How To Grow Your Blog On Autopilot
In 2009 I started my first blog. After a few weeks of writing and not seeing any traffic; I dropped it and cancelled my domain renewal. Pretty stupid move; but I was really frustrated after writing every single day for over 3 weeks and not even seeing 100 visitors.
When I first started this blog, I was willing to do ANYTHING to make it succeed. At the time I started this blog to generate leads for my Network Marketing business. After a few months I was doing well so I decided to keep going.
Now 2 years down the line…
The blog is doing really well with an Alexa ranking between 7000-11,000 (it varies) and it’s getting thousands upon thousands of daily visitors. How did I do it?
Well for a little over 1 year I spent every morning writing and publishing a blog post. I then spent the afternoon promoting it with all kinds of search engine optimization/social media stuff. It worked and the results were quickly visible.
The only problem was writing, publishing and promoting a blog post consumed the majority of my working day. So after a good year and a half I took a different route. I decided that if I wanted to really expand my business I needed to put my blog on autopilot. It got to the point where I hated writing blog posts, I didn’t want to schedule or proof read posts, I didn’t want to do any kind of promotion and I didn’t want to handle email marketing. Here’s what I did…
Overall my biggest problem was writing blog posts. I can easily knock out a 500 word blog post in 20 minutes. BUT – it would usually take me an hour or two. An hour or two to do keyword research, find something to write about, plan my post, write it and finally proof read it. So I decided to accept guest authors. To begin with I allowed 3 people to write on my blog.
I wrote a little P.S. line in one of my emails saying “I’m accepting a few guest authors on my blog”. After that P.S. line I received an influx of replies. After sorting through them I found 3 people who were good writers. They said they would write for my blog and all they wanted was to be able to link to their blog in each post they published. So that worked well for 2 weeks until I had a problem with reliability.
The 3 guest writers weren’t being consistent with their posts. Since then I’ve stopped relying on guest authors and am happy with the occasional blog posts they publish. Now I’ve moved onto paying for blog posts. Paying for content has been the best investment I’ve made for my blog… High quality blog content from English writers who know what they’re talking about.
Since my blog has so much authority, any piece of content I publish goes on to receive thousands of visitors over the space of a few days to months. So I know that if I spend $25-$50 on a high quality blog post – I’ll make it back in a few weeks.
When I started paying for blog posts I had to spend time editing, reviewing and manually publishing them. It was more time I didn’t have. So I ended up paying slightly more for better writers who manually review their articles and publish them.
Promotion is the second half of running a blog and it used to take me the best part of 3 hours. Three hours to promote a new blog post that is. I’d usually do a load of link building and then share my new posts on social networks. After hundreds of hours of research I came up with a more automated approach.
As soon as I publish a blog post, I email my subscribers to tell them about it. It used to take me around 15 minutes to write and send each email. To completely automate the process you can use the Aweber blog broadcast function. What it does is automatically email your list every time you publish a new blog post. It offers plenty of customization and the automated emails look like they were hand written.
Next I use Ping.fm and Hootsuite to automatically syndicate my new blog posts onto 30+ social networks automatically. The two services go hand in hand, check them out and you’ll see what I mean. Once you have Ping.fm, Hootsuite and Aweber setup you’ve got enough promo power to generate some decent traffic. However if you want top search engine rankings link building is crucial.
For link building I’ve hired a virtual assistant to make use of two blog networks I heavily use; Unique Article Wizard and My Article Network. To be very honest I barely do SEO anymore. SEO takes time, it costs money and believe it or not; it’s not 100% necessary. When your blog is new SEO should be the primary driving force of traffic. But later on it should be social media and content syndication.
I also use Tribe Pro which does a great job at automating content syndication. All in all, the social media and content syndication coupled with minimal link building is highly effective for promoting blog posts.
With everything I talked about in this post setup, you can walk away from your blog and let it grow by itself!
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