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How to Get Traffic to Your New Blog Post for Free

Bruce Zhang
2014-03-02

Youíre the expert in your field and just wrote an insightful article, but how do you get lot of visitors to the post when 1) the budget is zero, 2) the site doesnít rank well in Google, 3) the email list is small, and 4) the social followers are countable.

Thereíre lots of traffic generation techniques out there, but:

  1. Many of them work well just for certain niches, or just work for online marketing niche.
  2. The resources spent on acquiring free traffic cost more than paid traffic even for someone who earns a minimum wage.
  3. They assume the site owner has a large portion of owned media - email list etc.
  4. They arenít scalable.
Weíll look at a few techniques that are cost-effective and work for all niches.
  1. Social sharing communities
  2. Forum participation
  3. Blog comments
Letís set the number of target visitors to a moderate 500.

Visitors on different channels are interested in different things. Social media is a more neutral eco-system where people share a lot of different things. Forum participants want simple and straight answer. Visitors to blogs are more interested in analysis and facts.

Before starting content marketing campaign or even creating epic content piece, we need to know not only if thereís an interest for the content ideas, but also where the audience are or where you plan to promote the content.

For instance, if your favorite marketing channel is forums, you wonít have luck to promote "content marketing" or "inbound marketing". Forum participants are more interested in "How I tuned $100 into $150 in 3 days using Faebook", or "How I generated 5,000 visitors without spending a dime".

Get Traffic from Social Sharing Communities: 200 visitors

Traffic from social media sites is counted about 25% of total referral traffic as of Dec. 2013 according to shareaholic. For small business, itís unlikely they have built a large audience base (fans/followers/connections) on all major social media platforms. The traffic from social media for small sites is probably much lower than 25%. Social sharing communities are places where members share each otherís content so you can amplify your owned media to a larger earned media. Hereíre few sites for sharing the content to generate more traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Stumbleupon:

SiteAlexa Traffic RankSupported PlatformsEase of Use
triberr.com 3,802 Twitter No
justretweet.com 12,595 Twitter, Facebook, Google+ No
viralcontentbuzz.com 18,377 Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUp Yes
easyretweet.com 152,515 Twitter

Itís not harder to get a few hundred visitors if you join one or two of those communities. Social sharing communities are the best places to kick off your content marketing campaign and you can quickly test whether thereís an interest for your content ideas. My favorite is viralcontentbuzz.

Generate Traffic from Forum Posts: 200 visitors

Thereíre probably one million new threads created every single day on hundreds of thousands of forums. The total numbers of forum threads indexed in search engines are few billions. The reason that people ask questions on forums is because they canít find personalized answers in the search engines for what theyíre looking for. Forum users are highly engaged. Forum traffic could convert better than organic search traffic if your answers actually offer exactly theyíre looking for.

Effective forum marketing starts with finding the right forums to join. The best and easiest way to find the forums of your interest is to use a forum search engines to see the number of threads related to your content ideas in past month. Join the forum if thereíre many threads related to your interest. Type your keyword in the following box and click search youíll find the related threads in last 7 days from forum search engine omgili.com.

The next step is to register with the forum sites of your interest and participate in the related threads with signature links. Most forums will allow signature links, but some forums will only show the signature links after the number of posts for a user reaches 30 or 50 posts. Many forums also allow links in the threads, but it looks spammy if you post the same link on so many threads on the same forum site which may also get you banned. Limit the numbers of forum sites you want participate to 5 Ė 10 so you wonít spread too thin..

One forum post could generate hundreds of visits if:

  1. You participated early.
  2. The thread rank well in search engines.
  3. Thereíre lots of replies and views.
10 posts could generate zero visits if the replies are one-sentence "me too" without adding the values.

Generate traffic from Blog Comments: 100 visitors

The number of new blog posts published is not as big as new forum threads created, but you can always find the new blog posts of your interest to participate. Type your keyword in the following box and click search youíll find the related new blog posts published in last week from Google blog search engine:

If you think Google doesnít index new blog posts fast enough, search on Twitter with a #hashtag and youíll find new blog posts just published. Itís common to generate 10 or more visits per comment on high traffic blogs.

Unlike forum threads (always) open to replies, many blogs are not open for comments, and your comments may not be published by the author even if your comments are valuable.

Other Traffic Generation Techniques

Now you have had at least 500 visitors to your new blog post. Thereíre more options to take your content marketing to next level:

  1. Submission based - submitting your article to content curation sites (scoop.it, bizsugar, kingged etc) will generate traffic too. Theyíre often niche-specific.
  2. Question & Answer Sites - the traffic from Yahoo Answers, quora and etc. is insignificant for one particular reply.
  3. Reddit paid ads - the one-price plan ($0.75 CPM) makes it harder to find inventories for the subreddit you want place ads.
  4. Slideshare - the traffic converts really well for B2B content.
  5. Guest blog - guest posts from most blogs wonít generate any traffic, and it takes a lot of efforts to land posts on high traffic blogs. They arenít scalable for all niches for everyone.
  6. Contest - yes it generates a lot of traffic if you have money to spend.
  7. Email - itíll generate 1-5% response rate if you have a large list.
  8. Organic search traffic - it is still the largest and the best-conversion traffic resource, but itíll take a few months to see any results for a new site.
  9. Facebook paid ads - with the reach to fans so low, it makes sense to drive Facebook traffic to your website instead of growing your fan base. The bounce rate is better than the one from stumbleupon, but worse than organic Facebook traffic
  10. Adwards from content network - it works better than the traffic for search for content distribution.
  11. Stumbleupon paid discovery - itís cheap, but the bounce rate is 90% or higher.
  12. Promoted twitter - itís expensive at about $1 per click.
  13. Outbrain content distribution - It works if you have a large amount of articles to distribute, but not for small site owners.
Do you have other traffic generation techniques or stories to share? Weíd like to hear.




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