Today I am pleased to bring you an article from Nick Rubright, sharing his experiences on: “5 Things I Learned from Growing My Blog to 35k Monthly Visitors in Under a Year”
Nick Rubright is the digital marketing specialist for IRC Sales Solutions – an organization by Spencer Smith that helps businesses learn to grow, manage, and organize their sales teams.
Here's what Nick says:
With very few exceptions, the majority of bloggers start at zero.
When I was in college, I started my first blog with zero money, zero connections, and zero experience in marketing.
Fast forward a year later, and my site had grown to 35,000 monthly visitors and I was making $2,000/month from that traffic.
Not bad for a college student, growing my blog!
Along the way, I made tons of mistakes and learned a lot. Here are 5 things I learned from my experience growing my website to 35,000 monthly visitors.
Growth isn’t based on luck – it’s learned
A lot of people seem to think that if you publish awesome content, people will find it. Their idea of growing a website is that the cream rises to the top.
While this would be great if it were true, it’s just not the case. The idea of hoping you get lucky based on the merits of your content alone is a flawed strategy for growth.
The reality is that the websites with the most traffic are the ones with people behind them who have learned how to get people to their website.
Getting people to your website is something that you, too, can learn. Nobody starts off knowing how to attract website visitors – we all had to figure it out.
There are lots of online courses out there about this. While it’s a great idea to take some to familiarize yourself with the different internet marketing strategies out there, most of what you learn will come from taking action.
In my case, I made it my goal to figure out SEO. I decided I was going to choose a keyword, then do whatever it takes to get my website to rank for that keyword.
As I started seeing traffic come in from Google, I was able to see that what I was doing was working.
Takeaway: Don’t let yourself fall victim to the idea of “If you build it they will come.” Instead, take the time to learn and implement marketing strategies for your website that attract visitors.
Choose one channel and double down
If you try and promote your website with too many channels at once, you’ll spread yourself too thinly and won’t be able to execute anything to perfection.
Instead of focusing on SEO, social media, advertising, and PR all at once, pick one of these and double down.
Which of these you choose should depend on the type of website you’re trying to grow. I chose SEO because I knew my content was being searched for. However, if you’re a fashion brand, for example, social media might be a better fit for you.
It’s also important to consider what you have previous experience in. If you already have a bit of experience or knowledge in SEO or social media, it might be best to start with these since you’re not starting at absolute zero.
When you have chosen your one marketing channel, double down. Learn everything you can about growing your website through that channel, and execute.
Takeaway: Don’t spread yourself thin. Pick one marketing channel for your website and stick with it.
Spend 80% of your time on promotion
New website owners frequently spend most (or all) of their time trying to write and publish their content.
This goes back to the thinking of “If I build it, they will come” which, again, isn’t true.
If you want people to find your content, you need to promote it.
Focusing all of your efforts on publishing content will land you in a situation where you have tons of content and no traffic.
When growing my site, I quickly learned that promotion was a far more valuable use of my time than constantly writing blog posts. I ended up spending 80% of my time on promotion and 20% of my time actually creating content.
So, how do you promote your content? More importantly, who do you promote it to? We’ll go over that in the next section.
Takeaway: Follow the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time on promotion, and 20% of your time on content creation.
Relationships are key
When it comes to promotion, you’d think you want to promote your site to potential readers, right?
You want to promote it to influencers in your niche who have an audience that’s similar to yours.
This way, you can tap into their audience, and maybe earn some back-links, which help with SEO.
So, how exactly do you get the attention of influencers in your niche?
There are a few ways you can get on their radar:
- Comment on their blog.
- Follow them on Twitter and interact with their tweets.
- Subscribe to their email list and respond to their newsletters.
After you’ve started to interact with them on their site of social media accounts, get their email address, and ask them for some feedback on some content you’ve written. Better yet, offer up a guest post! This is a great way to build a relationship with a website owner.
Once you have these relationships, you can leverage them for social media shares or links, depending on your chosen growth strategy.
Takeaway: Take the time to build relationships with key influencers in your niche. When you have these relationships, you can tap into their audience to help grow yours.
Be picky about who you work with
If you ever reach the stage where you start hiring people, you want to be very picky about who you work with.
I’ve spent too much money hiring mediocre developers, designers, and writers.
Trust me – it’s worth waiting for the best option. Trying to save money or time on hiring is a recipe for failure, as it will end up costing you more in the long run.
Takeaway: If you need to hire someone, hire the best. Focusing too much on saving time or money isn’t worth the setbacks this will cause.
There you have it – 5 things I learned during my experience growing my website from 0 to 35,000 monthly visitors!
I hope this was helpful and that you’ve gained some helpful insights.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll reply ASAP!