Brittany Lynch on How To Grow & Monetize an Authority Site

Vic

Hi Brittany, can you please tell us about your business?

Brittany

Hi Vic, sure. I run a website called idealme.com which is a lifestyle blog with the goal of helping our readers reach their ideal me. We release new blog post content each week on topics like travel, health and fitness, career and finance and hobbies. We really focus in on working with REAL experts on all of these topics so that we know the content we release, whether that’s blog content or our premium courses all deliver great results to help our readers reach their goals.

Vic

Interesting! May I ask how you attract visitors and how you make money in this business?

Brittany

Sure. We get a lot of our visitors from Pinterest, Facebook ads, organic, and we have a large mailing list for our business. We make money through promoting our own digital courses or affiliate offers..

Vic

It seems like this is a market and business model a lot people try but fail at. Why do you think you’ve been successful?

Brittany

I think a lot of people fail at it because they’re interested in making ‘quick money’ and so they don’t actually spend enough time really finding out what the needs of the market are, identifying them and then creating GREAT content for that niche. That’s so important, making a commitment to creating great content for that market and sticking with it.

Vic

I see. So, since idealme.com addresses such a broad range of topics, how do you go about *accurately* identifying what people need, creating useful content for them, and then selling it to them effectively?

Brittany

Haha that’s a huge question.

Well I guess I can handle a few topics here. To accurately identify what our customers want, we ask them. We have a lot of feedback loops setup in our business and use a lot of surveys. We use the questions our real customers have to decide which content to create. As far as creating useful content goes we really focus in on finding experts on each of the sub-topics that idealme.com releases content on. A lot of blogs and websites out there hire ghost writers to research topics they blog on. That’s not what we do. We partner with real experts. Often we find experts, and then interview them and ask them the questions on the topics our customers have. We use the interviews in multiple ways…transcribe them and put them in members area, blog posts, emails ..all sorts of things

Vic

That’s so cool! So other people help you grow your business, right? How do you compensate experts for their contributions?

Brittany

Two ways. We either pay an hourly rate for the interview, and we actively promote their website and name to our audience to increase their traffic. Sometimes we do both, and sometimes we only do the second one. Just depends on the niche and the person 🙂

Vic

It seems like scaling this kind of business might present some interesting challenges. Could you please comment on that?

Brittany

We haven’t found that it has actually. It’s all just in managing your team. Every business has processes it needs to manage and this is just one of ours. We have it down to a science at this point.

Vic

Ok since you mentioned your team, could you please talk about your ideas around hiring, motivating your team, growing the team, etc?

Brittany

We have a 6 step process for hiring team members. We start by asking them to read the job description and include a specific phrase in their application. We don’t look at applicants who don’t submit the phrase because they didn’t read or are bulk applying. Then we get them to do a type test to see how fast they type. If they type too slow this may not be the right job for them. We also get them to send a screenshot of their result. If they don’t send a screenshot and instead just type their result, we don’t move on because they didn’t listen.

Then we get them to fax in an answer to a question. We use fax, because it shows that they’re resourceful and many applicants may not have used a fax machine before. After that we get them to do a case study relevant to the job. Followed by a phone interview. Followed by a 2 week paid trial period on the job. We find spending much more time working on finding the right candidate first has been helpful!

Vic

Whoa! The fax hack is money. Quick follow up question: what do you mean by “case study relevant to the job”? Could you please give a specific example?

Brittany

Sure. For example when we’re hiring someone to write content for our blog, we’ll give them training on a specific type of blog post we use on our site. And then ask them to complete a sample blog post. Or since we use interviews so much, we’ll train them on how we create interview questions and then ask them to find an interesting candidate on a certain topic and ask them to come up with interview questions

Vic

Nice, so it seems like processes and operating procedures are a big part of the business then?

Brittany

Definitely !

Vic

Awesome! I know you use a lot of different tools in your business as well. Would you mind letting us know about a few of the most useful tools you’ve found to help your online business? Let’s say, the 3 highest leverage tools.

Brittany

Ooo that’s a hard one. I’d say slack, active campaign, and … can I say WordPress? That’s boring, but it’s crazy how much easier it makes running a website.

Vic

Not ClickFunnels?

Brittany

Ahhh good one. Yes ClickFunnels is amazing. Actually it’s life changing.

They’re all good. It’s hard to narrow it down. I use so many great tools. Those are the four I use daily though.

Vic

Curious why you say ClickFunnels is a game changer, could you please elaborate on that a bit?

Brittany

It’s just so easy to use. And the designs are beautiful. Everything just works. You can create a sales funnel in 20 minutes that looks beautiful and that converts well and integrates with your email list and payment processor.

Vic

Great stuff Brittany. What’s your long term vision for your business?

Brittany

To be the destination trusted website when someone thinks about improving themselves. I want them to think of Ideal Me because we have trusted products and blog posts that help them reach their goals.

Vic

Awesomesauce. Where can people find you online?

Brittany

You can find me at idealme.com 🙂