I’m not sure if you’ll be surprised to find out that there are people who run online businesses without even having a website. And I’m not even talking about those savvy affiliate marketers who built some unbelievable networks of potential customers on social media. I’m talking about people selling their virtual services or products. The type of sorcery that allows people to run profitable online businesses without even having a website it’s accessible to all, muggles and wizards alike, and you probably know it by this name: referrals. You do a thing, sell a product. Your customer is so thrilled about what they got that they tell other people about you and those email or call you to ask about your offer. Works like magic! You could’ve had the best website in the world and they wouldn’t have cared because they wouldn’t have seen it because they were already persuaded to buy from you.
Sharon Hurley Hall doesn’t have to advertise her services. Many of the people visiting her website already know that they want to work with her or buy her books. She uses guest posts to show off her content marketing skills. At the bottom of an article she wrote, there’s almost always a way for people to contact her and ask her to write something similar for their websites.
Of course, Hurley Hall built up her list of clients willing to send her more customers in years. You don’t have years. I don’t have years. You could be patient AF, but you want to see money entering your bank account ASAP. Luckily for all of us who are in a hurry to make money (and who isn’t? LOL), in a recent podcast interview she shared some insights into how to leverage other people’s websites and communities to get the traffic you want, for free.
Write Guest Posts for the Publications that Matter
All publications matter in a way or another, but they don’t all matter to you and your business and that landing page you want to promote. You should know which are the most visited websites/blogs in your niche and you should know how often you should have a link published there to get a constant stream of new visitors to your landing page.
Getting a guest post published on a website that can actually send free traffic back to your landing page is not easy, but it’s achievable, especially when you know what editors want to see in a piece they’ll actually publish. And Sharon Hurley Hall makes some interesting points about this, too. For your content to be worthy of being published on a big website that will send you thousands or tens of thousands of visitors, you need to:
– Make a habit of consuming a lot of content. If you don’t read the news about your niche and your country or city, you won’t have any hooks and anecdotes to use in your content. A hook can capture people’s attention and then get your piece published;
– Know that creating a great guest post requires discipline. You’ll probably not feel like writing that piece of content that can help you drive free traffic to your website, but guess what – not even the most prolific writers are in the mood to write all the time. You just need to get to work and get it done, even if it’s an awful first draft. Editing will make it all better.
– Figure out as early as possible where your potential clients are and see what “traps” have other entrepreneurs set for them. How are they luring them to their websites? What could you do better? How could you hijack some of those traps set by other people? E.g. If someone in your niche is offering a free ebook on 10 ways your ideal customer could deal with a problem, you can come up with an ebook on 25 ways your ideal customer could deal with that problem and pitch it to everyone who ever linked to their stuff.
If You’re Selling to Businesses, Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn a far from a platform that you would use because it’s so user-friendly and makes you feel all warm inside. Nope. It’s not. If people are on LinkedIn, it’s because they mean business and if you want to sell anything to them, you should be present. Just having an account won’t cut it. Find the groups your ideal customers are using and join them. Share articles that are important for your audience and add your link at the end. Hurley Hall found out LinkedIn was the best social media platform for her because over there people were most interested in the topics show wrote about. i.e. content marketing.
Leverage Your Niche’s Professional Groups
Sharon Hurley Hall is part of many writers’ groups because it’s good business. She gets insights. She can send work to other people and keep a referral fee. You, too, can benefit from being a part of such a group – one (or more) dedicated to the professionals in your niche. You can find out what free traffic sources are working and which ones were “depleted” by others, engage in traffic exchanges, find people willing to share their email list with you, plan cross-promos, etc.
Don’t be afraid to get out there are show off your creativity and resourcefulness. Pitch the publications your ideal customers follow. Ask editors what sort of content they’d like to publish in exchange for a link to your landing page. Engage with other people in your niche and learn from their mistakes. And, last but not least, check out all the articles Sharon Hurley Hall wrote for optinmonster.com – there are so many gold nuggets in there!