A few weeks ago, she published her Ultimate Guide to Stop Binge Eating for Good, which instantly made a big impact on her business:
- She was able to 5x her opt-in rate from 5% to 24%
- Within 48 hours of publishing her guide, she got an additional 125 email subscribers to her email list (which doubled her existing email list from 125 to 250 subscribers)
- Her new email subscribers were 7x more engaged than the previous ones
Because I loved Maria’s story, I asked her to write all about it – and she did!
Maria, take it away!
Table of Contents
- 1 How my Ultimate Guide helped me 5x my opt-in rate, doubled my email list and sent audience engagement through the roof (in ONE weekend)
- 2 Why I decided to write an Ultimate Guide
- 3 Before and after: how the Ultimate Guide increased audience engagement x7
- 4 Why the Ultimate Guide made my audience way more engaged
- 5 What’s next after the Ultimate Guide?
How my Ultimate Guide helped me 5x my opt-in rate, doubled my email list and sent audience engagement through the roof (in ONE weekend)
Creating an ultimate guide is a big piece of work. I had a lot of reservations before creating one:
- Did I have time to write one, around all the other things in my life?
- Was it going to be worth the effort?
- Was anyone going to give a shit?
- If I gave away so much content for free, would I run out of material that I could monetize later?
Why I decided to write an Ultimate Guide
In the end, I decided to write an Ultimate Guide (To Stop Binge Eating For Good). Here’s why:
Establish myself as the go-to expert
When I first started trying to publicize myself and my site, I’d send outreach emails, but it dawned on me pretty quickly that influencers had no reason to listen to me. All this knowledge was in my head, so even though I knew I was good, no one else knew. I felt the ultimate guide would give me a stronger voice than a single, cold-pitch email ever could. It would give influencers and prospects a reason to listen to me.
Add massive value
I wanted to give people as much help as possible. Having been there myself, I know how miserable it is to be binge eating, and I’m genuinely driven to help others in a meaningful way. The ultimate guide is a great way to do that.
Great content stands the test of time
Rather than clickbait bullshit that lasts three seconds, I wanted to create a strong piece of content that will still be helping tons of people, many years down the line. I wanted to do the work upfront, and reap its benefits for years to come.
Link, link, link
Like a giant FAQ, I wanted to create a single resource where I could consistently link people who were struggling. This would save time in the future, and still deliver the value my audience crave. Although I know nothing about SEO, I’d also heard that long, useful content would probably be a good thing for my ranking, and it was something my site was sorely lacking.
So, with those reasons in mind, I wrote The Ultimate Guide To Stop Binge Eating For Good. But what I didn’t see coming was the dramatic increase in engagement I’ve since achieved.
Before and after: how the Ultimate Guide increased audience engagement x7
Let me set the scene for you. Before I wrote the ultimate guide, I was stuck on 124 subscribers for months. My opt-in rate was around 5%.
During those months, I tried to get guest posts. I got two, but gained no new subscribers from either.
When I managed to score an interview on the Summer Tomato podcast, I knew this would be a great opportunity to drive traffic to my site, so I wanted my opt-in to be strong.
With hours to spare before the podcast went live, I finished my ultimate guide and made it my opt-in. It was worth the mad rush: my email list doubled in one weekend.
I was away with friends over that weekend, and it felt very cool to see my business “working” while I was away.
By using the ultimate guide, my opt-in rate went from just below 5% to 24% (that’s nearly x5).
Let’s quickly think about why this happened.
My audience are people who have been binge eating — often for years — and have no idea why they are doing it, or how to stop. Imagine you are in their shoes for a minute. So you’re really confused about why you keep binge eating, and you desperately want to stop.
Now you’re given two options to choose from (both are free):
- 6 Essential Tips To Stop A Binge In Its Tracks (this was my previous opt-in)
- A 65-page Ultimate Guide To Stop Binge Eating For Good
Which would you choose?
You’d pick option number 2. Of course you would.
My opt-in rate quintupled because a 65-page Ultimate Guide promises to answer so many questions my audience have about their own behavior, and how to change it. For someone struggling with binge eating, this kind of promise is irresistible.
But the ultimate guide still wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to deliver an experience to my subscribers, and show that I give a damn about each and every person who signs up to my email list.
So, after they sign up, I send them the ultimate guide and eight weeks’ worth of onboarding emails, which take them through the guide in detail.
The first email they get sent during onboarding asks them to respond with the number one thing they’re struggling with right now.
Before the ultimate guide, I only got 3 responses to this email from the 124 subscribers I had. As soon as I released the guide, I got from the additional 125 subscribers I got in that weekend. That’s engagement x7.
My inbox became flooded with emails answering my question.
Subscribers going through this new onboarding system are opening my emails 80% of the time. (Admittedly, there haven’t been that many going through since I automated it, but I’ll take 80% anytime.)
But it goes further than this. People are responding, saying the most amazing things to me:
Why the Ultimate Guide made my audience way more engaged
Personal stories open people up
An ultimate guide is a great place to share personal stories. When you open up to people, when you give them the gift of your own vulnerability and struggles, when you tell them “you’re not alone in this”, they give you the gift of their stories and struggles in return. That’s how deep and meaningful relationships are formed. But you have to be the one to take the first step.
By going into such depth in one guide — from the neuroscience behind what’s going on in the brain before a binge, to specific action steps you can take to stop binge eating forever — not only do I demonstrate that I’m an expert who can be trusted, but people can clearly see the amount of effort I put in for them.
When you go out of your way for people, when you deliver massive value in one convenient location, when you give it away, completely free of charge, people want to thank you, and do something for you in return. That’s just human nature.
People are going out of their way to thank me for my generosity.
Remarkable content instills excitement
Websites on binge eating seem to be separated into a few camps. One camp talks about eating disorders in a very clinical way (usually these are health service or psychotherapy websites). Another camp speaks in a very spiritual way (these websites are often bright pink and have flowers everywhere). Another camp sits within the fitness industry, and often tells people they need to count calories, go on a diet, and use willpower to get through (and yet all the research suggests diets are the cause of binge eating in the first place).
My website, and my guide, are different from anything I’ve ever seen in my niche. I don’t use flowery language telling people they are broken. I don’t dwell on the clinical side of having an eating disorder. My ultimate guide cites scientific research, but it also uses fun analogies, personal stories, and hand-drawn images (which I personally drew). It teaches mental toughness and resilience; it has solid, actionable steps; and it gets sweaty at times, because that’s how I roll. Finally, it’s positioned on a website with photos of me being a badass in the gym (because that’s also how I roll).
It blows all the other binge eating content that I’ve seen out of the water.
In a word, it is remarkable.
Hand-drawn images are one of the things I love to do, and it helps to make my content truly remarkable.
When you give people something different, something new, something remarkable, you give them excitement. You give them hope.
Think about the last time someone made you feel excited, hopeful, gave you something to believe in, or just spoke to you in a way that made you feel completely understood.
How did you feel towards that person? Did you like them? Did you want to get to know them better? Did you want to listen to what they have to say?
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
An ultimate guide can help you to become that person for your audience.
What’s next after the Ultimate Guide?
My business is growing, and the ultimate guide has been an excellent way for me to build an engaged audience. I also know that my onboarding system is going to continue to engage new subscribers in the future.
I have no background in business, but I’ve learnt a lot in the past ten months. Now that I’ve written an ultimate guide, things feel clearer. It feels like I’m getting somewhere, and making a dent in other people’s lives.
All the concerns I had before writing the guide have been placated. It has already been worth the time I spent on it, and I know it has many years’ more value left in the tank.
I no longer fear that I won’t have enough material to monetize later, because when you write a big guide like this, you begin to see that there is always more to say; the process of writing an ultimate guide helps you to find those words, both now and in the future.
We each have to take our own journeys in online business, but if you care about the quality of your email list, if you want to build a solid, engaged audience, if you want to do the work up-front so you can reap the rewards for many years down the line, then I highly recommend writing an ultimate guide. And there is simply no one better to teach you how than Primoz, the Ultimate Guide System founder himself.
Maria helps people stop binge eating, stop emotional overeating and become the best version of themselves. You can read her Ultimate Guide to Stop Binge Eating for Good here.
If you’re interested in using Ultimate Guides to grow your email list and get your first paying customers, you can now join Ultimate Guide System – a one year program where I’ll teach you, step by step, how to create incredible Ultimate Guides and finally get your online business off the ground in 2018.
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