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How I Overlooked a 1000 Visitor a Day Source of Traffic [And What I Did to Grow it to 3000 Visits a Day]

Posted By Darren Rowse 17th of December 2011 Reader Questions, Social Media 0 Comments

Last week I was digging around in my Google Analytics stats and drilling down to look particularly at sources of traffic to my photography tips site.

I noticed a new source of readers that has been creeping up in terms of how much traffic it sends. Here’s the chart from the last few months.


It started as a trickle, but as you can see, in the last month there have been days on which traffic from this source has spiked up to over 2000 unique visitors. Even on an average day we’re up over 1000.

While it’s not the biggest source of traffic to the site by any means, it was a bit of a surprise and made me realize that I’ve not been as diligent in checking referral traffic sources as I once was.

Referrers are key

Before I reveal the source I want to emphasize my point: keep a watch on your referral stats. The source of this traffic doesn’t really relate to many of you who are operating in different niches, but the principle does. Be diligent in watching where traffic is coming from because there are almost always ways of growing traffic from these unexpected sources.

  • If the source is another blog, you can build the relationship with the other blogger.
  • If the source is a social network, you can get more active in that network, consider putting sharing buttons on your site, and educate your current readers about how to use it.
  • If the source is a search engine, you can look at what you’re doing right on that post SEO-wise and try to replicate it. You can also tweak the posts getting the traffic to make them rank even higher.
  • Whatever the source, you can look at the content that’s working out and produce more of it.

There are any number of ways of exponentially increasing growing sources of traffic, but if you don’t know about them, you will never be able to take action!

So what was the source of the traffic?

I know some of you skipped down here without reading the above section. You really should go back and read over it … but I’ll tell you now if you promise you will!

The traffic is coming from Pinterest.

Pinterest is a growing social bookmarking/network site (they call themselves a Virtual Pin Board) that is particularly popular in some niches like home decoration, weddings, craft, fashion, food, and more.

The traffic has literally arrived without me doing anything at all. I didn’t have an active account on Pinterest until the last week or so when I set up an account (connect with me here). I haven’t promoted the site there, or used their buttons (until this last week when I put it on a few of our hotter articles). The growth has been purely organic. I guess photography is one of those niches that Pinterest users are interested in!

Since finding out about Pinterest I’ve begun to participate there a little more myself, and have added a few share buttons to some pages that have been doing well for us. I’m taking my time as I don’t want to do anything spammy, but even since I’ve known about it and participated on this low level, I’ve seen traffic rise from a spike of 2000 or so visits in a day to over 3000—lucky I checked my stats!

As I say, this isn’t about Pinterest (although I’m sure some of you will find it fun and useful)—it’s about being diligent about your metrics, always being on the lookout for what’s growing, and working out how you can position yourself to be able to leverage that.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Very smart. Pinterest is actually how I found your site as well. I don’t like pinterest that much but your site has some great articles. Keep it up!

  2. Yes! Totally agree with you Darren, i did the same thing as you 6 months ago and noticed just 1 or 2 visits from Pinterest where an early-adopter had thankfully posted pics of one of two of our dresses. I joined and have been using it very actively along with my assistant and it has grown to our second largest source of referral traffic!!

    Good advice mate!

  3. Darren – This is an excellent post on being consistent about monitoring your traffic sources. I too have seen traffic from Pinterest before I ever had an account there. People pinned my infographics and I started seeing a boost from their social network. Certain industries are huge on Pinterest: bridal and wedding are an example. Brides love to plan their weddings and share the images with their bridesmaids and family for feedback. Great opportunities for marketers here, as always, if you’re adding value and not just spamming.

  4. Pinterest is awesome. I describe it to newbie Pinners as “the visual person’s Twitter.” It ranks behind Facebook and Stumbleupon in driving traffic to my site now. I actually think that in 2012 it will eclipse both for me, since I’m a lifestyle blogger.

    I love to use it to explore the web, too. Because the shared information emphasizes pictures, I find that I spend less time on it pinning but get more out of it because I can so quickly “eyeball” what interests me during a session–and then be done with it. Love, love, love.

  5. I’m on Pinterest and find the site interesting. Home builders are having a similar discussion on LinkedIn. There’s a lot to be said for sharing pictures and having a good visual format to present them in.

  6. Pinterest is a good site. We can call it facebook2 definately, the site is giving me a good amount of visitors.

  7. Very nice post, i have been reading you site on and off because i run my own blog in danish about “making money” so its nice to have a site like this to find good information.

    I will be looking at my stats today, but most of my traffic are organic :)

  8. I only heard of Pinterest a couple of days ago, unfortunately my business isn’t likely to get many hits from this but it looks really interesting and I’ll definitely take a look. As a start-up business though, Google Analytics is one of the tabs I have open pretty much constantly, I think it’s really important to check what you’re doing is having the right impact. Great post by the way!

  9. Will have to check it out. I have been ignoring it but think it might be time to stop!

    p.s. I did skip to the “what was the source of traffic” section. I guess you know your readers too well don’t you! ;)


  10. Pinterest has been sending me 10-80 visitors per day for about two months now. It’s high quality traffic as well and I haven’t had to do anything to attract it.

    How long until it’s ruined by marketers trying to exploit it?


  11. Daniel says: 12/22/2011 at 12:02 pm

    I’m very new to this. I am a print and web designer as well as a fine artist. Please tell me what to do! :)

  12. I get tons of hits from Pinterest – sometimes half as many as from google and way more than from facebook. But my focus is education and Pinterest is big with teachers. Pinterest is all about sharing the link love and it is all about images. One good strategy is to create a board that relates to something you have blogged about and then fill the board with posts from other bloggers as well as a few of your own. Strictly self-promoting on Pinterest is frowned on, so you want to mix your stuff in with those of your blogging buddies.


  13. only just heard of pinterest.. signed up and waiting for the invite.. :)

  14. Its just a new goldmine and i love to ready your Articles (FULLY) because i never want to miss any golden information’s on how to get Traffic especially if the Traffic is FREE! I’m happy to be one of your Member and hope you will keep going that great Work! i just registered with Pinterest… lets see what happens

  15. Hey Darren,

    Funny but I don’t even know what Pinterest is in the first place but I’m definitely signing! haha

    Thanks for sharing it and I’ll see what all this buzz is about.


  16. I have known about pinterest but avoided it because it is another social media tool that will suck up my time BUT
    when some travel bloggers mentioned it – I knew it was time to embrace another great tool for connecting with people

  17. Thanks for good ideas, I come from search engine, I like your content and I like your book, I still read your book for gain my knowledge.

  18. Like an earlier comment I’d heard on Pinterest but being another social media platform had hoped that if I buried my head it might just go away with little fanfare… I just sent for the invite, you sucked me in..

  19. I keep hearing about Pinterest lately, I guess I’ll have to go check it out, can’t ignore the potential of this much traffic, thanks for sharing Darren.

  20. I have not heard much about Pinterest. Going by your experience, and that of others above, I think I shall go and check out their site.

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