Today’s episode is insane, for 3 reasons:

  1. It features a special guest 🙂
  2. It features John from ESI Money
  3. It was 2/3 recorded LIVE at FinCon

John is an OG blogger in the world of personal finance, and is WELL-known throughout the community (like seriously, I was amazed at how many top-tier bloggers seemed to know personally. He’s part of that crew).

However, John brings something else to the table…

A deep knowledge of marketing (his former dayjob), and a passion for blogging, growth, and even advertising. (He used the same FB consultant I did, Monica Louie).

Get ready for some awesome blogging takeaways in this episode.

But wait, there’s more!!!

Yes, using that corny phrase for my H2 tag makes me happy. Deal with it, Google.

In addition to this amazing chat with John, the last 1/3 of the episode features a special guest!

Steve from Think Save Retire joins John and me on the live FinCon stage!

Our own little 3-way recorded in front of 1,500 people. #snicker

Steve is another widely-respected and accomplished money blogger, and one who has recently retired to boot (at age 35).

We chat…

  • Top 2 money tips that aren’t said enough.
  • Top 2 blog tips that aren’t said enough.
  • Early retirement and RV life
  • Which ad networks Steve and John switched to….VASTLY increasing revenues

This episode is long, informative, slow, insane, valuable…..and I love every single second of it. Ciao 🙂

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Listen to my episode with John from ESI Money

or listen on \\ iTunes \\ Stitcher \\ Google Play \\ Overcast \\ Spotify

***

Show notes and referenced links

Key takeaways from today’s episode with John (and Steve!)

Ok buckle up, because I want to touch on several key points.

1 – A methodical approach to blog traffic (part 1 – the costs)

First, can we all appreciate the level to which John breaks down his plans and organizes actionable steps?

It’s insane, and something we all need to do more of (even if we NEVER get to where John’s at).

First, bad news:

Being more “methodical” or “deliberate” about growing your blog comes with an unavoidable cost:

  1. Time
  2. Energy

Two things you probably feel you’re lacking, especially when it comes to your blog, am I right? I’m right.

Methodical planning times time. As in, you actively sitting down away from distractions, thinking about goals, thinking about your future, and working backwards, step-by-step.

If you don’t care to take the time to actively think…you’re refusing this methodical approach.

No hard feelings, we’ll catch ya next podcast. As for me, I’m feeling a bit inspired to do more of this, so I’m taking a lunch break to Waffle House today to deliberately plan out my blog for 2018.

(not only is WH delicious, but they also have NO wi-fi, making it a fantastic place to sit and think)

2 – A methodical approach to blog traffic (part 2 – action steps)

As far as something you can do today to work towards this, here’s what I’d recommend.

Step 1 – Schedule out a distraction-free time to think and brainstorm

Again, this is important. Dedicate a bit of deep work time to it.

Step 2 – Start with desires and dreams

What do you want from your blog…most of all? Influence? Fame? Money? All of the above?

Don’t say traffic. Traffic is a means to an end. (So is money, really, but still). Do you wish to quit your job? Start a thriving business? Identify your personal dreams, specifically relating from your blog if necessary.

Step 3 – Translate dreams into a huge goal(s)

You’ve heard of SMART goals right? It’s basically an acronym to translate vague dreams and desires…into specific, measurable, actionable goals.

For 2018, what is your #1 blogging goal?

What metric? Traffic, downloads, MRR?

Define a big, hairy, audacious goal for 2018. Give it a face and a name, a timeframe.

Example: By the end of December 2018, I want to have 10,000 loyal email subscribers.

Step 4 – Methodically break down said goals

Break down your huge goal into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Turn years into months, months into weeks, weeks into days. Continuing on the above example:

  • I want 10,000 subs
  • I currently have 943
  • That’s roughly 755 subscribers/month from Jan to Dec

Furthermore, growth doesn’t happen in a linear fashion like that…

  • I want 10,000 subs
  • I currently have 943
  • Jan: 50
  • Feb: 100
  • March: 200
  • April: 300
  • May: 500
  • June: 700
  • etc, etc, etc

Take your huge goal, and break it down realistically into smaller segments. Months and weeks preferably.

Step 5 – Define strategies to meet segmented goals

Now for the hard part…what do you have to do in order to hit those smaller chunks?

Continuing the example:

  • Jan – 50 subs – Continue posting 2x weekly w/ content upgrades
  • Feb – 100 subs – Organic, + 1 FB ad campaign to my most popular post
  • March – 200 – Organic, FB ad, free course freebie
  • April – 300 – Organic, REALLY push free blogging course freebie
  • May – 500 – Organic, run small giveaway ($300-500)

Etc.

Step 6 – DO THE WORK

I can’t say this simply enough, and I know John would agree with me: all this is for naught if you don’t follow-through.

Sitting at Waffle House and dissecting your 2018 blogging goals is easy.

Doing the work behind the strategies is hard.

Good news is…

Now you have a roadmap. A methodical breakdown to take you from yesterday to your dreams. One day at a time.

2 – One more thing for increasing traffic…

Publish more.

Sorry, another one of those lame answers that requires both time and energy…but it’s effective.

Analyze your blog traffic over time, and you’ll discover far more traffic on days where you publish content. If it’s traffic you want, publish more content.

However, do NOT assume I am considering traffic as a go-to metric. I’m not at all. Traffic is a means to an end.

However, publishing more frequently has other distinct advantages as well, such as increasing brand awareness (yes, I just cringed typing “brand awareness”), building trust with your followers, etc.

If you’re interested in learning more about finding the balance between frequency/quality/results, check out this post on finding the perfect blog post schedule.

Pst. Want to see my actual 2018 goals?

Check out the bonus video using the form below. It’s super quick and digestible, and I’ll share my personal 2018 goals with you 🙂

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5 Comments

    1. Yes and no. I tend to be a “one goal” type of guy, so my overall business goal is $231,000 in gross revenues.

      But, it’s actually more like…

      1. $231k from DYEB
      2. 10k email subscribers
      3. Speak at FinCon (1st time I’ve announced this though)

      🙂

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