Today's guest on the Niche Pursuits podcast is Aisha Preece.
She has a background in law and personal finance, but like many of us, her job became unfulfilling. This led her down a path of discovery to see what work she could do to earn money working from home.
She started to explore side hustles, which ultimately led to her quitting her job and starting a blog in the personal finance niche.
A combination of not giving it the time and effort needed to be a success, plus a lack of experience, resulted in a slow start. However, after soul searching, SEO education, and sheer determination, she managed to turn the blog into a success. And she now earns over $10,000 per month.
On today's podcast she walks us through the steps she took to grow the site. She shares her strategy for SEO, keyword research, backlinks, and specific tips that anyone can use today on their own websites.
Aisha has now built several other successful niche websites using the strategies she shares. And she provides a rundown of the process, resources, and decision-making involved when running a series of websites.
Other topics discussed during the interview include:
- Topical relevancy and why it's so important
- Using the right strategies for your niche
- The number of articles she produces on a site
- SEO strategies
- Selling workshops
- Her unique approach to hiring and growing her team
- Going from 7k to almost 100k page views in 7 months
- What Google wants from a website
- Learning from your mistakes
- Treating it like a business
- Monetizing every article
- Going from active to passive income
Aisha's story is inspiring and shows how determination, hard work, learning, and working smarter can help you succeed — as always, take notes and enjoy the episode.
LINKS AND RESOURCES AISHA PREECE MENTIONS IN THE PODCAST INTERVIEW:
- 11-STEP ESSENTIAL SEO CHECKLIST TO GET GOOGLE TRAFFIC!
- Out And Beyond (Aisha's Website)
- Aisha Preece Instagram
This Episode is Sponsored by: Rank IQ
Watch the full interview:
Read the full transcription:
Jared: Welcome back to the niche pursuits podcast. My name is Jared Bauman, and today we have the pleasure of being joined by Aisha Preece.
Aisha: Thank you so much for having me, Jared, and thank you everybody here, that's listening or watching this. I'll try and make it as valuable as possible and I'll try and speak slowly.
So let me know if I'm speaking too fast.
Jared: If I have to, if I, well, you were telling me before we got started recording that, that when you're excited, you talk faster, that'll be a good sign. We'll we'll know that if you're talking fast, that means you're really excited about what you're talking about. So, and everyone always appreciates that.
Good. Good. Well, I'll let you know, but I'm sure it'll be great. And, and, you know, there's so many different areas we're going to cover today, but as is customary, before we get into the meat and potatoes, give us some of your backstory. You have a really great backstory, and I want to hear you tell the audience all about what led you to website building and where you're at.
Aisha: I don't know if it's a great one, but basically I I was, I did, I studied law and then I fell into finance purely because I grew up quite poor and I never wanted to be bullied. So I didn't just, I wanted to earn money and I fell into finance and I just remember like looking at the window. I wish I was somewhere else.
I don't know if a lot of you can relate where, you know, when your boss's job, you don't want your boss's boss's job. And I remember thinking, what, what could I do to change my life, to work remotely and work anywhere I wanted. And so I went through a journey of, you know, exploring various side hustles and.
My first side hustle and I ended up quitting my job. And then I set up my first blog in 2017 and I did absolutely nothing with it because I got stuck in analysis paralysis. As many of us do. And 2018 did nothing with it. And then towards the end of 2019, unfortunately my best friend passed away overnight.
And that really kind of shook me and, you know, tomorrow's never guaranteed, but we think. We have. So we have so much time to chase our dreams. And I remember when I was sitting with her on the ski lift and she said, what will be your dream? And my dream was to have a blog that could own remote, be foam and help more people.
And so I ended up making a lot of mistakes, which I'm happy to share and basically failed my weight through the beginning of 2020. And at the end of that 20, finally I learned SEO and I'm also going to share some exact strategies I did to implement. And my first site went from 7,000 page views to nearly a hundred thousand pages and seven months.
And then in 2021, I ended up setting to setting up two other sites. My second site was set up on a motorbike trip with my brother. I love motorbiking. Yeah. And that was awesome. And finally turned 22 was when it all came together. And I, my first site finally now owns me over $10,000 a month. And my second.
And that only me money and my first sites more or less passive now, but it's been a journey of failing continuously to get.
Jared: Wow. You know, I heard you said at the beginning, I have the exact same story. I had to comment on it. I, I had a job with the federal government out of college and was sitting there one day looking out the window thinking, man.
And I remember thinking to myself, I mean, I was 22 at the time. So life was a lot different. I didn't have family obligations and things, but I remember. You know, if I go out and start my own business, if I go out and do what I really want to do when I'm passionate about, and it doesn't work, I could always come right back here and sit at this desk and look up the exact same window.
But at least now I would know that I tried and it wasn't right for me. Whereas right now I'm just stuck wondering, so. A similar story there. Now, when you started this first blog back in 2017, you said it just, it didn't go anywhere. What were some of the reasons why it didn't, it didn't get off the ground.
Did you pick up a niche that wasn't very actually wasn't very good in the end or what were some of the mistakes made on that first? Well,
[00:03:42] Aisha: what can I, you mentioned it. Yes, it was a bad mish. I say niche niche doesn't matter, but I picked it's in, you know, it's in the Y it's in the , so it's kind of personal finance side hustles.
And I didn't really know that at the time, but to be quite honest, I, the mistake I made was I got so overwhelmed by trying to do, to make things and listening to too many people that I stuck my head in the sand, like an ostrich. And did. And so the first mistake I made was definitely doing. Doing all like trying to do too much, trying to on Pinterest, trying to learn Facebook groups, you know, getting overwhelmed and then not seeing results.
And then thinking I must be a failure. It must be me. Right. And it's often if you're listening to this and you're not getting results, but often it's not, you, it's nothing to do with your abilities. It's more the strategies. You've just got to find the right strategies. And finally, what, second one? I didn't know.
SEO and thirdly, I listened to people that weren't in my niche, and this is a big thing because. I listened to, for example, I was in the climate station and the fashion bloggers said to me, you need to be going on Pinterest. I'm getting 300,000 pages from Pinterest. You should be getting the same. Right.
And you, you might know Jared that nobody Googles back the bank interest rates. No,
[00:04:57] Jared: I, I, I could, I could I could, I could, I could agree with you on that. Yeah. And
[00:05:02] Aisha: so you need to, you need to have be realistic and be kind to yourself and say, right, what are the people in my niche doing? And then follow their strategy?
So the mistakes I made was I was following people that were not in my niche, following different strategies that weren't relevant.
[00:05:18] Jared: Were you taking action? Because I thought I heard you say at the beginning that you weren't being as active as you needed to be where you're taking action, but it was the wrong action, you know, maybe instead of focusing on SEO, you were focusing on Pinterest or was there also just a lack of action?
You were getting overwhelmed by it or is it some of those.
[00:05:32] Aisha: Both. So the first I'd say, and it doesn't 17, the whole looks as an 18. I mean, I was traveling a lot too. And the thing about the people don't realize when you're working in traveling, if you want to make this work, you need to treat it like a business.
You know, people like living the laptop lifestyle, you know, it's not realistic. You need to actually allocate time and work if you want this business to grow. And so I was traveling a lot. I didn't know what to do. I got overwhelmed and I think. In terms of our team is when I decided to take action, but I took the wrong action.
And so there's two mistakes that not taking action and taking the wrong.
[00:06:10] Jared: You talked about how there was a point in life when unfortunately you lost a really good friend and we just had a podcast guest on a couple of weeks ago, or maybe a couple months ago now, but Brandon who also had a very, you know, kind of pivotal life moment that helped to propel.
And he talked about how it helped to propel him. If forward, why was that such a, you know, you talked about why, how you talked with your friend prior about how it was, it was something that you really wanted to pursue. Was it, was there anything else that helped you get focused on the right things? All of a sudden, how did you determine what was the right areas to put your time?
[00:06:45] Aisha: I mean, I think for me, it was a question of, I mean, she was extremely healthy and it was very sudden, and also she was, she was such an amazing person and she, she said, don't listen to the people you don't want to be right. If you, if you want to quit your job, quit your job and listen to the people that succeed.
But for me, it was that could have been. Right. That could have easily been me. And if, if any of us go tomorrow or next week, we have all this unrealized potential, right. And something by Jim Carrey, which really shook me, which helped me a lot with, he said, you could do, you could, you could go for the cushy job and still felt you could not take.
And still fail. So if I didn't take action, I kind of them were my corporate job. I could still be made redundant. I could still fail in life. There's run, you know? And so I thought to myself, why not? What's the worst that could happen. Right. And if I died,
[00:07:42] Jared: Wow. And so fast forwarding to today, you teased it.
But this first site that you started that was neglected, that was in maybe the wrong niche. That was you were doing all the wrong things for now is making you over $10,000 a month. Is that
[00:07:55] Aisha: Yeah, that's correct. Yeah.
[00:07:57] Jared: Congratulations. That's really amazing.
[00:07:59] Aisha: Thank you. It feels so real. Like when I say I, you know, cause I remember.
I remember being in a position, listening to other bloggers thinking, wow, well, let ever be me. And actually it's more about implementing the right strategies, which I'm happy to show you want, but once you find the right strategy and then you implement it, it's twofold finding the right strategy and implementing people often miss out on either they implement that the wrong specialty, or they.
You know, they find it especially, but they don't implement. But once I figured that out, then you're going to be on a path to
[00:08:32] Jared: success. And so this site that you have is it just to give people, people love context, we all love to kind of get some of the details. So it's in the finance niche, which, you know, we kind of know that is a, that's a Y M Y L niche.
That's kind of considered to be a pretty lucrative niche and a very competitive niche. And so talk through, you know, where the site is at now, how many articles do you have. What's the mixture. Are you doing affiliate revenue or is it mostly maybe advertising revenue? What's the mixture of articles, like in terms of informational versus a, you know, monetize, like walk us through some of the details of where the site is at right now.
So people can get.
[00:09:06] Aisha: Okay. And so the first thing I did was with the personal finance, I made sure that my, about me page reflected some of my experience and I put my credentials at the bottom. So I, the first thing is I put my eat eat. And then in terms of articles currently I have 323 articles. And actually interestingly, I have 90% info and 10% affiliates.
However, every single one of my articles. Is monetized people don't realize that there's huge. There's huge potential for monetization, but info
[00:09:40] Jared: articles. And what kind of monetization do those articles?
[00:09:44] Aisha: So ads, but more importantly for this niche affiliates. So every time let's just say, for example like this, this is a personal finance, but it also mentions there's topics on location, independence and earning extra money online, which is what I wanted to teach people.
So let's just say how to become a freelance writer. So recently I wrote an article on. The pain points as somebody who used to work as a freelance writer, what are the pain points? What is a quick way for them to become a freelance writer, take a freelance writing course, right? What are some tools recommend those tools and doing it that way, you still provide info and help your reader, but you also monetize with real solutions affiliate solutions that will help them and doing it that way has helped me benefit my readers and also my.
[00:10:28] Jared: And in terms of the, the revenue you make each month, what is the, the rough split between what display ads are paying you and then what your different affiliate offers pay? So
[00:10:38] Aisha: I'd say so digital products. 20% and then kind of split evenly after that, between affiliate and ad. So interestingly only recently have I managed, managed to make it more passive.
So last year it was more of an active, like active income. And that was something I really wanted to do to change because I add a lot of my income from coaching for workshops. I was very lucky that workshops make me a lot of money. Like I can make Tuesday. From my Instagram and workshops. And so I wanted to change that because when I moved to blockchain, I can't actually, I didn't want to workshop when I looked back in, but I want something more passive.
Right. And so I worked really hard to turn that into a more passive model. So now it's ads, affiliates and digital products. And sometimes when I want to have a boost, like say, if I want to take my mom on holiday, then I'll run a workshop and then it pays for the flight center. And.
[00:11:32] Jared: So you really, in many ways when about it, I don't want to say I'm making a big kind of grandiose statement, but so many website builders hide behind all the passive income streams and maybe leave a lot of these ideas on the table, right.
Writing a course, creating a digital product, doing a workshop. And it sounds like you actually leaned into all these. Out of the gate and really almost added in the passive sources after that.
[00:11:57] Aisha: Correct. So I basically, when I, when I was, I was blogging and I was also a financial writer, so I went through a series of online jobs, online teaching proofreading when I poop it in freelance writing.
And so when I was a freelance writer, I was initially in the travel nation and then the finance nation and then the pandemic hit. And so in the stand of the, a lot of my travel. Had to drop me. And so I remember sitting there thinking, how am I going to pay my rent? Just genuinely, like, how am I going to pay my rent?
So then I said, right, what is it I can teach? And I put a poll on my Instagram. My Instagram is really small, tiny. I call them my tiny, but my Instagram really small, but really engaged. They're amazing. And so I literally just ran a poll on my story. I was like, does anybody want to learn how to become a freelance writer?
And. A day 24 hours at 60 tickets sold and I've run, honestly, like people don't realize that the power of, I used to think Instagram was very superficial. And look, I don't know if an influencer belly combed my hair, but actually this has a first there too, for people people want to learn on Instagram. And if you see my Instagram is unfiltered, but you can really monetize Instagram very easily.
If you have the right.
[00:13:07] Jared: So many things to ask here. Let's see. I think at this point I'd like to, I'd like to go backwards a little bit and talk about these strategies you implemented to get this site to where it is now. You know, we kind of have a snapshot of what you're doing. We have a snapshot of this site.
You have an attorney, you know we'll call it five figures plus a month. Now that's, that's kind of allowed you to escape and move into the lifestyle you want. So how did you get there? You talked about 20 17, 20 18, 20 19. Was perhaps when the site really started kicking off talk through the strategies specifically to strategies that worked to get the site to where it is.
[00:13:42] Aisha: So if you're honest, the site only took off at the end of the 2020. So, and so I'm inventing a new blogger. So if anybody's listening to this, you guys can do it too, cause I'm a newbie. Right? And so the exact strategies that I learned first of all, was I am allowed to mention the post I took. So I'm, I'm eternally grateful to this guy called Mike Pearson from stupid simply SEO.
And so I took his course and he literally changed my life. I implemented it exactly because I told myself if I do every single thing exactly, exactly. To the T and it doesn't work, then at least I can go to him and say, okay, Wasn't it, wasn't a looking. And so I followed it exactly. And the three things I did with this, first of all, was I fixed my site speed.
I changed my theme and I made sure my site speed. So I take my team to Astra and I made sure that my site speed was less than four seconds. So I fixed the. Number two. I added at the time I had 30 pieces of content. I added 40 pieces of content. I canceled Netflix. I cancel all my plans. I said, I'm busy and definitely don't call me and added 40 pieces of content.
And finally I updated 20 pieces of content and doing those three things exactly helped me hit nearly a hundred thousand pages.
[00:14:55] Jared: Wow. So it was a pretty quick growth at that point.
[00:14:58] Aisha: Yeah. I mean, look, I started that in, I think it was September, October. And then I qualified for media vine format. I was at 7,000 and then I qualified 50,000 session, four months later.
And then three months after that, I was nearly at a hundred thousand page views.
[00:15:14] Jared: Wow. So what kind of process are you going through when you're researching these topics? You talk about adding 40 plus pieces of new content. After going through an SEO course, what, what was, you know, what was your keyword research approach to to, to, to write these.
[00:15:28] Aisha: Okay. So the first step I, so what I did then, and what I do now are two different things. So what I did then was I just sent it to H refs and I did competent competitor analysis, and I looked for what my competitors were writing and I just made sure I did provide a more value what I do now. And so, for example, just today, I spoke to my editor and in April, in may, I'll be ordering.
80 articles for my team and the processes, that one, I just thought of a keyword chef. And so I put the seed keyword and keyword chef. I take all those keywords and I run them to key search. He such is a lot more affordable than HRS and I target low competition keywords. And then what I do is I make sure I focus on clusters.
I really am a strong believer in topical. I think that certainly when I did focus on talking with authority for my first site, that helped a lot because Google says, okay, so I can trust you on this particular authority, this particular cluster, because you proved to me, you know, enough.
[00:16:33] Jared: When it comes to, well, first off key search, I've never heard of that.
So I've got to go look into that. It's
[00:16:38] Aisha: amazing. It's super affordable. It's less than 20, $20, but I mean, I hope maybe, maybe I'm spent as a discount code. You can get him this kind of code. I can get 30% off, but honestly, there's this kind of codes aligning have a look, but it's, it's $17 I think. And you can get 30% off that.
[00:16:54] Jared: Hmm, that's great. The let's talk about topical authority more. It's a, it's a topic that comes up pun intended. It's a topic that comes up a lot. And in the finance niche, I've got to figure it's probably even more important than in some other niches. You talked about topical third. You also talked about eat and what you did for eat.
Maybe give us some more insight. Into maybe given an example, like, can you give a real example, maybe not one from your side, but make one up. If you'd prefer that of how topical authority looks in a really competitive niche and why it's so important for.
[00:17:30] Aisha: Okay. So my second sites in the travel niche, and I think that's very competitive.
And so you might disagree. You can tell me if I'm wrong. I think that, I think that troubles it looking back. Maybe I want to pick that, but now it's done. That damage is done and now I'm going to make success out of it. So my second. Just hit a thousand dollars and that's just so the children old. So what I, for example, let's just say you want to run my gulfs, right.
And so okay. Rock climbing, trouble climbing. So you can, the mistake, a lot of people make is they don't have a rock climbing. They write about how to boarding. They write about going to Vienna and then Google. What their authority on you want to go talk about rock climbing, take the keyword, what climbing and add some modifiers.
And I learned this from John Dykstra. Like he's my hero. If he listens to this, John, you're my hero. So he basically said add some modifier. So example rock climbing for women. Rock climbing. For for men rock climbing for teenagers and then for the gear rock climbing for plus sized women. But, and you've got to basically create a cluster of articles and don't just pick one.
I go for minimum Tencent set on my clusters are like 50 articles.
[00:18:39] Jared: That's okay. That's really good rock climbing for people who don't know how to rock climb. That would be my cluster or my yeah.
[00:18:46] Aisha: People who like, you know, crash against the Boulder and yeah, that's, that's what I would go about it. And, and I think it makes it easier because your research doesn't have to be, you can duplicate your research.
[00:18:57] Jared: Do you find that you know, these are keywords you're picking up, these clusters are keywords you're picking up that your competitors are writing about or are you almost. Doing some research and making these topics up to complete the cluster out, you know? Cause sometimes I think you find when you do keyword research, two or three topics in a cluster, I'm using air quotes because you know, you kind of have to create that cluster, you know, figuratively, but you find two or three keywords around a cluster, but you know, there are others that might not have very much search volume or have might not have been written about by your competitors.
Are you writing those anyways or are you are you really going after just keywords, you can find that competitors have in those cases.
[00:19:33] Aisha: No, I w I would most sets an eco after them too. I do both. Right. So I will go through key search and it allows you to see the top 10. And if I see any competitors with a low domain authority, because of me as a new site, I've been take their website and I analyze their keywords.
And, you know, sometimes people get a bit touchy about this because I really think if you can provide more value to the reader, you go to kind of. Fair play to you. Like if someone outranks me, it means they've provided more value. Right. As long as they're not plagiarizing, you've got to just say, do you know what you did the best job?
Right. And so what I do is I do analyze my competitors, but I also find keywords that my competitors aren't watching that, but I've got to make sure that they're really low competition. And so in key search you have volumes of less than 30, but they go that by domain authority. Right. So I target, he was less than that.
Less than 20. So the domain authorities are less than 20.
[00:20:29] Jared: That's great. That's great to hear. That's good. Good practical tips for people who are, you know, have heard the topic of surrounding topical clusters, but, you know, kind of get a little lost on how to, how to actually put that into practice and hear you say that you've actually written up to like 50 articles around just one cluster.
A common question I hear is, well, how. Articles do I need to have to get topical authority? And you know, it sounds like you'll go down that road as long down that rabbit trail, as long as you need to, to to write every, every article on that. I
[00:20:58] Aisha: start with 10 because I mean, I've, I've managed to get to four 30 to 10.
I thought, what 10. And then I see how I feel. I see if I can, if I'm getting some traffic, the second I see on search console, the second search console, give me some live, you know, and I see it. I go hard on it and let's go, baby. Yeah. So you got to, you know, to be a show you cause it's spending money. Right.
And so maybe I'll write 10, 15, and then if I see some love on a Google search console, then I really direct my resources and build up.
[00:21:26] Jared: Yeah, because you don't want to go all in on a topic, write 50 articles, and then you never end up ranking for any of them. So that's, that's how you determine that it's working.
That was gonna be one of my questions. So that's great. Let's change topics. Go back to that eat conversation that you have, speaking of controversial that always gets gets people's hairs raised, but I mean, do you have expertise in the finance niche? Is that you, you mentioned your background was like a lawyer.
I think you said. So what's your, what's your expertise in that and how are you applying that on your, on your own.
[00:21:53] Aisha: So I said law, and then I went into finance for 10 years. Yeah. So, and I did qualifications and finance and I'm so talking about honest, I mean, I think I put it in my, about me page for, for full finance topics for like, were there specific finance blog posts?
Maybe I would mention it. So I would use my personal experience. Right. You know, you would say, you know, when I worked in investment or when I worked at wealth from my experience, this is better, but what's going to really help if you are in the finance niche, even there are plenty of the offensive topics in the finance niche, which actually on as strictly finance.
Right. And so beyond I managed to pivot and go from there. Finance the topics. And as long as you cluster them well, and you have clear menu headings and you separate them, then it's, it's easier for Google to rank you for the non-financial.
[00:22:47] Jared: That's great. I think a lot of people struggle with that. You know, if they're not writing or building a website that surrounds an area, they have expertise in, what do I do?
Do I need to go, you know, get and partner with someone who has that expertise? Or can I come at it from an angle that like you talked about, like still shows an expertise, but maybe it's not a documented you know, I have a degree type of expertise. So it's a, it's a really good question to hear more.
[00:23:10] Aisha: I think also legitimacy in terms of like, especially in the YML niche, Google wants to know Google is very protective of his vetoes. He wants to make sure that you're not some fake person scamming the readers. And so I have a LinkedIn profile. I have my Instagram linked, I have my social media profile linked and I'm very open.
I don't hide anything, you know, and I think if you know, the quality rate is one of those. And see I'm a real person. They can search my name, they can search my face and that credibility is there. So utilize what you have and your experience and just bolster it and buffer it. And I do think in the finance niche, you also do need more backlinks than say the average nonviolence niche.
[00:23:49] Jared: Oh, good. Lead in. Let's talk about link building if you've done any link building on the site. And you know, w what strategies have you used to get.
[00:23:57] Aisha: To be honest, my link building, my, and my link building happened by accident because I was a freelance writer. And so I would write articles for clients and this would, I would just link to my.
And so featured by priests and then I would link to my blog. And so I would pitch pitch to real clients get featured as, as a, as a freelance writer at the time. I didn't know anything about blogging. I w I wanted to earn money as a freelance writer. And so I would pitch, and my rule as a freelance writer is don't cry unless you have pitched to a hundred clients.
And so it's a numbers game. Get a really good pitch in. And then the important thing about battling. You need to make sure that pitch, I mean, that guest posts that you write is even better than it will be on your site. And so once a client sees that they get search traffic and organic traffic from you, you are in a position to then pitch them again for your full other sites.
And that's what I do.
[00:24:52] Jared: Wow. You have taken the guest posting angle and really capitalized on the journalistic approach to it. That's that's really fast.
[00:25:01] Aisha: I mean, I think, I think a lot of if you haven't got a background in as a freelance writer, I guess maybe it's more difficult, but I had to learn how to pitch to clients and have tough skin and, and, and learn how to get them to open and, and buy into what you're offering.
Right. And so, because of that, Naturally links built up and leveraging on from that. Now, like if you asked me to pitch tomorrow, I could pitch. And it's all about how you pitch and what's the benefit to the actual website, right? So many people pitch some generic headline that doesn't benefit anybody. But if you say, Hey, listen, I've got a keyword using key search that has this much search volume, this, this competition.
I can write it for you in a week or two. I have sent you. Okay. You're more likely to say yes. Right. If it gives them exact data
[00:25:47] Jared: so your, your background on having to pitch for your previous career writing really positioned you well for link-building, which is a numbers game, and it is all about standing out from the crowd.
And if you're going to be emailing a bunch of different websites, you've got to find a way to stand out and you have to play the numbers game and just do it a lot. And wow. That's really, that's really good. So, so that, that, that was kinda how you, how you built up some authority and when it comes to link building for.
[00:26:11] Aisha: Correct. And that's the key. The key part is there's some, because a lot of people think, oh, you know, I really to have a high domain authority to get a lot of traffic and not, not at all, like my other sites, you know, my other sites, like I said, they're making me money and I intend to get the second one qualifying media-buying this year and not in build minimal link building.
So don't think that links. Links are good if you can do it great. But if you don't have time, focus on content because the good, good content will naturally draw links for you.
[00:26:43] Jared: So let's talk about the period where you transitioned from having one site to now starting many other sites and these sites that are now growing what made that decision for you?
When did you know? It was time to transition from one site into many other sites. Cause I think a lot of people have that question. Like my first site is at a point where it's doing well, whatever well means to them. And they start thinking through, should I start another site? Or should I spend that time in that money and energy on the same first site I have.
So I'm curious to hear how you made those decisions.
[00:27:17] Aisha: It was, it was it was made by a few reasons. The first one was I knew the formula that worked already and I knew that I just implemented. For a less competitive niche. And then I pick travel for some reason. Cause I think I, I love traveling. So it was kind of like, Hmm, if I can implement this for a different niche and knowing what I know, maybe I can also get assessed, but actually it was driven by when I ran my freelance writing workshops.
The biggest challenges of a new writer is they don't have, they don't have any clients to feature them. They have no, if you could show a client, they'll say, who speaks to you? Do you know what I mean? Like what's the experience and it's kind of a chicken. No, it's a feature because you don't have experience, you can't get experience.
And so I said, what if I can give that experience to my, to my students? And so I said, okay, I'll use my second site as a training ground for them. And I will feature them. I will train them up and they can use my site as featured on and then pitch to their clients. And it's a safe space for them to learn.
And so it was, it started because I wanted to train these people up and give them opportunities that clients didn't want to get.
[00:28:26] Jared: Wow. That's so you literally started a second site to give people your students opportunities. And look at that the second site has done very well now,
[00:28:32] Aisha: I mean, I think it's coming, it's growing it's is growing and it's, it's, it's incredibly.
And, and something I would like to share is a lot of the time people give up because they think, oh, you know, in six months I pumped at, I think I was at like nine to 10 months with 90 articles, nothing, Google. I don't care, you know, don't know interested me. Right. And he'd known me cause of the Google sandbox.
And then suddenly in December he suddenly decided, you know, who was my fan and then it went up. And so if you're listening to this, that one, have you got a hundred articles, quality SEO articles up there set to, has it been 12 months? And if the answer is no, give yourself 12 months and get 10, a hundred, a hundred quality as your articles up there before you call yourself a failure.
[00:29:20] Jared: up and give up the way that you produce your content. Now with many sites, I'm guessing you're not running all the content yourself as a guest, but do you have a team? How have you assembled that team? What is your team look like now?
[00:29:34] Aisha: So I kind of winged it to be honest. Like I'm not, I I'm, I'm not very organized.
I kind of I've run my team with Google docs, Google sheets, loom video, that's it. I don't like to complicate my life. Okay. And so, and I'm not very good at technology. So I live in fear that my outbreak, one of my sites, we're just going to go with it. And so. Well, I did was I started by hiring, hiring my writers for my workshops.
So I wanted, you know, they would pay for the workshop and then I would hire them from those workshops. And then I would then promote the people that are doing well from my team, from the writers to now I haven't had. I have two VA's and a Pinterest of system, and I try to train them all myself. I don't hire from any freelance workshop, freelance marketplaces, like Fiverr or Upwork.
So I only hire from people that have paid for my workshops to give them an opportunity and to say, thank you, thank you for supporting me. Let me support you back.
[00:30:28] Jared: Yeah, that's it. That is a good, good solution to finding good writers and good people is to have a workshop that is dedicated towards training.
These kinds of people. That's really, really cool. So, so your team, now you have a, a S just to recap, a series, a number of writers. You have some VAs, you have a Pinterest VA, I think I heard you say. And you know, how are you dividing your attention now with several sites? You've got a bigger site.
That's earning five figures a month. You've got a second site you're talking about in the travel niche. That's now just broken four figures a month. How are you splitting up the team's time and energy? And where are you putting your priorities?
[00:31:03] Aisha: That's a really good question, Jared. I still want to pick that up.
So basically. What I, what might I, you know, I kind of, I sit there and I think, okay, what is the, what is a priority for the quarter? And so my priority for Q1 was to grow my second site. And so I want that to be a certain number of articles. Maybe I want, I think the travel site has over 300 articles.
I'd like to get that to 500. And so I just basically that all the writers write, I train them so they could write a possible niches. So something to be very open and transparent about. My team is quite big. So I run a team of 35 people, but the reason why it's so big is because they're not traditional writers in the sense that one, one writer can write when you attend.
These are real people. I hire a lot of mums, people who want a flexible income and they may not be able to run. More than one or two. So it does take up a lot of my time. It used to when I didn't have edits it, but because of that, I do have a big team, but they are more passionate about my business and they are more loyal and reliable because you know, a mum who doesn't want to go back to work, I can train her up and she hits a safe space.
And then, right. And so for example, I take all of the whole team can work across all my sites and then I'll say, okay, Go go, go heavy on this side, Q2, maybe we're going to do on that side. And then I just take it from that. I mean, it's quite fluid,
[00:32:29] Jared: 35 writers. That's a lot, even if they're only producing a little bit of content for every month, that's still, they require being brought into your system and being trained.
And I mean, what is it, what does the training look like? If you could give us some insights into how you're training at really at scale.
[00:32:44] Aisha: Yeah. I mean, honestly, it's as simple as this. So we start off with a paid workshop. And the great thing about a paid workshop is you, you get rid of the riffraff people who are not really, not many interested in investing in themselves, they won't buy a ticket.
And so everybody that pays for a workshop ticket, they want to learn, they want to up-skill. And so they get trained in that workshop on the behaviors, on the expectation. And also I teach them how to find freelance clients. I've got to be open with the fact that I can't keep them just for me. Right. And so I teach them how to find jobs.
And then what happens is the next step is I Austin. So I give them a template I'm going to pitch. And I asked them, I trained them in the workforce. How to pitch to me then the ones that pitch. Well, I take them and then I assign them a, an article and I give them I give them a template and then I give them a training video on.
And I'm very, very clear in my instructions. What exactly I want, how I teach. I teach them how to write a good outline. Then I approved the outline and then they write it. And then after they write it, I will then give a lot of feedback in Google docs. I'd say it takes my writers, maybe two or three before they can just knock out.
Really like all my writers can write 2000 words, fully SEO optimized. Most of them run from. Yeah, amazing team want to spam
[00:34:03] Jared: you, you really flipped the model on its head. I mean, the whole, the whole approach you have is kind of flipping the whole model on its head teaching and educating people in a paid environment to become really not just writers, but writers as a career as a, as a freelance model and then hiring.
That Excel at that and giving them opportunities and teaching them how to, how to make a career out of it. It's really flipping the model on its head. Clearly it's working really well for you have a large team of people who are writing and creating content that's ranking. Thank you. I
[00:34:30] Aisha: mean, I kind of wind get away.
I was like, well, I'll give it a go. And just Google docs, Excel. I'm still kind of struggling my way through, but it seems to be
[00:34:39] Jared: working that seems to working great. Is most of it. I mean, again, going back, we've touched on it so many times in the interview so far, like you have this different approach. Where you use non-passive revenue vehicles, I guess, for lack of a better way to put it, you use these kind of non passive revenue vehicles, like workshops and coaching and courses, and these sorts of things to then build out your websites.
Now, are you doing this all in the back of a name you've created San Instagram or, you know, where does the initial interest and people come from that start this process of buying your courses or going into.
[00:35:16] Aisha: Instagram actually. I mean, I didn't expect it to, but I mean, I have less than 10,000 followers and honestly I just share SEO, blogging tips every day.
I just do a quick video of me looking at rough. Like, Hey, listen, here is not. This is what's going to happen. If you do this on Amazon, you'll get back here is how you can improve your headline. And I share tips on Instagram, and then that means the people that are interested, they follow my stories. And then I say to them, Hey, are you interested in learning how to become a freelance writer?
Then they pay for workshop and that begins the process. And so. It's a real community actually, but a lot of people worry cause they say, is that sustainable? Doesn't that take up your energy? And the solution to that is I do. I do basically record all my videos in one go, and then I just scheduled them out and I use voice notes quite a lot on Instagram.
So I use, I don't lecture my emails. I don't let my team by emails. I use voice, voice notes, quite a lot. I'm very practical, whatever is easier.
[00:36:18] Jared: Well, that's great, man. I mean, all that with an Instagram handle that like you said, is, is not, you know, you're not having tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers and what a great base.
I think that's very, you know, something people could, could strive for, especially if they have a passion like you do for helping people in their niche or a background that can get them off the ground there. So so let's kinda, let's maybe bring it back. Let's kind of do a little bit of a. Yeah. If you have three or four sites, what are some tips you can give to listeners for people who are stuck a bit, whether it's they're still in the sandbox and and their site hasn't started in that traffic or for people whose traffic as far short of what they want.
What are some tips you can share with people, for helping their sites get unstuck and start.
[00:37:02] Aisha: Okay. So I'm going to imagine that you were in my position if you're listening to this and you're in the living room, prying was not of your face. So let's just pick to that. Okay. And I honestly can relate to you when, if you feel that right now and just want you to know that it's going to change.
And so step one is I would recommend you quickly look at your site speed and your. Change it to a speedy theme, make sure your site speeds under four seconds. So imagine it's like a house. Get the structure, right. Number two, do you have a hundred SEO optimized blog posts? And when I say pick a strategy, you know, you can listen to Spencer picky specialty, whoever just pick one expert and implement it and get yourself to a hundred quality articles.
And if you are at a hundred quality articles and your site speed is fixed and you're still not getting trouble. Then you need to really maybe message me on Instagram, honestly, because generally people don't get to a hundred, they give up before a hundred, but if you have a hundred quality as you optimize blog posts and your site speed is good, you should be getting traffic.
There's no reason why you shouldn't write unless you're in a really high. And it's been, it hasn't been 12 months, 12 months to,
[00:38:12] Jared: yeah. And I think there's a lot of things in that. Like when you talk about writing articles that are say, SEO optimized, Yeah. I think some of the things that get lumped in there are, Hey, you got to make sure you're picking the right topics and going after topics that people are searching for and that you could actually rank for.
I mean, you know, so there's a lot of details there, but you know, so many, so oftentimes people don't get to that a hundred article mark E for you, the a hundred article mark is really, really important. Why. ‘
[00:38:39] Aisha: cause I think that like Google, Google, like I said, he's very protective over his vetoes and he needs to take you seriously.
And I honestly compare a website like a rental property you want to rent out. And I always say you don't build imagining you have, you wa you want to rent a house. You build this house. And then you say to the letting agent, hello, can you rent my house out? This three bricks. He's going to like, get out of here, you know, build your house.
And so build your house, make it look good. Have it had a strong, strong, strong structure. And then people will come and rent it and to touch on your point on what is it exactly? I have a three-step model find a good key word. I E. Some search volume, low competition, put that keyword in the right places.
Each one has to, for some word supercharge, it was secondary keywords. These are the three exact steps I do for every single article. You can do that. Your article rank.
[00:39:34] Jared: Okay. Say it again. I was I was taking notes, find a key, find a keyword. That was the step one.
[00:39:39] Aisha: So finding a good keyword, some search volume, low competition.
Put that keyword in all the right places. So hitch one H two first, a hundred word URL. I mean, I have a checklist at the end for free. I can give, so put that keyword in all about places you've done that. Okay. Supercharged that article with secondary. So secondary keywords on like he would variation. So you know how to say, let's just say you want, you want to write a running article, how to run.
And so, but anything around topics of running, if you use key search, it honestly gives you all the sub key secondary cubits on the right. And so you got to think yourself, like, what are some other ways to Google this? Or you could just go to and it will give you a list of secondary keywords. And I put those in the article.
[00:40:29] Jared: That's a very simple way to write an article that anybody can get on board with. And so I just wanted to double down on that. If, I mean, we have some, some some episodes here with it go really in-depth on variety of topics that can probably be very overwhelming for newbies. And while some of the things you've touched on are pretty advanced.
That is a very simplified approach to writing content that ranks that's really, really good. So anybody listening that's that's, that's kind of struggling with how to produce good articles. That's a great place.
[00:40:54] Aisha: I'm just, I guess another four before step is put yourself in the seat of the reader, right?
Is this a really good article that answers. Oh, is it just some AI? I mean, nothing won't be AI, but is it some rubbish generated content that doesn't really solve their problems? Like if you are a human being, you know, how it feels when you're facing a pain point, does that article answer the question? I'm very, very strict with my writers about user intent.
Get to the point. I don't want any fast start with answering the question you can fuck about later on means like waste time, by the way, like what's that, you know, basically it's like wasting time. Onto the question, how to run with a bad knee. The way to bond with a bad knee is 1, 2, 3, 4. And then if it's you at the end, but you need to meet the user intent as soon as.
[00:41:46] Jared: So where can people follow along with what you're doing? And you know, I, I'm guessing your Instagram handle is a great place to start and you post a lot of stuff there. Pretty frequently. I had the, I was able to go look at your Instagram account before we did the recording, and you're, you're very active over there.
Maybe share that handle on any other places that people can follow along with.
[00:42:04] Aisha: Okay. So the first, obviously my website out and beyond, so I do reply to, I do have an E I do, I do have websites. I'll be honest. My main website, I should priests, I S H a P a w. ECE is my Instagram. And I'm pretty, I'm pretty like people message me, always reply.
As long as you're respectful, don't send me weird stuff, but if you're respectful, I will, I will reply and I will try and help. And also I have a free check. Which hopefully Jared could include, which says the exact process that I follow to get an SEO optimized article. And so if you click on that, you joined my email list and I email every Wednesday and I share, like, for example, the other week I actually shared a video, a loom video of me finding a good topic.
And I shared that with my readers. So my read is on, on Wednesday. It's it's I share more in depth tips on ranking on Google.
[00:42:57] Jared: Perfect. I was going to ask you about the free checklist, cause he kind of teased it about 10 minutes ago and I was, I haven't, I haven't gotten access to the free checklist yet, so I didn't get as far I didn't get, as far as putting that, I'll be the first I will, because this won't go live for a week or two and I'll be able to go grab it before anybody else.
Okay. So let me just reshare a couple of the things you said. So first I should priest. That's a, I S a a I S H a P R E C E. That's your Instagram. People go fall on with you there. You shared your website out and beyond.com and that's the finance website, right? That's the one that's making the five figures a month that we really spent the bulk of the the episode you're talking about.
Yep. That's the one, that's the bread winner right there. And then where can people say it one more time for us where we can get the.
[00:43:44] Aisha: So I'll give access to Jared. I'll give a link and if we can include the link you should get, you should get access to, you can put your email in and it will be emailed to you.
And then you will also end up joining my free email list. You can opt out if you don't not interested and I'll share, I'll send tips every Wednesday, but you will automatically get access to that checklist if you click on that link. Okay, good.
[00:44:06] Jared: I'll include that. We'll get that included in the show notes.
And and, and people can go access that. I mean, let me give you one more, one more question here to close this out. Any final words, I think for people who are listening to this and I'm kind of maybe paraphrasing a lot of what you centered around in the different conversations we had, but for people who are feeling like they don't have enough SEO experience to succeed online with a website, what would you say to those people in closing?
[00:44:38] Aisha: I would say that. Don't compare your start to someone's middle because. A lot of the time people say, oh, I don't know enough. Look at that person earning 10,000 a month. Honestly, the fact that you're listening to this podcast and you're amazing generator, what Spencer provides is so much value. You're already one step ahead.
And if you're listening to this podcast, you've taken that first step and don't, and don't compare your start to someone else's middle. So my advice to you is to just keep taking. To get yourself find finally my strategy. And, you know, as I said, you can follow my one and then keep on implementing to get to a hundred posts and don't compare yourself to someone's middle, because I did that and it doesn't benefit anybody.
What is, you know, sitting there crying was not on my face, didn't help anybody. So you're not a failure. There's nothing wrong with you. It's like you just need to build a digital house. So building a house right now and you'll start to see some. Hmm. I
[00:45:33] Jared: love that. Don't compare your start to somebody else's middle.
We don't get too inspirational often on this podcast, but that might, that's a good one. That's a good one. That's really good. I love that. Don't compare your start to somebody's middle. I said, thanks so much for joining us on the podcast today. This has been a really great episode, so many golden nuggets that you shared, and a lot of inspiration along the way.
Thanks so much for coming by.
[00:45:54] Aisha: Thank you so much, Jared. And thank you to everybody listening. I hope you will have a wonderful, wonderful day.
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