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14 Cheap & Effective Small-Business Marketing Strategies

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14 Cheap & Effective Small-Business Marketing Strategies

Looking for a good marketing strategy that won’t break the bank?

Call them strategies or tactics, but here are 14 ways you can promote your business that a) work, b) don’t require a large budget, and c) won’t hurt your brand in the long run.

1. Work with your customers to improve your product/service

Before pouring resources into any promotion strategies, make sure your clients are happy with your product or service. Otherwise, you may end up with the leaky bucket effect.

Leaky funnel effect in marketing

The leaky bucket effect is when you spend resources to bring people to your website, but they don’t perform any action on it and don’t come back.

Usually, it happens when businesses focus only on promotion and forget about the value their offer brings the customer. 

Of course, you’ll never be able to turn 100% of website visitors into customers. However, when you’re starting to notice none of your marketing tactics bring results, you need to introduce changes to either how you drive traffic to the website, your pricing, or even what you offer. 

This is your chance to ask your customers what they like and what can be improved. You can use that data to improve your marketing communications or even your product because, chances are, other people will like/dislike the same things. 

Also, as you start talking with your customers, you may even come across candidates for brand ambassadors. 

How to get started 

Reach for some basic market research tools: 

  • Surveys – Can be performed 100% online for free with tools like Google Forms or Survicate. You can use them for measuring customer satisfaction. 
  • Interviews – Allow for face-to-face discussions. Can be performed even without a predefined structure. Often used for exploratory purposes. 
  • Internal data – Draw conclusions from reported issues and online reviews. If possible, interview your customer-facing employees. 

Recommended reading: How to Achieve Product-Market Fit (5 Steps)  

2. Get a Google Business Profile (and optimize it)

In case you haven’t created/claimed your Google Business Profile yet, make sure you do. It’s one of the most important marketing tools for small businesses operating locally. 

Google Business Profile makes your business visible to potential customers in your vicinity in three ways: 

1. Google Map Pack:

Google Map Pack

2. Google Maps:

Google Business Profiles in Google Maps

3. Local knowledge panel (when the search query includes your brand’s name):

Local knowledge panel

How to get started 

Create or claim (option for already created GBPs) your Google Business Profile for free här.

And to make sure your profile is optimized, you can read our guide on the topic.  

3. List your business in relevant directories 

We’re talking about websites that offer listings of businesses like yours, providing basic information like address, operating hours, contact information, website, etc. 

Some directories are free; others are paid. But you may want to consider even the paid ones because directories give you three significant benefits:

  1. It’s the quickest way to get your business to the first page of Google for competitive keywords. 
  2. Your business will show up in search results of those directories.
  3. Citations (mentions of your business) in local directories can increase your chances of showing up in the Google Map Pack. 
SERP dominated by business directories
SERPs for keywords with local intent are often dominated by local directories.

How to get started 

List your business, starting from:

  • Big data aggregators like Express Update and Neustar Localeze.
  • Core platforms like Facebook, Bing Places, Apple Maps, and Better Business Bureau. 
  • Industry and local sites relevant to your business (e.g., FindLaw for lawyers, Tripadvisor for hotels).

You can list your business manually or use a submission service to manage your citations from one place. You can also see where your competitors got their citations and go after the same ones. 

Two resources that will help you in this process:

4. Manage your online reputation

According to a study by BrightLocal, 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

And it makes sense when you think about it. When dozens of people have tried a product before you, it’s hard to completely ignore their opinions. 

Moreover, positive reviews can impact rankings in the Google Map Pack. 

How many SEOs think reviews are most important ranking factor

How to get started 

Ask your customers to leave online reviews and try to answer all of them (good or bad). This will show existing och potential customers that you really care.

You can ask for reviews whenever you get a chance to contact your customers (personally, via email, via text message, in a thank-you note after purchase, etc.). But you can also use tools for generating reviews like this one from Google.

"Request reviews" tool by Google

You can easily find online tools for managing your reviews. Some examples are Grade.us, ReviewPush, etc.

5. Tap into search demand with SEO content 

SEO content is any kind of content designed to rank in search engines. 

When your content ranks, it can drive consistent, organic search traffic without any additional costs. That’s when you tap into search demand. 

Organic traffic to one of our articles
One of our blog posts gets an estimated 6.9K traffic from search engines a month. We’d have to spend about $4.7K to get similar traffic through ads.

The basis of this strategy is finding relevant keywords with traffic potential. The more relevant the keywords, the higher the chance that the traffic you get will convert into sales or other forms of engagement you need. 

Organic keywords report
Ahrefs shows us that this article ranks for 104 keywords in the U.S. But we only had to target one keyword when creating that article.

It’s good to keep in mind that even when you rank #1, it’s not forever. You may need to revisit your content and update it when your rankings drop. 

How to get started 

First, determine if SEO content is right for your business. This is the case if the answer to at least one of the below questions is yes:

  • Are people looking online for what you sell or do?
  • Are people looking online for solutions to problems your business helps to solve? 

You can answer that using a keyword tool. You can use our free keyword generator to look up keywords that pop into your mind. You can even check their search demand in different countries and four different search engines. 

Keyword ideas for handmade soap via Ahrefs' free keyword generator

Once you determine that SEO is worth it for you, use our detailed step-by-step guide on creating SEO content

6. Encourage user-generated content

Selling something that looks good in a photo or video? 

Ask your customers to share a picture or a short video featuring your product. Happy customers create more happy customers. 

Review with pictures answered by the business owner

How to get started 

Saying something as plain as “share your photo with us” may not be enough. 

You can encourage more user-generated content (UGC) when you make your request more exciting or offer something in return.

For example, brands like Vans or Apple launched an official hashtag for users and fans. Sharing photos under those hashtags creates a feeling of being part of something bigger and gives people a chance to pay attention to them. 

#shotoniphone social media campaign

Brands, such as clothing company Pakker Trousers, launch contests where people can win stuff for sharing a photo of themselves using the product. 

One of the entries for a contest run by Pakker Trousers
One of the entries for a contest run by Pakker Trousers.

7. Create a free resource

Sharing a free resource can attract visitors and give them a taste of your offer. Think ebooks, product samples, online calculators, free courses, free consultations, and so on. 

Fragrance Calculator from Nurture Soap
Fragrance Calculator from Nurture Soap, a small company selling soap-making supplies. One of three free resources on its site (all three bring organic traffic).

If your business relies on direct contact or has a long sales cycle, you can ask for contact information in return for your free resource. This type of marketing tool is called a lead magnet

Free consultation lead magnet

How to get started 

Start with choosing a proven topic for your free resource. 

One of the methods is doing keyword research. Not only will you know what actually interests people, but you’ll also have a chance to rank for relevant keywords and drive organic traffic to your resource for free. 

Here’s how you can do it in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer

  1. Plug in a topic or thing relevant to your business 
  2. Go to the Matching terms report
  3. Limit the results to some popular resource types, e.g., a calculator 
  4. Sort and filter results based on provided SEO metrics, such as search volume, Keyword Difficulty (KD), or Traffic Potential (TP)
Matching terms report with applied filter

You can also find proven topics by analyzing your competitors and studying your niche. See this guide for details

8. Start a video blog (with SEO in mind) 

Video marketing is especially good for two things: 

  • It helps to attract customers – 70% of viewers bought from a brand after seeing it on YouTube (Google). 
  • It helps to educate your audience – 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service (Wyzowl). 

And if you combine video blogging with SEO, you get a highly engaging content format with free distribution. 

SERP showing YouTube videos
These videos with matcha cookie recipes show up on the first page for “matcha cookies”—that’s free traffic.

How to get started 

Find video topic ideas with search demand: 

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and paste “youtube.com” as the URL 
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report 
  3. In the keyword filter, insert relevant keyword(s) for your business and hit “Apply”
YouTube videos about matcha that get organic traffic from Google

From that point, you can adjust the filters and sort the results to fine-tune your research. 

Let’s move one step back because video blogging is not something everybody “feels” like doing. 

Equipment cost, talent, and a language barrier. These are some common objections to doing video marketing. But based on our experience, they are not deal breakers. Here’s what our video marketing master has to say about that:

Recommended viewing: YouTube SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos #1 

9. Do SEO for your existing content

Sometimes, you don’t need to create new content to get more traffic. 

Your old content may just need an SEO “do-over.” 

Line graph showing updated content experiences spike in organic traffic

How to get started 

You need to find a good candidate for the do-over. Not every page will be a good fit.

To do this, you will need two things:

  • This guide – Go ahead and try everything from this guide, from improving the click-through rate of your top-performing content to going after featured snippets.
  • SEO tools – Data on keywords and backlinks from your and your competitors’ sites can come from a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Audit. And data on your click-through rates from search engines will need to come from a tool specific to the search engine. For Google, this will be Google Search Console. For Bing, it’s Bing Webmaster Tools

10. Repurpose your existing content 

Repurposing content is about taking existing content and “repacking” it for other marketing channels. 

This simple technique allows you to reach a wider audience without the need to create new content from scratch. 

So for example, a blog post can become a video, or a course, or a series of social media posts, and so on and vice versa. 

Article repurposed into a video
On the right is the original article. On the left is the article repurposed into a video. 

How to get started 

You can take your best-performing content and repurpose it for other marketing channels. If it worked in one place, it probably would in other places too. 

Sometimes, you can repurpose content that didn’t perform well in the past (but you have reasons to think it will work elsewhere). For example, you can take your unique, quality articles that just didn’t get enough backlinks to challenge fierce competition on the SERPs and share them in a different format on social media platforms. 

Influencer marketing article's SEO metrics
Example: Our guide to influencer marketing gets only 26 organic visits a month due to low rankings on the SERPs (high keyword difficulty).
Influencer marketing video's video metrics
On the other hand, the video repurposed from that article seems to do a lot better on YouTube.

For the above techniques, follow our full guide on content repurposing

11. Get in front of other people’s audience 

Chances are, your target audience is similar to other websites’ existing target audience. And that’s a good thing. 

You may reach somebody else’s audience with your message through: 

  • Getting featured in podcasts and newsletters.
  • Guest blogging. 
  • Getting featured in relevant rankings and reviews. 
Home organization businesses ranking

Except for newsletters (without a web format), all of the above are also opportunities for getting a direct link to your website—which may help boost your SEO. And even being featured in a newsletter may indirectly lead to links from newsletter subscribers. 

How to get started 

Method 1. Use Google with search operators to find opportunities 

Helpful operators here are: “AND”, “OR”. You can use them to find websites that meet complex queries instead of just one keyword.

Looking for guest posts using Google
This query with operators means “show me websites that accept a ‘guest post’ or ‘guest article’ and contain the word ‘blockchain.’ ”

Then, click through the results, find websites that look like a good fit for your business, and pitch to them.

Method 2. Use Ahrefs to find opportunities and get instant performance data 

Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar allows you to see performance data of websites as you Google them. So the Google screenshot from above turns into this: 

Looking for guest posts using Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar
Highlighted parts show SEO data coming from Ahrefs. You can look at site traffic, page traffic, DR, and others as you search on Google.

This way, you can easily filter out websites that don’t get traffic or whose links have the lowest chance of impacting your SEO. 

Another method is to see where other websites, such as your competitors, got their links from. This works for any kind of mentions that leaves a trace of a backlink: reviews, rankings, guest blogging, and PR (more on that in the next chapter). 

  1. Go to Site Explorer and paste a URL you want to screen 
  2. Go to the Backlinks report
  3. Search for the kind of backlinks you want to go after; to illustrate, for guest articles, use “Anchor with surrounding text” filter and type the word “author” 
Looking for guest posts via backlink analysis in Ahrefs

Then you can pitch the same website with a personalized and relevant message.

12. Get free press with digital PR

Public relations is not reserved for big brands with entire PR departments on the payroll. Small businesses can get press too. And they can get it for free. 

One of many quotes from this "love and relationship" coach
One of many quotes from this “love and relationship” coach.

There are basically two ways to get free press. 

One is to do something extraordinary (maybe your business is already doing it?) and issue a press release about it. 

The other is to offer your expert commentary, per the journalist’s request. 

It can take some effort, but it’s usually worth it: 

  • PR increases brand awareness. 
  • News websites and magazines can drive traffic to your website. 
  • Being featured by the press is a great chance to earn a link from a high-authority website (and boost SEO).
Links from magazines with a strong backlink profile (data via Ahrefs)
Links from magazines with a strong backlink profile (DR stands for Domain Rating).

How to get started 

If you feel your business is doing something that can make the headlines, tell the press about it. 

Use this guide to write a press release and send it to the magazines where the story is most relevant. 

An effective tactic may be to start with reputable local media. If your story gets featured, you may use it in your pitch to more prominent media outlets. Additionally, other media may pick up the story organically.

As for monitoring journalist requests, use:

  • A service like HARO, Terkel, or SourceBottle. 
  • #journorequest on Twitter. 

These two free tools from Ahrefs can come in handy too:

  • Our free website authority checker will show you the Domain Rating (DR) for any given website. DR is a good proxy for checking the authority of the website and the possible SEO impact of links from it. 
  • Ahrefs Webmaster Tools will show all backlinks you got from PR efforts, among other features. 

Recommended reading: Digital PR: The Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Brand Unmissable 

13. Let others promote you through affiliate programs 

Affiliate marketing programs allow influencers, bloggers, and other kinds of online content creators to promote your products for a commission from sales.

You can find affiliate marketing examples all over the web. Usually, affiliate marketers include links to products inside reviews or some kind of educational content (recipes, tutorials, etc.). Sometimes, they even run their own shops. 

Shop made mostly out of affiliate links
At loveandlemons.com, of the biggest food blogs, you can shop for kitchen essentials and photography equipment. Makes sense because, at one point, the reader will surely wonder what gear its team uses for such great photos.

Affiliate marketing is designed to be mutually beneficial. The better affiliates promote, the more you sell, and the more they earn in return. 

How to get started 

Depends on the affiliate marketing program.

For example, on ClickBank, you list your product on a public marketplace and wait for affiliates to find you. 

But on platforms like Impact, you can choose affiliates from the platform’s contact list. 

But if you want to spend the least possible time on managing your affiliate program, you can consider a program like GiddyUp. It will even take care of creating banners for you and your affiliates. 

As for the costs, there are usually some small up-front costs paid to the affiliate platform. But other than that, everything is performance-based. 

14. See what works for your competitors 

The oldest advice on the planet, right? Well, it still works. 

While following your competitor’s steps may be harder in the “offline” world, it’s much easier (and cheaper) online. 

By using competitor analysis tools, you can learn things like:

  • What type of content works for your competition. 
  • What do competitors see as a good advertising investment and how they advertise it. 
  • Where they get their backlinks. 
  • Gaps in your content strategy.

How to get started 

Get a competitor analysis tool designed for the type of marketing you want to analyze. Some examples are:

  • Ahrefs – SEO, PPC, and content marketing
  • Moat – Digital ads
  • MailCharts – Email marketing 
  • Brand24 – Brand monitoring in web and social media
  • SparkToro – Audience insight
  • Visualping – Webpage monitoring

So say you want to see which topics you haven’t blogged about yet compared to your competitors. You can check that quickly by pasting your and your competitors’ URLs in Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool.

Content gap analysis
A quick check comparison of three dog behaviorist and training blogs. Our target blog could consider keywords like “what are shock collars” or “second dog syndrome.”

You’ll get keywords your competitors rank for, but you don’t. This way, you’ll save a ton of time on manually going through websites. 

Recommended reading: How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis (Template Included) 

What is the best marketing strategy for a small business? 

The best marketing strategy is the one that brings you results. It’s common to see some strategies working for some and not for others. 

Although it may sound cliche, it’s crucial to take any advice with a grain of salt and simply test things yourself. The best marketing strategy may be the one you haven’t tried yet. 

And when you find a marketing strategy that works for you, double down on it. 

Slutgiltiga tankar 

As you can see, marketing strategies can be very different from one another. It’s actually kind of mind-boggling to see so many ways of growing a business. 

So a good idea is to prioritize. 

Try the classic “prioritization matrix.” Take a moment to think about marketing strategies you found in this and other guides and put them in one of the categories based on a) the effort they need and b) the value they give. 

Prioritization matrix

So for example, if getting free press may be low effort och high value for you, that will be something to put into action as soon as possible. 

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SEO

From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

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From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

Conductor, a leading enterprise organic marketing platform, has acquired European-based competitor, Searchmetrics, to accelerate its expansion in the European market.

After acquiring ContentKing in 2022, the acquisition of Searchmetrics continues to strengthen Conductor’s position in the industry.

Seth Besmertnik, Conductor’s CEO and co-founder, said that the acquisition would bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and its shared customers:

“Searchmetrics has been a competitor almost since we started Conductor, with a strong data foundation and a powerful presence in the European market. We are excited to bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and to our now shared customers. Our goal is for customers to greatly benefit from this acquisition through delivery of more product value on a global scale.”

 

Matt Colebourne, the CEO of Searchmetrics, expressed his excitement for the company to join Conductor, calling it the “definitive global leader”:

“Conductor is indisputably the SEO space market leader. For years, we’ve admired their commitment to innovation for customers and their efforts to foster a dynamic and rewarding workplace culture for employees. By joining Conductor, we bring the best of what we do along with a large European customer base—solidifying Conductor as the definitive global leader. We cannot wait to build more for customers going forward.”

 

Ken Ogenbratt, Searchmetrics’s Chief Financial Officer, said the acquisition is a “pivotal step” for the SEO industry as the two companies move forward as partners with the opportunity to drive even greater value to customers.

With this acquisition, Conductor continues its commitment to creating a single, global platform that integrates all parts of the SEO workflow.

With Searchmetrics’ strong European presence and solid customer base, the acquisition will significantly accelerate Conductor’s growth in Europe.

Conductor has completed its second acquisition in a year with the purchase of Searchmetrics, which follows the company’s significant funding round from Bregal Sagemount in 2021.

This acquisition is seen as a sign of Conductor’s recent growth. It is expected to solidify its position as a leading player in the SEO space by incorporating the strengths of both companies for their shared customers.


Featured Image: dotshock/Shutterstock



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How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

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How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

In 2015, Brian Dean revealed a brand-new link building strategy. He called it the Skyscraper Technique.

With over 10,000 backlinks since the post was published, it’s fair to say that the Skyscraper Technique took the world by storm in 2015. But what is it exactly, how can you implement it, and can you still get results with this technique in 2023?

Låt oss börja.

What is the Skyscraper Technique?

The Skyscraper Technique is a link building strategy where you improve existing popular content and replicate the backlinks. 

Brian named it so because in his words, “It’s human nature to be attracted to the best. And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest ‘skyscraper’ in your space… and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.”

Here’s how the technique works:

Three steps of the Skyscraper Technique

How to implement the Skyscraper Technique

Follow these three steps to execute the Skyscraper Technique.

1. Find relevant content with lots of backlinks

There are three methods to find relevant pages with plenty of links:

Use Site Explorer

Enter a popular site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Next, go to the Best by backlinks report.

Best pages by backlinks report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows you a list of pages from the site with the highest number of referring domains. If there are content pieces with more than 50 referring domains, they’re likely to be good potential targets.

Sidenote.

Ignore homepages and other irrelevant content when eyeballing this report.

Use Content Explorer

Ahrefs’ Content Explorer is a searchable database of 10 billion pages. You can use it to find mentions of any word or phrase.

Let’s start by entering a broad topic related to your niche into Content Explorer. Next, set a Referring domains filter to a minimum of 50. 

We can also add:

  • Language filter to get only pages in our target language.
  • Exclude homepages to remove homepages from the results.
Ahrefs' Content Explorer search for "gardening," with filters

Eyeball the results to see if there are any potential pieces of content you could beat.

Use Keywords Explorer

Enter a broad keyword into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Next, go to the Matching terms report and set a Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter to a minimum of 40.

Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Why filter for KD? 

The reason is due to the method we use at Ahrefs to calculate KD. Our KD score is calculated from a trimmed mean of referring domains (RDs) to the top 10 ranking pages. 

In other words, the top-ranking pages for keywords with high KD scores have lots of backlinks on average.

From here, you’ll want to go through the report to find potential topics you could build a better piece of content around. 

2. Make it better

The core idea (or assumption) behind the Skyscraper Technique is that people want to see the best. 

Once you’ve found the content you want to beat, the next step is to make something even better

According to Brian, there are four aspects worth improving:

  1. Length – If the post has 25 tips, list more.
  2. Freshness – Update any outdated parts of the original article with new images, screenshots, information, stats, etc.
  3. Design – Make it stand out with a custom design. You could even make it interactive.
  4. Depth – Don’t just list things. Fill in the details and make them actionable.

3. Reach out to the right people

The key to successfully executing the Skyscraper Technique is email outreach. But instead of spamming everyone you know, you reach out to those who have already linked to the specific content you have improved. 

The assumption: Since they’ve already linked to a similar article, they’re more likely to link to one that’s better.

You can find these people by pasting the URL of the original piece into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and then going to the Backlinks report.

Backlinks report for ResumeGenius' how to write a resume, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows all the backlinks to the page. In this case, there are 441 groups of links.

But not all of these links will make good prospects. So you’ll likely need to add some filters to clean them up. For example, you can:

  • Add a Language filter for the language you’re targeting (e.g., English).
  • Switch the tab to Dofollow for equity-passing links.
Backlinks report, with filters, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Does the Skyscraper Technique still work?

It’s been roughly eight years since Brian shared this link building strategy. Honestly speaking, the technique has been oversaturated. Given its widespread use, its effectiveness may even be limited. 

Some SEOs even say they wouldn’t recommend it.

So we asked our Twitter och LinkedIn following this question and received 1,242 votes. Here are the results:

Pie chart showing 61% of respondents feel the Skyscraper Technique still works

Clearly, many SEOs and marketers still believe the technique works.

Sidenote.

According to Aira’s annual State of Link Building report, only 18% of SEOs still use the Skyscraper Technique. It’s not a go-to for many SEOs, as it ranks #20 among the list of tactics. I suspect its popularity has waned because (1) it’s old and SEOs are looking for newer stuff and (2) SEOs believe that content is more important than links these days.

Why the Skyscraper Technique fails and how to improve your chances of success

Fundamentally, it makes sense that the Skyscraper Technique still works. After all, the principles are the same behind (almost) any link building strategy:

  1. Create great content
  2. Reach out to people and promote it

But why do people think it’s no longer effective? There are a few reasons why and knowing them will help you improve your chances of success with the Skyscraper Technique.

Let’s start with:

1. Sending only Brian’s email template

In Brian’s original post, he suggested an email template for his readers to use:

Hey, I found your post: http://post1

<generic compliment>

It links to this post: http://post2

I made something better: http://post3

Please swap out the link for mine.

Unfortunately, many SEOs decided to use this exact template word for word. 

Link building doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If everyone in your niche decides to send this exact template to every possible website, it’ll burn out real fast. And that’s exactly what happened.

Now, if a website owner sees this template, chances are they’ll delete it right away. 

Sidenote.

Judging by my inbox, there are still people using this exact template. And, like everyone else, I delete the email immediately.

I’m not saying this to disparage templated emails. If you’re sending something at scale, templating is necessary. But move away from this template. Write your own, personalize it as much as possible, and follow the outreach principles here.

Even better, ask yourself:

"What makes my content unique and link-worthy?”

2. Not segmenting your prospects

People link for different reasons, so you shouldn’t send everyone the same pitch. 

Consider dividing your list of prospects into segments according to the context in which they linked. You can do this by checking the Anchors report in Site Explorer.

Anchors report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can clearly see people are linking to different statistics from our SEO statistics post. So, for example, if we were doing outreach for a hypothetical post, we might want to mention to the first group that we have a new statistic for “Over 90% of content gets no traffic from Google.”

Then, to the second group, we’ll mention that we have new statistics for “68% of online experiences.” And so on. 

In fact, that’s exactly what we did when we built links to this post. Check out the case study here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

3. Not reaching out to enough people

Ultimately, link building is still a numbers game. If you don’t reach out to enough people, you won’t get enough links. 

Simply put: You need to curate a larger list of link prospects.

So rather than limiting yourself to only replicating the backlinks of the original content, you should replicate the backlinks from other top-ranking pages covering the same topic too.

To find these pages, enter the target keyword into Keywords Explorer and scroll down to the SERP overview.

SERP overview for "how to write a resume," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In this example, most top-ranking pages have tons of links, and all of them (after filtering, of course) could be potential link prospects.

Pro tip

Looking for even more prospects? Use Content Explorer.

Search for your keyword, set a Referring domains filter, and you’ll see relevant pages where you can “mine” for more skyscraper prospects.

Referring domains filters selected in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

4. Thinking bigger equals better

Someone creates a list with 15 tools. The next person ups it to 30. Another “skyscrapers” it to 50, and the next increases it to 100.

Not only is it a never-ending arms race, there’s also no value for the reader. 

No one wants to skim through 5,000 words or hundreds of items just to find what they need. Curation is where the value is.

When considering the four aspects mentioned by Brian, don’t improve things for the sake of improving them. Adding 25 mediocre tips to an existing list of 25 doesn’t make it “better.” Likewise for changing the publish date or adding a few low-quality illustrations. 

Example: My colleague, Chris Haines, recently published a post on the best niche site ideas. Even though he only included 10, he has already outperformed the other “skyscraper” articles:

Our blog post ranking #3 for the query, "niche site ideas," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

He differentiated himself through his knowledge and expertise. After all, Chris has 10 years of experience in SEO. 

So when you’re creating your article, always look at any improvement through the lens of value:

Are you giving more value to the reader? 

5. Not considering brand

As Ross Hudgens says, “Better does not occur in a branding vacuum.”

Most of the time, content isn’t judged solely on its quality. It’s also judged by who it comes from. We discovered this ourselves too when we tried to build links to our keyword research guide.

Most of the time, people didn’t read the article. They linked to us because of our brand and reputation—they knew we were publishing great content consistently, and they had confidence that the article we were pitching was great too.

In other words, there are times where no matter how hard you “skyscraper” your content, people just won’t link to it because they don’t know who you are. 

Having your own personal brand is important these days. But think about it: What is a “strong brand” if not a consistent output of high-quality work that people enjoy? One lone skyscraper doesn’t make a city; many of them together do.

What I’m saying is this: Don’t be discouraged if your “skyscraper” article gets no results. And don’t be discouraged just because you don’t have a brand right now—you can work on that over time.

Keep on making great content—skyscraper or not—and results will come if you trust the process.

"Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” 

Slutgiltiga tankar

The Skyscraper Technique is a legitimate link building tactic that works. But that can only happen if you:

Any questions or comments? Let me know på Twitter.



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13 Best High Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs 2023

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13 Best High Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs 2023

Are you looking for more ways to generate income for yourself or your business this year?

With high-ticket affiliate marketing programs, you earn money by recommending your favorite products or services to those who need them.

Affiliate marketers promote products through emails, blog posts, social media updates, YouTube videos, podcasts, and other forms of content with proper disclosure.

While not all affiliate marketers make enough to quit their 9-to-5, any additional income in the current economy can come in handy for individuals and businesses.

How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

Here’s a simple summary of how to get started with affiliate marketing.

  • Build an audience. You need websites with traffic, email lists with subscribers, or social media accounts with followers to promote a product – or ideally, a combination of all three.
  • Find products and services you can passionately promote to the audience you have built. The more you love something and believe in its efficacy, the easier it will be to convince someone else to buy it.
  • Sign up for affiliate and referral programs. These will be offered directly through the company selling the product or service, or a third-party affiliate platform.
  • Fill out your application and affiliate profile completely. Include your niche, monthly website traffic, number of email subscribers, and social media audience size. Companies will use that information to approve or reject your application.
  • Get your custom affiliate or referral link and share it with your audience, or the segment of your audience that would benefit most from the product you are promoting.
  • Look for opportunities to recommend products to new people. You can be helpful, make a new acquaintance, and earn a commission.
  • Monitor your affiliate dashboard and website analytics for insights into your clicks and commissions.
  • Adjust your affiliate marketing tactics based on the promotions that generate the most revenue.

Now, continue reading about the best high-ticket affiliate programs you can sign up for in 2023. They offer a high one-time payout, recurring commissions, or both.

The Best High-Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs

What makes them these affiliate marketing programs the “best” is subjective, but I chose these programs based on their payout amounts, number of customers, and average customer ratings. Customer ratings help determine whether a product is worth recommending. You can also use customer reviews to help you market the products or services when you highlight impressive results customers gain from using the product or service, and the features customers love most.

1. Smartproxy

Smartproxy allows customers to access business data worldwide for competitor research, search engine results page (SERP) scraping, price aggregation, and ad verification.

836 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.7 out of five stars.

Earn up to $2,000 per customer that you refer to Smartproxy using its affiliate program.

2. Thinkific

Thinkific is an online course creation platform used by over 50,000 instructors in over 100 million courses.

669 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.6 out of five stars.

Earn up to $1,700 per referral per year through the Thinkific affiliate program.

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an ecommerce provider with open SaaS, headless integrations, omnichannel, B2B, and offline-to-online solutions.

648 reviewers gave it an average rating of 8.1 out of ten stars.

Earn up to $1,500 for new enterprise customers, or 200% of the customer’s first payment by signing up for the BigCommerce affiliate program.

4. Teamwork

Teamwork, project management software focused on maximizing billable hours, helps everyone in your organization become more efficient – from the founder to the project managers.

1,022 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $1,000 per new customer referral with the Teamwork affiliate program.

5. Flywheel

Flywheel provides managed WordPress hosting geared towards agencies, ecommerce, and high-traffic websites.

36 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $500 per new referral from the Flywheel affiliate program.

6. Teachable

Teachable is an online course platform used by over 100,000 entrepreneurs, creators, and businesses of all sizes to create engaging online courses and coaching businesses.

150 reviewers gave it a 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $450 (average partner earnings) per month by joining the Teachable affiliate program.

7. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a global marketplace for sourcing stock photographs, vectors, illustrations, videos, and music.

507 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $300 for new customers by signing up for the Shutterstock affiliate program.

8. HubSpot

HubSpot provides a CRM platform to manage your organization’s marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.

3,616 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars.

Earn an average payout of $264 per month (based on current affiliate earnings) with the HubSpot affiliate program, or more as a solutions partner.

9. Sucuri

Sucuri is a cloud-based security platform with experienced security analysts offering malware scanning and removal, protection from hacks and attacks, and better site performance.

251 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.6 out of five stars.

Earn up to $210 per new sale by joining Sucuri referral programs for the platform, firewall, and agency products.

10. ADT

ADT is a security systems provider for residences and businesses.

588 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars.

Earn up to $200 per new customer that you refer through the ADT rewards program.

11. DreamHost

DreamHost web hosting supports WordPress and WooCommerce websites with basic, managed, and VPS solutions.

3,748 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.7 out of five stars.

Earn up to $200 per referral and recurring monthly commissions with the DreamHost affiliate program.

12. Shopify

Shopify, a top ecommerce solution provider, encourages educators, influencers, review sites, and content creators to participate in its affiliate program. Affiliates can teach others about entrepreneurship and earn a commission for recommending Shopify.

Earn up to $150 per referral and grow your brand as a part of the Shopify affiliate program.

13. Kinsta

Kinsta is a web hosting provider that offers managed WordPress, application, and database hosting.

529 reviewers gave it a 4.3 out of five stars.

Earn $50 – $100 per new customer, plus recurring revenue via the Kinsta affiliate program.

Even More Affiliate Marketing Programs

In addition to the high-ticket affiliate programs listed above, you can find more programs to join with a little research.

  • Search for affiliate or referral programs for all of the products or services you have a positive experience with, personally or professionally.
  • Search for affiliate or referral programs for all of the places you shop online.
  • Search for partner programs for products and services your organization uses or recommends to others.
  • Search for products and services that match your audience’s needs on affiliate platforms like Shareasale, Awin, and CJ.
  • Follow influencers in your niche to see what products and services they recommend. They may have affiliate or referral programs as well.

A key to affiliate marketing success is to diversify the affiliate marketing programs you join.

It will ensure that you continue to generate an affiliate income, regardless of if one company changes or shutters its program.

Fler resurser:


Featured image: Shutterstock/fatmawati achmad zaenuri



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