How I Increased My Blog Traffic by 79% in 12 Weeks

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Bloggers are always looking for the next secret to build their online community faster, stronger, and with less effort than before. They eyeball companies that promise to build their Twitter followers to record numbers, that can improve their quantity of inbound links, and some of them even attempt to build their content by manipulating a few words of someone else’s article and then calling it their own. Each one of these methods might work temporarily, but ultimately you’ll be found out and your blog will tumble along with all the others.

In late December of last year, I decided to push myself to become a better blogger and to reach more people with my personal finance message. Here are the goals I set for myself to reach by the end of 2015:

I really didn’t have a marvelous plan on how I was going to achieve these numbers, but I knew that it had to start with better writing.

1) Increased My Blog Traffic with Quality Writing

In early 2013, building traffic was sooo easy. I just wrote quite a few 400-500 word posts that had a decent central topic and boom, my articles got picked up by Google and drove some pretty decent traffic to my site. But then…Google updated their algorithm and my search traffic tanked. Within just a few months, my visitor numbers dropped to a small fraction of where they had been before.

Needless to say, my confidence probably dropped more steeply than did my visitor numbers, and while I still wrote articles consistently, I didn’t push myself to write those high-quality, rich content posts that I should have been. I told no one that I owned a blog, and pretty much wrote from the dark corners of my home, wallowing in my self-pity because my site was no longer growing.

Then, I had a sort of epiphany. My site had a ton of content, there were still people that loved to read what I wrote, and with my mortgage paid off, I now felt completely qualified to give solid financial advice to those that were searching for it! In December I decided that 2015 was going to be my year! With this new mindset, guess what happened? My site exploded!

20150322 - How I Increased My blog traffic

At first, no one really noticed that anything had changed, but then each article started getting a few more hits than the one before. I added new staff writers based not on a first come first serve basis, but by way of interviews and sample posts. No longer was this blog a way to make a few bucks, it was a platform to reach others and inspire them to find their own financial greatness!

Soon, my articles and my staff writers were getting picked up by larger blogs, and the visitor numbers just kept on growing. As of Saturday, I have increased my blog traffic from 7,915 visitors at the beginning of the year to 14,179 – a 79% growth in just 12 weeks.

20150321 - Monthly Visitors

2) Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Prior to this year, I had pretty much ignored social media. Sure, I had a Twitter and Facebook account, but I only posted links to my most recent articles. That was it. And this was supposed to inspire someone to look at my posts? Ummm, yeah, that was probably a bad marketing move on my part. No, let me clarify that a little better – it was IDIOTIC on my part.

In 2015, I made every effort I could to improve my social media numbers, specifically with Twitter:

  • I tweeted more often, and more personally
  • I set up a Hootsuite account and scheduled Tweets for every hour of the day
  • I thanked every single follower and asked them to check out my site (with the URL in the Tweet of course)
  • I tweeted old posts, new posts, anything I could find on my site that I loved and was willing to share

20150321 - Twitter followers

This added effort is really starting to pay off. Not only have I improved my Twitter numbers to over 2,000 followers, but each article I write now has well over 30 tweets, sometimes greater than 50! All these tweets are sending new eyeballs to my site each and every day.

3) I Set Up a Free eBook for Email Subscribers

I had written a book about two years ago, but just never set it up as a promotional item on my website. It was laziness at its best, but I just couldn’t let it go on any longer. By setting up this book as an incentive for my readers to subscribe, I was not only improving my subscriber numbers, but I was also improving my visitor numbers in two ways:

  1. Those that signed up for the book were now getting emails every time a new article was posted on my site, and were therefore more likely to visit
  2. The emails prompted the new subscribers to remember my site and made it more likely for them to recommend it to a friend.

Number two obviously isn’t as likely as number one, but it is certainly possible and might create another loyal subscriber, which could then lead yet another person to my site! With my subscriber numbers now soaring, my visitor numbers will likely only climb higher.

20150321 - Subscribers

In Summary

All this growth never would have happened if my content had not improved. I hear it said again and again, but it is 100% true. Without superior content, your blog will not grow. I could have increased my Twitter activity, featured a decent eBook, or even hosted giveaway, which may have initially improved my numbers. But, in the end the content still would have been average and uninspiring, and the numbers would have sunk back down to their normal lows. Growth absolutely begins and ends with quality content. There is no way around it. Because I now focus on writing at least four quality articles a week, my numbers have spiked like I would never have believed. Stay tuned – there is more awesomeness to come!

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Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

12 Comments

    • Glad you found it inspiring, Richard! It was actually pretty inspiring for me to write! I can’t believe the growth that has happened and can’t wait to see what kind of growth is ahead of me in the future. Thanks for reading!

  1. Congratulations on your recent successes. I launched my new blog this past week, so your tips are very timely for me. I jumped the gun a bit on the launch without having much content up, but got so excited I just hit publish. I’ve now decided to back up a bit and be more deliberate with my approach. I’m realizing quality is the most important, but quantity is also important for beginners. I look forward to implementing some of your suggestions, but will be holding off a week or so until I’ve created more content to enjoy.

    • Congrats on pulling the trigger on a new site! It was quite a few years ago, but I still remember how exciting those first few months were. Just be sure to stick with it for the long haul as success will certainly not come immediately! Best of luck to you, Derek!

  2. I just got done writing up a post about my first 6-months of blogging. Essentially my strategies of how I went from zero readers to averaging 3,200 visitors a month and growing. And like you mentioned the quality content is key. I like to look at a few metrics along with the visitor (or session metric in google analytics):

    1 – Bounce rate (I am under 50% bounce)

    2 – Time on Site (between 3 – 4 minutes)

    3 – and page views (2.5 currently)

    These tell me that the content is engaging enough for people to stay on the site to not only read the article but also enough to look at previous posts.

    I still have plenty of work to do on social side. But just taking it one step at a time.

    Congrats on the improvement.

    Onward and Upward!
    Gen Y Finance Guy recently posted..Anatomy of a Side Hustle: How I made $18,000 at an effective rate of $100/hour

    • Hi GenY! Yeah, your numbers are excellent! Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be seeing huge visitor numbers in no time! Nice work.

  3. Thanks for these tips. One of my goals for this year is to increase my traffic. I can’t believe that I didn’t think to share my old articles.
    Jason B recently posted..March 2015 Debt Update

    • Yeah, most of your Twitter followers probably never saw the article before, so why not promote it again if it’s a good one?!

  4. Hey Derek,

    Awesome post here.

    I found your site in the beginning weeks of 2015 and I’ve been impressed with the great content you always bring to the web every time you post.

    You’re site has inspired me to keep better track of my finances and has helped me with my own site as well.

    Thanks for everything you do and keep up the good work!

    • It’s been good to have you, George! I hope to see you around for years to come so we can chat about your riches! 🙂

    • It most definitely is. I can’t wait for this site to continue to grow! At some point I need to do more than just articles. There has to be other draws on other pages as well. Stay tuned for those efforts, whatever they may be. 😉


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