Whether you like it or not, you’re not going to make money online if you’re not getting any traffic to your website. The holy grail of website traffic is search engine traffic, but it’s not the only way to get it. Regardless, the easiest way to vmake money online is to get human eyeballs looking at your content. The only thing that separates your website from any other website is the value and uniqueness of your content.
This is probably the easiest way to get people to visit your website, but only if you like being social. Like many others, I’m not very social online. Of course, you need friends and followers on the major social websites for this to work for you.
Facebook is the darling of social networking right now, but it won’t always be the best. Google Plus is rising quickly as a better alternative for many reasons besides social networking. Of course, you still have Twitter, but how many “humans” actually follow the tweets of the average Joe?
Google Plus backlinks count for more than backlinks from the other social sites, at least when it comes to Google’s search engine. In my experience, your personal page will work better than a dedicated business page when it comes to people actually following your links.
Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Slashdot and Fark are social linking networks, along with a few others I can’t seem to remember. The rest of the bookmarking sites aren’t really designed with being social in mind – the lack of comment responses (if comment forms are even available) is a telltale sign.
Planting bookmarks on various websites, if done manually, is time-consuming and yields very little fruit. Automating them is the only way to overcome the time aspect, and your results will vary. You can use automated software from your own PC, like Bookmarking Demon, or use an online service to do it for you. Either way, it may be cheap enough, but it’s not going to be free.
I’ve experimented with social linking networks and various bookmarking services. Other than the occasional “flash in the pan”, the effects are negligible unless you’re using them constantly and consistently. As far as bookmarking services go, Social Maximizer and IMAutomator seem to work well but again, they’re not free services.
Increasing your Chances of being Visited
The things I mention are the things people with a clue tend to harp on quite a bit. Unfortunately, most people will not listen. But that’s okay because those who will listen will actually make money online.
Your HTML title (not necessarily the same as your post/article title) needs to be short and concise and yet contain the keywords concerning the content. You need to consider that only something like 67 characters will show up on the search engine results pages. A catchy title that still contains the necessary keywords will work wonders.
Your content needs to focus on both the keywords and related keywords. Staying on topic is the easiest way to do it naturally. You need internal links on every page, if at all possible, and they should point to related pages with related keywords.
Of course, I’m talking about things that help the search engines index your content, but they do more than that – they keep people on your website after they arrive, looking for more related content.
You may notice that I have multiple lists of links in the sidebar. Yes, there really are people who scan the sidebar looking for interesting content. This is why you need to identify and display popular pages and create other pages which group similar content pages together.
Okay, I got slightly off-track. Make your content appealing on social websites, like Facebook and Google Plus. Pictures and other images tend to get more attention than plain text. Once someone arrives at your website, it’s up to you to keep them there. Your website needs to be aesthetically appealing and you need to minimize distractions, even if it means less ads per page than what you’d like.
Getting backlinks, or links back to your website from other websites, is actually easier than it seems when you create compelling content and then make it widely available through social networks and bookmarking sites. You don’t even need to care about what kinds of links you get.
The secret is a 4-step process (but wait for the 5th step):
1. Create the content – you have control.
2. Publicize the content – controlled backlinks.
3. Get visitors – you don’t have control.
4. Visitors link from other websites – uncontrolled backlinks.
Step 5 is optional, but it works. Create new content based on what’s being searched for and what people are linking to and then watch the previous four steps in action once again.
In all honesty, I don’t usually follow my own recommendations and that’s because I’m patient. I’m relying more on the age of my domain name and the trust and authority I’ve generated over time. As long as I’m making enough money online to cover my web hosting fees, the cost of my Internet connection and buying or replacing my hardware and software, it’s all good.
With as little as I’ve done as far as self-promotion goes (over more than 5 years), it’s amazing that I still manage to draw 2000+ unique visitors per day. Imagine how many more I would get if I actively promoted this website socially and with bookmarking services.
Unless you plan to visit often, signing up for my feed e-mail (once a day) is probably the best way to follow along. I’ll continue writing about making money online, even if it isn’t often.