If you’ve been in the website development / promotion game for any length of time, you’ll know that with popularity online, traffic makes traffic. And trust builds trust. Once you start to see new traffic on your site you can be sure that as time goes on, assuming you’ve built an audience the traffic will undoubtedly increase exponentially, as more and more site visitors turn into salesmen. i.e. linking back to you in order to provide advice to other people. Salesmen (and women) are also more likely to add you to a social bookmarking site such as delicious or stumbleupon.
Just remember that every website out there started from scratch at some point in time – the secret is knowing how to leverage your existing traffic in order to grow as quickly as possible, and turning visitors into what Seth Godin calls “sneezers”, i.e. people that spread your idea virus and content around the web.
Essentially, ever successful website out there has had to work hard to reach critical mass, and begin to grow (in terms of traffic) on its own.
1) Build Trust
Building trust online is not easy. There are tons of sites out there, and depending on the nature of your content, other websites to visit. Your site design can play a critical part in connecting with your visitors, and making them curious as to whether you are worth visiting again. Good design translates to a good site. Learning what people in your niche are looking for and providing it – is another. Simple tactics like listing subscriber counts will allow your subscribers to know you are authoritarian, and grow a subscriber base faster. Connecting with fellow bloggers in a defined niche and staying in touch through the usual online networking also helps to get your site out and amongst the people that count to your business – both off and online.
2) People 2.0
Social media marketing is *alot* easier once you have existing followers. It’s a very chicken and egg scenario. Brian Clark has a great article on why no one links to your promoted content, which basically talks about how if your content is great and no one sees it, it is alot harder to gain links. Remember to ask for social media votes, and only ever promote the very best of your site. Network, network network and don’t be scared to climb aboard the people 2.0 snowball.
3) Don’t give up
Keep on trucking and eventually something will stick. Drip drip drip and eventually the floodgates will open. Giving up too early when you aren’t seeing progress is commonplace in the blogosphere, which is why only the hard working bloggers survive. Post regularly and stay fresh.