I'm excited to bring you another podcast episode today! Perrin and I were able to recently sit down with Gael Breton of AuthorityHacker.com to discuss all the important elements of building an authority website.
Gael knows what he is talking about.
You'll like this interview because he not only shares very actionable tips, but also gives the URL of his website that is making over $10,000 per month. I always love having an example website that I can look at and try to replicate.
As you know, Perrin and I have been building our own authority website for the past couple of months and have some great ideas. However, we've been reaching out to people with additional ideas recently, and Gael is one of those guys that has been willing to give us a few tips.
As a result, we asked Gael to join us on the podcast and discuss exactly how he's gone about making his site, HealthAmbition.com, such a big success over the past year and a half.
You'll find lots of takeaways during this interview. However, a couple of my personal takeaways are his strategy for finding and creating content that has the potential to be very shareable. And then how these shareable pieces of content can attract natural links and increase the overall authority of your entire site.
I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast as there are lots of great nuggets of wisdom here. Below I've recorded most of the questions and answers in a condensed format if you only have time to read the interview.
Notes from the Podcast Interview
How did Gael get started as an entrepreneur?
He started by promoting a marketing agency as an affiliate. He was not happy with the work being done for clients that they referred, so he and a partner decided to start their own online marketing firm.
In 2012 he had 100 clients, and he was really good at “gray hat” SEO. He could rank clients and had great results for their sites.
Then when Penguin came around, he lost over 50 clients in a period 6 months. It was a very hard time. They decided to refocus their agency onto more long term strategies. They realized that additional Google updates were going to happen, and they didn't want to get hit like that again.
As a result, they decided to learn more white hat and long term strategies. They continued to just focus on growing websites for clients. At one point they had up to 30 employees in Budapest.
Eventually, they decided to start building out a couple of their own websites near the beginning of 2013. This is when they created HealthAmbition.com, which is an authority site that he talks alot about on his site AuthorityHacker.com.
Are you taking on any new clients?
They are not really looking for new clients. Only if a client has the right fit, they might consider taking on a new client. They are mostly just trying to maintain that side of the business.
What are the Conditions that clients have to meet to work with you?
First they need a proper technology set up on their website. Gael really likes WordPress, and unfortunately lots of clients just don't have the right technology set up for easy website changes.
They also look for active communities that have active group, forums, and other content marketing opportunities. The client has to be in the right niche.
How Succesful is HealthAmbition.com?
- The site gets about 300k visits per month.
- They also generate about 6,000 emails per month from the site.
- The site is also earning low 5 figures per month in income (over $10k/month).
- Gael also believes they are sitting on a lot of opportunities in terms of monetization or creating their own products.
How is HealthAmbition.com Monetized?
Right now its monetized with Google Adsense, and a couple of ad slots on BuySellAds.com. They have not really focused on monetization at this point. They are more focused on building the traffic and audience. Gael really believes that a few tweaks could increase the earnings quite a bit.
They also make a bit of money through affiliate sales on Amazon or other info products.
They will be building their own product most likely very soon.
What are the steps to build an authority site?
First, create high quality content and the type of content that is very shareable.
This shareable content can not only bring a ton of traffic through Pinterest or other places, but tons of natural links.
They also create media that fits well for your audience. This could be videos, images, or other platforms where you niche is active.
Gael is also very concerned about collecting emails in order to build a long term relationship.
How to create an epic piece of content and market it properly?
First, you can use tools like BuzzSumo to discover what types of content are successful. Then you create content that has done very well on other sites in your niche, and you can then improve on that piece of content.
Take the same content idea and simply make it better with more stats or strategies.
After you create that content, find out where other sites have promoted this type of content and you can share your content in the same place.
This strategy can take a long time for each piece of content; however, it can be very effective.
What's also great about getting these few links, is that this is often all you need to rank for keywords in a post-penguin world. This will also really help increase your overall authority with your site as well.
How much should people write keyword based articles vs. shareable articles?
People should definitely do both. Polling your audience and asking them what they want to read about on your site is a great way to go.
Gael recommends about a 50/50 effort between keyword based articles and more shareable content.
What are a couple of examples on HealthAmbition.com of viral type articles that have done well?
First, “The Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water when you Wake Up” has done very well. The article has over 2,000 Facebook shares, hundreds of comments, and over 20 natural links that they didn't do anything to get. They used Pinterest on that article to get pins as well, currently over 800 pins.
How did Gael come up with that article topic?
Gael hires specialists in the area as writers. Some of these writers help come up with these ideas. They find the writers through a lot of trial and error. However, they usually have a track record of being involved in the niche and often have a follower-ship on Twitter or Facebook in the niche.
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Another good piece of content on HealthAmbition.com?
Washing your face with apple cider vinegar. The article has done very well on social media and elsewhere. They also sell apple cider vinegar as an affiliate through Amazon and so the article makes decent money as well.
What's working so well to build your email list?
Use a popup.
Use multiple offers depending on the category or page they land on.
Gael also uses Facebook retargeting to generate more email leads.
Do we focus on building links too much?
Gael believes most people focus too much on manually “building” links rather than thinking about what causes people to naturally link to you. Links are important, but building links is not what you should do. You need to attract those links.
First, put great stuff on your site. The Red Bull guy jumping from space is great content and has tons of links.
Think about the type of content you can provide that will attract links.
Second, do content promotion. Share your content where it should be shared. Then outreach to others in your niche…but don't just ask for a mention or link. You need to be involved in your community and help out other people first.
For example, you can put someone elses blog post in your email blast and tag that in Google analytics with a message. By helping others out first, then people will take notice and eventually send links your way.
Tell us about AuthorityHacker.com and how's it going?
Gael is really focused on actionable content that focuses more on white hat strategies. He feels like there is a gap in the market. The site is doing well, they have about 1,000 email subscribers at this point only after about 3 months since they started.
Gael's free SEO course: AuthorityHacker.com/free-course
Gael's parting words of advice
A big reason a lot of people fail at content promotion is because there is a learning curve, and they run out of patience. Its important to be patient, and give your project at least a year at the beginning before you expect to see big growth.
Gael is also the creator of CopyCog.com.
This is a platform to help you recruit and manage your writers.
Overall, it was a pleasure doing this interview with Gael, and he shared lots of valuable tips for creating and sharing great content that attracts links and more. As always, I'd love to hear your comments or questions below.
Listen to the Podcast