+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.
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.
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.
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.
- How I Build an Email List of 18,000+ Subscribers Within 13.5 Months (From Scratch)?
- How I grew my blog from 0 to 133,891 monthly page views within 12 Months? [With a Day Job]
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.