Creating great content is arguably the most important thing any entrepreneur, blogger, startup or online business owner can do to organically drive qualified traffic and potential revenue to their site. But having a site full of great content is only one side of the coin.
At least to begin with, any new blog or site simply won’t have enough people visiting it to make much impact. What’s required is a way to drive traffic to that content in the first place.
Driving traffic: Social media marketing
Social media marketing is a great way to drive traffic (I recommend it highly), but like any marketing method, it has pros and cons. It’s main deficit as a marketing tool is that it is… fickle. You have to have content that will interest people enough to share it, and this can make your content go viral. But the phenomenon is almost always short lived. People move on to the next most interesting thing and traffic drops of quickly – although there are often lasting benefits.
Driving traffic: Blogs, articles, forums and content
The middle ground is community involvement. You have to become involved in what other people are doing. Think of starting a blog or online business as moving to a new town. In order to meet new people you have to go and find things that they are doing – you don’t simply expect them to rock up at your house on a Friday night because you live there. In other words, you have to meet the neighbours – in this case, blogs, forums, content sites, other businesses and so on.
The way you do this is by joining their sites and contributing meaningfully to their conversations. Read their blog posts, articles, forums and so on. Spend a few minutes offering your opinion, an alternative perspective, a funny anecdote and so on. Doing this has multiple benefits. First, you are often able to add a signature with a link back to your own site. Second, you actually learn a lot about the niche you are in because you are reading what other people have to say about it.
In addition, third parties are exposed to what you have to say via the other person’s blog or site, so this helps boost your online visibility and reputation. This in turn increases the level of ambient trust between you and your niche audience – especially if your contributions are to well respected blogs and sites, and are sensible, helpful, polite, well considered and all the other things attributes you want to portray to potential customers and clients.
Process for driving traffic via back links
Here’s a step-by-step process you can follow to drive traffic to your website or blog via back links:
- Research and identify up to 10 important, well-respected blogs or sites relevant to your niche
- Sign up or create and account with them
- Spend a half hour a day reading content from those sites (often a feed aggregation service can help to pull all the content together into one convenient place)
- Identify the blog posts, articles and other content that you feel positive about
- Add positive meaningful responses
- Monitor for any replies and help start a debate
You’ll find that some sites respond well to your input and others don’t. Drop the sites that don’t respond well and repeat this process on a quarterly or bi-annual basis to find new sites that do drive traffic through to you.
Benefits of contributing to other blogs and sites
Ultimately, you will find that you:
- make important connections with other high-quality blogs or sites in your niche
- gain authority and visibility because of your contributions
- build plenty of traffic through your signatures and referenced links
- become more knowledgeable
- improve your site’s SEO through linked SEO keywords in your community debate content
By regularly expanding and evolving your list of community involvement blogs and sites, you can ensure that you benefit from a number of knock-on benefits as well as straightforward backlinks, SEO, marketing and traffic building. For example, making new connections and friends who are well placed within your industry can lead to strategic partnerships, radio and tv exposure, guest blog posts, and all sorts of other opportunities.
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