A week ago an Australian Internet entrepreneur asked me an important question about getting high rankings in Google search engine.
He was selling a website business at the time on Flippa.com – Sitepoint’s leading marketplace for buying and selling sites.
He messaged me on Flippa:
I had a look at your site www.allgreatquotes.com, can I ask what you do to get such high organic Google results?
Are you doing bookmarking and articles? And are you doing it yourself? I’m really interested in how you got it all the way down to 20,000 Alexa rank.
I have been so lucky with my drive to earn big dollars online – lucky I had the staying power, perseverance, skills and patience to design a model that makes me a full-time online living while I sleep.
So I told him exactly what I did to achieve that benchmark of success. Why hide it? Internet business is all about helping each other.
Why should I keep my formula for success to myself, when I can be the inspiration or instrument to help others succeed? The Web is big enough for us all to make a living on, after all.
Content is King – Don’t Let Anyone Fool You Otherwise
The No. 1 thing I attribute my web publishing success to is – quality content! The most important part of your website is simply – content.
- You can commission the fanciest design in the world.
- You can buy the most awesome WordPress theme out there – with testimonials from the biggest and the best.
- You can instal as many different plug-ins as you like.
- You can build all the sitemaps you want.
- You can fill your site with meta tags, key words, and descriptions to beat the band.
- But your site will never do as well as it should, it won’t reach its full potential, without good quality content.
Content is King. Content is King. Content is King.
It may be a cliché. Repeat it often enough, and you might even half believe it. If you want to be a serious Internet publisher, you better believe it, and don’t let anyone fool you otherwise.
Keep it Fresh and Original
Here is the exact message I sent to my Flippa friend:
Fresh and Original Content – That’s the other big thing that pushed my site numbers way up. I set about building site into an authority one, and giving people value. I didn’t just copy off other sites. I got my own stuff, arranged it my way.
Sure I had close look at what other general quotes sites were doing, so I could give visitors what they didn’t have.
I jumped early on trends – e.g. quotes from Sex and the City, South Park, Harry Potter, as they got popular.
To appeal to school, college and university students in US, I researched top studied books in English, and then put up most important quotes from these.
I constantly add new content, and every page gets refreshed once a week, with my updated Quotes of the Week slot.
Make It an Authority Site
You’re often heard the saying, “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” There’s a lot of bad quality out there on the Web. There’s an awful lot of dross, and even more plagiarized stuff.
If you have quality, you will rise above the dross. Like cream, you will rise to the top.
In his timeless advice, Theodore Roosevelt urged: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
I’m a fully paid-up subscriber to this. But I’m also a dedicated follower of Martin Luther King’s admonition to go a little step further – and be the best at whatever we do.
King believed that whatever the task or job, be it big or small, it should be done with a desire to be the best at what you do:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Aim To Be The Best
I aimed to build the best quotes site in the world. I launched it with quotes from all the plays of Shakespeare (I’m a fan), and every book from The Bible (people take solace in its wisdom). As a bonus I threw in hundreds of Shakespeare insults.
My sons were Homerholics. So I included The Simpsons quotes. As I’m Irish, I couldn’t leave out the sayings of Oscar Wilde. For good measure I threw in The Beatles, Woody Allen, Mark Twain and great movie lines.
To compile my quotes and ensure my site was distinctive, different and original, I Googled, I browsed books, I searched.
I followed trends. I looked at the next big movie that was coming out, the latest blockbuster book, the hottest new TV series – and published quotes from them. Harry Potter, South Park, and Sex and the City paid visitor dividends for me.
When the possibility of America’s first black president emerged during the US Democratic Party presidential campaign, I published Barack Obama quotes.
It paid off handsomely. On his election to the most powerful position in the world, my site registered over 7,000 visitors for Obama quotes for one day.
Never Stand Still, Explore New Directions
After adding lots of authors and topics I asked myself – hey, what can I do to add even more value. Create a new niche, capture a whole new visitor segment, I figured.
Never one for standing still, or resting on my laurels, I set out to explore new directions.
So I went after the student. Specifically the US high school, college and university student – as most of my visitors were, and still are, American.
With the help of targeted Google searches – bless the world’s greatest search engine – I compiled a list of the most studied English course books. And I launched my literary quotes section, offering all the important quotes from each work.
Boy, did it propel my site to another level. In the day following J. D. Salinger’s death, my site recorded nearly 15,000 visitors for The Catcher in the Rye quotes.
And all for free! An important part of the experience for visitors who use my quotes resource is that IT DOESN’T COST A DIME!
After adding hundreds of authors – from Monty Python to Dilbert – and tons of topics – from love to friendship – my site
What started as my hobby is now working for me. My quotations have become my main income!
Top Tips For Successful Content Site
So OK, you want to do what I did. You want to start a content-based website based on something you like or you’re even passionate about. Well go for it! The Web is your oyster. The Internet can be a very generous friend for those who put the work in and work smart.
Here are my five top tips for developing a successful content site:
- Be original – stand out from the Crowd
- Offer high-value, quality content
- Research your subject
- Continually update site with fresh content
- Aim to be an authority site
And there’s lots more insights and secrets to come in this important series for web publishers…