When I first started the Niche Pursuits podcast, I never considered reaching out to “big name” interviewees. I was green, but luckily already knew from previous networking some pretty interesting people that I go could interview for my show (such as Chris Guthrie and Pat Flynn).
However, Perrin and I have started to reach out a bit more lately to interview some more well known individuals such as Rand Fishkin from a couple of weeks ago.
Well, today is another one of those “big names”! We had the chance to interview Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com.
Neil is very well known for the products he's built (Kissmetrics, CrazyEgg, and others) and for the traffic strategies he's implemented on large websites such as TechCrunch.com and Amazon.com. When it comes to content marketing and traffic experts, Neil is right there near the top of the list.
So, I hope you enjoy the interview as we discuss his entrepreneurial background, traffic strategies, infographic strategies (that still work), and much more.
Neil Patel Interview
For the entire interview, please listen to the audio recording below. However, if want to quickly read over what was covered, I've written down the questions and answers in an abbreviated format below:
What is Neil's entrepreneurial background?
Neil started when he was roughly 16 years old. He started online because that is what he knew, and he wanted to make money.
Neil is now focusing most of his time on Kissmetrics. What kind of success is he having with Kissmetrics?
The software is doing very well. The site is getting over 600,000 visitors per month and the average customer is paying in the thousands of dollars per year for the product.
How did Neil found and fund Kissmetrics?
Hiten Shah and Neil Patel founded Kissmetrics together. They have also received several rounds of funding. The reason they wanted to get funding for this business rather than bootstrap the company was to grow it much faster. They felt like the life time value of the customer and growth potential made venture capital the best route to grow the business.
What business does Neil advise someone to get into that is just starting out?
You should go after your passion. In addition to passion you also need to be solving a problem. So, pick a market you are passionate about and solves a problem in a big enough market.
What are some of Neil's top traffic strategies?
Content marketing, social media, and SEO.
When starting out, pick the traffic strategy that you are best at; rather than focusing on all the tactics.
What are some content marketing strategies that people can implement today?
1. Blog on a consistent basis. Pick a schedule and stick with it (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc).
2. Write evergreen content
3. Make your content very detailed. Give away the farm, don't hold anything back.
4. Don't expect your content to promote itself. Find a list of 100 websites owners that write on similar topics that are not competitors. Then email them and ask them to Tweet about it (don't ask them to link to it). You should get about a 5 percent conversion rate.
Are links important, and where are the links coming from if you don't ask for them?
Yes, links are important.
But its difficult to get links by asking for them. So, by getting people to mention them on social media, you can then hope to get more natural links as more people see the content.
What types of people should you reach out?
Stick with your peer group for the most part.
How can someone that is just starting out use Infographics to grow their site?
First, its important to have a great design. You can find a good designer on Dribbble.com; and it will cost around $500 – $1000 for a great infographic.
Second, information is everything. You need to have great data through your own research or by hiring someone. The infographic should only have 5 or 6 main points; keep it simple.
Once your infographic is done it needs to be promoted. Put the infographic on your site. If using WordPress you can use the plugin called WP-Embed Code Generator. This will create an embed code that others can use to use the infographic on their site with a link back to yours.
Then go tweet about it and email contacts in your space to help promote.
This is one of the main strategies that Neil used to grow the Kissmetrics blog.
How long would it take someone just starting out to build a good sized audience using the info-graphic technique?
If you are blogging weekly, it will take you at least 6 months to build an audience.
Is Neil still using the outreach tactics you've mentioned on previous interviews and guides for link building?
Yes, it still works. Now Neil just tells people to try to reach out to 100 people, simply because most people get overwhelmed reaching out to 200 or more people.
How is content marketing for a large site like TechCrunch different than for a newer site?
For a bigger site, you don't need to do link building. Its actually easier for a larger site because you can just focus on fixing minor issues.
What are Neil's thoughts on Private Blog Networks?
He's not real familiar with them. He thinks Google will devalue the links once the domain expires.
Guest posts can be a great way to get quality links. If you can communicate with other existing writers on the site; you can eventually ask for an introduction to the editor and will be much more likely to get approved as a writer.
Where to Follow along with Neil?
Listen to the Podcast
If you enjoy the podcast, please feel free to stop by iTunes and leave a review here. Thanks!