[Monthly Traffic Case Study #3] How I Went From ZERO to 19,828 Visitors In 3 Months Flat!
Note to the SEO Rebel Community: To every single person who’s ever interacted with me in the comments on my posts up until this point, I’ve mentioned you by name in this post and I’ve linked back to either your website or social profile in the “Blog Commenting” section of this case study update. Read on to see why and thanks for your support!
Boy oh BOY! It has been one heck of a month and a half (well, actually about two months). YES… I know, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted a traffic case study. Don’t judge me, I’m only human, lol.
So much has gone on over these past couple of months, I don’t even know where to begin. I have so much to catch you up on and tell you about. I’m excited to share some awesome news with you and some pretty stellar results! I hope you’re ready.
This post will serve as my catch all update for everything that has gone on with me, my business and my traffic since my last case study report. If there’s something that you’ve been wondering or had a question about in regards to some of the changes that’s taken place, this post will more than likely have the answer.
So saddle up partner, here we go!
As I always do in my case study posts, I want to take a quick minute to give my new subbies the 411.
If you’re just joining us, WELCOME! I’m so happy to have you and I invite you to stick around with us.
To bring you up to speed, this here blog is only 3 months old. I just relaunched my blog at the end of September and boy did I have a blast doing it! And, I still am.
My whole goal for this blog is to build up my traffic using only high leveraged traffic strategies and social media… NO SEO, period. Thus the recent rebranding and name change of my blog to “The SEO Rebel” (more on the rebranding in a bit).
This blog has quickly been whipped into shape, and it’s still being whipped as we speak.
In the first 34 days of relaunch, this blog generated 8,500+ visitors …Using nothing but free marketing strategies..
Now, that may not be the most outrageous results out here, but I’d say that’s pretty darn good. Especially for a brand spanking new blog.
I’ve been chronicling my progress through what were weekly traffic case studies, which are now as the title reads, monthly traffic case studies (more on that in a bit too).
The purpose of my traffic case studies is to provide a step-by-step blueprint that you can implement on your blog and in business to produce the same results I have, if not better. These case studies are about as transparent as it gets, so I truly hope that you’ll be able to take away at least one golden nugget to start conjuring up a traffic tsunami in your stats.
Oh, and if you want to get the full story about my feelings towards SEO, you can check out this post here.
A quick personal note
On a more personal note, it has been brought to my attention by my dear fellow blogger, Ana Hoffman, that many of you have no idea I’m currently in college.
A few weeks back Ana shared an excerpt from this blog post on her Facebook Fanpage and I noticed that she shared a link to a blogging scholarship on her wall as well.
As you can imagine, I was totally stoked about this (and about her sharing an excerpt from my post, as you’ll see as you read on). I commented on her post thanking her for sharing such great information. She responded saying that she didn’t realize I was in college and she was pulling for me to win the scholarship. That’s when I realized that many of you probably didn’t realize that either.
So, FYI, I’m in college!
I’m currently attending the University of Phoenix online full-time to get my Bachelors in Marketing Degree. I just re-enrolled in college in October as well, during the relaunch of this blog, so I have a lot on my plate. Which brings me to my next matter… the frequency of my traffic case study posts.
Because of school, work, and other personal obligations, what I thought were going to be weekly traffic case studies will have to be monthly traffic studies (or possibly every other month).
Don’t “Boo” me too loud!
As I’ve mentioned before, it takes a lot of hours to write these in depth case studies (anywhere from 8 to 12 hours). Because it takes so much time, I’ll be only be able to do them on a monthly or every other month basis. It’s just too much to try to do them on a weekly basis, plus try to keep up with school and work.
Of course, I’ll still be releasing at least one jam packed post a week updating you with the latest traffic tips and tricks. So if you’re not already, make sure you subscribe here so you’re kept up to date.
Okay! Is that everything on the personal front? I believe so.
Now! Let’s get down to business
Alright, so I made my first post on this blog on September 24, 2012. Since that date, I’ve published 18 posts that are currently live on this blog (not including this post).
Here’s a collective rundown of my results from these 18 posts combined (Please note that these numbers are rough estimates):
- 8,412 New Unique Visitors
- 575 Facebook Likes
- 217 Facebook Shares
- 226 Retweets
- 44 Google+1’s
- 248 BizSugar Votes
- 85 Comments
- 378 New subscribers
- 10 New Relationships with Influencers
- 20 Natural Blog Backlinks
Here’s a recap of my results as reported in my last case study:
- 444 New Unique Visitors
- 270 Facebook Likes
- 103 Facebook Shares
- 47 Retweets
- 7 Google+1’s
- 43 BizSugar Votes
- 22 Comments
- 38 New subscribers
- 3 New Relationships with Influencers
- 7 Natural Blog Backlinks
In my last case study I had 8 live posts. So since then, I’ve added 10 additional posts (not including this post).
Now, here’s a snapshot of the results I’ve gotten since my last traffic case study:
- 6,643 New Unique Visitors
- 146 Facebook Likes
- 73 Facebook Shares
- 109 Retweets
- 25 Google+1’s
- 116 BizSugar Votes
- 63 Comments
- 316 New subscribers
- 4 New Relationships with Influencers
- 4 Natural Blog Backlinks
Pretty cool, right?
But wait! There’s more…
If you’ve been following me since the relaunch of my blog, then you might’ve noticed quite a few changes. There’s been several of you who’ve emailed, Facebooked and Twittered me asking about my new brand and blog design.
If you’re just coming in on this, here’s the scoop…
Before this blog was The SEO Rebel, it was The Bus Ridin’ Internet Marketer (a mouth full right)? I thought so too, which is one of the reasons I changed my brand/blog name. I feel that The SEO Rebel is much easier to say, plus it’s catchy don’t ya’ think?
(I won’t go into all the details of my previous brand in this post. if you’re interested in knowing the story behind my previous brand, just let me know in the comments below).
I actually started off calling my weekly link roundup “The SEO Rebel Roundup” while I was still using my old brand name, then one day I thought… “why not just change your whole blog to The SEO Rebel?” After all, rebelling against SEO is the whole angle of my blog anyway.
Thus, my new SEO Rebel brand was born!
The new design for my blog came after my new brand name, of course. This blog currently supports the Flexibility wordpress theme. Before, I was running the Twenty Ten 1.3 theme. Although the Twenty Ten theme was incredibly simple for me to use and customize, it didn’t do much to aid me in turning my traffic into subscribers – plus the look was rather outdated.
The free version of the Flexibility wordpress theme is pretty cool in the way of customization and the huge feature opt-in box has been great for increasing my blog’s conversion rates. There’s a free and paid version of this theme. I’m currently running the free version so I can’t speak on the paid version. However, the free version is kicking butt for me so far, so I’d definitely recommend it.
I’m sure I’ll change up my theme again in the near future, but for now I’m happy.
Okay, shall we move on? …
Since my last update, I’ve explored some cool new traffic sources. I was feeling a little edgy and I actually decided to venture into the paid side of traffic generation (I’ll go into more detail about my experience with that in a bit).
So here’s the current traffic sources that I’ve been actively implementing:
- Blog commenting
- Social media (Facebook/Twitter)
- Guest blogging
- Forums (WF/SME)
- Paid WSO’s (Warrior Forum Special Offers)
- Ad swaps
- Building and leveraging relationships with influencers
This list hasn’t changed too much, but as you can see there are some new pawns on the traffic board and I’m excited to have added them to the game.
Also, since my last update I’ve installed Google Analytics to my blog to get a more accurate view of my traffic stats. Yay me! And thanks to Ilene Smith for further suggesting that I do so.
It’s important to get as accurate picture as possible of whats going on with your traffic. I only use 3 tools to keep track of my stats – Google Analytics, Jetpack, and the traffic stats shown in my Cpanel (you can see screenshots of those further down in this post).
Even though I don’t fully understand the stats jargon, these 3 tools give me a pretty good idea of where my traffic comes from and what I can do to improve my results. So, I’m pretty happy with them.
Let’s get started with my favorite traffic source…
If you’re not aware by now, I’m a raving fan of BizSugar.com. When I say this site is traffic gold, I mean it! In fact, I’m proud to say that I’m officially apart of this traffic brigade.
What do I mean? Get this…
If you remember from my previous case study in October, I was a featured member of BizSugar and became Contributor of The Week within only one week of joining their community. I was completely stoked about this; I mean my excitement was through the roof! It was an incredible opportunity to get some crazy exposure and traffic, plus I was totally honored to have been asked to be featured by such a prestigious site.
Well, the day before my feature was scheduled to post BizSugar’s editor and Chief Moderator, Heather Stone, contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in becoming a moderator for the site… did I mention my feature post wasn’t even live yet?!
Talk about someone that was elated! Lol. I was literally dancing around my room doing a full fledged touchdown boogie! You would have been falling over with laughter had you seen me.
Of course, I accepted the offer and on October 23rd I became an official moderator for one of hottest traffic rockets around. Score! Lol.
Here’s some screen shots of my moderator profile:
Seriously though, it truly is a complete and total honor to be working with the very site that helped me jump start the relaunch of my blog. I know there’s more great things to come from our alignment.
So what’s the lesson here???
Well, isn’t it obvious? I say all that to show you that getting involved with these blogging community, aggregator/curating sites is SO worth your time! Seriously!
I didn’t get offered the opportunities I did with Bizsugar just because I signed up and activated my account. I got down and dirty and participated in full-fledged engagement with the community. Commenting, voting, and sharing other bloggers content with my network. That initial hard work I put in paid off. And, YOU can do the exact same thing I did.
Of course, I’m not guaranteeing that you’ll get offered a moderator position too. But, what I am saying is that true authentic engagement and interaction with like-minded people in a community WILL get you recognized and will ultimately send you butt loads of traffic.
The proof is in the pudding, as you’ll see in my traffic stats below.
Since my last update, I’ve only submitted 3 pieces of my own content to BizSugar (2 posts from my own blog and 1 guest post).
Here’s the screenshots:
2 posts from my blog:
My guest post:
As you can see, 1 of my own blog posts and my guest post became hot and got a high number of votes, which ultimately sent a gust of traffic my way. Awesome!
And, of course I can’t forget to shout out everyone who voted:
Voters for my first 2 submissions:
Voters for my guest post:
Thanks a bunch you guys!
Since first discovering BizSugar, the site has sent me 300+ visitors in 3 months (view stats below). And, most of my engaging audience is from BizSugar as well.
As I’ve always said, the key to getting traffic from BizSugar and other sites like it is to get in the trenches and start interacting with the members. Begin commenting, voting, and sharing the members content with your social networks. This is a great way to start building relationships and build your own blogging alliance where you can all promote, interact and engage with each others content.
I can’t stress enough to you how effective this is. Getting traffic is not about getting a windfall of traffic from just any old rinky dink source. You want to build up long-term sustainable and engaging traffic filled with visitors that will stick around with you for the long haul. BizSugar can give you that and so much more. And, the fact that they send fast quality traffic is a bonus as well.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that it’s FREE to join? Get on it! You’ll be happy you did.
Social Media (Facebook/Twitter)
Alrighty then! On to good ol’ social media. I’ve had quite a bit of action from social media since my last update. Seems like people are really taking a liking to me and my content and I couldn’t be happier.
That is one of the best things I love about social media and social traffic. When people share your stuff, you KNOW that people are really vibing and connecting with you as a person. They really like you and your brand and to know that people are really diggin’ you is one of the best feelings, isn’t it?
Every “like”, retweet, and share you get is a real vote of approval from a living person that came across your content via the share of a real person they’re connected with.
Social media traffic is 1000x’s different from search traffic and the way it behaves (I’ll be releasing a post on this topic soon).
Same as with my previous case studies, Facebook takes the crown for being my top social media referrer. Since my last update, Facebook has sent me roughly 152+ visits. Plus, I’ve gotten some pretty notable shares from some blogging royalty…
Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe shared and excerpt from this post on her Facebook Fanpage wall. She notified me of this by posting a short blurb under my own share on my FB wall (so did Brankica Underwood):
When I went to check it out Ana’s page, I was totally elated and instantly broke into my touchdown boogie dance! :
This tip was received rather well by her audience. There was a bit of discussion in regards to the effectiveness of the strategy, but overall those who left their opinions seemed to like it.
Ana also commented on this same post:
Thanks so much Ana for sharing this with your following and commenting. You rock!
Brankica’s FB wall share of my post:
Branckia’s comment on my post:
I was totally excited to see that Branckia liked and shared my post as well. I even did an extra boogie dance. Thanks so much for sharing the post with your audience, Branckia. I appreciate it!
Ehsan shared my last case study with on his Facebook wall:
Ehsan commented my case study post and the same post that Ana and Branckia commented on as well:
Eshan’s comment on my case study post:
Eshan’s comment on my other post:
Thanks Ehsan! I appreciate the love.
Terrance is such a cool dude and I can always count on him to help share and spread the love on any one of my posts. It’s been such an honor connecting and interacting with him. Thanks a bunch, Terrance!
I also got several other shares of several of my posts on Facebook as well aside from the ones mentioned above. If you’re reading this and you’ve shared any of my posts, THANK YOU! It’s much appreciated!
Twit-ta! Lol, is coming in behind Facebook same as with my previous case studies as my #2 social media traffic referrer. Since my last case study, Twitter’s sent me around 100 or so visitors (you can check my traffic stats below).
This is credit to some generous RT’s from some of my blogging buddies:
Thanks Ileane and Brankica!
Same as with FB, there were a lot more RT’s than the ones shown here. Especially on my first case study, which out of nowhere picked up some buzz and momentum again. If you were one of those kind RT’ers… SHOUTZ OUT TO YOU! Thanks for sharing the love.
Ode to blog commenting, oh how I LOVE thee! Lol, seriously though, blog commenting has literally been my magic gateway to reeling in some major traffic and building awesome relationships with influencers/up and coming bloggers.
Since my last case study, I’ve been using blog commenting more so as a relationship builder than a traffic generator. You’ll see what I mean by that in a bit.
I’ve been doing a lot and I do mean A LOT of blog commenting since my last up date, but I’ve been commenting more on lower traffic blogs and focusing on connecting directly with the webmaster.
Blog commenting is still a great way to get quality traffic, however, building genuine and authentic relationships with other bloggers weather they’re in your niche or not (and just with people in general) will always be more beneficial in the long-term.
Since I got my new position with BizSugar, I’ve come across some fantastic up and coming bloggers who produce some world class content. I’ve had the pleasure of connecting and interacting with them in their comments and I’ve begun to build some great relationships.
Some of these bloggers include:
- Shola Richards of Cubepiphany.com
- D. Dixon of 1singularsensation.com
- Malla Haridat of Mallaharidat.com
- Kevin Ocasio of KOmarketer.com
- Cendrine Marrouat of Creativeramblings.com
- Mark Trueman of Zenspill.com
These are some great up and coming bloggers who produce quality content. It’s been pleasure engaging with them and I highly suggest you head on over to their blogs to check them out.
I haven’t done as much high profile commenting as I usually do, but I’ve had a few new comment interactions with some high profile bloggers including:
- Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe
- Brankica Underwood of Online Income Star
- Ehsan Khosbakht of Guide and News and
- Kharim Tomlinson of Web Master Success (I actually had a live Google chat session with Kharim. He’s an awesome guy and he helped me so much with improving my blog’s load time. Thanks SO much Kharim, I appreciate the help! )
Here’s a few screen shots of my commenting interaction:
My comment on Ana’s blog:
Ana’s response to my comment:
Ana’s comment on one of my link roundup posts:
My comment on Brankica’s blog:
My comment on Ehsan’s Blog:
My comment on Kharim’s blog:
Kharim’s comment on one of my link roundup posts:
Kharim even shared my post and my comment on his FB wall as well.
His share of my comment on his post:
Kharim’s cross post comment share on my post:
I can’t tell you how excited I was to connect with these bloggers and actually see their comments on my posts! Talk about someone who was elated, lol.
To all of you, thanks SO much for your support. I’m grateful and extremely honored to share the blogosphere with you!
If you’re reading this and you think that it’s beyond your reach or ability to connect with and get on an influencers radar… think again. I mean, it’s really not all that difficult.
There’s so many people that decide they want to start blogging for money and when they don’t see results in the first 3 weeks, they quit.
Well here’s your wake up call… blogging actually requires WORK… hardwork… possibly even more work than your 9 to 5.
You have to have a true passion for it and you can’t just be in it for a quick buck; you have to be in it for the long-haul. If you’re not, your potential audience, especially the influencers can tell.
Lack of persistence creativity and commitment to quality are 3 of the main reasons I believe new bloggers can’t gain or maintain any traction online. If you’re one of those who’s struggling, I hope these case study posts show you exactly how to go about getting to where you deserve to be – and shows you the reality behind the hardwork that it takes to get there.
My blog comments
As for my blog comment count, I’ve gotten 63 comments since my last update and a total of 85 comments since my blog relaunch (not including my own). Stellar!
I want to give a special shout out to one of my commenters Michael Belk.
A few weeks ago, Michael expressed his dissatisfaction with my previous Cackle commenting system:
I really appreciated Michael’s expression because for a few weeks previous to his comment, I’d been thinking about switching commenting systems anyway. His comment was the last deciding factor to get me to go on and do the switch from Cackle to the new commenting system this blog now supports, Disqus. And, I have to say I’m rather happy about it.
If you’ve been keeping up with my case studies, I know you’ve read my raving reviews about the Cackle commenting system. The main reason I raved about Cackle was because of it’s automatic comment cross posting feature.
Well, although the system was great for driving social traffic, there was some things I discovered that I didn’t like about it…
For instance: In the rare event that some spammer actually does take the time to manually post spam to my blog, using Cackle’s system there’s no way to freaking delete it!
In the time I was using Cackle, I only got 2 spam comments on my blog – where spammers manually posted a spam comment via their Facebook profile.
When I tried to moderate it, it prompted me to upgrade to the pro version which is $10/year. When I attempted to do so, the system wouldn’t let me pay. Which in my opinion is rather odd and terrible for business.
What kind of business wouldn’t let you pay them? Not to mention, the payment currency was in a foreign currency called Rubels?
Ummm… never heard of it. Have you?
Well anyway, after going through the motions of trying to contact their customer service to get assistance in upgrading (and having to leave the unsightful spam on my posts for weeks) coupled with Michael’s comment, I decided to go on and make the switch.
I love the Disqus commenting system. It’s very sleek looking and it’s allows my commenters to link their names back to their websites. Plus, it still has the option to cross post to social networks if you choose to.
Unfortunately, the downside to switching is that I believe that some of my comments have disappeared or weren’t exported properly. And, many of the commenters who’s name were once linked to their social profile and had a lovely avatar picture, now has a grayed out square where their avatar once was and no clickable link attached to their name.
I apologize for this!
And, to show you all how much I truly appreciate you, here’s a comprehensive list of every single person who’s ever left a comment on my blog to date – with a link directly back to your website.
Note: If I couldn’t find your website, then your name links back to one of your social profiles. If your name isn’t listed or there’s no hyperlink connected to your name, it’s because you commented as anonymous and/or I couldn’t locate a site or profile using your email or name. If I somehow missed you, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add you to this list!
- Kim Roach
- Thu Nguyen
- Michael Belk
- Martin Lindeskog
- Kelvin Cech
- Shawn Hessinger
- Ashley Neal
- Heather Stone
- Isaiah Coe
- Cátia Luis
- Corina Ramos
- Al Harrington
- Sian Phillips
- Brent Jones
- James Scholes
- Chelle Parmele
- Ana Hoffman
- Brankica Underwood
- Ehsan Khosbakht
- Kevin Ocasio
- Cendrine Marrouat
- Kharim Tomlinson
- Thomas Nielsen
- Karo Itoje
- Ileane Smith
- Simon Gabay
- Mike Lopez
- Brad Kinney
- Vanessa Blais
- Computer Sneaker
- Powerful Mothering
- Stacie Walker
- Michelle Warren
- Jenny Bhatt
- Tony Restell
- Tom George
- Sapna Hitech
- Danny Pajevic
- Fahad Khan
- Arwin Adriano
- Joshua Zamora
- Emmanuel Obarhua
- Trung Nguyen
- Hardik Vasa
- Annetta Powell
- Daniel Robertson
- Deb Stickley
- Ken Pedersen
- Sylviane Nuccio
- Charles Manfre
- Lindsey Rainwater
- Arthur Strout
- Ramiro Rodriguez
- Lisa Joshua
- Jeanne Daniels
- Ben Ko
Thank you all so much for making your presence known and leaving your feedback. I truly appreciate each of you and I hope you continue to comment and show your support!
Now, here’s a new one, well, for me anyway. If you remember in my last case study, I mentioned all the blog comment interaction I was doing on high profile blogs.
Well, all that interaction definitely paid off!
One comment interaction in particular got me an unsolicited guest post on Lisa Irby’s 2 Create A Website blog (one of the highest trafficked blogs in the IM niche).
Here’s a recap screen shot of our interaction:
Can you say, POWERFUL!
I couldn’t express my elation when my post went live on Lisa’s blog. I was in my room tearing it up! Lol.
You can check out that guest post by clicking here.
As I mentioned, this guest post was totally unplanned. In fact, initially it was only meant to be 3 quotes/tips about how to get started with driving traffic through social media.
One thing that I’ve learned since relaunching my blog is that you always want to over deliver with the content that you create. So in keeping with that, I wanted to make sure that I packed as much value as possible in the tips I provided and I actually ended up providing 5 tips instead of the original 3 Lisa requested.
Let me just say that I’m totally SOLD on guest posting. The sheer amount of traffic and subscribers I got in one day was truly awe inspiring. And, the amount of visitors that I’ve received from that one guest post beats out all of my other traffic sources to date – which is about 400+ visitors since it went live on Nov. 5th. I’d say that’s pretty badass, wouldn’t you?
And to think that came from just one guest post that spawned from one blog comment.
Allow me to reiterate here if you will… If you think that blog commenting is only good for driving short bursts of traffic, think again buddy! This right here is proof that blog commenting is so much more than that.
When you’re attempting to engage, interact and drive traffic through blog commenting it’s important that you’re (1) not leaving sorry one liner farts – no one likes that, they stink and they either won’t get approved or won’t get any recognition from the webmaster or their audience and (2) you need to be authentic and TRANSPARENT in your comment.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, relate to the blogger, share your personal experience, share what you’ve learned, ask questions, ect. When the webmaster and their audience see a real engaging comment like that, it’s bound to get some recognition.
Oh, and Lisa thanks SO MUCH for honoring me with the opportunity to provide value to your audience. It’s greatly appreciated!
Forums (Warrior Forum/Social Media Examiner)
Oh, how I love me some forums! Ya know… I’m just starting to really get the hang of them and they’re proving to be killer for traffic generation. If you remember in my last two case studies, me and forums weren’t seeing eye to eye. Well, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve ironed out our differences and we’re developing a budding relationship.
Since my last update I’ve made 7 posts on the Warrior Forum (including a WSO, more on that in a bit).
Some were misses, but I had a few that were a hit. In fact, one of those puppies was dubbed HOT by the community… SCORE!
I would normally plaster some screen shots here, but some of my posts were too long to screen shot so be sure to click the links listed below to check out the posts:
- 4 Hidden Traffic Tips to Spike Your Traffic Stats
- [Monday Traffic Tips] 5 Steps To Social Media Mastery?
- What if? (List building question)
- 3 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Traffic (This the one that become “HOT” )
- [NO Optin FREE Ebook] How To Get Over 8,500+ Visitors To Your Site <–step by step
- My Top 3 Traffic Tips to Spike Your Traffic Stats
- [FREE WSO] How I Generated 8,552+ Visitors, 429+ Facebook Likes, 117+ Retweets To A Brand New Blog!
One thing I want to mention about WF is that it’s heavily moderated. So when you’re going to post there, make sure that the content you’re sharing provides real value and that you’re posting your thread in the correct section – a mistake I’ve made several times.
It can take a minute to get the hang of forum marketing, especially in the IM niche because of all the forum regulations. But, if you keep at it forums can drive some stellar traffic.
For instance, WF has sent me around 200 or so visitors since my blog relaunch (check my stats charts below). That’s not including the traffic it’s sent to my squeeze pages. Pretty good right? I think so too.
Social Media Examiner (SME)
I have a few posts over on the SME forum (cross posting from my WF posts). I haven’t been too active over there and my results show it. I’ve only gotten about 16 or so visitors from SME (see my stats below). Eh, it’s not much but I’ll take it.
However, the content that I did post on SME got some interaction and replies from the members. I’ve even had someone visit my blog, subscribe and comment on one of my posts from finding my content on SME…
…so that was definitely worth the effort.
WSO’s (Warrior Special Offers)
Now this was the rodeo of my forum marketing escapades.
I actually did my first paid traffic strategy with posting a WSO. Yay me! Lol. The WSO I posted was a huge success as far as subscriber generation is concerned.
You can check out my free WSO by clicking here.
Most warriors post WSO’s to sell their product, but I decided to take a page of out of my traffic fairy God mother Kim Roach’s book and post a FREE WSO.
Talk about a traffic/subscriber windfall!
Here’s the numbers (I love this part ):
Okay, so the WSO cost me $40 to post. I got 213 unique clicks and out of those clicks I got 120 subscribers. So that’s about $0.19 per click, $0.33 per subscriber and a 56.3% conversion rate… ROCKIN’!
Usually anything less than a $1 per subscriber is a good deal, so judging by those numbers I’d say my WSO was definitely a success. Not to mention the total excitement of watching those new subscriber notifications popping up in my inbox!
I’d definitely suggest, in fact, strongly recommend that if you’re in the IM niche and you’re looking for a simple paid marketing strategy that’s measurable and scalable – posting free WSOs is where it’s at.
I’d like to plant a big fat one on whoever came up with ad swaps. I’m tellin’ ya, this traffic strategy is kick butt for growing a quality list lightening fast. Not to mention, it’s free!
I did my first ad swap and I couldn’t have been happier with the results and I couldn’t have done it with a better guy, Joshua Zamora of ZamuriBlogger.com. Josh is such an awesome marketer. I actually first heard about Josh when I saw his guest post over on Kim Roach’s blog (which is one ridiculously valuable post that I HIGHLY suggest you check out here).
After reading Josh’s post, I commented on it and proceeded to check out his personal blog. I saw that he shared some great content and this post in particular really caught my attention, so I commented on it as well. We engaged and interacted on his blog and on my blog….
Here’s some screenshots of our comment interaction:
My comment on one of his posts:
His comment on one of my posts:
A few weeks later, Josh contacted me on Facebook and asked if I’d be open to an ad swap. I said yes and it was on!
We decided to do the swap by exchanging a number of clicks. We settled on doing a 25 click ad swap and it worked out well. Let me just say that Josh is definitely an over deliverer in every sense of the word. I ended up getting 50+ clicks and 52 subscribers. Totally settler!
If you’re looking for a upstanding ad swap partner, I’d definitely suggest you get in contact with Josh and tell him Ti sent ya’!
Thanks Josh for an awesome first ad swap experience. I look forward to us continuing to learn, grow and experience many more successful endeavors!
Alright ladies and gents, time for the juicy stuff… traffic stats!
Now that you’ve gotten a detailed breakdown of my traffic generation activities, it’s time to clock the numbers on my traffic stats.
Below you’ll see a series of screenshots showing all of my blog’s traffic stats from my Cpanel, My Jetpack traffic stats (a really neat WP plugin that tracks your traffic), Google Analytics, and I’ve even thrown in my Alexa stats for ya’.
Note that my traffic stats vary, depending on the reporting platform. There’s no perfect stats recorder (that I’m aware of anyway). These are what my numbers are as recorded by the 3 tracking systems I use.
Here’s my Google Analytics stats (I installed Google analytics on my blog the day that I published my last case study, so these stats don’t reflect the traffic generated before the 18th of October). This reflects my top 10 referrers:
Here’s my Jetpack stats (these stats reflect the entire last quarter of 2012 since I relaunched my blog). There were more referrers, but I only showed my top ones:
This is my traffic as recorded by my Cpanel. It reflects all traffic/visits since my relaunch:
As you know, I do absolutely no SEO for this blog at all. However, I’m still getting a fair amount of search traffic as shown in the above stats. According to the 2 charts below (from my Jetpack and Cpanel stats) most of my search traffic comes from people Googling my name, URL or brand name.
I think that’s pretty darn cool seeing that I’ve only been on the scene for 3 months! How bout that?
Jetpack search stats:
Cpanel search stats:
Here’s my Alexa stats. Check out that 3 month increase in traffic. Freaking awesome!
Here’s my Alexa click stream:
I even got a 5 star site review from Terrance Charles on Alexa:
Pretty cool stuff, huh? I know! I swear this is like the best video game ever, lol.
And this is what it all boils down to, isn’t it? Building that list!
If you remember in my last update (on October 18, 2012), I’d generated 64 new subscribers in total. Well since that update, I’ve generated 316 new subscribers. That’s a grand total of 378 new subscribers.
The proof is in the puddin’:
BAM! I’d say that’s pretty darn awesome for a brand new blog, wouldn’t you?
This number includes subscribers generated from my blog and all the other traffic generation methods I’ve covered in this update.
As I mentioned earlier, since my last update I’ve made quite a few changes to my blog design and layout to increase my conversion rate and it’s been working quite well.
If you’re just starting your blog and your goal is to make money with it, I would strongly suggest that you optimize your blog for generating subscribers and building your list immediately (if you haven’t already).
Building your own subscriber list is quite literally the lifeblood of your business. It’s like having your own social network. With your own list, you have traffic on tap whenever you summon it.
Think of it like this, if Facebook, Twitter, Google or even your blog were to shut down tomorrow, you would still be in business because you have your list of subscribers in tact. You can create a product, send a promo email out to your list, and still generate revenue. It’s like pulling traffic and money clear out of thin air.
I so wish I’d grasped this concept when I first got started online 7 years ago, I’d be much further along then I am now.
So, if you aren’t list building, start today! You can’t afford not to.
Relationships and Community
Since my last update, I’ve gotten 3 natural backlinks, all of which are high profile (no article marketing bots or spinners needed ).
- 2 links pointing back to 2 separate blog post from my guest post on 2createawebsite.com:
- And 1 link pointing back to my blog from Josh Zamora in his subscriber update post here (I highly suggest you check his post out, good stuff )
Thanks Lisa and Josh! ‘Preciate ya’!
I’ve been trying to get a account with Blokube for what seems like forever (they have a waiting list) and when I saw it show up in my traffic stats, I was pretty excited…
Here’s a screen shot of Devesh’s submission:
My post even made the editor’s picks:
…I was even more excited to see that Devesh was the one who submitted my post. Devesh is an awesome blogger and creates some great content over on his blog. Not to mention the killer traffic he gets. His share of my post brought me an extra 30+ visits to my site and Blokube is even in my top 10 or so referrers, which is pretty cool.
Thanks a lot Devesh for sharing my post and to everyone that voted for it. I really appreciate it!
You’ve heard this countless times before and you’re gonna hear it again… relationships are everything when it comes to building a blogging business (or any kind of business for that matter).
Developing strong mutually beneficial relationships is one of the main things that you should be focusing on when you’re just getting started online and is essentially the key to effective social media marketing.
Since my last update, I’ve connected with 4 more blogging heavy hitters:
- Kharim Tomlinson
- Ana Hoffman
- Ehsan Khoshbakht
- Joshua Zamora
If you know anything about IM blogging, then you know that these are some serious players in the field. I’m incredibly honored to be connected with these fine folks and I’m elated to have their support in my blogging journey.
I want to further emphasize here that if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines and you haven’t taken the leap into reaching out and connecting with influencers in your niche, not only are you missing out on a ton of exposure and traffic, but you’re also robbing yourself of connecting with some pretty cool people in general.
So many newbies let fear and intimidation get in the way of their growth and it’s quite sad. The big names in the blogsphere are regular folk, just like you and I so there’s nothing really to be scared of.
As I mentioned, I’m releasing a post soon on this very topic in the few days, detailing exactly how to get over this phobia. So if you’re one that struggles with this, make sure you’re subscribed here and be on the watch out for it.
So, what’s going down in 2013?
Well, to put it simply… I’m busting out the BIG guns! Lol
If you’re already a subscriber to my blog then you’ve already got a sneak peek of what I’m conjuring up for 2013.
If you missed it, you can see what I mean here.
I’m totally excited about next year and I can hardly wait to unleash the traffic madness!
This last quarter of 2012 has been one of the best experiences of my entire career and it’s only the beginning.
Next week, I’ll be releasing a major announcement about my plans going into 2013 and you definitely don’t want to miss it, so make sure you’re subscribed so you’ll be one of the first ones to get the scoop.
Well, there ya’ have it!
My 2012 traffic wrap up. From ZERO to HERO in 3 months flat, lol.
Now, I want to hear from YOU!
Tell me, what are your thoughts on this traffic case study? Did you find any specific parts helpful? Do you have any questions? Do you have any suggestions? What are YOUR plans for 2013?
Let me know in the comments below.
And, be sure to “like”, share, RT, and spread the social love on this post as well if you found some value in it.
See ya’ around the net!… literally
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