Smart Passive Income Gets Critiqued: Conversion Strategies with Derek Halpern

Conversion StrategiesI’m not a pro at this online thing…

And that’s the beauty of it—you don’t have to be an expert at everything in order for success to find you.

For example, in no way am I an SEO (search engine optimization) expert. When I started this blog, I hardly knew what the term meant, and even when I reached 10,000 subscribers, a detailed SEO analysis from an expert revealed that this blog and the way it was structured for SEO was…well…


And that’s okay, because it’s all a learning experience—and I’m always applying what I learn to what I have so that I can see better results. No matter where you’re at, you can always improve, and although I know my online businesses and blogs have done quite well, I’m always looking for expert advice from others who can help me reach higher levels.

Enter Derek Halpern

Derek HalpernDerek Halpern from helps people turn web traffic into sales and leads (and if you don’t have traffic he shows you how to get that too). He and I have chatted a couple of times in the past, but he recently caught my attention when he did a public website review for Chris Brogan, where he openly shared his expertise on how to better convert traffic for one of Chris’s small business sites.

It was, to say the least, incredible!

I was lucky enough to be chatting with Derek on Skype after I saw the review video and he was kind enough to offer a critique of one of my own sites too—and instead of choosing one of my niche sites, or even, I chose to have him take apart The Smart Passive Income Blog.

(A LOT of) Room for Improvement

Like I said, there is always room for improvement on any blog—and boy did Derek deliver and confirm that for me. Our session together was simply amazing, and I’m happy to share it with you in a video (and transcript) today.

He really opened my eyes to a lot of great strategies to better capture email subscribers that I’ve never even thought of before, that both you and I can implement today, although I’ll wait a couple of weeks after this post goes live to make those changes, so you can see the “before” live—and of course I’ll report on the changes once they are made.

In this video session, you’ll learn:

  • The one mistake that I’m making that most other bloggers are making too when it comes to converting traffic into subscribers.
  • The things on SPI that do work well (yeah he gives me some thumbs up too!).
  • The 3 elements of a high converting about page (I’m currently only using 1 of them).
  • The most obvious place to add a subscriber box that is missing from the SPI blog.
  • The parts of my sidebar that need to disappear now, and why.
  • Where on my blog I should ditch the sidebars all together, and why.
  • How giddy I get with how simple, but genius these strategies are.
  • Plus a few more cool things.

Here’s the video and transcript for you below:

(Watch the Conversion Strategies video on YouTube)

Click Here to Download the Transcript.

I recommend that you check out Derek at right away and sign up for his newsletter, which is packed with incredible tips, personality and care to help you grow your audience and convert that traffic into sales and leads. He’s not your typical internet marketer and I’ll bet that you’re going to hear his name around the blogosphere a lot more in the near future.

A special thanks to Derek for his awesome critique, and I’d love to hear what you think about this video and Derek’s strategies to help improve the SPI blog.


Update—the comments are closed due to spam. If you need anything please visit my Facebook Page and leave me a comment there. Thanks!

  • Stephen Baker

    Hey Pat,

    I have not had a chance to watch the video yet (I am at work) but i will definitely be tuning in as soon as I get home! I can’t wait to hear the tips and tricks and start implementing some things onto my blog.

    It’s amazing how much little things can make a huge difference. From sidebars and headers to footers, they all have such an impact.

    Can’t wait to see your results after all the changes!


    • Trent Dyrsmid


      You are going to want to watch this video with a pen and note pad in hand. It was awesome!!


      Thanks so much for posting this super valuable content. Killer, killer, killer!! I really liked the part about all the optin forms. I wish he would have commented on using lightbox forms though. I noticed you don’t use one. I have used them on some of my niche sites with terrific success and and have also occasionally used them on the blog to promote webinars.


      • Onibalusi Bamidele

        I agree.

        This is one of the very few videos I took a note while watching (I’m not a kind of note taking guy). My head is burning with ideas right away.

      • Derek

        Lightbox forms work for some niches, and don’t work in others. I suggest you test them.

        I personally stray from them on marketing sites, because people know the deal here. People know where to find sign up forms. Yes, you might grab some extra prospects here and there, but you’ll have to test it to find out.

        • Jose

          I’m using a lightbox on my blog (which is about online marketing and social media) and the results are extremely good. My optin rate increased a 300% from 30 signups a day to almost 100 signups a day. And in 6 months since I started using it I only received one complaint. It is definitely worth it to test it out

      • Stephen Baker


        Just watched the video. Wow. it is most definitely an amazing resource. Especially for a beginner like me! I can set it up beforehand and start capturing leads from the beginning!

        Simply Amazing Video Pat!

      • Fisayo

        I have this opinion about lightbox, that it will work depending on what you are offering through it. I see it as a way of bringing a squeeze page onto a distracting page like blog pages.

    • John Haver

      The insights into the sidebar changes were really helpful. I will be implementing them on my site.

  • Eric

    Wow, very informative. I love the part about making your “about” page into an opt-in opportunity. It’s a great idea and no wonder the conversion rate is 30% for Derek’s site.
    Also, Pat, I love the fact that you’re absolutely killing it, yet you’re still open to anyone ripping apart your style. A lot of people can’t handle that, and I think it’s great you had him analyze SPI instead of a Niche Site, as this site is your “brand.”
    Take care, thanks again to both Pat and Derek!

    • Onibalusi Bamidele

      You’re so right here Eric, I have absolutely no opt in form on my about page and it is been viewed by thousands monthly. Adding a couple opt in forms can mean a couple more hundred subscribers monthly – and that is a potential great income opportunity for my blog.

    • Derek

      That’s one of the biggest opportunities for most sites. Make the about page into an opt-in page, and you’ll get a ton of emails from that alone.

  • Dan Gheesling


    Great post! Having another set of “trained” eyes help to analyze your site is priceless. It was great to see the simple changes that can be made that will have a drastic impact on your site. I will definitely be adopting some for my blog, thanks for sharing!

    • Derek

      Glad you liked it Dan. If anything, you should definitely use the about page advice, and the resource pages are a great tactic too.

  • Sarah Russell

    Oooh – fascinating stuff, Pat!

    I’m always interested in learning more about the psychology of sales and analytics, and Derek seems like one of those rare people who’s really able to get inside people’s heads and anticipate the actions they’ll take.

    I’ll definitely take a look at his site!

    • Derek

      That’s what I do best. Play mind games.

      No joke, though. I study psychology for just that reason. Once you know what makes people tick, you can influence them to take action (buy, subscribe, etc.)

      • Jose

        hehehehe awesome! I would really love to know more mind tricks to convert leads into sales, which I think is one of the my biggest weaknesses 😉

  • Jonathan Gaurano

    Dear Pat,

    Thank you for this. As of right now I have no idea how to turn traffic into sales, leads…ANYTHING!!! Just starting out – this is gold information. Thank you!! (:

  • John Fawkes

    Damn. That’s all very helpful to me. I’m subscribing to Derek’s blog now. Thanks for the awesome video!

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    I’ve just finished watching the video Pat and I must say it is really awesome!

    It’s really clear Derek is a hot guy when it comes to conversion optimization and it seems I’ve got a lot of pages to use more of my opt in forms. I also will remove the sidebar from resources pages and I’ll work on improving my about page.

    Overall, it’s really awesome of you to share this video freely – I’ve gotten a few tips to improve on over the weekend.

    Thanks so much and have a great day!


  • Leigh Saunders

    Some awesome stuff here Pat/Derek, one of the most interesting things on SPI.

    Surpised at the amount of opt-in boxes recommended as I would also be concerned that regular visitors may be swamped – but it does make sense. I need to start putting some of these strategies into practise asap!

    Thanks again, Leigh.

    • Rory Mullen

      I see where you maybe coming from. As I have an info based sigh, I generally do not like to swamp learners with useless info unless I can space it accordingly so they do not complain. If one person complains at least three or four more people stay quit.

  • Tony

    Some good tips, but nothing really earth shattering. The key is to get someone else who has some good knowledge of SEO/Email Mkting and Websites to review your site with a fresh set of eyes. I bet if you had taken time to solely focus on your site and review everything, you could have come up with these on your own. As site owners we sometimes don’t take the time to review or optimize our sites and only focus on posting new content.

    • Derek

      Nothing about being successful online is earth shattering. There’s no tips, tricks, or secrets. It’s about solid advice, and taking action on that solid advice.

  • Jose

    Wow! Really cool information Pat and Derek! Thanks so much! I’m going to implement everything Derek says right now! I have no doubt that will increase my conversions a lot! It would be great to see a second part video where derek give us some advise on how to better turn those leads into clients.

    Thanks again!

    • Derek

      I talk about that a lot on the newsletter, so you should definitely check that out.

      • Jose

        No doubt Derek! Here you have a new subscriber! 😉

  • Leon Aldrich

    I like the part about getting his email and how he will respond to every one. That sounded like a challenge to me.

    I say ALL of us take him up on his offer and shoot him an email. That will teach him a lesson!

    • Derek

      And I’ve kept my promise so far :-)

  • TheInfoPreneur

    OH man…this is a keeper. Derek great review. Pat, thanks for allowing Derek to review your site.
    I can see I have some work cut-out for me…better taglines…completely rearrange my About page & add the optin form, etc.

    Thanks for the pointers.
    Brandon Yeager

    • Derek

      Glad you liked it Brandon!

  • Rory Mullen

    Thanks for spending time once again to allow us to learn from your mistake. My blog will be starting a online worker to home buyer experiment, so if you have time drop on by.

  • Cristina


    I subscribed to Derek’s Social Triggers weeks ago and I definitely love his blog. It’s clean, simple and full of powerful tips focused on conversion.
    It’s like Derek is shooting a gun with limited bullets: everytime he shoots he scores.

    This video is great. Thanks!

    • Derek

      Glad you’ve been following along. I don’t post often, you’re right. But when I do, I try to make sure it’s hard hitting.

  • Tomalley

    I loved this because it brings me back to reality! Sometimes I obsess over SEO to such a high degree that I begin to think I’m some sort of expert. This video proves I have MUCH to learn. Always happy to see I’m doing some things right though…

    • Rory Mullen

      Good job understanding that you will never know everything. Even the most seasoned pros will still learn. Yes, even I wonder if I am doing everything properly and the right way.

  • Byron

    I love the suggestions about the sidebar so much… great stuff guys.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Living the Balanced Life

    Great video! Awesome info and thank you for sharing! I am going to be making some changes based upon this as I want to get my subscriber rate up. Subscribers can convert into sales!
    Thanks again!
    Are you stuck in a rut?

  • Cheryl Pickett

    I just read through the transcript and Derek, you mentioned that you would discuss why you don’t offer a freebie for sign ups, but I didn’t see that anywhere. Did I miss something? Could you give us the short version here?

    • Derek

      I don’t offer freebies right now, mainly because, especially with ebooks, most people don’t read ’em. So, why would I put together something that I know people won’t read? :-)

      However, there’s a solution, and I’m currently working on some freebie giveaways, that make sense, and that I know people will read. I’ll let you know about it, since you’re signed up for the email list (when the time comes).

  • Jay

    Love how you’re totally kicking ass and still constantly trying to improve daily. :)

    I was waiting to hear his view on not offering a freebie in exchange for opt-in as well. :)

  • James

    Hey Pat,

    You never cease to amaze me, you are for sure my favorite person online right now and i have a feeling you might be as well pretty soon Derek :-). The value you give, not just on this post but your others is worth its weight in gold

    keep up the good work!!


    • Derek

      Thanks James. That’ means a lot.

  • Ricardo Nuñez

    One thing you can do for the Get started page is adding an auto responder with a 10 emails mini course in how to get started. That will increase the subscribers too.

  • Remco

    So I guess it is all about the optin field!

    I am going to implement this

  • Matthew

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for sharing this! I’d be interested in finding out an update from you sometime in the future as to how well these changes work out if you implement them.
    I have some reservations to the shotgun approach to signup forms. A whole bunch of signup forms on a page is one thing that has made me leave sites (permanently) because it seems I’m being pitched to more than helped. If every bit of information on a site seems geared to getting my contact information, I get suspicious and annoyed. Plus, for all of us already subscribed, we have to deal with these stupid forms everywhere when we’re navigating around a site.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t work, just that there’s some cost to everything and you’ve done such a great job, I’m curious how this affects your blog (real life experiment!).

  • Tiptopcat

    I think I must have missed it but – What was Derek’s reason for not offering a free eBook for subscribers?

    Excellent video. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ralph

    Great stuff!

    I’ve tried to use the Yedi Mind trick for years…. no success… :) I think this is a better option. I’ve already scrapped the twitter and previous posts widgets and now need to start re-writing my about page.

    Derek and Pat

    Do you also have segmented email campaigns ? I know this would increase your workload but it is a bit more targeted. Perhaps some other SPI people have some experience in this?

    • Derek

      I build segments into all my email gathering. For example, anyone who signs up from Pat Flynn’s site, will be tagged with SPI in my email newsletter.

  • Gerald

    Pat, you certainly weren’t lying when you said you had a treat for us on Wednesday. Just curious, do you find people like Derek or do people like Derek seek you out? I am certainly seeing the wisdom in cross-pollenization!! You both are rock stars!!

  • Rachel

    Thanks Pat for another great resource! I am becoming a shameless fan and recommend your blog to everyone with an internet business. Derek is now on my shameless recommendation list as well for providing me with an idea so simple and so in touch with the ‘heart’ of my site. Much appreciated!!

    • Derek

      Glad you liked the idea. I’m taking that I won you over 😀

  • Daniel

    Wow, this looks like it could be another viral post! Awesome!

    I just subscribed to social triggers and sent an email to Derek and he replied back within something like 10 or 20 minutes! Talk about fast!

    • Derek

      I’m good like that!

  • Bob

    Gave up after 3 minutes. Loses all credibility by saying the second thing a visitor sees on your site is your navigation menu. Would love to see a study that truly examined that claim. I mean, you’re bound to see the “My Name is” sticker or the intro post that is highlighted. If anything your nav menu gets lost in the shuffle… for good or bad.

    He might have good things to say, but by starting with a very likely falsehood, it causes me to not want to invest 20+ minutes of my time. I’m glad it was helpful for you though.

    • Derek

      Good try, Bob.

      Just had Pat pull up analytics, and as I said, navigation was what people saw. Of his overall traffic, 29% of the people clicked on navigational items, whereas only 3.4 percent clicked on the link in the Hello My Name is section.

      Thanks for the idea to check his analytics. I like having concrete, site specific data back up my claims :-).

      • Bob

        Oh, so you’re a jerk too? There is a difference between what people “see” and what people “click.” I don’t deny that the nav menu might be the second most clicked part of his front page. But I very, very seriously doubt it’s what people “see” second.

        You understand the difference, right?

        • Cristina

          what’s the point in “seeing” something if people don’t click on it. The “juice” is in the nav bar and Derek focuses on it for that reason.

          You’ve missed a great video.

        • Bob


          If this has to be explained to you then I think we have bigger issues. To help you out though, there are two problems here:

          1. Derek uses words that have meanings different than he intends. He should understand that “to see” and “to click” are different things. Further, he shouldn’t be a jerk insult my intelligence. I am familiar with these profound concepts such as site stats. As I said in my comment, site stats can’t measure what a viewer sees. This is really simple. Use the right words.

          2. The point of “seeing” something? Really? Are you familiar with the concept of “design”? Unintentionally though you bring up a good point. Why make the “My name is” and “Intro Post” so prominent if people aren’t clicking on that. Perhaps Derek provided insightful commentary on that, but I doubt it. I think I heard him say “subscriber” 1,249 times in the first 3 minutes of the video. Perhaps he can check the video stats to confirm or deny that.


        • Derek

          Again Bob, thank you for your valuable, insightful input.

      • Rory Mullen

        Haters will make you. You have picked a field that is often times a difficult topic to fully understand. Keep up the great work and remember even with the haters leaving non informative comments , every comment can be used to better yourself.

        • Bob

          Haters gon’ hate! Word up homey!

          I call out an error in Derek’s analysis and now I am a hater. Love how that happens.

          Why you gotta be hatin’ on a hater, dawg?

        • Derek

          There was no error. To me, the point of something like Hello My Name is, is to generate clicks to his about page. If it doesn’t generate the clicks, it might as well be invisible. We can argue semantics all day, but it’s not worth it. You’re rude, anonymous, and have a reputation here for stirring the pot.

        • Bob

          There was no error? Wow!! I hope you’re not saying that with a straight face. It might not be a huge error, but the fact that you just can’t say, “You know what, I mis-spoke. What I meant was that the nav menu is Pat’s second most clicked part of his front page.”

          Now I see why you’re offering your services for free.

        • Bob

          “Before. They. Read. Your. Content.”

          Seriously, Derek? Single words separated by periods? Like a dramatic 13 year old girl on Twitter?

          I think you have a vested interest in believing content is not king. I wonder why.

        • mike

          Bob forgot to take his happy pills today.

  • Pavel

    Great Video and post. Lots of very useful ideas!

    Personally, Pat, I love guest posts where I can take something from the post/video and implement right away. Derek – great job. I know it’s hard, but there is close to 0% fluff in this video, straight and useful content.

    • Derek

      Thanks Pavel.

      If you read my newsletters and articles, you’ll find I cut all fluff out of everything. Personally, I’m impatient and hate fluff, so I make sure to avoid it at all costs.

  • Matt

    Nice. I will be using some of these tips on my upcoming blog. Thank you.

  • Hemang Rami

    Awesome tips.. i hate reading so this video is really helpful to me thru this post it got a lots of useful information thanks for sharing this video

    i am gonna signup on

    Thanks a lot…

  • Ling-en Hsia

    Hi Pat,

    Your blog is not an ecommerce site so the optimization advices shouldn’t been followed as taught (although I’ll be using some tips)..

    One of the reason why I read your blog not from google reader or pulse news is because it is user-friendly. We feel comfortable.
    I’m 100% sure that in implementing all the tips, you gonna get a higher conversion rate. But do you need more subscribers who read you from Google Reader and don’t open your emails (because you didn’t give them time to build a realtionship) or more engaged readers who enjoy your uniqueness.

    Yaro is one of the best blogger and I love his work. But you know what, I don’t like hanging on his site. The light box that appears every time is a huge turn off.
    I’d rather read his content on Pulse News (iPad),

    Viperchill is one of these sites as well. I can’t even remember where does Glen put his opt-in forms…

    too many opt-in forms are equal to adsense ads.

    Trust me, with all the good content you’re providing, you don’t need to convince people to subscribe. Wait for them to “love” you and then they’ll subscribe.


    • Ole

      Somewhere deep in my heart I agree with this.

      All advices from Derek were really clicking with me, except for many opt-in forms – I actually always liked your non-pushy way of presenting/selling things…

      On the other hand if I try to think logically, I am sure it would pay off on the conversion side. So I cannot rationally explain my resistance to this idea :)

      Thanks guys, it is a great video!

      • Paul Cunningham

        Ole, if you look at Derek’s About page you might feel better about it. Opt-in forms don’t need to be big and distracting and don’t need to be designed to catch the eye as soon as the page loads.

        You can see Derek has just placed small, simple forms in the places that the reader’s eye will be going as they read down the page. He also leads into them with a sentence that makes sense in the flow of the content.

        There is good and bad execution for every strategy out there :-)

        • Ole

          Yes, it is not that bad…

          But still, four (one on the footer) sign up forms on one page feels a bit too many for me.

          I am fully ok to have sign up forms on each page, but I am in doubt of having too many on one page and seem too pushy.

          With lot’s of talks of contextual selling recently, it seems as an opposite. Of course, one CAN sell being pushy. And you can get a customer. But will you get a returning customer?

          For example, when I decided to buy Market Samurai, I came specifically to this blog and followed Pat’s affiliate link. And probably will do that if I decide to get his recommended camera, hosting, etc. Whereas I am signed up for the newsletters from other online marketers, and I sometimes event don’t bother to open them.

          So it probably also depends on the type of a customer you want to get. If you need one sale – push. If you need many – don’t push.

          In the end, it is probably a subject to testing and experimenting in a particular market.

        • Derek

          Ole, did you see my site Did you think I have too many sign up forms?

        • Paul Cunningham

          @Ole – I signed up to Pat’s list quite a while ago. As you know once you’re on his list Pat is far from being a pushy salesman. He delivers a lot of free, valuable information to people like you and me who choose to stay up to date with Pat’s content via email.

          Converting more visitors into subscribers, and selling them something, are two different things. You can optimize the opt-in part without also becoming a pushy salesman once they’re on your list. Don’t you agree?

        • Pat

          Thanks for the support, Ole and Paul. I have to agree with Paul’s last statement (which ironically I was typing in a response to another comment at the exact same time), that selling something and adding subscribers to my list are two totally different things. I know that’s not normally the case, but I don’t think I’d like to classify myself as a normal blogger either.

          I do see your concern though, and will definitely proceed with caution.

        • Ole

          Hi once again guys!

          Well, the fact that you all replied at least point out that it is a valid point for discussion.

          @Derek: I admit that the about page (and others I have seen) on look quite natural. But one must know what he is doing (once again – you do). Put two fields instead of one, make it a bit more “screaming” and it will be way too much. That’s why I shared my thoughts about taking this particular advice with caution.

          @Paul: Surely, getting people to subscribe to the list and then being pushy/non-pushy on the emails is different. However again – I am subscribed to several of newsletters, but there are some lists that I sometimes just ignore, since I don’t have a bond with them. One can argue that it is content which comes with the mail which determines if I read it, but I would add that my desire to read it plays a crucial role too.

          @Pat: Yes, just my two coins here… it is amazing that I get so interactive on your blog. You are pulling the right strings on the right topics :)

      • Ben Donahower

        Okay, wow!

        If you haven’t implemented this stuff, do it right now!

        Essentially, I piggybacked most of these recommendations aside from getting rid of the sidebar on resource pages (since I have no idea how to do that) and my email opt ins increased from one every week or two to 2 a day for the last three days.

        Just awesome stuff!!

  • Fahrschulen Preisvergleich

    Very nice and interesting video. It definately gave me some input to think about!

  • Patrick

    Wow. This is great. I’m always psyched to gain new insights on making my site better. Thanks for the video, I’ll definitely check it out later today!

  • Paul Cunningham

    Great stuff Derek, thanks to both you and Pat for sharing.

    • Derek

      Thanks Paul — Nice to see a famliar face here! Pat Flynn really whipped together a vibrant community at SPI

  • Paul Wright

    Great video guys lots of great information from you Derek, I have just started a blog and do not collect any emails yet. I was wondering what percentage of sales do you make via email compared to affiliate links on your blog?

  • James

    Paul a email list can be gold in the right niche, but it really does depend what your blog is about??? Building the relationship with the subscribers is paramount before offering products/recommendations etc. This way its more credible to the reader, as apposed to offering everything over email on a whim to get some commissions. Hope that helps

  • Jana Quinn

    Wow, when you put yourself out there, you really put yourself out there! I read through the transcript, and the play-by-play layout of the “about” page is what really jumped out at me. Derek’s advice for changing the order of the content on that page around makes a lot of sense.

    Looking forward to a follow-up post on how this works out for you!

  • Torrey

    This video was right on time. The about page adjustments and the “resources” suggestion were awesome & stuff I never thought of. I’m working on changes asap as I am about to launch an ebook in the next week or so. Thanks guys

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  • Steve

    I really liked this! Thank you both. It seems that when I think I’ve reached a point where I can plateau for a little while and consolidate I lift another stone – or rather, see another great interview on this site – and I see how little I know. And each time is a quantum leap on what’s gone before.

    I love learning. Thank you.


  • Jared

    Wow. Just brilliant. Wondering though, what about those exit pop-overs? Should there be a signup bar that pops up when someone leaves your site too?

    Always wondered about that.

    Thanks again! Awesome video.

  • Moon Hussain

    That was really informative, Pat & Derek and totally made sense. And love the name, ‘social triggers’. Thanks for sharing. I’m so tempted to hand over my e-mail to Derek… :)

  • Rachel

    Wow this video is great. I have always liked your site. I build websites for a living and he is right you have one of the nicer pages in the niche. I can’t believe he was able to turn up so many areas to improve here. I am going to look into everything he says on my own site. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Jacques Bezuidenhout

    It took me 2 days to completely watch this great video. Why, you might asked? Simple reason. As I watched it I went back to my site and implemented some of the ideas. This must be one of the best videos/post I have come across. Thanks

  • John Corcoran

    Excellent video with many tips that can be implemented on other sites as well, not just Smart Passive Income. I also checked out his site and it really does offer what is advertised – analysis based on psychology. It appears very well researched and thought out.

  • Ian – TheAffiliateJourney


    Nice video and good information to share.

    A couple of things I’d like to add to this conversation.

    1.) I think I may have ready here that you’re doing this, so apologies if you already are. Go Signup at and add it to your top landing pages (based on analytics data). This will give you a heat map and actual click #’s for what people are clicking on.

    Derek talked a lot about what he thinks will work (not saying it’s not true) but I’ve learned that I never know best and testing never lies.

    If you let Crazy Egg run you’ll get a nice heat map of what people are clicking and doing on your site.

    2.) I’m not 100% you can do this, but I think it’s possible. Look at getting your coder to implement a dynamic passing of the referral URL to your aweber form.

    In a nutshell if you setup an aweber form with an adtracking variable in it, post it to your theme then replace the ad tracking variable you set in aweber with something like


    Then dynamically grab the referring page (using some PHP or JS this is where I get lost) then dynamically insert it on each page for the adtracking of the form. This way you’ll be able to get better data with which posts are generating the most signups etc.

    Again it’s great all the info you share.



    • Derek

      You’re right, testing never lies. And that’s why I don’t focus specifically on do x or y. However, if you notice, I talk about an overall conversion strategy, things like resource pages, and etc, that should help increase the overall conversion rate of his entire site.

    • Paul Cunningham

      Aweber already records which URL a subscriber signed up from in an attribute called “Add URL” which is separate to the Ad Tracking data. You can see it by browsing through your subscriber data in the Aweber backend, and if you want to do any reporting just export your list to CSV and use something like Microsoft Excel to analyze the data.

  • Technology

    and my one more tip for SPI
    – add Google +1 button on SPI as early as possible 😉

  • Scott

    Pat, I thought Derek gave you some awesome recommendation, but I think a lot of your site’s success has come because you’ve protected SPI from feeling like a lead form. Great insights, but I think we have to find the balance.

  • Mel @ Trailing After God

    Thank you so very, very much for this! This is an amazing video and I normally don’t sit and watch them :) Pat, you rock in sharing so much good stuff with us and Derek, THANK YOU!

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  • RemcoD

    Thank you both for sharing this awesome information. Hat off for Pat and the way he handled the critisism on his site, welcoming every suggestion and not jumping to the defence.

  • Igor

    Wow.. So many comments, I will not read them all :) Anyway, interesting information in the video, thank you Derek! As for the suggestions, they are great, but Pat, don´t go overboad now with all the call to action stuff. I like the blog already, it is personal and sincere, not having some secret agenda into forcing to sell me something. That is very valuable too. Best!

    • Pat

      Agreed, Igor. I definitely want to keep the feel of SPI the same, and will not go overboard like many people are worried about. There are some things in the video that I believe I really should implement though.

      And as far as selling anything, who says that’s what I’m trying to do. I think a lot of people assume that because I’m increasing subscribership, that I’m ultimately leading to sell something from that email list. That’s not the agenda here, and I have a lot of excellent content in the autoresponder series (30 emails so far), all pure content.


      Cheers Igor, and thanks for the support!

      • Igor

        Pat, you´re the best! :) It´s OK, even if you try to sell something from time to time, nothing wrong with that :) Keep it up!

  • Jino

    Hi Derek, great story! I read most of your posts, and they were very helpful. Thanks!

  • Jon

    To be honest when I’m listening all I’m hearing is “opt-in form”, “opt-in form”. Take care Pat, you’re where you are now because people trust YOU.

    YOU are Smart Passive Income, if you start looking to much like a salesman you’re gonna lose that trust.

    • Pat

      Thanks Jon, I appreciate that. I definitely don’t want to change the feel of how SPI is now, and I’m probably not going to implement 100% of the opt-in box suggestions to accomplish that, however there are some things in the video, I feel, that I definitely should be doing that I am not already.

      Definitely don’t want to become a salesman, but I think it helps that I don’t really have anything to sell either 😉 Cheers!

  • Fisayo

    Derek I think it’s a good job showing bloggers how to turn web traffic into leads and sales. I feel terrible when I see blogs with very good traffic without obvious lead capture measures.

    However, I have a different opinion though…

    For the income report page, my opinion about lead capture is to post the latest income report and have visitors subscribe to my list to get past income reports, then I can say they’ll also get future income reports fresh as soon as they are published.

    I have the opinion that a visitor will be keen to subscribe to get something right away than for what is to come in the future.

    Again, I don’t know what brought Derek to the point of offering just the newsletter instead of an instant stuff, I don’t know what he has tested, but I think it’d be better to offer an instant stuff in addition to the promise of a newsletter.

    I feel it depends on where your visitors are coming from. If you have established yourself as someone worth listening to elsewhere – for example someone going to your website from this page, then the first time visitor would not mind opting in to your newsletter.

    If on the other hand, the visitor just stumbles on your website, there’s the possibility that the first post he sees may not be that convincing to make him subscribe, because he may be receiving lots of email already. But I think if he’s getting something right away in exchange for his email address, he may be compelled to opt in.

    Generally, I think Derek’s take on the email thing caters only for marketers who have found their way already – netrepreneurs who knows what they are doing online and what they are looking for.

    But those are not the only ones online, there are junkies too. I think you have the responsibility as expert to get them to find their way about making money on the internet. But how can you possibly do that if you can even get them in on your list so they can listen to you in the future?

    I know I was a junkie and I would go for anything downloadable, that was how I got on so many lists, but I think that in a way contributed to my gradual rebirth.

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  • Christina Dodson

    I love every bit of your content, Pat, but this post was the bomb, for sure. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Ricky

    I am now giddy with excitement…thank you Pat for sharing this with us…..I see $ signs

  • Financial Success For Young Adults

    These are all great tips! I’ve already changed around my about page and I’ll be looking at some of the other suggestions this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  • Joy Heart

    Wow Pat ,

    This is amazing! I’m about to launch my new blog and this time it will be different because of Derek’s great input! I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to blogging and I must say that I get a lot from this Blog. Actually Pat, this is my favorite blog! Real deal stuff you posts…and the suggestions Derek gave you will take your blog into another level….I like the opt-in forms suggestion…also taking out the side bars because it does distract me sometimes …Thanks Derek!!!…

    • Derek

      Your welcome Joy!

  • Carey_PA

    Man…..Pat and Derek….awesome, awesome video.

    I think this may have been one of THE best videos that I’ve ever seen online. Thank you guys so much. Derek I have tons of notes and have already implemented some of your ideas.

    Pat, thanks so much for sharing this info.

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  • Tracy Baker


    Awesome post with true value and insight into website optimisation. Particularly liked the idea of ditching the recent posts and converting them to niche resources … very cool idea.
    I’ve just started on this journey and its a steep learning curve but I will definitely be keeping up with you guys. 😀


  • ZPTsotetsi

    WOW, this is great Pat. and Derek, thanks for super tips. i’m going back to the drawing board to emplement every single tips i got from this video. thanks again

  • Bolette Obbekaer

    Hi Pat and Derek
    Thanks for some great content. I will spend some of my summer going through my own website and try out what Derek suggested for Pat. Can’t wait to see what will happen 😉

    I follow both of you so seeing you two get together was great!

  • George Tee

    Hi pat and derek, this conversation is full of great ideas. It was nice that both of you, share this important strategies to increase web traffic and conversion rate with Derek Halpern. I’d check out his website, and look how he did the opt-in form. I can say that it is simple, not catchy and totally works to new visitors of the site. I also learned to put up an opt-in form in every page of the website to increase subscribers and leads. I absolutely learn from this video. Thanks.

  • ProjectJourneyman

    Hey Pat and Derek. Thanks a lot for sharing this video – it’s a great way to leverage the work to review SPI into help for many more people. I have a lot of food for thought for updating my site.

  • karlo

    hi pat.. will this session be also available on MP3 format?

  • Justin | AdSense Flippers

    Loved the video, Pat, Derek seems to really know what he’s talking about. Our site is quite new, but I think we’re going to build it up following some of the strategies he outlined in the video…really useful and I see that you saw that too.

    I see, though, that some of the strategies you agreed with you still haven’t changed on the site. Did you change your mind or just overloaded with stuff and haven’t gotten to it yet? :-) I know THAT feeling! hehe

    • Pat

      I’m keeping the things that need to be changed on the site for a while so that those who come across this video within the first week or so can see the issues/problems live on the site. Then I’ll make the changes :)

      Thanks Justin!

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  • Ian

    Hi Pat. This is an interesting video about how to get more people to sign up to your list. My problem is that I have an ever increasing list but I have little idea on what to do with it! I am in the therapy and counselling business and get a fair few people downloading my free guide to human personality but I don’t know what I can offer these people next that might make me some cash! Any ideas anyone?

  • Rachel

    Hi Ian,

    If your workshops are popular, perhaps you can take the workshop curriculum and turn it into a series of videos with a downloadable workbook. Then people outside of your geographic area can benefit, as well as those who may be too private to come to a workshop.

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  • David

    great stuff! thanks for sharing. thanks to Derek for pushing me to view this one. my opt in form is a mess but it is a big priority for June/July so this was all very helpful.

  • James Gentes

    Awesome video Pat, thanks for sharing this. I could see why other bloggers might not want to air their dirty laundry like this, or give such great advice to the public. Thanks again.


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  • Rosemary Breen @ Psychic Revolution

    This is such a great blog post.

    I have used many of the ideas for my own site and feel very pleased with the improvements.

    Thanks Pat for sharing.


  • Rebecca

    Thanks for this useful video! I took notes as I watched it and wrote out clear action steps to take on my own sites. I appreciate that you’re so open with your readers about critiques of your own site.

    I like the advice regarding providing the opt in frequently but to also remind the reader how providing their email to will be a benefit to them – that they can receive published resources IMMEDIATELY. By including that little bit of info it seems to turn it into an attempt to provide convenience to the reader instead of being pushy. Granted, some people may see it as “too much” but that’s all based on personal opinion and the only way to know for sure if it works will be to test it out…off to tweak my site now!

    • Justin | AdSense Flippers

      Yeah, the email sign-ups might seem a bit TOO frequent…I’d worry about turning off readers, but when I think about my own experience seeing it that often I usually just skip past it and continue reading the content if I’m already signed up, so it’s not too distracting, really. I really liked the idea and will definitely use the info regarding the “About Us” section when I finally get around to writing it! hehe

  • Craig

    Wow, that took just a few minutes to point out several things I need to do for my blog. Excellent work!

    Thanks for sharing,

  • Ian Brodie

    Hi Pat,

    Great review from Derek. He’s just done a review of my site at

    Personally, I think about this stuff quite a lot and often do reviews of other people sites. But Derek picked up a bunch of stuff I missed.



  • Beau

    Wow, I was seriously impressed by Derek’s analysis and ideas. I hadn’t heard most of those ideas articulated anywhere before. Definitely gives me some new stuff to implement right away!

  • Gary Castleton

    It’s always great to work with someone who doesn’t let their ego affect their business. No one is perfect in business and it’s always good to listen and learn from someone else, especially if they are a specialist.

  • Trung Nguyen

    My English listen skill is so bad so I’ve just download the transcript ebook, will check it immediately. Thanks so much Pat and Derek.

  • Sergio Felix

    Man, I don’t know why I didn’t watch this video before but oh well, I just did and wow, it’s just pure massive amounts of golden info.

    My site is embarrassing compared to the advice given to Pat because my little site failed in every tip mentioned by Derek.

    So as always, so much to do, so little time, just wanted to give a heads up for the video and people don’t be lazy, WATCH IT. You won’t regret it.


  • Sam @ Professional Gambler

    Hey pat, might be cool if you dotpoint the improvements he mentioned (and where he mentions the improvement in the vid) and place it under the video.
    eg. 2:01 – The importance of a good logo and site name.

    It would help me refer to this again and again. I think it also encourages people to get into the vid anyway… otherwise they will just look at the length of it and scan through themselves and possibly miss important points.

    Unless you want us to watch the entire vid for another purpose… in that case leave it LOL


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