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Getting Leads And Conversions: A Blog Review of DavidRisley.com from Derek Halpern

One of the many things I do for members inside the Inner Circle is review their blog. When I do these reviews, I almost always do it on video. I’m looking at things like design, list building effectiveness, and conversion. I also evaluate the structure of the content, navigation pages, etc.

Rarely is the direction of that blog review reversed. And, like everybody else, I also value an expert third-party perspective.

Derek Halpern seems like he’s come out of virtually nowhere in our niche, from “who’s that?” to a guy a lot of us are paying attention to. He’s actually not a newcomer to this stuff at all. He has a lot of experience when it comes to building traffic and converting traffic into leads.

Well, Derek has been making the rounds a bit lately by doing blog critiques. He did one for Chris Brogan, Pat Flynn, and more recently, Corbett over at Think Traffic. Derek and I chat every now and then on Skype anyway, so when he offered to do one of these critiques for DavidRisley.com, I took him up on it. I’d be an idiot not to. :)

This is especially good timing for me because I’m only a few weeks into the new design here. So, in this video, Derek offers his advice on a number of ways to increase the efficiency for this site. First, here’s the video (see below), then after the video, I’ll offer a few comments of my own.

Get out a piece of paper, because you might want to take some notes. He packs a lot into this…

(NOTE: If you’re reading this somewhere other than my site and can’t see the video, click here.)

So, here’s a little summary of his suggestions for me:

  1. Resource pages for top navigation, with a drip content launch of them (See video for more details on this). The good news is that I was already working on these pages before my call with Derek, so SCORE for me. :) He provided some tips on the structure of those pages, though.
  2. Include the links to my reports in the main sidebar above Popular Posts. Now, I think Derek and I sometimes got the terminology confused between “guides” and “reports”, but I’m pretty sure he meant to link to my reports there.
  3. Test out getting rid of the related posts beneath my articles. In order to give more weight to the opt-in.
  4. Put separate opt-in forms on the guides that I’m creating, thereby allowing me to deliver a custom autoresponder sequence and a custom launch process into the Inner Circle. Now, I think this is a great idea. The good news is that I had already thought of the separate tracking on those pages… but it had NOT occurred to me yet to build in a custom evergreen launch to lead people into the Inner Circle. That’s great.
  5. Put an opt-in into the footer in order to grab people who scan through the comments.
  6. Consider dropping the RSS link at the top. Or at least removing the duplicate links and inserting nofollow’s on those links.

Now, a quick “how to” on the custom tracking for opt-ins mentioned above…

With Aweber, the opt-in form HTML has a hidden form field called “meta_adtracking”. By default, Aweber throws some useless numerical form ID into that field. What you can do is replace that with a unique identifier so that you know exactly what form people used to sign up for your site.

See, you can create separate forms (even for different lists) if you want, but you can also just recording the ad tracking. So, for example, on my About page, I have 3 opt-in forms on there. The forms are identical, so there’s no reason to create 3 different forms in Aweber. Instead, I just assign different a different adtracking ID to each so that I can run a search in Aweber and tell exactly which of those forms were used to subscribe.

Alright, moving on…

One of the things I like about Derek is that he is really good at thinking about the psychology of the person on the site. This is something that I definitely focus on, and I personally find that element of design and marketing simply fascinating.

I encourage everybody to watch the video, and then begin really concentrating on your reader’s mindset. When your site is designed to tailor the reader, you get more traffic and more conversions. And isn’t that the name of the game here?

I recommend that you check out Derek over at SocialTriggers.com and sign up for his newsletter. In fact, he is opening up his private email list to DavidRisley.com subscribers for a limited time. This is only the 7th time he’s opened up this particular list. This isn’t some weird scarcity play… you’re actually getting on a list which he personally replies to when you email him. So, for that reason, he doesn’t keep the list open all the time (I can’t blame him).

Time to get busy, baby! :)

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Got a Question or Comment?

  1. Great Stuff Guys.

    Derek always has a awesome point of view.

    Thanks for Sharing this David,
    Tony Milano

  2. Awesome review guys. I do have a question though…

    Let’s say you have the following lists:

    List A: WordPress Security autoresponder mini course
    List B: WordPress Tips autoresponder mini course
    List C: Your primary list you interact with, like send affiliate offers, blog updates, etc.

    List A and B are linked to in your sidebar just like David does on his home page (My Guides).

    When the mini course runs its course (i.e. finishes), Derek mentions right at about 19:50 in the video (and earlier as well) that you can automate moving the people in lists A and B into C.

    I checked with Aweber and what you are able to do is automate deleting someone from list A only once they have signed up for list C. You cannot automate moving people from list A after a period of time or after a mini course finishes.

    For this you would have to do it manually.

    So my question then is, if you have several mini courses how would you go about filtering people into one list after the mini course finishes? Obviously I don’t want to have to manage lots of lists.

    Thanks guys. Awesome video.

    • I know exactly what you mean, as I was recently trying to figue this out as I re-design some of my backend processes.

      There is no way to do what you were thinking, as you have figured out.

      You have two approaches that I can find so far:

      (1) They do have an automation rule for subscribing to one list when they subscribe to another. So, you could set up a rule on your main list that subscribes them to your that list when they subscribe to your sub-list. So, essentially, you’re dual subscribing them from the beginning, not after the mini-course runs its course.

      (2) Second option is to set up a list segment to mail to. You can set up and save a search segment based on the last autoresponder message delivered to that subscriber. So, if you have 7 messages, you can run a search for subscribers where the “Last Message #” is 7. Save that as a segment, then you can send to that segment.

      Unfortunately, there is no way I can find to email to your main list, and *segments* of other lists at the same time. So, it looks like it would take separate emails to do that unless Aweber changes something.

      • Thanks David. I think Option one might be a little easier, though some people might be a little confused if the unsubscribe from the mini course but then find a few days later I send them another email (from my main list).

        Not perfect but would do the job. Being that Aweber is used by so many Internet marketers and this is the “in thing” for them to do right now (autoresponders and multiple lists), it would be nice if they could add this function.

        Thanks again.

        PS I think you’re looking at your next Inner Circle member. I think my journey is on the same path as yours…

    • You’re right, you can’t automate it. Here’s what I would do.

      If you’re going to email your main list, you simply email everyone that was on your list as X days ago (depending on length of auto responder sequence).

      That way, you’re not hitting new emails with mass broadcasts, until they go through your sequence.

      And with my site, there’s no way to sign up for my “main” email list. Only way to get on there is by an automated action. So it’s easy to track everything.

      Note, It helps if your sequences are similar from your different lists. For example, you might want those sequences to all be 7 or 10 day sequences, that way when you do the mass broadcast, you know to make it “all subscribers that subscribed on or before this date”

  3. Great review.
    Any ideas for wordpress themes that have the big full width optin box for the homepage, or is that a case of choosing a flexible theme, tweaking a featured content box somehow to allow a video/email form side by side?
    I had a look but couldn’t see an off the shelf theme, with all this talk of the homepage / squeeze hybrids an easy to configure theme like that would sell.

  4. Awesome critique by Derek as always and I just learned a few tips from this video to help me improve my blog.

    I just noticed you now have the Google +1 button – Just gave you a +1 :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the text bullet points; got to read them real quick and add to my knowledge bank.

  6. Dominos coupons says:

    Great tips , thanks for the post.

  7. David and Derek,
    Thanks.  This review is fantastic.  I’m in the process of getting down to brass tacks with two of my sites so I will make some of the changes as appropriate that is suggested here.

    I can’t thank you both enough.

    Oh, are there any plugins that will do the footer opt-ins?

  8. Question for you. So then are you dual subscribing everyone then? In other words, if someone signs up for list A (mini course) then you automatically sign them up for the primary list C.

    But then how do you remove them from list A? Aweber charges per how many people you have on your list. To manage them, do you delete users manually?


  9. Anonymous says:

    Derek & David,
    Thank you for sharing this site review.
    It’s given me a lot of ammo for my site development.
    Cheers, Adam.

  10. I think I have watched about 4 videos in which Derek does these blog evaluations and I have to say I learned a lot from them.

    I still need to make almost all of the blog changes I jotted down but I will get there.

    This evaluation was really good too and I actually think your site was in the best shape comparing it to the rest of the evaluations I have seen from Derek.

    Really cool man, thanks!

    PS. Your About Me page ROCKS!!!

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    for your time for this wonderful learn!! I definitely having fun with
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