Just starting out and need traffic?

by Robb Sutton

Ignoring the obvious need for quality content to convert visitors into long term readers…how do you get traffic while playing in Google sandbox during the early stages of your blogging career?

As much as we would all love to throw up some amazing writing and watch the visitors just flood in like Mac addicts at a new iPhone, that just isn’t reality. It takes time to find readers and even more time to get up enough quality, unique content that search engines just want to swallow up and throw at the front page of their results. During the beginning stages of our new blog, there are several different sources that you can use for traffic that can help you grow your blog during that infamous waiting period and growth process.

  1. Twitter – The fastest micro-blogging platform in the world has become a large source of traffic for many beginning blogs. With 140 characters or less, we are able to provide real worth to followers and reach an entirely new audience that may or may not been available before. Twitter also has the increased value of being incredibly viral. The process of retweeting is incredibly easy for its users and can provide hundreds…if not thousands…of new unique visitors to your content. Add to that…unlike other viral social media outlets, it doesn’t take years worth of work and hours upon hours to start to grow a following. Start creating valuable tweets and seek out like minded Twitter users and you will see your traffic start to grow. Need help finding new targeted Twitter users? Try out Twitter Snipe.
  2. Facebook – Facebook is another social media outlet that is growing rapidly. In the past year or two, Facebook opened its doors to people of all ages. Previously, Facebook was reserved to college students, but with this new format…you now have a very large pool to pull traffic from. Use Facebook by linking up pillar articles in status updates and watch the visitors flow in. Even your friends that have nothing to do with your particular niche will stop by, and…you never know…they might have a friend that could benefit from your blog. This email/word of mouth marketing is going to be your best friend throughout your entire blogging career. Want to start a loyal Facebook following related to your blog? Start a Facebook fan page for your site and update it regularly with links and unique content.
  3. Forum Sites – Forum sites are another great traffic source when trying to get those beginning subscribers. However, forum sites have a unique atmosphere that surrounds them, so I highly recommend becoming a regular, useful member of the board before you post up your first link to an article on your blog. In the first couple of instances of performing that act, I would post up the entire article on your thread. Forum sites are very sensitive to spamming and your credibility can be blown with even just one wrong move. Throw a link to your blog in your signature and start to build a reputation on the forum as a member…not a spammer. You will be surprised how much leverage you will have as a contributing member of the board.
  4. Business Cards – Have you ever been asked for a business card from family and friends? The people closest to you can be your greatest asset. As with many people who want you to succeed, they will help as they run into others that share the same passion as you and your blog. As much as they want to, they are not going to be able to remember your url, email address or anything else related to your blog. Business cards take out all of the guess work and provide another outlet for email and word of mouth marketing.
  5. Guest Posting – Guest posting on other bloggers established blogs related to your niche can bring targeted readers when you do not have your own traffic to pull off of. It takes time and effort away from your own content production to write quality, unique content for someone else’s site, but the long term benefits of the boost in credibility and visitors is well worth the effort. 99% of bloggers like to see content that is going to be unique to their site (not republished on your site or anywhere else) so keep this in mind as you submit your content for consideration. Do not just regurgitate something that you have written previously.

Successful blogs got to where they are today by being willing to write even when no one is listening. They also didn’t give up when things looked down. Instead…they adapt and bend towards trends and trust that the hard work they are putting forth will result in the goals they have set. During the beginning stages of blog development, getting small wins through marketing your assets in arenas that are available that the time, will give you the feedback you are looking for by starting a blog.

The biggest thing to remember…don’t give up. 9 times out of 10, people give up right before they are about to make it.

Image by invisiblekid2007

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Mike May 26, 2009 - 3:59 pm

Some great tips there. I’m big on most of them, but I need to look more into Guest Posting and getting active in forums.

I love that line about not quiting, it’s definitely one of those things that keep me going on the rough days.

Robb Sutton May 26, 2009 - 5:14 pm

Thanks Mike

That not quitting line will keep you going through just about anything in life. Quitters never win!

Patrick Kalie November 30, 2009 - 7:14 pm

That’s one thing about getting traffic is that it’s an ongoing thing, and that only the strong will survive this game.

Keep going strong, and remember their is no finish line!

Elie December 29, 2009 - 9:31 am

I notice you keep talking about writing guest posts on other blogs, which will help drive traffic your way. I have a different question – what if I want to get other people writing on my blog, say, one guest post per month. How would I go about asking someone if they’d be interested in writing an article for me?

Robb Sutton December 29, 2009 - 5:38 pm

The easiest way is to ask! I put a link in the footer of my blog inviting guest posts and you can work with other bloggers to trade posts. Let your subscribers know you are accepting guest posts and you will be surprised at the result.


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