The goal of most bloggers and content creators is to have as much access as possible to best free traffic sources. That is the holy grail of most of us.
Unfortunately for most new bloggers getting that traffic is not as straightforward as they would hope. In the early days of a blog, it might feel like you are only writing for yourself.
That can be very frustrating causing many new bloggers to just give up.
For the bloggers with deeper pockets, it is a different story as they can easily get paid traffic from Google, Yahoo, etc ads. They might even get traffic from Facebook even though in my opinion, it is not the best converting traffic.
Before I go on to list some free traffic sources I wanted to make one observation.
I have discovered that once you start getting traffic from other areas even Google algorithms will notice it and start ranking you higher too.
Therefore while your focus in the early days should be on creating content, it does help to try to get traffic from other sources besides the search engines.
List of Best Free Traffic Sources
In the next paragraphs, I will share with you some of the most amazing free traffic sources you can ever find. Knowing them is not enough if you do not take any action.
Lack of action won’t bring the success you are craving. I have seen people who have read all there is on blogging and Search Engine Optimization but for some reason, can’t put into practice what they have learned.
On the other hand, I have seen people who knew little about SEO and blogging but just went ahead posting content on their blog.
Some of these people who took action are now earning six-figure sums and still confess that they don’t know much about SEO.
I urge you to please join the ones that are taking action. It is better to learn by trying rather wait to be perfect first as that will never happen.
I had the same feeling about blogging too. For some reason, I couldn’t force myself to start creating content for my blog. I felt and I still do feel that’s I am not a good writer.
I have however convinced myself that blogging is like chatting. You don’t wait to be perfect to chat with friends.
The same should be the case when you think about blogging. You just need to start sharing your knowledge in your own imperfect way.
Here we go with the list of free traffic sources
One of my blogs has benefited a great deal from Facebook traffic. Every time I create a post on my Facebook page related to this blog I get some decent traffic.
I am not sure why that is the case as I have struggled on another page which has far more page likes. The page that gets really decent traffic is a cultural page while the one struggling is a religious one.
For the cultural blog, Facebook sends far more traffic than Google sends to it. Facebook is by far the biggest source of traffic for this blog.
In my opinion and experience to benefit from Facebook you need to create a Facebook page. With your own Facebook, you have more control over it than joining a Facebook group.
Don’t get me wrong on this one as I have joined quite a good number of Facebook. However, for some reason I get negligible traffic from posting in those groups.
I have also gone through situations where the moderator has turned down my post for some minor issues. I, therefore, feel that you need to have your own Facebook.
Once you set up a Facebook, you can advertise on Facebook to get more likes on your page. It is these likes that will enable you to continue getting traffic from Facebook
I generally start advertising in countries like India, South Africa, Brazil. I do this because it is cheaper to pick these developing countries than to choose the western world.
For these countries you can spend as little as 1 dollar a day and still get 10 or so likes.
Once you are satisfied with the number of likes then you can stop and concentrate on writing content. If your page is very active it appears as if that is a signal to Facebook to increase your exposure. I could be wrong but that is my interpretation of what I see on pages.
2. Quora and Other Question and Answer Sites
Another place where I have found success is on Question and Answer sites. It may not be as big as the traffic from Facebook but it is one of the best sources of traffic.
Actually, If you give a good answer you could find yourself on the first page of Google. Lately, there have been a number of queries that have Quora answers on the first page of Google.
This can in turn bring more traffic to your blog if in your answer you included a link to your website. You, therefore, need to make sure that you include a link to your blog in your answer.
Actually I have seen my answers on these Question and Answer sites outrank my blog posts.
3. Post Pins on Pinterest
Had I not been banned on Pinterest I think I would have put this as one of my favorite sites for free traffic. Pinterest is getting vigilant and any slight mistake will cost you access.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to understand what Pinterest is really looking for. But sometimes it looks like one needs to be very careful on the frequency of posting
The one account where I got banned was really taking off when I got an email that my account had been suspended. To this day I don’t know what they meant by me spamming their site.
To succeed on Pinterest you need to create pins that appeal to women as they are the most active gender on Pinterest. You, therefore, need to use colors like pink or other bright colors in your pins.
You should also note that pins that do well on Pinterest tend to be on things that appeal to women. These include parenting, cooking, fashion, etc. Other pins can also do well but not at the same level as these.
Another trick is to join as many groups as you can. By repinning pins on these groups, you can get some decent traffic. To be honest Pinterest traffic is far much better than Facebook traffic in terms of quality.
Visitors from Pinterest will stay longer on your blog than those from Facebook. I guess it is because Pinterest is regarded as a search engine for images by those who visit it.
One thing that I did not mention is the fact that when you are setting up your Pinterest boards to include other people pins in your boards. From my observations, that seemed to do the trick for me until my account was suspended.
I would, therefore, urge anyone who is just starting his blog to open a Pinterest account and start getting quality traffic.
In fact, Pinterest will start giving you traffic within 3 months in my experience. Whereas as Google you may have to wait for 8 months or so before you start getting traffic from them.
In fact, there are some blogs that get most of their traffic from Pinterest. When I say traffic, I am talking about traffic in the ranges of 30 thousand to 100 thousand a month in free traffic.
That is decent traffic by any measure and one of these days I will open an account for this blog. The only thing that is putting me off is the fact that I don’t know why my previous account was suspending. Their generic email did not specify anything.
I, therefore, don’t want to open an account and start posting and lose all my efforts again. At the moment, I would rather spend my time posting content on my blog, and when I am satisfied I could give it a try again.
4. Guest Posts
Another tried and tested technique for getting free traffic is through writing guest posts. This is where you request another blogger to post your article on their blog.
In acknowledgment, the other blogger will put a link in the post or at the end of your blog.
If the other blog is a high traffic blog you are almost assured of a decent amount of traffic to your site.
Further, the link you get can go a long way in improving your rankings in the search engines.
You just need to be aware that Google does not like this. They would rather you get links naturally.
To avoid falling foul of Google avoid posting on blogs that are specifically created for guest posts. That could be risky as Google may have already blacklisted such sites.
Before you ask anyone for a guest post you need to establish a relationship with them. You can for example be a regular commenter on their site and by so doing you can establish a relationship with the owner.
It would then be easy to ask the owner to post your article on their site.
Developing a relationship will greatly increase your chances of being accepted. Big bloggers receive all sorts of requests for guest posting and most of these requests are just ignored or declined.
So you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd as it were.
5. Email Marketing
Another free traffic source is through email marketing. However, this only works when you have a big email list. You, therefore, need to start working on increasing your email list before you can benefit from it.
One way to do this is to ask someone with a big email list to send your message to their list. From that email, some may subscribe to your list.
Usually, if you have a small list you may be required to pay a little something for the right to access someone’s list. The payment is based on the percentage of people who will click the link in your email.
If your list is big then you discuss better terms where for example you agree for each of you to use the other’s list. This is a win-win situation for both.
There are so many companies out there such as Mailchimp, AWeber, etc, that can help you manage your email list.
One of the best sources that most bloggers ignore is YouTube. YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the net. It is therefore madness to ignore it.
I would, therefore, urge anyone contemplating starting a blog to seriously consider opening a YouTube account. One can then use the same material they post to create videos.
If you are camera shy you can use a powerPoint presentation of your blog posts and only your voice will be heard. If you are still not comfortable you can use a society to read the contents.
Alternatively, you can ask your friends or relatives to read whatever you have prepared for you.
To get more traffic you need to use the ability to put links in the video itself. That will definitely increase the clickthrough rate,
If for some reason you cannot put the link in the video, you can put the link in the description box of your video. You can then at the end of each video mention the links in the description to increase the chances of someone clicking the links.
I get lots of traffic to my blogs through this method.
To be perfectly honest, I can say that it is very easy to rank on YouTube than on Google search. Within a few months, you can start seeing your YouTube videos getting traffic.
If for any reason you don’t like using Youtube or you just want another video platform then I would advise you to visit my post on the best youtube alternatives.
7. Search Engine Optimisation (Free Traffic Source)
Last but not least is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO in short. This is the biggest source of free traffic for most established blogs.
To take advantage of this you have to think like Google when you are writing your articles. There are SEO experts that have studied Google’s search results and determined how Google algorithm is ranking sites.
Below are a few posts that review some of the tools that some SEO have released to help you rank higher in Google.
The simplest way of knowing what to write is to type the topic in Google and examine the competition first to see if you can outrank them.
If most of the results on the first page of Google are from forums, social media, then if you write a better article than them you stand a chance of outranking them.
Before I go I also want to ask you to visit, best blogging communities post where you can find another way of bringing traffic to your post.
8. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is one of the ways I used to do quite a lot a few years ago and I managed to get some traffic to my site. And to be honest it was some really quality traffic that compared well with search engine traffic.
For blog commenting to work properly, you need to make those comments on sites that are within your niche. It is pointless to comment on sites that are unrelated to your niche as the people that come to your site are more likely to leave immediately without taking any action.
In those days I noted the times that the big blogs usually post new content on their sites. Most of the big blogs are quite predictable in posting fresh content. There was one site that I liked very much that used to post a new post every Monday morning.
I, therefore, made sure that I keep an eye on this site within the window they usually posted their new posts. My target was to make sure that I was either the first to comment on a post or at least among the top ten. By being among the top ten you increase the chance of someone clicking on your URL as most people usually don’t go beyond the first ten comments.
The other technique when targeting fresh posts is to create a google alert. Unfortunately, the last I checked for this technique you cannot specify a specific URL. In this Google will provide you with any post that matches your target keywords. You will therefore get results from all sorts of blogs from that list you can focus on the established blogs.
To set up Google alerts you need to go to google.com/alerts. Here you can enter the keyword or search term you want to track. For example, if you are “budgeting” then that is the keyword you will enter.
After this, you will have to pick from a drop-down the frequency for receiving the alerts. I would suggest you choose to receive alerts “as it happens” to increase your chances of being among the first people to comment on whatever site you pick.
In this way, your comment will at the very top of the comments section increasing the likelihood of clicks to your site.
After choosing the frequency you need to go to choose a source for your alerts. In our case, we will pick blogs.
The next step is to choose the language and region. In my case, I target the US market and my language is English. I target the USA because that is where the money is in the English world. Some people target other markets too depending on the niche you are after.
After this, you will choose the number of results you want to see and thereafter you will choose the email address where you want the alerts to go to.
9. Article Marketing
Another technique that I used to use to get free traffic to my site and also to get backlinks was through article marketing. It was one of the most popular free traffic sources a few years ago. Almost all bloggers I knew then were involved in article marketing.
It is now not very popular as it was 5-10 years ago though they can still bring you free traffic.
The goal here is to create an article and submit it to various article directories. Those articles need to have your URL in them otherwise you won’t get any traffic for your efforts.
There are tools like Onlywire that make the process of distributing your articles easy. Unfortunately, not all directories are in that tool, which means that you may have to manually send the article to the remaining directories that are not linked to this tool.
The most popular directories include EzineArticles.com, etc. Other outlets can include forums, article banks, forums, etc.
10. Social Influencers
This is probably one of the biggest sources of free traffic if done right. For the sake of those who might not know what a social influencer is, I will therefore try to explain what they are.
Social influencers are people or organizations that have a sizeable following online. There are social influencers such as Kim Kardashian who have millions of followers. Their followers appear to be willing to follow their idols on whatever they promote.
As a result, many marketing departments are now recruiting these influencers to promote their products. I have heard of influencers who are paid insane amounts such as $500 thousand just to post messages promoting their products.
To get traffic from these social influencers you will need to partner with them so that they can promote your blog or online business. If you can be able to convince the big social influencers in your niche you can get massive traffic when they promote your product or blog.
The good thing about selecting someone in your niche is that you will get targeted traffic and not traffic that cannot convert.
11. Through An E-book
Another way you can get free traffic is through an e-book. It may seem a daunting task to write an e-book but you can make it easy for yourself by using your blog posts to create an e-book. In this way, you only have to format and edit your posts to optimize them for an e-book.
There are also sites and software that help you to create an e-book from your blog posts. If you opt to use them then it will make your work of editing it much easier.
In that e-book, you can include affiliate links or links to posts. You however need to be subtle in the placement of your affiliate links, otherwise, you can easily put off people.
Your focus should on offering something that is valuable to your readers. If the readers note that they will feel comfortable to click your affiliate links.
You can offer this e-book for free on all sorts of sites that allow people to upload e-books. Another way is to use the influencers we have already talked about to help you in promoting your e-book. Another way will be to use email marketing to share your ebook for free.
12. Press Release
This is another tool that has fallen out of favor with most bloggers but used to be amongst the top ways to get traffic and backlinks not long ago. I remember hiring people on Fiverr to write and submit a press release to press release sites.
I did not get a lot of traffic but I liked the fact that I got a backlinks and all SEOs agree that backlinks are still a major factor that Google uses to rank sites. So while you may not get a lot of visitors to your site at least it will improve your link profile in the eyes of Google.
You can use a press release to let people know about your business or site, launch new products, and for promotional purposes. In my case, I used to use it to promote my sites as I usually have not products to sell.
As already pointed out publishing press releases is another cool way of getting backlinks for your site.
Press releases are supposed to be catchy and brief otherwise if they are too long they will put off most people. You can put a link to your site at the bottom of the press release where you put the particulars of your business. This is the same way that companies use press releases for and you can learn a lot from them too in preparing your sites.
Conclusion on Free Traffic Sources
I hope you have gained a lot from this post. Remember that the most important key to success is to take action. So start today to implement the knowledge gained here.