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Zack Onisko

Hey everyone, today I share the mic with Zack Onisko, CEO of Dribbble, an online community for web designers to share, receive support, and post/find jobs.

Tune in to hear Zack talk about some of the trends and constants that he’s seen around growth in the last 15 years, why he believes that the key to growth and success is focusing on developing a product so good that it can’t be ignored by the market and how Dribbble is killing it on a global scale with literally zero marketing efforts on their part. He’ll also share what Dribble has up its sleeve today.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Zack Onisko Shares the Trick to Getting Dribbble Millions of Visitors per Month with Zero Marketing TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

3 Key Points:

  1. Everything begins with a business model and audience—this not only decides your growth strategy, but your entire business strategy.
  2. Your product design and the quality you provide is what will impact your growth the most.
  3. If you’re producing high quality content, this will drive your success and people WILL notice you.

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How We Doubled Our Traffic by Using This One Tactic

Want to know what tactic we used to double traffic to Single Grain?

We updated our content.

Why You Should Always Update Your Content

I’ve mentioned before how Wikipedia continually updates their content because it’s crowd-sourced and time sensitive. Wikipedia writers and editors are policing it all the time.

As a result, Wikipedia not only has really high-quality content (remember back when it didn’t?), it also has constantly updated content that Google loves to rank highly.

This is how you want to produce all your own content, too. You want to align it with your marketing funnels and buyer personas, keep it evergreen, and then just keep updating it maybe once a quarter or even just once a year.

Single Grain Marketing Funnel

Related Content: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Marketing Funnel

How We Doubled Our Organic Traffic

I have this post on Single Grain called Effective SEO Techniques that Work in 2017. In reality, this post was actually written in 2016 and it was titled “Effective SEO Techniques for 2016.” When this post first came out, it was 4,000 words. Now it’s 6,600 words. We’re going to update it every single year, and it’s going to keep growing bigger.

In this year’s version, not only have we added a call to action for SEO work, we also have a ton of internal links, and our engagement has just gotten better and better.

This is just one example, but we’re doing it for literally all of our epic, long-form posts. In December 2016 we decided that upgrading content would be our marketing experiment.

We updated about 10-20 pieces of content and the organic traffic has doubled for all those posts.

That’s why we’re saying this could potentially double the traffic that you have for your posts, too. Just imagine if you’re doing it across the board for your top 10 or top 25 posts.

Learn More: Why You Should Run Marketing Growth Experiments Every Week

How to Update Your Content

This is very important.

Look at your Google Analytics. Go to behaviors. Go to your landing pages section. Look at what’s going on there, and see which posts you can upgrade or update based on initial traffic and the dip over time.

google analytics landing pages

Our post Effective SEO Techniques that Work in 2016 (before we updated it) got great engagement back when it was released in 2016, but over a year later it was barely being read.

When you see that kind of potential, obviously you want to upgrade the piece, but you also want to make sure that you change the slug – but be sure to redirect it to the new slug or you’ll lose your previous ranking (keep the slug the same if the title hasn’t changed).

That’s going to be better for the long run because people do look at the URL and it’s going to look really fishy if you update your content so the title says “2017” but the slug still says “2016.” Even if you actually put in the work and are bringing fresh, relevant data and advice to the table, it ends up looking like a really dirty link. It looks kind of iffy and spammy.

Once you’ve fixed the URL, it’s time to update the content. Look around the web using tools like BuzzSumo to see what has popped up since you published your piece and then ask yourself:

Related Content: How to Grow Your YouTube Subscribers Without Spending a Ton of Money

Updating Content Isn’t a Choice

SEO is constantly changing, and it’s only getting harder to rank organically, so you need every advantage.

In 2018, we might update our SEO piece to include the impact of voice search or how local search has changed, too. We want to keep updating this piece and make sure it’s growing and growing. When it hits 20,000 to 30,000 words, you’ll want to add a table of contents at the top so people can click to a certain chapter.

When updating your content, your goal is to always make it a better user experience.

This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a digital marketing agency.

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of link building and SEO guides focus on creating high-quality content. There’s a good reason for that: it’s far easier to build links to top-quality content because that’s what gets shared. Businesses and individuals are in search of quality material to link to so that they have something of value to offer their website visitors, and if you’ll notice, few people link to a homepage, product page or shopping cart.

Of course, there’s a difference between creating content that is simply stuffed with keywords and links, and creating top-notch blogs and articles that are specifically geared towards helping you build authoritative links to your website. And just to be sure that we are speaking the same language, here are two important definitions:

Content marketing is when you create and share content (articles, blogs, infographics) for the purpose of driving traffic to your website and navigating visitors through your marketing funnel in order to acquire new customers.

Link building is when you get other websites or blogs to link to your web page in order to improve your search engine rankings. The engines crawl the web looking for links between your web pages and other websites to decide how valid your content is and thus where your page should rank in their search results.

As far as the search engines are concerned, if your website or blog contains a lot of authoritative links plus receives a lot of links to it, then you are not only considered popular, but valid, too. And search engines are constantly evolving their algorithms to discern the spammy links from the trustworthy ones, which means that valuable content and inbound marketing are more important than ever.

Because 93% of marketers use content in their marketing strategy and 42% of them regard their content marketing skills as effective, this is an area where you don’t want to get left behind! In this guide, we’re going to share tactics that will help you create linkable high-quality content for your website as well as use that content for link building to your website.

Part 1: Creating Linkable High Quality Content

In the introduction, we explained that linkable, well-crafted content is that which is specifically geared towards helping you build links to your website. But let’s step back for a moment and explain what exactly quality material is.

High-quality content is made up of:

By incorporating these five points, your work will stand heads and shoulders above the crowd.

The first thing to do is start the process with in-depth research. Find the top pieces of content about your subject and determine what each one of them is missing. You’ll probably find that out of ten posts, each one covers something different. If you combine all those ideas into one piece of content with your own unique take on the subject, you’re already well on your way to success!

In addition, aim for meaty posts with over 1,000 words. Studies from analyzing a million articles have shown that content that is 1,000+ words tends to get the most social shares and backlinks.

Free Bonus Download: Get the free guide to creating 10x content – actionable advice to help you get started not found in this post! Click here to download it free.

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. There are plenty of freelance writers that you can hire to create content for you. Just be sure to find someone who is an expert in your particular niche and who loves writing (trust me, you’ll be able to tell the difference in the finished product!). The fastest way to do this is to look at the top online publications in your niche and see if any of the bylines belong to freelancers. Or just do a search like this on Google:

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

This search will give you the top writers in your niche along with some samples from their portfolio, which you should definitely read to ensure that their style of writing is appropriate for your brand. Run the search for sites that produce the type of content you are looking to create in order to find writers who already have a handle on the topic and are experts at crafting high-quality content.

Once you have hired someone to create some really cream-of-the-crop writing, it’s time to add the elements that will transform it into linkable material. Here are the elements that you will need in your content and how each will help you get links:


It’s one thing to say that Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet, but without the numbers to back it up, it just comes off as opinion. But when you write that with 1.55 billion active monthly users, 83.5% of which are outside of the US and Canada, Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet, this is no longer opinion; it’s fact-based writing with the statistics to back it up. This is what separates the experts from the amateurs.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

Cite specific sources for every one of your claims throughout your article so that readers instantly get that they are looking at a well-researched piece of content. This gives them a reason to trust you and link to your content rather than content written by others. It also allows the readers to dive deeper into the subject to which you sourced if that interests them.

Expert Opinions

Another way to add credibility to your writing is by using quotes. For example, I could say that link-building methods of the past will no longer help your website. But again, that’s just opinion, and unless you already consider me an expert, you won’t necessarily pay heed to it.

On the other hand, if I say that John Mueller of Google suggests that webmasters should focus less on link building as it’s been done in the past and instead focus more on creating high-quality content that is easy to link to, I have now added expert opinion from Google, a source that most people trust. All the better if I can use word-for-word quotes that are hyperlinked to the source.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

Even if someone has never heard the name John Mueller, the fact that he is from Google makes him an instant expert in the area of SEO. When you can’t find specific research or statistics, expert quotes are the next best thing to back them up.

In addition to making your content higher quality by adding in expert opinion, you have also added influencers to the article who might actually help you promote it. Even if Mueller doesn’t link to your content, he might share it with his 14.4k Twitter followers, which may in turn prompt one of his fans to share it with their own audience or link to your content.


Last, but not least, are resources. Look for opportunities throughout your content to mention specific resources. For example:

Better yet, don’t just include links; include images that show what people will find when they click through to one of your recommendations, like this quick peek at a report from SEMrush.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

For the average reader, this adds more value to your content because you are giving them additional resources that provide substantial information. Remember, you’ll stand out from the competition by doing this because so few people take the time to give their readers this kind of value.

You have also added more opportunities to connect with people to let them know that you have featured them, their resource or their product in your latest piece of content. Resulting shares based on “ego-baiting” (creating content that features an influencer for the purpose of getting a link or share from them in return) have the potential to result in links.

Free Bonus Download: Get the free guide to creating 10x content – actionable advice to help you get started not found in this post! Click here to download it free.

Part 2: Building Links to Your Linkable High Quality Content

Once you’ve published your linkable high-quality content, your next goal is to actually build links to it. You’re going to do that in 4 steps:

Each of these steps plays a vital role in getting links to your linkable high-caliber article.


The first step is playing the numbers game. The number of social shares, the number of votes, and the number of comments you receive on your content all play a role in convincing people that your piece is valuable, popular and, ultimately, link worthy.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

This is why the second after you publish your content you need to start building up these numbers. Begin by sharing it to all your social media networks. Then encourage those social shares to increase by using networks like Fiverr, ViralContentBuzz, JustRetweet, and CoPromote. All these sites offer ways for you to effectively pay for social promotion.

The key is to build up your numbers somewhat evenly across all networks. In other words, don’t buy 1,000 tweets and nothing else. Look to get an even distribution of tweets, likes, +1s, shares, stumbles, and pins.

Then get it on popular voting networks like for marketing content, BizSugar for business content, or subreddits for any kind of content. It’s best that you reach out to people you know on each of these networks in order to get votes on your content as soon as it gets published.

The faster the votes build up, the better the chances of it getting to the homepage and driving more traffic. Just don’t do anything like buy 100 votes for a network where the top content only has 20, or you’ll likely get bumped off the homepage for voting fraud.

Finally, get comments. You’ll want to aim for a little higher quality on these as you don’t want to encourage spam on your website. The best place to start is your own email list. Send out a broadcast announcing your post and at the end of the email provide a clear call to action: that people stop by and share their thoughts on your blog post. From there, try out the groups on Facebook that are built specifically for bloggers to reciprocate one good comment for another.


The next step is exposure. The more people that you reach with your content, the greater the number of links you’re likely to get from them. The fastest way to get exposure with your target audience beyond simply sharing it on your social accounts is through social media advertising. Specifically, create ads for:

Next, do some Twitter outreach by finding people who have shared similar content using the pro version of BuzzSumo.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

If you can find direct contact information for these people, trying emailing them. Otherwise, send them a simple tweet to let them know that you noticed they shared a particular post and that you have a good one on the same topic you think they’d be interested in. Start with those sharers who have the most followers and retweets and work your way down the list.

Just in case your outreach is ignored, you can also combine tactics by exporting lists of people from BuzzSumo who have shared similar content and then create Tailored Audiences for Twitter ads using their usernames. This is a great way to craft a relevant remarketing campaign for your target demographic.

Since Twitter takes a while to create Tailored Audiences, you might want to do this research prior to publishing your content so that your Tailored Audiences are ready when the content goes live.


Now it’s time to reach out directly to the people who are most likely to link to your content. These will typically be bloggers who are already linking to similar pieces. BuzzSumo also offers a feature that allows you to view the articles that link to this piece of content, so as you are viewing sharers, look at the linkers too.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

BuzzSumo makes your backlink research valuable by showing you only content backlinks—i.e. links to content from other pieces of content. Seeing the social share potential of the blog will also help you determine if it’s a quality website that will drive traffic to your own site.

Using the results from that report, reach out to the blog author as well as the author who created the link to the similar post and let them know about yours. You’ll have a higher rate of success if you aim for the most recent posts, as they are more likely to be recently updated, as well as posts from authors who write link roundups, like Marketing Day (shown in the search results above).

Free Bonus Download: Get the free guide to creating 10x content – actionable advice to help you get started not found in this post! Click here to download it free.

From here, start looking for additional link roundups in your industry. They will usually have keywords like:

Reach out to those people directly so that they can include you in their next edition.

Also be on the lookout for people who do roundups by email. In the SEO world, the holy grail is the Moz Top 10. Subscribe to their emails (preferably in advance), familiarize yourself with the content they share, and then reply to the latest one to let them know about your suggestion for their next email. Subscribers to those emails might have blogs of their own and might link to yours.


Last, but not least, look for ways to answer questions with links to your content. Search for these opportunities in Q&A networks like Yahoo Answers and Quora, forums, and social media groups.

Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

Not all of these arenas will create SEO links per say, but they will allow you to gain more exposure for your content in a helpful way. And more exposure has the potential to lead to more links.

In Conclusion

Here is a quick rundown of the steps to building links with content:

If you follow these steps each time you write an epic piece of content, you will ultimately create a library of linkable high-quality content on your website that drives up the overall authority of your domain with great, editorial links.

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