The Conventional Traffic Advice Is a Waste of Time – Here’s What Really Works

Jawad Khan      November 17, 2014

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If you’re new to blogging or just starting a new blog for your company, I’m sure one of your biggest concerns is generating regular traffic. Every day you experiment with different traffic generation strategies and try to find the secret formula that can open floodgates of visitors to your blog.

I’m also sure that you’ve already subscribed to dozens of blogs that share SEO and traffic generation advice. Some of them focus entirely on content generation and blogging, while others advocate the use of social media platoforms.

But has any of their advice worked for you yet?

I’m pretty sure, the answer is NO!

You know why? Because the conventional traffic advice is just a waste of time for beginners. Whether it’s blogging, social media marketing or link building, none of it works for new blogs. These tactics are only good for someone who already has a high/medium traffic blog with a small/medium sized community of loyal readers. I’m saying this from experience.

You’re wondering what works then.

Here’s your answer – the only 3 traffic techniques beginner bloggers should focus on.

1. Email List Building

List building is crucial for any online business, website or blog. Mailing list traffic not only converts much better as compared to visitors from other sources, but also allows you to create a relationship with your readers and convert them into loyal visitors.

But how are you supposed to build an email list when you don’t have any traffic?

List building won’t get you traffic immediately, but it will help you form the foundation on which you can create a thriving traffic stream.

How? Let me explain.

First of all, you need to create a high value free giveaway to attract subscribers. And please, “Get Free Email Updates” is NOT a giveaway. It should be something that your target audience badly wants. For example, if you have an ecommerce website, you can offer 10% discount vouchers in return for subscriber emails.

Note: Read this post to learn more about creating irresistible free giveaways for list building

Secondly, make your opt-in box as prominent as possible. Display it at all the high focus spots of your blog. Add it to the header, place it in the sidebar, use pop-ups and show it at the end of every post on your blog.

Here’s a great example from Jon Morrow’s blog. He offers a high value giveaway and he has made it very prominent by adding it to the main header.

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Thirdly, create a squeeze page and feature your free giveaway on it. You can use tools like Lead Pages or Get Response Pages to create a good squeeze page. The objective here is to route as many people to this page as possible, and convert them into subscribers.

Doing these three things would get you ready to convert the majority of your visitors into subscribers. Now let’s see how you can get more visitors.

2. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways of building brand awareness, getting high value backlinks and, most importantly, attracting new visitors to your blog. In the initial blogging days, it is best to keep your most valuable content for guest blogging.

Use your free giveaway in combination with guest blogging to drive traffic to your mailing list. Don’t guest blog for SEO or backlinks – it isn’t effective anymore.

Guest blog only for brand awareness and list building. But to be effective, you need to identify the right blogs for guest blogging. You can’t expect to get hundreds of subscribers by guest blogging on an unknown blog.

You need to target the right blogs, the most popular ones in your niche. The ones your target audience regularly visits. Create a great piece of content and offer it free to a top blog in your niche. Now there are two ways you can use this guest post exposure to build your email list.

  • Author Bio: Use your author bio to pitch your free giveaway to the readers and link back to your squeeze page. Of course, it needs to be relevant to the audience to get them interested.
  • Blog Post Conclusion: A more effective way is to include a link to your squeeze page in the post conclusion. Of course, no blog would allow it if you directly include a link to your giveaway. Instead, use it for value addition in the conclusion. Tell the readers that they if they want to learn more about your post topic, they can study your giveaway. In my experience, if your giveaway genuinely adds value to the post, blog editors don’t usually have issues with including it in the post conclusion.

Apart from being relevant to your target blog, make sure your content is highly engaging and easy to read. No one likes to read boring content. It will also be quite damaging to your brand image if your guest post is boring because potentially thousands of people will read it.

Note: Read this post to learn the key components of highly enjoyable and engaging content

In short, create high quality content and offer it to the right blogs. Be consistent with guest blogging and route as many visitors to your squeeze page as possible. Even if you manage to feature on 4-5 high traffic blogs, you can attract a lot of subscribers very quickly.

3. Influencer Outreach

Guest blogging will give your content exposure, build your brand image and route visitors to your mailing list. But to really accelerate this process, you need endorsements from the top influencers in your niche.

Nothing’s more effective in strengthening brand image than a few words of praise from a known figure in your niche. As a beginner blogger, you need to make sure you reach as many influencers in your niche as possible.

An influencer is a person who’s respected in your niche, has a popular blog, has lots of social media followers and a community of loyal followers. People consult him for their problems and seek his views on all the key aspects of your niche.

To benefit from this, make a list of your target influencers. List down their social media accounts and blog addresses. Follow them on all the social networks, especially Twitter, and subscribe to their blog mailing lists.

Start engaging them by responding to their Tweets and commenting on their blog posts. Do this regularly by dedicating 10-15 minutes for this activity every day. Once they start recognizing you, or respond to a few of your Tweets or comments, send them a question about your niche. Do this with all your target influencers.

Once you get the answers from all or some of them, compile them into a blog post and publish it on your blog. Tweet it to the influencers and request a share. Keep engaging them regularly by building conversations.

Endorsements from even a few influencers can lead to a lot of traffic to your blog.


When you start a new blog, traffic generation is the first thing on your mind. But don’t be fooled by the conventional traffic advice that the so called experts keep sharing. What works for them, might not necessarily work for you. In my experience as a blogger and content marketer, you should stick to the three traffic techniques I’ve shared until you have at least 500 email subscribers. After that you can start publishing content on your own blog as well, and use your subscribers to attract more visitors. Until then, stay focused on these three techniques.

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