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Attract 100,000 Pageviews in 1 Month Using Slideshare

This guest post is by Joel Runyon of Impossible HQ.

How do you stand out and differentiate yourself online when more and more people are starting blogs every day?

Sure, you need to write stuff that’s gong to stand out, but a lot of blogging advice focuses just on writing. Sometimes to really stand out, you need to go beyond writing and create something different. You need to create content (not just writing) that helps you find new audiences to speak to by using new mediums to spread your message.

One of those new media is Slideshare, an online slide sharing community.

The spark

In 2011, my friend David Crandall released a project titled Inspiration Squared on Slideshare. He sent it to me before he posted it and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to be big. David is one heck of a designer and his work combined with the inspirational content behind the piece convinced me right there that it was going to blow up and that I needed to do something about it. I didn’t know anything about Slideshare at the time, but he told me he was going to release it there. Sure enough, as soon as he put it up, he got on to the front page of Slideshare and got about 20,000 views in just a few days.

Over the next few months, he released a few more projects, got them all front-paged on Slideshare and consistently grabbed around 20,000-30,000 views in just a few days after each launch.

David was killing it and I wanted in.

The plan

As soon as I saw David’s first presentation, a light bulb went off and I realized that this Slideshare thing could be big—really big. I sent him an email and told him I wanted to do one. I didn’t know what it would be yet, but I knew it would have two main characteristics: inspirational and beautiful.

Inspirational

I talk about doing impossible things, but I can’t control anyone’s actions other than myself. In other words, I can’t make people act, but I can create the impetus for them to do so. Inspirational pieces not only allow you to do that but also tend to be wildly popular. I knew that in order for this presentation to spread, it would have to be incredibly inspirational.

Beautiful

I wanted the piece to be beautiful as well—this is where David came in. I know exactly what I like, but I know absolutely nothing about making design work. I could have attempted to do this on my own in Microsoft paint, but I knew the only person who would actually pass that along would be my mom.

I knew I couldn’t do it myself, so I called David up and asked him if he would consider doing those presentations for other people. After his track record on his presentations, it was a no-brainer and I commissioned him to do a piece based on one of my most popular posts ever—25 Impossible Quotes—a year-and-a-half-old post that gets crazy amounts of Stumble Upon and social media traffic.

Manufacturing viral

I realized if I could make it both inspirational and beautiful, we could get some serious traction in the Slideshare community as well as the other social media channels, and it would have the potential to go viral. I’ll be the first one to say that it sounds really dumb to say you can manufacture something going viral and for the most part you can’t if you’re trying to create massive viral wins of 1,000,000+ views. But, if you just want to do 50,000-100,000 views, it’s much more doable and I knew with David’s track record, we could easily get 20,000-30,000 views and build it from there.

Since the piece was going to be a presentation and downloadable booklet, we decided to beef it up and double the amount of quotes in it, pulling some more impossible quotes from another article until we ended up with a total 50 impossible quotes. With those set, David went to work and did his thing.

(I mentioned before that you could probably do this yourself if you’ve got serious design chops. If not, and you’re serious about this, find someone like David who’s work you’ve seen before and like. It’s worth it to invest in this to make it truly epic.)

The marketing

There were a few different methods we planned on getting traffic from.

My site

I figured my decent sized readership would give the presentation the initial boost we needed to get traction in the Slideshare community and I was right. After a few thousand views from my site, we hit the front page of Slideshare.

Slideshare front page

Getting on Slideshare’s front page is usually good for 10,000-20,000 views depending on how long you’re up there and how compelling your presentation actually is. Ours went up and got us 25,000 views within the first couple days. That was enough to put at the top of the charts for most popular category, which gave the project even more longevity.

I was pumped, but I knew we could do more. I reached out to a few more people and we started to inch up towards the 30-40k mark. Still good, but I felt there was more potential.

The inflection point

Michael Hyatt is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, the seventh largest publishing house in the US, and runs a blog with close to 200,000 visitors. We simply wanted him to take a look at it and through a series of twitter messages we got it in front of him and he loved it. The next thing I know I got a message from Michael, “Cool, I’ll post it on my blog.”

A couple of days later—BOOM.

He posted it and it took off: 60k, 75k, 80k views. Within a couple weeks we doubled the amount of views on the presentation and within a month of the launch, we cleared 100,000 views on the presentation (not to mention several thousand direct downloads both from Slideshare and Impossible HQ). Not too bad for a little outside-the-box thinking.

Make your own Slideshare presentation

Fortunately, Slideshare is a new enough platform that you can get some serious traction without being a superstar. After all, if I did it, so can you. Here are a few tips on making your own Slideshare presentation go viral.

Make it simple, stupid

The highlight of Slideshare pieces that go viral is simplicity. You don’t need to make it complicated. You should have one main thought per slide. Don’t over think this.

Choose the right type of presentation

The types of posts that will do really well on Stumble Upon will also do really well on Slideshare. If you have any posts on your blog that have done particularly well on Stumble Upon, you should probably be able to convert it into a popular Slideshare presentation. Other post types that do well:

  • inspirational posts
  • lists posts
  • compilations of quotes (people really love quotes)
  • simple explanations of complicated things.

Anything that is simple, easy to understand and apply do really well in the Slideshare format.

Note: Please do not do a PowerPoint presentation. It will not go over well and no one ever wants to read 5-7 bullets on a slide. Remember: keep it simple!

Find a Slideshare Insider

I compiled the quotes and knew it would have certain traction with the backing of my branding, but the secret sauce of working with David is that he’s already been established in the Slideshare community. He’s done a lot of the heavy lifting of making connections and getting known because he’s good at what he does. He’s built up a reputation so people pay attention when he creates something.

Don’t underestimate the value of working with someone great. Scan the top creators of Slideshare and find someone whose work you like and see if you can commission them for your project. Not only will their knowledge help you make a better looking presentation, but once it’s made, you’ll have more traction within the community.

Market the heck out of it

Share it with your audience. Share it with people you know. Talk to people who know people and share it with them. If you’ve done your work and made your Slideshare presentation awesome, share it with them and ask their opinion and you’ll make it easy for them to pass it along.

The hidden benefits of Slideshare

The best part of creating content Slideshare is that it’s a whole new audience. Guest posting and interviews can always bring in different amounts of traffic, but it’s often hard to avoid incestuous blogging—blogging to the same audiences that read the same blogs over and over and over.

Slideshare is a whole different medium than blog readers. Similar to podcast listeners, Pinterest users and YouTube users, they’re an entirely different market that may or may not read blogs. By using your content in a different way, you can reach these audiences where they’re at and draw them in.

The flip-side of this is that most of your blog readers have never heard of Slideshare either. So, when you create a killer presentation, it looks incredibly impressive—even if you’re simply repurposing your content into a new arena. It’s a whole new medium with a lot of wide open opportunity, so don’t wait.

Have you used Slideshare yet? Tell us how it went in the comments.

Joel Runyon is the creator of Impossible HQ and the Blog of Impossible Things where he pushes his limits by doing the impossible.  You can follow him on twitter.

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Comments

  1. Kaso says:

    Being in the manufacturing sector I often use PPT for client meetings and there are lots of gems in there we should share. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Cameron says:

    Thanks Joel for introducing me to Slideshare. Great tips too.

  3. Thanks for the tip. I guess I’m a bit behind newest tech. Can’t wait to view the slide you put together. Is there an integration for LinkedIn?

  4. This is a really inspiring piece. I went through the Slideshare example and the imagery also made a light bulb go off on my head. You just need to connect with your audience on a spiritual level and use a quality approach to get in front of a larger audience. Good stuff right here.

  5. Joel Runyon says:

    Thanks for running this Darren!

    If anyone has any additional questions on Slideshare or need a recommendation for a good designer, let me know on twitter @joelrunyon and just ask.

  6. Surminga says:

    Great article, some good tips here and for one I did not realise Slideshare had that much of a benefit. So much potential in Slideshare – ill have to employ it into my online strategy, hope it goes as well as you say it could!

  7. Marius says:

    Good read.
    But I have a question – is it enough to just put your presentation to slideshare or do I need to make any additional promotional material to boost it?

  8. Tracy says:

    Thanks, Joel–this is invaluable information for me! I’m a new blogger (1 month) and I’ve spent the last several days trying to find ways to differentiate and to compete with the many blogs in my niche. I’m going to step out and try this!

  9. I’ve been using Slideshare for a while now to share presentations on LinkedIn and my blog. However, I hadn’t really considered it as a source for delivering traffic to my blog. I’ll have to go back to the drawing board to think about ways that I can apply the tips and tidbits you’ve shared here. Thanks!

  10. Gjivan says:

    Very nice post. I find this method unique and seems to work and i am gonna try for my blog too. But, will the traffic be consistent or one time massivr flow, this is the query in my mind!!!

  11. Richard Ng says:

    Cool!

    I’ve learned about Slideshare sometime back but haven’t try it out yet. I think it’s about time to explore new traffic channel.

    Thanks for the inspiring post.

    Cheers!

  12. Joel, this seems impossible….oh, right. :-)

    You have provided an intriguing traffic generation strategy. I had not heard of slideshare before reading. Slideshows give copious opportunities for suspense and anticipation for the next slide – taking advantage of this would be my strategy.Thank you for sharing your experience.

    ~ Stephen

  13. Ishan says:

    Slideshare? Well, that’s the most unique traffic method I’ve seen in years!

    Your post was good and taught me a few things. I’ll surely be trying Slideshare soon! Thanks for posting this.

  14. Wow that’s an awesome result to drive some serious traffic. I did hear about Slide Share before but haven’t done anything with it yet, I think this is a good wakeup call to take a serious look at the potential and see what I could leverage from the site. Thanks for the great motivational post!

  15. Would you get similar results by using sliderocket? You got me thinking here. Thanks for peaking my curiosity. Miriam

    • I doubt it Miriam, unless you mean creating presentations in SlideRocket and then using them on SlideShare…

      SlideShare is all about presentation visibility and spreading the one’s you create, SlideRocket is a tool to create presentations, much less attention is spent on promotion.

      • Joel Runyon says:

        I would agree with Gregory.

        To make an analogy.
        Sliderocket is like video editing software.

        Slideshare is like youtube.

        You might be able to make a great presentation with sliderocket, but the audience is at slideshare.

  16. Akash says:

    Lately, I have been trying all sorts of ways to drive traffic to various websites of mine. Thanks for the idea, I’ve never even considered doing something like this before. I’m going to head over to Slideshare right now.

  17. Fabulous post…. appreciate these methods

  18. Prince says:

    is it possible to get 2000+views in few days?

  19. Tom says:

    Interesting method for attracting visitors.I was always on the tip of my toes for other means of traffic besides the usual Google. This is something new for me and it’s really big (100000 in a month – that’s really WOW). The next thing is figuring out how slides would help with the niche my blog is in. Creating some how to’s maybe…

  20. But well established site is still important to get this amount of stat.

  21. Interesting method of getting huge amount of traffic to our blogs. Thanks for introducing me to Slideshare.

  22. i don’t think anyone can get so much page views even after you have great content its all about luck..! if big giants can find your content amusing

  23. Brandy says:

    Thanks for the tips! I have seen this site before and thought it would really be great to learn more about it, but now I guess I should set it on a top priority! Cheers.

  24. I’m a little confused . . . are you using this to draw people to your blog, or an a secondary way of getting name recognition and not focused so much on having them come to the blog?

  25. Dr.Srinivas says:

    YouTube has the same effect. Now that this has appeared on problogger we can see more spammers on slideshare as well. :-(

    • David Crandall says:

      You are right that there will be more spammers now. The same thing happened a few months ago when some big name bloggers wrote a few articles about SlideShare being an easy way to get traffic. And while it is technically easy to put something on it, if that something is garbage or designed poorly, then there is no benefit. Thousands of presentations don’t even break the triple digits on views because they aren’t designed with the SlideShare platform in mind.

      If you are going to use SlideShare, watch it for a week or two and make note of the types of things that get featured as well as how they are designed. That’s what I did and my stuff regularly gets featured with tens of thousands of views now. :)

  26. Randall says:

    How much traffic did you get to your website from the this? You got over 100,000 views of this slideshow on slideshare.com, but what kind of referral traffic did you get? And do you know how well the traffic converted?

    Thanks! The presentation itself is great!

  27. Thanks for sharing Joel will definitely check it out :)

  28. This gave me something to look at more closely, as my blog is still very young and I haven’t given this topic a lot of thought. I use Facebook primarily, followed by Pinterest and Twitter. I have contacts on LinkedIn as well. Recently, I started Tumbler and StumbleUpon, just looking for something different. Pinterest is a blast and I’ve made connections there rather quickly.

  29. K says:

    Great article I wish I got so many visitors in a month but my website has only been up for a couple of months so perhaps it needs a few more posts before it gets noticed.

  30. Renee King says:

    Five months ago, I decided on a whim to give Slideshare a try. I uploaded a presentation about my travel site and today I have over 14500 views with absolutely no marketing or social media assistance at all. The only issue is that I’m not sure that it has translated into visitors/conversions for the site. Those high numbers could just be a reflection of other slideshare users’ desire to see examples of how to create the slideshows….it’s nice exposure, but I think that exposure is somewhat confined within the boundaries of that site. http://www.slideshare.net/ReneeAKing/a-view-to-a-thrill-9953473

  31. Ehsan says:

    This is very helpful article. I have tried to make my slideshare presentation but failed. This article really helped me. I will do it as soon as possible, Thanks.

  32. Being in the manufacturing sector I often use PPT for client meetings and there are lots of gems in there we should share. Thanks for the inspiration.

  33. Wayne says:

    This is a valuable insight into the use of Slideshare.

    I have never thought of utilising this tool.

    When I used it, simple presentations is key. No one wants to read too much writing and content.

    Very useful post. Another method in my tool shed :)

  34. I’ve wanted to use Slideshare, but I’m confused – if I don’t use Powerpoint, what do I use? I think I have an idea of what you mean, but I’m not 100% sure.

    I have some great ideas and want to jump in to this new site today.

    Thanks for these tips

    Kimberly

  35. ashish says:

    nice facts u share which help in presentaion but actually what the traffic wants that type of presentaion or write article that’s help to increase the traffic.

  36. Thanks for the article!
    I have one problem, I want the post on my blog to appear when someone searches the keywords related to the post. Unfortunately, the slide share article appears before my blog and some of the visitors don’t end up visiting my blog.