Passive vs. Active Methods For Driving Web Traffic

If you have an online business, you must have web traffic. It doesn’t matter if you own a blog, an affiliate marketing site, or an information product, you need web traffic in order to have any amount of success.

As I detailed in my last trip update, I only have a limited amount of time to work on my online businesses each week. For this site, most of my time will be spent on creating content and long-term income sources. This leaves me with very little time to focus on creating web traffic.

What I’ve come to realize is that I’ll only have enough time to focus on what I’m calling “passive web traffic.” Allow me to explain…

The Difference of Passive vs. Active Web Traffic

Before I get into my traffic plan for this site, let me give you a quick definition of the two major types of web traffic:

Active web traffic– It’s called ‘active web traffic’ for a reason. This is any type of web traffic where you have to continuously expend effort to get people to visit your website. It includes activities like blog (or forum) commenting, networking, many social media activities, and guest posting.

Primarily, the active method can create a lot of short term traffic. Even a brand new site owner can skyrocket their stats by regularly using this technique. The problem is once you stop doing it, you’ll lose a lot of the momentum you’ve built.

Passive web traffic– The passive method is where you create a “mini-system” that drives traffic to your site without requiring you to work at it on a daily basis. This method includes activities like search engine optimization, article marketing, video marketing, leveraging sites like and, and creating satellite web properties/blogs.

In truth, the passive method requires more work upfront than the active method. Plus it doesn’t create a massive amount of short term traffic. The benefit is you can create a series of passive sources that all accumulate to a huge amount of long-term traffic. Plus, these don’t require the hassle of doing time-consuming day-to-day activities.

Case in point… This article is posted on the April 29th, 2010 as I’m traveling through Toledo, Spain. I’m able to do this because of the passive web traffic methods I created years ago (as far back as October 2006). All of these mini-traffic resources are pointed to my affiliate marketing system which is paying for this trip.

Focusing on Passive Traffic

Now I know that there is a lot of cross-over between passive and active traffic. In order to make the passive method successful, you have to be willing to do a lot of short-term work. And with the active method you can gain a number of “fans” and dedicated visitors which produce long-term results.

The problem I’m facing now is time. Right now, I only have a few hours each week to focus on driving web traffic to this site. Sure I can focus on the active method, but I know that if I don’t have Internet access for a week, then all of this work will go to waste.

So my plan for the next few months is to focus on creating a number of passive traffic methods. Then once I’m back home, I’ll dedicate most of my time to networking and interaction. To give you an idea of what I’m doing, here are…

…A Few Passive Traffic Methods

While I was in the airport waiting for my flight to Spain I used my “what if I” method of brainstorming and came up with a few different ways to create passive traffic to this site. Here are a few ideas I’m going to experiment with during the next few months:

Passive Twitter- At this moment, I have three incredible outsourcers who help me with a number of different tasks. One of them is Soniya who helps automate tasks that I’m simply unable to do on a daily basis.

Specifically, Soniya handles most of my Twitter activities. Each day, she manages the time consuming task of “following/unfollowing” people and posting links to specific articles on this site. For a very low cost, Soniya has helped me generate up to two hundred additional visitors each day. The best part is I spend about thirty minutes each week on this task, managing the process and responding to personal comments and messages.

Creating Satellite Web Properties- To be honest, this traffic method is in the concept phase. I understand the basics, but it’s going to take some heavy duty tweaking to make it really work.

The idea is simple. Google loves certain web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, HubPages, Blogger, WordPress, etc. What I plan on doing is creating a number of “satellite sites” which target a specific cluster of keywords. All of which point back to various sections of this site.

Furthermore, I’ve been doing some research into keyword phrases and domain names. My plan is to target certain long-tail keywords and create a mini-site which also points back at this blog.

For instance, there are many variations of the keyword “life plan” which gets lots of traffic, but doesn’t have a registered domain name. All I have to do is register the domain name and I’ll be able to easily create more web traffic.

Ezine Articles– Yes, I know you’ve probably heard about the benefits of article marketing. And if you’ve tried it, then you know that the results don’t often match up to the hype.

To be honest, I’ve had both incredible and awful results with article marketing. Some of my articles have received over 100,000 views and many have had less than 10. Furthermore, you can never predict which articles will succeed and which ones won’t.

So for the next few months, I’m going to do a little experimenting with ezine articles.

First off, I’m tinkering with the perfect formula to increase the CTR (click-thru ratio). My logic is once I maximize my CTR, it’ll be easy to replicate and systematize the articles. As of today, I’m getting an average of 25% CTR, with some articles receiving over a 32% CTR. Ultimately, I’m hoping to increase the average to over 30% with some articles hitting a 40% CTR.

Once I’ve perfected the CTR ratio, I’m going to work on the problem of increasing the number of page views. The way I figure things is the more eyeballs that see my articles, the more web traffic this site will receive.

Again, this is another mini-experiment I’m currently doing. I know article marketing works, but I want to maximize the results I’ll get while decreasing the amount of time I spend on the process.

My Question to YOU…

To be honest, there a number of additional traffic methods that I plan on using. But most of them are just one-line vague thought on a piece of paper. Probably during the next few months, I’ll flesh out these ideas and see if they’ll work.

So as I wrap up this post, I have a quick question(s) for YOU…

What type of traffic methods are you implementing on your site(s)? Does it require an active or a passive approach? How much time do you spend each week working on it? Do you have any recommendations for what’s working for you?

Please comment below…

Take Action. Get Results.

19 thoughts on “Passive vs. Active Methods For Driving Web Traffic”

  1. Right now I’m really doing just active methods (the usual: commenting, twitter, facebook, e-mail, even word of mouth lol, etc), since my blog’s less than a month old, so I have to go out of my way and get myself known as much as I can. As things progress, though, and my other projects get off the ground, I’m sure that I’ll look more into passive methods.
    .-= Fitness Philippines´s last blog ..The Ultimate Fighter 11 episode 4 review =-.

    • Sounds like you’re doing the right thing. To be honest, my readership is only around the 200 visitors per day mark. So I’m going to do a lot of what you just mentioned when I get back from trip. Till then, I’m happy with the responsive readers who are currently checking out my site.

    • I usually create a mini action-plan where I figure out every step that needs to get done in the process, then work on each step till it’s done. For the Twitter project, I have a piece of software, so I gave my VA a set of ground rules and she handles the process. The best part is she knows more about it than I do, so whenever something goes wrong, she has a pretty good solution ready to go.

      The satellite properties is still something I’m working on this moment. I’ll definitely create a post once I know more about the process.

    • Definitely right on both parts. I’m still getting tons of traffic from articles I created over 4 years ago…EZA is still a very effective way to promote your site.

  2. Steve, great article. I have just started something similar myself with Twitter. I will drop you an email. Maybe there’s something more we can do too which we can learn from.

  3. Great Article Steve. Active Web traffic really takes a long time and extreme hard work to drive a good number of traffic. But here is a great problem with that type of traffic, can you guess it what. Yes retention, only 20-30% of them visit your site on regular basis ans still that 20-30% is very hard to retain.
    I am dropping a mail to you for some discussion and exchange of ideas as well as i also added your RSS in my reader list.

    • Sounds good Imran. I do agree that retention is the key to this whole thing. That’s the one thing that I like about blogs is it’s easier to get people to keep coming back as long as you’re consistently posting decent content.

  4. Some passive things i do:

    Youtube videos/ even simple powerpoint ones
    podcasts (sort of passive since they are on Itunes for years to come)
    disributing pdfs to sites like scribd

    • All of these are awesome strategies. What results are you getting with Scribd? I’ve heard about some success with this site (and other document sharing sites). But I haven’t tried it myself.

  5. Ben…I really only use . I really believe in the 80/20 rule, and this is really the only site that’s produced consistent results with articles. The others don’t really seem to give you the same return on the time you invest.

  6. Right now I’m mostly using Forum Marketing. It is very active and not so great for people that don’t have much time. Like anything though, the harder you work at it the more traffic you will see.

    Actually, if you write a killer topic, you can get traffic from that for many months especially if it’s a bit controversial.
    .-= Mike Roosa´s last blog ..Forum Marketing Ninja Tip #3 – The New Post =-.

  7. I have used blog commenting, forums, adwords, squidoo. Adwords is still the best method to get targeted traffic but of course it cost money. Secondly, I prefer blog commenting. Even though I only get a few visitors a day but I am helping to build my back links.

    • Both are excellent ways to drive traffic. On the other hand, I’m completely clueless when it comes to Adwords. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to figure it out.

  8. Ooh shoot i just wrote a large comment and as soon as i strike reply it came up blank! Please tell me it worked correct? I dont want to submit it again if i don’t have to! Either the weblog glitced out or i’m an idiot, the second option doesnt surprise me lol. many thanks for a great weblog!

    • Hey…I’m so sorry about that. For some reason, my comments section has been really glitchy over the last few weeks. I think I fixed it…so feel free to comment away. Thanks!

Comments are closed.