I know some business owners that have had great success on Pinterest. You’ll want to make sure you have good visuals to go with each blog post – infographics are great for this – and make sure you’re posting at least 10 unique pins for every blog. Most importantly, Pinterest is a community just like any other social media, so make sure you’re active regularly, connecting with others in your niche, and re-pinning others’ pins.
Excellent post Brian. I think the point about writing content that appeals to influencers in spot on. Could you recommend some good, manual strategies through which I can spot influencers in boring niches *B2B* where influencers are not really talking much online? Is it a good idea to rely on newspaper articles to a feel for what a particular industry is talking about? Would love to hear your thoughts on that.
When I’m doing research for a piece I’m going to write, I’ll send emails out to influencers who are authorities in the area I’m writing about. I’ll ask them for a quote to include in the blog post, and ask them a single question – this is how I do it, if you’re interested. I don’t worry too much about non-responses or rejections, because as long as a few of them write back, I’ve got a solid contribution for my post. Because they’re authority figures, it not only lends the piece credibility, but if they happen to share the post, I’ll get exposure to their audience as well.
Brian, great post as always! Question: Do you consider authority sites (industry portals) a form of “influencer marketing?” e.g. guest blogging, etc? In some niches there are not so many individuals who are influencers (outside of journalists) but there are sites that those in the industry respect. I am in the digital video space and for me one site is actually a magazine that is building a very strong digital presence. Thanks, keep up the good work!

The great thing about the Internet is that you can publish any type of content you want. By creating longer form content like courses that are targeted around both user needs and specific keyword phrases (don’t forget keyword research!), you can drive more traffic to your site and convert them into email addresses that you can then take down your funnel.
In a very crowded, noisy space – entrepreneurs and small business owners with a ton of “experts and influencers.” How do I get “above the noise?” I have built up a great brand and, I think, some great content based on a boatload of practical, real-life experience. I also have some products and services that I’m trying to sell, but I remain, “all dressed up, with no place to go.” Thoughts?
You probably already have a budget for a lot of these activities, so you may just need to reallocate some of your spending. For instance, maybe you already have an in-house writer who handles your company’s blog and social media. She has a basic understanding of SEO, but she’s not looking at search data to shape the editorial calendar. You saw a spike in organic traffic a few years ago when you launched the blog, but now it seems to have reached a plateau. To make up for the slow growth there, you’ve been investing a lot more in Google Ads. The ads help with visibility, but they’re not getting the conversions you want. You also want to create some professional looking videos, but the extent of your staff’s experience is using their iPhones to capture their dogs’ new tricks. 
Great article as always. My wife is about to start a business about teaching (mainly) Mums how to film and edit little movies of their loved ones for posterity (www.lovethelittlethings.com launching soon). We have always struggled with thinking of and targeting relevant keywords because keywords like ‘videography’ and ‘family movies’ don’t really some up what she is about. Your article ties in with other learnings we have come across where we obviously need to reach out to right people and get them to share to get her product out there because purely focusing on keywords I don’t think will get us anywhere.

So just how much of the traffic that finds itself labeled as direct is actually organic? Groupon conducted an experiment to try to find out, according to Search Engine Land. They de-indexed their site for the better part of a day and looked at direct and organic traffic, by hour and by browser, to pages with long URLs, knowing that pages with shorter URLs actually do get a large amount of direct traffic, as they can be typed quickly and easily into a browser. The results showed a 50% drop in direct traffic, clearly demonstrating how all of these other factors come into play during the analytics process.

In the beginning, it’s nice to think that a committed and engaged audience will just fall into your lap if you reach out to the right people and follow the right steps, but it’s just not that easy. You need to make sure your website is set up the right way and is designed to resonate well with your target market. More on that in my guide to growing a blog.
You hereby indemnify Us and undertake to keep Us indemnified against any losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including, without limitation, legal expenses and any amounts paid by Us to a third party in settlement of a claim or dispute on the advice of Our legal advisers) incurred or suffered by Us arising out of any breach by You of any provision of these terms of use.
James, you give a great template for how a business needs to move forward in their chosen niche online.  Quite informative and the meeting of minds has been something a number of us have done online and in person to gain better insight into our small similar businesses.  Thank you for sharing your detailed approach to increasing organic traffic...content still is king.

hey james - congrats on your success here. just a question about removing crummy links. for my own website, there are hundreds of thousands of backlinks in webmaster tools pointing to my site. The site has no penalties or anything  - the traffic seems to be growing every week. would you recommend hiring someone to go through the link profile anyway to remove crummy links that just occur naturally?
Text-based content is all well and good, but video can be a valuable asset in both attracting new visitors and making your site more engaging. Data shows that information retention is significantly higher for visual material than it is for text, meaning that video marketing is an excellent way to grab – and hold – your audience’s attention, and boost traffic to your website at the same time.
Great article. My site has been up for several years now but I rebranded and switched from Blogger to WordPress about a year ago because I was told the reason why my traffic is so low is because I was using the wrong platform. I still haven’t seen an increase in my traffic and am very frustrated. I write in the health, fitness and parenting niche and I have over 30 experts that write for me, but I still don’t have the page views I would like. My paychecks are small and I am very frustrated. How do I find out what influencers in my niche are talking about and what they would like to share? I read tons of blogs, but most of them just review products or write about their kids, not a whole lot of similar articles. Where do I begin to find sharable content in my niche?
Thanks for the very, very in-depth article. I am a real estate agent in Miami, Florida and have been blogging all-original content for the past 21 months on my website and watched traffic increase over time. I have been trying to grow my readership/leads/clients exponentially and have always heard about standard SEO backlink techniques and writing for my reader, not influencers. Recently, I have had a few of my articles picked up and backlinked by 2 of the largest real estate blogs in the country, which skyrocketed visits to my site. Realizing what I wrote about, that appealed to them, and now reading your article, I am going to continue writing in a way that will leverage those influencers to help me with quality backlinks.
If you were to ask someone what the difference is between direct and organic website traffic, they would probably be able to warrant a good guess, purely based on the terms’ wording. They might tell you that direct traffic comes from going straight into a website by entering its URL into a browser or clicking a bookmark, while organic traffic comes from finding the site somewhere else, like through a search engine.
The whole challenge was an exercise in connecting with my community and showing that it can be simple to build the foundation of a business, no matter what that business is (they chose a hiking guide for California, by the way), but it also served to generate interest and drive traffic to see how the heck I was going to pull that off. Plus as an added bonus, I began fielding offers for both freelance and remote jobs as a result.
Gross, public speaking! But no, seriously. If there’s a conference going on that’s closely related to your niche, do everything you can to get there. I’ll never knock networking online, but there’s something about reaching a targeted, focused, engaged group of people face-to-face that is a whole new level of promotion and networking. As a bonus, you’re sure to run into tons of other people doing the same thing, which means a million opportunities for collaboration.
At the end of the day, webmasters just need to know their sites: chances are your analytics tool is more like a person than a software package, and will classify traffic in irrational ways. I’ve stumbled across website traffic originating from diverse and confusing sources being classed as direct — often requiring a considerable amount of thought and exploration to work out what is happening.
Headlines are one of the most important parts of your content. Without a compelling headline, even the most comprehensive blog post will go unread. Master the art of headline writing. For example, the writers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy often write upward of twenty different headlines before finally settling on the one that will drive the most traffic, so think carefully about your headline before you hit “publish.”
Yes the article was highly informative it\’s very very useful to the newbies like me in the field of digital marketing, It shows instead of creating some website / blog waiting with hope for the traffic to come instead put more logical steps. Promoting at the different sources where usually traffic can be built for the websites excellent insight hope we can use to the fullest extent with your further guidance & support of-course.
Hi Brian, i absolutely love your content.My competitors and influence rs are very strong-most of them government bodies or supported by government, or travel guides known worldwide.I constantly follow them,get onto them.like,share,comment etc.they share photos that are submitted to them,and i do photography myself which takes hours and still can’t reach out big audience…Any idea please what could i create that my influence rs would love to share (hard to find out what they care,they get 100’s photos submitted daily and collaborate with other big names…) Please help me.
Consider your resources. If your website traffic has been increasing by 10 percent with blogging alone but you’re now going to start investing in pay-per-click (PPC) ads, you can expect an increase that correlates with the additional spend. If you’re a B2B company, you can expect about a 2.5 percent click-through rate for your ads. The cost of PPC ads is based on the keywords you’re bidding on, who else is bidding on them and how relevant your ads are (known as your quality score). A marketing agency with expertise in demand generation will be able to recommend a budget and set realistic expectations for website traffic based on that budget.
Unless you have an invite, you can’t comment or submit a new product to PH. Even then, if you were to submit yourself, the likelihood is that you’d miss out on a lot of traction compared to someone influential on PH submitting. You only get one chance to submit to Product Hunt so you’ll need to identify someone who would be interested in your startup that also has influence within the PH community. To do this, go to Twitter and search the following query in the search bar:
Great content. Although I disagree with ‘the best times to post’ section. It is important to understand your audience. For example, if your brand/business is in high school, there will be low engagement until 2-5 when they are out of school. I highly suggest using instagram analytics (a subsidiary of facebook analytics) which gives you all of the details on when your followers are active. https://www.facebook.com/help/788388387972460
In the beginning, it’s nice to think that a committed and engaged audience will just fall into your lap if you reach out to the right people and follow the right steps, but it’s just not that easy. You need to make sure your website is set up the right way and is designed to resonate well with your target market. More on that in my guide to growing a blog.

Direct traffic is defined as visits with no referring website. When a visitor follows a link from one website to another, the site of origin is considered the referrer. These sites can be search engines, social media, blogs, or other websites that have links to other websites. Direct traffic categorizes visits that do not come from a referring URL.


Email marketing is still one of the best methods you can use, not only for making money online, but also for driving visitors to whatever it is that you're promoting. You can either build your own email list using lead magnets and sales funnels, or you can run solo ads through solo ad providers or email list brokers. Just search for the topic + " email list broker" in Google.
I am the founder of Credo. I have 10 years of SEO and digital experience, across agencies and in-house, and have worked with some of the largest websites on the internet to drive growth. I live in Denver CO with my wife and dog. I am an entrepreneur, speaker, writer, skier, rock climber, and plan to visit every continent on Earth. You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.
It’s free to be active in online groups and on websites that are relevant to your business and community—and it helps you to obtain more traffic. Comment on blogs and social media posts, answer questions people are posting, and participate in conversations about your industry. The more you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you get.
Secure (https) to non-secure sites (http): Since Google began emphasizing the importance of having a secure site, more websites are securely hosted, as indicated by the “https” in their URLs. Per the security protocol, however, any traffic going from a secure site to a non-secure site will not pass referral information. For this issue, you can correct by updating your site to be secure through a third-party SSL certificate.

How can you get the context part right? It begins with planning topics that are a good fit for your customer personas and then aligning them with appropriate high and mid-volume keywords. As Content Marketing Institute discusses, be very careful not to “over” optimize – keyword stuffing or trying to rank for a keyword just because it has a lot of searches can backfire on you. Always keep that target audience in mind.
×