Selling Doggypedia for $30k

Exiting Doggypedia.org for $30,000

Three years prior to selling Doggypedia.org, I had quit my six-figure tech job to sell SEO for minimum wage at a local marketing agency.

I wanted to re-skill my career from sales to marketing but didn’t have any marketing experience.

And I figured if I wanted to learn marketing, selling marketing for a marketing agency put me in the best position to learn.

So I started selling SEO to learn SEO.

All of our clients were boring local businesses, so I took over the agency’s blog. 

And grew it to 103,000 organics/month.

After two years of working at the agency, I knew it was time. 

Time to do my own thing.

But before I left, I started a side project called Doggypedia.org to continue to level up my marketing skills and maybe turn it into a real business.

⚡ TL;DR

  1. In 2019 I left the agency where I learned SEO
  2. Grew Doggypedia.org SEO traffic from 0 to 116,000 organics/month in 13 months
  3. Grew the Pinterest account to tens of millions of impressions
  4. Grew the YouTube channel to millions of viewers
  5. Tried to monetize the traffic & failed
  6. Sold the brand for $30,000 to AlphaPaw.com

📈 Background

If this is your first piece of ContentDistribution.com content, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month without building backlinks.

And we’ve documented exactly how we did it: 

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win, where I learned SEO)
  2. 0 to 116,000 organics/month (Doggypedia)
  3. 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC adding $135k MRR)
  4. 0 to 166,000 organics/month (B2C SaaS)
  5. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (100k+ paid subscribers for A16Z startup)
  6. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

I started Doggypedia for a few reasons: 

  1. Continue to develop my understanding of SEO 
  2. Turn Doggypedia into a standalone business
  3. If that failed, use it as a case study to grow my SEO agency
  4. Tell Tinder dates I was a puppy influencer

This is part of a 4-part series of guides on how I built and sold Doggypedia:

  1. Growing SEO traffic to 100,000+ organics/month
  2. Growing YouTube to 3,400,000 views
  3. Growing Pinterest to 44,000,000 impressions
  4. Selling Doggypedia for $30,000

❌ Failing to Monetize

At this point in my career, I didn’t have the skills to create an offer that was engaging for my audience. 

But I knew that just because I couldn’t monetize my traffic, that didn’t mean someone else with a better offer couldn’t monetize my traffic. 

So I turned to Facebook to humble brag about my failures and try and get some consulting work. 

Basically, “Comment, and I’ll put you into my marketing funnel”

The Facebook Gods blessed me with reach that day.

Also apparently I am Facebook friends with Sam Parr from My First Million.

Because Sam saw it and tagged his friend Ramon.

And Ramon DM’d me to start a conversation.

My plan was working.

🤝 The Negotiation

But Ramon didn’t want the SEO consulting I was trying to hustle.

He wanted to buy Doggypedia.

Website acquisitions are valued on a multiple of profit.

And Doggypedia had a negative profit.

Fortunately, Ramon didn’t want me to pay him money to buy Doggypedia.

But unfortunately for me, Ramon did want to use a standard (revenue per month) X (30-40x) to determine the value. 

This meant ~$150/month of Adwords revenue was worth ~$6,000 to Ramon. 

I needed to get the price higher using a model I could defend.

  1. The cost of buying a comparable website
  2. The value of the traffic to Alphapaw’s acquirer 
  3. The cost to pay someone to replicate the results

I couldn’t find any data on #1. High-traffic low-earning sites are unusual.

I didn’t have a framework for modeling #2 in a believable way. 

So I focused on #3. 

The cost to pay someone to replicate these results would cost a lot more than $6,000.

Most SEOs have taken zero projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month.

So even if Ramon had the money to pay someone, chances are he would spend all of it with bad SEOs who can’t hit 100,000+ organics/month.

And based on this logic, Doggypedia was worth closer to $30,000 than $6,000.

Didn’t work.

Turns out that people who buy websites don’t operate on logical arguments.

They operate on math and numbers. 

So I tried one last argument in a language he would understand. 

“I bet my best alternative is way higher than $6,000”

Getting more bids

I set the sale price for $15,000 and received over 72 inquiries. 

Muahaha. 

Perfect.

If Ramon didn’t buy it, someone else would. 

It didn’t take long to find someone serious. 

Their profile has $800,000+ in verified purchases on Flippa.

And looked like he was ready to go.

But I didn’t want to sell Doggypedia to Harri, I wanted to sell it to Ramon.

If you haven’t heard of Ramon Van Meer, you should.

His story is basically the American dream:

  1. Grew up a poor foreigner 
  2. Immigrated to America alone and still poor
  3. Started the biggest soap opera website on the internet without ever watching a single soap opera
  4. Sold SoapHub for $9m
  5. Bought AlphaPaw for $300,000 and grew it to $35m/year in three years
  6. Angel investor in the Hustle (acquired by HubSpot)
  7. Just recently became an American citizen (congrats Ramon!)

Go Follow Ramon on Twitter.

Ramon is a really nice guy.

But not nice enough to sell him Doggypedia for $6,000.

So I kept the conversation with Harri going to keep my leverage up while we continued the negotiation. 

But after I got a verbal commitment from Ramon at a price point I was willing to sell for — I went dark on Harri.

Sorry, Harri. 

🚀 Learn: My third project to go from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month happened while finalizing the sale of Doggypedia. Read the case study.

In a last-ditch effort to save the deal, Harri increased his bid to $40,000. 

💰 The Sale

Logical arguments didn’t work to drive the price up from $6,000.

But having a best alternative offer at a 5x higher price did.

After we nailed down the terms via email, I flew to San Francisco to complete the transaction in person.

The timing was perfect.

I had a few clients in San Francisco.

DoNotPay, which I was in the process of scaling from 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month.

And XQ Institute, a non-profit co-CEO’d by Laurene Powell Jobs.

I had a friend in SF who was helping me R&D an e-commerce product I was ideating. 

I was also meeting up with the Fam in Mexico the week after.

So I flew to San Francisco to stay with Ramon for a week.

It was a ton of fun.

I rode the BART and saw a Biggie subway ad.  

Got sweaty with Ramon in the garage gym. 

Played laser tag. 

And completed the transaction.

On March 19th, several days before the state of California locked down to prevent the spread of a viral epidemic scientists were calling COVID-19.

Read all of the installments in the Doggypedia series.

  1. The 3,400,000+ views YouTube account
  2. The 44,00,000 impression Pinterest account
  3. The 100,000+ organics/month website 
  4. How I sold Doggypedia for $30,000 (you’re here)

🤯 What Happened Next

My goal was to continue to work with Ramon post-acquisition, and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. 

I probably should have tried harder to make it work because today Ramon is at a $50m/year run-rate.

But I got super busy scaling our engagement with DoNotPay:

  1. Grew the content team from 1 to 45 writers & editors
  2. Published 8,000+ pages of content
  3. Grew organic traffic to 1,500,000 visitors each month
  4. Drove 100,000+ paid subscribers
  5. Enabling DoNotPay to go from the seed stage to a series B from A16Z in 18 months

🚀  Learn how we added 100,000+ paid subscribers for DoNotPay with SEO.

I didn’t launch the e-commerce product I was working on, a travel standing desk.

I heard Naval talk about product / market / founder fit on YouTube.

And decided to ship something that better aligns with our journey.

So we shipped Workello, the internal system we built to hire good writers on auto-pilot as a standalone SaaS. 

Today Workello has helped 150+ teams skills test 63,000+ of their applicants to identify and hire the top 1%.

🚀 Signup for Workello for free in 30 seconds

Our work taking 4 brands from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month and our engagement for DoNotPay has led to working with category-leading brands like ClickUp, Privacy.com, Skiff.com, and FreeKick Bank. If this sounds like you, check out our case studies and then book a call:

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (my first big W)
  2. 0 to 119,000 organics/month  (Subscription DTC)
  3. 0 to 166,000 organics/month  (B2C SaaS)
  4. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (A16z startup)
  5. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

We have a superpower to help companies win big at Search, but every month I talk to founders who have awesome products, and huge ambition, but are just too early in their company’s journey to engage us.  

In early 2022 we launched the Content Ops Framework for agencies and early-stage startups to use our systems, processes, templates, and SOPs with their staff. 

And since launching, we’ve helped 4 ambitious, early-stage brands hit the 100,000+ organics/month club.

🚀  Learn more about the 100,000+ organics/month club.

🥇 Get More

Join our Free Content Ops Community

Join 10,000+ marketers from brands like Deel, G2, WordPress, Quora, Shopify, Segment, Twilio, and more in the #1 community for Content Ops.

👉 Join the Community.

Subscribe on YouTube

Want hour-long deep dives into our systems? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get our most in-depth guides.

👉 Subscribe to 100% actionable, no fluff, no BS guides to crushing SEO. 

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3,400,000 Views on YouTube

Generating 3,400,000 views on YouTube

Three years prior to selling Doggypedia.org I had quit my six-figure tech job to sell SEO for minimum wage at a local marketing agency.

I wanted to re-skill my career from sales to marketing, but didn’t have any marketing experience.

And I figured, if I wanted to learn marketing, selling marketing, for a marketing agency puts me in the best position to learn.

So I started selling SEO to learn SEO.

All of our clients were boring local businesses, so I took over the agency’s blog. 

And I grew it from 0 to 103,000 organics/month in 13 months. 

After two years of working at the agency, I knew it was time. 

Time to do my own thing.

But before I left, I started a side project called Doggypedia.org to continue to level up my marketing skills.

And maybe, turn it into a real business.

This is part of a 4-part series of guides on how I built and sold Doggypedia:

  1. Growing SEO traffic to 100,000+ organics/month
  2. Growing YouTube to 3,400,000 views (you’re here)
  3. Growing Pinterest to 44,000,000 impressions
  4. Selling Doggypedia for $30,000

📷 Background

If this is your first piece of ContentDistribution.com content, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month without building backlinks.

And we’ve documented exactly how we did it: 

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win, where I learned SEO)
  2. 0 to 116,000 organics/month (Doggypedia)
  3. 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC adding $135k MRR)
  4. 0 to 166,000 organics/month (B2C SaaS)
  5. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (100k+ paid subscribers for A16Z startup)
  6. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

I started Doggypedia for a few reasons: 

  1. Continue to develop my understanding of SEO 
  2. Turn Doggypedia into a standalone business
  3. If that failed, use it as a case study to grow my SEO agency
  4. Tell Tinder dates I was a puppy influencer

🔎 Approach

What I’ve learned from taking 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month is that Google Search uses UX metrics to influence reach and rankings. 

I didn’t develop a theory and set out to prove it.

This is an observation I made from consistently winning in SEO without:

❌ Building backlinks.

❌ Doing technical BS.

❌ Doing hacks or shortcuts.

✅ Just great content.

Basically, our entire goal is to create more relevant, better quality content than any other page Google could show for the keywords we want to rank for.

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

Everybody knows every major platform uses UX metrics to influence reach:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Instagram
  4. TikTok
  5. LinkedIn

And according to Mr Beast, this is how the YouTube algorithm works:

  1. Click through rate (CTR)
  2. Watch time
  3. Comments
  4. Likes

But in 2018/2019 Mr Beast wasn’t famous yet.

I didn’t have anybody to tell me what is well known.

I just knew that if I believed Google Search used UX metrics to influence reach.

Then I had to believe YouTube would also. 

🚀 Learn how I outrank websites without backlinks all day, every day. 

⚒️ Results

Doggypedia was a side project.

And YouTube was a side experiment while I built out the SEO.

Which made Doggypedia’s YouTube channel a side-side-project.

Meaning, my goal wasn’t to just create category winning content on YouTube.

I needed to create category winning content on YouTube 👉 with as little effort as possible.

That meant:

  1. Super simple to make
  2. Had huge amounts of views

And I took a few shots at goal.

Dogs barking…

…to make your dog react.

Who am I to argue with 100,000,000+ people?

My job isn’t to decide what people want.

My job is to give people what they want. 

First I watched all of the top performing videos (of dogs barking 🙁)

Next I built a list of the variables that I could both control and I believed would influence UX metrics.

Because if I could win on these variables, my content would have better UX metrics than the dog barking videos currently on YouTube, and I believed YouTube would promote my content instead. 

Here’s the list: 

  1. The thumbnail to drive higher CTR
  2. The length to keep users watching longer
  3. The number of dogs referenced to be more relevant to more people
  4. The in-video imagery that is more pleasant to look at

🚀 Warning: turn down your volume before playing. 

This video did pretty good.

Racked up a cool 3,000,000 views and 800+ comments.

Dog Names

Ahrefs indicates that more than 2,700,000 people each month search for help naming their dog.

If people search Google for dog names, would they also search YouTube?

The answer is yes.

So I made a video on dog names.

But before I did, I watched all of the top videos and built a list of the variables I wanted to do better:

  1. A better thumbnail to drive higher CTR
  2. Put a higher number of dog names in the title to drive a higher CTR
  3. Shove more dog names into the video to drive longer watch time

Again, all of the activities tie back to driving better UX metrics than my competition. 

Here’s what I ended up with.

273,000 views.

Not as good as 3,000,000.

But not bad. 

Interestingly, this video had a much higher ratio of comments to views.

237,000 views with 570 comments.

Versus 3,000,000 views with 818 comments.

Maybe comments aren’t as important as the other user-engagement metrics?

Can Dogs Eat…?

One of the classic content series for a pet website is “can dogs eat X” articles.

It seems like every pet website is attempting to rank for keywords like this.

Because according to Ahrefs, there is an incredible 5,800,000 searches/month for “can dogs eat” one thing or another.

So, if people are searching for “can dogs eat X” on Google Search, would they also use YouTube?

Well, kinda.

It turns out the biggest videos in the “can dogs eat stuff” sub-category just aren’t that big.

I did approximately 5 videos on this type of content.

And they racked up less than 50,000 views.

It turns out the biggest videos in the “can dogs eat stuff” sub-category just aren’t that big.

🎥 How to Hire Video Editors

You can learn video editing.

Or you can do your actual job.

You can’t do both.

We hired an editor.

308 applicants –> 97 skills tests –> 15 interviews –> 1 hire. 

308 people –> 1 person.

The top .3% of all applicants.

Because we believe the #1 decision we’ll make as hiring managers is who we decide to hire.

And after that first decision, everything is either easy, hard or impossible.

The truth is though.

We automated the entire process.

It didn’t take much time at all.

We automated everything with Workello.

Basically Workello is skills assessment platform that allows us to filter through hundreds of job seekers to identify and hire the top 1%.

Think of Workello as an automated CRM for hiring video editors:

  1. Use Workello’s pre-configured skills tests for video editors
  2. Get applicants from job boards like LinkedIn, Facebook, and OnlineJobs
  3. Move applicants through our hiring funnel with 1-click to test, reject, or interview

First, sign up for Workello.com.

It’s free and takes about 30 seconds.

Next, select the video editor hiring template.

It includes:

  1. Pre-written job description
  2. Pre-written skills tests.
  3. Pre-written interview questions.
  4. Pre-written candidate emails.
  5. Hand selected job boards to find the best candidates

Your job description is pre-written, so you’ll just need to make a few adjustments to align it with your company.

After you’ve nailed the job description, it’s time to edit the skills tests and interview stages.

Creating a video editor skills test

The skills test is pre-configured for you, but you need to replace the example videos in the template with videos that align with the content you want your editor to produce. 

The unpaid skills test should be extremely short and take applicants less than 30 minutes to complete.

The longer your skills test take, the less likely candidates are to do it.

Especially the best applicants.

The video we ask applicants is 37 seconds, but feel free to go down to as little as 15 seconds for best results. 

Candidates that pass the free skills test will be invited to skills test #2.

In Skills Test #2 we ask candidates to edit three 60 second videos.

And it’s paid.

This allows us to vet the remaining candidates with a longer, more in-depth assignment.

Just like you did in the free skills test, replace the example videos in the template with videos that reflect the type of content you’re creating. 

Setting up your interview

Last section to customize. 

Drop your name, email, and Calendly URL.

(If you haven’t already, setup a new Calendly event for interviews).

And you’re done.

Hit “Publish Job”

The next screen you’ll see is the hiring portal.

This is where all of your candidates will appear once you post your job ad on external sourcing websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and OnlineJobs.ph. 

Now it’s time to get candidates.

Grab the Job Ad URL.

It’s going to look something like this: https://app.workello.com/a/content-distribution-video-editor-1

This is how candidates will apply for your job.

Posting your job

What?

Workello doesn’t get me candidates?

No — getting candidates is easy.

It takes 10 minutes to post a job ad and we’ll get 100+ applicants. 

Filtering through those applicants to identify and hire the top 1% is the hard part.

You need really purpose built workflows to handle that much applicant volume without wasting hours switching between apps and copy/pasting.

And this is where Workello shines.

Your first destination is OnlineJobs.ph.

Follow this guide to post your Workello job ad URL on OnlineJobs.

This took all of 10 minutes, and should get you 100+ video editing applicants.

OnlineJobs.ph is great for general VAs. 

There’s gonna be some talent. 

But it isn’t where the BEST video editors are hanging out.

If we want to fill our recruiting pipeline with the best of the best…

We hire from Facebook Groups.

Why Facebook?

Because Facebook is where interest based communities live.

And people who participate in interest based communities, are on-average, more passionate and talented than folks who aren’t. 

This is true from backyard BBQ and baseball to video editors. 

Here are some keywords you can use:

  1. Video editors
  2. TikTok creators
  3. YouTube creators

Join all of the groups.

And post your job ad.

Say something like…

Hiring a video editor for X type of content.

Make your company sound cool.

Describe what you’re looking for. 

Ask candidates that are interested to drop a comment and you’ll DM them a link.

If you’re feeling ambitious, attach an eye grabbing image to drive more engagement. 

And do not post the job ad URL.

Facebook reduces the reach of posts with external links.

I repeat.

Don’t drop the job ad URL.

Ask candidates to drop a comment.

Repeat this process in each group.

After 2-3 days Facebook will have given you most of the reach your post will get.

And you can start dropping links to interested candidates. 

Candidates apply via the external application URL and appear in your Workello hiring portal.

Click to open up a candidate. 

Check out their cover letter and portfolio.

Then click ‘Reject’ to send the candidate a polite rejection email.

Or “Test” to send the candidate your unpaid skills test.

Candidates will receive an email inviting them to submit the unpaid video editing test you configured above. 

The rest of the process is straightforward.

And the exact process we used to filter 300 video editing applicants down to the absolute best person. 

Because we believe the #1 decision you’ll make as a manager is who you hire.

And after that first decision, everything is either easy, hard or impossible.

And if we want to create great video content.

We should hire the best video editor we can afford. 

Join hundreds of startups and agencies using Workello to identify and hire the top 1% of their applicants. 

🙏 The Acquisition 

Despite my ability to learn distribution on Pinterest, YouTube and SEO.

I failed at the most important part. 

Monetization. 

I just didn’t have the experience yet.

🚀 Learn how we drove almost 100,000 paid subscribers for an A16Z-backed startup. 

So I did what all good mediocre marketers do.

I posted a humble flex on social. 

And used my (lack of) success to nurture an audience that I could maybe eventually sell SEO to. 

The Facebook Gods blessed me with reach that day.

And apparently I am Facebook Friends with Sam Parr from My First Million.

A couple of months later, Ramon wired me $30,000.

Want to learn how the acquisition went down?

Read the final installment of the Doggypedia acquisition. 

  1. The 3,400,000+ views YouTube account (you’re here)
  2. The 44,00,000 impression Pinterest account
  3. The 100,000+ organics/month website 
  4. How I sold Doggypedia for $30,000

🥇 Copy Our Results

By working with us

We’re motivated by scale and impact, and we love working with hyper-growth startups with the ambition and budget to become category leaders. 

We don’t have dozens and dozens of mediocre clients. We work with less than two handfuls of the most ambitious companies on the internet.

And we consistently generate 5x – 20x+  ROAS.

If this sounds like you, read our other case studies, then book a call.

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (my first big W)
  2. 0 to 119,000 organics/month  (Subscription DTC)
  3. 0 to 166,000 organics/month  (B2C SaaS)
  4. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (A16z startup)
  5. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

Use the Content Ops Framework

Or if you want to do it yourself, the Content Ops Framework contains everything you need to hit 100,000+ organics/month:

  1. SOPs and templates our team uses internally
  2. We’ll source 200+ writers for you to choose from
  3. Workello to test, identify and hire the top 1%
  4. 50,000 ClusterAi credits to automate your keyword research

Since we’ve started we’ve helped four brands hit the 100,000+ organics/month club.

👉 Interested? Join the 100,000+ organic/month club.

Use our Software

Automate years of keyword research with ClusterAi..

Use Workello to identify and hire the top 1% of your applicants whether they’re writers, editors , designers, marketers, customer success, or developers.

👉 Start hiring the 1%. Signup for free in 30 seconds.

Join our Free Content Ops Community

Join 10,000+ marketers from brands like Deel, G2, WordPress, Quora, Shopify, Segment, Twilio, and more in the #1 community for Content Ops.

👉 Join the Community.

Subscribe on YouTube

Want hour-long deep dives into our systems? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get our most in-depth guides.

👉 Subscribe to 100% actionable, no fluff, no BS guides to crushing SEO. 

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YouTube Influencer Marketing

Inexpensive YouTube Influencer Strategy

I love learning, and I learn best by doing, so at any given time I’m running various micro-tests and micro-projects.

Today, I’m going to share how I leveraged affiliate marketing on YouTube to:

  • Drive hundreds of dollars in sales per month
  • Rank a website in Google faster than I’ve ever had before this point

Note – just because I made hundreds, doesn’t mean you can’t make thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a month, or more, using this tactic.

Why Didn’t I Scale This YouTube Affiliate Strategy Further?

I implemented this another side project, Hobanco.com, a dropshipping knife store.

Fun Fact: I was shipping knives to more than a dozen European countries, which I’m pretty sure makes me an international weapons dealer.

I started Hobanco because I wanted to learn more about e-commerce SEO.

It turns out there are millions of knife-related searches each month, so I chose knives not because I’m a knife nerd, but the organic search opportunity was large.

But the store was incredibly painful to scale.

Not only did it take 3-4 weeks for the knives to arrive from China via e-packet, but about 30% of my orders were confiscated by customs at the border.

Delivering such a poor customer experience was painful to my soul but refunding 30% of my orders and eating the cost was a deal-breaker.

So I never scaled this.

But you can.

Why This YouTube Affiliate Marketing Tactic Works

When people think of affiliate or influencer marketing on YouTube, they think about sponsoring new content.

But paying YouTubers to create new content for your brand is expensive.

A much cheaper way to execute a successful YouTube affiliate & influencer campaign is to sponsor old content.

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, YouTube does a fantastic job at surfacing up old content to new viewers.

YouTube has a bunch of different ways it surfaces up old content – from search to playlists, to recommended videos, to auto-playing the next video.

Which means videos published years ago can still receive thousands and thousands of views per day.

And we’re going to leverage that fact to generate affiliate revenue for a very low cost.

Why It Helped Our Organic Search Traffic

I ranked this project using the exact same playbook I had always used.

Except I did one thing different.

By sponsoring YouTube videos, I was driving referral traffic from YouTube to my website.

And my organic search rankings and traffic increased faster than any other project I had worked on before this point.

Estimated Organic Traffic (from Ahrefs):

Hobanco’s 1st-page keywords

  • Position 1-3 is the first half of the 1st page
  • Position 4 – 10 is the bottom half of the 1st page

Something like 60 million new web pages are created every single day.

How does Google know which pages matter?

I believe Google uses referral traffic.

The more referral traffic you get, and the better that traffic engages, the faster your pages will rank – assuming the page is optimized for the keywords you want to rank for.

Now, at this point, this was just a single data point.

But every single time since this experiment I’ve sent referral traffic to a given page – whether it’s from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, email lists, other websites – whatever – those pages have ranked faster than pages that don’t receive referral traffic.

And it makes sense.

Google’s #1 goal is to provide the most relevant, highest quality search results for any given search query.

And Google is the #1 big data company.

And Google Analytics is deployed on nearly every single website that matters.

Why wouldn’t Google use user engagement metrics like # of visitors, time on site, bounce rate, pages visited, etc as a heuristic for quality?

And if you think about it, isn’t user engagement metrics ultimately a better heuristic for quality than another heuristic like backlinks?

It just doesn’t make sense that they wouldn’t use this data.

So by slamming a page with a bunch of referral traffic, Google begins to understand how users engage, and compares that data to the websites it’s currently showing on the first page for a given keyword.

And if your engagement rate is nearly as good, as good, or better, Google will start testing your page by bouncing it on and off the first page, and comparing it to competitive pages it could show users instead.

If your user engagements are better, your page will eventually stick to the first page.

Implementing This Affiliate / Influencer Marketing For YouTube Strategy

I developed this YouTube affiliate strategy over two years ago, and it’s been more than 18 months since I sold the site I used this tactic on.

So, unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to provide as much data, and as detailed of a walkthrough as I would like.

But that’s OK – you’re a smart person, you don’t need your hand held through every mouse click.

By the time you’re done reading this guide, you’re going to understand exactly how to not only replicate my results, but scale to tens of thousands of dollars a month in revenue.

High-level overview

  • Define your buyer persona
  • Build a list of keywords that buyer persona is searching for
  • Search YouTube and identify videos with lots of views
  • Check to see if those channels are consistently generating high view videos, or this video was an outlier
  • Reach out to channels that don’t have much traction besides that single video, or a handful of videos
  • Offer a small upfront payment + affiliate commission to place a link on their videos with high views
  • Create a custom URL including their affiliate link + UTM tags

Build A Buyer Persona

The first thing you need to understand is who your customer is.

What videos are they watching?

What keywords are they using to search?

My e-commerce store dropshipped knives.

My assumption was, is the people searching for knife videos on YouTube are knife enthusiasts, and knife enthusiasts don’t just have one knife, they have a bunch of different knives.

And determined my audience was searching for videos like ‘knife tricks’, ‘butterfly knife tricks’, etc.

Identifying High View Videos On YouTube Channels Without Much Traction

You’re looking for YouTube videos that have a high number of views but are on channels that don’t have much traction outside of that video, or a handful of videos.

Why?

YouTube channels that are consistently creating high view count videos generate more income through YouTube ads & sponsorships, so they cost more to work with them.

But the channels that have one, or a few videos with high view counts don’t make much money at all.

So we can get an affiliate link on their video for cheap.

In fact, what’s more important than the relatively small amount of monetization you can offer them, is the ‘cool factor’.

They can now tell their friends they’re a sponsored YouTuber.

And being a sponsored YouTuber is a lot cooler than not being a sponsored YouTuber.

Being a sponsored influencer is so cool, that people on Instagram are pretending to be sponsored by brands.

  • Search for the keyword
  • Open 50+ videos in new tabs
  • Check out their other videos and sort by ‘most viewed’
  • If the channel doesn’t have much traction besides a few videos, save the video URL in an Excel or Google Sheet

Reach Out To These YouTube Channels

This is the hardest part of the whole campaign.

The people you’re targeting, whether right or wrong, don’t treat their channel professionally.

They might want to make a full-time income from YouTube, but they don’t treat their channel like a business.

What does that mean?

It’s super hard to get in contact with these people.

They may not have an email listed.

If they do, they may not check it.

They don’t look at their notifications.

They don’t check their YouTube messages.

So you need to hit them up on every channel.

  • Check their profile page for their email, Facebook & Twitter & contact them on each platform
  • Leave a comment on the video
  • Send them a message on YouTube (being depreciated in September 2019)

And you might have to do this a couple of times, so I recommend keeping track of videos and channels you want to sponsor in an Excel or Google Sheet.

To make it easy on you, point them to an email address to contact you if they’re interested.

“Hey! I love your channel and would like to sponsor it! If you’re interested, please email me at xyz@xyz.com”

I recommend doing this a few times yourself to get a hang on the process, then build a process document (hint: create a video walk-through also) and delegate this to a VA.

Note that you should ask the VA to only reach out to a handful of channels per day, and that they should vary their message to avoid YouTube’s spam detection.

If they think you’re spamming, they’ll simply disappear the message, or worse – ban your Google account.

Negotiating the Sponsorship

My offer was low.

I would offer $5 to put a link with custom text on the video receiving a high number of views.

And I would offer them 5% of all sales generated by tracking purchases using an affiliate link.

Setting Up Tracking

I gave each channel a custom link they could use.

Hobanco.com/username

When someone viewed the video and clicked the link, it would 301 redirect the user to a product or category of products I was selling and append their affiliate ID + UTM tracking so I could also track the campaign in Google Analytics.

The URL https://hobanco.com/jpgessencezero (test it out by clicking!) redirects to https://hobanco.com/collections/csgo-knives?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=influencers&utm_campaign=jpgessencezero&ref=59d4889509230

Let’s break down the URL

Hobanco.com/collections/csgo-knives

This takes the user to Hobanco’s CSGO knives category page

The rest of the URL consists of a UTM tag, enabling you to track and attribute click-throughs and sales to specific YouTubers and videos and an affiliate reference ID to track earnings and payouts.

?utm_source=youtube

This tells Google Analytics the traffic source is YouTube

&utm_medium=influencers

This tells Google Analytics the traffic source is part of my affiliate campaign, and not some other click through from YouTube

&utm_campaign=jpgessencezero

This tells Google Analytics the channel that referred the click/sale

&ref=59d4889509230

This is the code auto-generated by my affiliate tracking software to track purchase & facilitate payouts.

Find an affiliate plugin:

Here is how to setup 301 redirects:

Later on, in the campaign I started adding an identifier for branded links (hobanco.com/username-video) if the channel had multiple videos I was placing a link on because I wanted to understand what type of content was producing the most affiliate sales, so when I did scale, I knew what videos to target.

Our best content

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We share it all.

  1. Forecasting SEO ROI
  2. Brand Jacking (ranking for your competitor’s brands)
  3. How to find and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet
  4. How we crush B2B SaaS SEO
  5. How to turn any writer into an SEO content writer
  6. How to rank without backlinks
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  8. How we crush B2C SaaS SEO
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44,000,000 Pinterest Impressions

Pinterest Growth Marketing on Autopilot

📷 Background

If this is your first piece of ContentDistribution.com content, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month without building backlinks.

And we’ve documented exactly how we did it: 

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win, where I learned SEO)
  2. 0 to 116,000 organics/month (Doggypedia)
  3. 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC adding $135k MRR)
  4. 0 to 166,000 organics/month (B2C SaaS)
  5. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (100k+ paid subscribers for A16Z startup)
  6. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

I started Doggypedia for a few reasons: 

  1. Continue to develop my understanding of SEO 
  2. Turn Doggypedia into a standalone business
  3. If that failed, use it as a case study to grow my SEO agency
  4. Tell Tinder dates I was a puppy influencer

This is part of a 4-part series of guides on how I built and sold Doggypedia:

  1. Growing SEO traffic to 100,000+ organics/month
  2. Growing YouTube to 3,400,000 views (you’re here)
  3. Growing Pinterest to 44,000,000 impressions
  4. Selling Doggypedia for $30,000

I saw a post from Vadim Rozov on how he was building a massive Pinterest audience using a super simple growth hack.

The fact that it was so simple drew me in immediately. I could implement this in an hour or two, then forget about it.

At the time, I was using Tailwind to automate Pinterest, and it worked *OK*.

My account was growing, but not fast enough, and even though Tailwind does add automation to your workflow, there was still a lot of work to do filling up your queue.

Before the spike, I was averaging 2,000 – 3,000 impressions per day, and after the spike died down, impressions/engagement continued 7,000 – 8,000 per day, but not quick enough.

Tailwind pro-tip: If you buy an annual subscription, Tailwind won’t throttle you on # of pins per month.

Vadim’s Pinterest Growth Hack

This Pinterest growth hack is so easy, it wouldn’t surprise me if Pinterest shuts it down.

The post from Vadim is in a private Facebook Group, and you won’t be able to see it until you’re accepted, so I’m including it below.

Side note – highly recommend you join the group, it’s one of my favorites.

I immediately began implementing Vadim’s technique to see if I could get it to work for me and it didn’t.

Shutterstock doesn’t have great images related to the project I was working on.

So, I improvised.

Instead of sourcing images from Shutterstock, I sourced pictures from Reddit.

If Reddit and Shutterstock don’t have awesome images for your vertical, improvise further.

Implementation Guide

Sign up for a Zapier account.

A free account allows you to push 100 images per month to Pinterest, this isn’t enough to get the results you want. Get a Starter or Professional plan allowing for 1,000 / 3,000 images per month.

After creating your account, click the big red ‘Make a Zap’ button in the right-hand corner.

The first app you’re going to connect is where you’re sourcing your images from.

Select New Hot Post In Subreddit

Click ‘Next’ and verify your Reddit account

Then pick the subreddit you want to pull pics from.

Verify this aspect of your Zap works, then set up the next Action Step

Go through the same process, I won’t screenshot each step because the Zap workflow is super easy and intuitive.

  • Select Pinterest
  • Authenticate your account

If you’re pushing different types of images, or you want to appeal to multiple sub-audiences, you’ll want to make dedicated Zaps & Pinboards for each image type. For this project, I have 5 different Zaps that push images into 5 different Pinboards that appeal to slightly different audiences.

  • Select a Pinboard to push images into. If you haven’t already created the Pinboard, do that now and refresh the Pinboards to see the new one.
  • In the ‘Image’ form, choose ‘URL’ of the Reddit post
  • In the ‘Note’ form choose ‘Title’ of the Reddit post
  • Often the titles you’re pulling from Reddit won’t mention the keywords you want to target on Pinterest, so hardcode in a hashtag to ensure Pinterest understands what each image is about
  • Select the URL you want click-throughs from Pinterest to go to.

If you’ve set up Pinterest Rich Pins, you’re going to have to disable this to get this Pinterest growth hack to work.

You can do this by inserting ‘<meta name=”pinterest-rich-pin” content=”false” />’ into the footer of your website.

If you’re on WordPress there is a good chance your theme has an area to insert code into the Footer of every page, but if it doesn’t, or you can’t find it, use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin.

Once the plugin is installed you can access the page to add the footer code in your ‘settings’ on the right-hand side of your admin dashboard.

Head back to Zapier and test your Zap.

You’re done!

Don’t forget to name the Zap and turn it on.

Pro tip – name the Zap ‘Reddit to Pinterest – ImageType’ so you know precisely what the Zap does 3 months from now.

If you’re targeting multiple sub-audiences, now is the time to create new Pinboards & Zaps to target these sub-audiences using the exact same process above.

The only thing left to do is wait.

It took me 3-4 months until things really started to take off.

To date the campaign has generated 47,000,000 impressions.

🥇 Copy Our Results

By working with us

We’re motivated by scale and impact, and we love working with hyper-growth startups with the ambition and budget to become category leaders. 

We don’t have dozens and dozens of mediocre clients. We work with less than two handfuls of the most ambitious companies on the internet.

And we consistently generate 5x – 20x+  ROAS.

If this sounds like you, read our other case studies, then book a call.

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (my first big W)
  2. 0 to 119,000 organics/month  (Subscription DTC)
  3. 0 to 166,000 organics/month  (B2C SaaS)
  4. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (A16z startup)
  5. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

Use the Content Ops Framework

Or if you want to do it yourself, the Content Ops Framework contains everything you need to hit 100,000+ organics/month:

  1. SOPs and templates our team uses internally
  2. We’ll source 200+ writers for you to choose from
  3. Workello to test, identify and hire the top 1%
  4. 50,000 ClusterAi credits to automate your keyword research

Since we’ve started we’ve helped four brands hit the 100,000+ organics/month club.

👉 Interested? Join the 100,000+ organic/month club.

Use our Software

Automate years of keyword research with ClusterAi..

Use Workello to identify and hire the top 1% of your applicants whether they’re writers, editors , designers, marketers, customer success, or developers.

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