You need to master free traffic sources to be successful online.
Paid traffic is great for some people and businesses, but it’s very fickle. If cost-per-click goes up then even a profitable funnel can turn unprofitable very quickly. (I know from experience as it’s happened to me).
So that’s why I believe that free traffic sources are the best. It may take some time to establish free traffic flows to your blog or website, but it’s totally worth it once you master it.
So, with this in mind, we’ve reached out to some of the top traffic experts to get their input into what traffic sources they use themselves, and how you can do the same.
You can use these free traffic sources for your blogs, websites, affiliate marketing, marketing clickbank products, and they’re all fresh and work today, in 2018 🙂
Let’s dive in.
Quora can be a goldmine of targeted traffic, and is probably one of the most overlooked free traffic sources.
Shruti from IndianGirling.com says:
Quora is a forum type question and answer platform with pretty much any and every question under the sun.
It’s really interesting that for Shruti gets way more referral traffic from Quora to her blog than from Instagram, with way less effort: On Quora, she has less than 100 followers, and answers about 20 questions per month, and on Instagram she makes about 30 posts per month and has over 1750 followers.
Shruti says that her blog gets an average of about 12% monthly referral traffic from Quora and it is steadily increasing over time.
The reason that Shruti recommends Quora to everyone as one of the best free traffic sources is because it covers nearly every niche. While Shruti mainly answers questions related to travel and living abroad, virtually anyone in any niche is able to get free traffic from Quora in any niche.
Shruti also says that when she uses Quora, she feels like she is helping people, and driving high quality traffic to her blog at the same time.
Is Quora free traffic high quality?
Shruti says that she sees a lower bounce rate on Quora traffic (69%) compared to other referral traffic sources like Pinterest (88% bounce rate).
Traffic from Quora also outperforms other channels in terms of time spent on my website indicating that the content is highly relevant and targeted:
So how does Quora actually work and what are the tips to get traffic from it?
You need to create a solid profile, with complete information, profile picture, and so on. This will give you higher percieved authority.
Then you simply go and find questions which you’d like to answer, in the topics of your choice. When you publish the answer, it will become visible on the page with the question.
Pages with questions will often rank in high positions on Page 1 of Google, and they get a lot of traffic. You are allowed to link to your content, but you need to be careful and follow a couple of rules to ensure you don’t get banned.
The type of answers that works really well is a short, to-the-point summary that answers the exact question asked. If you write a good answer, then 8 times out of 10, the reader will check out your blog to see what other content you have on your blog.
Your answer shouldn’t be sales-pitchy or full of multiple links. That kind of promotion and spam, Quora moderators as well as users can see through and will get you banned eventually.
Remember: if you republish the same answer over and over, or if you include too many links, then you may get blacklisted or banned.
You also need to make sure that you actually answer the question, because if you simply write a one-line answer and paste a link to your site, then most likely you will get banned.
As you can see, 1 of Shruti’s answers has got her 184 users in less than three months of publishing:
As you can see, Quora is a really powerful way of driving traffic. If you are not using it yet, then you should definitely make one of the free traffic sources going forward.
To learn more about Quora and Shruti’s tips on using it, you can check out Shruti’s article on Quora traffic.
2. Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes
You might already know that Pinterest is an incredible traffic platform and is one of the best free traffic sources available to bloggers.
However, you might have never heard about Tailwind Tribes, as it’s a reasonably new software feature (and you can read about my own results with Tailwind Tribes here)
So we got in touch with Angie Gensler from AngieGensler.com to talk about Tailwind Tribes and what she’s been doing on Pinterest using Tribes. She says:
My number one traffic tip for bloggers is to leverage the power of Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes. When used properly, Pinterest can generate thousands of engaged visitors to your website month-after-month.
In fact, I was able to grow my own blog very quickly using my signature Pinterest Traffic Trifecta strategies. One of those strategies is Tailwind Tribes.
Tailwind is an online software to manage your Pinterest account. Tailwind created Tribes to help their customers collaborate and work together to grow their reach.
A Tribe within Tailwind is simply a group of people in the same niche who want to work with each other to share each other’s content on Pinterest. Below is a screenshot of the Tribes tab within Tailwind:
There are multiple members within each Tribe.
And each Tribe member can add content (their Pinterest pins) to the Tribe, and nominate them for sharing by others.
Other Tribe members are expected to do the same, and everyone in the Tribe is expected to share each other’s pins by pinning each other’s pins on their own Pinterest profiles, each person sharing each other’s content with their followers.
Since I joined Tribes in January of 2017, my Pins have reached nearly 100 million people! According to my Google Analytics, that reach has directly resulted in an increase in traffic and email subscribers:
That’s the power of Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes!
If you’re familiar with Pinterest group boards, Tribes are very similar, but the true magic of Tribes is in the data Tailwind provides.
As a Tribe member, you’re able to see the re-share counts on each Pin in the Tribe. This data is extremely helpful to learn what Pin designs and headlines perform the best.
Tribes are a game-changer for Pinterest marketers! If you aren’t using Tribes to grow your blog yet, you can sign up for Tailwind and start your free trial.
Then, read this post for a detailed guide on how to get started with Tailwind Tribes: How to Use Tailwind Tribes (And Explode Your Website Traffic).
Thank you Angie for sharing that with us. Angie Gensler is the founder of AngieGensler.com, a social media and digital marketing blog. She teaches busy entrepreneurs how to market and grow an online business without the hustle or tech confusion.
Tailwind Tribes is definitely one of the best free traffic sources that can work very quickly and doesn’t require a massive time investment.
Is SEO dead? Fortunately, no. SEO is still one of the best free traffic sources.
As a matter of fact, Google searches have been growing consistently every year (you can read more about that here). And they’re expected to grow for the foreseeable future.
So that means that SEO is still one of the best free traffic sources available and you should be paying close attention to the opportunities to get a slice of the trillions of search engine users onto YOUR website.
In putting this article together, we reached out to Vytautas Palovis, SEO Team Lead @ Oberlo, to see what advice he has for someone looking for additional ways to get free traffic to their site.
Vytautas says: “Don’t underestimate the power of SEO these days, it’s not dead, far from it”
SEO is evolving, so you should too. Look for trendy topics and write all your articles in an SEO-friendly manner. Write all your content aimed at your readers but with search algorithms in mind.
Blogging and SEO have shared a very close relationship for the past 10 years, and the content quality itself remains one of the most important factors if you want to succeed in Google rankings.
Depending on your industry, I advise you to use tools like Google Keyword planner, or Google trends, to validate your topic idea in terms of monthly search volume around that topic.
If you’re obsessed with SEO, I would recommend using more advanced SEO tools, such as SEMrush, or Ahrefs, so you can dig more into comprehensive keyword research, by checking keyword difficulty and competition score, as well as trying to understand who else is fighting for those search queries.
Depending on your Content Management System (CMS), you should have text analyzer in place as well, so you can optimize the article for keywords you want to rank for. For instance, if you’re using WordPress, Yoast SEO plugin could be a good helper.
Here is an example of how Yoast SEO plugin can help you:
My final piece of advice would be to post blog articles regularly, perhaps 1-2 article a week, as you should aim to increase user engagement metrics and get more returning visitors to your blog.
If you want more tips on how to increase website traffic, check out the recent article on the Oberlo blog which covers additional free traffic sources and ways to increase website traffic.
Mercy Mmbone from WritingDoozy agrees. She says:
“I mostly focus on SEO to drive traffic to my website. I know that I can get traffic from social media platforms and Pinterest. But I like Google’s traffic the most because it converts the best. What I do is write content that’s of high-quality, include my keywords in the URL, blog title, and throughout within the content.
As you can see I rank at position 3 for this keyword ”blog vs article” due to the SEO effort I put into the article (https://writingdoozy.com/blog-vs-article/).
I also have a couple of other posts on Google’s page 1. So, SEO is what I focus on most to drive traffic to my website.”
SEO Traffic Tip: establish the strength of your competition
Another successful blogger who likes using SEO Traffic is Divine Mwimba from LadiesMakeMoney.com. Here is an excellent tip from her:
“In order to get free traffic to your blog you need to do some major keyword research and in depth research on the topic. Google loves in depth content and long form posts.”
I have been using KeywordsEverywhere to determine if a topic has potential to rank on Google. This means: Are people really searching the internet for the topic I want to write and rank for?
I also want to know how competitive the subject is.
This means looking at the top 10 results that show up on Google and seeing how big the sites are that are ranking for my potential keyword (and the Keywords Everwhere toolbar helps with that).
If there are mostly big sites that have taken up the first ten spots on Google, chances are, I won’t make it. And no one really looks past the second page of Google.
If I think that there are some smaller, weaker sites on Page 1, I will then work on my keyword a little more by making it more long tail, which generally gives me better luck (increases my chances to rank on Page 1).
Once I get the best keyword, I will then find a few more complimentary keywords that I feel I can rank for and sprinkle them throughout my blog posts.
The more complimentary keywords you have, the better! Ensure they are used naturally through out the post.
Finally, I share the post on all my social media network, email list and try to get it featured on other big sites.
Final tip from Divine: The secret is to write more and better content than those on the first 10 page of Google!
Divine is the Creative Director at Culturewedding.ca and Ladiesmakemoney.com, and Co Founder at St-Lucia.ca.
You can read more about her company and services here.
What about creating content that will rank in Google and get you SEO traffic?
This is a topic that makes bloggers sweat – creating the actual content. It’s a lot of work, and how do you ensure that your content is good enough?
Maomao Chia, a freelance developer and blogger, says:
You need to create an optimized, outstanding post.
Luckily, a great post doesn’t need to be “perfect”, or have no grammar mistakes. And it doesn’t need to be a professional article (like a thesis).
Your article must be on-site optimized. Therefore, H2, H3 and H4 tags are very important in your article writing.
For example, you can use Google Keyword Planner to generate your list of keywords. If you enter “best chicken recipes” into Google Keyword planner, you will get back a bunch of long-tail keywords such as “best chicken recipes for dinner”, “best chicken recipes in the world”, etc.
Try using your main keyword and related long-tail keywords in your article, and using long tail keywords in your H2 titles throughout the article. That will ensure that you give yourself the best possible chance to get as much long-tail traffic as possible.
Also, pay attention to the article structure of your top competitors which appear on the first page of Google search results for your main keyword.
Maomao recommends to check their on-site SEO:
- Article length
- Keywords they use in their H2, H3 title (you can press Control+U in most browsers to view site source code)
- Point layout – how they layout their content
- How they present their article to reader – general tone and content
Learn why their current article is successful, and try to make similar improvements in your article. And you may just end up finding your article ranked in Google search results 🙂
Perhaps it’s a surprise to see Twitter here, but it’s actually one of the most effective free traffic sources available today.
We got in touch with Deborah Kay from Digital Discovery and she shared with us her Twitter traffic tips.
Deborah Kay from DigitalDiscovery found a very effective Twitter traffic strategy:
Twitter is the primary driver of traffic to my site, accounting for over 40% of traffic in the last year. Here are two tips on how I do it.
Tip #1. I recycle my best content in evergreen tweets. To do that, I use social media management tool Agorapulse to schedule all my blog posts.
Inside Agorapulse, here is how the post queues work:
Agorapulse allows you to re-queue tweets and add custom UTM tags them as well:
Tip #2: I retweet all my best performing tweets. I use a free script that automatically retweets any one of my tweets that has more than 10 likes. You can do it manually too.
Retweeting my best tweets has allowed me to increase link clicks per tweet by 388%. Read more about making Twitter one of your free traffic sources in my blogpost here.
5. Facebook Groups & Social Channels
Social media and general, and specifically Facebook Groups can be very powerful free traffic sources for your blog.
Marta Raptis from MartaRaptis.com has shared an excellent strategy with us, which utilizes Facebook groups and results in tons of free traffic for her:
There are a few steps I take each and every time I post a new blog on my website. These steps are all part of my strategy that helps me get more readers to my freshly published blog posts. The entire process combined takes no more than thirty minutes in total but is very effective.
Step 1: Share on your social channels
The first thing I do after hitting “publish” is share my blog on each one of my social media platforms by clicking on the social buttons directly from my website below my post. You’ll need to make sure you turn on social sharing on your website in order to be able to do this. Clicking on all of the buttons below takes only a few seconds so it’s nice and easy!
Step 2: Email out to the subscriber list
Next I take a few minutes to copy the first couple of paragraphs of my new article and paste it into a newsletter campaign. This way I can email my subscribers letting them know there is a new post ready for them to read.
I include a button in my email that says “Click here to read the full article”. That way I give my readers a little taste (or a teaser if you will) of what they can learn and entice them to go to my website to read the rest. This trick ensures I get more traffic to my site and is really simple to implement.
Step 3: Using Facebook Groups as a free traffic source
The final thing I always do is go to my Facebook groups and find the threads that invite you to post your new blog post. This step really helps me get more eyes on my new piece of content, so I highly encourage you to do it.
So for example, The Rising Tide Society Facebook group has a weekly thread on Wednesdays called “Blog Love Wednesday”. I always share my latest blog link there and get people coming over to read it. There are plenty of other Facebook groups for entrepreneurs with their own weekly threads that allow blog link sharing on dedicated days of the week. You can join whatever group your ideal client hangs out in and look out for those threads there.
BONUS TIP: After I’ve done all of the above, I also make sure to schedule my new blog post as a pin on Pinterest by using Tailwind to post it at the best time in multiple boards that I’ve selected. Using Tailwind has been a game changer in my overall site traffic, so I highly recommend trying it out!
Facebook Groups are probably one of the most under-used free traffic sources, so you should definitely give them a try!
6. Monitoring Social Media
Louise Brogan from SocialBeeni has given us another bit of advice with one more free traffic source that you can use for your blog or website:
It’s a good idea to listen to what the audience on social media are asking about. Then she creates blog posts to help answer those questions.
She says: “When I see someone ask a question such as ‘how to build your audience online’ I can send them to the blogpost which I have already written.
Moving my audience from social media to my website is key for me, with the aim of building my email list and creating an engaged loyal audience.”
So to put it into a practical perspective, here is how you can implement this strategy:
- Join various Facebook groups in your niche (or LinkedIn chats or see what your friends who are in the same niche are posting about).
- Check most common questions that people ask
- Create articles on your blog addressing these questions
- Next time when you see this question ask in another post, simply reply to that post with the link to your blog where you’re addressing that question
You can read about several more free traffic sources on Louise Brogan’s blog here: 7 Ways To Grow Your Audience Online.
Wrap Up & What To Do Next
That’s it – these are some of the best free traffic sources you can use today to get fast traffic to your blog or website.
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Comment & Further Reading
Let’s stay in touch! Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought of the post.
Do you know any other free traffic sources that should be included? Perhaps you’d like to be featured on this post as well as a contributor? Drop me a comment and lets chat.
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