Louis CK is arguably one of the funniest men alive right now. He fills up massive theaters, sells out in minutes, and is so well known that he makes millions selling his recordings on his site with no advertising.
But he didn’t get there overnight. In 1984, he was getting on stage for the first time, and did so poorly that he didn’t try stand-up again for two years! Eventually he came back with a plan, worked his way through the ranks, and became a massive success.
Building a successful website follows the same path. It’s like Biz Stone’s famous quote:
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
You can’t get your first million website visitors overnight. Once you get a website, it requires creating a plan, having dedication, and constantly iterating and adjusting what you’re doing to make sure you hit your goal.
Here’s how to do that.
Planning to Get 1 Million Visitors
We made a spreadsheet for you to make this easy.
Go ahead and open up it here, make a copy for yourself, and follow along, plugging in numbers as you go.
The only areas you need to edit are the ones in blue. The ones in grey update automatically.
1. Figure Out Where You Are Now
At the top, plug in your current number of monthly visitors.
This is your starting point. Your goal will automatically be set to double your current number. It’s aggressive! But it’s the best start on the road to 1 million visitors and we believe you can do it.
2. Pick Your One Channel
Now I want you to pick one channel to focus on. Pick the one that’s most exciting, or that you feel the most comfortable with.
Here are your options:
Why these options? Because that’s how Google Analytics breaks out your traffic channels so this will make it easier for you to assess how you’re doing.
The easiest way to monitor how you’re performing in these channels as you go? Just use an on-site Google Analytics dashboard plugin.
Your #1 focus for the next month: getting this ONE channel up so you can hit your goal number.
To make up the difference between your goal and where you are now, you’ll need to try some things that you’re not currently doing.
This is where the experiments come in.
- Organic (traffic from search engines)
- Referrals from other websites
- Social Media
3. Brainstorm Experiments
Now, for this first month, come up with 3 things you could do to get more traffic. Make sure they’re actionable.
Don’t say “get more twitter traffic” say “tweet five times a day and include at least one hashtag in each.”
Here are some ideas:
- Optimize existing content for keywords
- Reach out to 100 publications for getting backlinks
- Set a search volume minimum for future content and stick to it
- Add more internal site links
- Buy PPC ads to test potential keywords
- Spend $500 on Facebook ads to see how they perform
- Try the same with Google and Twitter
- Use an automation service like Automate Ads to test different ad designs
- Reach out to 50 bloggers in your field to build relationships and links to your content
- Find people who compile lists of products / blogs and ask to be included
- Look for podcasts / webinars you can participate in and get linked to from
- Use a tool like Mention to find references to you that aren’t link to you
- Start an email list if you haven’t!
- Read up on copywriting to improve the emails that you send to your list
- Add an email popup tool to your site to get more people to sign up
- A/B test your emails when you send them out to see what headlines get more clicks
- Simply change the frequency of your emails to your list to see how it affects activity
Not sure what to do for experiments? Ask in the comments! Someone else is bound to hop in with more ideas :)
- Join a new social network you aren’t currently using
- Optimize your tweets for the best number of hashtags
- Find Twitter chats that you can join in on
- Create strong visuals for each Facebook post
4. Guesstimate Your Traffic
With your experiments in place, guesstimate how much traffic you think you can get from each idea. Think about it on a daily schedule, and base it on your existing numbers.
For example, if a tweet usually results in 5 visits to your site, then sharing 3x a day would get you 15 more visits a day, or 450 a month.
Don’t worry about your guesstimate being perfect, the point is to give you an idea of what to prioritize.
Now you’ll see the one experiment you should focus on. This is where you need to start putting your efforts for traffic building, everything else is a distraction. ONLY do 1 for the next 30 days.
5. Print it Out
Last, print that baby out and put it by your computer. You should be getting reminded of your goal and experiments daily to make sure it happens.
To recap, here’s what you should have done. If you skipped a step… well do you want your million visitors or not?
One Last Thing
Post what your first experiment is, and how much traffic you want to get with that experiment, in the comments below.
Making a public statement will help you follow through, and other people might join in with ideas to help make it happen.
Let’s get your traffic growing like crazy.
- Grabbed your most recent month’s traffic from Google Analytics to get your goal
- Picked which of the channels you want to focus on
- Come up with three experiments you could try for that channel
- Guesstimated your possible traffic from each, and put it by that experiment
- Printed out your spreadsheet and put it by your computer
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