Sammie Ellard-King on Exploding Traffic in the Personal Finance Space

Last updated: Jun 30, 2023

This video is about an interview with Sammy Ellard-King, who shares his success in growing a personal finance website through content creation, digital PR, building a brand, and utilizing platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

This video by Niche Website Builders was published on Mar 28, 2023.
Video length: 56:47.

The video is an interview with Sammy Ellard-King, who shares his experience and strategies for exploding traffic in the personal finance space.

He discusses the growth of his relatively new site, which has seen significant growth in just 18 months. He attributes his success to content creation, digital PR, and building his brand through platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. The video also mentions his newsletter and automation strategies.

Overall, the video provides insights and inspiration for building a profitable online asset in the personal finance niche.

  • Sammy Ellard-King is a marketeer with experience in the hospitality industry.
  • He started a personal finance website as part of his brand-building strategy.
  • Sammy's personal finance website has experienced significant growth in a relatively short period of time.
  • He attributes his success to content creation and digital PR.
  • He emphasizes the importance of building a brand, not just a website.
  • Sammy shares his approach to content creation and how it has contributed to his site's growth.
  • Niche Website Builders is an agency dedicated to helping people build profitable content sites.
  • The interviewee, Sammie Ellard-King, taught himself personal finance after accumulating a significant amount of debt in his early 20s.
  • Currently, the website monetizes through affiliates and digital products.
  • The website's traffic and revenue are growing in tandem.

Sammie Ellard-King on Exploding Traffic in the Personal Finance Space - YouTube

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Sammy Ellard-King's Background and Personal Finance Niche

  • Sammy Ellard-King is a marketeer with experience in the hospitality industry.
  • He wanted to build a brand and decided to enter the niche site game.
  • He started a personal finance website as part of his brand-building strategy.
  • He chose personal finance because he saw it as a problem to solve, based on his own experience with debt.
  • He didn't have much knowledge about the niche site world initially.
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Success in Growing a Personal Finance Website

  • Sammy's personal finance website has experienced significant growth in a relatively short period of time.
  • He attributes his success to content creation and digital PR.
  • Getting links from big news agencies through digital PR has boosted his site's visibility.
  • He emphasizes the importance of building a brand, not just a website.
  • He utilizes platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to build brand awareness.
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Content Creation and Brand Building Strategies

  • Sammy shares his approach to content creation and how it has contributed to his site's growth.
  • He discusses the differences between YouTube shorts, Instagram reels, and TikTok videos.
  • He highlights the importance of building a newsletter and shares his plans for automations.
  • He emphasizes the need to focus on building a brand outside of blog posts.
  • He mentions the role of YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok in building brand awareness.
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Sammie Ellard-King on Exploding Traffic in the Personal Finance Space - YouTube

Niche Website Builders and Outsourced Services

  • Niche Website Builders is an agency dedicated to helping people build profitable content sites.
  • They provide a fully outsourced approach to content creation, link building, and website builds.
  • Their content packages include a proprietary keyword research process and are written by native English speakers.
  • They offer coupon codes for discounts on content and links with the first order.
  • They have their own six-figure portfolios and use the same approach for their clients.
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Background and Creation of the Website

  • The interviewee, Sammie Ellard-King, taught himself personal finance after accumulating a significant amount of debt in his early 20s.
  • During the pandemic, he noticed a need for relatable personal finance content and decided to create a personal finance website called "Up the Gains."
  • The website is dedicated to helping people with investing, saving, and making money online.
  • Sammie started building the website himself, despite having experience managing marketing agencies.
  • He found Niche Website Builders and Spencer's podcast, which helped him understand the process of building and growing a website.
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Monetization Strategy

  • Currently, the website monetizes through affiliates and digital products.
  • Sammie plans to incorporate Mediavine in the future but wants to ensure the brand's reputation is established before doing so.
  • The goal is to create a brand and grow the website through various channels, including social media, YouTube, and a podcast.
  • Sammie envisions "Up the Gains" becoming the UK's version of NerdWallet.
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Website Statistics

  • The website has been officially active for 18 months, with serious efforts put into it for the past 9-10 months.
  • There are currently 186 articles on the website, with 90 self-written and the rest outsourced to agencies.
  • The website receives around 34,000 monthly sessions, which is considered profitable in the personal finance space due to high affiliate commissions.
  • The traffic has been steadily growing for the past four months, with a 110% increase month over month.
  • The significant increase in traffic coincided with the start of their link building efforts.
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Revenue Numbers

  • The transcript does not mention specific revenue numbers.
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Growth and Revenue

  • The website's traffic and revenue are growing in tandem.
  • Monetization is being done through the email list.
  • Emphasis is being placed on building a brand and establishing credibility.
  • Real-life stories and experiences are being shared to showcase expertise.
  • Qualifications are planned for the future.
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Target Audience

  • The target audience is people who want to make a change in their financial life.
  • They may have tried investing and failed.
  • The website aims to guide them through their financial journey.
  • Topics covered include budgeting, emergency funds, and investing.
  • An academy is available to provide more in-depth knowledge.
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Content Strategy

  • The website focuses on building foundational content first.
  • Hub articles are created to cover broad topics.
  • Long-tail keywords are not the primary focus.
  • Internal linking is used to direct traffic to specific areas of the site.
  • Competition is not a major concern, as all topics will eventually be covered.
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Scaling and Investment

  • The website is scaling by bringing in more writers.
  • Investment is being made to further grow the site.
  • Categories are being analyzed to determine which ones are performing well.
  • Foundational content has allowed for targeted scaling.
  • The goal is to continue building upwards from the foundation.
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Content Creation and Research

  • Researching and writing on one topic makes it easier to write on other related topics.
  • Long-tail keywords are mentioned in the main topical post, while supporting network posts are written for those keywords.
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Building a Brand

  • A brand should be able to operate on multiple channels, such as websites, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • Creating a brand involves having a content strategy that includes SEO, short form video content, and long form video content.
  • Understanding where traffic is coming from helps inform content creation on social media platforms.
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Transitioning to Video Content

  • After building the website and generating substantial traffic, the focus shifts to creating video content.
  • Starting with short form content, such as YouTube shorts, TikTok, and Instagram, allows for easy scalability.
  • Starting small and gradually increasing video length is a good approach for those who are not comfortable being on camera.
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Creating YouTube Shorts

  • The speaker works with a video editor to create YouTube shorts.
  • Each bit of content is recorded line by line, ensuring consistency and avoiding awkward positions between takes.
  • Using cuts and captions can enhance the visual appeal of YouTube shorts.
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Content Creation Strategy

  • Use notes on phone to write short scripts for videos.
  • Scripts should be punchy and have a hook and an ending.
  • Drive viewers to take action at the end of the video.
  • Mention buyer's guide on website to drive traffic.
  • Recorded 64 videos in advance for consistent posting.
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Focus on Evergreen Content

  • Most of the content is Evergreen and will remain relevant for years.
  • Interviews with financial influencers provide fundamental lessons.
  • More educational than current news.
  • Allows for bulk content creation and scheduling.
  • Provides sustainable growth rather than volume growth.
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Posting Schedule

  • Plan to post three videos per week.
  • Research shows that videos have a 48-hour lifeline.
  • Focus on sustainable growth rather than posting all the time.
  • Use a mix of educational reels and promotional trailers for the podcast.
  • High-quality and regular posting is more important than posting loads.
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Thumbnail Strategy

  • For shorts, clip the subtitle hook with a facial expression for the thumbnail.
  • For longer videos and the podcast, create custom thumbnails.
  • Shorts can get away with not having custom thumbnails.
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YouTube Shorts and Conversion Rates

  • YouTube shorts, despite their high view count, do not convert as well as long-form videos.
  • Shorts are more of a brand play, aimed at increasing visibility and awareness.
  • Combining shorts with long-form content can be an effective strategy.
  • Shorts can act as trailers, enticing viewers to click on the long-form video for more information.
  • Conversion rates for shorts are typically around 5-10% or even lower.
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Content Structure and Variations

  • Minor tweaks are made to the same videos used for shorts when posting on TikTok and Instagram.
  • Different background music and sound effects are used to experiment with different versions.
  • Posting all videos at the same time on multiple platforms can lead to a decrease in traffic.
  • To overcome this, posting on TikTok a day early for a few videos can help regain traffic.
  • Chinese companies like TikTok may throttle traffic if they detect simultaneous posting on multiple platforms.
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YouTube Algorithm and Educational Content

  • YouTube's algorithm is still highly effective in reaching a wide audience.
  • Creating educational content for the academy and YouTube channel is a priority.
  • Every blog article is accompanied by a scripted YouTube video.
  • Starting a YouTube channel from scratch can be challenging without existing content.
  • Differentiating content between the blog, YouTube, and the academy is important.
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Monetization and Membership Model

  • The academy may adopt a lifetime access model rather than a subscription-based model.
  • Pricing the academy is challenging due to the broad market base and unknown target audience.
  • Monetizing the academy into a monthly recurring revenue stream is a desirable goal.
  • Managing memberships requires consistent content creation and providing ongoing value.
  • Having trainers and coaches contribute to the academy adds value and enhances the model.
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Building a Massive Website

  • The website aims to become a massive platform with hundreds of articles in each section.
  • The focus is on creating valuable content that generates cash and revenue.
  • The membership aspect of the website will be an additional source of revenue once it is developed.
  • The goal is to establish the website as a go-to resource in the personal finance space.
  • The website's growth potential is seen as a significant opportunity.
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Considering a Career Shift

  • The interviewee is contemplating whether to step away from their hospitality business to pursue their personal finance website full-time.
  • They express a deep passion for their website and the impact it has on people's lives.
  • While they enjoy the hospitality industry, they find the personal finance space more fulfilling.
  • The decision to focus solely on the website is a difficult one but something they are seriously considering.
  • They appreciate the interviewer's diplomatic response to their question.
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The Importance of Link Building

  • Link building plays a significant role in ranking and generating traffic for the website.
  • Due to the high competition in the personal finance space, building authority through links is crucial.
  • The interviewee actively engages in digital PR to acquire quality backlinks.
  • They mention working with Niche Website Builders and the positive impact it had on their website's growth.
  • The first major link they obtained from a reputable source resulted in a significant increase in traffic.
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The Impact of Links on Traffic

  • After acquiring high-quality backlinks, the website experienced a meteoric rise in traffic.
  • Google's trust in the website increased, leading to higher rankings and visibility.
  • Keywords that were initially challenging to rank for started to appear on the first page of search results.
  • The website is now at a pivotal point where it has the potential to attract substantial monthly traffic.
  • The interviewee emphasizes the power and size of the acquired links, which are from reputable sources.
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Digital PR

  • There are two ways of doing digital PR: creating a data study and newsjacking.
  • For the data study approach, Sammy created a study on Europe's most searched cocktails and pitched it to major publications, resulting in links from publications like Drinks Business and BBC.
  • This approach helped the website improve its ranking for the keyword "bars near London Bridge" from position 42 to position 11.
  • Newsjacking involves responding to journalists' requests on Twitter using the hashtag #JournalRequest, which can lead to opportunities for quotes and links in articles.
  • By keeping an eye on the hashtag and responding quickly, Sammy was able to secure a link from the Daily Mirror.
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Monetizing Pages

  • Sammy mentions the possibility of monetizing the page about bars in London through sponsored spots.
  • This would involve businesses paying to be featured prominently on the page.
  • However, it is not clear if Sammy has implemented this monetization strategy yet.
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Building Brand Authority

  • Sammy emphasizes the importance of building brand authority through high-quality backlinks from reputable sources like Business Insider.
  • These types of links help the website stand out and gain credibility in the personal finance space.
  • He also mentions the importance of utilizing platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to build a brand and reach a wider audience.
  • Sammy shares that he regularly posts his website's traffic graph on Twitter to showcase the growth and success of his strategies.
  • He believes that having a strong brand presence is crucial for standing out in a competitive niche.
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Utilizing Multiple SEO Strategies

  • Sammy discusses the use of content creation, digital PR, building a brand, and utilizing platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to drive traffic to his personal finance website.
  • He mentions the importance of targeting keywords with high buyer intent, such as "bars near London Bridge," to attract immediate decision-making traffic.
  • Sammy also mentions the use of local SEO strategies to target specific geographic locations and attract local customers.
  • He highlights the importance of staying up to date with current trends and events in the personal finance space to capitalize on opportunities for content creation and digital PR.
  • Overall, Sammy emphasizes the need for a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to SEO and digital marketing to achieve success in the personal finance niche.
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Editing Process for Articles

  • Old content must be updated to avoid penalties from search engines.
  • Use an Excel spreadsheet to track published and updated dates of articles.
  • Color code tabs to indicate which articles have been updated.
  • Articles should not be left untouched for more than six months.
  • Editing involves checking and updating statistics and figures.
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Responsibility for Accurate Information

  • Updating articles is necessary to provide accurate information to the audience.
  • Financial regulators may penalize websites for providing incorrect information.
  • Editing involves refreshing paragraphs, adding or changing images, and updating titles.
  • Refreshing content signals to search engines that the article has been updated.
  • For evergreen content, minimal changes are needed to keep it fresh.
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Debating the Publish Date Update

  • Updating the publish date of an article is a topic of debate.
  • Some believe that Google will eventually detect if the publish date has been changed.
  • Updating the publish date may not be necessary for search engine optimization.
  • It is uncertain whether changing the publish date has a significant impact on search rankings.
  • Consider the potential risks and benefits before deciding to update the publish date.
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Building Trust and Expertise

  • Every article has a comprehensive author bio at the top to build trust with readers.
  • A disclaimer is included to warn readers about investing and to not assume responsibility for their decisions.
  • The about section is comprehensive, including mission statements, contact details, and business number.
  • Contributing writers who have been featured in major publications are brought on board to establish credibility.
  • Schema markup and embedding YouTube videos from the channel are used to show expertise to Google.
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Selling Products for Trust

  • Selling products on the website adds trust and credibility.
  • Having a shop with relevant products gives Google more confidence in the site.
  • Even if the products are low-priced or simple, they add value to the site.
  • Products are sold through WooCommerce, and traffic is funneled from articles.
  • Digital products, such as budgeting sheets, are a significant part of the business's growth.
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Monetizing calculators and newsletters

  • The website has calculators that are monetized.
  • The plan is to monetize the newsletter through sponsorships.
  • Currently, the newsletter is monetized through affiliates.
  • When users sign up for the newsletter, they go through a five-day automation process.
  • The goal of the automation is to lead users to purchase digital products.
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Automation process for selling digital products

  • The automation process starts with a standard welcome email.
  • The second email focuses on building a relationship with the audience.
  • The third email introduces the digital products.
  • If users don't click on the products, they are fed into another channel with best of guides.
  • If users still don't click, they receive a discount offer for the digital products.
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The hero and guide concept

  • The concept of the hero and guide comes from the book "Building a Story Brand."
  • The website positions itself as the guide to help users achieve their financial goals.
  • The storytelling approach is used to engage and connect with the audience.
  • The hero goes through trials and tribulations before finding success.
  • The website aims to be the guide that helps users overcome their financial challenges.
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Importance of storytelling in marketing

  • Storytelling helps to create a connection with the audience.
  • By positioning the website as the guide, it establishes trust and credibility.
  • Using storytelling techniques can make marketing messages more memorable and impactful.
  • Storytelling allows the website to engage with users on an emotional level.
  • Storytelling can help users relate to the website's content and offerings.
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Summary

  • The interview is with Sammy Ellard-King, who shares his success in growing a personal finance website through content creation, digital PR, building a brand, and utilizing platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
  • Sammy talks about the importance of serving the audience rather than just telling them about your product or achievements.
  • He mentions a book called "Building a Story" by Donald Miller, which provides guidance on structuring content to serve the audience.
  • Sammy can be found on Twitter at @EllardKing and his personal finance website is uppergames.co.uk.
  • He emphasizes the importance of providing valuable content that can change people's lives.
  • The host thanks Sammy for sharing his insights and encourages listeners to like and subscribe to the channel.

Watch the video on YouTube:
Sammie Ellard-King on Exploding Traffic in the Personal Finance Space - YouTube

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