The term “Growth Hacker” was coined by Sean Ellis back in 2010.
Since then, growth hacking has become a popular phrase in the Internet marketing world.
Google Trends data shows the term has been gaining interest since 2010.
Growth Hacking simply means a process of rapid experimentation across a range of marketing channels.
Note at the word experimentation.
Experimentation is the word that best summarize the whole concept of growth hacking.
Successful web businesses such as Dropbox, Uber, and Airbnb all used growth hacking before they hit the right strategy and become the multi-billion dollar businesses they are today.
All these companies experimented with different marketing strategies before they hit the right one.
So let’s talk about blogging:
You may be wondering if bloggers can really benefit from growth hacking.
Yes, bloggers can use growth hacking to grow their blogs.
Here are the reasons:
- Your blog is a product. People buy it by visiting it and reading your content. The time they spent reading your content is worth a lot to them.
- Your blog can be tracked. You can see which content is generating the most leads on your blog.
- Your blog can be optimized. You can run tests on your blog to learn more about your visitors. You can constantly tweak different aspects of your site and boost conversions. You can also run surveys on your blog which gives you better insights into your visitors.
- Your blog can earn revenue. You can use your blog to create demand for your product. You can also use it to create awareness for your future product launches. You can sell anything to your blog visitors as long as it solves their needs.
Blogging is one of the top ways to make money online.
Blogging has been effective for a lot of individuals and businesses.
A blog can be a standalone business. It could also be a launching pad for other businesses you have in the pipeline.
For example, when you look at a blog like Copyblogger, a lot of their businesses have leveraged the success of that blog alone.
Businesses such as Synthesis WordPress hosting, StudioPress Genesis Themes, Scribe Content, and even the Rainmaker Platform have all benefited from the success of Copyblogger.
So, how can you growth hack your blog and get hundreds of thousands of visits per month?
There are 4 ways you can growth hack your blog.
1. Create Contagious Contents For Social Media
Contagious content means highly shareable content that people are likely to share with their friends on social media.
Contagious content has the power to spread on its own with little promotion effort from you.
For example, let’s say you create content and you promote it for $50 to get some likes on Facebook.
If your content is truly contagious, it would automatically start picking up a lot of shares and likes after your $50 budget has been exhausted.
Contagious contents have the power to spread once people are seeing it.
So how do you use contagious content to growth hack your blog?
What we are trying to do here is to create different contagious content until will find the one that goes viral.
You have to continue testing different content formats and topics that people would love to share with their friends.
To do that, you have to recognize those specific triggers that motivate people to share contents online.
There are four triggers you should tap into to create contagious content for your blog:
Trigger #1: Entertainment
Would your contents entertain your target audience?
If not, then you may have to consider.
We all have our guilty internet pleasures.
Sometimes, you just need to look at some cute baby ducks.
Just because you read sites like Harvard Business Review (HBR) doesn’t mean you don’t like to visit a site like BuzzFeed.
BuzzFeed receives 200 million unique visitors and pageviews of over 6 billion per month.
Imagine 200 million people visiting this site just to feel good and laugh a little?
This is how the home page of BuzzFeed looks right now as I write this article:
As you can see, it’s all pure entertainment.
Entertaining content tends to get shared and linked to… a lot.
By writing entertaining content, you’ll be growth hacking your blog to thousands of monthly visits per month.
Trigger #2: Education
People like educational content.
I like educational content too.
I like contents that tell me things I don’t know before. Especially, when they are related to topics I care a lot about.
Imagine, you want to teach new moms how they can make their little toddlers smile, they would want to see that content of course.
It’s because they care a lot about their babies and they want to learn things they don’t know before.
For example, I opened my Facebook Newsfeed and I found this article from Neil Patel:
If you’re a struggling blogger, I’m sure you’ll want to read and like this content because it teaches you something you might not know before.
Trigger #3: Beliefs and causes
The truth is people are more likely to share content that mirrors their beliefs.
If you believe something to be wrong, there’s definitely no way you’ll share an article that tells you it’s right. That’s what I mean.
When you create contents that mirror other people’s beliefs, they are more likely to share it to show others that they support the issues and causes they care about.
For example, when you write articles about raising cancer awareness, if some cancer survivors see it, they are more likely to share it because your content is about an issue they care a lot about.
Here’s an update you would want to share with your friends assuming you care a lot about cancer:
Write contents that will resonate strongly with a particular group of people.
Then, you should promote it to those people, and you’ll see that they are more likely to share your content than others.
Trigger #4: Incentive
People like to share contents that promise them something.
This tactic is even more effective when you ask readers to share content before they can qualify to win a prize.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen big and small brands use social media to promote giveaways, discounts, exclusive content, sweepstakes, and more.
Offering incentives could send loads of visitors to your website, especially when you ask people to share with their friends before they can qualify.
Think of ways you can put incentives into your content.
These four triggers work in helping you generate a lot of shares on social media which would send thousands of visitors to your blog.
2. Write Irresistible Blog Post Titles
Blog post titles are the first thing people see when they come across your content on social media, search engines, forums, Medium, and others.
Your blog post titles are what determine if people would click on your content.
If your headlines suck, then I can assure you that only a few people would click on the links to your blog.
To growth hack your blog, you need to write different headlines of different formats like:
- The News Headline (New Diet Burns Off More Fat Than If You Ran 98 Miles a Week)
- The How To Headline (How To Win Friends And Influence People)
- The Benefit Headline (It Cleans Your Breath While It Cleans Your Teeth)
- The Question Headline (Do You Make These Mistakes In English?)
- The Reason Why Headline (27 Reasons Why You Should Attend My Persuasive Writing Sells Online Course)
- The Testimonial Headline (How I Make $557.63 Per Week In My Sleep)
- The Command Headline (Stop Being An Advertising Victim)
By using all the above headline formats and testing which one generates the most amounts of visits, you’ll be growth hacking your blog to the top.
3. Target Highly-Searched, Relevant Keywords
What are the most searched keywords in your niche?
The most-searched keywords in your niche will probably be the most competitive keywords. No doubt about that.
The harsh truth is, before you can be considered a leader in your niche, you must try to rank for at least, one short or medium tail keyword.
The kind of keywords I’m talking about usually contains two to three words, but they have the power of getting you seen by thousands of prospects in your niche.
Note that I don’t mean long-tail keywords are bad.
Long-tail keywords often receive fewer searches per month and they are less competitive.
Trying to target every long tail in your niche would make your website look like spammy to both users and search engines.
The perfect way to growth hack your blog using keywords is to go for the short and medium tails with lots of traffic.
Yes, it would be difficult to rank for a short or medium tail keyword within a short period of time. Don’t expect it to be easy.
You’ll need a lot of credible backlinks to rank on the first pages of Google for your medium-tail keyword.
What I would advise you to do is to focus on ranking for one medium tail keyword first.
Trying to target every medium tail keyword would make it more difficult for you to rank.
Let’s assume you’re in the Local SEO industry like I do, would you rather rank for “local SEO” or “local SEO services”?
Ranking for “local SEO” will bring tons of opportunities you wouldn’t have if you rank for “local SEO services” alone.
The keyword “local SEO” receives 6,600 searches per month. That’s higher than “local SEO services” which receive 3,6000 monthly searches.
The amazing thing is that by ranking for “local SEO” you’ll have more power to rank for a related keyword like “local SEO services.”
Be warned that ranking for a medium tail keyword like “local SEO” will require more backlinks, but this strategy is still a great way to accelerate the growth of your blog.
4. Start Guest Blogging
When it comes to building a high-traffic blog these days, guest blogging remains one of the most effective ways to do that.
Guest blogging and SEO are a match made in heaven.
In fact, guest blogging has more benefits that are far beyond SEO.
Guest posting is a great way to drive traffic, increase sales, and grow your brand.
For example, Buffer got their first 100,000 users through guest blogging alone.
Frequently appearing on authority blogs is a great way to grow your blog within a short period of time.
Social sites and search engines remain the top ways to get traffic on the web.
By applying the above blog growth hacking techniques, you’ll be able to build a successful blog in any niche.
About the guest writer:
Michael Akinlaby is an SEO consultant and Customer Acquisition Strategist. He’s the founder of RankRain, an internet marketing agency that helps businesses acquire customers.