Building links and SEO for your ICO

SEO ICOOften overlooked by people doing ICO’s is the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) and creating a reputation in the online world through links and SEO.

The benefits of free traffic to your website through organic search cannot be undervalued. As a online marketing professional  with more than a decade of experience I can honestly say that the purest form of traffic is organic search traffic. This online visitor has found your site through a search query and is interested in your material, has intent and was effectively “free” to acquire.

The reason we use “free” is that nothing is truly free, you need to put a lot of work into getting your website ranked highly on search engines.

Lets go into what it takes and how to do it:

  1. Create interesting rich written content and add relevant pictures that describe this content
  2. Make sure that the technical aspects of the content are correct, H1 tags, meta tags, url’s etc. (see more information by searching for “onsite SEO techniques”).
  3. Create links to this content on social media (Facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube, Instagram, WeChat etc.)
  4. Write blog posts for other platforms and get yourself linked back
  5. Create pages in crypto currency forums for your ICO and link to your pages
  6. List ICO on upcoming ICO link pages

Rinse and repeat and create valuable content that readers want to share with friends and colleagues. Be patient and wait for Google and other search engines to reward you.

Buying paid advertising for ICO’s (Good/Bad)?

Lets start off by saying that buying some exposure for your ICO is not a bad idea but where and how you do this advertising is important.

First lets go into where you would should look to spend money on your ICO:

  1. Listing on ICO upcoming websites
  2. Youtube ICO influencers
  3. ICO news sites
  4. ICO email lists

These channels are not necessarily bad as they are directed at the community of ICO enthusiasts and will not illicit pump and dump tactics as this community is discerning and can go into your ICO by looking at your white paper objectively, your token code, your Github and your teams backgrounds.

What comes across as desperate, spammy, a pump and dump kinds of ICO’s is that of teams promoting heavily on paid advertising. These are usually paid advertising channels on Google, Facebook, Youtube or other advertising networks.

Often these advertising on these channels will be misleading, prey on buyers FOMO (fear of missing out) and try to get token buyers to believe in their legitimacy by putting in legitimate channels or PR references in their video’s and advertising to gain trust.

Many of these businesses are trying to skip the crypto currency community. The crypto currency community takes a long time to build trust. This community requires spending time and giving value back. The alternative is to spending marketing money on a slick advertising campaign that can lure punters into their offering with the promise of get quick returns.

For the record we do not advocate spending to much money on advertising but rather take time to build your network and trust in the community. Find ways to give back and then towards the start of your ICO spend some money to get extra coverage based off an already strong supportive community.

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Where to list your ICO

There are a number of forums and websites that you want to list your ICO in. We have compiled a list to make it easier for you:

 

ICO Alert (www.icoalert.com) English
ICO Tracker (www.icotracker.net) English
Coin Schedule (www.coinschedule.com) English
ICO Countdown (www.icocountdown.com) English
Token Market (tokenmarket.net) English
ICO Bazaar (icobazaar.com) English
TopICOList (www.TopICOList.com) English
Urban Crypto (https://urbancrypto.com) English
Coin.Best (www.bestcoin.com) English
ico365 (China) (https://www.ico365.com/) Mandarin
币众筹 (https://bizhongchou.com/) Mandarin
Crypto Compare Global
Bifabu.com / Ico-list.com Mandarin/
English
wanbizu.com Mandarin
sosobtc.com Mandarin
icolive.com Mandarin
bitejie.net Mandarin
icorating.com English

There are more websites and this list can change all the time.

 

How to do PreICO sales

High NetworthThe PreICO sales of any ICO is really important. It is also a lot more like traditional equity investing sales with 1 on 1 interaction with buyers and traditional pitch decks. Many people tend to want to overlook this part of an ICO and believe if they can create enough PR hype then investors will come to them. This unfortunately does not happen in most cases.

Many tech people are not comfortable doing direct sales, which is largely about story telling and networking to find interested buyers. In most cases tech people are not charismatic or extroverted and prefer to work diligently on their code vs presentation skills and therefore struggle with the PreICO sales process.

Building an all round team makes a lot of sense over just because you plan to do a token sale does not make it okay to overlook the extroverts and sales guys.

Finding the large token buyers

Finding larger token buyers can usually be done by going through brokers, however if you have a good network of friends they can also make introductions to high net worth individuals.

Traditional venture investors could also invest in token offerings as seen in Filecoin or Omisego but this is unusual and not often seen in most ICO’s. Usually your ICO will only get this kind of funding if it has already received venture investment and will be supported by existing community of traditional venture investors.

All investing requires a lot of consensus building and this is why the seed round of investing even before the PreICO can be really important in getting the money for the PreICO.

The idea that large investors will come knocking on your door when you announce your ICO. This is unlikely to happen as investors want personal time and have their questions and any issues addressed.

 

ICO Advisors who do you need?

ICO advisors

One of the things that is fairly unique to ICO’s is the need to have advisors for your ICO.

The reason that advisors are so important is that there is a lack of knowledge in the community around ICO’s and blockchain technology.

Advisors generally fall into two categories, tech advisors and business advisors which are published in the website and white paper. There is also a third group of advisors that work in the background and usually focus on fund raising and preparing the ICO.

The technical advisors are highly prized for tech projects that are still planning to build their projects. These are some of the biggest ICO’s as they often deal with core blockchain problems and are seen as core to the ecosystem.

The business advisors are traditionally used to bring credibility to the project and also help with pre-ico fund raising for their connections to buyers of ICO’s.

The fund raising advisors are more like traditional brokers, they often bring marketing support and investment banking expertise with them.  They often also advise the business on legal structures, white papers, media buying and community building.

Fees around advisors vary widely based on experience, project type and other fees like cash disbursements.

It is traditionally advisable to have at least 1 or 2 technical advisors on your team and some business help around the Pre-ICO fund raising.

How ICO’s raise money

We read about ICO’s raising huge amount of money and wonder where the money comes from.

Lets have a look at some of the prominent big ICO raises:

Money Raised Number of Token Holders Average Investment
FILECOIN $257,000,000 2100 $122,381
EOS $185,000,000 89,306 $2,072
BANCOR $153,000,000 12,832 $11,923
STATUS $90,000,000 41,264 $2,181
TENX $80,000,000 36,242 $2,207

The Filecoin ICO seems like a bit of an anomaly with the average investment being much higher than other ICO’s. Much of this was due to the fact that it had backing from large venture capital investors like, Sequoia Capital, Union Square, Andreessen Horowitz and Winklevoss Capital.

However most ICO’s don’t get support from traditional venture capital and therefore rely on smaller buyers for their funding.

Even though this could lead us to believe that ICO’s could be funded by small buyers, the reality is that ICO’s need to build momentum in their ETH wallets when they open their ICO sales. This is why Pre-ICO sales are so important as a way to build momentum for the  token sales.

The next thing to look at is what an average buyer would actually purchase. In our experience the average buyer is around $200 therefore the $2000 average is really pulled up by “whales” (large buyers) that buy much larger amounts of tokens.

So if you wish to do a successful ICO you need to not overlook Pre-ICO sales and make sure you build momentum going into the public sale.

Why we started Blocks Ventures

Having been serial entrepreneurs we realised that the advent of initial token offerings otherwise known as “initial coin offerings” (ICO) have the ability to shift the way startups raise capital.

There are huge benefits for investors and entrepreneurs in this new funding option.

Investors Benefits:

  • Access to liquidity with tokens vs traditional equity investments
  • Smart token contracts that make tracking business performance transparent
  • Initial token valuations are not as important due to the fact that these are tokens and not equity

Entrepreneurs Benefits:

  • Not having to give away control in order to get capital
  • Raising money without having to worry about valuations

We want to help entrepreneurs with funding, information, networks and our experience in this new and every growing field. In our opinion there is not enough information, experience or guidance in the crypto currency world. We believe that many people are naive about the legal implications around this as well and don’t spend enough time looking at the legal structures, token offerings and legal documentation that is required to do an ICO properly.

Apart from this help we believe that there is significant cost to doing an ICO properly and many businesses have not adequately funded themselves for the costs involved. This is why we would like to provide financing for this and help entrepreneurs get the best results for their ICO’s.

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