A rough organic growth plan for niche websites

By Mark Ling
A rough organic growth plan for niche websites


Hi Everyone,

Recently I've been making notes about an organic growth plan for several of my niche product websites.

I wrote this to be discussed with my staff, so it's not super flash looking, but I thought I'd share it with you here, as going forwards, especially with panda, penguin and all the other Google updates, it's very clear that if you want to have an online web-based business that thrives long term, then you need to have a living breathing website that really engages your audience. Not just a site that sits there and you're done with it.

This won't be for everyone, but I'm sure it'll be very useful for a lot of you.

Anyway, here's my rough plan. Bear in mind I have written this plan for my own staff, so you'll see it is worded for my sites, but you'll get the idea.


Establishing a routine for future organic growth of our sites...

Space out our auto responder niche content emails a little further to make them every 4 days (after being closer together at the start of the autoresponder).

Add more audio and/or video to the first 60 days (at least 7 pieces of audio and/or video).

On top of that, here's a schedule for what we should be routinely doing in each niche that we are catering to...

Monday: Quality Blog Post | Post it to Facebook too [Email out the blog post]

Tuesday: Promo email

Wednesday: Post question to facebook (no live email today)


Week 1) Email out link to the facebook question, and also link to a recommended product.            
Week 2) Email out content-based promo email            
(Note: Alternate each week between week 1 and week 2)

Friday: Live email to 25% of our list, asking a survey question. The other 75% don't get a live email today. At least 1 in 4 of these survey emails need to ask people about the quality of our content etc, so that we can learn and improve the experience and results achieved by our readers.

Saturday: Promo Email (preferred = Video Salesletter, or a recording of an interview that gives away valuable content as well as promoting a product)

Sunday: Nothing planned.

Note: With our blog posts, we should be trying to use great up to date data, we should monitor google news, set up google alerts, and run lots of surveys and little experiments to learn lots of interesting things that will benefit our readers. In turn, these are the kinds of blog posts that will be more likely to get written about and linked to naturally. Anything super newsworthy, we should do a press release about it.

Facebook: 3-4 posts per week
* Any interesting youtube vid or online article
* Link to our blog post of the week
* Link to any semi-relevant blog posts from our other websites
* Ask an interesting question

Twitter: 2 tweets per day
* Any new blog posts that we have posted
* Any facebook questions or updates
* Any blog posts from our other sites
* Interesting articles from other sites
* Links to VSLs for products we are affiliating to that week
* Great youtube videos worth watching
- Use tweetdeck or something to schedule tweets for the weekend.
- Reply to people who tweet us

* We need to set up a solid profile
* Use authorship tools for our blog posts
* Make sure profile is open to search
* Eventually we need to engage google like we do with facebook and link to our blog posts, +1 any interesting articles/videos, respond to anyone who messages us, etc. For early August though, lets concentrate on getting it set up and underway.

Remember, we don't have to email out everything we do. Sometimes we'll just post something to Facebook or Twitter or Google+ etc.

YouTube (will leave out until September):
* Make sure each of our niches has a YouTube account (some do, some don't yet)
* Need to figure out a plan for the type of content and how it will be filmed/edited for each niche, and who will be in it and who is responsible for overseeing it from start to finish.
* Getting views underway is rather easy by mailing out to our videos as we release them, embedding them and/or linking to them from our blog posts, linking to them from our facebook, twitter and google+ accounts.
* Put our best videos into our autoresponder

Guest Blogging

For every new blog post on our own blog, make sure we do at least one guest blog on another relevant blog, to build a relevant link to our new blog post.

If it's on a good blog, consider emailing out our guest blog post to 20% of our list.

Also... Back to our own blog for a moment...

Underneath each of our blog posts, we should encourage bloggers to share our content with their readers. e.g.

[Attention Bloggers: Want us to guest blog on your blog? Go here for more info]

On the Guest Blogging page (which we should also link to from the main menu of our website), we should provide:

* Information about our offer to guest blog on relevant quality blogs
* Links to some article snippets if they wish to have content to do the blog post themselves
* Link to our affiliate program for those who prefer to be an affiliate than to blog and link to any of our blog posts (or if they wish to do a combination of the 2).

Also note: We will look at our free and private members forum growth plans later in the year. That is also viewed as an essential part of our ongoing growth as a quality source of information and community to be part of in each niche.

Well that's it for this blog post, hope the above helps you.

Keep working hard to create something really cool online, that lives and breathes, don't be a junk pusher. For my full course in Affiliate Marketing that teaches you how to build authority sites, check out AffiloBlueprint.

I look forward to your comments, all the best!

Mark Ling

P.S. If you haven't done so already, look me up in Google Plus (or click this link here) and add me to your circles. I've been a bit tardy in fully getting underway with embracing Google Plus, but I plan on using it to share interesting posts that I find, and anything that I blog or record videos on.

Note: Clicking that link won't add me to your circles, you'll need to add me once you are inside my profile after clicking that link.


View all 64 comments (Currently displaying latest 50)

Dork 12 years ago
Love the AffilioBlueprint promotion Mark. Awesome!
Nzeribe Azukwu 12 years ago
Thanks Mark. i am just starting out and I am going gradual to accomplish setting up a site. After that, then I can look into this useful
issues. If I will look into every thing at the same time that may cause information overload, hence confusion.
Thanks again for this info.
Mark Ling 12 years ago
Yes absolutely, this isn't something to do right when you are starting out, though as you grow your website into a solid authority site, it's certainly something to think about doing.
jhkkjhjh jhghkjhk 12 years ago
Great post, Mark!
My first impression of ABP 3.0 was that you teach us how to create set-and-forget niche blogs, partly because the site you built for the course (enlightenment......com) is set-and-forget, I haven't seen a new article in it.

In your opinion, which of these options has higher BCR (benefit-cost ratio):
1. The set-and-forget sites that I thought you talk about in ABP 3.0;
2. Sites who are products of the strategies mentioned in this article?

Mark Ling 12 years ago
I have been adding new articles to Enlightenment Gateway, though we are trying to use that as a simpler less complicated model for building an authority site, hence we haven't done several of the things that you see in this particular plan.

What I'm thinking of possibly doing is:
1. Implementing a simpler version of this plan for enlightenment gateway and adding it to the course.

2. Introducing another example website further into the course to showcase taking things to the next level of interactivity with the users, for those who are interested in taking things further (ie following the more full scale plan you see in this post).

You certainly can take a site a lot further and give it even more exposure and credibility by implementing a plan like you've seen in this blog post, however for the majority of websites, a cut down version of this plan will be great (e.g. use google+ to claim your authorship, have a facebook page and a twitter account, twitter something and post something to facebook once a week, and have a blog post go out once a month - while this cut down plan seems very minimal it'll greatly increase your perceived trust in the eyes of Google, plus will help build stronger relationships with your readers).
Valentin Yonte 12 years ago
This appear an interesting plan. I'm going to take some ideas. Than's for share.
ahmed 12 years ago
thanks for this information
r4i card 12 years ago
Excellent steps to ensure that the readers/customers/visitors are engaged and part of the growth of the site(s), rather than just visitors looking in. I think this will help to buy customer / visitor loyalty as well.

I watch some of the big sites like engadget, lifehacker, etc.. and you see that their comments section has just as much - if not more - content than their posts themselves. They are engaging their audience, and commenting is almost a must do, for regular visitors, so that they have a conversation with both the site and other visitors.
Matt Greener 12 years ago
I hope that everyone will realize how extremely valuable this action plan is. It would be great to see the measured results after following this for a few months.

Thank you!
jSEO 12 years ago
We will adapt your daily strategy and we'll take a look after 2 weeks if it will generate traffic, leads and conversion. Thanks for sharing your own marketing strategy.


Juvenell Tagaban
CEO - jSEO Company
Mark Ling 12 years ago
It's more of a long term strategy than a '2 weeks' strategy, so it'd be more interesting to see the impact over several months, though that said if you already have significant traffic you'll be able to see how the interaction is being received by your readers very quickly.
Shasha 12 years ago
Nice post Mark..:)
will be adding you on G+
saadi 12 years ago
though its a rough plan but provides valuable information. thanks Mark
jADE CAMPBELL 12 years ago
Fabulous transparency, integrity in spades as always, and a great example of the effort and work ethic required ongoing to be successful in affiliated marketing, Thanks Mark for sharing this.
Jason 12 years ago
What does VSL stand for under Twitter: 2 tweets per day?
Mark Ling 12 years ago
VSL = Video Sales Letter
Evelyn Grazini 12 years ago
Yes, I have heard that if you want to make it in this Google world you have to use Google's stuff (YouTube, Google+, etc.) Your plan is definitely sound and one I am going to copy to get clients for my new Consulting business.

Dan Reed 12 years ago
As long as you are doing something every day on your blog is the way to continue success for it. Thanks for the advice, Mark.
Patrik 12 years ago
Wow, this is an awesome post! I am definitely going to implement this on my blog! Thanks for sharing this with us.
Eric Burnett 12 years ago
This is a very brilliant plan, I know this will work to build organic traffic, I might have to use this in my marketing arsenal. Thanks for sharing this. Please feel free to come leave me some feedback on my site.

Russ Turner 12 years ago
As one commentator has said, great ideas but a team is required to successfully fulfill all the suggested tasks.

However, for one man bands like me we can cherry pick the ideas that will fit comfortably into our particular routines so many thanks for that.


Maurizio S. 12 years ago
...as usual, GREAT quality material from Mark !!!
Cesar Ariel Sandoval 12 years ago
Sounds like a good plan! I´ll consider them for my present and future businesses! Thanx.
Tom Clark 12 years ago
Wow! Great article. Informative and interesting. I do have one question.
I'm curious about something you wrote under the Guest Blogging Portion:

Links to some article snippets if they wish to have content to do the blog post themselves

This one confused me a bit. Are you offering material for other bloggers to use to write your guest post on their blog?
Mark Ling 12 years ago
No the material is for them to write their own blog posts, and they can still link to our post.
Liz 12 years ago
Nice. . .How many people do you have working for you?
Diane Dick 12 years ago
Hi Mark
This is exactly what I've been looking at for my existing ecommerce site. I've introduced a blog which is a dotcom, to my existing site which is a .co.nz, because my company receives orders internationally. Now I just need your plan here to get my Facebook up and running, LinkedIn and Twitter happening. My business is both B2B and B2C, so I have many keywords to cover. This will be perfect for me to implement. Greatly appreciated and thanks for sharing.
Ray Burton 12 years ago
No Pinterest?
Mark Ling 12 years ago
Nope, I've just picked the big 4.
Renato Merino 12 years ago
Thank you Mark, I´m starting the backlinking White Hat SEO strategy for my website, and this article really suits me. To be honest I´m not working my Social Network, I mean, I got my Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook accounts, but I´m not getting the most of them.
This post gave me a good week schedule to start with, thanks again. Cheers.
George 12 years ago
Very concise and instructive.Still struggling with information overload,but starting to get the general idea.Thanks a lot for your support.
George 12 years ago
Very concise and gives a good general outlay for us starters.

Thanks Mark and team
Ross Scott 12 years ago
This is great Mark. Great insight and quality plan of attack. Great for "labor of love" websites as you have said in the past. Thanks.

Question: If you have a "ebook for sale website", how do you decide on where you draw the line on how much FREE content to give away in your blog posts.
Like for example a blog post on e.g. "Oil jobs in Norway" how do you draw the line on how much info to give away and do you have links to oil companies websites in Norway in a blog post (to make it quality and relevant to the title of the blog post) and still have the readers want to upgrade and buy your ebook on the same subject?
Mark Ling 12 years ago
I never draw the line. Perhaps if people stay on my niche list long enough they'll get all the info that was in the book, but it's a slower way for them to get it all. Many would prefer to just pay the money to have the whole thing in a easy to read and follow book.
Robert David Strong 12 years ago
This is a really great list, it is very similar to our list that we do on a daily basis as well. The only really thing that we are not doing is videos, and we know we should just have not got to it yet.

Just like eating a elephant one bite at a time.
altuk71 12 years ago
I don't know, Mark. Thanks for sharing but... There is a problems with an e-mail - once in 4 days, you'll get more unsubscribers.Not to mention, peoples don't want to subscribe. It's very hard lately to communicate on a Facebook. Not only my page dead frozen there, but majority of small businesses.Google + pages - very difficult. I am inviting peoples, but there is no response at all. I am commenting on other peoples posts. I got nothing from social media. Just wasted a lot of time.
My comission average more than $1500 per months
9my website is 8 months old) - just not to look like a complete looser here.
I was surprised to find closed comments on enlightenment.com and website looks "not alive" to me. Alexa and Google rank was pretty good.
It would be helpful, if you would give some tips how to do it by yourself. I can't hire 10 peoples. I have a writer on elance, but this is it. All this bookmarking, link building, guest blogging...takes more time than I have and this is my full time job.
Thank you for all you do.
Mark Ling 12 years ago
Yeah this certainly isn't something that everyone should be doing, and with Enlightenment Gateway, it's not a blog, hence it's not open for commenting. It is an articles website. I may possibly add another extra module on once I get back from the USA in September where I showcase another of my sites that does do more of the tactics that I have outlined in this post. Enlightenment Gateway is one way of doing things, there are many ways of doing things, this method is just taking things to another level, and one that I am willing to get into with sites of mine that are generating the revenue to warrant it. Look at affilorama, it does really well from the blog, the forum etc in the search engines. This post here was ranking in Google within 15 minutes of me posting it. They must trust this website.

Yes it is time consuming though not counting the blogging, I think that most of that social media stuff would take less than 1 hour per day for a staff member to do all of it. How long does it take to send a couple of twitter messages, a quick facebook link and a google +1 to an interesting article? (for instance).
altuk71 12 years ago
Mark, thanks for your answer and time.
Mark Ling 12 years ago
Not sure what you mean about the 4 day thing. We've found our open rates and click through rates go up, while our unsubscribe rates go down, when we mail about once every 2-3 days. I'm proposing spreading it out out every 4 days (the autoresponder) as we'll be sending about 2-3 live emails per week as well.
Art 12 years ago
Great content and Thanks for sharing:). Is their a strategy that uses some automation using a pen name? I would like to have a strategy for my sites where I am the authentic face and other sites using a pen name or publisher name. Using social media using a persona seems to be very difficult these days..
Mark Ling 12 years ago
Yes, you could set up those accounts using pen names. But remember while it might seem annoying, that is why Google is doing it, to try to make more of the web 'real'.
Bryan McHeyzer 12 years ago
Hi Mark,
Ican see why I don't get too much traffic to my site.
Excellent information you shared here ... will be taking your example.
Can only win.
Thanks for sharing.
hugo liao 12 years ago
a good plan ,but need patient
JGregory 12 years ago
Mark, part of your outline recommended using Google News and Google Alerts to gather up to date data for distribution to users

I've been using Google Alerts Feeds and emails for some time. In the last 6 to 8 weeks that have all but ceased to function even for broad topic. Other close colleagues report the same experience.

What is your recent experience? How are you faring with Alerts?
Mark Ling 12 years ago
I haven't used Google Alerts for much actually. Seems to work ok but I'd imagine actually surfing Google News would do a better job (plus having 10-20 top quality blogs in an rss feed to browse through).
Egypt Travel 12 years ago
Thanks a lot for useful information and nice plan
Ryan 12 years ago
This is really good info. But I am little confused. Is this to help for better rankings in google or is this for if you already have a customer base? It looks like a lot of emails and facebook postings. Sorry for the confusion.
Jeff Cutts 12 years ago
Mark and Staff,

Thanks heaps for this valuable information rough as it may be it has given me a procedure to focus on.
I have not been doing half of what you have listed, and it seems quite a heavy workload. It was so good to see nothing planned for Sunday...At last a day of rest!
I have been reminded, this is a business, to get results you have to put in the hard yards.
Norma 12 years ago
Thank you so much Mark for sharing ...This is an excellent plan and really interesting. More power!
Joni Depies 12 years ago
Nice blueprint, will print this one out and in front. Thank you!
Trevor Ambrose 12 years ago

Thanks and like the off the cuff update. A question: I use ping.fm to update all my social media sites with a link to my new blog post.

Will this be seen as duplicate info in a negative way?
Mark Ling 12 years ago
I really don't think it would.
francis_oneill 12 years ago
Thanks for this wonderful insight Mark. God, am I learning. This is a Formula 1 approach to success - and it strikes me one really needs a team to keep the car on the road. Meanwhile I feel I'm entering a new world that was there all the time but I couldn't see it. What an adventure!
Vincenzo 12 years ago
Grazie Mark per questo insegnamento prezioso.Continuo con vero piacere a seguirti.Tutti i migliori.
Steve Crossley 12 years ago
You realy manage to show what can be done with a good plan. We just need to be sure that we don't try to do it all in one go. Great information for the future for me.
Mark Ling 12 years ago
Better rankings in Google will be a natural outcome assuming I'm doing all the other facets of SEO well on my site and in other forms of link building (see lessons in Affiloblueprint if you're not well versed in SEO). If your website is something you are passionate about and something that you want to grow into something really amazing that thrives (both financially and from the point of engaging your readers), then this plan isn't actually all 'that' much work. If it is systemetized right, once the autoresponder part of it is in place, it shouldn't take more than 5 hours per week to implement this for a niche site.
Jarvis Edwards 12 years ago

This information is a goldmine, thanks for sharing!
I cant wait to implement some of these strategies, which
came at tye perfect time--while Im creating my marketing plan.

Good stuff!
Parish Raut 12 years ago
Thanks for the wonderful update Mark.
Joe Iarocci 12 years ago
Thanks Mark. This is a great post. I am checking off the items. I do believe the youtube video and audio components will help in the rankings. I have taken a client from page 20 to page 2 on Google with just videos alone, then used articles from the videos to get to page 1. I find youtube is a great rankings tool. I did not realize that you could email to "25% of your list". I am not sure if the list is segregated or if the auto responder will allow you to split emails up on the one list. Have a great trip in the USA.
Rob 12 years ago
it's true.....fail to plan and you plan to fail. Also plan for tomorrow today, but how many of us actually do that. I'm guilty so have to implement this 2day.
Sam Direen 12 years ago
Hi Mark, my sister and I (Mary) were talking about people from St Teresa's and I wondered what you were up to so googled. I said to my wife "I wonder what Mark Ling is up to... I remember he was pretty good at maths and I think we were in the same cricket team one year... he's probably into I.T". True! Looks like things are going well Mark, all the best - you look exactly the same!
Scott Willinsky 12 years ago
Hi Mark,
Firstly thanks for your help and guidance your providing for everyone. When you responded to Modz on July, 31 you stated the possibility of:
1) Implementing a simpler version of this plan for enlightenment gateway and adding it to the course.

2. Introducing another example website further into the course to showcase taking things to the next level of interactivity with the users, for those who are interested in taking things further (ie following the more full scale plan you see in this post).

Why not do both?

Thanks again for your enlightenment!

Scott Willinsky
opal61 11 years ago
Thanks so much Mark. Still trying to get things going on my site and was getting a little lost. This is great

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