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People & Society Marketing and Link Building Case Studies

13 example(s) in this category

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Writing Content That Attracts Links

That headline is quite appealing, isn’t it?

You can achieve a personal goal – new links and traffic to your website – by adopting the productivity levels of someone who doesn’t try very hard to get things done.

Our brains are hard-wired to look for shortcuts in order to achieve the same desired goal, and headlines that involve ‘lazy’ and ‘success’ are one way of tapping in to that.

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This Side Project for “Lazy” People Has Over 40,000 Backlinks

40,400 Backlinks / 1,860 Referring Domains

If Detailed isn’t your first introducing to my writing, you may be familiar with Gaps, where I once did a challenge to build a profitable startup in 28 days.

In my article revealing the niche I was tackling, I went into quite a lot of detail on the topic of ‘condensed learning‘ and the companies that were making a lot of money from it.

Today’s example – TOSDR.org (the DR stands for “Didn’t read”) – gives you something else in a more consensed format: The Terms of Service forms you agree to when you sign-up to popular websites.

While this side-project has no doubt succeeded because it provides a genuinely useful offering, in my last link I’ve shown they’re not the only site to have became hugely successful from condensing longer information.

  • Philosophers Notes condenses the best business books and reaches millions of people per month
  • BBC’s two-minute daily podcast recapping the news is one of their most popular
  • Blinkist is generating millions of dollars by making it easier for people to get the main points of a book
  • Youtube channels around animated book summaries are exploding in popularity

What is often produced in long-form content that you could condense for other people?

Books are a bit of a saturated market, and we know Terms of Service’s aren’t an option either.

I truly expect you to have better ideas than me of other ways to implement this, but a few thoughts off the top of my head:

  • 5-minute summaries of the best podcasts in your space (that typically go on for one hour or more)
  • 300 word briefs of the best political articles (e.g. New York Times 5,000+ word articles, summarised)
  • The key points of the best free eBooks in your niche
  • Rate restaurants by the first sentence of every single critics’ review

This one is a little more tricky for me as I remember struggling with it back when I started the case study. Funnily, my own version of summarising content proved to be a little too popular.

Hopefully in the niche you’re working in there’s some ‘obvious’ long-form content (whether that’s text, audio or video) that you think your audience would love to see produced in a more digestible way.

If so, you may be on to something special.

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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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How 377 Words and 5 Images Resulted in 1.6 Million Facebook Likes

1.6 Million Facebook Likes

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but it’s not the images in today’s case study – no matter how critical they were to the success of the piece – that I’m concerned about.

While the article in question was useful – How to Get Rid of a Headache in 5 Minutes Without Pills – I’m much more interested in the headline formula to go with it.

The structure is simple: You tell people how to achieve something important to them, and then you take away the most commonly expected answer to making it happen.

Let me give you a few examples earlier on in an update than normal to clarfiy what I’m talking about.

  • How to Improve Your Soccer Skills, Without Touching a Football
  • How to Bench Press More, Without Hitting the Gym
  • How to Become Fluent in French, Without Visiting France
  • Knock 10 Seconds Off Your 800m Time Without a Running Coach

While the article was helped by the fact that it’s on one of those ‘viral-news’ style sites that seem to go viral with any old update, I still think the headline formula is powerful enough that it can be used in even the most professional of applications.

Remember, the key is to offer the promise of something and then removing the most common solution that people would instantly think of in their head.

Doing that alone can get people to click on the headline of your article and share it with others.

Of course, as with any “headline formula” I share here on Detailed, be sure to back up the headline with actual useful information relating to your promise. Don’t claim you can improve someone’s French without them visiting France if you don’t actually have any tips or data to back up your claim.

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How to Delight Your Audience By Telling Them to Give Up

61,000 'Claps' on Medium

I don’t mean this in some backwards way that you become successful because you no longer have any goals.

I mean literally giving up all of the distractions that stop you focusing on what you need to get done in order to become the best in your space at anything.

Today’s update was inspired by a Medium post which received over 61,000 claps (their version of Likes) and is the sixth most shared post on the website. Ever.

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This Job Board Concept Can Be Applied to Anything (And It’s Really Smart)

51 Referring Domains in Two Weeks

If you click on the ‘Job Board’ category in the Detailed sidebar, you’ll find an example of a job board which has picked up thousands of links.

While today’s example has “only” picked up 231 links, it did launch this month, which makes those low numbers actually quite impressive.

Limbo does something quite different to any other job board I’ve seen: People looking for a job share their skills and dream position anonymously, and then let employers pitch them.

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What Everyone Should Know About Creating Content That Goes Viral

1,000+ Facebook Shares / 120 Referring Domains

Have you ever been in a situation when somebody has said, “Everybody knows that, right?”, but you actually didn’t?

Perhaps in an interview or on a first date, you’d be forgiven if you lied, but it’s likely something you wouldn’t forget (or at least you would remind yourself to research it more later if you’re anything like me).

I recently came across Psyblog which was created by British psychologist, Jeremy Dean. Unsurprisingly (for a psychologist) Jeremy’s attention-grabbing headlines have earned tens of thousands of shares.

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Reader Profiling: One Thing I Wish I Had Done More Of (And You Should Too)

13.7K Facebook Shares

One thing, not the one thing (there are quite a few) I wish I had done more of during my blogging ‘career’ is to highlight the success stories of both readers and those close to the space.

It’s odd, because one of the most successful posts ever shared on ViperChill was the unveiling of a reader and friend, Ramsay from Blog Tyrant.

When MakeMyTrip.com profiled the lives of five Indian women who travel solo around the world, it really struck a chord and went viral, being shared on Facebook more than 13,000 times.

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The Number One Sign You’re Getting Better at Promoting Content

72,000 Facebook Likes / 1,830 Backlinks

Eight years ago when I started a personal development blog, two of the people I quickly came to really like in the space were Marc and Angel from MarcandAngel.com.

While they don’t go into the type of depth I tend to enjoy reading these days, their site is a great resource for uplifting content, no matter which area of life you’re struggling with.

A few years ago they went live with 9 Good Signs You’re in the Right Relationship, which quickly went viral on Facebook (72,000 likes) and picked up over 1,800 backlinks.

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‘Signs You’re ____’ Is an Incredibly Powerful Headline Formula

27,000 Facebook Likes / 37,000 LinkedIn Shares

I’ve shared a number of ‘headline formulas’ at Detailed over the past few months, but this one might just be the best yet.

The structure is simple: You create a headline which includes the words ‘Signs You’re ____’ and fill in the gaps with something relevant to your industry.

For example, a recent article on Forbes went viral with the headline Five Signs You’re Successful — Whether You Know It or Not.

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Striking the Content Jackpot with 100 Books Every Man Should Read

4,500 links / 632 referring domains

If you’re unfamiliar with the ‘twist post’, it’s simply this: You take an angle people love (list posts) and you make it really meaty by writing a huge, in-depth version of a list post.

You can read more about the angle here.

The Art of Manliness created another successful twist post, 100 Books Every Man Should Read, which has picked up over 4,500 links from 632 different websites. Even more impressive is it still picks up new backlinks every few days.

Creating a list of ’21 books every man should read’ would have taken far less work, but I argue it wouldn’t have been as popular.

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The Simple Headline Formula One Popular Blog Won’t Stop Using

20,900 links / 447 referring domains

The elementary headline formula we’ll highlight below has been popular online for over a decade. When used with the right filler words, it can help the right story get shared.

Popular men’s blog the Art of Manliness frequently use the template, helping to frame some of their most viral posts.

One such article, written almost a decade ago, still picks up links to this day from sites like Wikipedia, Wikihow and Lifehacker.

The headline used was simply this: How to Shave Like Your Grandpa.

Besides the countless social shares, it also picked up 20,900 backlinks from 447 referring domains.

While the formula is incredibly simple – How to ___ Like ___ – it has the potential be incredibly effective.

The key to succeeding with this headline is making the first ‘gap’ interesting, and the second ‘gap’ inspiring.

Some more headlines that might inspire your creative thinking include:

  • How to Stay Driven Like Michael Phelphs
  • How to Take Free Kicks Like Cristiano Ronaldo
  • How to Focus Like Eckhart Tolle
  • How to Give Speeches Like Martin Luther King
  • How to Write Blog Posts Like Glen Allsopp (I kid, I kid!)

While you can write your advice based on anecdotal evidence or your own perception, try to find examples of that person actually giving advice on a topic.

As with any headline template we’ll recommend on Detailed, be sure to backup what you say with great content.

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