How to Get Website Traffic: A Q&A with Derek Halpern

Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching
MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. And this is Q&A Tuesday, but it’s a very
special Q&A Tuesday. You know why? BAM! I’ve got a guest here, and my guest is one
of my very close friends and someone who is just so smarty pants. You’re gonna love him, Mr. Derek Halpern. Hey, thanks for having me. You’re welcome! So Derek is the founder of an incredible site,, and he is known for his insanely practical advice that’s also backed
up by psychological research. In addition to his blog, which is read by
tens of thousands of people every month, he’s also got an incredible podcast on iTunes and
his own show called Social Triggers TV. So he is a busy guy. So, once again, I’m so pumped for you to
be here because we’re gonna do a question that we get asked a lot and I’m gonna read
it out loud right now and then Derek is gonna tap that A to that Q, which is kinda naughty
but y’all know what I mean. Alright, so here’s the question. Today’s question comes from Nirvana and
she writes: “Hi Marie. First of all, you rock. Your upbeat attitude is contagious and you
actually make me excited about marketing.” Woo hoo! “Here’s my question, for someone who is
just starting an online business, in my case health coaching for young busy women, what
are some key action steps I should take to generate traffic to my website? I’m not a fan of blogging, but if you tell
me I have to do it, I will oblige. Thank you so much Marie.” So that’s Nirvana’s question and, again,
Nirvana is asking, and I know you’re gonna answer that, but we get so many people that
write in about how do I generate more traffic to my website. So what do you think? You got some A’s for us? So I would imagine a lot of those people also
don’t wanna blog that much. So good news is, a lot of people when they
start thinking about a blog, they think they have to work for their blog as opposed to
letting their blog work for them and they think they have to slave over writing content
day in and day out. But when you’re first getting started building
traffic, you don’t really have to do that. Really? Yeah, all you have to do is maybe write one
or two articles a month and then promote the heck out of those articles. That’s all you’ve gotta do. And then people will start thinking like,
“What do you mean promote the heck out of these articles? Wouldn’t people get sick of those same articles?” Right. But when you’re first getting started, you
publish an article, it’ll get, let’s say, 100 readers. And what if that article is applicable to
one million readers? Right. Why should those other 999… I’m bad at math… Yeah. No, I get you. …people miss out on that article? Right. So that’s the first tip is to just write
less, promote more, and then you won’t get stressed out about blogging. I think that’s so interesting and I really,
really appreciate you saying that because I know, for me, when I first started out I
certainly fell into that trap. I wanted to write a lot and even though I
consider myself a writer, it was a really kind of heavy thing to do. And I love that framework of thinking about
you created this amazing piece of content, let’s get it out to as big of an audience
as possible. So it’s more about quality rather than quantity
is what I hear you saying. Yeah, and a lot of people will think, “Well,
is it too late to do that? Because there’s too many blogs out there.” And I just launched my site, Social Triggers,
and in about 13 months using that same exact strategy, I was able to attract 27,000 subscribers
by updating an average of 2.5 times a month. That’s why I love you, because you’re
smarty pants and you get it done. Ok, so that was an awesome tip. What else can we do to generate traffic when
we’re first starting out? So, the next tip is before you build an audience,
you need to know who you want sitting in the chairs. Ooh! That was a good one! And a lot of people don’t really understand
that, and to really nail that home I wanna just share a quick story. Yeah. So a few months ago I decided I wanted more
massage therapists to read my site, Social Triggers. I figured they needed tips about email marketing. So, what did I do? I wrote a story about a massage therapist,
hooked it into email marketing, and then I decided that I wanted to find more massage
therapists to read my site. What did I do? I found massage business communities, I reached
out to the people who were in control of those communities, and I said, “Hey, I’ve got
this great article that I believe your people would love. What do you think?” Turns out that I went viral in the massage
business communities. I got a ton of traffic, I had an email from
the editor in chief of a huge massage magazine, and I actually got offered a free massage
in, like, 42 states. That’s amazing! Yeah. So you’re gonna be a very relaxed guy in
addition to having lots of business. Unfortunately I didn’t bookmark those, so…
but when it takes it back… let’s take this back to health coaching. Yeah. So a lot of people when they wanna build their
blog, they’ll think, “Alright, I’m a health coach. Let me find other health coaches that blog
also and I’ll try to get featured on their site.” Right. But that’s kinda lazy and a little bit dumb
because that health coach is competition. Right. Why would they wanna feature someone who’s
competing with them? So instead, you wanna reach out to people
who you want sitting in your chairs. Right? So in the health coach example, you’d wanna
reach out to mommy bloggers or daddy bloggers or maybe even a fashion blogger. And what do you wanna tell them? You wanna say, “Hey…” let’s say you’re
reaching out to a fashion blogger. You could say, “Well, I love that dress. Here’s how to fit into that dress before
the summer.” Awesome. Now you’ve connected health to fashion. Fashion people will love it, they’re gonna
wanna feature you because it’s not competition. You’re helping their readers buy that dress
that they just promoted and you’re gonna be able to benefit. Another extra smart tip, you are just full
of them Derek. I love that one. Do we have anything else? Because you gave people… I mean, if they follow these two tips alone,
their traffic would skyrocket. But I know you, you always got something else. This is my favorite tip and I tell everyone
to do this tip and it’s so simple. People are always shocked that it works. When I give a presentation at a conference,
I had people come up to me after the presentation and were like, “Derek, I can’t believe
I never thought of that before.” Love stuff like that. So this tip is what I call The Drafting Technique. Now, before I tell you what that is, let me
just give you a little back story. In racing, like NASCAR racing or bicycle racing,
you’ll find that the person in first place is often trailed by the person in second place. They’re right on top of each other, you
think, “Oh my God, what if he hits a bump. He’s gonna crash.” Right. And so they’re so close. Why do they do that? Well, turns out the person in first place
is breaking air friction and that air friction creates a slip stream, which means the person
in second place can slip in behind that person and maintain the same speed while expending
less energy and less fuel. Right? Now what does this have to do with getting
traffic? Right? So what you do is, instead of finding someone
who has never talked about what you’d like to be featured for, find a blogger that has
never talked about that before, what you wanna do is you wanna reach out to someone who has
a history of covering what you want to be known for. So let’s say you’re a health coach again. Right. And let’s say you wanna be featured on a
fashion blog. Find a fashion blog that has given weight
loss advice in the past and reach out to them again with a follow up. And what you’re doing is you’re taking
advantage of what I call the link slip stream. They already have a history of linking it,
there’s no friction, linking to weight loss advice. Right. And now you have the ability to get featured
for the same thing. So incredibly smart and I remember watching
a particular presentation about PR and it was similar advice and I thought it was, again,
so, so wise. If someone covers a particular kind of story,
it doesn’t mean that, oh, they’re done with that. It actually means, oh, they’re more likely
to cover that again, which is good news for people like you and I. Yes. Exactly. Really, really smart. And I’ve got a bonus tip, actually. About 8 years ago John Stone went on his journey
from flab to fit and he documented every step of the way on his website. John Stone Fitness actually. And he took a picture of himself without his
shirt on when he was a really flabby guy and he documented what he ate, his workouts, and
he took a daily picture. And after about 3 months, as he started losing
weight, as he started getting fit, he started to blow up in the bodybuilding community. Why? Well, because people like to watch and join
in on other people who are going on journeys. And the reason why they like to do that is
because it makes them feel like they’re going on their own journey. So even though John Stone was getting fit,
they felt like they wanted to get fit. It was inspirational for them, so they wanted
to also join in and also get fit just like him. Right. And to really think about that, you could
think back to Forrest Gump when he started running across America and as he started running,
as he started going and made it halfway or whatever, and then people started joining
in with that trail that he was running on, then more people joined in, and more people
joined in. Before he knew it, he’s got an army of people
following him as he’s running across America. Right. The same can be done online. Now, you might think, “Well, aren’t these
weight loss stories a little bit overdone?” Not really, because people always need that
inspiration to keep losing weight. So, in the health coach situation, let’s
say you’re already extremely fit so you can’t go on that journey yourself. You could take one of your clients on that
journey, you could even offer one of your clients free health coaching in exchange for
ongoing feedback and progress that you can then publish on your site. So it’s a way to reenact that in today’s
times. Love it. Derek, you are so incredibly smart. I just wanna say this, Derek has given me
advice on my business and every time you give me a little piece of feedback and we implement
it, it always works and we always make more money and we always reach more people. So I really, really appreciate your insight
and thank you for A’ing the heck out of Nirvana’s Q. Thank you for having me. It was fun. Now Derek and I would love to hear from you. So you’ve got a little choice on this one,
there’s two challenges. Pick whichever one you want. The first one: if you want more traffic to
your website, you’ve gotta go out there, take a look at a blogger who has an audience
that you wanna reach, and send a simple email. It’ll take you two seconds, go send an email
to that blogger right now, then come back and let us know that you did it by leaving
a comment below. The other option is this: you might have some
ideas that you wanna share with us about traffic generation. Ideas, tips, strategies that you use that
have worked. As always, all the action is happening back
at, so go there and leave a comment now. If you like this video, subscribe and share
it with your friends. And if you want even more great resources
to have a business and life you love plus some personal insights from me that I only
share in email, get your butt over to and sign up for email updates. You’re gonna love them. Stay on your game and keep going for your
dreams. The world needs that special gift that only
you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll
see you next time on MarieTV.

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100 thoughts on “How to Get Website Traffic: A Q&A with Derek Halpern

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  29. Hi Marie! This is another interesting topic that you tackled on this video. I do agree that if you're just starting on online business they shouldn't pushed themselves on writing tons of articles, but lack of promoting their site. Blogging is not that easy, and there are some bloggers are just spinning some blogs that were posted already. So what that this mean? It means that you're lacking the quality and uniqueness of the blog. Just take a small amount of your time.

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  31. last segment is hilarious.  Thanks Marie for having Derek, I recently discovered his work and now I'm a HUGE fan of his

  32. Two of my favorite people, that I have never meet in person. Thanks again for the great video. I just sent out an email and made three phone calls to people that I have been wanting to reach out to. I did get them on the phone and we are now taking action togehter in business. Thanks again. 

  33. I haven't started my blog yet, but from what I read you have to blog many times a week for 6 months for Google to start ranking your blog high up. If you only blog 3 times a month but get tons of subscribers or visitors does that factor into Google rankings?

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  39. What is the best method for finding and sifting through various blog sites to find a good "partner" to feature your own posts?

  40. Marie, I LOVE this episode! REALLY great tips for my business! LOVE you guys! Can you tell me about rights? For example, if I wanted to dance to a popular song on my show (I'm planning it now), how do I do it, without infringing? Can I simply say "This is Michael Jackson's song __"? Thanks Marie!

  41. I thought of this based on something you said. Do you think it would help your mindset if you read a book as if you were interviewing the author the next day?

  42. I did write about 4 bloggers and I got 2 replies. not saying they would feature me, I didn't ask. but just a like or a bit of interest in my products. I sell fashion jewelry online. and want to know what exactly should I say? should I be direct and flat out ask to featured? or keep it subtle like I have and just introduce myself and what I do.
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