Getting traffic and subscribers don’t have to cost you anything. You can get plenty of free traffic by following the tips below…
Create Your Funnel
- Make an opt-in gift. This doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Your freebie could be a short PDF guide, a workbook, or a printable.
- Publish a landing page for your opt-in. Your copy doesn’t have to be lengthy. You can go with a paragraph or two and a few bullet points. Then paste in the code for your mailing list sign up form.
- Schedule a few autoresponders. Write a short series of emails (three to five is good) and set them up in your mailing list service to go out to new subscribers.
- Launch a low-cost product. Use done-for-you content to create a low-cost product so your subscribers have a product they can buy from you.
Guest Post on Other Blogs
- Find popular blogs in your niche. You can start your search by going to a search engine and typing in “Top 100 Blogs on [Niche]” without quotation marks.
- Research the guidelines. Most popular blogs have publishing guidelines on their website and will tell you about their submission process.
- Engage with the blogger. Before you submit a guest post, take some time to interact with the blogger behind the scenes. Comment on an Instagram post or two. Respond to a topic in their Facebook group.
- Publish a relevant opt-in gift. When you do a guest post, come up with another opt-in gift that you can offer readers of the post.
- Design a landing page. Make sure to put your opt-in gift on a landing page so there’s nothing to distract your viewers.
- Promote your landing page. Use the author bio section of your guest post to link to the landing page. This lets you capture the traffic and add it to your sales funnel.
Boost Your Brand’s Visibility with Facebook Live
- Respond to comments. When you’re on Facebook Live, connect with your viewers by answering their questions and replying to their comments.
- Brainstorm content. Ask your viewers what type of content they’d like to see more of on your blog or website. Take notes and use them when you’re creating more content later.
- Make a content upgrade. If you know what topic your Facebook livestream will be about, go ahead and create a content upgrade. Make it something valuable your viewers will appreciate.
- Promote your upgrade. Use the comments section of your stream to post a link to your latest opt-in.
- Tell viewers to share. During your livestream, ask viewers to share your video with a friend or colleague.
Get Featured on Podcasts
- Look for podcasts. You can start your search with the iTunes Podcast Directory.
- Make a list. Begin listening to podcasts regularly and write down the ones that you enjoy listening to the most.
- Interact with the podcaster. Take a few minutes to get to know the podcaster by following them on social media. Comment on their posts so they’ll recognize you later.
- Ask about guests. Once you’ve gotten to know the host, ask them if they’re looking for guests. If they are, get contact information right away.
- Send a pitch. Use your email to share why you would be a great guest. Tell the podcaster about your own journey and why his or her audience would be able to relate to you.
- Follow up. Sometimes, emails get lost on their way to the recipient. If you haven’t heard back in a few days, reach out to the host and see if they received your message.
Use Pinterest to Get Traffic
- Describe your pin in detail. Pins with longer descriptions (think 2-3 sentences) get more interaction that pins with shorter descriptions.
- Get a business account. Pinterest’s business account comes with free analytics that can help you learn when the best time to post is. Convert a personal account to a business one here.
- Join group boards. When you contribute to group boards, more users can discover your pins and your website.
- Add your link. Put a link to your most recent blog post in your bio area. This makes it easy for followers to find your blog.
- Use hashtags for your niche. A website like TagBlender can help you find popular hashtags so you don’t have to brainstorm them on your own.
- Make a call-to-action. When you post on Instagram, include a CTA with your caption. Ask viewers to like your post, comment on it, or tag a friend.
- Create a branded hashtag. Branding your own hashtags lets even more people discover your brand on social media.
Email Your Subscribers
- Write a great subject line. It should make them curious but also be short (40-60 characters) so it’s easily viewed on a mobile device.
- Personalize the email. Subscribers are more likely to open a message if you include their name in the subject line.
- Make a link. You should link to your blog post in the body of your email. Do this in the text, because subscribers trust contextual links.
- Include a button or image. Subscribers like clicking on buttons and pictures. Pick one or the other and add it to your email. Be sure it links to your blog post.
- Create a signature. You can use a free signature tool like the one from HubSpot or WiseStamp. Add a link back to your website in your signature.
Study Your Results
- Consider your most popular content. If a page is getting a lot of views, think about how you could create more content like it.
- Look at the stats for your traffic sources. Try to track your traffic sources each month so you can see what marketing activities give you the biggest return on investment.
- Make sure your site is optimized for different devices. Your stats program should show you what tech like smartphones and tablets your visitors are using.
- Glance at search terms. The keywords that people use to find your site can give you ideas and insights on how to serve your community.
It’s time to think beyond the basic social sharing buttons that everyone has on their website, and make it easier and more fun for your readers to share your content for you.
This doesn’t mean you should remove the social media sharing buttons from your site. It just means that there are other ways to drive social networking engagement that not everyone is using. And the more methods you employ, the more chance your content will get shared, and that people will sign up to your freebies!
Get People Sharing Useful Info From Your Blog Posts & Webinars
Website plug-ins that allow your readers to “Click to Tweet” and share your information dramatically improve the chances that your content is getting shared.
Basically, the idea is that you take a memorable quote or summary of advice from a great blog post, and put it into a little, noticeable box that says “click to tweet”. The plugin makes this really easy, and the result is that your followers don’t just share a boring link to your post, they share a really useful nugget of information with their followers that leads back to your site. Another win/ win!
And if you’re running a live webinar or workshop, don’t forget hashtags! Ask your viewers to use a specific hashtag for your workshop and share any useful nuggets they’ve learned. This is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your brand and to encourage even more people to sign up for your webinar!
Visuals matter more and more, so you want to make sure that you have really shareable images. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all, frustratingly, require different image sizes to get the best results. The good news is that software like Canva makes it easy to create a good looking image for every blog post you create, and save it in all the correct sizes. You can then use the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure that the correct image gets shared depending on which social media site your followers post to. Pretty nifty, huh?
Smarter Social Updates
Of course, this is about growing your list from social media, not a what you should post on social media. But the golden rule is that, the more useful you are on social media, the more people will share your stuff. Buffer lets you share your blog or website content to multiple social networks at once. You can even schedule your post or tweet deliveries well in advance, to save you time.
Bit.ly increases your Twitter conversions by letting you create short, customizable links rather than long URLs that look ugly, and eat up your character limits on Twitter. Window Resizer will check your tweets, posts and updates on any screen size. This guarantees your content always looks good, regardless whether it is being viewed on a smartphone, laptop or desktop PC.
Don’t forget hashtags! On Google+, Twitter and Facebook and Instagram adding a “#” before a word or phrase helps drive viewability. Your post that includes #BlueberryMuffinRecipes will show up higher in social media search requests than posts about blueberry muffin recipes that do not use that hash tag. This is a great idea if you are trying to attract attention locally or regionally. Place the hash tag “#” before your city name to attract local attention.
If you want to understand the analytics behind your hash tags, Ritetag provides instant analysis of the hash tag you Tweet.
And, to see how it’s all working out, Social Analytics provides a breakdown of your share statistics on any page of your website or blog. Awesome Screenshot lets you “capture, annotate, and share your screen” quickly and easily. All of these strategies, plug-ins and pieces of software ensure that you are creating the most shareable social network content, and that means building your list quickly and easily.27
We know that it’s a smart idea to build your list, but you have to build it the right way or you may struggle to grow your brand.
Lisa is running an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of over ten thousand and she emails them regularly. However, she complains that she’s not getting any feedback from her list and that they rarely message her looking for tips on how to create and manage their WordPress websites. She’s making some money but not enough to launch the business fulltime. She’s frustrated because she’s not able to level up her business.
Karen also runs an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of a thousand subscribers. Like Lisa, she emails them regularly. She gets lots of feedback from her list and she’s always answering emails and messages about their WordPress websites. She’s making enough money that next year she’ll be able to turn her side job into a fulltime business.
You may be wondering what the difference is between Lisa and Karen. Why is one seeing so much success that she can afford to quit her job while the other continues to struggle to make profits?
Are Your Subscribers Engaging with Your Content?
The answer is simple Karen built her list differently than Lisa did. Instead of focusing only on the numbers, Karen looked for subscribers that matched her ideal client profile. She carefully monitored the health of her list and removed subscribers that weren’t engaging with her content. The result is that she has a much smaller list than Lisa but that list is far more engaged.
If you only measure the size of your email list and you’re not taking the engagement of your reach into account, then you’re making a big mistake. Low engagement can be a sign that you’re not connecting with your community.
Are Your Subscribers Buying Your Products?
After looking at your engagement level, you want to start looking at what types of content your list is taking action on. Of the subscribers who are opening your email messages and reading them, how many are taking action? How often do they go on to purchase your product or a product your promoted? If you offer a service like coaching or content creation, are they hiring you?
If you have a new list or a tiny list, then you may not see a lot of activity at first. But as your list grows into the hundreds, you should start seeing some of your subscribers taking action. If you don’t, it might be a sign that you’re promoting the wrong products or that your community isn’t connecting with your messages.
Are You Asking for Engagement?
Some entrepreneurs send out plenty of emails but they never include a call to action. A call to action is the point in your content where you ask your reader to do something. For example, if you run a blog on adult coloring, then email your list with a review of your favorite coloring pencils and ask them to try out the pencils, too.
Remember that if you want engagement, you have to ask for it. It doesn’t always have to be in the form of asking subscribers to buy something. You might ask them to fill out a survey that will help you create your next blog challenge or you could ask them to leave a comment on your latest blog post.
When it comes to building your email list, make sure you’re filling it with subscribers that are genuinely interested in your content. This helps you grow a thriving community that loves your brand and engages with it regularly.
Podcasting is a great way to increase sales and profits. If you are willing to be a guest, or tackle a little technology, you can offer podcasts to those people in your niche who enjoy listening to radio shows, audiobooks, and audio how-to information.
What is a podcast?
A podcast takes the name from the iPod portable audio file player, but you can listen to podcasts anywhere. Think of it as online radio on demand. You can listen to a podcast live, or download the recording onto your computer or any device that plays audio files such as MP3 files.
Around 70% of people are visual learners, it is true, but a lot of people are busy and don’t always have time to sit at their computer and watch instructional videos or news broadcasts. Some people love radio. Others prefer audiobooks. Podcasts downloaded onto a storage device are highly portable and can offer exactly the kind of information a person wants and needs a they drive to work, jog, and more.
The secret of online marketing these days is to go where your audience is, which means marketing in multiple channels. Podcasting is also ideal for people who might struggle to write well or type quickly enough to get all their thoughts down to share with their target audience. We can all speak a lot faster than we can type.
In most cases, you can use the equipment you already have, namely, a computer with a built-in microphone to record your voice. However, most built-in microphones don’t offer the best sound quality or suppress background noise. If you choose to use a built-in mic, make sure to podcast in a quiet room, away from appliances and noisy outdoor areas, such as roadways. Your laptop or computer fan may also contribute to the noise.
A quality digital microphone that plugs into one of your USB ports is highly recommended. Depending on your needs and preferences, the cost can be around $100 or more.
If you are accustomed to speaking to groups, you might be able to keep “Um” and “Uh” to a minimum. However, if you’re like everyone else, you’ll definitely need access to an audio editor to remove some of the pauses or other annoyances that detract from the audio. But you can also add music, promos, and intros with the editor, as well.
Audacity is one of the most popular and full-featured editors available. It is well maintained. It has a variety of plugins and features. And best of all, it is completely free.
Podcasting Storage and Sharing
Audio files can be quite large, so having a place to store them online is a good idea. Google Drive gives you 15MB of free storage to start with so you can archive all your work without filling your hard drive.
Because the files are large, it is a bad idea to host them on your website for visitors to enjoy. The files can eat up a lot of bandwidth on your hosting server and the playback can be very poor. Uploading the file to a popular audio sharing site is a much better idea. SoundCloud is an affordable option, with unlimited uploads for one low annual fee.
Think of SoundCloud as the YouTube of audio files rather than video files. People share files on SoundCloud because it is safe, secure, and is easy to link to. Listeners are also able to share and comment on the files.
You can link to your file at your website, and your social media accounts. The link would look like this: https://soundcloud.com/eternalspiral/become-an-expert-in-your-niche?in=eternalspiral/sets/online-marketing-help
You can also create an embed code that will create a little player in any webpage, or on your blog, so all they have to do is click on the Play arrow to start listening. Because the file is hosted at a professional sharing site, your audience should have a great listening experience.
Useful Podcasting Features
SoundCloud allows you to publish your content on popular sites such as iTunes. If you create regular weekly podcasts, people will be able to subscribe to them, which helps to grow your audience. Podcasting allows you to position yourself as an expert in your niche. If you are a guest on a podcast, for example, giving an interview, you can use the embed code at your site to marketing yourself as someone worth paying attention to.
We are judged by the company we keep, so appearing on the show of a big name in your niche can get you the attention and traffic you’ve been yearning for.
Those who love your show might even syndicate it, that is, put your embed code at their site because they are sure their niche audience will be so interested in what you have to say.
Podcasting as a Marketing Tool
Podcasting gives you the chance to talk about your latest book, your newest product launch, and more. It helps you connect with your target audience through the spoken word, so you don’t have to spend hours creating articles at blogs and websites.
However, there will be some writing, which is essential for marketing effectively. The goal is to build your brand and online presence to get subscribers and make sales. The first thing you will need is a great title.
Your title should speak to the needs of your target audience, offering them helpful how-to type information.
What keywords related to your niche will help your target audience find you and want to listen to what you have to say?
Length of Time
Lots of people on the go want “snackable content” they can consume quickly. Decide whether 15 to 30 minutes makes sense for you, and how many topics you plan to cover.
Introduction and Sign Off
Every podcast should introduce you and your show. Every sign off at the end should remind them to look out for your next podcast. Record these and splice them onto the beginning and end of every podcast you create.
Frequency and Consistency
If you are going to commit to doing a podcast, you need to commit to it and create new content on a regular schedule, such as once a week. This will help your target audience start to look forward to your next show.
If you are very good technically, you might be happy adding introductory jingles and other fancy features, but they will take more time to edit. There is nothing wrong with a spoken, word-only podcast, as long as you’ve got some interesting things to say. However, adding other sections can be beneficial to listeners and more profitable for you.
Music and Jingles
Remember that most music you find online is copyrighted unless otherwise stated. But there are people who release short, royalty-free tracks without expecting any money. It would be nice to give them a link back in the program credits.
Create a robust profile related to your business at the podcast sharing site, such as SoundCloud, in the same way you would at any other social media site. Include a logo, header image, and content that shows you or your business are worth paying attention to.
Podcast Cover Art
Your podcast will be given a thumbnail image similar to a CD cover, so create an attractive one that captures what you are going to be talking about. Use one of your own photos, or create your cover image using royalty-free photos from sites like Pixabay. It should be square and around 1000 x 1000 pixels. Smaller ones will usually get distorted when they appear on your podcasting home page.
Content Creation Ideas
The content should be interesting enough to hold the listeners’ attention and keep them coming back for more. Brainstorm things you wish you had known when you were first starting out in your niche. Include topics specific to different segments of your audience, such as beginners, intermediates, and advanced members.
You can use previously written blog posts and other content. Since it will be in audio format, you won’t have to worry about getting hit with a duplicate content penalty from Google.
Being a guest on a podcast is fun. Once you start to master the skills, there’s no reason you can’t invite people to return the favor. This will keep things exciting for your audience, and you should get an increase in listeners, if you encourage your guests to tell their followers to check out the show.
Your show notes can serve as marketing material that entices people to listen. They should have keywords that will make the notes searchable and entice listeners to tune in.
Every page should also have a link to a landing page at you site that is related to the topic of the podcast. This will drive more traffic to your site, so they have a chance to get to know you better.
If the landing page is a squeeze page, where visitors can sign up for a free item, make sure the freebie is something worth having, and worth telling others about. A free e-course via email is always popular and is one of the best ways to get your listeners onto your email-marketing list. Once they are on your list, you can build a relationship with them over time.
The e-course you offer should be useful and provide solutions or additional knowledge on a topic of interest. Each email should have a call to action link at the bottom directing the reader to a product related to something mentioned within that email.
You can also make sales via the podcast by briefly discussing an item like ads on the radio. If you are launching a brand-new product, take a few minutes to introduce it as well as discuss features and benefits. This is an excellent way to boost sales and keep your target audience updated about beneficial products and services.
Quiet Work Space and Time
Try to cut down background noise as much as possible, such as kid yelling and dogs barking. It might be a good idea to record when no one else is around. A dedicated workspace also means you won’t have to set up from scratch every time you want to create a new show.
This will be more complicated, but might also give you big results. Let them contact you via email with questions and program suggestion. Include a little Q and A spot every week. It makes them feel you care about what they want and need. It also gives you lots of ideas about what the people in your niche are interested in and can help inspire you if you’re not sure what you should podcast about next.
Some podcasters also have people phone in to contribute. However, when you are first starting out, you won’t have an audience, so this is something you can consider much later down the line if you feel you need more interactivity and can set a day and time you will be in the studio taking, replying to and recording the calls.
Driving traffic to your website is important, but you need a way to measure that traffic. After all, if you’re using several methods to drive traffic, how will you know which one is working if you’re not tracking? How will you know which methods aren’t working without stats to go by?
The good news is that tracking your website traffic is now easier than ever before. You can use a tool like Google Analytics (free) or Clicky (free trial) to see your stats. You’ll want to pay attention to four key metrics…
Look at your most popular content. This gives insight into what content your visitors are consuming and what pages they enjoy the most. It can spark new content ideas and show you which pages on your site could use some sprucing up.
Note your traffic sources. Use this metric to determine where you’re getting the most traffic from.
Are your Facebook Live videos sending a lot of traffic? Are your Instagram posts delivering new visitors to your site daily? Once you know which social media networks give you the most traffic, you can focus most of your marketing energy on them.
You should also look at what other sites are sending you traffic. Are you still getting traffic from that podcast interview you did ages ago? Is your blog post on a friend’s website still sending you plenty of fresh traffic?
Check the tech. Most analytics software can show you what device and which browser visitors used to access your site.
Pay attention to this data. You might be surprised to learn a lot of your traffic is coming from mobile gadgets like tablets and smartphones. With this knowledge in mind, it might be time to make sure your landing pages and blog posts load quickly across various devices.
Peek at search terms. Some analytics software will also show you what keywords users typed into a search engine to find your site. This data helps you see what your visitors are hoping to find when they arrive.
If you see a certain search term repeated frequently, you may even want to consider building some content around it.
For example, if you run a website for new moms and discover that most people are using the keyword ‘how much formula’ then you can create a blog post about how much formula to give a baby as they grow. This is a simple way of giving value back to your users and capitalizing on the traffic you already have.
Traffic is the lifeblood of your website. It’s what allows you to build an amazing online business. But don’t be fooled into thinking that you can only get paid traffic. The truth is there are plenty of legitimate ways to send traffic back to your website for free.