#FinCon18 is officially done, which means it’s time for the dozens of FinCon review posts to pop up over the next week.

🙂

(Which I support by the way. I approve anything that gets more people to this extraordinary event.  I LOVE hearing all the takeaways that folks had).

However, something different happened this year for me.

At last year’s FinCon, I was literally:

  • taking notes during all the keynotes,
  • brainstorming on the back of business cards,
  • mentally obsessing over blogging takeaways I wanted to share (and implement)

I even wrote out those takeaways on the plane ride home (you can read the FinCon17 takeaways here).

This year was different.

I have no specific blog tactics or mental shifts for you. Instead, I’ve been hit with the feeling that SOMETHING IMPORTANT IS CHANGING, and I feel the need to share what that is.

There’s a specific trend I see picking up with bloggers who are high-performers, & I feel like the time to double-down on this “strategy” is right now.

First, here’s the big takeaway:

Email marketing, as we bloggers know it, has fundamentally changed, and is going to change even more over the next few months.

This means pretty much nothing without context, so let’s dive in.

A 100-word history of what the OLD email marketing looked like.

10 years ago, some marketers discovered that email was a really fantastic way to communicate with people—especially as social networks started to pull their organic reach closer and closer to zero.

“You NEED to start an email list!”

We’ve heard this over and over again—and that statement is still true for 2019.

So bloggers regularly

  • have pop-ups and opt-ins and freebies
  • set up sweet autoresponder series (how does one make this word plural?) that onboard readers into our brand
  • broadcast out new posts/podcasts
  • sell products over the window of a week with annual “launches”

Roughly 1,000,001 bloggers are currently doing this.

However, more and MORE bloggers are coming online every day, and everybody is starting to open fewer and fewer emails…

This has been a problem the last few years—but I’d argue it is STILL continuing to decline.

Ok, so what I’d learn from FinCon?

Ok. Here we go.

Email is still THE way to communicate and market to your tribe, but the form and format of WHAT YOU SEND and HOW YOU SEND IT has changed completely, and the bloggers that understand this are starting to reap the benefits.

Let’s talk about funnels for a hot minute.

Literally, actually.

“Funnel” was THE word I heard the most when asking bloggers I trust about their 2019 plan.

  • More funnels.
  • Longer funnels.
  • Complicated & evergreen funnels.

This has actually been a trend over the past few months with my podcast guests, too.

What the hay are “funnels” as it relates to blogging?

Funnel = literally the shape of a funnel–otherwise known as “the process to which businesses take cold leads and develop them into warm leads, then finally into paying customers.”

It’s the actions marketers take to walk customers through the “customer journey.”

BLOGGING FUNNEL

But here’s the thing.

If you’re just going step-by-step through my massive guide on how to start a blog–a “funnel” is just going to be a simple welcome sequence through Mailchimp or ConvertKit.

If you’re an advanced blogger, it might look like:

  • run some paid or organic traffic to landing page w/ freebie opt-in
  • have autoresponder series to deliver freebie
  • pitch a small product, or free webinar to build more trust
  • launch a product a few times a year. “TOMORROW IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!”

#funnel, right?

Maybe…

If you’re one of the elite bloggers I spoke with at FinCon18, your email marketing funnel is now a deeply integrated part of your business AND content strategy–and is the core way you make money across ALL monetization methods.

Now re-read that.

Here are the 2 things top bloggers are starting to change:

Bottom line:

  1. what they send
  2. how they send it

Before we go any further, it’s important to note–the following changes are being made REGARDLESS of website traffic and email subscribers.

However, there ARE two basic requirements:

  1. your blog needs to be monetized in some way (mainly products and affiliate marketing, to be frank)
  2. you need a body of content

(There’s no magic number, but I do think the “new” and advanced blogging email funnels should be reserved for those who have a LOT of content in the bank–which directly relates to traffic for most people, but I simply think there’s a minimum threshold regardless of total traffic).

3 examples to (finally) illustrate what I’m talking about 😉

Rosemarie Groner has been known to give some amazing talks at FinCon, and this year was no different.

The highlights?

  • Her blog hasn’t published new or original content in 9 MONTHS
  • She’s implemented a TWO-YEAR funnel
  • which pulls in $40,000/month by itself

A two-year funnel through ConvertKit.

That’s insane to me.

Rosemarie has built a business on automating a new subscriber’s “customer journey” for the first 2 years–based on high-ROI activity. (her smaller printable products and affiliate promotions for EBA, etc)

An important caveat about that “no new content” thing: she has loads of old content to re-share and repurpose.

Blog-changing question for you:

If you only had to write 5 posts a year AND 5 emails a year–do you think you’d have more time to focus on traffic generation? or products?

Please allow me to introduce “the point of this article!”

Top bloggers are automating and simplifying both their email communications, sales cycles and sequences, and even their content–all in an effort to drastically scale back time spent in these areas in any given month.

Re-read that.

Let’s move on to example 2:

I met 5am Joel at FinCon last week, and am UBER intrigued by his entire content model.

5am joel
Joel’s self-explanatory content model from his site.

Yes, Joel does publish blog posts now–but his real draw is the email list.

THIS is his content. THIS is what he’s known for.

Email content. Not blog posts.

*

If you’ve been a follower of Bryan Harris, you know he shares new content via email and webinar ONLY.

It is now October 2018, and his blog only has TWO blog posts written this entire year.

So how does he make $1M+ a year? He focuses heavily on email-only content and highly complex email funnels that lead folks from acquisition to webinar to free course to 10k subs, his $1,000 offering.

Email marketing funnels are the new “passive income.”

  1. spend the time setting them up
  2. relax and watch engagement and revenues roll in

(caveat: hypothetically)

The main benefit? More time freed up to either focus on acquisition (SEO. Pinterest. etc), or uber-valuable “internet’s best” content stuff.

😉

BONUS Case Study – Here’s the “new” email marketing funnel I’m implementing for DYEB:

Ha!

And you thought I was just going to type it out here in blog post format–nope!

I’m going to show you my new strategy via Drip (YES. I’ve dropped ConvertKit. You can see my current blogging tool lineup here.)

Click the button below to join my email list, where you’ll be receiving the following:

  1. my new welcome sequence (you’ll either laugh or cry. Not both)
  2. a behind-the-scenes glimpse at my new Drip workflows, built for longer, evergreen funnels.

GRAB THE BONUS

*

*

UPDATE: Here are some of the most impressive bloggers I met for the first time at #FinCon18, and what impressed me about them:

Note: I’m not including friends I’ve met on several occasions and have probably already blogged about! These are the NEW friends I made, in no particular order >>

Jonathan from ChooseFI – Their podcast is obviously huge–but I was more blown away with his FIGHT to build a community. It’s what they’re gunning for the most with their brand, and I think it’s paying them massive dividends. We could all learn from this.

Chelsea from Mama Fish Saves – I’ve had the great pleasure to glimpse some behind-the-scenes of her growing blog and business over the past few months, and I’m thankful I have. She’s been crushing it. Hanging out with her last week is one of those “surround yourself with awesome people” sorta thing. Hopefully, some of it rubbed off on me 😉 (Shoutout to Papa Fish Saves as well)

Denis & Katie from Chain of Wealth – Literally some of my favorite people to hang out with and blog alongside. They’re smart, produce great content (this passive income post is insane), care about community, and are no doubt going to crush it over the long-run.

Bitches Get Riches – My single favorite blog brand on the internet right now. They are FULL of attitude and personality and I love every second of them.

Eric from High Five Dad – Add Eric to my little “surround yourself with awesome and helpful people” tribe. He’s as nice as they come, super smart. a joy to hang out with. Jason from Winning Personal Finance and Ryan from Financial Lion as well. These are GOOD PEOPLE. So happy they made the trek to Orlando, and can’t wait to see where their blogs go this year.

Penny from She Picks Up Pennies – How can you not love Penny? SHE WON A PLUTUS! Very well-deserved IMO, and she’s also helped out DYEB a ton. 🙂

Matthias from Financial Imagineer – Got to hang with Matt for a while one night over drinks, and he has some incredibly interesting ideas (and opportunities) when it comes to international blogging (specifically on education, finance, and lifestyle).

Alex from Broke is a Choice – This guy is one-in-a-million personality-wise. Love his energy and craziness. He makes life (and conferences) more fun. Also, he seems to like DYEB, so that’s a plus >_<

Bethany Bayless from The Money Millhouse – My new friend! She was the emcee and host of the keynotes and Plutus Awards. She did a fantastic job, and she is also hilarious. Kudos!

Join the Conversation

20 Comments

  1. It was great meeting you too Pete. Sorry I was a little awkward in our into. Felt like I knew you already.

    In person, you seemed a little different than via podcast or video.

    Today I figured it out. I’m so used to listening to you at 1.5x speed. It seemed like you spoke so slow in real life. Ooops.

    Well, glad to finally meet you IRL. Thanks for everything!

    1. dude you too! and it wasn’t weird lol. I’m a weird enough dude already. Just felt normal I suppose 😉

  2. Great post Pete. I’ll be tracking through the funnel intently 🙂

    I’d be interested to see how the math shakes out on this: relatively lower number of people ultimately seeing your content, but a higher conversion rate on people clicking referrals / buying products. Net result = ???

  3. Woo! Awesome post and I’ll also be rethinking my email marketing post FinCon. 110% biggest takeaway this year.

    So great to get to hang out with you and chat blog strategy. You and Denis definitely forced me to think more than a week ahead…

    1. sorry can’t respond to comment. too busy crafting TOMORROW’S CONTENT.

      Joking but not really joking. 🙂 🙂

  4. As a new blogger/podcaster it is very interesting to see all the different ways to gain an audience and build a tribe.

    Email has been really the only way I’ve communicated back and forth with my audience AND see results, minimal as it may be compared to the “top bloggers.” There is definitely something to automating and working with what you have as I have learned for new leads.

    Looking forward to your experiences after moving to Drip.

  5. Thanks for the shoutout brotha! It was great finally meeting you in person as well haha…I am amped up for this next year and one of the biggest lessons I learned from FinCon as well was that I need to change the way I’m emailing. Picked up some pretty cool ideas that I still need to translate to paper, but am pretty excited about.

  6. Thanks for the recap on email marketing! I’m pretty bad with all of that. I have no pop ups, I only started sending an email once a week, and I don’t sell anything, doh! Well that’s not entirely true, I do have a book on how to negotiate a severance to build as long of a financial runway as possible to be free since pensions are few and far between.

    Do you know if there are any freelancers who are experts in email marketing to hire to help do this on a regular basis?

    Thanks!

    Sam

    1. Sup Sam!

      Yeah man. Want me to email you a name or two?

      P.S. I just saw a calendar reminder a few weeks ago that said “1-year follow-up w/ Sam to come on podcast.” I had forgotten about it, so don’t be surprised if you see a little “come be a guest” pitch 😉

  7. This is gold! Thanks for sharing your insight, Pete. Funnels, funnels, and some more funnels 🤪. I hope to actually have a chance to hang out with you and other awesome people at Fincon 19, haha. I would have loved to meet Mama Fish Saves!

  8. I agree with this. This year I think I’ve written about 4 blog posts but sent emails every single week without fail. People didn’t even notice…as long as you have enough valuable content and a good freebie to attract new people every day, why pour yourself into writing every single day? It’s exhausting.

    I love love love emailing people and have big “funnel” plans for 2019!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *