Do you struggle to bring people to your website?
I know the feeling.
For years, I struggled to build traffic myself. It seemed like no matter what I tried, people didn’t want to read my content.
But then things started changing. As I continued to write and promote, I started to see my traffic increase.
Today, NeilPatel.com is one of the top marketing sites online.
So, what’s the secret to server-crushing traffic?
There are thousands of ways you can boost your traffic, but the best is by trying something new.
Here are 18 unusual ways to increase traffic to your website.
1. Create a resources page
Everyone loves a little flattery.
One of the best opportunities to build more traffic to your site is by creating a page dedicated to showering praise on companies and individuals you admire.
You can do this in a few ways:
- Thank-you page. List the people and brands who have encouraged you on your journey.
- Resource page. Feature the best sites from around the Internet with brief explanations of what makes these pages special.
- Favorite products page. Include images and short reviews of your favorite products. Explain why they stand out.
An example of a great resources page is the one by Pat Flynn. In addition to listing the software and products he uses, he includes affiliate links to them.
In addition to driving traffic, Pat’s page earns affiliate commissions. You might as well kill two birds with one stone.
Once you’ve created the page, share it with the people you included.
Write a simple Tweet that lets each brand or person know you’ve included them. Don’t send out a template Tweet. Customize each one.
Here’s an example:
Hey NAME! I loved your page on TOPIC. Wanted to let you know I included you on my resource page: LINK
People love sharing a post that makes them look good. By writing a good resource post, you can tap into the massive traffic of these influencers.
Influencer marketing is one of the best investments you can make. According to TapInfluence, influencer marketing drives 11x more ROI than other types of digital media.
2. Start posting on Medium
If you’re not growing your blog on Medium yet, you should be.
The site boasts over 60 million readers a month, and most of them have never heard of your site.
But you don’t need to start writing new content. Just republish your old content and expose the articles you’ve already written to new readers.
Some people think Google will penalize this duplication.
That used to be true. If you ran two sites and posted the same content on both, Google would recognize it as duplicate content.
As a result, search engines would push your pages further down the SERPs.
But years ago, Google created a tool that allows you to post duplicate content without consequence.
It’s called a canonical URL, and it basically tells search engines that the content is syndicated. Medium uses a canonical URL by default.
To upload a post, set up a Medium account. Click Sign Up if you’re not already a member.
Connect it with Twitter.
Once you’ve approved the app, click on your avatar, then on Stories.
Select Import a story.
Paste the URL of the story you’d like to publish, then click Import.
On the page that pops up, click See your story.
Medium will take a few minutes to import your post. Once it does, double-check that everything looks correct.
If it looks good, click the Publish menu button. Add tags, select the image, and click the Publish button.
It’s as easy as that!
For best results with Medium, make sure to include a lot of compelling internal links to your own content. As people click, your traffic increases.
The more people who read and recommend your article, the more your content will be promoted to the massive audience on Medium.
3. Require shares for bonus content
If you have a resource you could add to your content, you can easily leverage it to boost traffic to your site.
To make it work, advertise special content or a download. Make it clear to your fans that the only way to get access is if they share it with their friends.
Be sure to make the page that advertises the content very compelling. The more powerful you make your promotional copy, the more likely someone will share it with his or her friends.
Once someone shares the promotion page on a social network, give them access to the download.
A great tool for this is Pay With A Tweet.
The beauty of this system is that every time someone gets your content, they share it with the hundreds or thousands of people in their social circles.
The more social shares your content gets, the more traffic you’ll get.
And if your content is truly top-notch, you may even get people to share it again after the download.
4. Use QR codes in the offline world
If you haven’t started using QR codes in your business yet, it’s time to give it a try!
To get started, find a page on your site you’d like visitors to read. Copy the URL and paste it in a QR Code Generator.
Click Create QR code.
The code by itself isn’t too interesting. To make people want to click, write a compelling headline that draws people in.
Here are a few suggestions for headline topics that work well:
- Use reverse psychology. Warn people that the content is distracting, life-changing, or impossible to forget.
- Focus on the benefit. Explain that the information will provide an incredible reward, but don’t give specifics on the process. They’ll have to read the piece to find out!
- Be mysterious. Write a headline so intriguing and vague that people can’t help but click. Imply there’s something secretive, but you can’t give more details.
Use the QR code on any offline medium. You can put it on T-shirts, posters, flyers, or even billboards and advertisements.
When smartphone users see the distinctive square codes, they feel instantly curious. Each time someone scans the code, they’ll be taken to your website.
If you link them to a landing page or an e-commerce site, you can even generate leads and sales from the traffic!
5. Submit to StumbleUpon
The social bookmarking site StumbleUpon has been around for years, but it’s still going strong.
StumbleUpon allows users to find new websites and pages by clicking the Stumble button in the app.
Unlike many sites that cause content to go viral, StumbleUpon articles usually don’t spike.
They remain popular on the site for years, bringing in a steady stream of traffic. To get started, sign up for a StumbleUpon account. Submit your best articles.
Content that works well is usually short, remarkable, and visual. List articles and funny or emotional stories often work well, too.
It might take a few weeks to gain traction with StumbleUpon. But if you’re patient, the results will pay off in traffic.
StumbleUpon’s algorithm rewards articles that are popular. Once other users start to upvote your content, your articles will be shown more frequently and get more upvotes.
It’s a continuous cycle that leads to more traffic for your website.
6. Swap ads with another site
If you have already have some viewers, you can leverage that momentum with another site that wants to increase its traffic.
To get started, find a site in your similar niche. It’s important that the site is related, but not a competitor.
The best type of site to reach out to is one in a complementary industry. Complementary products and services typically do very well.
If you teach people how to grow houseplants, for example, you could reach out to someone who sells custom-made planters.
To reach out, you’ll need to find the business owner’s email. Do a site-specific search in Google using “contact site:” and the URL.
Review the pages to find one with a contact form or email address. Pitch the basic idea to the site owner.
Each of you will have a small ad for the other site in your sidebar. Decide on a period of time.
(I recommend three months. You can always go for longer if you want to.)
If they agree, prepare a compelling picture with some overlaid text. Place their image in the sidebar, and start sending traffic their way.
Since people who click on the ad for the other site are existing readers, you don’t lose traffic.
But since they’re promoting your site, as well, you get a steady stream of new traffic from the referring site.
7. Have experts contribute to a roundup post
If you want to get dozens of influencers excited about your website, feature them in a roundup post.
To do this, make a list of 20+ names in your industry you’d like to contact.
Send them a simple email explaining that you’re doing a roundup post, and ask them to contribute if they want to.
Once you receive the contributions, include them together in one post. For best results, have a short bio and headshot of each contributor, along with a link to their website.
If you can’t get responses from influencers, you can pull quotes from their Twitter feeds or articles they’ve written.
That’s how Guest Crew published this roundup, including a quote from me.
When the article goes live, email all the contributors who gave you a quote for the post.
You should also share the post on your social networks. Make sure to tag the influencers in the post.
You can tag an unlimited number of people on Google+. Facebook limits you to 50, Instagram limits you to 30, and Twitter is limited by character count.
Share over the course of the next few days until you’ve tagged everyone in a post on each platform.
A lot of the influencers will share your updates or post one themselves.
The viral buzz surrounding a roundup post is second to none, and so is the traffic it generates for your site!
8. Write a response post
There’s nothing like controversy to get people interested in what you have to say.
To get started, find a post by a major influencer you disagree with. You’ll need to follow the thought leaders in your industry.
Once you find something you disagree with, write a detailed argument against the author’s reasoning.
Be civil, but don’t mince words. Explain as persuasively as you can why he or she is wrong and you are right.
It’s important to write a response post soon after the original is published. Ideally, you should release your post within one week.
Once you write the post, email the influencer. Mention that you didn’t agree with everything in their post, and include a link to your response.
Oftentimes, the influencer will write a response to your argument. In the reply, he or she will almost always link to your article.
Derek Halpern published an argumentative post arguing against the top bloggers who say that “content is king.”
His post got hundreds of comments.
This helps your SEO with high-quality backlinks.
But more importantly, the massive audience of the major influencer will need to read your piece to understand the response post, thus increasing your traffic.
9. Submit to Quora
People around the world have questions, and you can answer them with your content.
Quora is similar to Yahoo! Answers, but it attracts high-quality answers from verified authorities.
To get started, create a Quora account. Then search Quora for questions related to a recent piece of content you posted.
Click on relevant questions, and answer queries that were posted recently or that have lots of views.
Once you find a good question, reply with a brief summary of the best ideas in your content.
At the bottom of the answer, explain that you wrote a piece on that topic with more information and provide a link to it.
Be genuine and don’t sound promotional. As long as you follow those two basic rules, you’ll attract a steady stream of readers who find their way to your website.
Even better, questions on Quora get views and massive traffic years after they’re posted.
If you write a compelling answer to a Quora question, you can get interested traffic for years to come.
10. Repurpose your content
Different people learn in different ways.
If all your content appeals to one medium, however, you’ll lose traffic that’s not interested in your chosen form of communication.
For example, if you only write blog posts, you’ll lose visual learners and those who prefer to listen.
The good news is that it’s easy to promote your content by repurposing it.
It’s not hard to generate massive traffic from Slideshare.
Open the slideshow on your computer and start a screen recording. While you record, read the article off a piece of paper or separate device.
Click through to each slide as you read.
When you’re finished, upload the video to YouTube.
Congratulations! You’ve just repurposed your content into three different media.
By opening up your message to people who learn in different ways, you can find people on other platforms and increase your traffic from around the Internet.
11. Host a 30-day challenge
Everyone loves a challenge!
You can excite your readers with a month-long challenge to do something related to your topic.
Challenges like this can be very popular. Some brands and trends, like the Whole30 diet, base their entire strategy on these challenges.
I recommend running a 30-day challenge — not longer or shorter. It’s long enough to build momentum without getting stale.
You’ll need to find something difficult to do for the next month. This shouldn’t be too hard, but it needs to be a fun challenge for most of your audience.
If you sell a body metrics tracking device, for example, you might challenge your audience to get eight hours of sleep each night for 30 days.
But how does this generate traffic?
A 30-day challenge excites your audience and gets them to share it with others.
Even better, the extra traffic you acquire from those 30 days will stick around afterward to see what you have to offer.
12. Run a contest or giveaway
Have you ever noticed that most major brands are always running a contest or giveaway?
The reason is simple: it works.
For example, here’s a campaign by M&Ms. It offers you a chance to be in their next ad.
Offering free rewards to customers is a great way to draw new traffic and buyers to what you have to offer.
To get started, check the laws and regulations in your country and state. Some localities are strict about raffles and sweepstakes.
Once you know what’s allowed, the possibilities are endless.
The easiest way to run a giveaway is to simply offer it to someone who comments on an article.
Once the giveaway period has ended, count the number of comments and generate a random number in the range of the comments.
The winning comment gets the prize.
For more complex giveaways, consider Rafflecopter. You can run an extensive campaign and even have special bonuses for entrants who refer friends.
Contests and giveaways are a great way to bring new traffic to your site.
Your core group of fans wants to see their friends win, and they will refer more and more names.
Even better, you can acquire leads from those who sign up and continue to contact them long after the contest has ended.
13. Answer queries on HARO
Have you ever read a newspaper article and wondered how the reporter found such a juicy expert quote?
In years past, reporters would ask rigorous questions of dozens of people.
But today, most just use the Internet. Specifically, they use a resource known as Help A Reporter Out, or HARO.
The site is a win-win for reporters and website owners.
Reporters post a request for an expert quote, opinion, or story. In exchange, they provide free publicity for their contributors.
To get started, sign up on HARO.com. Click I’m a Source.
Click Subscribe Now.
Choose a plan. If you’re just starting, the free one should be fine.
HARO sends out three emails a day: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.
Each email is packed with numerous requests.
Each of the requests has a short description. Filter the topics by the header information. Save time by only looking at information that’s relevant to you.
For best results, follow these tips:
- Respond promptly. Try to send your response before you receive the next email. Reporters work on a tight deadline, and the sooner you respond, the better.
- Have expertise. Don’t spend time responding to queries you don’t know about. Reporters are looking for people who are highly knowledgeable about the topic. You don’t need formal credentials, but don’t contact reporters regarding queries you don’t know anything about. You’ll almost certainly be ignored.
- Say something interesting. Chances are, reporters already have quotes with generic advice. They’re looking for something interesting and unique. Find a small, specific angle that’s different than what most people will say.
How do you get a piece of the massive traffic these news sites generate? I’ve found there are two ways.
First, HARO quotes often link to your site. If people are interested in what you have to say, they’ll click through to read more.
Second, you build name awareness. Even if people don’t look up your site immediately, you’ll stay in their minds as an expert in the topic area.
When they need more information about the subject, they’ll know where to go.
14. Conduct interviews with thought leaders
The challenge of influencer marketing is building a relationship with the big fish in your industry and getting them to share.
An easy way to build this rapport is to host an interview with your favorite expert and share it with your audience.
These interviews are typically 30 minutes long, and they are usually conducted via a recorded video chat.
Even if you don’t have a video channel or podcast, you can post the recording to your blog. A few years back, TechWyse interviewed me and published the recording on their website.
This helps you acquire traffic in two ways.
First, your existing audience is more likely to visit the site and hear the advice from a trusted expert.
Those fans are also more likely to share this type of post with friends.
Second, the person you interviewed is likely to share the post, as well. At a minimum, he or she will likely post the piece on social media.
Even better, though, the influencer may even send a link to the interview to his or her email list. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
15. Use Snip.ly to redirect people back to your own site
If you share articles with your social media following, you’re missing a golden opportunity to drive more traffic to your site.
Instead of just sharing content produced by others, use the app Snip.ly to direct people to your own site.
Once you install Snip.ly, create a separate message and call to action for each piece of content you share.
When others read the article, they’ll see (and often click on) the box at the bottom that links to your content.
The best part about this is that you can direct others to a custom call to action.
An article on the best workout supplements, for example, could link your e-commerce store that sells those very supplements.
As you continue to share content from other sources around the web, you can subtly direct more traffic to your own site.
By only changing a tiny part of your normal social sharing, you can easily drive new traffic.
Even better, you can incorporate this strategy into your current social media sharing campaign.
16. Drive traffic in your email signatures
You send emails every day.
You work hard to ensure each email has a subject line that people want to read.
Why not use to those subject lines to drive traffic to your site?
To get started, choose a landing page you’d like people to see. This probably isn’t the home page, though it may be.
Depending on your email program, you’ll then add a link to this page in your signature. Include an attention-grabbing title so that people will be more inclined to click the link.
In Gmail, click on the gear.
In the drop-down menu, select Settings.
Scroll down until you find Signature and select your primary address. Add a compelling link that will drive traffic!
You can turn each email into an opportunity to increase traffic to your website.
Of course, these emails will be to people who are already in your contact list. To make them particularly effective, consider these strategies:
- Show your most recent post. If you don’t mind updating your signature once a week, consider including the top post from that week. This means that your email recipients will have a reason to keep reading your articles!
- Encourage a share. Instead of a link to your most recent post, you can include a link to share the post. A great tool for this is ClickToTweet.
- Sell a product. Choose a link to a landing page that drives sales or sells a product.
Even if you only send a few emails a day, you can increase your traffic one visitor at a time.
17. Include a custom link on business cards
Yes, you already have your website address on your business card.
But few people will ever open up your website after meeting you or seeing your card.
To change this, create a link that drives interest. Consider an intriguing headline and a short URL that captures their attention.
For example, you might create a custom greeting for each member at a particular conference. Just record a video of yourself and upload it to your website.
You could also consider listing the benefits someone would get from the content you’ve linked to. Consider a high-converting landing page or popular evergreen content.
You can also offer a free gift. If you have a small product for sale (like an e-book or tool), you can provide a link to the download.
Use an easy-to-remember URL, such as yoursite.com/greeting.
By making the link stand apart from the rest, you can encourage people to actually look up the site.
Changing from a boring business address to a custom link can have a huge impact on traffic, especially if you hand out a lot of cards at a networking event or conference.
18. Sell an e-book of your best posts
Nothing increases your visibility like a book.
The easiest way to publish today is probably publishing for the Amazon Kindle. According to Written Word Media, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has grown tremendously since 2014.
But instead of working hard to write a new book, simply compile a list of your most popular articles.
Many Kindle books are only 20,000-30,000 words. That’s about the length of 10-25 long-form blog posts.
Find a set of blog posts that cover a similar theme, or even use a series of posts that chronicle steps in a journey.
Compile it into a Kindle e-book and include a compelling link or two to your website through the content.
Launch it on Amazon and sell it for a low price, or even run a free promotion. Encourage your audience to read the book, and ask them to post reviews on the Amazon page.
As the book increases in popularity, you’ll see your traffic start to increase.
Compiling a book doesn’t have to be a long or difficult process, but the results can last for months or even years.
If you’re looking for a steady stream of traffic, this is a tried-and-true strategy that will build your following.
Everyone’s looking for more traffic.
By using some unusual techniques, you can find audiences in places other site owners aren’t looking.
Keep an eye out for a unique way to reach your audience, and traffic is sure to follow.
What strategies will you use to increase traffic to your site?