Author: Will Blears

by Will Blears Will Blears 6 Comments

What host to choose?

scalahost web hosting review
So, I see questions regarding which host to pick on the Facebook group quite frequently and I can see why, there are so many options available, so many companies, so many different packages, so many price points – it’s easy to get confused!
 
To add to that there are WAY too many people recommending shitty hosting providers simply because of they’re lucrative commissions (hostgator, bluehost, siteground e.t.c).
 
I’ve been building websites for about 11 years now and in that time I’ve used many of the big name hosts and quite a few small ones and they were all awful. Whether it was simply down to the servers not being fast enough, awful support, too much downtime, they just were not up to scratch.
 
Choosing a good host is so vital, it’s such a fundamental part of our business, so it’s crazy to think that people simply choose a host of the whim, without really researching it.
 
On top of that, once you have chosen a host and begun setting everything up, building out a website, adding content, growing traffic e.t.c realizing you have made a poor decision and then changing host can be a TOTAL fucking nightmare!
 
So, based on my 11 years experience I want to recommend one and only one host: Scalahosting.
 
I’ve been using them for over 3 years now, I am so happy with their service that I actually just purchase an annual subscription because I know and trust they will do a great job.

What package do I currently have?

I am now on the Cloud Enterprise package (since August 2016, previously I was on a VPS Pro package) and I also have these additional options:
  • Litespeed Web Server: massive uplift in WordPress website speed both front and backend.
  • Litespeed Web Cache: server side caching, means no need for WP plugins and supposedly is better. I’ve not really noticed the speed uplift when I added this, but caching is good and I never really analyzed the before and after, but I still would recommend it.
  • 100 GB Disk Space: calculate what you need, if you currently have a host see what you are using. If you are starting from scratch then start small and add, otherwise its a waste of money.
  • 8GB RAM: similarly to disk space, unless you know what you are currently using, start small (2GB or 4GB) and build on it.

The Litespeed Web Cache is something you have to ask support for once you have ordered the package and it comes at an additional cost, I think its about $25 for the year.

What’s so good about Scalahosting?

  • Support: it’s absolutely fantastic, I have taken complete advantage of their fast response time and friendly service with well over 150 requests since I begun using Scalahosting.
  • Severs: now I am not going to pretend and say I know a lot about server technology, I don’t. But, what I do know is that my websites are fast and are always online. Their servers are fast, reliable and efficient!
  • Price: they’re not the cheapest, but they’re not the most expensive. They don’t bullshit you and they don’t hound you with all this sales crap, there just upfront and honest and so are their prices.
If you are looking for a web hosting company which is affordable, fast, reliable, efficient and scalable then check out Scalahosting. If you have any questions at all then please leave a comment below!

Our Scalahosting Review

Scalahosting Web Hosting
  • Performance
  • Price
  • Scalability
5
by Will Blears Will Blears 7 Comments

Niche Site Journal – Revenue Update – Month 8

niche site journal amazon revenue

As part of the Niche Site Journal I have begun recording the monthly performance of revenue, organic traffic and SERPs and will begin to publish these here for everyone to see.

Revenue Performance

I’ve been monitoring the revenue from Amazon, monthly since the website launched in March/April 2016. I would recommend that everyone does this, it helps to track your success, makes forecasting and investing easier and lastly it will help if and when you come to sell the web property.

OK let’s dig into the details for October 2016:

Amazon Niche Site - Monthly Revenue October 2016

As I mentioned last month I was expecting to hit $100 in commission in October, well I absolutely smashed it with $165.83 in revenue! Now you would expect this huge increase to be the results of a significant increase in traffic, well that’s what you would assume but it’s not. To be honest organic traffic only increased by 10.08% MOM, whereas revenue jumped from $69.81 to $165.83 an increase of 137%!

If traffic wasn’t the cause of the revenue increase then what was?

The answer is conversion rates.

September’s conversion rate was 13.43% which is pretty damn awesome, but October was just mental…30.99%!

That is the one and only reason for the increase in revenue. Aside from that the additional 10% organic traffic might of helped slightly this month, but really it comes down to the conversion rates.

What did I do to improve the conversion rate?

Nothing.

I’d love to say I did this and this and this, but in all honesty nothing drastic was done.

Last month I spent very little time doing anything on the site from an on-page perspective, I removed the featured images as they were simply too big and I also added a schema plugin to help add the review bar to my organic positions, nothing that would directly impact the conversion rates, or at least by 100%.

What I have just noticed though is that my pages do not have comparison tables…I know, wtf! I forgot -_- so this will be on the task list for this month!

August vs. September Organic Traffic Performance

Next, let’s compare the performance of impressions and clicks MOM.

September – Search Console Performance

amazon affiliate site organic traffic proof

October – Search Console Performance

amazon affiliate site organic traffic proof

Once again very consistent traffic month to month, no huge gains to be seen. As we mentioned previously a small 10% increase in organic traffic is all we achieved in October, however, we do have quite a few keywords starting to balance between page 1 and page 2.

That’s all for this month, just a quick revenue update. I will be working on the table comparisons, schema and meta descriptions throughout this month and hopefully we will hit at least $150 again this month.

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by Will Blears Will Blears 7 Comments

Niche Site Journal – Revenue Update – Month 7

niche site journal amazon revenue

As part of the Niche Site Journal I have begun recording the monthly performance of revenue, organic traffic and SERPs and will begin to publish these here for everyone to see.

Revenue Performance

I’ve been monitoring the revenue from Amazon, monthly since the website launched in March/April 2016. I would recommend that everyone does this, it helps to track your success, makes forecasting and investing easier and lastly it will help if and when you come to sell the web property.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing Monthly Revenue

As you can see from the graph above, the revenue has been increasing since June 2016 when the site had zero sales, unfortunately, the growth from August to September was negligible, with only a $6 increase. However, I believe October’s performance should hit at least $100 and the site will hit $500 by December 2016.

August vs. September Organic Traffic Performance

Next, let’s compare the performance of impressions and clicks from August to September.

August – Search Console Performance

amazon affiliate site organic traffic

September – Search Console Performance

amazon affiliate site organic traffic proof

As you can see from the two graphs above, the organic traffic was very consistent month on month which correlates with the revenue comparisons. The reason we didn’t see much organic growth in September is difficult to pinpoint, I imagine it’s due to the fact that the keywords I am targeting are quite competitive and will take at least one more month before we see some significant gains.

Interestingly, you can see that on the last day of September there was a significant increase in average positions and clicks, the average position moved from 21.9 to 18.5, hopefully this will increase in to October.

This is all for today, as I mentioned this is just a monthly revenue update for the Niche site case study, please also check out my Authority site case study here.

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by Will Blears Will Blears 4 Comments

Niche Site Journal – Month 6

amazon niche site journal month 6

Welcome back to the sixth month of the Niche Site Journal case study.

For a few reasons, I chose not to update this journal for the past few months, in fact, the last update was on the 8th May and recapped the second full month of activity for the niche site. Apologies for the lack of updates, if you have already read my Authority Project update, you will know why I’ve not updated the site for a while and well I apologise.

However, I am back and this time, we have our 6-month update, for anyone new to building niche sites by the sixth month you really should know whether or not the website is going to be a success or not. By the sixth month, you should should see steady increases in both organic traffic and sales.

Let’s start off by delving into the site’s performance!

Site Performance

The following is a screenshot of Google Analytics traffic month by month filtered by organic traffic only.

niche site amazon journal case study

We launched the website in March 2016 and it has taken 3-4 months for our initial link building activity to begin taking effect, however as you can see over the past two months we’ve begun to see good growth in organic traffic.

amazon affiliate site case study

The above screenshot is taken from Google Search Console and shows the past 90 days performance, as you can see our clicks and impressions have increased significantly month on month. Below you can see the monthly performance:

  • March – 57 organic visitors
  • April – 163 organic visitors
  • May – 216 organic visitors
  • June – 228 organic visitors
  • July – 585 organic visitors
  • August – 1,104 organic visitors

What is responsible for the sudden increase in clicks and impressions?

There are a few specific pages which I was initially link building for; I chose these pages as they were among the easiest pages to rank for my chosen keywords. I knew that it would take 3-4 months to begin ranking for these keywords based on previous experience and Long Tail Pro showed keyword competition of mid 20’s for the majority of keywords on these pages.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-14-53-27

This is an example of one page which I’ve been targeted with off page SEO; you can also see another one below which shows even larger growth.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-14-53-07

A handful of pages show very similar results, and when I analyse the search console performance I can see multiple keywords for each page which have an increase in the average position leading to an increase in impressions and clicks.

I know what you are wondering now, well how has all this impacted my Amazon earnings? Well, let’s take a look!

Amazon Earnings Performance

The Amazon earnings have been increasing month on month as expected, after I received the first Amazon sale in early May, as discussed in the previous Niche Site update.

  • Amazon March Statistics: 5 clicks
  • Amazon April Statistics: 23 clicks
  • Amazon May Statistics: 36 clicks and 4 orders = $14.95
  • Amazon June Statistics: 33 clicks and 1 order = $1.60
  • Amazon July Statistics: 101 clicks and 9 orders = $28.80
  • Amazon August Statistics: 180 clicks and 31 orders = $63.59
  • Amazon September Statistics: 123 clicks and 20 orders = $31.15 – as of 19th September 2016

It has taken 2 months (March & April) to begin generating sales, by early May I received the first order and every month afterwards the site consistently generated orders. You may be looking at June and thinking wow, that sucked! Yes it did, but these things do happen and we just continue going, as I always say persistence is the key to success.

From July onwards to correlate with the uptick in visitors our earnings began to increase also, looking at this month we should be in line with last month’s performance and then we go into the last quarter of the year, the biggest quarter of the year so I am hoping to hit $500 by December 2016 for this site.

What have I been working on over the past four months?

Since the last update, you may be wondering what I’ve been doing to the website for it to grow so much and for it to begin generating a consistent monthly income. Well, to tell you the truth I’ve not touched the website at all, except for logging in to WordPress and checking everything is up to date, adding a few new plugins including Litespeed Web Server as part of my server upgrade, I’ve done very little on-page SEO as this was all done during the initial month of setting the site up.

Instead, my focus has been on link building and sorting out the Amazon FBA side of the business.

  • Outreach – obviously this will continue, I want to get articles published on all of the contributor accounts I have. Also, want to begin seeing some results from the two systems I have running.
  • Press Releases – I will submit a press release or two for the site.
  • Amazon FBA – hopefully next month’s update will include something like “and we’re live on Amazon…” or at least we’ll be very, very close.

Above is what I was supposed to be working on since the last update, so let’s go through this one by one.

Outreach

Admittedly this has been a slow process, mainly because my time has been significantly divided over the past few months, as many of you will know I was traveling during the month of July and August, so this site was one of my last priorities. I’ve not done any outreach during this time, I have had a virtual assistant help with basic SEO such as blog commenting, forum commenting e.t.c which I doubt has helped massively, but when it comes to getting larger authority links these basic links will help keep the link diversity.

Press Releases

I have managed to submit a press release last month for the website and I will be following that up this month with an additional press release which will also get the bolted on service which means the site will be submitted to Yahoo. I do this simply due to the fact that it increases the sites exposure and backlinks from Yahoo, they are no follow however, I am a firm believer in these type of authority links still having a positive impact, especially on relatively new websites.

Amazon FBA

Finally, the product is live on Amazon! It has taken so many months, going back and forth with the manufacturer to finalise the product, branding, packaging e.t.c but I got there in the end. Now the product is live on Amazon.com, it’s a very competitive market and this is my first FBA product so things are slow though. I’ve just begun adding the product to various review websites to generate additional reviews for the product, then the plan is to launch an Amazon PPC campaign. Meanwhile, I am promoting the product via HelloBar on the website, directing visitors straight to my Amazon product page in an effort to drive a few sales each month.

Next steps…

OK, firstly let me mention that I may continue to do monthly updates for this case study however, I may also decide to just do quarterly updates. The reason being is that there isn’t enough work being done on the site each month which means the monthly updates would merely be a site performance update. If you are interested in hearing how the site is doing each month then let me know in the comments section below!

More outreach, PR & hire some help…

The focus is really on building higher quality, authoritative links from relevant websites. Now, I can’t do this alone so the next steps are to find people that can help me with this. I am currently looking on PeoplePerHour & UpWork, I will continue to look for someone who has experience with outreach, can speak fluent English and also has experience in writing high quality content.

Amazon FBA

For the Amazon FBA side of the business the focus here is to generate more customer reviews and then to launch the PPC campaign, I still need to learn a lot about Amazon as a platform for selling and how their BSR algorithm works so there will be a lot of my own time spent on learning.

That’s all for this month, I do hope you find these case studies useful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

by Will Blears Will Blears 34 Comments

Authority Site Project – Month 6

amazon authority site project month 6

Welcome back to the sixth month of the authority site project.

If this is the first time you are reading my authority site project then check out the first post which explains the strategy and the long-term goals, you can read it right here.

Before we start, let me apologise for the large gap between the last monthly update and today. There were a few reasons for this, mainly real life and business priorities which took a president, however, it was also because during the past 3 months very little has happened and that’s because I’ve been waiting to finish the startup loan application, which I can now confidently say is almost over, I am literally waiting for the loan to be deposited into my account which should be this week!

This authority site and the overall plan for the site was built upon having an initial £25,000 investment which is going to come into fruition this month, therefore from now onwards we will continue with the monthly updates.

However, since we’ve had a big gap let’s quickly summarise what results we have seen during this time.

  • Organic Visitors: April – 452  / August- 997 = 120.57% increase
  • Revenue: April – $45.79 / August – $186.35 = 306% increase

From a revenue perspective, I am quite happy with the amount I’ve generated from just 997 organic visitors, this calculates down as $0.18 earnings per visitor and if I can sustain that then I will be absolutely thrilled! However, I am not happy with the slow growth in organic visitors, a 120% might seem fantastic but over 3 months I think this absolutely sucks and to still be in the hundreds and not in the thousands or even the tens of thousands, sucks a lot. Before I get all depressed,  I just need to remind myself that this authority project has had an incredibly soft launch, it’s not been all systems go and will only begin to go in to a full blown launch now that I have the loan approved.

Let’s compare Amazon clicks and engagement for August vs. April:

  • Amazon Clicks: April – 366 / August – 570
  • Pages/Session: April – 1.83 / August – 2.21
  • Average Session Duration: April – 1 minute 5 seconds / August – 1 minute 9 seconds

Again these metrics are fine, nothing close to what I am trying to achieve, as I keep mentioning though there are lots of plans now that the loan has been approved.

£25,000 Investment & rapid growth

The £25,000 will be invested throughout the next 6 months (October 2016 – March 2016) and is based on a forecast model which I’ve been building for the past 12 months. This forecast is built using an estimated revenue per visitor (lower than what I am currently getting). I’ve also done a significant amount of competitor analysis, looking at approximately 15 competitor sites and analysing their success from the launch until present day to understand what sort of organic growth they had.

With all of this data (there was a lot more) I built a few different forecast models, and I have predicted that I need to hit 50,000 organic visitors per month by April 2017 to sustain the level of spend I will be investing from this month onwards. So basically, I have 6 months to hit 50,000 visitors per month from organic search, which right now when I am recording just under 1,000 visitors a month sounds extremely scary!

What will the £25,000 be spent on?

OK, so each month I will be investing approximately £4,305 which will be broken down as follows:

  • £3,000 – Content
  • £125 – Virtual Assistant
  • £1,000 – SEO
  • £55 – software (SERP Book e.t.c)
  • £125 – Initial Loan Repayment

I plan on publishing 100 pages of unique content each month at 1,000 words per page so in total 600 pages spread across 6 months. As well as this I plan on creating an additional 250 pages per month which will not have any content; these will just have the algorithm which generates the recommendation table.

Our burn rate is 6 months, and after the initial 6 months, we will need to hit revenue levels of at least £4,305 revenue, otherwise we will have to reduce our monthly spend which in turn will have a negative impact on growth.

What is the strategy right now?

OK, so up until this point the strategy has been to focus on increasing the strength of the overall site by building links to the homepage and category pages, rather than focusing any link building on specific ‘best xxxx pages’ and over the course of 3 to 4 months monitor what queries we begin to appear for and this is where it begins to get interesting.

I am currently tracking 69 keywords in SERP Book based on data I’ve analysed from Google’s Search Console, all of these are ‘best xxxx’ type keywords and this is what it currently looks like:

SERP BOOK Authority Project

Admittedly, we’re bouncing around the SERPs massively, for example just now I’ve checked, and we’ve just moved up 68 positions in 1 day for one query and this happens daily. As you can see from the above, we have hit the first page for 4 keywords this is beginning to generate some traffic and a few sales, however, these keywords are relatively low search volumes and we’re not hitting the top positions yet, we definitely need to in order to see any real volume.

What’s the strategy going forward?

As I mentioned above, with the loan being approved this will be invested in two key areas – SEO & Content, there is also an initial lump sum which will be invested in web development, we will talk about that in a moment.

Content Plan

Initially, I am having the writers produce 1,000-word buyer guides for each page, I hand select which pages based on keyword competition, where we are currently ranking (if anywhere) and what our competitors are doing. I do have my reservations with writing just 1,000 words per page, however the idea is that we initially publish 1,000 words of content, if the page begins to climb, generate traffic and sales or is close to the first page in the SERPs then we can produce additional content for that page to help push it to the first page.

Each month I am planning on publishing 100 additional pages of content, this is a hefty investment both in time and money but it’s the only way we will see the growth we need to see. Personally, I feel 100 isn’t enough but that’s all we can afford to invest right now.

Side Note: We all know that content isn’t the key to ranking, sites like BestProducts.com clearly proves this as I discussed here.

SEO Plan

There are a few elements to the SEO strategy I’ve devised for the authority site, from an on-page point of view the pages are dynamically generated and I use dynamic meta titles & meta descriptions that automate this process. As well as this I always append the year to the end of the meta title to help rank for ‘keyword + year’ queries.

From an off-page perspective it obviously all comes down to links and there are a few layers to this, let’s first discuss global SEO.

Global SEO Plan

By global I mean, link building across my entire site so usually targeting the home page or category pages but not focused on any particular keyword or page for ranking. This strategy is to help build the site’s overall authority and spread link juice throughout the entire site.

What sort of SEO am I doing for this:

  • Press Releases
  • Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Google+)
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Guest Posts
  • Scholarships
  • Job Boards
  • Directories

As you can see there are quite a few different things going on here, the idea is to basically get my site out everywhere, many of these are probably considered to be ineffective in today’s world of SEO, but I am still a firm believer that whilst they may not work as singular strategies, collectively they have a larger impact.

Page Specific SEO Plan

This is the strategy I am using to rank specific pages for specific keywords and many of the strategies are the same but are used in slightly different ways.

  • Press Releases
  • Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Google+)
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Guest Posts

The big one in both plans are the guest posts though and this will be achieved through a lot of outreach as well as trying to build up a network of contributor accounts across multiple sites so we can publish multiple posts.

So that’s it in a nutshell, the SEO plan laid out flat – I am sure it will evolve, but that’s what I have so far. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let us know in the comments section below!

Web Development

As I briefly mentioned before, the website has been struggling – the initial launch was an alpha launch of the platform. However, I did expect it to handle the volume of data e.t.c better than it is has been doing. I don’t want anything to jeopardise the success of the website and since I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to site design and usability this stresses me out even more so.

Quick Update: I recently upgraded from a VPS Server to a Cloud Server and also installed Litespeed Web Server & Litespeed Cache which have dramatically improved both the front and backend speed of my entire portfolio. For anyone interested, I use Scalahosting for my host which I 100% recommend.

Initial Web Development Plans

For now I’ve decided to hire a web developer to make some tweaks to the current alpha site, hopefully, these updates to the custom theme will carry us through the next 6 months. I will be monitoring this closely though and if at any point I feel we are hindered due to the website development then I may have to speed up the phase two development.

On that point, what exactly is the phase two development of the site?

Web Development: Phase 2

For the second phase of the development I am currently torn between staying on WordPress or moving away to another platform. My current thought process includes two options which are:

  • Ruby on Rails: moving away from WordPress to Ruby on Rails, a language, and platform which is extremely popular amongst startup companies and is used by companies such as Air BnB and Twitter. The reason I’ve been considering ROR is that it’s lightweight, powerful, intuitive and dynamic  which will not only set the site up for the next few years but will be a solid foundation for the entire future of the business.
  • Genesis Framework: the other, easier, more affordable solution is to continue with WordPress but to use the Genesis Framework and to develop our own theme using this Framework.

At this point in time though, both options have their pros & cons and I am nowhere near making a decision, nor am I really informed to make a decision on either as there are plenty other options I’ve not yet considered…a decision for the future I think/hope.

OK, that’s all for today – I promise I will continue updating this monthly and will also release a quick update once the startup loan has been deposited in to my account and we kick off. Also, if you have any questions or thoughts please add a comment below.

And, lastly please join us on Facebook for awesome tips and networking with some great, experienced people – check us out right here!

by Will Blears Will Blears 21 Comments

From 2,546 to 412,894 organic visitors in 6 months

September 2016 Update: There has been a lot of discussion surrounding BestProducts.com since this post, as well as a few other bloggers discussing this topic as well as a Reddit thread and I wanted to quickly revisit the website to see how it was doing 4 months later. I originally published this post in late May 2016, it’s now September 2016 and in that time the website has gone from 412,894 organic visitors per month to 3.43 million organic visitors per month. Yes, you read that correctly, in just a mere 4 months the website has gone from 400,000 to 3.43 million organic visitors.

How has BestProducts.com accomplished this?

Honestly, they’ve done f**k all – they’ve added an additional 12 backlinks (according to Moz, see screenshot below) and added lots of content, but hold up – we’re not talking about in-depth buyer guides here, we’re talking about useless product summaries, literally each summary is not even 150 words and is accompanied by a nice little affiliate link going straight to Amazon.

bestproducts moz statistics

As well as this, another thing I find funny is the static price displayed alongside their ‘product reviews’ which as we all know, is a big no-no.

So, as the little guy – what can we do about this?

To be honest, I am not sure how we can battle the big media giants – that is unless we all decided to come together and make a HUGE network of sites, in my head as I write this, it would be quite epic to have a network of perhaps 100 five-figure Amazon earners to agree to link to one another’s websites but I am not even sure this would quite cut it, considering we would still be up against 30 websites all with domain authority in their 80’s and a huge brand following. Yeah, it just ain’t happening…

So, with that unrealistic solution out of the way, seriously what can we do? Continue what we are doing:

  • High-Quality Buyer Guides – a minimum of 2,500 words with product reviews and a thorough consumer guide.
  • Provide consumers with multiple types of content – written, infographics, tables, graphs, video e.t.c.
  • Stay niche? Possibly a solution is to focus on niche sites, now I don’t mean sites that focus on one product, but instead one area of products like Televisions, Headphones, Laptops e.t.c as we’re still likely to outperform a site like BestProducts.com if we have an established site in a specific niche.

As we progress into 2017 though, this is going to become more of an issue – as of right now I imagine BestProducts.com are generating approximately $400,000 in commissions per month. I would not be surprised if Hearst Media (the company behind Best Products) decide to launch another site in 2017 with a slightly different angle and use their network to power that site as well.

Overall, don’t be dishearted by this – just realise that we’re not alone, Google is still lagging behind, what is considered grey hat is still an extremely powerful strategy.

Original article below

Quick Update: If you are wondering what other media companies follow the same strategy as Hearst Digital Media, then check out Purch Media who own TopTenReviews, Tom’s Hardware amongst several others – Purch Media.

OK firstly, for those who I’ve promised to write a guide to Amazon TOS & general guidelines, it’s coming, I am slightly over 50% (2,000 words) of the way through it, and it will be published soon.

Back to this – while I was conducting a bunch of research for my authority site project, looking at competitors growth since they begun to present day using Similar Web & SEM Rush tools, I noticed one of the recommended competitors had extremely significant growth in just a few months. I was slightly stunned, actually, no that’s a lie…I was very stunned. I thought that Similar Web stats for this particular website may have been broken, so then I double checked with SEM Rush, which reported similar growth. That’s when I started to focus all my attention on this one website which had shown growth from 2,546 organic visitors to 412,894 organic visitors in 6 months!

SEM Rush Screenshot

At this point I’d like to highlight a few things about the history of the domain name its self:

  • Originally registered in 1998 it has a domain authority of 42 and a page authority of 50
  • It was originally the official website of Lawrence County Illinois (or at least that’s what it said, pretty sure it wasn’t).
  • Shortly afterwards the domain was simply parked, I assume a domain investor had the domain and waited for a buyer.
  • For quite a few years the domain was parked/launched/parked/launched with no real success.
  • Between 2009 and late 2015 nothing happened with the domain name.
  • Late 2015 Hearst Digital began to develop and then launch the site which is what you can currently see live on the site now.

bestproducts.com

The domain name is BestProducts.com and it’s now owned by Hearst Digital Media, for those who are unaware, Hearst Digital Media are a huge company. For example, they generated $10 billion in revenue in 2014 and had over 20,000 employees (Wikipedia) & you can see an assortment of their sites on their company website here – Hearst Digital Media.

With all this being said you can now begin to imagine the resources and power that they have and how easy it may be to influence the SERPs for the launch of their new website BestProducts.com.

But first, why?

With traditional monetization methods such as display advertising resulting in declining revenue, large media companies have been in search of a new revenue generating machine and their answer was hardly shocking to you and me, affiliate marketing. Which many large media companies have steered clear from up until now, whilst we’ve been building niche sites or a site with 100 pages and calling it an authority (ha) these powerhouses have been publishing hundreds of posts per day and getting rich from rich media advertising on a CPM model.

Times have changed…

Unfortunately for them, the world of digital advertising has changed, with the introduction of demand side platforms and real-time bidding several years ago the cost of premium banner advertising has reduced, whilst the competition has increased – it’s no longer about direct relationships and long-term contracts, at a click of a button I can have a premium ad placement at the top of Forbes.com.

Now, admittedly I am skimming the surface when it comes to what’s changed in digital advertising to cause the shift from CPM models to affiliate models, but we don’t have the time to go into that right now (we should be building our empires).

So, basically to summarise the why…media companies have realised that their decline in ad revenue needed to be filled by a new solution, answer = affiliate marketing.

Gawker Media is a prime example of this, up until recent years they never even touched affiliate marketing, which is crazy to think considering how much traffic they receive and how many of those users are interested in purchasing gadgets which Gawker Media have discussed, reviewed or even just mentioned. Nick Denton CEO of Gawker Media has recently been quoted declaring that their efforts in affiliate marketing have provided “a valuable second revenue stream.”

But I don’t need to sell you guys on the value of affiliate marketing; we own it! So let’s move on…

How has Hearst Digital Media leveraged their strength & power to help launch BestProducts.com?

The site launched in November 2015 and currently has 1,890 indexed pages in Google, which means in just 6 months they’ve published 315 pages per month. Obviously, not all of these are pages like this one, but we can rest assured that a large chunk of them are.

So, first off – with a sizeable investment in employees (editors, writers e.t.c) they’ve managed to publish 1,890 pages in just 6 months.

Secondly, and most importantly they’ve leveraged the power (domain authority) of their media network by linking to BestProducts.com via their footer, for example:

Esquire.com – DA89

espire.com

TownandCountryMag.com – DA71

townandcountrymag.com

Cosmopolitan.com – DA88

cosmopolitan.com

PopularMechanics.com – DA87

popularmechanics.com

Elle.com – DA87

elle.com

HarpersBazaar.com – DA85

harpersbazaar.com

MarieClaire.com – DA83

marieclaire.com

And this is just a handful of examples, remember a company that generated $10 billion in revenue in 2014 and they have a huge network of ridiculouslyhigh qualitsites.

Let’s have a look at what Moz says:

moz bestproducts.com

Yes, from 19 root domain links the website is currently generating more than 400,000 visitors per month from organic search alone.

Crazy.

I mean, it is crazy…but it’s also extremely obvious and that’s what I want to point out – look how openly obvious it is that websites with a strong domain authority and incredible authority push a website to new heights. Now, we don’t all have a network of hundreds of sites with DA of 80+ all of which are brands in their own right. However, we can get access to these sites through guest posting and blog commenting.

I wanted to discuss this to really highlight how our competition (yes, anyone who tries to rank for best xxx products) is playing the SEO game and the power they have behind them not just from linkable assets but also monetary investment. Now, this isn’t supposed to depress you and make you want to quit, it’s the world wide web for fuck sake it’s big enough for us all, but remember next time you are wondering how you can rank, look at the big players and see how they’re doing it. We might not be able to copy them, but it’s good to see how these links affect a sites performance.

Also, BestProducts.com is a honey pot of niche opportunities for anyone who has yet to jump on the Amazon associates bandwagon – check these out for example:

niche keyword research

This is just a snapshot of the kind of queries and niche markets you could enter there are probably 50 here and there are another 81,323 queries including the word best from BestProducts.com alone.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts about what I’ve spoken about here, please leave a comment below! Also, check out 7 six-figure Amazon Associate sites here.

by Will Blears Will Blears 2 Comments

Authority Site Project – Month 3

amazon authority site project month 3

Welcome back to the third month of the authority site project.

If this is the first time you are reading about the authority site project then check out our first post which explains the strategy and the long-term goals, you can read it right here.

OK, let’s cover of the numbers first since that’s what everyone wants to know, for this month we’ll do a month by month comparison since we have a full month (March) to compare with.

  • Organic Visitors: March – 529  / April – 457 = 13.61% decrease
  • Revenue: March – $12.95 / April – $45.79 = 253.59% increase

Interesting numbers, while the organic traffic to the website reduced by just over 10%, I still managed to increase revenue by 2.5 times. However, I am not that bothered about the revenue, what does bother me is the decrease in organic traffic, and there are a few reasons for this I think:

  • Link Building takes time to take affect and the initial boost of organic traffic simply came from launching the website, we can call it our ‘base traffic’ as in, we don’t need to do anything to achieve that traffic it’s simply just there.
  • On-page SEO isn’t up to par – I will admit that the on-page SEO is pretty poor right now, aside from having the meta tags all setup fairly well and the header tags, everything else is pretty dire. There are multiple web development issues which affect the ‘crawlability’ of the site, such as the javascript navigation menu, which should be HTML/CSS, and it will be, soon.
  • Content – The majority of pages are without actual content, aside from the recommendation table which means there isn’t much for Google to crawl and it goes against the ‘content is king’ paradigm (this is not intentional, just a bump in the road).

Let’s also compare Amazon clicks and engagement month on month to see how we’re doing there:

  • Amazon Clicks: March – 120 / April – 366
  • Pages/Session: March – 1.75 / April – 1.83
  • Average Session Duration: March – 56 seconds / 1 minute 5 seconds

In my opinion, these are some very interesting stats, especially the Amazon clicks, which according to the data has increased by 205%. I even went into my Amazon Associates dashboard to double check, and this is correct. So, basically while the traffic reduced by 13% our Amazon clicks went up by 205% and our revenue increased by 253% – weird.

The only thing that I can think of that might explain this is that the traffic was far more targeted towards buyer intent related keywords. As I’ve previously explained the initial organic traffic the site is generating comes of a huge amount of long tail queries, many of which are simply product names rather than ‘best xxxx’ or ‘xxxx review’ therefore the conversion rate on product name keywords is likely to be much lower. Therefore, it is my assumption that in April there was a higher amount of organic traffic from high buyer intent keywords and less traffic from low buyer intent keywords.

Overall, looking at the performance of April it was quite poor, there was no growth in traffic which is what I am more focused on, the revenue growth is great, and it does show a promising future for the site when we do begin to generate more traffic, as the conversion rates from visitor to Amazon click to conversion are quite high. We just need more traffic.

Which brings us on to the next part of the post…action points / goings on and all that jazz.

Last Months Priorities and Action Points

  • Test writers with sample pages of content of approximately 2,000 words each, this is so I can find decent writers in time for getting the loan approved which is when I will be investing upwards of £5,000 on content within the first month.
  • Continue guest posting / finding contributor accounts – I have a list of about 10 sites which I have the potential of guest posting / contributing to and a handful of sites which I’ve already confirmed that there is a guest posting opportunity I just need to get the content written for these as I am doing most of them myself to begin with.
  • Phase 2 design brief – while I am not yet ready to begin phase 2 of the website development I want to keep working on the design brief so as soon as the loan comes through I can begin that.
  • Competitor Analysis – each month I am analysing my competitors, working on strategies to take forward for both establishing this as a brand and also outranking my competitors which mean also getting links everywhere that they have established links.
  • Statistical Data Learning – as this website is powered by an algorithm I am trying to learn more about statistical analysis, data analysis and all of that jargon – I’ve been talking with a statistical engineer who will be working on phase 2 of the algorithm as I am not happy with the results from the initial algorithm I had developed.

Following on from last months action points we have a lot to cover, so I will do my best to keep these brief.

Testing Writers

For those who are not aware, I had a team of writers who were fulfilling all of my content needs across all of my websites. However, the company that managed the team decided to close up shop, therefore I’ve been forced to find a new team of writers.

Over the past month, I’ve been testing various platforms including Text Brokers, iWriter, UpWork & Warrior Forums hiring section. All of which have been to some extent disappointing. None more than Text Broker which I find severely lacking on the interface front, it’s just garbage…plus they charge quite a hefty fee and the quality difference between 3 stars and 4 stars in my limited experience was very little, the biggest difference was simply the price.

That forced me to begin looking on UpWork which I hated from the get go, because they got rid of a site which was working perfectly fine (Elance) and merged it with Odesk to create a poorly tested user experience, UpWork and just last week introduced that they are increasing their fees, talk about market dominate and exploitation. However, my issue with UpWork is that you are opening up your doors to a boat load of people who say they can speak English fluently and then clearly cannot. There is a lot of time and effort involved in UpWork, filtering out the awful, poor, and mediocre to make way for the half decent to amazing writers.

As of right now, I am testing two teams from UpWork; I still have some credits in Text Broker so I will edit the way I have been finding people on Text Broker and test 2-4 more people there. I will at some point write a review on each of these platforms, but don’t hold your breathe as it might be a while, or maybe I will do a video review as they’re somewhat easier.

Continue guest posting / finding contributor accounts

Contributor Accounts

This is the one area which has seen the most improvement last month and an area which I purposely put a lot of energy in to since it’s so important. Throughout April, I was able to get contributor accounts at a handful of sites including one site with a DA62 and another with a DA42. I have an article at one of those sites going live today, and another scheduled for this time next week.

Google Doc System

As well as this I have hired a team to work with me in researching topic ideas and writing articles for me to then send to potential GP opportunities, and I have the first article being sent to me today for my approval. If that goes well, then they will be managing another part of my GP system which is managed through a Google doc. I will post the URL of where I am looking to get a guest post submitted; they will research topic ideas, write an article, upload it to Dropbox and provide the URL in the Google doc. I will then check the article, send it through to the website along with an E-mail and await a reply.

Outreach hire – number 1

I’ve also hired a guy who already has connections and contributor accounts at a variety of websites, and he has agreed to write the content and submit the guest posts or publish the articles on 8 sites. These sites include do follow and no follow links which are fine considering it’s extremely cheap for the no follow links, and I believe it will still have a positive effect (I mean it’s not going to be negative is it, duh). The stats of the websites includes DA80, DA88, DA31, DA28, DA23, DA38, DA16 & DA26.

If all goes well, I will continue to work with this guy on this website as well as several of my other sites.

Outreach hire – number 2

I’ve hired another guy who again has connections and contributor accounts and similarly to the above he is writing the content and publishing the content. We’ve agreed on 18 sites which range in DA from the 80s down to the 20s/30s from what I recall. These will be published as and when he can produce the content and get it submitted and approved, and he will send me an E-mail once they are live.

You may be wondering what anchor text I am using for these links, well I am keeping it completely natural, no specific keywords, just keeping it simple ‘site name’ or ‘sitename.com.’ I don’t believe at this stage I need to be using keyword heavy anchor texts and to be honest I am very skeptical as to whether or not that is even needed any more. Right now I am simply focusing on improving the sites overall authority.

Domain Authority Update

I think it’s worth mentioning that each month Moz update their domain authority metrics for each site, while I was extremely excited to see my site increase in authority, I knew not to expect much as most of the link building has just got underway. However, the site still managed to increase from a DA12 to DA15. I expect that next months increase should be much more significant although this is also dependent on how long it takes for the majority of my link building efforts to go live and how long it takes Moz to account for these links (I assume it’s between 4-6 weeks).

Phase 2 design brief

This is on-going, I’ve got the initial plans for the second phase of the website development and now just awaiting the loan approval, which is delayed until I return to the UK (in the next few weeks).

Competitor Analysis

Last month I focused on analysing just one of my main competitors, I made it my purpose to build the same links they had and part of the outreach above includes several sites which this competitor has already published on. I think this is a great strategy to implement, if you have all of the links your competitor has + more then surely you will beat them, at least that’s my logic.

Statistical Data Learning

Not much to update here it’s an ongoing process, and there will be more to update on this once we start the second phase of the web development.

Month of May Priorities & Action Points

  • Continue guest posting / finding contributor accounts – now that I’ve built some initial systems it’s time to put them into action. I am positive I will come up against some issues with regards to each system I’ve got running, and I will continue to find new opportunities including an opportunity I currently have for a contributor account at a very large site, I am just going through the interview process at the moment.
  • Test Writers – as much as I hate doing this I need to find a new team of writers before the loan application comes through so I am not delayed with the content building as it’s delaying the growth of the website.
  • Loan Application – as I am flying back to the UK soon, I will be able to make progress with this and hopefully, get the loan approved some time in late May or early June which means we can start to grow!
  • Web 2.0 – I have a team of VAs, and I want to see if I can get them to create web 2.0 sites similar to what the Hoth provides in their web 2.0 packages, let’s see how that goes!
  • Press Releases – every month I will be submitting a new press release for the site, as part of the link building process and to help increase brand awareness.

 

by Will Blears Will Blears 1 Comment

Niche Site Journal – Month 2

amazon niche site journal month 2

Welcome back to the second month of the Niche Site Journal case study.

You may have noticed we’ve stopped publishing weekly updates and moved to monthly updates instead. The reason I’ve done this is that during the initial research and setup phase weekly updates definitely make sense due to there being such a large amount of work to be completed. However, once we have completed the initial keyword research, competitor analysis, website setup and content writing the pace changes significantly. It goes from being all hands on deck, to everything being focused on one single task and that’s off page SEO, which is exactly where we are at right now.

So, let’s begin by recapping what was on the action list from last month:

  • Continue outreach – looking for contributor accounts, guest posting opportunities I’d like to set a target of at least 5 guest posts approved and to be submitted or already published by next week.
  • Amazon FBA – I need to design what content will be put on to the packaging and give the designer instructions on colours e.t.c / I also need to start getting the product page formatted, content ready / talk with the video guy about how the video will look, feel, what’s the message e.t.c.

Continue outreach

OK, so this is an ongoing process, however I’ve made quite significant progress over the past 4 weeks, especially in the past 7-10 days, mainly due to the fact that I’ve been so freaking focused, seriously I am like a robot right now – it’s amazing, it won’t last, it never does, but if/when you get to this point take complete advantage of it.

During the past four weeks I began to create guest posting templates in Google Docs which I could share with the team of writers (when I hired them). The plan was, that I’d completely control and manage all communications with the website owners and I’d leave the creative writing completely in the hands of the team of writers I’d hire. As of right now I am trialling a team which I found via UpWork, it’s very early days, as in they’ve yet to complete there first article (next week) however looking at their previous work, I’ve got high hoped for them.

The Google Doc template simply has the following columns:

  • URL of where I want to be published – takes the writers directly to the submission page which usually includes the guidelines.
  • Category – the category of the website, so I can keep it organised and potentially re-use opportunities for future sites.
  • Date Added – the date I added the website so I can keep track of how long it takes the team.
  • Article Dropbox URL – this is for the writers to send me the article.
  • Date Article Created – this is the date the writer finished writing the initial article.

As well as this, the team have already been briefed about the website I am looking to link back to and the type of articles that I want to be written. So, we’ll see how this goes.

At this point you might be thinking OK great Will, some definite progress there…but wait, that’s not all!

I do not want to put all my eggs in one basket when it comes to building systems, I am new to it and I don’t know which will work best. So, I’ve been building a few other systems as well.

Contributor Accounts

As I’ve previously mentioned, contributor accounts are of vital importance to me as I feel they have the most benefits from a long term perspective. It’s been slow progress on this front, however recently I have begun to make some movements, I now have contributor accounts at the following DA sites:

  • DA72
  • DA42
  • DA60
  • DA50
  • DA76

All of which provide do follow links. I will continue to build contributor accounts, but it’s definitely a secondary approach to my link building efforts as I seem to do this as and when I stumble across sites that offer contributor accounts rather than actively seeking them out.

Partner Guest Post Accounts

Another strategy of mine is to use other people’s contributor accounts to get links in some very prominent, highly sought after publications. Now, I have a few reasons that I am doing this:

  • It’s quick – I can contact these people and get them to publish guest posts all within 5-7 days.
  • It’s great research – if these people can get contributor accounts and then sell those services to other people, then I am thinking I can definitely get contributor accounts at the same sites for my own personal use.

Now, since these are services quite a few of the guest posts are nofollow which in a normal situation I’d not be interested in, however I know for a fact (having completed the competitor analysis) that many of my competitors (in multiple niches) have used these same websites for nofollow guest posts. My thoughts are, I should be getting whatever links they have and more.

So, I am going to be getting guest posts at the following DA sites:

  • DA77
  • DA64
  • DA80
  • DA88
  • DA31
  • DA28
  • DA23
  • DA38
  • DA16
  • DA26
  • DA43
  • DA68
  • DA95
  • DA91
  • DA91
  • DA33
  • DA70
  • DA70
  • DA30

Now obviously I won’t just start publishing guest posts at all of these straight away, instead I will be drip feeding it so I can see the progress and also so it doesn’t look like I’ve just gone out and gone crazy over the course of a few days.

Press Releases

OK so now for another link building strategy, I am using an agency account I have at a major press release submission network to do a press release, one every month for my niche site (and my other sites). To be honest, I used to do press releases, years ago when it was all the rage and then I forgot about it as I never really saw any direct impact from doing so. However, it’s an affordable way of getting an extra layer of links which isn’t seen as being completely black hat, so I am up for it.

Amazon FBA

The product packaging has been designed and samples are on their way to me here in South Korea and my business partner back in the UK. This week we’ll have a call to discuss the samples, make sure we both agree on everything and then I will give the manufacturer the final go ahead to get the mass production completed. After that, we will pay the final 70% fee and have the products shipped to Amazon US warehouses which will take between 1-2 weeks.

Meanwhile, we have a professional photographer / video editor creating a quick promo video and professional photography for our Amazon product page, however these will also be used for press releases, our website and any other promotional channels we use such as social media. I am beginning to get quite excited with this side of the business as it’s completely new to me and whilst I don’t have high expectations of performance (it’s very competitive), I am positive the learning curve will be fantastic and well worth it.

Site Performance

OK with all that out of the way, let’s take a peak at performance, quite excited as I’ve not looked at the stats in such a detailed way for a few weeks.

amazon niche site performance

OK so this is the graph for the past 90 days, which is pretty much since the site was added to Search Console, but prior to the official launch of the website. You will notice I highlighted the 11th March 2016 well that’s when link building initially started. After that you can see a steady increase in impressions and then a slight jump at the beginning of April and then a second much more significant jump at the beginning of May. If the site continues to increase as it is doing I will be very happy indeed, now as we have some initial data let’s overlay this with some clicks!

amazon niche site performance 2

As you know from previous updates I didn’t actually want to add clicks as it’s far to sporadic and doesn’t really show much of a trend. However I thought for an initial analysis it could be quite useful to see how these impressions translate in to clicks. I’ve highlighted the last spike which as on the 3rd May where the site received 296 impressions and 10 clicks. Now, you might be thinking holy shit that’s an awful CTR, but remember most of these keywords are in an average position of like 50, ha.

Overall, I think it’s safe to say that the site is growing quite nicely, we’re in our second month officially approximately 8 weeks in to the launch of the website.

OK Will, awesome you have some clicks and impressions, but what about dollar dollar bill yo?

Good question! Let’s take a quick look.

  • Amazon March Statistics: 5 clicks
  • Amazon April Statistics: 23 clicks
  • Amazon May Statistics: 7 clicks and 3 orders

I absolutely knew it, completely 100% that this month would generate orders, honestly I am not bullshitting here. For some reason by looking at my search console graphs over the past day or two I was 100% confident that this month my niche site cherry would pop and it did, today actually! I’ve received 3 orders with a total revenue of approximately $200 at a commission level of 8% (this is generally what I hit each month) that translates to approximately $16, yeah, go me!

What’s the plan for the next four weeks?

Over the next four weeks I reckon there will be some big changes with the site in both impressions, clicks, revenue and then from an action list point of view lots of things are starting to piece together now so it’s going to be very exciting indeed.

  • Outreach – obviously this will continue, I want to get articles published on all of the contributor accounts I have. Also, want to begin seeing some results from the two systems I have running.
  • Press Releases – I will submit a press release or two for the site.
  • Amazon FBA – hopefully next month’s update will include something like “and we’re live on Amazon…” or at least we’ll be very, very close.

So, that’s it for this months update – let me know if you have any questions and please subscribe for more updates! oh and share on Facebook, Twitter and all that jazz.

by Will Blears Will Blears 8 Comments

Authority Site Project – Month 2

amazon authority site project

Welcome back to the second month of the authority site project.

If this is the first time you are reading about the authority site project then check out our first post which explains the strategy and the long term goals, you can read it right here.

OK first things first, let’s see how we did in March, in my first post I had forecast 500 visitors and $50 in revenue and this is what we did:

  • March organic visitors: 529
  • March revenue: $12.95

So, I was absolutely on the money in regards to the forecasted visitors…however I am not at all on the money (pun intended) when it came to the revenue, a pitiful $12.95 is a whopping $37.05 behind my target. This month has to bring bigger and better results than that…

I’ve been analysing my on-site performance in regards to the actual engagement of visitors to ensure they are actually sticking around, reading the content and absorbing it. I’ve also taken a look at the amount of clicks I had through Amazon to ensure that is in line with what I’d expect, here are the results:

  • Amazon Clicks: 120
  • Pages/Session: 1.75
  • Average Session Duration: 56 seconds

OK, so the amount of Amazon clicks isn’t too bad – 529 visitors and 120 clicks is 22% which is slightly below what’d I’d expect from a niche site (30% and above). However, as we know this is not a niche website and the type of traffic we are driving from organic in the early days is rather sporadic, all over the place – product names, best xxx and xxx review and not all of the pages have content yet so it kind of makes sense.

Right, now this is out of the way let’s see how we did on our action plan.

Last Months Priorities and Action Points

  • Continue the loan application which includes quite a bit of administration and legwork

I’ve spoken to my business advisor and this is unfortunately on hold until I get back to the UK which is in about 1 months time, this is when I will be able to finish the administration and get the application submitted.

  • Continue building contributor accounts & guest posting

I’ve successfully published a post on the DA74 tech site I mentioned in my niche site journal as well as this I’ve added the site to an earlier article I posted on a DA52 webiste and I’ve also acquired a link on another DA52 website. As well as this I’ve just this week published my first press release so I hope that will help progress it’s been submitted and approved to 350 news outlets and it’s been received by another 10 of the best news outlets but I am waiting to hear back as to whether or not it’s newsworthy enough to be published there, it’s probably unlikely at this stage.

  • Get the developer to tweak the category pages so we can add a few paragraphs of unique content for SEO purposes

This hasn’t been completed yet as I am working with a new developer and we’re currently focused on another project at the moment but this will be completed very soon.

  • Fine tune the entire marketing strategy which includes press releases so once the loan is approved we can launch

OK so as I mentioned above the loan is on hold until I am back in the UK and the press release, well I couldn’t wait any longer ha.

What else is going on with the project?

There is plenty being done or in the pipe lines with this project, here are a few things below.

Domain Authority Update

Yes there was a domain authority update and generally speaking I don’t really care about this however as this is a brand new website I was intrigued to see what the update brought. Well, we went from a domain authority of zero to a domain authority of…

domain authority update

Yes of those 3 domain names I mentioned above we have moved to a DA of 12, so I guess that’s what 3 powerful links gets you.

SERP Rankings

OK so this is very interesting…

Whilst the website is completely brand new, the domain name is brand new – as in it’s never been built on before or had links built to it or anything like that, the SERPs are actually incredibly good for some very competitive keywords. Check out the snaps below:

Organic Keywords

I am using AHREFs as well as Google’s Search Console to keep an eye on the SERP performance, the screenshot below is from AHREFs position explorer.

ahrefs position explorer tool 2

As you can see the website is now ranking for more than 2,000 keywords and to break this down further:

  • 2,087 keywords have less than 1,000 searches per month
  • 22 keywords have between 1,000 – 10,000 searches per month
  • and a lonely 1 keyword has over 10,000 searches per month

Now this might sound pretty normal but then look at the following, this I didn’t expect – there are 60 keywords with a position between 1-20…now to me that is pretty awesome for a brand new website with only 3 backlinks. What’s even more interesting is that Long Tail Pro has calculated these keywords competition scores as high as 36, see the screenshot below which is filtered to only show keywords which are ‘best xxxxx’ related

long tail pro comparison screenshot

OK so from the above you can see that a few of these keywords have pretty high keyword competitive scores, the sort of scores which I’d usually predict would take between 3-6 months and here I am ranking within 1 month and to top it all off all of these pages have zero content, yes zero just a product comparison table at the moment.

To take this a step further, check out this awesome little graph from Google’s search console:

google search console screenshot

And according to Google’s Search Console there are more than 200 queries with an average position of 200 and below. Also, at this point in time I am ranking 27th for a keyword with a LTP competitive score of 35 and this keyword has 2,900 searches per month.

So, to summarise from what I can see Google is pleased with my website so far – you will notice the search console graph below shows the impressions and clicks flat-lining this is mainly due to the fact no additional content has been added. As I mentioned earlier I am waiting for my loan to start adding content to the website, however I am becoming impatient and may start to pay for this out of my savings and then reimburse myself when the loan comes through.

Month of April Priorities & Action Points

  • Test writers with sample pages of content of approximately 2,000 words each, this is so I can find decent writers in time for getting the loan approved which is when I will be investing upwards of £5,000 on content within the first month.
  • Continue guest posting / finding contributor accounts – I have a list of about 10 sites which I have the potential of guest posting / contributing to and a handful of sites which I’ve already confirmed that there is a guest posting opportunity I just need to get the content written for these as I am doing most of them myself to begin with.
  • Phase 2 design brief – whilst I am not yet ready to begin phase 2 of the website development I want to keep working on the design brief so as soon as the loan comes through I can begin that.
  • Competitor Analysis – each month I am analysing my competitors, working on strategies to take forward for both establishing this as a brand and also outranking my competitors which means also getting links everywhere that they have established links.
  • Statistical Data Learning – as this website is powered by an algorithm I am trying to learn more about statistical analysis, data analysis and all of that jargon – I’ve been talking with a statistical engineer who will be working on phase 2 of the algorithm as I am not happy with the results from the initial algorithm I had developed.

That’s all I can think of – I am pretty sure there is a load more stuff but lets just leave it here for today – any thoughts, questions, feedback or what not just comment below!

by Will Blears Will Blears No Comments

Niche Site Journal – Week 4

amazon niche site journal week 4

Welcome to the fourth week of the Niche Site Journal case study.

Over the past week quite a few of the larger cogs within this business started turning, including ordering the initial 500 units of my Amazon FBA product which is a part of this website. Secondly, getting initial guest posts live including the post on the DA74 website and much more, read all about it below.

Last weeks action plan

  • Continue outreach – looking for contributor accounts, guest posting opportunities.
  • Submit my first article to my DA74 contributor account.
  • Amazon FBA – order my product, research like crazy the next stages to make sure I don’t make any big mistakes.

Wooh! Now I won’t say I’ve completed everything from my action plan since it’s really an on going battle, however I have taken action which is the most important part.

Guest Posting Progress

OK, so I’ve successfully got my first guest post on the DA74 website which is an awesome start! As well as this I’ve begun researching other guest posting opportunities and I am on the look out for additional contributor accounts. As I’ve mentioned before contributor accounts are awesome since you can continue to post on the same website multiple times without having to build a relationship with the owner and it really drives down the amount of time the whole process takes. The issue with this for my niche site is the fact that contributor accounts are few and far between, even the DA74 link I have attained isn’t in the same niche.

The approach I am taking is possibly quite a reverse to what a lot of people do, rather than researching where I can guest post and then writing content for that website. I actually research what type of content I am going to write, the angle I am approaching the guest post from and then find guest posting opportunities in that area.

For example, the DA74 site is a tech website so I chose the angle of looking at my niche site market and writing a post about the evolution of the market from it’s roots to present day and how technology has affected this evolution.

I am using a similar approach for another website (the authority site) and whilst it’s early days the progress looks promising. The main benefits of working this way is that you have content ready to be published, you have the angle and a proposal for the editor or webmaster and you can simply contact them and pitch your idea along with the content which means if they say yes there is no waiting it’s a simple case of publishing the content and hey presto, it’s live!

Other link building activities

Apart from the guest posting I am also having the VA I am testing out doing blog commenting and forum posting however I am vetting absolutely everything first to ensure it’s top quality and not just spam. If it turns out to be spam I will stop doing it, as I hate that sort of crap.

Amazon FBA Progress

Finally the order went through on Friday last week, therefore the manufacturer has begun to manufacture the 500 units, whilst designing the packaging and getting the samples I’ve requested ready to send across. I’ve asked for additional samples of the finished goods for a few reasons. Mainly to inspect the finished product but also because I will be getting a video developed for the product and will also be doing additional photography for use on the website, social and advertising.

The manufacturing should take approximately 10 days and then the shipping (by air) will take between 7 and 9 days which means I should have the product in Amazon’s warehouses by the end of the month. I am very excited about this venture as it’s a completely new area to me and if all goes well I am sure my skill set will compliment the whole Amazon FBA business model.

OK with all that out of the way how does the traffic look, let’s take a peak shall we…

google search console amazon

You will notice I have removed clicks from the graph, the reason being is that I think just confuses the progress that’s being made since our average position is generally too low to generate any decent volume of clicks. I’d like to focus on whats important at this point in time which is impressions because as long as the graph is on an incline then I am doing well. In a few months when the clicks are consistent then I will begin posting a graph with both clicks and impressions.

As you can see from the graph if we compare the start of March with the start of April the increase is approximately triple. At the beginning of March we were hitting about 40 impressions per day where as now we are at 120 impressions.

What’s the plan for next week?

It’s pretty similar to last week’s action points, everything is focused on off-page SEO right now, as you can see below:

  • Continue outreach – looking for contributor accounts, guest posting opportunities I’d like to set a target of at least 5 guest posts approved and to be submitted or already published by next week.
  • Amazon FBA – I need to design what content will be put on to the packaging and give the designer instructions on colours e.t.c / I also need to start getting the product page formatted, content ready / talk with the video guy about how the video will look, feel, what’s the message e.t.c.
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