35 – How To Build A Media Property with Stephen Esketzis – Part 2
In the podcast:
01:04 – Ways of Growing Content
04:58 – What Content Works and Quality of Traffic in Pinterest
08:16 – The Duration and Process Of Getting Exponential Growth
13:18 – Methods of Monetization
21:22 – Promoting Content on the Paid Side
25:20 – Buying Websites Have Good Content and SEO History
26:49 – What Would He Have Done Differently If He’s Starting All Over Again
30:38 – Marketing Hacks From Stephen
Stephen Esketzis continues to discuss how he built a media web property from 0 to 50,000 daily website visitors in 2 years. He comes on our show to share exactly how he did it and scaled it, and importantly, what he would do differently if he was starting over. This episode is Part 2 of 2. You can find the part 1 here.
Ways of Growing Content
Ilana: And you know there’s I think a mantra in the content marketing space or the digital marketing space which I think is fundamentally flawed which is build it and they will come they build the content and Google will sprinkle you with love grant you traffic I think that’s a fast. So what are some of the ways that you kind of really I guess promote your content your content and syndicated out and and I guess the strategies for growth?
Stephen: So in that first site the health one we literally followed build it and they will come which is not a good idea (laughs).
Ilana: And it worked!
Stephen: Well it didn’t work but what you want to focus on like for us syndication. So we put a lot of effort into platforms like Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram in the early days. And Pinterest right now probably makes up about, you know, 5, 4 to 5% of our daily traffic. And we put a fair bit of work into that. So look, when it gets to SEO, focus on link building. I like literally content and link building. If you can focus on those two things, then, you know, Google’s going to start treating you right. So that’s what all the first 90 days be focused on your on page, get your structure right, get your you know, your on page technical lessons, you’re right, all of that get on Webmaster Tools, you know, so you can start seeing the traffic, everything like that, then beyond that really good content, you know, that’s engaging good, solid content. And that ranks well is so good length as well. And then start focusing on acquiring links. That’s the thing that most people hate doing. Most people are lazy doing if you can start doing link building and start actually, you know, acquiring links to your content for, you know, good quality links that are relevant in your industry. That’s how you’re going to rank no matter what anyone says. That’s just the 80/20 of being good at SEO. And I keep telling people that and everyone thinks there’s some kind of magic bullet, but it’s literally just a slog of acquiring links, sending a lot of emails and writing good content. But I guess my question is probably more around.
Ilana: Yes, there’s the link building aspect. But do you are there any other methods that you use for growth? I could leverage as you said, you know, you use Pinterest and Facebook? Like how exactly do you use those other properties to really generate traffic to your site? Like, is it just posting regularly? Or what do you do?
Stephen: Yeah, so with Pinterest what we did, so we probably use Pinterest more than Facebook. So we’ve Pinterest, each of our price would have a featured image on the actual website. And then we would also create a post a version of that image, kind of like a Pinterest optimized image. And then as soon as we would publish our site, our post it would get published on Pinterest as well. Another thing that we did, which actually did really well is we found a really good designer in the Philippines who was great at infographics, who we hired early on, and we published one infographic every single day. So for us, that allows us to scale the design aspect of everything we’re doing with Pinterest. So now we’ve been publishing one infographic every day. And with Pinterest. It’s funny like will ride an infographic on each of our content posts, and then attach it to the bottom if people want to share but will publish it natively on Pinterest.
And it’s you know, you get a lot that are hit and miss, but say one in 10 does really well. And it’ll just get repin across Pinterest. So we’ve had some which had like, hundreds of thousands of shares purely because, you know, it resonates with people and, you know, once it catches fire just keeps going. So Pinterest is a really good platform. If you’re in you know, fashion, health, beauty, fitness, a lot of those different kind of, you know, creative arts, interior design, home improvement. A lot of those spaces are really good for Pinterest. If you’re in something, you know, let’s say you’re in like MMA fighting or something like that might not be your probably your niche. But it’s it’s got its pros and cons. So that was a really easy way for us to grow. And another thing we did on Pinterest as well as group boards. So similar to Facebook, here, we’ve got groups on Pinterest, you’ve got group boards where you can, you know, comment, share or get involved in other people’s boards and post content that’s relevant. So we were able to get our content in other people’s boards where there’s a lot of followers. So there’s a lot of different ways you can use Pinterest. It’s just about providing creative content that’s shareable.
What Content Works and Quality of Traffic in Pinterest
Ilana: Do you think like, you know, no doubt, have tried lots of different things on Pinterest. Are there any kind of certain elements that makes up being more shareable and then something else? Like, if you could, you know, do you do things differently now, like now that you’ve kind of seen what works, what doesn’t work that makes something more shareable?
Stephen: You know, honestly, I still haven’t cracked that one. I think Pinterest. I can’t work out why people like some things. And others, like some designs, I think with horrible end up doing the best some, I think, do you know, look amazing, don’t do well. So I don’t know if it’s just like all these females, are they clicking it? Then my male brain just can’t handle and doesn’t. Yeah, or I can understand if it’s just like, my design eye is just totally off. So that’s the reason you’ve got to kind of do I think, high volume on Pinterest. Otherwise, you don’t know it’s too hard to figure out. But you know, I’m sure there is an underlying aspect of why something works. But I just haven’t worn that part out yet.
Ilana: I’m just curious, like, I guess being a bit of a data an analytical person. Have you had a look at the quality of that traffic from Pinterest? Like, is it is it good quality traffic? Or is it just people clicking and leaving straightaway?
Stephen: The biggest difference is with Pinterest. Like that’s a social platform. So people go on there to see social things to share to like and comment. But with facebook, I mean with Google, sorry, it’s all searching terms. So if people have, you know, a cold or some sort of problem, then they’re going to search for the problem. And then land on our site and read and sit and read the whole 4000 word article on how to get over the symptoms. So the content, the quality of click is always better on Google, because they’re sitting there looking in their intents, a lot more meaningful. However, Pinterest traffic is really good, just to show Google that you’re actually getting traffic from multiple places as well. They like that as a signal. But you know, we also get a lot of people that subscribe to Pinterest, too.
So you know, it’s not as good as Google in terms of the intent because I think at the end of the day, everything you want to focus on one, this media property is the intent where’s the buying intent coming from where you’re going to find buyers? Where are you going to, you know, where’s the quality coming from an SEO is great for that, because you can always target keyword with certain intent. And we started doing three different types of content. So we started doing content, which is kind of like a pillar post, like a different The Ultimate Guide to blah, blah, blah. And then we’ve also done review style posts once we started getting involved with like an Amazon affiliate, which is the best sneakers for women under 40, whatever that might be. And then we do a review of five different types of sneakers. So then there’s different types of posts there. So if someone comes to our sneakers, posts, the obviously the buying mentality, they’re looking at prices, they might click through to Amazon and buy a pair of shoes, then we’re going to get a commission from that. So that’s the reason we write for those types of people. And then we have a pillar post, which are more like educational and keeps people on the page longer, generally, longer content. And for us, that’s really good, because, you know, a lot of our revenue comes from display advertising, which is, you know, banner ads.
Ilana: Banner ads on your website, correct?
Stephen: Yeah, so we’re the publisher. So we actually have the ads and then you know, people who advertise the Google and things like that will show their ads on our site.
The Duration and Process Of Getting Exponential Growth
Ilana: Okay, I’ll get on get on to the monetize aspect in a minute. I just wanted to ask you one more thing on the scaling aspect. How long do you reckon it take it took you to really kind of get that exponential growth.
Stephen: So I think with SEO wrong ones, the quick wins overnight, it’s not that it’s not that simple, unfortunately. But when you put a lot of effort in, it comes out just a lot slower. So for us look at the analytics. But I think within the first three or four months, we saw barely any traffic site close to zero every day. And we started doing a bit of work so I was like, then maybe this isn’t working, maybe it’s not going to lead to the result I was expecting, you know, maybe the staff doing something wrong, where strategies wrong but then kind of months, five months six we started seeing is traffic spike and it started picking up and then it keeps going and it just kept going into this slow but steady growth ramp for the next two years and we really haven’t had any change in that growth ramp. So it really is just a slow and steady process and then week to week. We’ll start being you know tempts it up week to week on last week’s traffic so that actually that slow steady growth is totally natural with Google because you can’t go to quick, although they’re thinking something’s up. But at the same time, if you go too slow, or just kind of stagnate and sit where it’s at. So as long as you’re producing content regularly.
And as long as you’re doing your outreach with your link, building everything like that regularly, it’ll have that slow and steady increase. So I mean, it depends on how you build this type of site, right. So with this is why I said the monetization I wanted to do now, my next sides at the same time, because I own I don’t want to spend all my money into content and link building and then test, have to twiddle my thumbs and wait patiently for 12 months before the revenue starts rolling in, which is kind of what we did with this site. So the next slide I would do is with paid traffic, obviously, you can just turn it on and off. Whereas SEO, you’ve got to wait and be patient. So if you can find an industry where you can do both, and you’ve got the expertise where you can do both, I think that’s the golden egg. Because literally while we’ve got the team now working on content I’m building funnels on for a membership site for different offers physical for digital products, and we can start getting revenue through the door to start funding the content strategy. And then over the, say, the 12 months now we’ve got a fully fledged system on and on Facebook, we can acquire them there. And on YouTube, we can spend money there. And then the SEO system is working in the background. Because we build those systems from your previous media properties.
It’s kind of like, again, SEO takes time takes a lot of money, but it pays off in spades. Because now if we stopped everything, we would still have traffic coming, doing so be making money every single month for advertising and affiliates and all that, and we wouldn’t need to touch it. So it’s got its pros and cons.
Ilana: Yeah, look, you know, being a PPC person, I certainly don’t advocate that people I knew only do that, you know, I don’t think you should rely on only one traffic source. So is one piece of a big pie. So you’re really touching on all the pieces of the pie, which I think are really important to build the asset that will last like, so you can turn the PPC ads off. And you still, as you say, got traffic coming to your site. It’s like gardening, you’re planting the seeds, and you’re watering them every day. And, you know, once they once they fully grown to, well, you don’t have to maybe do I’m not a god enough. But you know, the analogy, you know, like it’s built the roots, the roots are well established in the soil, and it will continue to provide fruits from that initial labor.
Stephen: Yeah, exactly, right. So it’s just a matter of like, now, I’m kind of wise enough to know, back then I just wanted to build an asset, which is, you know, I wasn’t responsible to anyone for it was just kind of our own little egg that we grow and get bigger. And obviously, it would, you know, start generating revenue itself, and then that was it, and we can grow from there onwards, which it’s done. But now, if we would do it again, definitely, I think have a paid media acquisition of the company ago alongside the free one.
And that way, you can just, you know, start building and acquiring leads and customers and everything like that. One other problem we faced, which I regret not doing earlier, is in the health space, I never wanted to become seller of supplements or things like that, so that I just didn’t want to get involved in that space. Because I know it can be messy with merchant accounts, and all these different issues. So we couldn’t really sell what I couldn’t be a actual, you know, product sell. Whereas in a lot of these new sites we’re working with now, like, I’m totally comfortable with selling products in this space, and, you know, getting bigger from there onwards. So I think, make sure that you can actually sell a product or service or you might even be able to sell leads as well, I’ve got a friend who’s got a media property in the solar space. And you know, they’ve got tons of leads for inquiries about installing solar, and he just sells them off to different solar companies. So you can do it in you know, totally different industries, it’s just a matter of making sure you can monetize it appropriately.
Methods of Monetization
Ilana: Cool. Alright, so let’s talk about the monetization aspect.Using your example of property that you did I know you mentioned that you didn’t monetize early but when you did monetize, what are some of the methods and ways that you monetize.
Stephen: Yeah, so what we did I think very first one we did was just Amazon affiliate so we recommend people products and then based on the content that we put out to people to check out those products and buy through Amazon that was one and then Clickbank…
Ilana: Is the Amazon affiliate commission still 4%?
Stephen: Oh it’s horrible, it’s like 4 or 5%. But the goal I mean, the decent thing with Amazon is say they buy a fridge in the next two days, you still get Commission on that, even though you didn’t link them to a fridge. So it’s, it’s across their entire site. Obviously, in the States, Amazon is huge. And most of our traffic is in the US and UK. So it was pretty good in that respect. But again, it’s not great. Like for us, that’s kind of a second or third, fourth level, you know, revenue source, our biggest ones, obviously, advertising, so display in banner ads. So that whole kind of based in itself, because I came my experiences as an advertiser, not a publisher, and that ball game is like, very different. So they work on, you know, impressions. And the more impressions you have, the more money you make, because we’re not making money off clicks, right? Like, the more people that visit the site that loads impression, then the more money we make as a publisher, which is kind of backwards to an advertiser’s way of thinking.
Ilana: So CPM?
Stephen: CPM. Exactly, yeah. Because what happens is, when you’re working with sites with a lot of traffic, you’ll also get, you know, sites that doing direct response marketing. But a lot of these sites are just brand campaign. So you look at Quantus or Singapore Airlines or Google I, whatever it might be, these guys are just dumping budgets to get in front of people in the US or the UK or whatever. So a lot of their ads pop up on our site which is great but it just shows you that you know, how do we get them CPM is up on our site? And how do we get people to stay on our site longer now you start looking at all these different questions to try and boost your monetization on your website.
And that like that industry is you know, it’s interesting I learned a lot out of it, we’ve hired consultants and stuff to set it all up because I hadn’t not much I do and how it works but once you kind of dive in deeper as a publisher you start seeing that you know you can make more money by like there’s some little you know, hacks and things like that people are doing in the industry for example, if you have a banner ad Google allows you to load a new ad every 30 seconds and every 30 seconds a new ad load on your webpage then they make you make more money because you’re loading a new impression so like if you’ve ever gone to these like viral quiz sites you know you’ll click you know 17 historic war veterans have died with you know fungus or something I don’t know you know I always a weird crazy headlines they get you to click on and then like you see this like funny post or dislike when historic post in there make hit the Next button. And every time you go to a new page. The reason they do that is because you’ll see like seven ad placements around that button or around that image every time you hit. Next, another seven new ad placements pop up. You know, so if on average, you go through, like 20 of the slides, time driven ad placements, you know, it’s like, what’s that like 140 current, you know, impressions come up. So then what they do is they buy like Penny clicks and then they’ll make you know, two cents off. So they’ve got a 1% ROI, double their money they just keep pouring money into campaigns like that.
Ilana: An arbitrage?
Stephen: Yeah so, it’s like an arbitrage. So it’s literally just milking it. But for us obviously we were mainly on SEO so it was just getting as much out of our SEO traffic as we could so drew I don’t know it’s just a lot of it’s a totally different industry the advertising as an as a publisher kind of side of things which is going to learn because I think it’s important to know both sides that work. Bidding ad, you know selling ad space so that was really cool so there’s advertising Clickbank is another one, you know, just selling products.
Ilana: It’s not your own products? Because I imagine there’s more money in that compared as to selling products of other people.
Stephen: But in health one, we like, I didn’t go down that route. Because I didn’t want to get involved in building our own product, and doing all that kind of thing. I just knew that, like, on the paid media side, I know, like, Facebook’s a pain with health products, and there’s a huge, you know, policy changes and all that kind of stuff. And then I just didn’t want the headache really, I was like, with good content, we go to production, making money through advertising, let’s just keep scaling it rather than having to deal with refunds and this and that, like, it just becomes another business in itself almost. Whereas moving forward now, you know, we’ve kind of taken on that with never bring your own products in the mix, and e commerce as well as another opportunity. So like, the beautiful owning a media property is you can do whatever you want with it, that’s, I think the most important part is you own the asset. So whatever the site is, you know, could be whatever, solarauthority.com if you’re doing solar panels, people are coming to you through, you know, SEO people are coming through through Facebook, people are coming to you through whatever, there’s tons of different ways to monetize that. And you can be creative as well, you know, whether it’s selling leads, or you know, there’s something called co registration where after someone opts in, they can join a few other people’s email this as well, just by checking boxes, and then you can sell the link to these people, you know, there’s just tons of different ways you can start subscribing people through email to build your list and push notifications as well to build your push notification list.
Another really good way to, you know, get people to click when you want to send an offer out. So it’s just different ways, you know, you can have an e commerce store as well attached to your website, you can kind of sky’s the limit. And the best part is, when you’re ready to sell is the multiple is really good, because it’s already recurring revenue, that’s the most important thing. So, you know, when we’re ready to sell, we can get a 20 to 30 times month revenue. So let’s say you’re making 10 grand a month you can sell you generally, I think the market writes about 25 to 30 times monthly revenue. So you can look at, you know, 300 grand sell out if you’re only making 10 grand a month with your media property. So, like, it’s got a very good return on investment, if you’re looking to sell it. So if you’re making 50 grand a month, you know, that’s one and a half mil, just off a media property that’s doing something like that. And then if you really want to get fancy, if you build a little bit of software into your media property to turn into a SAS or, you know, something like that, then the software multiple goes up even higher, again, because it’s recurring revenue, and you’ve got a bit of IP behind there as well now, so it’s, it’s, you know, I kind of see it as a bit of a numbers game as well, like, how do we get the biggest multiple where’s the last team for what a difference monetization opportunities and you know, now you’ve got this asset, which, if you’re big enough, you might, you know, annoy another company in the space might just come and give you an offer to bite us. And it happens very often, like WMD sold recently as well, for like, a billion dollars or something like that crazy. And essentially, you know, that’s all they are, they’re just a media property, there’s answer a lot of questions and they put on the site, and then they get a lot of traffic. So if you can build that authority site in your industry, then it’s worth a lot to a lot of big brands as well. And they might coming gobble you up. And it could be a really nice exit for you.
Ilana: By the sounds of it is definitely a long term play.
Stephen: It is it definitely is not an overnight success thing. But I mean, like same with anything, I don’t think people should get turned off by it. Because it’s definitely something which it’s, you know, that’s how you going to set yourself apart from your competitors, your competitors, just going to have their brand new website. And then a blog attached to it was just thinking, this is a blog. And that’s your main focus blogging and putting content out for your marketplace. I think it’s just yet like here in Australia, we’ve got find a.com today, you and these guys are just a comparison website. And, you know, now they’ve kind of become a media property in their own right, comparing different third party products. So you can do it in tons of different ways. It’s just a matter of finding out what works in your industry.
Promoting Content on the Paid Side
Ilana: Very, very cool. Have you ever kind of experiment with sponsored content?
Stephen: Yeah, so we get hit up very often about sponsored content, it just depends on the brand that you want to work with. A lot of the ones that reject was a pretty average, especially in health, like random supplements. I’m like, Look, I don’t want to associate with that. But we have had a few we’ve posted content and it works really well. You know, it gets some really good engagement, you send it out to you. email is sent out, you know, notifications, and people love it. So, you know, you can do things like quizzes, you can do things like in different tops, I can’t, it doesn’t just have to be long, too long for me to but once you’ve got that traffic, you know, you can engage with people as much as you want.
Ilana: Well, one thing I do want to ask you from, obviously, I’m interested in what you do on the paid traffic side of things, because that’s my slot. So I’m just curious what you mean, do you use like Facebook ads to promote content? Or do you promote, like, you know, some kind of lead magnets to get them on the email list? Like, how do you leverage I guess, all that you’ve built on your website with like, what do you promote PPC wise?
Stephen: Yeah, so I mean, with PPC, we didn’t touch it. Like, there’s no correlation between Facebook ads and SEO. So there’s no point spending money on that you won’t get any benefit out of the SEO as much as people think that will help. But what we do on now on the PPC side is we start driving paid traffic from like we’ve built I’m trying to build a membership model into pretty much all media properties. So a membership site, that community where people can just go through and pay month after month for content.
And essentially, a Facebook model is just doing the same thing, you know, any final does is just targeting with either a lead magnet or a webinar or something like that, putting through the membership site. And then once we’ve got them as a customer, then we can start sending them back well, media property as building the brand of the community. So it’s kind of in reverse was with the SEO side, we get them through the media property, and then we sell them the membership site. Okay, so it’s literally just targeting both sides of the fence, you know, using a funnel, whether it’s whatever it is landing page or a free plus shipping offer or lead magnet, we just get them qualified through the Facebook and then take them to the membership or vice versa.
Ilana: Okay, but you’re not using Facebook ads to promote your pillar content and stuff.
Stephen: No. So we don’t do that. It could work. I’m sure it could. But if you’ve got an email list that’s pretty sizable after building up, you know, going direct response straight to a membership or whatever your product is, then you can just send it out to that list. I find that works just as well.
Ilana: Yeah. Have you experimented with Pinterest ads?
Stephen: No, that’s one I haven’t touched yet. I’m sure it actually wouldn’t be quite good, because I don’t think it’s that mainstream yet. But I think it would do quite well. I just haven’t tested it yet.
Ilana: Yeah, so from the content point of view, you’re not actually amplifying it with paid mechanisms as well at all.
Stephen: It’s just all organic or, you know, syndicated out to our audience but paid we haven’t touched it for syndication it just again, you know, the efforts of we can put into that a bit of put into acquiring new opportunities with backlinks or new opportunities with spending more money on content. So literally the the opportunity cost just isn’t there for us right now.
Ilana: Interesting. It’s an interesting take because I think there’s so many people industry you talk about using Facebook ads to promote the content but remarketing list
Stephen: I think it could work. I don’t get me wrong, I think it’s dead. But I just it’s something which, you know, for us, if we spend more money on getting the content but about other people look, what we would do is I would use that for that for the Facebook side of things. So let’s say we want to get people to the membership site, then we couldn’t put content out, then remind them to leave me then remark that with the membership option, you know, something like that would work for that element. But it doesn’t make sense to get, you know, our content, which is geared and written for SEO purposes to a paid media audience, because it’s just not written for that. That reason, I guess.
Ilana: Yeah, it’s opportunity cost, you know, it’s like, you’ve got a finite amount of money, we were to spend it. So..
Buying Websites Have Good Content and SEO History
Stephen: Really quick. And this is something we’re doing as well as just buying small site. So again, you got to do your due diligence. But if you can find a site that’s got a lot of content, or got a great history with SEO, and things like that, you can just gobble them up by them, and then roll them into your site, or leverage it and keep it as well and grow it on its own. So there’s a lot of opportunities to grow quickly. It doesn’t have to be starting from scratch like we did, it can be, you know, finding something that’s already existing, if you’ve got the money for it, and then growing it from there.
Ilana: So if you go down that strategy Are you then redirecting those acquired domain URLs to your website, or you’re keeping that existing property?
Stephen: It’s up to you. So what we do is, if we’ve got big site already, then we can find smaller ones, enroll them in so we redirect all the content and we move the content on our site. Otherwise, if we want to keep it separate, and we want to build something new, we might just go out and buy one and then build off that, right. But you just have to be a little careful that you don’t find something with a bad you know, backlink profile, or it’s been spammed, or you know, this content on there, that’s not that great, something like that. You don’t want to end up buying a dad and then only realizing after you’ve purchased it, because you’ve got to do a bit of due diligence. So I think if if it’s not a huge site, or if it’s not something that’s going to make a decent impact, you’re probably better off just, again, opportunity cost is, you know, using the same strategies that we’re doing and building your site the right way from day one.
What Would He Have Done Differently If He’s Starting All Over Again
Ilana: Yeah, it’s kind of leads me into my next question, which is, you touched on before that if you had your time, again, you would have monetized the entire way through, is there anything else that you would do differently if you were starting again?
Stephen: if you’re starting again, I think definitely find an industry where I’d be comfortable different channel marketing, I wouldn’t rely solely on SEO. So that’s a big one that we’re doing now. And then I think it’s just again, like selling products obviously, monetize earlier. One thing that I absolutely hate is email marketing. I haven’t for some reason there’s a big like despising hate against email marketing, and that much at all, to be honest, and we’ve gotten so much traffic, but even if we just put a pop up on I’m sure we’d get him to emails. But it just something I haven’t done. So I need to get over my fear of that or hire someone to come and do it for me, because it’s just missing out on so many opportunities. But yeah, so something like that, I need to definitely do that. Something I would do, probably. But otherwise, one more thing I think I’ll do well, and we’re taking a lot more time to do now is building a real brand. So we kind of put this slide up, the first one is like a test like, you know, we didn’t know it was going to work or not started picking up and it’s done well, but it’s just kind of a site.
Whereas I think if you want to get that big, you know, you want Google to you as an authority and you want to get the eyeballs of other peoples that are going to buy you out, you want to really build a brand around it. So, you know, you look at BuzzFeed or something like that, you know, you associate fun, associate exciting, quizzes, polls engaging or that kind of thing. Whereas you see some other authority sites or media properties, they just a theme kind of site with content on them that are just mainly they don’t look that trustworthy, though. So I think one thing we’re going to head more towards the branding side of things, you know, what you stand for, what do you have the content out there who’s your target audience you know, really getting clear on that and building a brand around that with the colors with how people feel when they visit the site building the community which is part of the membership site so it’s really as a 360 degree business we’re hitting it on from all different angles and I think they’re the ones that convert the best so if you see like you know, other big shots one good one seems like DoctorX.com he’s a and another person in the health space that’s doing this quite well. He’s the face of the company and you know, they’ve built a really nice brand around it. And you know, they doing really well on SEO and really well on paid traffic is all side by side. So I think they’re really good illustration on how to do well, another example is like, if you want to say one more based around reviews, it’s called “runaclick” so runaclick.com, and they do a whole lot of reviews on you know, sportswear and things like that, on reviewing runners and things like that. So they’re really good illustration on how to build up your Amazon revenue. But at the end of the day, you know, the key here is not to be built on rented land, you don’t have build on Google too much it on a building Facebook too much. Because if something happens, then you need your own earned media. You only be using, you know, our own media the entire time we rely on that.
Ilana: I couldn’t agree with you more on that.
Stephen: Yeah, so it’s, it’s kind of a thing, I think you can use these as channels. But at the end of the day, you know, building your own email is build your own push notifications, let’s build your own, you know, site acquisition methods, where you own the media, and you can drive everything over and over again. So that’s kind of what we’re doing with all the animals.
Ilana: Very, very awesome. And he presented we showed a screenshot of the analytics showing 50,000 visitors a day. That’s an amazing achievement. Well, done some sounds like it’s been a lot of work for you guys. But it’s more than paid off. Okay, so congratulations on that.
Stephen: No, thank you. So hopefully, you know, it kind of opens the makes things a bit more transparent, if you’re looking to get into that space. And, you know, I guess, clarifies any questions you’ve got.
Marketing Hacks From Stephen
Ilana: Yeah, no, definitely are, you’ve covered heaps of stuff. In the style of this episode, we sort of promise that you cover a couple of the marketing hacks that you shared at Digital Marketer Down Under. So, as promised, do you reckon we can I guess we’re running out of time, but just quickly cover some of the marketing hacks because some I was in both your sessions, and there were some various hacks that you mentioned. So I think it’s worth sharing here as well.
Stephen: Yeah, so I’ll give you a few that came out, I’m just gonna run through with a presentation see on my screen. So one that we did, which is really good is running competitions. So pop up to a competition, and then what you use as a tool called contest domination, you enter on that pop up, and then essentially, you put your email in if you want to give away some gear or some sort of product, and then people can recommend their friends as well to join the competition. And then really through that process, you’re getting people who are interested in your product plus their recommendation. So you can get an opt in rate of over 100% through that process, which is really cool. So that’s one.
What’s another one I’m trying to find some cool I’m so it would apply media properties. So this is what we did for a media property. Recently, we did some we looked we need for a new logo. So it looked for a new logo, we didn’t know what would resonate with the market because we’re not directly in the market. So we joined a whole lot of Facebook groups, and then put out three different logos. They looked at the logos, and pretty much voted on which logo was the best. And there were really targeted groups, and we got all our feedback, they all went to the same logo, which we thought would never win and had all that, you know, dumped her cost zero dollars. So now we’ve got, you know, over 500 votes for logos on which one should win. And we did that really targeted specific to the media property without even having to pay anyone. So that’s a really easy hack. What else do we have? Oh, no. Did you have any particular ones that you liked?
Ilana: I’m checking down on my list too…Keyword Kagan, keyword finders, tool. Like I use keyword King as well. So I think it’s a cool keyword tool.
Stephen: Yeah, the we have, I’ve got tons of Chrome extensions. So maybe there’s some Chrome extensions, because I know like, I kind of geek out on this stuff.
Ilana: Yes. And I can see one that you mentioned, which I’m sure you mentioned it. But anyway.
Stephen: Yeah, it’s like Chrome extensions we had was one of our users “builtwith” so built with pretty much just goes through and tells you what websites have in terms of their tech stack, or plugins on your website. Really easy. One keyword cake, which you mentioned is really good for keyword volume tells you how much it keyword volume is. And then also, we have this speed controller. So this really isn’t much of a marketing cap. But it’s saved me so many times, and even at once and for watching Netflix, honestly, like if I’m not even doing anything productive, but like, it puts a little controller on your overlay on all your videos. And you can speed up and slow down the video with this little controller. And you can pass for 30 seconds and back 30 seconds. So when you use it, you can get past or Facebook ads, you can get past of all YouTube ads with it. You can speed up your actual, you know, view ability. But 1.3 or 1.5 It’s amazing. It’s really one of my favorite little tools.
Ilana: That is something I have Asterid did. That’s the word of my notes that I took. Because nothing annoys me more than these video sales letters on pages or videos that have no controllers to you know, even know where you are in the video. Like drives me crazy. So I am I’m going to be installing this whenever I next see one of those annoying videos.
Stephen: Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s really good. Another one we did was turning your Facebook ads into cartoons as a way of split testing them I’m really easy way to try and make it work to try, you know, get their click through rate up and something that you know people aren’t used to seeing. So
Ilana: So like we said this company called bond where they right hand I think in the days of automation and sort of, you know, hiding behind new website and not kind of being having a personalized approach. I think this is a really good opportunity for businesses to stand out.
Stephen: That’s right. Yes. Audience bond dot CEO for memory, maybe just google it to check. But don’t Yeah, they write, you can write a note on your phone, send it off to them. And they’ll hand write it. And believe it or not, it’s using them machines a hand, right. But it literally looks like a handwritten note. Like someone written it. And but it’s only in the US for the moment. So if you’ve got clients in the US, you can do that, which is a really neat thing.
And then yeah, I guess there’s a few other bits and pieces in there. But I think that’s probably that apply. I’m sure you know, if you want more, just let me know, you can hook it up with your audience and, you know, chatting about it. But yeah, I mean, hacks and things that tools, I think a really powerful it’s just a way of again, leveraging your time do you have to waste time doing all this, you know, like, if I’ve been able to build a media property, you know, we’d like buddy over a million words written and I haven’t gotten a single one of them, then you guys should definitely be using tools because you don’t need a writer in this day and age to write code, you know, to have a content site, you don’t need to be a Facebook advertiser to you know, run Facebook traffic, you just it’s just so easy to leverage other skill sets and other tools and stuff to get what you want out of the world.
Ilana: Yeah, and I think that’s really inspiring for people because I think people can get really overwhelmed with all there is to do or there it’s possible to do and and this sort of paralysis by analysis really in that and so what happens is people do nothing and i’ve you know I’ve certainly been guilty of that just so much to do you don’t even know where to start you know so um, you’ve definitely potted some words of wisdom today so mindful of your time and I think might wrap it up here but before we do where can people find out more information about you and your business
Stephen: Yeah you can just contact me on facebook just look up Stephen a census and just send me a message more than happy to applaud anyone but otherwise you can find me on Stephen escapes calm, which is my main site needs a bit of an update but you’ll find some content on there are going to sales funnels and, you know, content stuff we’re about to launch. When I say we’re about we might be launching soon a new site based on media properties on how to build them and things like that. So that’s kind of been in progress for a little while. But I want to get something like that out because I think it’s really needed. But yeah, feel free to hit me up. I’m happy to answer any questions you’ve got and you know, kind of help you out along the way. And if you’re in Australia, I’m gonna give a quick plug. We’re running a conference next year in March. So running a digital marketers Australia conference in Melbourne for two days, March 18, and 19th. So come down to that we’re going to have some awesome speakers and content and hacks, lots of hacks.
Ilana: Awesome. I think there’s a huge need for some digital marketing conferences in Australia. So thank you for providing that for us. We really needed it! (laughs)
Stephen: It’s going to be good!
Ilana: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on today. Show you’ve been so generous with your knowledge and your time and yeah, I’ll check to you soon.
Stephen: Thanks so much for having me!