How to Get 1 Million Website Visitors in ONE Year [Traffic and Conversion #4]

How to Increase Your Blog Traffic SeriesWelcome to the January 2012 edition of the Traffic and Conversion series!

In this monthly blog report, I list the exact strategies I use to increase traffic to this blog {and other websites.}

Today’s post is a special one.

That’s because I’m going to provide an overview of how I plan on getting 1 million visitors to this blog in 2012.

This is a major goal that will take a lot of work to achieve.

But I’m fully confident that it can be done.

Before we get to the *meat* of this post, let’s go over the stats from last month:

First lets recap the stats from November:

  1. 24,153 Visits
  2. 81.27% Bounce Rate
  3. 1:24 Time on Site 
So what happened in December?
Well, here are the stats from the past month:
December Traffic Stats
Click to See a Larger Image

I use three metrics to measure the “success” of  my traffic generation efforts.  Here’s how they did in December:

  1. 24,239 Visits (0.36% Increase)
  2. 81.24% Bounce Rate (-0.03% Decrease)
  3. 1:32 Time on Site (9.56% Increase)

This is the first time I’ve made an improvement on all three metrics.  So I’m a *little* happy to see that.

What I’m most satisfied with how my current blog posts are being consumed by regular readers.  The way I measure this is through the time on page metric.  For instance, here’s what happened in December:

  1. Niche Affiliate Income Results [Update #1] {Time on Page- 5:27}
  2. How to Increase Your Google Website Traffic by 30.01% [Traffic and Conversion #3] {Time on Page- 5:47}
  3. 4 Christmas *Goodies* for ANY Internet Marketer {Time on Page- 4:29}
  4. 45 Ways to Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level [Report] {Time on Page- 2:24}
  5. Managing Email Overload: How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Email Inbox {Time on Page- 5:07}
  6. YOUR Free Copy of “Affiliate Marketing without the B.S.” {Time on Page- 3:50}
  7. 103 High PR One Way Backlinks to Improve Search Engine Ranking  {Time on Page- 8:00}
  8. The Santa Claus Guide to Perfect Project Management  {Time on Page- 3:49}
  9. How to Make a Simple Video for Affiliate Marketing on {Time on Page- 4:37}

I’m happy with these numbers.  They show that brand new posts are grabbing the attention of people and making them stick around for awhile.

In addition, one post had great results.  At the end of November, I published an article called 119 Free Internet Marketing Tools to Grow YOUR Online Business or Blog.  In December, this post averaged 18:15 time on page:

Free Internet Marketing Tools Blog Post StatsOverall, I’m happy with the time on page for current articles.  This shows that visitors are finding value from my content.  People are not just swinging by to leave a comment – They’re actually getting value from what’s being posted.


That’s what happened in December.

Let’s move on to the point of this month’s topic —> How to Get 1 Million Website Visitors in ONE Year

Steve's BIG Traffic Goal for 2012

In my first post of 2012, I emphasized the importance of setting quarterly goals instead of doing the standard “New Year’s Resolution.” In my opinion, it’s better to have a list of targeted goals that can be measured instead of some wish that’s made in a drunken haze.

In addition to quarterly goals, I also recommend creating a MASSIVE goal that will take your business (or life) to the next level.  This is something I recently learned about from two places:

#1 – In the Success Principles, Jack Canfield talks about how you should create what he calls a “Breakthrough Goal.”  This is a massive goal which represents a quantum leap in your personal or professional life.

#2 – On the Strength Running blog, Jason Fitzgerald talked about the importance of establishing what he calls Stretch Goals:

“I want to make this year your best yet. Forget small improvements and goals like “be more consistent.” I’m challenging you to set stretch goals.

Stretch goals are just within the border of impossible and achievable. They require hard work – any SR reader won’t shy away from that. You might think you’ll never accomplish your stretch goal, but you can with the right mindset and tools to succeed.”

What’s funny is I literally read both of these within 20 minutes of each other.  {I guess that’s the universe telling me to do something about it.}

Anyway, I’ve decided to set a number of breakthrough goals for this year in addition to my quarterly goals.  One of them is to get 1 million website visitors for 2012.

So let’s go over this plan in step-by-step detail…

Website Traffic = Multiple Moving Parts

I prefer using a scientific approach to website traffic.  You can’t just wish for more people to visit your blog.  Instead you have to break-down each source of traffic and take specific steps for improving it.

Generating web traffic involves hundreds of little actions that add up to a lot over time.  Think of your website as one large machine with many moving parts .  If you can make multiple tweaks to multiple areas, it’s not hard to quickly increase your overall traffic numbers.

For instance, here’s how people found my blog in 2010 and 2011:

  • Search engines
  • Twitter
  • Repeat visitors
  • Referral traffic {other sites mention this blog}
  • Stumble Upon
  • Facebook

All of these generated a total of 24,153 visitors in December.  This works out to be an average of 779 visitors each day.   1 million visitors means I’ll have to average 2739 visitors each day for 2012.  That’s 3x the amount of traffic that I currently get.

The best way to reach this goal is to chunk down the process of marketing my blog.  My goal for 2012 is to continuously improve the systems I use on each source of web traffic.

This can be done in a simple three-step process…

Step 1 - Establish a Baseline Metric

Goal achievement always starts with a baseline.  You need to know your current “metric” before making any improvement.

Think of T.V. shows like “The Biggest Loser.”  The first thing they do is weigh each contestant. This provides each person with a starting number that he or she must improve in the months to come.

Ultimately it’s important to get a baseline metric.  This is quantifiable way to know if you’re moving closer or farther away from the achievement of a goal.

So if I want to get one million visitors in 2012, then I need to get baseline metrics for each source of web traffic.

For instance, here are some baseline metrics from the month of December:

  1. Search Engine Traffic: 15,946 Visitors
  2. Twitter Traffic: 4769 Visitors
  3. Repeat Traffic: 4,472 Visitors
  4. Referral Traffic: 3348 Visitors  {Not including Twitter, Facebook or Stumble Upon}
  5. Facebook Traffic: 155 Visitors
  6. Stumble Upon Traffic: 444 Visitors
  7. YouTube Traffic: 0 Visitors

In my opinion, there is a lot of room for improvement here!

My Facebook and YouTube stats are basically non-existent.  With a little bit of effort, I can turn each into a major source of traffic.

Plus I did zero search engine optimization in the first year of my blog.  So I can easily improve my Google traffic with a few tweaks on old blog posts.

Finally, there are lot of actions I haven’t taken on the other sources of traffic.

The important thing to note is I know I can make improvements to these numbers! 

So let’s talk about I plan on doing this…

Step 2 - Systematize Each Source of Traffic

After establishing a baseline,you want to systematize each source of traffic.  What you’ll do here is identify the routine and long-term actions that grow the reach of your website.  In addition, you want to break down these actions and match them to a specific source of traffic.

For instance, here are a few ways I plan on growing this blog:

Sidebar: The following is just a sampling of my 2012 traffic plan.  In future editions of this series; I’ll go into more detail about each.

Traffic Source #1: Search Engines

Search engine traffic accounted for almost 16,000 visitors in December.  While this is a pretty good number, I feel it can easily be improved.

Here are three things I’m doing to get better results:

#1 – Target Specific Keywords

In the last year I’ve learned an important lesson –>

One small tweak to a blog post can generate lots of web traffic

I’ve never written a post for the sole purpose of targeting a keyword.  But I now make sure each article includes a phrase that can generate natural search engine traffic – Preferably a keyword that gets over 1,000 monthly searches.

For instance, in November I wrote a post that detailed the six types of businesses I use to make money online.  At the last minute, I edited the article to emphasize the phrase make passive income which gets 3,600 broad searches a month:Make Passive Income Blog PostNow this post is ranking #2 for this phrase which brings in 10 to 20 additional visitors a day:

Make Passive Income Search Results

Do the math…  This post averages 15 visitors each day.  That’s about 5,500 for the year.  Now, let’s say you get the same results for each blog post you write.  If you publish 150 articles in a year, that’s over 800,000 visitors you can generate from a year’s worth of content.  Hopefully this shows what you can accomplish with a little bit of keyword research.

Target a specific keyword for each blog post you write.  It really doesn’t take that long to do!  All I use is the Google Keyword Tool to find a phrase.  Then I include it in the title, description, image tags, and a few times in the copy.  This one small tweak can generate a lot of long-term search engine traffic!

#2 – Re-Optimize Old Blog Posts

Old blog posts are goldmines.  These articles are indexed, backlinked, and already getting traffic from search engines.  So one of the best ways to maximize their success is to do a little re-optimization.

{For more on this, read the post where I talk about how I increased Google search engine traffic by 30.01% in a single month.}

#3 – Get More Quality Backlinks

The final search engine strategy I’m implementing is to get more backlinks to this site.  The key here is to do this in a normal linking pattern that won’t piss off Google.  So I’ll only be doing the following to build backlinks to this blog:

  • Write guest post articles
  • Increase blog mentions and natural links {ie: people like what I write.}
  • Outsource press releases

I’m all about pushing the envelope with niche sites.  But I’m going to be very careful with how I build links to this blog.

Traffic Source #2: Twitter

In December this blog has 4,796 visitors from Twitter.  That’s pretty awesome considering I did this mostly through automation.  Here’s an overview of the Twitter routine I follow every day:

  • 1 Tweet to an old blog post
  • 1 Tweet to a blog post published in the last week
  • 1 Tweet to resource page or free PDF
  • 1 Tweet “tip of the day”
  • 1 Tweet “tool of the day”
  • Random Re-Tweets of articles published by other content providers

There is a lot that goes into my Twitter strategy… and I’m still working out the kinks.  In the next edition of “traffic and conversation series,” I’ll go into more detail about how I use this social media site.

Traffic Source #3: Repeat Visitors

Simply put, you get more repeat traffic by continuously offering great contentWe’ve all heard this one before.  The trick is to set up systems where you recycle people back to your website. Really, it’s a simple formula:

Great content + Great Systems = Lots of Repeat Traffic

My advice is to use different tools to syndicate your content.  Once someone takes an action to “follow” you, keep them coming back by referencing awesome articles that you’ve published.  For instance, I’m using three tools to increase repeat traffic in 2012:

1. RSS Feed Readers–  RSS feeds help people “subscribe” to your blog and get notifications whenever y0u publish a new post.  Right now, my feed numbers are atrocious.  I think that’s partly because I don’t do much to promote it.  So the first step I’m taking is to do a simple blog redesign that emphasizes RSS and email subscriptions.

2. Email List Building– Right now, I’m working on a free eCourse that shows how to create a six-figure Internet business.  One of the reasons I’m doing this is to set up a system where new visitors get notified about my best content.  Ultimately this will become a hands-free way to generate lots of repeat traffic back to my blog.

3. Social Media Links– One of the uses of social media is to let people know about new (and existing) content.  So another way I’ll focus on generating repeat traffic is to use these platforms to syndicate my existing content.  {Of course, this needs to be balanced with networking and being a helpful resource to the people you’re meeting.}

Honestly, there are countless ways to increase repeat traffic.  These are just the three techniques I’m implementing in the next few months.  In all likelihood, I’ll be doing a lot more to improve my repeat stats.

Traffic Source #4:  Referral Links

Referral traffic is when another website owner mentions your blog.  Most of the time, this happens when they like your content and naturally link to it.

Last month, I had 4,353 visits from 401 sources:

Referring Blog WebsitesAbout 1,000 of this was from Facebook or StumbleUpon, but the rest came from people who linked to a specific blog post.

In 2012, I’m making a strong push to increase this number.  The major strategy I’m implementing is to publish at least one guest post each week.  This should increase my referral stats because I’ll be reaching a wider audience that can’t be found with other traffic techniques.

 {By the way…If you want a guest post for your site, just let me know.} 

Traffic Source #5 to #7:  Facebook, StumbleUpon, and YouTube Traffic

There’s a reason I’ve lumped these three traffic techniques together… Right now, I don’t have a plan for improving them.  While I’ve generated some traffic for each, I don’t have an existing system for improving these sources of traffic.

I think this is good news! 


Because these three areas can easily become major sources of traffic.  My plan is to learn everything I can about about each and quickly implement these lessons.  For now, I’m content to do the following:

  • Stumble and Facebook share brand new blog posts
  • Post a weekly question to Facebook
  • Include random thoughts, quotes, and helpful links on Facebook
  • Add a recommendation of my Facebook page to the welcome email that I receive from Facebook

I’ll admit this is a very basic list of actions.  In the months to come, I’ll have a more concrete plan of how to maximize each of these three sources of traffic.

Step 3 - Monitor Traffic on a Monthly Basis

3 Ring Binder to Monitor Web Traffic Stats

Like I said before, it’s important to take a strategic approach to generating web traffic.

That’s why I’ve created monthly goals for each type of traffic.

Last week I started a “Steve Scott Site traffic binder.”   This is a folder that tracks how I promote this website.

It’s not too hard to create your own traffic binder.

Here is a six-step process for getting started:

#1.  Buy a small 3 ring-binder from any office supply store.  A small one should suffice.

#2. Create a page that includes your current traffic numbers.  You can include last month’s traffic numbers or an average of the last three months.  Both work.  So it’s your choice. 

#3. Include a row for each type of traffic and a column for each month. You’ll update this on a monthly basis with the stats from the previous month.

{Here is a PDF that shows what this sheet looks like.}

#4. Create a sheet for “routine activities.”  These are tasks that you do on a daily/weekly basis to grow each source of traffic.  Use these as process checklists that tell you what to do.

#5. Create a separate sheet for each traffic technique Here you’ll include any ideas or plans to increase this traffic technique.  This will become your “catch-all” for promotional tactics/ideas.  Your goal here is to have a single resource that’s used on a daily basis.

#6. Work on ONE traffic technique at a time.   You can’t do everything all at once.  If you try, you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed.  My advice is to focus on improving one traffic strategy at a time.

Create a system for each traffic technique.  Then make this part of your routine activities.  Once this is running smoothly, move to the next and turn that into a system.  Keep doing this till you’re getting measurable results from each source of traffic.

Okay, that’s the six steps for creating a traffic binder.

I think this is something all Internet entrepreneurs should do.  So take an hour one day and create this folder!  Then make sure you use it on a regular basis.

How to Get 1 Million Visitors to YOUR Site

I’ve created a pretty challenging goal.  It won’t be easy to get one million visitors to this site in a single year.  I’m not even sure if it can be done.

The important lesson here is to set your expectations high and just go for it!

I think you should create your traffic goal for 2012.  It doesn’t have to be a million visitors.  Just make it something that’s really challenging and work your ass off to get it.

Finally, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Have you created a traffic goal this year?  If so, what is it?  What actions are you taking to achieve it?

Please comment below…

Take Action. Get Results.

75 thoughts on “How to Get 1 Million Website Visitors in ONE Year [Traffic and Conversion #4]”

  1. Steve

    Cool post – cool goal!

    A book that talks about this kind of thing you might wanna add to your reading list is called HARD GOALS. Pretty interesting book.

    YouTube/Video Marketing could definitely be a big player….drop me an email…I have a plan already worked out for you to ‘grow your video presence…’ and just have to put it into SlideShow format and get it to you.


    • I had another thought – can you get the equivalent of a ‘double indented’ listing with BLog Posts? If so, that might be worth trying out to see if it improves number of searchers from Google.

      • Youtube is definetly a great potential that I haven’t been exploiting. I have used it to good effect in my main niche… it is just a matter of DOING it here and on the new niche sites. I think I have a pretty good plan and idea of how to go about it…but I will hit you up for what you can add! 🙂

        I have a few odd search terms with double indented listings. But nothing major yet. For sure that is a long term goal. No real metrics to back it up… but I am SURE that must greatly increase traffic. I know when I see doub;e indented listing I assume they must be an authority and much more likely to check on out.

  2. If anyone can do it you can, Steve! I’d loved your ideas about resurrecting old posts, I’ve noticed that I have a few on page 2 that could reap bit traffic rewards with a bit of backlinking.

    Also, loved your ideas on having quarterly goals – I’ve set some 6-monthly goals but they are nowhere near as ambitious as yours.

    Best of luck!

    • Rob,

      Those page two ones are perfect. If you have articles on page 2 with little/no linking, with a little bit of elbow grease you should be able to get them to page one. There is just SO much more trafffic volume there. It is worth that effort. (which is not negligible).

      6 months is too long IMO. To much room to backslide. When your goals are only for 3 months you have to work hard to get them done. (and set and get to next months goals)

      • I think you are so right about targeting old posts or articles. We learn new things all the time and search also changes over time, so some new keyword research and a few backlinks can make a huge difference. In my book, that is much easier in writing a whole new article!

  3. This is very impressive. I’m hoping to gain a huge increase in traffic this year. I’ll implement some of your tips and let you know how it goes. Thanks for sharing!

  4. It seems like you get a lot of great results, I’m glad to see that, you truly deserve it because it’s obviously you work hard to make the blog the great resource it is today. I want to start analyzing my traffic too, it’s better to analyze it and start creating strategies, start thinking about what to add, what’s good, what’s bad, what should deserve to continue with and so on. Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Josh,

      I appreciate the kind words. YOu certainly should start analyzing traffic. I went over a year with JUST writing. Which in some ways is fine…. But once you get articles ranking paying attention to ways to make them do better is what willl garner you long term traffic IMO.

      Good luck!


  5. A lot of great tips, that I hope will help you achieve a very ambitious goal. A lot of those tips are things that I hadn’t really thought about doing. Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks Derek,

      It is good to swing for the fences sometimes. Even if I fail, I will give it my best shot and hopefully be better for the attempt. That is what it is all about.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting,


  6. Hi Steve

    You deserve every bit of success you get. Just reading the post shows me how much work you put into your business.

    I have a long way to go, but slowly learning more techniques and what to do to grow my business. I’m concentrating on marketing and targeted traffic for the next few months.

    Will be interesting to read your post in 12 months time and see if you reached this incredible goal. Way to go Steve.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  7. Wow, I absolutely love this post, Steve – don’t know where to start!

    I do like the idea of quarterly goals; one bite at a time.

    I absolutely agree about tweaking your blog to bring in search engine traffic. You don’t have to sell your soul and write for the search engine; just follow the steps you described: keyword research before each post just to see if it’s viable to rank for something juicy, revisit older posts to see what could be changed to improved rankings, etc…

    Now if only someone can show me how to stretch 24 hours in a day, I’d really appreciate it. lol

    • Ana,

      I feel you. TIME to do all the things I want is my biggest drawback too. Even with a little bit of outsourcing. There is just two much to do to keeping up my main site, this site and the niche sites I am playing with.

      But it is all worth it in the end. 🙂

  8. Aloha Steve, woww.. this will be a great challenge to see and follow up with. I know it is pretty tough to stay on top of things online. But if you have an insight that is working and just tweak it and enhance it forward I believe it may be possible.

    In the meantime, I may just eyeball what you’re doing and maybe learn a bit from you and implement what is working for you, has to work for me. I would think. Keep it going and I am rooting for you. Mahalo, Lani 🙂

    • Aloha, Lani

      Thanks for the kind wishes. I do hope to see you here again. Hopefully there will be some good tips here and there that you can use. Thanks again for the well wishes.

  9. Interesting, fact filled report Steve. Very impressive in terms of detail and the way you supported your statements with data. Keep up the good work in 2012.


  10. Thanks for sharing your ideas on getting visitors for the last year. I’ve learned a lot of things, and I think I need to improve on my work for this year.

    • Thanks Levi,

      I think EVERYONE needs to improve going forward. If you aren’t growing, you are dieing… so no matter where on the ladder you are people should be looking for ways to improve their “game”

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Good luck to you.

  11. Hi Steve,

    Snazzy post…really snazzy.

    Love the tip about working over your old posts. Optimizing what you didn’t optimize properly at the time can drive some nice targeted traffic to your site, and isn’t that the goal? I generate nice traffic from old posts but intend to re-opti these posts as well.

    Thanks for sharing with us 🙂


    • Thanks Ryan,

      Re optimizing old posts for you could be a challenge, I would assume. You have written so much! 😉

      tweaking those posts that are getting traffic already really is worth it. I have seen a nice boost doing it. YOu will too!

  12. It was really a good information and steps to achieve the goal, but i think it is unreal to get 1 million website visitors in ONE Year… nevertheless we should do the best and everything will be how we want!!!! Good job Steve!

    • I wouldn’t say it is unrealistic. Some of the BIG blogs get that in a month. It is only about 3X the monthly traffic I get now. It is VERY ambitious, and I may not be able to get it done. But just in the realm of possible.

      ANyway thanks for the well wishes! 🙂

  13. I have to tell you that this is an excellent post whether you are a beginner or a more advanced blogger. I appreciate the transparency and your sharing of information. I think this is a wonderful goal and I have no doubt if you set your mind to it you will achieve it. Now you got me thinking about my goal for the year in terms of # of visitors and how to get there. Visibility is critical to the success of any business. Let’s go get that traffic! Thanks for a great post. VaNessa

    • VaNessa,

      That is my hope… is that others will make their own personal goals and do something to reach them. I am sure many people do not care, but for those that do I would like to think that perhaps some of this info either helps or inspires.

      Thanks for the great comment.

      Good luck to you!

  14. As always very topical article, Steve! It’s very interesting to read your excellent thoughts and ideas, and follow your advice. All questions that deal with traffic evoke interest of almost every person

  15. Hi Steve,

    What a goal! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve been learning from you the past year, and 2012 is going to be even better, I know that already.

    What I’m going to do right now, just because I read your post, is to start re-optimizing old blog posts. I have so many old and terrible blog posts when it comes to SEO, and I believe that this alone has huge potential for my blog. And, analyzing my traffic the way you are doing seems like a very smart thing to do. I’m getting a binder tomorrow 🙂

    • Awesome Jens,

      Taking a second look at articles sort of combines the best of both worlds. You can write you articles initially for solely HUMAN readers and then just take a little bit of a look at the SEO side. (while still hopefully keeping it engaging)

      Good luck with your re-optimization . I look forward to hearing of your successes.

      • I have just re-written and optimized my first post. But now I have a different question for you 🙂

        Should I just update it, or should I ping it or do something in order to marketing it towards google (add it to Facebook and G+, Twitter etc.. ) ? I know that this probably helps, but do you think it’s necessary?

        • Jens,

          All of the above.

          Pinging will help Google find/document the changes. And back-links here and there will give your primary keywords a little bit more juice. For the ones you really want to rank you will need to keep a steady stream of backlinks going (like with BMR / Web 2.0/ Guest posting etc.)

          You may not need to do a ton, if you make an effort to do a couple of these with some regularity it can be surprising how quickly they add up.

          • Thanks a lot Steve. I’ll start doing them right away.

            I haven’t had much time to focus on my online marketing, but since I’ve now decided to start my own business, I’ll have full focus on earning money on my own 🙂

            Thanks a lot for all your help.

  16. I think the new change in Google search announced yesterday is going to help a lot because a lot people will see your blog ranked on page 1 just for being connected with you and your friends. SO this sounds way more achievable than yesterday 🙂

    Can’t wait to see how fast you get to about 3.000 visitors a day, I know you can do it and now you are putting some crazy ideas in my head, cause you write so inspiring that I always wanna do more after reading your posts 😉

    • Brankica,

      Awesome! I am glad you get some inspiration. That is the goal. I want everyone to come up with there own quarterly goals (actionable) as well as a shoot for the stars goal.

      It may be brash and bold, but it is good to have something to push for, I think.

  17. I’m still new in this traffic things, but I’m learning from you, and my site slowly is getting visitors… I like your sentence that we should work on one traffic technique at the time… right now I’m trying to improve my Twitter traffic, and then who know… but thanks for great posts – I really am learning from you how to make something better than just another recipe site…

    • Andrea,

      I am glad you are starting out and you see the “one traffic source at a time” thing. There are a lot of moving parts to generating traffic, it is easy for people starting out to try and do everything and just fail at everything.

      It is great to see you understand the importance of mastering one piece at a time.

      Good luck to you!!!

  18. Great post Steve. I’ve been working on better research for my keywords before I write my posts. It seems to be working as my traffic is growing slowly. I’m getting more keyword searches. Just need to write more.

    I’m sure you will reach this goal and your strategy sounds like it’s going to work.

    • Darren,

      If your keyword searches are going up and you are continuing to write…it sounds like things are definitely headed in the right direction. It just takes that precious time…

      Thanks for the comment, good luck and have a great day

  19. I will be keeping an eye on your ongoing success. And I must say, I love the way you are going old skool with the ring binder and paper approach. LoL.

    Good luck.

  20. Hey Steve,

    Took a look back through my analytics for one of my site: it pulled in just over 550k visitors last year but I’d DEFINITELY like to hit that 1M mark.

    Overall, a lot of it was from evergreen content and big spikes from SU but I want to make that way more consistent.

    I had an email list of about 3,500 people that I deleted but I’m going to start that back up again since it definitely had a lot of people coming back over and over again. Combined with some SEO work and big articles I want to write, I’m down for trying to hit this goal too.

    Gonna reference back here cause I love that you went more into updating and optimizing (baseline stuff) – that’s my overall goal since I really only plan to write 12 articles for the blog.

    Anyway, good luck buddy and everyone else!

    • Murray,

      You should certainly be able to hit that 1Mill mark from 550k.

      Of course with 1000 huppages in the year also…. I don’t know where you will get the time. 🙂

      You are definitely a guy who likes to shoot for the moon too!

      Nice to hear from you again. I will be interested in checking out you hubpages thing in a while to see how that goes. (I have signifcantly less than a hundred after a few years. Generally I prefer Squidoo in the hubpages/squidoo web 2.0 site question)

  21. Awesome Steve – as always!

    There is one thing that I haven’t still figured out: Not always it is possible to have your keywords in the post title while having a meaningful title at the same time.

    For example, in your example, keyword “make passive income” fits nicely into the title and looks natural. But mostly when I try have a keyword in my title, it looks like I have written it only for search engines in mind (and I have to change my title for something else and lose the SEO benefit).

    Any tips on this one?


    • You are right. Sometimes the keyword just can’t be fit into the title without making it sound stilted. Sometimes it can be fit with ingenuity. Sometimes you just have to let it go.

      You CAN, however, get the bulk of the benefits by making sure the SLUG matches your keywords exactly. IMO SEO is important, and when you can get it in, it helps a lot. But writing for humans always comes first, as I am sure you will agree.

  22. Gosh Steve, I am gobsmacked at the dedication you have to achieving your goal.
    and has certainly inspired me to start taking a serious look at my sites ( well sites )
    I started a site last year that has been ranking ( semi ok ), had no real structure as to how to grow anything – I just did what I knew.. I then started a new site 3 weeks ago and am wondering whether I should just continue with the one that is already indexed , has hundreds of blog posts on and quite a few comments, this would be easier.

    Any suggestions?

    Any how – I am definitely going to click on your RSS feed now to subscribe to your blog – so 1 more follower 🙂

    Have you consider linked you blog to networked blogs on facebook – also a great way to generate new followers who subscribe to your posts.


    • Brenda,

      First of all, I love the word gobsmacked. NO one around here ever uses it, but I think it is just one of those great words! 🙂

      Making a decision between your old and new blog has so many variables. Mainly it should revolve around the potential, traffic and how much YOU care about each one.

      I have quite a few blogs and enterprises going… But this is my full time job and I work 8-10 hours a day on it. Most people do not have that sort of time.

      My uninformed general opinion is that you should look at each blog. Could you see yourself writing about that topic for the next three years? The blog you decide on should have that going for it.

      Then of course the competition and general potential factor in.

      Since I assume both topics must interest you to blog about them, if everything else is equal I would go to the one you have put work into…since you should have a strong base to work from.

  23. Hey Steve – An ambitious goal, for sure. Thanks for sharing your plan to make it happen. Your suggestion to go back and “doctor up” old posts so they get more traffic has been on my to-do list for a while. I’m going to do that in 2012.


    • Ryan,

      working those old posts I certainly something you should make a bit of time for this coming year. The results are worth the effort (which should include backlinking and internal linking, of course).

      Good luck on your improvements for 2012

  24. God Steve, this is so simple! lol. Well, you make it sound so simple. Briliantly laid out and super informative. Thanks so much for such great ideas.

    One thing you didn’t explain though. Is why do you want 1,000,000 visitors to your site? Traffic for traffic’s sake is not a way to make money… 😉


    • The best things really are simple! 🙂

      As for the why…

      It is true that traffic doesn’t equal dollars. Generally speaking I would gladed trade lower traffic for more involved traffic. But the fact is that you get both and sometimes one can turn into the other.

      So you can expect a certain percentage of any traffic to “stick”.

      Obviously If I could have 10,000 hits people who REALLY followed me, clicked links and bought things I would totally take that over 1 million random.

      But you get both…so traffic is a metric (even if it is not always a good one)

      But the reason for a million, I guess it is that it’s a gaudy number, it is (barely) in range and it is something neat to shoot for

      And of course it sounds cool 😉

  25. Very cool Steve!

    This is a challenging goal and yet you broke it down into smaller portions, which is achievable and manageable. One thing I note that you are extremely careful about building backlinks. It is certainly a good thing to protect your site but I think an aged blog with regular activities and tons of backlinks built will be able to endure much more aggressive link building to speed up the ranking process. Maybe throw in BMR or other High PR blog networks links?

    Twitter traffic is something that I will need to work on and I am not really into it. Look forward to your next great post!

    • You are probably right. I am a bit overly cautious about any sort of tlinking to this site. I am sure I cold do a lot more…. but it only takes one oops for the whole thing to come crashing down. If Google nails a niche site, I lose a little money. If they shut this site down I lose years of effort trying to build something that lasts.

      I just want to make sure i am always erring on the side of caution.

      I do link some web 2.0/BMR to these sites though… I just do it gingerly.

  26. Did a bit of investigation following your comment about post optimisation for SEO. One of my major content posts – 5 ways to collect debts faster has basically no searches each month, however if I’d titled the post 5 ways to improve your cashflow – improve your cashflow has 3600 searches a month….

    Great advice. Thanks Steve

    • Matthew,

      Those little keyword changes can make a big difference. Perhaps more importantly than title/using it a few time in the body is making sure you have a handful . of inbound links with that anchor text.

  27. Hi Steve,
    I noticed that you use Google for your stats and I was wondering how accurate they are. The reason I ask this is that I tried to compare the google stats and the stats from my cpanel stats and they seemed to be contradictory.

    So in order to follow your strategy of establishing a base point / metric, what would your advice be.

    Before I go must an excelllent article which I will be certainly be following.



  28. Great Job Steve,
    First of all, Good-luck with your goals. I just want to let you know that I have gotten a lot from this post and look forward to learning more of what you have to say and teach. Like yourself, I to didn’t write my posts with targeted keywords in mind, just mostly on what I thought my readers would want and hoping to bring in new readers. One of this years goals are to make at least $100.00 a month from Ads on my Blog. If it’s to much to ask, would you mind taking a look to see what you think about blog? All ideas are welcome. Thanx 4 ur time. “Free Stuff & Great Deals “

  29. I like the idea of setting quarterly goals instead of new year’s resolutions. I have a weight loss site and if you don’t mind I’m going to use that concept for a post on my site. Chunking things down to three month blocks is a lot less overwhelming. And I find that things change so much that what I set out to do at the beginning of the year is usually irrelevant by the end of the year, anyway!

  30. Steve,
    Why do I keep forgetting what incredible content you provide? And why do I never manage to implement the clear and sensible strategies you provide? I must be a blithering idiot.
    Seriously, I have so many of your recommendations stored in my Evernotes. Why won’t I ever just sit down and do them. You got a post about that?

    • Thanks Ralph,

      Glad you liked it. I am sure i have a post about avoiding procrastination somewhere. 😉

      Seriously though, while I hope that you do get some good info , I can admiit that sometimes it is better to be out there taking action on things too, (hopefully you get to do both)

      Thanks for dropping by!


  31. Your posts never disappoint Steve. Mainly because you think in the same way I do 😉 I love being able to drill things down to numbers and tangible goals.

    I always seem to come away from your posts with something of value to use. Your Twitter posting strategy is something that I am going to incorporate into my own Twitter strategy that I will be trialling over the next few weeks.


    • Glad you liked it Tom,

      Twitter is sort of a thorn in my side. I want to be “real” and really connect and not overdo the “automation”, but I also want to get the most out of it and not spend too much time each day using the system. (It is easy to eat up huge chunks of time on twitter, I fear)

      Anyhow, hopefully this is nice compromise with adding in some time really replying to others, etc.

  32. Enormously detailed post, way to go Steve! Recently I read that posts over 3000 words are much more likely to be linked to, and this one most likely is.
    Thank you for the personal example of “make passive income,” whether targeting keywords with that few searches is meaningful is a subject I have been debating recently.

    • Jack,

      I certainly think there is something to be said for the longer posts. (If it is information and not fluff that makes it long). I have tended to write on the long side because of the fact you stated.

      So many 500 word posts are simply about stating a problem to really get your info organicaly shared you need to state the problem AND some possible solutions.

      Sometimes this can be done in 500 words and make a great post. But usually to really be thorough it can take a bit more.

      Anyhow, I appreciate your comment and hope to see you here again,


  33. This first thing I thought of Steve is you need to get with Paul to map out a YouTube strategy and then I get to the comments and he’s already been there and done that. Oh yeah, you can kill it with YouTube traffic, that I have no doubt.

    I just had a few people contact me yesterday on Twitter that had gone back through some of my older posts and said I need to be retweeting them. I never set up a plug-in for that because I don’t want it grabbing the ones I have from the very beginning so I guess I should go back and actually clean up my blog and delete those posts now.

    Great strategy and I have all the faith in the world in you Steve. If anyone can do this, you can. Thanks for sharing the PDF of how you’ll be keeping eye on your website stats. I love that and am stealing that idea for sure. Oh yeah, I admit it! 🙂

    Great post Steve, really great post.

  34. Hi Steve, I noticed the bounce rate was a bit high at 81%. Am I right or did I get that wrong? I have to say though, the tips are priceless and I would like to apply them to my site.

  35. Very well written post. I’m a little new to websites / driving traffic etc and although the concepts are pretty easy to understand I think that the way in which you’ve presented them were excellent – easy to follow kind of bullet point action plan. I’m not looking for nearly 1mm visitors, but something to keep in the back of the mind.

  36. One million for this year wow that’s a cool goal. Best of luck with the amount of effort and analysis that you are putting in I believe you are definitely going to achieve it, best of luck.

  37. Wow! That’s a huge strategy! I could also try your strategy maybe my website will rank and drive more traffic. I have a question What did you do to make your Referral Traffic drive more visitor?

  38. Extra time on site is always great to see. And yours still has place for improvement, thought it’s not bad at all.
    I guess in the end quality articles really matter.

  39. You Guys at SPI,zacjohnson and steve have impressed me a lot with your blogs and hard work…

    Once again 1 million visitors goal,woooooooooooow

    I think you will be able to reach that if you continued your hard work..

    Gud Luck.

    • Thanks, It is getting there. On a rare day I break the “daily” number I need, but since the general numbers get higher I still feel in the long run this can work out. Thanks for the comment and dropping by, Ampit!

  40. Great Post Steve! Lots of sharing and good tips. I am in the midst of working out a traffic plan myself for another website and the target for that is more than a million visitors in 12 months…………… lots of work to be done:(

    Keep up the great posts.

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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