Niche Site Challenge: Facebook Videos, Blog Comments & Getting In The Dirt [Part 2]

Part 1 of the niche site challenge is here.

Firstly, let me apologize to you:

You’re getting this post a little late.

Because, as I sit here and type this, I’m in some awful little kitchen in rural Spain connecting to the most god-awful WiFi in the world.

I’ll come to why that is later on in the post.

But I've been putting in the effort to deliver you with some high quality techniques to help you grow your starter blog and get the exposure you deserve.

If you’re not sure about this niche site challenge, I’d recommend you head back and check out last month’s post which explains everything that’s going on.

That being said, let’s get stuck into the post, shall we?

 

 

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Now Is The Time To Get Into Facebook Videos
  • Why Your Followers Don’t Matter
  • How Blog Commenting Became My New Favorite Traffic Source
  • The Most Important Lessons All Niche Site Owners Need To Hear

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

This Month In Short

Each month, right here, you’ll find the statistics and metrics for my site so you can see my progress month on month.

I may add or change some of these focuses from month to month, depending on what my users are doing, but that’s not too important right now.

Income: $0

Traffic: 610 Sessions (+0%), Bounce Rate 72.46% (+0%)

Email Subscribers: 7 (+0%)

I’ve been focusing on building a blog through a personal brand.

That’s involved creating native content on: Facebook and Instagram.

I’m focusing less on Twitter and using that more for connecting with: influencers, bloggers and people who comment on my site.

Blog Comments have also formed an integral part of my traffic building strategy.

Although the numbers are low, the quality of traffic has been high. And it’s a darn site more time effective than guest blogging.

I've also gone ahead and bought subscriptions to: Buffer, Aweber and SumoMe.

That isn't covered in this post, but next month you'll get a full breakdown of why.

I'll also be looking to use some of Stuart's 101 Traffic Hacks product as well.

 

The Site Looks A Little Different, Doesn't It?

Okay, I went ahead and got myself a new theme. I wrote last month about how the old theme, in the image below, made me feel a little sick to look at. But I didn't do anything about it so I didn't use it as a barrier to start.

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 10.01.04

 

But I couldn't stand it anymore - it didn't fit the brand image I wanted just yet - so I went for a more blog, image centered feel. I'm going to try and keep it consistent for now, but my content looks better on site now.

 

blog screenshot
Okay, let's get into the meat of what I've been doing this month...

 

Why Now Is The Time Get Onto Facebook Video

Facebook hasn't made it a secret that video content is it's favorite type of content right now. And, Facebook Video is fast becoming a competitor for YouTube.

That's exciting for bloggers, because it's so damn easy to do.

Let's be honest, if you're not on YouTube the next place you look for video content is on Facebook (once you've checked the Membership Area of course).

You don't even search for it sometimes, it's just given to you through word of mouth from your friends in their feed. Now, imagine harnessing that power for your blog.

That's exactly what I've been trying to do. Now, I'm not up to challenging our current Facebook Queen, Chelsea, but I'm going to give it a go.

Enter my Facebook page.

Currently I'm walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain (more on why at the end) and every day I'm creating a video of what happens on the road. Like this one, right here:

 

 

These are small, quick hit, pieces of social media content that keep people involved in my brand. While introducing more people to my content through: likes, shares and comments.

Take a look at this graph here. You can see my page likes just writing and curating content - my blog and other people's content - up until the 8th May. From there, look at how much the likes go up:

 

page likes arrow

 

That is all in organic page likes, too.

Now to be completely transparent a lot of these are people who I know in the real world, or through blogging, however outside of my first 20 likes I didn't invite anybody to join my page.

They've all chosen to like based on the fact they either like me, or my content.

For example, the views on my videos, after the initial spike of people, has been pretty good considering my page has less than 150 likes right now.

 

video insights

 

What I'm predicting will happen here is:

  • The number of people watching will go down 
  • The length of time people watch for will go up

That is, maybe only 300 people will watch my videos, but the completion rates will go up. 

Because I'll shed people who are only having a quick look into my life, and the people who care about the content will stay.

And, if that doesn't happen and my views go down, then I'll adjust depending on what seems to work well.

Now while this may seem like a vanity metric - getting more page likes - its slowly adding to my personal brand, and it's giving me traffic, too:

 

traffic with arrows

 

But why do I think that now is the time for you to get into Facebook video? Simple.

Because attention is there right now. And you need to get there before the competition does. And, if you're unsure about how to make a video, here's a simple three-step guide:

  1. Get A Camera: Smartphones are amazing for this. You can record and connect straight to Facebook in seconds. You don't need 4k or studio quality recording equipment.
  2. Record Something: Pick a topic and talk on it. What's on your mind today? What's happened in your Niche that you need people to hear your views on?
  3. Upload and Share it: That's it.

You're not trying to be Gary Vaynerchuck or Prince EA or Rand Fishkin here.

The fact your videos will be raw and unpolished is an advantage to you.

It shows you're a real human that people can connect with. I mean, just look at the quality on this video:

 

 

It's just me, holding a phone, talking about shit. And it got: five likes, three comments and a share just on my page.

As well as engagement on other pages where I'd shared it.

Try making videos.

If it works, run with it. If not, move elsewhere.

But now is the time to try.

 

nicmend

"The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video. It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more
information"

- Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook 

Click Here To Tweet This! 

 

How To Use Blog Commenting To Get Targeted Traffic

My next strategy for this month has been a trial strategy.

As you know I'm a big fan of Ryan Biddulph's work, as well as a close follower of Neil Patel's work.

Both have used Blog Commenting in their own way to build traffic.

Neil Patel featured it in this traffic building article and Ryan released an eBook that was insanely helpful in this process.

The test I've run has been really simple:

  1. Comment on a lot of blogs in the traffic niche
  2. See which ones send me traffic
  3. Stop for a month to see if there is continued traffic

The latter has also been useful because blog commenting and keeping up with content is harder on the road. Which is a strategy I need to figure out for myself.

Anyway, here's an overview of the traffic from the comments I've been leaving (orange boxes):

 

blog traffic with box

 

This numbers are low - hey, it's early days - but take a look at the quality of the traffic:

 

blog traffic with boxes 2

 

The orange boxes here show that for two of the three places I commented that converted to traffic, the bounce rates was zero percent and that they explored at least two pages on my almost bare site.

The red boxes show a poor conversion from Expert Vagabond, but then that tells me that either:

  • My content needs to improve
  • My content doesn't fit his audience

But all in all this is 13 high quality page views for little work. And, if my content continues to improve, I have a great opportunity to capture people.

Let's take a look at the sort of comments I've been leaving so you can replicate for yourself. Here's my highest clicked comment here from Nomadic Matt:

 

matt traffic stats boxes

 

This post was about 15 Free Things To Do In Sydney a place I'd been to previously and was on a tight budget so I could comment pretty confidently about what I'd done. Here's that comment in full:

 

sydney comment #1

 

My main two focuses here are to develop a relationship with the post author (long game, like Chris Benitez wrote about here) and add value to the reader at the other end on top of the post  (long and short game).

These tips aren't free but they're still budget-focused don't go completely against what the reader is looking for.

I'm not going to dwell on this for too long because I've written a comprehensive guide to blog commenting here that you can check out.

But, if you're not using this as a strategy, you should start.

But, Wait, The Numbers Are Really Low!

Welcome to the world of blogging, my friend.

When you get started out this is exactly what happens. But here's the thing:

  • That traffic didn't cost me anything
  • It specific to my target audience
  • It's as high quality as paid traffic
  • It's building brand awareness

And it's a great way to find where it's worth getting guest posts. Or where you can still share content even when guest posts aren't available.

I'd rather invest my time into a blog comment for know and reap all the other benefits that come with it - relationships, high quality traffic, brand exposure, no follow links - instead of getting a guest post without testing the quality of the audience and it falling on deaf ears for eight hours worth of work.

But, let's see how my test pays off next month, shall we

 

E6qH8p23_400x400

 

"249 comments resulted in 3,973 visitors and 6 consulting leads. And although I don’t do much consulting, I was able to turn one of those leads into a $25,000 corporate speaking gig"

- Neil Patel

Click Here To Tweet This! 

 

 

Why I’m In A Rotten Kitchen In Rural Spain (And You Should Be Too)

Okay, finally, let me hit you with a really harsh truth:

If you’re not involved in your niche you’re never going to make any real money from it.

I don’t care how many keywords you rank for. How many people are on your mailing list. What you made from Amazon Affiliates last month. If you’re not active in your niche you will fail in the next six months to two years. How do I know?

Because every month, on WordPress Platforms alone, 59.3 million blog posts are published worldwide. And that noise is hard to cut through.

If you’re not active in your niche - creating content, running experiments, getting experience and generating results - you’re going to blend in and become just another blogger.

So, from the minute I decided to start this Blog, I committed to travelling and creating content based on:

  • What I Know
  • What I’ve Done
  • What I’m Doing
  • The Problems I Have
  • The Elements I Do and Don’t Like

I know it’s been said before, by the really clever Kristi, that there is nothing new on the internet. I’ve even alluded to it myself. But my counter argument now is that you have to go out and try to create it.

This month and next, as you’ve seen in the Facebook section earlier, I’ve been walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Next month, I’ve got a top-secret project I’m going to launch on Nichehacks for you to see about travelling.

After that, I’m going to keep travelling to see where I can get the best content for readers.

You don’t have to be a traveler though. You shouldn’t write about health or fitness or cooking or social media or beer or wine or sex or church bells or anything unless you’re willing to get your hands dirty in that niche.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

Wrapping This Month Up...

It's still early days so progress is slow. But here's what you should take from this post:

Facebook Video works and is a great place to attract people to your brand, site and page.

You can create contently easily and free in fewer days. And, it's easy to combine into blog post content as well.

Blog Commenting is perfect for driving targeted traffic back to your site. And, it's easy to test if a site would be good for a guest post or not (and to get featured even if you can't get a guest post).

Get your hands dirty in your niche and start running: tests, experiments, creating how to's based on your experience. You'll survive longer and make more money for it.

Other than that, it's back to the grindstone.

If you've got any questions or comments about this, or want to suggest any content you want to see, let me know in the comments below...

 

P.S.

Part 3 of the niche site challenge is here.

James Johnson
James is a Freelance Blogger from Manchester, England.

He specializes in the topics of blogging, growth hacking and content marketing.

You can read more topics from James by clicking on his name.

Comments (6)

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  1. This is so awesome James,

    You've really made some great move. I agree with the fact about getting involved on your niche, that's the best way to stand out from the competition.

    I'm also in the process of starting an authority site and have made some efforts like deciding on a niche, keyword research and so on.

    I've also built a team that will help me with this project, though they're totally new to the business but I know I can teach them.

    A quick question though, are you writing all the contents yourself? And any plan to invest in paid traffic in the future?

    Thanks for sharing and good luck.

    Theodore

    • NicheHacks says:

      I love it too. And I love watching his travel videos. He doesn't try to be anything he's not. He doesn't try to be overly professional. He's just James being James and people are going to love him for it...well those that can understand that dodgy accent anyway. 😉

      • You're right Stuart,

        Nothing beats being yourself at all costs. Like you said, it will end up getting you lots of fans which is what we all wanted anyway.

        I'm patently following this case study, let's see how it goes.

        Thanks for the reply, trust you're enjoying your weekend?

        Theodore

    • Hey Theodore,

      Sorry for the slow reply, I've just got home from travelling and life has been hectic! The downsides to the travel niche, eh?

      I will be writing the content myself, at least for the foreseeable future. I want to build this in a personal brand route, and I know writing is my main strength (you'd hope so, right?) so my main focus is there.

      I'm currently branching into paid traffic through Facebook, and the experiments will be written about in the future!

  2. Lloyd says:

    thanks for the informative tricks in generating traffic...videos are indeed a good way to engage real people.. I wonder how to do it since my niche is in environment.. not a travel site like yours which is way easy to make videos for travel...

    thanks anyway..

  3. Navdeep says:

    A very good article to generate traffic to the blog. I love reading your posts. I don't know how to create informative videos but will give a try to it. Thanks for such an awesome post again.