I remember reading some guy’s post a few years ago in which he wrote about how he got 500,000 monthly page views with his niche site (I think it was a dating niche site).
I thought to myself, that would be incredible. I never imagined I’d build a site getting 500K monthly page views, let alone over 1,000,000. It wasn’t for lack of trying or desire.
2014 was the year it all changed for me. It was like a perfect storm where I deployed social media, paid traffic strategies and SEO to launch and publish a high-traffic, high profit niche site.
BUT, maintaining and growing 1 million monthly page views takes work… consistent daily and weekly work. I’ve developed a weekly system of tasks. Those tasks boil down to 10 weekly activities I do to maintain and grow 1 million monthly page views.
Recent traffic screenshot for ONE niche blog
My 10 Weekly Activities for Maintaining and Growing 1 Million Monthly Page Views (for One Blog)
1. Publish 7 to 10 posts per week
When social media is part of your traffic plan, you need content every day. Social media is great for high volumes of traffic, but it doesn’t last long. To keep the traffic party going, you need to publish daily or more often than that.
In a perfect week, I’ll publish 10 posts, but usually it’s 7 or 8 posts. This is more than enough to feed the social media beast and keep the free social traffic flowing.
Moreover, as I discussed here, I buy traffic to many of my posts. This is the secret to keeping traffic flowing indefinitely. Mind you, I don’t buy traffic to every post; I typically create specific posts to which I buy traffic.
How do I maintain such a grueling publishing schedule?
Since each post takes on average 3 hours to publish (some take about 1 to 2 hours and other types take 5 hours), it’s a lot of work. In the beginning I did it all. Since then I’ve hired a team (read my review here) who pretty much handles 90% of my content. My job is to plan the content and review it before scheduling.
2. Post to social media channels (10 times per day – like a Traffic Hound)
Once I have posts published on my blog, I post them to all social media channels which include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Scoop.It and of course Google+. I post about 10 to 12 times a day (I post my content in chunks).
While frequent posting like this is fantastic for free traffic, it’s also time consuming. Again, LongerDays takes care of all social media posting.
The key for me is turning 1 to 2 blog posts into 10 to 12 social media posts. This way I can really drive serious traffic without having to publish 10 to 12 blog posts per day.
My secret for doing this is discussed in my advanced course.
FYI, in order to drive traffic from social media channels for free, you need fans and followers. This takes time to accrue, but if you go the paid traffic route, it’s much faster. I’m a few days away from crossing the 100,000 Facebook fan mark for a niche site I started in February 2014.
3. Buy Facebook ads
Buying traffic is traffic on steroids. It really makes scaling and hitting 4 figure profit days possible. Without it my niche sites would be obscure; with it I’m a quickly growing brand in a competitive vertical.
Facebook ads is the platform I recommend starting out with when buying traffic to a blog because it’s relatively inexpensive and you can easily target your audience. Moreover, you accrue fans at the same time which results in free traffic in the future.
Once you get Facebook ads running, try native advertising such as Outbrain and Taboola. These can be excellent sources of traffic for not much money. The best part is these campaigns can run for months… it’s truly set-it and forget it traffic. Also, the potential volume of traffic is massive (I’m talking tens of thousands of visitors per day).
While the Facebook ad platform is decent, once you get serious with Facebook advertising, I recommend getting an ad manager software such as Qwaya (I use Qwaya). Yes, you can use the Power Editor, but Qwaya is much simpler to use and has some amazing ad creation benefits (such as being able to create hundreds of ads and ad sets in minutes). I save hours with Qwaya.
4. Review, test and tweak native advertising campaigns
I review and tweak all paid campaigns at least once per week and often will check over everything at least once a day just to make sure everything is okay.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT forget to set your daily budget caps with every paid ad campaign.
Last week I checked into one native advertising account I use and discovered I motored through $400 before breakfast. It was strange because that particular campaign had done poorly for about a month (i.e. very few clicks each day which meant I spent almost nothing); all of a sudden it drove mad traffic over night. I should have had my cap set lower, but at least I had a cap.
Part of my extensive paid campaign review includes doing some ROI calculations, pausing poorly performing ads, launching new campaigns and increasing budgets of winning campaigns. It can be time-consuming, especially when calculating the ROI of every campaign… but it’s these tasks that crank out profits.
5. Long tail keyword research
Since 115,000 to 125,000 visits per month for my biggest niche site is from organic search engines, I invest quite a bit of time and money into publishing content targeting long tail keywords for long-term free traffic.
Each week I do some basic long tail keyword research to plan out new content. Often I plan out series of articles and publish them in batches. Much of my long tail keyword content includes affiliate promotions as well as display ad monetization.
Fortunately I enjoy long tail research, especially since I do it a bit differently because I use a very effective long tail research software program (it’s not Long Tail Pro, which I also have but don’t use much). This method generates hundreds of results that are truly long tail; the downside is that many of the results have fairly low search volumes.
If you like swinging for the fences with SEO, you’ll need to focus on ranking high search-volume keywords. That’s not my style; I prefer ranking with no linking which means going for obscure, truly long tail keywords and publishing great content around it.
For me, long tail is a safer bet because the content stands a better chance of pulling in traffic for longer due to fewer threats from competitors looking to rank for those terms.
My goal is 1,000,000 million monthly organic search visitors in 2 years years (my site will be 3 years old). I have my work cut out for me. BUT, once I get there, that alone is a very good living. Considering I generate approximately $6,000 profit per month with 125,000 organic search visitors per month, 1,000,000 will generate approximately $48,000 in monthly profit ($6,000 x 8).
6. Publish 2 to 8 videos to YouTube
Like long tail keyword research, my investment in my niche sites’ YouTube channels is long term. For one niche (my biggest niche site), I have 114 videos, yet only generate about 3,300 monthly page views to my site from it (I get about a 10% CTR from video annotated links to my site) and only $75 in display ad earnings (YouTube ads). This isn’t great… but over time my videos perform better and better.
I explain how I got over 100,000 YouTube views in under a year here.
Fortunately I’m in a niche where using Animoto is a very effective video style. Admittedly, Animoto isn’t right for every niche, but if it is, it’s a very efficient way to create decent videos that people enjoy, like and share.
Long term goal: 1,000 videos (350,000 monthly views = 35,000 monthly visits to my blog based on present views and CTR from video to my site)
Assuming a $30 RPM on my site, 35,000 monthly visits = $1,050 + $750 YouTube ads = $1,800 per month.
7. Publish and send 1 email newsletter (sometimes 2)
Like long tail research and video creation, driving serious traffic with an email newsletter is an investment into the future. Sure, you can get 50 subscribers pretty fast, but that’s not a lot of traffic. Even with my 16,000 subscribers for one niche, it only drives about 20,000 page views per month (a small fraction of overall traffic).
The goal is hundreds of thousands (or millions) of email subscribers, which is when you can turn on a traffic spigot in minutes.
Consider the following scenario:
- 1 million email subscribers
- 12% open rate (this is pretty low)
- 3/4 of opens result in a click to your blog (I generate a high CTR because people who do open my newsletters know exactly what it is from the subject… and the content is on the site).
- 10 email messages per month
Total page views to your blog: 1,000,000 x .12 x .75 x 10 = 900,000 page views.
900,000 page views to any blog that’s half-way decently monetized is a very good living.
If you generate a $30 RPM (revenue per thousand page views), that’s $27,000 profit per month (900 x $30) for simply publishing and sending 10 email newsletters each month. You could publish line those newsletters up in 2 days (assuming you have the content published on your blog too). Not bad for 2 days’ work. Take $3,000 of that for content and writers each month and you’re pretty much doing nothing for a $288,000 annual income.
Kinda makes you want to go and build up a huge email newsletter, doesn’t it? It sure does me. That’s why I’m in the process of launching my first giveaway for one of my niche sites (and will probably do one for Fat Stacks too).
This doesn’t include affiliate promotions, selling newsletter ads, etc. The profit potential is enormous… it just takes a while.
Email marketers who are great at selling could earn FAR more than that. My figures are pretty conservative.
8. Create and tweak Bing Ads campaigns
I’m not a huge Bing Ads user, but I do run about 10 campaigns at any given time. I like it because it’s my only source of paid traffic based on search terms instead of interests or intriguing copy.
I typically reserve Bing Ads for sending traffic to select articles that promote products as an affiliate; although I have profited from only display ads (it’s proven not to be terribly profitable to display-ad only articles).
One Bing Ads campaign can generate a lot of profit
This takes effort, but if you can create a great pre-selling article for a hot-selling product and target the right keywords in Bing Ads, you can generate some decent profits with Bing Ads. Bing Ads traffic is still relatively cheap for search-based traffic. I wouldn’t base an entire business on this, but it’s a great side way to generate some profits. I’ve done particularly well with big sales.
9. Ask content providers to promote the site and videos
A good amount of content I publish is provided in part by content providers. I learned about this method in this course (which is the course that radically changed the way I publish websites).
When a post goes live that includes content provided by a third party, I have my team ask them to promote it across their social channels and email newsletters. This can result in some great free traffic.
Taking this method one step further, you can ask authors and blogs with large followings to syndicate their work and then ask them to promote. This is easier once you have a decent following (so you can give them exposure). If necessary, offer money. I’ve paid bloggers and writers to syndicate their work. It’s a great way to get excellent content quickly (plus traffic when they promote).
I discovered this approach to content and traffic in this course (the course that radically changed the way I publish websites and blogs).
10. Surf the web (a.k.a. Research)
Each week I spend time surfing the web in and outside of my niches for content ideas, advertising ideas, monetization ideas, newsletter ideas, etc. (I’ve learned a lot simply surfing the web).
Not only is this fun, but it’s a great way to see what other sites are doing. Most of what I do I didn’t invent; I just cobbled together many ideas and concepts into a workable model.
Notice 2 themes to my weekly traffic activities?
The fact is some traffic-getting activities produce traffic immediately; other activities take longer to generate traffic.
The mix is great because I can get traffic now while investing in long-term free traffic at the same time with the intention of growing traffic in the long run.
Here’s a breakdown of traffic activities:
- Social media: Instant
- Paid traffic: Instant
- Long Tail Keyword Research: Long-term
- Videos: Long-term
- Email newsletter: long-term (for serious traffic)
- Co-promotion (getting content providers to promote): Instant
- Surfing the web (research): Long-term
Not only does the above comprise my traffic-getting activities, it makes up most of the work I do. After all, it’s the traffic that generates the revenue (once you have solid monetization in place).
Notice what I don’t do…
I don’t just publish content and hope for the best. People like my niche sites, but unless I go out and get the traffic (like a hound), I wouldn’t have much traffic at all.
What’s my best bet for long term profits and stability?
It appears long tail keyword research and attracting more email subscribers are my best bet for long term, stable and growing profits. The long term potential for both traffic sources is nearly unlimited. The potential for stable and growing revenue is excellent. Of course, this is based on current numbers.
Of course, attracting email subscribers is highly dependent on traffic now, so paid traffic campaigns are equally important for the time-being (besides they’re a source of enormous profit).
Click here to get my course (88 page guide plus video tutorials) which steps you through how I planned, launched and built a $37,000 per month profit niche blog in less than a year.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.