Even though we’ve never met or communicated, Dave Tate has been a major influence on my life. He currently owns and runs EliteFTS, a powerlifting equipment company. (I bought my Econo Prowler from there.) Because I admire Dave, I’m going to tell him something.

Your EliteFTS blog design sucks.

Whoa! Am I trolling Dave? No. I am using Dave’s terminology from an article he wrote years ago:

Getting from shit to suck is a snap, and most committed lifters can get up to Good within five years or so. It’s an okay place to be—you may be the best bencher in your big box gym and get tons of high fives—but in the grand scheme you’re nothing special.

Getting from good to great, however, puts you in very elite company. Few guys can ever do it, mainly because it requires getting through the dead zone, that period when absolutely nothing “works” and injuries (and frustration) start to mount.

Dave’s blogs are in the suck category. He can get from suck to good by making a few changes. (I do not offer consulting services, so this is not a pitch.)

How can Dave make his EliteFTS blogs good?

1. Take advantage of the “Wikipedia effect” by embedding links to old articles.

Have you ever been reading a specific article on Wikipedia when, three hours later, you’re on some unrelated Wikipedia page. “How did I get there?”

You went from a specific page to multiple other pages because every Wikipedia entry links to other entries. Click, click, click.

Every post at Danger & Play, my main site, links to other related articles. These links are natural and organic rather than forced.

This article you’re reading at Cernovich.com includes natural, organic links to Danger & Play. See how I put them in there? How many tabs will you have open by the time you’re done reading this article?

Many people have said, “I open an article on Danger & Play and suddenly have 10 different tabs open.” (Pro tip: Make sure you set your links to open in a new tab.)

2. Why does Skip Hill have a testosterone level of 200?

I like Skip Hill’s Facebook page and saw he posted a new article on EliteFTS. Skip mentioned how he gained muscle while having a testosterone level of 200.

What the heck, Skip?!

I tried finding out the backstory, but since Skip hadn’t linked to his other articles, I closed the page.

I still have no idea what happened to Skip.

This is bad, because I’m already a “fan” of Skip!

I enjoyed reading Skip’s old forum, I know what “Skiploading is,” I’ve and read all of Dante Trudel’s articles and posts.

But they can’t even convert me into a regular reader of Skip’s blog.

If someone like me who gives a shit can’t find the information and closes the tab, what will happen when a random person stumbles upon an EliteFTS blog post?

3. I want to read your emails.

How can I get an email update when you publish a new article? Not EliteFTS the company, but individual authors.

People hate email marketing, but if you do it right, it’s great. The old school way is to use paid traffic to get guys to your squeeze page before running them through your sales funnel.

You email them non-stop trying to sell them.

That’s not how I use my email list. In fact, I think the only time I’ve sold my list something was to let them know about the Juice Power series of books.

My email list is at 6,500 while having a 44% open rate and 13% click through rate.

Email open rate and click rate

I only started building my list last year after my good friend Victor Pride recommended I do so. I average 25 new subs a day. Imagine how massive my list will be in 5 years.

These are 100% organic opt-ins, too.

You can read all of my old newsletters here.

email newsletter open rate

There’s nothing magical about what I do.

If you write quality content, people will want to read it and they’ll be happy to open your emails.

Guys have even written in to tell me they are excited to see a new email from me.

You can increase your newsletter subscriptions by giving people a way to subscribe right in the middle of the post.

Let’s get meta. Enter your email below and hit subscribe to join to my mailing list.


4. Turn your Facebook updates into a post.

Facebook is a great place to have a conversation, but once the discussion is over, it’s over. You need to start scaling your social media.

I turn my Tweets into blog posts. One of my best posts came about after a Facebook discussion.

Don’t be afraid to post something like “10 Random Thoughts About X.” Is that high art? No, but if you’re starting off and learning how to write, your material is going to suck anyway.

Danger & Play sucked three years ago. It started off as chicken scratch and is now approaching great novel status.

If I had been afraid of sucking for all the world to see, Danger & Play would not exist as it does today.

Dave, thanks for what you’ve done.

This article might piss you off, and I don’t really care if it does. I don’t adjust my message for a person’s feelings.

I believe, as you do, that we should, “live, learn, and pass on.”

I’ve learned from you, and in my own life have learned a few things.

Now I’m passing it on to you.

Read next: How to Write a Long Form Sales Letter that Isn’t Spammy and Actually Works.

17 Replies to “Convert Random Readers into Regular Readers (EliteFTS Case Study)”

  1. I heard you talk about the “Wikipedia effect” elsewhere and began implementing it into my site – and my bounce rate went from over 98% (lol!) to right around 80%. Huge improvement – and way more page views as a result.

    Now, I don’t know if 80% is actually any good (it doesn’t seem too good to me), and I’ll obviously keep trying to get more engagement, but it is amazing how simple little tips like that can make such a big difference.

  2. Mike
    You’re really cool.

    Do you miss California?

    And have you ever thought about being a famous actor with a dignified intelligent masculine vibe?

    I could see you as a Sean Connery or George Clooney type of guy- I mean you’re jacked, successful and published lawyer, master blogger, military get- dude you should be a Senator.

      1. I remember the podcast where you were talking about being from a lousy, red neck town in Illinois (Im from a similar place) so I figured moving to California was an upgrade overall.

        2 things-
        Can you specify what it is about California that makes it less than optimal now?

        And in the spirit of positivity/forward thinking-
        What places are looking solid for the future?

        1. California is expensive (which is fine) but the value is low. The roads are crap. The air is filthy. Vegas, Phoenix, or Denver are where I’d live if returning to the U.S.

  3. The wikipedia effect is so damn true mike. I have maybe 50-60 of your best articles bookmarked and i’m always finding more stuff from your early years that are still fantastic and timeless even now.

    I’ve had a major slowdown on my personal site at the moment. Publishing a lot less, for like a couple months now. But i am writing a hell of a lot more. And practising coming up with as many ideas as possible for just about anything and everything. It’s accumulative and provided i have my life generally in balance i find that i’m getting better and better at coming up with non traditional, novel solutions to contemporary problems. Also (to steal James Altuchers line) i practise a lot of idea sex with my lists, to find something uniquely special.

    I’ve start experimenting with a few shortish posts on FB too. Testing the water for which people out of my real life network would be responsive to the kind of stuff i want to write about.

    Its interesting, finally putting more of myself out there rather than the carefully curated image i had previously. Its bound to piss off more than a few people.

    But what i’m slowly learning is that you really aren’t worth much of a damn if you don’t have atleast a few real life haters.

    People who put themselves out on the line and dare to speak the truth will have people who love them, people who hate them, and people who are largely indifferent to them.

    Its a necessary cost of success to have some people dislike you for your very deepest held principles. And i’m trying to be as consistent with my real self as possible.

  4. Here I am again to say you’re totally right.

    I followed that blog until they “upgraded” their site. It may work as a store but not as a blog.

    Not only their blog is hard to read but they also have everything together, training logs, articles, promos etc. They are making things comfortable for costumers but certainly not for readers.

    – Gerard

  5. I took my writing more seriously, no more throw-away posts, which is what you’d done with the post I pointed out. “Raise your standards” is what I did and suggest others do.

  6. Thanks Mike! You just gave me a bunch of new ideas to take action on in my business. 1. Linking to old posts and related articles in new ones sounds like a great way to provide a ton of value with just one post. 2. Turning Tweets and FB posts into blog posts could make for an interesting blog post. 3. 44% open rate is phenomenal! I’m gonna have to sign up and see how you do it although I’m pretty sure you already told us how. My next FB post…”10 Random Thoughts About The Battle of the Sexes”.

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