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5 Growth Hacks That Get Real Traffic to Your Blog

5 Growth Hacks That Get Real Traffic to Your Blog

It’s hard to get, isn’t it?

You’ve read tons of articles on how to get traffic to your blog, but none of them seem to get you as many visitors as you expected. You expected more and you deserve it.

Well, here’s the thing…

Most traffic tactics won’t get you thousands of visitors overnight. They may take time, but they actually work. Your plan should be to pick at least one of them and implement it consistently. If you do that, you’ll unlock traffic that most bloggers only dream of.

Here are 5 growth hacks you can start to implement today to increase your future blog traffic.

1. SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Although SEO takes time to take effect, it is still considered as a growth hack. If you consider the time it takes and the traffic it can possibly get you, it’s really worth it.

Let’s do the math:

It takes 6 hours or more to write an exceptional blog post. To be on the safe side, let’s say 20 hours.

Then, after the post is published it’s time to build links. That means you need to reach out to a number of blogs, begging them to link to your post because it’s better than all the existing ones out there. Usually, you’d look at the blogs linking to your competitors using a tool such as Ahrefs and then try and “steal” their links.

The average response rate for a link building outreach campaign is around 10%, which means you’ll need to reach out to 1,000 bloggers to get around 100 responses. Of course, you may need to reach out to more (or less) depending on the blog post you wrote and what niche you’re in.

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I once reached out to 600 influencers. It took me 4 days to do it, so 1,000 blogs should take around 7-8 days if you’re doing it full-time. Now, let’s add all of that up: 20 hours to write + 8 days outreach = 9 days.

Hopefully, you attempted to rank for a keyword with a decent search volume of over 1,000 searches per month and with an average click through rate of 31% for the 1st result, 14% for the 2nd, and 9.8% for the 3rd. That means:

1st position 310 clicks per month (or 3,720 clicks per year)

2nd position 140 clicks per month (or 1,680 clicks per year)

3rd position 98 clicks per month (or 1,176 clicks per year)

Remember that it took 9 days of hard work, which is pretty good considering we only attempted to rank for a keyword with a search volume of 1,000 searches per month. The higher the search volume, the higher your results will be, as well as the more competitive it’ll be. Keep in mind, it’s recommended not to target keywords with a search volume above 10,000 searches per month as a beginner. As time passes by, you’ll build momentum and you’ll start getting referral traffic (i.e. shares and natural links) resulting in more traffic than you planned.

Key Takeaways:

  • So is SEO hard work? Yes.
  • Does the hard work and effort pay off long term? Yes.
  • Can it be considered as a growth hack? Yes, since the traffic you get is extremely high compared to the time and effort it takes. It’s much better than paying for ads. Since ad traffic will most likely stop after the ad is stopped. On the other hand, organic traffic from Google (or any other search engine) keeps coming for months (or even years) to come.

2. Guest Blogging

Many bloggers and startups have built empires from guest blogging, raking in thousands of email subscribers from just a few guest posts, who then converted to paying customers.

That said, is it the same for everyone?

Of course, not.

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Guest blogging ROI (Return On Investment) is different for everyone. It depends on two things:

  • How good your blog post is.
  • How active the blog audience is.

If your blog post solves a huge problem for the blog’s audience then you’re likely to get a reasonable amount of them clicking on the link in your bio and subscribing to your email list. It’s an extremely good way to grow your blog. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need to write for a few blogs before you find a blog with a high ROI worth writing for. You may also need to hone your writing skills as well.

It takes around 6-20 hours to write an awesome guest post. Therefore, measuring results and refining your list of blogs to write for should be regularly updated unless you can afford to waste hours on guest posts that get you no traffic for the rest of your life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make sure you research each blog before writing a guest post for them.
  • Don’t settle with just one blog, write for several blogs, then write for the ones that offer a ROI worth your time.

3. Connecting With Influencers

Influencers usually have influence over a large audience. Some influencers send you tons of traffic, while others send you only a trickle of visitors. Many blog owners hail influencer marketing and blogger outreach because of all the traffic it get’s them. Not only do influencers send you traffic, but they also boost your credibility since promoting you is an endorsement.

So, how do you get influencers to send you traffic, and how is this a growth hack?

The way to get them to send you traffic is by building a relationship with influencers beforehand. Don’t ask for a favor before giving value to them several times before. You must be a giver, not a taker. Start your relationship off by giving them value, then at some point they’ll want to reciprocate and give you in return usually by recommending you to their audience. It’s a win-win.

Key Takeaways:

Give value to influencers and you’ll eventually get value in return.

4. Reddit

Many bloggers rely on social media for traffic. It’s true, social media can offer a reasonable amount of traffic; however, the problem with social media is that it takes a lot of time and effort to build a following. Plus, click through rates can be extremely low.

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This is where Reddit comes in. In Reddit you don’t need a following. In fact, you can’t even build one. You’re judged based on what you post. Furthermore, you can post in front of thousands of targeted users from day one. Reddit can get you over 10,000 visitors a month if you do it right. Granted, Reddit users (or Redditors) can be fussy and hard to please. They hate self-promotion. They are also ready to call you out and hurt your feelings or even get you shadow banned.

So, what’s a blogger like yourself to do with angry Redditors?

Well, truth be told, you’re going to have haters all of the time. If you can’t handle hurtful comments, then growing a blog might not be your thing. Look for another career. On the other hand, if you can take a few harsh comments then here’s what to do:

Step 1: Create an account on Reddit (if you don’t have one already).

Step 2: Unsubscribe to all subreddits that you’re not interested in, since you’ll automatically be subscribed to some popular subreddits after you create an account.

Step 3: Search and subscribe to all relevant subreddits that could possibly have your target audience.

Step 4: Become an active and regular Redditor. You must be helpful. I usually spend time answering people’s questions and providing feedback to people in the /r/entrepreneur subreddit and others. Do this regularly. Once you build 1,000 link karma, have 10+ post and comments, then you’re good to move on to the next step.

Step 5: Share your links every once in a while, whilst continuing to do whatever you’re doing in Step 4. Don’t stop offering value to subreddits. Getting 1,000 links karma and 10+ posts and comments doesn’t mean you’re promoted, it’s just what makes you eligible to post your own content. That said, remember not to overdo it. Most importantly, make sure your posts are valuable. Look at the previous top posts to get an idea of what that particular subreddit likes. Post your own stuff once every 3-4 posts.

Your goal is to become a top post in that particular subreddit in order to get the thousands of visitors per month.

Key Takeaways:

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  • Reddit is harsh but worth it.
  • Redditors are real people. If you help them and you do it often, they’ll appreciate it and you’ll get traffic.

5. Printed Letters

Huh, printed letters? But, don’t they cost money? Sure they do, but they also work.

You can send out printed letters (a.k.a. snail mail) to inactive subscribers, current customers, or to acquire new leads. You don’t need to write a masterful sales letter either. A nice personal note telling people to visit your blog for a special free offer should do the trick. Like everything else, make sure you send to a small group of 250 people first before mailing thousands of people.

It should cost you no more than $1 per letters, so it should cost you no more than $250 for your first sample campaign of 250 contacts. The odds of people reading your snail mail is much higher than them reading your email newsletter. Many bloggers would rather pay for PPC ads instead of snail mail, which means you’ll easily stand out from the crowd of electronic mailing bloggers. You’ll also be more memorable. In return, your subscribers will likely open your emails resulting in a higher open rate than usual.

Let’s say after sending out 250 letters, only 150 became new subscribers. If you have a good autoresponder series that sells a low priced product like an ebook at $10, you’ll only need 25 out of 150 new subscribers to buy your ebook to cover the full costs of your campaign – and that’s just your first low-priced product.

Make sure your campaigns are paying for themselves before you go for another one. If each campaign pays for itself then you can gain thousands of subscribers through traditional old school mail. Give it a try and see for yourself. You don’t need to be a multi-million dollar company to do this either since just a few hundred bucks from your wallet will do the trick.

Key Takeaways:

  • Email inboxes are crowded compared to mail boxes. That’s why the open rates are higher.
  • Create a personal note with a call to action for people to get access to your free lead magnet. Think of it as your printed squeeze page.
  • Create an autoresponder that will sell to new subscribers to make up for your campaign costs.

Conclusion

Growth hacking is anything that leads to your business/blog’s growth. Try at least one of these 5 tactics and you’ll see your blog traffic increasing soon enough. Be patient. Be persistent.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Zak Mustapha

Blogger & Marketer

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

1. Digital Savviness

As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence and to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and more are a testament to the disruptive impact of technology and the new image of what it means to be a skilled, successful professional. Think about today’s Mark Zuckerberg versus a banker from the 90s.

Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, like cloud applications and collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

How to Develop This Skill

For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will, eventually, slowly but surely garner more traffic.

Note, however, that an increase in search traffic does not immediately imply an increase in revenue. But it’s a start for delving into customer conversion rates in the future.

2. Financial Forecasting

Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business and is not just reserved for the likes of listed companies providing financial guidance to shareholders.

Largely, forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required and ways to measure success. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done when included in business plans.

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However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses, which could potentially result in financial teething problems. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

How to Develop This Skill

Generally, it is easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It is a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how adjacent your operations are to what you have forecasted.

Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

3. Video Production Skills

The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, by 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5]. With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

How to Develop This Skill

Some ways to get started with using videos for your business would be:

  • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
  • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
  • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

As far as you get into achieving endeavours on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place.

Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout and may manifest in an unhealthy interaction between partners and employees as well.

How to Develop This Skill

Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly to maintain a balance between growth and your personal values.

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5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

How to Develop This Skill

Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it hit the right buttons of consumers being tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from incumbent retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

Apart from lifting off from what could have been your second-mover advantage, solidify your place with your business’ own first-mover advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region, unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that proves more viable than others. There’s always room for improvement in business from mature markets to newly emerging ones.

6. Honing Pitches to Investors

Stand out in a broad mix of budding entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch that can determine the acceleration of growth for your business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition and its market viability for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression and move on to another meeting.

How to Develop This Skill

Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition. From aesthetics to the body of clients you’re associated with, these contribute to how you’re perceived by prospects looking to buy.

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Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned to these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

How to Develop This Skill

Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction. By knowing what makes your target customers tick, their values, ideals, and behavior, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to be utilized into a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

8. Automating to Your Advantage

The need for efficiency is often the general problem new businesses aim to resolve across all markets and industries. Assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to instill the need for it.

Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

How to Develop This Skill

Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the holistic advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

9. Managing Millennials

Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

In leaner small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[8]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing t-shirts to work.

How to Develop This Skill

Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

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Offer Constructive Feedback

Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

Being constructive with feedback ensures that we don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

Instead of proposing a business that’s ambitiously and entirely disruptive to the supply or process chain in a respective industry, foster connections with other companies that cater to the same target customers as long as they provide a different service.

By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously through creative avenues for customers to utilize your products and services for a holistically improved user experience.

Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

How to Develop This Skill

Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

As the African proverb goes:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

More Tips on How to Succeed in Business

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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