How I Got Over 11,908 Visitors in My Blog’s Third Week

By: Ramsay | 49 intelligent opinions, add yours

Hong Kong Streetlife
Creative Commons License photo credit: jonwick04

Blog Tyrant just turned one month old and in that time I have had some pretty amazing things happen. I’ve been on the front page of Delicous.com twice, got hundreds of subscribers, had over 150 comments and received messages from some online hero’s of mine (thank you Rand Fishkin). This post, however, is focused on the fact that I had over 11,908 unique visitors in my blog’s third week.

I am going to do a quick break down of what I did so that you can do the same for your new (or old) blog.

The traffic proof

Before I move on with the post I know what you are all thinking. I can hear your judging thoughts. Where is the proof, jerk? Here is a screen shot from my Google Analytics statistics. I have cut and pasted the date from the right of the screen so I could fit it in to the small image. Other than that nothing has been changed.

Traffic stats proof screenshot

As you can see the day of August 8th was around 5,000 visitors which was the day that I hit the front page of Delicious.com for the article on selling a blog.

How I got over 11,908 visitors in my blog’s third week

Now I will go into a few of the things that I did that you too can do in order to boost the traffic at your blog. Hopefully there is something new here for you to consider. As always, drop us a comment if you have any questions or any of your own suggestions.

1. I researched articles and targeted people’s problems
The first thing I do before writing any article is research. Not a lot of research but a good 20 minutes or so in order to figure out exactly what I’m going to write about and, more importantly, why I am going to write it. I always do two types of research:

  • Keyword research
    This is the type of research where you look at popular keywords, topics and trends – find out what people are looking for in your particular niche.
  • Problem solving research
    This is where you look at the problems that people are having within that topic. What needs and wants do they have? Can you help them with that?

It is really important that you do both. Sure, sometimes you might jag a good topic or post idea but most of the time you have to put some thought into what people are looking for and what problems they are having. Unless your blog posts aim to help people in some way you really aren’t going to get any boost in traffic. If you can target a problem that is universal in your niche and perhaps has some time sensitivity to it then you are going to do very well.

2. I wrote specific, targeted directly
Once you have done your two types of research it is important to put it in to practice and not just sort of generally have it in mind when you write. You need to be very specific. You need to be like a heat seeker missile going after its target. I try to keep my posts very target to just one concept.

Think about adverts you see on TV. Baby nappy ads only show babies and mothers and the catch phrases are always to do with how it will benefit the mum and the baby. They never mention teenagers or dads or anyone else because it is the mum who buys the product in the end. In the same way you need to make sure you are writing to the people you want to target. Sometimes I read blog posts that are so general and unspecific I wonder who they heck they are talking to.

When you are writing your posts make sure the title, the introduction, the headings and all the contents of the post are directly related to your target audience and their problem. Don’t waffle off on to other areas or related points and don’t forget who you are talking to. If your blog is about baby nappies make sure you talk to mothers and their needs using language they understand.

3. I tried to exhaust the topic but didn’t answer all the questions
If you take a look at my blog posts you will notice they are all pretty long. The article that first hit the front page of Delicious.com, for example, was around 4,700 words long. It took a fair while to write but was worth it completely. And although I tried to cover every aspect of the topic, I tried not to completely answer everyone’s questions.

Here’s what I mean. Whenever someone clicks on a link to read a blog post that have a whole host of questions in mind. They want answers. If you give them all of the answers they are satisfied and leave your blog without interacting in any way. And that is pretty useless. When you have 11,908 people coming to your blog in a week you want them to interact. You want them to sign up to your RSS feed, you want them to leave comments and you want them to talk about it on Twitter and Facebook.

I remember a few years ago on another blog I spent an entire day writing one big massive blog post that completely covered a certain fitness topic. I hit publish and sat back waiting for all the comments and questions to come in but nothing happened. No Tweets, no comments, crickets chirping. I sent my mate an email (he was a reader of the blog) and asked him what the deal was. He wrote back saying that it was so complete he had nothing left to say.

Make sure you still leave some questions unanswered. In fact, if you can ask people questions that is even better. It is vital that you cover a topic as completely as you can but you don’t want your reader to finish the article and think “I don’t need to come back to this blog anymore, my problems are solved“.

Answering questions in the comments is different of course.

4. I refined my titles to < 71 characters of pure curiosity
Well, I like to think they were that good. You might have a different opinion! We all know how important a great blog title is for the success of your post. There have been countless articles on the subject (with Copyblogger writing most of the good ones). But one thing I think a lot of us forget is that you have to make your title under 71 characters and it has to be something that makes people burn with curiosity. That is the essence of a good title.

Why under 71 characters? Well 71 is the number of characters that Google will put in their indexation. Anything more than that gets cut off and people only get to read half a title. Similarly, most of the social media and bookmarking services only allow around that amount. And on Twitter you only have 140 characters to “sell” your title and the URL so the shorter the better.

In terms of making people curious you need to, once again, really think about what it is that is going to get people to click through. And, as before, if you can be specific and targeted you will get a better result. Some things you can do to peak people’s curiosity and get them to click through include:

  • asking questions
  • stating something that goes against the status quo
  • referencing something/someone famous
  • challenging someones ideas or practices
  • using number or statistics
  • etc.

Instead of writing a post called How to Get More Visitors I decided to call this post How I Got Over 11,908 Visitors in My Blog’s Third Week as it gives you specific numbers and hopefully grabs your attention when you notice the “feat” happened in the third week of the blog’s life. Make sure your titles are the right length and stir curiosity within the people who read it.

5. I built up contacts and asked them for help
Something that is extremely important in the blogging world is asking people for help. You cannot get anywhere in the world without the help from others. No one makes it by themselves, everyone has help in some form or another. Even if it is just the fact that someone visits your site and clicks an advert or buys an eBook you have had help from that person. I really don’t like it when internet business people talk about making it on your own and screw everyone else. It is nonsense.

who do we appreciate
Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks

Now, although Blog Tyrant is very new I am lucky enough to have lots of contacts from previous blogs, websites and projects. So, when I needed a bit of help I could easily ask them. A lot of you reading this post, however, won’t have that luxury so I will talk about it from that point of view – as if you were really starting out afresh.

The first thing I would do is spend some time on Google, Digg, Delicious and Stumble finding the best websites in your niche. Make a list of them all and even perhaps take note of what area within your niche they are particularly good at doing. Feel free to send these people a very genuine email asking for help. You might want them to give you some advice, Stumble it or even Tweet it out to their followers. If you are genuine, polite and make it easy for them most of the time these big guys will help. This is a fantastic way to kick start your first front page Delicious.com attempt.

The next thing you need to do is garner support from your existing readers (however many you have), friends, family and so on. Just let them know you have been Dugg or Stumbled and would appreciate some support. Everyone, at the minimum, has a Facebook account that they can post a link to.

The most important thing though is to try and do something for these people. Think of something you can offer them in return, even if it is just a Tweet or a link on your website. People are more likely to help if they know they are going to get something in return.

6. I guest blogged
In case you didn’t see it I had a guest post on Problogger called How to Make Your Blog Addictive Like World of Warcraft. I spent a lot of time on this post. I wanted to have a unique angle for the readers over at Darren’s site who have read a lot about blogging. I wanted to give them something a little bit different. So I used two things I know about (gaming and marketing) to help his readers learn something new.

Now, here’s the thing. This post wasn’t actually published within the week of the 11,908 visitors. It was the week after. So it didn’t actually contribute to those numbers. What it did do, however, was remind people of my existence. There are so many blogs out there and each day dozens of them hit the front page of the big bookmarking sites. My guest post on Problogger was a way to remind them that I was out there. I had a lot of people emailing me saying they saw me on Delicious and then on Problogger and thought they might just subscribe. That is a good thing.

In a world of where there are literally tens of millions of blogs you need to get your name out there. One of the best ways to do this is to write quality articles and ask the big guys in your niche to publish them. I would even go so far as to say you need to make these guest posts better than the ones on your own site. Really work hard to deliver something that makes people think you have something new and interesting to offer them.

7. I followed up with something related
If you get some traffic from one of the bookmarking websites it is important to follow up that post with something relevant and interesting to those people who just came to your site. This is a great way to get more traffic to your blog and even get back on the front page again!

Think about the last time you found a new blog that you liked. You read one or two posts and then either subscribed or left. The next day or even a few days later you revist that blog because it is fresh in your mind. This is the point when you decide to be a long term fan or erase it from your memory banks. That is why you need to follow up with something related.

I wrote the post on how to sell a blog and then followed up with a post about why your blog will fail. This gave all the people who arrived from the initial post something similar and related to think about. I noticed a big increase in subscribers and traffic loyalty in the days after that post.

Am I missing anything?

Are there any details in here that you think are missing? I would like to try and help you as much as is reasonably possible so feel free to ask me any questions that I might have forgotten to address. Hopefully I can give you enough general information to crank your traffic to new heights with your next few posts.



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49 Comments

  • Congratulations on the uber-successful launch!

    As far as “what’s missing?” – I noticed you don’t have a blog roll. Was this a conscious decision, or is it on the to-do list?

  • the Blog Tyrant

    Hi Jeff.

    I don’t usually do blog rolls because they look a little bit dodgey to Google. Some people sell links in their sidebar and Google usually penalizes them if they do.

    I often link to blogs in the posts though – hopefully they add some value for you.

    Tyrant.

  • Wow- those numbers are great!

    Thanks for the useful info!

  • Hi tyrant,
    I am sitting here asking myself, exactly how many blogs have you had since you started blogging?
    If you don’t mind giving me the links…
    However, close to 12,000 visits in under a month is totally ridiculous for lack of a better word. You must have pushed the traffic real hard. Tell you what, I recently wrote an article, the best for me this month and immediately I was done, sat back….and thought…nay….let me give it away as a guest post. I did exactly that to a website in my niche.
    Guess what?
    On the day it was published I received an email from my host stating that I was about to surpass my allocated bandwidth. I couldn’t believe it since that hadn’t happened before.
    Good post though.

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Great story Teddy. The bandwidth gods were looking out for you.

      As for how many blogs, it well over 150 now.

      Tyrant

  • Congratulations on your launch and your great success. I enjoy reading your posts and really empathized with your comments on Google – I’ve had the same problem.

    My question is really about the research you do. Do you look for questions people submit, or keywords, do you use a tool? I thought I’d researched the questions people ask in my niche, but since I haven’t achieved anything look your success, clearly there’s something I’m not doing! Any help would be appreciated.

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Lesley.

      One thing you can do is get Market Samurai (free to try) and learn how to use that. It has amazing information about search volumes, keyword combinations and competition in the niche. Gives you lots of ideas.

      Also look at other websites popular posts, Digg and Delicious front pages, etc.

      Tyrant

  • Loving your tips and takin notes! Thank you!

  • oh and welcome to my bookmarks bar

  • Russ

    I am enjoying your blog but I did have one question.

    You mention that you have a lot of blogs already and a lot of friends/contacts to help you push this site into popularity, but I am curious about your thoughts on what percentage those 12,000 visits you received was to do with your contacts and how much of it was to do with how you wrote the post.

    Tough to be sure I know but do you have a gut feeling?

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Great question Russ.

      To be honest its more about the post. Contacts can only give things a head start – if the post is top quality then it takes on a momentum of its own.

      Tyrant

  • I can’t imagine getting that many visitors in a month’s time on my new blog. But based upon your Problogger article on gaming, as well as this one, I suspect a big reason for your success is that you write readable content that is thorough and well said.

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Dorothy. Appreciate it.

      I’m sure you can do it too. Just takes a bit of practice to find your own style.

  • Wow that’s really great. I had great success as well but not as much traffic as you. Keep up the good work bro :)

  • This is amazing. Congratulations on your success. I would also like to say you write very well which is no doubt a contributing factor to your popularity.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Michael

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Michael. Appreciate the feedback.

      Tyrant

  • Great article Blog Tyrant, congrats on the traffic!
    I have a question about guest posting and that is, does is matter too much about what niche you submit a guest post in? Because I’ve been struggling to find blogs in my niche that allow guest posts and have only got guest posts posted in 2 unrelated niches.

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Jasmine.

      Yeah it is massively important. Posting in unrelated niches is really, most of the time, a bit of a waste.

      My advice would be to put together the most amazing post you can and then send an excerpt to the big guys in your niche saying that this is a sneak preview of a post you have done for them. If the quality is good they might let you in.

      Tyrant

  • I read your WOW article on my boyfriends iphone and now Im hooked. You have created a monster that is obsessed with blog traffic tactics!

    I have always been interested in how to increase a blogs following, but reading your article (esp the WOW one) has created a strange curiosity as to weather I am able to use your tips for my fashion blog.
    What do you think? How can these methods benefit a fashion blog?

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Bridgette.

      Perhaps you could tell me how you think they might work on your blog?

      Thanks for the compliment!

      Tyrant.

  • Very Informative Article Indeed. While I appreciated and kind of was aware of most of the ways you talked about, the most thought provoking part for me was your experience that possibly writing an exhaustive post which leaves almost nothing open ended is not that great an idea. For me, this is really an extremely interesting observation and does tell you a lot about how the whole blogosphere really works. And BTW I envy the number of visitor you are getting :-) and that too with negligible dependency on google juice. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • It is superb to have that many visitors in short a time. But, after I read how you do it, the result is reasonable.

  • Well done! Those are fantastic numbers!

    Question: why do you hide your true name and identity? The reason I ask is because I think you could have grabbed even more subscribers, and have even more comments if you had a name and a face.

    I apologize if you’ve already addressed this somewhere before. I love your content, but for me its hard to follow and connect with a person I can’t eve call by their first name.

    Cheers!

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Hey Pat.

      No need to apologize. The reason, perhaps, is because I might be well known in the industry. Perhaps I want to release the information at a later date?

      ;-)

  • Well, this is great Tyrant. You did hard work and you got results that is what I can say all about. :)

  • Amazing @Tyrant but I guess the third week is the peak when you have guest post published on problogger.net? Congrats!

  • I just started a blog on living in the oc and also about dating… did you ever do a dating blog? any recommendation on how to get traffic for new blogs?
    thanks for your help!
    tk.

  • You are very expert in getting huge visitors for your website. :)

  • Thank you very much for the post and information. I have been having issues with increasing my readership and I am not sure where to go next with it. This post was a great help and I am definitely going to be back for more info to help grow my blog!
    I appreciate all of the help,
    JW
    (ps. im sorry about the double post)

  • Here is the thing I liked about your blogs – They have real numbers and not some magic sand.

    BTW, trying to subscribe by clicking the icon, but in chrome it gives me a dump of the posts and nothing useful. I’m using 6.0.472.63 (Its the latest as of today)

    I will subscribe by clicking it in FireFox, but wanted to let you know.

  • Hi Tyrant,

    I’m trying to get my readers to post comments, thoughts, suggestions on my blog, but they like to send me a personal email instead.

    How should I improve this?

    My blog: http://yinlichua.com/blog

    Would appreciate any comments from you.
    Yin Li

    • the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Yin Li.

      I actually found it kind of hard to find your comments link. Perhaps put it up the top under the title (like Darren at Problogger) or move it to the front of the text down the bottom.

      Also, maybe put a note on your contact page telling people to comment first, contact later.

      Hope it helps.

      Tyrant.

      • Hey Tyrant,

        Thanks for the speedy response… I’ll try it out. Thanks a lot!

        - Yin Li

  • Hello

    Researching keywords is definitely a good one to improve your traffic. I have done it by looking at my google analytics keywords that people search for me use and tailor posts around them help a lot. I get a lot of recurring traffic from those. I should do more on the keyword tool because I already know it is very successful however my laziness is too lazy to do such.

  • Wow, your post gave me new ideas for my website. I think your item 5 (about building up contacts and asking them for help) will help me lots.
    Thanks!

  • That is quite impressive for such a young blog. Keep it up.