Quora Indie

Quora, அறிவைப் பெருக்குவதற்கும் பகிர்வதற்குமான ஓர் உயரிய இடம் ... Biggest Punishment for Thief In 2014, I was in Nagaland and was looking after Power Projects (Transmission Line) construction , one fine morning we experienced that, parts of few structure has been stolen from site. As our project was about to com... Quora adalah tempat untuk mendapatkan dan membagikan pengetahuan. Quora adalah platform untuk mengajukan pertanyaan dan terhubung dengan orang-orang yang memberikan wawasan unik dan jawaban berkualitas. Quora memberdayakan orang-orang untuk saling... Quora appoints new India head to expand presence in country. Quora said India is one of its fastest growing markets with over 70 million monthly unique visitors in English. Quora is also currently available in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and Tamil, and will soon be available in Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu. 15 Nov, 2019, 01.17 PM IST Quora.com is the number one platform for getting your answers from the experts. The ultimate goal of this website is just to spread the knowledge and to help the people who are seeking the knowledge. But wait, Quora is not the only site which has this purpose. There are many other sites like Quora which can be the best alternative of Quora. Quora is a place to gain and share knowledge. It's a platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers. This empowers people to learn from each other and to better understand the world. Quora ज्ञान हासिल करने और बांटने की एक जगह है. यह सवाल पूछने और उन लोगों से जुड़ने का एक मंच है जो अमूल्य नज़रिया और ज़बरदस्त जवाबों के साथ योगदान करते हैं. EJU235A Paul Sawyer -Quora / Pandora (Krafted Underground) For licensing enquiries [email protected] What is Quora, how to get started, main policies and guidelines. Using Quora Asking and answering questions, following topics/users, reporting content, sending messages. Best Practices and Policies Quora's main policies, best practices. With a new country manager, Quora has big plans for India 02 Nov, 2017, 09.16 AM IST. The company wants to focus on making the platform more easily accessible to Indians and explore the potential to introduce content in regional languages, Shewakramani said.

Sharp's writing prompts and other artistic work.

2017.04.09 01:22 sharp7 Sharp's writing prompts and other artistic work.

I have written some pretty interesting stories. I have a huge range of interests and I'm pretty new at this so I'm open to suggestions. I used to post on quora a lot too, so maybe I'll add some of those posts here. I also made a few short indie games, which I guess I will add their itch.io pages to the side bar.
[link]


2020.09.10 21:44 rats420666 A long and incoherent rant

14-year-old strictly vegan FtM here with literal autism, an eating disorder, and a fuckload of childhood trauma and narcissistic parenting. Unlike most other teenagers, I don’t have a particular individual “style” or “aesthetic”. I like a wide range of different clothing styles, and even though my four “archetypes” as described below are very different from each other what they all have in common is being really skinny because that is indisputably part of who I am, no matter what. I’m not shallow and I do understand that personality matters too [God, I even pose as an INTP or INFJ to look special and clever and I obsess over it just as much as I do with food] but I strongly believe that looks matter. Body weight is one of the first things that come to eye when you see someone and as well as other cues [e.g. hair, skin tone, voice, etc] has a detrimental impact on how you unconsciously perceive everything about them. I’d rather eat 1,000 calories a day of pure junk food than 2,500 calories a day of wholesome, organic and healthy homemade food. I’d rather be autistic, virgin, geeky, and bullied than have a slightly higher BMI or waist circumference than what I currently have. I can’t put into words how big my phobia of weight gain is.
It’s fucking weird how I’m 3-4 people at once where everyone else is consistently just one. Moreover, my identity changes over time. It’s very vague and fluid and hops from one thing to the next. I like all the music I listed - everything from niche electronic music in general to alt-rock from various decades.
I’m constantly paranoid that I’ll gain weight, judging from how humongous I was in the past. Between the ages of 9 and 13 I was chubby [obviously not morbidly obese, but my BMI was certainly somewhere in the overweight range or at least close such as 24, I had big big curves and strangers always mistaken me for a female, and my trousers were at least 34 inches]. I felt kind of insecure about it, but never gave a shit about my weight anyway. Even though I’m clearly an “ectomorph” now [narrow waist, wrists and shoulders; very little body fat or muscle; physically very weak; conspicuously angular pencil-shaped body and prominent, bony collarbones; low BMI on the underweight cusp] I believe my body actually falls into the endomorph category as if I was a true ectomorph, I could live a sedentary lifestyle and eat a normal amount of calories a day [2000-ish instead of 1400 or whatever] and still stay skinny and maintain my weight, yet when I did have that lifestyle I was chubby. All the adults I speak to say that it was just “puppy fat” but the concept of “puppy fat” sounds like total pseudoscientific bullshit. I honestly believe I was genuinely overweight back then, even just slightly, but now I’m not due to extreme dieting and self-control. I’ve even had to cut certain foods out of my diet, even though they’re satiating, delicious and very healthy, all in the name of calorie intake. These include peanut butter [I mean the better, organic brands like Whole Earth or Meridian, not the supermarket’s own generic processed sugary crap], granola, and homemade chilli con carne, as well as the more unhealthy fodder of very indefinite calories such as mashed potato, pasta, or bowls of cereal. Basically anything you need to spoon out onto kitchen scales. Similarly, I can’t eat out because I need to know the precise calorie content of literally every single little thing I eat.
Due to my eating disorder, I often reminisce on a past time [often childhood before puberty or whatever] where I had a much better relationship with food. I could eat whatever the fuck I like and seldom exercise without giving a fuck about gaining weight. Or maybe even a little later, like last year, when I still religiously walked once a day [only 5,000-6,000 steps] but never counted calories and I was blissfully unaware of now much food I ate and how little exercise I did. My BMI was in the normal range but closer to the overweight side, and body weight wasn’t a high priority. I mean, it shouldn’t be. I think my obsession has gone too far and enslaved my entire life. I daydream about upcoming special occasions such as Halloween, Christmas, or my January birthday, but more about binge-eating lots of chocolate, sweeties, peanut butter, and cake, than actually writing my own horror stories or being gifted presents.
Even though I know a lot of more “intelligent” fat people, a lot of the people I live with are overweight and very toxic. There’s this one chubby ESFx girl who laughs and cackles and rubs her food baby, loving food abundantly and constantly eating a stupid amount of junk food and ready meals, pretty much dying of her proudness to be fat and using ridiculous figures of speech such as “the fat club”. There’s also many overweight members of staff who are so, so fucking gullible that they greatly underestimate the calorie content of the food they eat, by assuming that snack bars and diet soda is good for you and that fruit and vegetables literally have zero calories. The manager of the home, who is a pea-brained ESTJ boomer so stupid and out-of-touch he actually uses an LG phone, wouldn’t let me be a satanist, and is as heartless and overprotective as fuck, unsupririsngly has an enormous pot belly. So does THAT one creepy guy who possesses a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality between the ENFP who constantly pulls silly outdated dad jokes and the overprotective ESTJ who intimidates you by literally flexes his muscles, gives you the death stare and probably even yelling at you. It’s an obesogenic madhouse.

I wish people were more informed on eating disorders, or mental illnesses in general, so they could sympathise more. I hate being told “nobody cares” or “just stop counting calories” when I vent to someone about my unhealthy obsession with food and exercise. When I was fat and my eating disorder was still small, but it was sure gestating, I hated being told by others that diet was a choice. It technically is, but all down to willpower.
As you may have noticed, I am obsessed with MBTI and uncontrollably integrate it within my life. Certain people I just “can’t” type but others I can. It opened up my eyes and made me become aware of the underlying social dynamics and why people act the way they act. I like wasting time on Personality Database, a niche website where typologists like me decide on the MBTI, Enneagram, tritypes, socionics, instinctual variants, moral alignment and Eysenck temperament of pretty much every famous or fictional person you can think of as well as a fuckload of non-human shit such as countries, foods, websites, songs, drugs, stereotypes, memes, animals, cities, albums, astrological signs, inanimate objects, you get the idea. And I like to assign one thing each of a certain given category [like mugs or Tesco meal deals] to a MBTI type, or alternatively, “cognitive function”, and post it on Quora or make it into a meme to post on the MBTI subreddit.
Due to my eating disorder I have inadvertently gained a habit of planning meals in advance. Croissiant, berry salad and a cuppa for breakfast, microwave chips and beans for lunch, granny smith apples and a chocolate nutty snack bar thing as snacks, and burger for tea. When I binge, I go for literally every food I can think of so I’m less interested in eating it in the future, as I’m often quite indecisive about what to eat. On my last binge [about 4000 calories, including the other food I had the same day] I ate nuts, peanut butter, chocolate, apples, burger, weetabix, and instant noodles.
Anyway back to my MBTI obsession, that’s kinda unrelated to my eating disorder but kinda connected [xNxP’s are supposed to have a crap relationship with food, because unless their tertiary or inferior Si is better developed, they generally forget to eat and then end up binge-eating, and be either really skinny or really fat as a result], it began in May 2019 when I took the 16Personalities test and it told me I was an INTP, took it a few more times [eventually billions and trillions of times] I got INFP, ISFP and ENFP however disproven because I now know I’m not a Fi-user. Even though I feel so special and boastful about being an INTP, I’m always rather sceptical that I’m not one at all in the first place, and maybe even a fucking ESFJ [technically exact same type, but reverse cognitive functions so Fe-Si-Ne-Ti instead of Ti-Ne-Si-Fe] the entire time.
I wish I could just go back to normal and stop giving fucks about everything I eat and how much exercise I do. But I just can’t. Not until I constantly have scales and a flexible measuring tape at my disposal, so my BMI and waist circumference stick at 18.6 and 27”, or even better, lesser and lesser. I know I could tell if I was gaining or losing weight by changes in what clothes I fit into, or differences in those pictures of my torso I compulsively take almost every day. Recently I’ve also went on two binges, and had to spend almost an entire week totally sedentary [other than unplugging the IV bag and dragging it around so I can go to the nearby toilet or water dispenser] due to hospitalisation, so I can’t loosen up for a while.
submitted by rats420666 to teenagers [link] [comments]


2020.08.27 05:05 dallworthy How do I get organic traffic to my website?

I’ve recently launched my website which is a free website builder. I’ve currently got 500 users which have come from me joining Facebook groups, Product Hunt and various other startup websites like Hackernews and Indie Hackers. I’m also using Quora to genuinely answer questions and where relevant sensitively mention and link to my website.
I’ve achieved this within 3 months, but obviously things are starting to dry up where I naively thought it would gain traction. I don’t have any budget for paid advertising.
Most of the users currently are obviously testers so my user database of 500 is giving a false reading as you can appreciate.
Am I doing the right thing? Does anyone have any good tips and advice on driving genuine users to a website?
A friend of mine said you’re in a period of your startup known as The Struggle, most people give up about now but it’s only those that keep going reap the rewards although it will take a long time.
Would love anyone’s views and opinions. Thanks everyone. Happy to discuss and answer comments.
submitted by dallworthy to startups [link] [comments]


2020.07.21 05:24 taishikato AskMakers 2.0 - Ask experienced makers questions💡

Hi!
I have been working on this AskMakers for 10 months.
On the AskMakers, users can ask questions and answer the question.I made this because I want Quora only for indie makers.
To make this app more useful and attractive, I sent emails to ask successful/famous makers to join AskMakers and some of them did such as Justin Jackson, co-founder of Transistor.fm.
I'd like to hear feedback or questions you may have😊
Thank you!
P.S.
It's live on Product Hunt right now! Please check it out too!
https://www.producthunt.com/posts/askmakers-2-0
submitted by taishikato to roastmystartup [link] [comments]


2020.07.20 19:41 taishikato I made an app called AskMakers for entrepreneurs, (especially for indie hackers)

I have been working on an app called AskMakers 2.0 - Ask experienced makers questions💡
On this app, you can post a question and answer. I'd like to say this is Quora for makers.
If you have questions about Bootstrapping, indie hacking, etc, this is the place for you🤝
Please tell me if you have any questions or feedback!
AskMakers 2.0 is live on Product Hunt now. Please check it out! https://www.producthunt.com/posts/askmakers-2-0
Thank you.
submitted by taishikato to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]


2020.07.14 22:07 mighty_k_marketing SEO

SEO is easy. The EXACT process we use to scale our clients' SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic and beyond
Hey guys!
There's a TON of content out there on SEO - guides, articles, courses, videos, scams, people yelling about it on online forums, etc etc..
Most of it, however, is super impractical. If you want to start doing SEO TODAY and start getting results ASAP, you'll need to do a TON of digging to figure out what's important and what's not.
So we wanted to make everyone's lives super easy and distill our EXACT process of working w/ clients into a stupid-simple, step-by-step practical guide. And so we did. Here we are.
A bit of backstory:
If you guys haven't seen any of my previous posts, me and my co-founder own an SEO/digital marketing agency, and we've worked w/ a ton of clients helping them go from 0 to 200k+ monthly organic traffic. We've also helped some quite big companies grow their organic traffic (from 1M to over 1.8M monthly organic), using the exact same process.
So without further ado, grab your popcorn, and be prepared to stick to the screen for a while, cause this is going to be a long post. Here's everything I am going to cover:
Step #1 - Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO
Step #1 to any SEO initiative is getting your technical SEO right.
Now, some of this is going to be a bit technical, so you might just forward this part to your tech team and just skip ahead to "Step #2 - Keyword Research."
If you DON'T have a tech team and want a super easy tl;dr, do this:
If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, though, read on!
Technical SEO Basics
Sitemap.xml file. A good sitemap shows Google how to easily navigate your website (and how to find all your content!). If your site runs on WordPress, all you have to do is install YoastSEO or Rankmath SEO, and they’ll create a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you can use an online XML Sitemap generation tool.
Proper website architecture. The crawl depth of any page should be lower than 4 (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To fix this, you should improve your interlinking (check Step #6 of this guide to learn more).
Serve images in next-gen format. Next-gen image formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP) can be compressed a lot better than JPG or PNG images. Using WordPress? Just use Smush and it’ll do ALL the work for you. Otherwise, you can manually compress all images and re-upload them.
Remove duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content and will penalize you for it. If you have any duplicate pages, just merge them (by doing a 301 redirect) or delete one or the other.
Update your ‘robots.txt’ file. Hide the pages you don’t want Google to index (e.g: non-public, or unimportant pages). If you’re a SaaS, this would be most of your in-app pages. ]
Optimize all your pages by best practice. There’s a bunch of general best practices that Google wants you to follow for your web pages (maintain keyword density, have an adequate # of outbound links, etc.). Install YoastSEO or RankMath and use them to optimize all of your web pages.
If you DON’T have any pages that you don’t want to be displayed on Google, you DON’T need robots.txt.
Advanced Technical SEO
Now, this is where this gets a bit more web-devvy. Other than just optimizing your website for SEO, you should also focus on optimizing your website speed.
Here’s how to do that:
Both for Mobile and PC, your website should load in under 2-3 seconds. While load speed isn’t a DIRECT ranking factor, it does have a very serious impact on your rankings.
After all, if your website doesn’t load for 5 seconds, a bunch of your visitors might drop off.
So, to measure your website speed performance, you can use Pagespeed Insights. Some of the most common issues we have seen clients facing when it comes to website speed and loading time, are the following:
Want to make your life easier AND fix up all these issues and more? Use WP Rocket. The tool basically does all your optimization for you (if you’re using WordPress, of course).
Step #2 - Keyword Research
Once your website is 100% optimized, it’s time to define your SEO strategy.
The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.
First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.
You can use the sheet to:
  1. Prioritize content
  2. Keep track of the publishing process
  3. Get a top-down view of your web pages
And here’s what it covers:
Now that you have your sheet (and understand how it works), let’s talk about the “how” of keyword research.
How to do Keyword Research (Step-by-Step Guide)
There are a ton of different ways to do that (check the “further readings” at the end of this section for a detailed rundown).
Our favorite method, however, is as follows…
Start off by listing out your top 5 SEO competitors.
The key here is SEO competitors - competing companies that have a strong SEO presence in the same niche.
Not sure who’s a good SEO competitor? Google the top keywords that describe your product and find your top-ranking competitors.
Run them through SEMrush (or your favorite SEO tool), and you’ll see how well, exactly, they’re doing with their SEO.
Once you have a list of 5 competitors, run each of them through “Organic Research” on SEMrush, and you'll get a complete list of all the keywords they rank on.
Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all the relevant ones and add them to your sheet.
Once you go through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be around 80%+ done.
Now to put some finishing touches on your keyword research, run your top keywords through UberSuggest and let it do its magic. It's going to give you a bunch of keywords associated with the keywords you input.
Go through all the results it's going to give you, extract anything that’s relevant, and your keyword research should be 90% done.
At this point, you can call it a day and move on to the next step. Chances are, over time, you’ll uncover new keywords to add to your sheet and get you to that sweet 100%.
Step #3 - Create SEO Landing Pages
Remember how we collected a bunch of landing page keywords in step #2? Now it’s time to build the right page for each of them! This step is a lot more straightforward than you’d think. First off, you create a custom landing page based around the keyword. Depending on your niche, this can be done in 2 ways:
  1. Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your landing page, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
  2. Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.
Once you have a bunch of these pages ready, you should optimize them for their respective keywords.
You can do this by running the page content through an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this through RankMath or Yoast SEO.
Both tools will give you exact instructions on how to optimize your page for the keyword.
If you’re not using WordPress, you can use SurferSEO. Just copy-paste your web page content, and it’s going to give you instructions on how to optimize it.
Once your new landing pages are live, you need to pick where you want to place them on your website. We usually recommend adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer.
Finally, once you have all these new landing pages up, you might be thinking “Now what? How, and when, are these pages going to rank?”
Generally, landing pages are a tad harder to rank than content. See, with content, quality plays a huge part. Write better, longer, and more informative content than your competition, and you’re going to eventually outrank them even if they have more links.
With landing pages, things aren’t as cut and dry. More often than not, you can’t just “create a better landing page.”
What determines rankings for landing page keywords are backlinks. If your competitors have 400 links on their landing pages, while yours has 40, chances are, you’re not going to outrank them.
Step #4 - Create SEO Blog Content
Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: content keywords, and how to create content that ranks.
As we mentioned before, these keywords aren’t direct-intent (the Googler isn’t SPECIFICALLY looking for your product), but they can still convert pretty well. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you could rank on keywords like…
After all, anyone looking to learn about lead gen techniques might also be willing to pay you to do it for them.
On top of this, blog post keywords are way easier to rank for than your landing pages - you can beat competition simply by creating significantly better content without turning it into a backlink war.In order to create good SEO content, you need to do 2 things right:
  1. Create a comprehensive content outline
  2. Get the writing part right
Here’s how each of these work...
How to Create a Content Outline for SEO
A content outline is a document that has all the info on what type of information the article should contain Usually, this includes:
Outlines are useful if you’re working with a writing team that isn’t 100% familiar with SEO, allowing them to write content that ranks without any SEO know-how.
At the same time, even if you’re the one doing the writing, an outline can help you get a top-down idea of what you should cover in the article.
So, how do you create an outline? Here’s a simplified step-by-step process…
  1. Determine the target word count. Rule of thumb: aim for 1.5x - 2x whatever your competitor wrote. You can disregard this if your competition was super comprehensive with their content, and just go for the same length instead.
  2. Create a similar header structure as your competition. Indicate for the writer which headers should be h2, which ones h3.
  3. For each header, mention what it’s about. Pro tip - you can borrow ideas from the top 5 ranking articles.
  4. For each header, explain what, exactly, should the writer mention (in simple words).
  5. Finally, do some first-hand research on Reddit and Quora. What are the questions your target audience has around your topic? What else could you add to the article that would be super valuable for your customers?
How to Write Well
There’s a lot more to good content than giving an outline to a writer. Sure, they can hit all the right points, but if the writing itself is mediocre, no one’s going to stick around to read your article.
Here are some essential tips you should keep in mind for writing content (or managing a team of writers):
  1. Write for your audience. Are you a B2B enterprise SaaS? Your blog posts should be more formal and professional. B2C, super-consumer product? Talk in a more casual, relaxed fashion. Sprinkle your content with pop culture references for bonus points!
  2. Avoid fluff. Every single sentence should have some sort of value (conveying information, cracking a joke, etc.). Avoid beating around the bush, and be as straightforward as possible.
  3. Keep your audience’s knowledge in mind. For example, if your audience is a bunch of rocket scientists, you don’t have to explain to them how 1+1=2.
  4. Create a writer guideline (or just steal ours! -> edit: sorry had to remove link due to posting guidelines)
  5. Use Grammarly and Hemingway. The first is like your personal pocket editor, and the latter helps make your content easier to read.
  6. Hire the right writers. Chances are, you’re too busy to write your own content. We usually recommend using ProBlogger or Cult of Copy Job Board (Facebook Group) to source top writing talent.
Step #5 - Start Link-Building Operations
Links are essential if you want your content or web pages to rank.
If you’re in a competitive niche, links are going to be the final deciding factor on what ranks and what doesn’t.
In the VPN niche, for example, everyone has good content. That’s just the baseline. The real competition is in the backlinks.
To better illustrate this example, if you Google “best VPN,” you’ll see that all top-ranking content pieces are almost the same thing. They’re all:
So, the determining factor is links. If you check all the top-ranking articles with the Moz Toolbar Extension, you’ll see that on average, each page has a minimum of 300 links (and some over 100,000!).
Meaning, to compete, you’ll really need to double-down on your link-building effort.
In fact, in the most competitive SEO niches, it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 per month on link-building efforts alone.
Pro Tip
Got scared by the high $$$ some companies spend on link-building? Well, worry not!
Only the most ever-green niches are so competitive. Think, VPN, make money online, health and fitness, dating, CBD, gambling, etc. So you know, the usual culprits.
For most other niches, you can even rank with minimal links, as long as you have top-tier SEO content.
Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: “how do you do link-building?”
4 Evergreen Link Building Strategies for Any Website
There are a TON of different link building strategies on the web. Broken link building, scholarship link building, stealing competitor links, and so on and so on and so on.
We’re not going to list every single link building strategy out there (mainly because Backlinko already did that in their link building guide).
What we are going to do, though, is list out some of our favorite strategies, and link you to resources where you can learn more:
  1. Broken link building. You find dead pages with a lot of backlinks, reach out to websites that linked to them, and pitch them something like “hey, you linked to this article, but it’s dead. We thought you’d want to fix that. You can use our recent article if you think it’s cool enough.”
  2. Guest posting. Probably the most popular link building strategy. Find blogs that accept guest posts, and send them a pitch! They usually let you include 1-2 do-follow links back to your website.
  3. “Linkable asset” link building. A linkable asset is a resource that is so AWESOME that you just can’t help but link to. Think, infographics, online calculators, first-hand studies or research, stuff like that. The tl;dr here is, you create an awesome resource, and promote the hell out of it on the web.
  4. Skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique is a term coined by Backlinko. The gist of it is, you find link-worthy content on the web, create something even better, and reach out to the right people.
Most of these strategies work, and you can find a ton of resources on the web if you want to learn more.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, oh boy we have a treat for you! We’re going to teach you a link-building strategy that got us around:
...And so much more, all through a single blog post.
Link-Building Case Study: SaaS Marketing
“So, what’s this ancient link-building tactic?”
I hear you asking. It must be something super secretive and esoteric, right?
Secrets learned straight from the link-building monks at an ancient SEO temple…
“Right?”
Well, not quite.
The tactic isn’t something too unusual - it’s pretty famous on the web. This tactic comes in 2 steps:
  1. Figure out where your target audience hangs out (create a list of the channels)
  2. Research the type of content your audience loves
  3. Create EPIC content based on that research (give TONS of value)
  4. Promote the HELL out of it in the channels from step 1
Nothing too new, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many people don’t use it.
Now, before you start throwing stones at us for overhyping something so simple, let’s dive into the case study:
How we PR’d the hell out of our guide to SaaS marketing (can't add a link, but it's on our blog and it's 14k words long), and got 10k+ traffic as a result.
A few months back when we launched our blog, we were deciding on what our initial content should be about.
Since we specialize in helping SaaS companies acquire new users, we decided to create a mega-authority guide to SaaS marketing (AND try to get it to rank for its respective keyword).
We went through the top-ranking content pieces, and saw that none of them was anything too impressive.
Most of them were about general startup marketing strategies - how to validate your MVP, find a product-market fit, etc.
Pretty “meh,” if you ask us. We believe that the #1 thing founders are looking for when Googling “saas marketing” are practical channels and tactics you can use to acquire new users.
So, it all started off with an idea: create a listicle of the top SaaS marketing tactics out there:
  1. How to create good content to drive users
  2. Promote your content
  3. Rank on Google
  4. Create viral infographics
  5. Create a micro-site
...and we ended up overdoing it, covering 41+ different tactics and case studies and hitting around 14k+ words.
On one hand, oops! On the other hand, we had some pretty epic content on our hands. We even added the Smart Content Filter to make the article much easier to navigate.
Once the article was up, we ran it through some of our clients, friends, and acquaintances, and received some really good feedback.
So, now we knew it was worth promoting the hell out of it.
We came up with a huge list of all online channels that would appreciate this article:
  1. entrepreneur and startups (hi guys!). The first ended up loving the post, netting us ~600 upboats and a platinum medal. The latter also ended up loving the post, but the mods decided to be assholes and remove it for being “self-promotional.” So, despite the community loving the content, it got axed by the mods. Sad. (Fun fact - this one time we tried to submit another content piece on startups with no company names, no links back to our website, or anything that can be deemed promotional. One of the mods removed it for mentioning a link to Ahrefs. Go figure!)
  2. Hacker News. Tons of founders hang out on HN, so we thought they’d appreciate anything SaaS-related. This netted us around ~200+ upvotes and some awesome feedback (thanks HN!)
  3. Submit on Growth Hackers, Indie Hackers, and all other online marketing communities. We got a bunch of love on Indie Hackers, the rest were quite inactive.
  4. Reach out to all personal connects + clients and ask for a share
  5. Run Facebook/Twitter ads. This didn’t particularly work out too well for us, so we dropped it after 1-2 weeks.
  6. Run a Quuu promotion. If you haven’t heard of Quuu, it’s a platform that matches people who want their content to be shared, with people who want their social media profiles running on 100% auto-pilot. We also got “meh” results here - tons of shares, next to no likes or link clicks.
  7. Promoted in SaaS and marketing Facebook groups. This had awesome results both in terms of traffic, as well as making new friends, AND getting new leads.
  8. Promoted in entrepreneur Slack channels. This worked OK - didn’t net us traffic, but got us some new friends.
  9. Emailed anyone we mentioned in the article and asked for a share. Since we mentioned too many high profile peeps and not enough non-celebs, this didn’t work out too well
  10. Emailed influencers that we thought would like the article / give it a share. They didn’t. We were heart-broken.
And accordingly, created a checklist + distribution sheet with all the websites or emails of people we wanted to ping.
Overall, this netted us around 12,000 page views in total, 15+ leads, 6,000 traffic in just 2 promotion days.
As for SEO results, we got a bunch of links. (I would have added screenshots to all of these results, but don't think this subreddit allows it).
A lot of these are no-follow from Reddit, HackerNews, and other submission websites, but a lot of them are also pretty authentic.
The cool part about this link-building tactic is that people link to you without even asking. You create awesome content that helps people, and you get rewarded with links, shares, and traffic!
And as for the cherry on top, only 2 months after publishing the article, it’s ranking on position #28. We’re expecting it to get to page 1 within the new few months and top 3 within the year.
Step #6 - Interlink Your Pages
One of Google's ranking factors is how long your visitors stick around on your website.
So, you need to encourage users reading ONE article, to read, well, the rest of them (or at least browse around your website). This is done through interlinking.
The idea is that each of your web pages should be linked to and from every other relevant page on your site.
Say, an article on "how to make a resume" could link to (and be linked from) "how to include contact info on a resume," "how to write a cover letter," "what's the difference between a CV and a resume," and so on.
Proper interlinking alone can have a significant impact on your website rankings. NinjaOutreach, for example, managed to improve their organic traffic by 40% through better interlinking alone.
So, how do you do interlinking “right?”
First off, make it a requirement for your writers to link to the rest of your content. Add a clause to your writer guidelines that each article should have 10+ links to your other content pieces.
More often than not, they’ll manage to get 60-70% of interlinking opportunities. To get this to 100%, we usually do bi-annual interlinking runs. Here’s how that works.
Pick an article you want to interlink. Let’s say, for example, an article on 'business process management'.
The goal here is to find as many existing articles on your blog, where ‘business process management’ is mentioned so that we can add a link to the article.
Firstly, Google the keyword ‘business process management’ by doing a Google search on your domain. You can use the following query:
site:yourwebsite.com "keyword"
In our case, that’s:
site:example.com “business process management”
You’ll get a complete list of articles that mention the keyword “business process management.
Now, all you have to do is go through each of these, and make sure that the keyword is hyperlinked to the respective article!
You should also do this for all the synonyms of the keyword for this article. For example, “BPM” is an acronym for business process management, so you’d want to link this article there too.
Step #7 - Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs
Article CTRs play a huge role in determining what ranks or not.
Let’s say your article ranks #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google benchmarks this CTR with the average CTR for the position.
If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will assume that your article, with a CTR of 15% is of high quality, and will reward you with better rankings.
On the other hand, if the average CTR is 18%, Google will assume that your article isn’t as valuable as other ranking content pieces, and will lower your ranking.
So, it’s important to keep track of your Click Through Rates for all your articles, and when you see something that’s underperforming, you can test different headlines to see if they’ll improve CTR.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how do you figure out what’s the average CTR?
Unfortunately, each search result is different, and there's no one size fits all formula for average CTR.
Over the past few years, Google has been implementing a bunch of different types of search results - featured snippet, QAs, and a lot of other types of search results.
So, depending on how many of these clutter and the search results for your given keyword, you’ll get different average CTRs by position.
Rule of thumb, you can follow these values:
Keep in mind these change a lot depending on your industry, PPC competitiveness, 0-click searches, etc...
Use a scraping tool like Screaming Frog to extract the following data from all your web pages:
Delete all the pages that aren’t meant to rank on Google. Then, head over to Google Search Console and extract the following data for all the web pages:
Add all of this data to a spreadsheet.
Now, check what your competition is doing and use that to come up with new headline ideas. Then, put them in the Title Ideas cell for the respective keyword.
For each keyword, come up with 4-5 different headlines, and implement the (seemingly) best title for each article.
Once you implement the change, insert the date on the Date Implemented column. This will help you keep track of progress.
Then, wait for around 3 - 4 weeks to see what kind of impact this change is going to have on your rankings and CTR.
If the results are not satisfactory, record the results in the respective cells, and implement another test for the following month. Make sure to update the Date Implemented column once again.
Step #8 - Keep Track of Rankings & Make Improvements On-The-Go
You’re never really “done” with SEO - you should always keep track of your rankings and see if there’s any room for improvement.
If you wait for an adequate time-frame after publishing a post (6 months to a year) and you’re still seeing next to no results, then it might be time to investigate.
Here’s what this usually looks like for us:




...and that's it.
Hope you guys had a good read and learned a thing or two :) HMU if you have any questions.
If you want to read the full version in a more reader-friendly format, you can checkout our SEO process blog post here.
submitted by mighty_k_marketing to FoundersList [link] [comments]


2020.07.13 16:37 malchik23 SEO is easy. The EXACT process we use to scale our clients' SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic and beyond

Hey guys!
There's a TON of content out there on SEO - guides, articles, courses, videos, scams, people yelling about it on online forums, etc etc..
Most of it, however, is super impractical. If you want to start doing SEO TODAY and start getting results ASAP, you'll need to do a TON of digging to figure out what's important and what's not.
So we wanted to make everyone's lives super easy and distill our EXACT process of working w/ clients into a stupid-simple, step-by-step practical guide. And so we did. Here we are.
A bit of backstory:
If you guys haven't seen any of my previous posts, me and my co-founder own an SEO/digital marketing agency, and we've worked w/ a ton of clients helping them go from 0 to 200k+ monthly organic traffic. We've also helped some quite big companies grow their organic traffic (from 1M to over 1.8M monthly organic), using the exact same process.
So without further ado, grab your popcorn, and be prepared to stick to the screen for a while, cause this is going to be a long post. Here's everything I am going to cover:
Step #1 - Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO
Step #1 to any SEO initiative is getting your technical SEO right.
Now, some of this is going to be a bit technical, so you might just forward this part to your tech team and just skip ahead to "Step #2 - Keyword Research."
If you DON'T have a tech team and want a super easy tl;dr, do this:
If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, though, read on!
Technical SEO Basics
Sitemap.xml file. A good sitemap shows Google how to easily navigate your website (and how to find all your content!). If your site runs on WordPress, all you have to do is install YoastSEO or Rankmath SEO, and they’ll create a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you can use an online XML Sitemap generation tool.
Proper website architecture. The crawl depth of any page should be lower than 4 (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To fix this, you should improve your interlinking (check Step #6 of this guide to learn more).
Serve images in next-gen format. Next-gen image formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP) can be compressed a lot better than JPG or PNG images. Using WordPress? Just use Smush and it’ll do ALL the work for you. Otherwise, you can manually compress all images and re-upload them.
Remove duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content and will penalize you for it. If you have any duplicate pages, just merge them (by doing a 301 redirect) or delete one or the other.
Update your ‘robots.txt’ file. Hide the pages you don’t want Google to index (e.g: non-public, or unimportant pages). If you’re a SaaS, this would be most of your in-app pages. ]
Optimize all your pages by best practice. There’s a bunch of general best practices that Google wants you to follow for your web pages (maintain keyword density, have an adequate # of outbound links, etc.). Install YoastSEO or RankMath and use them to optimize all of your web pages.
If you DON’T have any pages that you don’t want to be displayed on Google, you DON’T need robots.txt.
Advanced Technical SEO
Now, this is where this gets a bit more web-devvy. Other than just optimizing your website for SEO, you should also focus on optimizing your website speed.
Here’s how to do that:
Both for Mobile and PC, your website should load in under 2-3 seconds. While load speed isn’t a DIRECT ranking factor, it does have a very serious impact on your rankings.
After all, if your website doesn’t load for 5 seconds, a bunch of your visitors might drop off.
So, to measure your website speed performance, you can use Pagespeed Insights. Some of the most common issues we have seen clients facing when it comes to website speed and loading time, are the following:
Want to make your life easier AND fix up all these issues and more? Use WP Rocket. The tool basically does all your optimization for you (if you’re using WordPress, of course).
Step #2 - Keyword Research
Once your website is 100% optimized, it’s time to define your SEO strategy.
The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.
First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.
You can use the sheet to:
  1. Prioritize content
  2. Keep track of the publishing process
  3. Get a top-down view of your web pages
And here’s what it covers:
Now that you have your sheet (and understand how it works), let’s talk about the “how” of keyword research.
How to do Keyword Research (Step-by-Step Guide)
There are a ton of different ways to do that (check the “further readings” at the end of this section for a detailed rundown).
Our favorite method, however, is as follows…
Start off by listing out your top 5 SEO competitors.
The key here is SEO competitors - competing companies that have a strong SEO presence in the same niche.
Not sure who’s a good SEO competitor? Google the top keywords that describe your product and find your top-ranking competitors.
Run them through SEMrush (or your favorite SEO tool), and you’ll see how well, exactly, they’re doing with their SEO.
Once you have a list of 5 competitors, run each of them through “Organic Research” on SEMrush, and you'll get a complete list of all the keywords they rank on.
Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all the relevant ones and add them to your sheet.
Once you go through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be around 80%+ done.
Now to put some finishing touches on your keyword research, run your top keywords through UberSuggest and let it do its magic. It's going to give you a bunch of keywords associated with the keywords you input.
Go through all the results it's going to give you, extract anything that’s relevant, and your keyword research should be 90% done.
At this point, you can call it a day and move on to the next step. Chances are, over time, you’ll uncover new keywords to add to your sheet and get you to that sweet 100%.
Step #3 - Create SEO Landing Pages
Remember how we collected a bunch of landing page keywords in step #2? Now it’s time to build the right page for each of them! This step is a lot more straightforward than you’d think. First off, you create a custom landing page based around the keyword. Depending on your niche, this can be done in 2 ways:
  1. Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your landing page, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
  2. Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.
Once you have a bunch of these pages ready, you should optimize them for their respective keywords.
You can do this by running the page content through an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this through RankMath or Yoast SEO.
Both tools will give you exact instructions on how to optimize your page for the keyword.
If you’re not using WordPress, you can use SurferSEO. Just copy-paste your web page content, and it’s going to give you instructions on how to optimize it.
Once your new landing pages are live, you need to pick where you want to place them on your website. We usually recommend adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer.
Finally, once you have all these new landing pages up, you might be thinking “Now what? How, and when, are these pages going to rank?”
Generally, landing pages are a tad harder to rank than content. See, with content, quality plays a huge part. Write better, longer, and more informative content than your competition, and you’re going to eventually outrank them even if they have more links.
With landing pages, things aren’t as cut and dry. More often than not, you can’t just “create a better landing page.”
What determines rankings for landing page keywords are backlinks. If your competitors have 400 links on their landing pages, while yours has 40, chances are, you’re not going to outrank them.
Step #4 - Create SEO Blog Content
Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: content keywords, and how to create content that ranks.
As we mentioned before, these keywords aren’t direct-intent (the Googler isn’t SPECIFICALLY looking for your product), but they can still convert pretty well. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you could rank on keywords like…
After all, anyone looking to learn about lead gen techniques might also be willing to pay you to do it for them.
On top of this, blog post keywords are way easier to rank for than your landing pages - you can beat competition simply by creating significantly better content without turning it into a backlink war.In order to create good SEO content, you need to do 2 things right:
  1. Create a comprehensive content outline
  2. Get the writing part right
Here’s how each of these work...
How to Create a Content Outline for SEO
A content outline is a document that has all the info on what type of information the article should contain Usually, this includes:
Outlines are useful if you’re working with a writing team that isn’t 100% familiar with SEO, allowing them to write content that ranks without any SEO know-how.
At the same time, even if you’re the one doing the writing, an outline can help you get a top-down idea of what you should cover in the article.
So, how do you create an outline? Here’s a simplified step-by-step process…
  1. Determine the target word count. Rule of thumb: aim for 1.5x - 2x whatever your competitor wrote. You can disregard this if your competition was super comprehensive with their content, and just go for the same length instead.
  2. Create a similar header structure as your competition. Indicate for the writer which headers should be h2, which ones h3.
  3. For each header, mention what it’s about. Pro tip - you can borrow ideas from the top 5 ranking articles.
  4. For each header, explain what, exactly, should the writer mention (in simple words).
  5. Finally, do some first-hand research on Reddit and Quora. What are the questions your target audience has around your topic? What else could you add to the article that would be super valuable for your customers?
How to Write Well
There’s a lot more to good content than giving an outline to a writer. Sure, they can hit all the right points, but if the writing itself is mediocre, no one’s going to stick around to read your article.
Here are some essential tips you should keep in mind for writing content (or managing a team of writers):
  1. Write for your audience. Are you a B2B enterprise SaaS? Your blog posts should be more formal and professional. B2C, super-consumer product? Talk in a more casual, relaxed fashion. Sprinkle your content with pop culture references for bonus points!
  2. Avoid fluff. Every single sentence should have some sort of value (conveying information, cracking a joke, etc.). Avoid beating around the bush, and be as straightforward as possible.
  3. Keep your audience’s knowledge in mind. For example, if your audience is a bunch of rocket scientists, you don’t have to explain to them how 1+1=2.
  4. Create a writer guideline (or just steal ours! -> edit: sorry had to remove link due to posting guidelines)
  5. Use Grammarly and Hemingway. The first is like your personal pocket editor, and the latter helps make your content easier to read.
  6. Hire the right writers. Chances are, you’re too busy to write your own content. We usually recommend using ProBlogger or Cult of Copy Job Board (Facebook Group) to source top writing talent.
Step #5 - Start Link-Building Operations
Links are essential if you want your content or web pages to rank.
If you’re in a competitive niche, links are going to be the final deciding factor on what ranks and what doesn’t.
In the VPN niche, for example, everyone has good content. That’s just the baseline. The real competition is in the backlinks.
To better illustrate this example, if you Google “best VPN,” you’ll see that all top-ranking content pieces are almost the same thing. They’re all:
So, the determining factor is links. If you check all the top-ranking articles with the Moz Toolbar Extension, you’ll see that on average, each page has a minimum of 300 links (and some over 100,000!).
Meaning, to compete, you’ll really need to double-down on your link-building effort.
In fact, in the most competitive SEO niches, it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 per month on link-building efforts alone.
Pro Tip
Got scared by the high $$$ some companies spend on link-building? Well, worry not!
Only the most ever-green niches are so competitive. Think, VPN, make money online, health and fitness, dating, CBD, gambling, etc. So you know, the usual culprits.
For most other niches, you can even rank with minimal links, as long as you have top-tier SEO content.
Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: “how do you do link-building?”
4 Evergreen Link Building Strategies for Any Website
There are a TON of different link building strategies on the web. Broken link building, scholarship link building, stealing competitor links, and so on and so on and so on.
We’re not going to list every single link building strategy out there (mainly because Backlinko already did that in their link building guide).
What we are going to do, though, is list out some of our favorite strategies, and link you to resources where you can learn more:
  1. Broken link building. You find dead pages with a lot of backlinks, reach out to websites that linked to them, and pitch them something like “hey, you linked to this article, but it’s dead. We thought you’d want to fix that. You can use our recent article if you think it’s cool enough.”
  2. Guest posting. Probably the most popular link building strategy. Find blogs that accept guest posts, and send them a pitch! They usually let you include 1-2 do-follow links back to your website.
  3. “Linkable asset” link building. A linkable asset is a resource that is so AWESOME that you just can’t help but link to. Think, infographics, online calculators, first-hand studies or research, stuff like that. The tl;dr here is, you create an awesome resource, and promote the hell out of it on the web.
  4. Skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique is a term coined by Backlinko. The gist of it is, you find link-worthy content on the web, create something even better, and reach out to the right people.
Most of these strategies work, and you can find a ton of resources on the web if you want to learn more.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, oh boy we have a treat for you! We’re going to teach you a link-building strategy that got us around:
...And so much more, all through a single blog post.
Link-Building Case Study: SaaS Marketing
“So, what’s this ancient link-building tactic?”
I hear you asking. It must be something super secretive and esoteric, right?
Secrets learned straight from the link-building monks at an ancient SEO temple…
“Right?”
Well, not quite.
The tactic isn’t something too unusual - it’s pretty famous on the web. This tactic comes in 2 steps:
  1. Figure out where your target audience hangs out (create a list of the channels)
  2. Research the type of content your audience loves
  3. Create EPIC content based on that research (give TONS of value)
  4. Promote the HELL out of it in the channels from step 1
Nothing too new, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many people don’t use it.
Now, before you start throwing stones at us for overhyping something so simple, let’s dive into the case study:
How we PR’d the hell out of our guide to SaaS marketing (can't add a link, but it's on our blog and it's 14k words long), and got 10k+ traffic as a result.
A few months back when we launched our blog, we were deciding on what our initial content should be about.
Since we specialize in helping SaaS companies acquire new users, we decided to create a mega-authority guide to SaaS marketing (AND try to get it to rank for its respective keyword).
We went through the top-ranking content pieces, and saw that none of them was anything too impressive.
Most of them were about general startup marketing strategies - how to validate your MVP, find a product-market fit, etc.
Pretty “meh,” if you ask us. We believe that the #1 thing founders are looking for when Googling “saas marketing” are practical channels and tactics you can use to acquire new users.
So, it all started off with an idea: create a listicle of the top SaaS marketing tactics out there:
  1. How to create good content to drive users
  2. Promote your content
  3. Rank on Google
  4. Create viral infographics
  5. Create a micro-site
...and we ended up overdoing it, covering 41+ different tactics and case studies and hitting around 14k+ words.
On one hand, oops! On the other hand, we had some pretty epic content on our hands. We even added the Smart Content Filter to make the article much easier to navigate.
Once the article was up, we ran it through some of our clients, friends, and acquaintances, and received some really good feedback.
So, now we knew it was worth promoting the hell out of it.
We came up with a huge list of all online channels that would appreciate this article:
  1. entrepreneur and startups (hi guys!). The first ended up loving the post, netting us ~600 upboats and a platinum medal. The latter also ended up loving the post, but the mods decided to be assholes and remove it for being “self-promotional.” So, despite the community loving the content, it got axed by the mods. Sad. (Fun fact - this one time we tried to submit another content piece on startups with no company names, no links back to our website, or anything that can be deemed promotional. One of the mods removed it for mentioning a link to Ahrefs. Go figure!)
  2. Hacker News. Tons of founders hang out on HN, so we thought they’d appreciate anything SaaS-related. This netted us around ~200+ upvotes and some awesome feedback (thanks HN!)
  3. Submit on Growth Hackers, Indie Hackers, and all other online marketing communities. We got a bunch of love on Indie Hackers, the rest were quite inactive.
  4. Reach out to all personal connects + clients and ask for a share
  5. Run Facebook/Twitter ads. This didn’t particularly work out too well for us, so we dropped it after 1-2 weeks.
  6. Run a Quuu promotion. If you haven’t heard of Quuu, it’s a platform that matches people who want their content to be shared, with people who want their social media profiles running on 100% auto-pilot. We also got “meh” results here - tons of shares, next to no likes or link clicks.
  7. Promoted in SaaS and marketing Facebook groups. This had awesome results both in terms of traffic, as well as making new friends, AND getting new leads.
  8. Promoted in entrepreneur Slack channels. This worked OK - didn’t net us traffic, but got us some new friends.
  9. Emailed anyone we mentioned in the article and asked for a share. Since we mentioned too many high profile peeps and not enough non-celebs, this didn’t work out too well
  10. Emailed influencers that we thought would like the article / give it a share. They didn’t. We were heart-broken.
And accordingly, created a checklist + distribution sheet with all the websites or emails of people we wanted to ping.
Overall, this netted us around 12,000 page views in total, 15+ leads, 6,000 traffic in just 2 promotion days.
As for SEO results, we got a bunch of links. (I would have added screenshots to all of these results, but don't think this subreddit allows it).
A lot of these are no-follow from Reddit, HackerNews, and other submission websites, but a lot of them are also pretty authentic.
The cool part about this link-building tactic is that people link to you without even asking. You create awesome content that helps people, and you get rewarded with links, shares, and traffic!
And as for the cherry on top, only 2 months after publishing the article, it’s ranking on position #28. We’re expecting it to get to page 1 within the new few months and top 3 within the year.
Step #6 - Interlink Your Pages
One of Google's ranking factors is how long your visitors stick around on your website.
So, you need to encourage users reading ONE article, to read, well, the rest of them (or at least browse around your website). This is done through interlinking.
The idea is that each of your web pages should be linked to and from every other relevant page on your site.
Say, an article on "how to make a resume" could link to (and be linked from) "how to include contact info on a resume," "how to write a cover letter," "what's the difference between a CV and a resume," and so on.
Proper interlinking alone can have a significant impact on your website rankings. NinjaOutreach, for example, managed to improve their organic traffic by 40% through better interlinking alone.
So, how do you do interlinking “right?”
First off, make it a requirement for your writers to link to the rest of your content. Add a clause to your writer guidelines that each article should have 10+ links to your other content pieces.
More often than not, they’ll manage to get 60-70% of interlinking opportunities. To get this to 100%, we usually do bi-annual interlinking runs. Here’s how that works.
Pick an article you want to interlink. Let’s say, for example, an article on 'business process management'.
The goal here is to find as many existing articles on your blog, where ‘business process management’ is mentioned so that we can add a link to the article.
Firstly, Google the keyword ‘business process management’ by doing a Google search on your domain. You can use the following query:
site:yourwebsite.com "keyword"
In our case, that’s:
site:example.com “business process management”
You’ll get a complete list of articles that mention the keyword “business process management.
Now, all you have to do is go through each of these, and make sure that the keyword is hyperlinked to the respective article!
You should also do this for all the synonyms of the keyword for this article. For example, “BPM” is an acronym for business process management, so you’d want to link this article there too.
Step #7 - Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs
Article CTRs play a huge role in determining what ranks or not.
Let’s say your article ranks #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google benchmarks this CTR with the average CTR for the position.
If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will assume that your article, with a CTR of 15% is of high quality, and will reward you with better rankings.
On the other hand, if the average CTR is 18%, Google will assume that your article isn’t as valuable as other ranking content pieces, and will lower your ranking.
So, it’s important to keep track of your Click Through Rates for all your articles, and when you see something that’s underperforming, you can test different headlines to see if they’ll improve CTR.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how do you figure out what’s the average CTR?
Unfortunately, each search result is different, and there's no one size fits all formula for average CTR.
Over the past few years, Google has been implementing a bunch of different types of search results - featured snippet, QAs, and a lot of other types of search results.
So, depending on how many of these clutter and the search results for your given keyword, you’ll get different average CTRs by position.
Rule of thumb, you can follow these values:
Keep in mind these change a lot depending on your industry, PPC competitiveness, 0-click searches, etc...
Use a scraping tool like Screaming Frog to extract the following data from all your web pages:
Delete all the pages that aren’t meant to rank on Google. Then, head over to Google Search Console and extract the following data for all the web pages:
Add all of this data to a spreadsheet.
Now, check what your competition is doing and use that to come up with new headline ideas. Then, put them in the Title Ideas cell for the respective keyword.
For each keyword, come up with 4-5 different headlines, and implement the (seemingly) best title for each article.
Once you implement the change, insert the date on the Date Implemented column. This will help you keep track of progress.
Then, wait for around 3 - 4 weeks to see what kind of impact this change is going to have on your rankings and CTR.
If the results are not satisfactory, record the results in the respective cells, and implement another test for the following month. Make sure to update the Date Implemented column once again.
Step #8 - Keep Track of Rankings & Make Improvements On-The-Go
You’re never really “done” with SEO - you should always keep track of your rankings and see if there’s any room for improvement.
If you wait for an adequate time-frame after publishing a post (6 months to a year) and you’re still seeing next to no results, then it might be time to investigate.
Here’s what this usually looks like for us:
...And that's it.
Hope you guys had a good read and learned a thing or two :) HMU if you have any questions.
Can't add a link to the blog post (for better readability) due to posting guidelines, sorry.
submitted by malchik23 to SEO [link] [comments]


2020.07.13 16:32 malchik23 SEO is easy. The EXACT process we use to scale our clients' SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic and beyond

Hey guys!
There's a TON of content out there on SEO - guides, articles, courses, videos, scams, people yelling about it on online forums, etc etc..
Most of it, however, is super impractical. If you want to start doing SEO TODAY and start getting results ASAP, you'll need to do a TON of digging to figure out what's important and what's not.
So we wanted to make everyone's lives super easy and distill our EXACT process of working w/ clients into a stupid-simple, step-by-step practical guide. And so we did. Here we are.
A bit of backstory:
If you guys haven't seen any of my previous posts, me and my co-founder own an SEO/digital marketing agency, and we've worked w/ a ton of clients helping them go from 0 to 200k+ monthly organic traffic. We've also helped some quite big companies grow their organic traffic (from 1M to over 1.8M monthly organic), using the exact same process.
So without further ado, grab your popcorn, and be prepared to stick to the screen for a while, cause this is going to be a long post. Here's everything I am going to cover:
Step #1 - Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO
Step #1 to any SEO initiative is getting your technical SEO right.
Now, some of this is going to be a bit technical, so you might just forward this part to your tech team and just skip ahead to "Step #2 - Keyword Research."
If you DON'T have a tech team and want a super easy tl;dr, do this:
If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, though, read on!
Technical SEO Basics
Sitemap.xml file. A good sitemap shows Google how to easily navigate your website (and how to find all your content!). If your site runs on WordPress, all you have to do is install YoastSEO or Rankmath SEO, and they’ll create a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you can use an online XML Sitemap generation tool.
Proper website architecture. The crawl depth of any page should be lower than 4 (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To fix this, you should improve your interlinking (check Step #6 of this guide to learn more).
Serve images in next-gen format. Next-gen image formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP) can be compressed a lot better than JPG or PNG images. Using WordPress? Just use Smush and it’ll do ALL the work for you. Otherwise, you can manually compress all images and re-upload them.
Remove duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content and will penalize you for it. If you have any duplicate pages, just merge them (by doing a 301 redirect) or delete one or the other.
Update your ‘robots.txt’ file. Hide the pages you don’t want Google to index (e.g: non-public, or unimportant pages). If you’re a SaaS, this would be most of your in-app pages. ]
Optimize all your pages by best practice. There’s a bunch of general best practices that Google wants you to follow for your web pages (maintain keyword density, have an adequate # of outbound links, etc.). Install YoastSEO or RankMath and use them to optimize all of your web pages.
If you DON’T have any pages that you don’t want to be displayed on Google, you DON’T need robots.txt.
Advanced Technical SEO
Now, this is where this gets a bit more web-devvy. Other than just optimizing your website for SEO, you should also focus on optimizing your website speed.
Here’s how to do that:
Both for Mobile and PC, your website should load in under 2-3 seconds. While load speed isn’t a DIRECT ranking factor, it does have a very serious impact on your rankings.
After all, if your website doesn’t load for 5 seconds, a bunch of your visitors might drop off.
So, to measure your website speed performance, you can use Pagespeed Insights. Some of the most common issues we have seen clients facing when it comes to website speed and loading time, are the following:
Want to make your life easier AND fix up all these issues and more? Use WP Rocket. The tool basically does all your optimization for you (if you’re using WordPress, of course).
Step #2 - Keyword Research
Once your website is 100% optimized, it’s time to define your SEO strategy.
The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.
First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.
You can use the sheet to:
  1. Prioritize content
  2. Keep track of the publishing process
  3. Get a top-down view of your web pages
And here’s what it covers:
Now that you have your sheet (and understand how it works), let’s talk about the “how” of keyword research.
How to do Keyword Research (Step-by-Step Guide)
There are a ton of different ways to do that (check the “further readings” at the end of this section for a detailed rundown).
Our favorite method, however, is as follows…
Start off by listing out your top 5 SEO competitors.
The key here is SEO competitors - competing companies that have a strong SEO presence in the same niche.
Not sure who’s a good SEO competitor? Google the top keywords that describe your product and find your top-ranking competitors.
Run them through SEMrush (or your favorite SEO tool), and you’ll see how well, exactly, they’re doing with their SEO.
Once you have a list of 5 competitors, run each of them through “Organic Research” on SEMrush, and you'll get a complete list of all the keywords they rank on.
Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all the relevant ones and add them to your sheet.
Once you go through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be around 80%+ done.
Now to put some finishing touches on your keyword research, run your top keywords through UberSuggest and let it do its magic. It's going to give you a bunch of keywords associated with the keywords you input.
Go through all the results it's going to give you, extract anything that’s relevant, and your keyword research should be 90% done.
At this point, you can call it a day and move on to the next step. Chances are, over time, you’ll uncover new keywords to add to your sheet and get you to that sweet 100%.
Step #3 - Create SEO Landing Pages
Remember how we collected a bunch of landing page keywords in step #2? Now it’s time to build the right page for each of them! This step is a lot more straightforward than you’d think. First off, you create a custom landing page based around the keyword. Depending on your niche, this can be done in 2 ways:
  1. Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your landing page, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
  2. Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.
Once you have a bunch of these pages ready, you should optimize them for their respective keywords.
You can do this by running the page content through an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this through RankMath or Yoast SEO.
Both tools will give you exact instructions on how to optimize your page for the keyword.
If you’re not using WordPress, you can use SurferSEO. Just copy-paste your web page content, and it’s going to give you instructions on how to optimize it.
Once your new landing pages are live, you need to pick where you want to place them on your website. We usually recommend adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer.
Finally, once you have all these new landing pages up, you might be thinking “Now what? How, and when, are these pages going to rank?”
Generally, landing pages are a tad harder to rank than content. See, with content, quality plays a huge part. Write better, longer, and more informative content than your competition, and you’re going to eventually outrank them even if they have more links.
With landing pages, things aren’t as cut and dry. More often than not, you can’t just “create a better landing page.”
What determines rankings for landing page keywords are backlinks. If your competitors have 400 links on their landing pages, while yours has 40, chances are, you’re not going to outrank them.
Step #4 - Create SEO Blog Content
Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: content keywords, and how to create content that ranks.
As we mentioned before, these keywords aren’t direct-intent (the Googler isn’t SPECIFICALLY looking for your product), but they can still convert pretty well. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you could rank on keywords like…
After all, anyone looking to learn about lead gen techniques might also be willing to pay you to do it for them.
On top of this, blog post keywords are way easier to rank for than your landing pages - you can beat competition simply by creating significantly better content without turning it into a backlink war.In order to create good SEO content, you need to do 2 things right:
  1. Create a comprehensive content outline
  2. Get the writing part right
Here’s how each of these work...
How to Create a Content Outline for SEO
A content outline is a document that has all the info on what type of information the article should contain Usually, this includes:
Outlines are useful if you’re working with a writing team that isn’t 100% familiar with SEO, allowing them to write content that ranks without any SEO know-how.
At the same time, even if you’re the one doing the writing, an outline can help you get a top-down idea of what you should cover in the article.
So, how do you create an outline? Here’s a simplified step-by-step process…
  1. Determine the target word count. Rule of thumb: aim for 1.5x - 2x whatever your competitor wrote. You can disregard this if your competition was super comprehensive with their content, and just go for the same length instead.
  2. Create a similar header structure as your competition. Indicate for the writer which headers should be h2, which ones h3.
  3. For each header, mention what it’s about. Pro tip - you can borrow ideas from the top 5 ranking articles.
  4. For each header, explain what, exactly, should the writer mention (in simple words).
  5. Finally, do some first-hand research on Reddit and Quora. What are the questions your target audience has around your topic? What else could you add to the article that would be super valuable for your customers?
How to Write Well
There’s a lot more to good content than giving an outline to a writer. Sure, they can hit all the right points, but if the writing itself is mediocre, no one’s going to stick around to read your article.
Here are some essential tips you should keep in mind for writing content (or managing a team of writers):
  1. Write for your audience. Are you a B2B enterprise SaaS? Your blog posts should be more formal and professional. B2C, super-consumer product? Talk in a more casual, relaxed fashion. Sprinkle your content with pop culture references for bonus points!
  2. Avoid fluff. Every single sentence should have some sort of value (conveying information, cracking a joke, etc.). Avoid beating around the bush, and be as straightforward as possible.
  3. Keep your audience’s knowledge in mind. For example, if your audience is a bunch of rocket scientists, you don’t have to explain to them how 1+1=2.
  4. Create a writer guideline (or just steal ours! -> edit: sorry had to remove link due to posting guidelines)
  5. Use Grammarly and Hemingway. The first is like your personal pocket editor, and the latter helps make your content easier to read.
  6. Hire the right writers. Chances are, you’re too busy to write your own content. We usually recommend using ProBlogger or Cult of Copy Job Board (Facebook Group) to source top writing talent.
Step #5 - Start Link-Building Operations
Links are essential if you want your content or web pages to rank.
If you’re in a competitive niche, links are going to be the final deciding factor on what ranks and what doesn’t.
In the VPN niche, for example, everyone has good content. That’s just the baseline. The real competition is in the backlinks.
To better illustrate this example, if you Google “best VPN,” you’ll see that all top-ranking content pieces are almost the same thing. They’re all:
So, the determining factor is links. If you check all the top-ranking articles with the Moz Toolbar Extension, you’ll see that on average, each page has a minimum of 300 links (and some over 100,000!).
Meaning, to compete, you’ll really need to double-down on your link-building effort.
In fact, in the most competitive SEO niches, it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 per month on link-building efforts alone.
Pro Tip
Got scared by the high $$$ some companies spend on link-building? Well, worry not!
Only the most ever-green niches are so competitive. Think, VPN, make money online, health and fitness, dating, CBD, gambling, etc. So you know, the usual culprits.
For most other niches, you can even rank with minimal links, as long as you have top-tier SEO content.
Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: “how do you do link-building?”
4 Evergreen Link Building Strategies for Any Website
There are a TON of different link building strategies on the web. Broken link building, scholarship link building, stealing competitor links, and so on and so on and so on.
We’re not going to list every single link building strategy out there (mainly because Backlinko already did that in their link building guide).
What we are going to do, though, is list out some of our favorite strategies, and link you to resources where you can learn more:
  1. Broken link building. You find dead pages with a lot of backlinks, reach out to websites that linked to them, and pitch them something like “hey, you linked to this article, but it’s dead. We thought you’d want to fix that. You can use our recent article if you think it’s cool enough.”
  2. Guest posting. Probably the most popular link building strategy. Find blogs that accept guest posts, and send them a pitch! They usually let you include 1-2 do-follow links back to your website.
  3. “Linkable asset” link building. A linkable asset is a resource that is so AWESOME that you just can’t help but link to. Think, infographics, online calculators, first-hand studies or research, stuff like that. The tl;dr here is, you create an awesome resource, and promote the hell out of it on the web.
  4. Skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique is a term coined by Backlinko. The gist of it is, you find link-worthy content on the web, create something even better, and reach out to the right people.
Most of these strategies work, and you can find a ton of resources on the web if you want to learn more.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, oh boy we have a treat for you! We’re going to teach you a link-building strategy that got us around:
...And so much more, all through a single blog post.
Link-Building Case Study: SaaS Marketing
“So, what’s this ancient link-building tactic?”
I hear you asking. It must be something super secretive and esoteric, right?
Secrets learned straight from the link-building monks at an ancient SEO temple…
“Right?”
Well, not quite.
The tactic isn’t something too unusual - it’s pretty famous on the web. This tactic comes in 2 steps:
  1. Figure out where your target audience hangs out (create a list of the channels)
  2. Research the type of content your audience loves
  3. Create EPIC content based on that research (give TONS of value)
  4. Promote the HELL out of it in the channels from step 1
Nothing too new, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many people don’t use it.
Now, before you start throwing stones at us for overhyping something so simple, let’s dive into the case study:
How we PR’d the hell out of our guide to SaaS marketing (can't add a link, but it's on our blog and it's 14k words long), and got 10k+ traffic as a result.
A few months back when we launched our blog, we were deciding on what our initial content should be about.
Since we specialize in helping SaaS companies acquire new users, we decided to create a mega-authority guide to SaaS marketing (AND try to get it to rank for its respective keyword).
We went through the top-ranking content pieces, and saw that none of them was anything too impressive.
Most of them were about general startup marketing strategies - how to validate your MVP, find a product-market fit, etc.
Pretty “meh,” if you ask us. We believe that the #1 thing founders are looking for when Googling “saas marketing” are practical channels and tactics you can use to acquire new users.
So, it all started off with an idea: create a listicle of the top SaaS marketing tactics out there:
  1. How to create good content to drive users
  2. Promote your content
  3. Rank on Google
  4. Create viral infographics
  5. Create a micro-site
...and we ended up overdoing it, covering 41+ different tactics and case studies and hitting around 14k+ words.
On one hand, oops! On the other hand, we had some pretty epic content on our hands. We even added the Smart Content Filter to make the article much easier to navigate.
Once the article was up, we ran it through some of our clients, friends, and acquaintances, and received some really good feedback.
So, now we knew it was worth promoting the hell out of it.
We came up with a huge list of all online channels that would appreciate this article:
  1. entrepreneur and startups (hi guys!). The first ended up loving the post, netting us ~600 upboats and a platinum medal. The latter also ended up loving the post, but the mods decided to be assholes and remove it for being “self-promotional.” So, despite the community loving the content, it got axed by the mods. Sad. (Fun fact - this one time we tried to submit another content piece on startups with no company names, no links back to our website, or anything that can be deemed promotional. One of the mods removed it for mentioning a link to Ahrefs. Go figure!)
  2. Hacker News. Tons of founders hang out on HN, so we thought they’d appreciate anything SaaS-related. This netted us around ~200+ upvotes and some awesome feedback (thanks HN!)
  3. Submit on Growth Hackers, Indie Hackers, and all other online marketing communities. We got a bunch of love on Indie Hackers, the rest were quite inactive.
  4. Reach out to all personal connects + clients and ask for a share
  5. Run Facebook/Twitter ads. This didn’t particularly work out too well for us, so we dropped it after 1-2 weeks.
  6. Run a Quuu promotion. If you haven’t heard of Quuu, it’s a platform that matches people who want their content to be shared, with people who want their social media profiles running on 100% auto-pilot. We also got “meh” results here - tons of shares, next to no likes or link clicks.
  7. Promoted in SaaS and marketing Facebook groups. This had awesome results both in terms of traffic, as well as making new friends, AND getting new leads.
  8. Promoted in entrepreneur Slack channels. This worked OK - didn’t net us traffic, but got us some new friends.
  9. Emailed anyone we mentioned in the article and asked for a share. Since we mentioned too many high profile peeps and not enough non-celebs, this didn’t work out too well
  10. Emailed influencers that we thought would like the article / give it a share. They didn’t. We were heart-broken.
And accordingly, created a checklist + distribution sheet with all the websites or emails of people we wanted to ping.
Overall, this netted us around 12,000 page views in total, 15+ leads, 6,000 traffic in just 2 promotion days.
As for SEO results, we got a bunch of links. (I would have added screenshots to all of these results, but don't think this subreddit allows it).
A lot of these are no-follow from Reddit, HackerNews, and other submission websites, but a lot of them are also pretty authentic.
The cool part about this link-building tactic is that people link to you without even asking. You create awesome content that helps people, and you get rewarded with links, shares, and traffic!
And as for the cherry on top, only 2 months after publishing the article, it’s ranking on position #28. We’re expecting it to get to page 1 within the new few months and top 3 within the year.
Step #6 - Interlink Your Pages
One of Google's ranking factors is how long your visitors stick around on your website.
So, you need to encourage users reading ONE article, to read, well, the rest of them (or at least browse around your website). This is done through interlinking.
The idea is that each of your web pages should be linked to and from every other relevant page on your site.
Say, an article on "how to make a resume" could link to (and be linked from) "how to include contact info on a resume," "how to write a cover letter," "what's the difference between a CV and a resume," and so on.
Proper interlinking alone can have a significant impact on your website rankings. NinjaOutreach, for example, managed to improve their organic traffic by 40% through better interlinking alone.
So, how do you do interlinking “right?”
First off, make it a requirement for your writers to link to the rest of your content. Add a clause to your writer guidelines that each article should have 10+ links to your other content pieces.
More often than not, they’ll manage to get 60-70% of interlinking opportunities. To get this to 100%, we usually do bi-annual interlinking runs. Here’s how that works.
Pick an article you want to interlink. Let’s say, for example, an article on 'business process management'.
The goal here is to find as many existing articles on your blog, where ‘business process management’ is mentioned so that we can add a link to the article.
Firstly, Google the keyword ‘business process management’ by doing a Google search on your domain. You can use the following query:
site:yourwebsite.com "keyword"
In our case, that’s:
site:example.com “business process management”
You’ll get a complete list of articles that mention the keyword “business process management.
Now, all you have to do is go through each of these, and make sure that the keyword is hyperlinked to the respective article!
You should also do this for all the synonyms of the keyword for this article. For example, “BPM” is an acronym for business process management, so you’d want to link this article there too.
Step #7 - Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs
Article CTRs play a huge role in determining what ranks or not.
Let’s say your article ranks #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google benchmarks this CTR with the average CTR for the position.
If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will assume that your article, with a CTR of 15% is of high quality, and will reward you with better rankings.
On the other hand, if the average CTR is 18%, Google will assume that your article isn’t as valuable as other ranking content pieces, and will lower your ranking.
So, it’s important to keep track of your Click Through Rates for all your articles, and when you see something that’s underperforming, you can test different headlines to see if they’ll improve CTR.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how do you figure out what’s the average CTR?
Unfortunately, each search result is different, and there's no one size fits all formula for average CTR.
Over the past few years, Google has been implementing a bunch of different types of search results - featured snippet, QAs, and a lot of other types of search results.
So, depending on how many of these clutter and the search results for your given keyword, you’ll get different average CTRs by position.
Rule of thumb, you can follow these values:
Keep in mind these change a lot depending on your industry, PPC competitiveness, 0-click searches, etc...
Use a scraping tool like Screaming Frog to extract the following data from all your web pages:
Delete all the pages that aren’t meant to rank on Google. Then, head over to Google Search Console and extract the following data for all the web pages:
Add all of this data to a spreadsheet.
Now, check what your competition is doing and use that to come up with new headline ideas. Then, put them in the Title Ideas cell for the respective keyword.
For each keyword, come up with 4-5 different headlines, and implement the (seemingly) best title for each article.
Once you implement the change, insert the date on the Date Implemented column. This will help you keep track of progress.
Then, wait for around 3 - 4 weeks to see what kind of impact this change is going to have on your rankings and CTR.
If the results are not satisfactory, record the results in the respective cells, and implement another test for the following month. Make sure to update the Date Implemented column once again.
Step #8 - Keep Track of Rankings & Make Improvements On-The-Go
You’re never really “done” with SEO - you should always keep track of your rankings and see if there’s any room for improvement.
If you wait for an adequate time-frame after publishing a post (6 months to a year) and you’re still seeing next to no results, then it might be time to investigate.
Here’s what this usually looks like for us:




...and that's it.
Hope you guys had a good read and learned a thing or two :) HMU if you have any questions.
If you want to read the full version in a more reader-friendly format, you can checkout our SEO process blog post here.
submitted by malchik23 to startups [link] [comments]


2020.07.13 16:26 malchik23 SEO is easy. The EXACT process we use to scale our clients' SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic and beyond

Hey guys!
There's a TON of content out there on SEO - guides, articles, courses, videos, scams, people yelling about it on online forums, etc etc..
Most of it, however, is super impractical. If you want to start doing SEO TODAY and start getting results ASAP, you'll need to do a TON of digging to figure out what's important and what's not.
So we wanted to make everyone's lives super easy and distill our EXACT process of working w/ clients into a stupid-simple, step-by-step practical guide. And so we did. Here we are.
A bit of backstory:
If you guys haven't seen any of my previous posts, me and my co-founder own an SEO/digital marketing agency, and we've worked w/ a ton of clients helping them go from 0 to 200k+ monthly organic traffic. We've also helped some quite big companies grow their organic traffic (from 1M to over 1.8M monthly organic), using the exact same process.
So without further ado, grab your popcorn, and be prepared to stick to the screen for a while, cause this is going to be a long post. Here's everything I am going to cover:
Step #1 - Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO
Step #1 to any SEO initiative is getting your technical SEO right.
Now, some of this is going to be a bit technical, so you might just forward this part to your tech team and just skip ahead to "Step #2 - Keyword Research."
If you DON'T have a tech team and want a super easy tl;dr, do this:
If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, though, read on!
Technical SEO Basics
Sitemap.xml file. A good sitemap shows Google how to easily navigate your website (and how to find all your content!). If your site runs on WordPress, all you have to do is install YoastSEO or Rankmath SEO, and they’ll create a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you can use an online XML Sitemap generation tool.
Proper website architecture. The crawl depth of any page should be lower than 4 (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To fix this, you should improve your interlinking (check Step #6 of this guide to learn more).
Serve images in next-gen format. Next-gen image formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP) can be compressed a lot better than JPG or PNG images. Using WordPress? Just use Smush and it’ll do ALL the work for you. Otherwise, you can manually compress all images and re-upload them.
Remove duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content and will penalize you for it. If you have any duplicate pages, just merge them (by doing a 301 redirect) or delete one or the other.
Update your ‘robots.txt’ file. Hide the pages you don’t want Google to index (e.g: non-public, or unimportant pages). If you’re a SaaS, this would be most of your in-app pages. ]
Optimize all your pages by best practice. There’s a bunch of general best practices that Google wants you to follow for your web pages (maintain keyword density, have an adequate # of outbound links, etc.). Install YoastSEO or RankMath and use them to optimize all of your web pages.
If you DON’T have any pages that you don’t want to be displayed on Google, you DON’T need robots.txt.
Advanced Technical SEO
Now, this is where this gets a bit more web-devvy. Other than just optimizing your website for SEO, you should also focus on optimizing your website speed.
Here’s how to do that:
Both for Mobile and PC, your website should load in under 2-3 seconds. While load speed isn’t a DIRECT ranking factor, it does have a very serious impact on your rankings.
After all, if your website doesn’t load for 5 seconds, a bunch of your visitors might drop off.
So, to measure your website speed performance, you can use Pagespeed Insights. Some of the most common issues we have seen clients facing when it comes to website speed and loading time, are the following:
Want to make your life easier AND fix up all these issues and more? Use WP Rocket. The tool basically does all your optimization for you (if you’re using WordPress, of course).
Step #2 - Keyword Research
Once your website is 100% optimized, it’s time to define your SEO strategy.
The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.
First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.
You can use the sheet to:
  1. Prioritize content
  2. Keep track of the publishing process
  3. Get a top-down view of your web pages
And here’s what it covers:
Now that you have your sheet (and understand how it works), let’s talk about the “how” of keyword research.
How to do Keyword Research (Step-by-Step Guide)
There are a ton of different ways to do that (check the “further readings” at the end of this section for a detailed rundown).
Our favorite method, however, is as follows…
Start off by listing out your top 5 SEO competitors.
The key here is SEO competitors - competing companies that have a strong SEO presence in the same niche.
Not sure who’s a good SEO competitor? Google the top keywords that describe your product and find your top-ranking competitors.
Run them through SEMrush (or your favorite SEO tool), and you’ll see how well, exactly, they’re doing with their SEO.
Once you have a list of 5 competitors, run each of them through “Organic Research” on SEMrush, and you'll get a complete list of all the keywords they rank on.
Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all the relevant ones and add them to your sheet.
Once you go through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be around 80%+ done.
Now to put some finishing touches on your keyword research, run your top keywords through UberSuggest and let it do its magic. It's going to give you a bunch of keywords associated with the keywords you input.
Go through all the results it's going to give you, extract anything that’s relevant, and your keyword research should be 90% done.
At this point, you can call it a day and move on to the next step. Chances are, over time, you’ll uncover new keywords to add to your sheet and get you to that sweet 100%.
Step #3 - Create SEO Landing Pages
Remember how we collected a bunch of landing page keywords in step #2? Now it’s time to build the right page for each of them! This step is a lot more straightforward than you’d think. First off, you create a custom landing page based around the keyword. Depending on your niche, this can be done in 2 ways:
  1. Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your landing page, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
  2. Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.
Once you have a bunch of these pages ready, you should optimize them for their respective keywords.
You can do this by running the page content through an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this through RankMath or Yoast SEO.
Both tools will give you exact instructions on how to optimize your page for the keyword.
If you’re not using WordPress, you can use SurferSEO. Just copy-paste your web page content, and it’s going to give you instructions on how to optimize it.
Once your new landing pages are live, you need to pick where you want to place them on your website. We usually recommend adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer.
Finally, once you have all these new landing pages up, you might be thinking “Now what? How, and when, are these pages going to rank?”
Generally, landing pages are a tad harder to rank than content. See, with content, quality plays a huge part. Write better, longer, and more informative content than your competition, and you’re going to eventually outrank them even if they have more links.
With landing pages, things aren’t as cut and dry. More often than not, you can’t just “create a better landing page.”
What determines rankings for landing page keywords are backlinks. If your competitors have 400 links on their landing pages, while yours has 40, chances are, you’re not going to outrank them.
Step #4 - Create SEO Blog Content
Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: content keywords, and how to create content that ranks.
As we mentioned before, these keywords aren’t direct-intent (the Googler isn’t SPECIFICALLY looking for your product), but they can still convert pretty well. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you could rank on keywords like…
After all, anyone looking to learn about lead gen techniques might also be willing to pay you to do it for them.
On top of this, blog post keywords are way easier to rank for than your landing pages - you can beat competition simply by creating significantly better content without turning it into a backlink war.In order to create good SEO content, you need to do 2 things right:
  1. Create a comprehensive content outline
  2. Get the writing part right
Here’s how each of these work...
How to Create a Content Outline for SEO
A content outline is a document that has all the info on what type of information the article should contain Usually, this includes:
Outlines are useful if you’re working with a writing team that isn’t 100% familiar with SEO, allowing them to write content that ranks without any SEO know-how.
At the same time, even if you’re the one doing the writing, an outline can help you get a top-down idea of what you should cover in the article.
So, how do you create an outline? Here’s a simplified step-by-step process…
  1. Determine the target word count. Rule of thumb: aim for 1.5x - 2x whatever your competitor wrote. You can disregard this if your competition was super comprehensive with their content, and just go for the same length instead.
  2. Create a similar header structure as your competition. Indicate for the writer which headers should be h2, which ones h3.
  3. For each header, mention what it’s about. Pro tip - you can borrow ideas from the top 5 ranking articles.
  4. For each header, explain what, exactly, should the writer mention (in simple words).
  5. Finally, do some first-hand research on Reddit and Quora. What are the questions your target audience has around your topic? What else could you add to the article that would be super valuable for your customers?
How to Write Well
There’s a lot more to good content than giving an outline to a writer. Sure, they can hit all the right points, but if the writing itself is mediocre, no one’s going to stick around to read your article.
Here are some essential tips you should keep in mind for writing content (or managing a team of writers):
  1. Write for your audience. Are you a B2B enterprise SaaS? Your blog posts should be more formal and professional. B2C, super-consumer product? Talk in a more casual, relaxed fashion. Sprinkle your content with pop culture references for bonus points!
  2. Avoid fluff. Every single sentence should have some sort of value (conveying information, cracking a joke, etc.). Avoid beating around the bush, and be as straightforward as possible.
  3. Keep your audience’s knowledge in mind. For example, if your audience is a bunch of rocket scientists, you don’t have to explain to them how 1+1=2.
  4. Create a writer guideline (or just steal ours! -> edit: sorry had to remove link due to posting guidelines)
  5. Use Grammarly and Hemingway. The first is like your personal pocket editor, and the latter helps make your content easier to read.
  6. Hire the right writers. Chances are, you’re too busy to write your own content. We usually recommend using ProBlogger or Cult of Copy Job Board (Facebook Group) to source top writing talent.
Step #5 - Start Link-Building Operations
Links are essential if you want your content or web pages to rank.
If you’re in a competitive niche, links are going to be the final deciding factor on what ranks and what doesn’t.
In the VPN niche, for example, everyone has good content. That’s just the baseline. The real competition is in the backlinks.
To better illustrate this example, if you Google “best VPN,” you’ll see that all top-ranking content pieces are almost the same thing. They’re all:
So, the determining factor is links. If you check all the top-ranking articles with the Moz Toolbar Extension, you’ll see that on average, each page has a minimum of 300 links (and some over 100,000!).
Meaning, to compete, you’ll really need to double-down on your link-building effort.
In fact, in the most competitive SEO niches, it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 per month on link-building efforts alone.
Pro Tip
Got scared by the high $$$ some companies spend on link-building? Well, worry not!
Only the most ever-green niches are so competitive. Think, VPN, make money online, health and fitness, dating, CBD, gambling, etc. So you know, the usual culprits.
For most other niches, you can even rank with minimal links, as long as you have top-tier SEO content.
Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: “how do you do link-building?”
4 Evergreen Link Building Strategies for Any Website
There are a TON of different link building strategies on the web. Broken link building, scholarship link building, stealing competitor links, and so on and so on and so on.
We’re not going to list every single link building strategy out there (mainly because Backlinko already did that in their link building guide).
What we are going to do, though, is list out some of our favorite strategies, and link you to resources where you can learn more:
  1. Broken link building. You find dead pages with a lot of backlinks, reach out to websites that linked to them, and pitch them something like “hey, you linked to this article, but it’s dead. We thought you’d want to fix that. You can use our recent article if you think it’s cool enough.”
  2. Guest posting. Probably the most popular link building strategy. Find blogs that accept guest posts, and send them a pitch! They usually let you include 1-2 do-follow links back to your website.
  3. “Linkable asset” link building. A linkable asset is a resource that is so AWESOME that you just can’t help but link to. Think, infographics, online calculators, first-hand studies or research, stuff like that. The tl;dr here is, you create an awesome resource, and promote the hell out of it on the web.
  4. Skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique is a term coined by Backlinko. The gist of it is, you find link-worthy content on the web, create something even better, and reach out to the right people.
Most of these strategies work, and you can find a ton of resources on the web if you want to learn more.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, oh boy we have a treat for you! We’re going to teach you a link-building strategy that got us around:
...And so much more, all through a single blog post.
Link-Building Case Study: SaaS Marketing
“So, what’s this ancient link-building tactic?”
I hear you asking. It must be something super secretive and esoteric, right?
Secrets learned straight from the link-building monks at an ancient SEO temple…
“Right?”
Well, not quite.
The tactic isn’t something too unusual - it’s pretty famous on the web. This tactic comes in 2 steps:
  1. Figure out where your target audience hangs out (create a list of the channels)
  2. Research the type of content your audience loves
  3. Create EPIC content based on that research (give TONS of value)
  4. Promote the HELL out of it in the channels from step 1
Nothing too new, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many people don’t use it.
Now, before you start throwing stones at us for overhyping something so simple, let’s dive into the case study:
How we PR’d the hell out of our guide to SaaS marketing (can't add a link, but it's on our blog and it's 14k words long), and got 10k+ traffic as a result.
A few months back when we launched our blog, we were deciding on what our initial content should be about.
Since we specialize in helping SaaS companies acquire new users, we decided to create a mega-authority guide to SaaS marketing (AND try to get it to rank for its respective keyword).
We went through the top-ranking content pieces, and saw that none of them was anything too impressive.
Most of them were about general startup marketing strategies - how to validate your MVP, find a product-market fit, etc.
Pretty “meh,” if you ask us. We believe that the #1 thing founders are looking for when Googling “saas marketing” are practical channels and tactics you can use to acquire new users.
So, it all started off with an idea: create a listicle of the top SaaS marketing tactics out there:
  1. How to create good content to drive users
  2. Promote your content
  3. Rank on Google
  4. Create viral infographics
  5. Create a micro-site
...and we ended up overdoing it, covering 41+ different tactics and case studies and hitting around 14k+ words.
On one hand, oops! On the other hand, we had some pretty epic content on our hands. We even added the Smart Content Filter to make the article much easier to navigate.
Once the article was up, we ran it through some of our clients, friends, and acquaintances, and received some really good feedback.
So, now we knew it was worth promoting the hell out of it.
We came up with a huge list of all online channels that would appreciate this article:
  1. entrepreneur and startups (hi guys!). The first ended up loving the post, netting us ~600 upboats and a platinum medal. The latter also ended up loving the post, but the mods decided to be assholes and remove it for being “self-promotional.” So, despite the community loving the content, it got axed by the mods. Sad. (Fun fact - this one time we tried to submit another content piece on startups with no company names, no links back to our website, or anything that can be deemed promotional. One of the mods removed it for mentioning a link to Ahrefs. Go figure!)
  2. Hacker News. Tons of founders hang out on HN, so we thought they’d appreciate anything SaaS-related. This netted us around ~200+ upvotes and some awesome feedback (thanks HN!)
  3. Submit on Growth Hackers, Indie Hackers, and all other online marketing communities. We got a bunch of love on Indie Hackers, the rest were quite inactive.
  4. Reach out to all personal connects + clients and ask for a share
  5. Run Facebook/Twitter ads. This didn’t particularly work out too well for us, so we dropped it after 1-2 weeks.
  6. Run a Quuu promotion. If you haven’t heard of Quuu, it’s a platform that matches people who want their content to be shared, with people who want their social media profiles running on 100% auto-pilot. We also got “meh” results here - tons of shares, next to no likes or link clicks.
  7. Promoted in SaaS and marketing Facebook groups. This had awesome results both in terms of traffic, as well as making new friends, AND getting new leads.
  8. Promoted in entrepreneur Slack channels. This worked OK - didn’t net us traffic, but got us some new friends.
  9. Emailed anyone we mentioned in the article and asked for a share. Since we mentioned too many high profile peeps and not enough non-celebs, this didn’t work out too well
  10. Emailed influencers that we thought would like the article / give it a share. They didn’t. We were heart-broken.
And accordingly, created a checklist + distribution sheet with all the websites or emails of people we wanted to ping.
Overall, this netted us around 12,000 page views in total, 15+ leads, 6,000 traffic in just 2 promotion days.
As for SEO results, we got a bunch of links. (I would have added screenshots to all of these results, but don't think this subreddit allows it).
A lot of these are no-follow from Reddit, HackerNews, and other submission websites, but a lot of them are also pretty authentic.
The cool part about this link-building tactic is that people link to you without even asking. You create awesome content that helps people, and you get rewarded with links, shares, and traffic!
And as for the cherry on top, only 2 months after publishing the article, it’s ranking on position #28. We’re expecting it to get to page 1 within the new few months and top 3 within the year.
Step #6 - Interlink Your Pages
One of Google's ranking factors is how long your visitors stick around on your website.
So, you need to encourage users reading ONE article, to read, well, the rest of them (or at least browse around your website). This is done through interlinking.
The idea is that each of your web pages should be linked to and from every other relevant page on your site.
Say, an article on "how to make a resume" could link to (and be linked from) "how to include contact info on a resume," "how to write a cover letter," "what's the difference between a CV and a resume," and so on.
Proper interlinking alone can have a significant impact on your website rankings. NinjaOutreach, for example, managed to improve their organic traffic by 40% through better interlinking alone.
So, how do you do interlinking “right?”
First off, make it a requirement for your writers to link to the rest of your content. Add a clause to your writer guidelines that each article should have 10+ links to your other content pieces.
More often than not, they’ll manage to get 60-70% of interlinking opportunities. To get this to 100%, we usually do bi-annual interlinking runs. Here’s how that works.
Pick an article you want to interlink. Let’s say, for example, an article on 'business process management'.
The goal here is to find as many existing articles on your blog, where ‘business process management’ is mentioned so that we can add a link to the article.
Firstly, Google the keyword ‘business process management’ by doing a Google search on your domain. You can use the following query:
site:yourwebsite.com "keyword"
In our case, that’s:
site:example.com “business process management”
You’ll get a complete list of articles that mention the keyword “business process management.
Now, all you have to do is go through each of these, and make sure that the keyword is hyperlinked to the respective article!
You should also do this for all the synonyms of the keyword for this article. For example, “BPM” is an acronym for business process management, so you’d want to link this article there too.
Step #7 - Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs
Article CTRs play a huge role in determining what ranks or not.
Let’s say your article ranks #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google benchmarks this CTR with the average CTR for the position.
If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will assume that your article, with a CTR of 15% is of high quality, and will reward you with better rankings.
On the other hand, if the average CTR is 18%, Google will assume that your article isn’t as valuable as other ranking content pieces, and will lower your ranking.
So, it’s important to keep track of your Click Through Rates for all your articles, and when you see something that’s underperforming, you can test different headlines to see if they’ll improve CTR.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how do you figure out what’s the average CTR?
Unfortunately, each search result is different, and there's no one size fits all formula for average CTR.
Over the past few years, Google has been implementing a bunch of different types of search results - featured snippet, QAs, and a lot of other types of search results.
So, depending on how many of these clutter and the search results for your given keyword, you’ll get different average CTRs by position.
Rule of thumb, you can follow these values:
Keep in mind these change a lot depending on your industry, PPC competitiveness, 0-click searches, etc...
Use a scraping tool like Screaming Frog to extract the following data from all your web pages:
Delete all the pages that aren’t meant to rank on Google. Then, head over to Google Search Console and extract the following data for all the web pages:
Add all of this data to a spreadsheet.
Now, check what your competition is doing and use that to come up with new headline ideas. Then, put them in the Title Ideas cell for the respective keyword.
For each keyword, come up with 4-5 different headlines, and implement the (seemingly) best title for each article.
Once you implement the change, insert the date on the Date Implemented column. This will help you keep track of progress.
Then, wait for around 3 - 4 weeks to see what kind of impact this change is going to have on your rankings and CTR.
If the results are not satisfactory, record the results in the respective cells, and implement another test for the following month. Make sure to update the Date Implemented column once again.
Step #8 - Keep Track of Rankings & Make Improvements On-The-Go
You’re never really “done” with SEO - you should always keep track of your rankings and see if there’s any room for improvement.
If you wait for an adequate time-frame after publishing a post (6 months to a year) and you’re still seeing next to no results, then it might be time to investigate.
Here’s what this usually looks like for us:
...And that's it.
Hope you guys had a good read and learned a thing or two :) HMU if you have any questions.
Can't add a link to the blog post (for better readability) due to posting guidelines, sorry.
submitted by malchik23 to marketing [link] [comments]


2020.07.01 19:46 PristineTangerine [Story] The power of building in public

Hi y'all,
I wanted to share a personal story about how "building in public" helped me (and hopefully motivate other people to build in public as well!).
I have a freelance business, and I also write a newsletter about running a business remotely, called Remotely Inclined.
In the early days of my freelance business, I had some business trickle in. After I started the newsletter, I got a handful of subscribers.
But things weren't going quite as well as I wanted them to (that is to say: I wasn't making much money and subscriber growth was slooooooow).
I was perusing Twitter and heard about the concept of "building in public" (and I stumbled upon Jim Zarkadas' newsletter about his journey going from zero to company founder).
Basically, building in public is the idea of being transparent about your journey. I learned later that it stemmed from the idea that if you couldn't get those in-depth news or magazine features where you could tell your story, you should just publish them yourself.
Here's what I started doing:
- I joined online communities like IndieHackers, where I shared stories about how I built certain areas of my business (like this post about how I got my first 250 newsletter subscribers).
- I used other networks like Quora to help answer other people's questions, most of the time drawing from my own experience and sharing my personal story alongside the answer
- I shared more about the ups / downs / what I'm working on through my Twitter and LinkedIn
- In my newsletter, I was more open about my struggles with business failure, depression, and nearly going broke
In short: I kinda went full ham on it and was as open as I could stand to be. I don't share every little personal detail, but I started being significantly more open about my experiences - good and bad - with other people.
The results of building in public
- After I started sharing my experiences building a newsletter, suddenly small indie blogs wanted to interview me about how I did it. That landed me some interviews that helped bring in more business AND get more newsletter subscribers
- Being open about my personal struggles on my newsletter helped that post take off on reddit and other social media, and my subscriber base more than doubled in short order
- Sharing the negatives / downsides / crap parts of my life made it so much more genuine when I also shared the good parts, since I had people rooting for me (and me rooting for them as well!). My community got stronger of people I know I can reach out to for advice and help
- Building in public forced me to think consciously through my actions, since I had to write them down for a "how I did it" post. That helped me SO much in realizing where I can improve or gave me ideas of new things to try in the future - all of which has helped me with new business and more newsletter growth.
Build in public, please!
One of the major ways I was able to be successful with "building in public" was because other people shared their stories, experiences, and actions. I got so many ideas from other people of what to try and places to check out, which was not only helpful but inspired me to help others as well.
So if you're looking for motivation or struggling and feeling stuck, I highly recommend building in public. You don't have to share every single detail. You can still have a private life (I still do). But the more you're open with other people, the more they can help you in return - and I've found that people genuinely want to help others that genuinely share what's going on.
submitted by PristineTangerine to GetMotivated [link] [comments]


2020.07.01 04:05 sagunsh Fourth issue of Remote Letter is out

Hey remote workers,
I run Remote Letter weekly newsletter for remote workers. Here is the 4th issue.
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." - George Bernard Shaw
Products
Flow CV - Build a job-winning resume for free.
WFH Jobs - Remote jobs aggregated from Twitter.
WFH Care Package - Care packages to boost morale and alleviate stress.
Screen - Screen sharing for remote work.
Meta Nutrition - Smart meal plan generator and food tracker.
News & Views
Airbnb CEO: Travel may never be the same Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says travel will never be the same as it was in the pre-COVID world. According to him, Airbnb data shows trends people are not getting on airplanes or crossing borders. They are not travelling for business. People are staying in homes. They are traveling to communities that are 200 miles away or less.
Quora goes remote-first permanently Quora becomes another tech company to join the remote-first revolution. Quora's CEO Adam D'Angelo said in his tweet that they are going remote first. Most of their employees have opted not to return to the office post-COVID.
Remote work is making us more innovative — so don’t dread the 'new normal' In the lockdown that has resulted from COVID-19, space has been created in a very literal sense. Social distancing is generating the ‘six-foot economy’ where people have to keep a physical distance from one another. Such measures mean there is less of a herd effect and people are diverging from the collective whole into separate thinkers. This gradual movement towards singularity is subsequently having a profound effect on how we foster and apply creativity.
The best 15 cities in the U.S. to work from home In mid-May, 68% of the Americans were working from home and it could be the new normal after the pandemic. Working remotely gives employees the opportunity to relocate to a new city. Grow did an analysis on the best cities to work in the US based on rental cost and internet affordability. Toledo, Ohio grab the #1 spot followed by Fort Wayne(Indiana), Columbus(Ohio) and Lubbock(Texas).
Cisco takes a lesson from the coronavirus pandemic with new solutions for remote work and learning Cisco has helped some of its customers set up remote work and education technologies. Now it wants to bring those capabilities to more organizations.. Cisco announced a set of solutions that organizations can use to operate more effectively when people are spread across many locations. The new offerings will incorporate a combination of software, hardware, and consulting services, and are based on specific solutions that Cisco built for customers during the coronavirus crisis.
Discussions
Ask HN: How to hire freelance developers for an MVP? For those non technical founders who got their product developed by contractors, any tips to share?
How I Pull 3k+ Monthly As A Nomad Selling Other People's Fiverr Services... So like a year ago, I lost my remote job whilst traveling. The SaaS company I'd been doing customer support for closed down (Death Clock)... (Incomparable to COVID today for some people, but a difficult period for me nonetheless...) So, I needed to make some money quickly to pay the bills...
Do you have practical advice for maintaining work/life balance while WFH consecutively I'll start with one. Hopefully we can build a collection of actionable tips that we could start doing TODAY. So, no theoretical discussions e.g. whether going for a walk is a good thing. Also, please provide a reason for your tip.
Lesson learnt : Don't work for jerks just to help a friend A few days back, I took on a minor design job for an event. I didn't know the organisers , just my friend who practically begged me to do it , to save her job and skin.
What do you freelance in? I know many indie hackers freelance. I also know many indie hackers look to hire freelancers (and struggle to find them). If you are a freelancer: What do you do? Where can people find out more about you?
Podcasts
Aleona Kazarova - Russia to Denmark to Sri Lanka as a Developer (Travel Like A Boss Podcast) Aleona is a digital nomad, born and raised in Russia, but saw the opportunity to move abroad to Denmark to attend University. Since then she has learned English, Danish, and Programming Languages. She now works as an iOS App Developer while traveling as a digital nomad. This is a fun and inspiring story of someone who took control of her life, learned valuable skills, and how she gets to spend her days surfing here in Sri Lanka, traveling and hanging out with friends.
Finding their rhythm of remote with Tanja Weidinger and Wolfgang Damm of Fretello (Remoter Podcast) CTO Wolfgang Damm & HR Lead Tanja Weidinger of Fretello spent the day with Remoter at their coworking space Neue Werft. Fretello is an AI-based music education app empowering people to express themselves through music by learning to play guitar. Being a remote company has allowed them to retain their best talents and better integrate work with personal lives, flexing their schedules as they see fit - something that’s very important for those at the company with young families.
The Rise and Shift of Distributed Teams with Mari Anne Snow (Remotely Effective Podcast) In this episode I am joined by Mari Anne Snow where we talk about the rise of distributed teams in the early 2000’s, some of the major changes that have happened since that time, and the recent impacts of distributed work in the health and education sectors.
Originally posted here
If you like it and want to read more, subscribe to Remote Letter. It's free.
submitted by sagunsh to remotework [link] [comments]


2020.06.18 18:56 bartboch COVID forced me to pivot, and then I made $1,200 in the first week.

The COVID caught me in a bad moment of my life.
I was finishing a significant moment in my life, and I was really vulnerable.
I've had a bunch of unpaid invoices from companies that closed their accounts for the time, so I would not get paid for work already done.
I was caught off-guard - if this would happen a month later - I would not be affected.
But it happened when it happened.
I was finishing a major project that I was working on from January - just a few weeks left, and I could release it.
With massive investments in the project (both financial and in the form of my time) and more needed, I wasn't sure about its future.
I was looking for security after the years of following the ideology of "build to learn".
It's where you build and release projects to learn insider information on how everything works rapidly.
The ideology allows you (and encourages you) to taking a serious risk, taking on impossible projects. It's OK to fail, as long as you learn everything you can from it. After all, you learn the most from your failures!
This way of living takes a significant toll on your mind and health, but it allows you to rise faster.
And here was the issue with my large project - I was not sure if I can tell if I created it to settle down and start monetizing my skills, or if it was another impossible task.
I was forced to make a difficult decision - either continue working on the risky project or quickly pivot and create something else.
After much consideration, I chose the second option.
With the support of my partner, I tried to identify businesses I felt will be secure and will perform well post-lockdown, and could start within a week (as said, financially, I was caught off-guard, so I needed to act fast).
I decided to monetize my work experience directly.
To get the most of it, I have decided to go with a handmade Online Presence Audit business.
I have done those audits before, and I like to do it, so it was perfect.
The idea of it is to perform a full audit of a web presence for a website, including Brand, Audience, UX & Content, Competition, Marketing (social, SEO, etc.), Market Research, Risks & Opportunities, and a Future Strategy.
It's pretty much an audit reviewing everything that might be crucial for web businesses to grow.
There are very few companies and professionals offering manual audits on this scale, and there is a large market for it.
Usually, when an expert starts providing audits like this, they start increasing their prices rapidly (which suggests they are overbooked) from a few hundred to $1,5-5K on average within a few months.
So the niche is great, but...
...and there is always but...
...there is an enormous amount of work needed to complete one audit.
I expect to finish one within 3 days, which at my current rate, is heavy underselling.
But as Paul Graham once said, "do things that don't scale".
The plan is to build a strong brand on the back of long hours and work the way to optimize it until I get to 1 audit per 1/1,5 day.
I think many people should not feel wrong about underselling even if they have a rich background - as long as it is a part of a well-thought marketing strategy.

With landing page ready, first audit template, and one audit agreed with Courtland to be made for IndieHackers as a demo; it was the time to work on getting Almost Cake in front of my audience.
I started working on getting visitors to the landing page.

📈 Summary for first week:
943 users visited the site
1,765 pageviews
70 seconds average time spent on the website
3 sales made
$1,200 revenue generated
0.3% Conversion Rate
16 hours spent on marketing
40 hours spent on audit blueprint & first audit completed.
20 hours spent on website, content, learning, planning.

🔎 Traffic sources:
397 - forums ($400 revenue generated)
225 - email newsletter ($400 revenue generated)
212 - Quora
73 - unknown source ($400 revenue generated)
36 - Search Engines


💡 What I did to get those results:
The majority of my traffic came from forums.
I advertised on two business forums, and I've got excellent feedback regarding the landing page and a lot of interest.
I have spent ~8 hours promoting it there, and I've got 397 visitors and one sale from it.
I think that I'll get 1-2 more sales in the coming weeks, as there was some interest in PMs from potential buyers.
The way I promoted it was:
-Forum #1 - there was a section where I could post a site up for review. I asked to review the landing page and the offer page. This generated a lot of great feedback and some PMs.
-Forum #2 - in an "Online Business" section, I have posted a story about my business idea and my goals. The post got over 3 thousand views, over 70 replies, and got me, my first customer! I have got a bunch of PMs with potential future buyers. I loved the results! It will be hard to repeat that, though.

As of newsletter, I have members signed up to newsletters for my side projects. Around 1,600 people were emailed, from which 225 visited the site. Average results, I would say.
I've got a sale from it though, which was great.
This traffic source is not repeated, so from the next week it will not be used at all, I think. It took me 1 hour to get the email copy and to send it.

I have added 11 answers to Quora. Each of them is well thought informative answers.
I focused on new questions and ones that are not older than a week.
Each of my answers contained images and were trying to solve the issue rather than promote anything.
On some of them (when it was appropriate), I have added a link to Almost Cake at the bottom.
I have the link in my bio that is visible with every answer.
I am waiting now for Google to pick those pages and answers up, and I wonder how this will affect search engine visibility.
From 212 visitors, no one converted.
I'll keep working on answering questions and see how it goes.
I have spent 7 hours on this.

I have not managed to account for all the traffic I've got.
This can be from referrals and people blocking any tracking.
This traffic was most active, and resulted in one unknown sale!
I have asked the buyer where he came from, and he said that he found the link on Facebook.
No promotion was done on Facebook, so I assume a visitor shared the link.

I am getting a lot of search engine traffic already, even if the domain is just two months old, and there is not that much content.
The majority of searches are from "Almost Cake" where I usually rank in the top positions, and the rest is from unknown keywords.

📆 What's next?
Well, my pivot resulted in something great.
I will invest my heart and soul into it.
I will keep promoting it across the mediums, and I want to write 2 more articles within the next week to increase the value of the blog.
This way, I will be able to start getting more attention from Google.
Due to the COVID slowing down, I also have my own old invoices to pay, so this sudden turn in my business will help me get that solved.
Hopefully, by the end of the next week, it'll be all fixed.
I am happy that I have not stupidly followed the project, which had an excellent chance to fail, but I have followed what I like and feel.
Sure, I lost a huge chunk of money and around 200 hours of my time, but I am doing something that delivers instant results.
I fancy doing audits, so this worked out great for me.
It's incredible that within a week, I have managed to create a sustainable business.
And even better - I only can accept 3 more orders this month, and I will be sold out.
It's a fantastic feeling!
Next week will be busy - working on audits, promoting the site, writing the blog...
It sounds like a 60 hours work week, but I am cool with it!

Check it out at: Almost Cake
submitted by bartboch to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]


2020.06.16 11:13 ritis88 How to promote mobile games in Japan, Korea and China — and not to screw up

How to promote mobile games in Japan, Korea and China — and not to screw up
Asia is a real plum for app developers. Western markets have long since become oversaturated and growth has slowed, but the Asian market continues a trend of dynamic growth. The question is how to get on board.
In this article we’ll be talking about trends and methods of promoting mobile games and apps in Korea, Japan, China, and other Asian countries.
Here at Nitro, a professional text translation service, we turned to our friends at WeQ — a German company that specializes in app promotion and attracting quality audiences worldwide, which has direct partnerships with Huawei, Yahoo! Japan, and Tiktok. In preparing this article we were assisted by Ara Jo and Yu Ting Witzko, both of whom are not only well acquainted with the Asian market but were actually born and raised in Asia — Ara in Korea, Yu Ting in Taiwan.

What types of games are the most popular?

Games are tremendously popular in Asia: in 2019 the populace of the Asia-Pacific region spent over $70 billion on games, which currently accounts for half the global games market. Most of this revenue came from China, Japan, and Korea.
Here are the most popular mobile game genres by country:
https://preview.redd.it/no7wwxo3o8551.jpg?width=669&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c9e16cf0de9043bce1875179558081b4a1c1681e
RPG is a popular genre in many Asian countries. Hyper-casual games are another high-interest category.
Chinese players are often fond of eSports games, and Shanghai and Hong Kong regularly host offline eSports matches. This is linked to China’s strong tradition of team play: the Chinese enjoy doing things as a group.

Dominant stores

In Western countries things are very simple: you have Google Play and the App Store, period. Asia, however, is a little different. For example, China has the App Store, but Google and all its services are prohibited. In place of Google Play (and accounting for 70% of the mobile market) there are around 400 local Android stores. Interestingly, each of these stores has its own focus, with some publishing games exclusively. Working with these stores is easiest through local publishers. More on that later.
In Japan the App Store dominates, while Google Play reigns supreme in Korea, but both countries also have alternative stores. For example, one of the biggest Android stores is Korea’s OneStore. Taiwan and Hong Kong have both the App Store and Google Play.
One way to stand out among other apps is through featuring. WeQ partners with Huawei and can arrange for featuring in Huawei’s store — the App Gallery — in the following categories: New Apps we Love, New Games we Love, and Top-Rated Apps.

User purchasing power

Japan is the most attractive country in terms of profits, with over 70 million smartphone owners, users who are ready and willing to pay (nearly half of all players spend money on mobile games), and a high ARPU (average revenue per user) — $200. Compare this to the ARPU in the USA ($72), China ($40), and South Korea — $108 (source Statista).
Interestingly, in Japan women spend money on games more readily than men, and so many companies create games and marketing campaigns that specifically target female consumers.
As with every country, players in Asia prefer the freemium model. However, users are willing to pay for quality apps and the ability to customize.
Speaking of purchasing power, it should be noted that many users in Asia are not accustomed to paying by credit card. In China people use WeChat Pay and Alipay for in-app purchases; in Vietnam the electronic wallets MoMo, ZaloPay, and VTCPay are preferred; and in Korea Kakao Pay was recently added as a payment option in the App Store.

Promotional channels

Social media

https://preview.redd.it/6120zxz5o8551.jpg?width=879&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1eec1c84563d503fb7c34e716f8334dcabaa6734
*The messaging app Line is also popular in Indonesia and Thailand.
As you see, China has no Western platforms whatsoever: they are all blocked. But such is not the case in Taiwan and Hong Kong, as these are considered separate countries. The political relationship between mainland China and Taiwan and Hong Kong remains tense, and so China’s vastly popular WeChat app is not as widespread in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The main messengers in Asia are in fact super-apps in which users can not only communicate, but also post photos, play games, order food, send money, hail a taxi, submit credit applications, etc. It’s no wonder that users readily spend considerable time using them.
Most importantly, nearly the entire population of Japan, China, and Korea is concentrated in these super-apps, making them ideal platforms for promoting your apps. Their reach is out of this world: KakaoTalk is used by 93% of Koreans, Line by 91% of Taiwanese and 65% of Japanese, and WeChat by 78% of Chinese.
The broad functionality of local messengers makes them comparable to social networks. Although Western social networks do see use in the majority of Asian countries, local social networks are preferred. For example, Koreans use Facebook, but KakaoTalk and Line are far more popular. One exception is the ubiquitous YouTube, as well as Twitter, which is much loved in Japan.
Important! In Asia people are used to using their favorite social network to sign into apps. Korean users, for instance, will expect you to offer four options: Google, Naver, Kakao, and Facebook; while the Chinese will be looking for sign-in via WeChat or telephone number.

How to promote your app on super-apps?

You can advertise through influencers or create a corporate account and offer your followers coupons, in-app gifts, or fun stickers. Asian users like these so much that a cool sticker collection is a genuine motivation to follow you.
Typical stickers in the messenger Line
You can send out a mailing to your social networking followers. Whereas in the West companies usually collect email addresses and send out mass emails, in Asia it is easier to reach your users via messengers. You can also automate interaction with your subscribers using special tools such as China’s WeChatify. Also popular are various contests in conjunction with local holidays, the end of the school year, etc. Users receive perks in your app or service for participating, and your company gets free viral advertising. These kinds of events are important for user retention and monetization.
Each social network has its own nuances: before advertising on a network you need to determine whether its target audience is a good fit for you. For example, the Japanese view Facebook as a “working network” — the Japanese equivalent of LinkedIn. Instagram is popular among women under 30. The majority of Japanese Line users are people over 40, which is hardly surprising, the Japanese being an aging nation. And TikTok attracts school-age children and young people under 24, just like everywhere else in the world.

Search engines and blogging platforms

Major search engines offer advertising in the style of Google Ads. This kind of advertising is available from China’s Baidu, Korea’s Naver, and Japan’s Yahoo! Japan.
Then there are forums and blogging platforms: Naver Cafe and Naver Blog in Korea, Baidu Tieba (the Chinese Reddit), Zhihu (the Chinese Quora), Douban (the Chinese Medium), and Bilibili in China, and Gamewith and game8 in Japan. Incidentally, the Japanese love to pore over gaming websites in search of new arrivals, and they also typically pre-register for games.
You can select a well-known blogger and request them to review your game or app. You can also publish articles about your new game or app in gaming communities and on various forums. Using the online service Nitro you can translate your article into Korean, Japanese, or Chinese.
The least effective promotion channel is Instagram. For comparison, KakaoTalk is used by over 30 million Koreans, while Instagram has only around 3 million users. Even the Instagram accounts of mobile gaming giants like Netmarble enjoy little popularity.

Other kinds of advertising

In Japan and Taiwan pre-registration for mobile games is quite popular. https://www.yoyaku-top10.jp is the largest Japanese website for pre-registration campaigns. An effective approach is to plan publication in gamedev communities and on gaming websites, then add a pre-registration link. If you have not planned for this, you can always launch a paid campaign to drive traffic to your pre-registration webpage.
Your app can be one of those that comes preinstalled on new Android devices, so that interested users can easily download it just by tapping on the icon. WeQ can assist with this kind of advertising. You can also send push notifications to these users, encouraging them to open the app.

Offline advertising

In Asia, offline advertising of mobile games and apps is very widespread: ads can be seen every day in the subway, on buses, at bus stops, etc. Nor is offline marketing the exclusive domain of huge companies: this channel works for companies of all sizes, and it can be surprisingly affordable.
Why is offline advertising considered effective? Densely populated Asia is home to many metropolises, such as Taipei (Taiwan), Seoul, and Shenzhen. In Hong Kong alone the populace is almost 5 times more dense than in London! Naturally, advertisements in cities like these are seen by an enormous number of people.
In China promoters often frequent university campuses, handing out fliers with QR codes to download apps. Sometimes downloading the app from the flier earns the user in-app bonuses. The Chinese themselves tend to feel that when a developer invests in offline advertising, their app is likely to be of high quality.
Offline marketing is handled by a local advertising agency or publisher. WeQ recommends first evaluating the effect of online promotion before considering offline advertising.
We have yet to mention one vastly popular promotion channel: influencers. This channel deserves special attention.

Influencers: Asia’s most happening trend

Although influencers enjoy popularity in the West, in Asia this trend extends not only to apparel and cosmetics, but also to the gaming industry.
The influencer industry is seeing particularly large-scale growth in Korea and Taiwan. Well-known gamers promote games on YouTube, Twitch, and AfreecaTV (a Korean platform similar to Twitch).
Banners frequently combine a real-life celebrity with animated characters. Here, for example, is a campaign targeting players from Hong Kong, where a local celebrity advertises a new game from Chinese developer NetEase.
Source: https://lvup.hk/10718
Employing celebrities in advertising is so widely developed that sometimes offline events are even held, where role-playing games are enacted in which one of the main characters is played by the celebrity (of course, only AAA titles can afford advertisements on this scale).
Below is how a promo video hosted by a celebrity can look. Here we see a top Taiwanese model advertising a game from developer Gamamobi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZy9SRHQQsc
Naturally, the majority of developers cannot afford to hire celebrities to advertise their product. But there are numerous local micro-influencers who can create promotional content for you on platforms like China’s Bilibili (which specializes in anime and games), Korea’s Naver Cafe and Naver Blog, etc.
Hiring a local advertising agency is not a prerequisite for partnering with influencers. Considering the language barrier, however, it is easier to contact an agency or entrust WeQ with selecting an influencer. They offer a service for this very purpose: WeQ Influencer.

Do I really need a local publisher?

Usually, yes. For example, in China you can’t even release a game without a publisher, since you have to complete the complex registration process. Requirements at various stages include a knowledge of Chinese, a Chinese telephone number, and other hurdles. Bear in mind that although it is far easier to release a game in Hong Kong or Taiwan than in mainland China, you will still have to partner with a publisher. Even Chinese giant Tencent can’t release a game in Taiwan without a publisher’s assistance.
In Japan and Korea a local publisher is not mandatory, but such publishers can maintain your accounts on local social networks and suggest ideas for banners and promotions.

What about localization?

Although many educated users speak English, they still prefer apps in their native language. But localization raises numerous questions.
Traditional or simplified Chinese? WeQ recommends both options. The main thing is not to confuse the two: in mainland China simplified Chinese is used, while Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional Chinese. Although users in China understand traditional characters for the most part, reading them is unfamiliar and awkward. And natives of Hong Kong and Taiwan may actually be offended by the use of simplified characters (bear in mind the negative stance of Taiwan and Hong Kong toward mainland China).
Although it’s a temptation to stop at simplified Chinese (there are nearly 900 million users there, after all), Taiwan and Hong Kong are home to more financially reliable, “Western” users. This is why Wachanga, which has already translated its apps into 50 languages, added traditional Chinese and the Hong Kong dialect to their number.
What to translate? One approach is to begin by translating creatives, screenshots, and descriptions for the app page (a favorite tactic of Duck Rockets, which we covered in this article). Translating creatives is not complicated, and the results can surpass all expectations: for example, the CTR index for a Japanese creative from our client Narcade was 70%, compared to a mere 30% for the same creative in English. An easy way to translate short texts like this is to use Nitro: translations are not only quick, but also dependable, since they are handled exclusively by native speakers.
If you are getting frequently repeated questions or complaints in your app’s reviews, translate stock answers into key languages. Most importantly, do not use machine translation for these: it tends to fail miserably with East Asian languages such as Chinese and Japanese.
Is there anything that conflicts with Asia’s cultural norms? In our clients’ experience, most Asian users are fairly loyal. The biggest problems arise with the Chinese commission, which decides whether or not to give an app the green light. Standard taboos include blood of any color, skeletons, and even the slightest hint of “improper” moral values. For example, the studio Full HP had to redo a harmless pixelated man-fairy wearing a dress, transforming him into a properly attired Chinese manager. In Japan and Korea the character raised no eyebrows.
Important! The Chinese commission does not permit English words in apps — even the most basic, such as “winner.” All text must absolutely be in simplified Chinese.

App design and local culture

Asian apps differ strongly in style from what we are used to in the West. Typical elements include cartoon and anime characters, a youthful design (cute animals, enlarged heads), and a screen saturated with information. Apps tend to try to cram all the information into a single app screen.
Bilibili is a popular Chinese website with a typical Asian look and feel:
https://preview.redd.it/dqjepssbo8551.jpg?width=1344&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4436a57ad874eeb8e41416ec56bec7b87870427f
For Japanese players the design is more important than the actual game. A sure-fire approach is to employ a cute anime style, because anime culture is incredibly widespread among all ages. Many Japanese games are based specifically on manga (comics), the best-known of which is Monster Strike — a game popular both in Japan and in Taiwan.
Numerous holidays are an excellent occasion for new events. On holidays people spend more time than usual using their smartphones, meaning that profits from in-game purchases increase several times over. Aside from the Lunar New Year (celebrated in China, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand), many Asian countries celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. China has the Dragon Boat Festival, Japan celebrates the Golden Week, and there are many other holidays besides.
The number 4 is considered unlucky in China, Korea, and Japan: the word for “four” sounds like the word for “death,” and is avoided. Likewise, in Chinese culture a name written in red signifies a curse, so the names of game characters should not be written in red letters. Lucky numbers are 8 in China and 7 in Korea. This may come into play in apps with games of chance.
In China a widespread tradition is to give money in a red envelope (hong bao), and in the WeChat messenger people can send each other virtual hong bao. You can employ this concept to create unique bonuses for your app. Incidentally, Japan has a similar tradition, but the Japanese use white envelopes.

Summary

  1. Every country has its own rules and preferences. First you have to scope out the market, evaluate it, and determine whether your app will fly.
Ara Jo, WeQ:
When developers come to us for app promotion and global expansion, first we advise them regarding which markets to focus on, given their app’s content and their target audience. We must absolutely have statistics for organic traffic and for Facebook and Google advertising campaigns. You have to understand the audiences your app will appeal to, and which audiences to target with your marketing campaigns.
  1. Once you’ve determined your target audience, decide whether you want to focus on attracting only quality users or whether you want to go for quantity. This will determine your strategy going forward.
  2. Develop a marketing strategy for conquering the new market. If you’re working with WeQ, they will help you create a step-by-step plan to attract users to your app.
  3. Be sure to translate creatives into the user’s native language. To keep the text from sounding stilted, use native-speaking translators, such as those at Nitro.
  4. Pay attention to design, sign-in with your users’ social networks, and the payment methods that are popular in the given country.
  5. You will probably need to enlist the support of a local publisher. The folks at WeQ can provide you with the contact information of publishers with whom they work.
  6. After advertising on Facebook and Google, start expanding your audience via local social networks and influencer advertising. Later you can bring offline advertising into play.
Our thanks to the ladies at WeQ for sharing this useful and interesting information about the Asian market! How about our readers — did you find it helpful? Is there another prospective country that you would like us to write more about?
submitted by ritis88 to gamedev [link] [comments]


2020.05.11 21:43 darkomkd I've made free HackerNews-inspired newsletter. Sharing it here (Top 10 Posts From Past Week)

HackerNews is one of the last places on the internet where people discuss constructively about various (mostly tech-related) topics. Programming, design...and business & marketing.
I'm trying to collect the "business" part (which contains incredible value) and curate the top 10 posts from past week. They're below. Some of the things include:
Here I list an indirect link to the article (because often the comments are pure gold) and my summary.
If you found it useful, I'd really appreciate an upvote. Took me a few hours to make this. Without further do:
  1. First, it was Craigslist, next it's Zapier (438 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23126455
Take every major category on Craigslist. There was a major startup build for each of it. Jobs = Indeed, temporary housing = AirBnB, tickets = StubHub.
The author here argues the same will happen with Zapier. His conclusion:
So my advice if you're looking for your next indie software idea. Just observe what these no-coders are automating on Zapier and build a nice UI around it.
In the HN comment section, there are some other nice examples:
One of my favorite business model suggestions for entrepreneurs is, find an old UNIX command that hasn't yet been implemented on the web, and fix that. talk and finger became ICQ, LISTSERV became Yahoo! Groups, ls became (the original) Yahoo!, find and grep became Google, rn became Bloglines, pine became Gmail, mount is becoming S3, and bash is becoming Yahoo! Pipes. An alternate business model is to look at Yahoo product launches from 5-10 years ago, and build what they did but shut down, its time may have come. Google did this pretty well for a while. You can probably do it for Google now, too. This applies to Reddit too to some extent: AskReddit => Quora, MillionaireMakers => PoolTogether, Deals/Free/DiscountedProducts => SlickDeals, HotUKDeals, SideProject => Product Hunt, BuyForLife => goodcheapandfast.com
2. I gave away my books and sales increased (414 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23073126
By "increased", he means 60x, from 541 copies per month prior to March, to 32,450. Why? Few theories (mentioned by people in the HackerNews comment):
"For a typical author, obscurity is a far greater threat than piracy." - Tim O'Reilly
Did you know that Paulo Coelho used to pirate his books ON PURPOSE? Sales was 0 in the beginning, then 10k, next year 100k, next year 1m.

If you want to get insights like these each month, feel free to subscribe to my free weekly newsletter: https://founderweeklys.com/

3. How Stripe Designs Websites (432 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23079289
Stripe makes their designs elegant by:
One HN commenter makes a pretty important distinction between marketing/actual app sites:
"Marketing websites should be flashy to draw people in. But, when the rubber hits the road, I want functionality, power, and performanc."
Copywriting is pretty important too. Most landing pages fall flat because they weren't written with a skeptical and impatient stranger in mind.
4. Ask HN: Name one idea that changed your life (1031 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23092657
Some interesting ideas relevant to founders:
5. Analyzing pitches to find what gets VCs interested in a meeting (236 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23067127
The authors analyzed over 500 pitches to see what factors get you a VC meeting. These were strongly correlated:
According to some people in the HN comment section, the authors probably forgot:
6. The Content Marketing Handbook (123 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23082612
The gist of this handbook is that you should write about information your company has access to.
There may be more “shareable” content out there -- cute animal pictures, snarky commentary, celebrity gossip, and the like -- but that stuff won’t get you customers.
Information, on the other hand, will. It can be data that your company produces, insights you have because of your industry experience, or stories about the people you have access to.
A great example is OkCupid and their articles you've probably encountered.
This is just one key point from the handbook. Highly recommend you read it.
7. I was tricked into thinking I had “grit” (366 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23088219
Does 'grit' exists? Or you were just having "grit" in the areas you enjoyed doing?
One HN commenter has great advice on how to 'stick' with something:
It is impossible to be really good at everything.... when I optimized for work, my fitness goals went through the window. When I optimized to get a project done, my reading (books) went down as well.When I optimized for fitness (working out and soccer), my work and side projects started progressing slower. It is very hard to work on your project at home, when you are in a intense bulking, or 'cutting' phase, and once you come home form the gym you just want to chill....
When I say 'optimize for', I mean that particular facet of your life becomes the more important one, and you spend more energy. Often you have to make choices: eg. social life, or project you are working on?
The only key I found is to be good/focus your energy in one area at a time, while just being happy with being 'good enough' at other areas. Once you reach a desired in one area, you can switch your focus to other ones. *eg: once you reached a desirable physical shape, you can switch to 'maintain mode', and focus your energies to something new (e.g. learning a new tech, or starting a project). As gym rats say: 'Maintaining' is always easier than "Gaining, or Cutting".
It is just physically impossible to optimize on everything in your life, no matter how ambitious you are, or how much 'grit' you have.
(eg. you can't start a ambitious project, while having a great social life, and bulking up in the gym, while playing soccer regularly multiple times a week, and having a full time job, at the same time).
8. The Cost of Free Doughnuts: 70 Years of Regret (397 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23104875
Don't let the title fool you. This is an article about pricing. Or to be exact, changing your pricnig from free to charging even a $1.
The article describes such an example of how US soldiers were provided free doughnuts. Suddenly, someone started putting a price tag on the doughnuts. This changed the relationship significantly.
Some HN commenters have interesting anecdotal examples of how something sold immediately once they started charging for it:
On the other hand, you don't want to put a price tag on friendship:
If the friend asks "hey, will you help me move? I'm buying pizza and beer afterwards!" I will more than likely say yes, even though I can buy my own pizza and beer.If they instead say "hey, will you help me move? I'll pay you $21.58 for your time," I'd probably bristle. Even though that might be the equivalent price of a few slices of pizza and a beer, the category has changed from showing appreciation to placing an actual value on my time, at which point working all day for $21.58 stops making sense.
Also, be careful when introducing 'fines'. A child care center started fining people who picked up their children late. The result was counter-productive: https://freakonomics.com/2013/10/23/what-makes-people-do-what-they-do/
9. Could a randomness machine help you fight procrastination?https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23132069
We, people, are excited by randomness and unpredictability. We get excited by unpredictability. Watching sports - who will score/win? Fishing - will I get a catch? Reading news - what has happened (in the last hour)? Listening to radio - what song will they play next? Going to a bar - who will I meet? Shopping - is there a bargain on the sale?
What if you could use this fact to your advantage? What if, when exercising, you pick up the type of exercise you'll do from a jar? Or which project aspect you'll be working on in the next hour?
10. Why are some people better at working from home than others?https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23109853
This article from BBC tackles a very relevant issue for entrepreneurs. It turns out, frustration tolerance has a lot to do with it:
“If you’re easily getting frustrated, then you’re going to run away from [work] and use avoidance as a coping mechanism, which will shoot you in the foot,” says Pychyl.
You can take steps to raise your frustration tolerance and become more conscientious by working on your impulsivity. Simple things like taking a five deep breathings are described in the article.

If you want to get insights like these each month, feel free to subscribe to my free weekly newsletter: https://founderweeklys.com/
submitted by darkomkd to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]


2020.05.11 21:38 darkomkd Top 10 Entrepreneur News (HackerNews-inspired)

HackerNews is one of the last places on the internet where people discuss constructively about various (mostly tech-related) topics. Programming, design...and business.
I'm trying to collect the "business" part (which contains incredible value) and curate the top 10 posts from past week. They're below. Some of the things include:
If you found it useful, I'd really appreciate an upvote. Took me a few hours to make this. Without further do:
  1. First, it was Craigslist, next it's Zapier (438 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23126455
Take every major category on Craigslist. There was a major startup build for each of it. Jobs = Indeed, temporary housing = AirBnB, tickets = StubHub.
The author here argues the same will happen with Zapier. His conclusion:
So my advice if you're looking for your next indie software idea. Just observe what these no-coders are automating on Zapier and build a nice UI around it.
In the HN comment section, there are some other nice examples:
One of my favorite business model suggestions for entrepreneurs is, find an old UNIX command that hasn't yet been implemented on the web, and fix that. talk and finger became ICQ, LISTSERV became Yahoo! Groups, ls became (the original) Yahoo!, find and grep became Google, rn became Bloglines, pine became Gmail, mount is becoming S3, and bash is becoming Yahoo! Pipes.
An alternate business model is to look at Yahoo product launches from 5-10 years ago, and build what they did but shut down, its time may have come. Google did this pretty well for a while. You can probably do it for Google now, too.
This applies to Reddit too to some extent: AskReddit => Quora, MillionaireMakers => PoolTogether, Deals/Free/DiscountedProducts => SlickDeals, HotUKDeals, SideProject => Product Hunt, BuyForLife => goodcheapandfast.com
2. I gave away my books and sales increased (414 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23073126
By "increased", he means 60x, from 541 copies per month prior to March, to 32,450. Why? Few theories (mentioned by people in the HackerNews comment):
"For a typical author, obscurity is a far greater threat than piracy." - Tim O'Reilly
Did you know that Paulo Coelho used to pirate his books ON PURPOSE? Sales was 0 in the beginning, then 10k, next year 100k, next year 1m.

If you want to get insights like these each month, feel free to subscribe to my weekly newsletter: https://founderweeklys.com/

3. How Stripe Designs Websites (432 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23079289
Stripe makes their designs elegant by:
One HN commenter makes a pretty important distinction between marketing/actual app sites:
"Marketing websites should be flashy to draw people in. But, when the rubber hits the road, I want functionality, power, and performanc."
Copywriting is pretty important too. Most landing pages fall flat because they weren't written with a skeptical and impatient stranger in mind.
4. Ask HN: Name one idea that changed your life (1031 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23092657
Some interesting ideas relevant to founders:
5. Analyzing pitches to find what gets VCs interested in a meeting (236 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23067127
The authors analyzed over 500 pitches to see what factors get you a VC meeting. These were strongly correlated:
According to some people in the HN comment section, the authors probably forgot:
6. The Content Marketing Handbook (123 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23082612
The gist of this handbook is that you should write about information your company has access to.
There may be more “shareable” content out there -- cute animal pictures, snarky commentary, celebrity gossip, and the like -- but that stuff won’t get you customers.
Information, on the other hand, will. It can be data that your company produces, insights you have because of your industry experience, or stories about the people you have access to.
A great example is OkCupid and their articles you've probably encountered.
This is just one key point from the handbook. Highly recommend you read it.
7. I was tricked into thinking I had “grit” (366 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23088219
Does 'grit' exists? Or you were just having "grit" in the areas you enjoyed doing?
One HN commenter has great advice on how to 'stick' with something:
It is impossible to be really good at everything.... when I optimized for work, my fitness goals went through the window. When I optimized to get a project done, my reading (books) went down as well.When I optimized for fitness (working out and soccer), my work and side projects started progressing slower. It is very hard to work on your project at home, when you are in a intense bulking, or 'cutting' phase, and once you come home form the gym you just want to chill....
When I say 'optimize for', I mean that particular facet of your life becomes the more important one, and you spend more energy. Often you have to make choices: eg. social life, or project you are working on?
The only key I found is to be good/focus your energy in one area at a time, while just being happy with being 'good enough' at other areas. Once you reach a desired in one area, you can switch your focus to other ones. *eg: once you reached a desirable physical shape, you can switch to 'maintain mode', and focus your energies to something new (e.g. learning a new tech, or starting a project). As gym rats say: 'Maintaining' is always easier than "Gaining, or Cutting".
It is just physically impossible to optimize on everything in your life, no matter how ambitious you are, or how much 'grit' you have.
(eg. you can't start a ambitious project, while having a great social life, and bulking up in the gym, while playing soccer regularly multiple times a week, and having a full time job, at the same time).
8. The Cost of Free Doughnuts: 70 Years of Regret (397 votes)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23104875
Don't let the title fool you. This is an article about pricing. Or to be exact, changing your pricnig from free to charging even a $1.
The article describes such an example of how US soldiers were provided free doughnuts. Suddenly, someone started putting a price tag on the doughnuts. This changed the relationship significantly.
Some HN commenters have interesting anecdotal examples of how something sold immediately once they started charging for it:
On the other hand, you don't want to put a price tag on friendship:
If the friend asks "hey, will you help me move? I'm buying pizza and beer afterwards!" I will more than likely say yes, even though I can buy my own pizza and beer.If they instead say "hey, will you help me move? I'll pay you $21.58 for your time," I'd probably bristle. Even though that might be the equivalent price of a few slices of pizza and a beer, the category has changed from showing appreciation to placing an actual value on my time, at which point working all day for $21.58 stops making sense.
Also, be careful when introducing 'fines'. A child care center started fining people who picked up their children late. The result was counter-productive: https://freakonomics.com/2013/10/23/what-makes-people-do-what-they-do/
9. Could a randomness machine help you fight procrastination?https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23132069
We, people, are excited by randomness and unpredictability. We get excited by unpredictability. Watching sports - who will score/win? Fishing - will I get a catch? Reading news - what has happened (in the last hour)? Listening to radio - what song will they play next? Going to a bar - who will I meet? Shopping - is there a bargain on the sale?
What if you could use this fact to your advantage? What if, when exercising, you pick up the type of exercise you'll do from a jar? Or which project aspect you'll be working on in the next hour?
10. Why are some people better at working from home than others?https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23109853
This article from BBC tackles a very relevant issue for entrepreneurs. It turns out, frustration tolerance has a lot to do with it:
“If you’re easily getting frustrated, then you’re going to run away from [work] and use avoidance as a coping mechanism, which will shoot you in the foot,” says Pychyl.
You can take steps to raise your frustration tolerance and become more conscientious by working on your impulsivity. Simple things like taking a five deep breathings are described in the article.

If you want to get insights like these each month, feel free to subscribe to my weekly newsletter: https://founderweeklys.com/
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2020.05.11 06:55 removalbot 05-11 04:55 - '*Wait what? One lone incident of a screenshot being fake washes away the misogyny that exists in our Indian society? By far and large. We have a terrible problem of objectifying, sexualizing, and harassing women in the c...' by /u/NibbaFromQuora removed from /r/india within 221-231min

'''
Wait what? One lone incident of a screenshot being fake washes away the misogyny that exists in our Indian society? By far and large. We have a terrible problem of objectifying, sexualizing, and harassing women in the country.
It's not a lone incident
  1. Rohtak Bravehearts
  2. Jasleen Kaur
  3. Tanushree Dutta
  4. Zaira Wasim/Vikas Sachdeva
See the pattern here. Let me explain. In all of the above cases, the so-called victim used social media and faced no consequence what so ever.
What's your frame of reference to claim we(guys) are way better?
[[link]6
Fucking 53% of rape cases were false. Not acquitted due to the lack of evidence, just plain false and malicious. More 24-25% resulted in acquittal due to lack of evidence. The rest convicted has more than 50% due to the weird imaginary rape i.e Rape on the pretext of marriage.
In which fucking country of the world is there such an absurd definition of rape.Rape on the pretext of marriage.
The girl baited the guy for rape. Asking him to be a part of a heinous crime. This guy refused even in the chat and stopped contacting the fake account. Even leaked the info to the girl. That's a normal average INDIAN MAN for you. We may not be the most chivalrous or most equalist. We don't stand to hold a placard in India Gate. But we are good Human. In the end, that's all that matters.
[[link]7
I detest how people like you blame these mystical false accusations by blowing up the numbers for your own narrative while ignoring the very real issue that's right in front of your eyes. In a country where women have to fight just to come out about being sexually harassed, people like you just brush it off.
53% of false rape cases is not mystical. It's number from DCW, the organisation that itself encourages a woman to file false rape cases.
[[link]8
Imagine the reality.
In a country where women have to fight just to come out about being sexually harassed, people like you just brush it off.
Really, it is such a stupid point. There is no point even replying to it because that's the whole crux of the matter.
To clarify, both sexual harassment and false accusations are a problem. But don't pretend that the latter is comparable in terms of scale(not impact) to the former.
The latter is more heinous than the former. There is a chance of justice in the former. In the latter all man get is injustice. When the majority of rape cases are false and, men don't get justice. There is a slap on the wrist for the accuser. Men have to live with the tag of Rapist/Molester. He won't get good jobs, he won't get married. There is a reason men commit twice as more suicide than women in India.
[[link]9
[[link]10
'''
Context Link
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Author: NibbaFromQuora
1: www.i*diato**y.i*/ind*a**ort*/s**r*/f*lse-r*pe-*ases-in-del*i*d**hi-*omm**sion-o*-w*men-233222-2014*1**29 2: www.the*in**.com*news*n**i*nal/sex-*n-false*pro*i*e-o*-**rria*e-i*-rape*s*p***e-**urt/a*ticle26831183.e*e 3: www.thehindu.c*m*n*w*/cities/De*h*/dont-advis*-wome*-t*-*od*e-fa**e-**pe-c*s*s-*o**t/a***cle23*3*654*ece 4: www.t**guardia*.co*/*lob*l**eve*o*m*nt/2019*feb*11**p*r*-*nno*ent-men-anguish*indi*-r*ling*aims**o*end*fa*se-clai*s 5: w*w**esearchga*e*net/p*bli**t**n/2*7871*30_Edito*ial_*ising_M*nac*_*f*Fals**Ra*e_Ca*es*i*_In***_Problems_and_S**utio*s 6: ww*.in***today.in/i*di*/north**tory/false*rape-case*-i*-d*l*i-delh****mmission-*f-wo*en*233222*20**-1*-*9**^1 7: www.*he*indu.com/ne*s/***ional/s*x-*n-**lse-pro*is*-**-*arr*age-*s-*ap*-s*prem*-court/art*cle268*1*83*e*e]*^2 8: www*t*e**ndu.co***e*s/*ities/Delhi/don*-***ise-wome**to-lodge*fals*-ra**-c*se*-c*u*t/ar*icl*23337654.*ce]^*3 9: www.theg*a*di**.c*m*glo*al-*evelopm**t*20*9/feb/1*/spa*e*innocen***en-*ng*ish-*ndia-r**i***aim*-to-end-*alse-cl*i*s]^^4 10: w**.resea*chg**e.*e*/*ubli*at*on/*778715*0*_Edit**ial*_*ising\_Men*ce\*of*_*alse\*Rape\_Case**_in*_Ind***_Pro*lems\*an*\_Sol**io*s]^^5
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submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]


2020.05.10 23:44 removalbot 05-10 21:44 - 'Another social media stunt?' (self.india) by /u/NibbaFromQuora removed from /r/india within 107-117min

'''
Few days ago everybody went beserk over #BoysLockerRoom, specially the rape and gangrape part. But there is a twist.
[[link]4
Ironically the police aren't filing a case against her.
  1. All the pictures shared on the Locker Room were public images posted by the girls on Instagram. There were no nudes distributed or pictures morphed by the boys as being shared widely in media. These were revealing pictures posted on social media which boys shared in the group & made cheap vulgar comments & used sexually explicit language.
  2. There was no rape discussed or mentioned in the first locker room chats.
  3. Several boys who are now being called a rapist were not at all active on the group.
It's sad that people start bashing and vilifying men and boys without any proof what so ever. Even after Sarvjeet Singh, Rohtak Bravehearts and MeToo, people pull out the guns against men/boys without thinking at all.
Men commit suicide because of such stunts.
[[link]5
[[link]6
It's high time girls making such accusations be punished harshly

'''
Another social media stunt?
Go1dfish undelete link
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Author: NibbaFromQuora
1: www.india*od*y.*n/ind*a*s*ory/b*i***ocker-*oom-pol*ce*re*ea*-**ng**pe-*h**s-s****by-g*rl-to-te**-bo**s-c*aracter**ot**ro*-*g-grou**1676*28*2020-05-*0**bclid=IwAR2CVh*R*Nw*K_*l-AVNP768Jm*3*LJ*LIQwfSH*_0FOt1PaFEFsRWrVVy* 2: w*w.*r*epressj*u*nal.in/*ndi*/m*-*rot*e**is-**t-a*rapis*-s***ing-of-gur**ra*-*e*n*w*o-co*m*tted-s*ici*e-wri*es-e*o*io*al-no*e-says-n*t-*elated-t*-bois-*oc*er-room 3: w*w*i*d*at*d*y**n/*n*i*/story*t*p-genpac**execu*ive-c*mmi*s*sui*ide-in-noi*a-o*er-a*c*s*t*ons*of-s*xu*l-hara*sment*141*409-2*18-12-20 4: www.*n*ia*oday.in/*ndi*/st**y/*ois*locke****om*polic***e**a*-gang*a*e*chats-sent*by-gi*l-*o-tes*-bo*-s-chara**e*-not-from-i*-gro*p-1676**8*2**0*05-10*fbclid=IwAR*CV*xRoNwUK*_*l**V*P**8Jm0*zLJ*LI**fSH9\_0FO*1PaFEFsRWr*VyE]^*1 5: ww*.fr*epres*journ*l.in/indi*/my-b*o**er-is-not-a*r*pist-*ib***g-of-g**ugra**teen-**o-co*mit**d-s*ici*e**rit**-*moti*nal-no**-says*no**r*late*-**-boi*-locke*-room]^^2 6: w**.i*diato*ay.i*/in*ia*sto*y/to*-*e**act-executive-commit**suic*de-in-no*da-o**r-ac*usat*on*-of-se**al-ha***s*ent-*413409-*01*-*2*20**^3
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submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]


2020.05.09 10:33 UFBSuck When and Why to Pivot

Hey startups,
Last couple of weeks, I have been searching about pivoting and I couldn't find great guidance so I tried to learn from articles and stories then tried to blend with my experience and wrote a post about pivoting I hope it helps
Here's a link to actual post: Should I Stay or Should I Pivot?
An outline that might be helpful for you to answer when and why to pivot or not to pivot.
This was the question that haunts me at nights. I was trying to figure out the answer so hard that I forgot, answers can change from instance to instance. Therefore, I’ll try to explain my experience on questioning the pivoting, try to cover “When” and “Why” questions and give examples. Also, I’ll share with you a list of my favorite resources about pivoting at the end.
First I want to give you a little bit of context. We’re building a place for following, sharing and storing curated collections for learning and finding great contents. Basically, playlists for learning. We were frustrated by the SEO pumped content that wastes our time, so we started building a place where you can dodge from them and find high quality content with a human curated list of links to great content.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been searching for resources about “Pivoting”. It’s a hard decision to be made, whether pivot or not. Also, there are too many variables in terms of deciding pivoting. You have to take a lot of different things into account such as product-market fit, market-solution fit, your metrics, benchmarks, thresholds, value of your product and your opportunity cost.
That being said, I will try to be as concise and focused as I can be. I will try to create the post that I was searching for the last couple of weeks. Still there’ll be a lot of 'what if’s and 'let's say’s in this essay. Also, I am assuming you know basic terms like “product-market fit”, “Benchmark”, etc.
Another point, I don’t even consider talking about your passion for the thing you’re working on. If you don’t have passion for the problem, product or if you don’t like your users, I believe you should pivot it but I won’t cover this aspect since it’s too subjective.
Before starting, I want to explain concisely what I mean by pivot because there are a lot of different ideas about what it means. Pivoting is making a significant change in your solution or completely changing your idea. What I don’t mean by pivot is changing your user subset or adding new features.

Path to Product Market Fit

You can’t deny that product-market fit and pivoting are highly correlated subjects. If you’re not on a path to product market fit, it’s a good sign that you should pivot it. But how can you understand if you’re off track. There are a couple of reasons that you might be misleading. I’ll explain following two,
  1. There is no market need
  2. Product doesn’t delivers the solution
I think most of the time the question of pivoting branches out from these two aspects. Therefore, I’ll try to build my structure upon these two aspects and make a reasoning with them on why we didn’t pivot it.

Does Problem Exists?

It’s a fairly easy concept to understand. If there is no problem to solve probably there is no need for your solution. One of the ways to not fall into the trap of building something people don’t want is to build something for yourself. It's much easier to build something for your problem than it’s to build some made up non-existent problem.
I believe the easiest way to determine whether the problem exists or not is by asking users basic questions about their real life experiences in the context of the problem. For instance, in our case it was asking our potential customers whether they are having problems finding high quality resources or not. The answer indicated that it was hard to find great resources and it was time consuming to do so. Also, building a landing page about your value proposition and collecting emails could be a simple way to measure this.(Sometimes it could be misleading but that’s best I have)
We all know that is not pivoting, you can’t pivot if you barely started. Therefore, let’s say you already passed all these steps and built a product, but you feel like you have to reconsider whether the problem exists or not. In other words, you want to be sure that you didn’t fool yourself. In this case, sending emails to your existing users for an interview to ask about their experience and the main benefit they get out of your product is a great starting point.(*You can also call them.)
This can end up in a couple of ways,
  1. They get the exact same value you propose.
  2. They found another value in your product.
  1. They already start demanding for features (Why the f* are you here, go back to your rainbow land[1])
  2. They found another value in your product.
  3. There are a couple types of different values.
Let’s start explaining from the ends of the spectrum; Ghosting and A lot of users answered. Those are easier to understand and interpret, the hardest one is in the middle.
You’re ghosted
You’re ghosted by users, what happens now. Do whatever you do when you are ghosted by a date, stalk them and beg for their love. Please, don’t do that to your dates! Yet, you can try a couple of times to reach-out to your users. Let’s say they still ghosting you.
There could be two reasons for that,
I’ll explain the second one in the following chapter; but for the first one, being ghosted is a really good indicator that you have stepped into land of imaginary needs. One of the good ways to convince yourself that you’re solving a real problem, when you have ghosted by your users, is to search the problem on existing platforms. If there is a problem, probably there is somebody complaining about it. It’s easier than ever to complain about something, so go to Quora, Reddit or Twitter. Search for posts, questions and stories about the problem or create a post on these platforms whether they encounter this problem or not. If you don’t get what you are looking for, then it’s time to move on, there are plenty of fish out there.
If you get what you want, probably your product does not solve the problem. I’ll explain this one in the next chapter.
Filled up inbox
In an unexpected way, a lot of people answered back even though there wasn’t so much retention for your product. Now your inbox is filled up with user emails and they are expecting you to build the things they want. You know that at least you’re probably working on something that people want, the reason that takes you here and makes you think about pivoting is buried under one of those emails.
How could you find it?
I think one of the best ways to do that is implementing following logic,
  1. Find the most active users or the ones get most out of your product = Power Users
  2. Understand their problems and the main benefit they take out of your solution
  3. Build upon that
  4. Find average active users that takes exactly same main benefit as power users
  5. Understand their problems and build upon that
Let’s say they found another value in your product and they are hacking your product for solving another problem. It’s a thought experience to have because sometimes these hacks lead to big breakthroughs and help you to find a really great solution for an unknown existing problem. In other cases those users are only spammers and it can be hard to understand the difference. How could you understand you did catch one of those breakthroughs? I don’t have a great example for this, but I am assuming that you can try to evaluate the long term value of that behavior or product hijack.
For instance, in our case it was obvious, people were trying to promote their sites and creating curations only from their own content. This behavior has most likely no value for our users who consume those content. I don’t have any example or experience for the other part of this case.
What if there are couple of different types of values that users get from your product. Everyone has their own ecole, mine is simplicity. What would I do in that case? Probably, I will go with the one value and try to build upon it. I would use the logic above and try to build a single value first for my power users. You can always disagree.
Building for yourself and couple of others
You’re staring at your inbox and expecting for more users to answer your emails. This is not a good sign but in the end, you’re building for yourself and a couple of other early adopters. If there are couple of users consistently using your product and answering your emails, you can build something upon them.
I believe this is the hardest one, that’s why I’ll answer this with much less confidence so take my answers with a grain of salt.
I think, there could be three reasons for that;
  1. Maybe it’s not that big of a problem.
  2. Maybe it’s not a problem (We already cover this one in no market need).
  3. Your product isn’t there yet. (Next Chapter)
How could you understand you’re picking up a really big problem. I only know two ways for this and one is more subjective and the other is more consistent to do so. Let’s start with a consistent one, you need to understand how frequently happens this problem and how bad they want to solve this; I would go into two ways for understanding,
So you know some of the places you can go but how could you understand what type of problem is this? Does someone’s hair is on fire or do they just get bitten by a mosquito? Here’s couple of question I would ask them,
  1. Compare your solution with the existing one and decide how big is the threshold between your solution and existing ones. ( Even if there are no direct solutions, people probably trying to solve the issue)
What is the more subjective way to understand this? If you’re the one who has this problem, you can always ask yourself how bad you want a solution. How much life would be miserable for you without this product.
The reason I call this approach subjective is not only because it involves your opinion and one data point but it involves your idea as an entrepreneur. Most of the time entrepreneurs can be delusional and it’s not necessarily bad but try to be as honest as possible with yourself. So, asking yourself the questions above is better than just asking yourself how bad you want this. Probably, you want it so bad that makes you want to live a miserable life of an entrepreneur*
*(Miserable only from the perspective of standard viewpoint. C’mon, you can’t disagree with me. We have a word for only living on ramens and being profitable: Ramen Profitable. I would be miserable if I wouldn’t try to do what I do.)

Next Chapter: Shortcoming Product

This is the next chapter and the part where we’ll try to find out about product pitfalls that takes you here. One of the indicators we covered that helps you foresee pivoting was understanding the market need or problem existence. The other one is understanding where your product stands. I know three product aspects that makes you think about pivoting,
Before going into these aspects, I think you should understand where does the value of your product comes from. There are different types of products which brings value from different stand points. For instance, your product could be valuable as solo such as an SaaS app or your product can be valuable as an intermediary such as marketplaces. My point is there are products which are valuable as a single player games, multiplayer games and both simultaneously.
Couple of those and examples,
Your product can only be valuable if there is enough valuable content or option in it. Marketplaces,
Your product can only be valuable if the subset of groups are using it simultaneously.
Your product is valuable by itself. Most of the SaaS products are great examples of this.
Those are the main value types of products that come to my mind. There are also products that increase their value when they have more integration which are platforms. Platforms also have network effects but I believe most of the time platforms have single player value builded in it. Since we have focused on pivot and delivering value. It seems to me those are delivering value even without the need of network effect or content.
Does your product solves the problem?
This might be the reason why you don’t get a reply, feedback or traction from your user. For someone who is an outsider to your project, it's easier to declare that the product doesn’t deliver any solution, but they might know too little about the problem you’re trying to solve. If those comments do not come from someone who has the problem, it can be misleading.
However, what should you do to understand this then? I am sorry but I don’t have many suggestions for this. If you’re building a product for yourself or peers, the best way to understand this is to ask them and yourself whether this would solve your problems or not.
Does your product delivers the value?
This is a different point than solving the problem but this causes you to not solve the problem. The main difference between the broken solution and not delivering the value is about the value you build in your product. For instance, your product can solve the problem but if value comes from content in the product, basically your software has no value without great content in it. Youtube is a great example for this, there is no value to have a streaming service that has bad or no content on it.
In cases like this, if you’re sure that your product is not fundamentally broken but there is another factor that directly affects the value you propose, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Spotify or Youtube, I believe there are two ways to overcome this problem.
I think doing both is vital but you might survive doing one of those.
Pushing through that equilibrium sounds so idiosyncratic, you are probably pushing it already but what I mean by that, there are several tactics you can do. You can start with a subset of a market, a very popular example of this can be Facebook’s initial users which were only Harvard students.
Another thing you can do is “fake it till make it” until you get the initial pump you need. For instance, you can create your own content or you can be the drivehost. This will give you time to deliver your value and time to create your minimum viable amount of pump you need. Also, it makes you to understand basics of your business. Best example that suits in this category is Reddit. In the early days founders have created several fake accounts to make their site seem more active. Another great example is DoorDash, founders were the drivers itself for first couple of months.
There is another way you can try before pivoting which I believe you should try to do simultaneously with the first one. You can build a single player mode and virality on your product. What do I mean by single player mode is a feature that your users can benefit without having any other values you propose. For instance, Instagram had great filters and has still those filters but in the first couple iterations those filters were the way for attracting and sustaining first users. That single player mode let people share their photos on other platforms and on instagram with great filters.
You can also build virality on your product to overcome this problem. Actually I believe you must build virality but before pivoting consider building virality if your product falls under this category. Whatsapp has your address book which you could invite your friends and family into the platform.
Fall Short on Threshold
Last but not least, falling under the threshold. This is the one which you have most control on and it mostly depends on your skills. Let’s dive into it. So you decided your problem or product does not fall under none of the other indicators. You’re in a situation either Jump, Pivot or Persevere. There is one more thing you can check which is not reaching standard quality.
It is a way of your users telling you that existing solutions are better equipped than your product. In this case you should check the threshold of your market. For instance, you’re building a video streaming product. I believe, you would probably choose a subset of users that youtube does not target, so in those cases you must solve the problem better than for that subset of users initially. This can be a reason you’re thinking about pivoting, but instead maybe you only need to create a better product. This threshold varies by the products out there. One of the ways to determine pivot or not is understanding that threshold. If there is not a really great subsidiary solution for your problem then probably the threshold is really low. If there are solutions like Netflix, Disney Plus, etc. probably the threshold is pretty high.
Also, it is highly correlated with your benchmarks and how much space do you have to iterate/improve. There comes your opportunity cost and skills to improve. If you’re new, let’s say it has been 1 month since you started, you have probably still a lot of space to improve and if you have related skills, you should probably persevere. On the other hand, you feel like you have a high opportunity cost on this, you might want to change your idea and jump. I never felt like I had a high opportunity cost.
Let me give you our experience on this. Our first week retention rate was 17.6% and the benchmarks we found for our industry with the same kind of product was relatively high which is 31% for the 90th percentile and 11% for the median. It has been more than a 1 months since we started so we decided not to pivot because when we looked at our product and the others, there was a lot of space to improve.

In the end ( It doesn’t even matter)

In this piece I tried to explain the points and indicators that make you think about pivoting. Just looking at someones metrics and deciding whether they should pivot or not is a hard tell. I believe you need a much more holistic view of the circumstances to answer the question of pivoting and for that holistic view you don’t need to spend years of time.
First point I touched on was whether you’re solving a real problem or not. For understanding that, you can ask your users or potential users about their existing experiences. If you are convinced that they have this problem but still they don’t use your product and you don’t get a lot of feedback or your user ghosts you. It’s a good sign that your product doesn’t solve this problem, delivers promised value or didn’t pass the average threshold.
This takes me to the second point, if your product doesn’t solve the problem you want to pivot your product. On the other hand if it solves the problem but the value of the product depends on some outside factor than software which can be active users and content created, probably there are places you can improve so you might want to push it. At last, everything might be fine but the product threshold can be really high because of the existing subsidiaries. If you find yourself in that situation, I suggest you consider your skills and opportunity cost because you’re probably not dealing with some untapped market but instead you’re trying to build something 18x better.
I hope this framework, experience, guideline or whatever you call, helps you to answer some hard questions.
submitted by UFBSuck to startups [link] [comments]


2020.04.14 19:23 StackWeaver Does anyone have suggestions on creating better forums or community tools?

I am building an educational platform for web developers and currently tackling the community section. I am doing research into existing forum structures and sites.
I'm here because I came across a lively post from this subreddit:
https://www.reddit.com/TheoryOfReddit/comments/7ren0q/reddit_vs_forums/
"Reddit thrives off the buzz of "new content" all the time, even if, often times, it's just a rehash/repeat of old stuff. This way, it all looks new, when it mostly isn't. Allowing the forum approach would lose a lot of the new stuff, buried down in old threads."
And a decent discussion about this on IndieHackers:
https://www.indiehackers.com/forum/building-a-website-for-a-community-are-traditional-forums-dead-6eb00f7f5d
I'm taking inspiration from:
And considering the goals of a user to be:
But I don't think this can all be covered under a typical forum structure.. it seems something more like a mashup feed would be better (showing posts, responses, follow activity, etc) perhaps with quick filters for the kind of content. Sounds like a bit of a mess.
I'm starting afresh and have full control over the behaviour (custom web application) so am hoping to at least develop something more innovative than just copying what came before.
Does anybody have any suggestions or ideas or ruminations on this kind of thing?
submitted by StackWeaver to TheoryOfReddit [link] [comments]


2020.04.02 18:37 DrJigsaw The EXACT process we use to scale our clients' SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic (and beyond). A much more practical, step-by-step, take at SEO!

Hey guys!
There's a TON of content out there on SEO - guides, articles, courses, videos, scams, people yelling about it on online forums, etc etc..
Most of it, however, is super impractical. If you want to start doing SEO TOMORROW and start getting results ASAP, you'll need to do a TON of digging to figure out what's important and what's not.
Now, if you guys haven't seen any of my previous posts, me and my co-founder own an SEO/digital marketing agency, and we've worked w/ a ton of clients helping them go from 0 to 200k+ monthly organic traffic.
So we wanted to make everyone's lives super easy and distill our EXACT process of working w/ clients into a stupid-simple, step-by-step practical guide. And so we did. Here we are.
Here's everything we're going to cover here:
Disclaimer: this is a Reddit-friendly version of a post on our blog. If you wanna see it with the images and the whole shebang, check that out. And yeah, some of the links mentioned in the post are affiliate links. If you guys like all the free content we post here, we'd love you forever if you used our links if you end up buying any of the tools we mentioned. <3

Step #1 - Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO

Step #1 to any SEO initiative is getting your technical SEO right.
Now, some of this is going to be a bit technical, so you might just forward this part to your tech team and just skip ahead to "Step #2 - Keyword Research."
If you DON'T have a tech team and want a super easy tl;dr, do this:
If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, though, read on!

Technical SEO Basics

Sitemap.xml file. A good sitemap shows Google how to easily navigate your website (and how to find all your content!). If your site runs on WordPress, all you have to do is install YoastSEO or Rankmath SEO, and they’ll create a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you can use the following XML Sitemap tool.
If you want to learn more about what’s a sitemap for, click here. Otherwise, just put one up on your website and read on.
Proper website architecture. The crawl depth of any page should be lower than 4 (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To fix this, you should improve your interlinking (check Step #6 of this guide to learn more).
Serve images in next-gen format. Next-gen image formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP) can be compressed a lot better than JPG or PNG images. Using WordPress? Just use Smush and it’ll do ALL the work for you. Otherwise, you can manually compress all images and re-upload them.
Remove duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content, and will penalize you for it. If you have any duplicate pages, just merge them (by doing a 301 redirect) or delete one or the other.
Update your ‘robots.txt’ file. Hide the pages you don’t want Google to index (e.g: non-public, or unimportant pages). If you’re a SaaS, this would be most of your in-app pages. Here’s how to create a Robots.txt.
Optimize all your pages by best practice. There’s a bunch of general best practices that Google wants you to follow for your web pages (maintain keyword density, have an adequate # of outbound links, etc.). Install YoastSEO or RankMath and use them to optimize all of your web pages.
If you DON’T have any pages that you don’t want to be displayed on Google, you DON’T need robots.txt.

Advanced Technical SEO

Now, this is where this gets a bit more web-devvy. Other than just optimizing your website for SEO, you should also focus on optimizing your website speed.
Here’s how to do that:
Both for Mobile and PC, your website should load in under 2-3 seconds. While load speed isn’t a DIRECT ranking factor, it does have a very serious impact on your rankings.
After all, if your website doesn’t load for 5 seconds, a bunch of your visitors might drop off.
So, to measure your website speed performance, you can use Pagespeed Insights. Some of the most common issues we have seen clients facing when it comes to website speed and loading time, are the following:
Want to make your life easier AND fix up all these issues and more? Use WP Rocket. The tool basically does all your optimization for you (if you’re using WordPress, of course).

Step #2 - Keyword Research

Once your website is 100% optimized, it’s time to define your SEO strategy.
The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.
First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.
You can use the sheet to:
  1. Prioritize content
  2. Keep track of the publishing process
  3. Get a top-down view of your web pages
And here’s what it covers:
Want to fast-track your keyword research? Steal our template here!
Now that you have your sheet (and understand how it works), let’s talk about the “how” of keyword research.

How to do Keyword Research (Step-by-Step Guide)

There are a ton of different ways to do that (check the “further readings” at the end of this section for a detailed rundown).
Our favorite method, however, is as follows…
Start off by listing out your top 5 SEO competitors.
The key here is SEO competitors - competing companies that have a strong SEO presence in the same niche.
Not sure who’s a good SEO competitor? Google the top keywords that describe your product and find your top-ranking competitors.
Run them through SEMrush (or your favorite SEO tool), and you’ll see how well, exactly, they’re doing with their SEO.
Once you have a list of 5 competitors, run each of them through “Organic Research” on SEMrush, and you'll get a complete list of all the keywords they rank on.
Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all the relevant ones and add them to your sheet.
Once you go through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be around 80%+ done.
Now to put some finishing touches on your keyword research, run your top keywords through UberSuggest and let it do its magic. It's going to give you a bunch of keywords associated with the keywords you input.
Go through all the results it's going to give you, extract anything that’s relevant, and your keyword research should be 90% done.
At this point, you can call it a day and move on to the next step. Chances are, over time, you’ll uncover new keywords to add to your sheet and get you to that sweet 100%.
Want to learn more about keyword research? We'd reco. Brian Dean's guide.

Step #3 - Create SEO Landing Pages

Remember how we collected a bunch of landing page keywords in step #2? Now it’s time to build the right page for each of them!This step is a lot more straightforward than you’d think.First off, you create a custom landing page based around the keyword. Depending on your niche, this can be done in 2 ways:
  1. Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your landing page, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
  2. Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.
Once you have a bunch of these pages ready, you should optimize them for their respective keywords.
You can do this by running the page content through an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this through RankMath or Yoast SEO.
Both tools will give you exact instructions on how to optimize your page for the keyword.
If you’re not using WordPress, you can use the Content Analysis tool. Just copy-paste your web page content, and it’s going to give you instructions on how to optimize it.
Once your new landing pages are live, you need to pick where you want to place them on your website. We usually recommend adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer.
Finally, once you have all these new landing pages up, you might be thinking “Now what? How, and when, are these pages going to rank?”
Generally, landing pages are a tad harder to rank than content. See, with content, quality plays a huge part. Write better, longer, and more informative content than your competition, and you’re going to eventually outrank them even if they have more links.
With landing pages, things aren’t as cut and dry. More often than not, you can’t just “create a better landing page.”
What determines rankings for landing page keywords are backlinks. If your competitors have 400 links on their landing pages, while yours has 40, chances are, you’re not going to outrank them.

Step #4 - Create SEO Blog Content

Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: content keywords, and how to create content that ranks.
As we mentioned before, these keywords aren’t direct-intent (the Googler isn’t SPECIFICALLY looking for your product), but they can still convert pretty well. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you could rank on keywords like…
After all, anyone looking to learn about lead gen techniques might also be willing to pay you to do it for them.
On top of this, blog post keywords are way easier to rank for than your landing pages - you can beat competition simply by creating significantly better content without turning it into a backlink war.In order to create good SEO content, you need to do 2 things right:
  1. Create a comprehensive content outline
  2. Get the writing part right
Here’s how each of these work...

How to Create a Content Outline for SEO

A content outline is a document that has all the info on what type of information the article should contain Usually, this includes:
Here’s what an outline looks like.
Outlines are useful if you’re working with a writing team that isn’t 100% familiar with SEO, allowing them to write content that ranks without any SEO know-how.
At the same time, even if you’re the one doing the writing, an outline can help you get a top-down idea of what you should cover in the article.
So, how do you create an outline? Here’s a simplified step-by-step process…
  1. Determine the target word count. Rule of thumb: aim for 1.5x - 2x whatever your competitor wrote. You can disregard this if your competition was super comprehensive with their content, and just go for the same length instead.
  2. Create a similar header structure as your competition. Indicate for the writer which headers should be h2, which ones h3.
  3. For each header, mention what it’s about. Pro tip - you can borrow ideas from the top 5 ranking articles.
  4. For each header, explain what, exactly, should the writer mention (in simple words).
  5. Finally, do some first-hand research on Reddit and Quora. What are the questions your target audience has around your topic? What else could you add to the article that would be super valuable for your customers?

How to Write Well

There’s a lot more to good content than giving an outline to a writer. Sure, they can hit all the right points, but if the writing itself is mediocre, no one’s going to stick around to read your article.
Here are some essential tips you should keep in mind for writing content (or managing a team of writers):
  1. Write for your audience. Are you a B2B enterprise SaaS? Your blog posts should be more formal and professional. B2C, super-consumer product? Talk in a more casual, relaxed fashion. Sprinkle your content with pop culture references for bonus points!
  2. Avoid fluff. Every single sentence should have some sort of value (conveying information, cracking a joke, etc.). Avoid beating around the bush, and be as straightforward as possible.
  3. Keep your audience’s knowledge in mind. For example, if your audience is a bunch of rocket scientists, you don’t have to explain to them how 1+1=2.
  4. Create a writer guideline (or just steal ours!)
  5. Use Grammarly and Hemingway. The first is like your personal pocket editor, and the latter helps make your content easier to read.
  6. Hire the right writers. Chances are, you’re too busy to write your own content. We usually recommend using ProBlogger or Cult of Copy Job Board to source top writing talent.
For more on how to create content that ranks, you can check out some of these articles:

Step #5 - Start Link-Building Operations

Links are essential if you want your content or web pages to rank.
If you’re in a competitive niche, links are going to be the final deciding factor on what ranks and what doesn’t.
In the VPN niche, for example, everyone has good content. That’s just the baseline.The real competition is in the backlinks.
To better illustrate this example, if you Google “best VPN,” you’ll see that all top-ranking content pieces are almost the same thing. They’re all:
So, the determining factor is links. If you check all the top-ranking articles with the Moz Toolbar Extension, you’ll see that on average, each page has a minimum of 300 links (and some over 100,000!).
Meaning, to compete, you’ll really need to double-down on your link-building effort.
In fact, in the most competitive SEO niches, it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 per month on link-building efforts alone.

Pro Tip

Got scared by the high $$$ some companies spend on link-building? Well, worry not!
Only the most ever-green niches are so competitive. Think, VPN, make money online, health and fitness, dating, CBD, gambling, etc. So you know, the usual culprits.
For most other niches, you can even rank with minimal links, as long as you have top-tier SEO content.
Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: “how do you do link-building?”

4 Evergreen Link Building Strategies for Any Website

There are a TON of different link building strategies on the web. Broken link building, scholarship link building, stealing competitor links, and so on and so on and so on.
We’re not going to list every single link building strategy out there (mainly because Backlinko already did that in this article).
What we are going to do, though, is list out some of our favorite strategies, and link you to resources where you can learn more:
  1. Broken link building. You find dead pages with a lot of backlinks, reach out to websites that linked to them, and pitch them something like “hey, you linked to this article, but it’s dead. We thought you’d want to fix that. You can use our recent article if you think it’s cool enough.”
  2. Guest posting. Probably the most popular link building strategy. Find blogs that accept guest posts, and send them a pitch! They usually let you include 1-2 do-follow links back to your website.
  3. “Linkable asset” link building. A linkable asset is a resource that is so AWESOME that you just can’t help but link to. Think, infographics, online calculators, first-hand studies or research, stuff like that. The tl;dr here is, you create an awesome resource, and promote the hell out of it on the web.
  4. Skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique is a term coined by Backlinko. The gist of it is, you find link-worthy content on the web, create something even better, and reach out to the right people.
Most of these strategies work, and you can find a ton of resources on the web if you want to learn more.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, oh boy we have a treat for you!We’re going to teach you a link-building strategy that got us around:
...And so much more, all through a single blog post.
So, want to learn more?
Read on!

Link-Building Case Study: SaaS Marketing

“So, what’s this ancient link-building tactic, Nick?”
I hear you asking. It must be something super secretive and esoteric, right?
Secrets learned straight from the link-building monks at an ancient SEO temple…
“Right?”
Well, not quite.
The tactic isn’t something too unusual - it’s pretty famous on the web. This tactic comes in 2 steps:
  1. Create EPIC content
  2. Promote the HELL out of it
Nothing too new, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many people don’t use it.
Now, before you start throwing stones at us for overhyping something so simple, let’s dive into the case study:
How we PR’d the hell out of our guide to SaaS marketing (and got 10k+ traffic as a result).
A few months back when we launched this blog, we were deciding on what our initial content should be about.
Since we specialize in helping SaaS companies acquire new users, we decided to create a mega-authority guide to SaaS marketing (AND try to get it to rank for its respective keyword).
We went through the top-ranking content pieces, and saw that none of them was anything too impressive.
Most of them were about general startup marketing strategies - how to validate your MVP, find a product-market fit, etc.
Pretty “meh,” if you ask us. We believe that the #1 thing founders are looking for when Googling “saas marketing” are practical channels and tactics you can use to acquire new users.
So, it all started off with an idea: create a listicle of the top SaaS marketing tactics out there:
  1. How to create good content to drive users
  2. Promote your content
  3. Rank on Google
  4. Create viral infographics
  5. Create a micro-site
...and we ended up overdoing it, covering 41+ different tactics and case studies and hitting around 14k+ words.
On one hand, oops! On the other hand, we had some pretty epic content on our hands. We even added the Smart Content Filter to make the article much easier to navigate.
Once the article was up, we ran it through some of our clients, friends, and acquaintances, and received some really good feedback.
So, now we knew it was worth promoting the hell out of it.
We came up with a huge list of all online channels that would appreciate this article:
  1. /entrepreneur and /startups (hi guys!). The first ended up loving the post, netting us ~600 upboats and a platinum medal. The latter also ended up loving the post, but the mods decided to be assholes and remove it for being “self-promotional.” So, despite the community loving the content, it got axed by the mods. Sad. (Fun fact - this one time we tried to submit another content piece on /startups with no company names, no links back to our website, or anything that can be deemed promotional. One of the mods removed it for mentioning a link to Ahrefs. Go figure!)
  2. Hacker News. Tons of founders hang out on HN, so we thought they’d appreciate anything SaaS-related. This netted us around ~200+ upvotes and some awesome feedback (thanks HN!)
  3. Submit on Growth Hackers, Indie Hackers, and all other online marketing communities. We got a bunch of love on Indie Hackers, the rest were “eh”
  4. Reach out to all personal connects + clients and ask for a share
  5. Run Facebook/Twitter ads. This didn’t particularly work out too well for us, so we dropped it after 1-2 weeks.
  6. Run a Quuu promotion. If you haven’t heard of Quuu, it’s a platform that matches people who want their content to be shared, with people who want their social media profiles running on 100% auto-pilot. We also got “meh” results here - tons of shares, next to no likes or link clicks.
  7. Promoted in SaaS and marketing Facebook groups. This had awesome results both in terms of traffic, as well as making new friends, AND getting new leads.
  8. Promoted in entrepreneur Slack channels. This worked OK - didn’t net us traffic, but got us some new friends.
  9. Emailed anyone we mentioned in the article and asked for a share. Since we mentioned too many high profile peeps and not enough non-celebs, this didn’t work out too well
  10. Emailed influencers that we thought would like the article / give it a share. They didn’t. We were heart-broken.
And accordingly, created a checklist + distribution sheet with all the websites or emails of people we wanted to ping.
Overall, this netted us around 12,000 page views in total, 15+ leads, 6,000 traffic in just 2 promotion days.
As for SEO results, we got a bunch of links.
A lot of these are no-follow from Reddit, HackerNews and other submission websites, but a lot of them are also pretty authentic.
The cool part about this link-building tactic is that people link to you without even asking. You create awesome content that helps people, and you get rewarded with links, shares, and traffic!
And as for the cherry on top, only 2 months after publishing the article, it’s ranking on position #28.We’re expecting it to get to page 1 within the new few months, and top 3 within the year.
Want to learn more about link-building? Here are some of our favorite guides:

Step #6 - Interlink Your Pages

One of Google's ranking factors is how long your visitors stick around on your website.
So, you need to encourage users reading ONE article, to read, well, the rest of them (or at least browse around your website). This is done through interlinking.
The idea is that each of your web pages should be linked to and from every other relevant page on your site.
Say, an article on "how to make a resume" could link to (and be linked from) "how to include contact info on a resume," "how to write a cover letter," "what's the difference between a CV and a resume," and so on.
Proper interlinking alone can have a significant impact on your website rankings. NinjaOutreach, for example, managed to improve their organic traffic by 40% through better interlinking alone.
So, how do you do interlinking “right?”
First off, make it a requirement for your writers to link to the rest of your content. Add a clause to your writer guidelines that each article should have 10+ links to your other content pieces.
More often than not, they’ll manage to get 60-70% of interlinking opportunities. To get this to 100%, we usually do bi-annual interlinking runs. Here’s how that works.
Pick an article you want to interlink. Let’s say, for example, we decide to go with this article on business process management we wrote for Tallyfy.
The goal here is to find as many existing articles where ‘business process management’ is mentioned so that we can add a link to the article.
Firstly, Google the keyword ‘business process management’ on the Tallyfy domain using the following query:
Site:[Your Website] “[keyword]”
In our case, that’s:
Site:tallyfy.com “business process management”
You’ll get a complete list of articles that mention the keyword “business process management.”
Now, all you have to do is go through each of these, and make sure that the keyword is hyperlinked to the respective article!
You should also do this for all the synonyms of the keyword for this article. For example, “BPM” is an acronym for business process management, so you’d want to link this article there too.

Step #7 -Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs

Article CTRs play a huge role in determining what ranks or not.
Let’s say your article ranks #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google benchmarks this CTR with the average CTR for the position.
If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will assume that your article, with a CTR of 15% is of high quality, and will reward you with better rankings.
On the other hand, if the average CTR is 18%, Google will assume that your article isn’t as valuable as other ranking content pieces, and will lower your ranking.
So, it’s important to keep track of your Click Through Rates for all your articles, and when you see something that’s underperforming, you can test different headlines to see if they’ll improve CTR.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how do you figure out what’s the average CTR?
Unfortunately, each search result is different, and there's no one size fits all formula for average CTR.
Over the past few years, Google has been implementing a bunch of different types of search results - feature snippet, QAs, and a lot of other types of search results.
So, depending on how many of these clutter and the search results for your given keyword, you’ll get different average CTRs by position.
Rule of thumb, though, you can follow Backlinko’s data on average CTR by position
As for the “how” to do CTR optimization, first off, grab our CTR optimization template.
Use a scraping tool like Screaming Frog to extract the following data from all your web pages:
Delete all the pages that aren’t meant to rank on Google. Then, head over to Google Search Console and extract the following data for all the web pages:
Now, check what your competition is doing and use that to come up with new headline ideas. Then, put them in the Title Ideas cell for the respective keyword.
For each keyword, come up with 4-5 different headlines, and implement the (seemingly) best title for each article.
Once you implement the change, insert the date on the Date Implemented column. This will help you keep track of progress.
Then, wait for around 3 - 4 weeks to see what kind of impact this change is going to have on your rankings and CTR.
If the results are not satisfactory, record the results in the respective cells, and implement another test for the following month. Make sure to update the Date Implemented column once again.
For more on CTR optimization, check out some of our favorite articles here and here.

Step #8 - Keep Track of Rankings & Make Improvements On-The-Go

You’re never really “done” with SEO - you should always keep track of your rankings and see if there’s any room for improvement.
If you wait for an adequate time-frame after publishing a post (6 months to a year) and you’re still seeing next to no results, then it might be time to investigate.
Here’s what this usually looks like for us:

...And that's it.

Hope you guys had a good read and learned a thing or two :) HMU if you have any questions or think we missed something important.
submitted by DrJigsaw to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]


2020.02.14 16:29 NoFunnyMan Finding your first users

Hello guys,
I would like to share an approach that changed a lot of things on the road. That is "Doing things that don't scale", This is the learnings I made that helped me to find my first users and really helped to get a lot of insights. I hope it will be helpful for you as well.
for actual article: https://link.medium.com/FHshhbOF43
The ideas that takes off are most likely the ones that draw our attention after they get big. We tend to dismiss the first couple of miserable days of those ideas and founders. When you just start off with an idea and with a belief that it will change the world, it is hard to guess where to find first users. If you have an idea that will change the world there must be users somewhere who will beat a path to your door as promised, the chances are that’s not gonna happen.
We already accepted the idea of staying in someone’s house or moving around in someone’s car. Yet, we don’t know who were the first freaks on both sides of those transactions. It’s not true to call them freaks because they were basically us. It’s easier to see ourselves using this kind of solution when there are already several customers using it but they were like us. So, everything starts from finding that first user.
Most of the founders tend to think that first customers will come from big press releases or some sort of partnership with big names. Most of the time that’s not the case. The reality is you should recruit your customers manually in most cases. Founders think this can’t be the way how big scalable ideas started. This big Goliath’s around us can’t be a baby once, but they were. As a founder you should try to recruit users manually, this is how your idea takes off. How can you recruit users manually and how doing things that don’t scale essential for scaling? I’ll explain all of those but first let me explain, why do you have to recruit your users manually and it is a great idea?
Why doing things that don’t scale and five percent matters?
Besides that you don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing, creating perfect product and vision in early days (hint: probably your perfect product is not that perfect. Check IKEA Effect). You need to talk to your users to understand their pain points. Those pain points are kind of little golden nuggets for you to understand which features you need to implement and build on your product. I have seen most of my friends who want to build something and myself fall on to this trap of scalability; finding solutions in a scalable way. It was the dumbest mistake I have ever made and I made it more than once. In order to scale you need to talk to your customer, IMMEDIATELY! That means you need to do things that don’t scale in order to scale, like going to your peers to ask them to use your product, going around in forum sites to find people like you and emailing or calling them one by one. This is one of the most efficient ways to understand your users and find pain points of them. It’s like finding new friends or new topics. You can’t find a thousand friends in a glance. You should search for your users in an unsustainable way.
In that vein recruiting your customers manually helps you to understand the basics of your business. The good example would be DoorDash, in the early days of DoorDash the founders were the delivery drivers. They literally find the pain point by interviewing small restaurants then test their hypothesis with a really scrappy website which is created in less than a day. Being a delivery driver and fulfilling the order gave them an opportunity to talk to users and understand the basics of the business. This was an advantage for them because they were hacking the problems like “how to follow delivery drivers?”. They were using the Find My Friends app on Iphone. Those insights gave them the initial boost for how to design the system for delivery and all those other stuff.
So, what does five percent mean? That’s my second argument, according to the research conducted by University of Leeds, it takes five percent to influence a crowd’s direction.In other words, you only need to get 5 out of 100 people to move in a particular direction for the rest of the group to follow without knowing why. Thus, you need first followers for your movement, first initial customers to try out your product and if the 5% loves your product you’re in the right direction. Airbnb CEO Brian Checksy says that the best advice he ever got was to build something that 100 people love rather than 1 million people kind of like. That means you need much less people than you think to take off and you need fans not users.
This breakdowns at my third argument, Innovation of Diffusion Theory. According to the law of innovation of diffusion there are five types of adopters.
Innovators(%2,5), Early adopters(13,5%), Early Majority(34%), Late Majority(34%) and Laggards(16%). All of us stand at different points at various times on this scale. One might be an early adopter for social networks but a laggard for vacuum cleaners. Thus, we can take down the scale like this;
So the Law of Diffusion of Innovation tells us you need to make a tipping point around 13–15% to reach the mass market.
You need to get 5 out of 100(5%) people to love your product, those are your Innovators and Early adopters. You need to find them then iterate upon them. As you see you don’t need as many people as you think to make a mass market success you need just one follower to follow you, then 2 more, then 6 more, then 12 more, eventually 1 million more. Early days of Apple Steve Jobs and Wozniak only sold 50 system boards to a so-called hobby store, Bill Gates and Paul Allen were writing basics for only a few hobbyists.
In the early days, it’s not about how many people follow you but how passionate they follow!
But what does it take to get those first believers?
How to find your users?
I assume you understand why it’s a great idea to do things that don’t scale and the science behind it. We are impressed by the success stories such Amazon or Apple and we tend to tell their stories. We have this impulse that if we find “the great idea”, one and only, we can just conquer the world. Still, we tend to dismiss how unsustainable, unscalable and fragile things are common in early days of these success stories. Jeff Bezos, himself, driving to the post office to deliver books. Steve and his friends were building the main board at his garage with their hands. Doing things that don’t scale is very common around success stories and recruiting users manually is one of those. It is exactly how it sounds. You recruit manually, with hands.
If you’re building something that you’re the customer for you need to find your peers, if not, you need to find peers of that person you’re building for. This starts from searching one by one. What is our unsustainable approach? We are answering a lot of answers at Quora, Reddit and writing a lot of content at Indie Hackers, Medium, Reddit, Quora and more. You need to find your channel to write these contents. We approach one by one to those who are interested in. We send personalized emails to interview with them. We ask about their experience personally as founders.
Another approach we take is, we are creating something we are the customer for. So, we are just asking our friends. If they say yes, we are pushing them to use our product just there. We don’t give them any chance to blow us off.
These approaches gives us a more personalized relationship with our users, no other big firm can have this approach. This is a way for us to understand their problems more initially.
This approach is really basic yet I did not see this for a long time and there might be others that do not see the benefits of this. What can you lose? Just go out there and ask your friends first face-to- face. Then, your friends friends. Go to forums and find someone who wrote about this problem and shout out them, send an email. It’s a numbers game you need 5 out of 100.
So, what is the main benefit of just getting a really small amount of users? Is it worth it to find 5 users?
Is it worth it?
Although I explained in the “Why” section above, I would like to add a couple things.
We were finding people through forum sites and questions then sending them messages or answering their questions at comments. We were asking “What is the hardest part of this problem?” and “Why do you think this is hard?” kind of questions. They were telling us, they want to schedule when to learn something or resources that they will turn back. We didn’t just didn’t listen to them, I was never a big fan of scheduling tasks, rather I prefer to note my tasks or goals and schedule my meetings. So for me, calendars are for meetings and notebooks are for tasks. We understand from a couple interviews that the problem is about sticking to the goal. We think weekly goals might solve this better than scheduling. We wanted to test our hypothesis so we take the real world. We asked some of our friends to use a calendar for scheduling tasks and some others to use notebooks for tasks and we did the same thing, ourselves. We found out, our friends and us followed notebook written goals much more than calendar scheduled goals. This is not the most academic and reliable experiment ever, but it helped us a lot.
I think there are three main outcomes of this non scalable approach. First we met with our customer in an unsustainable way, this was not the thing that will bring 1 million users. Second, this gave us the opportunity to interact with them 1-o-1 and find valuable insights. Third, we didn’t just listen to them, users are most likely to be bad at creating solutions. We listened to their problems. People want to go point A to B faster and a wagon with 100 hundred horses or faster horses are not the best solution, yet, as a solution, users will suggest those instead of cars.
If you are bored here is the summary!
Briefly you can find your first users by doing things that don’t scale, such as asking your friend or your friend’s friend, asking strangers in a cafe (Yeah it sounds weird, get over it!) and asking people on the forums or answering their question. The problem is not that the founders don’t know it. They know, you most likely know. It is a really intuitive way. Problem is most of us don’t believe how this unsustainable way can take-off our ideas.
I am very content to read this advice from Paul Graham’s essay. If you want to learn more about how to take of your ideas you can check a curated list of resources Y combinator resources from here.
I encourage you to do things that don’t scale!
You can reach me at: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Thank you for reading.
submitted by NoFunnyMan to Entrepreneurship [link] [comments]


2020.02.14 16:27 NoFunnyMan Finding Your First Customers

Hello guys,
I would like to share an approach that changed a lot of things on the road. That is "Doing things that don't scale", This is the learnings I made that helped me to find my first users and really helped to get a lot of insights. I hope it will be helpful for you as well.
for actual article: https://link.medium.com/FHshhbOF43
The ideas that takes off are most likely the ones that draw our attention after they get big. We tend to dismiss the first couple of miserable days of those ideas and founders. When you just start off with an idea and with a belief that it will change the world, it is hard to guess where to find first users. If you have an idea that will change the world there must be users somewhere who will beat a path to your door as promised, the chances are that’s not gonna happen.
We already accepted the idea of staying in someone’s house or moving around in someone’s car. Yet, we don’t know who were the first freaks on both sides of those transactions. It’s not true to call them freaks because they were basically us. It’s easier to see ourselves using this kind of solution when there are already several customers using it but they were like us. So, everything starts from finding that first user.
Most of the founders tend to think that first customers will come from big press releases or some sort of partnership with big names. Most of the time that’s not the case. The reality is you should recruit your customers manually in most cases. Founders think this can’t be the way how big scalable ideas started. This big Goliath’s around us can’t be a baby once, but they were. As a founder you should try to recruit users manually, this is how your idea takes off. How can you recruit users manually and how doing things that don’t scale essential for scaling? I’ll explain all of those but first let me explain, why do you have to recruit your users manually and it is a great idea?

Why doing things that don’t scale and five percent matters?

Besides that you don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing, creating perfect product and vision in early days (hint: probably your perfect product is not that perfect. Check IKEA Effect). You need to talk to your users to understand their pain points. Those pain points are kind of little golden nuggets for you to understand which features you need to implement and build on your product. I have seen most of my friends who want to build something and myself fall on to this trap of scalability; finding solutions in a scalable way. It was the dumbest mistake I have ever made and I made it more than once. In order to scale you need to talk to your customer, IMMEDIATELY! That means you need to do things that don’t scale in order to scale, like going to your peers to ask them to use your product, going around in forum sites to find people like you and emailing or calling them one by one. This is one of the most efficient ways to understand your users and find pain points of them. It’s like finding new friends or new topics. You can’t find a thousand friends in a glance. You should search for your users in an unsustainable way.
In that vein recruiting your customers manually helps you to understand the basics of your business. The good example would be DoorDash, in the early days of DoorDash the founders were the delivery drivers. They literally find the pain point by interviewing small restaurants then test their hypothesis with a really scrappy website which is created in less than a day. Being a delivery driver and fulfilling the order gave them an opportunity to talk to users and understand the basics of the business. This was an advantage for them because they were hacking the problems like “how to follow delivery drivers?”. They were using the Find My Friends app on Iphone. Those insights gave them the initial boost for how to design the system for delivery and all those other stuff.
So, what does five percent mean? That’s my second argument, according to the research conducted by University of Leeds, it takes five percent to influence a crowd’s direction.In other words, you only need to get 5 out of 100 people to move in a particular direction for the rest of the group to follow without knowing why. Thus, you need first followers for your movement, first initial customers to try out your product and if the 5% loves your product you’re in the right direction. Airbnb CEO Brian Checksy says that the best advice he ever got was to build something that 100 people love rather than 1 million people kind of like. That means you need much less people than you think to take off and you need fans not users.
This breakdowns at my third argument, Innovation of Diffusion Theory. According to the law of innovation of diffusion there are five types of adopters.
Innovators(%2,5), Early adopters(13,5%), Early Majority(34%), Late Majority(34%) and Laggards(16%). All of us stand at different points at various times on this scale. One might be an early adopter for social networks but a laggard for vacuum cleaners. Thus, we can take down the scale like this;
So the Law of Diffusion of Innovation tells us you need to make a tipping point around 13–15% to reach the mass market.
You need to get 5 out of 100(5%) people to love your product, those are your Innovators and Early adopters. You need to find them then iterate upon them. As you see you don’t need as many people as you think to make a mass market success you need just one follower to follow you, then 2 more, then 6 more, then 12 more, eventually 1 million more. Early days of Apple Steve Jobs and Wozniak only sold 50 system boards to a so-called hobby store, Bill Gates and Paul Allen were writing basics for only a few hobbyists.
In the early days, it’s not about how many people follow you but how passionate they follow!
But what does it take to get those first believers?

How to find your users?

I assume you understand why it’s a great idea to do things that don’t scale and the science behind it. We are impressed by the success stories such Amazon or Apple and we tend to tell their stories. We have this impulse that if we find “the great idea”, one and only, we can just conquer the world. Still, we tend to dismiss how unsustainable, unscalable and fragile things are common in early days of these success stories. Jeff Bezos, himself, driving to the post office to deliver books. Steve and his friends were building the main board at his garage with their hands. Doing things that don’t scale is very common around success stories and recruiting users manually is one of those. It is exactly how it sounds. You recruit manually, with hands.
If you’re building something that you’re the customer for you need to find your peers, if not, you need to find peers of that person you’re building for. This starts from searching one by one. What is our unsustainable approach? We are answering a lot of answers at Quora, Reddit and writing a lot of content at Indie Hackers, Medium, Reddit, Quora and more. You need to find your channel to write these contents. We approach one by one to those who are interested in. We send personalized emails to interview with them. We ask about their experience personally as founders.
Another approach we take is, we are creating something we are the customer for. So, we are just asking our friends. If they say yes, we are pushing them to use our product just there. We don’t give them any chance to blow us off.
These approaches gives us a more personalized relationship with our users, no other big firm can have this approach. This is a way for us to understand their problems more initially.
This approach is really basic yet I did not see this for a long time and there might be others that do not see the benefits of this. What can you lose? Just go out there and ask your friends first face-to- face. Then, your friends friends. Go to forums and find someone who wrote about this problem and shout out them, send an email. It’s a numbers game you need 5 out of 100.
So, what is the main benefit of just getting a really small amount of users? Is it worth it to find 5 users?

Is it worth it?

Although I explained in the “Why” section above, I would like to add a couple things.
We were finding people through forum sites and questions then sending them messages or answering their questions at comments. We were asking “What is the hardest part of this problem?” and “Why do you think this is hard?” kind of questions. They were telling us, they want to schedule when to learn something or resources that they will turn back. We didn’t just didn’t listen to them, I was never a big fan of scheduling tasks, rather I prefer to note my tasks or goals and schedule my meetings. So for me, calendars are for meetings and notebooks are for tasks. We understand from a couple interviews that the problem is about sticking to the goal. We think weekly goals might solve this better than scheduling. We wanted to test our hypothesis so we take the real world. We asked some of our friends to use a calendar for scheduling tasks and some others to use notebooks for tasks and we did the same thing, ourselves. We found out, our friends and us followed notebook written goals much more than calendar scheduled goals. This is not the most academic and reliable experiment ever, but it helped us a lot.
I think there are three main outcomes of this non scalable approach. First we met with our customer in an unsustainable way, this was not the thing that will bring 1 million users. Second, this gave us the opportunity to interact with them 1-o-1 and find valuable insights. Third, we didn’t just listen to them, users are most likely to be bad at creating solutions. We listened to their problems. People want to go point A to B faster and a wagon with 100 hundred horses or faster horses are not the best solution, yet, as a solution, users will suggest those instead of cars.

If you are bored here is the summary!

Briefly you can find your first users by doing things that don’t scale, such as asking your friend or your friend’s friend, asking strangers in a cafe (Yeah it sounds weird, get over it!) and asking people on the forums or answering their question. The problem is not that the founders don’t know it. They know, you most likely know. It is a really intuitive way. Problem is most of us don’t believe how this unsustainable way can take-off our ideas.
I am very content to read this advice from Paul Graham’s essay. If you want to learn more about how to take of your ideas you can check a curated list of resources Y combinator resources from here.
I encourage you to do things that don’t scale!
You can reach me at: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Thank you for reading.
submitted by NoFunnyMan to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]


2020.01.25 17:47 GrowthRocket DesignPac. Overcoming all the odds to build a $20k MRR digital marketplace.

At the end of 2019, we were fortunate to meet SumanJung, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of DesignPac. SumanJung’s road to entrepreneurship is one of the most motivating and emotional that we’ve heard since launching Growth Rocket.

SumanJung was raised in a remote Nepalese village by his grandparents. He grew up experiencing poverty and scarcity, in a non-English speaking country with very little access to technology. Despite these disadvantages, SumanJung was determined to succeed and raise himself out of poverty. A self-taught graphic designer, he’s overcome numerous obstacles to launch his marketplace providing digital services to clients all over the world.
What SumanJung has achieved with DesignPac is both sobering and incredibly motivational. That someone is able to start with so little, in a country where you can’t have a Paypal account or take international payments, and go on to achieve so much is the most infallible proof of what you can achieve if you pour your heart and soul into it.
With so much passion and determination, we're certain that SumanJung will continue to be successful.
Can you describe DesignPac in a single sentence?
DesignPac provides experienced and vetted web experts on low monthly or hourly rates.
How did you come up with the idea for DesignPac?
I never thought that I’d be where I am today. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in mouth. My grandparents raised me in a small village after my dad lost his job and our family’s financial state deteriorated. I spent my youth experiencing scarcity and with very limited resources. Those experiences gave me the determination in life to achieve everything I dreamed of when I was young.
I came to Kathmandu (the capital city of Nepal) for my higher study with the help of my mom, but I couldn’t make it. I dropped out of college and joined the army training school to fulfil my dream of becoming a British Army Gurkha, a well-reputed profession in Nepalese society. The British government has been recruiting Nepalese as Gurkha in their armed forces for more than 200 years. I still vividly remember the moment they rejected me and I returned to my home in tears. They later listed me as an unfit candidate so there was no chance of trying again. After this, I was left slightly broken because I’d dropped out of college and lost my chance at wearing the Ghurka uniform, a dream I’d had for so long.
At that time, my elder brother, Pujan, was searching for ways of making money online using his graphic design skills, and I decided to join him. In fact, I felt compelled to learn graphic design, and dedicated myself to this task.
My brother and I shared a single laptop which we’d borrowed from an uncle. My brother used it during the day, and I used it during the night. This arrangement has given me countless sleepless nights.
We discovered a few crowdsourcing sites such as DesginCrowd and 99designs along our journey. I also started taking part in design contests. It felt great to be learning and working at the same time.
After 9 months of rigorous learning and competing in the contests, in about June 2014, I finally succeeded in winning a business card design contest worth $90. This gave me a huge confidence boost as the client picked my design from 80 to 90 entries. After this, I never looked back, eventually completing projects for dozens of clients. I even worked remotely for the Swedish company, Stidner, as a Lead Designer. I started making very good money without having to leave the house.
I didn’t want to stop there. My brother and I realized that we were making money only when we worked. We wanted to find a way of making money while we slept. So we formed a company, Cinqsnipe Technology. Our aim was to provide IT Solutions both locally and internationally. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well. I’d jumped from working for clients to running my own business. I had literally zero knowledge of business because I’d had no experience of it, there weren’t any businesspeople in my family that I could learn from. We’d been running our agency for a year and it gave me mixed feelings. I was quite happy to be working for myself but disappointed because the business was not going as well as we’d hoped. I wanted find a more sustainable business model. In the latter part of 2016, a friend of mine suggested the idea of Unlimited Graphic Design for a monthly flat fee. I really liked the idea and decided to start working on it. Although I’d gained some experience, I was from being a business expert. I just tried to learn as much as I could along the way. I purchased a WordPress theme, bought a domain designpac.net and launched the site on the first of January, 2017. The site was very simple, just listing our offering, how it worked and the prices of our packages. We only had 4 or 5 competitors back then.
We didn’t have our own portal where our clients could login and manage their tasks so we used Trello instead. As our company was based in Nepal, we couldn’t access any global payment processors, so we had to invoice the client every month, requesting that they transfer the funds via Paypal. We couldn’t have our own Paypal account because it’s not supported in Nepal. I had to use a friend’s Paypal. He lived in another country, one where you can have a Paypal account, and had him transfer the funds via bank transfer. This complicated setup was incurring huge fess, and was far from ideal. The business was going well this time but being based in Nepal was causing problems and limiting our growth. I was desperately looking for someone who could help us with this problem.
Fortunately, one of our clients from US, The Sqwash showed an interest in acquiring part of our company. We discussed and finalized everything before signing an agreement in Delhi by meeting company representatives in person. The best part for us, was that we now had a registered company in the US too, which unlocked everything we needed to compete in the global market along with a reliable payment processor. By this time, there were lot more competitors in the market who were providing flat fee unlimited graphic design service. To enable us to keep growing, I deviated from just being design service only. I wanted to add development and digital marketing services too but in a subscription-based model to make the business predictable and sustainable. So we came up with our renting model - Rent dedicated web experts!
Can you tell us about how DesignPac went from an idea to a functioning business?
Building our productized service was a long process, but worth it so that everything was set and ready as I wanted. We had a team of designers, developers and marketers who were working for us. First of all, it took me a long time to plan and design the models. We could follow the same model for designers but the developers and digital marketers models became a bottleneck. It was very difficult to categorize and fix the prices. I wanted to make it easy to understand and easy to use. Finally, I came up with the idea of renting on a monthly and hourly basis.
While finalizing the pricing and plans, our technical team were busy developing our own dashboard where clients can create and manage their tasks. I wanted to emulate Trello because it has been such an amazing tool in assigning, commenting on and managing the projects we’d worked on already. We followed the same model of a Kanban board. The process of completing a task is broken down into 4 phases - Request, Result, Revision & Handover. The client can create a task and an expert will move it to Results Added section when he/she adds completed the task. If there is a revision to the task card, it will be moved to the Revisions column else it will be moved in to Handover column. Finally, the expert will provide the files in the requested format.
We used PHP Laravel for the back-end of the dashboard and integrated Stripe. It was quite difficult to integrate Stripe in the same platform when you are offering both subscriptions and normal products. Experts can also be rented on an hourly basis too, which is like purchasing a certain quantity of product. It took us nearly 6 months to go from scratch to live.
DesignPac launched in February 2019, how’s it going so far?
It may be too early to judge, but we are getting amazing responses from our customers and friends. We don’t have much of a profit margin because our prices are ridiculously low. However, we will use a different strategy when we reach certain milestones which will increase our profit margins. These days, almost every business is online these days which has created a vast market. When businesses have an online presence, they need someone who can maintain their online presence by managing their social media accounts or creating eye-catching graphics or fixing bugs in their website/app.
Many of the entrepreneurs we talk to find it difficult to win new customers. How have you been spreading the word about DesignPac?
Well, before launching the new service in February 2019, I was completely focused on learning result-oriented marketing tactics while the website and dashboard were being built. I’ve learned so much since I started the business back in 2014.
I used this knowledge to create a comprehensive marketing plan before we launched. I believe in the organic ideas of advertising with a B2B business model. I’m not planning to spend on paid advertising initially. We post articles regularly in our blog section and regularly update our social media. I am always experimenting with different organic ways, and some ones which are working and attracting customers so far are:
Reddit/ IndieHackers/ Quora: I am an active user on these platforms. I interact and talk with people who have just started their businesses and share knowledge/stories/achievements which also increases my business exposure. Be it clients or marketers or partners, I am finding many of them on these platforms.
Affiliate Marketing: This is the most effective method for B2B business. We’ve onboarded over half of our clients through affiliate marketers. We provide a 10% commission for each sign up.
Cold Emailing: I collect the email of companies which have job openings for designers/developers or marketers, and send a pitch email. I am not sure if this is really working yet, I’m still in a testing phase. We are also looking at starting a cold call campaign.
What advice have you got for anyone thinking of launching their own start-up?
Before starting out you must be clear on what you want to do and what you want to achieve. Once you are clear about it, nothing can stop you. Most people fail for not being clear on their dreams. And be prepared for unforeseen disasters. Figure out the worst-case scenarios that can happen with your business, and plan for it.
A clear visualization of the processes will really help you; the process of getting clients, on boarding them, marketing your business, etc. Before starting, make a comprehensive plan of everything. Don’t just make a roadmap of the business and the revenue prediction but plan to tackle the situation of negative revenue. Many people see only positive parts of running a business and don’t see the downsides. Spend time making plans before you start so that you can avoid getting tangled later.
Is there another entrepreneur that you find particularly inspiring?
Not specifically, but I do follow Elon Musk & Jack Ma. I think we can learn and be inspired from everyone.
submitted by GrowthRocket to EntrepreneurQ [link] [comments]


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