50 One Sentence Tips to Increase Traffic Without Google
When I first started writing online (5 years, 30 websites and 1000+ articles ago) I found learning the tricks of online promotion were like wading through mud.
For every article I wasted 20 minutes reading, I might find one workable tip. After the 2011 Panda algorithm change, I decided that I needed to learn how to bring in more traffic from more than just one source, so I'd never again run the risk of losing more than 50% of my traffic in one hit. Since then I've learned how to dig up the best tips faster and make use of multiple promotion methods, but I've never shared them all in one place. My goal with this article is to share some of my best tips which meet my high standards of laziness and penny pinching. In other words:
- Little or no cost (if they pay me, even better).
- High return for as little work as possible.
And here's the bonus: Increasing your traffic from sources other than Google will usually boost your Google traffic, too.
Variety is key on social media - use a combination of photos, links, text posts, comedy, seriousness and conflict to maintain interest.
Promoting & Building Your Social Media
- Variety is key on social media - use a combination of photos, links, text posts, comedy, seriousness and conflict to maintain interest.
- Don't spam people with your own content; your own content should make up between 1:4 and 1:10 of your posts.
- Find new and original content to share, instead of rehashing or resharing content that's already been seen.
- Don't just build up a network of 'readers' but also a network of people who write on the same topic, so they start to share your content with their own readership.
- Use Empire Avenue to cash in on your current social media stats and increase your social media shares.
- Use Headtalker to create social crowdfunding for your content.
- Use Tweepi to follow and gain Twitter followers who are directly related to your niche.
- Upload an image to Twitter then tag other users who are likely to share your content - up to ten.
- On Google Plus, search "[your topic] circle" and click on "Add People" to add people in your niche and encourage follow backs.
- Fiverr has a lot of spam promotional methods for $5 but there are also some great legit ones too, from leading bloggers and social media accounts.
- Spreading your social media posts out so they're only once every 2-5 hours increases your chance of being seen by a larger percentage of fans (and makes them less likely to feel spammed).
- Add a Made for Pinterest (MFP) image to your content to encourage visitors to pin it to Pinterest.
- When people pin your pins (you can usually track these down via search or analytics), comment on the pin and thank them to increase your number of Pinterest followers.
- Use your Facebook page to "like" other pages related to your topic and interact with them.
- If you have a small niche, post content that other pages will want to share - thus giving them free content ideas while promoting your own page/content.
- Bribe, buy or coerce ownership of 'dead' Facebook pages topically related to yours then merge them into your own main Facebook page.
- Share memes and other viral style free use images on Facebook and if/when they go viral, create a topically related article to link into the description.
- Make sure that you list your Facebook page publicly as your "work at" location on your Facebook profile.
- Videos uploaded to Facebook do extremely well; make sure you research 'edgerank' and the way algorithms work to show certain content to more people.
- List your social media accounts on all the profiles you have, on all the sites you're a member of (...and if you haven't already, go fill in your Hubpages ones!)
- If you're feeling lazy, try the free version of Hootsuite to schedule or Edgar (pricey and best for a larger social media following).
- Type your topic in Twitter and find out what hashtags people are using in tweets (for instance in pregnancy, #PregnancyProblems is popular).
- People on Linked in are much more likely to accept a connection request than those on Facebook, so build a network of people interested in your topic.
- Linkedin pages have very limited promotional options so don't bother making one unless you have a specific niche that's low competition and business related.
- Publishing posts on your personal profile notifies ALL your connections, so it can be a great way to get attention from a big Linkedin network - you are allowed to post duplicate content that you own, but make sure you check out the publishing rules.
- Tumblr is a great tool to connect with a whole different audience or even send things viral and they have a great queue tool so you can setup content to post for weeks without checking in - just beware of their rules on affiliate links.
- CoPromote is a good way to both find interesting content to retweet and have your own content shared.
- Twitter users only logon for a short time each day so volume is important; automating content to post every 15 minutes really increases traffic.
- Use HelloBar to maximise internal traffic, build your list and increase your social following.
Examples of My Most Popular Relateable Articles
Growing Up With a Bipolar Mother
My Crazy Dust Craving During Pregnancy
Finding Awesome Topics
- Use Google Suggest to find topics that people are searching but no one is writing about so you can become the most linked to source on forums and social media.
- Join a large Facebook group related to your favorite topic and look through the most commonly asked questions for inspiration, or become known as a know it all and share your links.
- Look at the keywords that bring people to your content and use those as inspiration for new content.
- Look for the most basic and simple questions to answer; higher authority sites are less likely to be answering these questions.
- How-To guides, relateable topics, clickbait, teaser titles, photo lists and controversy all do well.
Examples of My Most Popular 'Dumb Question' Articles
How to break your own waters in pregnancy
Why do watermelons crack, split and explode?
- Remember that your title is the first thing Google, Googlers and social media followers see about your article - that means it's one of the most important parts of promotion!
- Clickbait works well on Social Media; "Ten Shocking Things Women Don't Tell Their Doctor"
- Lists rank well in Google, get shared a lot on social media and make for great clickbait: "50 Ways to Cook With Bacon".
- If you're writing a list, collate all the other lists you can find in Google, into the longest list online.
- People like healthy ways to do unhealthy things: "How To Make Delicious Sugar Free Fairy Floss".
Examples of My Most Popular Lists
40 Ways to Induce Labor Naturally
50 Soft Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
- Remember that the term viral might mean 1,000 visits to one person or 1,000,000 to another.
- The more places that your content is, the more chance someone who has a large social media following will see and share it.
- If you're a fast writer, jump on a new trending topic and get your article published before major sites (who often move at a glacial pace) have time to notice, research and write their own.
- Have social media friends and followers who respect your knowledge in your area of interest and are willing to share the posts you think most likely to go viral.
- A high quality MFP image with good keywords in the description will often go viral on Pinterest, either through followers or simply through being found on Pinterest search.
- Write a shocking, opinionated or controversial opinion piece which people will share simply because they hate it.
- Write something so funny and unique that throwing out all the rules of online writing doesn't matter (Mark Ewbie and Shadesbreath, I'm looking at you.)
Examples of My Viral Articles
Things Needed for Planning a Wedding:
A Complete Checklist
Facebook Riddle Giraffe Profile Pictures:
Do They Contain Malware Or Hacks?
Cream of the Crop Content
- Don't use big blocks of text; break them up with images, quotes and subtitles.
- Interlink your content so traffic flows from high traffic articles to low traffic articles; instead of linking to outside sites, try and write new articles which you can then link to.
- Use Hubs as a way to quickly test a topic's viability and then if it does well, create a website on that topic and interlink to maximise traffic both to your hubs and website.
- If something gets good traffic, work at promoting it even more as you're obviously onto a winner.
- Write in third person and check your grammar - your content is more likely to get linked and shared if it sounds professional instead of bloggy.
More Ways to Get Seen
- Regularly use a forum? Build authority with your posts and include a link to your articles in your signature.
- Remember that the more places your content gets seen, the more varied the audiences that are likely to share them across multiple platforms.
- Leave quality comments on top ranking content related to yours, using a relevant title in the Name and the hub URL in the website box - visitors who read the comments will click through!
- Remember that 911 marketing (marketing today for views today) doesn't work - it takes time to build up incoming traffic (most of the time).
- With the exception of jumping in early on trending topics, ALWAYS write evergreen content (topics as relevant in ten years as they are today.)