Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 14, 2009
During my surfing party this week, I came across another article on how to drive massive traffic to your website. I don’t know why I keep reading these things because they all tend to say the same thing. However, this one just made me stop and decide that I wanted to comment on all of its points.
The article is titled 20 Simple Ways to get Massive Traffic to your Web Site (at least it was; seems the title has been changed) by Penny C. Sansevieri, and it’s not that it’s a bad article, just that, in my opinion, at this time and place it’s somewhat misleading. It’s no more misleading than all the other articles I’ve read that say the same exact thing, but she’s listed her points, and I’m going to address each point individually. I do hope you go and read her article, though, which I’m not going to quote here, only her 20 points, with my commentary on each.
Before I begin, I want to make sure I get my point across. There are many things we can do to try to increase traffic to our sites. I’ve mentioned in the past how Twitter helped me increase traffic, and how commenting on other blogs helped also.
For my main business site, I haven’t talked much about how I got that one going, but I did some of the things mentioned in this article. The thing is, I did increase in traffic, but massive traffic? I don’t know that if I go from 5 to 25 visits a day that I consider that massive traffic. Massive traffic to me is 1,000 visits a day, and I don’t mean unique visits, which I get, but real live visitors that Google Analytics tells me about, or more. Still, let’s look at this list of 20 to see what I’ve done, or my opinions on them:
1) Write articles: believe it or not this is an incredible tool for driving traffic.
I have 10 articles on Ezine Articles and Evan Carmichael, and, according to Analytics, I’ve never gotten a single person to any of my sites because of them. They’ve been used elsewhere, though, so I’ve gotten links, but traffic,… nope.
2) Social bookmark *everything* – and I do mean everything
This one can take awhile, but I’ve done two things. One, I add the majority of articles I write on my three blogs to Delicious, and I also have every new blog post I write on all of my blogs showing up on my profile on Facebook. I know that at least two people have visited this blog because of a Delicious posting, but I only know of one person who’s even seen my blog listings on Facebook, and Analytics has never shown anyone coming to my blogs from there.
3) List yourself in the best directories
In this post, she was talking about paid directories, but I’m leery of many of these really big directories to begin with. As opposed to what I tried to do with my Services & Stuff site, you could end up in a category on a directory that has nothing to do with what you really do, or want to be known for, but you’re also then competing, at times, with hundreds of other people who do the same thing. I don’t know that I’d pay for it, let alone overly worry about the non-paid ones.
My main business site is listed in over 300 directories (I checked), and I certainly didn’t ask to be listed on that many directories, and I’m listed for diversity training on almost all of them. Thing is, I tried to go in and change some of them to something else, but you can’t, and they’ll only list you under one category for the most part. Hey, I’ll take the one way link, but traffic,… nope.
4) Get yourself listed at: DMOZ.org
At this point, DMOZ is kind of a joke. It’s so big, and they don’t have enough people working on it, that if you decide to try it might take 3 or 4 years before someone got around to adding you, if they decide to add you at all. My main business site is there, though I can’t remember how to find it, but none of my other sites are there because I didn’t even try to put them there. I’m lost in the shuffle, and, of course, almost no traffic has ever come from there.
5) Review: if you can review hot new products or books within your market, head on over to Amazon.com and start positioning yourself as an expert.
I can’t say I’ve done a lot of this, but I am listed as a reviewer on Amazon, and I’ve reviewed a few things. However, no one has ever followed any of my reviews back to any of my sites.
6) Offer a freebie on Craig’s List: you’ll be amazed at how much traffic you get from a single Craig’s List ad.
This one I’ve never tried. I have listed services I offer on Craigslist, and have received very miniscule traffic to one of my sites, but otherwise I’ve been pretty much ignored.
7) Create a “recommended by” list on your Del.icio.us page
As I mentioned, I submit my articles to Delicious, but I’ll admit I haven’t done any kind of list except for my own stuff. Still, if no one is even looking at what I post there, why would I expect anyone would care about a list I create?
8) And speaking of your email signature line…do you have one? If you don’t, create one.
This is an absolute for publicity, but the truth is that most people tend to miss it when they decide they want something. I can’t believe how many people will ask me for a link to my website, or when I send business email out, a phone number, and it’s right there in the signature line. People ask me for an address from my business site, and I have my address on every single page! This is important to do, but it’s never driven “massive” traffic to me.
9) Lend a helping hand: you can be an answer person at Yahoo Answers (http://answers.yahoo.com/)
I’ve set up to do this, and I did it fairly faithfully for a week. Number of visitors to my blog; zero. Now, maybe it takes more time than that, but, oddly enough, you find that there really aren’t as many questions you can answer as you might think there are, and sometimes, when you do find one, many other people have already answered it.
10) Set up a social networking site using Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, or Squidoo.
I’ve already mentioned Facebook, but I’m also on LinkedIn, Ryze, Izania, and about 4 or 5 others, and I’ve gotten little traffic from any of them. Ryze has probably been the most productive, but I’ve invested a lot of time there, and for what I got back, “massive” wouldn’t come close to describing.
11) Make sure your blog has an RSS feed
Heck, y’all know I have a RSS feed because of that RSS contest I tried to run at the beginning of January. I have that feed on all of my blogs, though I haven’t put it on all of my sites; might have to think about that one some more. Still, I haven’t gotten massive subscribers, and I’m doubting massive would describe traffic generated from those feeds either.
12) Join relevant groups at Yahoo groups (http://groups.yahoo.com/).
This I did, and then got out of. I think Yahoo Groups had its day, but it’s on the decline now, as there’s more spam related postings than anything else. As for traffic,…
13) Podcasting is another great way to drive traffic.
This one I’ve never done; the closest is adding the Odiogo widget to my blogs. I haven’t erased podcasting off my list of things I might want to do later, including video of some sort, so I’ll have to say I’m not sure how well this one would work, and I have no real history with it.
14) Start a blog and then once you do, start commenting on other people’s blogs, linking to them from your site or adding them to your blogroll.
Goodness, isn’t this what we always talk about around here, and amongst ourselves? This is the one thing I know has created more traffic to my blogs. Massive? Well, I still wouldn’t go quite that far, but interest and visitors, definitely.
15) Inbound links: don’t squander your time (or a perfectly good link) on smaller low-traffic sites. Instead spend your time going after high traffic, high quality sites.
Nice idea, but in general how would you know? I think we’ve debated whether it’s worth commenting on a big time blog with hundreds of other comments that don’t give a dofollow link versus commenting on a blog that might not have any other comments, but is a dofollow blog. We’ve even debated whether relevance in topics has to be there or not (I tend to believe it doesn’t matter as much as dofollow).
16) Start an email newsletter
I write two newsletters for my business, along with many other newsletters, but don’t have newsletters for my blogs. Man, that would be a lot more to deal with, wouldn’t it? However, there’s always been the question of whether newsletters drive traffic or sales. I think traffic would be stretching it because, with a newsletter, a reader doesn’t really have to visit your site unless you make it a condition of reading an entire article, which I consider as being somewhat smarmy. Now, you could send out a weekly “newsletter” telling people what articles were written on your blog or site for the week, with links to all the articles, and I guess that would be okay, but is that driving massive traffic to your site or just bringing back people who are looking to read what you’ve written back for another look? And, in this day and age, aren’t more of those people probably subscribing to your RSS feed, as it pertains to your blog?
17) And speaking of offline efforts: if you’re ever quoted in a magazine or other publication, make sure and mention your URL as its appropriate to the topic.
This I’ve done, but it’s never brought massive traffic. Like when I posted on my business blog the last interview I did (which can be found by going here, or downloaded and listened to as a MP3 file here). It got a lot of hits, but mainly because I sent it to all the people in my address book and they popped over to either listen or download. That was a one and done, and all those people knew me already. Anyone who didn’t know me,… nothing massive there. Still, it’s pretty good publicity that will always be there for me.
18) If you have products to sell why not get a store on eBay?
This might be a good idea, but more for making money than driving traffic to one’s site, unless you own a commerce site. It certainly wouldn’t drive massive traffic to your blog.
19) Load a video on YouTube and 57 other video sites.
Once again, something I can’t comment on since I’ve never done it. Of course, I do put up a post that’s mainly videos here and there, but without posting something I’ve created on my own and uploaded somewhere, I don’t know how well this works or not. I think every person has the opportunity to go viral, though.
20) If you’re going to go through all the trouble of getting traffic to your site, make sure your site is converting this traffic into something. Get folks to sign up for something, your newsletter, the RSS feed on your blog.
This one’s already been addressed in other comments above, so it’s more of a wrap up of other points than something new.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on these 20 points. I’m not saying they’re not good to do anyway, because publicity is publicity, and one or more of these might do wonders for you. And if one of you gets massive traffic because of it, then you’re just magnificent. But for the rest of us, the regular folks, unless we already have a big time following this isn’t what’s going to get it done.
What will get it done? Not that I really know, since I’m not there, but the two things I’ve found that seem to work the best are, of course, commenting on other blogs, and writing posts on a consistent basis, so people know you’re not a “hit and run” poster, someone who’s not going to write much of anything with any consistency. Those two things have helped me the most, and though I don’t consider myself as having massive traffic, I do have growing traffic, last week Feedburner actually told me I had 84 subscribers (though today it’s back down into the low 70’s; I wonder what drives that).
Okay, your turn; what do you think about these 20 points, and please, go read the other article for comparison?