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2024-04-08 15:05:06

I Make $1M_Year With One Website

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This is Alex .

And he makes over a $1,000,000 a year with a business model that nobody's talking about .

Affiliate marketing .

He invited us into his house in California to show us his exact websites , and how he built them on just a few hours a day , while working a full time job .

Yeah .

The moment for me in terms of unlocking my side hustling and and my ability to build a business was But Alex's website made $0 for months .

Until one day , he uncovered something about the Google algorithm that changed everything .

If you're building a business that relies on SEO , you wanna go after In this video , we'll dive into how to build a business while you have a full time job , niches that make a $100,000 a month , and the secret strategy that Alex used to grow to a $1,000,000 a year .

The smart kind of innovative moment for us was the idea of just directly .

I'm Pat Walls , and this is Starter Story .

Well , Alex .

Nice to meet you .

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Thank you for having me in your lovely home .

Yeah .

Of course .

Tell me about who you are and what you built .

I'm Alex .

I am the founder of .

It's a popular product review site that helps visitors on the web compare different health and wellness options .

It's now a 7 figure revenue business .

Started the business as a side hustle in 2018 and and never looked back .

Yeah .

What is the actual business model ?

How does it work ?

We drive shoppers to brands .

I make partnerships with those brands .

And every time somebody buys something referred from our site on one of those partner sites , we make a a commission of some kind .

Yeah .

So you're essentially a middleman between shoppers and these brands .

That's right .

Yep .

Totally .

So you started Fin versus Fin while you had a full time job .

Can you tell me that story ?

Both of my parents were entrepreneurs .

I kinda knew from day 1 that that was always my dream .

My idea I ran out of college was , hey , why don't I go work with some early stage founders and eventually have an idea and meet meet enough people and build enough skills to to be successful as an entrepreneur .

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But what I found in my life as a marketer at early stage companies is that it's not a 9 to 5 .

It's it's really that you're sort of having a founder mentality in order to be successful .

Mhmm .

A big moment for me was this idea that , hey .

I I need a true 9 to 5 .

I need to be able to close my work laptop at 5 so that I can side hustle and and and , you know , find a path for my own entrepreneurship .

Really , the key to that was working at a larger company .

Now you got this more chill work life balance .

Tell me how you get the idea for Fin versus Fin , and what does the journey look like from there ?

I was working at a Fintech company at the time .

The first iteration of a of a product review , product comparison site was just that stupid , like , Fintech Fin versus Fin .

And so we were gonna compare Fintech companies .

Quickly saw a $100,000,000 series a's venture funding going to a wide range of telemedicine companies and thinking , there's there's no content online about that and that's a pretty considered purchase , you know .

If you're gonna buy a medical product , how are you gonna make that decision by yourself ?

How do I know which one to go trust ?

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So it's kinda like scratching our own itch there in in terms of what kind of content to write .

But , yeah , I wrote the first 60 articles myself .

I didn't hire anyone learning WordPress at the same time .

That's where the the site is was built .

Typically , in the beginning , we would drive traffic through organic SEO , kind of anticipating the series of products or queries that shoppers might be making online .

You know , what are shoppers searching for essentially is the first question and you can meet that demand with content .

The the smart kind of innovative moment for us was the idea of just partnering with brands directly .

I'd say it took us about 6 months before we saw a significant amount of organic traffic where I felt comfortable starting to reach out to the brands that we were driving traffic to and had enough confidence to say , I'm pretty sure we're driving sales .

I don't see those numbers on my end , but there could be more , if if we work together .

It's a pretty compelling pitch and and they name their price in terms of the customers that you're willing to drive .

So , at this point , the the numbers , the revenue is starting to seem shockingly good .

Unbelievable .

Yeah .

When you when you first have that moment , like , this this could be a business .

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And , imagine what could happen when you step on the gas .

Yeah .

You're starting to make some money .

You're starting to balance .

Do I still work my full time job ?

Do I not ?

What does that look like ?

What does that journey look like for you ?

So at some point , you know , maybe a a full year in , I felt like my income was being replaced .

It could be replaced .

At the same time , I think there's a fear or there was a fear for me around , is this legitimate and will this last ?

Yeah .

And how foolish if you quit your day job and it doesn't really last for very long .

Yeah .

And then where are you ?

You know ?

So I think at that point , I just said , okay .

1 year , we'll see .

And if the lights are still on in a year Yeah .

Then this is super fun , and and I could see myself doing this full time .

Yeah .

How much were you making from Finn versus Finn at the time that you're working a full time job ?

I guess I didn't feel comfortable making that switch an until my income was replaced .

So I was making a 150 k in salary , so that's kind of my own personal earnings from the site when I felt comfortable making the switch .

Yeah .

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My favorite part about Alex's story is that he didn't quit his full time job until he was making $150,000 with his new side project .

And just like Alex , I actually did the same thing .

I started a $1,000,000 business while I had a full time job .

But , it wasn't easy .

It required having the right idea and a solid execution plan in place .

If you're curious about doing something similar and you have a full time job , well , we're running a free workshop on how to build a $1,000,000 business on just 2 hours a day .

We'll talk about how to overcome self doubt , how to find a $1,000,000 business idea , and exactly how to execute on that idea on just 2 hours a day .

Head to the first link in the description to save your seat .

We have just a limited number of spots .

See you there .

Back to the video .

Peace .

You guys really weren't making money for months .

Can you tell me about the breakthrough moment where you started to realize that this could be a business ?

We identified the opportunity for health and wellness , and that was like a a bull's eye .

Right ?

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We were amongst the first in the world to to review some of these telehealth and telemedicine platforms , which are now public and household names and and super common .

So I feel like , you know , in some sense , that is the secret sauce .

Figuring out a niche that is not super crowded .

You can't win in a crowded space when you're when you're young and and new , and your site isn't authoritative on any level , but you can win queries that nobody has ever written something for .

So Yeah .

Generally , if you're hunting for ideas , and there has to be sort of high margin in that product category , and there and there has to be sort of high margin in that product category , and there has to be kind of a lot of activity or momentum that will keep it going .

A space where no one has talked about those things , but it has a lot of potential because it's tried and true at the end of the day .

Yeah .

It's not gonna just be here and and end .

What is your keyword research process look like from starting to research the keywords and then writing the articles ?

In the early days , if you're gonna if you're building an SEO a business that relies on SEO , you wanna go after a low competition , long tail keywords .

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If you're in the audience that you're trying to serve , you they might be just super intuitive to you .

There's query patterns as well that you start to recognize , that are high intent .

If you have the pattern , it's just about fitting in the product or the brand or best this for that .

In the early days , it was mostly focusing on the brands that we wanted to cover .

So , okay .

This is a space we wanna be in , or maybe we've already written about , and we have some traction in .

Okay .

So who are the players in that space ?

Who do we actually think is gonna be here in 3 years ?

And then strive to write the very best thing online about that brand .

Mhmm .

Sometimes that means going more in-depth than the article that's number 1 on Google .

Sometimes it means being more concise and and more to the point .

It's just what is the true intent behind the query that somebody typed in and how well does that piece of content that you're creating meet that intent .

That's how you win .

Be there first , write the first thing online about it , and write the best thing .

So everything's going great .

You're gaining traction , you're building this business , what happens next ?

I decided to go full time at the business after about 2 years .

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My business partner , who I started the business with , didn't want to forego his career and sort of always wanted this to be a side hustle , which at the time I very much respected .

It's where we started , it was our agreement .

The solution to that really was me buying him out .

Now on the second run , I think I'll have more confidence to do it myself , but I still very much value the contributions of a partner .

But I think I also would be just more choosy and and , more long term oriented when I think about the skills that we each bring to the table .

Yeah .

Tell me more , a little bit more about what you'd be looking for in a partner .

You just want somebody who who who matches your intensity and shares your vision .

And hopefully also has some skills that are , not just pure overlap with yours .

Yeah .

If you were to meet someone , a potential partner , and you have some alignment on vision , the next step would be , hey , maybe we just see how we've worked together on some small projects .

Feel it out , and if it's right , then double down , double down , and pretty soon you you will either see traction or need to formalize or both .

Yeah .

Fin versus Fin is not your only , website you built .

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You decided to , build actually a portfolio of affiliate marketing websites .

When did you decide to do that , and what does that look like ?

So we have about 6 sites in the portfolio total , and they tend to focus on more niche or more narrow focus than just general health and wellness and all things telemedicine .

Mhmm .

The reason I did that is because you have economies of scale when it comes to your partnerships .

If you have one partner , you can put them on 5 sites .

That was the idea there in terms of , adding sites to the portfolio .

Affiliate marketing might be one of the most competitive side hustles you can start in terms of anyone can start it .

How do you differentiate , and how do you think about competition ?

The expectation that you're going to be able to stay atop of Google forever , I think is is wildly not true .

You're going to be competing with other people in your niche , other experts and authoritative websites , as well as big publishers that go after everything under the sun .

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So I think of Forbes and Myspace Healthline , but you can always serve your partners with net new content even as your past moneymaker content starts to erode , as as your ranking start to erode .

Stale content at the end of the day will will not win on Google , so it needs to be fresh and it needs to be within your area of expertise that from Google's perspective , not going too far outside of your lane , topical authority , or kind of niche .

What I think is really cool about your business is that you're not just doing organic search , you actually have dabbled a bit in paid advertising .

Can you tell me about that ?

Trying to diversify the the traffic is definitely something that every online entrepreneur should be thinking about .

Realizing that you could go to your partners and say , Hey , I know you want more growth .

I have an idea for more growth .

It's outside of the realm of what we normally do , and it will cost , you know , a test spend of a few $1,000 something like that , and it very well may fail and fall on its face , but we will be stronger and we'll have learned something for it , and the upside is is that if it works , it's extremely scalable .

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It's actually scalable to the moon , and , you know , most brands would say , it's kind of interesting .

Yeah .

Maybe not this month , but next month , and so I've since tested many different niches , different product categories with this strategy , and it definitely does not always pan out .

But when you find it , it's it's a gold mine , and it's controllable in a way that SEO and other organic algorithms are are not .

Yeah .

What I love about Fin versus Fin is that you did this all while you had a full time job .

Can you give a little bit of advice for someone watching who might have a full time job who wants to do something similar ?

I think being good at your job is maybe a pre req .

So if it's your very first job and you're learning everything from scratch , you know , it might not be the right time to to start a side hustle .

But from those days , what I remember is feeling a sense of urgency around my side project and sometimes having to manufacture that for myself because it is a side project , meaning you don't have a boss and you don't have a deadline on it and the money isn't flowing in as a motivator or the traction isn't there necessarily to keep you motivated .

So I do remember just feeling like , you know , this .

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If I don't do this work today , my dream is being pushed out further because no one else is gonna do that work .

Running an affiliate business , what does the team look like and what were some , like , the first hires you made or some of the big hires you made for the business ?

The first thing that we outsourced was writing .

After that was hiring a virtual assistant to sort of , take on a lot of the publishing tasks .

From there , one of the biggest decisions was hiring an editor , full time taking the editing off my plate .

And then additionally , we've added a designer to the team and a web developer .

That gives me enough space to just really focus on the partnerships , which is where I feel my interest is as well as the ability to have the most leverage from from a revenue perspective .

What does a typical day in a life look like for an affiliate marketer in 2024 ?

So I really start my workday probably around , 8:30 or 9 .

Maybe I might have a weekly meeting , with some of my team members , sort of set the agenda for for the week .

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I likely have a few meetings on my calendar with with brands themselves , to discuss how we're continuing to expand their partnership and and the the customers that we're driving to them .

I likely , you know , stop for lunch and and , you know , head out out of my little dark office in my in my home , hop back on my computer to either review content , tweak some ad campaigns of some kinds , you know , we we do have a paid media strategy .

It's big part of the business .

I typically stop working around 4 which is when our our the help for my son leaves , and I don't do a lot of of work on the weekends anymore , but I do have a nice window after sort of evening family time when I after I put my son to sleep where I I can have a few uninterrupted hours to respond to emails and make sure that folks on my team who are distributed across the world have their next steps for the next day , essentially .

Yeah .

You built this awesome business .

What's next ?

I'm actually , working on selling the business and finding it a new home .

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So I think it's important to understand your purpose for the business .

Is it just about the lifestyle and you actually don't care about how much money you make ?

Is it something that I see myself working in or yourself working in for the remainder of your life ?

Or is it something that , you know , has a short period of time that you wanna be running it , but you ultimately want to have an exit ?

So thinking through those and and then , which corporate structure , which functions you take on yourself , and what you outsource , I think is are are key considerations .

Yeah .

If you could stay on Alex's shoulder and give him some advice on some of those things , what would you say ?

One of the key things that I've learned in this process is you can try and engineer the outcome as much as possible from the get go , but the reality of the situation is that you can't see around very many corners and you're gonna have to pivot a bunch .

So my key piece of advice to anyone who wants to own a business one day and start it and be an entrepreneur is to just get started .

Because where you start is not gonna be where you end by by any means .

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Just pick a broad based audience and start trying to figure out what their problems are and how you can help them .

But it doesn't need to be more engineered than that .

You don't need to be thinking about this being , a business that's gonna be multi generational or IPO or it doesn't even have to be a business necessarily that you're hoping to sell one day .

It's important just to get started and figure out the pieces once you have a bit of momentum .

Thank you , man .

Yeah .

Follow this advice , and you will be a $1,000,000 affiliate marketer .

Peace .

That was great .

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