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How I got 6K visits in my 2nd month of blogging!

Believe it or not, but I was a 100% sure that I’ll reach this milestone till the end of my 2nd month. Getting 3k visits on my very first month of blogging was not that hard and I had a strong belief that 6k is totally achievable.

What really bothers me is my next milestone of 12k visits on my third month, but that’s not the topic of today’s post. So let’s see where I took my 6k visits from:
 

Overview:

On my second month of blogging I’ve published 11 posts in total and 4 of them were contributed by guest posters. Actually I have to admit that without those 4 contributions I’d definitely fail to reach 6k visits, so I want to say huge thanks to all the guys who suggested their guest posts!

Takeaway: guest contributors are really important for your blog growth. In fact, such A-list blogs as Problogger and Copyblogger almost fully rely on guest bloggers.

Speaking about the quality of my traffic… From the screenshot above you can already tell it was lame: 1.5 “Pages/Visit”, 2 minutes “Time On Site” and 78% “Bounce Rate” – those are not the metrics of a good traffic that sticks and converts. And my FeedBurner graph is just another proof to this:

I’ve started with 39 subscribers that I got on my first month and then I got only 43 more on my second one (with a peak at 90). That is really lame, especially considering the fact that I had 2 times more visits this month.

Takeaway: more traffic isn’t always better. You won’t grow your blog if your traffic doesn’t stick. So either focus on a traffic of a better quality or learn to convert the one that you get.

 

Top Content:

Surprisingly even for me, my hottest post this month was the one I’ve published back in August: “29 Brilliant Posts You Have to Read Before I Call You an Internet Marketer” with the second most closest “Satan’s Guide to Blog Comments“.

I’ve decided to take a closer look at my #1 post and it seems that it’s regularly bringing me from 20 and up to 80 daily pageviews mostly coming from social networks:

Takeaway: spending numerous hours on quality content will really give back. If you want long-term results – you’ve got to invest more time.

Another thing that impressed me is that my own post “Freddy Krueger’s Guide To Blog Redesign” that’s 2.1k words long and full of cool images got me less pageviews than a guestpost “8 Things You Do on Twitter That People Hate You For” that’s only 630 words. In fact, the “Twitter guest post” was published 10 days before the “Krueger post” and thus it had an advantage, but when I’ve compared their performance in a week from publishing, the “Twitter guest post” was still about 50 pageviews ahead.

Takeaway: it’s not always about the amount of effort you put into a post, but sometimes the actual idea behind it (or maybe a catchy healdine) can work pretty well.

 

Traffic Sources:

The most interesting part of my report! Actually I was quite intrigued myself to see where did all this traffic come from:

Let me break that down for you:

  • Direct – as far as I know, this is when people are typing your website address directly in the address bar of their web browser and land on your website. The amount of direct traffic I got is quite surprising actually and thus I think there’s either something wrong with the definition, or some source of traffic is being calculated as “direct”. (Maybe StumbleUpon?)
  • t.co; hootsuite.com; twitter.com; facebook.com; linkedin.com – that’s my traffic from 3 major social networks: Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. (I still didn’t have enough time to write a detailed guide on how I promote my posts to get all that traffic from social networks… I promise I’ll do it really soon!)
  • stumbleupon.com – you know what this is, right?
  • news.ycombinator.com; blogengage.com; webdesign-ne.ws; design-news.com; designbump.com – those are the places where I submit my best articles. (again, I’ve promised to share the full list with you in my future “blog post promotion guide” and I should finish it real soon.)
  • leprosorium.ru – russian VIP community where my “Steve Jobs Artworks Collection” got submitted. ( thanks, Serge :) )
  • avajae.blogspot.com; dragonblogger.com – mentions of my blog on the blogs of my new friends :)
  • adv.blogupp.com – this “banner thing” in my sidebar; kinda traffic exchange system or something like that.

Takeaway: in the early days the only proven way to get high traffic is a wise strategy of promoting your posts on social networks and “news aggregators”. (unless of course you’re able to guestpost on blogs with more than 50k subscribers – those will bring you far more traffic for sure)

But let’s take a closer look at my Direct traffic:


It was quite stable till I published “3 Reasons You’re Scared To Link To Fellow Bloggers” and then it peaked. My only guess it that bloggers started to send this post to each other via instant messengers and that is how I got a peak of Direct traffic.

Speaking about my Organic traffic from Google – it was so lame that I won’t even post a screenshot here: 5 to 10 daily visits on average.

Takeaway: do not ever rely on search engines in your first months of blogging.

 

Confessions:

At the end of my report I have a confession to make: I actually PAID for a tiny bit of my traffic. But this is all legal and I think lots of bloggers do it all the time. What I’ve paid for is called StumbleUpon Paid Discovery:


full size here

As you can see I’ve only spent $30 and all I got was 600 paid visits and 70 free ones. This way my cost per visit is 4.48¢. Actually I was hoping that my posts will go viral and bring me a lot more free visits… but somehow they didn’t. However I will continue my experiments with StumbleUpon Paid Discovery and will try to throw in some more money into it to see if it helps a post to go viral. As you can see, I already have my “Steve Jobs post” scheduled.

One last thing. I’ve recently met a great guy, who is actually responsible for my success with reaching 6k visits milestone this month. His name is Jacques van Heerden and he’s the guy behind Creativeoverflow, An1ken and a number of other online projects. Why do I mention him? Well if you’ve seen my graphs, you may have noticed that there’s quite a nice spike at the end of the month. 3 days before the end of the month I was lacking a thousand visits to reach my goal, and then Jacques twitted my “Steve Jobs post”

Those are just some of the retweets he got and eventually it helped me a lot to get a thousand visits in my last three days. Jacques, thank you, mate! :)

Takeaway: relationships with other bloggers are not just “important” but they are really “CRUCIAL”. In fact I could’ve failed in reaching my goal without a tweet from Jacques.

 

Recap:

Hope you’ve enjoyed my report and learned something from it. Here’s the full list of my takeaways from this post:

Takeaway #1: guest contributors are really important for your blog growth. In fact, such A-list blogs as Problogger and Copyblogger almost fully rely on guest bloggers.

Takeaway #2: more traffic isn’t always better. You won’t grow your blog if your traffic doesn’t stick. So either focus on a traffic of a better quality or learn to convert the one that you get.

Takeaway #3: spending numerous hours on quality content will really give back. If you want long-term results – you’ve got to invest more time.

Takeaway #4: it’s not always about the amount of effort you put into a post, but sometimes the actual idea behind it (or maybe a catchy healdine) can work pretty well.

Takeaway #5: in the early days the only proven way to get high traffic is a wise strategy of promoting your posts on social networks and “news aggregators”. (unless of course you’re able to guestpost on blogs with more than 50k subscribers – those will bring you far more traffic for sure)

Takeaway #6: do not ever rely on search engines in your first months of blogging.

Takeaway #7: relationships with other bloggers are not just “important” but they are really “CRUCIAL”. In fact I could’ve failed in reaching my goal without a tweet from Jacques.

So yeah… this month was a success, but will I reach my next goal of 12k visits on my 3rd month? I guess the only way to find out is to subscribe to BloggerJET! :)

Tim Soulo calls himself an MMA marketer (which stands for “Mixed Marketing Arts”) and his focus is tactics and strategies that bring you either money or clients. Grab the free email course if you want to grow your blog traffic!

33 Comments

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  1. Tina

    Thank you Tim for this really useful and inspiring info! Can’t wait to read the guide on how you promote my posts on socials:)

  2. Tina

    Sorry for the typo:) Of course I meant the guide on how you promote your posts on socials:)  

    • Tim Soulo

      lol :) as far as both of us are in a “super-secret VIP group” called VoterZ your first comment was correct in it’s own way too :)

  3. Ava Jae

    Looks like you’re doing great! I’m happy that I made your list of sites that brought you traffic. It was that guest post, for sure. :) 

    • Tim Soulo

      Yeah, your mention actually helped me a bit to reach my goal! :) Huge thanks for that! :)

  4. Kalyan

    Good going. Keep it up mate. Well done

  5. Ricardo Nunez

    Awesome numbers Tim. Keep it up. This is an inspiration for my project. My project got a month delay but it’s finally ready.

    • Tim Soulo

      Hey Ricardo! I’m still your subscriber and I try to read all the posts you send my way… :) must say that your content is great! I’m sure you’ll grow quite quickly! :)

  6. Fran Aslam

    good post to get outstanding information

    • Tim Soulo

      I’m glad you’ve found some “outstanding information” here, Fran :) I invite you to come back for more :)

  7. Sri Ganesh.M

    Congrats ! buddy

  8. Stan Faryna

    Congrats, Tim.

    • Tim Soulo

      Thanks, Stan! The hardest part is still ahead :)

  9. Anonymous

    So Tim…thanks to a link by Aaron Biebert I read your post (linked from Twitter). After my first read my comment back to him was simply, “Utter Crap”. I must admit that since that comment late last night I’ve read the post about 5 more times and I’ve upgraded my original comment to “I just don’t get it” and finally ended up with “Ok, I can see this, but Come On!!!”.

    The problem I have with your concept is that you’re choice of content is one that is in my opinion, inherently more likely to be picked up by the masses and attract subscribers and do well at all the things you’ve pointed out you’re doing well, rank well, etc…

    It took me a while to figure out what it is exactly your blog focused on and it appeared to me that you may have created a blog not for any other reason than to write posts that will fit into a formula of sorts and attract comments and traffic. 

    You definitely have “the chops” so to speak when it comes to blogging but I question whether or not the average blogger can as easily as you’ve done, use your takeaways and come out of the gate with 6K visits when they are blogging about Organic Lifestyles, The Boston Red Sox, or a hyperlocal blog about life in Sarasota, Florida. 

    I may be missing something here and I hope that my comments came across in the manner that I’d hoped but it’s early and I was up late…

    Thanks Tim…

    • Tim Soulo

      Thanks for the comment, mate. I don’t understand your frustration actually. Everywhere you go there are topics and niches that are far more popular than others. Which of the magazines has a wider audience – “Playboy” or “Music Tech Focus”?

      Yes, I have picked quite a popular niche for my blog, which is “blogging”. But I think that “make money online” or maybe “personal development” are even better niches and people there are able to achieve even better results.

      This is also true that some methods that I write about will only work for “big niches”, but a decent number of my tips can be applied to literally any topic/niche.

      Read my takeaways again and tell me which of them cannot be applied to a blog about gardening or to “a hyperlocal blog about life in Sarasota, Florida”

    • Aaron Biebert

      It’s okay to change your mind.  I know I do.

      I agree that the topic chosen may lead to less impressive results, but I’m enjoying learning about some of the strategies that Tim is using.  Hopefully there is value there for any blog topic.

  10. Gregory Ciotti

    Really awesome post Tim, the way you laid things out in visuals is also an excellent idea for these sort of wrap-up posts.

    I was really interested to see some of your experiments, especially the one with StumbleUpon traffic, I had always figured SU is better for sites that focus more on “fast-n-easy” entertainment, like photo sites, than it is for blogs.

    Glad to see you hustlin’ like you are, inspired me to kick my work ethic up a notch (writing a post on a Sunday, #NoDaysOff!)

    • Tim Soulo

      Hey Gregory! Welcome to the #NoDaysOff club :) listening to the interviews of the most popular bloggers I’ve never met a word “day off” :) ….& thanks for supporting me! :)

  11. Tom Ewer

    Awesome work Tim – and thank you for being so revealing! Keep it up for next month!

  12. Deacon Bradley

    Awesome takeaways here Tim! Thanks for sharing!

    It’s easy to read a post like this and get overwhelmed with the awesomeness of your strategies. For me I’m focusing on Takeaway #7 (blogger relationships) to start with. I’ve heard qualitatively from other bloggers it’s essential, and seeing your analytical breakdown just proves it! 

    I’ve never had much patience for news-aggregator stuff frankly. Maybe your future blog-promotion post will inspire me to start taking them more seriously!

    • Tim Soulo

      Hey Deacon, thanks for comment! Yeah.. I think relationships are quite essential for quick blog grows and thats somthing I’m going to focus on in my next months :)

  13. Bryce Christiansen

    Awesome job Tim,

    I’m super eager to see your social media guide.  I’ll have to meet Jacques. He seems to understand how to get the most from your social media.  That’s an impressive number of visits he was able to get you in a few days.

    Keep it up,

    Bryce

    • Tim Soulo

      thanks, Bryce… actually Jacques did not apply any magic to my post :) He’s just a guy with a powerful Twitter account (due to his awesome design blog) :)

  14. Scott Mackes

    Tim, thanks for sharing.  I’ve already put some of your advice into action.  Keep up the good work.

  15. Nasif

    The progress bar on your sidebar is too cool. Are there any applications to make such type of progress bar ?

  16. Derek Land

    I just found your blog. Excellent article, and I really like your honesty in publishing traffic and detailing each step. I will follow your progress with interest.

    :)

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