How My First Website Went From No Traffic to 160,000 Visitors
I want to share a little story with you about how I started my first website, and how I turned it into what I consider my personal success story.
We all have that story about the spark that ignited our passion for what we do. We can look back at that point in our lives for inspiration, motivation, and learning.
Here's my story.
I was working for one of the largest websites on the internet at the time. We covered news stories, published original articles, and wrote guides all about video games (I know, I’m a geek).
After one particularly frustrating day when I was asked to be unethical in one of my product reviews, I realized something very important:
I could do this on my own, and I was confident I could do a better job.
I searched for a way to make my own website, slapped together a few graphics in MS paint, and a couple of days later I had my own website! “Uh oh… now what?,” I thought. I had no idea how to attract people to a website. I had no idea how to get my website in Google.
So I did the only thing I knew how to do: Write content. I was a forward-thinking mind in the video game content industry, and I just started writing my opinion.
A few weeks went by. I wrote on my website every day. I wrote what I wanted, in the style I wanted to write. Nothing. Not even a few blips on my traffic tracker.
One evening I had this epiphany: What if I predicted what people would want to search for in the future? So I wrote up a few articles. Still nothing.
Finally, I went to Google (still pretty new at the time) and started reading help articles on how their search engine worked. Taking what I learned, I optimized my existing articles and continued to publish optimized content that I thought people would want to read.
A few mornings later, I woke up and tried to access my website. My website was giving me an error.
My hosting provider emailed me and told me the “horrible” news: We’ve suspended your account. You’re crashing our network because your website is getting too much traffic.
Back then it didn't take a lot to overwhelm shared hosting -- these days a simple hosting plan at Bluehost wouldn't suffer the same fate -- but the point I'm trying to make stands: I went from almost nothing, to a huge burst in traffic.
I want you to note that I didn't have a master strategy for increasing my traffic. I didn't follow a guide for content creation or implement a single SEO tactic. I created content to fill a void.
And so can you! My little video game blog's success was not unique, exclusive, or by chance. The same formula is available for you to follow.