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5 Lessons That I Learnt After Building a +100,000 Monthly Reader Blog cover

5 Lessons That I Learned After Building a +100,000 Monthly Reader Blog.

+100,000 Monthly Readers. Sounds cool, right? 

Surprisingly, it will sound even cooler if I say that around 18 months ago, the same blog was getting just over  133 monthly readers. And yes, I’m talking about my financial education blog, Trade Brains.

Although I’m not trying to brag, I’m pleased to share that Trade Brains’ journey so far has been phenomenal. In the period of eighteen months since launch, Trade Brains has grown its email list to +26,000 subscribers, Facebook page to +13,000 followers and Youtube channel of +3,400 subscribers. Alongside +100,000 monthly readers, the blog is getting over +190,000 monthly page views.

google analytics september 100000 visitors

Anyways, my journey with trade brains has taught me a lot of lessons in both personal and professional life.

In my personal life, this journey has evolved my mindset. Today, I stand confident that I can build more online businesses which can attract audience and traction. I’m not dependent on a 9-to-5 job, rather I prefer to give jobs to interested people through my blogs and other online startups. Moreover, this journey has taught me that building an online empire requires strategies and smart work, rather just working hard.

In my professional life, I’ve learned a lot related to blog growth hacks and digital marketing. Whether it is search engine optimization, email marketing or video marketing on Youtube, I’ve learned a lot all through practice. Besides, there one thing that I can definitely say — Reading blog posts by famous marketers and watching videos on Youtube regarding blog growth, is totally different from actually implementing the ideas on your real blog and succeeding. While working on your blog, you’ll face many major and minor difficulties which you have to solve most of them yourself.

In this post, we are going to discuss 5 such important lessons that I learned after building a +100,000 Monthly Reader Blog. Let’s get started.

5 Lessons That I Learned After Building a +100,000 Monthly Reader Blog.

1. Have a definite goal and strategy:

The path to success is defined by your goal and execution. If you do not have a goal and strategy to execute it, you will simply be wandering around and reaching nowhere.

The first step for your blogging success is to define your goal and specify the metrics to measure it. Your goals should be actionable and trackable. For example- “I will get 10,000 monthly blog readers in the next ten months”.

This goal is much actionable and trackable than just setting a dreamy goal like “I’ll grow my blog”. Without measurable metrics, you won’t be able to make a strategy and without a strategy, your blog won’t grow.

Therefore, always start with defining your goal. What’s your goal? — Do you want unique visitors,  organic traffic from the search engine, traffic from social media, big social following or a specific number of daily active users? Once you have a defined goal, you can build a strategy to execute that goal.

For our original example of “I will get 10,000 monthly blog readers in next ten months”, you can achieve this goal by using different methods like writing frequent blog posts, building an email list and sending the newsletters, search engine optimization, guest posting, sharing on social media etc. Here, you can plan the estimated numbers.

For example, To get 10k monthly visitors, you can plan 60% of your traffic by writing 60 quality blog posts. If each post has an estimated 100 average monthly visitors, they will convert 6k visitors. Next, you can plan 20% of traffic through social media. To get this much traffic, you have to figure out how many followers you’ll need and how frequently you need to share contents on the social platform. Further, you can get the remaining traffic via email marketing, youtube marketing, referrals etc. Overall, if you have a goal and strategy, you can test out things.

Please note that sometimes one execution method may work better than others. Maybe your blog will get more traffic from social compared to email marketing. Nonetheless, you can always reshape your execution in the future. But having a specific matrix which is trackable will help you to plan your progress.

2. Build really helpful contents

It is rightly said that “Content is the king”. Although these days, people also notice the blog theme and design, however, one thing that pisses everyone out is reading ‘useless’ contents.

For example- Let’s say that there’s a post with a headline– ’How to cook Chicken Tikka in 30 minutes!’. However, once you opened that post, you found that you are not really able to understand the recipe. It is not detailed and the author has just summarized the procedure without explaining the step-by-step process. What would be your reaction? Most probably, you’ll bounce back and find better contents for the same recipe.

Having bad contents hurts google ranking because Google notices the audience behavior. If Google finds out that each of your blog visitors is jumping back and looking for another blog post for the same search query, they’ll understand that your contents are not satisfactory and hence they will devote you in google search ranking.

On the other hand, if you’ve written awesome contents, not just Google will reward it by ranking higher, even the audience will appreciate your contents and share it with their friends on social media. And don’t forget, Word of mouth is the best advertisement. Writing terrific contents is the most essential ingredient for building loyal readers.

Further, the quantity of posts doesn’t matter. It’s the quality. Even if you’re writing just two really helpful blog posts per week, it is enough to drive decent traffic. For example- Here is a link to the blog of one of my favorite marketer- Brain Dean from Backlinko. His blog has hardly 50 articles. Still, it is getting millions of views per month. Why? Because his contents are excellent.

Also read: Why Your Content Is The Only Thing That Matters?

3. Rule at least one social media

If you’re the only one managing your blog, social media and everything related to your blog, it’s really difficult to maintain multiple social profiles. Yes, you can use platforms like hoot suite, buffer etc to automate the posting, but its challenging to grow all your social profiles at the same time when your focus is diverted.

A better approach would be to pick just one social media and put all your energy on that one which is most likely to give the best results. It can be Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, youtube, quora or any other platform of your choice.

For example- if you are creating entertaining contents, Facebook is a good platform for you. On the other hand, for educational niche, videos perform better and youtube channel can drive huge traffic to your blog. For building brand awareness, Instagram can provide a better reach.

In my case, I preferred Quora for promoting my blog as it was bringing the best traction. I’ve written over 650 answers on Quora which got over 2.4 million views. Initially, I started with Facebook and grew the page to over 10k followers soon. But the organic reach of Facebook was poor and even the audience was not much targeted. Most people on Facebook are on ‘Scroll’ mode i.e. to scroll the news feed looking for entertaining posts. People on facebook do not want to read the long financial contents that I used to share on my facebook page. On the other hand, people on Quora are in reading mode. And that’s why people were interested to read my financial answers and converted better.

Overall, your strategy while starting out should be to choose one right platform and rule it. Initially, it may take some time to figure out which one works out best for you. But once you’ve found the right platform, get involved in it aggressively.

Moreover, after getting a decent authority and followership on your first social platform, leverage it to cross promote your other social profiles. For example- if you’re active on Twitter and have built massive followers there, you can always ask your followers to also check out your Instagram profile and follow. Using this simple approach, you can refer your followers on different channels.

Also read: Search vs Social Content Marketing: Which One to Prefer?

4. Work Your a** off in the backend.

Publishing contents are only the one-fourth of your total work. There are many things going on in the back-end that most people are not aware of. For example- promoting your contents once published, sharing on social platforms, generating backlinks, guest posting, email marketing, influencer outreach, topic research, search engine optimization etc.

Many of these backend pieces of stuff are not visible to the general public. I mean, if you publish one post daily, this is easily noticeable to the public. They will understand that you are working hard every day to create new contents for your audience. However, if you building links, guest posting and doing other things on the backend, all these things won’t be visible to the general public.

Nevertheless, it is really important that you do not skip this back-end works in order to just produce contents. It won’t matter how many contents you produce if no one is reading it. The best approach will be to find a balance between the regular postings in the front end and other important back-end works like guest posting, sending newsletters, link building etc. Many marketers (including me) use the 80-20 principle for these processes. This simply means to use 20% of your total time in creating contents and remaining 80% in backend works like marketing.

seo

5. Be consistent

Last November 2017, I took ’30 days, 30 posts’ challenge on Trade Brains blog. I repeated the same challenge on August 2018. And can you guess the results at the end of the challenge both times? My blog traffic increased by over 28% compared to the months when I used to blog inconsistently (just two times a week).

Consistency is the key to success in whatever you’re doing. I know, writing one article every day for 30 consecutive days can be little stressful and maybe not implementable for many of you, especially who are also doing a full-time job. However, there is no alternative to being consistent if you want to grow your blog.

One of the biggest reasons for the success of Trade Brains blog is that that I’ve been consistent in producing quality contents. In the last 18 months, Trade Brains has produced over 250 high-quality articles.

Anyways, if you cannot produce one content each day, take a different challenge. For example- “3 posts per week for the next 90 days”. You can choose whichever challenge/strategy suits you the best. But if you want to see your traffic and conversions rise with time you need to be consistent.

Also read:

Closing Thoughts

Building an online empire requires a few secrets that can be learned only by practicing.

However, once you have learned those rules, it stays with you for the rest of life, no matter how many times google or facebook changes their algorithm.

A Definite Guide to Dos and Don'ts of Your SEO Campaigns

A Definite Guide to Dos and Don’ts of Your SEO Campaigns.

Taking your website live is only half job done. You have to ensure that it shows up in search engine results when your potential customers type in the related phrases called keywords. Without improving the searchability of your website, you can’t realistically expect to bring organic traffic to your website.

That’s exactly why you need an effective SEO campaign to ensure your customers and target audience are able to find you on the internet. In this post, we are going to discuss some key guidelines on what you should and shouldn’t do while executing your SEO strategy.

Do’s of Your SEO Campaigns

1. Pay Attention to Content

content is king

At this point, the quote “content is king” has become a cliché but it’s a cliché that expresses the truth. Coming up with engaging and SEO friendly content is crucial to bringing traffic to your website. Once a visitor is on your website, content is also what converts a visitor into a customer.

If you want to outperform the websites which are already ranking on the first page of Google for your targeted keyword, the first crucial step is to build better content than those websites. Your content planning should include developing engaging, impactful, and SEO optimized content which doesn’t read like a run of the mill copy outsourced to an amateur freelancer.

Also read: Why Your Content Is The Only Thing That Matters?

2. Focus on Quality Backlinks

Another SEO strategy that works well is backlink generation where we put a link to our site on other websites through the placement of relevant content.

However, it should be noted that it is more important to focus on high-quality backlinks than the quantity. What it means is that you should try to place your backlinks on websites that rank well in search engine results. It’s better to have one backlink on BBC website than having 100 backlinks placed on no-name webpages.

Few of the best websites to check the backlinks on your (or your competitors) websites are Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush etc.

ahrefs

Also read: 6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog.

3. Enhance Organic Traffic

The main goal of any SEO campaign should be the boost organic traffic. It means that while it’s fine to spend money on PPC ad campaigns and running social media sponsored ads, with good SEO people should be able to land on your website without having to click on an ad.

How do you get there? By detailed planning and incorporation of actionable items with specific and measurable goals.

Remember, organic SEO is a long-term game and that’s why it is of utmost significance to keep tabs on how your website is performing on different keywords. As long as there is a visible improvement, keep working on your plan but as soon as the improvement stops; it’s time to reevaluate and rethink your strategy.

4. Performance Assessment

Since SEO is a long-term and continuous endeavor, it is crucial to keep assessing the performance and effectiveness of your plans periodically. Without studying key indicators regularly, you won’t know whether what you are doing and investing in is even effective or not. It would also give you insight into whether a certain initiative is beneficial enough to justify the human effort and financial cost.

Without performance analysis from time to time, SEO campaign is basically shooting in the dark with the hope that everything you are doing sticks.

Quick Tip: You can use the FREE Google search console tools to track your search analytics like Clicks, Impressions, Click through rate (CTR), Positions etc.

google search console

Don’ts of Your SEO Campaigns

1. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

There was a time when the number of keywords in your content mattered. That time has long gone.

Yes, it is important to include relevant keywords in your web copy and off-site SEO content but keep the frequency under the natural limit. If the same word or phrase occurs, again and again, it doesn’t only put off the customer because of poor readability but Google also discourages the website ranking with repetition and stuffing.

2. Steer clear of Plagiarized Content

One of the cardinal sins of SEO is using a large portion of texts that have already been indexed by search engines. This is something that heavily penalizes your website and instead of doing any good, makes things worse for your website ranking. If there is information that you want on your website, make sure it’s at least rewritten and reformatted so it doesn’t appear the same.

The ideal here is to have your original content. That’s what search engines value the most and if you keep adding original and engaging content to your website, you will soon witness substantial gains in terms of how your website performs in search engine ranking.

Also read: How to start your blog within 20 min? The Ultimate Guide.

3. Disavow Legacy SEO Practices

If you have been carrying out SEO for your website for quite a while then you must have used some grey or even black hat practices to get ahead. To be honest, why not when something is effective and everyone else is doing it anyway?

However, in current scenario where search engines have become incredibly smarter and the algorithms working on the back end are able to figure out shady practices; it’s not only a bad idea to employ grey or black hat SEO methods but it becomes imperative for you to retract and disavow from anything that you may have done in the past.

Disconnect your website from bad quality backlinks and redo content to maintain natural tone and style wherever you can. This will ensure that you are not penalized for the practices you have done in the past.

black hat seo

4. Don’t Hire Amateurs

SEO is a science that requires an intricate understanding of how search engines work, evolve and rank different websites. An experienced SEO professional knows it’s not just guesswork but the art of drawing insight looking at a wide range of statistics, facts, and figures.

Spending your money on someone inexperienced just to save a few bucks would cost you more in the long run than hiring an experienced expert right now. Not to mention you also lose the most valuable resource which is priceless in the context of SEO i.e. time.

Final Thoughts

SEO is the lifeblood of your website that keeps the traffic coming. It is imperative to invest your human and financial resources in an effective, monitored, and well-thought SEO campaign that has been devised giving consideration to the latest developments, news, and search engine trends.

Every SEO strategy isn’t going to be successful, but as long as most of what you are doing works; you are golden! Just remember to pay heed to aforementioned pointers that will improve your odds of coming up with an effective and

6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog cover

6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog.

6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog:

Building backlinks to your blog is a very imitating and time taking process. It takes a lot of time to build a large number of backlinks to your blog.

However, if you want to improve your ‘search engine’ visibility and boost your blog traffic, building backlinks is a very important process that you cannot ignore.

What is a backlink? It is an incoming link from one web page to another website. When a webpage links to another website by providing a link or citation, then it is called A backlink.

In this list, I’m ‘not’ going to give you the list of 100’s of websites from where you can build backlinks to your blog, which won’t help you to improve your search engine ranking.

On the contrary, I will give you 6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog, which actually works and will help you to get ranked ‘higher’ on google.

So, if you are interested to build ‘quality’ backlinks to your blog, please read this post till the end.

6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog

Here are the 6 pro ways to build backlinks to your blog which will actually help you to improve your search ranking:

1. Guest posting on the right sites.

guest post

Guest post is still the best way to build backlinks to your blog. Just write a ‘good’ content and get it posted on a high domain authority website/blog.

Here are few of the advantages of writing a guest post:

  • It will help you to get backlinks from reputed websites/links.
  • Guest posts will boost your blog traffic as you can divert the traffic of the big blogs/websites to your blog.
  • Getting your blog accepted on an authority website will increase the reputation of your blog. Plus it will create an awareness & social presence of your blog in your community.

Now, while writing guest posts, it’s always recommendable to write for reputable blogs/websites.

Although writing for ‘small’ blogs or the blogs with ‘similar’ ranking as that of yours, will also create backlinks, however, the quality of the backlink won’t be same as that from a reputed website.

While building backlinks to your blog quality matters.

Further, it’s a lot of time to write a good post. Therefore, if you have written an amazing post, it makes more sense to either get it published on a high authority website or to publish it on your ‘own’ blog for your readers.

Nevertheless, if you not able to get your guest post accepted to any reputable websites, then you can start with the small/medium authority blogs. They won’t help you much to improve your Google search ranking, however, you have to start somewhere and even that backlink can help you a bit to create some backlinks and get little traffic to your blog.

How to write guest posts to build backlinks to your blog?

There are 3 simple steps to write a guest post on reputable websites:

  1. Make a list of all the high authority websites/blog in your niche and collect the list of the email of their owner/editor.
  2. Send a mail to the owner/editor requesting a guest post with a suggestion of at least ‘3 Topics’ on which you are interested to write. Also, include the links of few of your best blog posts to increase your credibility.
  3. Wait for their reply and once getting accepted, write an amazing blog post and submit it to their website.

Although it seems easy to submit guest posts, however, here are few things that you need to know:

  1. Study the blog/website where you are are requesting the guest post. You do not want to suggest the ‘topics’ to write which has been already ‘published’ on that website.
  2. The acceptance rate of a guest post is quite low. You might have to send a hundred emails per month to get the 4-5 guest post accepted. But do not worry, there are tons of website out there and you can always reach out to the next one if the previous blog owner does not accept your guest post request.
  3. In most of the time ‘referrals’ matter. If you can get someone to introduce you to the website owner/editor, then they are more likely to accept your guest post request.

That’s all. Follow these points and you will easily be able to get some of your guest posts accepted to the reputable sites.

Even if you are able to write 2 guest posts per month on high authority sites, you can create quality backlinks, which definitely will boost your search engine ranking. And obviously, blog traffic will also increase.

2. Backlinks through Infographics

What is an infographic? IT is a graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.

Here is an example of an infographic:

infographic tradebrains

(Image source: Trade Brains)

Infographics are a good way to build backlinks to your blog. All you need to do is to create an amazing infographic, which explains a lot of information and get it shared on different blogs.

The key point here is that creating an infographic takes a lot of time. Therefore, most of the bloggers avoid creating one.

However, due to the ease of studying infographics, if you include it on your blog, your readers can find it very quick and easy to grasp the information.

Here is an example of how you can build backlinks to your blog using infographics.

Let’s assume you have a fitness blog. If you write about ‘yoga’, you can create an infographic for the ‘Yoga exercise’.

Now, the poses are difficult to explain by writing an article, however, if you have created a good infographic, it’s self-explanatory to the audience.

Most of the bloggers in the same fitness niche might also write about yoga. However, they will not be willing to create a time-taking infographic.

So, what will they do?

They will just google search few ‘yoga poses’ and include it in their blog post and will try to explain most of the things by their ‘writings’ in the post.

However, for such bloggers, you can give them a better alternative.

Send them an email with the image of your infographic and tell them that you are ‘okay’ with them including your infographic in their ‘yoga’ post. All they need to do is a little mention of the source i.e. a link to your blog.

If your infographic is amazing, most of the bloggers will readily accept to include the infographic in their blog post and you will get a backlink to your blog.

yoga poses

(Image Source: GET HEALTHY)

You can repeat the same process with a number of bloggers who have written similar blog posts.

Please note that most ‘how to’ infographics work well as they explain the step-by-step process of that activity/work to their viewers.

Although, creating an infographic is time-consuming, however, it will take less time to create an infographic than to write a big guest post.

Further, there are a number of free websites from where you can create infographics on your own. Few of them are Snappa and Canva.

3. Track your competitor’s backlinks and ‘steal’ it.

There are a number of websites which gives a detailed list of all the backlinks that a blog/website has.

You can track backlinks of a blog using monitor backlinks, ahrefs, Moz or majestic.

Use these websites to learn from where your competitors are generating backlinks.

ahrefs backlinks

Image Source: Ahrefs

If few of the reputable websites are accepting guest posts or including the links of your competitors on their website, then the chances are they will also accept your guest post or will link your blog, where ever they find it relevant.

For example, if one of your competitors has 600 backlinks and you know each one of them (using ‘Ahrefs’ or other websites), your life can be a lot simpler as a blogger.

If you reach out even 200 of those websites which has give backlink to your competitor, the chances are that you will create 20-30 backlinks fast and easy.

The best part of using this strategy is that you don’t even have to research yourself. You are just ‘stealing’ the backlinks of your competitors.

Further, you can apply the same approach to a dozen of your competitors and build hundreds of backlinks effortlessly.

Using this strategy, you can easily build backlinks to your blog fast, which are also high quality, and hence can improve your search ranking and beat your competitors.

4. Write Testimonials or get interviewed

testimonials

If you notice the testimonials given by many people, they always include a small description about themselves in the end. Like where are they from, their profession and their website.

You can take advantage of this to build backlinks to your blog.

Let’s say some high authority blog/website is selling some product/services to their readers. On the sales page of that product/service, that blog is providing testimonials to create a social proof for the readers.

Then you can write a testimonial for that product/services and include a link to your blog in the description.

This way to build backlinks to your blog is quite trending these days.

You can find a number of websites which provide SEO, social marketing, email marketing, link building services, have added a testimonial from their previous customers.

Similarly, fitness blogs which offer coaching/consultancy also display the testimonials of the people who have improved their health due to their coaching.

Further, other niches like photography, content creators, logo designers etc also add testimonials on their website and link their clients.

All you need to do is to write a testimonial for these websites and build backlinks to your blog.

Another way to build backlinks to your blog is by getting ‘interviewed’.

The only downside of using this approach is that you should have some interesting story to share. If you hadn’t done anything worth telling the audience, why will anyone ‘interview’ you?

Moreover, if you are a small blogger, it’s pretty tough to get interviewed.

Nevertheless, if you able to get ‘interviewed’ on an authority blog, they will definitely write a description about you and will link to your ‘blog’ there.

Overall, writing testimonials and getting interviewed are both effective ways to build backlinks to your blog.

5. Blog commenting:

This is one of the most popular and simple ways to build backlinks.

Simply visit the blog in your niche, read their article and write a relevant comment.

Most of the blog comments have 4 options to fill- ‘Name’, ‘email’, ‘website’ and ‘comment’. Do not forget to include the link to your website in the description. Otherwise, there will be no use for writing that comment for building backlinks.

Further, please note that here I’m suggesting blog commenting, not spamming.

Always write a relevant comment about the post like what you liked about the post, what the author missed, any suggestions, what you didn’t understand about the post etc.

Most of the blogs have a comment ‘moderation’ feature, which means that your comment will never get ‘accepted’ by the admin if you are just spamming.

Note: The quality of backlinks by blog commenting is inferior. Most of the blog comments offer ‘no follow’ links. And it’s the ‘do follow’ links that matters more in order to build backlinks to your blog.

Read more about ‘no-follow’ and ‘do-follow’ links here.

Nevertheless, even ‘no follow’ links can help you a little to build backlinks to your blog.

6. Link exchange

link exchange backlinks

Link exchange is a good way to build backlinks to your blog. It is simple, yet effective.

Here’s what you need to do to build backlinks to your blog using ‘link exchange’.

  1. Reach out to the blog owners with ‘similar’ domain authority in your blog niche.
  2. Ask them for mutual benefits i.e. you will create a backlink for their blog and they will link back to your blog.
  3. Further, also ask for a guest post-inter-change. Guest post is even better than just ‘link swap’ as it will help you to drive traffic and create a ‘social presence’ for that blog audience. Suggest that you will write a guest post on their blog and will accept a guest post on your blog.
  4. As this ‘link exchange’ will mutually benefit both the blogs, the chances are that many of them will accept your request.

An important point to note here is that while asking for ‘link exchange’ always prefer the blogs/website with similar authority/reputation as that of your website.

If you are exchanging link with blogs of low authority, it won’t help you much to improve your search engine ranking.

Further, if you asking to exchange link with blogs of way ‘high’ domain authority than that of yours, they won’t accept the offer. And why should they? This link exchange won’t help them in their ranking.

That’s why the key rule to link exchange is to go to the blogs/websites with similar authority.

Conclusion:

Here are the 6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog

  1. Guest posting on the right sites.
  2. Backlinks through Infographics
  3. Track your competitor’s backlinks and ‘steal’ it.
  4. Write Testimonials or get interviewed
  5. Blog commenting
  6. Link exchange

Also read: 11 Insanely Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

That’s all. I hope this post is useful to the readers.

If I missed any ‘big’ way to build backings that is worth mentioning in this blog, then please comment below. I’ll be happy to add it to the list.

#HappyBlogging