For the last 10 years I built and designed websites as a hobby for friends and family, but recently I changed careers and moved into Freelance web design and SEO (search engine optimization) services. I knew the basics of SEO and wasn’t turned on to SEO until a good friend of mine (Hesham) introduced me to building traffic and online marketing. After that I was hooked, I started my first case study and from then on SEO and building traffic has been my passion. Don’t get me wrong, I still love design, but I prefer working with clients who are looking to build traffic and make a name for their brand.

I do not consider myself traffic generating guru or even an expert, I’m just a guy that loves building traffic and helping other do the same. Today I wanted to share with everyone how I build traffic for my sites and for those that need my assistance with building traffic.


I have found that my number one way of generating traffic is organic (search engines – mostly Google). But the other search engines are starting to bring me more traffic as I learn how to better optimize for other search engines.

There are variety of ways to build traffic and everyone has their own way of doing it. For me its simple, I start with on-page SEO and keyword research. Before I even start the design process, I research my primary keywords for the chosen niche. I use tools such as Market Samurai, Keyword Winner or Google Adwords Keyword tool. I generally pick five or six primary words and several long tail keywords. I try and pick words that may not be the most popular but are still what people are searching for.

Once I have my keywords figured out, I make sure to add my keywords to the title tags and description tags in the HTML code. Then I make sure to add keywords to the head tags (not important anymore) and alt tags and throughout the content of the website. I will also follow this process for creating new blog entries as well. Do not keyword stuff.

During the content creation process I will add keywords were needed, once I use a keyword once or twice I try not to use them again, but use synonyms for those keywords. Once finished, I might run the article through SEO Scribe. SEO Scribe will evaluate your article and give you suggestions on how to improve your on-page SEO throughout the article

Link Building

Next, I start inter linking (deep linking) my pages with other pages within my site that relate to each other. Whenever I write a new article I use a WordPress Plugin called Insights to help me find articles that I have written in the past that relate to the topic. The plugin will show me the results and then I can choose the best article and it will automatically create a link for me.

After I get the inter linking setup, then I start creating links to authority sites for certain keywords or words the reader my not know. If I do not know of a site to use, I will use the Insights plugin to search for articles related to my topic or that word I want to link to. I can do a search through Google or for blogs. If I still can’t find anything, I will find a wiki page that defines and explains about that the keyword. This is really a good SEO link building stategy.

Social Bookmarkingbuilding traffic

Once the article is posted, I start building back links for that article. First thing I like to do is social bookmarking. I will submit my articles to sites such as, Blog Engage, MMO, DesignGizer, WordPressJunkies, BizSugars, SERPd, and few others. But there are many other bookmarking sites you can use. Once I finish with the bookmarking sites, I will also submit my articles to Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious. Reddit and Mixx are also great places you can submit your articles to. But those communities can be very picky with the content you submit and you have to spend a lot of time on these or you will be considered a spammer.

Community News Sites

Next, I will submit my sites to community news sites. This is a relatively new idea or at least its to me, I am  just hearing about it (I learned about it about 8 months ago.) For those that do not know, community new submission sites are basically sites that are already high traffic sites or sites trying to get more traffic to their site by offering a service where you can submit a link with a description of the article to them and they will post it to their site. The beauty of this, is that most sites will not change your title and description and will post as you wrote it. So now you can create a killer title and description that has your keywords (do not keyword stuff, they will not approve your article!) and catch the eyes of potential readers. I have a lot of success with these services, I have had several sites that in the first few days will give me huge spikes of traffic and then for the next few weeks a steady stream of visitors. A lot of the articles I submit to still get traffic even though they were submitted several months ago. In a way this is almost as good as those site mentioning your article in one of their articles. Just make sure you find sites that are in your niche and submit only your best ones. If you post average articles or off topic articles you will be wasting your time and you may not even get your article posted.

Social Media

When everything has been bookmarked or submitted to community new sites, I will then share my articles across my social media networks. I am part of a lot of communities, but I get the most traffic from Twitter, Facebook Page, and Facebook.


I get most traffic from Twitter, but that wasn’t until after I read John Paul’s Aguiar’s Twitter Dummy Book and used his advice to build followers and engage with my followers smartly. The key to getting traffic from Twitter is to be active. This means you need to Tweet 10 to 20 useful tweets a day, reply and engage with those you follow and those that follow you, and constantly get followers that are interested in what you Tweet about.

Facebook Fan Page

A few months back, I started a fan page for my site. At first I wasn’t getting traffic for the page. In fact I wasn’t getting any traffic on the fan page period. After some research and testing, I found that if you constantly feed useful content to your fan page you will start to get more traffic. I started using to feed several of my favorite resource sites that cover the same topics that my site covers to the wall. Just make sure to limited the number of sites you feed in. Configure the feeds so they will only post once or twice a day and they are spread out throughout the day. In less than two weeks my traffic doubled and now Google Analytics says Facebook referrals is one of the top referring sites for traffic to my site.

Also, add a static welcome page with call to action buttons and if you have resource list of freebies, engage with your fans, and premium resources your readers might like, you should create a page and share those links there.


For me, I treat Facebook personal profiles a little different than I would a fan page. Since my account is setup for personal, work, and design/blogging related friends, I setup up filters so only certain friends will see certain updates. This is where you engage with your networked friends, share useful content and other content that your friends, family, and coworkers will like. Just remember, only share things you wouldn’t be embarrassed if your parents saw it or your employer would care about.


Another great network to look into is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking for professionals. It isn’t as big as Facebook or Twitter, but it does get over 15 million visitors a month. After a few weeks of research I realized that LinkedIn has great potential for building traffic, find new readers, finding jobs / freelance work and getting more clients for your services. When I first started out I only used it as a way to keep in touch with business contacts. In the last few weeks, I have updated the profile, created a summary and added much needed key words to my titles and summaries potential employers and visitors will be interested in who I am. I also plan to add useful content but keep it limited to strictly professional related content so people will not be discouraged from what they find on my profile but want to see what my site has to offer.

Other Social Media Networks

In addition to to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, Look into other social networks. I have had a lot of success with Tumblr, Posterous, and Amplify. With these sites, traffic is directed to your profile or blog from those sites. Some of these sites allow you to feed your site’s RSS feed if not, share posts manually. You can change up your titles and tags, and give a quick description or a summary of the article you posting these sites and post them with links back to the original article. These sites also allow re-blogging and clipping tools you can use to grab images, summary of other articles and write a little why you are sharing this articles with your network. I found by adding the extra content, my profiles I get more traffic and get readers from those networks visiting my sites and sticking around for more. Posterous for example offers a free online email marketing feature, and if done properly can help create a viral list building campaign for free.getting more traffic to your website


Another great way to get referring traffic is by commenting on niche related sites and using Comment Luv whenever you find a site that has it installed. I won’t go into much detail, everyone talks about commenting and some get tired about reading about comment strategies ( I know I do). I try and comment (useful) on 10 to 15 different niche related sites a day. But in reality, I never set enough time aside each day for this, so I try and leave 5 useful comments a day. I do no count comments are thanking authors because they helped me or they left a great list of resources for everyone.

If you are going to leave comments, do not summarize what the author just said and agree / disagree with it without explaining why you agree / disagree. This doesn’t help anyone, on some sites they types of comments get trashed or sent to the spam folder. When commenting, ask questions if you have them, help others if you can, and explain why you agree / disagree. Almost any other type of comment isn’t going to get you traffic.

Final Thoughts

Building traffic isn’t a quick and easy practice. It takes time to learn and what works for some may not work for others. For some, commenting is the best way to build traffic, for others social media might be the way to get that much needed traffic. Remember that a good web design also plays an important role for retaining traffic.

Recent news also indicates that marketers are now onto the so called “email content marketing”, so you might want to know how to build list, just in case. Just remember, in order to get traffic, you need to invest your time in building your social media networks, engaging with all of your readers / followers, and work on killer content.

This article is part of the Traffic Generation Blogging Contest, please add a comment and share it to support the author.

Image Sources: Traffic Light, Traffic Bridge, Traffic City, Traffic Jam


James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, social media, and technology. You can reach him his personal website, Evolutionary Designs Blog, Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321

32 thoughts on “The Different Avenues of Building Traffic

  • Social networks like linkedin, facebook and twitter are great traffic generating tools, especially for new sites, which will receive traffic from networking long before the first visitors from search engines arrive.

    • I totally agree. But thats only if the website has a strong social network. What I find lately, is that most new websites, do not have that strong social network to get that traffic to their sites.

      I believe thats this is where social bookmarking can come into play. With a little research and networking, new sites can quickly build traffic and at the same time work on their off-page SEO. Will they bookmarking and working the social bookmarking sites, they can also working on building those social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and whatever other social network service that works for them….

  • social bookmarking and social media sites have never worked for me as a strategy..

    My biggest source of traffic is google organic traffic…hence, i focus on building that with learning and applying different SEO strategies..

    • Sandeep,

      When I first started out, I found the best way for me to get that traffic to my site was through SEO. Its still my number one traffic source, but I estimate in the next 3 or 4 months my main site and social media referring sites will be about even. But SEO will still be ahead.

      I found it takes time and patience to build up a social media presence. I still do not get that much traffic, but then again, I recently started working my social media traffic about 2 – 3 months ago.

      If you are wanting to get started with social media and add that to traffic building strategy, I would pick one or two social sites and work on. Such as Twitter and facebook or work on social bookmarking sites first and then Twitter and Facebook. Once you have those mastered, then you could move onto other networks.

  • James,

    This was an excellent read. We are like-minded in many areas. I started out as a freelance writer, which ultimately lead to me doing full-service seo and web content. The irony is that I now have a passion for web design and start school in 3 weeks. Interesting. Proper site construction / web development and seo go hand in hand and always will!
    Take Care – Bryan

    • I totally agree Bryan, good site construction/good web development strategies, and a good SEO strategy in place is the key to having a successful website launch.

      I am going back to school as well for new media designs. About to switch to online marketing and take some marketing copy classes to work on my writing skills.

  • My main methods of getting traffic to my website is by using Article Marketing and Video Marketing. My blog is SEO for virtually every article that I write.

    And I always try to provide quality content for visitors to my blog

  • Very useful, especially for newbies. There is a lot to explore!

    I am excited about What a great idea to feed your FB page with other blog’s RSS that have the same type of subject matter you do.

    One thing I find handy is, when you create all these profiles for social media use the same image and try to use the same user name. Everywhere I go I am Allie or AllieRambles and you can see my pic there, I never change it. Also, get a tag line for your blog and use that as your social media profile snippet.

    Thx for all the info.

    • Hi Allie,

      Dlvr. it is a great feed tool. It works better than other feed tools because it allows you have more control on the content you want to publish and to where. Thats why I love it…

      I agree with you with profiles and images. I try and use the same profile for everything, same profile about me, and using the same name.

      I haven’t come up with a good tagline, but I do plan on getting one and adding to all my sites… Also having a good eye catching logo helps as well…

  • I LOVE these types of posts…’s what I do, 1 2 3 A B C. Many bloggers will not give away such information for various reasons.

    Question: You said “I make sure to add my keywords to the title tags and description tags in the HTML code.” – – Wouldn’t it be easier doing it inside a plugin like Platinum SEO?

    Question: I’m currently looking for bloggers who’ve mastered the Insights plugin and can write a detailed yet easy to understand review, have you? Nothing too too fancy, something in an email.

    Question: Community News Sites – – don’t they take like actual news articles; not just any ‘ole post??

    I’m definitely interested in chatting traffic building with you. 🙂

    • Thanks Denis!

      Question 1: You said “I make sure to add my keywords to the title tags and description tags in the HTML code.” – – Wouldn’t it be easier doing it inside a plugin like Platinum SEO?

      – Yes it would be easier using an SEO plugin to add this information. I only add the keywords manually when I am creating HTML static sites or blogs that do not have SEO Plugin installed.

      Question 2: I’m currently looking for bloggers who’ve mastered the Insights plugin and can write a detailed yet easy to understand review, have you? Nothing too too fancy, something in an email.

      – I have written a review on the plugin and I like to think I have mastered or know enough to use tool properly. If you want me to do a review or send you an email review, send me an email through my contact page with what you had in mind.

      Question: Community News Sites – – don’t they take like actual news articles; not just any ‘ole post?

      – Dennis, I should have given a better explanation to my wording. What I mean by community news sites, what I meant was that some high traffic blogging sites are offer a feature called community news. What they do is a they setup a form where you can submit niche related content. An example in the design world is DesignModo – and once they are approved thy look like this –

      I’m definitely interested in chatting traffic building with you. 🙂
      – If you ever wanna chat about traffic let me know. I am on Facebook or send me an email and we can talk more.

  • Social Media is big and even getting bigger and that is why it looks like the best way to increase traffic on your sites. Manage your profile on these sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, stay in connect with your followers and fans, aware them what you have new on your site, ask them if they are having any problem and ensure them that you are working on such issues. Win their trust so they can tell refer any one to your sites. Also commenting is a good way to increase traffic. But in this part also you need to build relation with others commentators to build your profile.

    • Hi William,

      Commenting is also a good way to get to get traffic. Like you said you have to build a relationship on those sites. I also want to add, these comments need to be useful. If they are simply restating what the author says in summary or is a “thanks for the great article!” These do not help anyone. I do not mind the thank you comments, but the summary comments are just in it for the backlinks… I can’t stand these kind of comments.

  • Hello James,

    Thanks for the very detailed article (especially for the tip on Insights plugin). I was looking for something like that.

    As for me, what’s mainly worked best for me so far is twitter and commenting. I am still working on my SEO. It’s just that sometimes you have so many ideas you don’t know where to start.

    Good luck on the contest!

    • Thanks Cosmin,

      Twitter is still my favorite social media tool to get traffic from. Commenting can be a good way to get traffic. For me, I do not comment much anymore, I would rather spend time on social media and building my networks.

  • Great post James! Very well thought out and quite thorough… reading your articles….

    Keep up the good work man!

    • Thanks Shakespeare… 🙂

  • Bookmarked. Still working on the Facebook fan page myself: wondering how many people I need to “like” the page in order for it to be effective.

    • Thanks for the help ashok!

      I checked out your website, I would add a facebook fan page box your blog if you can. That should help get more “likes” to the fan page.

      I also checked your Facebook fan page ( , and you have 55 fans. I think you should be able to get some traffic with that many fans. Start adding content (niche related) and engaging with your fans. I have around 130 fans (at the time of this comment) and didn’t get much traffic until I added content to the fan page. Now I get decent traffic and once I can triple the number of active fans for my site, I believe I will have a good amount traffic from my fan page.

      Once you have been doing that for a while, you will get more fans and traffic. Just remember to post your article links to the fan page so they know you have a new article available for them to read and share with their friends.

  • I have been taught that another great way to get long term traffic is by doing guest posts on websites that are in a related niche. Though these are a ton of work, as the article quality has to be equally as good as you would put on your own site, they do provide some referral traffic, but more importantly, a high quality back link, that is unlikely to disappear.

    My track record hasn’t been great so far though, as the rejection rate from the other webmasters is quite high, and quite disheartening!

    Have you tried this method?

    • Bruce,

      Guest posting is a great to get traffic and backlinks, I found that guest post works best if you spend time commenting on those site for a while before asking/doing a guest for a site.

      Also it works even better if you do more than one guest post on these sites.

      Guest posts are getting rejected? If they didn’t tell you why it was rejected, I would ask why so you can correct the issues and resubmit.

      FamousBloggers the owner, pretty cool and is a great contributor to the blogging world, is a pretty good site to guest posts if they are related to blogging, SEO, social media, design, or making money online. If you are in the same niche as FamousBloggers.. You could try and post one here. The owner of iBlogzne (@ditesco) is a great guy and allows guesting posting as well…

      Don’t get discouraged, keep trying and figure out why they are getting rejected. Once you know why you can fix it get more guest posts.

  • Hi James! So awesome to see you entering this contest! When you mention at the beginning of your article this is what you love to do I can totally tell because when someone does what they love for a living they excel and you are excelling.

    SEO brings in tons of traffic for me at blog engage. Also it’s a huge traffic driving factor on all my other websites. The cool thing is I had nothing to do myself except build the website. Google does the rest and to me that’s a great deal.

    On my wordpress blog I added the all in one SEO pack but besides that getting search engine traffic has been extremely easy. The hardest part if keeping that search engine traffic and turning it into a customer of a new member.

    You know i”m a huge fan of social media marketing, such as blogengage blokube etc… it’s been a blast working with all my new friends online and social media marketing has made this possible. Word of mouth is so strong and I think this is what has made blogengage such a success.

    blog commenting hasn’t been a huge factor for me because I find only once in a while will a blog owner follow your community link or comment luv. That method for me seems to be hit and miss but it is a great way to build on relationships .

    Tanks for the great read my friend!

    • Thanks Brian,

      Thats why I like SEO so much. Once you spend the time working on SEO, Google will do the rest. If the content is good and popular, with very little effort Google and the other search engine will continue to send you traffic.

      Social media and Social Bookmarking sites such as Blog Engage and blokube, are a great way to help search engines find your site faster. Not only are they a great way to get backlinks and traffic, they are also a great to network and find other blogger. Because of Blog Engage, I have found so many great bloggers and few have even become friends outside of social media…

  • Yes I agree James, these comments like “Nice post” or “Good post, I like this” just cast the effect that you are a spammer nothing else. Comments should be informative for the visitors and admiring for the author of the post. Be very relevant to the post, and if you know anything about the post do add there.

  • Glad to see you’re joining this contest.

    Fantastic Post. These awesome excellent tips to generate traffic. Blog commenting, guest posting & social media sites are best ways to get traffic, links and build relationship with other bloggers.

    Recently i created my profile on linkdin and it looks great so far. Will going to work more on linkdin profile. I still need to learn more about it.

    Social blogging communities are awesome way to get traffic and connect with some minded bloggers & marketers. Blogengage & BlogInteract are my favorite. It seems you missed Blokube, a social blogging community which was started by non other then me.

    Twitter is something which i’m focusing more these days and already seeing some awesome results. You missed Triberr, a great site to get more retweets that was started by Dino (owner of DiyBlogger).

    Anyways, Thanks for sharing this awesome stuff. Good Luck.

    Have a great weekend.


  • Yeah I like the power of social media marketing. One of the things I have done is to submit my sites to … Because if you have your feed setup through them everytime you post a new article on your site it automatically through Networkedblogs gets posted to Facebook and Twitter if you have it setup that way. And you can set it up to post only on your Facebook page and then to your personal profile page. Or vice versa, that way you get your FB page showing up on your profile page with your new post. Very nice!

  • Hi James,

    You said it right getting free traffic involves time and work other wise you can go pay for it. I believe, it doesn’t hurt to do both once you establish your self using free traffic methods.

    When it comes to free traffic and social media, I wouldn’t go and join a whole bunch of sites. I would start with two.

    If you were to join a lot right off the bat, it’s just too much work. Concentrate on two, especially when starting out. I use Twitter and Facebook.

    Online forums like the Warrior forum is also a very good place to get traffic.

    Overall if you provide value, good content, help people, use basic SEO fundamentals and keep at it over time you will see results.

    Terry Conti

  • I’m currently using the majority of these methods, though I still need to tweak my settings on facebook to make the most of the lists that I have made to separate work from pleasure 😉

  • You really exhausted the topic. My congrats, James. Personally, I use guest posting in a community of blogs. It requires work, of course, and time until you get recognized but it ‘s worth it cause your post stays in a blog forever, and you get exposed. But more importantly, the keywords you use in your backlinks, help your webpages rank higher in google search results so you get targeted traffic from there, too. Good luck again

  • Awesome work, James!

    I’ve found that link building is a must if you want to increase your organic search traffic. The direct traffic that you get from the sources that you write content for is also a plus. I’ve never heard of Insights though. I’ll definitely check it out!

    As for Twitter, I simply love that social media network! Everyone is just so supportive, and I have started to notice some Twitter traffic coming in on my blog since I became active over 6 months ago.

    While I’ve never read the Twitter Dummy book, I can recommend The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer. The key is to engage with your audience, stay consistent, and continue to expand your network on a regular basis.

    It did get overwhelming at first when I began to increase my Twitter following and all these people were posting to their Twitter feeds – that was until I downloaded TweetDeck (which is a GODSEND!) and started taking advantage of lists. 🙂 Now, I just have to control this Twitter addiction before it eats up all of my time and I have no time left to write!

    I also have a Facebook fan page, though I’m not nearly as active on Facebook as I am on Twitter. My static welcome page is awesome though and something that I designed myself (so I’m pretty proud of it). And wow – I didn’t even know about Facebook filters!

    This was a really fantastic read – appreciate the depth you went into while writing the content. Way to go!


  • Thank you for the info! really trying hard to build traffic so that our contest runs smoothly.. With no visitors, it is pointless! lol

  • Hi James,

    Very extensive post! I am learning about SEO and have more or less covered the on-page optimization issues. Now I need to learn to build backlinks and you have given me so great idea.

    I will go implement and see what happens 🙂


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