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Anyone here ever started a successful & popular content website without 'doing' any SEO?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by alexa_s, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. alexa_s

    alexa_s Regular Member

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    Hi :hello:

    Anyone here ever started a relatively successful (hundreds of thousands of page views/month) content website just by focusing on quality content (maybe some on-page SEO) / sharing on forums / social media? I have seen the sticky by Matthew Woodward, but apart from him I haven't seen a lot of people doing this. He seems to have succeeded just by creating quality content that solves people's problems and then simply spreading the word by posting on here and other forums.

    Anyone here who has succeeded in creating a popular website that people love and want to visit, willing to share how you did it/any tips? :) Assuming that you have the 'quality content' part down (helpful content with references, taking hours to write), how would you get the content noticed, so that people can start coming to the site?
     
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  2. dadangle

    dadangle Junior Member

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    Given, my website and I are both fairly new to the IM world, I had over 100k visitors after just two months because of a few solid articles that I shared on social media and submitted to aggregators. Which honestly, I'm not sure if things like stumbleupon and digg are considered white or black, but I see no harm in it.

    Like I said, I might not qualify for this exactly, but I do know what I've done right to get sturdy numbers.

    - Catchy and provoking title and content. My most popular articles drive people to choose a side. Yes, that means that half of the people may potentially disagree with you, but if it keeps people engaging on your site, so be it.

    - Not sharing or backlinking in forums all nimbly bimbly. Ya can't just plug your site everywhere and really, one strategically placed link can't pack a bigger punch than a thousand random links. Let's say just ten of my backlinks provide 85% of all my traffic. They were placed on good sites and in a way that intrigued people, rather than annoying them with promotional tactics.

    I know all of this is well documented.. I'm not the first dude to say 'write provoking content'. I also know that I don't posses the right qualifications to really answer this correctly. But I'm getting there. And I'm really interested to hear what others have to say about this. Good question Alexa.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  3. SilentKnight

    SilentKnight Junior Member

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    Thanks for the post.

    What btw are aggregators?

    Also, did you write your own articles or get them outsourced?

    If you wrote them yourself, do you think you were successful because you have good article writing skills or because the topics were popular?

    Thanks

    SK
     
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  4. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If you do massive PPC, go viral on social, or have a celeberty involved then sure. Otherwise I haven't seen/heard of it.
     
  5. verial

    verial Junior Member

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    I've got a website ranked to the first page of Google with only on-site SEO. But the keywords I was ranking were all of very low competition. Eventually, the site got linked by big-name sites, and the rest took care of itself.
     
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  6. Ricky Roma

    Ricky Roma Regular Member

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    its possible: clickbaits and social media... nuff said
     
  7. dadangle

    dadangle Junior Member

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    An aggregator is a website that gathers information of a specific type. Like my 'news aggregator' on my computer gathers all the news from the sources that I tell it to through RSS feeds.

    And yes, I write all of my articles myself. I purchased one article but it was too horrible to post so I rewrote it completely.

    Also, I'm not really sure how to answer that last question. The topics that my best articles are about, aren't new or super popular. I just presented it in a new way. Mixing an everyday idea with a catchy title, some compelling statements and a whole lot of humor. Lol that's my recipe.
     
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  8. 1ksao

    1ksao Regular Member

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    I've had this happen too. This is my first always my first strategy for low-comp keywords.
     
  9. innosoft

    innosoft Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    for low comp keys you can do it easily... actually its very rare phenomenon to rank without SEO.
     
  10. hockmasm

    hockmasm Regular Member

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    here is my story related to this question.

    I created a tutorial type of website about 5 years ago and my strategy was this:

    - find easy to rank keywords in the niche related to learning how to do something
    - write a high quality 400-600 word article on the topic and do all the normal on page SEO
    - put adsense in the hot zones on the page

    there were so many keywords out there that i was sure i could rank for. however, it never really worked out that well. most of my traffic only came in to a handful of articles that were the big winners. my site has over 100 hand written articles. i even got to the point where i outsourced the writing to a guy who had written a ton of niche related articles for another website. so i knew his stuff was good and he knew what he was talking about. cost me $6 per article.

    my analytics look like this:

    - the first year or so i only got about ~40 visits per day.
    - by year two i saw a huge jump to about ~250, then to ~600 and several 1,000-2,000 spikes here and there. this ususally was from a Stumble Upon or Pinterest pin
    - then in July-August 2013, something happened - maybe google panda or penguin hit and my site dropped down to about 150 visits per day.
    - now i am averaging about 200-250 visits per day

    during the big spike year i was making about $150-200+ per month from Adsense

    i had bought a few fiverr backlink wheels, social bookmarks and maybe that is what penalized me eventually by google.

    After the google hit, i kept writing new articles, but regardless of how much new content i put up i kept seeing the same number of visits. it did not steadily increase like i thought it would. more articles = more chances to get found in the SERPS, right? not for me.

    so, i've abandoned that site and just let it sit there. it makes enough to pay for itself and a little extra now. but it was such a shame to see all of that work go to waste. my site is really a true authority site on the subject. i'm now only making about $25+ per month from this site for doing nothing to it.

    What i learned is that my biggest traffic provider now for the site is Pinterest. organic search went way down. i have a graphic banner on each blog post that is easy for a person to Pin and attracts people to the site which helps.

    -----

    now that i told you that story, here is my latest project:

    - found relatively easy to rank keywords in a niche
    - created a review site and write reviews on products in the niche
    - in each article i link out to amazon affiliate pages and earn a commission on sales
    - each article i hand write and go really in depth about the features and benefits of the product. each post is 900+ words. its good stuff like you would see in a magazine. i just think, what would i want to know about this product and write an article that would persuade me to want to buy it. the visitor comes first on this site.
    - do all the normal on page SEO

    site has about 12 posts. for the first 6 months i saw barely anything. about ~15 visits per day. then all of a sudden in the 5th month my visits went to ~40 per day and in the 6th month my visits are steadily climbing at a fast rate and im up to ~200 visits per day.

    Most traffic comes in from 3 posts. All organic searches. too bad Google says (not provided) for 95% of them so i can't tell which terms i am ranking for.

    the only backlinking i did for the site was create 19 web 2.0 free sites that have 3-5 pages on them each and link back to my homepage. i used 5 different keywords to link back to the site, including ones like "click here" "this website" "in this guide". However, my homepage doesn't provided me with a lot of traffic. i also bought a service on here that creates 10 tier 1 web 2.0 and linked them to my best traffic internal post page. i did that about 3 months after the site was live. this may be helping my site steadily rise in traffic.

    Income from this site has jumped way up since last month.

    ---

    so i guess what this all boils down to in my opinion is YES! i think you can be successful if you write good LONG QUALITY content that makes people stay on the page and really learn how to do something or learn about something. You have to put your reader first.

    If you notice, Matthew Woodward's posts are very long. I think the articles that really gain traction now are ones that are 1,000 words or more. And, you can't expect overnight success. it took my new site about 6 months to finally spike in traffic. but i am doing this all white hat with a tad grey hat backlinks to get the posts started.
     
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  11. SilentKnight

    SilentKnight Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply!

    I guess I know what aggregators are but just never really knew they existed to content submitted to. Do you have any examples of any?

    As for your article writing ability, if you read hockmasm's post above you'll see that he wrote and posted many unique articles and didn't get nearly the same result you did. That's why I asked about your writing and tried to gauge what set it apart from other article/authority sites.
     
  12. ok888

    ok888 Elite Member

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    Only for small niche with low competition and big niche but not profitable

    For really profitable niche its almost impossible
     
  13. dadangle

    dadangle Junior Member

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    I suppose that I may use the word aggregator a little loosely. When I write something that I'm proud of, I usual submit the url to sites like stumbleupon, digg, scoopit, delicious, technorati, and a bunch of news sites.

    As for my writing vs other's, I don't think I'm experienced enough to analyze it like these guys could. I'm a high school drop out that hasn't taken an english or grammar class in a decade, but I'm able to write articles that get more traffic than similar buzzfeed posts. And in the beginning, I generated those numbers with a free site on a weebly subdomain. Given, I was green horned and ignorant, so I didn't monetize correctly, but I gained a priceless amount of knowledge and readers.

    Really though, I do use the simple recipe of a catchy title, a ton of humor, and content that people feel passionate about. For instance, my most popular post currently has an argument going on in the comments because I made my readers choose a side. These guys keep coming back to argue, but their comments just add to how entertaining the post is. Lol it's quite fun to watch.

    Just put yourself in the shoes of your readers. I just happen to be exactly like the people I'm targeting so I write what I want to read. Ya know?
     
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  14. alexa_s

    alexa_s Regular Member

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    Interesting, besides relying on the content/title of the post do you use any other strategy on those aggregators you mentioned, like having friends who thumb up your posts/etc?
     
  15. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    Nowadays, there are tens of thousands of websites displaying new and AMAZING content on a daily basis, around 3 to 8 articles per day; including videos and a shit ton of great stuff.

    That being said and to answer your question, yes, it is possible, but it is going to take you A LOT more than purely blasting content. You MUST do marketing for it, I don't care if its SEO, PPC, PPV, TV ads or whatever else. If you do not promote, you will most likely get NO response.

    -Unless- Your content is truly a masterpiece, and no disrespect, but this is incredibly hard to achieve.

    My suggestion, go ahead with the idea, BUT, promote your website! You got a shit ton of ways to do so, and denying those would be somewhat of a crime if you are spending loads of hours on each piece of content.

    Best of luck with it all.
     
  16. qalasan

    qalasan Registered Member

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    I hadn't such moment never ..
     
  17. Archemike

    Archemike Regular Member

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    Buzzfeed would be a great example of no forced SEO just hardcore social... They are worth over a billion and you could say that's strictly from a great brand and great content curation/aggregation. The amount of social leads to high PR copying/backlinks and high CTR, and low bounce rate, high traffic, etc.
     
  18. dadangle

    dadangle Junior Member

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    Not really. I'll share my articles to my facebook and twitter followers, some of which are real friends, but non of which are asked to like or thumbs up anything.

    The only thing I make sure of, is that the site I'm submitting the url to has categories fo pick from. Like stumbleupon, you can add your url to a specific category and give it tags so the right people see it. After I submit, I let the stumbleupon users decide if they like it or not. Maybe I'll give myself a thumbs up but that's it.

    And I'm not saying it works every time. 90% of what I write still fails lol. But I'm learning.