I love building (and buying) internet businesses.
I first learned how to start an online business 16 years ago and the thrill never gets old.
Some I have started or purchased have been amazing successes and some have been total failures.
It is fun to see that after starting an online business all those years ago, it is still possible to start a new online business and get to $1000/mo revenue in less than 90 days.
And when I say new I mean brand new. There was no email list to pitch to, no following, just a brand new website starting from absolute zero.
What Will I Learn?
Introducing Adam White
My name is Adam White.
I run Prosperly, where I teach about buying undervalued websites and flipping them.
Also for fun I took two years off and went and wrote and directed a feature film.
How To Start An Online Business With An Idea
When you are looking to start a business online, you need to come up with an idea that solves a problem. From that point, you can work on how to get started.
I work in the SEO world and am always looking for ways to make the SEO process easier.
One of the main strategies I use to do SEO both for myself and for clients is to do authority guest blogging.
As I was doing SEO for many websites I kept trying to find an updated list of blogs where I could submit a guest post.
There are several blog owners who took the time to put together extensive lists, but as I went through the guest blogging sites, I noticed that about half of the blogs on these lists no longer accepted guest posts.
I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to verify hundreds of blogs.
It got old really fast.
So I started putting together my own list.
Every day the list grew until eventually, I had a list of hundreds of blogs that would accept guest posts today.
The list became very valuable to me and then I showed it to some of my SEO friends and they started begging me to use it as well.
I knew I had something that would help anyone interested in doing SEO but as the list got bigger and bigger, it became more difficult to keep track of which sites I had actually submitted to.
I decided to take the list and build some online software to manage it.
This way I could easily sort the list by categories, and add tracking ability so I could easily tell which sites I had submitted to.
I called a friend who was a programmer and within a couple of weeks we had built GuestPostTracker.com.
How The Business Makes Money
Even though there were free lists out there, they were outdated and a big time waster.
I decided that I would keep the list updated but people would have to pay a small monthly fee to have access.
They would also get access to the submission tracking software that tracks:
- The date of submission
- The anchor text used in the link back to their site
How I Got Targeted Traffic To My New Business
One of my SEO friends who was an early tester on the site loved it so much he decided to write a guest post about Guest Post Tracker as a new SEO tool people should try.
As soon as the guest post went live I started getting targeted traffic right away and people immediately started signing up. My new business was already getting traffic from one guest post.
The conversion rate of the traffic from this one guest post was over 3% which is phenomenal. A typical (good) conversion rate ranges from 1%-2%.
I was really shocked to see the website performing that well.
Here is how I set up the sales page:
I decided to go with a 1 plan option to keep things simple and it seemed to work really well.
I knew that I needed to try to repeat this strategy again.
I contacted my SEO friend and asked him if he wouldn’t mind doing another guest post on a different site that talked about Guest Post Tracker.
He agreed and when the new post went live it was the same result; Another small flood of traffic and more sign-ups.
The irony of this whole situation was I was actually using the huge list of blogs at Guest Post Tracker to find good guest posting sites where I could submit a guest post to drive traffic back to Guest Post Tracker.
It was proof for me that my new internet business was going to be something people would use.
Interested in entrepreneurship? Check out these entrepreneurial statistics.
My ‘Eureka’ Moment
The guest posting was a great way to get small bursts of traffic to the site but I wanted something more consistent.
I realized that if I had a constant flow of targeted traffic, I would make money.
My long term strategy with Guest Post Tracker was and is to get great Google rankings so I can get free targeted traffic all day long.
But I needed revenue in the meantime. I didn’t want to do PPC because my price point wasn’t high enough to justify it.
In many of the websites, I had built and run before I had been successful finding other industry-related websites to advertise on, which would send me very targeted traffic.
There were several blog posts that ranked all over Google for the phrases I was targeting, that had an outdated list of blogs that accepted guest posts.
What if I could advertise directly on those pages and steal some of their traffic.
I approached a few of the bloggers about advertising in the blog post.
Two of them got back to me and said they would do it.
The one caveat I had was that my ad needed to be in the body of the blog post, in the top introductory section. It needed to embedded as if it had been written by the blog owner as part of the post.
They both agreed and when we settled on a price they placed the ad and we were off.
This is what the ad placement looks like on one of the websites:
Between guest posts and these two websites, I started getting new signups every day.
All the while my Google rankings were slowly growing.
New Monetization Strategy
As much fun as it was to have one person after another signing up to pay a monthly fee to use my new website, I wanted to see if I could just charge a one-time fee for lifetime access.
I recognized that if I continued to build up a subscriber base then the revenue growth could be exponential.
But for me, money now was more appealing than potential money later.
I made the one-time fee a price I thought that would be greater than what a monthly subscriber would be worth.
I started testing different lifetime prices. And people still bought.
I only made one change to the sales page (the price):
Once I started doing one-time fee pricing, the revenue started to jump dramatically.
I went from about $140 in January (the site went live in mid-Jan), to $220 in February and with the new one-time fee pricing, the revenue jumped to over $1100 in March.
Now it is a matter of driving more targeted traffic and finding the perfect price point that will maximize revenue.
It’s not just a matter of charging as much as possible.
I also want to grow my customer base so I have a strong base of people who know and trust me and will buy from me again when I launch any new amazing SEO software (hint, hint).
Wrapping It Up
I have to say I have been really surprised at the quick success of Guest Post Tracker considering the lack of a following when I started.
It has taught me a couple of valuable lessons-
- Build products (or businesses) that you actually want to use and people will buy
- You can start earning good revenue quickly without PPC, SEO or having an existing audience
Do you think I made a mistake switching to a one-time fee for lifetime access?
What else can I do to drive up traffic and revenue? Matthew Note: you could make it an annual subscription
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.