Personally, I’m not a big fan of paying for blog traffic unless you really know what you’re doing and you have an established blog. By “established blog” I mean a blog that has at least 100 blog posts, strong calls to action, multiple opt-in forms and landing pages, clean navigation, comments and activity – the whole ball of wax. Paying for traffic when you don’t have anything to show them, they can’t find what you do have, and there’s no way to capture them once they find it, is in my opinion, a huge waste of money.
That said, the Internet is a much larger marketplace than it was a few years ago when all those big-name bloggers built up their empires by just blogging. No matter what niche you research you’re going to have competition. At the very least you’re going to have to look at many different methods of free promotion but if you really want to boost your traffic fast, then here are seven ways to promote your site with a bit of money. Use them wisely.
- Fiverr.com: Fiverr.com is a website where you can hire people to do things for just five bucks. A lot of these people will send traffic to your blog – lots of traffic, as in thousands of visitors per day.
- Blog Networks: A blog network is a group of bloggers who surf blogs for credits. Typically, when you join you’re given a certain amount of free credits which allows you to include your banner in the mix. Each time someone clicks your banner and sits on your blog for 20 or 30 seconds, they earn credits they can use to promote their own blog. You, in turn, earn more credits by surfing other blogs. You can also purchase additional credits which results in more clicks.
- StumbleUpon: You can promote your blog on StumbleUpon for as little as $5, too. When you do, your blog is included in the mix that surfers see when they’re using their StumbleUpon button to surf the Web. Each time they hit your page it costs you five cents and you can set a limit on how much you want to spend.
- Google Adwords: If you’re using Google Adsense on your blog then you’re being paid every time one of your visitors clicks that ad. Somebody has to pay for that click and it could be you. Understanding keywords and how people search the web is important if you want to get targeted traffic.
These first four options will certainly bring in traffic fast, but unless you really understand keywords and searching habits most of that traffic will be generic. Or, in the case of Google Adwords, targeted traffic is going to cost you some money.
I do recommend all four methods, but only if you do your research. Finding someone on Fiverr who’s guaranteeing he’ll send you 40,000 visitors tomorrow is great. But your blog is about lawn care and all of his 40,000 followers are following him because they’re all interested in rock bands.
The following options will result in less traffic, but it will be more tightly targeted. Instead of throwing the spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks, these people will actually be interested in your blog before they even hit the page.
- Text Link Ads: Readers are much more likely to click on a link to your blog when they see it referenced on another blog, in a blog post. And a lot of bloggers are very happy to link to you for just a couple of bucks. However, keep in mind, Google frowns on paid links and link exchanges. Choose relevant blogs and get to know the blogger first.
- Paid Ads on Blogs: Most blogs have ads, just look at your own sidebar. And a lot of bloggers would be very happy to sell you ad space. Most will even let you buy it on a monthly basis for just a few bucks. Again, choose relevant blogs for targeted traffic.
- Virtual Assistants: Anytime you just throw an ad out there you’re essentially hoping someone will click on it, someone who has a direct interest in what you have to offer. In the Internet world, that’s like trying to scoop up the ocean with a Dixie cup. The best way to promote your blog is to reach out and grab readers by the hand and pull them in, one at a time. But who has time for that, right?
That’s where virtual assistants come in. Use them to leave relevant blog comments, interact in your social networks, write articles for directories and guest blog posts. In most cases a VA, or freelancer, will cost more than these other forms of paid promotion but the traffic will be much more targeted. And targeted traffic converts into sales.