It is great to hear about people finding success.
I met Jeff a little over a year ago. He was actually an early reader of Niche Site Project and I think we saw each other in the comments of blogs like Niche Pursuits and Quick Sprout.
Jeff also picked up the original Niche Site Project book - the alpha version. It turns out we have some common interests in home brewing & fermentation. That's a different story for another time...
Today, we're going to hear about Jeff's success online, plus the rise and fall of one of his sites.
Let's hear it from Jeff...
1. What is your name and current job/profession?
My name is Jeff, and in my “day” job, I’m a consultant for an environmental services firm. The work is fun for the most part, but occasionally high stress and gets in the way of things I’d rather be doing. It’s a pretty good job, but being an entrepreneur excites me quite a bit, and I want to take a shot at it.
2. How did you get started building niche websites? How long have you been building websites?
I got started building niche websites because I wanted to expand my online income empire. I figured niche websites were a good way to go, and so I started reading. And reading. And reading. I did this for about 2 years, then I decided to take action when spencer started his case study with Perrin. I figured if this random guy from the comments can do it, so can I. I set it up so I’d purposely lag behind them so I could replicate his steps. I think the fact that I felt like I was being led through the process finally got me to take action. I had even had a good list of keywords before I started as well, and simply picked one.
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.
I have quite a few sites in the sandbox at the moment, but the one I’ll talk about was earning well late summer and last fall. I was on my way to my first 1,000$ month when google knocked the ranchero network down, and all the sites that it linked out to. I had only pointed a few links from rank hero to my site, but it didn’t matter – the damage was done. I’ll keep the domain to myself because I have restarted the site (and it’s in the sandbox) but the niche was sporting goods.
4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each month?
The most I ever hit was $700, but that was only until the 16th of the final month. Had it continued, I know it would have hit > 1,000 and possibly hit 1500, which would have been huge for me. It also was not even in the top 3 consistently for the primary KW – it had reached the top spot for the secondary KW but was floating in the 3-6 range for the primary KW. Aside from this site that got hit, I’m down to 1 earner bringing in about $100 per month.
5. What is the reason for this website’s success?
Good keyword research, strong content and high quality backlinks. Link building is scary to me because it’s where so many websites get penalized, but it’s something you’ve got to do. Moving forward, I’m going to keep using PBN, but also do outreach, blog comments and working on getting links from other sources.
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.
First, I do a TON of keyword research. I try and start with something that I know, because I like to write the bigger pieces of content myself (though I don’t always do this). I use longtail pro as well as the keyword thirst method popularized by no hat digital. If I can find enough potential in a set of keywords from that, I’ll get to building out the site and content. Once the site is up with a logo & design + content (10-15k+ words) I usually let it rest for a while and move on to a new project. The rankings wont go anywhere for a while because of the sandbox anyway. Once I start getting about 100-150 visits per week on the site, I start the monetization process – amazon links, adsense or whatever. I’ll start link building around this time as well, then move up in the SERPs naturally. I don’t blast the links to the site, I usually drip them – a few a month or so. I like to see what effect each link has on the site.
7. What link-building tips can you offer?
Go slow, be careful and don’t do more than 1 link exact match, if you do any at all. I like the website name, (www.site.com) or branded links (site) for most of mine, but I’ll also mix in some long sentences (you can get something like that from site.com if you want one) or generic junk text (click here, this site, here) etc.
8. How has the success from this website impacted your life?
It has confirmed the fact that I want to work for myself sometime in the future. It’s also confirmed my belief that I’ll be able to start earning money online, and I’ve realized the power of being able to generate your own income – both from a wealth accumulation perspective and from a job security perspective.
9. Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to replicate your success with their own websites?
Stop reading about the “latest in SEO”. Take some fucking action. When you’re reading blogs about SEO and niche site building, you are telling yourself you’re learning the process, and that’s true to a point. However, once you get past a certain point there’s not much else to learn, and you need to get to work. You may think you’re working while reading new tips and tricks, but what you’re really doing is not taking action.
In addition to taking action, I suggest you be as deliberate as you possibly can. Keep tracking spreadsheets of how you’re ranking, how you’re earning, and where your visitors are coming and going from. Keep track of how you’re writing your articles, and when you’re posting them. Write naturally, but make sure to fit relevant KWs in there.
10. Do you have a blog or other place that people can following along with what you are doing?
I do have a blog – you can follow along on my journey at onlinesideincome.com
Thanks for sharing your story, Jeff!
I love how Jeff keeps moving ahead even with some minor setbacks.
I want to plug a service that Jeff provides - Private Blog Network build outs. I have used Jeff's service and it's top notch. I am not an affiliate and Jeff didn't ask me to mention it here. It's really that good.
If you're curious about how to build out a PBN, you can learn more at PBNCourse.com. Once you understand the process, it's great to outsource some of the buildout and that's where Jeff can help.
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