The Mystery of the Single Post That Attracts 46% of All My Google Traffic

Photo Credit: Ryan Milani

Over the past month Leaving Work Behind has attracted nearly ten thousand visitors from search engines. Of those ten thousand visitors, almost half entered the site via the same post — a relatively inconspicuous guide to finding your first freelance writing job.

I discovered a few weeks ago that the post was ranking #2 in Google for the term “freelance writing jobs”, which attracts in the region of eighteen thousand exact match searches every month. It’s a pretty popular keyword — certainly more popular than anything I’ve ever ranked for before. The post has stayed at #2 (excluding the occasional fluctuation) for over a month now.

The success of this post has raised all sorts of questions in my head. Why does it rank so high? How did it manage to rank for a keyword I wasn’t even targeting? Why haven’t other posts in which I have focused equally on onsite SEO not performed as well?

In this post I intend to discover the answer to those questions in the hope that I can duplicate the post’s success. Read on to find out whether I did!

Email Marketing Best Practices (My 5 Step Guide to a Successful Campaign)

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The internet marketing world is packed full of catchphrases that tend to annoy me.

One such catchphrase is, “The money is in the list!” It really bugs me — especially because I relate it to those internet marketers who create the kind of contrived email autoresponder series that I hate. When I first launched this blog back in June 2011 I made a promise to myself (and my as yet non-existent audience) to not go down that road.

Which brings me to the present day and my email list. In my time I have created three different email autoresponder series (two of which I have scrapped) and ten different lists. At the time of writing I have a total of 3,668 subscribers, which may not be a lot but it is enough to make me a good income.

With that in mind, in this post I want to share with you a five step guide to email marketing best practices — the process I have followed (through trial and error) to establish what I consider to be a successful email list.

How I Plan to Revolutionize My Online Business [In 3 Steps]

Photo Credit: Turkey Travel Planner

I arrived back from a week long vacation in Turkey on Wednesday. As per usual, my time away from my business was hugely inspiring and although I had an awesome time, I couldn’t wait to get back and start putting my new plans into action.

The causes of my inspiration this time around were two books: The 80/20 Principle and The 4-Hour Workweek. Reading those books led me to formulate a new plan for my ongoing business interests centred around three principles.

In this post I will name those three principles, explore how they have completely changed the way I think about my business, and reflect upon how I feel my business may develop in the coming months as a result.

Why Hobbies Make for Great Niche Sites (and How to Build One)


I got back from my vacation at 3am this morning so I am just trying to get through the day without falling asleep, but in the meantime I have an awesome guest post for you from one of my best online friends, Greg Ciotti. Enjoy!

Recently, as more and more smart folks have pointed out that Google is quite a bit different right now than in 2-3 years past, I find myself increasingly interested in niche sites.

Considering that I am already the full-time marketing guy at Help Scout, a B2B software startup, and the sole author of a blog approaching 30,000 newsletter subscribers, you could say that I don’t have much time left for many side projects on my lazy Sunday afternoons.

Anything I do spend time on, therefore, needs to produce a great return on time invested.

You might be surprised to hear that niche sites (or “authority sites” if you prefer a grander scale) are actually a great way to supplement your freelance (or full-time) income, as long as you avoid a few common mistakes that I think everyone has made at some point in their career.

From where I’m sitting, the single biggest issue is the confusion between keyword/traffic volume and purchase intent – in other words, the all too real fact that not all traffic is created equal.

This problem is typically alleviated by building a site focused on a single, profitable hobby.

Hobbies work well for niche sites for a variety of reasons, which I’m going to outline below.

7 Fatal Mistakes Freelancer Writers Make (That Have Nothing to Do With Writing)

Photo Credit: Adam Bowie

As a freelance writer, landing a job is just the first step. Once you have a job you must work to a high standard so that you (a) keep the job and (b) encourage the client to accept rates increases in the future and recommend you to others.

In my experience as both a freelance writer and someone who works with freelancers writers, the last thing on a client’s mind once they have hired you is the quality of your writing. The chances are that if you have got the job, the client already sees your writing ability as good enough — it is everything else about your service that is still alien to them.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d rather work with an average writer who provides an excellent overall service than an excellent writer who is difficult to work with. With that in mind, in this post I want to expose you to a collection of foibles that seem to be common amongst freelance writers. If you can avoid these then you will be very well placed to succeed in the world of freelance writing.