Tim Soulo from Ahrefs shares methods for promoting products and websites in 2018. He suggests how to overcome major obstacles like the language barrier and the Spike of Hope.

Tim Soulo is the head of marketing and product strategy at Ahrefs, one of the industry’s leading SEO tools. With 7 years of practical experience in SEO and digital marketing, Tim eagerly shares his knowledge by publishing data-driven research studies and detailed SEO guides at Ahrefs Blog. He also runs a successful YouTube channel for Ahrefs, which recently surpassed 1 million views.

Listen to the full interview, and read about the major takeaways for increasing traffic and brand awareness for your product or website.


Focus on Outreach, Turn Others into Promoters

If you’re bootstrapping a project on your own and doing everything yourself, you have to juggle between the development and promotion of your product. Tim advises freelancers and other small agencies: show these people what you have. And then you will see if you’re getting any traction.
Build a relationship with people in the industry, supply them with a quality product and they will do the initial promotion for you.

However, if your product is great and people are still not jumping on board, then you have to cut back a bit of the development side, and build your traffic with the help of SEO or paid ads, provided you have the budget.


Overcome the Language Barrier

Many businesses have started writing long-form articles, and this has become more popular than ever. Therefore it’s becoming more competitive, especially for people who are not fluent in English.

Native English speakers may not enjoy reading mistakes in your English, so for them, it can be a pain. But remember that there are tons of people around the world for whom English is not their first language.  So, if you are trying to communicate in English and you do make some mistakes, it’s not a huge problem because many of the people reading your content will neither be native speakers. 

Just do it! Just do the best you can use software like Grammarly or Hemmingway, which can help you pinpoint issues. But even if you spellcheck you won’t be safe from making stupid mistakes. And if your English is bad, the best advice for you would be to hire an English tutor.


Follow Up Outreach With Promotional Efforts

The best promotional strategy is to show people in your industry what you have and to make sure that you’re getting positive responses from these people. It’s vital that people care about your product or your website, that your product or website makes them want to stop what they’re doing and research just what you’re offering them. Once you feel you have succeeded at it and people are replying to your emails saying: I checked out your website and I like your offerings, can you tell me more about it or can you let me try it? Then you’re on the right track.

If you can get top people in your field interested, it means that you can start investing in content marketing because you know that your product hooks people. Alternatively, you can invest in paid ads, because if people in your field reacted to your email, they would also react to your offering since you already got proof from them.


The Spike of Hope - Think Longterm

The Spike of Hope is the initial traffic you get after publishing your article. Probably, if you have a blog or some kind of audience for whom you create content, you will send the article to an email list, share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. 

Then you’ll be able to see on Google Analytics a spike of traffic – the notorious spike of hope. People are usually obsessed with this spike of hope. They think they need to generate more of these spikes, so they publish more articles, email their audience more often, and share on facebook more, but this will lead nowhere because they reach the same audience every time. The way to reach more people is to get search traffic. You need to care about consistent traffic. Don’t focus on short-term wins, focus on SEO traffic.


110%-110% Rule: Keep Promoting After Publishing

It was Derek Halpern who said that there is an 80-20 rule, where you have to invest 20% of your time creating content, and 80% of your time promoting it.

And while Tim understands what Halpern was trying to express, he also thinks that the numbers are misleading and make people think they should only invest a little bit to create an article, and much more on promoting it, which is not what Halpern meant.

The actual numbers that people should understand better are 110%-110%. It means you have to go the extra mile when creating an awesome article and do the same for promoting it. 

Therefore, you should invest a lot of time and effort into writing a fantastic article. Then be sure you’re going to get a lot of links to your article so that eventually, it will end up at the top of Google search results, and start bringing you passive consistent traffic every single month.