🥾 How To Bootstrap To 7 Million
Everyone knows Grammarly, the grammar checker that makes all of us seem like seasoned English professors.
But here’s what most don’t know…
Grammarly was a bootstrap company that made it to 7 million DAILY users in its first 8 years.
As of 2021, Grammarly is valued at $13 billion.
Today, I’ll break down how they did it, so you can do it too:
☠️ Differentiate Or Die
Lucky for Grammarly, their target audience is anyone who speaks English and types.
Unluck for Grammarly, they started as a small fish in a big sea.
Grammarly had no way to compete with major grammar tools like Microsoft Grammar Checker. The only way to survive was to be one of a kind.
So, Grammarly became a Chrome extension. Now, instead of only being accessible in a specific writing doc like every other tool, it checks your grammar everywhere.
Text messages, emails, social media, you name it. If you’re typing, Grammarly is there.
This is what we call ‘differentiation’. It’s changing your business to separate yourself from your competition.
And as a result, getting rid of all competitors.
Is this what got them to 7 million daily users? Not completely.
But without a reason to choose Grammarly over other checkers, they wouldn’t stand a chance.
So when you can’t win in their game, play your own.
🤝 Brought To You By Invideo
Imagine having a co-pilot to create videos - that's invideo AI.
Transform your ideas into stunning visuals, instantly. Instruct the AI with text commands and get a ready-to-use video, including script, stock media, voiceover, and captions.
Make edits and adjustments with simple text prompts. Creation just got 100x easier for content creators, YouTubers, and marketers.
🤫 The Secret To Free Growth
This is the meat and potatoes of Grammarly’s growth. To put it simply, Gammarly is kicking a** and taking names with their content game.
First, let’s start with their YouTube.
Grammarly’s YouTube channel is jam-packed with funny writing tips that people can practically use and ads that people watch just because they’re funny.
Right now, they have over 206K subs and 4 billion views.
They also do this on their Grammarly Blog where they write about content professionals and students care about.
Each blog answers a question their target audience has. This not only solves a pain point but also paints Grammarly as an authority on grammar.
Dollar Shave Club does something similar (another bootstrapped company) by making a series of blogs and YouTube videos answering common shaving questions.
Finally (and my personal favorite) Grammarly has a huge audience on Facebook.
Most of their Facebook posts don’t mention Grammarly. Instead, they post memes and quotes that their audience likes.
Here’s one with 3.2K likes, 540 shares, and 101 comments.
The play: Grammarly is not posting content to directly push their product. Instead, they’re posting content that relates heavily to their audience while staying within the realm of communication.
This builds goodwill and brings a lot of attention to your product as people sift through your content.
In 2023, your business is only as good as your content. This is where most companies go wrong.
🔎 Grammarly’s Google Hack
Now here’s what you don’t want to hear…
Having a great product and writing killer content won’t get you 100% of the way.
Because if your audience can’t find you, no one will see you.
That’s why Grammarly has put a lot of effort into its SEO rank.
The higher your SEO rank, the more people will find you on Google when they search terms related to your niche.
To start out, Grammarly didn’t have the resources to hire an SEO consultant. So they had to do it all in-house.
In the last month, Grammarly had over 61.9 million website visits.
They pulled this off in 3 ways:
#1 - Posting Articles For Misspelled Words
For example, here’s what happens when I search “everyone vs every one”
Not only are the articles helpful, but the search competition for a misspelled word is low.
In 2020, Grammarly ranked #1 for the keyword “nevermind”
#2 - Building Website Authority
Gammarly convinced education and government websites to reference Grammarly on their website. Since Grammarly helps students and state employees write professionally, it was a no-brainer.
Domains with .gov or .edu have high trust with Google. So Grammarly was able to leverage the goodwill of those established websites to boost their ranking.
Grammarly went to sites that students use like essay writers, and offered them an affiliate. All the site had to do was post a link to the Grammarly website and a CTA.
Not only did this drive sales, but it showed Google that Grammarly was in the niche of communication. Now Google knows to show Grammarly to anyone searching in those niches.