TRAFFIC GENERATION TIPS FOR ONLINE COURSE CREATORS
+ 10 Traffic Traits to Help You Match Your Traffic Strategy to Your Existing Talents
Importance of Traffic
You’ve created your online course, put together an awesome website, now you just need some visitors to check it out and enroll!
Getting traffic is a struggle for virtually every course owner (unless you happen to have a list of subscribers waiting to buy what you offer). Even then, you’ll need more traffic to scale.
As you know, there are dozens of traffic generation methods to choose from. This article covers the main traffic generation techniques.
Despite the number of different methods you can choose from, many companies have built up all their following with just a single method.
Lynda.com started in 1997 with word-of-mouth marketing (referral marketing). As reported by Lynda herself, they ‘always charged for our work without over charging, and people who respected it and learned from us shared their appreciation by telling others.” Great positioning and referrals helped Lynda.com grow into the gigantic powerhouse of how-to videos it is today.
Know that you don’t need to master every traffic generation method available to you. Even just one can make a big difference to course enrollments and ultimately, your profits.
Table of Contents
Where to Start with Traffic?
There isn’t one best way to generate traffic to your online course. In fact, since you have a product, both paid and free advertising can work for you.
Since there really isn’t a traffic generation tactic that won’t work for you, it can be difficult to decide where to start or what your next move should be.
If you’re signed up to even a handful of email newsletters, they’ll pull you around in different directions almost daily. They’ll all sound good, but you must master one traffic method at a time. Otherwise you’ll jump from method to method without ever getting more than a trickle of traffic from each.
Traffic Personality Traits
We can all agree that some things are just a better fit for certain people. It’s no different when it comes to generating traffic.
Certain people really excel at content marketing, others are built for social media, and still others can make almost anything profitable with paid ads.
The trick is for you to figure out which traffic generation method will suit you best and then go all in on that one method until you make it profitable.
Problems arise when you invest in a traffic generation method you’re not well suited for.
You want to stand the best chance of earning money so pay attention to that match.
These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself before you invest in any traffic training or strategy:
- Will you give the method the time it needs to work?
- Are you willing to spend the money it may require?
- Will you go through the process as outlined?
- Will you follow up and track it to see if it really works?
If not, then it’s not a good match.
All methods work for generating traffic back to an online course. It’s just a matter of whether or not you’re suited to put in the effort to make it work for you.
After running an information product business since 2001 I know what I’m best at (SEO and content marketing). I don’t try to pretend I’m good at everything. And it’s not just that I spent more time learning about SEO, it’s that I’m better built for it than other methods.
This guide not only gives you information on different traffic methods available to you as an online course creator, it helps categorize the different ways of getting traffic so you have the best chance of hitting on the one that you’re best suited for.
Here are the Different Traffic Traits:
Creation – Do you want to create more content as part of your traffic generation strategy?
Research – Do you like the idea of doing research?
People person – Would you consider yourself a people person?
Connector – Do you like making connections with groups of people?
Small bites – Would you prefer creating smaller bites of content?
Big value – Do you prefer creating big pieces of content that add large value?
Testing – Do you like testing and tweaking?
Conversions – Are you willing to track conversions over time to make sure there’s a profit?
Fun as value – Do you consider fun a contribution to your market?
Add value – Would you like to add educational value?
Paid Traffic Sources VS Free Traffic Sources
Traffic generation methods can be broken down quite easily into free traffic or paid traffic.
So very quickly, you can narrow down your traffic focus by thinking about whether you want to master free or paid traffic.
With both free and paid traffic you’ll need to start out by researching where your market is and how to reach them. This might mean uncovering keywords they type into a search engine, stuff they browse around for on Facebook, or the types of professionals you should be targeting on LinkedIn.
PROS OF PAID TRAFFIC
- Can start generating traffic very quickly.
- You can get paid traffic to the point where it runs pretty close to autopilot.
CONS OF PAID TRAFFIC
- If you stop spending the money, you’ll stop getting traffic so there’s no long-term effect.
- Changes to a paid traffic provider can result in your profit drying up.
- Not all your money is profit since you’ve got to pay those ads.
- You’ll need to be willing to track conversions and click-thru rates to make sure you’re making a profit over time.
PROS OF FREE TRAFFIC
- You can do everything yourself and end up paying nothing.
- You can choose to outsource the work if you have money you’re willing to spend.
- When you start getting traffic from free methods, you’ll likely still see some traffic from your efforts even if you stop doing the work. Your traffic will not typically dry up overnight, but this is dependent on which free traffic methods you choose.
CONS OF FREE TRAFFIC
- It can take a while to start seeing traffic from your efforts.
- The traffic may not always be as targeted as with paid methods.
- It can be difficult to track what is actually working.
With paid traffic you’re paying by the website visitor. This section lists out the top paid traffic sources and a list of the traits needed to be successful with paid traffic. This will help you find out ahead of time whether a certain traffic generation method is right for you.
Obviously, you’re going to have to be OK spending money to use paid traffic. And with paid traffic, you’re not just spending money once, but daily to generate your leads. If you stop the cash flow into your paid ads, then you will stop getting traffic from your ads. It will shut off like a water faucet. Paid ads are either on or off.
The beauty of paid traffic for online course creators is that you don’t need to create additional content once your course is created. Instead, you’re free to focus your content creation on making your course great. As long as you can make a profit from paid traffic, you can direct it all to your landing page and start making money.
Paid traffic requires the following traffic traits; research, testing, conversions, and the willingness to create small bites of traffic.
Google Adwords Search
Google Adwords was introduced in the year 2000. At that time, over 20 million searches a day were initially performed on Google search.
Today, Google handles billions of searches each day with millions of advertisers using Adwords to reach new customers. This makes Adwords one of the most effective online advertising platforms there is. In fact, it’s estimated that about 40 cents of every digital advertising dollar is spent on the Adwords platform.
What is Google Adwords?
Adwords is Google’s advertising platform. It allows you to bid for specific keywords. When users search a particular keyword you’re targeting, your ad will appear in their search results. When the user clicks through your ad, you pay a small fee to Google.
How Does Google Adwords Work?
Your rank is what determines the likelihood of a user visiting your website. This rank is determined by the amount you are willing to pay for each click plus your quality score. Your quality score is a reflection of how well your ad is optimized and its relevance to the searcher.
Studies reveal that ads with a higher quality score result in a higher CTR (click through rate) as well as significantly reduced costs per click. As such, enhancing your quality score is a great way of getting your ads to rank higher without having to bid higher. Moreover, enhancing your quality score increases your CTR.
Many Adwords advertisers are able to double their return on investment. With the right effort, you can likely find success using Adwords.
Research reveals that the average cost per click on Adwords is around $2.32 on the search network and $0.58 on the display network.
Facebook is the largest social networking platform boasting an approximate 1.59 billion monthly users. This social network has offered an advertising platform since 2004.
Facebook ads are paid for on a per-click, or per-impression basis and the suggested bid rates help you manage your ad budget. Over the years, Facebook has harnessed intricate knowledge about their users based on the precise level of details that appears on users’ profiles. For instance, when a user ‘likes’ a certain page, it signals to Facebook that they are interested in a particular brand or niche.
Because Facebook has such intimate knowledge about their users, Facebook ads are one of the best advertising programs in the world. These ads allow marketers to target their ideal audience using factors such as interests, location, and demographics.
Regarding of pricing, Facebook ads cost less than Adwords, especially if you’re looking to send direct traffic to your Facebook page rather than your website.
Nevertheless, CTR does not necessarily reflect intent. This is because while Facebook ads typically offer cheap traffic, they also often have lower conversion rates.
When looking to enhance your CTR on Facebook, utilize storytelling. Facebook is more social than Adwords. Therefore, an informal tone carries well across this platform. A good story will always move people. Bland advertising is likely to result in a much lower CTR.
Bing is a very underrated search engine, with most marketers thinking it doesn’t have any significant number of users.
However, that cannot be further from the truth as Bing enjoys about 7 percent of the world’s search engine market share. Moreover, over 20 percent of the US desktop search engine market share goes to Bing. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a whole lot of market share to take advantage of.
What is Bing Ads?
Bing Ads are essentially Microsoft’s version of Google Adwords. As such, they work in similar ways. In fact, the same way that Adwords allow you to run ads on Google’s networks is the same way Bing Ads allow you to run ads on Bing’s network in addition to its partner networks such as Yahoo and AOL.
Consequently, the basic mechanisms used in advertising on Adwords are similar to those used on Bing. Thus, you will have to bid on keywords that you think Bing users are likely to use, and then Bing matches up your ad with searches with keywords that match those used in your ad.
Again, ad quality and the amount you’re willing to pay per click is what determines your ad’s ranking on the search engine results pages. Bing and Adwords are, in fact, so similar that Bing gives you the option of directly syncing your Adwords marketing campaigns to Bing.
Bing Ads vs Google Ads
Despite their many shared characteristics, these advertising platforms also have significant differences. These include:
The most notable difference between Bing and Google is the search volume they receive. Google is the undisputed king of search engines and boasts over 60 percent of all online searches. The consequence is that Google ads are likely to get a lot more impressions, clicks, conversions, and sales.
Due to their ability to expose you to a wider audience, Google ads are costlier than Bing ads. In many cases, they cost up to 40 percent more. That is a significant difference especially in industries that have a high average CPC.
While your niche and keywords play a big role in determining the actual amount you pay per click, Bing Ads are always cheaper.
Google Ads command the lion’s share of the search engine market at 80 percent. Nevertheless, all market share means is there is a lot of competition as well. Thus, in any given market or niche, you can almost always count on 30 to 50 percent less competition on Bing. Less competition implies better ad placements consequently leading to better results for your business.
Nonetheless, it does not mean you should choose one or the other. If possible, utilizing both will give you a better chance of making more sales. If you’ve already figured out that you’re good at Adwords, then you’ll likely increase your earnings by using Bing Ads as well.
To get even better results from Bing Ads, you can utilize the Bing ads editor, which is a simple desktop application that streamlines your search campaign management to help you save time while improving the performance of your search marketing campaigns.
LinkedIn has quietly built itself up to become an online networking powerhouse. At the moment, it plays host to over 500 million professionals who are looking to network and unearth new career opportunities. The site is also a bedrock of activity for advertisers looking to build authority within their niches.
LinkedIn is the only social network tailored to meet the needs of business professionals. Consequently, it is the most preferred networking site among B2Bs with over 89 percent of B2Bs using LinkedIn for content promotion.
How Do LinkedIn Ads Work?
LinkedIn ads allow marketers to target their ideal audiences based on unique criteria such as job title, job function, employer, seniority, location, among others. The ad appears in the form of a sponsored post placed directly in your audience’s news feed. Smaller ads and LinkedIn text ads can be placed on the sidebar and the top of the site respectively. Because people are typically serious while using LinkedIn, your ad is likely to be taken seriously and receive more clicks.
LinkedIn Ads Cost
For marketing campaigns managed by marketing solutions, ads are usually charged using pay-per-click or pay-per-1000 impressions. You should consider both to choose the one that’s most ideal for your business. Nonetheless, it is difficult to quantify the amount you will pay as there are so many variables that go into determining the price you pay.
The prevailing trend, however, is that the higher you bid, the more clicks and impressions you are likely to get.
With hundreds of millions of tweets being sent on a daily basis, Twitter is an excellent platform to use to promote your brand.
Twitter ads can be of immense assistance in helping you get your message in front of users who are likely to be interested in your products. Twitter’s own data reveals that their ad engagements have increased by 69 percent in the last year. Moreover, there was a 28 percent drop in cost per engagement.
Types of Twitter Ads
These are ads targeting people that are not following an advertiser or brand on Twitter. Nonetheless, they behave like normal tweets in that they can be liked or retweeted, except that they are labeled ‘promoted’. These tweets usually appear in the timelines, profiles, and search results of targeted users.
Also referred to as Follower Campaigns, this is a type of ad that allows you to broadcast your Twitter account to users that do not follow you but might find your content useful or interesting.
As such, a promoted account will appear in the target’s timeline, in addition to the ‘Who to follow’ suggestions.
Twitter is the hub for trending topics in the world of social media. Promoted Trends are a type of ad that allows you to promote a hashtag. If users pick up on your hashtag and start using it themselves, you’ll gain additional organic exposure that will increase the reach of your campaign.
Twitter Conversational Ads
These are a new form of Twitter ads that make it easier for a consumer to engage with your brand and help spread your campaign message.
YouTube Paid Ads
After Google, YouTube is the second largest internet search platform with an estimated 1.5 billion monthly users. Additionally, over 95 percent of US teens who are online regularly use the site. Collectively, YouTube users watch more than one billion hours of content on a daily basis.
YouTube is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, it is estimated that over 80 percent of all internet traffic will be video-related by 2021. If you’re not advertising on YouTube, you may be missing out on a lot of potential leads.
Types of YouTube Ads
TrueView Video Ads
TrueView ads can be either In-Stream or Discovery – also known as In-Display.
In-Stream ads are those that usually play before the video you’re about to watch while In-Display ads are those that appear as a sponsored suggested video on the top right sidebar above the suggested videos.
Both types can be of any length since it is the viewer who decides whether they want to keep watching. For instance, an In-Stream ad usually displays the ‘Skip Ad’ button 5 seconds into the ad.
Both types are priced at pay per view even though each type defines views differently. In-Stream ads define views as the user viewing more than 30 seconds of the video or engaging with the video. For videos shorter than 30 seconds, a view is defined as watching the whole video. In-Display ads register a view as soon as the user decides to watch the video.
Pre-Roll ads cannot be skipped and are usually pay per click. These video ads are typically 15 to 20 seconds long. Due to their pay per click pricing, pre-roll ads are not as costly as In-Stream Ads thereby resulting in more cost-effective campaigns.
Nevertheless, both have their place as TrueView tend to be effective at branding and video views while pre-roll ads are best for sales campaigns.
These are six second long, non-skippable, pay per view video ads. They combine the non-skippable nature of pre-roll ads with the pricing method of TrueView Ads. Nonetheless, bumper ads are best suited for branding campaigns. Moreover, they are cheaper per view than TrueView Ads.
Instagram for Business
With over 800 million active users, 60 percent of whom are under 30, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform. Currently, more than two million companies are actively using Instagram ads to reach and engage audiences so they can promote their products.
Types of Instagram Ads
Instagram ads come in five formats: photos, videos, carousels, canvas, and story ads. These ads can be seamlessly integrated with Facebook Ad Manager to take advantage of Facebook’s wealth of user information for even more precise targeting.
But of all the Instagram ad types, video ads are establishing themselves as being the most effective. This is because, out of all digital advertising formats, video ads have the highest click-through rate (CTR).
Instagram Ads Best Practices
Maintain a Tone that Matches Your Brand
Ensure that your vocabulary and tone is consistent. This will make it easy for your audience to recall or identify you.
Have a Consistent Presence
A lot of people utilize social networks to get a sense of a business, such as its products, location, hours, and so on. As such, delivering content consistently will help you build rapport with your target audience.
Utilize Facebook’s Ad Platform
Integrate with Facebook’s ad manager so that you can get the benefits of the plethora of valuable information Facebook has. This will allow you to make better targeting decisions.
Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads
Let us consider the following factors:
- Brand Engagement. While many Facebook users follow brands on Facebook, only 32 percent of them engage those brands actively. Brand engagement is higher on Instagram with up to 68 percent of users actively engaging with the brands they follow.
- Audience and Targeting. As mentioned earlier, Facebook is the biggest social networking platform in the world. As such, it boasts an enormous worldwide audience.
Nonetheless, research shows that the most active users are men between the age of 25 and 34.
Instagram has a smaller audience. However, statistics show that it is mostly used by the younger generation, especially young women aged between 18 and 34.
Therefore, if you’re looking to target the younger generations, Instagram should be your platform of choice. Facebook caters for all types of audiences but is more ideal if you’re looking to target older generations.
Free Traffic Sources
There are many different types of free traffic opportunities and they are divided them up here. Each one requires different traffic traits so these are listed out under each free traffic method.
Free traffic sources include social media, content creation, Q & A marketing, and outreach. With all these methods, you’ll be creating more content whether it’s bite sized or much larger.
Alternately, you may outsource your content creation which will cost money, and/or take time. Even if you outsource you’ll have to direct whoever is doing the creating so there’s always at least some time involved. Traffic from free sources typically takes longer to generate than paid traffic, but once you start getting the traffic, you’ll usually keep getting at least some over time.
Here are the 4 main types of free traffic methods:
Free Social Media Traffic
Social media really took off after the launch of Facebook. Although many social media platforms are geared toward relationships with friends and family and are not necessarily where people go to buy stuff, they are where people hang out. So if you can get them to pay attention to your brand showcasing your course, you can get traffic back to it.
Social platforms don’t typically operate with keywords like a search engine, but with hashtags. Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#). All they do is identify messages on specific topics. Users can find all the content on a social platform relating to that hashtag so using hashtags is great way to help make your social content more visible. If you can build a following on a social media channel, you can funnel that traffic back to your website.
Traits for generating traffic from free social media platforms include that you’re a people person as well as a connector, that you like creating small bites of content, and that you like offering value as fun.
Instagram was launched in 2010, and when Facebook bought it in 2012, it had about 30 million users. Today, Instagram has over 1 billion users.
Demographics show that the most active users are 18 to 29-year-olds, with over 71 percent of that demographic saying they regularly use the platform. Another survey revealed that 24 percent of teens say Instagram is their preferred social media platform, coming in second only to Snapchat which is the most preferred social media medium among teenagers. When it comes to gender, more women than men use Instagram.
Instagram Personal vs Business
With a personal account, you get basic features allowing you to post photos, videos, and stories. A business account is just a personal account with added features such as access to analytics, call to action profiles, and ads.
One thing to note, however, is that Instagram users prefer genuine and authentic content over generic content aimed at selling. As such, personal accounts tend to feature a higher organic engagement.
This doesn’t mean a business account is bad. Just that the content typically used on business accounts often makes them less effective. With the right strategies though, you can find even more success using a business account since it gives you access to analytics.
For instance, you can see which demographic interacts the most with your content, what times they are most active, and the kind of content that garners the most interactions. This allows you to tailor your strategies to draw a larger audience.
Success in social media is all about the amount of traffic coming to your account. Here are some strategies you can use to get more followers:
- Have a link in your bio that sends your followers to your website. Have a call to action in your posts that invites visitors to click on the link in your bio.
- Have appealing images. Instagram is photo-centric and, therefore, you need top quality and interesting images to connect with your audience.
- Have creative videos. These should be informational videos that help your users in some way.
- Utilize hashtags. Look for your industry’s hashtags and use them in your posts to help generate exposure and engagement.
- Be active. You don’t want your followers to forget about you. Be consistent in your content delivery.
How to Create a Business Instagram Account
In your current profile, go to settings and select switch to business profile. Follow the instructions and press Done.
How to Change Instagram Business Category
This refers to making changes to your business profile. To do this, go to your business profile, tap ‘edit profile,’ under Business Information, make the necessary changes, and then press ‘done.’
With over 250 million active monthly users, Pinterest is certainly a hub of potential for any marketer with the right strategies. Out of these users, over 80 percent are females. Moreover, millennials are just as likely to use Pinterest as they would Instagram.
If your target audience fits the above bill, then Pinterest should be a core component of your digital marketing strategy. When looking into “How to promote your business on Pinterest?” The following strategies are likely to bring you more success for your business.
Pinterest Marketing Strategy
By using the appropriate strategies, you should be able to gain an increase in traffic and engagement. Some of the best strategies include:
Upload the Pins From Your Website
Uploading a pin from your website automatically creates a link back to your site thus directing people to your website. Moreover, if someone re-pins your pin, the link back to your site remains the source of the pin.
Choose Appropriate Categories
You must use the correct categories when pinning so that it becomes relevant and reaches the right users. A wrong category can make your pin appear untrustworthy or spammy.
Verify Your Site
Doing this signifies to users that you own the content. Moreover, you get access to Pinterest analytics which allows you better optimization.
Pinterest Business Account vs Personal
As a course creator hoping to sell your course, you’ll need a business account as it allows you features you can use to optimize your business.
LinkedIn is yet another social media juggernaut boasting over 500 million users with an active monthly user base of over 260 million. Moreover, over 60 million of these users are senior level influencers while 40 million are in decision making positions.
The site is also becoming popular among millennials with 87 million of them being active users on the site. Out of these, 11 million are in decision making positions.
As such, this platform is especially beneficial to B2B marketers looking to network with influential individuals and drive them to their blogs.
Nevertheless, you must have the right strategy going in. In addition to LinkedIn marketing solutions and LinkedIn marketing tools, the following are some useful strategies you can use to generate traffic from LinkedIn.
Optimize Your Personal Profile
Since you will be funneling traffic through your profile page, it is essential that it looks good. This means having a nice head shot, a brief summary introducing your work, and a concise history of your work experience.
Groups allow you to network with peers and potential customers. If you offer good content, you will more than likely get more profile views where you can direct them to your website. However, avoid blatant promotions as they do not usually work. Focus on generating and sharing good content often so that people view you as an authority in your niche.
How to Create a Business Page on LinkedIn
Having a business or company page on LinkedIn is beneficial to your online course business as it increases your visibility. It also offers users a chance learn to more about you by building a closer relationship with them.
Having a company page, therefore, is a necessity while on the platform.
Nevertheless, there are a few requirements you need to meet to add a company page on LinkedIn. They are as follows:
- Have a LinkedIn personal profile containing your real first and last names.
- The profile needs to be at least a week old.
- The profile should be at least intermediate in strength.
- You need to have several connections.
- You must be a current employee in the company with your title listed in the experience section of your profile.
- You must have a company email address added and confirmed in the LinkedIn account.
- Your domain should be unique to your company.
- You cannot use generic domains such as yahoo.com or gmail.com to create the company page.
If you meet those requirements, follow these steps to create your business page:
From your homepage, head over to ‘Interests’ and select ‘Companies.’
You will see a ‘create a company page’ section, press ‘create.’
Follow the instructions.
Facebook is a global force. The platform has over 2.23 billion people logging in each month. This is not an audience you want to miss out on.
While big companies typically have whole departments dedicated to marketing their brand, most small online course businesses just don’t have those kind of resources. Facebook for small business, therefore, is a great way of evening out these odds provided you have the right strategies in place.
How to Promote Business on Facebook
Create a Business Page. Your personal Facebook profile is not going to cut it if you’re looking for a solid and professional Facebook presence. Your business page allows you to customize your profile so you can include essential business information such as your address, contacts, website, products, business hours, and more.
Additionally, instead of people sending you a friend request, they are required to ‘like’ the page so as to view its posts. This allows you to generate organic traffic as the people ‘liking’ your page are already interested in your products. This makes it easy to sell to them.
Ensure you post at least once a day. The more you post, the more relatable you become to your audience. However, what is even more important than your posting frequency is the quality of your posts. Invest in a good content strategy that offers your audience valuable information. Not all of your posts should be promotional, use some to advise or educate your followers.
Try Facebook Ads
These ads allow you to target a specific audience that is likely to be interested in your brand. As such, if you are having problems reaching users organically, Facebook ads are a great way of solving that issue.
There are over 1.3 billion Twitter accounts today. Out of these, 326 million actively participate in the social media platform every month. Twitter, therefore, can provide you with a lot of opportunities to grow your business.
Benefits of Twitter for Business
Drives traffic to your business
Over 50 percent of Twitter users admit they’ve bought a product they first saw on the social media site. Moreover, over 80 percent of Twitter users say that the platform is more influential towards their purchasing decisions than TV is. Therefore, if you offer the right kind of product on Twitter, you’re likely to attract customers to your profile, who you can then direct to your website.
Network with others
Twitter allows you to network with people in your niche so you can know the latest news in your industry. And because Twitter is predominantly based on trends, you will be kept up to speed whenever there’s a new development.
Monitor your brand
Twitter makes it easy for you to know what people think about your brand as you can easily track who is mentioning your company’s name.
Additionally, if you have a unique hashtag, you can find out who’s using it so you can improve your branding efforts.
Twitter is one of the simplest and effective direct communication channels today. Businesses can respond to their customers’ queries quickly thus enhancing customer service.
Cultivate a personality
Since you are limited to 280 characters, you have to be creative when coming up with tweets. This allows you to develop a brand personality that is easily identifiable with your customers.
How to Setup Twitter for Your Business
Follow these steps:
- Sign up at Twitter.
- Join Twitter by entering your details.
- Add profile details such as profile picture, header image, and bio.
- Connect with others.
- Start sending tweets.
Question & Answer Marketing
Question and answer marketing is where you pass your knowledge onto people who are asking questions and/or starting discussions on your topic.
Traffic traits for Q & A marketing include that you are a people person, that you’re willing to create small bites of content, that you like adding value, and that you’re a connector.
There are two parts to this strategy.
First, find the sites and articles where your area of expertise relating to your course is mentioned.
Next, add your knowledge along with a link back to your site or a specific article where visitors can find more information.
The main types of activities that work well for this include:
What is Blog Commenting?
Blog commenting speaks to the relationship between bloggers, blogs, and blog readers. It’s an excellent way for people to trade ideas, thoughts, and opinions about the topics posted for discussion. For marketers, these offer an open platform to show their expertise, increase visibility and drive traffic to individual blogs.
The Importance of Commenting
Blog commenting, paired with accurate blog commenting search queries are a powerful tool in driving traffic to your blog. Here’s how:
Among the reasons why your site might not be getting enough traffic is that it doesn’t have enough authority with search engines. By commenting on blogs, you expose yourself and your brand to other users. While this does not automatically give you backlinks 100% of the time, it can increase targeted web traffic and produce more social shares. Both of these actions feed into your SEO, bringing you a step closer to better rankings. For newer blogs, commenting helps your site get indexed faster.
Again, commenting drives traffic to your site by back linking. For this to be effective:
Try and be the first to post a comment.
Write valuable, actionable comments that are useful to the discussion. Comments like “nice post” or “great read” won’t cut it. The goal here is show your expertise.
Ensure you have an image associated with your email address.
Keep in mind that while using your keyword as a name is great for SEO, most bloggers will see it as spam and reject it. As a rule of thumb, comment with useful information without being overly self-promotional.
Commenting can improve your optimization for search engines. In addition, good quality comments can contribute to offsite SEO, which increases your chances of building high quality backlinks.
The main things to avoid are:
- Over-optimizing your keyword in the name section.
- Commenting on blogs that have do follow comment policies.
- Not using your full name in your comment. Most bloggers will appreciate and respond to commenters that use their full name. It also increases your credibility and can send leads and customers to you.
- Using a fake or defunct email address. Whether you do this intentionally or accidentally, it breaks the communication link between the blogger and yourself. If you do not want to receive a lot of misdirected emails, open an account specifically for this function.
4. Relationship Building
Another benefit of commenting is that once you become a regular commenter, the site’s administrator and the other co-bloggers take notice of you. Depending on how these relationships develop, you can use them to develop a symbiotic working relationship where you carry each other’s links on your blogs.
Blog commenting is not something that will offer overnight results. Be consistent over time.
Forum Posting & Discussions
What Is Forum Posting?
This is another great resource for Q & A marketing. Forums are discussion sites made up of contributors registered with the site. Registered members can post a topic of discussion, and other members can offer their opinions and views.
Here are some benefits of forum posting:
- Builds backlinks to your site which is great for SEO.
- Builds inbound links.
- Increases targeted and referral traffic.
- Supports deep linking which pushes your search engine rankings higher.
Answer Questions on Q & A Sites
Quora vs Yahoo Answers
These two have become synonymous with Q & A, although Quora is perceived to have an edge over Yahoo Answers. In a survey where Quora got 2nd place and Yahoo Answers 11th, the most important reason given for the high Quora ranking was that a tag on a post showed up on feeds of people following the post.
In addition to this, Quora focuses on long form, quality answers from experts and professionals.
In the US alone, 775,000 people access Quora on any month. This is the potential of Quora marketing. Here is how to take advantage of Quora advertising:
How To Stand Out on Quora
1. Create an Optimal Profile
Because a bit of information about you is displayed at the top, you can use this for branding. Make sure the first 50 characters mention your brand name. This is what is visible, while the rest of the information is clickable.
2. Answering Questions on Quora
Here’s how to go about answering questions:
- You can answer any question on Quora. Therefore, pick those you are best suited to answer. The best way to do this is to pick a question in your niche market.
- Among the questions in your niche market, look for those with the most upvotes (that means it has the most views). Picking these means your answers are likely to be viewed by more people.
- Find newly posted questions so you are among the first to provide answers. Most users will view the first or the first few answers, so again this gives you a higher chance to be viewed.
- When you find a question on your topic, answer it in-depth and showcase your expertise. Quora’s most significant benefit is the ability to show you as an expert in your niche.
Use visuals. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Further, content with images get 94% more views. Use this to your advantage, and make your Quora answers stand out.
You can then include a reference for your information. If you’ve created blog posts on the topic, you can link to this as well.
Quora gives stats on upvotes, views, and shares, and this information becomes very useful in measuring your impact.
Yahoo Answers, on the other hand, gives more generic answers which are sometimes not related to the question. Yahoo Answers boasts over 90 million users worldwide.
Each Yahoo Answers form has a section where you can link websites as references to an answer you give. Yahoo answers marketing resource has this potential:
You can publish content just as you would on the LinkedIn publishing forum.
You can follow and contribute to questions on topics in your niche. Again, this is an excellent way to position yourself as an expert.
The content you post on Yahoo Answers will be indexed by Yahoo for a long time. In addition, Yahoo Answers audience is growing as well.
Here’s how to navigate Yahoo Answers:
- Become a member and fill in your profile as much and as accurately as possible.
- Pick a category close to your business and look for questions you can answer with authority.
- As with Quora, be on the lookout for new posts so you can answer them and be among the first.
The Yahoo Answers social network allows you to make friends with every person asking or answering questions within that category. Use this resource to make friends. These might end up on your blog increasing traffic. Another way to make friends is to like or star answers that are better than yours.
Reference your answers to other sites so they are not spammed.
Most online course creators will naturally excel at a content creation traffic strategy. However, if you twisted and turned your way through the development of your course you will not find creating even more content afterward appealing. Even if you enjoyed the course creation process the idea of creating more content isn’t always how you’ll want to spend your time.
In addition, giving away free and paid content on the same topic can pose it’s own challenges. It’s best if you decide on a certain type of content for your content creation traffic strategy. For example, your course might cover some aspect of gardening in how-to format while your free content covers gardening success stories or examples of unique gardens. That way there’s never any conflict and your free content leads right into your paid course.
For some course creators, it’ll make the most sense to focus on paid traffic. That way you can spend more of your time on course development and not worry about creating too much free content.
Traffic traits for content creation include; creation, research, the interest in adding value, and for that value to be ‘big’ value and not short snippets.
Content Marketing for Traffic
Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of content to gain visitors to your website. Publishing on a consistent schedule is often one strategy used in content marketing.
There’s much overlap between blogging and content marketing, but content marketing is frequently used as the umbrella term under which blogging is found. In other words, blogging is a common (and very popular) type of content marketing.
With content marketing you publish content that will attract your target audience. You can use virtually any type of media for publishing content including videos, text-based content, images, podcasting, and more.
We’ll discuss each of these types of media later on. You can also choose to optimize your content for the search engines (SEO) or attract visitors in other ways like distributing your free content on other platforms.
Distribution of your content on major platforms like iTunes for podcasts and YouTube for videos can result in potentially more viewers.
You can also use email marketing to tell your list of subscribers about new content so they visit your site every time you publish something new.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Traffic Generation
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing your web traffic by getting your site to show up as high as possible on the search engine results pages for keywords that yield targeted traffic. You can optimize pages with text-based content, videos, images, slideshows, audio content, infographics, or any other type of content you have on your site.
3 Main Steps to SEO
The main steps to SEO include keyword research, site optimization, and link building. Here’s a brief overview of each.
Step 1: Keyword Research
The first step to SEO is to make sure you research the keywords worth targeting. Keywords worth targeting include those that your target audience is actively searching for.
For example, if you offer a course that helps people learn Spanish you would want to research the different keywords people looking to learn Spanish type into the search engines.
Keywords with higher search volume will lead to more traffic, but they are also typically more competitive. You can research keywords with a free or paid keyword research tool like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Keyword Shitter (yes, I said that and it does what the name says!).
Step 2: Site Optimization
The second step includes optimizing your web pages for the keywords you’re targeting.
There are certain tactics you can use to let the search engines know what your web pages are about. If you’re trying to optimize a web page for the keyword ‘learn Spanish in 30 days’ then you’d need to include content around that specific topic on your page.
The content will need to include text and additionally, you might add images, videos, audio content, slideshows, and more. When it comes to optimization, the text must be optimized.
So you’d want to make sure the page heading had ‘learn Spanish in 30 days’ within it. You’d also want to make sure the title and meta tags for that page also include the phrase.
You can link back to your web page from other pages on your site with the keyword and incorporate it and other variations of it into the text on your page.
There’s really a lot you can do with site optimization (also called on-site optimization) and because you have direct control over it it’s often the best place to start.
Step 3: Link Building
The third step is link building. It’s a stark contrast from site optimization because you don’t have as much control over who links back to your web pages.
A best practice of link building is to let people know about your content and then hope they’ll link back to it. Obviously, you don’t have any control over whether they’ll actually link back to you or not so link building is next to no one’s favorite thing to do. Unless you have a big network of people just waiting to link to your content, you can spend a lot of time on it with very little pay-off.
A core component of the search algorithms is that content that is linked to more often is seen as higher value content. This is why it’s important to try to gain enough visibility to get more links.
That’s a basic and quick summary of SEO. There’s a lot more to it, but the core concept involves working to show the search engines what your content is about and get it ranked highly for those targeted keywords.
Video Marketing Strategies
Publishing videos can create a connection with your audience that is higher than with just about any other type of content. In addition, it’s estimated that video traffic will make up 82% of all traffic by 2022.
What Type of Content Makes a Good Video?
More complex content can be turned into a great video versus text-based content with images embedded throughout.
Complex content can include a demonstration of how to do something or educating your viewers on a topic that needs a detailed explanation.
Video typically takes longer to create than text. However, the good thing about video is that shorter content typically performs better. According to Wistia, videos that are 2 minutes long or less get the most engagement.
How to Create Your Video
There are many options when it comes to creating videos. These include:
Live motion with a video camera or even a smartphone. Often live motion videos will have a person talking or demonstrating an action in the video. You can also include a prompt like a whiteboard or have a slideshow presentation next to you in videos like these.
Screen capture video. Screen capture videos allow you to run through a slideshow or show screenshots which takes up the entire video screen. You can include a voice over in videos like these where you run through your slides as you discuss them. These are great for educational-style content.
Animated presentations. You’ve likely seen these thanks to Animoto and other animated video services. You can include a voice over as the animation progresses.
Live motion videos with no voice-over, but text overlays. You’ve likely seen recipe videos online that include text that walks the viewer through the ingredients while someone mixes up the food (but you can’t usually see them).
As you can see, there’s a ton of different video styles to choose from.
Once Your Video is Created
When you have your video created, you need to embed it into your web page. There are video streaming services like Vzaar, Vimeo, and Wistia that allows you to stream your video on your site. You simply upload your video to the streaming service and then copy and paste code onto your site. These services will also often have settings allowing your to change up certain aspects of your video.
You can also use YouTube to embed your video on your site. If you use YouTube then your video will also be available on YouTube as well as your site. This can result in more exposure to you if you have your video well optimized at YouTube, but it can also dilute out the impact your video makes as a viewer on YouTube does not always lead to traffic on your site.
Traffic Generation Using Infographics
What are Infographics?
An infographic combines information with a visual image. A major reason infographics have become popular online is because they allow the viewer to absorb information more quickly than reading an article. Statistics are commonly used in these visuals, presented in the form of charts and graphs. It’s an effective way to communicate a broad range of data in a short time.
In the age of big data, many companies now generate huge volumes of data per day. Presenting this data using simplistic visual methods can be empowering for professionals, as infographics can speed up learning curves.
Content that Makes a Good Infographic
Online businesses can simplify how to use their sites by using imaginative, colorful and picturesque infographics. Two common types of infographics are timeline infographics that show evolution and comparison infographics that compare products.
The key to creating attractive infographics comes down to visualizing data. Using visuals creates a story as the brain processes images faster than words. Here are important points to remember when creating your visuals:
- Keep the content and structure simple
- Avoid unconventional formatting
- Give raw numbers a context
- Use the data to back up a believable message
How to Create an Infographic
You don’t need to be a professional graphic artist to create a captivating infographic, nor do you need to own special software. There are various cloud-based sites such as Piktochart and Canva that allow you to use their user-friendly graphic design tools to create simple infographics in five steps or less. The process involves picking a layout, fonts and images, then adding in text. Various examples of big brand infographics can be found on social networks such as Pinterest.
Where to Publish Infographics
Your website is an excellent place to publish an infographic as part of a blog post or article, but there are many other online places to consider as well. Posting these images on social media can lead to others sharing them and reaching audiences beyond your marketing lists. You can also use infographics in videos to create a more interesting presentation.
One of the best ways to promote infographics is through cross-promotion with other blogs. By following popular authoritative bloggers who share your interests, you can tap into their audiences by establishing relationships through email and blog commenting.
How to Win Back Traffic
Losing website traffic can be frustrating, but one way to get people interested in your site is through the creative use of infographics. The visual focus should be on the data with a clear goal and target audience in mind. Other tips for effective infographics are to use appropriate fonts, tell a compelling story, stick with a few main colors and leave plenty of white space.
Traffic Generation with Images/Visualizations
Why Images and Visual Aids Matter
Images and visual aids are a vital component of online content. They make your website visually appealing and capture the attention of visitors, stopping them from skipping through content. Research indicates that content incorporating visual aids is 40 times more likely to be shared on social platforms than others. Another study found that of the most engaging posts on Facebook, 93% were images.
As evident from the research, pictures do say a thousand words. There are different types of visual aids you can use. These range from pictures, gifs, animations and videos. Let’s see how you can use images effectively.
Slide Show Galleries
Slideshows are visual tools that display content via alternating images highlighted one after the other. They are a creative way of delivering bits of information in a way that is fun and captivating. Consider the following when using sliders:
There are different slider types, make sure you choose one that complements your website and content.
Slide shows should tell a story. Avoid random placement of images. Use the flow and motion to your advantage. The first should lead to the second and so on, but do not make it too long. Add short and relevant texts to the image if possible.
If you opt to use the automatic slide show, make sure that the images alternate at a speed that allows users to fully consume the content, but not too long that they get bored waiting for the next image.
Do not use more than one slide show gallery per post.
Videos are a good call to action visual aids. They can be effective for course creators and website owners with products. Studies have revealed that 64% to 85% of website visitors are more likely to purchase a product after watching a video. Promotional videos should be short and highlight the best features of your product.
To seal the cake, you can make videos with testimonials. Ask your loyal clients if they would be willing to record one for you. Have them explain how much they love your product and the excellent service and fast delivery time you have.
Integrate Images Across Platforms
An effective way of increasing traffic to your website or blog is through social media. Create short content with catchy titles that are likely to captivate viewers and then design attractive images that match the content. These images will draw people to the content and ultimately to your website.
Before you choose which visual aid to use you should consider:
- The type of content it will accompany. Not all types will be applicable in every post. A good example are infographics. They are useful with data related content.
- The reaction you want to elicit from viewers. Do you want them to comment, like subscribe or even buy? Slide displays are a good way of advertising products for sale.
- Do you want to direct your users directly to your website or to another social media platform?
Whether you want your audience to share your content. Images, gifs and videos are perfect for sharing.
Traffic Generation Through Podcasting
One of the most underutilized strategies for growing your audience and website traffic is podcasting. Podcasting is a method of producing audio content in a way that allows listeners to download your latest content on demand. It also allows you to syndicate your content across many different platforms. The benefits of this is that you are able to grow your audience with extended reach and also build a personal brand via ongoing content that is delivered automatically to your subscribers.
What Kind of Content Makes for a Good Podcast?
A common problem that business owners is figuring out what kind of content should make up their podcast. If you want to figure out how to start a successful podcast, the first thing to do is to study your target audience. Look at the kind of content they’re already consuming. You can read industry blogs, social media, search engine queries, and community forums to find what topics people are looking for and engaging with.
You’ll find it easy to center your podcast around a central theme and find different topics to cover in each episode. For example, if your target audience is for people looking to learn about the paleo diet to lose weight, you’ll find that there will be many topics to cover. Topics can include creating a diet that includes the most nutritionally dense foods, what exercises result in the most fat loss, rotating your diet so that you don’t get bored, and so on.
There are many different ways to structure the content. You can interview experts, do a general FAQ session about a topic, provide in-depth tutorials, or run through various talking points. The important thing here is to talk about topics that your audience is interested in and provide them with value.
How Do You Create a Podcast?
To succeed with podcasting, you’ll want to follow a few podcasting best practices. First, start with the right equipment. Get a quality microphone setup that can record your voice at an exceptional quality. Low quality audio will turn off listeners very quickly. Second, learn how to use a audio recording and editing software on your computer. Audacity is a free software program that’s easy to learn and use. You can go with other premium software programs, but it isn’t necessary.
Next, you want to use Audacity to record your first podcast. You’ll quickly learn how to get the best sound quality by experimenting with your mic. You can use Audacity to test your recordings and make the necessary audio edits. After you’re done, you want to export it to your desktop as an MP3 file. Create a name for your podcast and fill out the other important details in the MP3 tag. Finally, host your podcast on services like SoundCloud, Podbean, or Libsyn. They’ll allow you to create a RSS feed which you can use to distribute your podcast.
Using Podcast to Get Traffic Back to Your Online Course
The main point of using your podcast is to sell your online course. To reach this goal, you need to get your podcast distributed to as many platforms as possible. The most important platform is iTunes as it has over 800 million users. In fact, there’s a special podcast category at podcastsconnect.apple.com. You want to submit your podcast there with an RSS feed and follow the same process for Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn.
To get people back to your online course, simply promote your course at the beginning or end of your podcast episode. You can also structure an offer where you offer a free trial, sample content, and exclusive discounts for podcast listeners. You want to make sure you use some kind of tracking link to see how effective your offer is and test different ones to see what works best.
That’s a quick summary of how to create a podcast, distribute it, and use it to drive traffic back to your site. There are many other small details that can improve the process, but these fundamentals are all you need to get started with your very own podcast.
Traffic Generation with Slideshow Presentations
If you’re like most website owners, you probably have some content you haven’t given a second thought to in a very long time. One of the best ways to get more value and traffic from your existing content is to turn it into a slideshow.
A slideshow is simply a series of still images accompanied by information to educate the reader. The best example of it being used is a live presentation where a PowerPoint photo slideshow is used to lead the talk.
What Kind of Content Makes for a Good Slideshow?
While you may have a lot of content you could use, not all your content will make for a good slideshow. The kind of content that fits perfectly into the slideshow format is content that can be broken down into several important points. For example, a blog post written in a story format may not make for a good slideshow whereas an article that makes several points broken down by statistics and various sources will make the basis for a perfect slideshow.
The reason why is because this type of content is designed to add value to the reader very quickly. It breaks down complicated or drawn out topics into small chunks. This makes it easy to read, understand and consume. The visual aids used in slideshows (charts, graphs, examples) also do a great job keeping the reader’s attention and adding context to the content.
Creating Your Very Own Slideshow
There are many software programs you can use to create a slideshow. An easy way to start is to use Microsoft PowerPoint. If you don’t have PowerPoint, you can use Microsoft’s free online version here.
Using PowerPoint, you can add images, videos, and audios to accompany the content in your slideshow. In addition, you can use various templates and the basic editing features to help your slideshow design stand out. Once you finish your slideshow, you can save it as a .ppt file or .pdf file. You will want both versions for publishing it on various sites.
Publishing Your Slideshow for Slideshow Marketing
The final step is to publish your slideshow which includes publishing it on your own site. There are also various sites where users go to find slides, documents, and presentations. The most trafficked one is Slideshare which has over 80 million users and over 60 million visitors every month. You’ll want to upload your file, create an attractive title, set the proper description, enter the right keyword tags, and choose the proper category.
Since you want to get traffic back to your site, you’ll need to give readers a strong reason to visit your site. This is even more important if the reader finds your slideshow on another site instead of your own. You can do this by offering a continuation of the slideshow, offering complementary content, or integrating links (when relevant) into your slideshow. For example, you can create a two part report on email marketing and only upload the first part to grab the reader’s attention while offering the second part on your site.
Slideshow marketing is a great way to generate traffic from your existing content. Many users go on Slideshare and similar sites to find slideshows, presentations and reports pertaining to their interests. It’s a very cost effective and easy strategy anyone can implement.
YouTube Marketing Strategy
History of YouTube
YouTube was started in December 2005. Since then, it has become one of the most viewed websites online. YouTube was launched by three men who were employees of PayPal after realizing there was no platform available to share videos. After intense testing of the site, a Nike commercial became the first video to receive one million views.
Less than a year after starting the company, Google purchased it for close to $1.65 billion. With 1.3 billion visitors accessing the site each day, at least 5 billion videos are watched. Additionally, 300 hours of video are uploaded with users each minute.
YouTube by the Numbers
In 2019, YouTube is still one of the most popular sites in the world. Around 80% of the users coming from outside the USA and 62% are male. When it comes to business, 9% of small businesses are on YouTube. People that are above 35 years and 55 years form the fastest growing demographics on YouTube. On a daily basis, people are watching 150 million hours of YouTube.
YouTube for Business
Most brands around the world have opted to use YouTube as a platform for marketing their products. The main reason for this shift is that companies have realized most clients prefer seeing video content from businesses.
The platform allows firms to promote themselves without spending a lot of money on advertising. A YouTube marketing strategy is an excellent way of promoting your business to reach a wider audience without having to break the bank. In most cases, if you want to give your business a global presence, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. Depending on the kind of videos you’re willing to upload, you may need a good camera, microphone, video editing tools, and a tripod stand.
How to Get More YouTube Followers
Once you’ve decided to make use of YouTube, the first step is creating a YouTube channel. For you to get more subscribers to your channel, you need to upload valuable and/or entertaining content. Posting many videos every day does not guarantee you many followers. Instead of uploading many videos, focus on uploading quality, educative, and interesting videos.
Consistency is key when it comes to YouTube. No one wants to subscribe to a channel that has not been active for the past two months. If you decide to post videos once a week, ensure that you maintain that trend. If you choose to post videos every Thursday, ensure that you do so every week.
Getting the Most Exposure on YouTube
YouTube has its own set of SEO requirements for videos. For instance, you’ll want to tag your video with keywords and write a keyword rich description. You can also link to your site in the YouTube description. Many YouTube marketers will put their URL right in the very beginning of the description.
But you don’t have to stop at YouTube. You can upload a post on Facebook with your video as well as Twitter. Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook. Eighty-two percent of Twitter users watch videos on Twitter.
How to Get People Back to Your Site
Aside from using a URL in the description, you should also brand your video with your URL.
Many video marketers will have an intro animation or at least an intro slide before the main content of the video starts. This should contain your domain name easily visible within it. You can also discuss your URL in the main content by working it in where it makes the most sense. Often video marketers will use a watermark with their company name or URL which shows up throughout the entire video.
In addition to the intro and throughout your video, you will definitely want to end your video with a slide that includes your URL right in it. If you created a live motion video (for example, one where you’re talking within it), then you can use video editing software to include your URL overlay so people know where to go when it’s over for more information. You can also use a power point slide to display your URL at the end.
To get the most click-thrus back to your site, you should entice the viewer by letting them know you have more content on the same topic back at your site. Think of the video as a short snippet that leads your viewer back to your site where there’s much more information available to them that they need to succeed.
Guest Blogging Guidelines
How To Find Relevant Blogs Where You Can Pitch Your Idea
Your first objective is to locate opportunities where you can submit a guest blog post. When doing this, you should look for sites that are similar to your industry or niche. You’ll want to find relevant blogs with the following criteria:
- The audience will want to engage with your industry.
- The content of the blog is similar to your industry or niche.
- The owner of the blog is engaged with social media sites.
- The readership of the blog is engaged.
For example, if you are selling a course on getting more traffic to your website, you’ll want to locate blogs that pertain to marketing and have an active, engaged audience.
Google is one of the best places to start looking for opportunities where you can submit a guest post. Try any of the following keyword searches by replacing “keyword” with the specific keywords that are associated with your industry:
- submit a guest post keyword
- guest post by keyword
- guest blogging guidelines keyword
- accepting guest posts keyword
- guest post keyword
How To Write A Guest Blog Post
The key to writing a great guest blog post is to create legitimate content that will help readers. You don’t want to write an article that over promotes yourself. You want to write a guest post that will mature well over time. Going for a quick traffic surge is not the best use of this strategy. When writing your guest post, think of these questions:
- Does the article help my credibility and reputation in the niche?
- Will it rank well on search engines for specific keyword phrases that will benefit my goals?
- Will it create engagement for me with others who are in my industry?
- Is it going to create a discussion?
If you write a guest post that becomes a timeless, valuable resource, you’ll be providing an article that is appreciated by others when they read it.
How To Get Them Back To Your Website
At the end of your guest post, be sure to include a call to action that encourages readers to comment on your article. The goal is to generate a good amount of discussion. This will allow you to engage with readers and get them interested in your message.
To get them back to your website, you’ll need to write a great guest bio. This is the place where you are allowed to include a self-promoting link. When you’re making a decision on the exact location where you should direct your link, think of your main goals. You only get one chance to impress new visitors.
It’s best if you can send them to a site that shows how they can benefit by engaging with you and your product. This might be a custom landing page that caters specifically to individuals coming from guest posts. It can also be a page that just describes your online course as long as it converts well for you.
Outreach For Traffic
What Is Outreach Marketing?
You want your online course business to grow, and outreach marketing can do just that.
The Traffic Traits for outreach marketing include that you are a people person as well as a connector, that you like to research and that you like offering big value.
Many business owners find that outreach marketing is the primary factor that made their company successful, and the results are sometimes dramatic.
These are some of the most common types of outreach marketing strategies you need to know about:
Public speaking is a great way to ensure that your online course succeeds.
You’ll have to review upcoming speaking events and see if you fit in as a speaker for the event. It’s best to have a power point presentation to provide as a sample or a video of yourself speaking at another event.
The more popular the events you can get booked at, the easier it will be for you to get future bookings. You do need to start somewhere, however, so be willing to take smaller, less popular speaking engagements at first. Build on those as you continue.
Pitching to HARO
Consider Pitching To HARO And Other Sites Like It
News coverage can be one of the most effective ways to promote your online course and HARO and similar sites can help you get a reporter to cover stories about your business. Here’s how you can do it:
HARO stands for help a reporter out, and that means you need to determine what type of reporter you wish to connect with before you begin using the service. Make sure you are tailoring your pitch to connect with the right type of reporter. For instance, if you wish to attract local customers, you’ll want to attract a local reporter.
Not only can you get a reporter from local news outlets, but you might even be able to get coverage of your company on national news.
There are numerous reporters who use HARO to get leads on potential stories.
Using HARO to try to promote your company works best when there’s a breaking news story that’s related to your online course company.
How To Use HARO
As soon as you get to the home page of the HARO website, you can choose whether you want to be a reporter or a source. As a business owner presenting a story, you’ll choose to be a source. Here’s what you do next:
- You’ll have to register with HARO.
- You can check to see if your anyone is looking for sources for stories like yours every day from Monday through Friday at 5:35 AM, 12:35 PM, and 5:35 PM.
- All correspondence with reporters will occur via email.
- Once you’re set up, you’ll start receiving emails every day from HARO (you can get up to 3 emails a day). These emails will list the queries reporters are looking for. If you find a match, then you should submit your story to the reporter by replying to the right link. Make sure to include your web site, name, online course, and other relevant information.
- Write your story in a concise manner. Most reporters will follow up for more information if they like what you wrote. You can end up getting a lot of exposure from the right HARO match!
Interviewing customers and other people connected to your business can make for great content on your site to draw in traffic. Here are some tips for properly conducting interviews:
- It’s important to be familiar with influencer marketing before you choose someone to interview. Ensure that you choose someone who is well-known in your region or at least a small scale celebrity in your area or field, but you do not have to find an influencer who is exceptionally famous.
- Make sure you’re as relaxed as possible when you’re conducting an interview.
- Pay attention to the lighting where you’re doing the interview.
- It’s important to be aware of pauses during the conversation.
- Consider the advantages and disadvantages of a live interview carefully, and in some cases, it may best to have the interview recorded.
In addition to interviewing others, you can let others interview you. Check out podcasts to see if they need interview subjects in your area of expertise as well as blogs that might be looking for written interviews.
This is a great way to put yourself in front of a new audience, hopefully bringing some of them back to your site. It also positions you as an expert in your topic, which only helps increase your credibility as an online course creator.
Press releases can can lead to more people finding out about your online course business. Here are some tips for creating effective press releases for your site:
Don’t Write A Press Release Unless It’s Really Newsworthy
Not only will stories that aren’t newsworthy not grab much attention, but they are likely to cause readers to lose interest in your other press releases.
Make Your Press Release Concise
Your press releases should be easy to understand, and they should not be too long. If they’re too long, you may end up boring your readers, and they may not end up reading the whole thing. This can prevent them from getting essential information. Here are some tips for ensuring that your press releases are concise and don’t ramble on:
- Make an outline for your story, and you’re likely to find that this helps you to stay on topic.
- Try to avoid talking too much about a long backstory before discussing an event.
- Avoid discussing extraneous details that most readers would not be interested in.
Quotes Should Be Insightful Rather Than Informational
Ensuring that your quotes are insightful instead of informational can help to ensure that your content is inspiring to readers.
Consider Hiring A Copywriter
A copywriter can help you create quality content for a press release, and they also may be able to optimize your press release for search engines. Here are some other reasons why you should consider a copywriter or business journalist for your press releases:
- Some copywriters and business journalists have had decades of experience creating press releases.
- Hiring a copywriter can be affordable.
- There are numerous copy-writing agencies that you can choose from.
Referral marketing is a form of outreach marketing that encourages people who are already your customers to refer other customers. The strategy tends to be most effective when you offer people who refer people to your company something in return.
You can offer money, like you would do with an affiliate program, or it can be a gift. You can give a gift to everyone who enrolls in your course along with a thank-you note and just through that act you may see your customers increase.
Here are some things that you need to know about specific types of referral marketing and how you can make it work for your online course business:
Referral marketing is somewhat similar to affiliate marketing, but there is a key difference. Most affiliate marketers are relatively experienced with online marketing, and they are referring people to your company as their business. Customers who you hope will spread the word to others about your course do not typically understand marketing. You need to make it very simple for them to refer others to your course.
Some people will take referral programs seriously, and they may refer a significant number of people to your company. Therefore, it’s best to have two separate referral offers. Feature a referral offer that is especially significant for the first referral and possibly a few subsequent referrals, and reduce the amount that’s offered later on.
Keep in mind that around 80% of your business is likely to come from around 20% of your clients. Focus your time on those clients that are actively sending you referrals.
Sometimes the easiest way to get referrals from your clients is to just ask them! Make sure you have this built into your follow-up strategy.
Giveaways and competitions can increase interest in your website since customers are interested in the possibility of getting something from you.
Make Sure You Have Something Significant To Offer
However, you’ll need to ensure that the giveaway is not so large that it cuts into your bottom line. Here are some tips for choosing the right giveaway for your business:
- Sweepstakes: Giving customers the opportunity to be entered into sweepstakes can be an effective strategy, but a lot of business owners do this. Therefore, it’s a good idea to offer something that is unique when compared to the prizes offered by other companies that have sweepstakes.
- Offer Online Discounts: Offering discounts for purchasing your courses online can be a great way to make sure you’re giving your customers an incentive to buy your products. It’s essential the discounts are significant. Use scarcity marketing to promote your sales.
- Use Competitions Effectively: Many customers will enjoy the challenge that is associated with competitions. One popular and effective competition is allowing customers to compete to see who gets through the online course fastest or who gets the transformation quickest.
If you choose to offer an affiliate marketing program, you’ll be paying the people who direct traffic to your site, but you’ll still be able to turn a profit on the traffic. Not only is affiliate marketing effective, but most business owners use it. In fact, 81% of brands use affiliate marketers! Here’s what you need to know about it:
There Are Different Affiliate Marketing Structures Available
Some affiliate programs pay per sale on your website, and this can allow you to be certain that you are only paying for results.
Other affiliate marketing programs pay affiliate marketers to drive traffic to the company website. This strategy is typically best when you are first looking to get website visibility.
As an online course owner, it’s probably best to run an affiliate program where you pay a commission when the affiliate drives a paying customer. In these instances, when they generate a sale to your online course, you pay them a certain percentage. Often in the sales of online courses, since everything is digital and there is nothing to ship out, you will see commissions around the 50% range. That means it costs you nothing to generate that sale, however you do have to give away half your sales to the affiliate.
As long as you’re willing to put in the effort to run an affiliate program, it’s typically well worth it to offer 50% commissions for sales of your online course.
There’s one big thing that’s been left off this list of traffic generation strategies and that’s email marketing.
Everyone should include email marketing as a strategy. It’s an absolute must!
I’m constantly surprised by the number of online businesses that do not collect email addresses. They are losing out on revenue.
The best plan is to drive traffic to your site through any of the methods above and collect those email addresses like you expect all your traffic to dry up tomorrow.
That’s because, unfortunately, it can.
Algorithms change and that goes for both paid and organic search traffic. Facebook changes their paid ad rules and companies go out of business. Google search adjusts their algorithms and websites lose half (or more) of their traffic overnight.
Collect the email addresses of as many visitors as possible and you can always send traffic back to your site and offers when you send out an email.
Funnel all the traffic to an email opt-in and you have traffic on demand instead of having to get more traffic all the time from paid or from having to rely on a platform you don’t control (which is everything other than your email subscriber list and your site). Get what you can out of all the traffic you can and build your own list.
Benefits of Email Marketing
If you’ve ever heard some variation of the saying, “The money’s in the list,” you have some notion of how beneficial email marketing is. According to Neil Patel, email marketing still counts as one of the most effective marketing tools around, despite recent murmurings to the contrary.
Eighty-five percent of adult Internet users have email, which partially explains why email marketing beats out other types of promotional tools. For example, email marketing trumps social media marketing by 22% and search engine marketing by 15%.
How Email Marketing Works
Typically, business owners or course creators offer up an incentive to entice their intended customers to sign up for their mailing list. These offers can include a free report, a video, a complementary download, or some other relevant offer.
There are other ways to add subscribers to a business mailing list. Some strategies include offering a course at a significant discount or holding a contest. In the latter case, make sure it’s something your subscribers would want to win. In the case of online course training, it could be a laptop or some other type of technology that makes studying easier.
Any and all of these strategies could be components of the prize or incentive that encourages people to sign up.
In exchange for this incentive, the would-be customer gives the vendor his/her email address. The incentive is the opt-in. By accepting the vendors’ incentive, the customer/s is opting-in to the vendors’ mailing list.
Usually, the customer will receive an email from the vendor fairly quickly. This email is the second part of the opt-in: it’s often called a confirmation. It ensures that no misunderstanding has taken place and that the customer actually wants to be on the vendors’ subscribers list.
The double opt-in is important because it also lets both parties know that the subscriber has agreed to continue to receive emails from the vendor.
Eventually, the vendor will start sending regular emails to his/ her list of subscribers. The content of these emails can vary. Some email campaigns may be strictly for selling the customer something. Some may be informational only.
However, many vendors will use a combination of both types of emails to keep the customer engaged. As a course creator, you may want to send out emails showcasing your course, the transformation that those who enroll will gain, and anything else related to the topic of your training.
Follow Up Emails
One of the real strengths of email market lies in the fact that it lets the marketer use stories to draw the reader in. HubSpot offers an excellent example of how this works. Charity: water, an organization that provides clean water to people who don’t have it, shows donors how their donation is making an impact and how it continues to make an impact over the long haul.
People who donate to charity: water receive emails showing them a timeline of the impact of their donation and offers up a visual aid – a table so that people can see their money’s progress. These emails come to the charity’s subscribers over a system of automated emails. Subscribers know from start to finish how charity: water uses the money that’s donated to them.
Now, imagine that an online course business uses a similar tactic. For example, the course creator could show how a person starts a course, progresses through the course, and then improves his/her life because of the course. To make it more personal, the series of emails could follow a few people as they move through their training and therefore, their transformation.
Fortunately, email marketing offers an excellent return on investment, according to an article from MailChimp. MailChimp mentions a 2015 study, which found that for each dollar spent on email marketing, the sender gets $38.00 back on average.
Traffic Generation Conclusion
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to go through this tutorial and figure out a traffic generation strategy plan to use to get traffic to your online course. It’s best to start with a strategy that matches your traffic traits. So start there and then keep moving through the different methods of generating traffic back to your online course!