Today, I am very happy to share another niche site success story with you! If you are interested in sending in your own success story, I'm still accepting them right here.
Over the past few weeks, I have shared several great success stories that you can read here. However, this may be the best one yet…
Jon Haver is a mechanical engineer by day and web publisher whenever he can find the time (wife and new baby need attention too!). What I love about Jon's story is not just that he is making an AWESOME income of $3k per month from one of his sites; but also that he shares the URL with us and some excellent tips on how he is finding success.
Jon is also very goal oriented, which I love. He has set a goal to be making $15k/mth by the time he turns 35 – at which point he will quit his job. He's obviously not quite there yet, but having one site at $3k per month is very motivating and certainly means he's on the right path.
So, with that, I'm going to let Jon take it from here…
Jon Haver's Success Story
1. What is your name and current job/profession?
My name is Jon Haver I am in my late 20’s, took mechanical engineering at
school and am now working as a project manager for an Oil and Gas company.
But my newest job which I love is as a new dad.
2. How did you get started building niche websites? How long
have you been building websites?
In 2008 I worked for a summer at a robotics company that was just starting
up and I built their website which introduced me to wordpress and
outsourcing. Once I realized it was relatively easy using wordpress and
outsourcing I started looking into ways to make money from websites.
I always knew I wanted to systematize whatever I did online so that
eventually led me to making niche sites. Over the last 3-4 years I have
built a variety of sites from micro-niche to larger “authority” sites.
3. Tell us about one (preferred) or multiple of your successful
websites. What is the URL and what niche are you targeting?
One site I started in September 2012 which has done well is PayMyStudentLoans.com.
I started this site shortly after I paid off my student loans and thought there was
some valuable information I could share. I had also had a smaller niche
site in the space and knew that it could be profitable.
My plan with the site all along was to build up a larger “authority” site
covering a broader range of topics than one specific target keyword.
It was initially built with the intention of using AdSense and an email
list for a monetization strategy. However, I tested several methods and the
Cost Per Action (CPA) offer for a very closely related product from a
highly reputable company has been performing far better than either my
email list or AdSense.
4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each
The site has done really well and earned $3k net in June. Below shows the
gross income, expenses and cumulative net income. (Jon was also kind enough to send in a few more screenshots showing traffic, earnings, and more).
Daily Earnings from One of the CPA Offers
Traffic Since the Site Started
Traffic Over the Past 90 Days
Past 90 Days
5. What is the reason for this website’s success?
The reason for the sites success is the quality and volume of content
combined with a very hands on promotional (aka backlinking) effort. With
lots of outreach, guest posting and using some key expired domains.
6. Please briefly share your overall strategy for finding a niche,
getting traffic to your site, ranking in Google, and making money from
Content – Content is my
competitive advantage in this niche. My take on it is my competitors are
banks and universities. They have LOTS of advantages over me however; the
cost for them to get a single article published is probably over
$100/article. I write the same quality of article(or better) for far far
less. Written and uploaded to my site for around $5. This allows me to go
after lower traffic lower competition keywords that would not be profitable
for these larger sites to target.
Promotion – I don’t like
calling it link building since I care more about promotional benefit than
- Blog Commenting – On relevant sites, value added comments only. The
focus here is relationship building.
- Guest Posting – Based on the blog commenting I will reach out to sites
and ask for the opportunity to guest post.
- YouTube Videos – A VA will turn an article into a powerpoint and then I
will do a voice over which they will then upload.
- Expired Domains – One of my favorites! Finding relevant expired
domains can be very powerful.
- Epic Posts + Outreach – I will have a VA create a giant resource (100
grants for ____ students) and then get an article written on that topic.
The article plus list will be posted and then I will have the VA reach out
to all the people listed plus others that may find the article useful.
- Web 2.0 Sites – I do this but only because some content I outsource is
not good enough for guest posts, my site, expired domains so I get them
posted on Web 2.0 sites.
- Social Media Interaction – I don’t do this very well but am working on
getting better at outsourcing it.
Monetization – I tested
several methods and my initial strategy of AdSense and an email list did
not work. I landed on a CPA offer which has been performing well.
7. What link-building tips can you offer?
Whatever link building/promotion strategy you follow make sure to pass it
through a simple test.
Does this add value to a human?
Example of Adding Value:
- Helpful articles
- Blog commenting on related sites leaving quality comments that furthers
- Forum interaction
- Expired domains related to your niche where the visitor to the old
domain gets the answer they are likely looking for
- Building relationships on social media to use later for outreach
Does Not Add Value:
- Spun articles or crap no value articles
- Blog commenting on unrelated sites for the purposes of the link
- Forum spamming
- Buying unrelated expired domains
- Spamming social media
I have played in the “does not add value” world and it sucks, short term
wins. Whenever I have done the low value route it is due to me being lazy.
Adding value is more effective and more fun – When I stand up from work I
am far happier knowing I did something of value.
8. How has the success from this website impacted your life?
Three things (including this site) have all combined this year to have me
extremely excited about the potential my online work will have on my life….
First, After a few years
of “dabbling” online I buckled down to do the hard work and made a plan to
get me to $15k/month net before leaving my day job by the age of 35. Having
and publicizing this goal has been great.
Second, My first child was
born and I am now incredibly motivated to be able to provide for my family
through my online business. The opportunity for us to live and experience
incredible things with the added freedom online income offers I believe is
Third, This student loan
site was the first site within that plan and it has exceeded my
expectations and I am now ahead of schedule to getting to my goal of
$15k/month by the age of 35. My plan was 15 sites making $1k/month each…my
first site is now at $3k/month.
I am not withdrawing any income from my business so there is no “material”
impact on my life…yet!
But I would trade any possession I have for my current belief that
financial/time freedom is achievable for my family.
9. Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like
to replicate your success with their own websites?
It really depends on what stage people are at…
- Pick one person to follow and stay focused on their strategies.
Obviously Niche Pursuits methods are great and I have based a lot of my
strategies on things I have learned here. Others that I wouldn’t hesitate
to recommend are Empire Flippers, Pat Flynn or Think Traffic.
- Don’t go on blackhatworld or warriorforum – distracting and mostly
crap. Wait until your BS detector improves before going into the murky
waters of Make Money Online forums
- You don’t need to buy any training, the people above all offer more
than enough free information to get started.
- Focus on one site for at least a few months to learn the ropes and see
a little success.
Been online for a while and not having enough success:
- Just one tip – Stop dabbling and start focusing on mastering one
activity at a time then do the “hard” work (writing, outreach, system
building, team management). Checking analytics and email doesn’t count. (I
have to say this to myself everyday). This has been the biggest change in
my online efforts.
10. Do you have a blog or other place that people can follow along
with what you are doing?
I started my student loan site publicly and created a site dedicated to
monthly updates on that one site.
They can be seen here – authoritywebsiteincome.com. I go
into more detail there about my strategies guest posting, finding/using
expired domains and a lot about outsourcing it all.
First, I just want to thank Jon for sharing his success story with us all! I love how everyone has a slightly different approach; and I really like some of the tips that Jon has shared.
Overall, what did you think? If you have any comments, questions, or thoughts that you would like to add, please do so below! I've asked Jon to stop by and answer questions, so feel free to direct any to him. I'll also be around to add my own input.