Establishing a blog is one of the first things any Internet marketer should do – nowadays, reputation is everything online, and no matter how good you may be at gaming the system and blackhat stuff (which a lot of beginner Internet marketers prefer, it seems), in the end, an established online business is better and for that, you need people to trust you. And that’s where a blog comes in: by providing useful information and putting yourself out there, you show everyone that you know the field and you know what you’re talking about.
However, you need to get traffic to that blog first, and if you’re also planning on using it as a platform to market your products and build an email list, you’ll need it to be high quality, too. Aside from search engines, which will rank you high if you have enough good content and incoming links, there are other great methods of getting visitors to your site, and below I’ve listed only five of the best:
Press releases – Writing press releases may seem old school, but the method still works and can get you tons of traffic. News sites get quite a lot of traffic themselves, and for a good submitted story, they can share that with you. It’s a win-win situation: Google ranks them high for their news (and sometimes even puts them above all other results in the news section), they get traffic and you get a piece of that traffic, too.
Social Networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – all of these sites are considered social networks that have huge amounts of content, posted by their hundreds of millions of users. How does getting a part of that traffic to your own site sound? It’s pretty easy, too: you can gather a lot of people by creating great pages, posting good content (especially on Twitter and Youtube) or even paying others to do it and buying ads and paid tweets.
PPC – While search engine optimization refers mostly to organic search, it is not the only way to get traffic from search engines. If you have the money or your site is in a niche with very little competition, then you can easily get a lot of traffic from paid search ads that appear at the top and alongside the usual search results – this allows you to avoid most of the filters that Google Search may place on a site and you can choose what people actually visit your site for the best conversion ratio.
Banners, ads and text links - Another method that requires a bit of money but can offer instant results is buying ads, banners and text links on various other websites that are related to yours. You can find a lot of them in every niche, and most owners will be happy to place a link or a banner in the sidebar if you pay them – not only will that get you direct traffic, but also increase your rank in the SERPs due to more incoming links (especially if they’re from relevant blogs).
Guest Posts – Guest posting on other blogs is my favorite way of getting traffic and building up reputation for my sites. You can write the articles yourself or you can have someone else write them (just make sure they’re great quality and informative), and most of the blog owners out there will be happy to post them to their site in exchange for a link or two inside the article itself (worst case scenario, and this is for big blogs that are usually worth it, you’ll have to pay the owner to post it). The direct traffic is great, but the real benefit is in the links back, which will propel your site to the first page of Google for your chosen keywords.
A blog is a great tool for expanding your personal and business reach, but it is utterly useless without traffic – after all, if nobody reads it, how can people find out about you? Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to start bringing traffic to a new blog, and I’ve listed the best methods above – using any of them or better yet, a combination, you can grow your traffic stream quickly and by a wide margin.