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!
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:
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!
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.
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!).
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…
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!
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:
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