You are an entrepreneur. You had a dream, you had an idea, and you took on this apparently lonely journey to defy odds, make your business work, and leave a legacy if possible. You took the massively daring jump, you are off the cliff now, and you probably got a website developed. Or maybe you developed it yourself using one of the many website builders available on the market.
Your business has to work. It’s the only way your dreams can be fulfilled. It’d then be the panacea you wanted it to be.
None of that is going to happen without relevant traffic to your website. At first, it’d drip in, just a few visits a day. Then, there’d come a tipping point beyond which you’d witness a rush of traffic. Fans, followers, hundreds of comments on your blog posts, and even an entire community around all the things you publish.
It’s all good. But how does the traffic come in? What if you had no fancy marketing budget to splurge on? What would you do if you can’t even think of banner ads or any paid advertising at all?
You’d then spend time. Sprinkle passion, change your frame of mind from a “taker” to a “giver”, get ready to communicate, and then here’s how you’d get an ever-flowing stream of traffic to your website:
Do paid advertising
If you are a serious business, you’d have to spend serious money. Thankfully, with paid advertising on digital, every dollar you spend can be tracked. If you did PPC advertising well enough, you’d slam your competition, let a steady stream of clients come your way, and create a presence online that’s almost impossible to beat.
Advertising on Google Adwords, for instance, puts your business right in front of people who search for your business. Facebook lets you do extreme targeting and help you reach a active-passive audience. Twitter cards, LinkedIn Ads, Pinterest Ads, and mobile advertising are all great ways to get a steady avalanche of traffic to your website or landing pages.
Note: always use message-matching landing pages to pump out everything you can from online advertising.
You can start with as much as you’d like to spend, and increase spending incrementally. With the right PPC services, paid advertising is unmatched in potential.
Write amazing blog posts
I know that you know it. But we all know that we don’t always spend time and effort to create good posts.
Your traffic acquisition efforts always start with you. Write posts that add value, inspire, and educate. Sooner or later, your posts will be shared on social media. Your blog will be book marked, and linked to.
Repurpose to Republish
Pick the best of your blog posts and turn them into various other content assets. You could turn a long and informative blog post into a PDF document which you can then have your visitors download.
Or turn a series of blog posts into a slide deck to publish on SlideShare (which can in turn help you generate leads), and string all the research you’ve done for a couple of posts into an info graphic. Don’t let a word go wasted.
Flip & Curate your own posts
Did you know that you can flip your own content on Flipboard? Start a magazine on Flip Board and add each of your own posts to it, apart from the related posts written by others.
Content curation is the next best thing to actual content curation. You could boost your SEO rankings over night with just a few well-curated blog posts. Use tools such as Curata or Scoop.it to help add your own curated posts with the others you’d end up curating.
Do it Right On Social Media
Share every post you publish on all your social media networks using appropriate visuals.
Beyond that, create a social media calendar to help you repost your content at periodic intervals since the shelf life of updates on social media is rather limited, according to PageModo
Amplify all the content you publish on Social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Do it often, do it strategically, and do it forever.
While it primarily helps you get more eye balls for your content, social media networks are a natural extension for your promotional efforts. Because there’s “social” in social media as Jay Baer of Convince and Convert puts it, it’s more of an “amplify, share, connect, and engage” strategy involved.
Get on Quora
Quora is single-handedly the best social platform for you to not only enhance credibility and add value but also to get traffic. Every single day, seek out questions that relate to the area of your business. Then set out to answer each question, as detailed as you can get.
The more you give to the community the more these things happen. You’ll:
- Develop a natural set of followers, who can be potential customers or clients (but not necessarily, and this is even the point)
- Build credibility, authority, and respect.
- Be requested to answer questions on topics you are good at.
- Get tons of traffic to your own answers. This in turn helps people know more about you (and then possibly your business).
Your answers are likely to be up-voted, liked, commented upon, and more. Here’s a detailed post I wrote on SmartHustle on How You Can Use Quora to Build Traffic & Credibility for Your Business
You should also consider doing Quora Ads (paid Ads on Quora) — contextually targeted (with various options along with the native promoted answers option.
Comment with passion on related blogs
By “related”, we mean the kind of blogs that the expected audience of your blog is likely to read. Make an ever growing list of blogs that your audience reads regular, go out there, and start writing out some comments.
Ordinary comments won’t do. You need to give out your two cents, you got to make sense, and you must do it for the sole purpose of building a relationship with the bloggers or the businesses you interact with.
The real key to make this effective is this: write with passion. Make sure you contribute value to the discussion that the original blog post triggers.
Use Video. Repeat. Use Video
I admit we aren’t good at the video thing yet — both as an Individual and as a digital marketing agency.
I do know that you don’t have to feature “yourself” on the video if you are conscious about that (although you could, since it wouldn’t matter). If you have something to say, crank up even a totally amateur, unedited video with your webcam, mobile phone, or a DSLR (if you have one), and you’d have a video ready.
Create a channel on YouTube, write out the video description, add tags, pick a good title for the video (and not something like “my first video”) and go live. While you are at it, be sure to use lead generation tools such as TurnStile from Wistia from within your video assets.
Video is huge and the value of the stream of traffic that you’d manage to get it is incalculable. Hopefully, we’ll learn to use this soon.
You don’t need much to start creating videos at all. In fact, you have several free video tools you can use for content strategy, video tools for prospecting, and even free tools for Live streaming.
If you get access to LinkedIn live, that’d be an amazing start for your LinkedIn live streaming as well.
Scale up Content Marketing
Your content marketing success comes from your ability to crank out valuable content in different formats. Slide decks, info graphics, blog posts, articles, updates on social media, and more. When you do this right, you’d be linked to. You’d be discussed about. You’d be pointed to. You’ll be talked about.
Use a combination of good old hustle and technology. Embrace it.
Get Search Optimisation Right
There’s on-page optimization (which includes technical nitty-gritty such as Schema, on-page keywords, page titles, meta information, descriptions, URL formats, content, and more).
Off-page optimization includes a combination of link-building strategy, guest posting, outreach, content marketing, social media signals, and more.
Get it right and it could very well be a steady source of traffic for your website. So that leads us to…
Do Guest Posting
Talking about SEO, your off-page optimization efforts are never complete without a solid strategy and execution of guest blogging and outreach efforts. Reach out to popular blogs, suggest ideas, write out blog posts (even better than what you’d do for your own blog) and get them published. If you take nothing more from this post, take this.
Get on Popular, Relevant Forums
There’s a sub-Reddit channel for every possible business or topical niche. Plus, there are forums and online communities for every kind of business or topic you publish on.
Get active on forums and online platforms to do what you’d do on Quora – write with passion, answer questions in full, and don’t bother pitching.
Find Channel partners
When you set out to make relationships (which could mean publishing partners, business partners, joint venture partners, friends, potential clients, or influencers), don’t start with an agenda; just start out with the pure intent to get to know and create a meaningful relationship with others.
Depending on who you reach out to, you’d be able to make these relationships work.
Do something remarkable. Say something that’s different from the usual junk. Tell the truth. Expose something. While we admit it might take time for you to do this (and it’s pretty hard to pull off), you’ll get featured when you do.
Think of it as free PR. A little exposure will do you good. Approach this carefully though.
Depend on email marketing
If social media is the hot thing now, it’s only because it’s fancy. What really works is the resilient and extraordinary power of building your own audience and nurturing through email marketing. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has an ROI of 4300%, and it’s not a typo.
Shed the “shiny new object” syndrome. Your email marketing list brings in highly relevant, interested, and almost evangelic stream of visitors to your website.
When you don’t have the money to splurge, but when you have the passion to do something about getting traffic to your website, this is exactly what you do.
While you can (and should) use full-fledged email marketing tools, you can also start your own newsletter for free.
How do you generate traffic for your site?