My name is Rusty Moore and I’ve been doing this blogging thing for close to 10 years.
Full-time blogger for 8 of those years.
It took me a little less than 2 years from setting up my fitness blog, to handing in my 2-week’s notice to my boss.
My biggest passion is fitness, so here’s what I chose as my blog topic:
Helping men and women get in shape while still fitting into stylish clothing.
It took a year to see any results, but then the blog took off.
At the 18 month mark I was making more from my blog than from my job.
I was only 6 months away from VICTORY.
(I wanted to have a little money in the bank before I made the leap.)
My last day working for someone else was March 6th, 2009.
…less than a year from turning 40.
(Two decades flew by when I was in the job world. I missed a lot of fun and fulfilling events during that time, because of bosses who wouldn’t give me time off.)
Asking for permission to do things, SUCKS!
I knew that there were probably countless intelligent people in the same situation I was in.
So I decided to teach others how to live life on their terms.
In 2010 I ran a one-year experiment.
I opened a private blog to see if I could help others go full-time using my methods.
This training was 100% FREE.
It just required people to register and login to the blog.
I only approached a few dozen part-time fitness bloggers at first and asked if they wanted free training.
…but it quickly spread by word-of-mouth.
(699 people followed my training.)
Note: The training was done in 2010, but this past October I imported my old list over to a new email service provider.
At one point registrations were up over 2,000. I removed all email addresses of people who weren’t opening my emails.
The success rate of those 699 bloggers?
- 100+ earning a few hundred per month.
- Over 20 who were able to quit their job.
- 4-5 earning 7 figures+ per year.
I don’t have exact stats. These are just people who contacted me with their results and screenshots.
I’m doing this again in 2017.
100% FREE course delivered by email.
The #1 remark people told me back then was that my training “made it believable” for them.
I’m a writer and a natural introvert, but got up the courage to record screen capture videos (really low tech stuff).
Seeing behind-the-scenes made people they could do it too.
(Where are my Dragons!!!)
None of the 20+ full-time bloggers I trained got there overnight.
It took on average about 2 years.
I got them going and they ran with the training, but then added their own spin to it.
In 2017 success should happen at a MUCH faster rate.
You don’t need to generate endless amounts of content to succeed.
It’s better if you write less, NOT more, in 2017.
(More on that later.)
Observing the growth of hundreds of blogs was an amazing learning experience for me.
Here are 5 observations from both training bloggers and being in the trenches myself as a blogger these past 10 years.
5 Blogging Insights that will Make People Want to Read Your Blog and Subscribe to Your List in 2017
A lot of Internet Marketing trainers have never made money outside of selling internet marketing training.
A BIG pet peeve of mine!
I have 10,000+ hours of experience blogging in the fitness niche (Malcolm Gladwell would be proud).
No guessing or theory here 🙂
1) Small Font Size & “Walls of Text” Have Destroyed the Dreams of Countless Bloggers
(Font size is especially important in 2017 as a larger portion of website traffic is from mobile devices.)
Could success be determined by something as trivial as font size?
With the overwhelming amount of content online, nobody will hang out on your site if it is difficult to read.
Find a website that looks easy to read on desktop and mobile.
Go on Fiverr and type “WordPress CSS” into the search box. Find a person with good reviews.
Contact them with this message: “Can you make my site have the exact same font size and spacing as XXXXX site?”
For only $5 you have GREATLY increased your chances of success!
What I’ve found to work best.
- Font size of 16px-18px
- Line height 1.5em to 1.65em
- 60-70 characters per line on Desktop
- 25-35 characters per line on Mobile
Let’s talk about “Walls of Text”.
Does your site have line after line of text like a textbook?
(I had some of the deepest sleep of my life back in college at the library, when I was suppose to be reading a thick textbook.)
People go online to be entertained.
If it feels like work to read your content, people will click away.
…and most likely will never return.
This “wall of text” writing style has stopped countless bloggers from being successful.
- 1-2 sentence paragraphs most of the time
- Use bold and italics to add some variety
- Use H2 and H3 headlines for different sections
- Break up with images, graphs, bullets, etc.
Images should be centered and on their own line.
Don’t put text to the left or right of a picture. Before mobile this was common, but it looks all messed up on mobile or responsive screens.
When in doubt model your spacing after this blog post.
2) One Colorful Story-Based Blog Post is More Memorable Than 100 Generic Pieces of Content
(The story of “Stranger Things” was so good that it barely needed special effects.)
If you follow my spacing and font rule above, that probably eliminates 80% of your competition.
Seriously it is that important.
Want to know how go from the top 20% to the top 5% of bloggers?
*** Stories ***
Out of all of the successful bloggers I have helped, I can only think of one who doesn’t use stories.
Typically the highest earners are the ones who mix interesting stories into their content <— Don’t let this secret out (it’s a BIG one).
Stories will make you stand out from the crowd.
(Louis C.K. is one of the most successful comedians in the world. He’s also the best storyteller.)
Stories also pre-frame people for the tips or advice you are about to share.
Take this post for example.
If I just wrote “5 Tips for Blogging Success in 2017” and didn’t include a bit of a backstory… people would skim a couple paragraphs then move on.
The reason you have read this far is because of the story I shared.
Without the backstory, these tips don’t seem as valuable.
3) You Need at Least a Little Bit of an Advertising Budget (Even if It’s Just $5 Per Day)
(I just started advertising on Pinterest a few months ago and I’m getting great results with it.)
Here’s my favorite thing about Pinterest in general.
It has an innocent, positive, and helpful vibe.
…no politics or negative news stories. People visit pinterest to collect and learn things about their hobbies and interests.
It’s an incredible traffic source for the majority of bloggers.
I didn’t use it at first, because I thought it would be too expensive.
I saw a video training where a guy was paying $1.74 per click.
Here’s what happened on my first campaign (after a few tweaks).
(This screenshot shows that I spent $5 per day over a period of 5 days. I got 2,980 visitors for $25, which is less than .01 per visit.)
I don’t always pay as low as .01 per visitor…
…but I always pay WAY less than $1.74.
Pinterest has an “Actalike” feature (similar to Facebook’s Lookalike audiences).
I’ve figured out how to layer these Actalike audiences in a special way.
…to laser focus your pins to the exact person who will take action on your site.
Are cheap Pinterest clicks a high quality of traffic?
People who visit from Pinterest stick around and read more than any other traffic source I’ve tried.
Here are the Google Analytic stats from that .01 traffic.
(The screenshot above shows each visitor stayed on my site for 1:32 and visited an average of 3.30 pages. This is high quality traffic!)
Pinterest Ads won’t perform well with generic content.
See #1 and #2 <— write helpful story-based content that is easy to read and digest.
Pin dimensions are important too.
The ideal pin size is 735px x 1102px.
I like to use the pin that gets the best clickthru on Pinterest Ads as the first image in my blog post.
So now that you have quality blog posts and quality traffic, you need to get a portion of those people on your list.
4) Building an Email List <— MUCH More Complicated Than Simply Getting a Ton of Traffic
(Opt-in rates for most high traffic sites are quite a bit lower than what you would expect.)
The traditional model of generating a lot of content can bring traffic after 2-3 years…
…but getting a lot of traffic spread over a ton of posts doesn’t mean a lot of opt-ins or sales.
I know from experience.
Here’s a screenshot of 5 years of traffic from my original 10-year old fitness blog.
(10 million visits. I must have built a HUGE list during this 5 year stretch! Not so much.)
When I first started trying to build my list, I figured I’d get a 20% opt-in rate.
…or at minimum a 10% opt-in rate.
- With a 20% opt-in rate I should have grown my list by 2,174,216 subscribers.
- With a 10% opt-in rate I should have grown my list by 1,087,108 subscribers.
- The actual number? Around 30,000 subscribers.
There are bloggers who get a lot more traffic than I have.
How many of them have a 1 or 2 million person email list?
The reality for high traffic traditional blogs with lots of content is around a 1% or lower opt-in rate.
I spent years trying to tweak my fitness site to improve opt-ins.
(I finally removed most of the opt-in forms and direct people to my newer, prettier fitness blog.)
My newer fitness blog has fewer posts and as a result has a much better opt-in rate.
Have you ever heard of “Content Upgrades”?
This has been a buzzword the past two years.
A content upgrade is an incentive like a download specific to a particular blog post.
Visitors enter their email address for a cheat sheet or short report related to the blog post.
Content Upgrades work well, but have one big issue.
Creating a content upgrade for a few posts is easy…
…but the more posts you have the more of a NIGHTMARE this becomes.
The traffic from my old blog is spread among 300+ blog posts.
Creating that many upgrades isn’t realistic.
I have tried content upgrades on my newer site…
…but people tend to read other blog posts instead of opting in.
The better your content?
The more likely they will just click to the next blog post.
This gave me an idea.
“What if I created a special blog that was just one killer page with a story and helpful content?”
I’d still have my normal blog…
…but most of my advertising would be to that 1 single page.
I’ve been testing this the past 2 months.
5) Create One Killer Story-Based Blog Post That Helps People… and Continue That Story With Email
(“Lost” is the perfect example of a story that takes the viewer on a ride. Such an incredible show.)
After you blog for a while, there is always that one post that gets way more traction than other blog posts.
I made a huge mistake in 2007, by ignoring this.
I wrote a blog post about “Eating One Meal Per Day”.
(This picture shows 2,561 comments from a post I published on June 6th 2007.)
At the time I wrote about eating one meal per day, the term “Intermittent Fasting” didn’t even exist.
Instead of focusing hard on creating new content…
I SHOULD have focused my efforts on that one single page.
Since that time, I personally know 3 people who have made multiple millions of dollars from Intermittent Fasting.
An entire business could have been built from that ONE PAGE.
…and in 2017 I’m going to teach people how this is done.
It’s about finding that one page that gets traction on your blog…
…and expanding upon that to create a large list and FT business.
This is quite a bit different than traditional blogging.
Traditional blogging can be fun at first, but then you will reach a point where you simply can’t come up with ideas for posts.
At some point burnout is inevitable.
I’ve witnessed hundred of bloggers burnout these past 10 years.
There’s a better way.
I call it “One Page Blogging”.
It’s a FREE email course expanding upon what I’ve taught in this post.
*Remember that screenshot of .01 clicks I got with Pinterest? This is from a single blog post that went viral on my new blog. I’ll show you that post and what I plan to do with it in the FREE training.
Questions, Comments, or Anything Else?
Please Comment Below.