First of all, if you have Google Analytics set up for your blog (which I’m sure you will have), under the acquisition tab in your dashboard, you’ll notice there is a tab for channels.
Take some time to study this, by default your site’s traffic is grouped into these channels.
You have organic search, direct, referral and other.
If you generate traffic to your blog via email as well you might see ’email’ in that lineup too.
In this post I’ll share with you some very smart proven ways in which to increase referral traffic to your blog.
For all you newbies reading this, referral traffic are visits that comes from other credible sources, both online and offline, such as reputable websites and blogs, email clients, social profiles, blog communities and networks, forums, print marketing, PDF publications etc.
Building connections online from reputable and authoritative sources is great for improving SEO as well. The more quality and natural links you have coming from these reputable sites, the more you’re going to benefit with your blog performing better in search engines, and of course you’re going to benefit from driving targeted referral traffic to your blog.
OK enough of the small talk, let’s get started. Below are 10 of the smartest ways to increase referral traffic to your blog… known to man.
Note: I don’t expect you to tackle each one of these strategies or ideas one after the other, and chances are you’re already using some of these. But if you’re not implementing one or two of them, certainly consider implementing them into your traffic generation strategy.
How To Increase Referral Traffic To Your Blog
#01. Guest Blogging
Let’s start with the undisputed king… Guest blogging.
Out of all the blog promotion strategies that there are, guest blogging has to be the best way to promote traffic and increase exposure for your blog.
Guest blogging is a great way to connect with influencers, build new relationships, improve your blog’s SEO and find new readers and subscribers for your blog.
Just a quick note, guest blogging shouldn’t be done purely for SEO gains, i.e. building backlinks, which I know a lot of people already know. What guest blogging should be used for is increasing exposure for your blog.
Check out this post by Matt Cutts titled the decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. Although it’s an old blog post it still provides some guidance about the do’s and don’ts of guest blogging. Matt Cutts by the was the head of Google’s web spam team.
So I know what you’re thinking, guest blogging is just too time consuming to do right? And in many cases it’s hard to get a guest post accepted on blogs these days…
True to some degree, but hey if you really want to increase targeted referral traffic to your blog, you’ve got to pump up the guest blogging, it’s as simple as that.
Your guest blogging strategy doesn’t have to be time consuming either. Use something like the NinjaOutreach service to help you find quality blogs to guest post on.
Depending on how much time you actually have on your hands, I would say you should try to write at least one high quality guest post per month.
Over a 12 month period you will have made connections with 12 influential blogs.
If you seriously don’t have time to spend writing guest posts, you can outsource it.
#02. Email Newsletters / Enquiries
Your email is another great platform to use for promoting your blog and driving referral traffic.
I’m not talking just about your email newsletters, but generally all your outgoing emails related to your blog.
Think about the endless guest post inquiries you get in your email inbox. And what about the emails from companies and people interested in advertising on your blog, submitting sponsored posts, requesting reviews etc.
If you provide a service through your blog, always ensure your responses to your clients contains a link to your latest blog post.
Did you know that Pinterest is considered to be the 4th largest traffic driver on the web, beating out sites like Yahoo for organic traffic.
If you have a Pinterest profile, make sure you’re making good use of it.
Connect with other bloggers and influential people in your niche and start pinning your blog post images, videos and infographics to help you increase referral traffic to your blog from Pinterest.
Take the time to optimise your images, improve the quality of them, make them more interesting, add texts, quotes from your blog posts even.
All these little ‘attention to detail’ things can help encourage users on Pinterest to repin more of your shared content to their own Pinterest boards.
Micheal Stelzner has written a marvellous post over on his blog, Social Media Examiner on how to drive more traffic to your site from Pinterest, I do recommend that you check it out.
#04. Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking sites can also be a great source of referral traffic for your blog.
A lot of bloggers don’t seem to make use of sites like Digg and StumbleUpon as much as they probably used to.
Admittedly StumbleUpon used to provide a huge chunk of referral traffic to many of my blogs a few years ago, though not so much these days, however StumbleUpon is still very much in my top 10 referral traffic websites.
Other sites you should try and tap into to help you boost referral traffic (if you’re not already using them), are Reddit and Delicious.
#05. Content Curating
Content curation can be very beneficial for driving referral traffic.
Curating content involves collecting together interesting pieces of content from around the web, relevant to your niche, and combining it with original content of your own, and then sharing it with your followers.
You can either curate content and share it on your own blog, in the form of a well constructed resourceful blog post, or a monthly roundup of posts from around your niche. Or share on sites like Scoop.it, Storify etc.
Content curating can be a little time consuming for sure, but in my experience it can be very beneficial for increasing traffic and building some quality backlinks.
#06. Blog Community Sites
There are some great blog community sites around and new ones are cropping up all of the time, however be careful not to get too carried away using every network site you come across.
The trick is to find the ones most relevant to you, the popular ones that have a great community of like minded people.
I’ve not just been able to tap into new traffic streams by sharing my content and engaging on blog community sites like Blog Engage and BizSugar, but I’ve also been able to connect with new bloggers and discover amazing new blogs to read as well.
Check out the following 4 popular blog community sites which I seriously think are worth your time:
If I’ve missed any please do share them in the comment section below.
Creating YouTube videos is something that every blogger should be doing. Video marketing is HUGE business and can help YOU promote your blog and increase traffic.
With YouTube being the second largest search engine on the web, you’re almost compelled to NOT ignore it.
As far as referral traffic generation goes, YouTube is the 6th largest provider to my blog.
Creating YouTube videos as far as I’m concerned is the perfect way to put a face and voice to your blog, it lets your audience know that you’re ‘real’ and that you’re wanting to connect with them on a personal level.
I know sometimes that fear can get in the way, but don’t be afraid of putting your face in front of the camera. I was scared too once, now I love creating talking videos for my YouTube channel.
If it’s really an issue for you, consider creating some screen-cast tutorials or product reviews first, then slowly show your face now and again.
As you build more confidence, you can then start practicing being in front of the camera for much longer, I do recommend it.
If you’re not too sure where to start with creating videos, just look at your blog. You have tons of great blog posts that you could repurpose and turn into videos.
Folks really give this strategy a try and see how much traffic you get from YouTube, better a few extra hundred visits each month than none right?
Of course when you’re creating videos, YouTube doesn’t have to be the only place for sharing those videos. You can upload them to Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo and any other video hosting or publishing platform you come across that could benefit you.
#08. Social Media
Overall, social media accounts for 32% of the traffic to this blog.
My top 5 referral traffic sources from social media sites are Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.
Whilst I strongly believe that promoting your blog and your content on social media sites has to be the biggest time consuming marketing activity ever, if you’re doing it right, it’s definitely worth your time.
Having a Facebook page or Twitter account is all very good, but it simply isn’t enough.
You need to be sharing your content in groups and communities on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as sharing content from other users, folks you’re connected with in your industry.
Facebook is now considered to be a paid platform by many marketers, so as well as time spend constructing “engaging content” for Facebook, you should learn how to invest properly in promoting your posts for increased visibility.
You need to be leaving useful comments, helping others solve any problems they might be having by participating in group conversations, perhaps pointing them to a blog post you wrote that might be of use to them.
Other than that you should be liking, sharing, tweeting, pinning content and actively engaging with people on social media sites as often as you can.
When you start engaging and being helpful to other people on Facebook or Google+, you’ll find that when you share a piece of your own content, most of the time people will always be happy to return the favour by liking, sharing, generally promoting and engaging with your content.
One of the major reasons why many bloggers and marketers fail with social media for marketing, is because of the HUGE amounts of distractions that some of these platforms can create.
The next strategy I want to share with you is a very smart and effective content marketing method.
I’m sure most of you know what an infographic is, but if you don’t and you’re totally new, that’s cool. You can click here to learn more about them.
Whether you create your own, or share somebody else’s, infographics can attract a lot of attention, traffic, social shares, links and comments.
I’ve not yet started to create any of my own infographics, again maybe because of how time consuming this activity is.
However, what I do like to do is share other relevant infographics that I’m able to repost on my blog.
When you share a great infographic and link back to the original source, what usually happens is the author of the blog or site you’re linking to will get notified, and hopefully the owner of that site will feel quite content in linking back too, great for boosting referral blog traffic.
Likewise if you were to create your own useful infographics, and if you were to publish those infographics on your blog and allowed other users to embed them into their own blog posts, you’d be building some quality backlinks to your blog, the easiest way possible.
The only problem with this however is that you could be getting any old site embedding your infographics and linking back, so don’t forget to add a ‘nofollow attribute’ to your infographic HTML code.
#10. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting when done correctly is great for a few good reasons;
- It’s a great way to connect with other influential bloggers and stay in touch.
- It’s a great way to add value to a piece of online content by sharing your own views, thoughts and ideas.
- It’s a great way to drive some extra referral traffic to your blog, especially if you’re able to provide positive value to the content you’re commenting on.
From my experience commenting on a handful of blogs that you’re subscribed to and read regularly, is far more beneficial and rewarding than commenting randomly on every single blog you come across. Because chances are after leaving one comment, you’re probably never going to visit that blog again.
Blog commenting is about making connections, not building backlinks.
You should try and visit 3 or 4 of your favourite blogs each week and comment on by adding value.
If you’re leaving good enough comments on blogs, people will start to notice and become interested in learning more about what you have to say, and so they may click on the link to your blog in your comment.
Time for one more??? Yes of course…
OK now this is one popular way to not only drive traffic to your blog, but also and more importantly, to connect with like minded folks and grow your blog’s audience.
Triberr allows you to connect with your peers, like minded folks who share similar passions and interests as you.
If you’re writing awesome content for your blog, you want people to see it, read it, share it and so on, Triberr is one of the places to share your content. Get on it, join some tribes and even create your own.
That’s it for now!
So I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my top referral traffic generation strategies and ideas.
Like I said at the very beginning, you don’t have to go nuts and use every strategy I’ve mentioned here, but add one or two to your traffic building efforts and I’m positive you’ll do well.
Here’s a quick summary of the things you can do to increase referral traffic to your blog.
- Do guest blogging.
- Link to your latest posts in your email newsletters.
- Make better use of Pinterest.
- Get social bookmarking.
- Start curating content, both on your blog and content curation sites.
- Join and collaborate on blog network sites.
- Pay more attention to YouTube.
- Grow your social media audience and promote content there regularly.
- Create or share a useful infographic.
- Provide value on other blog posts by leaving useful comments.
- Join the Triberr revolution.
So what other ways can you increase referral traffic?
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