Here’s a hint: During the process of writing a blog post outline for your upcoming article, take a moment to spot any opportunities for bigger bloggers or brands in your space that you can mention and start building a relationship with. By taking this approach of providing value to others in your space first, you can start building a community of influential people that grows in value over time—and will soon help drive traffic to your blog. 

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According to Statistica, 76% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and by 2020 the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion (650 million of these from China alone). Of the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most dominant - as of the end of the second quarter of 2018 Facebook had approximately 2.23 billion active users worldwide (Statistica). Mobile devices have become the dominant platform for Facebook usage - 68% of time spent on Facebook originates from mobile devices. Other popular social media platforms for marketing include WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.
So let's just say you're a budding entrepreneur. You've gone into business for yourself and setup that all-important website. It's your digital storefront. No need for that brick-and-mortar store anymore. No need for the random person to patronize your shop from the street. Today, all you need are those virtual visitors -- people that are keenly interested in buying what you're selling.

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Raise your hand if you love the idea of earning extra income or ditching office life to learn how to make money at home. Well, you're not alone. According to a 2017 telecommuting report by FlexJobs, the number of U.S. employees who worked from home at least half of the time has grown 115% in twelve years, from 1.8 million employees in 2005 to 3.9 million in 2017.
The Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search engines insert advertising on their search results pages. The ads are designed to look similar to the search results, though different enough for readers to distinguish between ads and actual results. This is done with various differences in background, text, link colors, and/or placement on the page. As of 2004, however, the appearance of ads on all major search engines is so similar to genuine search results that a majority of search engine users cannot effectively distinguish between the two.[1]

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Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices; causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary (Whiteside, 2016).[44] Another element, which is affected within digital marketing, is ‘viewabilty’ or whether the ad was actually seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem (Whiteside, 2016).[44]
It’s hard to believe that the Internet is now multiple decades old. Affiliate marketing has been around since the earliest days of online marketing. It’s a great solution for businesses that are risk-averse or don’t have the budget to spend on upfront marketing costs. Use affiliate marketing to build a new revenue stream for your ecommerce or B2B business. Get Started
The new digital era has enabled brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer's recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services,[41] This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era.

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Just a few short years ago, Google began rolling out their new Discover feature that surfaces relevant, typically news-worthy content (that tends to have very healthy on-page SEO) to users of Google’s Chrome browser application on both mobile and desktop. The best (scary) part? They use your search data—the things you’re typing into Google on a regular basis—to try and highlight new content they think you’ll want to read about. As a blogger and content publisher, this is a major opportunity to drive traffic to your blog from an extremely targeted source.

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There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the digital era not only allows for brands to market their products and services, but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customers feel supported and valued. The use of social media interaction allows brands to receive both positive and negative feedback from their customers as well as determining what media platforms work well for them. As such, digital marketing has become an increased advantage for brands and businesses. It is now common for consumers to post feedback online through social media sources, blogs and websites on their experience with a product or brand.[27] It has become increasingly popular for businesses to use and encourage these conversations through their social media channels to have direct contact with the customers and manage the feedback they receive appropriately.
Raise your hand if you love the idea of earning extra income or ditching office life to learn how to make money at home. Well, you're not alone. According to a 2017 telecommuting report by FlexJobs, the number of U.S. employees who worked from home at least half of the time has grown 115% in twelve years, from 1.8 million employees in 2005 to 3.9 million in 2017.
How Much of this Guide Should You Read? This guide is designed for you to read cover-to-cover. Each new guide builds upon the previous one. A core idea that we want to reinforce is that marketing should be evaluated holistically. What you need to do is this in terms of growth frameworks and systems as opposed to campaigns. Reading this guide from start to finish will help you connect the many moving parts of marketing to your big-picture goal, which is ROI.

Why is optimizing a website for organic search still important


For this strategy of how to drive traffic to your website, the most important thing is finding a publication with an established base of readers. It doesn’t have to be a big name like Forbes or Entrepreneur–which will be impossible to land in the very beginning anyway. What you should focus on, is finding something that fits with your style and niche, but is still somewhat approachable in size. This’ll help you build your brand, get more recognition for the name of your blog, connect with interested readers and look great for networking possibilities. And if you play your cards right, you’ll unlock a new channel for driving traffic to your blog in the process.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s easier sell gold than it is to sell shit”? Well, have I got some news for you. No website starts out as minted gold right off the bat, so make sure you’re not trying to peddle, well… you know. In the beginning, a lot of websites try to create useful content on their blog for their audience, but end up churning out all the same 500-1,000-word articles offering the 10 quick steps to achieving this or that. Not only is there no shortage of that content on the Internet already, but recent blogging statistics show it’s the last thing that’ll make you stand out from the crowd and forge a lasting impression on your readers.
To engage customers retailers have shifted from the linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[23] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[6] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[24]
Quora is like Yahoo Answer’s older, much better-looking sibling. People ask questions like, “I’ve started a blog. How can I increase blog traffic?” and people who provide in-depth, clever, and witty answers—like I gave here—are heavily rewarded. The response to my answer there, is what inspired me to update and expand on my advice in that answer by publishing this massive guide about how to drive traffic to your website.
People look up instructional videos online for everything these days—from how to replace a screen on their laptop to how to make a website and seriously so much more. Even with just a small number of tutorial videos on my own YouTube channel so far, I’ve been able to drive traffic to my blog in a very meaningful way from the platform (especially for the relatively small time investment to create a video compared to writing a 10,000 word article).

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My company has been working on a large link building project. We’ve already performed extensive keyword research and link analysis and now we’re considering executing an email outreach campaign. However, all the content we’ve created up until this point is geared more towards our target audience as opposed to the key influencers of our target audience. Do you think it would be worth it to try to build backlinks to our existing content or are we better off creating new content that directly appeals to the influencers of our target audience?
This way, when you do drive traffic, you know where that traffic is coming from. Otherwise, you're left in the dark. For example, if you do some content marketing on Quora.com or Medium.com, you could use the campaign source as simply Quora or Medium and the campaign medium as content_marketing and the term as the term you're working to rank for. Get the picture? Then, you'll see all the beautiful results directly in Google Analytics and you'll know specifically where your traffic came from.
What problems do your readers have? Teach them how to solve them, and as a result of launching an online course, you’ll likely drive traffic to your blog and you could even begin to field offers for other types of work from home jobs like coaching, consulting and advising as your audience as your authority grows. Plus, this can evolve into a phenomenal way to make money blogging in a much more passive capacity as your traffic grows.
In fact, you should be spending a lot of time figuring out what the best way is to promote your content—I try to live by the 80/20 rule. I spend 80% of my time distributing my content, or figuring out the best way to promote it, and only 20% on the actual writing. Obviously, the quality of the writing is important, but it doesn’t matter how good it is if you aren’t spending the time to get it out there.
It is increasingly advantageous for companies to use social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.[29]

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You’ve launched an amazing product or service. Now what? Now, you need to get the word out. When done well, good PR can be much more effective and less expensive than advertising. Regardless of whether you want to hire a fancy agency or awesome consultant, make sure that you know what you’re doing and what types of ROI to expect. Relationships are the heart and soul of PR. This guide will teach you how to ignore the noise and focus on substantive, measurable results. Get Started

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Display advertising - As the term implies, online display advertising deals with showcasing promotional messages or ideas to the consumer on the internet. This includes a wide range of advertisements like advertising blogs, networks, interstitial ads, contextual data, ads on the search engines, classified or dynamic advertisement etc. The method can target specific audience tuning in from different types of locals to view a particular advertisement, the variations can be found as the most productive element of this method. 

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Medium is one of my go-to platforms for marketing my content and provides another authority-site domain that gives you the versatility of link-dropping the way that you normally would through any blog post on a CMS like WordPress. Leverage Medium to create intuitive content marketing posts that also link back to your primary posts on your site or blog.

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Affiliate marketing - Affiliate marketing is perceived to not be considered a safe, reliable and easy means of marketing through online platform. This is due to a lack of reliability in terms of affiliates that can produce the demanded number of new customers. As a result of this risk and bad affiliates it leaves the brand prone to exploitation in terms of claiming commission that isn't honestly acquired. Legal means may offer some protection against this, yet there are limitations in recovering any losses or investment. Despite this, affiliate marketing allows the brand to market towards smaller publishers, and websites with smaller traffic. Brands that choose to use this marketing often should beware of such risks involved and look to associate with affiliates in which rules are laid down between the parties involved to assure and minimize the risk involved.[51]


Thanks Brian. I’ve had a “a-ha” moment thanks to you! Great advice. I knew that backlinks would improve the organic SEO rankings to our client-targeted landing pages but I never knew it was through getting influencers to backlink blogs. I always just assumed it was great content that users wanted to share with others. It was driving me mad why people love my content but never share enough. Now I know!

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How Much of this Guide Should You Read? This guide is designed for you to read cover-to-cover. Each new guide builds upon the previous one. A core idea that we want to reinforce is that marketing should be evaluated holistically. What you need to do is this in terms of growth frameworks and systems as opposed to campaigns. Reading this guide from start to finish will help you connect the many moving parts of marketing to your big-picture goal, which is ROI.

Why is optimizing a website for organic search still important


This one is so obvious, we’re going to look at it first. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising (try our Smart Ads Creator!) are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card.

People often have very unique reasons for wanting to start a blog and make money from home. Some blogs, like this one (DollarSprout), are meant to be informative resources for readers. Other bloggers may opt to share personal sides of their lives. For instance, many people will start a blog to document their fitness journey and inspire others along the way.
You’ve launched an amazing product or service. Now what? Now, you need to get the word out. When done well, good PR can be much more effective and less expensive than advertising. Regardless of whether you want to hire a fancy agency or awesome consultant, make sure that you know what you’re doing and what types of ROI to expect. Relationships are the heart and soul of PR. This guide will teach you how to ignore the noise and focus on substantive, measurable results. Get Started 

I am currently working on a blog, and have wondered why I haven’t had much success up until this point. Several of the things you mentioned in this post helped me realize the mistakes I have been making (I have been that person making posts like “10 reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving”). I still don’t understand SEO, but hope to learn it soon. I think your ideas like using Quora (I already share, just not in a specific niche) and creating email lists are great (perhaps I will start allowing people to “opt-in” to a monthly newsletter?) Thank you again for the information.

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Brian, I’ve drunk your Kool aid! Thank you for honesty and transparency – it really gives me hope. Quick question: I am beyond passionate about a niche (UFOs, extraterrestrials, free energy) and know in my bones that an authority site is a long term opportunity. The problem today is that not many products are attached to this niche and so it becomes a subscriber / info product play. However, after 25+ years as an entrepreneur with a financial background and marketing MBA, am I Internet naive to believe that my passion and creativity will win profitability in the end? The target audience is highly passionate too. Feedback?
There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the digital era not only allows for brands to market their products and services, but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customers feel supported and valued. The use of social media interaction allows brands to receive both positive and negative feedback from their customers as well as determining what media platforms work well for them. As such, digital marketing has become an increased advantage for brands and businesses. It is now common for consumers to post feedback online through social media sources, blogs and websites on their experience with a product or brand.[27] It has become increasingly popular for businesses to use and encourage these conversations through their social media channels to have direct contact with the customers and manage the feedback they receive appropriately.

Hi Brian! Very good and exactly what I was looking for. I have a problem though, we are creating the first video editing software that edits video WHILE FILMING. We are video geeks with a lot of experience, however we are trying to appeal to GoPro users and video tutorial makers but we have little knowledge in that field. Any suggestions on how we write about that if we have no idea about the space? 

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It may seem a bit overwhelming to think about teaching an online course if you’ve never done it before, but you can boil this down to one simple question: what does your audience already want to know? Tackle it from the same angle as any of your articles, comments, or blog content by providing useful and in-depth content that your audience wants in the form of videos, written lectures and interviews with thought leaders in the space.
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