Monday, March 30, 2015

NU MONEY MARKETING: [Checklist] The 5-Point Business Blog Accelerator

NU MONEY MARKETING: [Checklist] The 5-Point Business Blog Accelerator: If you want to take your blog from this... … to this… … you need to dig in to this article. I’m about to reveal the 5-Poin...

[Checklist] The 5-Point Business Blog Accelerator

If you want to take your blog from this...

… to this…


… you need to dig in to this article.
I’m about to reveal the 5-Point Business Blog Checklist we use to transform ghost town blogs with no traffic into boom town blogs that generate leads and sales for a real business.
Let’s start with the most critical point in the checklist…

1 – Compelling Lead Magnet(s)

Email is still king folks.
It’s how you’ll bring people back to your content again and again.  But it’s also how you’ll make offers.
There is no difference between a blog subscriber and a lead.  A lead is a blog subscriber and a blog subscriber is a business lead.
And if you want leads, you need a Lead Magnet.  (For a complete understanding ofLead Magnets, read this article.)
This Lead Magnet has generated 36,859 leads/blog subscribers over the last 60 days at the time of this writing…
Getting blog subscribers
You’ll want to make this Lead Magnet offer in places like your blog sidebar as we have above.
But the sidebar is NOT where you’ll get the majority of your opt-ins.
Not even close.
Of the 36,859 leads/subscribers we’ve generated from this Lead Magnet only 319 of them opted-in by clicking on that banner in the right sidebar.
And that’s why you must have…

2 – Dedicated Landing Pages

The other 36,540 leads/subscribers that joined our email list to get this Lead Magnetentered our website on this page…


It’s a type of landing page called a “squeeze page.”  We call it that because there are only two things you can do on this page…
  • Opt-in to get the Lead Magnet
  • Leave
If you do it right, it’s possible to convert 40, 50 even 60% of visitors to a squeeze page into leads/subscribers.
So, how do you do it right?
There are 3 factors that will determine your Lead Magnet opt-in rate and they are (in order of importance)…
  • The Offer – If you don’t make a compelling offer, nothing else matters.
  • The Copy – Particularly the headline and bullets describing the Lead Magnet offer. (Read more about writing persuasive bullets here)
  • The Layout/Design – The look and feel of your landing page is important —- but only if the offer and copy are done right.  No amount of design or layout will save a bad offer or copy.
That’s it.
That’s it.
But I know what you’re thinking.
How in the heck do you get traffic to a “squeeze page?.”
Great question.  It’s time to add…

3 – A Paid Traffic Strategy

At Digital Marketer we don’t worry about traffic.
When we want traffic, we turn it on… like a water faucet.
We like getting clicks from SEO.  And clicks from our Facebook Fans.
But we don’t pin our hopes to organic (free) traffic.  We’d much rather develop a great offer and cut a check for the traffic.  That way we know the traffic is coming.
We know WHEN it is coming.  And WHERE it is going.
It’s reliable.  Consistent.
And we can get data back very quickly this way.  In a day or two we can answer questions like…

How many of the 1,000 visitors we sent to that Lead Magnet squeeze page became leads/subscribers?
We may buy traffic, but we don’t like to pay for leads and subscribers.  So, we liquidate the cost of traffic by making a low-dollar offer to those that opt-in for the Lead Magnet.
We call it a Tripwire offer and you can learn all about the Tripwire offer and more in this article.
But here’s the short story about how we use Tripwire offers to generate leads, blog subscribers AND customers without spending a thin dime.
Let’s look at an example…
We have a Lead Magnet called the 60 Second Blog Plan that is designed to add more bloggers to our email list.
Here’s the Lead Magnet squeeze page for that offer…


 Let’s say we drive 1,000 paid clicks for $.50 a click.  The page converts ~50% of that traffic into leads.
When visitors opt-in, they are made a $10 offer on the “Thank You Page” and ~10% of people buy this low-dollar “Tripwire” offer.
The results?  500 new leads.  50 new buyers.  Zero out of pocket.
It looks like this…
Self Liquidating Offer
Yep… if you want your blog to make money — you need to treat it like a business.
Create great content and offers and force eyeballs on it with a paid traffic strategy.
As the business owner it is your job to develop great offers and drive the strategy of the business and blog.  As a result you’ll find yourself much less able to spend time creating content.
Instead, you’ll need…

4 – Multiple Authors

Can you create a single author blog that makes money?  Absolutely.
But the big blogs that are really crushing it don’t operate like blogs.
They operate like media companies.  They operate like a true publisher with multiple authors.
Why?  For one, creating content is time intensive and not the best use of the business owner’s time.  Can you still write for your blog?  Sure, just don’t think that your primary role is creating content.  You need to generate leads and sales.
Secondly, with multiple authors you’ll access multiple networks.  When people create content, they share it with their network.   (Learn more about finding people to write for your blog here.)
Think about it… Arianna Huffington is not busy creating the next piece of content for Huffington Post.  Steve Forbes isn’t furiously writing to beat a deadline on
The business owner needs to be… well… running the business.  Not working in the weeds on the next blog post.
Darren Rowse is the owner of, a multi-author blog about blogging.  But he also owns a dominant blog in the photography space called Digital Photography School or DPS.  This blog, according to received 923,575 unique visitors in January of 2015.
DPS is a multi-author blog…
The blogs we create are run like media companies and have multiple authors. has a group of experts that are tapped to provide content…
And is the same…
If you want to create a blog that generates sales and leads — get out of WordPress and start running the business side of the media property you are building — not the editorial side.
That said, to run a successful business blog you will need…

5 – A Relentless Dedication to Quality

Why is this listed #5?
Because high quality content is table stakes.  If you want to play the blogging game, you’ll need great content just to sit down at the table.
Here’s why…
By creating a business blog you have become both…
  • The publisher – You publish content in the same way that the New York Times, ESPN or Cosmopolitan magazine does.
  • The advertiser – You sell products and services around the outside of that published content.
When you publish great content, it creates an audience — just as it does at the New York Times, ESPN or Cosmopolitan.
You make offers (as the advertiser) to that audience.
Bad Content = No Audience = No Ability To Advertise
Simple as that.  The same as a bad television show (content) on ABC, CBS or NBC will attract no audience and thus no advertisers.
If you’re running a blog (or are starting one) ask yourself these questions…
  • Do I have compelling Lead Magnet(s)?
  • Do I have dedicated landing pages?
  • Do I have a paid traffic strategy?
  • Do I have multiple authors?
  • Do I have a relentless dedication to quality?
Blog Accelerator Checklist

Questions?  Comments?  I’d love to talk about it in the comments section.

About Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is the Editorial Director at Digital Marketer. He's worked on digital marketing projects for companies like CrazyEgg, and Network Solutions. You can connect with Russ on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

[Test Results] The "Pixel Process": How Digital Marketer Gets 81% More Leads and 38% More Sales From Paid Traffic

There’s a new sheriff in the traffic world.

It’s called Cost Per Pixel. (You can learn more about this metric here).

CPP is how much it costs YOU to send a user to your site (preferably a piece of content, such as a blog post) in order to pixel them.

But, it’s much more than a new metric.

The idea of pixeling users has changed our ENTIRE traffic strategy at Digital Marketer over the past few months and we’re not just talking about “retargeting”.

Here’s what you’ll see in this case study…

A new traffic strategy
Proof that it works
The 3-step process you can use to set it up (it’s easy!)

As digital marketers, we MUST start building these pixeled audiences (on Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc.) so that we can LEVERAGE them… now and later. These audiences are OWNED MEDIA, they’re assets that are just as important as your email list.

(Pixeled audiences in Facebook Ads Manager – we can run ads to these people at any time!)

But, why does this matter now?

1. Traffic platforms are changing and becoming crowded!

Remember when you could send Facebook traffic straight to a video sales letter (VSL)? Remember when you could send Facebook traffic to a squeeze page with just a headline and an opt in box?

Remember the Google “slap”? As ad platforms mature they become more selective with where they allow advertisers to send traffic.

For example, Facebook wants ads that give the best experience for the end user. Most end users are agitated when they’re sent to a squeeze page from cold traffic (a brand they’ve never interacted with before).

So, over the past year, Facebook has become more strict with what kind of landing pages they allow traffic to go to. They will become more and more strict as time passes!

This is why we’re sending cold traffic to content pieces.

Sending cold traffic to content is HELPFUL to the end user and allowed on almost every traffic platform.

2. Online buying behavior is changing!

We’re seeing that people are opting in for 2, 3, or 4 of our Lead Magnets before buying.

As we flood the online space with more and more commerce, buyers have more choices. They have the desire (and ability) to become familiar with a brand before they buy.

This is another reason sending traffic to content is SO important. It allows YOU to establish yourself as an authority in your market and build trust before you ask someone to give their email address or purchase.

Also, sending traffic to content happens to be pretty cheap!

(Want to know how to create high-converting, low-cost ads with Facebook advertising pixels? Click to grab The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Conversion Pixels)

Let’s walk through the new traffic process…

Step 1 – Traffic is Sent to Content

Send traffic to a content page on your site. The content should resemble a blog post and give readers the BEST information possible. The example below is a Facebook ad to a blog post on Facebook pixels.

Keep in mind, you won’t see a direct return on investment from this ad (until later… just wait :)). You’re running this ad to get visitors to your site in order to pixel them.

What do we know about someone that visits the blog post in the example above?

Answer: We know they are interested in Facebook Advertising.

So, we set up a retargeting audience for this segment of our audience.  (Learn more about this here) For this ad, we’re building an audience of people who are interested in Facebook advertising.

Step 2 – Retarget the Pixeled Audience

Retarget the pixeled audience that you built in step one with a RELEVANT offer (Lead Magnet).

Using the content, you built an audience of people who were interested in a specific topic. Now, you’ll run an ad to that audience offering them something free in return for their email address.

For this example, we ran ads for our Facebook Ad Templates lead magnet. If you’re interested in Facebook advertising, you’d love templates, right?

This is the step in the process where you start generating leads and sales! You’re sending them to a landing page, such as the one above.

Step 3 – Dynamically Retarget

Set up dynamic retargeting throughout the funnel.
With this retargeting, you’re just following up with users based off of which step they fell out of the funnel. You’re reminding them to take the next step. This is FREE money, easy to set up, and runs on autopilot.

For example, if they landed on the squeeze page but didn’t opt in – we’d run an ad like the one below to remind them:

To learn how to set up full funnel retargeting, click here.

That’s it. There are three steps to our new traffic strategy at Digital Marketer. So… what’s actually new about the strategy?

We added content at the top of the funnel. We added content because it allows us to indoctrinate our users and pixel them. We also added content because it’s allowing us to MAKE MORE MONEY.

Yes, I told you there’d be proof :).

Here’s a case study from the Facebook ad templates funnel I’ve been referencing throughout the post.

The NEW Traffic Model:

The Results:
We spent 30-50 cents to send people to our blog post.

We then spent $1.21 for each visitor who went to our landing page and gave us their email address.

That gives us a total Cost Per Lead of $1.51-1.71 for the new traffic model. (I wanted to make sure we were adding in the cost of sending that initial content click).

The OLD Traffic Model:

The Results:
When sending cold traffic directly to a squeeze page, we had a Cost Per Lead of $1.71.

So, why is this important? The cost per lead is the same?

On the Tripwire sales page (we were making a $7 offer) the conversion rate was 38% higher to the pixeled audience than to cold traffic. That’s where the MONEY starts talking!

So, not only are we building pixeled audiences of visitors based off of their specific interests – we are seeing MUCH higher conversion rates throughout our funnel by deploying this new traffic strategy.

Let’s Recap

Even after paying for an extra click to content, the cost-per-lead (CPL) for both methods was $1.71
Pixeled traffic converted 81% higher on the lead capture page
Pixeled traffic converted 38% higher on the Tripwire sales page= $$$
You’re building OWNED Media (e.g. You’re now able to advertise to this pixeled audience any time you want)
You’re indoctrinating visitors and establishing yourself as an authority so that they will BUY!

(Want to know how to create high-converting, low-cost ads with Facebook advertising pixels? Click to grab The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Conversion Pixels)

Ready to put these three easy steps to work? Have a question or want to share your own results? Leave it below!

About Molly Pittman

Molly Pittman is Digital Marketer's Vice President and Traffic Manager. She uses her wide range of business and communication skills to enhance our presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration & Marketing from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. Molly has a tiny black dog named Larry. Connect with Molly on Facebook

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How We Grew a Blog from Zero to $6 Million...

Most of the advice you’re getting about blogging is DEAD WRONG.

We know because we’re operating blogs in dozens of niches and we test EVERYTHING.

One of our most successful blogs,, has grown to one million in sales.

That’s not annual sales.  We generate one million in sales every month — and growing.

Here’s my disclaimer:  I obviously can’t promise that you will get these results.  Your results will vary due to a multitude of factors.

Take a look at the traffic to Survival Life and see if you can put your finger on where we figured it out,

We started off ok with a high-dollar launch and a ton of guest posting… but we leveled off fast.

So we started experimenting with other methods.

In this article I’m going to reveal the model we used to build Survival Life to a multi-million dollar blog.

This is the same system that I teach in much greater depth in AuthorityROI. If you own a blog or authority site (or if you’d like to start one), you will definitely want to be a part of this training because you stand to benefit the most.

We tried making money blogging the way the so-called gurus told us to… it didn’t work.

So… we started breaking their rules.  We started testing.

In the end, we developed our own system.

Here are six ways we broke the rules and transformed our blog into a high-profit authority site,

1. We actually sold them stuff

To me, this is a business and I treat it like a business.

While advice like, “Just write about what you love and the universe will eventually reward you…” may sound good, it’s certainly not a business model and it probably won’t make you even one, thin dime.

And I’m not talking about getting rich selling advertising.  We’ll bust that myth later in this article.

I’m talking about selling real products and services.

At Survival Life we sell a mix of in-house offers, affiliate offers and premium subscriptions to our content.

Here’s one of our products…it’s a video training that teaches you how to survive in the woods:

Typically, we’re able to generate between $0.50 and $4.00 per subscriber, per month depending on the market.

Do the math.

Even a small subscriber list, if you nurture and manage it effectively can produce an income most ordinary bloggers could only dream about. And, as you’ll see in just a second, if you follow our model you’ll also be doing less work than most.

Let’s see…less work…more money?
(By the way, I talk more about calculating Earnings Per Subscribers in this video post about “How To Make Your First $1000 Blogging…“)

First, let’s talk about the mistake we made with our design and how we fixed it…

We Went "messy"

You’ve probably been told that a “clean” and “minimalistic” site design is the best way to go, right?

Well we heard the same thing, which is why this was the first design that we tested when we first launched…

Pretty slick, right?

We all agreed that it made the survival gear we were talking about look WAY more engaging and professional-grade than any competing site in the survival niche…

Heck, we even based this design on a wildly popular gear site,, that we knew was getting major traffic, in addition to accolades from the design community:

“How could it possibly fail?” we all said.

Famous last words…

For some reason, despite looking more professional than 99.9% of all other sites in the survival niche, this design just wasn’t cutting it.

And this wasn’t just opinion. We knew from some of our friends and partners in this space that we were well below average on the three big metrics that really matter:

Unique visitors
Total Pageviews
Average Time on Page

…despite the fact that our content was fantastic.

So we tried something new…

When it comes to testing, I’m a big believer in testing BIG!

n other words, if something isn’t working, don’t make a minor tweak…go to the opposite end of the spectrum and work back to the “middle” or you’ll wind up doing test after test with little or no change in result.

So that’s just what we did…

We swung the pendulum all the way from clean and minimalist to cluttered (and as some have told us) downright UGLY!!

More specifically, our new site design included a lot more content on the home page. There are multiple columns, tips, popular posts, and even banner ads.

Crazy as it sounds, this cluttered design beat the crap out of the slicker, cleaner version…it wasn’t even close! Almost immediately, we began to see our key metrics tick upward.

Time on page was up.
Pageviews were up.
Even our unique visitor numbers began to rise because the increase in pageviews led to an increase in social engagement, which actually brought us FREE TRAFFIC!!

After multiple test across multiple sites in many different markets, our research suggests that a slick, minimalist site layout – like the ones virtually all major ad firms recommend – can drive engagement down and cause your readers to devalue your content and site as a whole.

I know this isn’t what people want to hear, and I know I’ll get a huge backlash from the design community. But data doesn’t lie, and neither do bank accounts.

So I have a question for you…

"Would you rather have a high-traffic, high profit site or would you rather be 'cool' and win design awards?"

Choose your answer carefully, because you may not be able to have both…

This one was a biggie, but believe it or not this next change had an even bigger impact on our blog…

3. We didn't guest post... in fact we did the opposite

One day I walked into our office and proclaimed that “blogging” was now a fireable offense. That may sound a little extreme, but I’m not going to continue doing something if it obviously isn’t working.

I banned my writers from blogging because I realized it was having no measurable impact on our sites’ traffic or authority.

Don’t get me wrong, they were writing great content, but posting great content will only get you so far. Because the reality is…

The World Doesn't Need More Information...

I’ll say it again: The world does NOT need more information.

Instead, what the world needs (and values) is a trusted authority who will organize and aggregate all the GOOD information that’s actually worth reading into one place.

And this concept is nothing new. In fact, the largest, most successful authority sites on the web rarely feature content written by the person who has their name on it.

Think about it: The Huffington Post, The Drudge Report, Bloomberg, Forbes, Breitbart… these sites aren’t famous for the owner’s writing style. They’re famous for the content they present.

Do you see where I’m going here?

I sometimes like to jokingly call this “The Oprah Factor,” because Oprah built her ridiculously successful career by bringing the best experts, content, and entertainers onto her talk show.

Oprah understood something that most people don’t…

Experts do NOT equal Authority… authorities are people who aggregate and associate with multiple experts.

That’s why Oprah has associated with (and in some cases created) expert brands such as Rachel Ray, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz.

This is the playbook that the most successful authority sites use. They host expert content, associate with the most reputable thought leaders in an industry, and they leverage those associations to build their authority…just like Oprah does (just on a slightly smaller level).

If you have a hard time imagining yourself as the “Oprah” of your industry, then here’s another way to look at it that’s slight more humble…

Don't Talk About Yourself, Talk About Who You Admire
The trick is to talk about other people who are worth talking about. If you follow this rule, talking about exclusively worthwhile content experts… you’re almost assured of saying something worthwhile. Right?

The sooner you realize that, the sooner your blog will start leapfrogging the competition and building rapid authority because most other bloggers will continue to operate using the old self-promotion model.

So as crazy as it sounds, the first step to becoming a respected authority in your market isn’t to publish something new and amazing…

…the first step is to identify and associate with the most trusted, authoritative experts in your niche and then seek to aggregate and promote THEIR CONTENT in one place (i.e. your site).

I talk more about how we do this in this video.

This “Expert Aggregator Model” is also something I cover extensively in my AuthorityROI training program. So if you’re at all interested in launching your own authority site (or if you want to transform a boring, low-profit blog into a high-traffic, high-profit authority site) you should definitely check it out.

You can get all the details about the AuthorityROI program and find out if it’s right for you here.

So that covers the first three steps, but the next one gets into how we transform traffic into revenue…

4. We focused on building an email list

Here’s another secret to building your site’s authority in a hurry: STOP sending your traffic to someone else’s site by selling banner ads!

Instead of letting another business siphon YOUR traffic via banner ads, use those banners to advertise your own products — and keep those users on your site.

My team has been testing and refining this strategy for a long time. And let me just say, the money you make by selling banner space is a small fraction of what you can make by building an email subscriber list and promoting internal assets.
Here’s an example of what we’ve been doing over at…

At first glance, this looks like a typical banner ad, right? But it’s actually an advertisement for one of our own FREE reports…

And when you click on this banner, you’ll see that we’re using this free report to generate leads. Instead of monetizing clicks like most content sites, we leverage our banner space to build a list.

Once again, I’m telling you to do the exact opposite of what has become conventional wisdom in online marketing… but here’s why it works.

Selling clicks is incredibly shortsighted, especially if your goal is to build a booming authority site. You’re literally sending the traffic, which you worked so hard to get, away to someone else’s site.

And you’re giving up this valuable traffic for PENNIES!!!

Please don’t do that!

By using your banner space to build your own subscribers list, you’ll maximize the value of your traffic. Rather than just getting a few cents per-click once… we’re able to monetize our subscriber list time and time again via sponsored emails, affiliate promotions, and in-house product promotions.

When you think about it, it’s really a no-brainer. It’s basically a TINY amount of money right now… versus 10 or 20 times as much, every month.

Most high-traffic authority sites do this at some level. This strategy is even more important for smaller, growing sites with limited traffic…

Take a look at how Motley Fool uses banner ad space to make internal offers,

5. We did TONS of Facebook Advertising

It might shock you to hear this but…

There is NO SUCH THING as a traffic problem.

Bloggers that think they have a traffic problem actually have one of the following,

An offer problem – They either don’t have an offer, don’t have the right offer or don’t have their offer optimized.

A measurement problem – They don’t have the process in place to measure what traffic is worth.

Traffic is everywhere.  You just need to understand the economics of your blog.  You need to know how much you can pay to acquire traffic.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, just to name the obvious, have an unlimited supply of traffic.

Once you set up your blog properly, you simply turn on the traffic faucet.

At Survival Life, Facebook is our traffic channel of choice.  We grew our Facebook presence from nothing to over 300,000 Likes in 1 year.  We’re now tipping the scale at 500,000 Likes.

And that’s all fine and dandy, but we all know that Facebook Likes aren’t sales.  Only sales are sales.

We use Facebook to engage with our community but we also use it to make offers.

We make offers to our audience on our Facebook Wall,

And we make offers using Facebook ads,

But none of it would matter if we hadn’t done our homework on the market…

6. We chose an insanely rabid market

Maybe you’ve been told that you can build a profitable blog around any topic you are passionate about.


If there is not a sustainable market for your authority topic, then all the time you invest in building your site is a complete waste of your time… you’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, so to speak.

To confidently build a blog around a market you must determine whether,

The market is big enough
The market is monetizable
To determine if the market is large enough look for,

30,000 Google searches per month
Active blogs
Active Facebook Pages
Active Forums
Active Email Newsletters
Active associations

Survival Life is in the survival and preparedness niche.  This is a big market.
We saw plenty of signs of life in this market,

To determine if the market is monetizable look for,

Direct competition (They are doing exactly what you want to do.  This is a good thing.)
Indirect competition (They are selling to the same market, but don’t sell what you do)
Affiliate offers (Check Clickbank, Share-A-Sale and Commission Junction for related affiliate offers)
Advertisers (Where there are well-known advertisers, there is money)
Gurus (Look for very influential people associated with your market)
eCommerce Sites (Find sites that are selling products to this market)
Survival Life is a community of people interested in survival and preparedness.  And these folks are serious about it.
When we dug in to research the survival and preparedness niche we found a very hungry market.
We were happy to find plenty of affiliates in the prepper market,

Why Being An "Authority" Is So Much Better Than Being an Ordinary Blogger

Here’s why this model is vastly superior to the way most bloggers operate:

You don’t need a product, sales copy or even an idea… you just need to have a passion in a market where great content and fascinating experts already exist
You can become a respected authority in virtually any market… even if you’re a complete “no-name” today
You’ll be able to generate cash on demand… which is something most ordinary bloggers could only dream about
You don’t have to be a writer. It’s more profitable to be an authority… that aggregates content from influential people in your niche.
You become an “insider”… doors will begin to open for you and even the best-known experts in your space will start asking YOU for favors!

About Ryan Deiss

Ryan Deiss is the founder and CEO of Digital Marketer. Over the last 36 months Ryan and his team have: Invested over $15,000,000 on marketing tests Generated tens of millions of unique visitors Sent well over a BILLION emails, and Run approximately 3,000 split and multi-variant tests Ryan is also a highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted over 200,000 businesses in 68 different countries. Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Google+.