7 Ways to Drive Traffic from Popular Blogs

7 Ways to Drive Traffic from Popular Blogs

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Why is getting more website traffic such a highly researched topic for any online business?

Naturally, there are plenty of obvious reasons, but the one that isn’t very easily identifiable is gratification.

Website traffic is a measurable number that tells us we are doing well giving us a boost to do even better. Or makes us tear our hair out in “why can’t I make this work!” agony.

When I wrote my blueprint to increasing website traffic, I listed the short and long term benefits of any given traffic source for a reason: to help you understand what your traffic generation starting point should be.

It’s even better explained in my free website traffic reportMommy, Where Does Traffic Come From?”; get it here, if you haven’t already.

For instance, paid traffic, some social media traffic, guest blogging, content leveraging might get traffic back to your blog a lot faster than, say, search engine traffic, or building relationships – these traffic generation strategies simply take longer.

Given that most of us are not patient people, I wanted to brainstorm a few ways to borrow web traffic from any popular blog in your niche. Even though it’s hard to leverage this kind of traffic over long-term (it won’t keep on giving, in other words), it will definitely result in more exposure for your site today.

1. Guest Blogging

get traffic from guest blogging

Guest blogging is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about driving traffic from other blogs – because it works.

Here are the important factors I look for when looking for a perfect blog to write for (in the order of importance):

  1. It has to be in my niche. After all, I want targeted audience and not just pairs of eyes.
  2. Alexa ranking has to be low. I know, I know, Alexa ranking is not that accurate, but it’s still a decent measure for this specific purpose. I look for blogs with the ranking of around 20K or less. Generally it means that those blogs get at least 10K visitors per month – not bad.
  3. Evidence of social engagement. This one is very important. I want to make sure that I see the readers engaged with the blogger and each other in the form of comments and social media sharing. Without it, even with low Alexa ranking, the blog is as good as dead.
  4. High PageRank. This one is not that important, but a nice bonus. Traffic is much more important than link building. Plus, even with a high PR site your link will still come for a no PR page, since your post will be brand new. This is what I call “long term link building”.
  5. Allow links within the post. Not to abuse their generosity, but if you have a valuable resource on your blog that will perfectly compliment your guest post, I want my link to be there, no questions asked.

Much has been written on the topic of guest blogging and here are some of my favorite reads:

2. Weekly Roundup Mentions

get traffic from link roundups

Speedlinking, roundups, mashups – all roads lead to bloggers that curate the best content on the web.

Getting on their radar is a great way to potentially generate some fairly passive blog traffic.

To learn more about traffic generation via link roundups, take a look at this post:

3. Start Weekly Roundups

get traffic start link roundups

Here’s the other side of the link roundups – start publishing your own roundups and draw attention from the bloggers you link to, their readership and social media followers.

There are several ways of going about it; once again, you can read more about it in this post:

4. Blogs That Publish Pingbacks

get traffic from pingbacks

This is a traffic generation strategy that my email subscribers know very well about (if you are not one of them, join my spam-free email list plus get my free website traffic report here).

If you need a refresher on what pingbacks are, read this post:

In short, many blogs (including very high-trafficked high PR ones) published pingbacks they get from other blogs:

web traffic from pingbacks

Here’s how it works:

  1. You link out to their post from your post.
  2. They are notified about the link in the form of a trackback.
  3. They approve the trackback.
  4. It shows up as a link back to your blog post in their comment section.

Usually those pingbacks are displayed just above the comment section and let me tell you: MOST commentators look at those links either out of curiosity or to find related content on other blogs.

Either way, as far as you are concerned, blogs that publish pingbacks ROCK and could bring in a nice amount of traffic.

To learn more about this strategy and how I use it to drive traffic to Traffic Generation Café, you’ll just have to get on my email list.

And no, I won’t publish a list of blogs that publish pingbacks – it’s too easy to abuse those awesome blogs. All you need to do to find them is to keep your eyes open when going through comment sections; that’s what I did to compile my list.

5. Respond to Comments

get traffic from comments

We all know that commenting on other blogs is a great way to build blogging alliances and get some traffic back to your blog.

However, it’s a very time-consuming and long-term traffic generation strategy.

Here’s a shortcut: in addition to making comments like you normally would, browse through other people’s comments looking for unanswered questions.

You see it time and time again: a popular blogger with lots of traffic and tons of comments gets too overwhelmed to respond to all. Happens all the time. And that’s where you come in.

Your plan of action:

1. Read the post; leave a comment (network with the blogger).

2. Browse through the other comments on the post; see if anyone is asking for help. If you have the expertise to help them, by all means answer the question! (network with other readers)

3. Get actual traffic to your site from commenting and a possible THANK YOU from the blogger. (network with the blogger and their readers)

And yes, you have to be mindful of overdoing it, but for the most part, if your comments are helpful and to the point, it’s a win-win.

6. Use List Posts

get traffic from popular post lists

There are many types of blog posts, but the list post is loved by all. People love lists – they’re easy to read, they have a ton of info in a little package, and people will link to them. They also leave comments about their favorite ones.

So here’s an idea.

As a good blogger you’re commenting on those posts too. So while there, why not see which items are getting the most comments? Then, create a post devoted entirely to that item. You already know it’s popular, and more than likely people are going to want more.

All you have to do is deliver.

7. Write “The Best of…” Posts

get web traffic from best of posts

This is where you (appropriately) flatter other bloggers by including them into your “Best of…” list.

It can be anything really.

  • Your favorite blogs to read;
  • Your favorite people to follow on Twitter;
  • Favorite news sites;
  • Favorite blog designs… you name it.

“Best of…” lists get visited, shared, talked about. Here are some examples:

It’s been a while since Traffic Generation Café was mentioned in these posts, yet not only did I share them and commented on those posts when they first came out, but I still remember being listed there and went straight to them for examples of list posts.

As you can see, it’s not about the number of people you mention – a more personal approach works great, but the more people you include, the more shares you are likely to get.

Bonus: Create a Popular Blog

create your popular blog

I was about to finish the post when I thought of another point I’d love to make: why not make YOUR blog the one other bloggers strive to get attention from?

It’s possible, believe me.

Talking from experience here: Traffic Generation Café became an authority blog in traffic generation niche within a couple of months.

Resources to help:

Marketing Takeaway

Blogs are meant to be read.

Going for web traffic where web traffic is (popular blogs in your niche) is the most direct way to get there.


Go get’em, tiger!
traffic generation cafe get traffic

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43 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hey Ana,

    It’s been quite a while since I’ve last commented here on TGC, even visited for that matter. But I have to say, it feels good for a change! When I saw “more traffic” you got me hooked…

    Ana, I’m the luckiest fish you could have landed! With my new project just launched, I guess my sensors are quite a bit fine-tuned on anything related to traffic generation. Being around for a while though, pretty much out-of-the-box strategies exclusively will have me interested. Weekly round-up posts did the thing this time around.

    I’ve been featured on Kristi’s Fetching Friday post a few times in the past with some of my freelance writing sites, but I guess finding round-up opportunities for a Christian blog will be a slightly more challenging task. Any ideas before I go on a hunting trip?

    Anyway, pure gold in this post – much appreciated as always!

    P.S. Love the new TGC design!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thank you, Ruan, and good to have you in my neck of the woods; congrats on the new site.

      How do you go about finding roundups in your niche? I’d think there might not be that many (you might have to start one), but you can certainly use the same techniques I suggested in the post.

      • Brilliant, just brilliant, Ana! You just reminded me why I started following you way back then…

        You’re right, there aren’t many but you know what? Soon there will be another one! How does “Weekly Christian Book Review Roundup” sound to you? I think that’s a little piece of my own brilliance 😉

        My search in finding good sources of Christian book reviews officially starts tomorrow. This is going to be awesome. I mean hosting a roundup post does also hold the benefit of attracting traffic, right? Why wouldn’t they link to or visit the roundup to see their content featured, and possibly show it off to their networks?

        I’m def giving it my best shot. Thanks Ana!

  2. Guest Post anna, Till now i have not submitted even a single guest post on any popular blog. Will start very soon. One simple question why you do not publish pingback on your website, when they are so useful

  3. Hey Ana, you said it right, popular blogs can be used in a lot of ways. They are not only store house of valuable information, but are much more. The ways you mentioned are truly helpful in drawing traffic to your blog. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  4. I’m really amazed by the way you bring in so many tricks and such amazing posts. Has it been always easy for you or you also had to face difficulties in start? Also, what was your biggest mission that kept putting fire and inspiration in you? Your reply would help me really.

  5. Anna, Once again another amazing article…. Guest posting is indeed the most popular thing to getting traffic from popular blogs and second most important thing i think is making lists… They are interesting and grab attention of people…

  6. Liana

    Hello Ana!
    This is an awesome post. There are lots different ideas to get the traffic from popular blogs. I am glad that you have shared with us. I was unaware from many techniques. I know that guest blogging is an awesome idea to get the traffic. Now it has become too much popular for this purpose.

  7. Hi Ana, great tips.I think that Guest Blogging is the best way to get traffic from Popular blogs.Commenting also works but is not that effective.I have had decent success with guest blogging.But the traffic comes in spurts if you do not continue with it.I haven’t tried the rest.

    Anyways, great post.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Very true – guest blogging is definitely the most productive one of these tips. Granted, it’s also the most time-consuming and requires the most effort, thus fewer bloggers will do it.

  8. Lewis LaLanne

    Very, very cool list here Ana!

    The one thing you’ve reminded me of here that I also learned from Derek Halpern in his “A Blog That Converts” course is that I need to get busy on building blogging alliances.

    One of the other cool things I learned about from that course that ties in with what you were talking about in the link roundups section of this post was what Derek calls, “Content Discovery Posts”.

    This kind of post isn’t as much about getting people you’ve linked to or visitors, to share the post. The primary action you’re looking to get with a post like this is getting the reader going and checking out other content on your site.

    New readers are not going to know about your previous evergreen and AWESOME content. It is rare for people to get to a blog and to dig into the archives and seek to go through every post on the site. You’ll be lucky if they dig deeper than the first page.

    So you can think of the Content Discovery post as your own personal “link round up” post that can put the spotlight on some of your previous killer content which can serve to fascinate new readers and remind the old ones of brilliance they’ve forgotten about that may very well be more applicable to them now then it was for them two years ago when it was first published.

    One thing that Leo Babauta did with his world famous Zen Habits blog was create a Top 10 Productivity Hacks post and then he made each of the 1o hacks link to a post on that hack that he’d written about before. Very Smart.

    Thank you again Ana for reminding to quit being lazy and to start being more strategic with my blog marketing efforts. :)

  9. Ana,
    Great post and the section on trackbacks and pingbacks is something that I was unaware of when I first started blogging and when I started to see them show up I checked into what it all meant and found, as you mentioned, that they can be a good source of traffic.

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s exactly how I stumbled upon the whole concept of trackbacks and how to use them for traffic and SEO, Harold.

  10. Brilliant post Ana,
    I have not read your blog before but you have earned a place in my legendary “SEO Info” bookmarks folder. Congratulations!

    writing “Best Of” posts is a great tip, not only because they are much loved by readers and blog owners, but also because they are fun to write.

  11. I highly recommend all the strategies mentioned above. More especially Pingbacks. They’re really powerful yet easy to do. Guest blogging is by far the best strategy to generate highly targeted traffic while building backlinks.

    This is the best traffic generation tips I’ve read this year. When I saw the title I nearly just passed it but ended up reading it and I don’t regret doing so. Great post Ana, the day I blog about traffic I’m definitely going to link to this post 😉

  12. Hi Ana,

    Great and useful article. You describe perfectly how to get traffic from popular blogs. What I feel that if we want to get traffic from popular blog then should start from comments on that blog. By this method they (Popular Bloggers) will recognize us. It will help in the guest post approve part and derive traffic too.

    I was not much familiar with trackbacks and pingbacks that they also help to get traffic. :)


    • Ana Hoffman

      Very good points, Vipin – the more you comment, the more recognized you’ll be, both among the bloggers and their readership.

  13. As a business owner, I am always looking for different ways to not only make my own website better, but also to interact with my favorite bloggers. Thank you for all the great tips!

  14. My blog is a baby now. Just started up a few months ago. But, I’ve gained a lot of success so far by commenting on other blogs and posting/answering questions in forums or groups.

    Next up, guest blogging! Thanks for sharing these ideas. It gives me more to think about!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Glad to hear it, Jennifer.

      And now, by simply commenting at Traffic Generation Café, you got me to check out your blog – love the clean layout!

      Hope to see more of you around here.

  15. Thanks for the solid content Ana, link roundups are something I’m seeing more of nowadays, I always look forward to your “weekly marketing skinny” every Saturday!

  16. This was a great post! There were a lot of neat thoughts here that I hadn’t thought of. I especially liked the idea of answering unanswered questions in the comments.

  17. Craig Dewe

    Another great post to get my creative juices flowing… Thanks Ana :)

    Do you have a post that breaks down how you became so popular so quickly with the strategies and actions you took? It would be great to read how you did it :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Now thinking about it, I don’t believe I ever wrote a post like that… You just gave me something to do, Craig. lol

      • Sorry to give you homework but I look forward to it 😉 Have found some of your other posts cover strategies for getting a blog up and running but it’s always good to read what the actual path was :)

  18. Hi I loved your way of insightful writing and I learn every way of building traffic from your article. OK, come to the topic, I heard about traffic from pingbacks and never used this technique, you explained well in this post.

    Undoubtedly we can build highly targeted traffic from high traffic blogs like you said from pingbacks under the post before comments.

    Your other ideas are sure shot ways that one can easily drive traffic without any efforts.

    Thanks to the wonderful article.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve been using it for a while now and it does generate some traffic and links.

  19. hmm… Yet another awesome post from you Ana!
    I have been thinking about doing Link Round Ups on my blog for a while but the lil problem i have is time! time!! time!!! I dont have much time to surf the web, read and find posts that are worth mentioning, but I guess I will start doing it someday.
    BTW, I love all the points, they are all great!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Well, think about it, Joseph: if you have to write a post either way, wouldn’t you rather write the one that has much more potential to generate visits and shares just because you mention a bunch of bloggers (link roundup) or a regular post that you would struggle to get anyone to read?

      Link roundups definitely have a lot more leverage.

    • If you use a RSS reader, you can use your started or favourited posts for you link round up.

      Alternatively, you can use the posts that you share as part of your link round up.

      You can make it as easy or as hard as you want to.