Miles Burke

Thoughts on startups, small business, marketing & more.

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Stars at Night

How to Regularly Promote Your Content in No Time at All

Sharing your content on social media is a surefire way to increase traffic to your blog or website, and help you promote your content. The problem is, most people post once, and then move on with their next article – therefore missing an awesome opportunity to continue to re-promote their still very relevant (evergreen) content.

In this post, I break down the absolutely easiest way to continually share your previous content, in a method that can take as little as five minutes a month, and bring your thousands of new visitors and shares.

You will need a few things before we get started.
A Buffer account
Plenty of non-time sensitive content
Wordpress (optional step)

The super-fast WordPress method
An absolutely quick way of exporting the titles and URL’s of every article you’ve ever written is the free plugin, List URLs, available for WordPress. It takes around 30 seconds to install, and then export a CSV file.

Simple exporting in WordPress

Simple exporting in WordPress

Collect all of your content
To promote your content, you will want to start by having a spreadsheet, with a column for the post title, the full URL, and related hashtags. Go through the sheet, and make sure all the encoding is right, and there are no strange characters.

Make sure this content is your best work, and is not time relevant. There is no point in promoting a blog post from two years ago, if it refers to something specific for that year, or is very out of date advice or knowledge.

For example, below is a sheet with most of the articles we’ve written for employee survey startup, 6Q. We have literally posted hundreds of articles over the last few years and most are great examples of evergreen content.

Your content spreadsheet

Your content spreadsheet

Choose the best hashtags
Hashtags, especially on Twitter, are a great way to encourage people to discover your tweets, and is a perfect method to promote your content. Tens of thousands of Twitter users every day search topics by hashtag, to find tweets and content worth engaging with.

So how do you know the best hashtags to use? I am a huge fan of Hashtagify, which makes finding appropriate hashtags very easy. You literally enter a seed keyword (in the example below, I used #contentmarketing) and then it uncovers other related hashtags that may suit.



So, we have now got a sheet with blog title, the full URL and a hashtag or two. Be careful to ensure the title and hashtags aren’t really long, as the old 140 character limit on Twitter may catch you out. Buffer will truncate the URL using your chosen URL shortener, so we can get away with lengthier lines at this point.

Prepare the file for use
Now export this sheet as a CSV (Most programs let you choose ‘Save as CSV’). You will now need to open this file in a text editor, and do two quick search and replace rules. First, remove the comma between the title and URL, and replace with a space. Next, replace the comma between the URL and hashtag, with another character space.

Save the file again, and you should end up looking something similar to the below.

CSV file of content links

CSV file of content links

Adding to Buffer in bulk
Now comes the best bit. Simply go to Bulk Buffer, connect to your Buffer account, and then upload the file. This will add these links to the end of your current schedule, so feel free to hit the Buffer shuffle button afterwards, to mix things up a bit, and promote your content along with your other content sharing.

Uploading using Bulk Buffer

Uploading using Bulk Buffer

Influencer engagement tip
If you have a file of other related articles that you’ve read and like, you can do the steps above, and append by @[username] to share their content. I’ve done this with all of the links I have shared in my growth marketing newsletter, as a second method of uncovering great content.

By sharing other peoples content, you are raising awareness with them that you exist too – before you know it, you may end up engaging with these influencers.

Here is an example tweet, where I’ve shared other content, which appeared in my newsletter, using my own personal Twitter account.

Example tweet using this method

Example tweet using this method

Regularly promote your content
In a few minutes a month, I have shown you how to promote your content over and over, with little effort and for free. Add to the CSV over time, and keep using Bulk Buffer to re-upload and top up your schedule every month.

Find this article useful? If you want to show appreciation, here’s a CSV file of a handful of my articles (including this one), which I’d appreciate you using the above method to share.

Boorna Waanginy, Kings Park

My Weekly Curated Growth Marketing Email [Update 3]

I’m back with the third update about my little side project, If you haven’t kept up, here’s the previous articles I have written about this journey.

Introducing My $99 Side Project for 2017
Growth Hacking Newsletter Side Project Update

Given it has been a few weeks since my last post, and we are at the halfway mark of my original 3 month deadline, I want to share what I’ve been doing to attract new subscribers, and then provide an update on the subscriber and financial objectives again.

Video fame
I uploaded a short video on YouTube, showing me scrolling up and down a recent issue, as a way to capture potential interest from people searching on related topics on YouTube. Since 11 January, it has been viewed 1,369 times which is fantastic.

Reddit ad

Reddit ad

Tried advertising on Reddit
I ran a small $10 ad campaign on Reddit, specifically targeting these subreddits;

Reddit ad stats

Reddit ad stats

It ended up costing me 38.5 cents per click, which although is possibly cheaper than some platforms, wasn’t as good as I had hoped. The fact only 14.46% of these subscribed, means it cost me $2.66 per subscriber, which isn’t good.

If you want to consider running ads in various subreddits, has a handy list of the most populated subreddits, which makes life much easier.

Posted a Top 20 list on Medium
Medium is a great place to discover content, with their tagging navigation, links to related articles in the footer of each post, and a huge community of people interested in start-ups, entrepreneurship and self development.

So, I looked through the click rates off the first four issues, collated the top 20 articles, and posted them as an article on Medium, tagging as many of the link writers as I could find, with Medium accounts.

I was fortunate to have Andrew Chen tweet a link to this, which resulted in around 50 new visitors, of which around 50% of these signed up to the newsletter as a result.

Andrew Chen tweet

Andrew Chen tweet

Hunted on Product Hunt
Thanks to my buddy, Chris Messina, I had hunted on Product Hunt. Chris kindly posted it after I reached out to him, and the traffic was immediate.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

You can take a guess which spike was Product Hunt. That was by far the biggest contributor to new subscribers in the entire project lifetime of seven weeks.

Tracking goals in Google Analytics
One of the more important takeaways I have for you, is to ensure that you use the Goals feature in Google Analytics, to see how many visitors complete an action. There are plenty of blog posts out there, to show you how.

GA Goals by Source

GA Goals by Source

The above shows you the goals completed (that is, visitors signing up to subscribe) attributed to the source they came from. The average was 30.55% of visitors subscribe, which means 69% take a look and leave – that’s big room for improvement.

The best conversion rate was from a link I put in a Yammer community I belong to, at 44%, and the least was traffic from StumbleUpon, which is well known for 1 second visits, and no conversions at all. Visitors from my own blog subscribed 37.6% of the time, so thank you!

Spoke at Morning Startup
I was honoured to be invited to speak at Morning Startup, a fortnightly event here in Perth for the startup ecosystem. I had a great time putting together some slides about the project so far, and Jurgen from Niche Interview was kind enough to record a video of it. You can watch the talk I gave, however a warning: it is about 45 minutes long.

Book Giveaway experiment
As an experiment, I offered to give away a signed copy of my published book, The Principles of Successful Freelancing, during my Morning Startup talk to one new subscriber in the room. I had 14 people sign up during the 45 minute talk, so that’s not something I’ll repeat, given the $40 price tag of the book means it cost me $2.86 for each new subscriber from that test.

Add animated gif to success page
Since I migrated my email database from Campaign Monitor, to Mailchimp to reduce costs (Mailchimp give you 2,000 subscribers for zero cost), I noticed a slight drop in successful new subscribes.

It is well known that any double opt-in subscription flow has a significant drop off rate, between completing the form, and actually clicking the confirmation link in the resulting email. To help reduce that with, I used a free tool to whip up a super quick little animated GIF, which I use on the success page which is shown once you submit the form.

Animated GIF showing double opt-in

Animated GIF showing double opt-in

How did I go with objectives?
Now, let’s take a look at the growth I have managed so far.

Back in the first article, I mentioned that my minimum target was 500 subscribers, and a stretch goal was 1,500, so 500 new subscribers a month.

Well, at the halfway point towards the deadline of 31 March, I’ve managed to attract 1,164 subscribers so far. Thank you to everyone who has signed up!

As you know, I started with a budget of $99 for both setting up and maintaining the project for three months.

Well, so far I have spent $81.25 in total, which includes advertising on Facebook, advertising on Reddit, two domain names (I bought recently), email software and hosting.

However, I’ve done really well on the sponsorship front, having pre-booked all the advertising until the end of June! That’s an incredible $331, including the sponsorship income to date.

Financials for so far

Financials for so far

The only issue with allowing advertising so far in advance, is that once I go over 2,000 subscribers, Mailchimp will start charging me, and the Goodbits monthly fee goes from $8 to $25 per month (for up to 10,000 subscribers).

It means, let’s say 5,000 subscribers, I’ll be paying $92.13 per month, and making $64 per month in sponsorship. Lesson learned; I’ll not take sponsorship bookings at today’s subscriber totals for more than 6 weeks in advance.

An ideal CPM (cost per thousand subscribers) seems to be around the $25 per thousand mark, so 5,000 should net $125 per week, once we’re past June.

Moving forward
I’ve got some other experiments I wish to try, and a few thoughts on different models too. I’ll post an update on 3-4 weeks time, meanwhile if you haven’t yet signed up, please take a look at, thanks!

New York Subway 2012

Growth Hacking Newsletter Side Project Update

It has been a three weeks now since I first wrote about my $99 side project, the weekly growth hacking newsletter,, and it has been a great month so far.

Let’s go through what I have done to “move the needle” on, share some lessons and look at the current subscriber counts and spend.

Website changes
You would assume the majority of people that hit the single page which is purely focussed on the goal of subscribing to my growth hacking newsletter, wouldn’t need some form of extra reminder, yet we know that it’s worth trying.

Popup Subscribe Form

Popup Subscribe Form

With this in mind, I added a pop-up subscribe widget on the website. GetSiteControl offers all their widgets for one website and one user free, which makes them an obvious choice for a very lean side project.

GetSiteControl statistics

GetSiteControl statistics

As you can see, it turns out some people do need that pop-up nag reminder as well. The widget is set up for ‘exit intent’, so it only appears when your mouse moves towards the browser top. The downside of services like this, is they often save subscriber details in their own system, like GetSiteControl does.

The way around this, is to use a free Zapier account, and hook up a zap to import the subscribers from GetSiteControl straight into Campaign Monitor.

This means I never need to bother grabbing a list from different sources, and potentially messing my subscriber data up.

Single versus double opt-in
I’m a fan of single opt-in, for the fact that it just reduces the barriers to people signing up (who wants to have to wait for an email and click a link?), however I got spammed with about 100 email subscribers all from the same domain in a few hours, so I quickly changed to double opt-in and removed those spammy accounts.

Facebook advertising
Now, on to some bad news. My $20 spend on a promoted post on Facebook was a waste of precious budget. As you can see from the image below, whilst I got 1,449 impressions, only 41 people interacted with the ad, and a very sad 1 link click, which was the goal I had for the boosted post.

Facebook boosted post statistics

Facebook boosted post statistics

I don’t know if it was the ad creative, (the image of me and the words), the target audience I chose, or maybe I should have chosen a Lead Ad instead of a Boosted Post. The thing is, this is all experiments, right, so I need to accept this as a lesson.

Republished content
I republished my last blog post on Medium as well as on LinkedIn Pulse.

Medium produced 70 reads, and 12 recommends to date, and LinkedIn got me 234 views, 30 likes, 2 shares and 10 comments, which was awesome. The difference on the performance between both platforms would also relate to the difference in my connections/followers on them. I have a larger audience on LinkedIn of 11,067 connections, whereas I have a much smaller 3,200 followers on Medium.

LinkedIn article statistics

LinkedIn article statistics

I do know that Medium really helps uncover new content, using their tagging features, and my previous experience with Medium shows a far healthier ‘long tail’, whereas LinkedIn tends to get all the reads in a few days, and then really tapers off to near zero (as shown in the image above).

As a result, I have an expectation that Medium will produce better results than LinkedIn over the next few months – especially on a topic like a growth hacking newsletter, and a side project.

I have validation!
A couple of days ago, I received the following Tweet.

Tweet with sponsor interest

Tweet with sponsor interest

That’s right – someone approaching me about sponsorship. I didn’t expect that so early in this project.

I got back to Gregg, and over email we settled on the cost of sponsorship as being $6 an issue (My rationale is that the nearest similar newsletter has 11,000 subscribers and charges $149), so applying the same rate to 431 subscribers, that’s $5.83. There are a few differences between my newsletter and the other one. The first being that it is founder focussed, not growth hacking, so a slightly different audience. The second, they run three ads in each issue, whereas I am only doing one.

Gregg has a great side project, which he is advertising in called SendView, which fits my audience perfectly. Using SendView (first email address is free), you can get detailed statistics on competitors mailing lists. Instead of emails that you sign up to going to your inbox, with SendView they get parsed into dashboards of analytics, giving you insights into how they send.

Gregg has signed on for 5 issues, so please support him by checking his product out.

Subscriber numbers
I’m pleased to say that my subscriber numbers are past the minimum target I set as 500 (see previous post to see my goals).

A huge compliment
I had Randy Rhode get in touch with me, to say “You inspired me with your post a few weeks ago about having a $99 Side Project. I thought that was a great idea and started thinking about what I could do. So, taking your lead – I decided I could do a web site and email as well. My niche is Youth Hockey – from the perspective of a Parent NEW in the world of Hockey. After doing a bit of research, I’ve realized there’s not a lot of information out there for someone in my position – a son who recently decided to play hockey – and a Dad who has no background in the sport.”

I am so pleased that my $99 side project concept has encouraged Randy to have a crack as well. As Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance, once said; “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” I’m hoping that your side project,, takes off, Randy!

You, dear reader, can get involved too – start something small as a side project, and use the posts I am writing to help move your side project along (Oh, and please let me know about it!).

I am pleased to say I now have 539 subscribers, and every week the subscriber list is growing, and feedback to the content has been great. It goes to show an independent growth hacking newsletter is something people are looking for.

As for the financials, I have had my first revenue (Thanks Gregg!) so our numbers now look like this.

$17.61 set up costs (domain, hosting & goodbits)
$20.00 Facebook ad
$9.90 Campaign Monitor (for auto-responders)
$47.51 total

$30.00 (sponsorship income)
$30.00 total

Net position
-$17.51 loss

I want to reinvest the $30 sponsorship income back into the project, so I have more money to try other small experiments to build subscribers. That means that I now have $81.49 in budget remaining, to keep it within my original $99 budget.

My fixed monthly costs are $20.40 which means I’ve got enough runway to last until my three month mark, if I play it safe. I’ll update again in a few weeks time with the latest status on my little growth hacking newsletter, – meanwhile do me a favour, and sign up to it, if you haven’t yet?

NY Ground Zero 10th Anniversary

Top 25 Articles That Resonated Most with Readers

Since 2006, I’ve been penning my thoughts here on this blog. A whopping 280 articles over the last decade. I like to look back each year, and see what articles resonated most with my audience, and this can help my understand the direction I need to take with future posts.

Usually, I just keep it to myself, however on reflecting 2016, I thought it worth posting a list of the top 25 articles determined by traffic, which is a good indicator of interest, and provides new readers with a good ‘go to’ list to start with exploring my writing.

The following articles cover everything from startups to business, travel to humour. I trust you enjoy them.

Top 25 Articles for 2016 (by Visits)

Life of a Startup Founder, Explained in GIFs
This is a tongue in cheek look at the life of an early stage startup founder, told in animated GIF format.

It’s Never Too Early to Think Startup Growth
This is possibly the most shared article on social media in the last week, and is a quick guide to things to consider when putting together a startup, prior to launch.

Perth Web Design a trademark?
Written back in 2011, this article covers a move by a local business to trademark the term ‘Perth web design’ which, at the time, was a highly competitive keyword in SEO circles.

Some Unsolicited Dreaming on That WA Innovation Fund
My quick thoughts on how the Western Australian state government could spend their recently announced innovation fund.

50 Australian Startup Twitter Accounts Worth Following
I’m a big user of Twitter (I just recently hit the 10 year milestone), and as a salute to fellow innovators on the platform, I collated a list of 50 accounts worth following.

The TOC hack to finding topics for content marketing
We all get stuck for topic ideas from time to time. This article explains my Table of Contents method of finding new topics to write about.

Promoting Perth Startups
The announcement of the curated Twitter account, @StartupPerth, which I launched in late 2015 (and is still running!).

The Web2.0 colours of 2007
This was meant to be a very tongue in cheek look at the rise of ‘Web2.0’ as it was called back in 2007, when I wrote this post.

Public Speaking Tips and Templates
I enjoy public speaking, having delivered over 100 talks now, however it isn’t as easy for most people. I cover some tips and ideas on how to take the stage.

Seven Tips to Make Debtors Pay
My take on methods many businesses can take, to ensure that they get paid on time. Originally written for Sitepoint.

The Web 2.0 Secret Weapon
This was the fun post I wrote which kicked off a flurry of writing on Web2.0 by me. All in jest, of course.

Do You Have Five Minutes?
This article covers how, as a service business, we were able to recoup many hours per month which were previously unbillable. Originally written for Sitepoint.

70 Graffiti Colours of 2006
A side creative pursuit of mine back in 2006 was collecting interesting colour palettes. I made this with graffiti art I photographed in Western Australia.

Book promotion on the web
My book, The Principles of Successful Freelancing, came out back in 2009. This post in 2008 are my thoughts on book promotion using digital marketing.

Marketing your book online
This article is a follow up to the one above, promoting your book using digital marketing.

We’re back from Ubud, Bali (again!)
My favourite travel destination is Ubud, Bali which I have visited more than two dozen times now. This is a quick post about the trip from 2010.

Manage Your Money
This article covers various online accounting packages, useful for small business. Originally written for Sitepoint in 2011.

The Two Faces of Bali
Another Bali travel post, this time about the differences in tourism to the Island. Written back in 2012, I feel the difference is even wider now in 2017.

18 ways to being a better employee
As an employer for 15 years, and manager of people for a further 5 or so years prior to that, I have a few pet peeves and loves when it comes to employees. I share them in this article from 2006.

Secrets to a Great Sales Proposal
I cover some of the tricks I have learned in writing sales proposals. Originally written for Sitepoint in 2009.

Setting SMART Goals
An article on how to set goals that work, using the SMART acronym. Originally written for Sitepoint in 2010.

19 Tips for Public Speaking
As per the previous articles on public speaking, this covers 19 tips to consider when speaking to an audience.

Interview with Dave Greiner of Freshview
A great founder I’ve known for quite some time, I interview Dave Greiner from Campaign Monitor. Originally written for Sitepoint.

Reply to Your Emails!
A short rant about businesses not responding to their email enquiries. Originally written for Sitepoint.

I hope you find the above 25 articles useful for your business, travels, content marketing or startup. Please subscribe to my alerts when new articles get published – see the form in the right hand column.

Coney Island, 2012

13 Thoughts for Early Stage Startup Founders

I have been hustling in the startup space for a while now, and I wanted to jot down some thoughts that could help early stage founders get some direction. It can be tough working in a startup for the first year,

Here’s 13 tips for early stage founders, in no particular order…

Test many things in small batches
I’ve lost count of the countless little things we’ve tried, with small budgets, to see which works and which doesn’t. We tipped more budget into the ones with traction, and dumped the others before the costs started to hurt.

Pay per click on all the platforms, link building, article writing, press distribution, content networks, email sponsorship, social media, social media advertising, manual reach outs to followers, etc.

Fun things, like exporting my LinkedIn contacts (8,276 of them), and using them as a custom advertising audience in Facebook, with a personal note asking for their attention. Researching keywords and running lots of small PPC campaigns on them. Testing button colours out, to see which converts best.

Less fun things, like writing 50 variations of blog post headlines, to see which ones get the best results. Submitting 6Q to a zillion startup announcement sites. Writing lovely email intros to journalists, who never replied.

Focus on content marketing
You can pay $2-20 per click to have someone visit your website, or you can write some long form content, which is well written, optimised for search engines, and invest the time in waiting for it to slowly creep up the results. A handful of our posts on the 6Q blog now bring us a decent amount of traffic.

Build what customers want, not what you think they want
Yes, seems that you have to ask customers, not just make assumptions. Funny thing is, most customers are quiet, so it’s something you have to proactively chase. Send them an email asking for feedback, then pick up the phone. Most people ignore emails.

Don’t take money for money’s sake
I’ve met with a few angel investors now, and I have been amused at the range of responses. Some have been quite positive, an others less so. Some want to see this be a full time gig first, and others want to look at it, however for a large slice of the pie. I’ve had as many people say ‘Take all the money the second you can’ as people who have said ‘Bootstrapping is the only way for medium to long term growth’.

I’m still undecided, however I am lucky I am in no huge rush (the money would be great to throw at growth, but giving up equity seems less exciting).

Keep an eye on, but don’t obsess about, your competitors
Competitors are important, yes. They are probably doing 100 things better than you. You should figure these out. They are probably also doing 100 things less effectively as you. You should know these too.

When a seemingly cashed up startup appears out of the blue, and starts getting lots of attention, don’t freak out. When they suddenly disappear after only a few months, once again, don’t freak out. See this article if you’re intrigued. I’m still perplexed.

Even $100 a month is a lot like enterprise sales
I had this vision that if we priced our product low enough, that sales would take care of themselves. Wow, I was wrong. I’m happy to now admit defeat, and that we moved to include an ‘Arrange a demo’ form and be in the outreach process more than I had originally had anticipated (and hoped!).

Never stop testing
I wrote an article a while back on the 6Q blog, The Simple Secret to Improving your Startup, about user testing constantly. I truly believe in this approach.

I do my best to try and test everything I can. I wish I had more time to do more. Another post I penned on Medium a while back, How a few small landing page tweaks created five times the conversions, outlines why A/B testing of landing pages is also super important.

Listen to everyone around you
The fantastic thing about the startup ecosystem is everyone is willing to give advice. I’ve helped dozens of founders with their burning questions, and I’ve leant on just as many for their thoughts in return. Don’t try to operate in a silo – many of us have been through your winding road as well.

Stick to your morals
Not long after we launched, we changed the first screen of our polls, to show whether the survey was anonymous or being individually tracked. I had a complaint from a potential customer that they wanted to tell their employees that it was anonymous, however they wanted to track them.

I said no. It’s hard to say no when you need the income, and that customer would help with our income, however I also want to ensure that we’re doing the right thing for everyone; including this persons employees.

Some days you’ll want to close it all down; next minute it’s different
It’s true. You have a few rejections in a row, you see how well some other startups are doing, and then you’ve got your mind racing towards ‘life after the failed startup’. Lo and behold next minute, in comes some good news, and your smile returns.

There’s an image floating around social media of a sine wave like chart, showing the ups and downs of being a founder. It’s absolutely true. See my animated gif post for a laugh. It’s actually quite accurate.

Read as much as you can
I have tried to read the entire Internet. It feels like that at least. I make a point of at least reading 1-2 articles per day, and I’ve spent entire evenings on reading others thoughts on growth, culture, etc.

I’ve started sharing my favourite articles in a weekly email – subscribe to this one, and the countless others out there as well.

Be upfront with prospects
I had a call a while back, a huge potential customer; I’m talking tens of thousands of employees. They asked me if I had any similar sized organisations to compare them with. I was upfront and said no. I went on to say we’ve got nobody even close to their size, however I’d be keen to give it a go down the track, but I had concerns of our ability right at that moment.

That’s not the ‘fake it until you make it’ mantra you may read about elsewhere, but boy was the stress less when they opted for another product instead.

Lean on your networks
Admittedly, I haven’t done this as much as I would like. It’s important to use your networks of contacts, to get the word out, and look for prospective new customers. I’ve amassed a significant network across most social media, and have the contact details of just as many I have met with offline – it’s just a job of hitting the pavement, so to speak.

Hope that there is a nugget of information in the above list that may help you in your quest. Stay positive and keep hustling! Good luck.

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Words & Images © 2005-2016, Miles Burke. All rights reserved.