How Long Does It Take to Grow Website Traffic? My Personal Case Study

I’ve recently been active on Quora. One of the things I often get asked to answer is about growing their website traffic. Or more specifically, how long does it take to do so.

The answer, as always, is it depends.

  • It depends on your industry and niche
  • It depends if you’re writing with SEO in mind
  • It depends on the quality of your content
  • It depends on how much effort you put into distribution
  • It also depends on your purpose
  • It depends, largely, on what you define as a lot of traffic

It depends on a lot of things.

Beginning: Excitement

I started this site back in 2014.

sessions over time

At that time, I thought having a website was really cool. I have a lot of things I want to say (or write), so, I decided to get a domain, a web host, and install WordPress.

I was pretty active during the beginning so you’d see a bump at the beginning. I published several posts about what I’m interested in at that time: digital marketing and management.

sessions over time beginning

That bump isn’t big. If I was monetizing my website with ads, then that wouldn’t sustain me at all. I’ll probably earn less than $1 a month during that time and with that level of traffic.

In fact, this just proves the fact that there were little competition even just 5 years ago. I didn’t bother with keyword research nor building links. By simply publishing blog posts and not even think about SEO, you’ll get traffic to your website.

Remember, I started this as a way of sharing what’s on my mind. I didn’t care about how ranking on search engines then. Plus, I was working in corporate. This was just a side project.

Middle: A Lot of Excuses

But work and life happened, so I focused on other things and neglected my website for a long time.

sessions over time middle

I published a new post every now and then. Take a look at the number of posts I published per year over the last 7 years.

posts published

It’s no wonder that I didn’t see much growth in the early days.

I was busy making excuses.

  • I was working in a corporate, steady job until 2016
  • Then, I focused on my clients’ businesses
  • I got married

All these excuses prevented me from growing my own business.

Now: Growth

So, I made a decision to change.

plans vs

I didn’t take much action about this for a few months, but during that time, I was actively thinking about what I want to accomplish.

During the 2019 Christmas break, I made changes to this website:

  1. Switched to the Genesis Framework
  2. Redesigned the entire site
  3. Properly organized my content
  4. Planned for my first writing sprint

After that sprint, I was happy. I’ve never done anything like that. I enjoyed some quick wins there as well.

But after a few months, that’s when the results start to kick in.

sessions over time now

Of course, this isn’t attributed to a single thing I did; rather, it’s a combination of everything.

The point is that I put in the work and got rewarded for it. So, if you are planning on doing something, don’t spend all your time planning. Rather, focus more on implantation.

Results only happen on the outside.

Ariel Lim

Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.

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