Looking to level up your SEO game?
Build a free, useful tool to get backlinks quickly. Tools are 12x more likely to get backlinks and social shares. Think: A mortgage calculator.
There's a ton of content that AI doesn't do well. Focus on personal stories, interviews, opinion pieces, and product comparisons or reviews.
AppSumo is at $80M ARR. Noah Kagan doubled down on product-market fit, then hired the right team, focusing on attitude and effort.
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Easy Growth Tips to Improve Your SEO 🛠
Improve your SEO game with these tips!
Build a free, useful tool to get backlinks
If you are running a content-driven website and rely on search traffic, one of the best ways to boost your rankings is to get backlinks. Build a simple, easy-to-use tool for a niche market.
Why? Because tools are 12x more likely to get backlinks and social shares. Some examples:
A mortgage calculator.
A tool to convert gross salary to net salary.
A cheat sheet, planning document, or reference chart.
Make sure the URL is: [yourwebsite].com/tool
Do not put it in a subdomain, because backlinks directing to a subdomain doesn't count for your .com domain. Include internal links to your tool.
Put your domain on the “ref” for your outgoing links
One of the best ways to get backlinks is to give backlinks. When webmasters see that others are linking them, sometimes they link back.
To alert other websites that you are linking to them, put a “ref” section to your outgoing links. Example: [yourlink].com/?ref=mysitecom
When they check analytics, they will notice your page way more easily, and hopefully link back!
Sign up to HARO
Position yourself as an expert on a particular topic by using Help A Reporter Out (HARO). HARO connects you with reporters and bloggers who need sources and quotes from industry experts for the stories they are writing.
Crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter or Indiegogo usually display their supporter's names and websites on their pages.
You get listed on those pages, and get a quick and easy backlink. But beware: This is a gray area in terms of “paid links.” Use this strategy at your own risk.
Search console data
In Google's Search Console, you can see which keywords bring the most traffic to which pages. Also, you can see the search volumes of these keywords.
Check each page in Search Console, and analyze their most effective keywords. Then, you can optimize your page with the highest volume keywords.
You're probably using different services for your startup, including a hosting service, brand alerts service, etc.
Reach out to your service providers and give them a testimonial. If they include your website on their testimonials page, you get an easy backlink!
If you found these tips useful, check out Growthbaze for more growth-related expert help!
Discuss this story.
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Content That AI Can't Replicate (Yet) 🤖
by Marc Andre
Rather than trying to create thousands of AI-generated articles, try focusing on the types of content that AI doesn’t do well. Here are some of the options!
Yes, AI writers can create content written in the first person, but it can’t replicate real, genuine experiences.
Personal stories allow human writers to stand out in unique ways, while also connecting with readers in a way that AI content cannot.
Firsthand product comparisons and reviews
Product reviews are extremely popular with affiliate websites and blogs, and a review that ranks at the top of a Google search can generate a lot of money.
Some AI writers can create product reviews that fake firsthand accounts, but there’s no substitute for real experience with a product. Quality, in-depth reviews can take a lot of time to write, but they’ll stand out from AI reviews if they’re done well.
Comparison keywords typically have much less competition, and if there are several similar products to compare, you can create a lot of these posts.
You can interview experts or anyone with interesting insight and experience. This approach works in just about any niche or industry.
This is the strategy I’m focusing on the most with my sites Founder Reports and Flip My Site.
In-depth content that requires a high level of expertise
AI is good for creating informative content on simple topics, like how to plant grass seeds or the benefits of regular exercise, but it’s not (yet) great at writing in-depth articles on more complex subjects.
Sure, AI can create these articles, but they won’t be very good. If you have expertise in a particular field, dig deep to create content that AI currently can’t touch.
AI often has a mind of its own, but human opinion pieces are still much better than what can be generated with AI. Well-written opinion articles are also great for sharing through social media, and attracting links.
Google currently loves user-generated content, partly because of the firsthand experiences shared through the content. I’m not aware of any AI tool that can create content to participate in a forum in a way that resembles user-generated content.
Discuss this story.
In the News 📰
Noah Kagan Talks MVPs and Growth 🚀
by Noah Kagan
Hola, indie hackers!
You may know some of the business we've created, including AppSumo ($80M ARR), TidyCal, KingSumo, and SendFox. All are seven figure businesses. Also, check out my book, Million Dollar Weekend.
Best marketing advice?
You get lucky with more swings. Fortunately, in business, it only requires one lucky swing to work. So, keep swinging.
Screaming into the void generally reflects lack of product-market fit. Realize this is all part of the process. There's a fake glorification of continuing to add features and grind through it, but don't do that until you've found something that people really want. How do you know they want it? They pay you. Aim for at least three customers in 48 hours.
Over the past two years, I've been 100% focused on YouTube (and nothing else) for audience growth. Also, I'm focused on email to communicate with people.
How do you decide what's most important to work on?
What's your number one goal this year? Focus on a target. It doesn't have to be too ambitious.
For my YouTube channel and AppSumo, it's around 10% yearly growth from the year before. Slow, sexy compounded returns!
Stick with it. I only really got rich after six years; the first few years, it was reinvesting everything back into the business. Do it yourself, hire people, or use software to keep the businesses running and growing.
Getting the first 10 customers?
For an MVP, I really focus on just the first 10. That's way more than enough.
I recently wanted to create a DocuSign alternative, so I looked through my Gmail and made a list of 10 people who sent me DocuSigns. I thought they may be interested. I called them up, listened, talked about my idea, and got $3K in preorders before we built it. It launches in the next 30 days.
Many people want to convince you they built in public, posted two tweets, and bam! They're a SaaS millionaire. It can definitely happen, and I love building in public, but my main advice is to go directly one-on-one. Be proactive in getting your first customers!
Advice on hiring a team?
Hiring is a skill, and you have to practice it. I look for two things when I hire: Attitude and effort. Here are some of my favorite questions to ask:
Tell me about your parents: Many people are either very similar to, or very different from, their parents. How they talk about this will tell you about their attitude.
Talk to me about projects you've built or worked on.
I ask them to perform a light task, and give them a specific time to follow up. Most people never follow up.
Discuss this story.
The Tweetmaster's Pick 🐦
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
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Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Gabriella Federico for the illustrations, and to Rdnpa, Darko, Marc Andre, and Noah Kagan for contributing posts. —Channing
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