To succeed with any kind of marketing takes time and effort. You have to work to get traffic and leads and often you'll end up paying for traffic.
How much time does it take to Get Traffic and Leads For Free?
It takes time because you need to master several skills. Some are obvious such as technical skills, some less obvious such as a bit of psychology. (What makes your client tick? What pushes all the right buttons?)
Every skill you master pales into insignificance compared to the skill of converting your traffic into leads and long-term traffic.
The worst-looking site in the world will eventually make money if you send enough traffic to it. The best site in the world offering 24 carat gold bars at $1 per kilo won’t make a cent without traffic.
Once you realise this and start to focus on generating and manipulating traffic then you’ll start to make money or increase your income. I don’t mean manipulating traffic in a negative way, I mean taking the traffic you have and directing to where you want it to be.
The good news is traffic generation is actually becoming easier.
5 years ago most traffic generation revolved around Google. If you wanted traffic you either bought ads from Google or you tried to rank in Google. Unfortunately, there were very few reliable alternatives.
Now there are sources of traffic everywhere and taking that potential traffic and moving it where you want is relatively easy. Take a good headline, a good image and you're almost there. The skill is no longer in generating the traffic, it's in what you do with it once it arrives on your site.
[bctt tweet=”The skill is no longer in generating the #traffic, it's in what you do with it once it arrives on your site.” username=”m_j_thompson”]
Everything you see online is a result of traffic generation of one sort or another.
How did you get here to read this blog post?
You might be on one of my lists and saw the email I sent about this post.
Or you may be in one of my Facebook groups and saw a link to the post I made.
You might have been on Twitter and saw a tweet about this post.
Or maybe you saw the post as an image on one of my Facebook pages.
You may have seen this post listed in my signature in a forum.
Or you might have gotten here from the promoted post I created on Facebook or maybe a Facebook ad.
You may have come via my LinkedIn page or Google+ page, or even my Pinterest page as a result of seeing the image I used for this post.
You may have come from seeing this post mentioned on another blog, or as part of a comment.
Phew, that’s a lot of ways that traffic might have come to this post. If you look again, the majority of those methods rely on long-term traffic. Traffic that has already encountered my blog and that is returning.
Email list – returning traffic
Twitter feed – returning traffic
Facebook group – returning traffic
Facebook page – retuning traffic
LinkedIn page – returning traffic
Google+ page – returning traffic
Pinterest page – returning traffic
Short Term Vs Long Term Traffic
Traffic can be short-term or long-term, it all depends on what you do with it.
Your blog can be anything from writing articles on the best vacations, to selling the latest guide of World of Warcraft or a book on icing cupcakes. Unless you do something to engage that traffic, in all likelihood it's going to be short-term traffic. People generally don't buy on their first visit to a site especially if they are “cold traffic” – traffic that doesn't know you from Adam.
They've come to your site, read your articles or your sales page and then they are gone.
If, on the other hand, you can engage with that traffic, add value, give the reader a good experience, get them on a list, get them to follow you on Twitter or get them to like your Facebook page, then you have a source of long-term traffic. Traffic that will return time after time. Warm traffic.
Warm traffic is much more likely to buy your products, share your content and become long term readers and customers.
The great thing about this traffic is that it's free.
I am ashamed to admit it took me a long time to realise that I was allowing my most valuable traffic to leave my sites without being engaged. When I first started to engage with my traffic and turn it into long term traffic, I couldn't believe the effect it had.
A site that had around 500 visitors a month jumped (within 3 months) to 10,000 visitors a month without increasing my budget or spending more on ads.
The Role Of Quality Content
The key to generating loads of free long-term traffic is to create quality content (or have it created for you) on a regular basis.
This actually has a two-fold effect.
Firstly, people regularly come back to your blog to read your content. I would recommend publishing at least 2 blog posts a week. One small article a month just isn't going to cut it anymore.
Try to treat your content like a product, don't rush it out. Make sure it's your best every time. Good, share worthy content can generate more leads than paid advertising.
[bctt tweet=”Good, share worthy content can generate more leads than paid advertising”]
Secondly, you will be in a great position to provide content to larger blogs in your niche via guest posts.
Forget guest posts as a way of getting backlinks, these are guest posts that can drive thousands of visitors to your blogs. These visitors are also highly targeted, your ideal market.
People are happy to share content that resonates and helps them.
This blog is relatively new, (welcome if it's your first visit) however a post I created 10 days ago was shared 100 times on twitter, 18 times on LinkedIn, 16 times on Facebook, and 7 times on Google+.
This, in part, is responsible for the number of visitors to the blog doubling in the past 4 weeks without me spending a cent on advertising.
Turning Short-Term Traffic Into Long-Term Returning Visitors
Look around you on this blog. Apart from providing quality content (I hope!) you can see several methods I use to turn short-term traffic into long-term traffic. You can:
- Join my new Facebook page where I post daily news and snippets of info along with details of my latest posts.
- Sign up for one of my reports or watch a webinar replay.
- Share the posts and comment on every post, all of which helps with engagement and hopefully means that your first visit won’t be your last.
No matter where your traffic comes from, you should try to ensure that it's converted to long-term traffic. That means constantly striving to engage with your visitors.
It doesn't matter where your fresh traffic comes from, you have to give them a good first experience. Don’t send your new visitor to offer after offer. By all means monetise your blog but in the early stages of your relationship with your visitors, your focus should be on giving them reasons to return.
Learning to work with the traffic you have is the most important skill you can learn. It's far cheaper and easier to get people to return to your blog than it is to get new visitors.
Quality Not Quantity
Quantity isn’t the main factor when it comes to driving traffic to your site. The important factor is how much of your traffic you can you turn into engaged visitors who will return time after time. I'd rather have 100 returning visitors a day than 1000 random visitors from a low quality source of traffic.
Believe me, the quality of traffic varies hugely. At the end of the day, your Return On Investment (ROI) is all that matters. I've lost money with 1 cent traffic and made money with $1 traffic. The next time someone tells you they have gotten thousands of visitors for less than 5 cents per visitor, ask them what their ROI was or how many subscribed to their lists. Focus your efforts on good quality traffic that engages and leave the quantity to the ego monkeys.
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