I flopped around the Internet for years, learning the ropes and learning how to write. If you count posting on internet list-serves, I’ve been writing online since 1999, and I started my first blog in 2003. Oh how time flies!
In 2014 I had a great year, with my websites getting millions of page views and almost two-million unique visits.
This traffic may seem small compared to, say Vox Media or the Washington Post. Or it may seem like a lot of traffic if you are just starting off.
There’s a difference between your sites’ traffic and a mega-site’s traffic.
Let’s say you’re in fitness and you write an article for a fitness site that does more views in a couple of days than I do in an entire year.
That site is the place to be. Well, it’s a great place to write if you’re the corporate overlord. It’s not a great place to write if you have your own brand and don’t want to insert links to products you might not believe in.
Or maybe you write for Men’s Health. You pretend that the cover models are 100% all-natty-brah so that testosterone boosters can be sold to teenagers. No thanks!
Why not be your own brand?
I am my own brand. People who come to my sites go there for one reason – to read what I write.
I also earn money when I endorse a product. If I sell an eBook or affiliate market a product, the money goes into my pocket.
There’s nothing magical about what I do. In fact, if you are in the fitness industry, you could blow away my traffic as people love reading fitness articles.
Hint: The three most-common New Year’s resolutions concern health/fitness, making money, and relationships/getting laid.
Write about those topics and watch your audience grow.
Political articles are especially popular. If I wrote about socio-political matters, my traffic would increase by tenfold.
My traffic isn’t to make me look cool. It’s to prove that, yes, you can do whatever you want on the Internet.
When “writer x” loses his job at a magazine or mega-blog, he loses his audience.
One “writer” for a Gawker site lost her job. She had to start a Tumblr site, as she had no idea how to create a webpage. After begging for freelance work for several weeks, she was able to land another job as a corporate slave making barely above minimum wage.
I will never lose my audience.
These stats emphasize why you should write under your own name rather than pitch articles.
If you do pitch an article to a mainstream organization to obtain social proof, make sure you have your own web presence.
- Step 1: Sell out to get your name out there.
- Step 2. Have a website so when people read your articles at Mega Corp Dot Com, they’ll follow you to your home.
- Step 3. You never have to sell out again!
The end game is for you to become your own brand.
You want people coming to a website for one reason only – because YOU are the main event.
Anyhow, here are some of my site stats. Even if I never posted another word in 2015, my numbers will exceed those of 2014.
- 4,500,000 page views
- 1,430,000 unique visits
- 305 articles published
- 5,500 newsletter subscriptions
- (All of my subscriptions are opt-in. I never add anyone to my email list and hate when people add me to their lists.)
- 796,000 page views
- 357,000 unique visits
- 77 articles published
Why did Danger & Play’s traffic grow so much? It’s not just that I published more articles.
I am going to smash 2014’s traffic numbers. I’ve only posted 28 times as of mid-March. If I keep that pace up, I’ll end 2015 with around 100 or so posts with massive traffic growth.
I’ll write more about how I grew my traffic and what steps I’m currently taking to grow traffic.
2015 (first year of podcast)
- 330,000 plays/downloads
- 81 podcasts released
- 312 iTunes ratings/reviews
- 414,000 page views
- 222,000 unique visits
- 10 posts published
- Product released: Juice Power
- 268,000 page views
- 156,000 unique visits
- 43 posts published
As you can see, my traffic to Fit Juice increased while my posting decreased. (I actually spend less than one-hour a month on Fit Juice while earning enough cash to make a large mortgage payment.)
Anyhow, there’s the raw data.
In the coming weeks I’ll discuss the keys to traffic growth.
(I don’t currently share income data as I’m not in the Internet Marketing business. What I earn is my business. I will say this: As of Dec. 2014, I have been able to I live 100% off of my websites.)
You can be a one-man operation and still have millions of visitors to your websites.
Pretty cool, isn’t it?