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How to Get
1 Million Readers
SEPTEMBER 20–22, 2018 | AUSTIN, TEXAS | JW MARRIOTT
Matthew Kepnes runs the award winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt, and wrote the New York
Times best-seller, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day. After a trip to Thailand in 2005, Matt decided
to quit his job, finish his MBA and head off into the world. His original trip was supposed to last a year.
Over ten years later, he is still out roaming around and teaching others how to do the same.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Effectively use social media to reach your
Land guest posts that drive traffic to your
Gain media mentions for your expertise
Find your network and build authentic
relationships with people across industries
1. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
2. Each platform has one core use – plan
3. Post amazing content – by you and other
4. Be honest, be real, be human
Show your personality
Make quality connections
Reach new peers and followers
Create content quickly
Doesn’t drive traffic
Growth is slow
Tweet about what you love
Follow others that tweet about what
Scan through followers of like-
minded bloggers to find people who
like what you do
Follow and engage with other
Most people won’t follow you back
until you reach out and connect
Find people via hashtags
Create lists to stay organized
Mostly for women
2nd biggest social media site (after FB)
Drives great traffic
Users are ready to buy
Mostly for women
Design Pinterest-friendly images
Make it easy for people to pin
(plugin: Pinterest Pin It for
Be active and consistent
Scheduler your pins (use Tailwind)
Promote your pins (spend $5 a day
for promoted pins and run posts for
about 3-4 days)
Great for photographers
Drives decent traffic
Everyone is here
Only one hyperlink
Need 10,000 followers to link to posts
Pick one topic
Learn to edit photos (use Snapseed)
Only upload amazing photos!
Upload 1-4 photos per day
Ask followers questions
Use hashtags (relevant, no more than
Find repost accounts (tag their name,
account name and use their hashtag)
Post Instagram stories
1 billion+ users
#1 driver of traffic
Readers stay on website for a while
Dreaded algorithm changes
10% of followers will see your posts
Facebook owns your page
Post often (even 4-5 posts a day)
Pretty pictures only
Share inspirational quotes
Write well-thought out captions
Pay to promote your best posts
Love Facebook’s analytics tools
Repost your best stuff periodically
Utilize Facebook Live feature
Share Facebook stories
Traffic, traffic, and more traffic
It’s the steroid of the blogging world!
Speak to whole new audiences
Reach entirely new niches
It’s shared their social media platforms
and to their email list
Residual traffic since your post (with
links back) lives on their website
Guest-post from the time you start blogging
until the time you stop.
BENEFITS OF GUEST POSTS
If within my niche, is the audience
around my size or larger?
If outside my niche, does it have at
least ¼ of my visitors monthly?
Decent social media following?
Good SEO score?
Minimal sponsored content?
Does the site have lasting power?
Would I be proud to be on it?
FINDING BLOGS TO POST ON
Write posts before you even pitch:
• Research the site (know it
backwards and forwards)
• Think of a topic for their
• Create an angle for their genre
• Write the post
• Have it ready so the site owner
can easily accept it
Find their guide to pitching posts
Do you know a mutual friend you
could ask to introduce you?
PREPPING YOUR IDEA
Use his/her first name
Briefly say what your blog is about
Let them know you read their site:
• Why do you like it?
• Why do you want to guest-post?
• How is it relevant to their readers?
Suggest the topics you want to write
about. Be specific. List the titles and
write a short summary of the articles.
Word of caution: You will get rejected.
CRAFTING YOUR PITCH
Bad: I was thinking of writing a
post on non-touristy things to
do in Bangkok. Or I could do a
post on food in Bangkok.
Good: Off the Beaten Track in
Bangkok – A list of 10-12 items
(with photos) of things to do in
Bangkok that you can only
really know about if you’ve
lived there like I have, with a
primary focus on food and
Build your website and authority
Build your credibility in your feild
One mention begets another
“No” just means “no for now”
The more you’re mentioned, the
more people will seek you out
Don’t burn any bridges
Let journalists get to know you, so
you become their go-to source,
and once you are always in their
mind, you end up in their articles.
GETTING MEDIA MENTIONS
“Draft” journalists who already write
on your topic
Investigate major newspapers. Who
edits and writes in the
Follow them, read their writing, get to
If a friend gets interviewed, follow up
with that specific journalist
Interact with journalists on Twitter
Sign up for the HARO (Help a
My name is Matthew Kepnes and I run a travel website
(nomadicmatt.com) on the topic of budget travel. I’ve
been following you for a while and really love your work.
I especially loved your article on [XX] and your latest
tweet on sushi. If you’re ever in NYC again, visit Yuba.
Best toro around!
I saw your latest article on [website name]. I found it
informative and excellent. I’ve spent a lot of time [in that
country/doing that activity] and can say your
[tip/advice/suggestion] was spot on.
I’m not writing for any particular reason other than to say
hello. As a fellow writer, I know how appreciative
feedback is, so I wanted to send you some.
My name is Matthew Kepnes, and I run a travel
website (nomadicmatt.com). I saw your latest article on
[website name]. I found it informative and excellent.
I’ve spent a lot of time [in that country/doing that
activity] and can say your [tip/advice/suggestion] was
I’ve written a lot about that subject (here are some
If you need an expert on your next article, I’m always
available to be quoted.
Always say “yes” to interviews
Especially ones via email
Extremely easy to write
Answers are in your own voice
Get you in front of other audiences
Build your network of bloggers
Extra and residual traffic
Incorporate many (5-10) relevant links
back to your site
Networking is not transactional; it’s
I’m friends and colleagues with the
people in my network
I help them, they help me when they
can, and even if they don’t - we’re still
Care about people! That’s the central
part of networking that most people
miss and the good ones understand
Comment on every single blog
Not to make BFFs with site owner
To get on other commenters’ radar
Get the attention of small and
medium sized bloggers
Commenters click through
Inject yourself into a community of
Takes time, be patient
Pay attention to bloggers
commenting on your blog early on.
They’ll become your superfans!
COMMENT ON BLOGS
Think of these as daily conferences
Introduce yourself and your blog once
Don’t post your own links
Don’t ask for liking/sharing of your
Be nice and helpful
ENGAGE IN FACEBOOK GROUPS
Successful people hang out with other successful people
They lift you up!
You are the average of your five friends – so get better, smarter, more successful
friends than you
They can connect you to their network
Other people run businesses too – and business advice is pretty universal
These people become mentors: they give ideas, tips, help, and advice based on
their own successful business experience
BEYOND YOUR INDUSTRY
Every major city has events geared
toward like-minded people
Google search for local meetups
Travel Massive (global)
Facebook events, especially in
groups (i.e.: Girls Love Travel)
Join a mastermind group
If one doesn’t exist nearby, create it!
Nothing you do online is as powerful
as meeting people in real life.
MEETUPS & EVENTS
TravelCon – Travel media
Women’s Travel Fest – Female
Women in Travel Summit –
Female travel influencers
FinCon – Finance
South by Southwest – Music
festival, marketing, storytelling,
World Domination Summit –
Personal development gathering
for entrepreneurs and
SumoCon – Business growth and
VidCon – Online video creators
BlogHer – Female bloggers across
WTM – World Travel Market –
Networking with large brands and
Craft & Commerce – Online marketing
geared towards bloggers
#1 WRITE GUEST POSTS
#2 GET MEDIA ATTENTION
#3 ALWAYS DO INTERVIEWS
#4 BUILD YOUR NETWORK
#5 NETWORK OUTSIDE OF YOUR INDUSTRY
#6 GO TO IN-PERSON EVENTS
PLAY THE LONG GAME
MOST PEOPLE QUIT RIGHT BEFORE THEY SUCCEED.
DON’T BE LIKE THE OTHERS.
Thank you for joining HOW TO GET 1 MILLION READERS!