Today I am presenting another written interview with Christopher Hale of PostandRank.com
1. What got you interested in building niche sites and focusing on SEO? Share your story.
Growing up I always had the entrepreneur bug. It has always been a passion of mine to own my own business. I felt the online space was an opportunity for my dreams to come true. About 2 years ago, I went to my local bookstore and began reading up on how to blog. I finally took the plunge and started a blog on WordPress about my favorite sport teams. It was a flop to say the least. I found myself writing blog posts weekly but no one was reading them. So after a few months I stopped writing for the blog and let it die very discouraged. But I still had the desire inside to create something great. Something that would help people, something of value.
I had one or two more failed websites until a light bulb went off in my head. Having worked in the medical field as a medical supply purchaser, I had a lot of knowledge of different products and their brands. What if I was able to take the knowledge I had acquired from my full-time job and was able to share that knowledge with the public? I knew I had something that would help people. But how would I get my website in front of those who needed my assistance?
Before I bought a domain and planning out posts, I got my ducks in a row. I researched, read other blogs on online marketing and come across the process and importance of keyword research. The only way my site was going to be seen was to ensure that my website wouldn’t be sandboxed deep within the search engine rankings.
One day I was in some online marketing forums and came across a few names that were having great success with keyword research: Pat Flynn and Spencer Hawes! I was a sponge to everything they were doing. Once I felt that I learned the ropes on keyword research, I started a medical product review site January of this year. It was a niche I was familiar with and felt I could write value enriched content. Almost six months later, due to niche focused keyword research and many hours reading my influencer’s blogs, my review site is on the first page of Google for over 20 keywords! I am receiving over 5000 unique visitors monthly and growing by 25% each month. Since January, I have started another niche site and am having the same success. Both are profitable and growing exponentially due to my perseverance and many hours of research. It is only the beginning of my dreams coming true!
2. Tell us about your new project PostandRank.com, what does it entail?
PostandRank.com is my way of giving back. I have been very blessed to learn to so much from the people that have influenced me. My new online adventure, launching this September, will discuss my own strategies that has led to my success. It will show in detail, what is working for my websites in terms of keyword research and SEO. More importantly, I dive into my failures and discuss what I learned from them.
I definitely realize that sites like this already exist. However, I have developed my own spin on keyword research that I feel that has been a huge part of my success. Sharing my strategies with other website or blog owners is something I felt I needed to do to give back.
Currently, I am running a “Launch Notification Email” signup on the homepage. So if you go to the site now, you can sign up to be notified when the site goes live.
3. What are some SEO strategies you believe are working today? What’s working for you?
My SEO strategy starting out has been pretty simple: publish great content! However, I think for everyone who has started a website and tried to climb the search engine rankings, it can be a very slow ride to the top. Sure, great content will get you there eventually but you have to incorporate other strategies. In the case of my two sites that launched this year, both are currently on the first and second page for a good amount of keywords. Of course, I have done the usual tactics: same niche blog comments, posting in relevant forums, guest posts etc. However, I believe there are two strategies that have been contributed the most to my quick SEO success: focused keyword research and links from Private Blog Networks (PBN).
Keyword research, along with the other usual tactics, helped allow my websites to get Google’s attention within 60-90 days. However, I was only knocking only the door of the first page for those selected keywords. PBN’s, specifically from LightningRank.com, gave me very strong backlinks from relevant and clean websites through articles I had posted. After only a few posts in those networks, my keywords were pushed not only to the first page of Google searches but to the top of them. I would have gotten there eventually, but with backlinks from strong PBN’s and a much focused approach to keyword research, my sites are reaping the benefits earlier than expected.
4. What are some challenges you typically face in the online marketing world as you have grown your sites?
I have been very successful in ranking high with Google, which leads to great organic traffic. However, my biggest challenge is engagement. My calls-to-action seem to go unnoticed or maybe just ignored from my readers. The same challenge exists across my social media channels as well. I continue to educate myself on what is working for others in our industry. Research and patience will help me to get to where I want to be on this topic. I learned very quickly that to be successful in the online world, you have to willing to educate yourself and continuously test. Don’t be afraid to fail because that can be your best teacher.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
The first half of 2014 started off very well as the two niche sites I launched this year are both making profits and growing each month. The rest of 2014 will be used to increase monetization conversion rates on my existing sites along with developing additional revenue streams within them in order to maximize their full potential. Hopefully, the second half of 2014 will be just as good as I launch PostandRank.com in September.
As far as my goals for the years to come, I already have two more niche sites in development. I am currently in the planning and organization phases of those opportunities, so my intentions are to continue to put into place the things I have learned from my failures and my successes. I will continue to stay on top of what’s new in SEO and to learn from my influencers as I grow my website portfolio. My main goal is to become an influencer for someone else about to tackle the online space.
I want to thank you John for the opportunity to be interviewed. I find great value in your website and feel inspired by your content and your projects. Keep up the great work and I can’t wait for future posts.