5 Best Free Traffic Sources for Growing Your Blog, Website and Email List

5 Best Free Traffic Sources for Growing Your Blog, Website and Email List

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Trying hard to get free traffic for your blog, website or email campaigns? You’re not alone. Getting free traffic isn’t easy. It requires some strategy. But before we get to the strategies, let me point out that the secret to getting free traffic is knowing exactly where to get them. Once you’ve discovered the right platforms for getting free traffic, you’ll find it easier to apply the tactics you learned from the pros. 

Forget about paid campaigns. They’ll give you a significant amount of traffic instantly but can’t ensure your visitors will turn into subscribers. A paid traffic program may not be worth it if you have just started your product or service-based website. It cannot guarantee your traffic will be converted into sales.

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In today’s post, we’ll reveal the secrets to growing your blog, website, or email list for FREE or without spending thousands of dollars on paid advertising like Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Discover the best sources of free traffic so you can grow your online business in no time.

5 Best Free Traffic Sources for Growing Your Blog, Website and Email List search engine optimization

1. Search Engines

At a time when almost everyone is into social media, search engines are still the leading source of high-quality traffic. If you want to dominate Google and other search engines, focus on organic SEO. Why choose organic? Because it’s inexpensive and it promises long-term results. It may take a while before you will see results but at least you don’t have to worry about risking your hard-earned money. You just need to have a bit more time and patience to see the outcomes.

As the name implies, organic refers to naturally occurring traffic from people who found your website through search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Here, I’ve compiled the no-BS ways to increase your organic reach:

Get your content to appear on Featured Snippet. 

Ever searched for something on Google and got more than just plain links as answers? These special results you get are also called featured snippets (previously rich answers). They often come in the form of paragraphs although sometimes, you will see them in the form of table or bulleted list depending on your keywords.

For example, when you typed “highest paid CEOs of 2018,” you will see USA Today’s bulleted list on top of the search results. The website gets a better chance of getting more views compared to their competitors or websites at the bottom of the page because their bulleted list catches the eye. The question is, how to get featured on Google’s snippets? 

If you want your paragraph to get featured, start your titles or headings with questions like ‘how to,’ ‘who is,’ and ‘what is’. It will also help to present your data with rows and columns to improve your chances of appearing on search engines for bulleted snippets. 

Based on research conducted by SEO software suite Ahrefs, these are some of the words that best trigger featured snippets:

  • Recipe
  • Best
  • Vs
  • Make
  • Definition
  • Can 
  • Windows

Optimize your images for web. 

Image optimization is as important as text optimization because many people go directly to the Images tab when searching for something online. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that often get overlooked when optimizing a web page. 

Optimizing images involves using the best:

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  • Image size – pictures with higher resolution look better but they might make your load time slow. Consider scaling down your images before uploading them. Canva is a nice tool for resizing images because it already comes with built-in templates and dimensions depending on where you are planning to upload them.
  • Format – JPG is the commonly used image format because it is compatible with most browsers. But if you want to preserve the quality of text images and logos, it will be better to use PNG.
  • File name – when you have more than two words for the file name, consider using a dash, an underscore, or a hyphen because, for search engines, this means your image is a javascript file. 
  • Alt tags – when uploading a photo on WordPress, don’t forget to include an alternative text because it will be easier for search engines to index your images.

Target long-tail keywords.

For every new post, make sure you have a target keyword placed on your page title, META tag, content, and headers. There is so much emphasis on the use of keywords but if you want to improve your SEO ranking, focus on long-tail keywords or key phrases that are more precise than just a single keyword. Long-tail keywords are three or more words which tend to have a higher search volume than shorter search queries because they are specially tailored compared to two words. 

So, instead of simply typing “lose weight,” more users actually search for “how to lose weight fast,” because it’s more specific. Here are some of the tools you can use to find the most accurate long-tail keywords for your blog post or website:

  • SEMrush – it’s an all in one tool that is not just for researching keywords but also for analyzing your backlinks and evaluating how your traffic goes. It’s free but it comes with limited features like if you searched for something, you will only see the top 10 keywords for that specific query. The cheapest paid plan they have cost around $99 per month.
  • Keyword Planner – this free tool from Google can be accessed via AdWords. If you don’t have one yet, you can set up one in less than five minutes. Don’t worry, Google will not require you to run a campaign just to use KP. The best thing about KP so far is its latest feature, ‘hyper-local search volume’ that shows you the keywords based on your preferred geographical location. The only disadvantage is that you will no longer be able to search for related terms because this feature is no longer available. 
  • LSIGraph – LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, which lists related keywords under the main keyword. The upgraded version now comes with a preferred language and location which is ideal for improving your local SEO. The free version only allows three searches while the premium lets you have up to 100 searches starting at $27 per month. The tool shows the volume or number of searches for a specific word aside from the average CPC. 
  • WordTracker – it works by giving you a vast database of related words and phrases that people have typed into the search engines. It promises to produce actual SEO data and as much as 2,000 relevant keywords from more than 200 territories. While it’s not free, the basic plan only costs around $27 per month and all their plans come with a one-week risk-free trial. 
  • LongTail Pro – you can enter seed keywords and get hundreds of suggestions or run their keyword and competitor analysis to get insights into each competitor. As with any other keyword tool, it shows a phrase’s rank value so you will have an idea about its profitability. They have the same rate as WordTracker and also has a free 7-day trial but they allow up to 800 keyword search per day.
  • Keyword Tool Dominator – after entering a specific term or phrase, you will get long-tail keywords applicable not just for search engines but also for social media results. You can search up to three times a day but should you need to search more, sign up on KTD or pay one time for unlimited searches. 

2. Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most commonly used platforms these days. Facebook has more than 2.41 billion monthly active users while Twitter has 330 million monthly active users to date. So there’s no reason why you should not spend some time sharing your posts or campaigns on these channels. 

But if you want to get ahead of the competition, don’t just put your effort into these social media giants. There are a few more channels where you can promote your business or blog and they can even give you more views than promoting on Facebook or Twitter using the right techniques. Here are some of the social media channels that will give you tons of free traffic:

Pinterest

It’s the fourth most popular social media platform in the United States, with more than 250 million users as of September 2018. Many internet marketers found success using Pinterest and one of them is lifestyle blogger Vivian Tejeda who started getting 100,000 page views per month with the help of the platform. This number kept growing as she kept up with Pinterest marketing. As a leading visual search tool, Pinterest is best-suited for niches like craft, travel, food, and lifestyle blogs.

Instagram

Much like Pinterest, Instagram is one of the leading visual-sharing sites. But Instagram is a better choice if you want to share your own photos or if you want to promote a brand. Instagram Stories allows sharing of links and you can take advantage of this to share your blog posts.

LinkedIn

One of the most effective but underestimated channels is LinkedIn. Many new bloggers and website owners don’t bother using this platform thinking that it is too formal or it is simply an online resume. But with many new changes to LinkedIn, like the option to leave a status update or answer a few questions posted on LinkedIn Answers, you have the opportunity to mention your blog, website, or email campaigns. 

YouTube

It’s not just one of the biggest social media platforms. As a Google-owned site, YouTube has also turned into one huge search engine. Converting your post into a video involves a bit more work since you need to be creative. You have to make sure it’s not just a duplicate of your blog post. For example, a post discussing an old family recipe could have a video about how it’s cooked. You can increase your subscriber numbers and make use of video views to direct traffic to your blog.

Reddit

It’s a social news platform where you can discuss all sorts of topics or “subreddits,” ranging from educational to personal questions. The most popular topics on Reddit are actually more personal, like life challenges and stories with unusual plots. If you want to use Reddit to promote your blog, make sure you’re not only commenting on your own posts. Spend some time participating on other interesting content as well, so you will not appear like a spammer. 

Read more: How to Use Social Media to Boost SEO

5 Best Free Traffic Sources for Growing Your Blog, Website and Email List blogging

3. Blogs

Blogging is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. What’s great about blogging is you have limitless content promotion tactics. Your goal in blogging is to come up with great content so that you will receive backlinks and even referrals from other websites. Here are some blogging tips that will help you get more views:

Create engaging content.

Engaging content can be anything helpful, entertaining, or inspiring. People love visuals and quizzes or any posts with interactive content. You can even present your content in the form of timelines, slides, and videos to further engage your audience. 

To come up with something engaging, you may want to start content curation or looking for relevant topics for your audience. If you struggle in content curation, you can rely on tools like Growth Commander. It allows you to curate content faster than ever before with their built-in content studio. 

Share your content in many places

Creating good content is not the end of the story. If you want to attract more readers, you will need to share them in different places and social bookmarking sites are just the best way to go. StumbleUpon is perhaps the most popular social bookmarking site that let you submit your blog and help people discover our content.

Don’t forget to use a content scheduler so you can save time when it comes to promoting your content on various social media channels. If you haven’t used one, I suggest you try Growth Commander because they have the Content Schedules Builder that create content schedules for all your projects so you never lose track of a deadline. 

But what if you are not successful in getting views from blogging? If you don’t feel like running your own blog, you can use other websites as traffic sources through blog commenting. Of course, you would want to go beyond just praising a blog post, with words like “Wow” or “Great” then leave your link. 

It will only take you a little less than two minutes to come up with a stand-out comment. Starting conversations will intrigue other readers and take further action by visiting your website next.

4. Forums

Forum sites or message boards are undervalued because of their old-school feel especially now that more and more people are turning to social media. But forums can be a great source of free traffic because you have less competition compared to social channels or search engines. Here are some of the biggest online communities where you can join chat forums:

  • Gaia Online
  • IGN
  • Offtopic
  • Nexopia
  • 4chan

You may want to begin by searching for forums you can get involved in. You can join as many forums as you want but it’s better to choose only one or two and focus on them. Engage in these websites and avoid being spammy or sending too many links. 

5. Email

Email marketing is so old-school but it does not mean it’s no longer relevant in 2019 or in the years to come Based on Adobe’s survey on white-collar workers ages 25 to 64 years old, around 30-percent of respondents said they spend an hour or less checking work emails while 41-percent spend the same number of hours checking personal emails. 

The fact that people actually spend time on emails only goes to show that emails are still one of the reliable sources of free traffic. But you have to apply some tactics, like making sure your emails do not appear too generic. People will likely open your email if it made them feel exclusive or special. One of the easiest ways to customize each mail is to use a personalized subject line. You can mention the name of your recipient not just on the subject line but also on the body.  

To know if your email marketing campaign is effective or not, try A/B split testing or dividing your audience into groups and sending them different versions of your email. This way you can determine which version produces better results in terms of conversions. The biggest benefit of A/B split testing your emails is having a better understanding of what your customers really want. 

Conclusion

Trying to get free traffic for your blog or website may involve a lot of work. But once you have seen the outcomes, you will soon learn to enjoy the process. if you are only beginning as a blogger or a website owner, it may not be ideal to pay for traffic. It can be a waste of money because it does not always guarantee a good result. It is better to take the long route and experience the hard work than take the shortcut.

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