How 1 Blog Post Will Drive Thousands
of People to Your Shopify App

How one blog post will drive thousands of people to your Shopify app

If you’re trying to get more users for your Shopify app, you probably…

 

  • Rely heavily on organic App Store traffic (only to find out it’s harder than you thought)
  • Can’t make App Store ads work (read: profitable)
  • Know that reviews are key to more signups (but also know that signups are required for reviews, damn!)
 

Maybe you also tried content marketing but decided that this “doesn’t work”.

 

Let me tell you you’re wrong. At least about the content marketing part.

 

Look, In 2018 I created one piece of content as a freelancer for Oberlo.

 

Did it work? You bet!

 

This one post alone has more than 2,900 comments and more than 11,600 shares.

Tim Kocks article on the Shopify Oberlo blog has more than 2900 comments and more than 11000 social shares

The post turned readers in true Oberlo fans:

Tim Kock's article on the Shopify Oberlo blog made people love Oberlo

It worked THAT good that Oberlo decided to do another one. They saw instant results right away. That’s why I received an email from the former Director of Communications of Shopify on the first day of publishing the blog post.

The former Director of Communications at Shopify sends an email to Tim Kock saying the content is incredible

We worked together again… and again…

 

And if you believe content only works for scaling an already big app, here’s the result of one simple post (+ bonus pages that are related to that post) for a brand new app with zero traffic on their blog:

A screenshot of a Google Analytics dashboard that shows a brand new Shopify app blog from zero to more than 5000 pageviews

From 0 to 5,037 page views in just 1 month. 

 

  • No paid marketing.
  • No email newsletter.
  • No social media accounts.
  • No SEO.
  • No big marketing strategy.

 

And their blog keeps growing.

 

Meanwhile, on other blogs:

Boring topic, random stock images, no structure…


^ Is this you? Then you’re in for a treat!


In this post I will show you EXACTLY how I come up with content ideas, how I write content and – most and foremost – how I promote content so it gets traffic right away (no SEO, no paid ads).


So the so-called strategy behind the evergreen post for Oberlo (and every other posts I did) is actually very simple:


  • Create a blog post about the reason why your users want to [YOUR USP].
  • Tell a story the audience can relate to.
  • Make it easy to consume.
  • Give them a good reason to give you their email.
  • Push them into an email funnel (to turn them into users)

If you’d ask me what’s the #1 key to good content is I’d say…


Put yourself ACTUALLY in the shoes of your users.


I know, I know. You’ve heard this a thousand times and it doesn’t really help. I get it.


So let me explain it more specifically.


Your future users will have one very specific reason why they want your app.


Here’s a selection:


Advertising apps: “They want to make more sales.”


SEO apps: “They want a higher ranking on Google.”


Site builder apps: “They want to build a high-converting store.”


Upsell apps: “They want to increase the average order volume.”

And so on.


The question is: do you have the practical knowledge to teach how your app can help your desired audience? 


Boring theory-content won’t win prizes. They will only fill an empty blog and waste your time.


Still nothing new for you, right? I mean, you’ve built your app and know better than anyone else why people need to install your app.


BUT…


“They want to make more sales.”

have YOU ever made more than 50 sales with a Shopify store?


“They want a higher ranking on Google.”

Did YOU ever rank a website on Google’s first page?


“They want a high-converting store.”

Do YOU know the fundamentals of Design?


“They want to increase the average order volume.”

Have YOU ever increased your store’s AOV from.. Let’s say $30 to $40?


What about those questions?


Can you walk the walk? Can you document your journey and then share it with the world?


Because… well, this is the stuff people want to see. That’s why reality-tv is so popular.


Yes, creating this kind of content takes a crazy amount of time and effort. 


But here’s the good thing: You don’t need many of those evergreen posts.


In fact, one post can take your blog from 0 to 10,000+ visitors in a few weeks (and keep growing).


And guess who will collect leads like a champ? Yes, you!


I bet you can smell the sweet scent of MRR already!

Ready to drive traffic to your app? Let’s dive in!

How to Find Topics That Your Users (Actually) Want to Read

First things first: don’t write for search engines. 

 

Last time I checked, Google had no desires, dreams, fears, or concerns (no, no – their AI doesn’t count here, my dear developer friend).

 

You need to find a good mix between human desires and data.

 

The goal is to find a topic that is…

 

  • Related to your app’s USP.
  • Actually worth writing about.
  • Backed by some data.
  • Within your knowledge-field.

 

Finding a good topic is a process. You start with a vague idea and end up with something completely different.

 

But let me give you a straightforward example. To show you EXACTLY what I mean, let’s assume we have an SEO app for now.

 

We will go through the whole process together.

 

Onward!

Shopify App Content Ideas #1: Check Reddit for Existing Content

Join app-relevant subreddits and sort the posts in a useful way.

 

To see the topics that people like the most, sort all posts by “Top” and “All Time” and look through the posts. Can you find something related to your app? 

 

Good! Now sort the comments by “Best” and see if you can find a comment that includes a question, a story, or anything else that could be turned into content. Almost anything counts here.

A Reddit post in the Shopify subreddit about SEO

Alright, alright. Let’s take a closer look at the comment from the screenshot above. 

 

Here are some (golden) nuggets you can take away from it:

 

  • Switching from WooCommerce to Shopify and how it affects SEO
  • Managing SEO without having a dedicated employee
  • Proof: Shopify merchants need an app to make it work 

 

That’s a good start. On to the next step.

Shopify App Content Ideas #2: The Shopify Search Engine

Shopify’s forum is a content marketer’s dream come true!

 

Thousands of merchants ask their most burning questions every single day. All you need to do is to listen. I bet you could even find some great ideas for apps here.

 

Anyway. Use the search bar on top of the forum and check the amount of search results.

 

Terms like “SEO” will obviously show you some crazy results. Unfortunately, those O.G. terms don’t count. SEO is not just a topic, it’s an industry. You need to dig deeper with more narrow terms like “SEO woocommerce”.

A screenshot of Shopify's community posts regarding SEO

Look, people who use the terms “SEO” and “WooCommerce” in a Shopify forum are very likely interested in an in-depth blog post about the migration from WooCommerce to Shopify without losing their earned Google ranks.

 

Needless to say: you can put that topic on your list, my friend.

Shopify App Content Ideas #3: Get Some Google Data

Alright, we did some honest hustling and already found a solid topic.

Now it’s time to back it up with some data.

 

To get an idea if people actually search for the stuff I’m about to create, I use the Google Chrome Extension “Keywords Everywhere”.

 

It’s as simple as it gets. Enter a search term, DON’T hit the enter button, and look up the results.

A quick keyword analysis with the Google Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere

Okay. So what do we have? SEO for Shopify = 9,900 monthly search requests

 

SEO for WooCommerce = 1,900 monthly search requests.

 

So yes, SEO for ecommerce is a real thing. Oh wow, who could have thought!?

 

I don’t think you’re surprised, right? I thought so.

 

But look: the total amount of search requests is not that important here. Key is the overlapping audience:

 

People who plan to switch from WooCommerce to Shopify.

 

That being said, we need to do another search on Google.

The keyword "Shopify vs Woocommerce" has more than 18100 search requests per month

18,100 people search every month for a comparison of Shopify and WooCommerce.

 

Boom! 

 

All of a sudden your content target audience changed. From the usual “Shopify merchants” to “WooCommerce users who want to migrate to Shopify (even though they might not have thought about the SEO aspect (yet))”. 

 

This, my friend, is a narrowed-audience. This is the stuff you’re looking for.

 

Okay, so let’s face it. SEO is what it is: just one part of ecommerce and not everything. That’s why the content has to cover way more than just SEO.

 

Don’t worry, we don’t have to re-write the whole code of our SEO app.

 

We’re creating content here. Not finding an idea for a better app.

 

Our end-goal is to create a piece of content that WooCommerce-buddies share with each other, agencies use internally for educational purposes, WooCommerce-Shopify-Migration-Apps share with their users and industry influencer refer to in podcasts, videos and blog posts.

 

Simple put: The content will be important for everyone who has anything to do with a WooCommerce-Shopify relationship.

 

Sounds logical? Good – let’s move on!

Shopify App Content Ideas #4: Steal From Content Competitors

Remember, in the game of content you’re not competing with your fellow app developer. You’re competing with content creators.

 

Unless your app-competitor is actually nailing the content game (> 10k+ organic traffic / mo), don’t steal from them.

 

Taking a look at competitors can either get you a complete new idea OR things you want to consider building into your content.

 

To take a look at my competitor’s traffic data I use SEMRush.

 

Plug in your competitor’s URL > SEO > Organic Research > Pages

 

And just like magic, SEMRush now shows you their most successful organic pages.

The organic research tool by SEMRush

So for the content we’re creating we now know that backlinks, SERP and a SEO Checklist seems to be important and should be part of our content. That’s good to know! That kind of stuff is great for free content upgrades in exchange for our readers emails (more on that later).

 

Tip: Bookmark the pages of your competitors (you can learn a lot from them).

Shopify App Content Ideas #5: Putting it All Together

With all the gathered information, it’s now (finally) time to put it all together and find a format that the audience will love.

 

Right out of my mind I think these possible formats are valuable AND entertaining:

 

  • Reverse-engineer a successful WooCommerce <> Shopify transition and its impact on the Google rankings.
  • Interview former WooCommerce users (now Shopify merchants) about the problems and solutions during the transition.
  • (live) Case Study: “How switching from WooCommerce to Shopify increased my Google rankings!” (similar to my Oberlo post from above).

 

Even though I feel confident that those are some great content ideas, I always double-check. Especially in the preparation for such a big content piece.

 

Again, r/Shopify (sort posts by “Top” and “All Time”).

Reddit users love Shopify stories about ups and downs

That was a quick win: Success stories that include a good portion of struggle. That’s what people want to read!

 

Goodie for you: since you’ve done your research on Reddit you can feel very confident that Redditors will love your content. This is great because you just discovered your first readers!

 

Before I forget: Later, when you will learn how to get traffic on your content, we will also cover Reddit. And that being said, many subreddits require a specific “comment karma”.

 

So, in order to be allowed to post stuff on Reddit, you need to earn karma. And according to Reddit, you will gain karma if you “[…] submit posts that other people find valuable and interesting and commenting on posts with insightful content.” Very fair model. Be aware – you can also lose karma by posting useless things.

 

If you want to maximize your traffic on day 1, start building that karma early. That’s why I’m mentioning it so early in this post.

 

But back to work. Let’s take a look at what we have here:

 

Topic: Transition from WooCommerce to Shopify (focus on SEO)

 

Format: Honest success story with ups and downs.

 

Putting it both together…

The combination of SEO and a Success Story is a SEO success story

SEO SUCCESS STORY

 

Now that’s a good one!

 

There are probably hundreds of different approaches to doing this. Here’s one:

 

  1. Buy a WooCommerce store (> 1 year old, because of rankings)
  2. Switch the whole business to Shopify
  3. Focus on SEO 
  4. Document the whole journey
  5. Write a 6-part series (publishing one post per week)

 

Don’t you think that would be a great behind-the-scenes story? I bet! 

 

By doing this you’re actually IN the shoes of your users. You ARE your user.

 

(Sad but true, most Shopify app-companies don’t even run a Shopify store themselves. Demo stores don’t count, buddy.)

 

Anyway.

 

You will gain insights during the whole process that are worth more than gold!

 

I bet you can even improve your app’s UX by doing this. But that’s not even the point here.

 

Even if you fail hard and can’t tell a Disney-lookalike happy-end story, you still have an amazing story to tell:

 

“How I [TOPIC] and failed hard. Here’s what I’d do differently next time!”

 

People will appreciate sharing your failures since they can avoid them (= saves them time, money and headaches)

How to Write Content For High Conversions

Let me begin with a common misconception.

 

Not everyone can write code. But everyone can write some words.

 

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone can automatically write content that people love, share and – most and foremost – end up in conversions.

 

Writing is a skill. Pretty much like coding. I know, I know. It doesn’t seem that way since you already know all the words you need to write amazing content. But It’s the arrangement of the words that makes the difference.

 

Luckily you don’t need to be J.K. Rowling to create content that keeps users reading more than 10,000 words (Harry Potter #1 has, by the way, 76,944 words). In the following section you’ll learn the fundamentals of good writing. At least what I believe is considered “good writing”. I hope my past results convince you that this stuff actually works. Not sure if Ms. Rowling would love it though.

 

Alright. Bring it!

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #1: Forget About Hacks and Clickbait

Clickbait titles and images are annoying.

 

It may get you a bit more traffic, but if you can’t deliver what you’re promising in the title, people will jump off of your site and you lose everyone. Even if your article itself is great!

 

Don’t lie to your future customers.

 

Okay, so don’t get me wrong. You need to have a catchy headline that includes something your users absolutely want to have. But you have to be careful.

 

In a world where almost every SaaS tool promises 1,340% Growth in 7 minutes, honesty is appreciated. But hey – if you can ACTUALLY deliver those crazy numbers, go all-in. Promote the hell out of it. 

 

SMSBump is a very good example here. They promote a case study of a dropshipper doing text marketing that got him a 22,000% ROI. That’s more than crazy – but it’s the truth. And that’s the reason why SMSBump is so successful. They’re not overpromising. They deliver.

 

You get the point.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #2: Read “The Boron Letters”

So how to get started? I believe a very good way to get an idea about copywriting and a good portion of content marketing is by reading “The Boron Letters”.

 

It’s a book that has been written by copywriting legend Gary Halbert.

 

In short: During his time in prison, he wrote daily letters to his son (Bond Halbert) about everything he believes is important in business (he actually made millions with copywriting).

 

His son put all of these letters together in a book. Since Bond knows that not everyone has a legendary copywriting-dad in prison, he published the letters for free.

 

You can read them all here.

The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert

So yeah, that’s a solid start. It’s not even a long one. I think it has around 140 pages (there’s no page count).

 

What else? Oh, yes… here’s an important one:

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #3: Collect Anecdotes

Unless you’re actually your own audience, it can be very hard to write in a way a potential customer can relate to.

 

The truth is, the more you can write in the language of your audience, the more likely they will know that you’re a part of their community. In some sense, they will accept and trust you.

 

So I guess the best advice would be something like “solve a problem for yourself”. But, to be very honest, that’s not a very practical advice and would lead to a mass-deletion of pretty much all Shopify apps. 

 

There’s nothing bad in building an app that solves a problem even though you might not face that problem yourself.

 

Okay. So let’s go back to the post. Good thing for you is that the internet is full of anecdotes and stories of the people you’re trying to serve. All you need to do is to collect them.

 

Create a spreadsheet and collect everything you think is helpful. Or get my spreadsheet + a lot of other free stuff that will make your life easier:

Here are a few places to find those little stories:

 

  • Reddit
  • Shopify forum
  • Facebook groups
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Twitter 
  • Amazon book reviews

 

Search for your app’s main purpose on these sites and read through the comments.

 

I found this one on Reddit:

A Reddit user says he switched Shopify themes last month and now looking for better SEO rankings

Works PERFECT with our SEO success story idea.

 

Tip: Reach out to these users and let them share their experience in your article.

 

The more anecdotes, the better. 

 

If you spend around one hour on this, your list should be filled up with great stories that you can easily throw into your article and make it way more relatable.

 

(Can you find all the developer-anecdotes I included into this post here?) 

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #4: Your Headline is Everything

Just like your app’s App Store tagline, the headline of your article is what will make people click on your post.

 

Coming up with great headlines is a science and art.

 

But for a success story, however, it’s actually easy.

 

All you have to do is to summarize your post in one line.

 

And a good way to do this is by using the “How-TRFF”-structure:

 

How + [TOPIC] + [RESULT] + [FUN FACT]

 

Let me give you an example: 

 

How This Dude Switched From WooCommerce to Shopify And Got FREE Search Traffic! (52 SEOs Told Him It’s Impossible)

 

If you follow this structure, you’ll have a good one without (over)thinking about it for ages.

 

And look at this: According to Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer, the headline from above scores 79/100 points.

A content headline that has the optimal headline length and a strong human connection

That’s solid and took me less than 30 seconds to come up with.

 

I bet you can even do better!

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #5: Use The AIDA Formula

The AIDA formula is some real marketers-talk. I’m really sorry about that.

 

So the AIDA formula is a framework to structure things like social media posts, emails, App Store listings and yes, also long form blog content.

 

Here’s the deal:

 

A – Attention

I – Interest

D – Desire

A – Action

The AIDA formula is a framework to structure blog articles, social media posts and emails.

Let’s break it down.

 

ATTENTION:

In the first part of your article (includes the headline), it’s important to catch the reader’s attention.

 

If you can’t catch them within the first seconds, you lose them. Maybe forever.

 

Start your content with a question, an interesting fact, a graphic, proving you’re “one of them”, or anything else that makes your readers want to read the next sentence.

 

SEO app example (the headline from above): 

 

How This Dude Switched From WooCommerce to Shopify And Got FREE Search Traffic! (52 SEOs Told Him It’s Impossible)

 

INTEREST:

Now that you have your reader’s attention it’s time to get their actual interest.

 

Show some interesting facts about the topic, the result they can expect after reading your post, or an interesting story.

 

Using Bullet points is a good way to present the “Interest”-section.

 

Here’s the SEO app example:

 

In this article you will get to know why…

 

 

  • The 52 SEO agencies were completely wrong about Shopify SEO.
  • A few lines of code in your theme will boost search-traffic (code-snippets inside).
  • This one SEO app for Shopify saved me endless sleepless nights.
 

DESIRE:

This is the biggest portion of your content.

 

The goal is to make people absolutely want what you have to offer.

 

Show your readers why their life will be so much better with whatever it is that you have to offer.

 

SEO app example (it’s not about this one line, it’s about the whole idea of the article):

 

If you have the next 4 weeks off you can absolutely migrate your WooCommerce store to Shopify manually. If you’d like to get it done in 4 hours and have time for your hobbies instead, you can use this SEO app.

 

ACTION:

What’s the purpose of your content?

 

In the last section of the content it’s time to push your audience to take your desired action.

 

Focus on one action!

 

This can be a signing up for a newsletter, leaving a comment, subscribing to a YouTube channel, listening to a podcast, installing your app, booking a demo call, or following you on social media.

 

I know. It often seems super obvious what people should do. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Please don’t make the mistake and expect people to take action without guidance.

 

SEO app example:

 

Sign up for our newsletter and get this FREE SEO BUNDLE for Shopify with code-snippets and an SEO checklist!

 

Alright, alright. So now you know about the AIDA formula. I’m sorry to say… but: You won’t master it by reading about it. A better way to learn how it’s applied, is to analyze the structure of content you think is good (= content that you’ve read/watched from start to end).

 

If you wanna give it a go right away, try to optimize your App Store listing by using the AIDA formula. I’m pretty sure you can come up with something cool!

 

Whenever I create new content, I use a simple but effective AIDA template I made with Google documents. You can use the same by clicking on the button below.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #6: Tell a Story

Listen carefully now. We’re coming to the most important part about keystone content.

 

Storytelling.

 

And I’m not talking about the usual marketing blah-blah.

 

It’s all about making your “educational” content entertaining.

 

What’s the difference between good and boring stories?

 

Yep, you’re right: ups and downs.

 

Share your mistakes. This makes you human and your audience can relate to you.

 

If you haven’t taken the time to read my Oberlo post from above, you will see that I’ve built two online stores in that case study. The first one failed big time. I could have easily cut out that part to create a “I’m better than you are!”-feeling. No one would have ever known about that failure part. Not even Oberlo.

 

But I’m just a random dude from Germany trying to find my way through life. Why hiding it? Everyone struggles. Especially people who read content about starting and running a business. If their business was so dang good, they are not interested in such content.

 

Cinderella, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lord of the Rings, and (almost) every other major book and movie have a similar structure:

 

The star starts either with a good or bad life. Then things slowly change. Maybe again. At the end of every story, however, they’re the winner. No matter the start or end; the star went through ups and downs.

 

American author Kurt Vonnegut explained this in his “shapes of stories” in a simple way:

The Simple Shades of Stories by Kurt Vonnegut

You’re the star of your content. You have to struggle.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #7: Create Custom Graphics

No one wants to see random stock images. Get rid of them (Sorry, Mr. Unsplash)!

 

Just like you wouldn’t deploy to production on a friday afternoon, good content creators will never use boring stock images.

 

But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a designer (or hire one).

 

You’re not aiming to win a design award.

 

Your goal is to transfer your information to your reader’s brain. That’s it.

Custom Graphics on a blog post are more useful than random stock images

A random stock image will never get that job done.

 

It doesn’t need a design magician to create images that will let your readers understand what you’re trying to say.

Tools I used to create the images of this article:

 

 

Oh, one last thing on that topic: Only add images you believe will help the post. 

 

Onward!

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #8: Include Videos

To nail your piece of content, include videos (Google loves that, by the way).

 

Don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera? Don’t worry!

 

Record your screen while you’re working, put some music on it and include it into the post.

 

Here’s a short video that I created while editing and rendering a video for this post.

Tools I used to create the videos of this article (all of them are free):

 

 

Nothing special, right?

 

Remember, you’re not trying to win an Oscar. You don’t even want to create content for YoutTube. All you want to have are videos that support your blog. That’s doable.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #9: Optimize For Reading Experience

In order to keep your blog visitors reading, you need to optimize the reading experience.

 

It’s called Content UX.

 

Very similar to developing a great app, you need to give your users a great experience while they’re consuming the content.

 

The longer your article is, the harder it gets.

 

Headlines, screenshots, videos, font and font size – that’s the stuff that will help you improve your Content UX.

 

Structure your article with headlines and subheadlines.

 

Use paragraphs and keep your sentences short.

 

Insert necessary images and videos.

 

I suggest using one of these fonts: Open Sans, Arial or Roboto.

 

What else? Hm. Well yeah, use a 16 to 20 px font size for your body copy and make your content boxed and not full-width.

The way content is structured plays a big role in content marketing and SEO

Make it easy to read.

 

Not more, not less.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #10: Capture Emails (!)

The goal of creating content is obviously app-installs. I think we can agree on that.

 

In a perfect world, people will read your post and instantly install your app.

 

Unfortunately, as we both know, the world is not perfect.

 

Asking for a direct app install is pretty much the same as asking a stranger on the streets to kiss you right away (please don’t do this, especially not during covid times!)

 

I mean – hey, maybe you’re lucky… 

 

But most of the time you will be ignored or even worse: getting slapped in the face.

 

I’m happy to tell you about a better way. A way to actually increase your chances (for kisses and app installs):

 

Don’t ask for too much right away and give people the chance to get to know you. Then, after a couple of days or weeks, the other one can make an “educated decision” whether you’re the right one or not (= your app is worth installing it)

 

Enough analogies. Let’s focus on Shopify app installs again.

 

The best way to do this kind of warm-up is via email.

 

But first, you need to get your user’s emails. 

 

Offer a content-upgrade (= an ebook, course, checklist, etc.) that relates directly to your article in return of their email address.

 

Just like I do in this article.

 

If you click on the button below, you will get a whole bunch of cool free stuff from me that will help you with your content creation:

 

  • Spreadsheets I personally use.
  • Templates to structure your post.
  • A list of useful tools.
  • Additional places to share your content.
  • A marketing checklist.

Right after that, you will receive a few emails from me with content that I HONESTLY BELIEVE will help you with your app marketing.

 

And this is what you can (and should) do as well.

 

Offer a content upgrade you think will help your audience. They will be happy to give you their emails.

 

The key to a successful email campaign afterwards (success = app sign ups), is the way you treat your subscribers.

 

You can’t just send the same one email to everyone. 

 

By doing content for a Shopify app, you will get the email addresses of people who are in very, very different stages of their business:

 

  • Never had a Shopify store but thinking about building one.
  • Closed their first (or 22nd) unsuccessful store and considering giving it another try.
  • Have a store running but making no sales at all.
  • Have a store running and making a few sales every now and then.
  • Have a store that makes a lot of sales but can’t seem to grow anymore.
  • Have a HUGE (Shopify Plus) store that is looking for scaling opportunities.
 

You can’t talk to everyone in the same way. They all have different fears, dreams and knowledge.

 

That’s why one of your very first emails you send shouldn’t be a sales pitch.

 

Ask them at which stage of their ecommerce journey they are right now. Then, based on their answer, push them into an email funnel that will actually help them.

 

You can even ask this question BEFORE they sign up.

 

My buddy Nik from fourminutebooks.com (800+ summaries of non-fiction books) does this very well.

A question on Fourminutebooks.com that will lead the reader to the right content

Each answer will result in different suggestions so the website visitor will get what he needs the most.

 

That’s pretty smart, don’t you think?

 

So… we basically covered everything you need to know to get started with content marketing. I’m not lying. It’s still a long way to go from here. But without any doubt, if you consider all of the stuff from above, you’re not just better at content creation than most Shopify app developers (or companies), but also way better than many, many professional content creators.

 

Let’s take it to the next level.

Integrate a Traffic Booster

When starting a brand new shiny blog from scratch without a big email list or social media audience, getting guaranteed traffic is hard.

 

That’s why you need to integrate a traffic booster into your post:

 

Feature and link up other people (and companies) and tell them about their feature afterwards.

 

Yep, that’s an old one. But it still works today.

 

The great part for you, as a Shopify developer, is the crazy amount of Shopify content- and course creator. The feature-possibilities are almost endless.

 

Right now (March 2021) there are 740,130 interested people in Shopify courses on Udemy alone.

On Udemy, there are more than 740000 learners who want to learn about Shopify

Isn’t that crazy? That’s about the size of the Kingdom of Bhutan (and we haven’t even added Shopify blog articles, YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram accounts, etc.)

 

Okay. But where to go from here? What do you gotta do with this information? That’s easy, my friend.

 

Cold email the creators.

 

You will find their contact information on their Udemy instructor profiles.

The instructor profile of an ecommerce entrepreneur and best selling Udemy instructor

Tell them you’ve featured some of their content and with a little bit of luck they will share it with their audience.

 

= free exposure for your content.

 

Here’s a good example: I’m one of very few officially approved Shopify Education Partners (= Shopify approved my content and double-checked my results) and my Shopify course is doing pretty solid on Udemy.

 

The Partner Manager of Omnisend (3,800+ reviews on the Shopify App Store) reached out to me trying to find out how to work together.

The partner manager of Omnisend sends Tim Kock a message on Slack asking how to be part of Tim's Shopify Education Partner program

And guess who will be part of my Udemy course soon? Yep, that’s right: Omnisend.

 

In case you wonder, you can contact me here.

Do This Before You Hit The Hot Publish-Button

Even though we’re not trying to purely rely on SEO, it’s a good idea to optimize the articles for search engines.

 

At some point, the initial non-SEO traffic (more on that later) will decrease. There’s no way around that. This shouldn’t cause the death of your article.

 

Getting search-traffic to your post at that point is key and will get you new leads on auto-pilot.

 

You definitely don’t need to be an SEO-expert to get your articles ranked pretty well. I’m not necessarily talking about rank #1 on page #1 though.

 

Okay. So our goal is to have the article bringing in a little bit of 100% passive traffic every single day – and let me quote Tim Ferriss here – “without killing yourself”.

 

A hardcore 7 posts per week schedule is cool. No doubt about that (as long as those posts are good). But as long as your name isn’t GaryVee, it’s not really practical.

 

And remember, the biggest amount of traffic will come from non-SEO sources. 

 

But for now, let’s look at the optimization points.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #1: Image Alt Texts

I’m pretty sure you already know that: Google and other search engines became pretty good at scanning images and figuring out what’s on it. A little help in the form of alt texts, however, can help Google to understand what’s on the image.

 

Setting an alt text on an image is a clear signal to search engines that your image is related to the words on your page. And that, my dear developer-creator-hybrid friend, will boost your rankings.

 

But, as with everything, there’s a good way to do this and there’s a bad way to do this. The good way: Give DETAILED information about the image.

Alt texts help search engines like Google understand what the blog post is all about

Bad alt text: “Graphic that shows the AIDA formula.”

 

Good alt text: “The AIDA formula is a framework to structure blog articles, social media posts and emails.”

 

Use complete sentences and include your main keyword.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #2: Give Them What They Want

This is only important if your post can aim for a top spot on Google.

 

Our SEO app article example, for instance, won’t make it to the first page of Google since the main goal of such an evergreen post is shares and backlinks (from readers, influencers and other brands) and not to become a top Google post.

 

So let’s say you have an email-marketing app, you did your topic research and it turned out you should write about “best landing pages”.

 

Search intent COULD be…

 

  1. “How do I create the best possible landing page?”
  2. “What are the best tools to create landing pages?”
  3. “What do great landing pages look like?”

 

In order to deliver content that people are actually looking for, do a quick Google search and take a look at the top-ranked websites.

The Google search results for they long tail keyword "best landing pages"

You can see a pattern, right? I thought so.

 

You need to write about landing page examples that your readers can copy. Don’t try to “outsmart” Google here. That won’t work.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #3: Keyword in The URL

Put your #1 keyword into the url of your article.

 

It’s a small adjustment, but has an impact on your ranking.

 

It makes it easier for Google and Co. to figure out what’s the content all about.

 

Well, that’s about it. We don’t have time to waste.

 

Onward!

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #4: Keyword in The Headline(s)

For SEO content it’s important to use the #1 keyword several times in all sorts of headlines.

 

Just like having the keyword in the URL, it’s a clear signal to search engines what your post contains.

 

Try to avoid focusing on major keywords like “Shopify SEO” and go for long-tail keywords like “Shopify SEO for beginners”. The number of monthly searches are obviously less compared to the big ones, but you’ll have a fair chance to rank high for the niche ones.

 

Here’s a trick: You can use the “allintitle:”[YOUR TITLE]”-function of Google to see your headline competitors.

Google's allintitle tool helps to identify websites that have the same title

y doing that, you’ll see every site that uses the exact same wording in their title.

 

Alright. We already covered more than 50% of the SEO section. Keep reading. We’re coming to the juicy part of free content promotion soon!

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #5: Teaser in The Meta-Description

The meta description of a site doesn’t only help search engines to rank your post, it also increases the visibility of your post on the search results.

 

But let me give you two examples:

Two example screenshots of SEO meta descriptions

Can you see why one is good and one is bad?

 

That’s right: the bad one (above) isn’t readable at all. Google just pulled some unformatted information from the article. On the good one, however, you can clearly see that someone took time to write this out.

 

Your goal is to make it very clear what your site is all about and to satisfy search intent.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #6: Incentivize Comments

Positive comments coming from real people is a huge signal to search engines that your post is valuable and should be considered to be ranked higher than posts without comments.

 

However, a blog isn’t social media and your readers won’t naturally leave comments.

 

And even articles on the Shopify blog that has MILLIONS of readers often get no comments at all.

Screenshot from the Shopify blog

It’s the nature of a blog.

 

But we want to change that. In order to get people to leave comments and help you with your Google rankings, you need to incentivize them.

 

Examples:

 

  • Bonus entries for a giveaway by leaving a comment
  • Free content-upgrade by leaving a comment
  • Free book by leaving a comment
  • Discount on your app by leaving a comment

 

You can even make it more fun and create a comment-competition:

 

  1. Let people guess about a certain fact from your article.
  2. Everyone who will leave a comment with the right answer will get a special prize.

 

Here’s how this could look like for our SEO success story example:

 

How much organic traffic did I lose in the first week of switching from WooCommerce to Shopify? Guess the answer in the comments. I’ll pay your next Shopify bill if you’re right.

 

Isn’t that a good one? 

 

Make sure to reply to every single comment and ask counter-questions to keep the engagement high.

 

Something to think about: According to Yoast, comment systems like Disqus take so long to load, that Google will ignore them completely. If you’re running your blog on WordPress, you may want to use the standard comment system of WordPress. Your call.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #7: Reduce The Size of The Images

Just like every Shopify merchant hates slow apps, every blog reader hates slow website speed.

 

The Speed of your site is a key factor to great rankings. Guess what will slow down your sites the most? Yes. Images.

 

“Unfortunately”, images are necessary for an amazing article.

 

So you need to compress them. 

 

There are several tools, websites and plug-ins you can use to compress images.

 

But before you use any of those, start by compressing your images on your computer.

 

SEO image compression on a Mac: Open image in Preview > Tools > Adjust Size 

How to resize an image on a Mac

SEO image compression on a PC: Open image > Three Dots > Resize > Define custom dimensions

How to resize an image on a PC

After your “local compression”, you can use some tools to get the most out of it.

 

Good tools for compression are TinyPNG and Smush (WordPress plugin).

 

If you want to check if your images still slow down your page, you can do this here.

 

And that’s it for SEO.

 

If you’re writing an awesome article about a topic people care about, those few SEO tweaks will work wonders for your rankings.

 

But always remember: We’re not creating pure SEO content here. We create content that real people love to read and share with their Shopify buddies. You know… the stuff that people print out and read over and over again.

 

If you want to learn more about SEO, I recommend Backlinko.com.

 

One last thing: Even though being a perfectionist isn’t always the best, don’t publish anything you personally don’t really like. If you think your content is only “okay” the world will usually think the same. If you don’t like a certain paragraph or screenshot, delete it or make it better. If you struggle to make it better, ask others for help. 

 

I forgot something. Now it’s really the last thing. Before you publish your article: Install Google Analytics on your blog.

How to Promote Content Without Ads (No SEO)

Okay. It’s finally showtime!

 

Before we jump into it, let me tell you one thing: The world lacks GREAT content.

 

There’s a lot of noise out there. Someone needs to start singing a beautiful song that people love listening to. Why don’t you become that one?

 

Unfortunately, over the years, the term “content” received a bad reputation. For a very good reason actually. Too many content creators are just writing and recording useless stuff day in and day out.

 

Maybe the creators are somewhat proud. But let’s be honest here… the world doesn’t need it.

 

I think you can compare it with the millions of to-do-list apps in the Apple AppStore. Yes, it is software. Yes, it took the developer time to learn the skill and write the code. But, at the end of the day, it’s useless.

 

That’s why we picked an approach to content marketing that is based on real human interest.

 

And if you’ve done your homework so far, you created an article that is worth reading. In fact, it would be unfair from you to hide it.

 

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that great has to be shared.

 

Are you with me? Okay.

 

So assuming you just created your first piece of killer-evergreen-content and have no track record, but want to land a hit right away, you need to have a proven way to get your content on as many eyes as possible.

 

You can’t just publish the article, send an email to your 200k list and already have lots of traffic.

 

(If you have that – even better!)

 

But today I’m gonna show you how to get traffic to your content without the luxury of having a big audience.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #1: Share it on Reddit

Remember when I said you should start building your comment karma on Reddit? Well, I hope you’ve listened closely back then. Now it’s time to shine, my friend.

 

Fact: Reddit is the best place to share GREAT content.

 

Also fact: Reddit is also the WORST place to share mediocre content.

 

Sounds weird? Great, welcome to Reddit.

 

There are many people who will do pretty much everything they can just to “get you down”. It’s the nature of Reddit and you have to live with that. Don’t be too soft.

 

However, there are a few things you can do to avoid the hate-train.

 

  1. Share your whole (!) content. Don’t just share a link to your website.
  2. Write some super honest lines about your content at the top of it (eg. “I’m not a millionaire and I won’t show you how to make millions. This article is my personal experience and thought it’s fun to write about. Hope you enjoy this!”)
  3. Never be too pushy and post your content on the same day on several subreddits. 
  4. Don’t ask for upvotes.
  5. If your post gets deleted: keep it easy. Try another subreddit.
Sharing content on Reddit will help get more traffic to Shopify apps

In order to get some website visits, you can include a line into your intro section like:

 

“Read the full post with images and videos on our blog.” 

“Our blog” is a link to your content.

 

Subreddits to share your Shopify-related content:

 

 

And then there are also more specific Subreddits. Here’s a selection:

 

 

The great thing about Reddit is the capability of sharing content multiple times.

 

Sharing your content piece in 12 different subreddits (over the span of 12 months), can build the foundation of your whole content distribution system.

 

Oh, and a nice trick: if you share a long post on Reddit, remind people to use the “RemindMe!” function.

 

Your readers have a real life (I know, isn’t that crazy!) and may live in different timezones than you. Just because they discovered your post, doesn’t mean they have the time to read it right now. With the RemindMe! function, Reddit will send them a notification to read the post in a few hours.

The RemindMe! function on Reddit helps with recovering traffic of content

This does not only help with recovering traffic, but also proves you’re respecting the time of your readers.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #2: Share it in Facebook Groups

Ecommerce Facebook groups are – by far – the most valuable asset you have if you’re starting a brand new blog without an email list. Unlike Reddit, you don’t even need to build comment Karma.

 

Aside from finding a topic people actually care about, leveraging Facebook groups is, in my humble opinion, the most important part for every new content creator.

 

Here’s a screenshot of one of my many Facebook group posts:

Tim Kock shares a blog post in a Shopify Facebook group and people loved it

It works.

 

But you have to play by the rules of the group.

 

Even though the dynamics and rules of every group are different, here are a few tips before sharing content:

 

  • Sharing the full piece of content works better than sharing a link/summary (just like on Reddit)
  • Use an image and emojis to get more attention.
  • Don’t post anything on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. The engagement is super low.
  • Facebook groups have formatting options. Use them!
  • Don’t ask for emails, filling out a Typeform, or anything else (you can collect emails on your website)

 

Personal note: I know many people say you need to ask admins or need to engage in the group for weeks or even months before posting something. If you did your research right and have a good feeling about what people want to see: skip that small talk. Share your amazing content.

Shopify related Facebook groups to share content

If you look closely, you’ll notice that two of these massive groups are directly related to Shopify apps/themes.

 

HeyCarson, for instance, did an AMAZING job by building a real community.

 

They are now in a very good position to share everything they want in their group. They can bump it up a quadrillion times so everyone will see their content. They can even share their latest content in the form that everyone has to fill out when joining. And guess what! They can do it for free! 

 

You can even make reading/watching your content a requirement to join the group.

 

I’m the moderator of a few groups from Shopify apps. In one group, we came up with the idea of asking for a “password” in order to join. To get the password, people need to watch a free webinar (which is a demo of the app). 

The member requests of a Facebook group from a Shopify app

We did this in 2017. Now, four years later, the funnel still works and we get thousands of group sign-ups.

 

I don’t think I have to tell you that starting a Facebook group for your app is a good idea.

 

But if you’re just starting, you don’t have that luxury.

 

So… what do we do? Yes, we’re using the groups of others. If your content is actually great, people will appreciate this (even the admins).

 

To help you with content distribution, I created a spreadsheet with 44 Facebook groups with THOUSANDS of people who are starving for your great content. Get the free list by clicking the button below.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #3: Share it on LinkedIn

Very similar to Facebook, LinkedIn also has groups. 

 

And since you’re creating business related content and LinkedIn is a business social network, this can work very well.

 

Simply search for an audience-related keyword and select “Groups” from the navigation bar.

 

Et voilà… groups where your target audience hangs out.

Shopify related LinkedIn groups to share content

Here are a few groups you can start to share your content:

 

 

Let people know about your content and ask them to leave comments on your group post. The more engagement your post has in that group, the more people will discover it.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #4: Share it Personally And Individually

Do you know people who are part of the Shopify community? 

 

It doesn’t matter if those people are store owners, developers, agency owners, Shopify staff, or your neighbor thinking about starting a business.

 

Reach out to all of them individually.

 

Again: INDIVIDUALLY.

 

Don’t throw them all into a group and do mass messaging. No one really likes that.

Sharing content individually with friends and family

Chances are, that they also know people who might love that kind of content. So never forget to ask if they can share your article with people who could like your article as well.

 

You never know how many people you will reach just by asking people to share your content.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #5: Run a Viral Giveaway

Everyone LOVES free stuff. That’s why running a giveaway almost always brings in a very solid amount of traffic.

 

The power of giveaways is huge – there’s no doubt about that. And if you’d run an ecommerce store, it’s literally a no-brainer. As a developer, however, it’s not that easy. 

 

For whatsoever reason, free software doesn’t attract as many people as a free bracelet. 

 

But it still works.

 

Here’s a screenshot of 7 giveaways over a period of 7 months that I did for a Shopify app. In total, we collected 9,021 unique and NEW emails (The total sum was 12,645, but some people entered multiple giveaways).

Running a viral giveaway is a great way to collect emails and make people share content

One email only cost us $0.51 USD. Comparing it with other email-collecting strategies, this is huge.

 

To make a giveaway successful, you need at least the following 4 things:

 

  • The prize has to be AWESOME.
  • The prize has to be only loved by your audience (don’t give away iPhones).
  • Push the participants into an email funnel.
  • Give away consolation prizes (eg. discount on your app)
 

Honestly, don’t give away a lame prize. I’ve seen quite some app devs who ran a giveaway where the first prize was “an ecommerce consulting session with our founder”… I mean, sorry, but why should anyone want to win that? Prizes like this will result in very few signups and you may come to the (very wrong) conclusion that giveaways won’t work.

 

You can (and should) set up the giveaway in a way that people will earn bonus entries if they read your blog post and share it on their social media pages, via email, and so on.

 

Okay. So how do you run a great giveaway for your Shopify app? I’m glad you asked.

 

Look, you actually don’t have THAT many options for running a giveaway. You need to find a prize that (almost) every Shopify store owner wants to have.

 

Something like…

 

  • One year of free Shopify (you pay their bills)
  • Books about ecommerce (not just 1)
  • Courses about ecommerce (not just 1)
  • Consulting with an industry influencer
  • Facebook ad credit (make sure to make it clear that only Shopify stores are eligible to win)
 

Example: Together with Oberlo, I ran a giveaway where we gave away an ecommerce store (that made around $9k in 1 month) that I’ve built from scratch for a blog post. The winner received everything: the store, the social accounts, the Facebook Pixel data, the email list… People went NUTS!

 

Two great tools to run a giveaway:

 

 

If you have some money to spend ($39/month), use Gleam. Looks clean as an embedded giveaway on your blog and has some killer features. However, depending on the client I am working with, I also use the free version of KingSumo – it also gets the job done! 

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #6: Share it on Social Media

Okay, so if we are looking at it in a very honest way, we all need to accept that social media won’t work very well for the most Shopify apps. Especially if you’re pretty new and/or don’t have many REAL followers (= people who absolutely love your app). 

 

The time it would take you to do something that could only perform “ok” is just not worth it.

 

However, you shouldn’t ignore social media.

 

Building a social media following is still an asset.

 

I’m by no means a social media dude, but if you’d ask me, I think you should build your audience more or less on auto-pilot (I don’t mean bots).

 

For instance, you can use a tool like MeetEdgar or Missinglettr to automatically distribute your blog content on social media as soon as you’ve published it on your blog.

 

You can even build a 12-month social media campaign in advance. These tools will continue to share your article over the months to achieve maximum reach.

 

If you look at Tim Ferriss’ social media accounts, you’ll see that he does the same. He never stops sharing. Even content from 10+ years ago.

An example social media post of the author of four hour workweek Tim Ferriss

To create images in the right dimensions for each social network, use Canva.

 

If you mentioned influencer or other brands in your article, tag their social accounts in your postings. This will increase your chance of a re-post (= free traffic).

 

Hashtags can work a little bit. But again – looking at it very realistically – they won’t bring you millions of readers… probably not even hundreds.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #7: Share it on Hacker News

Y Combinator’s Hacker News contains a bunch of interesting articles all around tech and business in general. 

 

Sometimes there’s a bit of misconception among developers about Hacker News. Just because Hacker News is from YC doesn’t mean there aren’t any ecommerce fans. The audience is very mixed and interested in many different things.

 

From my experience, Hacker News is always good for a few free clicks. Especially if you’re starting from scratch.

The most important part about submitting content on Hacker News is your title.

 

As a developer, you won’t be surprised by the following fact: The less marketing-voice you use on Hacker News, the better. 

 

So you may want to consider changing it a bit.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #8: Submit on Zest

Zest’s Google Chrome extension was built for marketers to discover the best content available.

 

And on Zest.is, you can contribute content to get discovered.

 

This can be extremely helpful, if you’re targeting Shopify Plus merchants with a dedicated marketing team who is aware of Zest (small store owners might not know about it).

 

If you’re lucky and they really like your content, they will even tweet about it.

 

Here’s a screenshot about one of my posts.

Tim Kocks Oberlo case study was shared on Twitter by Zest.is

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #9: Re-Post it on Medium

The built-in traffic of the blogging platform Medium has a high traffic potential. And it’s totally free.

 

When you’re creating content for Medium, you basically have two options:

 

  1. Pick one certain section from your post and share it on Medium with a link to the full article on your blog.
  2. Share the whole article.
 

If you go for option number two, have in mind that Google will look at this as duplicate content which might affect your rankings in a negative way.

 

To avoid that, you can tell Google which article is the original one. The other one will be ignored and won’t be considered as duplicate content.

 

You do this by setting a canonical tag.

 

Here’s how to do this: On Medium (before publishing your story) > Three dots > More Settings > SEO Settings > Advanced Settings > Customize Canonical Link.

 

Plug in the original URL and you’re all set.

Setting a canonical link is important when posting a story on Medium.com

And before you hit the holy publish button, don’t forget to use relevant tags. Medium allows you to use up to five tags. This will help people discover your content.

 

Nowadays, you can even collect emails directly from Medium, with a tool called Upscribe.

 

Something that didn’t work for me: In the weeks prior to publishing a huge piece of content, I wrote 6 pre-launch articles on Medium teasing the upcoming post. I was hoping to build some buzz before the article went live.

 

It took me weeks to write those articles. In the end, I collected 11 emails.

 

What a bummer.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #10: Share it With Everyone You Mentioned

As mentioned earlier in this post, I said it’s a good idea to integrate a traffic booster in the form of featuring/mentioning other people and brands.

 

As soon as your article is published, it’s time to reach out to everyone one by one.

 

In the best case, you already have a little bit of traffic on your post. This proves the value of this article for the one you’ve mentioned. If you have traffic numbers, share them with them.

 

Here’s a weird fact: If you’re asking them in advance if you can link them up in your content, they are way more likely to not share your content. I can’t really tell why, but I believe it triggers some negative sense of duty.

 

So better surprise them positively and send them a cold email after your post is live.

 

A subject line that I personally use very often and gets a lot of opens is:

 

“[EMOJI + NAME], did you know we featured you?”

 

This subject line scores 104 (of 100) points on the subject line tester from Sendcheckit.

A email subject line that gets more than 100 points

To make it easy for them to find the specific spot where you mentioned them in your article, use anchor links. No one wants to scroll through the whole post.

 

So… 10 content distribution ways are a good start. No doubt about that. But what about 15?  Or even 25? Sounds better, right? Well, you can get a full list of 25 content distribution platforms for free. Just click the button below.

Since we picked a 6-part series for our SEO success story example, we can repeat the whole sharing process every single week for six weeks.

 

Traffic-storm incoming, my friend!

 

A good way to keep the traffic high is by answering people’s questions in the comments (on your blog and on the platforms where you shared it). If they don’t have a question and only say they love the post, ask them what they loved the most.

 

The more engagement your posts have, the more likely it is that it will be seen by more people.

 

A few days/weeks after the initial traffic-push drops, ask 2-3 follow-up questions in the comment sections of your post. This bumps up the traffic again without posting new stuff.

 

From now on, you have an amazing article on your blog which will live forever! Unlike ads who will only be there for you as long as you pay for them (aka. gold diggers).

Want to Nail Content Marketing For Your App?

You see, doing content marketing right can be a beast…

 

But boy it works! (without relying on organic App Store traffic or paying thousands of dollars on ads)

 

To conquer the content beast and to make your life a little bit easier, I created a free bundle full of cool stuff that will help you produce evergreen content for your Shopify app.

 

  • Spreadsheets I personally use.
  • Templates to structure your post.
  • A list of useful tools.
  • Additional places to share your content.
  • A marketing checklist.
 

Click on the button below to get instant free access!

Before you go…

 

Leave a comment below about what your app does and I will reply with a topic that I think will work like crazy for you.

How 1 Blog Post Will Drive Thousands of People to Your Shopify App

How one blog post will drive thousands of people to your Shopify app

If you’re trying to get more users for your Shopify app, you probably…


  • Rely heavily on organic App Store traffic only to find out it’s harder than you thought.
  • Can’t make the pricey App Store ads profitable.
  • Know that you need more reviews (but also know that you need more sign-ups to get those reviews…)
 

Maybe you also tried content marketing but decided that this “doesn’t work”.


Let me tell you you’re wrong. At least about the content marketing part.


Look, In 2018 I created one piece of content as a freelancer for Oberlo.


Did it work? You bet!


This one post alone has more than 2,900 comments and more than 11,600 shares.

Tim Kocks article on the Shopify Oberlo blog has more than 2900 comments and more than 11000 social shares

The post turned readers in true Oberlo fans:

Tim Kock's article on the Shopify Oberlo blog made people love Oberlo

It worked THAT good that Oberlo decided to do another one. They saw instant results right away. That’s why I received an email from the former Director of Communications of Shopify on the first day of publishing the blog post.

The former Director of Communications at Shopify sends an email to Tim Kock saying the content is incredible

We worked together again… and again…

 

And if you believe content only works for scaling an already big app, here’s the result of one simple post (+ bonus pages that are related to that post) for a brand new app with zero traffic on their blog:

A screenshot of a Google Analytics dashboard that shows a brand new Shopify app blog from zero to more than 5000 pageviews

From 0 to 5,037 page views in just 1 month. 

 

  • No paid marketing.
  • No email newsletter.
  • No social media accounts.
  • No SEO.
  • No big marketing strategy.

 

And their blog keeps growing.

 

Meanwhile, on other blogs:

Boring topic, random stock images, no structure…


^ Is this you? Then you’re in for a treat!


In this post I will show you EXACTLY how I come up with content ideas, how I write content and – most and foremost – how I promote content so it gets traffic right away (no SEO, no paid ads).


So the so-called strategy behind the evergreen post for Oberlo (and every other posts I did) is actually very simple:


  • Create a blog post about the reason why your users want to [YOUR USP].
  • Tell a story the audience can relate to.
  • Make it easy to consume.
  • Give them a good reason to give you their email.
  • Push them into an email funnel (to turn them into users)

If you’d ask me what’s the #1 key to good content is I’d say…


Put yourself ACTUALLY in the shoes of your users.


I know, I know. You’ve heard this a thousand times and it doesn’t really help. I get it.


So let me explain it more specifically.


Your future users will have one very specific reason why they want your app.


Here’s a selection:


Advertising apps: “They want to make more sales.”


SEO apps: “They want a higher ranking on Google.”


Site builder apps: “They want to build a high-converting store.”


Upsell apps: “They want to increase the average order volume.”

And so on.


The question is: do you have the practical knowledge to teach how your app can help your desired audience? 


Boring theory-content won’t win prizes. They will only fill an empty blog and waste your time.


Still nothing new for you, right? I mean, you’ve built your app and know better than anyone else why people need to install your app.


BUT…


“They want to make more sales.”

have YOU ever made more than 50 sales with a Shopify store?


“They want a higher ranking on Google.”

Did YOU ever rank a website on Google’s first page?


“They want a high-converting store.”

Do YOU know the fundamentals of Design?


“They want to increase the average order volume.”

Have YOU ever increased your store’s AOV from.. Let’s say $30 to $40?


What about those questions?


Can you walk the walk? Can you document your journey and then share it with the world?


Because… well, this is the stuff people want to see. That’s why reality-tv is so popular.


Yes, creating this kind of content takes a crazy amount of time and effort. 


But here’s the good thing: You don’t need many of those evergreen posts.


In fact, one post can take your blog from 0 to 10,000+ visitors in a few weeks (and keep growing).


And guess who will collect leads like a champ? Yes, you!


I bet you can smell the sweet scent of MRR already!

Ready to drive traffic to your app? Let’s dive in!

How to Find Topics That Your Users (Actually) Want to Read

First things first: don’t write for search engines. 

 

Last time I checked, Google had no desires, dreams, fears, or concerns (no, no – their AI doesn’t count here, my dear developer friend).

 

You need to find a good mix between human desires and data.

 

The goal is to find a topic that is…

 

  • Related to your app’s USP.
  • Actually worth writing about.
  • Backed by some data.
  • Within your knowledge-field.

 

Finding a good topic is a process. You start with a vague idea and end up with something completely different.

 

But let me give you a straightforward example. To show you EXACTLY what I mean, let’s assume we have an SEO app for now.

 

We will go through the whole process together.

 

Onward!

Shopify App Content Ideas #1: Check Reddit for Existing Content

Join app-relevant subreddits and sort the posts in a useful way.

 

To see the topics that people like the most, sort all posts by “Top” and “All Time” and look through the posts. Can you find something related to your app? 

 

Good! Now sort the comments by “Best” and see if you can find a comment that includes a question, a story, or anything else that could be turned into content. Almost anything counts here.

A Reddit post in the Shopify subreddit about SEO

Alright, alright. Let’s take a closer look at the comment from the screenshot above. 

 

Here are some (golden) nuggets you can take away from it:

 

  • Switching from WooCommerce to Shopify and how it affects SEO
  • Managing SEO without having a dedicated employee
  • Proof: Shopify merchants need an app to make it work 

 

That’s a good start. On to the next step.

Shopify App Content Ideas #2: The Shopify Search Engine

Shopify’s forum is a content marketer’s dream come true!

 

Thousands of merchants ask their most burning questions every single day. All you need to do is to listen. I bet you could even find some great ideas for apps here.

 

Anyway. Use the search bar on top of the forum and check the amount of search results.

 

Terms like “SEO” will obviously show you some crazy results. Unfortunately, those O.G. terms don’t count. SEO is not just a topic, it’s an industry. You need to dig deeper with more narrow terms like “SEO woocommerce”.

A screenshot of Shopify's community posts regarding SEO

Look, people who use the terms “SEO” and “WooCommerce” in a Shopify forum are very likely interested in an in-depth blog post about the migration from WooCommerce to Shopify without losing their earned Google ranks.

 

Needless to say: you can put that topic on your list, my friend.

Shopify App Content Ideas #3: Get Some Google Data

Alright, we did some honest hustling and already found a solid topic.

Now it’s time to back it up with some data.

 

To get an idea if people actually search for the stuff I’m about to create, I use the Google Chrome Extension “Keywords Everywhere”.

 

It’s as simple as it gets. Enter a search term, DON’T hit the enter button, and look up the results.

A quick keyword analysis with the Google Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere

Okay. So what do we have? SEO for Shopify = 9,900 monthly search requests

 

SEO for WooCommerce = 1,900 monthly search requests.

 

So yes, SEO for ecommerce is a real thing. Oh wow, who could have thought!?

 

I don’t think you’re surprised, right? I thought so.

 

But look: the total amount of search requests is not that important here. Key is the overlapping audience:

 

People who plan to switch from WooCommerce to Shopify.

 

That being said, we need to do another search on Google.

The keyword "Shopify vs Woocommerce" has more than 18100 search requests per month

18,100 people search every month for a comparison of Shopify and WooCommerce.

 

Boom! 

 

All of a sudden your content target audience changed. From the usual “Shopify merchants” to “WooCommerce users who want to migrate to Shopify (even though they might not have thought about the SEO aspect (yet))”. 

 

This, my friend, is a narrowed-audience. This is the stuff you’re looking for.

 

Okay, so let’s face it. SEO is what it is: just one part of ecommerce and not everything. That’s why the content has to cover way more than just SEO.

 

Don’t worry, we don’t have to re-write the whole code of our SEO app.

 

We’re creating content here. Not finding an idea for a better app.

 

Our end-goal is to create a piece of content that WooCommerce-buddies share with each other, agencies use internally for educational purposes, WooCommerce-Shopify-Migration-Apps share with their users and industry influencer refer to in podcasts, videos and blog posts.

 

Simple put: The content will be important for everyone who has anything to do with a WooCommerce-Shopify relationship.

 

Sounds logical? Good – let’s move on!

Shopify App Content Ideas #4: Steal From Content Competitors

Remember, in the game of content you’re not competing with your fellow app developer. You’re competing with content creators.

 

Unless your app-competitor is actually nailing the content game (> 10k+ organic traffic / mo), don’t steal from them.

 

Taking a look at competitors can either get you a complete new idea OR things you want to consider building into your content.

 

To take a look at my competitor’s traffic data I use SEMRush.

 

Plug in your competitor’s URL > SEO > Organic Research > Pages

 

And just like magic, SEMRush now shows you their most successful organic pages.

The organic research tool by SEMRush

So for the content we’re creating we now know that backlinks, SERP and a SEO Checklist seems to be important and should be part of our content. That’s good to know! That kind of stuff is great for free content upgrades in exchange for our readers emails (more on that later).

 

Tip: Bookmark the pages of your competitors (you can learn a lot from them).

Shopify App Content Ideas #5: Putting it All Together

With all the gathered information, it’s now (finally) time to put it all together and find a format that the audience will love.

 

Right out of my mind I think these possible formats are valuable AND entertaining:

 

  • Reverse-engineer a successful WooCommerce <> Shopify transition and its impact on the Google rankings.
  • Interview former WooCommerce users (now Shopify merchants) about the problems and solutions during the transition.
  • (live) Case Study: “How switching from WooCommerce to Shopify increased my Google rankings!” (similar to my Oberlo post from above).

 

Even though I feel confident that those are some great content ideas, I always double-check. Especially in the preparation for such a big content piece.

 

Again, r/Shopify (sort posts by “Top” and “All Time”).

Reddit users love Shopify stories about ups and downs

That was a quick win: Success stories that include a good portion of struggle. That’s what people want to read!

 

Goodie for you: since you’ve done your research on Reddit you can feel very confident that Redditors will love your content. This is great because you just discovered your first readers!

 

Before I forget: Later, when you will learn how to get traffic on your content, we will also cover Reddit. And that being said, many subreddits require specific “comment karma”.

 

So, in order to be allowed to post stuff on Reddit, you need to earn karma. And according to Reddit, you will gain karma if you “[…] submit posts that other people find valuable and interesting and commenting on posts with insightful content.” Very fair model. Be aware – you can also lose karma by posting useless things. 

 

If you want to maximize your traffic on day 1, start building that karma early. That’s why I’m mentioning it so early in this post.

 

But back to work. Let’s take a look at what we have here:

 

Topic: Transition from WooCommerce to Shopify (focus on SEO)

 

Format: Honest success story with ups and downs.

 

Putting it both together…

The combination of SEO and a Success Story is a SEO success story

SEO SUCCESS STORY

 

Now that’s a good one!

 

There are probably hundreds of different approaches to doing this. Here’s one:

 

  1. Buy a WooCommerce store (> 1 year old, because of rankings)
  2. Switch the whole business to Shopify
  3. Focus on SEO 
  4. Document the whole journey
  5. Write a 6-part series (publishing one post per week)

 

Don’t you think that would be a great behind-the-scenes story? I bet! 

 

By doing this you’re actually IN the shoes of your users. You ARE your user.

 

(Sad but true, most Shopify app-companies don’t even run a Shopify store themselves. Demo stores don’t count, buddy.)

 

Anyway.

 

You will gain insights during the whole process that are worth more than gold!

 

I bet you can even improve your app’s UX by doing this. But that’s not even the point here.

 

Even if you fail hard and can’t tell a Disney-lookalike happy-end story, you still have an amazing story to tell:

 

“How I [TOPIC] and failed hard. Here’s what I’d do differently next time!”

 

People will appreciate sharing your failures since they can avoid them (= saves them time, money and headaches)

How to Write Content For High Conversions

Let me begin with a common misconception.

 

Not everyone can write code. But everyone can write some words.

 

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone can automatically write content that people love, share and – most and foremost – end up in conversions.

 

Writing is a skill. Pretty much like coding. I know, I know. It doesn’t seem that way since you already know all the words you need to write amazing content. But It’s the arrangement of the words that makes the difference.

 

Luckily you don’t need to be J.K. Rowling to create content that keeps users reading more than 10,000 words (Harry Potter #1 has, by the way, 76,944 words). In the following section you’ll learn the fundamentals of good writing. At least what I believe is considered “good writing”. I hope my past results convince you that this stuff actually works. Not sure if Ms. Rowling would love it though.

 

Alright. Bring it!

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #1: Forget About Hacks and Clickbait

Clickbait titles and images are annoying.

 

It may get you a bit more traffic, but if you can’t deliver what you’re promising in the title, people will jump off of your site and you lose everyone. Even if your article itself is great!

 

Don’t lie to your future customers.

 

Okay, so don’t get me wrong. You need to have a catchy headline that includes something your users absolutely want to have. But you have to be careful.

 

In a world where almost every SaaS tool promises 1,340% Growth in 7 minutes, honesty is appreciated. But hey – if you can ACTUALLY deliver those crazy numbers, go all-in. Promote the hell out of it. 

 

SMSBump is a very good example here. They promote a case study of a dropshipper doing text marketing that got him a 22,000% ROI. That’s more than crazy – but it’s the truth. And that’s the reason why SMSBump is so successful. They’re not overpromising. They deliver.

 

You get the point.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #2: Read “The Boron Letters”

So how to get started? I believe a very good way to get an idea about copywriting and a good portion of content marketing is by reading “The Boron Letters”.

 

It’s a book that has been written by copywriting legend Gary Halbert.

 

In short: During his time in prison, he wrote daily letters to his son (Bond Halbert) about everything he believes is important in business (he actually made millions with copywriting).

 

His son put all of these letters together in a book. Since Bond knows that not everyone has a legendary copywriting-dad in prison, he published the letters for free.

 

You can read them all here.

The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert

So yeah, that’s a solid start. It’s not even a long one. I think it has around 140 pages (there’s no page count).

 

What else? Oh, yes… here’s an important one:

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #3: Collect Anecdotes

Unless you’re actually your own audience, it can be very hard to write in a way a potential customer can relate to.

 

The truth is, the more you can write in the language of your audience, the more likely they will know that you’re a part of their community. In some sense, they will accept and trust you.

 

So I guess the best advice would be something like “solve a problem for yourself”. But, to be very honest, that’s not a very practical advice and would lead to a mass-deletion of pretty much all Shopify apps. 

 

There’s nothing bad in building an app that solves a problem even though you might not face that problem yourself.

 

Okay. So let’s go back to the post. Good thing for you is that the internet is full of anecdotes and stories of the people you’re trying to serve. All you need to do is to collect them.

 

Create a spreadsheet and collect everything you think is helpful. Or get my spreadsheet + a lot of other free stuff that will make your life easier:

Here are a few places to find those little stories:

 

  • Reddit
  • Shopify forum
  • Facebook groups
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Twitter 
  • Amazon book reviews

 

Search for your app’s main purpose on these sites and read through the comments.

 

I found this one on Reddit:

A Reddit user says he switched Shopify themes last month and now looking for better SEO rankings

Works PERFECT with our SEO success story idea.

 

Tip: Reach out to these users and let them share their experience in your article.

 

The more anecdotes, the better. 

 

If you spend around one hour on this, your list should be filled up with great stories that you can easily throw into your article and make it way more relatable.

 

(Can you find all the developer-anecdotes I included into this post here?) 

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #4: Your Headline is Everything

Just like your app’s App Store tagline, the headline of your article is what will make people click on your post.

 

Coming up with great headlines is a science and art.

 

But for a success story, however, it’s actually easy.

 

All you have to do is to summarize your post in one line.

 

And a good way to do this is by using the “How-TRFF”-structure:

 

How + [TOPIC] + [RESULT] + [FUN FACT]

 

Let me give you an example: 

 

How This Dude Switched From WooCommerce to Shopify And Got FREE Search Traffic! (52 SEOs Told Him It’s Impossible)

 

If you follow this structure, you’ll have a good one without (over)thinking about it for ages.

 

And look at this: According to Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer, the headline from above scores 79/100 points.

A content headline that has the optimal headline length and a strong human connection

That’s solid and took me less than 30 seconds to come up with.

 

I bet you can even do better!

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #5: Use The AIDA Formula

The AIDA formula is some real marketers-talk. I’m really sorry about that.

 

So the AIDA formula is a framework to structure things like social media posts, emails, App Store listings and yes, also long form blog content.

 

Here’s the deal:

 

A – Attention

I – Interest

D – Desire

A – Action

The AIDA formula is a framework to structure blog articles, social media posts and emails.

Let’s break it down.

 

ATTENTION:

In the first part of your article (includes the headline), it’s important to catch the reader’s attention.

 

If you can’t catch them within the first seconds, you lose them. Maybe forever.

 

Start your content with a question, an interesting fact, a graphic, proving you’re “one of them”, or anything else that makes your readers want to read the next sentence.

 

SEO app example (the headline from above): 

 

How This Dude Switched From WooCommerce to Shopify And Got FREE Search Traffic! (52 SEOs Told Him It’s Impossible)

 

INTEREST:

Now that you have your reader’s attention it’s time to get their actual interest.

 

Show some interesting facts about the topic, the result they can expect after reading your post, or an interesting story.

 

Using Bullet points is a good way to present the “Interest”-section.

 

Here’s the SEO app example:

 

In this article you will get to know why…

 

 

  • The 52 SEO agencies were completely wrong about Shopify SEO.
  • A few lines of code in your theme will boost search-traffic (code-snippets inside).
  • This one SEO app for Shopify saved me endless sleepless nights.
 

DESIRE:

This is the biggest portion of your content.

 

The goal is to make people absolutely want what you have to offer.

 

Show your readers why their life will be so much better with whatever it is that you have to offer.

 

SEO app example (it’s not about this one line, it’s about the whole idea of the article):

 

If you have the next 4 weeks off you can absolutely migrate your WooCommerce store to Shopify manually. If you’d like to get it done in 4 hours and have time for your hobbies instead, you can use this SEO app.

 

ACTION:

What’s the purpose of your content?

 

In the last section of the content it’s time to push your audience to take your desired action.

 

Focus on one action!

 

This can be a signing up for a newsletter, leaving a comment, subscribing to a YouTube channel, listening to a podcast, installing your app, booking a demo call, or following you on social media.

 

I know. It often seems super obvious what people should do. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Please don’t make the mistake and expect people to take action without guidance.

 

SEO app example:

 

Sign up for our newsletter and get this FREE SEO BUNDLE for Shopify with code-snippets and an SEO checklist!

 

Alright, alright. So now you know about the AIDA formula. I’m sorry to say… but: You won’t master it by reading about it. A better way to learn how it’s applied, is to analyze the structure of content you think is good (= content that you’ve read/watched from start to end).

 

If you wanna give it a go right away, try to optimize your App Store listing by using the AIDA formula. I’m pretty sure you can come up with something cool!

 

Whenever I create new content, I use a simple but effective AIDA template I made with Google documents. You can use the same by clicking on the button below.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #6: Tell a Story

Listen carefully now. We’re coming to the most important part about keystone content.

 

Storytelling.

 

And I’m not talking about the usual marketing blah-blah.

 

It’s all about making your “educational” content entertaining.

 

What’s the difference between good and boring stories?

 

Yep, you’re right: ups and downs.

 

Share your mistakes. This makes you human and your audience can relate to you.

 

If you haven’t taken the time to read my Oberlo post from above, you will see that I’ve built two online stores in that case study. The first one failed big time. I could have easily cut out that part to create a “I’m better than you are!”-feeling. No one would have ever known about that failure part. Not even Oberlo.

 

But I’m just a random dude from Germany trying to find my way through life. Why hiding it? Everyone struggles. Especially people who read content about starting and running a business. If their business was so dang good, they are not interested in such content.

 

Cinderella, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lord of the Rings, and (almost) every other major book and movie have a similar structure:

 

The star starts either with a good or bad life. Then things slowly change. Maybe again. At the end of every story, however, they’re the winner. No matter the start or end; the star went through ups and downs.

 

American author Kurt Vonnegut explained this in his “shapes of stories” in a simple way:

The Simple Shades of Stories by Kurt Vonnegut

You’re the star of your content. You have to struggle.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #7: Create Custom Graphics

No one wants to see random stock images. Get rid of them (Sorry, Mr. Unsplash)!

 

Just like you wouldn’t deploy to production on a friday afternoon, good content creators will never use boring stock images.

 

But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a designer (or hire one).

 

You’re not aiming to win a design award.

 

Your goal is to transfer your information to your reader’s brain. That’s it.

Custom Graphics on a blog post are more useful than random stock images

A random stock image will never get that job done.

 

It doesn’t need a design magician to create images that will let your readers understand what you’re trying to say.

Tools I used to create the images of this article:

 

 

Oh, one last thing on that topic: Only add images you believe will help the post. 

 

Onward!

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #8: Include Videos

To nail your piece of content, include videos (Google loves that, by the way).

 

Don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera? Don’t worry!

 

Record your screen while you’re working, put some music on it and include it into the post.

 

Here’s a short video that I created while editing and rendering a video for this post.

Tools I used to create the videos of this article (all of them are free):

 

 

Nothing special, right?

 

Remember, you’re not trying to win an Oscar. You don’t even want to create content for YoutTube. All you want to have are videos that support your blog. That’s doable.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #9: Optimize For Reading Experience

In order to keep your blog visitors reading, you need to optimize the reading experience.

 

It’s called Content UX.

 

Very similar to developing a great app, you need to give your users a great experience while they’re consuming the content.

 

The longer your article is, the harder it gets.

 

Headlines, screenshots, videos, font and font size – that’s the stuff that will help you improve your Content UX.

 

Structure your article with headlines and subheadlines.

 

Use paragraphs and keep your sentences short.

 

Insert necessary images and videos.

 

I suggest using one of these fonts: Open Sans, Arial or Roboto.

 

What else? Hm. Well yeah, use a 16 to 20 px font size for your body copy and make your content boxed and not full-width.

The way content is structured plays a big role in content marketing and SEO

Make it easy to read.

 

Not more, not less.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post #10: Capture Emails (!)

The goal of creating content is obviously app-installs. I think we can agree on that.

 

In a perfect world, people will read your post and instantly install your app.

 

Unfortunately, as we both know, the world is not perfect.

 

Asking for a direct app install is pretty much the same as asking a stranger on the streets to kiss you right away (please don’t do this, especially not during covid times!)

 

I mean – hey, maybe you’re lucky… 

 

But most of the time you will be ignored or even worse: getting slapped in the face.

 

I’m happy to tell you about a better way. A way to actually increase your chances (for kisses and app installs):

 

Don’t ask for too much right away and give people the chance to get to know you. Then, after a couple of days or weeks, the other one can make an “educated decision” whether you’re the right one or not (= your app is worth installing it)

 

Enough analogies. Let’s focus on Shopify app installs again.

 

The best way to do this kind of warm-up is via email.

 

But first, you need to get your user’s emails. 

 

Offer a content-upgrade (= an ebook, course, checklist, etc.) that relates directly to your article in return of their email address.

 

Just like I do in this article.

 

If you click on the button below, you will get a whole bunch of cool free stuff from me that will help you with your content creation:

 

  • Spreadsheets I personally use.
  • Templates to structure your post.
  • A list of useful tools.
  • Additional places to share your content.
  • A marketing checklist.

Right after that, you will receive a few emails from me with content that I HONESTLY BELIEVE will help you with your app marketing.

 

And this is what you can (and should) do as well.

 

Offer a content upgrade you think will help your audience. They will be happy to give you their emails.

 

The key to a successful email campaign afterwards (success = app sign ups), is the way you treat your subscribers.

 

You can’t just send the same one email to everyone. 

 

By doing content for a Shopify app, you will get the email addresses of people who are in very, very different stages of their business:

 

  • Never had a Shopify store but thinking about building one.
  • Closed their first (or 22nd) unsuccessful store and considering giving it another try.
  • Have a store running but making no sales at all.
  • Have a store running and making a few sales every now and then.
  • Have a store that makes a lot of sales but can’t seem to grow anymore.
  • Have a HUGE (Shopify Plus) store that is looking for scaling opportunities.
 

You can’t talk to everyone in the same way. They all have different fears, dreams and knowledge.

 

That’s why one of your very first emails you send shouldn’t be a sales pitch.

 

Ask them at which stage of their ecommerce journey they are right now. Then, based on their answer, push them into an email funnel that will actually help them.

 

You can even ask this question BEFORE they sign up.

 

My buddy Nik from fourminutebooks.com (800+ summaries of non-fiction books) does this very well.

A question on Fourminutebooks.com that will lead the reader to the right content

Each answer will result in different suggestions so the website visitor will get what he needs the most.

 

That’s pretty smart, don’t you think?

 

So… we basically covered everything you need to know to get started with content marketing. I’m not lying. It’s still a long way to go from here. But without any doubt, if you consider all of the stuff from above, you’re not just better at content creation than most Shopify app developers (or companies), but also way better than many, many professional content creators.

 

Let’s take it to the next level.

Integrate a Traffic Booster

When starting a brand new shiny blog from scratch without a big email list or social media audience, getting guaranteed traffic is hard.

 

That’s why you need to integrate a traffic booster into your post:

 

Feature and link up other people (and companies) and tell them about their feature afterwards.

 

Yep, that’s an old one. But it still works today.

 

The great part for you, as a Shopify developer, is the crazy amount of Shopify content- and course creator. The feature-possibilities are almost endless.

 

Right now (March 2021) there are 740,130 interested people in Shopify courses on Udemy alone.

On Udemy, there are more than 740000 learners who want to learn about Shopify

Isn’t that crazy? That’s about the size of the Kingdom of Bhutan (and we haven’t even added Shopify blog articles, YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram accounts, etc.)

 

Okay. But where to go from here? What do you gotta do with this information? That’s easy, my friend.

 

Cold email the creators.

 

You will find their contact information on their Udemy instructor profiles.

The instructor profile of an ecommerce entrepreneur and best selling Udemy instructor

Tell them you’ve featured some of their content and with a little bit of luck they will share it with their audience.

 

= free exposure for your content.

 

Here’s a good example: I’m one of very few officially approved Shopify Education Partners (= Shopify approved my content and double-checked my results) and my Shopify course is doing pretty solid on Udemy.

 

The Partner Manager of Omnisend (3,800+ reviews on the Shopify App Store) reached out to me trying to find out how to work together.

The partner manager of Omnisend sends Tim Kock a message on Slack asking how to be part of Tim's Shopify Education Partner program

And guess who will be part of my Udemy course soon? Yep, that’s right: Omnisend.

 

In case you wonder, you can contact me here.

Do This Before You Hit The Hot Publish-Button

Even though we’re not trying to purely rely on SEO, it’s a good idea to optimize the articles for search engines.

 

At some point, the initial non-SEO traffic (more on that later) will decrease. There’s no way around that. This shouldn’t cause the death of your article.

 

Getting search-traffic to your post at that point is key and will get you new leads on auto-pilot.

 

You definitely don’t need to be an SEO-expert to get your articles ranked pretty well. I’m not necessarily talking about rank #1 on page #1 though.

 

Okay. So our goal is to have the article bringing in a little bit of 100% passive traffic every single day – and let me quote Tim Ferriss here – “without killing yourself”.

 

A hardcore 7 posts per week schedule is cool. No doubt about that (as long as those posts are good). But as long as your name isn’t GaryVee, it’s not really practical.

 

And remember, the biggest amount of traffic will come from non-SEO sources. 

 

But for now, let’s look at the optimization points.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #1: Image Alt Texts

I’m pretty sure you already know that: Google and other search engines became pretty good at scanning images and figuring out what’s on it. A little help in the form of alt texts, however, can help Google to understand what’s on the image.

 

Setting an alt text on an image is a clear signal to search engines that your image is related to the words on your page. And that, my dear developer-creator-hybrid friend, will boost your rankings.

 

But, as with everything, there’s a good way to do this and there’s a bad way to do this. The good way: Give DETAILED information about the image.

Alt texts help search engines like Google understand what the blog post is all about

Bad alt text: “Graphic that shows the AIDA formula.”

 

Good alt text: “The AIDA formula is a framework to structure blog articles, social media posts and emails.”

 

Use complete sentences and include your main keyword.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #2: Give Them What They Want

This is only important if your post can aim for a top spot on Google.

 

Our SEO app article example, for instance, won’t make it to the first page of Google since the main goal of such an evergreen post is shares and backlinks (from readers, influencers and other brands) and not to become a top Google post.

 

So let’s say you have an email-marketing app, you did your topic research and it turned out you should write about “best landing pages”.

 

Search intent COULD be…

 

  1. “How do I create the best possible landing page?”
  2. “What are the best tools to create landing pages?”
  3. “What do great landing pages look like?”

 

In order to deliver content that people are actually looking for, do a quick Google search and take a look at the top-ranked websites.

The Google search results for they long tail keyword "best landing pages"

You can see a pattern, right? I thought so.

 

You need to write about landing page examples that your readers can copy. Don’t try to “outsmart” Google here. That won’t work.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #3: Keyword in The URL

Put your #1 keyword into the url of your article.

 

It’s a small adjustment, but has an impact on your ranking.

 

It makes it easier for Google and Co. to figure out what’s the content all about.

 

Well, that’s about it. We don’t have time to waste.

 

Onward!

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #4: Keyword in The Headline(s)

For SEO content it’s important to use the #1 keyword several times in all sorts of headlines.

 

Just like having the keyword in the URL, it’s a clear signal to search engines what your post contains.

 

Try to avoid focusing on major keywords like “Shopify SEO” and go for long-tail keywords like “Shopify SEO for beginners”. The number of monthly searches are obviously less compared to the big ones, but you’ll have a fair chance to rank high for the niche ones.

 

Here’s a trick: You can use the “allintitle:”[YOUR TITLE]”-function of Google to see your headline competitors.

Google's allintitle tool helps to identify websites that have the same title

y doing that, you’ll see every site that uses the exact same wording in their title.

 

Alright. We already covered more than 50% of the SEO section. Keep reading. We’re coming to the juicy part of free content promotion soon!

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #5: Teaser in The Meta-Description

The meta description of a site doesn’t only help search engines to rank your post, it also increases the visibility of your post on the search results.

 

But let me give you two examples:

Two example screenshots of SEO meta descriptions

Can you see why one is good and one is bad?

 

That’s right: the bad one (above) isn’t readable at all. Google just pulled some unformatted information from the article. On the good one, however, you can clearly see that someone took time to write this out.

 

Your goal is to make it very clear what your site is all about and to satisfy search intent.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #6: Incentivize Comments

Positive comments coming from real people is a huge signal to search engines that your post is valuable and should be considered to be ranked higher than posts without comments.

 

However, a blog isn’t social media and your readers won’t naturally leave comments.

 

And even articles on the Shopify blog that has MILLIONS of readers often get no comments at all.

Screenshot from the Shopify blog

It’s the nature of a blog.

 

But we want to change that. In order to get people to leave comments and help you with your Google rankings, you need to incentivize them.

 

Examples:

 

  • Bonus entries for a giveaway by leaving a comment
  • Free content-upgrade by leaving a comment
  • Free book by leaving a comment
  • Discount on your app by leaving a comment

 

You can even make it more fun and create a comment-competition:

 

  1. Let people guess about a certain fact from your article.
  2. Everyone who will leave a comment with the right answer will get a special prize.

 

Here’s how this could look like for our SEO success story example:

 

How much organic traffic did I lose in the first week of switching from WooCommerce to Shopify? Guess the answer in the comments. I’ll pay your next Shopify bill if you’re right.

 

Isn’t that a good one? 

 

Make sure to reply to every single comment and ask counter-questions to keep the engagement high.

 

Something to think about: According to Yoast, comment systems like Disqus take so long to load, that Google will ignore them completely. If you’re running your blog on WordPress, you may want to use the standard comment system of WordPress. Your call.

Optimize Blog Content for SEO #7: Reduce The Size of The Images

Just like every Shopify merchant hates slow apps, every blog reader hates slow website speed.

 

The Speed of your site is a key factor to great rankings. Guess what will slow down your sites the most? Yes. Images.

 

“Unfortunately”, images are necessary for an amazing article.

 

So you need to compress them. 

 

There are several tools, websites and plug-ins you can use to compress images.

 

But before you use any of those, start by compressing your images on your computer.

 

SEO image compression on a Mac: Open image in Preview > Tools > Adjust Size 

How to resize an image on a Mac

SEO image compression on a PC: Open image > Three Dots > Resize > Define custom dimensions

How to resize an image on a PC

After your “local compression”, you can use some tools to get the most out of it.

 

Good tools for compression are TinyPNG and Smush (WordPress plugin).

 

If you want to check if your images still slow down your page, you can do this here.

 

And that’s it for SEO.

 

If you’re writing an awesome article about a topic people care about, those few SEO tweaks will work wonders for your rankings.

 

But always remember: We’re not creating pure SEO content here. We create content that real people love to read and share with their Shopify buddies. You know… the stuff that people print out and read over and over again.

 

If you want to learn more about SEO, I recommend Backlinko.com.

 

One last thing: Even though being a perfectionist isn’t always the best, don’t publish anything you personally don’t really like. If you think your content is only “okay” the world will usually think the same. If you don’t like a certain paragraph or screenshot, delete it or make it better. If you struggle to make it better, ask others for help. 

 

I forgot something. Now it’s really the last thing. Before you publish your article: Install Google Analytics on your blog.

How to Promote Content Without Ads (No SEO)

Okay. It’s finally showtime!

 

Before we jump into it, let me tell you one thing: The world lacks GREAT content.

 

There’s a lot of noise out there. Someone needs to start singing a beautiful song that people love listening to. Why don’t you become that one?

 

Unfortunately, over the years, the term “content” received a bad reputation. For a very good reason actually. Too many content creators are just writing and recording useless stuff day in and day out.

 

Maybe the creators are somewhat proud. But let’s be honest here… the world doesn’t need it.

 

I think you can compare it with the millions of to-do-list apps in the Apple AppStore. Yes, it is software. Yes, it took the developer time to learn the skill and write the code. But, at the end of the day, it’s useless.

 

That’s why we picked an approach to content marketing that is based on real human interest.

 

And if you’ve done your homework so far, you created an article that is worth reading. In fact, it would be unfair from you to hide it.

 

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that great has to be shared.

 

Are you with me? Okay.

 

So assuming you just created your first piece of killer-evergreen-content and have no track record, but want to land a hit right away, you need to have a proven way to get your content on as many eyes as possible.

 

You can’t just publish the article, send an email to your 200k list and already have lots of traffic.

 

(If you have that – even better!)

 

But today I’m gonna show you how to get traffic to your content without the luxury of having a big audience.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #1: Share it on Reddit

Remember when I said you should start building your comment karma on Reddit? Well, I hope you’ve listened closely back then. Now it’s time to shine, my friend.

 

Fact: Reddit is the best place to share GREAT content.

 

Also fact: Reddit is also the WORST place to share mediocre content.

 

Sounds weird? Great, welcome to Reddit.

 

There are many people who will do pretty much everything they can just to “get you down”. It’s the nature of Reddit and you have to live with that. Don’t be too soft.

 

However, there are a few things you can do to avoid the hate-train.

 

  1. Share your whole (!) content. Don’t just share a link to your website.
  2. Write some super honest lines about your content at the top of it (eg. “I’m not a millionaire and I won’t show you how to make millions. This article is my personal experience and thought it’s fun to write about. Hope you enjoy this!”)
  3. Never be too pushy and post your content on the same day on several subreddits. 
  4. Don’t ask for upvotes.
  5. If your post gets deleted: keep it easy. Try another subreddit.
Sharing content on Reddit will help get more traffic to Shopify apps

In order to get some website visits, you can include a line into your intro section like:

 

“Read the full post with images and videos on our blog.” 

“Our blog” is a link to your content.

 

Subreddits to share your Shopify-related content:

 

 

And then there are also more specific Subreddits. Here’s a selection:

 

 

The great thing about Reddit is the capability of sharing content multiple times.

 

Sharing your content piece in 12 different subreddits (over the span of 12 months), can build the foundation of your whole content distribution system.

 

Oh, and a nice trick: if you share a long post on Reddit, remind people to use the “RemindMe!” function.

 

Your readers have a real life (I know, isn’t that crazy!) and may live in different timezones than you. Just because they discovered your post, doesn’t mean they have the time to read it right now. With the RemindMe! function, Reddit will send them a notification to read the post in a few hours.

The RemindMe! function on Reddit helps with recovering traffic of content

This does not only help with recovering traffic, but also proves you’re respecting the time of your readers.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #2: Share it in Facebook Groups

Ecommerce Facebook groups are – by far – the most valuable asset you have if you’re starting a brand new blog without an email list. Unlike Reddit, you don’t even need to build comment Karma.

 

Aside from finding a topic people actually care about, leveraging Facebook groups is, in my humble opinion, the most important part for every new content creator.

 

Here’s a screenshot of one of my many Facebook group posts:

Tim Kock shares a blog post in a Shopify Facebook group and people loved it

It works.

 

But you have to play by the rules of the group.

 

Even though the dynamics and rules of every group are different, here are a few tips before sharing content:

 

  • Sharing the full piece of content works better than sharing a link/summary (just like on Reddit)
  • Use an image and emojis to get more attention.
  • Don’t post anything on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. The engagement is super low.
  • Facebook groups have formatting options. Use them!
  • Don’t ask for emails, filling out a Typeform, or anything else (you can collect emails on your website)

 

Personal note: I know many people say you need to ask admins or need to engage in the group for weeks or even months before posting something. If you did your research right and have a good feeling about what people want to see: skip that small talk. Share your amazing content.

Shopify related Facebook groups to share content

If you look closely, you’ll notice that two of these massive groups are directly related to Shopify apps/themes.

 

HeyCarson, for instance, did an AMAZING job by building a real community.

 

They are now in a very good position to share everything they want in their group. They can bump it up a quadrillion times so everyone will see their content. They can even share their latest content in the form that everyone has to fill out when joining. And guess what! They can do it for free! 

 

You can even make reading/watching your content a requirement to join the group.

 

I’m the moderator of a few groups from Shopify apps. In one group, we came up with the idea of asking for a “password” in order to join. To get the password, people need to watch a free webinar (which is a demo of the app). 

The member requests of a Facebook group from a Shopify app

We did this in 2017. Now, four years later, the funnel still works and we get thousands of group sign-ups.

 

I don’t think I have to tell you that starting a Facebook group for your app is a good idea.

 

But if you’re just starting, you don’t have that luxury.

 

So… what do we do? Yes, we’re using the groups of others. If your content is actually great, people will appreciate this (even the admins).

 

To help you with content distribution, I created a spreadsheet with 44 Facebook groups with THOUSANDS of people who are starving for your great content. Get the free list by clicking the button below.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #3: Share it on LinkedIn

Very similar to Facebook, LinkedIn also has groups. 

 

And since you’re creating business related content and LinkedIn is a business social network, this can work very well.

 

Simply search for an audience-related keyword and select “Groups” from the navigation bar.

 

Et voilà… groups where your target audience hangs out.

Shopify related LinkedIn groups to share content

Here are a few groups you can start to share your content:

 

 

Let people know about your content and ask them to leave comments on your group post. The more engagement your post has in that group, the more people will discover it.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #4: Share it Personally And Individually

Do you know people who are part of the Shopify community? 

 

It doesn’t matter if those people are store owners, developers, agency owners, Shopify staff, or your neighbor thinking about starting a business.

 

Reach out to all of them individually.

 

Again: INDIVIDUALLY.

 

Don’t throw them all into a group and do mass messaging. No one really likes that.

Sharing content individually with friends and family

Chances are, that they also know people who might love that kind of content. So never forget to ask if they can share your article with people who could like your article as well.

 

You never know how many people you will reach just by asking people to share your content.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #5: Run a Viral Giveaway

Everyone LOVES free stuff. That’s why running a giveaway almost always brings in a very solid amount of traffic.

 

The power of giveaways is huge – there’s no doubt about that. And if you’d run an ecommerce store, it’s literally a no-brainer. As a developer, however, it’s not that easy. 

 

For whatsoever reason, free software doesn’t attract as many people as a free bracelet. 

 

But it still works.

 

Here’s a screenshot of 7 giveaways over a period of 7 months that I did for a Shopify app. In total, we collected 9,021 unique and NEW emails (The total sum was 12,645, but some people entered multiple giveaways).

Running a viral giveaway is a great way to collect emails and make people share content

One email only cost us $0.51 USD. Comparing it with other email-collecting strategies, this is huge.

 

To make a giveaway successful, you need at least the following 4 things:

 

  • The prize has to be AWESOME.
  • The prize has to be only loved by your audience (don’t give away iPhones).
  • Push the participants into an email funnel.
  • Give away consolation prizes (eg. discount on your app)
 

Honestly, don’t give away a lame prize. I’ve seen quite some app devs who ran a giveaway where the first prize was “an ecommerce consulting session with our founder”… I mean, sorry, but why should anyone want to win that? Prizes like this will result in very few signups and you may come to the (very wrong) conclusion that giveaways won’t work.

 

You can (and should) set up the giveaway in a way that people will earn bonus entries if they read your blog post and share it on their social media pages, via email, and so on.

 

Okay. So how do you run a great giveaway for your Shopify app? I’m glad you asked.

 

Look, you actually don’t have THAT many options for running a giveaway. You need to find a prize that (almost) every Shopify store owner wants to have.

 

Something like…

 

  • One year of free Shopify (you pay their bills)
  • Books about ecommerce (not just 1)
  • Courses about ecommerce (not just 1)
  • Consulting with an industry influencer
  • Facebook ad credit (make sure to make it clear that only Shopify stores are eligible to win)
 

Example: Together with Oberlo, I ran a giveaway where we gave away an ecommerce store (that made around $9k in 1 month) that I’ve built from scratch for a blog post. The winner received everything: the store, the social accounts, the Facebook Pixel data, the email list… People went NUTS!

 

Two great tools to run a giveaway:

 

 

If you have some money to spend ($39/month), use Gleam. Looks clean as an embedded giveaway on your blog and has some killer features. However, depending on the client I am working with, I also use the free version of KingSumo – it also gets the job done! 

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #6: Share it on Social Media

Okay, so if we are looking at it in a very honest way, we all need to accept that social media won’t work very well for the most Shopify apps. Especially if you’re pretty new and/or don’t have many REAL followers (= people who absolutely love your app). 

 

The time it would take you to do something that could only perform “ok” is just not worth it.

 

However, you shouldn’t ignore social media.

 

Building a social media following is still an asset.

 

I’m by no means a social media dude, but if you’d ask me, I think you should build your audience more or less on auto-pilot (I don’t mean bots).

 

For instance, you can use a tool like MeetEdgar or Missinglettr to automatically distribute your blog content on social media as soon as you’ve published it on your blog.

 

You can even build a 12-month social media campaign in advance. These tools will continue to share your article over the months to achieve maximum reach.

 

If you look at Tim Ferriss’ social media accounts, you’ll see that he does the same. He never stops sharing. Even content from 10+ years ago.

An example social media post of the author of four hour workweek Tim Ferriss

To create images in the right dimensions for each social network, use Canva.

 

If you mentioned influencer or other brands in your article, tag their social accounts in your postings. This will increase your chance of a re-post (= free traffic).

 

Hashtags can work a little bit. But again – looking at it very realistically – they won’t bring you millions of readers… probably not even hundreds.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #7: Share it on Hacker News

Y Combinator’s Hacker News contains a bunch of interesting articles all around tech and business in general. 

 

Sometimes there’s a bit of misconception among developers about Hacker News. Just because Hacker News is from YC doesn’t mean there aren’t any ecommerce fans. The audience is very mixed and interested in many different things.

 

From my experience, Hacker News is always good for a few free clicks. Especially if you’re starting from scratch.

The most important part about submitting content on Hacker News is your title.

 

As a developer, you won’t be surprised by the following fact: The less marketing-voice you use on Hacker News, the better. 

 

So you may want to consider changing it a bit.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #8: Submit on Zest

Zest’s Google Chrome extension was built for marketers to discover the best content available.

 

And on Zest.is, you can contribute content to get discovered.

 

This can be extremely helpful, if you’re targeting Shopify Plus merchants with a dedicated marketing team who is aware of Zest (small store owners might not know about it).

 

If you’re lucky and they really like your content, they will even tweet about it.

 

Here’s a screenshot about one of my posts.

Tim Kocks Oberlo case study was shared on Twitter by Zest.is

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #9: Re-Post it on Medium

The built-in traffic of the blogging platform Medium has a high traffic potential. And it’s totally free.

 

When you’re creating content for Medium, you basically have two options:

 

  1. Pick one certain section from your post and share it on Medium with a link to the full article on your blog.
  2. Share the whole article.
 

If you go for option number two, have in mind that Google will look at this as duplicate content which might affect your rankings in a negative way.

 

To avoid that, you can tell Google which article is the original one. The other one will be ignored and won’t be considered as duplicate content.

 

You do this by setting a canonical tag.

 

Here’s how to do this: On Medium (before publishing your story) > Three dots > More Settings > SEO Settings > Advanced Settings > Customize Canonical Link.

 

Plug in the original URL and you’re all set.

Setting a canonical link is important when posting a story on Medium.com

And before you hit the holy publish button, don’t forget to use relevant tags. Medium allows you to use up to five tags. This will help people discover your content.

 

Nowadays, you can even collect emails directly from Medium, with a tool called Upscribe.

 

Something that didn’t work for me: In the weeks prior to publishing a huge piece of content, I wrote 6 pre-launch articles on Medium teasing the upcoming post. I was hoping to build some buzz before the article went live.

 

It took me weeks to write those articles. In the end, I collected 11 emails.

 

What a bummer.

Content Distribution for Shopify App Content #10: Share it With Everyone You Mentioned

As mentioned earlier in this post, I said it’s a good idea to integrate a traffic booster in the form of featuring/mentioning other people and brands.

 

As soon as your article is published, it’s time to reach out to everyone one by one.

 

In the best case, you already have a little bit of traffic on your post. This proves the value of this article for the one you’ve mentioned. If you have traffic numbers, share them with them.

 

Here’s a weird fact: If you’re asking them in advance if you can link them up in your content, they are way more likely to not share your content. I can’t really tell why, but I believe it triggers some negative sense of duty.

 

So better surprise them positively and send them a cold email after your post is live.

 

A subject line that I personally use very often and gets a lot of opens is:

 

“[EMOJI + NAME], did you know we featured you?”

 

This subject line scores 104 (of 100) points on the subject line tester from Sendcheckit.

A email subject line that gets more than 100 points

To make it easy for them to find the specific spot where you mentioned them in your article, use anchor links. No one wants to scroll through the whole post.

 

So… 10 content distribution ways are a good start. No doubt about that. But what about 15?  Or even 25? Sounds better, right? Well, you can get a full list of 25 content distribution platforms for free. Just click the button below.

Since we picked a 6-part series for our SEO success story example, we can repeat the whole sharing process every single week for six weeks.

 

Traffic-storm incoming, my friend!

 

A good way to keep the traffic high is by answering people’s questions in the comments (on your blog and on the platforms where you shared it). If they don’t have a question and only say they love the post, ask them what they loved the most.

 

The more engagement your posts have, the more likely it is that it will be seen by more people.

 

A few days/weeks after the initial traffic-push drops, ask 2-3 follow-up questions in the comment sections of your post. This bumps up the traffic again without posting new stuff.

 

From now on, you have an amazing article on your blog which will live forever! Unlike ads who will only be there for you as long as you pay for them (aka. gold diggers).

Want to Nail Content Marketing For Your App?

You see, doing content marketing right can be a beast…

 

But boy it works! (without relying on organic App Store traffic or paying thousands of dollars on ads)

 

To conquer the content beast and to make your life a little bit easier, I created a free bundle full of cool stuff that will help you produce evergreen content for your Shopify app.

 

  • Spreadsheets I personally use.
  • Templates to structure your post.
  • A list of useful tools.
  • Additional places to share your content.
  • A marketing checklist.
 

Click on the button below to get instant free access!

Before you go…

 

Leave a comment below about what your app does and I will reply with a topic that I think will work like crazy for you.

4 comments

    1. Thanks so much for reading this! Growave is an amazing app; I can totally see that this will work for you: a case study where one of your team members set up a beautiful new Shopify store + add everything your app has to offer and document the whole journey with long-form blog post and videos. Maybe you even build 2, 3, 4, 5, …. 21 stores and give them all away in a giveaway. People can win businesses! How cool is that?

  1. Great content Tim!
    Will try to follow your lead and write for our app (Swipify).

    How long does it take you to write such an extensive article?

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