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Content Marketing from a Cold Start

We’ve all heard the content marketing gurus tell us about how powerful creating great content can be for promoting your business. Sure, if you have 10,000 Twitter followers, an established blog, and a well-known brand name, it makes total sense.

But what about the rest of us who are just starting out? How do you make content marketing work with zero Twitter followers, no traffic to your blog or website, and a shiny new and 100% unknown brand name?

That’s the position we’re in right now. We’re ready to tell the world about Guidearama, but we don’t have an audience yet. As of today, here’s what traffic to our website looks like:

barren landscape

It’s time for a cold start. We’ve got a great product. We’ve got a handful of paying customers. Now it’s time to get the word out.

As we embark on this content marketing journey, I’m going to share our content plans and give some details on the results (no, I promise I won’t do another “We Got on the Front Page of Hacker News and Here’s What Happened” post). I’ll share what worked and what didn’t, how we did it, and what we learned. Hopefully this will help some of you who are in the same situation as us.

Let’s get started…

David and I have mapped out our initial plan of attack. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

1. Guest Write for Other Websites

Some consistent advice repeated heard over and over is to guest post for others that already have audience. This is a perfect place to start. Guest posting allows you to leverage someone else’s audience, so that’s where we began.

Last week, I wrote and submitted a guest article for RainToday. It’s a great resource for our target market (small professional services companies). I’ve been a fan of for years. They have a huge audience and would love to get in front of.

I followed their recommendations and created an article that I truly believe will benefit their readers. It’s 100% educational – no sales at all (though I did write about a topic that overlaps with what Guidearama offers).

24 hours after submitting my article, I got an email from their editor saying they’d like to run it with a few small edits. Fantastic! Here’s the catch: they slotted my article for three months from now. Not our first choice, but we’ll still happily take it.

Takeaway: The bigger publications need good content just like everyone else, but be aware of lead times.

2. Share Content on Slideshare
The second activity we did was David open up an account on Slideshare and uploaded two initial presentations. Slideshare was a great traffic source for Zoomstra and we figured we’d go ahead and seed our account.

The main goal of the first presentation, Five Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2014, was to start our account and get a link back to our new website (which as of last week wasn’t showing up in Google’s results), but we also picked up a modest 180 views along the way.

Result: We’re now showing up in Google’s index. I don’t know if this tipped the scale, but either way, we’ll take it.

Up next:

3. Reach Out to Others Who Say They’d Help
Many of the entrepreneurs and consultants that we respect and are learning from have made open offers to help others. These offers tend to be made at events, interviews, blog posts, and articles. In the next week, we are going to begin reaching out to some of these people with a few simple requests. Obviously, we don’t expect them to put themselves out too far our behalf. Instead, we’re putting together a carefully planned request that will hopefully benefit everyone.

Stay tuned, Patrick , HitenNathanArdath…  :)

4. Tap Into An Existing Ecosystem
We’ve focused our development efforts lately on integrating Guidearama into other more established applications and services. It’s not exactly content marketing (let’s call it API Marketing), but it helps us extend our utility and tap into a bigger market.

Our first integration is with Mailchimp. Your Guidearama account can now automatically push new contacts to a Mailchimp list. Guidearama is a great way to grow an email list and now for Mailchimp customers, the process is even simpler.

Mailchimp is a company we use and are huge fans of. We’re really excited to connect with them.

We Want to Hear from You!

We’ll be sharing our work as we go with the hope of learning together. So if you have a comment, suggestion, question, or simply want to say “hi”, leave a comment or please drop us a line.

Stay tuned!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Abramowski

David Abramowski is a technologist turned product leader. David was a co-founder of Morph Labs, one of the first Platform as a Service plays on AWS. He was the GM for Parallels Virtuozzo containers, enterprise business, and most recently he is the leader of the product marketing team for the IT Operations Management solutions at the hyper growth SaaS company, ServiceNow.

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