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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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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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