13 Pro Bloggers Reveal the Secret to Growing Their Blogs

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What was the main strategy behind the growth of that popular blog?

Maybe, you have asked that question a lot when you visit a popular blog.

Today, we have 13 bloggers who have built popular blogs in the last couple of years. I’m really excited to have these pro bloggers to share the secret strategy behind their blog’s growth.

I am also eager to know what you think about it.

Note: this post is a part of our blogging 101 series.

Now, on to the interviews!

First: let’s see who is interviewed.

Who is interviewed?

  • Neil Patel
  • Corbett Barr
  • Bamidele Onibalusi
  • Ramsay Taplin
  • Kristi Hines
  • Ileane Smith
  • Gregory Ciotti
  • Chris Guillebeau
  • Jeff Goins
  • Chris Garett
  • Ana Hoffman
  • Zac Johnson
  • Johnny B. Truant

You will learn more about these awesome pro bloggers in just a second.

Let’s start with the interviews.

The above bloggers were sorted randomly. All of them are awesome for me — that’s why I interviewed them.

Interview with Neil Patel about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

My name is Neil Patel and I am a serial entrepreneur and blogger. My current startup is KISSmetrics and I blog at Quick Sprout.

Other than that, I am just an Average Joe. My favorite food is almost anything from Taco Bell and spend most of my days and weekends working. As for relaxation, I typically go hang out with friends or just watch some TV.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

My main strategy behind my blog is to write really good content…and more specifically in-depth content. I’ve noticed that the more detailed my content gets, the more traffic I get. I’ve also noticed another trend in which my blog posts that are based on personal experiences tend to do the best.

What other strategies do you recommend?

Leverage social media traffic. One of my biggest drivers of traffic is social sites. Continually build up your social presences as it can drive a ton of traffic. Whenever you write a blog post, push it out to all of your social profiles and you’ll notice a boost in traffic.

Interview with Corbett Barr about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

I’m the founder of Think Traffic, and I’ve been self-employed online for the past six years. I help people build thriving online audiences, and I blog about the relationship between work and life and how the Internet is changing that relationship in interesting ways.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

The main strategy has always been simple. Choose an interesting topic. Help people solve specific problems. Treat every reader like gold. Spend time getting to know everyone else who blogs in your space.

What other strategies do you recommend?

Here are 42 other ideas that might help: 42 Timeless Ideas for Attracting More Visitors to Your Website.

Interview with Bamidele Onibalusi about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

I’m Bamidele Onibalusi, a young blogger, freelance writer and the founder of Young Pre Pro.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

The main strategy behind my blog’s growth is guest blogging. I’ve written for a lot of big blogs in the two years since starting my blog and the growth I’ve experienced as a result has been explosive.

What other strategies do you recommend?

Aside from guest blogging, I recommend having an email list. Use your guest posts to market and build your email list, and then leverage your email list to grow your blog and promote your products.

Interview with Ramsay Taplin about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

Well, I definitely don’t think I’m awesome, but I’ve had some luck with blogging. When I was in University, I sold a blog for almost $20,000, and have worked at home since my early 20’s.
Since then I’ve landed gigs on CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, Smart Passive Income and I’m the only blogger ever to write on ViperChill. Last year I was featured in a book of famous internet marketers with guys like Guy Kawasaki.
I love helping people and so BlogTyrant.com always focuses on useful content that solves problems. And I try to respond to every comment that I get.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

BlogTyrant.com grew really quickly, and I think I can put that down to creating distinctiveness. A lot of bloggers write amazing content, but unless you can stand out from the rest you won’t get much success. I managed to do this by having a “different” brand name and style, and focusing on unique things I’d done like selling a blog for around $20,000.

I also focus on content like how to install WordPress and how to blog because it is aimed at beginners and that’s who is mostly reading your blog.

What other strategies do you recommend?

I’d recommend that new bloggers really think about their brand and how to create that distinctiveness. Once you’ve done that, go out and guest-blog more than you write on your own blog, and make sure you focus on content for beginners.

Interview with Kristi Hines about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

Sure! I usually describe myself as a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast who enjoys photography, camping, and tennis. Most people say I’m awesome because I’m able to write so much content in a given period, so I will go with that. :)

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

In the beginning, my main strategy was commenting on blogs and connecting with other bloggers in the online marketing industry on social media. Some experts are quick to bash the commenting strategy, but when you comment not to build links but to actually build a relationship with other bloggers in your niche, you will start seeing them coming back to your blog as well. Plus, the more social networks you can connect with someone on, the more likely they are to really recognize you between their blog and their favorite social channel.

What other strategies do you recommend?

I always recommend engaging with your targeted audience on any and all platforms you have time for. If they are blogging, comment on their blog posts. If they are tweeting, retweet their blog posts and chat with them on Twitter. If they are on Facebook, like and comment on their posts. If they are on Google+, +1 and comment on their posts. If you notice they participate on a particular network but don’t get a lot of engagement on it, that’s a good one to try to interact with them upon. If they are getting 100’s of tweets a day, they might not notice yours. But if they only get 5 comments on Google+, they’ll likely see your comment.

Interview with Ileane Smith about Best Traffic Strategy:

1-     You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

I’m Ileane and my blog is Basic Blog Tips. I’ve been blogging for 3 years and I’m also very active on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I have a podcast on iTunes and over 100 video tutorials on my YouTube channel.

2- What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

My blog appeals to bloggers at all stages of their blogging careers. I have a big audience of new bloggers coming in from organic searches from all the major search engines but I also have a loyal fan base that I am very connected to. I’m also very blessed to have featured over 100 guest authors who have made major contributions to the growth of the blog and the valuable content that’s offered there.

3- What other strategies do you recommend?

I know that having my content available in various formats like videos, presentations on SlideShare, podcasts and social networks has made a big difference in the connections I’ve made online. You need to build connections with people and do more sharing and giving than your own self promotion.

Interview with Gregory Ciotti about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

My name is Gregory Ciotti and I’m the marketing guy at Help Scout, along with being the author of the psychology + content marketing blog Sparring Mind.
I’m only mildly awesome :P, but what I think makes me a bit different is how I like diving into research for each post that I write, including the customer service & engagement content that I create for the Help Scout blog.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

My main strategy was putting out larger pieces of content that go really in depth, as well as having an interesting USP. I also engaged in a TON of networking and a smidgen of guest blogging; I’ll be the first to tell you that good relationships are critical in succeeding online, even goodrelationships with your “competitors”!

What other strategies do you recommend?

The other strategy I would recommend (outside of the above) would be to learn the fundamentals of SEO (check out the beginners guide by SEOmoz). Create content for humans, but where applicable, always try to rank for a relevant search term; it can bring you traffic for a very long time and “scales” nicely with little extra work.

Interview with Chris Guillebeau about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

I’m a writer, traveler, and entrepreneur. I’m not sure I’m awesome, but I appreciate you saying so.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

I focused on building relationships with people on an individual basis as much as possible.

What other strategies do you recommend?

Be consistent. Offer invitations for readers to participate and engage. Care.

Interview with Jeff Goins about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

My name is Jeff, and I’m a writer, but until recently I wouldn’t admit it. I’ve spent the past two years chasing that dream and realizing who I was made to be. It’s been a fun ride. I am the communications director for a nonprofit and write and speak in my free time.

2- What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

Well, there’s no silver bullet. It takes a LOT of things, but the main thing was guest posting and networking. Turns out social media is mostly about people (go figure, right?). So if you spend the time to get to know people, they’ll help your message spread.

3- What other strategies do you recommend?

Other than writing great content and reaching out to existing platforms (i.e. guest posting), try being generous. Having a good email capture tool is essential, tool. Don’t chase visitors or RSS subscribers or anything else that requires people to come to you. Get permission to go to them. Email is the best and easiest way to do that online.

Interview with Chris Garett about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

I don’t feel very awesome! I’ve been around the blogging scene since before it was called blogging, so I have seen quite a lot. (My first personal journal type site was hand-made in the mid-1990’s). Now I advise people on how to build advice-based businesses, and I am the VP of Educational Content for Copyblogger.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

I would say the biggest thing that helped my blog growth was networking and really taking care of the readers I attracted. If you treat people well and have a positive impact on them, then they remember you and share your stuff.

What other strategies do you recommend?

Guest blogging is the thing I see most people have success with right now, but also look at how you can switch media such as podcasting and video.

Interview with Ana Hoffman about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

I am the founder of Traffic Generation Cafe and a fanatic of anything traffic-related. There’s absolutely nothing special about me, other than the fact that I was fortunate enough to have stumbled upon a passion that had lead to a business. My passion is the fuel behind TGC.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

Putting “personal” back into “blogging with personality”. I know my readers. By name. I respect them. I talk to them. I don’t talk at them.

What other strategies do you recommend?

Find what works and stick with it.

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes down to traffic generation. Most of YOUR traffic will come from 2-3 specific sources that only you can determine through testing. Once you find those sources, focus developing and mastering them. Once you can drive traffic from those sources with your eyes closed, spread your wings – start adding one new traffic source at a time.

 

Interview with Zac Johnson about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

My name is Zac Johnson and I’ve been making money online for over 15 years now and blogging for 5 years as well. I first started making money online through building out my own content sites and getting free traffic through the search engines and making money by sending my traffic to Amazon.com. I would then learn about affiliate networks and incorporate more affiliate based offers on my sites which earned a lot more money than what I was doing with Amazon.

Skip ahead several years and I focused my business on the success that I found with affiliate marketing and also started my blog at ZacJohnson.com to help others learn how to do the same. I’m also working on the launch of Blogging.org, which is a marketplace where blogging and content writers can connect with each other to generate new and original content or revenue through writing services.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

The success behind ZacJohnson.com is that the blog is all about myself and the many case studies and stories I’ve personally went through as an online marketer. The growth of the site is also influenced through the brand marketing I have done for the site, such as having it’s own custom and unique blog design and logo that has become very well known in the affiliate / blogging space.

What other strategies do you recommend?

Staying active on social networks and guest blogging on other sites are two ways that can really help you stand out from the crowd. I’m not as active on the social networks, but I definitely make sure to contribute guest posts to blogs in and outside of the affiliate and blogging niches.

Interview with Johnny B. Truant about Best Traffic Strategy:

You are a person who does not need any introduction, but as a part of formality could you tell us a little about yourself and why you are awesome?

It feels odd to say that I am “awesome”, but I guess that’s what I say in the header of my blog, so… so be it.

I guess I would say that I teach a different breed of personal development – the kind of person who tells you what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear. I imagine a lot of what I have to say – like the truth that you will die eventually – isn’t something that people want to hear, but if they’re to make a change in their lives, they need to truly understand that.

What was the main strategy behind the growth of your blog?

It’s guest blogging and sending people who read those posts back to my site.

What other strategies do you recommend?

I like Twitter, but I wouldn’t count on it as a primary growth strategy because it can just end up being distracting. Ultimately, what works best is to produce outstanding content that people can’t help but share. Guest blogging and so forth is augmented greatly if you produce outstanding content.

Last Words:

I am happy to see all these amazing people in one place! “I wanted this and I am sure you also want it”.

I’d like to say to all of them, Thank You!

Now, tell me: which answer did you like best? who is the one that influenced you the most?

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