Friday, September 30, 2011

Proven Methods to Get Free Easy Targeted Web Traffic

As I have already mentioned in my previous post How NOT to Get Traffic to your Blog what you are looking for as a website/blog owner is not just any kind of traffic but TARGETED traffic.

Of course the most pro way to get free targeted  web traffic will be to build plenty of high quality backlinks and do extensive keyword research. For this purpose you can always check out my post covering some great free keyword search tools. But there are much easier ways to get decent amount of targeted traffic to your website and here are 3 very easy and of course free methods which have worked for me. 

YouSayToo is one of those community blogging sites that seem to be growing in popularity every day but it also has some great potential for generating traffic for your blog. You can link your blog with YouSayToo so that people can view your post on YouSayToo as well as your own blog. You can further increase your PVs by participating in other programs. But at this time I cannot tell you more about them because YouSayToo undergoing a complete makeover and many of their services are being discontinued with the promise of being replaced by newer more improved features in the near future.

The one major drawback about YouSayToo is that the intregation with your blog is not seamless in the sense that the comments your posts receive from YouSayToo users will not show up under your original post and viceversa. Also, to participate in the YouSayToo programs you must display their banner on your site, but they are sufficiently inconspicuous and even cool so that it shouldn't be major issue for most site owners.

Update: The Beta version of the new YOUSAYTOO is now available here

Link Referral
Link Referral is essentially a cross between a traffic exchange site and a search engine. After signing up and registering your sites you can perfrom a number of activities such as visiting member sites using their search engine, rating and reviewing them or simply creating forum posts. For each activity you earn some amount of points and more the points you have more the priority the search engine will give to your sites when someone searches the relevant keywords (similar to the concept of Google PageRank). As the person is SEARCHING   to find your site it has a greater possibility of being targeted. Further, you can also free quotes and ratings from others users which you can republish on your site.

Link Referral also provides paid membership and by default they are given priority over the free members.

SocialAdr is an automated bookmarking services whereby you can easily get your articles bookmarked in some of the leading bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious etc. After signing up you have to fill in your usernames and passwords of a number of  social bookmarking sites and there is no obligations the more you fill the better. Then you can bookmark posts by other members either individually or using the Quick Share option and earn credits for each share. Once you have 8 or more credits you can use them to get your own articles Dugg/voted up etc. by the other members. Though this really boost your traffic and have a really lasting impact, the only downside of SocialAdr is that at least for free members, the service is very slow and you must prioritize which few URLs you want to submit to their network because realistically you can't promote all your links through SocialAdr. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How NOT to Get Traffic to your Blog

If you are a new blogger and have a couple of posts online then there is a pretty good chance that your pageviews are not quite you expected them to be before undertaking the trouble of writing those great posts. Desperate for some free and easy traffic for your blog you decide to take advantage of that ever faithful monster called Google and in time your screen is littered with millions and millions of services and affiliates of services all of which promise to  deliver tons of hits to your blog and the more you read the more you get convinced that they are too good to be true. Know why? Because they really are.!

Before you start misinterpreting me I must clarify that almost all the FREE services are 100% legit and will  work just like their respective pitch pages promise. But what they tacitly skip mentioning is that you will only receive tons of traffic but hardly any TARGETED TRAFFIC (you can hardly hope to interest beyond a few seconds a person looking for gardening tips with your blog on automobiles!) and further you might lose some vital brownie points with Google.

So here are some of the very common types of traffic generating schemes that every blogger should avoid:

Automatic Traffic Exchange Sites
Automatic traffic exchange sites works on the simple principle that for every site you view using their system another member of their system will visit your site a specific (usually .5 or .75) number of times. They are free (though premiere membership is also available) and require minimum effort on your part as all you need to do is keep a window open and the sites will rotate automatically, changing every 30 seconds or so. And the really big traffic exchange sites (like autosurfpro) can easily generate 400+ PVs for your site on a daily basis.
Even so, some of the reasons you don't want to use this apparent godsend of a service are:

  1. Since it is fully automatic there is no guarantee that your  page is actually getting viewed. Someone may just keep the window open and minimized and be watching a movie for all you know.
  2. Your onsite time is typically very small (10-30 seconds) and often your page won't load properly in that time.
  3. Since your page will automatically rotate it will register an incredibly high bounce rate (most likely 100%) and this will prompt Google into thinking that your site is of very poor quality and that is why all your visitor are clicking out in such a hurry.
  4. Additionally, Google positively HATES automatic traffic exchangers and while you cannot use it with Blogger, you might even run into trouble if you try to use it on pages with Adsense ad units.
Viral Traffic Sites
As the name suggests, viral traffic sites helps your traffic grow virally. Basically everytime a person in your downline refers a new person to the viral traffic site he has to view your page before being allowed to sign up. Sounds easy? Here's why you still shouldn't waste you time on viral traffic sites:
  1. It is a lot more difficult than it sounds to actually build yourself a sufficiently large downline to actually generate sufficient amount of traffic on a regular basis.If you are not getting any traffic where will you find the people to persuade to sign up under you and join your downline?
  2. The persons who are actually viewing your sites are being FORCED to do so and in their eagerness to get a part of the action are hardly likely to show much enthusiasm in your site.

Free Backlink Exchange Sites and Directories
Though not as direct  as the above two methods, backlink exchange directories list your site on their high pagerank pages and provide you with dofollow backlinks which is supposed to boost your search engine visibility and help you to get more visitors from Google. So why not to use it? Here are just some of the answers:
  1. First and foremost they DON'T work! The backlinks are hardly ever one-way (you will also be required to link back to them) and will almost never be CONTEXTUAL, and it is commonly acknowledged that if anything Google frowns upon link lists and definitely doesn't give much impotance to them.
  2. Backlink directories have a habit of cheating on you and there is a very good chance that the link to your site will disappear within a week and possibly before Google has even had time to spider it.

Now that you know how not to get traffic to your blog put your fingers to your keyboard and keep churning out some more great articles (which is the key to success in the long run) and check out my next post where I tell how yo can get easy, free and targeted traffic to your page.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Suite101 Introduces Subdomains

This is just a short post to inform my readers that Suite101 has followed Hubpages' lead and introduced author specific subdomains.

It has been well documented over the past few months how Suite101 was one of the worst hit content sites following Google's calamitous Project Panda and that their pageviews went down by around 40% withing two to three months in early 2011.

Since then has undergone a sea change and chopped and changes things around with limited success. Their latest modification in order to win back Google's lost love (though it is still PR7 domain) is to introduce individual subdomains for every contributor like where you can choose the   name from a limited list of options created by various permutations of your name.

All pages will be shifted to their respective subdomains by 15th Sept. automatically by Suite101 so you might as well hurry over and exercise your choice.

However, unlike Hubpages, almost each and every one of my Suite101 pages was PR2 or more and the change in URL means that I will at least temporarily loose it. Hopefully I'll recover them soon enough.

Another thought that struck me regarding this content sites issuing subdomains to authors is that soon all these sites will effectively become blogging platforms (like Blogger, WordPress) and every community will behave like blogger tribes (group of people commenting and linking to each other's blogs) with backlinks flying everywhere. I am sure that will be a really interesting development because then all these sites persecuted by Project Panda will become identical to Google's very own Blogger.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Earn Upfront With Your Articles from Looking For Clues

While there are quite a large number of sites which pay you through passive revenue share are, the number of sites which pay you upfront for your articles is dramatically less and those that are around have one (or both) of the following issues:
  1. They require absolutely perfect English and the bar is almost ridiculously high.
  2. They tell you which topics to write on and this might really cramp your style, especially if you are not a pro but just keen to have a good time and make a few bucks on the side. 
In fact, Looking For Clues is the only site I could find where you will face neither of the aforementioned issues. They only require you to be passionate about your topic and your English to be coherrent, which of course is the very essence of blogging (I mean no one's expecting your blog to read like PG Wodehouse!) So here is a quick review of this real life saver for struggling small timers.

Submission Guidelines of LFC
As I have already mentioned LFC publishes articles on just about any topic but generally pays more for reviews than for general info articles. The only issue with their submission guideline is that each article must be at least 800 words, which significantly longer than the average 300-500 word articles you write for other content directories. Articles must be unique and exclusive to LFC.

Submission Process
The submission process at LFC is very low key but highly personalized and efficient nonetheless. You just have to e-mail your article to their editor who will get back to you in around 2 weeks time and inform you if they are willing to buy it and how much they will pay for it. If you accept their terms then your articles will be edited (just grammatical and spelling errors) and once you approve the edits you will be paid and then your article will go on online.

Though there is no passive income scheme, LFC expects every author to promote their articles and this you ability to generate traffic for LFC may have a bearing on your future transactions with them.

LFC Author Compensation Scheme
Usually LFC will pay you something between $10-$20 for each article and it gradually increases as you publish more and more articles there. However, payment is only made to business or premiere paypal accounts which means around $1 will be deducted for transaction.

In addition LFC also allows you a 2-3 sentence long author box and 1-2 dofollow backlinks to your personal blogs etc.

Despite its seedy looks LFC is a 100% genuine site and they have paid me a total of $42 for 3 articles. You can check out my articles at my LFC profile page.
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