Hey, this is Spencer with a quick introduction to this guest post. Today you are going to read a fantastic story written by Khalid Farhan, who happens to be from Bangladesh.
If you are unaware, Bangladesh is an amazing country with lots of young online entrepreneurs. However, when Khalid says that making $400 a month in Bangladesh “is actually a pretty handsome amount to live a middle class life”, you will realize that selling a website for $26,000 is kinda a big deal for someone from his country!
I also want to point out that Khalid's English isn't perfect. I debated posting the article because I usually only publish very polished articles written by myself (a native English speaker). However, I think publishing his story, even if the writing isn't excellent, is inspirational in itself.
You don't have to be an excellent writer, or be from the United States, in order to do well building and selling niche websites. Khalid has proven that very fact.
So, if you are from Bangladesh, or any other country, Khalid's story shows that as long as you have an internet connection and a drive to succeed, nothing else really matters.
With that quick introduction, here's Khalid!
Hello everyone, it feels awesome to be able to write a post on Nichepursuits.com about my journey. It is a small journey and I haven’t traveled that far yet. But I still think I have a lot to share with you guys. I am not here to brag; I will be trying to inspire each one of you out there.
If someone from a third world country where even PayPal or Amazon itself is not available yet can do it, so can you. Let’s start.
How I Started My Journey
I think many of you will be able to relate with me. I was always a freelancer. I started my freelancing career with Freelancer.com back in 2011 may be and then quickly moved to Upwork (when I started, it was known as Odesk). I was doing well at the time.
It is not like I used to earn a lot, initially it was $400 average per month but that was enough for me as a 16-17 year old kid. If you know about Bangladesh, my beloved country, you will know that it is actually a pretty handsome amount to live a middle class life. Also, it was actually an extra income as I was still in school and I live with my mom.
Anyway, so my freelancing career kept continuing and then one day, I decided, I need to do something bigger than this. I loved a quote from Grant Cardone that says, “Good is only good enough for average people. If you want to be great, don’t be good enough”
Then the year 2015 came which actually turned my life. I was earning really well as a freelancer by the way at this point. My income grew a lot but I was looking for something better.
So I started my research about passive income. It was an intense life. I was studying, playing cricket (a very popular sport in Asian sub-continent) and I was doing my research. At first I found SPI blog of Pat Flynn and then I found NichePursuits and Spencer. It was around October, November, 2015 I guess. I forgot the exact time.
Back then, Pat Flynn used to talk about general affiliate marketing but NichePursuits was all about Amazon Affiliate Marketing. So I kept my focus here and concentrated on Project 1 and Project 2. I read everything, literally everything. I listened to all the podcasts.
I even listened to the old podcasts which might not be effective anymore. I was never into music and therefore, I didn’t have good headphones. But as I got into podcasts, I had to buy headphones (lol) and I was always either listening to podcasts or reading articles about Amazon affiliate marketing.
I am not someone who only plans or reads and does nothing else. I actually decided that I wanted to swim and learn swimming at the same time. So I started creating my niche sites.
My First Failed Site
So I launched my first niche site back in October/November, 2015 and it was a big failure. The site is not active anymore, it was in the horse niche. I had high hopes, but obviously, things didn’t work out. I understood that I wasn’t actually active enough in managing the site.
I learned one thing at that time: It is very important to fail. If you are not failing, you are not learning.
The main reason behind the failure of that website was obvious: poor keyword selection and poor SEO. Actually, I didn’t do SEO that seriously as I was never into SEO before. I used grey hat and weird techniques such as bulk buying links for that site. All in all, it was a big failure.
The good news is; I didn’t lose hope. I knew I can do it.
The Simplest Method of Mine to Create Sites
I know many marketers who spend ages to create and launch their website. My process is very different than them and I would love to share my methods with all of you. You can obviously stick to your own plans if you feel like but I still would love to share.
I have a guide for newbies about Amazon Affiliate Marketing here if you would like to learn more about this process.
I am a lazy person and that reflects in how I work. So, obviously, you know that the first step is keyword research. What I do is, after finding the main keyword, I quickly research and find more keywords to have around 10-15,000 words worth of content plan. Then I go for the content immediately.
I now have my brilliant team of writers who do the content for me. After I receive the content, I create the site.
I am not a great designer when it comes to creating sites. I at times insist my girlfriend to design sites for me (she is not that interested though) as even she is a better designer than me when it comes to the look of the site.
I believe in one simple idea. If you have your site on the first page of Google, people will visit your site no matter whether the widget bars are at the right site or at the left side.
Anyway, so I create and publish the site with those 10,000-15,000 words as soon as I receive them and I also set up the basic plugins. Recently what I have started to do is that I also setup a FB ad campaign (of around $5) just to give the site an initial boost. I am still experimenting on that so possibly will update you guys later.
A lot of people worry about submitting xml maps, sitemaps, and those other things on your webmaster tools. I have never done that and all my sites are ranked well without any problems. If you are using WordPress, I don’t think you need to submit sitemaps manually anymore. It is taken care of automatically.
After the site is live, I do another research session to collect another 40-50 thousand words worth of keywords. I am sure you guys read in Project 3 that you now need a lot of content to build sites and basically, the ratio of information and affiliate content should be 70-30.
That’s it. The site goes live.
My Top SEO Strategy
It is actually a huge topic to talk about. I do all the methods that you already read in the Projects so I won’t be repeating those. What I will talk about is one of my most important methods which is scholarship SEO.
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So, basically, after my site is live with enough content to build trust, I offer scholarships on my site. For example, if my site is about televisions, I offer a scholarship that I will be giving away 1 television each year to the people who follow the required steps. Now what are the steps? You can design it on your own. My strategy has always been requiring big articles from the applicants about my niche.
There are two benefits of that. One, you get a lot of applicants and secondly, you now have all the content that you need for your tier links such as web 2.
I spend almost 10-15% of my monthly earning on scholarships and give aways.
So, after I design the scholarship, I mail around 100 universities and scholarship sites and ask them to publish my scholarship to their portals. Most of them do if it is good enough. That’s very strong edu backlinks for you.
It has been my top SEO strategy for the last 10 months and it worked every time. You can do the same but make sure that your offer is good and you are actually not investing a lot of money for the give away. If you want, you can offer direct cash or gift card too to the applicants.
So, my first big site was started in November, 2015 and I sold that site on February, 2016. It was one of the biggest deals of my life as the site was sold for $26k. We know that the rule of thumb is that you get around 20-25x of your monthly sale, right? My site was generating around $700 per month and I got around 37x on my first sale. The reason is simply the backlink profile.
After a few days when the deal was completed, I asked the new owner why he paid me more than the industry average and his only reason was that my backlink profile was strong and clean. So, this is a suggestion to all of you from me. Try to keep your backlink profile super clean if you want to get good multiplications when selling sites.
I've sold 3 sites so far.
The latest one was sold for only $6,000 and if you are an active member of Niche Site Project 3.0 Facebook Group then I am sure, you saw my post there. It was sold via Flippa and the site was making around $150 on average. It was a tech niche.
Do you guys watch the show Shark Tank? It is a popular reality show where entrepreneurs come and pitch their ideas to investors. I actually love one of the investors whose name is Kevin. He says that you should always keep your money liquid. I believe in that too and therefore; I always am trying to sell my sites whenever I get up to a decent earning point. Yes, I have two sites that are fixed and give me monthly earnings but apart from those two, I keep on selling sites.
I even sold sites for less than $1000 this month. I love creating new ones and I love the process of selling too. Maybe I am a business grad, that’s why (no I said that for no reason, that can’t be the reason for sure).
Finally, I really thank Niche Pursuits from the bottom of my heart for everything that I got. I am so involved with this site that I listen to every FBA podcasts too though I will never be doing FBA (hardly possible from where I live). I know most commenters too, lol.
I will finish my under graduation this year ( I am majoring in Human Resources and Marketing) and I don’t even have to look for a job. That is a benefit that you rarely get in our country. I am planning my masters now in probably somewhere in Europe. I have to get a good score in GMAT though.
I now have a small community who read my blog posts, take my services and coaching, we have discussions and I love every bit of it.
If I give one advice to you guys who wants to become successful, it would be that you should always be ready to take risks and you should keep on hustling. Nobody will ever give you everything on a plate with two spoons when it is marketing. Spend all of your time and effort in this and there is no reason that why you can’t do what I did.
I wish everyone good luck!