Blogging is hard. You spend countless hours writing great content, being original and eloquent, investing in SEO - but the growth is so slow.
You still struggle to find enough readers to make it worthwhile. The good news is that you don't have to rely solely on SEO, there are other free ways to drive traffic to your website.
We picked the most practical methods for attracting traffic that you can do today. So here we go!
6 Free Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
SEO is very important for a website because it is the most powerful ways to get targeted traffic for your online business or blog.
But SEO takes time to show any meaningful results. This doesn't mean that without SEO you can't get any traffic to your site.
Here are our 6 free but effective ways to drive consistent traffic to your site. Start implementing these strategies today and you will be able to drive decent traffic to your website without waiting for SEO to get you results.
Let's get started.
1. Get on Pinterest
There are two approaches to increase website traffic for free via Pinterest:
- Use Pinterest to be found in Google search results.
- Attract regular Pinterest users to your blog.
All pins and boards created on Pinterest appear in Google search results if you use the right keywords. Consequently, those pins will redirect users to your blog. So in this case, the platform helps you get more exposure in search.
The second approach is to be found on Pinterest itself by the platform users.
Pinterest is a visual search engine. People use it for education, research, and inspiration pinning quotes and blogs they like. If you share your articles on this platform, you can attract new visitors to your blog for free.
90% of weekly pinners make their buying decision using Pinterest, which means you will have readers who are also prone to purchase from your affiliate links. You don’t even need to promote your posts nor have followers to get page views on Pinterest. Create eye-catching pins to attract users' attention and then lead them to your blog.
Here is an example where an article about job board website development is promoted on Pinterest:
How to use your Pinterest efficiently as one of the free traffic sources:
- Use a business account on Pinterest to have access to analytics
- Create pins and boards for your blog posts
- Perform keyword research and optimize all descriptions with keywords so that you could be found in search results
- Check your privacy settings to make sure your profile and pins are not hidden from search engines!
- Use captivating images to engage users
- Make your blog pinnable so that readers can save and share what they’ve read
- Stay welcoming and interactive with followers to support your audience
- Post regularly and on schedule
2. Be Active on Facebook Groups
You don’t need to pay for ads or have many followers on Facebook to get traffic from there. You can participate in existing Facebook groups in your niche to get new readers for your blog. People in such groups will be eager to learn something new on the topic related to their interests.
For this method to work, you need to start by earning trust from the group participants and only then promote your blog. Otherwise, most groups will ban you. So ‘listen’ to the conversations in the group and contribute valuable insights to members, then lead them to learn more on your blog.
Spread as much information about your blog as possible and do the following:
- First, be useful and gain trust.
- Participate in discussions and answer questions from other followers.
- Study the rules of the groups you are joining and abide by them.
- Create short posts in those groups linking your article. Add a captivating image to make the post more noticeable.
- Don’t hesitate to share your posts several times if it is appropriate.
3. Post on UGC Publishing Platform
Another way to get free website traffic is to write articles or even have a blog on a popular UGC platform. These websites allow you to publish your content and gain access to their target audience.
In these articles, you can reference materials from your blog, so readers can find even more valuable information there.
There are different types of user-generated content (UGC) platforms. Some are general, others are industry-specific. Some allow you to post anything without moderation, others moderate your content and won’t allow anything that’s below their standards.
The most famous examples of general platforms are Medium and LinkedIn articles.
To increase traffic flow from LinkedIn: write articles and share teasers for existing content. Those articles will be read by platform users and also shown in Google search results.
Medium is another popular UGC platform with a huge following. You can create your own blog on Medium and promote it, and you can publish your articles for other Medium publications that already have a following. Both things are beneficial, although the second one can bring faster results since more readers will see your articles.
There are also publishing platforms for specific industries. For example, here are a few websites for developers to share their knowledge:
Why should you try this? First, those platforms have a huge audience that you can tap into if your posts are interesting enough. Second, in some cases, it can be easier to rank your article high on Google if it is on a popular platform than on your brand-new blog.
These platforms have a high domain rating, which can help to bring your post to the top in search with little effort. And then, of course, you can lead the readers to your blog to get more valuable information.
Pro tip: Do not repost articles from your blog on such platforms. It is considered plagiarism and can negatively affect your SEO. Rewrite your existing content or create a new article to post on UGC platforms.
4. Use Email Marketing
Sending valuable emails to your audience is a powerful way to connect with them. But you must offer something truly helpful in those newsletters so your recipients choose to read your message and not delete it without even opening it.
There are three ways to make your emails valuable:
- make them super-relevant
- give valuable content in addition to linking to your posts
- throw in giveaways
Your subscribers should feel as if you write to each of them personally. By sending personalized newsletters you make your subscribers feel special and they appreciate it. The content and offer should be exactly what they need when they need it. This can be achieved with thorough research and automation tools that allow you to segment your subscribers and tailor targeted messages to each group.
To get people to subscribe to your Newsletter it should be more than just an RSS feed of the articles from your blog. Give them some exclusive content available only for email subscribers. For instance, Tim Ferriss sends his weekly ‘5-Bullet Friday’ email with recommendations of the interesting books, movies, podcasts, and quotes he fancies this week. Along with this, he sends links to his new articles/podcasts and affiliate links.
And spoil your subscribers by throwing in a giveaway from time to time. This can be a free online course, eBook, or useful templates.
In addition to keeping your current subscribers, gifts can make joining your email list more attractive for the new ones.
To set an email campaign:
- Know your audience to tailor the letters to their needs and wants
- Build a subscribers list consisting of your current readers who shared their email to get updates from your blog
- Make your content valuable so people enjoy reading it
- Grow your list of subscribers because some existing ones might lose their interest and stop reacting to your offers or unsubscribe
- Segment your readers and prepare super-relevant campaigns for each type of reader
- Choose your email automation tool: ConvertKit or AWeber
- When your readers already trust you add affiliate links in your emails to increase sales
5. Guest Posting
Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to get website traffic for free. It is similar to posting content on UGC websites, but in this case, you are writing for somebody else’s blog. If you reach out to established blogs with your target audience and manage to get their readers’ interest, they will go and check out your blog.
For Groove, this strategy turned out to be ridiculously successful. They’ve managed to reach over 1 million new readers via guest posting and drive tens of thousands of new visitors to their blog.
This became possible because they got through to the top blogs and wrote exceptionally great content for them.
In our experience, it is not so easy to get published on such popular websites. We find guest posting for smaller websites also very beneficial, although not so explosive.
So perhaps, you shouldn’t start with such A-players as Buffer right away, but rather reach out to smaller growing blogs to maximize your chances.
Many owners of growing blogs are interested in guest articles if they are relevant and well-written and in return, they give backlinks to your website.
Best Practices for Guest Blogging:
- Create a list of target websites that accept guest posts - they have to be relevant to your niche, have a domain rating that is higher than yours but not so high that they will ignore you (for me it is DR 40-70)
- Research these websites to see what kind of content they are creating and why
- Find topics that will interest them because they will either help them sell their products or services or be very valuable to their readers
- Find the right people to contact, so that your email isn’t buried in hello@ or info@ inboxes. Popular tool like Aeroleads.com can help you achieve this.
- Write personal pitches to each target website
- Write articles only for those you have accepted your offer and chosen topic, to avoid wasting time
- Create great content, proofread it and optimize for SEO
- Submit your work and promote your guest post on social media once the post is published
6. Use Blog Directories
People like reading blogs on topics of interest and specifically search for them. Blog directories, aka blog submission sites, are exactly the places where readers come to find interesting blogs to read. These directories are repositories of blogs or articles that redirect users to original sources.
Placing yourself on blog directories gives you a chance to be found by new readers. For example, BlogSearchEngine.org will show you only blog websites after you’ve entered the topic, you just need to choose from the results.
But not every directory is good for you. Before using any of these websites check its domain rating and make sure its traffic comes from your target location.
The best blog directories are:
SEO is a complex process that takes a long time to bring results. In the meantime, there are many other things you can do today and see results tomorrow. Leverage these free tools to increase website traffic:
Take advantage of social media platforms. Pinterest boards increase your visibility for search engines. Facebook groups are perfect for finding new readers interested in your point of view.
Write for other websites. Post your works on UGC publishing platforms to reach their big audience. Find websites for guest posting and post your articles there.
Use email marketing to keep in touch with your readers and remind them to visit your blog.
Whatever method you choose, remember to include links to your blog so your potential customers find you.