1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

[JOURNEY] neverquitting's Journey to Diverse Authority

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by neverquitting, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Hi everyone, I see a lot of authority site journeys on here and I felt like I'd like to add my own as a way to get some feedback from established members and hopefully drive myself to achieving great things in IM. Since I find it hard to get interested in a journey thread in the early going, I decided to wait on this until my site was a little bit established.

    Unlike the authority sites people typically do, this one is "nicheless". Something in the vein of a Huffington Post for example. This obviously presents a very big challenge since I can't just specialize on one specific topic and write a bunch about it; I need to be able to do different things. At the same time, it's way more interesting and I'm hoping to draw on people I know to contribute content in the future.

    A little about me:
    • 26 years old
    • U.S. born and raised, currently a grad student
    • Previously built a micro niche site that is pulling in roughly $200-300/month (this will serve to fund investments into this site)

    What I've got set up so far:

    • New brandable domain
    • SSD hosting from PowerUpHosting
    • Premium Themeforest Theme
    • 68 posts of content (varied lengths, some targeting keywords, some not)
    • Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, Youtube
    • Affiliate marketing accounts with Amazon, CJ, Rakuten, and Share-a-Sale
    • Google Adsense account (not currently using on site)
    • Bing Ads and Google Adwords accounts
    • Bing Webmaster and Google Webmaster set up (yes, I know this is like playing with fire, but this isn't a churn and burn)
    • Old domain (real blog) 301'd to this one

    Resources at my disposal:

    • This forum (my biggest asset)
    • My brain
    • Another writer (college educated, seems to think writing for me for free is a "great opportunity")
    • Market Samurai and free versions of majestic/ahrefs/SEMRush trial (via BHW)/etc

    I'll make a second post detailing what I'm up to right now. Hopefully this one did a decent job setting the stage.
     
  2. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    So the site is currently a shade over two months old. It's definitely very young and as such it doesn't have a lot in terms of traffic. I'm not too focused on monetization in the early going, but I'm keeping an eye on KWs I'd like to target that maybe will rank down the line as my site builds up its overall authority.

    Right now, my #1 priority is spitting out new content on a daily basis (preferably more than one post per day). This can vary in terms of what it is, though, so sometimes I'll be busting out something like a 1000+ word review or product roundup, and sometimes it'll just be a picture-driven post with only 200+ words. The name of the game in my eyes is to make a site that would be interesting to a reader, no matter what initially brought them to the site.

    When I make a post that's more than just some pictures or nonsense, I share it via at least one of my social media accounts, but I try not to post everything everywhere every time. I get a trickle of traffic from these shares usually, and I need to work on building up these accounts with real, active followers. Of note, the guy that's writing for me for free shared his first post on reddit and that brought in a bunch of traffic, but it wasn't really a post that was meant to be monetized (and again, that's not a priority right now). I'm just happy that we have the possibility of getting good bursts of traffic as an option.

    Backlink-wise, I've built up some Web 2.0s myself and bought a couple packages from the Marketplace here. Also have had some social signals done which I'm a fan of. There's one post in particular I'm trying to get Google excited over, so I'm hoping as some of this drips in, things get juicy on that front. I'm also testing out Bing Ads and Adwords for that post as well.

    Questions:
    • Amazon-wise, is it ok per their TOS to link to a page on my site which then redirects via my aff link? (e.g., I put a "See It Now" button which goes to a link on my site first, then redirects, so as to hide the affiliate link from the user)
    • How can I build up a real social media following? Fake followers boost your ego, but they won't actually help promote your brand.
    • What glaring oversights or missteps have you noticed already?

    Thanks to everyone who decides to follow along and offers their input. I really do appreciate it.
     
  3. hulk0

    hulk0 Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    3
    Subscribed. Good luck men
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    So yesterday I put up 3 posts, plus 1 more this morning. One was about food, two others were opinion/news pieces, and one was image-focused. Planning on having a "listicle" up today and maybe a product review as well (if not, then it'll be done by tomorrow). I also plan on doing a product "round up" once I have a few reviews together of related products. Overall, I'm at 72 published posts, so chugging along towards the 100 post mark.

    Obviously I recognize that with such a broad focus it's going to take a lot of content before this builds into any type of authority. My hope, however, is that the progress will be exponential since everything is written to (hopefully) be interesting first, and seo optimized second. I still think social media is the name of the game, and I'd love input from others on how to build up a legit following.
     
  5. Darkhorse77

    Darkhorse77 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2
    Good luck man, I can say, you will get success for sure.
     
  6. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Another day, another update. In addition to the news piece I did yesterday morning, I also put up 3 more articles yesterday (a listicle, a product review, and a product announcement). Each post was shared via at least one of the following: Twitter, G+, Facebook, or Pinterest.

    Picked up 5 clicks to Amazon from one of my product reviews, but no sales. It's a $150 product and somewhat of a luxury purchase so I'm not surprised that it'll be low-converting. I'd like to start seeing a return of some sort, though, or I might have to stop trying to advertise the site for a while.
     
  7. fitsspiration

    fitsspiration Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    great post! truly inspiring
     
  8. yourdady

    yourdady Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2014
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    68
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    instarobot.com
    Good luck I hope u success :)
     
  9. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Four more articles yesterday: 1 product review, 1 product round up, 1 news article, 1 advice article.

    I think today I'm going to focus on some more KW research. I've got a few related to some of the products I'm pitching that are looking pretty good. Just to make sure I'm publishing *something* I'll probably whip up a couple short and silly posts (funny or interesting pics or whatever). I've also got another advice-type article cooking that I could maybe knock out today as well.

    Another handful of clicks to Amazon, but still no sales. Also added a new affiliate relationship yesterday, so I've been setting up links for that. I also just grabbed the GoCodes plugin for WP so I can start cloaking my aff links and hopefully make everything look that much more legit.
     
  10. Slepua

    Slepua Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    12
    Looks like another interesting authority thread. These are popping like mushrooms after rain lately. :D

    I have also just started working on somewhat "nicheless" site. At the moment I am fully concentrated on keyword research and heavy content(1k+ words) so I know I should be able to rank some of these babies easily. I have a whopping !1! article posted only, will upload few more today. But that article immediately ranked top30 in less than 48hours for a 4.4k monthly searches. Feels great, as the site is only 1week old and tells me that I'm on a good path regarding KW research. My plan is to get some steady traffic from SEO and later it should pickup due to interesting and shareable content automatically.

    You are asking how to build up real social following, to my understanding all you need to do is to have some awesome quality content up. If you really have something like that then all you have to do is post that link somewhere, show it to people and it will be shared. You can't build social following if content sux balls.

    How are your targeted keywords doing after two months and so many articles? Are you ranking top 10 at least few of them? And how much google traffic are you pulling already? I really hope to be pulling at least few hundreds UV as soon as I have that much content. Otherwise I will be dissapointed lol :D Been working so hard on those keywords..
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  11. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Nice job on that quick ranking--is your domain brand new or is it a dropped/expired domain you purchased? Right now, I'm not really focused on ranking, in fact I've only recently started targeting KWs, so I'll have to get back to you on how those do.

    My reasoning was that if I want my site to be an authority, it needs to look the part. It's no good having one big, long article on an otherwise barren site. At this point, my site looks like it's regularly updated with a variety of interesting stuff, so users are going to want to interact with it, even if they don't end up clicking on my aff links and buying stuff.

    The other reason I didn't start off with keywords (even though research has been ongoing) is that I find a soft sell to be way more effective than a hard sell. I don't want people thinking they're being sold to.

    But fear not, as I mentioned in my previous post I've been putting out some product reviews and stuff. They're all kind of related to each other, so they'll hopefully rise up as a group. I've also got another slightly older product roundup waiting to rank, but that's a significantly more competitive KW.

    RE: Social, I feel like it's one thing to get shares and another to get followers. The latter is the issue I'm running into. I have a social counter on the side of my site, but I think I need to start being more aggressive about having a popup or something come in to get people to like/follow us. Need to really decide on how I want to go about list-building as well.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. Slepua

    Slepua Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    12
    I bought an expired 10 years old brandable domain. That definitely helped to fast-rank and index that one single page.

    My site looks like a desert right now and I'm actually developing strategies on how to get that damn content up lol, sometimes I feel like my hands are broken or something :D Today I actually went to a library with my laptop and realized that it's a much better place to concentrate on research & writing. Managed to churn out some content, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do that at home.. Just too many distractions all around, youtube, games, etc.. :>

    I think that getting social shares closely correlates to building up followers. If you get shares that means it qualifies for a share and that means you put your content in front of many eyes. What do you usually do if you find some awesome content online? Personally I add that site to my favourites, follow that twitter feed and would probably like their page also if I was into Facebook. :->

    I agree that being more aggresive about showing those "Follow us on twitter/fb" widgets will help us build up social following, but that will only happen after we manage to get some awesome shareable content up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  13. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Not to turn this thread into a glorified chatroom, but that brings up another point I wanted to mention. Even though I'm not always targeting KWs, I always have *something* in mind when I'm writing a post (nothing should be purely fluff). Even if it's an image-heavy post, it should have a funny/viral/clickbait title. Diverse authority means also finding different ways of generating traffic. There was a post a week or so back I think about Buzzfeed releasing a list of their most popular three-word strings (in terms of generating traffic). Worth looking into.
     
  14. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    So as planned, yesterday was focused primarily on KW research. I found one in particular that I'm really excited about (27K searches, but only a 20 difficulty on KeywordRevealer). Getting in the top 2-3 spots would be tough, but I think top 5 is a reasonable goal for it.

    Also got my first two Amazon sales yesterday. Exciting, though in the process I realized I had made a miscalculation: the product I'm promoting has a fixed commission rate, so I'm earning only 4% instead of the 7% I was hoping for. No matter, it's good to see some positive revenue flowing at least.

    Yesterday I posted one small advice article, just to have something going up. That puts me at 80 articles even. Today I'm working on a new product review (I know it sounds like I'm running a review site, but I'm really not...it's just a nice way of promoting products) which I should have up later today. I'd like to put up one other news type article as well today, so I'll have to hunt for something I want to do there. Otherwise today will be more focused KW research and then deciding how best to attack them.

    Design-wise, I've removed the "Recent Comments" widget from my sidebar as I heard about it messing up optimization (by overdoing it). I was hoping it would increase engagement on my posts but it really hasn't (don't have nearly enough users for that anyhow), so it's gone for now.

    I need to work on getting the site to load faster. I just ran pingdom on one of my posts and it took 3.47s to load. It seems like Wordfence security and Shareaholic are both really slowing things down for me. I think security is important, so is there any way around the Wordfence slowdown? As for shareaholic, is there a better share button service out there? I like that it does floating buttons on the side, and that it includes the # of shares, all with a modern, metro style. Alternative suggestions would be appreciated, however.

    Thanks for reading, folks, hope you're all kicking ass out there.
     
  15. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Yesterday I added a review article and a pair of news articles. This morning I also published another review. I'm also working on a post relating to that 27K KW, might have it done over the weekend.

    Traffic-wise, yesterday I had a total of 72 pageviews, though a significant chunk of that was ad-driven. In total, 11 different pages on my site got at least one view, which is awesome. (Including the post from this morning, I'm at a total of 84.) 14 clicks according to Amazon, but no sales yesterday. The second product from the day before shipped, and I was surprised that I got 6.5% on that one instead of 4%, seeing as the two products are very similar. Odd, but I'm not complaining.

    One of the services I purchased from here sent me an email yesterday saying work has begun and will be completed in the coming days. I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing a good ROI on that purchase, so we'll see. I currently have one post in particular I'm trying to rank (it's the same one that has generated my only two sales), so between this service and some social signals I've also purchased I'm hoping it shows up in a reasonable position.

    I got an email yesterday from one of my affiliate programs that they'll pay a $10 bounty if I write a post promoting their products on my site. Doesn't even seem like it has to be a very thoughtful post, so I'll happily take them up on that offer.

    Hope everyone's having a great weekend!
     
  16. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Added four small posts between yesterday and now (one relating to food, one to sports news, one with pics, and one that was the $10 blog post one of my affiliate publishers wanted). Also added an "Affiliate Disclosure" page since I'll start putting up disclosure on my affiliate pages to comply with FTC guidelines. Post-wise, I'm up to 88, but again, some of that is with barely any content (i.e., just some pictures).

    66 pageviews yesterday, so just a slight drop off from the day before. 16 clicks to Amazon, but no orders sadly. Looks like the other day was just a lucky situation. I'm resisting the urge to use AdSense because I think it looks ugly and tends to not pay super well if you don't have a lot of traffic. But maybe it would be a good choice for monetizing my non-affiliate pages.

    I still need to focus on building a readership. Anyone have recommendations for an email service to use? I've signed up for MailChimp, but I'm wondering if there's something better out there. For now, I just want something where people can subscribe to updates and get a once-weekly email or something. It would be great if I could also choose which posts it featured in that email.

    I also think I should maybe focus on one social media account at a time, build it up, then branch out. I think (seeing as I'm just one dude) I might be spreading myself too thin. Out of Twitter, G+, and Facebook, which would you recommend? And assuming I'm not interested in doing anything sketchy with likejacking or adding a bunch of sexy pics, how can I expand my visibility? Fb ads don't seem to be doing too much good for me.
     
  17. Slepua

    Slepua Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    12
    It's encouraging to see you are getting some traffic already after only 2 months of being up. ~50 organic UVs is great for something that fresh. I am following your steps :)

    I think twitter is the way to go nowadays after all these FB algo updates. Although we are working with nicheless sites so it's gonna be pretty hard to target.

    You could invest like 10-15minutes per day and start building your following on this platform. Use the good ole follow-unfollow method.
    http://manageflitter.com/ is a free service to manage this and it will be more than enough in the beginning.
    http://tweetfavy.com/ is a service for automated tweet favourites. It has a trial of 14 days I think. I was getting like 100 followers every week automatically with this during my trial, but then again, I was working with an account in specific niche.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. alexa_s

    alexa_s Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    89
    Interesting, did the sales come from the paid traffic or organic? This is one of the few authority threads I will follow :p

    Indeed they are, but if you read the threads(not this one) most of them are garbage micro niche sites , which the poster calls authority because it's the current 'trendy' thing. 30 pages and you call it 'authority'? Really? It's irritating to see so many newbies polluting the internet with their garbage 'high-quality 500-word' articles and thinking they are building anything more than a pure spam website.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  19. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    The majority of my traffic right now is paid, but a nice thing is that a lot of that paid traffic is coming from links on Amazon, so people who are already looking to buy are clicking on my ad and then hopefully going back to Amazon through my link.

    Actually, most of my traffic is still paid. I'll probably stop AdWords once my coupon runs out, since it's rather pricey. Bing Ads is running at a much more affordable rate, and I could see myself continuing with them. My true objective, however, with running these was to kind of let Google and Bing know that this site is legit and that it's totally ok to rank me as high as they'd like. This is pure speculation, but I think right now, search engines are prioritizing sites that they see as "authoritative", and real authority sites have an advertising budget. I don't need to put in a lot of money, but if I'm spending $100 on some links vs. $30 on some ads, well, which is the better value?

    As for twitter, thanks for the links. I'm going to have to look into them further. I'm wondering if I should just buy some twitter followers, because they don't limit your reach the way FB does. That'll give a little social proof and maybe help me show up in "Top" tweets for a given hashtag as well.
     
  20. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    United States
    Home Page:
    Yesterday: 21 Amazon clicks, 2 orders. Funnily, neither of them were the product I sent them to, but one was a $25 item while the other was $120. Not bad. To me, that's a strength of Amazon (that they'll find a way to convert visitors, even if it's not what they originally came for), not a weakness.

    Also, yesterday my other writer buddy put up another post and shared it on reddit. Got an extra 18 clicks from reddit as a result. Total pageviews yesterday: 138

    Aside from that post I only put up one other one. It was a slow day. This is my last week before I get sucked into a month-long vortex of not being able to do shit for this site, so I'm hoping to finish strong here. 100 posts is the goal (I'm at 89).

    Also, I've reached out to another potential writer for my site. We're trying to work out a gameplan, including compensation. He seems to have a good body of work and some experience that I could gain from, so I think it would be a fruitful partnership. I want to make sure it's a win-win for us before moving forward though (I'm not here to take advantage of a guy).

    Gameplan for the week includes getting up another couple reviews and hopefully a few general news/interesting posts as well. I'd love to do an op/ed, but those take a lot of time and obviously don't offer much financial benefit. But they certainly legitimize the site and sometimes I just want the creative outlet. So we'll see.