I am in the middle of a series on how the internet creates blind spots. This podcast is dedicated to really just exposing some of the larger websites out there and what they have done for the people that have started them. Like Lynda.com, LinkedIn just bought this for 1.4 billion. Then there is WebMD. It was started by a couple people. It ended up having 3 writers to 500. I just checked I think it 562 million dollars last year. That is a half a billion dollars for a single website.
How Did The Most Successful Websites Start?
My question for everybody on this webcast is how did those websites start? Do you have to be special or in the right industry? Do you have to have money? I just want to go over a few things.
Let’s back up a little bit. Lynda.com at its core Lynda, ended up having tens of thousands of people donate quality videos to her platform called Lynda.com. They were donated and Lynda then was able to charge a monthly fee for the world to access those great videos. The key is the content was donated.
WebMD today has over 500 doctors that have written for that website and most of them still write monthly. The content is donated. They are not paid. The question is: is this replicatable? Can you replicate this? I am here to tell you that yes you can and you can do it. I know this cuz I have done this over 100 times. Would you consider starting at the cost of zero dollars a best of the rest section on one of your current websites? Or would you consider going to get an inexpensive non premium domain name. You can use a tool called Bustaname.com to start messing around with different title ideas for domain name. What I love about this is you can get a free theme from any of the major theme places. With themeforest.net or templatemonster.com, for almost a cost of zero you can replicate some of these big sites.
Survival Life, Ryan Deiss and his partners made this site. I remember reading the back story. They made a request for anybody that had ever written in the area of survival, meaning did you ever write articles how people survive in the forest? Survival when computers crash? All types of survival topics. They had 300 responses. They had 50 that were willing to write for free, 50 took a small fee for the content and then the rest wanted big bucks. So they started with the 50 free writers and the 50 small fee writers. The concept is these are three different of websites where hundreds of people where they have contributed. They asked for nothing in return. These are 3 examples: WebMD, Lynda.com, and Survival Life where hundreds of people wrote content, a video, because one of the core reasons and benefits is they wanted to be part of the team. Think about a doctor. Why would they write for WebMD? Because then they can say they write for WebMD. Do WebMD doctors get paid? NO! So why do they write, 2 reasons: 1. They want to be part of team: and they were very honored that you asked them. 2. There is an area of Klout.com that has been tracking people’s klout score online. Their author equity if you will. Google has a patent that came out in 1996 called author rank. It is author equity. The patent which was filed in 96 has not been adjusted. You can catch a great article called the Blind 5 year old. You will get a great 3 page report of the power of author rank and equity.
Find Multiple Voices For Your Website
The key here is this. If you can ask enough people if they would be willing to write for you website, your website will have multiple voices. That is a dynamic that most websites miss. When you get multiple voices the world gets more options as to what they like and why they stick around. Think about WebMD. If they only had 3 doctors it would never be what it is today. If that is the case for WebMD. Would any version of this business model work for you? I believe it would. So let’s kick start this concept.
Let’s pretend you are going to start a new website based on the best of the rest. You want to get little nuggets from a lot of people. Problogger.net that guy has so many resources on his website to find people that would write for you. The key is remember when you reach out and ask people if they would write for you. Don’t start with the concept of why would they want to write for me? Understand, they want to be part of a team. If you build a narrative that says I am going to build an authoritative site in this niche. Say my team (not me) can tell that you have a lot of experience. We would be honored if you became a monthly contributing writer. Here is our vision, here is our plan.
I know what new sites do that gets the attention of seasoned writers. You can tell them that they are going to have a transparent share system. So as leads come in, we will share some of the leads for these. From these pieces of content to all the people who helped up kick start this. It’s a huge good faith builder with these writers. Let’s say you are up and running. You have growing traffic. What happens is you start building authority. You personally start building author equity. Your website, whether you sign your posts or not, has a signature. It’s the admin. The admin is you. So you are beginning to create what is known as gravity. I used to call this the Oprah effect on some prior podcasts. I am switching it out to Gravity. Gravity is when you are always seen with experts. Celebrities. When you have gravity online, you have proven to google that you are the center hub. They know you are the person that is responsible. Wherever you write moving forward, Google honors you and raises you in the ranking.
When You Have Gravity You Become Like An ATM Machine
When you have gravity. I did a podcast called the Success Wheel. It describes gravity and how to create it in a granular, specific way. Everybody can do it. Anybody that has gravity, used the success wheel to do it. That is how they did it. You can study and replicate that. What is so cool, when you start to build up gravity, you personally become an ATM machine. You personally begin attracting cash and people want to quote you. They want you to speak on their stages. People will ask you to write a book. Maybe sometime before you even think, people are going to ask you about your book. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people tell me to write a book. I have written a couple. The point is this. People are going to say oh my gosh, you should write a book. Sometimes, not always, it depends on your personality. There is a tendancy for the sanguines and the cholerics to go out and coach people. That is another huge ATM money machine maker.
When you create gravity, one of the best serendipities is when you start gather all of these writers to write for you. Your site becomes authoritative. You receive the accolades for that. That allows you to attract other levels of talent to you. This is digging a little into the success wheel. What is cool is that it does start your gravity in a way that you start getting your requests for things you never thought would happen. You start getting brought into other industries. A gal came through CEO space. She is a biochemist who created a product line. She has 300 samples through bloggers and other samples to video bloggers, reviewers, and after a few years she hit 500,000 dollars in sales by herself in her home in Texas. Now she is getting requests for her skill set and talents to launch products. She is getting requests into industries that have nothing to do with beauty products of any kind. The reason is that google sees you as authoritative. When they see you like that, other people end up finding you and seeing you in a light that you don’t even see yourself. It just opens up so many doors. Google begins to promote you in their rankings. Then when you start to write for other websites, which will happen, if you go to the press room of our website, you will see that I have been asked to write in many other places. Your author equity begins to build at a serious level. Author equity, creditability, popularity. Those are the 3 things that google ranks a website on. Author equity is like the child that nobody pays attention. For some reason, people ignore author equity. The only two ways to raise author equity is 1: Have other people come in and write for you. Their equity bleeds into your personal equity. Then you then, can go start to write for other places. When google sees that move, it raises your equity also. Question is: Is Survival Life replicatable by anybody with no budget?….YES. Is Lynda.com replicatable with anybody with no budget? …YES. Can WebMD be rebuilt in different industries? Yes, it has been done many times. Many times at zero cost in the beginning. Just sweat equity. People just didn’t stop and it happens.
Thought this would be a good podcast. See you on the trail.