When your website is brand-new, the only traffic it gets is from either 1) referral; or 2) direct access. Normally there is a third aspect of “organic” search-engine results. But, new websites take a few weeks to even show up in any of the results.
Direct access traffic comes from individuals (friends, family, business-partners) typing your URL into their browser, and visiting directly. This traffic is 1-to-1 correlational with your word-of-mouth networking.
Referral traffic comes from your link being clicked on in the content, comments, or profile of another website or social network. This traffic is correlational with your ability to leverage social networks, write or comment on blog posts and articles.
Social Networking requires its own treatise, and writing blog articles takes a lot of work. So I’m going to talk about commenting on blog posts and articles.
Where do I start?
Most importantly, you need to find a group of blogs, forums, or news-sources that are part of your target community. It is vital for the readers of these articles to be part of your customer market rather than your business network.
A great resource to start looking is Technorati. This blog network sorts blogs on different topics from technology to lifestyle and health. You can see the most popular blogs, recent posts, and movers/shakers.
I recommend putting these blogs in an Excel spreadsheet, or use an RSS reader like Google Reader to aggregate all of the blogs in to one place, and return to each one when a new post arrives.
How do I comment?
At the footer of each blog post or article is usually a section where you can provide input or reflection on the daily posting. Usually the required fields are name, email address, and comment. Often there is a place where you can put your URL as well.
The trick to building traffic with blog comments is not through search engines giving you credit for a large number of comment links. This is link-building through comments, and does not give you much search-credit by itself. Most all blog software sets these links to “nofollow” telling search engines to not give comment links any credit, anyway.
The real trick is through honest commenting and engaging other readers.
What does it mean to engage?
Read the article, especially if it pertains to your product, industry, or customer-segment. You have-to care. It matters to them, so it has to matter to you.
Offer an insight, reflection, thank-you mention, or a follow-up in some way. I don’t suggest adding links to your website inside the comment, unless it is key to your comment’s subject and relevance. All it takes is a single flick of the mouse-key, if they suspect you of spamming them, and you will be banned from commenting on that highly-valuable blog immediately.
The blog author, readers of the blog, and other commenters will all see your insightful and engaging comment. And, many of them will be curious to find out what you’re about or where you write/work/produce. These audience-members will “click” on your profile/comment link.
Especially if you are consistent with your presence, people will notice. Everyone will know you like Cheers knew “Norm”.