How I Grew my Insurance Agency’s Blog Traffic 467% in 2012

blog traffic 2012

growing blog traffic

If there is one thing that I learned in 2012 it’s simply put:

Content Marketing Works!

Good quality content marketing is essential to the growth of any small business in today’s business landscape (see How to Quit Publishing Bad Content by Copyblogger).

What you see above are my insurance agency’s actual traffic stats year over year (2011 vs 2012) September 1st to December 13th…

…and yes that is a 467% increase in traffic.

Technically, if we’re rounding it’s 468%, but who cares about such trivialities?

Not me…

Definitely not me…

Well, to be honest, I guess I do kinda.

I’m actually seriously freakin’ stoked about the growth our insurance blog has seen over the course of 2012.

The growth you see in that chart above makes me feel NOT crazy.  I’m not crazy with all this content marketing and social media marketing and email marketing stuff… It works.

If you package all that up and call it “Inbound Marketing”… Well looking at our traffic stats from 2012 I’d say that inbound marketing works and it works for any small business.

Content marketing can work for YOUR small business and here’s how… {Tweet how}

There are 5 keys to growing your blog traffic:

If you attack 2013 with these 5 key principles in mind and you will see similar success…

…I absolutely guarantee it.

Let’s look at each a little deeper in order of importance to growing blog traffic:

1. Consistency

blog traffic 2012A lot of the blogging purists having been preaching blog less frequently and focus on quality more.  This is not bad advice.  However, for the average small business blogging maybe once or twice a month… maybe… you need to get your ass blogging.

You need content and you need it badly and you need a lot of it and trust it doesn’t all need to be Shakespeare…

By the end of 2012 I will have published 200 blog posts on my insurance agency in one year.

That’s 3.8 blog posts a week.

You want to know why Google is beginning to love my insurance agency’s blog?

We always have fresh content…

…and Google rewards fresh content.

2. Focus

How do you produce 3.8 blog posts a week?

Got to have focus.

You have to be dedicated to task of producing fresh content.

It’s kind of like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Harrison Ford is trying to get the Holy Grail…  He finds himself standing in front of what appears to be a bottomless cavern and he’s asked to “Believe” and step out into the abyss.

You must believe in content marketing…

Guys like Marcus Sheridan and Mark Schaefer and Tom Treanor and Danny Brown… They’ve shown us the way and now it’s our rite of passage to follow in their footsteps.

But you must focus.

3. Strategy

If you want to seriously grow blog traffic there can’t be an “Shooting from the hip.”

Every piece of content must serve a purpose.

Every piece of content doesn’t need to serve the same exact purpose, but a purpose none the less.

Consistent, focused content marketing that follows a thought out strategic plan is the MOST powerful  small business marketing in existence…

Where too many of us go wrong (myself included on occasion) is producing content just to get something out there.

Big… big mistake.

Yes consistency is important and No your content doesn’t need to be worthy of the New York Times but it must fit in with and add to the purpose of your blog.

Otherwise you’re confusing your readers and more importantly you’re confusing Google.

Use a tool like MindMeister to help you build out a content strategy.

4. Outreach

In personal/professional opinion, for whatever you feel that is worth, after search traffic, there is no single greater source of consistent traffic then guest posts and contributing to other blog communities in your niche or related to your niche.

To sources that I reached out to this year were PropertyCasualty360 (an online insurance trade publication) and Small Biz Trends.

Contributing to these two communities has allowed me to share my expertise and insight with a larger, more diverse market than I could have ever reached with my insurance blog alone.

The links I get back to The Murray Group website are great for SEO and provide a consistent, month-in-month-out direct traffic source.

I will without a doubt continue to contribute to both communities as often as I can and hopefully find a few new communities to contribute to as well.

I highly recommend you try and do the same in your niche.

5. Failure

Though it’s listed as #5 this could easily be the most important aspect of my insurance blog growth in 2012.

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail!

It’s going to happen.

You’re going to put 5 hours into a YouTube video and then no one is going to watch it…

You’re going to write a blog series that no one is going to read…

You’re going to run a contest that only your Mother is going to enter…

You’re going to ask for feedback and get silence.

The Murray Group blog grew 467% year over year and I’d say easily 50% of what I did was a failure…

…but failure didn’t yield the growth, it was the other 50% of what I did that ended up rocking shit.

Even Seth Godin can’t be certain every action he takes online is going to be a success and I would consider him a Top 5 Internet mind.  Seth is awesome by nature and can’t control what hits and what doesn’t.

How are you and I supposed to know what’s going to work?

We’re not…

That’s why we can’t be afraid of failure.  If it sounds plausible that an idea could work.

Do it…

It if doesn’t work, learn and either don’t do it again and do it better the next time.

If it does work… well… I shouldn’t have to tell you what to do if an idea does work but I will anyway…

DO IT AGAIN!

Seriously if you knew how many things I’ve tried and failed at in life, let alone online, you’d probably lose respect for me.

But the deal is I don’t give a shit about failure…

…because when something works it’s friggin’ awesome!

We all have awesome inside of us.

The Rub

2012 was a pretty amazing year in a lot of ways for me.

But I want 2013 to be better…

I’m going to focusing more on the Content Warfare Podcast and the newly re-branded Content Warfare Newsletter {Click Here to subscribe free}.

The goal for 2013 is to take the Inbound Marketing conversation deeper…

Together we can get at the heart of success online and ultimately Grow Our Business!