Today’s guest is Spencer Haws, he’s a long time web entrepreneur who has built his experience and knowledge creating niche based websites. You can see more of what he’s done in that realm at his site www.NichePursuits.com. But today Spencer is with us to help us understand how you can build your own website that sells your own products – independent of Amazon. Interested? Be sure you listen to this great episode.
Why you need to move your success to your own platform.
Spencer strongly believes that you need to take your success to a different platform once you’ve gotten your feet wet on Amazon. Why? Because you want to build something that you have entire control over, no matter what. On Amazon you have to follow the constantly changing rules and make sure you’re not making any mistakes. On your own site you are the king of the castle and you make up the rules. And maybe just as important, you’ll be cutting out the Amazon middleman that bites into your profit margin. Hear how Spencer and Scott suggest you take that step, on this episode.
When is the right time to build your own website store?
Let’s say you’ve had a private label product on Amazon for a while and you’re selling a decent amount of products every day. Should you take the step of creating your own website and trying to sell your products independent of Amazon? Spencer Haws says that once your products are selling well on Amazon you’ve got a great test case that shows that your products could sell independent of Amazon as well. Find out exactly how Spencer says you can know if you should take the step to build your own sales platform, on this episode.
Using long tail keywords you can get lots of traffic.
You may not even know what a long tail keyword is, but Spencer Haws believes that you’ve got to become skilled at identifying and using them if you’re going to have success building a sales site for your products that operates independently of Amazon. Spencer has proven on his own sites that going for the lesser known long tail keywords can be very successful in the long run. You can find out how Spencer does it, step by step, and the software tool he uses to do his research on this episode of The Amazing Seller.
How you can get specific training to build your own niche website.
If all of this website building talk sounds a bit scary to you, relax. Spencer Haws has created two ways you can learn everything you need to know to build a website the right way and start selling your products independent of Amazon. First is an internship where over the course of 4 weeks you’ll learn how to do everything you need to make your site stellar. Second, if you can't do an internship there’s an 8 week course that covers the same content. Before you know it you’ll be rocking your own sales platform that cuts out the Amazon middleman!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode with Spencer Haws!
- [1:51] Details about stuff you’ll want to know for this episode.
- [3:49] Why Spencer believes you need to move your success onto your own platform.
- [5:45] When is the right time to build your own website property?
- [7:59] The main goal for building your own website.
- [9:35] Why keyword research is important and how to go for long tail keywords effectively.
- [16:20] What should you look for when it comes to long tail keywords.
- [20:37] Using top list posts to get backlinks and build your network.
- [23:11] How to use Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords.
- [24:55] How Spencer would use the data inside Amazon.
- [29:00] What you can do if you’re not a good writer.
- [30:34] How to format the content you produce.
- [34:10] Getting your content published: posting and scheduling.
- [35:40] How to build backlinks effectively.
- [40:41] Spencer’s new internship program to train people to scale websites.
- [44:56] Spencer’s 8 week course to teach you how to build out your own website.
- [47:12] Do these strategies still work today?
TRANSCRIPT TAS 240
TAS 240 – How to Build Your Own Channel and Web Property Outside of Amazon with Spencer Haws
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey, what’s up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 240. Today I am really excited to have a guest that is going to come on, he’s going to share some knowledge bombs…
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…with all of us on how to build your own channel and web property outside of Amazon. It’s a good friend of mine now, his name is Spencer Haws. You guys may or may not know him from Niche Pursuits.
Funny story is, I had him on episode 107 and he talked all about why he decided to test Amazon FBA and he was so glad that he did. Just a little back story on Spencer, if you haven't listened to that episode you probably should. He started with building this little niche sites and getting traffic and then monetizing them later and he’s been doing that for years so he knows a little bit about how to construct a website, how to get traffic, all the ins and the outs. I wanted to have him come on because he did it in reverse before. He started building web properties and then started seeing traffic and then he’s like, “I should probably look into this Amazon FBA thing,” and he did and he’s been doing really well with that.
Now he’s actually talking more about building out these authority websites so we can have our own channel which you guys have heard me talk about in these last few episodes or even the past couple of months. I’ve been talking a lot about owning your own property because in the end that’s what we want, we want full control and we want to be able to control the sales process and the sales funnel and all of that stuff. I’m really, really excited about this interview that I did with Spencer.
It was really not just an interview. It was really just digging into this whole concept and what it takes to really make this happen. Before we jump in, let me remind you that there are going to be show notes, there are going to be transcripts to this episode. To find them just head over to theamazingseller.com/240 and you can grab all of them over there.
[00:02:06] Scott: You can read the transcripts, the show notes or you can download them as well there, all the links that we mention will be there inside of those show notes. I’m going to stop talking now so you guys can enjoy this awesome, amazing interview/conversation, whatever you want to call it. Just we had a really good time talking about this stuff. We probably could have went on for a few hours but we did try to keep it manageable as far as time. Let’s go ahead and listen to this awesome conversation I had with Spencer Haws and all about how to build your own channel and web property outside of Amazon so enjoy.
[00:02:44] Scott: Hey Spencer, what’s up man? How are you doing my friend?
[00:02:48] Spencer: I’m doing awesome Scott, it’s great to be here.
[00:02:51] Scott: I am excited to have you back on the show. I know you and I met and had some time to hang out in Miami, which was really awesome and being able to talk ideas and stuff is always fun, right?
[00:03:02] Spencer: Absolutely yeah, it was great seeing you in person. It’s always unique in the online world. We get to see each other and then we go to a conference and we get to hang out, it was a lot of fun.
[00:03:12] Scott: That was great, a lot of great information. You had a great presentation you did all about finding those long tail keywords and that’s what you are known for is the long tail, long tail pro and all that stuff. That’s why I’m pretty excited to have you on today because you’re working on something right now currently which is pretty exciting. It really revolves around building out your own home base or your own authority website so we’re not just dependent on one channel, which in this case is Amazon because a lot of people that are listening are Amazon sellers.
Maybe what you can do is break down, like what your feelings are about people that have a product selling, whether it’s on eBay or Amazon or any channel? What is that next step that they should be focusing on and then we maybe can drill into how to.
[00:04:04] Spencer: Definitely. The next logical step for people is once you’ve been successful on somebody else’s platform whether that’s eBay or Amazon or whetever that is, is to try and build out your own platform. I know you’ve talked about this a little bit already but owning your own media if you will, owning your own traffic, creating that traffic, you being the source of that traffic through your own website is just so critical to extending your business and not being reliant on just Amazon.
To really take your business to the next level and especially if for whatever reason, not just to grow your own business but if you were to want to sell your entire business down the road, owning your own traffic is going to make your business much, much more valuable.
[00:04:53] Scott: Yeah, I agree with that because and I’ve been hearing a little but more in the market place about this. It’s like if you’re trying to sell your Amazon business, there’s people buying Amazon businesses and that’s happening. To strengthen even that sale is to show people that you have your own source of traffic, you have your own sales outside of Amazon. To me it just increases the amount that you can get on the time that you want to exit out of that, if you want to.
More importantly I hear people saying like, “I want to start my own business on Amazon and I want to eventually leave my job.” My thoughts on that are, “That’s awesome, that’s a great goal,” but I don’t think that we should just be focusing on that one channel because that’s risky and when you’re building out your own authority website that gives you more control over how you send people through your sales channel, your sales funnel, however you want to call it. Maybe you can break that down.
I want people to understand, Spencer’s going to break this down as far as like how we would start from scratch, what you should do like step one through step whatever and really try to give us some action steps that we could do right now just to get the ball rolling if we’re at that point. Maybe you can speak to those people Spencer, as far as like what are the first things…? You know what? Before we do that, when is the right time to do that? I get that question a lot.
[00:06:16] Spencer: That’s a good question, when is the right time to go out and build your own website property? The answer is right now. It really doesn’t matter. I’ve built out web properties before I ever started selling those products on Amazon and I know you actually had Jon Haver that talked about this.
[00:06:36] Scott: Yes he did.
[00:06:37] Spencer: Actually buying the web properties and then launching your Amazon product after you have that web property or the other way around. Most people will just start out selling their products on Amazon and then a logical next step. I say right now as soon as possible, go out and build your own website because it can take a little bit of time to start see a trickle of traffic but the sooner the better.
[00:07:02] Scott: Yeah. People, when they get started too they get overwhelmed and that’s why I’ve always told people start where you are right now. If for example you have a product and it’s just launched, well then get that thing launched, get that thing moving and then the next step is to start doing something like this. Again and Spencer, you felt this first hand even with just Google. You’ve built out some properties and then Google ended up slapping and then all of a sudden you had an issue because that’s the only source that you had. I know part of your strategy and mine as well is once you get that web property and you start getting some of that traffic it’s really to get them to an email list so you can then communicating with them and start building your own traffic source by sending out emails if you want to, is that correct?
[00:07:45] Spencer: That’s even more advanced and more secure. Maybe you get some traffic from Google but if you can even own it if you will on your own email list that’s even better.
[00:07:57] Scott: That’s like the next, next step. Let’s dig in, let’s say that we’re at that point and we want to go ahead and start building out a website. What is the main goal for this website? Let’s answer that question too like, “Okay Spencer, why am I doing it?” I know we just said that we want to own it but what’s the purpose for someone to come to that website? Is it to educate? Is it to get them to buy right away? What is the objection or the objective to having that particular website?
[00:08:28] Spencer: The primary way that I am driving traffic to my website is through natural Google traffic, natural organic search. That’s typically people searching for information about your products or maybe they’re doing some comparison shopping so you are going to want to have a lot of informational articles. That’s at least my strategy, is I publish great content for people seeking information about my products or my niche, whatever sort of research they’re doing.
By publishing that type of content you’re much more likely to get a broad range of traffic, of people coming to your website. Then at that point of course, you can send them to your Amazon store, you can get them on an email list and sell to them later. There’s a whole host of things that you can do at that point.
[00:09:20] Scott: I agree. Why don’t we get started then on a little bit of keyword research. A lot of times people want to know like what do I go after and a lot of people would want to go after the main keyword like garlic press. I know you’re a fan of the long tail so maybe we can say like step one in this thing is obviously… Let’s start like okay, before we even have a website, could we do the research or should we do the website first and then do the research? What step should happen first?
[00:09:47] Spencer: I’m going to assume that people building out their website probably know what niche they’re going into. Let’s assume somebody already has a product on Amazon so they sort of picked the niche. Usually that’s step one but they’re already got it. They’ve got their niche, they know they’re in the garlic press niche if you will. Step two really is then go out and do some keyword research. You’re probably not going to rank for that main keyword whether that’s garlic press or baseball gloves or wireless printers or whatever niche you’re in, you may not rank number one in Google for that particular keyword so you want to go after what I call long tail keywords.
These are easier to rank for types of keywords. Often they are longer phrases, they have more words in them. Usually, they are lower search volume and I should maybe explain that. I’m a big fan of ranking for lots of really easy to rank for keywords that maybe don’t get a lot of traffic individually but combined really does add up to a lot of traffic. A lot of people, especially when they’re starting out don’t really think about that, they want to rank for the top keyword, the high traffic keyword and they try for six months to rank for that single great keyword that if they were to rank for it, yeah, they’d make lots of money but the competition is so high, everybody else is trying to rank for that, they’re going up against corporations and people with tons of money and they never rank for that keyword.
Unfortunately that’s the way it happens. Usually as a solopreneur you want to go after these long tail type keywords. One way to do that, one little trick that I use to find those long tail keywords is to use what I call modifiers. These are words that you can add before or after your main keyword to make it lower competition. If we’re trying to rank for baseball gloves we would add the word maybe best, so best baseball gloves. Or with baseball gloves in particular maybe we do best left handed baseball gloves so that’s a longer tail keyword.
[00:12:05] Spencer: We can go top rated baseball gloves or where to buy baseball gloves. See these words I’m adding, we could do brands, you can do versus and off the top of my head, I guess I can’t think of… Easton baseball glove versus whatever the other brand is… Wilson baseball gloves, there you go. You add these modifiers and by adding all of these different modifiers either before or after, the keywords become much easier to rank for and you become much more likely to show up on that first page of Google and start getting a little bit of traffic. As you add more and more content using these long tail keywords, the traffic adds up quickly and you can do very well.
[00:12:51] Scott: I agree. For people to understand it’s like rather than going after that one main keyword like garlic press or baseball gloves, it’s so basic that there’s all those modifiers. Now, if someone is searching for a left handed baseball glove, you bet if they land on your piece of content that was exclusively made, tailored for that particular person searching, it’s that much better too, it’s going to convert them better because that’s exactly what they were looking for. It’s like if someone was searching for garlic press and they were really looking for how to fix a garlic press, they might land on something that doesn’t relate to that and then that doesn’t convert as well.
A lot of times people want quantity versus quality, I’d rather have quality and what you’re saying is if I can get 10 or 20 people to my page that are looking for that exact thing, I’ve got a much greater chance of converting them into a lead or even a sale versus just going after those generic ones. Is that what you’re saying?
[00:13:57] Spencer: Yeah, absolutely that’s what I’m saying. These people convert higher because they’re much more targeted like you said. I think your examples were perfect there. This has been shown through a lot of studies and statistics that long tail keywords convert much higher than short tail keywords. When people land on that page they have probably gone through the research process, maybe they did start searching for baseball gloves and then 10 minutes later they realize, “You know what? I should be searching left handed baseball gloves.”
Then 10 minutes later they decided, “You know what? I should be searching best left handed baseball gloves.” By the time they get to that long tail phrase, they’ve gone through a lot of research and they’re ready to buy when they land on your page. If you provide a great article that compares different options and especially if your product is one of those options they’re very likely to go ahead and buy that product.
Another statistic that I should share, that I shared actually at the conference we were at not too long ago is that 70% of all Google traffic is actually long tail traffic. A lot of people think that, “Boy, if I ranked for baseball gloves that get searched for…” I’m just going to throw out a number, “50,000 times a month, I’m going to have it made. I’m going to be awesome, I’m going to be perfect.” But the reality is there’s actually much more traffic with all these keywords that maybe they only get searched for 100 times or 200 times a month but in aggregate 70% of all traffic is coming from these types of phrases.
It’s a missed opportunity for a lot of people out there that I think if they start targeting this it’s not only easier to rank for these keywords but there’s more traffic there as well, 70% of the traffic.
[00:15:54] Scott: That’s crazy. Now, are we mainly looking at Google traffic, are we looking at Bing, Yahoo!? What else are we looking at or are we focusing on Google?
[00:16:03] Spencer: I’m mentioning Google because that’s the beast of the search engine.
[00:16:07] Scott: Of course, yeah.
[00:16:08] Spencer: But the same principles apply to all search engines so Yahoo!, Bing, the same things and strategies that you follow in Google are going to get you to rank and do well in the all the other search engines as well.
[00:16:20] Scott: Okay. At this point let’s say… This is awesome. My next step really is in figuring out those keywords. How many keywords should I target at first? We can go here for days, I’ve done it or you can just build this pile, this list. Maybe you can give us an idea, like if you’re telling me right now, “Scott, this is what I want you to do. I want you to go find your top 10 that you think that you could rank for.” Maybe, give us the criteria that we should be looking for in order to get those first handful and then the next step obviously is writing the content and then we can talk about that.
[00:16:56] Spencer: I would start out, like you said, about 10 great keywords and we call this a silo of content. It’s a group of 10 keywords that are somewhat related if you will, similar topics but targeting slightly different keywords. The reason you want to do that is first, it’s an easy number to bite off and chew, 10 articles, that’s doable, you can write that much, it’s within the realm of feasibility. Then as well because they’re similar keywords, you’ll be able to interlink the articles that you write. Article one might link to article two and article five might link back to article two so they’re all mentioning each other.
In your article you can say, “By the way, in a previous article I wrote a comparison of these two brands,” and you link to it in a very natural way. Having this group of 10 articles, not only does it help readers but it makes sense for Google as well to have all these links pointing back to each other.
[00:18:02] Scott: I’ve heard this and I’ve actually done this myself, it’s like your first post is like what they call a pillar post, it’s like a really epic, like 3,000 word post. Is that necessary still or do you say that you don’t necessarily need to do that, you can start off with maybe a thousand words per article and just cover a wider range? What’s your strategy there?
[00:18:29] Spencer: You really can do it either way. You don’t have to start with the big pillar post. You can certainly start with a thousand words or fifteen hundred words or whatever that be. Maybe most of our articles honestly that we do are probably around fifteen hundred words. The time that you do want to do a big pillar post and this can come at any point in building your website is typically if you want to make that a post that you can do a lot of link building to, meaning you write this great article that you think other bloggers or other people in your niche are either going to Tweet about or share on Facebook or link to from their website.
It’s an article that once you’ve written you want to share with the world, you want to reach out and contact a hundred people in your niche and say, “Hey, I wrote this great article, I thought you might find it interesting,” and try to start a relationship with. That’s really the point of those big pillar posts, they’re a sort of a way to reach out to other people and start getting some links back to your site.
[00:19:38] Scott: One technique that I’ve seen and it works pretty well especially if it’s a good post is doing like a round up and it’s what you pull in… You pull the best different resources in your market place and you reach out to, like if I was selling garlic presses I would reach out to people that are publishing content in that space like cooking or home recipes or you know maybe after home goods or something like that. I would reach out to these people after I wrote about an article that that they published and I would reach out to them and say, “Hey, I just want you know that you made our top 50 best post for home goods or something like that or home cooking or whatever.” Then those people might share that and then from them sharing it, that can help get links back to that post.
Is that something that you think is…? I know it is a little bit more advanced probably, but is that something that is still working and that you would advise?
[00:20:34] Spencer: Absolutely yeah, absolutely. We kind of call these types of posts that you just described as top list. Essentially making a list of whatever, the top 50 bloggers in the healthy eating space or the top 25 Baseball blogs that are out there. Then it is a really way to sort of hit on the ego of these other bloggers right because you are writing glowing review and everybody loves to see that. You publish this article and then you reach out to those 25 bloggers and say, “Hey, I just mentioned you, I think you are doing a great job,” and inevitably, if nothing else they will usually, at least share that on Facebook or Twitter.
Then many of them will mention it on their blog or it would lead you to eventually being able to do a guest post on their blog right? It’s a great way to build out some relationships. This is something that we do and that we teach very much in sort of these top list post and I will sort add a newer strategy that we have implemented that works pretty well is going after what I call semi-related niches. If you have a garlic press and you are writing about garlic presses, it might be hard to find the top 25 garlic press bloggers. You can obviously go directly to just generally food bloggers or you can go maybe a step beyond that and write about the top 25 vegan bloggers.
Get in these sub niches and these other areas where it is still relevant but they would definitely still love to link to you. Another example would be if you have a health website, a sort of a healthy living website, healthy eating if you will. You could actually create a top list that is related to dentists if you will. At first it seems well, that’s kind of odd.
[00:22:42] Spencer: If you wrote an article about sort of the top 25 bloggers that teach you how to have healthy teeth or healthy mouth right or something like that, you could then reach out to the dental market. You can so many different directions with that, you have to think outside the box. You can come up with a lot of different opportunities and ways to reach out to other bloggers and semi-related niches to get even more links and build even more authority on your website.
[00:23:11] Scott: Let’s cover two things right now because I know that some people are probably wondering this and I would like to get people like, those action steps like step by step. Okay, we get the idea and all of that about building out. We will get a little deeper in there but those ten key words like, what’s the easiest way… I know we can use a tool called Long Tail Pro and I think everyone that is serious about doing this definitely should check that out. I just want to go ahead and try to find some key words to get started with, without using a tool, what would be your recommendation there?
[00:23:44] Spencer: There is the free keyword planner that Google has provided that people can go to that will give them some suggestions on key words. They just search for Google Keyword Planner, they can start to get some suggestions. It’s not as robust if you will. You are not going to get as many key words as quickly but you can get started there.
Another one that is free to use, is Uber-suggest, essentially what that is, it takes the Google auto-complete, you know when you type in a word, there is auto-completion there and it does it for you automatically. If you typed in garlic press, in Uber-suggest it would return the 200 results that might be auto-completed after that. They don’t give you stats as far how many searches those terms get every month but it would give you a nice list of key words that potentially you can target. That could be a couple of ways that people could start for free to find these long tail keywords.
[00:24:46] Scott: That’s a great point. Let me ask you this, because I know some people are going to be thinking this. The traffic inside of Amazon like they have the same thing like that auto complete, right or the popular searches, would you use any of that data or is that like, no because it’s inside of Amazon and we don’t know if that’s doing anything outside of Amazon?
[00:25:08] Spencer: What I would do in that situation is yes, I would look at those key words, and maybe create a list of Amazon auto complete searches but then I would plug those in to Long Tail Pro, just to be honest. I would plug those in, I would see what sort of search volume they do get in Google. I can take exact key words from Amazon, see how well they are doing in Google and then I would go from there.
[00:25:34] Scott: Okay. Give us a little bit of what Long Tail Pro actually does to help you decide if it’s a key or you should be going after, maybe just give the quick rundown on how that all works?
[00:25:47] Spencer: First it does give you the search volume so you could know if there is any traffic there and then secondly, the big key to this is that it pulls out the first page results in Google and gives you all the stats related to whether it’s easy to rank for, or difficult to rank for. This honestly can be a whole podcast on its own but it gives you sort of a quick analysis, it gives you a number between 1 and 100 with how difficult that particular keyword is to rank for. I usually look at keywords that are less than 35 in [inaudible 00:26:29] score keword competitiveness score or less than thirty is even better so that’s your quick 30 second…
[00:26:34] Scott: That was good, I just want people to understand that even using the Google planner tool, it’s going to give you the rough number of like the different searches that are being done. It shows you competitiveness but really competitiveness as far as advertising. It doesn’t necessarily mean to me that I can’t rank for that. The other thing is too I just want to touch on this really quick Spencer, is that sometimes, keywords aren’t even indexed or aren’t even shown in the planner yet because they haven’t been searched for.
I know some people they discount that when and I have you talk about this sometimes, those are going to bring you traffic that you didn’t even realize is going to bring you traffic. Is that something that you don’t… If you think there is a key word that’s a pretty darn good keyword but you are not seeing anything on that. Does that mean that it’s definitely don’t do that or is it something that kind of put on the shelf and maybe come back to?
[00:27:30] Spencer: This depends on how aggressive people want to get. In my strategy, I essentially want to rank for all key words. I’m willing to go out, and produce lots of content for my websites and so I may not be as concerned with whether the Google keyword planner says that this gets a bunch of traffic. Even if it doesn’t show up and I just know, “Hey, this is the perfect keyword for my niche. I should be writing an article about that.”
I have been surprised a couple of times, at how much traffic those articles actually can get. Again it’s the power of the long tail keyword. Is that maybe the main keyword that you are targeting only ends up bring you 10 or 20 visitors a month but sometimes there are so many variations of those keywords that you never thought of or didn’t realize that there was traffic for. I’ve written articles that… One particular articles I have written in the running niche, the keyword only gets such for about 70 times per month according to Google.
But because that article ranks for so many variations and phrases of different long tail keywords. It actually gets about 200 visitors per day. Depending on how much content you are willing to produce, is sort of the keywords that you should go after, just depends on how aggressive people want to get.
[00:29:00] Scott: Okay that makes sense. The next question I know that people are probably asking and I’ve asked myself is, okay this is great and we have picked our top 10 keywords we want to start writing for, okay the next step is, writing the content, I’m not a good writer, what do I do?
[00:29:15] Spencer: Fortunately there are lots of ways to outsource your content. If you are not a good writer and you just don’t either have the time or the ability to write your own articles, there is lots of writers out there that would love to write your content of you. A few places that you can go are textbroker.com, you can hire a writer based on the quality of the writer. Anywhere between one star to a five star and you pay more depending on the quality.
You can go to upwork.com, lots of writers there that you can find and pay to write the articles for you. A third one that has worked well for some people is you can use your own personal network. You might be surprised that your friends on Facebook or other people that you just know personally would love to write for you. Maybe you know some stay at home moms that are great writers but they are busy and they might only have an hour or two at night and they’d love to write some content for you and get paid for that side gig.
You may know some people personally. That’s a few ways that I’ve used to get content written for me and that’s probably the best way to overcome that huddle if you can’t do that yourself.
[00:30:34] Scott: Okay, and now let’s kind of break it down a little bit as far as the content itself. How should that be structured, is there a format that you kind of follow, that you would like to have? We can’t spend the entire podcast on this but we could because I’m sure there is a lot of different things that go into all this stuff. What would be some tips for someone that is just writing an article to put on their blog, to help with traffic but also help the visitor when they land on their page?
[00:31:06] Spencer: I’ll give you a few points here. You do want to make it in depth. You don’t want to be writing 300 words articles, I usually keep then at roughly 1500 words, it could be a little less, a little more, something like that. In depth you want to use lots of images, charts, videos, other multi-media. Anything to make it visually appealing and then you want to make sure that it is formatted well, using a lot of bullet points, numbers and comparisons right, makes it easier to scan and for people to get the information that they want.
One thing that I do in particular if you are if you are writing a comparison article of ‘The best 10 garlic presses out there’, is to create a comparison chart. You can create a chart that includes the price, the average rating and the size or whatever other feature there is and allow people in one chart to easily compare all those things. Using those few tips that I have just shared is going to help the quality of your content really stand out.
Which helps people stay on your site longer, which in turn shows Google that your quality website, which in turn makes Google want to rank your website higher.
[00:32:24] Scott: Yeah, I agree and I think the big take away therefore anyone listening is really scanability. I think people were on a scanning kind of a mode online, we are on a hurry. If you can make it broken up like a lot of people have seen have written article and they will be just 1500 words all mashed together with barely any breaks in it. It’s like you should have your headlines, you subject lines, to draw the attention almost like you could do a read.
To me it’s if the article can be understood just by looking at the different topics that are being discussed or the different points that are being made and then you expound on each particular one. That’s a good thing for anyone whether you are writing emails or whether you are writing content for people to consume on Google or on your website or even for that matter on your
I think people want to read in chunks, they don’t want to read this big chunk of text that their eyes just go buggy. Pictures is a great way to break that up as well so I agree with that. Pictures, where would people find pictures like royalty free pictures? Is there any sight that you would recommend at this point?
[00:33:29] Spencer: One place that people can go is Wiki Commons, it’s Wikipedia’s sort of creative coommons image database. If people go to Wiki Commons and do a such honestly for just about any subject, all of those images there are commercial free to use. That’s a good starting point. Then beyond that there are other places to find royalty free images, you can go to Flickr and do some sorting there to find the royalty free images.
Then if you just do a Google search on royalty free images, there are a few websites that will pop up.
[00:34:12] Scott: Sure, cool now let’s get on the part where we got the keywords picked, we’ve got some articles written and we’ve published them. I guess that would be the next quick question. How soon should I publish my ten articles? Should it be like immediately or should I spread them out over time? Give us a little of an insight there.
[00:34:29] Spencer: Honestly when you are first creating a website, I would just publish them all as soon as they are available. Just get them out there and get them ranking as soon as possible and then usually what I would like to do is come up with some schedule. After I get my first 10 or 20 articles up on a website. If I can produce one article a week, I publish one a week or if a get two a week or whatever that might be. Just start to get on a regular schedule after that. The first 10 or 20, just get them up right away.
[00:34:57] Scott: Is there any schedule that you would like though more than others would you say to try to publish three a week? I know you said the more the better but if you were telling me like, “Scott you know this what you need to do in order to get yourself some momentum here?”
[00:35:13] Spencer: If it is just an individual person building out their own website, one a week is probably a good target to shoot for. One great in depth article, if you have a little more time do two a week, that will get you there. I think that’s good enough. If you are more ambitious like maybe we’ll talk about later, in my own business we publish tons of content daily. There is whole different varying levels but one to two a week is great target for people to shoot for.
[00:35:41] Scott: Now let’s dive into, okay we have this great content, we have published, it’s there, it is sitting on a blog but we both know that it takes more to rank your stuff, than to just have great content out there. We got to actually start showing Google or any other search engine that people are enjoying this content and the way that these other search engines are being alerted of this is like back links. Basically a back link is when some else from another website links over to that article.
I always like to use the example like, “If someone that is a brand new blogger links to your post, then that’s cool, that’s a link but if Oprah Winfrey links from her blog to your same piece of content. There is a much bigger impact that that one link is going to have because of the authority that comes from that particular website.” Now that people kind of understand that where do we go to start getting some of these back links?
Not like, we are not talking about creating like fake back links either because that was a whole thing years ago. We are talking about like real, organic in a sense back links to help build up this platform.
[00:36:53] Spencer: Yeah absolutely, and you nailed it and you are exactly right, that you have to have some links pointing to your website. The more authoritative the personal blog that it’s coming from, the more power it is going to have for your own website to do well in Google. Three ways that I can share for people starting out. One we have already mentioned is doing those top lists. You write that article reviewing the top 25 bloggers and whatever niche and then you actually email the web masters. You go out and email those 25 people and tell them that, “Hey, I just wrote about you, are you willing to share this on Facebook?” Usually the respond and you’ll have a conversation to either get a guest post or whatever right. That’s method number one is writing this top list and I can tell you this does work very, very well. The second way is infographics, an infographic, if people don’t know, is essentially just a small image or chart that… I don’t know. What’s the best…?
[00:37:58] Scott: I think it really outlines everything, like if I created an info-graphic for this podcast it would be all the important chunks and steps on an image. That would really break it down from start to finish. It would be able to give you that in depth, but it’s really useful to be able to see that almost like a check list. I love that.
[00:38:15] Spencer: Exactly, so infographics, you create these and you put in on your own website, the key or the end goal is not really for you to rank well for that infographic, the point is to then reach out to other people in your industry that might find that infographic interesting and try to get them to put that on their own websites. Usually, below the infographic you have an embed code that makes it very easy for people to copy and paste that code and then get that exact infographic on their website.
There’s are a lot of different ways to do that. There’s info-graphic sharing websites, where people are actively going and looking for infographics and then the more effective way is to reach out to these other bloggers that might find it interesting and say, “Hi Bob, I just created this infographic on baseball gloves, I think you might find it interesting. Feel free to use this on your own website here is the embed code.” You’ll get a number of people that will say, “You know what, that’s great, that’s free content for me, I’m going to put it on my website” and then you get a link back to your website.
[00:39:23] Scott: I like that. The other thing that just came to my mind too, is too is again we can price spend probably hours talking about this stuff but what about Pintrest, like putting up an info-graphic on Pintrest or having someone that’s got a really popular board, then you contact those people and basically say that they were mentioned or we modeled something that we were doing that we thought was really awesome when we broke them down into these 5 steps and feel free to share it. That would be kind of cool.
[00:39:48] Spencer: Yeah. That is a great idea as well. Pintrest can be huge not just for potentially getting links, but as traffic as well, right?
[00:39:56] Scott: Yeah. That is awesome. We’ve kind of like covered like all of the nitty-gritty really, I know there is ton more but really to get people up to speed is really like understanding first off first that this is your own web property. It’s something that you’re not going to immediately see results. For me personally like in my own head. I have like a, I’d say like a 7 to a 12 month before I think that I’m going to start seeing significant traffic, I mean significant. Like I would be happy getting a few hundred visitors a day organically and if we can get more then that’s great.
But just to understand that it’s a process and the best time to start is now when you can. What I did want to know let’s kind of like move into, kind of like your most recent project that you were sharing with me that obviously when we were talking in Miami and stuff, you had some things on the drawing board that you were going after that you were pretty excited about because this is your wheel house. Maybe talk a little bit about what you’re doing here and this internship that you brought up?
[00:41:01] Spencer: Absolutely and so, I’ve had a lot of experience building websites, I built my first site in 2005. It’s been about 11 years. I’ve been building out and growing and scaling websites. I partnered with a couple of people that are in a similar boat to me. We’ve been building lots of websites and doing pretty well and we decided that we would love it if we could quickly train people and essentially clone ourselves to go out and scale lots of websites. Much, much quicker than we could do individually on our own. So we started something called The Authority Machine Internship where we are bringing in interns through an application process.
They come in and for four weeks we train them, give them all our strategies, we have coaches in place. Basically give them step A to Z for how to do keyword research , create great content , do the link building, everything that we talked about but in much, much more depth of course. And so over four weeks they actually come, they learn from us and in exchange they work on one of our websites. That’s the benefit we get right as we get more of our web properties worked on. The interns, the benefit to them of course is during that four weeks they learn the skills and strategies that they can take after that and apply to their own websites forever hopefully. These are strategies they can implement on multiple websites that they build down the road.
[00:42:39] Scott: I love that and when you came to me with that, I was like, “That’s a brilliant idea and I love it and it’s like everyone wins at this.” You’re being able to train someone to do some work for you and you get to be able to build this websites but then also they’re learning through this process. Let’s through it out there that if anybody is interested in this or in I guess applying because he can’t take everyone that is going to apply but it would be nice to be able to kind of see if there is anyone listening that would be interested in this and then also learning through this process and then taking that information and building out your own stuff. Would that be the link that we discussed before or is there a different link for that?
[00:43:19] Spencer: Yeah no they can definitely go to that link.
[00:43:21] Scott: Okay we’ll just give them the short link and it will be theamzingseller.com/authority. And again I’ll drop this on the show notes. Again that’s theamazingseller.com/authority and yeah go over and check that out. You did talk about something else, which I just became aware of as we came out here did our little pre-interview. Is that you also now are having a training course that will actually take people through the entire process. It’s an eight-week program that’ll actually go writing from picking their niche and all that stuff, but again if anyone interested in that just go to that same link and you can learn more about that, that Spencer has again there with his team that is also doing this to build out.
Where people if they don’t want to do the internship or maybe they apply and they can’t get in because it’s booked. They can definitely learn all of the different things that you need to know from start to finish. You want to talk a little bit more about that just to get people an idea of what that all consist of?
[00:44:20] Spencer: Yeah absolutely. You’re definitely right so we decided that the internship is perfect for a lot of people, they get four weeks of great training and it’s essentially free you can find out more by going to that link. We basically we ask for a small deposit then you get the deposit back at the end so it’s basically free there for the internship. We found that a lot of people maybe they don’t get into the internship like you mentioned or they don’t want to spend four weeks working on somebody else’s website. They want to spend a little time working on their own website. We decided to put together a training course where they go through everything. Through the entire training even some more advanced things that we don’t have time to do during the internship, it’s an eight week training course instead of a four week training course.
People, work on their own website, we have the coaches in place, all the standard operating procedures and spread sheets and training tutorial videos and everything is there during the eight week training course and that’s perfect for people that want to spend their time working on their own website from day one. And want to get the more advanced material during the eight week training course. Those are kind of side by side going to the same link you can either join the internship or the actual training course itself. It’s a great way for people to get started to take their website to the next level if the already have one. To learn all the strategies that we’ve discovered work really, really well over the last several years that we’ve been doing this.
[00:45:58] Scott: I have to go back to years ago when I got into this game, which was probably again like probably like 2008 or 9 myself. That’s how I discovered you in Nich Pursuits and all that stuff and I purchased Long Tail Pro and I did the key word research. I’d learned a lot through what you’ve given, what Spencer has given here and I really now moving even forward into where I am now, I still have all of those lessons and all of those principles that I’ve learned and I understand it. That’s the whole thing, it’s by understanding it you can then adapt it to any market or any project that you’re working on.
That’s why I just want to put it out there for people to understand that when you’re learning something. You’re going to be able to take that information and then just continue to use that moving forward on anything that you learn for that matter. The other thing is if you have someone on your team that you went to go through like training like this, that would be another great thing because at this point you might be saying, “Well I don’t want to do all that work and I don’t want to go through another training course.”
We don’t have to, I have someone else going through it that’s on your team that can do the work for you and then that way they’re trained and then they can just continue to do that work over time after they’ve been trained which I think is another option for people. So spencer let’s wrap up with, what are maybe like one or two things that you would like to leave people with just about building their own platform or their own website?
[00:47:25] Spencer: One question that I get from a lot of people is, “Do this strategies really work today? Maybe it used to be easy to rank in Google a few years ago. Can you really still do that today?” I just want to give people the confidence that yes, these things that we’ve talked about they really do work here in 2016. In the latter half of 2016. That you really can go out rank for these Long Tail keywords, you really can go out and get these links and rank really well and get that traffic in Google. I just want to give people the confidence, who’re seeing great results with their own websites applying this exact strategies and so people can do the exact same thing.
[00:48:08] Scott: Yeah that’s awesome. Okay guys. You guys heard it right here. We just covered a ton and again yeah there is a lot to learn through this process but pretty much everything is just broken down right there and you guys have heard me talk. This is the direction that I know that we all should be thinking about, you’re not leaving Amazon, just understand that. You’re just adding another channel and you’re adding your home base. I’ve talked a little about creating your own sales channel, your own sales channel and this is part of that.
Again, Spencer I want to thank you again for coming on this has been awesome, I love talking about this stuff and I know the power of it and I know we can probably have you back on a few more times because we have a lot more that we can discuss on this topic and even moving into email capture and even all this stuff, so maybe we’ll have to do that as well. I just want thank you again Spencer for sharing your knowledge and your expertise in this field and just for being awesome. I want to thank you.
[00:49:06] Spencer: Thank I appreciate this Scott. It’s always great coming on the podcast and sharing a few things that I’ve learned of course but I appreciate you and your audience especially for listening in. I know you provide a lot of value to them and so hopefully they’ve gotten a little bit of value out of the podcast here today and again I’m just more than happy to just share what I’ve earned and would like to come back at any time but of course we’ll be in touch and can share a strategy. Yeah just best of lack to everybody in their own businesses they work and dedicate themselves hopefully they can see some results as well.
[00:49:38] Scott: Yeah Awesome. I want to thank you again and again. That link guys is theamazingseller.com/authority, I’ll leave that in the show notes and Spencer thanks again and enjoy the new house, I know you’re in a new house I could hear the kids in the background a little bit, I can hear a little of the sanding, he’s having some floor sanded. But you know what? That’s real guys, that’s real, right Spencer?
[00:49:58] Spencer: Absolutely. This is where I am. We just roll with the punches so. For real guys, we got real families and…
[00:50:06] Spencer: I love it, all right men go enjoy those kids and enjoy those new floors, we’ll see you. Bye. Take care
[00:50:12] Scott: Bye bye
[00:50:12] Spencer: Okay so there you have it, I wasn’t kidding. What an awesome conversation. I get excited every single time I get to talk about this stuff, especially with someone that’s an expert in this. I mean Spencer has been doing this for years. Now he’s got a team of people helping him, he’s got this internship that he’s doing, this course that if anyone is interested can check out but the internship that’s a pretty cool idea for people to learn and for people to help his businesses and it’s just a win/win for everyone. I would definitely, definitely recommend checking that out. Again you can head over to theamazingseller.com/authority. That is the link theamzingseller.com/authority and you can learn more about the internship and how you could possibly apply for that.
Again I just want to thank Spencer. He dropped a tone of knowledge here today. A lot of take away you probably going to want check out those show notes and the transcripts again that can be found at theamazingseller.com/240. You can grab all that stuff there because it was a lot to take in, there is a lot of information and I try to dig in as much as I could without going on for like three hours. I’ll probably have to have him back on we can dive and do more specific sections of this process but really just to go through it a little deeper, I think will be kind of fun as well and educational.
Last thing, if you guys are brand new or maybe just starting and this website thing is just too much for you, I get it. Here is what I want to do for you. I want to invite you to my free live private label workshop because I do still feel that we should start on Amazon and it’s a great platform currently and I believe in the future will be a great platform to launch products. That doesn’t mean that you won’t then take that business and then want to bring it outside of Amazon. You heard as talk about that in this interview. If you want to attend that live free private label workshop and you want to register for an upcoming one, head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop.
[00:52:16] Scott: Again that’s theamzingseller.com/workshop, you can register there. It is live, we answer live Q&A. We just have a lot of fun, definitely come and hang with us there if you haven’t done so already. If you have, come on back, we’d love to have you.
All right guys, that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up remember I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come and say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, I think Brody is going to say it right now, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Long Tail Pro
- Google Keyword Planner
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