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The Newbie’s Guide to Driving Traffic

I doubt anyone has ever created a website with the intention of not sharing it with others. People WANT others to view their site. As an internet marketer, you NEED people to see your site. Attracting a strong readership and driving revenue work hand in hand. It’s impossible to do the latter without driving traffic to your site first.

Building an audience sufficient enough to earn a livable income online is easier said than done. The competition can be fierce regardless of the niche. Every website online today is clawing tooth and nail for the traffic they receive, making it an uphill battle for those just starting out.

How on earth are you supposed to compete against sites that have established a loyal audience? These are the same sites that currently dominate the rankings within the SERP’s and won’t budge an inch unless you act. Today we’re going to discuss a few methods that you can use to begin driving traffic to your site from day one.

Though all of the techniques I will cover today are absolutely free, they do come at a price. Wait, what?

The price being that it will take a lot of hard work to consistently drive traffic to your site until you’ve established a dominant foothold within your niche. I can assure you, it won’t be easy, but it’s far from impossible.

Understand Your Place in the Pecking Order

The first thing you must realize is that Google isn’t going to throw you a bone. If you’re just starting out, there is absolutely no reason for them to feature your posts over those that have been around longer. Why would they? You haven’t proven yourself worthy of it yet.

Organic traffic will come in time, but until that occurs, you need to be proactive in your quest to build an audience. Unless you are actively seeking to spread your message, expect your traffic stats to be abysmal. This is why I suggest all marketers follow what’s known as the 20/80 rule.

I first heard of the 20/80 rule from fellow marketer, Derek Halpberm. This rule revolves on the notion that you spend 20% of your time crafting groundbreaking, exquisite content that others will want to read and share, while the other 80% of your time is spent marketing that content.

If you’re not actively marketing your content then you are most definitely cheating yourself out of a substantial amount of growth.

The First Step in Building Traffic (Which is the Most Important)

You also must realize your role as an internet marketer. The name “internet marketer” is just a moniker and doesn’t truly represent what you are doing. You are a helper. You lend advice to those in need in order to provide a solution to whatever ails them. Yes, you will make money from your efforts, but that shouldn’t be your number one priority.

Your sole focus should be on improving the lives of those that require your help. So don’t look at the strategies I am going to present below as “marketing” per se, instead, its various methods that will allow you to present your message to the people that need your help the most.

As soon as you begin to pursue this mindset your business will be much better off, trust me. This will not only increase conversions, but ensure that your audience essentially becomes part of your marketing team, driving traffic through referrals.

Of course it should be no surprise to anyone to anyone that the content you produce should be a key focal point in this endeavor. Without high quality content to share, these techniques will be completely useless to you, so keep that in mind.

Here is each strategy laid out nice and easy for you.

Guest Posting

Yes, it still lives and is quite possibly the most powerful traffic generating tool in your arsenal. This method allows you to essentially siphon the viewers from other, more established sites so that they become your new avid fans.

Countless careers have literally blossomed over night after having guest posts featured on the right sites. Remember the gentleman, Derek Halpberm, I mentioned earlier? He was a virtual unknown within the IM community until a number of his guest posts blew up. Now he’s widely considered as a major player within the industry. This can happen to you as well.

Earlier this week I published a post on branding that outlined how you can go about approaching others without potentially pissing them off. All it really takes is a willingness to help them in any way that you can in order to build a relationship and the ability to create a guest post worthy enough to be posted on their site.

There are a couple of golden rules pertaining to guest blogging that need to be observed.

1. Create your content first. If you have a specific site in mind, read through the comments on their preexisting posts to find out what the audience is most interested in and then tailor a post to answer those exact questions.

2. Don’t be scared to chase the big tuna. Most people avoid approaching the most well known authorities within their niche out of fear. They feel as if they aren’t yet established and won’t be taken seriously. Well, you have no idea until you actually try. If you have a deep seeded fear of rejection, then perhaps internet marketing is not for you.

3. Build a relationship first. Don’t just approach them out of the blue and ask them to post your content. The most established sites likely get dozens of emails proposing the exact same thing every day. Instead, you could try actively commenting on their posts to spur further conversation. At least then you will be on their radar.


Don’t scoff at this. Remember, your role as an internet marketer is to help others right? What better place to do it than where they spend their time?

Unlike guest posting, it takes quite a bit of time and effort to begin drawing in traffic from a forum. It may take hundreds of posts, tirelessly working to help the other forum goers. Forums allow you to show off your expertise, which will eventually lead to the other posters viewing you as an authority.

Once that occurs, the traffic that you pump to your site will become your most loyal audience members.

Other Places Your Peeps Hang

Obviously the number one place that your target audience spends their time is on social media. I’ve covered social media marketing quite a few times in the past so won’t go into detail in this post. Plus, I want to provide you with methods that are FREE (which Facebook is not).

Instead, there is a plethora of other websites that can yield a massive amount of traffic with little effort. A few of these sites are;

  1. Reddit
  2. Quora
  3. Stumbleupon
  4. Storify
  5. Flipboard

Reddit and Stumbleupon specifically work especially well. For those of you that don’t know, Reddit is the largest message board in the world and has hundreds if not thousands of sub categories to satisfy their 1.5 million unique viewers a day. These sub categories can become very specific, which means that the target you attract from posting in these areas will be highly targeted.

Quora, Stumbleupon, and Storify are all content aggregation sites that share the most sought after content with their viewers.

Flipboard on the other hand is rather unique compared to the others. You can actually build your own online magazine using your own content and those from around the web. Viewers will often subscribe to your online magazine, which allows you to easily funnel them to your site time and time again.

Re-purpose Current Content

You didn’t actually think that once you hit the “publish” button, you were completely done with that piece of content, did you?

There are numerous ways to further leverage this content in order to reach a much broader audience than you would if it just sat stagnant on your website.

What you’ll do instead is take that same piece of content you just created and alter it so that it can be viewed on different medias.

1. Take a copy of that blog post and change it into .pdf format. Then upload it to document sharing sites like Scribd.com

2. That that .pdf and convert it into a slideshow using PowerPoint. Then upload it to slideshare.net

3. Take that slideshow and create a video using Camtasia or some other screen capture tool. Then upload that video to Youtube and Vimeo.

4. Take the basic bullet points from your video and have an infographic created. Spread that infographic everywhere humanly possible, especially social media.

BAM! Suddenly you’ve expanded the reach of that single blog post tenfold!

Feed the Egos of Your Influencers

Once you’ve established a relationship with the most established authorities within your niche, then write about them.

Create featured articles about them, talking them up. Once it’s finished, tell them about it. Authorities love to show their audience whenever they are in the news, media, or are featured somewhere that makes them look awesome.

This is just another way to funnel traffic from these massive sites that have been around for years directly to your own.

One method that allows you to build upon this is to approach numerous authorities with the idea of an expert roundup. It’s basically a blog post that asks the key influencers within your niche various questions.

Not only will your current audience love it, but it’s also highly likely that the other authorities will link to it as well, essentially sending you traffic from numerous, high traffic websites.

Set Up Google Alerts

Choose your keywords and then enter them into Google alerts. Google will automatically notify you via email whenever someone online begins to talk about that keyword. This allows you to comment on blog posts that are similar to yours OR to join the conversation in a forum whenever your target topic pops up.

You can even use it to follow the spread of your brand. It may even give you insight into what your key demographic actually thinks of you. It’s definitely a nifty tool to use.

The Traffic Should Begin to Trickle In

Unless one of your posts goes viral or you happen to score a guest post with a major player, don’t expect the flood gates to open and the traffic to come pouring in. It’s important to be a little more realistic and realize that promotion and traffic accusation can often times be slow, painstaking endeavor.

Over time however, your brand should begin popping up all over the place and eventually the traffic will come. Hopefully you’ve gained something out of today’s post.

What’s your favorite traffic strategy? Leave it in the comment section below.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Thanks for the great article, my favourite strategy is making good comments on relevant blogs and reading others comments, then going to other commenters blogs and building relationships with them. I have done this for many years and found that it is great for organic rankings.

  2. This was very encouraging and I learned a lot about driving traffic for free. I don’t know how to create a pdf but I will find out and implement the re purpose content method. Thank you so much for sharing this article.

  3. Thank you for describing how to drive traffic for free. I´ll experiment with those several methods to learn how they can used to find
    and develop an own touch of writing.

  4. Hey Sean, great article. I’ve purchased several of your products and think you are one of the great ones out there. Thanks for helping everyone. Cheers.

  5. Sean, thank you for the above post on traffic. Its a real problem for me and your post gave me more ideas. thanks again.

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