[Journey] Established Authority Site to $10k/month

jaymaybe

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Hello everyone,

I've decided to journal my progress here on BHW, for a few reasons:

1. To keep me accountable to put the consistent effort in to grow my online business.
2. To show that white hat success is perfectly achievable (I know it's a bit contradictory being on a site called Black Hat World, but my perception of the site is that it's actually more of an internet marketing site than anything else.
3. I really like reading other people's journeys both here and elsewhere, and I find them very inspirational.

Okay, with that out the way here's where I'm at. I won't be revealing URLs or anyhing, so please do not share any of my information or details should you come across them, or hear from me about them.

Main website was started about 6 years ago, hobby niche with some seasonality, with sporadic blogging, podcasting, youtubing, and email marketing.

Over the years I had varying levels of motivation, and many of them I only managed to make podcast episodes and send emails out - no blog content at all for years.

Eventually I got to about 2000 email subscribers early on, and managed to make extremely consistent affiliate income from mainly email marketing but also some written reviews, sponsorships, and videos.

Today the site gets about 15-20k unique visitors per month, and earns about $2000/mo on average, heavily skewed by Black Friday week where, in 2019, I made over $12k from that one week alone.

I have never used any black/greyhat methods, but I still have an extremely strong SEO profile due to a large number of organic backlinks (including some very high domain authority)

My philosophy is similar to the Income School (Project 24) philosophy, as I don't believe most grey/blackhat is worth it.

I recently brought out my first product (course) and made about $7k on the launch. This will be a pivotal part of my monetisation structure going forward.

I've also recently joined a very expensive coaching program, and my goal with that is to get the site up to $10k a month over the next 12 months.

Here's how I plan to do just that:

1. Write/outsource a shit ton of quality content to increase the organic traffic. Historically I've done all the writing myself, but I realise that to grow I need to hand some of this off going forward.
2. Increase subscribers by improving opt-in rates across the website. I've always had about a 1% conversion rate, but I'm sure that can be greatly improved with better lead magnets, and more tactical optin positioning.

And that's basically it!

I think sometimes people overcomplicate what it takes to succeed online. Yes, I've been doing this for 6 years on/off (most years I did very little, before I even considered making it a 'business') but the steps I took were incredibly basic and can definitely be replicated by anyone.

Once I've reached the $10k/mo goal then I'm sure I'll pivot into some other ways of advancing my business. I have a few project ideas that I'd love to get into at some point that are tangential to the main website.

Anyway, this first update is already getting rather long so I'll pause it here for now. I expect to update at least monthly, but I'll strive for weekly updates.

Any questions let me know and I'd be happy to answer - my question to you would be, what metrics are interesting to hear about?
 

Dunga

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t-ranks.com
Today the site gets about 15-20k unique visitors per month, and earns about $2000/mo on average, heavily skewed by Black Friday week where, in 2019, I made over $12k from that one week alone.

How is the site monetized?

Best of luck.
 

jaymaybe

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How is the site monetized?

Best of luck.
Thanks!

About 90% from affiliate sales previously, which will probably go down a bit now that I have my own product out. The last 10% come from sponsorships, and promoted posts.
 

jaymaybe

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What kind of site? Affiliate site? Do you sell products or monetize with display ads?

Authority site with blog/podcast/youtube channel - 90% affiliate, and now my own product. No display ads but I do occassionally accept sponsored posts
 

jaymaybe

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Oh ok, this is really achievable considering where you are at, not a totally new site.
Success with it
Absolutely. I'm not pretending anyone can just write 50 blog posts and record 100 podcast episodes in a month and get to $2k a month, but I've done nothing special or difficult in this journey, and like I said did very little on the site for many years. Being established helps a lot, of course.
 

what_hat?

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Best of luck @jaymaybe and one piece of advice. If you have never outsourced content creation before, keep in mind you'll end up rewritting everything you buy, no matter how well you specify the job to be done. This is normal. There are plenty of guides online with tips on how to do this, but I personally found very useful some pointers fellow blackhatter @Shaunm gave on his website: http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...bservations-upwork/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

@Shaunm Your post didn't seem to be online anymore. If you want me to remove this link and any mention to your post please just say so. Also I was very glad to see you were back at BHW
 

Sristy

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Absolutely. I'm not pretending anyone can just write 50 blog posts and record 100 podcast episodes in a month and get to $2k a month, but I've done nothing special or difficult in this journey, and like I said did very little on the site for many years. Being established helps a lot, of course.
Great. Establishment is key factor for success on long term..
 

soa0611

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Hello everyone,

I've decided to journal my progress here on BHW, for a few reasons:

1. To keep me accountable to put the consistent effort in to grow my online business.
2. To show that white hat success is perfectly achievable (I know it's a bit contradictory being on a site called Black Hat World, but my perception of the site is that it's actually more of an internet marketing site than anything else.
3. I really like reading other people's journeys both here and elsewhere, and I find them very inspirational.

Okay, with that out the way here's where I'm at. I won't be revealing URLs or anyhing, so please do not share any of my information or details should you come across them, or hear from me about them.

Main website was started about 6 years ago, hobby niche with some seasonality, with sporadic blogging, podcasting, youtubing, and email marketing.

Over the years I had varying levels of motivation, and many of them I only managed to make podcast episodes and send emails out - no blog content at all for years.

Eventually I got to about 2000 email subscribers early on, and managed to make extremely consistent affiliate income from mainly email marketing but also some written reviews, sponsorships, and videos.

Today the site gets about 15-20k unique visitors per month, and earns about $2000/mo on average, heavily skewed by Black Friday week where, in 2019, I made over $12k from that one week alone.

I have never used any black/greyhat methods, but I still have an extremely strong SEO profile due to a large number of organic backlinks (including some very high domain authority)

My philosophy is similar to the Income School (Project 24) philosophy, as I don't believe most grey/blackhat is worth it.

I recently brought out my first product (course) and made about $7k on the launch. This will be a pivotal part of my monetisation structure going forward.

I've also recently joined a very expensive coaching program, and my goal with that is to get the site up to $10k a month over the next 12 months.

Here's how I plan to do just that:

1. Write/outsource a shit ton of quality content to increase the organic traffic. Historically I've done all the writing myself, but I realise that to grow I need to hand some of this off going forward.
2. Increase subscribers by improving opt-in rates across the website. I've always had about a 1% conversion rate, but I'm sure that can be greatly improved with better lead magnets, and more tactical optin positioning.

And that's basically it!

I think sometimes people overcomplicate what it takes to succeed online. Yes, I've been doing this for 6 years on/off (most years I did very little, before I even considered making it a 'business') but the steps I took were incredibly basic and can definitely be replicated by anyone.

Once I've reached the $10k/mo goal then I'm sure I'll pivot into some other ways of advancing my business. I have a few project ideas that I'd love to get into at some point that are tangential to the main website.

Anyway, this first update is already getting rather long so I'll pause it here for now. I expect to update at least monthly, but I'll strive for weekly updates.

Any questions let me know and I'd be happy to answer - my question to you would be, what metrics are interesting to hear about?
whats your sites metrics? DR DA TF. Just curious
good luck, sure you'll get there
 

Satal

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Will give this a follow. Wishing your best in your quest for £10k/m
Will definitely be interested in any tips you might have around making the most of your mailing list :)
 

Satal

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Nah its cool, deleted it as part of the rebrand for my blog :).
It's a shame that you've removed them. I've just gone on Archive.org and starting to read your posts. Just finished the one posted about Upwork as I've hired two people on there now so I was interested to see if you had any recommendations.
 

jaymaybe

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Will give this a follow. Wishing your best in your quest for £10k/m
Will definitely be interested in any tips you might have around making the most of your mailing list :)
Thanks!

I really think that for the size of my list I've done extremely well for myself, here is what I attribute to this success

1. weekly (or very regular) emails so people get to know you. I typically share a little bit about what I'm up to or what's going on in my neck of the woods - this builds trust and 'teaches' people to open and expect emails from me regularly.
2. Automation sequence in place for when people join, which includes a bit more on my background and a few helpful emails with answers to common questions and obstacles in my niche. I also include some affiliate links here, which kept my affiliate sales going even in times when I wasn't doing anything on the site.
3. Limited promotion, but when I do promote it's heavy. So, what I mean by this is that I send a lot of emails that have no links in them, and even more emails which are not promotional in nature. But, when the time comes for a good promo, whether it's a product launch or something like black friday I go all in and email every day (some days more than once a day) + resending to unopens, tagging, etc.
4. Pruning, every so often I'll delete leads who haven't opened any emails from me in months. This helps deliverability and staying out of the spam/promotions folder (i think)
5. Headlines must always have some kind of curiosity element to them, because the only goal of the headline is to get people to open the email. Don't clickbait people or promise something you can't deliver, of course, but try to not answer everything in the headline.
6. Make your site all about collecting leads. I used a welcomemat popup for a long time with a small PDF (30 pages or so) ebook that I wrote, and it converted really well. This way you can get a traffic boost to new posts, podcasts, and videos but also greatly increase your sales of own or affiliate products.

That's basically the gist of it, if I left something out let me know
 
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