How I Will Get 1,000 Subscribers in 7 Months
By Greg Digneo
“Just breathe, Greg.”
About a week ago, I needed to give myself a pep talk.
I made the firm decision that I was going to get 1,000 signups to my free referral marketing tool by the end of 2016. This was going to be the spring board to launch my paid features. I got seven months to get 1,000 signups. I have no traffic at all going to the site and a very small email list. And I have absolutely no social media following to rely on either.
If that wasn’t enough to be stressed out, there’s more.
WHY CHOICES CAN BE PARALYZING
Before I tell you how I’m feeling, let me just quickly mention that I know I’m blessed. I’m blessed because I know several ways to generate traffic, to reach my subscribers. The problem is, I’m paralyzed by the options.
I can do PPC, Content Marketing, Sponsor Sites, Facebook and other Social Channels, Guest blogging, Public relations, etc…
But which do I choose?
Sometimes, having too many choices can stop you in your tracks as easily as having no choices at all. I was paralyzed. I’ve found the instances where you have too many choices, key to overcoming the paralysis is to create your own restraints.
HOW TO CREATE RESTRAINTS AND ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
I needed to take some inventory. Here’s what I know: I have 7 months to get 1,000 users to a free product.
That means I don’t have money to spend on PPC. This includes Facebook, Linkedin, Adwords, and a whole bunch of other ad platforms. Sponsoring sites is also out of the question. Retargeting too. Which sucks, because I love retargeting.
I probably can’t rely on public relations. I don’t have the time to go out and build relationships with the reporters in my space. Nor do I have a truly compelling story… yet.
Social media will take a long time to build a following. I will probably post on various sites, but I don’t expect anything to happen. Things like Facebook, without ads, won’t help in the short term.
All of a sudden, my wide variety of options don’t seem as wide, nor are they as much of a variety as I thought they were. This pretty much leads us with content marketing: Guest blogging, SEO, syndication, and outreach. Writing this post and sharing my thoughts is cathartic. I’m getting more relaxed.
DEVELOPING THE HABITS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
It’s so cliche’, it’s not really funny any more. New Years Day rolls around. And droves of people set their weight loss goals. Couch potatoes go to the gym for 2 hours a day. They go on miracle diets depriving them of carbs, or animal fat, or both. And finally, after 6 weeks, almost all of them have returned to the couch.
Now, I’m not passing judgment here. I’ve been there, done that, probably will do it again. Now, let’s contrast that with people who are physically fit. Chances are, you won’t see them on a crash diet. Sure, they eat healthy. And you won’t see them trying to lose all their weight on the treadmill in one day. Instead, physically fit people integrate their fitness into their daily lives through habit.
According to James Clear, it takes a person an average of 66 days until a behavior becomes automatic. To achieve my goal of 1,000 users by the end of the year, I am going to have to develop the habits to get me there. Sure, I can write 50 guest posts in 30 days. Or do something like that. But I’ll burn out. Just like the couch potato in February.
SO HERE’S THE PLAN…
I learned quant based marketing from Noah Kagan.
Essentially, you work backward to achieve the goal. Realistically, I believe that I can write one guest post per week from now until the end of the year.
Over the years, I’ve seen guest blogging have diminished returns. 5 years ago, I could have gotten 1,000 users with 5 posts. That won’t happen any more. But it’s still an effective strategy to get your first few hundred users.
So, let’s do some math:
My guess is that each guest post will bring in an average of 15 users (some will do a lot more, many will do less. You just don’t know which are going to “hit”.) 4 guest posts a month * 15 users per most * 7 months equals 420 users.
I’m almost half way there.
Next up is blogging and outreach. On average, each post on my blog will convert 2% of visitors into users. That means in order to get the remaining 580 users, I have to get 29,000 people to my site.
I’m confident that with the Skyscraper Technique created by Brian Dean, I should be able to do that. This will mean creating incredibly long posts (or power pages, as he calls them), and then promoting the hell out of the posts through various email outreach strategies.
In the short term, I’ll receive immediate traffic through social media shares. However, this strategy will pay off much more in the long run through SEO. Being a new domain, with limited content, I’m just not sure that SEO will pay off between now and December.
Between writing one guest post a week, and creating one power page a month, I should be able to hit 1,000 users by the end of the year.
Finally. I think I have a plan. One guest post per week. One kick ass blog post per month… and a whole lot of outreach. Like everything else, it’s just about grinding away. And breathing.
“Just breathe, Greg.”
This post was originally published on GregDigneo.com