More and more people are turning to the internet as a way to earn a little more cash, and perhaps setup a stream of residual income that will last long after they retire; however, while everyone can create a website, or write a blog, not everyone knows how to attract traffic to their content, thus gaining Google Adsense revenues, or even some affiliate sales.
While you can spend a small fortune getting traffic to your website, it’s an uncertain business and you may end up paying more for the traffic than the traffic earns you. Therefore, unless you have an ultra-sellable product, blog etc it’s probably worth concentrating on some of the free sources for creating decent and ‘interested’ traffic to your website. I say ‘interested’ as you may get a million hits to your blog, but if your blog is about fly-fishing and the visitors were actually looking for Sushi recipes, then you’re unlikely to get residual income – you want quality traffic, not necessarily traffic ‘quantity’.
Here are some easy ways to increase traffic:
Circle of Articles
Quite often you may have a main blog about Widgets, but really don’t have a way to seriously promote it. One great way to get the word out is to go to some of the article oriented sites, such as ezine-articles, Hubpages, Associated Content, Squidoo etc and publish an introductory article on Widgets with a link back to your main site – often if your ‘teaser’ article is good, then people will follow the article. The beauty of doing this, is that sites like Associated Content and Hubpages do a lot of the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ for you, and thus the tease articles get listed highly on Google with minimum work on your part – I like to create a circle of articles on several sites, with the main article being at the center of the circle.
One additional thing you should do is to be an active member in the relevant community. Post messages in the forums, post comments on other articles and really show that you’re there for more than simply getting traffic to your Widget website.
If you’ve created a website on Widgets then you’ll probably find that there are dozens of online forums where people share information, concerns and news about widgets – so you already have a captive audience. Join all Widget forums and become very active – prove yourself to be a Widget expert and people will not only listen to you, but will go to your site to find out more.
Usually it’s not cool to simply place links in forum entries, but you can usually add a link in your profile, and also have your ‘profile’ link directly to a Facebook or Twitter account – so make sure this account is Widget oriented!
The other cool aspect of joining forums is that you can keep up to date on trends and questions relating to Widgets and thus update your main site accordingly. As always, you must be a very active participant to get the best out of Forums.
More and more people are using sites like Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit etc to find interesting and varied content. So once you’ve created your main article, list it on a few of these bookmarking sites. Be careful though, these sites are created to spot ‘spam’ and if you simply post an article every day and never use the site, your content will simply hit the ‘spam filter’ and go away – so you have to be hyper-active on these sites, visiting other bookmarks, commenting often – the more active you are, the more people you get to know, the more serious your own bookmarks will be taken – what you have to think about is that these sites are created to gain visitors – if you simply don’t visit the site then they are not going to like you!
With the increasing use of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and all the other Social Networks available on the web, there’s the potential to get a huge amount of traffic from them. As before, activity is the key. If you simply fan 10,000 people and then send them a tweet or a FB message you’re unlikely to get traffic; but if you are an active member of these sites, and get people to fan you because they appreciate your comments, or are part of an active community that you join and become active in, then you’ll get some visits to your website – the cool thing though is that if you have great content, people will ‘like’ your site or ‘re-tweet’ your site and traffic can grow virally. Again being active in the community, for example by joining groups and constantly being active will really enhance the chances of people visiting your website.
Comment on other Blogs
The common thread running through all of these ideas is activity. One great way of getting visibility and being active is to visit other people’s blogs. Look for blogs on similar content (Widget production, Widget use etc.) and actively follow these blogs and post useful comments – add a link to your website in your profile and as you continue to contribute to other people’s blogs, you’ll find they’ll visit your website and other visitors to the blog will also visit your website. Again the more active the better!
No, I don’t mean spam the heck out of everyone on the internet, that will not gain you any fans and will probably get you in trouble – however, provide a link to your website as part of your signature with a suitable description, and as you send emails and your friends forward your emails, you may just gain the attention of some people. This isn’t a great way of getting a lot of traffic, and I wouldn’t include this on those ‘chain ‘ emails, but it is one way to let people know you have a site on Widgets and then let them choose to click on the link.
On your car
This is one of the most underused forms of advertising. Real world advertising of a website is very effective, and many people forget about the link between the real world and the online world. If you simply put a banner on the back of your car, with a cool ‘logo’ and www.WidgetsRUs.com you’ll be surprised how many people, who are interested in Widgets, will visit your website – it’s free advertising, and goes with you wherever you go!
Building traffic and a following to your website is not easy and takes a lot of work and time. These methods will help you to get some traffic, but more importantly by being very active you’ll build a reputation as an expert in Widgets and gain traffic by word of mouth and others sharing your link.