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It's January 31 – and another Ultimate Blog Challenge is done.

Because I've been doing challenges every quarter for the past few years, my results are not as dramatic as those who are doing the challenge for the first time.  My online business manager participated this time and grew her web traffic by 800% (she was starting with a newish site).  Still, every time I participate (and publish my posts on a regular schedule), I see an improvement.  This time the improvement was a 33% increase in visitors.

Screenshot 2014-01-31 07.40.04


I didn't really participate in the Facebook sharing group – most of my increase came from the search and SEO benefits of publishing content regularly.

I did a few things differently this time that I want to share with you:

1. I made it a priority to publish every day. In the past, I've gotten behind on the postings and ended up doing a lot of backtracking and publishing after the fact.  That really doesn't help your traffic.  This time, my team and I devised an editorial calendar that we stuck to until the very end.  This week has been busy and I didn't publish as regularly.  There is a dip in traffic this week because I was inconsistent.  A great tool for planning  your posts is the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin – you can download that here.


2. I held a guest posting contest  I wanted to have a chance to showcase YOU and your posts.  Every post that was entered was amazing and the guest posters all drove extra traffic to the site.   If you haven't read our guest posts,  here's a complete list:

I'm announcing the winner is next week's newsletter – but I was very happy with the quality of all the entires.

3. I fixed my opt-in box.  One of the main reasons to drive traffic to your site is to get people to sign up for your newsletter, buy a product or take some other action to get them on your list.  In a classic case of the shoemaker's children have no shoes, my opt-in was a single tiny white box up the corner of my site.  I added a pop up with some color and a picture of my Cash in On Your Expertise  e-book.  As expected, opt-ins to my list increased during the challenge.

What lessons did you learn from the blog challenge this month?