Getting free traffic to your website can be tough.
It was for us too, that was until we discovered a method of content writing that gave incredible results.
In Just 4 months our content writing services generated a total of 141,989 visitors and in this article we are going to explain exactly how we have done this.
You will learn:
- How we create and test content.
- How I have created posts that I know will be a success.
- And how you can replicate this easily along with our best content writing tips.
Are you ready?
Let’s do this.
How ‘The Hugo Method’ Helped Me To Deliver Over 100,000 Visitors To Client Websites In 4 Months
Now although I am not going to give you my client list I am more than happy to share some screenshots of a few of them.
Above we can see one site that we took from almost zero site visitors to 28.194 in a matter of 4 weeks.
And then there was a client we delivered a massive 72% increase in new site sessions in about 8 weeks.
And finally, if you are still not convinced, here is some more client success:
As you can see a very healthy 40, 568 visits in a mere matter of weeks.
And if that was not enough check how just one article we have written for a client has generated over 55,000 views.
I am saying this not to brag, but these are all honest results, no deception or Photoshop antics.
Now although I have used a variety of methods to achieve this success the first (and most important) is what I call The Hugo Method.
What Is The Hugo Method?
When it comes to content creation I have two areas of study.
I look at what is working now and what is worked in the past, and when I say the past I mean hundreds of years ago!
You see whilst a lot has been written about modern marketing methods we know very little about the way content was distributed before the golden era of radio and TV.
Sure, there were newspapers but a lot of people couldn’t afford to eat so buying a newspaper was a luxury they couldn’t afford.
Yet despite the lack of finances, both news, and books flourished and I have had huge success following methods that were used in the past.
So why did those books and news sheets flourish in a poverty-stricken era?
It was all to do with the story and later on, I will explain how one of the biggest blogs in the world generates traffic using stories.
The Lost Art of Street Literature (And What We Can Learn From The Past)
Victorian England and other societies of that era were content-hungry (just like ours are now)
People couldn’t afford to buy books and newspapers but they wanted content.
Songs, stories and news were distributed cheaply using what was known as broadsides and handbills.
If we look at an example of one we start to see a striking resemblance to modern day content creation
I spent some time analysing the strategies of historical content distribution to see If I could kick ass in the modern era using their techniques.
And that helped me to create my biggest breakthrough; The Hugo Method.
Creating Wow Factor Content
The Hugo Method can totally change the way you look at web content writing and best of all it takes just 5 minutes.
I got the idea from the classic book Le Miserables written by Victor Hugo.
Originally published in 1862 the book is considered one of the best of all time and it is one of the longest books you will ever read.
It has been turned into one of the best musicals of all time and also a film which won academy awards.
It is truly a roller coaster ride that takes the reader on an epic journey through the life of Jean Valjean, the man who was sent to prison for stealing a loaf of bread, who goes on to become a successful businessman.
So what did I learn and how will this book help you?
Well during my research I discovered that as Hugo’s book was so long he used a series of Hyperbolic adjectives to describe his work.
What are hyperbolic adjectives?
Well they are just really exaggerated descriptive terms
“Astounding, extraordinary, surprising, superhuman, supernatural, unheard of, savage, sinister, formidable, gigantic, savage, colossal, monstrous, deformed, disturbed, electrifying, lugubrious, funereal, hideous, terrifying, shadowy, mysterious, fantastic, nocturnal, cresusuclar”
If you start to look at content that performs well online we can see that it has little to do with length and everything to do with how it transforms the reader.
And by using The Hugo Method your writing and content will become truly epic!
Don’t go away yet, as you are going to learn how you can quickly use this to make your posts 10 x more effective.
How To Use The Hugo Method To Create Epic Posts
To see how we can create better content, we need to analyse what is doing well.
To help with that process I head over to Buzz Sumo so we can start to look at really breaking down successful content and applying the Hugo Method.
One of my favourite sites is Tiny Buddha and these guys must be doing something right because they have around 4 million page views per month, so if we analyse them in Buzz Sumo here is what we get.
Over 1 Million social media shares in a year.
Who wouldn’t want that kind of traffic?
So what is their secret?
As we can see their content types pretty much do well across the board so it is not that they are using a specific type of content.
What about content length? Does size make a difference to their content?
Their greatest shares come from content between 1000 to 2000 words with the under 1000 word posts doing really was also.
Now you didn’t need me to tell you this but as you can imagine it has everything to do with the words on the page.
That is Tiny Buddha’s secret.
Their content is truly epic because it helps people to feel better about themselves and their lives and is often told through the power of stories.
If we take this further and analyse the top content in the last 12 months we really start to see the magic.
This Post by Alyssa Pierce titled “Grief Has No Expiration Date; You Don’t Need To Feel Guilty For Your Sadness” generated over 32,000 Facebook shares alone!
If I was to look at the content and use The Hugo Method, words such as “Powerful, forgiving, grief-stricken, happiness, transformational, encouraging, supportive” all spring to mind as hyperbolic adjectives for that work.
If we leave Tinny Buddha and head into the SEO space and look at one of Brian Dean’s epic posts at Backlinko.com.
We see his article about increasing website traffic doing amazingly well with over 800 Tweets and nearly 400 Facebook shares.
Brian is an expert in SEO content writing and the post goes into detail about Brian struggled online and how he changed his writing and ultimately his life.
Then he shares a proven approach that you can use as well.
So what if we apply The Hugo Effect to this work?
Words such as ‘educational, inspirational useful, career-changing, transparent, traffic enhancing’ all spring to mind immediately.
I hope you are seeing a pattern here.
What makes content great is not the format, the length or even the images.
Instead, great content takes the reader on a journey and after they have read the post they feel that they were helped, educated or at the very least entertained.
So let’s look at how you can write content that really kicks ass and hits the mark every time using The Hugo Method.
How We Wrote Content That Got 140,000 Visitors (and how you can too)
The above image shows The image shows some of the traffic I received from LinkedIN and Facebook for an article I wrote.
The Post was my guide to getting website traffic from Facebook using The Shareaholic Method.
To date, that content was really well received by other marketers, in one LinkedIn group alone it generated a lot of likes and comments.
I wrote it using The Hugo Method and here is how I did it and how you can too.
Develop A Loose Headline Then Get Your Screenshots
I know that a lot of people like to write their headlines first and also then plan their posts.
However, I prefer to do things differently.
My first step is to create a draft headline.
I make this as bland as I can and for my post of Facebook traffic I actually just wrote “How To Get Traffic From Facebook”
I then go away and start researching:
I take screenshots of stats on blog posts using Snagit that will support my story. I am not looking for anything complex, but stats that back up what I say (I always give a link and credit to the source).
Snagit is by far my favourite tool for blogging because it allows me to capture screenshots in seconds.
Now, I have a loose idea of my subject, what I want to say and some stats to support it.
I then just head over to Grammarly and just write.
Grammarly is a great tool with free and premium options and this checks my grammar as I am writing.
But my aim is just to start writing content and focus on the words on the page.
This is where Grammarly pays for itself and it allows me to improve my article using words which are more interesting and powerful
My favourite writing resource is Jon Morrows Power Words article.
This allows me to have a great resource of powerful words to sprinkle into my content.
When I discovered how Victor Hugo used adjectives to describe his work I tend to use The Hugo Method on my work after every 500 words I write.
I will write the content and then look at it to see if I can describe it with some hyperbolic adjectives.
In essence, I am asking if the content is boring or compelling enough for someone to read the next 500 words.
Does the content stack up to The Hugo Method?
After I have done this I usually end up with a ‘tighter’ article and then I add the images to a Google doc or add directly to WordPress press depending on what the agreement is with the client.
But can you use The Hugo Method to improve older articles?
Yes, you can.
But we are going to use science to help us to improve older articles and this is what I will explain next:
How To Make Your Old Content 10 x More Effective
I have written a lot of content over the years on one site alone I wrote over 200 articles. However, when I look at that content now, I realise how bad it was.
Now I am not talking about typos, I am referring to the structure, headline and style of writing.
However these days I now go back over old content using a great tool from the guys at Sumo
The tool is called Content Analytics and it is free and takes second to set up.
Just download the app sumo plugin from the WordPress plugin directory and you can add it from their internal app store, once activated you just click and start recording your page and leave it for a week or more, depending on your traffic levels.
When you go back to the page you will have a colour coded report on top of your content that shows how well it is doing.
If we look at my Facebook Traffic article and analyse its performance we can see the following:
Since I started using Content Analytics I can see that the average read of this article is just 37%.
Now, this might be for a few reasons, perhaps the reader has decided they don’t like the post or think they have got the main parts of the information.
Either way, it is my job as a content strategist to get the reader to carry on.
The great thing about content analytics is that it gives me all the drop off points and now I can go and fix them.
To do so I will apply The Hugo Method to that section of the test.
Could it be better? If so how?
Could I add some more power words or does the content need re-writing? Or perhaps I just need to add a content upgrade there to get people to read the article later (and get an email sign up in the process)
There is, however, another thing I can do and this trick is simply brilliant.
That trick is called Bucket Brigades
How To Use Bucket Brigades To Get People To Read More Of Your Content
I first heard of Bucket Brigades from Brian Dean at Backlinko and I try and use them all the time.
Essentially they are just ways to get the reader to move onto the next line of text
I use one in that article here:
A bucket brigade can be subtle or really heavy, I tend to think of my content as a diving board. That way I want the reader’s eyes to dive down to the next line and I often add a colon to get the reader to drop further down the page.
Now I have to admit I need to use more bucket brigades and there is a great list of potential ideas in this article from Pixels and Click.
Bucket Brigades will help you to get readers actually reading more of your content and as such clearly I need to add more to that article.
The bottom line with The Hugo Method is about what your content does.
Does your content engage, inspire, educate or annoy?
Perhaps all of the above, but either way you need to keep focused on creating epic content that way you will really start to see more likes, shares and comments.
As we have seen, epic content does not have to be a monster-sized post but it must connect with the reader.
So go and look at your content and find hyperbolic adjectives to describe it.
If you are struggling to find any then it might be time to rethink the article and re-energise it!
Let me know if this has been helpful and does your content need The Hugo Method?
As always please like, share and comment below.