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Website traffic is the lifeblood of any business that operates online.  More traffic means more potential customers — and (of course!) more customers results in more money in your pocket.  One of the complaints I hear fairly often – is that sometimes the expense of advertising and driving traffic to your site isn't worth the few extra customers you get in return.

Getting traffic to your website doesn't have to be expensive though.  Here are seven very cost effective ways to get more people looking at your site.

#1 Social Media – Networking via social media  is free. It costs time and energy; however, there is  little else to do on a social networking site except interact. And that is  how you drive traffic. Whether you are  using a Facebook fan page, a Twitter page, LinkedIn or another social networking site, the key is interaction. Create a compelling profile. Interact, share and comment. Then when it is  appropriate, post links to your website and website content. You will drive traffic to your site.

#2 Comment on blogs in your niche  – You'll be surprised to find out how much traffic a blog comment can generate. Subscribe to industry blogs. When appropriate and relevant, comment on new blog posts. Be sure to register with the site and to include a link to your website. Fellow commenters are sure to visit your website, as are other blog readers. Commenting a great way to drive traffic.  Make sure that you are making worthwhile comments though — making bad comments might drive traffic –but you'll lose potential customers.

#3 Publish – Publishing is still one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. Publish on article directories. Publish on other people's websites. Publish in print and online magazines. And syndicate your website content – this will help it get published all over the web. Each time someone reads something you've publishes

#4 Blog – Blogging is similar to publishing. However, in addition to posting to your own blog, try to become a guest blogger. Write posts for other relevant blogs. And be sure to link to your website in your profile or authorís resource box.

#5 Giveaways – While the above four tactics are free, giveaways aren't. You can give away free content like a downloadable report or online course. You can also give away something thatíll generate a lot of attention, like a Kindle or an iPad. Make sure, however, that your giveaway is related to your niche. When youíre giving something away, be sure to promote it. Spread the word on social networking sites. Blog about it. Ask others to share the link.

#6 Facebook Ads – Advertising is not free either. However, if you handle a campaign strategically it can be very cost effective. If you're using this tactic to drive traffic, make sure that the page you are sending people to has a specific call to action.  That way you can track results and keep your budget in check.

#7 Affiliates – Starting an affiliate program can take time, but it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Affiliates can send traffic your direction. You only pay when their traffic results in a conversion. Itís extremely cost effective.

Getting traffic to your website doesn't have to be expensive.  You can save money and generate results by mapping out a strategy and tracking how much traffic different strategies bring to your site.