I am always thrilled when I get to hear about success stories! Today’s post includes someone who also allowed me to interview him about how exactly he had so much success.
Here are the highlights:
- Mr “D” is a non-native English speaker (who initially believed this would be a limitation)
- Started in 2014 grew his site to 5k per month and sold for ~150k in 2017 (USD)
- Content – Content was sourced from multiple sources and then over the last 7 months leveraged ContentRefined.com content exclusively.
- Link Building – Used PBNs initially and then turned to Guest Posting and Editorial Links after
- Monetization – Ads/Affiliate. He had a lot of success with AdThrive.
Worked On His Business Not In It! Reinvested and Managed the Process!
What I was most impressed with was Mr D’s ability to test to find the best services and then combine them to create an awesome combination! Then once he had a winning combination he simply scaled content and links as much as he was able to reinvest.
- Website Development – Using some of his own skill as well some help he was able to get his site up. If this is your bottleneck checkout BrandBuilders.io!
- Keyword Research & Content– He tried a lot of different content strategies but as he says below “ContentRefined was the best”. Once he started using Content Refined for keyword research, content creation and publishing the site grew by 3x in 5 months!
- Link Building – Using PBNs initially and then moving onto GuestPosts and Editorial Links was Mr D’s link building strategy
- Monetization – Leveraged the experts at AdThrive to grow his earnings.
Tell us about your background and how you got involved in this online business world.
I am 29 years-old and I was previously working in tech support but I wanted to start my own company. I read about websites that can make money and decided to start my own in 2014 in the home/family niche.
For a year, it was not earning anything but I did not have a lot of time to work on it because of my day job. I built some links and added some content and it finally took off in the summer of 2015. From there, I just grew it with more content and more links.
How did you first find out about this whole world of building sites that can make money?
I first found out about it on a forum where I saw that it was possible for non-native english speakers to build sites, so that encouraged me to try. So I tried and eventually it worked out.
In that year where there wasn’t a lot of success and you were working part-time, you kept persevering. What drove you to keep working through that year when you weren’t seeing the results you were hoping for?
It takes patience, I know it cannot be done in a few months and you can’t quit!
Jon Comment – This I believe is the single greatest determining factor if someone will have success building a website that will make money or not. The results will not come as quickly as you would like and if you stop you are guaranteed to fail!
What was your growth plan for this site when you first started? Did you have an idea on how you were going to build up this site and get traffic?
Well, since it started to earn for itself the plan was to grow and improve it in several areas; content, monetization, and building links. Those three areas were the main focus for me.
- Regarding monetization, I tried several options, I experimented with Minion Ad, AdSense, and I finally settled with AdThrive because they are much better than any other.
- For content production I continually used better quality writers, Content Refined was the best.
- To build links, I used PBN’s, guest posts, outreach, and buying some editorial links on Huffington Post and some other magazines. All that together paid off.
What was your content production schedule at the start?
In the beginning, I chose to publish 10 articles and then I waited. I didn’t publish anymore until I built enough links from PBNs, forums, blog commenting… etc., to rank and then I developed a content plan. I researched my competition with SEMrush and Ahrefs to find as many keywords that the other websites are ranking for. I made a spreadsheet of those keywords, grouped them into articles, and then just worked through that excel spreadsheet.
Jon Comment – If you are interested in learning more about this strategy I have a free tutorial here on basically this exact same process.
At what rate did you keep publishing content and how did it change over time?
Well, it was pretty consistent in the last 9 months at 4 posts per month but before that it was 2 or 3 articles per month. I never did more than 5 per month because I was going after quality not quantity.
For ContentRefined posts these graphs show the progress of a few different keywords from the time it was published until the time the site was sold.
From a promotion and outreach standpoint, how did you promote the site and how did that change over time?
In the beginning I used PBNs, and then I switched to outreach to other sites to write guest posts for them. I also published a few infographics and offered it to other sites to obtain links. With that method you offer infographics to other sites and also offer to write an introduction for it and you place the link into the introduction, it worked great. I bought some editorial links on Huffington Post and Buzzfeed …etc. and I also had another method that I thought was a good idea but didn’t work as well; I offered to write a review for manufacturers if they sent a product example hoping that it would get published to their sites with my link. It did work for a few links but not for most.
Did you do anything with an email list, or videos, social media…etc?
No, I collected emails but did nothing with them as I did not have the time. In terms of social media, I had some limited success with pinterest. I had about 30 visitors per day but nothing special.
What have been some of your biggest takeaways in terms of what you have learned from what you were originally thinking you would be doing to what you ended up having so much success with?
Honestly, it takes luck to build a successful site. Choosing a niche is a very important part, for me it was a lucky guess. The home/family niche is a somewhat competitive niche, it’s not easy and later I found out that many strong sites were ranking in the first 10 results but nonetheless I kept going and eventually succeeded.
Jon Comment – A lot of people get hung up on choosing a niche… if you are looking for help with niche selection you can checkout some ready made “Turnkey” sites for sale at BrandBuilders.io.
What are some of the basic traffic numbers, revenue numbers, and the multiple for the sale price?
Well, traffic stats were about 120,000/month. Earnings were 4k at the beginning and reached 5k when I sold it.
The multiple for sale price was about 30x the monthly earnings and I sold through Empire Flippers.
How many hours a week did you average over the years working on the site? And what would a typical week look like for you in terms of how those hours were spent?
I worked at least 10-15 hours per week. I was mostly finding link building targets, formatting articles, sending outreach emails, reading seo blogs, and doing research during those times.
What sources of information did you find helpful throughout this journey?
Initially, I built the site after watching Spencer Haws. Your website AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com was useful and Niche Pursuits had a course/internship where Perrin built a site and had tutorials on it. After watching them, I built my site. I found that Matt Diggity has some interesting articles, I’m trying to implement his methods.
- Perrin (now at AuthorityHacker.com)
How have these earnings and this sale impacted your life?
I quit my day job a month ago!! Today is my first day as a full-time online entrepreneur.
I’m planning on building out other websites and investing in real estate. I have many other areas of interest to explore and my plan is to expand and continue with SEO.
Jon Final Comments & 3 Takeaways!
I am very impressed with the results that Mr D was able to achieve! He grew his website to life changing income numbers for him resulting in him leaving his day job. Pretty amazing!
Here are the 3 takeaways I have from his story…
- Work on your business and not in it (but don’t overlook the details)
- Reinvest in what is working
- Stick with it even when it isn’t delivering you the results you want!