Tag Archives: General

How to Get More Sales From Your Mobile Visitors

Over the next few years, most of your traffic growth will come from mobile devices. Mobile is becoming so important that Google is making algorithm changes based on mobile device usage.

But what you’ll notice as your traffic increases from mobile is that your conversions and sales won’t increase as fast. Why? Because your website isn’t set up for mobile conversions.

In order to help you grow, I’ve created an infographic that will teach you how to get more sales from your mobile visitors.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

How to Get More Sales From Your Mobile Visitors

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


Increasing your mobile conversions isn’t difficult. From making your phone number clickable to speeding up your load time and adding a call to action above the fold, it’s the little things that will impact your sales.

How else can you improve your mobile sales?

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How KISSmetrics Grew to 793,858 Visitors a Month by Using One Simple Formula

seo traffic

What if I told you that you can grow a blog to 100,000 plus visitors a month without even blogging.

It sounds crazy, right?

Both the KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg blogs receive well over 100,000 visitors a month each, and I didn’t even have to write one blog post to hit those traffic goals.

Sure, I now blog on both of those properties for fun, but it wasn’t the main source of traffic initially. So, how do you get to 100,000 visitors a month without blogging?

Well, you have to hire writers. Here is the process you should use to find writers who will not only write content but also promote it and make your blog popular. 

Where do you find writers?

I’ve tested out a few places to find writers such as Elance, oDesk, Craigslist, and Problogger. Out of the places I’ve tested, Problogger and Craigslist tend to provide the best writers in that order.

When looking for writers, you have to be very specific. If you aren’t, you will be wasting your time digging through a pile of applicants.

The tricky part about this is that if your job description is too long, people won’t read it, and we’ll just apply. Your goal should be to balance length with specificity.

Here are the main things you need to cover within your job posting:

  • Subject matter – the type of content you want people to produce.
  • Length – business-based posts should be anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 words depending on your niche. Consumer-facing posts should be fewer than 2,000 words—ideally, under 1,000 words.
  • Tone – do you want your content to sound research-oriented, casual, conversational, etc.? Typically, conversational type of posts perform the best.
  • Examples – send two examples of posts within your industry that you like. If you can’t find any in your industry, find some in any related industry.
  • Purpose – whether you want your content to be humorous or informative, you have to state this to potential writers.

When posting an ad on Problogger or Craigslist, you should consider using an ad similar to this one:

ABC.com is looking for a writer who can talk about sales / crm / motivation in the workplace, business management, increasing revenue, etc.


  • Be able to write in a conversational tone
  • Produce informative posts
  • Have personable writing style

Here is an example of two articles with the style of writing we are looking for:

  • example1.com
  • example2.com

We want blog posts written with 1,500-2,000 words.

Please send at least two articles you feel are closest to the writing style we like. If you don’t have any but are certain you can write in that style, send a paragraph within your email using the tone we are looking for :)

Once your job postings go live, you’ll receive 100 plus applicants. Just make sure you release the posting on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Releasing it on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday will usually result in 15 to 20% fewer applicants.

How do you evaluate writers?

Now that you have a list of applicants, you first want to read their emails. If you notice any grammar or spelling errors within the emails, don’t bother reading their examples. Just cross them off your list.

Why? If they weren’t thorough enough to double-check their emails, they won’t be detail-oriented when creating content for your blog.

For the applicants that have a well-written email, read the first few paragraphs of the examples they included. When reading the first few paragraphs, look for:

  • Conversational tone – the use of the words “you” and “I.”
  • Personality – no one wants to read dry content.
  • Fluff – no one wants to read fluff.
  • Facts – if the writer is making claims, he or she should be linking to sources that back up what the writer is stating.
  • Short paragraphs – ideally, paragraphs should be no longer than 5 or 6 lines.
  • Formatting – if their posts aren’t formatted well, people will have a hard time reading the content.
  • Pictures – each post should start off with an image.

Now that you have narrowed down your list of potentially qualified writers, go back and read the whole blog posts that they linked you to. You should now look for:

  • Subheadings – using them makes content easier to read and skim.
  • Italicizing and bolding – doing these two things to certain words throughout a post makes it easier to read.
  • External links – posts with dozens of relevant external links tend to get shared more on the social web by the website owners you are linking to.
  • Media – pictures, audio, and video are powerful. Not everyone enjoys reading text. If the writer is using media throughout the post, it’s a good sign.
  • Conclusion – wrapping up the post makes it easier for people to digest the information provided.
  • Question – at the end of the post, there should be a question posed to the readers. This will help increase the number of comments generated by your posts.

Most writers won’t meet all of these requirements. But the ones that meet 80% or so are usually going to do a good job.

How much should you pay writers?

If you noticed, I didn’t mention the pay within the job posting. That’s because each writer is willing to work for different amounts.

If your number is too low, you will get little to no applicants. If you price it too high, the quotes you will receive will be too high.

By not including a price, you can ask each writer what they will accept. From there, you can negotiate with them and get their prices down.

Typically, expect to spend $100 to $200 per post. I know that may sound expensive, but good content is. If you are paying less, you’ll see that the quality won’t be as high.

If you are on a budget, consider buying less content until you have a larger budget. But don’t skimp on quality. It’s better to pay for one really good blog post than it is to pay for 10 mediocre posts.

Your first blog post

Now that you have hired your first writer, you’ll want him or her to submit 5 to 10 headline ideas. From there, you can either adjust the headlines or just pick the one that is most appealing to you.

Once you have decided what you’ll want your writer to write about, have the writer create an outline.

The outline should consist of:

  • Introduction – the whole introductory paragraph(s) should be fully written.
  • Body – they should put the main points that will be discussed throughout the body into a bulleted list.
  • Conclusion – the conclusion should end with a question posed to the readers.

If you don’t like the outline or any specific element of it, give the writer feedback and have him or her continually adjust it until you are happy. Once you are happy, you can then have the writer write the post.

Once your writer finishes writing the post, provide more detailed feedback on what you like and dislike.

The whole purpose of this process is to be so picky with the writer that he or she will learn what you like and don’t like. Eventually, the writer will know what you want without much involvement from you.


If the writer has included images, make sure they are screenshots, royalty-free images, or ones that were purchased. In other words, make sure you don’t get sued for using the images.

I’ve been stuck in situations where writers used images that they weren’t supposed to, and we published the content. We later got a legal letter from stock photography sites like Getty Images that not only demanded that we take down the image but pay them for the prior use of the image.

This has cost me thousands of dollars over the years, which is why I am very picky about what images can or can’t be used.


As I mentioned in one of the requirements above, the writer should be linking out to sites—dozens, if not over a hundred, to be specific. A good rule of thumb is to add external links only when it makes sense for the reader. Ideally, you should be shooting for 25 external links for every 1,000 words of content you are writing.

I know I don’t follow this rule for Quick Sprout, but it is because the blog is already popular. On my new blog, NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that I have at least 100 external links per post.


Because I usually email out each of the sites I linked to with the following email:

Subject: I mentioned [insert their site name] in my latest post

Hey [insert their name],

I just wanted to let you know I am a huge fan of your work. I like it so much that I actually linked to [insert their website] within my latest blog post.

[Insert your blog post URL]

I would be honored if you checked it out. And if you love it, feel free to share it on the social web.

Your fan,

[Insert your name]

By doing this, you’ll gain social shares and eventually build up a large enough audience that can be leveraged to promote future posts.


The process I’ve outlined above works so well that combined, the Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics blogs generated well over a million visitors a month.

Just look at the NeilPatel.com blog. You’ll see how much traffic it has received, which isn’t too bad considering that the blog is fairly new.

So, how else can you grow your blog without having to write content?



How to Generate $1,000,000 from Your Blog

money results

Have you been wondering how I will monetize the nutrition blog? Getting to $100,000 a month is a difficult task. Surely, I have something up my sleeve, right?

Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have no clue how I am going to make money from the blog.

That doesn’t mean I won’t hit my target as I am pretty confident that I will. But monetizing a blog, or any business for that matter, doesn’t work the way most people think.

Here’s what I’ve learned about monetizing blogs over the last ten years… 

You can’t make money without the traffic

When I first started blogging about nine years ago, I tried to make money right away. There’s nothing wrong with that… but I quickly learned that it just doesn’t work.


Because if no one is coming to your blog, you won’t have any traffic to monetize.

So the first step in trying to achieve a large revenue stream is to build up your traffic. In the B2B niche, where blogs appeal to other businesses, kind of like Quick Sprout and Backlinko, you can make $80,000 to $100,000 a month for every 100,000 unique visitors you have every month.

You won’t see those revenue numbers right away as it typically takes a year of hitting those traffic numbers to see your revenue climb that high. Why? Because you don’t make money from people visiting your blog.

You make money only when someone visits your blog, provides you with their email, and then buys something from you through email.

The bigger your email list gets, the easier it is to make money. If you are generating 100,000 visitors a month, you can usually collect 5,000 plus emails. As long as you offer bonus content through plugins such as Thrive and add email collection methods through bars, popups, sliders, and takeovers, you should be able to hit a 5% visitor to email subscriber conversion rate.

In the B2C niche, with blogs similar to the nutrition blog, you’ll have to generate more traffic to generate that kind of revenue. Consumers typically don’t have the same buying power as businesses. They are much more price sensitive.

In most consumer niches, you need to generate roughly 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 visitors a month to start seeing numbers like $100,000 a month in income. This is at least what I’ve seen by working with dozens of blogs in the consumer niche over the years.

Unlike from B2B blogs, you can make money from consumer blogs by just pushing people directly to a product or a service that they can purchase. Sure, collecting emails is still very effective, and you can sell to people on your email list, but assuming your price points are low enough, you can also do a straight sell by pointing people directly to a product landing page.

Why do you need all those visitors?

What most people don’t realize about monetizing blogs is that if you have 100,000 visitors coming to your site each month, you can’t expect 1% or even 0.5% of those people to buy.

What you need to look at is the number of people who are visiting the landing page that contains your offer. If you are lucky, 1% to 4% of those visitors will purchase.

In some cases, you can get that percentage up to 6% or even 8%, but that usually means your offer on the front is irresistibly attractive and very affordable. In that case, you won’t be generating much profit from that specific offer, but you can add in upsells and downsells, which is where you will make the majority of your income.

Do upsells and downsells really work?

You will never maximize your income unless you have good upsells and downsells. I’ve mentioned this in the past… Unleash Your Thin was able to double its average order size by adding 3 upsells after its main product offer.

Let’s assume that the main product you are selling is $97. Here is a formula you can use to grow your revenue:

  • Upsell 1: Offer a speedy upsell for roughly 3 times the price of the original product. The speedy upsell has to help the customer achieve the results and benefits of the original product they bought. If the original product was sold for $97, the first upsell would be sold for around $297.
  • Upsell 2: Whether the customer purchases the first upsell or not, the second one should also be related to the product. The cost for the product should be about 2/3 of the value of the original purchase. In this case, the second upsell would be priced around $67.
  • Upsell 3: The last upsell should also be one that complements the original product. I would make it roughly 150% of the price of the original product. In this example, it would be priced at about $147. Again, this upsell would be offered whether the customer purchased or declined the previous upells.

Beach Body, the creator of P90X and Insanity, has also done well by adding in upsells. It currently does a billion dollars a year in revenue. If it didn’t add 7 upsells at the end of each product purchase, its  front end revenue would be cut in half.

If you don’t have products to upsell or downsell, that’s fine. You can upsell other people’s products just like GoDaddy does. Whenever you check out on GoDaddy, you see offers such as website creation services or SEO, which are not always provided by GoDaddy but rather by a third party.

What about ads?

Ads are typically the worst way you can monetize your traffic. If someone is willing to advertise on your website over the long haul, it means they are making money from you.

Just think about it. If you bought an ad on someone’s blog for $1,000 a month, you’d better be making way more than $1,000, right?

Don’t get me wrong—you can still make money by placing ads on your blog, but it isn’t the best way to generate income. From what I have seen in the B2B niche, if you have 100,000 visitors a month, you’ll be lucky to generate $5,000 a month in ad revenue.

In the B2C niche, if you have over 1,000,000 visitors a month, you will be lucky to generate $20,000 a month in income.

If you really want to hit 6 figures a month in income, you have to sell your own product or service. Or you have to white-label someone else’s products or services and sell those.

So what’s the plan with the nutrition blog?

To be frank, I don’t know the exact method I am going to use to achieve $100,000 a month in income. But I do have a rough idea about what I’m not going to do and what I am going to test out.

Let’s start off with the methods I don’t think will work well:

  • Affiliate products – a portion of the site’s revenue may come from affiliate offers every once in a while, but I don’t see it as the main source of income. The main reason for that is that if you white-labeled a product or created your own, you would make more money than if you took in an affiliate rake.
  • Ads – at the beginning, you may see some income coming from ads to help pay for other content types such as infographics, but it won’t be the main source of income. Why? Because you need way too much traffic to generate $100,000 a month in ad revenue, and I don’t think I can get the blog to that traffic level in 12 months.

Now, let’s go over some of the methods I think will help me hit $100,000 in income:

  • Digital products – ebooks are a great source of revenue. I’ve sold ebooks on Quick Sprout before, and it isn’t hard to generate $100,000 a month in income if you have enough traffic. Quick Sprout is in the B2B vertical, so it is easier to charge more money for an ebook compared to the nutrition space. Nonetheless, Mike will eventually create ebooks for the nutrition blog.
  • Subscription services – in any business, it’s easier to keep your customers than it is to acquire new ones. For that reason, we will be coming up with subscription services where people can pay a monthly fee for something. I don’t know if that “something” will be a tangible product or a digital product, but there will be a subscription revenue model if I can help it.
  • Physical products – from what I have seen in the health space, your conversion rates go up by 300% to 700% when you sell products that get mailed to people. Due to cost, we won’t be able to produce our own products at first. But what we can do is work out a deal with someone else and white-label their products. Eventually, we can create our own once we have cash in the bank.

In addition to those 3 ways of monetizing, there will be upsells and downsells added to each product line. Without that, I don’t see the blog hitting $100,000 in income within 12 months.


When you start your business, your original idea about how you will make money usually isn’t the one that generates you the cash. Over time, things change, and you learn more… that’s when you have to pivot and keep adapting.

As for the nutrition blog, I have a few ideas, as discussed above, about how income will be generated. But I am not 100% sure about my path as things can change. I may learn something new as I have never created a B2C company.

One thing I know for certain is that you can’t generate income without traffic. For that reason, I will be focusing purely on traffic generation over the next three months. Sure, I may throw ads on the nutrition blog during that time to help generate some income, but I don’t see the ad revenue taking the blog to $100,000 a month in revenue.

So, how do you monetize your blog and website?

P.S. Some of you want me to blog about the nutrition blog challenge so you can continually learn from it, while others want me to blog about it only after the 12 months are up so that I wouldn’t be able to leverage Quick Sprout to grow it. 

As middle ground, I’ve decided to blog about this topic throughout the challenge so you can learn as I learn, but I won’t be linking to it from Quick Sprout to avoid skewing the traffic, at least to some degree.

How to Be More Productive on Social Media

Did you know that on average, you spend 3.6 hours a day on social media sites? That’s roughly 25% of the time you’re awake.

Although social sites like Facebook and Twitter are great, don’t you think spending 3.6 hours is a bit too much? In order to help you cut back on the number of hours you are spending on social sites, I’ve created an infographic that will teach you how to be more productive on the social web.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

How to Be More Productive On Social Media

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


You don’t have to spend hours a day on the social web to get great results. If you follow the tips and tricks within the infographic, you will become more efficient.

Just look at my social profiles. I’ve built them up over the years, and they are very effective at driving traffic. To top it off, I’ve accomplished this by spending only an hour a day on social media sites.

In what other ways can you be more productive on social media?

P.S. If you need help getting more traffic from social media, check this out.

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Is It Worth Speaking at Conferences?


Can you guess how many conferences I have spoken at during my career? A whopping 239.

That’s a lot considering I’m only 30 years old.

So, I thought it would be interesting to go over whether it’s worth speaking at conferences from a business, marketing, and financial point of view. Here’s what I learned by speaking at 239 conferences:

Most conferences won’t be worth your time

If you haven’t spoken at a conference before, you’ll have to start somewhere. That means you’ll have to accept whatever speaking gigs you can get. But once you’ve spoken at a handful of conferences, you can start being a bit more picky about which ones you accept.

Over the years, I’ve learned one simple thing: blogging gives you a much better ROI than speaking at conferences. Why? Because you can reach thousands of people by writing one blog post, which will keep bringing in new readers and potential customers.

When you speak at a conference, only the people who come to your presentation will hear your speech, unless your video goes online too. Even if it does, the chances of it going viral on YouTube are slim to none.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak at conferences. Instead, you should just be a bit picky about which events you choose. Ideally, you should only be speaking at single track events. That way, all of the attendees only have one option…to attend your event.

If you are speaking at multiple track events, make sure the event is large enough for you to have at least 500 people attending your session. When you deal with smaller rooms, your odds of generating business go down.

What’s the benefit of speaking at conferences?

The biggest benefit of speaking is that you can get people to buy your services or products. In general, you’ll make these sales by giving a good speech and showing that you and the company you represent are smart.

Now, you can’t just pitch your product from the stage as that will come across as salesy. But if you give great information that is also related to your business, a portion of the room will be interested in your offerings.

Other than the potential sales, the other huge benefit is personal branding. Just like blogging can be great for your brand, so can conferences. Why? Because people get to see and interact with you.

For example, I’m writing this blog post while flying back from an event in Romania. Not only did I increase my personal brand with the local entrepreneurs and marketers in Romania, but I got to meet many of them. We took pictures together; we had some drinks; and we even partied.

If you want to build a strong personal brand from speaking at conferences, you have to network with attendees. You can’t just show up for your speaking slot and leave. You have to be there for a large portion of the time and go to events that are both during the conference and after the conference (such as scheduled conference parties).

By going to all of the conference functions, I found myself literally taking over 50 pictures with attendees. Many of these attendees posted pictures online, which, of course, helps grow my brand.

What kind of events should you attend?

Through experience, I’ve learned what kind of events you should attend to generate income and which ones to avoid.

If you are in a new sector, industry-based conferences will convert well. You’ll generate sales from them, but with time, they will get saturated as you’ll see a lot of your competitors showing up there.

In the long run, you’ll find that they drive little to no revenue.

Does this mean you should stop attending or speaking at them? Of course not! They are still great to attend or speak at as it helps you keep your pulse on the industry.

Over time, what you’ll find is that there are other conferences in different sectors that you can potentially speak at. These events will have fewer competitors, and they’ll typically generate the most income for you.

For example, I am a marketer. Speaking at a marketing conference won’t generate as much income as if I spoke at a health conference about marketing.

If I look at all the events I’ve spoken at, the one I made most of my money from is CAP Euro. While there, I spoke about marketing at a gambling event. One of the online casinos then hired me at a rate of $100,000 a month.

Are conferences financially rewarding?

As you can see from the above example, they are. Plus, I wouldn’t have spoken at over 200 events if I couldn’t justify it.

In addition to generating income from selling your products or services, you can also generate income from speaking fees.

Once you speak at over 50 events, you’ll find that people will start inviting you to speak. And they’ll actually give you money to do that.

I’m not the highest paid speaker, but I charge $20,000 an hour for speaking plus business class airfare, hotel accommodations, and food. That’s not too bad considering that I also generate income from these events by selling my products and services.

Generally, you’ll make a lot more money from selling products and services, but if you can also get paid to speak, why not take it?

If you want to make money from conferences, keep in mind that it’s a hit-or-miss when it comes to getting business from events. But like most things, it is a numbers game, and if you do it in sufficient enough quantities, it will work out.


Speaking at events is well worth it in my mind. Sure, it isn’t as effective as blogging, but if you combine both efforts, you’ll find that it will help grow your company and personal brand at a faster pace.

You just have to be patient when it comes to generating income. When you first start out, the events you speak at won’t be the most ideal, and you probably won’t be the best speaker.

Over time, you’ll see a transformation in your speaking abilities, and as you improve, you’ll obtain much better speaking slots.

So, are you going to start speaking at events?

P.S.: If you are interested in having me speak at a conference or to your company, feel free to reach out to me.

How I’m Going to Achieve the $100k a Month Challenge without Using My Name


Last week I posted about my setback on the $100,000 challenge. Some of you were happy with the results so far, while others were disappointed about how much money I was spending.

In addition, most of you didn’t want me to use my name as you felt it would be cheating. I’ve heard you loud and clear, and I am going to make changes.

Here’s how I will be moving forward to achieve my financial goal:

No more Neil Patel

If you go to Nutrition Secrets, you’ll see that there is little to no mention of Neil Patel. I did this for a few reasons:

  1. You guys didn’t want me to use my name.
  2. I don’t know nutrition well enough to be associated with the brand. It’s a legal liability for me to tell you what to do and how to eat when I am not a certified nutritionist.
  3. I feel like I am providing the world a disservice by creating content on a subject I am not an expert on. I don’t really believe in the “fake it till you make it” philosophy.
  4. I want to prove to you that a person’s name doesn’t impact how much traffic a website generates.

So I’ve enlisted my good friend Mike Kamo to be the face of the blog. He himself is a nutritionist and will be double-checking the content for facts and writing the content himself.


This means no more interns creating content for free. Instead, Mike will be doing all the writing. I myself have been teaching him how to blog. Look out for future nutrition posts as they will have a similar to Quick Sprout’s writing style.

The deal I’ve worked out with Mike is that he will keep 20% of the revenue, and the rest will be donated to a non-profit organization. After the year is up and the financial milestone is hit, Mike will take full responsibility for the blog, and I will have no more involvement as nutrition isn’t a huge passion for me.

Over the next few days, the authorship of all the comments I wrote will change from my name to his name.

I only ask that you don’t post comments on the Nutrition blog addressing me by my name. You can post comments addressing Mike, but I don’t want people to think I am still using my name to grow the traffic.

Why Mike got into nutrition

When Mike was growing up, his dad was constantly working in order to make enough money to put food on the table. Eventually, his dad started doing well enough for his family to live a comfortable life.

Mike’s stepmom was taking care of Mike and his siblings. But instead of cooking each day, she got the kids fast food. From McDonalds to Pizza Hut, fast food was what Mike and siblings ate for almost every meal.

As a kid, Mike didn’t know any better, but as he got older, he realized how unhealthy it was. It got so bad that his younger brother wouldn’t eat unless he was presented with French fries or hash browns.

Mike not only started to work out to become healthier, but he also started learning about nutrition. Eventually, he got certified as a nutritionist. He also helped out one of our mutual friends, Ajay, who is a partner in Kimberly Snyder’s business. He wasn’t really doing it for the money—he was doing it because he wanted Ajay’s family to live a healthier life.

This is why I thought Mike would be a great person not only to be the face of the nutrition blog but also to create the content and make sure it is factual. The last thing I want is someone reading bad advice, taking action based on it, and ending up unhealthy as a result.

For this reason, no new content has been posted in the last week or so. Mike has been cleaning up the blog as well as the Facebook page. He is also deleting any published information he doesn’t agree with.


Many of you think I am spending $10,000 plus dollars a month. That is inaccurate. I didn’t want to address expenses in my last post as I wanted to do a separate blog post on my costs.

I know I had said I was going to try to find an old blog or a website for $100 that wasn’t being updated. If I kept searching, I feel I would have succeeded. And it would have given me a greater head start.

But because it was too time-consuming, I took a quick route of just buying a domain for $1,889.62. The domain was penalized, so I had to scrap it.

The new domain name, Nutrition Secrets, was listed for $3,788.00. Of course, I didn’t want to pay that much as I am on a budget. I ended up negotiating them down to $325. If you want to do something similar, make sure the email address you use to write to the domain owners can’t be traced back to someone who is well known.

For example, when I negotiate domain purchases, I present myself as a college student and throw out random amounts. I then negotiate, and if they keep coming back to me, I always say “let me get back to you; I have to see if I can borrow money from my parents.”

You can do the same with newly listed domains for sale, but the longer a domain has been for sale, the more flexible the owners will be with its price.

As for Facebook ads, the total I’ve spent is $112.07. Sure, the fans I have been getting are junk, but it has helped create leverage that I can use for the “shout out for shout out” tactic.

I’ve spent a total of $48.05 on boosting my Facebook posts. It didn’t work well, so I stopped doing it.

I also purchased Optin Monster for $99.

And I am also using Aweber, which is costing $19 a month.

The WordPress theme was $48. And as for hosting, I am using my existing server for NeilPatel.com to save some money.

So the total I have spent so far is: $2,540.74

You may feel there were other expenses such as content, images, etc. But I was using interns for the content creation (which I stopped, and now Mike is writing the content).

And for images, I use my Fotolia account as well as royalty-free images. Sites like Flickr have a ton of great royalty-free images.

How I achieved over 30,000 visitors in 15 days

When I shared my traffic stats, many of you were skeptical.


You shouldn’t be skeptical on the traffic. It’s not paid for… most of it came from Facebook, which isn’t sticky. And in future monthly update posts, I will show a breakdown of traffic stats, including referrer information and keywords.

The reason there is so much traffic is because it is a broad consumer niche. Just look at the number of people interested in nutrition.


That’s why I was willing to start a blog on it. Just look at the NeilPatel.com blog. I share my traffic stats each month. If it were on a broader subject, the blog would probably be at 800,000 to a million visitors.

Plus, the nutrition space isn’t as competitive. Sure, a lot of people are in that space, but very few of them are marketers. With Quick Sprout, KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and NeilPatel.com, I am competing with other knowledgeable marketers, which makes it much more difficult to succeed in the field.

If you want to grow your traffic at a fast pace, pick a big niche that isn’t filled with a ton of smart marketers.


Over the next week or so, you’ll see new posts coming up. They may be a bit rough at first, but they will get better over time.

I’m having Mike follow my blogging requirements that I’ve listed in this blog post. So far his rough drafts look pretty good, but he needs a few more rounds of revisions before his content is production quality.

At the moment, it is taking him 5 to 6 hours to write a blog post, but I expect that to speed up as he gets used to blogging.

As for monetization, once the site gets to a few hundred thousand visitors a month, I’ll start throwing up ads. I don’t expect that to generate $100,000 a month in income, but it will generate some cash flow so I can spend money on things like infographics.

Eventually, I’ll come up with some better monetization plans, but I don’t have any solid plans yet.

Do you have any questions I can answer?

How to Improve Your Facebook’s Organic Reach

When your Facebook engagement and reach start to slow down, what do you do? Chances are you blame Facebook’s algorithm.

And although Facebook’s algorithm might be responsible for such a change to some extent, you can do things on your end to increase your organic reach. In order to teach you how to increase your organic reach, I’ve created an infographic.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

How to Improve Your Facebook’s Organic Reach

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


Optimizing your organic reach isn’t rocket science. By using Facebook to analyze your fans, you can gain insights to grow your reach.

For example, through Facebook Insights, I found that the majority of my fans visit my nutrition page at 1 p.m. For that reason, you’ll see most of the updates taking place around 1 p.m.

How else can you increase your organic reach?

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How Many Links Should You Build to Your Website?


What makes a great link?

One that’s natural, not rich in anchor text, comes from an authoritative site, and is relevant, right?

Well, you already knew that. It’s a topic that’s been beaten to death. Heck, I even have a 30,000 plus word guide that teaches you all about link building.

But what about link-building velocity? How many links should you be building, and how fast should you build them?

Don’t fret—I’m going tell you how many links you should be building and at what rate you should be building them. 

How many links should you be building?

The more links you have pointing to your website the better, right? There is a big misconception that more is better.

No matter how many links your competitors have, you shouldn’t focus on quantity. You should focus on quality. A link from a site like CNN, assuming it is coming from a relevant section and article, will carry much more weight than 10 links from mom and pop sites.

In essence, I’m telling you that you should try to build as many high quality links as possible—ideally to internal pages versus your homepage.

Why internal pages? Well, it’s easier to build them to deep pages than to your homepage. Just think about it… would you rather link to an educational content piece published on an internal page or to a homepage that is selling a product or service? An internal page, right?

As for quantity, you won’t beat out sites that have 10,000 links using this tactic, but you will have many more authoritative links, which will help you outrank your competition.

And here is how you will build these links: through outreach, press, and connecting with writers.

How fast should you be building links to your website?

Assuming the links you are building are clean, you typically don’t have to worry about velocity. Even if you build many links fast, you should be fine in general.

But over the years, I’ve noticed a trend…mainly with new sites or websites with fewer than 100 links. If you build 500 links in the first 30 days to a brand new site, or to a site that doesn’t have more than 100 inbound links, you’ll notice that your rankings may drop temporarily.

Eventually, they’ll move up to a higher spot than their initial placement, but building too fast is unnatural. I don’t know how Google’s algorithm is programmed to deal with velocity, but this is at least what I have noticed over the last four to five years.

So if you have a new site or an older site with very few inbound links, consider building 5 to 10 during the first 30 days. Over the following few months, you can ramp it up. Here’s the velocity I would shoot for:

  • Month 1 – build 5 to 10 inbound links (ideally to your homepage)
  • Month 2 – build 10 to 15 inbound links (mix it up between your homepage and internal pages)
  • Month 3 – build 20 to 30 inbound links (mix it up between your homepage and internal pages)
  • Month 4 – build 30 to 40 inbound links (focus on internal pages)
  • Month 5 – build 40 plus links a month (focus on internal pages)
  • Month 6 – build as many high quality links as possible (focus on internal pages)

As you can see, the first few months, you are focusing on building links to your homepage and to your internal pages, but later you shift your focus purely to internal pages.

Why? Because it’s not natural to have the majority of your links pointing to your homepage. Just look at Quick Sprout… I don’t build links to the blog, and here is the total number of links pointing to the whole site:


And of those 9,143 links, only 19.8% point to the homepage.

link stats

In essence, over 80.2% of my total link count is going to internal pages.

If you have an older site with over 100 inbound links, you can build as many links as you want each month. The reason I’m saying this is that it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to build more than 50 a month.

Not only does it take time to ramp up your link building, but it’s really hard to get over 50 new links in a month, unless you are buying them or you’ve written a blog post that goes viral.

What happens if you build too many links too fast?

If you’ve built too many links too fast, don’t worry. You shouldn’t get hit with a Penguin penalty or anything like that, assuming your links are high in quality, relevant, and aren’t rich in anchor text.

The only thing that might happen is that your search traffic might stay flat for a few months or maybe even dip a bit, but after three months, you should see a sharp climb in search traffic.

If you aren’t seeing a sharp climb in search traffic, it means either the links you built aren’t high in quality or you have thin content. If it’s neither of the two, then you need to add more pages to your website and adjust how you cross-link your internal pages.

Nonetheless, those are simple fixes that should lead to more traffic. Just don’t get nervous if you don’t notice an increase in traffic right away.

Even when you build high quality links, it usually takes three to six months for the results to start showing up. So if you are investing a lot of man-hours into link building, don’t get nervous or quit if you don’t see results within the first two or three months.


Using the formula above, I’ve ranked for dozens of competitive terms on the web. For example, I used to run a blog called Online Poker Lowdown, and within six months, I got to page one of Google for the term “online poker.” All I did was follow the six-month plan above.

Sure, the site doesn’t rank anymore, but it’s because I sold it and stopped working on it years ago.

As you start link-building using the formula above, you’ll find that your website will rank for more long tail terms. Over time, you’ll also rank for more head terms, but the majority of your search traffic will come from three- or four-word search phrases.

When leveraging links to grow your search traffic, keep in mind that the easiest form of link-building is through content marketing. By creating really good information, instead of begging for links, you will increase the likelihood of people sharing and linking to your content.

It’s the main reason why I produce so many infographics on Quick Sprout.

How fast have you been building links?

A Setback on the $100k a Month Challenge

Thank you for addressing your concerns. If you scroll to the bottom of the post, you’ll see an update. On Monday I’ll be publishing a more detailed post on the changes… you’ll be happy with the changes. :)


A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about how anyone can make $100,000 a month in revenue within 12 months. And to show you how it’s possible—and so you can achieve similar results—I decided to blog about my journey. 

Launching the blog

On April 1st, I started a nutrition blog called NutritionalResource.com. It took me a couple of weeks to get started, but by April 15th, I was up and running.

During the last couple of weeks of the month, I published four blog posts and was able to drive a considerable amount of traffic.

april traffic

I received 35,419 visitors in two weeks, which is really good considering that I only published four blog posts.

I also learned how easy it is to generate traffic in a B2C vertical since there’s a much larger audience than in most B2B verticals.

As you can see from the graph below, most of the traffic came from a single post.

traffic spike

I don’t know how or why this blog post went viral, but it got over 1,000 Facebook shares.

How I generated my traffic

Facebook has been the main source of traffic. I started a fan page, and within 30 days, I have gained over 50,000 fans. Every time I share a link, I get an instant boost of traffic.

First, I kicked off the page with some Facebook ads.

facebook ad

The image above shows the ad I ran. I targeted mainly an international audience as the cost per like is cheaper, and I made sure the countries I was targeting had English as one of their main languages.

On average, I ended up paying 3 cents a like during this campaign, which drove 3,282 likes.

ad stats

However, as you can tell, the likes I received weren’t generating much engagement. Only about 6% of my fans actually liked the posts I was sharing, which is about a third of what it should be.

Once I got enough likes, I paused the campaign.

I then approached other Facebook fan pages that had 30,000 or fewer fans and offered a shout out for shout out deal: I told my fans to follow those other Facebook fan pages, and they told their fans to follow my page.

I only keep these messages live on my fan page for a few hours before I remove them as I don’t want my page to seem too promotional.

As my fan base grew, I started doing deals with larger fan pages. If you replicate this, you’ll quickly learn that most people will ignore your shout out for shout out requests, but about one in 10 pages will accept it.

Although this helped me skyrocket my fan page growth rate, I ended up growing my fan page at a much faster rate just by posting good content. I used Buzzsumo to help find this content.

I typed in keywords related to my space, and Buzzsumo showed me the posts that generated the most Facebook likes. I then shared those content pieces since Facebook users clearly like that content. This is the main reason why all of my social media postings did so well.

By only sharing content that people enjoyed, I helped my Facebook page to grow more quickly, and I gained new fans each day.

Link building

I linked to NutritionalResource from Quick Sprout, but one or two links won’t give me a huge edge over the competition.

Instead, what helps the most is my years of experience with link building.

To build links, first I Googled the phrase “resource page nutrition.” This helped me find some pages that were linking out to nutrition sites.

I then used Ahrefs to see who links to my competition. Once I created a master list, my intern Lisa started emailing each of those site owners from her email address, begging for a link.

The email template I used was pretty simple:

Subject: I think you are missing a link

Hey [insert their name],

I noticed you are linking to a handful of nutritional sites and blogs, but you aren’t linking out to NutritionalResource.com.

Have you seen it yet? It provides a ton of nutritional value to anyone who is looking to live a healthier life.

Hope you’re having a lovely day! Keep up the good work, I really enjoy [inster their site name].


Overall, this has been a huge success, and I’ve generated a handful of links, including some educational links. Here’s an example.

Content issues

As of now, the blog has four blog posts. As many of you know, nutrition isn’t my background, so I have been learning a lot about it over the past few weeks.

I recruited a few writers from California State University of Fullerton to help with content creation. They gladly helped me out for free, but the quality of the content sucks. Sure, I should be writing my content on the nutrition blog, but I am still learning about the subject, and I don’t have the time. Even if I made $100,000 a month from it, I would lose money since spending that time on my other businesses would yield me more money.

Here are some of the issues I am having with the content writer:

  • Too much fluff – if you look at the posts, you’ll see they contain way too much fluff. Instead of getting to the point, the writer rambles a bit too much.
  • Very little data – each blog post makes claims about what is or isn’t healthy for you, but the writers haven’t been including stats and data to back up their main points.
  • Grammar errors – you would think people majoring in journalism would be great at grammar, but they aren’t. I need to either get an editor to review each post or find another intern to help them out.

It will take me a month or so to get the content fixed. I won’t be fixing the older content, but I will be fixing newer blog posts. This is actually one of the main reasons I stopped posting on the blog.

On the bright side, the images on the blog are extremely good. I have a corporate Fotolia account under one of my businesses, and I have been using it to find images for NutritionalResource.com. However, Fotolia isn’t the only factor that makes my images great.

I found a kid on Craigslist who is into photography and Photoshop. I gave him a $500 camera in exchange for his help. He not only takes pictures for me but he also takes the images from Fotolia and modifies them in Photoshop to make them look better.

The big misconception

Now that you know how I gained over 30,000 visitors in two weeks, let’s go over a big misconception. A lot of you have emailed me to tell me that I am cheating by using my name on this new blog.

Well, I tested having an apple as my blog image, having no bio, or having my photo.


The results did not differ. Why? Because no one knows me in the nutrition space.

It’s not my name that gives me the advantage—it’s my experience. I’m probably better than most marketers are at building links, running social media campaigns, and writing content. I know what works because I have been leveraging content marketing for over nine years, and I’m really good at growing blogs.

My big setback

The big mistake I made—which I shouldn’t have made, considering how long I’ve been working in the SEO space—is that I bought a premium domain name without doing any research on it.

I spent $1,889.62 on the domain name without doing a backlink check. If you run it through Ahrefs.com, you’ll notice that a ton of spam sites and reciprocal link pages link to it.

That’s likely the main reason the site is probably penalized and doesn’t rank for its own name. I only figured out something was wrong when, after two weeks, the site still didn’t rank for “nutritional resource” in Google.

I haven’t checked Webmaster Tools to see if there is a penalty, but I know something is off. So instead of wasting months trying to fix it, I’m going to switch everything over to Nutrition Secrets—a new domain name I bought.

This is a huge setback that will cost me more than a month’s time as April is now a write-off and I have to start all over again.

But because I have a fresh start, I think I can grow the new blog at a faster pace. Google traffic will eventually kick in because the new domain name doesn’t have any links pointing to it.


Many of you emailed me saying I am cheating by using my name or by writing about my new blog on Quick Sprout. While this does help out a bit, it’s not the main advantage I have, as I discussed above. It’s my experience that gives me a leg up.

As for using my name, I do it for branding. If I am going to create a blog that generates millions of visitors, I might as well use it to help me grow my personal brand.

Many of you also said that I shouldn’t be blogging about this experiment for another year and that by writing about it I am cheating. But I am writing because I hope these blog posts are helpful to you—even if I have a bit of an advantage over you.

What do you think of this experiment so far? Are these monthly blog posts helping you out?


Based on your feedback I am making a few changes.

  1. A special thanks to Kim for letting me know I can get into legal trouble with this project as I am not a nutritionist.
  2. I don’t want to provide content that is false or inaccurate. So I fired all of the interns who were producing content for free. I too won’t be blogging as I don’t know enough knowledge about nutrition.
  3. I’ve partnered up with a nutritionist who’s photo is now on the Facebook page. I have known them for a while and they will be creating the content. I am going to have to teach them how to blog and help edit the posts. They will not be getting paid to write content or anything like that… I just have to partner with someone who understands nutrition as I can’t risk taking on a legal liability.
  4. I will break down on Monday on how I am going to teach Mike how to blog. You can copy my formula so you can product content that sounds like me.
  5. The nutritionist isn’t going to get paid, instead they will be keeping 20% of the money generated from the project. 80% will be donated to charity. (Not sure which ones yet)
  6. This should please some of you as you didn’t want me to use my face or name on the blog.
  7. The content is being cleaned up. From the Facebook page to the blog, everything that the nutritionist doesn’t agree with is being changed or deleted. That way people won’t be misinformed.
  8. I will provide a much more detailed update on Monday.

How to Avoid a Google Penalty

Are you worried about getting an algorithmic or manual penalty? In most cases, you shouldn’t, but if you are dabbling in SEO, you need to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules.

To help you avoid any current or future Google penalties, I’ve created an infographic that shows you what you should and shouldn’t do.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

How to Avoid a Google Penalty

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


To summarize, if you want to avoid a penalty, you should avoid a few things:

  • Duplicate or thin content – make sure your content is adding value to your readers.
  • Rich anchor text – when building links, make sure your anchor text isn’t keyword rich. Ideally, you should focus on creating valuable content instead of building links manually. Valuable content will generate natural links on its own.
  • Focus on relevance – when building links, make sure you get them from relevant sites.
  • Use the “nofollow” tag for paid links – if you are guest-posting or buying links, consider using the “nofollow” tag for those links.

How else can you avoid a penalty?

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