From broke to 6 figures in 1 year, an incredible story!
Bloggers and online entrepreneurs are publishing year in review 2015. They are setting New Year resolutions, talking about mistakes they did last year and the plans how they will overcome them this year.
As a budding entrepreneur, I am pumped up reading them and thought I should write one as well!
I’m one of the guys believes in resolution. I re-started my niche site journey exactly one year ago setting up some goal, and worked hard reaching them.
With the turn of the New Year, I figured it would be a good time to give you some insight into my achievements last year, and my future plans for my online business for 2016 and beyond.
2015 – Glimpse of A Magical Year
For me, I really passed an amazing year! I was almost broke this time a year ago. Yeah, you heard it, I was broke!
I had no savings, but there was a huge debt that needed to be paid.
What I had, was the courage to start something, and strong believe in myself. Fortunately, I managed to turn the game around. I started a new journey with Amazon niche site at the beginning of 2015, and ended up making over six figures last year!
80% of the income came from Amazon niche sites, rest are from consultancy and SEO business!
So, overall yes, 2015 was a magical year!
Flashback – How Was I Broke?
My Backstory from 2012…
I was working for a national daily in Bangladesh, as a Technology Reporter. I met a lot of online entrepreneurs, freelancers and affiliate marketers as part of my job. One of my responsibilities was to interview them on a regular basis.
I, myself was involved in online work a bit (I hardly was regular), and I had the plan to move from journalism to online business someday.
Opportunity arrived in March 2012.
I met a couple of talented marketers and developers during the time, and later 5 of us ventured into an internet marketing company, DevsTeam Limited, headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Out of the 5, I took the leadership responsibility as a CEO.
This was my first real business; my real journey of entrepreneurship began!
Was I nervous?
Yes, I was!
I was shaky and wobbled at first. But at the same time, I was so much passionate and used to spend more than 12 hours a day for the company.
The Time when Awards Came By!
Everything was going smooth, DevsTeam Limited was doing really well. We won “Freelancer.com SEO Award” defeating thousands of companies around the world. Recognition was just round the corner.
Our company achieved several national awards. Got dozens of clients, local media accreditations and praise from IT leaders of our country within a very short time.
I, myself got awarded by Prime Minister of Bangladesh, it was all because the company we established together was doing well.
Every Beginning has an End
But after a successful year, some things started to change. My fellow colleagues and I began having some creative differences.
Things started going the wrong way day by day. Misunderstanding at its’ best. I couldn’t focus on the company anymore, and at a particular time in mid-2014, I had no other option but to leave the company.
I left DevsTeam Limited feeling beat down. It is always tough to leave your first initiative, your brainchild, your first business. But I had no other option.
When one door closes, another door opens.
From DevsTeam to Amazon Niche Sites
I built 2 Amazon niche site a couple of months earlier (inspired by NichePursuits public niche site project) leaving DevsTeam. These 2 websites were making a smart amount. This was my only major financial backup when I left DevsTeam.
Unfortunately, just after leaving DevsTeam for a month or two in October 2014, both of my niche sites got hit by Google penguin. The search engine giant stopped sending me traffic.
No traffic. No Income.
I was left with next to nothing to rely on!
It’s been a long time yet, I can still picture all the ugly details and the way of my struggle. Empty bank account, the embarrassing moments, and the feeling of despair.
No work. No money. No future plan. Nothing!
It was a long, ugly journey… from the highest of highs to the ultimate low-point in my career.
2015 – Marketever born!
They say; when you are out of ideas, travel a lot. After passing a couple of months traveling, I decided to start a new venture.
I had a domain registered, Marketever.com (initial plan was to start a local digital marketing agency), and was thinking of starting a niche site portfolio company with the same name.
I needed some money to start a couple of niche sites. So, took a couple hundred dollars as an investment (for a particular niche site project) from one of my friends.
I took a long time thinking about our business plan, but I couldn’t fix what we were actually supposed to do.
Building niche sites? Providing SEO services? Any other online business?
Nothing was fixed or planned.
However, after a couple weeks, I started to focus on 3 Amazon niche sites. Fortunately, 2 of them started making money within 3 months.
I needed more money as niche site investment, so started taking some SEO clients, and investing the profit into new niche sites.
I did this for next 6 months, taking clients, providing them service and building more niche sites with profit.
My Amazon niche sites started paying themselves after 6 to 7 months. So I stopped taking SEO clientele and focused my effort building more niche sites.
Needless to say, I was overjoyed! I found a simple process that I could replicate over and over.
I rinsed and repeated the process.
My niche sites started to make a good amount per month, I had learned a lot over the time from my experience. So I decided to share them all.
In June 2015, I started writing at Marketever.com about Amazon niche site building. That was just the beginning of the new beginning!
Local Amazon Affiliate Marketers Community
I’m helping a community of Amazon affiliate marketers in our country with a Facebook group from the beginning of Marketever blog. I received a huge response from local entrepreneurs and online professionals.
After getting the overwhelming response and demand, I launched an Amazon affiliate marketing video course in Bangladesh, named ‘Azon Rockstar’ to help fellow marketers to build their niche site and start making money from Amazon affiliate program.
I aim to teach them the simple thing I know, a simple easy-to-do process that brings results.
The response to my training program is again, Overwhelming! The video course has over 200 participants now, and growing every week.
Putting My Voice Out There!
2015 was the year of “Public Talks and Appearances” for me. I spoke to a couple of conferences, and events last year.
I spoke at Payoneer Forum, Dhaka about Starting Passive Income journey.
Mentored at Affiliate BootCamp BD, organized by a fellow marketer, Abul Kashem. (You can learn more about the conference here)
Organized 2 local meetups with Amazon affiliates here in Dhaka, where I spoke about my learning and experience.
I was in a session as a guest in ‘Freelancer Meetup’ organized by Daffodil Group, and Belancer, a local freelance marketplace of the country.
I talked about ‘Building Empire’ in a local meetup organized by Teespring.
Also had a couple of mid and small events where I appeared as a guest speaker.
All of these were possible due to my initial failure, a failure that taught me the highs and lows of life.
The $50K+ Deal!
I sold one of my niche sites in November for over $50K. You can read the details here how I sold the site, this post includes my site listing link.
The site was making around $2500 per month.
I have another couple sites that making 4 figure per months now, and they are growing slowly, but steadily.
Over 6 Figures In A Year!
I made over 6 figure in income last year. Most of the income was generated from Amazon niche site, the $50K+ sold site contributed the most.
Also made a smart amount from Amazon affiliate program too.
I also made a fine amount from niche site building coaching program.
In total, I got a good payout within a year. I live in a least expensive country, where my monthly expense is less than $300. I’m more than happy what I achieved in such a short time.
A Guru Lie, Less Focus, and Thin Content Penalty
As you can already guess, I built so many niche sites in last 1 year.
If you ask me any specific number, I’d say, more than 30.
I did some simple maths, If I can make $2500 from a single site (yes, I’m making from one of my successful sites), why shouldn’t I create dozens of niche sites and build a bank?
I believed on a lie told by some guru, who said, ‘Niche site is a number game, build as much as you can!’ I believed the lie, tried developing dozens of sites and invested thousands of dollars (from Amazon niche site income of course!). But most of the sites are yet to make a smart amount.
I didn’t even know the last status of most of the sites.
An analysis of my failures revealed:
- The Website design was ugly for the most part.
- Published low-quality contents without even revising them myself.
- No use of graphics at all, very less value added for visitors.
- Focus less on content promotion, link building, and other SEO Tactics.
I focused only on quantity, rather focusing on quality. As a result, I ended up getting ‘Google Thin Content Penalty’ in a couple of my sites.
I also got an ‘Unnatural outbound link penalty’ by Google in a different site, reason? I forgot to ‘nofollow’ the affiliate links.
What I have learned is things just don’t work this way. At the end of the year, I revised my whole strategy and redesigned almost all of my sites, edited all the contents, added a lot of visual materials (still doing).
I’m now following NoHatDigital’s strategy to get the manual penalty revoked. I already have spent huge time updating the sites, redesigning and adding more Skyscraper contents.
I’m pretty confident about this approach to work.
* I will update when I recover my site.
Growth of Marketever.com
Since started, I published only around 20 contents. I didn’t spend much time focusing on this site, and I’m not much comfortable writing in English.
I’m trying my best to overcome all the challenges, and putting some high value for my readers in every single post.
Off course, I’m not proud of all of my articles. But I feel proud of being able to publish the following:
- How To Make Money From Amazon Affiliate Building Niche Site
- Ultimate Keyword Research Guide for Amazon Niche Site
- Niche Site Launching Checklist – 23 Things To Do Before Your Niche Site Goes Live
- How to Write Content For Amazon Niche Site That Converts
- These Mistakes Will Get You Banned As An Amazon Affiliate
- How To Get Backlinks From Web 2.0 That Rank Your Site
Most of my contents received more 500+ social share, 20 to comments on average and a lot of thank you emails.
Me and my blog got featured on dozens of media like FoxNews, Entrepreneur.com. That’s a great achievement for me.
Also, I managed to get some testimonials about my site, and resources about niche site builders and online marketers I have been following for a long.
Overall, it’s not a bad achievement for a 6-month old blog.
Built A Super Productive Team
All I was able to do within 1 year; the credit goes to my team. I have a small remote and local team helping me with content, design and link building every day.
They are super motivated, productive, skilled, dedicated and talented.
If you ask me what’s my biggest achievement last year, I would answer, being able to build my team. I can go far with the help of my awesome team members.
Love you guys! 🙂
A Personal Achievement – Just Graduated!
I’m from a small countryside of Jessore (a border-side district of Bangladesh, home of Michael Madhusudan Datta, a 9th-century Bengali poet and dramatist), but currently living in Dhaka, the capital city of the country. I came here in 2009, mainly to complete my graduation.
I got myself admitted to the university, and continued to work on a professional life, simultaneously. It was a tough journey, but I managed to do it anyway.
I just graduated last December, after completing my BBA (Major in Accounting)
You can, of course, congratulate me, but don’t just ask my CGPA 😉
MBA? Haven’t planned yet.
It wasn’t ALL SUCCESS in the Past Year!
Well, you can say I SUCCESSFULLY FAILED at some things: D
- Failed to build multiple income streams. I’m almost solely dependent on Amazon niche site income. I’m a big fan of this Elon Musk quote, my basket (for niche site business, it’s Google) is not in my control. Enough for me to be worried.
- Not being able to manage multiple niche sites. I created more than 30 sites last year, but a few of them are making money. Some projects failed only because I didn’t care to work on those projects timely. No content plan, no proper link building.
- Getting around 30 thousand page views per month on Marketever.com blog, but still trying to figure out how to monetize the traffic.
- Only 2000 email subscribers so far, but not being able to monetize them. Did only 1 email campaign for long tail pro and made a little over $500 (also made around $150 from ThriveThemes, and another $100 from ClickBank). No auto-responder email, no relationship building with the audience, nothing.
- When it comes to outreach, I’m still in fear. Being a non-native English speaker, and with little command of English, I don’t have much confidence to build a relationship with influencers, fellow marketers, and bloggers.
- Hired a developer to build a WordPress plugin (to increase Amazon niche site conversion rate, here is how to use), but never promoted the plugin. Only 80 installs so far.
My Business Goals For 2016
This was my major new-year resolutions of 2015 (Sorry, it was written in Bangla, but here is the glimpse):
Making 5 Figure Passive Income
Passive, I don’t want to work much, but want to generate this amount
Status – Failed. Yes, I made 5 figure average per month, but that’s not passive income. I’m still working 10 to 12 hours a day.
Start A Body Building Journey
Status – Failed. Met one of my body builder friends a couple of times to start (he is also used to be a personal trainer), but never showed up at his gym again when I’m supposed to.
Traveling At Least 3 Countries
Status – Passport got expired, I haven’t even renewed 😉
As I mostly failed to reach my goal in 2015, goal for 2016 almost remains the same:
5 Figure Passive Income
Making a consistent ‘Passive income’ stream, I don’t want to work 10 to 12 hours a day anymore this year.
Diversifying Income Source
I’m almost entirely dependent on Amazon niche site (for traffic, depended on Google). It’s time to multiply the income source. I don’t want to be broke again for Google to update algorithm or if anything bad happens with Amazon affiliate program. Trust me with this, I had my share of struggles, not anymore!
Out of niche sites, I will try to focus more the following income sources:
- Service (Introducing done for you niche site building service soon – UPDATE – Niche Site Building Service is now live!)
- Consultancy (Niche site business and SEO consultancy)
- Own product (An eBook and a video course may be? Yet to figure out)
Build 2/3 Large Authority Sites
I have more than enough niche sites in my portfolio now to grow them further. A couple of them has promising potential to develop as 5 figure/ month money making websites.
I’m planning to develop 1 travel blog, a fitness blog, and a general review website (I haven’t finalized the sites, I can later change the niche).
Rank & Sell Small Sites
In the meantime, I will scale up my all of my small niche sites, and selling them (most of them, or all may be?), and I will be more focusing on 3/4 authority style websites for long term passive income from Amazon and other affiliate programs.
Body Building and Travelling Abroad
Yes, these two will remain on the New Year resolution list too. I will start working with my fitness goal, and will try to travel as much as I can.
As I wind up on my journey from broke to making 6 figure in the past year, I want to make it evident that; if I did it, anyone could do it too.
All you have to do is lay down your plans, put up ambitious objectives and be ready to work hard and tirelessly. Remember, nothing good comes the easy way.
I’m thankful to fellow bloggers, and marketers for helping me in various stages, especially Thomas Smale, Spencer Haws, Stuart Walker, Kent Chow, Doug Cunnington, Justin Cooke, Josh Shogren, Dom Wells, Jon Haver and so many of you.
I’m thankful to the community members of ‘Amazon Affiliate Bangladesh’, readers of Marketever.com for leaving such amazing comments, beautiful emails and Facebook messages.
As I plan to grow Marketever into a multimillion business, I know what waits for me ahead. And that is more work, more challenges and, of course, more sacrifices of my time.
My focus this year is to achieve my goals no matter how challenging they get. I have learned to focus on quality and not quantity, and this way Marketever can genuinely grow into something big and great.