This guest post is by Aman Basanti of Ageofmarketing.com.
Since launching my blog on the psychology of buying in mid-May, I have often wondered whether I am missing something; whether there is a secret to growing the traffic on my blog that I do not know about.
Am I not commenting on the right blogs? Am I not writing enough guest posts? Am I not submitting my links to the right social media sites? Am I not aware of some cheap advertising source?
But the more I look for that secret, the more I am convinced that there is no one secret.
Allow me to me explain.
Jim Collins on achieving explosive growth
In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins examined companies that achieved explosive growth. These companies went from being average to suddenly gaining traction and growing exponentially.
Collins theorized that something had to happen in that time period which resulted in explosive growth. Maybe it was a new technology that the company adopted, maybe it was new business process that they implemented, or maybe it was a new product that the company developed. Whatever it was, he expected there to be a defining moment.
As he wrote in the book, “We kept thinking that we’d find ‘the one big thing,’ the miracle moment that defined breakthrough. We even pushed for it in our interviews.”
The unexpected result
But that is not what he found. As he says, “The good-to-great executives simply could not pinpoint a single key event or moment in time that exemplified the transition.”
What Collins found was that each step built upon the previous step in an interlocking puzzle. Once all the major pieces were in place, that puzzle allowed the company to break through, and achieve explosive growth.
The company had to get the right people on board, set the right strategy, develop the right products, implement the right business processes, and use the right technology to accelerate growth. Slowly, as the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place, the company started to gain traction—and the more traction it gained, the better its results were. That, in turn, helped it grow even further.
What this means for your blogging efforts
Now, you’re not a corporation trying to land a spot on the Fortune-500 list. You are a blogger who is trying to turn your passion into an income stream. What does this all mean for you?
What it means is that there is no one secret to growing your blog. It is a combination of writing good content, promoting it, building relationships with other people, and doing that week in, week out, over a long period of time. This is what will help you gain traction.
That is not to say that there aren’t defining moments. Yes, a link from an A-list blogger will grow your blog quickly. Yes, finding someone to fund your idea will help your get your project off the ground suddenly. But looking at those events in isolation is meaningless. Those big events only happen because you have done a lot of little things right. They are just preparation for meeting opportunity.
I’m not the first to say this.
Darren Rowse on the secret to blogging success
Here is what Darren has to say about “the secret”:
“There is no blueprint for guaranteed success in this space. Ultimately it’s about being persistently useful to people and building a relationship with them. A by-product of that is that they will keep coming back, bring their friends, and respond to your calls to action.”
How Copyblogger got its initial spark
Here is how Brian Clark, owner of Copyblogger, got his first big link:
“In the first 3 months of Copyblogger, not only did I bust out the best content to get that initial spark where things start to take over on their own, but I also did all sorts of behind the scenes networking.
“I was establishing relationships, commenting on blogs, emailing people … and a combination of doing all that I got my first big link, and then I got my first big flurry of attention when I released a free report that pretty much all major bloggers linked to.”
But it wasn’t the report that was the defining moment. It wasn’t the commenting on blogs. It wasn’t the good content on its own. It was all of those things together. It was the pieces falling into place that came together to deliver the punch.
My own experience
It is only in the past month that I have started to see what Jim Collins, Darren Rowse, and Brian Clark meant. Between May-August the only traffic I was getting on my consumer psychology blog was from the guest posts I wrote and some paid advertising that proved too expensive to form a long-term strategy. My monthly visitors were around 200. At that rate it was going to take a long time to run a successful blog.
But I kept writing good content for my blog, submitting guest posts to major blogs, and in small measures commenting on blogs and submitting my articles to some social media sites like Reddit. Now all those guest posts, back-links, and list-building efforts are starting to pay off. For the month of September I got 1,200 visitors to my blog. That is a five-fold increase in just three months. While 1,200 visitors a month is no big feat, it is a sign that the blog is starting to get its initial spark.
So if you have been looking for those big opportunities, they will come—provided you are actioning all the little opportunities.
What’s your view on exponential growth? Was there a defining moment for your blog? If there was, what did you do to achieve it?
Aman Basanti has written for a number of A-list blogs including ProBlogger, MarketingProfs and Business Insider. He shares his secrets to getting guest posts on A-list blogs in his new FREE ebook—Guest Posting Secrets: 25 Tips to Help You Get More Guest Posts. Visit Ageofmarketing.com/guest-posting-secrets to download it now for FREE.