How to reach your first 10,000 visitors a month through SEO, strategic guest posting, amazing content, and more…Original post from Nat Eliason.

Two months ago, the Sumos were sitting around having tacos and whiskey (typical lunch here), and a question came up: “If you had to start a site from scratch with no existing audience or mailing list, how would you grow it to 10,000 visitors per month, in just a few months?” Over 350,000 sites have SumoMe installed, but very few have reached this traffic tipping point. Maybe you’re still working to hit that 10,000 mark. To help you get there, I want to show the strategy I’ve used to grow my personal site, nateliason.com, to 50,000+ visits a month:

Analytics Growth Chart

And I’m going to show how my site’s traffic increased steadily over the course of December, despite publishing only one article and not emailing my list: Search Engine Optimization (or SEO). Yes, you’ve read unsatisfying articles about SEO before, but I’m going to show you the exact steps I follow to take advantage of it and actually get results. I’ll walk you through how I’d use the same strategies that have worked on nateliason.com (and some other things that I’d do if I had more time for it) to grow a brand new website to 10,000 visitors a month, all through a focus on SEO. And, as promised, I’ll talk about how I’d do it assuming I had no existing audience, no big blogs (like this one!) to link from, no connections in the industry, NADA.

  1. Pick the Topic
  2. Create an Initial Article List
  3. Prioritize Your Articles
  4. Pick Your Top 5-10 Articles
  5. Create a Schedule
  6. Create a List of Similar Blogs for Guest Posting
  7. Write The First Article
  8. Create a Content Upgrade
  9. Promote Your Article
  10. Create a List of Guest Topics
  11. Start Guest Posting
  12. Repeat Steps 7 through 11!

Step 1: Pick the Topic

(Skip this section if you already have your site built) It’s popular to recommend going through Google, BuzzSumo, Facebook groups, etc. to try to find the perfect topic to build a high traffic site around… but it’s all a waste of time. Why would you build a site about anything you’re not passionate about? For the sake of this article, I’m going to start a site called Nat Likes Tea at natlikestea.com. I like tea, mention it at least once in most of my articles, and all the good “tea” puns are taken: honest tea, ingenuitea, insanitea… Nat Likes Tea it is.

Step 2: Create an Initial Article List

With the topic in mind, I’d come up with an initial list of articles that I could write, and keep them all in a spreadsheet. By doing this, I can make sure that I’m writing about the best topics to go after, not just picking things willy-nilly. The first couple ideas I have might be fine, but by spending some time to put all the options out there I can be sure that I’m spending my time as effectively as possible. The easiest way to make this list is to come up with a few article styles, then mix and match styles and content to build a huge list. For Nat Likes Tea (NLT from now on), I might have these categories:

Nat Likes Tea


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