Note from Caleb: A few weeks back I got an email from a reader of Think Traffic that said, “I launched a new blog one month ago, started out with a specific growth strategy in mind, and got over 50k visitors in the first month.”
You could say he piqued my interest a bit.
That reader was Peep Laja of ConversionXL. He used a simple formula to attract visits to his site and used a launch plan instead of just “getting it out there”. Read on to find out why he spent eight hours on each post and how he was able to get over 40,000 uniques to his site in month number one.
Take it away Peep.
One month later, these were my stats:
In addition to this traffic, I got 600 RSS subscribers, a double opt-in email list of 700 and a bunch of new Twitter followers. Not bad for the first month.
Here were the strategies I followed to achieve this.
Research into which blog posts are most linked to said this:
Neil Patel says you should write detailed how-to posts with proof and convey authority to ensure blog post popularity. Check.
My first strategic decision was to only write long, well-researched posts with lots of links to sources and great visuals. In order to make reading of these long posts a good experience, I focused on readability.
Corbett says ‘write epic shit‘. There is no way around it. You won’t hit the jackpot every single time, but you should aim to.
Look at the traction some of the posts got (with no pre-existing audience, no relationships, no name recognition):
Okay, but what about user feedback?
I’ve blogged since 2008 and I’ve never gotten such amazing feedback in this short amount of time.
Either comments on the blog like this:
Or people mentioning the blog on Twitter:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, writing long, thorough blog posts would be it.
No epic content will help you if you don’t help the distribution along. People will not find your content by accident or via search if the site is new – lots of case studies show this.
I had 2 key strategies I followed in distribution.
1. Social sharing
Have you read Zarella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness? You should. It demystifies social sharing of content and dispels a lot of myths with real data.
The hierarchy of contagiousness itself is this:
I followed the model to make sure my content spreads.
Here’s what I did:
At the same time I made sure I was actively turning the visitors into subscribers – I added social sharing buttons to all the blog posts, invited the readers to follow me on Twitter, join my email list or subscribe to the rss feed. Oh yeah – 85% of the email subscribers joined via popup. People might hate them, but they sure are effective.
Content is definitely the key to getting spread in social media. Yes, writing these thorough posts is hard work and finding 8 hrs to write a blog post can be tough. But I think John Jantsch said it best:
The secret to success is to be willing to do the things that others aren’t and be prepared to do them for a really long time.
Most people keep on writing those 300 – 500 word personal opinion articles. Fine for them. Great for you. You know better.
2. Names, names, names
Both of the following statements are true:
I don’t remember which book I read this from, but there was a case study of a local newspaper that keeps on growing even when the rest of the industry is going downhill. Their secret? Naming names. They make sure they can add as many names (mentioned in articles, social events commentary, etc) to every newspaper as possible – people want to find their name (or that of their close friend / family member) in the paper and hence they keep buying it. Brilliant.
I decided to use the same tactic and I’d say it’s been a success. I make sure I reference and link to a ton of people and companies in my posts, and then I’ll let them know about it either over email or Twitter. Perhaps half the time they mention my blog post on their Twitter account, on their blog or they’ll just find out about me and start following my blog or Twitter.
The best strategies are the ones you actually follow.
What I’ve described here is not rocket science. Allocate time and start doing it. It’s more fun than you think.
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