You've got a new website. You've spent some time putting some great content up there. What do you do next? Wait for the traffic to come? Spend more time putting more great content up there?
Well, one of those isn't a bad idea, but while you've got some momentum, it's time to get other people doing the hard work for you. It's time to reach out to the experts in your niche, and get them to share your stuff.
I'm going to be covering a lot of different strategies over the next few weeks that I hope will result in both the sites in this case study starting 2015 in great shape.
The first of those is the expert roundup post, which I've talked about in much more detail here.
Before I go into that strategy any further, let's have a recap of what I did for the sites over the last week, and how I got on.
Last week's homework:
I had to do some more Pinning, Tweeting, and forum posting for both sites and see the results. Now I'm in no way expecting to have either site a roaring success after a few social shares, but it will be good if it starts getting some relevant traffic.
I deliberately only spent a little bit of time on this, because I want it to be something I can do every week.
If spending 1-2 hours per week gets a noticeable increase in traffic, then it's something I'll continue to do in future. If it requires a much bigger effort to get results though, then I'll move onto something more worthwhile.
I've never planned to build my niche strategies around social traffic, but you can get a bit of momentum and exposure early on, so why not go for it?
Here's what I did:
On Monday I commented on three threads on relevant forums for both sites. In most cases I was able to register with Facebook, add an insightful comment, and show a link to my site as a useful resource.
I never mentioned that the site was mine.
Some of the time I was too new to the forum to post a link, but I found that if you remove the “http://” part, the link would still post. Since I'm doing this for traffic rather than link juice, I figured it was still worth it.
Check last week's post to learn how to find useful forum topics to comment on.
What's interesting is that because I made sure to only comment on stuff I knew about, and backed up my comments with useful resources (links to my site), they weren't deleted by moderators.
I also added a few new pins throughout the week, and followed a few people on both pinterest accounts. I wasn't really expecting much so didn't invest a lot of time.
On Saturday I repeated the process and spent about 1 hour per site commenting on forums (2-3 posts) and did a few pins and tweets.
I didn't get an onslaught of traffic by any means, but I did get an improvement.
If you look at the two charts below, you'll see what I mean.
The first image shows the traffic over the past month or so. 1 and 2 refer to the days when I actively promoted the site via forums. As you can see, more traffic came on the days immediately following.
Context is always important, so the next image shows a comparison with the previous period. Orange is the previous period.
As you can see, we aren't dealing with a huge amount of traffic, but there IS a noticeable improvement. Remember YOGZ didn't really have any joy on Pinterest, so this is all from forums.
I'll likely continue this method of joining in a few discussions for a couple of weeks, and will hit up forums again when I've produced a good expert post. I may even use forums to find a few experts, and then be able to justify a link to it when it is done.
Since Dateandsimple had a bit more joy on Pinterest, which is a passive process, I expected to see less of a spike in its traffic. I was wrong.
As you can see, the recent period (blue line) is almost double the previous period, and in some places it's more than double. Fantastic! The pinterest/forum strategy is definitely working, although the fact I had a traffic dip over the weekend (after number 2) shows that traffic isn't coming purely from forum posting.
I'll basically do the same thing for dateandsimple that I'm going to do for yourowngymzone, but I will probably focus a bit more on Pinterest with DAS than YOGZ.
I'm also going to look into automating things on Twitter to keep the ball rolling there. Not really had much joy with Twitter so far.
Ramping Things Up
Now that I've seen I can get a little momentum with these methods, I'll add them to my weekly routines for the sites. That means that for this week I need a new assignment, and I've already chosen to do an expert roundup post for both sites.
It might actually take longer than a week to complete everything, so I'll post next week with the progress so far. In fact it will probably be of more benefit to you, if I can do that anyway.
Please note that this isn't a “link bait” roundup where I simply list cool sites in my niche(s). I WILL do one or two of those in the future, but first I want some really good content on there from a bunch of experts, so that the “linkability” and “shareability” of the sites increases.
As I'm going to split this into two weeks, here's what I'll do for week 1.
This week's homework:
1.) Choose a topic/question to ask the experts to discuss.
I'll do this by searching forums, other niche blogs, and keyword tools to find questions that are common, but not thoroughly answered.
2.) Make a list of experts to ask, and start reaching out to them.
Sites like buzzsumo, buzzfeed (not related but both good) and other methods should help with this. I imagine it will take a while for them all to reply, and I may need to reach out to some more afterwards, so I'll try to get the process started this week.
3.) Carry on with pinning/forumming as mentioned before.
If it's getting a traffic boost for little time investment on my part, I'm all for it.