For most bloggers, attracting 100,000 visitors to their blog each month would be a dream come true.
But that's exactly what Neil Patel has achieved on no less than three different blogs -- first Quicksprout, then CrazyEgg and then again with KISSmetrics.
Building on our look at Buffer's story, today we're going to look at the strategies Neil employed to grow the third of his successful blogs, KISSmetrics, from nothing to over 2.5 million readers in a little over 18 months.
This guy clearly knows his stuff; if you want actionable advice that you can implement on your own blog, using Neil's blueprint would be a good place to start.
In the online world, there's a well-known saying: "Content is King!"
This, of course, refers to the quality of the material you publish on your blog.
While quality is undoubtedly important, without a good quantity of content to match your blog will never build much momentum. Neil learnt this from his days with QuickSprout, where his traffic noticeably increased when he switched from posting once to twice a week.
KISSmetrics was far more aggressive, quickly jumping from two posts a week to five, the approach which Neil claims was responsible for their impressively quick growth.
Recently, when KISSmetrics tested the impact of publishing a sixth weekly post, they saw traffic increase by an impressive 18.6%.
Now, when you consider that this additional post represented an increase in posting frequency of 20%, you can see that, for KISSmetrics at least, blog traffic increased relatively in line with posting frequency.
What can we take from this?
Your results improve in direct relation to the effort you put in. Increase your posting frequency -- whilst maintaining the quality -- and you'll start to see results. No secret formula, no shortcuts, just good, old-fashioned hard work!
2. Content Marketing
Neil realised the world of SEO as we once knew it no longer existed -- average-quality websites with a couple of links just don't rank these days. If you want a strong position in the SERPs you need huge quantities of inbound links and social shares.
But how do you go about attracting these?
Writing high quality posts is the quickest and cheapest way to attract inbound links, and they naturally pick up social media shares along the way -- exactly what you need to build an audience.
At the centre of KISSmetric's content marketing strategy was infographics. Infographics are arguably the best way to present information that's easy to consume -- best of all, they're highly sharable too.
In a two-year period, KISSmetrics published 47 high-quality inforgraphics, and the results they generated are staggering:
- 40,000+ inbound links from almost 4,000 unique domains
- 40,000+ Tweets
- 20,000+ Facebook likes
- 2.5 million visitors
Of course, not everyone can afford to regularly publish infographics (KISSmetric's were about $600 each), but that doesn't mean you can't play the content marketing game on your blog.
Try publishing longer, in-depth posts rather than short, snappy ones; the more thorough the post, the more links you'll attract.
Audiences quickly fall in love with high quality content -- but until they're reading it, how do they know which post is best?
In short: They don't.
An audience has to make quick judgement calls on which content they want to spend their time reading. Often, all they'll have to make their decision is your headline.
Neil Patel regularly talks of the importance of headline writing on all of his blogs -- one of the only major bloggers to make this point.
Many bloggers make the mistake of trying to do too much with their headline: make it catchy for their readers, whilst also cramming it full of keywords for SEO. In general, you end up with a title that doesn't really fit the bill for either purpose.
The KISSmetric strategy is to write a headline for humans and a headline for the search engines.
How do you do this? Well, first of all, focus on writing a catchy headline for your post title that encourages clicks. At this point, try not to worry too much about keyword stuffing.
Next, you need to create a headline for the search engines -- a good plugin for this job is WordPress SEO. Underneath your post you'll see a meta box for the plugin, which will allow you to write an SEO title. Google can't decipher wit or puns, so this is where you make your headline much more literal; in other words, using well-placed keywords.
Now, you have a headline carefully crafted to attract maximum visitors and a headline to help boost your position in the SERPs -- perfect for any blogger looking to build an audience.
What do you think was the most important factor in the success of KISSmetrics? Share your thoughts in the comments space at the bottom!