Improving the list post strategy
In the previous post I talked about how my authority site broke 5k visitors traffic in a day. Basically the concept of strategy is create list post type of content and then create a buzz strategy to promote the list post’s content.
After the first successful viral list post, I want to improve it more. By looking and analyzing deeply into my Google analytics, I noticed that 62% of the traffic came from mobile; such a huge number! So I tried to tweak the mobile version of my authority site.
I noticed that the share button of my authority site was not working very well and the overall site was not really mobile friendly. Previously I used a very basic sharing buttons like Yahoo pages had; you can view it on the picture below.
I tried to put 2 sharing buttons on the above and below of every blog post. However, it didn’t really encourage people to share the post. I tried SumoMe mobile sharing but I didn’t like their idea of mobile sharing. They just put the sharing button at the bottom left side of the mobile.
So I looked around to see some sharing buttons of the top authority sites. After looking and searching around for a while, I noticed a trend of sharing button’s position in some of the top authority site for mobile version.
Both CNN and HuffPost use similar sharing buttons. They put the button in the bottom of screen and the sharing buttons will always be there though user scrolls up and down. Therefore, I tried to look for a WordPress plugin that has the similar characteristic with that button. The plugin I finally use is Simple Share Buttons, which can give the same appearance as CNN and HuffPost use.
Then I created the mobile and desktop sharing button like the below:
I also added a social locker on the post to encourage user to share the blog post.
Ready to Test
Here is the upgraded Buzz Strategy when the list post go live:
- Post the blog post’s link on Facebook page on Saturday morning
- Pinned the post on top of Facebook page
- Promote the post to Facebook groups
On that day itself, the list post drove 13k traffic and earned $43 adsense. The post went viral and a lot of social sharing from the mobile from the new plugin simple share buttons. Here is the interesting part of the buzz strategy.
I know that Sunday is usually the highest traffic for my authority site. I predicted the traffic will go up to 20k visitors but I was not sure whether or not my VPS can handle the sudden spike in traffic. On my MaxCDN dashboard it is noticed that it had already used up half of monthly 100GB bandwidth.
Based on data of that day, it’s been using 41.71GB out of 100GB. If the CDN bandwidth was used up, I would be very worried it might crash my server, because I believe the server could not handle the sudden spike in traffic.
So I decided to purchase extra 1TB bandwidth on MaxCDN just to be safe. Since I had extra bandwidth, I thought that I had to make full use of it. By using the $43 dollars earning of AdSense, I purchased Facebook Ads for page likes.
So the day started at 9am and I was just at home standby just in case anything happened. My heart beat very fast when I started to see my MaxCDN and Google analytics numbers kept going up. Watch the video:
I was happy as well as my heart beat very fast worried that the VPS might crash anytime. Luckily the web hosting I used was able to handle that amount of traffic and they even sent me an e-mail about the sudden spike in traffic.
In total, the viral list post drove 66k visitors during that week, and it broke the 100k visitors during October.
Key Lessons Learned
1. Always provide extra bandwidth whenever you know that you would have an upcoming awesome post to promote. CDN can provide a good option to offload your web hosting server.
2. I learned that high end VPS could handle 25k visitors MAX.
3. One of the big key thing I’ve learned is that mobile social sharing button is very important if you knew that bulk of your traffic came from mobile. In total, that list post was shared 8000 times on Facebook. Social Locker is showing that list post was unlocked 26 times.
4. The last lesson learned is that viral post had a life of his own. It will automatically die down on its own like the ice bucket challenge.
I hope you can learn something from this case study. Feel free to give comments or feedbacks about the buzz strategy that I’ve used.