When we ask the Mixergy audience what they’re struggling with, one of the most common responses we hear is “getting more traffic.”

So today, we’re highlighting one interview and two courses from the Mixergy vault about how proven founders got more traffic.

You’ll learn what one founder did when sites ignored his blog post pitches. You’ll also find out why one million hits in one day wasn’t such a big win. Finally, you’ll see how a founder made one change and busted through a traffic plateau.

Bonus: For the next three days, the full courses are available to everyone, so check them out today before they go back to being Premium member-only.

1. Find the Sites that are Looking for You

Leo Widrich couldn’t get any sites to pay attention to his startup.

He sent a pitch to TechCrunch, but “the email got no response,” says Leo, co-founder of social media tool Buffer. “Not even, ‘No.’ Or, ‘We don’t like this.’ Just nothing…”

So Leo tried to pitch smaller sites. But they weren’t interested, either. “[Not even the] sites that have probably only a couple hundred subscribers,” says Leo.

That’s when he realized that he was going after the wrong kinds of sites.

Leo discovered that instead of pitching sites that ignore him, he could connect with bloggers who were actively looking for guest posts. So he used sites like My Blog Guest and BloggerLinkUp to find those bloggers and get his posts published. “The sites [aren’t] big,” says Leo, “but they’re going to get you started, they’re going to get you visibility, they’re going to bring you credibility.”

Check out Leo’s course to learn more about how he grew Buffer to 100,000 users in just nine months.

2. Forget Big Hits, Get Loyal Buyers Instead

Before Derek Halpern started Social Triggers, he ran a celebrity gossip website.

In just one day, his gossip site got a million hits, and he earned $7,000. “The site was actually down for eight hours that day, too,” said Derek.

Pretty awesome, right?

Well, not really. “The whole goal was to get more ad clicks,” he says. “I was like a drug addict looking for more clicks. It was kind of depressing.”

So when his friend Brian Clark from Copyblogger told Derek that he once got just 30,000 hits in a single day and made $100,000, Derek changed his whole approach.

“It wasn’t about big traffic numbers anymore,” says Derek. “It was about loyal traffic numbers who are ready to buy stuff from you.”

In this interview, Derek explains how he attracts loyal traffic from people who are ready to buy now.

3. Help Your Audience Promote Themselves

Derek Flanzraich was starting to get some traffic. “I thought, ‘Maybe we’re onto something, this is something we should take seriously,’” says Derek, founder of Greatist, a health and fitness resource.

Derek figured if he just kept doing more of the same stuff, traffic would continue to go up. So he hired three full-time employees.

But traffic stagnated.

That’s when Derek rethought his entire content marketing strategy. For example, he decided to create content that would help his audience promote themselves.

That’s because he realized that a big reason people share stuff is that “the thing that they’re sharing says something about who they are or who they want to be,” says Derek. “We are putting out content because we want people to say, ‘Hey, I told all of you guys about this great thing called foam rolling, here is an infographic to show how serious it is,’” he says. “There are people who are trainers or people who are those fit-friendly friends who want to share this stuff because it says something about who they are.”

Using this technique and the others that Derek shares in his course, Greatist quickly started to grow by 30% each month, hitting 1 million uniques visitors in less than one year. Six months later, he hit almost 2 million unique visitors.