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February 25, 2013, 5:24 am

Authority Website Update – How I Improved my Traffic… and Income!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site

 

 

Over the past month, I’ve been experimenting with a few things to improve the traffic of my authority website: Dividend Stock Analysis. After a few traffic peaks, my site quickly returned back to a relatively mediocre level with roughly 1,300 visitors per month.

 

I Know I Have a Good Site with Compelling Content, So What’s Wrong?

 

This is probably the biggest problem with all good websites; we all think our content is good and don’t understand why it’s not ranking higher in Google. I do own a strong investing network but besides driving my own visitors, I have found it hard to increase my site traffic.

 

I compiled some stats for my site since officially launching it in September (and including August to show the difference before/after).

 

MonthTrafficAdsenseRev/VisitSE Traffic
August482$9,10$0,0253
September4087$180,18$0,0476
October2060$82,55$0,0429
November1296$50,62$0,0438
December1138$33,39$0,0350
January1344$102,90$0,0851
So Far in Feb3119$180,02$0,0644
Average1932$91,25$0,0549

 

After a nice start (4,087 visitors and $180.18 after the launch), I didn’t do much in terms of revenue and traffic for three months. For some strange reason, after getting a few search engine visitors, Google decided that even 76 visitors for a whole month was too much and dropped me with their September update. I’m now slowly climbing the SEO ladder with each month being better than the previous one. The only thing that sucks is that I’m still not able to get more than 3 visitors/day from Google! This is something Ihave decided to take care of starting in February. In order to boost my traffic this month,  put three things in place.

 

#1 Using the Power of my Newsletter

 

I have a pretty good following through my investing website network and think I should use it. It wasn’t that easy as I didn’t want to spam my readers. I sent 2 emails in the past 30 days which resulted into something quite interesting in terms of traffic…

 

Traffic

 

The first email asked my readers to answer The Top 4 Questions to Answer to Build a Solid Dividend Investing Strategy. On the first day, I generated over 500 visitors and benefitted from a residual impact over almost a week.

 

The second email highlighted the Top 35 Dividend Stocks Performers in 2013 so far. As a bonus to add to my credibility, I have 4 stocks that I chose in my Best 2013 Dividend Stocks eBook without counting HNZ (which is my 5th pick in the top 35) that went +20% after the acquisition by Warren Buffett. I noticed that investors are always looking for “hot stocks” and these kind of posts always catch their attention.

 

As long as you find valuable information to send to your mailing list, you will always end-up with a good opening rate and… a lot of clicks! Interesting enough, my loyal readers also clicked on Adsense ads on my other site and some of them bought my Best 2013 Dividend Stock eBook.

 

I intend to send an email every 2-3 weeks with high quality content to send my readers to DSA. I think I can continue to generate traffic spikes with this method. I will not only generate traffic for my authority site but I’m also building a bond with my existing readers. The more “high quality” content I forward them, the more credibility I have when I want to promote my own products .

 

#2 Guest Posting Strategy

 

This strategy is older than blogging but it still works ;-). There is nothing like good guest posts on high PR blogs to build some authority with Google! I wrote three guest posts that were published in January and February. I didn’t get many visitors from those but the link building strategy behind it will eventually take effect.

 

The idea is to write good content and offer it to my fellow bloggers. Since I know a lot of investing bloggers, it won’t be difficult to get links from all of them. The key is to find enough time to write to all of them ;-).

 

I aim for 2 things when writing guest posts:

 

#1 Write the best content I can in order to generate a discussion and possibly attract new readers. By writing high quality content instead of paying a copywriter to do them, I increase my chance of getting new readers.

 

#2 Select 1 or 2 keywords I want to rank for and link back to my site with those. Instead of using a simple link toward Dividend Stock Analysis, I try to link to existing articles with specific keywords.

 

My plan is to produce at least 2 guest posts per month and exclusively targeting investing blogs in order to gain as much authority as possible. So if you have an investing blog and you want to swap guest posts, send me an email ;-).

 

#3 Directory Submission

 

Seriously… directories… anybody use this? Well, I don’t know if human beings use them but one thing is for sure; Google Bots like them a lot!

 

You don’t believe me? I can’t blame you; I was skeptical too! But I gave it a try, following recommendations from a good pal Sunil from Extra Money Blog. He referred me to a directory submission service called Directory Maximizer. It’s literally a time saver if you are looking to building links at a cheap price. You can get 100 links per month for $14/month. I wasn’t convinced but I thought that I could give it a try and see what happens with one site I bought a few months ago.

 

We paid solely for the design and content as the site received roughly 40 to 50 visitors per month. We didn’t link to this site from our network, we didn’t use our newsletter, basically, we didn’t do anything else but subscribe to Directory Maximizer and let the magic begins.

Check out the results:

 

 

We went from 50 visitors per month to 50 visitors per day within 4 months of trying the directory submission service. The fact that we absolutely didn’t do anything to improve the site traffic beside directory submissions leads me to think that it works! It really enables you to get hundreds of backlinks towards your site at a cheap price.

 

The way Directory Maximizer works is simply brilliant: I usually select 10 different keywords with different site descriptions and get about 10 links per keyword/description per month. This improves the natural side of the link building strategy and the site is classified according to a relevant topic within the directory.

 

Now that DSA exists for almost a year, I can use this strategy without looking weird to GoogleBots. If the Directory Maximizer strategy works well this time too, I will be able to increase my number of visitors to 5,000/month by the end of the year. At 5,000 visitors per month making $0.05 per visits, I’ll up to $250/month in adsense. This is besides the sales of my own products.

 

What’s the Next Step for DSA?

 

Creating my first free eBook about dividend investing was quite a success for my dividend blog. I think it would be time I create a similar product to draw a line between my dividend blog and this site. I don’t want DSA to be considered as a simple small extension of my flagship blog and I would like DSA to be able to “fly by its own means”. This is why I will have to start a new branding for this site and reduce the association with my blog.

 

In the upcoming month, I’ll continue my traffic building strategy and will look for a way to track down my sales from this site. Right now, I only have global view of my sales and can’t tell if they are coming from my authority site, my blog or even from another blog referring to me!

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November 19, 2012, 7:10 am

Authority Site Duel; More Challenges To Come!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site

 

 

You probably know that I entered the Authority Site Duel hosted by Sunil at Extra Money Blog. Each Month, I share my results and strategies to build another authority site; Dividend Stock Analysis. (DSA) My personal goal is to make over $1,000/month with over 10,000 unique visitors per month within the next 12 months.

 

After 2 months of operation, I wanted to share with you what has been done so far and where I am at the moment.

 

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

 

Overall, I can’t say that I’m not happy with the progress! During the first month, I was mentioned by The Daily Crux. This resulted in the traffic jumping to over 4,000 visitors during this month and I made $179.30 in Adsense. Through October, the traffic has dropped to 1,170 unique visitors and 4,220 pages viewed. I also made a good $71.98 from Adsense which put the total of my site to $251.28 in 2 months.

 

I now have a lot of content: 942 pages in total including some great 1,000+ word articles in the blog section. One of my strategies is to attract links and traffic from my blog section. By providing high quality articles about dividend investing, I’m able to catch the attention of investors.

 

Cost Involved

I have spent a good amount of money to build this site though. I estimate the total cost as roughly $1,600 so far. Here’s the cost breakdown:

 

Designer: $800

Special coding to get stock information: $500

VA: $300

 

We had to shell out a lot in terms of designer and coding to get exactly what we wanted. We have a good part of the site that is being automatically updated right now. The VA is used to go into each company profile and complete the stock description. We should have a recurrent expense of roughly $100/month to maintain this site up-to-date at all time.

 

Marketing Strategies

 

One month ago, I had set 3 goals:

 

#1 Request feedback from my existing subscribers (in order to drive traffic and keep monthly average visitors over 4,000)

 

#2 Add my Dividend Growth eBook for sale on DSA (in order to generate higher sales volume)

 

#3 Optimize my mailing list offer and reach 300 subscribers (in order to build a sustainable source of traffic and potential clients)

 

 

So at the beginning of the month, I sent an email to my investing newsletter subscribers and asked them for feedback. There were over 500 readers that went to the site and I increased my Dividend Stock Analysis newsletter to 107 subscribers. I also got a lot of feedback and was able to improve my site significantly following my readers’ advice.

 

My goal was to reach 300 so I’m a little disappointed. I obviously need more traffic to grow my newsletter. The other thing is that I’m offering my free Dividend Investing eBook to new subscribers… which is not good bait for my existing readers as they have already downloaded it!

 

My second book is advertised on DSA but I have no way of tracking my sales as I use the same link as everywhere else. I’m not a big fan of tracking everything to a T so this is the price I pay for saving time ;-).

WHAT’S COMING

 

Now that the site has lots of content and it keeps being updated on a daily basis, it’s time to focus on more marketing! In the upcoming months, I’ll focus on 3 more strategies:

 

#1 Link Building

 

The problem with new sites is always to get Google’s attention. The competition for ranking is ridiculous and the number of “old” sites is huge. This is why it is so important to start building something right away. My search engine traffic is definitely something I need to work on. In November, I’ll do the following:

 

a)      I’ll be using my other dividend site to mention DSA weekly.

b)      I’ll be talking about my site to other dividend bloggers. Since I’m linking to them (when they write dividend stock analyses), it should be easy to get a link back to my site.

c)       I’ll use my blog section to contribute to as many carnivals as possible.

 

#2 Social Media

You know me; I’m not a big fan of social media. However, this is the biggest trend on the internet (along with mobile users) and I must do something about it.

 

I’m thinking of growing a twitter and Facebook fan base while I announce all new stock analyses via this medium. Since I’m not too big on social media with my investing site yet, it will be a great opportunity to grow my readership through a way other than SEO! This is will be a crazy adventure for me since I have never really tried to optimize social media but I realize that I can’t live without it anymore…

 

For November, I’ll concentrate on creating a Twitter account along with a Facebook Fan Page. I’ll use my other investing websites to create a fan base big enough to put DSA on the map.

 

#3 Direct Traffic

 

The last point I want to work on in November-December is to update my existing investing eBooks and newsletters to generate more direct hits. Instead of simply mentioning this site, I’ll also market the DSA as the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get high quality dividend stock analyses. This will be done by adding more references and showing the benefits (end-results) of this site via my books and newsletters.

 

I should be able to measure the impact of this strategy by the number of direct hits I generate.

 

In the end, by working on three poles of website traffic (Search Engines, References (through social media) and Direct Hits), I’ll definitely be able to grow my traffic. Hopefully, I’ll be successful in all three of them!

 

 

Check out the other updates at Autority Site Duel

 

Previous Posts on Authority Site Duel

 

 

Aug 13th Authority Site Model

Aug 14th 7 Lessons to Become an Authority

Aug 15th 3 Tips to Reach Authority Level

Sep 3rd Authority Has a Name

Oct 2nd Getting Over 3,500 Visitors for our new Authority Site

 

Other Sites in the Duel

 

CPARequirementsHQ.com

SlowCarbDietExperiments.com

StartFreelancingNow.com

Introduction to Authority Site

PayMyStudentLoans.com

EverydayPurpose.com

SimplySnare.com

CleanseAndBlend.com

BikeTrackDaysHub.co.uk

OnLearningPoint.com

JobLessByDesign.com

 

 

 

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October 2, 2012, 5:00 am

Getting Over 3500 Visitors For Our New Authority Site

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site

 

You probably know that I’ve entered the Authority Site Duel hosted by Sunil at Extra Money Blog. Each Month, I will share my results and strategies to build another authority site; Dividend Stock Analysis (DSA).  My personal goal is to make over $1,000/month with over 10,000 unique visitors per month within the next 12 months.

 

After a month of activity, I can say that I’m pretty proud of the results! We have done a lot of work behind the scenes before officially writing about it. I think that it was a good decision to build a lot of content prior to the launch date. Even though we know that there are a lot of things that remain to be done in the upcoming months and a lot of improvements to make, we are ready to receive visitors. And this is exactly what happened in September!

 

Traffic Boom!

 

After one month of activity, the site is already averaging 50-100 visitors per day. I’m getting roughly 4-5 visitors per day from search engines and another 15-16 from direct traffic. So the current base of traffic after a month is between 19 to 21 visitors. The main difference in my situation is the references from other sites. I’ve started to drive traffic from one of my dividend sites towards the Dividend Stock Analysis blog section. This currently brings additional 29-30 visitors per day on average. This brings my base to roughly 50 visitors per day. But then my Google Analytics shows this chart:

 

DSA Traffic

 

So the strategy worked well but we also got a bonus! On Friday 14th, we got mentioned by The Daily Crux, a financial news aggregator. It’s ironic as I had previously mentioned that the idea behind DSA was to create a “Daily Crux” for dividend stock analysis.

 

How did I get mentioned by a big site so quickly? This is probably the best example of how dominating a niche is important and how using your existing sites to promote your projects can have an immediate impact. One of my sites is on The Daily Crux “radar” and I get mentioned from time to time. On that Friday, I was using this site to highlight a blog post I wrote on DSA. This specific post was then taken by the Daily Crux crew and they published it on their site. What is nice about this news aggregator is that it only posts a part of the article and links back to your site for the rest of the content. This is how you can get tons of traffic in one day! It was definitely pure luck, but I believe that these kinds of things happen when you work hard and work well!

 

What’s Next in Terms of Traffic Strategy?

 

Believe it or not but I was quite limited in what I could do in September. The main reason being I was also launching a Dividend Growth eBook. I didn’t want to bombard my readers with announcements and this is why I only focused on promoting my eBook. The only thing I’ve done so far in terms of traffic strategy was to mention DSA in my Friday roundups and submitting my articles to carnivals. There was no official launch yet! I wanted to finish with my book first and then, I’ll be using the full potential of my network to drive even more traffic in October! I’m fairly confident that I’ll be able to keep my 4,000 visitor average for a second month in a row. The difference is that I won’t be getting a traffic spike generated from one site but rather a consistent traffic flow.

 

Using my Newsletter

 

I already have a pretty good base of dividend investors that I could reach via my mailing list. I will use a strategy of “feedback” instead of “launching” the site. They are pretty responsive when I ask them feedback about my site and eBook projects. I will advise them that I’m currently building a dividend stock reference and that I need their feedback to improve it.

 

This will actually create 3 great impacts:

 

#1 I’ll get premium feedback from the end-users of my site

#2 I’ll get people to visit the site and possibly bookmark it or register on the DSA mailing list

#3 Start the word of mouth process where my readers might forward this site to their investing friends

 

I want to introduce this site slowly to my readers as I’ve just completed a marketing wave for my eBook. Then, I’ll probably do an official launch in December as I already plan on having a book “relaunch” with a printed version and will combine it with the promotion of DSA at that time.

 

I will also introduce DSA in my follow-up mailing lists. Using Aweber, I can use timeless articles to be sent to all my newsletter subscribers once they have been with me for 15, 30, 45 days. Therefore, they all receive the same emails but at different times. This allows me to not bug my older subscribers with constant reminders of my projects and ensure that everybody that follows my newsletter will get my content. Since I’m already offering a “web resources” article that I send to all subscribers, I will simply put a big highlight on that site. This is another way to ensure that I get continuous feedback and traffic on DSA from my newsletter even 12 months after the launch date.

 

I have other strategies in mind but don’t want to spread out all over the place and get nothing done. I would rather be consistent and systematic. This is why I’ll solely focus on my newsletter for October and see how it goes. Over time, I’ve learned that focusing on one specific target at a time is way more productive and effective over the long run (plus it gives great content to write about for my next authority site update! Hahaha!).

 

Monetization Techniques & Strategies

 

The other important part of a site after getting traffic is how you make money with it. We are obviously at the early stage of monetization with DSA as the goal is always to generate traffic, build a decent readership base and then make money. At this moment, we have focused on the Adsense placement and color used to monetize the site. This was an appropriate way to do it since it is a passive way to earn money and the Adsense income potential is fairly important on investing topics.

 

In September, I made $178.43 with Adsense only. I can tell you that I am incredibly happy to see how much could be generated by only 4,000 visitors! On the other hand, I know that a big part of this money was made during the “Daily Crux Boom” and I won’t be benefiting from that next month. Nonetheless, theCTR (click through rate) and money earned per click are definitely in line with the stats I expected. For investing websites, text only ad blocks seem to perform better and the generalCTR is higher for this kind of topic. Right now, I’m experimenting with both text & images ad block with great results. So I’m not sure about what to think right now… I’ll just wait for a few months before making a decision of keeping the images or not. For now, I’ll just be happy that I’m already generating money from a site that has been officially live for 30 days!

 

My next project will obviously be to put more emphasis on my own book on this site. I’m currently advertising my free dividend investing eBook but my second book will be there too! The only problem is that it will be quite hard to follow how many books are being sold through this site as all links point towards a single direction… Amazon!

 

I think I will solve this problem by selling the pdf format in December (once my 90 day period with Amazon is over and I can sell other digital versions). With a special code, I’ll be able to know how much money is being generated from DSA as compared to my other sales channels.

 

Then again, I’ll be concentrating on one thing for October: adding my book to DSA. By optimizing my design to offer my eBook, I’ll eventually generate some sales even though I won’t be able to track them! In my October update, I’ll only report my adsense earnings once again…

 

Building Sustainable Traffic

 

The fact that Adsense ads are not quite visible on the homepage will also help me generate more mailing subscriptions. I actually have to modify the subscription forms and move it up to the top right hand of the site so it shows above the fold (that’s on my To do list for October!).

 

In 30 days, I already have 11 subscriptions. This is pretty good since considering the following:

 

#1 I’m not offering any freebies to register (yet)

#2 My subscription form sucks (no graphics, no catchy line, etc)

#3 My subscription form is definitely not in the right place (it actually blends into the design and is basically invisible if you just go through the site quickly… this is what 95% of readers do!)

 

The purpose of this mailing list will be simple: sending updates on new stocks being covered so you don’t have to go to the site all the time to find the information you are looking for. It will be another way to drive consistent traffic to my site once the newsletter builds up.

 

I’m currently reformatting my free dividend investing eBook and the goal will be to add DSA into the book and offer it for free on both DSA and The Dividend Guy Blog. This way, I’ll be able to generate a lot more subscriptions. By experience, I will probably get 1 to 5 subscriptions per day with only 50-100 visitors. It’s a lot higher when you can grow your traffic!

 

I’m obviously counting on my existing subscriber base to register for another newsletter from my network. Since the information will be different, there is a great incentive to join both mailing lists. It will save the user time as he will get the stock analysis updates directly in his mailbox. I’m pretty sure that once I have sent my announcement to my readers, I’ll get a few hundreds of subscribers. My goal will be to hit 300 subscribers by the end of October!

 

In October I Will…

 

I want to keep things simple with the creation of this new site. Therefore, I’ve set 3 simple goals for October:

 

#1 Ask for feedback from my existing subscribers (in order to drive traffic and keep my monthly average visitors over 4,000)

 

#2 Add my Dividend Growth eBook for sale on DSA (in order to generate higher sales volume)

 

#3 Optimize my mailing list offer and get 300 subscribers (in order to build a sustainable source of traffic and potential clients)

 

 

So that’s it for this month’s update on my new Authority Site. If you have any questions or any topics you want me to cover on authority sites, please leave me a comment below. You can also read my previous posts about DSA and see other challengers right below:

 

Previous Posts on Authority Site Duel

 

 

Authority Has a Name

Authority Site Model

7 Lessons to Become an Authority

3 Tips to Reach Authority Level

 

Other Sites in the Duel

 

CPARequirementsHQ.com

SlowCarbDietExperiments.com

StartFreelancingNow.com

Introduction to Authority Site

PayMyStudentLoans.com

EverydayPurpose.com

SimplySnare.com

CleanseAndBlend.com

BikeTrackDaysHub.co.uk

OnLearningPoint.com

JobLessByDesign.com

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September 3, 2012, 7:23 am

Authority Has a Now a Name

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site

 

 

If you weren’t too busy to play outside and benefit from this awesome summer, you might have noticed that I didn’t write for a whole week (thx to MD, I had one good post and an Epicness of the week!). The reason why I didn’t write is quite simple; I was on vacation.

 

Each time I go on vacation, I try to write as many articles as possible in advance so it doesn’t show too much on my blog. However, when I can’t make it, I simply shutdown my laptop and move away from my email without much guilt. I think it’s important to disconnect once in a while! But now I’m back with a vengeance… or should I say: I’m back with my new authority site!

 

Authority Has a Name: Dividend Stock Analysis!

 

I ran a 3 parts series on the authority site model in August:

Authority Site Model

7 Lessons to Become an Authority

3 Tips to Reach Authority Level

 

This idea of creating an authority site came from Sunil @ The Extra Money Blog. In a few days, we will be launching the authority site challenge with 2 other bloggers; MD from Studenomics & Eric from My Four Hour Workweek. The goal is to build a site that will be recognized as an authority in its niche. This includes far more work than creating a niche site such as EMT Classes. I want my new site to become a big money maker and a reference in its field; dividend investing. This is why I created Dividend Stock Analysis.

 

Dividend Stock Analysis

 

Why Publish Another Dividend Investing Site?

 

It is true that I’ve already built 3 dividend investing websites:

Dividend Guy Blog

What is Dividend?

Canadian Dividend Stock

 

But I know that there is even more space in the dividend niche for us to create the ultimate resource. Dividend Stock Analysis (DSA) will not be a blog like The Dividend Guy and it will not be a semi-static niche site like What is Dividend and Canadian Dividend Stock. The idea behind DSA was to create a resource where all dividend investors would come regularly to pick up useful and timely information on dividend stocks. In order to do this, we had to combine several features together. We wanted to have weekly blog, tons of dividend stock analysis, a dividend calendar and other investing tools.

 

The Source of Our Inspiration

 

What is the best way to produce tons of free relevant content? By using others’ content! Yeah… I know… this sounds like a scraper site, but it’s not! We actually took our inspiration from another financial news aggregator; The Daily Crux. The Daily Crux, does an amazing job of finding the best financial articles across the entire Internet on a daily basis. It posts the beginning of the article on the site and link back to the original post for the rest of the article. This way, it produces tons of high quality content, without having to write it. Readers are happy because they have a “one-stop-shop” for their financial reading, Daily Crux owners are happy because they drive a huge amount of traffic (and I guess they make a few bucks with it) and blog owners and authors are also happy because they get free links and free traffic to their site!

 

Then we thought; each time we want to do a stock analysis, we have to go through at least half of dozen sites to get our information; wouldn’t it be nice to get all this info on one site? And this will be the goal with DSA.

 

The Beta Version Already Contains Several Features

 

The first thing we wanted to implement was the “Daily Crux Format”. We have now a VA that is following tons of investing blogs that write dividend stock analysis. Each time that an article is identified as “DSA content”, it is being added to our stock analysis bank. To date, we have 137 stocks listed and counting. Basically, each week we will add more stocks. You can search them by market (US and Canadian), by most popular and by ticker.

 

We also have a blog section with great articles about dividend investing such as 27 Things You Must Know About Dividend Investing. We intend to produce one article a week on different dividend investing strategies. The goal of this section is obviously to add more juice and updated content to the site while most of the updates are redirecting readers to other sites. Next to the blog section, we added a dividend news column where we will be updating several stocks.

 

But There is A Lot More To Come!

 

In my “dream version”, DSA will host a lot of other greats features such as:

-          A Dividend Calendar Date

-          A stock filter

-          Basic Metrics (Financial Ratios, Dividend history and Fundamental analysis on site)

-          A Book! (yeah… well I’m cheatin’ a little bit on this one as the book is almost ready to be launched :-D hahaha!).

What About the Competition?

 

The competition will take place between four sites and we will report both traffic and earnings reports. We will update our journey on our site and you can follow all updates from one single site that will be announced shortly.

 

If you think you have what it takes to become an authority, I welcome you to join us in this journey. The only requirements are that your site is less than 6 months old and that you will be updating it on a constant basis to become an authority in your field. Wanna join? Send me an email at thefinancialblogger at gmail.

 

PS: It’s good to be back after a week of vacation!

 

If you liked this articles, you might want to sign for my FULL RSS FEEDS. Then, you will get my daily post to your email and can read it at any time. To subscribe CLICK HERE

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August 15, 2012, 6:10 am

3 Awesome Tips to Reach Authority Status

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site

 

 

Today, I’m ending this short 3 part series on authority sites with a few of my favorite tools. If you missed the beginning of this week, be sure to go back and read about the Authority Site Model and 7 Lessons to Become an Authority. Once I announce my new authority site on August 31st, I’ll be able to go into specific details with regards to my promotion, monetization and site creation techniques. Every single projects starts with a piece of paper and a pen. I’m very old school for my creativity process ;-).

 

However, once the project is literally drawn on a piece of paper, I need several techniques to make it live. I decided to make a list of things we will use or have used to create our latest authority site.

 

Find Your Topic – You Need a Technique For That !?!

 

It seems that you can find tools for everything these days; even to find what to write about. In order to determine which topic to choose for an authority site, I used a similar strategy as that to choose a niche website topic. It needs to fill the most important criteria:

 

1-      Sizeable Market

2-      With People Ready To Spend

3-      Be Able to help this market in some ways (find the benefits)

 

Let’s start with point #3. You need to find something you are good at before going anywhere with your ideas. How can you become an authority in something you don’t know much about? Those projects are good for niche sites, but for authority site, you must enjoy the topic. The first step is therefore making a list of your interests/passions and what you are good at. Let’s see what mine look like:

-          Golf (interest, not good at ;-) hahaha!)

-          Kids

-          Sports in general (watching!)

-          Personal Finance

-          Strong interest regarding investments

-          Travelling

-          Good food and wine (I definitely spend too much on that!)

-          Video games (this interest is fading though… darn kids! Haha!)

 

From this list, you need a sizeable market and that will be willing to pay for something. Both can be answered by logic. It’s obvious that there is a market for all my interests. However, I can remove a few topics off my list when I ask the following question: “how can I earn money from people with these topics?”. If the only answer is “adding adsense”… do yourself a favor and work on something else. Then again, this answer would be good enough for a niche site, not an authority site.

 

An easy way to know if people are spending money on the internet for the topic you want to discuss is to use Market Samurai. In a few minutes, you get exactly what you are looking for: the level of search (which tells you if there is a sizeable market), the level of competition (which tells you if you can make it or not in that niche) and the amount of dollars spent by advertiser (which tells you if people are willing to spend money on this topic). Let’s take a look at Dividend Investing Vs Personal Finance:

 

dividend investing keywords

 and personal finance….

 

 

personal finance keywords

 

I’ve simply pull out a few keywords from both dividend investing and personal finance. If you look at the column AWCPC and AWV you will see how #1 you are expecting to pay to appear on the first rank of Google if you are using adwords (AWCPC) and #2 how much you are expecting to earn (daily value) in a day (AWV). You can tell that dividend investing related keywords worth a lot more even though the market is smaller (the SEOT column tells you how many visitors/day you can expect if you rank #1).

 

Once you have past this process, you have a solid topic where you know you can make money from. This is a great start to your authority site! Now, you need to find a domain name that is available ;-). But you know all of this already, so I’ll skip the domain name and keyword research part (you can still read how to use Market Samurai though!).

Find Your Design

 

When I create a new site, I like to pay to get a custom design. Yeah, you read this right: I like to pay. I like to pay for two reasons;

 

1-      I don’t have to do it (I’m a pretty bad designer anyway! Lol!)

2-      It forces me to truly think of what I want

 

When you pay a few hundred dollars to get a blog theme done, you really don’t want to mess it up. It’s a way for me to get a unique blog theme at the same time as taking the project very seriously. In addition to that, I can use an existing theme for smaller niche sites later on. We have been working with the same team of designers since the very beginning. This allows us to get free gigs and more modifications for the same price. We can then “let them go” and use their first pitch as a starting point. It’s easier to see what you want to have or not once you have a live example.

 

Before creating the design, you must answer a very specific answer: what do you want your new visitors to do when they get to your site?

 

For niche sites, it’s often to click on Adsense ;-). This is why you put ads all over the place and try to blend them in as much as possible. But for an authority site, you don’t want to lose your readers for a few dollars. This is why you will probably change your approach (for the homepage at least). For my new site, I’ve decided to include adsense within articles but not above the fold on the first page. I wanted new visitors to either sign up for my newsletter or to explore my sites. I wanted to make sure they would at least see two pages before they leave.

 

Once you have answered this question, make sure your designer understands it. You want to put the focus of your site on the action you want your visitors to take. It can be buying a product, registering for your newsletter, clicking on Adsense, comments, etc. Just make sure that your goal is clear and that your design reflects it.

 

Communicate / Promote

 

The communication / promotion of your site is crucial. You want to be able to spread the word and keep in contact with your new readers. As you know by now, I am a big fan of my newsletter. I expect to make a third of my income in 2013 from my newsletter just to show you how strong it can be.

 

The newsletter is not only the best way to communicate directly with your visitors but it’s also the best way to bypass Google in terms of traffic source. Each time I send a newsletter, I get hundreds of clicks towards my sites. Search engine is still my biggest source of traffic but I can create my own base for a new site by using my newsletter.

 

In order to manage my newsletters, I use Aweber. This is an awesome service that enables you to send follow-up email and live broadcasts. You can also decide the exact time of your broadcast. For example, I’ve already prepared my email for the launch of my dividend investing eBook. It is currently pending in draft. When I am ready to send it, I’ll just have to set a date and time. It’s usually better if you communicate with your audience during work days and I like sending my email early in the morning. This gives enough time to people to either read it while they browse their email in the morning or save it for lunch time.

 

The new design features from Aweber make my life so much easier. The look is better and I can create them within a few minutes. Check out all the options you can easily add to your newsletter:

 aweber printscreen

headline bockThe Headline block creates a headline for your messages. Simply click on the block once you’ve placed it to edit the text.

 

 
paragraph blockThe Paragraph block creates a block of text. Again, just click to edit the text once you’ve placed the paragraph block.

 

 

 

article blockThe Article block creates a headline, a text area, and a “read more” link. Click the text to edit it, and set the URL of the link in the window to the right. Note that some templates may include an image as well – if that’s the case, you can edit the image via the window to the right as well.

 

 

 
image blockThe Image block allows you to insert an image within your message. The window to the right allows you to enter the URL of the image you’d like to display. You can also have the image link to another page when clicked, and provide the text that will appear when someone hovers their cursor over the image.

 

 
button blockThe Button block creates a clickable button. To the right, you can change the URL the button is linked to or replace the button with another image.

 

 
the Follow Me block adds buttons to allow readers to follow you on Facebook and Twitter – simply add the social media accounts using the window to the right.

 

 

 
product blockThe Product block creates an image which you can replace with an image of your product, along with text for the product’s name, description, and price. Finally, it comes with a button that can take customers to your order page. The image and button can be edited via the right side window.

 

 
The Coupon block is ideal for special offers or discounts, with a text area and a dashed border (think of a cut-out coupon) by default. On the right, you can add a background image or change the border.

 

 

Similar to the Image block, the Logo block inserts an image, but automatically loads your logo if you’ve set one up on the List Settings page.

 

 

 

 
Finally, the Signature block adds a sign-off to your message, complete with a space for your headshot, name and email address.

 

 

 

 

You can also access a lot of stats on your most recent broadcast (opening rate, when they open it, who opened it, clicking rate, the ability to send an email to those who clicked, unsubscribe rate, etc.):

 

intelligent speculator newsletter

 

This is definitely the best tool around to keep a close contact with your readers.

 

As for external promotion, I think this is where your network becomes the most important tool. Ask your fellow bloggers if you can do guest post about your new site. Pick the best post you have written and offer them to publish it with a single link toward your new site. It does take a lot of time to do that but it’s the best way to gain readers rapidly along with building natural links back to your site! If you provide your best articles, you will show how strong your site is and why people should go and take a look. If you read an amazing article somewhere, chances are that you will want to go further and find more articles written by the same guy, right?

 

The use of Twitter and Facebook could also help but I’m not a big user of social network so I won’t tell you how to do it ;-).

 

Are You Up For The Challenge?

 

I just can’t wait to officially announce my site and start this challenge! We will basically be battling around traffic and income generated from brand new sites. The difference from a niche site is that we can’t build this in a few weeks and let it ride. Authority sites need constant updates, strong content and, ultimately, lead to a product.

 

If you want to join the challenge, I’ll be following and referring to all readers that want to follow us and do a similar project with us. We start our engines on August 31st…. be ready!!!!

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