I 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.
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.
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.
New traffic source, just from reading your favorite blog.
What do you think?
What are your favorite “time-waster-turned-traffic-source” methods?
Share in the comments, I'd love to hear them!
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