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10 Success Tips From My $100M Friend Turned Homeless Man

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In 2010, I met a man who was worth in 2007, $100M from starting his own business. What I didn’t know in 2010 was that the man, who would later become my friend, was actually bankrupt and homeless.

The story is quite an odd one so I will do my best to briefly tell it for you. In 2007, my friend received a legal notice to his business address. The legal notice was for something minor, and so he sent it on to his lawyer for review.

Over the next few months, his lawyer worked through the matter, and it was nearly resolved. What happened next was quite unexpected; his lawyer was shot dead in the middle of the street while trying to help a woman that was being attacked by a man.

The lawyers bravery, unfortunately, saw him shot in the head at point-blank range, although he didn’t die for nothing and will always be remembered.

What followed next was a series of bizarre events. This minor legal matter was forgotten about by my friend, and he had thought that his lawyer had resolved it. When he found out it was unresolved, he learned that the solution to the matter died with his lawyer.

Luxury MansionThings quickly turned bad, and within a short space of time, he was met at his famous mansion by the sheriff who went and repossessed all the belongings he had including the house. One strange thing though was that my friend got to keep all of his luxury clothes as these were considered essential items (these clothes became paramount later on).

The first night he was made homeless and had nowhere to sleep, a miracle occurred; his second daughter was born. With nowhere else to stay, the hospital became his accommodation for a short while until he was kicked out onto the street.

For the next few years, he and his two daughters under five years of age lived out of his beaten up car in a rough neighbourhood. He went from eating at five-star restaurants to eating food out of a can. The most frustrating part of all for him was that he had no idea what had caused his fortune to be lost, and the only person that knew was now dead.

My friend could have been one of the greats. He used to have the power to change the world with his incredible skill of coming up with an idea and then making money from it. Over the years, he has become a phenomenal mentor and someone who has taught me many lessons through the adversity he has faced, and the pain he continues to suffer to this day.

We often think that the art of success comes from what we learn off highly successful people, but I have found that some of the best lessons can also be learned by the ones that don’t end up succeeding too.

I am conscious that by knowing this man, I have begun to have a different view of success. My worldview has not only been shaped by the sensationalism we all see on social media, but by real people, and actual reality.

Below are the ten lessons this former $100M friend, turned homeless man taught me.

 

1. First impressions matter (it’s also easy to be deceived)

When I first met this man he was wearing a worn out pair of cargo pants and an unbuttoned chequered shirt. He came to the company I was involved with to interview for a sales job. Everyone in the office thought he looked like a loser and couldn’t sell to save his life (including me).

For some unknown reason, the sales manager liked him, and he was hired on the spot. What he taught me next I didn’t see coming. For the next four weeks, he called prospective clients and put them in his Salesforce opportunity list with some huge revenue numbers next to each one.

He was the joke of the office, and everyone thought he was dreaming. Generally, when a new sales person started, they would make their first sale within twenty-four hours. If you didn’t, you were usually fired.

To top it off, he had lots of cigarette breaks, hid in the corner without talking to the other sales people, and drank loads of instant Nescafe coffee (one every hour). By week four he had still not made a sale.

One Friday afternoon, the sales manager and I decided that it was time to fire him. I went down the stairs and into the sales office to find him, and strangely enough, he had gone home early. So, we agreed to fire him on the following Monday.

On Monday morning, I came into the office and looked at the sales whiteboard to see that he had made his first sale, and the dollar value was large. The sales manager and I thought we better give him a bit longer to see if it was a fluke.

What proceeded to happen from here was something I will never forget; he just began to put up sales every day. It was like a waterfall, and no one could stop him. Within a few months, he outsold the entire sales team on his own.

Like anyone achieving this level of success, myself and the other guys began to become intrigued by this man. As we got to know him better, we learned that he was better at building rapport than anyone we had ever met.

None of his sales conversations spoke of the product and usually just involved him talking about the customers hobbies, promising to come to their next barbecue, and then taking an order for some product in the last two minutes of the call.

So the success tip from all of this is that the way you dress matters and it could cause you not to get a chance, but at the same time, don’t judge a book by its cover. The strangest, quietest people can also be the most successful people you will ever meet.

 

2. Any skill can be learned if repeated enough times

As I delved a bit deeper into this man, I found out that before working with us he actually worked for a charity. Straight after he became homeless, he lost all belief that he could be successful again and found the quickest job he could.

The money he earnt at this job didn’t really help his homeless situation. His job every day was to be tied to a phone, working in a call centre, and calling people one after another to ask for a donation to the charity.

He rapidly learned how to get people’s attention and then quickly get money from them – it was all about trust. At this job, he became the highest grossing salesperson too and worked like a dog with only one or two very short breaks.

While he was good at sales in his startup career, the charity job took him to the next level and taught him many lessons, including the importance of confidence. As he was able to rebuild his confidence again by becoming the number one salesperson, he quickly decided it was time to move on from this job, and that’s when I met him.

 

3. Even a homeless man can get a loan for a Mercedes

This next success tip again took me by surprise. I used to tell my ex-millionaire friend about all these people I would meet that had very nice luxury cars. He told me anyone could get one even a homeless man.

I didn’t believe him until one day, he calls me up and says, “I just bought a new Mercedes Benz four-wheel drive.” At this time in his life, he was again unemployed and looking for the next job. I didn’t believe him and told him to come and show me.

Mercedes Benz ML63 AMGSure enough, he arrives at my house with the Mercedes-Benz. He explains to me that lots of people appear rich and that even a homeless man like him can have the same effect. He told me that getting a car lease is not that hard, but paying it back is a whole other story that takes discipline. What was interesting is that he had every intention of paying the loan back because he was optimistic he would earn the money he needed to, to fulfil his debt.

He told me that sometimes you have to take a risk even when you don’t know the outcome and to just have faith that you will find a way. In fact, he was adamant that having the loan was more likely to motivate him to get out of his current situation.

The success tip here is that you should never be fooled by possessions or someone’s perceived image. I personally have met many people who appear rich and are actually dead broke. It’s often their addiction to luxury cars that can keep them broke too.

Try to buy things that you can afford and focus on building a business or acquiring income-generating assets, and not material things that will never make you happy. At the same time, don’t forget to give a percentage of all the money you earn to create good in the world and help others.

 

4. Dishonest people will fall on their own sword (they don’t need your help)

Before all of my self-development training, I used to believe that it was my job to highlight dishonest people. What my ex-millionaire friend taught me was that dishonest people will bring themselves down and by bad mouthing them; I am only bringing myself down with them.

This lesson that he taught me has been proven time and time again. The best example is his brother who he introduced me to one night. After meeting his brother, he told me that I shouldn’t spend time with him because he was dishonest.

Initially, I didn’t get the message and stayed in touch with his brother until I learned the hard way.

“I quickly realised that having a toxic person in your network is a very bad idea”

Many people would ask me my opinion of his brother and rather than say bad things about him I learned to distance myself from him instead.

To make things worse, his brother would drop my name in conversations and pretend that we did business together. I would often get phone calls from people I knew saying that my friends brother had mentioned me, and they would ask me about him, I would just tell them that he was someone I didn’t know well (which is true) and that I am not currently doing any business deals with him.

Pretty quickly, my friend’s brother fell on his own sword, and people realised who he truly was. While I sometimes wished I never were introduced to him, I learnt a valuable lesson about dishonest people at the same time, which I will never forget.

 

5. The cost of missed opportunity

Following on from the previous point, my ex-millionaire friend taught me about how your own personal brand and your level of honesty can cause you to miss opportunities. He explained to me that when you screw someone over, the ripple effect and opportunities you will miss can never be measured.

The scary part about this success tip from my friend is that you will never know what those opportunities were, so, therefore, you will never know the true effect that being dishonest will cost you.

Every day that goes by, opportunities will be presented to people that are in the dishonest person’s network, and they will be turned down behind their back. They will never be able to have visibility of these opportunities or the chance to defend themselves. When you meet a dishonest person, they will often spend their entire life wondering why they are not happy or why they are unsuccessful.

On top of this, they will blame their circumstances on luck or timing. The hardest part of this concept is that it’s not something many of us learn, and the act of being dishonest separates us from realising the consequences of our action.

The only true way to avoid this problem happening to you is not to be dishonest – period. Personally, this is one of my favourite success tips from my friend and it’s become a true law of my universe that I swear by.

 

6. Your family is all you have

When my ex-millionaire friend had all of his material possessions taken away, he taught me a groundbreaking success tip. He taught me that above all else, your family is what truly matters. Even when my friend had nothing, he still had his family by his side that supported him and helped make him smile.

This idea is so simple, yet it’s truly inspirational when you think about it properly. In the early days of having money myself, people used to tell me how lucky I was and how my life was set. I would always respond to them with the same answer; “as quick as you can make money you can lose it. Always stay humble and remember what matters.”

 

7. Money is made through your passion not get rich quick schemes

For the last five or so years, my friend has still struggled with poverty and homelessness. The reason I believe this is the case is because he broke a universal law; he spent the last few years on get rich quick schemes.

My friend has tried to do things he doesn’t care about to make money and then he has quickly given up on each business venture.

Unless you tie passion to the act of making money, you will never be able to sustain the habits that are required to follow through on your business.

Tim Denning Money Quote
 

The good news is, in recent times he has gone back to what he’s passionate about and what made him rich in the first place. Since doing this, he finally looks like he may be able to get back on his feet and provide the essentials for his family again.

It’s been such a long road for him but sometimes, as much as you want to, you need to let those around you make their own decisions and learn the basic success principles themselves. Eventually, when they come to understand the same principles that we are all learning on Addicted2Success, they finally start achieving their goals.

 

8. Real friends give you the best advice when you’re down

A few years back I went through my own struggles as we all do, and my ex-millionaire friend taught me a lot. Due to his ability to sell to almost anyone, I thought that he could save me from my problems. I made the mistake of initially thinking that somebody else could do the growing for me.

My friend observed what I was going through, gave me some advice, but left me to take the action. He knew that if enough time went by I would be forced to act, and he used this to my own advantage. Sure enough, I took his advice and completely changed my life around.

This taught me that real friends give you the best advice when you need it, but they force you to get the lesson yourself because they know that’s the only way you’ll learn. Real friends give you direction and ideas, not forced opinions.

 

9. Smoking will cripple your health (and your energy)

Over the time, I have known my ex-millionaire friend he has smoked cigarettes heavily. Now we all have known for some time that this is not good, but through my friend’s eyes, I have seen something more worrying.

For the last few years, he has had some serious medical issues that have had the potential to take his life away, but that appear to be unrelated to his smoking. With each new illness, the link to his smoking has been ignored.

Part of the reason he hasn’t been able to get back to his former glory is that he just doesn’t have the energy to do so. Creating value for others in the form of money takes a lot of energy and hard work, and if you deprive your body of the one thing it needs (oxygen), then success can quickly become an impossible task.

 

10. Be humble and gracious

The final success tip my ex-millionaire friend taught me is always to be humble and gracious. Even with all of the pain he has experienced, he still does his best to come back to his family every day with just enough money to feed his daughters, and he will happily starve himself for his loved ones.

He never complains about what happened to him, and he always stays optimistic that he will be back on top one day. Back on top may seem like having his money again, but somehow, I think back on top for him will be seeing his children grow up and knowing that he taught them good values.

 

***Final thought***

So as you can see, my ex-millionaire friend taught me a lot of what I know. Still to this day, he has no income and barely keeps a roof over his head. While I still keep the faith that he will one day prove to the world his sheer brilliance, I also know that it’s a possibility that I am the only one that will ever know.

Many people walk by him in the street and have no idea of his gift. He comes across as a hard man, but deep down he is very kind. Deep down he has the principles of success buried inside of him, and I can only hope that he will reveal them to the world one day.

Don’t ever let money define you and never give up on your dream. Whether that’s building a nine-figure startup like my ex-millionaire friend, or doing something as simple as writing a book, remember what you have learned in this article, keep your head up, and stay humble no matter what.

Do you know someone who has fallen from their former glory? What did they teach you? Let me know in the comments section below or on my Twitter and Facebook pages.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Evan

    Mar 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Tim,

    Awesome article as usual! I also believe it’s really important to look for the best ways to create value, which in my experience is next to impossible if you’re not obsessed with the topic!

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 18, 2016 at 3:47 am

      Thanks Evan for reading and I always appreciate the kind feedback you give. As you can see I am very obsessed with the topic of success…lol.

  2. Gaurav

    Mar 10, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Great article to learn from someone else’s experience.

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 12, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Gaurav thanks for taking the time to read it. Real life lessons I find are the best ones. Especially when you can learn from them without having to go through the negative experience yourself.

  3. De_major

    Mar 6, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I can keep on reading this article for months…….it’s lovely. In fact i will recommend it to friends and family. Its ……fantastic

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 6, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Wow, thanks for the kind words De major!

  4. Tushar

    Mar 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Hi,
    Tim great article.. and i enjoyed reading and remembering my beliefs. Thanks.
    Twitter @tusharg19

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 6, 2016 at 1:48 am

      No probs Tushar and thanks for reading.

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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Success Advice

5 Essential Skills to Drive Success in Every Niche

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There are many people who don’t have the courage to launch a business in a niche as they think they don’t have the right skills and experience to obtain success. While there are specific skills which determine the success in every niche, there are also some general skills which ensure success in any business you would try.

Below are 5 essential skills you need to drive success in every aspect of your life:

1. Ambition

When you launch a new business, you need to be prepared for difficult moments such as fighting the competition and winning your target audience. Moreover, if you follow some successful entrepreneurs, you should keep in mind that they also faced difficulties and continue to experience them. So, how does a successful entrepreneur get over all the difficulties?

The essential skill you need to possess is called ambition. Set small and clear milestones in your development plan and use your ambition to go over each difficulty and finalize what you had in your mind. It doesn’t matter how hard the path is going to be. Visualize your target and put in all the efforts to achieve it. Staying organized and scheduling each step to get things done are some of the techniques you can use to achieve success.

2. Listen to those around you

While listening to your instincts is necessary if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, this is not enough. As your business develops, you will have an entire team to manage and lead to success. Therefore, you cannot be a successful leader and have success in every niche unless you learn how to listen to the people around you.

You should listen to your employees and discover what they are expecting from you. This is the way to follow if you want to keep your team motivated and help them give the best of themselves.

On the other hand, you will need to listen to your customers to improve your products and services and provide excellent customer support. By listening carefully to the voice of your customers, you will be able to stand out of the competition and ensure their loyalty towards your brand.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

3. Courage

When you decided to become an entrepreneur and build your own business, it means you are a courageous person. Courage will help you harness the power of creativity. Don’t be afraid to take risks if you feel a specific action will bring more success to your business.

Apart from doing intensive research on your ideas and developing the exact steps you are going to follow, you will need the courage to implement them. Not all the ideas will turn out to be successful.

Regardless, you will have something to learn from each success or mistake and this will help you move your business even further. When you have the courage to follow a path which is not very familiar to you, this is going to be the moment when you will widen your horizons and exceed your limits to achieve success.

4. Creativity and imagination

If you already implemented your idea and you see that it works, you most probably think that you don’t need to change anything to achieve more success. You need to keep in mind that customers’ preferences change and your competition is waiting for your mistakes to “steal” your clients.

Therefore, you need to use your creativity and imagination to improve your products and services to meet your customers’ expectations. What is more, creativity can also mean that you are open to talk to new people and use their experience to improve something in your business.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs

5. Continuous learning

If you want to drive success in every niche you will need to show a willingness to learn. You need to stay updated with what happens in your niche and what your customers expect from you.

Education is not only something for school. It is a lifelong process, and you should be open to seek knowledge and improve your skills with every opportunity. An efficient trick is to stay close to people who are already successful in your industry, ask their opinions on various subjects and learn from their experience.

The above five essential skills will help you build a successful business in every niche. A true leader is ambitious, knows to listen to the people around him, and is always open to learning from others.

No matter the size of your business, you will need to be creative and use your imagination to improve your products and services. These skills will help any leader develop new skills, stand out of the crowd, and strengthen his position on the market.

What skill do you think is most important to be successful in life? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

5 Key Investment Principles from Warren Buffett

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Warren Buffett is a mentor for a lot of traders. Why shouldn’t he be? After all, his investing principles have earned him the title of the world’s greatest investor. His way of working is a little contradictory to many others in the arena of online trading. He doesn’t invest the way it’s depicted in the popular media. He is the kind of investor who likes buying and holding.

Buffett has taught us that once you buy a stock, hold it no matter what. Forget that there is a recession in the economy or it is at its boom. Whether it’s good times or bad, you’re supposed to hold onto the stock.

Buffett doesn’t just buy stocks for the sake of holding them. He buys them for a specific reason. When those reasons no longer exist, he sells the stocks. He not only looks for good prices but sound management and a competitive advantage. He shared his opinion that companies such as IBM, Sears, and GM are great but they cannot stay competitive for long. Therefore, these companies shouldn’t be a part of your portfolio.

Why not learn from the pro himself and invest the right way? Here are 5 key principles to begin with:

1. Invest In What You Know

Before investing in a stock, it is very important to understand what a company does and how it makes its money. Ever wondered why Buffett has always avoided investing in tech stocks? It’s because he does not completely understand their business model. He sticks to what he knows.

This also explains why he prefers investing in Berkshire’s stocks. It represents a diverse mix of stocks such as utilities, banking, and insurance and consumer products. All of these are businesses that Buffett understands very well. No wonder he has invested a significant amount of money here.

“Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.”  – Warren Buffett

2. Before Buying a Stock, List the Criteria

It makes sense to buy stocks on the basis of criteria, right? After all, you’re ensuring that you don’t end up investing in something unfavorable. You could be searching for stocks in a certain industry with a set price to earnings ratio.

Buffett never makes the price of the stock the sole criteria of his buying decision. Sometimes, great companies end up taking a price dip because of the market situation. However, holding onto these stocks could still turn out to be favorable.

3. Be Aggressive During Tough Times

Generally, it’s not recommended to time the market. But if you’re a long-term investor, you’ll be fine no matter when you buy. This means that even during the tough economic times, you shouldn’t settle down. Keep on looking for opportunities. This is what Warren Buffett does because he knows that things will eventually turn around.

Buffett is known for capitalizing on opportunities during and after the great recession. Bank of America investment is one of the best examples of this. In his latest annual letter, Buffett said that “dark clouds will fill the sky almost after every decade. But it certainly will rain gold.” So don’t despair, keep on investing.

4. Don’t Worry About the Day to Day Market Movements

Along with other tips, Buffett also said that you must only buy a stock if you are comfortable holding on to it in case the stock market shuts down for a decade. Since you are holding onto the stocks for 10 or more years, there is no point in losing sleep over the minor swings.

Ignore the headlines about the trade wars, the government shutdown, and other chaotic news. Instead, you focus on learning the potential growth of your company over the course of time. The fact is, stock prices keep on changing, but it’s not significant if the company’s business still has a bright future.

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.” – Warren Buffett

5. Buy Buffett’s Stocks

Buffett keeps everything simple when it comes to investing. If you don’t want to do the guesswork and research to figure out which stocks to buy, simply invest in the stocks Buffett already owns. But, make sure you understand the business. Buffett discloses his holdings publically each quarter. He has capital in companies such as Wells Fargo, Apple, and Bank of America. To keep things simple, you can buy the shares of Berkshire Hathaway itself.

Warren Buffett hasn’t been successful all by himself. He has a team of investors who help him do legal work and give him investment tips. He’s also a part of an advisor network because he understands that an investor needs all the help he can get. It’s amazing that a billionaire like him still listens to others.

Now that you know how to invest like Buffett, it’s time you prepare your investment strategy. These principles are not hard and fast criteria, they are simply a discipline strategy all investors should stick to. Along with these, you can use math, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and even stock charts to make a decision. You may not end up a billionaire, but you will avoid losses and make more profits than your fellows.

Which one of the 5 key investment principles from above resonated with you most? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

How to Build a Website That Outranks the Competition

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Create a concrete presence within the niche you compete by employing an effective content strategy. Your strategy should:

  • Establish expertise, authority and trust through the content you produce on and off site.
  • Focus on the client. All of the content you produce should have the client in mind in order to maximize the value you’re offering.
  • Implement an editorial calendar for the content your company will produce

Enhance your websites SEO with long-form evergreen content

Long-form content is in-depth pieces of content in which the length is arguably an average of 1200 words or more. When visitors read long-form content it increases the time they spend on your website. Google pays close attention to dwell time because it is a direct indication of how useful a website is to a user.

When we refer to evergreen content we refer to articles that provide value to readers for an indefinite amount of time. These types of articles contain fully developed ideas, in depth analysis or teach a specific skill. They come in a variety of forms but most notably are checklists, how-to guides, interviews, infographics or case studies. If written and optimized correctly, an evergreen post to a company blog will generate positive signals to search engines and contribute to a website’s performance.

Web pages with data-driven, resourceful content can encourage visitors to return to the site. When visitors find value in your content, they’ll share your pages and even feature your content on their own websites.

Returning visitors, longer and dwell time are signs of authority, expertise, and trust which are very important ranking signals that will push your site upwards in the search results. Evergreen content contributes to all of the criteria above.

By producing content that stays current for the foreseeable future, you are investing in the growth of your company. Websites with evergreen content attribute a large percentage of their organic traffic to older blog posts that continue to provide value to readers for an indefinite period. The average return on an evergreen post is 30% on traffic approximately three or four months after the post is published.

“Good content is not storytelling. It’s telling your story well.” – Ann Handley

Here are 11 effective ways to structure evergreen content:

1. Lists & Checklists

Creating a top numbered list is an easy way for people to digest content. The titles are instant hooks if the topic is relatable to the reader because a person immediately understands what they’re getting before reading the article such as “Top 10 Ways To Lose 10 Pounds In 30 Days.”

Including numbers in your titles tend to catch a reader’s eye. It also opens the door to optimize articles to show up in position zero. Google has favoured numbered lists in their featured snippets (position zero) in an effort to make searching for answers easier and more efficient.

Give your list a captivating title to amp up the excitement and get a higher click-through rate such as “Top 5 Reasons Companies Succeed At Marketing.”

2. Best of Lists & Product Reviews

“Best of lists” is a timeless form of evergreen content because it can be updated to remain current. For example, the list “Best SEO Tools and Software” can be updated annually and the post maintains the traffic that has been built up from returning visitors by keeping the same URL intact.

3. Ultimate Guides & “How To” Guides

Ultimate guides serve as evergreen content because they are comprehensive, instructional manuals that teach the reader something actionable. Whether your guide is geared towards beginners or readers with advanced knowledge of a topic, the manual should provide a reader with something they can walk away with and apply immediately.

An ultimate guide should provide step by step, detail oriented advice or instruction on a specific topic. “How To” guides are one of the most popular types of evergreen content because they teach people a skill or give them a way to solve a problem.

4. Expert Opinions or Round Up Articles

Grouping a number of experts together that express similar ideas on a topic can make for a powerfully convincing argument. Using quotes and facts from different sources doesn’t leave much room for rebuttal when you are proving a theory.

5. Statistics & Infographics

Collect a number of statistics that will shock and awe your audience and title it “10 high octane statistics about evergreen content.” Statistics can be listed in point form, but combining your stats into an infographic is an enjoyable way to get readers to digest a piece of content that is primarily facts and figures.

Creating content in this format encourages a large number of shares that can equate to backlinks. Facts, figures, and percentages are always what writers look for to include in their content so attribution will amount to more websites linking to your page.

“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

6. Historical Articles

Writing about the history of a specific person, place or event can be a large-scale effort that readers find interesting. Create a timeline of events and take your reader on a journey of any major developments in chronological order. Historical articles have a particular fan base that enjoys reading about real historical events.

7. Q & A Interviews

Developing an in-depth interview on a person of interest is another option for creating long-form content. Quotes or dialogue can be used to progress through the material covered in a single article. Incorporating video is also a great way to promote user engagement. Include the transcript so search engines can read the entire dialogue for SEO purposes.

When a person is an expert in a specific niche, the interview becomes evergreen since there’s no need to update the content when it is all related to the expert opinion of one person of interest at the time of the interview. Whether their opinion changes over time or not, the interview itself is a standalone event.

8. Frequently Asked Questions

Sometimes quick-fire questions and answers are a great way to bring up the understanding of any given topic. Structure the content with each question being a progressive stepping-stone from the last.

Frequently asked questions can get a lot of interest if the questions are phrased in an easy to read manner considering there will be a lot of consecutive questions. Make the article more engaging by researching forums and come up with the most common objections and concerns people have regarding a specific topic.

9. Case Studies

Case studies demonstrate your expertise and build authority. This type of content provides readers with first-hand experiences, a story, and hands-on data. Case studies can prove a theory or illustrate how you found a solution to a problem. The best part of case studies is you have first hand data with all the evidence to back it up.

10. Optimize your content and drive up your click-through rates

Long-form, evergreen content will rise to the top of the search results for multiple keywords if it is optimized correctly. Load your article with LSI keywords throughout to enhance the key phrases for which you want people to find on your website.

You can also structure your article to be more likely to show up for position zero by incorporating the tags and list formats. Ask questions most likely to be asked by your potential viewers and tag them as titles.

Tag the answers as titles as well or use a list format if its more suitable and easier to read for the user. There is no guarantee Google will select your snippet for position zero but employing the criteria to be eligible for the featured snippet will at least make your page a candidate for selection.

11. Maximize your audience through high authority websites

Producing evergreen articles is not limited to posting on your website. Market your ideas to well-known blogs that publish related content. There are high authority sites that have a large readership to which you gain access to if they agree to publish your article. The referral traffic you receive from these sites is made up of excellent candidates for your business.

Being published on an authority site gives your company credibility and in most cases a backlink. Guest posting builds the authority of your website allowing you to push your way to the top of the search results. The accumulation of quality backlinks from reputable sites will boost your search visibility to another level and drive more prospects to your website.

Long-form, evergreen content is a strategy that is working across the board to increase traffic and conversions. Implement this marketing strategy to influence key metrics on your website that result in positive ranking signals for the search engines.

The expertise you demonstrate through on site and off site content will give readers the confidence to invest in your services. The investment in creating quality, lead-generating content contributes to the long term growth of traffic and new clients.

Have you thought about building a website to sell products or a blog? What’s the best advice you can give to someone who wants to build a competitive website? Let us know your thoughts below!

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