website traffic

Alexa Rank Reloaded

Ok, here we are two and a half years after my last Alexa post and sadly I’m not that much further along in my quest to improve my rank. Despite my flakiness, I consider myself very lucky to have actually improved in all this time. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few popular posts that show up high in the search engines for a couple different keyword phrases which seems to keep people coming back.

I think I’m like most people out there who struggle with staying consistent. I went through an initial phase of posting nearly five times a week, and then I tapered off quite a bit ever since. I realize I make it nearly impossible to keep up the pace I set for myself because I spread myself too thin. How can one person post daily to twenty different sites while working a full time job? It’s nearly impossible. No wonder I sleep so little.

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The problem with the general theme of OpenSourceHack is that it caters to my fleeting attention span. When I’m researching and writing about new open source or commercial software, WordPress plugins and themes, or helpful ways to grow the sites traffic, the hamster wheel is spinning out of control with ideas on how to implement everything I’ve found/learned. I buy a new domain, install the software and start customizing, all while the site here grows a layer of dust.

So now that I’m excited again to talk about and play with all these new tools and software I’ve been finding, I’m going to set an Alexa goal of breaking a million by the end of 2012. Doesn’t seem like a monumental task if I can stay focused, but…..oooh, look, a Pidgin.

Building a High Traffic Web Site

I’m starting to realize that there’s not a lot of tricks to building a sticky website. I’m constantly scouring the internet for the best tips on attracting more visitors to my website, yet time and time again I find the same advice that can be summed up in three words. Create quality content.

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It’s not the most glamorous thing to talk about, but I have to tell you that in my limited experience, it’s the one that works. I’m not saying you should stop adding your site to search engines and directories, or to stop building backlinks, or cease submitting press releases and articles. What I’m saying is if you add quality content often enough, people will end up finding you anyway.

Even the word “quality” is debatable and I’m a perfect example. I know I’m primarily writing for myself on this site because I love finding new website software. I’m not weaving magic with my words here. I’ll leave that to the poets. However, I do hope there are others like me out there who might somehow benefit when they find a new (to them) script on this site.

I think the handful of traffic building tip examples I mentioned (directories, articles, press releases, etc.) all work, but they’re more like the branches of the tree while your new content is the trunk of the tree. You need the content (base) first before you can announce it elsewhere (branches). Am I deep with these analogies or what? 😉

In my many searches for creating a higher trafficked web site, I’ve come across a particular website time and time again. You can tell that the individual running the site takes the time to create compelling content for his readers and he’s truly reaping the benefits. The site is also a testament to the fact that you don’t need a flashy website to be super successful. The site is

I’m posting a link back to his site for two reasons. The first is that there are some incredibly helpful articles and interesting reads. I highly suggest you click on over and spend some time over there. Make sure you give yourself ample time if you’re going to visit because Steve often writes lengthy articles. The second is in relation to the title of this post. In his article on building a high traffic website, he speaks of creating valuable content and a number of other priorities for reaching this goal. I don’t think I could put it any better than Steve, so go read it, learn it, and live it.

Article Marketing with Free Directories

Update – 7/28/2012: It appears that having a global Alexa rank under 200,000 does not guarantee success as a few of the top ranked article directories have vanished over the past couple of years.

One of the most popular tips you’ll find out there for growing your website traffic is to write articles with your website link in the author byline. Not only will this grow your backlinks and get you some decent targeted traffic, but there’s the possibility of other webmasters republishing your content as well.

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Chances are you’ve read this all before so I’ll cut right to the chase and give you what you need to make this happen. Here’s a list of free article directories. All you need to do is provide the content with the link bait. (Alexa rank as of 3/17/2010 included)

  1. Ezine Articles – 131
  2. ArticlesBase – 409
  3. Buzzle – 1,153
  4. GoArticles – 1,717
  5. ArticleSnatch – 2,245
  6. ArticleDashboard – 2,838
  7. ArticleAlley – 3,088
  8. Amazines – 4,272 (Down)
  9. SearchWarp – 5,784
  10. SooperArticles – 6,199
  11. ArticleCity – 7,102
  12. ArticleRich– 7,106
  13. iSnare – 7,800
  14. ArticleTrader – 8,283
  15. ArticleCube – 9,029
  16. ArticleBiz – 10,256
  17. ABCArticleDirectory – 12,165
  18. ArticleBuzz – 13,428
  19. ArticlesFactory – 14,337
  20. WebWorld – 15,832
  21. UPublish – 16,261
  22. ArticleSphere – 18,511
  23. ArticlePros – 19,574
  24. ArticleCircle – 22,069 (Down for maintenance for days)
  25. ArticleDirectory – 22,517
  26. 212Articles – 23,963 (Down, page shows missing wp-config.php page)
  27. ArticleMonkeys – 25,823
  28. ArticleGallery – 29,167
  29. ArticlesAlley – 29,910
  30. Free Article Directory – 33,283
  31. ArticleBlotter – 40,205
  32. ArticlesHeaven – 40,628 (Gone)
  33. Articopia – 42,567
  34. Article99 – 50,115
  35. – 52,685 (Gone)
  36. ArticleGold – 57,824 (Gone)
  37. ArticleFame – 62,030
  38. MyFreeArticleDirectory – 68,976
  39. AuthorPalace – 71,724
  40. WebsiteArticles – 75,280
  41. WonderDirectory – 92,019
  42. – 93,646 (Gone)
  43. Dzine Articles – 96,833
  44. ContentDesk – 103,838
  45. Free Article For You – 106,823 (Gone)
  46. ArticleNode – 114,965
  47. ArticleZap – 144,345
  48. – 156,145 (404)
  49. BesttoRead – 167,362
  50. Articlicious – 184,501

Blog Marketing with Press Releases

A press release is an announcement of something considered newsworthy by the submitter in hopes if it getting picked up by the media. If you’ve ever come across all those lists out there for best website traffic building ideas, I’m sure you’ve seen press releases mentioned in most of them. I was always under the impression press releases were for celebrities and fortune 500 companies, but I was so wrong.

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The key is to have such compelling news that people want to talk about it and share it. You’re probably wondering how a press release can help you if you’re not breaking big news or don’t have anything interesting enough to go viral. I was thinking the very same thing until I pulled up a half dozen articles in my Firefox tabs and began reading.

I think the most important part is to spend the time to write a very concise and persuasive release on the best information you have to offer over the course of a month or two. Not everything is worthy of a press release, but if you have interesting news in your niche or can take the finer points of many posts to create a strong release, you’ve got all the ingredients you’ll need to plant some website traffic seeds.

When you submit your press release to a free distribution site, you will naturally attract visitors who are interested in the topic of your release. The visitor numbers you generate from your press release will depend greatly on your headline and your copy. Let’s say that over the course of a couple weeks you only saw a trickle of about three or four visitors a day come in from your release. You might think of this as a complete failure, but you shouldn’t. Instead, think of it as a numbers game.

There’s a saying, and I forget where I heard it, who said it, or how it was said exactly, but it’s something along the lines of this: If you can find a way to earn a dollar, whether it’s from a product, service, system, or whatever, you already have the capability to become a millionaire. All you have to do is duplicate your efforts.

Same goes with traffic sources. Life would be so grand if I could simply generate a whole bunch of hits from my one press release, but the four a day you got in that hypothetical release still added up to over fifty hits in two weeks. Now all you have to do is find a whole bunch of free press release sites to submit to and you suddenly have a whole lot more visitor trickling going on.

The Worst Traffic Building Ideas

I’m away from home for an entire week and unfortunately I don’t have much time to work on anything new when it comes to growing traffic to this website. I’ve researched this topic extensively over the past couple of months and I realize there’s still plenty for me to learn. In my many searches on the subject of adding substantial website traffic, I’ve also found a whole bunch of ideas that sound just plain bad to me. Here’s a simple list of the stuff I won’t be doing to promote this site. Some of this stuff might work for you, but it just won’t work for me.

  • Have a custom t-shirt made up with my url
  • Offer to give speeches about your subject matter (legitimate, but not for me)
  • Use social networking solely for targeting new contacts
  • Make a shamefully promotional screensaver with my url
  • Teach a class at a local university (again legitimate, but not for me)
  • Shamelessly spread something controversial
  • Order business cards and letterhead with my url (not for this type of site)
  • Using FFA link sites
  • Stuffing keywords into posts
  • Mass comment spamming
  • Twitter automation
  • Forum and email spamming

I’m sure I could go on if I wasn’t so tired. Anyone have any other bad ideas for promoting a website?