So You Need to Get More Web Traffic… Now What?

So You Need to Get More Web Traffic… Now What?

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As I am surveying Traffic Generation Café trying to get the overall picture of where I am at right now and where I’d like to be, one thing becomes clear: I need to get more traffic.

No matter how much/little traffic we get, we could always use some more, couldn’t we?

If you are thinking what I am thinking (I need more traffic too!!!), let’s see if we can put our heads together and find the answer to this question:

What’s the best way to get more traffic to your website TODAY?

How to Get More Website Traffic

As I am thinking about web traffic in general, I see that there are two main traffic “streams” I need to work on and each one has its own approach and, most importantly, time frame:

  • SHORT-TERM traffic (the kind of traffic I can bring to my blog today, but it requires constant work)

and

  • LONG-TERM traffic (I won’t see any immediate results from it, but it’ll bring a lot of passive traffic in the future).

Immediate Boost: How to Get Short-Term Traffic

For the most part, this kind of traffic needs to be generated from referral sources, i.e. other blogs, social networks, etc.

Here are some possibilities I am pondering and their pros and cons:

BLOG COMMENTING

This is what immediately pops in my mind:

  • time-consuming
  • unreliable

Not a great traffic generator, in other words.

I am not saying it doesn’t generate traffic at all; just doesn’t generate enough of it to warrant my time.

Here’s an interesting post/experiment on the subject of blog commenting traffic Lisa Drubec and I did a while ago:

  • Blog Comment Traffic Research: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

However, blog commenting CAN and SHOULD be used for other purposes, like:

  • Networking;
  • Brand recognition (the more other people see your face around the blogosphere, the more “presold” they will be on you);
  • Link building (definitely check out my post on how to use CommentLuv for link building – I bet you never thought of this strategy).

My verdict: something I still should be doing on a regular basis, but doesn’t fit in with my current goal: getting more web traffic to my blog.

SOCIAL MEDIA

I think I am getting warmer.

How can I TRULY use social media to get more traffic to my blog TODAY?

Let’s dig a little deeper.

1.   There are only that many times you can RT/share your own content – whatever the network.

And there are only that many times I can ask other people to RT my content.

What then?

2.   I can work on increasing my social media circles, thus exposing more people to my content – like I explained in these two posts:

But again, this is not a “do it today to get traffic tomorrow” type of strategy.

3.   Find bloggers with very active following and become friends with them.

As I scanned my Twitter timeline, I noticed that there are a couple of bloggers that get retweeted quite a bit – every time they shared any one of my posts, their followers re-RTed it.

For instance, I noticed that once Gabriella Sannino from Level343.com retweeted any one of my posts, her followers would retweet them several times.

 

get traffic from twitter

 

Didn’t take me long to reach out to her, thank her for the attention, and “seal” the friendship.

Of course, it’s not all business – Gabriella is great, as I came to find out.

Another way of doing this: as you read other blogs (and I hope you do), take a look at their Twitter share counter – if the numbers are in the hundreds, they have an active Twitter following.

Of course, the same goes for any social network.

This strategy is definitely something that could be put to work pretty quickly.

4.   Post on other people’s walls.

This works best for Facebook and Google+.

The trick is to choose users who are influential (thus have many active followers), but not too influential (or you’ll be lost in the sea of others trying to fight for attention).

The best way to get attention from these users is by sharing their content on your wall and ALWAYS tagging them when doing it.

I also like to mention different bloggers in each post I write, and when it goes live, I publish a link to the post on their walls always letting them know I talked about them.

This type of networking could definitely bring quick results, depending on how good you are.

My verdict: yes, it’s possible to get immediate traffic from social media. Not ideal though.

Other ways?

GUEST POSTING

Warmer yet.

Guest posting kills several birds with one stone:

  • GREAT for introductions and networking;
  • GREAT for link building (the best kind of contextual one way links you can get);
  • GREAT for immediate traffic generation.

Every time I published a guest post in the past, I got a surge of traffic from that blog.

How big of a surge?

Depended on the blog and how good my post was, of course.

But it always created a buzz.

For instance, I’ve been a regular contributor to Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneurs-Journey.com since August of 2011.

The twelve posts I published there so far brought me the following traffic:

web traffic guest posting

Yes, guest posting does work and the more guest posts I write, the more web traffic I get.

To see what criteria I use to find suitable blogs to submit a guest post to, take a look at this post:

I also mention another ingenious way to pick the right blogs to guest post for here:

(By the way, the post above is a contest entry and you know how it goes: I’d love to have your comments and shares on that one!)

In anticipation of these questions:

  • No, I don’t have a list of blogs that accept guest posts;
  • Yes, I’ve been rejected before and it never stopped me from trying again;
  • No, I don’t currently accept guest posts.

My verdict: guest posting definitely goes on my to-do list – immediately.

WRITE EPIC CONTENT

Here’s another thing that I can do right now to generate buzz, links, and traffic.

Write GREAT content. EPIC content.

Write Epic Shit.

I can’t say it any better than Corbett Barr did. No one can beat that title.

I’ve seen other bloggers try and come up with a very lame “Write Contagious Content“, but of course it doesn’t come close.

What makes content epic?

I wish I knew.

Some of my most popular posts were a complete surprise to me, yet some that I thought for sure would create the buzz, went almost unnoticed.

Will this post generate the buzz? Will you love it? Will you link to it?

I suppose I’ll find out once I hit the “Publish” button…

I did find some ways to get an insight into what kind of posts are the biggest hit with my readers.

1.   Posts that get the most comments.

Pretty obvious one, right?

2.   Posts that get the most clicks from other blogs.

One of the awesome features of CommentLuv Premium is tracking how many people clicked on your CommentLuv links that you left on OTHER blogs.

That should give me an insight into what kind of content might draw people in.

Let’s take a look:

commentluv web traffic stats

The first post in the screenshot is about the best affiliate marketing programs and how to find them, i.e. about how to make more money!

No wonder it drew attention.

The second one is about writing better content. Didn’t do so well.

Probably because everyone else under the sun writes about writing better content….

As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I am doing right now!

The last two had words “free”, “discount“, and “giveaway” in them. Everyone likes a freebie, right?

Note to self: do more giveaways!

3.   Topics that get searched for via your search box.

Did you know you can track what your readers are typing in your search box?

You can and it’s easy to set up.

It’s a great way to learn what topics your readers want to know more about, what keywords you might want to target for future search engine traffic, and what posts you might want to add to your sidebar.

In the past month, my readers performed 354 searches:

google analytics web traffic search terms

You can find these stats in your Google Analytics under Content ==> Search Terms.

And now I have a much better idea of what to write about in the future.

4.   Do more giveaways.

CommentLuv Premium stats above reminded me that giveaways were always a big hit at Traffic Generation Cafe.

Don’t JUST give away stuff though.

Find ways to help it go viral.

For instance, I’ve done two giveaways in the past: for Thesis theme and CommentLuv Premium.

In both cases, my goal was to build more links to those posts and that was the condition of becoming eligible to win the product.

Another great example of a viral giveaway is Kindle Fire Giveaway from DragonBlogger.com.

That contest was centered around social media and some of the eligibility conditions were following on Twitter, retweeting/otherwise sharing the post, etc.

I don’t remember exactly at this point, but if Justin stops by, I am sure he’ll tell us in the comments.

The results? Incredible.

dragonblogger web traffic giveaway

 

My verdict: every post I write I will write based on what my readers want to learn about at Traffic Generation Cafe.

This web traffic generation strategy is entirely under my control and can definitely significantly influence my immediate traffic.

It might be a bit more difficult to achieve for you if your blog doesn’t currently enjoy the kind of readership Traffic Generation Cafe has.

However, writing epic content should still be one of your main goals to get more traffic; it just might take a little longer.

How to Get More Long-Term Traffic

Now I am thinking more long-term.

The methods I described above WILL bring various amounts of quick traffic.

However, if I want to keep it up, I’ll have to constantly network, chat on social media, write guest posts, etc.

Not that I should stop doing that at any point, but I don’t want to do it to keep my business afloat; rather, to take it to the next level.

I need to find more long-term leveraged sources of traffic and the only source I can think of that fits the bill is search engine traffic.

What Do I Need to Do Today to Get More SE Traffic Tomorrow?

Several things I can think of.

The two “big picture” factors that influence search engine rankings are:

  • Onpage optimization
  • Links

The easiest way to bring more search engine traffic to my blog is to find the posts that are already ranking in the top 20 for any high-searched terms and see if I can do a better job with on-page optimization and link building.

1. DO SEMRUSH SEARCH

SEMRush is the only tool I know of that can tell you what your site is currently ranking for vs the rest of the tools that require you to KNOW what you are ranking for or want to rank for and then telling you where you are at for that term.

Let’s take a look at my current SEMRush stats:

get more search traffic semrush

The keywords are currently sorted by the amount of search engine traffic I get from them.

So even though I am currently ranking #11 for “bounce rate“, it still brings me more traffic than “traffic generation“, for which I am currently ranked as #1.

It’s not hard to notice that some of the listed keywords have great potential for traffic IF I manage to rank better for them.

Bounce rate“, “how to get more followers on Twitter“, “web traffic” have great potential.

The one keyword that stands out is “tweetadder“.

Tweetadder is one of the products I love and promote that allows you to get more Twitter followers.

This is the kind of keyword I definitely need to work on, since it has income potential, as well as traffic potential.

Now that I know some great keywords I need to work on, it’s time to get to work.

2. IMPROVE ONPAGE OPTIMIZATION

Time for a little disclaimer: getting search engine traffic is a huge topic that in no way can be covered in one post.

These steps will work better for those readers who already have some understanding of SEO.

If you feel you need more in-depth information on how to get search engine traffic, pick up a copy of my free SEO report.

Onpage optimization is something that you should be able to tweak easily since it’s entirely under your control.

I usually make sure to include my main keyword(s) in the following places:

  • Post title (this is your H1 tag);
  • SEO title (different from post title; this is your <title> tag);
  • Description (your <description> tag);
  • Slug (this is the one you need to make sure to get right the first time around; I don’t recommend changing slugs later);
  • Sub-headlines in the body of your post (H2, H3 tags);
  • Make a few of the keywords bold and/or italic (for good luck).

Additional resources:

3. BUILD MORE LINKS

Still the most vital piece of SEO puzzle.

If you are not ranking as well as you’d like to, you need to build more/better quality links.

  1. Blog commenting;
  2. Guest posting;
  3. Asking other bloggers to include your best posts into their speedlinking posts;
  4. Asking other bloggers to include you in their blogroll (works for the home page rankings, not really for posts);
  5. Article marketing, including syndication, article spinning, blog networks, etc.

More details on the above strategies:

Blog commenting is the easiest way to get more links to any post.

Granted the quality of those links depends on how well you do your research and/or build relationships with other bloggers to make sure your comments actually get published.

Learn more about effective link building through commenting:

Guest posting – enough said about that.

Only one point of note here: it pays to build relationship with the blogger you guest post for.

If you continue guest posting for the same blog over and over again, that particular blogger will be more lenient as far as allowing you to link to your own blog more often.

If it’s your first (and only) guest post, then don’t expect much more than the bio links, which are still great to get.

Speedlinking posts – you know the ones that mention the best reads of the week?

Those are great relationships to build.

If you produce quality content and know the bloggers who do such posts, you don’t even have to ask them to link to you – it happens just because you write epic content.

Here are some blogs that do speedlinking posts:

That’s all I can think of right now, but if you have suggestions, leave them in the comment section.

Blogrolls – getting included in various blogrolls could give your blog some great exposure.

Prerequisites:

  • Write epic content;
  • Build relationships with other bloggers;
  • Ask to be included in their blogroll.

Article marketing, etc. – there’s no way I can cover this link building technique in this post.

I also don’t believe that an average blogger has a need to learn all the intricacies of building links through article marketing.

There’s just not enough hours in the day.

I did learn how to do it.

And now that I do know, I prefer to outsource these tasks.

If you want all your SEO needs to be taken care of and have a budget for it, I’d recommend SEM Group for the task.

They’ve always done an exceptional job doing link building for me and I’ve seen great results from their efforts.

If budget is an issue, Fiverr.com will do.

Of course, you have to know what you are doing to separate the wheat from the chaff there.

When in doubt, go by the ratings and feedback comments for any given provider.

4. MY PLAN OF ACTION

So I want to rank better for “bounce rate“.

Here’s my plan of action (just to give you a step-by-step example):

1. I’ll find some high PR blog posts to comment on and leave “bounce rate” as my anchor text for KeywordLuv or CommentLuv link.

2. I’ll ask some of my blogging friends to mention the post in their future blog posts as it fits in with the content.

Since most of my readers ARE my blogging friends, here’s me asking to please reference the post in your future writings:

http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/bounce-rate/

Anchor text: bounce rate

It’s a great post, by the way, and I am sure your readers will benefit from it, plus I’ll stop by to drop you a comment when I see your pingback.

3. I’ll mention the post in some of my future guest posts.

4. I might find someone on Fiverr to build some links to the post for quantity-sake.

5. I’ll monitor my ranking progress to see how well I am doing and change my plan accordingly.

 Get More Traffic Marketing Takeaway

I think I’ve done pretty well with my “get more traffic” plan of action.

Well enough to keep me busy for a LONG time.

What’s your plan of action?

Still throwing spaghetti to see if it sticks?

Nothing wrong with that as long as you are planning on taking ACTION on what you’ve learned.

Please share this post with your social media circles.

Image credit: incredible photography by Kira Rozanov

get more traffic generation cafe

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Google+ Comments

163 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Couchwriter

    Hi Ana,

    This is awesome. Thanks for sharing all these.

    I’d just like to say that I only learned about this blog a couple of days ago and I am learning so much. I started out with the intention of leaving comments on various blogs to get more links but after spending a lot of time in this blog, I’m more interested in learning.

    I’ll definitely stick around for a long time. Thanks again for effectively explaining all these things to us.

  2. Hi Ana, thanks for this great blog. Be interested to know what social media platform gets you the most website traffic, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter or LinkedIn? We use Youtube as our highest traffic source.
    Thanks, Dwight

    • Ana Hoffman

      For me, Twitter is the best, followed by Facebook. I don’t use YT to its fullest potential, but I do see how it could bring in a lot of traffic if I found the time to step it up, Dwight.

  3. Hello Ana,
    I enjoyed your post, as usual.
    You never mentioned images as a way of getting your content to go viral, which seems to be one the ways the so-called guru’s are always on about to get traffic in the gazillions.
    I notice you always have images in your posts, which must be quite difficult considering the subject.
    Maybe the subject of a later post?
    Regards,
    Michael

  4. Great article there! I really enjoy reading you and Thank you so much for the great info you provide us. I’ll stay tuned! Please, keep the good work up! =)

  5. “Write epic posts” – Well like this one, you truly write some epic, complex and long posts and this is why people don’t forget to pay you a visit and actually read your posts. I love them.
    Anyways, depending on the niche, from my perspective blog commenting can help a lot, the community and the blogosphere all together shouldn’t be ignored.

    PS: I love the new header and overall design of the blog.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Readers are definitely the ones who’ll take you to the top, Cristian.

      Glad you like the header; of course, you are in it as well!

  6. One source driving great traffic to my blog its stumbleupon with instant results if your blog is new and wants traffic,I will suggest everyone to use stumble upon regularly.

  7. Great piece! Was going through the same problems on writing an epic content. I found 101 best tips and such things very useful and often many readers used to share it, however not all the time. I’m certainly going to check your posts on successful social media integration, I have some problems with that.

    Don’t you find hard keeping a relationship with all the readers and places where you can guest post? I feel like day should be 48 hours long!

  8. I think you have covered almost everything, one thing which is often missed by bloggers is to read their own blog as a visitor. If you done an in-depth analysis of your visitor’s approach towards your blog.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible for us to be objective when it comes down to checking our own work, Akhilendra.

  9. Hi Ana,

    You have done an exhaustive research on Traffic Generation and gathered almost all the tips. An article which is definitely worth bookmarking. :) Thanks Ana.

  10. Thanks again for another terrific post! I especially enjoyed part 4 of the social media section. That has really been helping me out. I am really trying to increase my social reach as I don’t really know what to expect with the new Penguin updates… if Google is really going to allow only paid and “Google” owned sites on the first page results, I really have to learn other techniques… this isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. I am taking this as a blessing because it’s finally getting me off my lazy behind to force myself out of my comfort zone to explore new opportunities! Thanks again – always nice reading your posts!

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s exactly what I’ve been focusing on, Jaime – networking, promoting, etc; looking for more ways to generate traffic away from Google.

      Right now I am working on some social media strategies specifically; will publish the findings as I have something concrete.

  11. Carol Colman

    Ana – you have written some epic shit here, my friend. I feel as if I have stepped into a hurricane of information, and you’re at the eye – if I can avoid the flying cows, I know I will be able to learn a lot. It just feels like a lot to juggle, as my blog will be attached to a website where I hope to sell actual products – so in addition to attracting traffic, I need qualified visitors who I will be able to persuade to buy my product, which I will need time to make. I’m getting some professional help in developing a growth plan and new branding, and I’m going to be sure to incorporate your information and wisdom. Thank you for all the advice and inspiration. You are helping us learn from your experience, which is truly a gift.

    Best,
    Carol

    • Ana Hoffman

      Moooo… lol

      I know what you mean, Carol; I think we all struggle with figuring out how to best apply any kind of marketing method to OUR businesses.

      One size doesn’t fit all, like with most things in life.

      I think it’s great you are getting help. It’s always great to have an extra pair of eyes to keep us on track.

  12. Tons of great tips here. A really good guide to everyone who runs across this question of getting more traffic (and who doesn’t?). Guest posting is by far one of the most amazing traffic generators around. It’s also one of the more difficult to do well and often.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think guest posting is definitely worth the trouble, Jonathan; especially considering the benefits.

  13. Anna,

    I’ve just tried to follow you on Twitter through your name and Traffic Generation Cafe links that I found on your site and on another (can’t remember what that is right now), but in both cases got an error message from Twitter that said the account has been suspended. What’s up with that? Cathryn Peters @WickerWoman

      • Thanks Ana, that link to your Twitter account worked and I am now following you there! But the links I clicked on before were on your site and on others where you had written articles and they were in the author’s bio box. So there are some bad links that are saying your Twitter account is closed.

        • Ana Hoffman

          I am not sure where on my site you’d see it, Cathryn; I thought I changed the accounts everywhere I could think of.

          Yes, Twitter suspended my previous account, so instead of haggling with them, I created a new one.

  14. Ana Hoffman

    I know, Oliver; tagging could be a pain in the neck, but the potential advantages always remind me to make the effort.

  15. Wow that was a lot of information I kept thinking man this girl can type!! But seriously lot’s great takeaways you are a real master of your craft Anna thanks for all you do.

    Steve

    • Ana Hoffman

      If I could type nearly as quickly as I think, there wouldn’t be any stopping me! lol

      Thank you, Steve.

  16. wow Ana,
    great post!
    I need to read it many times, follow all the links you mention, read all the articles you mention! And off course I too need more traffic so I start following your advice.
    Thanks!
    Lenia

  17. Hello Ana. I opened up your blog today and saw this tornado of high quality posts. I’m out of breath trying to catch up with you girl.
    I hired a new staff member today who I will teach and send on courses. She’s gonna focus solely on traffic. For my blog, my projects and our clients. Very crucial position, I think. We’ll see how it goes. Cannot really fail, can it?
    Well, I enjoyed your post and will look at implementing some of these nuggets.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Ivin!

      Hiring quality staff is definitely worth the trouble and the money. Hope she does well for you.

  18. Hi Ana,

    I enjoyed this post and a lot of what you are doing here on the site. I am curious as to what you are using to get that awesome author bio box at the end of your posts? Is it a plugin, I’m trying to find something like that. Thanks!

  19. Thank you for this wonderful post Ana.
    You provide such useful information and the truth is that I have yet many things to discover in the world of Internet Marketing.

    From Greece,
    Have a nice day!

  20. Fabulously comprehensive post, Ana! If we comment regularly on a particular blog, should we use a different URL for every new comment? I know this is better for linking, but won’t this prevent us from being listed as a top commentator?

  21. Hi Anna, this is my first visit, and I had to congratulate you on such an Epic post. I wanted to ask a quick question, you mentioned leaving links on peoples Facebook pages when they have been mentioned in an article written by you. Is this practice considered ok? Not spammy?

    • Ana Hoffman

      If all you do is leave links to your posts, Sharon, then yes, you’ll probably upset a bunch of people, but if you network, leave comments, and leave post links to posts where those bloggers are mention, then no.

      It’s similar to networking through blog commenting.

  22. Just found you on Twitter. This is an excellent blog post with a lot of good info. Epic content is such a huge part of the equation here. The shorter the writing (ie Twitter) the catchier it needs to be.

    You want to speak with an original voice, and get right to the matter of how it will benefit the reader. I think Mark Twain said that he’d write less if he had more time. It’s a science, and getting it right can mean more traffic and more business.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for coming by, Matt, and yes, all great points.

      Love Mark Twain’s quote – something I need to work on.

  23. It’s a pleasure, Ana, and in true form, you came back with an incredibly valuable comment on my post on bounce rate. You flagged me about a plugin that was costing me bandwidth with zero payback. I deleted it, and my Google speed score went from an 81 to an 89. That’s value!
    You probably hate writing because you clearly work hard at it. Your simple language is compelling in its economy, underlying logical structure, and constant concern for reader comprehension, despite the complex topics you explain. I’m not a fan just because you’re famous!

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are so very welcome, Astro – glad I could help you to learn from my mistake rather than wait to learn from your own. lol

      And THANK YOU!

      PS Love your CL link title!

  24. Wow, I guess this post would qualify for “epic content”. Very comprehensive. I really like your advice on posting links on other people’s Facebook walls. I have never thought of this before and I think it would work well. I have been experimenting with guest posting and this is definitely working well for traffic and quality backlinks.

  25. Great post as usual Ana, very interesting. Beside basic SEO, even if I don’t use the title tag or description tag as this should be plugin’s business, I usually try to have good keywords and I’ve begun interlinking posts even i f outbrain does a pretty good job at this. And I’m too for long term traffic as I don’t want to put all this time for the years to come on my blog. Otherwise it becomes worse than a real life job.

    Usually I go for commenting for both traffic and links because in this way I learn new things and get a link, the blog owner gets traffic and everyone is happy. But there are so many advices here that I must save even this post for further reference. I shoul definitely create a TrafficCafè folder on my pc. :)

    Have a great weekend!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’d be honored to become a long-term resident of your desktop, Andrea.

      Of course, no SEO plugin will create optimized titles and descriptions for you… It shouldn’t take long and is well-worth the effort.

      Thanks for commenting – always appreciated.

  26. I find the best thing to do is to post new (epic) content regularly in order to get steady long term traffic. Depending on how quickly your site gets indexed, you can get new traffic to your site fairly quickly as well.

    The advantage of new content and SEO is that it generates steady traffic as you tend to have a consistent volume of people searching for particular topics. Also, you don’t have to go out and manually generate the traffic. Once it is published on your site, an article will generate traffic for a long time without any extra help from you.

  27. Ana Hoffman

    Good question, David.

    I should’ve mentioned YouTube as one more traffic generation possibility.

    Even without any additional work on my part, other than posting videos, I still get a steady stream of traffic from it.

    Interviews are not my personal favorite. I think too many people are doing it and hardly anyone takes 30-60 min to listen to them.

  28. Ana since i am new in blogging i always get new way of increasing traffic and visitor to my blog you always write very good content in easy word but i think commenting gives me less traffic then from social sharing.

  29. Well this right here is a pretty epic post. I think its the most complex post on getting traffic I ever seen. Definitely bookmarked, I’m sure I’ll needed along the way as I’m not gonna retain every method you mentioned.

    Anyways, you already have some pretty good traffic, is there more traffic out there to gain? I’m referring to your niche.

  30. My head is spinning already from too much reading on how to get more traffic to your blog .. lo
    But i like the way how you put it here. bookmarking this page for later reading.
    I have another domain/blog that i have yet to renovate, i got tired of my crap post there about life blah blah blah… lol
    Need more interesting “epic shit” lmao

  31. Hello Ana,
    Do you experienced loss in Google traffic this month because of Google “page layout algorithm”?
    I am asking you this question because I see you have relatively big header.

  32. Hey Ana,

    Have you ever used SEscout? It’s a tool I use pretty much every day. It’s similar to Google’s webmaster tools, but a little more focused in the way it allows you to monitor your position on keywords up to the hour. I just run a couple small, nice fine arts blogs…they are a challenge to grow, but definitely rewarding to work on. Your articles a valuable resource. Thank you!!

    • Ana Hoffman

      It looks like SEScout does what every other rank tracking checker does: you tell it what keywords you want to rank for and it tells you where you rank for them.

      SEMRush allows me to learn about keywords I DON’T know I am even ranking for, as well as learn what my competitors rank for and how they drive traffic.

  33. Ana,
    As I was reading this post tonight, I thought to myself that Ana is actually teaching all of her readers how to accomplish the following:
    1. Generate Traffic
    2. Build Interal Links ( I notice you always are referencing previous TGC posts )
    3. Rank higher on lucrative keywords
    4. Continue to grow List
    5. Increase interaction with your List

    I will keep coming back to read more! By the way, my Alexa rank keeps improving and I am getting floods of comments. I like the bloggers that also use Comment Luv Premium as it makes my job answering easier and I know they are for real!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Great summary, Danielle; I bet many readers missed some of these points I was making.

      And congrats on your growing audience!

  34. I have found the almost perfect place to write a guest blog post – the only issue is that they don’t link my name back to my site. I’m really bummed about that, but I know I can put links in the body of the posts. Does that have the same general effect as having my name linked?
    Do you have any suggestions on the right way to broach this subject with the blogger?

      • Ana Hoffman

        That sounds right, Jaime.

        Many blog won’t let you link to your blog in the body of your post (sounds like this one does, which is great).

        By the way, make sure you don’t link to your home page more than once; link to your posts, pages, etc. as well.

  35. Great information! I G+’d it. I also have you on my blog roll and have you listed as one the gurus new bloggers should check out to learn “How to Blog” on my How to Blog page.

    When I get around to writing about Google Analytics I’ll give you a contextual link to “bounce rate”.

    Keep it coming!
    Thanks!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks so much for all the mentions, Patti – ALWAYS much appreciated.

      I couldn’t find my blog in your blog roll though…

      • Hmmmm…..how embarrassing, lol! I know I THOUGHT I put you on there ;-). Thanks, for letting me know. You should be on there now at the top of the list! (Made you look though didn’t I?)

  36. I’ve been lurking on your blog for some time now and finally felt compelled to leave a comment. :) I’ve been very focused on SEO as of late and these tips are definitely spot on. “Write Epic Shit” – that is so true. And just like you I’ve had some “meh” posts / articles become winners when it comes to SEO and traffic. But it really does work.

    Anyway, keep up the kick awesome posts. :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Glad you finally joined us, Angie.

      Of course, the main problem with mediocre posts and SEO traffic is the fact that they leave as soon as they come.

      So putting so much work into ranking “meh” stuff is counter-productive…

      And that leaves us with only one solution: write epic content!

  37. Hi Ana,
    Great post with many specifics as usual. I particularly like the idea of mentioning a influential blogger in you blog post and providing a link back from their Facebook wall.
    Very Smart.
    Suzy Weiss

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thank you, Suzy – the best way to get noticed is to flatter and what can be better than mentioning other bloggers in your content!

  38. Hi Ana,
    Loved the Webinar yesterday, good job! You guys finished right on the dot – not too often that webinars end right on time. I learned some great stuff!

    Two good sources of Social Traffic for me lately is StumbleUpon and Digg. Every new blog post I write I submit to several Social sites. I usually get the most traffic from StumbleUpon.

    Lately, actually, I have been seeing 30 to 50 + shares on StumbleUpon from my blog posts, across several of my blogs in different niches. I use the ‘Sociable Plugin’ on my sites. I like that one best because it has so many options. Be sure to choose which buttons you want to show on your site. Not all of them show the amount of shares/likes.

    Just though I’d share – do not overlook sites like Digg & StumbleUpon! (LOL, I actually have a gig on fiverr where I submit others’ URLs to several of the social sites, Google +1 included. It does quite well ;)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve never personally used SU, Ruth, and here’s why.

      From all the research I’ve done on it, it showed that although it’s capable of driving traffic, the traffic doesn’t convert well at all.

      That makes is something I wouldn’t spend my time on. Glad it works for you!

      So glad you were able to make it to the webinar; I learned a huge deal myself. Danny is amazing at what he does!

  39. Ana Ana Ana!
    I had a boatload of followers on MyBlogLog and on my blog itself before I updated templates and lost ‘em all! They really didn’t help boost traffic one single bit… darn there goes that popover of yours again, I wish you’d get rid of that thing!
    Anyway, I’ve had people retweet my posts, etc.
    The best traffic generator I ran across was on a forum where people were discussing problems they had with a small digital TV set. I had posted an article about it detailing my experience, and somebody stuck my link on the forum. WOW did I get HUNDREDS of visitors for about a 45-day window! (and to think I had nothing to do with it! I was AmazeD!)

    And being tossed a bone by an A-link blogger never hurts!

    Blog ON!

    PS – I am having a difficult day with technology today – and the Google gods are messing with me too! Hope your day is going better!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Accidental traffic like that is always a great bonus, Dave.

      If and when we get this kind of a boost, all we left with is hoping that the surge of visitors will be targeted enough to stay, read, and buy.

      My day? Don’t ask… I love my daughter, but sometimes I need a break from constant talking… lol

  40. Scott

    I have been thinking of doing a giveaway myself…do you start it on your blogs and social media simultaneously or do you just start it on your blog?

    I thought I heard of a WP plugin that does the giveaway…I will have to look for that.

    Thanks as always for the concise and relevant content Ana!

    Scott

    • Ana Hoffman

      I usually do the giveaway on my blog, Scott, and then entice my social media circles to come to my blog to participate.

  41. Hey Ana,
    Great post on exactly what I am working on, getting more traffic, but then isn’t everyone!
    Also, Really enjoyed the webinar yesterday with you and Danny, Thanks For that!
    Would like to ask why you don’t have any pics of you smiling on your Blog? I mean you are clearly a very attractive woman and the images, to me come across as you being sad, unhappy, worried or just thinking to hard. Use what you got, Everyone loves to see a Beautiful Woman Smile!

    Thanks again for all your insightful post!
    Many Successes!
    James S

    • Ana Hoffman

      lol, James – thanks for the compliment.

      Truth is I am too busy to take new pictures and I certainly don’t want to redesign my blog… again.

      Yes, that was a great webinar!

      Now I need to step back and make sure I am driving the RIGHT kind of traffic first.

  42. John F. Wagner

    Ana,
    One thing that comes to my mind when trying to get more traffic is how to find out what is working and what is not. I don’t know about you, but I sure want to know.

    I found this ebook some time ago and it is really very good explanation of tracking and split testing. It uses one of the best traffic tools available at TEToolbox.

    The name of the ebook is “Tracking Your Way To Profit” and was written by Mike Paetzold.

    Thanks for the great post it was very interesting and informative.
    John Wagner

    • Ana Hoffman

      I definitely agree, John – increasing your conversions is just as important as driving traffic.

  43. Another way for immediate traffic is to bite the bullet and pay for it! For example, there are professional services nowadays like Trada that will run your ppc campaigns on Google, Bing and Facebook and only get paid IF they achieve certain results :idea:

  44. A lot to take in here, Ana. I will definitely copy some of your strategies for getting more traffic. If it works for you, then it’s good enough for me. I’m limited by my budget (what budget :-) but things will get better.

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s the great thing about these strategies, Anne: most of them don’t require a penny.

      Plus, these are the very strategies I used when no one has ever heard of me, so I know they’ll work for any blogging stage.

  45. Ana, I agree that all mentioned above drive traffic to our sites. Some of them are must but others are optional, meaning that we have to be wise to choose some of them that really work best for us. Anyway, speedlinking is new for me for I never heard of it before.

    • Ana Hoffman

      These methods certainly don’t work the same for all niches; we do need to choose what works best for us.

  46. Hey Ana good one, but I am not successful with List Building. I am not a guy who can write too many emails. However, I have been paying Aweber from many months now. I think when you are featured on famous blogs or on news it brings the most traffic, brand go viral.

    Just wanted to ask! do you code yourself or hire someone to tweak? I am bad bad in coding so far and spent thousands of dollars for tweaks, developments :(

    • Ana Hoffman

      I know how you feel about list building, Ahmad – it’s hard to see the point of it when you are just starting.

      However, there are 2 things you need to keep in mind:

      1. List building is a long-term business strategy. You have to constantly work on it, but most likely won’t see the results for a while.
      2. I do understand what you mean about writing emails. Here’s the post that might help: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/email-marketing-tips-how-often-to-email-list/

      I treat writing emails to my list as writing another post. Just get into the habit of doing it.

      Of course, you can always set up some auto messages as well.

      Are you talking about WordPress coding? I used to do the tweaking myself, but then decided it was not time well-spent, so I outsource all that now.

      Let me know if you need the name of my designer.

  47. Ana,

    if you are pushing for more traffic and you are at 8400 Alexa, not that Alexa is accurate, but generally speaking it means decent traffic flow unique visitors and pageviews. No idea what your true numbers are, but I guarantee eventually and not too long from now Hostgator most likely will not handle your hosting for the cheap $4 to $10 per month. They are usually more than happy to upgrade you for more money, but if you are making money eventually you need to spend money on more powerful hosting to handle the traffic if you don’t want to be suspended. Generally it is not a space or bandwidth issue, but a resource issue meaning cpu and memory (ram) issue. So although traffic is great, the cheap unlimited hosting really is limited.

    I am not trying to sell you anything, preach, or tell you what to do, but as a very long time hosting guru if you are at Alexa 8400 and seeking to improve that and/or get more traffic you really should think about more powerful hosting or at least have a back up plan. It is no fun being shut down by a host without warning only to be pushed into something you are not ready for or not ready to handle just so you can get back online. Maybe you are not to that point, but it should be something to at least look into. I would be surprised if Hostgator hasn’t shut you down at least short term for traffic, which is more along the lines of cpu and memory issuses.

    • Although my Alexa ranking is not at that level yet, I still went through something very similar to this and you’re right, it ain’t fun…I found out unlimited hosting can end up being very LIMITED :(

  48. Hi Ana,

    What I find most interesting with your post, is that I believe that I have been focusing way too much on immediate traffic (without even thinking about it). Having a mix of the two is obviously the best, but having a long term traffic strategy is what I’m currently working on. And I have just bought Long Tail Pro to start with keyword research, so I’m getting there :)

    Thanks a lot for the awesome article with lots of tips.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think that’s the problem of most entrepreneurs, Jens.

      When we think about driving traffic, we immediately think “social media”, “blog commenting”, etc.

      Of course, we have to work on those tactics constantly to keep the traffic volume up, which eats up all of our time and leaves us with little time to work on the long-term strategies.

  49. Ana, you have a gift for posts that make every word connect to the next. Riveting. So I linked “Bounce Rate” anchor text to your article in one of my articles on bounce rate. The article should appear when you click the Gremlin above.

    I thought of alternatives to “contagious content” which is limp. How about “viral verbiage” and “pandemic prose,” neither of which beats good old “epic shit.”

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s an incredible compliment, Astro, considering that I strongly dislike writing and was never good in it.

      I suppose I turned lemons into lemonade. lol

      And of course, thanks for the shout; MUCH appreciated.

  50. Hey Ana, again, great the webinar was a success for you, cannot wait for the recorded version.

    What I do – and it works pretty well, I “like” many SME posts on Facebook and write comments, introducing myself on the businesses’ wall’s and it works fine, the response rate is very high, just got sample tea backs from New South Wales (Australia) – and getting in touch with the company a bit more. So many things may happen, it really works well to be active on Facebook, and believe me, I’m impatient big time, but after months of establishing a name, getting more fans, the response rate will increase.

    Even if very slowly, it will increase if you believe in your company and your Facebook “campaign”.

    Have a good day!

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s a great strategy to get “known” by many people in your niche, Matt.

      I do understand that it could be time-consuming, but soon enough your efforts will gain enough traction and start paying off.

  51. Another fine post, Ana.

    I do need to muster up the courage to do some guest posts.

    Agree with your sediments on Blog commenting. It is more useful for link building and to a lesser extent, gaining a bit of site exposure due to quality comments.
    SEMRush is said to give you fresh keyword results, though, I have heard(well I am quite compulsive when I get into a topic) that the keyword data being returned is anywhere from 1 month to 3 months old.
    This may be in relation to the free version of SEMRush.

    If this 1 to 3 month delay also applied with the paid version, it would be a kick in the pants for SEMRush.

    Ana, with those number 1 keyword rankings you should be pulling in a fair chunk of the potential traffic(top spot in theory get’s around 35 – 40% of total traffic)
    Something I have read with great frequency, is that you need to chop off around 30% of the monthly traffic volume results to get a more realistic idea of the actual traffic volume.
    I won’t jump to conclusions, though that does sound about right.

    And yes, I did miss that very awesome looking Webinar with you and Danny Ini.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Yes, SEMRush updates their entire database once every 30 days. I’d like to see them do it more often; however, I haven’t found that I miss the “freshness factor”, Daniel.

      Plus, that being the only tool that does what I need it to do…

      Not entirely sure what you mean by “you need to chop off around 30% of the monthly traffic volume results to get a more realistic idea of the actual traffic volume.”

      Webinar recording is coming shortly!

  52. Great post!
    A boat load of detail, I’m gonna have to read it again.
    This is a lot for the average business owner to do, that’s why it becomes so important to rank your priorities.
    Thanks for sharing :-)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Yes, it’s always important to start with the heavy-hitters for our respective niches, AJ.

      Guest posting is always a great one…

  53. Gee whillikers! Your brain is going to implode!

    Stop thinking about traffic – just keep blogging – they will come!

    You’re doing good things! Have faith!

    Blog On!

    • Ana Hoffman

      lol, Dave – had I followed that advice when I started this blog, I most likely would be hearing crickets right now.

      Writing good content is meaningless without someone to read it, and finding someone to read it requires work, even for a blog like mine.

  54. Great information as always! I took your advice about guest posting when I first saw you talking about it a while back. I’ve had a few guest posts on my blog and it really does help me grow traffic to my site. It also is great because it gives me more time to think about what I want to post on next. I can’t tell you how happy I am I found your blog b/c you really give out some great information! :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      So glad to hear that, Ashley, and yes, guest blogging is one of the best ways to tap into other existing audiences.

  55. Susan Hand

    Ana,
    Really enjoy your posts when you walk me though your thought process. I get so much value out of how you think about the various options.

    I started by building fans on facebook and now I’m moving to a blog. So my thinking is a bit in reverse, but still the same elements for consideration. Since my fans are very used to condensed tips in the form of status updates, they seem to really like the blog content because I can expand on the information and I’m still doing video demos, something they really like to see.

    Last week I posted a how-to about Pinterest and it got my first really great interaction on the blog and lots of traffic from various fan pages I posted on.

    Please keep sharing your thought process and how you approach these real life concerns.

    Thanks, Susan

    • Ana Hoffman

      You and I think alike, Susan.

      I love it how you reversed the “traditional” way of doing things; there’s really no right or wrong way to build your business as long as you come up with some brilliant ideas that work for your audience.

  56. Creating epic posts is indeed hard to predict. One of my articles has done remarkably well, but at the time I wrote it, it seemed no better or worse than any other post on my blog. I wish I knew the formula, but I think a lot of it is luck. Thanks for the insights!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I agree, Doug. You can study your audience and the possible topics they like all you want, but in the end, it’ll be up to them to take it or leave it.

  57. Daniel Sikorsky

    Hey Ana, what a great list! Looks that you have a plan :)

    I think that activity in social media and guest posting are a good start for any blogger to get more traffic. For example I follow you on twitter and because of that I know when there is something interesting to read on trafficgenerationcafe. Great way to keep in touch with your readers, which you have mastered :)

  58. Wow, what a lovely surprise. Thank you so much for thinking about me and my posse of wonderful followers.

    I’ve been reading and enjoying your posts; you have some amazing information on here. As a matter of fact, Jahnelle and I often discuss how nice it is to see quality writers such as yourself, sharing such valuable information. Add two more to your fan club! See you soon, ciao

  59. I’ve noticed that the techniques for building traffic vary a bit based on how big the blog actually is.

    For smaller blogs, some of the short term, small gain traffic boosters that aren’t worth the time to a more popular blogger would still be vary valuable to someone who is just getting started.

    I hope this makes sense, or maybe I’m just crazy …but that’s another story…

    Anyway,

    I have found article marketing to be very effective for long term and midterm traffic building. I usually start see results from my efforts within 2 to 7 days.

    For short term traffic I’ve found blog commenting and social media to be very effective.

    Thanks for another great post Ana! Love your attention to detail, not something you see everywhere ;)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Now that I’ve been on both sides (new blog and more established blog), I can say that I haven’t adjusted my strategies all that much, Micah.

      10 visitors from comments are more noticeable for a blog that gets 200 visitors per month vs 20,000 per month; that’s the difference really. But they are still the same 10 visitors.

      Does it make sense?

      I’ve never noticed much traffic from article marketing… Some, but nothing that justifies the amount of time it takes, in my opinion.

    • Ana Hoffman

      LOL, Enstine – there’s so much junk at Warrior Forums these days that it wouldn’t be difficult to actually provide value.

    • Ana Hoffman

      We do constantly need new traffic, Prakash – even if we have established readership, our business can only grow if our reach grows.

        • Ana Hoffman

          The best advice I can offer on that, Prakash, is to grow your site’s authority and to go narrow with your keywords.

          AND lots of patience!

  60. Hi Ana! That’s the “epic” post you were talking about in the email right? :P Glad you posted this one! I will have to print it so I can “study” tonight! Thanks for sharing.
    Best,
    John

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s the one, John, and my tip to add to the post will be in my next email.

      Thanks for coming by!

  61. Thanks for the showcase and that was my first Kindle Fire Giveaway, my 2nd in January had over 8500+ entries and my Video Game Giveaway had over 4500+ entries. All in all I grew my social media network following by over 1500 followers (fanpage likes) in 60 days with the contests over the past two months and these users have stuck around.

    My contests are typically rafflecopter, random winner draw, with entries being from liking my sponsors fanpages, following on Twitter, retweeting…etc. for entries. My contests have built so much momentum I recently had a company give me a $200 Hauppauge HD PVR that they want me to give away to a reader and gain more attention to their YouTube Account. This contest already has 2800+ entries and over a week left.

    I have taken this further and become a microsponsor with other bloggers who give away tech gadgets and for nominal investments of like $7, I get added in their sponsor list to like/follow and I have gained hundreds of followers as a result of this tiny investment as well.

    I recently enjoyed contests so much I have committed to no less than 2 per month on my blog with one of them being a video game giveaway every month. I received far better return on investment than any sort of paid link purchase including refollow, retweet.it, twiends subscriptions and such for building social media presence. This is also how I was able to get to 19th place in the Shorty Awards in the Blogger category, 6800+ people were nominated and I reached first page with 19th place. I have only 13k Twitter followers and beat out people with over 200k Twitter followers and a few actor’s and actresses in Hollywood.

    Note, contests don’t work for everyone but are ideal for personal blogs (you can give away anything), obviously if you run a marketing/blogging/seo blog you have to find things related to your niche to giveaway, no point in building followers who like “gaming” by giving away a video game, they would have little interest in staying with your core content. As my tech blog is a portal for gaming, entertainment, tech I have a lot of leeway but I stick to gadgets, games or movies. I don’t giveaway gift cards unless it was a BestBuy one for example.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think this is an incredible buzz and traffic generator, Justin, when done right.

      Looks like you found a perfect recipe for your readers.

      Anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps will have to figure out what works for THEIR readers.

      Thanks for the detailed insight!

  62. Simply awesome Ana. Writing a post like this will almost render “other traffic generating” articles useless :) Seriously, great job as usual and definitely one of those that I will be referring to in the future… BTW, I liked the part about “speedlinking” too ;-)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Francisco.

      I was going to list some blogs that do speedlinking posts (you know which ones I am thinking of, lol), but I was afraid the authors will get inundated with “Pick my post!” emails.

  63. What can I say Ana, this is a pretty darn comprehensive article on the best ways to get more traffic. Quite a lot of meat here! I think there is a lot to be learned from your traffic building strategies here. (and I KNOW your traffic is pretty darn high to begin with)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I get messages all the time that ask the same question “How do I generate more traffic to my site?”

      Now I can say – this is how. lol

      Thanks for coming by, Steve!

  64. Great ideas on how to get more traffic. But why do you want more traffic? I’m guessing that you’re trying to increase sales/revenue for certain products. So why not write epic stuff that will attract readers that are specifically interested in those products? Just a thought.