Far too many affiliate marketers rely on search engine traffic. While there is nothing wrong with performing some white hat SEO on your website, relying on search engines alone is extremely risky. Unfortunately, many affiliate marketers learned that the hard way when Google released the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.
While it may seem like only spammy websites should have been hit by Google Panda and Penguin, the unfortunate truth is many legitimate websites lost most of their search engine traffic after those two updates. Search engine algorithms aren’t perfect so when changes are made, there is always collateral damage. Unfortunately, small infopreneur websites were hit particularly hard. Most have since recovered, but the lesson remains the same – only focusing on search engine traffic is extremely dangerous!
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Diversify By Using Other FREE Traffic Sources
The great thing about organic search engine traffic is the price. Unless you’re purchasing ad space, all of your search traffic is totally 100% free. Most of my websites receive 1,000 to 3,000 visitors every day from search engines. Nobody is disputing the importance of search engine traffic, rather, your attention should be spent on other equally as good traffic sources as well.
In the remainder of this article, I will be discussing the top 5 best ways to diversify your website traffic and I’m going to focus on other FREE traffic sources. Paid traffic has its advantages as well, but the best way to get started with your traffic diversification is through free sources.
Oh, and Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from ya!
#5 – Diversify Your Website Traffic With Yahoo Answers
I’ve always been a big fan of Yahoo Answers. It is by far the most popular peer-to-peer Q&A site on the web. Not only that, but Google LOVES Yahoo Answers and ranks them highly in search results. However, you can’t just post answers a couple times per month and expect to get a bunch of traffic. Some questions you respond to will be very popular and even rank highly in Google for years to come. That single question could potentially give you 100 or more visitors per day. Most other questions, however, will only send you a small handful of visitors before eventually fading into the Yahoo Answers abyss. The key here is to be active almost every day. Find questions related to your website topic, give a custom answer, and provide a link to your site.
A word of caution – spamming on Yahoo Answers will get your account banned and it doesn’t really work anyway. You must be genuinely helpful to others. Sometimes, it’s best to simply answer questions without even linking back to your website. It’s important to build up a good reputation. With an increased reputation, you are granted additional privileges and you won’t get banned as easily if someone reports your posts as spam (it happens sometimes).
Also be aware that Yahoo Answers has a built in spam algorithm. If you simply copy and paste the same answers all the time, you’ll likely get flagged as spam. Also try to mix up your links a bit. It’s ok to link to your own site the majority of the time, but try to mix it up a bit.
Other than that, have fun! Chatting and helping others on Yahoo Answers is a pretty fun way to spend your time, and if you do it consistently, you’ll start getting traffic by the 10’s, 100’s, and eventually maybe even by the 1,000’s per day. Long and steady wins the race.
#4 – YouTube Videos
Online video is absolutely exploding with popularity. That’s why several years ago, Google purchased YouTube. They saw what was coming and they were absolutely right. YouTube is now the 2nd most popular search engine in the World with over 6 billion hours of YouTube videos being watched every month. Crazy, right?!
Well, here’s the thing… Setting up a YouTube account and sharing videos is totally free. And you don’t need to have a professional studio to start making your own videos. A simple webcam is more than enough to begin your own video blog. Start creating a series of videos that are interesting, educational, or entertaining. Drop your website name at the beginning, middle, and end of the video and also put a link to your website in the first line of the video description. All you really have to do is talk to the camera like you’re giving advice to your best friend. As long as you have positive intentions, this is a very simple, cheap, and yet extremely personal way to connect with people online. Nothing fancy is needed.
The more videos you make, the more exposure you will get. And the more exposure you get, the more likely people will subscribe to you and watch several of your videos. The more subscribers and exposure you get, the more likely your video will get shared, and re-shared, and shared some more. This will all lead to an increase in website traffic.
YouTube can be a serious powerhouse for free website traffic and yet it is highly underutilized by most affiliate marketers and website owners. Use this to your advantage. It’s not easy to talk to a camera and post it for the World to see. If it was, everyone would be cashing in on this amazing free traffic source on the #2 most popular search engine. Seriously, get over that fear and start making videos now. It’s well worth your time and initial anxiety.
#3 – Facebook
If you own a website and you’re not on Facebook, the only reasonable explanation is because you’ve been dreading it. Not all of us are social butterflies or love social media. To be honest, I simply “tolerate” Facebook. I don’t hate it, but I’m not jumping for joy when I post a new update, either.
On the other hand, I do get pretty excited when I check my website analytics and see all those extra free visitors. Any traffic I get that isn’t related to a search engine makes me happy. So, am I willing to take the 10 minutes to create a post each day? Absolutely. Facebook is the #1 website in the entire World. Not using it would just be crazy.
If you are ever going to spend money on advertising, this is the place to do it. You can create an ad for people to “like” your page. When they do, any updates you post will show up on their news feed. With Facebook advertising, you can set up an ad where you only pay when someone actually “likes” your page. You can also set daily limits on your advertising. For example, you can cap your ads at just $5 or $10 per day. Not to mention the super targeted advertising you can run since they allow you to only advertise to people with specific interests. You don’t have to advertise, but it will grow your following much, much faster.
#2 – Twitter
Twitter is another fantastic social media platform. Many affiliate marketers drive thousands of free visitors to their website everyday just by staying active on Twitter. Just check out how this site receives 1.5 million visitors per month using Twitter.
The trick with Twitter is to gain as many followers as possible, and then send out a dozen or more tweets throughout the day. So, how do you get people to follow you on Twitter? Here’s a good way to do it…
Now, once you have your followers, whatever you post will show up on their main Twitter feed. So, start posting like crazy! Twitter is a bit different than Facebook because it is very time sensitive. You can make a new post every hour and most people wouldn’t care. So, how do you make a new post every hour? Use a scheduler like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or SocialOomph. While all of those services can help you in many ways with your social media promotion, one of the features they offer is a scheduler. Simply create a post whenever you want, then schedule the date and time you want it sent out. Simple as that.
#1 – Email Marketing
One of the first things any website owner should do is develop an email list. For a large number of affiliate marketers, this is their #1 source of traffic and income. The trick is, each subscriber on your email list is literally worth money, so treat each of them like gold!
To get someone to subscribe, offer something for free. A free report, a free ebook, or a free membership to a members only section on your site. The more “special” you can make someone feel about the free gift you are giving them, the better. And make sure whatever you are giving them for free is something they would have paid for in the first place. You want them to be completely blown away by how helpful and awesome you are.
Once you have sent them their free awesomeness, it’s time to solidify the trust. Send one or two emails that are super helpful, entertaining, or interesting. Set yourself apart from the rest of the junk people get in their inbox everyday. Once you do that, it’s time to MONETIZE with an email giving recommendations and suggestions. But don’t overdo it. Just send one or two sales emails, followed by more helpful information.
What I am describing here is called the CTPM process. If you don’t know how the CTPM process works check out this page for an explanation.
As your list grows over time, so too will your profits. Imagine having a stream of thousands of visitors to your website or affiliate sites at the mere touch of a button. If you were to only focus on one single non-search engine traffic source, email marketing is it.