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Now, here’s the thing…
Guest posting seems to be the de facto method of growing your blog traffic as taught by many of the “gurus” out there. Want more traffic? Then, write your ever-loving butt off for your own blog and, oh yeah, on top of that, write a bunch for other people’s blogs and maybe – just maybe – those backlinks will result in traffic to your blog.
But, there’s a problem with this approach…
It doesn’t work for everybody.
There are two factors working against you here:
- In some markets, there just aren’t a lot of sites to guest post on. Or the ones who do either don’t know the first thing about guest posting or aren’t willing to accept them.
- In many cases, guest posts just don’t work as well as they used to. Guest blogging isn’t exactly a new idea anymore, so unless you really knock it out of the park, it is harder than ever to get a reader to click over to your site.
Some have declared guest blogging to be dead. It really isn’t. But, the truth is, it is hardly a magic bullet and if guest blogging is your only main way to build your traffic, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
So, let’s look at some other, potentially more effective ways of doing it.
The Facebook Method
No, I don’t mean just share your latest posts to your FB profile and call it a day. That won’t work.
The cold hard truth is that, to get good results with Facebook today, it is a “pay to play” environment. This means that you need to start using Facebook newsfeed ads.
The beauty of this is that Facebook’s targeting options are off the charts awesome. You can target all kinds of criteria. You can even specifically target the communities of your niche competition.
But, what do you post?
Well, a newsfeed ad is essentially not much different than any other post you’d put on Facebook… except that you’re paying for it and will hence get better distribution. To make it effective, it needs to be tightly targeted and “native”. By “native” I mean respecting the environment you’re in. Posting a big “BUY NOW” button wouldn’t respect the environment because people are there for what?… CONTENT. So, that’s what you provide…. CONTENT.
So, post an intriguing ad for one of your best blog posts. Or create a solid lead magnet and invite targeted folks on Facebook to come and download it (possibly via an opt-in so you can build your list).
This method puts YOU in control of your own destiny when it comes to traffic.
Afraid to spend a little money? Don’t be. This is an investment in your business. Eventually, your free, organic traffic will grow, but you have to seed it with people at the outset.
Oh, and BTW, this same paid traffic approach would work on Twitter and many other social networks (even YouTube). Pay to get your message out there and bring people into your circle.
The Guest Method
No, I don’t mean traditional guest posting. What I mean here is by providing content to others in more creative ways that stand out.
For instance, seeing if you can become a guest on somebody’s podcast. Or how about approaching another site owner to do a “no strings attached” webinar for their audience. You don’t even have to sell anything on the webinar if you don’t want…. just provide a TON of value and you’ll expose your site to that entire audience.
The Bonus Method
Create a really awesome free download of some kind. Could also be a training series or whatever works best for your market. Make it truly good enough to sell. Then…
Approach other people in your niche who are selling things and offer your thing as a free bonus to anybody who buys their thing. It could be an “unannounced” bonus, if you want. This is a win-win situation, because bonus offers will help them make more sales or just look awesome to their audience.
For you, it allows you to gain exposure and build your list. You could either have their people opt-in to receive the download, or you could lace calls to action throughout the content.
Another fringe benefit is… if they position this as a bonus for their buyers, then the people you are being exposed to are BUYERS. From a marketing perspective, that’s awesome.
To raise the perceived value of this bonus you are providing, you should give it an actual sales page. This is a real product people can buy. However, you should have an option to enter a coupon code for it. It is that coupon code that you provide to the other site owner to give to their audience. They then come to your sales page, clearly see it is a real product, but they can get it for free using that coupon code.
Keep This In Mind If You Want To Succeed…
With each of the 3 methods above, there are two very important things in common:
- They are proactive. You’re not sitting there posting your ass off and waiting for people to notice you.
- They leverage existing audiences. YOUR future readers are out there. So, your job is to go where they’re already hanging out. That is and was the idea behind guest posting, however there are just more effective ways to go about it.
If all you’re doing is writing a ton of stuff and hoping that SEO and a few retweets does the job of building your blog, then you’re wasting your time. You’re not leveraging anything to jumpstart your traffic and you’re trying to build up off of zero. It would be like trying to start your car going in fifth gear. It just won’t do it. It’ll stall.
Getting traffic isn’t that complex, in all honesty. It comes down to (1) being willing to do things most people aren’t doing, and (2) not being unwilling to spend any money.
Guest posting is the free way. But, a ton of people are doing it now. It isn’t unique anymore. And it doesn’t work as well anymore.
Depending on SEO is simply reactive. It is based on the HOPE that it’ll work. And that’s not good enough. You won’t be in the driver seat (or worse, you’d be depending on SEO companies that promise the world and rarely deliver).
If you want to maintain low traffic, then do whatever the majority of bloggers are doing.
If you want to rise above, then do what they’re not.