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How to get 150,000 people to read your blog post in 1 week (and how I did it)

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When I started blogging in 2004, I took a good look around at other blogs, calmly chewed a cookie in my dorm room, and then vomited. There were only about 12 big personal-finance blogs back then, and yet even in 2004, I noticed the trend of new bloggers complaining about why they couldn’t get covered by the Big Blogs.

vomiting-rss-bird

Today, I’m going to share a strategy I’ve used to get regularly featured in The Wall Street Journal and extremely high-traffic blogs like Lifehacker.

You can skip right to the detailed writeup (includes examples & screenshots), but I hope the story below is useful.

This advice can be useful for getting thousands of new readers to your blog, customers to your new startup, or to get your dream freelance job. And you can start using it tomorrow morning.

So, back to the question: Why do some bloggers get the lion’s share of attention, while others toil endlessly to write posts that virtually nobody will ever read?

On a recent forum where both new and experienced bloggers share tips for getting traffic, SEO, etc, most of the discussions were debating minutiae about meaningless changes they could make to their blog to get more readers. “What SEO plugin should I use?” one asked. “Does anyone think I should change my blog’s name???” another wondered. After 20 minutes of reading, I had to close the window because I was getting so frustrated.

Look, here’s a simple chart of what matters for getting traffic for your site.

 

pie chart via iwillteachyoutoberich.com 

The Guest Post Strategy

Besides writing really good content, the easiest way to get traffic to your blog is to write something interesting for another blogger who has more traffic than you.

It’s funny — when you point this out to many new bloggers by saying, “Hey, why don’t you write up something really good and send it to a bigger blogger as a guest post?” — many of them quickly make up a bunch of excuses. “Well, uh…I am really busy this weekend” or “I’m in the middle of this really interesting post on how HSBC interest rates changed!” Yes, okay.

But it’s not just as simple as deciding to write a guest post. When it comes to high-traffic bloggers, there are very specific ways to approach them so they’ll accept your pitch.

Before we get to the tactics…

Who could apply this strategy? 3 examples

Like I said, this works for bloggers and many other areas of business:

  1. You’re a new blogger who wants more traffic: If you’re a blogger and you’re looking to grow traffic, put yourself in the mind of bloggers with large readerships: They’re busy, they have huge egos, and they need to constantly post new, interesting stuff to satisfy their readers’ voracious appetites for content. Could you write one piece of excellent content for them? 

    As an example, here were the results of Nora Dunn’s travel post earlier this week, which drove nearly 100,000 pageviews in 72 hours. I’ve already invited her to have a regular guest spot on I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

     

    travel-traffic

  2. You want to break into the fashion industry: Or let’s say you read fashion magazines and really want to break into the industry. The magazine needs fresh perspectives, especially things that haven’t been done (think Money Diaries for a magazine, for example). How could you help them?
  3. You just started a new company and need customers: How about if you’re starting a business on Christmas ornaments, and you aren’t sure how to get traffic to your website. The first thing I would do is record some interesting videos for other Christmas sites and give them away for free.

How to get hundreds of thousands of new visitors using the Guest Post strategy

I’ve written up a detailed post with the tactics for writing successful guest posts for high-traffic bloggers. This post and the writeup took me over 9 hours to write, which gives you a sense of how much time these take. But when you do it, you can get hundreds of thousands of new readers and many thousands of new customers for your business.

  1. Read how: Tactics for writing winning guest posts for high-traffic bloggers (includes examples & screenshots)
  2. Save money: If you like the kind of tactical tips I’m giving you, check out Scrooge Strategy, where I send out one highly tactical savings tip per week. You’ll get super-detailed tips on big wins for saving money that really work (not stupid tips on saving money on $3 lattes). Many of my customers save hundreds of dollars within the first 30 days, and there’s a 100% money-back guarantee.

    * Kristin Stromberg, Total savings: $2,500
    * Stacy Miller, Total savings: $660.60 by making only two changes
    * Matthew Earle: “It’s like having a smart, articulate, and inexpensive financial advisor that calls you all the time to check in.”

    See how you can save hundreds at http://www.scroogestrategy.com

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58 Comments

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  1. A really helpful post Ramit. I am new in the ground and considering mostly on nice content and simplicity. Will try your tips soon … thanks again :)

  2. I think I need to stop being lazy and start my guest posting. Nice post. :-)

  3. Great perspective. I think the reason such a small proportion of bloggers take this route is because they’re looking for the magic cookie. It’s a lot easier to fret about SEO plugins than it is to sit down and wrestle out an incredible blog post. But what a simple formula if you *are* willing to put in the work!

  4. This is a wonderful and profound post. Oftentimes the best ideas are the simplest.

    I’m an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer and a beginning blogger. Thank you for the great ideas.

    Many of my clients will be changing jobs or starting new business ventures because their industries have tanked in Phoenix. I’ll be directing the new venture folks to this post simply because it’s a useful marketing tip for any sort of business.

    I’m also a new subscriber to your blog.

  5. [...] How to get 150,000 people to read your blog post in 1 week « I Will Teach You To Be Rich [...]

  6. Very brave of you to jot this down. I can’t wait to hear how many guest posts come your way now…probably one from me, too.

  7. I agree with writer’s coin. I would be interesting to know how many extra guest post request you get after this post.

    The guest post thing is very true for me. I found about 15 of the 20 blogs I follow in Google reader through guest posts. I read this blog because of your guest post on Tim’s blog. I have even added your book to my reading list because of it.

  8. I totally agree with the guest writing percentage but you have to earn the credit to be a guest author on a popular blog. I think what is best to do is to identify what style work best for you and give it your best shot.

  9. Ramit,
    Again, thank you for writing this post. I found it especially insightful, considering I’ve been toying with blogging the past four years. However I believe the most difficult part is taking your abstract concept (whatever your blog’s focus maybe) and putting it into motion. Nothing is more important than personal initiative and direction.

  10. I like the make-a-video idea. As someone trying to get more traffic, I think this might help…

  11. Ramit – It is awesome that you are sharing your “secrets” like this. Of course, it seems so freaking simple after you say it.

  12. Ramit, what is your take on Blog Carnivals? Two of my posts recently got published and I got some traffic too.

  13. Ramit, would you recommend reaching a certain mass, post count wise, on your blog first before employing this “tactic”? (I hate using the word tactic, because it’s sounds like an ulterior motive.)

    I think it’s also important to be prepared for the influx of traffic you will receive if your article gets posted on the “Big Blog”. What will you do with all that traffic?? Can your server handle it? Why do you want it?

  14. AG: Blog carnivals may be useful when you FIRST start, but I stopped contributing after about 2. They’re too huge and it’s basically an insider’s game of bloggers writing for other bloggers. I personally don’t see the value.

    A-ron: Don’t worry about your server. I bet you won’t get enough traffic to bring it down. And even if you do, so what? Mine still goes down when I get linked to from Yahoo.com, etc. But you’re right about being prepared in other ways — see my theory on creating a “Catcher’s Mitt” on the linked article.

  15. Ramit,
    As usually, you have written a timely and very helpful post. As a new blogger, I really appreciate this information and will be applying it. I will send you an e-mail on how this next week goes for me.

    Have a great day,
    Bruce C Ziebarth

  16. [...] just read a post with the same title at Ramit Sethi’s blog, I Will Teach You to be [...]

  17. Ramit, thank you very, very much for this post. You probably don’t realize it, but after reading it just now, you probably changed my destiny by giving me focus to my goals and pointing me in the right direction.

    I am a fashion stylist getting started in Japan, but also happen to be running against a time limit to make my dreams come true. But armed with this knowledge, everything just got a lot simpler (though maybe not necessarily easier). I hope that in the near future, I’ll have the chance to write a great guest post for you as well.

  18. I also apologize for pingback if it’s rude. I still have a lot to learn about the basics of blogging, and I guess controlling pingbacks in one of them.

  19. Indeed, pretty simple and straightforward. I’d have to agree. Glad I’m doing more guest posting now. Interesting to hear your point on the blog carnivals.

  20. Hey Ramit,

    Thanks for sharing this. This is really great advice. I’m a beginning blogger and I can see tremendous value in this.

  21. I will give this a shot. By the way, Lifehacker just posted something about you. http://lifehacker.com/5264563/avoid-tipping-your-hand-in-salary-negotiations.

  22. Ramit-You are dead on with this post. I know I personally saw a 200% increase in subscribers when I has a guest post at Get Rich Slowly. I know I should do it more….

    Thanks for the cattle prod. It’s time to go write several guest posts!

  23. waw this is great article!

  24. This is very useful information. I’m gonna execute this idea right away. Thanks for this great post! :-)

  25. It’s a very good point that you are making. Sometimes the most obvious things in the world sit right before us, and we turn a blind eye. I think it’s time to venture out into the blogosphere, get to know some quality people, and start sending them guest posts. In giving, we receive.

  26. Those are great tips. At the end of the day, writing quality content is still key. Blogging takes real effort after all.

  27. Love it. It’s always been about reaching out to others, but why do we forget that?

  28. I just started to blog so I probably would wait awhile before asking to guest post on anyone’s blog.

  29. Ramit, i loved the post. The opening cracked me up along w/the corresponding artwork of the bird puking. This was super helpful and i’ll look to incorporate your tips. Keep up the great blog posts! :-)

  30. Great post! I should really start writing guest post on other relevant blogs and websites. Thanks for the insight. Need to take my traffic generation tactic up to another level.

  31. Best note on a pie chart ever!

    Thanks

  32. Love the pie chart. I’ve been a long time rss reader. This was my first time to your site in nearly a year. Great new design. I’ve bought your book and hope to finish reading it and applying it. Many Thanks!

  33. I’ve read dozens of blogging tips. This is the first blog that focuses entirely on every way guest-blogging helps. I think it’s the credibility you add when you provide those images of someone else’s blog traffic logs that really show us readers that it really works well.

    Thanks-

  34. Good advice. The pie chat was both informational and funny. I think you hit the mark when you said the advanced stuff only matters when you hit 100000 visitors. Otherwise, you’re focusing on details that may/may not help much. Trying to grow my first blog, so please let me know how I’m doing and give any feedback you might have.

  35. This – and the accompanying post – was great. I wish I had read this 5 months ago!

    I’ve been guest posting and the results have been good…but with your insights….I hope to take the results up a notch or 2.

    Thanks

  36. Great advice, I am glad that someone realizes that SEO isn’t the catch-all strategy for blog traffic. I’ll try out your ideas as soon as I have some more posts under my belt.

  37. You’re chart looks like a peace sign. Hippie. I kid. Great post.

  38. Thanks for sharing this post. Honestly I don’t deal much on writing guest post for fear that my post is not good enough. Well, how can I know if I’ll never try?

  39. Thanks so much for this article. I sweat over the actual posts, moved from WordPress to Joomla! now I am returning to WordPress…maybe…and you are right about getting caught up in the technical details.

    I write about the things I care about and PHP nor mysql are amongst those things. I appreciate the head clearing post. I am going to come back and spend some time here.

    -Tim

  40. @Tim, that is a very bad place to be. Pick the tool that works and if they both work choose your favorite (and if you like them both, coin toss). Pick the tool and get to worrying the important world changing content that you will generate.

  41. Thank you for sharing this well-structures information based on personal success. This is a sort of advice it always pays to follow. :)

  42. This is great – How would you suggest one should go about reaching out to a more popular blogger about doing a guest post? What info should you include in your proposal e-mail?

  43. Great post. Sort of reflects the changing face of all PR and Marketing. Establish relationships, and provide true value. These are the ways to drive traffic and build a successful business.

    The days of just crossing fingers hoping for a hit are over.

  44. awesome writing .. these are a few simple techniques which could turn water to wine.

    I am a new blogger and want to break into the “how mind works” industry. This is my first entry onto Ramit’s blog :)

  45. No worries, I’ll be submitting something soon. Still fine-tuning a pitch. Best,

    PG

  46. Great content…..thanks for the post.

  47. very insightful by the way I cut down my credit card rate :) boy am i pleased.

    http://thedigeratimind.com/2009/05/27/how-i-cut-my-credit-card-rate-down-by-3/

  48. I feel really satisified with myself for doing my research before diving in straight in making blogs. These are some really good information I have come across so far and I really am grateful for the author of the article. Thanks a lot mate.

  49. [...] back to this fellow, Ramit Sethi. He wrote a blog entry called How to get 150,000 people to read your blog post in 1 week (and how I did it) and in that blog…well, will you look at that, I had every intention of crediting his entry [...]

  50. I started the Skooloflife about 6 weeks ago and have been writing for it everyday. One thing I’ve been doing is actually interviewing other bloggers and enabling them to guest post for me. I think your post on how to write a guest post is very detailed which is awesome and I’ll have to work through it.

  51. [...] I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers talking about guest writing lately, like Ramit: How to get 150,000 people to read your blog post in 1 week (and how I did it) I Will Teach You To … I’m betting that the popular blogs are going to see an increase in requests for guest writers. [...]

  52. Very nice article, thanks for the advice. I’ve just started blogging about 3 weeks ago, and it’s been a huge learning curve. My website is starting to see some steady readers, and the page views are starting to increase, but certainly not as much as I would like. I’ll definately try some of your techniques to increase traffic to my site.
    Thanks again

  53. Super-helpful – I’m going to pitch another blog today! We’ve also seen some success in posting guest authors’ pieces on our blog – they go out and tell all their friends and contacts about their post and we get new readers. Hey, if you ever want to write a post for us about philanthropy and South Asian Americans, we would be thrilled!!

  54. Nicholas Gerard Link to this comment

    Greetings Ramit,

    Writing a guest post is an excellent strategy. What about someone who has just started writing a blog? Can he/she be considered for this…or must one already have a mini track record?

  55. [...] effective guest posting. If you want to learn more about that art of making a great guest post, Ramit Sethi does an amazing job that should be required reading for anyone looking to use this medium as a [...]

  56. [...] posting is the number one way for bloggers to grow their audience and increase traffic (after writing your own great content of course). Writing guest posts puts you in front of [...]

  57. [...] post on other blogs for more traffic. Ramit Sethi credits this approach to boosting his readership 150,000 in 1 week. Locate other blogs where your target audience spends time, and pitch the blog editor with an [...]