Free blog traffic can be categorized into – search traffic, referral traffic and direct traffic. Search traffic comes through search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Direct traffic is just direct; people will simply type the URL in their browsers and visit the blog. But free referral traffic is interesting!

Referral traffic is driven in two ways –

You can drive it on your own.
People can drive it (for you).

Just imagine what happens when you tweet a link to one of your blog posts. If it’s something that your Twitter followers like, they click the link, land on your blog and start to read the post. If a few of your Twitter followers also retweet your tweet, it sends even more traffic to your blog.

This is all referral traffic, at no cost.

In the first case, you drive it on your own. In the second case, however, somebody else or other people drive it for you, right?

When you want to drive lots of free referral traffic to your blog on your own, you have several ways to use. You can start to guest post, which includes link pointing back to your domain in the content body or the bio. You can bookmark your posts via social bookmarking sites (Delicious, Reddit, Stumbleupon etc). You can also use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or YouTube to create referral traffic for your blog.

There are other ways also.

[I hope you are doing at least some of these.]

Attracting New Readers to Your Mailing List

When other people drive referral traffic for you, they can add your blog’s link to the blog roll section of their own site. They can link to your blog from their own blog posts. Or, as mentioned above, they like your blog post link (so much) that they retweet it for you. Or else, they can share your Facebook update (which has your post link) on their own wall.

Driving it on your own is easy. But getting other people to drive it for you is truly something interesting, and hard to achieve. People will refer to or recommend your content only when they find it unique and value-added. Definitely, your relationship skills have got to play an important role in the game. That’s why bloggers are always advised to build genuine relationships with other bloggers in their niche. Are you connecting with niche bloggers?

The best part about getting a good amount of referral traffic is that it doesn’t only increase the number of visitors to your blog.

It boosts the SEO of your blog as well.

By focusing on referral traffic or working out an effective referral traffic strategy for your blog, you’ll strike two birds with one stone. This is what makes referral traffic interesting and different from other sources of traffic. Sharing your post links via various social media platforms sends traffic to your blog, while creating social signals at the same time.     Likewise, publishing guest posts on other people’s blogs sends traffic as well as builds backlinks.

If you don’t know what percentage of referral traffic your blog is getting, you can simply log into your Google Analytics account, if already installed, go to the ‘Traffic Sources’ section and click ‘Overview’. A pie chart will show you the distribution of different types of traffic that your blog gets.

Lots of referral traffic translates to lots of recommendations, and lots of social signals, and lots of backlinks. Ultimately, it helps your blog jump higher in the search engine results, which attracts even more traffic.

Referral traffic is, therefore, a lot more than just being a steady source of traffic for your blog.

But all referral traffic is not good. It can be useless too, depending on the source, the placement of the link or the quality of the recommending source. Therefore, it’s important to have a microscopic look at all those referring sources that send traffic to your blog, and focus only on those that work best. Lots of referral traffic can instantly increase sales and make your more profit.

Take Action Now!
Stop depending only on search engines for free blog traffic, because you never know what the next search algorithmic update could mean for your blog. Log into the Google Analytics account of your blog right away, and check the percentage of referral traffic that you are getting. If it’s very low, you are in an urgent need of an effective referral traffic strategy. Don’t be late.

Please feel free to let me know about your views.