How to grow a blog to 100 thousand visitors per month in less than a year

Original author: Peep Laja
  • Transfer
I am blogging on ConversionXL . The blog is dedicated to conversion optimization, and it is one of the largest blogs on the market.

I started it a little more than 2 years ago, in October 2011. In the first month I received 50,000 visits thanks to some viral posts, the rest of the time the growth was linear, slow and constant.

15,000 visits for the third month;
22,000 for the 6th month;
90,000 for the 10th month.

After a few months, I had 100,000 regular visits per month. And these are not simple visits - my blog generates profitable clients for my company of 10 people.

Content strategy

At first I did not know which strategy to choose - after all, there are already a million marketing blogs. What is the point of another? I started collecting data.

Find a niche in the market

First things first, I went through all sorts of lists of “100 Best Marketing Blogs” to analyze their content. I asked the following questions:

- how many words in the post?
- is the text well structured?
- How much data, examples and research is used in the post (and not just personal opinions)?
- how many pictures are in it? Are they good, or is it just a clipart?
- how many external resources and links are used?
- is it useful?
- is it well written, and is it interesting to read it?
- font size, color, ease of reading, typography?

Answering these questions, I thought, can I do something better? How can my content stand out from this noise - both in meaning and in design?

I thought that today people do not like to read, so I wanted to make short posts that write about some results or conclusions and draw interesting conclusions. Something like what Seth Godin does:

But almost everyone has done such posts. Mostly because of my laziness. It is very simple to write a 200-word post in an attempt to seem smart, giving out a few personal opinions.

The secret to success is to do what others do not want. And I realized what it is. Solid evidence and data mining advice. I decided that this would be my niche.

I decided to concentrate on conversion optimization, because there were few such blogs. The choice of a niche is very important - do not be afraid of it, you can always expand later.

Just as Tim Ferris, who began with the “Four Hour Workweek,” then expanded his presence, you can do this with your blog.

If you are starting a general-purpose marketing blog or fitness blog, then it will be difficult for you to stand out. Have you heard of the Nerd Fitness Blog ? A great example of how you can occupy a niche and stand out well with this.

The use of data-based content helped me.

My blog has no posts outlining only opinions. Or statements like "people usually prefer ABV." Instead of claiming that people prefer simple websites, I give evidence:

A Google study from August 2012 found that users not only evaluate the appearance of a site in about 1/20 of a second, but also that sites that are defined as “visually complex” were rated by them as less beautiful.

See how this adds credibility? This is not just someone’s statement “simple design is better.”

According to the rules of my blog, each statement should be supported by research or an example. Now I am enraged by articles where they write "according to a study of such and such" and do not provide links to it. This is very common and it is very beneficial for the writer - not to look for reliable sources for their statements.

People like that there are always links in my posts. Very few do so, and most of them are successful.

Optimize traffic posts

I found studies that looked at which posts get the most links . The most popular posts:

long - from 1850 to 3035 words (ideally 2700-3000)
visual - posts containing videos, pictures, and lists attract 6 times more links than just text ones.

Therefore, I write articles where each statement is backed up by data, make them at least 1850 words long, and insert pictures, headings and lists there.

And it works. A post with a length of more than 2000 words can contain a lot of useful things (more than 200 words).

Will it work for everyone? Probably not. First, you must be able to write. If you are having difficulty linking a couple of paragraphs, then an article of 2000+ words is not for you. Maybe you better make videos or podcasts.

If you want to start a blog, I would advise you to do the following research:

- What other successful blogs are there in your market, industry, or niche?
- what others do not?
- How can your content be noticeably better or different from others?

We get visitors

If you start a blog without the support of your existing audience, don’t wait until “people find it” or “SEO will work”. It doesn’t work like that.

Obviously, you need to add widgets to distribute links on social networks. You need to collect readers' emails in order to deliver content directly to them. I distributed my posts as soon as I could.

- contacted people and companies that I mentioned in the post, and many of them then distributed these posts
- but did not ask for retweets (do not do this)
- sent short emails: “Hello, ABV, I just mentioned you in my blog post on . Kiss, Vasya. "
- shared posts on his Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you can make bulk posts to groups of which you are a member.
- posted posts on Reddit, StumbleUpon and Hacker News (then and Some posts were spread by the viral method.

How to make a viral post?

You can advertise a post only if its content is interesting enough. People will spread it if they like it. Your creation must be perfect. And then you need to figure out how to convey it to influential people.

Many such people found my posts on HackerNews. And then Tim Ferris dropped my blog, sending too much traffic there.

Speaking of which. My post about the experiment with pricesreached number one on HN in the first month of blogging. Because of this, my server crashed (it is better to use CDN, Content Delivery (and Distribution Network)). After 7 months, someone discovered this post again, and again posted it on HackerNews. I was in the top ten for two days in a row - this is a very serious traffic. And then, right after the end of traffic with HN, Tim Ferris shared it on his Facebook and Twitter.

Although visitors with StumbleUpon, Reddit, and HN give a very poor conversion of "visits to emails," they help in a different way. What becomes popular there, then retweets, so I earned a bunch of followers on Twitter and a bunch of links to my blog from others. And these links raised the blog on Google.

Guest posts on other people's blogs also attract traffic and audience. But your guest posts should be even more awesome than the posts on your blog. These posts are essentially high-quality ads. If you want users to go to your blog, you need to write an epic guest post. It’s hard - so do not write such posts for small blogs.

Do not be afraid of big blogs. Everyone needs good content, and they will even pay you for it. All the top blogs pay guest posters ( do you want to write for me ?) With SmashingMagazine hundreds of visitors come to me every month, although I last wrote there a year and a half ago. Here is the traffic analysis for the last month:


- syndication of content. Business2Community and BusinessInsiderengage in syndication
- settle for all podcasts and webinars. Every mention increases your traffic. And offer your

own. You probably know other strong players in the market. Do not know - find out. Find out who invites guests to webinars and podcasts - suggest your own topics. If you have good ones, then everything will work out. Make sure your blog has enough content and that you have specific ideas for discussion.

I have my own personal webinar attendance record when I was invited to the Unbounce webinar (Unwebinar). There were more than 3,000 visitors. I still get subscribers from there, and I meet people who first heard about me there. Use other people's audiences to increase yours - only for this you need to provide quality content.


SEO helps, of course. But I did not cooperate with SEO-companies and did not generate heaps of left links on myself. All links are real, deserved good content.

In addition to using the SEO plugin in my WP, the only thing I do in this regard is writing key phrases in the post headers. And then I insert the same phrase a couple of times into the text. I come up with a phrase of 2-3 words that people are likely to look for when they need what I describe in the article and use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to estimate the search volume. If the volume is greater than 0, I use this phrase. I used to not compete with highly competitive phrases because I had few backlinks to my blog. Now I can afford it.

Today, my main traffic provider is Organic search:


For money, I did not advertise anything.

Update frequency

In the first year I wrote 76 posts. One post in 4.8 days. It is accessible to everyone. Then I generally slowed down to 2 posts per month - the work was distracting. But I saw that the frequency of posts affects traffic and the number of subscribers. Each time I clicked "publish" and sent it via email, I received a bunch of visitors. I’m sure that as the amount of content increases, my traffic will increase. I am working on it.

Have patience

It is critical to have patience at the very beginning. Everyone wants to wake up successful, but this does not happen. Perseverance and constancy. I helped many blogs increase their conversion, and had access to their statistics. And I met such a thing on the traffic graph every time: slowly, slowly, slowly, BAM!

Here is my traffic from organic search, from the very beginning to the present:


Plateau, growth, plateau, growth. The bottom points are the weekend. Big Dips - Christmas Holidays.

You need to constantly work on the blog. If you determine for yourself that in the first year you won’t achieve anything special, you won’t worry much about the results and you can continue to work.

Here is the same situation with Derek Halpern's blog :


Each next year is better than the previous one. And this happens with everyone who regularly posts good content. Do what others are not capable of for a long time.

If you want to make money fast, blogging is not for you. The main goal of the blog is to build an audience. An audience that trusts you loves you and wants to buy from you - what you are selling now, or what you will be selling in four years. And you don’t even need to know that this is - your audience will tell you this themselves.

Also popular now: