Podcast 39: How to Generate 1,000,000 Views Per Month by Engaging Your Audience with Dhanish Semar
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Perrin here, and today, I’ve got an awesome podcast for you. As you can probably tell, we at NichePursuits have been expanding our focus from simple, small niche sites into larger, more authoritative sites.
When you do that, you often end up treating your niche site like a full-blown business with the aim to scale and diversify. Last week, Matt Paulson told us how he grew one financial site into a large media network that now generates over 2.5 million pageviews per month. A week before that, we discussed the business model of buying websites for cashflow.
In other words, we’re thinking big. As we dive into the proverbial deep end of true authority sites, one thing becomes increasingly clear: the bigger a site becomes, the more ways there are to truly diversify, well, everything — from traffic to revenue to linkbuilding. Matt Paulson, for example, says his tactics include everything but SEO. Hayden Miyamoto, in his last podcast with us, mentioned he was combining traditional organic traffic with Google News traffic.
Today, we’re going to be chatting with someone who uses yet another traffic-generating strategy (and it’s something you’ve seen yours truly use before): Reddit (specifically, the League of Legends subreddit).
If you’ve been following the Vylo case study, you’ll know that Reddit is one of our primary marketing platforms, and we’ve generated up to 17,000 visitors in one day from Reddit.
Our guest today used similar (although much more sophisticated) tactics to build an entire business around his authority site.
Our Guest: Dhanish of Cloth5.com
Our guest today is Dhanish Semar (those of you in the League of Legends community probably know him by his IGN: DiffTheEnder). Dhanish owns Cloth5.com, a site he built by making great connections, writing premium content, and putting it in front of his audience using the platform that was most important to them.
The result? Cloth5 now gets over 1,000,000 views per month.
Lessons I learned from Dhanish
My conversation with Dhanish was super enlightening, and I learned a ton. Really, he’s one of the only people I’ve ever heard of to have this level of success with these kinds of growth tactics.
I won’t babble too much longer, but I did want to give you some of the key takeaways from this podcast. Check it out.
Content can really be a key differentiator.
I know firsthand that there are tons and tons of League of Legends blogs. And I bet you can guess how many of them get a million visitors a month. So what sets Cloth5 apart? Well, a lot of things, but mainly content. Dhanish says that he wants every piece of content to be so good that no one else in the world could have written it.
And it shows. His articles are so long and in-depth, professional gaming organizations started looking to him and his team of analysts for consulting – on a video game!
Build relationships early, leverage them later.
I’m not saying you should build relationships just so you can leverage them, but Dhanish had definitely worked hard to build some friendships with influential people. He did this by being super generous and helping people out – and not necessarily for business reasons; he’s just a nice dude.
But it did pay off: when he launched Cloth5, Dhanish had the help of a bunch of influential gaming personalities to really give the site an initial boost.
This is something I’ve been talking about a lot with my mastermind group. Too often in this business, I think, we restrict ourselves to small dreams. We create a couple 15-page sites and shoot for $500/mo profits. Not Dhanish.
When I asked Dhanish what his initial plan for Cloth5 was, he said, “We want to be the ESPN of competitive video games.” I’m not sure if you guys know, but that’s a really, really big dream. The audience Dhanish is going after includes tens of millions of people.
Finding the right place to engage your audience is key.
One of the most important things Dhanish did was to figure out where his audience hung out and started engaging them on that platform. But he didn’t just blast his content out there and hope for some traffic; he figured out what worked on that platform, he talked to people, and he asked for feedback.
In doing so, he became an authority not only on his own site, but he also became an authority within the biggest community for his particular audience. That’s some serious brand-building!
Reddit is powerful… IF you use it right.
I can vouch for this, having used Reddit almost exclusively to market Vylo. However, Reddit is kind of like a light saber: it’s incredibly powerful, but if you’re not careful, it’s really easy to cut your own arm off. It’s just a very smart, critical crowd.
Dhanish cracked the code. By offering fantastic content that truly provides value to a specific (but big) Reddit community, Dhanish tamed the beast. His reward? An ultra-loyal, ultra-active audience of people who visit his site regularly.
All in all, I think this is a super interesting way to grow a business, and I’d really love to hear what you guys think.
Do you think this could work for niche sites? Are you using similar tactics to grow your business? What’s the value of these tactics for small sites vs big ones?
Take a listen, and let us know in the comments!
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Great interview – really good to see a more ambitious tone and focused plan. “The ESPN of LoL” is a great goal that will help develop content and the approach to online business for Dhanish & his team.
I will make sure that I speak with my audience and develop unique content for them, which may take me back to drawing board, but thats ok.
Great interview Perrin.
Nice podcast, spencer, your audio is clipping (gain is too high) big time.
Hey, that’s one great interview! I’m not used to traffic generation on reddit, but for sure will give it a closer look now.
I’m laready in action mode after compiling a list of 22 interviews with Spencer on my own blog this week 🙂
Thanks man 🙂
that’s one great interview but it is not success like the way Spencer do.
It always amazes me what you can build a internet biz around. I’ve never heard of League of Legends but 1 million visitors a month is impressive.
Totally. League is hugely popular; the lesson, though, is that finding an active community and getting some of their eyeballs on a great product creates results. 🙂
great post I have learned alot from u guys so thank u
Very cool, and very impressive! Once you got that community aspect going, it’s very sticky.
What is your main way to monetize the traffic from gaming? I’d love to know!
Great work Perrin.
Like someone else said above I’ve never heard of this game yet it’s obviously huge if one site can get a million visitors per month.
I said this recently on my blog “there’s no new niches they are only new to you”.
It just goes to show the endless niches out there and that you really can turn your passions into a profitable business.
It’s also a great example of why search engine traffic is not the be all and end all of traffic.
Google is NOT the internet.
Awesome to listen to this.
Good stuff Perrin.
Thanks man 🙂
Hate to moan but really bad audio.
Any chance you might consider a transcription of the podcast put on niche pursuits as a blog post, just very uncomfortable to listen too for more than 5 minutes.
I probably just need a good, professional microphone, brother. Looking into it 🙂
Thanks for the good stuff your doing here 🙂
Downloading it now! I know this is going to be a great interview as i’m looking into new ways to build one of my authority sites.
I too has got the same request as Lenny. Please publish the transcript too. It is not very convenient to listen to podcast.
Great content does pay off. Great advice on being helpful as you build your network. Of all the entrepreneurs I have interviewed this is a common theme.
Hey Spencer, Nice interview,but it all comes down to Quality Content,the only way to get huge traffic is by writing epic contents that people would love to read and Share.
I’m actually building out a local city guide/events website and after just 1 month, got around 3k pageviews without ANY link building besides a weekly post in the local subreddit which was solely for traffic purposes.
I’ve yet to monetize the site, but am already getting local businesses to reach out about advertising opportunities so that’s a great sign so far. Reddit has been a big help, as I think a lot of the initial Reddit visitors have translated into direct traffic since then.
I’d also like a transcription if at all possible. Trying not to wake up the family while learning about ways to make my drone blog take off.
“Ad revenue is not as high…”
“…what keeps us going is ad revenue.”
Well that’s disappointing. I was hoping to find better ways to monetize my gaming site.