There are hundreds of different ways to drive traffic to your niche website. If you want you can get very complicated with this, but often it’s the simple strategies that work best. Today I want to share two of those with you. They are:
- Leaving comments on other blogs, and
- Participating in forums.
Both require a minimum of time and effort. And if you do things right, they can generate quite a bit of targeted traffic to your site.
Step 1: Finding Good Blogs and Forums
Start by making a list of blogs and forums.
There are two things that you want to pay attention to.
- There needs to be a fair amount of activity going on
- The topic needs to be closely related to your own niche
You can find blogs by browsing through blog directories by doing a Google search. I also find it easiest to find popular forums by doing a search.
Take a look at each blog and make sure it is still updated regularly. If so, look for blogs that get at least 5 comments per blog post (on average). This will ensure that they have a decent readership.
When you’re looking at forums, make sure there are several new posts and replies per day and that those posts are on topic (not some spammer posting ads). And don’t forget Facebook groups. There are tons of them on just about any topic. They’ve become the “go to” place for people to gather.
Once you have a list of 5 to 10 blogs and at least 3 forums, it’s time to move on to step two.
Step 2: A Little Setup Work To Make Your Life Easier
For blog commenting, start by setting up a new Gmail account to be used when commenting. This makes it easy to have follow-up comments sent there and you can log in and check on those as time permits. Register this new email address with Gravatar and upload your picture to your account. This will make your image appear next to your comments on many blogging platforms.
Next, set up the niche blogs you found in an RSS reader. This gives you a place to look for new blog posts that you can comment on. Any good RSS reader should work for this.
On the forums, set up an account and profile for each. Again, take the time to upload your picture. This creates a lot of trust and will help people recognize you across multiple forums, blogs and social media accounts. Fill out your profile with some information about you and your blog.
Don’t forget to include a link back to your your niche website or blog. If allowed, set up a forum signature that links back to an interesting article on your site or one that invites readers to join your list.
Step 3: Set Some Goals
Now that you’re all set up, I recommend you stop and set some goals for yourself. How many blogs do you want to comment on per day? Three comments per day is a good start and will bring you some traffic back to your own site.
Set a goal for forum posts as well. One new post and two to three replies per forum would be a good starting point. Don’t set your goals too high … you want to make sure you have plenty of time to leave quality replies and posts. (If you need help planning and tracking your goals, get my free action plan template.)
Step 4: Get To Work
Once you have your goals set, it’s time to get to work and implement.
Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to focus on quality here. Share some good tips and information. This is not about advertising your site, it’s about writing good content, making a great first impression, and building relationships.
This will get readers curious to learn more about you and click the link back to your own site.
Step 5: Measure Results And Reevaluate
Spend about a week or so posting and commenting according to the goals you’ve made.
Then go back and measure your results.
Make sure you have Google Analytics installed before you start so you can see if you’re getting more visitors to your site (and where they’re coming from).
If you’re getting a lot of good results from a particular forum or blog, it may be worth posting there more frequently.
If on the other hand, you’re getting no benefits from one of the blogs or forums, stop posting and replace it with a different one.
Continue to track the results you’re getting and adjust where you post and how often you post accordingly.
Step 6: The Force Multiplier
Lastly, let’s talk about a “force multiplier.”
Don’t post on these sites just for the sake of getting targeted traffic. Get more value out of each comment you leave and out of each forum post you reply to. Here are some ideas:
- Build a relationship with the blog owner by commenting regularly. Get in touch via email and see if you can guest blog post or work on other Join Venture opportunities and cross promotions.
- Use long blog comments you’ve written as a starting point for blog posts and articles on your blog.
- As you read forum posts, take note of common questions and concerns and use those to come up with blog post ideas, articles, email messages etc.
- Copy and paste your forum replies into a word document and turn them into articles and blog posts.
Thanks so much for these tried and true tips from my colleague Susanne Myers.