World of Speakers E.38: Neil Patel | Build a thought leading blog


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World of Speakers E.38 Neil Patel  Build a thought leading blog

Ryan Foland speaks with Neil Patel, the founder or co-founder of Quicksprout, Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.

Ryan and Neil talk about how to get noticed by audiences and grow your business through content marketing. Specifically, how building a blog can position you as a thought leader and help you attract more speaking opportunities.



If you enjoy this interview we’d be honoured if you reviewed us on iTunes. Just follow this link.

Listen to this podcast to find out:

  1. Why you need to start sharing content to reach new markets.
  2. How to write a blog: the format, words, and what to write about.
  3. How many times you should write a week and why.
  4. What modern audiences are looking for, and how you can deliver.
  5. Why aiming to really help people helps you in the long run.


Neil Patel: Hey everyone, it's Neil Patel and I'm here on the World of Speakers podcast teaching you how to build a blog and get more speaking gigs from it.

Ryan Foland: Hello everybody, we are back with another episode.

I'm super excited because this is someone who I get emails from all the time: every day, every other day, and they're the type of emails that I click and open and read, and enjoy, and implement.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am excited to have Neil Patel. He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital and what he does, he helps you grow your traffic.

Now, not the type of traffic that's on a 405 with cars, but the digital traffic that leads to all kinds of opportunities based on what it is that you're doing.

Neil, welcome to the show. How are you today?

NP: I'm good, thanks for having me.

RF: You're traveling, where in the world are you right now?

NP: I'm in Seattle. Technically I am not traveling, this is home for me.

RF: Okay, it sounds good. Let's jump right into it.

For those people who don't know who you are, I want them to get to know you.

Where did this all start and how did you become such the expert when it comes to driving traffic?

What did that journey look like? Were you born with a computer in your hand, or what?

NP: I had a computer at an early age, I think I was like around 11 or 12 when I got my first computer, maybe a bit younger.

In general, I have always been a computer nerd, I've had one for ages.

What ended up happening is when I was 16, I was trying to find a job. I was using the internet. I couldn't find one because I didn't have a college degree, nor did I have the prerequisites required to get a high-paying job.

I decided to create a job site. When you're searching for a job you can't find one. I was like, "Let me just create one, because I can't find one."

I created one, technically I paid some people to help me out to create one, it wasn't much — like $1,000.

From there, I didn't get the results, the site went up and then I am like, "Cool, now I'm not making money, what happens next?"

And I am like, "Oh, it's because no one comes to the site."

I paid a few marketing firms with the money I saved up from working at a theme park, got ripped off, learned it on my own, and then from there I got good at it and I'm like,

"Wait, I still don't know how to make money even though I got myself more traffic. Why don't I just get traffic to other people's sites?"

RF: And there we go. And Neil Patel Digital was born.

NP: Yes.

RF: When it comes to your comfort level, and being in front of people, you have kind of like in film, you talk about being behind the camera and in front of the camera, do you feel like it really started with you being behind that computer?

Because I know now you've sort of morphed into in front of the computer as well. I mean, I guess in front of the computer on the screen of the computer.

Have you always been a behind the scenes type or have you always been an in front of the scenes type?

NP: It's more that I do whatever it takes to get the sale.

When we started off, my first company, which was a real company, an ad agency, we didn't have money to spend on paid ads and stuff like that.

We were like, "Okay, we're going to have to figure it out on our own. Maybe I should blog."

And then from there, I was like, "Oh, maybe I should speak at conferences."

I was trying all this grassroots stuff to grow the business. And it worked.

The point I'm getting at is, I ended up becoming the face not because I wanted to or I thought it was cool, it was more that I did whatever it took to generate revenue.

RF: Were you an outgoing kid when you were younger?

NP: Not too much. I wasn't shy or anything, but I was in between.

RF: Did you play any sports?

NP: I did, I played basketball, I played baseball.

RF: Okay, and do you find that your maybe competitive nature, and this sort of resourcefulness, is that something that is like ingrained in you?

Because what I'm hearing is that it's almost as though you see this challenge in front of you and you're like, "Okay, well how do we figure that out?"

And then that leads to the next, and that leads to the next.

Is this just like your personality to figure out anything that needs to happen to make things work?

NP: Yes, it's always been my personality.

RF: That seems very sort of conducive to this online environment when things are constantly changing. Everything is always changing!

NP: That's correct, everything always changes, you just have to keep pushing forward, stay on top of things and make sure you are doing more than the competition.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on staying on top of things - World of Speakers Podcast (Navy) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: How would you say, as far as your research and your development goes, versus sharing what's happening?

Is it a constant process or do you sort of re-evaluate every so often? Or are you just right on the curve, always finding what's happening next?

NP: Yeah, I am right on the curve, trying to always find out what's happening next, and always researching, reading. It's just constantly pushing forward.

RF: When it comes to spreading this information that you have, do you prefer the blogging, or do you prefer the speaking, or do you prefer the videos?

I know you're big in all those and you've got sort of this potpourri approach to it.

Is there any one of these that you enjoy the most?

NP: Not really, I would say I prefer content marketing overall, if I really had to pick. It's not by much. Writing content. It's because I started with that so I am the most used to it.

But I really do enjoy the videos, I enjoy the podcasting, I enjoy pretty much doing a combination of everything.

RF: Do you think that in today's environment you have to be that well-rounded person who can be in front of a video, be up on stage, also be good at the content creation?

Is that sort of the silver bullet, it is having multiple ways you're comfortable with delivering your message?

NP: Yes, when it comes to messaging and getting it out there, you have to have multiple ways because the market is evolving, where some people want to see the video and they want to see the steps.

Some people just want to read because it's faster for them to digest.

Some people all they want is an audio so that they can listen while they're driving to work.

You've got to adapt with the times and the people, so it's not really what you want, you have to look at more so what the market wants, and just adapt and go with it.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on adapting to times and people - World of Speakers Podcast (Blue) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: Do you have any brothers or sisters?

NP: One sister.

RF: And is she anywhere in the same type of field that you are?

NP: Yes, she deals with all the finance, and she runs support for one of our companies, Crazy Egg, Her husband is my co-founder.

RF: Very cool, so it's within the family then, that's cool.

All right, so let's talk about some of the practical tips and pieces of advice that you could give to people that maybe you learned along the way.

Or that you wish you learned along the way, or that you teach people today when it comes to the tactical presentation of being on stage, being in front of the camera, the presentation concept of delivering your message.

NP: You're asking what have I learned by being on stage, is there a specific way of presenting, or...?

RF: Yes, all of the above.

Essentially, if you were to talk with somebody who is wanting to leverage their ability to speak about their idea, to drive traffic to what they're doing, to be in videos, the presentation format of their choice...

What are some of the tactical pieces of advice that you can give people who are looking to up their presentation game, their communication, the way that they're getting their message out there?

Anything that you do or that works for you, that you would share and that you do share with people?

NP: Yeah, number one, whatever advice or message that you're trying to get across or push across, it has to benefit the person listening. It shouldn't just be about you, it should be about helping others first and power others.

When you help them out, eventually that can relate to business or cause business indirectly, but don't just go and pitch—first, try to help other people. That's the key.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on helping others - World of Speakers Podcast (Black) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

It doesn't matter if you're smooth at speaking, if you're amazing, whether you have grammar errors.

As long as you help people out first, you'll be better off, that really is key.

The second thing is when you help people out, make sure it's actionable, short and to the point.

If someone can take action after they're done, you've done a good job. If it's not actionable, you haven't done a good job.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on giving actionable help - World of Speakers Podcast (Navy) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: Okay, let's dive into those two a little bit.

So with this helping people, how do you figure out what people need help with?

Do you use some sort of digital magic? Is it just common sense?

How do you figure out what it is that people need help with so you can deliver that?

NP:  You think about what your business is.

Let's say mine is I own digital marketing agency and people come to me because they want to learn how to get more traffic.

Instead of selling them on traffic, I first teach them how they can do it, whether they want to do it on their own or they want to pay me, at least I am educating.

And then from there people want to do it on their own if they can. People who want to pay me, they are like,

"Oh well, Neil knows this stuff, we can see it in his content, his videos, his audios."

And the way you figure out is you look at your business, you look at your ideal customers, you can survey them, talk to them, call them, email them and find out,

"Hey, what did they need help with within that industry?"

RF: Now, when it comes to this educational platform, the school of thought that sounds like you're in is, basically give everything, as much as you can away so that you're empowering these people but at the same time that lets them know that you know it and when it comes time to hire someone, you come top to mind.

Talk about that as a strategy.

I know some people talk about, "You give just enough to get interest", but it sounds like you're really just laying it all out there.

NP: Well, let me ask you a question—if you are to buy sports shoes, what kind of shoes would you buy?

RF: Well, let's see sports shoes, I recently bought some racquetball shoes, they were Adidas.

NP: Okay. And if you want to get a credit card, which company would you go call up first?

RF: Trick question, because I got in trouble with that a long time ago and so I don't have credit cards. But I would probably go to a Credit Union just to make myself feel safer.

NP: Okay. And then, if you wanted fast food, what's the first brand that comes to mind?

RF: Unfortunately, McDonald's, because I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to their straight up cheeseburgers and I don't like it...but I do like them.

NP: The point I am trying to make is if you think about at least 2 out of the 3 brands you stated for the 3 questions I asked were huge companies.

Now Adidas, yes they do sell you, but they try to create amazing content information, same with Nike, and a lot of other players.

Their brand is everywhere.

Same with these credit card companies, fast food companies, their brands are everywhere.

The point I'm trying to make is—instead of just selling people, get your brand out there.

The more people that see it, eventually the easier it's going to be for you to generate some income from these people in the long run when you're ready to sell them.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on branding - World of Speakers Podcast (Blue-Grey) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: Okay, so really, it's brand awareness more than it is an education with information.

It's just education might happen to be how you're getting your brand out there, but then you end up becoming this whole top of mind when it comes to your service, right?

NP: Exactly.

RF: Is that process a way that also helps you to land these speaking gigs at conferences, and get on podcasts?

Is it that the same brand awareness translates to more opportunities to get your message out, almost like a positive feedback loop, right?

NP: Yeah, it pretty much is.

People follow the same strategy, it will work for them, they have to be persistent at it, they can't expect results right away, but you give it a year or two and you can do quite well.

RF: I like that. Let's talk about these action items.

Now, I've watched a ton your videos, and they are very action-oriented.

Do you have a magic formula for your action items?

Is it within a certain amount of time?

Do you always give 3 tips?

What kind of structure do you use?

Or is there a structure when it comes to actionability?

NP: No, there's no structure.

I just try to keep it short and to the point, make sure it's actionable enough for them to be like, "Oh cool, I know what I'm going to get out of this."

I know how to move forward and make sure that people can do something that they're happy with, they're getting results with, and they're going to tell others about it.

You'll know when you do it, because you will be like, "Oh, if I listen to this I can take action on it," and if you can't, then you're kind of shit out of luck.

RF: I dig it.

I was watching a video of yours recently where you're talking about some of the algorithm changes and that led me down the storm of other videos you had going on.

One thing that really resonated with me was, you were talking about the way you deliver material, and you were kind of acting it out saying,

"If I was explaining this information to you right now, would you be excited?"

You were like, "No, I'm actually excited about it, and if you're not excited about it, nobody's going to care about it!"

And it was in reference to getting more engagement to help beat these algorithms.

How important is the actual delivery, because you can have actionable items in a monotone voice, it's very boring and not engaging and you seem to be quite engaging and seem to be genuinely excited about what you're doing.

NP: My business partner, Ethan, I created all my software companies with him, he isn't the most charismatic person when he speaks, but the information is just amazing.

People care more about the information than they do about how charismatic you are.

Sure, he's not as good as Gary Vaynerchuk, or me,  Gary is much better than I am.

But because the information is good, not only do people listen, but they take action.

Don't worry if you're not the most presentable or charismatic person.

Just focus on your information first—and as you create more content, more speeches, more videos, you'll start getting more comfortable and you'll see huge shift and change, it just takes time and you have to be patient.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on focusing on information - World of Speakers Podcast (Blue) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: I like that.

This idea of almost spending a few years before you start to see traction, I don't know if people have lost that as a mentality, because we are in this sort of, "Now, now, now."

Everything that we see and read shows that by doing these certain things you can sort of grow and explode, but I like that back to the basics that it's just a matter of repetition and actually creating and providing great content, and over time, you end up with this brand awareness where people might levitate towards you.

NP: Exactly.

RF: When it comes to the medium of, I guess, speaking digitally, do you dabble much into the live stream aspects, or for the most part do you like the more edited video, clean background, dynamic cutting in and out?

From a medium standpoint of digital, what are some of the platforms and outputs that you prefer when it comes to speaking through the computer?

NP: Yeah, I don't really worry about that, I let editors and other people worry about that, I'm cool with whatever.

I think all the channels are great and amazing, you should leverage as many of them as possible.

Whatever works for you, that's what you should just use.

Some people are better at audio, some people are better at videos, some people are better at text, don't worry about it, just go do you and if it works, good.

RF: I like this. I can see it visually. Do you have a book out yet?

NP: I do. I wrote one a while ago, a long time ago, it's called “Hustle”.

RF: Okay.

I can see a new book that is just like a nice, sort of decent, thick book and each page just has a very practical simple advice, you can blast through it.

Chapter 1 — Deliver high-value content..

you flip through a couple of pages.

Next, chapter 2— Make actionable items.

Number 3— find what it is that you're good at and do it.

I love the straightforwardness to it.

I want to talk about, I guess the merging of the worlds between your blog content and the structure that you have, and how you might structure your talks.

For those people who have not read any of Neil's articles—you read them, and you just keep reading them and then they just keep going and then you don't realize that you're still reading them; and there's more information.

The way that you structure them, very staccato-like, lots of white space, lots of research-backed information. Do you translate that same structure to some of the talks that you give?

NP: Not necessarily.

I just go with the flow when I talk and I just make sure, "Hey, here are the 5 or 6 main points that I want to hit at."

Those are the key takeaways and I emphasize them, and I make sure I focus on them.

RF: Okay, so with your blog content, it seems to be a bit structured as in they sometimes have similar length, there is sort of the staccatoness to them, they are research backed.

I'm asking if your blogs are structured in a certain way and you were saying that your speeches are more off the cuff or you're just sort of talking about them?

NP: The blog is structured in a very specific way.

The way around my blog posts is I come up with an idea for the post first off. And that's random.

Then I write an introduction, then I write a conclusion summarizing what I want to cover.

Then I bullet out the body, and then I write the body and I complete it, and then I have my post.

RF: Okay, and that's a really cool structure.

To repeat, you create the idea, it could be random or it just comes to you.

You write the intro and the conclusion and then you go back to bullet point and then you build up the body.

NP: Correct.

RF: Do you have a similar structure like that when you're organizing a talk that you're giving at a conference or something? Or is it just more of a free flow?

NP: More of a free flow. I kind of just dive in and create a conversation with the audience.

RF: Yeah. How do you find that works with people on the stage, as opposed to the more structured format? Is it just that that works for you?

NP: Yes.

RF: What I think that's nice about that is there's not as much preparation. You obviously have to know your information, but it comes across a lot more fluid I would think.

NP: Exactly.

It comes out more fluid, you create a conversation, the audience is more engaged, and they like it.

Think of the speech, instead of like, "Here is what I'm going to present," it's more so, "Here are the main points I want to get across, and let me just have a conversation with people."

RF: I like that, and that seems to reduce the pressure when it comes to getting things together, it's structured, and it has more rigidity on stage and things such as that.

When it comes to driving traffic, do you find that the speaking element of your business and the video element—how big of a role is that in driving traffic versus some more technical SEO or is it this sort of weird wide web where they are all actually connected together?

NP: Yeah, they're all connected together.

We could take the Rule of 7 in marketing.

Someone sees you 7x and then they're much more likely to convert, that's how I look at the business.

RF: Okay, so it doesn't matter where those 7 areas are or is it just whether it's a billboard or whether this? Because I've heard that before, but kind of digital transition?

NP: It could be a billboard, it could be a YouTube video, it could be a TV commercial, it could be a banner ad, it could be a mixture of everything.

It could be them meeting you in person, literally, just 7x. I'm a strong believer in that.

RF: Okay, and then when it's 14 is it twice as much?

And then when it's 21x is it 3x as much?

Do you find a correlation like that, is it just mass exposure or is there too much exposure to give people?

NP: No, I don't think there's too much exposure, but after a while like there's not really an increase in value.  

RF: So there are diminishing returns of exposure after a certain point?

NP: Correct.

RF: Okay.

With your ability to drive traffic, I'm assuming that you're using your own tools to get yourself the ability to create more of these exposures.

I'd be curious to know if you work in particular with other speakers or individuals who are trying to build a speaking business and how it relates to driving more digital traffic?

Your speaking is a very offline kind of component, but I am curious to know some actionable items for speakers in order to drive more traffic to them, to then essentially help them get more gigs, get more exposure and start taking down those 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1's.

NP: I haven't worked with too many speakers, but I know a lot of speakers.

The model is simple—when you're giving a speech, tell people to go to your website, to subscribe, give them a cool carrot and a landing page where they can opt-in for the presentation, see more people on your email list.

What I've found is, when you're doing things with regards to building a brand, the best way to build a brand and get the most traffic tends to be text-based content, because Google crawls it and it really gets the most traffic in the long run.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on branding and content - World of Speakers Podcast (Navy) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: I wonder if taking speeches and transcribing them—is there value in adding transcriptions to your talks?

Imagine just a video versus a video that's also transcribed, does that give Google more things to crawl on?

NP: The transcriptions aren't as good, people don't read them the same as they read blog content.

You need to have text-based blog content, that's not video transcriptions or audio transcriptions.

RF: So really, text-based blogs—would that translate to things such as social media posts as well?

Do you send all traffic back to your blog?

NP: I do, and then I try to monetize from there.

RF: Okay, so the social media platforms are essentially sending people to the blog.

Is the blog then the top of the funnel for you and everything sort of pans out from there?

NP: Well, there are things that I can do to get more, a blog is top of the funnel, but so is speaking, so is social media, but I try to divert all the traffic back to the blog and then from the blog I try to monetize.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on blogging and monetizing - World of Speakers Podcast (Blue-Grey) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: How important is it to have a blog?

NP: Very important. I would never create a business without a blog.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on why blog is important in business - World of Speakers Podcast (Black) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: Never create a business without a blog.

Okay, so for individuals who are speaking that don't have a blog—they need a blog?

NP: Yes.

RF: And for those individuals who maybe don't know where to start with a blog, what are some of the basic actionable items?

Is a blog a blog? It doesn't matter whether you're maybe a speaker or a consultant or this, is it just the sole fact of having a blog is the first step?

NP: Yeah, I think having a blog is just the first step.

RF: Okay. So, when we're talking about Google and crawling, how much are you looking at how the blog is being read or crawled versus not?

Are you creating content in mind for SEO or is it that you're just creating content, the fact that you're creating content you have a better chance with SEO?

NP: You're creating content, and its assuming it's being read and people like it, because they google what's in your user metrics, time on type, bounce rate, assuming your content is really good, then it helps with SEO.

RF: Is there any particular type of a format or structure within a blog that makes it more consumable?

Because your blogs are pretty long.

NP: The format that works really well is you break your content into paragraphs, you use images, your paragraphs shouldn't be more than 5 or 6 lines.

Use the words "you and I" within your blog posts because they create a conversation.

Use subheadings to break up paragraphs as well so that that way it's easier to skim.

Use conclusion, label it "a conclusion" and even ask a question at the end of your conclusion so that way you can get more comments and engagement.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on how to format your blog - World of Speakers Podcast (Grey) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: Okay, is there a certain target for a word count or does that not matter?

NP: It does. They say word counts of over 2,000 tend to rank higher on page 1 of Google. Try to make blog posts that are over 2,000 words.

RF: Okay, that's a pretty decent sized blog.

And then, breaking them up into paragraphs with images and subheaders.

When you say conclusion, is it just like an actual subheading that says "conclusion" or you are just including that into it?

NP: No, the conclusion with the subheading and then you just wrap it up in a paragraph or two.

RF: And what's the rationale for calling out the conclusion?

NP: What we found is people skim when they read.

So they first skim and then, many times they go to the bottom and then they go back up, so that's why you want to do that.

RF: Gotcha.

Okay, so if a speaker were to come to you and say,

"Neil, I've got this blog, I listen to what you're saying but I still want to know how I can help my digital presence get me offline gigs."

If you had to make up a secret sauce for speakers to be able to get more gigs, assuming that maybe getting more traffic would be a start to that. Is there kind of a 101 on that for people who are listening, to be able to start and be like,

"Okay, I got it, I got my what?"

How do we make the transition from a digital presence to the stage?

NP: I get most of my speaking gigs from my blog, so there are a few things.

One, you create a speakers page.

Two, you have a contact page that highlights how you speak, those two things really help with getting more speaking gigs.

And then you'll get emails and then from there, you can push out and like just tell people like,

"Hey, here's what I do, here are some of my speeches, here is how much I charge".

We also added that to my LinkedIn bio, let people know that I speak, that's been a great way to also get more speaking gigs, so we found that those strategies have been effective.

RF: Alright, and then once you have that set up, is it really just a matter of turning on the juice or just bringing more traffic to it?

And that's it so you just set up this foundation and then once you have, driving more traffic to it?

NP: Correct, yes.

RF: With all these algorithmic changes and the fact they're going to continue to change, I know that one algorithm buster is basically paying for ads.

What is your strategy on ad spending and basically is there still really a chance to get enough traction organically or to really bust out if you are going from zero and want to be a hero.

Do you really have to invest in these different ad platforms?

NP: Yes, you have to invest in these ad platforms.

You can test them out, and in the long run you're going to need more and more of it but in the short run, you don't have to do it.

When you're starting out like it's not needed, it just helps give you a kickstart but in the long run, as you're growing and making more you should invest in them for sure.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on investing in ad - World of Speakers Podcast (Blue) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

RF: Okay. Once people have gotten up on stage and they've basically given their talk and they might have a video or they might have some sort of digital exhaust from it, do you have any advice on how to best maximize talks or speeches that have been given?

Let's say you go and give a speech at a conference and you're able to record it, you're able to have it, is that something that you advertise or market online?

Do you have a process or a system to take basically a speech or some sort of visual and then create the digital exhaust after you're done with it?

NP: I don't have a process, but you can just upload it, put it on YouTube, share it and as more people see it, you're also going to get more heads up for gigs as well.

RF: Okay, do you have a speaker's reel?

NP: I do not. I've never created one.

I don't even send people my speaking videos, I just get a head up because of the blog and stuff.

I've never ever tried creating a speaker's reel, I don't know where to get one created or anything like that. I don't have any idea.

RF: Okay, well I mean, what's working for you is still working and I think that's funny because there are so many people that put so much emphasis on the fact that you need this killer speaker's reel, but you're obviously crushing it in a whole new way.

You probably have enough inbound requests to where you sort of have your pick and choice, correct?

NP: Correct.

RF: How much are you outbound seeking opportunities to speak versus inbound that's coming knocking on your door?

NP: I've never tried outbound.

RF: Alright, I love this.

This is what people are probably laughing at because a lot of people are outbound.

NP: And they charge for speaking gigs when they do outbound?

RF: Outbound would be like applying for different opportunities or reaching out to organizations.

NP: But do you get paid when you do outbound?

RF: Yeah, it depends, I don't think that there are as many paid gigs, at least at the higher paying level and when speakers are trying to get their reputation together a lot of times it's that "catch 22" right, when somebody is saying, "I want to pay you to speak, where have you spoken?"

But people are trying to get their careers in speaking going by doing outbound and applying for calls for speakers. You're right, it's not like there's going to be a big $10K $20K, $30K honorarium, but for people who are trying to get their foot into the door of the speaking industry, I believe a lot of people are outwardly seeking these opportunities in order to get themselves into a spot where it becomes inbound.

NP: Got it. Cool.

RF: Yeah. Maybe we can dig in for a little bit more on about how the blog creates these speaking opportunities?

How frequently should somebody be blogging?

NP: At least 3 times a week.

RF: 3 times a week, okay.

Are you of the mindset that you sort of build them and almost sandbag them and just get this sort of plethora of them and then drip them out?

Do you batch them together or are you just constantly writing, constantly producing these things?

NP: I am constantly writing, constantly producing.

I don't do batches but I do daily, so technically, I just write daily.

RF: Okay, and are there any specifics within that?

Because I know that the content creation part of the blog for a lot of people is difficult, because of the time and sort of getting into that habit.

Are there any specific habits that you use?

For example, I heard that Jerry Seinfeld writes every day and he has a dedicated calendar that he just puts a big red X on.

And the concept is that he doesn't want to break the chain.

Because if you have 17 days in a row with a bunch of X's and then you don't do it on the 18th day, then there's this pressure to put an X on the calendar.

Is there anything you do to hold yourself accountable for creating so much content?

NP: No, I just do it.

RF: I love that. So you just do it.

When it comes to your preferred method of creating these, are you just straight typing, do you do any transcriptions, do you talk it out and then transcribe it and then edit it?

NP: No, I just write it, put it into Wordpress. Someone else edits it.

RF: Very cool.

Okay, so blogging 3 times a week—is more better or is there still some sort of a frequency that is a magic number where you don't want to overwhelm people?

NP: 3 times a week is a good start, and then go from there.

RF: Okay, so blogging 7 times a week would be that much better?

NP: Yes.

RF: Okay.

When you have a blog and it's published on your Wordpress site, what are some of the basic stuff to get it outside of that?

Because I have a feeling a lot of people are writing but not everybody is reading that.

If you were to say the top 3 ways to get people to get more exposure to their blog, what would that be and how would they achieve that?

NP: Top 3 ways to get more exposure to your blog are:

1. Share your articles on the social web, you already have social profiles.

2. Anyone who you link out to, email them, ask them to share your article on the social web, that's another great way.

3. One easy, simple way to get exposure is to pick the right topics. 8 out of 10 people would read your headline, 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your content.

Ryan Foland with Neil Patel - Quote on getting blog traffic - World of Speakers Podcast (Navy) _ Powered by SpeakerHub

When you're writing a blog post, use tools like where you put in keywords and they will tell you what's hot, what's not, what's worked in the past, and that will all give you ideas, steer you in the direction of what you should or shouldn't do.

RF: So the headliner is a huge part of that, you were saying that 8 out of 10 people read the headliner, but only 2 out of 10 read your actual article?

NP: Correct.

RF: And BuzzSumo, are there any other resources?

Because I know BuzzSumo is out there but it can get expensive if you're past that sort of free trial?

Any other resources or is that sort of the gold standard?

NP: It's the gold standard, you can use Twitter search which is useful.

SEMrush has a free version which is also good.

RF: Okay, very cool.

Alright, so I love the fact that this is as simple as it gets—just write every day, create three blogs a week, make sure that anybody that you're mentioning you're asking them to share, as well as you share, putting enough time and focus on your headliners to make sure that people actually read past the headliners.

And then just rinse and repeat, and wait for people to call you up to speak, right?

NP: You got it.

RF: I love this simple matter-of-fact approach to it.

When it comes to your speaking and your sort of desire to speak more, do you have a certain target of speeches that you want to give every year or is it again, just sort of whatever comes up and if it makes sense, it makes sense and you go for it?

NP: Yeah, if it makes sense I just go for it.

I've never really tried to do paid speaking. I do it, don't get me wrong I want to do more of it, but it just comes and you just do more of it.

RF: Okay. You've heard it there, ladies and gentlemen, it's as simple as just doing it.

So, Neil, I love the straightforward approach to this.

If somebody was going to check out your blog, I'm assuming they just go to Neil

NP: Yes.

RF: Simple, check it out, find a headliner that resonates, click on it, read it and then whether or not you want to comment and hire Neil to come speak on your stage—he doesn't care, because he's just going to continue creating content, right?

NP: Pretty much [laughs].

RF: Alright Neil, I appreciate the time and I like this.

This is motivation for me to get my blogging game on, because I'm definitely not blogging 3 days a week, but I think that at this point, I'm just going to start writing every day.

NP: Cool, best of luck.

RF: Alright, thanks, Neil.

NP: Bye.


A bit about World of Speakers

World of Speakers is a bi-weekly podcast that helps people find their own voice, and teaches them how to use their voice to develop a speaking business.

We cover topics like: what works versus what doesn't, ideas on how to give memorable presentations, speaking tips, and ideas on how to build a speaking business.

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