How to grow your blog to more than quarter million visitors a month

Why grow your blog?

A blog is the best tool to generate free organic traffic for your website.

While this traffic is not exactly free, in the long run it is pretty much close to free. Because once you publish an article, it exists on the internet as long as it can be found by search engines and/or people:

 

blog traffic

Content marketing is not something that 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 and that to from gurus who themselves run a low traffic website.

Disclaimer

Every second article promises 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 the following disclaimer:

“I give you no guarantee/warranty that by following my tips and tricks, 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 that 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’, ‘DropBox’, ‘Amazon’, 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, let’s 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 the hope to get traffic back to your site then best of luck.

Even with an exceptionally good comment, where the comment is much better than the blog post itself, don’t expect a flood of traffic coming to your website.

Blog commenting won’t help you in growing your blog. Period.

#2 Guest Posting

This strategy will not help you in growing your blog.

You need to do a lot of guest posting in order to drive traffic to your blog.

But if you spend the majority of your time in guest blogging then when you will find time to develop content for your own blog.

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

#3 Speaking in Conferences

This strategy can help you in building a social media following and quickly building authority.

You see, many conference speakers have got thousands or even tens of thousands of followers on social media. But their reach is still limited, as out of these thousands of followers, only a couple of hundred really care about what the conference speaker has to say. The rest of them are either dormant or their interest lies elsewhere.

So even the large social media following 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 a 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 a few hundred people in the conference room.

Unlike blogging, your speaking engagements, won’t give you reach 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 the majority of your time in public speaking then when you will find time to develop content for your own blog.

Public speaking works best for your blog growth when you are also consistently blogging. This way your speaking engagements 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 of course, this is all 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 content and traffic will come. This is not going to happen.

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

#5 Writing good headlines, writing in a conversational tone, creating a 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’s expectations. Over time, your blog quality suffers and you lose 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 (daily, weekly).

And let’s be honest, not everybody can maintain consistency.

Blogging is a soul-crushing exercise with no apparent return on investment at least for the first one year. The majority of people who start blogging give up sooner or later.

Where the majority give up, you need to persist.

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.

The 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 the time. Blogging is serious work and it requires commitment.

Just like you never forget to eat each day, you don’t forget to blog each day. Spend an hour or two each day to create new content.

I often hear this excuse from people, “I don’t have time to blog”. Well, then find the 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 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. Because without consistency, your blogging efforts won’t yield any result.

Rule #3: Do your research

I usually spend a week 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 a lesson plan

The 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 a lot of time 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.

A 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 prerequisites 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 the 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 the 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 content and traffic will come on its own is not going to happen. You need to go out of your way to promote your content.

You should be promoting your contents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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 a 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 content 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 content with them.

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

Rule #9: Treat your blog as an 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.

Each blog post is a work in progress and one of the pages of my online book.

It is a live document, just like Wikipedia. I keep updating my articles on a regular basis so they continue to rank high in search engines.

And my updates are no ordinary updates. I add brand new content which can be several pages long.

Rule #10: Write crazy long articles

Most people write 3 or 4 paragraphs and call it a blog post. Such articles rarely rank well on search engines like Google.

The average length of my article is 10 to 15 pages long. Sometimes they can be 20 to 40 pages long.

Others may call such long articles “ebooks”. But for me, it is still a blog post.

 

Related Article: Google Analytics For Content Marketing – Advanced Content Analysis

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

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."



Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.



   

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

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.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers' purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years of experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence. The Digital Analytics Association is a world-renowned not-for-profit association that helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

error: Alert: Content is protected !!