Right now is the perfect time to reflect on the progress you’ve made this year, re-evaluate your plans as needed, and to explore new possibilities.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with different methods of attracting more readers to my blog. If you’ve been following Kristi for a while, you probably know the tried-and-true methods already, such as social media, guest blogging, and the like.
While those are all good and well, sometimes we want to try something new. Something that hasn’t been rehashed over and over again.
And that’s where these strategies come in. Some of them can seem daunting at first, but the rewards are great if you can pull it off.
Here are 5 of my favorite guerilla marketing methods that will help new readers hear about your blog:
1. Sell a course on Udemy.
Udemy is an online training platform where people share their expertise on a topic and eager students join courses to learn more about a topic.
While most people who create and upload a course onto Udemy do so to earn some cash, what people might not know is that it’s secretly an effective way to gain followers.
If you’re thinking, “Create a course to get subscribers? Ugh, that’s too much work!”, hear me out first.
There are a few benefits to creating a course and selling it. When you create a course, you’re able to hone your teaching skills in the process. You also get to learn more about the topic you teach.
After you put up your course, you’ll have access to high amounts of traffic that you might not have on your own site. Not to mention, Udemy states that the average instructor makes $8,000 in earnings.
Now, the juicy part is that when students enroll in your course, you can send out an email announcement to them. You won’t have access to the email addresses, but you will be able to send out emails under “Udemy”, which builds authority.
It’s up to you what you want to say to your students. Here are a few suggestions:
- Talk about your main blog and interesting updates you have. For instance, if you have an e-book or a relevant article, you can email your students and tell them to check it out.
- If you’ve developed a course or have a relevant product to sell, let your students know about it! They like you enough to sign up for your course, so there’s a good chance that they’ll enjoy what else you have to offer.
- Keep up the relationship. Even if you don’t have another course or offer at the moment, why not send a message to keep yourself on top of their minds? You can grow the relationship and offer freelancing services if it’s applicable.
2. Hold an “Ask Me Anything” session.
Hosting an “Ask Me Anything” (also known as an “AMA”) can be scary. You might even get a few odd questions along the way – I know I have!
But it can be incredibly effective. When you hold an AMA, you encourage people to ask questions on a topic that you know al ot about. By doing so, you showcase yourself as a proactive individual ready to help others.
Another benefit is that people are listening to you and open to hearing about what you have to offer, since you’re in the spotlight.
I did an AMA awhile back on a forum. I began by introducing myself and encouraged people to sign up for my mailing list. Within a few hours, over 50 people signed up to my newsletter and people started interacting on the forum thread. After two weeks, almost 100 people signed up to my newsletter.
From this session, I was able to showcase my knowledge and help answer people’s questions. Three of these people signed up for my course within two months, and I attracted dozens more with whom I could build a relationship.
When you’re choosing where to host your AMA, consider a high traffic site such as Reddit, or a forum that focuses on your topic. You might feel nervous about this whole thing, and that’s okay! I felt the same way too intially.
If you want to warm up first, you can start by posting thoughtful comments on a forum first. This way, you get to know the people in the forum and they’ll come to trust what you have to say.
3. Create a presentation on Slideshare.
You’ve probably tried Twitter and Facebook. But what about Slideshare?
Slideshare is a fast growing site that currently attracts over 60 million visitors a month. It presents itself as an attractive medium for individuals and businesses to showcase their content using a presentation. But if you want your presentation to attract views, you’re going to have to do more than upload and cross your fingers.
First off, you’ll want to make a presentation that has around 20 bullet points, one for each slide. Place a call-to-action in the middle and at the end of the presentation. Note that Slideshare doesn’t allow a link on the first slide.
Afterwards, spruce up your presentation by using colors, images, and fonts that are easy to read. I started off my presentation with a few eye-grabbing images, as you can see:
Make the first image count – it’s what makes people decide to click on your presentation to learn more.
On Slideshare, the front page showcases presentations that the Slideshare team thinks are interesting and/or informative. You don’t have to be a big corporation or an authority figure to get there, making it a free-for-all opportunity.
At the bottom of the page are the presentations that are trending in social media. You can get the ball rolling on your presentation by sharing it on social media and including your presentation in your posts, as I did above.
Even though a ton of presentations are uploaded daily, the vast majority of them aren’t promoted or aren’t high quality. If you create a useful and eye-catching presentation, you’ll be ahead of the game.
4. Use a giveaway to attract new readers.
One of the fastest ways to capture new subscribers is to use a giveaway. Who doesn’t like free stuff?
There are the usual freebies that come with an opt-in, such as an e-book or an email course. But a tangible prize that can help your reader out is much more enticing if done right.
Here’s the thing though. You don’t want everyone in the world to be interested in your offer. After all, your content isn’t going to be right for everyone (and shouldn’t try to be).
Instead, your offer should be targeted towards people who are interested in the type of content you provide.
For instance, I run a newsletter on increasing productivity, setting goals, and improving mental performance. It wouldn’t make sense for me to offer a $500 cash prize, since nearly everyone is interested in getting more money, but not necessarily what I have to say.
On the other hand, if I offer a book on building positive habits or achieving work goals, people who sign up for a chance to win the book are more likely to read my material.
If you want to attract more people to your giveaway, you can partner with a sponsor. The sponsor advertises your giveaway and provides a prize, while you announce to your readers who is sponsoring the giveaway. Win-win!
5. Engage people in surveys to attract them to your content.
You can use surveys to attract people to your site, or to encourage people already on your site to perform an action.
I’ve used surveys on Craigslist to ask people about their experience when working towards personal goals and productivity, and have given them a chance to opt-in to my mailing list. People fill out surveys, providing me with greater insight into their needs and wants, and then sign up to hear from me.
The University of Alberta now uses an interesting strategy to encourage people to sign up to their mailing list. A few years back, the university began a daily newsletter. Their subscriber list slowly grew to 400 subscribers over the course of 14 months.
UofA started out with a call to action on each news story, resulting in 1-2 subscribers a day on average. Those numbers are pretty low, considering the site received 50,000 unique page views every month. It was time to try a different approach.
The university decided to set up a survey on the site as a way of getting people to sign up for the newsletter.
After a reader landed on a story and stayed for 10 seconds, a survey would pop up saying, “You seem interested in UAlberta news. Would you like to sign up for the Daily News email?”
The options were either “Yes [enter your email]”, “Already a subscriber” or “No thanks”.
After a few days, the results were surprising. Without making any other changes, the subscription rate jumped up to as high as 12 to 15 sign-ups per day. The rate of sign-ups has remained steadily at 20%, while the email open rate remains above 30%.
The good thing about providing a survey-like opt-in form is that readers feel like they’re given a choice of whether or not they want to perform an action. This method is a gentler approach than simply placing an opt-in form, and it also gives the user a feeling of control.
My challenge to you: Try one of these strategies!
So, you’ve made it through all five marketing strategies and you’re wondering which one you should pursue.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the ways you can attract followers and readers. Be creative and see what works for you! I’m open to hearing what unconventional methods you’ve used before.
If you’ve tried out an interesting tactic, I’d love to know: which strategy did you like the most? And if you’ve applied one (or more) of these, what were your results?
Trying something new can be intimidating, but fun at the same time! These methods can be replicated with success if you break down the process and overcome fears you might have.
P.S. After you leave a comment, grab my guide to increasing your productivity here.
About Melissa Chu:
I help entrepreneurs and freelancers increase their productivity and performance at Jumpstart Your Dream Life. I love traveling to far places, reading, and digging into the components behind success. You should grab my guide on finishing goals and becoming more productive.