16 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website or Blog Today

  • July 14, 2010 by Corbett Barr
  • 31 Comments

Increase Traffic to your Website or Blog Today

Most of the things you can do to attract more visitors to your site take considerable time and effort. Most of what we talk about here are indirect ways to build traffic over the long-term.

What about the short term?

Building a solid foundation, creating a unique selling proposition, planning a launch, developing social proof, are all utterly important, but what if you want to get more visitors to your site in the next 24 hours?

Sometimes you need visitors right away. Sometimes you’re just tired of working on long-term strategies and want some immediate results. In any case, I’ve compiled 16 things you can do to get more visitors to your website today.

Some of these are guaranteed ways to get traffic, and others are gambles. Try a few and let me know how they work out for you. Here they are for your instant gratification, ways to beg, borrow, steal or pay for traffic today:

    Beg

    If you want something, why not ask for it? You might be surprised how willing people are to help out.

  1. Email your latest blog post to people who might be interested. Ask them for feedback on the post or to help you spread the word. Make sure you explain why it’s a relevant and/or special post.
  2. Share some older popular content again. You know that content you published last month that was so popular? Well, it probably has some life left. Share it again through your favorite channels. Just say “in case you missed it” or “an oldie but a goodie” for anyone that might have seen it before.
  3. Ask your readers to share your latest content. Get on email, Twitter, Facebook, your own site or wherever else you talk to your readers and ask them to Digg, Stumble, Tweet or share your post in some other way.

    Borrow

    Borrowing visitors from other high-traffic sites is a proven technique. You don’t necessarily have to get permission from the site owner, either.

  4. Take advantage of trackbacks. Write a new blog post with a link to a recent or popular post from a big blog that has trackbacks enabled (look ‘em up if you aren’t familiar with the concept). Since trackbacks are often displayed before comments, they can receive a decent number of clicks if your post is relevant to the post you’re linking to. Try to further the conversation that’s already going.
  5. Leave comments, but be selective. I know, leaving comments on other blogs to get traffic is an old technique that isn’t always that effective. Try leaving comments, but be very selective. To get traffic, try commenting on big blogs that are very relevant to your site. Make sure you’re one of the first to comment on a new post, because those first comments are the ones that receive most of the traffic. Also, leave something of genuine value that will make readers want to find out more about you.
  6. Submit your best stuff to more social networks. There are hundreds of social networks and sharing sites out there with enormous traffic. Take your best content and share it on a bunch of sites you haven’t tried before. Something just might stick. Here are some to try (some are topic specific): Tipd, Propeller, Reddit, Blog Engage, Sphinn and Mixx.
  7. Use article marketing. Create articles for article directories or build a squidoo lens. Write something useful and get it out there. Articles on those directories can get some direct traffic themselves if you write something useful.
  8. Share your expertise. Find forums on a topic related to your expertise or your site, or find questions on big Q&A sites and provide some answers. Help people out and make sure your site is listed in your profile or signature. Popular questions or forum entries can drive traffic.
  9. Write a Craigslist ad. Craigslist is the 32nd most popular site in the world. It’s free and takes only a couple of minutes to post an advertisement. If you have a service to offer, try posting an ad to attract extra visitors.

    Steal

    Can you really steal traffic? To be honest, I couldn’t think of a way to do it ethically. For some reason I just really wanted to run with the “beg, borrow, steal” theme. Let me know in the comments if you have some ways to “steal” traffic.

    Wait, here’s one:

  10. Write about current news. Google has a fondness for placing sites with breaking news at the top of it’s results. Just Google “iPhone” and you’ll see what I mean. There’s a special section that says “News results for…” If you write on a current news story, there’s a chance you’ll get ranked up there too, and effectively “steal” traffic from the normal results.

    Pay

    When all else fails, cold, hard cash will do the trick. Here are some (legit) ways you can pay for more visitors.

  11. Pay for advertising on StumbleUpon. This one is really easy. You don’t even have to write an ad. Just submit one of your best pages of content and choose a couple of applicable topics and demographics. The cost is 5 cents per visitor as I write this.
  12. Use good ol’ Google Adwords. With AdWords, you’ll have to write an ad and make sure it’s well targeted to search visitors. If you do a good job with the ad and your site is relevant, the cost per visitor can be very reasonable.
  13. Try advertising on Facebook. Over 400 million people use Facebook, so there are plenty of potential visitors for your site on the network. If you can’t get them for free through your fan page, you can always try Facebook’s advertising platform. If you do use Facebook, keep in mind that images are a critical part of getting clicks on your ad.
  14. Submit a press release. Online press releases can get syndicated across tens or hundreds of sites. Read up on best practices before you decide to drop the $80+ bucks though.

    Get back to basics

  15. Write another blog post, even if you don’t normally post today. New posts always bring in more traffic. You’ve probably noticed that you get a little traffic spike every time you publish. If you want more visitors, publish an extra post today, just keep the quality level high.
  16. Write your best blog post. Don’t hold back. Don’t wait for the right day or for the stars to align. Take the best idea you have for a post and get it out there. A great post can easily bring 5 or 10 times as much traffic as a normal post.

What other techniques do you have for getting more visitors today? Please share in the comments!

Oh, and if you’re new here, why not subscribe for free updates from Think Traffic? We post 2-3 times a week with tips for building an online audience.

photo by tricky ™

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Mars Dorian July 15, 2010 at 2:41 am

Hey Corbett,

beg, borrow and steal – I hope no one’s that desperate for traffic, that would show a lot about his content ;)
writing about current trends/news is a grrreat idea – I had Glen is doing something similar to get heaps of traffic.

I never used article marketing, I wonder if it still matters with social media domination today.
I luv your minimalistic, cut-straight-to-the-cheese info-taining writing style.

Corbett Barr July 15, 2010 at 8:38 am

Thanks, Mars. I’ll always cut-straight-to-the-cheese for you ;)

Ari Herzog August 9, 2010 at 10:51 am

Many swear by article marketing — ezinearticles, suite101, etc.

Justin Westbrooks January 3, 2013 at 5:21 am

Wow – just finding this! Sometimes I get distracted with complex strategies for building traffic and sometimes I forget to do the most simple, proven methods. Thanks for the reminder and useful list – definitely going to put some of these into action.

Michel J. Gagnon July 15, 2010 at 3:56 am

I like the trackbacks idea and I will definitely rely on this option before getting to the press release. I’ll buy my wife dinner with the 80$+.
Thanks Corbett

Corbett Barr July 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

Press releases can be really great for big launches or SEO campaigns. The $80 bucks probably isn’t worth it unless it’s a special occasion though.

Linda July 15, 2010 at 6:12 am

Hi Corbett–

Great tips! I love the prevalence of the stealing theme–I always get a tingle up my spine when I go to other Twitter lists and start following. Probably not as illicit as some methods, but I have been able to benefit from others’ hard work in my industry.

Thanks!
Linda

Corbett Barr July 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

Yeah, most things are openly shared these days, so thankfully we can get a lot of value without really stealing anything. Content thieves still take other people’s hard work, but I’m not sure it gets them very far.

steve July 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

Nice article! It will be 1 year blogging for me at the end of this month and there’s been ups and downs with traffics. I don’t know about beg, borrow or steal, but for my blog i just found out that people like Major Brand related news because i posted two reviews about McDonalds Real Fruit Smoothies in the last couple days and i got more than 1k views yesterday! It makes my previous 100 to 200 views like nothing. The stats views went straight up to the roof. lol I was thinking about to quite at the end of this month for blogging. It totally shocked how many people cared about McDonalds. :) I guess i will give it another month. so if you want traffic, talk about the latest news related to the major brands in your targeted field.

Corbett Barr July 15, 2010 at 8:42 am

Hey, congrats on finding a tactic that really works for you. That’s cool. Hopefully it continues to work, but don’t forget about the fundamentals as well. Traffic tactics are a way to get people in the door, but the fundamentals are what keep them coming back.

Fitz July 15, 2010 at 8:30 am

I’ll attest to #8 – sharing your expertise in targeted forums. I use a specific running forum and with 10-15 forum posts, your traffic can get a huge spike and it lasts for days. It’s a great traffic building tool. Plus, that traffic is very targeted.

- Fitz.

Corbett Barr July 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

Thanks for backing me up, Fitz. And I agree, the quality of traffic from targeted forums can be fantastic.

Taylor July 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

Great post, I really enjoyed and benefited from these tips – and am excited to apply them! Keep the good content/advice flowing!

Taylor

Corbett Barr July 16, 2010 at 11:44 am

Awesome, Taylor. Glad to help. Thanks for the feedback.

Alamin July 16, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Corbett. Thanks this is my first visit and i really liked your blog. I didn’t know that there is a blog on traffic. Oh wait wait i can’t write anymore i have to read your other post now.

Corbett Barr July 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Hey Alamin, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment.

Dev - Technshare.com July 17, 2010 at 6:30 am

Hey Corbett,

Really Awesome post man. These are awesome tips.
I’m already following most of these tips, except article marketing.
Blog commenting and social bookmarking sites are my top source of traffic.

Thanks for sharing this great Post.

~Dev

Corbett Barr July 17, 2010 at 9:53 am

Cheers, Dev. Congrats on the progress.

James July 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

This is a great post. I found you by way of the social mouths. They said you were great and they were right.

Corbett Barr July 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Awesome, James. Thanks for stopping by.

naked Girl in a Dress July 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Another great post. I just retweeted.

Corbett Barr July 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

Thanks!

Adrian Swinscoe July 19, 2010 at 1:58 am

Hi Corbett,
Great list of traffic generating tips. I particularly like trackback idea to keep a conversation going. Hadn’t thought of that application in that way before. Great way to connect with other bloggers in your area too.

Adrian

Corbett Barr July 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

I think a lot of people forget about trackbacks (myself included). The issue with them is that you have to take advantage fairly soon after the post you like to was written to have the biggest effect.

Srinivas Rao July 19, 2010 at 6:42 am

Corbett,

There’s alot of interesting stuff here. One thing I never knew was the idea of paying for traffic on stumbleupon. My boss asked me recently for some new things we can do for our main travel site in terms of marketing instead of PPC so there’s definitely some interesting strategies to try here. I think one thing that people could do is take 2 of your strategies each week and test them, write a report on them and then link back to this post :) .

Corbett Barr July 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

Thanks for volunteering, Srini. Let us know how it goes ;)

Marios July 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Great article, Getting traffic is hard, you would think there will be many different ways to get traffic but I believe that the best way to get traffic is by relationship. I think a lot of people are looking for a quick overnight traffic, but it doesn’t work that way. Building any business takes time and networking. And remember if they came fast they will leave fast, so get quality traffic.

Visitor Convertor August 10, 2010 at 6:08 am

Website traffic cannot be achieved overnight. You need to invest time, effort or even money to get it. On the other end, if you put dedication to your work, I’m sure everyone will succeed in this business.

Corbett Barr August 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

I completely agree. Thanks for the note.

Jia Jun December 27, 2010 at 4:31 am

I like how you organize your information on getting instance(If not instance, then fast traffic). Beg, borrow, steal or pay. These are like some eye catching keywords that catch my attention and read on what’s author is talking about in this article.

Nice Corbett, keep it up~ :D

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