The following is a guest post by Wes Burns. His bio is at the end of the article.
I think we’ve all been there at some point: new to the affiliate marketing game, completely broke and trying to drive traffic to a new website. Getting started on a shoestring budget is no easy task, but it’s a learning experience that makes us all stronger in the end. When it comes to getting traffic in particular, a shoestring budget may seem like a big challenge.
The truth is you don’t need much money at all to drive traffic to a new website. The so-called common knowledge is that to get traffic, you need to buy links. Although link building does help build traffic, there is something even more effective than building links: adding content.
If you can add quality content to your blog on a regular basis, people will eventually come. You remember the old saying “if you build it, they will come”? A lot of internet marketers like to knock that saying, but I am a firm believer in the strategy. I have built several successful websites without paying for a single link. I did do a few link trades to get established, but after that the only thing I did was write high quality content.
Look at Alexander Allahverdiev over at KeywordStrategy.org; he increased traffic from 3500 visitors per day to over 60,000 visitors per day simply by adding content. As you can guess from his website, he spent a lot of time pouring over search keywords and he wrote content specifically for those keywords. In that time, he did not build a single link.
You don’t have to be a keyword master to get traffic on a short budget. All I’m saying is that if you write high quality content, add new content regularly and write what you visitors want, the traffic will come. The most important thing you can do is build a website that people want to share with each other naturally. You do that, and I guarantee you’ll never have to worry about building links again.
I like getting links, but I don’t like paying for them. I like to get each website off to a fast start by building a few links and letting it sit while I build content. What I usually do is submit an article to EZineArticles.com, publish a couple of posts from the site onto Google+ and then give away a few articles to other webmasters in exchange for a link pointing back to me.
The goal here is not to take over the world, but to just get my site indexed and noticed. From that point on, I can focus my time on building a high quality website and getting new traffic organically. There may come a time when you want to invest more money into link building but as a new webmaster, it does not have to cost you money to get traffic to your website.
Adding content to your website can be a challenge in certain industries. For example, I run an online file storage website that most people wouldn’t consider very interesting. What I did with that site was add a blog and start writing about tech news, how-to guides and things like that. For example, one big article I wrote recently was titled “how to recover a lost file.” I’m sure that in time this article will generate a lot of traffic for the site.
You will have to get creative with some websites. For example, if you’re trying to get your plumbing business website ranking well in Google, you’ll have to work hard to come up with content ideas. One of the best ways to get new ideas is to visit other websites in your industry, look for news articles and add your own opinions. Write about anything that gets you excited if you can find even the slightest way to relate it to your website.
Even better: write big how-to guides that help people solve a problem. Don’t just rehash content from other websites. Make the biggest and best how-to guide on the internet. Make your article something that people are willing to share and bookmark. It doesn’t matter if it’s a guide about cleaning drains or how to buy gold online; if it’s good, it will drive traffic to your site.
Wes Burns is a full time internet marketer and writer. Wes has worked in niches as diverse as online poker and online backup. He recently started work on OnlineFileStorage.com and loves to share his experience in building new websites from scratch.