When you’re a content creator, seeing people consume your content can bring you a lot of joy. These people – your audience – are on their way to bringing you profits, so you need to take care of them while they’re on your site.
They’re there for a reason – you promised to help them with something they need help with. But how do you get people to visit your site in the first place? This is what you’re going to learn in this guide.
Google Traffic Is Great (But It’s Not The Only One)
When people first set up their websites, they automatically assume people are going to find them on Google right away. But search engines are complicated, and with the sheer number of live websites on the world wide web, you have plenty of competition.
Not everyone can be on the first page of Google. In fact, only ten websites appear on every page of search results (this is organic, paid listings are not included). If you want to check out other sites, you’d have to scroll all the way down and click on Next to go to the next page.
Ranking on the first page of Google can bring you plenty of free organic traffic. It’s free because you’re not paying Google anything to appear on the first page.
Organic because people are finding you of their own accord on Google. But getting to this stage is difficult – and even if you do your SEO right, you may still not end up on the first page of Google.
In short, ranking on Google is hard work, and if you depend on Google traffic, you could be waiting for nothing and your business will die if you don’t get traffic to sustain it.
So, if you can’t depend on Google, how are you going to get people over to your website? Well, there are two ways to go about generating traffic – by paying for it and by posting valuable content on free platforms.
Paid Traffic Versus Free Traffic
Luckily for you and me, Google is not the only game in town. Paid traffic will, of course, cost you some money, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. On the other hand, generating free traffic is not as hard as it once was thanks mainly to social media but you’d still need to do plenty of work.
With free traffic, you may not get a constant stream of people instantly, and it may take some time to get to that point. But at least you’re being proactive in seeking out people who may be interested in your content.
That’s way better than doing nothing and waiting for your site to rank on Google!
Pros and Cons of Paid Traffic
If you’ve got the money to burn, then you may want to consider paying for traffic. Not only do you get traffic instantly, but you can also buy quality traffic for cents on the dollar.
Take, for instance, Facebook Ads. Facebook marketers swear by the effectiveness of Facebook Ads and its incomparable audience targeting options. Many marketers are profiting handsomely with Facebook Ads.
With over 2 billion active users on the platform, you’ll most probably run out of money first before you run out of people to target!
With paid traffic, there are generally 3 options to choose from:
- Cost per click (CPC) – you only pay every time someone clicks on your ad
- Cost per mille (CPM) – you pay per 1,000 views regardless of whether people clicked on your ad or not
- Fixed rate – you pay this amount regardless of the number of people who clicked or viewed your ad
The thing with paid ads is that you can set up your website or landing page today, pay for ads, and get traffic instantly. You don’t need to wait for days, weeks or months for people to visit your site.
Just get an eye-catching advert in front of your target audience, and you can assess if you’ve got a winner or a loser on your hands!
With instant traffic comes the possibility of instant profits. If you’ve got a great offer for your audience, and you’re going to be profiting $100 per sale, wouldn’t you be willing to pay $1 or even $10 per click?
Most paid traffic enthusiasts will tell you to do the math, and if your math tells you that you’re in the green, then there’s no point wasting time waiting for your site to rank on Google. Just dive right in and invest in paid traffic!
The downside with paid traffic, of course, is that you could lose your money on ads that won’t show any ROI (return on investment) for you.
You’d have to constantly monitor your traffic and test your ads until you find the best-performing ones. This can get stressful. And once you stop paying for traffic, then that traffic stops coming to your site.
Think paid traffic is too risky for you? Read the next section for tips on how to generate traffic from multiple, free sources.
Pros and Cons of Free Traffic
Not everyone will have the money or the stomach to risk their hard-earned money on ads that may or may not return any profits for them. If you belong to this group, then generating free traffic is your best bet for getting people to head over to your website.
There are many ways to generate free traffic. Most free methods will take some time before people show up on your website. However, the good thing is that your post or comment will stay on that free site for as long as the site lives.
Essentially, you’ll be doing the hard work once and reap the profits for a long time to come. This is obviously great as it could bring you free traffic for many years. And if your free traffic converts well then this could contribute significantly to your passive income.
The caveat with free traffic, however, is that you’re paying with your time. If you value your time, then you may wish to consider paid traffic instead. Additionally, success is also not guaranteed so your hard work may go to waste eventually.
If you don’t have a content strategy in place, then your free traffic generation strategy would be equivalent to building your business on a house of cards.
To help ensure your free traffic generation strategies will actually pay off after some time, then read the next section for ideas on where to source free quality traffic for your website.
How To Generate Free Traffic From Multiple Sources
In the previous guide, we discussed how to repurpose content, and I showed you the best content types you can reformat your main content to. I’m mentioning this here because you’re going to be using those repurposed contents to generate free traffic from many different platforms!
1. Be active on social media
There are plenty of reasons why companies – big and small – target social media users. This is because people spend a lot of their time on these sites.
Facebook alone has 2 billion active users every month and thousands more create accounts every single day. Next to SEO, social media marketing is the next best way to drive free traffic to your website.
2. Answer questions on sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers
Sites like these have high domain authority. This is why you’ll notice that there are many posts which appear on the first page Google search results, especially for long tail keywords.
If you want to get a share of the traffic, be helpful and provide thoughtful answers to questions about your niche. Don’t leave one-liners. If you want people to upvote your answers, then you need to write detailed and thorough answers as much as possible.
3. Engage heavily in popular forums in your niche
Some people like to spam forums with links to their website. People hate spammers like that! So, if you don’t want to get kicked out, make sure you add value to discussions in your forum. Make yourself well-known in the community.
Once you’ve established yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about, then slowly ease into promoting yourself or your website. Don’t be too salesy though – like I said people hate that kind of behavior.
4. YouTube marketing
YouTube is the second biggest search engine right after Google. And YouTube videos often rank high in Google search results especially for tutorials and how-to queries. If you want your videos to rank, and bring you free traffic to your website, you need to follow a few basic video SEOs.
Also, don’t spam YouTube with copied and pasted content. Try to be as helpful as possible and offer original content that will help you win over your viewers.
5. Engage with your podcast listeners
To succeed in podcasting, you need to provide valuable content to your listeners. Having a great voice is a plus, but ultimately it’s going to be your content that really matters. You can also try and reach out to other podcasters and interview them on your podcast to try and extend your reach.
Lastly, don’t just say adios at the end of your podcast – make sure you include a call to action as well!
6. Guest post on authority sites in your niche
Guest posting is a great way to introduce yourself to other people’s audiences. If you write a super valuable post and that site’s followers love your content, then chances are they’re going to want to follow you as well.
This not only brings you an additional stream of free traffic, you also normally get a free backlink back to your website. If your guest post lives on a high domain authority site, then that backlink can do wonders for your website’s SEO!
7. Email your list
If you’ve already got an email list, don’t forget about them. If you’re taking a lot of time promoting your brand on other people’s websites to get in front of new audiences, then you should all the more prioritize the people who already trust you.
Don’t spam them with offers though. Instead, continue giving them valuable content, so they don’t hit that unsubscribe or worse, that spam button.
8. Upload your slide decks to SlideShare and similar sites
If you’ve repurposed your content into slide decks, then you can upload it to sites like SlideShare. You’ll get traffic from people who search for content like yours on those sites, plus you’ll even get a free backlink. Again, this is great for your website’s SEO.
9. Upload your images to photo sharing sites like Instagram
Who doesn’t love photos especially high-quality ones? If you want to endear yourself to your followers, then regularly upload photos relevant to your brand or business.
Depending on your niche and the nature of your evergreen product, it is very much possible to drive traffic from Instagram to your website. You just need to make your images appealing and highly relevant to your target audience.
10. Leave thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs
Some people say blog commenting is dead. If you spam blogs, then yes, it’s true. But if you leave thoughtful comments that actually add value to the original post, then people are going to be curious about you.
Additionally, it may get you in good graces with the blog owner, and you can start building a relationship with them.
11. Promote discount codes or coupons on different sites
People love freebies and discounts. If they think they’re getting a good deal over a product they really want, then they’re going to bite whatever it is you’re offering. You can promote your offers and codes on your own website, or you can post it on your social media channels.
If you do it right, you can soon expect people to visit your website to take advantage of your offer!
Want Even More Free Traffic? Offer Plenty Of Value Wherever Possible!
There are plenty of different ways to generate free traffic. The common method to get good quality free traffic is by offering people plenty of value. There are plenty of platforms to choose from, and you don’t always have to do what everyone is doing.
In fact, you can think outside the box to come up with creative ways to encourage people to visit your website. When you find a free traffic source that not many people know about, then you’ll feel like you’ve won the jackpot!