Getting Traffic From Guest Posts - Month 4
Last month's update ended with enthusiasm. I wrote “The plan for this month is to have a guest post on a popular blog...a backlink from one of those blogs would surely give this website a large boost.” The thought that this website would be mentioned on a popular blog filled me with excitement. If my guest post gets accepted then this website will finally start rolling.
I imagined that most of the visitors from the popular blog would be funneled to this website. They would read my guest post and then click on the link to this website to check out the author. Obviously they would fall in love with this website and become regulars. I envisioned myself watching the traffic stats increase like the numbers on a jackpot machine.
The good news is that during month 4 instead of only one guest post on a popular blog I was able to manage two - the bad news is that it had no perceivable impact.
Guest Post Number One
The first guest post was not really a guest post. On April 11, 2009 Gary Conn created a post answering a question I asked. The post mentioned my name and website. It is not a guest post but has the same effect – there is a link back to this website.
Garry's blog has a Page Rank of 4 and according to Feedburner has 2100 readers. On his advertising page he states that his blog received 4200 unique visits a day. The post received 28 comments. All these figures show that he has a popular blog with lots of traffic.
When Garry emailed me stating that he is going to mention my website in his post I was happy. Even if only 1 percent of the post readers click on the link to this website then I will receive a big boost in traffic. One percent on 2100 readers is 210 people visiting my site. That is what I was expecting – my highest day ever.
How many visitors visited my site? The day that the post went live I received a total of 4 visitors from the post. 4! Let's just assume that he had 2000 visitors that day, it is a low number but better to be conservative. Out of the 2000 visitors whose eyes passed over the link to this website only 4 clicked on it. That is 0.2%.
The post went live on April 11. For the remaining 19 days of April a total of 25 visitors visited this website from the post. Assuming he had 2000 visitors a day for 19 days, I received 25 out of a total of 38,000.
What do I make of this? Nothing. I have no idea why so few people clicked on the link. I do not know if it is normal or not. What percentage of people actually click on links mentioned in posts? Based on this experience the answer is 0.2%. Definitely a lot lower then what I expected. The impression that I received from forums and other bloggers was that it was a lot higher. An often repeated suggestion for increasing traffic is to create guest posts. True, it increased traffic but I think I would have had more successes simply by walking around town with my website address on my T-Shirt.
Maybe the problem was that it was not a true guest post. It was only mentioned because I had asked a question that Garry liked. People are not interested in visiting the website of someone who does nothing more then ask a question. Maybe to really get a traffic boost you need to have a true guest post. An entire post written by me. The readers will defiantly want to know more about the author.
Guest Post Number Two
This was a real guest post. I went through the standard guest post process.
- Found a blog related to this website. Read a few of the posts to get a feel for the style of previous accepted gust posts.
- Wrote an email to the blog owner asking whether he is accepting guest posts. He wrote me back that he was and instructed me how the guest post should be sent to him.
- Wrote guest post and the sent to blog owner.
- Three days later I received an email that the post was accepted and will be put in the queue.
- Two weeks later my post appeared.
The blog I chose to submit a post was davidrisley.com. One of the top 'make money online' blogs. David does not publish how much traffic he receives but based on the number of comments and his status as a '6 figure blogger' one can assume it is in the thousands of visitors a day.
The post I wrote was a little controversial – even David disagreed with it. He edited my original header to mention his disagreement and made the first comment explaining why he disagreed. I was glad that he disagreed because difference of opinion generates interest. And what is more interesting then a blogger posting a guest post that he disagrees with.
I intended my post to be controversial. What I state in my post I believe to be good advice, but I know others do not. By creating a controversial post I wanted the readers to ask themselves, “who is this guy?” If they ask themselves that question then the only way to answer it is by clicking on the link to this website.
I had all the ingredients for a big boost in traffic - a controversial guest post on a popular blog. I put the backlink at the bottom of the post so that the readers do not need to scroll back to the top of the post. After they finish reading the link is right there – ready to be clicked.
So, how many people visited my website the first day the post went live? 200? 100? 50? Nope none of the above. The answer is 5. I have nothing more to say.
It is claimed by almost everyone that creating guest posts is a great way to increase traffic. If this is true. If others really get lots of traffic from their guest posts then that can mean only one thing. My guest post was so crappy, so pointless, so off the mark and poorly written, that nobody cared enough to know anything about the author. It was so bad that most people did not even read to the bottom of the post where my link was waiting. They read the first paragraph, yawned or cringed and went somewhere else.
My post was crappy - this is the only reasonable explanation. Otherwise the only other explanation is that either bloggers are lying when they state that they get lots of traffic from guest posts or most bloggers consider 5 new visitors is 'a lot' of traffic.
The Guest Posts Were Not a Waste Of Time
Even though I did not receive lots of traffic from the guest posts there is still a major benefit by having them. They are great backlinks. People might not care about my guest posts but Google does. Google will notice that a couple of popular blogs are pointing to my website. This should increase the amount of visitors that Google sends to this site. We will see.
Month 4 had an increase in the amount of visitors sent from Google. Month 3 was 54 and month 4 was 70. I do not know how long it takes Google to take new backlinks into consideration when determining how many visitors to send my way. But I am hoping that next month will benefit from this month's guests posts.
Am I Bitter Yet?
No not yet. Although there was a day last month that I was quite pessimistic as you can tell from this post Obviously I Have No Idea How To Make Money Online. I am not bitter but I am surprised. Because a lot of the advice I read about turns out not be accurate when applied to this website. When I try something it usually does not end up as expected. My expectations are based on the information I get from other bloggers. Is it all hype? Can anything that is claimed be trusted? I am beginning to feel that the answer is no. But the only way to find out what works and what does not is to try. So I will keep trying. The only thing that has turned out to be irrefutably true, the only solid fact, is that making money online takes time.
What Else Have I Done This Month To Increase Traffic?
I signed up on ezinearticles.com and wrote a couple of articles. The articles have been up for 10 days. The total traffic received from them has been a trickle of 20 visitors, but that is OK since I did it mostly for the backlinks. I want to test whether the pages that I link to from the article receive more visitors from Google. Next month I will be able to provide the results.
The goal for next month will be to have another guest post on a popular blog. The target is johnchow.com. His blog has 47000 readers, so if 0.2% visit this website then that should be a whopping 94 new visitors. Not bitter yet.
Want to know what happened next? Read Month 5 - What Is The Point?
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