How can a site that was started as a joke come to have an average of 250 registered users per day, over 70 articles published every hour and climb the Alexa ranking every week...? Oh, I forgot--without investment, without operations dedicated to the search engine positioning and without any marketing operation to promote it. Let's find out what happened to this site that was born on a lazy September afternoon. I had registered this domain some time ago for the simple fact that I liked the way it sounded, I am a bit of a maniac and instinctive compulsive (is that how you say it?) about domain names (to date I have over 400). When I find a name I like and it's free I register it without a second thought, you never know it might come in handy in the future. And so it did.
Among the various online marketing activities that a good professional should pursue is Article Marketing, which is writing (or having written) articles related to a topic (argument) pertaining to one's niche, product or service, and then publishing it on various websites (Article Directories) attaching the link of the site one wants to promote in the resource box or bio box (a special area, separate from the body of the article, where the author can talk about himself or better yet about his own site, bringing up the link). My curiosity was driven by understanding how many actually use this strategy for online marketing since it is quite time-consuming. Now, without going into the technical and strategic issues of Article Marketing, I will tell you that there was (no longer available now) a script, i.e., a website already nice and done, available to everyone, that allows you to create an Article Directory in minutes. It has everything you need: division into categories, user registration, pen name registrations (the various aliases/authors a registered user can have), templates for layout... everything in short. And best of all: Free.
Given the features and the cost (zero) I say to myself "Cool! Let's try it!". So what do I do? I search through my archived domains and find WordsDepot.com - (translation: WordsDepot.com) - Perfect, right? I put it on one of my servers, load the script, create a logo in 5 minutes in Photoshop and put in a hundred articles that the script authors give you as an encouragement to get started...
"Humm...and now what?" - I do a few tests. Few categories and too general. Then I see what other such sites are doing and I too enter all possible categories related to a wide variety of topics. I stay and look at the site a few days, nothing happens and I certainly don't feel like investing time and money in a trivial experiment. Time spent so far, about 2 hours.
I go away. I forget about it. It was September 2010.
In January 2011, I find myself working on that server to do some tidying up, and it turns out WordsDepot.com I had completely forgotten about. Without much surprise on my part I see that the counter still marked those few articles I had originally entered and no registered users. I enter the management area and what do I discover...? Hundreds of articles submitted by as many users!!! What had happened? Practically every registered user and every article submitted had to be activated and every article published manually, but this step, to me, had completely escaped (nobody is perfect). So I fix it right away: activate all accounts, alert them by email that they can publish full throttle And I post every article sent to me. As the days go by (and after my mailing) the traffic starts to get higher and higher. Another problem arises. Having no way to use the manual controls every day (I have too much to do than to keep up with this experiment) I modify the code a little bit (20 minutes of work) so that users and articles are activated and published every hour, automatically.
After one year, here are the numbers: 67000 registered users (with first name, last name, email, address, city, state, country, phone...) 372400 published articles (Of a wide variety of topics, from how to get a job to how to treat acne) 68289 is the ranking on Alexa (as of July 2011 it was at 97000) - Alexa.com calculates the world ranking of all online websites. The lower the number, the more popular the site. To be in this position out of over 100 million websites, is not bad. Especially for doing nothing. Until 3000 unique visits per day.
Conclusions. What can be learned from this example? Content rewards. Google started indexing WordsDepot.com right away but got even more into it when I published all the articles that were pending and that I had forgotten about. At that point a self-sustaining double ripple effect was created: marketers noticed an article marketing site beginning to become popular and so they increased their publications, and meanwhile readers began to flock in droves finding, on Google, many of the answers to their searches because they were contained in the articles published on WordsDepot.com.
Google, and every search engine in general, loves content if it is original and if it is published frequently. This is the key. An experienced marketer leverages these features to promote a website by spinning the article, that is, for each piece, creates many different versions of it by changing the words with synonyms, so as to keep its logical sense intact during normal reading of the text, but profoundly changing its semantic aspect so that it always looks like different and original content.
WordsDepot.com is one of those cases where organic indexing on search engines worked great and the benefits are that to date, my user list (and therefore mailing list= promotions) increases by more than 250 per day, in addition to the advertising clicks, the CPA offers and the memberships.
Not bad for a couple of hours of work....
What's next...? I am working with my staff on the new version of WordsDepot.com - we will switch from the famous script used initially to WordPress in order to better manage users, content and SEO operations. This will make it possible to create premium users, better navigation and many other things...
With this article, the category dedicated to Case Studies is born, in which I tell you about all those concrete and real projects that I have tackled in the course of my work. Whether they are initiatives of my own firm or successful projects of some clients, I want to guide you through the discovery of Internet Marketing. I hope you can learn some useful lessons from it and perhaps, avoid the mistakes I may have made.