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How to Boost Your Alexa Ranking (by a MILLION Places!) in Two Months and One Day

guest post by Kelly Diels

In November, I rebranded and relaunched my blog. I screwed up, I suffered, I sniffled, I refuted the advances of a pervy tech wizard. And I thought: I’d better track my results to see if this was worth it. This better have been worth it.

It was.

On November 10, my Alexa rank was 1,082,076.

Two months and one day later, it is 173,556.

Alexa Rank for kellydiels Jan 11 2009

So, in just two short months (and one day), I raised my Alexa rank by almost one million places.

In three months (in the screen shot above, look at the bottom right figure of 1,766,896), my Alexa rank increased by almost two million places.

How’d I do it? I’m so glad you asked.

Once you get past the first set of ingredients – have a seriously small and unpopular blog – the recipe is simple. It simply requires a ridiculous amount of work and a bit of creativity.

Still, I’ve itemized and analyzed what I did differently in the last two months just so I could whisper sexy blog secrets in your ear.

Here is a list of my torrid confessions.

1. Write unique stuff

Yes, this is just another way of saying “write great content! great content! great content!”. There’s a reason everyone says it, repeatedly: because it works.

I admit it. When I started blogging, I was a wannabe. I wanted to be Steve Pavlina, Darren Rowse or Yaro Starak.

Now, I just wannabe myself. I’m lit-on-fire for the written word, I have big, ballsy opinions, I’m in bed with surprise, and I love to love. That all shines through in my transparent and sometimes pulpy posts. I know the blogging and business-writing rules and alternate between obeying them and breaking them with abandon. It is roller coaster writing, to be sure, but it seems to be a ride with an lengthening line up.

The lesson: be you, write you, and write wild and free.

2. Get your great stuff out there

In two words: guest post.

I don’t have a commenting strategy – or maybe I do, but it goes like this: don’t really do it, unless profoundly moved or delighted by the post or am crushin’ on the writer and you know who you are – so guest posts are almost exclusively how I get in front of new audiences.

Guest posts bump up my traffic significantly. In the last two months, the single greatest driver of my traffic was, you guessed it, ProBlogger. There was even one day when I had two guest posts up on both ProBlogger and Write to Done.

That day was a good day.

(That day was the day I started making money – but that’s another post, entirely.)

You know who I blame for my promiscuous guest-posting?

Josh Hanagarne, World’s Strongest Librarian. He encouraged/pushed/nagged me to guest post, but I was too timid. (Really. I was scared. What if people said no? Rejection is not my thing.) When coaxing me to approach other bloggers failed, spectacularly, he took a new approach.

He demanded a guest post from me for his site. So I sent him one and his people loved me up. It was like rolling around in a meadow full of daisies and puppies and then a unicorn slid down a rainbow and gave me a cupcake. Magic.

Then, after more encouraging/pushing/nagging from Josh, I wrote a guest post for Darren Rowse at ProBlogger. Of course, I didn’t submit it for ten days until I got exasperated by my own cowardice, cursed myself out and straight-up courted that fearsome dragon – Rejection – by pressing send.

Darren accepted it in something like 15 minutes and made nice virtual noises. Later, he said he’d publish as much as I could send him. That was all I need to hear. I sent him A LOT.

Suddenly I had confidence and started sending pieces all over the place.

And my blog grew. So did my traffic.

The lesson? Guest posts work predictable magic on your blog. Go forth, guest post, bewitch and bedazzle.

And have big, strong, nagging friends.

3. Write more, more often

I used to post new pieces 1-3 times a week. Now I post 5-7 times a week. I’ve simply developed a habit of writing every night. It is sometimes painful, almost always exhausting, I’m wasting money on cable I never watch, Facebook misses me something fierce, and I have very nearly stopped dating.

(Very nearly. Not entirely. If I stopped dating, what would I write about? I romance in the name of research. THAT’S HOW MUCH I LOVE ALL OF YOU.)

And then there’s Twitter. I’ve written 322,560 words on Twitter, which is basically a novel in Tweets.

Oh. That just made me a little sad.

But other than that twinge – I could have written a novel in the time I spent Tweeting, oh yes that stings - I’m ecstatic. I’m having so much fun. I’m seeing results.

And my blog is growing.

The lesson? Don’t worry about statistics. Worry about quality.

I didn’t set out explicitly to raise my Alexa rank. I set out to improve my blog, light my writing on fire, and make a lil’ love to my people (and find more of them). And, as a result, my blog took off and took my Alexa rank with it.

You can do it, too. Please do.

And then tell me all about it on Twitter, where I still won’t be writing my novel.

_____________________

Kelly Diels is a wildly hireable freelance writer and the creator of Cleavage, a blog about three things we all want more of: sex, money and meaning.

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Comments

  1. Congrats for your success, actually Alexa ranks is not so accurate, it can be manipulated but advertisers still demand it :)

  2. Committed writing of quality stuff is the key to unbelievable ranking. I agree totally. I must train myself to do even better than 7 articles per week. I believe i will improve. Thanks for reminding us.

  3. Mokibobolink says:

    I loved this. I’ve been wondering about trying out guest blogging but was feeling nervous about it because I kept saying to myself that I wasn’t “experienced” enough to do it, etc. It was nice to see that someone else felt the same way, and got over it.

    Thanks!
    -Moki

  4. What a nice article kelly! You must not really sacrifice the quality of your blog just to have good statistics. Seems like guess posting the way to have a good traffic now. Im glad you did. I will do the same too on my blog.

  5. LOVE THIS POST… WHY?

    “It simply requires a ridiculous amount of work and a bit of creativity.”

    We have a “culture” that has brainwashed to believe that society owes them something (ENTITLEMENT)….

    Hustle Hustle Hustle

    Thanks for your invaluable post, Brian-

  6. Kelly, this is the first time I’ve read your writing and I have to tell you that I love your style. Your sense of humor is fantastic and definitely has me wanting more!

    I’ve “just” entirely relaunched my own blog, so this post full of great advice is very timely for me. Hopefully, as I discover my “voice” I will develop the confidence to get myself out there as a GUest Blogger. Definitely a goal to work towards!

    Thank-you for the great advice.

  7. Some very good tips. It’s amazing how quickly an Alexa ranking can drop in just a short period of time. I’ve seen sites in the millions go as low as 50,000 or so in less than six months. Traffic, content and internal linking are key.

  8. I’m about to start off my blog in Colombia, South America, and I’ve been reading all the information about how to do it great here on Problogger. I wanna thank Kelly for the advice and I look forward to her next post.

    Take Care Kelly, happy new year, blessings from Colombia!

  9. Carolyn says:

    Alexa ranking has been fascinating me lately – thanks for your insight on this!
    I’ve only been blogging for one month, and my Alexa ranking jumped from 11 million to 9 million to 7.5 million – so I’m still way back, but it must be very easy to move quickly through the low ranks. At some point competition must get fierce and gaining ground slow going.
    I guess we all need a viral post to launch like you did! Congratulations!

  10. I’m going to do a reply post to this tomorrow, but I went from 8,500,000 to 94,000 (36,000 in the US) in 9 weeks!

  11. Scentsy says:

    I was under the impression that back links were the best way to improve your rating. I never thought about guest posts nor how the content may be just or more important. Thank you for forfeiting a date to help all of us.

  12. Wow, I can’t believe the Alexa rating went up that fast. Does anyone know any general rules of thumb of the amount of traffic someone is getting based on their Alexa ranking? I am wondering when I look at two websites with similar Alexa ranking numbers if they really have similar traffic numbers too, or not.

  13. Maven says:

    You are so AWESOME!

    I’m getting up the nerve to ask to guestpost post but I’m still too skeeert!

  14. Paul Hassing says:

    I like the cut of your jib, Kelly! Strong, taut and empowering. Many thanks for the shot in the arm, smack in the head and clip round the earhole! Best regards, P. :)

  15. Hi Kelly,

    I’m more interested in your comment regarding guest posting…as that was when you started to make money.

    Do you think it was a sheer increase in traffic which made a difference? Or more importantly an increase in better qualified readers who were ready to click and spend?

    And without giving away all of your ‘secrets” was this increase due to click-through revenue? Or were you selling content? Or did spsonsors wake up to your increased traffic?

    Cheers in advance for your reply!

  16. Hi Kelly,

    I’m more interested in your comment regarding guest posting…as that was when you started to make money.

    Do you think it was a sheer increase in traffic which made a difference? Or more importantly an increase in better qualified readers who were ready to click and spend?

    And without giving away all of your ‘secrets” was this increase due to click-through revenue? Or were you selling content? Or did sponsors wake up to your increased traffic?

    Cheers in advance for your reply!

  17. Ravi says:

    Thanks for tips

  18. turisuna says:

    Content is still a king, writing often and regularly is needed to invite visitors come to our blog, I have done both of them. Now I’m trying to be a guest post, it’s not easy because it needs quality and trust, I won’t give up, I will try it harder. Thanks for your tips :)

  19. Bojan says:

    Not dating = not cool :)

    Great advices for the beginner like myself.

  20. I loved your article! I’m an old fashioned marketing girl and it’s taking me time to get used to all the online stuff but I am getting my head around it all despite the frequent overwhelm! I really value all of your tips. Thank you!

  21. Thanks for the tips you provided, it really helped me. i cant deny the importance of frequently posting: i boosted all my sites with content. From directories to websites, content is the main factor!

  22. Asif Ahmed says:

    Great Story, Even i wrote something like this on my blog. Focus on Content and not stats. Your Blog grows with it.

  23. Kannan says:

    Very interesting article! Fresh and frequently updated unique content is the basement to increase the traffic of a blog.

  24. Elena says:

    Thanks for the tips! It really helpful for me…

  25. i agree. Write more.

  26. ppc tips says:

    This is true. If you write a guest post for a bigger blog, with a link back to your blog, it will almost certainly increase traffic to your blog, at least for a couple of days.

  27. WoW! You write with wild abandon, Love It!

  28. id says:

    I always write my own stuff and if you follow a good strategy the return will be pleasant.

  29. Springa says:

    Thank you for your ramblings and writings and enthusiasm. I do have blog but at this stage I cant even find it. I will look again in a minute. I dont have a ‘real’ website yet – just the affiliate one mentioned. But that is all about to change soon so I can make squillions and give up work and be the me I want to be – instead of the responsible adult on the outside who holds down a job, wait is a pillar of society and yet is really too busy to work.
    So, again thank you – I enjoy your style.
    Springa

  30. Michael says:

    I used to think the entire “original content” thing was bogus…

    Your points are WELL taken – write original – write good – and write a lot.

    Your strategy works every single time. I find that when I slack off my ratings AND earning plummet.

  31. Alexa seems more closely related to blogging traffic and visits than the number of articles on your site, though articles linking back to your own that are tracked by Alexa help your rating a big deal. Also some people told me having Alexa reviews of your site help, and I found out that hosting an Alexa badge on your site showed benefits for me as well.

  32. Not quite as good a result as you, I’ve managed an 800,000 place improvement over 3 months. Since I’ve been following a targeted approach similar to the one you have outlined.

  33. Leah MacVie says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for this new blogger advice. I’m definitely going to commit to writing frequently- showing my opinion more- and trying to guest blog- thank you for mentioning that last one!!

  34. That is a tip I have been giving in my Blog if you want to make money with it.

    Publish, publis and publish good quality content and go and so social networking.

    If you publish 1,000 articles in a month and you leave 1,000 links in other people’s blogs your rankings will go up and your money too.

  35. sd cards says:

    Amazing post with all sorts of great alexa information. I have never really concerned myself with alexa but maybe I should. Thanks again!

  36. I never did understand alexa rankings. There is so much to keep up with especially for those of us just starting out. For now I just focus on my search engine rankings and hopefully that will help with the alexa ranking as well.

    As far as content is king, you are correct, but you still need to have a way of getting people to see it. writing content is half the equation, the other half is getting yourself out there.

  37. Paul says:

    Great post Kelly. It’s good to hear a success story like this, I hope it continues for you.
    The big changes in your ranking clearly indicate the value of your strategy. Thank you for sharing
    Regards
    Paul

  38. Tom says:

    Hi guys, there’s an interesting article written in response to this discussion. See http://www.zulucreative.co.uk/blogs.php?id=50, and be sure to post a comment!

  39. Great advice just being persistent on the basics.

    Writing regular blogs can be difficult with trying PPC marketing strategies and “work” after selling my service. This is a real key area to focus on this year on all my blogs.

    One last thought. Guess I shouldn’t be responding to this article and writing a guest article instead – ha ha :o)

  40. Charlie says:

    Great advise! However, is Alexa a reliable tool? There has been a lot of talk around this a large number of people I ve talked to don t even consider its results.

  41. Aglo says:

    The most regret is never jumped to nearly a year, and I have a lot of writing and publishing it to others.

  42. Mike says:

    Like your writing style Kelly. Congrats on your success!
    Keep up the good work and don’t be afraid to release the unicorns… (ahh.. this line sounded much better in my head then out loud:)

    Mike

  43. I’ve also started to write guest posts, and I’ve seen some quality traffic from it. To me, writing guest posts was the one thing that I should have done a long time ago.

    - Jens

  44. lynx says:

    Well ,I may not know the effect of the toolbar ,but I did not have it installed ,yet my rank improved from 4 million to 300,000.I think Just like the writer put forth, to a large extent,it still have to do with traffics,no matter the manipulations involved.

  45. Scentsy says:

    I am always looking for new, great ways go improve my blogs ranking, so thanks for the tips. Now on to finding what to write and how to creatively going about it.

  46. MrsGrapevine says:

    I just want to know why my pageviews are increasing, but my Alexa number is yo-yoing. Oneday it will say 38,000 then the next 80,000 but the number of views are roughly the same.

  47. Unicorns sliding down a rainbow sounds like a Saturday cartoon I used to watch.

  48. Informative posts. Earlier they said having alexa toolbar installed in computers that access your site improved ranking . What i did was install alexa on my college computers and set the home page as my site … :P

  49. Thanks for this
    Hmm.. Does this mean that Alex rankings and having a life are mutually exclusive? :)

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