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How My Blog Traffic Increased 300% Last Week

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I’ve found myself quite nostalgic recently, referencing the late 90s / early 2000s and our collective experiences during them on forums and chat rooms quite often. Part of that is because of the startup I’m co-founding, which beckons the early days of more intimate online communication through fewer platforms and with a focus on deeper connections vs. quantity of broadcasts. It’s with this in mind that I decided to test some efforts on more community-based, interactive sites for my freelance business.

With that goal, I headed over to Quora, Reddit, and GrowthHackers.com. My sole intention was to leave them better than when I arrived, by sharing insights and connecting with like-minded peers. That’s it. No overtly aggressive self-promotion. The results absolutely validated these engagement channels.

First, here’s my blog’s stats line to which I’m referring. (Quick note: you won’t find actual views here, just percentages. That’s so I can get that advertising money, retire young, and open up a pet shop called For All Insects & Porpoises.)

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The week prior to this showed an increase of 70.83% as well. Naturally, the end of December was when I began posting and interacting on those sites. Below is some information specific to my approach and the results I found on each.

Quora

I spent the majority of my time on Quora answering questions through the freelance, startups, marketing, and growth hacking tags. I also cross-posted a handful of blog posts there. I did not ask any questions (yet).

The quantity of views right off the bat were pretty staggering, particularly for answers, hitting the four-digit mark several times.

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As you can see, answers accounted for the vast majority of views, between 86% and 94%. Beyond views, some of my answers also received shares and upvotes.

I question the science behind the statistics on Quora, however. There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer on the method for measuring views.

Reddit

Like with Quora, I spent most of my energy on Reddit answering questions and sharing insights on r/freelance and r/startups. I only started 2-3 new posts. On r/startups, I went out of my way to provide value, going so far as to offer detailed advice and feedback, like this response to a landing page critique question.

Reddit doesn’t really offer a “views” analysis, per se. Instead, you get “link karma” and “comment karma”, and upvotes/downvotes, as well as comments. So it takes a bit of guesswork to determine how you’re doing.

Screenshot 2014-01-14 09.38.36

I’ve found the niche subreddits super useful, with an engaged community very willing to help each other out. There is no shortage of questions and conversations on specific topics; plenty of opportunity for a guy like me to offer value. But here’s the thing with Reddit – it’s know as a breeding ground for trolls and haters, so you better be prepared. The business-focused subreddits are a bit easier on posters, but I still see quite a bit of snark being tossed around. If you don’t have thick skin or if you’re a conservative brand, you might want to skip this one. I shared some research I did and it was met with some strong negative responses by a few (which I expected, given the nature of my process). But guess what? That post has been holding strong in the top 5 of that subreddit since I made it.

GrowthHackers

Love the site and its content, but it does very little for external traffic. Part of the reason is a lack of direct links in your profile and posts.

Bonus – Medium

It’s more of a publishing platform than a community, but man, the numbers here are astronomical. I haven’t done much cross-posting between Medium and my blog, opting to create new content unique to the site.

Take a look at the average post views of my blog compared to Medium (below). That’s over 5x the views for Medium, which has a ready-made audience built in.

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Traffic

Here’s how these sources stack up as referrers to my blog.

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Clear as day, Reddit has been killing it for me. A combination of offering free and valuable insights combined with addressing topics by highlighting blog posts I’ve already written about them is proving to be a big traffic pusher. During the time I ran this experiment, the average daily views of my blog tripled, and in a few cases increased five-fold.

A 300% lift in the matter of weeks is pretty damn good, but time will tell if 1) I can sustain that and 2) I can convert visitors into leads and sales. But the experiment was fruitful, and I’m now spending more time and energy on these sites.

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Call Dave

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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire. startupgrowthguy.com mymusicbox.me

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