These last few weeks several readers have contacted me to ask me more details about the online business that is paying for my trips around the world. How did I ride it? How does it work? How much money do you generate per month? How many hours do I spend per day?
In this post I will respond in detail to all those questions in a 100% transparent way. If after reading it you have some doubt, please leave a comment and I will be happy to answer it.
The New Rich
One of the books that changed my life forever was Tim Ferriss’s 4-hour work week, in which I read for the first time about the “new rich.” The new rich are not millionaires, but people who have two other resources In abundance: time to do what they like and freedom to live and work anywhere in the world. Instead of spending a lifetime working on something they hate waiting for their retirement to finally start doing what they like, the new rich have created automated systems that manage in less than 4 hours a week and provide them enough money and time Free to carry their ideal lifestyle.
The idea of the new rich attracted me from the first moment. As a wise man once said: “Everybody, one day will die, and be forgetton. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun, fuck a mundane predictable life working monday to friday with something you derive no pleasure from; just living life out till you grow old and wither away. Find a passion, form relationships, dont be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks, trust me its alot more fun that way.”
I wanted to become a new rich: to earn as much as possible working the less the better, to go on vacation several months a year, to travel when I wanted and not to be stressed.
At the 4-Hour Labor Week, Tim Ferriss gives some examples of passive online business: a guy who buys sailor t-shirts in France and sells them for double the price in the US, or a girl who sells a DVD for mountaineers yoga . The general idea is to find a niche, the more specialized the better, and create a product (or resell or adapt an existing one) for that niche.
All this sounded very good, but the reality is that the book did not go into many details. Creating an online business from scratch is not easy, so like so many other good ideas I let it go. It was not until October 2012 that I became interested in the subject again.
How to make money online
The first step was to learn a little more about how a passive business worked and how I could put one together. As the 4 hour workday did not explain it too well, I started searching Google to see if I could find anything more detailed. After several days without finding anything interesting, I came to a blog called Smart Passive Income . The story of its author, Pat Flynn, was very inspiring. After losing his position as an architect during the crisis, Pat set up a web in which he sold a course to prepare the entrance exam. School of architecture. The web went well and started to generate some money, so Pat decided to explore other ways to make money on the Internet and expanded his business online. Two years later, Pat earns more than $ 50,000 a month , and the best part is that his blog explains Step by step how you got it.
The blog was wonderful, full of explanatory videos and all kinds of useful material. I felt as if I had found the holy grail. Every afternoon when I got home from work, I prepared tea and sat watching Pat’s videos, read his posts and listen to his podcast. I learned a lot about the different alternatives to make money online, but there was one that drew my attention especially: niche pages.
My experience with niche pages
The idea of a niche page is very simple:
- You are looking for a topic that interests you and people search the Internet
- You create a web page with useful material on that subject and position it in the top positions of Google
- Monetize the traffic you receive through advertising (usually AdSense ) or by promoting products from companies that pay you one Commission per sale
What attracted me most of niche pages is that I only had to work once. Once created and positioned in Google, people came every day, clicked on advertising or bought the products you promoted, and at the end of the month the commissions you generated generated in your current account. You, meanwhile, could be in Thailand doing scuba diving or in Hawaii taking a mojito 😉 .
It was just what I wanted. Work a few weeks and charge for months while I was traveling or doing whatever I wanted. I was determined: I would create my own niche page. Pat had just set up a page on how to become a security guard in the United States, which generated more than $ 2000 a month in commission, and had written a detailed guide in which he explained step by step how he had done it. I studied all the material and that same day I got to work.
Creating my first niche page, was easy. My experience with WordPress or making web pages was really good because I already had the experience working in different companies as a Digital Marketer. Finally, three months later, I finished the first version of the web.
Once the niche page was created, the next step was to position it first in Google. I got it only a month later, but despite that the web turned out to be a failure. Why? It did not have enough traffic and that made hardly generate one euro of advertising to the day. Finding private advertisers also turned out to be more complicated than I thought and, to top it all, soon Google decided to close the AdSense account without giving me any kind of explanation. It was clear that if I intended to continue with the niche pages, I had to look for another way to make money online that was not advertising.
In the world of Internet business, things never go as planned, and when the first difficulties arise, many leave the ship. I did not want to be one of those and decided to continue because I knew that what had happened to me was not a failure but a necessary learning. After 4 months of work, I understood much better how the niche pages worked and I could do it better.
I drew a conclusion from this first attempt: the best online businesses do not appear at first. Before you have to fail and persevere to find the ideal business.
I started looking for alternatives to pages with AdSense. At first I considered the possibility of promoting products online in exchange for a commission for sale, but knowing the Spanish mentality did not see many people buying ebooks on how to lose weight for 30 euros. Spanish like physical products that can be touched. Would it be possible to promote real products and earn a commission for every sale that took place through my website?
The solution: affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is easy: promote a product or service from another company in exchange for a commission for each customer who ends up buying. It works in the following way:
- You register as an affiliate on the website of that company or in one of the different affiliate networks
- Once the company accepts you as an affiliate, you can generate custom links to your products
- You write on your website an article about the product you want to promote and place a custom link to it
- When your readers click on the custom link, they are redirected to the product page as if it were a normal link. However, the page records that you were the one who sent that user
- If the user makes a purchase in a certain period of time, you take a fixed commission or a percentage of the total amount of the sale
One of the best-known affiliate programs is Amazon. In the United States, Amazon is God. People (including myself) buy everything through Amazon, from electronics to food or even toothpaste. So when I heard that I was going to open in Spain, I decided to register as an affiliate and promote their products. As always when I start something new, I looked for an expert on that subject to learn from him. In this case, I found a course from Chris Guthrie who had earned more than $ 94,000 last year through the Amazon affiliate program. I bought it and got to work.
I decided to create a page on ebook readers to be able to promote, among other products, the Kindle. I had been using eBooks since the first Sony Reader came out and was delighted with the Kindle I had just bought a few weeks ago, so it was the ideal niche for me.
A few weeks later, I got my first sale. It was less than 10 euros, but it was a very important moment for me because I had shown that I was able to earn money for myself, without working for a boss, and that what I intended to do was possible. I felt powerful and capable of everything.
This positive feedback encouraged me to continue with more strength if it fits. I knew that the more people on the web the more sales I would get, so I rewritten the initial articles to make them more complete, I put in several new ones and redoubled my SEO efforts. At the same time, I started several similar websites: Fitness-Extremo, BellezaRebel and Crazy4thebest.
A good question you will be asking yourself after reading all this is how much time I currently spend on the page, and if it really is a passive business.
The answer is that it goes for seasons. At the beginning, when I was starting the web, I spent a lot of hours. I do not know how many, but certainly not a passive business. I have alternated weeks in which I gave a lot of reed, as when Amazon announced its new products, with seasons in which, literally, dedicated less than 4 hours per week.
And now? After leaving Singapore I wanted to give a boost to the web, so I locked myself in writing new articles and recording some videos, because since I went to Asia I have not spent a minute. This, in my case, has had negative consequences: I lost positions in Google because I have not invested in SEO, which has reduced traffic and thus revenues.
Usually, when I tell people about my page, many people want to follow my steps. I always help them with what they ask me: I answer all your questions, I pass the links to the videos of Pat Flynn with which I learned and I recommend the same services of hosting that I use.
Creating a niche page requires time, effort and perseverance. It is not something to be done in two days, and certainly not for everyone. Yes, the result is worth it, but to get to the point where the web works by itself you have to give it hours and hours. I spent many afternoons working, and more than a Friday and a Saturday at home bundled up instead of hanging out with my friends. What are you willing to give up?
Here are other resources that can help you:
- The book that started it all: The 4-hour work week
- The blogs of some people who earn a living online and really know what they do:
– Pat Flynn: Smart Passive Income
– Glen Allsopp: Viper Chill
– Corbett Bar: Think Traffic
– Andy Williams: Ez SEO News
– Chris Guthrie: Make Money on the Internet
- Forums about the world:
– The best and most complete: Warrior Forum
– Black Hat World (My favorite): Black Hat World
- Other useful pages:
– SEO News: SEOMoz
– Logos, music, articles … all at $ 5: Fiverr
The photo is a catch of the revenue summary of my amazon affiliate account for 7 days in March 2017.