How to Get Website Traffic: 5 Methods That Actually Work
There are literally hundreds of how-to's, ultimate guides, and list posts on how to get website traffic.
And yet, it's still one of the biggest struggles among unsuccessful bloggers and website owners.
Why do you think that is?
I tell you...
The main reason why thousands of bloggers and marketers can't get blog traffic is because most of the material out there doesn't exactly show you the exact steps to implementing traffic methods.
Instead, they give a brief introduction to the traffic methods, or at best...a summary of what to do. You know? They don't exactly show you what to do.
But that's not what you're going to get today.
Today, you're going to get the exact steps to the 5 traffic methods I've used to drive thousands of visitors to Blogging Aid.
Note: None of these have anything to do with SEO.
Are you ready to get started? Then let's go.
How to Get Website Traffic: 5 Ways Without SEO
Just a heads up here: You won't see the usual list post here. This is an epic guide that shows you how to get traffic to your blog using our 5 tried and true methods.
1. The Experts/Blogs List Post
This is one traffic strategy that has done me good.
It's a great tactic for bloggers that are struggling to get blog traffic.
So what exactly is an "experts/blogs list post'?
It's a list post that features bloggers and/or their content. Like this:
It's a traffic method I used on one of my other blogs, AffiliMarketer.
I published a this type of post that featured 24 affiliate marketing blogs.
At the time, I was only getting about 10-20 hits per month. Here's the traffic I got from Jan. 15 to Sept. 15:
Not good, huh?
After I published the post and did my thing, my traffic numbers went up. Here's the traffic from Sept. 16 to Sept. 30:
Not bad, eh?
I also used this method on this blog, too.
On the second week of January, I published this post type that featured 50 blogs (has since been updated to 100). The results?
Here's the traffic I got from Jan. 11 to Jan. 16:
That's over 2,000 hits in only 5 days.
That may not be impressive to some, but at the time, Blogging Aid was only 1 month old.
Pretty cool, huh?
Shoutout to Ana Hoffman for introducing me to the idea of linking out for traffic.
Why does this strategy work?
Everybody loves being called an expert at what they do. It makes them feel good, right? It makes them feel like what they're doing is actually helping people.
Wouldn't you feel proud of your work?
If I were to say that you were one of the top 50 bloggers of all time, how would you feel?
Pretty damn good, I bet.
So. How exactly do implement this traffic method?
I'll tell you...
Here's the exact 5-step system I used to drive Blogging Aid's first 2K visitors:
Step 1: Choose a Bangin' Topic + Headline
Have you ever read or seen posts that lists the top blogs or experts to follow for a particular niche?
Like this one from Feedspot:
That's almost the kind of post you're going to be working on here.
But instead of "to follow" or "to read", you're going to give it a little twist.
For example, instead of "Top 25 Work-at-Home Pros to Follow in 2017" you would go for something like "25 Work-at-Home Experts That'll Actually Help You Work From Home".
As for your topic, it's obvious. Choose something that is related to your niche.
If you're in the blogging/marketing niche, you'd go with SEO, online marketing, blogging, list building, etc.
If you're in the weight loss space, you'd go with losing belly fat, chest sculpting, eating healthy, etc.
Step 2: Find Your Experts or Pro Blogs
I'm sure you have a few of them off the top of your head.
But since you need 25-100 pros, you're going to have to do some legwork to find them.
Now don't worry, this is the internet. Everything's practically right in front of us. We just have to look around.
So, the first thing you're going to do is use Buzzsumo to find some of your pros.
Head over to their homepage, enter your main topic, and then click the "Influencers" link at the top menu.
This will bring up a list of pros that are doing great on Twitter.
Next, you're going to browse around Alltop.
Go to their homepage, enter your main blog topic into the search bar, and then choose your category.
This will bring up a whole page of websites/blogs in your category. And Alltop doesn't have low-quality or spammy sites in their directory.
Last, but not least...Google. They pretty much have everything. So why not?
You can Google something "top [niche] blogs" or "top [niche] experts" and it'll bring up lists that other people have put together.
Another thing you could do is search for terms related to your niche.
For example, if you're in the blogging niche, you can search for "how to start a blog" or "make money blogging".
Step 3: Create Your Egobait
Now for the fun part.
This is where you're going to put your list together.
You have 2 options:
- A categorized list - if you're going with a broad topic like "online marketing" or "gaming".
- An alphabetical list - for an easier time.
I suggest you start with an outline.
If you're splitting your list up into categories, use h2 subheadings for the categories' names and h3 for the bloggers.
If you're going with the alphabetical list, then you'll only need 1 h2 tag. And that's for when you announce your list.
Now, for your list items, you'll need 4 elements:
- Their name or blog name (wrapped in an h3 subhead).
- Their headshot (anywhere between 150 - 300px wide).
- A short summary and maybe your opinion. (about 50-100 words)
- A link back to their site (or content).
You could also slide in a small "at a glance" section right under the name and above the summary.
Here's the way I did it:
Step 4: Let Them Know
This step is crucial. It's the key to all its success.
If you don't do this, nobody's going to know about your list post.
So, open up your email and send a short and to the point message to each of your pros one-by-one.
Here are some tips for a good email:
- Use their first name.
- Keep it no longer than 100 words.
- Introduce yourself in one short sentence.
- Go straight to the point. Let them know you've featured them.
- Mention one or two other experts you featured in your post.
Here's an example email:
Hey John, featured you on my post...
I'm Julian, a blogger at Blogging Aid.
We've just published a post that features you and 49 other blogging experts. These include Neil Patel and Pat Flynn.
I know you'd enjoy it. It features a lot of today's pros and even some up and comers.
Here's the link:
Let me know what you think.
Have a great week.
You can find a more detailed version of the guide at the Matthew Woodward blog.
2. Guest Blogging
But, it really has to be a blog that already has a good amount of readers. Because that's where the traffic will come from...
Not the search engines, not social media, not forums...
But from the blog itself.
A guest post on MatthewWoodward.co.uk got me 180 sessions in February.
I'll take that any day (or month).
Not good enough for you?
Alex Turnbull drove more than 20,000 visitors to GrooveHQ through guest blogging.
That's freakin' amazing.
So... How exactly do you guest blog for traffic?
Here's the basic 4-step process:
- Find guest post opportunities.
- Pitch them a solid blog post idea.
- Create an epic post.
- Everything else. (ex: bio, sending it, promotion)
Now let's go in-depth.
Step 1: Find Guest Posting Opportunities
There are tons of blogs out there that are always seeking out new guest bloggers.
Why? Because of the content. They want quality content.
You see, when you write for another blog, you both win.
You get some exposure, they get free content.
So, how do you find these blogs (that are looking for contributors)?
There are several ways to find guest blogging opportunities. But, I'm only going to show you 2, which are real easy.
i) Google Search
At least 90% of the sites that accept contributors have a page on their site that invites guest bloggers.
You can find them using one of these search strings:
These pages will also tell you what they're looking for in a post and in a pitch. Which will help your chances at getting accepted.
ii) Ready-Made Lists
A "ready-made list" is a post or page created by bloggers who list a bunch of blogs that accept guest posts.
A lot of these lists have just about every category (or niche) you need.
And you can find them through, yeah you guessed it...Google.
Here are a few search terms:
- sites that accept guest posts
- list of guest blogging sites
- list of guest posting sites
- list of guest posting opportunities
Step 2: Pitch Them Your Idea
Now it's time to pitch them your awesome idea for a guest blog post.
But first, you'll have to come up with the right topic.
You can't just give them the first idea that comes to your mind.Why? Because there's a chance at it getting rejected. And we can't have that.
So, follow the following steps…
i) Read Their Guidelines Page
At least 90%, probably more, have a guest post guidelines page.It's important to read it through, so you'll know what they want from potential contributors.
If you followed the first step (Find Guest Posting Opportunities), you've likely already found their guidelines page. It's the one you find when you google something like "keyword + write for us”.
Read the whole page.
ii) Find The Right Topic
After you've found out what they look for in a post, it's time to look for the perfect blog post topic.
You can do this by browsing through their blog pages.
Yeah, that sounds boring. But you won't be reading anything. I promise.
All you'll be doing is finding which of their posts gets a lot of comments. You can find out their comment count without clicking through to the page itself.
Another way to find out what their best topics are is by finding out their most shared content.
You can do this with Buzzsumo.
Here's how to do it:
First, you'll head over to Buzzsumo's homepage and enter the domain of one of your targets.
This will pull up their most shared content (the free version will only give you 5 results).
Now you know what kind of topics, and post types (infographics, how-to's, etc), their readers like most.
iii) Send Them Your Pitch
By now, you should have a good idea of what they look for in a guest post. Also, what performs well on their blog (what their readers like reading).
Now it's time to send them your guest post pitch.
I'd also recommend sending them multiple ideas. You know, just in case.
Here's a pitch template you can use:
Note: Most blogs will tell you how to pitch them. You'll find these instructions in their guest posting guidelines.
Note #2: If you need a hand with your pitch, Tom Hunt and Mirasee has a great guide you can learn from.
Step 3: Write an Epic Blog Post
You've just got accepted. This is where the fun begins.
I'm assuming you already know how to write web content.
If you don't, my buddy Kevin wrote this epic 10K-word monster at Be a Better Blogger that'll walk you through the process of writing a quality blog post.
But anyway, it has to be one of the best pieces of content you've ever written. In fact, I'd recommend going all out and making it your best.
This is how you'll get the best out of your guest post. Meaning the bigger chance at driving traffic back to your blog.
So be epic.
Step 4: Finish up
When you're done your epic guest post, you'll still have to write your author bio.
Also, most blogs love it if you take part in the comments for a few days and promote the post as much as you can.
So you still have stuff to do before and after your post goes live.
For your author bio, you can check out HubSpot's tips.
For promoting the guest post, you can learn 100+ ways for promoting content at Content Marketer's Blog.
Note: I go into much, much more detail in my guest blogging guide. I also have an additional step. Check it out.
3. Blogger Outreach
Blogger outreach (and influencer marketing) is basically where you try and tap into other bloggers and influencers' audiences. Basically.
The first time I heard of "blogger outreach", I was intimidated. It sounded like hard work.
And I'm sure you're thinking the same thing.
But you know what...
It really isn't.
And the traffic you can get from a successful outreach campaign? Incredible.
You're probably wondering how blogger outreach will actually drive traffic to your blog.
Yeah, well. All the traffic you get by doing outreach comes from the
Does it really work?
He has drove 22,000 visitors to a single post, built .edu links, and even connected with some of the biggest influencers in his area. Including Ramit Sethi.
Tor Refsland, another master connector, was featured in 158 blogs in his first year of blogging. All because of blogger outreach.
Even I've had a little bit of success with it.
When Blogging Aid hit 30 days old, it received over 2500 views. 99% of that was because of my outreach marketing.
I've also been featured in a few blogs, landed over a dozen guest posts, and got dozens of influencers to share my content. And most importantly, I've connected and built relationships with a bunch of industry pros.
So... How exactly do you do blogger outreach for traffic?
The TL;DR version:
Target bloggers and influencers with an engaged audience, help them, and get them to promote your content.
Here's the step-by-step process:
Step 1: Make a List of Influencers
The first step to getting people to send some of their readers your way is to find them and put them on your hit list.
Off the top of your head, I'm sure you can think of a few influential bloggers you'd like to connect with.
So write them down into a nice and tidy word doc (like a spreadsheet).
For finding everybody else, you'll have to do some searching.
Buzzsumo is a tool for finding the most shared content. But it also has this great feature that helps you find influencers on Twitter.
This is awesome for you because if and when they share your content, especially if they tweet it, you can get a bunch of retweets and blog visitors.
So here's what to do:
ii. Google search
Another way is to search for list posts that feature experts in your industry. Kind of like the one we showed you how to do earlier in this post.
You can find these by Googling terms like "top [industry] experts" and "top [industry] blogs".
Now add these pros to your hit list.
I'd also recommend finding their social follower count, their email address, and their main website/blog URL and add it all to your hit list document.
Step 2: Pre-outreach
So now you've got a list of influencers you'd like to reach out to.
But before you can ask them for a share or mention, you'll have to get on their radars, first.
They'll be more likely to read and answer your emails if they know or recognize you.
So, how do you get on their radar?
3 words: comment and share.
Yes, that's it. All you have to do is blog commenting + social sharing.
Blog commenting is one of the best ways to connect with bloggers and influencers.
But it can't be just another lame "Hey, great post. It helped me a lot..." kind of comment. No. You won't get anybody's attention doing that.
Sure, he might reply to your lame comment. But will he remember you? Hell no.
You'll have to leave epic comments that either add to value to the blog post or the discussion.
Follow Kevin Duncan's 4-step system to writing comments and you will do well.
- The Friendly Greeting
- The Sincere Compliment
- The Added Value
- The Parting Promise
When you're sharing their content, the best place to do this is on Twitter because of how easy it is to get their attention (via @ mention).
So, you'll head over to their blog, find a piece of content that catches your attention, read it, and hit the Twitter share button.
Make sure that it has a "via @username" at the end.
Step 3: Be a Friend, Help Them Out
You're on their radar. If you were to send them an email right now, they'd probably recognize you.
But, it's not that time yet.
Yes, they'd recognize you. But would they hook you up? No.
Why? Because you haven't really helped them yet.
Yes, you shared their content. Yes, you commented on their post. But that's not enough. They get tons of people doing that
So, how do you help them?
There are a few ways. Here's a short list:
- Link out to them in your content.
- Let them know of a broken link or spelling error.
- Purchase their product and publish a detailed review on your blog.
- Take action on something they've shared, like a traffic strategy, and show them your [positive] results.
Always remember to let them know when and how you've helped them.
Pro tip: Don't help them just once. Do it 3-5 times before moving onto the next step.
Step 4: The ASK
You've got your targets. You're on their radars. And you've helped them out a few times.
Now you're ready.
It's time to ask them for some traffic. Side note, don't literally ask them for traffic!
So, how do you ask them without fucking it up?
Here are some outreach tips:
- Use their first names. Always.
- Remind them who you are and how you helped them.
- If you're asking for feedback, links, or shares, don't include links. Instead, ask the question first, and when they reply with a yes, that's when you send them your link.
- Keep it short. Remember they're busy people. So under 150 would be best.
- And most importantly, be genuine. Don't be a dick. Talk as if you were with your BFF. Be cool.
Step 5: Stay Connected
This is important. Especially for the relationship.
If you don't keep in touch with the influencer or blogger, you're going to look like an ass.
Seriously. You'd look like that friend that only talks to you when he needs something.
So, how do you stay connected?
Follow them on all of your social media accounts. Like their social pages and join their groups.
Become an email subscriber. People love their email subscribers.
You should also read, share and/or comment on their latest posts.
Also, make it easy for them to learn about you.
You can do this with a link to your, website, about page, or social profiles in your email signature. Just like what my friend Janice Wald has set up with her emails.
4. Blog Commenting
I bet you're thinking...
"What? Commenting can't really get you traffic, can it?"
Well, you're wrong.
I've also done some good with blog commenting.
Pretty cool, huh?
So, how do you blog comment effectively?
Here's the basic 3-step process:
- Find blogs in your niche.
- Be (one of) the first to know of new posts.
- Leave an epic comment.
Now let's go into more detail.
Step 1: Find blogs in your niche
Of course, the blogs and posts you comment on have to be in your area.
This is how the traffic you drive to your blog will be targeted.
Cool? Alright. Then let's find some relevant blogs that could potentially send you some traffic.
Here's what you need to do:
i. Do some Google searches
Like with all, or most, research you do online, you start with Google. Right?
So, what are you going to search?
To find the big blogs in your space, you'll search for the big search terms related to your niche or industry.
This usually means searching one, two, or three-word search terms.
Anything longer would be considered "long-tail".
And you know who targets the long-tail keywords...small and medium blogs and websites. Which doesn't necessarily mean they don't have audiences.
I mean, if they get a fair amount of shares AND comments on their posts, they should be on your list of targets.
Anyway, let me give you some examples of what you'd search for:
- blogging tips
- start a blog
- make money blogging
- increase website traffic
Weight Loss Niche
- lose weight
- lose weight fast
- how to lose weight
- weight loss supplements
- get abs fast
- how to get abs
- build muscle at home
- lose man boobs
ii. Do some Buzzsumo searches
Buzzsumo is one of my favourite tools. (It's a paid tool, a bit on the expensive side, but offers a 14-day free trial and a free version)
Great for finding influencers and authority blogs.
Anyway, to find some top blogs in your area, simply head over to their homepage and enter a popular term or phrase in your niche.
For instance, if you're in the blogging niche, you'd search for something like "blogging tips" or "how to start a blog".
This will bring up highly-shared content.
Now you have a list of blogs that receive a lot of social shares.
Step 2: Be the first to know of their new posts
You're probably wondering why being one of the first to know about a new post is important, right?
Well. If you comment on a post that was published weeks ago and already has dozens, or hundreds, of comments, chances are your comment won't get seen because the people you want already visited and left...never to return to the page again.
But if you're one of the first few, then the readers will see your comment when they make their way down to the comments section.
You get it?
So then, how are you going to do this? How are you going to know when they hit the publish button?
You can't just go all magic and poof, know they just published a new post.
That'd be silly.
But there are tools that collect the latest content from popular websites and blogs. They're called content or news aggregators.
Simply head over to their site and go to the account creation process.
Next, search for your topics, and add them to "collections".
I'd also recommend installing their free Feedly app on your mobile phone.
Step 3: Leave a quality comment
A comment that will get you noticed isn't the type of comment you're probably used to seeing.
I'm talking about that:
Great post. It helped me a lot.
That stuff won't get you help build relationships and get traffic.
You'll have to craft quality comments that either adds to the post or to the discussion.
I'd recommend following Kevin Duncan's 4-step system:
- The Friendly Greeting
- The Sincere Compliment
- The Added Value
- The Parting Promise
Pro Tip: If you run into a blog that used the CommentLuv comment system, always put a lot of effort in leaving a quality comment because you'll be able to post your own blog post's link with it.
5. Expert Roundups
Expert roundups have been one of the best ways to not only produce helpful, valuable content, but also get hundreds of social shares and tons of traffic.
Sometimes, one expert roundup post can receive more than 2,000 shares, drive more than 10,000 blog visitors, and even rank at the top of Google.
Example? Robbie Richards' epic roundup that features 61 pros that share their best keyword research tools.
But you might have heard that expert roundups don't work anymore.
A lot of these experts that have taken part in experts roundups have said they don't like them anymore.
But you know what? They still work.
The big reason why people hate expert roundups is because a lot of bloggers and marketers use them the wrong way...
To get social shares.
They ask a boring, broad question, like "what is a good link building tool?", that's either completely irrelevant to their audience or that doesn't add value. At all.
If you do that too, you won't get a lot participants. Which would mean no shares and ultimately no traffic.
To increase your chances at a traffic-heavy expert roundup post, follow these 5 steps:
Step 1: Come up with the PERFECT Topic + Question
Coming up with the right topic for your roundup is a must.
Obviously, you can't create a roundup post about the best weight loss tips for women when you're a blogger in the gaming industry.
That would be silly.
You'll have to stay within your target niche.
If you're a travel blogger, you'd go with a travel topic.
If you're a marketing blogger, you'd go with a marketing topic.
If you're a sports blogger, you'd go with a sports topic.
So don't get it wrong.
As for the question, this can get a little tricky.
Why? Because you don't want to go with something too broad and boring.
If you do, you can most certainly expect boring answers. Which would result in a total boring post. A non-epic roundup, if you will.
Some examples of boring questions would be:
- What is the best list building tool?
- Where's the best place for a vacation?
- How can a man build muscle?
Now let's put a little spice into them:
- If you only had enough for 1 tool in your shoestring budget to capture emails, which one would you choose, and why?
- Where is a great place for families to spend their summer vacation?
- What are your 3 best workouts for older men who want to build muscle?
See how more fun they look?
Step 2: Find the RIGHT Experts
The topic + question and the experts are the most important factors to your roundup's success.
If you mess one of them up, you can say buh-bye to all that traffic.
So. Here's what to do:
i. Open up a new word doc (spreadsheet or excel):
ii. Go to Google and enter the following search terms:
(Examples will be in the blogging/marketing niche. So replace my niche with yours.)
- email marketing + experts
- blogging tips + experts
- content promotion + experts
- top marketing experts
- top seo blogs
iii. Copy and paste every experts' name, email, website URL, and maybe social links:
Pro Tip: Before moving onto step 3, do a little pre-outreach to up your chances at getting roundup participants.
Step 3: Ask for Their Participation
You're going to do the asking through email outreach. Which is basically sending them an email asking them if they'd want to contribute.
So don't mess this up.
Email outreach is harder than you think.
One small mistake can mean a lot of no's.
So don't be weird, stalky, or pushy.
Here's the template I used for my roundup that got a 60% response rate:
Hey [first name],
I know you're a busy man/lady, so I'll keep this short.
I'm [your name] from [your blog]. I'm putting together an expert roundup and you're the first person I though of. I'd really love to get you on board.
I'm planning on asking at least 100 other pros. So yeah, this could be pretty epic. 😀
If you have a few minutes to spare between now and [your deadline], it would literally mean the world to me if you could answer the following question. 🙂
[your roundup question]
If you could send a paragraph or two, that would be awesome.
Step 4: Create the Roundup
So after you've reached out to your experts, and they've answered back, it's time to put it all together. And I don't mean just a simple copy and paste into your blog post editor.
Yes, of course you're going to copy and paste their answers into your post. But you'll have to do more than that.
A mistake I see a lot of expert roundup creators is that they don't proofread/edit.
Your expert contributors are busy people, so 5 times out of 10 you'll get an unedited answer.
So do it.
Need some extra help? Take a look at these epic roundups for inspiration:
Step 5: Promote
Your epic roundup post is live...
Will people find it on their own? Will the expert contributors come check it out on their own?
No and no.
You'll have to let the contributors know the post is live.
How? Just like how you did when you asked for their participation...email outreach.
This time, though, it'll be much easier than the first email you sent them because they know who you are now.
So here's what to do:
i. Open up a new email.
I'd suggest just hitting reply on the email they sent you with their roundup answer.
ii. Let them know the post is live.
You can use this simple template:
Hey [first name],
Just thought I'd let you know that I've published the roundup. 🙂
Here's the link:
Would you mind sharing it across your social media accounts?
One more thing:
Send your emails one-by-one.
I know it'll take a while, but sending emails to everybody at once is a big mistake.
Seriously. I've experienced this myself.
On the roundup I did on Blogging Aid, I emailed 10+ participants at the same time because I got lazy.
I knew it was a mistake because I've read about it before, but I did it anyway.
Want to know what happens when you send bulk emails?
Every time the people you sent them to replies, everybody will see it. Meaning they get an additional email.
And since they get tons of email every day, more emails mean more deleting. And more deleting means more time wasted.
That means you can piss these people off. And maybe they won't want to open/read your emails anymore.
So don't do it.
Relying solely on Google for traffic is one of the biggest mistakes you could ever make.
Even when Google and SEO is the best source of free website traffic, it can take a while to see a top 10 ranking. Even then, you'd still have to battle for the top 3 spots to see decent traffic.
So while you wait for your rankings and authority to climb, the 5 methods we showed you above can drive you tons of traffic to your website or blog.
Psst! Are you on Pinterest? PIN IT! 😉