My Recipe for Success: How to Launch a Successful Blog

Posted by MatthewBarby

Five months ago, I decided (at long last) that I was going to start up my own food blog (
Pescetarian Kitchen). Both my partner, Laura, and I had wanted to do this for some time, as we’re real foodies, so we started to do a little research into the practicalities of it.

One of the other motivations for starting our blog, outside of our love for food, was the fact that we’re both pescetarians (i.e. we follow a vegetarian diet, plus eat seafood). Now, when it comes to finding specialist pescetarian blogs, the results are pretty limited. I mean, I could count them on two hands…

That got us thinking… Why don’t we become
THE pescetarian blog? There’s a huge demand for it, with up to 40% of the US population eating “flexitarian” meals (any form of vegetarianism) at some point each week. This growing statistic is also reflected in monthly searches within Google:

The term
pescetarian is searched for around 40,500 times every month. This alone was an encouraging stat for me, because it doesn’t even take into account all of the recipe-specific search terms that could be targeted (e.g. prawn linguine recipe).

So, five months on, where are we? Well, I’m particularly happy with the results so far, and this is why I wanted to outline the approach that I’ve taken from a content, social, and SEO perspective to get results.

On the topic of results, here’s where we’re at right now:

  • Page 1 rankings in Google for the terms pescetarian, pescetarian blog, pescetarian recipes and pescetarian meals. Go ahead, Google it if you don’t believe me ;)
  • 4,700+ followers on our Facebook page
  • The average engagement on one of our Facebook posts will often result in around 100 likes, 5-15 comments, 20-50 shares and 100-300 clicks through to the website
  • 850+ Twitter followers
  • 500+ Pinterest followers
  • 550 double opt-in email subscribers
  • 30,000+ unique visits to the blog
  • 15,000+ unique visits coming from social media traffic alone
  • 65,000+ backlinks

As you can see, we’ve made a good start, but there’s a long way to go yet. It’s worth noting at this point that we haven’t really done much outbound link building work (the majority is organic) and we have spent no more than £100/5 each month on promotion.

Although it’s early in our campaign, I’m going to share how we’ve achieved what we have so far and give you as much actionable information as to how you can go out and replicate the early success that we’ve had. This will include the exact strategies that I’ve implemented, the tools that I’ve used and any tips for accelerating growth.

Phase 1: Analysis

The first step that I take in any new campaign, be it personal or for a client, is a full competitive analysis. This includes:

  • Insight into the types of content being produced by my competitors
  • The marketing techniques that are bringing them success
  • A breakdown of the social landscape, including the types of content being shared as well as the people who are engaging with it
  • Competitive SEO analysis, looking at competitors and general opportunities

Content analysis

The first and most important part of the analysis is looking at the content that is currently being produced within the niche. All of the promotion channels are secondary to this.

For my food blog I started with a simple Google search to find some of the most popular blogs within the niche. From there I went in and gathered the following details:

  • The name of the website
  • The frequency of content being published
  • The general themes of the content (e.g. recipes, how-tos, diet advice, etc.)
  • All of their social media profile URLs
  • I subscribed to their email newsletter to see how frequently they mailed out and what they were sending
  • Traffic level estimates using SimilarWeb and SEMrush
  • Insights into the length of their content, the format of the content, and social shares using URL Profiler. You can also use BuzzSumo for this by searching with the competitor’s domain name

From these core pieces of data I was able to drill down into what was working for each of my competitors, the types of content that I should be looking at producing, and some of the channels where I needed to invest most of my time.

The key takeaway from my analysis was that visual content was the key. Good photography is one of the biggest determinants of success within the food niche. Unfortunately for me, I’m a novice photographer, and only had an iPhone to use.

I’ve contemplated showing you some of my early attempts at taking photographs of our recipes, but they’re actually so terrible that I’m too embarrassed to! What I will share is the fact that you don’t need to be a professional to pull this kind of thing off.

Instead of spending a ton of money on loads of expensive photography kit, I did something that is very logical but, more often than not, overlooked. I asked for help.

I got in touch with a few food bloggers and asked them what they did when they first started out. This simple and optimistic email outreach resulted in an incredible response from Kiersten Frase of
Oh My Veggies. Kiersten outlined her exact method for taking great photos with just an iPhone and a few cheap bits of equipment (it cost me around £20/ in total). Here’s a link to an article she shared with me that talks all about this – I’m sure it will be of use to a number of you.

After this I worked on perfecting my photography (as best I could) so that our content would be able to compete with the competition and build a solid image around our brand. Here’s a recent shot I took:

The image of our blog is everything. The visuals are the window into the rest of the content. Without them looking great, everything else would be overlooked. Being overlooked is
not what we wanted, so we made sure we invested time into getting everything right before ever hitting publish.

I’ve spent countless hours simply looking at the way that our competitors were composing images and how they would use them across social media. I firmly believe that this has been one of the deciding factors in the initial success of our content.

Channel analysis

Before we went off and set up a Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, SlideShare, StumbleUpon, Myspace and LinkedIn page for our blog, we needed to decide
which channels were right for us. More importantly, we needed to decide which channels would provide the best route to our target audience.

Considering the visual nature of our content, it made sense to drill down on social channels that would really make the most of showing off what we have. Similarly, the main goal was traffic generation, so we wanted to be able to bring a pull-through of relevant people to our blog.

Immediately we were able to ditch some social networks from our list of potential channels, including LinkedIn, Myspace, SoundCloud, etc.

We also made the decision that we weren’t going to produce any video content at this stage (mainly due to resources), so YouTube was ruled out (for now). This gave us an initial list of:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google+

Now came the issue of our time. Although we wanted to get as much exposure as possible, it’s not always realistic to start building communities in every channel that you can – it can often have a detrimental effect because you’re not able to put enough time into each platform and your content becomes very disparate.

So… we mapped out the time that we could dedicate towards our social media activities. This was a simple process that took into account the following:

  • Time needed to create a content roadmap across each platform.
  • Resource needed to produce any platform-specific content on each platform (e.g. resized images, custom tracking links, post descriptions, etc.).
  • Any extra equipment/software that would need to be purchased or any extra skills developed.

Once we had some estimates for each channel, we could then compare this to the total opportunity for each. Now, this isn’t always an easy thing to calculate, but platforms that have an advertising program will often help to identify some rough audience volumes.

For example, within Facebook we did a search for anyone who
liked pages related to pescetarianism/vegetarianism…

As you can see from the screenshot above, there are over 6 million people interested in the topics within the UK and the US alone. That’s a good starting point.

You can do a similar exercise within StumbleUpon and Twitter.

Once I had these stats, I then took the figures from my initial competitive analysis to see the audience sizes of relevant (and bigger) blogs for each channel. Here’s how it was broken down:

The big takeaway here was that Facebook was
THE platform for growing a large community of followers. Alongside this, Pinterest and Instagram were a close second, with Twitter coming in third.

Unsurprisingly, the social platforms that are very image-led seemed to be the places where the majority of our target audience were consuming content. Off the back of this research we decided to focus primarily on the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

We decided to go with Pinterest instead of Instagram because of the fact that they are very similar and we didn’t have a huge amount of extra time to work on both (so it made sense to choose one or the other). There was also the fact that Pinterest works particularly well for traffic generation, which is one of our primary objectives.

SEO & traffic analysis

The third and final part of our analysis was to look into the websites that were linking to our competitors, the keywords that we could potentially target for ranking within the search engines, and the websites that were driving through large volumes of traffic to our competitors.

Competitive link analysis

I’m not going to go into all the details of performing a competitive link analysis because this topic has been covered hundreds of times. If you want to get a little more information then you can
view this article, this one or this one.

Here’s a comparison that I ran through Open Site Explorer:

In a nutshell, this told us that the majority of these websites were very well established and were getting large volumes of linking root domains through to their website. But then, I expected this to be the case.

What I was more interested in was
who it was that was linking to the competition, and also how they were linking.

What I found was that some of the best links that all of my competition had were coming from BuzzFeed. This came in the form of recipe mentions within list posts. In fact, the majority of their links were coming through to deeper pages on their websites – primarily pages with recipes on them. This was a key insight because it was clear that we needed to spend a lot of time ensuring that our recipes were as
linkable as possible.

Keyword research

As with competitive link research, keyword research has been covered LOADS. In fact, I produced an almost hour-long tutorial on running keyword research for blogs, so you can check out the full video below:

The main finding from our keyword research was that there was a ton of interest around search terms related to pescetarianism (as I mentioned above) with fairly low competition around them – perfect.

Not only that, but there are thousands of potential long tail keywords that can be targeted around specific recipe ideas. This bodes well for developing consistent growth in organic search traffic.

Traffic analysis

To tie together the competitive link analysis, social media analysis and the keyword research, I wanted to have a look into the major traffic sources to my competitors’ websites.

There are a number of tools that you can use for this, some paid and some free. The first tool that I love to use is
SimilarWeb. By plugging one of my competitor’s websites into SimilarWeb I will get a breakdown of their top referring websites.

Now, one thing to bear in mind here is that you need to take these figures as estimates. They’re pretty close but they’re not spot-on. Here’s a snapshot from a couple of my competitors:

Here’s another one:

No surprises that BuzzFeed was the top traffic source for each of these websites. From this simple analysis I was able to find a whole host of websites and communities that I could start tapping into to drive through traffic to our blog. Here’s a small list of some of the top targets:

As well as using SimilarWeb, I took a lot at the keywords that were bringing through the most traffic from the search engines to my competitors’ websites. I did this with
SEMrush. Here’s a snapshot of some of the terms specifically related to pescetarianism:

Again, all of this data is used so that we could map out some content to start competing for similar terms.

Phase 2: Where the hard work begins

Getting the branding right across the site was something that took a lot of time. I wanted to make sure that it was well thought out, related to our target audience and used all of the research that we’d carried out to make informed decisions.

At the same time, I didn’t want it to cost a fortune. This was the same case for all of the assets we needed to go along with it. For example:

  • The website design and development
  • The blog logo
  • Social media profile artwork
  • Banners for advertising

These are just a few things we needed to consider, with more to follow over the coming months. Ideally, the website that we’ve created has been built to last at least 1-1.5 years so we needed to get it right.

I know it can be tough to know where to start with these kinds of things, especially if you’re on a tight budget and have had little experience in running anything similar before. With that in mind, I’m going to share a number of different tools and services that I used (or have used before) to get various brand assets in place…

Awesome tools/services

Branding

Adobe Kuler – before you start diving into your web design and development, you need to get an idea of the colour palette of your brand. Adobe Kuler is always my first port of call, plus it’s free.

Mural.ly – this is a pretty smart platform that allows you to map out your ideas in a manageable workflow. It’s a paid tool but the entry level package is only . I’ve used Mural.ly to map out all the different things I want my brand to encompass, who my target market is, the channels I’ll be using, etc. and it works really well.

Dribbble – if you’re looking for some creative inspiration then Dribbble is the perfect starting point to look at some cool designs, brands and campaigns. Always good to get the creative juices flowing!

Google Consumer Barometer – this is a seriously awesome resource for getting deeper insights into the online behaviour of your target audience. Using some of the data within Consumer Barometer, you can start shaping the perception and story of your brand.

99designs – an amazing marketplace where you can get all kinds of creative work done for as little as . This can include logos, banners, print work, etc.

WiseStamp – create custom email signatures that can also pull in links from your social profiles, the recent posts from your blog, your latest tweets and much more.

48hourslogo.com – here’s another amazing design marketplace. We actually got the Pescetarian Kitchen logo designed here for 0 and the results were amazing. You can check out the design page here: http://www.48hourslogo.com/project.php?id=29142

crowdSPRING – logo design and graphic design marketplace.

Swiftly – small design jobs from just . This is great to get little bits of your brand artwork created or tweaked.

Impossibility! – a fantastic domain name generator that will help you to decide on the perfect fit for your domain name. We started using this tool for our blog as we needed to have the term pescetarian within it. We finally decided on going with one of the new .kitchen TLDs that were made available.

Development

Balsamiq – a great wire-framing tool that you can use to map out how you want your new site to look.

Theme Forest – if you’re not very code savvy, you may want to look at using a premade website template. You can customise these themes with your own imagery and Theme Forest is a huge marketplace to find the right one.

IM Creator – if you’d prefer to use a much simpler interface without having to know anything about development or code, you can use IM Creator to create a website within their easy-to-use interface.

oDesk – if you haven’t heard of oDesk before then you should check it out. It’s a great place to hire freelancers to get bits of development work, design work or any other kind of work done. I use oDesk all the time but you just need to make sure that you’re taking the time to interview the freelancers you work with.

Build Fire – this can follow on from your website development project as you can create your own mobile apps with Build Fire’s platform. The beauty of it is that you can have a HTML5 app for free (no strings attached) and you can also get iOS and Android apps for just a month. They could be a nice extension to your website (it’s something that me and Laura are looking at right now).

Traffic generation

Once we’d got the website developed along with the logos and imagery, it was time to start focusing on the traffic generation side of things. I’ll break this down into some of the different channels that we focused on and then go into detail on the specific activities that we carried out to get results.

SEO

As far as long-term traffic generation strategies go, SEO is top of the list for us. As I mentioned in the analysis in phase 1, we carried out extensive research into which terms our competitors were ranking well for, as well as some potential keyword opportunities that we could target. After this it was time to align this to our content strategy.

Schema.org markup

Before we started planning out specific content ideas, we set a few things up within the blog to ensure that our site was optimised as well as it could be. The first was to implement
Schema.org markup.

Schema.org markup is particularly useful for food blogs as it enables you to mark up specific webpages that contain recipes in order to display them differently within the search engines.

In the image above it shows the search engine snippet for one of our recipes. It has an image of the dish, the total cooking time, the number of calories within it and then the usual title/description.

When compared to a lot of the other competing results, it’s clear that our SERP snippet is much more
clickable:

The best part of this was that we didn’t have to do any coding at all (or even know how to code this up). Instead, we used a simple free WordPress plugin called
ZipList that allows us to enter in a few extra details to our WordPress posts and it will add all the necessary Schema.org markup that can enable Google to display a custom SERP snippet.

Page structure

Aside from Schema.org markup, we also set up
Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. The main reason for this is that it’s completely awesome! It allows you to manage your URLs, sitemaps, meta data and tons more. It’s worth having a read of this post on different on-page SEO factors and then working your way through them with the help of Yoast’s plugin.

Content

The majority of our link acquisition strategy is geared around a more organic,
earned approach. We’re focusing on developing great content (in the form of recipes, primarily) that others will share and link to. This obviously has some level of manufacturing to it in order to gain traction, but our ethos is to focus on content first, links second.

With this in mind, our content has to be right.

To begin with, we gathered a huge list of potential keywords that were food/recipe orientated. From there we mapped them out into a huge spreadsheet and identified the keyword competitiveness score for each (
Moz metric), along with the total monthly search volume. From here we could start creating a list of topics to write about (i.e. different recipes we would cook up) and then marry them up perfectly to our target keyword.

It takes time to start ranking for a wide spread of keywords like this but getting content together for each of your target terms is the right starting place. Over five months, we’ve published 72 recipes that all focus on different search terms from which we can start bringing through search traffic. It’s worth noting that keyword search volume isn’t the only factor that’s considered when creating new content, but it plays a big role in it.

BuzzFeed

As I mentioned within the first part of this post, BuzzFeed is a key traffic driver to the majority of our competitors. Having a look at some of the links they have acquired from BuzzFeed show that they are generally from having their recipe(s) featured within list-based posts.

Not only that, but they’re cashing in on some seriously powerful links (DA 92).

I made it our goal to get a feature within a BuzzFeed article. Not only was I interested in getting a seriously powerful link, but the traffic potential off the back of one of these posts is huge, especially if it goes to the front page.

I didn’t just
achieve this once – I managed to get two of our recipes featured in two separate posts that hit the front page of BuzzFeed.

Here’s how I did it…

I began by getting in touch with a ton of food bloggers to start building relationships with them. My hope was that they would see some of our recipes and potentially feature them within some articles on BuzzFeed – it soon dawned on me that they weren’t the ones that were publishing the posts. I carried on the relationship building work because it resulted in some natural links from their own blogs, but knew I needed to go and do some deeper research into BuzzFeed itself.

BuzzFeed has a community platform where anyone can make an account, log-in and publish a post. Now, you may already be seeing dollar signs right now, but you need to roll that tongue back in. Unless your post gets promoted for a community feature by the moderator team (who are notoriously strict with their submissions), your post is going nowhere. Oh, and you’re not going to get any
dofollow links of value because they’re just coming from an orphan page (they’re often nofollow if it isn’t promoted for a feature anyway).

Having said all this, if you do manage to get a community feature, and from there it gains enough traction to be pushed into a category feature, and then from there it has so much traction that they push it to the front page… well, you could be looking at some serious exposure.

Here are the analytics for one of the posts that I had hit the front page with (BuzzFeed has its own analytics platform):

So here’s what I did to get a deeper understanding of what content performswell on BuzzFeed:

  1. I crawled BuzzFeed.com over a weekend using Screaming Frog SEO Spider to get a huge list of URLs that I could use to start running some analysis on.
  2. I went through and filtered out any irrelevant URLs so that I only had the URLs of actual posts on BuzzFeed. This was in excess of 65,000 URLs and came from a whole host of different authors and categories.
  3. I ran the URLs through URL Profiler to gather backlink data, social share information, word counts, post titles, etc. Essentially, I gathered a ton of information around the content on the pages so that I could analyse it further.
  4. After this, I ran all of the URLs through a tool that I’ve had developed for myself to do some extra data scraping (if you’re not sure what this is, don’t worry, but you can check out a post I wrote on it here). Using my tool (which I’ll be releasing to the public for free soon), I extracted the author’s name, the article category, the date/time it was published, the total views the article had, plus a load of other things (you get the idea).
  5. Once I had all of this data (it was a LOT of data), I started to dive into it and find trends. Essentially, I did everything that I outline in my content analysis case study, but for BuzzFeed.

From all this analysis, I was able to find out some of the following things about BuzzFeed’s posts:

  • The optimum number of list items to have in a list-based post to gain interest.
  • The perfect headline length.
  • The ideal length of the article to get social shares.
  • The most popular authors and categories on BuzzFeed.

These are just a few of the findings I took. Once I get round to putting it all together in a publically coherent format, I’ll publish my full analysis results for you all (you can expect that in a month or so).

Here are a few tips that I’ll give you now that could help you to get a post published on BuzzFeed:

  • Do not try to promote anything within your article. The editors will see straight through it – trust me (I’ve had some unsuccessful posts because of this).
  • Only link out to anything that will directly improve the BuzzFeed reader’s experience. The mod team doesn’t like links, but if, for example, you’re mentioning a recipe, it could be a good idea to leave a link for the reader to see it in full.
  • BuzzFeed’s moderation team will take at least 24 hours to get back to you. If they don’t get back to you then your post hasn’t been approved.
  • Make sure you stick to the format of BuzzFeed. List posts are a winner, but you need to study the types of related content on there already to find a fun angle. Anything remotely salesy will fail.
  • Once you’ve hit publish, run some social advertising to seed through some initial views and gain some traction before the mod team looks at it.

If all goes well, you’ll get an email like this…

From this post alone we had over 6,500 unique visits to the blog. That also resulted in around 200 email sign-ups, tons of social shares and a flurry of organic links.

Community/bookmarking websites

Another area that we identified as a huge traffic driver was the vast array of food-orientated communities. We spent quite a lot of time in our analysis stage to see which communities our competitors were most active within and decided to focus on the following:

There are a few others that we engage within, but these are the big three. Food Gawker alone has brought through just under 2,000 referral visits.

The beauty of these sites is that you just need to submit your post URL to them and (if approved by the mods) they can start bringing through traffic to your blog directly. They’re no different to inbound marketing communities like
inbound.org.

Without going into too much detail here, the big thing to remember is that you should analyse what is working within the community before you start sharing. It took me quite a while to get any of our recipes past the Food Gawker moderator team because they have very strict guidelines. Instead of just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, I did a similar exercise to what I did with BuzzFeed and analysed the components of a top-performing post on the site, then attempted to replicate that with my content.

After this small piece of research, we now know exactly what the Food Gawker team are looking for. This applies to most online communities (key takeaway:
spend time researching the communities before engaging).

Email

In terms of our current priorities, our email subscribers are top of the list, even above SEO. So far we’re at 574 double opt-in subscribers (I want to emphasise the fact that these subscribers actually want to read our emails).

If we have a load of people give us our email addresses to enter a competition then they
do not go into our mailing list. The only way they do is if they double-opt in (i.e. give us our email to enter a comp and then get in touch with us via email to confirm they want to receive the newsletter).


At the end of the day, there’s no value in having someone subscribed to your mailing list that doesn’t want to be there. It just gives you an unrealistic idea of how large your following is
.

That aside, email is one of the most powerful ways for us to get our content shared, bring through consistent traffic to the blog, and also (in the longer term) generate revenue.

You’ll see once you get onto the blog that it has a number of different call-to-action areas (we use
Optin Monster for these). We try our best to keep them non-intrusive and have been doing loads of testing to see what gets the best results. At the moment we’re getting around 4-6 new subscribers every day, which has doubled from last month.

As it stands, the top three converting channels for new email subscribers are as follows:

  1. Google Organic (21.10%)
  2. BuzzFeed (14.77%)
  3. Facebook (14.76%)

We measure all of our email signups through Google Analytics via event and goal tracking (check out
this tutorial I wrote on setting it all up). I’d strongly recommend you track this because it gives you a clearer idea of where to focus your efforts.

When it comes to actually managing our email marketing campaigns, we use
GetResponse. There are tons of different email platforms that you can use, but I find GetResponse to be one of the best out there. You can set up autoresponders, create custom landing pages, integrate directly with WordPress and Google Analytics, plus it’s very cost-effective.

Social media

Social media was always going to play a huge role in bringing traffic through to our blog. If I’m honest, we were never expecting the kind of response that we’ve had. We currently have a social media following of around 6,000 people – all of which we’ve acquired in just 5 months.

The traffic we bring from Facebook alone contributes to a large percentage of our overall web traffic.

I could spend all day talking about everything we’ve been doing within our social media campaign, but instead I’m going to give a summary of the things that have really worked for us to get some seriously quick growth. If you’re interested in the full details, I’ve recently published our full
social media strategy for building a following from nothing (likely to be of interest!).

Here are the top-level points that have made our social campaign a success:

  1. Managing a fluid content posting process across each of our social channels.
  2. Running periodical competitions to give away prizes that are relevant to our niche and that our readers will love.
  3. Remarketing to website visitors via Facebook ads.
  4. Marketing to the followers of my competitors.
  5. Working on as much in-content call to action as possible.

Social media posting process

Where I’ve talked about
managing a fluid content posting process, I’m referring to the way in which content is scheduled to be shared across each social network. Our strategy for this actually came from a fantastic Whiteboard Friday from Rand Fishkin.

Rand talked about the optimum amount of times you should post the same content across each social channel, offering a visual originally created 
by KissMetrics:

This has worked wonders for me, but you can adapt it slightly for each different channel you use. All I do is resize each of my post images to the optimal size for the individual social channel, then schedule all the shares of that post in
Buffer.

Competitions

Competitions/giveaways work really well for driving social engagement and we’ve seen a huge uptake in our social media off the back of running some competitions.

One thing to be careful of here is to make sure you’re giving away something that is relevant. It’s all fair and well giving away an iPad in a social competition, but you need to decide whether the people engaging with you care about your brand at all or if they’re just in it for an iPad (it’s usually the latter).

Just as an example, we recently gave away a three-month supply of popcorn. From this we had 956 entrants in just 3 days. Not bad at all!

Remarketing via Facebook Ads

Facebook has some incredible advertising options that enable you to grow your social media following full of engaged and
relevant users. This looks like it’s going to get even better with the recent introduction of Atlas’s people-based advertising platform.

One of the ways that we’ve been able to really grow our Facebook following so quickly is through remarketing to all the visitors of our website. Considering the number of people that we’ve been bringing through from the likes of BuzzFeed, Reddit and Food Gawker, it would be crazy if we didn’t attempt to capture them into our social following.

The results have been amazing and we have spent less than £80/0 a month doing so.

I’m not going to go into all the details of how to set this up because I’ve already done this at great length
here.

In-Content CTA

One thing that I always mention to people when they ask me about growing their social media following is that most of your social engagement will come from outside the social network itself.

If you have enough social call-to-action within your content, your readers will begin sharing your content across social media and start being the ones who are helping to promote your brand organically.

Here are a few simple things that I’ve used to do this:

Final thoughts

Just before I sign off, I want to emphasise the importance of analysis and measurement. You can see within the first phase of this case study that I dedicated a large amount of time to getting a full and detailed understanding of the niche. This included the content, my competitors and the social and search landscape.

Alongside this, measurement has been a key driver of growth within our campaign.
If you don’t understand what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong then you’ll never be able to adapt.

I use tons of different tools to measure the success of varying aspects of the campaign. One that you may have heard of before is
Cyfe. If you haven’t heard of it, go check it out (you can get a free account). Essentially, Cyfe allows you to integrate loads of different tools into one central dashboard (for example, Google Analytics, Bit.ly, Facebook, Pinterest, SlideShare, Moz, GetResponse and tons more) – it’s awesome.

Just set some KPIs and make sure that you’re analysing the results regularly. If you find that one channel in particular is working really well, shift more of your resources into it. If one isn’t, find out why and work on a solution.

TL;DR

  • Invest time into analysing your competitors, the content in your niche, the search landscape and social media before doing anything else.
  • Get an armoury of tools and services that you can use to get results from your campaigns, whatever your budget is.
  • Content first, links second.
  • If you’re in the food niche, BuzzFeed is a huge traffic driver!

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October 14, 2014  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing

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