You have been in business for awhile now. You are even somewhat successful. Time to take a break right? Wrong! You can’t rest on your laurels. You must continually generate fresh traffic to have a successful online business. Sometimes it does take all the fun out of blogging or creating a website. How do we keep the flow of traffic coming? How do we generate more interaction and comments? And most importantly, how do we increase our sales?
Interaction and sales are vital. That's what we are all in business for! None of us are working for free, I'm sure. But the first step is traffic. Without traffic there are no comments. No customers. And no sales. So let's look at some ways to drive more traffic to your site.
Let's look at some of the obvious sources first. These first 3 should already be a regular part of your marketing strategy.
1. Blog comments: Commenting on other blogs is a great way to generate traffic for your site. Why isn't it working for you? Chances are you are relying on the generic - and very obvious - comment of "Great post. Thanks for the advice." You may even make the error of including the "stop by my blog" line. Don't just write a token comment. Did something in the post make a point with you? Did you learn something or perhaps come away with a new point of view? Mention that in your comment. And if someone asked a question in the post or in an earlier comment, answer it. That is a great way to share your value and pique people's curiosity about your blog.
2. Social media: Yes, we all know about LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. And yes, you should be posting links to your blog and website there. But more people are beginning to use Google+. And then there are literally dozens of other sites - StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, and Reddit for example. Do some research and find out where your target market hangs out. Then share your links there.
Part two of the social media campaign is to remember there is more involved than posting your own material. Retweet, share, like, and comment on other people's posts as well. Remember, these are called social networking sites for a reason. And networking is all about building relationships.
3. Article marketing: I've written several posts on the benefits of article marketing. It is a great way to get more exposure and credibility which will in turn generate more traffic to your site. My favorite site is still Ezine Articles.
You may or may not be as familiar with the rest of these but they are all important parts of your marketing toolkit when used properly. Don't be afraid to try them!
4. HubPages: If you ever had a Squidoo lens, you are now part of HubPages. When I started out in business I had several lenses and they were wonderful sources of traffic. I admit I have not been as active there as I once was. But I have many friends and clients who still use it and they are still seeing it as a great traffic source. If you aren't already using it, check it out.
5. Paid advertising like Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, or Google Adwords. While not free, most are fairly inexpensive. Or try some PPC advertising or Ezine advertising. This can be a bit more expensive but if done properly, the pay back in traffic can be huge!
6. Paper.li: Paper.li allows you to create your own online newspaper. While I have not tried this one myself, my articles are frequently published by others. I have spoken to several individuals about using paper.li and they all state that it does help drive traffic to their sites. Check it out and let me know how it works for you. Perhaps you can even do a guest post here about your experience. Which brings us to traffic source number 7.
7. Guest posts on other blogs: Two recommendations here. If someone approaches you about guest posting on their blog, and you agree, be sure you follow through! And if no one has approached you, don't be afraid to approach the authors of blogs you like and offer. All they can do is say no thank you. And they might say yes!