When I launched the Ghost Blog Writers website in late 2010 we didn’t get much traffic.
I’m looking at the traffic summary now and it looks like we had 50 views in September 2010.
The next month we jumped up to 164 views, though. That’s not too bad, but then it went back down to 131 the following month.
So there’s a little snapshot of how business blogging works in the first three months when you’re starting from scratch.
Even by the sixth month of the site we were only averaging 7 views per day with 190 views total in February 2011.
Back then I was blogging about once a week or so. In that first sixth months at that rate there would have been about 25 or so posts. That might seem like a lot, but what I’ve seen over the years is that you really start making some gains with traffic at the 100 post mark and then another boost comes at the 200 mark (then 500 and 1,000 and so on…).
I remember that HubSpot used to have a stat that showed that businesses with 200+ pages on their website (including blog posts) got a certain number of leads more than those with less.
It looks like they now have a stat that shows business websites with 401-1,000 pages get 6x more leads than business websites with 51-100 pages.
That falls right in line with what we see at Ghost Blog Writers.
Investing In The Long-Term
Not every business has the patience to wait for a blogging strategy or for any inbound marketing strategy to build momentum.
And that’s totally fine.
But for those that are willing to invest in the long-term it’s a really good opportunity. You can see from HubSpot’s numbers that if you can invest in 401+ posts or videos or ebook or pages of content that you can bring in a high number of leads.
We’ve seen that at GBW. The post you’re reading right now is #1,116 on our blog. Our blog posts make up the majority of the pages on our website. And many of our leads come through search. The percentage used to be even higher, but we’ve branched out a bit, but inbound leads through search are still #1 in our marketing efforts.
What To Do In The Meantime
I was pretty patient with growing Ghost Blog Writers. Sometimes I look back on it wishing I would have branched out a bit to build traffic and sales while investing in our own blogging, but I think the steady growth was good for us in other ways too.
But let’s say that you’re looking at a blogging strategy for your business. You know that it will take some time. you’re cool with that, but you want traffic in the short-term.
Here are some of my best tips for building website traffic while you build your blog archive.
1. Guesting (Posts, Podcasts, Webinars, Videos, Quoting, etc.)
This is my #1 on the list for a reason. I’ve done some of this and it always works in my favor. I’m probably guilty of not doing enough guesting.
Guesting is the term I use (and that others probably use) to refer to being a guest on someone else’s content or website or whatever.
Examples including you writing guest posts for other blogs, websites, etc. It also includes being a guest on podcasts. Come up with 2-3 or so angles or stories about yourself or your business that are interesting and pitch to every podcast – big and small – that you can.
It’s NFL season and local reporters are being guests on local TV sports coverage and sometimes on national TV coverage and on radio shows and podcasts and all kinds of things. It raises their own profile, but also the profile of the publications they work for and write for directly.
Quoting is another interesting one. I use HARO and it works really well. Commit to sending 1-3 responses everyday with HARO and over time you’ll get quoted in all kinds of articles and it can lead to some good traffic.
Some of these will take time to build traffic, but you might be surprised how fast it can happen too. I’ve been on podcasts and it can instantly bring traffic to your website and attention to your business. The key is getting into a routine of finding podcasts and reaching out. If I’m on a podcast I like to, once it’s published, ask the host if there are any other podcasts that they follow. Then I reach out to those.
This is one that really can work well and just about every industry has multiple online directories. It seems a little old school like when you might list your local business in the local business directory at the Chamber Of Commerce or the Yellow Pages or things like that.
And definitely don’t overlook the old school directories that there might be for your industry or the new ones. I know for web designers and designers in general it’s good to be on Dribbble and things like that. My wife is a web designer and some of her biggest clients have come from her listing on that directory.
People really do look for businesses on those sites. If you have a good looking listing and check in on them every six months or so and make sure they link back to your website you should get some traffic and business.
3. PPC & Other Advertising
Finally there is always the option of online advertising. Many of our clients have ongoing PPC campaigns going on that bring in traffic. They see the benefit there with search PPC and they’re looking to improve their organic listings.
So they come to us to help build the pages on their site with blog posts over time while also continuing their online advertising to continue doing what they’re doing.
Bonus: Content Promotion (Paid & Unpaid)
You can also invest in promoting your content. This goes beyond the basics of putting your blog posts or ebooks or videos or whatever on social media and in your email campaigns. You can do some paid content promotion with a service like Outbrain or Taboola or something like that.
Blogging is a long-term strategy. It’s an opportunity because of that for the reason that not every business will have the patience to build up 100, 200 and more blog posts and pages on their website. We can see from the stats like the one from HubSpot, though, that if you build that many pieces of content that leads go up quite a bit.
If you can’t wait for traffic while you build up your content archive then hopefully the ideas above can help you in the meantime. And the thing is that these are strategies you can continue even as your organic traffic picks up.
And one quick note on building your blog post archive. You could publish say 10 posts all at once, but I like committing to a schedule. So instead of doing 10 at once just schedule those out say with 2 per week and then stick with that schedule. Focus on the long-term and committing to a regular schedule and those 100, 200+ posts will come quicker than you realize.