CareerSidekick.com Teardown: 5 Easy Wins, Highlights, Takeaways

mushfiq sarker

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This week we analyzed a 10-year-old career and job interview advice site, CareerSidekick.com. The site receives about 547,000+ traffic per month (Ahrefs estimate).

Despite some weaknesses like an outdated design and lack of trust signals, the site receives about half a million visitors per month. It ranks very well for popular search terms and would be ideal for building an email list of professionals who are actively seeking help (job seekers).

Although we have not owned a career site, we know they can be very lucrative in part due to the valuable audience of highly educated professionals.

We think by implementing some easy wins, this site could significantly increase revenue and potentially grow to a 7 figure valuation.

This is what I cover in this report:

  • Website overview
  • Major highlights
  • Competitor overview
  • Easy wins to increase revenue and/or traffic
  • Actionable takeaways you can apply

Let’s get into it!

Disclaimer: Only public tools such as Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, and my experiences are used in these teardowns. I do not know the owners nor have access to Google Analytics and earnings.




✅ Website Overview & Highlights

The site has sustained a high organic traffic level of around 500k visits since 2018. Traffic briefly doubled in 2022 before falling back to the baseline.

According to Ahrefs, the site lost around half of its traffic in September 2022. This was around the same time as the Google August 2022 Helpful Content Update.

The site’s Press page states that the site has grown to 1 million readers per month.

career sidekick ahrefs

Biron Clark, a former recruiter, launched the site in June 2013 and it has steadily grown in traffic with a peak of 900k traffic in 2022.

Most or many of the articles appear to be written by Biron in a first-person style that shows his expertise in the field with specific recommendations and advice.

One interesting tactic we noticed was the use of videos with AI-generated speakers. These videos are monetized with Mediaine video ads.

career sidekick ai generated video

This could be a good tactic for increasing video ad revenue while also increasing visitor time on page (average engagement time in GA4). The downside is that the audience could view this as inauthentic when they discover the people in the video are AI-generated.

They also created a useful free tool that lets visitors create a professional quality resume using several different templates. Free tools can be great for link building and for acquiring email signups, but this tool was buggy when tested (we couldn’t download our resume).

One of the best opportunities for this brand is to improve the design and layout to make it look more like a modern media site which we discuss below.

Here’s what the site currently looks like:

career sidekick homepage

Highlights

  • Around 500k traffic since 2017
  • Ranking for 220k keywords
  • YouTube channel with 3.5k subscribers
  • 15k referring domains

Why is this site winning?

  1. Over 900 high-quality expert-written articles that provide valuable information and advice to common job seeker questions
  2. Elite link profile with over 15k referring domains including Duke.edu, OSU.edu, USChamber.com, and many more
  3. Good targeting of keywords related to common questions people have when preparing for an interview

Here are similar competitors targeting many of the same keywords:

Top 3 Competitors

  • CareerSherpa.net – A fast-growing career blog by a job search strategist that has more than doubled in traffic in the last year to 150k traffic per month.
  • CareerContessa.com – A career advice site for women with a 150k email list, job board, coaching, and courses.
  • InterviewPenguin.com – An job interview preparation site with 105k traffic offering eBooks and job interview coaching.

Let’s get into the easy wins to grow this specific website.


🔥 5 Easy Wins To Grow This Website

There are opportunities to significantly grow this brand. I break down the following easy wins:

  • Add an email newsletter
  • Decrease size of the header section
  • Update website design
  • Improve E-E-A-T on the site
  • Offer more info products and services

Let’s get into it!

➡️ Win #1: Add an email newsletter

This niche is an excellent fit for an email newsletter because the site’s visitors are job seekers who are preparing for interviews and many are willing to pay for help. Many people have paid over $2,000 for Ramit Sethi’s Dream Job course.

Providing this audience the help they need could help them land a job that increases their salary by thousands of dollars.

The newsletter could provide ongoing value by providing advice for many topics of interest to a career-minded individual such as advancing in a career, networking, and navigating office politics.

The resume builder free tool is a good giveaway to encourage email signups. A free mini version of the course and job interview checklists could also add more email subscribers.

With about 500k monthly traffic it should not be difficult to build a large list of subscribers. Career Contessa, a site with similar traffic numbers, has built a list of about 150k email subscribers.

A video course was already created so additional sales can be generated through a newsletter.

As the newsletter grows it will generate opportunities for advertising from companies looking to reach an audience of career-minded business professionals and job seekers (e.g., job boards, recruiting companies).

Takeaway: An email newsletter is worth building in niches with audiences that have a specific problem that they need help with.

➡️ Win #2: Decrease size of header section

The header section for articles on this site is way too big (a potentially costly mistake).

This prevents display ads or call-to-action buttons from showing above the fold. It also hurts the user experience by forcing the visitor to scroll down to see the beginning of the article.

We recommend removing the large featured image and shrinking a lot of the empty space by changing the CSS (a freelance developer can help edit the CSS).

career sidekick header

Takeaway: A short header section will help optimize for display ad earnings and increase the conversion rate for affiliate links or other calls-to-action.

➡️ Win #3: Update Website Design

In addition to reducing the header size, a website redesign to make the site look more like a modern media site would increase trustworthiness and help the site reach its potential.

This site looks very basic and minimalist, especially on mobile.

career sidekick mobile

When a visitor lands on this page, they may question the site’s credibility and leave immediately (increasing bounce rate).

Due to the subpar design quality, a new visitor might not stick around to discover this site’s excellent content. There could also be missed opportunities with journalists who decide not to mention the site because it doesn’t look very credible.

Adding a professional logo design would also help improve the first impressions of visitors and help improve the branding.

With a memorable and descriptive domain name, Career Sidekick has the potential to become a larger brand in the career development niche.

Takeaway: Upgrading an outdated site to a modern site design can elevate a basic niche site to become a trustworthy brand.

➡️ Win #4: Improve E-E-A-T Signals

Career advice is a Your Money Your Life (YMYL) topic, so establishing experience and expertise is very important in this niche.

This site could do a better job at displaying information that gives the visitor confidence that the content is accurate and trustworthy. For example, some staff on the about page don’t have a professional photo and there are some errors in the bios (some paragraphs don’t end with a period).

It appears that the page template has a code error for the copyright year which suggests the site may be neglected by the owner. Social media like Twitter and Facebook have not been updated recently. If you notice that a site is not being maintained, the owner may be willing to sell the site off-market for an attractive price.

career sidekick copyright year error

The site does an excellent job of acquiring links from high authority sites like top universities which is a strong trust signal in Google’s eyes.

The owner could use these powerful links to demonstrate credibility by displaying trusted brands that have mentioned the site like Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and several top universities. This provides an instant credibility boost in the eyes of a new visitor.

Their competitor, Career Contessa, does a great job of this on their Press page:

career contessa press page 1

Takeaway: For most sites, it helps credibility to show the trusted brands that have mentioned the site.

➡️ Win #5: Offer more information products and services

Job seekers are looking for solutions to a problem and are willing to pay for information or services that help them solve it.

Services like 1-on-1 job search coaching would be very valuable to this audience as it could result in several thousands of dollars of increased income for the client.

Career Contessa is a similar career advice website that offers coaching sessions with 38 career coaches. Visitors can book a session on the site for between $75 and $280.

career contessa

Other possible products to offer include eBooks, mastermind groups, and additional video courses like how to use LinkedIn effectively or salary negotiation.

The video courses could be bundled with a community forum where career-oriented people can discuss career growth strategies and share their experiences.

Some additional services the site could offer include resume review and practice interviews.

As the email subscriber list grows it can promote the products and services to an engaged audience who knows and trusts them.

Takeaway: If your site has a specific audience, explore ways to add informational products. Info products have the highest revenue per visitor compared to other monetization methods like affiliate and display ads.


👉 Actionable Takeaways

Here are actionable takeaways that you can apply to your niche website today:

  1. Adding an email newsletter is one of the best ways to add additional revenue sources and monetize an engaged audience with specific needs.
  2. Reduce wasted space in the header section to increase ad impressions and conversion rate.
  3. Keep an eye out for competitors’ sites with signs of neglect. These may be good acquisition targets.
  4. Add images of the top brands that have mentioned your site for an instant credibility boost.
  5. If the site has a specific audience, look for opportunities to add information products that will help solve a problem and increase revenue per visitor.



mushfiq sarker

Analyzed by Mushfiq Sarker

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 218+ website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. He is the founder of The Website Flip. Check out all Mushfiq's articles, LinkedIn, or Twitter.


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