You can drive free traffic to your websites using more than just social media. Here are just 4 simple techniques that you can employ to bring a stream of targeted visitors to your startup sites.
1. Get Huge Amounts of Traffic Through Contests
If you run a contest and give away a prize relating to your niche you will find that you can get a huge amount of traffic to your website in a very short amount of time. This is a great way to find visitors who are interested in your sites and also have them opt-in to your email list. The prize that you offer does not have to be particularly expensive to get a lot of visitors and even if you give away a $20 gift card you will have people flocking to your site to try and win it. As an alternative prize, you could simply give away a free ebook or digital download. There are hundreds of websites the specialize in listing contests and most of these allow you to add yours for free.
This method works great for just about any kind of site including automated viral news sites, dropship stores and travel deals sites.
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When you set up the contest page on your site, make sure that you add terms and conditions for the people who enter it.
Important things to include in your terms are:
- The starting date
- The closing date
- Any age restrictions
- Any restrictions by country
- And whether or not there is a limit of entries per household
Once the user has entered the contest, you should redirect them to a thank you page which is hosted on your site.
On this page, you can promote your offers or get more exposure for your contest by asking people to share it on Facebook or Twitter in order to earn another entry. This also has the added bonus of earning you new followers, page likes and social media fans.
2. Forum Posting
Posting on forums to drive traffic to a website is nearly as old as the Internet itself, but it’s still a good way to get visits if you do it right. Forum posting is one of the most constructive ways to learn, share and contribute your knowledge and experiences among people who are interested in the same things as you. And one of the advantages of forum posting is that some forums allow signatures which can include a URL, and this is a great place to add a product link.
Try to post on forums related to your niche only. You can’t just go posting anything on any forum because this doesn’t make any sense and it will make you look like a spammer. Readers won’t pay any attention to what you write and in many cases, the forum moderator may ban you.
Instead of signing up to hundreds of unrelated forums, pick a handful of quality ones related to your niche, and most importantly, pick forums that get a lot of visitors. Make sure that you follow forum guidelines. Every forum has its own guidelines, which you need to adhere to. And by doing this you’ll also gain a good name and respect from the forum members which will get you more serious and focused readers increasing the visibility and popularity of your posts.
After you join, try to contribute to the community and post useful content. Post links to other sites of interest until you feel confident to post your own links. If you don’t build up the trust first, your links will probably get deleted so make sure that you take your time with this. It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself to the community. Many forums encourage new users to do this by making an introductory post. This is usually done in threads especially designated for welcoming new members. These threads are usually called some variation of “Say Hi Here”, “How Did You Find Us” or “New Members Check In Here.”
When you do make a post, be sure to choose a proper title. Titles are like your name-plate fixed on your door that helps your visitors to decide whether or not they should knock at the door. As a wrong name-plate takes your visitors away so does a wrong title. Write a relevant and eye-catchy title for your post and attract more readers.
Look for forums that have at least a thousand members and ten thousand posts. Keep a spreadsheet of all of the forums that you have signed up for and note the username and password for each one.
Use a link in your forum signature. Use an avatar or photo and make sure that your profiles are complete. Ignore forums that are overrun by spam because they probably don’t have any real visitors.
Also, avoid forums hosted by your direct competitors as they will no doubt delete your posts. Remember to contribute and engage before distributing your own content, and create discussions only once you are ready to do so.
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3. Blog Commenting
Like forum posting, blog commenting has been around forever, but it is still a valuable method for generating traffic today. However, in order to make sure that your comments don’t get deleted, you need to be very careful about how you go about it.
Doing a search on Google News is a good way to find relevant news stories and blog posts to comment on. Find blog posts and news stories that are getting a lot of visitors (you can tell this from the number of comments), and contribute to the discussion in some way. Also be sure to tell people what you are linking to, and make it relevant to the things that other people are talking about. A lot of the time websites won’t allow you to post a clickable link, but this doesn’t mean to say that a posting a comment won’t be useful to you. On pages that are getting a huge amount of visits, you can get traffic even if you post a URL without the “http” or “www” bit, just from people copying and pasting the URL into their browser. The key to getting them to do this is to not make it look at all like spam. Add value to the post by adding more useful information which is related to the topic. Pose as an average reader and make comments such as: “This reminds me of a video that I saw here”, or “This story is even more unbelievable than one that I read here”. Use a bit of creativity and you will see better results. Also, make sure that you use a real avatar image, and put a little bit of time into setting up your user profile.
Many websites allow you to post comments through Facebook these days, so if you’re not fully comfortable doing it under your real name, make sure that you have a number of separate Facebook profiles set up which you can use specifically for this purpose. Make sure that you actually read the post as well. This may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t actually read the whole post. They assume they understand the concept or point of the post from the headline and write their response based on that assumption. Remember, blog commenting is about trying to build your brand and authority, so leaving a comment that completely misses the whole point of the post is actually going to hurt your authority, not help it. You want to make sure you come across as intelligent and well informed.
Also, don’t make your blog comments too short. Writing a blog comment that is at least three sentences long shows the blog owner that you took the time to read the post and actually have something to add to the conversation. Just putting “Good article” doesn’t give any value to the blogger. Bloggers want to engage their readers and have a dialogue within the comments section, so be sure to actually say something of value with your comment.
4. Guest Posting
Many people write guest posts on other people’s websites to try and get backlinks to their website, and normally people are only interested in getting dofollow links for SEO value. However, you can also write guest posts on sites to drive traffic to your website. If you can manage to secure a guest post on a site related to your niche that gets a fair amount of traffic, you can get hundreds of real visitors from it, and it doesn’t matter whether the link from your article is dofollow or not. Most webmasters won’t allow you to add a direct product link within a guest post, so the best thing to do is set up a page on your website and add some related content.
Try and find a reason to link to your site from the guest post that you are writing, and if possible put it in the body of the article rather than just in the bio at the bottom. When it comes to finding sites to post on, try approaching webmasters who have stated that they accept guest posts and reach out to them by email with ideas for an article that they might like. The best way to find sites to contact is to search on Google for terms such as “write for us” + your niche, or “guest post” + your niche. If at first you don’t get much response, don’t give up, because all that you need to do is secure one guest post from a website that gets a good amount of traffic and you and can get visitors for a long
Here is an example of an outreach email which has been particularly successful for us.
I have an idea for an article titled ““ about ““.
I think it would fit well on your website so would you be willing to take a look at it? I thought it’d be timely considering your recent piece, “insert a link to one of their recent posts“!
Thanks for your time and consideration,
Notice that this email makes it clear that you have taken a look at their website and that you know exactly what type of things they write about.
When you’re contacting people to propose a guest post, always find the name of the person you’re emailing.
Webmasters who run popular sites get a huge number of emails every day, and if it looks like you have sent a generic message without doing any research, they will probably just delete your email without reading it. Blogger’s inboxes are full of junk mail, so you have a very short amount of time to catch their attention. You need to stand apart from the crowd by filling the message with as much personality in as few words as possible. Also, email gets better responses than web forms, so even if there’s a contact form, take an extra minute to look for an email address. Once you’ve determined the name of the person you want to email it’s a good idea to check all their social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
If the blogger recognizes your name, they’re more likely to open your email, especially if it went to spam. So following them on social media or “liking”, “sharing” or commenting on one of their posts before you send your pitch can increase your odds of getting through to them. Try to include a call to action or a question in your message, because this increases the chance of a response.
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One final good tip when you are guest blogging is not to write any articles before you have found somewhere to publish them. The last thing that you want to be doing is wasting your time writing loads of content that you don’t end up using.