Last updated on May 23rd, 2015 at 05:23 pm
Traffic is one of the most important factors in online business.
The above explains why generating traffic remains the biggest challenge for bloggers and other netpreneurs.
But the bitter truth is, there are no magic bullets when it comes to generating traffic. It requires hard work. In fact, most of the effort you’ll have to invest in your online business will go into traffic generation alone.
Now, if you do a simple web search, you’ll find tons of articles teaching traffic generation tips — both ethical and unethical ones.
But here, I want to teach you the various proven strategies for generating massive traffic to your blog, website, or any other online platform here in Nigeria. Whether you’re just starting out or have been struggling with online business for some time, you’ll learn a lot from this post.
This post is a fairly long one, so take your time to read it carefully.
Are you ready? Now, let’s start!
On the importance of value
For you to benefit from the traffic you work so hard to generate, you must provide value.
For example, if you’re trying to generate traffic to your blog, you must offer loads of quality content for free. That’s the only way to gain the trust of your visitors and compel them to take any action that will fetch you profits.
If your blog is just like any other blog out there, with no real value to make it stand it out, you won’t gain much from the traffic you generate.
Similarly, if you’re trying to sell an e-book or an affiliate product, you need to offer something of huge value, so your traffic doesn’t go to waste.
That said, let’s now discuss the various traffic generation strategies.
A. Free traffic
Generating traffic doesn’t necessarily have to cost you money. There are many ways to generate traffic to your online business without spending a dime. But then, these require lots of time and effort.
This involves participating actively in a high-traffic forum often visited by your target audience, with the aim of attracting attention to your online business.
Nairaland, the biggest online forum in Nigeria, attracts people with varying interests. And chances are high that you’ll find your target audience there.
Attracting traffic from Nairaland is simple. Start by crafting a catchy signature that links to your blog or value product (e-book, etc.). For best results, use bolded text and give people a strong reason to click your link by stating the benefits they’ll gain from doing that.
After creating your signature, your next step is to get it noticed by as many people as possible. How do you achieve this? By creating lots of helpful threads and giving beneficial replies on as many threads as possible.
Focus more on the section that is most closely related to your niche. For example, if you’re looking to drive traffic to a travel blog, focus on the travel section. Similarly, if you’re trying to sell your small business ideas e-book, focus on the business section.
Because the earliest replies on a post get read the most, always try to be among the earliest people to leave replies on threads.
One of the smartest ways to attract massive traffic from Nairaland is to create a really insightful or valuable thread. Chances are such a thread will hit the front page, where several thousands of people will get to read it — and possibly click your signature link.
Avoid posting brief excerpts of posts and asking readers to visit your blog to read the rest. Although this strategy works at times, it usually annoys and repels readers.
Social media remains one of the most widely used avenues for traffic generation.
Generating traffic through social media entails spreading word of your online business through your personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms. It also entails creating dedicated accounts for your online business, such as a Facebook page, Twitter handle, and so on.
Social media generates even more traffic when you involve others. So, always ask your friends to share your updates with their friends and family. In addition, encourage your visitors or audience to share your free content or e-book by providing social media sharing buttons below your blog posts and in the pages of your free e-book.
Leaving comments on high-traffic blogs is a smart way to “snatch” some traffic from such blogs.
Imagine leaving an interesting comment on a post on Linda Ikeji’s blog and getting 200 new visitors to your blog from that one comment.
How can you make that happen? Try to be among the first people to leave a comment, since the first few comments get read the most. Then make sure to leave a comment that is not just relevant to the post, but is also interesting or valuable. Right below your comment, add a free, attention-grabbing description of your blog or one of your posts — alongside a link to it.
Trust me, many people are ready to click any link they see. So, your link will attract some decent traffic. The more of such comments you can leave on high-traffic blogs, the more traffic you’ll generate from the strategy.
Now, bear in mind that comments are strictly moderated on most blogs. And comments containing links are usually marked as spam. But from my experience, most Nigerian high-traffic sites allow all types of comments. And a good example is Linda Ikeji’s blog.
Though this strategy is one that most webmasters find hard to implement, it’s insanely effective for traffic generation if done right.
In case you’re a newbie, guest posting simply means having your posts published on other blogs for the purpose of channelling traffic to your blog.
For best results from guest posting, you need to target high-traffic blogs, preferably those within your niche. Better yet, any high-traffic blog that attracts thousands of your target readers would do. In addition, your post must be really valuable and authoritative. And a link to your blog must be prominently placed within the post.
If readers find the post interesting and helpful, they will follow your link down to your blog with the aim of getting more of the same top-quality stuff.
Most blogs will gladly publish your guest post provided it’s helpful, relevant to their niche, and written in line with their guidelines (if they have any).
So, look out for high-traffic blogs that you can have your guest posts published on, and contact their editors about your intent to send them a guest post.
Aside sending huge traffic to your blog over the short term, guest posting also has long-term benefits. First, it helps you to build links, which in turn helps to improve your blog’s ranking in Google. Second, it can continue to send you traffic for a very long term if it ranks high in search engine listings, which is likely if you publish it on a high authority blog.
A good example of Nigerian authority website where you can publish guest posts repeatedly is the Vanguard Online Community.
Question & Answer sites
The trick is to search these websites for questions that are related to the information offered in your blog or free e-book. Then provide the answer and refer readers to get more information from your blog or e-book.
In fact, you can purposely write and publish a new post on your blog, just to provide a detailed answer to a question you found on a Q&A site. That way, you will be able to attract readers from those sites.
Now, here’s a warning: only leave links to your blog if you have relevant, detailed answers. If it’s obvious that you’re only slapping up links to attract traffic, you’ll banned! I was once banned from Yahoo! Answers for that.
Interviews and honorary mentions
Publishing interviews with influential personalities is another smart way to get traffic to your blog. How? When you interview an individual who has achieved success in a field related to your blog topic and publish the interview on your blog, your guest will share the link to that interview on his or her social media accounts.
And the more followers your guest has on these accounts, the more traffic they’ll send down to that interview post. You get it now? I’ve published a number of interviews on this blog, and I’ve gotten decent traffic from that.
Honorary mentions work in the same way. For example, if you publish a post titled, “Top 10 Most Successful Young Entrepreneurs in Nigeria”. Each of the individuals mentioned in that post will be eager to share it with their social media followers. Of course, you’ll need to contact them individually to make them aware of the post, so they can “do the needful.”
Search engine optimization (SEO)
If you’re looking to generate traffic to your blog over the long term, then you need to learn about keyword research and search engine optimization. I won’t be going into details of both strategies here, as I’ve already written in-depth posts about each of them:
- Keyword Research: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Lucrative Keywords
- A Beginners’ Guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If you can invest your time in learning search engine optimization and implementing it correctly, you’ll be able to rank high in search engine result pages, which means you’ll generate huge traffic without effort for as long as your posts maintain their top positions.
My blog, NGFR (read about it here) now attracts about 6,000 daily visits and about 500,000 monthly page views — thanks search engine optimization.
B. Paid traffic
If you want quick results without much effort, then you can consider paying for traffic. This involves paying to have your ad banners or links displayed prominently on highly targeted platforms online.
Paid traffic brings the best results when the right platforms are used. Examples of these platforms include Facebook (Facebook ads), Google (Adwords), Nairaland (Nairaland ads — for Nigerian traffic), and high traffic blogs (direct ad slots).
I won’t go into details of how to go about adopting paid traffic in this post, as that’s a whole new topic on its own. But I may come up with a post on that later.
For now, that’s all on the various strategies that you can adopt to generate traffic to your online business, irrespective of the model you favor.
Now, there’s one more very important thing!
Except for SEO and few others, the strategies explained in this post will fetch you only one-time traffic. That is, after implementing them, you’ll see your traffic go up sharply, and then it comes down again within a few days.
That’s sad, but it’s the truth. And I have to tell you.
However, there’s a trick you can adopt to ensure that the traffic you generate from these techniques keeps coming back to your blog each time you publish a new post. That sounds cool right? I adopt the trick on this blog, and it works like magic.
What trick am I talking about? I’ll be leaking it in the next post (click here to read it now).
Now, your turn
Do you have any comments, questions, or objections? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. As usual, I’ll reply.
And…don’t forget to share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and what have you (you can use the share buttons below).