I flopped around the Internet for years, learning the ropes and learning how to write. If you count posting on internet list-serves, I’ve been writing online since 1999, and I started my first blog in 2003. Oh how time flies!

In 2014 I had a great year, with my websites getting millions of page views and almost two-million unique visits.

This traffic may seem small compared to, say Vox Media or the Washington Post. Or it may seem like a lot of traffic if you are just starting off.

There’s a difference between your sites’ traffic and a mega-site’s traffic.

Let’s say you’re in fitness and you write an article for a fitness site that does more views in a couple of days than I do in an entire year.

That site is the place to be. Well, it’s a great place to write if you’re the corporate overlord. It’s not a great place to write if you have your own brand and don’t want to insert links to products you might not believe in.

Or maybe you write for Men’s Health. You pretend that the cover models are 100% all-natty-brah so that testosterone boosters can be sold to teenagers. No thanks!

Why not be your own brand?

I am my own brand. People who come to my sites go there for one reason – to read what I write.

I also earn money when I endorse a product. If I sell an eBook or affiliate market a product, the money goes into my pocket.

There’s nothing magical about what I do. In fact, if you are in the fitness industry, you could blow away my traffic as people love reading fitness articles.

Hint: The three most-common New Year’s resolutions concern health/fitness, making money, and relationships/getting laid.

Write about those topics and watch your audience grow.

Political articles are especially popular. If I wrote about socio-political matters, my traffic would increase by tenfold.

My traffic isn’t to make me look cool. It’s to prove that, yes, you can do whatever you want on the Internet.

When “writer x” loses his job at a magazine or mega-blog, he loses his audience.

One “writer” for a Gawker site lost her job. She had to start a Tumblr site, as she had no idea how to create a webpage. After begging for freelance work for several weeks, she was able to land another job as a corporate slave making barely above minimum wage.

I will never lose my audience.

These stats emphasize why you should write under your own name rather than pitch articles.

Choose yourself.

If you do pitch an article to a mainstream organization to obtain social proof, make sure you have your own web presence.

  • Step 1: Sell out to get your name out there.
  • Step 2. Have a website so when people read your articles at Mega Corp Dot Com, they’ll follow you to your home.
  • Step 3. You never have to sell out again!

The end game is for you to become your own brand.

You want people coming to a website for one reason only – because YOU are the main event.

You can be a one-man operation and still have millions of visitors to your websites.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

40 Replies to “How to Get a Million Visitors to Your Website: Part 1”

  1. It’s very cool.

    I floundered around for years too, and I don’t know why it took me so long to fully understand some of these basic principles. But that’s life I guess, you can read the books or the articles but often it takes actually fucking up to learn it properly.

    Congratulations on your success so far Mike, here’s to hoping for a lot more to come!

  2. Interesting article, Mike.

    How much roughly do you spend in Vietnam to live a comfortable life?

    I remember back when I was in Thailand for a few months, it wasn’t very much…Although I was training Muay Thai in the mountains…

  3. I knew that you have been writing online for a long time but I had no idea you started back in ’99.

    I would be interested in hearing how the topics you have written about have changed over the years. One of the biggest obstacles I have noticed is figuring out what to focus on. I keep trying different things and learn that some things I just don’t enjoy writing about.

    1. I used to post on fitness message boards. Then I wrote about law. I even used to write about cigars. Your interests will change, evolve, and sometimes devolve. Just keep at it.

  4. Great post Mike, I can’t get enough data on this stuff, especially from succesful sites. Seems like the keys for you in 2014 were number of posts published (300+ is insane) and your twitter presence. I cracked 100k last year, this year I’ve got my sites set on 500k, definitely some things to think about here.

    As for said Gawker writer, I actually feel sorry for these girls, first then they’re brainwashed by institutions then they’re thrown up on the front lines of the culture wars to take insane amounts of abuse and compromise all standards of journalism for minimum wage.

    They grind out posts in their virtual sweatshops for 3 years tops, probably have a breakdown every 3 months and end up getting canned, replaced by a newer model and having nothing to show for it but a tarnished reputation and a battered ego. By the time they see they’ve been used it’s too late. For the Nick Denton’s of the world, with their $300,000,000 net worth its about nothing but money. If this were the 1950’s he would be closeted and his site would be a proud purveyor of family values.

  5. Inspiring as usual Mike, really makes you think its all about integrity, reputation and having something worth saying that can help people.

    I’ve found recently focusing less on the fact I want to earn and more on how I can solve problems people have based on my experience had changed my mindset a great deal. There’s no question I have those ‘passive income’ day dreams like everyone else but I need to solve peoples problems with my experience and integrity if I want to be making it rain so to speak

  6. Mike
    I’m a Scorpio man and I think ideas and writing are like war-5% do all the killing and the other 95% hide behind cover. That’s just life.

  7. Mike, I discovered Danger and Play about a year ago. Your site really gave me a kick in the ass and got me out of a slump. I’ve derived a good amount of value from your writing and podcasts. It made me examine the way I thought. Sometimes I’d agree, sometimes not, but I’m grateful that it challenged some of my assumptions and preconceived notions.

    I’m glad to see you are starting to travel, and live abroad. It definitely helps expand the mind, and gives you a different perspective on a lot of things.

    If you ever plans to travel down south, specifically Buenos Aires give me a shout, I’d be happy show you around. You can take my email from the comment form and contact me whenever.

    PS – I’m using the same template for a site I’ve been redesigning. Your site looks good!

  8. Mike

    I must be doing something so incredibly wrong it might just be record setting. I was writing for other fitness blogs and getting a lot of attention initially (about 4 years ago), so I decided to “become my own brand” — so far right on track with your blog post. But, despite better and better content, as well as what I would call “revolutionary” discoveries that have been confirmed by MANY recent scientific studies some 5-7 years after I put them into practice, my traffic just languishes. It was never big (in the 100’s per day) but now I can’t even generate that.

    I sure hope you post more soon –for the last year or more, I feel like every marketing effort I make has the OPPOSITE effect in terms of creating more buzz and interest. I know what I have to say is worth hearing — but after finding your blog I am more sure than ever that I have no fucking clue how to make people want to hear it.

    looking forward to learning more from you — I’ll be catching up on your prior stuff while anxiously awaiting future posts on this topic. Thanks.

    1. Jon, I googled your name and the site that came up looks horrible. It looks very scammy actually. You need to give it a makeover.

      I also had to dig to find your blog. This is what your blog URL looks like.

      Who will remember that?

      http://eetfit.com/eets-blog.html

      OK, enough free advice. Get to work on a redesign (you can do it yourself using Thesis or Genesis). You may even consider buying a new domain and doing a rebrand.

      1. Mike

        thanks for the feedback — unexpected but much appreciated. Someday I hope to figure out a message that science actually (overwhelmingly) supports almost the exact opposite of what you’ve been taught for weight loss and fitness that doesn’t appear scammy — that’s been my albatross for sure.

        You never would know I had a successful sales/marketing career in the corporate world before EET — but I did. Those skills certainly have not translated online.

        Definitely looking to do a reboot of some sort – first digging deep to study and try to learn the many things I clearly don’t know about success online– which is how I found you actually. First step getting out of the hole is to stop digging, right? Thanks again.

          1. Amazon ran some tests and every time a person has to click, you lose 50% of your readers. That’s probably not exactly true for a site, but it is true that intermediate pages are bad for a lot of reasons and will cost you users.

      2. Mike you write great articles. One thing I always notice about you tho is you have a YUGE heart and always want to make other people better too. In my opinion thats why I believe your prosperity will have no end. I agree, his website too confusing and as a reader I would feel it all to be a hoax

  9. Hi mike, you are totally right and a living proof that having your own brand is very important.

    Based on the fact that D&P traffic rised in 2014 it’s logical that Fit-Juice ‘s traffic would rise because as i can see D&P has direct links to fj.So even if you didn’t post much there its traffic rised. Or did fit juice grew on its own?

    Additionally, you started making money from your website(to fully live by) in 2014. That’s about 15 years after you started online or 11 after starting your first blog.
    I mean this is not so encouraging for someone who wants to enter in the online business. However it depends how “serious” you were in the beginning of your blogging.

    1. I never tried making money online until recently. I’ve always had something to say and always been able to build an audience, though. Guys who want to start generic sites with “life hack” tips and recycled / copied fitness content are going to have real problems building an audience let alone making money.

      1. Sure you might not have tried to monetize your site but i think your 10+ year experience made it possible to 1) first get so much traffic and 2) be able to fully live from your site.

        Do you think it would be possible to do the same on the beginning? I guess you know 100x more stuff now comparing to 1 year after you started.

        All content is recycled. Fitness advice, marketing advice…everything written is recycled and kind of “copied”. The only unique content is personal experiences.

        1. No, not everything is copied. Go look at Fit Juice. Those are all juices I’ve made personally. Every recipe is 100% me.

          Does that mean no one else has made those same juices? Of course not. Many people will make the same discoveries.

          When I do adopt something others have written, I also give credit. For example, “my” state control exercises are based on the NLP book.

          Damian, I clicked on your site. You have a post about 3 muscle building foods. That is fucking lazy. End of story.

          It should be “33 Foods” with pictures of you cooking the foods and your actual recipes and be 5,000 words at least.

          When someone clicks on that, sees it talks about the power of meat, eggs, and fish…Why would they stay?

          That is generic content that adds nothing new to the discussion.

          Here is what I would tell you and everyone else who starts a blog and can’t built an audience. Stop being fucking lazy and derivative. Raise your standards.

          Think, write with passion, and speak from the heart.

          Add to ideas rather than copy. Yes, eggs are great. Everyone knows this. Saying eggs are great is nothing.

          Now do you cook eggs in coconut oil with curry powder on top of them? Well prove it. Post your pictures.

          That is how you go from a generic derivative copycat to YOU.

          1. Did you read my comment mike? I said that the only unique content is that which comes from personal experiences! So yes if you experimented alone for hours with juice recipes then your recipes are unique. However i am sure you have read other people’s recipes and tried them so some of yours originated from others ideas. Just like their ideas came from someone else.

            “It should be “33 Foods” with pictures of you cooking the foods and your actual recipes and be 5,000 words at least.”

            My blog isn’t relative to cooking and doesn’t have intention to give food recipes that’s why i didn’t do that, but i can understand your point.
            However i am not sure if you want to help me with your advice or just offend me for being “lazy” and a “copycat”. Anyway thanks for sharing your honest opinion.

            PS:Not everybody knows that eggs are great.We may think its obvious, but many think that they are bad for your cholesterol as i explain in the article.

  10. He just got a $10,000.00 consult for free and is still not happy….

    Lesson learnt. When life does you a solid, be humble enough to receive it.

  11. Mike
    Just curious – how do you generate enough income from your sites – to maintain a decent standard of living? Is that from affiliate marketing and your juice book or are there other sources that are not overtly obvious?
    This really intrigues me because for the first time I am beginning to see that if a man truly does have something unique to offer the world -he can make a living from blogging and websites.

    1. Affiliate marketing and book sales. Plus I’ll get enough from Gorilla Mindset to carry me through rest of the year. I also turn down consults, but could some nice coin consulting.

  12. On another note: I was watching a You Tube video tonight of a Q& A with Dan Kennedy ( copyright/marketing guru) . One thing that stood out to me was when he said ” don’t wait for the money to change hands before you begin the process of educating” . He then went on to say you do this whether or not they buy from you or not. Companies/people that do this always stand high above the competition. Its really about maintaining an abundant mindset and a genuine heart for wanting to help people out. Practiced consistently its obvious the money will then naturally flow. Too many people fail to grasp this concept.Instead they are always looking to grab as much money as they can while giving shit in return.
    One thing that Ive noticed over the year(s) reading your blog – you have always had an abundant approach. Many could learn from this – it would benefit their blogs/web endeavors immensely

  13. Thanks for sharing some data, always fun with concrete numbers. Recently took the step myself to buy a couple of domains and try out some ideas. Really weird how buying a domain and spending 20 hours on customizing a wordpress setup can be such a treshold before you actually get around to it – once you’ve done it you realize how easy it is. To get started, that is.

    Quality content and traffic is the next challenge, but something you learn more about by doing I guess. You also start noticing things when reading other peoples stuff, like how here you use quite short separated paragraphs with quite a lot of air inbetween the text, and how it has the effect of making the text feel lighter. This of course is tailored to your particular audience though.

    I’ve been reading D&P sporadically for a couple of years and it has been fun to see the development, keep it up!

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