Powerful Content Marketing Strategy With FOIA Requests

This is powerful content marketing strategy is guaranteed to drive more visitors to your website, for free.

I’ll show you how to make original content and then I’ll give you an effective strategy on how to market it – using a three traffic sources. The total combined traffic of the traffic sources comes to more than 18 million visitors every month.

But a word of caution; this doesn’t work for affiliate marketing. Read this if you want to get traffic to your affiliate links instead.

While I have used this content marketing strategy, this is a continuation of a previous tutorial that I showed you a few days ago on how to get traffic from Hacker News.

Make Content That’s Worth Marketing

FOIA Content Marketing

When it comes to creating powerful content that people want to share, we can’t just take existing content and then repurpose it or rehash it.

We need to be smarter than that.

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Instead, we need to uncover brand new information that has never been publicly released before. It’s this type of content that pulls people to our websites.

And we’re going to find that type of content with a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA).

FOIA requests are a federal requirement that gives the public right to make requests for federal agency records. It is a legal requirement for government and public bodies to share information with you.

So they have a legal obligation to answer your questions.

For example, if you want to know how much the BBC have spent on marketing in the last 12 months, they have to tell you.

And I’ve used this content marketing strategy to get enormous levels of traffic.

FOIA As A Content Strategy

What Do They Know

To make FOIA requests we can use a website called What Do They Know.

Head over there and type in something that’s of relevance to your niche. For example if you type ‘health’ you’ll get a bunch of previously submitted FOIA requests about that industry.

Not only that, you’re also able to change how the data is structured.

Click on ‘requests’ to see all requests, then I suggest you check ‘successful requests’. Now you can see the requests that have something worth writing about.

However, you can uncheck it if you just want to see up and coming requests, if there’s one that you want to keep an eye on – so you could plan your content in advance.

For example purposes, let’s just go with ‘successful’ for the moment. Now you want to structure it by ‘newest’, so you get some requests that were today or yesterday.

And here we have one that was published today. Another one was published yesterday.

So there’s loads of really new, and relevant data on here.

You can drill in to each of these requests, see what people are asking and then see the response.

They will usually put it in a PDF download and everything published here is now in the public domain.

So let me just walk you through the process of actually doing one of these.

Making Your Own FOAI Requests

WDTK Content Strategy

On the website, click ‘make a request’.

Now, think about who you want to get information from. As an example, I’m going to ask the BBC how much they spend on digital marketing. And that might become an interesting piece of content that I can market to my niche.

Once your FOIA request has been sent, they’ve got 20 working days to respond to you.

And just in case you’re wondering, this is what happened the first time I used this strategy.

My Content

I asked the BBC the same question and they got back to me within 24 hours to let me know they had received the request. And then in less than a month they responded with a PDF document.

It turns out that they spent £1.4 million on digital display advertising, and £220,000 on paid search marketing.

Content Marketing Strategy With WDTK

That’s an example of how to do a Freedom of Information Act request, and that’s going to give you a story to use.

So before we have a look at the traffic sources that we can use to market this type of content, I recommend that you get your own FOIA requests done instead of using other peoples.

That way the information is uniquely yours and your website is the source.

However, if you want to be a bit lazy, then you can take other people’s as long as you credit them as the original source.

The Content Marketing Strategy

So let’s go take a look at three of the traffic sources that we can use for this strategy, because once we have a story ready, where do we put it?

I’m going to share three website that have worked amazingly well, for me.

Content Marketing On Slashdot

The first website that’s receptive to this type of content is called Slashdot.org.

Slashdot

This is a massive website with a global rank of 21,000 according to SimilarWeb. The country rank is 6,000 and the traffic overview tells us it consistently gets around 4 million visits a month.

Pretty epic traffic levels there.

And most of it comes from the United States with 61%, followed by Canada, UK, Australia, and India.

Slashdot has been around a long time, it was formed in 1997 or 1998 and it off as a place for the owner to post his rants.

So what I recommend you do; take the time to have a look at the type of content that is performing well on the front page.

The site works in a similar way to Reddit and other websites where you can upvote or downvote content. You’ll probably notice there is heavy focus on tech-related stories but you don’t have to just focus on tech content.

If you explore the site you’ll see lots of different sections in the navigation bar.

So once you know what works, you can start actually using the site to drive traffic to your content.

If you look at how others are posting content; you’ll see they only post a small piece of copy and then link to their website.

Notice they have link to the original – and the great thing is you can have secondary links inside the body too.

Plus you have these different icons.

Buttons

These let us apply filters, so if you want to know more about different topics they might be handy. Use these if you want to see the number of comments for a piece, or if you want to jump into the conversation and provide value that way.

Post Anonymously

Interestingly, take a look at the comment field – you can post anonymously.

How Do You Get Traffic?

Slashdot Marketing Strategy

Click the ‘submit’ button.

Now give your story strong title. Look at the other headlines that are getting a good amount of traction.

Put in the body of your story here, and you can include links if you want to.

The site actually gives you some suggestions to help you get the best results, so take the time to read those tips.

Then apply formatting and paste in the URL.

You can choose to post it under your account or anonymously. Then click ‘preview’, and if you’re happy with it go ahead and submit it.

As soon as you do that it will go into the ‘all’ section where people can upvote or downvote your submission.

Content Marketing on Fark

Fark

Let’s check out the next website, which is Fark.

I’ve got enormous amounts of traffic from Fark over the years. It really is a massive powerhouse of traffic.

And according to SimilarWeb the global rank is 7,000. The country rank is United States with 1000. But according to the traffic overview it’s getting double the amount of traffic that Slashdot gets.

8 million visitors a month, crazy high.

If we look at traffic by country, United States brings 83% of the traffic which is very profitable.

Now getting on the front page of Fark is not easy. I’ll tell you more about that in a second.

It’s a news aggregator but it’s curated by human editors.

That means there’s no algorithm at work. Basically, a team of editors will choose what type of content they believe should hit the front page.

Fark is another site that’s been around for a long time. I think I discovered it around 20 years ago. It was started by a guy called Drew Curtis who had an email list where he would send interesting stories to his friends and families.

And then he thought, well, let’s just put this online instead of emailing them, and that’s how the site was born.

How Do You Get Traffic?

Now you do need to create an account in order to post here, but it’s the signup link is a little bit hidden. They really do make you work for this. So the actual link is here.

You’re going to have to use a real email address for this because the editors are going to take a look at your submission and your profile too.

Marketing on Fark

You’re going to see this big ‘submit a link’ button.

Now, not only will those editors see your submission but every submission can be seen by other Fark members too.

So really, you’re going to get traffic in two ways with this. 

First of all, you’re going to get traffic from the front page, but secondly, you’re going to get traffic from the paying members.

You see, less than 5% of submissions are handpicked for the main page.

But the site does give you some pointers on how to increase your chances of being picked. And the big takeaway is to make it funny.

Even if the content itself isn’t funny, write a funny headline instead. If you have a look at the front page most of the headlines are almost sarcastic so write a brand new headline just for this site.

And you’ll notice that Fark sends a lot of traffic to big and well-known websites, but they welcome smaller independent publishers too.

Some Guy

For the small website they have the ‘some guy’ label.

Now, if you have a look at the link submission form, you have special source option as ‘some guy’. So if, if you’re not a massive website or don’t have a website that people would generally recognise, use that label.

Fark Marketing Strategy

But choose the right category.

You got a few different options here, so they’re not just looking for a specific type of news. They want to embrace a whole different bunch of topics from sport to politics to entertainment to business.

As long as the headline is pretty catchy and it stands out, you should do okay.

Content Marketing On Digg

Digg

Let’s go to the next one on my list, which is Digg.

So again, I’ve got a lot of traffic from hating the front page of Digg. While it’s not as powerful as it used to be, it is still a massive traffic source.

According to SimilarWeb, the global rank is 12,000 and the country rank is USA with an impressive 3,000. The site is hitting at least 6 million visitors a month. And it seems to be increasing.

74% of that traffic comes from the United States, followed by Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

In terms of CPM ad revenue, Digg is going to send the exact type of traffic ad networks love.

Digg was founded in 2004 and I first became aware of it in 2007 because other people were posting my content to the site.  

At one point in time the site was fairly political, but not as much as it used to be.

So take note of the sections in the navigation bar. You can submit content about any of these topics.

How Do You Get Traffic?

Take a look at what type of content is hitting the front page.

So your mission really is, just like we spoke previously, to uncover new information, find something newsworthy and something sharable. 

Digg Marketing Strategy

After you sign up for a free account, the first thing the site is going to ask you to do is submit a new link.

So go ahead, click that. And then you can choose which section you would like to post to.

Think of these sections as communities.

Digg Groups

Once you share your content, you can increase its chance of hitting the front page by getting upvotes – in a similar way to Reddit, and some of the contributions get high levels of traffic and engagement.

Now you can add in a link to your website.

Digg Content Marketing Strategy

When writing your headline think about the emotional impact. So we’re not just going for search engine traffic here. We’re also going for that human element because that’s what is going to get upvotes.

In addition to the standard options sites like this give us, Digg offers another option; the story kicker.

In journalism a kicker is usually an unexpected angle.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “the real kicker is”, you’ll be familiar with the idea. So think about that, and add something a little bit unexpected in here,

In the description write something original just for Digg, instead of copying and pasting from your article. Give Digg something a little unique.

Then add an image. A striking imagine will increase your click-through rate. And that is going to help you get more upvotes.

Not only can you link to your own website, but you can also link to a follow-up piece or something relevant on social media. So you can hit two different angles here; two different ways of marketing your content.

Now these optional details and not necessary, but maybe you will want to use them and it might help your chance of getting more exposure.

What’s Next?

If you want another content marketing strategy I will give you the traffic methods that I never share anywhere else. You can get them all for free when you go to profitcopilot.com/traffic.

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