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How I Quickly Got a 300% increase in Traffic to a New Blog

One of the biggest challenges that bloggers face is getting enough traffic to their blog, especially when you are just getting started out. In this post, I’m going to discuss how I got a 300% increase to a new blog post using a simple but underutilized tactic called email outreach.

In fact, the blog I’m talking about is this blog – Small Business Ideas Blog. Brian Dean from Backlinko has a good write up on how to do this and Neil Patel is also a big advocate of the effectiveness of this technique.

Although Brian and Neil are SEO’s, email outreach is really more about audience building and is perfect for bloggers.

First, a little background…

What most people do when starting a blog

A lot of people start a blog because they want to build an audience and eventually make good money from it.

They start out by having their blog designed and then just writing about whatever comes to mind. Some people are pretty focused on their topic, but a lot of people will just write about whatever comes to mind.

What most people do when they start blogs is to write a lot of content. The hope is that then search engines will start picking up the posts and the traffic will increase over time.

While this is true, creating a ton of content in a short amount of time on your blog is the hard way to get traffic.

 

The Formula for Successful Blogging

Success in blogging requires three simple things: (1) researching content ideas, (2) creating awesome content and (3) promoting it.

My last blog post was 101+ Blog Content Ideas and with this post, I was trying to create the biggest list of blog content ideas. It took about 6 hours to create the initial version and a couple more to revise it.

 

1. Researching Content Ideas

The first step that you should take before writing anything is researching content ideas. Most writers will skip this step and just write about what they feel like.

However, if you want to promote your content, it needs to be as amazing as possible to have the most effect.

Awesome content will cause people to like, share, and link to your content. You will probably get at least a few subscribers too.

So for 101+ Blog Content Ideas, I did a search on Google and checked out some of the top articles for “blog content ideas”.

Then I checked each article for backlinks (other sites linking to the article) and social likes/shares. You can use tools like ahref.com or Open Site Explorer to see what sites are linking a webpage.

 

The basic process is as follows:

1. Search on Google for your keyword. In this case “blog content ideas”.

2. Visit each page and add the ones that appear to have the most social activity to a spreadsheet.

3. Check the backlinks for each page. Save these in a spreadsheet because you will need them later when you are promoting your own post.

 

There are many tools that you can use to check backlinks and it’s actually pretty easy to do. Here is a screenshot the backlink checker from ahrefs (click image to enlarge):

AHrefs Backlink Checker

AHrefs Backlink Checker

 

If you find a good number of backlinks or social likes, then you might have found a good topic. The general idea is to take an idea that is already popular and create something better or related.

 

2. Creating Awesome Content

The next step is to create awesome content. Although you can create a blog post in under an hour, I wanted to put some time into it to make this post as awesome as possible.

After thoroughly researching ideas, I set aside a good chunk of time and just started writing. I saw a lot of other posts where people had written maybe a dozen or 20 content ideas, so I decided to shoot for over 100.

The other thing I should mention is that it isn’t just about creating the longest list. In fact, I think there are other lists out there that are longer. Maintaining quality was also important.

To make the post even better, I had my graphic designer create a nice header image on top.

Also, most of the other lists out there were just a huge unorganized list of ideas, so I spent a couple of hours organizing my list into sections so that it will be more useful to readers.

 

3. Promoting the Post

To promote the post, I simply did a backlink check to see who had linked to similar articles and posts. I create a spreadsheet of these websites.

The most time consuming part of the process was going to each website, screening out the ones that weren’t worthwhile, and looking up the contact info for each blogger.

 

The ones I eliminated were:

– Sites where there was no contact form or email. I guess I could have done a whois lookup, but I figure if they don’t have their contact info available, then they probably don’t want to be contacted.

– Foreign language sites – Although, I could try to use Google translate or hope the owner speaks English, better just to skip these than deal with communication issues

– Dead blogs – If the blogger hasn’t blogged in 6 months or more

– Blogs or sites that copied the original article

 

After that, I emailed each blogger and told them to inform them of my new *awesome* post and asked them to link to it or share it if they thought it would be useful. I did two separate email sessions, totaling 111 emails.

The actual emailing only took a few hours because all the emails used the same basic template. You can probably do it even faster if you know how to use mail merge.

 

The Results

I got about the same response rate as most other SEO’s when they do this, at around 10-12% with some people linking or saying that they would and bunch of social sharing.

Although that may not seem like a lot, here are some very noticeable results:

– Post got shared by a few influencers with over 10,000 Twitter followers

– There was a small viral effect in which followers of these power bloggers shared the tweet with their followers

– Social likes and traffic continued even after I stopped promoting the post

– Got an increase of over 300% from the previous month.

 

200 visitors isn’t epic by any means, but keep in mind that this is for a new blog with very little previous promotion. Here’s a screenshot of my Analytics – you can clearly see where the traffic increase occurred:

Over 300% increase in traffic from previous month.

Over 300% increase in traffic from previous month.

 

And here is a screenshot of social sharing. You can see the difference from the previous unpromoted posts below it:

 

Social Sharing for 101 Content Ideas Post

Social Sharing for 101 Content Ideas Post

Even if you are brand new, if you write excellent content, then influential people will share it… if they feel that it benefits their audience.

 

Important Lessons

Most bloggers like writing and have no problem with creating content for their own blog. It’s natural for us to focus on doing things we like (writing) while avoiding things we don’t (backlink analysis and emailing people).

However, the researching and promoting steps can clearly make a big difference in your traffic and overall effectiveness.

Also, I made a decision earlier this summer to try to blog more regularly, but just once a month (for this site). You don’t have to write all the time and in fact, sometimes it is better to write less and focus on quality and promotion.

When I added the graphic image on top, Pinterest shares increased too, going from zero to 12 in about a week.

Special thanks go to Brian Dean from Backlinko for emailing me a few suggestions along the way.

 

Resources for Email Outreach 

If you are interested in trying this yourself, here are some great resources for email outreach:

Email People by Derek Halpern – A simple video explanation of why you should do email outreach

Outreach Marketing by Venchito Tampon – This guest post by Brian Dean on Digital Philippines shows how effective email outreach can be

The Unwritten Rules of Outreach by Jon Cooper – Some unique and good tips for email outreach

Infographic: How to Write an Effective Email Outreach – Here’s a clean infographic on how to write an effective email outreach.

Images for Email Outreach by Richard Marriott – An interesting tip to improving email outreach effectiveness by using images.

The Link Builder’s Guide to Email Outreach by Neil Patel – This is a popular post explaining how to do email outreach from Neil Patel, a top SEO.

How to do a Good Outreach Email by Rand Fishkin – Rand creates a great video explaining the components of a good outreach email.

Email Outreach Statistics by Michael King – This slideshare provides some interesting data from Buzzstream and iRank showing which days are the best for sending outreach emails, best opening, and number of email follow ups to send.

The 3 P’s of Email Outreach by Matt Gratt – Another short article with good tips for increasing effectiveness of email outreach.

Skyscraper Technique by Brian Dean – And of course Brian Dean’s unique method of email outreach explained, including how to develop linkable content and who to email for links.

 

Upcoming Topics

Here are some other things that I will be trying soon and writing about in my email newsletter and possibly future blog posts:

1. Improving the effectiveness of email outreach

2. Guest blogging – I’m going to try out what I think will be a more effective process for guest blogging than what most people do

3. Eventually, I will discuss mass content creation and how to do it quickly, and situations why you might want to take this approach instead.

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About Brian Lang

I've been making a living online since 2002, mostly through e-commerce sites and content sites with advertising. Through the years, I have also learned a lot about other types of businesses and helped other people with their business problems.

Comments

  1. Brian, what a great and useful post.

    Loved the resources at the end.

    Dangerously share-worthy. 🙂

  2. Brian, awesome article from your stable.

    Have read Dean article and most say it so awesome.

    Dean makes the all skyscraper technique easy.

  3. Awesome post – I agree, I think the hardest part of blogging is starting out! (:

  4. Thanks for putting this out there- great detail, love it! 🙂

  5. Thank you Brian for your sharing.
    This is a good method to get more traffic.

    I came across your blog from twitter just now and just cannot stop reading through it.

  6. your content is amazing and creating better content naturally increases visitors.

  7. Hey Brian,

    Amazing post for all those who who are starting a new blog… Thanks for these tips to generate traffic on your blog.

    Keep up the awesome!

    -Rajinder

  8. hey i was finding right information then i got your article.it’s really helpful for me thank you for sharing this information.

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SUBSCRIBE for ACCESS
All rights reserved © Small Business Ideas Blog, 2014
THANK YOU for SUBSCRIBING
Join the Small Business Ideas Blog Newsletter to stay updated and also get access to member only downloads and content, including special reports, studies and articles I write on other blogs. Some member bonuses include:
  • 50+ Free Tools & Resources for Business Automation
  • Study: How LinkedIn Publishers Get Featured on the Pulse
  • How to Build Relations with Influencers
  • and more!
Thanks for signing up for our newsletter. Please check your email and click the confirmation link to confirm your email address and receive your free bonuses.