To run a successful online magazine your need traffic. PERIOD.
It’s what everything else stands on.
Unfortunately, when I started my video games magazine (which then turned one of the leading publications about the topic in Italy), I didn’t have the budget of large publishers.
In fact, I was 13-years old; I didn’t have cash at all
(I mean, besides the one, my grandparents were giving me for Christmas and B-days :-D)
Social media weren’t even a thing (it was 2007!)
I had to base everything out of evergreen ways to rank over my competitors
I gotta be honest, SEO was my main hustle at that time, but besides that
The following list of tactics has helped me as well in my ranking efforts, and got me traffic from sources that,
Even if you’re not an SEO pro, you can still exploit RIGHT NOW:
1- Interview Someone in Your Niche. I not only cold outreached to key personalities in my industry (producers, developers, etc.)
But also to whoever else had a medium-large active following.
For me, these were all the “clans” of players (small-medium groups of people that plays together at certain games).
And all the online games, the latter had thousands of active members, and I was interviewing them with the agreement that they would have shared the link to their X, XXX+ members’ newsletters.
Usually, these online games were struggling to get exposure (they didn’t have huge budgets), so it was win-win.
2-Organize a Contest or a Giveaway. I used to partner with video games producers for this kind of stuff. For instance, we organized a fantasy soccer tournament for different years with the distributors of PES.
Outside of the videogames world, you can easily partner with SaaS, products-based businesses, etc. if you have an engaged following and subscribers, for them, it’s a cheap and effective way to get visibility for their products so they’ll probably agree. For you, it’s a great way to get traffic and build a community.
Use Viraloops or a similar service for the giveaways.
3- This one is common sense, but ask for feedback/advice to others in your industry.
Do you remember MSN? Each time I had a huge announcement, a new design of the website, I was asking for feedback from others in the video games industry. This helped me to get traction when starting out, and to remain top-of-the-mind, but also they were helped me to find bugs or misspelled words.
People love to advise if you’re not asking for them, what the hell you’re waiting for.
4-Be a Regular On Niche Forums (Now It’s More About Reddit, Quora, and FB Groups.)
7- Partner up with complementary products/services. I used to partner with complementary (but not competing) websites to produce backlinks organically.