We have a very cool success story this week! It is the youngest person that’s been featured on Niche Site Project which is cool.
Josh Shogren is a freshman in college and is already building and selling websites. I wish I was making that kind of money back in college.
Josh provides great advice about keyword research, private blog networks, and taking action.
Now, let’s here from Josh…
1. What is your name and current job/profession?
Hello there, my name is Josh Shogren and I am 19 years old. I am currently a Freshman in college at a university in Washington State.
2. How did you get started building niche websites? How long have you been building websites?
I got started making niche sites around 2010 when I was 14/15 years old. I made a site based around Osgood Schlatters disease, which is inflammation under the knees that growing athletes get. I made the site because I had Osgood Schlatters during that time. I was able to find some initial success from the site(surprisingly) but it was penalized by Google after a while. I lost interest in making niche sites after that but about a year ago I got back into making them. That is when I started to have some real success.
3. Tell us about one (preferred) or multiple of your successful websites. What is the URL and what niche are you targeting? If you are not willing to publicly share your domain or niche, that’s just fine.
The niche site that I just sold for close to $17k was in the outdoors niche. Even though the site is not under my control anymore, I do not want to expose the URL out of respect for the new owner. The niche itself was a very obscure niche but there was a ton of different keywords with high monthly searches that I was able to easily rank for. The competition for this niche was very low and it was easy to dominate.
4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each month?
When I sold the site it was making over $700 each month from Amazon Affiliate Program but it took some time before it got to that point. For the first couple of months it averaged around $150-$200, then it increased to $300-$400 over the next few months. Soon it reached the point of making close to $800 in the final month before I sold it. It was a gradual increase each month but the recurring income was very nice.
5. What is the reason for this website’s success?
Like I mentioned, the niche of the site was very easy to dominate. It had a lot of low comp keywords that I was able to rank for in a matter of weeks. A big factor for the site being successful was because of the use of private blog network(PBN) links. I started my own PBN during the same time that I created this niche site and I used that to rank for all of my keywords. It was extremely effective, nowadays PBN links still work but they are no where close to being as powerful as they were a year ago. Another reason why I think the site was successful was because it had excellent content. I found an expert in this niche on Elance to write all of the content for the site. All of these things combined to make the site profitable and successful.
6. Please briefly share your overall strategy for finding a niche, getting traffic to your site, ranking in Google, and making money from niche sites.
Obviously, to detail my whole strategy it would take a lot more than a paragraph to explain but I can explain the main things that I do for my niche sites. Finding a niche, getting traffic, ranking in Google and making money all come down to one very important thing, keyword research. Keyword research is the most important part to the success of any niche site. I like to find niches where there a good amount of easy to rank longtail keywords. I don’t care if the keywords get 50 searches a month, it all adds up. For example, if you found 5 keywords with 90 monthly searches that is equivalent to a keyword that gets 450 monthly searches. The difference is that it is 100x easier to rank keywords with 90 monthly searches than 450 searches. If I can find a niche with a lot of related long tail keywords that are easy to rank then I consider it a good niche to enter. Aside from good keyword research, I also think using PBN links and having high quality content are vital to the success of your sites.
7. What link-building tips can you offer?
I know a lot of people frown upon PBN sites and using them to rank sites but that is what I have found to work best. I have ranked a good amount of sites off of PBN links alone and I will keep doing it as long as it works. Most people don’t like to use PBN’s because they don’t like the upfront cost and the fact that Google might penalize their money site. The way I see it is that the upfront cost of $200-$300 will have an insane ROI a couple of months down the road and it is well, well worth it. As for being penalized by Google, if you set your PBN sites up properly and with care Google will not catch you. My PBN sites have survived over a year and a Google update that specifically targeted PBN sites. Some good resources on keeping your PBN sites safe from Google are: Doug’s PBN 101, Textfly’s PBN guide and Lion Zeals’s PBN guide.
8. How has the success from this website impacted your life?
From affiliate earnings and from the sale of the site, I was able to earn $16,843.01 from this one site alone. This is a nice chunk of money for a 19 year old college kid. With this money I am now able to completely pay off my next years college fees and the rest is going towards my new project, selling private label products on Amazon. It has also allowed me to reinvest the profits from this site into growing my other niche sites with new PBN links and content.
9. Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to replicate your success with their own websites?
Take action. Nothing will ever happen until you take the first step and start doing something. It is okay to read other people’s blogs and to read ebooks but don’t spend all of your time doing those things. You will get information overload and it will practically paralyze you from starting on a project. Find some good information that you think will work and take action upon that information. For example, if you read an article that explains how to make money selling Kindle ebooks then take action on the info they provided you and create/sell your own kindle ebook. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, I am firm believer that if you take action and work hard then you will find success with whatever you are doing. So if there was one thing I would preach to you all it’s to take action, plain and simple.
10. Do you have a blog or other place that people can following along with what you are doing?
I just finished up a huge post that documents the journey of the site talked about in this interview from the point of creation to selling it with Empire Flippers. You can read that post here. Aside from that, you can follow me over at my blog called Passion into Paychecks. I write about niche sites and selling products on Amazon mostly. Hope to see you over there 🙂
Also, huge thanks to Doug for interviewing me and letting me post on his site. I have been a long time reader and it means a lot to finally be featured on his site. I appreciate it Doug!