How do you get a quarter of billion visitors a year?
It’s been quite a while since I’ve watched an interview; I’ve been so busy building my niche site, but when I read the title to that video I had to watch it. I had and idea that theoatmeal.com got a lot of visitors, but WOW! a quarter of a billion? That’s 250,000,000. I’m sure some of you Internet marketers would do anything to get that kind of traffic.
If you asked Inman how he does it, he’d probably say: create awesome comics that people want to read, but you and I know we don’t know even know how to draw stick figures if our life depended on it. So here are some other lessons I learned from this interview that David Siteman did with Matthew.
Create stuff and sell it
Inman said that about 80% of the money the website brings is from the shop and only 20% came from advertising. There’s a lot of stuff you can buy on the site like mugs, stickers, posters, shirts, signed prints and other cool things. He goes to say that the top sellers are the ones that are useful to people. A good example of this would be his grammar pack that has posters such as “When to use i.e. in a sentence,” “How to use a semicolon,” and “10 words you need to stop misspelling.” and he mentions that it’s useful because people can learn from them.
The takeaway here is to create stuff that is educational and interesting at the same time, that can build you 1000 true fans quickly.
You get rich slowly
We take a look at the oatmeal and we see how they’re getting so much traffic in such short time, but we need to realize that for some of us that success will come slowly. People that come to a site won’t buy something on the first visit. As Inman puts it, it’s going to take more than 10 visits for one of these loyal readers to actually purchase something.
It’s our jobs to keep them coming. Yea it’s hard. But you need to have patience and keep them coming even when you’re not seeing traffic growing. You need to keep hustling and not get frustrated because of it. One thing I learned from Corbett is to write epic shit; this turns your readers into evangelists of your blog. Slowly you can get rich.
Keep your eye on the ball
When Inman decided to really focus on creating comics is when his hard work started to pay off. One particular post by Hugh Macloud talks about how you should make art everyday taught me that you should always be, well, creating shit. If you focus on a plan and just follow the plan you can see the results from that investment.
When we analyze the success of theoatmeal.com it keeps taking us back to publishing interesting content that keeps readers coming back for more.
Oh about the quarter of a billion visitors a year and how to get that many, I can’t really tell you, but if you ask Matthew or watch the video at hubspot then you’ll see how he did it; for now I guess I’ll continue putting out posts like these that can guide you there.