Change is the only constant, right? Especially in our digital world. With Google’s recent updates, it’s become evident that brands are taking the spotlight.
If you’re wondering how to pivot from a niche site to a brand, you’re in for a treat.👇
I recently had a hour+ conversation on Twitter “Spaces” with two familiar faces: Jamie I.F., a blogger who’s been feeling the heat from the recent updates, and Sammie Ellard-King, who’s been blending SEO with broader marketing strategies to craft a brand that stands out.
Sammie’s site came out of the HCU smelling like roses, with well over 50% growth.
Jamie I.F. had sites down quite a bit.
So the conversation had both sides of the coin represented.
Over 600 of you tuned in (thank you!), and if you missed it, no worries! I’ve put together a recap for you:
From Niche Site to Brand: The Juicy Bits
- Diversifying Traffic: Sammie Ellard-King made a compelling point about not being overly reliant on Google. By building a brand, you’re opening doors to traffic from social media, YouTube, podcasts, and more. He highly recommended following this process: master one channel, get it running smoothly, then move on to the next.
- User Experience Matters: Jamie I.F. shared his recent struggles, emphasizing the need to declutter our sites. Too many ads? Not a good look. And if your site’s main goal is just churning out content, you might want to rethink that strategy.
Google’s Love Language:
I asked them both how to make sure that their website gets recognized as a true brand by Google:
- Video: Both Sammie and Jamie are all in on video. Even in niches where it seems tough, there’s always a way.
- Diverse Traffic: Sammie’s all about showing up everywhere. A bit of social media here, a sprinkle of YouTube there—it all adds up.
- Looking Legit: Jamie’s pro tip? Make your site look and feel like a genuine business. Strengthen your presence on platforms like Wikipedia and Crunchbase.
I agree. I’m having success with the Weekend Growth YouTube Channel. Video is hard work, but the connection you make with your audience is second to none.
PS – I crossed the 1k subs on my YouTube channel. Thank you!
What’s Next for Jamie and Sammie?
So, where do each of them go post HCU?
- Sammie’s game plan includes enhancing affiliate marketing content, diving deeper into video, and giving his Instagram some love.
- Jamie? He’s all about refining the on-site experience and building up his author cred.
When I threw a curveball, asking them to pick between UX and social media:
🤝 Get the Helpful Content Analysis Spreadsheet, a spreadsheet with 124 perceived factors from Google’s Helpful Content Update, allowing users to score each factor from 1-10 to identify website improvement areas.
- Sammie’s heart is set on video, especially YouTube.
- Jamie? He’s betting on UX for now but sees the bigger picture with social media for the long haul.
A Few More Gems:
- Sammie’s big on AI for content planning. He also swears by repurposing content for social media.
- Jamie’s got some cool tricks up his sleeve, like using Reddit to promote YouTube videos and adding e-commerce elements to his site.
We covered a ton, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can listen to the whole thing here if you want.
The main takeaway? It’s all about evolving, diversifying, and staying ahead of the curve.
At the end of the day, the ENTIRE purpose of building a “brand” is so that there are lots and lots of mentions of your website an an entity on the internet. These “brand mentions” or “links” or “citations” or whatever buzz word you want to use are the key to this whole process.
Got questions? Or just want to chat about the latest in SEO and branding? Hit me up. I’m always here to help you navigate this wild digital landscape.