Do you ever feel like…
- Your blog posts aren’t getting enough traffic?
- You’re spending hours and hours on your business each week and it doesn’t take off?
- It’s sometimes easier to do nothing than to try to do everything that you “should” be doing do grow your online business?
If you answered YES to at least one of those questions, then I have good news for you.
My friend Peter Nguyen from Essential Man used to struggle with all of that.
He was writing 3-4 blog posts each month. He was juggling that with 1-on-1 client work, managing his Facebook group of paying clients, and living a life.
Yet his business wasn’t growing nearly as fast as he would’ve wanted to. He was putting in a ton of work, and not reaping the benefits of it…
…until he started writing LESS posts each month. In fact, he now writes just ONE blog post a month.
And guess what?
By writing posts like:
- The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Leather Jacket
- The Ultimate Guide to Summer Style
- The Essential Fall Style Guide
His monthly traffic DOUBLED.
His email list grew to thousands of email subscribers.
He brought in tens of thousands of revenue with his business.
And today I’m SO excited, because he’s going to share EXACTLY how he did it with you guys, in this very post :).
He’ll share the high level strategy, specific tactics and systems he used, as well as reveal the numbers of how publishing LESS helped him grow his online business.
Peter, take it away!
Table of Contents
- 1 HOW I DOUBLED MY TRAFFIC WRITING JUST 1 POST A MONTH
- 1.1 By Peter Nguyen from Essential Man
- 1.2 THIS WASN’T THE BUSINESS I WANTED
- 1.3 LESS WORK BUT GREATER IMPACT
- 1.4 HOW I WRITE 1-2 HUGE, ULTIMATE POSTS EACH MONTH
- 1.5 STEP #1: MAKE WRITING EASIER BY CRAFTING A SYSTEM FOR CREATING CONTENT
- 1.6 STEP #2: OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT FOR EVERGREEN TRAFFIC
- 1.7 STEP #3: CREATE “NEW” POSTS 10x FASTER BY UPDATING OLD CONTENT
- 1.8 GET TACTICAL, NOT EMOTIONAL
HOW I DOUBLED MY TRAFFIC WRITING JUST 1 POST A MONTH
By Peter Nguyen from Essential Man
At the end of 2016 my personal styling business was making more money in a month than it did the entire previous year.
I had a steady stream of private clients, and thousands of daily readers.
So what was the problem?
Like many online entrepreneurs, I’m a one man show.
Between working with my high-end 1-on-1 clients, managing the Facebook group for my course students, and tackling outside goals like my fitness, I couldn’t continue churning out 2-4 posts and emails a week my readers were accustomed to.
I was going crazy.
I felt overwhelmed.
It got to a point where it was easier to do nothing than try to juggle it all.
I started to go weeks without a single new post or email.
I knew something had to change.
THIS WASN’T THE BUSINESS I WANTED
I did what any smart business owner would do: I sat down, poured myself some tequila, and took a hard look at my business.
Here’s what I found:
1. What I was doing wasn’t sustainable.
I had two options when it came to my current business: cut back on the work I was doing, or hire someone to take some of the workload off of me.
Despite my growth, I still wasn’t at a point where I could hire someone. If I continued on the same path, it was inevitable that I was going to get burned out and end up hating my job.
2. The bigger the post, the bigger the impact.
When I looked at the numbers, shorter, often rushed posts had a lot less impact on traffic and subscribers (and ultimately sales).
According to my analytics, the top 10 posts on my site consisted entirely of long, in depth posts. And posts with opt-in bonuses garnered 4x more opt-ins than shorter posts.
Don’t just take my word for it, two of the biggest names in SEO, Neil Patel and Brian Dean have both done experiments that show longer form content is the way to go if you want to grow your traffic and authority.
LESS WORK BUT GREATER IMPACT
There was a third realization I came to: That it was ultimately MY business, and I could run it however I wanted!
I know a ton of great sites in my niche that churn out daily blog posts, tweets, and instagrams, making the bulk of their revenue va advertisers and affiliates.
That wasn’t the business I wanted.
I wanted a business that could continue to grow and earn revenue even if I decided to take a few weeks off for a vacation.
I didn’t want more work, I wanted more impact.
So here’s what I decided: In Nov 2016, I decided to switch exclusively to writing long form, in-depth content, limiting myself to 1-2 posts a month.
The Essential Man analytics from 2016-2017
Within 2 months, my traffic and subscribers nearly doubled, and have consistently been increasing month after month!
Here were the posts from Jan – June 2017.
(Note: Feb and June are the only months with 2 posts)
Has hell frozen over? A nice comment on Reddit!
I started seeing more shares, more comments, more subscriptions, and yes, more sales.
Payments from 1-on-1 clients
Stripe payments from course launches. Notice the small peaks at the end of 2016 vs the peaks in 2017
Between Jan and June 2017, my email list size doubled, giving me more potential customers to pitch my course and services to. I made more revenue in the first 3 months of 2017 than all of 2016.
HOW I WRITE 1-2 HUGE, ULTIMATE POSTS EACH MONTH
For many writers, churning out 3k+ monsters can be a huge undertaking, often taking months.
I’m confident anyone can write high quality post in half the time (or faster).
Today, I’m going to share how you can write amazing, high quality, long form ultimate content as fast a week. I’ll also be sharing how you can use your new long-form posts to consistently grow your traffic, subscribers, and sales completely automatically.
STEP #1: MAKE WRITING EASIER BY CRAFTING A SYSTEM FOR CREATING CONTENT
It’s Sunday morning.
You head over to your local Starbucks, laptop in hand.
You order your usual latte, open up Google docs, and start a new document.
You start writing the intro to your post due tomorrow and hate it. You smash that delete it and start over.
This dance continues for what seems like hours, and now you start freaking out.
You’re not alone.
This is how I used to tackle writing in the early days of The Essential Man.
It was a frustrating rollercoaster.
On some days I’d feel like a genius when posts just flowed out of me after a couple sips of coffee.
On most days I’d feel like the world was going to end when I’d notice it was 7pm and I didn’t have anything ready to post the next day.
Thankfully I now take a methodical, systematic approach to writing. It’s not only allowed me to churn out great posts consistently, I don’t dread writing anymore, actually ENJOY and look forward to it!
Here’s the three part system I use:
PART 1: HAVE AN INFINITE SUPPLY OF POST IDEAS BY CREATING A “MASTER BRAINSTORM DOC”
As an entrepreneur, I’m sure I’m not alone when I talk about how my mind is constantly churning out “great” ideas.
I’m always thinking of a new post I could write, a new person I could reach out to, a new program I can offer. Old ideas are always getting pushed out by new ones.
Couple that with the fact that I can barely remember everything I did yesterday, it’s easy to forget that one topic you thought would be a great post idea.
The solution is pretty simple: start writing your ideas down!
I’m not going to tell you you should sign up for Evernote, or try to implement some complex Spreadsheet system.
Keep it simple.
The best tool to record your ideas is the one that you’ll use most often.
I still carry this around to jot down ideas
When I started writing blog post ideas down, I used a pocket sized Moleskine and a pen simply because I found an unused one in my cabinet.
Now I have a master brainstorming doc on my Google Drive that I can access anywhere.
Sometimes when I want to jot something down fast I’ll open up my iphone Notepad, or even just email myself.
The lesson here is to constantly write down any idea that pops in your head that might be good to write about. That way when you go to sit down to write, you’re not wasting time hoping and praying for an idea to pop up. You can simply open up your brainstorm doc and pick something to write about.
PART 2: 1 DAY, 1 TASK: BREAK DOWN THE WRITING PROCESS TO WRITE FASTER
Constant task switching was a huge struggle for me when I was first starting out. Your brain isn’t equipped to juggle multiple tasks that require different types of thinking from each other.
If you’ve ever been interrupted during a writing session with a text or email, you know how hard it is to get back into that flow.
When I talk to other writers about what they find most challenging about writing, they often talk about how it takes them so long to write.
When I dug a little deeper, I noticed a lot of them were editing as they wrote, or even worse, doing research as they wrote.
They were constantly switching back and forth between different writing tasks, it’s no surprise their posts would take weeks, even months to write!
To minimize this, I break up the writing process, creating an efficient system for producing high quality content fast.
It’s pretty simple: 1 Day, 1 Task.
It looks something like this:
This is the exact 7-day writing schedule I’ve used for the last 6 months.
Now that I’m writing even bigger (5K+ words) content, I’ve expanded the calendar to give myself a bit more time to write.
Here’s what my current schedule looks like:
There’s no right or wrong amount of days you should give yourself for a specific task.
Some of you might write extremely fast drafts but need more days to edit.
Some of you might have an editor on staff you can just hand off drafts to.
As long as you remember to break down the process and not to do more than one task per day, you’ll find you’ll be producing better content faster.
Experiment to find your sweet spot.
PART 3: SPEND 2X THE TIME WRITING A SOLID OUTLINE
Outlines are the recipes of your epic content.
Think about the last time you cooked following a well written recipe.
You probably left thinking you were a master chef that could have her own cooking show!
I can tell you from experience from writing long form content exclusively these past 6 months, posts where I spent time fleshing out a solid outline were not only easier to write, but they were much more useful to the readers because I didn’t forget anything.
If you want to write better and faster posts, spend 2x more time on crafting great outlines.
STEP #2: OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT FOR EVERGREEN TRAFFIC
Now that you have your overall game plan for creating amazing long form content, it’s time to fine tune your work so you’re consistently getting better traffic, more subscribers, and climb that Google rank.
#1: BE THOROUGH
Ultimate guides and epic posts aren’t a time to skimp over important details.
While Google is generally secretive about how certain posts become top search results, one thing is clear: content that is useful is content that readers engage with and share, and content that’s shared is content that ranks.
My first ultimate guide guest post beat out GQ on Google!
Take, for example, my Ultimate Guide to Buying a Leather Jacket. This was my FIRST ever ultimate post, and I didn’t hold back.
It’s a 3.6K word post that walks a guy through the steps of buying the perfect leather jacket. It covers everything from the different styles, pros and cons of different leathers, even how to tell the difference between a high quality leather jacket and a piece of junk like a pro.
And now if you search “How to buy a leather jacket” on Google, it’s a top result!
#2: DON’T USE DATES IN YOUR PERMALINKS
Keep permalinks clear, easy to remember, and date free
Readers will sometimes have a bias against old posts. Readers could be turned off by seeing that a post is 1-2 years old, automatically thinking the content isn’t relevant anymore. (Tim Ferriss recommends not having dates on your posts for this reason.)
I also don’t recommend you have a date in your URL permalinks, especially If you’re in a niche like me (fashion) that is heavily dependent on timing or trends.
This is also particularly useful if you’re updating old content to reshare. If you had a date in your permalink and update the date to bump it to the top, you could lose old backlinks. (More on bumping posts later)
There should be an option in your blog service backend on formatting your URL.
Here’s how to change it in WordPress, which is what I use.
Log into your WordPress and click on “Settings” then “Permalinks”
Choose “Post name”, click save.
#3: LINK TO OLDER POSTS IN YOUR NEW POSTS
Interlinking has a lot of SEO benefits that I won’t go too deep on in here. (If you want to read more, Neil Patel has an awesome guide on it.)
An even bigger benefit that isn’t discussed enough is that linking to your old content builds trust and credibility between you and the reader.
As they discover more of your amazing content, you become the go-to source in your niche. By interlinking, you make your amazing content easier for them to find.
That’s why I’m constantly referencing and linking to older, relevant posts, and why I’ve seen consistent traffic increase on old posts.
It also gives you more opportunities to convert them into future buyers by linking to older posts that might have opt-in bonuses.
A great example of a high converting interlink heavy post you can start on today: The “Start Here” beginners post.
This kills a ton of birds with one stone.
- New readers can find a step-by-step guide to get started with your material and not feel overwhelmed.
- You increase traffic and SEO authority on older posts.
- You increase your authority as an expert.
- You increase your chances of converting a new reader into a subscriber, which in turn makes them more likely to become a customer.
If you need an example, check out my Start Here/Beginner’s Guide Post for The Essential Man.
#4: ADD YOUR BEST CONTENT IN YOUR SIDEBAR
Similar to interlinking, make your best post easier to find by adding your best content in sidebars or on the menu.
This simple addition has increased traffic on older posts by at least 4x.
#5: SCHEDULE SOCIAL MEDIA TO AUTOMATICALLY SHARE YOUR POSTS
Social media can be a fulltime job.
Luckily, services like Buffer make it much easier to schedule and consistently share your content so it doesn’t get lost in noise.
I recommend blocking out one hour a week to schedule an entire week’s worth of shares between your newest post and any older post you want traffic on.
STEP #3: CREATE “NEW” POSTS 10x FASTER BY UPDATING OLD CONTENT
My biggest secret of all: I often refresh old content and share it “as new”.
Refreshing and resharing old content is a great way to not only put it in front of new readers who might have missed it the first time, but it also gives you an opportunity to make it relevant again.
If you have a niche like me where things are constantly changing, you might be left outdated information and broken links on an amazing post you spent weeks on.
For example, I often recommend specific items to buy in my posts. Thanks to the nature of fashion, my recommendations become irrelevant after a season. They also become useless if a certain item sells out after a few weeks.
Taking an hour or so every so often to update the links makes the post useful again.
That’s just one way to update a post, here are a few others:
1. Increase your credibility by changing your opinion on something
Nobody likes to admit they’re wrong, but changing your mind can actually be beneficial and increase your credibility.
Take, for example, Ramit Sethi in a email where he makes fun of his younger self’s bad advice and opinions.
2. Make a post more readable
No doubt the more you write, the worse your older post might be to you looking back.
This simple tweak of making it easier to read and understand can turn a C+ post into a A in less than a day.
3. Add new information
Whether you forgot to include something, rushed through your old post, or learned something new, you can add more value by giving your readers new information not previously shared.
It’s important to make sure that anything new you add is useful and relevant, and that you’re not adding something for the sake of making the post bigger for big sake.
4. Create a better opt-in
Didn’t include an opt-in in an old post?
Opt-in no longer converting?
Take this opportunity to create a new opt-in bonus to grow your subscribers.
One last tip: You can bump the post to the top of your blog feed by changing the post date (at least in WordPress). Simply go to edit your post and change the publish date to today’s date and it will be bumped to the top of your feed.
GET TACTICAL, NOT EMOTIONAL
If you find yourself overwhelmed, stressed, and dreading waking up to start work like I did at the end of last year, it’s a good sign you need to take a look at how you’re operating your business.
Implement this system for creating epic content smooth and fast, and take back your time and sanity.
Once you have your writing system in place, I highly recommend checking out Ultimate Guides to start creating epic content that gets you more traffic, more subscribers, and more sales.
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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