As I sit down to write this post, I am actually in Las Vegas attending PubCon. I just finished listening to Matt Cutts give a keynote speech and respond to Jason Calacanis (from the previous day) when he called Matt “Evil” and a Google a bad partner. Very interesting stuff, that I will write more about in the future. (But you can follow the “cage match” on Twitter right now :).
In addition, I'm about to listen to a session called, “Linkbuilding in a Penguin Age”…yes, I'm excited about it! In fact, I've been taking notes and jotting down blog post ideas. I should have enough great material to last me the rest of the year easy, so expect some more in-depth SEO and internet marketing analysis articles in the near future.
As fun as PubCon is, I am still very aware that I have a Niche Site Project to run here!
In fact, today is the big reveal! After several weeks of planning and strategy, along with plenty of work (mostly from Perrin), we are finally ready to reveal the niche website that Perrin has been working on.
For this second niche site project, we have focused a lot on keyword research and quality content. Both of these items are critical for any site that wants to take advantage of traffic from search engines.
So, in order to a discuss the keyword research and quality of the content in more depth, lets go ahead and reveal the website!
The Big Reveal! This Site Is…
Drum roll please! Here is Perrin’s niche website: aPennyShaved.com
The overall targeted niche is obviously the shaving niche, and specifically, reviews of razors both electric and not electric.
The top 2 keywords that Perrin is targeting are: Best Safety Razor and Best Electric Shaver
Specially, Best Electrical Razors is the keyword that the homepage is targeting; and “best safety razor” is a keyword on a secondary post. However, we are going to try and focus on ranking for the keyword “best safety razor” first…meaning that is where our initial effort is going to go, because it’s a lower competition keyword and will provide quicker results.
However, in the long term, we hope to rank for “Best electric shaver” as it will provide an even bigger return on investment.
Here’s a quick look at the competitor analysis screenshots from Long Tail Pro.
This screenshot from Long Tail Platinum shows that the primary keyword we are targeting has a very low Keyword Competitiveness of only 24!
Now that you see the keyword, you can read what I said about this “mystery” keyword before and see why I am so excited about it.
This screenshot shows what keyword the homepage is targeting. This is the long term keyword that we hope to rank for. As you can see, there are some authoritative sites ranking, but there is definitely some wiggle room here in the top 10 as well. I think with enough effort and focus, this keyword is definitely doable.
Week 7 Video Call
I've been unable to upload the video to Youtube at this point, because the Wifi connection has not been strong at times here; however, you can still watch the video as I uploaded it to my own server before I left. And luckily the video below is higher quality than YouTube anyway!
I can't possibly write about everything that was covered in this video call, so I HIGHLY recommend that you just watch it. During our call, we go through Perrin's site in great depth. We took a look at the site layout itself and of course the specific articles and my take on what has been done so far.
But in addition, we reviewed the backend of the site as well, which I think many of you will find helpful. Specifically I walked through his entire WordPress setup and plugins. This may be especially helpful for any of you that have had any questions about how to manage the backend of your WordPress and different settings with WordPress and the plugins.
Overall, take a look at the video and enjoy!
Perrin's Week 7 Write-Up
In Perrin's words…
Seven weeks down! And this is the big one… This is the big reveal. It’s so silly, but I’m pretty nervous – ha. I’m not sure why. I suppose it’s a bit scary any time you show your own work to thousands of people. It’s like signing the national anthem at a baseball game in your underwear. But I’m excited, too! I’ve been working super hard, and I’m eager to see what you guys think.
Anyway, this week was mostly a writing week. Spencer was having some new floors put in his house, so he was offline for a few days, including the day we normally have our call, so I just kept my nose to the grindstone and knocked out as many articles as I could.
All told, I got about 10 articles done (although by the time you guys see the site, it’ll probably have a few more up). And let me tell you: I was researching and writing my butt off! Ha. I mean really. With all the articles accounted for, there are about 15,000 words of content on the site. In college terms, that’s basically a 30-page double-spaced research paper. Add to that finding images, formatting each article, making sure the links are correct, etc. – and it all adds up to a lot of work.
But hey, no one said it was going to be easy, right? It did, however, lead me to an interesting question: Is it worth it?
Obviously, I think it’s very worth it, or I wouldn’t be doing this. But looking back on my work this week and seeing how much work I’ve done over the course of this project so far, I got curious about the actual return on my time. More importantly, I was wondering about the return on my time if I decided to really commit to doing SEO.
I ended up doing some very crude, English-major-style math to roughly calculate the ROI and/or the value of my labor. I know it’s rough, so please bear with me. 🙂
I imagined this scenario…
Suppose I create three different sites, and I do all the work myself. I do keyword research, write 20 articles and promote the site. I spend about 100 hours on each site. If a site does well after 20 articles, I outsource 30 more high-quality articles (about $500). If one site succeeds and the other two totally bomb, my total investment would be about 300 hours of my time and around $500.
Now, suppose the one site that succeeds roughly fulfils the goals we’ve set for Niche Site Project 2. So, for the first couple of months, it makes no money at all. By six months, it’s making about $500. And by the end of the year, after some testing and optimization, it’s making about $800. If the earnings increase evenly, that adds up to around $5,300 over 12 months. Lastly, let’s suppose the two “failed sites” each make $30/mo for 10 months of the year (or $300 each). After my $500 investment, that comes out to $5,400.
So, in this scenario, what was the ROI on my time? About $18/hr (for that project, during that year). Not bad! Especially because this scenario assumes a 66% failure rate. And really, even if your failure rate is much higher than 66%, it’s still probably worth it because you’re gaining a valuable skill.
If you get better and increase your success rate to 50%, your hourly rate goes up to about $26/hr. That’s a pretty decent wage.
Remember, this scenario also assumes you’re doing all the work yourself. If you outsource some (or most) repeatable tasks, you can (1) increase the value of your own labor and (2) create many more sites at once, which increases your overall revenue. Plus, you are building long-term assets, which means your hourly rate continues to rise for as long as the site makes money.
Nothing is ever, ever this clean. Ha. And I know that. But I when we’re sitting at our computers – nose to the grindstone, burning the midnight oil – it can be motivating to realize you’re not taking a gamble. The time you spend on SEO does have a yield.
But most importantly, the monetary value of your time increases with your skill, which is a really good incentive to keep learning!
My question to you guys:
Why did you decide to take up SEO in the first place?
Till next time!
Closing Thoughts and Your Comments
I hope that you enjoyed the video call from this week. And of course, I think this project just got a lot most interesting now that you can see the site! So go and check it out, and let us know what you think.
In addition, I wanted to mention that I know that Perrin is putting a ton of time and effort into this site. So, his analysis of valuing his time is important. Although, I really hope he doesn't have to put in 100 hours for each site!
When I think back to my first niche site project, I put in about 20 hours to get the site up and running and have maybe put in a total of 30 hours into the site since its existence. The difference is that I have been outsourcing almost everything. Perrin is doing it himself. I think either way is fine to build a site, and Perrin is a professional author, so it makes sense that he would write the articles himself. (But I am going to start recommending more outsourcing if possible).
In addition, this is his first site following my methods, so he is trying to do everything himself to get started. So, if he were to outsource more of the work, his return on his time would be SIGNIFICANTLY different. Instead of spending 100 hours, he would spend only 30 hours (hopefully much less), and his ROI on his time would be much greater.
Anyway, its just something to think about.
Overall, Perrin is doing fantastic (as you can see), and I look forward to what the next few weeks bring. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below!