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 you need to have proper funnel setup, else you would be burning your money.
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.
1. Drive traffic from SlideShare
If you’re not living under the rock, you may know what SlideShare is all about. It is a website that allows you to upload and share PowerPoint presentations online. However, did you know that SlideShare can also be one of the best sources to drive an insane amount of traffic to your blog?
Bloggers like Mauro D’Andrea and Ana Hoffman have been generating massive traffic to their blogs. By creating just 9 presentations in 30 days, Ana Hoffman has turned SlideShare as her second largest referral traffic source.
If you can learn from her success, you can implement the lessons on your traffic acquisition strategy.
Before jumping in to create your first slide, below are a few things you’ll need to know as a prerequisite.
- In order to drive huge traffic from your slides, obviously, you will need to get more views for your presentation on SlideShare.
- According to Ana Hoffman, you’ll need to get about 900-1100 views for your slides to be featured in the featured box and 1200-1500 views to be featured as the Top Presentation of the Day.
- The best time to upload your presentation is between 11 pm and 2 am EST.
Step by step guide to driving traffic from SlideShare
Step 1- Create a SlideShare presentation
Create a SlideShare presentation based on your blog posts. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about ‘10 weight loss tips’, you can create a Slideshare on the same topic.
There are many ways to create a presentation. Let’s look at a few of them.
- Create it by your own: Creating a presentation isn’t a rocket science. If you’re on PC use PowerPoint; if you’re on Mac use Keynote to create a presentation. Alternatively, you may try using free software like OpenOffice.org to create it.
- Download a PowerPoint template: Instead of creating a Powerpoint template from scratch, you may download a PowerPoint template online and start customizing it on your own. By this way, you can make sure that your presentation is good looking.
- Hire an expert– Hire an expert designer from Fiverr.com to create a presentation for you.
Step 2- Choose the right images
Make sure you’re using beautiful images in your presentation. If you’re not sure how to find free images for your presentation, read my article on how to find and use a creative commons licensed image using Google.
Step 3- Embed links/call to actions and publish it
The best thing about SlideShare presentation is that you can embed links and even call-to-action buttons into your presentation. When all are set, you can move ahead and publish your first presentation. Once it is live, start promoting your presentation on social media and other channels.
2. Social Bookmarking to drive traffic
Another great way to get traffic to your blog is by submitting your blog posts to social bookmarking sites like Reddit and Pinterest.
If done properly, social bookmarking sites can send you great traffic that will help you skyrocket your blog to another level of success.
It is also very important not to share only your own content on social bookmarking sites but make sure you share more of other people’s content before sharing yours.
3. Forum Marketing
Another great way to get traffic to your blog is by promoting it through forums. Forums are a huge place to get traffic to your blog and they also have an established audience.
When marketing your blog through forums, it is very important not to spam the forums with links to your blog but only make helpful comments and people will visit your blog through the link in your signature.
These days Quora is the most popular forum that sends huge traffic and adds lot of SEO value as well.
2. Get Traffic from Facebook using Retargeted pixels
Note: This is not free but works great and is scalable.
If you’ve been promoting your blog posts using a Facebook page for a while, you might have noticed the decline in the reach of Facebook posts. There can be many reasons for the fall. Whatever the reason maybe, undoubtedly, now it becomes harder to improve the reach for free because there’s more competition in the News Feed than ever.
As a sure-fire method you can use advertising to improve the overall reach of your Facebook page. Again, it is always better to spend a few bucks to increase the reach than letting your Facebook traffic die by testing all sorts of tricks that won’t help.
What kind of content works on Facebook?
When it comes to sharing posts on Facebook, a general rule of thumb is to make your posts stand out in News Feed, so it grabs the attention of the users easily. Like any other social network, rich media like photos and videos get more attention on Facebook than any other types of content.
However, if you’re looking to build traffic to your blog posts, you’ll need to focus on sharing links and constantly reviewing the performance using Page Insights.
Increasing the reach and driving traffic from Facebook
Facebook offers different types of advertising options.
Since our goal is to drive more traffic to your blog and ultimately increase the reach, you can try boosting your posts, which is also the easiest way of advertising on Facebook.
All you need to do is to click on the Boost Post option in the lower right corner of your post. You’ll be asked to choose from advertising to ‘people who liked your Page and their friends’ or ‘people you choose through targeting’.
You can choose the second option and set up a retargeting pixel on your blog, which allows you to target the audience on Facebook who has previously visited your blog.
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.
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 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.
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 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, which 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 begin commenting on blogs.
Another way to tap into high ranking sites for those important links, and boost your credibility at the same time, is to become a Wikipedia editor.
You can write your 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:
Now 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 with in 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 Facebook groups or Telegram groups.
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 YouTube, and invite comments from your readers.
You can also take advantage of the Google Plus Hangout feature to host video meetings.
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 by putting your blog in the auction on sites like Flippa, Digital Point Forum, or any other website in buy/sell spaces.
You can set an unreasonable price, and this can help you to get a fair amount of free referral traffic from this 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.
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