I always love success stories – especially when they come from my readers.
Today, I have the pleasure to share with you the story of how Hieu Nguyen has built and sold one of his very first websites for over $17k in just a short period of 9 months.
His success really proves that what I teach here on Cloud Living really works, and anyone can do the same with hard work and dedication.
Ok, Take it away Hieu…
1. What is your name, where are you from and what is your current job/profession?
Hi everyone, I’m Hieu Nguyen from Vietnam. After 2 years of working as a software engineer in a boring outsourcing company, I decided to quit 2 months ago. I’m now doing Affiliate Marketing full time, mostly building Amazon niche sites.
2. How did you get started on building amazon affiliate websites? How long have you been building websites?
After 1 year of working in my day job, I realized that I didn’t like it, and didn’t want to live that boring life. I thought I had to find other thing to do… more freedom, more fun and of course, more money.
Last June, I found a local Affiliate Marketing course that discussed many ways of making money online. After a few videos, I stopped watching the rest, and just focused on building niche sites with Amazon.
I built 2 niche sites with my own content, but they were too competitive, and I was too impatient. I gave up after a few weeks.
From there, I learned how to find an easy- to-rank keyword, outsource content, and build backlinks that work. I decided to build another site following their advice.This was last August and now, it has become the website that I successfully sold at $17K. .
3. Tell us about one (preferred) or more about 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 should keep the URL confidential to protect the buyer. It’s in a seasonal sport niche which has much more traffic and buyer intent during the summer.
4. How much money do you make from this successful website(s) each month? Feel free to share your traffic stats as well.
Here is my income breakdown from September 2013 to May 2014:
September 2013: $0
October 2013: $16.00 (It didn’t rank on Google yet, sales from Bing/Yahoo)
November 2013: $20.00 (It didn’t rank on Google yet, sales from Bing/Yahoo)
December 2013: $127.02
January 2014: $110.92 (The main keyword ranked 1st in the middle of the month)
February 2014: $325.54
March 2014: $551.65
April 2014: $1,298.06
May 2014: $1,632.47 (EF migrated my site to the buyer hosting on May 22)
So I got $4,081.66 in 9 months from September 2013 to May 2014. That’s about $453/month. I sold it for about $17k.
Traffic since the site started:
The total cost is about $3500 (content, link building, broker fee), so I got about $17,500 in profit.
5. What is the main reason for this website’s success?
I think it’s keyword research and effective link building strategy.
6. How Did You Find The Niche? What’s Your Criteria To Determine Winning Keywords?
I dug all the categories on Amazon, took note, then used GKP to find main keywords having >1500 US monthly local search.
After having a few buyer keywords, I used Long Tail Pro to analyze the competition.
With this main keyword, I saw a forum thread, some low PA sites on 1st page, so I chose it.
7. What’s Your Content Strategy For The SIte? Did you Write the Content Yourself or did you Outsource?
After 2 failed niche sites, I tried to outsource content on oDesk following these guides:
Fortunately, I found a new writer who always produced good quality content with a low price; but, we lost contact. She just didn’t reply to me anymore without any reasons.
8. Do You Use WordPress To Setup Your Website? If Yes, What hosting, theme and plugins did you use? How Did You Structure The Site?
Here are my main installed plugins:
- Contact Form 7: for contact page
- TablePress: for table comparison chart.
- Universal Star Rating: to show star rating on tables.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast.
- WP Smush.it: to reduce image size.
- WP YouTube Lyte: to lazy load videos.
- W3 Total Cache: to speed up my site.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
My niche site had the same structure as Tung’s dumbbell site and Spencer’s knife site: a static homepage of 3k words about buying guide, and top 5 product reviews. There are also some information and product review articles.
9. What’s Your Strategy To Drive Traffic To Your Website? What Link Building Tips Can You Offer?
My traffic is mainly organic from Google. I also followed Tung and Spencer advice:
- Building base links using brand name, naked URLs, and generic keywords.
After the 1st month, I used SHERLOCK HACKS GOOGLE PART II service, same as Tung’s dumbbell site.
- Boost the ranking with PBN posts and high PR links.
About one month later, when most the base links were indexed, I started link building phase 2.
Diversify backlink types, anchor texts and make use of PBN when it’s still effective.
10. How Well Does Your Website Convert? Did you do anything to increase the conversion rate?
It’s only about 2.3% in total, but much lower in the first six months. I only added some clear CTAs above the fold. So far, it helped increase the CR. I think there are many available spaces for CRO, but I did not implement anything before selling.
11. How did you sell your website for $17k? What was the process?
I sold my website on Empire Flippers, which was a great experience. I just had to submit my site, and prove my traffic/earnings, and then they did all the other things: finding buyer, payment protection, migration and hand-off.
12. How has the success from this website impacted your life?
I can prove to my family that I can make money online and live the way I choose. And with the $17k sale, I can build out more niche sites now.
13. Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to replicate your success with their own websites?
Be patient and never give up!
14. Do you have a blog or other place that people can following along with what you are doing?
No, I don’t have a blog yet.
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