In the first part of this series, ‘The 35 Least Effective Strategies Of Building Traffic To Your Niche Site’ I managed to create quite a storm.
And, in turn, it created three distinct groups:
- Those who agreed with what I was saying and couldn’t wait to read this post.
- Those who disagreed with certain parts because they had previous success using them, but wanted to see what does work.
- Those who thought I was the devil and should be burned at the stake, seeing as though Reddit is life (and life is Reddit).
Because, well, the Internet.
I thoroughly expected that outcome though.
The fact is, how to generate traffic is an incredibly powerful topic to Niche Marketers.
Considering that high quality, converting traffic is the lifeblood of your income. And, there are a lot of contradicting themes.
So, it was a little like walking into an English Pub and shouting about which soccer team is the best in the world.
If you’re a fan of a team, you’re always going to think your team is the best (because, that’s what being a fan is, right?).
What that really boils down to isn’t what your team has achieved over the years, but what they’re achieving right now.
And, although your team might have won every title possible in the past, if they’re losing right now, they’re not the best in the world.
When it comes to generating traffic, it stands to reason that, yes; in fact, Reddit (for example) was a great source of generating High Quality traffic in the past.
But, for all the trophies it won back in the day, it’s become an ineffective strategy to use right now.
In the same way that MySpace was the Facebook of the 2000’s or that Jay Leno was the John Oliver of the last 20 years.
That being said, in this article I want to focus on what works right now.
Those strategies that are going to bring you the highest quality, converting traffic that’s going to make a real difference to your Niche Site.
Which, is what you really want, isn’t it?
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)
First, A Disclaimer…
Before I head into the meat of this article, I want to point out something of tremendous importance.
Generating high quality, converting traffic that lasts takes a lot of time and effort.
In fact, the methods outlined in this article are going to require a lot from you, if they are to have any impact on your traffic whatsoever.
If you’re looking for the get instant traffic that converts article, you’ll find that in the same section as the articles: ‘Three Reasons You Need A Magic Genie’, ‘Ten Different Ways To Wish Your Way To Success’ and ‘The Zen Guide To Making Things Appear Out Of Thin Air’.
They’re under the ‘Never going to happen’ tab on the sidebar, if you’re going to looking for them.
Cute, quintessential British sarcasm aside though, generating high quality traffic is hard work.
But, it pays off in the long run.
If you’re not ready to put in hard work, invest your time (and yourself) into your Niche Site, then I suggest you close your browser now and head back to the mediocre results you’ve been getting.
Go on, I don’t mind.
Awesome! I know you wanted to make a real difference to your Niche Site.
Trust me, it’s going to pay off tenfold.
So, What Are You Going To Learn?
This post is really long and in-depth.
I’ve made sure to go as into detail as much as I can, and show examples, because I want you to be able to action absolutely everything I say from the minute you finish reading.
And it covers everything you need to know about building the most effective, high quality, converting traffic to your Niche Site.
So then, what are you going to learn?
- Guest Blogging: I’m going to show you not only why guest blogging is crucial for traffic building, but how to ensure you get featured on any (and every blog) you can think of.
- Podcasts and Interviews: This is a callous way of putting it, but I’m going to show you how to use other people’s success to create your own content and springboard into the mainstream.
- The Power Of SEO: You’re going to learn how to optimise your site, with absolutely no prior knowledge of SEO at all. Because, the simple way is the best way.
- How To Engage With Your Audience: Having the right content for your audience is a must. And, having an audience that is highly engaged in what you’re doing is even more important. You’re going to see how to do it effectively, over and over again.
The Most Important End Goal For Your Traffic
I’ll say that again, the most important place for your traffic to end up is on your e-mail list.
It is not buying your products, commenting on your blog posts or joining your Mastermind group. They are all secondary to your e-mail list.
Once they’re on your e-mail list, you’ve got their attention on a long-term basis. From there, they will more likely to interact with your services again and again.
So, the end product should always be getting them onto your e-mail list.
But, you already knew that, didn’t you?
Strategy #1: Guest Blogging
Guest Blogging is, by far, the most important strategy for building traffic.
I have found no other way of building traffic to your website that converts to your email list (and your products) quite like it.
This is for a few reasons:
- It builds trust: Trust is the foundation of all businesses. If your content has been endorsed by someone your audience is engaged with, it adds a level of credibility.From a marketing standpoint, it builds a ‘story’ surrounding you. One that says you’re trustworthy, knowledgeable and worth paying attention to.
- It puts you in front of the right audience: Creating content for your own blog is great, but only if people can read it. Content doesn’t matter at all if it’s not produced for the right audience. Guest Blogging gives you the opportunity to add value to somebody else’s audience, and convert them into your own.
- You build a network: If you’ve helped the person whose site you’re on by generating amazing content for them, then they’re going to remember you. And, refer you to their friends. And, the number one way to become an authority is to help others.
- It’s a never-ending source of traffic: There are always blogs to write for, and there are hundreds of ways to tie your niche into someone else. A good, evergreen, guest post can keep driving traffic back to you indefinitely.
But, Isn’t Guest Blogging Dead?
Earlier this year, a lot of people in the SEO field were caught on their heels, when it came to light that a trusted name at Google, Matt Cutt’s pointed out in this article that Guest Blogging was something to “stop” in 2014.
And, from a pure SEO Standpoint, it’s probably not the best way of building Google Recognised links.
Unless you are an in house copywriter or SEO guy, this pretty much doesn’t apply to you. Because Guest Blogging takes on a completely different connotation.
You’re building a business, around the points I made a moment ago: trust, networks, having the right audience and building up high quality traffic.
For these purposes alone or from a ‘growth hacking’ standpoint, it is still an incredible way to of developing an audience and establishing yourself as an authority.
So, to quell the fear that shrouds guest blogging, no, it’s not dead. Not even close.
It is important now, more than ever, that you are creating the best possible content for their audience. The, ‘that’ll do’ approach no longer exists.
Your content should be three things:
- Relevant: to the other person’s audience, and the people you’re trying to attract.
- Valuable: It needs to have a tonne of value, for the person’s blog you’re on, and for the people who read it.
- Tailored: You should create content that the other person’s audience is dying to read.
Which, I’m going to teach you to do, right now.
Identifying A Relevant Blog
If you want to get a spot on someone’s blog, you better be damn sure that what you’re trying to push is completely relevant to their audience.
It works the opposite way too. After all the audience you’re going to be writing for needs to have a benefit for you.
You just don’t need to let the intended blog owner know that.
Before you choose a site you want to write for, ask yourself the question:
“Is this somewhere my audience spends their time?”
If your Niche Site revolves around Carving Knives, it’s going to be pointless sending a pitch off to Tiny Buddha.
However, it would be worth sending a pitch off to The Art Of Manliness, writing about ’19 Hacks For Carving The Best Turkey This Christmas’.
If the answer to the questions is, “Yes, my audience does spend their time here”, then, you can start thinking about this next section.
How To Guarantee Yourself A Spot On Anybody’s Blog
To guarantee yourself a spot as a guest contributor, you need to pay close attention to two important steps:
- Identifying Strong Content
- Writing A Strong Pitch
In that order.
Because, if you don’t have strong content before you pitch to someone, there is no point in pitching whatsoever.
Step One: Identifying Strong Content
How do you find the right content to write about?
Simple: you read their comments.
I’m fortunate enough that this is my third guest post for NicheHacks, but that doesn’t happen by chance.
So, let’s take a look at how my first guest post, ‘How To Start A Profitable Niche Site For Under $110’ came to life and why it was an effective post (that allowed me to come back).
Firstly, I looked through Stuart most recent articles with comments on them.
Secondly, I read through those comments to find any common themes that people were talking about.
Which lead me to stumble across quite a few comments on the theme surrounding the cost of running a Niche Site, such as this one:
So, I went away and came up with a bullet-pointed list of how I could help people save money on their Niche Sites based on that feedback.
It can be beneficial (and time saving) if you come up with a bullet-point list about the article, instead of pitching a whole article.
But, most website’s contact pages will let you know this in advance, like StartUpBro’s does:
When it comes to finding your own content, then, it’s important that you read the comments for a couple of different reasons:
- You’re legitimately interested in their website
- You’ve gone out of your way to try and benefit their audience (and not yourself)
- You’re a human being, and not just sending out a the same e-mail to everybody
Once you’ve decided upon, and created an outline for your content, it’s time to look at pitching.
Step Two: Writing A Good Pitch
Pitching is nowhere near as hard as you think it is.
In fact, it’s about the easiest part of guest blogging.
But, it’s common to put a lot of pressure on yourself when trying to pitch to an authority blog. Because, well, that the curse of putting your own work out there.
You always feel a little vulnerable.
The good news? Pitching comes down to an incredibly simple formula:
Professionalism + Personality + Strong Content x Social Proof = Guest Post Contributions
Which, is about as basic as it gets.
If you remain professional, whilst showing you’re not a drone, who has done research on their content and can back it up, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed.
You’ll also find it beneficial to frame your pitch in such a way that it is there to help their audience.
Earlier this year, I went through a spate of guest blogging on a lot of personal development blogs for a Niche Site I was running back then.
Here’s how one of those pitches looked:
So, to recap that formula I mentioned earlier:
- Professional: The tone of my e-mail was professional, and I treated her website with respect.
- Personal: I showed some of my personality (with comments like this) throughout the e-mail.
- Targeted: I wrote the post for her target audience, not mine.
- Strong Content: My article was based around a ‘hot topic’ at the time.
- Social Proof: I could back up that I was a good content creator, because I’d been previously featured on a multitude of different websites. So, she wasn’t taking a chance on me.
So, did it equal a guest post spot? Of course it did, and it’s still live right here.
If you don’t have the social proof to back it up, don’t worry. You can combat that by using two methods
- Taking a screenshot of the comments on their blog (to show that their audience wants the content)
- Explain your experience in the niche, and you current situation (bloggers are people too, they understand)
The biggest point I can make here is that you want to be sure that the person you’re pitching too has to do as little as possible. By collating information and displaying it right out in front of them, you set yourself apart.
If you want more proof, here is a list of places that accept guest posts.
Good Content Makes Your Life A Lot Better
If you can create great content for their website, a few things are going to happen:
- Traffic (That Converts): Specific, high quality, targeted traffic that’s important to the success of your niche site.
- You’ll become an authority: If you’ve added value to that person, regardless of the niche, they’re going to view you highly.
- It becomes easier to guest post: The more proof you have of creating good content, the more people will be willing to publish you.
Guest posting is imperative for building high quality traffic that converts into customers. In this section, you’ve got a complete guide on how to get started Guest Posting.
My honest opinion? Start here.
As you’re trawling the Internet looking at cats and one-hit-wonder parodies, start book-marking sites that you’d benefit from writing for.
In a few weeks, you could have built up a list of 20 or more websites to guest post for. And, with most Niches, that’s all you’re going to need.
This will have an incredible effect on the quality of your traffic, in a short span of time.
Strategy #2: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
You do not need to be an SEO expert, to feel its benefits.
In fact, you don’t need to know that much about SEO for it to have a huge impact on the traffic driven to your Niche Site.
And, if you manage to get it right (with even the most basic search terms), you can start getting quality, targeted, driven traffic in no time.
Why Is SEO Important?
If you know nothing about SEO whatsoever, here’s James’ guide for absolute beginners.
- When people want to find something, they head to a Search Engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask et al.)
- They type in a search term relevant to their interest
- For example, “used cars”.
- Then, google send out ‘crawlers’ to find all of the sites relevant to these terms
- The ones with the most relevant content show up highest
- The ones with the least relevant content show up lowest (or not at all)
It’s a little more technical than that
as any SEO Expert will gladly tell you, in their tweed trousers at the worlds least-interesting lunch.
But, all you really need to know if that it’s beneficial for you to show up under the right search terms for the right customers.
This drives traffic that is completely relevant to your website, with people who are interested in that subject.
Therefore, the traffic is of a much higher quality.
Where Should You Start?
There are people in the world who are much more attractive knowledgeable than I am, so you should listen to them.
If you want a tremendously good beginners guide to SEO, I suggest you take a look at this one from MOZ.
The First Page Doesn’t Matter
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – getting onto the first page of Google isn’t your priority.
You have neither the time nor the budget to do so. Let’s put that thought out of your mind right away.
This is a point Stuart made wonderfully a while back in this post. Because, Google (as it turns out) isn’t the Internet after all.
Go figure, right?
How To Master SEO (On Your Own)
Regardless of whether your read the ‘Quick Start’ guide from MOZ, it’s tricky to implement some of the strategies in there.
But, I’m going to make that a whole lot easier for you.
There are only two tools you definitely need to keep your websites SEO in check. Everything else is just an added extra.
This is a free application for Google where you can discover which Keywords work best for your chosen subject.
It shows you:
- How many times those terms have been searched per month, over the past 12 months
- Suggested search terms you could use
- The competition for those search terms
Which is a great resource for you to have, considering a lot of people just type a search in Google and see which brings about the most/least results.
This is a WordPress plugin that is considered to be the best out there. Best of all, it’s completely free.
Once you’ve identified your Keywords, it tells you how often they show up on your Niche Site. It will also tell you whether your SEO is Poor, Okay or Good.
With this is mind, by optimising your site occasionally to keep up with the running trends in your niche; you’ll be on to some high quality, converting traffic in no time.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)
On SEO, Content And Worrying Too Much
Because getting real results from SEO is something beyond your control (and the people who charge $1000 an hour to do it, too) it’s easy to get worked up and worried you’re not doing it right.
To put your mind at ease, I’m going to drop two important knowledge bombs:
1. Your SEO needs to be good it doesn’t need to be great
2. Content is much more important than Keywords
Google changes its algorithms all the time, and makes it much harder to rank highly each and every year.
The best advice I could ever give you then, would be this – write for your audience, and optimise for Google.
Because, it’s easy to edit and change content to work with the new algorithm, instead of having to completely overhaul your Niche Site because it was built around one.
Get your SEO to a good standard, and you can take solace in the fact that you’ll have a constant stream of high quality, relevant and converting traffic, no matter which results page you’re on.
Strategy #3: Podcasting and Interviewing
The main strategy here is - if you can’t get on someone else’s blog, get them on yours.
There are some incredible benefits to Podcasting with (or interviewing) industry names and leaders:
- Access to their audience: Most authorities that come onto your show, or do your interview, will make their audience aware of their appearance on your show.
- Valuable content: You might be an expert in your Niche, but you don’t know everything. Having an authority on your blog is valuable to everyone who visits your page.
- Networking Opportunities: You’re going to be helping an authority plug their product or service, like a TV talk show. And networking isn’t about who you know; it’s about who you’ve helped.
- Access To A Different Type Of Audience: Not everybody enjoys reading blog posts, so you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of visual and auditory learners.
- Time Saved On Content Creation: It takes around 45 minutes to record a podcast, and 15-20 minutes to edit and upload it (maximum). Whereas it’s taken me at least 4 hours to write this blog post.
Which are all much more effective strategies of building your traffic, spending your time and getting your niche site off the ground.
It’s even been noted by people, such as Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic who stated:
“Interviewing influential people and then asking them to share the interview also turns out to be a highly efficient strategy. You can do it as a podcast, or you can record the interviews privately and group them together as an incentive to join your email list. Both avenues have their pros and cons, but either way, the VPH is excellent.”
Which goes to show that Podcasting and Interviewing can have a huge impact on the quality of traffic you can get.
How A Podcast Can Build A Business
For this case study, I’d like to introduce you to English Nutritionist (and all around awesome guy) Ben Coomber.
He runs his own Niche Site, called Body Type Nutrition. Now, his Niche Site isn’t quite as traditional as some of yours may be. But it has turned into Ben’s own mini-empire.
It’s the pure essence of Authority Site.
From launching his Podcast back at the end of 2012, he’s managed to grow Ben Coomber Radio to the point of reaching one million downloads.
Which is epic by anybody’s standards.
However, I’m not here to blow his trumpet about how good his Podcast is (which it is), but more, the impact it’s had on his traffic.
Because, when it comes to look at Ben’s Alexa rankings, he’s ranked pretty low.
By conventional traffic standards, these are nothing to write home about. In fact, they’re pretty average for a Niche Site.
So, how has he managed to remain successful with such standard numbers?
Because not all traffic is created equal, that’s how.
The traffic he does get is of incredibly high quality. It comes to his Niche Site warmed up, ready to engage and in awe of the content he provides them with.
He doesn’t need to have hundreds of thousands of unique visitors a month, because the quality of traffic he gets is so good that it converts for him almost instantly.
Which brings us right back to his Podcast.
In his Podcast, he’s been able to interview some of the most recognised names in his Niche: Elliot Hulse, CT Fletcher, Nate Green and John Kiefer.
All people who have large audiences, who want to hear about this content. And, that content is shared by the influencer to that audience, to great affect.
Like Elliott Hulse did by sharing Ben’s video with his 440,000 subscribers.
14,020 views of a video podcast, from people who are all interested in what’s being said is an incredible amount of high quality traffic.
Even if only 3% of those people converted back to his e-mail list, that would still be 420 people.
If you factor in the fact he’s made over 100 episodes of his podcast, that’s going to build up to a pretty high number.
Now, I’m sure Ben has a fair few traffic building strategies, but it’s hard to ignore the power of Podcasts and Interviews on traffic generation.
How To Start Your Own Podcast
Starting a Podcast is extremely simple.
It doesn’t take much prior knowledge on broadcasting, editing or creating content.
Mostly, it takes confidence and the ability to ask the right questions.
But, there are a few things you’re going to need:
- An external microphone
- A recording platform (Garageband or Audacity)
- To watch this video on speaking from Julian Treasure
- To read this post from Chris Brogan on podcasting
- And, if you want that extra punch, buy this book on content creation.
That’s about it.
If you want to run these as blog-post interviews, you simply record in exactly the same way, and then transcribe them into text.
Getting People To Listen
There are two ways you can run your Podcast:
1. Free Downloads: Through iTunes, Android and YouTube.
By using this method absolutely anyone can access your content, and it’s easily shareable.
This means more people can see your content, but you’re not always guaranteed to convert people to your mailing list.
2. Email Downloads: You can make this a ‘buy in’ for your e-mail list, so that only people from your community can see it.
This means less people will access your content, and it is a little less shareable, but you can retain your viewers.
There are reasons for and against both of these methods. But, it comes down to your business and how you want to run it.
If you decide on one method and it doesn’t work, you can always change the approach at the later date, too.
Podcasting is a brilliant way of driving High Quality traffic that converts to your Niche Site.
It’s also a great method of connecting with multiple, engaged audiences on a completely different level.
You can start a Podcast right this minute. Just be prepared to wait a couple of weeks to speak to any influencers.
Strategy #4: Audience Engagement
Back in the old days of marketing (circa 1990), life was simple.
You went to market with the product you had, not the product that people needed. Because, if the product failed, you could shrug your shoulders and write it off as a learning curve.
However, that isn’t the case anymore.
Consumers have access to hundreds of different options, products and methods of doing (or owning) whatever it is you’re selling.
So, now the focus is on “who” your audience is, “where” your audience are and what you audience “wants” to see.
If you’re running an authority blog, that involves tailoring your content to what the audience wants to read, not what you want to write about.
If you’re trying to sell running shoes, it’s about telling the story your audience wants to hear, not what you want to say.
If you’re trying to get people to buy coaching, you need to coach them on a problem the client knows they have, not the problem you think they need solving.
How To Grow A Guitar Business (Playing Other Peoples Songs)
I am an avid guitar player.
However, I’m terrible at it. So, my guitar never leaves my room.
Who, if you’ve never attempted to learn to play the guitar, you’ll never have heard of.
But, for someone you’ve probably never heard of he has over one million YouTube subscribers. Which isn’t a bad effort for someone teaching people how to play guitar online.
Now there is argument for Marty that he got into YouTube at the right time, fell across a tonne of Subscribers and lived happily ever after.
Looking closely, this goes to a much, much deeper level though. It all comes down to audience engagement.
When Marty started his YouTube channel, he was faced with the question. “Should I…”
1. Teach guitar how it should be taught: teach people the scales, the chords and the (sometimes) boring beginner stuff.
2. Teach them what they want to be taught: their favourite songs, riff’s and solo’s.
And, he opted for the second option.
Not only did he teach them what they wanted to be taught, he invited them to request the songs that they wanted to learn.
Which, leads to a lot of High Quality, converting traffic. Because once your audience feels like they’re part of what you’re doing, they’ll spread the word with their friends.
And, to Marty’s credit (despite never meeting or speaking to him), I’m an evangelist for his services, because he had a video on my favourite song.
Whenever anyone asks me who to look at when they want a guitar lesson, I send them his way, every single time.
Asking The Right Questions
This is where Facebook Groups, Blog Comments and Forum’s have really come into their own – content generation.
The most important tactic you can use here is to find out what the real problems your audience is facing.
If, for example, you’re selling “Gut Health” supplements, you should ask questions like:
- What is your biggest problem when choosing supplements?
- What content would you benefit from seeing about Gut Health?
- What elements of gut health do you wish you knew more about?
All of these questions require open-ended answers, and real explanations.
You can apply questions like those to any type of market, audience or Niche Site, anywhere in the world.
But, Hold On, How Does This Help Traffic?
If you can create content that a section of your audience wants to hear, it’s safe to say that a much larger portion of that audience wants to hear about them too.
By generating content that is valuable and worthwhile reading for your current audience, or potential audience, it’s much easier to hold on to the traffic you are getting through the methods mentioned before:
- Guest Posting
It also helps to spread your content, through the most powerful sales tool of all, Word of Mouth.
If the content is valuable, they will share it. If they see someone else with the same problem, they will recommend you and if they’re made to feel a part of your service they will remain loyal to you.
This isn’t a ‘big numbers’ strategy for building traffic. But, it’s truly effective for building the high quality traffic that is important.
After all, you came to NicheHacks through one of the first three methods. You stay here (and bring your friends here) because what you want to know is written here.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)
Well, What Are You Waiting For?
You’ve made it through all 5,000+ words of this article (hopefully) and I couldn’t be happier that you have.
I tried to make sure that absolutely everything surrounding these traffic building strategies was available for you, as simply as possible.
If anything was unclear, or you’d like to know more in-depth about anything (or burn me at the steak), let me know in the comments and I will respond to you as soon as possible
The strategies you’ve read about are not ‘big number, ego boost’ strategies that make for the highest possible Alexa ranking in your niche.
But, they convert down to the most important detail: customers who make you money.
Which, is what all of this boils down to in the end, right?
Author bio: This is a post by James Johnson. James is a copywriter, author and speaker from England.
He teaches people how to make money through their writing over on his website, Intentional Freelancing. If you can't find him there, he'll be over on Facebook, or promoting his new Content Marketing eBook.