How To Write Less Content But DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC For Membership Website
Daniel has a background in Direct Response advertising (PPC ads etc), but ironically, its his Content Marketing that people know him for
He’s had the top 10 content of all time on inbound.org and Top content of 2017 + 2018 on GrowthHackers
(He even had one viral post generate $3 million in client requests in 2 weeks)
Spend my spare time in the ocean or in the mountains, or nerding out with some good sci fi
He teaches people how to write less often, but get more traffic, at www.ampmycontent.com.
This weeks show is Sponsored By Kinsta Hosting
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the WP tonic show. It’s episode 379. We’ve got a great guest. We got Daniel Daines Hutt with us from amp my content. And we’re going to be discussing how to use content marketing the right way. To get traffic to your membership eLearning websites where you got your great course. Unfortunately I haven`t got Cindy with me. She’s on holiday. She’s deserted me this week. But I’m sure me and Danielle will have a great discussion. Daniel, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
Daniel: Yep. So thank you very much for having me. I’m an Englishman living in New Zealand and I have been traveling for a while. I am a bit of a psychology marketing nerd. I used to write a lot about paid advertising. The articles I would write would do incredibly well. We’ve had to top 10 content of all time on inbound.org, which is a marketing forum. Top content of last year and the year before on growth hackers, like the top 10 articles, things like that. So with me and my partner Freyer, we started teaching people how to actually write effective content. Not just how to write which is always the skill in its own, but how write content that will actually bring people in, convert them, but then scale up traffic. So we’ve had content shared by the CEO of Microsoft Ryan Deiss, Neil Patel, Susan Patel, all these people. And we did that with just eight articles in two years. So are we talking about just doing effective content? So we’re not stuck in that hamster wheel all the time, but that’s what I do.
Jonathon: So I thought Daniel will be a great person to have a discussion because it’s a difficult subject. And also he runs his own membership site. So you can give insights on that as well. So before we go into the main interview, I would like to mention one of our great sponsors. And that’s Kinsta Hosting. And Kinsta only host WordPress websites. You know that I am a total WordPress junkie. And so is Kinsta. Big enough to have all the technology that you require. Small enough to still care. Basically they use Google cloud hosting, but they provide their own interface. And the main thing is they provide suburb support 24/7. And if you’re looking for a website for your membership website, all your course website or ecommerce, you need something better than normal shared hosting. And that’s what you get with Kinsta.
And a lot of people start off with a membership site and they get a lot of technical problems. And a lot of that is that the with crap hosting. So you don’t get that with Kinsta. You get one click backup, you get staging site and you’re got access to their superb support staff. So if that sounds interesting, go to kinsta.com. Give them a Twitter. Give them a shout out saying that you heard them on WP tonic. There’ve been sponsoring the show now for over two years. They’re just a great partner. So Daniel, how do we start this conversation about people think I’ll just write content? I am in the niche area. I start knocking out some content. I’ll start driving traffic to my membership course website. And they don’t get fantastic results where they’re going wrong.
Daniel: Honestly, I think humans, how we learn is we replicate what we see. And the issue being that we replicate sometimes the wrong things. So almost all the websites that we are reading online, usually news and media sites, and they’re paid for eyeballs on adverts. That’s their business model. And so they’re constantly churning out content because if you go back 10 times a day, they get paid 10 times every time you go back. Likewise, their audience. So they’re all about bringing the same person back again and again. And again, for a business model, for a small business or an agency or if you are a membership site, you don’t need that many interactions with your audience. So you create all this content, replicating a different business model. And so that’s the issue is one was stuck in this thing where we think we need to be creating so much content. And two because we’re doing that, we get into it, we get on the hamster wheel, we start churning stuff out and then we just, we throw it out and we get on the next thing and the next thing and it’s not having any impact.
And so rather than in realities, if you’ve got a hundred members, you’re better off taking the content that converted those people and talking to a hundred more. Than you are writing something new for those same hundred people who’ve already converted cause he’s just entertaining them then. If that makes sense.
Jonathon: Yes. In a way it does. Yeah.
Daniel: Yeah. So you actually going out and saying, okay like if you’ve worked in sales like in face to face or in retail or something like that. You almost always have the same conversations to make the sale. There are normally certain pain points and interests and desires and then they want to buy. So a big benefit of content is having those conversations but putting it into content. So you don’t have to repeat yourself all the time. And then getting in front of other people. A lot of people will treat content just as a traffic source, which it can be. But imagine if Google dies tomorrow and a new platform comes up and things and everyone starts at zero. A lot of the content you’ve got out there is not going to be beneficial to help you make a sale.
Things like this. So I normally find that even people are stuck in this hamster wheel or they have content that gets them traffic or no sales. Or they have sales but no traffic. So you normally find there is two different businesses like that. So paid ad guys traditionally really good at making a sale, terrible at creating an asset. So they don’t have anything there to actually grow, or automate or scale. The inbound guys really good at writing, really scared of going out there and talking to people. And so the content can bring people in, but often it’s not converting. It’s not actually pushing people towards a sale, things like that. So these are the big issues I see that people have.
Jonathon: What I get from your introduction is are you talking about you’re better off going deep on a subject than scheming or going shallow on a number of subjects. And also are you saying that the actual if you do go deep is yeah, its great educational content. But it doesn’t really drive people to actually buy the course by. Buying into the membership site. And you’ve got to combine the two together. Are you saying that?
Daniel: To an extent, if we look at why people buy, and again I was saying before, I was listening to your episode with Simon. And Simon is talking about copywriting and things like this and understanding your audience. Why people buy is they have to have a pain. They seek some kind of transformation. That’s why they buy what you have. And so they have to have trust and trust in you, trust in the product, all these different things. Online it’s very difficult to build that up because it’s so easy for someone to just click off or click to a new page or click to a competitor and things. So content is great at building trust and authority and reciprocity and stuff like that. But usually people are missing certain content assets. So case studies, for example, a lot of people will have content for traffic, but they don’t have anything that actually helps to convert someone to becoming a customer. They don’t see, oh, that person’s just like me. They got the results that they wanted. I want to buy. All you ever see is the testimonial on a sales page for like two sentences. So it’s about having those kinds of assets. But again, it’s also.
We want to write content that’s in depth because we almost want to have this one conversation with this person in this piece of content. We don’t need to have 10 conversations with them that are just skimming the surface and never really having any depth and taking them on that journey. We need to actually help move them from A to B to C to D so that they’re ready to become a customer. So we can do that with longer content because it’s very difficult to do with shorter. And when it becomes longer, it’s usually more in depth. It shows authority, it’s more likely to build SEO links and things. And it’s also much easier to get opt ins and subscribers from.
Jonathon: I’m gonna throw a little ball to you about WP tonic. I have a professional content writer that I work with. She’s been working with me for over a year now and we’re in the niche. We provide a WordPress solution to people who want a build a course online. And they want the flexibility of WordPress. But they don’t want the hassles that sometimes come with using open source software. So we can build from the ground up or we can build a semi-custom solution. And we offer a do it yourself turnkey solution as well. So I choose subjects, I research subjects and give her a list of full topic. And then she writes two articles a month for me. And then I add a little bit to them. And they’re normally around 1500 and 2000 words a month around subjects that would be of interest to people that are looking to build a course online. Where am I going wrong Daniel? Because I am getting results but you know, I probably could improve it. And by this conversation what I’m doing is classically what you would say is, I thought the right thing to do. Would I be correct in that?
Daniel: Yeah. It’s not totally incorrect. Things like this, excuse me, sorry. It’s just I’m a real big nerd for kind of this smart Lazy Leavers Finding the 80 20 in the things that we do. So a big part is making the content more effective. And so sometimes it can be, if you’ve got a professional writer then it’s usually it’s attracting people who are reading it and it’s in depth and stuff. You’ve also got a pretty good SEO profile. So you’re going to rank for things almost straight away as soon as you write them. If we can improve. So everything that we do, every article, every advert, I should always be a call to action. There should be always something that we’re asking the reader to do. Something to take.
Jonathon: I definitely don’t do that.
Daniel: So many people miss this. I’m going back to Simon’s interview. He was talking about TV ads and so many of them forget to mention which company is, and they don’t have a call to action in ads. Huge. No one does this. So industry standard opt in rate people coming to a website and opting in is less than 2%. My lowest opt in rate is 17% and I have an article right now, which is 86%. so 86 out of a hundred people become a subscriber when they read it, which is insane. Admittedly, it’s quite new. 600 people have read it. 580 have opted in kind of thing. So it will go down over time. So having a better conversion.
Jonathon: But I want to obviously, where do that audience, is that pre born audience? Is that audience that’s been driven through an email list or some other warming process or was that people that are called to the actual article itself.
Daniel: People who didn’t know me 10 minutes before. Sometimes people or even experts in the industry who are my competitors come in across an opting in and things like that. So if you’ve got content like that is more effective. A lot of people will focus on double traffic, but double conversion rate is the same result. And sometimes it’s a lot easier to get a better opt in rate than it is to go from 10,000 to 20,000 visitors a month, if that makes sense. So if we improve that across the board, it’s going to be so much more effective talking about content as well. It really helps if when you create content, if you create it in a series. If we look at TV shows and things, why we keep going back and watching TV shows is because they have an overarching theme. And we know who they are. We know what we’re going to get when we go across there. You look at a lot of digital agencies. They might talk about paid ads one day, and SEO the next. And they might be amazing at both, but because they flip flop from one to the other, we don’t know who they are.
We don’t know where they’ve planted their flag. So if someone recommends, say, hey, what’s a good SEO blog? They recommend someone else who’s positioned himself as that. So all that content needs to be about a particular topic. But then even it’s the niche down again. So let’s say you did an entire series about different LMS platforms. And the pros and cons, and you showed how to build a course on all of them. And it’s like this one is lifter and this one is a zippy and this one is going through them all. So stuff like that as well. So when you’re actually producing content, you’re getting people back and coming in again and again. Also creating content, people often talk about content funnels, top of funnel, middle bottom. Talking to people who are cold, talking to people who are warm, and talking to people who are hot.
All that really is, it’s a sequence of conversations. So it’s like if you were to talk to someone brand new, you probably get a lot of listeners who have a business model with no costs whatsoever. But it could be an extra income stream to their business. So they’re really cold people they don’t even know about. It’s a problem and it’s an opportunity. So talking to them about the opportunity when talking to him about how to share their skills. Talking about how to set it up, talking about how to do it custom or how to film you, all things like that would take someone from very cold to becoming a customer. Especially if you’ve got calls to action. Each point you’re going to sell far more services at the end than you would at the start. So it’s about these kinds of things as well by being strategic about that. But I do apologize. Like I said at the start, it’s [5:00] AM here and I’m on my second coffee, so I will go on a couple of tangents. It’s also ridiculously hot and I’ve got all the fans off because you’re on the other side of the world.
Jonathon: You a champ. I really appreciate you coming on the show. We’re going to go for our break folks. When we come back, we’re going to build some more in this really important aspects of owning a membership or building a successful course online content. And getting people to your website and then converting them. It’s rather important, isn’t it? We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back. I have enjoyed the conversation, I feel a bit lonely without Cindy, but she’s a traitor. No she isn’t, she deserved a break. Especially for me. I would imagine you agree with that listeners and viewers. But there we go. I also think you made a great point there just before we went for our break Daniel. Around to build a series of post of content. And that’s something I will consider. Now before we go into more kind of specifics in the second half the show. Do you think like Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique of looking for articles that are getting good traffic? And then improving, just adding more value to a competitive article that you produce. Do you still think that has value in 2019? Or do you think that’s been exhausted?
Daniel: It totally works. But let me give an example. In sales, you have three types of salespeople. You have people who make an offer who are just the basic of people. You have people who make an offer, you say no, they listened to the reasons why an air try and reframe the objections. So these are good salespeople. The best salespeople are ones that pre framed the problems in advance. And so when that person comes to make a decision, they’re much more likely to buy. That as well as content comes down to research. So skyscraper technique is basically looking for content out there that’s getting traffic. People are done keyword research on finding something that’s getting a lot of traffic but really isn’t that good. And then improving on it so that you can get that traffic. No, that’s good. But at that point, you’re only being the kind of salesperson who’s going out retroactively trying to find those objections.
It’s a good method. But if you are in touch with your audience and you’re doing research, you can start to find content that’s about to trend that and start ranking for it before it even becomes a thing. So you are the blue ocean strategy kind of person. So the biggest difference I see between people who do really good content and really good adverts is they may have their finger on the pulse, they’re listening to what their audience says. And so sometimes you can be better off spending an hour just going through forums and listening to the audience. Then you would write in a new article on a topic that you think might rank.
Jonathon: I think that’s a great point. Thank you so much for that. Where does video fit in? Because I’m mixing video with copy. And your thoughts around video.
Daniel: Video is incredibly effective. I would often say you have two versions. If you have a long form sales page and you have a video. If the copy is proven, then usually the video will outperform. So let’s say you’ve got a sales page that already works and you make a video version. Usually it will outperform because there’s less barrier to entry. People start watching and then they can. It’s why webinars and things do really well. Also because they’re hooked in and continued to watch. The only issue being not everyone is great in front of a camera. Sometimes well all the time you have to test and improve an advert or a sales copy to make it the best performing. And if you start out with video then that means, okay, well now we have to create a new version, another version and another. So I’m not opposed to video at all.
It’s just usually you’re better off creating a text ad or text sales page. And then once you found a winner improving on it by adding video to it and tweaking. That’s the advice I would give because otherwise you’ve got to get in a studio, create all these variations, test all these different things. I think a lot of people jump straight into it because even if you’ve got bad copy and in a video it can still convert pretty well. But I would rather it again, find the best possible variations. So if I send it to a hundred people rather than a bad video converting 10 just because it works well, suddenly it converts 25 or 30. kind of like the Harmon brothers do with them. Those guys who do all the comedy videos for squatty potty and things like that. So that’s good copy already. You can tell that it’s been tested with a focus group before they even actually recorded the actual video.
Jonathon: Because I think you’ve given some good tips and actionable ideas in our conversation so far. And I really appreciate you doing that because it can. I’m looking for, I’m struggling for the right word and I don’t normally struggle. It can be a little bit vague. The topic that we’re discussing in general, even though it’s extremely important. So you talked about is there a methodology, a set of principles that you personally and your partner over here too, when you are planning and writing a piece?
Daniel: Yes. So like I said, there’s different content like in sales and things of builds trust. There’s content that does well in Google and things. So when I’m writing a piece, I will usually ask myself, what is the end goal? Who is the reader and what’s the action I want to take? Because that’s going to make it so much easier. If you’re only ever doing keyword research, the reality is your goal is to rank for that term. That’s it. You just want organic traffic. Sometimes you don’t even think about, well, will that traffic even convert all of my audience? So when we’re writing a piece, we ask that at the start. So I just did this huge guide. It’s a 30,000 word, eight chapter guide. It’s designed to kind of come into this content marketing industry and just kicks the doors down. So it’s designed, build a lot of trust.
It’s super actionable because I want people to convert and take an action. So it gets an 86% opt in rate. So that’s our main goal. But the reality is it’s very easy to promote and build a lot of backlinks to an SEO perspective. The reason I’m saying this is if you know your goal, you can pick the archetype to suit. So you could say, I’m not getting enough sales. I’m getting a lot of people who are converting and they’re getting close to the sales page, but they’re not buying. What could it possibly be? But it could be a trust issue, so why don’t we create a case study, kind of a how to guide case study in advance. So rather than let’s say you’ve got a guide of how to set up a course on Lifter LMS, which is a how to, which is great.
It’s going to get a lot of links and stuff. It is how do we get more people to buy? Okay, well let’s do a case study or a hero study where we say, this reader followed this guide. They got these results. They went from working for a business and it was a side hustle and now they’re getting $10,000 a month or whatever. He was his life before. Here it is after, how it changed and set up. Suddenly we have emotional connection with something like that and we are more likely to take that action and either hire your service or buy from you. Again, it depends on your goal and which archetype. Then when we’re writing content, the way people consume information, the way our brain works goes in three stages. How we filter information. So it’s important that we use certain things at certain points to get that information across, which is why you can use templates and things to actually present information.
A big one in copywriting is the BAB sequence before, after bridge. It works so well because we’re working on our lizard brain is the first thing that gets information. And it’s just fight or flight sex survival, things like this. So when we talk about the before state, it appeals to people because we’re talking about a pain or a problem or a threat that they have right now. So straight away they pay attention. Then we talk about the after state of where they want to be when that’s removed. So now they’re listening and then we talk when we bridge into how that happens. So for introductions, that works ridiculously well in content. So I’m sorry, it’s a long winded answer, but yes, we always have a particular goal in mind. A particular archetype that we use for that goal. And then it’s pretty much paint by numbers where we put certain things in the content and improve. A lot of people think their content needs to be amazing, the first draft that they put on paper. But in reality, as long as you’ve got something that follows a structure. And then you edit and edit and edit and improve, suddenly then it becomes more effective.
Jonathon: I think that’s great. We’re going to wrap it up now folks. Hopefully Daniel is going to stay with us for a little welfare bonus content before he melts away. He is struggling with the heat. How can people find out more about you, your words, wisdom and what you’re up to at the present moment?
Daniel: So I’m quite hard to get hold of really because I’m always, I’m a big fan of Cal Newport’s deep work, so I kind of, I remove all distractions and just get on with specific big lever actions. So you can find me at ampmycontent.com. It’s everything we’re talking about is guides and case studies. And ultimate guides and things about how to leverage content, how to make it more effective. We’ve got a couple of guides on there right now. We’ll be talking about how to improve opt in rate. So that’d be a pretty good one I could send to your writing so you could get a specific high opt in rates. We have a number one hugely in depth guide about how to run paid traffic so that you can actually start to scale it out. So that you’re not always doing the average yourself. So that’s all there. If you want to find me on Twitter, it’s at inbound ascend, A. S. C. E. N. D. I always say this though. It’s just kind of what music I’m listening to today while I’m writing and pictures of my cat. So it’s like you’re not going to find much on there.
Jonathon: So thanks so much Daniel. Like I say if you want to know more about WP tonic and our services, go to the WP tonic website. We have got some fantastic articles all around giving you information. If you’re looking to build that first membership, eLearning course website. And you’re looking for a partner and advice. We got an enormous amount of value on the website. And we’ve got this podcast every Wednesday. Tell your friends. I think it is a fantastic resource if you’re looking to build that first course. And we will be back next week, hopefully with my cohost Cindy. And she will be refreshed. We will see you soon. Bye.
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