Secret Academy Episode - Ian Bell
About:

While attending a wedding several years ago, Ian Bell struck up a conversation with another guest in the buffet line about the guest's cell phone. As it turns out, the guy worked at Office Max and had access to all the latest gadgets before the rest of the consumers. Ian expressed his desire to create a website dedicated to reviewing the latest technological gadgets, and another wedding guest named Dan overheard this and offered up his website building skills. After the wedding, Ian kept in touch with Dan, and they would eventually form DigitalTrends.com, a product review website with over 22 million unique visitors per month and generating over $20 million in gross revenue in 2015.

Lesson's in Today's Interview:
  • How he was able to get companies to send him products to do reviews
  • What he did to get his first advertisers on the website
  • What are the top three things to generate unique visitors to a site
  • The transition from building content based on what he liked personally to what the site demographic might like
  • Biggest piece of advice to get syndication
  • How to run ads on your site properly
  • The current structure and how they decide what products to review and write about
  • Growing from five full-time employees on salary to over 50 employees in five years
  • Pros and cons of hiring "big name" writers from competitor sites and writers from local colleges who are trained to write reviews and for the web
  • Three ways to start and sustain a profitable blog
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Ted Nash
Founder of Tapdaq
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Shawn Thomas
Founder of Ask a Millionaire