How to Get More Visitors for Your Blog Without Social Media Marketing


Personally I hate the term “marketing” as well as combinations like search engine marketing. Even more than that I despise the term social media marketing which is an oxymoron in itself. I wonder why I forgot to add to this list of despicable terms.

In fact I do search engine and social media optimization instead of marketing.

In SEO 2.0 you do not sell to people, you inform, but they want to pay you anyway to get more.

The difference between social media marketing and optimization is like that of shareware and freeware. Marketing means selling the people stuff, optimization giving it away for free.

In SEO 2.0 you get one step further: You give it away for free to get something else in return without tying both. So you do not just give away a freeware version to sell your professional software package.

SEO 2.0 is more like creative commons or open source: You give away everything to get something else:

  • attention
  • reputation
  • authority

With these you can sell to other people while you do not take away anything from the people who have received from you.

In SEO 2.0 you do neither sell not trade. You practice true altruism.

Many people know already: Altruism is the better egoism. The more you give away the more you get back.

This is a fundamental rule of humanity ever since. Just think of your family or friends. The more love you give to your children the more you will get back. The more time you spend with your friends the more friends you’ll have.

Of course this rule has some limitations as you can’t just give everything to your children out of love as well as you need to identify who your real friends are and not feed people who start to exploit you (like most employers do). Nonetheless it works.

How does this make sense for blogging and also business blogging, especially to make social media marketing superfluous?

Let me tell you a little more about Germany: Here for many years we did not have social media that really brought visitors to your site. We had no really popular social sites until Facebook entered the market in 2008.

The biggest German social media site would yield you as many visitors as some niche social news community like today. To make matters worse you couldn’t submit most of the German content to international social sites.

So how the hell can you get traffic for your blog without targeting social media at all? Yes, it’s possible. I did it for my blogging clients as well as for my private blogs.

Here is a short list of actions you can perform to get more visitors without social media marketing:

  • Look for other bloggers who write about the topic of your post, link to theirs and ping or trackback them this way.
  • Comment on blog posts that cover a topic you already posted about explaining what is missing or why your perspective adds some crucial info. Add a link to the particular post. Bloggers and their readers appreciate that alike.
  • Find a topic everybody speaks about and write a resource or overview post with deep links to the posts. Do not trackback everybody, pings are OK, but people will notice anyway.
  • Look up social search engines and your referrer stats to find out who linked to you and submit them to social media, of course only if the posting are more than just “look what I’ve found, click here”
  • Check which popular media support trackbacks and use them as your favorite news sources, refer to and trackback them once in a while (not daily)

As you see it’s basically about two things: Commenting and linking out. Becoming a part of the blogosphere. Your blog is not an island.

Blogging without using social media yourself for marketing purposes and the frowned upon self-promotion has some major advantages.

Just look at all the time you spend on social media while most of them even don’t respect you for doing it, either by their own policy, their hostile users, or both. So the ultimate goal should be to be able to stop using social media for SMM reasons at all.

The zen of SEO 2.0: Succeed on social media without self-submission.

As a proof of concept people do not submit our own stuff at ideally although the site allows this. It works fine. In fact I almost never submit my postings, sometimes I won’t even vote for them. Still my blog posts have been submitted over numerous times to

I use social media as they were intended: for fun, sharing and news filtering and get popular anyways. People know me and even vote for my stuff across different social media.

So skip social media marketing, do social media optimization. It’s not about what the blogosphere and social media can do for you, it’s about what you can do for them. The more you give the more you get.

Last updated: July 13th, 2015.

*Creative Commons image by Kris