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In August 2015, Nat was hired to lead marketing and content for Sumo. At the time, their blog was getting ~5,000 visitors a month, mostly from a couple posts being sent to the email list. Over the next 8 months, he grew it to over 170,000 monthly visitors.

Since then, he's refined the core of the strategy used there, and through Growth Machine, we've been helping other companies implement similar systems. Some have even beaten that growth rate, growing by tens of thousands of monthly visitors in just a few months.

This article is a deep look under the hood of our content machine. It explains the process and system we use to help these sites see triple-digit growth in months so that you can implement it on your own site.

We walk you through the core principles of an effective content marketing strategy and help you identify and avoid the largest pitfalls that waste your time and resources.

It's meant to be highly actionable, so here's how we recommend you use the guide:

1. Read through it once to get a general idea of the strategy.

2. Re-read the “Why You’ll Fail” section, and try to identify which errors you’re making.

3. Go back through the guide and implement each piece one at a time.

It's a lot of information, but it's not complicated. Take it step-by-step, implement it well, and watch those traffic numbers grow each month.

  • KD

    Kristen DeCosta

    11 months ago #

    Wow, this is incredible. The part that stuck with me the most is the note on not burning yourself out. "Pick your stack, and stick to it".

    When you jump on a new project, it's easy to get overwhelmed with hundreds of promotional suggestions. However, you bring up a really great point. You can't spread yourself too thin. Find a few tactics, hunker down and devote yourself to them. I am only one content-marketer, I cannot write top-tier content, promote it on 20+ sites, build a Twitter community, find the perfect LinkedIn groups, and tackle reddit all at once.

    It's really easy for me to fall in the mind-hole of "I need to be promoting way more than I am writing". But, you are completely right. Why spend so much time promoting content if it's not the best it can be?

    My new motto: Create with Quality. Stick to your Stack.

    Thanks for this amazing piece!

    • NR

      Nikola Roza

      11 months ago #

      Yeah, this kind of thinking reminds me of "content flywheel", a concept that Rand Fishkin often talks about. Basically, it's the idea that building a strong foundation of high-quality content is the hardest part. It's making that flywheel spin for the first time.

      But then, it kinda goes on its own as:
      Passive link building,
      Active link building and promotion,
      Social sharing,
      User engagement.
      All these signals mesh into one giant snowball that grows bigger and bigger and goes faster and faster.

      And the best part:
      If a site is built on great content and White Hat SEO, then that ice ball will never hit the begining of the hill- it'll never stop.
      My English is kinda broken at the end, but I think you understand me.
      Thanks for reading:)

      • KD

        Kristen DeCosta

        11 months ago #

        Completely understand and agree! Great content paired with proper promotion is the key. Thanks for responding!

  • NM

    Niel Malhotra

    11 months ago #

    Oh wow, this is awesome. I love how simple yet powerful this is.

    I definitely love the strategy of asking for guest bloggers. I didn't think of that and should try that in the future.

  • RP

    Ritu Pant

    10 months ago #

    Curious how others handle internal linking. Do you manually do it or use a plugin? If using a plugin, I assume you are limited by using the same anchor for a link?

  • AC

    Amol Chavan

    2 months ago #

    Such an epic post.Thanks for sharing it. The great is to stick to one platform at a time and grow. Thanks for taking a promotion and breaking the myth that one should promote 80% and write 20%

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