Jon Dykstra on his unique approach to content publishing, and what REALLY matters when starting a site

March 30, 2021 01:16:23
Jon Dykstra on his unique approach to content publishing, and what REALLY matters when starting a site
Niche Website Builders Show
Jon Dykstra on his unique approach to content publishing, and what REALLY matters when starting a site
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Show Notes

 

In this episode of the Niche Website Builders Podcast, Adam Smith talks to Jon Dykstra, who transitioned from practicing law to publishing content sites and running the Fat Stacks Blog. What does Jon do to make money with niche blogs, affiliate marketing, and display ads?

Jon discusses how he manages to scale his website publishing company and teams, finding and hiring writers, and the do’s and don’ts of setting up new content websites.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:09 Are you ready to get serious about building content sites and building a profitable business online. Welcome to the niche website builders podcast. We bring you the latest field, tested tips, tricks and strategies for building a profitable online asset. We interview industry experts, share customer success stories and reveal our own experiences. Working on hundreds of sites to inspire and motivate you to make something happen. Let's do this. Speaker 1 00:00:41 Hi and welcome to this week's episode of the niche website. Build a podcast this week. I'm talking to a great guest, John Dykstra. Uh, many of you will probably already know John. If you've been in the affiliate space for any length of time at all, you've probably come across his great content. He runs an awesome site called fat stacks blog. And if you sign up to his newsletter and he frequently sends out great content, it's really engaging. Um, a couple of times a week. I don't think he has a strict schedule on when he sends her out his emails, but they're great. Uh, we talked today with John about scaling. So how he's managed to scale his, his publishing company, essentially. Now it's not even a website company to put it's more, it's more of a publishing company. We talk about finding writers, hiring writers and scaling teams. Uh, and then we talked a little bit about, um, John's do's and don'ts when setting up new sites. So we look at his, uh, public facing case study website, and we run through some, a couple of questions about how we set certain things up, which, uh, were a little bit surprising to me. So hope you enjoy that. Uh, and let's get into this. Speaker 0 00:01:46 This episode is brought to you by niche website builders, an agency dedicated to helping people, just like you build profitable content sites, niche website builders are the hands-off content site marketing agency. You always wished existed. It's run by content site marketers for content site marketers, and they help both investors and individuals alike build profitable online properties. They provide a fully outsourced approach to content creation link-building and done for you. Website builds the same approach they use on their own six-figure portfolios. For example, their content packages come with a proprietary keyword research process are written by in-house native English speakers formatted using templates proven to convert and uploaded to WordPress with affiliate links added so that all you need to do is hit the publish button. Check them [email protected] slash show that's niche, website.builders/show, and fill out the form to get coupon codes for 10% more content, or a 10% discount on links with your first order sent right to your inbox. Speaker 1 00:02:53 Hey, John, welcome to this week's episode. How's things. Thanks for having me. Things are good. Yeah, no, how's the, how's the snow. Do you have any snow out in, uh, out in Canada at the moment? Speaker 2 00:03:04 Uh, well I'm sure lots of places in Canada that are still, but not where we are. We're in Vancouver on the West coast. It's kind of like Seattle. Uh, the mountains have had a lot though for us. Speaker 1 00:03:16 I love Canada. I actually, um, so over the, I was over the other side, but I spent two years in Ontario. Um, did a year of my degree there and then I met Amanda Canadian lady, as you normally do. And then, um, she came back to the UK with me when I finished my degree. And then I went back to Toronto then for another year when I finished my degree, um, stay with her, which was awesome. I love the place most nice. Yeah. I was trying to move there actually. Um, so we were applying for, um, sponsorship on the spousal visa. Um, and then like literally go right to the end. Um, we, we broke up, unfortunately. Um, but like, like literally I came back to the UK and then it was about five or six, six weeks after I came back, we had the final, like invitation to go to the embassy for the, for the last interview. Um, I called her up and I was like, Hey, you know, I know we're not together anymore, but any, any chance of a do me a favor? Yeah. It, it didn't happen. So I had to stay in the UK then, which yep. This is good and bad points. Speaker 2 00:04:26 Yeah. Well UK is great. Well, I've been to London, that's it? But I sure liked it. Speaker 1 00:04:32 Nice. Well, thanks for being on this. Week's a week's episode before we kind of get into the nuts and bolts of what we want to talk about today. Um, I think it's gonna be interesting to learn a bit more about, um, about your backgrounds kind of, I don't know if you remember how you made your first dollar online. Um, you know, how, how did you, how'd you get started in this online, in this online world of making money? Speaker 2 00:04:56 Yeah, well, uh, well I used to practice law and, uh, when I was starting out, uh, the internet was, you know, websites, floors was just kind of getting rolling. So we decided to do one and this was suggested the blog for SEO way back when it was totally different back then, but anyway, sort of blogging and just writing articles about law that I thought prospective clients would be interested in. And, and it worked really well actually. And of course it had the advantage. A lot of lawyers didn't have websites, so the competition was a lot less than it is now, but it was, it worked really well. And, but more importantly, I loved it. I loved the whole SEO content writing, um, blogging the whole, the whole band and the fact that it could actually grow a business was, was mind blowing for me. I thought that was really cool. So, you know, once I went down the old SEO blogging rabbit hole, I, I stumbled into this whole world of content sites and all of that. So that was my introduction to it. I just decided to try some outside of the law arena and that worked at back then, it was just affiliate marketing that I did. I didn't do any of the display ad stuff that was several years later, but the affiliate stuff did work out and, uh, yeah, took it from there. Speaker 1 00:06:12 Awesome. I mean, in the sites that you've done since then, law being a really high paying niche, have you ever done anything that's that's back within the law niche with your background? It would be almost too easy, right? Speaker 2 00:06:25 Uh, well, laws, laws, tricky. I did actually have a law niche site, but it was, it's a little bit tricky because I mean, the laws here are different than United States and in Europe and everywhere else. And even within Canada, you've got different laws in different provinces, so it's very regional, which is a bit of a wrong, but there, there are definitely global app. Like you could take global approaches to it, uh, which I did a little bit of. And, but I ultimately did sell that, that site, but in the interim between switching from full-time lawyer to full-time content publisher, I did some lead gen for, for lawyers, for law firms and primarily through content marketing. And that was good. And I used my own sites for that. And, and that was a great way to sort of bridge the gap financially between, you know, finally going full-time with content sites. So yeah, I'm quite familiar with the whole law niche, frankly. And, um, I can't say I would never go back into that niche, but I have no plans to Speaker 1 00:07:26 Okay. Interesting. And it kind of makes sense, especially if you're, if you're in Canada and the laws are different to the States and, and, and whatnot. Um, how did that transition look when, when you, obviously you were working for the law firm and then you started dabbling outside, um, doing your own sites, how did that transition look from employed being employed to, to, to doing this full time? You know, did you, did you get to a certain amount of revenue per month and then think this is safe enough for, did you drop down to part-time with your job? What did that look like? Speaker 2 00:07:56 Yeah, no, I waited until I built up this was before kids, so I had a lot more time, although Loblaw's a demanding career as well. Um, I actually really liked practicing law and, uh, I, I, but eventually I had to choose between the two. Um, so, but I, I knew I hadn't needed to wait until I was doing quite well online. Um, I didn't want to jump ship and take for it to be really risky. So I did wait a bit. Um, but you know, initially when I set out with that, that I had, I didn't really think that far ahead. It just, just kind of happened, frankly. And so by 2012 I had, I was full-time online, but I, you know, like I said, I was still plugged into the legal arena, doing the lead gen for, for various lawyers, so. Speaker 1 00:08:43 Okay. That makes sense. So you, you, you left your job and you were doing this lead gen and then somehow you, you got involved in affiliate marketing. Um, what, what was your, how did you get involved in, how did you make the transition from lead gen to affiliate marketing? Speaker 2 00:08:59 Well, I just started up some affiliate marketing sites, uh, doing the usual reviews and writing up content and just trying to get affiliate clicks and it sort of working pretty well. Um, that is until the first Google penguin launched or was released or unleashed on the world. I took a pretty big hit then, which, which was scary, but, uh, for child is a little bit diversified. So, so I made it through that. I continue with lead gen for a number of years beyond that, uh, that, that, that was, I often suggest to people, you know, if you really just want to get full-time online, like freelancing is a great way. Essentially. I was freelancing, right. I was, I was doing work for lawyers. I say it was lead gen. Cause they, they paid me based on results rather than just a straight up monthly retainer or anything like that. Speaker 2 00:09:49 But essentially, uh, you know, it's, it's fast cash, right? Like freelancing rather than waiting to build up, building up a content business. So, so that I did that for, for quite some time. So that, that actually helped even after the, the Google penguin knocked a couple of my affiliate sites down and rightfully so. I mean, at the time I was choked, but you know, I was doing all the sort of link building stuff that I think a lot of people were doing and that Google really wanted to end. And they did fairly quickly with that update. And then, so I had to reassess on, I started a new site after that and that's, that's grown tremendously since then. Speaker 1 00:10:28 So, so the, the penguin update kind of, reshifted your focus from quick wins, quick working on affiliate sites more to becoming a, a publisher then. So the push out lots of high quality content was, is that kind of what happened? You've decided overnight to try and rebuild the business. Speaker 2 00:10:45 I, I think like a quick, I w w I wouldn't characterize what I was doing as quick wins before that. I think, I think I would characterize it as, but basically everybody did it including a lot of small businesses too. I mean, um, link-building was essentially just blasting out lots of lousy links and it had worked for years up until that point. And there was never any word that changes were coming down. Like penguin was this fairly big surprise, right. Hind hindsight, of course, it's not surprising, um, because it still took time. I mean, essentially like, you know, everybody was doing it, so that's what you had to do for SEO. Right. So when that ended, you have to, you had to re reassess and think about, okay, well, what's, what's the new SEO playing field and environment and not boil down to good content. And in the long run, I'm really happy about that. I'm, I'm, I'm happy about the fact that we don't have to spend 80% of our time trying to gain search engines and building lousy links, which is like, it's, it's, it was horrible, lousy, tedious work, and now just get to focus on the content. And I do like that, and that's worked out well for me. So, but, but yeah, definitely not a quick win either. I mean, that took time as well. Speaker 1 00:11:56 Yeah, for sure. That makes sense. Okay. So you, your portfolio these days is, is primarily, um, display ads. So lots of content display ads, it's you still do some affiliate marketing, right. But it's, it's very little in comparison to your overall revenue. Um, and I know you've sold some of your sites recently, so huge. Congratulations on that. I know you listed some words with motion invest. W w what's your portfolio looking like currently? Um, cause I haven't seen, uh, an income post move for a while, so I don't kind of, I don't quite know what your current sites look like. Speaker 2 00:12:28 Yeah. And I'm so behind man, I just been, uh, the income reports are coming. I'm not, I'm not bailing on them. Uh they're they're common. Uh, you know, Christmas came take time off and on and on. They always are coming, um, portfolio right now I'm focused on two niche sites and fat stocks. Primarily, I've got a couple of small other sites, but I'm not really actively working on them, just hind kind of hanging around them. I don't know. They don't really do much. Um, yeah. So I went from, I don't want to say it's a large portfolio, but a bigger portfolio of sites to, to focusing down. Cause I, I, I just really want to focus on the, on the two that I think really have great potential and that I'm interested in. And so the smaller one, that's, that's newer, that's, that's an area that, um, surprisingly I'm interested in and, uh, I think there's good potential on that. Speaker 2 00:13:19 You know, I even considered like just going back to one site really, and then fat stocks where I talk about this stuff, but I do kind of like the idea of being a little bit diversified, uh, as a penguin casualty, it's always nice to just have a bit of a plan B. Uh, so that's sort of why I do that and then have the second line. Cause I got colleagues who have huge, huge sites, but that they have the one site and that that's, that's the focus and, and I can't fault that strategy at all because their sites are awesome and they do really, really well. And I, I obviously, you know, have one site that generates the lion's share of the revenue with the new side business. Uh, but I really would like to have two just, just in case. Speaker 1 00:14:04 Yeah. That makes sense. I think that's wise. Um, so once I, which I think he, you literally just so Friday, which was up for sale was, uh, was yoga Baron and it looked like a great site to be fair. And it was making a good chunk of money. I think his average, like just over five grand a month for the last, I dunno how long for a long time. Um, I was surprised to see the sale prices quite low, I mean, on, on places like empire flippers and other marketplaces. Um, I'm seeing sites as high as sort of 45 50 times, but this, I think this one got sold at 21 times. Um, what happened there? Why, why did you, why did you list what why'd you list it, but why do you think it's sold for, for such a low multiple when it's almost the Salus market right now? Yeah. You're and the other sites Speaker 2 00:14:52 Hold for huge multiples too. And I had originally priced it at a higher multiple, but it didn't go and it's a slightly different monetization model, largely dependent on a recurring revenue stream from previous subscription software sales as an affiliate. And that worked for years and it was a good cash cow, but over COVID and even started before then the, the subscription revenue is just like been a slow, slow, downward trend. And so I had to be realistic and acknowledge that, uh, you know, I gotta price it accordingly. If I, if I want to sell it, that's just the reality of it. And I don't regret that at all. I could because I really just want to focus on the, on the fewer sites and, and be rid of that. I I've always believed, had I decided to put more time back into that I could have reversed the trajectory for sure, but it does take a bit of work and I'm busy enough with my other thing. So that, that that's what's happened. Um, I think the buyer got good deal. If, if they like put in the effort that's needed to, to get that going again, I think COVID was a problem because it was, uh, in an issue that catered to, uh, local type businesses, which they've taken a huge hit the last year. So, but you know, things are gonna change again. So yeah, Speaker 1 00:16:17 I think the buyer got a great deal to be fair. I think you're right there. Um, going through that process of selling a big chunk of your, or a couple of sites, um, is there anything that you did to kind of presale to, to increase the value of these sites? Did you, did you follow any kind of quick wind plans to make sure that you've got the highest value or were you, we literally interested in just getting rid of them and, um, you know, focusing in, on, on this new plan of focusing on two sites? Speaker 2 00:16:46 Yeah, no, I did nothing. I just, uh, I just listed them and just hope for the hope, for the best, the six, when, you know, they were smaller sites, they went for a good valuation very, very quickly. And then the seventh took up quite a bit longer, but now I did nothing. I was just, I don't know, it's hard to be motivated to put any effort in anything if you're in a turnaround and sell on a month, unless you think there is something you can do that can like instantly increase its value, but there is nothing. I mean, they're just content sites earning with, uh, ad revenue. Speaker 1 00:17:18 Cool. And how was the process with motion invest? I'm not sold through them personally. Um, how do you find the whole process from start to finish? Speaker 2 00:17:27 Oh, they were great. Uh, I went with them because, uh, well they said that they would take care of pretty much all, all of it. And I, I had listed a site years ago with another broker and I just bought when nots man, like the Amano brought up, like every day I get questions and, and I, they wanted info and they wanted, and they wanted that. And I, I was like, never again, am I going to be this involved? If I'm going to sell a site, I want, whoever's going to do it. And I, I don't, I'm happy to pay the commission. I don't want to get involved. I don't bother me. Here's the access to all the stuff you provide, that if you're willing to do that and motion to bash right away. So yeah, we'll, we'll do that. We'll be your full service and, and they did, and it made it way. I mean, obviously I had to be a little bit involved. There were a few questions here and there, but it was nothing like the previous experience that drove me crazy. So, um, yeah, that's why I went with them. I acknowledged that the commission is, uh, probably, well, I think it was in line with industry norms. I'm not really sure. This is actually the first time I've actually gone through with selling sites. Yeah. So it was all new to me. Speaker 1 00:18:38 Well, if you thought that process was hard, I mean, try sound site and the Facebook and one of the Facebook groups, it's a, it's a million times harder. You get so many questions and tire-kickers and people, yeah. We actually own a Facebook group. Um, the niche website, flippers group, and there were a couple of others as well where you people buy and sell sites. Um, so there's no broker involved. There's, there's no commission and they just kind of deal with each other, typically it's for smaller sites. Um, but, uh, you know, I've, I've bought and sold sites on their sort of 20, 30, $40,000. Um, and yeah, I mean, you get so many people asking for access to analytics and questions. You can get just people trying to pitch you their own site for sale when you're trying to sell a site in that. And I'm not buying right now. Speaker 2 00:19:23 Yeah. Okay. Thanks for the heads up. I'm not never doing that. Speaker 1 00:19:28 No, definitely not. All right. Awesome. So, I mean, I want to talk a little bit about your, your strategy because it, it's, it's pretty unique. Uh, I think, um, you, your obviously insanely content heavy and very little to no back Lincoln, um, pro tip, which I've seen you mentioned, which I think is really clever is how you turn your tables into images. So they're not HTML tables or anything like that. Um, people then, you know, take those images and link back to them and you, haven't got to worry about formatting and all that kind of those headaches that come along with, with tables, but is there, is there a reason why you don't do any backlinking in, is it because of the, the whole experience with, with penguin in the past and you were kind of a little bit burned from it and you just think, well, you know, I'm going to do everything by the book. Now, when Google says go back Lincoln. So that's, that's what you did or how did you come up with this process of, Speaker 2 00:20:24 That's definitely a big part of it, for sure. I mean, that was sort of my driving ammo. When I, when I launched what is now my, my biggest niche site way back and that, that I wasn't shortly after penguin, but it was about a year and a half after. And I was like, all right, I'm going to do this. Right. I'm going to think longterm. And I'm going to build, I want to build up this massive site that essentially becomes business unto itself. And so, yeah, that was been a, that was my strategy. And, you know, I fumbled around with the keyword research stuff, but eventually I fell in Australia and it worked really, really well. And so at this point, why, why would I, why would I risk it? I mean, that would be insane. I could, it was just no need. Like I could go out and buy a hundred lengths or build a hundred links or whatever, but I mean, what I'm doing is working so well, why, why would I do that? Speaker 2 00:21:17 Why would I increase the risk? Even 1%, there's just, it's just not necessary. And that's not to say the site is not immune to re-ask. Right. I mean, all, all sites are, you can, you can do everything right. And still have, uh, take a hit on an update. In fact, this sites had its ups and downs. It's had downs for sure. I mean, there've been updates down 25%. It's just the way it goes. It doesn't mean that the site's bad or anything. It's just, something got tweaked with the algo and it just gets pushed down a little bit for a lot of, a lot of searches. So, but then, you know, maybe two updates later, it rebounds and that's how it's been seven years. So yeah, I guess initially it was a response to penguin, but now it's sort of like, well, it works without doing it. Speaker 2 00:22:01 And so I can either invest, you know, $3,000 a month in the lengths or in the content both will work. I'll, I'll just choose content and choose the different keyword strategy rather than, so that's what I've done. If I were doing all affiliate marketing and I wanted to rank for super BA uh, lucrative keywords. And I like that idea more. Yeah, I would, I would build blanks and, and actually I think, you know, with future sites and smaller sites, uh, I have no problem. I probably will build buildings because I can afford to take a bigger risk on another site right now. Right. If it, if it goes bad, I still have a site that's that's earning well, so I can take bigger risks with other sites. So yeah, it's not like I've got an ethical issue with or anything like that. It's just, it's businesses Speaker 1 00:22:46 Risk. So risk factor. I think we've talked, we've talked recently about potentially I'm using one of our shotgun skyscraper packages. Is that, is that going to be for one of your smaller sites? I'm assuming then Speaker 2 00:22:58 Yes, that's correct. Yeah. Yeah, no, I'm excited about I've checked, I've checked you guys out and it looks good. And, um, I'm excited to, to deploy that. I think, uh, you know, I think of any, uh, methods or approaches, it looks like a, a reasonable approach. I mean, you know, you're putting out awesome, awesome article and just promoting that article essentially, uh, to, to get attention to it, to links. And so that, that sits well with me. Um, I'm excited to, to see how that can help the site for sure. Speaker 1 00:23:29 Awesome. One thing that you mentioned there too, which I think was interesting and, and it's, it's super relevant considering we just had an update a couple of weeks back, you know, when, when these updates happen and you say, you know, there's been updates where you've lost a quarter of your traffic. W what do you do mean some, I see in the Facebook groups, literally the day after an update, somebody lost traffic and they're trying to pinpoint what happened and what can they fix? Do you, do you take an approach where you try and figure out what happened, or are you just confident that the site is, you know, you've built a good quality site and over time it's going to come back. Like, how do you, Speaker 2 00:24:04 I don't, I mean, I'm not like other people who talk about the stuff in that they, I don't know, they'll analyze maybe, maybe because they do client work, they've got, you know, two, 200, 300 websites at their disposal and they can analyze, and maybe look for patterns. I have one site, so there's no way I'm able to come to some conclusion and be able to say, Oh, well, this was, this is why it just, I can't do that. Right. So, I mean, like a lot of people, I wait to see what people who do analyze, let's say 300 websites and come up with their best guess as to what what's going on here. And then I'll take a look at my site and I'll be like, Oh, okay, well, um, you know, uh, I can't really say I've ever actually taken any serious action after it, but I I've cooled on affiliate links intentionally from the get-go. Speaker 2 00:24:53 I don't do a lot of affiliate marketing and the bit I do, it's not that aggressive. Um, part of me tends to think that I could be well to launch, but I just think it's safer to err, on the side of fewer affiliate links throughout the entire site and especially affiliate oriented content. It's not that I don't do it. I do do it, but it really, you know, the ratio of that to just general content is very low. Um, so that would be one thing I've cooled it in the last year on ads too. I have now actually asked AdThrive to reduce the number of ads by 50%. And I think I've taken a very small revenue hit on that, but not much definitely the user experience has improved dramatically. So I think not only am I always looking at improving the quality of the content on the site and, uh, but I'm also looking at the overall user experience. Speaker 2 00:25:48 And I think if you, you know, faster site, I've invested a lot into speeding up the site speed. I am reducing the number of ads on the site and I'm constantly updating older content. So I'm doing all these things to make it a better, a better site. And I think that's all I can do. And I think that puts me in a better defensive position to guard against losing traffic from updates. But again, it could happen and if it does happen and I'm sure it will happen, uh, all I can do is trust, trust in the strategy. And, and if I did make a glaring mistake, then I gotta go back and fix it. Speaker 1 00:26:26 Makes sense. Makes perfect sense. You mentioned there that you asked that to thrive, to reduce the ads in half, but then you haven't. My initial thinking would be, you'd lose half of the revenue, but it doesn't sound like it's been the case. How does that work? How do they just remove certain ads that maybe weren't P and very well in the past? And that's why you only saw a little drop in income? Speaker 2 00:26:47 Yeah, what I do is I, it was the 50% reduction, uh, pertains to in content ads, right? So basically like networks, like AdThrive will programmatically put ads, every X number of pixels down, down here. So if you have a really long article is more ads are going to just show up just because that's how it's programmed. So what I ask them to do is just let's cut that down to 50% or else add 50% more space between the ad. So the better user experience the above the folds, the same, the way I look at it is the in content ads. I mean, they do add up in the revenue, but your big money is going to be your stickies and your above the fold ads. I mean, in fact, I'm sure I don't know how much I would lose, but I could probably remove all in content in content ads and only it would be a huge difference. In fact, that's probably my next move to further improve user experience. I'm not saying I'm doing that tomorrow, but if traffic keeps going up and revenue keeps going up, I want to keep improving the user experience. I think that's really important. Um, so yeah, Speaker 1 00:27:50 Yeah, that's really interesting. I've literally been doing something opposite recently. It sounds like I may be going down the wrong, wrong whole year. So I've been testing, um, recently about adding more images and more content, mainly in the form of FAQ's to exist in pages in the hope of adding more ad placements to increase my page RPM. So it's bad for user experience because there's more adverts there, but in a way I'm trying to combat that by adding more useful information. So I'm not just having the, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm with media vinyl, that one, I'm not just having them add more adverts per pixel. I'm trying to add more useful content. So there's more space to add for them to show more adverts. And I mean, I've only been testing this literally for like four weeks now. Um, and in doing that and updating my top 20 pages, I've seen a bump in overall RPMs of almost $10 now for the site. So it's working, but to the detriment of user experience, I don't the jury's out on that yet. Speaker 2 00:28:48 Yeah, I wouldn't think so. I mean, it's not like you're not increasing the content length than just saying let's double the ads. You're, you're, you're increasing by increasing the digital real estate. And I've often written about the fact that, you know, adding in content and images and tables and all of that to increase your digital real estate while being good content is good strategy. You will add another attitude to your article as what I, it's not like I've cut them all out. It's just, they're just spaced up. And I think it's a great strategy. Speaker 1 00:29:24 Awesome. Well, thank you. Yeah, I'm glad, I'm glad that you're on the same page on that, then it wasn't doing the total opposite of what you would do. Cool. Okay. Um, okay. Can you give us, so obviously, uh, a content publishing machine at the moment it's a well-oiled machine. Can you give us kind of like an overview or like a bird's eye view of what that content operation looks like? And I broken it down into three areas we can cover in more depth, but just, just from the top level, how many words of content are you currently producing a month at the moment? Or how have you been producing for your portfolio? Speaker 2 00:29:59 I don't know. I don't really track it. I, I, every article is different and I've got a system in place now where I actually leave the word count to the writers, rather than myself. I used to guesstimate word count for an article, and then we would usually come in right around there. Now I leave it to the writers. They have access to market use and they use market muse and the topics to determine what the word count should be, uh, definitely word count per articles going up based on that. But I think the contents even better than it ever been. And so, yeah, I, I honestly, I don't even check. I basically have a budget for content and I have a huge list of article topics in a shared spreadsheet. And when the budgets are used up in the month, that's it. And wait until the next month and, and fire it up again. Okay. So I'm not really looking, I don't know. I haven't added it up once. Speaker 1 00:30:58 W w what's your, what's roughly your budget every month then for content. Speaker 2 00:31:02 Oh, between eight and 10,000. Sometimes 15. Yeah. Kind of varies. Depends. Depends on other things that I'm, that I'm doing. Uh, if I had to hazard a guess, probably like between 50 and a hundred thousand words, maybe more, um, yeah. Yeah. You'll see an overarching theme that I actually don't really pay attention to a whole lot of these sort of things and anything like, I don't really track much. I just sorta eyeball everything cause I just don't want to take the time to do it. I'd rather, I'd rather write a great article. I have a lot more fun writing. I'd rather spend my day writing a fun article for any one of my sites than sit there and comb through this stuff. As long as numbers are moving in the right direction, I have no reason to really look if problems arise, then I'll, then I'll look under the hood. But unfortunately it's, it's been great for a long time. So I haven't had to bother looking. Speaker 1 00:31:53 I wish I knew this before the interview because I'm the total opposite. I'm totally data-driven and uh, most of my questions are based around, um, how do you track and measure stuff? So it's an interesting approach. It's totally different to the way I approach stuff. Okay. So you're doing, you know, a good chunk of content every month. Um, this along with that is a good chunk of keyword research then that you have to be doing every month. Um, how do you do, are you still doing all of the content research, uh, have you outs, have you managed to outsource, I mean, managed, outsource that successfully? Um, what does that look like? And I mean, I know when I was, had a bigger portfolio than I currently do, it was, I was almost always the bottleneck, whether that's keyword research or, you know, formatting and uploading, just curious to hear, you know, how you handle the keyword research and if there's a bottleneck, is it you? Or how do you overcome that? Speaker 2 00:32:47 Uh, yeah, I still do it. That's actually a good point when by reducing the number of sites I had, that, that saved me quite a bit on keyword research, I find keyword research, the more you focus and the more you work on a particular site, the easier the keyword research gets because you really get into it. So if you're trying to do keyword research for 15 websites, you're never really going to really dig down deep into the niche for all 15, like you would, if you're focused on two sites and because it's just, you know, I'm publishing, you know, my, my budget per site is up way higher than it was because now it's just two sites, which means I need to come up with more topics every month. I don't want to spend a full week on it. I want to spend a, you know, a handful of hours and that's it. Speaker 2 00:33:36 So I really just drill in big and fast. And when I find a keyword phrase, this is huge just to save me so much time. Not only that it's created a lot of great content, but when I find a keyword phrase, a seed phrase that can work for a lot of different articles on the same site, in the same niche, I will basically like put them all on the ledge, like right off the bat. And sometimes it's like, I decided 200 articles to one of my spreadsheets for a site, 200 in one go, and it didn't take me long to come up with that. And so now I'm set for, you know, I don't have to do keyword research for that one for months. So that's what I do, but I do do it. And I know what it's like to be the bottleneck. I haven't been for a while, especially since I sold my sites and I have tried to have other people do it, but you know, at the end of the day I do the best job at least for my site. So I still do it. And it's not a huge ask. I think in a few hours I can do the keyword research each month for, for two sites. So Speaker 1 00:34:43 Yeah, I find the keyword research, even if it's systemized, there's still an art there, right? Like there's still a bit of a gap feel about when you're doing it. Um, so even if you use all the data you want, but there's still that art of keyword research and is hard to teach, Speaker 2 00:34:58 It really is. And it's, there, there is an art to it and it's this, you know, I just fire up a trust and I, I just play with filters and I just play around and I scroll and I scroll and I scroll and scroll and I find like, you know, too many people just do a really superficial, uh, process of it. And, you know, they're just putting in a seed keyword and then they'll just leave it at that. But you, you, it's almost like, I, I just, I'll, I'll put in CQ word, I'll look for related keywords. Then I'll put that back in. And it's sort of like just drilling, drilling, drilling, and, or peeling the onion, trying to just find, looking for those really great keywords that other people aren't doing with these, you know, sometimes those good search volume, sometimes it doesn't, but you just know it's sort of like, wow, that, that is going to be a great addition to the website, you know? And, and I get excited finding these things too. And maybe that's what drives me. Maybe that's why it's worked. I don't know, but it's hard to, it's hard to train people, you know, until they have their own site and they're, and they're dependent on, on their ability to do it as well. That's when you're off your game. Right? Speaker 1 00:36:07 Yeah. Do you, do you always start with the seed keyword and try and drill down, or do you ever look at competitors and see what they're doing for inspiration and ideas? Or do you, are you always trying to find like, just words and phrases and go from there? Speaker 2 00:36:19 Oh, man, I do so many different starting methods. Like it's crazy. Like I've come up with a lot of different approaches and, you know, it's, it's, it's almost sort of like a meandering thing that every session is different. I don't have a, like, be like, I'll just, I don't know. It just sort of just kind of goes and I just keep going and going and stumble on different things. And I try not to figure it all out. All, all I need. What I try to figure out is what's next month set of articles. That's all I need. Right. I just got to find good ones. I don't need, I don't need to have the whole website figured out now. Cause I never will. Like, if you would've told me five years ago, I'd have 6,000 articles on a website. I wouldn't have believed that, but now I do. And, and can I come up with another 6,000 topics? Yeah, I can, but I'm not going to figure it out today. So it's just, it just kind of happens organically. Speaker 1 00:37:10 Yeah. That makes sense. Just a quick, that's a sub question. I totally irrelevant. But you mentioned that you had like 6,000 articles and you know, over time you probably want to add another 6,000. Is there a, does there come a time on WordPress no longer handles that much content or can WordPress scale that much? Speaker 2 00:37:28 Oh yeah, no. I've talked to people of like 80,000 articles with WordPress and that's not a problem it's hosting. You got to make sure you got pretty good hosts, I think at that point. Speaker 1 00:37:37 Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Okay. So you still doing the keyword research and you're no longer the bottleneck because you've kind of sold the sites and you, you can do this couple of months in advance when it comes to the content creation. Um, am I right in thinking that you've got, you know, some of your own in-house writers, but you also then outsource a big, big chunk of that, Speaker 2 00:37:57 Correct? Yeah. Yeah. I'm doing both right now. It's really good. Very happy with the arrangement. Speaker 1 00:38:02 How, how does, how does that, how does that work? How do you find, well, first of all, how did you find good quality in-house writers? Because I mean, before we start Speaker 2 00:38:12 Pro blogger job or by far like, man, that's awesome. Worth every nickel to advertise. Speaker 1 00:38:19 Okay. Interesting. Um, and do you, do you test them first? I could. Do you give them a sample Java art job, um, blog titles first and kind of vet them or, or the good to go off the bat there Speaker 2 00:38:32 Hiring is a total gamble. You never, uh, basically I'll when you, when you, one thing about pro blogger job board for running jobs, anyways, you're going to get like between 40 and 60 applicants, which is fantastic unless you're like offering like no money and then I'll create a short list. I'll, I'll ask them in the application, just send me some links to some work you've done. And tell me how much you're looking for to earn. Um, I usually, I don't post a rate. I ask them to state their rate so I can create a pretty good shortlist from those two criteria quickly. And then maybe I'll have 10 or five and then I'll just ask them, I'll pay them to write like three to five articles. Yeah. And I just ask them to let me know, you know, send it in and I'll take a look at it and then I'll make the decision there. Speaker 2 00:39:22 But it's, it's really hard at that point. Like when you, when you basically filter down to like five to 10 writers, that they're almost all going to be able to do a great job, it's really hard to choose. I don't really know. Um, another tip, if you really want to save yourself, I hate hiring. I don't like doing it. I certainly can't stand training, hire one really good person, good writer. And then the next time you have to hire and train, then get asked them to do it. That's what I do. And so I don't really do it much anymore cause I hate the process and it's a, it's a gamble. I mean, I can't train someone on how to hire. I just be like, do your best. Like it's you never know. Speaker 1 00:40:01 And are you, are you always looking for, for native English because there, or it doesn't really matter as long as they can write good content? Speaker 2 00:40:08 Oh no. I'm pretty particular. And I could tell pretty fast. Um, you know, I do ask, I do ask for that. Okay. I can, I can sense it. I do read the stuff they submit. I, in fact, I make a big decision just on the introductory email that they send me. Yeah. And I can usually tell, like if it's, if it's just little bit off, I know and I wouldn't be interested. Speaker 1 00:40:32 Okay. And then when you went, so when you, you give these article titles out, you mentioned a big, massive spreadsheet. Are you using that for, for your writers as well? Or do you use like a sauna or Monday was everything just still controlled off of a spreadsheet for you? Speaker 2 00:40:47 So if Google sheets, everything, Google sheets and Apple notes runs my entire business. Speaker 1 00:40:53 Have you ever tried tools? Like we have a tried Monday or, Speaker 2 00:40:58 Uh, man, uh, you know, I, I don't like these, those are transaction costs, anything like that? Doesn't get content out the door. I'm not interested in doing it. I tried, I tried them all. Actually. I think I did demos of all of them. Yeah. I even spent some time setting up, click up and I was like, Oh, I spent half my day on this. Just, just figuring out like inputting stuff and fields. And it's like, I don't have time for this. And then I asked my, uh, uh, one of my VA's who, who has been with me for years. And like, she, she manages the other VA's. I said, here, here you, if this helps you with your, with your team, um, I'm happy to pay for it. She, she like used it for an hour, so there's no way that that is, I just can't stand this stuff. Like we're good with email Apple notes and Google sheets and that's all we need. Like I just like to keep things as simple as absolutely possible. Yeah. I'm, I'm big on that. I talk about that a lot. Like just don't don't conflict. This stuff just gets really complicated. I'm not, I'm not an 800 person company. Right. I mean, it's, we're pretty small and there's, it's just not necessary. Speaker 1 00:42:06 Makes sense. Yeah. No, I was just interested. I watched the video. Um, I watched a video on YouTube last night of a, of a blogger that was using like a, I can't remember it. I can't even remember what piece of software she was using, but it was something like this. And, um, it was literally her for her own content creation and she had this elaborate board setup and, or color coordinate. And I was just thinking, how long has it taken you to do that on? Why? Like, why do you need that? It's just you. Speaker 2 00:42:33 Yeah. That sort of stuff. I've fortunately, I've never, you know, fallen prey to getting distracted with, with any of that stuff. I don't like using it. Fortunately I imagine if I got a kick out of organizing and um, like, like I'm a disorganized nightmare. All right. Like that's, that's the cost, if you can't accept being like totally disorganized, uh, then by all means, take the time to do that. But like, I'm just a mass, like I don't organize anything. No. Yeah. So that's, that's the cost, but I don't mind, I like it like that. Speaker 1 00:43:07 That's working for you. So yeah. Um, so, okay, so you handle the keyword research, all of the contents outsourced and then formatting and uploading. Like these are the three major pain points. We always, we always kind of find who's doing that for you. You mentioned a VA, they've got a team of VAs who do the formatting and uploading. Speaker 2 00:43:28 Yeah, that's right. Yeah. That's, that's essentially what they do that the interlinking. Speaker 1 00:43:33 Okay. Interesting. Yeah. I mean, when you, when you break down a publishing business, it's just those three things, right? Keyword, research, content, and format, and uploading people, you can try and complicate it, but it's just on in its basic form. Just those three things. Speaker 2 00:43:49 That's all it is. And I a hundred percent agree and that's what I focus on. Speaker 1 00:43:54 Awesome. Okay. One thing which I kind of want to touch upon, um, because it's, I'm trying to get into this myself. Um, maybe, um, because I'm a, I'm an analytical person. I struggle with this, but it's the concept of zero search volume keywords. And I know it's something that you do. I mean, I really struggle with, with getting my head around it just because, you know, I like the data. I like looking at it and I'm coming around because I've been testing and I can see the benefits of it and I can see it working, but you've been doing this for a long time. And just want to get your take on, I just wanna get your take on this. You know, Speaker 2 00:44:32 First of all, if not every keyword I targeted zero. Okay. I mean, yes, I have gone after two keywords that are zero, but I mean, that's my goal. I'm not looking for the zero. I'm looking for as high search volume as possible, but it's still easy to rank. That's the goal. But sometimes, you know, it's part of a bigger series of articles. And if it's zero it's zero, if it makes sense that for the website and it makes sense for a series of articles that I'm publishing. And I always do try to publish and series I'll do it. And more often than not, I'll end up getting traffic to it, which means zero is not accurate. There's more traffic to be had than it's reported. What's important is that there's actually search behind it. So if it registers as a keyword that gets the zero to 10 in H refs, there's actually searched there, how accurate the zero to 10 is generally it's it's reporting on the low side. Does this mean I get traffic to every article I publish? No, I published stuff that doesn't work either. Uh, I published some stuff that gets way more traffic than I thought, and then everywhere in between it's, it's a numbers game, but if I'm doing an article series of 12 articles and three of them are zero reported, monthly searches, I'll include them because they help out with the overall article series. Speaker 1 00:45:53 Makes sense. So it's relevance first and then any traffic is a bonus almost on top of then. Speaker 2 00:45:58 Yeah, absolutely. And you know, th there's other things to look at too, because there's seed keywords within, within the long keyword. Now I've ranked for seed keywords. It took, it takes a long time. I would never intention within a longer keyword. And then the traffic's like massive and that's huge. Right. I wouldn't set out and, and do that with intention to do that, but it can happen. And when that happens, that's like a huge, huge win. Um, and then there's obviously all sorts of keywords within the article itself that, that are just like accidental rankings. Uh, and you know, when you write a 3000 word article, there's a lot of keywords in there. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:46:39 Yeah. It's interesting. You mentioned that. So I've been doing a lot with, um, with people also asked and scraping kind of questions. The Google thing could come in next recently. And like the other day have pulled out 650 questions from the people also ask box, um, all around a specific topic. And then I run them through a waitress. Uh, an Atrius only had 60 of them in the database. Like it didn't have any others. And I was thinking, wow, that's a golden opportunity is there's about 500 keywords there that people would never even think about because if they would just use an AHS or Sam rush for their keyword research. So w w like, I mean, my initial tests show that there is, there is actual search volume behind those, but it's so, it's so blows my mind that I've never thought of this before always gone off these tools. And if it's not in the, and in my mind, kind of never was there before, but this has just opened up another whole world of, of what's possible at the moment. Speaker 2 00:47:37 Yeah. That's awesome. I mean, it's so much, I mean, it's, it's like you just have to pick and choose and Speaker 1 00:47:45 Okay. Um, one question I see guests asked a lot, like, especially in our Facebook groups, and I think you're, you're, you're well positioned to answer. This is how many sites do you think you can handle yourself without outsourcing all of the above? So everything we've talked about, I think people get to a certain point. You think I need to start outsourcing now, what is that? Is, should they start looking to outsource on the first site? Should they, should they get to a few sites? And, you know, is there a magic formula for that? Speaker 2 00:48:13 Oh, I think as soon as he can start outsourcing, I mean, why not? Like if I still write for my new site, it's not every day, all day, but I still do it, but that doesn't mean I can't like hire some writers to help out. Uh, no, I would, I would advise, I mean, don't go, don't go into debt to outsource. So like, be putting money on a credit card. You can't pay off that, that doesn't make any sense, but, you know, there's a, there's a number of situations, right? If you have a full-time job and you're doing this and you don't have a lot of time to do it, but you do have a pretty good paying job and you've got some extra money you can invest, you could look at it as an investment, right. So like, just like you would any sort of moonlighting gig, you might start up. And so you outsource, uh, or if you are full-time on this and you're starting to grow and you have extra money, um, probably worth reinvesting in outsourcing, at least I would, uh, to grow faster. I mean, you know, um, so I, as soon as he can. Speaker 1 00:49:10 Awesome. Yeah, I think that's a good idea. I think it's a good thing. That's a good answer. Um, the next thing I wanna talk about is, is cannibalization, um, because when you're publishing as much content as you are, and, you know, 6,000 plus articles on the site, there's, there's going to be some kind of overlap there. Um, and another question we get asked a lot is how do you decide what to standalone article versus what can be grouped together as subhead in other of another piece, um, and I've pulled out your, um, your ice-cream topic, or you sent out an email, I don't know, months back. Um, but I like, I like that. Um, and like, for example, you've got ice cream recipes, the history of ice cream, ice cream brands, ice cream versus sorbet, best vegan ice cream. Like if you keep going on that list sooner or later, you're going to be able to group some of these headings together. Like, do you just, do you just do a new article for them all? Or do you try and group them together with, you know, this is the main title, and then these are the subheadings. How do you, how do you, how do you determine that? Speaker 2 00:50:12 Yeah, there's still a real formulaic way to do this. Uh, if there's a half decent search volume for it, I'll, I'll put it as a standalone article, but let's say you've got 10 of them and they're all like zero to 10 or 10 to 20 a month. Um, sometimes going to be standalone. Then I, then I would do my best to decipher what the actual search intent would be. Okay. So if, if the intent is that somebody is really looking for a standalone article, I will. And another good way to try to figure this out is, see, see how Google is treating it already. Okay. So if you put in the keyword in and you'll take a look and see, well, let's say the, the vs article you mentioned, uh, versus sorbet, right? Uh, is Google ranking articles, specifically ice cream versus sorbate, or is it more as part of a larger article, so you can see how Google treats it? Speaker 2 00:51:05 So I kind of just do my best to figure it out from those methods again. Uh, I'm sure I often get wrong. I might as well, you could just flip a coin sometimes too, but I would say far more often than not. I air on to create a new article for it. Yeah, no, that that'd probably be the like 80% of the time. It's a new article. Okay. The other thing that you can do that I often do is, um, if let's say I've got a big, long article on ice cream, and then I'm doing the versus sorbet, what I can do is I can reference the versus, you know, maybe in the big article about ice cream, you know, I've got ice cream versus sorbet versus gelato versus frozen yogurt. I could then reference it quickly in there, but then link out to the more, more lengthier discussion. Speaker 1 00:51:59 Yeah. Do you, do you do that manually or do you use a tool like Linquist, but to help you with that? Speaker 2 00:52:05 Oh, in that example, that would be manual because I'm sort of, you know, creating this linking situation within the two. Right. So I might do one or two sentences referencing ice cream versus sorbet. And I'll link out to the, to the long article. Now, if, if it turns out the, uh, ice cream versus sorbet Bay, the best I could come up with is 150 or 200 words. Then I, I don't think I would do a standalone. I think I would put that in the, in a really relevant, larger, broader article. So there's that factor as well. Um, I do use link whisper. I like link whisper a lot. I think it's a really great, clever, and works really well software for it and linking, but I still do manual it. Doesn't I find link whispers. Great. For, you know, you publish your article and you just want to, you know, quickly link out to other articles that are relevant and inbound link from other articles that are relevant on your site quickly, because it basically does it for you. Uh, but that doesn't mean I still don't do my strategic manual linking as well at the same time. There's still place for that. Uh, and yeah, I mean that, that's how I use link whisper, but it's a combination. Speaker 1 00:53:19 Um, you kind of touched, you kind of mentioned this earlier, but you just mentioned it again there in terms of your content lens. Like you, I think you said you, you let you write as determine the content length. Um, do they, have you given them specific instructions on how they should come up with that? Or is it simply, you know, how I answer ice ice-cream versus Sobe in, you know, as many words as you need, but not including any of the fluff and just let me know when it comes out down. Speaker 2 00:53:47 I use Mark amuse. Actually I have every writer, uh, access market muse and input the topics and adult suggest an article or a word count. And that's what we go by is it is a perfect, no, not by any stretch, but it's better than nothing. It's better than me guessing. Speaker 1 00:54:06 Cool. Okay. And then before we, just, so before we finish, I want to touch on two other things. So one is about ad networks. And then I want to talk a little bit about your key study sites. CycleBar Byron, but I mean, and this is the other question we get asked that a turnoff is what's the difference between all these ad networks there's ad sense is Zoe AdThrive monumental. Like you've used them all and tested the more there's gotta be pros and cons to all of them. What's, what's your take on this, this landscape? Speaker 2 00:54:37 Well, uh, my favorite side thrive. That's why I'm using them now. So I'm fortunate to get, not easy to get in. If you can get in go, ah, I've never used media vine. I've heard nothing but excellent things about them. So, but I don't, I don't know. I've never used them, uh, at thrive. I applied to both of them at the same time and AdThrive happened to approve me faster. So that's there I go. Um, so before that I used the Zohak I think is Auvik is awesome. I think any, anybody who's qualifies for their fairly low threshold of page views per month should jump in your guy nine times out of 10, you're going to make more money than just using AdSense. Uh, so yeah, definitely want to get into Zohak once you can move into, uh, thrive or media vibe, you gotta make the call on whether it's worth going. Speaker 2 00:55:24 If for me it was worth it, but you know, it can be very good. I know a lot of big publishers stick with Zohak. I think maybe they've even tested it and he's OIC worked out to be better. So you need to, you never really know, uh, in terms of, should you just use ad sense five years ago? Yeah, I, I think, I think it was okay. I really can't imagine you're going to make more money with AdSense than you would with these Zohak or monument trick. I just don't see it happening, but if you do, I mean, by all means, uh, one nice thing with Zoe. Cause you can split test all this stuff. You can, you can, you could split test Zoellick ads with other ad networks and actually, I don't know where all the stuff comes from, but they, they provide the platform for it and then you could see a bad sense makes more and you know, so he's, Oh, it's really cool that way. Unfortunately, his OIC and I think it's more AdThrive um, you can't split test at thrive in his own. I really wish he could. I think that would be really cool to see just, not just for more revenue, but to actually see what earns more, but unfortunately that's not possible. Um, so yeah, I mean, that's been my process really over the years, um, get in with the Zola continues to can if you're starting out and then, you know, Speaker 1 00:56:38 Do you think it's even worth having AdSense tense these days? Or should you literally just wait until you've got enough traffic for Zoe? I mean, should you just literally just skip ad sense altogether? Do you think? Speaker 2 00:56:49 Yes. If, well, it depends if you know, if you're already, if it's easy, if you get approved. Yeah. If then I think it's worth putting ads on and here's why that 30 cents a day you might make is really motivating because it's, it's working, right. It's not going to make you rich, but to show that, Hey, wow, I'm actually making money with a website is so, so cool. Like it still blows my mind when I think about it. And so yeah, for that reason alone, I think it's worth doing, Speaker 1 00:57:24 Yeah. I never thought about it from that point, but now you've mentioned it, the, the excitement that we get from a client when, you know, we built them a site and in a couple of months, then they start seeing their first affiliate commission come in, like that's gold. And especially if it's their first time. So I've never thought about it that, well, I've always told people to skip ad sense, but that's, that's different. I like that. I like that way of thinking about it. Speaker 2 00:57:45 Yeah. I wouldn't get hung up if you don't get approved. Like that's not the end of the world, a lot of newer sites, don't, it's not a reflection on the quality of your site or your articles or you, um, but if you're in and you can just crank out some ad code and put it on a site for me, it's highly motivating. And so if I start a new site, like even the smaller sites I sold, I mean, when they were getting to five, $6 a day, like that's great. I mean, out of thin air, you create this thing that generates $5 a day. Right. It's amazing. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:58:19 Yeah, no. Good. All right. Um, so the last thing I wanna talk to you about is CycleBar and so that's, this is your kind of public facing website where you put up a site and kind of showing people almost what you do really well on a, on a, on a much smaller scale. Um, or there were a couple of things on there that I just want to hide, like pull out or highlight just, just to get your take on them. And I I'm assuming it's because you haven't had time, but there's things like there's, there's no head navigation on there. There's no category set up. Everything is set to like all uncategorized. Um, there's an about us page and I'm assuming, I'm assuming that you don't, this, this isn't standard across your other sites, right? Like you, you said Speaker 2 00:59:02 It is, yeah. I don't do categories or tags until I'm several hundred. And because I, in the past I've constantly just changed them and change my mind what I'm doing. I don't really know where a site is going to go. So the categories and tags, that's pretty standard for a site that size, I just don't bother, uh, in which case I end up with no navigation except for OpenLink right. Because where am I going to, I mean, I suppose I could link to some specific articles if I wanted, uh, the only, the only thing where I would, uh, probably just need some updating on there. Um, maybe, maybe a little bit better on the navigation. Maybe I would like to like a larger article, but no, I mean, th that's that's how I grow. Um, yeah, I do what I do, right? Like, like don't, if anybody is listening or watching this and you think it's crazy, I mean, like, it's not like you should not have categories or tags. Speaker 2 00:59:59 I'm not saying it's going to hurt your site. I'm just saying, you know, I just don't really know what direction the site's going to go. That site sort of started off initially, as I just had a lot of questions about, uh, people wanted to just see how I set up my site. So I just sort of set that up. I wasn't even going to have any content on there, but then that looked really dumb. So it was really more of a visual example rather than this, uh, niche case study that I intended to grow a lot. Um, it may, I mean, it does get traffic now, but, um, I'm not really sure. I, I set it out more as just a visual example of what happens to it. I don't know. Speaker 1 01:00:37 Cool. Well, I guess these next kind of questions you've already answered them in terms of this isn't fully set up, but I want to get your take on like eat the expertise, authority and trust. Do you do put a lot of effort into that in terms of your, about us page and the authors and the bio's and you know, to the Lincoln out to do they have social media profiles too? Do you do any of that? Speaker 2 01:00:58 Yeah, I do. Um, my biggest niche site, I pay particular attention to like my about page is really good. I've profiled the writers, I've got, uh, editor and, um, partners that we've partnered with over the years that are professionals in the, in the niche and then awards and, and all of these things. So th th that's a really built out about page to bolster the credibility. So I think there's a lot to that, but until I can do all that before a newer site, I don't, I don't, I don't just make up a whole bunch of stuff, throw it up there. You know, I don't think it's going to be like, unless you're in a, a, a niche that where that's particularly sensitive, like health or personal finance, where that's really important, like finding personal finance, which I think I probably could have legitimately with a business degree in law degree. Speaker 2 01:01:48 I think I could write intelligibly about that and pass muster credibility wise. I'm not sure. It's just, I'm not that interested in it, but if I were to do that, I, I would right out of the Gates, do a really in-depth about page and with all the contact info and all that. But in of terms of social media, I only knew social media where it actually makes sense for the particular new site. Um, Pinterest is, uh, maybe, um, Facebook usually, always. Yeah. Instagram, not really. I haven't really gotten into that. So I mean, it only, if it makes sense on the social media stuff and, uh, in terms of contact, I, I do put my address on these things. Um, so yeah, uh, even a phone number, um, recently Facebook has been requiring businesses to verify their phone number and address and location and all that. And it's not an easy process. So I had to go get a new phone number, a business phone number, which I've never had before, but that was just for Facebook. They rejected my, my personal number, which was crazy. Yeah. So I had to go get a whole new cell phone plan just, just for Facebook, but, you know, I do enough business with Facebook that it's worth it. So I did it. Yeah. Speaker 1 01:03:06 Okay. And then, and then schema, do you use any kind of schema on your site? Um, I couldn't say anything. Speaker 2 01:03:12 Well, I use Yoast plugin, which gives you your, your basic scheme of stuff. So, so, so it says, I don't know, uh, to take, take the plugin for its word. Uh, but, uh, like I do, um, mostly FAQ somehow to do some recipes. I'll do recipe schema. So where, where there's, uh, an review schema with a review of plugins. So, yeah, I, I do when, when I, it's not, like I set out to only do articles where I have schema opportunities, but if the type of article fits a scheme, I'll, I'll input that in. I think that's a pretty easy way to gain some advantage in a niche. Yeah. Speaker 1 01:03:55 Yeah. I've been, I've been doing more and more with schema at the moment. Um, I mostly, it's still at the test fees. Um, so I've been doing, um, things like building, adding a, like you mentioned an address and a phone number to, to an about us page or a contact us page and then building some citations. So using math, Dignity's kind of a take on actual build, you know, building citations for your affiliate sites and then actually calling out those citations in organizational schema and add in that organizational schema to the page. So you tell Google, these are our citations, um, and similar for the social media profiles, but marking it up with person schema. I mean, I've only done this in the last couple of weeks, so it's still, I don't know what the results are yet. So far, nothing, no real major changes, but I think it, I think schema is, um, I'm bullish on schema any kind of way you can present data to Google it or almost on a silver platter, I think is worth doing. Speaker 2 01:04:54 That's exactly it. Good point. I like that. Yeah. Speaker 1 01:04:58 Okay. Um, the other thing I want to touch on, I've never done anything with this is web stories. I know you mentioned that you added a web story. I can see it on the site. Um, how did that work? Have you done more of this? Like, did you did it? Speaker 2 01:05:11 Yeah. And it was a task. I wanted to see the process. So I went through it it's really labor intensive, unless you have like graphic design team at your disposal. And then I was reading a, I got no results. Like nothing. It was total waste of time, but I want to try it. Um, and then I was reading that Google was saying, like, if you have an published article on the site, like don't do a web story on the web stories should be a standalone piece of content. And there shouldn't be like the equivalent blog article on that. And I'm like, Oh, wow. I mean, I don't know, web stories, w w they might show up in discover, which is Google's mobile app for content, but then I'm like, I don't know. I think I just prefer to just have the block on it. My, my thinking behind it initially was, well, I'll turn a lot of my content where it makes sense into web stories and maybe gain an advantage on mobile, but then I read, well, you're not supposed to do that. So that whole thinking kind of work didn't work out the really labor-intensive because you're creating these, like, basically these piece of content in, in like with JPEGs or we, you know, or they have their own editor, but it's like, I don't know. There's a lot of work that's as far as I got anybody else has had great success with that. I I'd love to hear here, where are you getting the traffic and, and whether you're able to crank them out fast. Speaker 1 01:06:43 Yeah. Sounds like I'm probably going to give this a skip. I mean, it's on my list of things to test, but based on what you said, they're probably pushing it down my list of things to test. Speaker 2 01:06:53 Yeah. You know, I think the idea is cool. I like the idea, like, when you actually go to a web story, I'm like on mobile, it's slick, right. You just like slide in to get this thing out. But, um, I think it's a better, the concepts much better if they made it so that it looked really good in content. Right. So like, you could put it at the top of a blog post and here's, here's the, uh, you know, the, the 22nd slide version of, of this article. And if that would sort of give that article a boost and mobile through Google's mobile apps, that would be pretty cool. Because I do think like when you, when you actually use it, when you check it out on mobile, it's pretty Slack. Yeah. Speaker 1 01:07:32 Agreed. And then one of the ad networks would find a way to monetize that then, and then you'd have ads all over it. Speaker 2 01:07:37 Of course. Speaker 1 01:07:41 Awesome. Well, we're coming towards the end now. Um, there's, there's only two more things I want to ask. Um, and this, this one I'm going to start asking everyone because I re I find this topic is super interesting, but if you, if you literally lost everything today, like how would you start to get more? What's the first couple of actions you would take to, to start to rebuild everything, knowing what you know now, obviously, Speaker 2 01:08:02 Yeah, probably just start looking for, uh, a niche I'm really interested in that. I, and start writing my brains up and go after really easy to rank keywords. Um, probably would do a little bit of link building after several months. I try not to go nuts. I think that would speed it up. Um, but I I'd see, it kind of depends on the results at that point, but I would really just go for like ridiculously easy keywords and just, uh, just bang out as much content as humanly fast as I could Speaker 1 01:08:37 Makes sense. It's exactly the same strategies you're doing now. Then basically just, just do it. Speaker 2 01:08:43 I mean, he does work, but it does take a long time. I mean, you know, I mean, it depends on the financial situation, but, uh, you, you know, you may have to freelance or do something as well to, to pay the bills cause you're not going to see money for some time. Speaker 1 01:08:58 Cool. Okay. Um, and then the last thing is, um, what's, what's the future hold both for, for your sights and fat stacks. Are you, would you ever Sallie sites, would you ever consider an exit or is this like a longterm you want to build this into a, you know, just keep growing and growing and growing? Speaker 2 01:09:15 Yeah, yeah. I've had to grow, but yeah, I'm going to sell them eventually. Sure. At some point where it's going to make sense for me to sell it'll the way I look at selling stuff is it's got, it's got to serve a purpose. It's got to do, it's got to do something for me financially, make it worthwhile at this point. It's not worth it, but it would have to like fulfill a financial goal of mine to sell it at that point and then assess. So like the recent bunch of sites I sold, I, I have opportunity with those proceeds that end. So that was specifically why I wanted to sell them right now, as well as also being able to focus more because I mean, I figured, well, if I'm not going to really do much with the sites at this point, I might as well. Speaker 2 01:09:56 And I've got a good, a good purpose for the proceeds to, you know, both of those reasons together make a really good reason to sell. If, if I didn't have any good use of the proceeds, um, probably just let those sites sits. I probably would have kept them because I mean, in a year they're still there. They're still learning and I could just return to them, but I had a good use for that. So yeah, my next sale for any sites would be, um, it, you know, as long as I've got a really good use for the proceeds, Speaker 1 01:10:31 Would you ever sell out a fear that something could happen with Google? Like, you know, you build these sites to such a map revenue that could sell, you know, for a couple of million and then, you know, does, does there ever, is there ever a risk, do you ever think about our sound because there's risk that Google could, you know, push out another update, which could destroy your business overnight. Yeah. Speaker 2 01:10:52 I mean, you think, you think about these things. Absolutely. I mean, it could happen. Yeah. Um, for sure. Uh, but not quite yet, but yeah. I mean, I think, I dunno, I also, I would also like to think like the bigger gaps, right? Like even at this point, if it's a 40% reduction yeah. Uh, it's, it's still would earn a ton of money. Right. So like you build these things up because it's going to lose traffic at some point. I mean, you, you know, anybody who has lost traffic from an update recently, you know, I think you could take some constellation, go plug in like the biggest sites in your niche, in a trust and look at their five-year traffic profile, your organic traffic profile. They have ups and downs too, and some big ones. Right. And these are, these are like the biggest sites on the web for their respective niches. So I mean, if they're having big ups and downs, so it's going to happen. So I guess part of me and the strategy is okay, well, if we build it to such a huge level where a 40% drop is going to still result in an excellent business, you know, then, then I'm, I'm further insulated from any really big problems. Right. So it's kind of my thinking now, Speaker 1 01:12:16 Good answer. That's a really good way of thinking about it. Um, maybe because I'm not at that level yet where, you know, I'm not making 80 or whatever, how much ever you make in a month at the moment that, that kind of level. But yeah, I like that. And I'm planning to fat stacks. Obviously you continue publishing what's going on there. Any, any food too exciting plans for that? Any new courses you've got coming out any Speaker 2 01:12:37 Yeah. Um, well, I've started doing a lot more email marketing on my niche sites. Um, trying it, I'm getting some interesting results. So I'm thinking about an email marketing for new sites course. Um, and then also I've had a lot of requests about what I'm doing for Facebook. Cause I'm getting like three, 350 400,000 visitors a month from Facebook for free. So people want to know about that. Um, that's a tricky, the email thing is easy because that's very formulaic. Uh, but Facebook's a real hit and miss sort of thing. So it's not like do this and this and this, then it'll work. It's sort of like try this and sorry, but that's the best I can tell ya. Here's what I did. And I can tell you it's going to work. So that's what I have in the works. The Facebook one, while people have asked me to put it out, I'll make it very clear. Like this is a total crap shoot. Right. I mean, I just, that's the best I can tell you, but that, that hopefully this year I'll, I'll get both of those things out. Speaker 1 01:13:41 Awesome. I bought your Pinterest course a little while back. Um, even though I've not implemented yet, um, I'm one of those people that collect courses and read them, and then I thought we kind of agree. Like I understood it. I've never used everyone use Pinterest personally before, before I read your course. And I looked at that and I understood it really, really well. So I just want to say hats off and I saw your recent posts. Did you, did you have you almost just cross 500,000 in sales core sales? Speaker 2 01:14:09 Oh yeah, yeah. Quite a bit beyond that I think. Yeah. Speaker 1 01:14:13 Yeah. Well, yeah. I saw that post. I was like, that's insane. So that's huge. Congratulations, man. You courses are really, really good. Speaker 2 01:14:21 Pretty sure. Thank you. Speaker 1 01:14:23 Cool. Anything else you think our audience might be interested in, in knowing about you or kind of anything you think that we might've missed as we've gone through everything today? Speaker 2 01:14:33 Got to say you're a thorough, uh, macho. That's about what I do. Um, yeah. I mean, you can go into, you can, uh, my, my site is fat stacks, blog.com. Check it out if you want. Um, yeah. That's where I just sort of write about what I'm doing. Speaker 1 01:14:51 Yeah. I'd highly recommend it and I'd highly recommend you jump on John's newsletter. Um, if you don't have a set schedule, right. I get emails from you kind of, Speaker 2 01:15:02 I'm consistent with my complete disorganization. I do not have a publishing schedule for anything ever. I don't have a schedule. In fact, this is the first thing that's been on my calendar for a long, long time. This pod, that's this interview with you? Uh, no, I don't schedule anything. I just do. I just make it up each day when I show up, I don't know if there'll be a newsletter or not. Speaker 1 01:15:25 Well, I enjoy them. Um, I enjoy newsletter, so anybody who's who's listening to this and is not on ju John's newsletter, then I'd recommend it. Speaker 2 01:15:33 Thanks. I appreciate it. Speaker 1 01:15:34 Awesome. Well, thanks for your time, John. I really appreciate it. Appreciate your time and, and all the advice you've given. I think our, our, our listeners and audience will be, will find this super interesting. So thanks again. Thank you. Cheers. Bye John. Speaker 3 01:15:50 Thanks again for tuning in and I hope you enjoyed the show. If you're listening to the podcast version of this episode, please subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts, please rate and review. As this will allow us to grow our audience and create more shows like this one. If you're watching on YouTube, please subscribe to the channel and click on the bell to be the first to know about any new episodes that we release until the next episode. Goodbye.

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