Most website growth strategies involve a pretty serious amount of risk. Invest hours and hours in content hoping that it will go viral. Buy social advertisements, hoping that visitors will stick, and keep coming back. Invest in link building strategies that will certainly pay off at some point, but when? Is there a surefire way to build traffic? There is. Start breeding blogs with each other.
What Conglomerates Can Teach Us About Blogging
Huge multinational conglomerates hardly set the perfect example for web strategy. Big business is notorious for being behind the curve when it comes to digital marketing, but they can teach us a little something about how to get website hits.
When Facebook noticed Instagram's popularity, they bought it. To grow its mobile presence, Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Betting on the growing popularity of online images, the Carlyle Group bought Getty Images for $3.3 billion.
Seeing a pattern?
Conglomerates understand that the most surefire way to grow is to buy something that's already performing. And when it comes to building an online presence, this option isn't limited to multinational conglomerates. Virtually any small business can do it.
Growing Traffic Through Acquisitions
How can you leverage acquisitions to start building an online audience? The basic process looks like this:
- Find a blogger with a relatively large and engaged audience who has trouble with monetization.
- Hire the blogger and purchase their site.
- Redirect the old blog to your site.
- Rinse and repeat.
So let's jump in and take a look at each of these steps.
Finding a blogger
I wouldn't recommend turning to ODesk, Mechanical Turk, or any of those sites. Delve into the internet itself and find the content producers who are already demonstrating their skills successfully. I've already talked a bit about how to do that, but let's review the places to look:
- Casual bloggers
- Forum kings
- Social networks
The key is to seek out passionate bloggers with an audience of their own who struggle a bit with monetization, or who would rather focus on blogging than the business side of things. Here are a few tricks to help you accomplish this:
- Restrict your searches to wordpress.org, blogger.com, and tumblr.com
- Click "More" and "Blogs" before you conduct a search
- Check out the second and third pages of Google
- Look for sites with a bit of an amateur appearance but a decent number of comments and social activity
Hire the Blogger
Don't assume that just because a blogger isn't well monetized that they'll just hand everything over without a second thought. Passionate bloggers pour a lot of time and effort into their site, and the thought of being bought out can be scary.
- Approach them as a human. Compliment them on the content of their site, their passion, their writing style, they way they interact with their community, and so on, not on their domain authority, traffic, profit potential, etc.
- Assure them that they will retain control of the content. You don't want to mess with the cause of their success anyway. Obviously their will need to be some guidelines in place, but in general you should let them hold the reigns and keep their personal brand in place.
Redirect the Blog
Redirecting the old blog to your site is one of the most important steps. Ideally, you want to keep every page of the blog intact so that existing search engine traffic isn't lost, and users don't get confused.
- If the blog is hosted on Blogger, here is Google's own walkthrough.
- If the blog is hosted on WordPress, here's their guide.
- Here is the guide for Tumblr.
- Otherwise, follow this guide from About.com.
Rinse and Repeat
Make sure you are transparent with the bloggers as you approach them about your plan for growth. Find out whether they'd rather have their own subdomain, or post to a community blog. Grow slowly at first. You want to streamline the process to ensure profitability and work out the kinks. Don't assume that the guaranteed growth in traffic necessarily translates into a guaranteed growth in profit.
So there you have it, the surefire way to grow traffic is to breed blogs with each other. Have any thoughts or suggestions? Let us know, and pass this along if you like the idea.
Image credit: Ricardo Diaz