Adam Smith

Online Marketing Strategy: The Early Bird Catches the Worm

By: Adam Smith | June 11, 2013 | 

Early Bird Catches the Worm By far, the best online marketing strategy is being able to seize a new opportunity before any of your competitors have a clue what’s going on.

But it’s not just about setting yourself up to be the early bird. You have to be ready to catch the worm and ride the wave of popularity at its peak.

This will enable your blog, service, or product to enjoy rapid growth, and hopefully a higher level of repeat business in the long term.

Catching the Worm

I used to play a lot of tabletop wargames a few years back, and set up a number of BlogSpots with the intention of making money through affiliate schemes and Google AdSense.

One of these was a Partial Match Domain targeting the search term “Space Wolves,” historically one of the most popular product ranges for a well-known game.

When creating this website, (which was going to be a complete resource with loads of how to guides and other evergreen content) I knew the product range was going to be re-released in six months’ time from various rumours. That gave me time to get it to the top of Google for my target search term.



The Red line indicates the spike in search for the product range when pictures were first leaked in September. The following six months, I was busy writing all sorts of evergreen content, creating a resource for this product range.

Because so many people had found the website while the topic was trending, they knew where to come back to in the future for all the support they needed once they’d invested in the new product range.

As you can see, the more content I wrote (all search engine optimized of course), the more traffic I got. And thankfully the affiliate and AdSense earnings were roughly proportional.

You can read a more in depth case study about this blog here.

The Worm that Got Away

Of course, this wasn’t the only BlogSpot I’d created. I had a few ready and waiting, because it takes approximately five years for each product range to be relaunched.

However, this next one ‘exchanged hands,’ for lack of a better word, to tie in with the BlogSpot terms and conditions. This guy was eager to take over a blog with quite a bit of content, in anticipation for the product range to trend.

Unfortunately, he let the worm get away.

Catch the Worm

You can see how the traffic fluctuates as the new product range photos are leaked and then the range becomes available to purchase.

Unfortunately, it was only at the start of this month the new webmaster started writing fresh content, and set about getting a team together to meet the needs of his readers – who seem to have gone elsewhere.

Ride the Wave

This is just one example of how you can use your insider knowledge about an industry to become an early bird and succeed in catching the worm. But you’ve got to have a plan in place to ‘ride the wave’ immediately following the massed exposure of your website.

And you don’t necessarily need a blog with loads of supporting content. You may just need a nice product page and product review blog post on an ecommerce site for example.

Obviously, you’ll use your blogger connections, online communities and other forms of link gathering to share your exclusive content or helpful resources.

Why spend loads of time and effort fighting for something you could have snatched from under your competitor’s noses six months before they were even aware of it? Devise an online marketing strategy that allows you to be the early bird, and catch the worm. Just don’t let it get away once it’s caught.

About Adam Smith

Adam Smith leads a life of swashbuckling adventure in the digital spaces as an SEO, copywriter and internet marketeer by bringing a fresh and creative approach to any project. Track him down on Twitter and Google+.

  • Jillian Paige

    you’re asking a lot, guys.

    • adammbsmith

      @Jillian Paige I’m only saying that marketers need to be knowledgeable about the niche they’re working on – or more importantly, the niche their clients are in and to have industry knowledge and foresight. After all, you don’t need to build a whole resource. You can do this kind of stuff with product previews, blog posts and pre order pages.

  • Hey Adam – I don’t know if you’re a Seinfeld fan, but this reminds me of the episode where Jerry and Elaine both try to steal away half of a couple that broke up temporarily. As Jerry notes “first, we’ll say “I’m there for you and then eventually we’ll remove ‘for you’ and we’ll just be there”
    I think to some extent what you’re suggesting is difficult for people to understand for a couple of reasons:  1) it’s hard work 2) it requires real thought and vision
    But that’s what this new world of social business is about, so your example is crucial. Clearly, Gini and her team understand it. But, let’s be honest not many do. A whole heck of a lot of people are fine with selling people things they don’t need or want, and/or telling their customers how to purchase, act or communicate. Aaaand, rant over. (but great post. top notch stuff).

    • adammbsmith

      JoeCardillo Hey Joe, this can be a tough one to pitch to a client, especially with the amount of time it takes, so it’s better to do this stuff in house if you can and put in an extra hour here or there to build it up.
      Although you can do similar ‘early bird’ tricks with product previews, pre orders and such which a client should be happy to try, because it takes minimal effort, just a bit of insider industry knowledge.

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  • Juliwilson789

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  • Millabrain

    I have subscribed
    to your rss feed which really should do the trick! Have a nice day!