It's been two weeks since my last update on the case study. I finished the roundup posts in time to publish an update last week, but wanted to wait a little to see the full effects on traffic. In the end Christmas came and got in the way, so I'm publishing the update now instead.
What Effects Does A Guest Roundup Post Have?
With this kind of article and article promotion, you're not likely to get a sustained traffic boost, but you CAN get links from it, and you WILL get new eyes on your site, which in the long run will indeed result in a traffic boost.
This is the same for all ego/link-bait type posts.
Additionally, you can use these kind of posts with outreach and promotion efforts. It's a lot easier to “show off” your content when it's got some experts collaborating on it. You're already gaining social proof and making it look more promo worthy.
That's what I'll be doing with these posts in the future. I wouldn't have much luck if I tried promoting my roundup posts during this holiday period, so I'll wait until the new year.
Let's take a look at how the expert posts went so far.
Expert Roundup Posts Review
In total I reached out to about 50-60 people for each post, but I didn't get great returns. I included 4 experts on one post, and 3 on the other, although these 3 did post very long and detailed responses, so that's great.
In hindsight I was probably messaging people a little too close to holiday season, when they're all busy trying to get things done. Additionally, my outreach template needs work and I've since created a much better one. My next efforts will be better.
I was also going in completely cold and messaging people I had no previous relationship with. It's always better to build a relationship first.
For the post on YourOwnGymZone, I actually adapted one of my existing posts and included the expert's answers there. This is because I didn't feel that I had enough for a new post, and wanted to flesh out the existing post.
The result is the creation of a pretty good post on the site, and one that I can use in a lot of outreach efforts.
I actually learned from working with Jon Haver that you can create a “niche dominating” post which is a mixture of an expert roundup, and an epic “wow” post. I've done this on a smaller scale with this article.
I also got a pretty good traffic boost by asking the experts to share the article:
As you can see, if you want a traffic boost, expert roundup posts are great. However, the traffic isn't sustained and you'll soon go back to usual unless you promote the post. You should always be promoting your bigger content pieces anyway.
For DateAndSimple, I had similar results, a big traffic boost but not sustained. Once again, I'll have to do some promotion efforts to really get the most out of it. I created a brand new post for DAS though. Check it out.
Another bonus is that I now have a handful of people who I have connected with and can start building on those relationships.
There are definitely more intangible benefits to this kind of post, so don't let my immediate results put you off. Try one and you'll see what I mean.
Takeaways From This Experiment
So here are my main lessons learned:
- It's always better to make contact before asking someone about doing an expert roundup. Comment on their site, chat to them on twitter, or get on their radar for about a week.
- Make a personalized email about why you like their site and want to include them.
- The more experts you get, the better.
- You need to promote the post after so that all the effort you went to is worth it.
I'll have to confess that I've not been doing the best possible job with this case study. It's been kind of an afterthought and something I've not been hustling enough over.
I'm using it to teach you how to rank and monetize a site, but I've not been giving it my all. This is going to change in 2015.
With the new project that I'm undertaking to build a powerful authority site, I'll be learning and implementing many new strategies. I'll use a lot of them on YourOwnGymZone and DateAndSimple too.
Not only that, I'll be prioritizing these sites and putting my main efforts into both projects.
Here's a breakdown of what I'm doing to do with the two sites in the next few weeks:
1.) Promote the expert roundup posts through outreach and forum/social posting.
2.) Create 1-2 more “link-bait” posts.
3.) Begin my first “epic post” for the sites. This will be an ongoing thing and I'll cover the various steps as I do it.
4.) Publish and promote the epic posts.
5.) Look at other link building and outreach opportunities.
6.) Start connecting more with the communities my sites operate in.
7.) Publish a few guest posts.
8.) Create a regular posting schedule. Yes, I've mentioned in the past that it's more important to focus on outreach and link building than on just publishing and praying, but adding new content is always going to be a good thing, so I might as well create an editorial calender.
I'm not necessarily going to do it in the order listed above, and some of the things are ongoing, but this is generally the plan for the next 2-3 months.
I'll also have 1 week where I just focus on site improvements (navigation, sitemap etc) and think about monetizing it. This will probably be in 2-3 weeks time, before I publish the epic “wow” post.
Until then, have a great New Year.