What’s your biggest struggle with starting your own website?
Every single time I ask this to my facebook group, or my clients, or any group of Etsy sellers who are looking to branch off into their own website, I always get the same answer: driving traffic. Always.
Just a heads up: If you truly want to grow, you will (most likely) have to start paying for advertising eventually. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start out with free traffic and go from there.
Over the past ten years I have tried a lot of different ways to bring traffic to my website. Some of them have been successful, and others not so much. The biggest lesson that I have learned when it comes to traffic is that quantity matters much less than quality. Ten motivated buyers are 1000x more valuable than 1000 unmotivated lookie-loos.
These tactics work, and I know because I sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of my artwork before I ever started using paid ads.
Here are my three favorite, free ways to drive high value traffic.
HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
Yes, sometimes shops or businesses get featured in a publication or media story and they have absolutely no control over it. But, there is a LOT you can do to actively try to get featured in articles, magazines, blogs, etc. Sign up to get emails from HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and each day you will get 3 emails (morning, noon, and late afternoon) with a list of reporters looking for sources on different stories. I can tell you from personal experience that if you consistently submit replies, you will get featured. I have been featured in a book, online articles, podcasts, and blogs.
When I was first starting out in my shop, I randomly came across a facebook group for Disney Brides, and the group was all about planning Disney weddings. My guest book alternatives were really popular among “DisBrides” as they called themselves, and I ended up joining the group. They had pretty strict rules, but once a week we could post an ad for our business, and anyone interested could contact us. I got SO many clients from that group, it was crazy. And, there were not that many people even in the group. The thing is, because everyone in the group felt a sense of trust (because you had to get vetted to be allowed in the group), no one was reluctant to buy from me. There are SO many Facebook groups out there right now, and it also happens to be something that Facebook is REALLY pushing now (I live in NYC and there are ads everywhere for Facebook Groups). Think about your niche, and your products, and what type of Facebook groups your ideal client might belong to. Do your research and make sure you join groups that allow promotion, so that you are able to advertise your products.
Pinterest Group Boards
*This one is my favorite, and the most bang for your buck*
I know, you have probably heard that Pinterest can be great for traffic, and blah blah. Well, guess what? That blah blah is very true - if you do it the right way. What’s the right way? First, you have to take the time to create a thoughtful, targeted Pinterest account that has boards that appeal to your target client. And yes, you have to create pins that look good, and that might mean having to hire someone to create them for you. Or, you might need to learn how to use Canva. Then, you join as many group boards as you can (as long as they are in your niche) and make sure to pin to them daily, or as often as you are allowed. If you put in the time and the work, this Pinterest strategy can easily drive thousands of clients a month to your website.
I really hope that these traffic strategies help to start bringing in some new customers to your shop! I would love to hear if you try them, and what your experience is! Also, if you have strategies that you love and work for you, please share! I always love to learn new tactics and tips that I can share with other sellers!