You want more traffic to your site. But no one knows your site even exists. What do you do to drive more traffic to your site? You can pay for traffic by running ads, or you can use content marketing to send organic search engine traffic to your site. This traffic is free, except for the time it takes to create and promote the content.
In this series of articles, I’m going to summarize the methods described by different internet marketers, bloggers, and web traffic gurus. I’ll let you know how useful the information in the original post is, and whether it works.
In his detailed and long (~6,850 words) post, How To Publish Like A Huge Content Creation Team (When It’s Really Just You), Niklas Goeke describes the process he used to:
The key elements of his approach:
Set clear goals and validate
Because his approach is very labor intensive, it’s important to know that what you’re working on will pay off when you start getting traffic.
- First, figure out why you want traffic (probably, money) and how you’ll make money.
- Validate your idea before you start creating content.
- Calculate how much you’ll need to sell each month to reach your financial goal.
Build a system to streamline content creation, publishing and promotion
If you want to succeed at publishing new content every day, you need a clear process, an “assembly line,” that will reliably result in a good post or article, without having to reinvent the wheel each time you start.
This approach also happens to be a great way to learn about any subject, especially how it’s presented online.
Plan your and structure your posts ahead of time
- Use the “1-in-1-out” system to generate new posts: pick one piece of content — another blog post, a YouTube video, a question on Quora, an infographic on Pinterest — as the basis for your post. Write a summary, or a rebuttal, or your interpretation of the item. Spend a half hour reading or watching the original content (the input), and then spend a half hour writing about it (the output): 1-in-1-out.
- Plan at least one month’s worth of posts, and write your headlines, in advance. Use a spreadsheet to organize your post ideas.
- Create an “evergreen” structure for your blog posts — “a way to outline your blog posts that you can use over and over again” to ensure that you include the valuable elements that you need in each of your blog posts, without having to think about it.
- Include a “signature” graphic near the top of your post.
- Shoot for “roughly 1,000 words per post” — longer than a blurb or listicle, but shorter than the long form guides that take a long time to write.
Perform basic SEO and keyword research
Because of the volume of material you’ll be publishing, you don’t have to implement an elaborate SEO strategy.
- Perform simple SEO to identify basic keywords, and then tune up your headlines with the limited set of keywords you’ve identified.
- Check search volume on the Google keyword planner for your basic list of keywords.
- Check Google auto complete for any of your keywords that don’t show any search volume.
- Integrate your keywords into your content structure in a handful of critical places: the title or headline, slug, a couple times in the body text, maybe in a header, in the alt tag of your signature picture, and in your meta description (excerpt)
- Use Yoast in WordPress to make this easy.
- Overcome any deficiencies in your SEO by publishing a huge volume of blog posts.
It’s critical to collect emails. Use these three tools from Sumo:
- Welcome Mat: display a simple pop-up with a simple giveaway to gather emails when visitors arrive at your site.
- List Builder: show another pop-up when your visitors are about to leave your site. The Wait But Why popup is a great example.
- Scroll Box: this pop-up appears when visitors scroll down the page.
- Focus on making the text copy displayed in these pop-ups as convincing and humorous as possible.
Spend 10 – 15 minutes in a handful of channels, right after publishing, to promote each and every post you publish.
Here’s what Niklas uses for his blog:
- Submit to StumbleUpon
- Submit to Hacker News
- Post to relevant Slack groups
- Send post to 1 person via email
- Tweet at input creator
- Buffer tweets
- Check in on coach.me (or another community you’re a part of)
Other options he mentions include returning to the content that you used as the inspiration for your “1-in-1-out” post:
- Write a comment to the YouTube video you originally watched with a link to your posted response.
- Republish your article as the answer to the Quora question that you wrote.
- Respond to the Medium article.
Once you develop your promotional checklist, which will be different for your audience, especially if it includes posts to online communities that are focused on the subject you’re posting about, save your checklist. Use a tool like Buffer to automate your promotional posts, tweets, and other social media outreach.
Publish every day
Now that you’ve built the machine, and tested it out, it’s time to go to full production mode:
Read, learn, write repeat. The reason this system works so well is because you don’t have to think. In order to keep it that way, I suggest you create a rigid structure for your daily writing and stick to it like a monk to his monastery.
Some tips to make your writing easier and more efficient:
- Write at the same time every day. Put this on your calendar and stick to it.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to structure your “1-in-1-out” blog post production system. Use a 25 minute Pomodoro segment to read or view your input content, take a five minute break, then use another 25 minute segment to write your blog post. Then publish.
This whole process should take about an hour and a half, once you’ve set up the machine and run through it a few times. If you do that every day for 30 days, that’s 45 hours out of your month.
What’s great about this approach
Although the original article didn’t discuss these benefits, there are other benefits to this kind of content marketing:
- Learn about a subject. You’ll read, watch and review an enormous amount of material on the subject you’re positing about, and writing about it will help you master the material. Within a month or two, you’ll be an expert.
- Develop ideas for information products, like online courses, videos, podcasts, or ebooks. You can sell or promote these new information products to your audience (you have lots of visitors and email addresses, if you’ve followed these steps) which will lead to more sources of income and more traffic.
- Master the practice of publishing daily. If you are agonizing over your posts and find it difficult to press the publish button, this is a way to teach yourself how to write and publish, without getting hung up on trying to perfect what you’re writing.
- Improve your writing. Writing every day will help you become a much better writer, especially because you’re publishing your work, and ideally getting feedback from your audience.
I wrote post you’re reading now using the principles and guidance of the method in How To Publish Like A Huge Content Creation Team (When It’s Really Just You.
This post is a mere 1300 words or so, where the original post is more that five times longer, at 6,850 words. That’s partly because the original post includes lots of valuable examples and links to other resources.
If this post is helpful to you, I’d recommend reading the original article, and then get after it! Try it out. Learn something new while you build traffic to your site.