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5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience

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Note: This is the third of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the initial two episodes here:

Now we tackle the eternal question: how do you get traffic to your curation site so you can build an email list? Should we start building a war chest for advertising?

Not yet. First we’re going to apply some creativity and sweat into driving traffic. Some of these methods are tried and true, but need to be executed a certain way for a curation project. Others are seemingly a little “outside the box,” and yet they complement a curated email newsletter perfectly.

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3 Ways to Grow Your Curated Email Newsletter Faster

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Note: This is the second of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the first episode here: Position Your Content Curation for Success With These 5 Essential Elements.

A key aspect of last week’s episode was identifying the purpose of any smart content curation project – audience building. Specifically, building an audience asset in the form of an email list.

This week we’re focusing exactly on that essential element. After smartly positioning your curation project, you want to do everything you can to optimize your initial sign-up conversion rate before you invest serious time and money in driving traffic.

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Position Your Content Curation for Success With These 5 Essential Elements

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Last fall, Robert and I did an episode of the podcast where we laid out how content curation could be used to build an audience and even a business. It was one of the most popular episodes of 2014.

We did that episode based on a personal project I was already planning to do. I quietly launched that project last month, and it’s called Further. It’s a curated email newsletter dedicated to living your best life, with features and news items related to health, wealth, and wisdom.

Here are a few sample issues:

Given the initial high interest (and several requests), I’ve decided to do a “behind the scenes” case study on myself, revealing what I’m doing and why, plus what’s working and what’s not. This episode and the next two will be the first leg of that case study.

If you’re interested in the possibilities at the intersection of curation and email marketing, I think you’ll get a lot out of these episodes. Even if you’re not sure about that, there are a lot of fundamental content, copywriting, and entrepreneurial insights throughout. At minimum, you can watch a new project develop in real time, with commentary.

Enough said … let’s get started.

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Behind the Scenes: 2014 in Review and the Road Ahead

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2014 was a pivotal year for Copyblogger Media. We:

  • Launched a Pilot program for our Rainmaker Platform using a podcast
  • Evolved the platform to version 2.0 during the Pilot phase
  • Arrived at the 8-figure level for annual revenue, up 34%

For an added twist, we tried things, observed, learned, and made changes on the fly throughout the year – from content, to format, to development. Which, let’s be frank, may have made us look like we didn’t know what we were doing.

Welcome to the real world. When you play in real time with a real audience, you figure out everything you need to know. But you can’t be afraid to adapt based on what they tell you just because it differs from “the plan.”

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Seth Godin on Stepping Up and Making it Happen

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Seth Godin is the author of 17 bestselling books. He’s the founder of email marketing pioneer Yoyodyne, and the charity-driven publishing platform Squidoo. And he’s the selfless dispenser of daily wisdom via the most popular marketing blog on the planet.

But if you had to sum Seth up in one word, it might well be impresario.

The classical definition of that word refers to a promoter, manager, or conductor of an opera or concert company.

The modern definition, set forth by Seth himself when he’s teaching others about the prime entrepreneurial role of the connection economy, is as follows:

One who gathers others together for creating art–the art of making a ruckus; the art of inventing the future; the art of important work.

Whether bootstrapping a startup by building an audience first, curating content to create something vibrant and new, or assembling a tribe that changes the world, it’s the modern impresarios who best take advantage of the power of the Internet to turn intangible ideas into real things that really matter. Things that change lives.

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Michael Hyatt on Building a Media Platform and Becoming a 10-Year Overnight Success

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Michael Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. In fact, Hyatt has been involved in the traditional publishing business his entire working life.

Not the typical profile of a do-it-yourself blogger, right?

And yet, in 2012 when Thomas Nelson was acquired by HarperCollins and Michael left his executive role, it was his 8-year-old blog that opened the door to an exciting and vibrant new chapter of his life. A blog that he toiled in frustrating obscurity for many of those foundational years.

It was the blog that provided the launch pad for his New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. And it was the book that opened the door to his membership program Platform University. Seems like we can learn a few things from this guy about building our own online marketing and sales platforms.

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David Siteman Garland on the Infinite Scalability of Online Courses

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It’s the ultimate Internet dream: create something once that sells over and over again, even while you sleep. And what better product than information itself?

Turns out, it’s not that easy for the idle dreamer. And often, Internet entrepreneurs work 16-hour days in order to “make money while they sleep.”

The good news is that the dream has shifted. Instead of hucksters offering “no work Internet cash machine” models to gullible business opportunity types, the concept of an “online business” has become a viable thing that experienced professionals and committed entrepreneurs explore and attain as part of the legitimate business world.

David Siteman Garland discovered this for himself thanks to his popular podcast, The Rise to the Top. He was constantly asked by his audience for the secret to creating a popular and profitable show, and David’s answer was always the same — it’s the art of the interview. So he created a course on the topic, and the rest (including his podcast!) is history.

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Pat Flynn on Entrepreneurial Inspiration and His Profitable Content Strategy

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In 2008, Pat Flynn was happily employed by an architectural firm. And then, like a lot of people in 2008, just like that … out of a job.

It was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Since that point, Pat has built a business that supports his family through blogging and podcasting. And he’s just getting started.

Rather than some “Master of the Universe” type, Pat shares with you that (like most of us in this industry) he was initially scared and winging it. But it wasn’t long until he had the confidence to take the next step, and then the next … all by simply putting in the work and being consistent.

Listen in to Pat’s story and the specific steps he took to go from broke and unknown to running his own new media business. This was my first conversation with Pat, and I was impressed by not only his knowledge and business savvy, but how genuine he is.

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Jay Baer on “Generosity Marketing” and the Power of Business Podcasting

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You’d expect a guy who’s started five multi-million dollar businesses from scratch to know a thing about marketing that works. And then, of course, he’d write the book on it.

In this case, the guy is Jay Baer, and the book is Youtility, a guide so useful for effective marketing it’s becoming a franchise unto itself. In his spare time, Jay is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, podcaster, angel investor, new media personality, and restless entrepreneur who can’t help but add just one more project to his portfolio.

I asked Jay to be the first in a series of Rainmaker.FM interviews that illuminate the path of content marketing into the future. You’ll notice some common themes that turn up time and again among those who have already successfully built audiences, and Mr. Baer sets the stage perfectly.

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How to Use Content Curation to Create a Recurring Revenue Business

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It’s no secret that I’m a tireless advocate for the creation of original content to fuel business growth. My next online project, however, is based on … curation.

You read that right. I’m starting a new site, and the centerpiece of my content strategy will be locating and making sense of the smartest articles, audio, and video I can find in that topical market that are created by others.

Sound strange?

Listen in and check out the three-part process I’m following, so you can start building your own profitable content curation strategy:

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