Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How To Build a 1000 Hit Per Day Blog in 1 Year

Brain Blogger logoImage via Wikipedia
I have been thinking about the topic of building a blog lately, specifically how to build a blog that generates 1000+ hits per day in a reasonable amount of time (say 1 year from the start) with about as much effort as an independent blogger could be expected to put into it. Here are my benchmarks for where I think that a blog should roughly be after one year if the blog expects 1000+ hits per day in traffic:

  • 1,000+ entries
  • Post 3-5x per day
  • 50,000+ Twitter followers
  • 10,000+ Facebook friends/Likes on blog page
  • Well represented on Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, MySpace
  • 100+ reciprocal links with blogs in niche (i.e. blogroll)
  • Extensive use of multimedia (pictures, video, etc.) on blog
  • Good design and content
Okay, before I start getting complaints about how unrealistic these goals are for a one year old blog, just let me say that I never said it was easy to get 1000+ visitors per day on a blog. In fact, I think it's pretty hard. The most visitors I've ever managed to get for one day are about 800, and I thought that I was doing pretty well to get that amount. However, I know that other, more well established blogs, regularly get well in excess of 1000 visitors per day, and I am starting to see how they can accomplish this -- mainly through hard work and persistence. So, here is my breakdown of each of the bullet points above.

1,000+ entries: Unless you're God's gift to blogging, you really need a lot of posts to generate large amounts of traffic. The more entries you have on a blog, the more chance that you have of getting visitors for "back end" or syndication traffic for posts that you wrote 6 months ago and forgot. With 1,000+ posts, you only have to rely on each post to generate 1 hit per day from syndication -- a pretty reasonable goal in my experience. Plus, search engines LOVE big blogs, and you're much more likely to get search traffic from a 1,000 entry blog than a 10 page blog, even if the 10 entry blog has a lot more useful content per entry.

Post 3-5x per day: I think that this point mostly follows from the arguments for a large blog above. If you can get about 50 visitors per day per post, then why not post 5x per day and get 50 visitors per time from your new posts alone? Besides, any good site need constant new content to keep it going. People don't tend to read most articles more than once, even if the article is well written. So, you have to keep feeding the beast.

For those of you who think this is posting too much, let me point out that most of the top 100 blogs post at least 20x per day with the Huffington Post putting up 200+ posts per day on most days. So, if you want traffic like TechCrunch, you have to post a lot -- just like TechCrunch does. Again, I never said it would be easy.

50,000+ Twitter followers: Twitter is a singularly useful tool for generating lots of blog traffic at a low cost. But, it's also a numbers game. The more people you have, the more traffic you can ultimately generate, even if a lot of your followers are bots or spammers. After all, you can ignore the spammers if necessary (like I do) with filters and just interact with your readers.

Also, the one year time frame for this is pretty doable. All you need to do is add about 150 people per day, which is very realistic through using a service like and adding/subtracting around 300-400 people per day on average.

10,000 Facebook friends/Likes on blog page: The logic for this is pretty similar to the Twitter followers statement above. The more people you have seeing/thinking about your blog everyday, the more chances you have to attract readers and visitors. Again, it's ultimately a numbers game, especially as far as social media is concerned.

If you can manage to get as little as 30 people either friending or liking your Facebook account and page per day, you can hit 10,000 in a year's time. 

Well represented on Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, MySpace: The logic here is pretty much the same as the argument for having lots of Twitter followers. Again, the more tentacles that you have in cyberspace, the more chances someone has to find your blog.

100+ reciprocal links with blogs in niche (i.e. blogroll): This point was one that took me a while to realize, but it's a point well worth mentioning. A lot of the bigger blogs, especially those by names like Problogger or John Chan, tend to share a lot of traffic. So, while other bloggers in your niche are your competitors, they are also strangely allies in driving traffic to your blog (and vice versa).

If you can manage to add just two reciprocal links per week, this is an easily obtainable goal in a year's time.

If possible, you should establish reciprocal blogs links with as many of these other bloggers as possible, even if the other blog doesn't have a huge following (yet).

Extensive use of multimedia (pictures, video, etc.) on blog: Sometimes when I'm visiting a blog, I'm looking to read a novel. Sometimes, I'm just looking to watch a funny video or see some cool pictures. Your blog should have both, at least as much as possible. Some of my highest traffic blog entries are where I link to pictures or lists of images.

Good design and content: Ultimately, it doesn't matter how good you are at using social media and SEO to drive traffic to your blog. If your content or layout for your blog is crappy, people aren't going to come back (or stay for very long once they arrive). Content really is king, especially if you expect your posts to generate a lot of traffic in syndication.

I hope that I've given people a good understanding of how it should be possible (at least in theory) to generate 1,000 blog visitors per day in a year or less. Good luck in the blogsphere!

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