I need to drive traffic on a $50 dollar a month budget to my site and I'm having a hard time.

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This is something we could all discuss for the rest of existence. I'll try to share some highlights. =)

  • Great Purpose/Great Topic - Clear and concise Network Community Theme and Purpose.
  • Great Design/Engaging - Professional design, easy navigation, engaging and entertaining site.
  • Awesome Content - fresh and interesting. Your content needs to be the best in your areas of Interest.
  • SEO tips - Great and relevant keywords, great tags for forums, blogs, photos, and videos. Good alt tags for images, great site title, site description, best content above fold, etc...

From Wikipedia:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

Organic Traffic - Top Keyword Positions for Search Results on major Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing

The best way to gain traffic is awesome content, and gaining traffic organically, by obtaining top positions for keyword search results on Search Engines like Google and Yahoo. In order to gain top positions, you need to work on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your site, learning everything you can on how to gain higher search results on Google and other search engines. Google the acronym: SEO.

In lieu of a huge budget, it takes a ton of work and due diligence to build any website, and especially a Community. And even if you could afford a lot of advertising, in today's climate you still have to:

  • Network via Social Media from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest, Google Plus, whatever is appropriate for your Community topic or specialty.
  • Become an Expert in your field, doing things like writing blogs or discussions on larger sites where this is available. Never add a blog without adding excellent content. Typically if your content is valuable, the site will allow you to add a small link back to your site. But, this is not always true, and is bad form if not in guidelines. Be sure to read their site guidelines.
  • If your theme is local or potentially interesting to locals, hit the pavement. Meet, network, pass out flyers, business cards, etc...
  • Add a page to all Social Media sites like about.us, twitter, facebook, googleplus.
  • Create interesting and fresh content on your site, content that will encourage your members and visitors to return.
  • Consider contests that would work for you and be of great interest to current members and potential new members.

The list goes on and on, and unfortunately unless you hit something lucky and viral, it takes working on this every single day.

Research, research, research. Work, work, work...but be sure you love what you're doing and have fun.

Good luck!

=)

Jen

Great ingormation Jen and the best words are: work and research (and cofee tons).

Coffee! Can't believe I forgot that. ;-)

mmmm.... yes coffee... they real key to online success

Social Networks are a great way to spread the word about your site and generate traffic.

If everyone is talking about your domain and spreading the word then those who are interested in the topic your site is based on will click on the links to your site, thus creating more traffic.

Social media is also a valuable part of your search engine optimsation campaing

 

It can be hard getting people to spread the word about your site but if you use a social network exchange it can greatly help increase the buzz about... and increase the amount of visitors coming and staying on your site.

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