We are now 30 days into our case study sites! If you are new to our group or our site, you can find out more details about our official case studies right here. The two of us here at Digital Asset Builders (Mark and Jason) will be each coaching a person/couple in building their first digital business online.
Neither of the people we’ve picked to coach, have any type of online experience.
They’ve never written a blog post, never looked at WordPress and haven’t purchased domains. Everyone taking part in that experiment is a blank slate. Mark and I are also doing a case study of our own that will work alongside the people we are coaching.
Last month, we set the rules for the case study. This case study is over an 18 month timeline, and is a brand new site on a domain that’s never been owned. Nobody involved can spend more than $1,000 of their own money on the site each month. Each person is allowed to reinvest any and all profits the site earns, back into the development of the business.
First 30 Day Goals
The goals for the first 30 days were fairly straightforward. We still have time to complete all of these tasks since we are treating “June” as the first full 30 days of the case study. So we have 10 days left to go!
- Learn how to do Keyword Research with Ahrefs
- Perform Keyword Research (Plan the first 30-90 days of content)
- Purchase domain
- Start with logo design
- Prioritize first 12 articles
- Produce first 12 articles by end of June (self-written or purchased)
It’s important to note a couple of things. We want 12 articles produced in month one. Since all 3 teams needed the first two weeks to conduct keyword research and plan out the site, this month is going to be tight! This means that all three teams will likely need to order content this month while staying within budget.
Next month will be a little easier with initial keyword research done, and each team may be able to reduce costs and write content on their own. Or they may accelerate growth by writing on their own AND using their budget to add content.
By months 3-4, we will be looking for dedicated writers for each site. This will allow us to establish more specialty personas on the sites, and hopefully reduce content costs.
Trent & Necole Update
In the last 30 days we have had the opportunity to learn more about digital asset building than we could have ever imagined.
Our number one key learning this month is gaining an understanding of the sheer magnitude of planning, research, data mining and time that is required in order to successfully build a revenue generating site from the ground up.
Keyword Research & More
With that said, we have had such a vast education in such a short time it is difficult to list it all! Below are our key learnings and accomplishments over the past 30 days:
1) Learned the value and importance of thorough and accurate research
- In depth learning of Ahrefs and how to use it
- Taught how to analyze key data points such as Keyword Difficulty, Volume, Traffic, DR etc,
- Defined strategy for initial content based on analysis of data and research
- Aggregated large inventory of key words and defined content for first four pillar articles
2) Domain Name and Brand
- Researched different domain names
- Made sure our domain is something very brandable
- Registered our domain with Namecheap
3) Content Development
- Have written first Pillar article of 5,000 + words
- Supporting Articles for first Pillar currently in progress
4) Other key learnings
- Learned Foundational Techniques, SEO Terms, and Tools
- Learned to use Ahrefs efficiently
- Learned how to competitor research
- We made it official – created our LLC!
Working with Jason
Jason has gone above and beyond from a coaching standpoint. He is an incredibly knowledgeable and supportive coach who has been endlessly available and responsive to our multitude of questions despite his busy schedule. We are truly humbled and grateful for the opportunity to learn from the best (sorry Mark we know we are a little biased)!
Jason has organized our learning technique, approach, and progress into weekly goals with actionable tasks. This has allowed us to gain momentum with our site build while beginning to learn and master the core concepts of building a digital asset without feeling overwhelmed.
We look forward to all that will be accomplished over the next 30 days!
Over the last 30 days we’ve focused on keyword research in order to map out my first 80-100 articles.
We started by working out the rough structure for the website, including the angle we decided it’s best to take to approach this niche. Then back to a ton more competitor research, however it was way more targeted than the research we did to select the niche, aiming specifically at sites taking the angle I am.
Once I had a healthy list, we used the list of sites to start zeroing in on some ‘easy to rank for’ keywords.
Mark’s been teaching me how to figure out if I can rank for a keyword fairly early on in the process. It’s been a pretty steep learning curve to find it’s not quite as black and white as some ‘SEO gurus’ make out in some stuff I’ve read online, and there are few absolute rules. Instead, it is full of nuances, so I feel as though it’s a mindset that I’ll have to develop over time.
We recently discovered that the way we had hoped to approach info content creation might not be as simple as we first thought. Instead, we’re having to explore a different approach and hopefully a way to create some original content which if I’m lucky might get some of the great traffic I’ve seen other sites getting.
Working with Mark
Mark’s coaching has been good, not sure where he finds the time between all the cooking and drinking (and working)!
We generally chat a lot in instant messages, so I get support quickly whenever I need it. We’ve had a couple of longer sessions but could definitely do with more. I figure it might be a more efficient way for both of us to work as I should be able to go away and get more done before I need to bug him, although probably not.
I needed to wait on Mark for a few days last month to build a new tool in excel to simplify keyword research. After using them, these macros have saved me a TON of time when it comes to simplifying topic selection and keyword research. I’m certain they saved me far more time than I spent waiting on Mark to get them finished!
Mark & Jason Update
Nathan, Trent & Necole all have a head start on Mark and I. Both Mark and I have other sites we run, which puts us at a slight disadvantage on time. So both Mark and I have to be very committed to how we structure our time. Especially allotting time to coach and answer questions.
Finding our domain was actually pretty easy.
It only took us a couple hours of going back and forth to pick our domain name. This was probably a record for both of us. We are both notorious for spending more time than we should picking the right brand name, but we got lucky and locked this down early.
Mark and I both did a brief “once over” on keyword research looking at our competitors to see which keywords and topics looked the least competitive. Once that was complete, we used Mark’s macros to extract more data around our base set of keywords to find those that appear to be something we could rank for within the next 6 months.
Since we have the same budgetary constraints as our mentees, Mark and I will be each ordering 6 articles or so per month. We likely won’t have a decent looking site until the end of month 2, since we are both focused on building out separate categories that cover different topics.
We just finalized our list of keywords this week, and our initial content order is being placed today. We are both hopeful we can get a good chunk of our content back before the end of the month using WordAgents to fulfill our content needs for this first round.
Goals For Next 30 Days on All Sites
The next 30 days is going to be a whirlwind. We have a lot planned before the end of July. Once August comes around, it will be more about adding content and growth. Here’s what we hope to accomplish in July.
- Logo complete
- Setup website and install WordPress
- Install necessary plugins
- Register social profiles (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube)
- Basic website design (nothing fancy)
- Learning on-page SEO basics & article setup
- Proper interlinking for first articles
- Proper external linking for first articles
We will have another update 30 days from now with more progress! Nathan, Trent, Necole are all moving along quite well and I’m excited for their progress!
Let’s hope that Mark and I can keep up!