Unconventional Marketing Ideas Blog - Learn Marketing Ideas | Marketing Strategy | Marketing Techniques from Fargo, ND

An Unconventional Way to Build, Market and Sell a Website

The following is a guest post written by Patrick Meninga of Make Money With No Work.  He recently built and sold a flagship website for $200,000 dollars.

If you follow a lot of “make money online” blogs, then you are probably familiar with traditional online marketing techniques.  A lot of what the A-list bloggers preach are things that worked in the past, but may not be working so great anymore.

Instead of just following the herd blindly, you might do well to explore these less conventional techniques.

These unconventional approaches are not just fancy ideas that I have about how to successfully market an authority website…..these are things I did which led to a six figure website sale.

1) Test your content

All of the A-list bloggers tell you to create “quality content.”  They harp on this idea endlessly.

But what is quality content, really?

What constitutes quality will vary from niche to niche, so the only way to know for sure is to test it.

Luckily, the Internet makes this remarkably easy to do.

My favorite method for testing content is to use paid Stumbleupon traffic.  For as little as five dollars per day, you can get an accurate measure of “likes” on each piece of content, and thus learn which of two articles gets the best response.

After creating a few campaigns to various articles, an iterative process should naturally unfold.  The “winning” article on your website should become a blueprint for similar content.

In this manner, you can craft new articles for your website that are instantly a hit with your audience, because you tested a variety of articles and found what receives the best response.

This also gives you a strong indication of where to direct new promotional campaigns.  Want to throw some serious traffic at a landing page on your website?  Test it again several other landing pages first, and use the “like” count to determine which one gets the best response.

Don’t just try to guess what “quality content” is for your particular niche–actually test it out and then start using the results to shape your content planning.

2) Build a community

Building a community sounds like a traditional marketing cliche, but it can still be an important step towards building a profitable website.

The reason this is an unconventional strategy is due to logic: You are not building a community in order to earn income from return visitors, instead, you are attempting to legitimize a search-dominated website.

What does that mean?

It means that a large authority site runs the risk of looking like a content farm, and increasing your percentage of return visits is one of the best ways to legitimize your website in the eyes of search engines.

Avoiding algorithmic penalties is a real threat these days, and building a community as a defensive marketing strategy is the perfect counter.

In addition to improving site metrics, building a community also gives you:

  • A fan base that can help spread new content.
  • Ideas for generating new content that better suits your audience.
  • Auto-generated original content that helps expand the footprint of your website.

How do you go about creating this community?

Here was my four step approach, which led to a modest forum generating over 3,000 words of original content daily in only six months time:

  1. Encourage commenting on your most popular articles.
  2. Participate in those comment threads and be genuinely helpful.
  3. Allow time for several of these articles to form active discussions in them.
  4. Close comments site-wide and direct discussion to a new forum.

Bam.  Instant community formed.   Website legitimized.
3) Market your marketing
Most people realize that a website needs links pointed at it in order to be successful.

However, most will overestimate the number of links they need, while also underestimating the quality of the links they need.

What does this mean?

Because backlinks in general are difficult to obtain, many marketers tend to focus almost exclusively on getting the easy, cheap links, rather than working hard on obtaining the really juicy, authoritative links.

Cheap, manufactured backlinks are relatively easy to obtain.  Most can be created by trading a piece of original content for them.

Juicy, authoritative links are difficult to obtain.  Most will have to network with many others and create something amazing in order to earn such a link.

Therefore, one of the most powerful unconventional marketing tactics these days is to maximize your “good links” by supporting them with manufactured links.

This is a counter-intuitive approach, because most will hesitate to build links to content that is not their own website.

Obtaining premium links through guest posting, networking, or link bait will always be an important strategy.  But you can then maximize those quality links that you do obtain by manufacturing perfectly optimized, anchored links to those promotional pieces.

Unconventional success

My website was about a “real world” topic and I was grateful to sell it for six figures.  I do not think I could have made that sale without employing the three strategies:

  1. Test your content and then refine future posts.
  2. Build a community for legitimacy.
  3. Market your marketing to multiply your wins.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

Capital One Receipt, A Viral Marketing Plan?

Recently, an image of a found Capital One Receipt stirred up a lot of attention online with roughly a balance of $100,000,000 on it. Someone withdrawing money from their bank account found the receipt of the previous person’s transaction. After finding the bank receipt with a ton of cash in the account, the person quickly decided to post a picture of their find online. 2.5 seconds later, the world is awash in Tweets, Facebook posts and the like of this “millionaire’s” account.

I personally call BS on this viral experience. It would be pretty easy for Capital One to use this as a clever marketing tool. After all, if someone trusts us with $100 million, why wouldn’t you trust us with $5,000? Not to mention, the photos of the receipt have the bank’s logo and web address all over, increasing brand awareness. The whole story, explanation and idea just seem a little too perfect in my world.

What are your thoughts?

Happy 4th of July everyone!

The Netflix Standard

How do you compare the different values for services?

Netflix provides such a great value at a low cost that it’s impossible not to compare everything else to it.

And this leads to the main event, Netflix vs Daily Burn!

I also use the iPhone app called Daily Burn to track my calorie intake and workouts.

I was considering upgrading my Daily Burn account from the free version to the Pro. The free version of Daily Burn offers 90% of what you would ever use to track your daily nutrition and workout history. The Pro version gives you a little more flexibility and options to use tools the free version doesn’t have.

The practice of offering a good online product for free with the ability to upgrade is a super common strategy. As I was contemplating the pros and cons of upgrading my Daily Burn account, the cost of the Pro version was a stumbling block for me.

Daily Burn has two pro versions – the Pro Lite for $5.99/mo and the Pro for $9.99/mo. I was trying to compare the value I would gain by comparing the service to another service I pay for. The first thought that came to my mind was Netflix and the tremendous value they offer for $10/mo.

Like most of you, I love Netflix. In fact, I use Netflix as my primary source of digital entertainment. I stream Netflix to my TV and watch it on my laptop and iPhone. For $10 a month, Netflix HGH delivers a huge amount of entertainment and value to its customers. By itself, Netflix takes up roughly 30% of the bandwidth for the entire Web (crazy!).

It was hard for me to justify ponying up $10/mo for the Daily Burn Pro when I might use it once or twice a day and it only has a few additional options/tools than the free version.

This raises the questions:

Is Netflix’s price structure too good to be true?

Is Daily Burn’s price structure out of whack?

I compare the services this way – Netflix is an obvious choice for me. I do not have to think about justifying the price. With Daily Burn, I have to sit and think about it. I question the value of their service.

When someone considers your product, will they think – Deal! – or will they question the value? If they have to contemplate the value, you have probably lost them as a premium or paid customer.

Perhaps Daily Burn’s Pro is a tremendous value but was presented horribly to me, the customer, allowing me to stumble over the cost.

If Daily Burn added video testimonials from Pro users talking about how the Pro version changed their lives, perhaps I would see the justification of the cost.

Instead, I’m going to stick with the way things are because the pain point is not obvious enough to me.

Do you compare the different values for services this way?

What other standards do you use to compare the costs of different services?