It’s an exciting time for a website owner when a post goes viral and receives a bucket load of traffic.
Knowing people out there are reading your writing, liking it and passing it around is a sign that you’ve produced something good and a definitive step toward growth.
One of my recent posts had this effect, but I intentionally engineered it that way.
It was a list of traffic articles by a number of the internet’s most popular marketing experts & entrepreneurs.
Note: This post was written back when the website was called ‘Design Web Identity’, so if any references to it confuse you, that’s why 🙂
So what happened?
I compiled this list of experts, their best articles and a few more ‘miscellaneous articles’ at the bottom. Then published that post and went into promotion mode (which I’ll detail later).
Over the next few days it got shared 362 times, many of them being by some of the most influential people in online marketing and entrepreneurship – 188 of those being retweets on Twitter.
I also noticed a few websites listing the article in round up posts and traffic referrals from email newsletters.
The result was a spike in traffic, below is a screenshot of traffic to that particular post (not the whole blog) over the following week:
During that time it received 2,615 visits and continues to get some decent traffic today.
The funny thing is it’s not actually an original idea, (I first heard of it from Kim Roach) it just needs to be planned out and executed well, then you’ll get some nice publicity.
You could easily do the same thing in your niche and get a similar response.
What’s the process and why does it work?
It’s a simple concept.
I created a high quality list of the internet’s top experts, put links to the best articles/posts into it and contacted every single one of them via email or some other medium. I asked each one if they could share the link and most of them gladly obliged – because they’re freakin’ awesome!
Why does this work?
When you round up a post full of the internet’s top experts (the word ‘expert’ goes a long way), you expect to see some BIG and very impressive names. Imagine being included in that list – it would be flattering wouldn’t it?
When most of the guys read the list they were being named as one of the internet’s top experts – sure they are, but most people are humble and love seeing themselves in such good company.
On top of pure flattery, I linked to their website as well. So it’s a win/win, I promote them, they promote me!
There are so many reasons this works for them:
- They like being labeled as a ‘world’s top expert’, so they share to spread that status around.
- They’re technically promoting their own content to their fans who are going to check out their listing straight away
- It’s good SEO, more power to the page that backlinks to their website!
- They’re just nice people who like network and help out – doing things like this helps spread that message!
Of course, there are no guarantees. So you want to make sure the post is actually share worthy, epic material that people will love.
So here’s a quick run down.
Creating the Post
We’ve covered most of this so far, you create the post mentioning that you’re rounding up the top ‘experts’ or ‘influential’ (or whatever) people in your niche.
You then put their name, a photo of them and a brief introduction to who they are, what they do and why they rock. Then list their recommended reading below their info.
I do recommend adding a few links to encourage people to share the post as they read. Use Share Link Generator to create clickable links that share your page. Finally, make sure you add a call to action – ask people to share it, subscribe, buy or whatever you want your visitors to do.
Remember, it has to be high quality stuff that people will want to share!
Down to the fun stuff!
Of course, go through your usual channels – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Email Newsletter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc, etc.
Now reach out to your experts.
Visit each person’s website and collect their email addresses but make sure you read their contact page also. Some people are specific to the type of messages they want to receive so try to cater to their requests – you don’t want to come across as annoying or pushy.
If emails isn’t an option, look for a contact form. If that still isn’t an option, pick a network (like Twitter or Facebook) and contact them through that instead.
Then type up your message (if it needs to be shorter for something like Twitter, then cut to the chase), but here’s my basic email message structure:
- Say Hi (duh)
- Compliment them
- Let them know you mentioned them in your latest post
- Link to that post
- Ask them to share it
- Let them know it’s OK with you if they don’t share it – you understand.
- Thank them and sign out!
So you end up having a message like this:
You do want to personalize each message just slightly. Have a template but make sure you mention something about them and optionally their work so that they don’t feel like they’ve just had an email mass produced and thrown at them – instead of personally written to them.
Remember, they are people so you do need to approach them as you would anyone in real life!
Send out your Emails, and Monitor!
Then check in on your Twitter, Facebook and other networks regularly to see if there’s any activity, thanking people along the way who share.
Most importantly – check your email. If any of these people respond to you you want to write back saying thanks or whatever is appropriate. Remember – they’re real people.
If all goes well you’ll have a fun and exciting couple of days, I loved the appreciation but more so the networking – dealing with awesome people and having small interactions. From this I was able to help further build relationships with other bloggers so we can work together in the future.
The possibilities are endless, so try it out!
Write your post, do your outreach and let me know how you go! I’d love to hear you success story and share it also.
Otherwise, if you like this post please share it or subscribe using the buttons below!
I’m out – thanks again!