How the Authority Rules Report Brought Me 234% More Site Memberships

How the Authority Rules Report Brought Me 234% More Site Memberships

Reader Comments (35)

  1. Great post Craig! I think the strategy of seeing the same questions over and over lead right into a perfect ebook. Have it be authoritative, yet refrain from trying to sell, and people will gobble up the resource and hopefully turn to you for their business needs.

    Rob – LexiConn

  2. Awesome post, but would you say you need to have an already established base of readers to do this? I mean, I think you would have to be pretty lucky to get this effect with a new site, especially with hardly any marketing at all.

    Doesn’t matter how great you’re content is, if no one can find it!

  3. Excellent post Craig. I would argue any content you give away that has *real value* for your audience will end up being returned to you and then some. Unfortunately (or fortunately), providing *real value* is not as easy as it looks.

  4. Kenneth, I’d say this is one of the better ways to get and grow a base of readers.

    You do need to have some people who are paying attention to you to get the word of mouth ball rolling. But you can make a strategy like this work when you’re still quite small, and that’s the smartest time to do it, IMO. Remember that it keeps working as long as you have the content available. As new people find it, they spread the word and things keep growing. I did exactly that on the Remarkable Communication blog–I had a free marketing e-course to offer before I even started the blog. It’s been extremely helpful in getting the word out.

  5. @Rob

    Actually, no. You do not need an established reader base. I’m living proof of that. 🙂

    The thing I have noticed is that when you provide a standout piece of content, word spreads fast. Twitter is your best friend for this type of thing, as it was mine.

    If you simply post it on your site and leave it at that, progress will be slower. Put a bit of effort into getting the word out and you’ll be VERY surprised at what happens!

    Actually, it’s not at all difficult to do if you are listening to the concerns of your audience. I cannot emphasize enough the value of surveying. Also, you can extrapolate so much from correspondence with your audience (blog comments, e-mail, or otherwise). It’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.

    But the answers are definitely there as to what to do and how to do it.

    Thanks for the comments guys!

  6. Very nice tips about creating good reciprocating content. However, “No guest posts, no commenting campaign, no Google ads”, I think guest posting should be excluded. For instance providing a reciprocating content on a blog such as this one would provide a lot of benefits.

  7. @InternetHow Blog
    I agree. My intent with what you quoted was not to state those things should be avoided. I was actually stating that I hadn’t done any of those things in that time period in order to drive traffic.

    Ultimately, the point I was making was that the growth I outlined was attributed to the content release. Add those other strategies on top and you’ve got that much more going for you!

  8. Great article. May I recommend making your registration page a little more user friendly? I think simplifying this would greatly improve your conversions. Just something to test!

  9. Hey Craig,

    Deliver insanely useful value that helps the user and you in an effective way, and you’ll enjoy creating more, make better stuff, and spend less time doing it.

    Have the value benefit the user and yourself, and you’ll enjoy creating more as well as having a more passionate and valuable product.

    Be effective, not just productive–focus only on what’s important, the 20% that gives 80% results–and you’ll get your results easier and faster (hope the link to an article I wrote isn’t spammy – I just thought it’s relevant to the topic).

    Thanks for sharing your results from changing the way you delivered your value. Solid proof that what Brian said in his great report works.

    I’ll have to more consciously incorporate these 7 characteristics now,

  10. I knew I sensed a touch of a coaching influence in there. It gets you all excited and then you’re like… wait so, what do I do now?

    Speaking of which, I was thinking of taking an NLP course near my work. Anyone know anything about that?

  11. Great Post.

    Providing worthwhile content to your readers will mostly end up being a great product and will sell very fast. If your readers are a buying niche it would make the process easier

  12. Chris,

    Great information. My challenge is it seems I’m always giving away information and not generating enough financial return.

    On another note: I noticed you are using WordPress – I have just started to play around with the online version ( I imagine you are using the software, do you mind if I ask who your host is?



  13. Hey,

    Another great article here guys. It’s awesome to see people put your advice into action. Copyblogger is giving me a really great framework for creating a community site.

    I saw someone in comments mention WordPress too. I’m using it and it’s awesome! So easy to use.

    Keep up the great work.

  14. Craig, glad to see you here! Phenomenal results, and well-deserved. I was sure you were going to say, “And it all fell together when Josh linked to my ebook”:)

    The guest post you did for me is currently my 4th most popular post. It’s because you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it for the right reasons.

    Congratulations. Hopefully your next post here will be about the same thing, but a 468% increase.

  15. I’m confused. You said it was “no opt-in,” but your website now requires name, email addy, etc. to get the free goodies. Have you changed your approach? If so, why?

  16. I read the report by brian -“Authority Rules” and i must confess i did learn a great deal from it and was thrilled he gave it away for free

    But then, reading this post made me see more value in what Brian had to say, i am a newbie in the ‘blogosphere’ and certainly will apply this strategies in my online publishing efforts …Craig, i do hope i surpass your results then, lol.

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  17. @Andre
    Thank you for the suggestion.

    “What do I do now?”

    You can get started by following the steps in the “strategizing your reciprocating content” section. Determine a common concern of your audience and solve it. Solve one of your own in the process.

    The bulk of the promotion *I* did was getting the word out on Twitter. Word of mouth was much more effective than what I did myself though.

    One of my strategies on Twitter? I asked a couple of people that I had been conversing with off and on if they’d do me a favor and retweet a download link for my eBook. They were kind enough to oblige and helped get the word out in a major way! They had exponentially greater numbers of followers than I.

    Yes, as I mentioned in the post, a lot of free content does not leverage well. That is why I suggest running it through the checklist to make sure it has the 7 characteristics I mentioned.

    My host is Siteground btw.

    The World’s Strongest Librarian is in the house! 🙂

    Thanks Josh, that’s awesome news about the post! I can’t thank you enough for that opportunity, I met a lot of great peeps with that post.

    @Tom McKay
    At the beginning of the post in the “Where I started” section I have no opt-in (direct) download links for both the eBook and the audio program. I’ve also provided them many other places.

    My site has always required opt-in, but most new registrants on my site had previously downloaded the eBook from one of the direct links and decided to join afterwards.

    I hope you surpass my results too! Let us know how it goes!

    Thanks everyone, I’m enjoying the discussion!

  18. Great step by step, here’s how to do it post Craig.

    Not much is better than a Before-After-After testimonial post like this.

  19. Excellent post!

    I call reciprocating content as the winning content.

    It is so true – reciprocating content is provides incredible value, solves a common concern for your audience. And the best part is that it builds trust and establishes your authority.

    Thanks for sharing.

  20. Thanks guys, glad to hear from folks who are finding motivation from this. Trust me when I say that it really does pay off.

    If you would like to speak with me further about what I did or what you can do for your own particular scenario, feel free to e-mail me at craig AT I’m happy to help as best I can.

  21. Since Copyblogger stresses the importance of analogy, simile and metaphor, it’s a perfect match that a weight metaphor can sum up the Sedona method so well, and you are guest posting here.

  22. Great article Craig. However one things bugs me and it’s something my business mentor has suggested to me as well. You suggest simply asking your audience what they want.

    But what if you have a steady flow of traffic that rarely participates?

    Maybe it’s just that blogs in the UK don’t yet get the same interaction as the US. People rarely vote on my polls, which are supposed to get people engaged with the content. Guess my concern is – if response is low that will put others off commenting also.

    Does it really matter if no one responds to an open question?

    Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and ask the brides what they want…

    PatB Wedding Photography

  23. @Suffolk Wedding Photographer
    Pat, first off, beautiful photography on your site!

    Secondly, you’ve brought up a good point in your comment. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the best way to interface with your audience and get their feedback in return.

    One big rule of thumb is this: if a particular method you are using isn’t working, try something else. Many times, it’s not that people are ignoring you or unwilling to give feedback. In a lot of cases they just have too many other distractions or don’t see what’s in it for them.

    “What’s in it for me?” is a huge factor that everyone is thinking about all the time. Incentives drive action.

    That being said, distractions are abound on the net. If the end goal of a particular page is to drive some sort of action, the call to action needs to jump in the reader’s lap. If they have too many other things pulling at their attention, they’re not likely to do what you’d like them to.

    I ask questions from folks on my mailing list, and I do it often. I can tailor a single e-mail to one particular question and get a lot of feedbcak in return. So the majority of the feedback I get comes from e-mail interaction and coaching clients. But if you don’t have a list and rely on your site to collect feedback, experiment with different ways to capture the attention of your audience and get their feedback. It is well worth it because their feedback can be used to create more value for them in return.

    Keep trucking along and best of luck!

  24. Agreed. There’s no sense in keeping worthwhile content under lock and key.

    More specifically, I really love the ideas behind #2 & 3 — content that’s helpful and not self-serving goes along way. #6 & 7 are also huge. I think a down-to-earth, real tone and total honesty are crucial to the success of any social media tactic.

    The only thing I get hung up on is the idea of value. Anymore, “value” seems to be such a buzzword that it’s losing efficacy. Furthermore, the concept of value is all relative — how can you be sure what you think is valuable to your audience, really is? Although I suppose a true connection to your readers might provide insight there…

    Anyway, great stuff! Thanks for all the tips, Craig.

    If you’re looking for more help getting your social media strategy off the ground, this post might help, too: Good luck!

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