Forget SEO – These 20 FREE Traffic Sources Are All You Need

Tired of the Google grind? Check out 20 powerful, free traffic hacks that can skyrocket your website visitors - no search engine optimization required.

Are you tired of chasing the ever-changing Google algorithm, only to see your website traffic stagnate? Well, you’re in luck. As an expert in driving traffic without relying on search engines, I’m about to share 20 proven, cutting-edge tactics that will flood your site with high-quality visitors – no Google required.

In today’s digital landscape, diversifying your traffic sources is crucial. Search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly difficult and unpredictable. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to 20 alternative, sustainable methods for driving traffic to your website for free.

From leveraging the power of social media and online communities to tap into the potential of influencer marketing and strategic partnerships, these techniques will help you break free from the Google stranglehold and unlock a steady stream of engaged, converting visitors.

No more algorithm updates keeping you up at night. No more competing with deep-pocketed competitors for top SERP rankings. This is your roadmap to building a thriving, Google-independent online presence.

So if you’re ready to take your website traffic to new heights, keep reading. The future of your business depends on it.


Facebook is without a doubt the largest social media platform on earth! The social network had 3.05 billion monthly active users (MAU) at the end of 2023! It doesn’t matter what kind of website you have or what you’re selling – your audience is definitely on this social network.

How to use Facebook for traffic:

  • Build a brand page and set it up with an aesthetically pleasing banner, logo, and content.
  • Post frequently! The difference between social and SEO content is social content is actually made for people to engage with! Make sure you post things you yourself would share and ‘like’.
  • Join and create groups related to your niche!

Even though Facebook is the biggest of them all, it is still the hardest platform to reach users. It’s worth your time, although we recommend pairing it with other social networks like X, Instagram, and Bluesky.


Instagram is one of the most popular platforms, having over 2 billion monthly active users, there aren’t many better options out there. Every niche can make use of imagery to build a brand. Whether you’re selling shoes or running a travel blog – IG is a place where you can grow your audience!

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Put a link in your bio! You can use a link-in-bio site like Linktree to include multiple links, such as one to a specific product, blog post, and links to your other social pages.
  • Instagram Stories are a great source of traffic – simply add a link sticker to your stories to drive traffic directly to your site.
  • Focus on building an audience with quality content first, and drive traffic to your site naturally.
  • Include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) in your Instagram Reels captions to bring more visitors to your site. Just don’t do this in a super promotional way, that can be a huge turn-off.
  • Operating a store? You can set up your Instagram Shop to make all your products shoppable. This is a great platform for online stores.

The key is to use a combination of these tactics to maximize the traffic you can drive from your Instagram presence to your website. Focusing on creating engaging, attention-grabbing content and strategically placing links and CTAs is crucial.

X (formerly Twitter)

Elon Musk bought Twitter and made it better. There was a huge bot problem before!! You can ignore all the MSM reports about X dying or declining. That’s far from the truth. The platform is probably the best if you want to get real honest opinions from real people who aren’t afraid to speak their minds.

It can be harsh. You might see some things that make you mad. But, at the end of the day, it’s an awesome source of traffic. Why? Because it’s a great place to grow a personal or business brand. Start discussing topics related to your niche and engage with the community. Authenticity is key! You can put your link in your posts and on your profile. It’s easy to get traffic from X.

After signing up, simply set up your profile, add a link to your page, and start posting. Engage with people on the platform. It’s a very easy platform to start gaining attention. People are more likely to give you a shoutout, follow you, and share your posts.


LinkedIn is mainly for professional niches and B2B marketing. However, in recent years it has become more like Facebook, with people posting all kinds of personal stuff and tying it into a business subject. Also, many professional and job-seekers are using it to showcase their true selves. It sounds weird, but it allows them to find the right job with a boss who respects them and aligns with their values. It’s actually kind of cool now that I think of it. Although, some of the corporate stuff on Linkedin is cringe…

Anyway, let’s get back to driving traffic! LinkedIn provides you with multiple ways to bring traffic to your website. From simply posting often, using hashtags, and engaging with other users, you can easily start racking up impressions and views on your posts.

Here are some ways you can use LinkedIn to your advantage:

  • Groups: Create and/or join relevant groups!
  • Company Pages: Start a page for your company and spice it up with a nice banner image.
  • Create a variety of posts: Linkedin lets you add carousels (slideshows), video, image, and text posts. Use a combination of all! Carousels can be made easily using Google Slides or Canva.
  • Schedule your posts! That’s right, you can easily schedule posts for the week to ensure you don’t miss a day. This is highly recommended! Include relevant hashtags, but don’t overdo it.


TikTok is a great way for brands to gain attention online through their video content. Short-form video content is still huge in 2024 and it’s probably not going to decline anytime soon. People love quick videos! Especially quick and entertaining, or quick and educational.

It’s not for everyone, but if you plan on going all-in on video content, then you might as well upload it to TikTok and YouTube. You can add a link to your website in your bio, which isn’t ideal, but if you build up a huge following it can definitely bring in some serious traffic!


This is still the ultimate video platform! Nothing beats YouTube! The amount of users is insane, and your potential for views and subscribers is huge. Uploading shorts is a quick way to get followers and views to a new channel. Once you verify your account properly, you can add links to your posts and on your channel page.


Quora is great, but you need to be careful when inserting your links into answers. You don’t want your posts marked as spam, so make sure they are truly helpful and honest! With that said, you can create your own Quora Space, which will give you a subdomain and the ability to really make a spot on Quora for your niche. This gives you more control and allows you to create posts with your links in them. Still, don’t overdo it. Be helpful, give value, and your community will grow.

Here’s a quick hack: Ask a bunch of relevant questions (answer them too) – and invite users to answer them. Quora makes it easy for you to invite users who are known to answer specific topics. This will help you grow your Space quickly.


I have a love/hate relationship with Reddit. A few years ago, I posted a link to one of my articles in a relevant group. I thought it was helpful. Within hours, my Amazon Associates report showed multiple pages of items purchased that day. The results were epic! I waited a few days, and posted again on a different group… Well, somehow a mod had all my posts with my domain removed.

Fair enough, I don’t want to spam. It was just too tempting to post again. Lesson learned. I make my own subreddits now.

The results are slower because the communities have to grow. No big deal, I know it’s worth it.

Don’t spam! Become a part of a subreddit and really engage with the community and only post your link when it’s truly related and helpful to post. If I had stuck with one post, I would have never had my links taken down. I got greedy, and that’s never good.

Here are some tips for growing a subreddit community:

  • Create interesting, high-quality content and post in your subreddit often. You can take advantage of the ability to cross-post if you’re having a hard time coming up with things to post.
  • Engage in other related subreddits, and mention your own when it’s appropriate. Don’t spam other communities. However, if you’re truly offering valuable insights or useful info to a relevant group, then you should find it easy to mention your own community without getting flagged.
  • Google gives Reddit a ton of love, and you should take advantage of this by optimizing your subreddit for popular search terms. From the name of the group to the description, you can optimize the community and perform well on Google. This also means you can start creating posts based on questions and keywords that people are searching for. You can use free tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner to get topic ideas.
  • Don’t spam your own community! No one will want to join if they can tell you’re obviously just trying to promote a website. Focus on growing the community with truly interesting content.


When it comes to blogging and affiliate marketing, Pinterest is one of the best social media platforms for driving traffic. It doesn’t require you to have a huge audience, and you can easily start creating pins that link to your blog posts. You may be thinking, “But David, Pinterest is just for ladies who want to share home décor and DIY ideas” – well yeah, those are the most popular topics on the platform. But, there is still an audience for everyone else.

I’ve seen bloggers promote all sorts of topics, from auto repair to survival and video games. It might even be harder for you to promote home décor stuff as there is a ton of competition!

Still, anyone can do get traffic from this platform, it’s one of the easiest ones to get started on. Here are some tips:

  • Use those SEO skills of yours to create Boards based on your targeted search terms. What is your target audience looking up? Optimize the title and description for each Board you create. And don’t be afraid to create 20+ boards if you’re covering that many topics. Depending on your blog, you may even create a Board for each post category.
  • Add content from others to your Boards! Don’t just add your own Pins, start re-pinning other people’s stuff.
  • Create visually appealing content that people want to click on! Not good with graphics? Use Canva templates to get started.
  • Stay active! Consistency is key, and failing to create pins on a daily or weekly basis is not an option. It won’t do you any good to start and then stop. When you sign up for Pinterest and begin creating Boards and Pins – start thinking about how you can fit this into your schedule.


Niche forums are a great way to make connections, show off your knowledge, and bring in some new visitors to your website. A good example of marketing via forums can be found in the supplement industry. Bodybuilding and fitness forums will often have sponsors selling supplements to their communities. These supplement companies will have representatives who engage and provide useful advice to people looking to get in shape. It’s smart and highly effective!

I know of one company that makes a killing just from being active on one forum website. How does it work? Being helpful, giving advice, and providing customers with support in a public place. People notice these things, and people love an honest company that looks out for its customers.

Bloggers and webmasters can often add signature links or recommend their brand when appropriate. Try to build a positive reputation on at least one popular forum site in your industry.

Mailing List

Once you’ve built a solid mailing list, you can easily bring back readers to your blog or store. Have an offer you want to promote? Well, having a mailing list makes it 10x easier to promote, as you can reach an audience that cared enough to sign up in the first place. That means they are interested in what you’re offering.

I’m not a fan of sending emails daily, and even when my favorite companies do this it irritates the crap out of me. I think 1-3 emails a week is the sweet spot. Once a month is effective too, it all depends on what you’re sending.

If you’re sending promotional material, make sure it’s something good. Like 25% off, a BOGO offer, etc. When it comes to traffic, sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter based on your recent blog posts is also a fantastic idea. It’s effective and lets people catch up on articles they might have missed.

Don’t have any subscribers? Here’s how to get some fast:

  • Leverage your social media following! If you’re using a link-in-bio site, add a link or subscribe opt-in to it.
  • Create a lead magnet – like a free report, consultation, or even a free ebook.
  • Offer a discount to new subscribers if you’re operating an online store. People will subscribe to make sure they get the best deal possible.
  • Make sure users can opt in from any page on your website. Put the subscribe opt-in form in your sidebar, footer, and also a popup.

Not sure which newsletter service to use? You have many free options, from MailChimp to Sendinblue. When you’re just getting started, you can even use a free WordPress plugin called Newsletter by Stefano Lissa & The Newsletter Team.


Unlike most of the free traffic sources on this list, Discord will rely on you having an audience already. It’s a great way to engage with your existing audience and turn them into loyal fans. You can create a branded Discord server for your community to host live Q&A sessions and even provide customer service or company updates.

You can also collaborate with other Discord communities when appropriate, and that can definitely bring in some new eyes to your website when done right. However, the main benefit of Discord will be to engage with your existing audience and/or customers.


Tumblr is a free blogging platform with a strong emphasis on short-form content. Visuals go a long way here, and so do hashtags. So how do you go about getting traffic to your website using free Tumblr blogs? Well, it’s a bit tricky, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you can easily waste a ton of time on this platform and get no results. Remember these two words: Images and hashtags.

Now sign up for IFTTT and start automating your Tumblr account for free. I don’t recommend focusing your personal time on this platform unless you’re in the gaming or art niche. There are better ways to get traffic to your website! Tumblr is great once you build a large following, but you can achieve that by automating posts with hashtags added to the content.

Don’t spam, but use the automation tools to easily add your Instagram posts or RSS feed to Tumblr. It’s easy and free.

Threads by Instagram

This one is odd, because Instagram is basically an extension of Facebook, and Threads is an extension of Instagram. Like what, how many social media platforms do we need?

Still, many users have reported getting more traffic from Threads than Instagram. Also, the engagement rate seems to be much higher!

So how can you get traffic to your website by using Threads? It’s simple, as you can add links in your posts. Brand awareness should be your primary goal when it comes to Threads, and Gen Z is the main demographic using the platform.

It appears that many left-leaning individuals view Threads as a solid “Twitter alternative”, as they seem to prefer a censored network. Whatever the case may be, Threads is still a great way to get traffic to your website and build an audience.


Speaking of Twitter alternatives, how can one ignore Mastodon? Upon signing up you will discover that Mastodon looks exactly like the original Twitter. At least it does as I write this blog post. You can sign up, make your profile discoverable, and set it up with your branding. Add a profile image, banner, and bio. Include your link, and start posting!

Hashtags are used just like you would expect, and engaging with others is a great way to gain attention fast. This social network is still growing, and now is the time to hop on and claim your spot as a leader in whatever niche you’re in. The competition is lower than others, but the traffic potential is still high.


Once again, another Twitter clone. This one is actually made by the guy who invented the original Twitter, Jack Dorsey. The concept is the same. Sign up, set up your profile, and start posting! I recommend following people in your niche and engaging with others as much as possible to start building a following.

With all of these “Twitter alternatives” – it’s best to focus on posting interesting short-form content. Attention-grabbing images and text do well on Bluesky, Mastodon, X, etc.

Bluesky is a must-use platform for webmasters looking to bring in traffic. It’s easy to use and posts are likely to get discovered by others when the right hashtags are used.

Guest Blogging

Instead of guest blogging for SEO and getting backlinks – do it for the traffic. Believe it or not, the difference is huge. When someone does it for a backlink, they are likely to post on a site that doesn’t have much of an audience. They are also more likely to go for quantity and publish guest posts on many sites just because they have a high domain rating.

Focus on blogs that your audience actually visits and reads. Go to these sites and pitch them an article or two!

Where to find guest blogging opportunities? Search for the blogs manually! See what your target audience is already sharing on social media. Discover what the top blogs are in your niche, but also find some lesser-known options.

Don’t overlook the power of collaborating with other up-and-coming bloggers in your niche. The old adage “1 + 1 = 3” certainly applies here. Even if you’re guest posting on a blog that may not have a massive following yet, the combined reach of both your audiences can create a multiplier effect. When you share the guest post on your social channels and email list, and your collaborator does the same, you’ll tap into a fresh pool of potential visitors for your primary website. Don’t discount the value of cross-pollinating audiences, even if the individual blog sizes may be modest. Strategic partnerships like these can be a rising tide that lifts both of your boats.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can be a highly effective way to boost traffic to your website, but it requires a strategic approach. A lot of webmasters don’t go this route, simply because they assume it’s going to cost too much. Even though all it takes is one influencer to put your brand on the map and minds of thousands of people, you think it’s too expensive?

The problem is, that most just don’t know where to start. If you pay too much to the wrong influencer, you won’t get any results. If you pay a reasonable amount to many smaller influencers, you can still get amazing results… But, it’s not always easy to find them.

My approach is simple: Hop on YouTube, and look for videos related to my niche. I will filter the results to recently uploaded, or uploaded within the past week, etc. I will find up-and-coming influencers. People who seem truly dedicated. I can tell when someone is authentic and/or putting in the effort. At least I can when it comes to my topics.

If you own a website about auto detailing, then I expect you can tell when someone is uploading good content related to detailing cars. Don’t you agree?

So here’s what you do when you find influencers you like: Provide them with exclusive discounts that they can pass on to their audience. Give them a product to review. Have them link to the product with a coupon code for their audience. You can also pay them to talk about a topic that you recently blogged about, and they can refer to your article or link to it in the video description.

You can have Instagram influencers mention one of your webpages in a post, and have another influencer or two share your article on X. It’s often cheap. Not everyone is charging thousands per a single post. Many new influencers are happy to even have a brand or website reach out to them with any kind of offer.


The entire marketing world is focused on digital, and offline marketing actually sounds strange to many people who grew up in the digital age. However, print advertising is still highly effective. The problem with offline marketing is honestly just the lack of opportunities to scale your efforts.

Offline Marketing That You Can Leverage

But is that true? Say you speak at a conference and pass out business cards. Well, who said you couldn’t have recorded the speech for your YouTube audience? That same video can be cut up into a variety of YouTube Shorts, TikToks, etc.

Print Ads

What else can you do offline? Advertise in magazines, newspapers, and possibly local radio stations. Start at a local level, where the advertising fees will be much lower. Branch out slowly as you see results and learn what works best for your business.


Are there any tradeshows you can go to that are related to your website in any way? If you own a travel blog, you can go to a hospitality tradeshow and make deals with various hoteliers. They will often let you stay a night complimentary in exchange for a review on your blog. You can then have them share the positive experience you had at their hotel on their company’s social media pages. Ideally, you will have made a few good connections in the process.

That’s just one example from one type of website. There are so many opportunities out there, and you can pass out business cards or brochures while you’re there.

Car Decals

One of the easiest things you can do to promote your URL is to put it on a sticker and stick it on your car. You can go all out with fancy decals, or use a basic sticker. Either way, people will often pull out their phone and check it out if it sounds like something they would be interested in. People also love to support local creators and companies, so this will give you an edge.

When you hop out of your car and they ask about your site, make sure to have a business card to hand over!

Online Directories

Signing up and creating a listing at all the big online directories is a great way to promote a local business! But it’s also great for any type of website. There are hundreds of online directories worth putting your website link on, but I recommend sticking with the biggest and most relevant options.

Each niche is different. There may be some directories related to travel blogs, and some specifically for pet blogs. Find out what kind of online directories are available for your niche and get listed. Relevance is key when it comes to online directories.

With that said, you should still opt for all of the biggest online directories like Blogarama and AllTop. In the near future, we will create and start maintaining a list of the biggest blog directories. I recommend searching for relevant ones first and then focusing on getting listed on Blogarama and AllTop.

If you’re trying to increase traffic to your new blog posts, then look up RSS feed directories and start adding your feed to as many as possible. I started doing this in 2010 and it still works for me today.

David Ferrell
David Ferrell

David loves building and ranking websites that help people and businesses grow. He has over 15 years of experience in web development and SEO, and he is the technical guru behind ProfitNest. He also freelances his skills to clients who need his expertise. David is always looking for new challenges and opportunities to learn and improve.

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