A Real Life Example (and Analysis) of Epic Content Gone Viral

I love to give advice here on the blog, but when people take action, implement those ideas and see massive results – I love it even more!

This is why I do what I do.

A couple of days ago, I received an email from Jim Harmer, an SPI fan who blogs at Improve Photography:

“Hey Pat. From your last podcast [session #23], I implemented your tips on how to drive more traffic to a website.  Check out the JPEG screen capture that I attached to this email to see how your tips have impacted the traffic to my site in the last few days!  It has been INSANE!!!  One of the articles I posted a couple days ago has been shared over 1,000 times on facebook/twitter/google+.

And here is the screen capture Jim sent along with his email, which is really what caught my attention:

improve Photography StatsThis.



I replied with some congratulatory remarks, of course, but I was curious—what exact strategies did Jim put into place?

So I asked him, and this is what he replied with:

“I think what made the difference for me is when you were talking about “Epic content.” I have spent the last several months learning everything I could possibly learn about SEO and making my website as SEO friendly as humanly possible.  I have gone to great lengths to get good backlinks and to optimize the site.  While the site has seen a SLOW and steady increase in traffic over the last 6 months, it has never really gone viral. I was committed to writing one article every single day, but not necessarily to make each article “epic.”

After hearing your podcast last week, I sat down for five hours trying to write the best content that I could possibly come up with.  It took me about an hour just to come up with a good subject, but when I saw the results of what putting out truly epic content can accomplish, I was amazed.  The website traffic SPIKED to levels that I could never have imagined, and the traffic has stayed constant for several days now.  That first article I wrote after listening to your podcast was shared over 1,000 times on Facebook/Twitter/Google+.  It’s not that I haven’t always tried to write good blog posts, but I have never committed myself to spending several hours getting it PERFECT before.”

There’s a lot of fantastic advice we can take away from Jim’s reply:

  • SEO isn’t everything. I’ve said this before, but it’s really the content on your site that can take your blog and brand to the next level.
  • A content-based traffic strategy (i.e. Epic Content) is exactly what Corbett Barr from Think Traffic advocates and that’s exactly what we talked about in our podcast session together. It’s great to see someone like Jim take action and really implement this strategy.
  • Sharing (and sharing capabilities) are extremely important. If Jim simply published his post and didn’t have an easy way for people to share it (over 1000 times), his post wouldn’t have seen nearly the same amount of traffic.
  • The traffic will keep coming (for a while). The traffic to Jim’s post has stayed consistent for several days,which is consistent with my own experience with some of my most popular content. Of course, the traffic will naturally die off over time, but depending on how great the content is, it can die off relatively slow.

When I got this response from Jim, I thought to myself, “This would be SO perfect to share on the blog”, so I asked him a few more questions, interview style, so we could all benefit from his experience, and he kindly agreed.

1. What is the name and link of the epic post?

The first post I wrote after listening to the podcast last week was 22 Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Photography Forever.  I have been writing daily photography tips at ImprovePhotography.com for about six months now and I have never seen that kind of traffic before.

2. How did you come up with the topic for the post?

As you [and Corbett] mentioned on the podcast, the format idea for this post came from the original on the ManVsDebt website. While this was a unique idea for the post, I have written lots of posts with catchy titles that flopped big time.  What made the difference in this article is that I spent a lot of time writing NEW ideas that people probably hadn’t seen before on other sites.

3. Did you think that the post would go viral like it did?

I was hoping it would be a big post for me, but this technique brought WAY more traffic that I expected, and it has stayed fairly constant.  While that first post was definitely a big win, the posts I have written since then have double the traffic that my posts usually got before I implemented this technique.

4. What do you think made your post go viral?

I tried to implement a lot of tricks to make this post work, and I think all of them worked together to make the post successful

(1) I have Facebook/Twitter/Google+ share buttons on the website so it is convenient for people to share.  I find that about half of the people who share my posts use the buttons, and half of them just post it themselves.

(2) Without trying to be annoying about it, I simply asked people to share the post on social media.  Since my post was a list of tips, I made the last item on the list a little bit of a joke asking people to share the post.  Since the people liked the content, they were inclined to pay it forward.

(3) I intentionally mentioned other popular photography websites in the posts and linked to them.  I smiled from ear-to-ear when I saw this method pay off when the writers of those blogs mentioned the article to their HUGE Twitter/Facebook followings.  This has paid off for me nearly every time I flatter the “big wigs” in my niche by talking up their sites.  FLATTERY GETS LINKS!

(4) Even if the content didn’t include the best tips ever written, most of the tips were unique.  I read a lot of photography articles, so I know what people typically write about.  When I started making the list, I promised myself that at least half of the tips had to be creative and unique stuff that weren’t obvious or cliche.

5. The content was epic, as we know, but besides that, what really happened after you pressed publish?

It was strange.  I sent out the post around noon and I saw a good increase of traffic that day, but when I woke up the next morning, I had over 75 emails in my inbox of people asking photography questions, receipts from people who bought my eBooks, comments to moderate on the site, etc. It seems like it took about 15 hours for enough people to have shared the post that it could truly go viral.

6. How have you been trying to keep the traffic coming and consistent since writing your epic post?

At the bottom of that first post I wrote after listening to the podcast, I encouraged people to LIKE Improve Photography to get daily photography tips on Facebook.  Since all my articles get posted on Facebook/Twitter automatically, I was able to add a lot of people to my new Facebook page.

7. What has been the result, besides the great exposure and traffic, of your post going viral?

Honestly, the biggest benefit was not that I had a lot of ads get clicked on–though that occurred.  Nor was it that people bought a lot of my photography eBooks–though that occurred as well.  The biggest benefit is that it really impacted the public’s view of my brand.  Because people saw creative and unique content on my site as their first exposure to my growing site, I think I am seen more as an authoritative source of information in the industry rather than being just another photoblogger who tries to write controversial stuff to get attention.  It really put a smile on my face when I read this comment from a new reader after he read my new posts: “Move over, Ken Rockwell (a famous blogger in my niche), there is a new guy in town who is much better and informative.”   I personally happen to really like Ken Rockwell, but I was pleased to see that the article impacted the way that my industry understands my brand.

8. What other tips from the podcast did you find to be helpful?

The part about branding and differentiating your site was really helpful to me.  On the podcast, [you] mentioned the importance of telling users what makes your site different.  That made me think of a commercial I have been hearing on a podcast.  On Leo Laporte’s Tech Guy podcast, he advertises the Ford Escape in repeated commercials.  Every time I think of the Ford Escape, I can hardly say the name of the car without thinking “The All-New 100% re-invented 2011 Ford Escape with My Ford Touch technology.”  This advertisement has impacted me by clearly stating what makes that product different than the other cars.

I have implemented [the] differentiation tip by always stating what is different about it when I write the name of my site.  I NEVER say, “I run the Improve Photography website.”  Now I always say, “I write daily photography tips at ImprovePhotography.com.”  What differentiates my site from all the other photography websites?  If you go to my site, you will learn a new tip every single day.  Oh, and by the way, you have already heard me say “Daily photography tips at ImprovePhotography.com” three times in this Q&A.  Did it impact the way you view my site?

A special thanks to Jim for sharing his experience with us! This is truly inspiring stuff!

He writes daily so I didn’t have time to catch him before he published the post after the one he mentioned here, but my advice to anyone who sees this kind of traffic and exposes themselves and their blog to a ton of brand new visitors from viral content is—make sure your next post is just as epic, if not—more epic, because that’s how you can easily show that you mean business and you’re always going to be providing high quality content that people should absolutely come back to read. It sounds like Jim already knew that though.

I love it!

Cheers, and have a fantastic and safe weekend!

  • http://www.pctips4all.com Scott

    Man….what a great article! Makes me think much more about my content and not just about SEO. Thank you so much!!


    • http://zeropassiveincome.com Zero Passive Income

      I feel the exact same way as Scott. I need to be focusing more on content then on SEO.

  • Rusty

    Hi Pat,

    Can I ask a quick favor? How long does MS take, for you, to finish generating and analysis for a batch of keywords? It is taking me 12, 15, 20 minutes? I don’t know if it is my PC or not and I’m hoping the expert can give me some quick pointers.

    THANKS for all you do!

    • http://www.bloggersjournal.com Mark Bell

      Hi Rusty,

      Market samurai time can take a while for me too. It really depends on how many keywords you are researching and how many columns in the analysis sub-page you have activated. After that it will depend a little on your internet connection/computer – but I wouldn’t imagine too significantly.

      10mins would be a max really for me. Don’t forget in Pat’s videos he might have edited them so the analysis appears quicker – though I could be wrong on that part.

      Hope that helps,

  • http://www.amperspectives.com Andy

    Awesome motivation! So happy for both of you.

  • http://electriccigarettereport.org Steve

    Pat, super article! I love how you bring everything full circle. Thanks for sharing. I’ve often wondered how long it takes others to write an article. I’ve heard 20minutes to an hour. I think I spend too much time writing my articles but I’ve never spent 5 hours. Maybe I should give it a try.

  • http://nicheexperiments.com Jimmy – Niche Experiments

    Hi Pat (& Jim),

    I’ve been doing exactly the same sort of thing on my blog recently. I’ve completely sacrificed SEO in some articles, made them very long and in depth and also added tons of video and pictures. The result is that the traffic keeps coming long after the post is written because people are passing it around.

    This is soooooooooooo much more rewarding than writing with SEO in mind. Now I deliberately try to make the articles entertaining and sometimes provocative and that is bringing good results too.

    Great stuff guys!!

  • http://lifeandmyfinances.com LifeAndMyFinances

    This is a great, real-life example of success through careful planning! I can relate with Jim on this one. I try to post on a consistent schedule, but I can’t say that my posts are truly amazing. They are more entertaining than anything.

    I think it’s time for me to sit down and come up with a truly amazing post! I’ll have to let you know if it goes viral or not.

    Thanks for the post!

    • http://debtsnowballcalculator.net Eric

      It’s tough to do that, especially speaking of finances! There are soooo many people out there blogging about debt, income, stock market, etc.

      I really think this would put someone ahead of the rest in finances. Tell people something they don’t hear everyday. Add a sense of polite-fright to make them realize the importance.

      Best of luck as I’m a frequent reader of your blog!

  • Babatunde

    Wow! This is the first post I’ve seen on SPI that doesn’t have over 100 comments before I can make mine.

    Seriously, this is a truly inspiring article. I think this story re-enforces the need to TAKE ACTION..as that is what will evetually bring results and not just learning all the SEO methods online without implementing anything.

    Thumbs up to Pat for creating epic content out of a story about epic content. Keep th flag flying!!!

  • http://www.breastfeedingissuestoday.com/ Joan Kessler

    Wow, really great article. Makes me re-think a lot of what I’ve been doing lately. Thanks for sharing this, Pat!

  • http://pcolicence.co.uk Dave

    It really is great to hear that although SEO is important it’s also good to have great content which will bring visitors and keep them coming. Sometimes it’s all about backlinks, banklinks, backlinks, and that’s all most people talk about.

  • http://www.andrewsviewoftheweek.com Andrew Reynolds

    Just proves what I tell everyone – a great title will get me to read the first sentence but you need lots of great sentences strung together to get me to read all the way to the end.

    and I’ll only share something with my friends that I found truly outstanding – I don’t waste my friend’s time with junk or even with “okay” content. You’ve got to really inform me with something I don’t know or really move me with a great story.

  • http://paralegalhq.com Manspaugh

    Ahhh!!! This makes me want to get off my fat bum and start the blog I’ve been thinking about writing for some time now. Such inspiration!!!

  • http://www.darrylburma.com Darryl Burma

    Hey Pat thanks for yet another motivational article. Hearing about Jim’s recent success really is inspiring. It’s also great to get his perspective and I think it’s fantastic that he shared some of his methods which are educational for any type of blogger no matter what their niche. Stories like this one are what it’s all about.

  • http://www.101things1001days.com Simply Paul

    I have very little understanding or knowledge of SEO and I try to concentrate on the content instead. As my blog is a side project I started last month I don’t have much time but try and squeeze in 3 posts a week. I think I will reduce it to two and really give more effort to each post.

  • http://www.youngprepro.com/welcome Onibalusi Bamidele

    It’s really great to see the results Jim got from implementing the tips in your podcast with Corbett and I really loved the questions you asked him and the answers he gave.

    I also went to read the article on his blog and it is pretty obvious he spent a lot of time into making it epic!

  • http://deneilmerritt.com Deneil Merritt

    Its awesome to see others doing so well. I would be drunk the same day I have a day like that. lol It really goes to show what a little hard work can do for a blogger.

  • serg

    Just checked out improvephotography.com- love the clean layout. I’ve noticed that in this new economy its all about taking it slow to build something whether its wealth, career, relationships, and now epic content. Great stuff man.

  • http://seleema.com healthier lifestyle @ Seleema.com

    Pat this is great stuff. Congratulations to you both. I will start working on some epic articles over the weekend. This is very inspiring.

  • Stephanie

    I think SEO naturally follows great content (i.e. great content should naturally have great seo) because to me, great content is on topic, useful, and detailed which is somewhat similar to what search engines look for nowadays. Proof of this idea – after running his post through a keyword analyzer, his topic one-word keywords are “Great” and “Photography” and his topic 3 word key word is “change photography forever” – which happens to be what the post is about.

  • http://hirstmusic.com Mike Hirst

    This was really great. I threw it on my BufferApp to be tweeted tomorrow morning. I’m not even that into photography but I’m thinking of subscribing to his site just because I liked his responses to your questions :-)

  • http://www.seorankings.com Wes

    Nice Job, Jim!

    And thanks for sharing his real-life example on your blog, Pat.

  • http://www.ataracticmind.com Dharmesh

    This is fantastic. It’s not normal to see fast results of a good strategy that is well executed.

    I am a toddler in this world of blogging and writing epic content is something new on my list..

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://Unwireme.com Rich Polanco

    Great job, Jim! I also had one of my best days thanks to Pat’s advice, albeit indirectly.

    On Pat’s “5 post that I wish I wrote” last week, Pat mentioned Chris post on writing great blog content. I read, followed Chris’ advice and the results were great.

    Information is great (this site is loaded with it), but acting on that information makes it even better.


  • http://startupfreelancer.wordpress.com/ Tara @ Startup Freelancer

    Thanks Pat and Jim for the inspiration. I’ve just launched a new blog/experiment/gig and will be stoking the fire of viral content creation very soon.

  • http://www.diamondguidehq.com Richard Scott

    It’s good to see that Pat’s enthusiasm is contagious and is rubbing off on everyone. I love how it’s all based upon epic content and asking for the desired action. Awesome! Being real and giving people something new and different is not an easy task. But done the right way it can be priceless as shown in the example above. Great job Jim. This is truly inspiration for the weekend. :)

    Now I’m off to learn something I didn’t know about photography. :)

  • http://www.inventionaddict.com/ Stephen @ inventionaddict.com

    Jim’s photographs are outstanding. I really like the night shots.

  • http://www.kidsiphoneapps.net Pavel

    Awesome Jim!

    Thanks Pat for a great post, love the fact that you’re sharing your followers’ stories. I think this really goes to show that there is a golden nugget in your every post and podcast!


  • http://www.internetbusinessaid.com Vince

    Awesome post. I also listened to podcast #23 and it’s great to see someone apply the tips and the results skyrocketed.

    Thanks Pat and Jim for sharing this inspiring experience.

  • http://reviews.davidleetong.com David Tong

    Now this is really EPIC and inspirational.

    I run a photography blog myself and while I do receive decent amount of traffic (especially for a non-optimized site), very rarely have my posts been ‘viral’ other than the posts about new camera gear that I was able to review or write about before the ‘big sites’ had the info.

    7K uniques is very impressive indeed for a broad and popular niche like photography. I’m truly impressed with the performance.

    The article itself was great and the site is so neat and well implemented as well.

    I’m in the process of shifting from adsense to affiliate ebook (as well as attempting to promote my own ebook, but I’m still reading Pat’s ebook guide right now) for my site.

    Again, excellent job and Pat, thanks again.

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

    Congrats on the huge success!! It’s fun to see the graph shoot up like that. :)

  • http://www.thewisebuck.com Mike

    That’s another great story…We all know how important persistence and discipline are on the path to becoming a successful blogger, communicator. But this gets to what sets successful blogs apart from the usual. I’ve always said that many SPI posts are like courses or books.

    And, we all have the opportunity and dare I say responsibility to write Epic Content should we expect to appreciate the same rewards. This is a great message.

    Have a great weekend,


  • http://unlockthedoor.net Stuart

    Just goes to prove that age-old saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”!

    Because Jim spent 5 hours on that epic post, and shared it heavily, he was ‘rewarded’ with it going viral. What you put in, you will get out in (more or less) equal measure. It’s a natural law :-)

  • http://findmyblogway.com Lye Kuek Hin

    Hi Pat and Jim,

    A fine example of walk the talk. Jim has illustrate what a big difference it can be when he spent his time to plan his post and writing a killer article. This just give you the motivation to make it better for the next one. Congrats for the success.

  • http://iwings.net Cal

    Good stuff and really inspirational. I will strive to reach this in my own writing. Nice work Jim!

  • http://www.swipdosh.com Samuel

    This shows that Jim is a loyal student of SPI :) Awesome job Jim! Hope to see more of this on SPI. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  • http://www.bloomtofit.com Srdjan – Fitness Bloomer

    Wow what an awesome article/interview. This kind of stuff really solidifies my idea of spending more time writing great content and less time exploring new SEO concepts.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Avtar

    Inspiring Indeed. The timing of this blog post can’t be better as I am writting content for my new blog. Thanks Patty:)

  • http://www.webproco.com Jeremy

    Great story of how your podcast affected him. I think the most important takeaway is that he TOOK ACTION. He didn’t go to the next tip or try to consume more information on what to do, he broke down the podcast information and implemented a strategy to make it work for what he does.


  • http://chefgeneman.com Philip Geneman

    Wow, that was so inspiring. Thanks sooo much pat for this great post. Plus I am also wanting to get into food photography among other types photography! so This post will help in much more than one way! you know this post also is inspiring me continue with my blog.

    Thanks for this pat keep up the amazing work!

  • Iain from Smart Dividend Growth

    Hi Pat,
    Great article and it really shows that in the end content is king. That being said Jim did everything right with with website to ensure he got the most out of his great content.

  • http://www.artbyherbie.com Herbie Hysteria

    great write-up, pat! i suppose this is a great example of the age-old belief ‘quality over quantity’. i’m definately inspired after reading this, and will be spending extra time planning and perfecting my posts after this.

  • http://webthesmartway.com Siegfried

    I’ve read that viral photo post, quite good IMHO

  • http://www.flippingjunkie.com Danny Johnson

    This is awesome! I am going to try to write up something similar for my house flipping blog. Thanks.

    This blog supplies an endless stream of awesome posts. I’m glad my friend told me about it and thanks again to you, Pat.

  • http://osakabentures.com/2011/06/can-you-tweet/ Saul Fleischman

    Textual optimization, massive sharing, and… Triberr, right? While we can’t go viral on all posts (or most!), we can indeed “do the work.” Very nice blog, Pat.

  • http://etreheureux.fr etre heureux

    Great to see its work rewarded ^^
    Inspiring and motivating

  • http://www.gothipedia.net/ Brett

    I like the design of the Improve Photography blog. It’s clean, simple and encourages the visitors to take action in some form or another.

  • http://www.dubai-information-site.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    excellent post, excellent reminder that it is not so much about the quantity of your posts/releases but also the quality. if i had to choose between to two i’d go for the quality.

  • http://www.bloggersjournal.com Mark Bell

    Hi Pat,
    It’s great to see results like this as further testimony to good practice being implemented on a website. I haven’t heard the podcast in a while and will have to tune in again.

    On the issue of SEO – I’ve found that “pillar” articles naturally gather good SEO practices because of the improvements in Google’s algorithms. Longer articles I believe to be full of natural long tail keywords. I wrote a similar “pillar” article on some of the top plugins for WordPress which now has a page rank of 2.

    That all aside – I need to get back to writing good content – my own blog has been a little neglected as I’ve branched out in the niche site challenge!

  • http://hangout-lifestyle.de/ Florian

    Not too bad mate. Not to bad. I like Pat advices …. they always help guys like us in the big world wide web. Thanks a lot and good job Jim! :-)

  • http://www.designmycity.com emile

    Pat has no idea how much he has helped me. I started listening to Pat after I found him on Zune and I am hooked since. His podcasts keep me going and I listen to them at least two times to make sure I get and remember all the tips. I have shared his podcasts with friends and family members. Thank you very much Pat.

  • http://www.matsholmvik.com Mats

    It’s good to see your information helps and works Pat! I am listening to the podcast right now to try it out myself!

  • http://my4hours.com Rasmus @ My 4 Hours

    That’s fantastic results.

    It gets me wondering if I should spend more time on creating content for my blog to address the traffic thing instead of doing more SEO :)

    I’ve been having some trouble finding good subjects to write about on my blog, because there is so much killer content out there. Any tips on “finding your voice”?

    • http://www.beingprimal.com dean dwyer

      Hey Rasmus,

      Not to hijack Pat’s job here, but I really liked your last question and while I don’t claim to be an expert in this area I officially launched my blog July 1st with a quest post on a pretty big site and have since received over 1000 subscribers this month. And I believe the reason for that is I stole an idea from Jason Fried from 37 signals that has worked very well.

      He wrote an article in Inc Magazine http://tinyurl.com/3qdnqjb which I highlighted the crap out of.

      He simply stated to solve a problem we are struggling with and elegantly package (my phrase) that solution and offer it to others who are most likely struggling with the same issues you are. Perhaps listening to your inner voice, and jotting down the things you are struggling with would be a perfect place to start.

      I too have read TF’s book so if you are struggling with something odds are I am too.

      I found this to be quite effective with my new blog simply because in the past I tried to write for others, which is OK at times (ie addressing questions) but I believe people are more inspired to act (which is different from simply being inspired) when someone is being real. Again that has always been the case for me (one reason I like SPI…one of 4 blogs I subscribe to)

      I guess it’s trusting that there is an army of people out there just like you who are struggling with similar things.

      The thing I like about this is I’m not coming at things like I’m an expert who never struggles (which isn’t realistic and quite frankly sends the wrong message to people). As a result I am picking up fans who are seeing that my “being real” is something people are not addressing.

      Hope that helps in some way. I’m sure PF will have much more to add. Keep up the great work though my friend.


    • http://www.beingprimal.com dean dwyer

      Hey Rasmus,

      Sorry I just posted a reply to your question but for some reason it didn’t show (too long to rewrite). Will check with Pat to see what happened. A good question though that you asked.


    • http://www.beingprimal.com dean dwyer

      Hey Rasmus,

      Figured I try one more time.

      I thought that was a great question you asked, and while I am no expert on this topic I recently tried something with a new blog I launched in July that has worked particularly well and might be helpful in your area as well with lifestyle design.

      I officially launched my blog with a guest post on July 1st in a pretty crowded market (body transformation-I don’t like the phrase weight loss), but did so stealing an idea from an article Jason Fried wrote about in Inc Magazine a few months back.

      He talked about making money by solving a problem you deal with…and then packaging it as an elegant solution (my phrase) and offering it to others who most likely suffer from the same problem.

      This idea was a bit of a punch in the head for me and I decided to run with it (worked well I: I went from 33 subscribers pre-launch to 1073 post launch just this month alone).

      But I have taken the idea one step further by writing (actually I have just switched to video blogging) about those things I struggle with.

      What I have found is that within the niche I am in, there is a group of people out there who are also struggling with the same things. There is a niche within the niche.

      I too have read TF’s stuff so perhaps you could listen to your inner voice and use the things you are struggling with as posts. If you struggle with them I probably do to.

      There are lots of people who love what TF has written, but struggle to implement the idea.

      Oh and what I have also found by taking this approach is that I have unknowing taped into a very emotional niche as well, which is predominantly women.

      It’s something to consider. Not every post has to be of this nature, but if you were to break down Pat’s site, I believe one of the reasons for his popularity (aside from the great content) is the fact he comes off as a regular dude and he openly shares his successes and his failures.

      He is the expert without saying, “Hey everyone I am an expert.” There is tremendous appeal to that approach.

      This is tremendously effective when it is sincere in nature (and it can’t be copied because it is 100% you).

      Just something to think about my friend.


  • http://readingdojo.com Joe

    Great advice, I am going to work on my own epic content article over the next few days.

  • http://www.profitworks.ca Chris R. Keller From Profitworks.ca

    Great advice. I can definitely attest to the truth of this. When I look at my highest volume posts there is definitely a huge correlation between content quality, content uniqueness, search engine rankings and page views.

  • http://incomepanel.com Roy C.Chukwu

    Nice tips Pat,

    If possible, I will love to take a holidays to study all the tips on SPI.

    Really, it is nice knowing this blog.


  • http://techatlast.com Olawale Daniel

    Thanks a lot @Pat and also @JIM for sharing this awesome information with us here. I see the testimony as a turning point for me too :)

  • http://www.essetinoconnexions.com Auret

    Really great job Jim! That is so exciting. It’s so great to see someone else’s results from putting the same points into action that Pat/Corbet talk about. My business partner and I have a blog site that helps other artists and performers market themselves online, and we’ve made an action plan out of Pat/Corbet’s podcast. We’re started putting these things into action and although the results didn’t come ‘instantaneous’ like Jim’s, we’ve seen significant improvements in our traffic already! As Pat says: This. Is. Awesome! Thanks so much, Pat and Jim, for this blog post :)


    Hi Pat,

    As usual, great content, thank you!

    Do you think concept of creating epic content and increasing visitors is true for every niche site or topic? Or is it limited to certain items?

    I know it might also have to do with writing the right content, at the right time and sharing it with the right social channels as well.

    Thank you for all that you do,



  • http://www.buyfrombali.com Chris Rg

    Thanks for this ,
    its always great to know whats new and whats going on around the world of blogging, I’m keep a check now on your new posts and will be back soon, thanks again xxx

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com Robert

    That is such a huge traffic gain. Congrats on the work. It is so exciting when posts take off!

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    Very inspirational!

    One thing I would like to point out is that although there was mention of SEO not being as important as creating epic content the foundation that was laid with the SEO work was instrumental in the exponential growth for the epic content.

    I mean if the site was only getting 50 hits per day and then ballooned up to 350 it would not seem all that impressive. While the percentage growth would be comparable the sheer volume would not be the same.

    I think it is important to recognize that the epic content was responsible for skyrocketing the traffic but the previously done SEO work was an important asset in the volume of traffic.

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    My webmaster has been stressing going “viral” for a few years now. It’s not as easy as it sounds. My Twitter account is stagnant. Facebook is fun, but is not so critical for optimizing according to my last call with my google customer service rep. Having that one hot post or video is a dream we all dream of.

    What I found to be realistic is to have a large network of followers which you develop a database for one way or the other. Then, email them twice a month about blog or other content which you are SURE that they will like. I am doing this and getting an 11% click through rate from my emails which is phenominal. I have a very targeted audience and I study exactly what they want to read about by analyzing stats!

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  • Pat

    Hey Pat,

    First of all, I’m a big fan of your site (and your name!). This is my first comment here. Just wanted to share some data with you on Jim’s viral post. Here are some exact numbers in terms of how his photography post has been shared. The numbers have been gathered by a script that I use that is usually right on the dot in terms of accuracy. You can see that he’s getting shares and traffic from all over the place. Thought you might want to share this data within your post to show your readers the exact power of epic content.

    Jim’s Post Shared Around The Web – By The Numbers (August 21, 2011)
    Twitter: 586
    Facebook Likes: 785
    Facebook Shares: 1533
    Facebook Total: 2972
    Google +1’s: 248
    StumbleUpon Views: 49358
    Delicious Bookmarks: 68
    Google Buzz: 227
    LinkedIn Shares: 59

    Well, I’m off to read more posts on your blog! Currently have 5 more tabs of your posts open in my browser to get through. Ha!


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    Epic content it is! I think at the end of the day, it goes down the core of it all: good content.

  • http://www.geniusstartup.com/ Caimin @ Genius Startup

    Excellent post. More proof that taking the time to read / listen to smart people like Pat is only half the task – you’ve wasted your time if you don’t act.

    The great thing about Jim’s post is the basic format can be switched to apply to any niche:

    22 Things You Can Do Today To Change Your Social Media Impact Forever
    22 Things You Can Do Today To Change Your Exercise Routine Forever


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    I just visited this guy’s FB page to see how he improved since this interview, and now he has over 500000 likes on FB. That’s impressive. Thanks for sharing this Pat.

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