About 4 years ago, my then boss told me I needed to focus on improving our site’s conversion rate to increase the company’s bottom line. The company was experiencing flat growth because customer acquisition was becoming increasingly expensive, so getting new and existing customers through the funnel without friction became a top priority. I never worked on CRO (conversion rate optimization) prior to that, and my boss was just as clueless and offered no help or insight. To ramp up for this new business priority, I subscribed to every CRO blog I could find, and that’s when I came across Neil Patel’s blogs.
Over the years, I have pruned my blog list, but Neil’s blogs remained at the top, and I always make time for it. Why am I encouraging you to stalk his blogs? Not only is his blog well written, but his content is relevant, actionable, measurable and well vetted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tinkered with a strategy, tool or tactic right after reading his blog. That’s a sign of a great blog. The content is so compelling and useful that it propels you into immediate action. He is also brutally honest with himself as he shares his failures with the same scrutiny as his successes. As I noted in my musing about sewing, I strongly believe that failure is an invaluable learning tool.
Neil teaches you how to be a content marketer
What’s the point of writing a blog if no one can find it? Some of you may think of yourselves as just a blogger, but to run a successful blog, you have to reposition yourself as a content marketer. What is content marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is the “creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Not only does this include writing content, but it also encompasses all other online marketing activities like social media, syndication, search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting and PPC (pay per click advertising).
I have a great example of how reading one of Neil’s blog posts boosted my traffic. Neil posted a piece about Reddit and what a goldmine it was for reaching engaged, passionate users who loved specific areas of interest, like sewing. I knew Reddit was huge, but when I read Neil’s deep dive analysis on the quantity and quality of Reddit users, my eyes popped out and my jaw dropped open. Reddit is freakin’ huge and too big to be ignored. In the same post, Neil shows you how to participate in a subreddit while honoring its rules and guidelines.
Right after reading that piece, I posted my sweater refashion on the sewing subreddit, and then a few days later, I posted my prom dress remake. This is what my page views looked like after I started posting on Reddit:
Most of the peaks you see on the chart, including the first two, are attributed to my Reddit postings. The sewing subreddit loved my first two postings because they were visually stunning sewing transformations, but they clearly weren’t as interested in my other refashions based on fast fashion (my cold shoulder shirt was a huge dud). I learned through this community’s engagement and comments that their aesthetic leans more towards conservative than trendy fashion. Based on this analytics, I now know what kind of refashions I need to focus on to better engage this channel. Also, to sustain this traffic, I need to post more content more frequently. If I didn’t read Neil’s blog, I probably would have missed out on this huge source of new readers.
Neil teaches you how to be a better copywriter
Copywriting is part art and part science. The art of writing goes way beyond your personal style of writing and includes how well you can emotionally connect with your readers. The other half of writing is creating compelling calls to action without sounding like a cheesy sales guy, and using strategic keywords for SEO without sounding like a robo-writer. Neil understands the ying and yang of writing and helps you improve all aspects of copywriting. Here’s a list of some of my favorite posts about copywriting from Neil:
- The Definitive Guide to Copywriting
- 18 Tools for Better Content Creation: Improve Your Writing with Less Effort
- SEO Copywriting: How To Write Content For People and Optimize For Google
- 5 Copywriting Strategies That Will Improve Your Conversion Rate by 113%
My biggest take away from Neil’s posts about copywriting is that you want to create a conversation and ultimately a relationship with your readers. After years of following Neil, I feel like I know this guy, even though I’ve never met him. I feel like he is on my side and truly interested in helping me become a better content marketer. Don’t get me wrong – I understand Neil makes his money by consulting and that his end goal is to drum up more business. That said, I find his voice honest and authentic. If I had the budget, I would hire him in a New York minute.
Neil teaches you how to understand customer behavior through web analytics
Running a blog without understanding your customers’ behavior through analytics is like driving a car without a dashboard and map. In order to get from point A to point B, you need a plan and a way to measure progress along the way. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Neil has written posts on how to use Google Analytics not just to measure site activity but also to extract meaningful insights from data to fine-tune your marketing strategy. You must read the following posts:
- How to Improve your Marketing with Google Analytics Data
- How 3 Simple Google Analytics Reports Will Increase Your Search Engine Traffic
- 6 Advanced Google Analytics Tricks That All Site Owners Should Know
Neil eats his own dog food
Neil gave himself the challenge of generating $100,000 per month from a new blog by selling fish oil supplements without using any of his connections. He’s documenting this case study on his blogs, and it’s interesting to read his progress and hiccups along the way. I watch him implement strategies and tactics he writes about with varying degrees of success.
If you start following Neil’s blog, I promise you’ll find something you can execute right away to improve your blog’s performance. By the way, I’m not affiliated with Neil Patel in any way. I’m just a huge fan because his strategies and tactics work.Follow my blog with Bloglovin