How I Reached 100,000 Visitors with These 7 Rules

rules

Over the years, I’ve taught you a lot about content marketing… from what tactics others are using to showing you what’s working.

But I’ve never really opened up and shared the rules I blog by. What you don’t know is that I rarely release a blog post if it doesn’t follow 7 key rules.

Download this printable cheat sheet of 7 rules to follow once you get 100,000 visitors.

So, what are these rules that have helped me grow the Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, and Quick Sprout blogs to over 100,000 visitors a month?

Here are the 7 rules I blog by:

Rule #1: Set the right frame

In blogging, framing refers to the way you set the mood for the rest of your blog post. For example, in this post, I talk about the rules I use to grow blogs to over 100,000 visitors a month.

The reason I set the frame this way is because I already have credibility with you due to the fact that you already read Quick Sprout and already know I am a successful marketer. I also share a specific traffic number—100,000 visitors—because I know most of you haven’t achieved that number yet, but want to.

Framing the post this way will encourage more of you to read the rest of it.

On the flip side, if I framed this post by telling you that these are just 7 generic rules other bloggers are using, you would have no reason to follow them as they may not be from a credible source. Plus, you wouldn’t know the type of results you could potentially achieve by following them.

Let me show you another example of framing. My friend David used it on his e-commerce blog. He wanted to write a blog post that taught people how to generate more sales during the holiday, so he started off his post with:

Hope you had a profitable Thanksgiving.

Can you tell me the issue with this frame? Most e-commerce sites are profitable, especially during Thanksgiving. The real issue is how profitable they are and how much more money they could have made.

So, I had him switch the copy to:

What if I told you that you could have made two, if not three, times more money on Black Friday than what you pulled in? The reality is you could have, but before I go into how, let me first explain why…

Do you see the difference? Every e-commerce owner wants to make more money. Which is why they are more likely to read the second version over the original.

Framing is powerful! You just have to use it in the right way.

If you want to learn how to frame your blog posts, read this.

Rule #2: Hook your readers

Do you know what the attention span of a goldfish is? 9 seconds. And if you think that’s short, take a guess what your attention span is.

A whopping 8 seconds. That’s right… humans’ attention span is shorter than goldfish’s.

Out of every 8 people that read your headline, only 2 continue to read the rest of your blog post. Why? Because you aren’t hooking your readers and grabbing their attention.

That’s why you need to focus on writing the perfect headline. You can do this by:

  • Keeping your headline to 6 words and under 65 characters (ideally)
  • Using interesting adjectives within it
  • Integrating negative words as they tap into insecurities
  • Making your headlines personalized
  • When possible, using numbers and data

When writing headlines, check out this free tool by Portent as it should make your life a bit easier.

Rule #3: Data builds credibility

If you are seen as an expert, more people are likely to follow you. But how do you get people to see you as an expert?

You use data.

It doesn’t matter if you are the source of it or you are citing someone else. By continually using data within your blog posts, you create credibility. It shows that you have done your research and aren’t making anything up.

It’s the main reason why I release data-filled infographics each week. Using data works so well that I incorporate a ton of it into my blog posts on my personal blog too. Many of those posts have links to at least 20 different sites.

By using data within your blog posts, you will help people start seeing you as an expert. Plus, others will see you are linking to them, and some of those people will start sharing your content and eventually link back to you.

Rule #4: Blog with your heart

Have you ever seen me blog about topics other than marketing and business? No. Why?

Because those are the two topics I really care about. I love them so much that I center my life around them, sometimes to a fault—sometimes, I neglect other things in my life, such as my family, because I’m knee deep in my blog or business.

I am working on fixing that, but the point is that I love blogging because I’m writing about topics I am passionate about.

That’s what allows me to write consistently and never give up on blogging. If you don’t love what you are writing about, eventually you’re going to quit, and your blog won’t gain popularity.

Plus, the quality of your content will be drastically different. People can tell when you write about something you are passionate about. The quality of the article that’s written with care and passion is a lot different from the quality of the article that’s written out of pure necessity.

Rule #5: Love your readers

Look in the mirror, and ask yourself: “Do I love my readers?” Do you love your readers so much that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy?

If you do, they’ll not only stick around for a long time, but they will also support you. They will comment on your content, share it, and tell the world how great you and your company are.

I love my readers, which is why I respond to almost every comment. I also try to respond to every email that is short and to the point.

And when I screw up, I try to make things right. For example, I get over ten thousand spam comments a day, and it is nearly impossible for me to go through them all. So, some good comments get lost, and I get angry emails such as this one:

donation

To try to make this reader happy, I donated $20 to their Go Fund Me project. I didn’t have to do this, but I felt it would make the reader happy, so I did.

I care for my readers to the degree that I will do almost anything for them. The real question is, do you?

Rule #6: Don’t repel readers with fancy vocabulary

Don’t you hate it when people talk down to you? I know I do. I especially hate it when people try to use fancy language I don’t understand to make me feel dumb.

And I’ll be honest, I don’t have the best vocabulary, and I am not the smartest person out there. I know I can learn more and continually sharpen my skills in all aspects of life.

Granted, when you are blogging, you are educating your readers, but this doesn’t mean you are smarter or better than they are.

This is why I use simple vocabulary. It makes the post feel more like a conversation and less like a classroom setting. Just as you can learn from me, I can also pick up a few things from you… which is why I prefer a conversation.

Use simple vocabulary to help increase user engagement.

Rule #7: It’s all in the list

Have you noticed that on all of my blogs—from Quick Sprout to Crazy Egg to KISSmetrics—I collect emails?

Why?

Because email marketing is a consistent source of traffic that you can control. All you have to do is send a blast to your list every time you publish a blog post, inviting your readers to check it out.

Emails are so powerful that for one of my blogs, they account for 28% of the total traffic. They are so effective that I am willing to spend $1,500 a month with these guys just because they get my emails in people’s inboxes… even though I don’t make a dollar from email marketing.

If you are going to blog, make sure you come up with an enticing opt-in such as an e-book or a course like I offer on Quick Sprout.

Or if you don’t have time to create an offering, you can always re-purpose your old blog content. Or better yet, do something like Groove.

groove

Whatever you decide to create for your opt-in, make sure it is enticing. Without an email list, it will be difficult for you to grow your blog.

And once you are ready to collect emails, follow this post, which will teach you how to collect emails without needing a lot of technical knowledge.

Conclusion

If you follow these 7 rules, you will see an increase in traffic. And it isn’t just me who is seeing success from these rules. Bloggers like Brian Dean, who have been following in my footsteps, are seeing similar results too.

So, what are you waiting for? Why not test out a few of these rules with your next blog post?

What other rules should you blog by?

P.S. If you need help implementing my rules go here.

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100% privacy, I will never spam you!

Comments

  1. Great post Neil. Especially rule 2 is spot on … We develop apps for our clients and make it point that any app we create ensure that the user ‘gets’ the app in the first 10 seconds.

  2. Didn’t know about the attention span and YES, its true. mine can be lower than 5 seconds.

  3. Neil, I always enjoy reading posts like this. Nothing succeeds like success. I only read a handful of SEO and marketing blogs on a daily basis, and most of those, I just scan. I can’t even tell you how many of your posts I’ve bookmarked because of the actionable advice you included. Rule #7 is one I need to work harder on, for sure.

    • Randy, glad you like the posts. I try to be as practical and helpful as possible. It’s important to provide a blueprint in my opinion when you are guiding people. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  4. Yepp, I agree.

    Good stuff.

    The funny thing about effective techniques and things that work is that its not really about pointing them out, but rather being able to implement them well.

    In other words, this list doesn’t really tell me anything new, but it shows me that when you get a lot of little things right you get the magic.

    T

    • Timur, glad you found the post helpful. I think at the end of the day it’s all about focusing on an effective game plan that incorporates the 7 steps I mentioned in this post.

  5. hi neil,

    In my career I never seen a blogger like you who responds on every blog comments as much as you can with pure heart. You really loves your readers man there is no doubt.

    • Sourabh, I try to reach out to as many people as possible to really get the conversation going. I focus on my readers to ensure they succeed.

  6. Neil, I love reading your post because you are great at telling stories through an experience or case studies. I think this is key when it comes to building trust with an audience and getting them to respond to any desired action that you would like them to take.

    • Donny, as I mentioned it’s all about having a conversational tone and providing data to back up your assertions. Looking forward to hearing much more from you!

  7. Neil, I 100% agree on rule #6 I often give up reading when the writer has used unnecessary gibberish word. Nice and simple words definitely keeps readers hooked up. Great post cheers 😀

    • Ashiq, it’s important to keep the tone light and friendly so that people can understand what is going on. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  8. Great post (more note taking!), Neil, and thanks for giving us the lead on Portent. Now spend some time with your family! All the best!

    B

  9. Hi Neil,

    Congratulations buddy. You have become the first blogger I have taken an active interest in. I read all your emails and a lot of your content is integral to encouraging our devs to make changes they would normally consider mundane or pointless.

    I don’t know if this is your area at all but would you mind perhaps doing a post on the correct way to guest blog ( if there is still a correct way ) as I’m being asked about it a lot and would like to give the bosses some decent answers.

    Either way, thanks for teaching me Neil!

    Good Man

    • Jamie, glad you found the post helpful.

      I will definitely do another post on guest blogging. I have done a number in the past — I should revisit them. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  10. Sandy @ Workado :

    Thanks again for a great post. I’ll be on the look out for how others are incorporating your tips in their blog. I’ll know if the heading is a catchy one. And SO true about using everyday conversation tactics in your blog.

    Sandy @ WorkadoApp

    • Sandy, that’s definitely a good tactic when finding out if someone is doing the right things. Headlines are important!

  11. Nick Bentley | Bentley Capital :

    Neil-

    As always, a great post. Thanks

  12. Randy Kauffman :

    Thanks for the post. I liked the framing article and the Content Idea Generator.

  13. Great post Neil! 1 and 2 are great points to make. Too often I see people posting content that doesn’t get to the point until paragraphs into the post (or minutes into the video!). Most annoying thing ever.

  14. Another post packed full of useful tidbits, thanks Neil. I think it can even be applied to my naughty site too!

  15. Thanks Neil for your personal style of writing about the 7 rules.
    Wrapped with persistence they definitely work.

    By the way, did I understand correctly that you’ve finally chosen Maropost and left GetResponse in order to maximize your delivery rates?

    • Michael, glad you liked the article and found it helpful.

      I do use a number of tools to help delivery rates — so yes 😉

  16. Thanks Neil.

    I think those are great tips. To me, the list thing is starting to get a bit jaded, as everyone is doing it it seems and consumers are on to it.

    I am going to focus more on putting out great, usable content so that my open rate improves.

    • Dan, sounds like a good strategy. At the end of the day you should really focus on the things that make you money. Content should always be a main focal point.

  17. Really it’s nice article. This help to me to make better headline of blog
    then how to write content on page.

  18. Thank you for this post, Neil! It’s really informative and I will be definitely taking these steps to heart, especially with regards to loving your readers.

  19. Thank you very much Neil for all the informations that you share with us

  20. Great post Neil! Definitely a worthwhile set of rules to follow and incorporate. I always appreciate the value you continue to push forward for your readers.

  21. mohamed khalil :

    Thank you very much Neil for all the informations that you share

  22. Ifemidayo LayGiri :

    It’s funny how rule one had me hooked and then I saw rule 2. Beautifully written post sir. Well done.

  23. Thanks for the brainpower, Neil. The hardest part for me is whether to put my most killer blogs on my site or to offer it as a guest post. I need traffic, but I also need killer content.

    • Chad, glad I could help. I think to begin you may gain some traction by doing some guest blogging. You can accomplish both if you just keep writing.

  24. Neil- Sharing right now with my readers. Great approach we can all use!

  25. Joel Mwakasege :

    Neil,

    Thank you – i think I should start that course with you now.
    I will be among the people you couch soon.

    I have been following you for a year now, i think my vocabulary have improved so hope I wont be a drag.

    Joel

  26. Hi Neil, great post!

    These points are great and will
    help with my own blog writing massively.

    Much appreciated

    James Hughes

  27. Thank for this neil,

    I have been reading your blogs.

    This one’s one of the most helpful and insightful.

    You just validated my long-time fear of blogging about my passion. Simply because i fear that no one would care enough to read it.

    Very helpful tips. Keep up the awesome job.

    • Haha sorry for my english. I meant you gave me that “oh yeah you’re right” moment. Im reading on my mobile, sorry for some typos.cheers

  28. Andy Pope - PUA :

    Cool post.

    I’d add a few more things like:

    1. Engage with your readers – just like you are doing in the comments.

    2. Provide visuals – a picture says a thousand words

    3. Show some personality

    etc.

  29. David Withington :

    Particularly enjoyed the 5 steps to making the perfect headline. I’ve written them on my white board to remind myself. Thanks!

  30. Ashley Coombe :

    These are amazing tips. I am so glad you just introduced me to the blog on GrooveHQ.com, I love it!

  31. Neil Sir, I love reading your every post because you are great marketer and influencing personality. I think this is key when it comes to building trust with an audience and getting them to respond to any desired action that you would like them to take.
    keep it sir…

  32. Thanks Neil for this insightful post.It’s always a pleasure reading your write up.

    Regards,

    John Ukonu.

  33. Nikhil Ganotra :

    Hello Neil,

    I truly agree with the points you mentioned above!

    The points you mentioned above were completely different that I expected while clicking on the link I received through mail and visiting this page.

    I thought that this post would be technical LOL so frankly saying I thought to ignore it as I hate technical posts but still I visited and it was a gem.

    You mentioned some of best of the bestest essential tips that a blogger must know for life despite whether he is a starter of a professional.

    Thank You Neil. 🙂

    • Nikhil, glad I could help. I think you’ll get a lot of value out of these tips. Try them out and let me know how they work out. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  34. Great post in the last month of the year! I hope to receive this much visits (100,000) following all these gold rules 🙂 Thanks a lot.

  35. Hello, this is one of the best blog post I ever read great thank you very much @Neil

  36. Selma Fernandes :

    Thank you so much for sharing these great tips. Your articles are really useful and easy to read. Every time I read one of your posts I immediately improve my writing!

  37. Thought you were a great writer, now we know why. Good writer + a great plan, everything needs a strategy, thanks for the peak behind the curtain. Plan. Process. Deliver.

  38. Steven Lucas Internet Marketing Blog :

    Well Neil, I’ve got to hand you my thanks again.

    Just a short while ago I found your name on another blog site and thought “What great stuff this guy writes”, then here I am again either talking to another guy with the same name or one very bust bloke who writes great information about how things should really be done to not only attract quality visitors, but keep them coming back time after time.

    This sort of thing should be amongst the required reading for all bloggers. Quicksprout certainly will be for me now.

    Regards,

    Steven Lucas

    P.S. I’ve shared this post on Scoop.It so hopefully a whole bunch of people will get to see it and learn.

    • Steven, glad you liked the post. I look forward to hearing much more from you. Let me know if you need help with anything at all.

  39. Blogger Ngawi :

    Thanks Neil

  40. Devinder Singh :

    Hello Neil,
    Your blogs are fun to read. One day I wish to have these blogging skills.

    I’m a technologist by background but trying and learning startup marketing to get traction for my startup. Always enjoy your blogs. I like how you thread enjoyful mood into your blogs and at the same time convey the point.

    -Devinder

  41. Different rules for different bloggers

  42. Hi Neil,

    You are just a wonderful inspiration to me. Blogging is not writing to bots ranking and traffic but its helping your readers and doing everything for them as you said.

    I just love conversations and this is the reason I try to reply to every comment on my blog even the negative ones.

    Thanks for your efforts, keep writing 🙂

    • Ammar, glad I could help. I think when you take a holistic approach to traffic generation the results come quicker. At the end of the day it’s all about trying everything then seeing what works best.

  43. InternetLocalListings :

    Also, that you come off as honest. Neil’s done so many posts where he puts it all out there for his readers. People (like myself) love that. This sort of ties in with his love for readers, but opening up personally (when it’s relevant to the topic) can do wonders!

    • Thanks for the kind words of support. I think transparency is key. If I can do anything to help — it would be my pleasure.

  44. hi neil ,

    excellent article and thanks for sharing. I am fully agree with two things write passionately and love your reader.

  45. Gaurav Khurana :

    Thanks for sharing your secret… Great to know that you donated 20 dollars and accepted it publicly too… I love the info graphics on your site

  46. Hi Neil Sir,

    First of all I would like to congratz you for achieving such a milestone.Anyway thanks for sharing your sucess secrets with us.Wish we could also achieve it someday.

    Regards
    Debarpan

  47. Neil it’s always a pleasure to read your contents, infact I look forward to them, you’ve been a great inspiration and I try my best to follow the rules/tips you recommend.

    Your great personality and genuiness shows through your contents and I am also attracted to the simplicity also. Your posts kind of speaks to quite a lot of people in your niche and that’s so difficult to do.

  48. Colleen Arneil :

    Neil, I adore how you love your readers. I’ve been a long time follower of your blog and it puts such a smile on my face to see you show you care.

    I always try to imagine comments, followers, subscribers etc. as real people in the room with you. If you just shared a story, and people were moved enough to come up to you after and say something, why would you blatantly ignore them? Who does that? But it’s so common on blogs. It affects the energy, the vibe and beyond that the effectiveness of what you’re seeking to do.

    At the very core of our being is a desire to be seen, to be recognized. Business is no different.

    Thanks for another great post.

  49. Hi Neil Sir, I am very fond of reading seo blogs thanks for your posts, can you also give one word suggestion on Blogger or blogspot seo

  50. Hello Sir,
    Thanks for the tips. It looks a Far-Sighted View at present, but I’ll surely try this to gain visitors. Cheers!

  51. This is the first Blog I read by you Neil. Found it really helpful. The simplicity of your explaining things was really great. The Heading alone engaged me to read the whole blog along with the comments.

  52. Excellent post as usual Neil – great content that’s given me tonnes of value. Just one little niggle. I noticed your links open in the same window instead of a fresh one.

    As I was reading your post I was clicking on those referral links and hoping they would open a fresh page for me to read later, but I had to keep right clicking to open a new tab.

    Which is not much of a problem, but sometimes my desktop can run a little slow if I have too many things going on at once. I’m sure others may get theis issue too. Anyway, thanks again.

    Nathan

  53. Neil, I love your posts so much that today (or yesterday ? lol) I emailed my friends in marketing division to subscribe to your blog!
    I hope they can benefit from your daily tips and tricks, every, single, of, it!

  54. Thank you Neil for sharing such a wonderful info, I’m a regular reader of your blog but giving my comment first time. I had learned many seo point from your blog but never applied on my site, hopefully now I can also start blogging like you.

  55. I love all your posts Neil.. I am coming up with a new content curation blogging site to help startups and entrepreneurs. I am keeping your olders blogs as checklist to develop my site and eagerly looking forward to test and implement your tips & tricks..

    Many thanks for sharing all these valuable information.. You have always been my inspiration. I might need your advice and help for my upcoming website:)

    Happy day..

  56. I’m testing a new headline on the blogposts that’s gonna be up and running on my blog in the next couple of days. I’m following the 5 steps you mentioned above. Let’s see how it goes.

    Neil, thank you so much.

    P.S.: And yes, some of my early comments went into the spam as well. 🙁

  57. Hi Neil,

    As always, great blog post :). I like these rules, especially 4 and 5.

    Cheers,

    Andro

  58. As always a great post to read.Thanks neil.

  59. Hey Neil,

    great post, especially love #5! I’m always impressed to see that you respond to every comment, and this shows how much you care.

    Regarding #3: Can you share your process for finding the data you use in your blog posts? 🙂

    Thanks,
    Ramin

  60. Ranjita Mandaviya :

    Yeah, you are right. Many internet marketer or blogger use Fancy Vocabulary that many readers couldn’t understand. I don’t like this kind of professionals.

    Thanks for this article Neil. Always like to read.

  61. Thanks for this informative article.Just great.Very well written and explained.Thanks for the share.

  62. Love your reader and allow them to comment and share their thought.. in return you will get good content, constant update, and lots more traffic as well.

  63. You forgot to discuss the impact of injecting humor. From “aha” to “oh shit” – Loved it! 🙂 You’re in a league all your own, the “Neil Patel League of Inspiration”. What a great read.

  64. Re: Rule number 6
    ” I especially hate it when people try to use fancy language I don’t understand to make me feel dumb.”

    Three things:
    One, I don’t understand why whenever anyone posts this particular “rule” they assume the blogger is trying to make them feel dumb or just showing off. (You’re the second person in a week who posted that same sentiment.) You’re making assumptions about the motivations of the blogger. You’re assuming both that they’re showing off and that they want the reader to feel dumb. That makes no sense.
    Two, I have a large vocabulary. I use it. I agree that using “fancy” words when a simpler word says it better is a bad idea. But I’m not going to dumb down my writing by artificially deflating my language. Sometimes the word you call “fancy” is precisely the word I need to make my point. My writing sounds stilted if I take out the “fancy” words. It doesn’t flow well because that’s not my natural voice.
    Three, I’m a writer. The rule actually is, use the right words to make your point. Don’t pump up your vocabulary, trying to sound smarter than you are. Conversely, don’t stick to one or two syllable words in order to prevent the reader from feeling dumb. Variety in word and sentence and paragraph length is easier to read.

    A slightly off topic, but related, point-If you’re a writer edit everything. Don’t publish anything, including a comment to a blog or an email or even a text message without editing it. Grammar, spelling, etc. make a difference. They’re your tools and if you don’t use them correctly, you won’t be taken seriously as a writer.

    Last, I’ve been reading your blog for a while. It’s extremely helpful and I thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  65. Thanks for sharing these rules, Neil. I wasn’t aware that data are that important. I’ll put that in mind for my next blog. And I agree with blogging with your heart. You’ll only produce good content if the things you write are those you really care about. Thanks for this great article.

  66. Hello Neil,
    It is really nice post of you. Love for reader is very important for a success blog, I believe it. Wish You will Love Us and We will our Readers 🙂

  67. Hie Neil,
    Greating for the day. and very nice & useful post thanks a lot.

  68. Adam Ostopowich :

    This is an extremely helpful article on website designing for a business. The innovative ideas shared here helped me a lot in improving my website ranking immensely.

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  75. Hey Neil, I’ve been reading many of your articles and really thankful for sharing your experiences, knowledge and informative contents. 🙂

  76. Hi! Never read a bad article on this blog!

    I run a blog on health and technology. Initially I did write about what I liked. Then a news agency picked me up and I kinda went a little off track (more health less tech kinda). Have I committed blogicide?

    Also what drives you to write? If you’re lazy to write does that mean I’m not up for it?

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