How I Climbed To 35,459 Monthly Unique Visitors

This post was guest blogged by Juuso of Business Voodoo.

In the digital point forums, I wrote a thread titled How my site traffic went from 37 monthly visits to 14,657 monthly unique visits, I really recommend taking a look at it since it’s kind of a “part 1” for this post.

Set a bigger goal

I had built a game production website that was getting over ten thousand visitors per month. I was figuring out how to get it to the next level, and a quite obvious idea popped to my mind: I set a bigger goal. I aimed for 100,000 per month and at the time of writing about third of that goal is completed – and the journey continues. The key here, in my opinion, is not to think whether something is possible or impossible. Simply set a goal, and decide to figure out the how part later.

Contact high profile people

One special thing I did – which was not mentioned in the DP thread – was simply reaching out for big names. I simply decided to aim for the stars. After writing this second part I thought that I would offer this article to John Chow. I decided to contact him. I had never talked with John, nor had no idea if he would accept my offer – but heck, I had nothing to lose. It took 30 secs to write the email and rest is history – now you are reading this. Aiming high pays off – just contact those names, you never know if they might actually say “yes”.

Don’t waste their time

One big lesson to remember here when contacting other people is: cut the crap. I didn’t write lengthy story about who I was or what I was doing, how the weather was like and what books I enjoy reading. I know people are busy – so I decided to write a very brief email saying something like:

John, I wrote this article [link] that explains how my site traffic went to 35K+ visitors. Would you be interested in getting a John Chow version out of it to appear in your blog.

Regards, Juuso.

Next morning I had a response from John that said it would be good. I’ve used this similar pattern to contact different gaming websites to gain traffic to my own site – and you can do the same.

Get featured on a major website

Then something else: social bookmarking. I did accidentally got featured on one major gaming website. Basically I wrote an extremely simple article on a question that was posed by one of the readers. It was a basic article with really easy stuff – yet it hit the nerve. I learned to never underestimate the power of simple things. Thanks to that article the traffic eventually spiked to 4,537 unique visits in just one day.

Shut up and listen

One very important element is to listen to others. In the first article, I got a response from charlesartist who said “Now, you should try social bookmarking next to take your site to the 20k+ uniques/month level. Digg, Delicious, Myspace are all great places with lots of people interested in what you have to offer.” Well, I decided to try that and got good results simply by listening to what others have to say. Sure, I’m free to ignore what people say but I did my best to think, “Can I use this idea somehow?”. Think about that. As you see some witty marketing, ask yourself, “How can I use this?”.

Social bookmarking

I admit I’m probably not the best guy to tell how it works, but basically I decided to put a big DIGG button that people could click. I managed to get some Digg traffic, but after couple of months I saw that Stumbleupon and Reddit seem better for me. I decided to take away the Digg button and simply put links that people could click. I submit some of my articles, but not most of them. I’m sure there’s lots for me to learn here, but by merely giving people a chance to bookmark stuff can help to get decent traffic with no much additional effort.

Experiment

Social bookmarking is OK, but an even more important lesson is experimenting. I want to see the facts and decided to test how the Digg button would do. It didn’t bring me extra traffic so I took it away. I’m now writing this article to John and his audience, and I want to see what happens. It’s all about trying and failing and trying harder and never giving up.

Have Fun

Some time ago I noticed a site called John Cow which is a parody site riding on the success of John Chow dot Com. I check out this idea and thought it was brilliant. I haven’t done similar things to get traffic to my site, but I still think it carries a valuable lesson. Simply by finding some popular bloggers and making a “fun/fan” page by twisting the URL somehow can get you attention. John Cow, PoorBlogger, there’s plenty of opportunities for basically anyone to use. Simply come up with something really fun and you will get attention.

Group interviews

I expanded the idea of interviews to group interviews. I decided to find a group of high profile producers (worked in major gaming companies such as EA) and I got good stories this way. The producers liked doing them, I liked doing them and the audience liked reading them. Everybody wins. I mixed this with the use of promotional stuff (such as newsletter, press releases, social bookmarking, asking other diggers, announcing forums) to get the most out of this.

Controversial topics

I also had pure luck with controversial topics. I wrote an article about piracy and it got some attention from other people. The bottom line is: controversial topics can bring traffic.

Newsletters

Last tip for this guide is the use of newsletters. Newsletters are great way to get your visitors back to your website. You can find newsletter recommendations by simply checking out these forums (aweber seems quite popular, I’m using ymlp.com and recently checked out ezinedirector.com). You can send people monthly newsletters and give them “top stories of the month”. You can use newsletters to tell people that you’ve published a new article. You can inform about contests etc. Definitely worth having.


74 thoughts on “How I Climbed To 35,459 Monthly Unique Visitors”

  1. awflasher says:

    35,459 Monthly ?
    seems not very high ?

    1. That’s almost 1200 unique visitors a day. That’s pretty good. I think it passes the threshold of what deem is an envious amount of traffic the masses here on John Chow.

      If it was any higher, I wouldn’t be able to relate to him as well!

      1. ya is good enough already

        1. Amanda says:

          I think thats what most people strive for. Thats when you know you have a decent blog and then you work in small increments after that!

    2. I think the information in this post and the first is fairly vague and general…stuff that everyone does…or should know anyway.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that you are successful, but I don’t see this information as being that ground breaking.

      1. You might be right to a certain point. As you said many know it but how many of those that know those things have the courage to do it? By reading posts like this it will encourage people to give it a try, it is not a waste of time in any case.

        Something that Juuso did not mention is the timing. There is a timing about doing anything, even getting into social bookmarking sites (i.e. submitting by yourself), unless you get submitted by someone else that already tells it is time to submit it, because you have something that you could share with people for which your post/article could be informative.

        Nice read Juuse, it will definitively or at least i hope it will encourage others to stop halting their finger from clicking and start some of the moves you did mention on your post.

        1. True, but for everyone who doesn’t, there are people who do follow all of these principles and progress very very slowly for one reason or another.

          I have sites that have grown rapidly, and I also have sites that have taken a very very long time to build up traffic and visitors.

          Everything he mentioned is a required component of success, but doing them does not necessarily translate into success.

        2. Geedos says:

          And in addition to timing there’s also the element of unknown – or luck. πŸ˜†

          I’m not saying he’s lucky in this case but sometimes that can be the difference between a site taking off quickly and another one taking much longer to grow.

          You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time.

    3. Yeah, it is actually pretty good… uniques.. – Imagine 36,000 people walking into your home every single month.. it adds up!

      1. Your Blog = Your Home ❓

    4. You dare saying 35,000 is low? ❗

    5. Pretty damn high if you ask me, definitely enough to get into the topish blogs bracket.

    1. KingJacob says:

      Its a good thing I know cowanese or that wouldnt make any sense.

      1. Amanda says:

        Hahaha. Thats cute.

    2. sandossu says:

      That’s pure spam

      1. Geedos says:

        Is that spam or ham?? πŸ˜†

        1. Geedos says:

          I mean BEEF! Haha! πŸ˜†

        2. sandossu says:

          maybe e it’s spham

  2. CristiΓ‘n says:

    Newsletter, controversial topics, right, i got it!

    One problem that I had detected is that is more dificult to success (but not impossible)
    in the latin market, that is where I am, but this article has inspired me, I actually have 3
    readers, and today, my goal become 1000, and not for someday, but for september 30 πŸ˜€

    1. Have you ever heard the phrase “fly low, at least when you crash you won’t hurt yourself”. Not trying to let you down, just trying to advice. Set a lower goal! You might ask why, its simple psychology, success leads to more enthusiasm and more work which than leads to another success. Set a 100 uniques a day, reach that goal, till than you will have figured what you have done to reach that goal and what else is left to reach 500 a day…and than 1000 a day. For me, it has worked better in the long run and it has taught me lots of things during that trip.

      1. Yeah set lower goals and don’t voice them unless you know you can reach them, or else you lose credibility

  3. Joshua says:

    One’s definition of very high would depend on many things… 😈

  4. Very interesting. will come in handy.

    35k monthly uniques aint bad at all.

    Carl

    1. Erik Karey says:

      I totally agree carl.

  5. I’d take 1200 hits a day….

    I agree, that seems more “reachable” than some kind of HUGE number.

    Thanks for sharing

  6. KingJacob says:

    Good post, too much time is wasted on BS If you just cut the crap and say exactly what you want when contacting people, youll get a much better response.

    1. At least you get response sometimes, even if its still a no πŸ˜₯

  7. flexy says:

    thanks for the advice. now to incorporate it

  8. Abhishek says:

    Juuso,

    Good post.

    However where is the RSS feed on your blog?

    Abhishek

  9. Great write-up. Very inspiring! I think the best part was “Simply set a goal, and decide to figure out the how part later.” We get so preoccupied with how we are going to do things that the bigger goal gets lost along the way. I think your approach is right.

  10. John Bennett says:

    Great Post. I’m sure you’ll get a boost in visitors from this as well.

  11. Being an interactive website that commands the user to participate in someway it’s a good start to have 37000 unique users on your website each month.

    You can monetise this website a great deal and come out smelling pretty stinking rich for all it’s worth.

  12. Matt Wolfe says:

    I’m impressed. I’ve got about 11 readers a day πŸ˜‰

  13. funny I have this same guess post too – but its the original from DP – and its posted 1 hour after my guest post! πŸ™‚

  14. Alan says:

    I highly agree with the goal-setting thing. If you set low goals, you’ll achieve them and still want more. If you set high goals, you’ll achieve them and have gotten much more done!

  15. mason says:

    These are some pretty good tips. I too am an upstart blogger.

  16. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the tip.

  17. Valentin says:

    Amazing article !

    Since I reach to read only half, I allready decided to steal the link from my own browser address space and save it on a certain file I have saved.

    Yes, I have several files filled with links and brief explain of content. It help me to keep things organised.

    I saved, then the link, saved the file and .. surprise !

    I allways suspected my pc is smarter than me, despite is running a windows OS.

    So, my pc started imediately several alarms, few different blue-nuances screens .. After some “fight” to avoid reboot (while I could loose lot of unsaved important works I didn`t started but was about to start later), finaly I reach to understand what happen.

    On the file I was to save this link, several hunderths other links pointing a “similar” content, yet just as meaning, not copied or identical – as words or phrases.

    I don`t want to trust my pc only, so I ask my friend, Mr. Google. he told me :

    – Results 1 – 10 of about 9,730,000 for how to raise site traffic. (0.21 seconds)
    – Results 1 – 10 of about 75,700,000 for increase site traffic. (0.14 seconds)
    – Results 1 – 10 of about 140,000,000 for more visitors to site. (0.19 seconds)
    – Results 1 – 10 of about 13,200,000 for bring more visitors to site. (0.22 seconds)

    Well .. Mr. Google likes bug figures. So, I cut 4 zeros from all figures above, yet tousends links .. Dam, and I barely have saved allmost 700 in my list…

    But why do I say “Amazing article” ?

    Well, because i`mm allway amazed about two things :
    – how “cheap” is to write +1000 words about something without saying nothing. Whorst. Avoiding to say/underline the essential – that all results depend on each individual hard work, faith,hard work, luck, hard work, passion etc. Oh, also must mention hard work.
    – how easy people get “high” for some extreme general advices which actually are available everywhere but not working (same way) for everyone ..

    My 2 cents ..

    .

    iDevil`s Advocate Β©

    ps (System WARNING: Valentin ! Joking mode is on ! You are counting exclusively on John Chow`s sense of humour !) – J.C., please keep counting the “2 cents” and when reach the 400$, you`ll own me a review.

  18. sandossu says:

    Interesting post, now your traffic will definitely increase.

    Good Luck !

  19. Maria Palma says:

    I believe the bottom line here is: Think Big, Dream Big! I’ve heard so many people complain that they’re business or blogging isn’t producing the results that they wanted – and these are people who are complaining after only a month of blogging!

    Sometimes it does take time…but most of all, it takes action. You can read all day about how to build traffic to your blog, but if you’re not doing anything about it, well, what else do you expect?

    1. Valentin says:

      and these are people who are complaining after only a month of blogging!

      Those are people who Dream Big.

      Maybe bottom line is “Think Big, then do it bigger !”

      πŸ™‚

  20. Sunny says:

    All these pointers are very helpful, I would really like to see more information about how people gained their traffic base.

  21. Click Input says:

    I don’t really understand the post either – what is your site about – how to make your own games?

    1. I think he’s trying to push the point that you can make money from DIY computer games. Being somebody who was around in the hey day of PD gaming I don’t know if I’d bother. There are much better ways of making money, nice traffic generation advice though.

  22. Michael says:

    Thanks, these are very helpful tips.

  23. HarpersDad says:

    Shoot – I just hit 400 uniques in a day, guess I should be aiming for πŸ˜‰

    1. KingJacob says:

      Im sorry all I can think of when I read this post is a banner in my 7th grade math class that said “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars!”

      1. except the stars are further than the moon

    2. Thats pretty good, today I’ve hit the highest ever uniques in one day and its still at 262

  24. The point was to keep it simple. I couldn’t agree more. It always seems that the simple subjects with the great headlines get the most attention.

    Nice article…. Watch the grammar mistakes and typos πŸ™‚

  25. Hi guys, thanks everybody for your comments – and thanks J.C. for the chance for this guest article.

    Nice article…. Watch the grammar mistakes and typos

    Yeh, but leave that for me. You guys should just read it quickly πŸ˜‰

    Abhishek: Business Voodoo doesn’t have an rss feed, I simply set it up to collect some links to my articles (from where I’ve got some good feedback). My main game producer RSS feed is very visible on my website…

    “Making The Money”: well… to be honest, I’d say there are juicy opportunities not just in making games but everything around it (starting from ads and ending to selling T-shirts)… you don’t even have to make games by yourself – you can hire other people to do that, or simply sell some other people’s games.

    And another suggestion for the bottom line (good ones mentioned earlier): “Dream 10 times bigger, take action and never give up”

  26. Pretty good for a blog.

  27. Not a Square says:

    It is good to shoot for the stars in marketing. If you do you most likely wont get to the stars but you will get closer than you would have if you shot for the moon.

  28. Nice article. I agree that there is nothing ground breaking here but success stories do help our motivation.

  29. michael says:

    hey, thank you, realy learned some helpful things, best regards michael

  30. i agree with you john but i think social bookmarking sites are not good because its impossible to reach the homepage if the top users does not like you 😎

  31. Luis says:

    I’m impressed. My blog: http://Livepaths.com just went live.
    If the economics don’t work, recycling efforts won’t either.
    As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing, LivePaths blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

  32. squaretan says:

    For a noob like me, if i can get 35k unique visitors then i am a very happy person already. πŸ˜›

  33. A very interesting article…

    *begins writing email to John Chow…*

  34. Shaun says:

    Hehe, I get like 5 per day. But this is still my first week. πŸ™‚

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