I talked to Neil about his journey as he grew Neilpatel.com from 0 visitors to well over 130,000 unique visitors a month in less than a year, and the struggles that he’s had to overcome along the way.
In this conversation Neil laid out the exact strategy he used on how to promote your blog and consistently grow his traffic by tens of thousands every month to hit his goal of 100,000 unique visitors a month.
From 0 to 137,000 Monthly Visitors
What is the secret to getting to 100,000 monthly visitors? Neil said it best….“The more you write the more of a chance you will rank for something.” ~ Neil Patel
There is a common misconception that blogging is hard, but really it’s easy.Being consistent is the hard part.
Growing traffic is not hard. Being consistent is. That’s the problem with beginners, they try to do everything and then the numbers just don’t pan out.
They spread themselves too thin and you don’t learn anything because you’re doing too many things and then you aren’t able to distinguish what input is cause what output.
Go out there and pump out content. Some content will stick, some won’t, and that’s ok.
You see, the more you put out content the more opportunities you are creating for other people to see your work. The more people see it the more they will link to it and share it. Plain and simple.
Simple Ways To Discover What To Write About
If you don’t know where you are going you will never get anywhere.
So how do you discover which content route to take?
Create content there is a demand for..
Process #1: Past Blog Posts Of Yours
The easiest and fastest way to come up with more ideas for content to produce is to simply look at your past content and see what performed well.
I had no freaking idea what I wanted to blog about, but then it hit me…
I create a post where I asked 30+ HUGE influencers like Guy Kawasaki, Lewis Howes, and Oli Gardner on what their best content promotion tactic was.
The promotion it got brought in over 30,000 visitors in the first month, so I knew people loved learning detailed, actionable marketing tactics from the masters.
Now my content strategy is to interview influencers and get detailed info from them and blog about it… like this post. :)
Process #2: Get Keyword Creative
One of the best tools out there for keywords research is SEMrush. But, more on that in a minute…
I asked Neil, if he were to start over again in reaching you goal of 100K/mo visitors what would you do different?And to be honest, his answer took me by surprise…
Instead of one post a week I would have created more content. I would have put out 4 or 5 a week. Or even 7 a week if possible, and more due diligence on what content is bringing in more traffic in my niche [i.e. what content is successful].
I would have started link building earlier, and last but not least I would have created tools faster. Tools not like the hello bar. tools like y ab testing cal. If I create enough tools I can maybe capture another 100k-200k visitors a month.
What this tells me is I have to have a simple, yet effective solution in place to come up with incredible new keywords on a regular basis.The reason you need a steady flow of keywords is to:
1) Use the keywords themselves to understand your audience’s problems.
2) Discover the language of your audience.
3) Use the keywords to find other successful content in your niche.
What’s the easiest way to come up with new keywords on a regular basis?This is where we go back to SEMrush. It shows you your competitors and what they rank for (already successful keywords and content). Boom!!
When you type in a keyword, it shows you other relevant keywords, and it does this b-e-a-utifully!
Here is an example…
Once you have your list of keywords, you simply enter them into the best free tool out there….
Process #3: Buzzsumo – God’s Gift To Marketers
Buzzsumo is a no brainer.
You need headline ideas?
Insights as to what content is successful in your niche?
A list of people to reach out to?Perfect! Because Buzzsumo has you covered!
It simple. The keywords you discovered from SEMrush, enter them into Buzzsumo and it will show you the best performing content in your niche.
Get Creative And Brainstorm How to Make Your Content Stand Out
This can be really challenging for some people, but Neil gave some incredible ideas to create remarkable content.
I asked him, how does he come up with these creative ideas for these unique posts? Here is what he said….
I brainstorm. I brainstorm with staff members. Like someone challenged me to go to strip clubs and see if I can help these girls make more money not being a stripper. Or my buddy was like ‘hey these girls have a when they’re at a strip club and they say things to guys to try to get money.
Can you actually fine tune their pitch to see if the can make more money?’ And you would measure by how many guys they pitch and how many lap dances they actually give.Some of these things I can’t really do too much cause it would tarnish my reputation.
There’s a fine line. Like when that idea was pitched to me I said that not me. I’m just not a strip club kind of guy, and I’m not judging them. By all means, if someone wants to strip for a living do whatever makes them happy. If a guy wants to go in there, if it makes him happy, they should do it. I just don’t wanna be associated with certain things, or do certain things.
My assistant, Dhaval wanted to start a meditation blog called ZenfulSpirit.com He was talking about the benefits of meditating and how its changed his life, and I told him there was nothing creative about that. So he ended up doing a post about general meditation and I changed his title to ‘How meditating on top of a 61 story building changed my life’. Cause he has, and that’s totally unique.
I told him meditating is hard for me cause I can’t sit still, and he told me I can still meditate if I can’t sit still. So, I told him to write an article about it. It’s titled "8 Different Ways to Meditate (For Those Who Can’t Sit Still)" and it did really well.
He ended up generating over 780 likes. You gotta get creative. You don’t have to have a big social following like it do. I told him I would help him create a popular blog. Cause I can go take his blog (zenfulspirit) or my nutrition blog, and each of these blog should be able to do $200,000 – $300,000 in profit – every month! [Here are some legit ways to monetize your blog] All info products. Info products is how the future of america is learning.
Like I think these are all fun experiments. No one ever talks about this kind of stuff. and that’s what makes me good. Like I have a really good contract with Google. I do all their marketing for Google Adwords. It’s one of the best consulting contracts I have. I got it because they think Im really creative. And thats how you stand out as a blogger too. you wanna get more traffic? You can’t just do the same stuff as everyone else.
1) Write Better Than Everyone Else
Before I talked with Neil I asked my audience if there were any questions they wanted me to ask, and over half of them asked the same question….
How does Neil produce so much content?
Neil used to take days to write a several hundred word post, but now he can pump out 4,000 words in 2 hours and he writes 7 days a week.
Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule states the in order to master a skill,10,000 must be spent honing said skill. The more you write you will see, A) in your analytics what content your audience loves and doesn’t love (email, social, and engagement analytics), B) you will get much quicker at writing posts.
Jeff Goins says the exact same thing, “The secret to building an online platform through a blog is simple: You have to be prolific.”
Start with 250 words a day. That is a very achievable goal, and you can use a free tool like Evernote to use as your online journal.
2) Make Your Content More Through (AKA Longer)
When creating content designed to convert you have to do things that stand out and wow your readers.
Brian Dean of Backlinko.com, after several years of blogging was able to hit his 100,000 month goal by producing EPIC content that floored his readers every.single.time.
One if you look at any of his blog posts you will notice how long the posts are.
This post of his on content strategy has a little over 3,000 words.
Not only is it a huge post, but it has thousands of shares and over 500 comments.
Science even backs up this idea of the longer the content is the more shares you will get.
3) AIDA? It’s Not A Woman’s Name… It’s A Formula For Creating Copy That Converts
There is actually a formula for structuring copy so it gets the highest conversions possible.
i) Attract Attention – There is a ton info on how important the headline is. In fact, 50% of sales and website traffic are lost due to poorly crafted headlines.
The purpose of the headline is to get your readers to read the first sentence. The purpose of the first sentence is to get your readers to read the first paragraph. And so on…
So the importance of getting their attention immediately is very important.
So here are a ver ways to get your reader’s attention:
• Use odd numbers. Odd ones work really well.
• Between 16 and 18 words.
• Be clear. Address the results they will get by applying what’s in the article.
• Use your keywords you discovered in your research.
ii) Trigger Interest with Share Triggers. “Share Triggers“ give your content that “WOW!” factor that turns cold traffic into leads and customers.” ~ Brian Dean
Your article is making a promise that you need to deliver on, and that “WOW!” factor is the is the results you are promising.
Your WOW! factor can be in your headline or in the intro of your post. Either way “you need to create audience or customer personas in order to effectively bridge the gap between where your audience is and what you do, so that your message is relevant.” ~ Neil
iii) Create a desire stronger than the Death Star’s tractor beam – Ok ok I admit it… I love Star Wars.
But seriously, you need to use real world credibility to create desire. Case studies are great at this. Not only do they make you more credible, but they help increase the trust your readers have in you causing them to believe in what you are saying.
I could tell you I can help you build a house (if that was what you were desiring), but if I have never built a house I can’t cause you to desire my help because there is no trust in my ability.
But, on the other hand…
If I told you I could show you how to increase your traffic and then showed you the Google analytics for my site and my all my clients, that would increase my credibility, trust, and desire for my skill set.
Bryan Harris does this perfectly so on his home page.
Who doesn’t want to make $10k in 24 hours?!
And he builds trust by blogging about his real world case studies.
iv) The Call To Action – Noah Kagan discover that most bloggers and marketers fail to effectively create CTA’s.
The simplest and easiest way to get people to do what you want is to straight up ask them.
Derek Halpern does this really really well on a lot of his posts.
This post has 247 comments and well over 2,000 shares!!
If that’s not an effective CTA I don’t know what is.
Epic Content Promotion Campaigns
In the beginning to get a ton of traffic, Neil used one main content promotion method.
It’s simple…Reach out to people who shared a similar piece of content with in the last 2 – 4 weeks.
His first post at NeilPatel.com got over 12,000 visitors!
More on this method in a minute though…
So, of course you have to produce content and then promote it. I asked him “What are your thoughts on the 20% content creation & 80% content promotion rule from Derek Halpern?”
If you only create 32 posts [referencing Brian Dean from another part of the conversation], look how long it took him [Brian Dean] to get to 100k/mo unique visitors (a very long time). Like speed wise – I surpassed him in less than a year.
The idea approach is to combine what I’m doing and what Brian dean is doing [pumping out a ton of content and promoting a ton]. So if you do that you will do really well. The problem is some of the promotion tactics he uses, if you’re cranking out a piece of content every other day, you can’t use his promotion methods.
You can’t keep saying to the same ppl on twitter, “Hey I saw you retweeted something on SEO last week. Can you share mine too?” cause if I write on SEO everyday, I’m going to burn those people out. So, I can do a post on SEO one week and then change it up every week. That way you’re only contacting them once or so a month.
Neil’s #1 Content Promotion Method
To start this formula for sharing your content with other sharers you have to:
• Find pre-qualified sharers
• Find their email
• Send them an email they will want to open
i) Finding Pre-qualified Sharers
A pre-qualified sharer is simply someone who has shared an article in the past on a very similar topic (if not the same topic).
The fastest and easiest is to use Buzzsumo (I told you Buzzsumo was God’s gift to marketers;).
Simply enter in one of the main keywords you discovered earlier in your research into the main search bar.
It will then show you all the articles with that keyword and that have the most shares.
You will then see a button after the headline that says “View Sharers”.
See where this is going?
Find the article that is most relevant to yours. This is very important because in your email to the sharer you are going to ask them to share your post since it is very similar to one they have already shared.
Once you click on the sharers you will see a list of Twitter accounts who shared that article.
You only want to look for and save in a spreadsheet Twitter accounts that have a first name, last name and a non social URL (i.e. like Facebook, Linkedin or something.
The reason for these qualifications is because the tools you will use need a first name, last name and URL to find someones email.
As you are collecting this data be sure to save it in a spreadsheet CONTENT UPGRADE.
But, How Many People Do I Need To Reach Out To?
I asked Neil this same question…
He said, “Every post that I put out now probably zero, but before in the beginning when I was doing it I would reach out to 400 – 500 people for every post.
Now I have found thousands of emails using the following methods, and there a two core strategies that almost never fail (as long as I have the right data).
ii) Finding Emails Like a Freaking Pro
For this first method you will need to download and install Rapportive in your gmail account. It’s free too. :)
Next download the email finding spreadsheet below to help find emails.
Get the Spreadsheet with the other bonuses from this chat with Neil.
What you’re going to do is enter the first name, last name and the URL into the top yellow box in the spreadsheet (the spreadsheet in the link above).
What it’s going to do is populate all the possible combinations of the first and last name @ URL.com.
Now all you are going to do next is simply copy (Windows = control C, or Mac = Command C) all the possible emails into the “To” section when composing a new email in Gmail.
Once you’ve done that, hover over each email and look to the very far right in Gmail. There will be a column for Rapportive, and if one of the emails is valid, Rapportive will show a ton of info about the person.
Now that’s the slower way to find emails… like 3 – 5 minutes per email, and that’s pretty quick for this method.
BUT… I accidentally came up with my own method I’ve never seen anywhere else for finding emails, and it’s blazing fast!
Well, remember Neil said to send out 400 – 500 emails for each post?
I can find 500-ish emails in 3 – 5 hours!!!
Oh, and don’t tell anyone about this method. It’ll be our secret! ;)
Let’s get to it!
iii) Finding Emails Like A Grand Master Jedi
To pull this off you will need two tools.
The first is Buzzsumo (can you guess my favorite marketing tool…. ever?!).
Just like before, type in one of your discovered keywords and find a super relevant article to what your article is about.
And again, click on the “View Sharers” button… but this is where things get changed up.
Once you are one the screen where you can see the sharers, to the top right you will see a dark blue button that says, “Export”. Click it.
It will download for you all the data Buzzsumo has on these sharers and post.
You will only need two columns from the downloaded spreadsheet:
• Name (column ‘I’)
• URL (column ‘J’)
Note: These two colums are in the spreadsheet from Buzzsumo.
Delete all other columns. They are not needed and will just slow you down (at least they slow me down).
What you are going to do now is filter out all Twitter accounts that don’t have a non social URL, first name & last name.
To do this you need to search the spreadsheet for all social networks in the URL column, and delete the whole row.
In the URL section, basically do a ‘Command or Control C’ to search for:
- Myspace (yes ppl still use this)
Go through and delete all of the columns with those names.
Next we need to go through and find all the names that are company names, or names without a first and last name.
Depending on how many you had to begin with you will have anywhere from 100 – 1000 names remaining that have the data we need (first & last name + a non social URL).
Your spreadsheet should looking something like this…
Whew! The hard work is DONE!!!
The last step in this process is going to Toofr.com and letting it find the emails for you using your spreadsheet you just created.
Toofr is a paid service (good prices) and is a COMPLETELY worth it!
Sign in to your dashboard and you will see a green button that says “Please enter valid names” and right below it you will see an “Import” button to upload your spreadsheet. Click it and upload your spreadsheet. :)
Once it’s done it you can download your spreadsheet with all the emails it found. :)
Pretty gnarly, right?!
Does The Quality Of The Twitter Accounts Matter?….
Now some accounts may be fake, or won’t have a lot of followers. Does that matter?
I asked Neil, “When looking to reach out to someone, are there any qualifications you have that someone needs to meet in order for you to contact them?”
“No not really.” ~ Neil Patel
I also asked, “Does it matter the size of their following?”
“No it’s just a numbers game.” ~ Neil Patel
Your Own Personal SHARING ARMY
What if overtime you came out with a new post you had hundreds of people to share your new post? Like… your own personal sharing army!
I asked Neil, “Do you keep every person you reach out to in a rolodex and every time you have a new post on said topic?”
“Yes and it works really well.” ~ Neil Patel
So, if you have a new post, ebook, or course… you have a ‘built’ a sharing army to help drive thousands of visitors every.single.time!!
Neil Patel On Consistency Of Content
As content marketers one of the hardest (if not the HARDEST) thing is staying consistent with putting out content.
I asked Neil. “In your goal of getting to 100k/mo visitors, was there anything that was a challenge to you, that other may not have seen to be challenging?”
Can you guess what he said?
Yeah simply finding the time. As most content marketer will tell you, finding time is the hardest part. Its about consistency. If you slack on producing content, to make up for the drop in traffic if will take you a month or two. For example – If I slack for a month, it will take me three month to makes up for it. Not all blogs experience that cause more their traffic may be coming from google, cause if you’re doing blogging right the majority won’t be from google. It’s split between Google, emails, social media,
Its not that hard to grow traffic. You just have to be consistent. If I didn’t already have a name for myself, no social accounts or emails, I just do the outreach. I write content and go look for people who have already tweeted or shared this kind of stuff, reach out to them and try to convince them to share my stuff. That’s it.
That’s all I would start out with. The model works. Blogging is really effective and if you grow a popular blog you can make a shit load of money. So much so that I’m thinking about selling my house and putting it into my blog… all 3,000,000 of it!
Being consistent with your content/writing can change your entire world!
• One main content type
• One main content platform
• Consistent delivery of valuable content
• Delivery over a long period
This is an amazingly simple and yet, powerful strategy that will propel you to success.
But, I’m Just Getting Started. Will This Work For Me?…
I’m glad you asked because I asked the same thing! I asked, “Is this enough of a strategy for beginners to tackle, or is there something more they should do?”
No that’s it. They shouldn’t do too much. That’s the problem with beginners, they try to do everything and then the numbers just don’t pan out. They spread themselves too thin and you don’t learn anything because you’re doing too many things and then you aren’t able to distinguish what input is cause what output.
Neil’s Final Thoughts
Neil left a few final thoughts…
Go use SEMrush.com and Ahrefs.com and see what is working for competitors. replicate the content (but make yours better). link build. do the social media outreach I was talking about. and that will work really well. Other than that, don’t do anything else until you get the traffic. once you get the traffic you can figure out different ways to monetize, but the traffic is the key.
Here’s What To Do Next
The most important thing you can do to achieve your traffic goals is start gaining momentum by taking action.
Here’s what I want you to do: Neil’s first step in this whole process is to discover what topics to write about based off successful content.
Leave a comment to let me know which process (1, 2, or 3) you are going to use to discover your next topic.
Whether you have a site about photography, DIY, or health and wellness this formula will work for you!
I've got something special for you
To help you implement this strategy (which has got me over 30K visitors at one time) I have a few things for you....
- The private audio chat with Neil Patel . (This chat with Neil won’t be available long)
- The spreadsheets need to execute this strategy
- AND a coupon for the first 3 months of Toofr (my fav email finding service) at 50% off!! (non afl)