Are you ready for another success story? I know I am!
Today I am sharing the story of Ryan McLean, a pharmaceutical rep from Australia. Ryan shares that he has built up his side income to near $1,000 a month. What I also like is that Ryan also shares the exact URL of one of his sites that we can all check out.
The site that Ryan shares is not a huge money making site, but is a perfect example of a “small win”, that has growth potential. The best part is that Ryan started this site in May, and he's already seeing some great success with it!
Ryan has been able to put together several “small wins”, that now equal a decent little side income to help support his wife and 2 kids. Ryan or others in his situation can now either build these sites into something more significant, or just build additional sites.
In addition, Ryan shares some strategies that are working for him, along with a couple of sites where you can check out his work or following along with what he is doing.
Ryan, take it from here!…
Ryan McLean's Success Story
1. What is your name and current job/profession?
My name is Ryan McLean. I am a 25 year old Australian who is married with 2 kids (not your average 25 year old). I work full time as a pharmaceutical rep, visiting pharmacies in the Newcastle region of NSW.
I also run multiple websites online (currently 9 websites) and I do some consulting for friends with businesses. Some small affiliate income there, nothing special. All in all I make between $400 – $1,000/month online which I reinvest back into the business.
2. How did you get started building niche websites? How long have you been building websites?
I started building websites back in 2006 when I read a PDF book about how to make money in 30 days starting with $0. It was a story of a woman who started a blogspot blog and sold t-shirts on there through cafe-press. I think she made $70 in 30 days or something but it really started my online career.
I made loads of crappy websites on blogger.com using mostly scrapped content. They never made any money and they didn’t get me anywhere.
I did almost exactly what you (Spencer) did and started a personal finance blog which I ran for about 2 years. The most I ever made was $200 in a month selling paid reviews, it never really got much traffic despite often posting 3 TIMES PER DAY!
Then about 3 years ago I micro-tested a property finder service which I didn't end up launching. But I wrote some content to get more traffic to test the idea further. Worked on it every now and then but basically let it be. Well that is now my flagship site and earns me a great deal of [almost] passive income each month.
3. Tell us about one (preferred) or multiple of your successful websites. What is the URL and what niche are you targeting? If you are not willing to publicly share your domain or niche, that’s just fine.
I am going to go out on a limb and reveal my URL. It is http://bestaudiobooksofalltime.com
As you can probably guess I am targeting the audiobook niche. I am a big consumer of audiobooks so I thought it made sense to take that passion of mine and see if I could turn it into a profitable business.
Bestaudiobooks was taken as a domain name and I could find anything else truly suitable. Which is why I ended up settling in the above domain name. I may rebrand it in the future if the site ever gets big.
4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each month?
I started this website on the 22nd May 2013 (less than 2 months ago) after doing some keyword research and having an evening spare. In June 2013 I made approximately $35.
Approximately $10 came from Adsense and $25 came from an affiliate sale to Audible.com.
Traffic stats look like this:
May: 50 visitors
June: 530 visitors
July: 1,033 visitors (estimated)
UPDATE: Ryan also sent in his earnings from this site for the month of July so far (July 19th):
5. What is the reason for this website’s success?
The website has a home page (currently incomplete) and just 5 posts. The reason for the success for my website is 3 fold.
Firstly, keyword research. I didn’t just look for a single keyword that was low competition – I looked for an overall niche that had varied traffic sources and a few keyword terms that I could potentially rank for.
The main keyword I am going for “best audiobooks” gets over 2,400 local search per month but is fairly competitive. So I am also going after lower competition keywords like “best sci-fi audiobooks” (110 local searches) and “best audio books for kids” (140 local searches).
Much lower than most people would look for. But I find that because of the long tail if I write a great article I will get way more traffic than originally predicted.
Secondly, awesome content. My posts are extremely thought out and fairly long. I took the approach of “How can I make this the absolute best resource out there for this keyword phrase”.
The fact that my articles are long seems to work great for long tail phrases so I start to rank in Google for at least some terms usually within the first 30 days.
Thirdly, YouTube videos. I will make a YouTube video of the exact blog post (I literally film a screencast of me reading the blog post quickly). I will link to the blog post and the site home page in the description. I will then embed that video into my blog post.
Here is an example page with a YouTube video: http://bestaudiobooksofalltime.com/best-audiobook-app the video is embedded about half way down the page.
6. Please briefly share your overall strategy for finding a niche, getting traffic to your site, ranking in Google, and making money from niche sites.
Finding a Niche – I will look at my own life for ideas for niches. (eg. I will be eating a chocolate bar so I will think about the niche “chocolate”)
Punch keywords into Long Tail Pro Platinum. Set the minimum exact local searches to 100 (yup…I go that low).
I will then check the Keyword Competitiveness of almost every keyword phrase. Anything under 40 I will consider…but I am really looking for terms under 30.
My strategy is to rank for multiple keywords so I don’t need a keyword to be getting 1,000+ search per month. However, I usually want to create around 10 posts and I want the total searches to be around 5,000 search per month or more when I combine all keyword phrases.
Getting Traffic/ Ranking in Google – Create content, create a YouTube video and wait. Then maybe do some directory submissions or blog comments to get the ball rolling. One of my niche sites I did zero link building on. It took 13 months to rank but now it gets over 6,000 visitors per month and earns me about $70/month.
Something I have been doing lately is using my existing niche sites to link to my new niche sites. Not for Google purposes (same host so Google probably won’t value it) but just to share traffic and get more traffic to my new site in the early days.
7. What link-building tips can you offer?
Unfortunately I don't have many link building tips to offer because I don't do much link building.
My link building strategy is very basic and will usually involve
A. Creating a YouTube video and linking to the page in the description. Then embed that YouTube video on the page
B. Pay for a fiverr gig to get my website submitted to over 50 directories
C. A few blog comments or forum comments on relevant niches
Then if I am really confident in the site I will:
D. Submit some articles to EzineArticles.com and GoArticles.com
E. Create 1-3 Squidoo Lenses
F. Create Blogger.com or WordPress.com blogs with about 3 pages and link to my site plus other authoritative sites like wikipedia etc
G. Get a fiverr gig for some small diversified tweets, Facebook likes and G+ likes
8. How has the success from this website impacted your life?
So far…not much. It has just given me hope for a better future where I can run my own company.
Almost every dollar I will throw back into the business at the moment to try and grow it. Most of the money goes into content creation.
If I was to stop building my sites and just started cashing in on my profits then I could use the money for a variety of things:
Pay for day care
Pay for private schooling for my kids
Pay down create card debt
Fund a car
Move to part time work
9. Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to replicate your success with their own websites?
A. If you have limited time like I do (full time job, sexy wife and two kids can be very demanding) and little money (nappies can be expensive) then look for tasks that will deliver you results for the long term that you can build upon.
Writing a blog post today could continue to deliver you traffic in 3 years time. I still get about 5,000 visitors to a single blog post ( http://publicspeakingpower.com/best-movie-speeches ) which I wrote about 4-5 years ago. I have migrated this blogpost through 4 different websites over that time and it continues to rank and earn me money.
B. Get Long Tail Pro Platinum – Using the Keyword Competitiveness tool in the platinum version of Long Tail Pro is the only reason I have been able to find profitable niches that I can rank for quickly. Without it I would still be fumbling around in the dark…ranking for nothing.
10. Do you have a blog or other place that people can following along with what you are doing?
If you Google “Ryan McLean” you can find me, but one of my sites is: RyanMcLean.net
It's Your Turn
I want to thank Ryan again for sharing his story! Now, its your turn to ask any additional questions that you might have. I've asked Ryan to stop by and answer your comments or questions, so I look forward to a great discussion!