The Surprisingly Simple Way to Grow Your Site’s Traffic by 242% in One Year

  • April 19, 2011 by Corbett Barr
  • 43 Comments

You know what feels really great? Growing your site’s traffic by 242% in one year is pretty fantastic. This site grew in monthly visitors 242% over the past year, from 6,436 visits in the first month to 22,066 in the most recent month (from March 16 to April 15, 2011).

In this month’s traffic report, I’m going to show you how growing your site’s traffic by 242% or more isn’t really all that impossible if you break it down.

It all starts by realizing the power of compound growth.

Growing by 242% in one year might sound like an impossible mission at first, depending on where you’re starting from. If you break it down into monthly goals however, you can start to see how the challenge is completely achievable.

From a compound growth perspective, 242% annual growth actually works out to just 10.8% monthly. Compound growth is a powerful factor, and it’s not just for financial applications.

How many visitors does your site currently attract per month? If you grow your traffic by just 10.8% per month, you’ll end up with 3.4 times the number of monthly visitors after 12 months. That’s like going from 1,000 visitors per month to 3,420 visitors per month, or from 50,000 to 171,000 visitors per month.

If I keep growing this site’s traffic by 10.8% per month over the next 12 months, I’ll be reporting on 75,466 visits for that month. How cool is that?

Let’s look at the effect of some other compound growth rates after just one year:

  • 5% monthly growth equals 79% more visitors in one year
  • 10% monthly growth equals 214% more visitors in one year
  • 15% monthly growth equals 435% more visitors in one year
  • 20% monthly growth equals 792% more visitors in one year

How much is your site growing on a monthly basis? The figures above will give you an idea of how much growth you can expect after one year if you stay on track.

Of course, it’s harder to keep growing at the same rate as a site gets bigger and bigger, but there’s usually a sweet spot between 6 months and at least two or three years where a site can grow at a steady clip.

Instead of worrying about long-term goals, what can you do to grow by just 10% every month for two years? At the end of two years, 10% monthly growth will take a site from 1,000 monthly visitors to nearly 10,000. Aim for 20% monthly growth and those 1,000 monthly visitors will grow to nearly 80,000 per month.

Pretty cool, huh?

Now on to the details for Think Traffic’s growth over the past month:

This Month’s Traffic Report

Here are the overall metrics for this month:

Speaking of monthly growth, over the past month, this site attracted 26% more monthly visitors vs. the prior month.

Keep in mind that monthly growth is usually far from linear. Instead of 10% consistent growth every month, your site’s traffic might grow by 30% in one month and shrink by 5% the next month. After all the short-term ups and downs, the overall trend here has been an average of 10.8% monthly growth.

The 22,066 visits this month makes this another record month for Think Traffic. Thanks so much for continuing to support what we’re doing here. Your commitment and enthusiasm is what helps us attract a record number of monthly visitors so regularly.

Let’s look at some other stats for last month:

  • New subscribers: 698 (+236% month-over-month)
  • New comments (including my replies): 402 (-8% month-over-month)
  • Retweets of new posts: 304 (+0% month-over-month)

Subscribers grew much faster last month than in any other prior month, and not by accident. You might have noticed the Traffic Toolbox concept I launched this month. The results were impressive, and I’ll be sharing the full details and showing how you can achieve similar results in a special upcoming feature post.

10 total posts were published over the past two months (vs. 8 in the prior month), including no guest posts:

Wow, looking back on the month, it turns out I published 4 posts that included video content. It’s interesting that this was a record month and that 40% of the content involved video. I hadn’t published more than a couple of videos here in the entire history of the site, so I’ll definitely be experimenting with video more over the coming months.

Do you prefer video, audio or written content (or a combination)? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear it.

Top Traffic Sources

There were no major changes in traffic sources this past month. I haven’t been chasing any hot trends or “top secret” tactics. Simply produce great content, help your readers, network with other content producers and tell the world about what you’re doing, and your site will grow. Haven’t I convinced you of that yet?

Top Search Terms:

  1. think traffic: 456
  2. unique selling proposition examples: 404
  3. unique selling proposition: 207
  4. personal introduction: 173
  5. thinktraffic: 165
  6. website traffic: 144
  7. unique selling point examples: 114
  8. best sales pitch: 66
  9. mentor vs role model: 55
  10. think traffic blog: 48

I haven’t really focused on SEO as a way of attracting visitors to the site (yet), but Google traffic to the site keeps growing nicely. We’re now seeing an average of 145 visits from Google every day.

And look at that, 669 visits came from people searching for “Think Traffic” or a variant (just in the top 10). Brand searches are always a good thing, as it shows people are familiar with your site and are looking specifically for it and what it provides.

Top Content

This site’s annual report published last month (titled: Think You Can’t Make Money Blogging? The First Annual Traffic and Income Report) was one of the most popular articles ever published on this site.

I’m not sure if that was because it was an annual report, or because I talked about how to make money from blogging. I suspect it was a combination of the two, but no doubt the “make money blogging” topic is a popular one.

Aside from that, notice that 2 of the 10 most popular pages last month were those related to subscribing for email updates. That’s a first, and again it shows the power of the traffic toolbox concept I’ll be explaining in more detail later this month.

What Can I Help You With?

If you’re new around here, let me explain a couple of things quickly. First, this site is different from typical social media and blogging tips sites. Our philosophy is based on creating killer content and interacting with readers. I don’t teach the latest hot Twitter tricks or SEO tactics that’ll waste your time or get you banned from the search engines.

What we teach here works, and that’s why I produce these monthly reports. Anything you want to know, just ask. I’m here to help and love helping readers out.

Thanks for being a part of what we’re building here at Think Traffic. I like to think we’re doing something special, and I’m glad you’re here.

I’d love to connect with you elsewhere as well. I have a new Vimeo channel for Think Traffic and other videos. Think Traffic is also on Facebook and Twitter, so hook up with us over there and say hello.

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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TrafficColeman April 19, 2011 at 6:01 am

These are the numbers most people are looking for but just can’t get them going..I will tell people to focus on networking..this is what will jump start everything..

“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm

The people you talk with can’t get 10% growth from month to month? Perhaps they aren’t offering something that is useful or entertaining to anyone.

Kristi Hines April 19, 2011 at 6:02 am

That’s a good, and less overwhelming way to look at building up your traffic. I’ve been trying some new things each month (posting a bit more, commenting) and have noticed a steady increase in traffic. It’s good to see how it can lead to awesome results in the long run.

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

It’s a relief in a way to know that if you just focus on attainable monthly goals it can lead to huge results.

Srinivas Rao April 19, 2011 at 6:08 am

Hey Corbett,

We’ve been experiencing a very similar thing with BlogcastFM. I think that there is a compounding effect that occurs when you’ve been at for over a year. While growth starts off slow it seems to get faster and faster everyday. I don’t spend much time focused on analytics these days, but given that you are teaching people how to get traffic and build thriving audiences I think it’s great that you are showing people exactly how’ve done it. While there is no formula for blogging, I think that a combination of good content and the right relationships will ultimately cause the compounding effect you’re describing above.

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Kudos on the continued success, Srini. I’ve seen your name everywhere lately, so you’re definitely doing something right!

Joe Barlow April 19, 2011 at 6:09 am

Hi Corbett,

Wow, those are some amazing numbers! I’m proud to be one of your new subscribers, and I’m happy to know that I’m one of the people who is helping to push your numbers ever skyward. (I first heard about you when Pat Flynn interviewed you on his podcast, incidentally.)

I would love your advice on one thing. My blog is a bit less than a month old so far, but I am already encouraged by the numbers I’m seeing. I’ve had a subscriber box on the site from Day One, and have so far gathered around two dozen e-mail addresses. Pretty good, considering I haven’t yet put together any kind of freebie offer (such as an ebook) for joining the mailing list.

Here’s my question: considering the blog only has 8 (I think) posts on it so far, I haven’t been doing too much in the way of promoting it yet, although people still seem to be finding it. In your opinion, is it in my best intersts to:

1) Work on building more pillar content to drive readership, and THEN put together a freebie item as a reward for joining the e-mail list; or

2) Put together a freebie item as a reward for joining the e-mail list, and THEN build up the pillar content, so that the people who find my site as a result of said content will have more of an incentive to sign up for my mailing list?

I would love your opinion on this matter. I simply can’t decide.

Thanks for your great work,
Joe

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Hey Joe, I would put together a giveaway piece of content sooner than later. Converting people into email subscribers is critical to your growth, and giving something away for sign-ups can double your subscriber rate or better. Don’t stop putting out the cornerstone content, but get to work on the freebie right away. Make it good and focused, but it doesn’t have to be epic in length.

paul wolfe April 19, 2011 at 6:26 am

Hey Corbett

Those are some great numbers – I notice that you’ve also broken the 20,000 mark on Alexa. (I know Alexa ranking doesn’t mean that much – I use it as a rough guide as to how my site is doing). Congrats on that!

I love your approach of creating quality content and telling people about it. Very refreshing – wish more people did that.

Keep on doing your thang…..

Paul

P:aul

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Thanks Paul! Yeah, I don’t pay attention to Alexa too much but it can work as social proof. Cheers.

Brian Gerald Murphy April 19, 2011 at 6:41 am

As your search traffic from Google continues to grow, what I’m interested in knowing is how many of those visitors come back to your site ever again? Or engage the site in some way (leave a comment, forward to a friend, tweet about it). Not just for your site but mine (and all sites) as well… I’m always keen to know if visitors from search engines found it relevant and if they’ll be back. And most importantly, if they’ll subscribe or purchase something!

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Great question, Brian. I just looked at my email subscriber conversion rate by source. It turns out that Google visitors converted at an average of 1.2% vs about a 3.2% overall email conversion rate for the past month.

Your situation might be different, but it appears that Google visitors currently aren’t as likely to become email subscribers as other traffic sources for this site.

Jennifer Woodard April 19, 2011 at 6:54 am

Corbett,

Very impressive numbers. I like the idea of setting short term goals of increasing traffic 10% each month, that seems more attainable. I am going to start analyzing my numbers to see how I can improve the traffic to my website.

Thanks again,
Jenn

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Cool Jenn, good luck and let us know how it goes!

Rob Cubbon April 19, 2011 at 7:03 am

Hey Corbett, great to see such success by creating killer content, interacting with readers and answering people’s questions. It actually took me 4 years to get to where you got in one! That’s testament to your awesome content. To answer your question, I think a mix of video, audio and text is the way to go – but most important is text, I think.

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback on content formats. I’m planning to include more text (or full transcripts) on video posts. I agree, text is still very important.

marianney April 19, 2011 at 7:41 am

It’s so good to know that video may be a big contributor to your traffic increase! My fiance and I have been working on launching a video blog/magazine for a while now and this is good news and very encouraging.

It’s also nice that you put growth in perspective. 10% growth each month doesn’t sound too bad to try to achieve, but the results after a year are tremendous. I am happy to hear of your success this year Corbett. I can’t wait to read your posts every week, so you must be doing something right!

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Hey Marianne, congrats on the new project, definitely let me know when it launches and I’ll check it out.

Video can be a powerful content type, no question. It depends on your audience of course, but I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far. Like I mentioned to Rob above, I’ll also be including more text on video posts for people who aren’t into watching for some reason.

Betsy Talbot April 19, 2011 at 7:46 am

Hey, Corbett. Congrats on a stellar year! It has been fun (and informative) to watch this grow from the beginning. I was Free Pursuiting long before I started Thinking Traffic. :)

As for the content, I am old-fashioned and like text when I visit a site, which is sort of strange when you consider how many videos we make on our own. Audio is terrific for focused learning, and I like that in short sessions of 20 minutes or less (Have you tried Coffee Break Spanish? The perfect audio learning template, in my opinion).

What we’ve found from doing what you just did – ask – is that our Facebook/Twitter fans like video more than our blog readers do, so we typically focus it there and leave the video as an “extra” with fully written posts on the blog.

I think it is important to differentiate your audiences and how they like to receive information. Even when there is overlap, people have a different mentality when they are consuming information on the various services.

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thanks for being along on this wandering ride with me from the beginning. It’s crazy where we end up sometimes, isn’t it?

And yeah, I have tried Coffee Break Spanish. It’s a great format and love the combination of information + entertainment. That’s a powerful approach, no doubt.

Jason April 19, 2011 at 9:09 am

This makes my 20%+ monthly growth feel good! I started at zero (no carry over from a previous site) so I’m a bit smaller than Think Traffic, but I’m getting there. Love the videos, keep’em coming!

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Damn, 20% per month will lead you somewhere huge in no time, nice work! Thanks for the video feedback as well Jason.

Corey April 19, 2011 at 11:26 am

Your site focuses on a key need in today’s world of blogging. We all want more traffic to our sites and being a first time reader of your content, I can already say I’ll be coming back for more. Your comment on brand searches caught my attention and I’ll bet makes you even more proud of your increased numbers than any referral click to your site would. It shows you how well your brand is doing as far as making a name for itself. Great post!

Corbett April 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Welcome to the site, Corey! Thanks for leaving a comment on your first time out, I really appreciate it and look forward to seeing you around.

Georgina April 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Hi! I’m very glad :D

Since you asked, let me tell you I don’t like audio nor videos on blog posts. I always skip them for it takes a long time waiting for them to be charged, and mostly because I like my online experience to be as silent as possible. Yes, I’m weird and I don’t listen to music while I read. :P

Corbett April 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Shhh, we’ll keep it down while you’re around then ;)

Derek Jensen April 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Corbett,

Your true talent is in how your write things but your passion and message is really delivered through audio. I like how you don’t beat around the bush. That type of content will always win from you to me.

Corbett April 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Cool, yeah, I like the expressiveness of audio/video. I think a mix of the two is the right answer for me.

Jia Jun April 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

My site grow 4600% when compare my september 2010′s traffic to latest March 2011′s traffic. HAHA.
I started my blog at september 2010, and now just a bit more than half year.
Building up my traffic from below hundred traffics a month to now nearly hundred traffics per day.
It’s a growth that I’m happy with. :D
One of the reason for the growth – Learn from Corbett. :D
From zero to hundred, it’s an awesome journey. =D

Corbett April 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Let’s see you achieve that growth again over the next six months ;)

Sunil from The Extra Money Blog April 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I prefer the plain vanilla text version, but video is very popular, especially now with YouTube’s capability to integrate caption for SEO purposes (should be a critical strategy many marketers will be jumping onto in the coming months). what a clear, straightforward way of explaining things C! Appreciate the quality of information being put out there and thx for the transparency.

Corbett April 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Cool, thanks for the feedback. I will actually be using Vimeo instead of YouTube (more on that decision later).

Philipp Knoll April 20, 2011 at 12:03 am

Hey Corbet,

Those are amazing numbers and they once again show that authenticity and persistence pay off! Of course doing things right helps a bit…

What I asked myself lately is who our target audience is. Almost all fellow commenters seem to blog about traffic, blogging etc. as well.

I assumed that your blog would especially be of interest to people outside our niche – knitting bloggers, finishing bloggers etc.

Have you noticed something similar? What do you think might be reason and do you have data to confirm this thesis?

Corbett April 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Bloggers are simply far more likely to leave a comment. It’s part of what we do every day. People who run regular businesses and have an online presence are more likely to read but not comment, at least that’s been my experience. They’re out there, but they’re a little quiet.

Alex April 20, 2011 at 5:57 am

Great post Corbett,

I think breaking it down into percentages of growth is a fantastic way of bringing a certain tangibility to the concepts we always speak and blog of – relating to how we need to have small managable goals etc.

I think networking and engaging is all well and good but it is nothing without purely great content.
This year I decided to take the blog side of my business to a new level and focused on networking with bigger players and producing more good content.
I started in January with 3,900 uniques (down from 5000 the month before) and since then I have watched it grow and as I type this I have 11,054 uniques in the last month – so it definitely works!
Of course if I said all my other sites had not suffered I would be lying, but it has certainly been interesting.

Thanks for sharing your insights and for providing such a great resource for bloggers and marketers of all levels Corbett.

Your business model, and that of Pat Flynn is one that I have built a lot of my ideas around – and i can vouch for how well they work :)

Corbett April 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Wow, awesome results Alex! Congrats on that. I’d love to hear more about the strategy sometime.

Anthony April 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for sharing what works for you. I will definitely be stopping by for more killing information. Cheers. Now to go and create some killer content ;)

Terry Dunn May 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I love the effects of compounding, especially on my investment portfolio. And I can see how it works so well with your traffic figures. But I’m still scratching my head as to why your blog is so popular and growing so fast. I think you do indeed publish great posts with killer headlines. Is that the reason, or is there more? What’s your secret Corbett?

Terry

Rohit Roy June 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

Awesome post very nice tips to get more traffic thanks for sharing… keep it up……..:)

marianney April 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

I think that providing the text is a really good idea. Usually I can’t watch videos at work, so it’s nice to read the transcript at those times.

Corbett April 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Cool, thanks for the input!

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