I know there are a lot of you out there that simply don't have the budget to play with so here are some ways to build traffic without paid sources. Of course you have to pay with time and skill, but I know there's many of you willing to put in the effort.
1. Post more often on social media
Guy Kawasaki swears by reposting multiple times a day and I agree. I'm not talking about 5-6 times a day. I'm talking about 50+ times across all of your channels.
You don't have to repeat yourself. Find a nice combination of original content, curated content and promotional content. Posting more will increase your reach and ultimately, your sales.
People don’t get that bothered by it if at all. The only people who would really notice are those who have very few followers and thus you might monopolize their feed. But regular uses who follow hundreds of people and brands will often miss your content. That is the real evil we are trying to defeat here.
More self-promotion can be tough but it’s necessary to reach those traffic goals on a tight budget.
2. Do your basic SEO
I hate to say it, but if you've ignored SEO completely, you are absolutely leaving money on the table.
I don't recommend anyone to put all of their eggs in the SEO basket, but even just minimal keyword research goes a long way. At the very least, it gets you hunting for traffic on the right trail.
SEO doesn't have to be some big campaign or undertaking. All you have to do is post more, and just make sure the posts are targeted to keywords relevant to your business. You will also get a lot of long tail traffic that you never even expected. But that doesn't really matter unless you post a lot more.
Also, don't get confused that SEO is some big act. It's really just attacking keywords because you are a driven business person. You want more higher ranking pages.
3. Do more with your emails
Add more hyperlinks, add more buttons, add more content, anything to increase CTR.
Even if you are sending a basic text email, give your reader multiple points to click-through. Different words trigger different people and so you will catch a wider segment of your audience by hyper-linking throughout your emails.
If you are apprehensive to email your list more often, then segment it by people who have opened any of the last 5 emails – these people want more content from you.
4. Add a new social media platform
Let's face it, the social platforms you are on now, will not be the same as the ones in 5 years. At some point a new platform will need to be added to your marketing channels. I bet you didn't think you'd have a Facebook page before you did. Same with Instagram for business. The market tells you where your customers are, but you have to go join them if you want to engage.
If you aren't already on it in some capacity, I recommend Pinterest. Pinterest has proven to be one of the best social platforms for ‘buyers' traffic. Many Pinterest users use the platform as a place to store their future purchases in photo form. Pinterest is also doing a lot to help small businesses connect their pins directly to their eCommerce
5. No time to add one? Automate one
I'm not going to sugar coat it. Smart marketers use automation wherever they can.
Each company, person or brand, has to determine for themselves how effective automation will be. It really depends on the type of tasks you need done.
Would I ever recommend automating content or customer engagement – no.
Would I recommend targeted auto-liking and following – yes.
You should do whatever it takes for you to find your customer without injuring the ability to give value to that customer. Show up where they are, but once you are there give them the goods.
I recommend Followliker for Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. It helped me build my Twitter account from 2000ish to 5000+ in 2 months. I get a lot more engagement but I also put in more effort to follow up with those followers and ensure they have an excellent user experience when interacting with me or my content.
6. Start reaching out to influencers
Reach is exponential. It's also the key barrier stopping many entrepreneurs from becoming giants.
Try to reach out to one person with greater reach than you each day and watch what happens. You will get rejected but that is the point. If you got accepted each time then you set your expectations way to low. They probably had lower reach than you and were happy to partner up. So get used to being ignored. People are busy and focusing on their own goals. You have to be compelling if you are asking for something.
But there is a great trick. Since people like to share social content that they identify with, you can really take advantage of that.
Use buzz sumo or simply poke around and look at who has a lot of followers and reach. Look at the type of ego-identification content that they share and try to write something designed to be shared by them. This is where content creation becomes scientific. This is where your blog becomes a business.
What would 1,000,000 reach do for your business? Start making this a recurring strategy with your business and watch results skyrocket.
7. Forum posting and marketing
There are countless forums on the internet now. People love to feel like they belong. Niche forums have made this ever so possible.
It's so easy to take advantage of this. People in forums are asking questions every day. These are potential customers. They need something and they are telling you exactly what that is!
You should be where your customer is and joining them in the conversation. Helping them and providing value first.
If you add high quality value to your forum you will see the users flock to your website via your forum signature links.
This is simply a credibility building exercise.