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Side Project Marketing and Link Building Case Studies

13 example(s) in this category

How Running A Premium Competition Can Win You More Than Prizes

14,000 Facebook Shares / 2,600 Backlinks

Almost 50 years ago, Andy Warhol famously said: “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”.

Today, it seems programs like American Idol and platforms like Instagram fulfill this prophecy every few days. And even if the fame is short-lived, the people who provide the opportunity still receive a lot of credit.
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Popular Fitness magazine Men’s Health tapped into the enduring quest for fame with their “Ultimate Guy Search”. Since beginning in 2014, it has received over 14,000 Facebook shares and picked up 2,600 backlinks.

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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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Create This One Resource and Become A Rockstar In Your Niche

10,000 Backlinks / 340 Referring Domains

When you first enter a new niche, things can seem a bit overwhelming. A common research tactic – seeking out authoritative bloggers in your space – can certainly help make things easier.

Doing this provides great insights into popular content, backlink opportunities and possible networking opportunities, too.

Even if you’re already established in the space, it pays to know what (and more importantly how) the competition is doing.

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My One-Page Website That Reached 9,000 People On Its First Day of Launch

9,000 uniques / homepage of hacker news

A few days ago I wrote about someone who created the world’s pinkest pink and went viral by refusing to sell it to the rights holder of the world’s blackest black.

If you can take advantage of something that other people will get behind – lots of artists didn’t like just one person owning the blackest black – then you too have a chance of going viral.

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Why You Should Create a ‘Shortcut Side Project’ for Your Niche

275 referring domains / 40,000 monthly visitors

My argument today is simple: If there’s a popular piece of software in your niche that many people use, create a side project site showing people the most popular shortcuts when using it.

That’s what Jeffrey and Robert did when they put together Sketch Shortcuts.

The site is both simple and valuable, and serves as a cheatsheet for those using the program.

To date, this one-page website has been linked to 709 times from 275 different websites.

According to SimilarWeb the site receives a consistent 40,000 visitors per month, which is incredible considering it’s really just a list of items.

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This One-Paragraph Website Reaches Up to 100,000 People Per Month

100,000 monthly visitors

Not only does valuable, free content get shared, but you can use it to establish your authority in a niche, funnel people towards your premium offerings and use it to entice people to join your email list.

That is exactly what Fairpixels.co have done with their side-project, Logodust.

Fairpixels uses Logodust to give away open-source logos and reaches up to 100,000 visitors a month.

This simple page has also been shared on Facebook more than 1,300 times.

This traffic is then funneled to two premium products – a “one off” logo service which they charge at least $400 for, and two monthly subscriptions priced $1,450 and $2,175 respectively.

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This Author Wrote a “Guest Post” for Amazon and Attracted 15,000 New Email Subscribers

15,000 email subscribers

As this was part of the Detailed.com design before updating the site, you can see I’ve already written about this success story in quite a bit more detail.

After learning how giving away free content on Amazon helped one writer attract 15,000 new email subscribers in just six months, I need to rethink my marketing strategy.

Nick Stephenson helps authors get their first 10,000 readers, and decided to write some mammoth PDF’s to go into detail on the topic.

Nick created Kindle eBook’s which he markets as being “permanently free”, and got his work in front of Amazon’s massive audience.

One such example of Nick’s work is Reader Magnets, which (slightly ironically) helps people get more downloads from the Amazon Kindle store.

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How Dominating a Hashtag Helped This Company Pick Up 200 New Links

200 referring domains

Not too long ago I wrote a more in-depth guide to dominating the ‘hashtag’ for your niche. If you would like to learn more, you can do so here.

What if you could turn a hashtag into a movement, build awareness for a great cause and pick up links to help your search engine rankings.

That’s exactly what Reedsy did recently when they built a side-project around the hashtag #IWriteBecause.

Reedy is a platform which helps you to find an editor for your next book, so having people share their story on why they write aligns perfectly with their business goals.

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My Free Twitter Tool Finds Influencers to Promote Your Content

Here's a detailed example of how well it can work

A few weeks ago I launched two free Twitter tools to (mostly) coincide with the launch of Detailed.

The feedback was really positive, but my business partner Dirk let me know I probably should have explained what they do a little better.

I assumed most people would just ‘get’ the idea behind them, but he was right. I needed a tutorial.

If you missed it the first time around..

Here’s a link to the tool: Search and Extract Twitter Users.

Here’s a link to the tutorial: Find Twitter Influencers

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The Side-Project Which Picked Up 3,000 Backlinks Last Month

Links from ProductHunt, Smashing Magazine and more...

Benjamin Libor & Sidney Ottelohe created SpreadShare, a community-curated website where people can upload spreadsheets that are useful for startups and business professionals.

Some spreadsheets which are popular on the site right now include:

  • Open Chatbot: An open list of chatbot influencers connecting to meet up
  • London Coworking: A list of co-working spaces, hotels, cafes and other in London
  • Bangalore Startups: A list of Bangalore startup people

There’s a clear focus on resources for those in the marketing world.

If you would like to read my more in-depth thoughts on this site, you can do so here.

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