I Left My Full-Time Job To Start A $1.2M/Year Blog [With Just $50]
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Thanks Starter Story, it is my pleasure to be here on your esteemed platform. My name is Jitendra Vaswani - founder of BloggersIdeas.
I started my full-time blogging journey at the age of 25 and I’ve been successfully running this business till now. I love my digital nomad lifestyle.
The blog BloggersIdeas became an instant success and I went on to establish my own Digital Marketing Agency called “DigiExe”. Based on my core principles of living on my terms, working on what I love, and making the maximum effort every time, “DigiExe” has leaped forward and helped major online brands generate increased worth.
Currently, I have a portfolio of 35+ niche websites and I am making $150k+ per year from them in profits.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I started my digital marketing journey in 2012 while I was working with a startup as an SEO executive. I started at a very low salary because I had no interest in coding and I was very disheartened. My family always wanted me to be a programmer but I hated it. They were not happy when I decided to be a digital marketer.
The world is full of great ideas, but success only comes through action.
Suddenly I developed an interest in SEO and from that point, my life took a huge turn and I did a job for 2.5 yrs and finally started my first blog: BloggersIdeas.com and the rest is history. I started this blog with an investment of $50 for buying domain & hosting.
I was randomly searching on Google on how to start a blog because I was inspired by many digital marketing experts like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin & Brain Dea, I saw them they have blogs and they are making good money from it, Which inspired me to start a blog and I want to grow my blog as I was making very less money in my job.
Then I started and invested $100 every month into content while doing a job simultaneously in 2013. I was able to invest that much only.
The turning point in my blogging journey was Payoneer, and it was all because of my blog traffic and SEO. My blog was ranked for best bloggers in India in 2015. The Payoneer team was impressed with my blog and my social media profile, such as Linkedin and Facebook.
So in 2015, I was able to break a deal with Payoneer. I become -Brand Ambassador of Payoneer( International Payment Solution Company) and had a strong online influence over popular social media channels. I did that brand ambassador partnership for 1 year and it was a joyful experience for me. This was my aha moment after I quit my job in 2014. So big leap you can say.
In short, BloggersIdeas aims to help digital entrepreneurs start online businesses. Here, you’ll learn how a small blog turns into a money-making machine & how you can earn 10k+ per month from affiliate marketing.
Take us through the process of designing your initial product
When I first launched my blog I wasn't aware of the process of blogging and I used Google as my friend to learn everything about blogging.
You want your blog content to do well. To do that, it must be something that people will read and take action on. One of the biggest mistakes is assuming that your content will be successful without thinking about what people want or need. To make your blog successful, you should think about who you are trying to reach and what they might like.
I hired a developer at the best price I could find & he did the basic setup for me.
I can break down the website creation process into the following steps: Plan your website and order the ideas in a mind map.
- Decide what content you need for your website.
- Buy the domain name, for example at Namecheap (but you can also buy it after).
- Choose the best website builder like Elementor.
- Create the content (e.g. texts and images) for each page.
- Add the content to your website and optimize the SEO.
- Publish and promote the page.
After that, I designed my content strategy for my SEO blog and I started investing in content because that was the first thing to do, no content means no traffic on the blog.
To get your content pieces ranked on Google, you need a solid content strategy and you need tons of content to rank your highly competitive keywords. So I use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to find out the keywords which I want to work on and then the next step is to hire a writer.
To be honest I hired a writer from Facebook groups. We became best friends instantly. She was writing for some company and then started helping me write content for my blog.
In the beginning, I used to write content too for my blog, as my job was not that high-paying in 2013 so I had to manage everything on my own.
By the end of 2014, I left my job and this was the time to design a next-level strategy for my blog to grow income to $2000 per month at least as I don't have a job now and I had to push more to get the results.
I can share my early blog stats that show how my blog grew.
This screenshot was taken when I started my blogging journey in 2013:
The process of reaching 60% higher traffic on my blog came from focusing on SEO. I did heavy on-page SEO on the articles which were not ranking well, I did the keyword research and followed the proper interlink structure to make sure my articles which were getting impressions on Google SERP, should achieve top 3 positions. Because if you start ranking in the top 3 results then there is a higher chance of getting a good number. of sales and you see higher CTR.
I also improved the content on the articles, I was updating old articles which have higher chances to rank on Google, evergreen content like review posts and coupon articles are money keywords. These keywords can fetch you tons of money, so I focused on optimizing them every day unless they rank in the top 3.
Describe the process of launching the business.
When I was launching the blog, I made it clear to myself that I have to grow my blog to 6 fig yearly profits. I can proudly say that I have done it.
I didn’t take any kind of loans or funding, I am bootstrapped and I worked like 14hrs every day to get the business going. I was dropping emails to many digital marketers to get them on my blog for the interviews because in those 3 yrs from 2015-2018 I did tons of interviews on my blog which helped me to reach a lot of people. I did some interviews with other bloggers who want to feature me on their blog so I did interviews and guest posts on their blogs. This way I was exchanging traffic from other blogs.
I did some guest posts on websites like the business world, Yourstory.com, and Entreprenuer.com. I made connections with the editors via email and started asking them if they can mention my blogs in their content. First, you need to have valuable blog posts on your blog then you can outreach to top blogs in your niche for backlinks & guest posts.
Also, there are many challenges in the blogging ecosystem and it's very hard to rank for keywords in affiliate marketing because the tables have turned and many things which used to work in SEO have been changed completely.
You need to upgrade your knowledge every day, go to seminars & learn from the experts, be a part of mastermind groups, I am doing this myself I am paying for learning strategies from experts, recently I did attend 10X Conference in Las Vegas Grant Cardone event, I did invest a lot of money to learn from the speakers. So people are scared to invest in their knowledge, they can buy a new iPhone but never invest in education.
Here is a snapshot of my recent blog design: I have used my homepage as authority to build trust with readers when they land on my homepage.
Here is a snapshot of my portfolio website: On my portfolio website I display my services & show my social media authority with marketing influencers interviews & podcasts.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
As I have been in the affiliate marketing business for more than 8 years, I had realized you cannot depend on a single source of income and you need to divert your resources to keep making recurring money.
I have multiple sources of income to monetize my blog traffic:
For sponsored reviews, I have a network of blogs and I sell my client's multiple blogs for their product reviews. I have a network of 40+ blogs and these blogs are into niches like Make money online, health, dating, travel, and blogging. Once you have a network of blogs you can easily sponsor reviews from your blogs. Check this example of a sponsored review on my blog.
I do SEO consultation and help my clients to grow their SEO presence. I charge $200 per hour and guide them on how to do SEO and how to manage an SEO team with a proper SOP structure.
Consultation is a good source of income and if you have expertise in your niche then you can easily charge a good amount of money from your clients.
I have multiple blogs running into niches like dating health, health, and digital marketing. I promote a lot of products like hosting, VPN, software, and digital marketing tools. This helps me to generate $20k a month.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn from your blogs and once you build traffic then you can monetize with offers. You can take an example from one of my niche sites focused on education courses.
You can take inspiration from it and make websites like this.
Stop living for weekends, stop partying & stop listening to people who don't add any value to your life or business. Many people have ambitions, but their ambitions don't match with their actions.
Whenever you are doing business, never depend on a single source of income, I have multiple blogs from where I earn more than 5 figures per month.
Blogging is getting tough day by day as Google is getting very strict with link building. They are constantly penalizing PBN and other marketers with a lot of spam.
I have seen some of my friends get badly penalized by Google and they are now suffering from it financially. They didn’t have multiple sources of income.
Below are income screenshots from different affiliate networks.
Smarterasp hosting income is from SEO mainly. I made this in 2 years from this hosting brand.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
The future of SEO affiliate I would say is great as long as you follow the guidelines and make your website best for your users. Giving the best user experience and page speed are crucial elements of success in an SEO affiliate. Still, many webmasters don't have trust elements in their niche website and they are making very basic websites without any trust factor.
Recently Google launched their review algorithm update and many of the affiliates' websites tank down in this Google algorithm update.
Many of the affiliate websites witnessed huge drops in their ranking because of their poor content and no personal experience in their product reviews.
Google wants to give its users the best content on Google, so make sure that your website has in-depth content with data and stats. Have more videos, images & graphical content to have better user attention.
Always keep updating your content and you will rarely be affected by Google updates.
The future is bright and of course competitive.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Stop living for weekends, stop partying & stop listening to people who don't add any value to your life or business. Many people have ambitions, but their ambitions don't match with their actions. That’s the big problem, I see many of my friends who want to leave their jobs but they never take action, they buy dumb shit & never save money.
When I was doing my job & doing my online blogging I saved every single dollar & invested it back into my blogging. To save money to invest, don't save to save.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
My tools of the trade for my business are listed below :
Ahrefs: One of my fav tools for my SEO research and backlinks reverse engineering.
Slack: I used this tool for communicating with my team.
Copyscape: This tool is a lifesaver, as I have 30+ blogs and I have 5 content writer teams so I need to check the content plagiarism every day.
Yesware: Yesware is a chrome extension and I used it for email tracking, reminders, and sending automated emails to my clients who didn't reply to my emails. This tool is super important for my emails.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
To be honest, I didn't read many books but yes I did listen to audio versions of some of the books I am mentioning below :
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiosaki, one of the best books for managing finance and knowing the difference between liability and assets.
Experts Secrets by Russel Brunson: This is my favorite book when it comes to marketing, this book tells how you can use your expertise to make money online.
My biggest influences in the marketing industry are :
Neil Patel: Neil Patel is one of my favorites go-to guys for learning SEO and he is running the awesome blog NeilPatel.com for sharing all his knowledge related to digital marketing & SEO. His blog is a must-read for newbies who are entering the SEO world.
Gary Vaynerchuk: He is one of my favorite guys when it comes to hustling. I, I learned the hustling and never-give-up attitude from Gary Vee. He taught me why you should not give up in life & dont give a fuck about other people’s opinions.
Grant Cardone: This guy is a sales master and I learned the art of sales from this guy. He is very good at sales and an incredible speaker on stage. I met him at Las Vegas 2020 at his own conference 10X. I like the way he tells stories and sells his coaching programs and conference tickets.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
No. 1 tip for marketers out there is to go to events/seminars.
Several events are now solely dedicated to the marketing niches like e-commerce, digital advertising, SEO & how to make money online.
The world is full of great ideas, but success only comes through action. Walt Disney once said that the easiest way to get started is to quit talking and start doing. That’s true for your success as well. Your energy limits what you can do with your time, so manage it wisely. Once you manage your time you can achieve a lot of success and you will realize the importance of time.
In the near future, I will be conducting interactive sessions where I will share my experience about making money online, and how to live a digital nomad lifestyle.
Check out some events:
I recommend marketers to join in and build their network with high-quality individuals/companies. Interestingly, I have been able to grow my business 10X, just by attending such events. They are worth every penny.
Don’t be afraid to spend on attending networking events, where you will meet influential and friendly people to further your business. Maybe you will find your next business partner.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Looking for SEO Manager for reporting teamwork : Exp: 2-4 yrs
Salary: No bar for the right candidate.
Job Location: Work From Home.
Email me here: [email protected]
Where can we go to learn more?
- My blog where I share how to start your business online from scratch.
- My portfolio which is mostly for my consulting business and my speaking engagements.
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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