Home » Blog » The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Blog And Making Your First $1000

The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Blog And Making Your First $1000

By Chris Lee 265 comments

In this guide, I’m going to show you exactly how to start a successful blog.

This is an exhaustive guide at over 12,000 words long. Every step of the blogging journey is covered from setting it up on WordPress to coming up with a content strategy, getting traffic, and making money.

Already have a blog and just want to learn how to make money with it? Skip straight to Part 2 using the links below.

Introduction

Why Start A Blog?

Blogging is what allowed me to quit my job and work full-time from home working on projects I’m passionate about. It’s truly passive income, meaning it makes money 365 days of the year, without requiring me to be there all the time. It’s allowed me to make a lot of great connections with other bloggers, and professionals in the industry. And it all started with starting and growing my first successful blog.

Growing a WordPress blog takes a lot of time and hard work. Why would you want to invest hours and hours of your time to starting a new blog from scratch, then growing it? What’s the point? What’s the end goal?

In 2014, I quit my job as an SEO specialist at a local marketing agency in my city to pursue blogging full-time. I had been there exactly 12 months. The ENTIRE time I was there, I was just dreaming of the day I got to quit my job and work for myself full time.

However, I wanted to work for myself in a specific way. I didn’t want to start a brick and mortar business. That sounded awful from what I heard from other people in those businesses. They require you to show up to work for more than 8 hours per day, you’re unprofitable for the first few years in business, and you’ll literally have no free time to do anything else but work on your business.

For me, that sounded like a nightmare. Worse than being at a comfortable day job where I got to learn SEO everyday.

Instead, I dreamed of a true lifestyle business. One where I could work when and where I wanted to. One that didn’t require me to trade my hours for dollars. And one that could be grown into a large 6 or 7 figure business.

And the best form of that and meets every criteria by building a business around blogging.

I’ve now been blogging full-time for 5 consecutive years. 4/5 of those years, my blogs surpassed $100,000 in earnings.

And because of it, I’m able to work when and where I want. The business makes money whether I’m present or not. And, I’m able to choose projects that I actually want to work on. It’s the ideal business and lifestyle for me.

If you want to build a similar business for yourself, then I put together this step-by-step guide for you on how to get started.

Follow along, and let’s begin your blogging journey!

Part 1

Register And Set Up Your Blog On WordPress

To start a WordPress blog, there are 2 things you need:

1. A domain name.
2. Blog hosting.

If you’re just starting out and want to put up a blog for cheap, then you’ll want to use Bluehost hosting. They offer the cheapest plan, while still offering reliable, fast web hosting. In fact, it’s the hosting company that I used when I built my first few blogs.

It’s easy to use, they offer great technical support, WordPress is free to install, AND you get a free domain name.

Click here to get started then use the steps below to follow along the next few steps.

First, click on the big “Get Started Now” button

Then, choose the Basic Plan.

Choose your domain name

The next step is to decide what you want your domain name to be. Your domain name is your web address (ex. RANKXL.COM is my domain name).

When you setup your blog with Bluehost, they give you a free domain. That’s awesome because then you won’t have to go out and purchase it separately, which costs about $10 to $15/year.

Enter it in, and hit “Next”.

Quick tips on selecting a domain name:

  • Use .com when possible. It’s more commonly used. If it’s taken, .net and .org are fine as well.
  • Make your domain catchy, memorable, and most importantly easy to share.
  • I like to avoid hyphens or numbers, as it’s difficult to remember or share.

Enter Your Account Details And Select Your Plan

Finally, on the next screen, enter in your account details. Make sure you use a valid email address since this is where your login information will be sent.

Next, choose your plan

Under Package Information, select your Account Plan based on how far in advance you want to pay for. The best value is if you pay for 36 months in advance.

I don’t suggest going with the monthly plan because it’s more expensive, and it’s just a hassle to have to remind yourself to pay your hosting bill every single month.

You don’t need the Site Backup or SiteLock Security features.

After that, just enter in your payment details and click Submit at the bottom of the page.

Your domain and hosting are now registered 🙂

Skip the upgrades & special offers
Once you hit submit, you’ll be asked if you want to add any upgrades or special offers. You can just skip them by clicking “no thanks” at the bottom of the screen.

Confirmation emails
Once you complete the setup process, you will be sent multiple emails. If you don’t see them in your inbox, check your spam folder. It’s important to locate them because your login information is included.

Activate your domain
In one of the welcome emails, you need to activate your domain (if you chose a new one). Simply open the email and click the button inside to complete the activation process.

Choose a password
At the end of your purchase, you’ll be welcomed and asked to choose a password. Just click the “Create your password” button to choose a secure password.

Install WordPress On Bluehost

The next step is to install WordPress on your blog. Bluehost makes this step extremely simple and quick.

In the past, you had to go through something called a cpanel in order to install WordPress. It was a little technical, and it confused a lot of people.

So Bluehost just made it a lot easier and got rid of a bunch of steps

It’s not easier than ever.

Once you setup your password, you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this:

You can choose a theme depending on what you want your site to look like. You can always change themes later so no need to spend days pondering over what’s the best one!

Once you do, you’ll be shown this screen:

Choose “Business”.

And then finally you’ll be taken to this page:

After that, you’re done!

Go to your blog and you’ll see that WordPress has been installed, and you’re ready to go.

You can log into the admin area of your blog anytime using the URL:

http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin

From here, you can start writing your first blog post.

But before we do that, we want to do one more thing first.

Step 4: Choosing a WordPress theme

Some people say design doesn’t matter, but I think design matters A LOT.

People will make a first impression of your blog as soon as they land on it, before they even read a single word.

With WordPress, you have two options:
1. Stay with a free WordPress theme.
2. Buy a premium theme.

If you don’t feel like investing any money into a premium theme, it’s not the end of the world to use a free theme. However, if at all possible, I recommend getting a premium theme.

Premium WordPress themes have better design, cleaner code, more features, and helps you stand out from the sea of other blogs on the internet.

Keep in mind that 90% of successful blogs use a premium theme. It will cost you about $50, but it’s an investment worth making.

On RankXL, I use a custom designed theme to stand out even more. That’s because RankXL is a profitable business that I want to invest more money into. Although I coded it myself, to hire a developer to do it for me, it would have cost me over 5 grand.

What’s the best premium WordPress theme?

I used to have a lot of WordPress themes here from a lot of different companies. But after trying out a bunch of themes, I now only recommend MyThemeShop. Their themes are by far the best in the industry for building a clean, professional looking blog.

Click here to view themes from MyThemeShop

Choose the one that you want your blog to look like. There is no “best” theme. All of them are great, the one you choose depends on your preference in design and layout.

Part 2

Your Blog Content Strategy

blog content strategy

After you start your blog, the first step is to come up with a content strategy. What you shouldn’t do is blindly throw up blog posts in random topics that come to your head.

What you should do is come up with a blog content strategy.

Content is the backbone of your business. You need to understand that, and keep it in mind with everything you do while growing your business.

Fail at content, and your business will have a very tough time succeeding. Too many people focus on the traffic or the monetization, and not enough about the content.

You’ve probably heard the term, content marketing a lot over the past few years.

Here’s the definition of content marketing that you need to understand before you continue: Content marketing is the art of producing consistent value to your audience in the form of content. Each piece of content you produce should deliver value to your readers, help them solve a problem, or answer questions they may have. As you consistently deliver value and help your readers, it establishes trust, builds your brand, and grows your audience – all of which lead to the long-term goal of driving sales.

That pretty much sums up what we’re trying to achieve here.

So how do we go about doing this?

Your content quality is everything

However, it’s not something people pay much attention to. From my experience, most people are focused too much on length and too little on actual quality.

Just because an article has a high word count, doesn’t mean that it’s high quality. Great content is something that goes very deeply into problems or questions that readers have, and providing solutions in a detailed, but simple and easy to understand manner. It’s about knowing HOW to present the material, like a good teacher.

Think of it this way: Each piece of content you produce is a touch point with your current and potential customers.

This being the case, you need to really consider the quality of what you publish.

  • Are you just pumping out thin articles to target as many long-tail keywords as possible?
  • Are you cutting expenses by hiring only the cheapest writers?
  • Is your content the best in your industry?
  • Can you call yourself a leading expert in your field based on the content you’ve published?

Creating quality content is very hard OR very expensive.

It’s the biggest barrier to entry.

So you might be wondering…

What’s the content strategy then? Is it just: Publish high quality content?

In this next part, we’re going to get a little more specific. We’re going to address things like how often you should be publishing, where to find writers, the goals you should set with your content, and how long your articles should be.

How often should you be publishing?

It’s important to understand how publishing frequencies affect your overall search traffic AND the amount of traction you will build over the first year.

Your publishing schedule affects your traffic. There’s a debate amongst SEO’s that publishing frequency doesn’t really matter. But frequency matters, a lot, especially for the first year of a new blog.

For a new site, the more often you publish, the higher your chances of building and piling on your traffic in the second year. When your blog has less than 100 pages, content matters. Each piece of content you publish will affect your search traffic.

In the beginning, your site has zero content. There’s nothing to crawl, no long-tail keywords to rank your content for, and no reason for Google to crawl your site very often.

If you publish once a month, that’s 12 articles for Google to crawl and index in a year. If you publish once a week, that’s 52 articles for Google to crawl in a year. If you publish 3 times a week, that’s 156 articles!

156 or 12…

That’s a big difference.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be pumping out articles. You should only publish as often as you can WHILE keeping your quality levels very high.

So what’s the magic number?

There isn’t one. But the number that I would recommend starting out with, and the one I’ll be starting out with myself is 2-3 times per week.

That’s about 100-150 articles of content within the first year.

That’s certainly doable. If you decide to write them yourself, it’ll take a lot of time and effort, but it’s doable. If you decide to hire writers, 100 articles isn’t crazy high to drive your budget out of control.

Content length

Let’s talk about content length.

How long should your articles be?

To understand what the ideal content length is, let me first tell you about the two different approaches you can take.

When you’re creating a site, you can take one of two approaches:

Approach #1. Go after ONLY big keywords/topics in your industry and create 10x content. You wouldn’t publish often, but when you do publish it will be amazing.
Approach #2. Hit a wide range of keywords/topics and create a large quantity of 3x content.

*By 10X or 3X I mean 10x or 3x better than what’s been created by your competitors. Note that 10x better doesn’t necessarily mean 10x longer. Depending on the content type, it can be better designed, more thorough, have more sources, have better presentation, etc.

At first glance, it might make more sense to lean toward Approach #1. You’re targeting the biggest keywords, and once you rank for them, you’ve pretty much built up a giant site already pulling in tons of traffic each month.

So doesn’t it make sense that everyone should take this approach instead?

Not really, and let me tell you why.

First of all, it’s extremely rare (and difficult) to build much traction while publishing that infrequently – especially in competitive niches.

It’s like building a brand new site in the finance industry, and your main strategy is basically to rank for finance tips, best credit cards, and debt consolidation. It’s just not something that the majority of marketers can replicate. It can be done, but there are a lot of other factors you need to get perfect.

The second reason I don’t lean toward Approach #1 is that it’s not guaranteed what pieces of content you publish will be hits or misses.

If you’re doing content marketing long enough, you’ll realize that some pieces of content just do a lot better than others… EVEN THOUGH your research told you otherwise.

That means, that in most niches, you can’t just see what was popular in the past, create something 10x better, and just expect it to get a lot of traction given the proper networking. Most of the time, it won’t work out as well as you thought. And a lot of the time, it’s the random pieces of content that suddenly pick up a lot of traction.

I’ve seen this happen many times, and because content behaves this way, I prefer (and recommend) Approach #2. It’s much more consistent and replicable.

You can grow just as large a business as using Approach #1. But you’re going to be doing so by going quantity over quality.

That doesn’t mean you’re ignoring quality. It just means that you’re spending less time, resources, AND DEPENDANCE/EXPECTATIONS on just one article and distributing them over multiple articles instead.

So how long should your articles be?

10x content might be something massive like a professionally designed 4K to 10k word “ultimate guide” kind of article.

For 3x content, the sweet spot is around 2000 words (in most niches). Don’t confuse that with low quality. Yes, compared to a 10,000 word guide, 2000 seems tiny.

But 2000 words is a LOT of content. It’s a meaty, high quality article. It’s long enough for you to go in-depth into the topic and completely solve somebody’s pain points or questions.

AND it’s long enough to beat most of the thin 500-word pieces of content that most other publishers are producing.

We’re not just making assumptions here.

Around 1800 to 2200 words has been proven by data to be the average length for pages that ranked on the first page of Google.

Like this study by SerpIQ, which is a few years old but still relevant today.

And this more recent analysis by Brian from Backlinko.

And this study study by OkDork and BuzzSumo showed that longer articles get more social shares.

I think it’s safe to say: Longform content wins, and 2000 words is an ideal length to be targeting.

Content creation

You may be wondering, how can I write 100 articles at 2000 words each in a year by myself?

That’s like 200,000 words!

And we haven’t even taken into account the other parts you’ll be spending time in. You need to edit, format, get images, build links, etc.

That’s a lot of work for just one person.

But it’s doable. You CAN create that much content in a year, and it’s been done before by many others who’ve built successful content businesses.

The real challenge is creating content that’s actually good. You need your content to have proper grammar, a consistent voice, good structure. You also need good sources to make your content credible. They need to be well-researched with sources to back up what you say.

Can you do that?

If you can, and are willing to put in your own hours, then great.

If not, you’ll want to hire writers like I’ll be doing. BUT ONLY if you’re willing to invest the money necessary.

Remember the disclaimer at the beginning of the article: This is a guide on creating a premium content business. This is not a guide on how to produce a mediocre blog that makes you some nice pocket money every month.

Quality content is EXPENSIVE.

A lot of people shoot themselves in the foot by getting too cheap with their content outsourcing.

Ask yourself this:

Will your content be good enough to get repeat visitors? Are people going to read your content and be happy to return to your site for related content?

OR

Is your content just good enough to get ranked on page 1 of Google? Is it just decent, or is it awesome?

Remember what we just learned: Content is the backbone of your business.

You can’t be thinking of buying $5 articles off of Fiverr. You can’t be planning on hiring the cheapest writers off of Upwork. You can’t be thinking of getting 3-4 star articles off of places like Textbroker or iWriter.

In fact, you shouldn’t be using services like Textbroker or iWriter at all because you don’t get the chance to actually work with a writer. You need your content to have a consistent style, voice, and presentation.

So you have 3 options:

1. Go on Problogger and hire the best: This will cost you the most money. You’ll find the highest quality writers, but be prepared to pay them a high price per article (especially if you want to continue working with them). Treat writers as valued employees, not just as people who accepted your gig.

2. Go on Upwork and look for talented writers at fairer prices: This will require a lot of vetting. However, you can usually find some really talented writers for a much lower price than Problogger. There are skilled writers who are new to this site and just want to build their profile and reputation. So they’ll charge a lower price for their work. Once you get experience with working with them, and really like them, you can increase their pay to keep them onboard.

3. Hire someone you know: Do you know someone who has real-life experience in the industry you’re targeting? Talk to them and ask if they would like to write for your site. The costs will vary, and you’ll have to be negotiate with them, but keep in mind that the reason you would go this route is to save money, not spend more. You may even find out that working out a partnership agreement is more suitable for your situation.

What’s an ideal price per article?

If you’re thinking of going high quality, you should expect to pay about $100 to $150 per 2000 word article.

If you’re publishing twice a week, your costs for the year on content should be about $10,000 to $15,000. *If you’re hiring someone for long-term work, you could negotiate costs and even add in additional tasks such as formatting and even uploading to WordPress.

You could get by with $50 articles, but just remember, again, that content is the backbone of your content business.

And if it were me, and I only had the funds to produce low quality outsourced articles, I would just write them myself, or publish less frequently.

$10,000 – $15,000 might seem like a huge amount of money to be throwing at a blog that hasn’t even made a dollar yet, but remember that this is an investment. And it’s the only big investment that you’ll need to make at this stage. Other areas won’t require you to throw much cash at it.

You can be thrifty on other areas like design, and you can do the marketing yourself. But for content, there’s no getting around it.

Either put in the time, or spend the money to hire the best.

If you want to find cheaper writers…

Your best bet will be Upwork and other freelancing websites. Or you may even want to try using a reputable agency.

Remember that hiring is all about who you find, and negotiating costs. I listed $100 to $150 because it’s the market price for a high quality article. It’s what you need to hire talented, established writers because that’s what they’re used to making. But it’s not a set cost for everyone, and you can find ways around it.

If you look on freelancing websites, you can find good writers and if you’re lucky, you can hire them for much cheaper.

And as a last resort:

If you need to hire writers, but only have a small budget, then publish less often.

Publishing less often is a better compromise than publishing a bunch of thin content.

For example, if you have $300 to spend on writers per month, don’t pay for 15 blog posts at $20 each.

Instead, get 3 articles at $100 each. You’ll only publish 3 times per month, but at least whatever you publish will stay inline with your content marketing goals.

The best sources for content ideas

How do you get content ideas?

There are 4 main sources that I use in the beginning stages.

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is my favourite tool for getting content ideas.

Just input a keyword and it’ll show you the most popular content on the web.

For example, I searched for “money saving tips” and got back these results.

BuzzSumo will show you how many shares it got, who shared it, and who linked to it.

You can even search by domain name.

So you can input your competitors’ sites into the tool, and it’ll show you their most popular posts.

We’ll come back to BuzzSumo in the traffic part of this guide, but for content creation, what we’re really interested in is just looking at the post titles, and analyzing the content.

We want to know WHY their content is the most popular, and how we can create something that is 3x better than it.

2. Quora

I read Quora for pleasure, and even downloaded their app on my phone. It gives you the best answers to questions people have.

The coolest part is that most questions are answered by the most qualified and experienced people.

For example, if you ask about what it’s like to be in prison, you’ll find an ex inmate who tells you about their exact experience.

Or if you ask about what it’s like to own a dog, you’ll find a bunch of answers from people who actually have a dog.

You won’t find a bunch of spammers giving one sentence answers, just trying to link to their websites (although it does happen) like a lot of the other Q&A websites.

Quora is heavily moderated. As a result, the site is extremely popular, and it’s a haven for content ideas.

Just do a search for any topic.

And look at all these interesting questions.

There are thousands of questions for any topic, and most are extremely interesting – great for blog posts.

3. Reddit

Reddit is a fantastic source for content ideas. They have subreddits (sub communities) for just about any topic.

I won’t go too deeply into Reddit because most of you already know what it is, and how to use it.

All you need to do is search for your topic/niche, and you’ll likely find a huge subreddit with thousands of members participating in discussions everyday.

The great thing is that because there is so much engagement on this site, everyday you return, the first few pages will all have brand new content for you to scour.

4. YouTube

And lastly, YouTube.

Most people use it for JUST video, but I love getting content ideas from YouTube.

I wrote about this in the past, and you can read more into it here.

But all you need to do is search for your keyword, and you’ll get a ton of new and interesting ideas.

The cool thing is you can look at things like upvotes and view count to see what’s been popular.

Who cares if your keyword tool shows that it gets low searches a month. If the video got millions of views, and has a ton of upvotes, it’s likely a pretty popular piece of content!

Breaking it down: What is the overall goal with this content strategy?

So, what we’re focusing on instead is:

1. Hitting a wide range of keywords/topics in our niche.
2. Targeting keywords/topics based on relevance, interest, and popularity – not based on competition.
3. Publishing quality + providing value with every post.

You’ll also want to have strong on-site SEO to maximize your efforts.

With 2000-word articles consistently published in a wide variety of relevant topics in our niche, our blog is going to mass up a ton of long-tail traffic over the years.

Part 3

Getting Blog Traffic

getting blog traffic

In this part, we’re going to break down our traffic strategy for the initial stages of our new blog’s life.

Mainly we’re going to be covering: How do you increase targeted traffic quickly after starting a brand new blog?

Long-term, our goal is to dominate with SEO.

We want to build the blog to a point where we have a strong link profile, and driving significant search traffic.

The good thing is that our content strategy is already helping us with this long-term goal. If you remember in the last chapter, we’re building extremely high quality content – in-depth 2000 word articles hitting a wide range of keywords/topics in our niche.

Doing this consistently starting from day 1 allows us to build a strong base of solid content which, later with link building, will build up a lot of organic traffic to our blog.

But this guide isn’t about our long-term strategy with SEO.

SEO is our main long-term traffic channel, but it’s NOT going to be the one we focus on in the beginning.

This guide is more about getting traffic quickly to a new blog BEFORE SEO kicks in.

Getting steady search traffic to a new site will take longer in competitive niches. Usually, it will take upwards of a year before we can fully see the results of SEO.

And we don’t want to just sit around and wait for that.

We want traffic right away. We want to get the word out about our site. We want to start building our audience right away. And we want to monetize somewhat quickly and get some income coming in.

Therefore, in the beginning, we’re not going to pay any attention to search traffic.

Instead of trying to rank for keywords, or worrying about whether Google is indexing our content or not, we’re going to rely on other traffic generation strategies where we can see more immediate results.

The nice thing is that everything we’re going to be doing is going to help us with our long-term goal with SEO.

The two strategies we’ll be using

In the beginning, we only need to focus our time and effort on just 2 strategies: Influencer networking and guest posting.

These two go hand in hand. They shouldn’t be seen as separate strategies.

Influencer networking is essential in landing guest post opportunities, and guest posting helps you build those relationships even further – and we’re going to leverage them to amplify our outreach efforts.

In the beginning, nobody knows you. Nobody knows you exist. You don’t have a readership. You don’t have an audience.

Influencers in your industry have the audience that you want to build. They have the traffic and the readers that you want to target. They’re who you need to get in front of.

And guest posting is a great, reliable (and repeatable) method of driving targeted traffic to a new blog that nobody knows about yet.

But guest posting isn’t the only thing we’re looking for with our networking efforts

Guest posting through influencer networking is what we’re going to learn today, but there are also numerous other indirect/non-immediate benefits and opportunities that come with doing good outreach.

Building relationships with influencers can lead to opportunities that come up over time that may not be apparent to you right away. I’m talking about opportunities that would never have been open to you if it wasn’t for your networking.

For example, relationships built the right way can lead them to:

  • link to you
  • mention you in conversations with their readers or in the comments sections of their articles
  • share your content on social media
  • recommend/talk about you to other influencers
  • invite you to their mastermind groups
  • invite you to speak at conferences
  • invite you to offline retreats
  • invite you to partner on new projects
  • introduce you to other influencers

I’ve experienced all these things after starting RankXL.

And each time, it wasn’t by a random influencer I’ve never talked to before. It was somebody I had already built up a relationship with.

When I first launched the RankXL blog, nobody knew who I was. 6 months later, when I released my first paid product, I had about a dozen big influencers help promote it for me.

And that was with minimal networking. I didn’t take RankXL very seriously for the first few months, and I certainly could have done a better job at building relationships. But even so, within the first year, I had a lot of influencers share and link to my content, invite me to guest post on their blogs, and promote my products.

How? Networking.

I wasn’t just a nobody suddenly reaching out to them out of the blue and asking them to promote my new content. I reached out to them first to make a connection.

We became internet friends 🙂

They knew who I was already, I had built up a solid reputation with them, and that made them happy to get behind the products and blog posts I released.

Of course, I was producing high quality content on my website, which helped build that credibility, but as you learned earlier, you will be too!

Networking worked for Greatist.

Here’s another great example from a more well known blog.

When Derek Flanzraich first launched Greatist.com he focused on one thing.

He emailed the top 100 influencers in his industry (health), and asked them for advice.

But he wasn’t just asking for advice, he was networking. He was introducing himself and getting the word out about his new blog, all the while building relationships that would later help with outreach efforts.

When it came time to promoting new blog posts, they were happy to share it with their audience. They linked to Greatist in their articles, and some even became investors in their company.

How to break the ice

What you don’t want to do is just cold email a bunch of influencers asking them if you can post a guest post on their blog.

You want them to know who you are when you email them.

Here are a few effective ways to start that first communication and break the ice.

1. Email and say hello.

The most basic way is to send them an email and say hello. Just introduce yourself and your new blog, and ask for advice on how to get started.

If you’ve been following their blog, let them know.

If you like their work, tell them what you like about it and how it helped you.

Add in some light, but tasteful praise.

Remember that they receive a ton of automated emails every day. So make an effort to stand out and not seem like a robot.

Make it as personal as possible – leave a good first impression.

2. Comment on their blog.

Some bigger influencers may not respond to your emails. They may even have an assistant that responds to these “hello” types of emails for them. That’s not what you want.

Fortunately, there are other ways you can make a connection with them, and one of them is commenting.

Commenting on an influencer’s blog is a great way to build up that first connection. It’s a great way to get busy bloggers to notice you before you send them an email.

For example, when I first started RankXL, I spent quite a bit of time commenting on other blogs in my space. Over time, this has led to backlinks, social shares, and even partnerships.

Some even led to a nice chunk of traffic.

It all started with me commenting on their blog posts.

How? I would leave insightful comments on their most recent blog posts, which led them to check out my blog and find out who I am. Or, it would help put me on their radar and they wouldn’t see me as a stranger when I did finally reach out to them via email.

TIP: Leave comments on their most recent blog posts. They’re more likely to be active replying on freshly published content.

3. Link to them and let them know.

This is one of the most effective ways of making that first connection with influencers, since you’re actually doing them a favor.

Link out to influencers within your blog post and, after it’s published, email every single one of them to let them know you linked out to them.

I love receiving emails that let me know I’ve been linked to. And I always take the time to check out the article to see where I was mentioned. Usually, I’ll take time to check out some of their other pages as well.

If the post is solid, I’ll go ahead and share it. But even if I don’t, I’ll often remember to link to it if I’m ever writing about a similar topic and need a good reference.

Here’s the email format that’s been working well for me:

This template is assuming that it’s the first time you’re reaching out to them.

Keep it short, and only include 5 points.

1. Tell them about the post.
2. Let them know you mentioned them.
3. Let them know how they helped you.
4. Hint at a share.
5. BONUS: Something personal that shows you actually know them.

Hey Tim!

I just published a giant article on X here: URL

Gave you a shoutout 🙂

Your articles on X really helped me to gain perspective.

Obviously, if you shared this article, it would mean the world to me. But, really, I’m just a new blogger in your industry, and just wanted to say HELLO 🙂

Cheers,
Chris

P.S. Your recent Reddit AMA was amazing. I learned a ton! Thanks for doing that, and keep up the great work!

It’s short, to the point, and very friendly.

Notice the way the email is structured. Although I mention they should share it, I let them know that it isn’t why I reached out to them. The primary reason was to say hello.

Keeping it light and not being pushy/slimy about it leaves a good impression and allows for further communication down the road.

4. Do a roundup post.

Unless you’re using a unique angle that will provide some real value to your readers, expert roundups are not something I recommend in the digital marketing niche. It’s been way overdone, and now it just seems like the same basic questions are asked over and over again.

But they’re not so common in other niches, and it can get some really great results.

The content standard goal of your roundup post should be to provide expert tips on a topic with the help from… REAL EXPERTS!

If done correctly, it can really be a unique, high-quality piece of content.

For example:

  • Would you rather read about how to cook an egg from a random writer, or would you rather read 20 REAL LIFE professional chefs sharing their personal favorite ways to cook an egg?
  • Would you rather read about what a police officer career is like from a random writer, or would you rather read 20 active duty police officers give you their first-hand advice.
  • Would you rather read about 20 tips on how to be a leader from a random writer, or would you rather read 20 CEO’s give their #1 tip on running a large team?

You get the point.

If done right, link roundups can produce amazing, unique content that’s never been seen before in your industry.

And best of all, most influencers who participate are going to be happy to share the post after it’s published!

How to put influencer outreach into action (step-by-step)

The above methods were all ways you can break the ice.

But you’re probably looking for a more systemized method you can follow step by step.

So here it is.

Step 1: Put together a list of 100 influencers in your industry.

No need for fancy outreach software here. A simple spreadsheet in Excel or Numbers will be just fine.

Name and URL of the site in one column.
Name of the influencer in the second column.
Email in the third column.
Replied YES/NO in the fourth column.

I normally hate using spreadsheets for outreach, but it’s pretty essential for this stage. It helps keep everything organized, and saves you time.

Don’t just go after the giants in your industry. By influencer I mean all levels of influence. If they have an established site, consider them an influencer.

Step 2: Reach out and say hello.

The next part is to reach out to each one of them.

DO NOT use outreach software to send a mass email to all of them. Make each one as personal as you can.

If you haven’t been doing so already, read their blog and learn about them.

Here’s an example email:

Hey Tim!

Hope you’re doing well.

My name’s Chris and I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. Your recent article on productivity hacks was especially helpful for me, and couldn’t have come at a better time.

In fact, it’s really helped me focus the last few weeks getting ready for the launch of (URL). I’m a new blogger in your industry, and just wanted to say HELLO 🙂

As you have been in my shoes some time ago, I was hoping I could ask if you have any advice on getting started as a new blog in (industry). I know it’s tough and very competitive, but I have some big plans for putting out excellent content, like yours!

Any words of wisdom, what to avoid, etc… anything that could help would mean the world to me.

Thanks, Tim. I really appreciate your time. And I know you must be super busy so if I don’t hear from you, no worries!

Cheers,
Chris

P.S. I’m really digging the custom graphics on your site!

Note I don’t finish off the email with things like “I look forward to your favourable reply” or “Awaiting your response.” Things like that leave a bad taste.

You shouldn’t look forward to anything.

Instead, let them know you understand how busy they are, and you’re fine if they can’t find time to reply to you.

Why this works

1. Bloggers love to help other bloggers in their industry. They’ve been through the beginning stages where it’s tough to build traction. They’ve had feelings of doubt and considered giving up. And they’re happy to help eager people who want to climb the same mountain. As a result, you’ll see quite a high response rate (usually around 70-80%).

2. Despite it being you asking for advice, receiving these kinds of emails are refreshing. You’re a new blogger, but you’re not asking them to share or link to your site to help you. You’ve considered them a mentor to ask advice, and especially they’re in the same niche, they can offer a lot of great advice. After email after email of requests and automated email blasts asking them to share content, this kind of email is pleasant to receive.

3. This is a great initial point of contact because, if you’re genuine and develop a good relationship with them, they’ll likely help you out in some way in the future. If your content is good, they’ll share it. Or they may remember to link to it if they ever need a good reference in their own articles.

4. It becomes A LOT easier (and more natural) for you to ask them to share or link to a post later on. You can ask for advice/opinions about specific articles you publish and mention that sharing would help you out a lot. Since they’ve given you advice about your site, they’ll be more likely to check out what you’ve been working on and give it a read.

If they DON’T reply:

You can continue with the other methods of breaking the ice.

Some influencers don’t reply to emails from readers. Not because they’re mean, but because they get thousands of them per day and just can’t find the time.

If so, try doing things like commenting on their blog, linking to them, or inviting them to participate a roundup post. They may not reply right away, but each of these actions will put you on their radar.

AND, because you’re providing them with value first, they’ll be more inclined to respond to your emails in the future.

Step 3: Ask for a guest post.

The quick win we’re after with influencer networking is to land a guest post. Remember, the people who read and follow your influencers’ sites are your target readers as well. And one of the most effective ways of reaching that audience is through guest posting.

For a new blog in a competitive niche, it can be a significant (and reliable) source of increasing targeted traffic.

You don’t need to develop a very deep relationship with the influencer in order to get them to say yes to your pitch. And you don’t need to have a large blog or audience.

You just need enough communication with them to know who you are when you contact them with your pitch.

For example: When I first started RankXL, I was able to guest post for NoHatDigital and Matthew Woodward’s blog just shortly after launching – two very big blogs in the marketing space.

I only had a few blog posts published on RankXL, and I wasn’t an established blogger.

And I didn’t build deep relationships with them either. In fact, I had never reached out to them before that. The pitch was my first point of contact with them.

And they were still accepted!

So how did I land guest posts on two very big marketing blogs in such a short time?

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years:

1. Make sure you have a few blog posts on your own blog first. Big blogs are especially concerned about the quality of articles they publish. Having high quality content on your own blog is like your writing portfolio. It shows them your work and your expertise. Don’t just pitch a guest post with no samples to show them.

2. If it’s your first guest post ever, write the post first. If you don’t have any past guest posts you can point to, and are not an established blog yet, then writing the guest post first is a great way to make them say YES. Of course, your post needs to be excellent.

Writing it first turns the decision for the influencer into:

Should I take a look at it?

Rather than…

Should I let this stranger publish on my blog?

The first one is a much easier ask to say YES to.

For example, this is the guest post pitch email I sent to Hayden of NoHatDigital just 2 months after launching RankXL.

I wrote out the guest post first, then sent him an email. I knew the topic was perfect for his blog.

And he replied:

And I landed my first guest post! You can read it here if you like. It was back when viral sites were all the rage so it was the perfect time to write about it.

You don’t always need to write out the guest post first. Just for your first few.

Afterwards, you can use your past guest posts as your references in your pitch. Like I did here pitching Matthew Woodward just shortly after the NoHatDigital post went live.

And that was accepted as well! Here’s the link if you want to read it.

The more you’ve done in the past, the easier it will be to pitch and be accepted in the future (since they can see your work published on larger blogs).

Always try and build the relationship first, using the steps outlined in this guide. Don’t pitch it through a cold email like I did.

It’ll make guest posting a lot more effective, and you’ll see better results.

One of my favorite examples of a guest post pitch is from Alex Turnbull, found and CEO of Groove.

Here’s his guest post pitch email to Buffer.

Alex and the team at Groove are known for their success with guest posting, having used it to help grow their software business to their initial goal of $100K/month and now working towards their new goal of $10m/year.

And in his blog post outlining Groove’s guest posting strategy, the most important takeaway is:

Step 4: Don’t disappear after the guest post – you just grew your relationship with the influencer!

If you land a guest post, don’t just pat yourself on the back and walk away.

Far too many people make the mistake of disappearing once it’s published.

Show your appreciation by saying thank you, and asking if you could help out in any way.

Ask if they would like to post a guest post on your site. Link out to them in future blog posts and let them know. Invite them to participate in expert roundups. Mention them wherever you can. Share their content on social media. Repay the favor.

Getting a guest post published will take your relationship with the influencer to the next stage. They trusted you enough to let you post on their blog, and you’ve provided them with free high-quality content.

Step 5: Ask for an introduction.

What’s the best way to make new connections in real life? Through the friends you already have.

It makes it a lot easier (and less awkward) to connect with someone through a mutual friend. They’re also less likely to ignore you because of it.

The same goes for online communication. Every person that’s added into your network is linked with dozens of other potential connections you can make.

Once you develop a relationship, ask for a warm introduction with another influencer that they know.

Conclusion for building traffic to your blog

And that’s it. These two strategies alone are enough to start building your blog up the right way with the right traffic.

The game plan is quite simple: Make friends with influencers – leverage your connection into a guest post.

Can we really kick off a legitimate content business with just guest posting?

YES.

While guest posting won’t drive you millions of visitors per month, it’s a reliable, repeatable method of driving traffic regardless of the competitiveness of the industry you’re in. We’re trying to increase traffic BEFORE SEO kicks in – and guest posting is one of the most reliable ways to do so.

And at scale, it can produce some massive results.

Neil Patel drove over 20,000 visitors per month through referral traffic, and Buffer grew to their first 100,000 users within 9 months with just guest posting.

That’s 100,000 customers! NOT 100,000 visitors.

Remember our short-term goal:

And our goal is similar to Buffer’s. We’re not focusing on traffic numbers.

If you remember in the beginning of the article, I mentioned that our goal isn’t 1000 visitors per month. It’s to get our first 1000 email subscribers.

When you have a subscriber goal, instead of a traffic goal, it makes it simpler to measure growth in your early stages.

  • We’re not going to fuss about Google indexing our content right away.
  • We’re not going to worry about backlinks being indexed.
  • We’re not going to get stressed out that we’re not ranking on Google.

All of those things can be left alone, and we can leave it for the long-term – when our SEO efforts really matter.

For now, we want to build the right relationships with influencers, and increase targeted referral traffic to our site.

Part 4

Making Money With Your Blog: How To Make Your First $1000

make money blogging

How do I start a blog and make money? That’s one of the most common questions I get. Starting a blog is the easy part. Making money gets a little more complicated because everything has to come together – content + traffic.

When your blog is brand new (under a year old), things are usually going to be pretty slow. You won’t have much content, you won’t be driving too much traffic, and your presence in the search engines will be minimal.

So then how do you make money?

Much like our traffic strategy that we learned in the last chapter, there are two ways to view monetization: long-term and short-term.

Long-term, we have a lot of options… and they’re all profitable.

  • CPC ads like Adsense
  • direct advertising
  • affiliate marketing
  • selling your own services/products

Making money is easy when you have a lot of traffic – especially in crowded niches.

The tough part is building revenue to your website when you’re brand new. And while there are a number of different options to choose from, there is one monetization strategy that far outperforms the others.

And that is: List building and selling products.

IMPORTANT: There are a various different ways to monetize a blog. And your plans may be different. For instance, maybe your goal is to build an affiliate site and go straight into affiliate marketing with something like the Amazon Associates program. Or maybe you want to start with ads first and use something like AdSense. I’m not going to touch on all of them here. Instead, I’m only going to touch on one of the ones I found work best across most niches. The good part is, it’s also the fastest method of making money with a new blog.

Our initial short-term monetization goal is to build our first 1000 email subscribers and use our list to make our first $1000+ in revenue in 6 months.

And in this post, we’re going to go through everything you need to know to execute this model for the first time.

Why do email subscribers matter?

You might be wondering, why do we even need to build a list in the first place?

When it comes to communication with your readers, email performs better than social media and display advertising combined.

Because we’re going to be selling products, having a reliable line of communication is crucial.

To illustrate this further, let’s consider two scenarios.

Let’s say you have a blog with 100,000 monthly visitors. You’ve built a new product, priced at $500, and now you want to sell it on your site.

WITHOUT EMAIL LIST:

With no email list, your only real option is to link to it from your blog. You could write a blogpost about it, link to it from your sidebar, and add in links in relevant articles. Doing this, you might get a site-wide click through rate of around 5%.

That’s 5,000 visitors to your sales page, which isn’t bad at all if you’re consistently driving traffic to it every month.

However, without an email list, you’ve never really built a relationship with your readers through email. You never really had any direct communication with them. And as a result, they barely know you, and they never even knew about your product launch. It’s very difficult to send cold traffic to a landing page and try to sell a $500 product. Your conversion rate is terrible, at 0.1% to 0.3%. (That might sound low, but that’s not an exaggeration.)

Let’s do the math.

We’ll use 0.3% to be fair.

0.3% of 5000 = 15 sales.

15 sales x $500 = $7500.

Not bad if you’re making that every month, but at 100,000 visitors per month, you can do a LOT better. We were pretty generous with our estimates, and that still doesn’t give you a 6-figure/year business.

WITH EMAIL LIST:

With an email list, you’re actually maximizing the value of your traffic. A blog that gets 100,000 visitors per month is a valuable asset. But the email list you can build with that is even more valuable.

At 5% conversion rate, you grow your email list by 5,000 new subscribers per month. At the end of the year, that’s 60,000 subscribers. They’re interested. They trust you in their inbox. You send them high quality content, and they’re happy to be subscribers of your blog.

Now, when you launch your product, you can actually email them beforehand to let them know what’s coming. You don’t need to plaster ads and links all over your blog. All you need to do is send an email. Over the period of a launch week, the total number of people who open your email and click through to visit your sales page is at usually around 30% of your list.

That’s at least 18,000 people from the total 60,000 email subscribers you have.

Let’s do the math at a reasonable 2% conversion rate.

2% of 12,000 people = 360 sales.

360 sales x $500 = $180,000.

Definitely a lot better. If you launch the same product 4x throughout the year, that’s $720,000.

But that’s not even the best part.

For the sake of easy calculations, let’s say that your traffic DOES NOT grow at all over the next year. That means, the next year you continue to get 100,000 visitors per month, and you gain another 60,000 email subscribers.

That’s 120,000 email subscribers. Using the same figures, a launch week with the same price points and conversion rates will result in $360,000 in sales. A single week!

And so on, year after year this number reaches higher and higher numbers.

Of course, these are only rough estimates, and your results may vary. But I hope this illustrates the point of why an email list is important for your sales.

Whenever you have something to sell, you’ll have an instant flood of buyers to your sales page. If you write a new blogpost, you’ll have an instant flood of readers who will comment, share, and link to your post.

It’s the same with RankXL

My email subscribers are different from regular visitors. They actively and knowingly subscribed to my blog to hear more from me. They know who I am, and what I’m all about. They’ve read my past content. We’ve connected over email. And over time, I’ve built a connection with them.

As a result, they’re the most engaged readers on my blog. They leave insightful comments. They link to my articles on their own sites. They share my stuff on social media. They mention me on other discussion platforms.

Every time I publish something new, I email my list about it. That instantly brings a spike of visitors, comments, shares, and links.

The same goes for my paid products.

Random visitors who just visited my site for the first time are usually not going to buy anything that’s several hundred dollars. They have no idea who I am, or what this site is about. They don’t know if I’m a spammer, or if know what I’m talking about. They don’t know if the product will be any good.

When I release something new to sell, the majority of buyers are my email subscribers. That means, the bigger my list, the more sales I make.

They’ve seen my free content. They’ve gotten value out of it. They’re avid readers of the blog. And if they’ve purchased my other products before, they know it will be high quality.

And it’s how I grew this blog to $130,000 in sales in the first year.

Our game plan

By now, you should have a small idea of what we’re after here: Building an email list, and selling them products.

But before we dive into the step-by-step details, let’s briefly go over the overall game plan so we know what we’re dealing with here.

As you learned, we’re going to publish a lot of high quality content.

We’re not going to worry about competing in the serps. SEO is going to come later. So instead, we’re going to build free targeted traffic in other ways using influencer networking.

And lastly, we’ll be capturing that traffic by collecting emails on our blog.

It should take you about 3-6 months to build your list up to 1000, depending on how hard you’re working, and how effective your marketing is. Realistically, you can get a lot more a lot sooner if you execute well.

When we have 1000 subscribers, we’re going to launch our first paid product.

Our minimum monetary goal is set very low at $1000.

That’s only a 1% conversion rate with a $100 product, and a 2% conversion rate with a $50 product, and a 0.2% conversion rate with a $500 product.

These are way below normal.

At those price points, conversion rates should be a lot higher. We’re giving ourselves a lot of leeway here. I do that solely because I don’t know your niche and there are a lot of factors that affect sales.

For example:

I launched RankXL on a similar model. But I only launched to 500 subscribers.

Yet, total sales in the first month were $9100. Sales for the year crossed 6-figures.

That was with a $150 product, which was later doubled to $300 as I made more updates and improvements to it.

That’s a lot more than the $1000 in sales we’re aiming for, and I’m sharing this to show you that the $1000 bar is set very low and there is potential for you to make a lot more if you do things correctly.

Thing like:

  • how big your email list is
  • how engaged your email list is with you.
  • the demand/value of your product.
  • the price of your product.
  • how well your product is built.
  • how good your sales copy is.
  • how good your launch strategy is.

If this is your first time with email marketing and building products, don’t worry.

We’ll go through everything step-by-step below, and we’ll keep everything as basic as possible.

Step 1: Set your site up to collect emails

How do you really build an email list?

There is a lot of information on the web on how to build an email list. But really, there’s only one thing you actually need: A blog with traffic.

There are no secret tactics. Build a blog that gets traffic, and you’ll build your email list quickly, consistently, and for free.

From there, all you need to do is optimize your opt-in forms on your site.

We already learned how we’re going to drive traffic to our blog. What we want to do is get them to subscribe to our email list using opt-in forms.

Opt-in Forms

If you look around the RankXL blog, you’ll see I have various form placements for collecting emails. This took a lot of testing and custom design work to get right over the years.

If you’re new to list building, you don’t need to do all of these things. You can add more of them in over time.

For now, you can get away using just one: Popups.

Popups work. Very well. Some people argue they’re annoying, but the reason you still see them on nearly every blog is because they’re so effective.

And honestly, popups aren’t annoying. Popups that pop up every 10 seconds is annoying! If I visit a blog and the same popup keeps showing up on every page, THAT’S SUPER ANNOYING!

If you just show it once, and actually have a good call to action that people want, then it’s totally fine!

For example, here’s my current popup on RankXL.

It doesn’t just scream, “JOIN MY EMAIL LIST! PLEASE! I WANT YOUR EMAIL”. It presents the browser with a clear, desirable lead magnet without sounding desperate. If you want it, subscribe. If not, close the window.

Use exit intent

Most popup software will give you control over WHEN and HOW OFTEN your popup shows up.

I’ve set this to only show once per day, and to not show it to people who’ve already opted in (although it doesn’t work perfectly). But most importantly, I use exit intent.

It tracks the mouse movement of the browser and shows up when you move it up to click the back button. Meaning, it only shows when the visitor is about to leave your blog.

That prevents it from showing up mid page when they’re focused on your content and produces much higher conversion rates.

Step 2: What to send your email list

They’ve opted into your list.

Now what? Do you send them a campaign of pre-written emails? Do you shove affiliate links down their throat?

Here’s what to do with a brand new email list on a brand new blog.

Create one awesome welcome email.

No email sequence is necessary at this point.

When your blog is brand new, you don’t need to create a huge email sequence or any advanced funnels for new subscribers. You have nothing to sell, and still have minimal content on your blog.

What you want to do is just create one well-written welcome email. This should send as soon as they sign up.

Basically, it should say hello, welcome them, and have a small introduction of what your blog is all about, and what they should expect after joining your list.

I’ve joined email lists in the past where I would opt-in, and… that was it! No email saying hello. Nothing saying thank you for opting in.

Silence, until weeks later, by which point I don’t remember who they are and unsubscribe.

That’s not what you want.

You want to build a relationship with each subscriber and let them know you’re grateful that they subscribed.

Is that the only email you send?

No. That’s the only email that’s automated, but it’s not the only one you ever send to them.

You should be sending your list updates about new posts. And that’s it. Just send out a broadcast email when you publish a new post.

Here’s an example of one I recently sent out to my list for RankXL.

I use the title of the post as the email subject.

And in the body, I just let them know about the post, give a short description about it, and insert links.

In the P.S. section, I encourage them to leave a comment to let me know what they thought about it.

These update emails bring a flood of readers to my new blogposts, and I get comments, shares, and links.

Update emails are the perfect way to build trust in a subscriber’s inbox.

Why?

It gives you a reason to consistently email them and show up in their inbox WITHOUT spamming them. You’re not blasting them with affiliate links. You’re not annoying them with sales promotions.

You’re sending them fresh updates on high quality content that they might be interested in. If it helps them, it goes a long way in building a good reputation for you and your brand.

Tools for building your email list

Email autoresponder: There are several good options to choose from. You can use Aweber, MailChimp, ConvertKit, or Drip.

I’ve tried all of them, and currently use and suggest ConvertKit. Aweber and Mailchimp are too basic, Drip is a little more on the advanced side and more suitable for developers, and ConvertKit is right in the sweet spot.

Popups: You have various options to choose from. I use almost all of them across my different sites, and the best ones are Optinmonster, Sumome, and Thrive. On RankXL, I’m using Sumome. These all have their own monthly fees, which add up to a few hundred dollars per year, so if you’re on a budget, you can use ConvertKit’s built in popup feature.

Building your product

Whether it be software, an ebook, an online course, or services, there are a lot of different products you can choose to sell your list.

There are no predefined answers here. Which one you choose will largely depend on your niche, what you’re most comfortable with, and your audience what you’ve been discovering their main pain points are over the first few months.

However, in most cases, for my very first product, my usual preference is an ebook.

But not just a regular $19 ebook – a very premium ebook that’s designed more as a starter kit – and priced between $49 and $100.

How do you sell an ebook for $100

Answer: You don’t position it as just an ebook AND you use multiple packages. $100 for just a single book would be kind of ridiculous. But $100 for a book, along with multiple other bonuses is a pretty cool deal.

For example, my initial offering would be something like a $49 ebook, and a $99 upgraded package. I use this method a lot.

A perfect example is something like an old ebook which I used to sell on RankXL. I sold an ebook for $49, and had a $99 package that included things like downloadable swipe files, and other helpful guides around the topic.

It was only sold and promoted on the site for a few months, but resulted in some pretty good sales.

That was all with a $49 ebook, with a $99 upgraded package.

I could base my entire monetization strategy around ebook packages like this one, and turn it into a 6-figure revenue stream for this blog.

However, my plan is usually to increase the price significantly and turn them into online courses.

Why?

Online courses sell for much higher prices

Online courses sell for a much higher price point.

Ebooks on their own usually sell for anywhere between $9 to $79.

Online courses on the other hand, usually start at $99 on the low end and go all the way up to $2000+.

Then why wouldn’t we just start with an online course? Why build an ebook first?

If you’re comfortable building a video course (and won’t take a whole year to finish creating it), then go for it! But for me, building courses are huge projects.

Ebooks are much easier (and faster) to put together.

Ebooks can realistically be completed from start to finish in just a few days. Online courses, on the other hand, can take months of work.

As a first product, my preference is to start it off as an ebook. If it gets a lot of sales and proves itself to be a popular product, you can add onto it, raise the price, and eventually turn it into a full course format.

However, that’s just my preference. The product you build is fully up to you, and what you’re comfortable with. Some people are more comfortable (and more experienced) with creating videos. Some people (like me) prefer the written word. And some people like live interaction in the form of services or coaching.

It all depends on your niche, what your audience needs, and what you’re comfortable with.

Tools for creating your product

Building an ebook: I build my ebooks using iBooks Author. This is a free download. You’ll need a Mac computer, though. Alternatives are Google Docs, Microsoft Word. Simply put them together, and export as a PDF when you’re done. It’s that easy.

Creating ebook covers: For creating book covers, you can use the default cover in iBooks Author or hire someone. I like to use designers from Envato Studios.

Sales and product delivery software: I’ve tried pretty much every software out there, and my favorites are Gumroad and Easy Digital Downloads. Gumroad now charges a monthly fee. Easy Digital Downloads is free, but will require more work setting up.

Online course creation: I built all of my previous courses using Easy Digital Downloads and WP Courseware.

However, these are for self-hosted courses. Meaning, you need to build every aspect of it yourself on a fresh WordPress installation. There are a ton of moving parts, and can cause a lot of headaches if you’re not a coder.

Lately, I’ve been playing around with Teachable and am loving their platform. It’s what I’ll be using for building my courses from now on.

Launching your product

Okay, so you built an email list, built your product, and are ready to launch.

Now what?
How do you launch it?
Do you just email your list?

There’s a right way and wrong way to launch your product to your list.

The difference between the two can be thousands of dollars in sales, so you’ll want to pay attention to this part.

There’s a lot more to launching a product than just announcing it to your list.

I’ve tested various different styles of product launches over the past few years, and here’s what I found works best.

Since this is likely to be your first launch, I’ll keep this as basic as possible. But it works, and is repeatable across different industries.

1. Set a launch date: While you’re building your product, set a launch date. Having a deadline will help you finish in time, rather than dragging the project on. Make the launch date reasonable, but tight.

2. Build a mini course: You don’t want to just throw your product at your list out of nowhere. You want to warm them up on the product first. The best way to do that is to create a 3 to 5 part mini course. A week before your launch date, schedule 3 to 5 emails based around the topic of your product. Each one should provide value, and get your subscribers wanting to learn more. The last email should let them know about your product and the launch date and time.

3. Send one more email before the launch date. A day before your launch, send out one more email reminding them about the open cart time the next day.

4. The ideal launch should only last 4 days, but for your first launch make it 3. You should email your list every day out of those 3 or 4 days.

– The first day lets them know the cart is open. Depending on the price of the product, you can introduce a 12 to 24 hour discount period (commonly called the Fast Mover Discount). The discount should be 15 to 25% off.

– The second day, you answer any frequently asked questions.

– The third day is usually when I like to send them to a review page from past buyers. But since it’s your first launch, and you won’t have testimonials, you can make this your last day. The last day, you send 2 emails. One in the morning to let them know it closes today, and one in the evening about 6 hours from cart close as a final reminder.

No need to get fancy and drag out your product launch for weeks. Just 3 to 4 days is plenty.

Why do we open and close the cart? Why not keep it open year-round?

With a product launch, the majority of your sales will be on the last day.

You’ll see a spike in sales on the first day, fairly modest in between, and the biggest spike will come on the last day. This is because of urgency. The cart is closing. They need to act now, or they can’t buy it until the next time it’s available.

If there’s nothing pushing them to buy, it’s likely to never happen. Most people will say, “I’ll just buy it next time” and that time will never come.

In the long-run, you can automate this process using more advanced email funnels through evergreen launches (where each subscriber goes through their own unique scheduled launch), but for now these live launch emails should convert best.

After the launch

Depending on your price, and other factors such as what you’re selling, engagement of your list, your sales copy etc… your value per subscriber can be anywhere between $1 and $20.

$20 might seem like it’s on the high end, but it’s totally doable. For example, if you sell a $1000 course to an engaged list with an effective launch strategy, a 2% conversion rate would make you 20 sales, making you $20,000.

Either way, your first launch should make you (at least) your first $1000 in revenue.

You’ve now built up some income that you can use to put back into your business 🙂

Conclusion

As you learned, it’s not that difficult to make your first few thousand in revenue with a new blog. All you need is the right monetization strategy, and the right execution across all three pillars of your content business: Content, Traffic, and Monetization.

And for a new blog with minimal traffic, list building and selling products is most effective.

What about in the future? Should you keep selling products and doing launches?

This largely depends on your niche, the type of site you’re building, and your audience.

Things change when you approach 1 million users a month. Selling digital products will probably not be the most profitable option. Sites with very targeted audiences can make a ton of money with native advertising – especially with sponsored or branded content.

These kinds of sites are also the most sellable. It’s more difficult to sell a site that’s heavily reliant on a few launches throughout the year to make the bulk of its revenue. Native advertising is more scalable, measurable, and is a more widely recognized monetization model that buyers can follow.

It all depends on your goals with the site, and your branding strategy.

But, this isn’t something that you need to worry about right now.

For now, the most profitable option is to build your list, sell products, and generate a profit.

You can always shift gears as you grow.

Part 5

Conclusion & What’s Next?

your future with blogging

Starting a blog is easy. Getting it set up on WordPress and writing your first blog post is simple stuff that anybody can do.

The difficult part comes in growing it into a money-making blog. As you learned in this guide, there are a lot of moving parts. It takes patience, hard work, and persistence.

The biggest reason for failure is simply that people give up too quickly. And it’s not their fault. If it’s your first time, you don’t really know what to expect. You don’t know the processes and different cycles that a new blog goes through before breaking through and finally being successful.

The blogging strategy detailed in this blog post is a proven one. I’ve been using for the past few years on multiple blogs across multiple different industries.

Blogging can truly change your life if you want it to. Starting a successful blog can open a lot of different doors for you. It can allow you to quit your job, finally travel the world, or just get some really good side income money.

So if you’re serious about getting this to work, stick to the game plan, don’t lose focus, and work hard. Hard work definitely pays off in blogging.

So what’s next?

Consider signing up for my free email course, SEO Driven Blogging. It’s a 7-day email course that goes through the most critical aspects of building and growing a blog to 100,000 visitors per month with SEO.

You can join for free here.

Leave a Reply

265 Comments

  • Reply willem

    You are awesome!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Haha glad you liked it Willem 🙂

  • Reply Jeff Vilcinskas

    Hi Chris,

    Incredible article! I have to tell you as a professional writer you hit the nail on the proverbially head. Far too many website owners want incredible writing but do not want to pay for it. They tend to forget that a well-written article requires research, outlining, drafting, etc. You can not expect a masterpiece for 20 bucks…or less. So thanks for banging the point home in this article. Best luck in the future and thanks for all your insights!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome, glad to hear that Jeff! Thanks for sharing your insights.

  • Reply Jesus

    This a 10x content !

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you, Jesus.

  • Reply Qasim

    Hi Chris,
    Awesome content! Is this strategy also effective for general websites like those having the niches beauty, health & nutrition?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading Qasim. I don’t see why not 🙂

  • Reply Philos

    As a blogger for hire I can say that the rate-per-word you listed for 2000-word posts is great for many writers. At a 100 – 150 dollars per post many writers are willing to create awesome content covering different topics in your niche. And the good part is that a client can get two to three posts a week this way (complete with uploading to WP editor).

    I’m also thinking of starting of starting a niche site with some high quality content where I publish 2 to 4 posts a week for a year – and using email outreach (as you teach in one of your posts) to build backlinks.

    Are you publishing part 2 next week?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome, thanks for contributing Philos. Yes, part 2 will be published next week.

  • Reply Davis

    Great stuff. What about using old PLR materiel and rewriting it? I am just starting out with my diet blog and I am using a mix of my articles, rewriten PLR and affiliate content to add some early, get going content.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Davis. Mmm, not something I’d recommend for something like this.

  • Reply Vin

    Hey Chris!

    I actually found this post because you linked to a guest post I did on FatStacks. This is a SOLID write up. Probably one of the best I’ve seen on the topic, actually. It’s great to see the industry moving away from lower quality content mills.

    If I can help out with promoting this series – just give me a shout.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Vin! I’ve never used a content agency before, but I’ve been hearing great things about your company!

  • Reply Mohit Gangrade

    Hey Chris,

    I love your content.

    And this post like all others of yours is pretty awesome.

    I started my latest site with the same content strategy in mind.

    Your post helped make the strategy better.

    You are awesome!

    Cheers!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Happy to hear that! Thank you Mohit!

  • Reply Gregorio

    Hi Chris!

    What type if income can a site where you’re investing around 20-25k per year bring after 1 year?

    Thank you,
    Gregorio.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Gregorio, I’ll be discussing monetization in part 3.

  • Reply Deanna

    Thanks Chris this was awesome I am just starting a niche site. This article has really helped with a better understanding. Cant wait for part 2!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Great to hear that it was helpful 🙂 Thanks for reading, Deanna!

  • Reply Argo

    This is great. I love the idea of reddit and youtube. Looking forward for parts 2 and 3.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Argo 🙂

  • Reply Jonathan

    Great Article. I just found your YouTube Curation post. Do you think that strategy is good for a premium website, perhaps as supplementary content (if not the main content)?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Jonathan!

      I guess it’s okay for supplementary content, but highly depends on the niche.

  • Reply Mike

    great read Chris, do you take the results you find in quora and Reddit and use them verbatim as article titles?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Mike. Mainly just to get ideas.

  • Reply Lu Wee Tang

    What a timely post. I was deciding between publishing infrequently but with 10X better content vs publishing frequently but with 3X content.

    I’ve now made up my mind after reading this guide 🙂

    Thanks. Look forward to part 2 and part 3!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome!! Glad it was helpful, Lu Wee 🙂

  • Reply Babs

    Solid stuff Chris

    Just started a health and fitness site and were stacking at 1000 words per content.

    We really should up that, Can’t wait for the rest in this series to be out.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks, Babs!

  • Reply Bhuboy

    Thanks for this another wonderful , looking forward for the next part

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Bhuboy 🙂 Great to hear from you!

  • Reply Phil

    Thanks Chris for a great article!
    I guess this is what you call a 10X content.
    Love your blog and I just started reading all your old blog posts from the beginning. There are so much to learn and great value.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you’re liking it. Thank you, Phil!

  • Reply Velin

    Hey Chris,

    Great article, as always. I’m currently struggling with the content creation and thanks to your valuable information I’ve found some answers! Can’t wait to see the other two parts, you really add value with this one.

    By the way, congrats for the new blog design, I really like it, it is much cleaner and focused on the content, great job!

    Best,
    Velin

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Velin! Very happy to hear that. Thank you for your comments on the re-design. It took a lot of work 😀

  • Reply Winson Poon

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve been reading your articles for quite while. You’re a very wisdom guy and know what you’re doing there.

    Keep producing high-quality contents, many people will be benefited from it.

    All the best,
    Winson

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Winson!

  • Reply Cao Viet Hung

    Great article

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Russell Lobo

    Hi Chris,
    Excellent read. I’m sharing it in my group of 8,000+ niche site owners/aspirants.. It will really help a lot.
    Cheers

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Sweet! Thanks a lot Russe 🙂

  • Reply Theodore

    This is indeed a masterpiece Chris,

    I do understand that quality contents are paramount to the success of every authority site. Any marketer who’s not serious about developing and publishing top notch contents on his blog isn’t going to see any significant success from the site.

    However, the fact still remains that creating such contents is not always easy, neither is outsourcing it just as you rightly said.

    From now, I will start spending more on contents so as to get only the capable hands to write for me.

    Thanks for sharing.

    BTW: I made my first sale with one of the authority sites I created in February (so happy) 🙂

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Theodore! Great to see you here! Thanks for reading, and congrats on the sale!!

  • Reply Omoba Odusanya

    That is an awesome well-researched post on your blog Chris.

    But then $100 – $150 for an article Chris. Damn. That is crazy!

    I never pay more than $10 max for an article, even that is way so expensive for me.

    I imagine myself in a third-world, I can’t afford that and I am not a good writer either. But I think I should scale up my budget for my credible site blog posts.

    Have you tried any of these?

    contently.com
    scripted.com

    I think they are good too for content outsourcing.

    Like I said, the post is awesome and I have bookmarked it already. I stay tuned for the smart traffic strategy.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks a lot, Omoba!

      I haven’t tried them. They’re well-known and reputable companies, but they’re also pricy and used mainly by large companies – not individual publishers.

      • Reply Omoba Odusanya

        I forgot to include a question in my comment.

        If I post a quality content as you have advised. How does Google notice and rank the post?

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Google will crawl your site and index it eventually. You can speed it up by fetching and submitting your site in Search Console.

  • Reply Rob

    Great no fluff info!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for checking it out, Rob 🙂

  • Reply Jhasketan Garud

    Hi Chris,

    You’re onto something big. I’m eagerly waiting for part 2&3.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Jhasketan! Glad you like it.

  • Reply Sasmita

    Awesome post Chris.
    Even, I am tired of seeing mediocre regurgitated content everywhere.
    It’s time all this changed.
    I am bookmarking this one.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Agree! Thanks Sasmita 🙂

  • Reply Tarik Pierce

    Hi Chris,

    I love how you SHOW as well as tell what we need for success. I do agree with longer content using your premium authority niche model.

    After reading your post, I went back and thought about every article of mine that went viral. They were longer list posts that went in-depth and addressed a lot of problems along with solutions to my target audience.

    I tried posting more frequently with cheaper writers but traffic is only going up a little bit. Quality is best but you need decent frequency if you want to make it to 1 million visitors per month. That’s my ultimate goal.

    Right now, I’m trying to go through my old posts and make them longer and more up to date. Hopefully this will give me more traction since I only have 83 articles published in that niche.

    Looking forward to Part 2. Thanks for this guide. I Learned alot.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      That’s an awesome target, Tarik! I appreciate you adding your insights 🙂 Best of luck!

  • Reply Jay

    Thanks for all the great and complete advice you share, not many writers are as deep and the same time easy to understand. One thing I was considering was following all your strategies on a niche but using both English and Spanish maybe running two different sites using Multilingualpress or in the same site using WPML plugins.

    The thing is there is not much reliable information on this topic and less from authority sites experts. I will love to hear your opinion or anyone else if this can be feasible from an SEO perspective and most important worth the effort.

    Thanks again for all your shared knowledge, it has clarified a lot for me in the pursuit of building and authority site.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Jay! Glad you liked it.

      SEO is a lot easier for non-English sites so if the traffic is there, or the niche is profitable even with lower traffic numbers, then it’s worth it in my opinion.

  • Reply Vicky Kumar

    Hi Chris,

    What about the article that is highly focused on the subject and that doesn’t contain word more that 1400 as it becomes sometimes hard to write such a long article.
    Does it really word count matters for the quality article that is between 1000 -1500? Looking forward to hear form you

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Vicky! I know what you mean. Some simple post topics just don’t require 2000 words. And if that’s the case, no need to fill it up with fluff. 2000 words doesn’t mean that EVERY article needs to be 2000 words.

      • Reply Vicky Kumar

        It means quality matters along with the word count. Thanks for clearing it.

  • Reply Cleibert Mora

    Always straight to the point, thanks Chris for your trusted content.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Cleibert! Good to see you here 🙂

  • Reply John M

    Awesome, just awesome! Thanks Chris.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you John 🙂

  • Reply Maeve

    Hi Chris, awesome post you have!

    Btw, does google quick answer box affect your traffic? What is the best way to deal with it? Thanks.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Maeve. The answer box is a great placement to get for your site. While you can’t “do anything about it” you can try to get your own site to get placed there.

  • Reply Rob R

    So I’ve followed RankXL for a while and I love your site strategy. I’m looking to start a new site and follow this method. I know it will take time, but this is a side project that I will do right the first time so it pays off.

    Do you have any ideas on what are good subjects to start a blog about? I know that’s pretty generic, but I would think some topics are easier to write more frequently about. Plus, without getting into the monetization part yet, I’m not sure the topic(s) I’m thinking about will be good ones to pursue.

    Any ideas?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Rob! For me, The Niche Book in the Vault might be helpful for you 🙂

  • Reply George T.

    Hey Chris, amazing post! You hit the nail in the head with this post for me, because this is exactly what I started two months ago, not another site for that little extra, but what I’d like to think as a big business.

    I was lucky to not have to think about which niche to choose for myself, or have to find writers. My niche is my work for the past 20 years, and there’s no other way to write, other than giving it 10x.

    The only problem is that it is extremely competitive, and I’m trying to make a long term plan for myself here, I don’t think that simple broken link building, or email outreach will get me very far. I don’t mind putting A LOT of work to it, but I have no idea to what! Guest posting with AAA quality content? Hire an agency?

    I can’t wait for the next two parts!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for sharing George! Part 2 is near completed. I hope you find it helpful.

  • Reply Mike Lima

    Hi Chris.

    Great content as always. A true example of a 10x content!

    Two quick questions for you:

    1- What are your thoughts on using this strategy for low competition niches. Is it worth it or would it be more profitable to use the “write pillar post -> get backlinks to it” process instead?

    2- After the initial year of publishing 2-3 times per week, would you continue with that schedule for the next years?

    Thanks for your awesome insights, and looking forward to the next parts!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Mike!

      1. It depends on what you feel comfortable with, and ultimately what direction you want to grow the site in.

      2. Over time, I would really try to scale that number – especially as my domain authority grows. The more content you publish, the more traffic you’ll see.

      🙂

  • Reply Ciya

    Hi Chris,
    Talking about competitive niche, what do you suggest on negative seo ? Thanks.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      I’ve been negative SEO’d. It hasn’t really affected me at all.

  • Reply Phil Harman

    Great post as usual Chris! Love all the ideas you have to get more traffic to websites. Looking forward to part 3.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Phil 🙂

  • Reply Theodore Nwangene

    Hey Chris,

    Here’s another epic shit :).

    Obviously, man, we all know how beneficial connecting and building a solid relationship with the influencers in any niche can be, I mean, that’s the best way to build a rapport for a new blog.

    You know, I’ve actually been planning to do some outreach for my two new niche sites, but I’ve been procrastinating it (Lazy me):). I think it’s time I give it a shot man. I’ve really wasted a hell lots of time.

    Also, doing some expert round-up is on my list. I contacted someone over on Facebook last time who does it very well and she charged me $500 bucks for one round-up, and I was like man, f***ck. She’s really good at it though, and has done it for guys like the owner of the new money making aff blog (10beasts.com), but, I can’t afford that right now.

    So, I think I should do it myself. Have been reading a lot guides on how to do it lately.

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful piece Chris as always.

    Keep the ball rolling sir, expecting your next epic shit 🙂

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Theodore! You’re one of the people who always adds great comments on my blog, and I appreciate that 🙂

      $500 is pretty pricy. And if you’re doing it mainly for networking… it’s better to have the communication with the influencers directly yourself!

      • Reply Theodore Nwangene

        Thanks a lot Chris,

        Yea, I’ve actually decided to do it myself. I’ll have to learn just how best to do it and then, apply.

        You’re indeed doing wonderful job here, I’m always on the lookout for your posts.

        God bless you sir

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Thank you, Theodore!

        • Reply Adeel Akhter

          @Theodore:

          $500 :O Trust me I would do 2 in that budget. I love creating Roundup posts!

    • Reply Fibonacci

      Hi Theodore Nwangene,

      Foget 10beats, mission impossible.

      Hi Chris,

      Do you use Skyscraper Technique?

  • Reply Modestas Jakuska

    Hi,

    I love your content, man! How would you approach educational blogs/sites? It’s hard to guest post on those type of sites because most of the content is built on top of each other. And, a separate, independent topic might not fit in anywhere.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      I understand what you mean. One way might be to pitch them on a topic they left out of their content.

  • Reply Gary Wicks

    Hi Chris Thanks for the tips again. I am using the other tips from your link building course and think my niche is stingy with them. Affiliate marketers do not seem to want to link to other affiliate marketers. Any tips for that?
    I am doing better with page visits on a new site in just 3 months than one I built a year and a half ago, (Same niche different key words) with the silo focus strategy ,however, the link building is not going so great, but the silo focus seems to be getting good social share success.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for checking it out, Gary! You don’t always need to stay ultra niche with your link building. You can branch out and target sites that are related to your content, but not built by an affiliate marketer.

  • Reply Johnwick

    Hey Chris

    First of all Thanks for the wonderful post.

    I’m in the same situation for now bcoz I recently started the new niche blog
    but not getting enough traffic. I have more confusion to build a link now it’s somewhat clear when reading this post but could you suggest any best tool or services for backlinks?

    And if in case I get the link using any services or paid tools google will penalize my site? is it reliable, worth it?

    If you have a time please go to my blog and review it and suggest about my site where I can improve.

    Thanks
    John

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad it helped 🙂 Services or tools that build links for you is getting away from the point of the blog post though! 🙂

  • Reply Owen

    Hey Chris,

    Awesome guide here. I have a question about guest posting: How do you decide which posts to use for your own blog and which posts for guest posting (if you only have limited topics)?

    Cheers.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Owen. The topic you pitch for the guest post will depend on that particular blog and the type of content they publish.

  • Reply caroline

    Thanks Chris! So intuitive!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you liked it Caroline 🙂

  • Reply Francis

    My man, Chris!

    Great content that’s worth paying for! My blog is fairly new so I’m feeling lucky about finding your works at an early stage.

    Thanks for putting in the time to produce such highly content. I’m grateful.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you liked it 😀 Thanks, Francis!

  • Reply Aniruddha Chaudhari

    It’s really helpful and you are really adding value to me. I have not tried round up post but guest posting is an awesome strategy.

    Cheers!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for check it out!

  • Reply Dennies John

    Hey Chris,

    Awesome post. Looking forward to your next post.

    Does the influencers have the time to read these long emails?

    Is it a good strategy to go with short emails?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Dennies!

      None of the one’s we laid out are too long. The shorter the better when contacting influencers. But it’s not always possible to keep it within just a few sentences.

  • Reply Winson Poon

    Another high-quality post from Chris, bravo.

    Chris, I have a question here about reaching out influencers with emails. You prefer to send out emails with your own personal domain mail, such as [email protected] or is it okay to send those emails with gmail/yahoo/hotmail etc?

    Does it make any difference at all?

    Thanks,
    Winson

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Winson!

      It doesn’t really matter. A lot of people I talk to use their gmail account for personal emails, and networking.

      • Reply Winson Poon

        Ah, glad to hear it, thanks again Chris 🙂

  • Reply Umair

    Hey, Chriss!

    First of all, you have done a great job buddy I have some questions though, I have a just started blog in one of the most competitive niches (tech review) and for aff review website it’s very hard to make connections with influencers since you are posting any tips and tricks you are writing just great tech reviews.

    so my question is how can a tech review website make connections with influencers?
    I am just starting out so will you recommend web2.0s?
    I have heard from somewhere .edu backlinks are not so powerful as they were back few months due to scholarship spamming (every other blog is starting this program to get .edu backlinks?
    will addmefast.com will work for initial boost?
    I have asked a lot of questions but the thing is you are a guru and I don’t know where can I get my confusions clear except you? Yes, that’s a compliment!
    If you will not reply I understand you are busy person, No worries
    Regards Umair

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Umair! Tech reviews done right are always fun for me to read. You have a lot of opportunities to connect with other tech bloggers and YouTubers.

      I wouldn’t recommend web2.0’s or any software that builds links for you.

      Edu links done right can produce some great results too.

  • Reply umair

    Another epic piece of wisdom! Chriss again great job!Love to hear from you on my questions to your second part of this the post!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Umair 🙂

  • Reply Bhuboy

    Thanks for this tips, I started a new hobby of mine , photography , and want to blog about the things I am learning as a category in one of my blog, I have a second thought about because I know its a very competitive niche, but your new series made me decide to give it a go.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Bhuboy! That’s awesome. Happy to hear this helped!

  • Reply Velin

    Hey Chris,

    Another post straight to the point! Your new blog series comes just in time for me, when I have so many questions about getting traffic to a brand new blog. By the way, how many articles did you publish here at Rankxl.com before you started doing outreach? I’m little worried if someone will take me seriously when I have just a post or two…

    Thank you for your time and keep up the good work!

    Cheers,
    Velin

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Velin. I don’t quite remember, but it was probably around a dozen or so.

  • Reply Alan Gray

    Another insightful block of advise. Thx Chris

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Alan!

  • Reply Shoaib

    Great Post Chris, I learned many thing from your course and your posts. I also made some .edu backlinks for my website using your method of outreach. You are awesome man.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Sweet! Glad to hear that 😀 Thanks.

  • Reply Rob

    Hey!

    I know you will talk about monetization in part 3, but maybe I could throw a couple of quick questions.

    I remember you sharing that your best site was generating over 10k a month just from ads. How is it doing these days? Do you still monetize it only with AdSense?

    Do you plan to focus on ads and affiliate commisions or rather your own products in your new project?

    Thanks & good luck.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Rob! Great to hear from you.

      I don’t use just ads anymore, and mix in affiliate marketing AND creating my own products. You’ll see the exact details in Part 3 🙂

      • Reply Jorge

        OMG you are my idol hahaha

      • Reply Jorge

        Why do not you use adsense anymore? It would be very interesting to know the reasons, I am a big fan of adsense but your opinion is very important.

        • Reply Chris Lee

          I still do! But I do mix it in with other monetization strategies, depending on the niche.

  • Reply Lashay

    Hey Chris, awesome post! There have been some debate about whether web 2.0’s are safe or not. What do you think? Do you use any on your authority niche sites?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Lashay 🙂 They usually have no impact on your SEO.

  • Reply Chimezie

    Chris,
    I just want to say thank you.
    I have been a follower of your blog for quite sometime now.
    And you have never failed to amaze me.Anytime you seem to have raised the bar, you raise it even higher.
    I have been trying to start a blog. I did start one, but could not sustain it.
    But I find new inspiration from your blog.If you can do it, I can.
    Waiting for Part 3 of the series.
    Thank you so much Chris for your inspiration.
    You have helped me more than you will ever know.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Chimezie. Really appreciate that, and happy to hear it 🙂

  • Reply Mohit Gangrade

    Great content like always, Chris.

    Will try these tips this week 🙂

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Cool! Thanks for reading Mohit.

  • Reply Kolyanne

    Hey Chris,

    Thank you!! for writing this post, since I started my blog, I’ve been struggling with link building, pretty slow but no worries, I won’t give up. My husband and I bought your course and I remembered your words of wisdom:) This article is great in a sense that it is focusing other ways of driving traffic to the website. Can’t wait to read part 3!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Kolyanne! Glad to hear that 😀

  • Reply Alberto Rendon

    Just finished reading. I’ve got another know-how in creating quality content. It’s a great post. Thank you so much for this teaching ideas.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Appreciate it, Alberto. Thank you for checking it out 🙂

  • Reply Abi

    Hi chris!

    This is very great advice which I’m already implementing on my niche blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it.

    One question though: when I send the outreach email to the influencers, how do I email back when they respond? Do I ask for a link back to one of my posts? Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Many thanks

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Abi. You’re going to have to decide on what’s best. It can’t all be done with template emails after the first outreach email.

  • Reply Jenda

    Hey Chris!

    I have to say, I just love this new series you have going on.

    I don’t read much of marketer blogs anymore, since it’s full of promotional and still-the-same kind of content, but this is something else.

    I really love that you’re talking about building a real online business and not just a cheap site, that you could quickly flip or bust.

    And if you don’t mind, I would like to ask a question:

    How would you go about making relationship with a website that doesn’t have a clear persona behind it? It’s usually some kind of magazine, which very well can be run just by one person as a blog would, but it’s more anonymous than that.

    Again – thanks for this series, I’m already looking forward to the last part!

    Cheers,
    Jenda

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Jenda! I would try to get close with one of the writers/editors. They write the content 🙂

  • Reply gaurav

    Great content, Extremely helpful. Eagerly waiting for the next updates

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks!

  • Reply Rein

    Cool stuff as usual Chris! Anyway, I’m just wondering if you’re into affiliate as well with regards to monetization method.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you liked it Rein 🙂 I’m not heavy into affiliate marketing. Only if the product fits.

      • Reply Rein

        I see. I just have a follow up question if you don’t mind. Do you use different persona / dummy names in your niche sites? Does it matter?

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Doesn’t really matter. Depends on what you want to do.

  • Reply Virginia Nakitari

    This is amazing. I’ve been struggling to drive targetted traffic to my blog. Now I’ve got the perfect ideas. Thank you, Chris!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Virginia! Glad it was helpful.

  • Reply Jhasketan Garud

    Hi Chris,

    SEO takes time & all those hard working days could become demoralizing if we do not see spikes on our Google Analytics dashboard. Influencer networking and Guest blogging can bring lots of targeted customers & the needed morale boost as well.
    Great advice.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Jhasketan.

  • Reply Adam

    Chris, I love the first two parts, but that ‘week’ to part three is sure one looooong week!
    Any plans to publish soon, the wait is killing me?
    Cheers!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Haha, I know sorry! It’s nearly done 🙂

  • Reply Horla

    This is indeed superb.. Actually am too lazy when it comes to collecting email because I hate using third party tools to send email or newsletters to my subscribers.. Which plugin can you suggest that support default wordpress newsletter.. So whenever I published new posts.. My subscribers will get alert?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Horla. Even if you’re using 3rd party software, you’d be the one in control of your email list.

  • Reply Javier

    Hey Chris
    I Discovered you a few months ago and I find your content really useful

    Your SEO course is amazing. Super RECOMMENDED.

    Thanks.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you so much, Javier. Glad you’re enjoying the content 🙂

  • Reply nycrunch

    hey chris
    thanks for sharing this insight with me. i am a new blogger who stumbled on your website ann its helping me to set out mine.
    now my worry is that setting up a product launch when you are still trying to get traffic; will it not be a total waste. why not use affiliate marketing of advert publishing

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Even if you’re still trying to get traffic, don’t forget that you’ll have built up your list to 1000 already at that point 🙂

  • Reply Lu Wee

    Hi Chris,

    Nice wrap up on the 3-part series. Have already applied some of the materials in Part 1 and Part 2 on my website.

    I’d like to know, was the main reason for you to close the ebook sales so that you can focus more on your online course? Why not sell both at the same time since, I assume, you wouldn’t need to do much maintenance on the e-book.

    Thanks again and I look forward to your reply.

    – Lu Wee

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for following the series, Lu Wee!

      I closed the ebook sales only because it was closely related to my course topic, and I wanted to do other things with the ebooks rather than continue selling them (like using them as opt-in incentives or bonuses for the course).

  • Reply Francis @mybreadmoney.com

    Chris,

    You’re the man!

    Thank you so much for producing excellent content every time! I don’t even look at the subject line anymore when you email. I just see your name and I dive right in.

    This one was timely. I got some work to do on my site. I’ve been doing it less efficiently. Your article point out some areas I need to address and improve to make that first 1k.

    Thanks again!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you very much, Francis 😀

      Really flattering to hear that. I appreciate it.

  • Reply Aniruddha Chaudhari

    Very detail and well explained. Thanks, Chris.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for checking it out!

  • Reply sithirailingam

    Hey Chris,
    I read this article & really enjoyed reading this post. Your post is very useful & helpful to bloggers who want to earn some money from internet.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Velin

    Hey Chris!

    Great article, as always. You’ve already answered a few questions that were coming to my mind the last couple of months 🙂 By the way, will you share any tips on how to get more email subscribers to a brand new blog? What’s are your thoughts about that?

    Thanks,
    Velin

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Great 🙂 Thanks Velin.

      Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind for future blog posts.

  • Reply Edson

    Hi Chris, thank you for sharing.
    Is that possible to work with all those tools on a hard coded website?
    I am saying that because i don’t use WordPress.

    I code everything.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Yeah, most of the tools will work on hard coded websites. A few of them are WordPress plugins though.

  • Reply Zailinah Safiee

    Hello Chris,

    I’ve subscribed to many email lists but have since unsubscribed to most.

    I choose to remain in your list because you provide, first and foremost, value to your audience.

    I’ve sold others’ products but am thinking selling my own would be the way to go. I understand that it’s not going to be easy, especially that I’ve not done it before and never collected list of subscribers.

    However, I’m going to use your informative content here as guide and get on with it!

    Thanks Chris!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you for the kind words, Zailinah 🙂 Happy to hear that.

  • Reply Faraz jafari

    Hey Chris,

    I’d read/taken a course that had product development, course creation as the main topic. But still found this useful, especially the tools list.

    Thanks man

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Faraz 🙂 Happy to hear that it was helpful.

  • Reply Jolie

    Very detailed and valuable!
    Btw, I sent you an email about my application from RankXL course, plz check!
    Thanks Chris

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Yup! Thank you Jolie.

  • Reply Leigh

    Would this work with promoting someone elses affiliate product that hasn’t been written yourself?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      It would but I prefer selling your own product first.

  • Reply Mikko

    Excellent content as always, Chris!

    This whole three part blog post series is a wonderful example how to share top-class stuff and rank it high on search engines 🙂

    Gonna definitely apply these proven points to my sites, too!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Mikko!

      🙂

  • Reply Bhuboy

    Thanks for this tip, it really is the best way to start making money from a new blog, and I started the influencer strategy already and got a good response from some influencer already for the round up post I am creating

    • Reply Chris Lee

      I love how fast you always take action, Bhuboy! Awesome.

  • Reply Agnes

    Awesome article! I have learnt a lot about content. Thanks Chris.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Agnes!

  • Reply Adam

    Man, it was worth the wait 😉

    • Reply Chris Lee

      😀 Happy to hear that!

  • Reply RJ Bryan

    Awesome info chris,
    I’m Building a new site and this post was a great boost and reminder of what we can create for our email lists.
    Never made my own product, but looking forward to it.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks RJ 🙂

  • Reply Chimezie Chidi

    Chris.
    I you have done it again. Now you have given me tools and ideas needed to start off my online adventure.
    Thank you Chris. Thank you.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome! Glad to hear that Chimezie 🙂 Nice domain name btw.

      • Reply alihamdan

        I read this article & really enjoyed reading this post. Your post is very useful & helpful to bloggers who want to earn some money from internet.

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Thank you.

  • Reply Winson Poon

    Hi Chris,

    Finally, I’ve done read the part 3 of the whole article.

    I got a question here. You showed us an example “Let’s do the math at a reasonable 2% conversion rate.”

    The conversion rate with the email list is normally in this 2% range or it could be lower or higher from time to time?

    Thanks,
    Winson

    • Reply Chris Lee

      2% is average. It’s actually on the low end of the estimate for a $500 to $1000 product, which usually ranges from 2 to 4%.

  • Reply Eric

    Amazeballs!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thankyaz!

  • Reply Brian

    Hi Chris, Great article!! Question about guest posting: Is it always better a backlink on the post body than in the side bar?? Im talking about the ´other websites´section.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Brian!

      Yes, editorial links are always the best.

  • Reply Tecmobs

    great tips

    i recently switched my domain name and my traffic has gone down badly, please what do i do.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Likely some errors with re-directs. You’ll want to hire an SEO to take a look at it for you.

  • Reply TalithaGlitters

    Hi Chris, this is a wonderful and complete content especially for newbies like me, its so direct and straight to the point…Can I also generate good content ideas on buzzsumo for my niche [art and culture], if not I will appreciate a trusted linkLooking forward for more to digest.

    Thank you

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad to hear that! Yes, you should be able to. You can try it free and see what results come back.

  • Reply ANDREW/ richmindblog.com

    Thank you so much for producing excellent article every time! Thanks and am greatful.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Andrew 🙂

  • Reply Dan | Money Gulp

    Thanks for this series Chris, it has really taught me a lot!

    Thanks, Dan

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome! Thanks for reading, Dan 🙂

  • Reply Sam

    Good Post!
    I use magazine theme where it gives the option of assigning one post to multi-category which I did
    Do you think that is unadvisable?

    i.e.when constructing site structure, which is best for SEO and Silo structure?
    to assign one post to one category strictly,
    or one post multicategory with one primary category and why?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Sam, in most cases, simpler is better 🙂

  • Reply David

    Hi Chris

    Fantastic info as usual.

    I have a question in regards to your opt-in. When you have a brand new site, what would you offer potential signups? I noticed that you offer access to your library of various resources, but what if you’re brand new and have no library of content?

    Would you offer some worn out plr ebook in your niche or would you simply tell them to signup to receive updates on great new content, etc.? This is my first time in beginning to build a list.

    Thanks!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      There are lots of things. I’m currently writing a blog post on this very topic so stay tuned 🙂

  • Reply Minhaj

    Hi Chris

    I’m a long time reader of your blog, just never commented before.
    Anyway, thanks for the awesome tip, one question, you are a big advocate of monetising websites through AdSense, how come you don’t do it for this blog?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Minhaj!

      That’s a good question. I don’t use Adsense for every single blog I own. Some niches like marketing are better suited for other forms of monetization.

      And this is my personal blog, so I would rather keep it clean from ads 🙂

  • Reply buyd

    this is awesome post….im a beginner here….thx Chris

    • Reply Chris Lee

      No problem! Thanks for reading.

  • Reply lane

    Hi Chris!

    Great series. Really enjoyed it and a lot of juicy insights. I had questions:

    I want to build out an authority site using this strategy, and when I looked at your Niche Site course, it talks about monetizing with Adsense. I’ve done the Adsense thing, and although I know it would work better using your course, I would prefer to stick to product creation and email building. Does that course cover these strategies in the series, or is only about Adsense? Do you have another course that goes more in depth concerning this three part series, or is one planned?

    I mainly want to learn the correct way to setup my authority blog by doing SEO, site structure, linkbuilding, etc step by step.

    Thanks for the epic content as usual.

    Be well,

    Lane

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Lane! That course does not cover list building and products. It’s an SEO course more than anything.

  • Reply rumahulin

    Very detailed and valuable!
    Btw, I sent you an email about my application from RankXL course, plz check!
    Thanks Chris

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks! Re-send the email if you didn’t see a reply from me. I get a ton of emails so it may have gotten lost somewhere.

  • Reply syuhada

    Awesome. This post inspiring me to pay out more thann $ 9000 as you do.

  • Reply Celestine

    Thank you Lee, this is awesome

    Proceeding to part two already

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you like it 🙂

  • Reply Celestine

    Another mastermind here
    BTW, I will kick start my guest posting career right away.

    Thank you and keep up the good work…

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks!

  • Reply Nella

    So interesting!!! I just read this part but it is so great! I will read from the first part!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome! Glad you liked it, Nella!

  • Reply Anak Dagang

    Thank you so much for producing excellent content every time!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      No problem, glad you like it 🙂

  • Reply Anak Dagang

    Very good post. I am a beginner, thanks a lot

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you liked it!

  • Reply Sarfraz Khan

    Well, It’s not true for every niche to get same conversion rate. To be honest only 3- 5% clicks on the link in the email and a few subscribers unsubscribe. So, you are left with very less conversion rate.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      I think for most niches, and a smaller email list under 100k people, 3-5% can be improved to double.

  • Reply Onder Hassan

    Great article.

    I personally don’t even bother with blogs anymore as it’s simply a traffic source like any other, and a great one for building authority. However, this can also be built with email alone, so I just focus on building the list using quick paid traffic sources.

    I prefer this method simply because it’s fast. Blogging just takes a longer time before you see any form of return.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Onder. You should still strongly consider building blogs for precisely that reason. It’s a free traffic source, and builds trust and authority with readers.

      Once you grow a high-traffic blog, you’re pretty much building your list for free and consistently every single day.

  • Reply Bijay

    Great..Time to go for Part-2 –> Traffic

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Cool, thanks 🙂

  • Reply Bijay Gupta

    Wow..I must say its a Masterpiece..Heading over to the Last Part.

    Thanks,
    Bijay

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Bijay!

  • Reply erlend

    Hey,

    do you recommend having a tripwire? Aka selling a small offer for 7$ before selling a core offer at 90$?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      I don’t do tripwires, but I know that a lot of people have great results with it.

  • Reply NYcrunch

    Thanks Chris. its always amazing reading from your blog. i believe that when i apply these tips to my blog, my traffic is going to change and increase.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks!

  • Reply Alex

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the article, it’s very useful, and fun, too!

    However, if possible I’d like to have your opinion on the matter I frequently think over and still can’t understand:

    Let’s suppose you’re a US$100-per-article author who really can make premium content.

    Then why would you go to Problogger (Upwork, etc.) to get hired by some busy moneymaker (no offence, please), instead of setting up your own WP blog with your own self-made premium content, and at the end of the day having the same money you’d get from Problogger/Upwork/etc.?

    Regards,
    Alex

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Alex,

      Great question. To grow a successful blog, it’s not just about publishing a ton of content. It’s like software developers. You can find a lot of good developers in freelancing sites, but that doesn’t mean that it would be more profitable for them to build a startup instead.

  • Reply Dex Antikua

    Wow Chris
    This is an awesome piece. I tried to contact one of my favourite influencer in my niche via social media,guess what? He accepted to share my link to his audience.

    Yes,I did mention him in my post and after reviewing it,he did the “magic.”

    After sharing the link to hia auduence,pap! My blog started getting good traffic from his social media pages.

    I really appreciate your guide but am poor in the long term way of SEO. Hope I will get along by reading other posts in your blog.

    Regards.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      That’s awesome! Great work, Dex 😀

  • Reply Alex A

    I have to say it was a series of amazingly truthful articles. I’ve seen pay-per-view courses where they don’t share what Chris did. I really like the way you explain it so clearly.

    I just started in a competitive niche as you suggest and I have just the right elements to take this strategy.

    You’ve earned a reader thanks for your content I’ll read your blog more thoroughly to see what other jewel is hidden there.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks, Alex! Appreciate the kind words 🙂

  • Reply Adeel Akhter

    Hi Mate.

    The first part is simply awesome and I am going for the next part tomorrow. Super exited.

    The article is really really awesome.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks 😀 Glad you liked it.

  • Reply Adeel Akhter

    Hi Mate,

    Completed the 2nd read today. It is again AWESOME.

    Surprisingly before landing this page I was planning the same to go with “Influencer Marketing” however I was focused to test this in a little different and refined way.

    I will certainly share my strategy once I have tested it.

    I loved the 3rd point you talked. Talking about influencers and letting them know.

    I agree to your other point that RoundUp posts in digital marketing niche has kind of become saturated. I tried this in travel and tourism industry and I got some great results :).

    If you allow, I will share what I did and how it worked in my later comment. I am preparing a case study of it! And I am excited 😀

    One important thing. You said if they don’t reply, do blog commenting etc, I suggest do tweet them and send a follow up email.

    Many times wile my round up post I experienced that influencers either missed my email because the email landed in JUNK or it was overlooked mistakenly.

    Wrapping it up. Simply awesome article.

    I tweeted it 🙂

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Great tips, Adeel! Definitely would want to know how it went for you. Let me know 🙂

      Thanks!!

  • Reply Tom

    Chris,

    Awesome stuff as always!

    I wanted to share an “outside of the box” link building tip, and since I have no interest in building an SEO blog, I thought I’d share this SUPER successful tip with one of my favorite bloggers and the community there. 🙂

    Anyways, here’s what you do:

    1. Gather a list of potential organizations, websites, business, etc that have a physical address. Gather at least 100 addresses that relate to your website. Get anything with an address. Either gather manually or even use MTURK.

    For my example, I gathered 100 pet rescue groups for my pet niche website.

    2. This is important. Make sure your website is credible, link worthy and not spammy. Act big, even if you’re not.

    What you’re going to want to do here is write a template using a handwriting font. You want to make it look handwritten as there are a lot of great handwriting fonts out there! You can handwrite, I suppose, but this would take forever.

    3. Write out a simple one-page letter saying that you work for so and so and think your website could be a great addition to their website somewhere. Inside, make sure you list contact information like your email and even phone. If you see a resource page, note it.

    4. Next, write out your envelopes and make sure you hand write these or again, use that handwriting font to print on your printer. Make this look as personal as possible because these places get A LOT of junk mail.

    5. Test mail at least 50 letters. Look a stamp is what? 50 cents?

    My results

    I sent out 100 letters and I was BLOWN away by the response. I was able to achieve 13 links and they are still flowing.

    I probably invested a day, so let’s say 8 hours of work (kind of high). Value your time at $40/hr = $320/13 links = $24 each. Worth it? You be the judge.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Tom! Thanks for sharing this with us.

      A 13% conversion rate is incredible. All you did was ask them to add a link to you somewhere on their website? I’m surprised that it worked out this well.

      Great work and I appreciate you taking the time to share this.

      • Reply Tom

        Chris,

        Just make sure the company has a resource page. While emailing works, I have talked to a few organizations that get TONS of email — most of it spam. So even if you do have something great, they just pass over it.

        With that being said, NO ONE snail mails. Think of it. If I mailed you something that’s handwritten, you would open it and pass a bit more attention to it, right? Do you know of any other SEO blogger recommending this? Ha.

        In my letter, it was short and sweet, something like this:

        I saw you had a resource page on your organization’s page and felt our organization could be of value. Blah blah.

        Hopefully, this makes sense. Some will email or even call to discuss. As long as it’s something of value, you would be surprised at how well it works.

        Maybe I should start an SEO Blog one day but I would rather just share the tips on the few blogs I respect like yours.

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Awesome, thanks for the clarification, Tom! Impressive.

          Maybe you should! 🙂

  • Reply James

    Hi Chris,

    This post (and the rest in the series) has really given me something to aspire to.

    It’s going to be a lot of work to develop the content, but I am going for it.

    Awesome stuff.

    Thanks again.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Great to hear that James 🙂

  • Reply Yolady

    Thank you for the comprehensive article which every beginner can follow up step by step. I am not really a beginner but I am pretty sure i will go over the whole article and see what I can learn from it.

  • Reply marco

    Hi Chris!

    Happy to read you again with this awesome article. It’s very complete.

    I will link directly to this many times. I will update you when I will do it.

    Great expertise and keep it up!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome! Thanks a lot Marco 🙂

  • Reply The K

    Great !
    This acticle is awsome ha ha ha !
    Thank you Chris

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you liked it 🙂

  • Reply yudha

    sigh,… now i know where i did wrong..

    my site just growing fine when i do everything alone, but i try to use new writer to pump content in my site, of course, i try to minimise cost by using affordable writer, (not the ceapest one, also not the highest one),

    the result is, traffic gone downhill.. maybe there is another reason which im not seeing here, like getting penalty from algorithme change or something..

    what do you think i should do here chris? should i delete all the “affordable” content that doesnt do the site any good ? this content tipically go for long tail keyword, so the competition should be not really hard, i do realise it not the best content out there for the same keyword..

    so, should i delete, or edit or make new content on that my self..? have you got that kind of problem chris ?

    fyi: my site got around 4k pv perday, it dropped from 10kpv perday initially… i just hope to at the very least, get back to the same amount of traffic it has before…

    (ps: sorry for my bad english)

    • Reply Chris Lee

      It’s tough to say without looking at your analytics or knowing what niche you’re in, since the medic update was pretty recent too.

  • Reply Axel

    This is great! You opened my mind. I have done one of your courses and change the way I was making my web, but this article is great.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks a lot, Axel 🙂

  • Reply Nomar

    What kind of product would you suggest in the travel niche?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      You have many options. Depends mainly on your analytics such as who your audience is comprised of, what blog topics have done the best in terms of traffic and engagement, and the angle you’ve chosen within your niche.

      But the most common are travel guides, travel hacking, and travelling cheap, working remotely.