How I think I increased blog traffic by 500% and other blogging tidbits

I have spent the last couple months testing and practicing blogging and content marketing strategies with the Funnelholic. My brother Paul wanted to learn online marketing so he signed up to help. People have been noticing the changes and asking me about some of things I have been doing so I decided to write them your own dogfood

Dear Craig: “Eat your own dog food” — I help clients with their content marketing and social marketing strategy. I needed to be a better role model with the Funnelholic. It’s been fun trying new things and passing them along to others.

Also a quick note: There are way more things I could be doing so please don’t consider this exhaustive..since people have asked — I thought I would provide the data of what I have done so far today.

Net-net: Traffic is up 500-600%. I have gotten a fair number of inbound leads which is interesting since I don’t have that many calls-to-action on the site (yet).  Just blog. Blog til the cows come home.  It works and helps you synthesize your thoughts on particular topics.

1. Blog 5X a week — This has been huge and painful at the same time but every indicator says to blog every day. As mentioned in a previous post Sales Benchmark Index goes on weekends too…so 7X per week. I remember talking to Anthony Iannarino about how he got so big. There are a lot of reasons but one of the reasons was that fact that he started blogging every day. That has probably been the single biggest change for me.  The traffic has just exploded as a result.  Note: The content has to be quality or don’t do it. In other words, please don’t take my advice and then just post anything. Bad content actually hurts you. It’s like an indelible record of how big of an idiot you are.
2. Launched Madlibs with the Funnelholic — In order to get to a 5x/week cadence, I needed to find a way to get great content created.  Considering I am the only author, I had to get creative. Interviews are a great way to crowdsource content, but I wanted something remarkable which is why I came up with the Madlibs series. Basically, I send thought leaders a 20 question “finish this sentence” email, they fill it out. I wanted the activity to be fun for everyone including the contributor. As you build your content strategy think about creative out-of-the-box ways to crowdsource content. Madlibs is mine and it has been a huge success.
3. Created Tweets of the week — This may seem like an “easy” way to do content but I actually started this content with good intentions. I kept saving articles and tweets to figure out when I could share them. The internet is so fast that even great content gets lost in the shuffle. The content was piling up so I just decided to post them.  It has led to some great posts and I can still have fun so I have kept doing it.  The moral: Another great way to find content without having to develop too many original ideas on a daily basis.
4. Loaded a New Theme — I moved to the Genesis Framework because Jay Baer and Chris Brogan are on it. Seriously…I don’t have a great reasons but if there were doing it, then I figured I should. Looking through themes and trying to make a decision would have been hard. I decided to do what I recommend to my clients — copy people who are better than you.
5. Google Authorship — I made sure I had Google Authorship. If you are a blogger and haven’t set this up — do it.  Here is a great guide.  My traffic has risen across the board so it’s hard to tell the effect but everyone I have talked to has seen 10-15% bumps.
6. Rolled out the Funnelhoic Project — We have started to put together online events.  We have a big one coming up on Demand Generation that will be awesome.  I believe that marketers should offer multiple content types to their buyers so I decided once again to “eat my own dog food”.     I know how to put together great webinars…so we did it.
7. Added a video section — Video is hot and with Google Hangouts you can easily create video content.  We use an application called Vidcaster as our platform for displaying your videos. Check it out and let me know what you think.  Also,  my buddy Matt Childs is the expert on b2b video — I asked him to do a webinar on the topic which you should check out because honestly, there is a lot to learn on the topic and he has new ideas and advice that we haven’t seen yet.
8.  Added “Meet the Funnelholic” popup via VCita — If you see the “Meet the Funnelholic” pop up at the bottom of your page, that is hosted by VCita.  Has it worked for me? Well, I have gotten some leads but I have tapered back the amount of times it appears on  visitor’s screen because it didn’t knock my socks off.  That being said, Lori Richardson has seen great success using it.  Do I recommend it? I would try it.  It has worked marginally for me but clearly has worked well for Lori.
9.  Added the Hello Bar — We have been using the Hello Bar to get signups for our Demand Generation summit.  It has paid for itself.  I like how non-obtrusive it is and would recommend it.

Here is what I haven’t done:

1.  Newsletter — The newsletter is back in vogue. I am a big believer in email marketing so it’s a surprise I haven’t launched this yet…but I will.

2.  SEO best practices — I have never paid attention to SEO which sounds nuts.  That will change over the next couple weeks.

So thats it…I hope that helps.