CC9 - Natalie Dormer

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lyannastark

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a) Quick intro about myself.

Hello Builders! I am Lyanna :smile: I'm a 19 year old college student and I'm a relatively fresh face to the IM scene, and have a tonne to learn. There isn't really much to say about myself except that I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me, and BuSo in general! I know it won't be easy. But nothing worth it ever is. I'm not perfect, and I will definitely make mistakes along the way, but that's why I'm happy to have such a great community rooting for me and the CC9 in general. This is almost a one in a lifetime opportunity presented here, and I promise to honor my commitments to the CC9.

b) The general niche I am in.
According to the Traffic Leaks thread, my site would be classified as informative/entertainment. The general niche is beauty/health. The target market is young adult/teen females, so ages 15-30. The primary monetization method for this site will be Amazon sales. I may also create a digital product for the niche. I am open to considering other forms of monetization, but I think that's what I'm going to run with for now.

c) The overall goal of the traffic leak experiment.
The overall goal of this experiment is (other than making money, of course!) to build a strong community of people and a large resource for all things related to my niche.

d) What I plan to gain out of it.
Personally, this whole experiment will be a starting point for me, sort of being on my own in the IM world. All my previous experience in IM has been from working with other people and helping them build their own assets. This will be the first time being "on my own", where everything is my responsibility. Hopefully this successful venture will lead to a long and fruitful career of owning several profitable internet assets. And if I do really well, I may never have to get a "9-5" and IM can be my day job so to speak.


e) Amount of time I plan on dedicating a week.
My exams are almost over, so I foresee being able to dedicate considerable amount of time to this. Whatever it takes. 40 hours a week is a decent amount of time to dedicate to this, but I can go more if needs be. School will resume at around January 20th, so at that time I will probably have to cut down to time to 20-25 hrs a week.

f) Optional traffic numbers OR percentage increases.
This is a brand new site so I'm at a staggering 0 visitors.


g) Where I'm currently at with this project.
The site is up and running. All social media accounts have also been created. I've added a couple pieces of content so far.I'm gonna add the rest of the initial content batch between tonight and tomorrow, and get started on more content. My Amazon affiliate account was suspended so I'm gonna re-activate it right now. I've never ever been an Amazon affiliate before, so I really have no idea about the nuances. Any advice re: maximizing Amazon sales is GREATLY appreciated. Apart from adding your affiliate links, if there are any techniques known to increase conversions etc. Also, I want to make youtube a part of my strategy and a decent source of traffic. So any advice re: youtube marketing is also appreciated. Like traffic leaking my traffic leaks. Traffic Leakception. lol
 
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Calamari

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I would never guess that you were just 19 from reading this. Keep it up!
 
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40 hours a week is a decent amount of time to dedicate to this, but I can go more if needs be.
This gives me so much faith that you will totally destroy this project. I'm very eager to see how this gets going, especially since you're literally starting at ground zero. Going to be so fun! :smile:

I've never ever been an Amazon affiliate before, so I really have no idea about the nuances. Any advice re: maximizing Amazon sales is GREATLY appreciated. Apart from adding your affiliate links, if there are any techniques known to increase conversions etc.
I know from THINKING about starting an amazon site and my initial research that you'll definitely have to have a disclaimer word for word that they provide you to paste onto your site. I think it just has to appear in one spot, like the bottom of the About page or something. Not like a sitewide footer statement.

Also, if you aren't using the API to dynamically update prices, you can't state the prices. You can do things like say "click here to see the price" or "click here to learn more" which actually might increase CTR, which is all you're looking for since its about dropping that cookie.

The other thing was not using pretty links or redirects with amazon. I read where they said you can't obstruct links so people aren't clear they are clickign over to amazon, and you can't make it so amazon doesn't know where the traffic is coming from. So no stuff like domain.com/out/amazon-product which redirects to the amazon link, and definitely no URL shortener redirects.

Good luck!
 

vinnypolston

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Great enthusiasm @lyannastark! It's obvious reading that you're already wise beyond your years. Looking forward to seeing you take this from scratch to being something really great!
 
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19!?? I thought you were older than me. :confused: Anyhow, I'm also ending my semester this week and then commit in my project as much as possible. So keep pushing and entertain us Lyanna, is only up to you to get the most of this boot camp :D
 

CCarter

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My official take:

There is a ton of potential with this project in terms of generating traffic. Even the end resulting site could become an authority. There is a huge amount of volume for this, while at the same time there lacks a major "BIG" community with it's own self-serving platform - none which I could find at least. What do I mean, there are sub-reddits here and there, and other communities based off of "community-websites", but there is no central big community. There are forums, but not as active as I hoped, maybe cause of the topic itself - tons of closed/behind doors communities as well - I've never seen this before but I know once they are pierced, traffic leaking becomes childs play.

Also, found something interesting, there was a potential affiliate program which also took bitcoin as a payment option - that tells me that at least that one affiliate program is up-to-date and attempting to reach audiences. Turning this site into an authority and then getting experts in the field onboard shouldn't be a problem for reverse guest-posting.

Topic has an emotional connection, already good sized communities around the topic - which you can one level removed traffic leak the site within their own community for the site. Topic has seriously good volume with no #1 contender for the #1 spot - in the minds of the consumer at least. This could be the WebMD of "XYZ".

There is even semi-viral aspects and topics which are possible, but I'll get more into details on that end with OP.

I actually sat here for over an hour looking at all the potential opportunities and lightbulbs were going off in my head left and right.
 

lyannastark

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Thanks for the analysis Carter. :smile: There's a tonne of work to be done and I can't wait to develop a real strategy and game plan with you and get right into it.
 

lyannastark

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On Site- Personal Analysis

1) Setup. I'm gonna be 100% honest here... I'm a complete and total n00b to page speed optimization. I practically had to Google every other word CCarter wrote. *facepalm* I am way in over my head here. A couple things I managed to understand and feel like I could do something about are:
1)Faster Hosting
2) Optimised Images.
*more facepalm*
That entire part about validating code sounded really awesome, but when I ran my home page through the validator I didn't know what the heck to do with the results. I don't know if I have the technical skills (or the time to learn them in time for the CC9) in order to properly run a flat file CMS or strip down a wordpress theme to the bare minimum. It's really unfortunate that I bought my current WP theme without taking into consideration its speed etc.
What do I do now? Do I completely scrap my old theme and buy a brand new one? Or is my current theme decent but needs a few tweaks?
Pingdom Results:

I know, I know.

RE: Hosting, what exactly should I look for in a good VPS? I know Carter recommended MaxCDN but he said you might as well just get a VPS for the price. I would probably just upgrade my plan to the HawkHost Standard VPS . Any recommendations? Or should I just go with a cheaper CDN?

I don't have too many images on my site YET, but I know it's gonna be an issue as the site becomes more image-heavy. I did try to compress some of my images, but I will go ahead and try to squeeze every sparable byte out of them while retaining quality.

2) Logo- I have a decent free logo I created with Graphic Springs. If anyone wants to know how I get GS logos for free, just PM me.

3) Contact Form- I do have the regular Contact Form 7, but I tried to spruce it up a bit by adding an image at the top. I can't use a map, so I improvised :tongue: Now for social media, my twitter has a little action and some real followers, but not targeted followers or anything like that. It has a profile and a banner. All of my social sites have banners/profile pages. These include: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube and Google Plus (had to create one to get the Youtube Channel). I'm going to buy a couple hundred followers for facebook, as well as schedule out some posts. I'm also excited to get started with youtube as well. Pinterest is pretty self explanatory as well, I'll probably get some followers for on there too as well start pinning images.

4) Disclaimer and Privacy Policy- all set.

5) Social Proofing. I'm guessing for this type of site, the main form of social proofing will be comments... user generated comments below each review/method to push buyers over the edge. I assume most people head to the comments to make their final buying decision on review aggregator sites anyway. At least that's what I do.

6) Microdata- I'm gonna look into it.

7) On-Site Search Engine- Search Meter Installed

8) FAQ- I have one, but I un-published it, because it's only a couple questions which are already answered on one of the main pages of my site. When I come up with more relevant, actually frequently asked questions and flesh it out a bit, I'll re-publish it.

9) Newbie Guides. My first couple of posts are Newbie Guides. I also believe Top 10 Lists could be effective in my niche. I'm gonna write/outsource a couple of top 10 lists and more newbie guides.

10) Content. I hope the content so far is engaging lol. But regarding videos, they are definitely in the pipeline.

12) Authority Logos- I'm not going to worry about authority logos for now, because I'm not actually selling anything yet.

13) Calls to Action- I have not even attempted monetizing the site yet. I guess I'm just scared I'll go and sabotage myself or do something stupid. /: I think I'm going to make a page dedicated to "THINGS THAT ARE PROVEN TO WORK RIGHT NOW" and add nice little product descriptions and link them to Amazon. Re: Email List, Currently setting up MailChimp and an Opt-In Form.

Well, there ya have it. Comments and ideas are welcome! :smile:
 
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CCarter

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1. You've got too many social plugins going on. I only like the sidebar stuff - Remove the twitter scrolling sidebar thingy, and remove all social media plugins. Comparing your site within Web Site Analyzer and Pingdom, first one registers 38 elements, Pingdome second registers 98 elements. What that tells me is 57 elements are loading with ajax, that's way too high. A quick glance in the code, I noticed it's mostly to do with social sharing - if that shit is built in, we're all in trouble.

To give you an example of what's going on, you are hitting:

adnxs.com
amazonaws.com
cloudfront.net
doubleclick.net
facebook.com
facebook.net
google.com
google-analytics.com
googleapis.com
googleusercontent.com
gstatics.com
iconarchive.com
pinterest.com
shareaholic.com
twimg.com
twitter.com
viglinks.com

^^ All at the same time from your homepage. And several of those hits are multiple hits, I only listed the main domain, there are different subdomains you are hitting - it's all that social plugin stuff. Remove everything regarding social except the sidebar, and deactivate all social plugins.

When it's time for social, I'll get you some non-invasive code that still does the exact same sharing options without pinging all those domains.


After that, try pingdom again.

--

1.1 Your hosting seems fine for now.

6. Don't bother.

8, 9, 10. Going to talk about this in the content section.

12. There is no 11 - but your site does not need these.

13. Call to action should be email sign up "for the community" for now.

Sidenote: You fixed the responsiveness, that thing was giving me a headache. There is still A LOT of work that needs to be done.
 

lyannastark

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Mini Update:

Pingdom Results after removing all Social Plugins:

Pretty big improvement.

Added Mailchimp to the site, but I'm not happy with it aesthetically... I'm gonna tinker with it a bit more.

Bought Fiverr Social Signals, waiting for them to come through now.

Today's my birthday! :smile: So I didn't do much work on the site today. Gonna carry on with the grind now though. Will reply with further updates soon.
 

lyannastark

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Okay I am back! I volunteer with the military and we got called up for training on Friday and I'm just getting settled back in. :smile:
1) Figured out an idea for an eBook. Want to get working on that this week. My last exam is tomorrow! (YAY) so I can literally throw myself into this. I predict I'll be holed up in my room like a hermit for the rest of the holidays :tongue:

2) Still waiting on the Social Signals. Canceled my Fiverr order and went with a dude on WickedFire. TAT is about 10 days so I'll continue to wait.

3) Thinking about creating Kinetic Typography videos for youtube. I'm gonna have to learn to use After Effects.
 

Andrewkar

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you can use visme for video presentations etc. It's very easy and it does great job. Sky is the limit. For 10 a month you can use pro version and create as many presentations as you like. Then you can use them on websites or upload to youtube (after recording it with camtasia or similar stuff, presentations are HTML5).
 

lyannastark

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Mini update!

Based on the advice of Carter, I've created a landing page. I used unbounce to do it. I can't really get detailed feedback here, but thought I'd still share. :smile: I have yet to figure out some CSS that Carter told me to implement. But I'm pretty determined to get it right. I'm also going to work on an infographic today. And I'll share when I'm done :smile:

 

lyannastark

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Hello BuSo! Been a while somce I updated... mainly because there wasnt any major updates other than doing homework, which i didnt feel was update-worthy. With all that said, I definitely slacked off over the holidays and i'm sure i could have done more. Anyway, that's over and it's time to get into the grind again. I had a talk with Carter and he's gonna help me come up with a definite gameplan for my site so I foresee alot more happening and big things coming up, in addition to working through the CC9 assignments. See you all soon!
 

lyannastark

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Lyanna is back, bitches. Okay I wasn't gone, but I was definitely quite dormant. After some back and forth working things out with Carter on Skype, and some inner monologue, I realized that I was going about this completely wrong. Being a part of the CC9 means that we have to follow instructions, but at the same time, its about what's best for YOUR project. Not every strategy is cut and dry for everyone. So I've completely overhauled my strategy and I'm gonna get this show on the road.

I'm going to copy and paste what I said to Carter. Maybe some other newbies can learn from my mistakes:

My brain’s gears have been turning and I realize I’ve been thinking about this all wrong. Any situation in which a person might be concerned about [redacted] is an opportunity for me to leak traffic. Dating/Romantic sites. Vacation/Travel Sites, Health and Fitness, Fashion (including weddings etc), even sports where people are [redacted]. I’ve been thinking about it from the strategy of finding an existing community, (for example [redacted]) when I should really be focusing on introducing people to the topic. People that have never heard of it in their lives but might be concerned due to them being self-conscious.
In my case, I can’t think in terms of exploiting an existing community, but creating one basically from scratch.
I think that’s what caused my mental block toward the niche. I kept thinking “omg theres no established community to leak”. I guess i gotta put my big girl pants on and go in at the deep end.

Yeah. Traffic Leaking is nothing like SEO. In the SEO space, you can find a relatively remote niche and watch the traffic roll in due to the search volume; all your readers/users are scattered all over and only united by Google. When traffic leaking, it's easier to mine the traffic from already established clusters of your target market. What do you do when there are no organized clusters?? You have to create one.

As a traffic leaker, we're taught about rustling jimmies by counteracting the herd mind of a cluster of traffic. For example, BuSo might troll an SEO subreddit and get tonnes of traffic.

I've concluded that there's only one way to do this. VOLUME. Tonnes of leaks everywhere imaginable. I need to create the herd. With that said. I'll report with the results of my leaks in a couple days. If I have anything worthy to update tomorrow, I will. but I'm giving myself a couple days. I'm going to work with the Calendar Schedule method Carter posted. I'm starting with a list of 50 leaking hubs. I want to increase that list over time but that's where I'm starting.

I also have 15 pieces of content scheduled to drip over the next couple weeks. I'm also, on the advice of Carter, ditching the Social Media thing for a while simply because it's easy to get caught up in it while not doing anything to really drive traffic.

EDIT: Going to Create a Subreddit for the niche. Tried to create one but I guess my account needs to age a bit first.
 
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lyannastark

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Update: Okay so my first traffic leak was not a complete failure, but I did fail. haha. Got a bunch of comments saying "omg I didn't know XXX had a name", "Thought I was the only one who had it" blah blah blah. Got a few clicks through but nothing to write home about. It happened that my Google Analytics decided to stop working, but I only realized a whole day afterwords when I saw no additional traffic. I then tested it cause I was like "This can't be!". So many comments and no clicks? Impossibru! Anyway, I then hurried and installed Clicky and lo and behold, clicks started registering.

For fun, I go back to Analytics and it suddenly also started registering traffic. /: So I may have gotten more traffic when my post was hotter, than was recorded. The actual numbers are quite pitiful but I'll just say low double digits. Just dropped a reddit. Will report how that goes! Also, going to start promoting my subreddit. @MetaData I know you currently have one. Any tips on promoting a subreddit?

Will soon post a screenshot of my calendar schedule for all the visual learners out there.
 

lyannastark

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Update! Reddit Traffic Leak went reasonably well! 1000+ visits. The reason I say it went well, is that it wasn't even a super controversial or polarizing leak, it was literally just an informative post telling people what it is.So I guess that means I completed one of the assignments :smile: For my next leak I'm going to be a bit more aggressive about it, and we'll see how it goes.

Screenshot:
 

CCarter

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When your in the trenches long enough, the hardwork and grind eventually pays off...

 
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