Here’s a simple way to get 50,000 people to your blog in 1 day

Ramit Sethi

Ways you could use this tip: Getting blogs to link to you. Getting journalists to write about you. Getting a raise at work.

Yesterday, I featured a guest post from Carl Richards of BehaviorGap.

It was also cross-posted on Get Rich Slowly (with different content). It was then picked up on Lifehacker. Overnight, Carl was invited to speak to a national conference and got an email from an editor inquiring about a book. Over 75,000 people saw his work yesterday.


Carl produced something useful. I get dozens of requests for guest posts each month. J.D. Roth gets even more.

Most of them are complete garbage. No, I don’t want your article about using coupons or why FOREX investing is insanely profitable. If you read this site for 3 minutes, you’d know what it’s about.

So let’s analyze what Carl did to get so much traffic/attention paid to his work:

1. He created something useful and original. If your guest post / company is just another copy of what someone else can find somewhere else, why would anyone link to it?
2. Instead of grand promises, he showed what he had already done. When people offer to write guest posts, they often make grandiose claims about how good the article will be. Then they turn out to be horribly written, trite, and uninteresting. If a blogger/journalist has the option of featuring someone who has produced great content before or someone who hasn’t produced anything, who do you think they’ll go with? Nobody likes taking a risk on the wings of a promise.
3. He gave me pre-formatted code. I’m lazy, and so is every other blogger. Carl wrote a great piece (custom for my blog and custom for J.D.’s) and turned over a text file with the exact code/text so I could paste it in. That means a lot.

Carl’s key insights: Produce something good for the target audience. Show, don’t tell. Promises are worthless without a portfolio of past work. And make it drop-dead easy for the message to spread.

Btw, I hope I didn’t scare away potential guest posters (hopefully just the bad ones). If you have something good, I’m always interested.

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  1. Studenomics

    Damn there goes my idea of sending you my guest post on how to save $2 a day. Just kidding. For me the idea of a guest post is to write something so good, in fact so good that it’s better than anything else on your blog. The reason for this being that you want the guest post to attract as many NEW readers as possible. Whether you discuss a new idea or show how you did something that works.

  2. Nate @ Money Young

    That was a great post by Carl btw. I really like his stuff. A new twist on old ideas.

    P.S. I’d like to unsend the guest post about how shaving my chest hair saves me energy. hehe


  3. Bryan

    Misleading post man. I read this blog daily, and I feel as of late, your tips have just not been too useful.

    “Simple” way to get 50,000 people… right. Is it simple to write content that 50,000 people want to read? I think not. That’s like saying getting an NBA contract is a simple way to become famous.

    I’ve always thought the value in this blog lay in the fact that the tips and tricks provided were something that everyone could do. With this one, I’d guess that maybe 1% of the readers have the knowledge, writing skill, and connections to carry it out.

    Or maybe I’m just skeptical. Read my blog.

  4. Wes

    I think you’re missing the point Bryan. Just like all Ramit’s tips and advice, the idea of obtaining financial security and stability, and just being better with money in general can be achieved by SIMPLY doing the work. You don’t need to be all knowledgeable to put together something that is practical, and that works. Just like in losing weight .. SIMPLY eat better, and exercise more.

    When I first saw Carl’s presentation, I was initially confused .. I expected it to have more glitz or aesthetic appeal. But when I just sat down, and focused on the message, it was incredibly informative in a simple to read platform.

    RE: the content of the blog as of late .. I thought the same thing. If you’re looking for Ramit at his best, check out the Scrooge Strategy. I’m the CHEAPEST person I know, but for $8 bucks a month, why not?

  5. Rick Francis


    I disagree- it is simple just as spend less than you earn is simple. Just because something is simple it DOESN’T mean it is easy!

    Seriously though, if you can’t write good content, should you have a blog in the first place? As for connections- I suspect Carl wasn’t a close personal friend of either Ramit or J.D. He just went the extra mile to give them good content they could use.

    >3. He gave me pre-formatted code

    A logical follow up question is – could you outline the formatting you need for a guest post?

    -Rick Francis

    • Ramit Sethi

      Agreed — simple and easy are very different. That’s a great point. In fact, that would be a great guest post.

      In terms of formatting (after checking with me about the topic and sending some of your past work), the best guest posters send over a text file with all formatting completely done (e.g., this is bold). Byline should be done, etc. I should just be able to paste it in and go.

  6. Bryan

    I’m sticking with my original comment here. Yes, the concept of “Just do this, achieve this” is simple. But that’s just breaking it down too far. What were all the steps needed to initially write the content? He had to possess the knowledge to pre-format the code even.

    Rick, I would argue that ‘simple’, in the context used here, should mean ‘easy’. I could break down open heart surgery into an ordered list, but it still wouldn’t be simple nor easy.

    But sure, apply the overlying concept here and you can do just about anything. I mean, I could run a marathon, all I have to do is train… but training for a marathon isn’t simple or easy. See where I’m going with this?

  7. Wes

    I think you’re over complicating the usage within the context. Ramit is saying that a person could increase their blog traffic simply by creating great content. This concept is simple: strive for excellence, gain rewards. Want to run a marathon? Simple, the answer is to train. The training part is difficult, sure, but the answer is simple.

    I don’t think the purpose of the post wasn’t intended to be a cure-all to everything. Of course, heart surgery, and rocket science, are complex in their own right. But Ramit’s is applying to things – like finance, investing, blogging – that have this stigma of overly complex topics.

  8. Pev

    I would say i have to agree with Bryan. I already know that you have to strive for excellence when you write – but really I haven’t gained anything from this post.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Check out the key insights. Do you have a portfolio of past work? When you want something from someone else (recommendation letter, job, help watching your kids on a Friday night), do you make it drop-dead easy for them? This doesn’t just apply to writing stuff.

  9. J.D.

    There’s more backstory to this, at least on my end, but Ramit’s main point is absolutely correct: I crave quality original content written well. There are three requirements there. Many submissions I receive meet zero. And very few ever get the “written well” thing (which is why I edit most guest posts at least a little).

    Backstory: I recently gave a presentation at a conference of financial planners about how they could use blogs to increase their exposure and get new clients. As part of my research, I asked my Twitter followers for CFPs with blogs. Several people recommended Behavior Gap.

    I contacted Carl, we chatted, and we found we had similar ideas. I wrote an article pointing to his site. I asked to reprint a version of the posts that ran yesterday. I used his story for my talk. (And wish this whole 50,000 visitor thing had happened before the talk, because it would have made a great case study!)

    Backstory aside, Ramit’s right that if you can provide quality original well-written content to a site with high traffic, they’re probably going to run it. It’s a win-win-win situation: a win for you, a win for the readers of the site, and a win for that site’s owner.

    No, this isn’t necessarily stuff that everyone can use. But with a little creativity, I think you can find some takeaways even if you’re not a blogger.

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  12. Noah

    Quick Question Ramit,

    What this post is all about is tearing down barriers. The barrier he tore down for you was the “I have to do work barrier.” How much of the original post is his words? 100%? It sounds like you wrote the entire thing. Did you really just copy and paste?

    • Ramit Sethi

      I wrote the intro, and just pasted his guest post below.

  13. Camille

    I am a little embarassed to ask, but my web designer did not know, either…what does this mean? Would you mind explaining?

    and turned over a text file with the exact code/text so I could paste it in


    • Ramit Sethi

      Just that all the HTML code worked fine so I could drop/paste the content into my blog.

    • Marcela

      Camille, here’s a step by step on how to do it:

  14. mike


    I just received a work email that included a PBwiki link (the first I’ve ever seen outside of the IWTYTBR blog). Clicked through the link and the PBwiki “About Us” section and it appears you’ve been listed as “Emeritus”.

    Did you blog about your separation from PBwiki or did I stumble upon a recent development? Curious about your decision process, lessons learned from the venture, etc. Might be worth a future post on IWTYTBR.


  15. Ramit Sethi

    Mike, I’ll fill in more info in an upcoming post! And Noah, just want to re-emphasize how smart it was to interpret this post as an anti-barrier post — not many people caught that, and it’s right on.

  16. Noah


    How much as your blog contributed to your success as far as opportunities, conversations, ideas, job offers ect?

    Is starting, maintaining and running a blog a good way to build a resume without having to build one? Is it a good way to get noticed and find another job?

    To me it seems like by having a blog you’d basically be broadcasting, “I’m a perfect fit for you…” based on what you posted about.

    Just wondering your thoughts on this line of thinking.

    • Ramit Sethi

      It’s one of the best business decision I’ve ever made.

  17. Monevator

    As someone who tries to find a spin on investing and personal finance every day, I’m in awe of Carl’s work with the Behaviour Gap.

    He has somehow managed to bring a distinctly new voice, style and even idea to a blogosphere overrun with finance commentary.

    Easier than it looks!

  18. Michelle

    is private banking/investing the smartest thing to do during this economic times?

  19. Kelly Coulter

    Hope this doesn’t sound rude, but for Camille – get a new web designer.

    If your guy hasn’t worked with blogs enough to understand pasting code straight in to them, he can’t be doing much for your business in the search engines.

    You would probably be better off with a DIY website like the ones you can do on

  20. Alex Zemkus

    Good thoughts on providing a framework for getting things done successfully Ramit.

    My take on this is that doing our homework thoroughly before expecting anything in return is needed. Asking ourselves, “what do I need to know and do to get to where I want to be”, is part of the preparation.

    All of us want the quick fix though; and I’m guilty of this myself, it’s part of being human I guess, but once we come to the realization that this doesn’t work or give us the results we want, it’s then time to roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty and do some actual thinking.

    “There is no victory at bargain basement prices.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

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  22. Sascha

    I am slightly confused over this blog posting. Is a wheel not round. And so many wheels get copied from the first wheel. Then perhaps find a program that works and copy that. Just a thought.

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  24. Susan Awele

    Very educating tips.. I’m happy I ran Intl this article.. Started blogging a few days back, I’ve had a lil number of views and visitors but they don’t leave comments.. OK so I chose to become a relationship blogger because we already have endless numbers of entertainment, politics and co bloggers, but I’d apply these tips. Thanks all same.

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    […] Making me do additional work. When you submit the final guest post, it should be fully ready to be inserted into WordPress and it will just magically work. This means you should write your byline, format your post, add images on your own server (but also attach them to the email), and otherwise make it 100% ready to go. More on this here. […]


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