by Juan Robin II
She’s reached $2,000 a month already, and it looks like she’s on track to hit almost $3,000 this month when I originally published the interview on YouTube.
She started her journey in internet marketing by starting a travel blog, and eventually created a successful niche site.
Her site was created in July 2017, and is now earning around $2-3K and is on an upward trend. SUPER fast growth.
She gives some of her best tips on using the Keyword Golden Ratio to optimize her content on her niche website and make money online.
Ellen and her husband have formulated a model to help you calculate the ROI for a Keyword Golden Ratio article, so let’s get to the interview.
Here is the Interview Transcript:
Doug: Good morning, Ellen. Thanks for joining me. I’m really excited to talk to you today, so welcome to the Niche Site Project channel.
Ellen: Thanks so much. Good to be here. Thanks for having me.
Doug: Okay, Ellen. We’re just going to get right to the punchline pretty quickly here, but before we do, can you just tell me a little about yourself and your background?
Ellen: Sure, absolutely. I actually am a social worker by background. I worked in the public policy field for a number of years, five to seven years prior to really starting to get into internet marketing, and so I got into internet marketing probably in 2011.
I’ve started a travel blog, actually. At the time, I had read about all these successful travel bloggers who were making tens of thousands of dollars a month or whatever on their travel blog, and I thought, “Well, gosh. I travel a lot.”
I was getting ready to move overseas, and so I was like, “Well, that would be like the perfect online business to have, to set up before our big move so that I can be bringing in some income,” because we moved for my husband’s job. I wanted to work too while we were overseas.
I spent about a year building up this travel blog, and that’s how I got into internet marketing. I built the travel blog up to where it was doing well, making probably about 4K a month at its peak and continuing to grow when, honestly, the great firewall was living in China.
I got just really shut down by the internet and trying. It was just impossible, but I never gave up. I just had to put all that on hold. Then, I returned to internet marketing a couple of years ago once we got back to the States. Kind of a bit of a circuitous route into internet marketing from the political world or the advocacy world. I think it fits my personality well, so I like the challenge of it.
Doug: Cool. Now let’s get to the punchline part. You have a site that’s doing pretty well, and that’s how you and I connected, and you launched the site in July 2017. Right now, it’s March, so what is that? Eight months or something like that.
Ellen: Eight, eight and a half months probably, yes.
Doug: Okay. Can you tell me about the most recent earnings, say in like February, and what’s the target for March?
Ellen: Sure, yes. My most recent earnings, I think, in February was just under $2 000 for the month, so 1,950 maybe.
Ellen: Right now, I’m on track to make about $3,000 for March, so my goal is to crack $3,000 by the end of March. I don’t know if I’ll do it. Maybe I’ll get 28. I think if I can get to $2,800, I’ll be fine with that because the trajectory is good, but yes, that’s my goal. I think for my past 30 days, I checked it this morning, and I think I was at just under $2,400 for the past 30 days.
Doug: Okay. That’s amazing. Congratulations.
Doug: I mean you know a lot of people don’t get to the point that you’re at, so that’s a huge accomplishment. That’s amazing. Do you check your earnings every morning, because it’s pretty exciting?
Ellen: Yes. Not so much because it’s exciting. I think I actually check it out of fear just to make sure that overnight, my Amazon account didn’t get canceled or something. Same thing with Google Analytics.
I’m always making sure I have people on my site so that I can check that it’s not crashing, but yes. I mean I just like to tick off the progress in my own mind, just set in my mind as I go into my work day because I’m doing this full-time now.
Ellen: I probably start around 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning if it’s a good day. Yes, that’s how I set my workday. I remind myself of how far I’ve come and put fills.
I’m just really trudging along during the day, especially if I’m doing the writing myself. It’s a good reminder just to set my mind that yes, you are actually making progress. This is going somewhere. This is working.
Doug: Okay. Awesome. I check earnings often too, so it’s a normal thing that we do.
Ellen: Yes, exactly, yes.
Doug: How much traffic is the site getting right now, like per day on average, would you say?
Ellen: Sure. Per day on average, probably on average, about 1 700. The highest days are usually Saturday and Sunday.
Ellen: Those are just under 2 000 a day than any other day can be 17, 18, something like that. I’m around 43 to 45 000 a month right now.
The First 6 Months of a Niche Site
Doug: Okay. Cool, and I’m just going to recap what we just went over here. The site’s about eight months old. It’s making between 2 and 3 000, most likely. It’s on an upward trend, and you’re getting over a thousand people, sometimes up to 2 000 per day. That’s fast growth, and I’ll point out, I have another video where I talk about the timeline of starting a site and what can happen quickly. Now, the thing is, usually, the first six months are a little bit slower, so were your six months, it felt like maybe you weren’t moving? Tell me about it.
Ellen: Yes, so I was completely prepared for the first six months for nothing to happen. I watched a lot of your videos. I think the interview you did with Dave Fox, and he was just like, “Google hates you for the first nine months. Don’t expect anything good to happen,” and so I went into it like, “I’m just going to do this and not expecting great things,” and so it was probably … I think I launched in July. Then, around September, maybe late August, I actually heard about the KGR for the first time on one of your videos.
The Keyword Golden Ratio and Cooking Dinner…
Ellen: It was so funny. Actually, I was literally making dinner, chopping vegetables, and I had my laptop up on the little kitchen sill, listening to you, really tuning part of it out. Then, you brought out an Excel sheet. That always peaks my interest when somebody does something that’s somehow data-driven.
I stopped mid-chop, and I was like, “What is this guy talking about?” You pulled up the All In title, and you showed me. After that, right after that, I finished dinner, and I just went and started doing Keyword Golden Ratio research in my niche. I was like, “Oh my gosh. There’s tons of these.”
I immediately switched around that late August, early September mark and started just pouring the Keyword Golden Ratio content on. I was, at that point, doing only KGR. That’s all I do now. It’s basically Keyword Golden Ratio optimized content. Unless there’s something like, “Oh, you really should cover this in this niche, but there’s a thousand competitors. Who cares? Just stick it up there.”
Pour on KGR Content
That was probably early September, and I spent the next six weeks really pouring on the Keyword Golden Ratio content. Traffic started to pick up. I started probably to get a couple hundred a day, but the thing of it was, is that I really hadn’t gone through and fully monetized the site yet, because I didn’t want to have the issue with Amazon of getting kicked out. It’s just like, “Wow, these posts are actually getting traffic. Maybe I should go monetize.” I spent the next week just going through and monetizing all of my articles, and within the next week after that, I was earning. I think in terms of earnings, i actually wrote this down. In terms of earnings, I think I earned something between September and October, my total earnings were 58.92, and so traffic was, let’s just say, around 300 a day at that point. Going into November, traffic picked up to probably 500 to 600 a day, maybe a little higher on the weekends, but for the month of November, I earned over $500.
Ellen: I went from less than $60 in a combined two months to making almost $600 in six weeks.
Ellen: Just on Keyword Golden Ratio content.
Ellen: It was that, that … Yes. After that, my husband and I, we were driving back from my parents’ house in Indiana, and we live in New England. We’re just like, “Wow, this legit works,” and so we decided to really pour into it at that point and see where it goes. I thought, “Oh, well maybe it was just the holidays or something,” but I’ve done better after that and my traffic has picked up after that.
Doug: Mm-hmm (affirmative), cool.
Ellen: I’m sure next year, I’ll do better. I’ll have a holiday bump, but I don’t really think I did this year.
Doug: Interesting, interesting. It’s funny, I had a conversation with my wife in 2014, 2013 maybe. Yes, it was 2013, and I started a site around the same time period in July 2013. I remember, I was in Indiana as well, funny enough, in the northern part. My wife has family up there, and yes, we’re driving around. Yes, I remember talking in the car for two hours about internet marketing. Back then, she had a higher tolerance for listening to me talk about it. She’s had enough at this point.
Ellen: Aww, yes, yes.
What about not using the KGR?
Doug: I want to backtrack at times, so you said that you found the KGR in September. That’s a really cool story, by the way, me picturing other people watching my videos for real. What was your strategy prior to it?
Ellen: That is a really good question.
Doug: I almost want you to mention the other marketers that you may have been following as a reference point, because I probably followed the same people. Then, I found my own area, so it’s totally cool if you want to mention people specifically.
Ellen: I had done this before with the travel blog and had, had some success. I’ve had some articles that had ranked title in Google, and so my strategy was just to do keyword research but on things that I thought it made sense that people would be looking for in a particular niche. I started using KWFinder, was the keyword tool that I was … My paid tool that I was using. Then, I was also using Uber suggest, which is a free tool. I was using those two tools, and I was following pretty much all of the other leaders in the niche and authority site field other than you. I hadn’t actually stumbled upon you yet. Niche, Niche Pursuits, Authority Hacker, and I had just come across Income School, I think. I think YouTube figured out what I was looking for at that point, and then you popped up soon after.
My strategy, really, I think I listened to one of them had done a podcast or something and just talked about pouring a bunch of articles on in your niche, and give it six months to a year. It doesn’t matter what the competitiveness is, and I’m putting words in their mouth there.
They probably had much more nuance to it, but I wasn’t really too concerned with the competitiveness of the keywords I was using. I just thought, “Oh, I’ll eventually start to rank for those. I was looking for ones that, in Keyword Finder, would have a lower competition score, but honestly, now that I do KGR with those, that doesn’t line up. I don’t really even use those tools anymore. It just doesn’t prove true.
I was just trying. I was going to competitors’ websites that were similar and looking for what they were covering. Then, I was just like, “Oh, I’m just going to do articles that are better.” Since I knew enough about it, I could tell what kind of keywords they were targeting. Sometimes, I’d maybe look it up in some rush or something, but mostly, I was just reading the content, trying to do it naturally.
It’s not that I think that the other folks like Authority Hacker and such didn’t provide valuable information. I think that they did, and it definitely got me started. I actually think it’s a full puzzle, and each plays their own roles. Authority Hacker specializes in really detailed posts or podcasts on a very specific issue, but maybe if you don’t buy their course, you’re not getting quite the how-to. What was really missing for me in my strategy and in the people that I was following was the exact how-to, a formula. I really wanted a formula.
Ellen: Exact how-to. A formula. I really wanted a formula, and so when I was sitting there chopping vegetables and I hear you pull out this Excel sheet and you start going over this formula, I was like, “Finally. Somebody has done what I was looking for.” Some of the articles that I published before, that I had found. “Okay, a competitor covers this.” They do sometimes get traffic, but they hardly ever do. If I had just kept with that strategy, I might get a hundred views a month. Actually, I have a second site that I was focusing on more than the current site at the time, and I didn’t use Keyword Golden Ratio for it.
I’m going back now and KGR-ing it, if you will, and it gets a hundred views a day. I follow some different strategies. Some of that was my own doing. Others, maybe I was listening to other folks, but yes, so I think pulling pieces from everybody’s teaching has been helpful, at least, in terms of my progress.
Doug: Yes. That totally … Thanks for all that background, by the way. It’s really helpful because, I mean I learned from Niche Pursuits and Spencer and then Authority Hacker. To be honest, I haven’t gone through their courses and stuff, but from afar, it looks like they follow roughly the same type of model, if just had to guess. I think you’re right about pulling the pieces from different sources, and you had enough experience, so you knew which pieces to pull.
Doug: Oftentimes, I see …
Ellen: I did that with [Steve 00:14:41], yes.
Doug: Yes, because it’s really easy to pull each of the wrong pieces, and then, we’re much worse off and you don’t understand why, but you already knew because you had a site in the past.
Ellen: I had the site in the past. I’ve been studying internet marketing for a long time, and also, I should add, I actually have the time. A key piece in my story in terms of why I even got started doing this anyway was because with my husband’s job, we actually ended up having to move quite a bit. I was just going to be in a position where I was always going to have to be leaving a job or moving to a new city with no contacts, trying to get a job, so I wanted to do something that I could do from anywhere in the world. That wouldn’t be dependent upon his job, so that I didn’t feel like every time we move, I have to give up my life and move. I wanted to be able to take it with me, and so we decided together as a couple that this would be our strategy, was to have me focus on this full-time.
Having that time did make a huge difference because I could distill down all of the knowledge and the information that I was following from everybody and have time to wrap my brain around it, pick and choose what I wanted to do and also test it out. I think if you’re in a position to where maybe you have an hour a day to spend on your niche or maybe even less, plus you’re trying to consume information from people, that can be really difficult. I think that’s where it’s very helpful to have a structured course because what you’re essentially paying for in a course is not just the knowledge. I mean a lot of that knowledge you and the others provide for free on YouTube, but the other piece of it is, “Well, here’s all of that information in the order you need it, in the framework that you need it. You can maximize your time.” It’s value for money and the time value of money. That’s important too.
I have to add that I think my situation is a little different. I don’t want people to think that I’m just like, “Oh, yes. You can just find all the KGR words.” We’re making a thousand dollars a month in six months. No way. It took a lot of hard work. I probably spend over eight hours a day on this at this point. I hire writers. I do some writing on my own, a little bit of both, but right now, it’s not passive for me in that regard.
Doug: Got it, got it. By the way, you haven’t taken Five Figure Niche Site, right?
Ellen: I have not, no.
Doug: Okay. I think, well, that’s key to point out too, right?
Doug: You don’t need the courses. There’s plenty of information. I mean you made a great point for me, so thanks, but the course, Five-Figure Niche Site, it’s almost more important. Not more important, but it’s just as important as what I don’t put in and I omit from the course because there are many, many strategies and details. They give you tiny incremental gains.
They’re very … Not necessarily advanced in complexity, but they’re advanced in applications. If you are six weeks into your site and you’re trying to do something that I would do for a site that’s three years old, you’re probably wasting your time. You’re probably not going to get anything out of it, so it’s really key to know what to do and when and in the right order.
No one piece is really hard. It’s just if you have to do a hundred steps and do them in the right order, you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing, especially if you only have an hour a day.
Ellen: Yes, definitely, yes. I would recommend the course just from what I know of the outline you’ve provided for it and the content you’ve provided online. I can say definitively that if I hadn’t had the prior experience building sites and doing internet marketing on some level, and if I didn’t have the time available to do it like I do, I would absolutely be paying for the course.
Unless I just somehow miraculously found thousands of Keyword Golden Ratio terms and was able to do that myself and was like, “Oh, I think this is working. I don’t really need the course.” I think the project management aspect that you bring to it is very helpful. I tend toward being very project management-oriented myself even though I’m not a PMP, but I am good at managing projects and teams and stuff. I think that if I didn’t have that, I would absolutely need the course in order to succeed. I would put that out there for people to certainly consider.
Doug: Thanks for saying that. I appreciate it.
The ROI For the Keyword Golden Ratio
Doug: Okay. I want to move to something very interesting. I’ve heard people … Well, people have asked me about it, and I just haven’t done the research because I didn’t think it was something you could calculate. You have a hypothesis about the ROI for a Keyword Golden Ratio article. Can you just walk me through an example and explain how this works? By the way, I’ll probably put some numbers up on the screen to help people visualize as you’re talking through it.
Ellen: Great. Fantastic. Yes, so this is the formula that has worked for me and proven true for me. Results may not necessarily be applicable and transferable for everyone, but I had heard, I think on Income School or you that the idea of you could earn $1 per month for every view you got in one day. For example, if you’re getting 1 800 views a day, consistently, then you would theoretically be making $1 800 a month. I latched onto that like, “Oh, this can’t be that hard. Surely, if I just do that, I’ll be able to get to that point,” and so I wanted to see what that would look like for my particular niche and regard the KGR specifically. I’ll have to refer to my notes a little bit on this one, but I do pay for some of my content. I’ve probably written half of it and paid for the other half. This ROI calculation is based on paying $20 for an article. Sometimes, I’ll pay more than that, but this is just general, $20 an article.
If you pay $20 an article right now, with my current traffic, I’m getting 2.5 visits per day per KGR article. I took out all those other articles that I’ve published before, and these calculations don’t include that. That two and a half visits a day per Keyword Golden Ratio article, on average, I’m earning about $1.50 for each of those views. It comes out to one article times two and a half views a day times 1.5 views. That’s gives you total for how much you can expect that article to earn for you.
An example of this would be, to put it in practical terms, let’s say I ordered a hundred KGR articles at $20 a piece for a total of $2 000. I’m looking at how quickly am I going to make a return on that investment? Is that really going to pay off? If so, how quickly is that going to happen? I paid $2 000 for these articles. Just for the sake of this, let’s forget the Google sandbox. Let’s assume they start getting traffic right away. Your site’s not new, or yes, your site’s not new. They’re going to start ranking immediately. Each post is receiving two and a half views a day, earning an average of $1.50 each. That’s going to give me, on those 100 posts, $250 per month, just for that batch of 100. I spent $2 000 total, so after six months, I would have earned $1 500 off of those articles. At six months, I haven’t quite made back my initial investment, but I’m getting close.
Then, after 12 months, I will have earned, assuming no growth, static results, they’ll earn $3 000 total for the 12-month period. I spent 2 000, end up with your 2 000 back plus 1 000 more, so I get a 50% return on my investment. I’ve recouped my cost in four to six months. Then, it ended the year with a 200% return on investment. It just depends on how each article performs, but that’s just an average. I’m for the goal of within six months, I want to make back my money, and in the next six months, within 12 months, I want to double my money. As an investor in the stock market, that’s pretty impressive to me that in one year, I could double my money. It may take me a couple of years to double my money in a good economy.
I might not get to that point for five years or something, and so that’s actually really impressive because I think people probably are like, “Oh, I don’t want to spend money on content if I don’t know it’s going to work.” My suggestion would be spend a little money on content or a lot of time writing it, and prove it. I think the example you used is 10 posts. Maybe do 35 or something like that. Something a little bigger because not all of the Keyword Golden Ratio terms will end up ranking. Most probable they will, but it’s not guaranteed. Experiment with it with a smaller batch. Then, once you earn money off of that batch, my recommendation at least would be don’t be afraid to pour that money back into scaling your business and paying for content o writing content yourself.
Yes, so from an investment perspective, I actually think it’s really very interesting because I’m sure that holds a lot of people back, is this. You feel like you’re spending money by paying for content, but in reality, after a year, that may allow you to earn. If Amazon Associates program stays around and Google doesn’t penalize you, you’re just going to keep accelerating that growth, and so it’s going to pay off so much more in the long run.
Doug: Cool. This is amazing, and I have not come up with such a model, right? I haven’t come up with a model like this. Number one, I feel like I spend most of my time still trying to convince people that it can work, so those comments are pretty funny when I get them, but I appreciate it, nevertheless. This is really cool. I like that you made a number of assumptions, but you moved forward, right? We don’t ever have complete data, so you came up with your best guesses in the beginning. Then, as you got more data, you were able to go and apply it more specifically.
What were you going to say?
Ellen: Yes. This data is probably based on my performance about four to six weeks ago, so maybe I’m earning more than $1.50 per article. I tried to just low ball it. I wanted worst-case-scenario, what am I going to do? What am I going to get in terms of my return? Yes, and so I’m continuing to scale as a result of that. I think it also should be added in terms of just the KGR work. Yes, it does work. That doesn’t mean that everyone can do it, so sometimes, the problem is not with KGR. It could be in how the person is doing KGR or other problems with the site. I think we shouldn’t just jump to the conclusion that it’s Keyword Golden Ratio’s fault, just in the same way we shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that it’s the website owner’s fault.
Ellen: It could be a number of factors, and I just encourage people. What do you have to lose, if you don’t want to spend the money on KRG content write it yourself. Take a month and do it. All you’ve lost is your time.
Ellen: Worst it can do is make you money.
Doug: That’s right, that’s right.
Ellen: There are worse things to happen in the world than you work for a couple hours and it makes you money.
What range does the ROI Formula Work?
Doug: Cool. Again, it’s really awesome to see how you made some good assumptions and moved forward. As I was listening to you explain it I’m thinking about you’re probably in this sweet, sweet spot of those averages and stuff. Do you have any predictions on where the model falls apart? Like amount of traffic or some amount of articles or something like that?
Ellen: Yeah I think at this point the main threat to the model are what would be threats to all of us. If Amazon changes their affiliate program or does away with it, well that sucks. And then if I was to get some sort of Google penalty that could impact it. I do notice I do that kind of a Google dance sometimes I will change positions but I’m still usually up there. So, I think if I was to get penalized then obviously it would drop off significantly. I feel like the other week I had a lot week in terms of traffic but my earnings still continued to go up. I think it’s kind of, I mean it all depends on who comes to your site and what they order, right? My products are not changing price but the visitors to my site are changing and what they buy does change.
So I don’t know if it falls apart just on its own without some kind of external catalyst. In terms of kinda going forward projections that I have, I’m assuming no growth from my projections I assume no growth. So if I have an article that’s ranking four or five. I’m assuming it does not become number one.
Doug: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ellen: That’s what my calculation is based on. It’s also based on if I have an article that’s number one. I’m assuming it doesn’t go to number five. All things being constant my way to growth is adding more content. Other people could take a totally different approach add a lot of back links, skyrocket those four or five positions up to one and two, probably double or triple their page views a month and probably earnings go along with that. I’m not assuming that will happen and right now my focus is on scaling with content rather than with links. I’m not anti-back link by any means. In fact, one of the reasons my travel site did so well in a competitive niche, it had like almost 700 back links by the end there. And all that was more or less organic. I think that there were shadier tactics back then like I think the shadiest I ever did, which I didn’t realize was shady was like a link exchange …
Ellen: … here’s some great resources, other travel blogs, you know? I didn’t do private blog networks, none of that. So I don’t plan to do any of that going forward I’m just hoping to generate natural back links, then maybe do some intentional back links kind of the second half of this year after the content has scaled.
Is Link Building Needed?
Doug: Cool, we haven’t talked about back links at all. So have you done any link building for the site at all?
Ellen: No I haven’t and for the other site that’s not really monetized and not really earning as we’re told. I haven’t done any back link building for that either, but it was generating it much more naturally on its own than on my site that is earning. So I thought that was interesting and it kinda says to me like, “Okay in the next six months you really should take this seriously.” I haven’t even done any blog commenting on it. I should be doing that.
Ellen: I would recommend your listeners to be doing that.
Ellen: No idea how much it would help my current content at this point. I think back links are just good practice.
Doug: So what do you think the other site is getting like natural back links?
Ellen: It was kind of accidentally an under covered piece of content that was very well organized. It was like blank ways to blank and just a very linkable article and then it kind of had a sister article, so then people would kinda click over to that and maybe they’d link to one or the other. They were semi related and then there were some other articles on there that I don’t remember that got more natural back links. I think it was the type of information that people are actually wanting to include and link to in their own post. Whereas with my money site who’s gonna link to best x for y, right?
Ellen: Like in their own article. Like, here go to this other website and click on their links.
Ellen: I think that’s why, but I have no data to back that up.
Doug: Right well it makes sense. It’s rare when people are gonna link to an affiliate article. A lot of times those are okay resources, but a lot of us know they’re not the best. We’re literally trying to review and sell something. So people are [crosstalk 00:31:09] …
Ellen: Yeah even if it provides valuable information, which I always tell my writers that’s our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is not to sell this product. Our ultimate goal is to provide the reader with the information they need to make an informed choice because they’re the expert in whatever it is that they’re wanting to buy for. So you brew beer, I don’t need to tell you certain things about that. I just need to provide certain information that helps you draw and informed conclusion. They may link because my articles do provide that valuable information, but if they know enough, right they’re probably like I’m gonna get this guy some affiliate commissions is my link to that. Why would I want to do that? Unless they’re an affiliate, yeah, market, but they understand it.
Motivation for Niche Site Owners
Doug: Right. So, let’s sort of shift gears, kinda move to the motivation area. So you’re working on your own, do you have any tips for people that are trying to do this on the side? Or just in general like if they’re just getting started?
Ellen: Yeah, well I think the first thing is it does work and it is worth it, but just keep in mind that this is kind of not something that’s gonna make you money overnight. If you’re needing money now go get … you always use the term “Go dig a ditch,” well that’s probably a really good idea actually. Go get a job elsewhere if you really need a side hustle that brings you in money now. But if you are wanting something that will bring you in passive income for the long term then my number one piece of advice is stick with it. Don’t be afraid to get creative so I’m posting on a lot of keywords that a lot of my online title searches result in no other searches coming after.
Ellen: And I think to myself, “Well why is that?” And I’m like well I guess I looked at the problem differently.
Ellen: I think don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and say, “Okay well what are other competitors in my niche doing?” I’m not gonna do that.
Ellen: I’m not covered in those terms. I’m not gonna try to beat them, I’m gonna go around the back door and cover these other topics.
So, I would say that, just don’t be afraid to think outside the box and take a different approach than what others in the field seem to be doing. I’d say and then I think the other thing is time management. So if I wasn’t doing this full time I would have to set aside some time in the evenings to do it. What I did for my travel blog I was working full time for an entire year while I was building up that site. Probably four nights out of the week I spent two to three hours in the evenings doing it. That was tough. My husband and I would eat dinner together and then kinda do our own thing. Maybe in the same room, but it was still sad.
Ellen: So you’re gonna have to make sacrifices like that and talk with your spouse, your partner, and your children about what they’re comfortable with. Be on the same page with anyone in your family or your household. Anyone else who is a significant part of your life. Just be on the same page and discuss it with them in terms of what is our goal? In terms of why are we doing this? Do you need extra income? Or do you just want to build up like an early retirement and be able to live off of your website income. What’s your vision? And kind of how do you all need to work together to achieve that? Because I couldn’t do what I’m doing if my husband wasn’t going to a regular job every day, a regular W2 job every day. He’s providing us with health insurance and maybe by the end of the year I’ll be earning more than him, but that still wouldn’t negate the need for him to actually still have that job.
Ellen: And so it’s something that we have to constantly talk about together. Talk about the strategy, are you still okay with this? Or most of the time he’s like do more, do more, do more! I’m like do you realize how much time this takes? But if we’re gonna do more quickly we need to spend more money …
Ellen: … upfront. I would just say talking with the people in your life. I think maybe that’s something that could be really key because I think, I don’t have children, but like if I have children this would be a little overwhelming. So if you’re a mom out there or a dad, and you have kids and you’re like “I could never do this.” You can do it, just you have to be really structured and intentional.
Doug: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ellen: And think about all the times you’re wasting time on a daily basis. Like cut Facebook out, cut even your morning coffee run, like cut that out. Make the coffee at home and spend that half an hour just in front of the lap top.
Doug: Yeah, it’s all priorities. All that was good life advice too, not just for niche sites.
Ellen: I don’t generally give life advice.
Ellen: … but I hope it’s useful to someone at least.
Doug: Yeah, no I feel like I just had a therapy session, so that was really good.
Ellen: Well I am a social worker originally.
Doug: Good advice.
Ellen: So it’s just natural.
Future Niche Site Goals for 6-12 Months
Doug: Okay, do you have any goals for your site over let’s say six months, 12 months, where do you want the site to be? Aim high.
Ellen: Yeah, I want by the end of the year, by the end of 2018, I want to double the amount of content that I have on just this one site. I’m also in the process of launching a couple more. Each are in their different phases of development. I don’t like to ever be doing full scale more than one at a time. So I’ll be doing some test batches of like 30 articles and then kind of leaving it for six months, that sort of thing.
So I want to double my content and honestly by the end of the year I really want to be making five figures a month off just this one website.
Ellen: That’s my goal in terms of numbers. And in terms of numbers going forward for two years beyond that I mean I just want to continue to scale at that sort of growth rate, but I want to have three to four sites that are all performing similarly and I mean I’ve already done the KGR research. I’ll still do it, right, but I have enough right now in my Excel sheet to kinda go forward for the next couple years.
Ellen: I know you say don’t do keyword research that much, but I like it. I just always find it accidentally. I’m like, “Oh I wonder where that fits on the KGR. Like oh we’ll add that.” That’s my goal. I really want … I loved the concept you used of five figure niche site and so that’s what I think in my mind every day. I’m literally building a five figure niche site that will earn me five figures a month, hopefully.
Ellen: And I also could add, I live in high cost New England so like thinking in terms what is a full time income for somebody where I live versus where I grew up in Indiana it’s basically like double, right?
Ellen: So I could probably get by on $5,000 in Indiana or $6,000 but up here you need a little bit more.
Doug: Right. Can totally relate and I was gonna say, I mean, people don’t forget you have to pay taxes that’s like 35-ish 40% or so. It sounds like a lot, which it is …
Ellen: It does.
Doug: … fantastic, but you’d have to pay taxes and stuff.
Ellen: It can go quickly, yeah absolutely.
Doug: Well that is amazing and Ellen this has been enlightening. Thanks a lot. Thanks for joining and sharing your story. Really appreciate it.
Ellen: Awesome, thanks Doug. Take care.