Hey guys and girls, so this is a bonus lesson on my course on the topic of list building and I have an awesome guest with me today. It's Bryan Harris. Hi Bryan! Hey, thanks for having me, Tim. I've been following Bryan's work for quite a few years and I think in my personal opinion, he's one of the best experts on the topic of list building. He has shared a lot of knowledge on the topic on his blog for free. So you can go and read a lot of that. And he also has a premium course on list building, so you might want to check it out if you want to consume content faster. Okay, so Bryan, let's start from some kind of credibility. Tell us about your own email list. How long it took you to get there and how do you think, if you were to start your list today knowing everything that you know today, how faster would you build it to the same number? Oh, I don't know about the second part of that but the first part…
We started, the company started in April of 2013, started the email list in January of 2014. And we're now four years or so later, and our list is right at 200,000 unique subscribers on our list. So it took about four years to get there is right at 200,000. This is pretty huge. Okay, so now let's talk about some strategies. I like to generally break things into groups. And I think that email list building strategies could be distributed into two groups: the ones that you do on your website, like pop-ups, Hello bars, and stuff; and the one that you do outside your website. For example, I see a lot of people do joint webinars and then share subscribers. So let's talk about the on-site list building strategies first. Like, I'm sure you have tried pretty much all of them so tell us about your experience. What are your most favorite ones, what are your least favorite ones and why? Yeah, I mean you were just talking to Noah recently, and the thing I learned from him early on he was instrumental in me getting started.
One of the things he taught me is do more of what works. So when it comes to on-site optimization which is a lot of what… a lot of list building strategies are masqueraded as just optimizing your website so that work. And that's obviously if you have traffic to your site, you're more established and what… not totally the first place to start. So what I do is going to Google Analytics and find what are your most popular pages like, what pages have traffic coming to them now. ‘Cause we can optimize a page that has three visitors come into it all day long and it's not really gonna move the needle at all. So typically what you see as your top five most popular pages is your home page and your top three or four blog posts that are typically SEO dwell.
So those are your three or four most popular blog… popular pages. So what we do is have two different types of optimization techniques for those. Number one for the home page is something called an “upside-down home page.” So you go to VideoFort.com or MichaelHyatt.com or GoinsWriter.com those will be three examples of that and see examples of it. You can also just Google “upside-down home page,” and there's a guest post I wrote on the Leadpages blog, you can read to get a full detailed version of it and some templates and whatnot.
But basically the concept is on a typical home page, you come to someone's home page, and there's just stuff everywhere. There's category bars, and there's social icons, and there's “sign up for the free trial,” and here's all our features. It's like the first time.. this is the first time me and you ever, like, talked on a video before, Tim. It'd be like the first time we ever had a conversation and I try to tell you my entire life story. Like, that's really awkward. If the first time someone comes to your site, you try to just tell them everything about you. So what we've done with upside-down home page is just flip that upside-down. We put all of your links, and all the navigation, and all the social stuff at the bottom of the page but give people a single clear call-to-action at the top. And tell them a story that introduces you but mostly tells them how you can help them and give them an opt-in on that home page they can do…
They can download in order to join your email list. So you can see some examples of that but just by taking… ‘Cause what typically I see on pages you have all the stuff at the top, usually there's 50 call-to-actions at the top of the page there's all this different things they can do. And then a blog post or some like call-to-action at the bottom. So just flip that upside-down and make the first interaction with you really fluid and really easy with a single clear thing to do. If you can't go to your home page and in less than five seconds know the single clear thing you want someone to do, you're losing conversions, you're losing leads you could potentially sell to.
Second thing is going to your most popular blog post and creating content upgrades which is just a lead magnet for that specific post. So instead of having your universal lead magnet you have all over the site, on the most visited blog post, if you're ranking really high for some keyword and you don't have a lead magnet specifically made for that, go and make one. Put it inside of the blog post in the intro and at the end. And if you won't put up a time to exit and pop-up on that page that shows before someone goes to leave and introduces that lead magnet to them, we've seen those two things alone were working with people. Those are the first things we do on any site that gets over just a few thousand visits on the site per month.
And that… that'll take the on site conversion from 1-2% to 8-10% we've seen regularly with people. Yeah, this is great, I totally support these two strategies. Do you think you can apply the upside-down home page to, for example, company blocks? I know it works perfectly for kind of personal blogs, for one-man-army blogs. But what about company blogs, for example, for us, at Ahrefs blog? And the same other question about… Okay, let me ask another question later. What about the upside-down home page for companies? I'm pulling up your website now, y'all do a pretty good job, so let's just start with this. Сompany, individual, there's no difference – you're marketing from a person to another person. So whether you're marketing B2B or B2C, you're trying to get individuals to do an action. So in that regard, it's no different whether you're Brian Dean selling a course with a one-man army, or your Ahrefs selling a software with an entire company.
At the end of the day what you want is SEOers to sign up for your tool or sign up for your course. This is the core actions, the same at end of the day, doesn't matter whether you're Brian or whether you're Ahrefs. So you all do a pretty good job – I'm just looking at the site right now – above the fold call-to-action “Start seven-day trial for seven dollars.” That's not gonna optimize for email conversions, you're optimizing for signups, right. You're trying to get a sell right off the bat at the top of the page.
So that's not terrible but you're not gonna… you would have more email signups that you could then… can convert into a trial, if you went with an email approach and though it to be something you could test, or maybe you guys have already tested. After that when I'm scrolling down the page, the next thing I see is the tools you get with Ahrefs. So a little sample size a bunch of numbers bragging on the tool and how powerful it is… Yeah, but that's a home page. Click on the blog link at the top. No, I'm not talking about blog I'm talking about the home page. Okay, okay, so you're talking about the whole… Okay. The number one traffic page on your site I bet is Ahrefs.com Of course, yeah. Obviously people link internally to pages as well but almost every site you go to unless you're have…
In SEO world it can… it can vary a little bit if you get some really good… like Jeff Goins, for instance, he's a friend of mine, that teaches… he's a single-guy kind of blog. But if you go to, like, “how to write a book,” he writes number one for that So obviously that gets more traffic than any other page but number two is his home page. So for you guys it can be similar, maybe it's three or four, but the home page itself is really important to optimize. So it doesn't matter whether it's a company that gets into some nuance of design that you can just have a designer, design end up in a way that fits y'all's design criteria. But what you want to do is have someone who's never heard of Ahrefs before, someone that's never heard of you before has come to the site for the first time, they're not clicking that orange button and sign up. It's just not happening.
A returned person might, someone that's heard of you before, has been in the industry some… But a brand new person – they're not clicking the button there just not They're not going to pay you $7 the first time they've ever heard of you. But they will give you their email address in exchange for a piece of information that will help them. And then you can indoctrinate them into that. So it could be worth using something like right message to know whether it's some of these first-time or they've been there multiple times and adjust that call to action accordingly.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. About content upgrades, I'm actually a big advocate of the strategy. I used to have a plugin that did content upgrades for WordPress blogs. But the general concern I have about it ,and this is a tricky question that I was also asking to Noah in our interview, is that basically you offer people a lead magnet. Yeah, it is like 100% relevant to the article that they landed on and that they're reading So there's a high chance that they will grab it. I know a lot of people for whom the conversions of content upgrades go, like, through the roof. But how do keep people engaged from there? Because they got the freebie, they got what they wanted, they don't really expect any more emails from you.
Well, first of all, if they don't expect any more emails from you, you're doing the content upgrade wrong. So one of the things you give them when they download the upgrade is… Hey, let's just take an example. I'm just gonna go to your blog real quick and pick out a recent post. So “How to find and fix broken links to reclaim valuable link juice,” I suppose you have posted the other day. So if you're gonna… Now, I wouldn't recommend creating the content upgrade when you launch the post. When you see it's getting you traffic and it's starting to rank and then go back and create one. That's the better way to do, 'cause the only people signing up for it when you first launch it with people already on your list which can be a content strategy. But if you're doing it just to collect new email subscribers, wait till you know it's ranking and then go back and create it.
So let's just say that post is ranking. If you were to gonna create a lead magnet, maybe you'd create a 30-minute tutorial where Tim actually goes over the Ahrefs site and finds… or goes over someone else's site and finds broken links. That's something I know 'cause I've been through multiple courses on SEO, we're not great at SEO. And I always hear people write these posts and tell me about it but no one ever does it and lets me watch it. And it's a pain in the butt to do broken link building because you have to find them and that's like a needle in a haystack. So I know for that topic, that's a pain point of mine, if I were to read that post and it said “Hey, download a 30-minute tutorial of me actually going out and finding three broken links; you can see how I do it; it's just ugly, it's not edited, you just watch me do it,” – I would watch the entire thing! And if also in that pop-up where I enter my email address you say, “And also we're gonna send you tips on how to continue your broken link building and build an entire SEO strategy every week.
So enter your email below and you get both of those things.” So you packaged your newsletter along with the downloadable as the thing they're signing up for. If they don't know you're signing up for the newsletter, then you're tricking them into signing up for your newsletter. When we do it, we do both. They get the downloadable and they get weekly tips on how to continue doing the thing they're opting in for. So it's all about just framing it for the person correctly and setting their expectations. And the second part of that would be what do you do to keep people engaged. That's a… that's a list question in general, it's not specific to content upgrades. People say… Yeah, but… we'll get to it later, yeah. I love the tip that you should actually set an expectation that people are signing up for your email list and there…
That they're about to get updates. So basically you're using content upgrade as the first upgrade, the first cool thing that you send them and from there you continue, right? Yeah, and it's not just telling them. But here's the deal: every week we're spending 20-30-40 hours writing really good content. That's good stuff! It's a bonus it's a… Like, we look at our newsletter as a product that's free. It's a freemium price, that's not even freemium, it's just a free product, right. So it's like a $1,000 course or a $99 a month Ahrefs' software service or whatever the price is but this is free. So this is a product you're actually getting. So I think positioning it as that to people through your copy is really important. This isn't just some newsletter around, this is the Ahrefs' exclusive newsletter where we share behind-the-scenes stuff of what we're doing and what's working. You get that plus you get a 30-minute tutorial video. Do you want in on that? Like, it's just…
Not just telling them but positioning it correctly to them where they want to be on it after reading that one – sent us a copy. I love that advice, totally love it. And, like, you frame it super-awesome! Okay, so let's get to the off-site strategies. Tell us what you tried and what you enjoyed and what you didn't enjoy. So the number one thing we'd like to do for off-site is partnerships. And partnerships can look at a lot of different ways. A lot of people use Facebook Ads… but that hasn't been something that's been successful for us. We've been trying for three years to get Facebook Ads to work, we've had moderate success, And other people would do great with it.
But the thing that's worked well for us, and that's all I can speak to, it's what's worked well for us and consistently for clients of ours are partnerships. So there's several different type of partnerships, you've mentioned partner webinars – we found that to be really effective in almost every industry, especially software. Cause they're very underused in the software industry, they're used a ton in the information marketing world but many other industries they're not at all.
So when you think about this, this is another lesson Noah taught me, I'm just gonna reverb… just reiterate everything Noah taught me… But number one in trying to market a product is have a really good product. Like, focus on that first. Second, when you go to try to market that product, find audiences, find people who have audiences of your potential customer. And give them a reason to talk about you. Okay, so what is a reason I could get, like, would Ahrefs' audience be potential customers for me? Absolutely! Would my audience be potential customers for you? Absolutely! So if it's me, and I'm thinking “Alright, I want to grow my list, Ahrefs has got a big audience a super popular blog. How can I get them to tell their audience about me?” Cause it, like… let's just dream for a minute, let's say you guys tomorrow send an email out with a link to set “Click this link and join Bryan's newsletter it's amazing!” I would get two to three-four-five thousand subscribers from that.
Now, can I get y'all to send that email? Probably not. But how can I get y'all to do something that promoted me in order for me to grow my list and get more leads so that I could sell people? So one way is by doing a partner webinar. Like, team-up and… just think about a partner webinar is you just teaching someone else's audience. So obviously you guys that are watching this video right now are interested in list building. I talk about list building – how about me and Ahrefs have a webinar about list building, or how about this, how about I do an interview with Tim in a free course that he's releasing and talk about list building which is what we're doing right now. So we'll pick up two or three hundred subscribers from this interview and that was intentional. I'm gonna give a few call-to-actions throughout there so it'll be natural that will lead you back to my stuff so that you can sign up for our newsletter and be on our list and be a lead for us.
So partner webinars are a good way to do that. Another partnership type that's really popular – guest post. That is a partnership: you're partnering with someone else to write on their site. I'll look at… because I come from a legion, list building world not SEO world, I look at the guest posting, if done correctly, that's a great list building event that can then be optimized for SEO if you do that correctly with a strategic link place. And a lot of people that do guest posting come from the world of “I want to write a guest post on Ahrefs blog so I can get a link that points back to a post.” I'm like: “Just do both!” Because if you do a guest post curricula, if you use something called “the expanded guest post” which is – just google “expand a guest post,” it'll be a blog post that comes up on our site, you can read about it, – you actually create a content upgrade in that post.
So let's just paint a scenario real quick. Tim, you invite me to the Ahrefs blog to write a post about list building, you guys want to rank for “list building,” incredibly competitive keyword, you want to buy someone in to write on that topic. I published the post on your site, I link back maybe to an article on my site somewhere, I create a content upgrade on your site. It's like, “Hey, come and join this one-hour… and watch this one-hour masterclass me and Tim did, just enter email to get it.” And then… it's a partnership, it's two ways, it has to benefit both of us, so I actually email my list about that post.
So I emailed 200,000 people about the post, send them back to Ahrefs site. They pick-up a couple on our signups for it, they include my content upgrade on their post. So I pick up 400 or 500 subscribers from it and then long-term they'll eventually rank for that keyword. So it'll be… A partnership has to be beneficial on both sides. So guest poster a great way, partner webinars are another way. One thing that that's not used a ton is a lead magnet swap. This is something we found to be very effective.
And a lead magnet swap is win like this… Let's just take the guest post example: instead of writing the guest post for Ahrefs, what if they handed us one of their most popular lead magnets? Maybe one yells lead magnet is a free trial, maybe typically do a 30-day free trial. I don't know if you do trials or not, there's as an example. But let's say you decided to give us a 90-day free trial, and we took one of our premium products And turned like we have an entry-level course on list building that's 300 dollars and we gave that to your audience. And we both emailed each other's lists about it. If we promoted that well to our list and just sent one to two emails to our list we would both pick up hundreds and hundreds of customers from that. So taking one of your most popular lead magnet or maybe even an entry-level product turning it free and exchanging it with someone that has an audience that's relative to you. The whole game of partnerships is find people who have audiences that you want to get in front of and give them a reason to talk about you.
You have to keep the partners best interest in place. So another variation we've done of this are our partner tools. This is something that's much more advanced, you need an engineering team to be able to do it. But we create every month… we create a new free tool and get a partner to sponsor that and then launch the tool. So as an example, we created a tool called List Goal. If you're interested in building your list or want to make sure your list is being helped that you go to ListGoal.com and sign up for – it's free forever. We partnered up with ConvertKit to build the tool and launch the tool with ConvertKit and we've had… I don't know the number right of the second… We've had about 12,000 people sign up for it in the first 45 days of the tool. So we built the tool, we partnered with another company, they put their name on it we share the leads and we both just promote the crap out of it.
We promote it in a big event in the first 30 days and we… we put it in all over popular blog posts and email sequences, and onboarding sequences of whatnot. And we get a thousand or so new subscribers every month from that. So we've created I think seven different tools that we partnered with people on and we do that every month. So that's our… that's the partnership we're completely focused on, don't wanna do any other type of partnerships right now, it's just partner tools because they work really well.
It's actually kind of hard to do, there's not a lot of competition on them. So I would encourage you to experiment with a few things. I'm giving you four ideas. So your tools will be the most difficult; lead magnet swap would be one of the easier ones; guest post and partner webinars – that'll be four partnership strategies and there's lots of other variations as well. That's something for us we have found to be cheap to almost free to do, extremely effective. You get an immediate result from it and it's something you can do over and over again. Last example I'll leave you with is ConvertKit, our partner with ListGoal. Convertkit in, let's see… I think it was 2016, Nathan started the year right around, I think it was, like, $10,000 to $20,000 MRR. Over the course of 2016 they did 142 partner webinars. 142! That's one, basically, every other day or a little faster than that I guess, or no… Yeah, one every two days to three days, I did a partner webinar.
And they went from $10,000 MMR to now they just passed 1 million dollar a month MMR. So 1 million dollars recurring revenue every month. And what they did to get there was a partner webinar, 142 partner webinars in one year. The guy that led that was Darrell Vesterfelt and just did it over and over and over and over and over again. Made a system out of it and just kept doing what works. So I would encourage you to experiment with a couple partnerships find the one that works for you and just keep doing it. Wow, 100 webinars! Let me just one follow-up question on that. Because I think I tried to offer, like, a few people that have some audience to do a webinar about Ahrefs.
And I think I was turned down. So probably I was doing something wrong and probably that something wrong was about being a win-win for everyone. So like, for example, if I do a webinar about Ahrefs for your list, what would make you want to do it? Like, what's your win there? Well, one thing I'll say off the bat a lot of software companies really suck at partnerships.
They're like… I had someone, I won't name names, at a software company come to me and say they would give me a free year of their software, the premium software, to do a partner webinar and to promote it with their audience. But I'll need to get 1,500 people to register for it. And I started doing the math and that was $600. $600 for the full year of the program, like, why would I ever do that, that makes no sense at all.
Why I don't know just do a webinar to my own list for my own product and make $20,000 versus making $600 to promote your product?! Like, a little it just makes no sense at all. So I would look at… The first thing I would do for you, Tim, this one thing I would encourage anyone the first time they're doing something, is go talk to someone who's done that before. So, I would say, go talk to Daryl, go talk to Nathan, and talk them about partner webinars for software companies, that'd be step number one.
And always do that, try to find a coach that is the ultimate fast-forward button on any business. It's find someone who's done it pay them money or get really close to them so they'll tell you, give you advice on how to do it. That just speeds up everything. So it'll be number one. Number two would be, yeah, you have to make it a win for them. So like your perfect partner is Brian Dean, it's like SEO-SEO, or Matthew Barby, or some of these, like Tommy Griffith, any of these SEO guys that are teaching the infospace, probably other software companies as well but those guys are prime.
Because they don't have a competing product at all but they have, like, your perfect audience. So the question is not how you pitch to me, it's how you pitch to Brian. How you pitch to Brian is what does Brian want? First of all, I would say partner webinars is one of the bigger ask that you can make of someone. So if the first time you ever talk to someone, you're asking them for something, you've gone wrong. So you have to have an existing relationship with someone to do especially an advanced partnership. So I look at… Let's actually rewind all the way to the beginning of the partnership conversation.
I would make a list of 100 people. So we talked about what audiences do you want to get in front of, like, you have a reason to talk about you. First, you need to start with who are 100 people you want to work with? Like in a dream world you could click… you could wave your magic wand, you could have 100 people doing webinars or guest post or whatever variation the partnership you want to do. Who would they be? Who would those people be? Spend three hours writing them down. It's probably… your gonna get through that number thirty or forty pretty easily but by the time you get to, like, number sixty, you're really scratching your head.
But spend the time to figure out who they are and then divide that list into three sections: People you know – so who are people you've had a conversation with, at least webcam or in person, ideally in person, who have you talked to before. Who do you kind of know – so I put us probably in the kind-of-know category, like, we've talked, we emailed, like, this probably brings our relationship a little further but would probably still be in the kind-of-know category. And then people you don't know – people you kind of know but maybe you never talked to before, you just kind of follow from a distance. And for the log, just throw out the first two sections, get rid of the don't-know people, get rid of the kind-of-know people and just focus on the people you know. For me, I have about nine close friends, probably say, five really close friends in this industry like, they kind of do similar stuff to me. I'm going blurry here, I don'n know…
So, anytime I go to pitch something like the ListGoal, a tool we created, like, I know Nathan, he slept at my house before. So, like, I know him, we text probably once a month or every other week or something to kind of keep in touch with each other, a few other friends that are in the same boat. Like, when I'm going to do a partnership, I start with them. That is easy. So I start with people I know and have a really close relationship with. That lets you kind of figure out your pitch a little bit and figure out what works. Cause you're not gonna… they're not gonna really say no to you if you just make it be a half way. They'll do it because they like you.
And that's what you want to start with, start with that easy low-hanging fruit. For people that are maybe in a little earlier on or don't have quite the brand recognition of you guys, Tim, start with people that are in the same demographic of you. So if you have 500 subscribers on your list, don't pitch someone with 100,000 subscribers unless you know them well. Stick with people that are at your level or maybe one rung above you. If you don't have anyone you know at all, start with people you kind of know, maybe you're in a course of someone, maybe you're in the drip community for the ESP that you have. You're like… you kind of see them around a little bit but you never really talked to them before. Find somebody that's in that same category. So first start with people you know and make it be a win for them. And then have a long-term plan for the people you kind of know and people that you don't know at all.
So people I don't know at all, I'll literally start by sharing a success I've had from using their product. So for you guys, Tim, if I were trying to work, like, to form a tool partnership with you guys, I kind of know you, so I probably start with talking with you, just start a conversation if we haven't talked in a year. And I'd probably share some win I've had from your tool, I'm a subscriber of Ahrefs, and I found this really cool technique recently that I'm sure every SEOer knows that I've never known and I was kind of stumbled upon. I would just start by sharing that with you and what it's done for me. Like, I found – every SEOer watching this is gonna laugh at me – but I found when I run my site through Ahrefs and I just go… I think it's called Best by Links, on the left sidebar, you know this is, like, every SEOer should be pitching that. Cause every site I've ever been to outside of one has massive issues with this.
Their number one post that has the most links ranks for nothing. Go track, go to the biggest site you know and go plug their thing in Ahrefs and look for Best by links. Like, I found one, I'll mention his name because we're friends with, Michael Hyatt, they have like 2,500 links to michaelhyatt.com/platform, I think it is and somebody can fact-check me by going to Ahrefs but in that ballpark. 2,500 links to that page, everybody knows how hard it is. I think it's, 2,500 unique domains, I could be wrong on that, is a lot, and they rank for nothing.
So literally, if you're trying to optimize that site, you could write new content, you don't need to build links, you don't even need to write stuff. You just need to go find a post you have for “platform,” probably, I'm guessing, 301 redirect, or just take that information and copy and paste it and put it on the “platform” page. And you will rank for “platform” pretty quickly as long as it's halfway-related content. We started doing that on our site. Well, I meant we're gonna stop writing new blog post let's just go back and…
We've got… we got post with hundreds of links to it that rank for nothing so let's go back and just make those rank. So if I were trying to pitch you, I would just share that. Like, “Tim, dude, I use y'all's tool I think this is the best feature in the entire tool for established websites, ‘cuz none of them know what their most the link to pages are and almost none of the pages rank for stuff.” Easiest thing to ever do for SEO. So I would start with just sharing and then start the conversation. You're gonna ask what I'm not to, I'm gonna ask what you're up to. And then through that I'll share in some natural form like we just did that we're doing tool partnerships.
And I found with that kind of ask for a tool partnership, people to usually just ask, some king of… So what they're doing is like, “Man, I'd love to do one of those with you.” – “Cool let's go do it.” For a partner webinar you have to know what the win is for your partner. So for Brian, for instance, money probably not gonna be the pitch for him, like, it probably isn't. But what he does do, is he does every year, Brian… I'm talking about Brian Dean of Backlinko.com, if anybody that's listening doesn't know I'm talking about. What Brian does once a year, he does this exhaustive… Moz does this but there's isn't as exhaustive as Brian's. He does, like, he analyzes – I think that last year it was a million or ten million pages – and has the ranking factor study on it.
Moz did one with, like, 10,000. Brian did one with a million, I think last year maybe went to ten million, I could be wrong with that. But I know he teams up with SEMrush on that. I don't know if he teams up with y'all on that. Yeah, he teams up with us as well. Alright, good. So, like, I would go and be like how can we give you more data, how can we make your stuff better? That's what he wants, he wants really good content. How could we give you… Could we give every customer that buys your course a year of our product or something? I would find a way, to find some unique way to give Brian what he wants which is… He wants more customers but it is a number one driver.
And that's gonna be… that's gonna come out of conversations with them you have to talk to humans and have conversations with them. Another just category for a more established business is your all your customers. Like, people in the people-you-know category – you might not know their names but they know you, and they pay you $100 to $200 or $300 a month for your service. Like, who are your existing customers? Go talk to them, be like, “Hey, you use Ahrefs, you have an audience that's related to ours, we'd love to team up into a partnership with you. We'll give you money and we'll give you free Ahrefs for life if you get certain benchmarks or something. And activate total wins for them – you get bunch of new customers. So it comes down to you have conversations with people, figure out what they want and give them that. A lot of great advice! I'm glad I don't have to take notes because we're recording this. You even shared an SEO tip in a video about list building so it's all…
I would want to ask you, like, 20 more questions on all this… Yeah it's a good topic but we're running out of time. So we have one last question to cover and this is the question that we started discussing before about keeping your list engaged. Because you did the upside-down homepage, you did the content upgrades, you swept the the audience, you swept the lead magnets, you did all that stuff. Like, how do… Again, the issue is that you're using all these different methods to put people on your list. Some downloaded your freebie, some saw your upside-down welcome page, some came from a joint webinar with someone. How do you, like, make your list engaged while not putting a lot of your time there? Because, like, if you start segmenting every person who came from it can take ages. Like what is your advice here? So think about the entire, I guess the almost the entirety of your business, like, your customer acquisition channels in three phases. You attract leads, that's what we've been talking about list building, that's what this entire sections about. Then you have to teach and build a relationship with them.
You're never gonna get some… I won't say never because this does happen. But the conversion percentages are really low. If a random dude walks up off the street and says, “Hey, what do you do?” – it's like, “Oh, I help people get more customers.” “Okay, cool, have a good day.” Like, it very rarely goes from “I just met you for the first time ever I'm gonna give you seven dollars a month.” Which is what's on y'all's home page. That practically never happens the first visit.
So first you have to attract them and you have to capture them as a lead. So you can actually have a conversation with them because someone comes to your side meet you in person whatever. And you don't have a way to talk to them anymore? They're not coming back, they're gonna forget you exist. You are the center of your world and in your business, like, you think about it all day.
I think about it when we're talking and then I kind of forget you exist and then randomly remember you, like, maybe once a month. Maybe, if you're lucky. But everybody else, like, encounters you and then leave. So you have to attract them and capture them. Second thing you have to do is teach them and primarily build a relationship with them. That's what y'all do really well with… on your blog is you build a relationship about teaching. And then the third piece is monetizing. Then you can actually make money from someone. Once you've attracted them, you have a relationship with them, you can solve a problem for them. They're obviously on your list, so they want their problem solved giving more traffic via SEO. And now you can actually monetize them. So what we're talking about specifically is how do you teach them to a relationship with someone.
So just in life how do you do it? Like, I have friends that I keep up with and friends that I don't keep up with. Like, I have a friend Amy Collins, she was the best… one of the groomsmen in my wedding. She was a friend I grew up with for a long time, so she's standing on my side in our wedding or whatever. And I wish our relationship was still the strong as it was but it's not. Like, I moved away, we live seven hours away but I text her probably once a month. If I wanted that relationship to be stronger you know what I would do? I would text her more often. I would pick up the phone and talk to her. So how do you build a relationship with anyone? How do you have a better marriage? You talk to your wife more, you talk to your husband more, you share more stuff. Like, if you want your relationship with anyone to go away, just stop talking to him – it'll go away.
And then you'll see me year from now, and you try to pick up but it will never be the same if you don't talk to them. Like, we have some friends we went to church with forever and they've moved away. They were one of our closest friends for the last eight years and that relationships just over. I mean not completely over but it's never gonna be like it was. We're not gonna see each other two or three times a week, we just won't. Like, it's just not happening anymore and you have to be fine with that. So, on the business side, how do you build a relationship with someone is the question. They've joined the list, they've had enough interest and this is where you have to be psychologically. Someone had enough interest to say, “Please, email me more.” Think about that: who wants more email? No one! But this person at least for that one point in time wanted you to email them. So they have a lot of interest in what you're doing. Now, what you have to do is just continue to build the relationship with them by teaching them and by helping them.
So what we do, we used to do what most people do which is… We would just write kind of one-off blog post so we'd publish every week. We'd pick a new whatever topic, honestly whatever topic I was interested in I would write about it and I would publish it. And there was not a lot of rhyme or reason to it but if it sounded cool and it sounded topical I just wrote and published it. I think there's a lot of merit in that at different stages of business. However, what we do now is, and you asked about this and our prep questions, we tell a story. We don't tell our story, no one cares about your story. What people care about is their story. They care about themselves, what the problem is and how you can fix it and make their life better, that's what they care about.
So what we do is we divide up… we used to do every month, now we do two months at a time. So eight weeks we do a series. And we'll pick a topic that people are interested in right now for this month, this being filmed. We're doing email… oh no, we're doing sales funnels. So we're picking the aim of the track teach and monetize we're doing the aim section right now. We usually pick one of the topics, one of those big topics, and then pick one subtopic of that and just talk about that for eight weeks.
So we have, like, week one we always do this, week two we always do this, and all the way through week eight. We have a specific plan where we produce content for those people. And the only thing that goes up publicly on the blog for that is week eight we publish a blog post. But the other seven weeks is all private stuff on the email list. You only get it if you own an email list. And we launched a tool in that section, we write a blog post about it, we do some email series, we do a live challenge. So if like for this month, I think it's week six, we do our live challenges. And our live challenge is just like, “Hey, we've been talking about sales funnels for the last month. And I know everybody just liking that, it's been fun, you may be sick of the topic Well, I'm not going to talk about it anymore.
We're going to do a webinar tomorrow, we're not going to be selling anything but on the webinar tomorrow I'm gonna make a sales funnel from scratch while you watch. So for Ahrefs, “Tomorrow I'm gonna show you how to get those posts on your site that have a bunch of links to them, I'm gonna show you how to get them to actually rank for stuff. Cause they are the easiest thing ever to rank, no one even tracks that.” I've literally never seen an SEO person talk about that but I don't camp out on the SEO blog, so someone probably has.
But in my layman research, I've never seen one talked about that. So tomorrow we're gonna do that I'm gonna break down our own blog tell you where we suck, where we have totally missed the boat, and we're going to fix it while you watch it. People love that, it's awesome and it's great content to include in the blog post so to publish in a few weeks. So we just have an eight-week schedule, each week is kind of… templated out, we know the type of content to produce, and we just write it. So we do series on a topic that ends in an epic blog post that we can rank for SEO and have traffic long term.
So we just have a content plan that serves the list and teaches them to build a relationship with them. That's what you get to focus on. Amazing! Thank you, Bryan that was super- awesome I'm sure people are now overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge And I'm sure many people will watch it two times. At least, I think I am going to watch this again to actually make notes of the things I could do to grow our email list and make it better. So thank you, it was awesome,thanks. Thanks Tim..