In blogging, content is king…BUT traffic is cash. No matter how great your blog looks or how amazing your content is, if you have no readers, if nobody comes to your blog, then you cannot make money off of it.
This is the last part of my series. Note that before this topic, I discussed content and ways to monetize. Reason for that is because I want you to have content and monetization strategies in place so that when you start driving traffic, you have something to show and can start to earn money right away.
The number one strategy in driving traffic is using multi channels. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. There is wisdom in using different venues and I will briefly tackle each one of them here.
1. Organic Search Engine Results
Organic traffic simply means traffic coming from search engines based on the keywords associated with your blog. Driving organic traffic on your blog means having it search engine optimized. Search engine optimization can be a time consuming and tedious process. This is a very broad topic and often requires some technical knowledge especially for the on-site optimization. Now that I mentioned on-site optimization, I just wanted to say that there are actually two types of optimization: on-site and off-site optimization. Being that this is a broad topic, I will cover this on another post in the future.
If you use WordPress.org platform, the good thing about it is that it has got built-in search engine optimization such as permalinks. WordPress is very search-engine friendly. In addition, you can also install plugins to enhance it's SEO features such as the All-in-One SEO pack plugin.
Organic traffic is the best traffic you could ever get. It's free and will drive visitors to your blog for as long as it exists! It requires quite a lot of work at first but it's rewarding in the end.
2. Email List
Having your own email list is a MUST. You can't even last as a blogger if you don't have one or if you don't build one. Your email list is a gem. This is a constant stream of traffic for your blog. The people on your list are your loyal followers who trust you and will most likely always buy whatever you recommend them.
How do you build your list? Offer something valuable such as a free ebook or video training. Notice that on this blog, on the homepage, you will see a form where my welcome video is. That's how I build my list. So if you submitted your name and your email address, I just got you in my list! If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you do! You know I only offer valuable content for your benefit. *Smiles*
Make sure that you will not spam your list or you will see them go one by one.
For building my list, I use a list management tool called Aweber.
3. Social Media
This is my favorite way of driving traffic to my blog. Not only it is free but it's fun and it's just a part of my daily activities.
I mainly use Twitter and Facebook but there are others that you can use such as LinkedIn.
Since adding friends on Twitter and Facebook can be another time-consuming process, I use tools to automate and I accomplish 100 times as much.
In over 4 weeks, as of the time of this writing, I'm close to having 4,000 followers on Twitter. I give all the credit to this tool called Tweet Adder. On my recommendations page, I list some of the tools that I use in my blogging and I suggest checking them out.
When driving traffic using social media, especially, Twitter and Facebook, it's important to know some rules or should I say the DON'Ts. By knowing these don'ts, you can be more effective and successful in your social media marketing.
Here are the links to my Twitter and Facebook Don'ts.
6 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Using Twitter for Your Business
Learn the DON'Ts in Facebook Marketing
4. Video Marketing
Videos are big and getting even bigger these days. YouTube is now the second largest search engine. There is no reason why you shouldn't use it to drive traffic. Google loves YouTube videos (after all, they are the same company!). You will notice that these days, on certain keywords that you type, YouTube videos are included on the search results.
By inputting a keyword-related title, inserting relevant keywords in your description and putting the right tags, you will be on your way to another organic search traffic in Google as well as YouTube!
In addition to YouTube, there are also other video-sharing sites such as MySpace video, Vimeo, Howcast.com, DailyMotion and others that you can also make use of.
If you want to maximize your video marketing, I highly recommend using video distribution site such as Traffic Geyser. Traffic Geyser is a very powerful tool that allows you to submit your videos to video distribution sites all at once and get your videos indexed and on top of search engine results in such a short period of time.
TubeMogul is a free option for video distribution but it's limited and in my opinion is not as powerful as Traffic Geyser.
5. Social Bookmarking
One of the benefits of social bookmarking is building backlinks to your blog. Backlinks are essential for optimizing your blog for search engines. Remember, on #1 above, I mentioned two types of optimization: On-site and off-site. Off-site is optimization involves building backlinks and one of the ways of building backlinks is through social bookmarking. Backlinks simply mean sites or blogs that link back to yours.
There are literally hundreds of social bookmarking sites, however, for effective backlinking, you must only use the do-follow ones. Nofollow sites will serve you no purpose as Google or other search engines will not account them as one of the links to your site.
As always, I suggest using tools that will make your life easier in driving traffic. Socialmarker.com is a free site that allows you to bookmark your site and your contents in one location. You won't have to keep opening tabs on your browser. I love the fact that Socialmarker is free, however, paid applications have much more powerful features and flexibility. One that I highly recommend is Bookmarking Demon. Don't let the name fool you! It's not evil. LOL. Check it out and see what it can do for you! If you hate tedious process as much as I do, this tool will be your life saver!
6. Blog Commenting
Commenting on niche-related blogs can drive traffic to your blog but don't expect that it will drive massive amounts of traffic. Blog commenting will reward you with quality traffic here and there. What's good about blog commenting though is that builds backlinks to your blog. Again, only choose niche-related blogs that are dofollow and have high Google Page Rank. (PR)
7. RSS Feeds
Make sure that your WordPress blog has an RSS plugin installed. If you're not familiar with RSS, RSS simply means Really Simple Syndication. It's a platform where bloggers or webmasters plublish their contents or updates in a summarized format.
Most WordPress blog themes already have this option. If not, be sure to install one and then submit your feed URL to RSS feeds directories.
8. Forum Marketing
This is something similar to blog commenting as far as results. It won't drive massive traffic to your site but has the possibility of generating quite few leads for you.
How do you do Forum Marketing? First sign-up to a niche-related forum and participate on the thread. Use your blog URL as your signature. Sometimes on some forums, you must have a certain number of posts first before you are allowed to put a signature. Check out the forums terms and conditions before participating.
In addition to driving traffic using your signature, this could also build backlinks to your blog. Make sure to only use forums that are do-follow and only those that are related to your niche.
9. Article Marketing
Article Marketing has some benefits. If done correctly, with the right keyword title and keyword-rich content, you will find yourself a good "link bait" to your blog s well as a backlink.
The idea is to write a valuable content and submit it to high PR (page rank) and dofollow article directories. The #1 article directory that high PR and is do-follow is Ezinearticles.com.
Some article directories allow the body part of your article to have hyperlinks and some only allow you to use the "About the Author" area to put your link. Do your homework in checking their editorial guidelines.
10. Guest Posting
Connect with other bloggers, business owners, and webmasters in your niche and offer to provide valuable blog post or article to their readers or customers in exchange for a link back to your blog. This strategy is really good. You can earn loyal readers for life by doing this!
People love contests! Not only do they like receiving freebies but winning the contest is a challenge most people are up to. Offer contest prizes that they can't resist such as a coaching program, training materials, a book, shirt, etc. Then, create a buzz on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites that you are a part of!
Whew!!! Friends, it's not easy to write a blog post! LOL. Did you learn something from this post? Do you have anything to add? Please let me know by leaving comments below! Don't forget to RT, "like", or Digg!