How to get TRAFFIC on your NEW site

This is actually an old article I wrote last year that received tremendous feedback, so I’m re-posting it in my journal.

You’re all pumped up! You’ve been working hard on a new layout and have tons of ideas and wonderful miracles to show the online world. One problem, how do you let people know you exist?

When I first started back in January 2004, I already had a large amount of friends in the gaming community that I knew would visit my site to check it out, but I wanted to get a targeted audience of visitors. People that would be interested in the content I had to offer them. I love my friends in the gaming community (some of which I’ve known for over 6 years), but only a small portion of them really cared about design. So through trial and error, I’ve found ways to increase my traffic by targeting the proper audience without having to pay for it. These methods don’t compare to buying targeted traffic, but it’s the next best thing. P2L is not a profit oriented website, so I don’t exactly have tons of cash to spend on Ad campaigns.

First off, I must stress the importance of a quality design and quality content. You can draw as much traffic as you want, but without a quality website that will interest your guests, you’ll never make it to their coveted Bookmarks. In the case of design oriented websites for example, there are millions of personal websites that have a few wallpapers, a personal portfolio a shoutbox , and loads of spelling errors. What makes your site better than the rest that would warrant someone to re-visit? Be original, provide quality content, and update often. It’s that simple. If you’re not willing to commit to those rules, don’t bother trying to be the next DeadDreamer or Shiver7. I may write an article in the future regarding this topic in a bit more detail, but for now, I’ll assume your site is a smoking gun and ready for the eyes of the world.

Before you start anything, optimize your site for search engines. You should have a title, meta keys for keywords and description, and nice full sentences in the body of your site. Keyword density is important and with proper SEO techniques, hits from search engines will grow quite a bit. Make sure you customize each page as required. A page about 3D Modeling should not have the same keywords as a page about your graphic portfolio. And remember to include the main keyword(s) in your title. If you’re not sure what exactly to do, check out these results on Google for keyword optimization: Keyword Optimization

For, our first month of operation (January 2004) yielded about 200 hits from Google. After spending a week or so correcting my lack of meta keys and keyword density, I received well over 28000 hits from Google in June. This isn’t simply because I worked the keywords, but it had a large hand in it. The other part of the puzzle is reciprocating links.

Now I don’t work for an SEO, nor do I pretend to be an expert in the field, but in my experience, the more reciprocating links to on other websites, the higher my Google ranking climbs. In some of my main keywords, I wasn’t even in the top 1000, but after a few months of affiliating and spreading the word, I place in the top 5 in many principal keyword searches. Examples include:

Cinema 4D Tutorials
Swift 3D Tutorials
Corel Photopaint Tutorials

You can check your google rankings for your choice of keywords at

AFFILIATE! It’s important to affiliate and get the word around about your site. Do a search on Google for sites similar to your own or have something to do with the topic your site is about and ask the webmaster if they would like to exchange 88×31 pixel banners or text links. If you have a good site, then many webmasters won’t care about your traffic, because they know it will climb in fairly short order if your site is obviously a quality link. I have affiliated with many sites that do not get the same traffic as I do because I love their site and I think my visitors will enjoy it too. So don’t be shy – just ask! It’s not like they’re going to sue you for asking. The worst that will happen is you won’t get a response or you’ll be declined. I’ve been declined many times… it doesn’t hurt, trust me. Don’t send a generic cut and paste email to the webmaster either. Send an email addressed to them personally and let them know you’ve actually checked out their site and why you think you could mutually benefit from exchanging links. Be polite, check your spelling and make sure you send them your details including a short description of your site, current traffic, URL and how you can be reached.

So, affiliation is extremely important. Not only will the visitors of an affiliate see and possibly visit your link, but you’ll increase your search engine ranking as well.

SOTM, SOTW features! There are tons of websites ( included) that have a featured Site of the Month or Site of the Week section, usually on the main page. This is a great way to get some free exposure, assuming you have a site that would earn this kind of regard. If you’ve got quality, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t win a few of these features. How to find them? Easy as pie! Get on Google and do a search for any of the following:

“Site of the week”
“Site of the week” subject*
“Site of the Month”
“Site of the Month” subject*

* Customize subject with whatever your site is about – like graphics or programming etc…

Here’s a little cheat for you… I won Site of the Week at FTP Planet ( and received 3000 unique visitors the day it was posted in their newsletter, and I still get hits from the archived link. You can post your entry at FTP Planet SOTW Submissions

Innocent advertising is a non-obtrusive way to plug your site IF you do it properly. Check out for large forums that are in line with your interests. Sign up and check the signature guidelines… staying within the guidelines, plug your site in your sig and start posting! Now, here’s the catch… post relevant information to the forum and genuinely contribute to discussions. Don’t just fly on there and start plugging your site or you’ll probably get banned. Just go shoot the shit with the forumites and let your sig do the rest. This is guaranteed to get you additional traffic. Same thing with every place you would leave a signature. Email, forums, blogs, newsgroups etc… but actually post something worth reading, otherwise you’re just another spamming asshat.

The bottom line is that you need to get involved in the community that your site revolves around. Talk to people, learn about your community and make adjustments as you go. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so you have to work at it. The harder you work at it, the better the results. You’re not paying for anything money-wise, but you will be spending quite a bit of time in front of the screen, especially at first.

Sign your work! If you create wallpapers or post photography (YOUR photography) sign your work with your website address. If people like what they see, they know where to go for more.

Tell a friend script, and a newsletter is also important (Yeah, I know I haven’t got one, but we’re working on it). Tell a Friend is a little script that allows a visitor to send a pre-made email to someone he or she knows that tells them about your website. The person just types in the email address they want the notice to go to and click submit. This is a nice simple way for your guests to share your site with others if they like it enough and want to share their find 🙂

A newsletter is a great reminder tool to previous visitors to come check out your site for new features and content. Many of your visitors will visit your site and forget about it, even if they really enjoyed their first look. This is natural and a common internet fact. By keeping an opt-in newsletter, you can send a monthly email to anyone that has joined the list and that will remind those “one night stand” people that you’re still around and the site is better than ever.

Well, that’s about it for the time being, I hope this helps you get your new site off the ground, or lift your old site even higher. Feel free to post your own traffic grabbing suggestions or comment on the pointers in my article.

Remember, be polite, be personal, get to the point, and don’t be shy. If your site has quality content updated on a regular basis, there’s no reason why you should feel intimidated when trying to share it with others. Just don’t spam and annoy people, and you’ll be amazed at what happens over the next few months.

All the best,

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63 thoughts on “How to get TRAFFIC on your NEW site

  1. I can say this works for sure, the first month my site was running I only had 157 hits from google the second month (im on it right now) its only been 11 days (my sites fairly new so this may not be spectacular for people with big sites) and I have 1227 google hits from just following the part for Keyword Optimization! Thanks Dan!!!

  2. Thanks for the advice! Also, I love the theme for this site, very intuitive and easy on the eyes.

    The only thing that I would add to your suggestions is to have a niche. If you talk about everything under the sun on your site, you likely won’t get too much traffic. This is because there are very few readers out there who are interested in _everything_ you are.

  3. I have gone from 200 hits/day to 2000/day just by submitting my site to places as described in the article. What’s most important is to make sure you include keywords as suggested above. You never see a store named “Store”. It usually has a named associated with what it sells. “Home depot”, “Foot Locker” . This way people know. Search engines need to know too. My site send text message alerts for reasons such as you have left your car lights on. Now you can be alerted via cell phone. So my keywords would be (car, head-lights) things like that. Thanks Dan.

  4. Great advice! We will be implimenting these angles of attack to our site very soon. I was very impressed reading the content of this site and was inspired with a new idea. If you are like me reading this then you may like to give consideration to useing people who have poasted thier comments on here as affiliates. Make sure they are in a related field ofcoarse, but im sure they will be as excited with expanding thier horizons as you are!
    Cheers, Carl

  5. Just what I needed – I’m eager to start revealing the address of my site but relucant to unveil it until it becomes what you call a “quality site” – but then again, that is going to take forever and my site will never be perfect enough for me to send out to even my friends – so perhaps it is worth waiting until it is complete – a lot of hits in one day doesn’t mean your visitors will stay. Again, thanks for the article 🙂

  6. Thanks again for all your comments gang… I’m really glad people get some use from these articles after spending hours putting them together. I usually write these to take a break from P2L development, but I still take my writing as seriously as my designing 🙂

    Take care and good luck with your sites!


  7. Always usefull to receive advice on getting maximum exposure. We are trying to focus on the keywords etc. We like to think has the good looking / functioning part down, now it’s simply a question of getting more people there – Thanks for the article!

  8. I don’t mind you guys that want to give feedback and post your site in your sig, but blatant spamming of your site will get you deleted and IP banned from the blog. Thanks again for the comments all 🙂


  9. I appreciate the straight forward advice. The number of links that are returned when doing a ‘web traffic’ search that are all about paying for traffic is phenomenal. Your free methods are more direct and, from reading the responses, are proven to work. I also appreciated your article on testing the ‘pay for traffic’ programs and revealing them as a scam. It would be interesting to see a similar test on traditional ad methods. For example, my site lets the user build a grocery store list to shop with and I have been considering ideas like putting a flyer on doors, dropping leaflets in parking lots, or even advertising in those coupon mailers. I figure with Google branching into the traditional ad market there must be something to this, however, an honest, straight forward article on what results could be expected would be priceless. Thanks for all your hard work!

    Grocers List

  10. Dan’s tips are spot on perfect. Also consider submitting articles to directories and ezines (see buzzle and others) – helps by generating viral marketing and valuable one way links.


  11. Dan,
    When Affiliating mostly the owners of websites will decline you unless you have at least a good amount of visits. Is there anyway how to bypass this, eg. Push them to say yes? I find this very difficult, but the people that accept you are often the people with like approximately 50 members.

    I started a VIDEO Tutorials website, so maybe if I went into detail such as, Lots of people prefer Video Tutorials than Written Tutorials, do you think I stand a Chance?

    Thank you
    – Shock260
    ps. Nice blog.

  12. Im big fan of Pixel2Life and i will try all the things you have mentioned, you seem like a down to earth guy who isnt making any profit out of this but doing for the love of helping others become big hit like Pixel2Life.

    thanks for sharing this with us Dan,

    Melbourne, Australia

  13. Well, here are my thoughts on affiliation:

    The entire point of applying for affiliation is so that you can both provide the benefits of linking to each other and providing traffic in similar capacities. I personally find it ridiculous when a site that is brand new and has virtually no traffic applies for affiliation with P2L. They clearly have no idea what an affiliation is, otherwise they would never have applied… how do they plan to hold up their end of the affiliation?

    My point here is that you are starting out, so apply at places that are also new. If your site looks decent and you have some content to get started, there’s no reason smaller sites won’t accept you. As you build up in traffic, start aiming higher until you feel that you can confidently swap traffic with the larger sites.

    It kills me how people have zero patience and think they should be getting millions of uniques a month overnight… you have to WORK your way up to it by climbing the ranks, just like 99.9% of the rest of us have done it. There’s no overnight recipe to success.

    So to Shock260 – Start with smaller affiliates and when your traffic starts building up, set your sights higher and you shouldn’t have any problems. With that said, not many large sites will accept and affiliation with you if you can not hold up your end of the bargain.

    Thanks again everyone!


  14. Correct – stept by step web marketing is the way to go.

    In fact, I am just working on my “masterpiece” in web creation and marketing. The URL is (the site has been up for only a few days, so give me some time to add more content 🙂 and I would be happy to share my marketing plan with everyone present on this blog – just let me know if you’re interested.

    Dan, a question – when you started marketing pixel2life, did you have a specific plan or did you play by ear?



  15. Mihai – When I started with P2L, it was one of my first attempts at creating a site that I would develop and build up, so I knew only the very basics of web marketing. I did however have some experience in sales and marketing outside of the net, so I’m pretty good at dealing with people and how to adapt to situations and I’d like to think that helped with P2l. So, to answer your question it was all by ear… I had no way to know how the site would catch on, so I had to just see what happened when I tried things out and go from there.

    I call it “fly by the seat of your pants” 😉


  16. Cool – thanks for the reply Dan. I graduated an advertising college and I am taking a masters in the same field, so I hope I will be able to achieve at least some of your success 🙂

    I’ll probably return here in a few weeks to see if I can get a short interview from you for my web2earn site



  17. Great way to get traffic, stimll the search engines are the best targeted traffic you can get, even if the market is satureted there are still big gaps learn how to analyze keyword and how to track learn how the experts do it and for free yes video tutorial wich will show you everything honest (free, gratuie , gratis, Nada etc..)
    Don’t forget when you leave the site not to use the door use the window?
    Enjoy and spread the word

  18. Quality content – YES! That is what sites need more of. For example I just found the site and it is already in my bookmarks because the guy wrote just a couple REALLY usful posts.

    Then, once there is something on your site you just can’t beat affiliation links. 😉

  19. Hi, What is the best free software to automatically backup wordpress database and files ? A software that is trustworthy and would not hack your password in wordpress. Have you tried it ? For How long ? Thanks……

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