How to hack your Blog Traffic in 5 Ways: How this blog tactics should change as your blog grows.
We decided to study some of the different situation of blog posting so that we at Playmear.com can also build a blog that is not only converting hundred of thousands of visitors per month but also meaningful for our readers.
As some of you have known, we are in the augmented reality business but it doesn’t mean we only focus on augmented reality enthusiasts.
Okay, lets start with the strategy. Creating a blog is a great way to build organic traffic no matter how strong your financials are, blogs are ways to create a sustainable organic traffic to your website. (link)
Strategy segments that we have broken down into 5 segments:
- Starting your blog
- Finding your first hundred blog followers
- Time to scale your traffic
- Post-mortem your blog and improve
- Maintaing your formula and repeat.
In this blog article, I am going to outline the 5 segments of the blog growth better help you understand where you are today and what are the next steps you need to move forward.
1: Beginning of a blog
Less than a week.
When we see another person’s blog, it is rarely shared that it took them months or even years to create a sexy and high traffic blog.
Accepting that blogging is hard sweat and effort. There is no easy shortcut but to discipline to commit a blog post on a weekly basis or fortnightly basis. (Accepting this makes it easy for long term persistence and consistency)
Consistency is the key here.
Choosing the right niche for your blog. (Why choosing a niche?) Remember that for those that have started a blog, you can go over again and improve your situation. (We did the same.)
Definte a main niche.
This is the most important first step that many blog owners fail to set and gave up after months of writing blogs that nobody wants to read.
This is important that you know who is going to benefit from your blog articles.
Example: Playmear was previously focused on writing blogs for augmented reality niches, we have since decided to make it our secondary niche and now focus on marketing related articles as our main niche. (We are a B2B focused Augmented Reality Creator Platform)
If you may not have it figured out yet don’t worry, you can get it along the way. If your not sure what products you want to sell or services you can offer, it is okay. Figure out what kind of audience you want to help first is more important.
Try to be as specific as possible as this would be better than just being too general and not hitting the audience with laser focus.
Examples would be: you want to serve working adults that go to gym & lead healthy routine.
These are 124 niche case studies comprises of good and bad niches.
What is your reader persona
Once you have decided what kind of audience you want to serve, you need to build a persona about them.
In order to create content that can actually be of use to them, you must understand who they are, what is their needs, what kind of problem they are facing.
There are some tools online & manual ways to help you with it.
- Having one-to-one conversations.
- Demographic sites such as Alexa and SEMrush
- Listing out common thoughts of audience characteristics
- Google the niche characteristics out (its bound be done by someone).
Once your happy with your research, you should be able to list out your audience’s:
- Age / Age range
- Pain Points
As a quick Google search can give you some samples of personas done by others. Do keep a note that these have to be as specific as possible but it is okay if your starting out and not much information is available from your own testing and research. (It really does takes time to perfect your blog persona).
In the end of the day you would want to be as specific as possible and this can help you focus on creating blog posts that resonates well with your niche readers.
Start your blog
Once that’s done, whats next? Start your blog obviously. There are some open sourced CMS available online such as WordPress, Drupal, and themes can be easily changed using templated templates from Themeforests.
For some of you a blog is an extension of providing an access point for users to interact with your brand and sort of a loudspeaker for external to learn more about your brand.
While others focus heavily being a blog-based business then your blog is everything to you. (Remember to always have a backup)
There’s a reason many startups, home-based blog uses wordpress due to its simplicity and ease of getting started without spending thousand of dollars on a custom CMS or design.
Bear in mind that the first version of any blog is not perfect and keeping up-to-date is the key to stay relevant and innovative.
Start scouting where your readers hang out.
Like many bloggers thought, blog and they will come is a wrong way to think it will be a viable solution in the beginning.
You can figure out where they spend time and go over there to lock on them. (Buffer Co-founder guest post at many different places to increase his traffic)
There are some ways but we suggest try Googling the “Top [your niche] Blogs” to get a birds eye view of the niche your in.
Next step, start listing down the sites and whether they allow guest posts and comments. We use Google Spreadsheet, check an example below.
Google them away and lists those blogs and keep a look out for high traffic signs such as high degree of comments and has lots of social shares.
Start populating your lists with the better ones on the top of your list. You really want to make sure your reader persona visits the sites so you can convert them to eventually visit your site as well. Ideally having a range of 50-100 blog sites of your similar niches is best so you can spread more of your effort to tap more of the Internet network.
If you find it difficult, tweak your search to have a broader reach such as instead of “best digital online marketing sites” to “best marketing sites”
Once blogs is done, search for forums and groups in social media sites. Search for “[your niche] + forum / linkedin groups / facebook group” this allows you to tap into existing communities and forums.
Separate the blogs, forums, and social media sites in different section of your spreadsheet to give you a better overview. For forums and social media sides, note the number of registered members, activity (slow, average, hot) and also frequency (occasional, many).
Forums are very tightly knitted communities that you can invest your time to form online one-to-one session with the communities that may give feedbacks and etc.
Social media sites tends to be harder to get attention as many will be eyeing at the same groups and etc.
2: Having a 100 readers is better than 1000 visitors.
Around 4 months or lesser.
This was derived from a concept talked by Kevin Kelly called 1,000 true fans (link). It was made popular when growth hacker Seth Godin referenced it in his advices.
His point being that anyone (blogger) could make a great living if they have support from a thousand true fans. As a relatively small group of loyal readers can make your blog active to allow you to dive into your blog full-time.
However we do believe going from 0 to 1000 seem a bit harder to reach for beginner bloggers.
As we mentioned, blogging takes time an average of 1-5 years to take effect depending on many factors. No matter how well your researches are, you are going to hit bumps along the way. In the early stages, no one will tell you what went wrong and give you feedbacks.
Even your 100 fans will take a while to be discovered and it depends on your execution and discipline as well as your content quality.
What happens when I have achieve my 100 fans but there is little to no activity in my blog and also very little shares from my visitors. Well then this will tell you that the problem is your content.
But not this will hold true all the time. As some content may be more enticing to be commented and discussed while others may just get more shares but little discussion. An average 10-15 comments is considered a good average while shares tend to be more subjective as some have reached shares of thousands (usually news sites: mashable, huffington and etc).
Interact with your users and to have them to know you more. Building relationships first, valuable content, and promote your content. If you’re a one-man show, keep in mind to be laser focus.
3: How can I get my 100 users since I have my blog up?
Tips #1: Create a rhythm, stick to it and tweak it!
Many bloggers fails this first test as they fall prey to procrastination, excuses and also weak time management.
Creating a rhythm: While this may not have anything to do with blogging and how you can get better data it is important create a good habit so you can keep generating content on schedule.
Start small, I personally start once a week with a shorter type of blog post to get myself comfortable in writing. Once I get the hang of it, I move onto longer posts and also higher frequency and testing out different topics. My next target is two blog post every week and then two long and one short post in the future.
I specifically like posting on Monday, and Wednesday to allow me time to write and also research. My third post would be somewhere around Friday or Saturday. (I was attending a conference in Hong Kong that had me delayed on my posting last week.)
Generating a rhythm allows your mind to get used to it and you’ll slowly write faster and faster. Keeping a consistency is key here.
One you have a rhythm set, after a month or two tweak it to see if its gets better results. This is the best stage where you would already established a baseline and how your changes can affect the conversion rate better.
Tip #2: Creating the right content for the right audience.
As you’ve seen, i’m dedicating my time to blog for PlaymeAR but it is very limited due to a one person team. While it might sound easy to some to continuously pumping out a lot of GOOD content, the start is not so easy but is the most important. Therefore you need the right content to maximise your effort and making sure your blog will stay relevant and efficient for you and also valuable for your readers.
While having the right content attracting readers can only give you so much unless your attracting other backlinkers and also influencers to help promote your newly created content. As churning content continuously without anyone reading it is no use. It’s better lining up some of other sources to bring in more traffic to your blog.
If you’ve single out a particular niche, make sure to be an expert in that particular niche and be an expert in writing it and growing that brand presence like that.
Some bloggers will backlink and write reviews of blogs to create makeshift content for their readers. This might result in some decent targeted traffic as it is within the same overall niche cluster.
Some of the ways that you can do is roundup posts and ego bait posts. Roundup posts is the more common practice to enrich the influencers and also to get them to share your posts and links to it. This allow the influencers to share on social media.
While ego bait is a more wide range kind of posts. With this strategy, you essentially want to tap into the ego of an influencer or a company with large following. This allows them to look good and of course you can show them that their opinion and point helps to solve readers problem and also created value for others. Follow up with a simple email telling them that the article is published and they can link to it and share as well.
Tip #3: After this, Paid Traffic & Social Media
The reason i combine paid traffic and social media is the worlds largest social media (Facebook) is no longer giving you free traffic from your pages in the page and it comes with a price nowadays. Excluding the personal social media reach you have personally. If you have more money to invest into the business, paid traffic is a faster way to accelerate your growth and it is important for to remember not to rely on paid traffic but it is a great way to get some noise out there.
Make sure you have a lead capturing to collect some subscribers to retarget them with better content as well. Spend time to tweak and test your email opt-in rate before spending your dollars on acquiring traffic. Keep in mind that many successful blogs never paid ads although many of them at some point does spend on ads at some point.
- 6 Simple Steps to Start Your First PPC Campaign
- PPC Advertising is Just As Much About the Audience as it is Keywords
- PPC Hero guides
Social media is one of the strategy…
The most popular social media platforms have huge amounts of traffic namely Facebook & Twitter. They have large enough general audience that it is definitely able to contain your target audience.
Building a social media presence will also take time to build and it could go for months before it starts showing any decent traffic.
The reason i combine the paid traffic and social media is because with Facebook you can speed up your social media and also the traffic to your site. This can be done on any kind of niches and also paid ads on Facebook is relatively cheap and has lower entry level to help you build a great website quickly.
Remember the main idea to grow your blog so it can sustain and even start growing the traffic on its own with your content without needing it to rely on social media or paid advertising to help build your channels.
4: Post-mortem your blog and start growing your fans.
Once you reach this stage, your probably know what your audience needs and wants that it is time to further accelerate your traffic growth efforts into turbo drive.
Bear in mind that this takes time to build, continue with your routine and keep the momentum.
Expand your traffic-acquisition strategies.
As of this stage your probably comfortable in writing and can probably write 1 article in a day and spend less time on content creation that is logical to focus on building more traffic. Focus on guest blogging to speed your reach as you now have somewhat an authority with your content published overtime and also setting up joint articles with other influencers of in-direct or direct niches for more coverage.
This allows you to speed things up instead of relying on your existing fan base which will be slower to grow over time.
Create a content schedule
Previously i mentioned on how blogging on a regular basis is good for the search engine as well as your readers to get a clear picture of your consistency. This also allows you to gauge what kind of content your readers prefer and like.
Now, it’s necessary to do it on a regular basis. Think about not just those specific types of posts that we looked at but any type of content your true fans may enjoy.
You need to decide how often you want to post and what you will be writing about. A well prepared schedule allows you to plan out your content for the month and the upcoming month. From this point on you will be getting feedbacks from your existing 100-200 true fans that will allow you to do quick changes to your schedule.
The next benefit would be a more proper schedule to align yourself to get ready and as they say the more one practice the better they become. Therefore it is quite important to have a proper schedule and consistency to improve efficiency but of course this is open for optional decision by you.
Start monetizing your traffic.
Once you start achieving 5,000-15,000 subscribers, you must start monetising the blog as soon as possible. Keep maintaining your step 3 while now channeling some of your time into monetising efforts. At this stage you will easily be achieving about ten of thousands of visitors a month. Once you reach this stage having some monetising segment will allow you to hire content writers, or helpers to help you sell products or deal with upcoming joint ventures and also to the point you need an extra 1 or 2 people to handle the workload.
Once your niche is clear with a product you are selling on your own you can monetise that otherwise you can also refer reputable affiliate offers from sellers of your niches.
What about advertisement placement? It must be planned out properly so it does not ruin your blog look and experience.
5: After monetising, maintain formula and scale.
There is a reason why blogs such as mashable and huffington post which started out small turn into a big fledge news portal and have a huge team churning out content day in and day out. The reason is to cater more niches or verticals to attract more visitors and readers.
Definitely if you can afford it, pay them a good amount of money to have at least 70-80% of your output so you can get a healthy ratio of duplicating yourself into many more team mates focusing on working towards a single goal. This allows you to explore into more verticals and do more of the scaling while the team member can do the heavy lifting and are experienced specialist to do so.
It will be the time where your daily work can be taught to team members and be automated. There are tools and also freelancers to start churning more exciting content for your verticals.
In order to automate your team members and also the process, don’t just hire them and expect them to know what to do. Spend a week to go through with them one by one and after that give that person the authority to teach the ones coming in and so one. Make sure to specialise them into a job scope so they wont get overbear with workload.
Once that is done, let them know they can keep doing the things that will add value to the company / blogs mission and milestones. This allows you to automate things and teams can run even while your not in office.
This is the end of the article.
The reason why we decided to write this article was also to remind us that blog powered business grows over time and also having a blog for the sake of having it will waste resources and also time. It cannot be a successful blog overnight and remember that its built with one post by post. We hope you can use these tactics at the right time and also learn more from websites such as QuickSprout, Copyblogger, Neilpatel.com, Buffer.com, and much more!
Note to self and also to you our fans, “Never give up and stop learning about your business, readers and customers and always try to help them as much as possible.”
I appreciate if you can leave a comment to cheer us on or some feedback to help steer us in the right direction!