There are 1,051,742,910 websites online as I write this.
And yes, a handful of those websites enjoy millions of monthly visits, but the sad truth is that most of those websites see fewer than 50 visitors per day.
Most of those websites will take years to get to their first 10,000 visitors per month – if they don’t give up first. The competition for traffic is stiff. So is it even possible anymore to rise above the crowd and build a popular website that attracts traffic? And more importantly, can you do so quickly?
As far fetched as this sounds, I have good news for you:
The answer is yes. And I know because I did it.
I’m Albert, and I’m the owner of wsos a small web design company. Last month I designed a website for one of my clients and he asked me also to grow his website in order to get 10k readers. I managed to do that in 40 days.
I’ll show you exactly how I did it step by step.
STEP 1: SET A REALISTIC TRAFFIC GOAL
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make with their websites is that they try to do too much at once, and therefore achieve nothing. There’s a Native American quote that says:
“If you chase two rabbits at once, you will lose them both”.
Business owners have huge lists of “priorities” they want to achieve, forgetting what their original goal was. Throughout this entire process, you have to focus on your number one goal:
10,000 visitors in 40 days. Absolutely everything we were doing was meant to achieve this. If you’re embarking on your own traffic challenge, you need to choose a singular focus.
Pick one goal that is SMART.
S – Specific: 10,000 visitors
M – Measurable: Google Analytics
A – Attainable: a strategy to show exactly how to get there.
R – Relevant: Inspiring others is what I live for. So going for a crazy challenge like this is very relevant to me.
T – Time-bound: ~40 days. You need a by-when date.
You can choose to follow along with our goal, or assess your time and energy and go a bit smaller.
Just recognize that you can grow quickly even if you’re starting from scratch.
STEP 2: CREATE A BULLETPROOF MARKETING PLAN
So once you’ve set a goal, you’re good to go out and try to achieve it, right?
Well, not quite. It’s not enough to just list out a couple of ways to reach your traffic goal. You have to reverse engineer it.
Quant Based Marketing is a systematic and scientific approach to online marketing that quantifies your expected results. It’s easy to follow, the execution leaves very little up to chance or “what-ifs”, and the exact same approach is what: Work backwards from your desired result by taking iterative steps to break the goal down into more manageable goals. Then create an action plan to achieve your goal.
I worked backwards from 10,000 visitors. That’s why you need a marketing plan that will reach and engage your target audience.
Our marketing strategy included:
2. Engaging the target audience
3. Creating content
It wasn’t always this simple. My initial plan was far more complicated:
The total amount of visitors on my initial spreadsheet was 777 visitor per day, or about 23,000 visitors a month.
But then I re-focused on working backwards from the goal and do more of what is working to become more effective.
For example, I stopped posting on my Instagram because it took a lot of time and I wasn’t seeing the return on investment. This gave me more time to focus on other things.
If you’re assessing different marketing opportunities, we scored the opportunities based on 2 simple criteria:
1. Ease of implementation
2. Potential impact
Once you’ve assessed these two elements, your priorities should be clear. After scaling everything I could be doing, I focused on the highest impact tasks to maximize the amount of time I had:
I narrowed down on a handful of effective strategies to reach the total daily traffic target of 567.
We used a quant-based marketing approach to build the plan and work backwards from the 10,000 visitor goal.
STEP 3: START GENERATING YOUR FIRST VISITORS
Before you get to 10,000 visitors, you need to get to 100.
1. Join those Facebook groups :
Digital Nomad Accelerator
Coffee With Dan
This one is very special, just in case you would like to find JV partners https://www.facebook.com/groups/jointventuregroup/
2. Get noticed
Introduce yourself in a smart way like this under the pined post:
Hey xxx members 😉 I’m totally new to this group and excited to be here. I was born and grew up in Strasbourg France. Went to study in Vilnius, Lithuania and have lived there for a year. I just quickly wanted to introduce myself and say
What do I do?
I run 2 businesses:
1. A web design company
2. A blog called Blah Blah What’s that?
I inspire top-notch entrepreneurs like you with an unrivalled hand-picked portfolio of some of the finest luxury hotels in Europe. I carefully select hidden gems where fascinating people have created a unique atmosphere.
I also would like to share with you my list of stunning secret places in Europe most tourists don’t know about in order to help you to connect much more authentically with the region during your stay.
Anyway, if you know anyone who wants to add a new stream of incomes with web design services, feel free to send them my way we have a wonderful affiliate program for you 😉
If you have any questions whatsoever about great places and things to do in Europe, I would be happy to help as well and answer them wherever I can.
3. Ask friend request to those who answered/ liked
4. ENGAGE With YOUR NEW NETWORK show true interest for what they do, where are they from etc and so o. This conversation will naturally lead to « what about you? »
5. Explain what do YOU do and ask this :
« By the way, I need a quick favour an outsider’s pair of eyes on a new blog I’m starting. Just need to know the first impression that you understand and first impression. Can you help, please? »
Protip: They want to support you, but you shouldn’t expect them to figure out
what the best way to do so is. To kick off your traffic, your best bet is to ask them kindly to either share your website in order to give their opinion with one or two people they think would be interested.
STEP 4: GENERATE MASSIVE TRAFFIC WITH A VIRAL GIVEAWAY
Hands down the one thing with the biggest impact on my ability to get to 10,000 visitors in 40 days was giveaways.
With giveaways, I grew my audience from 173 to 3,220 in just 12 days:
Giveaways are great for building your list because of they:
Grow your email list extremely fast
- Supercharge your traffic if you embed the giveaway on your site
- Increase your brand’s awareness
- Grow your social media presence
- Here’s exactly how to set up a giveaway to collect crazy amounts of emails.
How to Work With Brands to Give You Stuff for Free
The more targeted your giveaway is the higher the quality of your participants will be. So instead of buying an iPad to give away, work with brands to give away something that’s aligned with your blog or business.
You can do a give away with your product or service, buy something outright or work with a company with a product that is desirable to your list to give it away for free.
Yeah, I know. The last option sounds like the best, right? So, how do you get companies to give you stuff for free?
You need to connect with companies. And you need to do so on a customer level and not as a company yourself.
Identify a few companies you’d like to work with that offer product or services that are highly desirable to your target audience. Find more than one to leave room for the company not responding or wanting to work with you.
Once you identify the companies, start emailing them. Here is my email template you can swipe:
Subject: Promoting [Company] to 1000+ people
I LOVE your stuff and want to help get the word out.
My site [yoursite.com] has a growing audience of hundreds of people.
Wanted to get y’all more exposure, for free.
Can you donate [x] in a giveaway that I’ll promote out to my
It’s also important to follow up. After all, they say the fortune is in the follow up:
Check out the difference between engaging them as a customer rather than a company:
Company to company approach
Me: Hey XYZ company. My name is X and I’m from X.com. I LOVE your product and would like to know if you’d to be exposed to 1000+ people for free.
Company: No thank you, please remove us from your list.
Customer to company approach:
Me: Hey XYZ company. My name is X and I’m a customer in LOVE with your product! I have a blog and I’d LOVE to expose you guys to 1000+ people for free in a giveaway.
Company: Awesome! We love to hear from happy customers.
What can we do to help?
Me: Could you donate [specific number] of [product]?
Company: Of course. Where should we send it?
As soon as you mention your company, you’re not talking to them as if you were a customer, and they try to blacklist you and ask you to stop calling them.
However, if you engage with the company as a customer that loves the product (and you should ONLY contact companies with products you truly love), they’ll be far happier to work with you for the giveaway.
After I tested both approaches on the phone, I used email to close the deal.
SETTING UP YOUR GIVEAWAY
One of the most daunting things about running a giveaway is how to set it up and collect entries. You want to make it as automated as possible so you don’t have to babysit your giveaway.
The best way to do this is to use a giveaway program.
There is one free giveaway program, and one paid that I’d recommend:
1 – Rafflecopter
Instead of going through a process when entering, users can see all entry methods at once, so they can choose which entry option they want.
Participants can enter via Facebook or by email, and you can choose a winner or have Rafflecopter choose it for you. They also provide a detailed report (in a spreadsheet format) of each user and entry methods – making it easy to verify the validity of entries.
2 – KingSumo
This is the giveaway software I used. It works great, and you can create an AMAZING looking giveaway in 16 seconds, like the one I set up for my giveaway:
KingSumo drives traffic back to your site by generating a unique short-URL for every entrant. Participants are encouraged to share on Twitter and Facebook to increase their entries. You can set how many entries can be earned by referral.
When you are setting up your giveaway, plan to make the giveaway last for at least four days.
Four days allows you to maximize the event and generate buzz without dragging it on for too long such that it loses momentum and the participants forget about it.
GETTING THE MOST EMAILS POSSIBLE FROM YOUR GIVEAWAY
There is a certain virality that comes with doing giveaways, and you can bake that right in by incentivizing sharing.
Choose 1-2 social media platforms your audience spends time on, and incentivize sharing on those platforms only. Don’t clutter their trajectory by giving them 10 places to share on social media plus entering by giving you their email.
I identified that my target audience spends a lot of time on Twitter, so I incentivized Twitter sharing.
The best place to start to get the ball rolling with getting those initial entries is your existing email list. Yes, even if you only have 5 people on it.
I just told you how to contact new people to enter your giveaway. But you should also send an email out to your email list about your giveaway, and then don’t forget to remind them of its end date.
Send a reminder emails for when there are 3-4 hours left
Most people will find out about your giveaway and forget about it if they didn’t enter right away, so let people know that your giveaway is ending 3 hours before it ends.
You get most of your rush at the beginning and at the end of your giveaway, and sending a reminder email 3 or 4 hours before will ensure maximum entrants (and therefore more emails):
Set Up Social Media Reminders
Tweet out reminders that your giveaway is ending every hour for the last 3 hours, and then for 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, and 1 minute:
If you have Hootsuite you can automate this. If not, schedule them to go out via Buffer or another scheduling program.
CHOOSING A GIVEAWAY WINNER
When the giveaway ends, you get to choose a winner!
Here’s a small traffic tip, though. Don’t just email the winner to let them know they won. Instead, build some buzz and send participants to your website to find out who won through a post or update.
This drives traffic and makes it far more exciting for the winner.
Give a freebie to the others 😉
STEP 5: CREATE A CONTENT STRATEGY TO MINIMIZE EFFORT AND MAXIMIZE IMPACT THIS IS BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP.
Content marketing is important for driving traffic to your website. Content is what helps the search engines pick your website up, educates your customers, and eventually sells your product.
So having a content strategy was important in helping me create daily content.
And my main content strategy was to email interview celebrities and people with large networks.
Interviewing is great for a few reasons:
It provides social proof as you feature influencers on your site
It provides free, engaging content
The interviews don’t take a long time to create.
o Interviewing influencers about their X problems helped me drive traffic because the interviewees would usually share with their audience
– plus I’d be able to build a relationship with them.
Make a list of influencers in your niche or similar niches that reach your target audience and reach out to them with an interview request. List a lot of people, because not everybody will respond. You can expect a 25% response rate.
Send these requests every single day:
This increased my likelihood of landing interviews.
Here’s what I emailed the people I wanted to interview:
Hey [first name],
Huge fan of your work. Your thing about [x] really impacted me.
I run a popular blog about how to improve X.
Love to ask you 4 super short questions about your [problem] to share with my 3k+ readers?
Coo if I send you 4 brief questions?
Once the person responded to me, I’d send them the interview questions:
With this template, I’ve been able to interview some awesome entrepreneurs.
- Because I featured these influencers, they were also happy to share the interview content with their audience.
This drove even more traffic. In a normal piece of content, it would have been very difficult to get these types of influencers to share it. But when you quote or interview them? Of course, they want to share it!
Here’s an email script of how I asked them to share it with their audience:
Subject: Thank you SO much for this
Hey [first name],
I’m a beginner. Thank you SO much for this.
Here’s your interview. [link]
If you have 3 seconds, it would mean the world if you could share, [your clicktotweet hyperlink to the interview] No sweat if you can’t.
Have a magical day,
Twitter was the best way to promote the content of the interview and to leverage my “guest” audience.
Content where you bring in influencers and other people into the mix – either with a viral expert roundup post, interviews and expert opinions or even just quotes – has virality built right in. It ensures that those people are far more likely to share your content with their large followings.
Those interviews helped me to get my 7k other readers.