The Most Important Guide to Free Backlinks For Improved SEO Traffic Results

Table of Contents

[box type=”bio” id=”mindset”] This guide is my gift to you, the Do-It-Yourself  business owner and marketer who does great work and deserves to be found and win.

Before we go into the principles and mindset required to increase your SEO traffic, please note that this guide was created for the internal use of my agency. I’ve been running a successful SEO firm, headquartered in Austin, Texas since 2013 and currently use this for training purposes. [/box]

The Mindset For Improved SEO Traffic

There are several principles you must keep in mind if you want to be successful at link building which in turn leads to more traffic via increased search rankings.

Principle 1: The primary purpose of link building is to add value.

Link building is about reverse engineering a key indicator of high ranking websites, i.e., the linking references to a site.

Successful (traffic producing) and thorough pieces of content with large amounts of linking root domains (RD’s) all have one thing in common: they all add value to the end user/reader.

Principle 2: High-quality content is the key to a successful link building campaign.

However, the person who determines if content is valuable is not you, nor is it your client, boss, or readers.

The person granting the link (the “linkerati”) determines what gets linked to and the standards your content needs to meet in order to acquire such a reference to your work.

That means you have to do research to reverse engineer what the “linkerati” deems “high quality.”

Essentially, researching the link profiles of successful pieces of content gives the researcher an idea of what the “linkerati” deems worth of a referencing link.

Principle 3: You cannot cheat the system.

With a little research, you’ll soon see that the “linkerati” have very high standards in determining the worthiness of a particular content piece.

Do not try to bypass this initial process of determining what the “linkerati” deem as link worthy content.

If you do so, your link building efforts are certain to fail.

Why Most Campaigns Fail

There are only a few reasons link building campaigns fail.

      1. Your content is inferior.
      2. Your outreach process targeted the wrong people (we’ll get deeper into this later).
      3. Your first email was too “spammy.”
      4. Your content was irrelevant.

Note that the first is the most common reason why building traffic to a page fails. If your campaign to acquire referencing links flops, revisit above criteria to determine what went wrong.

Types of Link Building Campaigns

There are several types of link building campaigns that you can run. The most effective are:

      1. Competitive Link Building
      2. Resource Link Building
      3. Broken Link Building

Competitive Link Building is when you look at who is ranking well for keywords for which your site should be ranking. You then dig into your competitors’ link profiles to find who is linking to your competition. When you discover who that is, you reach out to them in the hope that they link to you as well.

Resource Link Building is when you find 100+ resource pages all about a particular topic, such as content marketing. You then reach out to each site owner with a resource page, pitching a link to your resource. A resource can be a blog post, app, guide, eBook, or any other piece of linkable, high-quality content.

Broken Link Building is when you encounter a page that should link to another page, but the destination page is no longer there. You then reach out to the site owner, providing an updated link as a replacement for the broken one.

Tools Needed for Link Building

First, here is the spreadsheet we use to keep track of everything throughout the link building process.

Tools for Discovering Link Quality:

      • SEMrush – $69.95/month – SEMrush gives you backlink data, keyword rankings and estimated traffic to a given domain. This information is incredibly important for link building because a quality link drives traffic. SEMrush is the only tool that gives an accurate picture of traffic potential.
      • Bulk SEMrush Checker – FREE – This resource allows you to dump multiple URLs to get data. Also, the paid version is extremely valuable.
      • MozBar – FREE – This browser extension helps you to understand the Domain Authority of a prospect. DA is scored on a range of 0-100, the highest being the best. It’s best to stay away from low DA websites because they won’t provide much ranking impact.
      • Bulk Domain Authority Checker – FREE – This tool allows you to dump up to 200 URLs and scrape their DA, PR, IP and more.
      • Majestic SEO – FREE – This browser extension helps you to analyze how many backlinks are pointing to a link prospect and also analyzes the quality of that link prospect.
      • SimilarWeb – FREE – This browser extension helps you understand the total amount of traffic flowing through a prospective domain.
      • Ahrefs – This is a backlink checker that includes amazing keyword research.

Tools for Finding Email Addresses:

Keyword Research

Keywords are crucial to any link building campaign. Keyword research uses Google to filter content with a high number of linking root domains (RD’s) pointing to it.

To build links, you are essentially going to find content with links, as well as ask people to link to your similar content. This strategy is effective because your research will tell you what content is successful.

Campaign #1: Competitive Link Building

When executing a competitive link building campaign, you must first determine the links your competitors have. You then create better content on the same topics and offer it to the people who already linked to your competitors.

Tactic #1: Use SEMrush to See How Your Competitors Rank

Once you are in your dashboard, you will see a search bar at the top, which is where you will enter either your site or your competitor’s site.

If your audience is outside the USA, you can choose to see data from other countries using the menu below.

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If you look a little bit lower, you will see a box titled “Organic Keywords.”

This box showing the organic keywords only shows the top 5 keywords. However, if you click on the “Full Report” button at the bottom, you will see the full list of keywords for which your competitor organically ranks.

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When you go through these keywords, save any pertaining to your business that have more than 500 monthly searches. Be sure the keywords are relevant to you.

SEMrush shows you the competition of the site you punched in, whether you put in your own site or one of your competitor’s.

You can see the competition by looking at the box in your dashboard titled “Competitors in organic search.”

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This tactic is the secret weapon to finding articles with linking root domains.

In addition to saving the keywords you want to rank for, you should also save as many relevant competitive websites as well. Relevant websites are those that are in your niche, have blogs about similar content, have the same audience, or sell the same or similar products. The reason you need to save these sites is because you can use any resource pages you find in the next two link building campaigns.

Tactic #2: Mine Top Blogs for Links

Top blogs are a gold mine. Go to Google, and one at a time, enter in top market defining keywords for your industry + “top blogs.”

For example, let’s say you are a photographer. You would search, “photography top blogs.”

You can also look for:

      • “Keyword + top blogs 2016”
      • “Keyword + top blogs 2015”
      • “Keyword + best blogs”
      • “Keyword + best blogs 2016”

You can come up with other variations for your search as well.

As you are searching, you will get results that are list posts.

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Take each blog from these lists and enter the websites into your spreadsheet.

Once you have 50+ websites, go to Moz’s Open Site Explorer (OSE). It’s a fantastic free backlink checker.

Start by entering just one of the top blog websites you found.

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On the far left you will see a tab called, “Top Pages.” Click on it.

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The Top Pages button will show you the most linked to pages on that website.

quicksprout.com 1In other words, these are the most popular pages with links. You can then enter the pages into SEMrush to check the keywords for which they are ranking.

Entering only a couple websites can sometimes yield hundreds of keywords.

Moreover, not only can you steal the keywords but you can also steal the links.

After you have searched for the top blogs in your niche, stay at the Top Pages tab. When you find an article on a specific topic with 30+ linking root domains, you can reach out to those webmasters for links.

Simply look right above the list of links. You will see a button to download all of the linking RD’s in a CSV. Click on the button and download it.

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From here, you will simply go through each site to determine whether or not you want a link from it. If so, you’ll find site owners’ email addresses and reach out to the site owners. See the Outreach section for information on how to do so.

Tactic #3: Leverage the Questions Your Readers Are Asking

The best keywords are the ones that come from your readers themselves. There are a couple of options at your disposal for finding readers’ keywords.

Option 1: FAQ Fox 

FAQ Fox is a handy little tool you can use to generate content or keyword ideas.

Based on the keyword you enter, FAQ Fox will scrape a list of threads on various forums and aggregators.

To start, enter a keyword in the first text box. Then you can either enter a forum (which might or might not work) or choose one of the pre-made categories of starter sites.

Once you click on one of the categories, the tool will automatically load URLs of relevant forums and subcategories. If you can’t find an appropriate category, choose “Generic.” Choosing “Generic” will search all the biggest sites, such as Reddit and Yahoo Answers.

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Once you click the search button, you will get a long list of thread titles and links relevant to your keyword.

From this list, you can start selecting keyword phrases and full questions that your audience has already asked in other places.

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For instance, from the results in the above image, I would write down:

      • which email marketing service should I use?
      • My gmail email is going to junk folders
      • What Video Marketing Platform Do Your Prefer?
      • how to get a job in advertising
      • Taking over a webmastering job
      • 21 Free Online Marketing Tools

All of these are potential keywords to target in future content.

Option 2: Search User-Generated Content Manually

Your other option besides FAQ Fox is to search for websites manually for user-generated content and reviews. Examples of such sites would include Amazon, Reddit, and Yelp. Any site where you might find a customer’s opinion about a product is a good place to look.

Tactic #4: Use Pinterest to Create Quality, Traffic-Driving Content

Many are not aware that Pinterest is able to deliver powerful results. In fact, Pinterest drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit combined.

Start by creating a free account. Once you are in, look for the search bar in the top left. Type in your keyword, and make sure you have ”All Pins” selected.

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When you see your results, each pin will display a number showing the amount of repins. A re-pin is like a retweet in Twitter or a share in Facebook.

This pin has a repin count of 5,600. The excessive amount of repins tells us that people really like “how to” tutorials in photography.

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The blue box in the image above shows the amount of repins.

Only save pins that have at least 500+ repins. You want a pin that you know people already like.

What you can now do is extract the top beginners or advanced tutorials from the article, list them in order of difficulty, and create an excellent top ten list of photography tutorials. You are thus creating a high-quality piece of content in only a few steps.

Tactic #5: Explore Reddit for Keywords

Reddit can be an incredible source of valuable information for all sorts of topics. Many have used the following technique to find advantageous keywords on Reddit.

You do not need to have prior experience with Reddit to implement this tactic, nor do you need to create an account.

When you go to the site, you will see a search bar near the top right side of the page.

reddit 1

If you wanted to create an article on SEO, you would start by typing “SEO” into the search bar. Your results would look like this.

reddit 2 

Next you need to narrow down your search. You will notice a little drop down menu titled “sorted by.” Click on it and select “top.” 

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Next, select the timeframe of the search. You want to be current with your results and not pull topics people aren’t talking about anymore.

Right next to the “sorted by” tab is a “links from” tab where you can select the timeframe of your search.

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After you have set the parameters for your search, look under the search bar, where you will see a lot of subreddits. A “subreddit” is basically a subcategory.

Click on SEO (or the subreddit of your choice) in the top left of the subreddits.

Choosing a subreddit will help narrow your search to give you relevant content.

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You will then use these results to get content ideas.

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It is possible to get many post ideas from only one search result.

Tactic #6: Search Keywords in Buzzsumo

You will notice that a consistent thread in the competitive link building strategy is using keywords to find successful content, in addition to evaluating the content’s links for the purpose of going after them yourself.

When using Buzzsumo, you are going to look for topics that are relevant to those of your blog or site.

Your first step is to create a free account. Then go to your dashboard, where to the left you will see a list of checkboxes. When you hit “search,” Buzzsumo will search your keyword or website through every type of media you have checked. A medium tail keyword is best because including two to three words makes your search more specific.

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In this example, the search parameter is set to look for articles published in the last six months.

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Buzzsumo will sort the articles by the amount of social shares to an article on platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.

For example, if you were in the makeup business, perhaps most of your customers would share a lot of content on Pinterest. If this were true, you would search a keyword in Buzzsumo for the most Pinterest shares.

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Once you get your results, the page should look something like this.

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These results provide a lot of successful content around one specific keyword. You now simply need to take all the articles that are relevant to you and your niche and run them through your backlink checker: Moz OSE, Ahrefs, or Majestic. You’re looking to see if the posts have 30+ linking RD’s.

Tactic #7: Competitors of Competitors

This tactic complements the strategy of leveraging top blogs.

Enter either a keyword or a competitor’s website into SEMrush.

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This time you are going to look at the competitors tab. You are going to take each of the competitors of your competitors and run them through the process outlined in Tactic #2 for when you put top blogs into Moz’s Open Site Explorer. That is, you will find said competitor’s top pages, find those who link to these top pages, and get referencing links from them.

Campaign #2: Resource Page Link Building

Resource link building is somewhat similar to broken link building. But instead of searching for broken links to replace, you will search for resource pages on which to be added. A resource page is any web page with a list of links designed to help people find something.

In the following section, all pink colored boxes in the images are meant to show examples of potential domains from which to get referencing links within the particular search. Some of the results might not have been boxed, but would still make good pages from which to acquire links. The highlighted portions are simply the few that we found quickly by looking at the page and seeing if the referencing links on those pages linked out to external domains.

For example, if you were trying to eat a vegan diet and wanted to collect vegan recipes, you might look for a resource page on that topic.

Vegan Recipe Resource Page

Use Google to Find Resource Pages

To look for resource pages, you simply need to run searches in Google. You can start by searching for your keyword plus the word “resources” or “links”:

      • Keyword + “resources”
      • Keyword + “links”

You can also add the words “helpful” or “useful” as extra modifiers before “resources” or “links.”

Vegan Recipe Helpful Resource Page

Because some people perceive that sites ending with “.edu” have more credibility, you can search for such sites by entering:

      • Site:.edu Keyword +“resources”
      • Site:.edu Keyword +“links”

Vegan Recipe Resource Page EDU

The same can be done for “.org” domains too.

To narrow your search by looking for your keyword in the titles or URLs of your results, do the following:

      • Keyword + inurl:resources
      • Keyword + intitle:resources
      • Keyword + inurl:links
      • Keyword + intitle:links

Vegan Recipe Resource Page inlink

More likely than not, your searches will turn up an overwhelming number of results. However, if you find that your search is too narrow, then you can look for results related to your keyword by using the ~ symbol.

      • ~keyword inurl:resources
      • ~keyword inurl:links

Vegan Recipe Resource Page symbol

Filter Your Results Based on Authority

Once you have gathered your results, you don’t want to waste time on resource pages that don’t have much Page Authority (PA) or Domain Authority (DA). Use the MozBar to tell you the PA and DA of each result and therefore whether or not it is worth your time.

To determine whether a resource page is worth getting, you should first look at your own PA/DA. Then pursue pages that are ranked slightly higher than your own site. As your own PA and DA grow, the authority of the pages you pursue should increase as well.

However, it benefits you to have a sprinkling of sites in all ranges, even the very lowest. A variety of sites helps your link profile appear more organic. If all your pages are ranked high, your link profile will appear contrived.

While it doesn’t hurt to have sites in the lowest range of 0-20, you should only pursue these resource pages if the site and page are pertinent to your topic. A good mid range is 21-35. Pages with authority levels above 36 have very strong authority.

Contacting Webmasters

Before contacting people about adding your link to a resource page, you should first be sure that your content is a good fit for the page. If you are pushing information that is irrelevant to a site, why would the webmaster want to accept it? At the end of the broken link building section, we’ll discuss in more detail how to determine which sites are most worth you pursuing them and which are not.

Keep in mind that part of your site might be relevant to a resource page, even if your home page isn’t. In that case, you should obviously suggest a link that is most relevant to the resource page on which you want to be listed.

When seeking to reach out the webmasters, many resource pages will actually have a place where you can contact someone about adding a resource.

Vegan Recipe Suggest Your Link

If a site doesn’t make it that easy for you, you will need do some investigation to find the page’s webmaster to email him or her.

A quick glance at the registrar data for a domain could be a great way to find a contact email for the person who registered the domain (who.godaddy.com):

Vegan Recipe Whois Contact Information

If you decide to email the owner, please remember that your email should be concise, polite, and not overbearing. See below for how to conduct your outreach.

Campaign #3: Broken Link Building

As noted earlier, broken link building is when you encounter a page that should link to another page, but no longer does so. You then reach out to the site owner, offering a replacement link.

Suggesting a compelling link as a replacement for a broken one is much more valuable than simply begging someone to give you links.

When you find a broken link on a page you want to get a link from, you have essentially struck gold. However, finding broken links can be extremely difficult.

This part of the process does take work. But the conversion rate you’ll get from BLB versus entreating someone to give you a link is worth the trouble.

The best way to find broken links is to look for them in the resource pages you discovered when implementing your competitive link building campaign.

For example, here’s a PR4 resource page found using the search string “gardening” + inurl:links.

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Note that simply asking for a link on that page would convert pretty well but that you could easily double or triple your conversion rate by pointing out a broken link or two.

The easiest way to find broken links on a page is to run the free Check My Links extension for Chrome.

As you can see, running Check My Links on that page returns a broken link:

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Clicking on that link leads to a 404 page pointing to a page that used to have

information about the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C.

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Repeat this step with all of the resource pages you encounter.

Tactic #2: OSE Top Pages

Another way to find broken links is with the Open Site Explorer feature that you used in Tactic #2 of your competitive link building campaign.

First, grab the homepage URL of a site you’d like to get a link from and pop it into OSE. Next, click on the “Top Pages” tab, which will sort the pages on that site by Page Authority.

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Finally, choose “4xx” from the dropdown menu, “HTTP Page Status.”

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You will then get a list of authoritative pages that are broken on that site.

For example, Inc.com has a PA72 404 page that used to contain links to the site’s marketing guides.

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Once you find a broken link like this one, find all of the pages that link to this page.

You can use Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs for this step. Enter the 404 page’s URL into the tool.

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You’ll then get a list of pages that link to the broken link you just found.

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Determining Which Links to Pursue (aka, Prospecting)

Deciding which links to go after can be tricky. There are two critical factors you should use to determine whether or not you want a link: site quality and relevancy.

Site Quality

When prospecting, you need to be fast. You can easily look deep into the link profile for data, but you must pay attention to the following core metrics:

      1. Date of published content
      2. Date of last updated piece of content
      3. Spam Score (from the Moz bar)
      4. Domain Authority (DA)
      5. Design of site

1. Date of published content

If you want a link that is too old, there is a good chance, 1) you won’t get the link because the site’s readers don’t even read it any more, and 2) it won’t be relevant to your current content.

Because of these reasons, if the content is more than 3 years old (4 max), don’t waste your time on it. Delete it and move on to the next link.

2. Date of last updated piece of content

If the site is not updating its content, something bad must have happened. It could be that the company failed. Its leaders might not know what they are doing with their content strategy or even their SEO. And if the company is in this situation, the link could be spammy.

If you come across a site whose most recent piece of content is 6 – 12 months old, seriously consider whether you need that link. If the most recent piece of content is more than 12 months old, delete that link.

3. Spam Score

When you turn on the Moz Bar in your browser, one of the metrics you will be able to see is the Moz Spam Score. You can break down the score into three ranges: 1 – 5 (good), 6 – 10 (mediocre), and 11 – 16 (extremely poor).

Don’t pursue a link with a spam score of 9 or higher. Those links are disavowed for a reason.

4. Domain Authority (DA)

The higher the DA, the more Google values a link from that domain.

You should send a template email to sites with a DA of 15 – 35. Sites with DA of 36 and higher get a customized email.

Sites with lower DA aren’t exactly that attractive because those websites tend to be newly created or non authoritative sites. However, you should always take the time to look at all niche-related websites because getting a referencing link from lower DA sites might be tougher over time if they have teams of real people behind them.

5. Design of site

Consider the following example as an illustration of the importance of design. A group of people was shown a sales page on a website with old and outdated design. Then the same group was shown a new and well-designed sales page.

Both pages had the same sales copy.

The people in the group were asked to make a purchase with their own credit cards from one of the sites. Almost 99% gave their money to the newly designed site.

When asked why they chose the site that they did, 94% said design was the biggest contributing factor.

Another incentive to think about the design of your site well is that some Google updates give brownie points to sites that take into account the user experience.

This is an example of bad content and site design.

This is an example of good content and site design.

Relevancy

Whether or not a site is relevant is of primary importance.

As noted earlier, if you are trying to get a link to your post and you reach out to someone whose content has nothing to do with yours, there is no reason for them to be interested in your offer.

There is a simple and easy way to gauge relevancy. Think of it as “niching up.” The farther away the niche is, the less relevant it will be.

Let’s say your content is about creating homemade organic granola.

If another site’s content is specifically about creating homemade organic granola, we would consider it to have an “A Level” relevancy. A Level content is ideal and the type of content you should be targeting.

If a site’s content is about organic recipes, it would have “B Level” relevancy. B Level relevancy is also desirable.

If a site’s content is about health food, we would consider it to have “C Level” relevancy. C Level is the lowest level of relevancy you should aim for, and sometimes you should not even pursue C level sites. You will have to evaluate for yourself whether or not it makes sense for you to pursue that content.

If a site’s content is about food, it has a “D Level” relevancy. Content of D Level relevancy is not worth your time.

If a site’s content is about the general topic of nutrition, it has “E Level” relevancy. Obviously, E Level is furthest away from your niche and therefore the content that is the most worthless to you.

In summary:

      • A Level Relevancy =  Exact match of topic-Great
      • B Level Relevancy =  Organic recipes-Good
      • C Level Relevancy =  Health Foods-Maybe
      • D Level Relevancy =  Food-No
      • E Level Relevancy =  General Topic of Nutrition-Definitely Not

After determining which links you are going to pursue, your next step is to reach out the sites’ webmasters.

Campaign #4: Google Alerts

Looking for a fresh new link-building tool to raise your brand awareness, increase relevant backlinks and leverage traffic (and maybe sales!) on your website?

Look no further than Google Alerts.

What are Google Alerts?

Awesome. That’s what they are – really awesome.

Google Alerts is a free service offered by Google. You simply type a word or phrase into the Google Alerts setup and each time that word or phrase appears online you get an email that includes a list of links where it was found.

Why are Google Alerts so awesome?

In the world of SEO, backlinks are super important – with relevant backlinks weighing in much more than non-relevant ones. Google Alerts opens up massive opportunities to find links that are relevant to your site, your content and your brand within a quick and easy to use process.

Simply put:

  1. The links are fresh so you know that the Webmaster has recently monitored the content or the query has recently been made – thus, they are more likely to respond or at least pay attention to your link request.
  2. Google indexed the links – the alerts picked them up after all. So you’ve got a comprehensive list of relevant links deemed worthy by Google itself.
  3. You can customize search results to find the most relevant links to your website or business. Filter queries by types of results, how often you receive them and the quality of results.
  4. It’s free! Yippee!

How to setup Google Alerts

The first step is to head over to Google Alerts. https://www.google.com/alerts

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Filter results to your purposes:

  • Search queries: What are the keywords or phrases you’ll search for – we’ll get to that later!
  • How often: Choose between “as it happens”, “at most once a day”, or “at most once a week”. We recommend the weekly option as well as setting up a specific inbox for the alert mails. This way, you can make searching through the queries a designated once per week activity and you won’t be interrupted or distracted by frequent mails.
  • Sources: Choose between “automatic” – which will gives you results from everywhere – or one or more of: “blogs”, “news”, “web”, “video”, “books”, “discussion” and “finance”. We recommend selecting “blogs” and “discussions” rather than “automatic”. Here, you will get up-to-date links to places where people are talking about your brand or relevant content – because you’re specifically looking to build backlinks.
  • Language and region: Totally dependent on your target market. Maybe you’re an e-commerce company selling Lederhosen (those famous traditional German leather pants men wear to festivals like Oktoberfest) – you’ll want the search queries to be from English and German sites. In addition, if you’re targeting a specific region, make sure to select that.

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Caption: Prost! (Cheers! in German – see you’re getting a language lesson out of this too today.)

  • How many: Choose between “only the best results” and “all results”. We recommend selecting just the best results – this will weed out the clutter and send you only links most relevant to your search terms.

How to choose search queries

There are countless strategies to use Google Alerts to capitalize on link building potential – here are a few options to get you started:

1. Monitor your brand

A good place to start is to find sites that are already mentioning your brand online. Even if your recognition it still really small, at some point someone will mention your name, and you can capitalize on this. Plus, if someone’s already talking about you or your site, chances are they would be willing to add some hypertext as well.

Some examples include:

  • Brand name
  • Domain name
  • URL
  • Brand name misspellings
  • Domain name misspellings
  • URL misspellings
  • Any short versions of you, your brand or your site

2. Relevant questions

Google Alerts provides you with fresh, relevant questions that people are asking about your niche. By monitoring the questions frequently, you can quickly jump in and provide your expert opinion – with a link back to your site. This is a great tool for driving traffic, building authority and loyal subscribers.

If you sell something (say, Lederhosen), examples include:

  • “Best lederhosen
  • “What is a good brand of lederhosen
  • “I need a pair of lederhosen
  • “Cheap lederhosen
  • “Where can I buy lederhosen online”
  • “What’s the best value lederhosen”
  • “Top lederhosen

Also think about problem queries such as:

  • “I need something to wear to Oktoberfest”
  • “What to wear to Oktoberfest”

You get the picture.

Set up as many alerts as you want with questions you think may be relevant to open up the maximum amount of link building possibilities.

3. Find new product giveaway opportunities

Some websites often offer giveaways to their readers. This is a great way to increase your brand awareness and get people excited about your product.

Some examples include:

  • “Product giveaway”
  • “Submit a product”
  • “Product reviews”

4. Find new guest post opportunities

Many blogs that accept guest posts have a designated page designed to tell potential writers to get in touch. If they say yes, you’ve got a new platform to spread awareness about your brand. Search for wording that fits these descriptions such as:

  • “Write for us”
  • “Bloggers wanted”
  • “Writers wanted”
  • “Submit a guest post”
  • “Become a contributor”

5. Monitor competitors

Stay up to date on what your competitors are up to. As well, if someone has linked to other brands in your market, maybe they would also be willing to link to you – especially if you’ve got a comparable or better product offering.

Query examples include:

  • Competitor brand name
  • Competitor domain name
  • Competitor URL
  • Competitor brand name misspellings
  • Competitor domain name misspellings
  • Competitor URL misspellings
  • Any short versions of you, your brand or your site

6. Monitor keywords related to your brand

Set up an alert so that each time a person or website starts talking about subjects that may be interesting to you, you’re the first to know. The end goal may be to contribute a guest post, or maybe get in touch with the writer of the site and let them know your company can provide resources or other information for their next article.

BONUS: Monitor site security

Though not specifically linked to link building (no pun intended), Google Alerts can also help you stay on top of hackers on your site. Use the alerts to monitor any suspicious activity, so you can take action before you’re penalized. Set up the alert by typing in your domain name then any potential keywords that the hacker may use.

For example site:mydomain.com casino OR dating OR insurance OR porn OR Viagra – you get the picture.

Keep thinking

Don’t just stop at our examples, Google Alerts allows for a limitless amount of link building opportunities. Play around with search queries to see which yield the best results. Okay, now lets dig into the details on how to reach out for link references with any of the above campaigns.

Outreach

First Build Rapport

Once you’ve gotten your list of webmasters you want to contact, you should dive in headfirst and start emailing them, right?

Wrong.

Most marketers try to tell you that all you need is to use an email template, and you’ll get numerous great results. But the more people who send email templates, the less effective that method will be.

You should instead try to connect with the people on your list before you send them a request to share or link to your content.

One option for building rapport with folks on your list is to leave comments on a few of their posts or social media updates. Don’t merely leave a generic “cool post” comment, but something more personal, like this:

“Hi [name],

Great article! I agree that sometimes it can be hard to eat healthy while working a full-time job. I like how you presented simple ideas that don’t require much effort!

Anything that allows me to work within my natural tendencies is great!

Which of these worked best for you?

Regards,
[your name]”

By writing a personal message, you illustrate that you took the time to read the post and pose a question. As a result, bloggers will be more likely to notice. When sending an email, they’ll remember you as a previous connection.

The more you implement this step with each person you’re trying to connect with, the better your results will be.

Choose a Strategy for Sending Your Emails

Now that you’ve got your list of connections and you’ve created some natural dialogue, it is time to start emailing. For this step, there are two tactics you can use. You can reach out before an article’s gone live (sort of like a heads up), or you can send influencers a message after your post has been published.

We’ll leave you to test these two methods to determine which is best for your particular situation.

However, out of the two options, we’d recommend sending emails after you’ve published a post (assuming you’ve built rapport beforehand). Why?

1. It’s less work for the person who will do the favor.

With this option, influencers don’t have to wait for you to post an article. They can check out your work now instead of later.

The truth is, most people are only excited about something in the moment. That’s why it’s good to find contacts who have already shared or linked to something in the first place. This principle is especially true when the sharing or linking happened recently.

2. You’ve already had the chance to get some comments or shares on your content.

Giving your content a bit more street cred means you don’t have to keep influencers waiting and that your post looks active.

Email Templates for Your 3 Campaigns

Doing this kind of email outreach isn’t easy, so here are some email templates to help you out.

This is an example of the type of email to send during your competitive link building campaign.

“Hi [name],

Just recently commented on an article you wrote. It was a great read on [x].

I especially liked the part where you said [x]. Also, I saw a post you shared about [the topic] from [blog name]. I thought it was a cool article as well! I found a lot of the ideas like [examples] to be helpful too.

In any case, wanted to get in touch with you because I’ve just published an article about the same topic.

Would it be alright to have you check it out?

Here’s the link:

[link]

Feel free to share the article if you find it to be valuable to your readers or followers.

Regards,
[your name]”

For your broken link building campaign, send the following email.

Hi [name],

I stumbled on your resource page on [x] today. Awesome work!

Just wanted to let you know that I found a few dead links:

URL #1

URL #2

Also, I actually just put the finishing touches on [your link].

It might make a nice addition to your page. Either way, keep up the great work you’re doing with [site].

Regards,

[your name]

Your outreach email for your resource page campaign is very similar to the one for your broken link building campaign.

Hi [name],

I stumbled on your resource page on [x] today. Awesome work!

Because of your expertise in this area, I thought you might be interested in checking out a post that I just put the finishing touches on. [Brief description of your topic and link]

It might make a nice addition to your page. Either way, keep up the great work you’re doing with [site].

Regards,

[your name]

Some Rules to Keep in Mind 

1. Don’t be pushy.

This is key to your outreach strategy. No one wants to be told what to do, especially if you’re asking for a favor.

2. Keep it short.

People—especially popular bloggers who sift through hundreds of emails weekly—are busy. Keep the email at five sentences ideally, ten at the most.

3. Don’t be stuffy, but be professional.

Give a little personality to your email, but don’t buy them a one-way ticket on your personal goofy train. Use their first name, be polite, and be confident.

4. Pay attention to timing.

Remember what time zone they are in. It is best to send them an email in the morning or at lunchtime so that it’s the first thing they see when they sit back down at their desks.

5. Follow up.

If you don’t get a response within a week or so, it could be a good idea to send a follow-up email, just in case they missed your first one. Don’t send more than one. If they don’t answer after two messages, they probably are not interested.

Get Found!

There are many practical tools you can use to simplify your link building campaigns. However, never forget that the key is to offer something of value to the people to whom you are reaching out.

Despite the amount of detail involved in explaining link building tactics, your strategies essentially boil down to recommending quality content to the right people in a personal way.  If you implement the principles outlined above, you will grow the amount of traffic on your site and increase your search exposure.

67 Email Outreach Scripts For More Blog Traffic

No joke.

This is, by far, the greatest strategy to get traffic to your blog posts.

It’s the strategy we’re using here at Inbound Mastery.

It will promote content, increase referencing links to your site, and build connections with awesome people. And you can implement this strategy without the need for a big following of your own.

At the heart of this approach is email outreach.

Email outreach is getting others to share, like, and/or link to your posts. You accomplish this by first building rapport and then requesting a share or link by email. Ideally, you want the people you’re emailing to be influencers in the niche you’re writing about because they have a following and you don’t.

Keep in mind that the process isn’t necessarily pain-free. You must do it correctly to get the results you’re looking for, and it will most likely be very time-consuming.

However, the outcome can be incredibly rewarding, providing additional channels for you to share your exciting, fresh content with new readers and potential followers.

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty?

Great! Let’s get started!

Step 1: Find the right bloggers and influencers for your content.

You might think that emailing hundreds of random bloggers will get you the perfect promotion prospects. However, the results could be similar to if you were trying to find a needle in a haystack: zip, nada, zilch.

So here’s the trick.

Go after folks who are already warmed up to the idea of sharing and linking to content. Find the social media butterflies who’ve already shared posts similar to what you want to promote. They are the most likely to be interested in your offer.

So how do you find these promotion partners? Content research. Here are some tools to help you out.

1. Ahrefs Site Explorer

One option is Ahrefs Site Explorer. With this tool, you can find blogs that have already linked to content similar to your own. Keep in mind, however, that for this service you have to pay a monthly fee starting at $99/month.

Or you can get an inexpensive Ahrefs report on Fiverr.

To begin, just type your topic into a Google search.

Easy Vegan Recipes Google Search

Choose a high-ranking site that has written about said topic, and insert the URL into the Site Explorer.

Ahrefs Search Example and Click Backlinks
Once you click on “Backlinks,” you will see a list of websites that have already linked to the post.

Ahrefs also allows you to create a spreadsheet, listing the people whom you want to target.

2. BuzzSumo

Another popular tool for content research is BuzzSumo, which offers a 14-day free trial. After that, the fee starts at $99/month, so take advantage of the free offer while it lasts! Also, you could always use Fiverr to get an inexpensive report.

On BuzzSumo, enter either the topic of your post or the URL of a similar, already published blog post. Let’s say you’ve written about “easy vegan recipes.” Type this phrase into the search bar and click “Search.” When the results appear, choose a link that is close to yours. Because in our example the content was about recipes, the second one here is perfect.

Enter Query into BuzzSumo Search box

Click on “View Sharers.”

View Sharers on BuzzSumo

“View Sharers” gives you a neat little list of all the people who shared this content.

Another benefit of BuzzSumo is that the stats also include the number of followers, the retweet ratio, and the reply ratio. With this information, you get a better idea of who is more likely to respond to you, and thus, who will be the most worthwhile to contact.

As with Ahrefs, you can create a spreadsheet list of all the people to whom you want to reach out.

3. Email Hunter

To get email information, instead of searching through each website, you can use a tool like Email Hunter.

For example, here is a result that has a lot of followers and a pretty good response rate.

BuzzSumo Results and Respond Rate

Simply put the domain into the search bar and click the button.

Email Hunter Email Search

Email Hunter ResultsContinue this step for all the people whom you want to contact. Keep in mind, the more people you reach out to, the better chance of successfully getting referencing links and shares.

4. Twitter

If you aren’t looking to dish out the dough for tools such as Ahrefs Site Explorer or BuzzSumo, don’t worry—Twitter has got you covered. Go to the Twitter Advanced Search. Type the topic in the “All of these words” bar and click “Search”.

Twitter Advance Search

You will get a list of the people who shared content related to your topic.

Twitter Advance Search Results

If you’re looking to search by post title to get results like we did in BuzzSumo, type the actual post title into the advanced search section of the Twitter search. Hit the “Search” button.

Twitter Advance Search by Topic or Title

Click on the “Live” tab to get the full list of all the people who shared the post. Your results will look something like this.

Twitter Search Results Live

You’ve got a comprehensive list ready for your promotional blog post outreach!

Step 2: Try to build rapport with the people you want to contact for the email outreach.

Now that you’ve got your list of potential contacts, you should dive in headfirst and start emailing, right?

Wrong.

Most marketers try to tell you that all you need is to use an email template, and you’ll get numerous great results! But the more people who send email templates, the less effective that method will be.

Instead of sending out soliciting emails, try to connect with the people on your list before you send them a request to share or link to your content.

One option for building rapport with folks on your list is to leave comments on a few of their posts or social media updates. Don’t merely leave a generic “cool post” comment, but something more personal, like this:

“Hi Michael,

 

Great article! I agree that sometimes it can be hard to eat healthy while working a full-time job. I like how you presented simple ideas that don’t require much effort!

 

Anything that allows me to work within my natural tendencies is great!

 

Which of these worked best for you?

 

Regards,
Suzi”

By writing a personal message, you illustrate that you took the time to read the post and pose a question. As a result, bloggers will be more likely to notice. When sending an email, they’ll remember you as a previous connection.

The more you implement this step with each person you’re trying to connect with, the better your results will be.

Step 3: It’s finally time for email outreach!

Now that you’ve got your list of connections and you’ve created some natural dialogue, it is time to start emailing. For this step, there are two tactics you can use. You can reach out before an article’s gone live (sort of like a heads up), or you can send influencers a message after your post has been published.

We’ll leave you to test these two methods to determine which is best for your particular situation.

However, out of the two options, we’d recommend sending emails after you’ve published a post (assuming you’ve built rapport beforehand). Why?

1. It’s less work for the person who will do the favor.

With this option, influencers don’t have to wait for you to post an article. They can check out your work now instead of later.

The truth is, most people are only excited about something in the moment. That’s why it’s good to find contacts who have already shared or linked to something in the first place. This principle is especially true when the sharing or linking happened recently.

2. You’ve already had the chance to get some comments or shares on your content.

Giving your content a bit more street cred means you don’t have to keep influencers waiting and that your post looks active.

Doing this kind of email outreach isn’t easy, so here is an example for you:

“Hi [name],

 

Just recently commented on an article you wrote. It was a great read on [x].

 

I especially liked the part where you said [x]. Also, I saw a post you shared about [the topic] from [blog name]. I thought it was a cool article as well! I found a lot of the ideas like [examples] to be helpful too.

 

In any case, wanted to get in touch with you because I’ve just published an article about the same topic.

 

Would it be alright to have you check it out?

Here’s the link:

[link]

 

Feel free to share the article if you find it to be valuable to your readers or followers.

 

Regards,
[your name]”

Some rules to keep in mind: 

1. Don’t be pushy.

This is key to your outreach strategy.

No one wants to be told what to do, especially if you’re asking for a favor.

2. Keep it short.

People—especially popular bloggers who sift through hundreds of emails weekly—are busy. Keep the email at five sentences ideally, ten at the most.

3. Mention what you’ve already done for them.

Try to include a sentence or two, usually at the beginning of the email, about what you’ve already done for them. It could be a comment, share, post, like, etc. Make sure you mention how you’ve helped them before you ask them to do something for you.

4. Don’t be stuffy, but be professional.

Give a little personality to your email, but don’t buy them a one-way ticket on your personal goofy train either (did I just do that to you there?). Use their first name, be polite, and be confident.

5. Pay attention to timing.

Remember what time zone they are in. It is best to send them an email in the morning or at lunchtime so that it’s the first thing they see when they sit back down at their desks.

6. Contact them on multiple channels.

Send them a quick tweet with a heads up that you’ll be sending out an email, or write a comment on a new Instagram post of theirs. Doing so might help them remember you and not disregard your email.

7. Follow up.

If you don’t get a response within a week or so, it could be a good idea to send a follow-up email, just in case they missed your first one. Don’t send more than one. It’s like a junior-high crush: if they don’t answer after two messages, they probably aren’t that into you.

Got some more questions about email campaigns? Want to share your success? Let us know here!

4

How To Create A Webinar That Produces $2000 An Hour

To be honest, the thought of hosting a webinar terrified me. I didn’t see myself as an authority figure, nor did I think I had a particularly nice voice, and I was convinced no one would listen to me.

But I did it anyways.

One motto that I live by in my life is: always follow fear. Whenever I have to make a choice, I would always choose the path I’m most afraid to walk down. Looking back, everything I told myself was not true; it was all fear in disguise.

As scared as I was, I ended up getting 69 registrants to my webinar, and made $1250 on my first one. After 6 months of optimizations, I doubled that figure.

This article is about how I did it.

Background

Back in 2013, I started a project management training business. I listed my personal cell phone number on the website, and whenever someone is interested in training, they would give me a call.

I usually spend about 30 minutes or so telling them about all the benefits of the course before they bought (and sometimes, they decided not to buy after that).

Every month, I would get around 5 students to my classes. It was a modest business; I made about $1,000 per month, but I was growing increasingly unhappy because I was spending so much time on getting customers that I would be making more working at McDonald’s.

There came a point last year when I seriously questioned why I was even running this business in the first place: all it was doing was making me unhappy.

I knew I had to either completely change the business model or close it down altogether.

Einstein once said “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.”

After a good friend of mine (you can check him out at www.michaelcarbone.ca) suggested that I start running webinars, I decided to give it a shot.

Webinar Announcement

Last November, I finally announced my first webinar to my tiny list of 246 people (side note: I’m actually a bit embarrassed to admit that it took me 2 years to grow to a list of 246 people).

Here’s what I wrote:

Hi there,

Are you looking to get PMP certified and want more information? Did you start start studying and quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of study material that you have to go through?

Join us on a free webinar where you will learn how you can get PMP certified in 6 weeks or less.

Additionally, you will learn:

  • What the changes on Jan. 11, 2016 are and what it means for you
  • The step-by-step process that you need to follow to get certified in 6 weeks or less
  • How to get free study guides and formula guides that will summarize the PMBOK for you
  • How to write your PMP application and pass a PMI audit
  • The 3 techniques that you can implement immediately to increase your test scores by up to 10%

… And much more.

The best part is that this training is free, and you can register here at www.examspm.com/free

Hope to see you in class!

Cheers,

Helena”  

This email got me my first 18 attendees (that’s 7.5% of my list).

“Alright, no backing out now,” I told myself.

Webinar Marketing

Over the next 2 weeks, I focussed on promoting the webinar and getting more sign ups through 4 main channels: Facebook ads, SEO, LinkedIn, and Kijiji.

Facebook ads

To create my Facebook ads, I take a screen capture of any Facebook ad that caught my attention for a few days and used it as inspiration when I wrote my own Facebook ad.

I used www.canva.com to design the picture of my ad for free. I would use a new image every week so that my audience doesn’t get bored at seeing the same thing. My cost-per-click (CPC) is around $0.40. 

The funny thing is that one day I got too lazy to create my own custom image so I opted for a standard stock image from Facebook, and my CPC went down to $0.20 per click.

I also installed Facebook Pixel onto my site so that Facebook can help me create a custom audience. At the beginning, I created a customer avatar, and matched my Facebook targeting to be the same.

Here’s an example of what my ads looked like:

Screen-Shot-2016-05-09-at-2.55.27-PM

SEO

I’m no SEO expert (you should hire Tony if you are looking for one though!), but I just followed the Skyscraper technique that Brian Dean came up with, and I did one Skyscrape before my webinar, which gave me 5 links.  

In a nutshell, you will look for posts that got a lot of links in your niche, and create something even better. Then, reach out to the people who have linked to the popular post, and ask them to link to your post as well.

If you want to read more about the Skyscraper technique, click here.

LinkedIn

Because my business is a professional service, LinkedIn was the best form of social media for me to reach out to my audience.

Since I was trying to sell project management training, I joined many project management related groups, and I involve myself in the discussions. I also add people in that group and send them a personal message. This is what I say:

Screen-Shot-2016-05-09-at-2.59.16-PM-1024x555

Although this technique is not scalable, it does bring in about 30% of attendees to my webinars at the moment.

Kijiji (the Canadian version of Craigslist)

I post several free ads on Kijiji a week before my webinar. I get quite a few sign ups this way because Kijiji ranks well for ‘project management certification’ and related terms in Canada.

Here is an example of my ad:

Screen-Shot-2016-05-09-at-3.02.10-PM-1024x661

A quick note: I didn’t use Google Adwords because it is simply too expensive for my industry: the CPC was +$5! I do plan to use it once I got my conversion process down packed. 

Email Schedule

I send out 8 emails per webinar. Here’s a breakdown of what they are and when I send them out:

Email #1: Announce webinar (send to the entire list a week before the webinar)

Email #2: 48 hour notice (send only to the attendees 2 days before the webinar)

Email #3: 24 hour notice (send only to the attendees 1 day before the webinar)

Email #4: 1 hour notice (send to all the attendees an hour before my webinar starts)

Email #5: Webinar replay link (send to all attendees an hour after the webinar ends)

Email #6: 24 hours left (send to all attendees 1 day after the webinars ends reminding them of the special offer)

Email #7: Last chance (send to all attendees 20 hours after the webinar ends telling them that the special offer will end in a few hours)

Email #8: Feedback (send to all attendees 3 days after your webinar ends asking them for their feedback on your webinar)

Presentation

There are three components to my webinar presentation: the introduction, the content, and the pitch:

Introduction

The introduction is about connecting with people. Establishing rapport early with your audience is important because people buy if they like you, and they decide whether they like you or not in the first few minutes.

I log into my webinar 10 minutes beforehand, and talk to the people who are already there.

I ask them where they are from, why they want to get their project management certification, and what they are struggling with.

I try to make everyone feel special by saying their names and thanking them for showing up.

Content

After the initial introductions, I move into my content. I spend 35-40 minutes teaching my audience about project management certifications.

I teach them about the exam qualifications, structure, and content. I give them a roadmap to get certified and some tips for passing the exam.

I try to provide as much value as possible to my audience. I aim to leave my audience with a “wow.”

If your audience enjoyed your free content, they will be more likely to buy your paid content.  

The Pitch

As you end the content, you need to transition into your pitch. This part in itself is an art form.

The main thing I learned was to not feel guilty/shy when selling.

Think of it this way: if you have a cure for cancer and you withheld this drug from a cancer patient because you feel guilty that they need to pay you money, you would be doing them a HUGE disservice.

You need to start thinking about your product in the exact same way.

Fundamentally, sales is about solving someone else’s problem.

If your product/service is THE solution they are looking for, then you would be doing both yourself and them a huge favour by telling them about it.

It is also important to add disappearing bonuses and discounts to your webinar. Give people an incentive to act now.

My disappearing bonuses were an application review, 2 ebooks, and a 1-on-1 session with me.

I gave my attendees 48 hours to join my training program before I closed enrollment.

Webinar Technology

Here’s a list of all the technology I use to host webinars (I will explain each one of them in detail):

Webinar web pages:

  • Leadpages OR
  • Thrive themes

Webinar hosting:

  • Google hangouts + Chatango OR
  • GoToWebinar
  • Webinar Ninja

Payment gateway:

  • Get DPD
  • SamCart
  • Stripe
  • Paypal

Webinar web pages

To host a webinar, you need to add three pages to your website: a registration page, a thank you page, and a webinar page.

You can get all three pages done in a few hours – Leadpages have templates for all three pages that you need.

I don’t use Leadpages for my webinars simply because it’s too expensive ($49/month).

I bought Thrive themes instead ($150/year), and with a few customizations, it does everything that Leadpages can do.

If you are not good with technology, wpcurve.com can assist you with the creation and implementation of these pages. I’ve used them in the past and they are quite reliable.

The registration page is where your attendee will give you their name and email, and after they signed up, they will be redirected to your thank-you page.

I always recommend having some share buttons on your thank-you page because you may get a few more attendees if some of your existing attendees share your webinar URL.

Below is a screenshot of what my registration and thank you page looks like:

Screen-Shot-2016-05-09-at-3.06.36-PM-711x1024

Webinar hosting

For my first webinar, I used gotowebinar.com and I’ve used Google Hangouts for every webinar after that.

Here’s a list of reasons as to why you should use Google Hangout over any other webinar software out there:

  • Google hangouts is free
  • You can embed the video right into your webinar page
  • It automatically converts the webinar into a youtube video for you afterwards (when I did this on gotowebinar, it would take around 30 minutes depending on my internet speed).
  • You can have your “buy now” button right on your Google hangout page (if you use gotowebinar, your attendees have to download a software, watch your presentation within that software, and you have to redirect them to your checkout page)

Leadpages have a webinar template that is very simple to use, and it can embed a Google Hangout with a few clicks.

Here’s a screenshot of what my webinar page looked like:

Screen-Shot-2016-05-09-at-3.08.00-PM-1024x544

Payment gateway

To process orders coming from my webinar, I used www.getdpd.com. This software creates beautiful checkout pages that looks professional. It costs $10/month. 

It also allows me to combine stripe (credit card processing) and paypal on one page. It’s great!

Another alternative is SamCart.com. It costs $99/month, but it gives you a lot more customization options.

A Word of Caution: For the next 3 webinars, I made $0.

After my first webinar, I got greedy.

My ego told me that $1000 was simply not enough.

It would say to me, “Look at person so-and-so who makes 5 figures every webinar! You are not making enough, doing enough… and just not enough in general.”

Instead of celebrating my success, I completely sabotaged it.

For my next 3 webinars, I completely changed the offer, increased the price, and offered 3 different packages.

I watched the free webinar training course from an internet marketing guru, where she advocated the use of automated webinar.

I thought to myself, “hey, if I can do a presentation once and keep making money from it even when I’m sleeping, I’m in!”

For my next webinar, I tried to make it an evergreen webinar and a live webinar all in one so that I can re-use it.  

After that webinar, I sent part of my registrants to the recording and part of them to the thank-you page for the next live webinar.

Additionally, I hired a funnel analysis consulting firm who recommended that I add 3 price points to the course in order to maximize the amount each student spends.

Instead of sending the students right to the checkout page, they advised me to send them to a sales page where the student can read more about the course before making an investment.

Yes, it was all very confusing.

And the sales came to a complete halt. Everything just fell apart in pieces.

I changed everything and became completely unrecognizable to my initial audience.

It hurt like hell at the time, but in retrospect, I deserved to make $0 sales.

It was a tough to swallow, but the patient needed the medicine.

After the success of my first webinar, I knew that this thing works, but I just didn’t know how to find my center again.

In my desperation, I reached out to Mike again, and he so graciously agreed to take a look at my webinar and tell me what I needed to fix… starting with firing the consulting firm.

Back to Basics

He told me that my presentation and offer were both confusing: during parts of my presentation, I started talking about how I lost weight and ran a marathon, which was completely unrelated to project management.

I was also so nervous during my pitch that I said “sorry about that” every 2 seconds.

Combined with the 3 confusing offers, it’s no wonder why no one bought.

And that’s when I got my ‘ah-ha’ moment.

I finally realized that webinars are a tool, but it is still YOU who is making the sale.

People, myself included, tend to have the misconception that if you simply host a webinar, the money will follow. That’s the same as saying if I have a website, I will have sales.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it is true?

It’s NOT the act of hosting webinars that get you the sale – It’s how you engage with your audience and sell your product during your webinar that gets you the sale!

On a webinar, you still need to have a great product and an amazing offer. People will not simply by because you are hosting a webinar and they are in it.

This lesson may sound simple, but it costed me a few thousand dollars to learn.  

So for my fifth webinar, I went back to basics. Square one.

I tossed all the fancy automated webinar and funnel optimization stuff out the window.

All I focussed on was connecting with my audience and offering them a real solution to their problem.

I went back to doing the exact same thing that I did on my first webinar, and the sales came back.

I had 87 people registered on this webinar, and I made sales of $1000.

I was ecstatic because I found my center again.

Now I have a repeatable process that makes $1-2k monthly.

I know my numbers are not a jaw-dropping WOW, but they are realistic numbers that you too can expect to hit.

 

Scaling from $1000 – $2000 – How I Doubled my Webinar Conversions “Overnight”

Steve Jobs was right: if you look closely enough, overnight successes took years.

Although the changes I’m about to share with you took me less than a day implement and doubled my business, they took me 6 months to figure out and truly understand.

When I was just about to settle and be happy with my 3% conversion rate, I discovered a powerful change that more than doubled my conversion rate to 7%.

What helped me double my webinar conversions was NOT spending more on advertising, doing more SEO, A/B testing my landing pages, writing better copy, or any of the traditional advice you may have seen or heard.

All that changed between my old webinars and my new webinars was… my authenticity.

I know this may sound a bit wishy washy, but hear me out.

If you’ve read this far into this article, you already know that it took me a while to learn how to pitch (I did 3 webinars with $0 in sales).

After I learned how to structure my presentation and pitch, I probably got a bit too salesy. I tried to be confident (or at least appear confident) and bluff when in fact I felt a deep sense of insecurity.

Truth is, my audience probably picked up on that vibe.

 

The One Question that Changed Everything

I don’t quite recall how I got the idea, but one day, I just decided I was no longer going to be salesy anymore.

My sales coach told me to put in stories to make people feel something. Afterall, people buy based on emotions and not logic, right?

I followed this advice and threw in motivational stories into my webinar that didn’t quite fit or teach my audience much.

One day, I just decided to get rid of all these stories that were there to get people to “feel” something, but didn’t add much value.

I decided to redesign my content. The way I decided whether the content was going to stay or go was by asking myself this one question:

“If I had only 1 hour to teach my best friend everything I know about the PMP certification, what would I say?”

You can use this guiding question to determine what you would put into your own webinars.

Here it is again, slightly modified:

“If I only had 1 hour to teach my best friend everything I know about [insert topic], what would I say?”

The importance of this question is that it shifts your mentality.

Rather than seeing your audience as a bunch of numbers that you want to convert, you being to see them as your best friend that you are genuinely trying to help. All you want to do is see them succeed, whether or not they buy from you becomes secondary.

When I adopted this mindset, miracles happened.

All of a sudden, i was living out my wildest dreams. I was making an income online. I did not have to go back to corporate.

The irony of this story is that the moment I stopped being salesy is the moment I started to sell.

The moment I stopped trying to get them to feel something was the moment they felt I had a great course to offer.

The moment I cut out all the b/s touchy feely stories and gave people the “real talk” was the moment they started trusting me as an authority and bought from me.

Instead of spending 6 months to learn the lesson I’m sharing with you hear, learn from my “mistakes.”

Give away your best content during your webinar. Go in with the mindset that you want to help as many people as possible. Don’t hold back. When you deliver value upfront, you audience will respond. The law of reciprocity works, and it works everytime for every person.

But whatever you do… as scary as it may be… just take the next step because I promise the rewards are worth it.

If you haven’t done so, download my email swipe files and start hosting your own high converting webinars.

What I learned

Through this journey, I learned 3 important lessons about life:

  1. You grow by doing something that scares you. Talking to a group of strangers over the internet terrified me, but I did it anyways. Now, it’s a routine.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is what sabotaged my success after my first webinar. I told myself since I didn’t make as much as so-and-so on my webinars, I wasn’t doing well enough.
  3. Don’t focus on sales. Yes, I know sales is important, but sales is the result of providing value. Focus on the customer, and the money will follow.  

I am happier now with my business more than ever before because instead of spending 30 minutes talking to a potential customer whenever they choose to call, I now spend an hour or two a month hosting a webinar and I make the same amount of money.

Getting to this place took SIX month. Learning to host webinar is a skill, and it won’t come overnight.

Another benefit of hosting webinars for me was list growth. You may remember that I started off with a list of 246 people that I built over 2 years (super embarrassing!)

Since I started hosting webinars 3 months ago, I’ve quadrupled that list to 1350 people.

All this to say, hosting webinars is a great way to connect with your audience, grow your list, and make sales. It is also a skill that you can learn and master.

It is simple… but it not easy.

Finally, if you are curious what my webinar presentation looks like, you can join the next one at http://www.examspm.com/free

To your success!

 

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