May 27th, 2008

My Blog Traffic Generation Story
Techniques I Used to Generate and Increase Web Traffic

I started this blog, in the middle of January 2008 and currently have a readership of more than 3000 a month, a decent number for a blog that just turned 4 months last week. I thought, I’d share how I got here:

JANUARY - Setting A Goal

My goal was to have 3000 readers a month by 15th April 2008.

The Big Goal - 3000 Readers

I had a very strong believe that it was an attainable goal. At that time, I didn’t look into actively promoting my website. I just I thought if my writing and drawings were good enough, my blog traffic would come naturally. I was a naive blogger! :P

FEBRUARY – Give Some Feedback (And Get Some Back)

In mid-Feb, Growing Happiness turned 1 month old with 3 visitors a day. It felt kinda lonely writing for myself but consoled myself with that fact that the blog is only a month old.

Feedback - Give some, Get some

I had a shift in mindset at the end of month. I used to think no one would really care about what I had to say on their blogs but then I thought, “if I wanna hear people’s opinion on my blog, surely these people would want to know what I had to say too”.

I started commenting on other people’s blog regularly (about 5-10 blogs a day). I didn’t consciously pick blogs within my niche, just blogs that I was reading at any given time. If I had something to say that would add value to the blog I’m reading, I’d leave a comment.

MARCH – Social Networking

By the end of my second month of blogging, I had about 360 readers or about 12 readers a day. At this rate, my goal of 100 a day readership by the next month looked like an arduously uphill task. I decided to be more active in the blogging community in order to make my presence felt.

Social Networking Butterfly

I joined NaBloPoMo, a community in support of daily blog posting. It was a good way to kick start a daily writing habit. Although I didn’t get a lot of web traffic from there, I did get quite a few visitors coming for my free HTML badges and the WordPress and Blogger tutorials that came with it.

I also became more active in StumbleUpon. I did a lot of stumbling, wrote reviews of sites I enjoyed and made a couple of friends.

APRIL – Traffic Surge

I joined BlogCatalog a social blog directory and was moderately active in the discussion forums. I made a number of good friends there and, despite my initial resistance, started to enjoy this community thing greatly! The friends I made from BlogCatalog are fantastic. They are probably my most loyal readers and active commentors. Thank you guys! :)

As regular comments started coming in, I became a confident blogger. People reacted to what I wrote and I enjoyed the interaction. My blog traffic improved to about 25 visitors a day in the first week of April. Despite this very modest number, I still held strongly to the believe that I could achieve a 100 a day average readership by my third month (ending 15th April).

On 14th April, the eve of Growing Happiness third month, I had… 18 visitors. It seemed nearly impossible that my traffic would increase to 3000 the next day. However, I chose to be a positive blogger.

My Web Traffic Surge

On 15th April, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I checked my stats — I got nearly 7500 unique visitors through StumbleUpon overnight for my post “The Best Cure for Hiccups“!. That was about a 400 times increase in visitors to my blog within a single day! However, the traffic died down quickly. Within four days, it went from thousands to about 30 visitors, proving the volatile, unpredictable and non-committal nature of web traffic driven from social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg and Technorati.

A week later the same post got featured on Tipnut which saw my blog traffic jump to the hundreds range. But my winning streak didn’t end there. The week after that, the “how to stop hiccup” article got featured in LifeHacker, seeing my blog traffic jump to the thousands again.

MAY – Planning for Future Expansion

While I enjoyed BlogCatalog, it took a huge chunk of my time. I decide to limit my participation there to a few times a week to concentrate on writing articles for my blog (and of course, work!)

I joined Doodle Week because doodling is something I enjoy greatly. It was a really fun exercise and I even made a couple of new friends from there.

I also submitted two articles to Blog Carnival, and the post Specify Your Ideal Job Today was selected to be featured on the carnival How To Make Money Doing What You Love at Inspired Moneymaker.

Next Up, World Domination!

I am on the look out for other ways to expanding my readership so here are some other blog traffic generation methods I may experiment with in the coming months:

Posting Frequency

Damien Riley of Postcard from the Funny Farm (and a friend from BlogCatalog!) suggested, against convention, that posting frequently can result in increased traffic to your blogs.

At the moment, I post about 3 times a week. One of these weeks, when I’m not too busy, I might try posting a few times a day and let you guys know the result. :)

Twitter

Ades of Adesblog mentioned in his post “Twitter is increasingly becoming one of the top sources of web traffic to many people‚Äôs blogs”

Since I will be embarking on an exciting project that would require me to be away from the computer for long periods of time, I’m very keen to explore other ways to keep my readers updated and Twitter seems to be the answer.

Conclusion

What conclusions about blog traffic generation can I draw from my blogging experience so far?

It takes work – Promote yourself and accept that you need the community.
Being part of a community or network such as BlogCatalog is a great way to make new friends and expand your readership. I’m thankful to have so many friends from the web!

Always be grateful.
Only 3 readers? Those 3 readers are your best friends and cheerleaders. There are millions of blogs out there and they choose to read YOUR blog! That’s a great honour!

A post that addresses a need or attempts to solve a common problem appeals to the masses. The popularity of my “how to stop hiccups” post was due to its timeless, universal appeal — everyone has hiccups now and then and would like to know the easiest, fastest way to stop it. The more timeless, useful posts you have, the more blog traffic you will get. Which is why so many professional bloggers promote the writing of “pillar posts” (See “What are Pillar Articles?” below for explanation).

You need to have patience.
Unless you have a large marketing budget or count a blogging celebrity as your drinking buddy, you have to start from scratch. And it takes time to build something from scratch.

Never underestimate the importance of having goals and the power of positive thinking.
As my experience outlined here show, it is important to have clear goals and remain positive. You’d never know what can happen overnight!

All the best!

Dashed Line

What are Pillar Articles?

Pillar articles are not your average blog post. They are comprehensive posts which offer great value to readers and are timeless in nature. The posts are usually longer with well-researched and original content.

Resources
Pillar Posts Definition and Tips on Adesblog
Characteristics of Pillar Articles on Daily Blog Tips

Dashed Line


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This is a great post. I find it encouraging that you even thanked your 3 visitors in your early days... Being thankful, is what I took from this post. To your success. May your blog succeed and continue to empower your readers. Chris
Chris Desouza  at 12:53 pm on May 27, 2008
Thank you Chris for your comment and kind wishes! :)
Ginger M  at 1:09 pm on May 27, 2008
i found you from lifehacker - the hiccup article - because i HATE hiccups and i didn't know about the warm water thing. i happened to HAVE the hiccups when i read your post and tried it out, and by god, it worked! i've been an avid reader of your blog since then. thanks for commenting on my blog, by the way. i think you are a great doodler ;)
seagrass  at 2:04 pm on May 27, 2008
This is such a cool blog. I appreciate your friendship as well. I think my main point in that article you refer to was that I have learned the "Taboo" of posting too much is just a myth. It doesn't hurt and can even help your traffic. When I started everyone always said never post for than once a day.
Damien  at 3:03 pm on May 27, 2008
@seagrass - I'm glad it worked for you and thanks for mentioning how you got to know of this site. I do wonder how my readers get to know about this site.:)
@Damien - I know and I'm real keen to try this out!
Ginger M  at 12:36 am on May 28, 2008
i found your site from stumble upon too, from the hiccup article, havent tried it yet though. another inspiring article, ginger. Thanks :)
wiwien  at 2:18 am on May 28, 2008
I got a smile from this. My journey has pretty much had the same trend and journey since starting up at the end of December. Keep smiling, and perseverance, right? Good luck to you!
Pentad  at 9:02 am on May 28, 2008
so it goes like this, spam other peoples blogs, keep pushing your site on social networking sites, and write like you have verbal diarrhoea, and lastly to talk about how successful it all was simple!
neednewbed.com  at 9:55 am on May 28, 2008
@wiwien , top100mmo, jeff turner, pentad - thank you :) @neednewbed - I wouldn't consider leaving a useful comment a spam ;)
Ginger M  at 10:05 am on May 28, 2008
Great post. I think I need to join twitter as well next. See you there :-D. Cheers, Anmol
Anmol Mehta | Mastery of Yoga  at 2:39 pm on May 28, 2008
This is a very inspirational - and extremely helpful - post. Most bloggers don't know what to do in order to get people visiting their blog, your advice is right on. Thanks!
Tanner Christensen  at 5:29 pm on May 28, 2008
In the early days of blogging it is difficult to attract ongoing traffic. For starters you don't have enough content on your site to attract enough search engine traffic, and you don't have the word of mouth that is generated by subscribers. Your StumbleUpon traffic is impressive, and I commend you for your great articles and efforts. Wishing you the greatest success. Adam Sicinski
Adam Sicinski  at 6:10 pm on May 28, 2008
Yes you have worked hard and your tips for increasing traffic are great, but your blog provides something more. It has exceptional suggestions, tips and all are positive and well written. Your blog is "beautiful... so pleasant for the eyes. You have quality here and that in the end will be your greatest asset. Sending good wishes to you right now....
The Fearless Blog  at 9:01 pm on May 28, 2008
[...] Also a great tutorial about how to grow your blog can be found at our friends GrowingHapiness.com. [...]
How to Blog Your Way To A Better World | The Home of Indigo Children  at 10:10 am on May 29, 2008
I'm enjoying reading your positively focused blog and getting to know you through your writing. You've been doing well with your blog and this last article describes just how well. Congrats! I do think it's important not to look upon our blogging as "work". Although we do put a great deal of time and energy into our blogging we do so out of passion. Blogging is a labor of love. IMO when we reach junctures when our blogging feels like work we need to take a step back and get in touch with our passionate desire to inform, share and grow. Your blog articles encourage growth, happiness and sharing and those are the three things that bring me back as a reader again and again. Best wishes for happy blogging. :)
timethief  at 10:34 am on May 29, 2008
Thank you so much for this, currently getting around 600 visits a month but I will now have 4500 in about a month and a bit, all thanks to you! The indigo Revolution Has Begun!
Andreas Demetriou  at 11:05 am on May 29, 2008
very very useful. i'm going to bookmark this post. thank you.
patty  at 5:33 am on May 30, 2008
Thank you everyone for your positive comments and well wishes!
Ginger M  at 6:10 am on May 30, 2008
I loved reading this post :) I knew I would like your blog from the moment I saw David Bowies leggings :) You manage to make a post about blog stats sound fun and exciting :)
Claire  at 9:36 pm on May 30, 2008
Cool Blog. I love your doodles. Congrats on your traffic increases.
Paul Piotrowski  at 11:55 pm on May 31, 2008
Great post! keep it up :D
Bart  at 2:41 am on June 1, 2008
thanks for the encouragement...blogging can be a bit lonely when the numbers are low...but you've encouraged me to keep on truckin...gave me a lot of great ideas...thx.
karin  at 3:13 pm on June 17, 2008
"stumbled upon" you and am glad I did. It was well worth stopping to read. If you have time, I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments on our blog. Thanks, Susan
Susan Hilton - Texas Aggie Rea  at 10:31 pm on June 17, 2008
I just typed in "traffic starters" and you were 3rd on the list. Ilove your blog! The different colors,different scrip and "just being you" , makes you so believeable. Go get-um!
mary bird  at 10:42 am on September 10, 2008
social networking truly is a revolutionary force
divorce  at 10:34 am on October 7, 2008
i cant believe how important social networking has become to the business world
Thanksgiving Recipes  at 12:52 pm on October 8, 2008
thank you very much for that inspiring story. I learned a lot of traffic techniques. I also joined blogcatalog and I'm starting to get active with the participation. Godd luck to you and to me... Henry Griner http://www.blogtrafficgeneration.com
henry griner  at 1:00 am on December 16, 2008
Amazing ... i guess sites like stumble upon give you a boom-bust kind of traffic. I am myself struggling hard to get visitors down to my hubpages which i started recently. http://hubpages.com/hub/steps-to-lose-weight
highfiver  at 8:08 pm on January 11, 2009
Clearly and neat tips to gain traffic.
Phaoloo  at 11:08 pm on October 6, 2009
Greetings everyone, long time reader first time poster here delighted to be a member, and I look forward to start getting more active here In the mean time visit my page http://publicolonias.com.mx/blog/writingarticlesonline/?p=4
smeamswaito  at 8:10 am on October 13, 2010

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