Do you want to know why everybody focuses on SEO and social media marketing?
Because everyone wants traffic for their websites, and both of these sources are huge.
Google, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all in the top 20 traffic sites in the world.
Whether you’re a plumber, SaaS marketer, or recipe blogger, you can find your target audience through one or both of these sources.
Or if you sell physical products, you likely sell them on the e-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay—same concept really as you can sell virtually anything on them due to their size.
There’s nothing wrong with focusing on getting traffic from these well known sites.
However, it’s a shame that more marketers don’t realize that social media and SEO are just the surface of web traffic.
They are the obvious ones that every marketer tries to get traffic from, which leads to stiff competition.
But there are opportunities elsewhere if you know where to look.
There are so many other sites from which you can get traffic to your website that the majority of marketers never even take a second look at them unless one of them explodes.
Take Reddit, for example. I’ve written about how to effectively market on Reddit a while back.
Since then, I’ve seen more and more articles about marketing on Reddit as the site becomes more popular and marketers see others succeeding on it.
So, what sites in particular am I talking about here?
I’m going to give you seven specific examples of sites with tons of traffic that you can potentially drive back to your site.
Then, I’m going to show you an easy way to find even more sites that are virtually untapped.
Sounds interesting? Read on…
Site #1: IMDb
IMDb is the movie site.
It has insane levels of traffic, all focused on movies and TV.
The first step in deciding whether a site could be good to market on is to determine whether your audience uses it.
Since we’re not looking at the biggest sites (search engines and social media), only certain audiences will be found on each site.
If your audience isn’t on IMDb, I promise that they are on some other large sites.
Since IMDb has a very specific focus, it’s really only good if you sell products related to movies and TV.
But if you do, it could be an opportunity.
I say could be because you won’t be able to drive traffic from every site that your target audience uses back to yours.
You have to look for a way to drive that traffic back.
In this case, there is one chance, and it comes from the active forum community on IMDb:
You can tell from the frequency of posts that it’s really active, and that’s just one section of the forum.
Then, you’ll need to become a part of the community and find a way to give value—but do so in a way that requires members of the forum to click through to your website.
Here are 3 resources that will help you do just that if you’re not experienced with forum posting:
Site #2: Etsy
Etsy is another up and comer that will eventually be saturated by marketers. But it’s not at that point yet.
If you sell any sort of high quality jewelry, crafts, home decor, or clothing, it’s a fantastic e-commerce marketplace.
Why compete against so many businesses on Amazon for customers looking for the cheapest option, when there is a ton of traffic comprised of people who care a lot about those things and will pay a fair price for them?
There are no tricks to increasing your sales on Etsy.
If you have a product that is actually great, people will see it, and you will make sales.
Site #3: BuzzFeed
No doubt you’ve heard of BuzzFeed, but have you ever considered it as a traffic source?
If you have a younger demographic in a social niche (like entertainment, home decor, food, etc.), it could be a great source.
BuzzFeed not only has a ton of traffic but also allows you to contribute your own content to it.
To start, create an account, click on the icon beside the arrow above, and click “new post.”
That’ll bring you to a standard text editor, and you can post whatever you’d like.
If that post gets some traction early on, BuzzFeed will actually help you by promoting it on the site.
Crafting the right kind of post isn’t easy, but if you do, you’ll get tens of thousands of views on your post.
Then, you can link from your post (when appropriate) back to your site.
Matthew Barby has created a great guide to getting on the front page of BuzzFeed. He was able to do so multiple times himself and drove a lot of traffic to his recipe site:
Site #4: Forbes
Forbes is a magazine site for all topics related to business.
And while it’s possible to be invited to contribute, you can also drive traffic back to your site with a much simpler method: comments.
Blog commenting back in the day used to be extremely popular. Eventually, people realized that it didn’t always produce results.
The main reason for that is because they commented on blogs that had barely any traffic to begin with.
Any post on the main page of Forbes will get tens of thousands of views. Even if a small portion of those people read your comment, that’s at least a few hundred eyeballs.
From there, a great comment can drive anywhere from 25-50% of that traffic back to your site.
That’s a decent use of your time, especially if you’re struggling with traffic.
Every Forbes post has the “comment on this story” option at the bottom of the last page:
According to their rules, you can have up to two links to other sites in the comments:
Really, you only need one.
The hard part is leaving a comment that will impress people enough to drive traffic back to your site. Here are some great resources that will show you how to do that:
Site #5: Business Insider
Business Insider is another site similar to Forbes, with slightly different topics:
Even though it has a slightly higher Alexa rank, it still has an insane amount of traffic.
As an added bonus, you can add your website’s URL to your username as you leave comments:
Again, this is just blog commenting at its core, so use the same strategy as I showed you above with Forbes.
Site #6: Allrecipes
If you have a food blog, there are many opportunities to get creative and draw traffic back to your own site.
Although Allrecipes is a tough one, it’s still possible to make it work.
A standard recipe page looks like this at the top:
Then you see instructions, and then reviews.
If your review is really helpful, it will be seen by almost everyone who views the page.
Then, you could place a link at the end of the comment. It’d be easy to make a natural transition.
I’ve tried 10 other gumbo recipes, but none have turned out as good as this one.
It was so good that I adapted the recipe just for my gluten-free friends. They LOVED it!
Here’s how I changed the recipe to make it gluten-free: (link)
I’m sure you could make the comment more valuable—I’m just not a cooking expert.
The point is, look for ways to add value with your comment while naturally incorporating a link into it. It won’t even look like you’re trying to drive traffic to your site. It’ll look like you are just trying to help people.
That’s your goal with any link: make it useful.
Site #7: Quora
Quora is the 141st most popular website in the United States.
It’s a question and answer site that even I use. It has the same concept as Yahoo Answers, but the quality is much higher.
The site is continually getting more popular, and many (but not all) marketers have realized its potential.
The simple strategy is to leave really great answers to questions posted in the community.
Great answers will be upvoted to the top and seen by most people.
Then, include links in your answers as appropriate, and that will drive traffic wherever you’d like:
To get started, start typing a topic in the search bar. It will suggest a bunch of related topics, and when you see what you’re looking for, click it:
You can then follow that topic and answer questions that you feel you can do justice to.
There’s no trickery here: you have to provide value.
Yes, it’s a lot of work per answer, but the rewards can be big as well.
You can get millions of views on your answers over time if you stick with it:
While not all those reading your answer will end up visiting your site, even a small chunk is a significant number.
In addition, you will likely end up attracting additional business from people impressed with your answers. Even without the traffic, it’s worth it.
How to find as many of these low competition sites as you need
Maybe more than one of these sites are perfect for your marketing.
Maybe none are.
That’s the point of going to sites that are smaller than the Googles and Facebooks of the world—but large enough to be potential sources of traffic.
They don’t have every audience you might want, so I can’t give everybody specific sites to market on.
However, you can find plenty more that are right for you with a simple process that I’m about to show you.
This will work for everyone.
First, head over to Alexa, and browse sites by category.
By sorting by category rather than rank (which is what I did for the seven sites in this post), you ensure that you find sites relevant to your business.
From there, you have the option to choose a subcategory, or you can start with the broad sites.
Either method works, but be careful not to narrow down the sites too far and be left with those that don’t have much traffic.
While a site’s Alexa Rank isn’t perfect by any means, it does generally correspond to traffic levels.
Try to stick to sites with an Alexa Rank no higher than 20,000.
That still leaves you with a ton of options.
At this point, you’re staring at a list of domains.
You need to go to each of those sites individually and answer the same two questions I’ve been mentioning all along:
- Does your audience visit this site?
- Is there a way to get that traffic back to your site?
The second step is the hardest at first, but you’ll get more proficient at it as you go. In general, you want to look for things like:
- a forum
- comment section (that allows links)
- guest posts/editorials that you can submit
- a way to post your products directly (if the site is a store)
After you go through 100-200 sites, you’ll have a list of at least 5-10 sites you could effectively use as traffic sources.
The final thing to mention here is that when you’re marketing on a brand new site, you need to take the time to figure out an effective strategy.
For social media sites and search engines, the work has been done for you by marketing bloggers. For most of these new sites, you’ll have to do the work yourself.
Try to understand the tactics used on social media and search engines, and then apply those tactics to these new sites.
Even if you don’t get them perfectly at first, you should still have some success because of the low competition.
Search engines and social media giants are fantastic sources of traffic for almost all businesses.
But…they are hard to capitalize on.
The best marketers win big, while a large portion of marketers struggle.
Unless you’re already getting a great ROI on them, you’re probably better off finding new traffic sources that marketers in your industry haven’t saturated yet.
I’ve given you seven specific examples of these sources, but more importantly, I’ve given you a simple framework you can use to find more of them. They might just turn out to be perfect for your business.
If you have patience and persevere through the tough parts in the beginning while you figure out the best marketing strategy on these new sites, you’ll find that you can get much more traffic with less effort (and cost).
One last thing: If you try this out, I want to hear from you! Leave me a comment letting me know if you were able to identify any sites that could work for your marketing plan.