How to grow your blog to 260k+ visitors a month

 

blog traffic

OptimizeSmart.com traffic in the last one month according to Google Analytics ‘Audience Overview’ report.

Content marketing is not something which I cover on this blog. There is a little bit of rant involved. So bear with me.

What prompted me to write this article is the volume of misleading information floating across the internet regarding growing a blog exponentially.

Disclaimer

Every second article promise you, that if you follow their content marketing tips, your blog will get 100k or more visitors a month in little to no time. So I start this article with following disclaimer:

“I give you no guarantee/warranty that by following my tips, your blog will start getting 100k or more monthly visitors”.

This disclaimer makes sense because for the most part presenting the so called ‘high traffic growth strategies’ without rigorous scientific testing to back them up won’t make them applicable in every type of situation, for every industry, for every business and for every blogger.

For the most part justification of such high traffic growth strategies is anecdotal: Technique X worked for Company Y in particular instance Z, so it is obviously a technique which should work equally well for any individual or business. But it doesn’t work like that.

While it is true that you can benefit from other people/business growth strategies but you can’t expect the same level of success just by replicating what they did.

In other words you can’t create another ‘Facebook’, ‘Drop Box’ or ‘Airbnb’ just by replicating each and every step their founders followed to achieve extraordinary business success.

You have to do something different and better to beat the competition.

Now I have managed your expectations, lets move on.

Let us start with the tips/tricks which are dud and which will not help you at all in skyrocketing your blog traffic.

#1 Blog Commenting

If you are commenting on a blog in a hope to get traffic back to your site then best of luck.

Even with exceptionally good comment, where the comment is much better than blog post itself, don’t expect flood of traffic coming to your website. Blog commenting won’t help you in growing your blog. Period.

 

#2 Guest Posting

This strategy may help you in building your authority. But it will not help you in growing your blog.

You need to do lot of guest posting in order to drive traffic to your blog. But if you spend majority of your time in guest blogging then when you will find time to develop contents for your own blog.

However allowing people to guest post on your blog is a good strategy. You get free content and promotion from the guest author.

 

#3 Speaking in Conferences

This strategy may help you in building authority.But it will not help you in growing your blog, at least not in the way you would like to. Just like guest posting, you need to do lot of public speaking in order to increase your reach.

But no matter how much, how often you speak, your reach would always be limited to few hundred people in the conference room.

Unlike blogging, your speaking engagements, won’t give you reach to tens of thousands or even millions of people all over the world. Moreover the preparation behind public speaking is even more time consuming than guest posting.

So if you spend majority of your time in public speaking then when you will find time to develop contents for your own blog.

Public speaking work best for your blog growth when you are also consistently blogging. In this way your speaking enagagements fuel your blog growth and your blogging fuel your speaking engagements. However it is very difficult and time consuming to keep up with both consistent blogging and speaking, unless off-course, this is all what you do.

 

#4 Developing “great” contents 

Greatness is subjective. What may be ‘great’ for you, may be ‘mediocre’ for others and vice versa.

Develop great contents and traffic will come. This is not going to happen.

Developing high quality contents is a bare minimum requirement for blogging. It is not something which can drive tons of traffic on its own. You need to do lot more than developing contents.

 

#5 Writing good headlines, Writing in conversational tone, Creating content calendar, Being active on social media,  Writing unique articles…… 

These all are good tips but they all are so basic, that in the grand scheme of things, even when combined together they are pretty much insignificant.

 

#6 Hiring Content writers to do your hard work

Some people get lazy and hire content writers to blog on their behalf. There is nothing wrong with that, except the hired replacement, seldom write better than you, let alone exceed your and your target audience’ expectations .

Over time, your blog quality suffer and you loose subscribers. Remember, people read your blog because of ‘you’. If ‘you’ are missing, then what is the point of visiting your website.

If you run a corporate blog, then hire subject matter experts, not just someone who is good with ‘words’ and ‘rephrasing’ but does not really know, what he/she is talking about.

 

There are many more so called ‘high traffic growth’ strategies floating around but I don’t want to bore you with them. The fact is that,

Growing blog traffic is not as easy as following 1.2.3.. best practices

Growing a blog is really really hard.

 

Following are the rules I blog by:

Rule #1: Blog regularly or do not blog

This is the number 1 mistake, majority of bloggers make. They don’t blog regularly.

Ideally you should blog two times a week. If you can’t do that, then at least once a week. If you can’t blog even once a week then don’t blog at all.

Success in blogging is directly proportional to publishing frequency.

More you blog, the better. It doesn’t matter how good your content is. If you can’t maintain frequency, your blog will not grow. It is as simple as that.

Consistency is the key here. Blogging is not a sprint. There is no quick win here. It is an endless marathon. As long as you keep running, it is all well and good, the moment you stop, traffic drops.

 

Rule #2: Take blogging seriously

Blogging is not a fun time / pastime activity. You don’t blog whenever you feel like or whenever you can find time. Blogging is a serious work and it requires commitment.

I often hear this excuse from people, “I don’t have time to blog”. Well, then find time. Sleep faster, eat faster, burn the midnight oil, use weekends, public holidays……..

If blogging is not in your priority list then you will never find time to blog. And if blogging is not your priority then please don’t blog at all. You are simply wasting your time and resources by blogging once in a while, whenever it is convenient for you.

 

Rule #3: Do your research

I usually spend a week in doing research. Sometimes i spend a month or more. But i always do research. I never publish any article without doing some sort of research on the topic I am going to cover.

 

Rule #4: Treat your blog post as lesson plan

Majority of my blog posts are highly technical and it is always a challenge to explain technical topics in an easy to understand words.

I spend lot of time in structuring my articles, what should come first, what should come second, what readers may need to know in advance before they are in a position to absorb my material.

I think this is where I stand out. Lot of technical bloggers do an awful job of explaining what they want the readers to do. They assume too much from their readers.

They do not clearly outline all the prerequisite and deliverables and just puke technical instructions and code and hope readers will get it somehow.

 

Rule #5: Follow the AIDA communication model

This communication model is old school but I still follow it religiously to write each blog post. In AIDA:

  1. A stands for get attention.
  2. I stand for raise interest.
  3. D stands for build desire
  4. A stands for obtain action.

 I have explained AIDA model in great detail in this article: AIDA Communication Model and Conversions.

 

Rule #6: Follow the 90/10 rule

When it comes to content marketing, I follow 90/10 rule:

Spend 90% of your time in promoting your content and only 10% time (relatively) in developing it.

No matter how good your content is, if nobody knows about it, then nobody will read it.

Develop great contents and traffic will come on its own is not going to happen. You need to go out of your way to promote your contents.

 

Rule #7: Grow your email marketing list

Marketers globally rate email marketing as the most effective digital marketing tactic and the one which delivers the best ROI.

All of the high traffic blogs out there have got ginormous email marketing list. I have got more than 10k.

Bigger your email list, the less you need to depend upon rented advertising platforms (like Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc) which is a good thing as it reduces your ad spend. You need to grow your email list to the point where you can easily survive even without Google.

 

Rule #8: No guest blogging. All contents on your blog only.

I generally don’t guest post (there are few exceptions because of special relationships I need to honour). I believe all of my hard work should remain only on my blog.

I avoid blogging even on social media platforms (like linkedin, Facebook, Google+ etc). They are today, gone tomorrow. The day they shut down, they will take away all of your contents with them.

This policy has helped me in growing my blog a lot. If you spend majority of your time in guest blogging then when you will get time to develop contents for your own blog.

 

Rule #9: Treat your blog as online book

People often moan why I don’t put dates on my blog post. I don’t put dates because I don’t consider my blog as a blog.

I treat my blog as an online book. So each blog post is a work in progress and one of the page of my online book. It is a live document, just like wikipedia. I keep updating my articles on regular basis.

 Next Read: Using Multiple Trackers for Cross Domain Tracking in Universal Analytics

Announcement about my books

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of OptimizeSmart.com

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over eleven years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
  • Google Analytics certified
  • Google AdWords certified
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Award for Excellence
  • Bachelors degree in Internet Science
  • Founder of OptimizeSmart.com and EventEducation.com

I am also the author of three books:

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