I was on a marketing forum recently and someone posted a legitimate question – “How can I get traffic for my niche blog?” The question was a basic one; he was trying to figure out how he could get free traffic to his blog. Common wisdom in the Internet marketing world about blogging is pretty straightforward – follow your passion. As long as you’re interested in something, and you write about it both often and well, people will find you. Actually, getting free traffic to your niche blog is a bit more complicated than that.
The guy who posted the question wasn’t exactly a newbie, and he’d done his research and thought he was doing everything right. The topic of his niche blog is a popular one in the make money online niche. He’s writing about the topics that are generally popular in that niche – building Websites, creating a mailing list, how to write productively, and more. He’s also doing a lot of the other “behind the scenes” things that are supposed to help draw traffic.
Everyone wants traffic to their Websites. Without traffic, we don’t make any money. But it can be hard to get people to come to your Website, and if you don’t have money for advertising, you’re going to have to look at ways to get free traffic. That’s the best kind, anyway, since it allows you to save your money for something else. You will have to pay for it with time and patience. If you’re looking for a way to get free traffic, forum marketing is a longstanding method that still works, provided that you follow the rules.
One of the great things about the Web is the sheer numbers of forums related to just about any topic you can imagine. This form of social network predates Facebook and still thrives today. A forum is a membership site, which you can usually join for free, that allows you to exchange thoughts, questions and ideas with other people who are interested in the same topic. Forum marketing is simply a method of using such a Website to draw free traffic to your own site, and the method is a fairly simple one, though it does take some time to become effective.
I’ve written several posts about getting Website traffic based on content and search engine optimization alone. It’s my preferred method, as I’m in control of most aspects of it. I create content on topics that I think people will want to read. I use SEO to ensure that the search engines know what the site is about. People do searches and if they see my site listed, they click on the link and I get free traffic. If they decide to link to my blog post from their own blog or from Facebook or some other site, I get links and then more free traffic. It’s a system that works for me, and I stand by it.
Not everyone is enamored by free traffic, though. That may sound kind of strange, after all, who wouldn’t want free traffic? There are such people, believe it or not, and they do have some valid points. I was on a marketing forum earlier today and someone had posted a topic entitled “Free Traffic is Time Consuming.” They’re right; it is time consuming, and that’s why you need to evaluate whether free traffic is what you should be pursuing, first and foremost.
You can build a Website promoting the World’s Best Idea, and sit back waiting to get rich – only to see nothing happen. Like a store on a hidden street, even great Websites are worthless if you don’t have visitors. There are literally billions of Websites out there, and every one of them is looking for visitors. Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business, and any longtime marketer will tell you that 90% of their work is in trying to get people to visit their Website.
There are paid methods of drawing visitors to your site, and they work, but they can also be very expensive, particularly if you’re in a competitive niche. Since most marketers and people who want to work online from home don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising, the topic of free traffic is one that often pops up as a subject of discussion on marketing sites and online forums. How can you get free traffic? Is any single source of free traffic better than others? What can you do?