I’m always looking for ideas and thoughts from others in the SEO/SEM space and I recently came across a site called BloggerJet with some really good, value-add content.
When I say “value-add” I’m referring to content that sites offer that isn’t tied to a sales pitch or some other kind of offer. It’s just content that is geared toward providing value to your audience. I really should create a list of the sites I find that do this well. Value-add content is generally informative and free, with no-strings-attached. Or at least the good ones are like that.
Here are some examples of ways sites incorporate “value-add” content:
- Free Ebooks
- Videos or a video series
- Email series
- Free report
- Whitepaper or PDF downloads
- Free Apps
- Free Tools
When you see one of the above items on a website, you’ll usually be prompted to provide some basic information first, such as an email address.
Buyers are smart. They can smell a sales pitch from far away. But when you come across content that appears to have no strings attached, you become much more likely to stick around to see what’s there and possibly even share your email address.
This is the way content should be done.
A Good Example of Providing Value
Just last week, I came across a site called BloggerJet that was offering a free email course that outlines how to get 100K visitors per month. BloggerJet is a site that focuses on Content Marketing & SMM Strategies.
At the very top of the website is a colorful graphic with a simple call to action (CTA) for a free email course: “100K BLOG Framework: Step-by-step Guide To Growing Your Blog To 100K Visitors Per Month.”
Being the curious type that I am and since I’m always open to hearing what others have to say, I figured, why the heck not? So I happily provided my email address to receive his free email course.
SIDE NOTE: For what it’s worth, the BloggerJet site uses a double opt-in setup through MailChimp, another one of my favorite Email Marketing solutions.
Are You Providing Value… Or Not?
Value-add content can be either a hit or a miss, but you won’t ever know unless you take a chance and give it a try.
The first email in the free email course didn’t really say a whole lot, but it identified some pain points that I could relate to – frustrations over doing all the right things and still missing the mark. This is actually a common (and effective) strategy to help increase the reader’s trust. If you can show that you understand what your readers are going through and you can identify issues they’re having, they’re more likely to listen to what you have to say.
The initial email promised to start getting into the nitty-gritty in day 2.
Day 2: The second email in the series arrived on a Friday and I didn’t get around to reading it. Friday’s tend to be filled with more stuff with my kids, so it’s a hit-or-a-miss kind of day for me when it comes to getting through emails. If it’s not an email from a client, it’s generally pushed to the back-burner.
Day 3: The third email arrived on Saturday, unnoticed. So far I’m 1 for 3. Not great odds. I had spent the entire day outside sanding and painting my front door and the panels on either side of the door. I never even thought about email that day.
Day 4: The fourth email in the series arrived on …. you guessed it, a Sunday. I try really hard not to look at emails on the weekends so I ignored my inbox on Sunday as well.
Day 5: Monday rolled around and the email for day #5 arrived. By this point, I couldn’t really even remember how I’d gotten on the list or what the series was even about. I’m sure I’m not the only one that this happens to. I read a LOT of content and I receive a ton of emails. But the subject line used on Day 5 caught my attention because it was something I was actively doing at the time that I noticed it.
The goal of any subject line is to interrupt the reader, and this one definitely interrupted me. I think the fact that it had a character display issue probably, though not intentional, helped it to be disruptive. (see screenshot below)
Wait, re-read the subject line of his #5 email. Did you catch that? Don’t write new articles? Say what??!?? WHY in the world would I do that? I have to keep people engaged and to do that I have to continue providing value, don’t I?
Needless to say, I opened the email and read it. I liked what I read so I searched my inbox for the rest of them and read them all.
Spoiler Alert: The free email course ironically outlines the importance of providing value to your audience and the fundamental methods to focus on to increase organic traffic to your site. So why get the course? Because he shares his method at a level I’d never fully pieced together. It’s different. And I’m not going to give it away for you. You’ll have to get the free email course to find out.
But that’s why I’m sharing the free email course with you – because it’s that good.
More Content != More Value
As I said, the information in the free email course was COMPLETELY different from what most everyone else in the SEO/SEM market is always saying. The email series didn’t say to:
- write more articles
- create more Facebook ads
- host a giveaway
- write product reviews
- curate a good “list” of tools
- generate more backlinks
- etc…. etc…. etc.
All of the above tactics work, but they’re only a small piece of the bigger picture which Tim Soulo nicely illustrates and explains in his email series. He removes the complexity of driving traffic and instead focuses on the fundamentals.
What surprised me the most about the email series, is that Tim Soulo confirmed a strategy I’d loosely come up with on my own a few years ago and had already been implementing (to a degree) – but he did it even better. He added a real structure – a method to it.
What I was more or less just poking a stick at, he had honed in on and mastered.
Seeing the process outlined again from someone that really knows their stuff, is refreshing and has given me a renewed focus. It also validated that what I THOUGHT could work, really CAN work. I haven’t always had luck in convincing clients that such fundamental methods still worked. Sometimes they’ve listened and given it a shot, and other times they’d want to go in a different direction, focusing on some other marketing strategy they’d heard about.
We Often Overcomplicate Things
After reading the emails, I also realized that for whatever reason, I’d never FULLY focused on using the process for my own websites. No wonder I couldn’t always convince clients that providing value-add content and focusing on the fundamentals was a viable strategy for driving traffic. I had never spent the time to hone in on it and prove it could work. I had no ACTUAL RESULTS that I could share publically without infringing on an NDA or a non-compete clause. In looking back now, I can clearly see that doing so would have made it easier for me to prove that it was worthwhile. But it’s not too late to do it now!
As marketers, many of us know what to do to get results. But sometimes we overcomplicate things. And then when it comes time to tweak and figure out what pieces are missing, we get so far into the weeds that we can’t see our way out. The basics are out-of-site and out-of-mind, and unattainable.
Does that sound at all familiar to you, or am I the only one that does that?
I can remember catching myself doing the same thing as a programmer. I’d get so wrapped up in the complexity of the steps that I’d sometimes make the code way more complicated than it really had to be. What took me 7 steps, could have been done in 2, but my brain overcomplicated it so the “dumbed down” version was no longer accessible to me until someone else pointed it out. Doh!
When something doesn’t work the first few times or when too many other people are telling us to do something differently, we tend to lose faith in what we’re trying. We lose the momentum to finish what we started. We start giving the idea or strategy less and less attention. Sooner or later we move onto the next, latest-and-greatest marketing strategy out there.
Stop it. Take a step back and look at the big picture.
A big “thank you” to Tim Soulo, for opening my eyes and reminding me of that. His email course also renewed my interest in focusing on some very fundamental methods for generating traffic. It starts with finding what’s working for you and then providing more value!
I tend to neglect my own sites as I work on SEO and SEM practices for clients. But to not implement this process for my own content as a way to show proof that it could work…. well, let’s just say it’s not the smartest decision I’d ever made. 😉 I can assure you I’m going to be doing a little work in the near future to remedy that and to make sure I’m providing value wherever I can.
Get the Free Course to Learn More
I know I’m being rather vague as to what exactly is contained within this free email series by Tim Soulo. I don’t want to steal his thunder.
Let’s just say, he’s providing value for his audience. If you’re looking for ways to build traffic, then sign up for his free email series, “100K BLOG Framework: Step-by-step Guide To Growing Your Blog To 100K Visitors Per Month.” You won’t regret it.
You’ll get 5 days worth of emails and 4 of them contain a lot of added value and information that you can put into action right away. You will learn how to generate more traffic to your site AND how to provide real value to your readers. No tricks. No gimmicks. No sleazy sales tactics.
Check it out and tell him I sent you. Ha!
Just kidding. He has no idea I exist. So don’t do that.
I’m sharing this info with you simply because I thought it was worth sharing. Valuable content is always worth sharing.
If you do check it out, let me know what you think.
Do you agree that his strategy has merit and really takes you back to the fundamentals of marketing?
Do you have other strategies for providing value that you think work better?
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below.