In the tenth of our series of informative articles on the honest way to earn an income online, we look at how to generate traffic to your website for free.
There are many methods you can use to optimize your website to either get a good search engine rating or to make your site attractive to the viewing public. The topic of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a large one in itself and one best left for a separate article.
So in this instalment we'll tackle just how you can attract those all-important visitors to your website. Although there are several methods of generating traffic to your website, some can work out to be expensive, especially if you are not sure what you're doing. So let's look at some of the methods that won't cost you anything. We'll see how you can create a respectable flow of quality, targeted traffic to your website for free!
What you need to start with, before you even switch on your computer is to get yourself into a positive mindset and conjure yourself up a goodly dose of eagerness! While you're doing that, you'll also need to give yourself a shot of drive and perseverance because you're going to need to work hard and do some serious research in order to generate that website traffic.
Now you can switch on your computer.
One of the greatest sources of targeted website traffic is probably also the most underrated. That is online forums and message boards. Not only can you reach a large number of eager to listen like minded people but those people will very likely want to come to your website out of pure curiosity.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to approach forums.
Here is the wrong way:
You sign up with a forum using a quickly thought up username and a free email address. You include a link to your website in your profile to get a free back-link to help your search-engine rating. As soon as you get accepted you sign in and post half a dozen posts in separate discussions with the same line. It goes something like:
"Make $$$ fast!!! Click on this link and visit this great website NOW!
Ok, what do you think that is going to get you? Lots of free traffic to your website? Not a chance! You'll most likely alienate the members of the forum first, have your posts removed by the moderators second and then banned by the admin.
Now, here is the right way:
You sign up with a forum using a well thought up username and your professional email address. When you are accepted, you post a "Hello everyone..." in the discussion set aside to welcome new members and then wait for some replies. While you're waiting, you have a browse through some of the discussions and see what the general themes of interest are and make a note of the usernames of some of the senior members and the ones who seem to post a lot with interesting or informative threads. Then you go back and check your "hello...." post when there are some replies in there and post your own reply to thank those members for replying to you.
Now you can update your profile and include a link to your website. You can also add a link to your online business in your signature - the all-important part that other members will see and, if interested, will click on to see what it is all about.
When you've found some topics that interest you or you are knowledgeable about, post one or two replies with some interesting information if you can. Do this for a few days and you'll notice that some of your replies will be discussed by other members. If they show interest in what you have to say, then post some more. Ask a question or two of your own in the appropriate discussion topic. Over time you gradually build up some respect from the other members and they may even begin to ask you questions.
What you have done is build up some respect and credibility slowly and surely. The more posts you make, the more times the members of the forum will see your signature and the more targeted traffic will come to your website.
Why was this the right way? Why not just splatter your link all over the place? The same people will see it and click on you link, right?
Without respect and credibility, you have nothing in forums. The members will only click you link and visit your site if they have been given the right reasons to. And that means gaining their respect. Which converts into genuine targeted traffic to your site with the added bonus that should you build sufficient respect and your website be sufficiently of interest to the forum members, then there is a good chance that they will recommend you to other new members.
So let's take some other great ways to generate free traffic to your website.
You can make good use of newsletters. These are a great way to advertise your business and its products to a captive audience. You can also include informative articles in order to generate more interest in your website. You have to make it interesting and entertaining enough to entice people to sign up for your newsletter and equally importantly to recommend it to others. The more people you get to sign up for your newsletter, the more chance those people will visit your website.
Another free way to generate traffic to your website is by trading links with other sites. You'll need to persuade the owners of other sites that are in your niche that it is in their interests to have reciprocal links. With link exchanges, both websites should benefit. Traffic that visits the exchange site could potentially click on the link to your site as well. By creating many link exchanges with other sites over time, you'll also improve your site rating with the search engines, meaning better page placement and subsequently more free traffic.
Blog and Ping is another great free method of attracting visitors to your website. The best way to do that is to have your blog as part of your website. If you have professional hosting, most cPanel setups have a tab called fantastico where you can set up a Wordpress blog right on your own website.
This has a dual benefit.
In the first place, you will be able to attract more targeted visitors to your site by regularly posting to your blog and then pinging it with one of the free blog pinging services, like Ping-O-Matic. These services alert some of the top blogging and social networking sites, like Technorati and my yahoo that your blog exists and is being regularly updated. An awful lot of people use these sites to search for interesting blogs with information they want, so when they know your site is there with the information they seek, they'll come visit. It starts slowly at first, bat as long as you keep making regular updates to your blog, those visitor numbers will increase over time.
The second benefit is because of all that regularly updated unique content on your site, the search engines will love your site. When they see unique content that is added regularly to a website (which you are doing by keeping your blog up to date as often as you can), your search engine ranking and page placement will gradually improve too.
Writing articles and submitting them to article submission sites is another tried and tested method of attracting visitors to your website. This traffic will again be targeted as the people that read your article will already have an interest in the products you are marketing. Your articles should provide plenty of information as well as tips and guides to the products you promote.
There are several good sites that offer free submission and posting of your articles. One of the best is ezinearticles.com and it is to this site that most of the articles pertaining to The Honest Way are submitted.
When people read your published article and it sufficiently interests them, they will be more likely to read your author biography. This is where you can post a link back to your site. Make the bio interesting too and you'll create a good flow of targeted traffic to your website again for free.
Lastly but by no means least is what you do at home to keep the visitors at your site once they have arrived. That means providing good, well thought out and well written original and relevant content. Give your visitors a reason to come back to your site often by regularly adding to that content and updating the site as often as possible.
As long as you are capable of writing interesting, informative and relevant content that is grammatically correct and free of spelling errors and typos, you will have a place that your visitors will enjoy visiting and more importantly will return to regularly and often.
The top search engines will track the keywords and keyword phrases your site uses. Most internet users use the top search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN to find what they're looking for. Search engines use keyword searching to aid their search results. By placing the right keywords in your content that are relevant to the theme of your site, you could get high rankings in search engine results.
So there you have it. All these methods, when executed correctly are proven to generate traffic to your site. Most importantly is that they do it for free. All it takes is some thought, your time and a good deal of effort. By using all the methods described in this article, you'll be pleasantly surprised by having a site with a decent traffic flow without any of the costs associated with other advertising methods.
In other words, for free!
NEXT ARTICLE #11 >> Ten Reasons Why People Buy Things Part 1