How Sensationalism Helped Me Grow My Small Business

When you’re the new kid on the block, it’s ok to play it cool for a short period while you observe the successful maneuvers of the “gray dogs.” In a small business, you can’t keep that going for too long, or you’ll get swallowed up by the competition. I started out in the Internet marketing industry by writing content intended to drive more traffic to the clients’ websites.

Deciding to Stand Out in the Crowd

I would venture to say there were thousands of other writers just like me when I began, all of us vying for the attention of businesses seeking marketing content for their websites. After a few months of writing very well-researched, informational articles, I decided I had to take a risk and really “put it out there” to show that I could generate significant interest. I had to draw attention to myself and demonstrate why the material I produced was outstanding.

Sensationalism and humor are two elements that a large section of the population find irresistible. I used these tools to make my point.

The Opportunity to Become Known

One of my clients was a partner in a successful company that designed and marketed websites. My contract with him involved writing keyword-rich content for the websites he built for his customers. I was aware that he had another division in his company doing social media marketing. After politely inquiring several times about writing for this division, I was given an opportunity – three, in fact.

Making It Happen

The first opportunity was for a realtor in Hawaii who needed to spice up his marketing and sales by promoting the exceptional activities in his region that would attract buyers. I wrote an article on the top “monster” waves for surfers in his area, playing up the unavoidable adrenaline rush that takes over when catching a wave that could take down a battleship. The article drew just under 5,000 visitors to the realtor’s website in the first week alone.

The second was for a natural health company that needed help marketing their acai berry supplement. Humor was the key I used to attract hundreds of people to the website the first day the article launched:

“Do you dream of getting your couch-potato butt off the seat cushion and proving the high school yearbook’s prophecy wrong about you being the least likely to succeed? Acai fruit provides all the elements you need for high energy and vitality. It’s not too late to become a superhero, and spandex makes you look … hmm … athletic! Ok, so you’re off the couch and doing the superhero thing, but the spandex is sagging a little around the midsection. Drink more acai juice – it helps trim the flab. No need to knock your citizens-in-need unconscious with a rogue gut swinging wildly out of control when you swoop down to save them from the clutches of the evil villain.”

The third was based on absolute sensationalism. It was a totally “made-up” news story written in true tabloid style about a woman who went bar-hopping in San Jose, only to wake up in the morning and discover her $100,000 breast implants had been stolen. The article was for a highly respected leader in breast implant technology. It drew thousands of people to the company’s website over a three-month period.

Promoting Through Social Media

The articles were all promoted through social media sites. The end result was positive for everyone. The website owners received an impressive increase in traffic to their company websites. This made my client look very good and gave his business a boost. The boon for my small business and team of writers was a contract to create all the content required by this website marketer. I have since landed thousands of dollars in marketing content based on the portfolio I developed, beginning with my first social media articles.

More from Robbi Gunter:

Tips for Marketing an E-Book to Promote Your Business
How to Handle Customers With Outstanding Invoices
Hooking a Lender with a Riveting Executive Summary

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