Traffic is like oxygen for a blog – it can’t succeed without it. If no one is reading the content you’re crafting, then not only will you probably find it very disheartening, but it also means you have no way to monetize and earn money from your site!
The problem is that traffic takes a long time to grow… and you may not have the time to wait! Fortunately, there are a number of strategies (often referred to as ‘growth hacks’) that you can use in order to accelerate this process. Here are some of the best…
Basically, influencer marketing means that you’re going to stop focusing on creating a large quantity of followers and fans and instead focus on building a high quality of followers. Or more specifically, you’re going to find followers who already have lots of followers. The idea then is that you will market through them and that way gain access to the giant audience that they already have.
In practice, one example of this might be to get your link onto a very high profile blog. Imagine for a moment that you want to promote a ‘tech/productivity blog’ and grow your traffic. One option would be to submit your site relentlessly to directories, to write lots of in-depth posts for your blog and as guest posts and to share to social bookmarking sites. Over months and years, you would gradually establish an audience and by the time you were old and grey, you might be where you want to be.
Or you could get a single link on Tim Ferriss’ blog. What do you think that would do for your business? You’d immediately have an influx of hundreds of thousands of hits every single day and many of those visitors would become new fans, in part thanks to the endorsement of Tim. That one link could do more for your business than thousands of links on the sites of ‘non-influencers’.
If you have a little cash, then you can get the benefits of influencer marketing more quickly by paying someone to give you a shout-out.
So, to use the example of Tim Ferrris again Mizzen + Main have been sponsoring him to promote their ‘non-iron’ dress shirts, no doubt to fantastic effect.
So, how can you do something similar for your blog? If you have a smaller budget, of course you can pay a much smaller creator and get the same benefits on a smaller scale.
Give Something Away
Here’s your next growth hack: give something away for free!
Ideally, this should be something that isn’t going to cost you too much – such as an eBook which is a digital product and so has no overheads or delivery costs. The idea here then is to give your users a ‘taste’ of what you have to offer and of your value, with the idea being that you’ll pique their interest or get them hooked.
This is something that dealers know all too well. They may be morally reprehensible but they’re good businessmen and they always say that the ‘first hit is free’.
Giving stuff away for free of course is what the internet and blogging has pretty much been founded on since it was started. Blog content is almost always free and this is how we’re able to convince people to buy our eBooks, courses and affiliate products. Blog posts are a way of demonstrating that we know our stuff, such that our audiences will then listen to us.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you are being targeted by another blog’s cold e-mail marketing. You’ve never heard of this blog before but somehow they’ve gotten hold of your details (most likely they paid for them) and they know that you’re interested in making money online. They write to you and tell you to click this link to get their ‘Top Five Ways to Make Money Online’. Boring right?
Now imagine a different scenario – they tell you that you can download a completely FREE PDF report and video tutorial on a new form of growth hacking. The PDF is completely free, and you can download it straight from DropBox. Now there’s a much bigger chance you’ll click to open that e-mail right?
Content Marketing With Social Bookmarking
We mentioned content marketing earlier and pointed out that it is also a relatively new term when it comes to marketing yourself on the web. Like influencer marketing though, it is also a highly effective tool when used correctly.
Content marketing can be used for multiple things and most generally it’s considered a way to build authority and trust over time. The idea is that you upload new blog posts regularly, making sure that they are always highly informative and entertaining and gradually build the trust of your visitors and create an army of fans.
But if you change your strategy ever-so-slightly, you can also use content marketing to get yourself thousands of hits from just one easy link.
How? Simple: you write an article that everyone wants to read and that is going to be very popular and then you share it to a sub community.
The steps are simple:
- Identify a potential market that you want to reach – small niches and subject matters are usually the most effective
- Write your blog post specifically for that audience and make sure it is designed to be something they would definitely be interested in
- Create a title that really sells the post and the information therein. Make sure you put across the valuable information readers will learn, or the emotional hook that will draw them in and make the book worthwhile.
- Next, find a place where you can reach that community directly. This is your ‘route to market’ and a good example is a sub Reddit, or a Google+ community.
This might seem rather simple and straightforward, but the reality is that a single post like this that has genuine value and that lands in the right community can earn you hundreds of thousands of views immediately and build lots of inbound links on forums and social media pages too.
Get go and take a look at Reddit now. Pick any popular ‘sub’ and you’ll likely find that the top posts regularly gain 10,000+ ‘upvotes’. If you think that it’s likely every upvote will mean 10-100 visits to that link, then you can immediately see the value in this.
A great post like this can also become ‘link bait’ – meaning people will link to it from forums and blogs simply because they think it is news worth sharing. In other words… you could go viral!