The Best Way To Drive Traffic To Your Blog

There are many ways to drive traffic to your blog. From paid traffic sources to search engine optimization, I’ve pretty much tried them all with varying degrees of success.

Of all the traffic sources available, one stands out head and shoulders above the rest. The great thing about this traffic source is you are in complete control of it and can use it to drive traffic to anything you want. The results can be spectacular. Take a look at the following example.

The above is a traffic graph showing traffic to my blog from midnight August 18 to about 10:20AM. You will notice the huge spike at 9AM. This happened because at 9:30AM, I activated the traffic source. What did I used to increase traffic three times higher than normal?

The Mailing List!

To spike my traffic, all I did was log into my Aweber account and sent out an email about my post on How To Secure Your WordPress Blog. Within an hour, thousands of readers flooded the blog to read the post.

Most bloggers think a mailing list is used to promote other things like affiliate products, but a list is also a great way to drive traffic back to your blog. The response is generally higher than any other methods because the readers are double opted in and knows who you are. Of course, the bigger the list, the bigger the bang, but this is something you can build up over time.

My list is the reason my blog makes the money it does, but it’s also a huge driver of the blog’s traffic. It was because of my mailing list that I was able to survive being nuked from the Google SERP for three years! The mailing list is the single most important asset a blogger has but most bloggers don’t have one! If you’re one of them, you are making a HUGE AND EXPENSIVE mistake.

Start Your List From Day 1

My biggest blogging mistake was not starting my mailing list from day one. Because John Chow dot Com was a personal blog back then with no intentions of making money, I never applied my normal marketing tactics to it. Had I started the Email list from the get go, this blog would be making double what it’s making.

Start your list from day 1. Don’t put it off. If you have a blog and don’t have a mailing list yet, start one now. God help you if Google decides to nuke you and you don’t have a list.

You Must Choose The Right Email Provider

Choosing the right email marketing solution is even more important than choosing your blogging software. When you switch blog software, say from Blogspot to WordPress, you can port over all your post without losing any. However, switch email host providers and you’ll stand to lose up 80% of your subscribers. This is because the provider will require your subscribers to opt in again.

This was my second Email marketing mistake. I was hosting my own list and decided to move it over to Aweber because they’re simply the best in the business. Because of the Canspam rule, Aweber required everyone on my list to re-opt into it before they can host it. Those subscribers were already double opted in but that doesn’t matter. If you change providers, your subscribers need to opt in again. Only 20% of my list did that when I switched to Aweber. Had I gone with them from day 1, my list would be twice its size now.

Don’t Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

This is a mistake I see new bloggers making all the time. They try to save some money by hosting their own list on use some free software with the hopes of moving to Aweber at a later date “after they’ve made some money.”

This is just being penny wise and pound foolish. You can build a list for free but the instance you try to import that list to a service like Aweber, you’re going to lose 80% of the subscribers because they won’t opt back in.

Big money bloggers treat their blogs like a business. And businesses have expenses. Hosting the email list is one of them. And if you do it right, there is no way you can not make the $19 a month that it takes to host your list on Aweber.

If your blog doesn’t have an email marketing list yet, RIGHT NOW would be the time to start one. Everyday you wait means money and traffic flying out the window.

Try Aweber for Only $1.00

My recommended email list provider is Aweber. They offers a $1 trial account for all new customers. The account is just like a normal Aweber account and includes unlimited email campaigns, newsletter, broadcasts and follow ups. It’s a great way to test drive Aweber to see what it can do for your blog. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you find that having an email list is not for you, contact Aweber within 30 days and they’ll give you the $1 back.
$1 Aweber Offer

139 thoughts on “The Best Way To Drive Traffic To Your Blog”

  1. Stocksicity says:

    That’s an idea. Never really gave mailing lists a thought. I might try out aweber but my blog is still new and probably won’t be able to sustain it’s $19/month mailing list with everything else.

    Might give it a go for a month and see how it works out. If it does, I’m sure I’ll have no problem with the full cost.

    Thanks for the idea.

    1. Do not try it if you are looking to see the impact of it in 1st month when you do not have any list.

      You pay for domain, you pay for hosting because these are basic requirement include aweber as well in your basic requirements.

      We provide social bookmarking and believe us our mailing list bring 25% of our business every month because clients have habbit to forget from whom they bought service and in that case our email list and our monthly or weekly email reminds them about us.

      1. Useful advice specially treating aweber as the fundamental cost.

        1. Ya very useful idea John.Every one should try this………

          1. i’ll, mailing list is an important asset for any online business. I did this mistake, but i have time to learn from it. I’ve started building list through now πŸ™‚

        2. John keeps coming back to this subject because it is so important and fundamental.

          Building an email list is what any blogger should focus on.

      2. Stocksicity says:

        Oh I’m definitely not looking for an impact the first month. I actually took the advice and got a free wordpress plugin that does newsletters. If I see results and I see a lot of activity, I might switch over to something that gives me more (even if it’s paid).

    2. I used this too on my blog, sending aweber broadcast when ever i write any Killer post. This is really a big traffic fetcher.

    3. Erwin Miradi says:

      Yeah fresh idea. Thanks for sharing it with us John.

  2. James says:

    I totally agree. although I only started building my small list a few months ago, it has been one of my best traffic sources from the start. With Aweber, you can even set up a weekly blog broadcast that automatically sends out your latest posts via RSS feed.
    I get a 75% click through rate on that email consistently, and always see a spike in traffic, clicks, and sales every time.

    1. Boy 75% click is quite impressive …

      Have you think about social bookmarking … consider this one as well … as you should get the backlinks from various sources.

    2. Sending weekly broadcast is not a very cool idea though as it can result in mass superscription as people don’t want too many frequent updates.

  3. Brian Yang says:

    Ah, the beauty of having a following.

    Number 1 goal of internet marketing, build a list.

    I will for sure use aweber, every major blog I’ve followed has used aweber. That’s enough proof that it’s the service to use.

    1. Abhik says:

      I have seen some big guns using mailchimp, but Aweber beats them by a mile.

      1. even i used mailchimp for a while but aweber is incomparable and no doubt the undisputed king of internet marketing.

      2. fazal mayar says:

        aweber is the best, you are right but getresponse isnt bad at all too

        1. Erwin Miradi says:

          Yeah number one is always about building your own list. I think aweber is still the best.

  4. My site is fairly new also but growing fast. Will have to try it in time. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Go for it … john added many useful articles on aweber, I am sure those articles will help you to use aweber more easily and more efficiently.

      1. also take my word for…..this is the best email marketing service -out there

        1. Erwin Miradi says:

          Yeah John has been recommending aweber so much. His articles will help us a lot in using aweber efficiently.

  5. PPC Ian says:

    Great point, mailing lists are not just for promoting affiliate offers. They are a great way to drive traffic.

    1. And keeping your loyal readers to come again and again.

      Because there are so many bloggers and blogs, its quite possible that they can miss your latest post … and in that case one weekly round email can bring them back.

      1. Yes, keep your regular readers update whenever you want them to visit your site again.

        1. Erwin Miradi says:

          That is what I like about mailing list. One email can bring them all back. It’s just the matter of how we communicate with them in the email.

  6. I have heard that a lot but the one thing that still a lot don’t discuss is how do you get people to opt into your list? Yes, you can offer an ebook or send them “weekly” updates of blog posts or whatever pitch but how can you do that when first starting out in a new niche?

    1. Optimise your website, get traffic and offer them free bie in return of their email address.

      Keep adding quality and useful post so that your subscribers keep coming and yes keep consistency … Otherwise they will forget you and will unsubscribe as well.

  7. Karl says:

    Can you please tell me whether or not Aweber has a wordpress widget for your sidebar?

    1. John Chow says:

      Yes, Aweber has a WordPress plugin that allows you to put a sign up form anywhere.

      1. Erwin Miradi says:

        Which makes all the process a lot easier.

    2. Abhik says:

      That’s nice plugin, but there are nicer plugin available which also are free.

      1. Yes, The only thing which i miss in aweber is the a plugin which can create stunning sign up form like pop-up domination.

  8. Hotdogman says:

    I had lots of success this summer driving traffic to my blogs another way: the old fashioned, all American publicity stunt. I got picked up by national media, local media, UPI, internet media- you name it. Traffic (and email subscriptions) went through the roof. I use email to drive traffic too.

    Hey John- the anatomy of my stunt would make a good guest post…..just sayin…..

  9. Aditya Reddy says:

    Hey guys what are your thoughts on IMNICA MAIL… I see everyone is switching over nowadays.. I guess it is far better than a free autoresponder and plus it has only 3$/month fees for 1000 subscirbers.. I was thinking of using IMNICA

    1. $3.00 sounding very cheap … Is it there first month offer or they will charge same amount on continue basis.

      1. I am interesting in know whether they can accept all aweber subscribers without double optin again,

    2. They will probably secretly raise the fee after a few months, so be awake.

    3. Erwin Miradi says:

      Thanks for sharing it. I hope they have a trial feature.

  10. otepsphere says:

    “Big money bloggers their their blogs like a business. And businesses have expenses. Hosting the email list is one of them. And if you do it right, there is no way you can not make the $19 a month that it takes to host your list on Aweber.” <—– I think there is a typo error ".. their their blogs like a business"?'

    Thanks JC for wonderful post. Nice tip and the 1 dollar trial account is cool!

    1. Yes their $1.00 is very smart business trick, hostgator is applying same …

      Would love to see their data how many unsubscribe after one month.

      1. You will fall in love with it – once you decided to try it out for $1

    2. Abhik says:

      Oppss.. John already fixed that.. :p

  11. Awesome look into how Aweber could work even for a smalled start up blog, but John, if I’m not getting much traffic to begin with, how will I build my mailing list, please respondd because I’m anxious to get started using Aweber if it will benefit me even though I’m not getting alot of traffic to my blog

    1. Rome was not build in a day my friend.

      You need to make this investment if you are looking for long term. You can use this mailing list for your other products or blogs as well.

      1. Abhik says:

        I highly doubt the subscribers will stay if they receive promotions for the products on other niche.

        Will you stay on John’s list if he suddenly starts to promote health products?

        1. Yup, you can’t do it , should not provide them product related to cycling when you ask them to join and down your Make Money Online for free.

  12. Cristi Pavel says:

    I agree with building a mail list from the begining and having a special autoresponder/maillist provider.

    I’ve tried a free plugin but it had some bugs, for example, there was periods when it sent empty emails.

  13. To publish articles in some specific time of day is very important, learn when the best times are to your readers and you will also be a winner.

    1. iYes you should know the local timing of the country to which you are going to target.

    2. Abhik says:

      And, what are those specific times?

      1. and that’s very cool plugin, neat and handy.

    3. Erwin Miradi says:

      I agree. That is the importance of having targeted audience.

  14. As the saying goes “There is money in the list” , it also should say “There is traffic in the list” πŸ™‚

  15. knev says:

    I have not started collecting the email address who are commenting on my site and also visitors who are reading my blogs

  16. Alvaro says:

    I totally agree with the post, problem is if you get 75% ctr through awaber and 90% are looking for more “free stuff” `what do do think Jonh?

  17. Sofia says:

    Great advice again John πŸ™‚

  18. Abhik says:

    It’s good to hear about your mistakes πŸ™‚
    Yes, I am with Aweber since I started building my list and I am 100% satisfied with their services.

  19. fas says:

    Email marketing undoubtedly beats everything else.

  20. My email list is GOLD for me.

    Good advice, John.

    Have a great weekend!

    – Jennifer

  21. Bj says:

    So interesting. I never thought not to have the list perhaps just due to my marketing background. I’ve been building the list since conceptualizing. It’s the blogs that have taken me forever to start!

  22. I’ve made, actually I mean I’m making the same mistake, I don’t have one set up now (well I have feedburner set up, but we all know that’s not very effective), I will be joining aWeber in 2 weeks during the long weekend when my website’s redesign is revealed πŸ˜‰

  23. Jenni says:

    Aweber is fine but I don’t know why they take off the online sign up form πŸ™

  24. Great post John. Back to basics is always important. I’m a big Aweber fan even though my list is small. I’m working hard using backlinking strategies to build the list. I’ve just started offering an uber freebie – a 29 page success kit with 8 worksheets. I’m taking the approach of offering tons of value to my readers, in order to build a list. Then it’s time to monetize.

    One feature of Aweber I love is the ability to send broadcasts to multiple lists so you can include or exclude certain groups with a single click.

  25. Bob says:

    Wow! I was struck by this. I was thinking to use aweber later. LOL

    thanks john for sharing.

  26. Matthew L says:

    “The mailing list is the single most important asset a blogger has” …. So true, John. It’s incredible how many bloggers don’t get it. I’ve used Aweber for 4 years and have been very pleased. Good choice!

  27. Me says:

    Running out of new ideas huh?

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Put your link in your comment next time so we can check out if you have new ideas in your blog.

  28. Nisha says:

    Hello sir,
    What would you say about Mail Chimp?

  29. I’ve been using aweber for more than 3 years now and is currently maintaining almost 12,000 subscribers there…

    Aweber rocks… ’nuff said! =)

  30. Hi John, yep I see exactly the same. I do wonder from time to time about the value of keeping a blog in the age of social media but of course you have the captive attention of the people on your list – so long as your content is valuable to them!

    Thanks for the lesson


  31. I too have been doing the flip flop between using aWeber and MailChimp. The number of big guns using mailchimp seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Mind you, I am also noticing a number of email spammers using it as well.

    Would it be possible for you to do a side by side comparison of the 2 services John?

  32. Chad Nicely says:


    Great post as always. I have been with Aweber since they first started. The other reason why your viewers will want to sign up with Aweber is because it is in fact recognized as the “Autoresponder” of choice. There are very few plugins, applications, or scripts that will not integrate with Aweber.


  33. Ebooks says:

    Hey John! Another great post! I agree that a list can work wonders for any online business. But the thing that always confuses me is how to actually start with a service like Aweber. Maybe a video on how to actually use Aweber for the first time would be sufficient. I have never been into or good at email marketing and so that would benefit me greatly and I think others would agree. Thanks John! Dave

  34. Carol says:

    Sooo true! On my first blog I waited nearly 1 year to start building my list and then I went with the cheapest autoresponder I could find – what a big mistake. Most of the emails that were sent out ended up in people’s spam folders – although I sent out quality articles without any spam content at all (no selling, no hype…)

  35. Nice post John,

    I just have a question regarding re-opting to aweber is moving from other hosting services. I some one has huge list in let’s say MailChimp or feedburner, all his subscribers won’t be moving automatically into Aweber when he changes to aweber. I heard there is integration with feedburner and mailchimp with aweber.

    Kindly clarify

  36. Afiffuddin says:

    Great idea John, i always use AR to promote the affiliate program than my blog. After reading your post, it give me some idea about how to use AR perfectly!

  37. rakesh kumar says:

    This is great idea, But you forget to tell them one thing it’s not easy to create a great subscriber list unless until you have killer quality contents in your blog.

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Yes I agree. You need to build their trust first with high quality content before you can build your email list.

    2. Quality comes before the quantities and with quality comes good reputation and more visitors, etc.

  38. Technary says:

    Hello John Chow,
    Its a very good informative post on the importance of e-mail marketing. Thank you for the information of migration from RSS subscribers to Aweber list is not possible. Re subscription is necessary….which will surely decrease to list to less than 25%
    As I am a new blogger, I will still wait and increase my RSS subscribers lsit at the moment. When my blog makes atleast $19/month then with domain chargers i will be opting for Aweber for sure! Thank you again for informing the importance of e-mail marketing to drive a good amount of traffic! Can you list any good free incentives to drive good amount traffic to website?

  39. I so definitely agree with you John, a mailing list does it all for you to increase website traffic. But I use feeds subscription, not so gr8 but it is growing my income day-by-day. Will try Aweber as well. Thanks for the eBook, gr8 tips you put there

  40. Deals says:

    You are right! My biggest mistake was not starting my mailing list from the first day. πŸ™

  41. Tony says:

    John, how are you? Look I really hate to do this but this is the only way I figure I can get a response. Almost a week ago I went on host gator to get a domain name and hosting, because you said you would set up wordpress and all the other tools. I have sent you my login info, a few days later I sent another email. I still have not heard from you. I want to learn about blogging a possibly make some money. I’m sure you are very busy, but please honor your word.
    Tony D

  42. fazal mayar says:

    I never thought of using email marketing as a traffic generation, interesting

  43. real hoops says:

    All good, I’ve had an email submission widget on my site for some time. My question is, how do I get the emails lol..

  44. Hi, great advice. Thanks. I was just wondering what is the best blog website to use?

  45. Eddie says:

    Interesting spike in traffic for your blog. I assume 9 am is the best time to send an email to your subscribers?

    1. Instead of assuming what the best time is it’s better to do some testing.

  46. It’s a good idea to suggest a blog post to our subscribers. I do that once in a while.

  47. Amani says:

    Great advise on spending. Make a little investment for a great result.

  48. @Nisha, I heard Mailchimp is not so friendly to affiliate marketers, am I correct John?

    But I do have accounts at these four services — Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse and iContact

    Mailchimp – pain to manage lists, although it integrates with a lot of services via API. Plus their free account allows 2,000 contacts

    Aweber – undoubtedly the most popular and recognizable,easy to manage lists

    GetResponse – the most robust, but clunky interface

    iContact – the easiest admin panel, but they don’t have much automation. Pain to send out text-only because it does not have auto-adjust width

  49. This is the first time I’ve ever seen before use aweber to attract traffics, however, if the website is no profitable products, then it’ll lost and waste the money.


    1. That’s right, high traffic does not mean high incomes

  50. Emma Ballard says:

    Not sure about aweber. Would rather have a system built into a site myself

  51. Love aweber…great price and easy to implement system. It is a great way to accumulate your email list. However, I didn’t know about the $1 price though…I paid $19 from the start I think.

  52. Free Forms says:

    Yup Agreed with you & make a little investment for a great result.

  53. MykeTech says:

    Great idea. I’ve wanted to start a list with Aweber but wasn’t sure exactly how I would make use of it. Sending out a email about a new blog post is a great idea.. Im gonna give it a try.

  54. Maki says:

    i have been using my mailing list(Mailman ) that came with my web hosting.but there is no tracking mechanism ..So I am gonna try aweber

  55. udo says:

    You make a good point about penny wise and pound foolish, but what if a person does not have the pound?

  56. its really a good source, and is that mail campaign worth able for blogs.

  57. Melvin says:

    Correct. However most people are having difficulties getting as much people as possible to their list so I would say it takes a lot of work to be able to have a responsive list.

    But its well worth it if you ask me.

  58. John,

    I agree with you most emails I receive today is trying to sell me something instead of educating me. Instead of being informative these types of emails are promoting products from individuals that haven’t even established a working relationship.

  59. craig says:

    even with a newsletter on your blog, how do you attract viewers to sign up??

    1. Keep on posting quality contents that educate people on stuff you’re good at.

  60. Justin says:

    Maybe mail is the best way to get traffic to your blog, but what is the best way to get people subscribe to your mail-list. Of course you can offer a free e-book and popupdomination but still I find it hard to get enough people to sign up. What is your conversion rate?

    1. If you want to have people sign up to your mailing list then you must have good contents within your website. If people come across your website and you have like less than 10 blog articles then no one will sign up. If you write it people will come.

    2. Unfortunately, it is a bit out already with e-mail list, most people cancel them because of their mailbox deluged with offers.

      1. GlyphTab says:

        Right, but what if you give them quality emails?

  61. I don’t think you should sign up for Aweber until you have at least 12 blogs post on your website.

  62. Email marketing stands top on any online business strategy either its blog or any other service provider. Its the best when combined with Aweber as john said.

  63. Sue McDonald says:

    Yes I agree aweber is the best in my opinion. I know that most marketers like it and recently it did clamp down on some people but they were doing the wrong thing but that action that they took shows they want good clean marketing.

    Got to agree with that.

  64. Hi John,

    Super important point here.

    I just sent out an email to my list a few moments ago. So key to use list-building to establish relationships. No matter what happens to your company, the products you sell, social networks or your blog, you will have loyal readers and followers waiting for you on your list.

    As you said, don’t scrimp! Pay for Aweber, like you said it’s $1 during the first month.

    Thanks for sharing your insight!


  65. thetipsblog says:

    My blog is new….so right now I am not making any list..but will try this out in the future..
    I always read about aweber all the time on net..they are the best..

  66. You are so dead on there. A mailing list is one of those things that can’t be taken away from you, unlike your Google Account, or what have you.

    Once you acquire one, it’s literally just a couple minutes away from getting traffic to your site.

  67. stargaterich says:

    I know that Aweber is a great autresponder, possibly the best as many have endorse it including John Chow. I am just curious as to what about hosting your own email autoresponder service?

    There are some good autoresponder scripts that you can host yourself. If you think about total control I suppose self hosted autoresponder service is the best way to go. Who nows if one of these days Aweber may runinto trouble?

    Even though the benefits of Aweber more than enough to justify that everyone should use it, I still think the pricing itself is a bit kind of expensive particularly if you are a novice IM and you don’t even have a single subscriber to your list.

    1. GlyphTab says:

      So how do you host your own mailing list?

  68. Aweber Is such are great marketing tool to increase traffic .No doubt it works perfectly for you john .

  69. Jeff says:

    I came here assuming you people would know a lot more than me. HA, but you people never thought using aweber? I read another article on here on the topic of the MMO niche, written by a guest writer saying it’s not the biggest money making niche… Probably true. But…

    The comments made on that article such as, “MMO is too hard to crack.” or “Everyone has the same rehashed information.” (yes, you all pretty much were the same people commenting on that article as this articles).

    But now your like OMG, never thought of an email list? Makes me wonder who actually knows anything.

  70. Good stuff john, I was wondering though what you think is the best sources of traffic for product based or lead based affiliate offers.

  71. Kent Chow says:

    I don’t have a list yet and love to reconsider this option. Thanks for sharing this trick driving traffic to my blog.

  72. Jeff says:

    I made a mistake like i usually do…

    I read a couple comments and those couple comments happened to be from people who were unfamiliar with the idea of creating lists and using aweber. So I left a comment in no doubt haste kind of calling you all stupid (in a way) but i was the stupid one because I went back and noticed the majority of people commenting knew what email lists and aweber was.


  73. Free Forms says:

    fantastic advice..!great tips to drive traffic to your blog.

  74. Free Forms says:

    Glad to read your entire post John, As a Blogger, I always try to learn new things which can bring me huge traffic. I know how hard it is for a New Blog.

  75. Alex Borisov says:

    Interesting idea John. We will try! Thank you!

  76. Heinz says:

    Thx – great post – as always John. Mailing lists drive traffic no doubt.. time to switch to Aweber simply wordpressed

  77. Ryan says:

    AWeber is a great product and cheap at first, but it can get cost prohibitive if you arent doing a lot of business.

  78. coral says:

    good stuff

  79. Gift Ideas says:

    There are many online spam traffic generator that it is not easy to recognize the organic traffic.

  80. MykeTech says:

    I don’t have a eBook yet, so it may be tough to convince visitors to sign up for the list. Guess I’ll have to write one soon, or offer something else for free.

  81. Technary says:

    Aweber seems to be so promising and effective….

  82. GlyphTab says:

    Good advice. What incentives would you give if you don’t have your own ebook? Can you direct them to someone else’s sales page?


  83. Techmaker says:

    Even though I already heard about this mailing list I never tried it for my blogger blog. But once after reading your post above, I understood the importance of a Mailing list. I’ll make my mailing list ASAP. Then I think I’ll be able to bring more visitors (traffic) to my Blog Tips and Tricks blog. Isn’t it??

    Thanks for the info.
    Admin Blog Tips and Tricks
    M. Sajith

    1. Gift Ideas says:

      mostly internet companies providing spam traffic but i think spam is very bad idea to SEO

  84. allan stuart says:

    Aweber is definitely the best for every serious blogger . I like the clean interface and the video module that show you step by step in setting up aweber details… as john always said in his blog start your list in day 1. that is the key to success.

  85. sumodirjo says:

    Anyone using mailchimp? it have free packages but I just have no idea on how to make a popup so that user will subscribe to my list.

    Do you post your articles on forum john?

  86. Gift Ideas says:

    There are really great ideas. Thanks.

  87. Mochamad says:

    This is excellent posting, John. I wish my web can be the firs rank and get much money like yours.

  88. David says:

    Thanks for the sharet. I deffinately hope they have a trial…

Comments are closed.