading widely on their subjects of interest. You can find plenty of potential visitors on other relevant blogs, forums, social media sites and websites, so it is essential that you stay in touch with what’s out there, and create as many links back to your blog as you possibly can.
When you are compiling a post in WordPress or on any platform, make sure you follow standard on-page optimization rules or use keyword optimization plugins like EasyWPSEO.
The central focus of this free traffic guide is SEO, and we will be using the powerful combination of search engines + blogging to get traffic.
Press releases are among the best ways to drive a lot of traffic to your site, especially when they are published in popular newspapers and magazines. Editors are always on the lookout for interesting stories, particularly for the online versions of papers, but you do need to write a press release specifically for a particular publication. Pay attention to their style, and write pieces that will fit in with their general themes.
If a story looks like it’s written generically for any old media, then it’s likely to be rejected unless it is ground-breaking news. You can try media agencies to find a home for your press release, but the best way to get it accepted is to write directly for a particular editor who writes about your area of interest. Take some time doing your research before you start writing — if your story is accepted and published by a well-known paper or magazine, you could be deluged with traffic in a very short time.
A longer term strategy is to write articles for syndicates, and relevant posts as a guest blogger for some of the best blogging sites. This is a good way to get links back to your own blog and get your name recognized as an expert in your field. It is also useful for building your unique brand as a blogger. There are several really good sites, including ShoutMeLoud, that will accept blog posts by guest writers. The bonus is that it could lead to paid work as a writer or blogger in the future.
Use interactive media:
Other ways to utilize high ranking sites in order to get links back to your blog is to post videos on YouTube, or photographs on Flickr, just for example. There are endless ways you can use interactive media to promote your blog. How about making some instructional videos for YouTube, interviewing somebody interesting for a webinar, or recording your blog posts as audio blogs. (Audio blogs can provide a really great service for people who are blind.) You can also take advantage of the viral video marketing guide, to boost this concept to the next level.
Blog commenting is another great free tool for our kit. Commenting not only helps with branding and traffic, but it also helps by generating backlinks. It also requires little time, and with a proper strategy you can use it toward improved personal connections and networking.
Here is a complete blog commenting guide, that you can refer to in order to begin commenting on blogs. I also recommend that you install a free add-on called Easy Comment, which will help you to fill in comment forms with one click.
Yet another way to tap into high ranking sites for those important links, and really boost your credibility at the same time, is to become a Wikipedia editor. You can write your own entry on the subject you are most knowledgeable about, or you can edit other people’s pages and add links and references. Don’t forget to mention your work on Wikipedia within your blog, as it helps to showcase your expertise.
Turning free blog traffic into subscribers:
No we’ve done the hard part which is creating a good blog, writing content that people love, and getting free traffic to the blog. The next strategy is to convert those one-time readers into loyal subscribers. Harsh has already shared some of the must-have subscription options for any blog. Choose the options that best fit your niche.
Series post: Increasing curiosity
One great strategy for getting people to return to your blog is to serialize your blog posts. Break a long story into several smaller posts, and make sure you maintain enough intrigue to keep your readers wanting to know what happens next. It’s like creating a cliff-hanger at the end of a chapter in a riveting thriller — you should always leave your readers desperate to know what’s coming next.
Interlink blog posts like a pro:
To make your blog site compelling and to keep visitors reading for longer, it’s a good idea to have links to other posts within your blog. This gives your readers a more well-rounded experience, and gives them the opportunity to judge your entire body of work, rather than just your most recent post.
Ask questions: Engage with readers
Try starting a debate about an important issue or something topical that readers might be interested in. This draws them in by inviting them to comment and voice their opinions. A great way to conduct a debate is via a podcast on your blog. This is like having your own radio show. People love to state their opinions, and a podcast would give them a chance to air them publicly.
If a podcast seems like a scary prospect for you, you could instead conduct a discussion via a written forum or through one of the social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Another more controlled way to discuss issues on your blog site is to host a round-table discussion with some experts, and film them (with their permission, of course). Post the video on your blog site and on YouTube, and invite comments from your readers.
You can also take advantage of the Google Plus Hangout feature to host video meetings on your Google Plus page and connect with readers. This will not only help you to promote your Google Plus page, but will also help in establishing you as an expert.
By far the best way to ensure that readers will want to come back to your blog is to create compelling and engaging content. Post frequently, and give your readers the quality of information they are looking for, and you will not fail to attract them back regularly. They may even recommend your blog to others.
Here is another article which discusses another way to drive free traffic to your sites:
One final trick which can drive free traffic is to put your blog up for auction on sites like Flippa, you can use is by putting your blog in auction on sites like Flippa, Digital Point Forum and other website buy/sell spaces. You can set an unreasonable price, and this can help you to get a fair amount of free referral traffic from these website flipping sites.
If you have more ideas and suggestions on how to get free traffic to a blog, let us know via the comments section below.
If you enjoyed reading this post, remember to share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.