We got our first users from creating free coding courses and marketing them through Medium and YouTube. We created top-notch content that we gave away for free, and then we exported it to other formats (like text and video) and allowed other communities with a lot of users to share it for free under their name. This gave a ton of traffic back to us.
This one is interesting. In the beginning, we relied heavily on posting articles to Medium, and especially via popular publications. This gave us a ton of traffic. However, throughout 2018, this channel started to become saturated, and it didn’t move the needle for us anymore.
We then moved onto getting Scrimba screencasts linked to sponsoring open source libraries and providing them with content to their docs, like Vue.js. This is great, for the following reasons:
a) improves their documentation
b) gives us relevant traffic
c) helps the open-source team stay alive
The next path to unlock growth was SEO, as we suddenly started getting enough domain authority to break into the first page on certain queries developers search for when they’re looking to learn new skills. It has grown from almost nothing to almost a quarter of our traffic now, and we’ve started investing time into understanding keywords better, e.g. figuring out which keywords we should try to rank for and which one we should ignore (either due to too little traffic, or too much competition).
YouTube has been an important driver all along, and it continues to be.
We encourage people heavily to thank the creator of the screencasts on Twitter. This has been great, as it makes the teachers and students connect better, which hopefully makes the students come back, and motivates the teachers to create more content.
We also have a Spectrum community where our users can talk with us and talk with each other.
Focusing on the right keywords to target.
For example, our ES6 course might have link juice to rank on the first page for a popular query like “es6 tutorial”. If so, we’ll aim for it.
However, our CSS course might not have enough link juice to break into the first page of “css tutorial” (popular search phrase), but it might have enough juice to rank for something like “learn css” (less popular phrase, but still with some amount of traffic). In which case, we’ll aim for “es6 tutorial” for our ES6 course and “learn css” for our CSS course.
This has helped us a lot. Essentially, it’s about understanding where you have a chance and where you don’t have a chance, and where it’s not worth competing at all.
Content marketing has been one of the most important drivers for our growth. It’s what got us off the ground. This is natural though, as Scrimba is a tool for creating learning content for developers.
We’re trying to squeeze as much as we can out of our content. When we have a create Scrimba tutorial, we’ll often times export it to video and share it on YouTube, and also write it out as a text-based tutorial and publish it as wide as we can. This way, we’re getting much more traffic and links back to the original tutorial.