The Build Your Brand: Design Your Life challenge is drawing to an end. By now, you have a brand and a website, with social accounts to support them, and you have already started cranking out amazing content, providing value for your audience. So again, congratulations! However, you have probably noticed that traffic to your site is still a little light. Today, I will share some traffic generation strategies to help you get more visitors to your new website!
The First and Last traffic generation strategy? Provide Value!
The only way to get real, traffic, and grow an engaged, loyal following is to provide massive value to your audience. Whether that audience is your just mom and husband, or 50 thousand unique visitors per month, your first and last priority should be to provide them with immense value, every time they visit your site or one of your other channels.
I cannot tell you how many people make the mistake of trying to self-promote in places they shouldn’t or trying to sell when and where they shouldn’t. If every interaction you have representing your brand, which is EVERY interaction you have, because you are your brand, is focused first and foremost on providing value, then the traffic, the visitors, and the growth will all happen naturally.
All of that said, I get it. If your Mom and Husband are your two lone visitors, then you are going to have to take your value to the people, at least until the people start coming to you.
Publish and pray
Don’t do it. Publish and pray refers to the idea of creating content on your website, or whatever your primary platform is and doing nothing: just waiting for people to come to you. This is what I did with our first website. I hated social media, and I felt I was putting out great content. I figured it was only a matter of time before people discovered that great content and started flocking to our website.
How did that work out for me? Well, that website no longer exists. Actually, it does exist, but all that is there is a landing page telling people to come to this website, so I guess that it is part of MY traffic generation strategy!
Now I know I said that you should not go out promoting your brand, looking for traffic. I also said that you should not publish your valuable content and wait for people to find it. So what do you do? Go out looking to give value to people wherever they are.
Quora, Reddit, and Niche Forums
In our last post, we discussed how you could use Quora, Reddit, and niche forums to generate content ideas. Well, if you did that, then you know exactly where the people who would benefit from your content are. Now you just have to get that content in front of them.
But remember, you are NOT there to promote your brand. You are there to provide value. Find the people asking the questions that you are an expert on and answer them. At this point, you should be able to give in-depth answers, because you have covered these topics front and back in your own content.
Give people super detailed, in-depth answers to their questions, establish yourself on the platform(s), that you choose, as an expert. Be the person on Reddit or in a forum that other members tag when they can’t answer a question, because they know you can.
How does this translate to anyone ever finding all of your amazing content that is collecting dust on your website?
Many forums will allow you to have a link to your website associated with your account. Naturally, once people on the site see you as an authority, they will be motivated to click through and see what more you have to offer on your own site.
Other times, you can post links to your site on those platforms. This is a very common practice on Quora, to the point that the whole thing just reeks of spam, which is one reason I choose to stay away from it.
Different niche forums will have different rules regarding “self-promotion,” with some not allowing any external links of any kind, so be sure that you read up on them before you share a link to your site in any way.
Reddit is by far my favorite place to find people for whom my content could provide a ton of value. While each subreddit has its own reddiquette, overall, the platform does not take kindly to spammers or anyone engaging in what they see as “blatant self-promotion.”
Whichever of these platforms you use to seek out people for whom you can provide value, don’t bring them anything less than your A game. Make sure that your comment provides more value and shows more knowledge than anyone else’s in the thread. Otherwise, why would anyone choose to seek out your content in the future?
And never EVER post links to your site just for the sake of getting it out there. Remember, you are there to provide value, not to generate traffic for your site. Providing great value to people will always lead to traffic generation down the road. Meanwhile, treating people like they are just potential traffic will ensure that your brand is not long for this world.
How I use Reddit to provide value!
I began by subscribing to several subreddits related to our niche. Of course, I had already been a part of these groups, looking for information myself in the past, and more recently to find common questions and pain points around which I could create content.
Now, I will browse through my subscribed subreddits until I see someone asking a question that I know I could provide a great answer to. Then, I provide said great answer, providing value to that individual. And oftentimes, more people chime in, adding that they would like to know the answer to that question too. So you might end up providing value to several people.
Then if, and only if, they would benefit from it, and it is a natural fit, I will include a link back to my site, further elaborating on the topic. Whatever you do, do not abuse this. Don’t ever post a tangentially related link just to promote your site! Remember: adding value good, self-promoting bad! Furthermore, I usually take an extra step before posting a link.
Let’s say that someone is considering purchasing a product that I have reviewed, and has asked a particular question regarding it. I will answer their question completely. Never hold back a bit as a teaser to get them to your site. Provide them with value right where they are. After which, if they are satisfied with the answer and it makes sense to do so, then I will tell them that I have an article that fully covers the product and maybe compares it to its competitors as well. Then, I offer to share a link with them if they would like. More times than not, they are very happy to be given another resource to check before making their purchase.
The best part about using these platforms to share values with your future raving fans? The value that you provide on them will usually be indexed and stored basically forever. This means that when future people search through those platforms, they might find your answers to their questions. This means the value that you provide on them can be a gift that keeps on giving. However, if you are just out to self-promote, that will be there to be found forever as well. So just say no to spammy, self-promoting behavior.
This is a rabbit hole that I could easily get sucked into and write a whole nother series about, so I will keep this one relatively brief. But as I said in the last post, if you would like dedicated posts on how to use social media to grow your brand, let us know in the comments below.
What I will do is, again, drive home the point that social media, like any platform that you are on, should be used to deliver value to your audience. With that said, there is no need to worry too much about which social media platforms are best at generating traffic your site. Because whichever platform allows you to give the most value to your audience, will be the one that generates the best traffic for your site. As always, provide value for the win.
Still, as before, it is important that you are getting your content out in front of people. If you already have a social media following in the same niche as your business, or a decent social media following of any kind, it will be much easier, because you already have access to people for whom you can provide value.
If, like us, you had virtually no social media presence when you began, then you will have to go out and formulate a strategy to build one. And what should that strategy look like? Do I really need to say it? Provide value!
And if no one is following you, then take your value straight to them. Reaching out with real value and creating genuine interaction with others on social media is by far the best social media strategy. Sure, you could buy followers, or use bots to automate your social media presence, but how many loyal fans do you think that those strategies will win your brand?
One technique for this is Gary Vee’s $1.80 Instagram strategy. The premise of which is this:
Most people comment on an Instagram picture here and there, “giving their 2 cents.” However, if you choose 9 photos from 9 different niche related hashtags and provide a real, insightful comment, providing value, or creating a connection in some way for each of them, then you have shared $1.80.
In a sea of emoji comments left by bots, you will stand out like a lighthouse on a moonless night. People will be motivated to see what kind of epic value you could provide on your website if you are capable of providing it in an Instagram comment.
A similar strategy will work for almost all social media platforms. Be real, and never, ever, ever make anything seem like a business transaction. Do you know how many peoples’ profile I have checked out when they commented: “great profile, check mine out?” A big fat donut. Back when I streamed video games, people would forever pop into the chat with the old line “sub for sub?” And how many do you think I subbed to? Again, donuts.
That is because I know what I am providing. I will never barter away my value for any price. I give it freely. Take it for nothing, or not at all. If meanwhile, those people had given insightful comments, been entertaining, or provided value to my chat in some way, I would have probably checked them out, and many of my viewers definitely would have.
Final thoughts on social media
The last thing that I will say about social media is to give your audience a reason to follow you on different social platforms, as well as your website. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and you should be providing content them that plays to those.
For instance, follow me on Instagram and you will see photos of the places we travel, accompanied by a snippet of what we are up to, and often a bit of motivation or an attempt at profound insight.
Meanwhile, follow me on twitter, and you will get a steady stream of motivational quotes, as well as links to articles from other sites that will help you design a lifestyle business and travel the world on your own terms.
Never just repost the same content across all social media platforms, you ensure that most will follow you on no more than one, and many will not follow you at all.
Like social media, entire books and websites are devoted to SEO, so I am not going to do that in this post. However, if you would like a post covering SEO in detail, let us know in the comments below!!
The grandaddy of them all: Search Engine Optimization. Those words strike fear into the hearts of most bloggers. Shrouded in mysterious algorithms, blackhat techniques, and technical jargon, SEO is really just the process of trying to get Google to show your website to more people. There, that’s not so scary, is it?
The fact is that it is very difficult to rank on the first page of Google for any keyword with enough traffic to make it worth the effort. However, it is not impossible.
If you used the keyword research and content generation techniques that we discussed in our last post, then you have already created content that stands a decent shot at being ranked highly.
You might even find yourself ranking for some lower volume keywords that you didn’t even mean to rank for! And the people who find your site via searching for those keywords are just that many more people for whom you can provide value!
Over time, as you use the other techniques that we have discussed here, more and more people will see your site and become aware of the value that you provide. In time, some of those people will ink to your site as a resource, much like you would cite a resource is an academic project. This is what makes Google see you as an authority, and causes your site to move up the Google page rankings.
Again, there are tons and tons of strategies for proactively seeking backlinks, but those are beyond the scope of this post. For now, create epic content, provide incredible value, and you will grow.
That concludes our penultimate post in the “Build Your Brand: Design Your Lifestyle” series! Next week we will be back with the final post, which will cover how to go about monetizing your brand, and how to know when the time is right to do it.
In the meantime, keep creating epic content and delivering it to the people, and watch as your audience grows!
Build Your Brand: Design Your Life Series
9. You are Here! Traffic Generation: Maximum Value Equals Maximum Traffic
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