Methods of Getting Traffic

Hey all,

Just wondering-- in general, what are the best sources of traffic for your webnovels/blogs/etc? I've been promoting my site for just over a month now on various sites with varying degrees of success, including sites such as this one, Pages Unbound (Which is closing down), Epiguide, Blog Listings such as MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. I've also been hitting the social networking circles a bit, setting up a fan page through Facebook, and even advertising through Project Wonderful. I've even made posts in the forums of sites such as deviantArt and Elfwood and trading links with other webnovels...

I'm interested to know where you've done your promotions, and what degrees of success you've had from such sites.

I do my advertising through Project Wonderful, and I started out with a leaderboard on Tales of Mu. Eventually this started to break me, so I switched to the smaller banner size there, as well as starting a campaign with the previously mentioned leaderboard and banner, as well as a square banner, as well as straight-bidding for space on a few of the serials that I read.

Though I'm going to have to say that even with all of those (when I had them up) still did nothing when compared to the readers I've gotten from ToMU.

I've also found that putting up pictures of "hot people" will tend to get more click into your site, though not necessarily keep them there.


I basically have listings on Pages Unbound, Web Fiction Guide, and Online plus the occasional Project Wonderful ad binge. I have the site bookmarked on Stumble Upon and Delicious and I have a MySpace profile set up for Alisiyad.

Mostly I find my way onto people's blogrolls and that seems to generate the most traffic.

Project Wonderful mostly. I'm still trying to measure the effectiveness of my ad campaign though.

Most of my readers come either direct or from links on other story sites. 80% of the traffic I got from Project Wonderful ads left after the first page. Not sure if they read and left, or if they just clicked the ad to support the site it appeared on. These days, I'm not bothering with advertising any more (it was probably necessary to seed the audience, but seems mostly pointless now).

The quality of new traffic I get from links on other story pages seems to be the highest. I'm also getting some pretty good traffic from this site. I get very few new readers from Pages Unbound, though a number of my repeat readers seem to come in from there.

Project Wonderful mostly - I do however, have a bunch of links on other sites. I've slowed down with the PW advertising - but I plan on having a binge when Wibbly is rebuilt.

Project Wonderful here also.

The rest of my traffic comes from word-of-mouth and flyers on Mill Ave (the primary setting of my fiction.) I also make friends with 'zine writers/editors and I also get some traffic through artists who have done work for me, as I go out of my way to give them publicity they often send some back.

I never did get into Pages Unbound (now that it's dying) but I was overjoyed to see it listed on Web Fiction Guide.

I get a little bit of traffic from people who find my fiction in other places as well and articles that I write for local publications.

I am yet late to the networking game...but it's where I hope to find more ways to actually get more eyeballs and actually meet people who do the same.

I've done two project wonderful runs, mainly on ToMu. I am also listed here and on Pages Unbound, which is where the vast majority of my readership comes from. I also get occasional (but frequent) links from other serials that I have commented on or have links on. I still get links from Gavin's No Man An Island, and he's been done updating it for a while now.

I haven't made use of Project Wonderful (though I've intended to for at least a couple months now).

Basically all of my traffic comes from:

1. Pages Unbound

2. Web Fiction Guide (surprisingly strong lately)

3. Other writers who have been nice enough to put me in their blogroll or simply write a post about my story.

4. Stories that I've read and commented on (though to any great extent)

5. I've submitted myself to Stumbleupon, but so far that doesn't account for much traffic. That being said, I know that once got upwards of 6000 visitors (or something like that) from Stumbleupon.

Ads: Project Wonderful and StumbleUpon. The latter has worked surprisingly well; if enough of the paid visits uprate you, you start getting unpaid visits too. I also do Blogads trades with some other people, and I currently have a test ad up at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I'm considering dabbling in Google Ads but I'm wanting to concentrate on cheap/free methods more.

Social networking: I started a Facebook page after someone organized a fan group there. I Twitter. I make sure my URL is in the sig file of every post I make on every forum I habituate as MeiLin; this has resulted in small but steady traffic from the BPAL forum and a few other places.

Guides: Pages Unbound was a good source of traffic, and I'll miss it. I'm hoping WFG will pick up that slack given time. I'm also in Epiguide and Online Novels and get a couple hits per day each from them.

Bribery: I have marketing targets. The readers get a bonus chapter if they complete one. Right now the marketing targets are geared toward increasing the number of registered users, the number of reviews up at Pages (which will shift to here), and the number of links in blogrolls.

Sheer luck: An increasing share of my hits are from Google, about 20% of them first time visitors. Who knows how many stick around.

Personally, I only have gone out of my way to put myself on Pages Unbound. I suspect one of the editors here of putting me on here, I know several have atleast read through my story. I've also managed to get some links from other stories, but I've never asked for those.

I also got a good amount of spillover when gmcdermott did her little advert binge, so maybe that's a good idea at some point... maybe at #25...

As to which is the best, advertising. I havn't done any directly for Arcana Dium, but the advertising that she did for Mirrorheart still doubled my traffic. While the ads were being run atleast, although there were a few people who stuck around too.

Allrighty, digging up old posts to add some news, instead of cretaing a new post. Now I've reread this I'm kinda curious how everybody is doing now. Anyway, there is a new Web-Fic directory you can all go add yourself to, it obviously isn't as great as the WFG, but all bits help, don't they ?

Also, I still have faith in Entrecard, and when I'm finally launching in september/oktober, that is the first traffic thing I'll try. I think it's mainly usefull for starting authors though...

Also, I'm still on StumbleUpon and Twitter, promoting Web-Fiction in general.

Entrecard still feels sketchy to me. It's too easy to game the system.

I feel weird advertising my goofy little stories. That being said, who wants to show off some of their ads? I'd like to see how you guys go about advertising.

Mmmm. I've heard a lot of positive remarks on Entrecard, and the gaming thing seems to be blocked at certain levels.

On a new note, those who are doing member goals donating things:

I'd liek to see some ads too, might be something to learn there!

I found using FictionPress to be rather useful. I have as many people reading my stuff there as I do on the main website.

Getting visitors to your site is just one way of getting readers, after all. I'm working on publishing via LiveJournal too. Sure, it means your readership is spread out and getting any sort of concrete figures is difficult, and it means you have to update across several sites, but you're increasing your reach far more than if you limit your story to a solitary website!

In some ways I'm coming at this from a completely different angle, so I'm learning a lot here about the way other authors promote their work. I have mixed opinions about Stumble Upon advertising, it brings the numbers but is extremely expensive and has a high bounce rate : / an absurdly high bounce rate if they miscategorize you even.

The most effective stuff I've found by far though has been to simply hang out in communities where my potential readers are with a provocative tag line and a link in my sig.

Twitter's been my best promotional tool so far.

Getting yourself into the right circles is really important. WFG is wonderful, and there are other directories for web fiction out there.

I've tried Entrecard, and that's interesting. Lot of traffic, but not many readers. If all you're looking for is pageviews and visits, it's a great resource for that. If you're looking for readers, not so much.

If you're looking at Livejournal, there are a number (a very big number) of fiction- and writing-related communities. I spread the word through a few of those and got some good-quality traffic. I also syndicate my RSS feed onto LJ, so it automatically updates there, and I have a few readers who read my blogfic that way.

Twitter is also good! I don't tweet every update, mostly because I update my blogfic every day and I have no wish to spam my followers. My twitting is random at best.

I get the odd link through from Technorati and Stumble-Upon too, but I haven't done anything more than register on those sites.

Kess I've been considering opening up a syndication (RSS) community on LJ but I'm concerned that it will lead to users who follow the community but do not visit the site itself. Care to share your experiences here? Do you get a lot of follow through?

To be honest, I don't mind if people don't visit the site directly (and LJ is basically acting as an RSS reader in this case, so it's no different to offering an RSS feed). I (stupidly) turned off comments on the blogfic, so there's no discussion on the actual site anyway. Plus, I don't have any advertising or revenue-generators on the site, so I'm not losing money if people read it that way.

If you're looking to drive traffic to the site for revenue or community purposes, I'd suggest not using LJ and encouraging people to come directly to the site. Otherwise, I don't really see the harm. It's another avenue to your work, exposure to new audiences and a way for your readers to keep up with you.

I don't get a lot of follow-through from LJ (though I get a little - I got a lot more when I first started), but my webstats do tell me roughly how many watch the LJ feed on their friendslists.

It would probably help if I was more active on LJ, but I'm severely lacking in time atm. The more you put in, the more you'll get out, definitely. :)

Hope that helps!