I’ve been a big fan of content marketing for a long time. Sure, paid traffic is fun, but when you can bring a tidal wave of traffic to your site for zero cost other than your time, it’s a beautiful thing.
I run multiple blogs and have learned quite a lot over the years about attracting visitors using a variety of traffic. I’ve experimented a lot with SEO, PPC, Social Media and everything in between, and believe that a mixture of a little bit of everything is important to have a solid business.
Last month some hard work on one of my blogs (Blog About Beer) has paid off. Honestly, my beer blog has been an experimental blog as it isn’t the most lucrative niche. Over the past year or so I really was slacking on the blog and content was few and far between.
To really grow a blog, you need to be consistent. You don’t have to write everyday, but you need to update it often enough so people don’t forget about you. I made the error of not updating the site much and the traffic dipped (an average of only 400-500 visitors a day).
I decided enough was enough since I really did love this site, and came up with a plan.
What I Did To Get an Influx of Traffic
First I focused on building up my social media accounts with quality followers. I really started trying to engage my target audience, as a result I saw more fans and followers. It’s time consuming to build up Twitter followers, Facebook Fans and Pinterest Follows, but when your subject is something you enjoy, it’s not too bad.
I can’t stress enough the power of social media to anyone looking to increase their blog traffic. SEO is my second love, but building an active community on social media gets people talking about you and your brand and pretty soon good stuff starts happening.
Once I started getting a little more active over social media, I started creating new and fresh content. That’s very important as it gets people coming back.
I was really paying attention to what people were talking about in my niche. One night I couldn’t sleep very well and I started thinking of the common posts I was seeing in the craft beer space. Everyone was posting these lists of the “X Best Beers in the ____”. These type of posts kind of annoyed me, so I decided to write up a piece that I felt my audience would connect to that sort of put a twist on these “best” list type of posts. (You can read the post here)
I knew that it would resonate with people, but what happened next blew me away.
Within a few minutes after posting the article I posted a link to it on my Facebook fan page, tweeted it out, and spread it around my social networks.
It didn’t see a ton of traction on my own Facebook page, but it started getting shared like crazy. Since the post was launched, it has been shared/liked over 42,385 times on Facebook alone. It has also been tweeted about a ton, put in numerous newsletters (including a few from some pretty large breweries), pinned on Pinterest, shared on Google Plus, plus I got some decent traffic from Reddit.
All in all, in 1 week after the post was launched I had 226,626 unique people view it. The day after I posted it (a Saturday, which is usually my slowest traffic day of the week), I had 80,458 unique visitors.
The bulk of the traffic came from Facebook, which goes to show the power of social media. Here is the break down of traffic based on social media referrals.
Benefits Of This Posts
- Added 155 new email subscribers to my list (even though the opt in box is terrible and pretty hidden)
- Earned $452.80 with AdSense in 1 week on that page
- Added over 500 new Facebook fans in a week
- Added over 500 new Twitter followers in 1 week
- I got my site in front of a ton eyeballs who will start recognizing my brand
- Daily site traffic has increased since
- 138 backlinks to that page (according to Majestic SEO)
There are a few key take aways that this taught me:
- Focus on building up your social media profiles and really connect with your fans. I highly suggest everyone read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk to learn how to do it right.
- Facebook can drive a TON of traffic. Twitter can drive a TON of traffic. Pinterest can drive a TON of traffic. Reddit can drive a TON of traffic. You just need to learn to do it correctly.
- Listen to what your audience is talking about and create compelling content around it. Don’t be afraid to say things that other people aren’t saying, but should be said.
- Have a good web host. This influx of traffic has caused me to upgrade my server. Don’t skimp on your web hosting.
- Keep swinging. Not every post will be a home run. Even if a post doesn’t go viral right away, don’t write if off as a complete failure. Link to it again in the future.
Have you had a post go viral? What have been your key takeaways when it happened?