This is a guest post written by Justin Goff. Justin runs GymJunkies.com and also writes about Fitness Marketing at his personal blog.

This is the exact formula I followed to launch my new fitness site GymJunkies.com. Gym Junkies a website and blog about hardcore fitness training. We launched on November 18th and by December 18th we were averaging around 350 unique visitors per day.

Our plan for launching this site can be broken down into three parts…

  • Make REAL connections with fitness pros and bloggers before launching
  • Have awesome flagship content on our site before launch
  • Make GOOD blog posts 1-2 times per week

Making real connections

Connections are the backbone of getting great traffic to your blog. You can read all you want about content and SEO, but when it comes down to it ….content doesn’t mean shit if you don’t know anyone.

In the past I always struggled with getting quality links to my good pages. But when I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, and stumbled upon the idea of “connectors”, a light finally went off in my head. I needed to work with the connectors.

Connectors are the people who are at the center of the industry. They have a large audience and connect publishers with readers. Online these people are the popular bloggers. Popular bloggers are sometimes tough to get a hold of, but I used a few different strategies that worked very well…

  • Do something for them first – This is so CRUCIAL when talking to bloggers. Popular bloggers get hundreds of emails everyday, and everyone usually wants something from them. By doing something for them first, you make yourself stand out and the blogger will be more likely to help you in return. So if you can send them traffic, or help them with SEO or help design their site, then do it!
  • Try to connect with them on Twitter or Facebook first – If you can make a small connection on Twitter or Facebook that will help you get your foot in the door. With this you’re just looking for them to remember your name so they’ll be more likely to read your email later on.
  • Get a referral from a mutual friend – If you know someone who has worked with the blogger in the past ask them to send the blogger an email on your behalf. This will help you start a conversation MUCH easier.
  • Comment on their blog A LOT – This is probably the easiest one to do, but it takes a bit of time. If you post 4-5 REALLY good indepth comments on someone’s site the blogger is going to definitely remember your name. Then down the line you can send them an email and try to make your connection then.

One of the keys to doing this is to figure out who the top bloggers are in your industry. My favorite resource for researching this is All Top. Just type in your industry’s name and it will show you the top blogs in your industry. Start with them…

After you’ve made a small connection with the blogger, then you should send them an email and either ask them an important question you have, or appeal to their self interest in some way. This could be pointing them to a helpful link or recognizing them in a Top 20 type post, or just telling them how much you love their blog.

Just get yourself on their radar so that the next time you have a great post on your site, you can email/IM/call the blogger and they’ll link to the post.

Have awesome flagship content on your site

I like to think of flagship content as a piece of content that’s going to still be useful a year from now. Flagship content also can be updated with new information and tweaked regularly.

We made it a point to load up our site with flagship content like our articles on How to Build Muscle and How to Lose Fat and also our instructional videos in the Exercise Library. Flagship content works very well for a few reasons.

  • It’s highly sought out information – People are always searching for the information that we’ve featured as our flagship content.
  • It’s prominently featured on our site in the left hand navigation bar. This makes it easy for new visitors to find our BEST content right away.
  • It gives bloggers easy access to our best articles and content so they can find them if they want to send a link our way.

Figure out 3-5 pieces of content that you can make that are highly sought out in your industry. If you don’t know what your industry wants, there’s a few good sources out there to figure it out…

  • Yahoo Answers – Check out the category for your site and if a question continues to pop up time and time again, well its probably a pretty good choice for flagship content.
  • Blog comments – Read comments in your blog and ALSO in other blogs in your industry. Figure out what people are REALLY looking for.
  • Read your old emails – If you get a lot of email from clients and readers, make sure to put the pieces together and figure out what most of your customers need help with.

So once you have your flagship content ideas, then you should focus on making your first piece of content. Here are some pieces of content that work very well as flagship content

Be sure to feature your flagship content in your navigation bars and also anywhere else that fits. I like to use something like “Popular posts” to title it so this gives new visitors a clue as to where they should start.

Make good blog posts 1-2 times per week

Being a top blogger doesn’t mean you have to write a new post every single day. In fact a lot of people (like myself) don’t like blogs that post every single day. It’s too hard to keep up with them and then you end up feeling bad for missing posts altogether.

My opinion is that blogs that post 1-2 times per week usually have much better content. They put up well thought out posts instead of just posting something because they have to.

Just think how much better your posts would be if you spent a whole week working on one post.

If you continue to write good content AND promote it well, the links will continue to come in. This will bring you more direct traffic and also increase your search engine rankings.

If you’re stuck for topics to write about, make sure you go back to Yahoo Answers like I talked about above to get some good blog post ideas.

How to promote your blog content

Promoting your content is as important as writing good content. Here’s what has worked for us at Gym Junkies…

  • Email/Call the bloggers you know and tell them about your new post. Ask them to link to it in an upcoming post if they can. If not, ask them to Twitter/Stumble or bookmark on Delicious.
  • Put a link at the bottom to promote it on Delicious and StumbleUpon. We’ve found that StumbleUpon works the best for us for bringing in traffic. If you’re not in a tech savvy market, a link for emailing it to a friend would be really helpful as well.
  • Make a post on Facebook/Twitter about it. This usually fuels a lot of backend links and tweets if you’re friends with bloggers and website owners.

Ok so what should I do now?

Take action now and find the top bloggers in your industry. Start making your connections. After that draw up an outline of how you want the content on your site to eventually look. I like to start with big items and then fill them in….for example….

1. A page about weight lifting exercises

  • A. Page about The Squat
  • B. Page about Deadlifts
  • C. Page about Shoulder Presses
  • D. etc…

You can do this for any topic. Figure out the main flagship content pieces for your site and then fill in the details with more posts and pages.

Conclusion

These are the exact techniques we used to take Gym Junkies from nothing to 350 vistitors on average per day. If you have any questions post them below in the comments, I’ll be sure to answer them…

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

125 thoughts on “How GymJunkies Grew Their Website in Less Then 1 Month”
  1. It’s alway key to make the right connection as they can make or break your success. Outstanding content is also key since so many people have the info you have

  2. Defintely agree with only posting 1 or two times / week. It’s really annoying with 1-2 new posts every single day.. clogs up feedreader as well.

    1. I think it depends on what type of site you have. If you provide valuable enough information that people can apply daily, then it’s definitely something one would like. However, If your providing daily info, then I would say it should be a short though. i.e the word of the day.

  3. This is a great example! What I should have done before I launched my blog was create relationships with you first! and other bloggers in my niche.

    So when it comes down to it.. its really about who you know?

    1. It’s often about who you know. Knowing the right people can help you to get a good job or can help you to make your website popular.

      1. Who you know is definitely advantageous, but if you know nothing that still ain’t going to help. All things being equal, the entrepreneur with an extensive network of friends and business contacts is bound to be more successful than one who don’t know too many people.

  4. I really like the idea of using yahoo answers to find the questions people are interested in getting an answer for. Very creative!

    BTW, Jeremy, i like the new layout for adding a comment, but would be cool if the default text inside the comment box were to go away when I click inside it.

    1. Yahoo answers is a great source of information and also, a great site to get topics.

      In fact, you can write an article by compiling many answers from different persons, merging all of them in the same article.

      Also, I recommend you to check MyLot, is another yahoo’s service where you can find many topics to write about…

    2. Yet I’ve used the guy who answers a couple of times myself and have also found a couple of other answer related sites that I could post on. it does only send a small trickle of traffic in my niche..

  5. This is an awesome post, you see so many people trying to game the system, but you know that’s never going to work long term.

    Great website as well!

  6. Yeah this makes since, like any business that deals directly with any customer you need to develop a connection with them so you can get them to trust you and what you are trying to sell to them because if they don’t trust you the likelihood of them coming back is slim to none.

    Thanks
    Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

  7. This is some great info, especially connecting with other bloggers on Twitter. I have been running my Poker site for no more than a week, and already have made really good connections with some great people.

  8. They had a very good plan on site launch I think that was the key because many websites have great content but many just don’t have it at launch so much of the people coming from publicity done stick to the site.

  9. WOw:) Congrats and thanks for the hints and tips. I am new to internet marketing and want to learn all I can:)

    ALl the best!

  10. @shoemoney
    While your new comment system is nice (especially the default avatars 😉 ), it will look much better if you use a darker font color for the comment box.

        1. Just noticed the new comment system. Not bad. You should set up an onClick js to remove test (like “Message Here”) and when it loses focus if it’s empty, put it back.

          Also, adding the “(required)” afterward messes up the name/email when they don’t remove it manually and it’s auto-populated.

          Just some thoughts.

          1. Jeremy.. It would be easier to comment if you don’t have to delete the reply out of all of the text boxs before typing in your name and address.. what I mean is like when you click in the box it should clear so you can type.. I think that’s what your are talking about here.. I do really like how you have the comments set up though so you can comment under people’s comment.. it’s pretty slick is it a plug-in?.

          2. now i think it works fine the words ” message here ” , ( your name required ) disappeared , i saw much here comment with name + required because they forget it remove the default .

  11. This is a great post for a startup blog to take note of!! I really wish I had done this for my blog, but thankfully I’m already on the way with this for my new website OnePoke.com

  12. Great post. If you’re interested in trading links with my supplement review site let me know. I get around 300 hits a day myself.

    Marko

    1. Marko,
      i am in the fitness biz and supplement biz as well, but starting a new apparel company called Ripped Apparel Co.

      when you get a sec, please email me and i’ll post your link on my sites, if you can put a banner of mine or at least a link to rippedapparel.com

      thanks,
      ryan

  13. This is a great post. I am fairly new to blogging and I have a fitness/exercise site as well. I’ll definitely follow the advice here. Thanks a bunch

  14. Once again, a great post! its all about networking, building solid relationships and taking positive risk! Thanks jeremy.

  15. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptBy doing something for them first, you make yourself stand out and the blogger will be more likely to help you in return. So if you can send them traffic, or help them with SEO or help design their site, then do it! … Read the rest of this great post here […]

  16. ShoeMoney, Justin, thank you very much for this post. I myself run a fitness website but I’m hopeless at promoting and such like, so I really couldn’t have asked for a more targeted explanation of how to make a website grow.

    Once again, thank you so much – and all the best for 2009.

  17. I love going to the gym thanks for there website link will use it and it’s great to know how they built there site up so fast.

  18. I’ve heard this non-sense thousands and thousands of times before. Yeah connecting with top bloggers. Who is going to give a sh*t about your puny little blog if it doesn’t have any quality/original content ?

    Using twitter ? Hmm .. don’t get me wrong twitter is the tool that bloggers like Shoemoney can use to drive a decent amount of traffic not a blog with less than 5 followers.

      1. That’s it right – I keep telling that to my ex – we just broke up a few days ago, but she thinks she can change over night to get me back – I keep telling her it won’t happen over night but she seems to disagree

      2. Agree with you Jeremy, Rome wasn’t build in overnight, it take process and hard work.Cheers

      1. Justin, great post. I spent some time on your site tonight and I think that you have done a fantastic job putting it together. Linking to your flagship content in a compelling manner like you have is awesome. I watched several videos and I am really impressed. Kudos!

        I don’t know if you care to share this in the comments here but what is your site’s primary goal right now (email signup?) and what is your long term strategy for monetizing? Products, advertising, etc.

        Talk to you soon.

        Scott @ Train Signal

        1. Hey Scott,

          Right now were trying to get RSS and Newsletter subscribers. I think were gonna go more towards Newsletter as that seems to be working better with our crowd.

          Our long term strategy for revenue is were making some DVD’s right now. Were also going to have a member’s only forum which will come with some really useful tools.

          Prolly gonna do some affiliate products as well. Maybe gun for an online TV show at somepoint….

          -Justin

          1. Justin-

            Here is an idea for good content (potential link bait) or to make part of your subscription.

            I workout (weights and cardio) a lot but I am always looking for ideas on exercises or not sure about what type of program to employ. Why not create an app that asks me a series of question and then spits out a workout program that is custom to my goals. Obviously it wouldn’t be completely custom to each user, but different workouts would be suggested based on current physical shape, goal (i.e. lose weight, train for running race, hiking, etc.), days available to workout per week, etc.

            The end result would be a workout program that tells me how often I should be doing different exercises, how many sets/reps and then some suggestions on different exercises that I can do.

            Just a quick idea. I am here if you need more info, just email me or comment.

            Scott @ TrainSignal

          2. Wow awesome idea Scott!

            I had an idea of something similar, but you really put it together.

            Im gonna get working on this right away…

          3. No problem Justin. Like I said, I work out a lot and I am in to training, training programs, etc. I am more than willing to help out with information from the “user’s perspective”.

            Also, Jeremy (Shoe), you are probably aware of this but the “(required)” text showing up in the name, email and address area makes adding comments kind of clunky.

      2. Justin, hats off to you on a job well done. You’ve now got a new visitor to your blog, and I’ve also given you a StumbleUpon review. Your killer content is bound to make your blog a great success with SU users.

  19. Some very good practical info there. Connecting with those that are much “bigger” in the business is not that difficult, if you’re not constantly asking them for things and bugging them with stupid requests. Great point and it seems to be true in my experience.

  20. Wow, do I have allot of work to do. I’m lucky to get 50 uniques a day.

    Great Post!

  21. Great Post. I have a fair number of unique visitors for my blog, but I need to post more often and use it like i love it, which i haven’t been doing.
    I have to learn to entertain people also. who wants a boring site to look at? So i will also work on this plus some SEO tips.
    ty for that post J

  22. If this was posted on Jan 6 why does the google analytics date range stop at Dec 18? what happened after that?

    1. It was to show you how we grew our website form 0-350 daily visitors in one month

  23. 350 uniques a day is nothing if you are writing on a popular topic at the time, is this something really worth boasting about?

    1. X-Factor

      I don’t think Justin was really boasting was he? I don’t get that impression. Why don’t you start a blog today and get back to us in 30 days with your numbers if it so easy. I think he has stepped out and shared a lot of good information for jump starting a new blog.

      Scott @ TrainSignal

  24. Perfect timing for me. Great information.

    I just recently (last night) started up a new blog, so I can exercise these techniques asap.

    I need some connections. Also, great content would help. I give up for now. I am gonna open this 30 pack of Pabst and see how far that gets me.

  25. Really good tips…

    Never read the post that was so honest and straight forward……

    Really admire the writer….

  26. How do you monetize your site with that impressive fast growth? At the end of the day it is profits that float my boat.

  27. Good article and information. I will be using some of this in marketing for my site as well.

  28. There is no such thing as the best way to build a site, it can be done a million ways. As long as you create some kind of buzz you’ll get noticed.

    Like me, I am giving away an iTunes gift card to a lucky subscriber. People buzz about free stuff.

  29. Definitely a good start for GymJunkies to get 350 unique visitors, that is great achievement.I will follow the footstep then.Great articles

  30. Where To Get Started: 5 Inspired “Must Read” Guides to Becoming Successful Online! - Income Hacks says:

    […] 3 – How GymJunkies Grew Their Website in Less Then 1 Month […]

  31. Congrats, respect, and it’s all about connections. Sorry, all about the RIGHT connections.

  32. […] How GymJunkies Grew Their Website in Less Then 1 Month […]

  33. “Content doesn’t mean shit if you don’t know anyone”

    Huh? Connect with your target audience and write shit they want to know about. You don’t need to know ShoeMoney to get 350 uniques per day.

    1. Right on with what Gym Tops said. Good blog post, but you don’t need to know anyone to have a successful blog or 350 uniques per day.

      Write about what people want to read within your niche and if your content quality is good, they will come. And connections will also come later – over the medium – long term.

  34. Very nice post!

    Do you all really think that commenting on other blogs is an efficient use of time?

    Most comment links do not count for SEO purposes, and the traffic from comments is low compared to other sources most of the time.

    —-

    http://twitter.com/Revelation1217

    1. Yeh I think it does help a lot.

      The traffic is small sometimes decent if you write a good comment.

      BUT the main reason is it helps get your name on people’s radars, and really helps build a relationship with other bloggers.

    1. I’ve seen a lot of people say it works. I think I’m going to try it sometime.

  35. Connections are very important. Another site I like is LinkedIn. I’ve gotten some great business deals because of it.

  36. Great post Justin. I’ve been following your personal blog for almost a year now, so it’s really cool to see how this project has progressed so well during that time. I’ve actually started using the beginner’s workout at GymJunkies 🙂

  37. Great Design and Layout. I think it depends on the subject matter of your website on how often you will post a day though.

  38. A webmaster who have most then 10 website havent to find a mutual friend to take backlink from him/her website. i nkow a lot of people who give backlinks from their old site to new site. So the difficult one is to start to work with 1 site as me. Thank you for the post

    1. Right, at some point, when you explaint all the exercises you can only post news on daily bases which means a loss of quality.

  39. Hmm… I searched bloggers in my niche , they are very irregular or they have a lot less traffic than I have.

    what work very well for me is ads campaign on StumbleUpon.

    Posting everyday is also doing good to my site as opposed to posting twice a week which impedes my traffic and ranking.

  40. Excellent content – as you always provide and inspires me to come again and again. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.
    By the way, there is one more valuable resource I’d like to share with others readers. It’s called Secrets of Successful Traders that teaches you…
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  41. One day, makes a lot of different, 1 day 10 quality comments.300 days equals to 3000 comments surely can get feedback and reslient traffic plus more friends of course

  42. content and having things people what to see or know about has been key for us. Great post, I love your post when you are showing us how other people are doing things

  43. Insightful post! I would love to take my blog to the next level (as it needs a total overhaul!) and experience more traffic.

    I like the idea of flagship content. I can definitely add value in that department and I think it would make a huge impact. The simple idea of connecting to the titans of your blogging niche also makes sense.

    Time to implement. Nice work on gymjunkies.com!

    1. “I like the idea of flagship content.”

      I think that’s a very important thing to understand some other guys talk about it is being pillar content.. content that draws in constant page views and stays relevant for a long period of time..I think it is a lot harder than it seems so to create flagship content..

  44. Excellent tutorial. Gives valuable info to those that are starting out. This is a very clear business model that can be adapted to a wide variety of marketing enterprises.

  45. Yeah making connections is a great way to get repeat customers. However it can be hard to do when you don’t have that real interaction between you and the customer when online. How I do it is by having testimonials and some ideas of fundraising events on the site to show how we can help them out.

  46. Great post Justin. Should also mention we need a passion for what we are doing, otherwise we can all lose motivation quickly.

  47. Thanks for the great information.

    I am new to internet marketing. Will put an effort to take action now..

    Cheers

  48. This is an outstanding post. I really appreciate hearing concrete advice from people who are currently going through the process of whatever they’re giving advice on rather than an expert who has done things in the past. This is a resource that I’ll constantly be referring to as I begin to build my blog

  49. I try to update my sites everyday with minimum 2 posts. Cos i like reading and expect new stuff everyday on blogs and would like to offer same on my sites.

  50. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Justin. His techniques are great and he is very generous with his information. I will be posting a 60 minute interview on my site in a few days where Justin shares some very good SEO techniques and tips for start up web business. Thanks Justin for keeping it real.

  51. Great post Justin. As you know I think your site has huge potential. Tapping into your network of blogger contacts is a great way to ramp up both from the short term traffic standpoint and the long term SEO benefit. Excellent game plan all around.

    Love Scott’s idea for the personalized workout program. Would be a sweet iPhone app too. Get some extra buzz.
    Now if you can get Shoe back in shape you really have a story that will sell 😉

  52. This was a really timely post for my current situation. I just launched a new blog and this gave me a good benchmark. I’d say I’m doing fairly well than compared to this post. I have roughly 200 unique a day and the site has up for a couple of weeks now..

  53. Some nice good points of growing websites there. I think that if you post good content weekly like you suggested than you site will grow because other bloggers will link back to you quite often.

  54. Wow, Justin, these are some incredibly important tips to get not just blog or website popular but any product or service online. Just a few points more and this could be an interesting report that can be handsomely sold. Thanks for sharing this and thanks to Jeremy for putting it up, 🙂

  55. They didn’t create this traffic in just a month. They had to prepare the content for their site which took some time before they launched. You have to include the prep time into calculations so readers have a true understanding of the time and energy required to develop a profitable site.

  56. Thanks for providing this information and really it is very useful.

  57. I see some dips in the end of the month as they started to get real traffic. Not a smooth, steady curve up. Makes me wonder if those dips are people looking for daily content? The post points were very well thought out, but the point of posting once-twice a week is intuitive/subjective. Seems that all top blog post much more than once or twice a week. People want community over content.

  58. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Sharon

    http//www.autoloans101.info

  59. I think there is a very important point that you made: we need connectors (ie. friends). I think about a friend who will help you out when you’re in need. Someone who doesn’t mind when you mess up. Someone who will still be around when you haven’t contacted them for a while. Treating people like friends is one of the best things that I can think of and I got that idea from reading this post.
    Great stuff.

  60. I think the real connections we can make being a sincere friends and not to expect from them, just sincere….that’s all..

  61. To increase your SEO and Page Rank.Do this steps make comments to blog on PR3 and above to PR6 or 7, gradually and making quality comments, step 2 narrow your niche or keywords, check thru google kw, then make content.Make internal links between your articles.Do this steps for a month.Good luck

  62. Awesome job growing the site. I think the most important thing to take away here is all the planning and writing that took place long before the site ever went public. Thanks for the tips.

  63. Wow, this breaks things down to a textbook formula. I’m going to have to re-read it twice to memorize all the details.

  64. i believe in what you write about “Make good blog posts 1-2 times per week” but don’t understand what you mean by “good posts ” ? you mean that i can add more than 2 posts but normal ” for example about my blog updates ” or you mean only 2 posts no more ?
    but in general , i think daily posts is not good because no one will continue posting daily articles with high value . sorry about my English ” if there is some mistakes”

  65. Im happy and inspired with all the testimonials from the site. I search google and i found shoemoney.com as my mentor and follower all the time. Im still a newbie and i know i can make things to a big change from adsense.

    http://wordstoponderzone.blogspot.com

    support my blog thanks and God bless

  66. This is awesome, I actually searched shoemoney’s blog for this. 🙂

    I’m just about to launch my fitness blog as well.

  67. This is an awesome post, you see so many people trying to game the system, but you know that’s never going to work long term. Great tips there… wonderful results.
    Congrats and keep growing.

  68. Great article guys. I’ve been following Gym Junkies for awhile and it’s fun to see how you got started. You’ve obviously done a good job promoting, but you know your stuff when it comes to fitness which is what keeps people coming back.

    Keep up the good work!

  69. Link is a very difficult production process, for fear they can not adhere to the last.

  70. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in our community. Your blog provided us with valuable information to work on|.You have done a great job!

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