How can I get visitors?

All right, I’ve just published a post on my brand new, pretty much completely unknown blog, and I want to get some visits. A thousand would be great. Why not? I’ve worked a bunch of hours on my posts and setting everything up, and I really want other people to see it. It’s reasonable. I’m even willing to spend some money for it. But I don’t want to spend more than $20. Let’s not get too crazy, ok?

I need a strategy. I know how to move around the internet (I have active profiles on most of the main social networks, I know how to search on Google better than 90% of my friends and I don’t think I’ll ever get scammed when buying online) but I don’t feel too comfortable on anything besides that. I ask a friend (online marketing specialist, he should know) what to do.

Strategy one: buy ads

He tells me I could spend the $20 on online ads. I could set up a campaign on one of the main ad platforms (he tells me that probably Facebook would be the best option) but he insists that twenty dollars is a terribly low budget for this. He tells me that to get a thousand page views I would probably need… ten times more! I’m not looking forward to that!

He tells me I could learn about optimization strategies and targeting to get the best out of my money, but honestly it sounds terrible. I have no idea about any of that. And if bringing some people to my cool blog requires that kind of effort, I may consider throwing in the towel.

I will talk with another friend.

Strategy two: take advantage of somebody else’s fame

After hearing about my adventures, he asks me if I have considered piggybacking on somebody else’s fame. He suggests I talk about somebody famous on my blog, or even interview them, so they share my article with their fans and boom, thousands of eyeballs on my site. It doesn’t even have to be a truly famous person: it can be somebody with a few thousand followers on Twitter.

It’s a nice idea, but I feel very awkward using somebody else to get attention to my own content, and I don’t really want to change what my blog is about to make this work. I don’t know any “famous” person that may do this as a favor, so it would require a lot of work to make my blog feel respectable enough for a stranger to do this for me. And even if I get an interview with somebody famous, they may just don’t share it, which would make all this effort terribly unsuccessful.

I like the idea though, it can be very satisfying if done well. But I don’t have enough time to work on this kind of content. And the risk/benefits ratio is just over the roof.

Talking about risk…

Strategy three: increase my available budget investing in cryptocurrencies

What if I get my 20 dollars and buy some bitcoin or whatever is hot now, and wait a couple of months? I’ve seen in TV people getting very rich very quickly. What if it multiplies by 2, or 10, or 100 in the next few weeks? I’m not stupid! I can do it! It might just work!

I’m really pumped, I want to do this. With $2,000 in my pocket I can talk with my marketing friend so he does some of his magic and voila, thousands of loyal visitors in the blink of an eye. But where do I begin? And what am I seeing, 10% down in the last 6 hours AGAIN?

What am I even talking about. Let’s forget about it.

Strategy four: share among my friends and family

I’ve just realized I’ve already talked about my blog with two friends and they actually liked the content. What if I share it with my friends, co-workers and family, and maybe ask them to share it with their friends if they like it? It would be free, and the visitors would probably stick since they may be genuinely interested in my blog.

After all, it doesn’t require an incredible effort, investment or refocusing my blog. And if I’m lucky my friends (and their friends) will help me amplify the audience exponentially.

And that’s what I’ll do in the next three months for our empathy challenge. Since my real-life social network is mainly Spanish, I’ll choose one of my own previous posts: Algunos plugins de Sketch útiles.

It will also be more realistic in the previously depicted scenario: a blogger that wants to get visitors to their own site.

I will share it manually with my friends, coworkers, former coworkers and family, and ask them to share it with other people if they find it interesting. They may share it on Twitter, Facebook or other online platforms to amplify the reach, and we’ll see how it goes.

I don’t think my own social network is big enough to pull this off, but I want to see how close I can get to the goal.

I will use the remaining $20 to advertise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and AdWords, $5 each, with exactly the same parameters, and see which campaign is more successful. Even though I know I will be veeery lucky if I get just a handful of visitors, I will use what I learn (in terms of how campaigns are set in each platform, and which ones perform better) for personal development. I have never done it, and I’d like to learn how it works.

I will share the results in a few months!

By Eduardo Villuendas

Designer at Automattic, horrible cook.