We have all faced hard times trying to get free targeted traffic to our blogs.
In fact, if you were to ask around, you'd probably find that traffic generation is one of the hardest things that we face as bloggers and website owners.
But, it isn't as hard as most people make it out to be!
In fact, if you do it right, driving traffic can be as easy as driving to the supermarket for a gallon of milk.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in what is new out there that we lose sight of old school traffic generation tactics that still work their magic, sending free targeted traffic where we want them to go.
Just like Ana mentioned a couple of weeks ago in her post about 3 Common Web Traffic Strategies, there are many tactics that are still valid, but you have to use them the right way, or you will lose the best traffic that they can offer.
For example, forum marketing has been one of my biggest sources of referral traffic over the last 3 years as I built up my blog, yet most people seem to fail miserably in getting targeted traffic from these sites.
Today, I thought I would share a few of my favorite tricks for getting traffic from forums onto my blog, and into my email list, subscriber list, and becoming my regular customers.
Using Forums For Free Targeted Traffic To Your Blog
A lot of people tell me that forum marketing isn't worth the time or effort that it takes.
Although you won't get thousands of visitors through forum marketing, you can get some decent traffic numbers for the time invested.
Here is a screenshot of some of my own traffic from just one of the forums I use:
Now, this might not look like much, and this is why most people think forum marketing is worthless.
However, take a deeper look at what you can do with forums.
After a lot of questions concerning forum marketing, I set up a separate Clickbank account just so that I could get some clean numbers that were from forum traffic alone.
By using a special landing page for forum traffic, I was able to trace my forum marketing sales directly:
These numbers reflect the direct sales I made through this forum, and don't take into account people who joined my email list and followed my social circles after visiting my blog.
I have a lot of other sales that I know came from forums, but these are the only ones that I can directly trace.
However, you don't get these kind of numbers by just randomly posting on forums for backlinks.
In fact, the traffic and sales I get is just a minor part of using forums for my business.
Like with anything else, in order to be successful, you have to have a strategy in place.
Today, I am going to share one of the many tactics in my forum marketing strategy that I use to bring people to my site, build my email list, and my sales funnel.
A Simple Trick That Brings More Forum Traffic
The other day, I was over at one of my favorite forums, and someone asked a question that I had just mentioned on my blog.
Being the nice guy that I am, I went and wrote up a brief answer to their question, and included a link to the post in question on my blog.
(NOTE: I know that linking to my blog this way is okay with the rules of the forum before attempting this tactic! ALWAYS KNOW THE RULES AND FOLLOW THEM!!!!)
Doing this brought quite a few people to my blog, and I got several opt-ins to my newsletter.
This is all well and good, but you don't always have a fresh post on your blog that just happens to answer their question. When this happens, there are one of 3 things that you can do to get around it.
1. Give Some Link Love To a Friend
Trust me on this one, your competition will not mind if you happen to mention THEIR latest blog post in the forum.
As long as it provides value (I only do this with a REALLY great post…), most forums won't mind you linking to someone's site, although some won't allow any external links.
I know what you are thinking… “That sends the free targeted traffic to THEIR blog! I don't get anything.”
Networking is always beneficial, and I find that “If you scratch my back, I will scratch yours” attitude runs rampant in the blogosphere.
If you link to their content when it is relevant, they will often notice.
They will usually wind up repaying the favor, sending you more free targeted traffic.
I find it a great way to help people in the forum and build the relationship with another blogger at the same time.
If the post really helps, the next time I share a link, those same people will be 10 times more likely to trust me enough to click that link and check out my site.
2. Link to an OLD Post on Your Blog
If you have an old post on your blog answering their question, you can always dig into your archives and find the URL.
This way you still give people the answer they need and it helps you get the word out about your blog.
Sometimes this can be a bit of a pain though.
Also, if it is a really old post, you better read through it and make sure no links are broken and that the information is still relevant. You wouldn't want to send people to an old post that is outdated, right?
That could do your reputation more harm than good. It should just take a couple of minutes, and it could be beneficial to you for a long time to come.
3. Backlog a Post
This is probably the sneakiest thing I do and this is the first (and ONLY) time I will let this one out of the bag in public.
I am always seeing people use the post scheduler to post to their blog later, but you can also go backwards in time to log a post.
Sometimes, if I don't have a post, I will go and make one. When I do, I will look at the thread, and backdate the post to be posted earlier than the thread was posted.
Then, I go in and say something like “Hey that's funny, I just posted on my blog about that a few hours ago. Here is a brief rundown of what I said….”
Then, I would conclude with something like “… And that is how I would solve that problem if I were you. If you want more info you can check out the full post here <<insert link to my site>>.”
This tactic is not something I use very often, maybe once a month or so.
You don't want to get a reputation as a link spammer in the forum.
However, done in moderation, and as long as you are an active member of the community, this tactic can help bring you a ton of targeted traffic.
Again, you always need to make sure that this is not a violation of the forum rules. Some forums will allow it and some won't.
Always play it safe and follow the community guidelines.
I love online marketing, and enjoy helping others achieve success through their marketing efforts. I specialize in Relationship Marketing Strategies to help people build and brand their business through relationships built through blogging and Social Media. If you want more relationship marketing strategies to help you build and brand your business, I highly recommend checking out the best Relationship Marketing Tips that you need to succeed in this ever changing online world.