TAS 158 : When and How to Build an Authority Website for Your Brand with Jon Haver

TAS158- private label, Amazon FBA

Many new private label sellers feel overwhelmed right from the start. There truly IS a lot to learn and a lot to do in order to build an Amazon sales business that truly thrives. For that reason, Scott wants you to know that the topic for this episode is one you DON’T have to do right away. This is for down the line, when you’re products are already on Amazon, your brand is already solid, and your sales are going well. THEN, you may want to consider building an authority website for your brand. What IS an authority website? You’ll learn all the details in answer to that question on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OK, what IS an authority website?

An authority website is a website built to teach, share, or promote expert level content on a specific topic or niche. It’s a go-to source for information about that issue. A site of this nature typically consists of various pages about the basics of the issue, and a blog that provides ongoing posts about the subject. A good authority site truly has useful content that people find helpful for their lives. How does creating an authority website benefit your Amazon private label business? Today’s guest, Jon Haver, is going to walk you through that question and give you an idea of what it takes to build your own authority website.

The first step: Getting a site built that can get you approved in Amazon’s brand registry.

Amazon’s Brand Registry is one way that the Amazon powers attempt to verify that the products being sold on their platform are legitimate, and being sold by real businesses. Anyone can register with the brand registry and it’s free to do so. The benefit to you is to verify that your products belong to you, which could help if you find your products being hijacked in the future. One of the significant things needed to apply to the brand registry is an independent website that lists your product and company. In this episode, Jon Haver is going to walk you through the basics of what is needed on that website so that Amazon will approve your application to be included in its brand registry.

The power of building an email list through your company website.

One of the greatest advantages to building a website associated with your Amazon products is the ability to secure email addresses for people who are interested in your products. Why is this such an important tool? Because it enables you to send promotions and announcements about your product directly to people who have already expressed an interest in your products. Naturally, your sales conversion rate will be higher when you’re selling to people who already like what you have to sell. On this episode Jon Haver shares how he’s used an email list on his own authority sites to get great sales upon the release of new products, so much so that he didn’t have to do much in the way of paid promotions through Amazon PPC.

They key to a successful authority site.

Jon Haver has built many authority sites and feels that he’s got a pretty good handle on what it takes to make one successful. His philosophy is very simple. Create quality content, consistently, and your authority site will eventually rank as an authority in Google. The reason he’s so confident about this approach is not only because he’s seen it work, but because it’s consistent with the way Google works in the first place. Google (and other search engines) are looking for great content to provide to searchers, so giving Google that content is the main part of what you need to do. Learn more about creating a great authority website on this episode of the Amazing seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:25] What IS an authority website and when should you consider building one?
  • [2:18] The TAS Breakthrough is SOLD OUT! Watch for future events!
  • [4:00] How Scott and Jon got connected with each other.
  • [5:08] Building a website for the sake of Amazon’s brand registry.
  • [6:16] What is Amazon’s brand registry?
  • [8:30] What it takes to build a website that’s professional enough for brand registry.
  • [11:52] The foundational strategy behind the website build.
  • [12:46] What is an authority website or blog and why do you want one?
  • [14:38] Transitioning a niche website into a channel for private label sales.
  • [18:21] The biggest downside to building an authority site first.
  • [18:53] Scott’s efforts to build an authority site around his private label products.
  • [19:54] The DIY approach to building an authority site – what’s needed?
  • [23:30] The benefits of an authority site in terms of email capture.
  • [24:13] Jon’s response from his own authority site’s email list.
  • [27:16] The importance of keyword research for your authority site.
  • [28:49] Best practices for writing blog articles.
  • [29:25] What are comparison keywords and how do they help?
  • [31:14] Promoting an authority site: What are the best ways to do it?
  • [33:27] Jon’s unique approach to creating a blog network.
  • [35:18] Reaching out to bloggers in your space.
  • [36:02] How Amazon products are listed in Google itself.
  • [37:00] Ensuring your keyword is in your Amazon product URL.
  • [40:45] The key to success is consistency and quality links.
  • [42:47] How Jon’s team works with Amazon sellers to create niche websites.
  • [44:20] The advantage an authority site brings to your desire to sell your Amazon business.
  • [46:29] How to connect with Jon’s business for help.
  • [48:00] When to begin aiming toward a website for your product.
  • [53:24] Scott’s summary of the episode.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 158

[00:00:03] SV: Hey, hey, hey what's up everyone?  Welcome back to another episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast, this is episode number 158 and today we are going to be talking all about when and how to build an authority website for your brand. Now, I have a special guest on and he is an expert in this…

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[INTRODUCTION]

as far as building these authority websites. If you don't know what an authority website is, basically it is a website that starts getting traffic organically through Google, MSN, Yahoo, all of the search engines and then will start getting you some outside traffic. Let me call out a time out here real quick. You guys always know I blow the whistle when we call a quick timeout.

I'm going to do that right here because I don't want you thinking that in the very, very beginning stages that you need to worry about building an authority website because you could be spending time and money on something that you're not going to be able to use down the line. Yes in the beginning I would like to see a very, very small brand registry type website, which we'll talk about that today as well, which could be two three pages, we'll talk exactly how that happens and how you can do that and then we'll also talk about an authority website, what it means and also how to build one, how you can start building one. You need to also understand that building an authority website that starts to get this outside traffic to your market or for your products and services, it does take time. It takes quite a bit of time actually and that's why it really turned me off and when I met up with Jon. Jon Haver, he's who we have on the show today, who is the expert in this. He really knows how to do it.

I reached out to him and I said, “I'm thinking about doing this. Is there anything that you offer that can help someone out that doesn't really want to do it? I know you can point all the resources but I want something that's done for me.” He kind of put some things together, built a team now that I'll actually do it, but it's a lot of work. He's going to actually share what you can do for yourself to start a brand registry site or just to build out the authority site but he's also going to talk about how he does it himself and his team. I'm really, really glad that he's going to break this down for us because I think it's important when you get to that certain level just not in the very, very beginning. All right. Now, before we jump into that, I did want to share with you some exciting news and a reminder. First off the exciting news.

Well, you've heard me talk about in the last couple of episodes is about this TAS breakthrough live event, the very first ever live event that we are doing for TAS. Well, it's actually officially sold out now. We had thirty spots open, ten VIPs, twenty general admission and they went really, really quick, which I thought they would. Guys, if this is just going to be so much fun and if you did miss out this round we are going to try to do other ones in different cities because a lot of people said they would love to do in different areas. If you want to register for the upcoming one, if we ever do one which we hope to, you can jump on that kind of pre-list or early bird list and that is the amazingseller.com/live. You can go ahead and register over there. I'm really, really excited about that, I'll be sharing details along the way as far as how that's going and maybe even some audio clips when we're there  and video clips and stuff. It's going to be really, really a lot of fun. The one reminder I wanted to share with you is, well if you have not attended one of my live workshops and you wanted to, head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop.

This is where we jump on live. We go through the five phases for launching a product and I answer live Q&A.  It's a way for me to kind of hang out with you for an evening or an afternoon, depending on when we are going them and we get to just break down this model and give you some action steps and then also answer any question you may have. Would love to have you attend that. So what do you say? Let's go ahead and learn some stuff about building an authority website with Jon Haver.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:03:54] SV: Hi Jon, thank you so much for hanging out with me today and the TAS audience. How's it going my man?

[00:04:00] JH: It's going well. Thanks a lot for everything you do and for having me here to chat with you and been a follower of your show and kind of how I reach out. Thanks again for everything that you do so happy to be here.

[00:04:13] SV: Awesome. Yeah, I appreciate that and it's funny for people that are tuning in that don't know you or like what you've been doing for the past few years online. You're like kind of like the authority guy, the authority guy as far as like the authority blog, website type building out an authority site. I know you've doubled in the niche sites and all that stuff too but that's really how I found you. It’s funny that you reached out to me afterwards because you were starting to double in this FBA thing and you were like, “Hey great podcast?” This and the other thing and am like, “I think I recognize that name.”  It just happened to be you. It was funny because I was following what you were doing and then you started following what I was doing and here we are.

[00:04:53] JH: Yeah, I know it’s an interesting path asking to lead to the same spot but from a couple different routes. I think it’s plenty to learn from each other so it’s good.

[00:05:03] SV: Yeah, absolutely. What we're going to be talking about today though, primarily. I do want to touch on kind of how you even started thinking about FBA. Maybe you can take us through a little bit of that and kind of how you've been doing with that because I know you've been doing pretty well and you've got kind of a unique strategy. What I really did want to talk about today was people that want to either create a website for their brand, for just the simple purposes of brand registry. Some people are totally green in this, like a newbie, not knowing anything on how to do that, where to get it done. Maybe we can walk them through some simple steps on how they can do it themselves.

Then maybe we can also talk a little bit about the authority websites/blog and that's what I recently had thought about doing and that's where I reached out to you and you have sensed helped me out on that. I've hired you to actually do that for me in your service so I want to tell  people about that as well because I told people I was going to start doubling in this and I did and now  I wanted to have you back on after we've had it running for a little while. Maybe we can lead people through the whole process and why you would want to create an authority blog and all that good stuff for a website. Why don't you take us through the brand registry thing really, really quick

[00:06:19] JH: Sure, yes. As far as the brand registry goes, there is very limited information out there about brand registry itself. The Amazon says build a website that displays your products and displays your brand. That's kind of all the advice that they give and there is quite a bit more to it than that. It's certainly not complicated and as you always say, take action and worst case scenario is they reject you and you had to clean some stuff up. The whole process of setting up a site for brand registry is basically: basic setup of a website which there is tons of tutorials out there on how to do that. You basically register a domain, I like to use name chip, setup a website and install a premium WordPress theme. The host that I recommend would be a site ground, a great source for themes, is thrive and we'll make this easy kind of, after the fact you have link to a checklist where people can quickly run through the same process. We’ll go through quickly here if that works

[00:07:29] SV: Yeah, yeah, that's great and I mean a lot of people listening, they kind of want to know the steps and kind of with brand registry like what is entailed. Just to kind of kind of cut in here real quick. I just got a phone off in an interview I did with an attorney. We're all talking about hijackers and all that stuff and the one main thing he said that we should all do like day one and is something I didn't do it in the beginning and I have it now is brand registry. You should do that like immediately that you can. It doesn't cost anything other than creating a website. Right. You need a home for the product to reside and you need a place for your brand to reside. For anyone that's just starting, that would be looking back now how I started and kind of how I got to where I am today, I would say that would be one of the things that I would put into my process.

[00:08:18] JH: Yeah, for sure. I'm in the battling hijackers almost daily and having that brand registry as the kind of in the back pocket, really, really helps with that process.

[00:08:30] SV: Yes, so why don't you lead us through then really, really quickly like what does it take to build a simple, little website? You know, one that would be good for brand registry.

[00:08:41]JH: Sure. The basics that I talk about there at the start are the still same. I mean in the end what you need is a website that looks professional with your logo on it, branded products, sort of a sales page for each of your products with your images, a little bit of about yourself information and contact information. The way that sort of process works is you know like we mentioned at the start, we're going to pick a domain name, register it, set up your website at a hosting company, install a premium theme.

Ideally you do a little bit of keyword research just to start try to get traffic as well so that you can send some traffic back to your Amazon FBA products. Get that content created whether you write it yourself or you outsource it to someone to write. For almost all my outsourcing needs, I use Upwork.com which was formerly oDesk. I've a larger team there. Get that basic content created, kind of five posts and then set up the website with a logo. A few bonus things that you can do is set up a 1-800 number using a service like Grasshopper and that's only $12 a month and then it can direct a Skype number or your cell phone number. It certainly makes your website look very professional.

Then just make the website a good looking website with your branded information on it, display your products, a bit about story about your company and then some of the additional bonuses you can do to really help with the brand registry process and to get a 1800 number, get some social profiles connected to your account that have a real presence. Then with that combination you can really look like a legitimate company that you are. There is a few other nuggets of wisdom that we like to throw into our sites to make sure that they quickly pass the brand registry filter process.

[00:10:45] SV: Okay, yeah. Now and people just listening to it doesn’t mean you have to go out there and create a full fledge YouTube account that has a ton of videos or a Twitter account and all this stuff. You just need to create the profile and just have something there so it has something to connect to. Yes if you can add some content there it's always better but I always like to tell people, “Keep it simple and then from there you can always expand on it.” We want to give them the basics. I know some people that have created just a very simple three page website with a logo, with maybe something linking over to a Facebook page or a Twitter page and that’s all it took. Brand registry was simple, easy done.

We are not looking at this point really … We are building this website technically right now that we are thinking we are going to get outside traffic. We could but we are not really doing it for that strategy which we’ll talk about that as we move through here because there is a strategy for that and I think that it’s a long term play but right now we are just setting up the foundation for the website that you could potentially add on to later. Is that correct?

[00:11:51] JH:  No and that’s exactly right I think you certainly stressed it many times and I fully agree with it that it's far better to get a less than perfect site and get it up and done than it is to not start your process because you are waiting for a website to be finished. It’s much better to get up, get selling, get the minimum viable website up and just keep moving forward. That’s a way better than delaying anything for perfection.

[00:12:21] SV: Yeah absolutely I agree 100%. That’s basically brand registry and some of you listening are going to need that so you can easily do that. Like you said I mean it’s not that difficult. Now at the end we will give you some resources if you want to check out Jon’s services. He does have a little package for that which you can hire him to do it for you or you can do it for yourself. Now let’s go ahead and let’s talk a little bit about an authority website/ blog. What is that and why would I want one?

[00:12:56] JH: Sure to tie that back into how our paths originally crossed and how we crossed again here. My story is that I'm a chemical engineer by trade, have day job I enjoy and then been working online building various online businesses really focused around building up authority sites and then promoting those authority sites. What an authority site is is kind of exactly it sounds, a site that is in authority in a space that generates a substantial amount of traffic, substantial amount of content not a five site, sort of micro niche sites. These are sites that get real links that are built up to something substantial. That’s where we originally cross paths and then when I was hearing about FBA not wanting to get into it till I had a unique angles to get into it and then some of my portfolio of authority sites last month was a banner month but they varied from $3000 month income to last month it was fourteen so varying degrees of success with those sites

One of the sites was really starting to do well and sell a product that I thought was going to be a great fit for FBA. I took that authority site that was driving a lot of traffic to Amazon making it Amazon affiliate sales and then watched my own FBA brand and directed all the traffic from that affiliate site to my FBA product.

[00:14:37] SV: Yeah I love that. I love that and I want people because some people might be sitting on a site now that they started doing like a niche site … Maybe they were following you and they started building authority site but they backed off on it now it’s still getting maybe a hundred, two hundred visitors a day and maybe they have some things that are getting links over to some Amazon products and they are making a few bucks on those products. For anybody that is sitting on something like that take another look at that because if now you are thinking about piggybacking on Amazon and that being your own product well now we went from a 6% commission to a possible 50% commission overnight just by making that product your product and you already have the traffic.

Now a lot of people they come in and they are like, “Well I should go out there and build an authority site.” I know Spencer Haws, he even admits it. He was doing it backwards before because that’s what we knew but he was building up an authority site to begin with and I know you have as well built up an authority site, spend days and weeks and months putting the content and the work into the site to eventually get it ranked and indexed into Google. Then from there you can start to monetize the traffic. Now what Spencer is saying let me start a product on Amazon that’s selling, start to get it selling and then I can build an authority site that I can now piggyback and start getting some outside traffic to then come over to Amazon. What do you think of that strategy?

[00:16:02] JH: No I mean I think either way if the end result is you have a product selling on Amazon with organic sales and you are naturally driving sales from outside channels that are, especially if that traffic is organic so traffic or basically free traffic you are continuously inflating your sales rank but with paid sales. Instead of having to do promotions to push up your sales, push up your rankings you are just continually driving the sales. Whatever path you take personally I’m really liking the model of affiliate site or authority site first but certainly if I had an FBA brand I would be looking to build an authority site on the back of it to push sales to that brand.

[00:16:55] SV: Yeah and I think anyone listening. What Jon is talking about is like if you are wanting the samples of water here a little bit and maybe you find a website that’s for sale and they are making affiliate sales on a commission from Amazon well you are almost getting an unfair advantage because that person built that site or even yourself built that site for affiliate sales, for 6% commission but now you can go ahead and piggyback on that traffic and on those affiliate links and point them to your own products. Like you said Jon to each it's own and there is all different ways to do it.

Me personally I think myself personally just from doing different things even building like little niche sites and trying that avenue and then the authority sites and all that stuff because that’s how you and I got connected in the first thing I was following you on the authority stuff, it just takes a lot longer to get momentum and to start getting some income coming in. Then with the Amazon thing and, I don't know, maybe you agree maybe you don’t, but that is a really easy way to test a market and a product almost like, I don’t want to say overnight, but really, really quick. Then from there you can decide if you want to put all the effort into building that site but if you think that you are going to build an authority site because you want to be in that market or in supply products to that market, then yeah can start both really.

[00:18:20] JH: Yeah and the biggest downside by far to authority site first versus FBA first is the matter of time it takes. There is no overnight success with an authority site. It is a six month process to get it up and get it making sales consistently. You can have a successful FBA business up and running in less time than that. That’s for sure and demonstrated in multiple times.

[00:18:52] SV: Yeah that’s awesome. I’m going to bring people up to speed on why I reached out to you then and said, “Hey maybe you could do something for me.” I knew that you are an authority in the space of building sites, you know how to do it, there is just a lot of different moving pieces and stuff that quite honestly I don’t want to do it. I want hire someone that can do it so then I said, “Well the business is starting to bring in some money so why don’t I reinvest that back into the business and why don’t I talk to you about it?” At the time you didn’t even really have anything fully in place but you are dabbling with the idea of what to do and then that’s where I reached … Oh boy hold on a second.

[00:19:33] JH: Sure thing.

[00:19:38] SV: That was the mailman and my dog doesn’t like him too well.

[00:19:42] JH: You always said on your podcast the talk about the dog but I never got to hear him.

[00:19:46] SV: He is here and I said that he is right here alongside. Yeah that's funny. He doesn’t like the mailman and he likes everyone. He just does not like him. He just does not like that guy. All right so I think we are good now. All right so where was I?

[00:20:01] JH: We were talking about into you looking at coming and using my team and we were kicking around the idea of was there looking to re-invest in your business.

[00:20:13] SV: Yeah, okay, here we go. All right, so we are back. We had a little pause there because the mailman decided to come to the door right as we were recording this. All right, what we were talking about before we were rudely interrupted by the post office guy is about … It was that time that time that I wanted to start to build an authority site because I knew the power of it, I knew that I wanted to start getting external traffic, I wanted to start to build my own platform and why not start taking that money and then reinvesting it back in. I knew most of what needed to be done but I didn’t want to do it. I think everyone knows on the podcast I do not like writing, I don’t like writing articles, I don’t want to man the articles as far as getting them written, I don’t want to do all that stuff.

Let’s just talk to people about what it takes to build an authority website, if they wanted to do it themselves what are all the things that we need to consider and what is the process from start to finish? Not all the setting up the different settings and different hosting packages and all that stuff but let’s say we have that brand registry site that we have now. Now we want to start expanding that out to try to get some traffic to that so we can eventually start getting people on our site and then over to our Amazon products.

[00:21:28] JH: Yeah. You’re exactly right, tons of moving parts … I mean what it comes down to is any website for the most part of content based website comes down to two parts, the on page content and then the off page promotion. Whatever, whether that’s backlinks or outreach or…we’re getting to that in a bit but basically it’s tons of stuff will get talked about and it’s relevant but it comes down to identifying the right content to create, creating that content and then promoting that content. That’s really in the simplest sense what you do once you take that brand new registry website and start building it out into an authority site.

[00:22:13] SV: When can we expect results? I know the answer to this but I want to act as though I don’t. If I’m brand new right now and I've got this brand registry site that’s just kind of been there for maybe a month or two, I kind of let it sit there and now I want start building it out, when can I expect, if I follow process, and you’re going to go through that process and what you would do and what you do, in kind of like what can we expect for traffic numbers if we do things properly?

[00:22:40] JH: sure, we got some great data with your sites and with some other sites. What we see and it’s pretty kind of typical across, other people that do the same process of building an authority site, is within the first month don’t expect much of anything. Build up the site. Months one to three you’re starting to get traffic so kind of 10 to 50 visitors a day and I think we’re right at kind of the month to mark with your site and that’s exactly where we are at, kind of in the 50 to 60 visitor a day mark.

Then month three to six we’re getting consistent traffic and the idea would be driving some sales to Amazon. That’s going to be kind of the 50 visitor to the 500 visitor a day. The month seven plus, if you’ve been applying this process the whole way through should be hitting the 500 plus obviously market dependent and tons of stuff. That’s been the path that a lot of sites that I have recently built have followed.

[00:23:41] SV: Yeah. I just want to let people know too if you look at your data or your analytics inside of Amazon, it shows you how many sessions that you’ve had, how many views basically to your listing. Generally, depending on how much demand is it for your project and how well you’re being ranked in there and everything, I can just give you some of my numbers. On the average for individual products I’m between probably like 250 and I would say 500 visitors a day. That’s typical. Now, the conversion in there is a lot better because people are there to do one thing, buy. People that come to your site they might just be looking for content because you’re creating useful content but still if we can get 500 visitors to our page, A, we might get them to go over to our listing or B, we can also capture an email address of people that are interested in this market, right?

[00:24:33] JH: Yeah. The email piece is extremely powerful when done properly. Foreign authority say once you start getting up into the trough numbers of the 50 plus, setting up an email auto responder sequence where you can collect people’s emails and then start sending them emails when you want to do a promotion or bring in a new product within the same product line, which is something I recently did, and sending out an email with not your normal … 90% discount to get reviews but just 15% discount I was able to drive about 20 sales from just that one email to my list

[00:25:13] SV: That was something that you did with your own authority blog?

[00:25:15] JH: Yeah, that’s correct.

[00:25:17] SV: That’s awesome. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? Like how many people and what kind of time and what kind of traffic did you have in order to get those numbers and how was the responsiveness of the list?

[00:25:27] JH: Sure, yeah. Right now we’re getting about 500 to 600 visitors a day to my one authority site that I built that I launched my FBA business on the back of we’re getting about a dollar back once I started driving people to Amazon but we’re getting about 10 email subscribers per day. The list has about 600 to 700 people on it right now and sent out … Got in the new product, did a quick promotion, just a 15% coupon code so still getting decent profit margin, sent out an email to the list saying here’s a new product with special discount, price will be also increasing after some sales.

That list had about a 30% opener rate, 15% click through rate and then 20 sales. Not awesome conversion on … Lower than expectation versions once they got to Amazon but still a nice sort of sales boost right off the start in addition to … Instead of each of my promotions off the start costing the 10 or $15 at each one would end up costing I was making some money and driving some initial sales.

[00:26:45] SV:  Yeah, well here’s the thing too, you’re offering what, 15% off?

[00:26:48] JH: Yeah.

[00:26:49] SV: That’s an okay offer but it’s not an awesome offer, right? I mean, it’s okay but you still got 20 people to buy, I bet if you did 50% off you would have got even better.

[00:26:57] JH: Yeah.

[00:26:57] SV: Right, you know what I’m saying? For people listening it’s like that was only like a 600 person email list. That’s why I tell people all the time, I haven’t really gotten too deep into the email thing because I don’t want people to get too far off track but when you are at that stage it’s so important, especially because you’re playing in the Amazon’s sandbox. We want … Like you have that email is of 600 people that have visited your site that put in your email address that are interested and that’s just really, really powerful. Now, let me ask you this, this got a little side note here, are you driving people at all from like an inserter or something back to your website?

[00:27:31] JH: No.

[00:27:32] SV: Okay, that’s something that I think I would do if I was you but that’s your call because then what’s going to happen is the people off of Amazon are going to come over your website to get information about your product. Then you’re going to capture some of those people on your email list as well. You know what I mean?

[00:27:46] JH: Yeah. No, and a better communication follow up sequence within the Amazon are both things are my to-do list here.

[00:27:55] SV: Yeah, I think that’ll be great because again, remember this, when people get your product they’re buyers, now you got a customer list.

[00:28:00] JH: Yeah, much better list.

[00:28:01] SV: Yeah. Then those people are coming back to your blog and you’re giving them great useful information about what they just purchased or about products that they’re possibly going to purchase, that’s just a real hot list. You got a great thing going there, it’s just again time, right? You got to implement.

[00:28:17] JH: Yep.

[00:28:17] SV: We can only do so much.

[00:28:21] JH: Yes. I’ll kind of keep crawling through some of the steps to build up the authority site.

[00:28:26] SV: Yeah, definitely, definitely I want to hear that.

[00:28:27] JH: The first step and I’m sure I know when you’ve had Spencer on, I mean he’s the king of this around keyword research, doing some keyword research to identify the low competition keywords that are generating traffic with ideally buyers intent in your space and then creating articles that answer that search query. Canadian and hockey fans some of you may kind of … The SEO strategy that I’ve always like to refer back to is go where the pack is going and that is … In the end SEO comes down to as long as you’re providing the best answer to the search query you’re going to rank number one, that’s what Google wants to get to.

My take on it is produce the best content for that search query anywhere available and you will eventually rank number one. Now, Google’s not there so it opens up tons of room for other stuff but in the end it’s identify keywords that are getting traffic that have low competition, create the best article for that question and then publish it on your site. The kind of the rate of publishing that I’d suggest would be four post a month to eight post a month over that six months  to  drive up to the traffic numbers that we were talking about earlier.

[00:29:52] SV: How long about should we make those articles?

[00:29:55] JH: Whatever is needed to meet that criteria of answering the best … To being the best article for that question but in general that will come in at kind of this… I’d say try and not do anything under 750 words, and 750 to 1500 is probably reasonable. Creating a few monsters at 3,000 are always okay too.

[00:30:20] SV: Then just give us a little bit of an insight on, like you were saying, like the buyer intent keywords. What would one of them as an example be?

[00:30:28] JH: Comparison keywords so if you have some big brands in your space, comparison keywords are great. Like …

[00:30:41] SV: Something versus something or something ?

[00:30:44] JH: iPhone versus android put it that kind of thing, anything that is obvious buyers intent such as buy etc, what people that are searching for something negative about a competitors keyword is often … Like that’s, kind of a psychology that’s usually people’s last check before they hit the buy button is like, “Oh, I definitely want to buy it,” but then people will go, “Okay what’s wrong with it?” Then they’ll search downside to something. If you can be the person in there, honestly educating what the downside is and what your upside is to your product then that’s certainly a good buyer’s intent keyword.

[00:31:24] SV: Okay, cool, that’s awesome. Okay, we got the content, we’re creating that about four to eight post a month would be ideal, maybe start with a eight then you can go down to four as you start to build out your content. You were saying two going after buyer intent keywords, so ones that are more obvious of people searching for a product, not just like how to do something, although those are nice too because then you can use them as content that people come in there and then they might see your stuff but they’re just not as targeted for buyers but they’re still … I think they’re very valuable.

[00:31:54] JH: For sure, especially at the start, anything that can help get the ball rolling with traffic is good, traffic builds on itself so getting keywords … Make sure the buyers intent plus the higher traffic keywords going after those are good.

[00:32:09] SV: Okay, so now we’re doing that. Now, again, we’re doing that consistently, right. Four to eight times a month would be ideal.

[00:32:17] JH: Yep.

[00:32:17] SV: And then what from there?

[00:32:19] JH: Yes. The next step comes in, the promotion step. The probably one of the more hotly debated topic in the sort of say creation space, people that build sites that make money from those site is around promoting. It comes into backlinks, outreach and … I won’t get into all the technical detail, I get into on something like my authority website income site. But the strategy that I like to use, mostly because of my amount of time that I invest into each of my different businesses and in perfect world I would be doing just manual outreach but a lot of what I do is private blog network building to drive links back to my money site. That’s not necessary to rank an authority site but it’s been the most reliable way that I have been using to build up my sites and they’ll be plenty of people that are hearing this that vehemently disagree with me and that’s certainly okay.

[00:33:21] SV: I think for people that are brand new that are thinking about, “What the heck is he talking about?” Really quickly, what we’re talking about is when you have a blog and or a website and whatever and you start putting content on there, it does get indexed but when you have links that are pointing to that content it shows, sparsely shows Google or the search engines, it shows them that that’s content that’s being linked to so it must be important hence the name authority. Then from there it’s going to help rank that because it’s showing that other people are kind of voting that it is going to be a relevant content and good content.

Now, you are going to be able to get different links from different sites that might have more authority so I always use like, if you got a link from Oprah Winfrey site that’s going to be a really, really authoritative link but if you get one from just a random blog that someone created yesterday and they linked to your thing it’s not going to be as solid and as much of a driver for your little juice there, as they call link juice.

You’re talking about like creating your own blog network and I know that some people have, like you said, disagree with that, some people agree with it but I think you have a unique way of doing it so it’s kind of like protected in a sense and you’re very careful on what you’re doing there. Can you explain that quickly?

[00:34:46] JH: Sure, yeah. To your point, the goal is to show Google that your site as an authority. The most reliable way that I’ve found to do that is to buy domains that have expired so that someone has kind of basically thrown out their domain, no longer need it but it still has a lot of valuable links going to it, real links. You buy that site, put a real website on it in that it provides value to the world that has answers to some question or it’s a real website, it’s still an authority in that space and it’s relevant to my authority site or your authority site and then it has links back to the authority site. You’re building up a network of sites that are relevant, that are real around your authority site with links going back to them. This is a topic on how to do that properly as a monster. I’ll sent you some links in there for the show notes if that works to answer …

[00:35:49] SV: Yeah. No, absolutely. We’ll link all this up in the show notes for sure. It’s kind of complicated, it’s a process but to do it right you definitely need to understand it and I think you understand it.

[00:36:06] JH: My team’s built up over 2,000 of them and I want to stress that it’s not needed to build an authority site, it’s nice to have but there are other strategies that will also result in authority site growing.

[00:36:21] SV: Yeah, and I mean one simple one is to reach out to other bloggers in your space that are talking about your type of market and then reaching out and offering to write a guest post for them and getting a link back, that will work.

[00:36:37] JH: Blog commenting and guest posting from kind of if you wanted to pick one strategy that wasn’t complex. That would be exactly the strategy that I would suggest would be, blog comment, reach out to people in your space and then suggest to add valuable content on their website with a link back to your site and then that builds your network of people plus get some links back to your site. If you were to just take on one simple strategy to follow it would be exactly that, the blog comment plus guest post.

[00:37:05] SV: Okay. Then the other advantage of this I got to put out there is if you did have some type of, even if you had your own little mini network, you could then also point some of these links over to your listing on Amazon which then could potentially help you rank in Google for your Amazon listing because what people don’t realize is you’re getting indexed in Google or Yahoo! or MSN, any of those as an Amazon listing. Amazon is such a beast of a platform that to be able to throw some links at it is not going to hurt it, if anything it’ll help it. What’s your thoughts on that?

[00:37:47] JH: Yeah. I’m still testing that out and I have seen some pretty impressive results throwing some powerful links at Amazon listings and seeing how they rank in Google. Especially with Amazon, if you’re ranking … There’s a big difference between being the first result for Google for Amazon so being the third Amazon page pushes you down a long ways but you want to be first for Amazon for that keyword. I’ve been testing through a few things and seen some really good results with making sure the keyword that I’m going after is in the URL of the Amazon listing. Then sending some links to that listing page and then seeing some results. Still testing it through but I’m pretty excited about what I’m seeing with that.

[00:38:40] SV: How would that work then? What you’re saying is your URL inside of your Amazon listing, the long string that’s there, that you want the keyword or that you want to rank most for in Google to be inside of there, correct?

[00:38:54] JH: Correct. The strategy that … This is what I do with just my most recent product. When I listed that product for sale I went away from the sort of suggested of, make a decent list size title that is best for Amazon and what I did was just the kind of exact keyword that I was going after in Google, included that was my only product title, and then that Amazon when they create the URL string creates it from your title. If your title only has the keyword that you’re going after then your URL will become that.

[00:39:32] SV: Okay. Now, what I’ve noticed because I’ve done that same thing, but now if you update your title down the line, does that update your string?

[00:39:40] JH: Yes.

[00:39:41]SV: Okay.

[00:39:42] JH: I’m not… My hope is that I will get up to first and drive myself up to first and then I will stay there and then I will optimize for Amazon, but again very early days on…

[00:39:53] SV: Got you. Okay. Yeah, just trying to understand it for people that are listening. What you’re basically saying is when you create that listing the very first day, if you want to rank for garlic press you’re going to put in garlic press and that’s it in your title?

[00:40:03] JH: Yeah.

[00:40:04] SV: Then you’re going to just do your normal stuff and then you’re going to start driving links over to your listing and then hopefully that’s going to help you rank inside of Google not just Amazon. I think it’ll help you in Amazon as well but then after you’ve got yourself ranked then you would come back and you can add to your title and that may or may not take away from your ranking, you don’t know yet.

[00:40:27] JH: I don’t know yet, exactly.

[00:40:27] SV: Yeah, okay. That might be tough for people though because they might want to put in additional ones start getting traffic inside of Amazon.

[00:40:35] JH: Yeah.

[00:40:35] SV: But yeah, I totally get it, I just wanted to break that down. All right, cool. We’re building out this authority site we kind of understand it and the reason why we’re doing it again, we got to remember why we’re doing it, we’re doing it because we want to eventually get some outside traffic from Google, from MSN, from Yahoo!, any search engines so we can start driving traffic to our listings or even just our own e-commerce site eventually if we wanted to but this is the process. We’re posting about four to eight articles on our blog/ website, we’re going and trying to do some guest posts, we’re trying to maybe go into some comments and some other blogs and then pointing back to our blog itself. What else do we have to consider at this point? Is that all we do or we just keep doing that?

[00:41:20] JH: There’s plenty of other stuff we can do around the auto responder, the social profiles that all will add fuel to that fire but I find that doing that, doing what we just talked about is enough to build up the site especially with most of us being extremely busy with various things. I find that if we keep it centered around that then the process will work. Often what I find personally with other people I’ve worked with is that if we try and set up the most perfect system ever if this is up we’re going to be absolutely everything, then it becomes too overwhelming and we stop it after a month. The key to the success of building up an authority site is the consistency of four to eight posts a month, continuously getting quality links whether you’re building them or guest posting them or however you’re getting them, but the keyword research, content plus links continuously is the key.

[00:42:21] SV: Yeah, I know, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more and I think it’s consistency that’s a huge one for anyone in anything is going to trump … As far as you’re out there, again, if you start it and you don’t see results after the first month usually you’re going to give up and then you’re wondering why you still have traffic. It’s initially getting started and then going through all those different steps to continue to do it. Me personally, I knew all of this stuff kind of going in too because I was following you for a very long time before I even had an Amazon business and I said, “Darn, when it gets to that time I’m just going to invest in the different processes and I even reached out to Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits and I was talking to him about it and he was giving me the bits and pieces like, “If you want to hire someone to write articles you could try here. If you want people to do links you could go here. If you want to basically build out your social challenge you can go here.”

It was like all of these different pieces and then that’s when you and I started talking and I’m like, “This is something that I need but I know that other people would want especially once you start to make money in your business. That’s where you say let me try to come up with something because I’m already working on something and I’d like to see if we can maybe put together a small team to actually do this stuff but it is a ton of work, not just on your part but on your team’s part so there’s only a certain amount. I think, when I was talking to you like, we can maybe handle like two or three because there’s so much and I said, “We’ll just see how it goes with mine and then I will talk with you later and we can see if you can actually do it for more people.”

Right now, currently, I know you’re doing mine and we’re getting results and all that stuff. How many can your team comfortably take on at this moment that we’re recording this?

[00:44:01] JH: At this moment continuing to build and I mean what … All my businesses…first to answer your question, we’re kind of in the 10 to 20 depending on what the package is, 10 to 20 sites a month range. I got pretty awesome developers that’s really heading up the effort, Andrew, and he’s really good at what he does, he makes … I’m not very good at making sites that look good but he’s awesome.

[00:44:28] SV: Now they look killer.

[00:44:29] JH: Yeah.

[00:44:29] SV: You shared with me the other day in the email, you were like, “Yeah, he’s starting to make me jealous because he’s starting to make the sites look better than mine,.” You know what I mean? It’s like they are, they’re really, really nice. I couldn’t be happier with the design, with the flow, with the way it looks, it’s mobile, all of that stuff and I’m really happy.

[00:44:51] JH: Yeah. To back up, moving into this business made a lot of sense. My team has been building up PBNs for people and building up my own sites. My business is centered around sort of setting up a process and then figuring out how to put people in place to continually execute that process. This fits in there nicely and we’re continuing to build up the team, build up those processes. One of their really big benefits and I’m just trying to realize about having this site is that if you’re ever looking to sell your business down the road, this which I’m just starting to do, I’m trying to flip my FBA business and then repeat the process right away but having that website that drives sales, both diversifies and then your brand new website also really creates value that buyers are very interested in.

[00:45:44] SV: Yeah, I know, I love that because … We talk about just selling the Amazon business maybe getting 20X for it which I think you could in that, you could if for your net income monthly you can definitely get 20X but if you have an authority blog that’s getting traffic as well, you’re getting email subscribers on all of that stuff, you could probably 10X it, you could probably 30X it. It’s definitely a huge advantage, to me it’s like you’re building something that’s going to become even more valuable. The more traction that it receives. Really the initial upfront cost of doing this and hiring you and your team and all that stuff is the initial but then after that you can either decide to back off and say I don’t want to do anymore, that’s good, we’re good to go and now we’re getting some traffic, I’m just going to stay there or you can have your team run and do four articles a month or eight articles a month, and I just did that.

I said to you, I said, it was in the fourth quarter, I said, “I want to bump it up to do an eight instead of the four,” and you’re like, “Okay, cool, just give me the topics that you want to do or we can give you some suggestions.” That’s what you did. Really for me it’s been totally hands off. It really has and it’s been really awesome and it’s been kind of cool. I told you in the beginning, I’m like let me be the like the test, the guinea pig if you will and we’ll get through these systems. Just to be upfront with people, I paid him for this site. He didn’t give it to me and say, “Let’s do it for free and then if it does then you can start charging and make a commission,” that’s not how it worked.

I paid for it, I wanted to pay for it because I wanted to go through the entire process which you and I both worked on like the communications to streamline that because there was going to be some communications and we got that smoothed out. I’m happy now to bring you on and share that because it is working and I’m excited to see what it's going to do in the next 12 months. Why don’t we let people know where they could get more information on that, I’ll leave the links in there but maybe you can mention that, just to be upfront with people too. I am an affiliate for Jon, proud to be an affiliate for that and I would earn a small commission.

Again, I went in this thing not going to do it unless I got results and I did so here we are. Jon, why don’t you give the information… to get information about this process?

[00:48:02] JH: Sure, yeah. The site set up over at brandbuilders.io and at brandbuilders.io/tas. There’s a bonus there, a bit of a discount for listeners to this podcast as well as for people that are looking to do it themselves, the 10 step checklist to make sure that their website is ready for a brand registry. If you know you’re looking for … Not everyone is going to be looking for this service but regardless whether you are or you aren’t, if you’re looking to built a site then over at brandbuilders.io/tas, there’s a 10 point checklist to make sure that the site that either you built or you has someone else build, whether you already have is ready to apply the brand registry.

[00:48:49] SV: Yeah, now that’s awesome. I appreciate you doing that and I think that that’ll be helpful, just the checklist alone to let people know it. You know what, I want people to understand too right now, wherever you are in the process you have to ask yourself, “Is the time right?” Me, it took me almost six or seven months before I decided to do the website and then I think it was another month or two that I got with Jon and I said, “Okay, I want to start taking this thing serious and I want to go ahead and build a website.”

But I always tell people in the beginning, especially when you’re starting in the FBA, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, just get started selling the product and then start worrying about all of the other components but at least at the minimum I would do brand registry site. I know that you have a small little baby package there for that as well that if people didn’t want to do that themselves that you can go ahead and take care of all of that stuff and then they can go ahead and send it off to Amazon to get approved.

[00:49:36] JH: Yeah, and that’s exactly right. I’m almost concerned about … We’re talking about this process because it is a little bit more complex and I know how important that first step is of just getting started with FBA, that is the key. This is exactly a point whether you are just concerned down the road, if starting this process will slow you down I don’t suggest doing it but this is the way to really build up FBA into what I believe to be a real business that increase multiples and a great opportunity to reinvest directly into the business that quickly adds value to that business.

[00:50:24] SV: Yeah, now I couldn’t agree more and again I want anyone that’s listening right now, anybody to think that, “Oh my gosh! Now there’s something else I got to do.” No, don’t worry about that. When you’re ready then you do it but right now that’s not the time if you’re just starting to get your product launch for the first time, you’re going to go through a little baby promotion, that type of stuff. It’s not the right time. I told you that too Jon, I’m like, “I don’t want people to think that they have to do that because they don’t, it’s when the time is right, that’s when you do it. You’ll know, when you start getting that cash flow coming in and you want to reinvest that back into either inventory or then at that point you might want to say I want to reinvest and have an authoritative blog, start to create it and start going for that long play like Jon said.

I’m just now getting, after almost two months, 50 to 60 visitors consistently daily and I’m happy with that but I know that that’s going to continue to grow because we’re constantly writing more content, we’re constantly getting more links and all of that stuff and the more that we can blank it out the area or the web with our content the more chances we get to grab some of that traffic. It is a process and it’s a long play but like Jon said if you’re treating it like a real business and you’re at that stage then that’s the time that you do it.

All right Jon, is there any other last little bits, tidbits, whatever you want to share with us before we say goodbye?

[00:51:46] JH: No, I’d just like to thank you again, you’re doing … I think when I hadn’t connected that we hadn’t connected before, but I wanted to reach out and I certainly don’t do that very often to say, like let’s say holy crap, you’re sharing everything, you’re sharing such good useful information and it is evident in the growth of your business. Again, thank you, thank you for doing that and if anyone has any questions about building a site, about my kind of unique strategy around affiliate site first, I’m certainly happy to chat and you can chat with me at Brand Builders or my blog where I talk about all my online businesses is authority website income.

[00:52:31] SV: Yeah and I’ll link all that up. Let me just say guys, when Jon puts a post out, it’s a freaking epic post, it’s like constantly I’m just amazed, I know the amount of time that it takes to put these stuff together and you’re very detailed and very step by step. If anybody wants to see the entire process even about building your own blog network or any of that stuff, it’s all there. Jon, he definitely covers it all and does it in a really easy to follow way, but just be prepared, sit down for a cup of coffee or two and…

[00:53:03] JH: If you don’t like number and don’t like Excel it’s not the site for that.

[00:53:07] SV: Exactly but it does make sense. Or you might go there and start reading and see everything that’s involved and go, “Okay, who do I pay here?” because it does overwhelm me sometimes but you might be a guy like Jon that can do it, so do it. I’m not saying that but you may be like me that says, “I don’t want to do it. I want to hire someone and just reinvest into the business.”

All right Jon, this has been awesome and it’s just, again, it’s a small world. It’s like I said, I used to follow and I still do, Spencer, from Niche Pursuits and then I was able to connect with him and then we each were at each other’s podcasts and now we’re good buddies and the same with you. It’s a small world and it’s really cool to be able to make it full circle around here and really chat and I know there will be talking again in the future. We’ll probably have you back on and do an update, maybe if you do sell your business and maybe tell us about that process and all of that stuff. I’d love to have you come back and then share some of those details.

[00:53:58] JH: Yeah, for sure, hopefully that’s sooner than later for the business sale and there’ll be a final one.

[00:54:03] SV: Yeah. All right Jon, thank you very much, again I’ll leave all the links for everything in the show notes and everyone else that’s listening definitely go over and check out Jon, he’s and awesome guy. Again, you guys know that I only bring on people that I genuinely believe in and that I’ve tried their services or that I recommend so definitely go check out Jon.

All right Jon, have an awesome weekend, we’ll talk to you later.

[00:54:25] JH: Sounds good. See you Scott, see you guys.

[00:54:26] SV: All right, so there you go. We had a really great conversation and we really dug into a lot of different areas. Again, I wanted to have Jon on to break this down step by step as far as how you can build an authority website or even just a mini site so you can get brand registered because you will need that for brand registry and I think that’s becoming even more important as more sellers come into the space we want to get brand registered as soon as possible. All right.

Hopefully you got value from this, I always love talking about this stuff and again, I’m going to keep you posted on my progress with this and let you know the numbers as it grows, as it gets more mature and it becomes more of an authority website, I just did the air quotes, you didn’t see me but that’s what I did. I really, really appreciate Jon coming out and sharing some of these stuff. As you can tell he’s a very, very smart guy and he knows what he’s doing. He also knows how to create systems and he also knows how to create a team of people that can help with this. If you’re interested in looking at his services or checking them out, like I said, I think he is taking on a small number for building these authority sites.

They are an investment so you have to plan on you’re going to be investing in this authority website but it’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of work to do this and it’s really hands off. If you want more information about that head over to theamazingseller.com/brandbuilder, again that is theamazingseller.com/brandbuilder. I’ll also put a link inside the show notes here to this episode and this episode is episode 158. Again, that’s 158

Let me also just say that Jon and I worked on this kind of together in the beginning because it was something that I wanted, something that he didn’t officially offer but he was like, “Let me see if I can build a team around this that will be able to create all of these different processes and put them in place and if we do then you can use it and maybe we can offer it to the TAS community.” That’s what I’m going to do here. Just to let you know, I am affiliated with him so obviously I would earn a small commission if you go through his services. Let me just say it is totally 100% worth it and I only stand behind people that I know, like and trust and Jon is one of them. Definitely check that out if you’re interested in building even a brand registry site or if you wanted to take it to the next level and start creating an authority website that’s going to build over time and start getting that traffic over the long term. It’s really a long term play.

All right. That’s it guys, that’s going to wrap up, oh, and I’m so glad that Brody was able to say hello this afternoon. If you missed that you must have escaped through the middle there, but Brody heard a mail guy and he doesn’t like the mail guy but you could tell he was here today, he was barking. Brody wanted to say hi.

All right that’s it, that’s going to wrap it up guys. Remember I’m here for you, I believe in you, I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to … Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, take action. Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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12 Comments

  1. Megan

    Hey Scott – my issue is that when I sign up for the Amazon Brand Registry program, I get rejected because, while my branding is on the packaging, my product does not have my brand symbol on it. Is there a work around for it or is it a no-go without the brand embossed on my physical product?

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Megan, I would reply with all of the things that are unique about your branding on the packaging and see what they say, generally though, they want to see it on the product itself.

  2. Gregor

    What did you mean with inserter on 26.57 ??

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Gregor, I assume you’re talking about a product insert. It’s a flyer or postcard you put in with your product to let people know where they can find more info about it and capture their email address!

  3. Sven

    Hey Scott,

    another question I have: would you go (or are you already going) ecommerce on your site? Or are/will you continue to drive all traffic to your amazon listing?

    Thanks again. Sven

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Sven, Im in the process of building an authority site, but for now I’m going to focus on getting traffic for that organically. That site will in turn drive back to Amazon 🙂

  4. Sven

    Hey Scott…
    first: thank you so much.. really love your work. Just listend to this podcast.. again! Tons of inspiring information… again!

    Anyeway… one question keeps coming up though: when you guys talk about the brand registry website and the authority website/blog… is that or can that be on one domain/website, or has that to be separated.

    I was wondering: how do you get people from your authority blog over to your products without being too salesy? Would it be in a “Resources/Tools” section, or more in the way of having banners to your product listings on the side (like real ads, you’re just not paying for them)… cause constantly mentioning your products within the blog posts seems like … not a good idea.

    Anyway… would like to hear your thoughts on that one… Thanks again man and… keep up the good work.

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Sven, if you’re writing good quality articles there is generally a way to work products in without being overly salesy. You can either work them into the content itself, use sidebar banners or even doing something like a resource section!

  5. Leah

    Uh oh! From what I understand you cannot drive traffic from your website to your listing via affiliate link as it is against Amazon TOS. That is what I’ve been told.

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