Welcome to How to Make Money as a Content Creator, the course that covers everything you need to start earning money online doing what you love. I’m James Caran, content creator at WayAway and Travelpayouts. We’re continuing our module about how to get visitors to see your content. This lesson focuses on the traffic source — referral traffic. What is referral traffic, how can you get it, and what are some methods and platforms you can use to get it? Let’s get started, shall we?
Referral traffic is a way to get visitors from someone else, a referral! Simple enough, right? A good way to look at it is like word-of-mouth! You’re more inclined to try something your friends recommend to you, right? It works the same way! Someone sees your video or link on their favorite blogger’s post, that increases your visibility on the internet, building a bridge from their content to yours! Search engines will see this interaction, recognize your popularity, and chalk it up as a positive mark on your “SEO report card” so to speak!
So, how can you get referral traffic? One of the most effective ways is by collaborating with other content creators! The way you do this depends on where you distribute your content. You can write a guest post, which is a post that you write that includes a backlink to your website, creating a bridge and even showcasing your writing style to a fresh audience!
If blogs accept guest posts, you can likely find a button on their homepage that allows you to pitch a keyword and some titles there. Or, you can even find their email and reach out directly to ask if they’re open to collaborative opportunities! Chances are, they’re trying to increase visibility for their brand too!
A YouTuber or an Instagrammer will often invite you to be featured in their post or a video (with links in the description or the comments) reaching out via direct messages is usually acceptable.
Collaborations can take other formats as well. Some examples are:
For best results, select a format that you and the person you’re collaborating with are most comfortable and have experience with.
Most regularly, these are all “you help me, and I’ll help you” situations. So you should consider a referral from someone who targets an audience with similar interests, so you can get the most out of the partnership. The more you have in common, the easier it will be to pitch a joint project! Your collaborator will look to gain visibility in front of your audience too, so if you are much smaller than them, getting them to collaborate might be harder, but not impossible. One tip for getting your “collaboration pitch” noticed among a bunch of outreach messages per day, is to lead with a good idea and a strong vision! Your idea needs to make sense for both you and your potential collaboration partner!
Even if you have a smaller audience than the person you’re pitching to, if they sense a strong opportunity with a driven partner, they may take you up on it! It’s important to note that you might be presented with a price for a guest post or a collaboration. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you have the resources to invest in that.
Another tip for gaining referral traffic is through the comments section! Social networks and most blogs allow you to comment, but always be mindful of what you post. Rather than linking directly to your content in comments, simply lend your unique perspective to enrich the discussion! Your name, image, advice, and insight should be enough to encourage the right users to click further! After all, the last thing you want is to come off disrespectful to the original content creator and give off sales vibes!
Not only should you stay engaged with audiences in the comments sections, but you can also join industry forums as well! Industry forums allow you to build authority in a specific industry, expand your reach, and drive referral traffic to your content!
Industry forums are great, as they already narrow down your audience to a specific niche! The steps to get involved are simple:
Two great examples of travel forums are Fodors.com and Travellerspoint.com, they’re included in the resources section for you to check out after this lesson!
In addition to our other tips, there is also the option to get your content listed in a directory! This gives you more exposure, especially since you’re listed under a certain theme, topic, or area of expertise. Your content will pop up in front of people looking specifically for content like yours. We’ve included some great directories for you to check out in the resources section of this lesson! Check them out, so you can get a feel for it!
However, if you’re in a niche outside of travel, a simple web search will help you find something suitable! When you find one that looks interesting to you, study the mentioned topics that other creators have submitted.
When thinking about pitching your content to a directory, brainstorm some of the unique qualities that would help you stand out among the other creators on the list. Using those qualities, alongside engagement metrics like monthly visits, total subscribers, or average time a user spends on your pages will add value to your pitch!
For example, maybe you want to get listed in a directory that shares “best blogs about ecotourism”, it would be great to mention that no other creator on the list covers the regions you do! And mention your total number of subscribers!
Our final tip in securing referral traffic is to create shareable content! Creating infographics is a common type of content that people love to share! Infographics are visual representations of data. You can include a link to your website or blog on these infographics! That means that every person who re-shares it, or saves it – gives you an automatic backlink to your content!
For example, you could create an infographic about the world’s most visited cities.
In addition to making numerical data easier to digest, infographics are great for visualizing processes! For example, you could create infographics like 10 Must-Have Items for Your Trip to Paris, or Hertz or Enterprise. Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Car Rental Service. Combining images and information will help your content spread like wildfire!
The tools we mention offer free pre-made templates and images, making the process so easy to get started! They also have premium plans where you can pay for an extensive variety of stock images and more customizable options! Check out the tools for yourself in our resources section – definitely use one of the free plans!
Alright, let’s do a quick recap of our lesson about referral traffic!
Check out our resources section to read more about the information we went through today – definitely get familiar with those industry forums and travel directories! And if you want to try an infographic, we have 3 tools to get you started! Have fun and share your content with us!
Thanks so much for joining me in this lesson! I hope you’re starting to feel more confident in your outreach abilities! In the next episode, we will learn about using email as a channel for attracting new traffic!