Note from Spencer: As a heads up, this is guest post success story. I love a couple of things about this story from Erfan Uddin. First is the fact that he knew nothing about niche websites when he first got started. He shares his journey from total “newbie” to a site that made over $1,000 a month.
Second, he’s from Bangladesh; proving that it doesn’t matter where you live in the world…you can do this! (As a heads up, his English is pretty good, but not perfect. I’m leaving some of his grammatical mistakes in this post because I think the lessons he shares are more valuable than having perfect English). This also proves that a non-native English speaker can write and rank articles in English – Google isn’t concerned with perfect English, as long as you meet the searchers intent.
Finally, I should mention that my team and I over at MotionInvest.com bought Erfan’s site at the beginning of October and we are happy with the purchase! If you are looking to either buy or sell a content site, check us out at MotionInvest.com.
When I first started my niche blog website, two years ago, I had only $135 in my pocket. Believe it or not, it took me a little less than 1.5 years to hit the $1k earning in commissions.
Here’s a quick look at the total sessions of 2019.
And here’s the commission of the year 2019 till September:
Before I share my story let me introduce myself first.
This is Erfan Uddin, a mechanical engineer in the profession, an online enthusiast. I’m currently living in Bangladesh. Also, trying to create some online income stream so that I can quit my 9 to 5 job.
The only reason that pushed me into this industry is to live a comfortable life financially. I was completely broke when I started this website.
Back then I kept searching on Google typing “how to make money online with no money”! This might look hilarious now, but this was what I did. I was looking for a legit income source rather than jumping with a scam.
Somehow, I learned the term “passive income” and later stumbled upon this process of Amazon affiliate. Finally, I decided to take the course of Khalid Farhan as that was legit and affordable for me.
First, I went through the course and started implementing it. From the very beginning, I had a tough time working with the process as I was completely new with this area.
I had to learn keyword research, article writing, WordPress, SEO. Keyword research was the most crucial part and the hardest. In the end, the KW that I choose created this site. If that same KW is shown to me right now, I would leave it. It was hard back then and even harder now.
My suggestion here would be not to go after a keyword that is in the niche you love. Go after a keyword that is quite easy to rank for if only you have a tight budget.
After selecting a keyword I quickly generated some more keywords for supporting articles. On top of that, I found nichepursuits.com and followed their success stories and podcasts regularly. This helped me a lot in generating keyword ideas and article structure.
Right away, I bought a domain on 01 November 2017 from Namecheap and used their hosting as they had a great offer back then. Quickly, I set up WordPress and installed a free theme. Later on, I used a group buy process for the Genesis theme. Genesis themes are truly minimalist and fast.
WordPress setup was done and I ordered my first article to a writer. The quality of the article was not good but acceptable. That article never ranked as I said the keyword was too hard for me.
As the cost of article writing was not affordable for me I started reading about article writing. This cost me some time and the growth of the site came to a halt before it even started!
I quickly learned about the long-tail keyword and wrote a couple of articles based on it. This strategy worked for me. Following this strategy, I quickly published 08 posts within January 2018.
I added a couple of more content over the month of February and March 2018. Till then the traffic was not even mentionable. You can see that in the screenshot of my analytics:
See that? This tiny amount of sessions demotivated me already. I was ranking on the first page only for a couple of very low volume of easy keywords. I was about to lose hope and then came the first sale on Amazon. It was 31 March 2018 when I got the first sale!
This was when I planned for some real strategies. I am going to share those strategies and show you how I scaled it to $1K in commission.
After the first commission, I decided to laser focus on a specific topic. As my domain selection was for an authority website, I niched them down. This was my first approach to building AUTHORITY on a topic.
I could not go after my primary keyword anymore as it was extremely competitive. Having said that, I jumped into long-tail keywords.
I’ll take “rangefinder” as an example here. Suppose, I found a keyword “best rangefinder”. This is super competitive and there’s some big fish on the first page. So, I would go for a keyword like “best rangefinder for hunting” which is way less competitive.
Well, yes, the search volume will be low like 250 p/m. But, normally those big sites do not target these laser-focused long-tail keywords. If you can find 5/6 keywords like this and rank on the 1st or 2nd spot, you can easily manage a minimum of 2000-3000 traffic per month only with these keywords. Believe me, this worked for me like a charm.
And for the informative keywords, I had great affection for these kinds of keywords. I love writing informative contents and most of the cases they are easy to rank for. I used google’s “people also look for” and “search suggestion” for finding these kinds of keywords.
However, you have to go in-depth for finding these kinds of keywords. I sometimes scraped my competitors for finding these keyword ideas.
I really could not afford to hire a writer back then, in 2018. All the content was written by me. It took some time to get in shape but I put so much effort into learning article writing.
My concept was to fulfill the “searcher intent” of a keyword. I typed a keyword on google and looked at the “people also ask” and the “search suggestion” closely. It is like Google itself is telling you what users are looking for. And I tried to write as detailed as I can on those topics.
I am not going to talk about the format of an article as I really do not agree that there is any specific kind of format for “buying” or “informative” articles. All it matters is to give the user what he/she is looking for.
Going after this method worked well for me. The traffic started picking up from June 2018 till December 2018. You can see that in the screenshot.
And the earnings were like these in the last three month of 2018:
I know I know. The income is poor regarding the traffic. I’ll talk about it later.
Till December 2018, I had only 22 articles. 60% of those were informative content.
I wasn’t happy at all with the site performance. Then I decided to look for keywords that are:
- “easy to rank”,
- “has a search volume above 1000”,
- “missing super informative content on the first page”.
I found some and wrote a super informative and detailed article on those. I was writing more informative articles than money articles. This process brought great traffic and increased my site authority.
For example, A keyword like “best time of the day to hunt deer” is the potential candidate for super information-rich content.
You can see the traffic in the year 2019 until September. It kept rising and was stable.
I published about 2/3 articles each month of the year 2019. As the earning increased I started sourcing articles from freelance writers. The site had a total 40 posts!
The only thing that I focused, was publishing content for the user. I tried to serve a user what he was looking for.
This is the one area I had trouble with progress. Managing good quality backlinks were tough. Moreover, I had to start and learn about SEO from scratch.
I started with blog commenting and social profiles. Made some forum comments too. That did not bring any results at all.
Over the full year of 2018, I only did guest posting. It was hard and I really hated this part. Still, I was super afraid of PBN.
However, I managed to avail of some moderate quality guest posts on some decent sites. Good sites were asking sky-high prices!
In the year 2019, I focused on only two types of backlinks. Forum commenting and niche edits. In my opinion, having a link from an old post is way more effective than a newly published guest post.
Oh, I tried some Web 2.0 also in the middle of 2019. I was inspired by this as my competitors were doing it. And that worked for me too!
This was my most favorite part. It was the only place for me where I could play around by my wish. Yes, Google has its own theory. But, I played with the keyword density, H tags, internal linking to find out what works best.
I followed the instructions of famous SEO guys on this. My site had Yoast SEO plugin installed and I never waited for the GREEN signal to light up for on-page SEO. This GREEN signal is the silliest mistake that most newbie makes.
I created some extra notes within the content, like a featured area, targeting the featured snippet. For some it worked, for some, it didn’t.
Final Income Status
I worked hard and prayed. The results were satisfying. The income shot up in April and kept growing. Here’s what my income looked like:
- March 2019: $215.81
- April 2019: $505.21
- May 2019: $1170.59
- June: $911.59
- July: $855.09
- August: $836.66
- September: $849.13
I setup Onelink in June 2019 for Canada and UK. UK did not bring anything at all. But, Amazon Canada brought about $100 per month since July 2019.
This income might not be even a dime for some people but this was huge for me!
Finally, I sold the site to Motioninvest.com on October 01, 2019. This was a great experience with them. No brokerage fee, super fast deal.
If you want to take something from this story I would say, focus on your content then backlink. Understand what the user is searching for and find the gaps in the top 10 results of the first page. Write content that fills the gap and sneak in that space!
One more thing I must mention, please use a table on your money pages for great conversion. My conversion rate was nearly doubled right after I used a comparison table plugin.
In a nutshell, the best way for achieving a goal is to start working hard right now. Learn and take action.