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Make Money Online Step #2: Drive Traffic To Your Website

3 July 2008 6 Comments

Following up the recent article on launching your online presence, today we will address the issue of driving traffic to your website. There are it seems millions of resources out there to help guide you in your pursuit of traffic, because traffic equals money right? Maybe. We’ll get to that later. For now, let’s discuss some real, practical ways to drive traffic to your new online masterpiece.

Before you should even implement any strategies to drive traffic to your site, you should already have content on your website. If you are nothing more than a blog, then you should have at least 5-10 posts already online. If you are a website with blog content as well as product and service marketing material, then you should have your first one or two blog posts already online as well as full product/service details.

It is important to note that there are hundreds of various ways to try to drive traffic to your website. Instead of trying to do 50 different things, I believe it is more beneficial to focus on a handful of strategies and pursue them vigorously.

Get To Know The Message Boards And Other Blogs With The Same Topic

Start reading the most popular blogs that have the same topic as you. If you are such a small niche, that there is literally nobody else with the same content, then find the closest thing out there. Start commenting on articles and provide a link to your website. Do not spam web sites. Do provide a real and valuable comment demonstrating your knowledge and then reference an article on your website. By referring to a related point in one of your articles, people will not be turned off by your solicitation.

Furthermore, find message boards on the web where people discuss similar content. Begin to establish yourself as a regular commenter in the message boards. Don’t start off by advertising your site. Add real commentary and add to the discussion first without even referencing your website. After people start recognizing your name as a frequent contributor, then begin referencing content in your website in the same fashion as mentioned above.

Social Networking and Bookmarking Sites

There are many websites out there that you can submit articles to that will recommend your site to others based on how previous readers rate the content. Digg and StumbleUpon are two examples. I recommend focusing on one or the other and getting extremely active in whatever community you choose. I use StumbleUpon and the results have been fantastic. Since I don’t use Digg, I can’t comment on first-hand experience, but I know that many people have had huge success with it.

StumbleUpon is a service that lets you “channel surf” the web. You can have websites recommended to you based on your interests and previous rankings of other websites. If you rate body building websites as a “Thumbs Up” frequently, then StumbleUpon will recommend more body building sites to you. You can submit your own articles to the community, but be an active contributor of more content than just yours or the StumbleUpon algorithm will penalize you. If you are an active member of the community, you can literally send thousands of visitors to a single blog post on your website. I definitely recommend checking it out. If you’re a member, check me out at http://20smoney.stumbleupon.com.

Google Adwords

The last part of driving traffic to your website is through paid advertising. If you have a specific enough niche, you can utilize Google Adwords in a very cheap and effective way. Use specific keywords; for example, if you specialize in pink polka-dotted laptops, use keywords such as pink laptops, polka-dotted laptops, etc as opposed to using keywords like laptops and computers. The more narrow, the more effective and the cheaper the clicks will cost you.

Adwords allows you to run ads and pay for them based only on performance. You will be charged each time someone clicks on your ad and visits your website, not on how many times the ads are shown. Again, if you are a general website with content that you can find in thousands of other sites, you may not decide to use Adwords, because there are going to be plenty of other people running ads targeting the same audience.

Strategize Your Effort And Time

It takes time to create a website and it takes time to work on driving traffic to your site. If you are a full time blog, it takes time to write content each day. If you are a full time blog, I recommend posting new content almost every day (by almost every day, I mean 5-6 times a week). Blogs without updated content are dead blogs. If your site has more purpose than simply a blog, you can get away with fewer posts (depending on your goal, you will need to determine the frequency). Either way, it is important to realize that driving traffic is as much as a priority to you as producing content. You should split your time equally between the two.

I typically spend an hour researching, brainstorming, writing and editing an article for my blog almost each day. I also spend an hour working on tweaking and implementing my traffic strategy as outlined above. Budget your time for your website by balancing the other things in your life. Be efficient. Don’t browse the web aimlessly, instead check the sites you enjoy checking then get down to business checking on message boards and commenting other articles. Get your name out there every day.

Your efforts will not result in thousands of daily hits right away. It takes time. In time, you will see the fruits of your labor. All big sites start small; however, 90% of new blogs and website die off because people give up. It can be frustrating and demoralizing to work so hard and have minimal results. Give yourself at least a few months of consistent effort. Good luck!

The next step, which everyone is waiting for, is to monetize all that traffic you are sending to your website. We’ll talk about that in step 3!

6 Comments »

  • Alex Fisher said:

    Good advice. I’ve found the growth in traffic correlates directly to how much time I spend working on fresh material as well as site promotion. Some months when I really give it time it pays off, and when I don’t it dies off a little. Over time, though, I’ve noticed that even when I do go through the periods of less activity it’s doesn’t totally die off as much as the previous period.

  • investmentplayground said:

    Great post Kev. I’ve also noticed that some blogs’ entries can be “timeless”, meaning that they don’t expire. So a year from now you can still read a post about home repair, cooking recipes, or religious education, and still be earning incremental ad revenue. You FIRST have to build up a following, no matter what.

  • Aaron Hardy said:

    Thanks for this post. It gave me some great ideas as I'm just reaching that point where driving traffic is becoming more and more important. On the content generation front, I've decided to offer others cash for helping write content as well. We'll see how that model turns out. Speaking of which, if any of you are interested in making a little cash, come write an article. See http://frugalfellas.com/contribute for more info.

  • craig said:

    Squidoo is my favourite at the moment, take a look at http://www.squidoo.com/money-making-ten for some ideas.