Case Study: Dominating The Health Market With… Cookbooks?

Attention health and fitness marketers:

What if you had a simple go-to strategy to generate quality traffic and then monetize that traffic over and over and over again?

Because that’s EXACTLY what I want to share with you today–from one of the most popular health websites on the Internet.

As I write this, according to Alexa, this site is the 38,134 most visited website in the world.
paleohack2Translation? They get untold amounts of  traffic each day.

(Yes, I do see the chart and it does look like they’ve slacked off a bit for the holidays. But you’d have to admit, you and I would KILL for an Alexa rank of #38,000, wouldn’t we?)

That stated, being “king of the hill” traffic-wise
DOESN’T necessarily equal big money.

After all, you have to know WHAT TO DO with all that traffic.

So how does this popular health site generate its revenue? And what are their “under-the-hood strategies” you can apply to your own online health and fitness business?

In this special Conversion Gods report, you’ll discover:

  • The high volume super strategy that helps this health-site-that-cannot-be-named sell hundreds of mini-reports each day…
  • The subtle copywriting techniques that cause customers to snatch up simple PDFs like they are going out of style…
  • PLUS: the covert marketing plan that has enabled Paleo Hacks to amass a gargantuan list of buyers–at a time when many health businesses are struggling to entice new customers

You’ll get it all right here on this page.

How do I know
their secrets?

It’s not because I’ve studied them. Although I DO study what they do.

It’s because I’ve lived it. My team and I are the copywriters behind this popular health site’s mega-launches. (Can you tell we can’t mention them by name?)

We understand the weight loss, diet, alternative health, and supplement markets intimately.

“So why are you sharing your
secrets, Matt?” you may ask

Fair question.

Well, I can tell you it’s not to publicly gloat and beat our chests like other copywriters do. Our work (when you realize we wrote it) speaks for itself.

Nor do we need to prove how smart or sophisticated we are, how many marketing books we’ve read, or how many copywriting courses we’ve taken.

Again, when you’ve got the goods? None of that stuff matters.

What does matter however, is sincerely and without remuneration, helping your fellow marketer, your fellow copywriter.

Giving back, in other words.

And that’s exactly what I’m doing here.

Giving back. Paying it forward.

So enjoy. What you’re about to read are THE REAL SECRETS behind their strategy for monetizing traffic.

Once the lightbulb goes on, it should change your marketing/copywriting life.

The Lean, Mean
Marketing Machine…

Underneath a simple, stylish blog design, high quality content and thousands of eyeballs hitting the site each day is a lean, muscular marketing machine.

The strategy is simple:

Every single day, this ultra-popular health site
emails its readers and
makes them an offer.

Now, most people are too scared to sell something EVERY SINGLE DAY.

They fear they’ll annoy their list… they worry about being too pushy or salesy… they sweat bullets a subscriber may — gasp! — unsubscribe.

As a matter of fact, if you can offer great products that complement their interests? If you can deliver premium offers that people LOVE? The entire marketing process becomes a joy–TO THEM. And your product is seen as a blessing rather than a money grab.

This high-traffic health blog understands this. And they also know a day not selling is a day leaving untold amounts of money on the table.

Plus, there’s ONE THING they do better than most:

They Know Their Market

I know, I know. Your eyes just rolled, didn’t they?

How many times have we, as marketers, been told we must know our market?

However, just knowing your site’s demographics or how many visitors are looking at your sales pages or reading your emails just isn’t enough.

Believe me, it’s not enough to get the monetization job done.

To really get the highest conversions… to transform browsers into buyers… we must understand what makes them tick… what challenges they face… what keeps them wide awake at night.

Let’s take a look at one of our most successful campaigns to see how we zeroed in and nailed the target market.

What does this health site mainly sell? Cookbooks.

Regular old cookbooks.

Incredible, isn’t it? Despite the internet containing thousands of FREE diet recipes, people are all too happy to hand over money for a collection. Why? One word…


Rather than wade through recipe after recipe online, you can get them all together in one shiny, new PDF.

Of course, this is where the sales copy needs to work its magic.

How to make people pay
for FREE stuff…

Ok, now for the good stuff. The intel you’ve been waiting for.

There are 3 major components to the cookbook sales page puzzle:

1) The Story

2) Romance (yes, really!)

3) Killer emails

Let’s get started…

Component #1:
Stories Sell Cookbooks

While it may seem counter-intuitive for a cookbook, you ABSOLUTELY need some kind, any kind of a compelling story to suck people in emotionally. Yes–even when selling a mere cookbook!

It’s simply not enough to list recipes and expect people to buy–no matter how delicious sounding the meals.

First, figure out the thoughts, emotions, the conversation they are having in their own heads… and then meet them there.

What I like to do is hone in on a particular pain point for my prospects and build a story around that.

I’m always thinking…

What is our prospect going through right now?
Why would they even consider buying a cookbook?

  • For instance, with a launch called ‘Paleo Snacks’ (that at last count, sold upwards of 25,000 copies) we focused on the common complaint of walking into a store and having little to choose from except overpriced protein bars.

  • Paleo Breakfast Recipes addresses the morning MISERY of eating the same damn breakfast each day…
  • And for the 100,000+ Paleo Eats cookbooks that were sold, I was fortunate enough to create copy around a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

The big takeaway here?

Pick a pain point based upon your knowledge of your market and exploit and expand on it with a story.

Trust me, when you pick the right pain point, the story pretty much writes itself.

Now I know copywriters are fond of talking about stories. But not the way *I* do stories.

The difference is night and day.

These stories are designed to speak to an individual prospect’s PRIMAL urges and desires. The things they sense deep within themselves.

Cookbooks are PERFECT for this. Because everyone understands the need for food at a primal, psychological level.

You can’t help it. The moment you see an image of a tasty meal you’d like to have, a deep psychological trigger is flipped. Even your mouth starts watering.

For instance, take a gander at this story that opened the Bone Broth Cookbook:

It’s been a long, rewarding day…

Your ancient ancestral tribe of hunter-gatherers have just finished a long overdue, fruitful hunt.

Everyone in the tribe is hungry and excited. As you look on, they’re harvesting every part of the dead animal.

Mouth-watering muscle and organ meats are taken first. Even things that can’t be eaten are scavenged to make clothing, weapons and tools later on.

Everything is precious. Nothing is wasted.

But what about the parts of the animal too tough to chew? What about those that don’t work so well for shelter, weapons or clothing?

What about the bones, hooves, knuckles and so on?

What do they do with those?

Short answer? They burn them.

That’s right.

Early ancestors would insert fired rocks into the empty carcasses of hunted animals. They discovered the heat would break down tough animal bones, creating a strangely-satisfying elixir.

Initially, they’d sip the simmering brew from hollowed-out tortoise shells.

It gave them strength, it gave them stamina, it kept them strong and vital and healthy–even in the most challenging of environments…

Notice we’re not intellectualizing here. We’re not taking them on some long winded, Luke Skywalker hero’s journey either.

No. We’re getting to the point. We’re tapping into primal archetypes and desires they can’t deny. In this case, being hungry and in want of a meal that nutritiously satisfies. Using stories EVERYONE in the market appreciates as the communication device.

Did I plan on this going in? The answer is ABSOLUTELY.

And you should as well.

With every cookbook, there is always a hook… a story that’s so compelling, it DEMANDS your attention.


Component #2:
Romancing the recipes

Merely having great recipe names inside the cookbook is not enough for massive success. (Although it helps A LOT.)

You want the reader salivating at the thought of your cookbook’s recipes.

That’s why we spend the time fine tuning the descriptions of the recipes…

… the delectable taste, the vivid color, the rejuvenating health benefits…  

… teasing the reader as if we have a hot meal waiting for them on the other side of the buy button.

Let me give you an off-the-wall example. It does the job better than I ever could.

It’s a pretty funny (if you’re a copywriter) comedy skit from Conan, called:

The Tea Copywriter Cage Match

With cookbooks, select a few of THE BEST, most delicious looking and sounding recipes and then romance the heck out of them.

Whatever you do, don’t hold back.

That said, you could do everything right on-page, but there’s one thing you need to ensure your success.

Before they even get to the sales page, you need
to put them into the right frame of mind…

I call it warming them up.

And there’s no better way to do that than with:

Component #3:
The Killer Emails

Now, Paleo Hacks is typical of a health info-business in this space by leveraging affiliates to suck in untold amounts of traffic.

Nothing new here. EXCEPT…

Cleverly, they give affiliates the lion’s share of the sale knowing this will make them promote HARD.

That way, this superior health blog gets a ton of new customers with very little effort.

And what really gets affiliates pumped, along with a high-converting sales page, are CREATIVES (such as email swipes) that resonate with their lists, priming the pump for the sale.

With the Paleo Breakfast campaign, we did just that with an email subject line that landed like a nuclear bomb. it said simply:

Subject: “Bacon and eggs, AGAIN?”

Amazing as it may seem, the sale is made right there in that headline.


The problem of being restricted at breakfast time is so great and so common for Paleo lifestylers that this single line immediately resonated.

They thought: “You know how I feel!”

And we really do.

And from that point on, it’s really a case of making sure you don’t screw up the sale.

Here’s the rest of the email:

I can remember when I first committed to Paleo.

My energy was bursting. Fat was flying off. My health was returning with a vengeance.

For breakfast?  Sizzling strips of bacon and eggs–sunny side up.

Who knew bacon and eggs would be the catalyst of my Paleo transformation?

Every day, I’d wake up, and look forward to the sound, the smell, the taste.

Until one day… I didn’t.

I had to admit to myself, I was sick of them. Not just bored or fed up of the taste, but truly SICK of them.

Now I was in a quandary. What to eat. What to do?

Going back to previously unhealthy options was out of the question. It’d been months since I had an English muffin, a donut or bowl of cereal.

And skipping breakfast altogether was simply not an option.

Scouring the Internet for a tasty and satisfying Paleo breakfast ideas proved frustrating and time consuming.

And then suddenly I discovered these recipes from Paleohacks…

Paleohacks Paleo Breakfast Recipes

Hmmmmmm, delicious. Recipe after recipe, everything I tried, tasted sooo good.

Now I finally had what I craved… Variety.

The best part?

These Paleo-friendly breakfast meals can all be made within 10 short minutes! Just as fast as whipping up bacon and eggs.

In the process, my health exploded.

Whoever said it is right. Breakfast *IS* the most important meal in a Paleo day. And double that, especially when you’re following these kick-butt recipes.

=> Paleohacks Paleo Breakfast Recipes

Let’s wrap this up…

I have to tell you, it’s kinda weird being one of the top cookbook copywriters on the face of planet.

First time I wrote for a cookbook, I admit I had my doubts.

Then after 500,000+ cookbooks sold,
I’m thinking it can’t be this simple, can it?

That’s why I decided to write this blog. I mean, who knew so much much money could be made with things that are readily available for free via Google?

But that’s exactly my mindset going in, writing a cookbook promo.

Look at it this way: I’m competing against FREE STUFF.

I simply have to do a better job. Each and every word has to count.

And that’s probably my biggest tip I can give you…

Put some muscle
into your copy

Work on it U.I.S.–Until It Sings.

Combined with the marketing strategies I’ve shared with you, I have no doubt of your ultimate success.

Good luck.

Matt and the Conversion Gods team.

P.S. If you have a project or you’d like me to review some copy of yours, feel free to reach out.

Paleohacks, as well as other long term client/partners keep us pretty busy, but we’ll make the time for you:

The #1 Question To Ask When Writing Emails


I write a ton of emails. Mostly for my clients to sell stuff. Maybe you do, too.

Not to boast, but I’ve been told I’m really good at it. However, I’ll let you in on a secret…

What makes me good is NOT about how great the copy I write is.

What makes me good at it is I know the answer to a very unique question.  A question which 99.9% of all copywriters FAIL to ask.  And as a result, their emails rarely hit the mark.

Here’s the question:

When writing emails, which one does your client want:

Targeted emails that generate high EPCs?


Emails designed to drive high numbers of clicks?

Here’s the situation:

If your client wants high EPCs, that implicitly means they’re going to get relatively low numbers of clicks. To accomplish high EPCs, you need very targeted traffic.

However, if they want high numbers of clicks, you’ll flood their page with untargeted clicks which will result in low EPCs.

Obviously there are exceptions. However, you can rarely have both high EPCs and high numbers of clicks with the same email drop.

Out of the thousands of emails I’ve written, it’s happened to me three times.

Let me put it another way. You can write an email that SPECIFICALLY targets the wants, needs, pains, desires of a certain prospect who is far more likely to become a customer.

Or you can just drive as much traffic as possible to the page, hoping a few will actually pull out their credit card and buy.

So which does your client want? Large numbers of clicks? Or high EPCs?

Of course, they want both. But Confucius say “he who chases two rabbits catches neither.”

So have the client choose and aim for that.

PS: If you think I’m bragging, maybe I am a little. 😉

You’d be rather proud to if you could consistently generate $2+ EPCs for clients. You’d be proud too, if you could regularly cream 5-10% of an affiliates list and get them over to your Client’s page.

Even if you’re just a decent copywriter, that’s what answering this one question can do for you.

Try it and let me know, ok?

How To Get People To Do What You Want

I did a consult today. The Client was lamenting how, while he was getting decent email open rates, his clickthroughs sucked.

A little backstory is in order…

I work with this guy on the big huge product launches, but he handles the day-to-day emails to his lists himself.

He asks what my “secrets” are, since he knows pound for pound, I’m acknowledged as one of the best email copywriters out there.

Anyway, I critique his work, he picks my brain and I spill my guts for about 30 minutes. Really good stuff.

So while the information is fresh in my mind, I want to share it you today.

That means you won’t find this in some copywriting guru’s book, or at some seminar or on YouTube. You’re only going to find it right here, right now, so listen closely.

Here’s the great thing what I’m about to share with you:

These secrets will work for any type of online communication.
VSLs, emails, sales letters, native ads, clickbait, you name it.

But before I share, let me put a wrapper around it.

The key to online communication
is to NEVER telegraph yourself.

What am I talking about?

Well, the most vivid examples of telegraphing are in boxing matches.

(Yeah, you can tell I have boxing on my mind. I’ve been following the Mayweather – Pacquiao promotions.)

When telegraphing, a fighter will start do all those things he does to line up a punch. He subconsciously, unknowingly telegraphs his intent. His opponent sees this happening in the moment, and what does he do?

He evades and avoids.

So how do you not telegraph yourself?

Online, there’s only one way I know: Variety.

Make sure you never do the same thing twice. Never fall into a pattern. Keep things random.

This is easier said than done at times. Why?

Well, the most common email scenario is you’re writing emails and you’re getting an ok response. Then one day, you try something. A different subject line, certain subject matter, whatever.

And guess what? It hits! Conversions go through the roof that day.

So what do you do?

Of course, you’re human. You want to do it again.

And therein lies the fatal mistake.

Conversions are pathetic the next time around. Why because the previous day you telegraphed your intent.

The solution?

You must keep changing things up. Variety is a must. Be random. Never let them see you coming.

With that said, let me share with you how I get people to do what I want them to in today’s online world:


To motivate your market, you must understand your market.

I understand the markets I’m in. I know the people who will see my copy very well.

I empathize with them. I acknowledge them. At times, people say I’m psychic.

There’s a reason.

When your reader feels understood, acknowledged and appreciated on a personal level, on an intimate level, when someone really “gets” them, odds are they’ll do what you ask.

The only way through this gauntlet is research. Constant communication. But my secret is not to be objective, clinical or standoffish.

No, I care about the markets I write for.

I’m not saying you don’t. I’m saying ratchet it up. Unleash and really care about your readers, prospects and customers even more.

They’ll reward you in kind.


Make people a benefit-based offer. If you’re a marketer or copywriter, this is probably second nature to you, so I’m not going to go into it.

I’m just letting you know this is in my bag of tricks, but I don’t bludgeon people with benefit after benefit. Often, of course. But I do not telegraph.


This is one of my favorites. In copywriting, they are usually what they call “blind offers”.

Blind offers are where you tell people about the benefits, you do all sorts of short and long term future pacing but you don’t tell them the one thing they’re most curious about.

I’ll also evade the obvious, the thing everybody else may write about. This means they don’t know what I’ll say next


Sometimes, what I’ll do is make what I want them to do so intriguing, it’s irresistible. I’ll have more to say about this in the future, but for now, try injecting more copy with the outcome of stimulating a person’s curiosity.


I use shock deliberately–but not the way you expect. In other words, I change up their expectations, interrupt their way of thinking. Sometimes abruptly. Sometimes unconventionally.

I demonstrated this with my Client today, by triggering my stun gun on our Skype call. (Yes, I own a stun gun. Doesn’t everyone?)

He was beyond surprised. I told him I use it as a shocking reminder.

Change of Perspective:

One of the thing I like to do is try to change someone’s perspective. Get them to look at a situation a different way.

Honestly, I don’t quite understand why this works, but it does.

Sensory Shifts:

As you’ve probably noticed in my writing, I’ll use special characters, different fonts, different ways of using language, to get someone’s attention.

This is easy and it works.


Yeah, sometimes I bribe people to click. Oh, the horror! I’m sure you’re aghast.

My take? A little WIIFM never hurt anybody, did it?

In summary, regardless how powerful they are, do any one or two of these things consistently, and your results will fatigue quickly.

At that point, the only play you have left is to…

Yell Louder!

talk loud

Unfortunately, at some point, unless you change, even that doesn’t get the job done. And the list is ultimately abandoned.

Don’t let that ever be you, ok?

With these under yor belt, you can do way better. These “motivations” have made myself and Clients wealthy. They can do the same for you.

Hopefully, this has been helpful. Let me know in the comments below, as well as the things YOU DO to encourage people to do what you want.

PS: Just as a reminder, one resource I urge you to check out that also does a great job discussing these types of motivations is Joe Sugarman’s book Triggers.

Since I didn’t use the book in writing this blog, as I come from direct experience, you can be pretty much assured you’ll find a totally different take from Joe.

Email Marketing: How a B2B company lifted conversion 200% with personalized email messages

SUMMARY: Overcoming the digital disconnect between the legal space and technology is the mission of The Expert Institute, a New York City-based legal service platform startup. To help combat this challenge, the marketing team wanted to put a name and face to brand communications.

By instituting a monthly email series from the vice president of client relations, the team was able to decrease the unsubscribe rate and increase conversions by 200%.

Email Marketing: How a B2B company lifted conversion 200% with personalized email messages

5 email marketing tips to increase conversion and engagement

email marketing tips conversionStrong email marketing campaigns are the cornerstone of online sales. Last week, I took an invigorating trip to BAH-ston for my very first Inbound conference. In three days, I was honored to listen to a wide range of speakers who discussed everything from ways to better hack my busy life to how to increase conversion on my marketing strategy. As a customer lifestyle marketer, I was particularly interested in how to maximize my email campaigns. Here are the top 5 email marketing tips I took away from Hubspot’s #Inbound14.

5 email marketing tips to increase conversion and engagement

Your Top 5 Email Marketing Conversion Killers

Your Top 5 Email Marketing Conversion KillersHunter Boyle knows how to make email marketing pay. Senior business development manager at email marketing powerhouse, AWeber, Hunter’s skilled at showing you exactly what does and doesn’t work. He does so fearlessly and with a sense of humor.

I found myself leaning into Hunter’s session at Conversion Conference San Francisco because he made so much sense. Then I asked him to do an interview to help make you a better email marketer.

First, I asked if the two primary purposes of email marketing—lead nurturing and conversion—are they two different things.

Your Top 5 Email Marketing Conversion Killers


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