November 19, 2012, 7:10 am

Authority Site Duel; More Challenges To Come!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Authority Site
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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.




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 ;-).



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

Introduction to Authority Site




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Interesting challenge! We were mentioned by the Daily Crux once back in 2011 and it led to a really nice boost in traffic …

I know using social media more seems daunting, but I think building your network (especially on Twitter) is a good idea to increase traffic to your site. Once you start putting more content out there, it will be shared over and over and I feel like it will help you build it quickly and easily.

by: The Financial Blogger | November 19th, 2012 (12:03 pm)


I just got another mention for one of my other site and made $400 in Adsense in a single day 😀

by: The Financial Blogger | November 19th, 2012 (12:04 pm)


I think that social media will be relevant for this type of website since we are updating it constantly and both Twitter and FB are great medias to make sure everybody knows about our updates.

Wow, 924 posts is A LOT! Tell me your secret on how to write so much Mike?

It’s taken me 3+ years on Financial Samurai, and I’m only at 650!



Hey Sam,

but DSA is an information website, it’s not like a regular article. Most of pages are now automated (besides the first paragraph where we describe the company’s activities). this is why we were able to have 942 pages in 2 months 🙂

The “real” articles are in the blog section. There are 11 articles 😉

by: Financial Samurai | November 20th, 2012 (11:27 am)

Ah, gotcha.

What in your opinion is the definition of “authority sites”? They often look like niche sites waiting to get downgraded in search by Google.

TFB is obviously an authority site, but I don’t think the majority of authority sites can come CLOSE to TFB!


I agree with you that some sites looks more like a niche site at this stage. This is not my intention with DSA. I truly think it can become bigger than my current investing blogs (which are already considered like authority sites).

Here’s my definition of authority sites:
An authority site is a reference used by new readers, regular readers and peers (other bloggers) for a specific niche. It’s a site that is mentioned all over the place and cited as an example of success. It requires the owner of the site to master a topic and identify trends before they become one. The owner doesn’t have to be the best player but he must be among them.

you can read the full post here:



Thanks Mike.

Why do you think Google has hammered so many authority sites then. Adsense Flippers got a 70% drop in their 200+ portfolio for example. WSOTesters too. NichePursuits also saw a hit, but not as bad.

I saw that too!

I have a few theories based on my own issues with Google. I’m pretty sure I was affected by top heavy ads, read: if you are making too much money with Google Adsense, Google will probably drop your ranking (funny isn’t?)

my other theory is that I know that the Adsense flippers were also using some “gray hat” SEO techniques such as massive link building with spinned articles. I’ve never had the patience to install this setup for my sites and I’m glad I didn’t today! lol!

I also see that mainstream medias and big corporation sites get better ranking (for my keywords anyway) than they used to (prior to G’s update on end Sept, beginning October).

I think those are the reasons why they saw such a big drop in traffic.

Google’a algorythm is far from being perfect!


Thanks for the update and congrats on your continued success!

In the name of growing my traffic base for my authority site I am digging into social media as well. I am not yet convinced it will really drive traffic but I am going to give it a solid effort.

Jon (fellow authority site dueler)