How do your blog’s stats compare to Neil Patel’s Quicksprout?
- Alexa 10,565
- Annual maintenance cost of $160K to $200K
- Annual revenues of $1 million+
Impressive, right? And if you are ready for another shot of envy, Quicksprout is just a part time effort. Neil writes blog posts on weekends and holidays, since his main focus is his companies: KISSmetrics, KISSinsights, and crazyegg.
Now, I wish I could tell you this interview includes step-by-step instructions to achieve what Neil has. The truth is it took him over 10 years to reach this point, and is a combination of natural ability, relationships, A LOT of work, and maybe even a little bit of luck. But still – this interview is packed with inspiration and actionable strategy.
Here are a few of the resources we mentioned:
- Quicksprout: 10 Ways to Get More Retweets
- Retargeter: an ad platform Neil uses for personal branding
- Timothy Sykes: who Neil referenced as being able to sell information for thousands of dollars
- Ramit Sethi: Neil says he’d gladly buy from Ramit – because of the focus on value and getting results
Enjoy the show – it gets really good towards the middle/end.
The following notes are by Justus Eapen.
Neil Patel on How to Earn Money Online
Neil Patel is a Seattle, Washington-based entrepreneur, angel investor, and analytics expert. He is the co-founder of the analytics companies KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout.
Check out Neil’s personal website here.
In this engaging interview, Neil shares his strategies and valuable tactics on how to make money online with your blog, building a brand through your blog, the importance of face to face networking in building out your blog and why he eventually wants to move into the not for profit sector.[1.50] Neil shares how he got his QuickSprout blog to a top 10,000 Alexa position as a part time effort:
· Write valuable content
· Ensure you focus on what people want to read, not what you want to write
· Getting to the top is the hard part, once you are there you have the momentum, the followers and the email list to continue to grow
· Took Neil 3-4 years to reach the top
· Facebook and Twitter content distribution [3.40] Neil used Digg (http://digg.com/) in Quick Sprout’s early days to drive growth (he had a top 10-20 Digg account)
· Get other users on these forums to help submit your content so you can grow your fanbase [5.00] Neil recommends finding other bloggers in your niche and asking them if they could write a piece on you.
· Neil goes to conferences (such as blog world) and other industry conferences to develop relationships in real life.
· Relationships with other bloggers both online/offline is very important [8.00] Neil shares his vigorous schedule for blogging using “off-time” opportunities to write including blogging on the plane while travelling!
· Neil spends 30-90mins/day responding to comments on his blog and answering blog related emails
· If someone takes the time out to read your content, you need to spend the time to try and help them out [10.40] Neil discusses two main strategies he used to drive organic growth to his blog:
i. Find popular message board forums, leave good valuable information, put an email signature in profile and drive traffic back to your site
ii. Be the first to comment on popular blogs (including tech crunch – https://techcrunch.com/) and make a really valuable post [14.05] Neil uses ReTargeter (costs $500/month) to redirect traffic to his blog for readers who have been to his site. It is also great tool for branding your blog
[15.50] Tricks to using retargeter as effectively as Neil:
i. Use banner ads but be sure to change them up otherwise your audience will develop banner blindness
ii. Make sure banner is catchy…and potentially cheesy, like Neil – “want to be cool like Neil Patel”. [18.00] How Neil built a community around an analytics blog (Kissmetrics)
· Grew twitter following first before starting Kissmetrics
· Focused on engaging with community – follow people who tweet similar content
· Engaged with people who followed his blog
· Neil suggests casting a wider net around anyone who might want to follow you
· Once you have an audience on Twitter (5k-15k followers), direct people to your blog by tweeting:
i. About relevant content from around the web,
ii. Content relevant to your industry and
iii. Content from your blog.
· Neil wrote an article which has some great tips on how to maximise re-tweets [22.30] How are the people that come to the Kissmetrics blog so engaged?
· Ask questions of followers in content
· Detailed blog posts from paid/unpaid guest posts as well as original content [25.40] Neil discusses his thoughts on personal branding between his different blogs [29.00] Neil discusses his server getting hacked [31.55] Discussion on conscious choices you can make for your band that will resonate better with people:
· Neil’s branding came from having the mindset of helping people and he helps a lot of people for free
· Neil mentions it is important to feel “warm and fuzzy” when projecting your personal brand to others
· Make sure that you are easily accessible and transparent to people
· Keep your blog professional and don’t get to personal about content that you share [35.00] Neil discusses strategies for creating a good “About me” page and connecting with an audience:
· Start your about page with your history, especially from your youth
· Tell a good story and share ALL the Ups and Downs
· Connect with people at a personal level – Create a call to action at the end of your page for your readers. State your goals and tell them how you can help them.
· Neil stresses not getting caught up in not having a consistent story from an early age but focusing on where you want to go in the future and why. Talk about what you learned and the mistakes you have made. Honesty and transparency in your communication is the key. [41.30] Neil stresses that his blog is about having fun and giving back. Its purpose is not to make money. [42.00] Neil discusses strategies for converting readers:
· Email group systems
· Within these groups, focus on educating readers on “why” they should buy
· Neil links to his start-ups from his blog and makes sure to provide plenty of free advice. This has been his most successful channel for monetisation. [42.50] Neil discusses how he prices for information business models [45.30] How to stop customers taking advantage of money back guarantees and refund periods?
· Offer a lot of great content
· Offer extra bonuses that weren’t included in the original product
· Continue to offer extra’s and create customer FOMO
· Before refund periods expire, give out more free bonus material
· Keep customers engaged to stay beyond refund period by marketing future bonus material that they only get if they continue to subscribe [47.40] Neil shows us his “dark side” by describing how you can make an income from >100% money back guarantees [49.00] Neil describes how you can use KISSInsights to get target feedback on how people are navigating through your website or blog [51.30] Neil discusses outsourcing in his businesses
· The blog is fully outsourced except for his personal involvement in content and responding to comments
· Spends >$100k/year on his blog with conversion rate experts $8k/month and even a full time spam moderator! [53.20] How Neil gets Fortune 100 companies as clients from his blog! [54.00] Neil dissects how he turned a blog into a half a million dollar contract [56.30] Neil explains his sales tactics and describes how to close deals on the phone with potential clients [58.30] Neil gives practical tips on the most effective way to get ahead with your blog and have paying customers
· Find someone in your industry that can pay you and blog about them discussing all the mistakes that are being made in the industry; this is an effective way to get customers and create authority in your niche. [59.00] Neil discusses his future plans and talks about his goal of doing work in the nonprofit sector