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I will show you everything but my password! This site is dedicated to providing you USEFUL posts on how to build profitable authority sites. I share the systems I have setup to produce great content and properly use expired domains and private blog networks to rank quality sites.

2 Employee Thefts – Over 6 Figures – How to Prevent

Well it has been a weird few weeks here!

I am going to share some personal painful stories here…

Two businesses (not adbank) have both had issues of employee theft which is a first for my business! We are not talking hundreds of dollars but over 6 figures!

I won’t get into the exact details but one is solved and one is in the process of being solved.

The key anytime we have a major f-up in our business is to dig in and understand why it was allowed to occur, if the risk of it occurring again is worth putting in stronger systems.

This article will cover the 2 scenarios the systems that were in place and why they failed plus the 5 keys everyone should do if they have any team members with access to hurting your business financially.

Swiss Cheese Model for Losses:

One of the ways I like to think about the risk mitigation systems inside my business is the Hazards – Losses path through multiple layers of swiss cheese. No system can be completely bulletproof but the idea is if all layers are in place and working the probability of all holes lining up is very low.

Failure 1: Speed vs Control Accepted Risk

An employee wired himself funds, oversight was not in place fast enough.

There were 3 layers of mitigation

  • Mitigation #1 – Trusted employee & controlled access
    • Never a sufficient mitigation on its own!
  • Mitigation #2 – Accountant monitoring monthly numbers
    • The accountant was unfortunately months behind not revealing the problem.
  • Mitigation #3 – Bookkeeper/Controller onboarded
    • The controller for the business was not up to speed fast enough leaving a window of time where things would go undetected.

In the end we were not pushing the pace fast enough on the 2 financial oversight systems resulting in a window for theft to occur.

Although this was the far larger of the 2 thefts it is one where no major systems upgrades are needed as there was some acceptance of risk due to prioritization and low probability of someone repeating with the systems that were too slow to get in place now in place.

  • Note – All funds from this theft have been recovered + consideration for time/fees.

Failure 2: Execution

Although the dollar amount is smaller than failure/theft #1 this one has me much more upset.

This was a known risk we had put many barriers against but the systems all failed in the same way to allow this to occur.

  • Mitigation #1 – Trusted long term team member & controlled access
    • Clearly this is not enough to rely on blindly! This employee has been with me for YEARS and involved on multiple projects.
  • Mitigation #2 – Daily Revenue and Expense Monitoring – Temporarily Not Active
    • During this time we had taken a break from the daily expense tracking due to workload in other areas
  • Mitigation #3 – Weekly unit economics review – Didn’t Validate
    • This one is frustrating as this practise was created with the intent of being able to quickly detect any issue however the theft was paired with forged numbers that were not validated. Human error on compliance to the process for validation of the numbers was the reason this mitigation failed.
  • Mitigation #4 – Monthly PnL statements and review – Not setup on new system
    • We have been in the process of upgrading our proper monthly PnL and as a result were not in a position to review them. Getting these completed slipped down the priority list and as a result allowed this issue to continue.

Note – All funds have not been recovered, the length we will go to will be unreasonable 🙂

 

5 Steps to Take:

  • Financial Risk & Access Control Matrix
      1. There are a lot of potential attack vectors. Having an organized control list of all the places that someone could impact you financially and then understanding who currently has access is key. There are the obvious locations like bank account, paypal but then you also need to think about the revenue sources Amazon Account, AdSense account etc. Plus, don’t forget places where funds could be improperly sent from Fiverr, UpWork etc. Don’t forget your websites that make the money, swapping out an affiliate link on a few pages can be another source of theft that is harder to detect.
  • Agreements Updated
      1. Ensuring compensation agreements are in writing is key to ensure there can be no debate about the amount of funds received.
  • Have Contact Information Handy
    1. For anyone with access to money you should have accurate information on them including name, ID, phone number, address etc.
  1. Proper Login & Password Management
    1. Managing logins for a team is a daunting task! 1Password and LastPass are the tools we use for a couple different projects. The key is to be able to quickly turn on/off access while controlling the ability to provide access through either the tool as a user (with the login still in the password management system) or shared access via a password management system. Strong random never reused passwords and 2FA activated whenever possible goes beyond just internal theft but is one of the most basic steps to avoiding theft from hackers.

Conclusion:

I hope you haven’t experienced any issues like these. My hope is sharing these unfortunate events and what I have learned will be helpful in preventing future problems for you or if problems do occur arming you with what you need to resolve quickly.

 

Please share any other suggestions on how to help protect your business!

4 Hacks to Scaling an Online Service Business

Over the last few weeks I have gotten quite a few emails asking me how my other businesses are going due to the fact that my attention has been focused on my adbank.network project. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out my “long overdue update”- you can that hereWell, I thought that this would be a really great opportunity to shed some light on how we’ve managed to keep some of the other businesses going strong without a whole lot of involvement on my end. This blog post is going to be about the success of Content Refined which has scaled consistently over the last year and a half and is a solid business on its own.

Madeleine Taylor, the Co-Founder with me at Content Refined shared some useful hacks at a conference a few weeks ago, so in this blog post I want to go over those hacks with you and share some of the valuable lessons my team and I have learned about growing service businesses online.

The 4 hacks that we’re going to talk about are the following:

1- The Importance of building your teams properly and managing them effectively

2- The Importance of recruiting the RIGHT management team to run your business

3- The importance of proceduralizing your business to optimize output

4- The importance of collecting and creating data to prove the value of your product to your audience

If you do these 4 things consistently and effectively, your business will be Solid and Scalable

Hack #1: The Importance of building your teams properly and managing them effectively

Back in November 2016, when we launched Content Refined, we started with 3 beta clients. One manager- which was Madeleine, one writer, and one VA.  Our criteria for hiring our freelancers was:

1- Are they the cheapest rate I can find?  

2- Do they have good reviews?

3- Have they done it before?

Our very first hire was a writer that we found on upwork for 10$ per article. We had our first client- they were a beta client . The very first article the writer wrote for us- she absolutely knocked it out of the park and we thought- wow this is going to be super easy! Client #2 – we used the same writer. This time it’s a train wreck. Madeleine had to rewrite the entire article herself. Actually, she had to submit 3 times before it was suitable for the client. At this point we’re wondering if this is just a one time fluke or if we had a real problem on our hands. Client # 3- This time we get the copy back and we’re a lot closer to what we had received for client #1. We were super stoked. Problem solved. UNTIL it was checked it for plagiarism and it scored almost 80% exact copy from another online article.

So what’s are our overall takeaways?

#1 Freelance contractors are all over the map. – Some are good, some are bad and some are criminal

#2 Doing this by trial and error is an error!!!

#3 We better put some systems in place or Content Refined isn’t going to last very long

 

And so that’s what we did and here’s what we came up with:

We created a system where we hired about 5 writers at a time, tested them out over several weeks and then fired the bottom of the talent pool. Now we kept doing this over and over again and put systems in place where we were culling the good from the bad at all times. So what was the result? The bottom 10% would ALWAYS get sifted out and that was our very first SOP. How to cull the talent so that we got consistency and quality from our freelancers. This is still an SOP we use with every hire! On a monthly basis, we let go of the bottom 10% of our performing freelancers. This is how you build and manage effective teams out of contractors who possess skills that are not unique to THEM. Don’t waste your time on flaky contractors- they are the worker bees of your company and they are replaceable. Building systems that will save you MANAGEMENT time is crucial to the success of your business or else you’re going to constantly get bogged down with managing people who are always going to have some sort of BS excuse as to why their stuff wasn’t submitted on time.

Takeaways from Hack #1:

  1. Create systems that are going to help guide your management decisions
  2. Build your teams according to these systems
  3. This will save you so much management time!
  4. Result= you will be able to scale your teams quickly with strong talent

Hack #2: The Importance of recruiting the RIGHT management team to run your business

So- At this point, we’ve got a nice system in place and we’re scaling up- but here comes our big problem #2- Madeleine’s time has now been extended to a point where the customer service is suffering. In other words- she’s pulling some really long hours and still not getting everything done. So what do we need to do? We need to hire our first Project Manager to help with clients. Unlike hiring a bunch of freelancers, this is the first permanent employee of Content Refined. Now you might be thinking that it was probably time to create SOP #2- but no, we didn’t.  Instead of creating an SOP, we created an interview methodology for the things that we wanted to learn about our potential candidate so that we would feel comfortable working with them. Unlike the freelancer -who essentially works for the client, this hire works for us. They’re representing our brand and making big decisions on our behalf. The idea behind the methodology is that if you don’t get to know someone on a human level, especially when you’re working with remote teams, you’re not going to be able to make informed decisions about WHO you’re hiring. So my recommendation is to take this very seriously when it comes to permanent staff and get to know your candidates really well. If you do this and empower the right people, you’re going to build impactful teams within your organization. So this is how we proceed with Management hires. These hires are treated differently than freelancers and we take a really long time getting to know the character of people since we need to place so much trust in them. The benefit of making this hire early is that you’re going to be able to increase production capacity which will allow you to scale your business.

Takeaways from Hack #2:

  1. Empower others to make decisions that would otherwise take up your time
  2. You will build trusting relationships with your core staff
  3. This will allow you to focus on other things that will push your business forward

Hack #3: The importance of proceduralizing your business to optimize output

So,  now we had a nice operational fulfillment side of the business with a team in place and so this is when we ran into problem #3. How does Madeleine shift her responsibilities and start working ON the business rather than IN the business?  She felt like we were at a major turning point in the business and we needed to take a step back and really take a look at where this organization was going to go- so at this point, we sat down and created an org chart of the business  with the idea that many of the roles would be delegated to Madeleine, and other roles on the org chart would be filled later down the line. This gave us a solid framework and an idea of what staff we needed to hire next. The good thing is, we had a business and had real revenue but needed to see and understand where this business was going to be 6 months- 1 year – 5 years down the line. By the way at this point we were at 7 months since launch and we were at about 25k in Monthly Recurring revenue.

Now we’ve got our org chart and Madeleine’s name is splattered all over it which is normal for entrepreneurial businesses so don’t freak out if this is your reality too. But In addition to that, throughout the entire the build of the business we’d been writing SOP’s like crazy. In fact at this point in time we had created 42 SOP’s. We are of the opinion that there is absolutely no way we could have been successful if we had not done that. Every time a new situation arises in your business- you need to write an SOP about it. If you don’t do that- then every time you do something you’ll be creating a new procedure and you will stunt the scalability of your business. With that being said, these SOP’s are organic living documents and need to be reviewed and updated all the time. If your SOP’s aren’t getting better over time, then your business isn’t either and that’s a problem. So with this in mind, we plugged all of the SOP’s that we’d created into our org chart, to expose fundamental structural gaps in my company. SOP’s- just like the plans that you would use to build a home- are the glue that are going to hold your company together.

The simple task of getting to plugging in SOP’s and missing SOP’s for the business allowed us to take the business to the next Level!  

 

Takeaways from hack #3:

  1. Make sure you’re creating really great SOP’s all the time (every time you do anything for your business)
  2. This leads to consistency throughout your organization
  3. Create org charts to help you plan out the next steps of your business
  4. This will give you clarity on task delegation and future hires!

 

Hack #4: The importance of collecting and creating data to prove the value of your product to your audience

Okay so now we have the business set up- we’ve got several teams in place, our org chart, our procedures- but our business CANNOT scale unless we ’re getting new clients in the door and keeping them around! So think about it for your business. For Content Refined, the 3 most important things our clients want to see are:

#1- Quality Content

#2- Increased traffic to their website

#3 Return on Investment

So what did we do with this information? We started putting processes in place that would give our clients what they wanted so that they would have no reason to leave. We even took it one step further with this and we started collecting and creating data to prove the value of our content marketing service to our clients. We created a SCIENCE around content marketing so that we could point to some TANGIBLE data and say

  • This is quality content because of X, Y and Z
  • Because of the quality of our content- look at your increased rankings
  • And because of your increased rankings,this is your return on investment

 

Now in order to make this work we actually had to be legitimate! So we did a lot of work and used the DATA with the help of a whole bunch of different off the shelf tools to create data analytics. If your IDEAL CLIENT requires data analytics- then you need to be prepared to provide those. So if you’re wondering what I’m talking about and want the details, take a look at the posts we wrote last summer about these studies:

https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/new-ranking-data-to-help-your-site-rank/

https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/best-kw-research-tool-keyword-competitiveness/

https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/rank-content-in-google-with-certainty/

https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/rank-in-google-with-certainty-updated/

So these case studies were designed to prove that we had a formula around our content creation process that would rank your content with certainty. We compiled a year’s worth of content marketing data from our clients’ projects and analyzed it against several keyword research tools and content optimization tools. We then had that data analysis reviewed by a contractor that has a Master of Science in Statistics from Texas A&M University. The results showed which tools are most effective in determining the probability of ranking, and what measures you can take to improve the quality of your content.

1- Competitive Keywords Matter!

2- Content Quality Matters!

3- Word Count

4- Show some success stories.

It doesn’t matter what business you have- get creative and find ways to show your ideal client that you’ve SOLVED their problem!!

Takeaways for hack #4:

  1. If you collect and create data analytics and use them to your advantage, you’re going to be able to give your clients what they want
  2. This will help you with your client retention
  3. Data-driven decisions will help you build legitimacy around your business
  4. Results= faithful clients, legitimacy, case studies and increased sales

So since we’ve built out our businesses this way, I have been able to step away and focus on other projects such as adbank.network, without it impacting our bottom line in a negative way! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!

 

How to Create an Epic Product Review

After many years of getting content created, I have had my team work on getting a great outline on what we expect in our review articles when we send them to our writers. There are many ways that you can create the articles, however, this format is one that I use with my sites as it’s one I see that has had great results in both ranking and click through rate.

The following steps will outline a more in-depth the process of creating a stellar review and getting the results you would expect from including them on your website and other online platforms:

Choosing a Niche and Keyword Research

Clients that approach us already know their niche and what products and topics their website and business will be focused on; however, they may have not already completed the keyword research that is needed to come up with the right titles and reviews for their websites.

When choosing which product to review, it is important to fully understand the niche that you will be covering. Keyword research will help to streamline search engine optimization (SEO) and bring in more targeted results, which, in turn, generate improved profits.

Keyword research helps to build up a list of relevant and important topics for the niche. When using a keyword research tool or program, it is likely that you will be presented with an extensive selection of potential keywords that could lead to generating increased traffic and sales. However, you want to narrow down this massive list to a select few keywords that are highly targeted to the particular niche to be presented. It is these keywords that will provide more inherent value for the website and drive more traffic to your website.

When narrowing down the list of keywords, you need to determine how competitive the niche keyword phrases are and narrow down the intended audience; this can be done based on the client or audience and the location in which they feel is more relevant for their rankings.

Once the list has been narrowed down, it can then be customized to more specific metrics. Keywords we select will have over 500 monthly searches and are under 30% competition. The keywords used should be able to generate more sales and should be optimized to rank higher in searches. This is an effective way to determine which products are most the in-demand and the best to be reviewing. If you are looking for some great keyword research tools to help with this process, please read our in-depth review that we did here.

Choosing the Products to Review

Once the keywords are acquired, there will be a greater idea of what products will need to be reviewed. Once the title has been generated, it is then the time to conduct some thorough research online to discover some of the best coffee makers there are currently available.

Amazon, for example, has countless assorted products to choose from and they already include a lot of the relevant information that will be needed to complete the article. However, it is never recommended to write a review based solely on the information provided on the Amazon link.

Instead, do some research, check other reputable sites, including the manufacturer’s sites, to acquire additional information that may prove to be useful in the product review article.

It is best to limit your reviews to the products that have received the most reviews and most stars. It is easier to find information for these products as well as user-generated testimonials highlighting the specific pros and cons of each—remember that very few products are perfect for everyone.

All the information gathered through the research process will then help create a more convincing, compelling, and accurate review with trusted and reliable information the reader can count on when making a final purchasing decision.

Hiring a Writer

Once you have determined the niche, the keywords, and the title for the review, it is time to find a writer that is up to the task of completing the article. If you missed my article on the best places to hire writers, you can find that here. Take into consideration the type of review that will be written, the purpose the review will serve, and what you want the review to ultimately accomplish.

For the example article of the Best Drip Coffeemakers for At Home Brewing, we are looking for a knowledgeable writer who understands the importance of keyword use and SEO and will be able to research a product thoroughly to dissect its value and key features. The review should be compelling and able to better position the website to be higher up on the go-to list of similar niche websites and it should also attract and entice visitors to visit the page, click on the links, and discover other products and services that the website has to offer.

Providing a Template

Providing the writer with a template is a good starting point for the article process so they are sure to touch on each element that is needed to create a well-rounded and complete review article. You can review the template we send to our writers here. For our coffeemaker review, we want to make sure to include all relevant information including the price range, key features of the product, and any pros and cons that there may be. The content should also be in a readable format that is easy to skim.

Download the Template We Send to Our Writers!

Long paragraphs will most likely be skipped over by a reader. Rather, smaller paragraphs, tables, and bullet points with appropriate headings and subheadings are an easier and more straightforward way to complete an article. It provides an easy-to-read format that can be quickly read by the potential customer and provides a clear and valuable comparison of each product that they can keep going back to without having to search within a wall of text for the information.

The following is an example of a good template to follow when completing a review article. It includes a breakdown of each section that should be included and provides an easy to read format and layout that will appeal to a reader interested in the product.

Example Template

Provide a Brief Introduction

As with traditional-style newspapers, the introduction should immediately grab the reader’s attention so they continue to read—headlines sell. The tone should be more conversational, as if you were talking to a friend, and provide valuable information that answers the initial question of the article. For the coffee maker reviews, we are looking for the best coffee makers for home brewing and we are using the article to present this information in a meaningful and valuable way.

  • Begin by creating a connection with the readers
  • Show understanding of the problem
  • Provide a viable solution

Introduce the Product

Next, you will be introducing the products. For this review article, we provided a link, image, and relevant information of the product in the beginning so the reader knows exactly what was being discussed. We then go on to discuss a few more elements including:

  • Who makes this product
  • Use bullet points to discuss the key features
  • Explain the purpose of the product
  • Share any pros or cons associated with the product

Describe the Results

In the first paragraph of each reviewed product, it is recommended to describe the product in detail and describe the results you will achieve from using the product. The paragraph should be short but include all relevant information pertaining to the product that you may not be able to find just through the key features and pros and cons.

Testimonials

Testimonials will typically include the pros and cons of the product and why the user would or would not recommend the product. However, it is best not to be too negative and instead provide a solution to a con or a feature that may help overcome this small downfall.

A helpful review will generally include a small list of pros and cons that include three to five bullet points each.

The following is a representation of how the customer reviews are displayed on Amazon. It provides a mix of one to 5-star feedback that can be used to better determine the product’s pros and cons. It can be used in addition to other research from other reliable sources.

Buying Advice

Buying advice can be included following the product reviews or at the beginning to accompany the introduction. If it is placed at the beginning, then the reader will have a better idea of what they should be looking for regarding the products. Likewise, if it is placed at the end, it will provide a refresher and a reminder of what they already read.

Conclusion

For the conclusion, you should write one to two final paragraphs that summarize the content of the product review article.

The summary should be a brief retelling of what was discussed and explain why the review article will help make buying decisions easier. Finally, the second concluding paragraph can include a recommendation section in which a product is recommended based on the reviews.

Other Relevant Information

As you can see from the example article, the format includes the introduction and buying advice, the introduction of each product including relevant information, the name, and the link where it can be found along with general and useful information. We then go into the bullet points of key features and then the pros and cons that can be expected from each product.

The format is repeated for each of the products being reviewed. A good review article will provide between three and five different product reviews to provide the reader with a plethora of information to help with their purchasing decision

A Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a brief statement at the end of a product review article that engages the reader and invites them to do something. Key phrases can be used for this including:

  • Find out More
  • Visit our site today
  • Contact us for more information
  • Click here for more buying options

The CTA will entice the reader to engage in a specific action as directed by the writer of the content and will make a compelling and creative addition to your content. Keep in mind the placement, the design, and the copy of what the CTA says.

There doesn’t have to be only one CTA per article. They can be strategically placed within the article to persuade the reader to continue for more information. In review articles, for example, you can include a “Click Here” CTA that will lead the reader to other information about the product or will provide them with the link they can use to purchase the product that is being discussed.

The design of the CTA should be appealing to the reader and can even be colorful to draw their attention to it. Finally, it should be noticeable on the page and stand apart from the other text.

The text of the CTA should be brief, straightforward, clearly written, and concise. Do not be afraid to be bold and compelling here; you want results and improved sales on the products you are marketing. Make the CTA stand out and serve its purpose.

Receiving the Completed Article

Once the writer completes the article and sends it back for review, the content can be edited and then upgraded, if needed, using MarketMuse.

MarketMuse is a content planning tool that helps content marketers and content creators maximize the value of the articles they are writing. The article is pasted into the box, the keywords are typed in and the title is included. Once all this information is entered, the content is analyzed to see what changes or improvements need to be made and offers ways in which the content can be upgraded to make it a more thorough and informative piece that will do better in searches.

MarketMuse offers three scores for the content. Under Content Analyzer, you will see the Content Depth Score, Average Content Score Target, and Best Content Score Target. Next to that information, you will find the approximate word count of the content, the average word count target, and the best word count target.

The Content Score will stack the content we have provided against other content that includes related information and will then be able to identify and provide topics that will be the most relevant to the page for the site and the competitors.

It will also be able to show how similar content ranks on search engines and the average word count and content score the other sites have generated. It provides a foundation on which can be built and improved on to produce higher quality content.

Steps to Improve Content on MarketMuse

  1. Enter the focus topic for the content

For this review article, we were targeted in on coffeemakers so that is what I will put in the space provided

  1. Next, enter the title of the article you will be analyzing

Best Coffee Makers for At Home Brewing

  1. Paste the content of your article in its entirety in the space provided under the Content Window
  2. Click on Analyze next to the focus topic box on the top right
  3. Wait for the information to generate including all scores, related topics, mentions, target, and competitor information
  4. Finally, use this information to plug in changes to improve the article and its content score. You can simulate the change to the score under the related topics box by clicking on the blue box with the + symbol next to the related topics
  5. For even more ideas on what you can include to improve the score, click on the lightbulb image, and it will provide you with several other keywords. Keep in mind, however, that some of them may not actually be related to the content you are creating, they are just offering suggestions
  6. Complete the article and the improvements and analyze the content one last time to be sure that your score is above and beyond the Best Content Score Target

How to Publish the Article

  • After the article has been written, edited, and plugged for improvements, it is now time to begin the publishing process. To publish the content to the client’s site, you will have to have access to their login information. Once you are able to sign in, you will then see the Dashboard.

  • Once into the dashboard, hover over the Posts icon and then click Add New to input the new article that will be published.

  • After clicking Add New, you can then upload the post. The Post Title or Post Heading should also be added in the red marked area and then you can place the content.

  • The heading options will then be provided so you can select the proper heading to use for the content and then follow up by clicking on Paragraph as you can see in the example below.

  • During the publishing process, you are also able to edit the content, add all appropriate headings and subheadings, include images or media, and then input all the SEO Information as shown below:

  • Next, choose the appropriate category for the post, add any relevant tags, and the featured image
  • Finally, you can post the content as Draft by clicking on Save Draft or you can go ahead and publish the post right away after review by uploading the post as Publish by clicking on the Publish Button. You will then be able to view the post to see what the final product looks like after it is published.

Choosing Images

Knowing what kind of images to include and where to get them from can pose a challenge. When looking for images, make sure that they are relevant to the content you are publishing are of superior quality, original, and will appeal to your target audience.

The images for a product review will be of the actual products so the reader will have a better idea of the style and look of the product they are about to purchase. In the case of our Coffeemaker review, other relevant images could include a cup of coffee, a travel mug of coffee, or anything related to the at-home brewing process.

Avoid lower quality images that cannot be correctly sized or appear too blurry. These types of images can actually detract from the quality of the writing. High-resolution images are best and will make an impressive and professional appearance on the site.

Just as you would include a CTA at the end of the product review, the images should also invite a call to action. The image of a steaming cup of coffee may be enough to inspire the reader to crave that cup of coffee, making it more likely that they will read on to learn about the coffeemaker options they can purchase for their own home.

Conclusion

Writing a compelling and informative product review article, while time-consuming, can lead to greater success online in terms of attracting the target market, improving search engine results, and increasing sales generation and traffic.

Hopefully, this article helped highlight the various steps involved in the process from start to finish.

It is never advisable to underestimate the results that can be achieved by writing a detailed product review article. Even statistically speaking, a consumer is less likely to purchase a product if they are unable to read reviews on the item. Reviews are especially practical for online and other web-based sources because the consumer cannot try the product before purchasing. They are relying solely on the information being provided and the reviews.

Readers will look first at the product ratings for various items and will most likely ignore any products that are rated below three stars. They will then click on the product with the higher ratings to learn more about it and then begin to compare the available reviews.

Therefore, a product review article definitely is an essential tool to include in your arsenal when it comes to improving sales, generating traffic, and seeing continued success within your niche.

If there anything you think I missed that should be included in the review post I would love to hear about it!

The Value of Content Upgrades

Most posts on the internet teach you how to create articles, but none really tell you how to take an existing article and turn it into a top ranking article on that topic. We have worked over the last few year to bring you this tutorial by running different tools and monitoring the success and the outcome from those tools. Today we will show you the tools that we believe are the best (and the ones our team uses) in order to get the most predictable outcome.

When we create sites and get content created we never really think too much about going back and fixing or changing the articles. We let it sit and hope it ranks well. Over the last few months, I have had my team at ContentRefined take some older sites, run it through MarketMuse, adjust the content and see how it does. The results have been great! I have found that sometimes if you have an article that’s not really moving in rankings, you add a bit more content and input some of the words Marketmuse suggests, you should be able to find your rankings improve over the next few weeks.

As always, whenever I find something really good, I love to share it with my audience so that they know how to do it too.

How Do We Do Content Upgrades?

There are several tools available that can help successfully upgrade content and provide more valuable and in-depth information. MarketMuse is one viable tool that is easy to use and provides you with a starting off point for what needs to be done.

Steps for Using MarketMuse

Step One: Sign into your MarketMuse account with your credentials and you will then be taken to the dashboard where you will see the Content Analyzer tab.

Step Two: Find the article that needs to be upgraded and copy and paste it into the box labeled Content. Type in the title of the article and then go above that and type in the focus for the content that MarketMuse will be analyzing.

When finished, click Analyze so that it can generate your results. The results will show several factors including the Content Depth Score, the Average Content Score Target, and the Best Content Score Target.

It is important that after the content upgrade, it is far beyond the Best Content Score Target. Otherwise more work will need to be done to get it to the place it needs to be for better results.

  • Remember, you are most likely going to have to increase the word count of the existing article to be sure that it is on the level it needs to be to compete with the other sites.

Step Three: Review the results and then thoroughly read the article from beginning to end. Pay attention to the quality of the writing, how valuable the information contained in the article is, and then look for basic grammar, sentence structure, and word choice.

  • The right-hand side of the report offers you related topics and keywords that you can plug into the article to improve the score. It also shows how many times that particular keyword was mentioned in the article.

Do not use keywords as fillers or try to place them where they do not belong. The keywords being used should make sense, fall into line with the article, and not clutter it up with unnecessary words and filler.

Step Four: After filling in some relevant keywords as described above, you can then begin to take a closer look at missing words and missing subjects. You will be able to see if there are any relevant topics or information that should be included that the previous writer of the article may have left out.

Step Five: Begin adding to the word count by covering the missing topics. Even adding just a small paragraph with four sentences to discuss a missing subject can help raise the content score of the article.

Step Six: Run the article through MarketMuse one more time to see what your revised score is after making all the edits, improvements, and additions, and you are ready to send it off.

MarketMuse is just one useful tool that can successfully help you upgrade the article. Another useful tool when working on content upgrades is Cognitive SEO.

REMEMBER – This isn’t about stuffing keywords but about adding valuable/useful topics to the article to help it meet the searchers intent.

What is CognitiveSEO?

CognitiveSEO is another online tool that is designed to help people manage their SEO programs and it has an easy to use and well-designed interface.

Much like MarketMuse, Cognitive SEO will also analyze the content and track the site when comparing it to competitors. It will help provide you with a better idea on why your website and content may not be ranking as high as it should be and why your competitors are rising above you in the ranks.

How to Use CognitiveSEO

CognitiveSEO will be able to provide you with the SEO tools you need to help improve and increase your traffic.

Step One: To get started, you will first need to sign in with the proper credentials on the sign in screen.

Step Two: Open the Keyword Tool and Content Assistant and then copy a keyword you have on your spreadsheet and paste it into the keyword tool and content assistant.

Step Three: You will then copy CognitiveSEO Keyword Difficulty and the Average Content Performance to a Google sheet. Then open the article URL in the first column of your Google sheet and copy the title to the title bar and then copy the article content and click Check Score.

Step Four: You are then able to copy the metrics that CognitiveSEO provides you back to your Google spreadsheet and then repeat the steps for the other keywords until you have eliminated all of your Check Score credits.

MarketMuse Versus CognitiveSEO

Each one of these useful tools provide you with what you need to upgrade an article so it rises in the ranks and does better than previously. Each program has different offerings to help with the process and it is up to the user to decide which one is more beneficial for what they are trying to accomplish.

MarketMuse and CognitiveSEO both offer insights into potential improvements that should be made. MarketMuse ranks high when it comes to ease of use, customer support, and overall cost.

MarketMuse helps the user improve search engine rankings with more on-site effort than it does with link building.

MarketMuse also utilizes an easy to read scoring system. When scoring content, it will provide a different color to share with the user regarding the score. Red is bad, yellow is okay but offers room for further improvement, and green is good and is aimed at raising the score as high as it can possibly get without using invaluable or filler content.

It also offers several related topics and keywords that you can use to add content to the article. This can be achieved by adding keywords into the current article and also by adding in an additional content section to cover a keyword or topic that had been missed previously.

CognitiveSEO is another tool that is useful in upgrading content. However, it is not strong when it comes to keyword research. Instead, they are more focused on link building that will help enhance the overall value of the site.

CognitiveSEO offers a wide range of backlink analysis tools to help with link building and the interface was designed to be easy to use. They also offer different SEO management tools to help track the current campaign and any progress that is being made.

CognitiveSEO is also helpful when it comes to tracking your competition and managing the smaller and more delicate details of SEO.

Therefore, you must decide if you want to focus more on keyword research while upgrading your content or would you find increased success if the focus shifted more toward creating stronger backlink tracking and analysis.

Case Study

As usual, we don’t suggest things without testing the results ourselves first. We had a site that was doing pretty good with traffic and was sitting on the second page/bottom of first page for a lot of quality keywords. So instead of getting a new article creating towards that keyword, we already took an article that was working and ranking well and just improved the content. We were then able to get many of those keywords into the top 3 spots of Google. Also, to be completely transparent, we pointed 10 Use My PBN posts from Lightningrank to those pages as well.

We are now currently executing this strategy amongst many of my other money sites and the return in value has been fantastic.

The Importance of SEO

Whichever program you choose, SEO will always remain an vital component when it comes to website traffic and ranking and the success of your site.

SEO is what attracts potential clients to your website and this is done through the use of important and relevant keywords and phrases that are able to rank highly in search engines. There is a lot of competition so it is important that you rise above and improve your scores.

Organic SEO is an investment that each company should make for some very specific reasons:

  1. SEO techniques are always going to work. Data will be pulled from organic traffic from Google recently and all the techniques you use will remain the same and will work to help you improve traffic and gain a better position.
  2. SEO is cost-effective and, in regard to online marketing and advertising, it is a smart step to take to provide a good ROI. SEO will always remain relevant when it comes to the online presence you have established and continue to maintain
  3. More and more people are beginning to check online reviews before making purchases and this number will only increase as the age of digital technology grows. It is important that SEO is used so your site is easier to find during a search so that your own customer base can increase
  4. Content is key when it comes to online marketing. If you are not able to offer high-quality and valuable content, then you will lose your audience. Upgrading the content is just one way you can refresh the content and be sure that it remains relevant and reliable. You want them to find your site for the answers, rather than your competitor’s sites.
  5. Finally, stay above your competition. Upgrading your content is a viable way to stay above the competition and rank higher. You will find greater success in the online marketing world if you have a solid SEO strategy in place. Do not find yourself stuck with little to no organic keyword data and traffic.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the world of content marketing online is extremely competitive and upgrading your content is just the first line of defense when it comes to conquering the competition and being able to provide valuable, relevant, and fresh content for your audience.

Utilizing the right SEO tools when upgrading your content can lead to an easier and better way to track data for you or your competitors, can help build your SEO rankings in several different ways, can help improve the traffic going to your site, and can also help to improve your website. If you are interested in having a hands off approach to this, we offer this service through Content Refined. If you are interested you can book a call with our team and we would be happy to discuss your needs!

If you test this out I would love to know how your results went!

Long Overdue Update!

It has been too long!

Since 2012 I had been almost always posting once/week with the exception of a couple 1 month breaks.

It has been A LOT longer and this post is to communicate…

  • Where have I been?
  • How have my businesses faired with lack of time on them?
  • What to expect moving forward at AuthorityWebsiteIncome?
  • What has my focus now?

Where Have I Been?

My focus has been and continues to be on the project adbank.network where we have a real opportunity to cause some disruption to a giant problem!

The short version of what adbank does is it is an ad network build on the Ethereum blockchain that has payments transparently flow directly between advertiser and publisher with the middle mans cut finally being fully transparent!

If you are an advertiser or publisher you can test out the beta platform here – https://beta.adbank.network/

 

 

What is exciting is that many of the skills I have developed building my online businesses have been stretched executing on this project.

 

What does my focus mean for my online businesses?

They are going nowhere, I have always been focused on building the systems/procedures and teams to continue the execution of the businesses with as little involvement from myself as possible.

So for each of the business divisions here is how they have fared with me not spending much/any time thinking about them…

My Website Portfolio:

I have continued to let this business slide especially on the monetization side it has been the hardest hit by my lack of focus.

It is relatively easy to systematize the articles (ContentRefined) and links (LightningRank) for the sites but the hard part is monitoring the monetization. Some of the assets continue to do well and even grow despite my lack of focus while others completely fell off the map from an earnings standpoint. Sites that once made $1k-$3k/month with the same traffic now are making almost zero because of a handful of very fixable reasons… affiliate program no longer exists, links broken, advertising paused due to handful of reasons.

I don’t see a lot of focus getting out here with the exception of a couple I have handed off to managers to run including focusing on the monetization of those sites.

This is the benefit of the systematized approach where many systems held and despite me not putting any thought into my portfolio sites the content from ContentRefined and links from LightningRank kept coming.

 

Productized Service Businesses:

I am very proud of the managers on these businesses!

These businesses launched with the initial push from the AuthorityWebsiteIncome audience but without any support for the last months have continued to be strong performers.

Kelley at LightningRank plus another new business she launched off of nothing more then an email idea from me had their best months ever at the end of last year.

Maddie and ContentRefined has continued to grow bringing on additional staff in house and dialing in our ideal client (portfolio managers!)

 

Whats Next at AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com?

Only useful articles!

Right now there is a large team that is pushing hard every day to get sites to perform well in Google leveraging great content and links.

As we push on this basic concept there are a lot of interesting learnings.

So… we will be sharing as much useful/actionable information as we  can related to

 

What has my focus now?

The project adbank.network did a successful token sale and is now actively pushing on 3 primary fronts.

Tech:

The tech development is going very well with plenty of challenges. We have delivered a working beta platofrm on the main net 2 months after ICO.

In addition we have hired a brilliant PH.D. In computer science with a specialty in machine learning and are continuing to grow the team.

Acquisition:

A big part of our strategy is to seed the adoption of the disruptive technology by acquiring existing ad networks and converting them to the adbank platform.

Intellectual Property:

With a patent pending on the application of AI to leverage transactions that occur on a blockchain to fight digital ad fraud we hope to have a winning position in the market.

 

Summary

It has been the craziest project I have been a part of. Very proud of the team behind adbank as well as the team that has continued to grow the other businesses with a giant lack of support from me. They are all very inspiring people!