How I Got My Blog from Zero to 2 Million Visits Per Month and Sold It for Five Figures

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In my previous article I told you how I was busy the entire month signing contracts and transferring my big money making website to its new owner and today it’s time to talk more about it. What makes it so interesting is the fact that we are talking about a blog that became an authority in less than 1 year, got a peak of 2 Million visits per month (with 1.1 Million uniques and almost 5 million page views) and was built solely by me. Which translates to “anybody can do it” because: I am not a native English speaker (and the blog was in English) and my coding and SEO experience are close to zero. Plus, I really am an average person and I don’t have the brain of Sheldon Cooper – or something similar.

A short story about this giant blog

Last year at the end of July, I thought I came up with a great idea for a website. It was in a heavily populated niche, with huge established websites competing against me, and exactly this reason made me know that I will succeed: if the big guys are in that niche, it means that it gives them nice profits, right? I wanted my piece of the pie!

So without performing ANY SEO, just one month later, my website was bringing in around 100,000 people monthly and generating close about $450 per month. As you can see, it was not a niche that paid an awful lot for advertising, but I was happy (since it was about as much as the medium wage in Romania). And it continued to grow on its own until March, when the peak was reached: over 1 Million unique visitors, over 2 million visits and close to 5 million page views:

The nice, big wave of visitors
The nice, big wave of visitors

 

That was the first month in my life when I actually felt rich!

So how did my website get so big so fast?

Part of it was pure luck, of course. But part of it was me being smart. Despite finding myself in an insanely competitive niche, I went for the long tail keywords. Why focus on a single keyword, when there are million of other things waiting to be written about? If we look at the incoming searches from that hot month, we can see that I had no less than 200,000 searches that brought me traffic:

search querries

If I would’ve focused on a single keyword optimization, I would’ve been still sitting in my chair, working my butt off for nothing (which is what I am doing since selling the website, hah). But instead I was smart, I was lucky and it paid off!

Why sell such a huge website?

In March, that site made me a small fortune, close to 5 figures. Why on earth would I want to sell it (for just 5 figures???). Well, here is why:

1. My first child was about to be born. Currently, my wife and I are living with my mother and grandmother in a three bedroom house. Things are pretty crowded and we wanted needed a place of our own to call home. The money we got from the sale of the website give us a huge advantage in becoming house owners.

2. I decided that all things considered, I was unable to grow the blog even higher. It was already starting to become a huge time eater (and funnily enough, not the actual writing that I had to do, but answering the ton of e-mails and comments) and too much to handle for a single person. I loved and still love that site and considered that it was best for it to be given a real chance to glow even more.

3. In the online word, anything can happen. I was pretty confident that the site would continue to generate a very nice sum each month (and could even grow under the right management), but I was pressed by time and uncertainties: even though both me and my wife agreed that we can wait 1 more year before getting our house, I wanted to have a solid sum start with. And de-stress a little bit and have more time to spend with my junior.

How to honestly valuate such a site?

And the emphasis here is on “honestly“. With selling this site, I wanted to be 100% transparent. I did no lie about anything, I did not omit any detail, I was like an open book, ready to answer any question. And I decided to price it like this:

I estimated how much I thought it would bring me in the upcoming 10 months and decided to use that as the selling price. It’s worth noting that I was honest here and I didn’t calculate based on the income of the previous months (when we had that peak of 2 million visitors and therefore was bigger than the average) simply because I wanted to give a fair chance to the new owners: to start making profits after 10 months is a good business for everybody! Actually, I am confident that the blog will actually start to bring in profits in about 7 months with the right content added.

So did I sell my site too cheap? Some (including my wife) say that I did. But I don’t really think so, and I believe that the 5 figure sum that I received for that blog is the real valuation of it. And I am extremely happy that I was able to build such an impressive website that attracted the interest of a pretty big company.

So what about now? I am waiting to actually get the money (it takes 45 days here in Romania to cash a check, so I don’t have the money in the bank account yet) and I am working hard to make sure that until then I can still generate a revenue to live from (as that website represented about 90% of my income) and don’t start eating from the sale money. I now have more time to spend with my newborn – he is 4 weeks old now and actually today is the day when his C-section was scheduled, but he decided to come a little sooner. And I am happy to work on some of my older projects that were ignored, including Romania Experience.

What about you? How close are you to hitting that 5 figure mark in revenue from your online business?

18 COMMENTS

    • Yeah, well… to be honest, that’s what I have in mind. But I do have to find something else since I signed a non compete and for 3 years I’m banned from that field :))

  1. That really is an awesome outcome!

    I was about to ask if you signed a NC Agreement or not considering the possibility of a rinse and repeat method. Second question is was this a niche you were interested in or just one you saw potential profit in when you decided to create it?

  2. Wow you had little coding and SEO experience and you still were able to build such a big website. Very impressive. Can’t wait to hear more about how you did it…not sure if you plan on sharing that info though. And reading your website, I would never think that you weren’t a native English speaker.

    • The problem is that my vocabulary is still limited and using the correct tenses (and that “if clause”) are giving me headaches. But I try to get the most out of what I have and tell the story right 🙂

  3. Congrats on parenthood, it is a true blessing! You did all that just by using long-tailed keywords? That is incredible! What was the site about?

    • Thank, Jim! The contract that I have signed with the company (a 16 page-contract lol) doesn’t allow me to say that, but as a generic niche we can say it was related to technology and things that we use in our daily lives for years now. And yes, most of my traffic came naturally from long-tailed keywords – I didn’t do any precise research, nobody can research 200,000 keywords, but it all came naturally as I was creating the content.

  4. What an awesome story. You clearly were doing all the right things to make yourself successful (pick the right name, write good content, respond comments, have natural content that isn’t stuffed artifically with SEO terms). Congrats and well done! Interested to see what your next (non-related) successful site will be-maybe a “how-to” site explaining how to do what you did? Seems people would be very interested in that sort of thing!

  5. I would have done the same exact thing and sold it too. I think when it comes to flipping a site you need to strike when demand is high and the fire is hot. Who knows if that 100k visitor metric would have kept up over a more months.

    Targeting the long tail keywords has been something I’m trying to go more after as well. Forget always trying to hit the 1,000 and above terms. Everyone wants those. The 300 search volume terms are lower competition and still bring me 10 people per day. Over a few 1000 ranking keywords, that could still equate into some pretty sustainable traffic!

    I’m curious: Did the person who bought your site contact you or did you seek them out? Feel free to email me if you don’t want to reply here. I’m just interested to know since I have yet to officially sell any of my sites.

    • My website was in the mid 200k in Alexa, so it didn’t seem impressive at all at first sight. I decided to sell my site on my own over at Flippa which is the biggest place to sell sites, in my opinion. I’ve used them a few times already (with smaller sites) and I have nothing to complain about, on the contrary!

  6. This is awesome. Congratulations to you!! I love hearing stories like this….everyone advises not to go for the overpopulated niches but that’s where the traffic is!

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