CC 030: $20K Per Month: Authority Sites Revisited With Gael Breton of Authority Hacker

Authority Hacker

Authority Hacker

I can't believe we're already up to episode 30 of the Content Champion podcast. I'm really enjoying putting these together so thanks for listening on a regular basis. On the show this time I'm revisiting the subject of building authority sites with Gael Breton of Authority Hacker.

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Gael Breton

Gael Breton

You may remember last year I talked with Brian Dean of Backlinko about the same topic – and you loved that episode – so as it's a subject popular with many people (including myself) I thought it would be great to look at how things have moved on and what strategies are working in this space right now.

Gael uses some of Brian's strategies to build content for his authority sites, so there's a lot of symmetry between their approaches – but also quite a few ingenious additions to the process that I know you'll love.

Authority Hacker logoAs with Brian's podcast last year, there's so much valuable information packed into this call that you could take notes and start your own authority site business right after listening. (I resisted the urge to charge for this too, as Gael's answers are better than many premium courses I've paid for).

Gael was very generous with his time for this show, and for 35 minutes we discussed these main questions:

  • How Gael got started online and why he set up Authority Hacker
  • How he earns $20k a month from his authority sites
  • What's changed in the SEO and online environment to make this model even more attractive than ever before
  • How to choose the right niche to make money in
  • Tips on choosing the right domain and web hosting
  • How keyword research factors into your authority site building
  • How to create truly high quality content using one of Brian Dean's favourite techniques
  • Sourcing top standard writers to both create and share content (and what you'll expect to pay)
  • Gael's advice on the ‘how often to post' question
  • How to monetize your sites using a really ingenious strategy
  • Why content upgrades are essential to the success of your content
  • Why email marketing is central to this process working properly
  • Gael's top three ways to promote your content
  • Mistakes to avoid and how to ‘pivot' when things aren't working
  • Details of some great free courses Gael is giving away

Plus! The PS Question! Gael shares a great tip for building up thousands of Twitter followers!

Resources mentioned in this show:

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer: Welcome to the official podcast at contentchampion.com. Join our heroic quest to discover truly epic content marketing. Introducing your host, the Content Champion himself, Loz James!

Loz James: Hi guys, welcome to episode 30 of the Content Champion Podcast. I love doing these, so thanks as ever for listening. This show is really a follow-up to the Great Authority Sight Podcast I did with Brian Dean at Back Linker last year. But this time I'm speaking with Gael Brenton of Authority Hacker, who makes nearly $20,000.00 a month from his Authority sites. The fascinating thing is, he uses some of Brian Dean's strategies to do this. I'm really excited about the whole authority sight business model. So let's dive straight in. Thanks for coming on Gael!

Gael Breton: Hi.

Loz James: Now you're the successful SEO and affiliate expert behind the Authority Hacker Blog, and also have an incredible business, building your own Authority sites and we'll turn to that in a minute. So, firstly can you tell us about your history and how you got started online please.

Gael Breton: Yeah ..I mean it wasn't a very ambitious to start with. I used to study in a French business school. And I had to do an internship. And so I applied to like, you know working glamorous locations like Los Angeles, and New York and stuff, and nobody would take me in internship. So, eventually I mean I had been studying in Asia for a year and a half in a Hong Kong.

Loz James: Uh huh (affirmative).

Gael Breton: And so eventually I applied for a startup company in Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia the … at the time was doing actually Search Engine Optimization which I had no idea what is was. I've always been a geek. I always been, I been like online game player … and you know spending a lot time on computer although …

Loz James: Uh huh (affirmative).

Gael Breton: But I've never done any kind of online marketing and actually I started not very interesting, from where I was. Anyway that was the only internship that I got. So here I go to Malaysia and then started learning about all of that. I did pretty well. They hired me after I graduated. So I moved back to Malaysia for another 6 months after I graduated. They liked what I was doing and they were giving a pretty decent salary from Malaysia, so life was good as a fresh graduator. I had an apartment with a swimming pool on the roof, and a gym and, drinking cocktails during the weekend and everything. Can't complain really.

Loz James: Nice!

Gael Breton: So you know the lifestyle was the most appealing at the time because I still didn't understand it very well, when you get started. I kind of liked the lifestyle of just, just being around the world and being able to work from your computer for U.S. companies and Australian companies and so on. I am having a great lifestyle in a place where life is not too expensive.

The thing is the company grew pretty well when I was in Kuala Lumpur and decided to open an office in London. Given that the founders were Australian and I was the only European in the company they decided to send me over there to open the office for them. The problem is well that started getting away from the lifestyle that I wanted. It wasn't like, yea sure I was moving to London but like my salary was really not on par with my buying power back in Malaysia and it just didn't feel very nice in terms of lifestyles. So, I kind of looked for a way to get out of that like literally 2 weeks after moving back to London.

But, my co-founder and I had a small site that was reselling services on the site like SEO service etc, and we turned it into an agency already so we started picking up clients and income was coming in through that as well. And then, when I just couldn't take it anymore in London after about like 5 or 6 weeks, I just decided that we'd give a go full time to the little sites we had. And we started an agency and that’s how we started working for clients and then we've grown the agency quite a lot.

Now there's still a team working on this project, we still have a bunch of clients and stuff, but as we went we'd also decided that we wanted to grow our own properties. And, now that is basically what we are doing, we are growing Authority sites. Plus, you know, we keep the agency running, we are not necessarily trying to grow it very much, but it's something that is still running for us.

Loz James: Now I see a lots happened in the SEO world and this led you on to the Authority Hacker Blog as well which you're going to talk about but, just to give us an idea of the success of your Authority Sight business, would you be able to share any revenue figures with us?

Gael Breton: Yea, I mean like I crossed a lot of sites. I say we make like a little bit less than $20,000.00 a months right now.

Loz James: WOW!

Gael Breton: So, it's very livable especially if you don't live in Western Europe or any expensive place.

We still have our agency project running as well so that makes also a little bit of income, so that's basically what we make across everything we have right now.

Loz James: OK, so there's obviously a good income model there, we know it can make money from this. But, why Authority sites? What changed in the online landscape and SEO? Why did you move away from the agency and into building your own Authority sites?

Gael Breton: OK, moving away from the agency to building our Authority sites. It's irrational that, when you work for clients I see more as a short term slash more unstable thing, because you know in companies strategies can change and even though you may be doing a good job at what you are doing, you know maybe, they decide to shift away from online marketing or all this stuff and so it's a little bit less predictable than running your own sites. You know you know your own sites will not change strategies until you decide to change the strategies.

So, I see consulting income as like a great way to as a consultant to make good money quickly. Because you get paid for your time whereas Authority sites is like you lose money, usually for the first 6-9 months. And after that it's usually all very good. But once you've past this initial 6-9 months there are harder and you'd been willing to sacrifice resources to grow them. Then they can have a sure thing as long as you don't do anything stupid with them. So that’s basically why.

Loz James: This is going to be very interesting to a lot of our listeners because I'm following this kind of track. I work with clients in a consultancy basis. I've always done copywriting and SEO and contact marketing. And I've had affiliate sites on the side as well over the last sort of 10 years. The Authority site Model is something I talked with Brian Dean about awhile back, last year now, is something that is very appealing to me.

I'm doing it now through the blog that we're on, Content Champion. But the leap of faith that's required for a lot of people to say go from earning money from consultancy fees into saying as you said 6, 9 months before you earn any money, you're at the mercy of kind of Google changing everything, or are you?

Gael Breton: Yes to some extent because we still got a lot of client from Google, but our number 1 conversion goal usually when people go on the sight is that they give us their email address. So like for example on our health sites we have like over 100,000 email addresses that we can reach out to at any point in time. So, if we really have anything to sell or any new article or something we know we can generate a few thousand visits without the help of Google at all you know. And doing things like building up your social profiles and doing all of that it just helps you like not need that traffic immediately.

Like I'm not saying that it wouldn't hurt if that was gone. But basically I think Google as a way to like borrow traffic. And what I like is, is the same way when I do PPC. When I do PPC I always tell our people to do a squeeze page, so I try to get their contact details so that I can contact them again for free later. Well I try to do the same thing with the Google. It's like hey I got a traffic I don’t know if I'm going get it tomorrow, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to get the contact details of as many people as I can, and as a result I'll be able to reach them out if one day my Google traffic goes away. So that’s the goal even though Google is a very important part in that strategy.

Loz James: OK, so the core to this is obviously capture email addresses, nurture emails and making the money on the back end and the traffic just comes from wherever the traffic comes from. So we'll dig into all that. Just quickly, how many sites do you have, how many Authority sites?

Gael Breton: We have like 6 right now. The thing is that we don't necessarily want to open a new sight every month or something. We'd rather just like expand what we have and 6 sites is already a lot of work, so I probably make like one more next year for a case study. So I'll probably make it public and stuff, but overall we don’t necessarily intend to start a lot of new sites, in the next few years actually.

Loz James: OK, well let's looks at the theme of starting new sites then, perfect place to look at it. Drill down into the specifics of perhaps starting with choosing a niche, one that'll earn money. How do we go about doing this?

Gael Breton: There's basically 2 things you need to care about. As like, do you need to buy stuff to do that thing your talking about? And what is the urgency your readers will have? So if it's for a house problem, then you know it's usually pretty urgent or at least they feel the urge because if it's something cosmetic it's just the social pressure. If it's something that’s related to their house while their lives is on the line or something.

If it's more of a passion, for example, that works too. So, it's basically you just got to assess the urgency and the amount of money you got to spend on that. But I would recommend mostly to pick something you would be interested in reading a whole book about. So one thing we do is before we start a website, we have to go and buy basically the number one selling book on Amazon about it. And we have to finish that book and be willing to read more. If we don't, we don't start the site.

Loz James: Oh, OK so it might be that you're going into … I don’t know, like you say the health niche and it might be a certain type of fitness area. And you buy the book on that on Amazon and you get into that, and you think OK, do some simple checks on Google to see if people are monetizing that through what, AdWords and other things. And if there's money to be made and you're interested in it, it's a good place to start.

Gael Breton: Yes, I look at it athlete programs as well a lot because like you know you can make money off Amazon in that sense and everything, but I mean that's not what's going to make you like $10,000.00 a month unless you have a lot of traffic. So looking athlete programs that are outside like the you know the 7% or 8% percent of Amazon and the few cents per click on AdSense because that can make you know a few hundred bucks a month no problem, but it's going to be hard to get into the multiple thousands of dollars with just that unless you're just selling items that aren't very expensive and people buy it rather easily.

Loz James: OK, so we'll move on to monetization a bit later on, but if we've chosen our niche, how do we set up a branded domain. How do we select that and what sort of hosting are you putting these sites on?

Gael Breton: Usually you take what's available because it's not like finding dot come domains is very easy; we always go for dot coms. I'd still the reference and like you know like you can do well with dot net etcetera, but in people's mind it's still dot com you know. You know think about your grandma or etcetera, apart from your country TLD and dot com, they don’t even know what dot net or dot org is, or something like that. So definitely dot com. What we try to do is, we start on the smaller niche so it would probably take us sub niche of the niche we picked to develop all our content about initially, but we'll pick a domain that can expand.

Once we run out of stuff to say in the sub niche, we can always pick another one and another one and another one and that's why we don't start many sites because essentially we have domains that can be quite broad and have so many opportunities for us to develop content, that there is no point buying a new domain so that it's almost like starting a new site on your existing domain using all the domain Authority in all these things. But in terms of picking a domain it's really very much about finding something that's available and remember like people that can remember quite easily and short and everything.

Loz James: So it's not like old school days of buying you know exact match domains they go right out the window.

Gael Breton: No, no.

Loz James: You pick something that’s a brand if you like.

Gael Breton: Yes, I would never go … I mean most exact match domains just look so cheap and they're too narrow, you know you can't make an Authority Site because like you know, how to cure back pain when you're 65 dot com, whatever it is there's not so much you can put on this except exactly what this domain is about.

Whereas if you take articulationpain.com or something, I don't know. Then you will be able to talk about elbow problem and joint problems and back problems and like a lot of these things and you can take each genetic and draw up like 50 to 100 pieces of content about each of them. So if you have a domain like that then you be kept busy or awhile. And since it really doesn't matter in rankings anymore what your domain is about you're much better picking a broad domain building a legit domain Authority and then using it for a lot, a lot of content.

Loz James: And do you pick cheap blue hosts style hosting in the beginning and then move up to something better and faster or would you just get good hosting from the start?

Gael Breton: We have a decent hosting account right now so we put everything there. Knowing what I know today if I was to start, I would probably go over on Digital Ocean, because it's like VPS with a FSD's etcetera so it's pretty fast. But it starts at $5.00 a month. But you need to be comfortable, like you know running your console and setting up your hosting yourself there's no seat I know there's no nothing right.

So if you're happy doing that then I would probably start with Digital Ocean. Otherwise if you're just getting started you don't make money yet, just start with a blue host account. It's plenty, it's good enough to get started. Yes, your site is going to be a bit slower but seriously when you make zero dollars a months it's not about site speed, it's about figuring out how to get some traffic and make some sales.

Loz James: OK figuring out traffic. I guess it starts then with keyword research. How does this factor into booting your Authority Sites? You map out keywords first?

Gael Breton: When we start out with Authority sites actually we don't necessarily even try to make money initially now because we already make money from other sites. So what we do is we try to build authority first. So we try to get the domain to Domain Authority, like 35 or more, quite quickly. And the way we do that is we use these, the Brian Dean's technique actually. We used the Skyscraper Technique.

So we just go and find content capable of linking that niche. Like find really, really, really good writers and hire like designers and stuff to create graphics to go with it etcetera. Plus you own the domain even and have a couple Auto Block posters so it's not just a one page domain. And just do a outreach and get get these links. Once we have a little bit of domain authority so like 25-35 let's say, then what I do is I find competitors that have about the same domain authority and I put them in a CM rush, and I find everything they rank for and I just go and snag that.

We try to make it a viable project once we reach that point so we try to make it break even so we can spend like, I don't know like $500.00 to $1,000.00 a month on content without it costing us anything. So we need to make at least that much money. Because like that's when you're comfortable keeping a side going, right? You're like hey it's costing me nothing and I'm building up an asset.

So well what you do is, usually it's not the big queries because the big queries take way longer. So things like product reviews are the best. Basically the types of keywords that a lot of people used for niche sites that aren't wide open because a lot of niche sites were just using grey high tactics etc so you can just walk in with your white hat domain authority using internal linking and just rank for all these terms and make money out of it.

Loz James: You mention content creation. I read somewhere … I think I saw a presentation you did where you say, to get the right content, do you just go in, see whose ranking well for that particular term or that type of content, use the skyscraper technique to beat that content and you might get the writers who've written in that space before to write the high quality stuff and then share it with their own social media followings as well?

Gael Breton: One thing I do in that presentation its choose the example of Paleo. And what you do is, you type like best Paleo blogs on Google and then you get a bunch of people that will blog post about the top ten Paleo blogs and then the top 100 Paleo blogs blah blah blah blah. Then send an email to all these people and be like, hey are you interested in a writing job and offer the job to them and then be like, when we publish it, we'd also like if you could share it. Just make it part of the job. And then just told us something that is bigger than that content that you've seen and then if it has the name of someone that's already known in the niche as well on it, then reverse engineering the people that got links and sending them an email and say, hey we got that piece doesn't become very difficult anymore.

Loz James: So these essentially are multi-author blogs and how much are you paying for that length of content to beat out the last person per piece of content?

Gael Breton: Usually a lot. Like usually a lot. For a nice piece of content, just for the text, we pay up to $200 sometimes. So like, if you go in there thinking you're going to spend $15 just making something better than other people, you already lost. Because, yeah sure, you can produce content for cheaper, but then the rest of your outreach is going to be 4 times lower. And then you're going to spend less on content, but you're going to spend 4 times more on outreach and outreach tends to be the biggest piece of all.

So if you don't put the right thing in the first place, doesn't matter how good the cook is if the ingredients are bad … it's just going to end up not working out. And that's why you should just be willing to spend some money. Then it also builds the incentive for you to actually do the promotion because a lot of people say, hey, we're going to put up this amazing content blah blah blah blah … They post on their site and then too lazy to promote it. But once you spend 200, 250 bucks on a piece of content, trust me, you want to promote it, you know.

Loz James: It amazes me … I've been copywriting for 15 years … It never ceases to amaze me how people think they can get that kind of interaction, that kind of engagement that they want with their content and it's $20 for a page or whatever. It's pretty shortsighted maybe.

Gael Breton: I mean, the thing is, you have to think about what you want to do and how ambitious you are with your content. Because the problem with people not willing to pay a lot for content is the lack of ambition for the content. They don't think many people will read them, they don't think it's going to drive any sales. They just think it's some kind of small niche you have to do on the site but you kind of doing it unwillingly. And when people come with that mindsight, then they're not willing to spend a lot of money and they try to get it as cheap as possible.

They don't understand that it would be better to not spend money on content at all from that point of view. You just spend your 20 bucks on PPC you get more results. But, that is why the whole thing is really just about really trying to connect with people but also building up to a conversion at the end so it's like most of our blog posts and content now are basically landing pages.

Because what we do is … there's a free article obviously and it can rank, it can get links, it can do all of that but then there's a conversion part where we create another piece of content that people can download in exchange for their email, that's the content of gray scene. And then in the content of grade, we build a cell in it … And also on the thank you page when they put the email they raise some kind of premier thing that they can buy.

So it's like, hey you get the free PDF book, there's a whole e-book about that topic, this is why it's good, A B C D and then click here to check it out. And you make sales from that. It's a very natural flow of people reading through your content, liking it. The people that are willing to give their email are already even more invested and the people that have given their email have a good chance of being interested in a premium product and you can drive traffic to it and then that can make sales.

So, if you have that kind of ambition for your content and you know it's going to be around forever and you know that product is not going to die tomorrow, then it's very possible to make tens of thousands of dollars from a single piece of content. So, from that point of view, investing 200 bucks to make tens of thousands of dollars … like, I'll spend all my money on that. [music]

Announcer: You're listening to the Content Champion Podcast, showcasing the best content marketing strategies across the web. We're back with Gael Breton.

Loz James: I interviewed Steve Kamb last year of Nerd Fitness and he said that he wrote a Paleo page, a Paleo article, like the ultimate guide. He hadn't monetized it and then he put an app at the end of it and he makes an absolute killing from this one page of content just as you've described.

Gael Breton: Yes, we have pages that are make us thousands of dollars that way. It's just per month, you know. It's just the way it is. And that's why … and you don't even need all of your content to work out that way, right? Even if like, 1 in 20 works out to make that much money, you're still very very profitable. It's really about putting as much as you can in each piece of content to reduce the failure rate. And yes, so like, making as good as you can and making 1 in 20 work and you're already like 300% profit, you know?

Loz James: Each piece of content … this absolutely fascinates me. It's not like the old days where it's all separate. The keyword research and then the actual content production and then the promotion. The content is like a little sort of mini micro climate. It's informed by who writes it and where they can share it and so there's some promotion rolled into it. It's also informed by the content upgrade process and how it can be monetized.

So each one of these … It's almost not to be thought of as a page of content, it's a whole ecosystem where by all interlinks on one page now and like you say you can be reading through your Paleo article and then you get a pop-up comes in three quarters of the way down offering you an upgrade … it might be a workbook or a template or an e-book or whatever it is and then you join up with your email address and then you're what, made an offer after that?

Gael Breton: Yes, so they just put the email and then I'm like, hey, I've just sent you the link to download this free e-book I've offered you and you obviously give that thing you offered. But, click here to check out this even better thing, or that better e-book or that better self-tour or whatever you're talking about. And you direct people to either a pre-sales page or to directly an offer depending on how well it sells by itself. And it's basically just a sales funnel, you know.

Loz James: So it's pointless really in that regard, just getting lots of people go out and say, right, I'll spend a thousand pounds on content, get all their content produced and then just putting it there in isolation. There's no point in doing that is there?

Gael Breton: You need to thing about like what's your angle. I always thought was my angle. So most people are like, we need to get higher SEO rankings, so we need to produce content or whatever it is. No, you need to think about what you want to sell. So, that's what I showed in that webinar, right. I just picked that Paleo e-book I think. I was like okay, so here's this Paleo e-book. They pay me $27 per sell, so that's quite a bit you know. If I could sell 10 a day, I would make not far from $9,000 a month. So, what I need to do to sell 10 is I had to figure out what people are searching for before they would buy. They would be willing to spend in that case I think it's like $35 in an e-book for Paleo.

And what they're looking for is whether Paleo is good for them, what are some maybe free recipes before they buy a 300 recipes e-book. They're looking if it's good when you have this condition or if maybe some celebrities that have been following that. You know, all these things that you can kind of interested in a topic, but you didn't really spend money yet. Then find these and peruse that content and then make that content link between the free content and the paid offer, you know?

Loz James: Are you cloaking affiliate links so is there no need because they're off site in that model, aren't they?

Gael Breton: I mean, we're doing redirects, but that's more for like statistics. So we see our click through rate and we see all of that. So it's much easier to do that with redirects. So we use redirects, but it's not like we blog the redirects or anything.

Loz James: OK, so those affiliate links … you only have 1 on maybe a page of 3,000 words of content.

Gael Breton: It really depends to be honest. It's not a cookie cutter technique, right? You need to think about what the reader wants and thing about it. Give them enough free information before you make an offer because otherwise they won't be interested. That's why at the end and you can put a mention about it on the top. But if you do it that way you can put zero affiliate links on your page actually if you think about it.

What you need to do, is you have your piece of content and you're like hey, click here and it just opens that pop-up where they put their email and then it's just a redirect to a thank you page. And the thank you page sends you to wherever you want. So your content doesn't even need to have affiliate links actually. Plus, when you doing link building, you look very clean. You don't look like you're hard selling on your content. So it's much easier to outreach for it and get people to link to it, you know?

Loz James: That's exactly what I'm getting at. That's fantastic. OK, these are just links you never use … banners or anything?

Gael Breton: We sell some banners on one of our site, but because it gets so much traffic. Before we figured all of that out we created a bunch of content that's not very well materialized for us, so selling ads on these just makes it profitable. But, it's really something we're slowly working away from. It doesn't make nearly as much money as when you make the sale yourself.

Loz James: OK. Now, we've looked at to a certain degree, promotion techniques. I know this is a massive, massive topic because you can spend much more time promoting the stuff than producing the content. But what is sort of top 3 ways that you get eyeballs on the page?

Gael Breton: Once again, it really depends on the niche you're in and where people are. But, like, I mean, using social sites … using things like Reddit and youdig and Stumbleupon is definitely a way to get people on the page and you know, if people are not going to vote it on Reddit, it just means that you're good enough at creating content and you need to work on that skill. So, it's basically that simple. So that's one.

The second one is obviously building your fellowship using email and social. So like, you know, things like content lockers work really well. So one very very easy trick to get more likes on your Facebook page, for example, or more followers on Twitter or whatever you want, is to use these content lockers and then just grab a how-to-video on YouTube about the topic and just put that video behind the locker and be like, hey, click like to see the video.

And you know, YouTube videos are … you are allowed to use them actually for that as long as you don’t profit from it, it's actually okay in the YouTube license. So you can do that. And instead of putting the page where people are on, you actually put the URL of Facebook page. This way they don't just like your page, they actually become a fan of your page. And that means you'll be able to pop up on their Facebook timeline and all these things. So growing your fans that way is a pretty good way all the content upgrades etc get you a bunch of emails so it's easy to email people.

And then the outreach … If you want to get links or big bloggers or big authorities to share your stuff, you usually need to email them. They're not necessarily waiting for you to publish. You need to call and talk to them, you know?

Loz James: And do you use Buzz Stream for that, don't you?

Gael Breton: Actually we use the massive editorial last week I think about it. I think it's like 3,000 words in 62 minutes of video on it. On how I use it for our outreach. So, yes, I use Buzz Stream extensively. Actually I used to have one of the biggest tech accounts ever created on it. We used to have half a million sites on it actually.

Loz James: Oh wow, okay okay. Anything we can avoid? We've gone through process with you. It's been fantastic, but you know, obviously we want to avoid mistakes so we don't fail because people might not be in the position to build for 6 months, not monetizing it and think oh crap, it's all gone wrong the last minute. So what mistakes can we avoid?

Gael Breton: You never fail until you've stopped, right? So that's the first thing. You need to keep it going for a while. We have this site, healthambition.com, which now gets around 300,000 visits a month. But 6 months after we started it, it was only getting 200 visits per day. So not very much. So you're talking like 6,000 visits a month. As so, if we looked at just that 6 month timeline and stopped, then it would never be where it's at right now. It's making a lot of money, you know. So that's one of the things, keeping it going.

The second thing is looking for early signs of failure. So, if you've been creating like 7 blog posts … posting them on all of these social sites I talked about like Pinterest and Reddit and Stumbleupon etc and you get zero share out of that, then there's a problem. You're probably not creating the right kind of content. You need to change things. You need pivot all the time.

So that's one of the things we believe a lot in, is the flexible start up and basically finding the metrics that allow us to validate everything we do. So when we start a new site, the first goal is just to get social shares. Social shares make you money, but if you are unable to create content that gets shared and gets engagement, then you probably aren't going to do very well unless you get lucky with SEO. But, even then, when you do it the old way, you need to convince editors to link to you. If it's not very good, it's going to be much harder. So yes, it's basically looking for early signs of failure and keeping it going for a while as soon as your signs of failure are looking okay.

Loz James: And you mentioned 7 posts or whatever. You're not posting everyday on all your sites, are you? How often do you post?

Gael Breton: Honestly, nowadays it's very irregular. Most people think that you run an authority site the same way you run a blog. Which doesn't necessarily have to be the case. You could be spending 3 months without posting and working on other things and it's still OK. And if you like at people like Brian Deen actually, he did the same for Backlinko he didn't post for like 3 months and he kept like 200% growth. So really, how often do you post is a little bit irrelevant. You just need to think about your objective and what you need to work on your campaigns.

And sometimes it's posting and creating content to get more traffic and all of that and growing your audience and sometimes it's just doing a better job monetizing your idea and in that case then you stop focusing on content and you focus on doing more with what you already have. So, how often you post for us is actually very, very irregular these days. But, it's OK, we've got people's emails. We email them when there's something new and they come back, you know.

Loz James: OK and you don't offer any affiliates offers directly to that list or you just send them back to that site?

Gael Breton: Very rarely. It really depends once again … then we get into email marketing and that's a whole new topic, but like, depends on how you segmented your lists etc. We do a lot of behavioral segmenting and all of that so we create hundreds of tiny lists based on a lot of different criteria. So, when we have enough segmentation in place and we know that exactly this list is this tiny part of our list will be interested in that product, then yes, we will do direct promotion. But when the list is not necessarily yet very segmented, and that's when one of these things that we do when we do authority content is like resegmenting our lists and behavioral targeting and all of that. Then when we don't have that, we tend to not promote directly because it's hard to find something that will match everyone in a list.

Loz James: OK, there are various tools out there that you can use to segment lists. And various URMs and everything else. OK, it's been absolutely fascinating. Just before the PS question, can you remind us please where we can find you online and what you have on offer?

Gael Breton: Yes. If you want to go check what we do, go on authorityhacker.com and we basically produce tutorials on different processes that we use to run our websites. So I'll just talked about the BuzzStream one where I literally give all the templates with use for outreaching and I have videos of me doing it and I have all of that. So it's very, very hands-on. We don't necessarily talk a lot about super duper concepts etc.

It's more like, hey, just follow the step by step things in that post and you'll be able to do this process for yourself. Or you can pass it to someone else. There's also free authority SEO costs. So if you sign up to list and don't worry you get many ways to sign up on the site. You get I think a pop-up, there's a sidebar, you most likely get some retargeting follow you after etc. So, I'm not too worried about you finding it. There's 9 video series with no page that just gives you free information on how we structure our websites and setup our WordPress sites and do all these things. So, that's basically where you can find us.

I've also recently launched a course on list building. It's a small one, but it's interesting. It's basically 3 hours of video of me setting up all the things I use to collect emails in a very efficient way. So on our sites we achieve up to 10 percent obtain rate. So that's like every ten visits we get one email. And that basically shows all the tactics we use to do that and how we set it up. So, yes, that's basically it.

Announcer: Wait for it listeners. Here comes the PS question.

Loz James: Can you please share one advanced content marketing strategy that we can use right after this call?

Gael Breton: Yes. It's going to be super simple. I don't know how advanced people are, but that's something that a lot of people know, but very few people do. Is obviously you need to have a Twitter account for your website. Find your competitor and follow 100 of their followers every day. And just do that. You will see that after that when you start tweeting, you get a bunch of retweets and reshares and people are interacting with you etc. I literally got a good backlinks, I met people, I made money, I made dozens of sales just from Twitter by just following my competitors followers. So like, just doing that works very well.

Loz James: It's a great strategy and I know that because I built my Twitter following to 11,000 people doing exactly that. So I recommend everyone goes to do that. Look, thanks Gael, it's been a brilliant call. I really appreciate it and I wish you all the best of luck with everything in future.

Gael Breton: Thanks! Thanks for having me and thanks for listening guys.

Announcer: You’ve been listening to the Content Champion Podcast available at ContentChampion.com, Zune, the Blackberry Network network and on iTunes. Until next time, thanks for listening.

Bonus: Download a free PDF of this post you can print out and refer to later

Loz took his first copywriting business to a five figure annual income, then founded the Content Champion blog and podcast, (subscribe and listen), which has helped 1000’s of independent online business owners conquer their competition with proven SEO & content marketing techniques. Read the full story here >

This article has 12 comments

  1. Lee Trends

    Love his Authority site content.

    $200 for 1 piece of content? Talk about epic.

    Made notes and will be working to implement some of these strategies.

    Thanks Gael & Loz

    • Loz James

      Thanks Lee

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Gael shared some great information in this podcast.

      Good luck with your sites.



  2. steven

    Wow, a lot of wonderful tips for a beginner like me. I really love your site, it’s helpful.

  3. Sunday

    Gael Breton’s take on authority sites is really impressive. It goes to show he knows his stuff.

    I have taken a lot of insights from this podcast and especially that which relates to using Brian Dean’s favorite techniques.

    This piece is worth sharing! I just downloaded this!

  4. Jenda

    Jesus! That was a really great episode!

    Thank you very much, Loz! Loved every second of it! 🙂

  5. Raja Mia

    Unbelievable work you publish, I really enjoy your blog with content marketing theory.


  6. Miles Beckler

    This show was excellent! I agree that this whole ‘Authority Site’ business model is amazing… Reframing the idea of content to where each piece of content actually needs to be its own ‘ecosystem’ on a topic with marketing, content upgrades, a funnel, etc… Mot just articles in isolation anymore. Huge ah-ha moment right there!

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