When it comes to making a living online the biggest factor for most business models (not all) is large amounts of traffic. Money is generated by large numbers of people visiting your website or seeing your social media posts. The larger the number means that you can generate more sales which is crucial in online marketing.
When it comes to traffic and sales it is very often just a small percentage that will buy or do what you needed them to do to generate money. If you had a service or product which you made £10 profit on had a conversion rate of 5% (considered good) to make as little as £1200 a month you would need a constant traffic number of 2400 new visitors each month.
If you generated your money via advertising on a website then the numbers that you need to make £1200 are going to be a lot more, ads are rarely clicked and when they do they generate pennies. The amount you make from each advert clicked varies but to make a large amount each month you need to have hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of site visitors.
Getting the numbers you need to make good money is the hardest part of working online, you can be a great writer, a great product developer and an incredible life coach/motivator but you will not make any money if no one is visiting your website or seeing your social media posts.
This is where the real work lies, once you have mastered writing articles or creating videos they can be done with ease but getting people to see your content is not so clean cut. There is a multitude of ways to drive traffic, many of them are free and others such as Facebook and Google AdWords require cash… often a lot of it.
Some of these traffic methods may bring in a lot of traffic fast if you are lucky and something goes ‘viral’ but in general they take time and require constant work for the duration of your online business. I could write a short ebook in a couple of days, if I really wanted I could really knuckle down and have several written in a week and share details about them on social media but I doubt I would make many sales without really ramping up the traffic methods.
Also depending on what your product, service or method of selling is the revenue you would like to earn each month could be getting harder to make thanks to new developments on social media.
If you fancied yourself as a YouTube Vlogger creating fun videos to generate money via YouTube’s Partner Programme where you receive 60% of the advertising revenue made from the ads shown on and around your videos, you could soon find that the money you should have made will be greatly reduced thanks to the new phenomenon of ‘freebooting.’
Freebooting is where people download your video from YouTube and then upload it to Facebook where videos can go viral within a matter of hours. It gets its name from an old British naval term regarding pirates and piracy. Freebooting is basically taking booty for free… taking property by theft.
Facebook wants to keep its users within its platform and are now focusing on making video hosting a big part of their overall product and many people have noticed that they can build Facebook Pages fast and grow a large audience, which they can profit from later, by uploading and sharing other people’s videos from YouTube.
Unfortunately they are no longer sharing the specific URL that YouTube give which would mean that all money generated goes to the video owners plus keeping the copyright notices in place because Facebook give a bigger priority to videos uploaded to their platform over those from a 3rd party platform… which YouTube is.
This basically means YouTube videos are not shown to as many people on Facebook by Facebook as those that are uploaded to Facebook itself. And this has meant a huge rise in ‘stolen’ videos surfacing on Facebook which ‘robs’ the creator of revenue he was planning on making. This is not good.
The internet has a history of piracy and many ebook and online courses have been stolen and either shared with other people via forums or websites or even sold as part of a package of other stolen products in the form of a subscription to a forum or membership site.
I have a friend who took the time to create a short product showing people how they could make infographs to help with traffic generation. There was a short ebook and several training videos which were housed on a members only website and he charged a very reasonable price for the product. The kind of price you shouldn’t consider was too much and a price virtually anyone can afford. Seriously, my better half could spend more just popping out for a coffee or two and a muffin with a friend.
Considering how cheap his product was, he noticed that there was a spike in his traffic and traced it back to a forum which was SEO and traffic generation related.
Someone had bought the product, received the members only link and then went to the forum and said something along the lines ‘This is a cracking little product, go take a look’.. and shared the link. (It was such a cracking product that he didn’t think people should pay for it though the toe rag!) this resulted in several thousand hits on his website and his videos being watched by many people who also downloaded his ebook.
His hard work was basically robbed, he made some money from the product which he was happy with but in reality he should have made more, if those forum visitors had paid for the product he would have been a lot happier and a lot better off.
When things like this happen the numbers that you need to make a good monthly income is going to be more to try and compensate for any loss revenue… as well as needing a great secure system to lock things down.
Tried & Tested Traffic Methods
Ok so you need traffic and you need a lot of it so here are some of the best known traffic generation methods.
Some of these work brilliantly some don’t work as good as they once did and some can cost a lot of money especially if you get it wrong!
(P) = Paid (F) = Free
CPC & CPM Adverts Facebook & Google AdWords Etc (P) – This is probably the best form of traffic generation that you can get. There are many networks that you can use to advertise your website, product or service and each network is different.
Facebook is by far the best targeting system as it uses the information that it has of its huge number of users. If you wanted to target men who were dads in their late forties and early fifties living in the UK you can. Your advert will be shown to only those people and you will pay when the advert is clicked or if it has been showing a specific number of times.
Google AdWords is not as good as Facebook but can still be a good source of traffic. Problems with Google AdWords is that they are shown in the search results or across a huge network of sites and so they cannot be as precise as those in Facebook but Google do try and match them to keywords, website content and show them to people who have searched Google for a similar topic to that which your advert is about so your adverts should be seen by people interested in what you are selling.
Google are also very funny about what websites you send your traffic to and it can be very easy to get banned if you do anything wrong. It can also cost you a lot of money if you wade in and start running ads without learning a bit about how AdWords works.
Private Blog Network (P) – This is a great way to get free traffic but setting up a Private Blog Network can be fairly costly and it also has a lot of work involved. Basically a PBN is a way to manipulate Google’s search rankings and artificially build a natural looking link web that can send your website higher up the Google search results for specific keywords landing you on the first page of Google where all of the free search traffic will be.
This is not something for the beginner, at least not without knowing a bit more and you can learn a bit more here: How The Super Affiliates Land Their Websites On The Front Page Of Google & In Front Of Free Traffic
Social Media (F) – It is free to open up social media accounts like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Google Plus and start a following. With Facebook and Google Plus allowing you to build Pages and Groups/Communities you can start to find an audience that is interested in what you do and you can share articles, videos and posts with them with the idea to send them back to your website/offers.
Facebook also allow you to share posts, images videos, do live streaming from mobile devices (why not desktop as that would be ideal for most businesses?) and build Pages and Groups which can grow into huge numbers especially if you use Facebook adverts to promote your posts and pages.
Google Plus is similar to Facebook but the videos you share and upload will go to YouTube as it is owned by Google and all of Google’s accounts are connected.
Twitter allows you to share short updates called Tweets that have a link, an image or a video just like the others but you only have 140 characters to say what you want to say which to me is just too short. Hence why people now write more words in an image and then share that.
You might find this article very helpful: Building Large Followings Using Facebook Groups, Pages & Twitter For Long Term Profits
Tumblr is classed as a social media platform as it is micro blogging with a newsfeed that allows you to follow others and others can follow you within the platform. It is also a hotbed of teenage angst with a lot of drugs and violence references and the occasional porn image/video so it might not be suitable as a place to share your products… but it too is free.
YouTube (F) – YouTube is a video sharing site, it is also classed as a social media network as well as a search engine and it is also free to open and upload your videos. The creating of the videos might cost you to make but everything else is free. YouTube videos can be shared on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr as well as embedded on other websites giving the video owner a lot of possible exposure.
The downside to YouTube is the ‘freebooting’ that is going on at the moment that I mentioned earlier. Depending on what your business model is you might want to focus on YouTube & Facebook for videos, or just YouTube or maybe just Facebook for your video sharing.
Again the idea is to send traffic to your website or offers but as mentioned earlier YouTube has been a great source of revenue for many and you might find this article very interesting: Sitting On Your Bum + Playing Video Games + YouTube = $7.4 million: How To Profit From Creating Simple YouTube Videos
Guest Posting (F) – Guest posting was an old way to get backlinks to a website to help build a natural looking link web similar to a PBN to help push your website up the rankings to get free traffic.
You would contact a popular website and ask if you can write an article for them, this is known as the ‘pitch’. You would pitch them an idea as to what you would want to write about or you would ask if there was anything that they wanted you to write about. If they agreed you would write an article for their website and payment would be a link back to your website and some info about you.
These days people who guest post are not doing it for the links since Google decided it no longer liked the practice and would penalise sites if they had too many guest posts on it. All links now should be ‘no follow’ meaning that no ‘Google Link Juice’ is passed down onto the other (your) website meaning that the link is not counted and your website will not benefit from it.
Today people who guest post on other websites and blogs do it for the exposure and also because it can drive a lot of traffic back to their website especially if they write on very popular websites. If a website is being read daily by thousands and those articles are being shared your guest post could also be read and shared by thousands which could drive a lot of people your way. Do that on ten or twenty websites and you can start to grow a list of subscribers and followers.
EBooks & PDFs (F) – There are websites where you can share ebooks and PDFs for free which people will download and read. If the ebook/PDF was formatted correctly with a link to your website and the reader found it useful and enjoyed they might visit your site as well as share it on social media.
Doing one or two would probably not get you a lot of traffic but if you did fifty, one hundred or more then it could send you quite a few visitors to your site. This is one of the harder traffic generation methods as video is more popular than reading PDFs these days.
Podcasting (F) – I have listed this as free as I can and have recorded several podcasts and shared them online for free and you can do the same but if you want to do a professional job you can invest in better equipment. The actual process of making a podcast is free though once you have the equipment.
Podcasts can be shared on social media and uploaded to several audio sites but there can be a fee when you want to upload regularly.
Watch the video tutorial showing you how to record a professional podcast here: ‘How to Make a Podcast Using Free Software’
Renting Email Lists (P) – This is not one for the feint hearted as this requires money and can be a little scary. Again this does depend on your business model, as this does not suit all online businesses.
There are websites where you can find people who own large email lists in your chosen niche and you can either rent the email list. When I say rent, I don’t mean they will send you the email list details and you use it for a year. What will happen is that you will write an email or the owner will write an email for you and for a fee they will send the email out to their large list directing people to your website or offer.
You will pay for the one email and a specific amount of ‘opens’. For example you might be charged $50 to have an email sent out to a list of 2000 people that has a response rate of 10% giving you 200 opens. It might be more, but never less as they will resend the email out to more people to make sure that you get your 200 opens.
Solo Email Ads (P) – This is very similar to the method above, some people may say it is the same, they call the single email to another person’s email list as a Solo Email Advert but to me a solo email ad is an advert that is placed somewhere in an email newsletter which is sent to a list as per normal.
You do not write an email, the list owner would send his newsletter as usual but the difference would be that he includes an advert either in a banner form or as a personal recommendation such as ‘Finally I want to tell you about this excellent product/website by…’
The cost of this will vary from person to person and how responsive their list is but you would probably pay by the amount of emails sent and how many weeks you run the advert rather than on an open rate.
Joint Venture Partner – (P) This is for only specific online businesses which are selling a product. A joint venture partner is someone who will sell your product to his established list for 50% of the price.
It is a meeting of two types of people who need each other, one has the product and the other has the ‘market’ or audience in the way of a large responsive email list and/or website. You can work with many JV partners, basically a JV partner is a well established affiliate marketer but they usually expect 50% of the sale price.
Affiliate Network – (P) This too is for only specific online businesses which are selling a product.
The guy I mentioned before selling the infograph product had sold it through JVZoo (Joint Venture Zoo) which is an affiliate network. He paid 50% of the cost price to people who sold it for him. I sold several for him by writing a review on a website and then sending an email out to a list telling people to read the review. Many did and several of them clicked through the affiliate link and bought the product… then I got paid.
What happened in reality was that I sent traffic to his website/offer and when they bought the product I got paid.
JVZoo has thousands of affiliate marketers all looking for good new products to promote to their huge email lists. If you have a good product then try promoting it via an affiliate network, you don’t have to pay out 50% of the cost but you will get more affiliates offering to promote your products if you offer more.
Some affiliate products will offer 100% share of a sale price as an incentive to get more affiliate marketers on board as they have either a sales funnel with a second product that they plan to sell or they intend to build a huge email list for long term selling and promoting.
Cost Per Action CPA Network (P) – This is similar to affiliate marketing but instead of giving away a share of sales you can pay when an action is completed. That can be a sale or it could be something as simple as someone filling out an email form adding a new name to your list.
With a CPA network you can upload banner ads and affiliates can add them to their sites as a form of paid advertising. If affiliates have large email lists, a large social media presence or a very popular website with a lot of traffic they will love looking for good paying long time offers which they can advertise on their websites.
Over To You
These are ways to send traffic to your website, services, offers and products. Which you try is upto you. They all need some mastering so I wouldn’t recommend trying them all over the next month as you will spread yourself too thinly resulting in poor or no results.
If you want to try the paid methods I suggest that you tread very carefully, that you learn what to do first and test using small amounts of money to learn the process.