Some people have this idea in their heads that making money online is simple. All you have to do is set up a website, write some content with some decent keywords, add products and the cash will start flowing in. WRONG! Traffic is a huge component of online marketing. You could have the most amazing website with all the bells and whistles but if nobody knows about it, what good is it?
When you first start your make money online quest, you’ll most likely want to know how to get traffic to your website for free. Afterall, part of the reason you may be looking to make money online is because you are short of cash yourself and you are looking for an alternative way to make some extra money.
What is a Good Quality Backlink?
A few years ago, the strategy for getting people to your website was to create backlinks to your website. A backlink is a link to your site that you leave on another site through the comment section or perhaps on a forum. This was once considered the only way to get traffic to your website.
While many people do still use backlinking as a traffic generating method, Google has become pretty savvy in weeding out good quality vs. low quality backlinks. A good quality backlink is considered to be a link left on a site that is relative to your business and helpful to the audience.
What is a Low Quality Backlink?
A low quality backlink would be a link left randomly on any site whether it’s related to your business or not. This can also be spamming and Google is not a fan of this type of strategy and acts accordingly. If Google crawls the internet and finds a backlink in many places that are not related to your business, they could penalize your site by not ranking the site or by not ranking the content. So this is no longer considered a good marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing Definition
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know at least a little bit about social media. You most likely have, at a minimum, a Facebook account to keep up to date with your friends and family.
So, by definition, social media marketing is using different social media platforms to promote your business whether it’s an online business or a bricks and mortar business. There are many different social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Instagram and more.
No matter what kind of business you have, in order to get traffic to your website, you will need to hang out where other people in your market are hanging out and let them know that you exist and are open for business.
How To Get Traffic To Your Website For Free
Assuming you already have a blog or website with a corresponding email account, you will need to set up accounts on several social media platforms and make a concerted effort to tend to your social media “garden” at least a few time a week.
Facebook: If you already have an account with Facebook you need to make a Facebook business page for your business.
Twitter: Same goes for Twitter. People with Twitter accounts send out tweets throughout the day. Twitter tends to be quite active. Here’s some information on how to set up a Twitter account. And make sure you know how to use hashtags! They are very important in reaching your targeted audience.
Google+: If you have a gmail account, you are already halfway there. You can learn how to create a Google plus business page here.
Pinterest: I personally love Pinterest. I wasn’t a fan at first, I’ll admit. But once I started my own account and found the plethora of information on every subject I could think of, I instantly loved it. Here’s how to set up a Pinterest account.
StumbleUpon: StumbleUpon is a great place to see what everyone else is doing. You can customize what you want to see by selecting different categories of interest. If you want to know how to set up a stumbleupon account, all you really have to do is simply register.
Reddit: People love Reddit! It’s probably not the prettiest website but it is very popular for social sharing and has a very loyal following. You can again set up categories of interest and participate in discussions on posts that have been shared. Register for a free account here.
Tumblr: Another way to share your website information. Register for a free account here.
How to Share on Social Media
Once you have a few social media accounts set up, you then need to post on them each time you create a post for your website. This is your free advertising. This is how to get traffic to your website for free. And it is easily accomplished by whatever social media plugin you are using for your WordPress site. Simply share your post by clicking the link to the social media platform and add your content from there. This is good practice because when people visit your site they will see that the content has been shared and hopefully do likewise.
How to Grow a Social Media Following
In order to extend your reach further, you’ll need to find like minds and follow them. This process will work with Pinterest, Google+, Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter.
Once you have your accounts set up, perform a search for your niche. We’ll use Pinterest as an example here. Once you get your search results, take a look at the list of followers for people with a lot of followers. Then follow some of those followers. They will be notified that you are following them and hopefully follow you back. This strategy will help you grow a social media following.
Should You Pay for Website Traffic?
A year or so ago, I took a chance on GrowTraffic. They had an offer for 30 days of FREE traffic to your website in exchange for a review on your site. I thought this was an interesting proposition. I could see all the new traffic going to my site and all I had to do was to write a review after the 30 days. It was a good concept as well. GrowTraffic would redirect traffic from expired sites in your niche and send them to your site. It sounded like a good idea and one that would help me gain more visitors.
After the 30 days were up, I wrote a good review here. I had seen a sharp increase in my traffic and lots of visitors. I was quite pleased. Unfortunately, once my 30 days was up, all that traffic disappeared. And my stats actually got worse after that resulting in a high bounce rate! I’m not sure why this happened. I had heard many times that you shouldn’t buy traffic from all these people. (I didn’t buy traffic but the result was the same.) I fell for the shiny object. I thought I was getting targeted traffic but I’m guessing I wasn’t. It has taken me a long time to recover from that misstep and gain the trust of my audience again. It really hurt my business. It’s a mistake I won’t make again. Another lesson learned, right? So I don’t recommend that you buy traffic. It will hurt you in the long run.