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How to Get Paid to Double Your Blog Traffic: a Technique 99% of Bloggers Won’t Dare Try

This post is by Shane MeLaugh of imimpact.com.

Imagine if this traffic screenshot was yours:

Analytics

Of course, your traffic levels might be more or less depending on the size of your blog and how long you’ve been blogging, but the purpose of this post is to show you how to double your blog traffic—while getting paid to do it.

The above screenshot reflects traffic to my previous blog two years ago, at its infancy. Then I made a simple change and something significant happened.

Here’s exactly what happened:

  • I doubled my blog traffic almost overnight and it kept growing every month.
  • I was able to build a sizeable mailing list.
  • I made a total of over $100,000 in a two-year period because of this simple change.

Watch this short video to see what the change was, that caused this increase in traffic:

Yes, that’s it. One product resulted in big increase in traffic and a very healthy income, all at the same time.

You’ve probably read several articles on increasing blog traffic, but you’ll rarely hear people tell you to create a product to increase your blog traffic.

Creating a product is often seen as something that’s difficult to do, so many bloggers shy away from even trying.

By creating a product however, you’ll be able to:

  • grow your blog traffic
  • build your expertise
  • build a strong email list
  • make a lot of money.

I’ll be explaining more about how to do this later in this post.

I’m Shane Melaugh from imimpact.com and the result I’m sharing above was from two years ago. Does that mean it doesn’t work anymore? Absolutely not. Product creation continues to be my main method for increasing traffic to my websites and it works better than ever. The reason I’m sharing a case study from two years ago is because:

  • this was my first attempt, with no experience or leverage, so anybody can do it
  • I had a relatively new blog with no email list, few connections and little traffic
  • it works wonders, but it seems no one ever talks about this method.

Why creating a product is the best way to increase your blog traffic

Quote 1If you take a look at the screenshot above you’ll notice that my blog was receiving well below 200 visitors a day before my first product release.

Your blog is never too small to create a product. In fact, if I were to start again from scratch I’d create a product, even with no existing traffic at all.

Here’s why.

1. You give people an incentive to market your business

The best way to grow your blog is by getting support from other bloggers and marketers in your field and the best way to get this support is by creating a product.

No blogger will send an email promoting that awesome blog post you wrote to a list of 10,000 subscribers no matter how great your blog post is. However, many bloggers will happily send one or several emails to their list promoting your product if it’s a good enough product and they know they’ll get affiliate commissions.

Instead of just linking to you out of goodwill, they can promote you, knowing that it helps their audience, it helps you and it also helps them earn some money.

2. You establish your blog with the right readers

What’s better to have: a blog with 1,000 monthly visitors or a blog with 10,000 monthly visitors?

You bet it’s the blog with 10,000 visitors, right?

Wrong (sometimes, at least).

It’s not just about traffic quantity, but also about traffic quality. You can have thousands of visitors who don’t engage with your content, don’t share your content, don’t leave comments—they just eat up your bandwidth. Or you can have a small group of highly engaged fans who give you feedback and spread your message through social media.

The great thing about selling a product and getting affiliate promotions is that it adds customers to your mailing list and to your blog readership. Happy customers are some of the most engaged and helpful readers you’ll ever have.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take 1,000 happy customers over 10,000 anonymous browsers any day of the week.

3. You build a business, not a blog

These are two very different things that are easily confused.

There’s a huge difference between building a blog of 10,000 monthly visitors in two years before creating a product and building a blog with the same 10,000 visitors in the same two years’ time while making $100,000. The difference is that the first one is a blog while the latter is a business.

4. Most bloggers won’t dare to do this

This approach is unlike guest blogging, article marketing, or SEO. It isn’t something you can easily do. To succeed, you have to commit yourself and think long term and this is why most bloggers won’t even dare to create their own products.

Releasing a product was an effective way to grow your blog two years ago, it’s effective today and it will be, for a long time to come. You’re doing something that’s “difficult” and so you have less competition.

As Tim Ferriss said in his book The 4-Hour Work-Week:

“The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals.”

A 4-step plan to creating your own traffic-boosting product

I recently released a free comprehensive one-hour video and case study report that explains the process behind my six-figure launch, but here’s a summary of the steps I took to create my first product.

Step #1: Market and product research

Quote 2Research will make or break your product.

Creating a successful product isn’t about thinking and creating a product based on the first idea that pops into your head; you need to research who your audience is, what kind of product they want, where they hang out, the exact terms they use, and how much they’re willing to pay.

Creating a generic product in a popular niche won’t work. It’ll be more effective to create a solution to a very specific problem rather than trying to cater to all the problems your readers experience.

In my own case, I observed during my research that a major problem my audience face is getting traffic; after further research, I observed that most of them have problems with SEO and that the most challenging problem for them when it comes to SEO was building backlinks.

There was the idea for the product I needed to create!

How to research

Researching what your audience wants can be very complicated if you’re a newbie without a strong audience, but this doesn’t always have to be a problem. Here are a few ways you can research to find out what your audience want:

  1. Try gathering feedback on industry related forums where you’re already active.
  2. Conduct a survey with your existing audience, no matter how small, or get support from fellow bloggers to send the survey to their audience.
  3. Offer free products, in the form of an ebook or multimedia, to gauge response and feedback to see how people will respond to a similar paid offer.
  4. Help people one-on-one, via Skype or email, to find out what their major challenges are; this will also reveal exact terms and key words they use and this can be very powerful marketing material.

Step #2: Create your product

Your product doesn’t have to be high-end or massive for you to get results.

You can create a product in an afternoon, then sell it for a few bucks and grow your audience at the same time. A perfect example of this approach was implemented by Becker and documented in a recent guest post here. One example he cited was creating a $5 product and selling 6,000 copies, gaining 6,000 new subscribers as a result.

While that kind of thing can work, the approach I took was to create a high-end product.

This took me a few weeks of effort and research, but it was well worth it. I focused on making the product of very high quality, and constant updates were added in its lifetime. The focus with this product was to make it so valuable that buyers would become lifetime fans.

Step #3: Create an affiliate program

Getting affiliates to promote your product will be a huge part of making it successful.

Once your product is unique and of great quality, you’ll experience success by getting affiliates to help you sell it; you’ll be able to make money and grow your network at the same time.

Luckily, it’s very easy to set up an affiliate program for your product these days. You can simply list your product on an existing affiliate platform/marketplace and everything else is taken care of.

Step #4: Market your product

Quote 3I can’t emphasize enough that no matter how great your product is, it is bound to fail without marketing.

Creating a product is not a substitute for marketing.

There are various ways to go about marketing your product. Here are some ideas.

1. Viral marketing

The best kind of traffic you can get is viral traffic. In this context, I’m not talking about “going viral” in terms of getting a huge windfall of traffic, but the kind of traffic that self-perpetuates.

You can’t make something go viral, but you can create systems where traffic always leads to more traffic, even if it’s on a very small scale.

For example, I offered a discount on the price of my product. But customers could only access this discount by tweeting a link to my sales page or sharing it on Facebook. This didn’t lead to a massive flood of traffic, but it kept traffic coming in and it lead to extra sales and extra exposure. I explain more about this and another “mini-viral” traffic method in my case study report.

2. Solo ads

I purchased a few solo ads, which are just paid emails to other people’s mailing lists. This helped get some initial momentum for my product launch and contributed to the total sales made, as well.

3. Affiliate traffic

This will be the most powerful aspect of your marketing. The idea is to get other bloggers and marketers with a huge list and audience to promote your product. An affiliate doesn’t need to have a product to promote your product.

There are three very important steps to benefiting from affiliate traffic and they are:

  1. Sell a great product.
  2. Ensure your product is highly specific; very few people will promote generic products since these products are everywhere and they’ll have gotten a lot of offers to promote them but no one can resist promoting a specific, “new” kind of product.
  3. Try to get as many affiliates as possible on board; the more the merrier. You should expect a lot of affiliates not to take you up on your offer but the more people you contact the higher your chances of success. This isn’t about the numbers, though; make sure your affiliates don’t lack in quality and quantity.

Questions?

In almost 2,000 words, I believe this post contains all you need to know about getting paid to double your blog traffic. But if you still have questions, let me know in the comments.

Shane Melaugh is an Irish guy from Switzerland. He owns imimpact.com, a blog about increasing the bottom line for online business owners by creating unique and compelling offers, growing web site traffic and maximising conversions.

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Comments

  1. Manuel Garcia says:

    So, where to get a good product anyway? (Without spending too much in the first try)

    • Shane says:

      This answer may be a bit controversial: I think that if you can get a product to re-sell, somewhere, it’s probably not a good product.
      If it were, it wouldn’t come with resale rights.

      The only way I know of to “get” a good product is to make one yourself. That’s also the only kind of product that will truly help your site and your brand grow, because your own product has you, written all over it. It’s your unique voice, your unique style etc. That’s what people will be coming back for. And you can’t buy that anywhere, I’m afraid.

      • Andrada says:

        I totally agree with you!! You have to create your own product no matter the niche , what matters is to come with something unique and as you said with you written all over it . But to get there (to be able to create your own product) there are some steps you have to do and some thing to learn in order to get enough knowledge to create that specific product. But no one said it will be easy !

    • Really enjoyed your video. A lot of helpful information. I am currently selling affiliate products for both Empower Network and Magnetic Sponsoring. I’ve been writing articles and promoting both products. Traffice is dead. Literally. “0″ traffic as of yesterday. I get more traffic on my blogger.com website which I started just yesterday. Would you visit my website? I welcome any advice you might have.

      • Shane says:

        Hi Robert,

        Sorry, I don’t offer any consulting or coaching services. I simply don’t have enough time.

  2. Very comprehensive post, thanks a lot, Shane.

    I’m now at your initial state, low traffic and just having my first guest post. I’ll start the product creation process, what you said makes a lot of sense.

  3. Chris says:

    This is a great post. If you don’t mind my asking, how long after starting your site did you launch a product? My hope is to get an e-book at some time in the near future that will be able to generate sales and profits.

    • Shane says:

      I think it was about 10 months after I first started the blog.
      It was one of my first sites, though, so I had no idea what I was doing, in the beginning.

      If I had had a clear plan from the outset, I could have launched a product sooner after starting the site.

  4. Excellent post, currently creating a product as we speak, I will spend some serious time scrutinizing you and your case study :-)

    Just the idea we needed and makes perfect sense.
    Thanks
    Andi

  5. Um, this post definitely lit a fire under me. Simply put, I’m bookmarking this to use as my reference for the next few months while I research, create, and market.

  6. Genevieve says:

    Hello,

    I have a blog on my website that is just beginning to pick up. The truth is – now that it is picking up, I really need to put more attention into it. Now, I am a writer, and I am selling my services as a ghostwriter. Yes, I could write fairly lengthy e-books to give away about finding a good publisher, and what to look for in a ghostwriter for your book, and certain concepts of editing, and ways to get your newly published book featured in a brick and mortar book store.

    One thing i do know is that putting together such e-books is not an instant process. I might have a decent one that is worth reading, within five or six months. And yes, I have been toying with those ideas for a while, and have some rough drafts that I really need to polish and build.

    Any suggestions for a product that might be worth putting up quickly?

    • Shane says:

      I don’t know anything about the writing business, but I think if you ask yourself this question, you might find your answer:

      What can you share with people right now that is more useful to them than a big, comprehensive book in half a year’s time?

      There are people in your market with problems you can help them solve. Do you really need to make them wait that long for a solution?

  7. Roman Soluk says:

    Great, very helpful and informative article. Thanks for this post Shane! It really inspired me as I doubted of launching a product too soon.

  8. Enjoyed your video. Very informative and helpful information for blogging. I have a website that promote both empower network and magnetic sponsoring affiliate products. My blog site is basically “flat lined.” I would be open to advice if you have any.

  9. Shane…great article and excellent video. You broke it down very simply and in a straightforward way. I am not new to blogging, but like many others, my traffic is nowhere where I would like it to be. I intend to do some due diligence and go forward toward product creation. Thanks for the great information.

    • Shane says:

      We all start small. And in many cases, you can stay small for a long time and make a good living.

      If you can identify a clear need and you know you can offer a solution, definitely go ahead and create a product. I think many people underestimate how valuable even a small group of customers and fans can be.

  10. Trail Pro says:

    I kinda followed this tactic of making a product, I was inspired by a podcast from Pat Flynn. What I did was develop an iOS mobile app that tied into the market I have a website for.

    The hurdle I have now is, I’m running into marketing issues. I really don’t know where to advertise without getting push back from other publishers/websites since this marketplace is so tight knit.

    Problem is, the app is a social platform for powersports enthusiasts. I thought I could just go on some forums and do some marketing there. But after I thought about it I would kind of be marketing in the competitions camp and I don’t want to taint my reputation with forum owners/members and get blocked.

    Right now the app is $1, so it doesn’t leave much room for an advertising budget. To get some momentum I might try to offer it for free to see what happens, then there will be no budget for marketing.

    I think I have a way of over coming this, I just need to get off my @$$ and get it done. My plan is to go directly to powersports manufactures and work something out to see if they can include the app in a promotion or something and somehow at the same time offer them something that gives them value like ads on the app or email lists compiled from the app downloads (which there’s prob some legal issues the email lists). Or even work an angle with powersports dealers to promote in-stores.

    I didn’t want to look like I was trying to promote the app here, that’s why I didn’t include the name of it, but if you’re truly interested in looking into my situation you can ask here in the comments or email me at [email protected]

    Back to the main topic,

    Building your own product is great, it’s just coming up with an idea that’s tough. You have to find a pain and fix it…that makes a good product. Sometimes the answer is so simple it takes a while for it to finally click.

    • Shane says:

      Interesting situation.

      How fleshed out is your USP? In a tightly knit market, this is probably one of the most important factors. The clearer your product’s value over others is and the clearer the differences between your products and other products is, the easier it is for people to find you and the easier it is to market in other people’s turf.

      Apart from that, consider overlapping interests. Check out some demographic info and you might find that a lot of people who are into this powersport are also, say, into knitting sweaters for cats.
      In that case, you can advertise on sites for people into cat-sweater knitting, still reach your target audience and not be in your competition’s territory.

  11. John says:

    well i think if you start doing affiliate marketing for your products then there are chances that visitors will start coming to you !
    Thank you

  12. Kate Luella says:

    Wow – Shane you’ve outdone yourself here – such great advice, I really do wish so many bloggers would sell some of their amazing content, nicely packaged for the lazy people who dont’ want to trawl through their free blog, and pay the blogger an income. That’s what http://www.BloggerInterviewsPodcast.com is all about!

    YAYAY

  13. Samuel says:

    Makes me want to create my own product right now!

    I love this article and was glad to read it.

    Product creation has very large benefits and worth investing into.

    Thanks!

    Samuel from Internet Dreams

    • Shane says:

      Hey Samuel,

      That’s awesome! Love to hear that and I’m glad this was inspiring to you. :)

  14. Eric says:

    This is some great detailed, deep, and something that I am going to come back and read a few more times! A lot of great information and inspiration to really take action in making some serious quality products! I would be interested to know when you actually created a affiliate program and if you saw it really pick after creating that? Or do you feel it was strictly the product itself?

    • Shane says:

      Hi Eric,

      I had an affiliate program very early on. That definitely played a big part. Although I didn’t get many affiliates on board, it still provided me with a lot more traffic than I would have been capable of getting without affiliates.

  15. I am not doing this method bcoz this seems bit difficult to make a product. But i’ll surely try this and was thinking to try this method since long time.

  16. Jay says:

    Awesome post and your points are very true. If you were lucky enough to have a top selling clickbank product and thousands of affiliates promoting your product, and sending thousands of free visitors to your blog.

    How much money do you think you’d make? A lot

    You would also build a huge list in the process.

  17. I’ve yet to make the leap to creating my own product but am really tempted by reading your post on it.

  18. Slim Shady says:

    I know this is a of topic question but I have heard a lot about you and need help related to this.
    I have heard that the niche I am blogging on i.e, Hacking and it doesn’t work wonders for a blog and people really give up blogging with that niche and this is what I also noticed so help me. I am wishing to change my niche and if so then will it be a good impact on my blog?

  19. rahul says:

    it defines the role of blogging in setting up a business on its own..thanks for sharing

  20. Maria says:

    What about create a jewelry product? Would it work¿?

    • Shane says:

      I don’t know anything about jewelry and I imagine it’s different from information or software products in many ways.

      But in many other ways, I’m sure it’s the same. If you have a clear and narrow target audience, you have a clear USP and you reach out to potential partners, I’m sure that will help your business grow.

  21. Deny Saputra says:

    Simply worked and helful post!
    Thanks Shane!

  22. Johny says:

    Thanks Shane for sharing original tips & guide for traffic.

  23. Payal says:

    It is most useful tips to build traffic from step1. Thanks Shane

  24. Robin says:

    seriously, the beautiful video makes the article more worthy and so helpful to start with selling a product. every one cannot be a product creator, still the point you are trying to stress again and again to give it a try to develop or create a product and see the response motivates me a lot :)

    I am going to start working on that part and thank you so much.

    Robin.

  25. Amit Shaw says:

    Yeah really great idea. I am collecting email subscriber from my opt-ins and i think i should write a ebook and offer something in return of sign up. Its really increase the visit as well as sale too.
    Thanks for this awesome post.

    • Shane says:

      Definitely do that. If you can offer a nice freebie in return for the opt-in, you’ll easily see your conversion rates double, if not more.

  26. RFMH says:

    Hi Shane,

    As usual your posts are clear & well thought out.

    I think your idea works on many non-blogs sites also. I think that if anyone sells information, software or services in an ecommerce style setting this should work.

    For example: If you sell a WP theme you can point back to your WP theme software site. WP Plugins same thing. If you sell PLR point back to your membership site you want them to sign up for.

    So must have found a way to work in not only the link to your product site but your blog as well. Double duty.

    As I think about it, I guess I am just describing the opposite side of your equation. Haha…. Nevermind.

    It just shows that you can successfully link both the sales site and your blog equally well.

    Thanks for the post,
    Rex

    PS @Maria, yes even if you create a jewelry product you can (after sale of the product) point them to your blog where they get to know you better providing your blog is about jewelry, your jewelry business, or your love for jewelry etc.

    • Shane says:

      Yeah, no doubt. It’s not just for blogging. Really, I’m just talking about blogging because that’s what this site is about. :)

  27. Richard Ng says:

    Hi Shane,

    Great post and great video. I enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. I believed the product that you mentioned here include services (to be offered online). it sure reignite my desire to create my own product/services from like NOW!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers!

    • Shane says:

      Yes, services very much included.
      In fact, services are sometimes easier to sell than info/digital products. On the other hand, services usually also involve more work. Not that that should stop anyone from offering them.

  28. Joan says:

    Thank you for the info, Shane. Good video. I already have an ebook in mind but just need to get it written down. Great idea to ask others to be affiliates and we all make some money!

  29. Ashley - Embracing Beauty says:

    Wow! I love the idea but I’m scared of the work. I guess I had better get started with some ideas!! Thanks for the motivation to improve my blog!

    • Shane says:

      It is a scary amount of work, no doubt.
      There’s no building a business without some pushing of one’s comfort zone.

  30. riyaraj says:

    Lots of useful information for increase blog traffic and Really loved your video.

  31. tejas says:

    first of all congrats for making much money past two yeras..making money online is not as easy as people say it but still you did it..nice luved your post

  32. sadek says:

    I totally agree, just investing a couple of hundred dollars to build an ebook or a video go grab free traffic and hence revenue is a great idea. I will try this at one of my blog.
    BTW: Thanks for sharing

  33. Thanks so much for the wonderful advice. I’m currently brainstorming potential products to create. Can I ask what your product was? I am also curious as to how you deliver your product to your audience? How do you set up your own affiliate program? How do you use a mailing list to support your product sales? I know that’s a lot of questions. Is there maybe a link you could send me to that would give good advice about any of these aspects of it?
    Awesome post!

    • Shane says:

      Thanks, Margaret!

      This sounds a lot like a plug, but honestly, most of those questions are answered in the report that’s also linked from the post.

      Product delivery and affiliate program can often be had both at once, using just one affiliate network or membership system. These are basically minor technical issues that are quite easily solved. :)

  34. Kade says:

    Hmmm, nice. Instead just driving traffic we can make a money too. We should create a good product if we want our product go viral. Right?

    • Shane says:

      The quality of the product is very important, yes. Once you’ve gained some momentum and are generating sales, if the quality of the product is awesome, it will help generate a lot of buzz as your customers start talking about it and recommend it to others.

      However, don’t fall for the “build it and they will come” idea. A good product alone will not generate sales. You need good marketing to go with it.

  35. Ben Icely says:

    I work for a distributor of products. The products already are being sold by several other distributors, but the value I see is taking several products that exist, putting them together and creating a “new product” which is a solution to a problem. Most of the large companies are selling a piece of a solution, what people are usually looking for is a single solution to a problem. Would your approach work in marketing of this type of a company?

  36. Jill says:

    Thank you! So many things just got added to my to-do list reading this. I am pretty clueless in the realm of blogging for money, but recently created a Product (“cart before the horse”) and added a blog to supplement & generate interest. I feel I am tireless in trying to figure out methods to getting my store known. I know nothing of back links and affiliates and how to get people to share! But I’m trying! I offer a weekly freebie download every week (and a weekly contest associated with it) and that is helping. I am 2 months into it and am making more money than it costs to run the store! I really think my product is niche and needed and unsaturated! If I had 10,000 visitors a month I might make a living! Thank you for all the ideas that I will be exploring tomorrow!

  37. Shan says:

    Oh my! The lightbulb has been turned on. My mind is spinning with ideas already. I know of a niche to be filled but how do I go about researching to see if it would be profitable? Are you just speaking of researching targeted keywords to draw those LOOKING for your solution or is there something else I can do?

    The long-term goal would be to write my own ebook and sell on amazon, clickback, etc. For now though, can you point me in the direction of where to research the logistics of charging a small fee for access to my video series (where we are guided for several weeks through someone elses book ‘real time) on my blog?
    Thanks & blessings!

  38. I totally Agree with your research, Just investing some money by making a video top grab free traffic is a unique Idea which will boost Double the Traffic, But it is risky Also
    BTW, I will try it in one of my blogs and will share the results Here.,!
    Thanks for Sharing

  39. Hmm… can’t believe I never thought about product creation this way.