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How I Increased Traffic by 90,000 Hits per Month in 25 Days

This guest posy is by M.Farouk Radwan of http://www.2knowmyself.com.

The title of this article isn’t marketing hype—it relates the true story of what happened to me this month. I am not claiming that I’m an expert in increasing traffic, but I’m sure you might find a point or two in this post that might be of benefit of you.

The problem

My website was growing very fast until 2009. It stopped growing when it reached 500,000 hits per month. For two years I was concerned about the growth rate, until one day when I decided to do something about it. I visited ProBlogger and I kept reading continuously for three days (I believe Daren got a traffic spike in that time because of me!).

After reading lots of articles, I discovered that even though I was getting a lot of hits still what matters the most are the recurring visitors, because they are the ones who can help my site’s traffic grow exponentially.

A plan of action

After realizing this important fact, here’s what I did.

1. Change the purpose of the newsletter

I had a newsletter, but its only purpose was keeping in touch with people who visited my website. At this point I decided to change the purpose of the newsletter and to use it to bring people back to my website, to increase recurring traffic.

I wrote great articles with very useful content and added them to the newsletter. One is sent each week. In each article, I add many links to related posts on my website—I even add links “between the lines.” For example, if the article contained the word “depression” then I would create a link pointing to an article about depression on my website.

As a result, more than half of those who used to read the newsletter started coming back to the website (previously they used to read it in their mail without coming back!).

2. Generate more recurring traffic

If each person read three articles on my website, then I’d get three more hits. But I thought of motivating each person to read ten pages!

Here is how I did it. First, I created a forum on the website. Then on the bottom of each article I added a link saying “If you have any questions, come and ask me about it in the forums.”

Recurring visitors who returned to the website started reading the articles, and some of them headed to the forum after finding the link at the bottom of the article. Success!

3. Attract recurring visits through Facebook

I had a Facebook fan page with few thousand fans, but I was completely ignoring it.

First I created a marketing campaign on Facebook until I added few more thousand people to the fan page. After I did that, I started to post each new article I write to the Facebook fan page, every day.

The reason I didn’t do that before was that I was afraid that people would get bored and leave the page, but what I discovered is that the number of fans was increasing, not decreasing.

As a result of the large number of Likes some posts were getting, the friends of the people who liked the posts started reading my articles too. So the traffic I used to get from Facebook increased from 3% of my blog’s total traffic to 10%.

4. Attract more newsletter subscribers

I started monitoring the traffic each page of my blog receives, and whenever I find a page that’s experiencing a traffic spike, I move the newsletter subscription form to a dominant place on that page, so that I capture as many email addresses as I can.

The reason I don’t put the newsletter form at the top of the page is that it harms the sales of the books I promote there, as it pushes those promotions downwards.

5. Have one brilliant idea

The forum I installed on my site had the option of sending private messages to users, so I thought of an idea that turned out to be brilliant.

Why not let people contact me using the private messaging system on the forum, instead of sending me a mail?

This way, the person who has a question will have to visit my forums to post the question, and again, to see the answer. While they’re there, they may easily see other forum discussions that they’re interested in contributing to. The forum is only few days old, but already I have 140 active members.

The results

Once I implemented these tactics, daily hits to my blog increased from 18,000 to 21,000—totalling more than 90,000 extra hits per month.

Here are the lessons I learned:

  • You can do better! If I didn’t face this growth problem I would have never thought about such solutions and would have never implemented them in 25 days. When we find ourselves stuck, our true potential appears. Don’t wait until you become stuck to take an action. Take it right away. You can do better than you’re doing now!
  • Darren knows what he’s talking about: read everything he writes!
  • Hits are not as important as recurring traffic. Even if your blog gets very large number of hits, the only way to grow it really fast is to build recurring traffic.

Have you tried any of these tactics yourself? How have they worked on your blog?

Written by M.Farouk Radwan who is the founder of http://www.2knowmyself.com and who is the author of many books including the book, “How I did it” where he explains how he managed to create a website from scratch that later started getting 500,000 hits per month and became his primary source of income.

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Comments

  1. I love short simple and to the point posts like this, good job!

    I like that you focused on recurring traffic rather than trying to seek out new visitors. It’s crazy how much of a difference it can make just changing a few things on your site. I mostly like the idea of changing the newsletter.

    Having an optimized newsletter is key to bringing your visitors back. I read a lot of blogs and other news through my email. Most of these aren’t optimized to bring readers back to the site which is definitely a missed opportunity!

    Great job with the forum as well! Although this may not be for everyone (and can be a lot more work) it is still a great way to encourage user interaction.

    -Stephen

    • farouk says:

      Thank you so much Stephen :)
      and guess what, that increased the sales too because

      each person who used to see my product once as a result of visiting one page started seeing it more often because he visited more pages

      Nice to meet you & keep in touch bro:)

  2. Sharninder says:

    Recurring traffic would also depend a lot on the niche of your website. Some niches just don’t lend very well to recurring traffic. People come via google searching for something and then they leave.

    • Rohan says:

      I will have to agree with Sharninder……

      Getting recurring traffic is niche specific. Say, a niche like tech or web design might get lots of UV from google but that is because they are looking for a quick fix to their problems. Once their problem is solved they might not return , in that case it becomes difficult to convert them into regular readers by striking a personal chord with them …..

      Though having a USP even on a niche like tech and design is what makes the difference between a successful website and ‘just another blog’ . The idea is to bombard the first time visitor with your USP multiple times at multiple locations to make sure he sees value in an extended relation with your website even beyond reading just the tutorial which he came searching from the search engines and get hooked on to the site for a long time generating a regular reader base for your site…

      • @Sharninder and @Rohan – you both made excellent points.

        Quality content is what’s going to make the difference here. If you are providing more than the visitor originally was in search of most likely they’ll be back.

        If it’s a niche where people are in need of one-time solutions, most likely you’ll get referrals.

        On second thought, even on a “one-time solution” niche you could offer a mini-ecourse and offer complimentary products/solutions to problems in follow up emails.

        Either way “over promise” quality content and people will remember.

        - Theresa

    • Graham Lutz says:

      Surely there could be ways to make it better for recurring traffic – what niches are you thinking about?

    • Yes, you have a point there. I’d say that because I’ve experience that personally.

      Well anyway, I would also like to say that this post is generally helpful. I love the part when you said that “you can do better”. I mean it’s really true, at some point, we just ought to develop our strengths and deal with our weaknesses wisely. There should always be a room for learning. If one hits rock bottom, then there can always be a solution that’s just waiting to be found. :)

      Nevertheless, I like this post and I thanks so much M.Farouk for sharing this.

      Cheers,
      Floricel

    • farouk says:

      I agree with you Sharninder
      however you should do your best to outperform your industry or your niche
      if the average page views for your niche is 1 then why not reach the 1.5? its doable
      keep in touch :)

  3. Some amazing tactics here. What I have already seen is number two which suggests you build a forum for more pageviews. I have seen this in Steve Pavlina’s site. He encourages everyone to post comments in forums since he has disabled comments in the blog. But how do you automatically create a new forum thread for each new post?

    Other methods are new to me and I will try them when I get a little bigger. Right now I need to focus on just growing!

    • farouk says:

      Thank you so much Rison , yes you are right Steve pavlina was among the first people to do it
      as for your question ( i dont use word press) but i am sure there is a plugin that can help you do that.
      thanks for your comment :)

  4. It’s been over two months I tried to generate a handful of readers and traffic but without SUCCESS. I will try your method thank you

    • farouk says:

      Hi Sumaila
      i am always there for help, you can reach me on my forums (and send me private messages there if you like)
      no i am not trying to get extra tarffic now hehehe,
      btw, two months are nothing, you have to be patient to build traffic
      put in mind that i grew my traffic fast because my website was already established
      for a new website you certainly need to be more patient

  5. Samantha says:

    Wow great story, I think I would be quite happy with 500,000 hits a month, but seriously great tips. Point number 4 is something I did with my blog moving the opt-tin RSS form close to the top in prime location, it works.

    • farouk says:

      Thank you Samantha :)
      you know how humans think, you believe 500 is enough but when you get them you tell yourself, ok how would it feel like to get 1 million hehehe
      nice to meet you :))

  6. Monja Wessel says:

    Well researched article with great ideas.i’ll try out your Newsletter idea for sure. Thank you!!!

    • farouk says:

      Monja
      thank you for your nice words::)
      always feel free to contact me directly in case you need anything else

  7. Angel Stone says:

    Getting traffic from FaceBook Fan Page is incredible good right! This is because every fan our your page will get your post in their wall every time you do a posting. If the posting have a link to your blog/website. Think of it! the traffic from Facebook can be increasingly huge.
    Says 10% of your 10,000 fans => that’s 1,000 traffic visits every time you do a posting.
    If 10% of your 50,000 fans => that’s 5,000 traffic visits every time you do a posting
    If 10% of your 100,000 fans => that’s 10,000 traffic visits every time you do a posting

    Cool right!

    • farouk says:

      Yes Angel thats so true ,
      facebook is, in my opinion, the best source for social media traffic
      nice to meet you :)

  8. Some very nice ideas. How did this traffic increase impact your sales? (If you don’t mind sharing the growth index, of course!).

    I like the thought of setting up a forum instead of blog comments. I’ve seen it implemented wonderfully at sites like macrumors.com. Great to see that it’s working in your case, too.

    • farouk says:

      Hi Austin
      of course i would love to share :)

      here is what happened
      sales jumped about 20% because

      1) people who join the newletter started buying products (this wasn’t happening before because the newsletter was only sending them updates)

      2) people who spent a lot of time in the form started checking out my products too since they are advertised in every page in the forum (you can take a look)

      nice to meet you and feel free to send me more questions if you want ::)

  9. Love the ideas here, gives me a lot to think about and steps to follow. I’m going to re-assess my facebook and my blog to see how I can implement some of these tactics to get more recurring traffic to the sites. Thanks!!!

    • farouk says:

      thanks so much sedie for your nice words
      i will always be glad to help if you needed any help
      nice to meet you :)

  10. Ann Khee says:

    WOW. As a newbie, I will be fantastically happy with 500,000 hits a month. Although my blog is just 3 month old, I do notice that keeping recurring visitors are more important than keep finding new visitors through search engines etc. Will try to implement some ideas. Thanks!

    • farouk says:

      Thank you Ann :)
      listen, be patient
      it took me more than a year to take off (i started blogging in 2006)
      if you became patient and persistent you will do it

  11. Making a huge newsletter fans is much beneficial, it is the thing i dont have and i never tried of :( Now gonna start that too :)

    • farouk says:

      Yes it is Zohan
      its one of the mistakes i really regret
      had i started that news letter in 2006 when i started my blog i would have had an enormous number of subscribers right now
      dont repeat my mistake

  12. Vladimir says:

    Amazing Article :)

    Never thought of aggressively going after the recurring traffic :/

    Thanks for the tip.

    • farouk says:

      Thank you So much Valadimir and nice to meet you :)
      you can always contact me if you have any questions

  13. René says:

    These are great tips for getting more returning traffic, but I think it’s more important to focus on getting more book sales. Getting more traffic like you mentioned is one way of doing that.

    More traffic is only good when these people are relevant and interested in your products.

    Thanks for the article. It’s not only an interesting read but also well written.

    • farouk says:

      Thank you so much Rene :)
      if you looked at the previous comments i replied to you will find someone asking the same question and my answer was that sales increased 20%
      see the reasons above (in comments)
      nice to meet you :)

  14. I’ve considered the forum thing for a while now, but just haven’t done it yet. Is there a good WP plugin you’d recommend using?

    • farouk says:

      look, go for vbulltien, it will cost you some money (around 200 dollars)
      but its the best
      its completely independent from wordpress or any other platform
      nice to meet you dear :)

  15. Great success story here. Change is a must need to achieve different results. You’ve even given me some inspiration on how to tweak the approach of my blog as well. Thank You!

    • farouk says:

      I am really happy with your comment Ivan:)
      always feel free to contact me if you want to ask more questions
      nice to meet you :)

  16. Melanie says:

    Wow. I had to bookmark this so I can go over every detail you mention here. Having that amount of traffic would be a dream come true. While I do have a very tiny list of a couple hundred people, I have been sorely neglecting that aspect and your ideas have inspired me to do some thinking and implementing on my site.

    Thanks for the read!

    • farouk says:

      Melanie , thanks for your comment :)
      i did that mistake too and ignored the newsletter but thankfully i realized it
      don’t repeat my mistake dear
      your newsletter is the most important asset!!
      keep in touch :)

  17. I must say that at this point I’d be happy with 500,000 visits in a month lol – but I do agree with a lot of your points even for a smaller blog it’s possible to help generate a valuable reader base the returns each day for new content.

    Facebook – in my opinion is becoming one of my favorite ways of gaining repeat visitors. I starting to question whether or not Facebook is better than a rss or email subscriber. The ability of Facebook to generate viral campaigns is mind-blowing.

    Thanks for these thoughts though!

    • farouk says:

      Thank you for your comment John
      what i learned in the past years is that depending on one traffic source more than the others can risk your business, Even if you think that facebook is better dont ignore other sources
      really nice to meet you :)

  18. I like the idea about encouraging more forum traffic at the end of articles. Not like an article is going to answer all questions about the subject perfectly for every reader.

    • farouk says:

      That’s Right Stephanie
      that’s why it worked
      thank you for your comment and nice to meet you :)

  19. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! In once had a forum on my dream analysis blog and the traffic went through the roof – unfortunately, it was hacked out the wazoo and I ditched the idea entirely. Today’s forums seem much safer, though.

    Thanks for giving me some things to think about. I honestly think I might try a forum on a few of my websites and I definitely need to utilize Facebook for more than just swapping recipes and keeping an eye on my daughters!

    • farouk says:

      Hey Joi
      nice to meet you :)
      Glad my post was useful to you
      yes i suggest you seek as many new traffic sources as you can
      keep in touch :)

  20. Zach P says:

    I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face! LOL…there are so many tiny details we forget about (or at least I do) on a day to day basis. Sometimes we just have to reevaluate our daily habits and make small adjustments in order to see grand results….Awesome Story!!

    • farouk says:

      Zach , thank you so much :)
      In fact these kinds of slaps are not bad
      i have been slapped many times (on the internet not in real life hehehe) and that’s how i learned many of the things i know now
      nice to meet you :)

  21. Graham Lutz says:

    I read a post the other day about a blogs natural traffic limit and thought “what a terrible way to look at things!” There is always something new, different, unique, or trendy you can do to up traffic and change the way people interact with your site.

    It’s all about creativity!

    • farouk says:

      Exactly Graham
      i thought that i have reached that limit until i was forced to find a solution
      once you find that you have no other options your creativity can be unleashed provided that you dont give up
      nice to meet you :)

  22. 90,000 Hits per Month in 25 Days… is that true or even possible?

    • farouk says:

      Shivanand
      thanks for the compliment:) you just said that this achievement is unbelievable

      put in mind dear that i wasn’t starting from scratch, of course for a new blog that might seem impossible but i had an already established site that’s gets lots of visitors

      however even if you are still beginning you can still get more traffic with such ideas
      thanks for your comment :)

  23. vanderjohn says:

    Apart from networking, I think the biggest thing a person could do to increase traffic in a month would be to really start focusing on the biggest issues. Writers should always take on the “greats.” And by greats I mean not just the “great” other writers, but the great issues and things that people think about a lot.

  24. There is a lot to be learned from this post. Creating a forum, using facebook, etc. Recurring traffic is what everybody should aim for. There is a lot of work involved and he probably has a team in place to make this work; but once you make enough money, you will be able to otsource it as well.

    • farouk says:

      Hi Ioan
      thanks for your message
      yes you are right , that’s a lot of hard work
      there is a big challenge is for new bloggers who must work on their own to save their costs
      its hard but its 100% doable
      keep in touch :)

  25. I can’t help but wonder if we are talking about “hits” or “visits”…two very different stats.

    • Aren’t hits a worthless statistic? Visits and unique visits seem much more relevant and meaningful. Maybe people say hits because it is a higher number and makes them look better?

    • farouk says:

      Hey Shane
      am talking about hits of course as you can see from the title
      for the first instance hits might seem useless but when understanding the following facts it becomes clear why i am concerned about them:

      1) at every page of my blog i advertise all the books i sell
      2) subconscious mind programming states that the more a person becomes familiar with a product or the more he sees it often the more likely he is going to feel comfortable buying it
      3) if hits come from recurring visitors then certainly they will increase sales and that’s what happened with me

      keep in touch and nice to meet you :)

  26. If I got 90,000 hits a month I am sure Just Host would suspend my account for the 2nd time for using too much of their resources :-(

    Great article though!

    • farouk says:

      hehehe, thank you David,
      look dear, i started in 2006 , and kept growing gradually
      i am not saying by any means that success can happen instantly or overnight
      i upgraded the server four times over the past 5 years so it didn’t happen all of a sudden

      however the growth was really fast in that month i am talking about in the article because of the power of an already established website that has a large reader base
      than you and keep in touch:)

  27. Really excellent article. But the fact that the last item number 5 should actually be number 1. A good idea is always to attract those interested. But it should be a really great idea, and the rest are tools for promotion.

  28. Well worth the read. Thanks for sharing that with us. I have to share this with my friends and readers.

  29. James Greg says:

    It seems your changes certainly paid off which encouraged you to write it down for the others who are facing the same problems, a good piece of advise is what we all seek, but I think as some have pointed in their comments that this would be only applicable to the niche. I’ve seen your site now and seems to me that it’s a consulting or counseling site? Well for the advise you mentioned in here that’s very welcoming and I hope it might help me too, let’s give it a try and see what are the outcomes for this. Anyways you have done a great job and I think sharing you success recipe will be fruitful as many of us might not be aware of our little mistakes until now. Cheers!

    • farouk says:

      Thanks for your comment James:)
      of course you are right about the niche thing
      not all of the article might be useful to your niche but i believe sharing the experience might bring you a new idea even if it wasn’t written in the post
      nice to meet you :)

  30. Thanks for the insight! I thought the forum idea was especially useful!

    • farouk says:

      u are most welcomed Josh :)
      but beware of spam, chose a forum software the can allow you to control spam tightly

  31. I think firstly AWESOME post.

    I don’t use facebook at all, and by reading this post looks like a big mistake, the info you just provided about posting articles to fan pages is so amazing and I’m glad i read this post.
    What a great idea – I’m going to start to try it.

    My blog is just 2-3 months old and its getting nice traffic but I’m not sure its recurring.

    I’m off to visit your site and see what other great tips i can find.

    Thanks.

    Lee

    • farouk says:

      Hey Lee
      thanks for your message and nice words:)
      i am happy you knew these things now while you just began 3 months ago
      dont make my same mistake and distribute your traffic over multiple sources
      keep in touch :)

  32. Florian says:

    Thanks, a lot you helped me a lot to increas my website trafic

    • farouk says:

      so happy to know i did Florian :)
      always feel free to contact me if you want to ask about anything else

  33. Dheeraj says:

    very beautifully explained the concept of getting traffic. I will definitely try out the key points given in this post.

  34. I found this article to be very informative and look forward to trying these points out! Thanks for the great post.

  35. Sherlogic says:

    I agree with the articles you write, but not easy to get many visitors. Although it has been doing a lot of tricks from the many tips, but if don’t have any interesting article and can’t promote the blog / website, then it will not get maximum results.

    and thanks for sharing your experiences, because I can learn a lot from you :)

    • farouk says:

      You are most welcomed Sherlogic
      i agree with you, i never said its easy and i am completely against the get rich quick mentality
      i struggled hard for the first 2 years and my traffic was low at that time
      i am blogging since 2006 and the first few years were tough

  36. Seriously Farouk great, I found it really helpful, I will definitely try out the key points given in this post.

  37. I am searching for a blog on how to drive more traffic to my blog and Google sent me here. Thanks for these tips Farouk. I think I really need to work on increasing my subscribers because most of my hits are coming from my blog’s RSS feeds.

    • farouk says:

      You are most welcomed Dear:)
      look, both Rss and mail are important
      as long as you are increasing your subscribers on daily basis your blog will certainly become very successful one day
      keep in touch :)

  38. This is great. I really wish I could increase my traffic but it seem so impossible for me right now with the way I manage my blog.