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.
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.
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.