Case Study: Dumbest Idea To Grow A Website
I like playing Teamfight Tactics, an “autochess” game released by Riot Games a few months ago. At first, I played it casually but I started climbing the ranked ladder quickly. Before I knew it, I was top 1000 NA, and then top 500, and at some point top 300. The higher I climbed, the more addicted I was and the more time I sank into the game. When I spend so much time on something, I like to channel the addiction into a productive venture. That’s why I built StoreOfValueBlog.com when I was learning about cryptocurrencies, and why I built SmashVODs.tv when I played Smash. For TFT, I built AutochessTV.com. However, I had to sunset the website in favor of TwitchHighlights.tv, but there was no way I would stop doing stuff for TFT… I’m hopelessly addicted. As such, inspired by articles posted on /r/CompetitiveTFT, I recently started a TFT blog called TFTeacher.com.
The crux of building websites is getting consistent and cheap (i.e. free) traffic. Without traffic, a website is useless. With traffic, it’s a gold mine. Attention is a highly valuable commodity (e.g. Facebook charges about $7 per 1000 ad impressions and $1 per ad click). Competition is fierce and it’s a monumental task building a consistent traffic source.
Google’s search engine is the best traffic source. Ranking highly on popular search terms translates to a huge amount of consistent and free traffic. Unfortunately, securing Google search traffic is very competitive, mostly because there’s usually only one first page for a Google search term. You need to do very creative things to win. If you don’t, someone else will and your links get pushed down.
I’ve done some very unconventional stuff to grow TwitchQuotes.com and StoreOfValueBlog.com. TwitchQuotes.com now ranks 1st and 2nd for the search term “copypastas”.
For TFTeacher.com, I had the dumbest idea.
Instead of just posting articles to Reddit to grow the blog’s Google search rank, why not create a TFT account with the website’s URL as its username, climb TFT’s ranked ladder, and get into games with popular high elo TFT streamers? It
sounds is dumb… I’ve never seen anyone advertise a website with their username, only their Twitch streams. But it wasn’t dumb enough to dissuade me from trying.
So I did. I created an account called TFTEACHERºCOM and started climbing ranked. A couple days in, I managed to get into a series of 3 games with Scarra, the top TFT streamer on Twitch. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Not only did TFTeacher.com get a decent amount of visitors during the games, there were also unexpected transient effects. Scarra uploaded one of the games with TFTEACHERºCOM to YouTube and the website continues to get nontrivial steady-state traffic.
This was not only an interesting exercise to find an unconventionally effective way to drive traffic to a website, it was also a fun experience. TFTEACHERºCOM was in 3 of Scarra’s games on-stream. He had about 7k concurrent viewers during that time. For the sake of experimenting with advertising TFTeacher.com, I tried to be memorable (without passing the fine line of being annoying) in in-game chat. It was also helpful that in one game, Scarra and I were the last two players alive and I was able to eke out a win. The final moments of that game gave the TFTEACHERºCOM username significant airtime and attention. In another game, DisguisedToast (another large TFT streamer), who was in voice chat with Scarra, commented on my username on stream. Toast mentioned something about the top player in the lobby shilling a website with his username… TRUE.
Reception to TFTEACHERºCOM’s appearance on stream was varied but generally positive. Some people laughed at the stupid joke I always make in in-game chat, some people thought it was cringe. It doesn’t matter, as long as it wasn’t too annoying, I want the memorability. Here’s an example of Scarra’s chat at the end of a game I won. Someone said “TFTEACHER SENPAI”, another person said “that teacher was op”, and someone else said “no one go to that website. it’s cringe”. My favorite chat message is definitely “imagine shilling your website LUL”.
Last night, I was matched with another large TFT streamer (Keane) and one of the players in the game mentioned that they saw me on Scarra’s YouTube video. I told the same Twisted Fate joke again and I was told to get a new joke.
Why did Twisted Fate get deported? Because he doesn’t have a green card.