Growing your website doesn’t have to be a laborious, herculean task. Sometimes, it can come down to writing the right piece on the right people or things. Ken Courtright clarifies how you can use the so-called ego bait strategy to bolster traffic for your website, ultimately allowing for maximum growth. There’s very little effort and a large return in using ego bait. See for yourself how this seemingly too-good-to-be-true strategy can work for you!
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This is episode 74. It’s titled Clarifying Ego Bait. A few months ago, I did a podcast on ego bait. What it is and how it works. I got back from Martha’s Vineyard with Kerri, my wife. We were mentoring a group of people, many of whom had for a while now been regular listeners of my podcast. Ego bait came up and I was able to tell quickly that there was a lot of confusion about what this group thought ego bait was. I can’t retract that previous podcast for a couple of reasons. Number one, it’s numbered and in order, but number two, there’s other stuff in that podcast that I want it to stay up. For clarification, ego bait is one of the least expensive and most powerful ways to grow a website.
It’s maybe the most fun because you’re not writing any of the content. You’re using your IP, your intellectual property, your brain trust between your ears. The bottom line is you’re using the gray matter upstairs to grow a website. Quite frankly, if I had to build websites in the future for my kids and I had to pick only one method, I would only use ego bait. Let’s cover this. First things first, I believe in that podcast. I gave the scenario of Wine.net, one of our websites and we did an article on the Top 10 Vineyards in Virginia. We studied Wine Spectator Magazine and websites. We read many different resources on what the rest of the world felt for the top ten vineyards in Virginia.
Being somewhat of a wine snob and being in multiple wine clubs, Kerri and I went through these and we scored them ourselves. We added it in and placed it in our marketing team and made the final decisions. We came up with our list of the top ten vineyards in Virginia. Here’s the key, what we did is we published that on Wine.net. We waited 48 hours. One by one, we reached out to the owners of each of those ten vineyards. We called them and backed up with an email. We emailed them a link to their section in that article and said, “By the way, did you or your company know that you were published on Wine.net?”Ego bait is one of the least expensive and most powerful ways to grow a website. Click To Tweet
Not to our surprise, a couple of the people were like, “That’s amazing. Thank you so much.” Within a few hours, we noticed that they had shared that link with their Twitter and Facebook followers and drove a tremendous amount of traffic to Wine.net, specifically to the article that they were published in. The reason it’s called ego bait is we specifically picked those vineyards because we know vineyard owners are proud of what they’ve done. They want to share that recognition with the people in their wine club specifically and to potential customers in the future.
It wouldn’t surprise me if half of those ten vineyards create a newspaper looking thing and frame it in glass and post it on the wall of their tasting room. Ego bait is about creating something in which you know statistically 3 to 5 of the ten people you write about are going to say, “That’s amazing. Look at that. How cool is that?” They’re going to grab that piece and they’re going to share it with their 100 to 100,000 to 1 million followers. All of those followers are going to open up that piece of content, which the link that you sent them is the link to your website. You’re driving a tremendous amount of social signals. For those of you that want to know what that means, go to the episode, How Google Ranks.
There are three major factors that determine if you should come up above a competitor. The second one is popularity, which is the fancy term for social signals. There is no more explosive way to create fast and immediate social signals than with ego bait. The only other one that can come close is to use what are called Sneezers. They’re people of influence, which are big bloggers, big reviewers online, and if they promote your stuff, you get a tremendous amount of traffic and social signals. Ego bait, the reason it’s powerful is once you write that one piece of content, it gets grabbed and moved to followings. People grab it and share it again and it gets shared for years.
Let’s bridge this over to the biggest, most powerful and most well-built website in the world, WebMD. WebMD started in 1996. Every year it makes more money than the previous year. Outside the first few years, none of those original doctors have ever written a piece of content again. It is the epitome of level-three selling. It is the epitome of ego bait. Not only do they have doctors that are grabbing a piece of content with their name on it and sharing it with all their following. WebMD found a way to get the doctors to write the content themselves.
Think about this, 500 doctors write content monthly for WebMD. I don’t care if you’re in the medical field. Most people will understand if WebMD called you if you were in the medical field at all or you made a medical piece of equipment and they said, “Would you be a contributing writer to WebMD?” I don’t think there’s any thinking. If you knew that 29 million people a month are looking at that website, you’d be like, “Yeah. I’ll write a piece of content and put it in front of 29 million people.” Why do doctors write? It’s because they know they get the bragging rights of being a contributing writer to the largest medical site in the world.
Guess what they do? They grab the link. They make sure that either they or their assistant, once a month, grab that piece of content, share it with their Twitter and Facebook following, blast plaques all over their wall saying they’re contributing writers to WebMD. They get to move their big ego around in social media. It is the highest level of ego bait that I’ve ever seen. For episode 74, this is called Clarifying Ego Bait. Ego bait can either be written by you and you call people and say, “Do you know you’re published on such and such website?” It can even be written by them knowing they’re going to grab it anyway and promote it to their social following. I hope this helps. See you on the trail. Take care.