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Content Guide Marketing and Link Building Case Studies

9 example(s) in this category

Pick Up Thousands of Backlinks By Rewriting Somebody Else’s Popular Article

1,360 Referring Domains, 6,880 Backlinks

Today isn’t going to be the first time I’ve featured HelpScout on Detailed and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Their content writer, Gregory Ciotti, has honed his skills as a marketer over the years and it’s scary how productive he is.

As he writes so much, I wouldn’t be surprised if he uses other successful case studies as inspiration for his own blog post ideas, and that seems to be the case here.

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Here’s Why Tens of Thousands Flood to Nerd Fitness Every Week (And It’s Not Because of Their Content)

1.5 Million Forum Posts

Though I actively avoid marketing conferences and meetups these days, I did used to be a lot more open to sitting down and meeting with people I admire in the online marketing world.

One of the people I met up with in South Africa was Steve Kamb, of Nerd Fitness fame.

Steve’s site reaches millions of people each month and has enough incredible content ideas to inspire a months worth of Detailed updates, but that’s not what I want to discuss today.

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A Simple Reddit ‘Trick’ for When You Need Content Marketing Inspiration

The Power of Reddit

I’m slightly hesitant to write this article for two reasons. The first is that if you already know the ‘trick’, today’s update may feel a bit disappointing.

The second reason is because I have to admit that some days I have absolutely no idea what content to write for my own sites or my client sites that might get people talking.

To combat the first point, let me share another tip that you might not know about. If you add a ‘+’ to the end of a link you can see how many clicks it received. I still find them being used a lot on Youtube and Twitter and I’m always curious how big and active someone’s reach really is.

For example, New York Times World (@nytimesworld) has a link in their Twitter bio. If we add a ‘+’ to the end we get this, which shows that their profile link has been clicked over 17,000 times in October alone.

Getting back on topic…

Yesterday I was struggling to come up with some good content ideas in the automotive niche, and going through my usual tools of Ahrefs and BuzzSumo didn’t really give me much inspiration.

Fortunately, Reddit quickly came to the rescue. Or more specifically, Reddit’s ability to show you the most shared content from any domain, in any sub-Reddit.

As I was looking for inspiration in the automotive niche, I decided to check the top posts from Car (I once interviewed their founder).

All I did was go to and then I could instantly see the most shared posts from their site in any sub-Reddit.

To take it a step further, you can click on ‘Top’ and then ‘All Time’ to rank them by popularity. If you would like the URL, it looks like this:

You can do this for literally any website and likely find some good content inspiration (unless the site is really new).

This little trick is also useful for finding sub-Reddit’s that might be interested in your content as well if you’re looking for more traffic.

Sorry if this wasn’t new to you, but I really hope you enjoy it if it was.

Either way, Happy Halloween!

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The Power of Literally Asking People to Judge a Book by its Cover

11,100 Facebook Likes / 193 Referring Domains

I had to place today’s case study in the ‘Favorites’ category as there are just so many possible applications of this idea.

Play Judgey allows you to do what your teachers and parents advised against: Literally judge a book by its cover.

With a sliding scale star-rating system, you’re presented with the cover of a book and have to see how close you can get that to the overall ratings of the actual book contents.

At first I didn’t really get the concept. I thought I was judging the cover of a book rather than the book itself.

Then when I started to play I realised why this game has become so viral: You are seeing whether you can predict whether the topic of the book resonated with its readers.

It’s actually quite addictive, and it also opens the doors to a lot of similar ideas.

Some other applications of this I could see working well include:

  • Showing a picture of a car and guessing its top speed
  • Showing a picture of a celebrity and guessing their age
  • Showing a DVD cover and guessing the IMDB rating of the movie
  • Showing a picture of a painting and guessing if it’s from a child or a professional artist

I realise I may be a little cruel with that last one but I think that’s something that could definitely go viral.

While I accept my suggestions slightly miss the point of the original idea, I think a fun twist on this concept would be to not focus on comparing your answers to the real answer, but to compare your guess to everyone else’s guesses.

That way you can either try to predict what other people would have entered, or just submit your true feelings and see how close you were to the average.

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Why Your Links Should Never Say “Click Here”

472 LinkedIn Shares, 129 Referring Domains

I think this is the first time in the history of Detailed updates where I have used the same headline for my article as the case study that I’m discussing.

When I first read the headline I thought “This guy is trying too hard to be controversial” but when I dug deeper, the author – Anthony – actually makes a number of great points in his few hundred word article.

Though the post was published back in 2012, it’s still picking up links today, primarily because it still challenges a common habit that we all have.

And that’s really the key to today’s case study: Can you point out something that a lot of people in your industry do that they probably shouldn’t be doing?

Don’t just try to point something out that couldn’t be improved, but if you constantly find people making the same “mistake” over and over again, it could become the basis for an article that gets people talking.

To give a few examples of how this could be used:

  • Why You Should Never Start Keyword Research With Software
  • Why You Should Never Learn a Language By Purchasing a Dictionary
  • Why Teenage Sprinters Should Never Use Starting Blocks
  • Why You Should Never Tour a Country by Following a Travel Guidebook
  • Why Beginner Programmers Should Never Start with C++

Again, you really have to believe in what you’re saying rather than just saying it for the sake of controversy, but I’m sure you hold an unpopular belief that most people in your space wouldn’t agree with (at least on the surface).

Who knows, maybe you’ll even truly educate people with your content. I know I won’t just be writing ‘click here’ in my links anytime soon.

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How to Copy the Success of The Best Article I Read Last Month

Hundreds of Tweets from 'Influencers'

The post is so new that I don’t have any impressive statistics to share, but I’ve saw a number of ‘big names’ posting this on Twitter (as did I) that I had to share it here.

The article is so good that I’m going to link to it right now so you don’t have to click that little grey external link icon if you so please.

It’s fair to say that the premise is simple, but not fair to say that writing the post was easy. Author, Will Hoekenga, put together an in-depth post highlighting the copy and design lessons you can learn from 13 years of homepages.

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How to Attract 14,000 Facebook Shares By Comparing Two Similarly Priced Products

14,000 Facebook Shares / 136 Referring Domains

Links are great. They help with Google rankings, send traffic from the site that links to you and make you feel good about something that you’ve written.

They’re even better when they suddenly help you to start ranking for an additional 2,800 keywords in Google, for a single article.

That’s what happened this year when SLR Lounge decided to compare a $4K iMac versus a $4K custom made PC.

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Here’s Why You Should Be the First to Build a ‘Pocket Guide’ For Your Niche

200 Referring Domains / 3,000 Facebook Shares

If you’ve been involved in your niche online for even just a few weeks, it’s likely you’ve found a few common questions that pop-up, or even the most commonly referenced sources for answering them.

Today’s example shows how you could build a side-project to create a resource for your industry that people might not know they need…until you make it for them.

When Benedikt Lehnert created A Pocket Guide To Master Every Day’s Typographic Adventure it started gaining traction overnight and has since received 3,000 Facebook shares and links from over 200 different websites.

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The Beautiful Guide That Gained Helpscout 8,000+ Backlinks

8,000 backlinks / 1,890 referring domains

Helpscout are one of the biggest companies on the planet to help you manage customer service emails in one place.

They put together an article on “75 customer service stats, quotes and statistics”, which the marketing web shared like crazy.

Since they’re in the business of customer service, it also had the potential to send them a lot of new users.

I believe a key part of why this did so well is because it’s really beautiful, and they made the content incredibly easy to digest.

Could you do the same for a relevant topic in your niche?

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