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Blog Promotion Case Study: 382% More Traffic (In 1 Week)

small-blog-promoWant to know the secret to more traffic?

Well, in today’s case study, that’s what I’m going to show you!

You’ll see how I leveraged other people’s audiences and online communities to promote a piece of content that generated:

  • 459% increase in traffic to my website
  • Over 660 social and influencer shares
  • 90+ new blog subscribers
  • 1 new client (who called me specifically because they read the article)
  • All this in just 5 days!

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Want to know how I did it? We’ll get to that soon…

But First A Short Story…

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Have you ever publish a piece of content that you were really exited about? Only to log into Google Analytics the next day…

No traffic, no shares, no hope

Okay I’m being a little dramatic, but I know we’ve all been there and it’s not fun.

Before I started the ELIV8 blog (and consulting firm), I ran a blog on mobile marketing.

Even though I was publishing great content on a regular basis, I could never generate any meaningful traffic to the blog.

As I’m sure you can relate, seeing your hard work go unappreciated, is not a great feeling…

But through years of trial and error, I’ve learned there are far more effective strategies for driving profitable traffic for myself and my clients.

In this case study I’ll show you one of these strategies and how it can grow your traffic by more than 380% in 1 week:

traffic

…and how to attract shares from big brands and influencers in your niche like I did: CrowdFire (3.6 million followers), SlideShare (226K followers)Sam Hurley (48K niche followers)Chuck Aiken (33K niche followers):

influencer-tweets

Ready to see exactly how you can duplicate this kind of on-demand traffic and influencer social sharing for your blog?

This 2-Step Content Promotion Strategy = More Traffic, More Shares, More Links, More Leads, More Customers

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If you’re serious about driving more traffic to your site, here’s a blog promotion strategy that you should know about:

Step 1: Create predictably viral content.

Step: 2: Leverage other people’s audiences.

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Sound easy? Actually… it is!

Here’s how:

Step 1: Create Predictably Viral Content

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What’s predictably viral content?

It’s content that you know without a doubt, will perform and get you more traffic.

How do you find that content?

Step 1: Find untapped keyword opportunities

Head over to the Google Keyword Planning tool, then plug in some relevant keywords. The topic I chose was “growth hacking.”

But here’s my big issue with the keyword planner…

It shows the same results to everyone (including your competition).

So to find some untapped keywords, I used Brian Dean’s GKP Hack!

What’s the GKP Hack?

Find a highly ranked piece of content on your topic, then simply add that link to the “Your landing page” area in the keyword planner.

I used a growth hacking guide that ranks #2 in Google for the landing page in my keyword planner:

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.36.28 PM

When you do this, you’ll be shown a handful of great keywords that your competition will likely never see!

(There a number of other options for refining the results like categories, locations, dates ranges, etc.)

Another great way to find untapped keywords is by using Pinterest’s search function.

Just make a search in Pinterest then copy and paste that link to the “Your landing page” area of the keyword planner like I showed you in the last step.

pinterest-search2

Using these strategies you’ll be able to conduct thorough keyword research and find some awesome keywords!

Here’s the keyword I decided to use:

GH-techniques

While the average monthly search volume and competition rating are good indicators of keyword success, there’s a few other ways to guarantee that you’ll pick a winning topic!

Find out how in the next steps…

Step 2: Find content with proven track record

Now head over to BuzzSumo and enter in your keyword. This tool will identify the most shared content on that topic so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

Below are the top 2 results. Guess who’s number 3 now?

I’ll might even take the top spot soon. 🙂

buzzsumo

Now head over to Google and do the same thing:

g-search

Using BuzzSumo and Google you’ll be able to dig up content opportunities that your competition is missing and identify common traits of the top links.

For my search, the top content on “growth hacking techniques” were actionable, list posts with real world examples.

So what did I do with that information?

Step 3: Create something better 

Now that you have a good idea of what’s out there, you need to make something better.

I won’t lie to you, this is probably the most difficult part…

You need to create a piece of content that’s truly worthy of views, shares and links.

I decided to create an infographic called “12 Proven Growth Hacking Techniques” because I noticed there weren’t many solid infographics on that topic.

Here’s a little sample:

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 9.18.29 PM

Looks nice right?

But you can create anything you’d like… Just make sure it’s awesome!

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Videos or webinars
  • In-Depth Guide
  • Presentation
  • Influencer Roundup
  • Interviews
  • Epic List Post
  • Link Roundup

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If you want to kickstart your content, try repurposing older content you’ve already created by building on top of it to save you some time.

Step 2: Leverage Other People’s Audiences

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Once you’ve completed your masterpiece, you might be ready to crack open a beer and celebrate. Sorry, not quite there…

If you want people to actually see your content, you need to let them know about it.

But who should you tell?

The best way to quickly get your content in front of thousands (even millions) of people is to share it with influencers who have the audience you’re trying to capture.

Note: Usually the most effective way to promote your content is email outreach… Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find the emails for everyone that you want to contact (especially influencers). Don’t miss the BONUS AREA at the end of this case study with to secret to finding anyones email address.

I decided for this case study that I wouldn’t use any email outreach for the first 7 days.

So how exactly did I boost my website’s traffic by 382%?

Strategy 1: Targeted Twitter Outreach

Twitter accounted for 28% of all my traffic for that week!

Here’s how you can get similar results:

Head over to Twitter and search for influencers who share similar content (and who have the audience you’re trying to reach).

You can find these people by typing relevant hashtag phrases into the search bar.

Note: Some keywords like “growth hacking techniques” won’t be used as hashtags…

Instead, I’d search for hashtags like #growthhacking and #growthacks (use Twitter’s recommendations to help guide you).

Next… identify the people and brands that regularly share content on your topic.

twitter-searching

Take a quick peak at their profile to see how many followers they have and confirm they are actually interested in your topic.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the big influencers in your niche, you might be surprised how willing they are to converse on Twitter!

Now before you go all share crazy, remember these people are probably very busy and get hit up with these requests all the time

The solution?

Send a feeler tweet so you can gauge their interest without being pushy.

Here’s the template that I used to reach out to people:

Hey @(Their Twitter Name)! Noticed you share a lot of #(Your Content's Topic) content... I just published a #(Your Content's Format) you might like. Want to check it out?

Here’s what most of my tweets looked like:

Hey @MrInfluencer! Noticed you share a lot of #GrowthHacking content... I just published a #infographic you might like. Want to check it out?

(Of course, there are variations and personalization you can make for certain people)

Once they respond and say yes, send them the link to your content.

This simple 2-tweet combo is a sure fire way to get influencers that command large audiences to share and link to your content.

Here’s a few of the tweets I got back:

outreach

Why does this type of outreach work so well?

First of all, you can send a tweet to anyone on Twitter as long as you both have accounts…

Which makes it really easy to quickly contact the influencers you’re looking for.

Second, you already know these people like to share content related to your topic because you did your research on them!

Now I’ll show you the second most effective strategy I used to boost my website’s traffic…

Strategy 2: Niche Communities and Websites

The next strategy I used was to leverage other people’s audiences was submitting my content to relevant communities the growth hacking niche

In this case I used GrowthHackers.com, Inbound.org and the Growth Hacking Sub-Reddit.

GH-siteinbound-site2

In the two samples above, content is displayed to the community based on the number of people who “upvote” your link.

As you can see, I had dozens of upvotes!

This was in part because the people in those communities upvoted it, but also because I personally asked some of my top readers and peers to upvote my links if they liked the infographic.

This way I would guarantee some decent exposure on these high-traffic communities.

Almost every niche has it’s own online community, resource hub, forum, etc. Just do a little searching in Google and you’ll come up some great options.

These kinds of communities and websites are perfect places to tap into well-establshed audiences that are hungry for more content.

Submitting my link to these sites and calling in a few favors only took a couple of minutes, but it drove 23% of my traffic that week!

Other Strategies I Used:

Targeted outreach in Twitter and niche websites were by far the most effective strategies I used, but that doesn’t mean I ignored my other marketing channels.

Here’s a list of the other things I did to promote by new post:

  • Sent out an email to my blog subscribes and leads (which you should be doing every time you create a new piece of content).
  • Shared to my other social media accounts like LinkedIn and Google+, especially to relevant groups and communities on those platforms.
  • Depending on you content’s format, you can upload it to SlideShare to reach a whole new audience (my infographic has 3,000+ views on SlideShare and counting)
  • I paid someone on Fivver to upload the infographic to infographic curating websites who might want to share it with their audiences.

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These strategies drove 14% of the traffic to my site that week.

Other Blog Promotion Strategies:

While I found success using the strategies above, there are other promotional strategies that you should use. Specifically email outreach

Email still remains as the best way to build quality backlinks because you can have more meaningful conversation that you could on Twitter.

If you want to learn how to be an email outreach master, check out the bonus area below…

BONUS AREA: Learn how you can find any influencers’ email and the exact email templates I use to get more shares and quality backlinks.

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Now It’s Your Turn…

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Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to drive on-demand traffic and social shares for your content, I’ve got a question for you

What are you going to create?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now!

I will happily offer my advice on finding the right topics and people for your next masterpiece.

Brian Downard
bdownard@eliv8group.com

Brian Downard is the author of this blog and Co-Founder of ELIV8, a consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders grow their revenue in a digital world. Brian writes about strategy, marketing, leadership and being an entrepreneur.

  • Julian Sakanee

    Hey Brian,

    Great post. I love reading case studies.

    The 2-step strategy you used is amazing.

    I’m a big fan of leveraging other people’s audiences. Especially influencers.

    Well, I’m looking forward to reading more of your stuff.

    Cheers,
    Julian

    • Brian

      Julian, thanks for the comment. Glad I was able to help. Let me know how your campaign goes!

    • Brian Downard

      Sorry Julian, not sure how I missed your comment. Glad you like my approach. Thanks for reading! You should check out the latest article, I think you’ll really like that too.