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The 80/20 Rule for Building a Blog Audience
Last Updated August 12th, 2013

And not just ANY audience.

I’m talking about an audience that’s ready to buy what you sell.

You see, while other marketing “experts” trick you into thinking that you need to overload your website with content…

…I’ve always been real with you.

The secret to building a blog with a raving fan base that’s ready to buy what you sell has nothing to do with how much content you create.

It, instead, has to do with how good you are getting your content into the hands of more people.

Why I Spend 80% Of My Time Promoting Content

If you spend time writing a piece of content, and that content only gets 1,000 readers, chances are there are one million other people in the world who can benefit from what you wrote.

Why, then, would you spend more time creating content when you already have something that your ideal customers can benefit from?

I’ve got an idea… Because you like creating an unusual amount of work for yourself that you don’t have to do? πŸ˜‰

Here’s the truth:

It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more.

Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created.

To learn more, I suggest you watch this free video series right here:


Content is Vital (and anything less than your best work isn’t good enough)

If you’re like me, you truly CARE about what you create.

Now, I’ve heard some people say, “Derek doesn’t care about content.” That can’t be further from the truth.

To produce just one video for Social Triggers TV (which I release at no cost to you), I need to test new ideas, write scripts, rehearse, film, edit, etc. In the end, it costs around $1,000 to produce just one episode of STTV.

And you can BET that at that cost, I’m looking to make the best video I can and get the most out of it. Because I care about the content that I produce and want to be sure that as many people as possible can benefit from it.

(Note: Just because I’m spending that kind of money on video, doesn’t mean you need to spend money on video. Most of the work I do occurs BEFORE the shoot day, and that work doesn’t cost me anything other than my time, which in reality, is priceless. All of our time is priceless).

So, creating your best work is VITAL. And it’s the only REAL way to stand out in today’s overcrowded marketplace.

That’s why it’s on you to create it, leverage proven psychological principles to make sure it spreads, and then PROMOTE THE HECK OUT OF IT.

The “Content Creation” Myth Debunked

You might be thinking, “Well, why does everyone else say you need to create content to build a blog?”

The truth?

Many of the people who preach “content, content, then more content,” built their blogs back when there was little competition… back in 2005 / 2006.

At that point, the search engines were giving websites preferential treatment for fresh and new content.

(In some respects, they still are).

And they LOVED blogs.

This means that, back then, if you’d update your blog once a day, it was IMPOSSIBLE to NOT build a blog with a raving fan base.

But times have changed.

Here’s What Happened Over The Last 7 years…

In 2005, any content was enough to stand out from the crowd.

But, over the last 7 years, the amount of content on the internet exploded.

Point #1: In 2006, Netcraft estimated there were more than 100 million sites. In 2013, they estimate more than 700 million.

Point #2: In 2005, Technorati estimated 7.8 million weblogs. Now? There’s allegedly more than 170 million blogs (and we even dropped the web from weblogs).

You can no longer pump out half-assed content and win.

Now you’ve got to research GREAT content, and publish only the best.

Yes, this is harder, and it’s more time consuming, but the good news is this: You don’t need to create that much content.

I look at Social Triggers, and from March 2011 to April 2012, I averaged 2.54 blog posts per month…

…and I got almost 27,000 subscribers.

All because I focused on creating great content… and then focused on getting that content into the hands of more people.

The Question Is: How Do You Promote Content?

That’s the BIG question:

“Okay, I get it. Create great content, then promote that content. But how?”

That’s where I come in.

I reveal many of my favorite psychological principles, and powerful promotional strategies inside my training Start Your Blog Right.

But here’s what I’m going to do…

I’m a firm believer in “The right way to sell in 2013 is to give away the house… and sell the backyard.”

So, what I’m going to do is this:

Even though I’m enrollment for Start Your Blog Right is open, I am going to send you a video of one of my favorite promotional strategies TOMORROW.

A strategy that I used back in 2005, and a strategy I still use to this very day.

(What’s so great about these promotional strategies is that they’re timeless. Strategies that worked in the past often work now and will in the future).

And in the mean time, what I’d like you to do is leave a comment letting me know about the problems you’ve had promoting and growing your blog.

What’s been holding you back from attracting the right readers? What’s stopping you from building a website that generates both leads and sales?

Spread the love!

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122 comments Leave a comment

Putting all your efforts in writing a blog is time consuming. I agree with your 80/20 psychological principle. Thanks for sharing your smart ideas.

kelvin clint quinto

Great post! I always focus on promoting my site rather than creating content. No matter how great content you create, without traffic it’s useless..

I download your free ebook “how to easily get your first 5,000 subscribers” . IT’S VERY INFORMATIVE! Thanks!


I began reading this post with a specific perception about my ideal customer. The target audience I thought I wanted still matters but my thinking has turned a whole new page. I have not launched my blog but I’m actually pleased that I found Social Triggers first.

Derek, you thoroughly address the importance of identifying readers and I have to admit that has been one of my hesitations. And, the two questions that shaped that hesitation were 1) Where do I begin, to attract readers? Who do I want to be my readers? Now that my creativity is working with regard to readers I am more confident than I’ve ever been that I will build a website nothing is stopping me “from building a website that generates both leads and sales.” I am just thankful that I don’t have to start or build my website without Social Triggers.



As a matter of fact I am trying to promote my content but somehow fail to get the response I want πŸ™




I don’t know where to look for my target audience.


I think the 80-20 principle makes more sense than the daily posting routines. Nowadays you can not expect to create a good content then have engaging readers from out of the blue, not without actively marketing it. Thanks for the great insight!

Domonique@TheLaz yScholarBlog

This is very great content. After 5 years blogging, 2 on my current site, with only 2 subscribers, I’m ready to make any changes necessary to get my content out there. Btw, my subbies are family members.

Alain Hernandez

SO TRUE! Having to spend so much time creating and creating with no audience which is what I have been doing thinking well if they do not find this one, they will find that one lol. Eventually I hoped they will find the blog area lol.

I will implement your concept on this Derek, thank you so much for this awesome blog content. I should keep this thread updated once I have something to share.



Hey Derek! Where can I find this video?

Anthony Garces

Hi Derek,

I heard this 80/20 rule from one of my blogging colleagues and researched it on the internet. I landed on this page and wow, I got a good grasp of what you are trying to tell on this article. I was glad that this information is free and this is very valuable. Thanks a lot for focusing on creating a great article rather than creating more articles.


Shawn Johnson

Another great post Bro.

I like your philosophy on getting more people to your content instead of having to crank out a blog post a day.

Depending on who you ask , this supposedly is the best way to get traffic (visitors) and rank on Google , but delivering GREAT CONTENT of value is rarely discussed.

Thanks for this post… I look forward to the video if i am not too late..

Jan Koch

That’s exactly the strategy I’ll implement for 2015.
Found this post via Sean Ogle’s site, and I’m glad I came here.

I’ll focus on email marketing and email outreach a lot more, and only publish once or twice a month. This way I can spend 20,30 or even 40 hours on a blog post and make it outstanding in my niche.

We’ll see how that goes πŸ˜‰


Jingyansu Choudhury

I some what agree with you, as i have been blogging almost everyday and not getting as much traffic as expected.

Through out this post, you have been talking about what not to do, like every marketing specialists do.. Rather you should tell us, WHAT TO DO. Have a look at my company site and let me know, what are we lacking? thank you.

Ben Brearley

Great post.

It is easy to just smash out content because you feel like you’re “doing something” and then spamming it out to your networks, but this advice makes a lot of sense!

Find more people to read your good content, rather than writing mediocre articles!


more great advice from Derek!

Meg Heathman

I was just brought on as a social media manager for a small company. I was hired for my drive, not my experience in this field. I’m a retired medical scientist at the ripe old age of 31. I did it for 6 years and felt no need to pursue it any further. As it turns out, hospitals and their policies leave much to be desired and has NOTHING to do with science.
So here I am, branching out. I can see tremendous value in what you’re saying. I have the conviction to live an extraordinary life with great success. This opportunity gives me the chance to learn how to be successful in this arena. I want to learn how to create value from blogging for my new company and for myself in the future. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your time.


What day, exactly, does the video come out? You have no dates on your posts so I don’t even know when this was written!

    Peter Kanayo

    Heather, try and hit up Derek on twitter perhaps you will get a response. This post is over 4 months old perhaps he would send you the video

Peter Kanayo

The answer to building that traffic doesnt just lie in sharing your post on twitter or google plus or what other social media channel you can think of.

It involves providing value. If you are on twitter, are you asking influencers questions? Are you interacting with them? When they ask questions can you provide answers?

Or do you share their post and not just sharing-do you read their post-drop off an incisive comment-go back to twitter and comment on the post you shared?

When you do this tips you would find them doing the same for you if you ask.


Hey Derek,
I’ve blogging for about two years now. And don’t seem to be getting too far. Unlike most of these other people that have posted I want my blog to be my business. (I have a Fashion and Food blog). I need to build my readership
And followers and would love to know how to do so.


    Hi Trisha,

    Although not being an expert myself try doing a search for blogger outreach (ie reach out to other bloggers) in Google and see what you come up with ? I know there are tools and services out there that will help you connect your blog with the right audience.

Matthew Neer

Hey Derek,

You got an article on your blog talking about your FB promoted posts strategy?

Thanks amigo,

Akash Agarwal

It’s a great idea. I learned a lot from this. I definitely work on it. Thanks for sharing such valuable information on building blog.

John Revo

Hi Derek,

I am a new subscriber, is there anyway I can get the link to the video?

Thanks in advance!

Alain Hernandez

The information you provided here was amazing, it revealed things that I did not know and i’m ready to put them to action. Keep it up Derek!

Scott Branden

Hi Derek, thank you for this really interesting post. My biggest issue is with editing a page in WordPress because its just plain faulty! How do people use something that does this: I have 2 paragraphs, I want to join up both, so I backspace the two together and BOOM! The top (few) sentences turns Italic and the bottom goes to bold 72 sized font! Its not in the code/html… its just crazy. This happens on all my WP sites, now I use a html editor offline and cut and past… Any ideas! OH, WAIT! I know… don’t make too much content… riiiiight ! Thanks derek : D

    Michael Taylor

    I had the same problem, too. I discovered it was much easier to write the posts first as a word document and then copy and paste them into the dashboard. With time, I developed my own templates, which included formating for crossheads and photo captions, etc.


I’m new to all of this. My biggest problem is creating content. I don’t feel anything is good enough. I haven’t even wrote enough to even officially open my website.

Allyson Sunderman

I’m in the same boat as most of the others. I feel overwhelmed with all the information out there. I don’t know where to really start promoting (besides facebook and twitter)…. There are so many different opinions on how and where to promote I get lost in it all! πŸ˜‰
Thanks for all your great insights!


This is something I have been wondering about for a while .Debating with myself if I should create more stuff or help people connect with what I already written. So I decided to comprimise and reintroduce old content in new ways so that I get my info out and get new content.But after reading this I may have to reconsider

Juan Castillo

That makes sense. Great content is always important but you don’t have to kill yourself to make so much content. This is a perfect example of working smarter as opposed to harder :).

Suzi Coleman

Hi Derek

Thank you so much for your ideas, they are solid. My challenge? Conversion from “just visiting” to “here to buy.” Thanks for your insights, I’m looking forward to more!

Kind regards,


Stacie Walker

Hello Derek,

I do agree with your statement: “Yes, this is harder, and it’s more time consuming, but the good news is this: You don’t need to create that much content.”

I love re-purposing my content. Every time I do, I make some minor tweak to make it more valuable to my audience. Thanks for this awesome post. I look forward to the next.

Many Blessings,

Stacie Walker
Woman in Leadership

Michael Hall

I’ve produced very high quality blog posts on very targetted topics, and did all the on-page SEO stuff, but as far as promoting goes i basically just install one of those social sharign plugins that have the top 10 or so sites, and so after i make the post I manually click on each of the icons and share them myself, and i get a fair amoutn of traffic, so i think i need to focus on other free traffic method like articles and videos on you tube and also paid traffic. But i prefer to make money first before i use paid traffic.


P.S. I’m glad you don’t blog more often. I’m having a hard time keeping up with you as it is. Still “chewing” on your podcast on what makes things go viral and what I could do to make my art “remarkable”. I’ve settled on painting with beer and integrating “showing” people, so I’m making a video. I’m working on an acrylic painting of hops and used beer instead of water as a mixing medium.


Great Material Derek. To anwer your question. My challenge…

1. Where to Start
2. Creating a System
3. Focus
4. Process for evaluating effectiveness & what to “tweak”
5. Integrating Blogging with my traditional businesses
6. Managing my multiple “hats”
7. Prioritizing
8. Deciding what to do with website visitors
9. Finding mentors/ mastermind group
10. Impatience
11. Letting go or postponing – I have a number of projects I’m excited about I want to work on right now.
12. Creating income

To put this into context –
I have a full time day job in finance
I have a full time night/eve job at the family business – Brewery
I founded and am on the exec/planning committee for a women’s socio-educational group that teaches women about craft beer.
I am an artist

I feel there is alot of opportunity and many paths to follow. just taking on social media and building out our website. Just taking on marketing my art.


    You summed up everything I was thinking. I feel like I need step by step instructions on what to do next. I really want to join a mastermind so someone can keep me accountable and direct me what I should be focusing on now, and what can wait until later.

Venkatesh Iyer

Gee, you got me thinking along a new tangent that looks tempting. Just for that, I have signed up for Social Triggers after reading this post.


To start our blog this January, I spent a lot of time training our IT consultants how to write about what they know – with passion and storytelling. It’s working, however we are now that company that spends more time generating content than promoting it.

The problem is that now I need to train everyone to be a marketer, simply because I don’t have the background that entitles me to join and share these posts on professional forums and get the respect. We’ve found LinkedIn Groups work great for us, however with the limit you can join and transparency into the person’s expertise that’s posting, if I do it, it looks like blatant marketing spam. I also can’t contribute to any comments.

I need to figure out ways to now add a 2nd layer of training for our technical folks. They need to learn how to identify outlets and promote posts (not just their own too) when the time calls for it.

John Russo

I toyed with writing a blog just to practice but the one that will count is on hold. Derek, Your articles and advice from others has given me great insight on how to write a blog. You only get one shot so my gut instinct was to hold off and get it right.

Second issue is traffic but that is useless unless I can effectively communicate my message. I’ve tested and researched only to find some disturbing facts about most people in this country.

Your videos and articles are an inspiration. I know many of your ideas will be incorporated in my blog. Anyone reading this post should take your time, get it right, Use what Derek has taught and will work for your ideas. Research your niche and learn how people react to it. You’ll have a more professional, informative blog that converts. The extra time and work is worth the effort.

Erin Donley

I’ve been in meetings recently with SEO experts who are strongly recommending at least 2 blogs per week, 350-500 words, to get noticed by google. That seems ridiculous to me. Writing would have to be at least a 10-15 hr job per week… and then there’s the job of promoting it. Sometimes I think marketing is just so relentlessly ridiculous. Why do we have to jump through these bullshit hoops just to sell something, make a difference, get our word out? As a fan of good content, I’m going to keep choosing quality over quantity… and then adjusting my expectations accordingly.

Aviva Goldfarb

I always enjoy and appreciate the hard work you put into your videos and posts and look forward to learning more about how to promote posts. Thank you!

Dodie Jacobi

Hi Derek! I’ve got the blog discipline and what I hear is strong content down. But I’ve not yet REALLY promoted my blog, because my current product offers are services for which I’ve limited remaining capacity. So I’m finishing some scalable products before blog promotion. But what say you!? Should I be building my audience even if conversions aren’t yet my objective? It all will catch up with itself in the next three months, but perhaps your advice would influence my priorities. Thanks, and looking forward to the Laura Roeder chat Thursday, and the possibility of this course with you.


Cheers Derek! Having fun reading your suggestions and thinking about what success is? I decided to consider each blog as my own journal entry on life, so there is a fun, satisfaction in just taking action at “A”. We are looking at building a community now “B” and having fun sharing. I have been following trends in the world for a while and see “how much stuff” is available on line, wow!! Lots of fish in the sea. With everyone being so busy and even though my site is geared for busy people with a “Just take 5 minutes” cheerleading for people who want to get over the “human speed bump,” what really touches people to take that action? Really putting a lot of study into the “human speed bump” and how to inspire, motivate, and cheerlead action by people in their life path. Looking forward to the learning by a master of media!!


Can’t wait!

David Newell

Derek,Thank you, and please delete my previous comment, I have reworded it here.
The 80/20 rule is so important in many areas of a web business. I am currently creating content for a redo of my web business. The old websites are no more.
The research before starting to write content is critical to success. My advise for commentors who are having trouble getting buy minded traffic is; the next time you start a new site, spend 80% of your effort on research and 20 % on content. By research, I mean, Niche market determination, focused keyword determination and competition strengths and weakness. This type of research is critical to a successful launch.
Derek, you give valuable advise that is presented in a clear, concise manner.
Thank you for that,


The biggest thing holding me back is simply traffic. I have good converting rates and I’m comfortable with my writing and content.

Currently my social media influence is very small and unsure which route to go to get more traffic. Facebook pages, networking, paid routes, etc. Thanks!

David Newell

Derek,Thank you,
The 80/20 rule is so important in many areas of a web business. I am currently creating content for a redo of my web business. The old websites are no more.
The research before starting to write content is critical to success. The next time you start a new site, spend 80% of the effort on research and 20 % on content. By research, I mean, Niche market determination, focused keyword determination and competition strengths and weakness. This type of research is critical to a successful launch.
Derek, you give valuable advise that is presented in a clear, concise manner.
Thank you for that,

Jake @AgnelWellness

Great article Derek.

I can totally relate to what you have written in your post. When I started with internet marketing around 7 years ago, I used to put up large amounts of longform content on some of my clients html websites. It used to do the trick. Mind you, these articles were not optimized for SEO but were intended for readers.

The strategies that I used back in the day, do not work anymore. No one reads longform unless you are some famous author/political commentator.What people want are short (500 words) articles that are relevant to their problem. Just make surer that they are capable of finding it.

My moto today is to create short bits of relevant content and spread it in the places where I know my audience exists. My rule of thumb is for every hour you spend writing an articles, spend 2-3 hours promoting it. Use relevant social channels but most of all connect with those people who are in positions of authority as they help in distributing the content.


I’d love to know where I should be guest posting or promoting my work. My vibe is feminine, but it’s ballsy. And quite prolifically sweary.

I know there is an audience out there – I’ve had some excellent feedback so far, but I really want to leverage that audience without feeling the need to keep pumping out content. But it’s knowing which blogs would have me without asking me to turn it down a notch.

I love my work, I think I do a good job of presenting information, and my readers and viewers enjoy it. I’m just at the point where I’m saying, “where now..?”

Ricky Figueroa

I was just sharing with a few of my affiliates about why I spend more time promoting in comparison to blogging everyday like they do. But I must admit, I need to find out more efficient and effective ways to promote and convert.

I’m looking forward to learning more. Thanks for your authenticity, Derek.

Brian Rouley

The one problem I have with getting people to my blog is that I don’t know what they want, so I often end up writing something for myself.


I would like to know how to spread the word about my blog without it looks to much as “I know it all”? Also how to convince people you’re not trying to sell something to theme?


Time and lack of technical experience are my two biggest problems.
My salvation is a great fondness for writing.
Thanks for all the advise and information.


I feel like I spend more time being socially active across the net, and yet my audience doesn’t seem to be growing since I got slammed by the Google Panda update. My site was doing great, I was doing great, and things were rocking along.. Then SLAM! Even though I know I’m not black-listed in the big G, my traffic became so poor I feel like I am. SO, in spite of trying to resurrect my site’s visibility through social activity, I feel like I must not be very good at socializing.. Just not seeing much in the way of results. I am eager to see tomorrow’s video and learn whatever gem you have to share.. I’m becoming a voracious consumer of your blog posts. πŸ˜‰


Probably this is not a problem, but now that Im starting my blogs, I think that is important to “clean the house” before I invite people to come over. You know, besides some good quality content, I think is important to include some features and/or widgets that can help users to have a good experience navigating and engaging with your site. And this process kind of takes time. So, Im very interested in knowing more about promoting my blogs, since this is the next step I must take.


I teach English to career women in Korea. I get my students email and send them monthly tips on English speaking skills. My students say my content is awesome. But I cannot get enough online subscribers. I get about 2 subscribers a month.

Rick Jantz

Excellent point about spending more time promoting content. I don’t have a problem researching and writing, what I don’t do is ensure those posts get to the people that are searching for them Looking forward to the video.


I would love to know how to find my target audience. Do most people just rely on search engines to find them? What is the most effective way to appeal to your target audience?


“The right way to sell in 2013 is to give away the house… and sell the backyard.”

My take on this is:

The traffic is the front street and the funnel starts at the front door. Once subscriber gets inside there are different rooms and then finally the back door which opens into the backyard. Unless you live on a busy street already, the effort and cost to drive traffic and funnel it through the front door to the backdoor all along offering items of value in the other rooms too is exhausting even with systems. But, one step must lead to the next step with the hope that of the traffic that does finally reach the backyard buys at the typical 2-4% if everything is done right.

The question is, how many different houses can one build and maintain with a steady need for resources of money, time and the occasional home re-decorating and adding new and more value to the backyard to keep the excitement going? Once this effort stops, so does the traffic unless you drive new and different traffic to the street in front of your house again hoping they’ve seen the welcome sign on the lawn and take the time to stop and take a look.

Now, those that bought from you already don’t like to be ignored so they need continued attention too. This is your core group. Each new group that joins will join in at that time and will receive the same attention unless they segment themselves separate from the core group.

Security can be a problem so you need to take the standard precautions to protect your investment but you might also hire someone to monitor things just to be sure that the house doesn’t get broke into or the backyard isn’t raided.

Once built and the value goes up, it can be sold but the profit is best if you build it yourself and it has curb appeal. Some subcontracting will be required but at least you own it. Things that take away from the value could be ugly, out-dated wallpaper and poor maintenance.

Do I have it right?

The question I have is how does one get the systems outsourced virtually in a way that it can be scaled with a rinse and repeat formula?




I understand wholeheartedly about not opening up enrollment for your course yet again for a bit. Now I just wonder if you can tell me when it will happen again or how I can be sure the course is perfect for a coach like me.
I have been on the teeter totter about blast the new blog with content or figure out the other system. Which would be your I’m guessing. But with Brendan Burchard, yourself, and Jeff Goins all offering course at the same time with differing price points. How can I know which to invest in for the quickest ROI not Get Rich quick but take care of my wife and self ROI. πŸ™‚

Looking forward to the next post. Thanks again.

Rick Clark

I am looking for any tips that can help me promote my blog. I develop websites and the busier I get, the less time I have for blogging and social media.
I appreciate you reaching out to is to help us succeed.

Filipe Portes

I have good content, but I have no traffic. Where is my mistake?

Linda Merker

I write my blog and a blog for a client. I would like to see my client’s blog reach customers and show the expertise the business has. People look at it but don’t follow it, and don’t engage with it. What other ways can I be promoting it besides email, Facebook and Guest Bloggers? I NEED to know.

Geo Blaine

Gonna be starting my blog in two weeks. It is gonna be entertainment based

commenting on current pop culture. While also promoting my projects and

internet business. It’s gonna be slightly controversial. It’s gonna be raw and

honest with a little comical twist. But I totally agree about hitting your

target market. It makes no sense to make a kick ass video blog and nobody

sees it. I am open to your expertise and advice. You have my e-mail Derek

lets speak further. Great info. Thanks for sharing!!!


“What’s stopping you from building a website that generates both leads and sales?”

I’ve built a web tool specific to DIY musicians..it’s in beta and was build with a ‘partner’.

Planned on using content targeted at DIY musicians on the blog for this site to bring in traffic.

I also am very interested in growing my OWN list for my own personal brand of Bret, using similar content.

Q: Is there an easy way to separate which content would go to which site allowing me to build both at once?


Q; Should I leave my personal website alone and only write to my niche on the niche website?

It’s important that I continue to build my own audience but I want to use my time wisely.


Finding the right venues/blogs for my clients’ content (and my own). For instance, one client is an insurance agent and writes a lot about life insurance and its benefits and how it can help you protect your family. Not exactly a sexy, exciting topic that people are dying to buy [pun intended]. Got any ideas?


Hi Derek,
For about a year now I’ be had this blog. It’s a place where I talk about my self-publishing and writing journey…including my mistakes and small successes. It’s also where I try to encourage people … aimed at creative people and authorpreneurs. So far I only have 18 people subscribed and I wonder what I’m doing wrong? Any suggestions or advice would be most welcome:-). Thanks, Lorna

Miriam Ortiz y Pino

I find it very frustrating that I have tried all kinds of things to promote my blog – including one or two from you, and the growth has been so slow. So, I can’t say things haven’t worked, they just have never brought the bigger jump I was hoping for. I would also love for the people on my list to participate more in my offers and the topic discussions. The people who are on my list love my content, when I speak to them or they reply to an email – rarely do they comment even when asked, but they also are chronically disorganized people so who knows. I kind of feel like I haven’t found quite the right group to share with that would pry open the gate.

Can’t wait for the video

Aaron Gooden

I’m a United Methodist pastor trying to figure out how to impact people’s lives in non-traditional ways… i.e., not through brick and mortar churches. My sense and experience tell me that blogging and the power of the internet can help make this happen. My problem is not figuring out how to get more customers at this point, but rather figuring out what my product is. Churches don’t traditionally sell stuff (at least directly). Churches provide services, experiences, and a place for social interactions. In exchange, people give money in offerings which supports the church’s activities. I really want to give the best content in the world away for free…but, I have to eat and support my family. Any thoughts on how this might work?

    Aaron Gooden

    BTW…Derek, I love your content and your attitude. How many pastors have said that?

Richard Maybury

always looking for great ways to market my content Derek so looking forward to this


I’m just starting a blog. I have plans for content but when it comes to getting people to actually visit and follow me, I don’t know where to start! Can’t wait to hear your advice, really hoping it will help me promote myself. Thanks



While I feel like I have good content on my blog, my problems comes in reaching more people. In a very competitive market, where there are a lot of similar blogs, I feel that I have a hard time standing out from the crowd. I have been promoting my blog on several different sites (pinterest, facebook, etc..) without much increase in traffic. In fact, most of my traffic comes from pinterest these days. Once they get to my blog they are reading it and looking at my posts, but not buying. How to get more traffic and turn them into customers is my biggest hurdle.



The BIGGEST, most OVERWHELMING problem I’ve ever had is where to begin – as in what subject/niche/pursuit is the right one. Fact is, the web is full of mediocre ideas, and even worse content. Every time I think I’m onto something, I find someone who does it better, or that the idea doesn’t hold water after some time and close examination. Honestly, it’s a total failure to launch – almost a paralysis. How do you fully qualify your concept so you don’t waste valuable time?


Only 1000 hits? I write a blog and get 3 hits, me and two web crawlers.

    Jim Wang

    Ha, when I started my personal finance blog, I joked I got 3 hits. My girlfriend, me from work, and me from home. πŸ™‚


Hey Derek, thanks for your great work. I have a painting blog where I sell tiny original oil paintings. I have lots of readers, but a slow conversion to subscribers. Also, I sell nearly all the originals but need more content that doesn’t involve time-consuming originals. I’ve considered prints, but am concerned they’d detract from the appeal of the originals. Also, books and calendars? Overall, need more subscribers and, somehow, more offerings. Thanks!!


I’d like more comment activities on my articles and I’d like to start a forum for discussion. I find that even though I promote my blog via Facebook and in the groups I’m in, I don’t know how to promote the blog in my groups without sounding spammy. Especially frustrating because many of the group conversations are really great topics for the forum on my blog

Sarah Mongold

My biggest problem is getting the blog in front of my target market, as I primarily market the blog through facebook, and my FB friends are not necessarily the target market.
Then my next problem is that I have a lot of readers but no subscribers.

Thanks!! πŸ™‚


Excellent timing Darren!
I’m in the process of resurrecting my blog for women that want to live rich on a tight budget & I was thinking about all the content I will need to create (and how I have so little time to do it!). I’m not only relieved that I can shift that focus onto promoting, I’m looking forward to your upcoming content where you share your secrets!


    Oops! I wrote Darren and I totally meant Derek – sorry:)

Tammy Tilley

TIME is my problem. I’m working so fast and furiously at three different jobs, all of which involve writing blogs, that I feel like I don’t even have the time to slow down long enough to learn this stuff–how to convert, how to promote (other than the obvious, right? Twitter/FB, e mail blasts). I even just skimmed this blog and realized I’m in the same place I was a year ago, asking the same questions.

    Alban Brice


    I was on my way to comment this article sent to my inbox, when I came across Tammy’s comment.

    I do not know if she would read mine but what I just want to tell her is that, we always find the time for the things we want or are able to do.

    For me the top 3 real issues (that I’m facing too) are the following:

    1. We don’t know how to promote a blog post. We do not know the easy (not Facebook and Twitter), intelligent and guaranteed results-oriented way.

    2. We do not like to ask for other people’s help. We see it like a weakness. We’re not happy cause it requires us to leave our comfort zone.

    3. We’re tired after clicking the “Publish” button. We are down. We internally tell to our-selves: “Our best writing content has been released. It will promote or self itself view its awesomeness. Anyway, having an updated blog is already a GREAT endeavor…Promoting it is another matter. Let’s recover quickly for writing the next article, which seems to be the initial purpose of a blog.”

    You’re disappointed? No, don’t be. The best and bright part :), is that, we really want to build a magnetic blog. We want to attract readers and turn them into leads and sales. We’re ready to do what it intelligently takes to reach this goal.

    But we do not know how to promote, how to ask without sound begging, and how to physically handle both writing and promoting.

    Thanks for your feedback which I hope will solve these concerns.

    -Alban Brice

      Pamela Beer


      Thanks for giving away the backyard! I appreciate it since I’m just getting started in this art business and there is a lot of noise about who to pay to do what. The marketing for all this is overwhelming, but I do appreciate your straightforward approach. I struggled for a few weeks trying to figure out my niche, which in reality, seems pretty straight forward on one hand, but now executing is the tough part.

      My focus is on Christians who want to buy large and original abstract art and/or want me to paint something special for a big space. So perhaps it’s church institutions or art collectors in general who like the idea of buying their abstract art from someone of similar faith.

      I know there’s a market for this, I just do not know exactly how to find them and blog for them. Moreover, I’m not sure exactly what to blog either.

      So I look forward to what you have to reveal.


Josh L

Hey Derek,

To answer your email question, the problems I’ve had promoting my blog are two-fold: (1) Deciding the minimal amount of content that I need before I start promoting. Is one blog enough? A blog and an ebook? 20 blogs and 2 ebooks? What is the minimum viable product when it comes to a blog? (2) Where do I go to get my first readers? Traffic is nice, but where would you recommend that I go to find my first true fans? I have ideas on this and have used some of them, but I’d love to hear your take.

Thanks for the great content you continue to put out!



Also a special thank you for the amazing content you have got, it has been so great to tag through n learn and of course unlearn a lot of them. Thank you once again.

Keep smiling,


Each time I write, I get my usual readers that too if I post it in Facebook where there is a group for bloggers that I’m a part of. Even there only a fraction of the people actually rag through it. It’s depressing, where do I tap people to read mine?

Beth O'Donnell

I can’t get the right words for my soon-to-be-live website’s front page, the enticement for email address text is boggling my mind. That’s what is stopping me.

Keith James

It can be very disappointing when you create great content and no one shows up. My strategy has been to try to make my content as evergreen as possible. This way I can continue to distribute it long after it has been published.

I’m actually thinking about removing the publish date from my blog posts. As far as I know doing this should have no affect on SEO.

Anyone have thoughts on this tactic?

    Jim Wang

    Removing the publish date won’t have an impact on SEO. If a search engine wants to use a date, it’ll simply use the discovery date. A lot of people remove dates, on both posts and the comments, especially on “timeless” posts so visitors won’t feel the content is dated if they first discover it years later.

    Lori Stalter

    I removed the date from my articles and from comments, too.

    The comments still date how long the post has been around if you don’t get rid of those dates, too.

    I’m hoping, too, my evergreen content will seem fresh to somebody who just found my blog no matter how long ago I wrote that particular content they found.

      Jim Wang

      I used to run a personal finance site and removing dates was something I chose not to do because a lot of the content was date sensitive. Tax laws from 2010 just aren’t useful in 2013. I think for a site likes yours, Lori, it makes perfect sense. Weight management and recipes are timeless.


I would really like to know few tips on how to promote my posts, it seems like I’m missing something. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.


Hi Derek,

Thank you for your insights!

When I started my blog in 2009, I thought I knew who my target audience was. I wrong. What did I do? I changed the focus of my website/blog to attract clients and contacts (networking works). I also stopped blogging three times per week like used to back in the day.

I look forward to your watching your video.


Do you think it’s a good idea to delete content that you created a few years ago that no longer applies to your current target market?

    Jim Wang

    While your question was directed at Derek, I hope you don’t mind if chime in with my 2 cents – I’d remove the content if it is clearly out of sync. If you get visitors to the page, I’d recommend re-purposing it to fit your message. If you don’t, removing it would be better than having it languish. I hope that helps!

Mj Thornton

I’d really like to know how to get some traffic my way. The people who leave comments seem to like my blogs. I put a lot of time, research, and rewrites into every single one. Kind of discouraging when I can’t get the right people to even stop by. It’s like I’m blogging blind.


Hi Derek, You’re RAD! Love this post and your 80/20 approach to promoting blog posts. My challenge is about building strategic relationships. I’ve heard that this is one of the most impactful ways to GROW your list but every time I try reaching out to a Blogger who has a common audience than I do I don’t get the response I’m looking for. It seems like all the people I reach out to are looking upstream to partner with bigger names and so I’m wondering how will I ever penetrate and become part of the “in crowd”? Can you share how to do this effectively if you’re not a “name” yet in the blogging world?

Kerri Wade

Looking forward to this! Thanks Derek.

Kerri Wade

Looking forward to this! Thanks Derek.

Linda B

I am writing fewer posts and using better quality posts per your suggestions, but I am getting fewer visitors and comments. I promote on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and G+. My ideal clients don’t read blogs (I asked) and they seem to be afraid of commenting (I asked).

So,what’s a woman to do?

Thanks, Derek

Andrea Barghigiani

I would LOVE to know how to proper promote my content! I always thought that my biggest problem is the language I am writing and the type of audience I am able to get (I am Italian after all).

I’ve tried to use my blog to build the right audience, then I moved to create professional videos and publish them on YouTube, later I started to work on the social media profiles and from these actions I have to say that I got some results out of them, but nothing that can help me to sell my courses or my consulting services…

I want to change this situation and I would love to learn how to do it!

Rob Fraser

There are so many ins and outs to blogging and it can be a bit overwhelming. I try to stay away from the technical stuff and try to keep it as on online conversation. I’m learning more and more each day and what I am learning is that there are rules, and then there is always exceptions to those rules. One would have you do one thing, and the other something else!

But the idea is to get that good quality content out there to be seen! Great post!


Alright Derek, I’ll be straight with you, I’ve heard the 80/20 rule before (but I had yet to hear it applied to blogging – so this post is great, thanks right off the bat for that!)

I honestly think I struggle with the *type* of content to produce. As a Multipassionate Intuitive ARTrepreneur I have a lot of personal interests, so my blogging often reflects that varied amount of things. Before recently (from 2009 to early 2012) I was blogging “only when inspired to write something” then here and there if I started a long project or had introduced something or other new. Back then I was 100% lazy about promotion, but I was just idly sharing and if someone read it cool, if not whatever. Then I got smart and decided in the last year I wanted my blog to work for me. I started introducing 5 “featured posts” each month so there would always be some content rather than that piecemeal junk I was doing before. (For point of reference those features were: 1) Update post – I recapped previous plans and threw out future ones, including projects and some goals; 2) Pattern/Tutorial; 3) Artform/Craft – writing about it, some history and samples; 4) Featured Artist/Crafter interview; 5) Book Review – related to arts & crafts). I was trying to keep in my industry and I know from my perspective those things are all interesting…however they attract a particular mindset, namely the “DIYer” and with the exception of #1 & 4 that can be of interest to anyone I feel like maybe I was setting myself up a little bit relying on those to build my lil blogging empire.

Recently (in the last few weeks) I opted to do a short weekly post that just touched on some things on my mind that relate to me & my industry and just other things in general. I feel like these will be a good addition, but it’s not been long enough (and I haven’t promoted them enough) to know for sure.

Really & Truly I totally blank at what to write about other than the “industry standards” for artists (most of which I am writing about already): inspiration, creative journeys, teaching, behind the scenes/wip, new stuff, your art (in general), shows, your life, things that interest you…I question it and start to wonder if it’s all really enough.

*More importantly* I guess that this means for every 1 post I write I should be promoting 4 …

PS My bad at the stupid long post, more info is better than less right? Maybe.

    Meg Sylvia

    Aradia, I tend to have the same problem. I have so many creative interests that I just want to share it all!

    But I have to say that it is really important to find a niche and tailor your content to it. It comes down to this: would you rather attempt to reach everyone with content that may or may not interest them, or reach a smaller, more specific group with content that they are highly interested in knowing about?

    My main takeaway from Derek’s article here is that LESS well thought out, targeted content, which is then heavily promoted, is going to be a lot more valuable than producing a LOT of content that attracts less readers because A, it is not written for a specific audience, and B, it is not promoted to a specific audience.

    Plus, I find that once you figure out who your target audience (DIYers? Hobby jewelry makers? Small craft business owners?) is going to be, it’s a lot easier to come up with ideas for content because you will have a better idea of what they are interested in! πŸ™‚


      I know at least some of my targeted audience members but while I share some commonalities with them, know what to write for them is a whole other problem. They tend largely to be DIY (but I am not encouraging those types across the board to flock to me because they don’t really want to pay for my services, they’d rather save money and do it on their own). I’ll likely have more luck reaching completely out of my industry and referencing back to art than the other way around.

      I really have no interest in reaching “everyone” – not only because it’s foolish, but because there are elements of my work that immediately turn certain groups of people off – so I’m perfectly fine skipping them altogether.

Lynn Telford-Sahl

I have no problem with content – money is a subject that pushes everyone’s buttons and I love writing about. My challenge is building my list and attracting action. I love helping women in business make more money – by breaking through obstacles to create prosperity and have FUN in the process.


Just getting started- this will be helpful!

Simona Cellar

Hi Derek,

Always love to read anything you write. πŸ™‚

I have multiple issues. I have just started a blog. My products are surface pattern designs. I thought, since I just started out, I have to post daily. And you are right, I basically just post cool stuff that I find on other blogs. I then start to wonder if that makes me a fraud. Or if it’s okay to just collect stuff I like. My answer is NO. I just haven’t found my niche yet or don’t know what to possibly write about that has no been written before about surface pattern design. My other issue is Language. Should I target the people from my own country (Switzerland) or the World and write in English as I do now.

Can’t wait to learn more about what you have to teach us. πŸ™‚


My conundrum is a little different from your other readers, or so I would imagine.

While your ideas seem to cater to the masses, I do not believe mine do.

Biggest question in my mind, what to choose to write about and how would I sell it. I love the self help stuff like NLP.

In that business having singular clients is the goal. I don’t know I could sell something as a product or a book, when really, the typical goal is to have clients one works with individually.

How could I market that to the masses?


    Tom Southern

    Hi Micah,

    The trick is to define what it is that people get most out of what NLP does for them. For example, will it make them more confident? Able to be better at socialising? Getting a better job? Then you’ve got to aim your blog at these people. Hone it down into a narrow niche like Derek says, into a specific group of people who want to improve their lives, e.g. Single guys who like free running. Or single mothers who work in middle management Accounting jobs. The best way to hone down your target audience is to aim at people like you, but the “you” that you were 3 years ago (or before you knew what you do now).

    From this you can then start offering one-to-one services via perhaps an opt-in form saying something like: If you’d to know more about [whatever the topic of your blog post was] then sign-up to get exclusive access to [whatever product or service you want to offer].

    Hope this helps you a little towards what to do.

Matt Giovanisci

I’ve always had a problem promoting and finding new visitors because my content is specific to a product that people are not passionate about. People own swimming pools but don’t hang out in swimming pool forums or collect in one place online. That forces me to blanket my marketing across many platforms and blogs hoping that there are some pool owners in the crowd that are looking for help.

I do a great job promoting within my industry and I have some very powerful friends, but they all have the same issue, and now they look to me to get the word out about what THEY’RE doing.

I need to grow quicker and I just don’t know where to go to promote my content.

Susan Ganeshan

We have a decent blog content, relevant to our target, pushed out via email blasts to more than 10,000 people, great calls to action at the end of each blog but our open rates (~20%) are just industry standard rates and our click through rates are ~2% of that. So at these volumes I don’t have enough eyes on my blog. We push via social, twitter, linkedin, fb too. Help, need other ideas on getting more eyeballs.

Zach Hammer

This is an excellent reminder Derek!

Sometimes it’s hard to remember not to just get bogged down in the process that everyone else recommends.

I really appreciate this no BS approach founded in data and logic on how to actually succeed in TODAY’S market. There’s tons we can learn from the “founders” – but to really understand what’s going on today, we need to look at what’s working today.

Now to go out and do some drafting… πŸ˜‰

Andrew Shell

My number 1 problem is that I have a hard time coming up with content, and then when I put out what I think it really good content I don’t get much traffic. I post my links on Twitter (via buffer so it’s timed well) and I get some traffic, but it doesn’t convert to people signing up on my e-mail list. I’ve even tried buying traffic through StumbleUpon to some of my better posts and I didn’t get any signups.

    Matt Giovanisci

    I can tell you that StumbleUpon is the WORST for getting converting traffic. That much I know. Facebook ads and boosting posts works way better for me.

James Petzke

Looking forward to this Derek!

Jo Casey

I’d live to know the best way to promote a blog-it can be a bit soul destroying to be putting your heart & soul into creating content that gets disappointing traffic. Other than social media, there seems to be lots of little (not to mention potentially time consuming) ways to ‘promote’ said content but how do you break through & stop the promotion being lots in all the other ‘noise’?

    Derek Halpern

    Keep an eye out for the video tomorrow!


      Is the the drafting technique video?


      There’s a bunch of people in the comments here asking where the video referred to in this post can be seen. I’m adding my name to the list. πŸ™‚

      Prarinya K.

      Great, we’ll looking for your vid.

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