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June 10, 2020

164: How to Skyrocket Your Qualified Organic Traffic [Farzad Rashidi Interview]

164: How to Skyrocket Your Qualified Organic Traffic [Farzad Rashidi Interview]

For many businesses, their primary source of digital influence doesn't necessarily come from their social media presence but from their website. How to increase the digital influence of your website in the eyes of Google and generate more qualified organic traffic leading to more business through "free" advertising is what every business owner wants.

Today I interview Farzad Rashidi, co-founder of Respona, who is going to give his advice on how to exactly do that. Some of the topics we discussed include:

  • Organic traffic 101: Why it's important for hockey-stick level growth
  • How to properly research and create quality content and landing pages
  • How to get your content ranked for your target keywords

Key Highlights

[10:13] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Farzad Rashidi
[12:11] Farzad's Views On Organic Traffic and Growth And Why It's Important
[20:38] What You Should Be Doing To Promote Your Content On  The Internet
[22:49] Farzad's Advice About Creating Quality Content
[23:50] Opportunity Score
[27:26] Reverse Skyscraper Technique
[29:44] Two Other Campaigns Farzad Do For Blog Posts
[35:31] The Process After Blog Post Gets Published
[36:17] Things That Bloggers Don't Take Into Account
[39:08] Connect With Farzad

Notable Quotes

  • It's all pieces of the puzzle. You need to have your keyword research, finding opportunities, and writing content that people are actually looking for, and it's somewhat relevant to what you do. And you write a very high-quality piece of content, and put it on your website,  promote on social, send it to your newsletter, do all that good stuff, but to actually set it up on a kind of evergreen type of machine that keeps bringing traffic to our site and to that specific blog post, what we call an 80/20 rule.
  • I always talk about how this isn't about a campaign. It's a commitment. And influencer marketing is the same. It's not about a campaign, but it is something that you do as part of your normal process. It's a line item in your marketing.
  • All of that trickles down to getting quality backlinks for individual blog posts. That's what a lot of bloggers actually don't take into account that even though you have a high domain authority, or domain rating, what really determines the success or basically the failure of your of your content is actually your page authority.
  • If you want to rank, you got to publish the content targeted for those keywords.
  • If you don't have a process, you don't know anything.
  • What I'm trying to say is that you don't need to have a large team to actually get started. You can start small and scale from there.

Episodes and Links mentioned in the show:

Ep. 160: SEO and Social: Honing the Skills Needed for a Modern Marketer [Cyrus Shepard Interview]
Ep. 156: How to Pivot Your Marketing During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Ep. 154: COVID-19: What Your Business Needs to Do to Survive During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Age of Influence Free Preview: https://nealschaffer.com/age-of-influence-preview/
Age of Influence on Amazon: https://nealschaffer.com/ageofinfluence
Visme: https://www.visme.co/
Respona: https://respona.com/
Marketing Strategies We Used to Bootstrap Visme to 4 Million Users [Free Ebook]: https://www.visme.co/marketing-strategy/
The 10 Best Social Media Marketing Podcasts to Listen to in 2020: https://nealschaffer.com/best-social-media-marketing-podcasts/
HARO (Help a Reporter Out): https://www.helpareporter.

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

This is the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help sales and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners, build, leverage and monetize their influence in digital and social media. Hey, everyone, this is Neal Schaffer. Welcome to episode number 164 of the maximize your social influence podcast. My mission is to help you grow your business through looking at digital and social media marketing a little bit differently through the lens of Digital Influence. Well, before we move on to today's show, we've had a few episodes that have covered sort of how to pivot during the Coronavirus. And it was a few days ago when I was interviewed on a radio show for Sirius XM radio that I was asked, and I believe it was the third or fourth day of the George Floyd protests, I was asked on the air, Neal, how should brands respond? And you know, I think it was Mike Tyson, who has the famous quote, everything is great until you wake up, you open a door and someone punches you in the face. Life is unpredictable. And we as marketers, as entrepreneurs, as brands, always need to understand, as I've been saying, in my most recent presentations, that we are here to serve society, it has been heartwarming to see, so many companies come out in various forms of communication, to support black lives matter to say that there is no place for racism in their business, in their communities that they serve, or in society in general. And I also want to repeat that fact that there is no place for racism. And it is a shame that it takes so many deaths of innocent people to raise awareness of the situation. But hopefully we all understand are in agreement, that black lives matter. And that we will all play our role in helping ensure that current and future generations will not have to live with racism anywhere. I also want to take the opportunity to think the 99.9% of law enforcement professionals who risk their lives every day, to protect us, and who also are not using excessive force when they are dealing with others. So as I begin this podcast, I just want to reiterate and make it very, very clear that we were all born equal, and we all deserve to be treated equal. Okay? That is not something that is out of the way, we know that racism is systematic in many cultures, societies, communities. So this is only the beginning of what I hope becomes a true long term solution. And that is all that I want to say on the subject. Obviously, this podcast does not cover societal issues, but in this way, because we are serving society through marketing, we all have to answer up and have a voice and I hope that you will also help bear this responsibility to share your voice with your customers and your communities in any way that you think is suitable for your brand. So let's move on to the episode today. Today is an interview with my friend I should say someone that's become a friend over the last few months far Zod Rashidi, who is the co founder of not only one of the leading infographics platforms out there called visit me vs. Me, maybe some of you have heard about them, but also of a new tool that many of you may not have heard of called response. Now, Digital Influence is built on building communities, and getting recognition in those communities for your influence, which often comes from a growing follower base, and obviously, the engagement that you build over time. Now, I brought this up in the interview that I had with Cyrus Shepard from Moz. Recently, this notion of Digital Influence, and when you have a website, how do you get more authority in Google's eyes? How do you build influence for your website? Well, the only way to build engagement from a website or I should say a big way of doing that, in Google's eyes, it's to actually have other people throughout the internet, mentioning your name, and more importantly, linking to your website. Now, the early days of influencer marketing, we sell tools called blogger outreach tools. And the notion is that if we reach out to other bloggers, and if they are commonly linking out to other sites of authority, maybe by developing a relationship with them They will somehow link to our blog, our resource, our websites. And maybe if you have your own website, you've received some of these messages. So respondent is a tool, though, that goes way beyond that, because many of these blogger outreach tools that you get really end up spending a lot of spam. And maybe they were effective 1% of the time, and 99% of the time, they irritate a lot of people out there a lot of webmasters, including myself, so respondent is a late comer. And what's really interesting is that response was built from Viserys own best practices in blogger outreach. Now, if you saw me speak at Social Media Marketing World this year just before the lockdown, I actually use the example of respond up well, I should say a vis me, because they are a infographic tool creator or they provide that tool to allow you to create infographics. They will create a weekly infographic and create a blog post around it. Well, they did wander around the Game of Thrones right before the final season started basing the infographic around predictions as to who will rule Westeros. And the results that they got that I shared at Social Media Marketing World are mind blowing, in terms of the number of backlinks, the mentions that they got from famous publications, and ultimately the additional traffic that they got to their website. So based on their successes, and they've had a lot of successes, they built this tool, and it is truly a game changer. I have already been using it for a few different objectives. And most recently, after this interview just over the last few days, they added a new capability to actually automatically respond to Harrow or Help a Reporter Out queries very, very efficiently, pretty much automate the process or semi automate the process inside the tool. This is the first sort of hack or automation that obscene for Help a Reporter Out. And if you listen to one of the recommended podcasts on my top 10 Social Media Marketing podcast I recommend you follow in 2020. It's a blog post that I'll put a link to in the show notes as well. I do mention the blogging millionaire one of my favorite podcasts and auto most recent episode, he was mentioning that harrow or Help a Reporter Out is one of the most effective ways to build backlinks as you really give all your best advice to reporters that are looking for information and content to write their own articles, news pieces, their blog posts. So that is sort of a preview of what we're going to talk about. But Farzad really has a lot of great advice. Obviously, you know, the importance of organic traffic, how to properly research and create quality content and landing pages, all the way to get how to get your content rank for your target keywords, all with this background of this amazing tool that they've built. So I hope you'll give it a listen, I really think you're gonna enjoy the interview. It is very, very insightful. All the links will be in the show notes. And without further ado, let's move on to the interview. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer here. Thanks, again for tuning into the maximize your social influence podcast. As always, I try to find the most interesting, the most intelligent, the most inspirational, the most insightful people to interview so that you can best well build, leverage and monetize your influence. And today, we're going to be talking about something that directly leads into that notion of building influence. One of the things that I talked about in the age of influence, and for those of you that saw me speak at Social Media Marketing World or elsewhere, I threw up the slide. And I'm asking everybody that if you don't redefine your previous conceptions about influencer marketing, just being about paying Instagramers money to take a photo and post it, you miss out on the potential. And I talked a lot about this in the book. So I threw up the slide, right? And I'm like, tell me, do you think any of these influencer marketing and one of them was blogger outreach, so blogger outreach has been going on for a while you reach out to bloggers you hope they talk about your product? Maybe they make a review of your product? Or maybe you want them to link back to your website. And most people in the room actually at Social Media Marketing World, at least those that responded did agree that was influencer marketing. So some types of influencer marketing have been around for longer than others. And blogger outreach right has been around the longest because really, when we talk about Digital Influence, right, you have influence in emails and having a big list you have you have influence across all these different social media channels, and you have influence on the web. And influencing the web means that when someone searches for a solution that you can provide, you show up higher in the search results, and that's where those backlinks come in. So blogger outreach, however, is a lot more than just that. And I can think of no one else to have on today. Then the co founder of a well it's not just a blogger outreach tool. It does a lot more than like I said, but the cofounders tool called response and if you saw me at Social Media Marketing World or speaking recently, I showed this Game of Thrones infographic that got you know, featured in men's health and got all these backlash. And these comments and social shares, and it was so successful that the company that created a blog post and infographic visit me decided to actually create a tool to help other marketers do what they did. That too is called response. So without further ado, Farzana Rashidi, co founder respondent, welcome to the podcast.

Farzad Rashidi:

Glad to be here. Now, thank you so much for inviting me. I'm really excited for the interview.

Neal Schaffer:

Cool. So first of all, why don't you first introduce yourself? And sort of give us 36,000 foot view of what exactly respondent is?

Farzad Rashidi:

Absolutely, for sure. So I might, as far as I know, as you mentioned, I'm actually the director of marketing at this is the all in one presentation infographic creation tool, I'm sure some of your audience actually have heard of us, if not, ouch. We're similar to have, you know, tools of such as Canva, or Prezi, if you have heard of those. And basically, we have recently published an hour, I would say, release a new product called response, which is kind of a sister company to this me, which basically is built for allowing businesses to connect with relevant bloggers and journalists in their space to spread the word about a company. Obviously, Link building is a big focus. But it's also in a matter as a matter of, you know, building social credibility, and basically getting mentioned on posts that actually would potentially drive referral traffic to your website as well.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. So it's really about just engaging with I mean, primarily, it's people that publish content on the internet, like bloggers, but it could also be I know, you've added the ability to search for podcasters. And I've been able to actually book myself as a guest on several podcasts within a few days by spending five minutes using the tool. So just to give you a glimpse of how powerful it is, we what we want to talk about today is skyrocketing your qualified organic traffic, so you want to monetizing your influence often happens on your website, right. And in order to do that, you need to get traffic in you want to get organic traffic because it's free, but you want to make sure it's also qualified. So let's let's just look at you know, organic traffic one on one. So you mentioned finds out when we talked about doing this interview before this hockey stick level of growth and why it's important. So talk to us about, you know, your views on organically getting traffic, and how to, you know, what, why that sort of growth, why it's not only important, but it's also possible to

Farzad Rashidi:

achieve? Absolutely, for sure. And I'm more than happy to kind of dive a little deeper on that. So just to kind of give you an example of what I mean by that. So let's say if you're like a beekeeper, right, and you have a honey making business, and to you know, there are two ways to attract bees to come make honey for you, AKA your customers, right, you can go to the jungle tried to chase after bees and you know, set up traps, and how many bees can you can find in a day versus you can actually build a garden, right, plant some seeds on there, and you know, gross of flowers and let the bees come to you. And then over time can actually expand that garden. Right. So you still having the bees that are coming to your garden, you know, kind of you kind of build on top of that instead of having to start over every time you make a sale. So the same kind of applies to the business world, right. So a lot of people are actually doing cold outreach, which is, you know, good to start off. It's not something that we found to be very scalable, because you still have to go in, you make a sale, you get a customer to get a new customer, you have to go out there again and try knocking on doors of spam people. So just to kind of give you a little bit of a backstory. So in 2013, when business founder payment actually started a company, we were a completely bootstrapped startup, right, we had raised $0 outside funding, just completely self funded. And you know, we're going to get folks like and I'll Canva are raised over 150 million Prezi had raised over 50 mil right, at zero. So they were pulling all this cash into paid ads, and, you know, basically building their brand. And we had zero brand recognition. So we were extremely reliant on organic search. So just to kind of give you a lot of overview now business over I think we're close to 5 million users. Now we're over four and a half million users doubling our user base year over year. And we are getting one and a half million organic visitors to our site every single month. Wow. And so that's basically been and we are still a bootstrap company close to 50 employees profitable and we're not looking for any outside funding. So just to kind of taking a step back at the time to build our organic traffic machine. What we started doing was basically putting out a lot of quality content on our blog now similar to what you're doing also. And we basically started doing some keyword research build landing pages for our specific target keywords, let's say infographic tool, presentation software, etc. And guess what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing was crickets was nobody come to our site because these keywords were very competitive, right? So we get ourselves ranked for those keywords just simply because it was dominated by a lot of big guys in industry. So what we soon realized was we're like, Okay, so let's try to figure out how this algorithm works, right. So as a customer, if I'm going on to, let's say, find a tool to make presentation, or infographic, which is what business, if I were to do that, the first thing I would do is to go on to Google and look up infographic tool, or best presentation tools, right? And whatever comes up first, these are the ones I normally go and check out, right, try to close with them and make a decision from there. So the rest of the tools in the market that are not ranking are pretty much irrelevant. So we're like, Okay, let's try to find out how Google prioritize out of hundreds of millions of search results that basically are competing for those specific keywords to rank the top 10 and ideal into top three. So we realize that, you know, aside from the on page factors, which is like, yes, the quality of your content, the bounce rate, cetera, et cetera, of course, that are basically under your control. The most important factor was the odd fate stuff. So what other relevant authoritative sources like Neal Schaffer calm, right, would actually link to you or are talking about you? So and that was that aha moment, we're like, that's great. Or let's try to track those backlinks and try to actually connect with these relevant folks, and try to incentivize these guys to link back to our site, not only just to get those backlinks to bump up our domain rating, be able to rank ourselves, you know, for our target keywords, by the same time when you are linking to another website, that also it's an introduction to your audience, right, that builds social credibility, that actually increases your referral traffic as well coming from other sources. So if you go on, let's say on Google and look up look, best infographic tool or best presentation tool, I think the first article that pops up, which is like a Featured Snippet also so Jeff Bellis article, right, and they've mentioned visit me at the top, and we're getting a ton of customers just by that one article that one influencers, you know, has mentioned us, or we're getting, I'm sure we're getting some traffic and traction, coming to visit me and responding just by Neal Schaffer talking about us on social media world, right. So as getting connected with folks that have an audience is actually what has been the main driving factor of user. So over time, when you do this consistently, that you kind of build up that backlink profile, right, that enables your website to be ranked right now visiting as a deal DRF. I think at one noun HS, we are pretty much able to rank for pretty much any keyword that we want, so that you can build on top of and now we're putting out lots of content and growing organic traffic from there.

Neal Schaffer:

And it Farzad it's such an amazing story. And that's almost like, you know, the dream, to be able to get that sort of traffic organically. And you speak to something that, you know, we talk about the different ways in which you can yield influence. And in digital, it's all about showing up in Google search results. And in order to show up in Google search results, you know, when I when I talk about blogging to do your keyword research, right, and you had mentioned, the fact that you know, you're competing for obviously very, very popular keywords with with a lot of competitors, right. But at least you did their keyword research to figure out what might be more kind of keywords or less competitive. And then you can create the content. Obviously, you create a great content, long form content, including infographics, which are great because people stay on your page longer. That's great for SEO. But the missing link that most people forget are the backlinks now SEO pros know this, but most small business owners and entrepreneurs, they're like, I'll just hire someone for SEO, without realizing, you know, those backlinks have to be relevant, right. And they have to be valuable one, you can get 10 million backlinks from a domain authority one site that is some farm somewhere overseas, that's just creating millions and millions of websites that it actually penalizes you right from when you know, the Google algorithm works. So that's just a great a great example of the need to get backlinks because otherwise, you publish content and it's crickets. And I've been there as well. And I'm sure you know, I've been doing this for a while. It gets better over time, because you build up your domain authority on the internet. At the beginning. Yeah, it's crickets. And that's a great way to expose others to your content and to build relationships with influencers, like like Jeff Dallas, right? I mean, it's fantastic.

Farzad Rashidi:

Absolutely. Yes, for sure. I mean, it's all pieces of the puzzle, right? None of that work. So you need to have your keyword research. Yes, finding opportunities, right. And basically writing content that people are actually looking for, and it's somewhat relevant to what you do. And you write a very high quality piece of content, you know, have custom graphics or infographics or some sort of sharing factor. And basically, you put on your website, you promote on social, you send it to your newsletter, you do all that good stuff, but to actually set it up on a kind of a evergreen type of machine that keeps bringing traffic to our site and you know, to that specific blog post, so what we call an 8020 rule. There's me and we say okay, at We spent four times the amount of time we spent on creating content, promoting content to receive a positive ROI in the time they spent creating a piece of content. Because we spend a lot of time and resources on those and want to make sure that we that we get basically enough value. So for it for it to be worth it for us to keep doing this long term.

Neal Schaffer:

You know, it's like, they said, I just finished writing a book, obviously, you know, writing a book is 20% of the work 80% of millionaires. And most people with content, they just stopped it published a blog post, maybe share it once in social media, right. And obviously, sharing on social media is one thing you should be doing. But there's a lot more you can be doing to promote that content on the internet, right?

Farzad Rashidi:

Absolutely. Yes, for sure. And that's exactly what we agree. So I actually, funnily enough, you mentioned that I have your book, by the way on my to do list or less, yes, that's the thing. But I'm actually I wrote a ebook myself, while we were building respond, it was kind of a kind of an intro or kind of a transition from Bhisma to responded for me. And I was called marketing strategies, marketing strategies, ways to bootstrap those me from 00 to 4 million users. This is where we kind of go through in depth in into individual steps of basically how to, you know, find these opportunity keywords, how to prioritize them, how to write the content, how to promote the content, how to build a relationship with other folks. And, and that took us about 450 hours to write. And I actually said, myself, I wrote it over 10 months. And obviously, we have some editors to come and you're going to correct my embarrassing grammar mistakes, and, you know, graphics and to make it look prettier, etc. But, and we're like was after we're done, we're like, that's great. But we have to spend four times that amount of time promoting this ebook. And I know, thankfully, you know, within like, the 660 days after we launched it, we got over 10,000 downloads, and it's, yeah, of course, it's a free book. So we're cheating here and away. Yeah, absolutely. I'm with you. It is definitely the most important part after you're done creating content.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, and I'm gonna make sure I put a link to the ebook in the show notes, because that's where I got the case study of that game of thrones infographic, right, that that you had introduced me. So anyway, it's a great read for everybody. If you want to find out more, not just visit me success story, but also how you can leverage that same information and experience for you and your brand. So we talked about that backlink creation and sort of outreach part. That's one part of the equation. I sort of mentioned, the other two parts being the keyword research and then writing quality content. So how do you go about? Or how, as visit me, because you're been such an expert at this, you know, properly researching? And after researching and creating quality content for your blog for landing pages, what's what advice would you give our listeners there?

Farzad Rashidi:

Absolutely. Well, first of all, I don't consider myself an expert at all. But based on my experience, at least that that I can speak to each content creation, we have a process set up, we actually use a tool like notion that we actually have like a board, that we keep track over step that actually starts out from keyword research. And keyword research for us is a lot more than just, you know, running a bunch of you know, or brainstorm some keywords and run it through a traps and trying to just, you know, gogit, based on volume, what we do is actually we're first going through a content gap analysis, see, what are some of the keywords that our competitors are ranking for that we are not some of the driving traffic factors for our competitors that we are not utilizing on? What are some of the, you know, keywords that we need to rank for that is, you know, directly relevant to our product or new lines of product that we are ranking for. And then once we do that we basically have different variations of this keywords that we run through our keyword research tool. And then I actually come up with the slow formula is actually very simple. We call this the opportunity score, which actually you multiply different factors based on the cost per click of the keyword, which is kind of, you know, somewhat indicator of the commercial intent normally, because if you know, advertisers are willing to bid for those keywords, that means that they're generating revenue from it. So that's somewhat of a factor for us. And also, of course, not necessarily the volume, but actually the click that that you know, that SERP results received for that keyword, because a lot of the times Google actually creates features snippets for some of the keywords that take away to traffic because people normally get their answer. So it doesn't really kind of hurts the rest of the folks our prestudy search results done in the first page because there's a feature snippet that already gives an answer. So the clicks, that each keyword receives that and a couple other factors like keyword difficulty, how you know, how many backlinks we need to rank for those keywords? So anyways, we have the keywords and we come up with a topic that, you know, based on user intent, that okay, what are people actually looking for? And normally when we do that we try to analyze the first or two articles that are already ranking for that keyword and the first page and we're like, okay, so Google obviously have a trial and error, you know, based on trial and error, try to figure out okay, here are the topics or here are these basically sub topics that we need to cover based on what other articles have been written on a specific keyword, and then expand from there, right. So make sure it's comprehensive. And then basically, once we have that topic and create the outline based on user intent, then goes to our writers team where they basically start writing the content, we don't do keyword stuffing, or any of that stuff is our outdated methods, we write a quality piece of content that people actually enjoyed reading. And then once we do pack gets passed on to our design team, and we basically create some sort of graphic assets. That's what we call it, we normally create an infographic for it, because we can then go and do outreach on an infographic and as kind of a sharing factor for the, for the article, because people come across that infographic, t shirt infographic, guess where it's going to be linked to, to the blog posts, right, we actually use our own tool to of course, create all this graphic assets. And then once we push it out on our blog, then of course, we have another process, it gets chopped up, chopped up into social media posts, and then we send it you know, we have included a newsletter, and then it gets passed on to our average team. And that's where the real work begins, right? Where we actually start looking up, we, for every single article, we reach out normally to four groups of people. And again, I'm not going to cover all of them, because obviously, we have a limited amount of time here. Normally, like the groups of people that we reach out to our one the people that we already have mentioned in Article, right. So let's say five included you in our article, I hit you I'm like, Hey, Neil just published a new blog post on business blog. And we referenced your article that they wrote on, let's say influencer marketing, etc. Feel free to take a look and let me know what you think. Right? I know, pushy, no, basically tried to be helpful and sound friendly and personable. And then you as another, you know, fellow human being, you see that you're like, Oh, that's great. This guy actually has mentioned me, you know, included a link to my blog post, you know, most of the time of not always always, but you give us a shout out on social or, you know, give us another mention something, it's kind of a, you know, reciprocate, reciprocate that type of favor, I would say no way. And so that's the step one, you know, step two is to actually know after we reach out to the folks that we've mentioned, we reach out to folks that basically have backlink to a less deserving article and provide some sort of incentive for those guys to either replace or add on our article to the existing article I read. And this is what we call a reverse skyscraper technique where basically Brian Dean says, oh, try to see what are you are finding articles that are like, and have a very high number of backlinks, but they're not very high quality. But what we do is that we create a piece of content, then we go chase after backlinks that have, you know, link to a less deserving article, and that will hit him up, like, Hey, man just realized, you know, yes, have linked to this article from, you know, XY and Z blog. And, by the way, we have, you know, produced a more comprehensive blog posts, here's how it's different, feel free to take a look. And by the way, I'm more than happy to, let's say, share that article with the addition with our social team, like 100,000, social media followers to drive more traffic or habits want some ads to it, or some sort of other incentive that we offer. So it's worth the 30 seconds of your time to actually go in and take action. And in a one out of 10, two out of 10 people actually do that. And so right now, we're sending not only each full time average person, a business sending over an I would say, 5060 emails a week, and they're generating you know, close to 15 backlinks every single weekend, all Dr. 60 Plus backlinks put tended to get us around 20 Some percent success rate, which is outrageous for link building. And that comes down to personalize each pitch, because I'm sure you're getting bombarded by emails. Hi, Neil. I'm a big fan of name blog.

Neal Schaffer:

You ever heard of you before? But okay. All right.

Farzad Rashidi:

What you do is like spam, or delete or archive, right? You don't even bother to read the whole email when you come across that templated structure. So personalization, and big is a big piece for it, then not aside is also scalability. So making sure that you're still hitting up a good amount of people, because not everybody is actually going to respond to email. So you want to make sure that you're reaching out to quite a few people to be able to generate some tangible results

Neal Schaffer:

so far that you brought up. And there's a lot of there's so much I want to talk about what you just said, but I just want to start with you said there were four for every blog post you published. I'm assuming this is weekly since you said you reach out to 5060 people a week, but I might be wrong. There are four different types of things that you do. You said the first one was you reach out to people and companies mentioned in the post. The second one was reverse skyscraper if people are linked to inferior, or maybe you know, 404 links, your product Yeah, that your link will supplement you reach out to them. What are the other? Were there two other sort of campaigns you do for each blog posts or was it yeah,

Farzad Rashidi:

yes. Let's let me let me see what I can remember. So this is the third. The third word are the people who actually shared your app or less deserving article on social. So lots of folks actually have given Want to shout out, let's say on Twitter, if you use a tool like Buzzsumo, to actually identify social shares of specific blog post, right and have it, let's say, for every block was that we put out, we put together some competing blog posts. And we basically go after people who have actually shared them on social because they're normally people of influence. So we sorted based on their followers, right. And we reach out to only people that have, let's say, 510 1000 followers on above. So you could do that using a tool like Buzzsumo. And again, these are a little more advanced, I wouldn't recommend doing this for like smaller companies with limited resources, obviously,

Neal Schaffer:

you're reaching out to them saying, notice you shared, you know, competitor blog post, we just wrote a we just wrote something that we think is, so you'd actually like either do an app mention or even a direct message if they were following you? Right?

Farzad Rashidi:

Exactly. Yes. We use responded to find. Yeah. Right. And,

Neal Schaffer:

and I mean, all these things that we don't even have to talk about the fourth method, I think you've already given us so much there. But you know, this is there's so many best practices here. So for instance, if you want to be recognized by influencers, you need to tag them, right. So on Instagram, you tag people in an Instagram story, you tag them, and it starts a direct message conversation. But when you mentioned people on the internet, unless they're using some sort of, you know, monitoring tool, they don't know you mentioned them, so you need to let them know. Right. And this would be great. As you said, Farzana, just real Hey, just want to let you know, mentioned you, if I if there's a better way to describe you or your ideas, please let me know, I'd be more than happy to revise the article. I mean, there's a lot of things you could say, that are really authentic, you know, thing to do. The other thing you mentioned, which, which I think is awesome. is I always talk about how this isn't about a campaign. It's a commitment, right? And influencer marketing is the same. It's not about a campaign, but it is something that you do as part of your normal process. It's a line item in your marketing. And that's what you've established, most people would say, oh, I need more backlinks. Let's do a blogger outreach campaign. But you do this for every post. Yeah. And it's got another secret to your success is that by doing that, you're just engaging with more and more people. And as you said, and I've experienced it myself, not everybody responds, right. But even if you get 2% 5% 10%, you know, Wayne Gretzky, you know, the quote, you miss all the shots, you don't take, as long as your contents great, and you personalize the email. And you're somewhat you know, you're somewhat respectable. And I'll find like with my podcast, I'd so I use responder to reach out for podcast interviews. And just today I had one saying which podcast I managed 16. and why. And I've done the same when people reach out to me and I don't really know them. And I go, Oh, I'm sorry, just happened serendipitously that the podcast I was trying to get on there use responder for one of my LinkedIn connections, who bought my book was friends with the person who did the pocket the actual host, not the radio engineer. Okay, oh, I'm really sorry for the confusion. Actually, I was able to get introduced, you know, sorry. And then she reached back going, Oh, I thought I recognize the name. Do you know what I mean? So this is where I talk about our book, there's a chapter, the more influence you have, the easier it is to work with influencers. When you have 10,000 Twitter followers, you can say, if you update your post, I'll share it with 10,000 followers. I have 220,000 followers, so I don't really care. But if someone said, I have 500,000 followers, I'm gonna listen to them. And that's sort of how the world works. But that's why it's important to build influence. And that's how you end up monetizing is from that influence. You get more? Wake up, Neil,

Farzad Rashidi:

tomorrow, you know, or one day, you're like, oh, I have a quarter million followers know, you built that you work for it? You know, and that's what a lot of people get wrong. You're like, Yeah, I'm not Neal Schaffer. Right? I don't have that many followers. There's no point in doing all this. But the thing is that you got to have to start from somewhere, right? You start from off course, obviously, not to be any kind of be as efficient. It's not going to be as you're not gonna, you know, if I reach out to podcasts, or like, Who the heck is fires over? Shitty? I can't pronounce your name. Right. But over time, you know, now, you know, it's funny, because we're actually pitching myself to go on a few podcasts using a respondent just similar to the way you're doing. Yep. And now people actually do recognize the name. Sometimes they're like, Oh, you're the best me guy. And

Neal Schaffer:

guess what, once you're on a podcast, you're going to be able to say I have also been a guest on exactly. And yet, because I have podcasts that want to interview me, have already interviewed a, b, c, d. So, of course, I'm gonna join. I mean, you interviewed Seth Gordon. I mean, you know, wow, this is an honor. But that's this, this way of looking at marketing through this concept of influence. This is what I mean, right? We look at it that way. And I know it's funny because I used to turn away a lot of podcast interview requests, but now I realize that podcasters actually yield tremendous influence. I see people get amazing numbers of you know, I look at how many visits does a weekly blog post get in your blog, you can probably 2x 3x 4x that in terms of number of listeners to your podcast. And and therefore I realized while podcasts have amazing influence. And I want to be a more and more podcast, which is why I did my own campaign. So I think we're sort of, you know, far is that we could keep talking for like an hour. But there's one other question as we get near the end that I'm, I want to make sure I get your answer to because I think this is going to help a lot of people that have listened so far. You talked about, you know, getting your content ranked for target keywords. So you talked about the process of sort of, you know, keyword research, and then creating great content, and then you know, the backlinks. So this now you're doing all that with a much more focused approach. I take it.

Farzad Rashidi:

Absolutely, yes. So we have a process set up. So basically, not every single blog post, or every single team member has a process to follow, right? And exactly comes after a blog post get gets published. So the average team actually knows exactly what to do when we get a new blog post, or when we roll out a new landing page, what to do with it to make sure it's actually targeting specific keywords that we want to rank for. And that's just the starting point. So we actually start taking into consideration, okay, what are some of the longer form keywords that we can also rank for? Right, right. And we try to see whether there's any point in the content that we can include those keywords, or include those sections as well, to make sure that we max out the number of keywords that we were ranking for, for a specific piece of content. But all of that trickles down to getting quality backlinks for individual blog posts. And that's what a lot of bloggers actually don't take into account that even though you have a high domain authority, or domain rating, what really determines the success or basically the failure of your of your content is actually your page authority. So what other relevant authority sources are actually linking back to that specific blog post or specific page for that target keyword? So ours is not a one time game? You're like, Okay, well, when I get to this point, I'm done. No, this is something I'm gonna have to do every single post, making sure that because if you actually look up less on a truss, you know, for specific keywords in your, it normally says, Yes, you need, like, let's say 50 backlinks to be able to rank for this keyword. So now you're gonna have to do over time consistently.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And I find that the whole idea of like domain authority, right, so mine is like 55. And it recently moved up from 54. So that's good. But I tell people, it's like, you know, the magnitude scale for earthquakes, if you want to move from like 10 to 20. Or if you want to move from 10 to 20. It's like going from a 5.0 to a 6.0. And it's not increased by 20%. It's an increase by 10x. Right? When you go up by 10%, or when you when you double, you go from like a 50 to a 51. So it's it's a long haul, it's a long, slow burn, but you got to start. And here's the thing, the easiest way to start, I'm a huge fan of sem rush, going to give those guys a shout out, oh, yeah, there's other tools you can use, you set up a tracker, you put in your keywords, if you're not in the top 100. I mean, we all want to get to the top one. But if you're not in the top 100, you need to create content around those keywords. If you want to rank, you got to publish the content targeted for those keywords. And, and that's really the start maybe for a lot of people listening to this. A lot of my clients, you know, that have been a little late to the game with inbound marketing. That's the starting point. And I also want to say far as that it's funny that you mentioned the beekeeper analogy. I actually had a beekeeping company we respond to like spying on my email. But yeah, but it's a small world. So for us, that's it's really all about process, right? Everybody that knows me know, I talk about Edwards Deming and the Deming circle PDCA cycle. And everything I do is about process. And I won't do something unless you have a process because as Edwards Deming said, If you don't have a process, you don't know anything. So I love the fact that not only do you have this process, but you've built that process into response. So you may not have the big size team that Farzad has sitting there, you know, on top of the castle there of organic search results with that traffic and able to hand off these things to various people. But you do have, you could have responded. And if you have respond, it's the easiest way to scale to replicate a lot of what you've been talking about. So you know, thank you. And I know you've just gotten started, you're at the tip of the iceberg, you're going to keep developing a great tool. So I can't wait for all the updates. And if I've got just one, you know, I'm going to link up to obviously visit me respond to that ebook, even that the Game of Thrones infographic that I talked about that case study, any last words or any other sort of links, or places where you recommend people go to find out more about you or respondent?

Farzad Rashidi:

Absolutely, I highly recommend the e book. And actually one thing we've been very careful about the ebooks that a lot of folks don't have the budget to go big. So what we've done is that we actually laid down the process with the most I would say, or the least number of tools they could possibly use. So we actually don't use respond. We actually go through the process like how you can do this manually yourself. Right. But what I'm trying to say is that I want to encourage all the folks that are listening, it's like yes, I'm a one man show, I only have like two other team members and our developers on the only person managing a company. What I'm trying to say is that you don't need to have a large team to actually get started. You can start small and scale scale from there. And what I'm trying to say is that once you put out content once you start creating, I would say something that's worth reading, you know for that and just talking from your own experience, then you can actually do to average manually yourself, you don't necessarily have to have all these fancy tools. And then once you hit a point that you're like, Okay, it's become a mess, I can't manage this myself manually, then you start looking for tools like responded to kind of streamline the entire process and kind of get things more organized to keep our sanity. But what I'm trying to say is that it's very simple to get started, don't need any equipment, you don't need any team members, you can do this yourself. As soon as you you know, you spend like another, I would say, an hour or two out of your day, trying to do this strategies for long, long after

Neal Schaffer:

I give this advice, how much is an hour, your time worth? Okay. And most people would say, hopefully, you're saying, you know, 50 100 150 200, or whatever it is, right? Just an $100 a month, and get the tool because it's gonna save you several hours. Also, it's going to give you statistics and data to show how successful you are so that you invest more in it. And as you run different campaigns, some are going to perform better, some worse, you're going to get better and better with time, so long as you follow my advice with with the you know, the Deming the PDCA circle and, and you're always using the concept of kaizen. But really Time is money for all of us listen to this podcast. And really, you know, respond to is going to save you once you understand the ROI of this and in order to understand that, you know, listen again to this podcast, check out that ebook, do some searches for back top backlink building strategies. And you're going to find that a lot of those strategies a lot of keywords are going to be things that we talked about Farzad, you've been an awesome guest thank you so much I hope a lot of people reach out to you I'm really excited about the future for respond to seeing where you go with the tool

Farzad Rashidi:

My pleasure all pleasures mine it's been it's been it's always great every time I talk to you it's like it puts a smile on my face for some reason

Neal Schaffer:

energy because visit me is for lack of a better word really to get to that much traffic and domain authority you put so much work into that but you are also smart about it right work smart in sometimes you need to work hard but you always need to work smart and it's it's very much an inspirational story that I think more people need to hear so I get inspired by each time and I want to do more now I got now I got like more ideas bubbling my head man I got to do more response campaigns to get busy and once again thank you so much and I'm sure again really

Farzad Rashidi:

soon my pleasure so all pledges my Neil and for any of the members of the audience and need some help with some strategy, they just want to pick my brain or to have any questions feel free to reach out to me my email address is fire zod@response.com Feel free to Neal also put that email in they're more than happy to help anybody I can

Neal Schaffer:

all right thank you so much for that. He's he's good people, folks, we want to we want to do business with people that we that we like know and trust and that we can really utilize as an advisor. So if we're trying to figure out this whole SEO and Digital Influence and building backlinks, let Farzad be your advisor. He's gonna get real busy real soon, I'm sure but when while he's not too busy, this is a good time to make sure you take advantage that reach out to him. I know that I'll be asking him questions really shortly. But hey, everyone, thanks for listening. We'll catch in the next episode. Make sure you hit that subscribe button. Bye bye. Alright. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Farzad as much as I did. Please make sure that you hit that subscribe button if you haven't to continue to hear our upcoming podcasts and interviews. I will say that the next interview podcast I have is actually a great little interview that I did with no other than John Lee Dumas. If you love podcasting, I'm sure you are going to love that interview talking about podcasting and influence. So that's going to be episode number 166. Make sure you subscribe. As always, I really, really appreciate your comments. Please, if you've gotten any value out of this podcast, I always have people say, Neil, how can I help you? That is the number one thing you can do to help me is by leaving a review. And if speaking of reviews, if you've already read my new book, The Age of influence, and Amazon review goes a long, long way. So thank you in advance, you know, stay safe out there. Keep up the fight. Use your voice when necessary to speak up on things that are important for all of us and wherever you are in the world. Make it a great virtually social Day. Bye Bye, everybody.