What you will learn
Today we’re doing the first quarterly update for 2017.
This podcast episode will give you an insight into our businesses, including what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and some exciting things we have planned for the rest of the year.
Launching The Authority Site System
In October we started work building The Authority Site System, which is a complete start-to-finish course on building your own authority site.
In contrast to Authority Hacker Pro – which is for people who are looking to grow their existing websites – The Authority Site System is for people who are essentially starting from scratch with little to no knowledge of online marketing.
The whole project took around 6 weeks to finish (with the help of Perrin) and comprised of 75 highly-actionable lessons. Surprisingly, we still managed to get it all done with 10 days to spare on the deadline.
At the same time, we also started a new site which would become the focus of The Authority Site System. That way, people going through the course could actually see us doing the work. It was very challenging but we’re really happy with the result (and most importantly, so are our members).
As for the launch, we decided to do it in January in order to capitalize on people who were dead-set on making the whole “online marketing thing” work in 2017. We knew people would be far more willing to invest in themselves around this time of year.
As part of the launch, we did a 7-episode new year starter series for the podcast – and it worked out pretty well. We did think about doing the classic 3-part video launch, but in all honesty, we don’t have the infrastructure set up for that right now.
Creation to launch did take up a ton of our time and resources because we were essentially building everything from scratch – like the sales page, thank you page and members area. That said, the launch did better than expected and we plan to relaunch soon using an evergreen scarcity funnel. (Which – by the way – will be our next blueprint for Authority Hacker Pro)
Growing Authority Hacker
At the end of 2016 we started looking to expand our team and take on a full-time writer for the Authority Hacker blog.
In the end, we hired Lewis (that’s me) to focus on writing SEO and marketing tool reviews. Even though review posts aren’t the most profitable, they are still a real-world reflection of what we use as marketers. Sometimes on a daily-basis. As long as we add value and remain critical of the tool under review, we feel these type of articles can be beneficial for everyone.
The first post Lewis published was a review of KWFinder, which did go through some revisions but we got it right in the end. Our goal for the future is to increase publishing frequency to (hopefully) 2-3 times per week, while also decreasing the average article length.
After all, not everything we put out has to be a 10,000 word article that sparks debate. Sometimes, we just need to answer the more mundane questions. You know, the ones we all ask ourselves in when we’re in the trenches actually building out and growing authority sites.
(We’ve linked to some of the example posts mentioned in the resources below)
Finally, another thing we will be focusing on this year is YouTube. The Authority Hacker Youtube channel has amassed over 6,000 subscribers without any intentional effort to grow it. Our videos are barely optimized and we’re confident with a bit of love, we can grow it into a valuable business asset.
Authority Hacker Pro
It’s been 6 months since we released a blueprint for Authority Hacker Pro. We know our members are waiting patiently for the next one and it’s definitely at the top of our list right now. As of next week, we’ll be working overtime to produce more advanced blueprints for you guys.
On top of that, we’ll also be introducing a new section for smaller individual topics as opposed to a 15-video blueprint. After all, not everything we want to share fits neatly inside an entire blueprint. Not to mention, some of our members have created amazing content that we plan to feature inside the members area as well.
We are having some issues with hosting right now and we’re actually in the process of migrating hosts. There has been slight delays since merging the membership with our main site was a bit more difficult than anticipated – but we’re getting there.
If you’re not yet a member and you’re looking to get access to Authority Hacker Pro, we’ll probably re-open around the end of April, beginning of May. If you want to be the first to know, get yourself on the early-bird list by clicking here.
Planning To Scale
As part of our efforts to really scale up our business in 2017 (see last weeks podcast episode), we’re reinvesting our profits into growing the team and building out new systems that can handle rapid growth.
For Health Ambition – which saw it’s most profitable year in 2016 – we’re scheduling the production of 1,000 pieces of content (nope, that’s not a typo) over the course of the next 12 months. The content will be a mix of both affiliate content and skyscraper content, but also optimizing everything for social media.
We are seeing a correlation between content that gets shared and content that generates links. And we’ve found the best way to promote content is through building up those key social media channels – so you’ll likely see more from us in the social media department this year.
Besides, if we’re going to pay someone to promote our content, we may as well give it to Facebook and have the ability to promote our posts at the click of a button. For example, Perrin’s post received 1,500 clicks from Facebook for $40 – which is not bad… not bad at all.
(You also have to consider people like John Dykstra over at FatStacksBlog who’s making around $38 per thousand visits with ad networks)
Lastly, we’re also looking to revisit our info-product funnels and give them a bit of a refresher. Realistically, we hope to do that towards the end of the year.
Growing A Team In Budapest
As a final note, we’re also growing our operations in Budapest, Hungary. In case you didn’t know, that’s where Gael and Mark are based ;)
Kicking that off, we decided to do something we never thought we’d consider doing again – rent an office space. We just feel that with the way things have progressed in our business, we’re now at a point where building a team locally will allow us to scale much more efficiently.
For example, there are a lot difficulties in trying to produce 1,000 pieces of content. Everything from managing people to managing processes need to be considered. Up until now, the way we’ve developed content and built links works, but not so much at scale. Those are exactly the kind of things we’ve been tweaking in preparation for plans to scale.
For our in-house link builders we’ve invested in several MailShake accounts thanks to the recent AppSumo deal for a lifetime membership. This is essentially a GMass alternative and it’ll most likely be at the heart of our link building efforts going forward.
(Lewis – that’s me again – is also working on in-depth reviews for both GMass and MailShake, so keep your eyes out for those)
Finally, we’re focused on intelligently re-investing profits. That means not throwing money at problems, but actually being efficient with how we spend money and keeping everything profitable. That’s why we’ve already started a few more sites this year, following the exact steps inside The Authority Site System.
So that’s our update for Q1 of 2017.
I’m sure you’ll agree we’ve got a lot on our plate, but we’re confident this will be a year of massive growth and development for all our businesses. Of course, you’ll be kept in the loop on the progress of those plans in future podcast episodes.
Speaking of podcast episodes, next week Gael and Perrin will be discussing the upcoming changes to Amazon Associates. Stay tuned for that.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
Mark: Hey guys and welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast, my name is Mark, and today I am here again with Gael. How is it going?
Gael: Hey. It’s going okay, just in transition period between two major activities right now, but it’s good.
Mark: Are you going to share what those activities are or is that a top secret?
Gael: I am starting a new blueprint for Authority Hacker Pro next week. We’ll talk about this in the podcast, but I was doing a lot of planning for new sites and current sites, and now I am actually starting a new blueprint for Authority Hacker Pro, so that’s what’s coming.
Mark: Awesome. So today’s podcast is a quarterly update, anyway it’s a little late, I think it was October the time we did the last one, but we are doing this podcast to kind of give you guys, our audience, an insight into our businesses, our sites, what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and kind of the thinking that goes on behind our strategy for this year. We are also going to do a bit of a review of the stuff we’ve done since the last update, some interesting things there, and for any fans of Authority Hacker who I hope all of you guys are, we are going to give you guys a bit of an insight in some exciting things we have planned for this year including as you just heard some new blueprints. If you want to follow along to this show, any links, resources or if you want to leave us a comment and we read them all, we respond to them all, go to authorityhacker.com/61, and you can find more info there. Okay, so it was October since we did the last one, it’s now 12th of February as we are recording this, so what we’ve been up to since then?
Gael: As always, right on time for the podcast, we have a huge backlog, it’s not like we are releasing that podcast on the 13th of February [laugh]
Mark: We’ve adopted a just in time methodology, apparently it’s more efficient.
Gael: Yeah, okay. So what was the question?
Mark: What have we been up to since October, what’s been going on in our businesses?
Gael: Mostly, the authority site system launch I would say, I mean, October was like just after the Authority Hacker Pro launch, right, we just had done that, and we actually first of all, we built the authority site system, right, so the authority site system if you don’t know is our course Authority Hacker Pro is more for growing existing websites, and people were getting into it that don’t have an existing website, and so they were missing that piece on starting new authority sites and essentially that is what the authority site system is. And so, we spent something like six weeks, basically October and November with Perrin, building that course, it’s been like 75 videos and lessons, etc, there is quite a lot of stuff.
Mark: And I think that was the first course we’ve done which was actually completed exactly on time if not early, if I remember correctly.
Gael: It was completed ten days early. Which is good, it was a challenge because we also had to start brand new site, right, in that time that we created a course, we actually built a brand new site as well, I think there is 55 pages of content on it, so we had to find writers, and outsource.
Mark: Yes, this was for the case study, for the product, yeah.
Gael: Yeah. So the course is actually as building that site, so we had to do all of that plus build the course in six weeks. Perrin and I were pretty happy when it was done, it was definitely challenging, and that’s the biggest course we’ve done so far, usually our blueprints are 8 to 15 videos I would say. This one was 75.
Mark: Yeah. Quite a step up. But I think you’ve got to do that, when you are targeting beginners, just to give them the background information and just really to explain everything.
Gael: If you want to give enough nuance to things, I’ve seen a lot of courses where it’s like here is how to install WordPress and Bluehost, etc, well, first of all, you can find that for free on YouTube and second of all, what settings do I use, what are the exact plugins I should use, how do I set up each plugin, how do I do my keyword research, how do I decide which niche as well, which is a long process, how do I outsource, how do I find writers, how much do I pay them, if you answer all these questions, it becomes quite a long process, but it was, I am happy to have done that, let’s just say that, it was definitely challenging to try to address as many as possible, but people that joined the September launch also got access basically as soon as we were done to the course and we had really positive feedback which is why we decided to make it available to everyone in January, which we have done.
Mark: Yeah, the one thing I would say is a lot of people, there were a few people who bought during the January launch who were already AH Pro members, they didn’t realize that they already had access, I think that’s our bad for not communicating it well enough, we put a big link on the home page and of AH Pro and posted in the Facebook group, but I don’t think we emailed the members.
Gael: No we didn’t.
Mark: So, if you didn’t know, if you are an AH Pro member and you signed up before the end of September, you probably have access to this already for free, if you are interested.
Gael: Yeah. We refunded a bunch already. We are not going to take people’s money when they already paid for it. So we refunded it. So we did the launch in January-
Mark: But it was quite a lot of work, especially because we spent so much time and energy on the AH Pro launch in September that immediately afterwards it was kind of like oh we got to get this product out and plan a launch for it.
Gael: It was non stop basically, between August and January I’ve had maybe six days of break.
Mark: Yeah, and we had this, I think it was my idea to launch it in the second week of January, to kind of capitalize on the New Year’s resolution market, I mean, I think it was quite a nice angle, what we did was we did this warm up sequence which is basically seven podcasts, one a day in the first week of January, like a New Year starter series.
Gael: And we’ve got to be honest, the real classic way of doing that stuff is to do like these three video series stuff etc. But the truth is we have none of the setup to do these videos at this point, so like well we might as well use our podcast feed because people listen to us every week, so we might as well just use that to build that one off content and, to be frank, I am not sure we got much worth results with that method than we would get with super fancy videos, until we’ve done it it’s hard to tell if it’s better or not, but it’s been proven quite effective.
Mark: But one thing for sure is we are not going to be doing any launches the first week of January, in the future because I kind of killed the Christmas holidays quite a bit so yeah…
Gael: My Christmas was building sales pages and sales videos which was interesting. Especially when you haven’t had, like when you’ve just finished the product and you had the launch just before that. But anyway, we did it, right, and the real challenging part was like this wasn’t necessary as big as the AH Pro stuff we do usually, etc, but we had to do everything from scratch, right, when we relaunch an existing product, we already have existing sales pages, we already have emails, we already have a lot of stuff, so it’s more of a matter of tweaking it and optimizing it, whereas this was brand new and as a result we had to build everything, including a new sales page, new sales videos, new thank you pages, new options in our membership area, all that stuff and even though the launch wasn’t as big, it was actually probably double the work from an AH Pro launch, for this one; now, the next one will be much easier though.
Mark: The launch went really well, I was surprised it did as well as it did actually, we didn’t really have too big expectations on it but that was awesome. But the plan is to then, so it’s closed now, but the plan is to relaunch it in like a few months time, we are not 100% sure, I think it depends a lot on some of the tech and we’ll get into that in a sec, but the plan is to relaunch it as a sort of evergreen product but with evergreen scarcity built in which is a tricky tech- you know more about this than I do.
Gael: We’ll figure that out, if you bought the affiliate blueprint on AH Pro you know what I am talking about, and it’s been a bit quirky like this, so if you haven’t bought lately there has actually been a few quarks to that but it’s mostly because I haven’t attended to it for a while, and that is mostly because it is going to be replaced, but, we have pretty good technology on evergreen scarcity funnels, it works pretty well, it makes it hard to game the system but essentially the principle is that people when they opt in to your email list, you can start a timer, and make special offers, so I could say like, “hey you just joined the Authority Hacker list so you just read this article,” or whatever, action you take with us, and it triggers that kind of like launch on autopilot for you, it creates a real timeline where you may have like an early bird discount or some bonus or whatever it is. Essentially an incentive for people to buy, and that is actually the next blueprint in AH Pro, that is the one I am working on right now, it’s actually showing people how we build these evergreen scarcity funnels, we have two live right now that work for our sites and I found it to be extremely effective in the sense that most evergreen funnels, it’s like “oh check my product, check my product, check my product” but there is no incentive to buy it right now, if you have this kind of like evergreen scarcity thing where it really closes, like it’s not like a cheesy marketer thing where you put a timer on the sales page, you maintain your integrity while tapping into the power of scarcity which is really a good way to build ongoing revenue as a business, which is I’d say one of our main challenges as Authority hacker this year.
Mark: Yeah. And it filters into the strategy I guess we had in terms of our products for Authority Hacker. We had an AH Pro which was the gear towards intermediate advanced people that already had sites and now the Authority Site System fills in that gap at the lower end, and there are various reasons for that, I didn’t want to dilute the AH Pro community with newbies too much, but also, AH Pro now its price probably maybe too expensive for some newbies to take. So now that we have these products in place, which really took up I guess most of the year last year-
Gael: Yeah, last year was like building products, it was the main thing, look at the amount of blueprints to release on AH Pro and plus the Authority Site System etc, our Vimeo account now which is where our premium videos are hosted, right, there is something like 300 videos on it, and they are not all public, but I’d say over 200 are. And, so we are really putting a lot of info content out there.
Mark: But now, the focus is, we are going to be pushing AH Pro even more, but we are also, we feel like we’ve neglected the blog and free content on site quite a lot.
Gael: Perrin helped already, but it’s definitely not perfect at this point.
Mark: Yeah. Towards the end of last year, we started to look for new writers and we actually hired a guy, Lewis, who I think just published his first one last week, the Keyword Finder.
Gael: Yes, he started on January 1st but we published his post on February, it was a training period, which he said was the hardest job he ever had.
Mark: Yeah, and he is actually also doing other stuff, like uploading the podcast, so if you are reading the show notes, chances are Lewis did this, thanks very much man, that has really allowed us to put more of a focus on doing reviews which is something that is very profitable for us, but very time consuming.
Gael: I wouldn’t say like very profitable, in percentage of revenue it’s not very high, but I like them because first of all, they are a real world reflection of the world of people that actually build websites, we have to use tools. And we have to pick the right tools and technology is very important to do that. I like keeping everything very actionable and reward oriented rather than big startup concepts. And so like tools are a perfect way to get into that provided that you add value and you actually are critical of the tools that you review, when you review them, right, rather than just saying everything is possible.
Mark: Not doing the Bluehost 5 star review.
Gael: Yeah, exactly, provided that you really ask yourself the questions that website owner has, so for example we did keyword finder, and keyword finder is a really good tool, I really like it. However, the 200 keyword limit can be a problem and Lewis was like, I was like okay, he first wrote a review and I literally deleted everything, and I was like no, you got to get into the shoes of people, like go and do keyword research for that site, and then come back and write your review. So he did and he just ran out of keywords multiple times etc, and he points several times in the review that it’s a great tool but as long as you have data, otherwise, that can be complicated, then you compare what you get for each dollar, what other keyword tools can I have for the same amount of money, which one is a best value in which case, etc, so for example he compared with Long Tail Pro and you could argue Long Tail Pro offers more keywords, but really the reason why is because the smallest plan on Long Tail Pro is equivalent to the middle plan on Keyword Finder, so actually if you compare both, it’s quite comparable. There is a lot of things to think about that most reviewers don’t do so, I like doing this, they do make us money from affiliate, are we getting rich out of them on Authority Hacker- not really, but I like the real world vision and I don’t think many people do that in the online marketing world in terms of really asking themselves the question does this do the job, does this feel the need that I need from that too. And how much time and money do I need to invest, not just money but time as well.
Mark: Yeah, it’s a difficult thing writing a good review, I think we took our inspiration from a lot of tech and gadget sites, which do it very well, but yeah, it’s something we’ve been constantly improving over time, for other sites as well.
Gael: My here for reviews is MKBHD on YouTube, that guy reviews smartphones and stuff, but he does some of the best reviews out there, literally, he is the king of the internet for reviews for me. His videos are 5 to 10 minutes, so they are very short but he packs a lot in it and he is very concise and that is why he is one of the biggest YouTubers today actually.
Mark: This year, for Authority Hacker I am actually trying to produce more content like blog type content, in a slightly different way, I mean, what have we learned last year from doing that?
Gael: It’s not like stuff we learned, it’s more stuff we fail, so like my fail was the blog, it’s definitely generating good engagement etc, and Perrin taking over, it’s not like it all dropped off and nobody is reading it anymore etc, which is good but it’s not exactly in the same spirit as Authority Hacker was when we just started, in a sense that we were more known for our practical value short blog posts, discussing very specific topics, wheres now we are more talking about broader topics, broader things but they end up being quite ranty and long, really long, like some of these posts are like nine thousand words, it’s like an e-book. And, I had this long discussion with Perrin and our goal now is to not only increase the frequency, but actually decrease the length, like I am doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing in this industry, which is make it shorter and go back to more, maybe sometimes mundane topics. We can’t come up with a blog post that is going to quadruple your blog growth every time we write, but asking questions like in terms of comments, how should you manage it on your site or talking about how to write good headlines or how to brand your site, questions you will ask yourself if you actually build websites in real life, I want to get back to more, or like little tips and tricks in WordPress or that kind of stuff, I want to go back more to that kind of stuff make it more regular but also less time consuming so you don’t need to take an hour off to read a blog post when we publish it, and some videos, some mini downloadable stuff etc, focus on that.
So that is Perrin’s challenge this year, that is what he has to do, he is working quite hard on it, and I think the next blog post we’ll publish will be more in that vibe. And now it also means that we can go for lighter stuff, so we don’t need to have a philosophical debate every time we publish, we can just have like a list of things that we like etc, so last year we did for example the 33 Chrome extensions that we use, etc, but also more original insight, so I told him I want you to write less but I want you to get more into the real world, so last year two posts that he did I really liked, which were the one looking at the keyword difficulty, on different keyword tools, that post is very popular, and the other one was testing different content writing services and ordering the same article and seeing which one made more sense and was better. So we are going to focus also on that, on like real life insight/ case studies/ trying things etc. So really, everything we are doing, with the reviews, with the shorter content but more real life insight etc is focused on packing more value in less words and maybe making it easier to read, so you don’t have to as I said spark a philosophical debate every time you read a blog post that we write. That is essentially where we want the blog to go and with that, the podcast and the reviews it’s quite possible we’ll be publishing two or three times a week in a short time.
Mark: Yeah, and we are actually recruiting another writer to help us out with this at the moment, and so if anyone out there fancies working with us, then head on over to authorityhacker.com/jobs and you can find the links and descriptions and application forms there.
Gael: Yeah, Another thing I want to say also is we have something like, we are getting to 7 thousand subscribers on YouTube right now. Even though I’ve just used it as a hosting platform for our free videos. And, no video optimized at all, most of them have no descriptions, barely any text, it’s very bad how it’s optimized. But, we still manage to get quite a lot subscribers etc, so not right now, but probably like end of the summer, I am going to probably be looking at using that as a channel as well to grow because I actually believe that YouTube has more opportunities than podcasts, even though we are doing it mostly we did podcast by convenience, it’s very easy to call on Skype and record, but I actually believe that because YouTube is a real search engine whereas for podcast there is not good search engine, there is big opportunities there and I am more thinking of like the questions we are doing sometimes on the podcast, I am moving them to the YouTube platform when we have a new office and just answering quick questions like making 2 to 5 minutes videos on YouTube and uploading two or three a week or something. And growing that there basically, so that is one thing I’d love to explore with content this year, I can’t guarantee it’s going to be done, it depends on everything else, but, that would be great.
Mark: Yeah, it’s interesting, totally off topic, but the music radioshow, A State of Trance, they just moved from being an audio, it’s one of the largest radios shows in the world, they moved from being audio to every week full video live stream on Facebook and YouTube so I definitely think that- certainly for me, I am much more inclined now to watch it than I was, because it’s kind of like if there is a podcast every week, it’s kind of something going on, I’ll listen to it another day, but something about, even if it’s the same content, something about seeing someone do it, or like speak it, I think it’s very powerful in terms of attracting return subscribers to keep watching.
Gael: Yeah, and just YouTube is such a more robust platform to find content, and like podcasts you release them, your subscribers listen to them and they they kind of fall into the abyss of the internet, whereas YouTube is a search engine, so people search for related keywords for your videos and find then and you get ongoing vies and so on, there are people that are very successful with their podcasts, you look at like John Lee Dumas etc, but, there are way more successful YouTubers than there are successful podcasters. And, I believe that is because the platform is just better built overall.
Mark: Alright, cool, so let’s move on. I think one thing we should probably address is AH Pro content this year. I know a few people, especially those who were still paying like the monthly fee from even though it’s not very much from like way back in the day. As we were building the Authority Site System I think it’s been something like six month since we released the blueprint, so they are like where is the content. Even though they got the Authority Site System for free, but still, we recognized that as a valid concern and it’s something we will be addressing this year.
Gael: Next week, I am starting the new blueprint next week, so literally tomorrow, I am starting to write it, I expect it to be out some time in march, but, the first blueprint of the year is coming out, it’s a big one actually, it’s like it’s evergreen funnels so I need to talk about the sales pages, about checkout systems, about evergreen scarcity stuff, like people that like my more advanced technical stuff, they’ve been missing with the newbie stuff.
Mark: Yeah, we actually did a poll in Authority Hacker Pro Facebook group to ask what do you want blueprints on for this year, so what were the top ones?
Gael: Resource pages building, evergreen funnels, I think building sales pages or something, and I can’t remember the rest but essentially like mostly advanced stuff, basically stage 2 and 3 authority sites.
Mark: So in addition to that, we are also going to be introducing a new section which is more individual lessons, so think like one or two videos about a topic rather than 15 video blueprint, for couple of reasons, one- it allows us to output more frequent content, and not every piece of content or activity solution that we want to share with you guys fits into a blueprint size, so we want to differentiate it a bit, and have a setup where we can come up with an idea it would be good to do a video about this, and then just output like do it there and then and upload it the next day or something. And that way we can do things like keep more updated time sensitive things and whatnot, but also allow us to, there has been some amazing content which are some of our subscribers, some of our members have created.
Gael: Yes, we have some smart people in there.
Mark: And we searched through the Facebook group, there is some brilliant videos like lessons on various things and we want to also include some of those in there, so it will give you guys a chance to learn from even more people on some pretty exciting things, so yeah.
Gael: There is going to be like, hopefully once we have that set up, we are going to have more regular content but the thing is, one thing I want to mention as well is we have to change hosting, and we are kind of in the process of like merging our membership area with our main site etc, and it’s been proven a little bit more complicated than expected, so it was supposed to be done like two or three weeks ago, it’s still like basically 20% in maybe, so it’s going to be probably a while, but basically when that is done, that is when we are going to start that, which that is the perks of outgrowing your hosting. It’s when you have to do the changes it is a bit of a pain. I do hope to do some re-branding for Authority Hacker as well, because like when we released Authority Hacker, it was kind of like edgy and stuff, like focus blog and stuff, and now everyone has it, including a lot of people copied our idea of using character and stuff, some better executed than others, but anyway, it’s definitely not edgy anymore. I think people are amazed that we can still run on such a basic setup and do quite well. But, it’s going to be time this year to evolve that, and on that end, we are actually waiting for thrive to release their new stuff, because they are releasing new themes and new content builder, really soon, the next release is a new content builder. So we are waiting for that, and then we basically are going to re-brand and make things a little bit nicer/ optimized as well, because the site hasn’t been the fastest.
Mark: Yeah, and if you’ve been having that, I think it’s like server timed out error or something, I think that is due to us running out of RAM, so you just have to refresh it a couple of times.
Gael: Yeah, it’s going to come back within your hosting.
Mark: It fixes it but yeah, that mean that’s one of the big priorities for us.
Gael: I think we should talk about Health Ambition as well, I think a lot of people want to know what we do with Health Ambition. Because, a lot of people will say oh but now you guys have Authority Hacker, you are successful, so you are now running authority sites etc, blah blah and for a while we did kind of have to focus on Authority Hacker to grow it. But that doesn’t mean we abandoned Health Ambition, I would say last year was actually the most profitable year on Health Ambition, so it’s always good, and we are actually planning on publishing a 1000 pieces of content, in 2017 on that site so there is definitely some investment going on, it’s like a mix of like direct affiliate content with skyscraper.
And also, we are going to start playing with social media so and that is kind of the reflection I’ve had about Authority Hacker as well, it’s like we definitely see a correlation between content that get shared a lot, and content that gets links, right, and another thing that I see is like everyone and their mothers are emailing the content at this point, and I just feel like outreaching to promote your content is not really the most efficient way of doing it, for links it’s still worth it, but like to promote and get- really, you are going to take four hours of your time to email people so they tweet it, so five people click on that tweet, not really worth it, so what I am starting to find is that actually the best way to promote your content is to grow your own social channel so that is going to be like Pinterest and Facebook for Health Ambition, and for Authority Hacker it’s going to be Facebook, so we are going to be putting some effort into growing our Facebook pages a lot more, I am seeing some really good traction on the Authority Hacker page so far.
Health Ambition is kind of dead right now so we need to resuscitate it but we have a good plan for it, it’s just I want to read that blueprint first because people are waiting for it; but once that’s done, I am definitely going to start playing with Facebook ads a lot more and growing the page to hundreds of thousands hopefully and use that as a way to promote our content in a very easy way, like if we are going to be paying someone to promote anyway, I might as well just give the money to Facebook and press a button for it to be done and have it reliably reach thousands of people versus pay someone to email people that will tweet it and get me like a 100 clicks to my content. I can get a lot less, like the last post that Perrin did, How to trade money for links, actually let me check the stats, but I think that got like 1500 clicks from Facebook for like 40 dollars, right, the reach is extremely good when you do it properly, when you build your branding through your images etc, and so that is probably going to be our preferred way of sharing content around in 2017, it’s not going to be outreaching to influencers or whatever, it’s going to be to grow our social shares, primarily Pinterest and Facebook because these are the two biggest social referrals by far. And for that, for grow that, we need to create content that kind of like is made for social and is optimized for social, and also, this content optimized for social I’ve seen John Dykstra Fat Stacks blog, one of my favorite blogs to read, he is back with Ezoic which is an Ad network, and is kind of like a meta d network, it optimizes your ads, and he is reaching really interesting numbers in terms of revenue with ads, he is making like 38 dollars per thousand visits which is really high, and that definitely confirms my vision of also doing a lot of social media content, because if we can get a lot of traffic at 38 dollars per 100 views, it’s very easy to make good money with ads, doing that.
So that is essentially what is coming up for health Ambition, I hope to revisit the info products, I must say our info product funnels they have been dead lately, they need to be refreshed, and I hope to do that a little bit towards probably the end of the year, realistically, like redo that from scratch, reuse all the evergreen scarcity stuff we’ve been doing etc, to re-optimize our funnels, and one last thing I want to say about Health Ambition that is kind of teasing next week’s podcast, Amazon is changing a lot of things with their affiliate programs not necessarily for the better, so we are going to talk about that in next week’s podcast with Perrin most likely, but essentially, that changes a few plans in a sense that kind of like review type content, it’s probably, it will still be profitable, and I definitely think people should still do that especially to get started, however, the revenue for people that make quite a bit of money like we do is most likely going to drop and that is going to spark a host of brand new strategies and tactics and ways to go about it. So, anything you want to say about Health Ambition by the way?
Mark: Yeah, I mean, just the fact that we are having to, or we are planning to do a thousand pieces of content this year and we are also growing our link building quite a bit for that, we really started growing a team, and in order to make that work, we’ve just got some office space, here in Budapest, so we’ll be moving into that in a couple of weeks time and going down that route which is quite interesting. I am quite looking forward to that, But there is a lot of difficulties, as you can imagine in trying to produce a hundred pieces of content and people management, and process management, because up until now, the way we wrote the content and the way we’ve built links has been- I mean, it works, but it doesn’t really work so well if you want to do a thousand times over, so there is bunch of like little tweaks we’ve been doing, and on the link building side, which is quite interesting, there is this deal on AppSumo, a couple of weeks ago for program called Milkshake, which I’ve been playing around with, it’s pretty good and it’s kind of like GMass except not within your email, it’s like its own thing, and it allows you to do a bunch of cool stuff, it makes testing a lot easier, you can continually add new bits of data here and there, so super interesting stuff.
Gael: Actually Lewis is going to make a pieces both of GMass and on Mailshake, he is writing them right now, including videos and stuff. So if you want to learn more about these outreach tools, like we are going to share them, they are actually very cheap, they are on the cheap end of things so even if you are on the budget, it’s going to be interesting.
Mark: Yeah, and then, obviously recruiting quite a few writers now, we are also starting a bunch of sites this year, so we’ve been actually following the research process within the Authority Site System pretty much exactly, it’s coming with a bunch of cool ideas, so we are moving forward with those, and then yeah, hundreds of pieces of content for each one of those is going to be interesting.
Gael: Yeah, it’s a lot of work. It’s one thing that I wanted to do this year, we are making money but like in terms of like re-spending it to build that passive income machine, like we didn’t do super well, we were good at it, using it for the day to day tasks we were doing etc, so this year it’s like it’s one thing I want to do is use money smartly to grow faster and essentially that is mostly what you are doing in terms of day to day execution.
Mark: Yeah, and I mean, we are very careful, we did a podcast on our previous business, our agency before, but I am really seeing a lot of these kind of traps that are very easy to fall into, where you are growing fast and the solution, the obvious solution is just throw some money at the problem and growth will take care of it, but we’ve actually been very careful to be very efficient with how we are spending our money here, so everything we are doing is very profitable, and it turned out well.
Gael: Yeah, future will tell. There will be a podcast in six months like oh we were totally wrong, we can’t believe we messed it up etc, so we are not excluding that possibility but we will do our best.
Mark: Yeah, okay, anything else we didn’t cover?
Gael: Not really, for Health Ambition and Authority Hacker, I think we are good, starting new sites, that is basically it and I know a lot of people are asking when they can join Authority hacker Pro, so I am just going to answer that question now; probably April I would say, probably end of April, beginning of May I would say that is the most realistic time, because I am getting emails every day so I just wanted to answer that question.
Mark: There is an early bird list, if you go to authorityhacker.com/pro at the moment, that url may change but at the moment you can go there and sign up for the early bird list and you will be the first to get notified when we do launch. So, yeah, go to that now if you are interested. I just want to finish off, we haven’t done this in a while but we get back to doing our “Ask Us Anything” podcast.
Gael: People complain we didn’t answer their questions, so we need to catch up.
Mark: Yeah, someone on Facebook like really having a go at me for not spending my time to answer his questions for free, if you don’t know, Ask Us Anything is as you can imagine where you guys can just ask us anything about anything you want, usually about online marketing, but it really can be about anything, if you want to ask us a question, perhaps we’ll read yours and answer it in the next episode, go to authorityhacker.com/ask and you can type your question or you can even record your voice and send it to us now, and so if you do that, and there is probably a much higher chance of us responding. Hint hint. This week’s question comes from Andreas Breadencomp, he is saying, this is a company based question, so “what are the advantages to registering a company rather than just working in your personal capacity, is it a risk liability thing?” And then he goes on to asking- is it beneficial to register your company offshore for example in Hong Kong. I think we’ll probably do some blog post or section on the site answering this, because this kind of questions come up quite a lot, there is two answers, so there is the legal answer, which is yeah, when you are working your own site you really should do this start a company, and do everything properly, set all that up. There is a risk liability thing that factors into it, but I think it is depending on where you live, it’s just like a legal thing that you are supposed to do, but there is always a famous story like Google was started in the one of the guy’s garages, for the first year or something. So it’s something I don’t think you need to worry too much about these things until you start making a little bit of money, you can always put it through as kind of a sole trader expense, it’s very unlikely you are going to get sued when you are small, but when you start making money like four figures a month, or more, then I would definitely recommend incorporating into limited liability corporation, that does mitigate all risks like if you get sued, which is, I mean, it’s quite unlikely that is going to happen but still, we’ve had some people threaten to do that to us in the past, so it’s not very nice.
Gael: Because we did not answer their questions.
Mark: Yeah, [laugh] it was because we told the truth about their product and they didn’t like that, so yeah. The second part of Andreas’s question was “is it beneficial to register your company offshore for example in Hong Kong” I mean, this depends where you live, I think if you are American than you can’t really get out of paying US taxes, without really breaking a lot of laws, from most of the rest of the world, yes, it’s a possibility, you ask any tax accountant in the states, they’ll say how risk tolerant are you, so if you are happy to take our risk that maybe there is a 5% chance that in the next 20 years your government will clamp down and find you all the backward taxes you should have paid if you were registered at home, or whatever, then by all means do it, I am not a particularly risk sensitive person so we pay a load of taxes, where we should, if you are in the European Union for example you can play around with different countries, I think like Malta and Cyprus have very low and Ireland as well have very low taxes. And the last point I want to make is actually a lot of bureaucracy and corporate bullshit that you have to deal with, like filing accounts and just keeping receipts and VAT and all this kind of stuff which is a lot of hassle. It’s absolutely not worth it until you start making sort of four figures a month or more, and so hopefully that answers your question. And that’s it.
Gael: Cool. So, next week, it’s going to be me and Perrin, we are going to talk about the changes coming up to Amazon associates which are going to change a lot of people’s business model, or incentives to promote Amazon or not start moving to new programs, maybe figuring out new ways of monetizing, moving out, like a lot of people stayed in the stage one review site for a long time, because well, Amazon pays a lot, right now.
Mark: It’s just easy with Amazon, as well, you don’t have to go bother applying to new programs, and all that, but maybe this is the kick in the butt people need to actually start making some more money.
Gael: So things are going to change, so if you haven’t heard about it, tune in on next week’s episode and we will talk in depth about that with Perrin and what we would do personally, how it changes our websites, what is the plan and etc.
Mark: Once again guys, sorry, just before we go I want to remind everyone, if you want any of these links or want to leave us a comment or anything go to authorityhacker.com/61 and you can find the show notes for this podcast there.
Gael: By the way, I wanted to finish about asking a question, a lot of people are going to be complaining on this podcast that we didn’t release revenue numbers for any of our sites; are we going to do one day, what do you think?
Mark: We have no plans to do it.
Gael: Here’s a deal, I am going to answer that question, thank you for the question, very good question. The answer is usually like sharing revenue, we are making good money but sharing revenue numbers attracts the kind of people that we don’t necessary want to attract to Authority Hacker, the kind of people that are like shiny objects chasers, like professional shiny object chasers just jumping on an x tactic and overall, even a lot of people ask us why we don’t do a case study with a brand new site etc like Spencer has done on Niche Pursuits and so on, and the reason we are not necessarily doing it is because I believe that people that need that to find that motivation they are not necessarily the people that will look info on Authority Hacker, and overall, they are chasing the number, they are not necessarily reading these case studies very specifically as well, like there’s been case studies in the last two years, where people share revenue numbers, but they don’t share profit numbers, for example, that makes no sense, as I explained, people can buy stuff for 100 thousand dollars, resell it for 100 thousand dollars and say I made 100 thousand dollars business, you know. It’s not very hard to do that, so for all these reasons, unless we went extremely deep into the numbers and made some proper analyses, it would actually not give you a lot of insights of how well we are doing. Especially if you calculate like the different cost we have depending on where we live etc, so overall, there is no plan for sharing exact revenue numbers right now, all I can say is both Authority Hacker and Health Ambition are in the six figure range a year, some in the higher some in the low, and I do intend to for us to have at least like of the new sites we build this year to be six figure sites by next year as well, so we are doing pretty well but I don’t think it’s necessary to share the revenue numbers. If you disagree feel free to drop a comment.
Mark: And if you do listen to our podcast, you can often hear subtle hints like the one Gael just dropped there about how much money we are actually making.
Gael: It’s in the six figure range, somewhere between a 100K and 999K per year for our sites, like I’ll give you that range. So anyway, thanks for listening guys, and we’ll see you next week to talk about the Amazon changes, I think that is going to be a big one if you have a site that makes money with Amazon, and we’ll see you next week, bye.