When it comes to online business and content creation, one of the most common questions I hear on a daily basis is, “How many websites and blogs are on the internet?” It’s a common question and one that’s very hard to answer.
However, what we do know is there are now more than a billion active websites on the internet today that are actively creating content. With so much content already in place and more being created daily, not only does this clutter the internet, it’s also makes it harder to drive new audiences to our websites.
1. Google organic traffic
Google is still one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. At the same time, it’s some of the most valuable traffc on the internet today since it’s not influenced by advertisements, social media or user distractions. Best of all, when someone searches on Google, they genuinely want information and are ready to take action.
Remember, Google organic traffic is free. These are the listings in Google that appear right below paid search advertisements at the top of the page. While organic search listings are valuable online real estate, it’s extremely competitive and hard to rank for high traffic or generic terms.
With this in mind, focus on not creating high-value content and distribute long-form content. Once this is in place, focus on the most effective SEO tools and marketing strategies to rank your site higher in search results.
2. Paid traffic sources
Just like there are plenty of free traffic sources out there, there are many paid traffic opportunities as well. Whether it’s pay-per-click advertising, native advertising on top media sites or even banner ads through direct advertising – when you pay for traffic you can have total control over who the audience composition and track performance and ROI.
In addition to highly targeted and more expensive online traffic, there are cost-effective solutions as well. For example, with wide range media buying, site owners can target an audience based on their geo location and simply order millions of visitors or page impressions to their site. This type of advertising and traffic is often best used to test affiliate marketing or lead generation campaigns for a generic audience. It recommend using conversion tracking so you can measure where the best traffic originates.
4. Content marketing and distribution
For anyone who wants to grow their personal brand and become an authority, guest blogging and creating content for other websites is a great opportunity. The concept here is simple, you find targeted websites, online magazines and blogs that accept guest submissions and pitch a piece for their site.
This article is a perfect example of a guest article contribution from an outside contributor. The benefit here is that the magazine (i.e. site owner) receives content for their site and audience, while the author of the article (i.e. myself) gets exposure to a whole new audience.
In some cases, the contributing author will also receive a bio section at the bottom of the article which may include their profile picture, social links, and maybe even a coveted link back to their website or blog.
Visual and audio content consumption has quickly become the norm. This can clearly be seen through social media, as images and video take over our timelines. Expert interviews, like these top marketing podcasts for example, are one of the fastest growing trends.
Podcasting has continued to grow at a rapid rate. It doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon. Podcasting is also a great tool for those who want to grow a blog, brand, or business online. You can go live with your podcast and appear on other podcasts as well.
5. Social media trends and hashtags
We all know the benefits of social media when it comes to brand awareness and reaching an audience. However, not enough brands and online marketing experts focus on what social media has to offer when it comes to world events, trending topics, and the use of hashtags.
For example, we can look at some of the top fashion bloggers and see how they use Instagram to reach a massive audience. Some of the top fashion bloggers earn thousands of dollars for a single status update; thanks to the large and loyal following they’ve built online. Meanwhile, many of social media influencers are simply one-person operations.
Explore your options with each of the methods above, as they will work differently based on the type of traffic you need and how you generate leads or revenue online. While there might be more competition online than ever before, there are also more opportunities than ever as well.
This article has been edited.
Zac Johnson is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the world of online marketing and branding. You can learn more about Zac through his blog at ZacJohnson.com. Connect with @zacjohnson on Twitter.