Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting traffic for your site - a couple of tips.

One of the things that can be hard when first starting out with a new website is getting visitors to your site. Here's a couple of suggestions for getting a a bit of traffic.

First is Yahoo! Answers.  I know - it's widely regarded with derision and not a place any sane person would go looking for real solutions to life's problems. However, it is a place where you can answer questions with links to your site, and I guarantee you'll get some traffic.

For example, my site is a music site.  There are tons of music related questions on Yahoo Answers.  So every now and then I go browse the music category for some questions where people are looking for new music and I answer their question with a link to my site.

I seem to average about 30-40 visits from per day. It's not a ton of traffic but it's steady and free.  With a little imagination I think you could find the right categories and questions for almost any website. Give it a try.

Next is Reddit.  Reddit has "sub-reddits" (think of them as specialized forums) for almost everything you can think of.  Cars, music, electronics, sports - everything. If you can find a sub-reddit that relates to your site and become a member you can drive some good quality traffic to your website.

For example, one of my favorite sub-reddits is "listentothis" - a place where people share their music discoveries with other people who love newer, lesser known bands.  This is a perfect fit with my site, so every now and then I post a link to a great song I think people will love to hear.  Today alone my site got 100 visits from posting one link on listentothis.  And the traffic is good quality with an average time on site of about 6 minutes.

One caveat though about reddit - they don't take kindly to spammers and you must participate in the community. However I see this as a win - win because it means you have to provide the kind of quality content that will make the site a success in the long term anyway.

I know a lot of people might think answering questions on Yahoo Answers and slowly fostering a relationship with a community on reddit are a waste of time.  But these are strategies that will build a steady stream of traffic over time.  Yes it would be great to be on the front page of reddit, but it's not a realistic expectation and even a big burst of traffic doesn't always lead to repeat visits.  But if you can consistently get 50 or 100 visits every day from a site and you can get that from a bunch of sites, eventually it all adds up!

I'll post again soon with some more tips about places I get traffic from.

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