Since posting my 2005 traffic figures recently, I’ve received many questions about how I was able to start this web site from scratch and build its traffic to over 700,000 visitors per month (Jan 2006 projection) in about 15 months – without spending any money on marketing or promotion. Building a high-traffic web site was my intention from the very beginning, so I don’t think this result was accidental.
My traffic-building strategy isn’t based on tricks or techniques that will go out of style. It’s mainly about providing genuine value and letting word of mouth do the rest. Sadly, this makes me something of a contrarian today, since I happen to disagree with much of what I’ve seen written about traffic-building elsewhere. I do virtually no marketing for this site at all. My visitors do it for me, not because I trick them into doing it but simply because they want to.
Here are 10 of my best suggestions for building a high traffic web site:
Create valuable content.
Is your content worthy of being read by millions of people? Remember that the purpose of content is to provide value to others. Do you provide genuine value, and is it the best you’re capable of providing?
When I sit down to write, I sometimes imagine myself standing on an outdoor concert stage before an audience of a million people. Then I ask myself, “What shall I say to this audience of fellow human beings?” If a million people each spend five minutes on this site, that’s nearly 10 person-years total. I do my best to make my writing worthy of this differential. I don’t always succeed, but this is the mindset that helps me create strong content.
Think about the effect you want your writing to have on people. Since I write about personal growth, I want my writing to change people for the better. I want to expand people’s thinking, to raise their consciousness, and to help them eliminate fear from their lives. If my writing doesn’t change people’s thinking, actions, or awareness, then my value isn’t being transferred well enough.
When you focus on providing real value instead of churning out disposable content, your readers will notice. And they’ll refer others to your site – in droves. I typically see at least 10 new links to my site appearing each day (mostly via trackbacks but also via vanity feeds). I’m not going out and requesting those links – other bloggers just provide them, usually because they’re commenting on something I’ve written. Many fellow bloggers have also honored StevePavlina. com with a general recommendation for the entire site, not just links to my individual blog posts. It’s wonderful to see that kind of feedback.
Strong content is universally valued. It’s hard work to create it, but in the long run it generates lots of long-term referral traffic. I’d rather write one article I’m really proud of than 25 smaller posts. It’s been my experience that the best articles I write will outperform all the forgettable little posts I’ve made. Quality is more important than quantity. Quantity without quality, however, is easier, which is one reason so many people use that strategy. Ultimately, however, the Internet already contains more quantity than any one of us can absorb in our lifetimes, but there will always be a place for good quality content that stands out from the crowd.
If you have nothing of genuine value to offer to a large audience, then you have no need of a high-traffic web site.