Several months ago, I ran across Financial Samurai that I really enjoyed reading in the personal finance niche. Before I was running my business full-time, I worked in the finance industry for several years, so I've always been interested in investments and personal finance.
As I researched this blog a bit more, I realized that it was doing quite well! According to The Financial Samurai “About” page, it was receiving over 200k unique visitors a month and I could see that there was a very active community.
I've always been intrigued how people build their blogs into successful businesses, so I contacted the owner of FinancialSamurai.com and asked him if he'd be interested in doing a podcast interview with me. He agreed.
So, on the podcast today, I'm excited to share the interview I had with Sam Dogen of Financial Samurai Financial Samurai is a personal finance and investments related blog that covers all the topics surrounding saving, investing, retirement planning, and more.
In my interview, I dug a little bit into Sam's story of how he was able to engineer his own layoff so he could work full-time on FinancialSamurai.com at the age of 35. In addition, we dive into how he was able to build a blog of such significant size in an extremely competitive niche.
The personal finance niche has got to be one the most valuable and highly competitive niches that are out there. However, Sam has been able to build a significant following and financially do well. In the podcast, you will find out how he was able to do that.
No Keyword Research or Link Building?
There are a couple of things I want to point out that really surprised me about the success of Sam's site. First, he doesn't do ANY keyword research! At first, I found this hard to believe; but if you listen to the podcast, you'll see why it makes sense, and why it still works to get traffic from Google. In a nutshell, Sam can do this because he understands the market he is in, and what topics would be interesting to his audience – he's already in tune with them. I can accept that :). (But I do think he could tap into even more traffic with some additional keyword research).
Secondly, Sam has done NO link building. In fact, he didn't even know how to check how many links he had – I had to tell him on the podcast. However, as you can see or from what you hear on the podcast, FinancialSamurai.com has TONS of backlinks – way more than any of my sites. This hands-off approach reminds me a lot of the interview I did with Frasier Cain here.
However, because Sam is out commenting on lots of other blogs as a way to interact (not as a link building tactic), he's getting the blog links obviously; but I believe this is also getting his name out there where others then reference his site. So, just because you are in a competitive niche, doesn't mean you have to do any “manual” link building.
What's Covered in the Podcast
During the course of the interview, we covered a number of topics and referenced other resources. Here's what was discussed:
- What Sam did professionally before he started FinancialSamurai.com
- Why he decided to create the site
- The definition of retirement
- Sam's journey to quitting his job
- How much traffic Financial Samurai is getting (6k to 10k unique visitors a day)
- Where the traffic is coming from
- Link building – the fact that Sam doesn't really do any or pay attention to links much
- How others can replicate the success
- Yakezie.com – a personal finance blog network founded by Sam.
- Why Sam is VERY bullish on blogging, and he believes there is so much money to be made in blogging.
- Why people should dedicate 3 to 5 years to their blog first, and then they can enjoy the financial rewards for many years to come.
- Follow Sam on Twitter: @financialsamura
If you are interested at all in starting a blog and want to build it into something long term, I highly recommend that you listen to this interview. Sam has a great perspective and an interesting story.
As always, if you have any comments of questions, please leave them in the comments section below. Either Sam or I will stop by and do our best to respond.
If you enjoy the interview, be sure to leave me a review here!