5 Steps to Creating an Everlasting Gobstopper of Traffic

5 Steps to Creating an Everlasting Gobstopper of Traffic

Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Traffic that never runs out, just as the fictional candy never ran out in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

Too bad it’s impossible.

Or is it?

Well, consider the evidence:

It happened here with our illustrious Jon Morrow. It happened here with Jennifer Gresham. It happened here with Corbett Barr.

In fact, you’ll find examples of it all over the web. Most popular bloggers can point to a handful of posts that people never stop talking about, that never stop getting traffic, and that never stop bringing them new fans. Traffic shot up, and it never quite came back down.

And the really good news?

The same thing can happen to you. Let’s talk about how…

1. Envision your ideal reader

Note from Jon: My ideal reader is an umpa lumpa. Somebody tell me there is an umpa lumpa reading this blog. Please!

Before you write and publish your post, you need to know who you want reading.

To riff on Seth Godin, imagine you write about how to make balloon animals for kids, but one day, you get a huge rush of traffic from people who use balloons to create porn (such people exist, apparently). It’s not going to do you any good, right? Wrong audience.

The truth is, traffic in and of itself is pointless unless you’re attracting your ideal visitor. The one who reads every post, subscribes via email, leaves lots of positive comments and spends money on the products or services your blog promotes.

So, figure out who they are. Take some time to think about their lifestyle, their dreams and their problems. Now answer these 5 questions:

  1. What do you provide that they desperately want or need?
  2. How do you know that they need it?
  3. Can you become even more useful to them? How?
  4. What do they read, aside from your blog?
  5. Who do they trust?

Your answers give you the basic knowledge you need to create a huge rush of traffic to your blog.

2. Talk about them, not you

This part is easy. You ready?

People pay attention when you talk about them.

More specifically, they pay attention when you talk about

  • How to get something they want
  • How to get rid of something they don’t want

The magic trick that allows you to discern such topics?


The best way to find can’t tell topics is sending your audience an email, asking them on Twitter, opening a poll on Facebook. Look at what they’re saying in the comments too.

If you don’t have much of an audience yet, take a look at some other blogs where your future readers hang out. Note what topics are among the most popular posts, and read through the comments to see how people reacted to them.

In other words, get inside your ideal blog visitor’s mind and figure out what they want. Then wrap it into a great headline that knocks ‘em dead.

Do those two things, and you already have a great start. Then all you’ll need to do is…

3. Make your visitors feel at home

Here’s one of those head-smacking secrets:

Your visitors feel at home when they are at home.

Don’t try to pull them to you by force. Instead, reach out to them. Go where they already are, and connect with them there.

You can do this in several different ways:

  • Publish your post on your own blog, while getting to know some of the people who influence your target audience. Be helpful and respectful, then point out to those influencers exactly why their audience would like your post. If they agree, they’ll share it.
  • Publish your post as a guest post, on an authority site loved by the readers you’d like to make friends with. [That’s what I’m doing right now.]
  • Publish it as a free download instead of a blog post. Network with relevant influencers to tell your target readership about your download, and ask readers for a tweet, Facebook share or email address in exchange. [I do this with my Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs.]
  • Publish it in an email newsletter. That could be your own newsletter, but it’s often more effective to have your single post published in the newsletter of someone who already has the audience you’d like to connect with.
  • Publish it in print. Ink and paper aren’t dead yet, and there’s a whole second market out there that reads more hard copy than blogs. This is your shortest route to their eyeballs. If you want tips on writing for magazines, Linda Formichelli’s written the ultimate guide. Don’t forget local newspapers or specialist publications, which can help you reach a specific set of people.
  • Publish it for people to give away. Find a respected expert offering a product that’s highly relevant to your post, and ask them to give away your post as a free gift with their own product. You add value for their customers, while gaining attention and traffic. Win, win, win.

Did you notice a theme to that list you just read?

Yep, every single one of those points involves asking other people to help you promote your post. Getting huge traffic is not something you can do all by yourself, so don’t waste your energy trying.

There’s a whole world of people out there who are willing and able to help you get your post noticed. All you need to do is write a brilliant blog post and explain why their audience audience will enjoy it.

In fact, you can even schedule your promotional efforts to decide when you’ll get that big surge of traffic. Here’s how:

4. Plan your growth ahead of time

Choosing when to publish your post is simple. All you’re aiming for is to synchronise your post with other stuff that helps to promote your blog.

Grab a calendar and mark out all the other blog-boosting activities you’ve planned for the next few weeks. Got a guest post scheduled somewhere? Write it down. Interviewing an expert, or running a Pinterest contest? Write those down, too.

You can see where I’m going with this, right? Look at your calendar and find a date that’s surrounded by as many other blog-boosting events as possible. That’s the date you want to publish your post.

There’s a tipping-point beyond which online content goes viral. The more promotional activities you have on the scale, the easier it is to spark massive traffic growth with just one post.

You may be wondering how you’re supposed to get a guest post, or someone’s email newsletter, scheduled to go out at a time of your choosing. In many cases, all you need to do is ask.

“Do you have room in your publication schedule during the last week of October?” is fine. If they say no, go with the closest date that works for your host. You can reschedule some of your own activities to fit with the chosen date, if you like.

5. Control circulation

This is the part that most people have a really hard time believing.

Yes, you can get long-term traffic growth from just one post.

You really can. And I mean you, not me or Jon “His Royal Awesomeness” Morrow or anyone else you think has the keys to a secret kingdom of blog traffic.

You can get everlasting traffic from just one post.

Each time you get a rush of relevant visitors to your blog, after the big traffic spike tails off, your visitor numbers tend to wind up higher than they were before, and stay that way for quite a while.

All you need to do is maintain the growth you’ve already achieved, and keep nudging your post into circulation over and over again as time passes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Share a link to the post on your social networks once a week.
  • Add a sidebar link on your blog to that one post.
  • Create a helpful resource page that lists it along with your other best posts on that topic.
  • Go through your older blog posts and add a few links pointing readers to the new post.
  • Create new posts that incorporate a link to your traffic-boosting post.
  • Create new posts and link to them from that post, to keep visitors reading on your blog.
  • Link to your traffic-boosting post from future guest posts.

Is it a lot of work?


But here’s the thing:

You Can Do This

Now, listen. You’ve read this far, right? And it must have made pretty good sense to you, because you wouldn’t keep reading if it didn’t.

So, stick with me here:

You might think you can’t network with online celebrities. You might think your blog is too small to get attention. You might think people won’t be willing to help you out. In fact, if you try hard enough, you might think yourself out of the whole idea.

But it’s not true. You can do this. You really can.

You know how I know?

I’m not such a big shot myself, but I’ve done it. And that means you can too.

Believe it.

Act on it.

And then taste the sweet rewards.

Rewards everlasting.

About the author: Sophie Lizard creates sparkling blog posts for a living. She also teaches writers and non-writers how to increase their income by blogging for hire. If that sounds good to you, check out her How to Make a Living Blogging Interview Series and grab a free copy of The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs: 45 Blogs That Will Pay You $50 or More.


  1. Sophie Lizard
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 02:04:28

    Thanks, Jon, for being one of the good guys who help people like me to open up the candy jar and taste some everlasting traffic!

    Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be hanging out here and responding to comments. (Keeping an eye out for oompa-loompas, too.)

    • Cliff
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 06:56:56

      Umpa Lumpa.What a wonderful read Sophie.What you have said grabbed me by the curly hair.I had never heard it explained so well as you have.Must just be the kid in me wanting more candy.Looking for that Golden ticket.I just found one.Have a Sweet day.Thanks for the copy The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs: 45 Blogs That Will Pay You $50 or More.

      • Sophie Lizard
        Nov 15, 2012 @ 07:16:20

        Hey Cliff, thanks. Hope the Ultimate List is launching you to new freelance blogging pay grades!

  2. Chimezirim Odimba
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 05:47:07

    Great post!

    I like the part about identifying your audience. Getting the wrong crowd will only achieve one thing: Run up your costs. The truth is that an article becomes more useful if it is focused on one ideal customer. Everyone else doesn’t matter.

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 07:14:42

      Yep, you hit the nail on the head there! And there aren’t just monetary costs to attracting the wrong audience; imagine how many hours you could waste writing only to find you missed the mark…

  3. Joy
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 05:10:53

    HI Sophie, I love your post! I read it twice just to make sure I did miss any details. I’m just curious what you mean about the word oompa-loompas, I know you are referring to the character in Charlie the Chocolate Factory. I “googled” it and I found this meaning: slave workers taken from their native homes… I know I’m crazy but I’m just curious. 😀

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 07:03:32

      Hi Joy, that definition you found is pretty accurate: the original book’s Oompa Loompas were pygmies imported from Africa to work in Wonka’s fsctories.

      The reason Jon (and hence I) hoped to see some here, though, probably has more to do with their modern incarnation as cute, quirky musical comedians!

  4. Scott Wagers
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 05:23:27

    I have to admit that at first I thought another piece of advice that tells you to think like your audience, but your post just kept getting better and better. Lots of advice that I had not seen elsewhere. The motivation is appreciated as well.

    One tip I would add is to choose topics related to your passion. I wrote some posts in the past that were not really related to my passion and it was okay,but really onerous.
    Granted I did not even know what my passion was. Then when I was surfing AllTop for blogs to send guest posts to, I came across some creativity blogs and it set off a whole chain of events that has lead to me realizing that my passion is promoting creativity in groups.

    The point being that when you write about topics related to your passion, you will learn even more about your passion and that might be as equally valuable as everlasting traffic.

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 07:08:58

      Good point, Scott. It’s no fun writing and writing on topics you don’t give a hoot for.

      Let’s combine the two: write an epic post about your passion AND make it an everlasting traffic magnet!

  5. Coach Comeback
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 05:51:51

    Hi Sophie. Awesome of you to be here!

    Your ” . . .better paying gigs” was amazing! There are a few resources in there I am still using right now!

    And to His Royal Awesomeness…. pretty sure I HAD an umpa lumpa but I had it removed over the summer. Sorry.

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 07:19:44

      Hi again Coach, awesome of you to stop by and comment! And I’m always glad to see people making good use of the Better Paid Blogging Gigs list.

      *chuckle* I can see these oompa loompa jokes going on pretty much forever.

  6. Alex
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 06:28:11

    Great read, some really useful tips in there!! I think number 1 is so crucial to get right, know exactly who you want resin your article then all the content, the tone and language in the article will be directed at the person which means they will love it and share it!! Great post!

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 07:21:51

      Yep, knowing just who you’re writing for is one of those essentials that I’ve tried skipping before – and I’ve learned you can’t cut that corner! If I don’t know who I’m talking to, I find it hard to even start writing…

  7. Sue
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 08:32:21

    Thank you for the great article. I find the blogging world so over-whelming. How to get noticed? You gave us some good suggestions. My problem is setting aside time to plan my calendar and then write the blogs.
    Part of it is really defining who my target is, and I’m not sure I’m clear on that myself! I try to cover many bases but need to clarify my direction and who I want to work with! Maybe once I figure that out, everything else will be easier.
    Thanks again!

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 09:52:56

      Sue, I have that same problem sometimes with setting aside time for things.

      The only thing that works for me is to say, OK, this is a priority and I’m going to do it in the next 60 minutes! Then I ignore everything else, work like heck for an hour, and get done what I can in that time. At least I’m taking a step forward…

      As for defining your target audience, Jon very kindly talked through my options with me on that front and helped me to focus on the people I can help the most and who are already looking for a solution that I can provide. Before that, I was trying to run in abut 5 direction at once!

  8. James Marshall
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 08:57:48

    Interesting to read, but I still find it a bit hit and miss. Sometimes I follow these points and get nothing back, other times I get a massive response.
    I have found that infographics seem to get a big hit for me.

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:30:25

      Hi James, thanks for your feedback!

      I agree, there’s never an absolute guarantee that something will go viral.

      The important thing is to analyse your hits and misses, then keep working on what’s most effective. If your target audience loves a good infographic, then by all means let them have more. Sports and fitness info often works well in graphic form, so run with it!

  9. Jim Bessey | SoWriteUs
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 08:59:00

    Great information, Sophie!

    The single most convincing thing about your post was that Jon gave you space to place it here. Your point is proven.

    I’m taking notes, bookmarking, and will grab the list my friend James (the Coach) described as a great resource.

    Many thanks, Sophie! ~Jim

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:41:56

      Hi, Jim! You’re right, and I hope everyone will draw some confidence from the fact that I can interest big bloggers in publishing my guest posts even though I’m not famous.

      Step 3 above shows exactly how I got this far: I simply gave a few well known bloggers a reason to remember and like me – anything from “Sophie’s one of my students/members” to “Hey, that’s the chick who tipped me off when my hyperlink was broken”! That way, when I have something I’d like to promote, they’re always happy to help me out.

      Enjoy the list of better-paid blogging gigs!

  10. Shekarsan
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 09:08:53

    Excellent and insightful.

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:42:22

      Thank you, Shekarsan!

  11. Blogger24
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 09:28:26

    Thank you for the great advice, I will certainly try to keep it all in mind when I am deciding what would be the most beneficial way in which to publish each article I write.
    Porn and balloons eh, who would have thought it?

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:46:58

      I know, right? I was impressed to learn that balloon porn even exists! Gotta love the creative thinking…

      Yeah, hitting publish on your own blog isn’t the only way to a big heap of tasty traffic. There must be hundreds more possibilities that I haven’t listed, too, so if you find a few more do come back and tell us about it!

  12. Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 09:32:23

    It’s definitely true that the right post can be the gift that keeps on giving you traffic. Onibalusi’s YoungPrePro has a post with a list of paying markets that just keeps cranking.

    On my blog, it’s a post called How I Make $5,000 a Month as a Paid Blogger — written two years ago and still sending me at least 1,000 views every month.

    Tell people how to do something they want to do, in very practical terms, and it’ll be popular.

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:55:49

      Carol, that blog post of yours (and the comments on it) played a big part in convincing me that I had something useful to offer beyond my blogging services.

      Before reading that post, I might’ve chickened out of setting up my blog for freelance bloggers, because until that moment I hadn’t grasped quite how many people desperately want expert help and advice to improve their blogging career.

      Thank you for shining a light on the path, it’s turned out to be an amazing journey!

  13. Kemya Scott
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 09:40:59

    Sophie, if you were here I would hug you! I needed to read this right now! Everything makes sense, but number 5 really struck a nerve with me. That’s the one I have to work on today.

    And you’re right, this is a ton of work! But the rewards are sweet! I’m bookmarking and sharing this. Thank you!

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:58:23

      Thanks, Kemya. Yep, this isn’t cold fusion we’re talking about here – it does require a little energy from you to keep the ball (or gobstopper) rolling, but it’s more than worth the effort!

  14. Howie Nguyen
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 11:11:41

    Great post Sophie. Very actionable and most importantly for me, motivational.

  15. Sophie Lizard
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:59:32

    Glad I could help, Howie. Let me know how it goes after you’ve tried out some of those tips!

  16. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 04:57:12

    Sophie! Great post, and awesome to see you here!

    As well, I think it’d be cool if this post actually became a gobstopper… eh? 🙂

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 16, 2012 @ 11:05:43

      Jason! Thanks for being here.

      Yep, this post *should* be an everlasting gobstopper – if anyone deserves endless traffic, it’s Jon. He’s helped me so much to understand successful guest blogging and writing.

      But this next part is in the hands of you guys reading this post! Each comment or retweet helps to keep that tasty traffic coming, so we appreciate every single one. 🙂

  17. Chris Wakefield
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 02:14:25

    This post was a real tonic for me. I’ve started a blog and, so far, I have a readership, but not a very big one. There was some real food for thought here as I think I’m guilty of not always writing for my audience, rather I write what interests me. And I’ve never guest posted so will give that a go. Thanks again. Chris

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 18, 2012 @ 01:15:08

      Hi Chris, there’s nothing wrong with writing what interests you, just as long as you write it in a way that’s designed to help your readers!

      Yep, guest posting helps you find more readers who’ll enjoy what you have to offer. Jon runs an excellent course on guest blogging, so check that out to learn more about effective guest posting and give your blog traffic a lift. 🙂

  18. Dean Saliba
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 11:48:36

    Hahaha Thanks for referencing my favourite children’s book. 🙂

    I think everyone dreams of everlasting traffic, the only way I have found to get this is to pay for untargeted traffic which is obviously not what I truely want.

    At the moment I have a couple of posts that I wrote back in 2009 that still get some nice traffic but I’m thinking about deleting them as they were sponsored posts about adult toys (this was when I would write about ANYTHING for money), I’ll have to start churning out some informative content instead of listening to Oompa Loompa’s singing songs on Youtube. 😛

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 21, 2012 @ 12:03:24

      Untargeted traffic is unhappy traffic…

      I still love my blog posts about adult toys (truly – I wrote one just last week), but they’re published on sex education/enjoyment sites where they fit the audience like a latex glove.

      When it comes to your own blog, every post should meet a need of the audience you want to connect with. Those old posts may be pulling in traffic, but it’s the balloon porn scenario – if that traffic isn’t right for your site, it does no good.

      Let me know what you decide to do with those old posts!

  19. Lewis Saka
    Nov 23, 2012 @ 05:38:13

    the steps in the post are just what I needed. Thanks,

    • Sophie Lizard
      Nov 23, 2012 @ 12:42:08

      Thanks for taking the time to say so, Lewis, and you’re welcome!

  20. Austin Hodge
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 13:11:59

    Great post!

    I’m a big fan of examples and questions that I can ask myself and apply to my own situations. Thanks for providing plenty of both to help me implement the list.

    Best wishes for 2013!
    Austin Hodge

    • Sophie Lizard
      Jan 04, 2013 @ 14:19:32

      Thanks Austin, it’s always good to hear that you’re finding this stuff useful! Have a great new year.

  21. Clark Rickman
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 22:22:06

    I love this post. Thank-you!

    • Sophie Lizard
      Sep 24, 2013 @ 18:20:25

      You’re welcome!

  22. Alicia Rades
    Jan 08, 2014 @ 09:18:25

    Sophie, great post as always! I particularly love your title. That’s one sure way to attract readers!

    • Sophie Lizard
      Jan 08, 2014 @ 15:43:53

      Thanks, Alicia. Yep, the thought of candy draws them in every time… or maybe it’s the thought of traffic. Who knows with this crowd? 😉

  23. ayachiu
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 18:31:10

    Excellent article!

    I’m a huge admirer of good examples in addition to concerns i always could question me personally in addition to apply to my very own predicaments. Cheers pertaining to providing a lot of both equally to assist me carry out the particular number.

  24. Frederick Goodall
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 17:03:52

    Adding post widgets to my sidebar has helped to increase my traffic. Thanks for the idea.