Thursday, April 27, 2017

Podcast 124: Niche Site Beginner to Expert – How Nick Hasche Built a $10,000 a Month Site Portfolio

Today, I’m excited to bring you a guest interview with Nick Hasche, a niche website builder.

Nick started building niche websites just a little bit over a year ago. He actually started right alongside Niche Site project 3.0, which is why I’m really excited about this interview because he learned how to build niche sites by following along with that project and implementing the things that I was teaching.

Nick has taken what we taught and implemented some of his own unique angles as well. His portfolio of sites has reach revenues of $10,000 a month.

If you’d like to hear how Nick has done that, go ahead and listen to the interview. We go through his entire process from keyword research, content creation, and of course, link building as well. He has some very unique strategies to consider. Overall, I hope you enjoy the interview.

Read the Transcript

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Spencer:Hey everyone, welcome back to the Niche Pursuits Podcast. I’m your host, Spencer Haws, from Today, I’m excited to bring you another really great guest interview. I do an interview with a niche website builder. His name is Nick Hasche.

He is somebody that started building niche websites just a little bit over a year ago, a year and maybe a few months. He actually started right alongside Niche Site project 3.0, which is why I’m really excited about this interview because he learned how to build niche sites by following along with that project and implementing the things that I was teaching Samara and other coaches were teaching, Colleen and Ryan, along the way.

Of course, Nick, he’s taken what we taught and implemented some of his own unique angles as well. He’s done really well. He’s been able to give a portfolio, believe it or not, that at its peak was earning $10,000 a month. I say at its peak because there has been a slight change and I’ll let Nick share what that change is. But able to build up a very significant portfolio of websites in just over a year.

If you’d like to hear how Nick has done that, go ahead and listen to the interview. We go through his entire process. From keyword research, content creation, and of course, link building as well. He has some very unique there to consider. Overall, I hope you enjoy the interview.

Hey Nick, welcome to the Niche Pursuits Podcast.

Nick:Hey Spencer, thanks for having me.

Spencer:Yeah, absolutely. I thank you for joining us all the way from Thailand, if I’m correct.

Nick:Yes, I’m in Koh Tao right now, which is an island in Thailand.

Spencer:We’ll dive into your travelling a little bit here but you’re in Thailand, obviously. You’re not from Thailand, as your accent sort of discloses there. You’re from Australia. I wanted to bring you on because you’ve had some success with your niche sites and we want to dive into some of those strategies. Before we do, can you give us a brief background on some of your business and work experience previous to building websites?

Nick:Yeah, sure. My previous website experience is pretty nonexistent. I actually studied mining engineering and also finance at university. That lasted six years, which was good fun. After that, I went to work for a pretty big mining company in Queensland. I did that for a year and then pretty quickly realized that the lifestyle was definitely not for me.

Not only is mining lifestyle pretty specific and pretty average, in my opinion, but the 9:00AM  to 5:00PM regular lifestyle didn’t appeal to me. I could already see what the next 5 to 10 years looks like and that’s boring. I quit.

That was in 2013, at the end of 2013. Then, I went travelling for two years. For the second year, I was in Koh Tao, where I am now and I worked as a scuba diver. It was during that time when I started to look into long term options, SEO, internet business, things like that.

Spencer:How are you able to afford just quitting your job without, I mean it sounds like without any regular employment? How did that work out?

Nick:I was very fortunate in Australia. At least, at that time, the mining industry was doing very well. The specific degree I had, I think it was getting the highest graduate salary out of any university degree in Australia. Straight out of the university, I was earning very good money and been also living in a mining town where there’s nothing to spend money on. You can save money pretty easily so I had some savings.

Spencer:Good. Is it safe to assume no children to take care, that sort of thing as well?

Nick:Yeah. I’m 29 so no kids yet. I have a girlfriend but no kids.

Spencer:That does make it a little bit easier to travel. No obligations, easy to save up some money, and when you’re in a place like Thailand, I’m sure it’s not very expensive so you can get by for a couple of years, right?

Nick:Yeah, I mean Thailand is definitely not expensive. It helps.

Spencer:Cool. You worked as a scuba instructor. Any other interesting sort of gigs that you had as you’ve been travelling around?

Nick:No. Really, the first year was just travel and the only place I stopped to do some work was here, as a scuba diver. That wasn’t planned. I just did my open water course as a lot of people do here on Koh Tao. If you meet people from Koh Tao, it’s a very typical story that for a few days and they end up staying a year or longer. It’s just one of those places you get stuck.

Spencer:Cool. Go ahead. What was your first online venture? What lead you to diving into building niche websites?

Nick:Like I said, during that time I started to look in the SEO and I had some very basic understanding on what it was and I sort of toyed around a little bit with blog posts and on page SEO and things like that, but nothing serious.

But then, when I went home, the end of 2015, back to Australia, I knew it was time to make something happen. I really resisted the idea of going back to a regular mining job. The most logical course of action seemed to be internet business because of the lifestyle that it allow.

Basically, the first thing I did was I Googled how do you make money online, which I know is ridiculous, but I’m sure everyone has done it at some point in their life.


Nick:One thing led to another and I ended up on a blog called Niche Pursuits, believe it or not. I started to play along and I learned from you. After reading all about it, I thought, “Yeah, this is probably something I could do. It sounds not overly complicated. I could see the potential for the scalability,” which excited me. I decided to just give myself a 10 day test.

Basically, what I did was I had a series of goals which was to go through the process: selecting a niche, doing keyword research, doing hosting website build, creating content, basically, everything up until link building. I had very specific goals like I must have five posts published, blah, blah, blah. I actually gave a friend of mine $200 and said, “Look, if I don’t have this done in 10 days, you can keep the $200.”

Spencer:Nice, I like the incentive.

Nick:It’s just a bit of accountability because I wanted to take it seriously. I did that for 10 days. The theory was that would give me some exposure to most of the aspects of niche websites and it would allow me to then decide whether or not it was something I wanted to pursue. After those 10 days, I decided, “Yup, this is something I want to do or at least try.” And I decided to commit to it for the entire year.

Spencer:Wow. I love that you found out about niche websites from That’s awesome.

Nick:It’s the only destination.


Nick:Where else?

Spencer:That’s all you need. Do you remember was it around Niche Site Project 2.0 or was it doing a case study?

Nick:No, it was right at the start of 3.0.

Spencer:Okay, so that’s only been just a little over a year ago, a year and few months maybe.

Nick:Correct. It was January 2016.

Spencer:Yeah, perfect, alright. That gives us a timeframe of when you started, just a little bit over a year ago. How did the year go? Tell us about your business right now.

Nick:Sure. It was an interesting year, as you noticed, a lot of delayed gratifications. I didn’t see results for a long time. I struggle with patience so it was a tough year in that way. Basically, what I did was I built five websites including that first 10 day website which I did later expand as well, so five websites.

I should say the reason I chose 5 was because you had sort of said that a reasonable goal was to hit $500 a month from the website, in like 6 to 9 months. So I thought, “Alright, I’ll do 5 and if I can get $2,000 a month, then I can go travelling next year on that money.” That would be a win to me.

I built five websites. The first half of the year was basically doing a lot of keyword research and writing the content. I wrote approximately the first 100,000 words, myself, which required a lot of persistence. The second half of the year, I spent doing link building and preparing for this year because I knew I wanted to scale this year.

I thought that by spending a lot of time automating all the stuff that I do, systemizing all the tasks, automating them, that would allow me to hit this year running and scale fast. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m doing what I did last year but on scale. I call last year a year of validation and this year is a year of expansion.

Spencer:Awesome, tons of things that I want to dive into with how much you’ve just shared of what you’ve done over the past year and your plans going forward as well. We are going to go into that but just to give us an idea about earnings, to give people an idea of how well you’re doing out of those five sites or however many you have now, what sort of income numbers are you seeing month to month?

Nick:There’s been a bit of a change recently. January and February, the 30 day window, I was making $10,500 a month.


Nick:It was doing well. I was also creating a lot of new content so I was actually projecting to hit about $15,000 within a few months. I was very confident I was going to get there within three months or so.

Spencer:That’s quite impressive for just about a year.

Nick:It worked out.

Spencer:I will say that it worked out very well. Let’s dive into what worked really well for you. I know you said there’s a little bit of an update. We’ll dive into what that update is a little bit after you give people an idea of what your strategy was, getting to this point, if that’s okay.

Nick:Yeah, sure.

Spencer:In terms of content, you now have content that you’ve done. You said you wrote 100,000 words, yourself, to start. How many articles is that on a website? Give us a breakdown of how many articles now are on your best performing sites?

Nick:The very first two websites are those I pretty much, I wouldn’t say deserted, but after about 20 posts, I moved on from them because I sort of felt I have learned a lot from those two websites and then I focused more heavily on the next three, which is where the 90% of income came from.

The best website, I think right now, there are about 60 posts. I think about 10, 15, maybe even 20 of those are quite new. Roughly, I’d say a ballpark of 40 posts on there around the New Year, and the other two have roughly 15 and 20 each.

Spencer:Roughly how much is your top website making versus the other couple of websites?

Nick:The best was making roughly $6,000 and the other two were on the same level.

Spencer:Okay, awesome. That’s really good. What would you say is the reason for the success so quickly? Most people maybe build one website in a year aren’t seeing similar numbers as you. Let’s maybe just focus on your top website since you’ve got a few. Why was that website so successful?

Nick:Honestly, I think the biggest reason was it was an obsession. It’s not very marketing, I was really obsessed with making it happen last year, I was extremely determined. It was an obsession to the extent that I got up everyday at 5:30AM  and worked for 12 hours. I’ve worked 10 days straight with 1 day off. I dreamt about Amazon keyword research, that’s fun stuff. Good times.

I’m a big believer in the 80/20 principle. A lot of people waste a lot of time doing things that don’t really give great results. I focused specifically on what I thought would work.

Spencer:That makes a lot of sense. People don’t have that level of obsession that they’re going to put in 10, 12 hours a day on a niche website to make it work. What were those things that when you say you try to 80/20 your task, what were those things? Is that writing content? Is that link building? Anything specific?

Nick:In this case, in this example, it’s the type of keywords. I didn’t spend too much time worrying about informational posts. On that side, I had about 10 also, around the year. I definitely wrote some but the only purpose of those 10 posts was really to give the perception of it being a normal blog which helps later when it comes to link building.

Mainly just focusing on what was going to work and what was going to make money which is, for the most part, best keywords. I think something else that really helped was that I didn’t just set it and forget it. I was constantly tracking everything. I’m a big data person, probably because of my experience in engineering, I love date.

I track everything and I look for differences like why is one post doing better than the other. I analyze all the on page SEO. See what’s the difference, why could it be different, why isn’t is working out as well. I’m tweaking things all the time. Just little things like tweaking keywords, adding keywords in, always adapting. It just worked out in the big part. I think the link building that i did also had a big influence.

Spencer:One more question on content. I’m sure people are curious, again, the length of the articles that you’re writing there, are these 1,000, 3,000?

Nick:It’s interesting because at the start I aim for 1,000, for a money post. Now, I do 3,000. To be honest, I have ranked just as well for posts that are 1,000 words. It really just depends on so many things. There is no definitive answer to what’s the best length. However, I will say that as you obviously know, there’s a huge amount of value in long tail keywords.


Nick:The longer your content is, the higher chances are of ranking for long tail keywords that you’re not even trying to rank for.


Nick:The more content you have on the page, even if your on page SEO isn't that great, you will just rank for more really random, obscure, longtail keywords.

Spencer:Yup, that makes sense. I’m sure listeners were curious about that. Before we dive into link building because I do want to spend some time on that, let’s talk about that update that you said. I know recently you’ve shared that there’s been some changes in your sites a little bit. Why don’t you tell people what’s going on and maybe what you think you can do to fix that or what the issue is?

Nick:I think it was around the 9th or the 10th of March. A Google update has allegedly occurred. No one really knows 100% for sure. People are calling it Fred. Interestingly, on the very same day, one of my sites was hacked, which apparently does have a good chance that led to all my sites being infected because they were on the same hosting account.


Nick:Since that time, I’ve seen a pretty large drop off in traffic. It varies, each website is slightly different but on one website, it’s 90%, on one website, it’s got 50%. It’s very significant. At this stage I don’t know if it’s the hack or the Google update, or a bit of both.

Certainly, a little disappointing. Honestly, I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to me, which sounds crazy. If you’re in internet marketing long enough, this is going to happen sooner or later so it’s great that this has happened one year in so that I learned now. Going forward, I can adjust and improve and become better. It’s a good thing.

Spencer:That’s a positive outlook. I think that’s a good outlet to have. I’ve been building sites for over 10 years now and I’ve had tons of ups and downs. I’ve had sites that were de-indexed and I didn’t know why. I’ve had my Google AdSense account banned and I didn’t know why. I’ve been victim to the Google Panda, Penguin and other updates.

I’ve been through all of these things but each time, I’ve come back and either built new sites or improved my old sites. I’m still kicking, as they might say. It’s actually funny that you mentioned that your site got hacked at the same time that a Google update occurred because one of my sites, the same thing happened, not with this thread update but people don’t really know but they’re calling it a mysterious update. I think it was about a month and a half ago that it came out. They didn’t really name it. There was an update but we also noticed that my site was hacked. There was an update but we also noticed that my site was hacked at the exam same time.


Spencer:We didn’t know and I guess we still don't know what caused the traffic to dip but we went in, we obviously fixed the hack. We also went in some things to improve the site speed and just did everything that we could to improve the on page SEO of the site overall and I will just say that over the past month, it’s taken about a month but the traffic is right back up to where it was before.

Nick:That’s awesome.

Spencer:I offer that as hopefully some encouragement, that maybe it’s the hack that caused a lot and it can take Google a few weeks to recrawl your site, reindex it the way it was before. Hopefully that’s the case for you. Do whatever you can to speed up the site, improve any on page or if there’s anything else that you think might be off, try and fix that and hopefully it comes back.

Nick:It’s interesting because I actually had a theory as to why it’s happened and how I can fix it. Of course, it’s speculation, I don’t know. Google hasn’t even confirmed as far as this updated occurred but I’ve been reading a few blogs and there seems to be some consensus that it’s mainly websites that are revenue focused that are being hit.

That just gave me the idea that perhaps there’s some relationship between the number of links on a post or per website is going to create links and a keyword rank drop. What I did was fortunately because I have a few websites, I counted the number of affiliate links on every money post and then I looked at the drop in rank before and after this event, whether it’s the hack or the update. I can’t say definitively because it’s possible that the algorithm is still running and some ranks haven’t been hit yet. I don’t really know. I’m speculating.

But it seems like there’s a relationship. I feel like it’s something I can potentially fix and I’ve also noticed that some of the websites that are now ranking above me have less far affiliate links or none at all. It seems like to me Google is trying to give more emphasis on value to the user, which of course makes sense. That’s what people want to. I don’t know if that’s really what’s going on but it’s nice to have some hope. Basically, proceeding with that assumption, I’m going to be taking corresponding course of action to fix that. We’ll see.

Spencer:Really, all you can do is get as much information as you possibly can. Make some tweaks and hope that Google recrawls your website and the rankings improve. I think that’s a smart move on your part. After we post this interview in a month or two, if you start to see some improvement, maybe let us know and I could post an update after the interview.

Nick:Happy days. The good news is I’m still scaling, I’m still going ahead of my plan. I still plan to build 10 to 20 websites this year so even if this websites stay hit, I still think I can get back to where I was a couple of months ago. If not, much more. I’m confident about it.

Spencer:Go ahead and dive into what your plans are over this next year. You mentioned last year was validation and this year is scaling. That’s the plan to essentially build 10 to 20 sites over this year that are very similar to the previous sites that you’ve done?

Nick:Yeah, that’s the plan. I guess I should specify what type of website I am building because when people hear that I’m building 20 sites, they probably think a micro niche website or a website targeting maybe one to five keywords or something. That’s definitely not the case. I’m doing what I call authority niche websites with a bit of a twist. They’re big websites.

Before I make each website, I have a very specific goal as to what monthly revenue I want it to hit and I have a whole process of determining which keywords result in which value. And so how many keywords do I have to target to get that value, that goal, right?


Nick:They’re not massive authority sites but they’re definitely not the tiny sites. They’re going to have roughly 30 to 50 posts each. That’s the plan. At this point, I built an entire system that’s automated so right now the only two things that I really do are keyword research and that’s just an 80/20. Keyword research is the task that results in the best results. The other thing I do is maintaining the whole system and managing the As and things like that.

Spencer:A couple of questions there as well. Tell us what kind of keywords you target. You mentioned, I guess the best survival knife or best product. Those type of affiliate keyword is what you’re targeting but what sort of search volume are you looking at, that sort of thing?

Nick:I don’t specifically look at search volume. Of course, I consider it and I do have a filter that I want to have a minimum of say 200 but what I do most specifically and what I think is more important is I calculate the value of the keyword or the value of the post assuming the post got keyword ranks.

Basically, what I do is I consider the monthly search volume of the primary keyword. I use an estimated SERP position, whatever I feel confident I can rank it. I feel a conservative putting 5 for that. I’ve been using the search volume together with the long, potential volume of the primary keyword with the click through rate of the estimated position.

That gets me the theoretical traffic to post per month and then I use my average click through rate to Amazon, for all my other websites. I have an average for that.


Nick:And then, also, the average Amazon conversion rate which then gives me the number of purchases. Using the price of the products I’m promoting, I also adjust it for random purchases because about 50% of the purchase of the items you sell are completely random so I adjust the price to account for that. Sometimes, that means it moves up, sometimes it down.

And then, I use the Amazon category commission rate to determine basically what my total commission would be per month for that keyword. It’s a lot of information but it’s straight forward. It’s a spreadsheet and it’s not perfect by any means. From what I’ve seen, it’s a fairly accurate rough estimation. It’s good enough, basically.


Nick:Basically, that’s why I don’t use just the volume. I consider that value as well because sometimes there’ll be a keyword with an [00:28:32] 200 but the products you’re going to promote have really great sales and the price is high. That could be a lot more lucrative than a really high search volume keyword where the average price is low. There’s a lot of things at play, it’s not just volume.

Spencer:I love it. That makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, people listening can follow along. It made sense to me. If people want to rewind and listen to your explanation, I think that was good.

Nick:Once you have the spreadsheet, it’s very easy to understand.

Spencer:Exactly. Let’s dive into link building a little bit. First of all, would you say that’s been critical to your success or is the keyword and content more important? If link building is important, let’s talk about a couple of your best link building strategies.

Nick:I do think it’s important. In those first two websites where I basically didn’t do any work once the content was written, I have ranked for some of those keywords with no link building. They’re fairly long tail. I think in general you definitely need links. If anything, it just speeds up your ability to rank. Instead of taking a year to rank, you might rank in nine months or something. It definitely speeds up and I’ve definitely seen that with each website. The earlier I start the link building process, the sooner the uphill exponential growth happens. I definitely think it should be done.

Again, I don’t think it’s necessarily difficult if you can create a system for it and automate a lot of the processes, it can actually be quite straight forward.

Spencer:I do want to talk about how you’ve automated things after you give this next answer. Let’s give a couple of your best strategies and then we’ll dive into how you’re actually automating that.

Nick:Last year, I did run three scholarships on three of the websites but I’m not continuing that anymore because first of all, it’s not sustainable in the long run and it’s really not great for the anchor text distribution, especially if you don’t have any other links, it makes your anchor text distribution very heavily orientated towards the scholarship. I don’t think that’s great.

It’s hard to say whether the scholarship links had an impact on the overall SEO or not. In total, I’ve got about 30, 35 universities linking to each of those websites. I think it was fairly successful. I did see an increasing rank at some point after that but it’s impossible to say whether it was from the scholarships, or just time, or guest posting, which is my other main strategy.

Spencer:I’ve talked to a number of people about doing the scholarship link building on the podcast so maybe you can give us an idea of how you’re doing guest posting. How are you finding people, how are you contacting them.

Nick:I’ve got a pretty specific strategy for it but before I delve into that, you could say that it’s pretty all outsource, the only thing that I do for it is I give my VA certain keywords and from there it’s all automated with the VA doing a lot of the work. And then, my content manager dealing with the emails and then outsourcing the writing of the guest post to a freelance writer.

Spencer:You’ve got three different people you’re using to do that process?

Nick:Yes. It’s very hands off, which is nice, because it gives me time to focus on keyword research for some other things. Basically, the first thing is I use the same pen name on my websites. That has some advantages. I have one central Buzz Stream account and I use the same email address with this person’s name.

First of all, it’s easier to manage one email and Buzz Stream account when you have several websites. The nightmare to try and deal with 20 different emails, it’s just not right.


Nick:It’s a lot easier but also it has the advantage that it allows me to build relationships for websites under the one name. This can be really useful whenever I start a new site because I can look through the context with whom I’ve successfully guest posted before. If there’s any overlap between their site and my new site, I just reach out and say, “Hey, I’m now also editing this new site and a guest post could make sense.”

Spencer:It’s awesome.

Nick:A lot of the new websites, I don’t even need to do any prospecting. I already have a list that I can reach out to. That’s nice.

The other thing is that—this is an advantage of building multiple sites at once—is that I try and squeeze in a link to one of my other sites in every guest post. That double the results per guest post and halves the cost per link. Diving in further into that, whenever I’m building a new website, I’m creating the informational post for the new website and I’m aware that down the line, I’ll be trying to get a link from one of these future guest posts.

For example, let’s say I’m building a new website about mattresses. I make one of my informational posts kind of like a list about something related to mattresses. An obvious example is sleeping tips. And then, I mention the kind of things that later will provide the overlap I need to also link to that post from a guest post I’m doing from an entirely different website.

Let’s say I wrote in that post that drinking coffee is bad before going to bed, or maybe pet hairs in bed can cause sleeping trouble or whatever it is, or exercise is great for sleep. You provide these opportunities that later it makes it justified to link to that post as well. Let’s say three months down the line, I’m guest posting one of these other websites. Let’s say some fitness related site. It then make sense to include a link to that sleeping tips post in that guest post as well.

Spencer:That’s awesome. A good strategy, I like it.

Nick:It doesn’t always work. It depends who you’re guest posting for. Sometimes, it’s not really an option but often it works.

Spencer:Very good. Let’s dive just a little bit more. If you have anything in addition to share about how you’re automating a process, you gave us a good idea there, using VAs and content manager and those sorts of things. Are you doing anything else to automate the business?

Nick:The business as a whole or the guest posting?

Spencer:The business as a whole. Maybe give us some idea of what your team looks like, who’s involved. Of course, there’s a lot of pieces there so maybe just sort of broad stroke.

Nick:Sure. Currently, I have two VAs and then also a content manager, he’s also the editor. Of course, I outsource all my writing to writers that I’ve found on Upwork. Like I said, the only thing I will do is a keyword research and then I manage it all.

Basically, last year, when I was spending time automating everything, every single task that relates, that is included in this overall system, I would make a one or two minute video for. I have a wiki of video instructions so that every task can be automated and outsourced because I say, “Okay, this is the task. First you do this, then you do this, then you do this. Here are the video steps for each of that.” It’s very easy that way to outsource things.

Generally speaking, especially with this kind of work, there’s always a system. We all have habits so it doesn’t matter what task you’re doing. In general, there’s a system to it, there’s a routine to it and if that’s the case, then in theory, you can compartmentalize that process into smaller steps and then you just create a video for that step, very easy to do. And then you give it to VAs.

It takes a lot of work setting it up and I spent three months doing that last year but once it’s set up, you’re good to go.


Nick:It’s great because now I spend about 20 hours a week on this business and then I also freelance for an ecommerce website. I spend about 20 hours a week doing that. I’m travelling around the world at the same time. It’s possible to build a business this way with minimal time investment.

Spencer:I think it’s super smart. Obviously, it’s working well for you. We do something similar in my business. We’d record videos and have templates and things like that that we can hand off to writers with nice writing instructions. It really does help to improve the business and help it grow without you directly involved in every piece of that.

Nick, you’ve shown a lot of great tips here already. Do you have any sort of final tips for building niche sites that you’d like to share, that we haven’t talked about already?

Nick:I think the main thing is to try to be smart about what you’re doing and focus on the 80/20 because people get overwhelmed by the amount of things that should be happening in this kind of website and for the most part a lot of those activities are just a waste of time, in my opinion. A lot of them aren’t. It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve but I think you need to hone in on where the results are going to come from, at least in the short term.

You need to outsource as soon as possible. If you don’t have the money to outsource, as soon as you’re generating income from the business, outsource, just reinvest. You need to be testing all the time. I’m constantly split testing everything to basically try and improve click through rate and other things as well. Like I said last year, I was always checking why is one page ranking over another. You need to test things, tweak things, and see if you can iterate your way through. Focus on click through rates. That’s important for optimization.

Spencer:Great tips. If anybody wants to stay in touch with you, is there any way that people can do that?

Nick:I’m on Facebook. I don’t have a blog or anything. I have toyed with the idea in the past but at the moment it would be too much for a time investment. I’m happy to answer any questions and I love nerding out on this stuff so anyone feel free to hit me up, for sure.

Spencer:Very good. We’ll leave it at that. Nick, I appreciate your time very much and all the tips that you shared.

Nick:Thanks, Spencer. It’s nice to be on the show one year after learning from you. It’s very nice.

Spencer:Yeah, it’s really cool to be able to share your success that you learned through Niche Site Project 3.0. I’m super happy that you’re able to come and share your story. It’s been great. I appreciate it.

Nick:Thanks a lot.

Spencer:Thanks a lot and thank you everybody for listening.

The post Podcast 124: Niche Site Beginner to Expert – How Nick Hasche Built a $10,000 a Month Site Portfolio appeared first on Niche Pursuits.

from Niche Pursuits

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Forget Millennials. 7 Reasons Why Baby Boomers Are the Ideal Target Market.

There’s a lot of buzz about millennials today and how to market to them.

Marketers often tell you that to appeal to millennials, you need to get on Snapchat and other popular social channels.

You need to learn how to create a video that will go viral.

You need to make sure you’ve got enough of a balance of the ordinary and extraordinary in the messages you try to deliver.

You can’t forget to make remarks about making a real difference in the world.

While we, as marketers, can do all this and more, it can get exhausting!

Why are we crafting the majority of our messages to millennials when there are 74.9 million baby boomers out there who want to buy our products too?

We do this because the number of millennials has surpassed the number of baby boomers. There are 75.4 million millennials today (millennials are defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34). But the difference between millennials and baby boomers is small.

Marketing to millennials can feel crazed. It means high-energy, quickly-consumable, frenzied marketing because they have a “fear of missing out,” also known as FOMO.

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, also have a need to be informed, but they’re a little more patient about it.

It’s true that no company can focus on just one generation. You have to have a strategy appealing to everyone on some level, and that’s why targeting is so important.

Whenever I work with a company to define its customer, I focus on understanding its target market and then segmenting it.

Often, what I find is that a single product or service can be marketed to each of the three generational segments:

  1. Baby boomers – born between 1946-1964
  2. Generation X – born between 1965-1980
  3. Millennials – born between 1981-2000

The generation that often gets overlooked is that first one—baby boomers!

When it comes to the 50+ demographic, only 10% of marketing budgets are used to reach this generation.


Why is this the case? Why such low marketing expenditure on a generation which, as I’m about to show you, could be incredibly lucrative?

Some marketers think the boomer generation is boring. They’re not sexy. They’re aging. They’re set in their ways. They’re not tech-savvy. Why even bother?

This is a huge mistake! Boomers can be sexy; they’re not as old as you think; they’re not that set in their ways; and they’re incredibly tech savvy.

Why bother? Because the baby-boom generation is probably the hottest age-defined marketing segment you can tap into.

Baby boomers have money

Millennials may have surpassed boomers in numbers, but more than 70% of the disposable income in the US comes from baby boomers.

And here’s the thing. They actually spend it!

How much do they spend?

Try 3.2 trillion every year.

Yes. Trillion. With a “t.”


And that’s just the US.

If you want to know who will go through with that credit card purchase online, you should probably bet on baby boomers.

Let’s face it. Most millennials don’t have a lot of money.

Look at the generational breakdown. Who has the biggest net worth? And who has the biggest total income?


Answers: Boomers, and boomers.

It’s great to get millennials energized and excited, but at the end of the day, they don’t have the collective power to turn that energy into money for you.

Baby boomers are on social media, big time

A big misconception about baby boomers is that they are old and traditional so they don’t use social media.

In fact, half of people aged 50 to 64 are on social media, likely on more traditional and well-established platforms such as Facebook.

The bottom line is you don’t have to do all your marketing on Periscope or Snapchat.

The largest audience to date on social media is on Facebook. You’ll get your baby boomers there more than anywhere else.


But what do these boomers do on social media?

I think this is fascinating. They’re watching! One social technographic survey found that baby boomers were primarily “spectators.”


In other words, your grandpa might not be the one starting the Reddit flamewar, but he is reading his Facebook news feed.

Let’s take this a step further.

This means baby boomers comprise the largest potential viewership of Facebook advertising!

You can target your Facebook ads demographically. When you do so, why not widen the age group to include baby boomers too?

Look at this survey of baby boomer activity on social media:


Social media marketing is all about engagement. The data shows us that baby boomers are an incredibly likely source of such engagement.

Baby boomers are making purchases to improve their lifestyles

You have to remember that baby boomers created suburbia as we know it. They bought homes. They left the urban decay of the cities. They began living in comfortable communities.


One Forbes marketing writer put it this way:

[Baby boomers] want to be out on their own, in a more luxurious place… They are actively looking for newly constructed homes where they can continue to pursue an active lifestyle surrounded by the latest amenities.

Everyone wants to have fun, right? Millennials, Generation Xers—all of us are eager to have a good time.

But baby boomers, more than any other generation, have both the time and money to spend on comfort, amenities, entertainment, and recreation.

Appeal to these aspirations, and you’ll be speaking to them in a way that resonates with them.

Boomers buy products and services for others, not just themselves

Boomers love to invest in educational products and services, especially for their grandchildren (ahem, the millennials).

If you can market your products in this way, you’ll grab their attention.

They value education, loyalty, and authenticity, and any kind of content or product that fulfills that goal will be of interest to them.

I’ve worked with companies that make apps designed to help parents monitor the health and well-being of small children. (Think baby monitors and associated apps.)

When we dug into the marketing, we discovered that a large percentage of their buyers were in the baby-boom generation!

Further research showed that many baby boomers had taken on the role of primary caregivers of their grandchildren.

As young parents pursued their careers, these grandparents used their retirement to provide care to their grandchildren.

And that’s why your parent-focused product or schoolchild-aged toy might benefit from some baby-boomer-targeted advertising!

Boomers are active online shoppers

Boomers are interested in saving money. Besides shopping, they are doing other things online that make life easier. Investment bankers are trying to convert them with the help of this online investing advice, which is an interesting prospect.

With so many of us trying to convince our audiences to invest in our brands, appealing to baby boomers could be a win-win.

Boomers are very tech savvy

Boomers may have grown up buying everything at a department store and using fax machines, but today, they aren’t afraid of online shopping.

In fact, “66% of people over 50 in the United States routinely make purchases from online retailers.”

And email? They’re all in.

Not only that, but they’re likely to click through and check out the promotion you’re emailing them about!


According to eMarketer, “the majority of baby boomers now own smartphones.”


They’re not using their smartphones as a glorified land line. They’re shopping, researching, and purchasing!


If you’re not marketing to baby boomers on mobile devices, you’re missing out on easy money for your business.

Boomers respond to hipster advertising styles

Some have called boomers the “new hipsters.” They’re the Woodstock generation that grew up and became responsible.

They purchase hipster clothing. They respond to hipster advertising.

They even live in hipster neighborhoods!


Today, loyalty and a sense of well-being are important to them when choosing companies to give their money to, but you can awaken their nostalgia with a good throwback photo every now and then.


Baby boomers as a whole tend to be hard-working people prone to spending money and learning new things.

They want to be informed about the going-ons of the world, and they want to interact with their brands in a personal way. They want you to help them when they are troubleshooting, and they count on you to deliver on a good product when you say you will.

They’re also willing to wait for your messages and communication much longer than millennials.

They won’t tolerate you ignoring them, but they don’t expect you to constantly entertain them.

Knowing these key characteristics about baby boomers is power in your marketing hands because you can tweak your message to appeal to this large group of people.

Don’t fall into the trap of appealing only to millennials with every message.

Baby boomers make up a population that nearly equals the millennials, and they are more active on social media and mobile applications than ever.

Take a long, hard look at your product or service.

Would a baby boomer be interested?

Don’t underestimate this generation. There are very few products or services a baby boomer wouldn’t be interested in, as we saw above.

The least you can do is try. Tweak your messaging; try some new ad targeting; and see what happens!

Do you have a product or service that would appeal to baby boomers?

from Quick Sprout

Monday, April 24, 2017

5 Popular Blog Post Topics That Everyone Loves to Share

If you’re a content marketer of any type, you know how crucial it is for your blog posts to make a splash.

If you were to look over my shoulder any day of the week, you’d see me checking my social sharing metrics.

Just this morning, I logged in to Buzzsumo to take a look at these numbers:


(This image shows the social sharing metrics for over the past year. These are the four pieces of content that received the most social shares.)


Because social sharing matters!

This isn’t some sort of narcissistic kick. This is a data-driven way to see who’s sharing my content, how many shares I’m getting, what platform those shares are on, and why the articles are being shared.

Obviously, it doesn’t matter how much content you’re putting out if nobody’s reading it.

If nobody’s reading it, nobody’s sharing it.

Ultimately, your content must be shared if you want to increase site traffic.

Many marketers spend their days looking at Google Analytics. I do this too. But Google Analytics is only part of the picture.

There’s a fascinating story behind every social share you receive.

If you’re one of the millions of soloprenuers, entrepreneurs, content marketers, growth hackers, or startup marketers in the US struggling to put out engaging content, you’re not alone.

I get it more than anyone.

The web moves fast; trends come and go; and sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

You’ll be happy to learn, however, that there are a few tried-and-true content categories that everyone (your audience, my audience) loves to engage with and share.

In this post, I’m giving you a few of those content categories and diving into ways to discover more for a lasting result.

By the end of this post, you’ll understand why the content you’re sharing may not be getting the same results as other some content does.

You’ll also understand how all this affects share rate and what you can do to turn your situation around.

Here are your new go-to blog post topics. Read each thoroughly, and think about how they can be leveraged on your blog.

1. Productivity hacking

Time is one thing we’ll never have more of—for now, at least.

If I told you I could make your days longer and you’d be able to finish more work, make more calls, etc., you’d be interested, right?

Of course, you would. Time is important.

It makes sense then that we’re attracted to content focused on gaining more time.

In your upcoming blog posts, incorporate interesting productivity tips, whether showing how your product or service increases productivity or sharing which productivity tips and tricks are working for you.

If you’re familiar with Michael Hyatt’s blog, you’ve probably seen this work. Michael Hyatt is a leadership development expert, but he publishes a lot of productivity-related titles.


In fact, when I look back on his blog’s social sharing metrics over the past 12 months, two of his top five are on productivity:


This isn’t an accident. Hyatt knows that productivity topics get shared.

People love sharing practical content that they can vouch for and others can use.

2. Travel

The travel industry is booming for a reason. We love to travel.

Travel is invigorating, relaxing, and educational, and it’s one of the reasons why content focused on travel is so widely shared.

It’s time for you to join the club. Start thinking about what you would want to read.

Depending on the season, you can write about physical locations your audience might search for, say, Jamaica.

If you’re a company that has this information on Jamaica on your blog, take advantage of that. Take control so your blog becomes a frequent destination.

What kind of blogs would benefit from travel-related articles? It might not be that hard to find a connection.

Take ToDoIst for example. They sell a productivity app.

But they blog about travel:


Even a camera maker such as GoPro can get away with publishing some interesting and super shareable travel articles:


Evernote knows that travel is a shareable topic, and its blog features plenty of travel articles:


Give travel a try, fitting it in however you see appropriate, and you’ll likely get some social sharing among an interested audience.

3. Fitness

Face it, there are mobs of people out there (myself included) who would love to just wake up with six-pack abs. That’s why there’s always something new to help get you there.

As long as science continues to discover new things, there will be new breakthroughs to talk about—perfect fodder for shareable blog posts!

Blog posts about fitness have historically been one of the most shared genres of content on the web.

Buzzsumo, the social sharing giant, reported this about 2015 content popularity:

Who doesn’t want to get healthier? Health was a popular topic in 2015. Interestingly, three of the most shared posts on BuzzFeed this year were about health, as seen below.

They explain that the viral element of these articles was the topic of the content: health, diet and fitness tips.

Buzzfeed knows a thing or two about shareable content, and they were the clear leader in the socially-shared fitness topics.

A quick search for “buzzfeed fitness” produces over 800,000 results:


There are tons of shares on each one of these.

Depending on your industry, blogging about fitness can work well.

Begin this process by searching Google for the top fitness blogs, and scour them to find out what the fitness industry is talking about. Write a post from this, relate it to your business, and that’s it. Simple.

4. Getting what you want in life

The ability to change outcomes quickly and effectively is a skill mankind has been working on for centuries. Want to increase the share count of your blog posts?

Empower your readers.

Show them how to use confidence to get what they want in their lives, relationships, and careers.

Take advantage of this by writing content that talks about specific topics such as:

  • How to get a raise/promotion
  • Negotiation techniques
  • Relationship tips
  • Interview tactics

If spun correctly, these topics will not only be practical and interesting to your readers (i.e., perfect for sharing) but also useful to you: they will introduce you as a thought leader, helping you establish trust with your audience.

And trust, in turn, can produce social sharing.

Some of the major blogs, such as Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Fast Co., and Business Insider, are full of articles like this one:


Feeling that sense of empowerment drives people to share, share, share…

The great thing about topics like these is they can be used on most types of blogs.

5. Money

The fifth and arguably most successful blog topic is money and finances.

The Internet is chock full of people looking to improve their finances, get out of debt, plan for the future, etc.

James Clear, for example, typically writes about health and productivity, but he knows that money topics will hit a social sharing streak. Take this super-popular article he wrote for Business Insider:


It’s garnered 58K+ shares since it was published!

This is a great topic to blog about, and it’s excellent for highlighting the potential financial benefits your product or service provides. It’s a no-brainer.

But what if you run out of ideas?

What happens when we’ve exhausted these topics next month and we’re back to square one—out of ideas?

At this point, get online and check out forums related to your interests to find out what people are asking and what discussions are viral or trending.

Use the main categories above as a guide (fitness, finance, travel, etc.), and dive into these sub categories on each forum on a more micro level.

For example, let’s say you see on Forum A that “puppies” is trending, and, in particular, many people are talking about “German Shepherd puppies.”

Narrow the focus of your next blog post to include this specific information on German Shepherd puppies, and watch your content take off.

But it’s not always this easy, right? What about when you’re having a rough day writing? Here’s a bonus tip.

In addition to the above, keep what I like to call an “ideas file” handy.

Start with a Google spreadsheet. Every time you come across an interesting idea for your blog, write it down.

Scour the Internet for news, and read other blogs you respect.

These ideas become inspiration for posts down the road. Maintain this file, and I promise you can make your blog more successful.


There are dozens of factors that influence the shareability of your blog posts.

Issues such as the time of posting, time of sharing, style of the title, featured image, author’s authority, keyword presence, etc. are all crucial.

But there’s one thing at the heart of it all: what’s the topic?

If you miss the right topics, the entire blog will be a waste of time and effort.

Not all these topics will work for every blog. I understand that.

Knowing your audience and their interests is your path to ultra-shareability.

Just a few small tweaks to your blog can dramatically improve the rate of sharing of your content.

Spend time researching competitors, writing down your ideas for later use, and keeping your finger on the pulse of the blogs and forums for your topic of interest.

One piece of advice I always leave my clients with is this: Would YOU want to read your blog if you were the customer?

If the answer is no, consider some of the strategies above and let me know how it goes.

Which blog topics work best for you?

from Quick Sprout

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Proven Method for Driving 8x More Conversions from Long-Form Blog Articles

On the surface, blogs appear to be fountains of free-flowing information.

You read lots of rich and valuable research.

You collect plenty of juicy data.

You discover how to do a valuable task.

And, sure, some blogs are happy with lots of traffic and satisfied visitors.

But most content marketers know that blogs have the potential to drive insane conversion numbers.

Yes, conversions—as in people taking a desired action on your website. Maybe you want more email signups, more downloads, more free trials, or more purchases.

But here’s where things get dicey. Even though blogs are supposed to drive conversions, they usually don’t.

Why not?

It comes down to this. There is a disconnect between a blog’s conversion potential and its practical ability to achieve those conversions.

If your blog isn’t converting well, don’t beat yourself up. You’re about to discover some incredibly powerful ways to amp up the conversion power of your blog.

If you can improve the conversion power of your blog, it will transform into an unending revenue stream.

Once you learn how to remove the barriers, there’s no telling how high your conversion rate will soar.

Are blogs supposed to drive conversions?

First, let’s make sure we set the stage for the techniques that’ll follow.

What’s the purpose of a blog?

In a word, it’s this: revenue.

I hate to be so cold and businessy about it, but it’s true. Everything in business comes back to revenue.

Let’s say you’re a small business. Ultimately, you want more revenue, right?

More customers will produce more revenue. And a great blog will help you get those customers.

This infographic from SmallFuel Marketing makes the point:



But do blogs drive conversions?

Hubspot’s research demonstrates that yes, indeed, they do. Hubspot’s analysis of a business’s blogging efforts showed that content published in the past 12 months gained an increasing number of contacts as time went on:



Get this. The more you blog, the more customers you’ll gain.

You may be thinking: But what about PPC, social media, and email marketing? What about all those other sexy techniques for driving conversions?

Fair question! Aren’t those effective methods?

Sure, paid search and social media are effective. But when you compare their conversion potential to that of organic search, there’s no contest.



What’s my point?

It’s simple. Your blog can be a conversion machine.

But no, it doesn’t happen if you simply create good content. Good content is a given—something we should assume is already happening.

What you need beyond good content is the means and methods of persuading users to convert when they access your content.

Basically, it’s how you create that content and what you do with that content that makes all the difference.

So, what should you do to rev up the conversion engine that is your blog?

Instead of giving you granular tactics, I want to show you some of the deep methods that produce conversion power from the very source.

Create long-form content

Have you ever wondered why I occasionally write a 10,000-word blog post or a 50,000-word guide?

Is it because I get carried away? Have too much time to burn? Am getting paid based on word count?

No, no, and no.

I write articles like these for several reasons. Here are three of them:

  • My readers love them.
  • Search engines love them.
  • People convert on them.

Content marketing, as I understand and practice it, is all about value.

I am intent on providing the best darn value, free of charge.

I tend to think a really long article will give you helpful information and hopefully have a positive impact on your business.

Second, we’ve seen the massive impact long-form articles have on SEO.

Let me show you.

Top results on Google correlate with content longer than 2,000 words. In other words, the highest ranked pages on Google also have the most content!


Plus, there’s the social sharing aspect to keep in mind. The longer your content, the more social shares you earn.


Finally, there’s the bit about conversions, which is where I want to settle for just a moment.

  • When you have higher search results, you get more search traffic.
  • When you get more search traffic, you gain more conversions.

Let’s say your blog’s conversion rate is around 2% at the moment.

If 1,000 people visit your ordinary blog article (1,000 words), two of them will sign up for a free trial.

A long-form article, however, gets more traffic than the average blog article. Using the share metrics as a benchmark, we can safely assume that a long-form article (3000+ words) gets 100% more traffic than a shorter article (0-1,000 words).

Now, you have 2,000 people visiting your content—twice as many! And you have twice as many conversions too!

This introduces a logical question: How long is long-form content?

I hate to be “that guy,” but the answer is: as long as it needs to be.

You were looking for a word count, right?

Okay, I’ll give it to you, but you have to listen to my little lesson first.

I—and Google and the rest of the world tend to agree with me—am more interested in the quality of your content than the actual length of said content.

If you spin out 5,000 words of crap, you’ll destroy your conversions, not improve them.

As cliche as it sounds, quality is more important than quantity.

If you’re looking for a word count, I suggest 2,500 words or more are sufficient for outranking your competitors, turning on the traffic floodgates, and boosting your blog conversions.

The Lesson: Crank out long-form content on your blog, and you will double your conversions.

Create content around long-tail keywords

What kind of content drives the most conversions?

There’s no question about it: using long-tail keywords brings in the highest blog conversion rates.

What are long-tail keywords?

A long-tail keyword is a search query—the words that people type or speak to find stuff on the web.

Long-tail queries are…well, long. They generally have more than three words.

For example, “shoes” is a short keyword (called a head term). But “Nike women’s running shoes” is long.



The important thing to realize about long-tail and short-tail keywords is this: Your blog is more likely to rank for long-tail queries.

Plus, long-tail queries are focused in terms of user intent. The search volume may not be astronomical, but at least you’re gaining search volume from the right users.

Best of all, the conversion rates on long-tail queries are sky high.

Take a look at this benefit list of the long-tail keyword. Pay special attention to that last point:



What is a “high” conversion rate? Since “high” is a relative term, let’s do some comparison.

Notice the difference in conversion rates between head terms and long-tail queries. Which is higher?



Long-tail queries converted at 26%, a whopping 160% increase over the 10%-converting head terms!

It’s one thing to know that long-tail terms have higher conversion rates. That’s nice. But the real question is: What do you do about it?

It doesn’t take an SEO whiz to know that your blog probably won’t rank for short head terms like “computer.”

When I query “computer” in my browser, here’s what I come up with:


The bulk of the above-the-fold results are major retailers. Below that are local results.

Sorry, but none of that stuff is long-form content!

I use “computer” as an example because of my personal experience.

I once had a client tell me, “We provide professional web hosting services. We’d like our website to rank for the term computer.

“Hmm. I don’t think that would be the best approach,” I cautiously countered.

“Well…okay. What about server…or maybe web server?” they replied.

I had a different perspective, so I proposed an alternative solution. I said, “Let’s focus on more specific keywords that could provide a more direct source of traffic and revenue.”

  1. First, I did some keyword research to come up with a list of long-tail terms.
  2. Second, I developed an article idea around each of the keywords.

That two-step process, although simple, was all it took.

What were the results?

One of the keywords I picked was “dedicated server capacity for e-commerce site.”

Yeah, it’s a mouthful. But a 2,690-word article on “How to Know if You Need a Dedicated Server for Your E-commerce Site” produced thousands of more conversions than a more general article would have.

To begin producing your own conversion-crushing long-tail keyword articles, follow this process:

  1. Develop a list of terms that people in your niche are searching for. Make sure these terms are 4 words or longer. This article will give you a great process for doing so.
  2. Create a blog article for each term. The article title should contain most, if not all, of the words in the selected long-tail phrase.
  3. In the body of the article, be sure to include the selected keyword phrase as well as other relevant terms.
  4. In keeping with the previous point about long-form content, write an article that exceeds 2,500 words.

The Lesson:  Develop your blog’s content to target long-tail keywords.

Deliver content that is aligned with user intent

One of the most direct ways to gain more conversions is to create content that satisfies user intent.

What is “user intent?”

User intent is what someone wants when they type something into Google.

For example, if I want to fly to Delhi next week, I would type in: “tickets from Atlanta to Delhi.”

My intent as a user is to purchase an airline ticket from Atlanta to Delhi, India.

In response to my query, Google would show me some airlines with flight times and rates.


There are three main types of user intent, often called “query types.”

  1. Navigational: The user is trying to get to a specific website. For example, “quick sprout blog.”
  2. Informational: The user is trying to learn information. For example, “how do I increase my blog’s conversion rate.”
  3. Transactional: The user is trying to purchase or make a transaction on something. For example, “Coupons for Huggies diapers.”


Google is pretty good at determining the type of query you’re using and the best results to provide.

When I searched for airline tickets, Google provided a quick and accessible way to make a purchase based on my transactional query.

When you’re creating long-form blog articles, you are most likely targeting informational queries. These informational queries often bring up blog articles. (Transactional queries, by contrast, usually bring up product pages.)


But we still need to understand the following: What does user intent have to do with conversions?

The answer lies within the buying funnel.

The buying funnel is a model that marketers use to demonstrate how users get around to purchasing something.

The iterations of the buying funnel are many. But the basic idea is this:

  1. The prospect becomes aware of the product.
  2. The prospect begins to consider, research, or compare different products.
  3. The prospect makes their decision and buys the product.

Congrats! The prospect has become a customer.

This is what the funnel looks like:


You, as a marketer or website owner, are targeting an individual within the second phase of the funnel—research and comparison.

Notice that the research phase is part of the user’s buying funnel. The information they find based on their query and intent can lead to a purchase.


Your content gives the user what they want.

They want detailed information? They want to hear a solution? They want a helpful discussion?

Enter your content, which satisfies their intent.


Such content can eventually lead to a purchase.

That’s why I recommend you deliver content aligned with user intent.

A simpler way to say it is this: Figure out what the customer wants, and give it to them.

Remember, at this point the person typing in a query is not a paying customer. They are an individual looking for information.

If they trust your website and content, they will move closer to becoming a customer—to converting on your content.

Keep in mind you should not expect to gain conversions simply on account of content that satisfies user intent. As I’ll explain below, you should also make it easy for users to convert.

Let me give you an example of how this process works in real life.

Let’s pretend you want to understand SEO. You type in “how to do SEO.” That’s an informational query.

You are not a customer, but you are in the awareness/research phase of a typical purchase.

This is what you might see in the search results:


The first result from Moz looks hopeful, so you click on it.

You see a comprehensive guide that “covers the fundamental strategies that make your websites search-engine-friendly.”


This is what you’re looking for! Your intent has been satisfied by this comprehensive long-form content.

This feeling of satisfaction is important because it has now prepared you to convert on a call to action.

Let’s take a look at what that might mean.

First, you might be likely to click the yellow button, “Start My Free 30-Day Trial.”


Perhaps, you see this call to action in the sidebar as you’re reading the content.


Or you may want to subscribe to Moz’s Top 10.


Moz creates content that satisfies a user’s intent. Then, they provide an easy way for users to convert on that content.

How do you figure out user intent on your website?

One of the most straightforward methods is to use Google Search Console.

(If you do not have GSC set up on your site, please refer to this guide from Google on how to get started.)

  • Log in to your GSC account.
  • Click “Search Traffic.”
  • Click “Search Analytics.”


Search Analytics provides a variety of keyword data with configuration options not easily accessible in Google Analytics.

Turn on “Clicks,” “CTR,” and “Position” by clicking the checkboxes:


Next, sort the results by position so you can find out what queries you are ranking for. Click “Position” in the results table:


In the table, look for queries that have a CTR (click-through rate) of 30% or above.

This means that 30%+ of the users who typed in a given query clicked on your results when they appeared in Google. We can safely assume these users are interested in your content.

For this website, I notice that a high percentage of users are clicking on the result for “django benefits.”


The query is django benefits. This is an informational query.

To satisfy user intent, I should provide comprehensive information on that topic.

You can visit the SERP the query directs to by clicking the icon next to the query.


From there, you can navigate to the relevant page on your website.

This foundational technique is helpful. If you give users the kind of content they want (their intent), you will provide a way for them to convert.

But that brings us to a really important point: How do you get them to convert?

The remainder of this article will show you some super practical ways to score those conversions.

Content is king. Keywords are necessary. User intent is important.

But what about the actual conversions?

Create a low-barrier-to-entry conversion action

So far, we’re driving relevant traffic to your page.

Now that we have those readers, we want them to convert.

The definition of conversion is pretty simple:

“The point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.”

When you ask for a conversion, you’re not asking your blog reader to pull out their credit card and give you their money. You’re simply asking them to take the next logical step.

Often, this is an easy, low-cost, and logical way to take the relationship to the next level.

Here are some common conversion actions. Notice that each of these takes a few seconds and clicks:

  • Email subscription
  • Free trial
  • Download a resource
  • Facebook like
  • Twitter follow
  • LinkedIn follow
  • Pinterest follow
  • Instagram follow
  • Google Plus circle
  • YouTube subscription
  • Slideshare subscription

Let’s take a look at a few of these. Each of these are located on a long-form blog article.

The Content Marketing Institute invites you to subscribe to their mailing list and to read their e-book. This is an example of conversion action that includes email subscription and downloading a resource:


Buffer invites you to get started with a free account. The header pictured below is persistent, meaning you’ll always see it as you scroll through the article:


The Optimizely blog invites you to get a copy of their customer stories:


The Marketing Sherpa blog uses a shadowbox popup to invite you to subscribe to their mailing list:


Qualaroo uses a “Start Free Trial” button in their header:


Kissmetrics asks you to try their SaaS:


Invitations to social accounts are so common that it’s easy to overlook them.

In the Kissmetrics screenshot above, you can see a list of social icons on the right side.

The Content Marketing Institute uses an entire section on their sidebar to ask for social connection:


Each of these conversion actions is simple, easy, and painless.

That’s what you want to do. You want to make it easy for the reader to become a regular.

Here are some rules of thumb for effective low-barrier conversion actions:

1. If you use a form, limit it to three fields

I suggest only one field (an email address) if possible, but this depends on the product you’re selling.

SumoMe asks for only a user’s email address:


For creating an account—a different purpose—they’ve included three fields on the form:


It’s still easy, fast, and effective.

2. Make it appealing and persuasive

Don’t lie, cheat, or steal when you’re asking for a conversion. Just be honest and ask for what you want.

The right kind of users want to convert. But sometimes, it takes a little persuasion and some good old-fashioned appeal.

Here’s an example.

If you read my blog, you’ve probably seen this little box:


I’ve put that call-to-action box in my content because I want to persuade you to get your website analyzed.

You have a choice. I’m not twisting your arm.

But I am trying to persuade you.

And the reason I keep using that box is because it’s working!

3. Ask for what you want

You know the expression “ask and you shall receive.”

It’s true in online marketing.

Asking for the user to convert is a gift. They want to do it.

All you have to do is ask.

A business that uses free consults as part of its sales cycle should offer the user a free consultation. Here’s an example:


A company that provides heat mapping analytics should ask users to create a heatmap, like this:


A chiropractor can offer users a free exam and x-ray:


The conversion action you choose depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

All you have to do is ask for it.

Give in-your-face levels of value

I don’t know what business you are running.

  • Maybe you’re starting an e-commerce website.
  • Maybe you’ve created a SaaS and want to sell it.
  • Maybe you’re doing marketing for a startup.
  • Maybe you’re running a side hustle.
  • Maybe you’re blogging your heart out and hoping it will pay off.

But whoever you are and whatever you’re doing, this is my plea.

Give value. Metric tons of value. Dump trucks full of value. Warehouses of value.

You believe in the product you are selling. You believe the world needs it. You believe there are people whose lives you can improve.

Do you want them to see it?

Then give it to them straight. Go for in-your-face levels of value.

You should offer so much value that the user can’t help but accept it.

Your goal as a marketer isn’t to take. Your goal as a marketer is to give. You want to provide an enormous amount of value free of charge.

That’s what I mean by “in-your-face.” It’s all about the sheer amount of value you deliver.

The website ConversionXL is recognized for actionable, data-driven, highly-researched long-form content.

When you visit the blog, here’s what you see:


They are asking you to subscribe.

This is good. Because they are offering insane amounts of value!

And that is why I recommend in-your-face techniques. Value, value, value.

It’s one thing to praise the in-your-face marketing methods, and it’s quite another to actually implement them.


Getting more conversions sounds simple.

Put up a form field!

Add a button!

Use a popup!

Those are fine methods. I’ve used all of them.

But getting conversions requires a lot more than just techniques. It requires a strategy.

That strategy is built on long-form content, enhanced by long-tail keywords, and maximized by giving people value.

Using this method for getting conversions is virtually guaranteed to work!

What are some strategic methods you’ve used to increase conversions on your long-form content?

from Quick Sprout