North London, UK
“Actually writing 2,000+ words of content every day, and formatting it myself, for years, is utterly invaluable. You begin to notice the minutae in content.”
published: July 30, 2022
1. Where do you live?
North London 🔥 but our office is in Mayfair near Green Park in central London. It’s the worst place to be an SEO, so expensive! But I’m born and bred here and love it too much.
2. When did you start creating content?
I graduated from uni 3 years ago when I was 22 (I’m 25 now), and just got to grinding it out straight away 😶🌫️.
The I.F. stands for a social enterprise I started when I graduated to try and help the homeless/those below the poverty line with free meals, but I ran out of money. So I needed to make some, and a newly-developed obsession with SEO seemed a good way to make the £2m+ I want to make before I can retire from SEO and really fund the project (and keep some financial security for myself, hopefully).
3. Are you a full-time Creator?
Yes, since I graduated. I was lucky to be able to live at home with my parents after I graduated, so I could put my energy into what was my first site & other projects.
4. What was the “Click” that made you decide you can make full-time money online?
There wasn’t really a click. I’m just stubborn I guess – 100 posts without much traffic didn’t really bother me, and then eventually when the first site blew up, it felt like an amazing, lucky thing.
5. How many niche sites or online businesses have you created?
6. How many are you still running now?
12 (never sold, and bought a couple)
7. Have you sold any sites or online businesses? And what was the ROI like?
Never sold, but we have over $1.3m in current assets.
8. How many sites or online businesses have failed or not gotten going?
0 really. We have some that aren’t making a lot currently, but they’re always in the development stage, never a failure. Just a delayed achievement 😎.
9. How much are you earning each month?
- $10,001 – $50,000
10. What are your current streams of revenue?
- Affiliate Sales
- Display Ads
11. What are your Top 3 on-page SEO strategies?
1. Keep going back over your high-potential content!
It’s very hard to get perfect on-page first time round (especially if you’re new and still improving!), but going back you’ll notice where you can improve parts, or your research will pick up new headings to hit featured snippets on, or a new affiliate program you can now double the page’s revenue on, etc.
You can make 10x more updating existing stuff than by writing new stuff if you’ve been at this game a while.
2. Understand the psychology behind the reader visiting your page.
If you’ve written an article on the top “Dyson vacuum alternatives”, then think about how they got there. Dyson is a premium brand, and known for high quality. So, it’s almost certainly not a functional issue – they obviously think they’re a good product. So why not buy it?
Almost certainly because of the high price – ideally the reader would like to save money but get something of comparable quality. Or, maybe it’s bad for cleaning certain kitchen surfaces, or another niche use that the customer is set on solving.
It’s for you to discover, and then put the alternatives in front of the reader that solve their problems (cheaper alternative that can do X well, or if you’re Y type of person, Z product is best for you).
In my opinion, CRO is closely tied to SEO, which is a lovely thing, because the more you seek to help the customer make a decision (which makes you more money in affiliate cuts), can also help you rank better long-term.
3. Make sure you don’t get lazy with your internal links.
A solid, sensible architecture wherein you link mostly from low -> high value posts (so you aren’t taking clicks away from profitable posts), as well as linking within related silos and categories in a way that makes sense for what you’d expect in a high-quality site, with a solid % of semantically related (and some exact-match) anchor text.
It takes extra time and adds to your per-article to-do list, but it’s got enormous payoffs.
12. What’s the biggest issue(s) that you’re facing today?
Getting everything systemised.
While I feel I have a good “feel” for what will work, that’s useless for scaling up if you can’t explain in clear terms how to replicate that. So I’ve been working on becoming more articulate and getting down our templates and systems down on paper and video for more scalable coaching.
I’ve been disorganised with it for a long time, and so when I’ve felt a team member was underperforming in the past, I now recognise that a lot of it is down to the systems I put in place that don’t fully inform on what needs to be done, and how to do it at the requisite standard – so it’s 99% on me if someone isn’t at their best (unless it’s just a lack of doing the work or application).
13. What tool(s) do you rely on the most?
- G Docs
- Trello (for the moment, but something is coming to change that, but I can’t talk about it yet 😈)
- SVG Optimizer
- GenerateBlocks for building all our site’s reusable blocks
14. What has been the biggest mistake you made?
I fucked up the installation of Cloudflare once, which changed all our URLs from having no www., to now having www. Everything was promptly de-indexed, and cost me thousands of dollars 😂
15. What has been the best decision you’ve made?
Just keeping going really. I wanted to dedicate myself to other projects at the beginning of 2020 – and I wrote down in a notepad that I should just try and sell my site (only site at that time) for £10-20K, and take the cash injection to work on my passion projects.
3 months later, the site had doubled in revenue every month and earned £3,500. Unfortunately the next month it halved as Amazon’s rates halved, but deciding not to sell up is the reason we earn tens of thousands of dollars every month now. And it could be right around the corner for anyone else, too.
16. What’s one thing that you felt accelerated your journey the most?
Just grinding it out every day, writing. Yes, courses and content can help – and yes, I’ve taken courses like Authority Hacker Pro, Fat Stacks, Mushfiq’s Easy Wins, etc – but they can only complement the work and learning you’re already putting in; they can’t replace it.
You can pay for all the courses in the world to teach you French, and pore over them learning the vocab. And if someone asks what that word means in English, without flinching you’ll be able to tell them. But come a real-life situation where you need to do business in French or have an in-depth conversation beyond “Ca va?”, you’ll melt on the spot — because you don’t actually know French, you haven’t spoken it for hours in conversation to learn the patterns and build those connections in your brain – you’ve just seen how other people do it.
Actually writing 2,000+ words of content every day, and formatting it myself, for years, is utterly invaluable. You begin to notice the minutae in content: how that sentence can be more impactful; how that comma can be used to accentuate the second part of that sentence to tattoo the key advantage of that affiliate product into the reader’s brain; how to write that sentence actively and in a way that evokes the strongest and most visceral mental image of the scenario we’re describing, gluing the reader’s eyeballs to the content.
17. What’s your 12 month goal?
To reach $100,000 monthly site revenue (by the end of June 2023).
And to get into the dev side and launch some cool shit.
And take my £2m out the company to start my social project and try to feed 1 million meals to those who need it — I have no need for all that money. I pay myself £800/m of the $30K+ our business makes, and that’s fine really. Maybe a bit more actually, maybe £1-1.2K, would sort my living needs.
18. How do you stay up to date on SEO, affiliate marketing, display ad, and other news?
I don’t really. I’ve joined Twitter in the last week, so I guess I’ve seen a few things since then. I took AH Pro last year, and I’ve flicked through Jon Dykstra’s Fat Stack’s course and Mushfiq’s EasyWins for some extra info — but mostly I’m just in the field taking action. I teach myself mostly.
19. What do you eat or drink for fuel to keep going?
As a true Brit, it’s got to be several cups of tea per day. And a post-lunch coffee.
20. Where can people follow you?
Our site where we post our income reports and soon-to-be SEO/affiliate marketing info: https://increasing.com
My twitter where I tweet mostly nonsense, but the occasional useful SEO bit: https://twitter.com/Jamie_IF
And my YouTube where I will soon start posting video stuff about how we grow our sites and convert so well (I prefer video to writing/twitter threads, it’s just a more effective way to communicate high-level stuff easier): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUYu4XfhuiuWwzhLka2L9Pw
BONUS: Anything else you’d like to share that can help others?
Always go back and re-optimise your old high-performing content! I can’t say this enough!!!!
We outrank way higher DR sites, because we’ve re-written our buyer’s guides every 6 months for the last 2-3 years and now they’re SOLID. And I think having a living, breathing, modular and ever-changing (and staying updated and fresh) page of content gets a leg-up, allowing you in some cases to rank higher than higher DR competitors.