As I sit here about to start writing this guest post for Ana – Ana Hoffman, the Godmother of traffic generation herself, owner of one of the highest profile blogs in the niche… I have writers block!
How about that? Just terrible.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?
It’s really self defeating, ya’ know.
Well anyway, I’m going to start pecking away and just let the words flow through my finger tips and hopefully I’ll pull something amazing out of my magic hat.
I’ve been on the blogging scene closing in on 4 months now.
And in that time I’ve managed to generate over 27,875+ visitors to a brand spanking new blog…
My stats from the last quarter of 2012:
My stats from January so far:
I’d say that’s not too shabby for being a born again blogger.
The way that I did it wasn’t rocket science.
However, I do think that it is kind of unique and I want to detail for you exactly how I’ve been able to:
- generate that kind of traffic;
- connect with these top bloggers;
- in such a short amount of time.
I hope that this case study will open your eyes to the possibilities that lie ahead for you and inspire you to take the blogosphere by the horns and ride your way to the top!
So, flashback back to when I first relaunched my blog in September of last year.
My first post went live on Sept. 24th of 2012.
I only had 2 published posts on my blog before I began to focus on driving traffic to it.
I was determined (and still am) to drive traffic to my blog without doing any form of intentional SEO: deliberately altering my content and blog to be found in the search engines.
The best way I figured to do this at the time was by:
- getting involved in a blogging community and
- focusing on commenting on high traffic blogs in my niche that used the Commentluv system (specifically zoning in on being in the first 5 to 10 comments on a fresh post).
I initially started blog commenting for the traffic benefits, but as I went along I quickly began to realize that blog commenting can serve a much bigger purpose – more on that in a bit.
By mostly just concentrating on engaging and interacting with the members of BizSugar.com (a hidden traffic goldmine) and blog commenting on high traffic blogs, in my first 34 days I generated over 8,500+ visitors (and that was with only about 10 live blog posts).
I must mention that during that first month some unplanned things took place that aided me in getting more exposure and traffic, which eventually helped me connect with top bloggers.
For one, because of all of the interaction and engaging I was doing on BizSugar, I was chosen as their featured Contributor of the Week within my first week of being an active member of the site.
And for two, right around the same time that I was chosen as BizSugar’s COW, I was finishing up my first traffic case study and it was set to go live the same day as the feature post.
Now, I hadn’t initially planned on doing case study posts as part of my content creation schedule.
However, after beginning to see some traffic hit my site as a result of the efforts I was doing on my own, I was pretty darn happy about it and I decided that I’d share what little results I was getting on my blog.
At the time, I had no idea that these case studies would blow up like they did, more on that in a bit too.
So the very same day, well a few hours past midnight after my feature post went live, I published my first case study.
And that was the start the biggest traffic tsunami I’ve ever experienced in my entire blogging career.
In one day, I watched my traffic hit over 200+ visitors and got a huge spike in social media shares.
As you can imagine, I was completely stoked about this and I was doing some serious computer chair dancin’ to celebrate. 🙂
You might be wondering…
“Ti, what’s the purpose of you telling me all this?”
Well, it’s definitely not to brag – there’s a good reason, I promise.
You see, this background story is the starting foundation of how I was able to get on so many top bloggers’ radars so quickly – which was by first creating my story (i.e. getting some results) and then sharing my story (results) with others.
The way that I created quick traffic and success is by building upon my small successes and leveraging them to build relationships and establish credibility.
By the way, if you like where this post is going so far, tweet the ish out of it for me (and Ana), would you? Tweet
If you examine the way I’ve done my traffic case studies and the way they’re constructed, you’ll notice that they’re rather long, but incredibly detailed as well, mixed with a bit of personality and humor – done in a way that I haven’t seen too many other bloggers do them.
So let’s break it down, shall we?
My case studies are put together in a similar fashion to a scrap book collection of sorts.
They pretty much exhibit and celebrate any type of results and success that I’ve had during the relaunch of my blog including any type of interaction I’ve had with top bloggers via social media, blog commenting, or any other medium.
By collecting and chronologically arranging my traffic generation and engagement activities in this way, it was kind of like I was creating my own blogging reality show – giving people an over the shoulder look at how I was building up my blog and traffic.
This type of content is quite attractive and addictive.
Who in the blogosphere doesn’t love a good case study?
I believe that the detailed nature of the case study posts I write is what allowed me to stand out online so quickly and put the needed weight behind all of the effort I put into engaging with top bloggers.
See, there is a method to my madness. 🙂
A method that I didn’t fully realize would work so well.
Let’s take it back to the first connection I ever made with a top blogger…
Lisa Irby of 2CreateAWebsite.com
Lisa and I already had some history prior to me relaunching my blog.
I initially connected with her over a year ago via YouTube.
Now, I’ve debated weather or not I wanted to reveal this video publicly because I personally think I look less than perfect in this video.
However, thinking back to the less than perfect picture Ana shared publicly in this post, I think it’s worth the sacrifice in the name of great branding and over deliverance.
Note from Ana: and there I was, trying to bury that post and the picture in the “it never happened” archives…
Brace yourself… 🙂
Click play below to watch the initial outreach video I sent to Lisa over a year ago:
Here’s a screen shot of her comment on this video:
Oh, and if you happen to be interested in the paper itself, you can read it here.
Using video is one of the very best and most effective ways to make the initial connection with a top blogger.
It doesn’t require much effort and you’re virtually guaranteed to get on the bloggers radar and stay on their radar for a long time.
Lisa still remembered who I was even more than a year later after I initially reached out to her.
During the relaunch of my blog, I reconnected with Lisa through commenting on a blog post she wrote about one of Google’s many “mood swings” – the EMD update, to be exact.
Here’s a screenshot of my comment and her reply to it:
What I want to point out about our interaction is how we were like old friends catching up.
And it was, in a way.
Even though it had been a while since her and I spoke, she still remembered who I was and had been following my tweets on Twitter.
She even responded stating how she was proud of the progress I’d made with my blog relaunch.
Plus, asked for my contribution to a potential blog post she was going to write.
Not even three weeks later, my guest post was live on Lisa’s blog.
When I tell you, the sheer amount of traffic and new subscribers that guest post brought me was awe inspiring, I mean it.
That guest post was the second huge surge of traffic I got, bringing in about 400+ visitors in only 2 days.
If you’d asked me a year a ago if I knew what I was doing when I recorded that video, I would’ve told you I had no idea.
But looking back, I can see how this was a smart move.
This truly demonstrates the power and the long-term benefits of building true relationships with top bloggers.
I encourage you to do the same if you want to connect with top bloggers in your niche.
Going the extra mile by recording a personal video really does pay off – no matter how goofy you might think you look. 🙂
Now, let’s move on to…
Ms. Ileane Smith of BasicBlogTips.com
Ms. Ileane is an awesome blogger and was the first top blogger I made initial contact with during the actual relaunch of my blog.
I did this by doing a “top 7” blog post.
A top 7 or top 10 blog post is one of the easiest kind of posts to write to catch the attention of a top blogger, plus list posts have a built in viral nature which will bring you even more traffic and exposure through social media.
In the first few weeks of my relaunch, I did a TON of research on how to drive fast traffic.
I picked up several neat tips, implemented them and got some great results.
So I decided to share the tips and feature the bloggers I learned them from in a top 7 post.
After I published my post, I went on the hunt to locate all the bloggers I’d included in my post to let them know about it.
At the time, I was using a neat content curation site called Scoop.it to help drive more traffic to my site and I ran across Ms. Ileane’s Scoop.it page.
I submitted my post to her via her Scoop.it page and that was the start of our relationship.
Thankfully, she liked and accepted my submission which brought me a gust of traffic and new visitors:
She even visited my blog and left a comment on my SEO allergy post (another post I’d mentioned her blog in that expresses my less than favorable feelings about SEO):
Notice how Ms. Ileane said that she liked my writing style and tone (and I must admit, I was pretty candid in that post).
This is a great example of the simplicity of connecting with top bloggers when you’re creating quality content and being authentic in your writing.
Connecting with top bloggers is more than just writing quality material, your content must ooze personality as well.
It does no good to write like an un-oiled tin man.
Top bloggers won’t be scared away if you have a strong opinion on a particular topic.
In fact, it’ll actually help you stand out even more if your opinion on a topic goes against the grain.
It worked for me in this scenario.
I continued to engage and interact with Ms. Ileane via social media.
I also engaged with her guest posters in the comments on her blog and on the submissions she published on BizSugar.
Then, the opportunity came for me to submit a guest post on her blog as a result of my continued engagement with her…
This was a comment I made on one of her guest post submissions to BizSugar and her response to it:
Naturally, I was totally stoked about this opportunity and about two weeks later my guest post went live on her blog!
The post was a hit with her readers and got over 130+ retweets and 60+ comments (not including my own).
And I was even happier to know that my contribution played a small part in helping Ms. Ileane have a spike in her traffic for that week as well.
Here’s the comment she left of my weekly link roundup which included my guest post:
This guest post did wonders for my exposure and further solidified my credibility.
If video isn’t your thing, try top 7 or top 10 posts on for size.
They can be just as effective for connecting with top bloggers in your niche and can open up even more opportunities for exposure.
Here’s a question for you…
“Isn’t creating quality content or submitting pre-written guest posts enough to connect with top bloggers?”
I’ve heard this question asked in so many ways several times over the last few months and ya’ know something, I’ve learned that there’s a completely different dynamic and type of relationships that’s built when a top blogger asks you to guest post for their site rather than it being the other way around.
For that to happen, you can’t just create quality content, it has to be insanely epic content, overflowing with a high doses of your individual personality.
The uniqueness of the traffic case studies I write and the way that I deliver the value is what I believe has caught the attention of these top bloggers including Ana and Kim Roach.
Ana Hoffman of TrafficGenerationCafe.com
The incredible Ana Hoffman and I first connected when she commented on and shared one of my blog posts on her Facebook wall:
I’m not quite sure how she found my blog post, but I was darn happy she did! 🙂
Note from Ana: it was most likely all the networking Ti’s done on other blogs that brought me to her blog.
Her great content did the rest.
That was the very beginning of our interaction and it went on to blossom into this surreal guest post that I’m writing at this very moment – that she actually invited me to do:
When someone like Ana Hoffman (who turns down 99% of the guest post submissions she receives) specifically invites you to guest post on her blog, you can’t help but feel like you’ve arrived.
Well, in my case “semi” arrived. 🙂
I believe that what helped me to connect with Ana was my content (specifically my case studies) and the connections I’d already made with Lisa and Ileane.
When you’ve already made strong connections with other top bloggers, it’s much easier to work your way around the “high roller” circuit.
As this comment interaction on this post between her and I shows:
Notice how she mentioned that I seemed to be everywhere.
Creating this feeling is one of the key things that you want to focus on when attempting to connect with top bloggers.
You want them to feel like they already know you by being everywhere, or creating the illusion that you are.
So much so that top bloggers pick up your sent out of the blue…
Kim Roach of BuzzBlogger.com
To tell you the truth, I have no idea how Kim Roach discovered my very first case study.
I didn’t directly tell her about it, but I suppose that somewhere among all to the social buzz from my BizSugar feature post she got wind of it because she was the very first one to retweet it:
That tweet was our first social media interaction and sparked our relationship.
We went on to engage with each other via blog comments:
And she continued to share my subsequent cases studies with her following:
What I to want to point out here is that Kim began sharing my content initially without me directly asking her to, which speaks to the caliber of content you have to create to really grab the attention of a top blogger.
After Kim’s initial share of my first case study, I continued to cultivate the relationship through social media, blog commenting and even through email (as with the other top bloggers mentioned here also).
What’s the moral of the story?
Well, the answer should’ve smacked you in the face by now.
Building true relationships with top bloggers that will continue to prosper and flourish to reap further benefits takes more effort than just a social media share or getting a one-time guest post spot on their blog.
There’s no hit it and quit it allowed.
It takes constant effort on your part to sustain and deepen the relationship into a true friendship.
I consider these ladies as true friends now, so that means that I will continue to interact and engage with them beyond the guest posts and social media shares.
Doing a high amount of consistent high-quality authentic engagement in the blogosphere, mixed with some creativity, insanely valuable and unique content will virtually guarantee top bloggers notice you.
To tie the pretty red bow on top…
Here’s a neat presentation I put together to simplify the whole concept of traffic generation through connecting with top bloggers:
Over to You
Building relationships with top bloggers is by far one the best and quickest ways to take your traffic and exposure from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye.
It’s just a matter of knowing how to snag and keep their attention.
I’d love to hear your feedback and input on this topic.
Have you ever launched or relaunched a blog in this way?
How about top bloggers, what have you tried to connect with them?
Share your personal experience in the comments below!
Ti Roberts is the quirky blogger and founder of The SEO Rebel, the traffic generation blog that teaches you how to rebel against SEO and drive fast targeted traffic using free, high-leveraged strategies. Get her FREE traffic guide to devour all 18 hearty servings of traffic goodness and get access to more case studies.