Right now i’m on cloud 9 because of how well our last post (our startup pre-launch strategy) did. I put a lot of effort into it but, didn’t expect to get this much traffic / shares / subscribers from a single post.
It took a lot of effort creating this traffic:
I spent less than 1 day creating the last post and a full week distributing it which still isn’t finished.
And here is where the traffic came from:
Right away we can see a couple things:
- The importance of sharing buttons. If you have good content, people will share it.
- Buffer was the second most used share button. It’s not a default option in most share widgets.. Check yours.
- Direct traffic is awesome but sucks because we can’t track it! I think it’s because we’re not HTTPS we can’t track the referrals properly.
- Another blogger Pierre reported the same problem + solution.
- Quora rocks for us
- Fastlane forum rocks for us
- Surprisingly social had the lowest bounce rate overall
- A lot of stuff didn’t work for us
Our current overall blog conversion rate (visitor to subscriber):
108 subscribers from 1726 hits.
6.2% overall conversion!
New goal conversion: 10% (was 5%)
Biggest source of conversions:
Averaging around 4%+ overall conversions.
Lowest source of conversions:
SumoMe’s top bar
Averaging under 1%- overall conversions.
Other conversion sources:
Side Widget (not tracking) & In content call to action
Around 1.2% overall conversions.
How we’re going to try to increase our conversion rate:
- Most importantly, work on the overall ‘voice’ of the blog. I really want people to feel like their a part of this journey and also share theirs with me.
- Install Hellobar (top bar) so we can A/B test different messages.
- Refine our popups message / CTA
- Create better in-content Easter eggs a.k.a lead boxes – Also create custom images for the opt-in buttons in content.
- Create an about page for people to visit and learn more about us / ‘buy in’ mentally.
- I really want the sidebar widget to scroll with the content but don’t know how.. Need to figure this out.
What traffic generation techniques didn’t work?
Warrior Forums & Digital Point Forums
- Warrior forums doesn’t not allow email signature so it would be a waste of time marketing there
- Digital point has for the most part a really low class type of marketer that I didn’t think we would benefit from
- Even though the list is amazing, we had didn’t get any features from any of them.
- One reply saying that they only do personal entrepreneur stories and the plan was just a plan at that point. (Hopefully a future post will be more interesting to them)
Roundup post outreach was a HUGE fail!
The first type of outreach I did was submissions to round up posts.
We got featured in 2 out of 20+ that I emailed which is pretty bad. I think this can be attributed to lack of content and horrible outreach skills.
Even though people do round up posts, submitting a link and hoping to get featured does not work.
Next I tried outreaching for links, another HUGE fail!
I went out on the search for relevant posts that I thought our post would fit in with and emailed them asking them to do it.
Obviously this isn’t going to work… What a waste of time and effort.
Here is one of the responses via Twitter:
(he’s the founder of wordstream and a PPC genius)
That lead to my next idea…
Let’s interview people on outreach so I can learn from the pros and then make a post about it!
Great idea right? Nope…
This is a single tweet out of ~20 he sent to me.
The quick version of his advice was:
- Build out your content before asking for anything from influencers
- It’s hard for influencers to say yes because they don’t know who I am / the voice this blog has (with such small content)
- Use your traffic as leverage (when you get it)
- And gave a suggestion for a series of posts
He also subscribed to this blog which is really cool since i’m personally a huge fan of his.
(check out his blog here)
Quick takeaway from influencers: They’re awesome as long as they can see that you’re legitamently trying to do something and not just a random SEO company emailing for links. Giving me feedback took more time out of their day and only helped me.
STILL, I wouldn’t give up on outreach
There has to be a way I can get links from relevant content without growing my own blog first.
The SEO benefits are nice but I really want that traffic from the links mainly.
Grinding it out
After all that failing (about 2 1/2 days of straight emailing people) I did what anyone should do…
I read just about every blog post on outreach there is.
- http://www.sparringmind.com/perfect-email/ – Was my favorite
What I found is people have a general idea from past experiences of what a good outreach email should look like but, there is no framework you can take from industry to industry.
So I decided to create my own outreach framework based off lots of research
Created a framework, tested it out and it’s currently at:
- 21% conversion rate from complete cold email to link on first response!
- Follow up after holidays should increase this even more.
I’ll be writing about the outreach emails in-depth in the next blog post.
What traffic generation techniques actually worked?
Drove 52 hits from 2 days of work
- Worth noting that the questions were also only answered 2 days ago so they may consistently drive more traffic.
The hard part was consistently answering them well. It’s easy to get burnt out doing the exact same thing over and over for a full day.
Lucky for us, there was a lot of these questions. One thing I did right away is create a ‘base’ template to answer the questions from since they were all very similar questions.
Hopefully this traffic keeps coming in consistently – If it does then this was definitely a success.
(stuff in the red box is a canned response).
What I learned from Quora:
Even though I spent a good amount of time on the answers themselves, I wish I spent more.
Quora ended up producing a good amount of traffic and would’ve done even better if we spent more time on each question.
- If you’re going to do half canned responses, make them better than I did for this test
- Include pictures in your response. I didn’t include any which was a huge mistake.
Growth Hackers & Inbound.Org
Drove around 400+ hits. Shouldn’t of launched on a holiday
Obviously great communities with awesome marketers.
We were lucky enough to get on the front page for both communities and it drove some really good traffic.
Drove 52 hits. 1 day of work
Fastlane forum is a community of awesome entrepreneurs and I personally love to read peoples stories that hang out there.
Drove 7 hits – 1 hour of work
- Calling this a win because it should also drive consistent traffic overtime.
I haven’t been able to start my own thread due to low ‘karma’ (their point system).
Although I have been leaving comments on other peoples threads and leaving the link to our post when it helps. This has produced little results but I think there is some potential here.
Overall outreach failed in the beginning but ended up being a success
These links came from the refined outreach strategy, after failing hard for 2 days:
DigitalTrigger.IO – Upcoming roundup post
VentureHarbour – In content link. Very grateful for this. Thanks Marcus!
Onboardly- In content link. I didn’t think we were going to get! Shout out to Renee, thanks again!
Kick off labs – In content link. Also has a great product, you should check it out Thanks Josh.
Built In Chicago – In content link. When I found his email I actually thought it was fake! Funny looking address Thanks David.
Most importantly, I now have a solid base to build a relationship with these amazing people.
Sadly we’re missing the referrer of 75% of the traffic.
I wish there was something I could do to get that data for you guys but I couldn’t think of anything. Sorry.
How are we going to drive more traffic moving forward?
- Continue doing what we’re already doing.
- Improve my outreach framework
- Write more awesome content
- Guest post! Excited to try and write for some of the top dogs