Everyday it seems someone has a new idea or method you need to be doing if you want your online business to get traffic and succeed.

Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the amount of content these days that we fall into ‘analysis paralysis’ mode and are not sure what steps to take next.

That’s why I’ve created an easy, 4 step guide ANYONE can use to get targeted traffic to their site, book, blog, lead capture page, and more.

This list does NOT include ‘paid traffic’ because to anyone serious about driving paid traffic correctly, it takes a lot of work and funnel optimization to make sure you’re doing it properly to ensure a good enough ROI for your time invested into the work.

Guest Blogging

This is a big one that can really take your site to the next level overnight. Those who say guest blogging is ‘dead’ either are doing it completely wrong or simply don’t want you to get in on the action.

In fact, guest blogging is BIGGER than ever now because high traffic blogs are desperate for new content to keep up with the competition.

However, you’re going to get frustrated just doing some searches for guest blogging opportunities and submitting a few posts blindly. It’s all about relevancy and providing content the main blogger or site wants to share with their audience.

How do you do this?

First, remember to decide what type of audience you want to attract. Is it worth 10,000+ visitors from a site like Mashable who aren’t really going to buy anything on your site, or are you better with more strategic, yet smaller blog where you know your potential customer lives.

Once you have a group of keywords centered around exactly what want to write about and the specific audience you want to attract and ultimately sell to, do some quick operator searches like these…

your keyword “become a contributor”

your keyword “guest post”

your keyword “Become a Guest Writer”

your keyword “Submit a Guest Article”

your keyword “Write for Us”

your keyword “Submit a Guest Post”

your keyword “Guest post by”

your keyword inurl:write-for-us

your keyword inurl:guest-posts

your keyword inurl:profiles/blog/new

your keyword “blogs that accept guest posts”

keyword + “guest blog” + inanchor:contact

keyword + “write for us” + inanchor:contact

keyword + “become a contributor” +inanchor:contact

In addition, you can also pay to guest blog, or do a ‘sponsored post’. Use these search queries to find sponsored posts in your niche.

keyword + intext:”this is a sponsored post”

keyword + intext:”this was a sponsored post”

keyword + intext:”this is a paid post”

keyword + intext:”this is a sponsored review”

keyword + intext:”this was a paid review”

keyword + intext: “this was a sponsored review”

and check out the blogs that come up and are relevant to you.

Then, check out their guest posting guidelines and if they are even accepting posts. Many times they will have specific guidelines on how you should write, submit, promote, etc. your content. If not, before waisting your time writing an article, contact them and see what THEY are looking for and what they want written. In your brief email even suggest your topic to them.

To land guest blogging spots that are going to deliver significant traffic, it helps to prove to them you’re a business that they can trust to provide great content that will not only provide their readers with something, but help grow their business as a result of your platform as well.

If you’re starting out, one of the best things to do is just to leave long, insightful comments on their blog, especially when the main decision maker is sharing something to not only develop a relationship and rapport with them, but prove you’re someone who gets what they are trying to communicate and can deliver quality information like they can.

If the influencer or blog you’re trying to land on is very popular, sometimes leaving comments can take a long time to get noticed or waste many hours in the day trying to be one of the top comments that get attention and discussions can happen around.

To speed up this process and ensure you’re one of the first to engage with the influencer who wrote the post, use an IFTTT to receive an SMS update each time

First, log into http://ifttt.com and create a trigger that is based off the RSS feed you want to comment on.

iff 1

Then, enter your number to receive an update each time there is a new post published on this field. This can help ensure you’re one of the first to comment and engage with the blog you wish to ultimately post on.
iff2

If you know someone who is connected to them, don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction, especially if they are an authority figure in your industry. Just have them send an email introducing you and you can follow up with your suggested post.

Then, when you write the post, make sure it’s in the style that they write in.

For example, on the blog http://michaelhyatt.com the content is written in bullets or steps, so if you want to appear on that site, write the post in numbers or bullet points. Make sure your content is ‘native friendly’ to the person approving the content.

Content Repurposing

Chances are, you’ve written a few posts or produced some content already, even if it’s not something huge.

How many ways have you tried to promote this content? If you just posted it to your blog and forgot about it, you’re wasting a lot of value you could have gotten out of repurposing it on different platforms.

What do I mean buy this?

For example, a great place that’s getting more traffic more than ever now is SlideShare.net which allows you to upload slideshare presentations to share with your audience.

slideshare

Often times users won’t engage with one type of medium more than another. For instance, I tend to gravitate toward audio and podcasts, even though I know there’s tons of great content being produced on blogs or YouTube.

So to create your SlideShare presentation, just download an image editing software like http://gimp.org and create some images or add some to your content and make it into a PDF you can upload to document sharing sites.

The key to getting traffic out of this is to make it ‘native friendly’ meaning that the content fits the style that the audience likes to consume.

For instance, if repurposing your content in the form of a podcast, you wouldn’t just turn on the record button and narrate exactly what was written on your page. You would want to add some introduction music, ad-lib some over the content, or invite another influencer or marketer on to discuss the topic you’ve written and allow them to share their expertise as well.

Same goes for people who do mainly audio content, but want to reach those who primarily just read content. Have a transcriber edit your audio or podcast and repurpose it into a document they can learn from or a blog post.

Community/Micro Engagement

The internet was created to make it easier to communicate and share important information, but a lot of people have forgotten about this, even the internet experts who teach how to communicate over the internet.

Now we have tools like Buffer and Hootsuite which allow us to post content all day long to our tribe and followers and never have to be there to do it or interact with them.

Some of the biggest insights to our industry can be learned by talking one-on-one with similar people in our community.

Not to mention it can also drive traffic back to your site if you do it correctly. Maybe not tons of traffic, but the right kind that are interested in what you personally have to say and what you’re about.

Even if you’re an influencer, it helps to get into the trenches and see what’s really being said ‘on the street’ about your brand, products, industry, etc.

So to find communities in your niche, just download the discussions add-on for Google Chrome to be able to search Google for only discussions happening around your topic.

 

discussion copy

What if they don’t allow links back to your site?

It’s ok to still engage with them, as long as at some point you can call readers back to a link, post, or something else on your site in the discussion.

You can also search relevant groups on social media to engage with.

Yes, a ton of these have become ‘spam’ a-thon groups where it’s just a bunch of people spamming links back to their blog, but take a look at some that have rules in place and their is a balance of promotion/discussion going on and they only allow quality content to be shared.

For instance, if you write about internet marketing, a great community to get traffic from would be the http://growthhackers.com community or http://inbound.org.

Engage on social media as well.

You can actually type in a keyword in your niche in the platform you like best such as Twitter and participate or start a conversation in the group.

Things like Tweet chats are great to participate in, but you can actually build a following by forming discussions yourself or replying to people who have questions on social media platforms.

After all, isn’t that what social platforms were created for in the first place? To engage socially on and reward the discussions that are worth having while getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t add value?

If you can’t find any good forums, communities, social groups, etc. for your niche, can you be the guy or gal to create one and help position as the go-to-expert in your niche?

Engage with Influencers

This one is a fairly broad topic an an entire book can be written about new ways to engage with influencers in your industry to leverage your business.

For this post we are going to focus on one tactic to bring influencers to you, and another to go get them and make sure you’re on their radar.

Why engage influencers? Aren’t these guys the competition?

As the internet becomes more consolidated, influencers or big brands in your industry or niche hold the audience you need to tap into. You can either fight these people for their eyeballs, or partner strategically with them in a way that helps both your businesses. For example, you provide them quality content or a quality product they don’t have time to product in exchange for a commission or attention.

To find influencers, just look around your community at who has been producing content you’ve been engaging in or others have been sharing and look up the people responsible for producing it.

You can also use tools to find influencers. Some good ones include…

1. BuzzSumo.com

The one has an influencer search section that searches Twitter bios for key people in your industry based on a number of factors, but there is a monthly fee to use it.

2. Followerwonk

Similar to BuzzSumo, this searches Twitter profiles as well and comes with a ‘social authority’ measurement to see how influential someone is.

3. Topsy

This free service has access to the entire Twitter firehose and includes an influencer button to organize content around and search

4. GroupHigh

This is a more serious tool if you think influencer marketing is a key part of your business. This is far more expensive than the other tools so consult with their staff for pricing.

In addition, you can search blog comments and Twitter for content OTHER influencer’s are sharing and take a look at that. Often times you will see certain businesses promoting each other.

To make the most out of influencer marketing, you need to know what the key people you want to target are sharing and doing, then make sure to interact and take part in the discussion before asking them to do something for you.

A great way to organize a group of influencers you want to network with is to add their RSS feeds to Feely.com and check periodically to see what they are publishing. This saves time of tracking them down and allows you to quickly share, comment or interact with their community.

 

feedlynew

Also, add them on TweetDeck.com and retweet or respond to their own articles and conversations in Twitter. Again, this will save you a lot of time by grouping key people you want to network with together and quickly seeing what they are up to.

tweet

Then, a great way to get influencers engaged with your brand and to leverage their platforms is to get them ton contribute together in an influencer round up type post, or do one-on-one interviews with them personally.

This is a great, win-win scenario for everyone as you get access to some of their platform and expertise to share your audience, and they get to continue to position themselves as an authority in your industry as well as tap into some of your audience who may have not heard of them.

Here’s an example of an expert roundup post: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-facebook-marketing-tips-from-top-experts/

Also, this blog has a few that have been published recently with some influencers in marketing:
http://virtualpioneer.com/how-to-promote-your-blog

If you don’t want to do a round-up post, then what other ways could you have them contribute to your site but make it worth their time? If you know they are busy (by following them and taking note of what they are up to) instead of an hour long podcast interview, can you maybe ask them to fill out a quick question and answer in the form of a micro-interview on a topic?

What do you think?

What other ways can you easily grow your blog? Leave a comment below with another strategy or if you thought these were helpful!

 

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      .   profile     This post was written by Ben Murray, founder of the site and main contributor.