There are a surprising number of tricks you can use to drive traffic and many are free, just requiring you to think ourside the box. Some of these ideas by the way come from that excellent digital marketer Neil Patel (https://neilpatel.com/) who has a really useful free newsletter.
Do you know where this phrase comes from? Wikipedia tells us:
The origins of the phrase "thinking outside the box" are obscure; but it was popularized in part because of a nine-dot puzzle, which John Adair claims to have introduced in 1969. Management consultant Mike Vance has claimed that the use of the nine-dot puzzle in consultancy circles stems from the corporate culture of the Walt Disney Company, where the puzzle was used in-house.
Christopher Columbus' Egg Puzzle as it appeared in Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles
The nine dots puzzle is much older than the slogan. It appears in Sam Loyd's 1914 Cyclopedia of Puzzles. In the 1951 compilation The Puzzle-Mine: Puzzles Collected from the Works of the Late Henry Ernest Dudeney, the puzzle is attributed to Dudeney himself. Sam Loyd's original formulation of the puzzle entitled it as "Christopher Columbus' egg puzzle." This was an allusion to the story of Egg of Columbus.
Let's get back to the case in point.
Everyone loves a little flattery.
One of the best opportunities to build more traffic to your site is by creating a page dedicated to showering praise on companies and individuals you admire.
You can do this in a few ways:
An example of a great resources page is the one by Pat Flynn. In addition to listing the software and products he uses, he includes affiliate links to them.
In addition to driving traffic, Pat’s page earns affiliate commissions. You might as well kill two birds with one stone.
Once you’ve created the page, share it with the people you included. Write a simple Tweet that lets each brand or person know you’ve included them. Don’t send out a template Tweet. Customize each one. Here’s an example:
Hey NAME! I loved your page on TOPIC. Wanted to let you know I included you on my resource page: LINK
People love sharing a post that makes them look good. By writing a good resource post, you can tap into the massive traffic of these influencers.
Influencer marketing is one of the best investments you can make. According to TapInfluence influencer marketing drives 11x more ROI than other types of digital media.
If you’re not growing your blog on Medium yet, you should be. Indeed it is so important that we here at TDB are devoting a whole page to it.
The site boasts over 60 million readers a month, and most of them have never heard of your site.
But you don’t need to start writing new content. Just republish your old content and expose the articles you’ve already written to new readers.
Some people think Google will penalize this duplication. That used to be true. If you ran two sites and posted the same content on both, Google would recognize it as duplicate content. As a result, search engines would push your pages further down the SERPs (marketing term for search engine results page).
But years ago, Google created a tool that allows you to post duplicate content without consequence. It’s called a canonical URL, and it basically tells search engines that the content is syndicated. Medium uses a canonical URL by default.
The more people who read and recommend your article, the more your content will be promoted to the massive audience on Medium.
If you have a resource you could add to your content, you can easily leverage it to boost traffic to your site.
To make it work, advertise special content or a download. Make it clear to your fans that the only way to get access is if they share it with their friends.
Be sure to make the page that advertises the content very compelling. The more powerful you make your promotional copy, the more likely someone will share it with his or her friends.
The more social shares your content gets, the more traffic you’ll get.
And if your content is truly top-notch, you may even get people to share it again after the download.
If you are using TDBComputing's WhiteLabel Site (and this is) you have the option to have a QR code for each page or your entire site automatically. At the bottom of this page you will see
This is a QR code. Use the QR code on any offline medium. You can put it on T-shirts, posters, flyers, or even billboards and advertisements.
When smartphone users see the distinctive square codes, they feel instantly curious. Each time someone scans the code, they’ll be taken to your website. If you link them to a landing page or an e-commerce site, you can even generate leads and sales from the traffic!
The social bookmarking site StumbleUpon has been around for years, but it’s still going strong.
StumbleUpon allows users to find new websites and pages by clicking the Stumble button in the app. Unlike many sites that cause content to go viral, StumbleUpon articles usually don’t spike. They remain popular on the site for years, bringing in a steady stream of traffic. To get started, sign up for a StumbleUpon account. Submit your best articles.
Content that works well is usually short, remarkable, and visual. List articles and funny or emotional stories often work well, too.
It might take a few weeks to gain traction with StumbleUpon. But if you’re patient, the results will pay off in traffic. StumbleUpon’s algorithm rewards articles that are popular. Once other users start to upvote your content, your articles will be shown more frequently and get more upvotes.
It’s a continuous cycle that leads to more traffic for your website.
If you have already have some viewers, you can leverage that momentum with another site that wants to increase its traffic.
To get started, find a site in your similar niche. It’s important that the site is related, but not a competitor.
The best type of site to reach out to is one in a complementary industry. Complementary products and services typically do very well.
If you teach people how to grow houseplants, for example, you could reach out to someone who sells custom-made planters.
To reach out, you’ll need to find the business owner’s email. Do a site-specific search in Google using “contact site:” and the URL.
Review the pages to find one with a contact form or email address. Pitch the basic idea to the site owner.
Each of you will have a small ad for the other site in your sidebar. Decide on a period of time. (I recommend three months. You can always go for longer if you want to.)
If they agree, prepare a compelling picture with some overlaid text. Place their image in the sidebar, and start sending traffic their way.
Since people who click on the ad for the other site are existing readers, you don’t lose traffic.
But since they’re promoting your site, as well, you get a steady stream of new traffic from the referring site.
If you want to get dozens of influencers excited about your website, feature them in a roundup post.
To do this, make a list of 20+ names in your industry you’d like to contact.
Send them a simple email explaining that you’re doing a roundup post, and ask them to contribute if they want to.
Once you receive the contributions, include them together in one post. For best results, have a short bio and headshot of each contributor, along with a link to their website.
If you can’t get responses from influencers, you can pull quotes from their Twitter feeds or articles they’ve written.
When the article goes live, email all the contributors who gave you a quote for the post.
You should also share the post on your social networks. Make sure to tag the influencers in the post.
You can tag an unlimited number of people on Google+. Facebook limits you to 50, Instagram limits you to 30, and Twitter is limited by character count.
Share over the course of the next few days until you’ve tagged everyone in a post on each platform.
A lot of the influencers will share your updates or post one themselves.
The viral buzz surrounding a roundup post is second to none, and so is the traffic it generates for your site!
There’s nothing like controversy to get people interested in what you have to say.
To get started, find a post by a major influencer you disagree with. You’ll need to follow the thought leaders in your industry.
Once you find something you disagree with, write a detailed argument against the author’s reasoning.
Be civil, but don’t mince words. Explain as persuasively as you can why he or she is wrong and you are right.
It’s important to write a response post soon after the original is published. Ideally, you should release your post within one week.
Once you write the post, email the influencer. Mention that you didn’t agree with everything in their post, and include a link to your response.
Oftentimes, the influencer will write a response to your argument. In the reply, he or she will almost always link to your article.
Derek Halpern published an argumentative post arguing against the top bloggers who say that “content is king.”
His post got hundreds of comments.
This helps your SEO with high-quality backlinks.
But more importantly, the massive audience of the major influencer will need to read your piece to understand the response post, thus increasing your traffic.
People around the world have questions, and you can answer them with your content.
Quora is similar to Yahoo! Answers, but it attracts high-quality answers from verified authorities.
To get started, create a Quora account. Then search Quora for questions related to a recent piece of content you posted.
Once you find a good question, reply with a brief summary of the best ideas in your content.
At the bottom of the answer, explain that you wrote a piece on that topic with more information and provide a link to it.
Be genuine and don’t sound promotional. As long as you follow those two basic rules, you’ll attract a steady stream of readers who find their way to your website.
Even better, questions on Quora get views and massive traffic years after they’re posted.
Different people learn in different ways. If all your content appeals to one medium, however, you’ll lose traffic that’s not interested in your chosen form of communication.
For example, if you only write blog posts, you’ll lose visual learners and those who prefer to listen.
The good news is that it’s easy to promote your content by repurposing it. To get started, create a simple slideshow of the main points of your article. You can then upload this to SlideShare, which has 70 million users per month.
It’s not hard to generate massive traffic from Slideshare. Open the slideshow on your computer and start a screen recording. While you record, read the article off a piece of paper or separate device.
Click through to each slide as you read. When you’re finished, upload the video to YouTube.
You can then take the audio of you reading the article aloud and send it to SoundCloud, which has 175 million listeners worldwide.
Congratulations! You’ve just repurposed your content into three different media.
By opening up your message to people who learn in different ways, you can find people on other platforms and increase your traffic from around the Internet.
Everyone loves a challenge!
You can excite your readers with a month-long challenge to do something related to your topic.
Challenges like this can be very popular. Some brands and trends, like the Whole30 diet, base their entire strategy on these challenges.
I recommend running a 30-day challenge — not longer or shorter. It’s long enough to build momentum without getting stale.
You’ll need to find something difficult to do for the next month. This shouldn’t be too hard, but it needs to be a fun challenge for most of your audience.
If you sell a body metrics tracking device, for example, you might challenge your audience to get eight hours of sleep each night for 30 days.
But how does this generate traffic? A 30-day challenge excites your audience and gets them to share it with others. Even better, the extra traffic you acquire from those 30 days will stick around afterward to see what you have to offer.
Have you ever noticed that most major brands are always running a contest or giveaway?
The reason is simple: it works.
For example, here’s a campaign by M&Ms. It offers you a chance to be in their next ad.
Offering free rewards to customers is a great way to draw new traffic and buyers to what you have to offer.
To get started, check the laws and regulations in your country and state. Some localities are strict about raffles and sweepstakes.
Once you know what’s allowed, the possibilities are endless.
The easiest way to run a giveaway is to simply offer it to someone who comments on an article.
Once the giveaway period has ended, count the number of comments and generate a random number in the range of the comments.
The winning comment gets the prize.
For more complex giveaways, consider Rafflecopter. You can run an extensive campaign and even have special bonuses for entrants who refer friends.
Contests and giveaways are a great way to bring new traffic to your site.
Your core group of fans wants to see their friends win, and they will refer more and more names.
Even better, you can acquire leads from those who sign up and continue to contact them long after the contest has ended.
Have you ever read a newspaper article and wondered how the reporter found such a juicy expert quote?
In years past, reporters would ask rigorous questions of dozens of people.
But today, most just use the Internet. Specifically, they use a resource known as Help A Reporter Out, or HARO.
The site is a win-win for reporters and website owners.
Reporters post a request for an expert quote, opinion, or story. In exchange, they provide free publicity for their contributors.
For best results, follow these tips:
How do you get a piece of the massive traffic these news sites generate? I’ve found there are two ways.
First, HARO quotes often link to your site. If people are interested in what you have to say, they’ll click through to read more.
Second, you build name awareness. Even if people don’t look up your site immediately, you’ll stay in their minds as an expert in the topic area.
When they need more information about the subject, they’ll know where to go.
The challenge of influencer marketing is building a relationship with the big fish in your industry and getting them to share.
An easy way to build this rapport is to host an interview with your favorite expert and share it with your audience.
These interviews are typically 30 minutes long, and they are usually conducted via a recorded video chat.
This helps you acquire traffic in two ways.
First, your existing audience is more likely to visit the site and hear the advice from a trusted expert.
Those fans are also more likely to share this type of post with friends.
Second, the person you interviewed is likely to share the post, as well. At a minimum, he or she will likely post the piece on social media.
Even better, though, the influencer may even send a link to the interview to his or her email list. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
If you share articles with your social media following, you’re missing a golden opportunity to drive more traffic to your site.
Instead of just sharing content produced by others, use the app Snip.ly to direct people to your own site.
Once you install Snip.ly, create a separate message and call to action for each piece of content you share.
When others read the article, they’ll see (and often click on) the box at the bottom that links to your content.
The best part about this is that you can direct others to a custom call to action.
An article on the best workout supplements, for example, could link your e-commerce store that sells those very supplements.
As you continue to share content from other sources around the web, you can subtly direct more traffic to your own site.
By only changing a tiny part of your normal social sharing, you can easily drive new traffic.
Even better, you can incorporate this strategy into your current social media sharing campaign.
Nothing increases your visibility like a book.
The easiest way to publish today is probably publishing for the Amazon Kindle. According to Written Word Media, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has grown tremendously since 2014.
Having a presence in the Kindle store can generate traffic to your website. But instead of working hard to write a new book, simply compile a list of your most popular articles. Many Kindle books are only 20,000-30,000 words. That’s about the length of 10-25 long-form blog posts.
Find a set of blog posts that cover a similar theme, or even use a series of posts that chronicle steps in a journey. Compile it into a Kindle e-book and include a compelling link or two to your website through the content.
Launch it on Amazon and sell it for a low price, or even run a free promotion. Encourage your audience to read the book, and ask them to post reviews on the Amazon page. As the book increases in popularity, you’ll see your traffic start to increase.
Compiling a book doesn’t have to be a long or difficult process, but the results can last for months or even years.
If you’re looking for a steady stream of traffic, this is a tried-and-true strategy that will build your following.