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Close to one year from now I graduate undergrad and my parents cut the financial lifeline that has kept me spoiled and happy. Therefore I have one year left to build another source of income so I can go on to PHD work without needing to work part time at some depressing job. My one goal is $200 per day with only 30% coming from adsense.
In a few weeks my summer vacation begins, this means I have 103 days of nothing to do and is a perfect opportunity to work full time on my site and bring its revenue closer to my goal.
Currently, I have a content site with 300 full (750-1000 word) articles. Looking over the keyword suggestion tools and my logs, I am finding that my niche has an unusually large “long tail”.
I have been looking for a way to exploit this long tail for over 3 months. The problem is that the long-tails keywords do not justify a full article to cover them.
During Spring break I visited my family in the UK (I am a dual US-UK citizen). One night my brother showed me this amazing service they have in England. Using a cell phone, anyone can text message ANY question to this company (I forgot the name) and they will give you an answer within 10 minutes. As soon as I heard it my jaw dropped, this was the answer I was looking for!
That night I developed my idea:
Provide a free “expert-advice” service for my niche. People can ask any question they want and I will answer them. Not only does this provide a valuable service, but it lets me attack my long tail!
Every Q and A will have its own page, target one long tail keyword, and be less than 250 words. This will let me create out 20-30 pages a day during the summer. Be cover one base, I asked the Adsense team if having such a small amount of content on one page was ok, and they said yes.
While each Q and A page might only bring in 1-5 person a day, after a month (at 20 pages a day) that is 600-3000 people per month, a pretty nice chunk of traffic.
To test my theory, I did a trial run of my service. The results only impressed me further: most of the questions asked were extremely simple, such as “Where can I buy blue widgets in Detroit?” or “How much does a red and blue widget cost?”. On average a response took me 5-7 minutes to write, format, and publish. Therefore 20 questions look me around 1.5-2 hours to complete.
The only problem I found was that some questions were repeated (or very similar), which waste my time to answer, but luckily a company happened to be making an ideal solution when I needed it. The 2005 version of their new knowledgebase software automatically suggests answers questions containing certain keywords. Therefore a question containing the word “blue” would bring up questions dealing with blue widgets.
By the end of the summer I hope to have 2060 Q and A pages plus 103 more full length articles. This should bring me within spitting range of my $150 summer goal and much closer to my one year $200 goal.
Any comments or suggestions would be most welcome.
It'd be interesting to hear from you again in a few months regarding the average number of questions you receive per day.
People can ask any question they want and I will answer them. Not only does this provide a valuable service, but it lets me attack my long tail!
That's pretty cool. Getting interaction with your visitors, ideas for new content and the content all in once. Do you charge them such as Google does it for their Google Answer service?
I like your approach and wish you'll succeed!
Yah you may say it takes 5 minutes to answer a question, but add that up and it is a lot of time for XXXX questions.
Look at the Webmasterworld.com.
Admins don't have to answer all the questions.
That's the way to go.
WebmasterWorld hired hundreds of fully qualified professionals for free to answer the questions from other thousands of newbies and other experienced members.
What a genius.
It is scalable and hard to copy in that niche once you have a brand value like WebmasterWorld.
Your time can be spent better building sites and writing articles not the repeatitive simple questions.
The Q&A model by you is not scalable.
What do you mean by scalable?
I found that taking questions through my site was a good way in the beginning to build content, get to know my visitors and find keywords. I don’t think taking questions is for every site and/or person but in my case it did help a lot.
Good luck on your journey.
I was wondering if there would be any liablity issues for your answers (i hope not).
Luckily no. The questions I get are like:
"Where is a good beach in Spain?" and stuff like this, my site is about holidays. I'm not giving out medical advice or anything. But just to make sure I'll have a disclaimer in the submit form.