As I count down the days until my very first keynote speech—the opening keynote for the Financial Blogger Conference in St. Louis next week—I've been up late the last few nights fine-tuning and rehearsing my presentation.
It's been a while since I was last on stage and I have to say: I couldn't be more excited!
I promise to have a video recording of the keynote for you soon after the event is over.
In the meantime, I wanted to share the answers to a question I asked on my Facebook page yesterday. The answers to this question were so good that I actually had a number of people send me a personal email thanking me for asking the question, because they learned a lot from reading everyone else's answers.
The question is:
In regards to getting traffic to your website, what's working for you right now?
Over 107 answers came through, and what's interesting is that a lot of them are very different.
We're all looking for that ONE traffic strategy that just seems to work for everyone, but the truth is that there are many different strategies that work for many different people.
From my perspective, the best traffic advice I can give you, beyond always delivering amazing value to your target audience, is this:
Take what's already working for you now, and do more of that.
If you need inspiration because you're starting from scratch or whatever you're doing right now just isn't working at all, then read the answers below, try one or two that resonate with you and align with what you're doing to serve your audience.
But if you're getting some mild to decent traffic already, before looking for new strategies and running the risk of getting “bright light syndrome”, take what's working for you now, and do more of that first.
You know it works, just make it better.
What Some of the SPI Fans Said…
Here are a number of stand out answers from SPI Fans to the question I posted (which you can find directly by clicking here). Some are paraphrased, and I've provided my own commentary on a few of the strategies listed below in italics:
Simon and Navid say: Publishing more content.
I've always said that the more you publish, the more traffic will come your way. It just makes sense. The more content you provide, the more opportunity will come your way, both in terms of SEO, chances to share and also writing about something that resonates with specific segments of your target audience.
With that said, you have to be careful when you turn on the accelerator in your publishing schedule. Often times, when people begin to increase content production, the quality of their content decreases.
Publish more quality content, is what I would say—if you have the bandwidth to do so.
David, Lisa, Zane and many others say: YouTube videos.
Youtube videos are a great source of traffic. A lot of the students I'm working with are finding that YouTube is actually becoming their main content platform because that's where they are seeing the most traction, even beyond the written content on their blogs.
The most important things to remember when it comes to YouTube is this: publish exactly what people want to see, and be sure to provide a call of action at the end of your videos as well.
I have a slew of other YouTube strategies that you can check out here.
Jason said: A mix for me. Still Google. A lot from Twitter. Paid advertising from StumbleUpon brought traffic but not readers. Triberr and BlogEngage too. I've been trying to make sure to add a mix of both ‘evergreen' and other articles to keep the site fresh…I'm now trying to do it right by building readers and not just visitors.
The distinction between readers and ‘just visitors' is important. You want the traffic that comes to your site to be relevant, and from people who actually want to read your stuff, subscribe to your email list, engage and perhaps purchase from you in the future as well.
Mixing up the types of content you produce is a great strategy too because you'll be able to appeal to the diverse needs and triggers of your target audience. I suggest reading up on the content pyramid when you get a chance.
Onder and Derrick say: Guest posting.
Need a bigger audience? Then share some of your valuable content on other sites that target that same audience as well. Guest posting continues to be a tried and true method for getting traffic to your website.
Here are the most helpful articles I remember reading about guest posting, which address how to make initial content with a potential blog owner, to how to maximize the impact of the content you publish on their site:
Guest Blogging—The Ultimate Guide (by Glen from Viperchill.com)
A Blogger's Checklist for Guest Posting on Other Blogs (by David Risley from BlogMarketingAcademy.com)
Hugh said: Webinars. Interviewing bright minds (with lists). Oh, and asking.
Asking—probably the most ancient of strategies for getting anyone to do anything. 😉
If you're engaging with your audience on another platform outside of your site, simply asking them to click on a link back to your site can go a long way. If you've provided valuable content on those other platforms, you have permission to ask those people to do something, like head on over back to your blog—and perhaps go beyond that and subscribe to your newsletter or even buy something as well.
Webinars are a great, out of the box way to drive traffic to your website. A webinar, if presented well can help you further engage with your existing audience, while at the same time being valuable enough to catch the attention of new potential readers and subscribers.
The recent webinars I did with Clay Collins about building an email list (see replay here) not only helped with affiliate sales for LeadPages, but it put an additional 1000+ new people onto my email list as well, and I got emails from viewers who had told me it was their first time even hearing about me, and now they are readers of the blog and/or listeners of the podcast too.
Isela, Joshua and several others said: Direct Email Marketing
For some reason, building an email list and getting traffic to your website are treated like two separate things, and while there are different conversion strategies for both, they go together like bees and flowers.
They work together, big-time.
When you use your email list to link to a post on your website (like in a broadcast email about a new post you wrote, or even a link in an auto-responder email to an older post that you've written), you're telling people directly to come to your site, and you will get more traffic to your blog—there's no argument there.
But a lot of people don't realize that when you do that, you're increasing the likelihood of a lot of secondary traffic building tactics, like sharing of your article and social proof.
That, in turn, increases your email list even more, and the next time you send an email out promoting a blog post you're going to reach even more people who could possibly share your stuff and increase social proof again.
Okay—the “bees and flower” analogy may be a bad one, but the strategy of using your email list to drive traffic to your website is definitely not. I've recently learned the power behind this strategy, and the numbers don't lie.
Don't be afraid to send emails to your email list—that's why it's there. This is something I've had to tell myself often this past year.
There are a number of other great strategies, including many instances of using Facebook and Twitter as well. Again, to read what everyone said, check out the question on my Facebook page here.
Keep reading, I've got something special for you at the bottom of this post.
Nominate the SPI Podcast for the 2013 Podcast Awards!
If you listen to the show and you feel the show deserves an award, nominate The Smart Passive Income Podcast in the Business Category for this year's Podcast Awards!
To nominate, just go to PodcastAwards.com and enter The Smart Passive Income Podcast and the URL in the Business category, as shown below:
Thank you so much for your support!
So…What's Working for YOU Right Now to Build Traffic?
I'd love to hear what's working for YOU in the comment section below.
Since I'm sure the comments on this post will be incredibly valuable, I'm happy to give away two (2) $25 Amazon Gift Cards to 2 random commenters.
Have your comment posted by Monday, October 14th and I'll announce the winners by the end of that day. I'll send an email to you if you've won.
UPDATE: Congratulations to John Dennis and Rachel for winning the $25 Amazon.com Gift Cards!
Thanks for contributing, and I look forward to reading your comment! Cheers!