Welcome to part 2 of our Episode Series with Nat Eliason. Be sure to check out Episode #30 if you haven't already!
In Episode 30 we talked about developing his brand, setting goals and why he started writing about something as taboo as sex, on what had been a lifestyle and business blog up until that point. This week we’re digging into the writing process, his lifestyle business and he's offering up some SEO advice.
As we learned, Nat is in the process of writing a book for men who want to improve their sex lives. The idea is simple: “Guys don’t talk about sex, but here’s everything they should be talking about with each other.”
He describes the process of writing a book, after so much time writing short form blog posts, as an ongoing struggle with himself. He's open about his experience with ''Resistance, a concept introduced in The War of Art. Resistance is your emotional side fighting with your rational desires, which prevents you from doing anything good, creative and artistic.
Nat started working against the Resistance with a simple quantitative goal: 60,000 words. Over time, that has evolved into a pure Process Goal. He is influenced by an idea central to Cal Newport’s Deep Work: “Long, uninterrupted stretches of complete focus on your most important source of output.”
Often the biggest obstacles to Deep Work are the ways in which we use technology: "Your technology is there for your advantage, not everybody else’s … When you start to think of your laptop or your phone as there to help you and make your life better, and not to make you more responsive to what everyone else wants from you, you start treating it differently.”
Nat embraces this relationship with technology when he uses Habit List to reinforce his daily Deep Work sessions. He also sets some pretty high stakes for himself. For example, he made a bet with a friend that he would either deliver an early rough draft of his book by end of day Friday, or he would pay $1,000. Talk about accountability!
Nat breaks down his writing process was, and how he would tweak it for the future.
- Actual process: Wrote the outline, started writing individual sections on the outline, and then realized his original outline was broken. He put everything on index cards and reorganized them until he had a new outline that was better. Then, after he filled in that outline he realized there were still a lot of holes. “I basically didn’t do enough research up front, because I kept falling into holes.”
- What Nat wishes he did: Take a whole month or two just to do initial research and draft an outline that is as detailed as possible. Make sure you have read everything you will need to read, and keep it organized. Then, you can just start writing.
One of the articles Nat is most known for is: How to Travel for Six Months and Come Back Richer. In it, he offers a Runway Calculator and goes over the calculations you'd need to make before making big life transitions like moving overseas to travel. The calculater helps you see how much passive income you'd need to afford this lifestyle.
One way Nat created passive income for himself was through an information product. “If you know something that not everybody knows, there’s most likely a way you can sell that information.”
Books are the original information product. Courses are a popular choice now. Nat developed a product called Programming for Marketers. He wrote a great article detailing the process of launching and marketing this course: $58,150 in 5 Months: How to Build a Lifestyle Business Step-by-Step (Emails, Tools, Everything).
To get the initial traffic to Programming for Marketers, they started with a landing page detailing what courses would be offered in the future. They marketed it on Internet Marketing-related sites like Growth Hackers and Inbound. This generated a lot of interest. When someone signed up, they were sent an email (using Zapier) that encouraged them to refer a friend, and they received bonus material for referring a friend. This referral process added about 30% to their total sign-ups.
Nat doesn’t do anything do anything fancy to drive traffic to his site, and yet he averages 10,000 people every day. 70% of that is organic! He doesn’t use an SEO plug-in, and he doesn’t do extensive key word optimization.
So how does he do it?
Nat relates good SEO to being healthy. What someone needs to do to be healthy is extremely simple, but there is a lot of money invested in convincing people that being healthy is complicated. The same is true for SEO.
The simple approach to SEO:
- Write an article on a topic being searched for
- Answer that question in a way that is enjoyable to read and takes care of their problem.
- Drive some initial traffic – just a couple hundred visits – to signal to Google that it is a valuable article
I had a blast talking with Nat, and I hope you did too. These conversations are absolutely packed full of Nat’s personality, the processes he has developed and a lot of really great resources!
THE BOLD LIFE MOVEMENT
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:
- What is Nat’s process for writing his book?
- What advice does Nat have for handling resistance and distraction?
- What did the different versions of the writing process look like?
- What are examples of passive income streams that people might create?
- How did Nat initially get traffic to his online course?
- What are tips for SEO beginners?
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- How to use technology for your advantage, not everybody else’s.
- Strategies for developing a passive income stream.
- The simple approach to SEO.
- Plus much more…
DON’T STOP HERE…
- Connect with Nat Eliason: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
- How to Travel for Six Months and Come Back Richer
- $58,150 in 5 Months: How to Build a Lifestyle Business Step-by-Step (Emails, Tools, Everything)
- Programming for Marketers