How to Double Your Blog Traffic in a Month
"Flogging the Freelancer" is a blog post a day on freelancing in the gig economy. Browse the archives here.
In December of 2015, my monthly traffic for my Forbes blog was 63,469 total monthly visitors.
In January of 2016, my monthly traffic for my Forbes blog was 130,154 total monthly visitors.
The most popular post in January was: "See Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's Custom Guns Created by Jesse James."
Here's the first line: "Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are box office gold, and they’re armed with a pair of Cisco 1911 firearms that were created by infamous customizer and reality TV show star Jesse James."
To date, the post has 57,310 views.
I got the idea for the post from RECOIL magazine's Instagram page. RECOIL's editor had instagrammed extensively from SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, including a photo of the Jesse James Firearms Unlimited booth.
I did some research online and ended up at the JJFU Tumblr page, which features the custom 1911's James made for Pitt and Jolie and includes photos of the pair of pistols, as well as the story behind them. The guns are especially interesting in part because Pitt's is engraved "BIG PAPA" and Jolie's is engraved "MAMA KNOWS BEST."
That said, the post would not work unless I was able to use, with permission, the photos of the firearms.
I emailed JJFU and asked if I could use the images. JJFU responded, including full-size versions of the images.
I wrote the post, adding in some relevant information -- Pitt's support of the Second Amendment ("I got my grandfather's shotgun when I was in kindergarten"), an old rumor subsequently dispelled by Pitt that he had built Jolie a $400,000 shooting range on their French estate, how James left Hollywood and ended up in the gun manufacturing business -- and hit publish.
Why was this post successful?
It was visual.
It was about celebrities.
It was about guns.
And after the post went live, JJFU promoted the post on social media.
Thanks again to Jesse James and JJFU for the use of the images.