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What's your best source for free traffic?


+90 votes
12,955 views
If you had very little money to spend to get started, where would you recommend somebody go for free or very low cost traffic (even of there was a good bit of legwork involved)?
asked Aug 30, 2013 in Internet Marketing by Newbie  
featued question
I personally think the easiest way to get some traffic for free is Facebook, but do not use your profile, create a page and start posting and sharing in groups.
I have tested all sort of traffic methods and I have found that you need a combination of traffic sources. Here are the ones I used which have been quite good for me:

1- organic ranking (but this is slow).
2- Facebook (needs some work in keeping on top of things)
3- linkedin (I check the news and RSS and post 3 times to 5 times a day max. This is all on automatic. I select the best news and information and set a timer. This is great as people subscribe to your linkedin account to get relevant information.
4 - Forum posting is great. I try to identify 3 forums (of top quality with high traffic) and post there for about 10 days without referencing to my website. Then I do refer to the website as a source of information and not as a sales pitch.
5- I do the same as point 4 above for blogs. Always take top quality ones and post relevant information to the readers.

Daniel
One of my best source of traffic is from Social Media like Facebook and Twitter. I used this media because not they are free but also I love to meet new people in social media networking sites.
My best source of traffic came from Social Media and Q/A Forums. These media is I think the best because they are targeted and completely free.
One of the best ways to generate traffic to your website is Social media marketing.
Actually lots of free and potential ways are before you always -
1. Keyword research
2. Arranging meta tag properly for search engine
3. Forum marketing
4. Linking back from ranked sites
5. Social bookmarking
6. Social Network marketing

Here are some more perfect and practical ways of driving traffic -

34 Answers

+18 votes

Some free traffic sources i have tested and had results with.


1) Google+ Communities
http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/communities/

This is a REALLY awesome way of engaging people in communities. You'll need a Gmail account for this.

Once you've registered the Gmail account you can browse communities for topics.

So for example if you're in the weightloss niche you could join:
https://plus.google.com/s/weightloss/communities?hl=en

The key here is NOT to spam the communities with your links but to engage the community with useful conversations which entice them to click on your link.

2) Content Discovery Networks
Example: Zergnet.com

In a nutshell content discovery networks are link exchange services which are automated.

What you do is place a widget on your sites which looks at the content on your site and populates it with links to related articles on other people's sites.

Have had mixed results with this one testing on some of my comic sites but had promising results with my game content.

On a test post doing a game review i received more than double the traffic i sent where visitors stayed for a decent amount of time on the site which i tracked via Google Analytics.

The last thing you want is sending traffic and getting back rubbish traffic

So if you have more sticky VALUABLE content geared towards entertainment, games and movies this one might be worth checking out.  

3) Twitter and Google+ Profiles

One of the best ways to drive targeted traffic back to your sites is to find people who need help in your niche by engaging them directly on Twitter and on their Google+ profiles; also making them aware of your content/products/services.

BuzzBundle is a tool i use to find these people on a daily basis.

What i do is track keywords and engage conversations as soon as they appear online and mix it up by posting back content to either my social content e.g. Youtube videos or blog posts.


Untested traffic sources:

1) Pinterest
Pinterest.com

Pinterest boards is where the traffic is at.

Only con i see with this traffic source is that you'll need to plan out what you share with these groups which is where infographics will come in handy.

2) Tumblr
Tumblr.com

A nice Google "backdoor" if you will where you can rank for terms.

The key here is to:

a) Automate the building of a following related to your niche e.g. 50 followers a day.

You can use tools like Tumbleforce (untested) to find and autofollow people based on keywords.

b) Post good image content that followers would want to reblog.

c) Link images back to posts on your blog.

d) Use related tags in your posts.

This one is super important and as a rule of thumb always use tags on ALL your social content.

This short list should keep you busy ;).

Hope it helps.

answered Aug 31, 2013 by mytrafficjourney (900 points)  
Awesome information you've provided!  

If I can ask, how has your experience been with Tumbleforce?  I'm trying to get more involved in Tumblr going forward but don't seem to get the traction I get from FB, Instagram, or G+.
Hey,

Glad you liked it.

I haven't personally tested Tumbleforce so i can't really say but the plan is to just use it to autofollow people to build up a following to like and reblog your content.

If i were to start with just 1 traffic source (which is what i recommend to not get overloaded) i would start with G+ communities and G+ because you don't need to start a following to get the ball rolling.

The market's already there in FLOCKS and individually. You just need to find them and funnel them back to your own social profiles.

Depending on your niche you're going to have to test what works.

A lot of people go in and promote their blog content and get flagged and have their content removed.

So instead of doing that you can REALLY stand out and have your content stick by sharing your social content instead e.g. pictures and videos.

Since it's typically images and videos that get shared a lot you'll be "flying under the radar" and not against the stream so to speak ...

As a double whammy, you'll also be getting social signals to your content AND gather a social gathering in the process ;)

That's what i am doing at the moment for the Google communities. I mix it up between image posts (when i see people have already posted links in the communities) and Youtube videos for the stricter communities.

For G+ i am using BuzzBundle and can pin point people talking about any topic i want and engage them directly on their posts where there is much less chatter.

I always lead with a question 1st e.g. "What do you think of XYZ?" which is a good way of testing if they're active on their profiles and what they think.

Since i have a lot of content in one of my niche blogs i already know that they'll answer with A,B or C which is related to XYZ.

I then answer back with a "Yeah i think A/B/C is cool too. Did a blog post on it sometime back: http://yourlink.com/A/B/C. Drop by and let me know what you think :-)" and pursue the conversation on the blog.

Hope that makes sense?
Thanks for the detailed response!  

I think you and I are in agreement G+ is a great way for free traffic, provided there's some effort put into it.  I'll have to give Buzzbundle a try.

Thanks again!
Sure thing seepat.

Nothing good comes easy but you have to remember that when you connect with 1 person on G+ other people in their groups see the content as well ;)

That goes 10 fold or more for the communities.

Just invest 30 minutes a day on G+ and it will snowball.

Lemme know how it goes.
+11 votes
Yahoo answers can provide significant traffic in a huge number of niches, but you have to be really careful about the way you link to your sites and advertise yourself so you don't get banned.

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answered Aug 31, 2013 by jonathanleger (20,200 points)  
Great comment.  Yahoo Answers not only provides great traffic but answers rank extremely well in Google's natural search results.
Isn't that the truth, if you write too well and link too much you'll probably get banned.

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+7 votes

Facebook and Twitter. By that I mean being social and not the Ad system...

Be social, stop trying to game the system.

Think about how real people are using Facebook and Twitter and follow their lead.

Mrs Jones spends time showing photos of her cat, her kids, what she ate etc. She doesn't constantly wack up links of weight loss websites and fat pills.

She may however, slip in a comment or two about them every now and again.

Be nice.

 

answered Aug 30, 2013 by CarpetDog (4,020 points)  
Learn and study SEO and social marketing.  They both can give you a lot of free traffic.  But they must be used correctly, this means research your niche.  Then research again for the latest SEO and Social Media Tactics.  

Blog commenting has it's benefits.  But it too must be done the right way.  

Guest posting on authority blogs is an amazing traffic technique.  If you can get a guest post on a popular high ranking blog you WILL get good targeted traffic.

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Yes, I forgot to mention Twitter! It's easy to schedule tweets containing links, so you can schedule 200 or 300 tweets a long the year, and create some social interaction. It should help you to get more and more people seeing your website, but it's a numbers game, you need have many (thousands) followers!
I have managed a small about of Amazon affiliate traffic from my FB account just mentioning stuff I'm reading usually. But sadly nobody has bought any $3,000 generators yet!

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+6 votes
The most simple formula for me is a YouTube video created with Camtasia from a PowerPoint presentation + backlink boost from Fiverr, so you will get visitors for only $5. Beware - DON'T buy traffic from Fiverr - it's garbage traffic from bots!
answered Sep 1, 2013 by PureGreen (15,040 points)  
I've used Screencast O Matic ($15 per year) to create videos for Youtube and upload there with one click from a PowerPoint... I also do a voice over for the video. Very easy.

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I like this idea of using Camtasia to make a powerpoint presentation youtube video, because it turns the video into an informational tool, instead of just a talking head video. I have made photo slides with youtube but I will try the powerpoint next time. Great tip!

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+5 votes
Infographics can be huge, if you have an infographic ($5 at fiverr)

There are many free sites to post infograpghics at.
answered Aug 30, 2013 by grace5 (340 points)  
I have a friend who's getting the majority of his traffic from infographics!

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+3 votes
Twitter! Set up an account and start following people you think would be interested in what you have to say. Interact with them and once you create a following you can start to share your links. Make sure you come across as a real person, not just someone posting links.
answered Aug 30, 2013 by JProvost (360 points)  
+3 votes
There are actually hundreds of free marketing tools and tactics you can use.  These are often overlooked as most people think free means cheap and nasty.

But consider email.  It is free and very effective.

SEO is free ..... and as most designers aren't so good at it, you can really do well at nil cost just by learning the basics.

PR is also free.  For example you write a media release and email it to media at nil cost

Then think radio.  I get invited to speak on national radio at least once a month ..sometimes several times a week ... and they call me. Free!

A good WordPress website can be free ..... and more cost of you host it externally.

Publish a book on Kindle ...free

Use your mobile phone or laptop to produce a film. Edit it with Microsoft live movie maker and lost in YouTube. Free.

QED.  You don't need to spend much to market online or offline.

All these ideas can drive traffic to your site...... but the real trick is to make money from it.
answered Aug 31, 2013 by MarketingMagician (11,060 points)  
I also like Screencast-o-matic for turning PPT's into youtube videos. I paid $15 per year to remove the water mark and get some extra tools.

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+3 votes

Yahoo Answers is a good way! I have received some traffic from there and what you need do is look for questions related to your content, reply them and cite your website as source. ;-)

Update: I don't know why, but my Yahoo Answers account was banned. My answers were great, so I only can think it's related with citing my same blogs as sources always. Yahoo Answers brings some traffic (600 visitors monthly) for one of my websites still, but my answers were deleted (I don't see any of them, so I don't know how I'm getting that traffic, maybe cached pages). Now, I'm betting on Twitter Marketing, but it's very slow and I doubt it gets same output than Yahoo Answers.

answered Aug 31, 2013 by Christiano (49,030 points)  
edited Oct 26, 2013 by Christiano
+3 votes
Social sites like facebook and twitter come on the top. You can also visit forums related to your site regularly, add nice comment and write your URL. and wait for streams of visitors.( personaly tested).

Good luck
answered Sep 1, 2013 by shawa (18,850 points)  
+3 votes
List of Traffic generating tools:
 
Social Bookmarking web sites to link your articles  
 
Google social bookmarking sites "2013"
 
BuddyMarks.com
 
yola.com lets you build web sites and Google likes to index it
 
The goal is to send traffic back to your web site to get on your mailing list
 
wikidot.com lets you build a web site
 
youtube.com create a video with free software and upload it to youtube.com
 
slideshare.com
 
bulkpin.com us RSS feeds submission web sites.
 
 
guest blogging and commenting  <===========
 
posting to revelant forums  <==========

 

 

answered Sep 15, 2013 by Tradeview (7,480 points)  
I can use this list, some of these I had not heard of before. I have often wondered if the free websites actually get indexed, thanks for the tip about Yola.com

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Very nice list. Thanks for sharing.
+2 votes
Of course Google traffic is the best if you can manage to rank high on page one. But social media, if you build up a following, will also lead to a good traffic supply. There are a lot of people on Twitter and if you get enough targeted followers, and are not spammy, you get a good burst of traffic every time you drop a link.
answered Sep 1, 2013 by CoolCat (7,730 points)  
I agree that organic traffic is probably the best because it is natural but like has been mentioned how free is it when you calculate the time involved with getting the on page SEO just right. I have also noticed that when we get a following on social sites like Facebook and Twitter they will pretty much look at everything we post to them, which is cool if it is for the right audience.

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+2 votes
There is no such thing as "free" traffic.

There is 2 types of traffic:

1 - Organic - someone who comes to your site without your prompt - this is primarily search engines.

2 - Advertising

Within advertising there is 2 types :

1 - Paid by cash

2 - Paid by time

Participating in any type of social network (whether that's a forum like this or Twitter) you are paying for traffic by time. This isn't to say it can't be effective. But to maximize it - you should plan and execute properly.

For each place it will be different..

For places like Twitter/Facebook/Google Plus - I would focus on performing content curation in your niche.

Example . Youhave a site on weight loss. So you spend an hour a day finding 3 stories on weight loss. You create a post on your blog - saying something simple like "3 Good Weight Loss Stories for Thursday Sept 6, 2013". And you just have a list post that links to those stories.

After the links you put a call to action - for example if you're an affiliate for a weight loss book - you can put "click here to see an amazing book on how to get into swimsuit shape by this weekend" or whatever makes sense on your book.

Then in the social networks - you just send out a post saying 'here's my post on my favorite 3 weight loss articles today". You're not spamming. You're not direct selling on the network. You're sharing information.

On forums - you could answer questions and end with by saying "by the way - here's my blog on weight loss"
answered Sep 6, 2013 by markew14 (1,020 points)  
This is really good advice, and something that more people just starting out need to know. Very valuable.

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+2 votes
If you don't have very much money try John Thornhill Simple Traffic Solutions at only $4.95.

He doesn't rely on google and offers lots of great advice.

Well worth the money.

John Hayes
answered Sep 18, 2013 by johnboyhayes (14,220 points)  
+1 vote
Free traffic is like winning the lottery, seldom happens.

 

One thing, one truism:" It takes money to make money"

This is true in every category or situation.

 

My advice: Study and buy backlinks.
answered Aug 31, 2013 by Brett (810 points)  
I totally disagree. I constantly drive traffic to my sites, client sites and affiliate links using free traffic.

I must be lucky winning every day. Week in week out.
Is it really free traffic? I mean, you can not pay for traffic directly, but... how much cost to get it? (for instance, SEO costs)
+1 vote
I started with free traffic from Facebook. Now that I can afford to advertise and invest in SEO tools, I still engage in conversation on Facebook, although not full time any more.

Find common interest, engage in conversation, close, follow up after the sale. Most people skip the last step.

It's important not to pitch too soon.

It’s a long run but my business is here to stay, so the personal touch is worth it.

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answered Sep 5, 2013 by TheTraveler (1,860 points)  
You bring up a valid point about following up with prospects, I know that I like it when I get a phone call from a marketer I just bought a product from it makes me feel that the person cares enough to build a connection. This is what Ann Sieg does when you buy one of her products, which is pretty cool!

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+1 vote

I personally think the easiest way to get some traffic for free is Facebook, but do not use your profile, create a page and start posting and sharing in groups.

answered Sep 29, 2013 by Federico (160 points)  
+1 vote
Commenting on blogs within your niche.

Much under-rated but very good.
answered Oct 1, 2013 by johnboyhayes (14,220 points)  
0 votes
Keyword Canine plus good old on page SEO. Plus dates on posts with recent dates.

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answered Sep 6, 2013 by liz (1,740 points)  
0 votes
If you don't mind doing the leg work as u mentioned, then a combo of SEO and social media because the long term effect is huge as your traffic grows it does so for free!

good luck!

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answered Sep 7, 2013 by winstanleyf1 (1,540 points)  
0 votes

I would recommend Fiverr but please beware of those scam sellers. You won't get anything if you buy from them and it is a total waste of money. devil


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answered Sep 8, 2013 by anamel (12,110 points)  
0 votes
links in my Kindle books

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answered Sep 8, 2013 by ricgrb1 (3,320 points)  
0 votes
There is no alternative to Google search traffic. Better target less competitive long tail keywords and work to get ranked on front front page for respective keyword phrases.

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answered Sep 9, 2013 by Bittukishu (840 points)  
0 votes
For almost instant returns of targeted traffic, Yahoo Answers takes a bit of beating. Forums that allow link signatures are another favourite of mine.

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answered Oct 6, 2013 by Jamie-Anderson.com (10,820 points)  
0 votes
I would say SEO is still the most targeted source of free traffic. You just need to do your keyword research properly and find the right keyword to rank for. This will make ranking a lot easier.

Initially, you will start ranking in Google. Over time, you may also start to get traffic from Yahoo and Bing.

Alternatively, you can leverage on Youtube videos. They can rank very quickly. So you can get double the traffic. You can get the traffic from both Google and Youtube.
answered Oct 8, 2013 by lubanolim (35,720 points)  
0 votes
When I first started I found some inexpensive solo ads.  I made sure I had a good landing page and I gave a lot of thought to my ad.   The subject line had to be very catchy.  Solo ads can be very effective.
answered Oct 21, 2013 by larryj (460 points)  
0 votes
If you want to get visitors to your site you are going to have to make sure you are focused on using the right sources in your market to make this happen for you
 
Free traffic is the best kind of traffic that you can get coming to your website, as you do not have to spend any money into marketing. However, you will have to spend your time to generate traffic sources, and depending on what sites you use, this can become a time consuming process.
 
Social media sites,can help you to generate good amounts of free traffic in a very little time, provided you take the time to build a network. Here are some of the most popular social media and bookmarking sites to help you generate lots of free traffic.
 
Digg
 
Digg is probably the most popular social bookmarking website, and can help you to generate lots of free traffic. You can bookmark your web pages as well as pages of other websites. Bookmarking other sites helps you to prevent spamming the website with your links.
 
Digg also allows you to engage in conversation with other users for even more more traffic.
 
StumbleUpon
 
StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site where you can upload all of your webpages as well as the pages of other websites. You can make friends and share your pages with your friends, as well as rate and comment on each page that you come across.
 
Twitter
 
Twitter is actually really neat as it allows you to make small entries throughout the day to help you drive traffic. You can post a link along with a short description, or you can build relationships by engaging in friendly conversations with other users.
 
Facebook
 
Facebook has only been around for a few short years, but it has rapidly become one of the most popular social media sites. You can only have up to 5,000 friends, but that is plenty to help you to generate high amounts of traffic from the site as anyone can view your pages if you make them public.
 
 
answered Dec 16, 2013 by rammy38 (1,770 points)  
Digg? Really? I thought that died ages ago.
0 votes
I will use "power of words"

verbal reffrels...  I can hit direct to my target and I know they are listing to me and are interested or not..
answered Dec 21, 2013 by rtrev (4,140 points)  
0 votes

If it's Niche, then Niche Forums and Groups every time.  Of course that can mean Pages and Groups within Facebook and Google and Twitter Lists too.  I think the main point here is, there is no magic button, rather it's the right eyes we're seeking

answered Jan 20, 2014 by qumuru (140 points)  
0 votes
Use Facebook Fan Pages. Create one, join others and start being active there. You will ulitmately get targetted likes and viewers. Also use Google Plus and Google Communities.
answered Feb 13, 2014 by Frendz (7,530 points)  
0 votes
As you can see everyone has there favourites as do I ... I would test a few out and see what results you get until you get 4 -5 different sources that give you great traffic I think alot comes down to yourself and what you prefer and you will discover this as you test different ways ....

I hope this has helped

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answered Mar 9, 2014 by MCB247 (1,840 points)  
0 votes
My preferred ones are:

YouTube

Forum marketing (I have a unique spin on this to avoid placing links)

Google+

Pinterest

That about it when it comes to free traffic (I also buy traffic)

You could also use Squidoo and HubPages as they rank quite well
answered Jun 5, 2014 by kevinflatt (1,660 points)  
0 votes
Besides some of the free traffic sources listed above I also use a site called Empire Avenue that gives a good boost to my sites. EA is pretty much untapped until now because most people focus on Facebook or Twitter for free traffic. 
 
I take part in Empire Avenue discussions and exchange opinions with other members. When this is done I earn eaves and when I would like some traffic I redeem the eaves - it's as simple as that. If you have good content other users may even share it on social networks thus getting additional traffic. 
 
There is a game element also in Empire Avenue. If you buy shares you can earn dividends in eaves. The shares are based on how much you share in social media and the more active you are the higher your score will be. 
answered Jul 30, 2014 by Robin P (140 points)  
0 votes
I plan on using IFTTT for this. My strategy is to create accounts with all the social media sites in IFTTT recipes and then link them to my wordpress blog. It is only a one time labor, after that it's mostly automatic backlinking. Also I plan to add 1 follower daily to any of these social media sites (in turns) so that these accounts are not banned.
answered Jan 9, 2015 by Frendz (7,530 points)  
0 votes

For me, the best source of free traffic is to gain natural backlinks from different high PR sites. You should include an inbound linking campaign to get your links more visible to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.  In addition to that, you must also share your content to social media sites, which is very important too.

answered Jan 13, 2015 by andieshire (140 points)  
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