What Authors need to know about Referral traffic – the Basics

In this post, we feature our referral traffic for authors basics. Let’s get involved!

There are loads of ways to encourage people to visit your website. You have a number of tools at your disposal –  search engine optimisation, paid for advertising, email marketing – and of course, you can get virtual referrals. However, all of these methods require you to put a little bit of effort in if you want to see a return.

Aside from publishing good quality content, there are a lot of ways you can drive more traffic from other places around the internet to your author website. In most cases, these involve a little bit of talking to people – scary we know! – trust us the rewards are well worth the effort!

First things first: here’s a quick 101 on this thing called ‘referral traffic’ in case you’re not familiar with the concept. Then we’ll show you a few ways that you can bring in as much of it as possible.

What exactly is a referral?

In a nutshell, referrals are the visitors who reach your website without going through a search engine or typing in your URL directly. Basically, they came from a link somewhere else, which could be another website, social media channel, email etc. What is key here is that referrals are just as important as organic traffic, which is why you should care about them.

So, how do you get more referrals?

Like off-page Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), getting more referrals is all about outreach. Of course, if you want other sites to link to yours, you’ll first need to focus on creating the best content you can. These handy hints and tips should help:

Top tip 1: Hunt down guest blogging opportunities

Take a peek at your favourite blogs and you’ll likely spot that a lot of them feature guest writers every now and again. Guest posting is a long established thing – basically, it is where you strike a deal to publish your original content on someone else’s website or blog.

In some cases – but not all – guest posters get paid. Others do it to build up their profile, or just to get the opportunity to create a new link back to their websites. There’s usually a handshake style agreement with guest blogging that means that you can also link to your own author website.

The best way to find guest posting opportunities is to check out the blogs you already follow – look for a “write for us” page – and once you’ve identified a few sites that allow guest posts, you should also check out all of the writers and see which are the most prolific.

(Sneaky tip: A quick reverse-image search for their mugshots can often reveal other blogs that they’ve written for which may also accept guest submissions.)

Top Tip 2. Comment on other blog posts and author websites

A sign of a popular blog is that they get commented on regularly. Once you get to that point, you’ll know that you’ve made it too! However, you can also use those blogs’ popularity to your advantage whilst you’re growing your blog audience.

The best way to get known is to add a link to your author website to your name. Another common strategy is to comment as your author website name. Simple yet effective.

Top tip 3: Get active socially

If you want people to share your content on social media, then it needs to be engaging, and you absolutely must be active on the social media platforms that you want to target. For most blogs, Facebook and Twitter are the obvious choices. Instagram can be important too, especially if your content is more visually-oriented.

You’ll want to figure out when the best time is to share your content there. Knowing when to share your content is only half the battle. To do well, you’ll want to use images that catch the reader’s attention and to create pithy headlines. If you can get the hang of these three elements (timing, visual appeal, and strong titles), your content should do well on social media.

A lot of people think that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the only thing they have to worry about when it comes to getting more traffic. However, referral traffic can be just as important when it comes to driving people to your author website. The more work you do to bring in referral traffic, the more your name will grow within your niche, so it’s a win-win situation.

We’re a dab hand with all things email marketing – check out the full range of marketing services that we offer – so if you want some help getting your email marketing set up properly then contact us today for a chat about how we could help you.