Are you ready for an inspiring story of determination, experimentation, and growth?
In our latest Niche Pursuits podcast episode, we’re excited to have Grady share his incredible journey of building a profitable niche site with zero SEO experience while juggling a full-time job.
Grady’s journalism background brings unique insights into the website building and writing process but his website had a slow start. Luckily it eventually skyrocketed to 170,000 page views and a whopping $9,000 a month (Australian)!
He gets into the specifics of his keyword research strategy for selecting winning keywords using Google search.
But he also gets into some of the challenges he’s faced.
Grady’s website operates in a highly seasonal niche, so he’s had to navigate the challenges of fluctuating traffic and revenue.
Plus, as an Australian running a hobby niche site monetized with ads, Grady targets regions like the US, Canada, and the UK. He delves into the pros and cons of targeting different markets and how to approach it successfully. If you’re considering expanding your website’s reach or building a new site for a specific region, Grady’s insights will be indispensable.
And beyond the practical lessons, this episode is a testament to Grady’s enthusiasm and followthrough. His story is relatable and inspiring and will leave you eager to tackle your own website-building journey with renewed energy and determination to succeed.
So be sure to listen in on another jam-packed episode filled with valuable insights, battle-tested wisdom, and heaps of motivation!
Table of Contents
Topics Grady Hudd Covers
- His journalism background
- How he got into niche sites
- Importance of starting
- How he chose his niche
- The alphabet soup keyword research method
- Advantages of knowing your niche
- Revenue split
- How long it took to make money
- Trying out different monetization methods
- Seasonal niches
- Targeting different countries
- Goals for next 12 months
- When to start a new site
Links & Resources
This Episode is Sponsored by&
Watch The Interview
Read The Transcription
Jared: Hey. Hey. Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits Podcast. My name is Jared Bauman, and today we’re joined by Grady. Welcome on board.
Grady: Hey Jared, how you going? Thanks for having me.
Jared: Thank you for joining and, um, you know, I’m, I I, I asked you at the outset, you’re, you’re down in Australia, so I had to ask what time is it because it it, I know that when we were starting to set up this, this recording, we actually are recording on different days of the week, so you’re joining us from quite an early time in the morning.
I appreciate you jumping on board to make the time zone stuff
Grady: work. No, not a problem. Yeah, it’s seven o’clock down here, which I guess isn’t too early for some people, but, um, yeah, most people who know me, I’m not really a morning person, so I’m hoping I make a bit of sense. Uh, yeah. In today’s podcast for you, ,
Jared: uh, it’s gonna be great.
Uh, it’s gonna be great. I mean, you’re, you’re a day ahead of me, so you probably know things that I, that I don’t know and all the other guests don’t know so well. Um, hey, let’s dive in here. Uh, today’s gonna be a really cool, uh, deep dive into your journey in building. And, uh, starting in the same place that so many of us did.
But, uh, why don’t you give us a background on who you are and maybe get us caught up to where you first started building
Grady: websites. Yeah, sure. Yeah. So as you said, um, my name’s Grady, um, but most of my mates will call me grades, so that’s kind of just what I go with on, on Twitter and things at the moment.
Um, yeah, as you said, I’m Australian, so, um, obviously born and born and raised here. Um, my background’s, uh, actually in journalism, so I did, um, a journalism degree for three years at university, um, and then kind of worked in the journalism field. It mainly in like small regional news. , um, for kind of the past 10 years.
So that’s, um, I guess helped with, yeah, building, building niche websites, the, the content side of things, having to, uh, meet deadlines and, and write a lot of copies. So, um, that certainly helped. Um, yeah, that, that’s I guess a quick, a quick rundown in my background. Um, I still work full-time. I still still work a nine to five job, not kind of the hours that I used to when I was working in journalism, which was kind of one of the reasons I got out of it.
So, yeah, which gives me a little bit of time to, to work on my side hobbies and, um, that’s being niche sites at the moment. So you
Jared: have a background in journalism. You still have a job right now while you’re building websites. What are you doing right now? Is it related to journalism or did you kind of venture into a whole different field?
Grady: Uh, it’s, it’s still in media and comms. Um, so not that I. Hugely deadline, pressured journalism environment. It’s a bit more, um, yeah, nine to five and which, which is good for me. Like I, I enjoy that. Um, yeah.
Jared: You mentioned journalism helps when it comes to a website, deadline oriented, creating a content, that sort of thing.
What do, what are the big things you think journalism gives you or has offered you that has given you a leg up or a bit of an advantage when it comes to building websites?
Grady: Certainly the grind, I would say it, it can be when you’re having to write, you know, 10, 11, 12 stories a week on, on deadline. Um, that can be pretty, pretty taxing.
So just that volume of writing each week. So building niche websites, as you would know, it is certainly got that element to it. You’re having to write a lot of content each week if you wanna move the needle forwards and, and see. So that’s certainly helped, uh, and prioritizing, I guess it’s, you know, when you’re still working full-time and working on a side hustle, there’s only so many hours in the day that you can work on it.
So I guess being able to prioritize time certainly helped.
Jared: It’s probably a little bit of a personal question. I’m just curious. Um, I think we’ve had a journalist, uh, on before, and I asked him this question, so do you enjoy writing or is it just that you’re really good at it and it’s your job and, and now you’re using that skillset again with website?
Billy, do you really like, do you like to sit down and, you know, kind of put the proverbial pen to paper kind of.
Grady: Uh, it depends on what I’m writing. , I’ll be honest, I guess. Fair enough. In the early days it was really good to actually just do something away from work and kind of write something for yourself.
That was one of the reasons I really got into it. Um, I’ve actually just started a, you know, a newsletter, um, from Twitter, which kind of gives me that bit of a creative writing outlet. I think writing with niche sites, you can get into that bit of grind and a bit. I guess same, same. So, um, having that outlet’s been good.
But yeah, I wouldn’t say I love writing. Uh, I’m good at it, , it’s something I’ve done for kind of 10 years, but it’s not necessarily something I would choose to do if I, you know, if I could do something else. But yeah, I like it enough to, you know, having done it for three years now. . Well, good.
Jared: That, that’s a good segue.
Let’s go, let’s start at the, at the moment that you, um, kind of transitioned into building websites and maybe tell us what gave you the urge to start building a website. Obviously you have a good skillset for it, but there’s more to building a successful site than, than just writing. You know, there’s a lot of seo, uh, that’s involved, um, uh, social media that might be involved, keyword research, all these other areas.
So, and I, I’m interested to hear how you got into this.
Grady: Yeah, sure. So, um, it actually started in kind of mid to late 2018, so it’s been going for a while. So yeah, at that time I was, I was working as, um, the editor of a small regional newspaper, um, you know, managing a team of about six people, um, who demanding job, like you would think a small regional paper wouldn’t be too demanding, but, you know, 45, 50 hour weeks, um, which I know to some people isn’t, you know, isn’t crazy hours.
Um, to me just, yeah, with the responsibility of the job. Um, yeah, that deadline pressure. Yeah, it was, it was kind of a tough gig and I was, I was looking to try to do something different. I think the tipping point was, you know, I did it for a couple years in that role and asked my boss for a, for a pay rise after two years, and I think he, I think it might have been a dollar 50 or $2 an hour, he bumped it up.
So, yeah, I kind of went, uh, maybe being, you know, the editor of a small regional newspaper isn’t gonna pay the bills forever, . So I started looking for, um, you know, ways to kind of build online income on the side. Naturally, as I’m sure other people have done, your search, how to make money online. Um, for me it was how to make money online writing given my background.
Um, stumbled across your channel, you know, Spencer’s channel, niche pursuits, um, you know, income score, all the kind of the big ones in the space, and was just blown away by the fact that there were people out there. Making tens of thousands of dollars just by writing blogs. Like I was, you know, writing 10 or 11 stories a week, and I thought, hell, I could do that.
you know, you know. So, um, that’s kind of how, how it started. Um, it was funny, the first website I made, um, I wrote 16 posts for it. And I thought, yep, I’m killing it. I’m gonna, you know, retirement’s only a year around the corner. um, wasn’t the case. I kind of let it sit there for about three or four months and it didn’t do anything.
And I got really impatient, so I actually deleted it. , you deleted it? Yeah. Got rid of WordPress. I said, no, this is, this is not working. This, this is, you know, waste of time. And I actually didn’t do, didn’t think about niche websites for another 18 months. So it wasn’t until the pandemic hit when everyone’s obviously sitting at home.
Thinking what they can do. Um, that’s kind of how I got back into it. So I spoke to a mate who had, you know, been chatting about these, you know, this crazy way of making money online and he was on board, so we kind of went, all right, well we’ll have a crack at it together. And, um, yeah, since then that’s, that’s how it really got started with the main website that we have, um, kind of just took off from.
Jared: That’s great. It’s great to to to hear that. Um, you weren’t deterred by that first. I mean, I guess we’ll call it a mistake. I think billion, the site is probably, Always a mistake. Maybe , I dunno if we can get around that not being the case, but, but you kind of rebounded and, and then it, it went after it again.
Catch us up to where it things are now and then, then we’ll start unwinding how you did this. I, I’d love to set the stage so people kind of hear where things are at now, and then we’ll get into all the details. Um, so maybe jump the gun. Tell us how many sites you’re working on. Where they’re at, anything you’re comfortable with, whether it’s revenue, whether it’s page views, you know, traffic type stuff.
Um, and, and again, everybody, keeping in mind, you’re still working full-time as well.
Grady: Yeah, so it’s not, um, I mean, yeah, some of the numbers to me, like I’m, I’m pretty stok with ’em. It’s not like some of the, you know, the big guests you have on here with kind of 40, $50,000, uh, monthly revenue, but yeah. Um, the main site that we’ve got, so, yeah, like I said, I, I run it with a mate.
Um, it’s part of about 60 40, I think, um, split in terms of, I do a lot of the writing and SEO and keyword research and, um, he just does purely. Um, so yeah, the, the site that, the main site that we have is around two and a half years old. Um, at its peak it was doing, it’s got 215 posts on it. At its peak, it was doing around 170,000 page years a month, um, and bringing in around $9,000, um, a month.
Australian, um, in profit. Um, We didn’t realize it was in a seasonal niche, . So, um, you know, in kind of June last year, I was pretty much writing my resignation letter. I was going, beauty, it’s going to the moon. Like, I’m gonna be able to , I’m gonna be able to retire and just do it, you know, full-time. Um, not quite the case.
It’s been on a bit of a, you know, seasonal down trend. So at the moment it’s doing it around 40, 45,000, um, page views a month, which is kind of in line with the trend that it has in, in that. Um, so we’d be expecting it to kind of starting to climb over the next couple months, which it’s actually starting to do.
It’s been up in the last couple weeks, which is great. Um, cause I originally thought it was a Google update. I, I thought this is , you know, it was going really, really well. And, um, you didn’t delete
Jared: it this time though. You didn’t delete the site this time.
Grady: didn’t delete it this time. Um, in spite, funny, actually, my mate was kinda like, oh, what are we gonna do that we’re just gonna get rid of it?
And I said, no. Like, let’s, let’s keep it and just hang it out. Never done that. Yeah, I’ve done that before. Um, . So yeah, it’s probably doing, uh, around two, two and a half thousand dollars a month, um, at the moment, which is, you know, to twice it’s still great. Um, there’s some money on the side. Uh, it’s just, yeah, around kind of that April, may, June is when it really peaks.
Um, so that’s that site. Uh, I’m working on a new one at the moment. It’s about seven months old. Um, that one’s actually in, I can say it’s in the pet niche, , um, I won’t tell you which one , but, um, yep. Yeah, that’s got around 54 posts on it. Um, it’s doing almost 2000 views a month, um, traffic, which is kind of where I’d expect it at this point.
It’s kind of following the same trajectory as to the, the main website we have. Um, that one’s interesting. I’m, I’m kind of experimenting with AI assisted writing, uh, for that one. So after, you know, doing a two and a half years of writing all my own content for the main site that we have, I kind of thought I really want to try and speed this process up a little.
Without kind of skimping on still the quality. Um, but you know, obviously the rise of chat G P T and um, all these different AI AI tools, I kind of thought it’d be silly not to. So, um, yeah, I still heavily edit the writing. It just helps kind of, you know, do outlines and. Um, you know, the body of the post and things like that, but I’ll still write the headings and the intros and all your answer targets and things.
Um, so that one’s not monetized yet, but hoping to do that. And then the third one I’ve got is really just, um, yeah, a bit of a test with programmatic SEO and a purely AI kind of one that I’m doing. It’s actually , those 16 posts that I wrote, the first website that I ever made back in 2018. I actually kept all the content.
And for some reason I didn’t delete the domain, which was stupid because you’d think that, you know, if I’m tanking a website, I’d get rid of the domain. So I’m not paying 20 bucks a year , but I didn’t. So, um, about a year ago I uploaded, re-uploaded all that content and it’s funny cuz it’s doing around 6,000 pages just on its own a month.
So I thought, well I’ll try and really crank it up on that one. So published. I think I put on Twitter, I think I published around 387, um, programmatic SEO posts on it probably about a month ago. Um, and all that’s starting to rank already, and that’s hopefully the bit of a lead generation one. So that one’s actually in a real estate niche.
Jared: in a way, you start with an niche domain on that one.
Grady: In a way. Yeah. Unintentionally through my own , I guess stupidity four years ago, . It might actually, no, I mean,
Jared: and it’s fun to, to kind of poke fun at it, but I, I, the, the, the halls are aligned with mistakes that we’ve all made starting off a website. I think that’s one of the big.
Reasons if I ask people like, Hey, what’s your, you know, big advice to somebody who maybe is, hasn’t started yet. Almost everyone’s advice is the same as like, get started because there’s just, you’re gonna make a s a number of mistakes out of the gate, so just start and get going so you can make those mistakes because we’ve all made ’em and we all, you know, have to put our heads down and kind of, kind of push through them.
So, you know, it’s, it’s nice you’re sharing those because it’s mm-hmm. , you know, makes the rest of us feel better when we make dumb mistakes too. and we hear that. People who have some success, uh, have also made them.
Grady: I think it’s important because, you know, you can kind of see, I guess, you know, some people with the curated content and all you see is the trends going up and all the charts are just going up and up and up.
So I think it’s important to share both because it is this kind of crazy bumpy journey where, you know, Google can change something overnight and all of a sudden your traffic tanks, um, or you could delete your own website . So there’s plenty, there’s plenty to learn along the way. And that’s, that’s kind of what I, the position that I take with it.
I’m certainly no expert on it. Like I’m not someone who has 10 years of SEO training or any kind of formal training like I did a writing degree. Um, but you can certainly learn, um, there’s so much information out there that you can do it. So that’s, you know, that’s what I’d be telling people is just don’t worry about what needs, you know, the biggest thing I get on Twitter, especially just, you know, in people messaging, going, oh, you know, I dunno what niche to start.
I dunno, you know, what space to be in. Just do it , just start one and if it doesn’t work, You know, give it a good crack for eight months and if you’re not seeing any movement, then maybe re reposition. But um, just have a go. That’s all I’d. Well, and you’ve, you,
Jared: you’ve been quick to downplay several times, kind of, Hey, I, I don’t have the, the numbers of some of the other people that, uh, I’ve seen on the podcast or I don’t have any formal training in this, but I mean, congratulations because for anybody starting a side hustle to be, you know, cracking a $9,000 month several years later, it’s really, I mean, it’s, I still have your full-time job.
I mean, you’re not putting all of your efforts into this, so it. Really great. Uh, and you’re, you’re doing a very good job at it, so congratulations on that. You’re, you’re probably, um, downplaying it a little
Grady: much. Nah, cheers. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s, um, yeah, you try not to compare yourself with other people, but I, you know, we’re only three years, I guess, you know, the main website we have is only kind of two and a half years into it, so, you know, maybe I’m a bit of a harsh judge myself, but, um, , yeah.
It’s, you know, to us it’s great. Like it’s, it’s life changing money, you know, paying outta the mortgage a bit quicker. You know, taking some of that money and just easing financial pressures, wherever else. So, um, yeah, it’s been good. Excuse me. Well, good. Let’s,
Jared: let’s get into how you built this thing. Uh, and I, I’m, I, I just, I want to hear about, now that we know where it’s at right now, I real, by the way, I’m gonna be asking you some questions about that seasonality, because that is some brutal seasonality.
yeah. Hundred, 170. I wrote it down. 170,000 page view. Over the summer down to, I think you said 45,000 pages. So we’ll get into that too. Uh, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who are listening who probably have some seasonality components to their websites, their projects that we’ll want to hear about it from you.
But let’s talk about how you chose the niche and, um, and, and this was, we talked about the failed project that’s been reboot, rebooted, but this. Really your first go at it, and a lot of people don’t have so much success with their first go. How’d you pick the niche when, you know, you hadn’t really picked a lot of niches in websites before
Yeah, sure. It was in, um, so I guess you could call it a hobby niche in a way. Um, it’s something that both my mate and I were really kind of into and interested in. Um, so that was kind of, yeah, we kind of just got together and said, Hey, do you wanna have a go at doing this? Like, I think there’s a, there’s a space for.
um, yeah, pretty much just following the same processes that I did for the website in 2018, but just stuck at it for longer . Um, rather than just writing the 16 posts, it was really, all right, we’re gonna stick at this for eight to 12 months. And even if you’re not seeing any traffic, just keep publishing.
Um, you know, the, the keyword research side of things. I know a lot of people use QAN research tools, but I kind of just follow the, the classic alphabet suit income school method. Um, and I’ve found that work really well for us, you know, for 215 posts we’ve got on the site to do, I think, yeah, 170,000 a month at its peak.
Um, there’s a lot of winners in there, which is, which is good. Um, but no, it was really just something that we were both passionate about. We, we know a bit about. We’re certainly not experts at, it’s something that we enjoy doing. Um, and we kind of just leveraged that. I guess that’s, you know, it’s one thing that a lot of people go, oh, they’re going into niches, or they don’t really have, you know, they see the money side of it.
They go, oh, that’s gonna make me heaps of. , but they may not know anything about it. . So I’ve, I’ve always kind of felt that if you understand the nation, if you’re kind of doing. Each day, or, you know, each week, it makes it easier to write content that makes sense and is actually helpful. Um, so I think that’s, I guess it’s a mixture of luck, I guess.
Like we, we, we kind of thought, yeah, it’ll work. Um, but until you actually see the numbers start going up and seeing, you know, the first dollar come in, um, It doesn’t all become real until then. So that was, it was an Amazon affiliate sale for us that, I think it was about month eight was our first dollar that we made on it.
And that was mind blowing, , you know, I think back to it then. And, um, yeah, that was, that was really cool.
Jared: You talk about being a hobby niche. Is it a or niche depending on where you are? Niche, yeah, yeah, yeah. you can say both. Um, you talk about being a hobby. Was it a hobby you were interested in? Was, is it a hobby?
You would say that cuz some people will pick something that they are basically an expert in. So in, in, in the hobby world, maybe it’s a hobby they’ve been doing for a while. Uh, they have a lot of contacts in the space. They have a lot of knowledge in the space. Some people pick a niche that they are interested in, so, hey, I don’t know much about it, but I’m gonna be kind of deep diving it.
I’m gonna learn how to mountain bike or whatever it is. Um, so I might as well start a website about it, kind of double dip any of those True for you. Were, were you an expert in this s niche already or did you have an interest in it, or did you just kind of randomly throw a dart at a dart board and pick this.
Grady: Uh, no, certainly, uh, interested in it. Um, definitely an expert in it. . There’s a lot of people in there that are a lot better, you know, a lot more knowledgeable in, in, I guess this, um, niche than, than us. Um, but we’ve both been doing it for a long time. Uh, and we’re both coming from a, I guess, an amateur level with it.
Um, that sometimes can be helpful as well. You know, when you get kind of experts in a space and they have this really high level of, um, I guess, information that they’re sharing, we kind of thought maybe we’ll just peel it back a little bit and speak from our own personal experiences. Um, and that seems to have resonated a little bit.
So it was certainly something that we’re both passionate about and enjoy doing, and we still do it. Um, you know, usually weekly. Um, Yeah, that, that’s, I guess where it came from was just something that we thought, we love doing this. We might as well use that as a focus because we can write heaps about it.
And you know, not having to research too much as well. I think if you’re going to a niche where, yeah, you’re starting from scratch in terms of your knowledge base, it can take a long time to write content. Um, right. Whereas we could kind of write it from a, just a self-knowledge base, which really helped to kind of pump it out early, which was.
Jared: You talked about alphabet soup style cured research I’m familiar with, but maybe share a little bit more about that so that if anybody doesn’t know what that is, they can kind of get your take on it. Maybe anything you were doing that was a little bit unique or things you learned along the way as you did it to kind of perfect it, maybe specifically for what you were doing.
Grady: Yeah, I wouldn’t say perfected. It’s, it’s . It’s, it’s, it’s better, but, um, yeah, it’s, so it is effectively kind of just going using Google Auto Complete. Um, it’s a pretty popular one that I said. Obviously the income school guy kind of coined a term, I guess, but, um, yeah, it’s just effectively using. Google Auto Complete to do your keyword research for you.
So say if the, I don’t know, say if the keyword is, is Labrador, um, I’d search a lot of different, um, I guess kind of question keywords. So it might be, should Labrador A, B, C go through, you know, the different letters of the alphabet and see what is suggested. So it could be you. Yeah. Um, should Labradors, canned Labradors, um, do Labradors.
Um, how do Labrador, and just, and just go through a, b, c through all of that? It’s amazing what kind of keywords you can find by just using, you know, using that method. Um, I’ve been trialing a little bit with low fruits, um, as a keyword research tool, so it’s a bit cheaper than a hf And, and it kind of, my understanding of it, just looking at the dashboard and things, it kind of does that it uses, you know, people also ask, um, to.
I guess show the keywords that, um, is coming up for you. So yeah, I haven’t, I haven’t really had to spend, you know, $200 a month on ahf. I just, to be honest, I just haven’t seen the value, considering it’s working what we’re doing at the moment. Maybe I’m missing out on heaps of really good juicy keywords that, um, we should be going after.
But yeah, at this stage it’s, it’s just worked for us and that’s kind of, if it’s working, why change it? One
Jared: of the common. Pieces of feedback or struggles with that approach to keyword research can be that you end up with a lot of topics and a lot of them have call it similarities. You know, like, I’ll follow your example.
Canned Labradors, um, walk in hot weather, can lab Labrador run in hot weather? Can Labrador sprint in hot weather? Can I take my lab to the park and hot weather can? And so there’s like, this is hot weather thing, right? I, I made this up so I apologize if there’s any Labrador out there. Maybe this is ridiculous, but yeah, you get a lot of similar keywords, right?
How did you decide which ones to write? How did you decide how long to write ’em? That’s another thing that some of these more advanced paid tools will tell you. Um, and cuz clearly you’ve gotten a lot of these articles, right? So I’m just curious how you took these topics, figured out which ones to go after, and then figured out how to assemble them into an article.
Grady: Yeah, for sure. It’s really bad cause it’s kind of, I would just say usually common sense, but that’s not really teachable and hope people can’t really kind of, um, take anything actionable away from that, I guess. But it really is just, I think knowing your niche is a big one. Great, great. That, that’s why I would say to people, do something that you understand and something that you know already because.
When you get those keywords that come up, you can quickly discern which ones are just a Google Order complete, that’s spatted out that, oh, this, this is interesting. People might like that compared to the ones that you go, okay, that’s actually something that will apply to my nation. I can actually see myself searching that.
I, I don’t, I really don’t write any articles, um, on keywords if it’s not something that I would’ve searched. Um, which I think is a good way to go about it, and I think it really does cut down on those, you know, those ones, those keywords that may seem like a good idea, but, um mm-hmm. that a h s might be spitting out, but not necessarily have much traffic at all.
Jared: Before we jump into the podcast, I wanted to let you know that today’s episode is sponsored by Search Intelligence. Here’s a short clip of Ferry from Search Intelligence showing you how their agency built digital PR links to a client’s website. Do you remember
Grady: this campaign? It was all over the news. It is the most intelligent royal campaign.
With over 100 links generated in the world’s biggest online publications, this is one of the most viral PR campaigns of 2021. This is how we’ve done it. The methodology was pretty simple. We looked at the QS World University rankings for the institutions attended by key members of the royal family to discover which royal is the brightest.
Naga Markle came out on top, followed by Kate Middleton and Prince William. We put these findings in a press release and sent it to mainstream media and journalists who write about royals. From Russia to the uk, the us, Vietnam, and Japan. This story got massive coverage landing over 100 links and created a massive buzz on social media.
Simple research, but a great story that journalists love to write about. I hope this will put you on fire and will give you inspiration.
Jared: If you want similar link building PR campaigns for your website, head to search intelligence.co.uk and get in touch with them. I think that you’re right. I think knowing your niche is a big one.
Um, I, uh, I run a marketing agency for, for, for my day job, and so we’re in niches I have, don’t really have a whole lot of understanding with, and so that can pose a little bit of challenge sometimes when you’re. Uh, sifting through keywords or trying to, to to know which, which articles are perhaps more topically relevant versus others.
Luckily, we’ve got a big team, but, but I, I, I think, um, that, that’s got, this gotta be a big play. I mean, wind, wind through where you’re at now. How many of these articles are like affiliate style? You talked about how your first sales on Amazon, how many are more informational? Some of the examples you gave are really informational.
Are you, are you monetizing with both Amazon and, and an ad network? Where, where are things at with, with the, the 215 posts
Grady: you have? Yeah, sure. So we, um, yeah, obviously started out monetizing with, um, Amazon affiliate, just cause it’s one that you can get into, um, with no kind of traffic, um, barriers. Um, so we, and we still do that.
We use Genius Link, uh, being in Australia obviously, um, and all the different global traffic that you get. We thought that was the best way to, to monetize it with Amazon. Cause Amazon affiliate don’t have an Australian, oh, sorry. They, they do, I think it’s, I can’t remember why we did it in the first. It’s got me stumped.
But anyway, um, we use, we use, we use Genius Link to kind of, uh, do that. Um, yeah. Uh, we also with Adri, so we, we run display ads. Um, a lot of the, a lot of the posts we have are informational. We’ve tried to steer away from that really heavy review based content. Cause there’s a lot of it in our niche. Um, it’s quite competitive, not just saying we can’t rank for it.
Uh, we just find that that informational content. Can get just as much traffic, uh, without having to write these meaty 3000, 4,000, 5,000 word blog posts. You asked, uh, just before what kind of word count we follow? Um, I don’t really have a set word count, like kind of the minimum posts we would do is kind of around 1,012 hundred just cuz I, in our niche, anything less than that’s kind of thin content and you’re probably not really gonna rank against, um, other website.
But we’ve, you know, I think to me, I think that the days, the 7,000, 8,000 word blog posts are kind of, um, dead and buried. I, I don’t think anyone wants to read those. We did. Hey, goodness, . I know, right? We did hell off on it, right? Oh yeah. Uh, we did, I think it was a 7,000 worder, and that was just absolute nightmare to write.
It was hell. I wrote it over the course about a week, and it was just, you know, it, it goes okay. That that was a, a learning mistake. So that one I thought, you know, that’s gonna get heaps of views. Um, it’s gonna pull in, you know, thousands and thousands and thousands a month, and it, and it just doesn’t, like, it ranks in the top two.
Um, but it just doesn’t bring in anywhere near the traffic that I thought it would for the time that we put into it. So, yeah. So in terms of monetization Yeah, kind of just affiliate and, and ads at the.
Jared: Okay. And what’s the split, um, like in, in a month of, in a month of summer or, or spring? Like you talk about kind of high season, are you making most of your money from, uh, affiliate income and, uh, or is it more from, from adri and, and ads there on
Grady: the site?
I would say definitely ads. It, it’s probably, whoa, 80 20 maybe I would say as a, as a split, like very heavily geared towards, um, ads, which is probably, I guess a little bit on our part as well. I probably haven’t monetized it quite as well as what I could. Uh, there’s certainly opportunity to lean heavily or more heavily into affiliates.
Um, I’ve been looking into, you know, lasso and. And things like this, you can kind of have those product displays a little better. We kind of just have, you know, text links at the moment, which I know aren’t anywhere near as effective. Um, but it’s just the time, it’s just finding the time. working full-time still, and, and working on it as a side hustle.
And obviously trying to work on a couple new websites as well. Um, and those are the ones that I just work on my own. It’s the, the main one is the one that I run with me and my mate. Uh, the two new ones that I’m building are just me on my own. So, yeah, it’s, it’s just finding the time and, and I know, um, email is another big one that we could be leaning into a little bit more as well.
We, we do have an email list with a basic popup, but, uh, you know, I’ve got a lot of ideas how we could certainly target it a lot better and target the different search traffic that’s coming in to monetize that a little bit better. But yeah, it just comes down to time. At the end of the day, ,
Jared: I, I, and again, for people listening, um, you know, like I don’t.
Assume too much, but you’ve really just put your head down for a couple years, written content and not, you know, fully optimized everything and you’re still making some great, great side hustle. So it’s, I, it might sound like you’re leaving out the table. It’s also very encouraging though, because you have a lot of opportunities still ahead of you,
Grady: Yeah, there’s, there’s definitely a lot of upside.
It’s just, yeah, tapping into it and. Yeah, finding that time. But yeah, it is, it’s like, like I said, still while working a a full-time job, I’m still realistic on, uh, yeah, how much time I can spend under it. But, but you’re right, those first two years were yeah, pretty, pretty brutal. Like working, you know, up until one in the morning writing articles or, you know, early in the morning before work.
I reckon I said to you before, um, I’m not normally a normal, uh, morning person, so I’m a bit more of a night hour. So write a lot of my content, you know, after work, get home after dinner. When my wife’s gone to bed, I’ll stay up for a couple hours, uh, writing articles. So it’s, it’s, it’s not glamorous, you know, I’m sure everyone else who owns a niche side as well, who’s kind of doing those bigger figures, you don’t just get there overnight.
Um, and you don’t just get there by writing kind of 10, 20 posts. Like you’ve really just gotta stick at it with, you know, for one, two years, um, and really just grind away .
Jared: Well, it’s probably a good time for me to ask, cause I have it in my notes here. The. , you said it was eight months until you made your first dollar.
How many articles do you think were live? Just approximate? I know you probably don’t have it in front of you, but like how? Because a lot of people, I think the time is difficult without knowing how much work you’d put in as well. Because I could say I’ve worked on a site for eight months, but if I’ve only published 10 articles, to your point, I haven’t really worked that much on it, but.
If I’ve worked and published 80 articles on a site, and I’ve written all that content myself over the course of eight months, that’s a much different type of proposition. Where, where were you at eight months in when that first dollar finally came through? Yeah,
Grady: it was actually around 80. Oh, you said? Yeah.
So you’ve, you’ve guessed it. You’ve guessed it. Spot on. So ding ding. Yeah. go b lottery ticket. Jared . It’s my day. It’s my day numbers. Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, I think it was around 70, 80. So, okay.
Jared: That’s a lot of work. That’s a lot of work to not have a dollar yet you.
Grady: Yeah, it was, yeah. And that was, I guess, those learnings, like I said, back in 2018, knowing that it can take that long to start seeing decent traffic coming in.
Um, that’s kind of. Helped us stick at it. Just going, no, no, we just gotta keep pushing through. Like it will, it’ll happen. This, you know, traffic’s starting to roll in. We didn’t realize once it did kick in, how much of a kind of trajectory it would, it would go up, go up on, I know you talk about that kind of hockey stick growth.
Um, but it’s, it’s not until you actually see it that you go, wow. Like it’s . It’s actually actually working. So cuz that, yeah, we went from, I think it was seven or eight months with 80 posts, um, making that first dollar. I think at the 12 month mark we made the first thousand dollars a. Um, and then I think it was month 23 or four, we hit that first kind of nine and a half thousand, $9,000 a month.
So it really just compounds, um, which was really cool to see. So I wanna
Jared: talk about two things that are a bit unique to your site. First off, I wanna talk about the kind of the country thing where, cuz you’re out of Australia. Then we’ll, we’ll touch on seasonality. So you’re down in Australia and, um, Correct me if I’m wrong, but you can have an Australian focused website and the domain name will actually be, um, uh, with a au in it.
Correct. Correct. Yeah. Yep. Now, did you go with an Australian focused domain with a a unit or did you go with a, a UK focused domain? a.uk. Did you go just.com or whatever? So it would be more focused on, we’ll call it worldwide traffic, maybe predominantly us. Like what’s the focus, like given you are based in Australia, and how did you make that decision?
Grady: Yeah, no, it’s definitely.com. Um, I wanted to steer away from you. We wanted to steer away from, um, just Australian traffic, obviously with ads. You know, the u uh, uss, you know, the, the big, I guess you could say money sphere in terms of, um, display ads, right. Uh, the UK as well. So now we got a lot of traffic.
The bulk of our traffic is actually from the. Okay. Okay. So yeah, the, the niche is obviously quite worldwide, so there’s people searching it, um, all over the place when we started. Um, so we probably were geared more, the way the site started was geared more towards an Australian audience. Um, and we, we quickly pivoted away from that, uh, which, you know, Kind of by luck in a way.
We just, we just, the idea that we had to start with, we went, yeah, this is really gonna work. Um, but it wasn’t until kind of two or three months in that we went, actually, we really don’t think the search volume’s gonna be anywhere new enough for these for these phrases. We need to broaden it a little bit.
And thankfully the, the domain that we picked being a.com allowed us to do that. Uh, the, the domain itself is probably not as good as it could be. It’s probably a little bit specific sometimes, um, if you’re looking. Country by country. Um, but that hasn’t impacted the traffic that we get from globally. So yeah, all the websites that I run now are dot.
Jared: Did you look at all into, it sounds like you kind of at least understood that, hey, between ad networks and the way they pay for, say, Australian traffic versus US traffic, it’s a lot lower. Um, you wanted to focus on US traffic and UK traffic. Uh, is it easier to rank in the Australian market? Like if you go do a search in Australia for some of your keywords, do you get Australian websites or do you see like your website and.
broader.com site showing up? I’m, I’m just curious.
Grady: Uh, definitely more broader, broader.com sites, um, showing up. Um, there is obviously Australian websites in the same niche that, that do it, um, that just have a different, a bit of a different content focus than what we do. Uh, so yeah, we kind of. I guess most of the competitors that we have in our space are, yeah, dot coms, big US sites.
Uh, so, but you know, as, as a little guy kind of starting out , um, you know, we, we kind of find, found that point of difference in the market that we thought we could tap into, uh, especially around that informational content. So that’s kind of what we did. Um, the space has got, I think, more crowded and, and more competitive even since we started two and a half years ago in.
I think that’s just the, the boom of people getting interested in logging and making money online. You know, even though , even though a lot of people saying SEO’s dead with, you know, Google, Bard and, and Ben coming up, um, I still think there’s an opportunity in there for people starting up, you know, today, uh, especially with all these AI tools that you can use to kind of fast track content and, and things like that.
But yeah, it, it’s basically US competitors and global traffic for.
Jared: I’ve always been curious about taking a concept that maybe I know works well in one niche for it’s competing well for, call it US traffic. And I, I just, I’ve always wondered what it would look like to maybe start that similar type of concept or site focused on a specific market.
It’s, it’s, but then you, like you said, the. It’s a good point. Not only is the traffic potential smaller cuz you’re just focusing on one market, but you’re right, the, if you go into, say Adri or any of the ad networks you’re with and you look at the RPMs that are, that are paying out by country, it’s um, it’s crazy how much higher like the us, Canada, uk, these kind of places are.
Grady: Yeah. Way, way higher. But it’s funny to say that like the, the, one of the new ones I’m building, the one that I had on that , self aged, um, domain, I guess you could call it in , in the real estate, um, niche, that that one is, it’s still a.com, but it’s geared more towards, it’s geared purely towards an Australian audience, largely.
Okay. Um, so that one’s a bit more of a local, I guess, s e o kind of play. Um, and that’s why I’m, I’m not focusing on ads or affiliate on that one at this stage. That one will purely be, it’s not making any money at the moment, but the intention is, um, for it to be a bit more of a lead generation, uh, kind of plays.
So getting emails and then hopefully selling on selling those, those details for leads. So I’m hoping it would be a, you know, a low traffic kind of site, but with a higher. It’s just something that I wanted to try. It’s very different from , you know, display ads, uh, or you know, affiliate marketing income.
But I remember watching a podcast, I can’t remember which channel it was on. There was a guy who was, I think he was doing like five or 6,000 page views a month and earning, you know, 10 grand a month from this website. Cause it was just hyper targeted to, to lead generation. So I’m dipping my time into that and seeing how, how it goes.
But yeah, it’s still in the, you know, month one of that really at this. Right, right.
Jared: Well, let’s talk about the seasonality, because like I said, that is, um, there’s season, there is seasonality, and then there’s, then there’s your seasonality. That is brutal. Why, like what? Um, I think the big question I would have for people who are listening, um, especially people who might, you know, be still deciding on what niche to jump into or what topic to jump into, what have you learned now?
About your niche that you wish you’d known as it relates to seasonality, and are there any, um, things that people can do to kind of be more aware of that going into it? Because it sounds like that really caught you by surprise. Uh, certainly the gravity of the up versus the downside is, is is pretty dramatic, you know?
Grady: Yeah, for sure. Definitely do catch us by surprise. Um, so the nation as in Australia, um, is an all year. You know, kind of thing.
Jared: Oh, fascinating. Well, you guys have such great weather, maybe that’s
Grady: why. Yeah, possibly. Yeah. Um, not so much the case in some, some other countries. So, um, it wasn’t until we realized that we went, oh, okay, maybe this is actually seasonal.
And it wasn’t until, you know, it was basically as, as a last resort, I was panicking, going, we’ve just been hit by an update. This is not good. You know, I was looking at, you know, we, I redid the website in terms of theme, put on a faster theme, really like drilled down on all. Kind of things. Um, but it wasn’t until I kind of banged our main search team into, um, Google Trends, that it was actually just this clear correlation between the trend traffic and the way our traffic was going.
So it, it would go up towards June and then kind of come back down towards January. And I looked at, you know, the five year data on that, and it was just identical every year. So that kind of gave us a little bit more confidence that, okay, we haven’t actually been penalized by, you know, a Google. Because all the content was written ourself, but I, I like to think it’s quite high quality.
We are, you know, ranking quite high, um, in SEARCHs for a lot of terms, A lot of number one terms, a lot of snippets, um, . So it was actually relieving. That it was seasonal, uh, you know, we’re still waiting for it to go back up and the traffic is starting to improve, you know, as we head towards the middle of the year.
Um, I’m not counting my chickens just yet until they they hatch in, in June . Um, but certainly looking at that trend data, yeah, gave us a lot more confidence that it is actually seasonal. But yeah, in terms of giving, I guess other people advice, um, I don’t know. To me, it doesn’t worry me too much if it’s gonna have those high highs and those low or lows.
I guess if it averages out over the course of the year, it’s, it’s not too bad. It’s frustrating in terms. You know, I’d love to do this full-time at some point. I’d, I’d really love to make the, the jump into it and seasonality makes it that little bit harder, especially, um, you know, convincing my wife that yeah, you know, I, you know, don’t worry like this will make us enough money.
Um, especially when you’ve got those down months. So, uh, yeah, if I had to do it again, I’d, I’d probably look to, you know, the, well, the two niches that I’m working in at the moment, all these new websites aren’t in seasonal, seasonal niches. Um, and that’s kind of, You know, I’ve written that that playbook up , um, be just because of the seasonality of the main one that we do.
But yeah, I don’t know if, if people are interested in niche it season, we’ll just go into it with the understanding that you’re gonna have those fluctuations and, um, and don’t panic when you see them. My first
Jared: career was as a photographer, um, mainly weddings, events, these kind of things. And so January and February where I am are just brutal for no one, no one’s having events in those months.
And so, yeah, I, I understand the seasonality component as long as you’re just kind of saving during the, the good months, you know? Um, I was just
Grady: gonna, I was just gonna say that’s, it’s a good example actually because in Australia, so weddings all year round, we don’t get. Really depth depths of, of winters, you know, everything’s not frozen over in the middle of winter here.
I know in certain parts of Australia it is, but, um, you know, I’ve got head mates that were married in winter and it, it was fine. You know, you’d still absolutely be paying for wedding photographers. So it is, I guess, a good example of that difference between, you know, the US and Australia in terms of that.
Jared: That’s a good point. That’s a good point. And the fact that winter for you is different than winter in say, where I am, the United States. And, and, and that can also play a seasonal component because you can think of something as a wintertime, uh, event, a wintertime hobby, a wintertime activity, whatever your season, uh, sorry, whatever your niche is.
But the seasonality might also be flipped because if your traffic is mainly from a, a different country you’re in, I It’s a lot to, you know, take into consideration.
Grady: Yeah, for sure. Cause I, I think is it winter over there for you guys? It’s, it’s middle of summer over here for us. So
Jared: just coming out. Yep.
We’re about to get more rain and snow here, so, uh, you’re probably the middle, middle of summer about to sweat your yourself off, uh, today, you
Grady: know, so yeah. I think we had a 42 degree Celsius day. Last week. So whatever that is in the us I think a hundred and five, six, seven
Jared: fah. It’s over a hundred.
Yeah. My, my, my conversion’s a little rusty, but I know it’s over a hundred . It it’s hot . Yeah. Very. Yeah. You know, one thing, um, uh, one, one, also, one tip people can utilize if they’re trying to evaluate seasonality, uh, versus maybe a ranking drop or a Google algorithm. Is to pop your site over and look at the Google search console data because you can actually trend out and look at average ranking position.
And so usually when we’re looking at a client’s website or a new client, we look at, you know, their, their traffic over the last year and we’ll see some drops. And one of the first questions is what, Hey, is this, is it seasonal? Or did, did something happen? And so what we’ll do is we’ll compare the traffic drops up against what Google Search Console is reporting as their average ranking.
And if. Kind of dropped simultaneously. Okay. That’s probably something algorithmic, but if the rankings stayed the same, but the traffic dropped, oftentimes that’s an indication of seasonality.
Grady: Yeah. I mean, the rankings, I, I think we maybe lost, it might have been one or two positions on average, you know, across, across the, yeah.
Nothing big. It wasn’t this huge. Bang, we’ve lost all our snippets. Everything’s gone to page three. It wasn’t like that. So it was, that’s why, you know, I was kind of scratching my head thinking like, how, what, what’s happening with this? Because it didn’t make a lot of sense. And I think those rankings that we have lost, you know, I’ve seen a lot of big news sites go to the top of the ses, you know, the, the big domain authority, you know, one, um, in our niche, there’s a couple other, I guess, really big news sites in the space that have certainly got a bump.
Like I, I was seeing articles from 2000 and. All of a sudden just pop into the top of the search, you know, ahead of our content. Um, just because of the, the domain authority that these sites have. Um, and I think the other thing as well is that you’ve probably noticed it as well in, in the search engines, like you’re seeing a lot more ads at the top of it.
You’re seeing a lot more videos and YouTube shorts and TikTok. So I think that’s pushed, you know, naturally down a little bit as well. Some of our, our articles, it’s not that we’re being outranked. I guess better written content. It’s the, I guess the space at the top of the surface is potentially a little bit more crowded.
Yeah. With all that video content particularly. So, um, yeah, it, but like you said, it was nice. Looking at that Google search console data and, and not seeing this huge big drop off of rankings or anything like that. It was just, it was just the traffic going down, which was . Yeah. Yeah. The frustration. Well,
Jared: the Google trends, that’s, that’s a great tip on the Google trends.
I think Google Trends is a, a very underutilized, um, You know, area that people can, can lean into, not only for maybe new content ideas, but also to analyze trends and understand what topics come and go in their, in their niche. So, um, well, hey, let’s, um, let’s talk a bit about what is, you know, what’s next for this site at 215 posts without knowing.
Exactly, you know, what hobby niche you’re in or whatnot. Like, you might be nearing the end of the, the big topics, or you might only be scratching the surface on the big topics, like what, what’s the next year look like for you guys as you, uh, continue to, uh, to to work on this website.
Grady: Uh, Yeah, sure. So, um, we, yeah, we’re still steadily publishing, um, probably not at the velocity that we were in to start with.
Um, you know, after 215, we both, especially when you’re seeing traffic just kind of go down, you lose that little bit of motivation. Um, but we’ve still been adding content steadily, um, I guess over the next, yeah, five months. The goals, yeah, just to keep adding content, but also probably. Yeah, maybe move away from informational content a little bit and maybe start into heavily into more products.
Uh, that’s one area of our niche that there’s a, I guess, a big appetite for it. Uh, we just haven’t really dipped our toe into that as much, so that’s certainly something that we’ll probably pivot into, hoping to, um, probably. Monetizing little bit better. Um, I mentioned earlier about email being a big one, uh, in our niche.
I think that there’s a really big opportunity for that as well. So yeah, whether it’s through, um, you know, convert kit or mail or light or any of these kind of email things, kind of having a bit more of a targeted email campaign depending on what people are searching for, uh, I’d love to try and get into that a bit more.
So if, you know, they’re searching for. I don’t know, Labrador, um, toys, for example, having a different lead magnet pop up right on those pages as opposed to, you know, just a generic one. Uh, that would certainly be something I wanna try and focus on. Um, so yeah, with that site, that’s pretty much that. Uh, the other two, yeah, for me it’s just, it’s content still at this stage, the, the new one that’s only seven months old, I wanna get that to at least, you know, a hundred posts.
Uh, that I think that’s a pretty good benchmark for the niche that I’m in for that. Um, and yeah, monetize. Yeah, the, I guess the year ahead it’s, it’s more of the same really. It’s not more, or content? Yeah, more content, but just optimizing things a little bit better as well. I think we are probably not doing that as well as what we can, especially on that, that main site.
Jared: Well, I, I, I wondered if you’d say something when I ask you this question, and, uh, so I’ll ask you now, anything thus far, or going forward, links, are you building links? Have you built links to this site? Is that a major component of what you’re doing? Um, uh, you know, we did, we haven’t talked about link building yet, but it’s, it’s something a lot of people wanna know about, especially as it relates to sites that are growing, you
Grady: know, fairly quickly.
Yeah, sure. So, no, I haven’t, I haven’t built a single link to any of any of my sites. Um, maybe that was just through. Kind of the naivety of just, oh, you just publish content and, and it’ll, it’ll rank. Um, but to be honest, it’s worked for us. And that’s, I think the distinction to make is that backlinks are very important.
It’s, it’s not this thing of, oh, you know, I don’t focus on backlink cause they’re not important. Um, Basically we, we were just fortunate that the content that we published, I guess is, you know, uh, of interest to people. It’s obviously been, you know, we, I think we’ve got over a thousand domains referring to our website.
I don’t have a h s, but I’ve got, I know someone who does, and he kind of shared that data with me only, only about a month ago. Um, which is really nice of him. And it was kind of cool to look at our, our backlink profile in a bit more detail, uh, and to have that, yeah, over, over a thousand, you know, referring domain.
Not just the backlinks to the site was kind of cool to see considering we hadn’t physically built any. Um, but yeah, I think there’s this, this kind of, I don’t know, in the s e space, it seems to be this kind of, ah, backlinks, no backlinks kind of argument, but it’s. You know, I don’t think there’s any, um, debate that they’re important.
It’s just not something that I’ve had really any experience with it. I think there’s more risk of me blowing up my website , trying to buy back links and buying, you know, shady links or just accidentally doing it and, you know, getting negative SEO towards our site. So I just kind of steer away from it just because it’s been working the way they’re working at, at the moment.
But that’s not to say that you, you know, if. Experience building back links like Sure, go for it. . If I had that knowledge and a bit more of the confidence to do that, then I’d probably, I probably would look into it more. Um, but it’s just not something that me. I’m just not comfortable with it, , just because I don’t have that, that knowledge, so.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. .
Jared: That makes sense. It’s, um, yeah, I th I love the way you, you shared it where what you are doing isn’t necessarily reflective of, uh, a value judgment on its importance, but it’s what you’re doing. It’s because of your ti, your priorities, how you’ve prioritized. You talked at the beginning about journalism, giving you the ability to prioritize what to do every day.
That’s kind of the most important thing. And sounds like for you, you guys have kind of cracked the code a bit. Uh, you’re good at content, putting your time and effort
Grady: towards that. Yeah, I think it’s just leaning into your strengths, I think is the, is the main thing. Like, um, yeah, like I said, it’s, it’s not to say that, um, backlinks aren’t important because yeah, I don’t think anyone would debate their importance.
It’s just identifying what you’re good at, which for me is just writing content and focusing on that. Yeah.
Jared: Um, it’s fun to sit here cuz I get to interview people every week and, um, one week you get someone coming on who’s, um, who’s had great success and talks a lot about the way that they build links.
The next week you get someone coming on who’s had great success and. It doesn’t do any sort of link, but, and so, uh, if anything, it’s proof to those listing. Like there’s a lot of different ways to crack this nut .
Grady: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think there’s, there’s no, and that’s, you know, I always preface everything that I say or, or right on Twitter with, you know, it’s just the way that it’s worked for me.
It’s not the right or the wrong way. Uh, I think, you know, if, if you. Going out with a position that, oh, this is the only one way to do it. I think that’s when people get their noses out of joint because there are so many people doing it, so many different ways. Uh, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
It’s just find a method that works for you. Uh, hopefully get a bit of success with it, and then just double down on what works. is the way that I can’t go about it.
Jared: So as we start to wrap up, I wanna ask you a question that I think every one of us listened to this podcast struggles with, and that is when to, um, double down and continue focusing on the project they have versus starting a new one.
You started project two and project three, we talked about the first website. The first new, uh, well, okay. Second website, just to keep it clear. The second website is, is a, is, uh, you know, does have an AI component to it. The third website has a programmatic component to it. But you’ve made the decision to kind of split your focus.
You’re already working full-time. So how did you navigate deciding that Project two and Project three were a good use of your time versus just doubling down on your current site? Um, you know, cuz we all struggle with it, right? Like, we all struggle with knowing when to keep working hard on the, the project we’re on versus when to start up another project.
Grady: Yeah, look, in hindsight, it probably probably wasn’t a great idea to strip my time and attention so much because I do feel like I am juggling a lot of balls at the moment. But, um, I guess with, with the, the programmatic site, I’m not hugely actively working on it. I mean mm-hmm. , I published 387 blog posts a month ago using that kind of programmatic, uh, template.
So they’re kind of just sitting there and ranking at the moment. And once I. You know, some, um, some leave magnets on that. That’ll just be a a kind of set and forget for a little while, I think, while that content ranks. So I’m really feel like I’m just spliting my focus between the main site and the new one that I’m building in the, in the pet niche that I, um, mentioned before.
So, right. Um, yeah, I, I, I think. To me, it’s just setting a goal, a weekly goal on what you wanna work on. So it might be, you know, this week I’m gonna be working on content for my main site. Um, this week I’m gonna be working content on, on my new site and not trying to mix the two. I feel that if you can compartmentalize it week by week, I think that’s a, a really good way to go about it, so that you’re not jumping from task to task different niches, every second day, kind of have a, have a, I guess, a bit more of a concentrated focus on.
for a long enough period of time. So for me, that’s a week. I can knock out two articles, three articles in a week, and then, you know, um, switch focus. That seems to have worked for me. I’ve been able to move the needle forwards on that. Uh, But yeah, starting in terms of when to start a new site. The only reason I started was because the first one I thought was dying.
If I’m, if I’m completely honest, I thought, oh man, the traffic’s going to zero on this. Like, this is not good. This has been a, been a good run. Well, might as well just might as well start something new and just, um, because I think when people see traffic nose dive, uh, you can really panic and you can really do, I think a lot more damage than.
um, just by letting it sit and just seeing how it works out. Like I’ve listened to, um, a couple other podcasts. Uh, it was a guy talking about when it happened to him. Yeah. It changed all these different things and it actually ended up actually worse off than, than where it was at the start. Um, and traffic kind of end ended up just, you know, recovering naturally anyway.
Um mm-hmm. . So that was, I guess I’m not gonna say a learning, but it was kind of me just. Panic, not panic, but just going, oh, the tr the traffic’s going down. I’m not just gonna, you know, overhaul this whole website. I’m just gonna start something new while I wait to see what happens with great with the one, the main one.
So that’s, it wasn’t a really an active decision. It was like, all right, I’m in a great position to start a new website now. It was more, we’re just gonna let this one sit and while that’s kind of sitting there, I’m gonna turn my focus to, so, Something new.
Jared: No, it’s smart. I mean, it’s really smart, I think with all the, with the increase in Google updates right?
Over the last year or so. And, um, there’s a lot to be said for having more than one site, so you can kind of be working on a project that you see moving forward, right? Because you’re exactly right. Like, I’ve had it happen too, where a website has, um, you know, kind of gotten dinged a bit. In a website or in an update, and then, you know, two, three weeks later, you don’t even touch it and it, it bounces right back, you know, and they reverse the algorithm update or something like that.
So, Sage advice to, to, to kind of not, well, don’t delete the site either, but, you know, don’t, um, you know, don’t jump the gun maybe, but having more than one project to, to work on. With that being said, obviously you don’t wanna leave a site for six months on end. Um, that probably won’t help it recover. So yeah, there’s a balance there, but I like the way you prioritize and, and kind of focus on a little bit of each, um, each month or each.
Grady: Yeah, for sure. I think like sometimes I say the hardest thing is to do nothing , but I think that it, it, it can be decent advice, like rather than just panicking and, and blowing up your website by, you know, changing a million different things and overhauling all your content because obviously like your content’s got to that point because obviously you were doing something right to start with, you know, you know, building shady back links or it’s not pure AI or something like that.
Like if you’ve, if you’ve put the time in and written content, Yourself and done research and you know, gone the extra, the extra mile. Like I think it’s, you know, I don’t wanna jinx me, but I think it’s unlikely that you’re gonna get penalized. I know some people have different opinions on that, but I think it may be other factors potentially.
You know, for us it was seasonality. It wasn’t the fact that the content was bad, it was just that we were in a seasonal niche, which we didn’t really realize, . So I think, yeah, without jumping the gun and. Changing things too quickly, uh, I think can sometimes be a decent move. But then that’s, that’s not talking from any, any professional expertise, technical, SEO space.
It’s just from, um, my experience with it. Yeah.
Jared: Well, fair enough. Caveat, uh, inserted . Yeah. Thanks, .
Grady: I thought I had to add that, add that in there, . Fair
Jared: enough. Uh, Grady, this has been great. Um, again, I, I, uh, again, you downplayed it quite a bit, but I, I think, um, pretty much every listening would be really stoked to start a side project with no SEO experience.
Um, and a couple years later be, you know, making almost five figures a month. Uh, so, uh, so great job. Where can people fall along with you? Um, you know, where, where can people connect with you if they have, you know, any questions or comments?
Grady: Yeah, sure. I, yeah, before say that. Yeah. It’s been a pleasure being on Jared.
I’ve absolutely loved it. Like, um, yeah, watched the podcast for a long time. It’s been really cool just to have a, an hour chat with you. Um, but yeah, if people wanna find me, I’ll hang out on Twitter. I’m trying to just kind of document my process, my handles, uh, at niche grades, . Everyone seems to have niche in the handle, so I was like, well, might as well just Okay.
Add it, add it to the pile. So, um, yeah, so if you want to, you know, connect me on Twitter, i’d, I’d love that. Like I said, I’ve just started up a newsletter, which I kind of document the journey a little bit more, um, in that. But yeah. Um, yeah, it’s been really cool.
Jared: Awesome. Well, thanks for coming by. Uh, we’ll get your, uh, we’ll get that Twitter handle in the, um, we’ll get that Twitter handle, Twitter handle in the show notes.
And, uh, much continued success. I hope that come summertime, um, your site is just killing it. And, uh, you know, and that, that it not only does it, does it bounce back to where it was last year, but hopefully that you guys, um, excel even further. So much continued success.
Grady: Fingers crossed. Thanks to that, Chad.
Jared: All right, until next. Chase introducing.