Targeted Website Traffic: 3 “Time Wasters” That Can Drive Massive Traffic

Targeted Website Traffic: 3 “Time Wasters” That Can Drive Massive Traffic

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targeted website traffic time wastersI feel so lucky to be able to write this guest post for Ana, and for you – the readers of Traffic Generation Cafe.

That might sound corny, but I really mean it.

I’ve been following this blog for awhile, and the conversations that happen in the comments here are worth millions to those who can pay attention and take action.

I’ve been caught reading the posts on this blog for hours on end more than once.

When you’re working on your blog or working online, it can be very easy to get stuck in “time wasters” – games, conversations, comments, reading blog posts, and other things that don’t lead to any traffic.

And of course, since we’re all after traffic, that can lead to some frustration.

get traffic from facebook and twitter

xkcd.com

Ever catch yourself on Facebook when you’re supposed to be writing a post?

I think we all have.

In my adventures writing at CrunchyBusiness, I find my mind wandering and pondering a lot more than constructively generating traffic sometimes.

So as my gift to you today, I’m going to share with you 3 time-wasters that will actually work to your advantage!

What does that mean? It means that you can get stuck on Facebook, Twitter, or blog-surfing, and actually be generating targeted traffic – sizable amounts of it. Interested? You should be – read on!

Valuable Time Waster #1 – Twitter Parties

Everyone knows that searching and following hashtags is a valuable strategy for joining conversations on Twitter, but did you know that there are times when a hashtag isn’t “just a hashtag”?

Every day on Twitter, there are Twitter Parties.

These are “parties” typically organized by a company or a group of blogs to chat, live, in real time about a certain topic. If you can find one in your niche, what do you get?

All of your competitors, colleagues, and potential customers chatting in the same place for 1-2 hours.

Using a service like Tweetdeck or Tweetgrid, party-goers follow a party-specific hashtag (like #mytwitterparty) and chat on Twitter as if it were a chatroom.

Retweets and replies fly about, everyone leaves with new friends and new followers, and linking opportunities – hashtag included – are everywhere.

Being involved in an existing Twitter Party has its advantages.

For example, if you register in advance for one of the major twitter parties, your twitter ID (and sometimes even a link!) are published on the host blog for other attendees to follow in advance.

If you host your own… This is where the real opportunity comes in.

Network with other blogs in your niche to co-host a twitter party, and gather all of your blog readers together in one place.

You’ll all walk away with a share of each others’ readers, a treasure trove of new followers, and the hashtag used could even end up trending if your party gets popular enough!

Valuable Time Waster #2 – Photo Contests

Photo contests are absolutely everywhere right now… Everyone and their dog (sometimes literally) are in one, and you can literally waste hours of your time looking through the cute/funny/interesting pictures and voting.

“But wait!” you say… “How can looking at these pictures actually generate any kind of real traffic?”

Ahh, but there are many ways!

First, if the contest is on Facebook, go to your blog’s Facebook Page and click “Use Facebook as __yourblog__”.

Then vote – and comment – on as many niche-relevant photo contests as you like! Your ideal customers will be trolling through all of those photos as well, and may just click over to your fanpage (and eventually your blog!)

Second, why not run your own photo contest? Your prize doesn’t have to be expensive, most people just want the recognition of winning with their cute/funny/interesting photo.

Create your own photo contest, publish it on Facebook, blog about it, Tweet about it, and get people to enter.

Everyone who enters and everyone who votes (typically friends, family, colleagues and other connections of those who entered) will now be exposed to your blog, Facebook, and Twitter!

Valuable Time Waster #3 – Reading Blog Posts

This may not have immediate, measurable traffic benefits, but the long-term payoffs can be huge.

Take your average run of the mill major blogging celebrity like ProBlogger or Mashable. You can get stuck reading posts and comments on their blogs for hours upon hours sometimes, and normally, it would be frustrating to waste all of that time.

However – if you just change one thing about your blog surfing habits, this can turn from “time waster” to “thoughtful research“.

First, try to only read the most popular posts on any given blog. Read each of these posts, and the comments.

Don’t just be looking at the content for information, look at the style of writing, the type of post, and any reason that post may have gotten so popular.

Read the comments, and see if there were any “comment wars” started by the post.

Study what the big bloggers do, so that you can follow suit.

Then, look to see what guest bloggers are frequently featured on these blogs.

Make a list of those who write posts that you feel might interest your audience. If you invite some of these bloggers to guest post for you (and we all know how much Ana loves guest blogging!), they’ll likely bring their own readers with them.

Bingo!

New traffic source, just from reading your favorite blog.

Marketing Takeaway

What do you think?

What are your favorite “time-waster-turned-traffic-source” methods?

Share in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

Cheryl Woodhouse

I spent 6 years in marketing and advertising before becoming a mom… Now I spend my days empowering moms and mom-owned businesses to change the world through social mompreneurship! Check out my website at CrunchyBusiness.com or visit my blog!

Image credit: http://www.go4prophotos.com

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44 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Danial

    Hi Cheryl,

    First of all, thanks for this great tips. Honestly, I never heard or even imagine that all those methods can bring visitors to our website or blog.

    As said by Mavis Nong, blog commenting has been proved as one of the best “time-waster-turned-traffic-source”. And yes, I’m using this as one of my way to build backlink for my blog.

    But my best approach of “time-waster-turned-traffic-source” method is by joining forums related to the theme that I like to discuss. I believe that if you deliver a good source or informative info, other members will definitely visit your profile info which filled with your link to your blog. Mostly, people will click your blog link to find out more about your writings.

    Until today, joining forum community is my main source of traffic.

  2. Hi Chery, Thanks for nice post, I am doing SEO work, In SEO link building is key but I prefer bloging because link building is too boring and bloging is great way to work, Every blog is help you to Increase your knowledge.

  3. Never come across the term “Twitter Party” before. Do you have any examples of hash tags which I could search for in order to find an example of one?

  4. Since I can’t relate with time waster #1, skipped it and began to realize that I’m a big fan of time waster #3 which is Reading Blog Posts. Not only it can give you valuable backlinks (once you posted a valuable comment), reading blogs will surely offer new ideas and stories to share.

  5. Cheryl,
    3 is just the right number for a list, and it worked its magic for me this time. Your tip #1 is total news to me –thank you! I can’t wait to try out Twitter parties. I work at home, alone, and would love to plug into some real-time animated discussion! Your tip #2 is interesting but less relevant for me. And your tip #3 I totally agree with; I always start my blog-writing time with some browsing and reading of other people’s blogs. It generates lots of great ideas and gets my creative juices flowing.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Cindy

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      That’s great Cindy! I hope to see you at some Twitter parties soon. In fact, I’m hosting one myself between now and May 15 – stop by the site and check it out! For women and mom-entrepreneurs, Q&A style!

  6. Hi Cheryl,

    I like your writing style, I think it is easy to digest so thank for that side of things.
    As for the post I agree but at the same time I think that you need to be constantly aware of what you are doing, why you are doing it – and most importantly what your end goal is.
    Twitter and Facebook – or all social media for that matter can indeed be a great source of traffic, but to what end?
    Is it worth cutting through all that noise? You have shown ways that make it possible and allow it to work, but ironically it was this guest post that brought you to my attention so this will always be a more effective method of driving traffic.
    Finally, I think the most important aspect of this tactic, or any method ofdriving traffic to your blog for that matter is related to how you have set your blog up to capture that traffic.
    There is no point doing all this marketing if you do not have a list, sales funnel, or place for your visitors to go once they arrive at your blog.
    Of course this was not the point of your post so I know you did not ‘leave this element out’ so to speak – I just wanted to reaffirm the importance of making sure you have a place for all that traffic to go.

    Again, great post CHeryl, it certainly got me talking – and that’s the point right?

    ;)
    Thanks for sharing Ana

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      So true, Alex – you definitely need to not only be aware of what you’re doing (and why you’re doing it), but have systems in place to capture that traffic and allow you to create revenue from it.

      I guess I’m bad, because I use my Facebook Page rather than an email list. I have tried an email list in the past, and use it religiously for events – but I actually prefer a Facebook page.

      Just as an example, with approx. the same amount of traffic I placed a “Subscribe on Facebook!” link at the top of my sidebar (with a FB logo) for 7 days, then an email subscription form (Subscribe by Email!) in the same place. I only took email addresses, not names, so the results wouldn’t be skewed that way.

      Not only do I find that I have a lot more subscribers that way (75 Facebook Page Likes in a week, vs. 8 email subscriptions), but I have more interaction. Many of those users continue returning, interact with the page, and visit the blog when I post new content (I use NetworkedBlogs to syndicate my RSS feed to both Facebook and Twitter.)

      Many of them also follow on twitter as a result of some posts on my Facebook page.

      For me, having been involved in internet marketing for years, this is a whole new level of interaction and authenticity with my followers. It may not work in all niches, but it works for my blog.

      I’m not sure why I got on that, but I think everyone will get value from your comment, and I hope someone will have a takeaway from mine! :)

      • Wow Cheryl,

        Thanks so much for such an engaging and enlightening response :)
        I think you successfully put my point firmly in it’s place and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that interaction is just as crucial in building followers.

        Very interesting stats you got, and I think you raise a point (indirectly or otherwise) about the power of brand and leveraging.
        What you did was leverage the trust that people have in Facebook over the ‘RSS to an unknown blogger
        (no offecne but compared to FB, well….) and because of this you not only got almost 1000% more signups you also gave yourself that little extra credibility be being associated with something familiar.

        This is more reason for me to ‘figure out’ this facebook thing. ;)

  7. Great time wasters, Cheryl. I can confirm that Twitter parties are a great time waster. I come out with 5 to 10 active online friends out of each one I attend. That may not sound like much, but I’d take them over 500 regular Twitter followers any day. I like your second time waster, as well. Your suggestion is a great way to use your Facebook page to post on other people’s pages/profile without being spammy about it. Great tips!

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      You’re welcome Brad! And you’re absolutely right – the best thing about Twitter Parties is the engagement. You get friends and followers who actually know who you are and care about what you have to say. That’s hard to find even in audiences with thousands of followers…

  8. Fun guest post Cheryl. So far, I’m only guilty of time waster #3 – “Reading Blog Posts”. That can chew up a big piece of my time. What makes it not a waste of time is when we learn something new or are reminded of something that we’re not paying attention to. – Like this reminder to get back to work and stop wasting time. :)

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      I like your sense of humor Sherryl ;)

      Just try to make whatever you’re reading apply to your business. If you can’t, it probably isn’t worth reading. If you can, you’ll probably follow through (sometimes just out of pure guilt for wasting time! LOL) and it will make a difference!

  9. Hi Cheryl,

    Great guest post! Twitter parties, what a great idea. The is the first time I have ever heard of them. Thank you for enlightening me.

    My “time-waster-turned-traffic-source” method would have to be reading and commenting on other blogs, but being accepted to be part of EIF Social Media Tribe was the best that thing that ever happened to my blog. I am pretty sure I have Ana and Heather Stephens to thank for that. So thanks Ladies :)

    The links and comments I got from the tribe have taken my blog from 3 million alexa to 260,000 globally. Quite a jump in just a few short months. Tribes rule!

    Thanks for sharing Cheryl and have a great day!

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      You’re welcome Ian! Glad your time-waster-turned-traffic-source works well for you. I’m still working on the tribes bit – too involved in creating content at this point! :)

  10. Bruce

    Reading bog comments is the one that does me in. One rule I now stick with is, unless the blog topic in particularly intriguing, I never check the box for followup by email, or else I end up reading tons of followups in my email account!

    I checked the box on this one though….

    ~Bruce

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      The secret is, Bruce, to only read comments on articles you are both extremely interested in AND are going to comment on yourself.

      And since it seems you did that here, I’ll take you checking that box as a compliment! *wink*

  11. Great post Cheryl!

    These are great spins on some of my time wasters. I tend to get lost, especially reading blog posts. This really put it into a different light. Thanks!

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Oh I find it easy to get lost reading blog posts, too – but if you think of it as something with a purpose, instead of a time waster, all of a sudden things change.

      Especially if you really love what you write about, you may find yourself reading Mashable one day, getting inspired by a post there, writing your own reply and get a backlink from one of the most powerful blogs on the web.

      Even when it comes to productivity, it is all about perspective and passion!

  12. Great post – I love the idea about the “Twitter parties” – must look into this in the near future. There are many tasks that I do that some may consider a “time waster” but which actually can lead to some useful insights.

    For example from time to time I like to really dig down into my website stats and this can turn up some useful tips and discoveries to capitalize on.

    I like to use StumbleUpon to find other interesting content which I can either learn from, mimic or share.

    And I can spend hours looking at potential keywords and competitors sites – but once again these things can often reveal gold when you look hard enough!

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      StumbleUpon is another really good one for creating “traffic magnet” posts… Responses to other blog posts, especially when you get a trackback, are super valuable and people love reading them. Nice one Richard! :)

  13. I love the validation in this post…reading that these tasks we sometimes categorize as time-wasters are valuable. My problem comes only when I accidentally devote too much time to them. So I have to do my writing and daily ‘must-dos’ first before any of these tasks that have a more gradual payoff. I try to leave the last hour or so of the day for these kinds of things…things that can be done anytime, that aren’t totally integral to my business, but which – over time – make a a big difference.
    Oh, and I love Tweetdeck, too!

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Sorry I missed your comment when replying Jennie!

      I agree, it can be a problem when you dedicate too much time to these tasks – but relegating them to the last hour of the day often makes them seem less important, and many times, they’ll get taken completely off the task list if you have other things to do.

      My recommendation would be to use these tasks as ways to find inspiration to do your writing and other “must-do”s – you might actually find that you’re more effective in those tasks if things like reading and commenting on popular blog posts, forums, twitter, facebook, photo contests and the like come first!

  14. Cheryl Woodhouse

    Give a twitter party a try. A great way to do it is actually to get others in your niche to offer prizes. They get great PR from the party, and will typically let their own circle of influence know about the upcoming event as well – so not only are more people attending so they can win prizes, more people hear about it because of the sponsors!

  15. Hi Cheryl,

    I haven’t been using twitter as efficiently and really don’t know the importance of hashtag but now I know the importance and will use it more accurately. I usually like to spend hours in reading interesting and knowledgeable blogs like this one.

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Riya – hashtags are primarily important for search and trending purposes. For example, one might use #traffic as a hashtag when tweeting this post. Hashtags are less important now than they were when twitter first started, but they still have their place! And of course, to identify twitter parties!

  16. Congratulations! Cheryl, Nice Guest Post.

    Twitter is one of my time wasters, using Tweetdeck really does help. I have also started using Buffer and it has been a BIG plus.

    I also waste time on Forums, they bring some nice target traffic.

    I can see how photo contests would work great for some niches. I have a couple of clients I will mention this to. Thanks

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Thank you Shelia! Tweetdeck does help… I use Seesmic on my smartphone, actually, and it helps me keep track because I can use Twitter while walking somewhere, eating, or trying to sleep. LOL!

      Forums are an amazing source of “time waster” traffic! Suddenly I feel like this article should become “4 Time Wasters”. You hit the nail on the head with that one!

      Photo contests are great. I’m doing a “kids at work” one for my blog soon, since most of my visitors are WAHM’s – but it doesn’t just have to be of kids (although they get a lot of responses!)

      Some of the best photo contests are actually people showing off their photographic skill. For example, for a tech blog, doing a “your PC up close” or “mobile technology” photo contest could garner a lot of attention!

  17. Zero Passive Income

    Cheryl – great information and congrats on being published on traffic generation cafe! I’ve only gotten sucked into the time waster of reading blog posts – like right now. But I find it’s a valuable way for me to learn and gain different perspectives. I love doing it but I do end up spending more time reading than I do writing!

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Follow your passion – it won’t steer you wrong! As long as you’re not using reading blog posts to escape from writing them (procrastination) it is a great way to follow what is happening in your industry, get great blog tips, and get opportunities (Ana certainly didn’t call me up – I was here reading the blog when I discovered she accepts guest posts!) It’s all about balancing time in vs. reward out. When you first start doing something, you’ll be putting in 100 units of time for 1 unit of reward(100:1). As things start to build, you’ll gain momentum, and it will get a lot closer to 1:1. If you become a Mashable, Problogger or Guy Kawasaki, it will be closer to 1:100!

  18. Hi Cheryl,

    Of the three “time wasters” I have only been involved in reading blog posts. That’s been a real time waster for me, but at the same time, I’ve gained a lot of both knowledge and met some really brilliant people this way. To me, blog reading started out as a time waster, but became one of the best way to do research and meet people. It’s all about the quality of the blog posts you are reading.

    I use Twitter a lot, but not for hours at a time. I do it between everything else, and just a few minutes at a time. I have conversations, but usually not very long, just a about 20 – 30 tweets and replies a day.

    - Jens

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      I’d encourage you to “waste your time” a bit more on Twitter. You might find yourself meeting and connecting with even more people!

  19. Cheryl,
    Great job! I just downloaded Tweetdeck so I can check out some Twitter parties (I always wondered how people found out about and tracked those). I’ve learned so much from reading other blogs and comments. Just seeing what other people are doing, finding out what works for them, is so helpful and inspiring. Can’t wait to read your next guest post here :)

  20. Dr. Bob Clarke

    Hi Cheryl,

    Congrats on an inspiring guest blog post! Time wasters are huge, especially for my niche audience, those that build their business part time. Part time networkers must be extra vigilant to be sure that their time is being used as effectively as possible.

    I especially like your 3rd tip about reading blog posts. As Mavis said in the above comment, this is one we all have trouble with. On the one hand, it’s a way of learning new things and contributing to conversations, but on the other hand it can indeed be a huge time waster.

    But the idea of studying the most popular posts and learning why they “work” is brilliant. I think we all need to become amateur sleuths in our businesses, to study what has worked for others.

    After all, there rarely is a need to reinvent the wheel. If you study those that are having success and try to understand WHY, then none of that time is wasted.

    Thanks for the brilliant post, Cheryl. This is a great contribution to Ana’s site.

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Great way to put it – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Absolutely! I mean, popular blogs can even hand you ideal guest posters on a silver platter. So why not read? Mashable is one of my favs, as is copyblogger (and hey – they actually teach about blogging, too!)

  21. Hey Cheryl,

    Wonderful. My biggest “time waster” is Twitter and blog commenting. I spend substantially large amount of time on these two activities and they are a little less when compared to writing my blog posts.

    But I have no regrets. I network a lot and indeed drive more traffic and meet more people through these time wasters.

    Great tips.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Twitter is my biggest one… I swear I update 30+ times each day. But I just love connecting with people, and the Twitter medium allows me to do that. I’ve actually made friends that way! Both are great if you can make them work!

  22. Cheryl,

    I haven’t been spending as much time as I would like reading some of the other popular blogs. I’ve never been to a Twitter party yet but I will be on the lookout for one.

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Twitter parties can be fast paced, but they’re worth it. Check out “tweetups” as well – similar concept. NASA is actually using tweetups for an upcoming launch!

  23. Hey Cheryl,

    Congratulations on your first guest post! I can’t begin to describe how thrilled I was when Ana approved my very first guest post here :)

    Interesting topic, I must say. Reading other blog posts and leaving comments is definitely my “time-waster-turned-traffic-source” method. I learn a ton and implement on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Mavis

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      Thanks! I was thrilled, too! And thank you for sharing your “time waster” traffic source. Many people say that comments are probably one of their best link builders!