“War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”
– Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
How I destroyed 106,654 blogs in 3 months
At the start of this month I promised to double site traffic.
For a long time my blog had been a hobby and readership reflected that. It was time for a change. I sat down with a pen and paper one evening and scribbled out my master plan.
It’s been 28 days since then and here are my results:
This was my site ranking on the night I decided to take action. Back then my global rating was 353,935. It was actually better than I thought it would be.
As of yesterday this was my site rank. 320,938 is an improvement. If my math is correct 30 Days To X surpassed nearly 33,000 other blogs this month. Not bad at all. On top of this, the site outgrew 106,654 other blogs in the span of 90 days.
Traffic exploded. I got a ton of new readers and met some really cool people.
However, this isn’t going to be a brag post. I’ve got too much work ahead of me and there’s no time to celebrate.
Instead I’m going to show you how to beat me. The information below will showcase all my weak-points and give you the tools to build something bigger, better, and more entertaining.
Learn from my mistakes:
My SEO sucks
Most search engine experts are con men. Their only interest is inside your wallet. Worrying about optimal keyword density is for niche misers and dweebs.
However, there are a few things that you should always do. When I started out I never knew about these tricks and it hurt my site growth.
- Give your title a descriptive name.
If you’re writing about baked beans, include the words “baked beans” in the title. Trying to get artsy will make it hard for Google to index you. Additionally it will be difficult for you to go back and find that post later. Personally, there are about 100 “lost” posts on this very site. I can’t remember what I named them and it would take hours to track them down.
- Host your own images.
On your blog you can either embed images that are already floating around the net, or you can upload your own. Always host the pictures yourself. It’s simple. My Judge Dredd photo at the start of this post was downloaded from Google Images and then uploaded to my blog. You can get search traffic off the image this way and never have to worry about the link getting corrupted. At the start I didn’t know about this and ended up with a lot of missing pictures.
- Link to your own articles.
I’ve written several posts about blogging, but this is a lesson that’s always worth repeating. Link back to relevant articles that you’ve written. Not every reader will have seen them and some people might want a quick refresher.
Networking is not my thing
Being an introvert, and socially awkward, I really don’t engage with a ton of people online. Right now I’m backed up with emails and don’t have the time, or willpower, to visit other blogs and comment on them.
A lot of people always assume that I’m a huge jerk because I don’t respond to every email or comment that comes my way, but in actuality I get overwhelmed easily. I can get to the really important stuff, but doing things like asking me to critique your theoretical blog idea isn’t a top priority.
Someone with better social skills and more patience could probably deal with these things in a much more efficient manner.
I am lazy
Writing is hard work. Running a blog is only fun for about the first six months. After that you have to start thinking critically and doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff.
You also have to constantly come up with new topics. A lot of guys make the mistake of trying to stretch 15 minutes of information into 12 months of blogging. Their readership suffers as a result.
Tomorrow I’m starting up a new set of challenges and I have no idea what’s in store. While I’m kicking around some ideas, nothing is set in stone.
I’d suggest trying to plan your content out at least one week in advance. That might sound like a lot of work, but it will save you from producing dud posts.
My content is boring
Until the police locate and dig up all those missing persons I’ll be known as a boring guy. And that’s okay. However, it is a problem in the world of blogging. Especially when your target demographic is men. Writing about girls, daring adventures, and exercise draws a bigger crowd than posts about business or mindset do.
I wrote a quick piece about a hypersexual hobo who’s plowing through Manhatten. The post had a 15 to 1 readership ratio compared to the other articles I published during that same week. Folks wanted to hear about a homeless playboy.
If you can find ways to spice up your content you’ll draw in all kinds of new readers. Posts about current events and famous people, when used within reason, can really grab the attention of your readers.
I don’t know the first thing about social media
Aside from using them as jokes, like “enjoying a #cup of coffee,” I don’t know the first thing about social media tagging or movements. I always seem to miss out on big events and have no idea how a lot of stuff works.
The average high school girl knows more about social media than I do. For a long time I sucked at Twitter and really wasn’t able to gain any new followers. While you could probably buy a book or take a class on the subject, I’d recommend being more interactive with others. Tweeting at different bloggers, or linking articles that you liked, is a great way to cultivate new readers.
I sent one simple Tweet to James Altucher back in August and got several hundred hits within a few short hours.
Although I met my goal, I want to continue growing. I’d really like to be in the top 200,000 sites by early 2015. Right now I’ve got a larger readership than a lot of small magazines and newspapers. Within six months I want to be big enough to do some crazy challenges that will blow your mind.
I’m going to take this afternoon off from blogging so that I can go play with some Humboldt penguins, but I’ll be back in the morning with some brand new content.