View Full Version : My first content site. Reviews please!

01-09-2006, 05:21 PM
You guys inspired me to go out and create my first content site. Thank you for that. I've got big, big plans for this one. The site address is:


It's a site about real estate investing. After producing a few free, highly popular information products, I'm ready to go big. Once I finish a couple of backend things in the next day or two, I'm planning to launch and start updating content daily.

How am I doing so far?

I'm planning to draw a good bit of traffic from search engines. "Real estate investment" is the most highly trafficked keyword, from what I can tell. "Real estate investing" is close. I'm also in the process of optimizing categories for keywords. For example, "foreclosure" is a hugely popular keyword. "Landlord" and "flipping houses" aren't bad either.

This is my first attempt at SEO. Am I doing it right?

For the sake of getting out the door quickly, I'm using a wordpress template for the design right now. What do you think? Is it easy enough to understand? My user base is older with less computer experience, so I wanted to make the interface simple.

My goal is to funnel users into my free reports and other freebies and start collecting e-mail addresses. Once I've built some credibility with them, auto responders will nudge them toward my double opt-in newsletter. That reminds me, I need to add a newsletter subscription form to the site. Whoops!

Anyway, the site is imperfect, but I've always been of the opinion to get things out the door quickly and then improve them as I go. How my doing so far? You guys have a LOT more experience with content sites than I do, so believe me, I'll be waiting by the computer for your opinions.

01-09-2006, 05:35 PM
Hi Dural,

Your site looks real nice - good work. This is in terms of content - I'm not really one to comment on design issues. So you have a lot of experience in real estate? Thats a couple of nice deals you have as the top post :)

In terms of SEO, maybe you could make the h1 titles a bit more keyword dense?

How do you plan on gaining traffic? What sort of off page SEO are you planning on? Link exchange? Buying links? Hoping for free links?

One for my bookmarks though for personal interest!

01-09-2006, 07:49 PM
I only had a quick look but to extend from what r2d2 said you really need to think a bit more carefully about the keywords in your page title. For example, one of the titles is 'defintitions' but this ain't gonna get you any traffic. I might go with something like "Real Estate Definitions' or even 'Real Estate Definitions Realty'.

Now, if you are extracting your page title from the menu link text then you are just going to have to do some more work and maybe hard code a table where the expanded title can be accessed when the particular menu text is passed.

01-09-2006, 08:42 PM
These aren't quite about SEO (you may want to check out seobook.com for that stuff), but here are a few tips:

You should definately get a logo in the header. It doesn't have to be fancy, just some text with a relevant visual reference like a skyline.

I would also make it clear to the readers who you are to help establish some credibility. Thats why I slap my first and last name right across the top of my web publishing blog's logo. A photo is even better.

For ideas on more articles check out other real estate related forums such as on richdad.com. In my experience, people ask the same questions over and over again, and forums capture most of them. This will also give you ideas for related keywords that may not show up if you type "real estate investing" into overture. An example would be ARMs. Sure, its a little off-topic but there might be something like (I'm just using this up) "using ARMs for investing." If you just type in investing, you'll never find it.

Other than that.. I personally haven't had great experience with Wordpress search engine rankings. One of the major reasons I believe is because your entire front page is always changing. If you are targetting "real estate investment" there should be a solid two to three paragraphs about this on the page that never move. You can update it occasionally, but I wouldn't do drastic changes. I believe that this is especially important with MSN and Yahoo and perhaps not as much so with Google.

Your biggest problem, real estate investment has 55 million results in Google. With close to 100 ads running on Adwords I suspect this is a very competative phrase. The bottom line, its going to be extraordinarily hard for you to rank for this on the top 10 in Google. This means you have to write tons of content and go after all of the less saturated keywords and keyphrases.

01-09-2006, 09:33 PM
If this is your first site I suggest you go for keywords with little to no competition until you get some PR/traffic. Instead of looking at just 1 keyphrase, scroll down the list and pick 20 non competitive words and hit them on your subpages instead. Pick the top 5 of this 20 and like cutter said write a 2-3 paragraph static keyword rich intro to your page.

And of course change your h1's and title to suit.

Good luck with it :)

01-09-2006, 11:32 PM
I thought the design was very well organized and easy to navigate. Nice job. The site will be booming in a short time. I have never used WordPress. Is it easy?

01-10-2006, 07:05 AM
Thanks for all the replies, everyone! Let me answer a few questions:

To R2D2:

So you have a lot of experience in real estate?

Yep. I've been "groomed" to take over the family empire since the age of four.

I need to add another deal to that list. I just picked up one yesterday for $455,000 and it's worth about $650,000. That's almost $1 million in a month, isn't it?

How do you plan on gaining traffic?

Once I'm officially ready to launch, I'm going to ask some friends to tell their lists about it. One of them has 8000 investors on his list, and he owes me a favor. That should get some traffic started.

I'm also a fairly in demand speaker. I've been stockpiling invitations around the country in preparation for this site. I'm hoping to do one teleconference per week, advertised to 500-1000 people per week.

On the same line, I've written several articles for investment association newsletters. Individually, they're nothing big, but together they have a monthly distribution of about 500,000. I should be able to get articles syndicated through them.

I used to run a radio station, so I'm going to use that experience to get myself radio interviews. At a minimum, I expect to do one radio interview per week. 3-5 is more likely, once things build up a bit.

Eventually, I may start advertising on related sites. I'd be willing to pay as much as $2 for every legitimate subscriber. Maybe more.

Those are the major strategies. Search engines are only a small part of my overall plan. In all likelihood, I'll only pull off about half of what I'm planning due to time constraints, but that should still give me a good start.

Once I hit 1000 subscribers or so, I'll probably hire someone to help promote the site.

01-10-2006, 07:16 AM
To LuckyShima:

Yeah, I need to work some more on my keywords. For example, the "Flipping" category should probably be "Flipping Houses." But right now, there's not enough room in the sidebar.

Is that what you mean about hard coding a table? So, the extra keywords are invisible to users? This isn't going to get me in trouble with the search engines, will it?

01-10-2006, 07:36 AM
To Cutter:

You've always been helpful. Thanks for the long response.

Why do I need a logo in the header? For the alt text?

Yes, I can see how the dynamic of front page would hurt you in the search engines. Wordpress has a static front page plug in. Maybe that will solve the problem? I can insert a keyword rich intro, along with a post about me.

As for the competition... I'm not worried about it. I think the 55 million number might be deceiving. Few of those sites have optimized content. I haven't looked, but I imagine most of them are cookie-cutter realtor sites.

For example, the leading site mostly depends on its forum and age. The last time I checked, it only had about 100 articles, and none of those articles are optimized.

Richdad.com is one of the sites that prompted me to start my own. I've answered at least 50 questions there. If I remember correctly, you can even link to your own site from your signature there. You can bet I'll be pumping them for traffic.

I'm not banking on instant success with the search engines anyway. I just want to start laying the foundation now. If it takes five years to win the battle, so be it.

01-10-2006, 07:41 AM
To dpmmedia:

So, you're saying I should write articles to target individual, smaller keywords? I hadn't thought of that.

Cutter mentioned something similar. For example, I could write an article about using ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages) for real estate investing.

How much traffic could I expect from targeting little keywords? According to overture, it doesn't look like much.

01-10-2006, 11:40 AM
The logo isn't for SEO, but more for branding and recognition.

Hard to tell about traffic.. your best bet is just to start building content. Trust me on this one, even if you do manage to rank for "real estate investment" its going to time. While you are waiting, you are going to still want traffic from other sources, be it other boards like richdad, or other search engine keywords.

I'm headed out of town for a while, but when I get back I can help you out with any other things you are wondering about (but I think most of the guys here can handle it)

01-11-2006, 10:53 AM
I like it, interesting topic as well. Do you intend updating it with your stories then?

Is it run on blog software?

01-12-2006, 06:49 AM
Thanks, Mike. Yes, I might add a personal blog that details all of my exploits and thoughts about investing. And yes, it's run on wordpress.

01-12-2006, 10:22 AM
Have you sent out any press releases?

You'd be suprised how much of an effect that will have. The press release won't directly increase your site's traffic, but the media attention resulting from it would.

I wrote a press release for a client of mine in December and the same morning the press release came out my client was contacted by a local ABC affiliate in his area.

A few days later they came and filmed a segment at my client's business and it aired that same exact night. You can't buy that kind of advertising.

01-20-2006, 06:18 PM
Yep, I published my first press release this past Monday. Outstanding results. I'll post a report shortly.

I'm going to start posting one every month. Maybe every week. This first one was just a test to see the results.

I'm also going to start pitching radio stations directly. Hoping to get some interviews.


01-21-2006, 03:46 PM
Here's his thread posting the results.

Dural, it's amazing how fast you've made this bloody thing grow; I'm assuming that the primary reason for that would have to be that you've come into web publishing after real estate, and thus are more used to business on the street and are under the (correct) impression that getting traffic online is the same as getting people to look at your product offline and you have none of the mental blockages that people like me that grew up on webmaster forums and websites inherently have.

Congratulations on a great site.
I'd say that it may be a good idea to have a logo for branding, as I can only imagine that this website will get very large and very prominent very quickly, and you may want to do something in the future such as holding contests with T-Shirts as the prizes, etc.

01-22-2006, 08:05 AM

Thank you for the compliments. Yes, I think it's growing pretty quick. I'm averaging over 100 uniques per day. Most of those are repeat visitors now. Not bad for the first week.

I suppose you could attribute the quick start up to my business experience, but there's also a lot of preparation that went into my launch. I worked for two months on developing content and promotional strategies before inviting the first visitor.

I also spend 2-3 hours per day answering questions on forums and passing out links to my site

Everyone keeps telling me I need a logo. I don't see how it will have that much impact, but I might as well do it. It won't cost much.

Tell me, what's a reasonable timeframe for a site to show up in Google? I'm getting spidered everyday, but can't seem to find my site. Also, only about half of my pages have been spidered.

01-22-2006, 02:10 PM
I'd suggest that you don't necessarily need a textual logo, but I'd suggest a unique, identifiable, simple and easily resizable graphical logo

Websites getting crawled by Google usually takes me a week or two; however, this can really vary sometimes. Your website's already been spidered and is getting lots of inbound links, so it'll likely be up in the results for some terms like 'real estate landlording article.' However, this is a really competitive niche; for most of the terms I tried after using http://www.searchengineworld.com/cgi-bin/kwda.cgi on your site I saw some pretty high numbers for results.