A new competitor

So a few days ago, I discovered both my largest competitors and mentor. The site is called The Penny Hoarder and, according to SEMrush, it gets 1.4 million viewers through search engines. Crazier yet, according to SimilarWeb, its total monthly traffic is around 18.7 million people. Of which, almost 60% comes from social media.

I have never seen a highly successful company get at the majority of this traffic through social media. Most blogs that I see get 80 to 90% of its traffic through search engine. But with the site, only 20% or so comes from search engine. How crazy is that?

And so, the last few days I have been going through their site analyzing how they write their articles, what they write about, and the monetization strategies.

I was actually quite shocked that the majority of their traffic comes from only saving money, and making money. I told a friend that it was as if I was on Buzzfeed for personal finance. The articles all have catchy titles, and granted, the content it Is also pretty comprehensive.

However, I did not get the sense that they were challenging people to do better for themselves.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The fact that they can get 19 million people visiting your site monthly just solely on those two main topics means that they have found something that resonates with people.

This is great for me as now I can use them as a litmus test to determine whether what I write about will resonate with the masses.

Before we go any further, it’s important to know that this company is actually a pretty big company. I searched them up on LinkedIn, and it shows that this company has 68 employees. How crazy is that? From what I can see, they’re only real source of revenue is through affiliate marketing.

After discovering this company, I have not even thought about the personal finance bloggers in Canada as competitors. Instead, I’ve solely focused on looking for ways to write articles that would pass being published on The Penny Hoarder.

These guys also go into Facebook advertising and I have found some of their most successful Facebook ads that have generated over 3000 likes. I am now analyzing these ads to see how I could write similar ads that can do equally as well over the course of time.

I have also looked at the way that they have written their post urls and know that they are attempting to work on seo. The nice thing about it is that they don’t seem to be updated on seo best case practices. I mean, I guess the little hard when the company 60 people so content is being written every single day.

This is a great opportunity for me to use this site as a case study for topics, tone, and research. Then I can simply take that research and translate it for a Canadian crowd while doing a little better with seo. No need to recreate the wheel.

Also, in the past, I knew I wanted to create a team, but I did not know if it was going to be possible when the only source of revenue was through affiliate marketing. However seeing that this company has 60+ employees has gotten me thinking. I guess the first thing I need to do is to at least come up with a breakeven Facebook campaign.

After that, I can continue to work on improving this campaign so that my ROI becomes positive enough for me to actually afford to take on more people.

However, this is also a struggle of mine but I have mention the past. Do I work on Facebook advertising, or, do I focus a writing more quality material.

I have noticed that I have drifted deep into the Facebook advertising side of things. For example, today’s 1000 words was originally going to before the website. However, as you can see, I ended up writing about this new company that I have found.

In fact, I spent all day yesterday writing a blog post for the website but, the sole intent behind writing that blog post was to create a Facebook ad around it to potentially create a Facebook campaign that will breakeven.

I’m definitely in a shiny object syndrome state of mind at the moment. I just hope that once the shiny object is not as shiny, I will go back to writing for the blog.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the blog posts I wrote is of value to the public. The blog post is about ways to make money they’re doing online surveys. This reminded me of a conversation I had last week with a fellow Financial literacy advocate. She was telling me how the people that she normally works with in person are not looking for ways to save rather, ways to make more money.

Most of these people are in some way, shape, or form unable to get more income to meet their basic needs. I’m sure that if they knew of the best ways to save money, they would have a few hundred dollars more each month. However, if I am to reach the masses, I will definitely need to address what they believe is their main problem.

And that problem is the question of how to make more money. Exactly where The Penny Hoarder excels in writing about.

Granted, the people that my friend is trying to help is not exactly the same type of people that I planned on helping right off the bat. The people I’m most interested in are the 20 something year olds. The majority of these people do not know all their financial options. At the same time, and they do have disposable income and dreams for society.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that they are higher in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which means that I can get them to think bigger faster.

As I may have mentioned in the past, personal finance is only the first stop and what I only want to do. My main goal of personal finances is to help create a financial base so that they can think about things bigger than everyday lif. And I want to be the guide down that journey.

However, now that I know that The Penny Hoarder has been able to successfully create a company solely on personal finance, I can see myself creating this as a separate business that is run by I team with their own CEO.

Of course, this is all thinking 3 to 5 years out. But now, it’s time to get back to reality.

PS: this whole piece was written, or should I say talked out loud. It’s actually pretty neat. I’ve spent about 30 to 40 minutes writing this. Or saying this I don’t know.