Wednesday, May 02, 2012

How I Turned Hobby Into A Thriving Crowdsourcing Business. Part 3

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OK, so in Parts 1 and 2, I told the story of my first steps with – namely getting publicity from bloggers and news sites for free. The next step was to buy some publicity – namely blog reviews. Back then (let me remind you, it was 2007) quite a few get-paid-for-review services appeared. as particularly hot and was getting a lot of traction as well.

I opted for ReviewMe.Com. I quickly learned that most reviews would cost me anywhere between 80 and 150 dollars (that is, if I wanted reviews to appear on blogs with PageRank and readership – there has never been shortage of cheap junky made-for-SEO blogs, especially on PPP). This was a lot of money, and ReviewMe.Com was partly to blame – they paid only 50% of the money to bloggers and took the rest. For the record, the highest I paid for a review was $500. I am never doing it again.

The idea to cut the middleman out was obvious. I started using ‘pay per post’ sites only to find blogs that offered advertising and approached owners directly. This approach cut my costs of getting published in half. I tried haggling some more and then an interesting thing happened. One blogger told me that $30 that I was offering was too low, because it would take him an hour to actually write the review and his time was more valuable than that. So I offered him to provide a written review and he’d publish it for lower price, provided the approved it. It worked.

After that my approach to buying reviews for PickyDomains changed. I felt that I could justify $30 for getting by blog reviewed. If blogger asked for more, I’d inform him or her that that was outside my budget, but I could provide review myself, if the price was lowered. Later we started advertising the fact that PickyDomains would pay $30 for review right on the site – so now I don’t have to spend much time looking for bloggers, as they approach me.

Finally, I found a way to get PickyDomains advertised on blogs for free. Yes, ZERO. And it’s very simple. Guest posts. A lot of blogs accept guest posts. Quite a few actually advertise this fact and have guest blogging or write for us section on their blog. All you have to do is provide a unique (meaning not published anywhere else) well written content. Believe me, you won’t have much competition, because most guest post submissions are pure junk.

Here are a few examples of my guest posts:

Why am I submitting guest posts in this format? Because it’s easy to publish your guest posts this way. If I was to offer PickyDomains overview as a guest post – it would surely get rejected. But by making a ‘list’ guest post is no longer about just PickyDomains. The second, more important reason, is the topic. Some blogs are about writing or blogging. Others are about tech startups. There are blogs about bootstrapping. Or branding. Or crowdsourcing. The list format lets you tailor guest post to each blog you are pitching your story to. Finally, when you make a list, link to your site looks natural, because you are linking to every site you mention. Usually links are allowed in the signature of the guest post and not in the body. With my approach, I NEVER had any issues getting my link where it mattered (nobody reads the signature).

At first I did both writing and pitching guest posts myself. It quickly became a time consuming affair, since I was writing a new post almost every day and it quickly became ‘old’. I was getting tired. So I started outsourcing (I REALLY recommend this site) first writing and then placing guest posts. Obviously, it was costing my money, so the true cost was no longer zero, but it did achieve an important goal – now several blogs write about PickyDomains every week with very little effort on my behalf.

That’s it for today, but more is coming. And if you have any questions or have a service that you’d like me to promote through guest posts with PickyDomains, use PickyDomains support form to contact me.

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