5 Growth Hacking Strategies from Top Bloggers That Will Quadruple Your Blog’s Traffic
Who doesn’t want more traffic to their blog? It’s every blogger’s dream to see views and shares mounting up for your carefully crafted posts.However, as many discouraged bloggers find, it can be incredibly tough to attract viewers to your blog, especially if you’re just getting started.If this is your case, growth hacking might change the game. Unconventional strategies can bring you huge increases in traffic, links and conversion rates, and without any expense or even the trouble of using SEO. All you need to do is target your attention on the right points in the blogging process.
Does your blog need SEO?
SEO professionals promise quick growth in traffic to your site
without any financial investment beyond their own fee. It’s a powerful strategy for those who know how to use it, and the one most used by business owners and
professional digital marketers. However, it’s not the be-all and end-all of digital marketing channels. As you can see below, SEO has both great benefits and serious limitations.Pro’s:
- Continuous flow of traffic from the roughly 9 million searches made every day, and without the expense of PPC advertising
- Exposes your site to people who are actively looking for the information, product or services you offer
- Establishes you as an authority in your field
- Results take times, especially to get a return of investment
- Requires a big investment if your business is in a competitive niche – you will probably have to hire external help with organic links and other marketing techniques if you want to compete with ads
- No guarantee of success, and since 75% of users never scroll past Google’s first page, if you don’t make it there you might have well not even put in the effort
- Risk of being penalized, leaving you to start again from scratch whenever there’s a change in Google’s algorithm
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to promote your site and generate huge traffic without getting involved in SEO at all.
Growth hacking: what it is and how it can send your traffic through the roof
Everyone’s talking about growth hacking these days. The term was coined by startup marketer Sean Ellis to describe the unconventional ways that small, disadvantaged businesses develop to break out of traditional growth channels. New startups can’t compete with the budget and exposure of established corporations, but what they lack in scale they make up for in creativity.Put simply, growth hacking is all about what gets real results. It’s often said that 20% of the work produces 80% of the gain. By focusing on that 20%, you can achieve incredible things for a fraction of the effort.
Strategies used by top bloggers
Brian Dean calls this “skyscraper technique” because it will make your search traffic shoot up like a rocket. It’s reverse engineering your content to create something which is already proven to work well. The technique has three steps:
- Find link-worthy content
- Make something even better
- Reach out to the right people
Remember that your post isn’t going out into a void. Unless your subject is insanely esoteric, chances are that someone (and probably a lot of someones) have already posted similar content. The oversaturated marketplace can be a challenge for bloggers, but why not take advantage of it?For Step 1, find what’s already performing well in your field. Buzzsumo is an invaluable tool here. It provides you with the top articles for your keyword, plus the number of shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and in total.For example, here I’ve put in “growth hacks” and found the highest ranked articles about growth hacking, plus data on who is sharing them and where they’re trending.You can find great ideas for posts on Buzzsumo – but not so great that you can’t improve them!Step 2 is to take these ideas and run with them.For text posts, you’ll probably want to make them longer and more detailed. Neil Patel found that longer posts –between 2,000 and 2,400 words – rank higher on Google, get more links and are shared more on social media. People value the extra content, especially if it offers unique information and perspectives that can’t be found anywhere else.Make your content more up to date and beef it up with relevant examples. Adding better graphics and design can also help. Bottom line is, you want to add value to the concept so your presentation will stand out from the ground.Finally, in Step 3, find your audience. Buzzsumo can again be very useful. With the “view backlinks” and “view sharers” buttons, you can connect with the top social sharers. Once you’ve created a great post, reach out to them over Twitter or email. You already know they’re interested, so there’s a good chance they’ll share your new and improved content.
Often neglected by writers new to the blogosphere, email lists are a goldmine. A good email list is basically an audience that you already know is interested in your work and waiting to read more. What better resource could you ask for?To build up your email list, try using multiple sign-up forms and placing a lead magnet on your homepage. You can partner with other bloggers in your field, providing guest posts on each other’s pages in order to pool your audiences. Most importantly, always give your readers high-quality, deeply researched content that speaks to their specific interests and concerns.
A content upgrade is a juicy bonus that you give your readers along with a post. It’s basically a new and improved version of the lead magnets that marketers have been putting for years at the bottom of blog posts to connect people to their email lists.Your content upgrade might be a free PDF or a “bonus lesson” going deeper into the same topic. Whatever it is, it has to be highly relevant and should improve the existing content.The numbers show that this strategy works wonders. A good content upgrade can increase your email list and conversion rate by shocking numbers – 785% in Brian Dean’s case – and practically overnight.
Promote, promote, promote
According to Pat Flynn, whose 2010 blog post checklist is just as relevant today, only 50% of a blog’s success comes from the actual posts. The other 50% is everything that happens after the post goes live.Instead of just posting and waiting for views to come to you, promote your content on social media, forums, and social bookmarking sites. Twitter and Facebook are the most important since more people are on Facebook than any other site in the world, but if you’re on other social media platforms you should take advantage of them too.
Post to forums, share and comment on other bloggers’ work. This is a surefire way to gain visibility for your posts and credibility in the community.Just exercise caution with social bookmarking sites like Digg and Stumbleupon. They can bring a lot of traffic but Flynn warns that they often crack down on self-promoting bookmarks.Keep tabs on your post for a while after it goes up. One of the best ways to build a relationship with your readers is to reply to their comments. And if someone re-tweets your post, thank them! Re-tweets from other people can bring huge traffic, and taking five seconds to thank them makes them more likely to re-tweet you again.Support other people’s content
It seems counterintuitive but promoting other people’s blog posts is actually a great way to bring attention to your own. Call it blogger’s karma. Everyone usually spends all their time just pushing their own stuff, so if you break the mold, you’ll attract notice.The people whose content you spread will be grateful and might do the same for you, and your blog will become known as a hub of great content from many sources. You’re helping the whole community by doing this, creating a more fertile environment for your blog to succeed in.It helps just leave comments on other people’s blogs with similar topics to yours. Leave thoughtful questions to get a dialogue rolling. You can build a relationship with other bloggers, who are now more likely to pay attention to your content and get your name out at the same time.
Growth hacks are a great way to bypass traditional growth channels like SEO and PPC advertising. Instead of relying on risky, expensive and time-intensive methods, bloggers can draw tons of attention to their pages using only connections and a little creativity. Grow hacking shifts the balance towards bloggers who offer meaningful, high-quality content and who actively contribute to their online communities.And the best part? Anyone can do it.So take these techniques and growth hack your way to incredible blog traffic.