by Spencer Haws
I wanted to wrap up the end of this series with what I think is the best long-term way to grow your business: adding tons of content.
What’s the business case for scaling your content?
Scaling your content is a lot like A/B testing. If you’re in a position in which you can scale your content, it probably means your business is doing really well anyway, and scaling your content is a super easy way to ensure that it keeps growing.
But does it really make you more money?
Yep! I mean, it only makes sense right?
If you target more keywords, you’ll get more traffic, and more traffic = more money. And the only way to do that is to add content.
To give you an idea of the type of success adding more content can give you, I’ll site Perrin’s first site, apennyshaved.com.
Six months after Perrin started that site, it was making about $1,300 per month. After talking about it with me, he decided to invest an additional $1,000 into the site. Of that $1,000 he invested 100% in content. He didn’t build any more links at all. He just hired a writer and added 50 new articles.
In the next three months, his revenue skyrocketed to $4,000 per month. That’s nuts! But it goes to show you that if Google likes your site, you can just add content and watch it grow. It’s very sustain able and 100% in your control, making it, in my view, one of the most consistent and efficient ways to grow your site.
So how do you do it?
In general, none of the content strategies are going to change. You’ll still be finding keywords the same way. You’ll be structuring articles the same way. You’ll be using internal links the same way. All of that will stay the same.
The only things that may change would be the following:
- You can go for keywords with lower search volume. This is mostly because you probably don’t need tons of traffic at this point. You’re shooting for marginal increases in visitors, not homeruns. Plus, your site will probably have plenty of authority at this point, so every article you write will naturally rank for lots of different long-tail keywords on its own.
- You can go for a couple super big keywords. Because why not? You’re already making money! So targeting one or two of these is a very low-risk activity, and your site may just have enough authority to rank for them!
- You’ll probably want to invest in a long-term contract with a very good writer. I’ve experimented with lots of different options for writers, and the best way to build an authority site by far is to hire 1-2 great writers and hire them on long-term contracts. There are a lot of benefits when you do this, but most importantly, you’ll get good, consistent writing.
Where can I hire good writers?
I usually like to hire writers I know. However, that’s not always possible.
A few good alternatives are TextBroker.com, Elance.com or HireWriters.com.
There are lots of tips I could share for how to find a great writer and luckily I’ve written a couple of blog posts that document those tips right here:
Let me tell you, it feels SO good to have a site that’s making money and knowing all you have to do to make more money is add more content.
THAT’s when your little niche site becomes a business, especially when you combine it with all the other awesome stuff we talked about in this series.
So go forth and conquer!
by Spencer Haws
Did you make progress in your business this week?
Today, we’re going to talk about something absolutely vital to any long-term online business: an email list.
What’s the business case for building an email list?
If you’ve been around this stuff for even half as long as I have, you’ve heard that old adage enough to drive you crazy: the money is in the list.
But man, let me tell you. It is true. It’s very, very true.
Most of my business was built on a great list with a very high quality audience (you).
My list is full of smart people who understand me. Not only do they make great readers, but I love connecting with them.
And that’s about as ideal as you can get.
Aside from just having a great audience to email about the stuff I write on my blog, I’ve made lots of friends with readers, and many of those friendships have turned into some very profitable business opportunities.
In addition to all of that great stuff, you can, of course, use your email list as a platform to launch products of your own. You can also create a newsletter and sell ads on your newsletter. There are just a lot of awesome business opportunities that come out of having a quality, targeted email list.
So trust me when I say it’s worth it.
But (I’m sure you’re asking about now…) how do you actually capture email leads?
Check it out.
The best strategy for capturing email leads is…
There are many strategies out there for capturing emails. And a lot of them work.
However, most of them don’t work particularly well. Most of them will net you just a couple of emails for every hundred visitors you get.
You want to be converting a lot better than that, especially if your site is relatively new and does not yet have tons of traffic.
There’s one strategy that converts MUCH better than the rest: content upgrades.
What is a content upgrade?
A content upgrade is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a bonus people can get in exchange for their email.
Usually, a content upgrade is offered in a blog post, and the best ones are just an extension of the content a reader is already consuming.
For example, if your blog post is about the health benefits of pineapple, a good content upgrade might be something like “10 Easy Pineapple Recipes.”
And it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can just be a PDF. Or an email. Or a short video. Or an infographic. Whatever.
It’s just something you offer as a bonus.
Here are some best practices for your content upgrades…
Now, content upgrades are probably the highest-converting email-capturing tactic I know of. However, you can’t just tack on any old upgrade and expect to start building a list.
Your content upgrades need to get one critical thing right: they have to be super, super relevant. If they’re not relevant, they’re not going to convert at all.
If you’re ambitious, this might mean creating a unique content upgrade for every single blog post that is super relevant to that post. This will certainly make you the most money, but it might be tons of work if you already have lots of blog posts on your site.
If that’s the case, you could just make one content upgrade per category. It won’t be as profitable, but it’s probably better than developing retroactive content upgrades for hundreds of blog posts.
Additionally, you don’t want to pour your heart and soul into your content upgrades. They can be short and sweet. People don’t expect you to change their lives in exchange for an email. They just want a bonus.
That’s great, but how do you set it up?
The best way I’ve found to set up content upgrades is LeadPages.
Not only does LeadPages have tons of great pop-ups you can use, but they also integrate with your mailing list and help you deliver your content upgrade. No one else really does that.
And it’s really pretty simple. You just create a LeadPages pop-up (which is called a “LeadBox” in LeadPages), tie it to your email list, and upload your content upgrade.
Then, in WordPress, just create a link using the code from LeadPages.
And that’s it! After that, it’s just a matter of watching the emails roll in!
Tools mentioned in this lesson:
We’re closing in on the end of all our “official” lessons. Just one more to go! Hopefully, you’ve made some awesome progress in your business so far. As we start to wind this bad boy down, we’ll be talking about how to scale your content.
by Spencer Haws
In today’s lesson, we’re going to try to really blow the roof off your profits. And I think you’re going to like it. There’s no outreach to be done here.
No tedious emailing.
No getting rejected.
Just taking the money you’re already making and making it explode.
Let’s get started…
Why is A/B testing so profitable?
A/B testing is super, super profitable. In fact, it’s usually the single most profitable thing you can do for your site.
First, you can do it without any other resource. You don’t need a VA. You don’t need to email anyone. You don’t need to hire a writer (usually).
All you need is some sort of A/B testing program and about an hour every couple of days to try different things on your most profitable pages.
Secondly, it’s incredibly time efficient. You’ll generally be testing layout, colors, call-to-action text, etc. These are relatively small and easy changes to make.
Because they’re so easy, the return on your time investment can really be huge here.
Thirdly, it gives you a much better insight into how your audience behaves on your site. By testing just one or two pages, you’ll be able to find page layouts that convert really well, and you can use them as templates for every other page on your site, which makes the whole site more profitable.
So, how do you actually do it?
If you want to start A/B testing, the best place to begin is your most profitable pages.
These pages will have enough traffic and earnings to get the best data set, so you’ll be able to determine with more confidence that your changes succeeded or failed, which is really important.
When you decide which page you want to test, you pretty much just start having fun with it. Test as many elements as you can and record the results.
If something yields more clicks, emails, earnings (or whatever your goal is), keep that change and test something else. If it fails, revert back to your original element.
It’s not super complicated.
To get you started, here are some of the best things to test:
- Call to action text
- Pop-up layout, delay, text
- Buttons vs links
- Order of sections
- Content upgrades
Of course, there are about a million things you could test. But those are some of the important ones.
Ok, but how do I keep track of what works and what doesn’t?
You don’t want to waste all that effort without actually keeping track of what works and what doesn’t, right? You need to somehow see what’s going on.
Here are three options you can use to help you do that.
Option 1: Google Analytics Experiments. This is an option inside Google Analytics. Basically, it allows you to split your traffic between two versions of a page and track different URLs.
So, for example, if you split traffic between two different buttons, you can direct each button to a different “Thank You” page and track visits to those pages.
The number of visits to those pages will tell you which button works best. This is, of course, a simplified version of what this feature does, and I’m not the best with it because it’s not what I use, but it’s a good, free option.
Option 2: Optimizely. Optimizely is by far the most popular A/B testing software on the market. Pretty much all companies use it.
Still, the price isn’t high at all, and it’s probably the fastest, easiest option you can use.
The great thing about Optimizely is that it allows you to drag and drop different options on the front end of your website, which makes it extremely user-friendly. This is probably the one I’d recommend for most people.
Option 3: A heatmap. There are a bunch of different options for heatmaps, and they’re all pretty much the same.
They’re also a lot of fun. It’s just really cool to see where your customers are actually clicking.
The downside, however, is that you typically don’t get detailed data or statistical analysis, which you DO get with something like Optimizely. Still, it’s a good option.
How to put it in motion…
Hopefully, that gives you a good place to start A/B testing. It can yield big-time profits. The most important thing is just to get started and play around a bit. There’s nothing to lose and tons of money to gain!
Tools mentioned in this lesson:
In the next lesson, we’ll be learning how to build more long-term revenue (and a much larger audience) by capturing emails. So stay tuned!
by Spencer Haws
Now that you’ve had some time to digest the last lesson, here’s a short action plan and a couple more resources with more detailed information.
- If you don’t remember, there are lists for a lot of these in the previous email.
- Submit to 5-10 great paid directories
- Submit to 5-10 great blog aggregators
- Create an infographic and submit it to 10-20 infographic sharing sites, listing your site as the source
- Create a piece of audio and submit to 10-20 audio sharing sites, listing your site as the source
- Submit to 5 1-800 number or business directory sites
- Write 10 high-quality blog comments on highly relevant blogs in your niche, linking to several good resources, including your site
- Write 10 high-quality forum comments in highly relevant forums, linking to several good resources, including your site
Keep an eye out for the next lesson here in a few days!