Driving traffic can be confusing, can’t it? There are so many voices – so many opinions. Everyone seems to be wanting to sell their “latest and greatest” method of driving traffic.
Some of these “shiny object” methods are stale by the time they get to market and will simply never work. You know that if you have bought any of the “three click” software hype. I know I did. Hey, I’ll try anything!
Other methods that work well are often dismissed as being “yesterday’s news” or just too hard to do.
One thing that seems to be missing in the talk about traffic online is the ability to see the big picture.
At the end of the day experience tells use that there are only two ways to get traffic. You earn it or you buy it. Simple really.
So it’s time for a little common sense and a look at the big picture of getting traffic. Today we look at 22 proven ways to get traffic the old fashioned way … by earning it. This is an overview so I won’t be digging into each method today. But I will do that in future posts.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The purpose of this overview is not to say “go forth and do all of this”. No one person can do all of this well at the same time. That would be overwhelming and a big mistake.
The key to succeeding with free traffic methods is to choose one you enjoy and master it.
Many books and articles have been written about the person who owns a gold mine and digs for years, only to give up only a few feet away from a major find. We don’t want to be that person. We want to be the person who makes a thoughtful choice, makes a firm commitment and finds success by persisting and refining their technique.
So with that in mind let’s take a look at three major ways to get traffic by earning it, and the specific techniques that come from those choices.
I’ve drawn a little mind map (I’m a visual learner) and am putting it here in case you like mind maps too. It’s not necessary to even look at the image – but if you do I hope you will find it useful.
TRAFFIC MOVES IN STREAMS
When Bob Allen asked me to help him write Multiple Streams of Internet Income I was honored of course. But it was only when I read the finished work that I realized his true genius. He had summed up many methods of getting traffic and put them into a mental picture anyone could grasp in an instant … a great ocean of prospects flowing into a series of streams (a sales funnel) that created sales automatically.
To keep this as simple as possible (I love simple, don’t you?) I’m dividing my 22 proven methods into three themes.
Remember the key point…
Your goal should not be to do all of these at one time but rather to find the ones you like best and then make that work for you.
They can all work if you work them. I will be sharing much more on how to do each method soon.
In academia I hear they say “publish or perish”. I say I hear that because I never went to college. But I do know that, online, you need to publish or you risk perishing.
Happily, you can be a great publisher without being a great writer.
There are many ways to publish information online. We know that there is an almost endless supply of people searching for things, and the thing they are searching for is information.
If you become the person who provides the information – be that by writing like I am doing now or by curating or aggregating – you will win. If you doubt that check out the top blogs online. Guys like John Chow now charge $500 to simply review a product on their blog. Is it worth the price? In many cases it is.
Here are the most proven ways to publish online in my experience along with a couple of tips below the list about which work best for most people. Remember, this is an overview! I will be providing more about each soon.
I’ve done all of these and continue to use most of these methods today.
- Publish an ezine
- Have a HubPage
- Publish a blog
- Guest posting
- Viral marketing
- Article marketing
- Press Releases
In my view blogging is the best way to start. A blog is easy to set up and easy to maintain. You can hire it done on sites like eLance or use a service like TypePad. One of my favorite marketers, Seth Godin, has used TypePad for years. So don’t think that using a service will limit you, because it won’t. For many it’s the best way to go.
The key here is to find the method that you like.
If you like doing something you will keep doing it and it will become profitable the more you do it.
The beautiful thing about the Internet is that there is an audience for almost any topic. Even if you never create a single product of your own you can make money by providing your audience with the information they crave. When you do that consistently you become a trusted advisor, and people will buy what you recommend because they trust you.
Broadcasting is the kissing cousin of publishing. Some say it’s the same thing but I still separate the written word from the broadcasted idea.
One HUGE key to succeeding with broadcasting is to repurpose your articles into videos, podcasts and more.
You never know how people will want to consume your information, so after you have created (or collected) your content repurpose it into another format and gain even more audience!
Turning your articles into videos and putting them on YouTube or Vimeo is super easy and fast. Likewise, having video content transcribed and then making that into a great article is easy and fast as well.
Another idea – transcribe webinar replays (with permission of course) into a series of articles or a short report. Give the report away and you can build your list faster and make more sales than ever.
I use this technique often. It works!
Here are the most proven broadcast methods in my view.
If you are an active marketer now then repurposing and broadcasting the information you already have can help you reach an audience you might never reach otherwise. Some people love video, some hate it, so why not appeal to both by providing both.
This is the best way to get marketing leverage that I know — you do the work once and then reach many audiences by taking a tiny bit of time to rework your ideas into new formats. Beautiful!
Another way to get great leverage is to work with others. We all know about joint ventures but there is more, much more, to working with others that doing things like ad swaps. Here are my favorites.
- Joint Ventures
- Social Media
- Provide Services
There is little doubt that, when done right, working with others can be both fun and profitable. While everyone seems to want to do a joint venture (I prefer to buy advertising as doing so is much more profitable) getting a JV is hard for most.
Be careful about spending too much time trying to land a JV when you could be doing other things that would naturally attract joint venture partners to you.
One example – If you have a powerful presence on social media people will want to reach your audience and offer you great sums of money to do so.
For that reason and more I believe that social media is the best place to start connecting. Start simple with Facebook and Twitter and move on once you have the routine in place. Just sharing what you are doing is not enough on social media – you need to think about your audience every time you share in my view.
You might be thinking “pretty good article but what do I do now?” Here are three suggestions to help you take action today.
1. If you publish anything now – articles, videos, audio, anything – spend time today thinking about how you can repurpose that into new content.
2. Follow your bliss. I know it’s easy for me to say that because I’m doing well and can follow my bliss all I want. But if you know me you know that it has not always been that way, and I’m here to tell you that I got here by following my bliss. The article you are reading right now is what I wanted to do today – so I did.
3. Choose one method and master it. I see far too many people who think that article marketing no longer works because they submitting five PLR articles to EzineArticles.com and did not make any money. Obviously, that is not real article marketing but they don’t know it yet because they are simply doing what some “guru” said to do.
Once you find the thing that lights your fire it will be time to learn more about that topic.
- Who is using it well?
- How is it working for them?
- How can you emulate their success?
- What is the #1 free resource about the topic online?
- What is the #1 paid resource about the topic online?
- How can you get help if you need help?
Learning more and making a game plan will be necessary – no sugar coating it. But these methods can work if you work them. That much I know.
Think about this – how long have you been trying to make money online? Now what if you had been able to start with a clear direction, a proven roadmap that would take you from newbie to where you want to be?-
That would be a gift, and a blessing.
It’s called the flow, and I know you can get there. It is worth the work it will take to get there because …
Being in the flow is a beautiful thing indeed!