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(The Entrepreneur Ridealong) Building A Finance/Banking Site From $0 to $100,000: Day 1

Tiago Martins Updated on June 5, 2023

Entrepreneur Ridealong Tiago Martins


Tiago Martins


Content Strategy
Informational content

Linkbuilding Strategy
I will focus on building topical maps and go aggressively into content production

Monetization Plan
Affiliate marketing and lead generation

Target Earnings
Profitability within 18 months and generating $100k+ annually

Target Exit
Depends on if the business adds a SaaS component or not (to be announced)

Welcome to my SEO Niche Site case study/ridealong, where I will be building a website from scratch to sell it on Empire Flippers.

I will detail the progress made regarding website design, content creation, link building, and other SEO strategies.

I won’t disclose the domain, but I will include the high-level niche.

Throughout the journey, I will diligently monitor critical indicators encompassing website traffic, search rankings, and financial gains, while meticulously recording the investments of both time and capital.

By following along with my analysis, you will learn and observe the procedures involved in constructing a thriving website (with a bit of luck) and ultimately selling it for maximum value on an online marketplace such as Empire Flippers.

The Goal

For the ridealong, I will build a website in the banking industry – loans, credit cards, insurance, etc. The main target is Portugal, with an aged premium domain name. I enjoy the industry because I was involved in it seven years ago.

The primary source of revenue will be affiliate marketing and lead generation, but as we grow, I might consider building a product. It will be a long-term play, but we will make money within 6-12 months.

Most of the content will be informational. I will focus on building topical maps and go aggressively into content production. The primary SEO strategy will be around topical authority and building links to support our strategy. Since it’s an aged domain, we expect an initial boost.

I expect to reach profitability within 18 months, and the goal is to do six digits yearly.

The biggest challenge will be making partnerships, as there is a big player who already knows everyone. How to overcome this challenge? By moving fast and looking like a promising project.

When the project is big enough, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get acquired by a competitor or a financial institution. Also, since Empire Flippers now accepts sites in other languages, that looks promising.

My Background

My name is Tiago.

I’ve lived in Asia for ~10 years and currently live in Bali. I run a product growth agency that provides UX design and SEO services.

I originally come from a technical background but found my passion for marketing after discovering SEO and how it feels like a game of probability.

I own a soccer statistics platform that drives 800k+ monthly organic visits, for this ride-along, and I plan to apply my knowledge to build a content site from scratch, focusing on a different niche and targeting the Portuguese market.

Niche Selection

Finance is one of the best-paid niches in Portugal, the competition is savvy, but the opportunity to get market share is still there.

As a backstory, this domain name was partially owned by me ten years ago, I was in a partnership with a previous partner, and we had some early success.

I have some experience in the industry, which makes me even more confident in achieving success. I dropped out of the project (sold my part) 7 years ago to focus on my agency, as it was growing. Today I feel that was a mistake and want to bring my “old” vision back to life with a more experienced team and resources.

Project Setup

  • I’ve chosen WordPress as the best candidate for what I plan to achieve due to its scalability and API, as in the future, I plan to connect it to CRMs (Lead Generation) and a Product;
  • Core plugins will be Beaver Builder, RankMath, ContentKing, and Gravity Forms;
  • The entire site design/architecture will be custom-built on Beaver Builder’s page builder. It allows me to create a custom experience but still have the flexibility of replicating layouts and scaling without involving a lot of development resources;
  • I will involve my agency resources to be more efficient in the execution of the project – I believe that, as a team is easier to reach bigger goals;
  • We use for project management, where we can track our weekly sprints, manage backlog, and calculate costs; Slack for internal communication; Notion for project documentation, gathering reports, costs, etc.;
  • We are using to plan the project structure, and I will share this link as soon as it’s ready. It is where we will brainstorm;
  • SEO tech stack mainly includes Ahrefs, Content King, NeuronWriter, Sitebulb, SEO Browse, and MajesticSEO;
  • Since this project is in Portuguese and we don’t have in-house Portuguese copywriters, I ran a job ad on LinkedIn and have 20 interviews lined up over the next two weeks. The goal is to hire at least four good copywriters I can rely on to get a consistent flow of articles.

Content & SEO Strategy

  1. Go big or go home: The goal is to make it look like a big portal so search engines understand we are a genuine brand and boost our reach/authority;
  2. Topical Map/Semantics: Have a proper content strategy that resonates with search engine expectations on the order and structure of the content (never forgetting about user experience);
  3. Technical SEO: Capitalize where our competitors can’t. By being smaller and leaner, we can move faster at implementing a better structure, semantics, schema, and performance;
  4. Backlinks: support our content efforts with strategic backlinks from trusted providers. Being focused on the Portuguese market will be a bit more tricky.
  5. Google News: getting featured on Google News will help pick on trends and facilitate the website indexation;
  6. Aged Domain: Since the domain already has authority and some history, we expect it to pick up faster by search engines.

Monetization plan

Grow organically through SEO, and monetize using the following channels:

  • Affiliate Marketing: this will be phase one as it’s easier to begin generating revenue. We will signup to affiliate marketing platforms once we reach 1000 visits per month, which might take up to 3 months (since we are starting from zero).
  • Lead Generation: once we are established as a brand with at least 10000 visits per month and gaining momentum, I will start approaching the affiliate marketing platforms first on how we can grow our partnerships and sell leads directly to their clients (I have done this previously);

Our traffic goal for the first 12-18 months is 8000 visits/month, potentially leading to 5-8% of the visits signing up to a form or simulation (loan, credit card, insurance)

  • 8000 visits
  • Avg conversion rate (leads) 6% = 480 leads per month
  • Avg conversion rate to sales (affiliation) 30% = 144 leads per month
  • Avg pay per conversion €15 x 144 = €2325/month in revenue

The growth potential is enormous. Our top 2 competitors have over 330K monthly visits. We can reach profitability within two years with a 5% market share:

  • 16500 visits
  • Avg conversion rate (leads) 6% = 990 leads per month****
  • Avg conversion rate to sales (affiliation) 30% = 297 leads per month*****
  • Avg pay per conversion €15 x 144 = €4455/month in revenue***
  • Potential exit at ˜30x: $130.000 (which would be a 2.5x on investment) – this is calculated based on recent numbers on Empire Flippers.
  • ****Conversion might vary depending on the types of products
  • *****As we grow, we will get access to better offers, which will affect CR
  • ******As we develop our numbers, we can negotiate the payment conditions and have better margins.

In these numbers, I am not including other sources of revenue such as lead generation, we will need to explore more about that, but in a previous collaboration, we charged €20-25 euros per lead or the sale of potential products (SaaS or Digital Products).

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