Introduction to Traffic
You want traffic, right? Of course you do. So I won’t waste your time with introductions or my sob story of how I went from living in dumpsters behind liquor stores to using hundred dollar bills to light my cigars while Playboy bunnies kneel eagerly at my feet. Getting traffic isn’t some kind of mysterious branch of alchemy. You know that. Traffic means people. The more people to your site, the more money you’ll make. So you want some traffic, do you?
You’ll find proven methods that, when put to use, will get you more traffic. If you spent a couple hours on each one of these a day, within a months time you’d hit each one twice. Now I don’t know about you, but spending only a couple hours a day to make a fat living sounds like a pretty good deal. OK? So let’s get with it, shall we?
Groups are like forums. But they’re usually much, much more targeted. If you go to Google groups or Facebook groups you’ll find any group you need to tap for massive traffic.
To find the groups, just head on over to groups.google.com and type in your niche. Some of these are private, and some are public. Join as many as you can. The more you post, the more traffic you’ll get. Some people see groups with a few thousand people and start salivating at the mouth. However, you’ll find that smaller groups tend to give you more traffic. It seems that groups of over 500 people or so tend to be filled with spammers, and a lot of the messages tend to be discounted. You’ll need to spend a bit of time establishing your personality. Don’t just roll in like gangbusters and start posting links to your site.
When it comes to Facebook, you can join existing groups, or start your own group. Having your own group is kind of like having an email list. You have a certain amount of control, and you can choose who joins and who doesn’t.
While groups are incredibly powerful, don’t start promoting until you’re getting some feedback from group members. For example, on Facebook groups, you might consider uploading some helpful videos that you “borrowed” from YouTube in order to establish your authority. Then once you see you’re consistently getting some likes, you can start with some subtle promotions.
Most of the gurus discount forum marketing. Want to know why? It’s totally free. Nobody can make any money selling any forum marketing systems. These are just as lucrative as groups, they are very targeted, and some well-placed links can bring you tons of sales way out into the future. The best way to use forum marketing is to first establish yourself. Make a few helpful posts. Make sure to read other peoples posts and respond accordingly. Ideally, you should find a forum that allows you to put a link in your sig. Make sure it’s compelling, short, concise, and promises a mind boggling benefit.
Once you’ve made a few well thought out posts, you can start making your own threads. Wait a while before you start blatantly promoting your site. You’ll find that you can easily work in a sales angle without really doing so.
Just always be on the lookout for new threads that can easily be steered toward a mention of your product. For example, let’s say you sell an acne product. You find a post where somebody has an acne problem and they want to get rid of it. You can list several free proven cures, and then say something like this:
“These all work, and some people have found that this works pretty well.” Then just have the word “this” link to your sales page. Make sure that any name or picture of yourself on your regular website doesn’t match your forum name. We’ve found that this works best when you seem to be promoting somebody else’s stuff.
When searching for forums, just search for keywords in Google, except click on “discussion.” This will give you results in forums only. Take some time hunting around until you find at least five good forums to post in. You’ll find that it won’t take long to start getting some consistent traffic.
Blog Your Way to Riches
If you’ve got a sales page, whether it’s your own product or an affiliate product, or a squeeze page to build a list, you should also have a blog. You should be posting on your blog on a regular basis. Google is getting more picky about ranking “thin” sites, so you should make a new post at least once a week. If you absolutely can’t write, consider getting a couple articles from ezinarticles.com. So long as you leave the original links intact, you should be fine. A good way to get some search engine love is to take three or four articles, and then combine them together into one long post.
How does this help you? It won’t take anything other than a few minutes. It will attract traffic, and you can direct that traffic to your squeeze or landing page. A great way to do that is by creating a linked banner ad. You can use free software such as Pixlr.com.
Create a 250×250 banner ad, with some eye catching graphics. Then upload it to your server through WordPress. Then, copy the link to the picture and insert it in your widget sidebar like this:
<img border=”0″ src=”link to your picture” alt=”whatever alt tag you want” width=”250″ height=”250″></a>
This way, everybody who comes to your blog via Google or the other search engines will click on the link, and visit your sales page. That’s about as passive as you can get!
Online media have discovered something amazing, and that is this: Many people visit news websites not for the news stories themselves, but for the comments! If you’ve ever been to a site where people can vote comments up or down, it’s pretty cool to be able to sort them, so the most voted up comments appear on top. Some of this stuff is pure gold.
Of course, if you find high trafficked blogs in your niche, and post stuff like, “Hey, nice post, visit my site.” You’ll be run out of town.
But if you write something insightful, and show up enough so regular readers will get to know your “handle” then quite a few of them will end up clicking on your link.
A great way to find blogs is with software called Scrapebox or Gscraper. Both are paid, but can help you identify blogs in your niche.
You’ll want to find some blogs that have a pretty high Alexa ranking, which means they get plenty of traffic.
Or you could do a search on Google Blog Search. Just type in your keyword, find a few blogs, verify their traffic through Alexa, and you’re off to the races.
Search for a good five to ten to start with. Make it a point to check them daily for new posts. Ideally, you want to be the first person who comments, so you’re comment will always be seen. A good way to do this is to subscribe to the blogs RSS feed. This will keep you alerted to new content.
Just visit the blog, read the post, and make an intelligent comment. Don’t make it too short, and don’t make it too long. Two or three short paragraphs is perfect. One way to get people back to your site would be to make a point, and then say something like, “my readers sometimes disagree with me.” This kind of presupposes you’ve got some kind of audience, which will create curiosity in whomever reads your comment.
Do this once a day, and you could easily set up a steady stream of traffic.
Pure and simple, ads are meant to sell. No trickery, no writing posts hoping people will read them and then click over to your sales page. Upfront, honest and to the point. “Proven weight loss system, $39, two month guarantee. Click here.” This will get more eager buyers and higher conversions than almost any other form of marketing.
What’s the best way to go about this? If you’re just starting out, Craigslist is likely best. You can post for free. The only drawback is you’ve got to do it by hand, and they only stay up for 48 hours.
Another great site is USfreeads.
If you want to spend a bit of cash, you can try eBay classifieds.
Other ad sources are
As many of these cost money, it’s best to start small, and measure your results. Try Craigslist first, and see what kind of response you get. Once you’re satisfied, you’re ready to start spending some cash on those other sites.
Start out modestly, with twenty bucks or so. See what kind traffic it brings. The best time to post is between 9AM and 11 PM in your target market. Most ads get the most traffic right after they go live.
On Craigslist, It’s crucial that you post your ad in the right category. It’s also forbidden to post direct affiliate links. The links should come back to your own page, where you have a pre-sales page, or a squeeze page.
Once you play around with your text, and find one that works, you can start posting it in many different cities. Just be careful, you don’t want to be labeled as a scammer. If your account ever gets flagged, take it seriously. The good news is that it’s easy to set up another account.
Adswap Your Way to Riches
This next method requires that you have a list of about a couple hundred people. If you don’t realize the value of growing a list, you should start doing so at the earliest possible convenience. Every visitor to your site should have a couple different opportunities to join your list. If you’re using Aweber, there’s some easy to follow tutorials on how to set this up.
So, what’s an Adswap? This is when you exchange email ads with another similar list. Say you’ve got a list of 300 people on dog training. And somebody else has a list of 300 people on dog food. Not exactly the same niche, but close enough.
So what you do, is in one email, you promote his list, and he promotes your list. Since both of you are likely giving away some kind of free product in exchange for an email, this one ad swap can net you a hundred or so new subscribers overnight.
How does this help your traffic? Every time you post to your site, you should email your list. You should also invite your list to join your Facebook Fan page (more on that later). Also, you should be promoting your product to your own list as often as you can. That’s the name of the game anyway, right? The bigger your list grows, the more sales you’ll make.
How do you find these adswap partners?
Remember all those blogs you found earlier? Simply email the owner of each site, and ask if they’d be willing to do an adswap with you. Since you’ll not want to do this more than a couple times a month, you don’t need to spend a lot of time looking for partners.
Alternatively, you can visit Safe-Swaps to find some suitable partners.
Some other places to look are
Unheard Of Social Gold
Of course, social media is exploding, and will continue to do so. Having a strong social presence is essential to being successful online. In this section, you’ll learn a few tricks and tips.
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a Facebook Fan Page for your blog.
Then you’ll need to “salt the tip jar,” so to speak. This just means heading on over to Fiverr and buying yourself some Facebook fans and likes.
Why are you buying fans and likes? Because people are unlikely to like or follow you unless than see that a few hundred people have already done so. Obviously, when they follow you, and like you, that will appear on their own timeline.
Whenever you email your list, make sure you have your Facebook info at the bottom of every email.
You should always be on the lookout for suitable videos related to your site. When possible, download them, and upload them onto your Fan page. That way, when people visit your Fan page, either from your emails or from buttons your site itself, they’ll be much more likely to join.
There’s also several paid plugins that can allow you to put an email sign up right there on your Fan page. Hybrid-Connect is a fantastic one.
Another way to get social shares is to put your most popular posts behind a “share wall.” Meaning that people can only see it if they like your post on Facebook or Tweet it to their list.
Jack Your Way into Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo! answers is a gold mine. The questions are usually very specific, and the answers are generally very helpful. They also rank very highly in the search engines. Somebody typing in something like, “what’ the best dog training method,” in Google might not buy from your site. But they’ll be much more interested in they come to your site via Yahoo! Answers.
There’s two ways to go about doing this. One is to hang out and wait for people to ask question where answering with a link to your site would be appropriate. You can do this by setting up Google Alerts for anytime a new web page is indexed in Yahoo! Answers that contains one of your keywords.
The other way to do this would be to come up with your own question. You’ll need two accounts for this, and some people think this is a bit on the unethical side, so you’ll need to be careful.
First make sure there’s no answers related to your specific keyword. You can find this by visiting http://answers.yahoo.com/ and typing in your various keywords, until you find some potential.
Then ask an honest sounding question, wait a couple of days, sign in with a different username, and then post the answer. Then wait a couple more days, sign back in with the original account, and list that answer as the best one.
If you take your time, and ask and answer several different questions related to your niche, you should be getting plenty of traffic for quite a while.
Automatic Social Bookmarking Income
If you get on the front page of DIGG, then you’re going to get a flood of traffic. Unfortunately, in order to get on the front page of DIGG, you’ve got to get a lot of folks “re-digging” your content. This is either going to cost you a lot of money, or you’re going to need some pretty awesome content.
However, there are some tricks to help you get some massive social bookmarking traffic. To start off with, you’ll need to join as many of these social bookmarking sites as you can. Some of the top ones are digg.com, delicious.com, technorati.com, propeller.com, stumbleupon.com, and reddit.com.
One way to get the ball rolling would be to go through each one of these sites, and register. Then go through and bookmark each page on your site, to each bookmarking site. Naturally, this will take a way. A good way around this is with a software package called Bookmarking Demon.
While it does cost upward of $60, it can quickly bookmark any new content you add to your site, as well as any content you add anywhere (including YouTube videos, your Facebook fan page, any articles you’ve submitted).
Now, how do you get those big numbers that will push your site up the ranks? Head on over to Amazon Turks.
They have folks that will bookmark your site or page for about a penny per bookmark. So for ten bucks, you can get a popular post a thousand Diggs. Choose on the more popular bookmarking site to do this with.
Alternatively, you can go to Fiverr and get the same thing. Searching for “social bookmarking,” and see if anything comes up.
You want to avoid bookmarking your sales page or squeeze page. Bookmark a particular article that people have found interesting, and make sure there’s plenty of opportunities on there for people to sign up for your list, or click over to your sales page.
Some of the hottest viral videos of all time were languishing with only a couple hundred views until they showed up on some of the popular social bookmarking sites.
Viral Time Bomb
Going viral is a marketers wet dream. While you can’t completely reverse engineer the process, since it’s largely based on unpredictable crowd behavior, but you can kind of guess what content has a better chance.
Viral marketing is based on the idea of consensual advertising. TV ads, popup ads, PPC ads, are all forced. Nobody wants to see them. They are kind of shoved in our face. But consensual advertising is when people voluntarily pass along your message.
So what gets a message to go viral. First, you’ll need to give your message to somebody that’s got good connections. Getting your tweet retweeted by somebody with two followers isn’t going to help much.
But getting it retweeted by somebody with 50,000 followers? Now you’re getting somewhere.
When it comes to Twitter, you should get people with lots of followers who are following you. That means, when you send out helpful tweets, and you ask people to retweet them, they’ll have a higher chance of getting retweeted.
How do you do that? Identify all the gurus in your field, and follow all of them. It’s good to find gurus who’s following to followers ratio is pretty even. Avoid those guys who’ve got a million followers but are only following ten people.
The more you build your list of followers, the more likely you’ll go viral.
The second part of going viral is the environment. This is the platform. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, these are gold mines.
However, your own list also has potential. You may come up with a really helpful message. Take some to write a good email of at least 500 words. Then ask your subscribers to simply forward it to their friends, or tweet or share it. Just make sure you include a link to your site.
This one is easy. Find plenty of popular books related to your niche. Write a decent review. Of course, it helps if you buy the book, but that’s not really necessary. You can read the other reviews to get a feel. Inside the review, just leave a link to your site. A good, covert way to establish yourself as an authority in that particular niche is to say something like this:
“As somebody who’s been involved in dog training for years, I found this book to be a wonderful breath of fresh air. I’ve polled my readers and they all agree that this book works perfectly with what we’ve got going over at dogtrainingsite.com. In particular, chapters one through four were helpful because…” and then continue on with your review.
Thousands of people read those reviews, and this should get you a significant amount of traffic.
There’s plenty of sharing sites out there, like Pirate Bay, and others. But in this section, you’ll be voluntarily giving away some books. Scribd.com is a great site for this. Tons of full books are uploaded, and while many may be completely on the up and up, they have a kind of pirate “feel” for it.
The reason is that often times people will make a homemade scan of a book, convert to a pdf file, and then upload to Scribd.com. All you’ve got to do is find plenty of PLR books in your niche, load them with links back to your site, and then upload them to Scribd.com with as many relevant keywords as you can find. This will get your link inside your targets computer. You can also add a note to the end of the book that tells them that it’s OK to give this book away on their own site. This in and of itself can create some viral madness.
PPC – Cut To the Chase
When you absolutely, positively, have to get fast traffic, pay for it. However, regular Adwords are too expensive. Another, more cheaper way would be to promote your YouTube videos. The first thing you’ll need to do is make five or ten videos related to your niche. Use PowerPoint software, and either voice them yourself, or get somebody on Fiverr.
Then head on over to bit.ly and get a different link for each video. Run all five vids for a couple weeks, and see which ones have the highest conversion to actual list members.
Once you’ve got that figured out, you can usually get a few hundred views for five bucks or so using Google Adwords for video.
Or, if you can’t be bothered to sign up for Adwords, you can head on over to fiverr. Be sure to hunt for video submission, where somebody will submit your video to plenty of sites. Otherwise you’ll be buying fake views that don’t help much. You want actual views that will end in subs to your list.
If you don’t feel like making videos, then consider advertising on Google’s content network. You can easily get clicks for five or ten cents a pop. If you’re getting a twenty percent conversion on your squeeze page, you should get real subs for twenty five to fifty cents apiece.
Another PPC solution is Microsoft Adcenter. Similar to Adwords, but usually much cheaper.
Post Cards (What?)
What, are we going back in time? The truth is that many people have grown immune to email marketing. In fact, plenty of people have a “fake email” that the use only to collect the freebies that they are bombarded with every time they go online.
But a real post card has a much higher chance of being read. And you don’t need people to “opt in” in order to send it, either.
Obviously, this method isn’t for everybody. It’s sure not free, but you can get started for as little as $50-$100. You’ll need a list, you’ll need a specific product, and you’ll need to figure out some kind of message.
Say you’re selling dog training. You can use the SRDS Direct Mail List and find lists that are closely related to your niche. Once you find an appropriate list, you’ll need to get in contact with a list broker.
You can find plenty listed at listbroker.com. You’ll want to get what’s called the “buyer” list, as several will exist for each particular list.
Now, before we move further, this is definitely not for beginners. In order for this to work, you’ll need an offer that you are pretty sure is converting well. At least one percent with some lukewarm to cold traffic.
When it comes to designing your postcards, keep it simple. You can use the same free software we mentioned earlier, pixlr.com. Give a big benefit, and remove objections.
Your post card should be a miniature sales page. A strong headline, a powerful list of benefits, and a strong call to action. The call to action, of course, is to visit your sales page.
Once you’ve got a good design, you’ll need to find a good printer. USAprintingtrade.com is pretty good.
This last one is powerful. This is easy, free and will bring you a trickle of hot leads far out into the future. It works like this. You type in a keyword phrase that indicates somebody is interested in buying your product. Say you sell dog training equipment. So you’d be going after phrases like, “how can I keep my poodle from messing the floor?” Be creative, and think of as many as you can.
For each one, you’ll need to set up a Google Email Alert. However, you don’t want to set it for the regular Internet, you want to set it only for forums. So you’ll have to indicate when creating your Google Alert that you only want to target discussions.
Then, every time somebody out in Internetland posts that question (how do I get my poodle from eating my slippers) on any forum, you’ll get an email.
Then you swoop in there, leave a helpful post, allude that “some people” have found “this” site helpful (where this is your site) and leave it at that.
The good part about this is that as soon as you leave your “answer” that will be there for as long as that forum exists. And you can put up a new “answer” every time somebody posts that particular question.
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