I hate the term growth hacking techniques. I only put it in the title for click-bait purposes.
This post isn’t about growth hacking (sorry) – it’s about good old fashioned black hat spam!
It’s kinda ironic I’m writing black hat growth hacking techniques because I run a 100% white hat agency. There’s a lot more money in white hat marketing, but…it’s boring as h***.
I’ve been writing for a lot of white hat blogs lately that made me use meaningless buzzwords like “engagement”, “insights” and “holistic”.
F***. That. S***.
Today, I get to write about fun stuff. “Traffic”, “automation”, “cut corners” – buzzwords that matter.
What You Will Learn
- 3 awesome growth hacking techniques to drive traffic to your site
- How black hats abuse Reddit growth hacks for huge traffic
- The one Google+ trick responsible for driving thousands of visits over and over again
- How to hack Twitter traffic using down right dirty, disgusting spam
Reddit Growth Hacking Techniques
I used to hate Reddit. Everything I posted would get clobbered by Redditors.
So I put in the time to figure out how to beat the system. And now it’s one of my favorite growth hacking techniques.
Now I get a consistent stream of traffic from Reddit whenever I want.
It really comes down to 4 things:
- Understanding and researching Subreddits
- Posting relevant links
- Authority (karma and gold)
- Well timed Upvotes
Numbers 1 and 2 are straight forward.
Step 1 – Reddit Research
Research Subreddits to make sure your content is relevant. It’s vital that you do research before by using the home page search bar. Otherwise, you’re posting blind.
Step 2 – Posting Links
It is very important that you don’t spam links. Make sure whatever you’re posting aligns to the Subreddit guidelines and is similar to what other Redditors post.
Most of you have probably tried marketing on Reddit before and know d*** well those 2 steps still don’t guarantee success.
There’s something else you need…
Step 3 – Increasing Karma
A Reddit account gains Karma when links and comments are upvoted by other Redditors.
An account with Karma shows that Redditor consistently posts good content, i.e. not spam.
Since Reddit is a desktop only network (no official app), Redditors can (and will) view your profile to see Karma count and post history.
More Karma = more trust = more traffic.
Therefore, you need an account with Karma.
Method 1 (White Hat): Post Links That Get Upvoted
Instead of posting links to your sites, post links to popular sites.
It’s much easier when you do it within topics you’re interested in. I’m a sneakerhead – I simply grab images from friends on my Instagram feed and post them to sneaker based Subreddits.
This can be easily outsourced to a VA which makes it one of the best growth hacks but it still requires effort.
So, meh, let’s find an easier way.
Method 2 (Black Hat Growth Hacking): Buy it
Yep, that’s right. I bought two accounts with a boat load of Karma.
Now, every time I post I get quality traffic.
All I did was Google “buy reddit accounts with karma” and found a ton of vendors.
I’m not going to directly promote any businesses (unless I’m paid to) so I’ll just say this – I bought my accounts from vendors on the first page of that exact search.
So far I covered points 1, 2 and 3. But what about 4?
Step 4 – Upvotes
Upvotes are crucial – they bump your post onto the first page of the Subreddit and that’s when you see explosive results.
You can’t just buy a gig and hope for results because Reddit’s algorithm is sensitive. You need the upvotes within a certain time limit of posting for it to be effective.
That means you have to coordinate with your freelancer when you’re going to publish and upvote. Send them a message and get their Skype contact info so you can chat in real time.
Before you post your link, message your freelancer and make sure they’re available to send their upvotes.
Google+ Growth Hacks For Lots Of Traffic
This one isn’t that exciting, but it’s effective.
I mean, look at how much traffic I’ve driven from Google+ the last 2 months:
Dead network my a**.
More importantly, I’m driving thousands of valuable ranking signals.
Example 1: I had a client who wanted to rank higher in YouTube search. If you know about about video marketing and YouTube marketing, you know that social signals and “engaged” views play a huge role in the ranking algorithm. From one post, I was able to drive 12 +1s, 1 share, 5 comments and over 100 views.
Without any links built at the video, it shot up to #2 in YouTube search for their main keyword.
Example 2: As previously mentioned, I sell white hat SEO and content marketing services to Fortune 500 companies. I put together a technical SEO guide and posted it to SlideShare (a tremendously powerful platform to reach high level executives). I wanted to rank it in organic search for “technical SEO” related keywords so I posted it to Google+. It drove 27 +1s and 30 Shares.
Within just two weeks it punched up to spot 6 in Google for “technical SEO audit”.
Since March, the document has gotten well over 3,000 views.
Ok, you get the point. Let me show you exactly how I’m doing it.
Step 1 – Finding relevant Communities
I have a pretty good following on Google+, but I never post to my profile page. I only use Communities. Some of them have over 500,000 people in them – they’re a tremendous resource for driving traffic.
Start by logging into Google+ and navigating to the Communities section.
Then, type in some keywords relevant to the content you plan to post.
For the motorcycle example, I typed in “motorcycle”. For the SEO post, I typed in “SEO”.
Hopefully you’re taking notes – it’s crazy complicated.
Step 2 – Spam Check
Click through on a bunch of them and look around – you want to make sure they’re engaged and spam free.
- Look for a moderator’s note and active presence
- Check if posts are getting +1s and Shares
- Make sure not every post is a link – we want active and engaged communities
Step 3 – Join The Community
Don’t be that jack a** who joins and instantly starts posting links. You’ll get banned immediately.
Instead, just copy and paste this:
Thanks +Moderator for accepting me! My name is [Insert your name] and I’ve been working in [Insert niche] for about 8 years, but I’m always looking to learn from fellow colleagues. Looking forward to contributing!
Step 4 – Post Your Link
Give your intro a few days to settle in. Then, come back with your link ready to dump it.
It’s important that you take the time to write 100 – 150 word intro about the link you’re posting.
Any quality Community will require you do so. Also, it helps drive more engagement on your content.
Step 5 – +1 Everything
This is where the magic happens.
All you have to do is scroll down and +1 past posts – do as many as you can until your hand falls off.
What this does is drive attention back to your profile and your most recent post.
Its basic, but trust me, it works!
Creating A Twitter Army With Spam
This one is devious. Promise you won’t judge me for it, ok?
I started doing it to build natural social signals but it ended up driving quality traffic to my website.
NOTE: I recently stopped using this technique. Not because it doesn’t work, but because I’m working with some large clients who frown upon this behavior (sad face).
I want you guys to meet Stephani. She’s a smart, hip, attractive digital marketer that Tweets industry news and funny memes.
Stephani has [had] hundreds of friends on Twitter and for some crazy reason, they all loved sharing my content.
Sorry guys, Stephani isn’t real. She only exists in the wonderful world of internet spam – where people will believe anything.
Twitter is notoriously lenient on spam. It was extremely easy (and cheap) for me to set up dozens of these profiles that were actively Tweeting out my links to their followings.
Yes, they all had hundreds of followers. Like I said, people will believe anything.
Here’s how I did it.
Step 1 – Buying Phone Verified Twitter Accounts
If you’re on a tight budget, you can create them yourself. If you’ve got $50 to spare I suggest you buy them.
Just search around Google and you can find a number of providers for this.
Step 2 – Setup Your Profiles
Again, you can do it yourself, but I suggest you enlist the help of a VA.
Here are the instructions I gave him:
- Search Google for random American names (Dan, Doug, Stacey, etc)
- Take a screenshot of their picture
- Upload it to a Twitter profile
- Add a short blurb (Digital marketing expert. Dog lover. Craft beer enthusiast). You know, whatever the kids are putting there these days
- Rinse and repeat for each profile
Like I said, pretty shady stuff. Sorry Dan(s)!
Step 3 – Schedule Tweets
I used TweetDeck:
- Easy integration with dozens of accounts
- Schedule Tweets across all accounts from one screen
I had my VA schedule out 6 months of random Tweets across the accounts – this ensured the accounts looked real.
I then created a Google Sheets document with the Tweets and links to my blog posts I wanted to promote.
He followed a simple rule: for every 10 – 12 text Tweets drop a link to one of the posts. I’m not someone who likes to waste my time – we went the extra mile to make sure everything looked real.
Step 4 – Automation Unleashed
For a while I was using a Twitter bot to grow my personal account.
The bot “favorited” Tweets containing certain hashtags, grabbing the users attention and driving them back to my profile.
Matt ran a similar case study using Tweet Attacks Pro with great results.
The tactic worked well – my profile grew nicely during that period.
I had my VA set up the bot on all of the fake profiles (we used http://www.followliker.com – 1 time cost of $98).
We set it up to “favorite” and ReTweet hashtags relevant to digital marketing (#seo, #webdesign, etc). After that, we were done. I let the bot run for 3 months and we drove well over 2,000 visits.
There’s a bit of legwork up front but once you get it set up you’re done. You can receive a steady stream of social signals and targeted traffic on autopilot.
Wrapping it up
In my day to day life running an agency, I don’t get to deploy these growth hacking techniques as much as I used to.
So hopefully you guys enjoyed learning about my growth hacks as much as I enjoyed writing about them!
If you have any questions, thoughts or comments then please leave a comment below and I will answer each one personally.