You know the trick: Free Prize inside. Give people something. Rewarding visitors encourages clicks (we’re programmed to reciprocate), and it gives them a reason to read your article. Besides, the internet was built on free stuff — commercial enterprise was actually illegal on the internet until relatively recently — and it still grows largely based on free stuff: our content, our ideas, our comments, which are an indirect return for the massive infrastructure invisibly keeping the net running.
But beyond that. Doing something for customers is a marketing trick used by everyone from the IWearYourShirt guys to scantily-clad people in front of web cams. So many newbies ask, “Why aren’t I getting any traffic?” When the answer is, “Why SHOULD traffic show up on your doorstep?” What creative, original thing have you done to bring that traffic? And what are you giving your visitors? You should ask yourself this question with every page for which you want traffic: what are you giving people they can’t get anywhere else?
I have a good online friend who’s just turned thirty. To celebrate being 30, she created this website: Experiment30. For the next year, she’s going to be putting up polls inviting the internet to tell her what to do. Crazy stuff. Silly stuff. Not R-rated stuff, mind, but just…well, go see what her first poll asks. She’ll be posting photos or results as she acts out whatever people tell her to do.
Will she get visitors? No guarantees. She’s not doing it to get lots of traffic. She doesn’t know squat about SEO. She has no idea I’m posting this as a signal boost. But it’s an interesting experiment. It’s also authentic. She’s just doing it….because why not?
Happy birthday, you nut. Good luck.