Author Archives: Daniel Stark
Author Archives: Daniel Stark
A few months ago, we started an experiment with CoinHive on both NicheSiteAzon and some of our niche sites.
It’s an interesting way of trying to monetize your site. In one way, it’s a bit like running ads on your site. You can keep your site free for visitors, but still monetize it.
In another way, it means your visitors do still end up paying, because their browsers are mining Monero for you, and therefore their electricity is being used.
Still, we wanted to experiment with it and see if it could be worth pursuing.
Note: We are aware it can be slightly unethical to use Coinhive, so we put an “opt-out” button on all of the sites that used it.
Second Note: This post was inspired partly by Perrin’s recent post over at AuthorityHacker. We’ve been using Coinhive since the summer, but after reading Perrin’s post, thought it might be good to add something to the debate.
To explore a bit more about how coinhive works, read his epic post.
For now, let’s talk about the sites we used and their results, as well as our motivation for the experiment.
It’s not actually specifically because we wanted to earn cryptocurrency. We have actually been actively buying it for a while and investing it into ICOs, but that’s not the main reason we picked Coinhive. It is how we first heard about it though.
What attracted us to coinhive in the first place was the fact that some of our niche sites weren’t earning as well as we’d like. There were a few that are nice earners, but there were also some with only 1,000 to 5,000 visits per month, and between them they earned a few hundred dollars p/m only.
So we figured, if we could add this monero script miner to the sites, and then have them all still earning their original incomes as well, it could be a nice extra.
So in total the sites we installed CoinHive on have a combined total of about 100,000 visitors per month. That’s not a small amount, and we hoped it could bring in a few hundred or thousand dollars per month.
Our logic was that we could keep earning from the sites the traditional way, and just add Monero as an extra passive revenue source.
Before we talk about how much money it actually did bring in, let’s talk a little a bit more about the downsides of having Coinhive installed on your site:
So with that in mind, we had to ask ourselves, would it be worth having the above downsides? They’re pretty big downsides, but it could be worth it if the amount of Monero mined was big enough.
However, in all this time, despite getting a lot of visits, we’ve not even earned 1 Monero from our efforts:
With the minimum payout set to 0.5 monero, we are now stuck with a dilemma. Do we keep it going for another 18 months just to hit the 0.5 minimum, or do we cut our losses?
It’s cost us nothing but some bad user experience so far, so we will probably be removing Monero from the sites. Even if it triples in price (and it’s already more than tripled since we first started using coinhive), it’s still not worth the wait and definitely not worth ruining the UX on our sites.
It’s a shame though, because as we have enjoyed learning how to buy altcoins over the past few months, Monero has been one of the top ones we’ve had our eyes on.
Regardless of whether you are interested in cryptocurrencies or not, the conclusion of this post is that we don’t recommend using Coinhive on your site.
Unless the payouts become much higher, or Monero becomes significantly more valuable, using other means for monetizing your sites is probably going to be more worthwhile.
That said, if you DO have a ton of visits to your site, it could be a good additional income. By a ton, we mean more than 1 million visits per month.
As per the Coinhive FAQ: You’d need that many visits to earn anything decent:
But who knows, maybe this time next year Monero will be worth thousands per coin and we’ll wish we had at least gained a fraction of one for free.
Hey guys and gals!
On the last update, I was getting ready to do some good ole outreach. I did run the campaign and it's been somewhat successful but not at all as good as I think it was going to be. Probably my list of prospects wasn't very good.
This week, I created an scholarship and sent out emails to 700 universities in the UK, Canada and US to see if I can get some .edu links.
There's been a lot of debate about scholarship links not being good anymore and etc, but I'll take my chances
Let's get to this.
Not a lot of work got done during this week in all honesty. I've been travelling lately and managed to get just enough time to sit and send emails to unis. So less than 2hours! And because i'm still on a time shortage, i'll be keeping this update short and sweet.
Alright so let's see real quick what is needed to conduct an scholarship outreach campaign to get .edu links
You'll need a mass emailing tool. You know from previous updates that GMass is my choice.
You need to create a dedicated page like yournichesite.com/scholarship and add there all the details about it. (We'll get to this in a minute)
You need a list of universities and their emails (whether they publically accept scholarships or not doesn't matter, they may list them somewhere else)
You need an email template and an image banner to include on the emails as an attachment and that's all.
Put all things together, send emails, get links.
Right so the most obvious thing is that it must look professional. Impeccable grammar (get someone native to edit it if necessary) and well structured so that whenever anyone reads it, it's clear what the requirements, deadline, topics etc etc are.
My advice would be do an essay-submission, merit-based scholarship and pick a topic that's quite complex inside your industry.
Pick some basic kindergarten stuff and you'll get 70,000 applications that you're not going to read.
Make it elegible only for college students, no postgraduates (same reasons).
Place a far-off deadline so you have room to send 2nd rounds of emails to some unis and that you don't have to fork the prize too soon.
Ideally, you want to get the links and then the juice that comes with them (and therefore, some ranking improvement and comissions) BEFORE it's time to give the money to the winner.
Place a disclaimer saying that the scholarship will be declared void if there is no submission with enough quality or originality.
Place a link to your most valuable piece of money content on top of the page and use an exact match anchor text (so you can funnel whatever juice the page gets)
On the essay requirements, do it like the guys from TheHoth and ask candidates to publish the essay online, include 3 links to authoritative sources and also a link to your homepage. One extra link per application sounds good!
Load your spreadsheet with contact info into google drive, hook it up with GMass and you'll be ready to send emails. You'll need a good template that doesn't look like some s**t used for years by every marketer under the sun. Here's what I sent
I'm reaching out to you regarding our new scholarship programme.
I believe it would be of great interest for [University name] students.
Students of [University name] that are currently enrolled in any major in [relevant field] can apply by submitting an essay on the topic of [chosen topic] to [email protected] before [Deadline]
You can read the full details of this scholarship here (insert link on this line)
The award for the first edition of this programme will be of [$xxxx], which I hope will help cover part of the tuition costs for the student who submits the best essay on [topic of scholarship].
I had the inmmense luck to recieve two scholarships during my academic years and it is the main reason I want to give back in this way.
I would be very happy if you share the contents of this email with your students.
If you have any questions, just ask away and I'll be happy to give you as much details as you need.
Have a great day!
Set up an automated follow-up email 5 days after the original is sent with a simple "Hi, just making sure you saw this opportunity for your students. Thanks" and set up "open" notifications on GMass too so you can manually follow-up with opens but no answers.
Try and keep record of which universities say yes/no/maybe/piss off on your spreadsheet for future uses
In the following weeks i'll be doing some analisys of the backlink profile of the main keywords I try to rank for and create a map of sorts to know exactly what links I should be building and how, before jumping into more active link building. I'll probably keep researching for KGR keywords and order another content pack from HPD before the end of the year.
So the next update may take a few weeks, mostly because I don't think I'll have anything worth sharing, just more of the same.
Once I've done those backlink analysis, built some links and seen some movements, I'll do the next update and I'll let you guys know how it's been working!
But as always, I'll be down in the comments to answer all of your questions 😀
Have a good one!
Hey guys and gals!
I'm back from a bit too short week holidays. I did use that time wisely though, as I used it to do some assesment on the site situation, what the best next route should be etc.
I also got new articles ready for publishing (HPD's content) and did some good ole research on email outreach so I do it properly.
Also, I got another sale on the site which is GREAT news and proof that this WILL work If i just keep doing what every single niche site pro recommends: Publish good content and get good links 😀 (How many businesses are this simple? Not many!)
So all in all things are moving forward, and even though they do move slower than I projected initially, i'm progressing nonetheless and I guess that's all that matters.
To get things done, slowly slowly until I reach the my goal.
During last week and this week i've probably put ca. 10h of work. Not straight on the site though, as most of it was researching and learning how to conduct a proper outreach campaign. I've learned that, for beginners, the best possible time investment is done studying the next steps, then doing stuff.
While a hands-on approach is great, it's always better to know where to put one's hands.
I've spent just 4€ getting gsuite for my blog's email address for the outreach part.
So if you guys remember well, I paid a guy on Fiverr to collect email addresses of other blogs inside my niche, published an infographic and a high-quality skyscraper post on a "best X ways to do Y" fashion. Now it was time to reach out to those blogs and pitch them my awesome new contents.
The tool of choice has been GMass (free) which has a limit of 50 emails per day, which isn't a big deal because my list isn't that big. It also allows me to take it easy and see what the results are before going full-on.
Then there are two choices:
Free and easy but amateur, or cheap, slightly complex but pro.
I went the Pro approach, which is getting gsuite to work on your website's email address so you can use gmail with your [email protected] and send mass mails with GMass. There's probably another 100 ways to do this but was the simplest one I found.
The basic plan costs $5 per month per user, so if you're doing outreach and don't have any VAs or anything else that would truly justify another user, just get one. You can add more later anyway.
I created an address like "[email protected]" quite simple and works well for any PR, outreach and other purposes.
Enter your business location in the next step and click next
What? Of course I'm in the French Polynesia Google! you know nothing...
You'll be prompted to give an email address that you check frequently and you'll be asked whether you have an existing website or not.
Then you'll be asked for your domain details, to create a new email address for it and the name you want to use. Confirm captcha, click on "confirm and create account" and you'll be redirected to the account setup.
If you're only using one address, click on the box below and proceed:
Then you'll have to verify the ownership of the domain, again quite straight simple and different possibilities so go with whichever seems simpler for you. I took the "upload HTML file" route.
Then you'll have to change the MX records inside your hosting's cPanel (should be simple. I use Siteground and it was very easy)
Verify domain, submit payment details and you're good to go.
Then you'll need to add GMass to your gmail dashboard, upload your spreadsheet with all the emails to google drive (so that you can merge it with GMass and send it to all contacts) and templates.
Remember when I said that one of the most important things any of us (newbies :D) can do is to keep learning and keep doing research for the next steps in our strategies?
So off I went to find some good email templates to use for my infographic and skyscrapper campaign and I found out this awesome resource from the guys of Human Proof Designs. Like, exactly what I needed LOL.
So, with all these things combined, I sent emails pitching my infographic to half of the list and the skyscraper to the other half. No particular reasoning here, just testing stuff.
So like I mentioned above, I've had another sale (a whooping $1.88 comission) and ranks are getting better:
In the following two weeks I'll be handling responses to the outreach campaign, hopefully sending guest posts over and getting the scholarship page ready. Once I've got all that I'll get someone on fiverr to get me a list of scholarships and emails like I did with the blogs and pitch them the scholarship using GMass.
So again, same process just different targets and angle. I'll be doing some more keyword research and adding more KGR articles, as I keep reading on the FB groups about people having great results with them!
Have you ever conducted an outreach campaign? What were your results?
Share them in the comments below and let's talk!
Hey guys and gals!
This week's update is about publishing all that content I ordered and a few updates and changes that made my work both easier and harder.
The main change has been the recent release of Thrive Architect (to which I upgraded) and me getting to know how to use the tool while trying to publish a ton of new content
Then, I went to Wikipedia and smuggled a few links inside a couple articles. I'll let you know below how I did it, and we'll see if I get caught by Wiki's guards...
During last week and this week I've spent close to 16hours on the site. Quite above the ideal 4h/week I planned but I'm learning quickly that things don't usually stick to plan.
The main reason like I said above, has been the recent release of Thrive Architect. I upgraded immediately to try the tool and I spent the majority of the time just messing around with it, tying to get templates on place for new articles and adjusting to the new interface etc.
This is something I wasn't counting with and I did consider rolling back to Thrive Content Builder just for the sake of simplicity but heck, I like the new tool.
Besides that, I got some social signals from PBN butler which is a very straight forward process so I don't think it's necessary to cover it here. I paid $14 usd for that, got delivered in a few days.
I finally got both the infographic and the email list back from the freelancers. Good stuff both of them. I'll be on holidays next week so my idea is to sit down one night and do all the email outreach part so that I'll hopefully have an interesting update for you guys with all my email outreach techniques and results! 😀
This last couple of weeks I've spent a lot of time around Thrive Architect. For those of you who aren't familiar about Thrive or their products, TA is a WordPress visual editor that allows you to create pages. It's a "What You See Is What You Get" or WYSIWYG editor.
This very post is made with its older brother, Thrive Content Builder.
Overall, I'd say they've come with a massive power tool with which you can personalize every single little aspect of a website. Technically better although it has a few bugs and some people aren't really fond of their interface.
Here's a review from the guys of Authority Hacker that will show you in detail everything this tool does.
So besides the dull part of publishing and getting stuff done, I have something really interesting to share with you this week.
One of the main ranking factors are trust signals. To the reach of my knowledge, those are the things that legit sites all have to some degree.
Having incoming links from a well trusted source like Wikipedia (at Google's eyes, if you ask me I'd tell you not to always trust the Wiki) and other authoritative sites is no doubts beneficial.
(That's why marketers have been paying good money for Huffpost, Forbes and other such publications aswell as running scholarship campaigns)
I've checked with some guys that create wiki pages for you. Several hundred dollars to a grand is their price range.
But what if I just want one or two links, but I don't want the whole marketing fanfaire of a dedicated business page?
These are relatively straightforward to get but you'll need a good enough piece of content that will pass the manual review of Wiki's editors.
What I first did was to find three candidates for me to edit and add my link. Don't go for big pages, those get a ton of revisions and additions are looked carefully. For instance, if I wanted to add a link to the Bodybuilding Supplements wiki page, It'll probably be off in minutes.
However, if I go to a page like this one, I'll likely find at least two or three short articles about a random diet with that probably no one reads. Those are my targets.
Here's how to edit your target wiki page
Pick "Visual Editor", go to a paragraph where you can add one single line that makes sense to justify the addition of a new source.
Then hit cite (after your text, snapshot is a bit confusing)
Add data as shown below:
Insert, save changes on the top right corner and you're good to go.
Alright so I hope this episode has been entertaining and hopefully helped you get a few useful bits like the wiki links and accepting the unexpected.
As always, I'll be around in the comments to chat with you so I'll see you down there!
Hey guys and gals!
Last week we wrapped up with me trying to figure out where the heck to find a good, knowledgeable writer that wouldn't charge me an eye and a limb for my skyscraper post.
I've found her. And I'm going to tell you exactly how, and how to avoid possible major mistakes.
Spoiler: I found her on Facebook. Ever read about people saying on the forums "just go to Facebook groups and you'll find writers"? I did. And it can work but there's more than meets the eye and you should definitely know a few things for this to work.
Also, this is mostly for some high-end pieces. If you're trying to get the bulk of your site done, I still recommend content agencies with pro writers as it will work out miles easier and cheaper.
Additionally, I've also found a guy on Fiverr who's going to get me emails for me to pitch the infographic and the skyscraper.
Let's jump into this!
So this week I've spent a grand total of 5hours total working on the site, spread across the days as I was having multiple conversations with possible writers, scanning through Fiverr profiles looking for a good data mining gig and testing, testing, testing.
I've spent $30 testing (test assignments for writers and some data scraping guys) and $60 on the actual skyscraper post. Then another $50 on a 300 email list spreadsheet.
I'm still to get both assignments back but I'm confident the writer and the data entry VA will do good as I've done a test run of both.
Which is one of the main things we'll talk about today. But first, let's start with actually finding these people.
So, if you're in any of the many niche site facebook groups or you read case studies (like this one LOL) you probably have read that some people find their writers going to facebook groups that talk about the topic of their site.
But how they do it? Do they simply post "hey guys this is my site i'm looking for a writer" and they magically have dozens of people willing to write for free? Well, not exactly.
You'll have to filter amongst the curious and the ones that just want to waste your time.
And you'll need to know how to make the business proposition appealing to the possible writer!
So, I'm going to share the exact step-by-step proccess I've followed to find my writer using Facebook groups.
So like I've mentioned in other episodes, MMG revolves around fitness. I went ahead and joined every big fitness and supplements group there was on FB.
And you may think "but hey dude, some of those are Malaysian and Philippines groups, is that ok?"
Short answer: sure it is. If they speak good English I don't care about where they're from LOL, I'm not a native speaker myself either and I'm sure you can follow along just good 😀
You may even find cheaper writers on foreign groups!
So, join groups: Check
Now it's time to let the thousands of people on those groups know that you're looking for a writer for your brand new site. Here's how to do it right:
Here's the exact message I posted on 7 different groups (the larger ones I found)
Hi, I hope the admin [admin name] is ok with this:
I’m looking for someone who’s truly knowledgeable on nutrition supplements and fitness overall and wants earn some money writing content on a weekly basis for a website I help manage.
We’d provide with a list of topics (such as how to use [supplement name] effectively, best pre-workout supplements, different kinds of workout routines and their pros/cons etc etc) and some basic guidelines for the writer.
No BS from either side. If you know what you’re talking about when you talk fitness and nutrition (as broscience-free as possible please) , we’ll agree on a topic, a rough lenght, delivery date and $ amount, you’ll get paid (well above market price, beforehand, via paypal), write, deliver and move onto the next article on the list.
We get high quality content to help our readers and you’ll get money to spend on your passion by writing about it. If this sounds good to you, simply reply here or send me a pm
No bs, no obscure secretive propositions that can only be spoken in private. Scammers do that, don't be one!
I got around 18 responses in 24hours, enough to keep me busy during the next few days.
I got a wide variety of responses. From people asking to see the site (just that) to people pretty much pasting a CV of fitness accomplishments and why they'd be SO interested on having an opportunity to write for me (And a few trolls. Remember not to feed them)
I went with the passionate ones of course.
Then, you'll have people who's asking more questions than they're interested on answering. These are the curious, the ones that don't trust you or the ones that think you're trying to scam someone so try to catch you. You'll spot them by their language.
What I did was to give everyone a bit of background. When did the site start, that I've got a few friends helping me with content, that I want someone who's a proper enthusiast on board and I'd ideally be looking for a ghostwriter but could make a writer's profile for them if they really want the credit etc.
You'll find that most people is ok with the ghostwriting thing, but again being upfront here is nice. Then if they react nicely "sounds good man, could I see the site?" or "yeah great, I'd love to write about workouts bro! I don't need no credit, some compensation would be cool but yeah I'm in!" then I tell them to go to MMG, have a look, let me know what they think etc.
But if they're like "ok. And how much does this pay? What's the site?" then well, I move onto the next passionate response.
So, have the most passionate looking ones have a look at the site and have a little chit chat about them, how they got involved into fitness etc to get a vibe of the person.
After that initial filter, I proposed a more detailed deal:
Pay is $25 per 1,000 words. I’ll hit you with a list of topics and you pick one. We agree on a rough lenght and a delivery date and you get paid (paypal) . If the article ends up being way longer because the topic NEEDED to be covered in more depth, I’ll adjust the payment no worries. If the article ends up several hundred words shorter because it didn’t need as long as you thought, we leave those $ in a pool for the next one, no worries either.
Now, I know you can get cheaper articles. But I value people's time and knowledge and you should too. You must know where your ceiling is in case someone finds that too low and be ready to negotiate too (It will depend on your niche. I guess if I was talking about robotics $25 per 1,000words could be even offensive)
Alright I know some of you are thinking "Why don't you test before you propose a deal?"
Well, in my mind, if they don't find the proposition suitable, It doesn't matter how great of a job they do on the test assignment, they won't take the offer. So I'm upfront about the conditions and expectations.
So, how do you test a few writers at the same time?
What I did was to go back to my list of KGR keywords and find a topic that looked complex enough yet not too hard to answer in a short article.
I gave the same assignment to everybody.
A question type of keyword that I knew could be properly explained in less than 800 words. I asked them if they thought they could do a good job on that topic and if $20 was a decent amount for this first job.
Some people will be like "I'll do this one for free man, don't worry let me try it and if you like this first one then you can pay me for this if you want or we move to the other topics" and some will be like "perfect! I can get it done tomorrow :D" and some will try to juggle an extra $. Dump the last ones and try all the others. (He who squeezes you before to know you properly, will only squeeze you more the more confident he's with you)
Pay the man or woman what you've agreed and ask them for a clear deadline. Today? Tomorrow? Monday? and let them freely pick a day. If they pick a day that's 5 days from now for a 700 word article, move on. If they don't deliver on time, move on.
And remember. Don't be an ass. The nicer you're with people the more interested they'll be to do business with you.
Idieally, you should have some knowledge about what your own site is about. I don't (but my partner does) so that you can read an article and distinguish the BS from the fact. Then read a bit more and decide for the one that you enjoyed the most reading.
If you enjoyed reading it, so will your audience, so that's the writer you should go with.
Agree to a communication medium such as FB chat, trello, email, smoke signals and start giving tasks to the writer.
This is miles easier to be honest.
Go to Fiverr and search for web scraping/data mining/email extraction:
Check for anyone who mentions email extraction or lead collection on their profile and has good reviews. Then send them a private message asking if they're able to complete the following task:
Nine out of ten guys I asked said they could do. Then ask them their rates for 50-100-200 entries. Then from the ones you think are asking for a fair amount (I paid 50€ for 300 entries), ask them if they'd be able to find you two right now as a test.
Most of them will. Bang, slap a couple of results and ask you if you're happy. Check them to make sure they are legit and go with the fastest. I went with the nicest and he's taking it to the very limit of the deadline so go with the fastest hahaha.
Alright, this has been the progress so far this week, still outsourcing heavily as you see, it works out more expensive than doing it all yourself but in return you move miles faster. Remember, time is the only asset that never grows. Spend it wisely.
For the next week I'll probably be publishing the skyscraper post and I'll see if I have time to send some emails.
I may get HPD's article pack back from the writers too so if that happens I'll be busy just with publishing, which may mean I won't have anything interesting to share until the following week. Maybe not, maybe something awesome comes across, or I learn something valuable in the proccess of publishing a ton of content. You never know.
But as always, I'll be around in the comments to chat with you so I'll see you down there!
Hey everyone, if last week it was all about content, this week is about a very specific type of content...
Also known as "linkable asset" or simply put, a proper piece of content where you cover a topic like no-one in the whole of the internets has done ever before.
While the above statement may have been a bit over the top, the truth is that I've spent 6h exclusively researching the topic for just one single blog post. Because I intend to put something out that's worth linking to
Will my efforts succeed or have I just wasted a full week of work on my site trying to emulate the big players?
Let's figure out:
Like I mentioned above, I've spent a total of 6 hours (more if you count back-of-the-head-while-commuting time) looking for a topic that was interesting enough to create an epic piece of content around it.
Given that the research is actually only 80% done (I still need to figure out minor details before I have a proper guideline) I haven't placed an order with any writer yet.
Besides, I still need to sort out WHO will write it. The average $15 per 1,000 words product review article writer won't cut it.
I'll be straight forward: It's f**king expensive. Sure, it's the backbone of this business model so obviously if good content was cheap AF there would be virtually no barriers to entry (I'd say there's more than enough know-how spread across the web at this moment so anyone can learn how to, but investing mentally and financially and doing the work are the real barriers to entry here)
Let's have a look at the option I'm considering:
PBNbutler's Expert Content: $40 per 500words. 80USD (Eight-zero) for 1,000 words.
I've read great reviews about these guys, but when I look at the price a dormant tic I've got on my left eye wakes up and my vision gets blurry.
I mean, best result about the topic I've chosen has around 3,000 words of content.
I'm not spending $240 on a blog post. I'm just not.
SO, dear readers, PLEASE do tell me about any content agency/writer that you know produces good quality content and won't charge me that crazy amount. Thank you.
This said, let's see how and why have I chosen that topic for my skyscraper post.
Alright so first things first, click here to open Brian Dean's skyscraper guide so we're all on the same page.
No ahrefs account for me so I'll do it with buzzsumo.
I started by checking the generic name of the product I recommend:
Great results, 2 image boards, one affiliate site with bought shares and the biggest eCom in this niche. Let's try again.
Much better results this time. I checked for the problem instead of the product. I'm pretty sure the first one got a few nice juicy links on top of that half million shares.
The problem? Its a super-duper thorough medicine article written by a doctor. And the random thing is way too random to make sense to talk about it on my site.
I do a lot of that random thing (eat X) so I did read the whole post. 0 chances I can beat that.
Then on the next results are a few lists, which is a great format. The problem though, is that it treats the end state as a problem, while my people who use the product I recommend have the exact opposite problem. I'm not sure I can give it the right twist.
Let's make another check.
Alright so results looked ok on the surface. Then I checked the actual sites. Pure garbage. Here comes the question then: Is that good, bad?
Good because it's easy for me to do a better job, bad because probably the shares are fake or worse? I honestly don't know.
This are my actual results in the exact order I started analyzing the topic using buzzsumo. By now you've probably seen how, unless you know really what you're looking for, the buzzsumo results on their own don't prove very useful and can become one of those never-ending rabbit holes.
BUT, after perhaps another 5 checks, I had what I wanted. Nope, it wasn't a clear answer. It was an amalgamation of another 5 pages of results exaclty as the ones above.
What people share the most on this space are lists with tricks to "achieve desired state"
So I had a conversation with my business partner to see if he had any insights. He suggested we do a blog post on the best 5 ways to achieve desired state.
I love cooking. I'm a half decent amateur cook considering I slaved my arse on professional kitchens during most of my teenage years..
Now, if you enjoy yourself around the stoves, you have probably messed up a few dishes, trying to do something overly-complex.
Let's say for the sake of arguments (and I'll grab a sandwhich after this section because it's hunger driving my writing right now) that your site is about kitchen appliances. And you decide your skyscraper post is going to be a list of awesome things to do with the kitchen appliance you promote.
You only want the post so that you can email people, tell them to check it 'cuz iz awesome, and they'll link to you. You'll get cool shares. It'll hopefully help your other articles (the ones with affiliate links) rank better.
Now, would you spend $250 on that post? Well, if it gets you 100 links after 1000 emails, the price per link is ridiculous so sure thing why not.
But what if it gets you... 5 links? Hell, that's already a lot more links per email than some outreach campaigns ever get! And that's $50 per link (not counting research time value, VA outreach cost and whatever else you may need)
I know a lot of PBN sellers who have really good links at that price. (And you have control over the anchor text)
So, what I'm trying to explain here is:
If your BLT sandwhich is good enough and you can't afford a Double Club Sandwich with wild caviar on it, just be happy with what you've got.
Sometimes the Best choice you can make is to go with Good Enough
So this time I'll take what I consider is a good enough topic "The top 5 things you can do to achieve desired state" and after deciding what those 5 things are with the help of my broscience-free business partner and finding a good writer for the topic, we should have a content piece that is good enough to promote on social channels, pitch via email and maybe even merge with the infographic (still on the oven) so that we keep moving forward.
How many times did you NOT do something thinking you wouldn't be the best? How many opportunities do we miss by thinking only the best will get them?
Let's do a quick recap of what I got done on MMG during the first weeks.
It isn't a lot, but it's definitely progress and things will compound over time. More links, more content, better website. It can only go right. And remember, I'm barely putting 4-5 hours of work per week on the site...
Monthly SEMrush snapshot:
I'll try to add one of these each 4-5 weeks to see how the site is going in terms of ranking for new keywords.
Alright guys and gals, I hope this episode serves you of help when you're doing your next skyscraper post and that you're enjoying this updates!
See you down in the comments 😉 (Don't forget your writer recommendations if you have any!)
Hey guys and gals, we're back after a one week gap while I was sorting stuff out with my newly joined web biz partner and reading some more about my next planned stages to ensure I'm going the right way.
This week's update is all about content (the content that got posponed last episode) and a few interesting insights I've gained around this topic.
Let's get started.
I've put a total of 7 hours of work on the site these 2 weeks, but technically only had week 3 accomplished, which is nicht gut ("not good" for the non-German speakers).
The main issue here has been researching the topic for an infographic. I didn't want to put just a random infographic together, and I fell too far down the rabbit hole of "must be better". This reminded me of art school when I was 8 and my teacher telling me "Best is enemy of good".
So technically we've just invested $500 on content which is exactly what I originally paid for the site. Now, let's jump into the why.
As you know, one of the things I wanted to get were some expired 2.0s like Weebly, Tumblr, Blogger etc. They are cheap to get in Fiverr, but it doesn't mean it's cheap to make them the right way so that they stick, pass juice and don't harm your site.
After some more thorough reading, I discarded the idea of setting up a mini 2.0 PBN because the amount of work needed is similar to setting a real PBN (in terms of adding filler content, legal pages, images logos blahblah), for a substantially lower ranking power.
Too much time.
Alright so I thought, let's go with The Hoth. Then I checked and it's $250 for three 2.0s. Three. $83.33 per 2.0 blog.
I won't lie to you, and I'm sure you'll relate with this, but at this point I got mentally stuck and I couldn't move forward in any direction.
One option seemed too time consuming. The other one seemed too expensive, and I wasn't even sure I should get the 2.0s, but then I publicly said I would but and I've read they help diversify the backlink profile and this and that and before I realized I spent 2 hours thinking in loop.
Let me tell you. I like this loops:
And this loop:
But there's few things I hate more than mind traps aka idea loops. And my default for those situations is to throw it into the "f**k it bucket" and move on. And that's what I did.
I rather spend that money on actual content inside my site, or buy good PBN links than spending just another minute figuring out 2.0s when their impact is going to be minuscule in the big picture.
How many people get nowhere with their site because of spending too much time thinking what will work?
I want to give you more details about the content I've ordered for my site, MMG. It was a mix of 12 KGR keywords (KGR being <0.25) 3 quasi KGR keywords (between 0.25 and 1) and 5 top level posts or "best blahblah" kind of post.
The few quasi KGR posts I ordered revolve around some keywords that look very profitable. They are the exact niche of the site, talk about expensive products and are on the 200 searches range.
I thought it worth trying and see later what the difference in terms of ease of rank is between those and the other articles that focus keywords with a much lower ratio (real KGRs)
Then the 5 top level are other products. Some fitness apparatuses, other nutrition products.
I want to broaden the site slowly but surely so I went for some extremely low competition keywords with barely a few hundred searches per month, but all I want is to rank for those and get a few sales. This will compound over time.
Another thing that worried me was that, as different writers will be producing content for the site, it would end up looking a bit Frankensteiny, without a clear style or structure.
So before I placed the order, I spent a while creating a template that looked similar to the style the site currently has.
It's pretty much as follows:
Then I specified to use a first person singular voice and to talk like the main audience is males aged 18-30 which I understand is who mainly uses this sort of products I review.
I also added some links to other articles inside MMG so that the writer has internal references to quote.
Hopefully this will help the site look uniform and make the interlinking process easier later on when I'm publishing.
Next week I'll be doing research for a skyscraper post
Considering the amount of time I've spent researching the topic for an infographic, this may take me well over the 4 hours I want to spend weekly, so I'll keep my projections for next week simple.
Have you ever published a skyscraper blog post? What were your results?
Let me know in the comments below! I'll see you there.
Hey guys and gals, this week is an interesting one. Don't read interesting as "cool" but rather as "complex".
It's about plans not going as expected. It's also about finding solutions, eating that frog and reminding that worth-pursuing projects will always test you.
Let's get started.
I've put a total of 5 hours of work on the site this week, plus possibly 2-3 more hours figuring out a solution for an R&D funding problem. We'll talk about that in a second. Let's see the expenses for the week:
You may be wondering what the F is that problem to be so expensive.
It was a Rain and Drift problem. It involves rain, a roundabout and my VW Golf hitting the curb with the right rear wheel because I'm stupid. I won't go into details.
So my ride goes to the garage and my finances get messed up. After I pay the bill (hopefully it'll be fixed next week) I'll be left with ca. 100€ in my bank account for the month.
Moral of the story: Even if you trace a fool proof plan, if you're still part of the equation, it isn't fool proof.
In rural areas of some countries, cow s**t is mixed with grass, dried out and used to start fires and other uses.
So I mixed my s**t to kickstart my own little bonfire.
I had a talk with a good friend of mine who's into mechanics (because, well, R&D) and he had a look at the car, recommended me a garage, laughed at me for being so dumb, etc.
During the conversation, I mentioned how much it frustrated me because I needed the money to start this little website project of mine and he was intrigued, like "Huh? tell me more".
He's obsessed with the gym and is quite knowledgeable about the topic of my site so I was like "Ok, here's the site". He suggested we partner up. He buys half of it, (I explained how much I'd paid for it from HPD and how much I'd spent so far) we fund the next stages 50/50 and cash out as soon as we can sell the site for $10,000 or more.
I thought "why not". We pretty much agree that I'll do stuff as planned (with maybe some gaps) and he'll vet the content. He'll read every article we get and check it's not full of "broscience" (that's a thing apparently).
Here's a question for you. Do you ever talk to your "offline" friends about your websites? Would you consider partnering with one like I've done?
So the funding problem for the next stages is solved. Great. Then I get an email from PBNbutler. Media outlets refuse to syndicate the Press Release because of the topic (a health consumable) I work in Media and I'm actually not surprised.
I guess the site is too small and too focused on that product at this point. They offered a full refund which I accepted.
The Press Release did get out on some news portals and directories (something like 20-30) but it didn't get syndicated. So technically I got 20-30 nofollow PR links for free?
The PBN links order was placed yesterday. It's a 10 link package from a famous seller on Konker. You won't need me to tell you who, it's right on the front page.
I decided to put 6 links to the homepage and 4 links on info articles. No specific reasoning besides maybe gathering a bit more authority at the domain level. I've read a lot that every time you add links to your site, it boosts the whole DA anyway.
I was meant (according to the plan) to order my KGR articles but after going through them, I realized some keywords were actually referring to the same question.
I then read this article from Mr KGR and I thought "ok, so I need more keywords" and decided to find the 5 other keywords first, then group them with the KGR ones and order it all together. Now I have a very nice mix of "best blabla for xyz", question keywords, and other "best blabla" that are other products (to broaden the site a bit)
Because that's a $450 article pack that I want to buy (from HPD's), and 50% of that (my part now that I have a partner) is still out of my purchasing power for this month, I'll be placing the order on August 1st when I get my salary.
This way I may even be able to get a little guideline done for the writers so I know that each article on MMG looks similar in format and style to each other.
Things never seem to go to plan with case studies and online business in general, so I'm a bit frustrated that I'm only a few posts into this and already have some delays.
Don't worry, I'll get there.
Next week the plan is to get an infographic, some web 2.0s and buy the review articles.
The updated plan is to get an infographic, buy the article pack (KGR and other review+best articles) and I'm not entirely sure about 2.0s.
I've been reading more and apparently web 2.0s require quite some work on setting them up so they look legit to stay indexed. That's a word combination I don't like.
I would go with The Hoth but the $250 maybe are better invested on content?
So, what are your thoughts on this? I'll appreciate your inputs!
See you down at the comments 😉
Hey guys! It's been a week since I posted the first part of this case study and it was really nice to see your comments encouraging me.
Let's have a quick recap of what I wanted to accomplish in this week, what I've actually done, problem's I've encountered, the real amount of hours and the $ cost to execute. I'll probably follow this format for the next updates aswell. Tell me in the comments if you like it? 😀
But you know that already. Time is money. And money can buy time (some one else's, of course). I've put a total of 3.75h during week one .
Here's what each thing has costed so far:
I probably spent 80% of the time finding KGR keywords. I'm not counting the time spent watching Doug's youtube videos about it or thinking how to streamline the process so it isn't super-manual (because time)
Have you ever had an epiphany while sitting on the toilet? I've had a few. Here's one:
Click the button below to download a spreadsheet with my latest toilet idea
The spreadsheet consist on a list of keywords (that you must populate yourself but we'll see how in a second) on column A, a combined allintitle: query URL on column B, Column C is the allintitle results, D is the SV and E will spit a value. Green is KGR, orange is good but not idea, red is a no.
Plug a keyword, copy the result in column B, open the url in a new tab, check results.
Here's a replay of one webinar from Doug Cunnington explaining the KGR in better detail.
The best piece of information there is to use the Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere and to use google's suggestion at the bottom of the results page to get new ideas.
You can click on those keywords and get even more ideas, which is what ultimately has helped me get my KGR keywords.
The problem however, is that it was damn hard to find 20. I think there's actually quite a lot of competitors because the overall topic (not the niche product) is about weight (fitness) and that space is crazy competitive.
So even if I could find some good KGR keywords around the niche product, once I run out of "easy wins" i started thinking outside of the box and going for related topics that could end up on me recommending the product, but the space is brutal.
I mean, it's a massive pie to split though. One of the big three (Health & Fitness, Make money, Relationships & Dating). So, for as long as I'm able to claim a very little chunk of that pie, I'll still be making money and I'm cool with that.
You can use Keyword Shitter combined with Keywords Everywhere and the spreadsheet I shared above to find your KGR keywords.
The idea behind using Local Citations comes from this post.
Essentially, they build trust, provide with good link velocity and branded anchors. They have 2 problems.
2. Need some initial setup to be useful.
Indexation is solved via the video sitemap trick (hats off to Matt for sharing so much knowledge) and the initial setup goes as following:
Find a commercial building that's unclaimed (alas, no other business is registered there) in any random city you like inside your target country as described it Matt's post (in my case US). Get the address and use a fake phone generator to get a phone number. T
Then, plug that data into Local Business Schema Generator and you'll get a chunk of HTML code that basically shows that data in a structured fashion google can easily read.
Go to widgets, footer, place an HTML item there and paste the schema markup for NAP there.
Add the same NAP info in all your social profiles.
That's all the initial setup you need for the citations to work. It took me roughly 20 minutes of work and 10 minutes of figuring it out (never used schema before) so I just saved you 10 minutes. Use them wisely for another purposes of your liking. Kitten vids, for instance.
Alright, I think that covers everything I've done this week, including challenges and discoveries!
Next week I'll order content for the KGR articles and place the initial PBN links. I'm already considering 4-5 different link providers, but I'd love to hear suggestions from you guys!
In this first part, I'm going to cover the strategy I'm going to follow to grow my niche site to $500/mo in 6 months. I may then sell the site and use the funds to create a larger site, provided that I'd by then have acquired all necessary skills to successfully grow a website.
But today I'm starting small.
I'll try to leverage a background of getting other people to do stuff for me so I don't have to, thousands of hours playing Civilization by Sid Meier (it teaches you a lot about strategy) and a strong skillset on figuring s**t out very quickly.
Also, I've spent close to one year reading about niche sites and SEO (partially forced to because of my day job and clients who like to play smart, but that's a story for another day) so I should be able to make it work.
Alright, let's get into details.
The site is based on a particular product inside the health and nutrition supplements industry. I don't know a lot about the niche to be honest so no content writing for me.
The name I chose for it allows some room for growth outside that particular niche (It's a partial match domain or PMD). It isn't a super competitive term but it's definitely grown harder since I bought the site (I did some KWfinder checks back then and I was like, oh nice, easy to rank baby! But not anymore. It was close to 20 and now more into 30s)
I see the opportunity window is closing so better move quick.
From now on and for the simplicity of arguments, I'll be referring to the site as MMG and I may eventually reveal the URL once I have some traction and I'm happy with the way it's going etc .
I've seen other case studies where people reveal the URL early, and it isn't always the best idea.
I'm no stranger to the sunk cost fallacy. Now, the $500 that I paid for the site isn't that much of a big deal. Sure thing, throwing that amount through the window does hurt a little but I'm not taking back the site 6 months after I totally forgot about its existence because of sunk cost.
It's a matter of making things right.
I told myself I'd create a separate side income to be able to travel more often. Two weeks per year seems a bit insufficient. A few hundred a month, saved, allows for some really cool travelling. Even weekend getaways would get so much more interesting.
So this case study is all about accountability, and forcing myself to keep working.
Two days ago, after I officially published the intro post saying that I was going to make the site work, something great happened...
Aw yeah, passive income baby:
I guess this is as passive as it gets. As I explained before, I bought this site from HPD and then did nothing with it, and it managed to get its first sale.
To illustrate further how little I have done to the site, I had to dig into some discarded notebooks (aye, I'm old skool) to find my wordpress password because I hadn't logged in since March .
Now, $2.92 won't fund a lot of travels to the Seychelles, but hell yeah, it was just what I needed to truly believe this site has potential.
Alright so, appetizers were good, let's go to the meat: what's the plan?
When I bought the site, my idea was to execute Matt Diggity's reduce sandbox strategy, but since the site has aged a bit, I'll be doing those steps a bit faster (to get some momentum).
Then, I'll also be publishing KGR content. One of the things I did last month was joining Dom's forum to follow his case study (which honestly did motivate me a bit more to take action on the site) and I really like the concept.
AAAAnd I'll be using PBNs. I understand the risks, I also understand what no-nos are, and I'm confident I'll be able to do it good enough not to get bitch slapped by Google.
My tolerance to risk is moderately high, and considering that I'll be keeping the overall cost below $2,000, this is still a EV+ operation.
Think about it. Potentially selling a site for $10,000 or more in less than 6 months with $2,000 investment and minimal time investment vs eventually getting slapped and "losing" $2,000 (which I wouldn't really, as there are ways to recover from a penalty. I may not have ever done it but I've read a lot!)
So, let's see a proper breakdown of the strategy:
The idea here is to stablish the basic company profile. Creating a heavily branded profile with the basic trust signals in place, so that when I start with the other not-so-safe-links there's enough trust on the site. We'll see if it works.
During the third month I won't be doing much but monitoring, re-assessing and likely catching up with delayed steps from previous weeks. It all sounds great on paper but the task breakdown that I've projected may actually take me more than 4 hours of work for each week so I'll be delaying the least important stuff and catching up on the last 3 weeks of September.
From the second half of October onwards I plan on keep growing the site via KGR content, money pages (best blahblah keywords) and product reviews. I'll probably use weeks 10-12 to further plan what to do in terms of social promotion (probably use Pinterest or Instagram), maybe create another infographic if the results with the first one were good... essentially see what's been working well so far and do more from that and stop doing what's not working.
Here's a snapshot of the keywords I'm targeting and the rankings. I'll try to post this at the end of every report so we can have an overall look of the fluctuations etc.
MMG has a total of 10 posts published. Here's the traffic for June:
Let's see how those numbers improve during the next weeks!
Alright folks, that's been it for today. You now know my plan, maybe see its flaws (if you do leave a comment!!) maybe think is absolutely genious (lol). In any case, I'll be doing quick weekly updates of the progress I do with just 4 hours of work on an outsourced site from Human Proof Designs.