Growth May 29, 2020

Zero to 10k site sessions in three months

Tom Hunt @tomhuntio

Hey team,

Just checked GA and saw we are about to hit 10k site sessions on SaaS Marketer in May... we got out first hit in March so wanted to share a little on how we have done this!

And viewing by day:

We're bootstrapping so have spent approx. $300 on Facebook Ads to boost posts to date and our current total organic sessions are approx. 500 so not a great amount of SEO traction.

It's all come from strategic free promotion and getting other people to share :)

But before we get into that... there is no point honing your content promotion skills if your content is not awesome.

It really comes down to one thing... the dark, gruelling hours you have to spend creating the content. The self doubt you feel when you just "can't create anything good this morning".

If you make the content good... the promotion is SO much easier.

How do you make good content?

There are two parts:

  1. What you say
  2. How you say it

Number 1 is the hardest part, and normally requires months or years of expertise. Number 2 can be improved pretty fast... this is your writing (if your building a blog) or speaking skills (if you're building a podcast or video).

For me, I've been in online marketing for six years so both 1. and 2. have been honed over this period.

So with the boring part over with let's look at some promo strategies:

Understand Incentives

If you have just started and don't have cash you can't rely on organic or paid sources to grow traffic... you will therefore need to understand where your ideal audience is on the internet, go to those places and bring people out onto your platform.

To do this, you need to play by the rules. You need to understand the incentives of the people that own those platforms and help them get what they want FIRST.

Take Facebook Groups for example. Admins know that Facebook sends them more people if they get engagement so they all optimise for engagement.

So if you give a group engagement, you can get attention in return. Attention that you can then use to bring people back to your platform:

The SaaS Growth Hacks group allow me to post as we generate engagement (without posting a link!), this helps them... and then I can often sneak in a link back to our site in the comments ;)

Bounce Your Audience

When you bring people back onto your platform the core permission asset to optimise for is always the email address. But when you have that, you want to incorporate people into your word.

This means getting them to:

  • Subscribe to your podcast
  • Follow you on Twitter
  • Reply to the email so you reduce chances of hitting spam
  • Join your Facebook Group

This maximises the value of that person to you as you have more ways of communicating with them.

The first three email sent post subscribe are ALL to generate other permission assets or to get subscribers to reply:

Build Promo Into The Content

If you are able to incentivise people to help share you content, you will obviously get more exposure.

This could in the form of simply linking to someone in your article or mentioning someone in your podcast...

You then reach out to them directly once live and request the share. Here is an example of tthe CEO of one of the SaaS businesses we wrote about sharing our content:

Be Consistent

This stuff snowballs.

Seriously, sometimes I think business success is simply being able to survive the longest.

So don't post three blog posts in a month, see next to no traffic and then give up... if you like the content creation process and you are getting good qualitative feedback then just persevere ;)

Anyway, hope that helps anyone looking to build an audience to their business/project... I'm happy to share anymore details in the comments below :)

  1. 2

    I often share your articles in my newsletter MakerList, I think they're super insightful :)

    Keep it up 👍

    1. 1

      Legend, thanks will sign up!

  2. 2

    Great piece Tom!

    Btw I really like the UI of your website :)

    1. 1

      Thanks man!

  3. 2

    Great post! Try to repeat that

    1. 1

      Haha... ok it's on ;)

  4. 2

    Been learning a lot from picking up your bread crumbs. Great to speak with you earlier today

    1. 2

      Haha thanks my man, I look forward to work together on the Top Of Mind!

  5. 2

    This is a great post @tomhuntio. You seem to have struck gold with the way you approach FB posts and it totally makes sense when you approach it from the perspective of helping the admins increase engagement for their page too. Great insights all round! Thanks for sharing!

    1. 2

      Haha yep thanks Gordon... it doesn't work in all groups but some it does. And when it does, it has a great effect :)

  6. 2

    This is pure gold! In-depth insights, but quick to read, well structured, subscribed!

    1. 1

      Haha thanks so much man, what are you working on right now? :)

  7. 2

    Amazing one Tom. I always love your blog. Any reason you launched https://saasmarketer.io instead of publishing on https://saashacker.co/?

    Is https://saashacker.co/ discontinued? Because I love that content too.

    1. 1

      Haha yeah long story but my old employer now own #saashacker, I no longer publish there, everything is on SaaS Marketer! :)

      1. 2

        No worries. As long as you are writing, the content is always top-notch :)

        1. 1

          Haha thanks so much for the kind words :)

      2. 1

        Good to know! I was checking saashacker all the time for new case studies. Will ditch that one now.

  8. 2

    Tom, great insights! I'm curious how you come up with the content in the posts you share? Is this info publically available that you dig up and put into a narrative?

    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. 3

      Great question!

      So yep when I start writing I reach out to the business to see if they want to contribute but that is normally just 5 days before release so only about 50% agree. If yes, I normally get better insights... if not yep all publicly available and also using SEMRush/Ahrefs and other competitive intelligence tools :)

      1. 2

        Oo, I like that extra effort you put into reaching out and seeing if they want to contribute ;) I may have to do this from now on!

        1. 2

          Do it!

  9. 2

    Cool milestone and thanks for sharing the insights.

    1. 1

      No worries thanks Paul!

  10. 2

    "To do this, you need to play by the rules. You need to understand the incentives of the people that own those platforms and help them get what they want FIRST."

    You're so right. It's SO easy to overlook the context and incentives of different communities (FB groups, subreddits, IH, HN, PH) and just try to promote your shit shamelessly.

    I'll definitely keep this post in mind when I'm ready to launch my product!

    1. 1

      For sure thanks Lukas... what is the product and when is it going live? :)

      1. 2

        It's launching in a few weeks and it's called Airvoute (https://airvoute.com). A platform for makers and freelancers to prepare a secure vault of instructions for a relative in case something happens to them. You can add your email on the landing to be notified when it's live, cheers!

        1. 1

          Sounds like an interesting product, will do!

  11. 2

    I love how you are using case studies to target relevant long tail keywords. Also love your Substack inspired WP theme to collect emails 🙂

    1. 1

      Haha thanks my man!

      The challenge is those case studies aren't really ranking that well lol, though I guess it's only three months in so we need to give them more time LOL

      1. 2

        Yeah that's because your domain authority is still too low to rank well for those keywords.

        1. 1

          I feel you bro

  12. 2

    Really nice post!
    Honest - "We're bootstrapping so have spent approx. $300 on Facebook Ads to boost posts to date"
    Reality - "So don't post three blog posts in a month, see next to no traffic and then give up..."
    Thank you for sharing Tom!

    1. 2

      No worries... thanks so much for reading loks!