YouTube for Business: How Writers Can Succeed – With Greg Narayan (Interview Part 2)

Greg Narayan create a blog
YouTube for Business: Is it for you?

This is part 2 of an interview I did with Greg Narayan, Founder of Dear Blogger. As of this writing, he has 20,420 subscribers. His channel offers help with WordPress, Blogging,  SEO,  Design, Advertising, and more! He also shares his insights on how to build and sustain a writing business.

Read Part One




How did you develop your writing and presentation style?

In high school and college we had to write so many pointless essays.

They were pointless because you’d put so much effort into them. Who knows who read them or where they’d go? But all this writing did help me organize my thoughts. So now through blogging I’m sort of getting back at the universe for making me suffer thru late-night 15 pagers. 🙂

I would definitely start a blog and add to it regularly. - Greg Narayan Click To Tweet
What advice would you give someone who wants to build a business based on his writing?

Having a social proof blog with lots of comments and new posts coming out often has to be a big asset, right?

I would definitely start a blog today and add to it regularly. If you want to make a living as a writer, I’d definitely use Frank’s coaching and teaching resources because he seems to really know his stuff. Then do the blogging part for fun or even side income!

What mindset has helped you persevere through the challenges of running a business?

What you want in life is what you’ll do best. For me that was to build a blog that helped unlimited people around the planet.

But beyond that there are some lessons.

Invest if it sets you apart. For example getting web hosting and domain costs about $5 per month. But it sets you apart from free blogs which is a huge step in building you confidence and impressing your readership.

Also, be your own blogger. Read the advice of others but always form your own opinion because it will make your writing, your best asset, that much stronger.

Be your own blogger. - Greg Narayan Click To Tweet

YouTube for Business


You do a lot on YouTube. How do you get attention for your videos? What’s the profit center from your videos?

YouTube is impossible at first because people’s default viewpoint is often “I don’t like her/him”. Think about it. How many times do you watch a fashion/travel/tech/any subject Vlogger and then think “they stink” or “I could totally do that better”.

So getting instant initial traction was very tough (and odds are I look pretty goofy in the old videos). I just tried to put myself out there and give more direct no-fluff advice than the next guy. It took some time but it worked. Just free down-to-earth advice. Maybe I have the gift of knowing how to explain things (chuckling).

Ultimately I know this much: if you can use your own gifts on YouTube and serve them up to people in a professional enough way, anyone can make a great living there in this space we’ve been granted. Referral marketing is my avenue.

You can see with any video, like my latest, I try to really open up. If I can connect with you in the first 5 minutes and offer 1-2 nuggets of advice, my job is done.

So when we make an eCommerce website online store, it’s about WordPress but also personal journeys. Face to face real talk and hard hitting WordPress blogging advice. See below example, and by the way – last advice is never miss a chance to promote yourself! 🙂

I just tried to put myself out there and give more direct no-fluff advice than the next guy. Click To Tweet
Some of us writers do some coaching. How can we use YouTube to introduce potential clients to what we do?


The best way to highlight and market coaching services on a platform like YouTube is pretty similar to how you’d do it on a blog – position yourself as a niche expert.

In order to position yourself as an expert you simply make videos about specific problems in your niche – for example:

  • Thomas Frank’s “The Most Powerful Way to Remember What You Study” (link)
  • Derek Halpern’s “This is why some people can charge $1000 (or more) per hour” (link)

These are some good, recent examples. These are just a couple out of the millions of great common niche topics or questions you could answer through video content.

With great videos like Thomas’ and Derek’s you can become an expert, show you’re worth paying for, all the while helping people on common yet often unsolved or misunderstood issues.

But that’s not all.

Making really concise videos on subjects like those above can lead to long term organic traffic thru YouTube’s search engine. The continued traffic comes from ranking well, getting good feedback, ratings, comments and more.

Yes, the videos have to be great, often better than the current leader’s content, and no, it’s never easy at first because most folks are “ain’ters” who might doubt you on YouTube. But this is a really direct (maybe even the most direct) way to gain a large following from which you can market products and services.

That marketing part is straightforward too – just make sure to take advantage of the YouTube end screens and video notes where you can link people to your landing pages, encourage shares, and give out free gifts, and you’ll be just fine.

In my case, for example, all I do is show folks “How To Make a Blog [2017]” (link) and create other smaller tutorials on common website problems. As a result, I get plenty of emails each week for private blog consulting!


To position yourself as an expert, make videos about specific problems in your niche. Click To Tweet
How important is an email list and how do you attract subscribers?

I love my subs (subscribers) and it’s them I talk to the most and create content specifically for.

But listening to people talk about how critical an email list is and how you MUST GROW A LIST is all a bit confusing I think. You should have an email list. But you can also build a Facebook community or Twitter following or YouTube community and experience the same success.

The email list should come naturally – people should be inspired to subscribe after reading really neat articles on your blog or because they really want more from you, not because you ask them repeatedly.

You need to find what works for you, and I’m happy to help with ideas because it didn’t come easy for me.

In our case, we are a casual email list of about 5k, a very loyal group – but I don’t email them enough. So they kind of do their own thing. 🙂 But deep down, I love my subscribers and check my phone for stats and feedback on them all the time. We chat once in a while but really it’s on me to fire it up with a fresh brew or two more often.

For other bloggers I know and follow, like Pat Flynn, Neil Patel, and Derek Halpern, I can imagine this list is worth a ton.

That said, when I first saw email subs coming in through DearBlogger via Aweber to claim my free ebook, I thought I was the coolest feeling ever. I mean the notifications are very rewarding. It’s a serious grind of hard work, but really anyone can repeat my list building process with a clean looking blog and a couple fun incentives.

What’s your favorite thing to read right now?

That’s a tough question! Save the hardest for last, eh? In the blogosphere I’ve always loved reading Viperchill and ProBlogger. Also, Pinch of Yum for foodie advice. And reading finance advice on Bloomberg or The Street keeps me busy. I have to think of some more, or better yet – send me good reads in the comments!

Thanks so much to Frank for this honor, very excited to meet and help out a few people in the comments!

Find Greg online:

Dear Blogger


The WordPress Experience

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Posted in writing.

I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.


  1. I’ve often wondered, how much of the social media presence building, etc should I do before I actually have anything to sell? I’m an author (revising my first novel), and while I do a little blogging in addition it hasn’t been a major focus for me. It just feels strange to me to try aggressively building my followers, my tribe, if I don’t actually have a product to offer (yet).

  2. Great Part 2 of this interview! I enjoyed reading it!

    2 good reads of the month for me have been;

    Jeff Goins book ‘Real Artists Don’t Starve’

    Meg Konovska’s free eBook derived from Frank’s interview with her…
    ‘The Mega Cool Guide to The Universe of Blogging’

    1. Greg, would you say that when starting out as a blogger your free eBook (Bye Bye Bounce Rate ) helped tremendously to gain subscribers and build your email list? That eBook helped me so much learn about bounce rate!

    2. Do you suggest that bloggers should create something like a free eBook to begin successfully building their email list?

    3. How long did it take you to build a substantial list of subscribers once you posted your free eBook?

    4. How much time did take you to gain so many YouTube subscribers?

    • Cori, hey! I too am so excited for Meg’s guide and Jeff’s book! I have lots to learn!

      1. Yes. 100% the eBook helped. It gave readers a reason to sub and gave me the confidence to ask for their sub! Took maybe 3 weeks to create.
      2. Yes, it’s a must! There are always new topics and old topics that need new ideas, too!
      3. It took a while to get to 100. Then 500. Then it sped up around 1000. I have just over 5000 on the email list now.
      4. Forever. To build a youtube subscriber base is not easy, but the good thing is 1-2 videos can do a lot of the work for you if they rank well. I had a video out in 2015 that accounted for many of my subscribers. Still trying to get that viral feeling back! 😉

      Thanks for asking these, Frank’s post is such a great place for blog chat and wordpress discussion!

  3. Really enjoyed the interview. Lots of great points and I LOVE the video and will keep watching it for it’s packed with great info.

    So we know how important great content is. What I’d like to know is how important is it to change your website. What percentage would you say it is of the whole package? I’m talking about someone who is trying to sell product as well as keep a blog.

    • Hi Anne! Thanks for reading, and watching! 🙂

      I don’t think changing a website is a big deal. Changing themes or designs too often is actually pretty harmful to repeat visitors. I like to keep consistent design, then update it every 1-2 years. What’s important is to keep the messages current (like links in your sidebar or little tag lines or update on where you’re traveling) and keep the blog content flowing regularly.

      Even if you are trying to sell a product – like who I interviewed in the video above – it’s best to have a solid, unchanging look with a few products, then put in the real leg work marketing and making an impact on your niche off the blog.

      Does this help? If that’s not really what you meant by “change your website” let me know! 🙂


  4. Hi All!

    Super fun to return to blogging and the interview circuit with Franks help 🙂 I loved answering all of these. answering blog questions is after all …what I do!

    Keep the questions coming and make sure to follow Franks coaching ideas/advice/products!

  5. WOW!! It’s a great honour mentioning me, Cori! Thank you so much! Besides, I would love to hear the answers to the questions which you put out.
    And, Greg, what an amazing video – over 5 hours!?! That’s packed up with real stuff! Simply amazing for anyone aiming to build a real online store!
    Frank, amazing job on putting it all together! Thank you! You are all awesome, guys!

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