Podcast 38: How Matt Paulson Built a Finanicial Network of Sites Getting 2.5 Million Pageviews and HUGE Earnings Each Month

Podcast 38: How Matt Paulson Built a Finanicial Network of Sites Getting 2.5 Million Pageviews and HUGE Earnings Each Month

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Recently, Perrin and I were able to sit down with Matt Paulson of MattPaulson.com for a podcast interview to discuss his amazing business.  Matt is an unassuming guy and you would have no idea how extraordinarily well his business is doing unless you asked him.

Well, we had the chance to ask about his business and the numbers he shares will blow your mind (at least it did for Perrin and I).  Matt owns a financial network of sites including AmericanBankingNews.com, AnalystRatings.net, and a few others that combined get over 2.5 MILLION pageviews per month!

The earnings from those sites is even more impressive than the pageviews in my opinion.  You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear the income numbers (Matt didn’t want me publishing them on the blog, but was happy to discuss on the podcast). We discuss the income starting around minute 8.

What is also interesting is the fact that Matt is not concerned with Google.  He gets most of his traffic outside of Google and never builds links or try to optimize specifically for Google.  As a result, only about 20% of his traffic comes from natural search engine traffic (its still a ton of traffic); and the rest comes from places like Twitter, Stocktwits, and news engines.

So, if you are interested in hearing how one guy built a huge online business without Google (for the most part), then you should definitely listen to the podcast interview.

In addition, Matt just published his very first book: 40 Rules for Internet Business Success: Escape the 9 to 5, Do Work You Love, and Build a Profitable Online Business.  I’ve had a chance to read the book (Matt sent me an early release copy) and it’s a great one for those looking to get started with an online business.  You can get the book on Amazon right here.

What We Covered in the Podcast

I hope you enjoy the podcast as much as Perrin and I did.  We have discussed how to apply the principles that Matt shared in our own business, and its definitely produced some great ideas.

I tried to outline in depth what we discussed on the podcast.  So, if you don’t have a chance to listen, this outline should give you most of what was covered.

What is your background and story?  How did you become an entrepreneur?

Matt started out early on with lots of little entrepreneurial ventures, so business is in his blood.  He graduated in computer science and then got a master’s degree as well.

He started a website that was making around $50k a year after putting a couple of years of work.  It was a nice business, but he decided that his skillset where he could really stand out was in the investment space.  He had lots of knowledge there and also had some great data analysis and reporting abilities along with his programming.

Matt has been full time online now for about 2 years.

Matt now has 3 main businesses:

  • Analyst Ratings Network: AmericanBankingnews.com along with a few other related websites.  The financial news network websites get about 2.5 million pageviews per month, so the advertising revenue ads up well. He currently has 94k subscribers on the free newsletter. And 2k on the premium newsletter.
  • LightningReleases.com.  Press Release business.
  • GoGoPhotoContest.com. They’ve done about 80 contests and raised $350k.

Most of the revenue from his business is definitely coming from AmericanBankingNews.com and AnalystRatings.net.  The monthly revenue of is HUGE!  Matt didn’t want the number written here on the blog, but they ARE shared on the podcast in detail, so be sure to listen in.  (The income numbers are shared around minutes 8 to 11).

Why did Matt Create AmericanBankingNews.com?

Matt was able to harness a ton of traffic from stock ticker SEO pretty early on.  And because they were able to maximize the traffic, they knew they could grow with additional sites.

Matt also wanted to capture more than just ad revenue.  This is where his newsletter really played a part.  People were willing and wanted to pay for more in-depth analysis and data on the premium newsletter.

What really helped to increase opt in rates and conversions?

  • Use a popup
  • Request as little information as possible
  • Test layouts and text
  • The plain layout works very well for Matt’s websites

The interesting thing about StockTwits, Twitter, Google News, Yahoo Finance, and other places; there is no Matt Cutt’s out there to prevent you from getting traffic from these locations.  There are so many other “playgrounds” besides Google that website owners can play in.

What percentage of traffic comes from Google natural traffic?

Less than 20% for Matt’s sites.  He doesn’t focus on Google at all.

His focus is much more on other sources of traffic.  For example, with StockTwits and Twitter there are “cashtags” that work very similar to a hashtag; but for stock ticker symbols.  Matt has created a feed of stock ratings changes and then he’s able to automate tweets about this stock information.  This custom programming and posting has added a ton of traffic to his sites.

How many people are involved in Matt’s business?

  • 3 full time writers
  • 1 customer service person
  • 1 Accounting person
  • A couple of people that help with software updates

Matt found one of his writers on the ProBlogger.net job board.  The other 2 writers came from a website he purchased.

Matt has also purchased other sites in order to add traffic and more email opt-ins to his site.  The most he has ever paid for his site was still only low 5 figures.

He doesn’t have just one main source of traffic.  The traffic to his sites is pretty balanced and diversified.  He really doesn’t want to be too dependent on any one source of traffic.

How often is Matt producing content for his sites?

All of his sites get daily content.  Some of the sites are getting 3 or 4 articles per day.

For someone just getting started out, is it feasible for someone to find success in a similar fashion?

Yes, its definitely still possible.  However, people need to realize that its taken Matt several years to get where he is today and the strategies are still valid, but it takes a ton of work.

What other Marketing methods are you using?

Email marketing has been huge; especially for his Gogophoto Contests.  He’s been able to compile email lists, and find a lot of success with email marketing.  He’s been able to find emails directly online for animal shelters, etc and this usually connects pretty well with the person actually doing the fund raising.

Matt’s SEO best practices?

He doesn’t worry about SEO.  He doesn’t like getting too involved where the rules of the game could change (Google).  He focused more on other sources of traffic; including Twitter, paid traffic, and more.  When he finds any sort of traffic strategy that works, he adds it to their arsenal.  But Matt has never done any sort of link building or other specific tactics to try to rank better in Google.  However, they do attract links pretty naturally.

SEO has not and probably never will be a big focus for their business

Are you targeting specific keywords?

For his business, they do think about what companies are bigger or what companies will get the most traction.  But they are not looking specifically at Google traffic and number of searches per month.

What’s the benefit of having a network of sites?

The purpose is really just to attract as much traffic as possible.  The ad revenue is nice; but ultimately all the sites funnel back through the same free email list and then hopefully on to paid subscribers.

Matt’s First Book40 Rules for Internet Business Success: Escape the 9 to 5, Do Work You Love, and Build a Profitable Online Business

He decided to write a book because he went to an entrepreneurial event and everyone he met that was writing a book, he felt like he knew as much or more than they did!

The book is available on Amazon right now:  Go to 40RulesBook.com

Matt’s favorite lesson in the book is to not be a franchisee of someone elses business.  Try not to copy someone else and follow their business.  You need to develop your own strategy and bring your own strengths to your business.    Its important to have a defensible business that’s not as easy to copy.

Where can you follow along with Matt Paulson?

Matt blogs at MattPaulson.com

Twitter: @MatthewDP

Listen to the Podcast Here

Play EpisodeDownload MP3

53 Comments for this Post

  1. Matthew Paulson

    Matthew Paulson

    Thanks for having me on, Spencer and Perrin!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Of course, thanks for sharing your story!

    • Perrin

      Perrin

      You bet! We learned a lot 🙂

    • Nauf Sid

      Nauf Sid

      I did learn a lot Matt. Your network is build up of very informative and high quality websites. A nice strategy overall.

  2. Wemi

    Wemi

    Wow, this is impressive. I’ve never heard something like this before… I still don’t get the concept of AmericanBankingNews.com because it seems that all this content is poorly duplicated from other news sources. I will have to listen to the entire podcast to get a better idea of this business 🙂

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      A lot of the content is news, but not all. And like all news websites, the content is roughly the same for all the stories. But pay attention to where his traffic is coming from and those strategies; very little is from Google.

    • Matthew Paulson

      Matthew Paulson

      We license the video content from Grab Networks/Blinkx. We do surprisingly well with it.

  3. TRENDS

    TRENDS

    Pretty epic results. A lot of substance in this one.

    Definitely hand the wheels spinning.

    How big did the websites have to be before they got into the Google news, yahoo news and bing news feeds?

    Thanks,

    TRENDS

    • Matthew Paulson

      Matthew Paulson

      It’s more about having the right T’s crossed and I’s dotted than about a specific size. If you do some googling, you’ll see what I mean.

  4. Ferzy

    Ferzy

    It was interesting to see a different approach to online businesses. I had a look on Matthew’s blog, and there is some great content there, too ,especially the free ebook chapters.

    I liked the automatic twitter updates based on predefined data approach.

  5. Samuel

    Samuel

    Great interview! I also like the strategy of relying on other traffic sources to grow a site. I think when a site gets that big though Google has no choice but to acknowledge it in search.

  6. Jake

    Jake

    Good stuff guys! Just grabbed a copy of 40 Rules for Internet Business Success, and look forward to reading it this weekend 🙂

  7. Sachin

    Sachin

    Congo Matt!

    Man….Its huge earning.

    Thank you very much Spencer for putting this up on right time. I have started a site in March that I want to build as huge resource in its market.
    I am doing absolutely ZERO link building and putting a lots of my time on social activities.
    I am not using POP UP domination yet but this podcast opened my eyes to use it.
    Another thing is that I am planned exactly same Business model that Matt using….
    Getting people on email list then asking them to buy a small ebook that cost few penny. Just to test who is willing to pay for information, then asking those people to upgrade their subscription to receive paid content on site.

    Spencer, I would like if you keep informing us on this AUTHORITY kind of website building strategies.

  8. Doug

    Doug

    Great interview, Matt, Spencer, & Perrin.

    It’s pretty amazing about the diversity of traffic sources.

    I’ve mainly been exposed to the SEO & organic traffic angle so hearing about the other sources is enlightening.

    The common thread is that there is no “easy button” for success!

    Doug

  9. Matthew Paulson

    Matthew Paulson

    Here’s a list of the traffic sources/email opt-in methods I’m currently using, if anyone’s interested:

    – Email opt-ins from our app called “Stock Ratings”
    – Coregistration Email advertising through Investing Media Solutions, After Offers and Investing Channel
    – StockTwits
    – Twitter Cashtags
    – Twitter advertising (using this method: http://blog.getdrip.com/tips-and-tactics/use-twitter-lead-gen-cards-to-boost-your-drip-campaign-for-free/)
    – Yahoo Finance
    – Bing News/Finance
    – Google News/Finance
    – An adwords campaign (albeit pretty small)
    – And even some organic traffic 🙂

    • Matthew Paulson

      Matthew Paulson

      Oh, a couple more…

      – Email List Swaps
      – Referral Campaigns with my existing list

      • John

        John

        Great list of traffic sources Matt, i can guess your best traffic come from your mail list and news search engines.Thanks Matt for sharing this list 🙂

        • Matthew Paulson

          Matthew Paulson

          The best traffic is stuff that I don’t have to pay for. The ROI on those email sign-ups is 100%.

      • Eddie C.

        Eddie C.

        Awesome Matt for providing the list of the traffic sources/email opt-in methods you’re currently using. Definitely picking a copy of your book for further referencing.

    • Perrin

      Perrin

      Thanks for posting these for easy reference, Matt. 🙂

      Going to be trying, oh, all of them!

    • MASSMAN

      MASSMAN

      Matthew great job with the blogs and thank you for the great ideas above! I was a stockbroker for 15+ years and I know those sources well especially yahoo finance. Also, Seeking Alpha content gets ranked really well, I find as well!

  10. Henry

    Henry

    Great story and very good information. It’s good to hear that there is more than one way to build a successful business.

    Your book 40 Rules for Internet Business Success looks like is has good content. I am going to get a copy today.

    Thanks again

  11. Dave

    Dave

    No wonder he has such as massive email subscriber list. There is no unsubscribe link, which actually breaks the law.

    • Matthew Paulson

      Matthew Paulson

      I don’t know what email you’re looking at. My emails have an Unsuvscribe link in the header and footer in each email.

      • Matthew Paulson

        Matthew Paulson

        Looks like our welcome message was missing the unsubscribe link at the bottom. I’ve got this fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

  12. Mithun

    Mithun

    This is what I call inspiration. I just started my blog a few days back and I am getting 45 visitors per day with only 17-24 posts. I am blogging every single day. I hope to reach at that point in near future.

    By the way Spencer, thanks a lot man. Your software is just awesome but I wanted to know if you’ll release a future update which will resolve the slow data retrieval problem ?

    Regards,
    Mithun

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Mithun:
      Glad you enjoyed the podcast! As for the software, there should be no issues with retrieving data. If something is happening on your end, please let us know at longtailpro.com/support. We will update if needed, or otherwise get it resolved for you. Thanks!

    • Matthew Paulson

      Matthew Paulson

      Good luck with your business!

  13. Chloe

    Chloe

    Great podcast as always!

    Here are my takeaways from your interview with Matt:

    – Do what you love (or something you are interested in)
    – Be consistent
    – Don’t just copy what others do; create your own business/marketing formula
    – Don’t rely on one traffic source; Diversify

    Thank you so much Spencer! I am all fired up now!

    /Chloe

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast Chloe!

  14. MASSMAN

    MASSMAN

    I like the fact that he built the business around things he knew. My background is in finance and got me thinking I’m not leveraging that background…..I know there are tons of affiliate stock newsletter offers and other CPA offers……thanks for jolting me in that direction!

  15. castor

    castor

    Thanks for the interview Spencer!

  16. Mark

    Mark

    This great information for anyone who maintains financial type sites.

  17. Martin & Ying

    Martin & Ying

    Great interview and very inspiring plus timing was good from our point as we are looking to diversify from our current biz. Many thanks to Matthew for being open in the interview and for contributing more ideas in the comments here. 10/10 guys cheers.

  18. Rick

    Rick

    What ever happened to the best survival knife site anyway? Looks like it has been down since the January-February timeframe.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I moved it to a new domain and am keeping it private.

  19. Swaraj

    Swaraj

    Great post Spencer. I love to hear Podcasts! Thanks very much!!

  20. Jithin

    Jithin

    these case studies are worth millions…..to be honest, they are so inspiring and motivating….thanks for the post , Spencer !

  21. Tobias

    Tobias

    Hej Spencer,
    thanks for sharing all this information. I apprechiate yours and Perrins time and effort to knock out these great podcasts. I remember your thoughts and doubts regarding keeping on producing the podcast and I want to encourage you to do so! For me personal I consume your content mostly through your podcast and currently it is the most interesting podcast I listen to. I love Pat and the guys from empire flippers but your podcast is pretty hands on and there are tons of take aways for my daily business. I simply get inspired to go on and test out new things – that is special about your podcast. AND I am a longtail pro user, thanks to your podcast :-)….Just a little push to encurage you to keep on with your podcast…
    tobias – Germany

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks for the “push”! Its absolutely needed and appreciated! The podcast is growing, and hearing the positive feedback means alot…so thank you.

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  23. Steve

    Steve

    Appreciate the work you guys do to bring these too us….like everyone else, these real stories are such inspiration. Spencer, I believe you have a knack for drawing an interviewee out in a great way…

    Matt – got your book on the kindle for a weekend read. Also glad I ‘bumped into’ you on Spencer’s site – as I’d come accross your blog a while back, right when you were just leaving work. Congrats on the success you’ve had since!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Steve…glad you like the interview style!

  24. Dave

    Dave

    There’s some crazy money out there – that’s for sure. Thanks for this feature guys!

  25. Raj Sinha

    Raj Sinha

    Hi Matt, I would love to know your monetization strategy for your financial blog, It would be great if you share some powerful techniques to monetize financial blogs.

  26. daveM

    daveM

    Amazing interview, thank you so much for the amount of detail provided.

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