Growing Niche Sites That Earn $100k Per Month: Today we are digging into the inner workings of niche site development, with guest Lauren McManus. Listen now: Growing Niche Sites That Earn $100k Per Month.
Growing Niche Sites That Earn $100k/Month With Lauren McManus
Lauren is the globe-trotting digital nomad co-founder of Create And Go. Tune in as Lauren reveals her strategy for growing her niche sites that earn $100k per month.
Lauren McManus is a former CPA turned blogger who runs two successful blogs which allow her the lifestyle and financial freedom to travel the world as a digital nomad.
Related: What is a niche site?
Resources mentioned on today’s episode:
- Chelsea’s favorite blogging tools
- Buy/Sell niche blogs: Where to buy websites
- Lauren’s course 6 Figure Blogger
Q. Welcome to the show, Lauren, how are you today?
So great. So great. Excited to be here.
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Q. Blogging has allowed you the freedom to be a digital nomad. Tell us about that!
Yes, I consider myself a digital nomad. I’ve been traveling full-time for the last three years.
I’ve been traveling internationally for about five years now. But full time living away from the states for the last three years and just working on my blog, out of different cafes around the world everywhere from Central South America, to Asia and Bali, to Europe.
it’s been really, really awesome.
One thing I absolutely love about it is the flexibility of that type of job because I travel with a group called the Wi-Fi Tribe.
It’s a group of digital nomad remote workers and many other people who actually just have normal nine to five jobs in the States or in Europe or where they live.
So they still have to be on the computer for a certain set amount of hours.
But I love the flexibility of blogging because I can set my own hours. I can take off random days during the week to go do things like volcano hiking, which is what I did on Monday of this week!
So yeah, I have the flexibility of remote work. But I also have so much more flexibility with the way that I’ve structured my business.
Q. Lauren, what led you to become a digital nomad in the first place?
Well, I was a CPA, a tax accountant in my previous life, I’ve been working in that industry for a few years.
Then, when I met my business partner, Alex, he was a personal trainer at the time and already had flexible hours. He knew that he wanted to do something in the online space for the rest of his life, because he just did not want to work a nine-to-five job.
But I was the complete opposite! I was going to climb the corporate ladder, I’d already started.
I knew that he was going to be successful in that field in that industry.
When we started our first website, it actually just started with me helping him out here and there with the images and a little bit of WordPress, which I didn’t even know at the time, more just correcting his grammar and stuff like that.
And honestly, I just got pulled into this whole other world. The more I started to learn more about online business as I was started helping him, it just morphed into this thing that we created together.
I ended up quitting my job a few months later, before I was even making any money to just try to make something of this first website.
And you know, fast forward now, four or five years and we have two successful blogs that we run full time and I can travel the world while I work.
Q. Yes! you have grown two successful six-figure blogs now. What was your blog growth strategy?
We still run our first website today. It’s a health and wellness website that focuses mainly on fast weight loss.
We started it because we both had some experience in that space. Alex has nutrition certifications and he was a personal trainer.
I was a hardcore vegan for a couple of years. So we started with something that we knew.
For the first few months, we were really focused so much on money, which most people are when they start a new business.
They just try to make money as quickly and as quickly as possible. And we tried the same thing.
But we just made mistake after mistake after mistake.
And really the biggest part for both of our businesses, and the way that we have been able to grow them so quickly is focusing more on our audience and a little bit less on the money side.
Because when we put the money before the audience the first time, we ended up creating an amazing diet program that one single person purchased.
Simply because we created something that we thought people would want based on what we thought we would want.
And as a result, our first blog ended up kind of failing, and we had to do back and start from scratch with a new health and wellness blog.
And we then communicated with our audience, asking them about what they wanted, what they wanted more from us.
So we actually repackaged our first diet program, just remarketed it at this new audience, and just gave it a new face.
This time around, we sold our program right away, because we built the audience first. So we had the audience there to purchase it.
And we also had the product that we knew that they wanted.
This strategy has really served us well.
Now when it came to growing the second blog, we did the same thing!
We created the audience first, and then we created the products.
Plus, having a good relationship with our customers and constantly communicating with them about what they need, has been such an amazing way for us to grow.
And to grow without failing as much.
Q. What’s your favorite way to survey your audience?
There was one question that we asked in our very first welcome email at the bottom of the email.
And it said, “What’s the number one thing that you’re struggling with when it comes to losing weight?”
And what we ended up actually receiving back was not what we expected. I think we expected something along the lines of, you know, “I’m too lazy to go to the gym”, “I’m feeling unmotivated…”
But we actually got people pouring their hearts out and telling us their stories of, having two kids, having a full time job, and so forth.
These replies painted this whole persona, and this whole story about what they were struggling with. It was through those stories that we were able to really figure out who our target customer was.
They were not just someone who wanted to lose weight, they were between the ages of 45 and 60, they had a few kids, they worked a full-time job.
They struggle with this and that. We were able to really hone down on that character.
And then we were able to structure our emails and our sales pages and products around serving this specific person, as closely as we could.
So that’s what we did. Communicating that way, asking open-ended questions via email is one really great way.
If you have a community group, like on Facebook or somewhere else, just asking open-ended questions. People love to give their opinions these days.
All you have to do is ask for it. We also use Survey Monkey.
We often send out surveys to our students and ask how they liked the course. And if there’s anything that they would change about it or any other suggestions.
If we’re trying to think about what kind of course to create, we’ll ask questions like, “what would you like to hear from us next?” Things like that.
Q. What is working for you right now with email marketing in your business?
You know, I don’t think there’s anything new or latest and greatest that’s working. To me, email, it’s just more about, again, kind of that same communication.
I don’t just mean blasting people with emails, I mean, actually thinking about what people want to hear.
Alex and I like to operate under honesty and transparency above all.
I actually just started my own podcast, Launch Your Blog Biz
And, podcasting was something that I was pretty terrified to do. Honestly, Alex and I talked about starting one for a couple of years.
But the timing was never right.
Alex has more of a YouTube-style persona to entertain people.
Looking back on it, I think I was just scared, and I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t think I was going to be good at podcasting.
So actually, throughout this phase of me wanting to start my podcast, that’s exactly what I’ve told my audience. I have told them how scared I was to do it.
How I’ve been told before in YouTube comments that I have vocal fry.
I’ve been very honest with my audience about my struggles and my hesitancy to start this podcast because they’re also in this space of trying to communicate of trying to create things and they feel the same fears.
So I’ve just been doing my best to try to communicate all of that, as I’m feeling it as well.
I think emails are really great way to be able to be honest with people.
I don’t know if that’s much of a strategy. But that’s just what really works for us. And it’s been that way for years now.
Q. What is your favorite way to monetize these niche blogs you’re growing?
Well, what works the best, and is some of the most sustainable and consistent income is definitely creating your own products or services.
So anything from an ebook to an online course to coaching.
I personally think that whether you are a blogger, a podcaster, a YouTuber, creating your own products is one of the best ways to really scale what you’re doing.
Because it allows you to have complete control over the content, how much you charge for it, how you’re able to market it.
This is what makes up the bulk of our income.
But the other biggest part of it is also affiliate marketing. I think that depending on what space you’re in, affiliate marketing can be a really, really great way to make money.
Affiliate marketing is how we made our initial income. And now affiliate marketing and selling our own products has been the two largest sources of revenue for us over the years.
Right now we make over $100,000 per month with both of our two blogs combined.
And that number has been pretty consistent now for about two, maybe three years.
To learn Lauren’s compete blogging growth roadmap to $100k months, enroll in 6-Figure Blogger
The health and wellness blog that we first started our very first goal with that was to make $10,000 a month.
With that number, especially because we split it, we felt we’d never have to go back to our old jobs again.
$10,000 a month is sustainable for both of us to live on. While allowing us this lifestyle to be able to travel.
So, with that first health and wellness blog, we hit that revenue target within the first few months of running our first blog.
That health and wellness website, we’ve had a lot of fluctuation over the years. Some months have brought in over $40,000, others are pretty consistently around $20,000.
But nowadays we definitely make a lot more with our business blog Create And Go.
Create And Go is our main project now and it gets most of our attention. But between the two of them, we earn over $100,000 per month.
And that’s certainly gross income. We do have a pretty sizable net income from that.
We spend some money on ads. And we have a whole team behind us that manage our ads now.
Q. Do you favor Facebook ads, Instagram ads or Pinterest promoted pins?
We do everything! We’re definitely more focused on Facebook ads. Despite the frustrations with Facebook, it’s definitely still the best ad platform if you’re able to get a positive ROI.
But that being said, we still do run Pinterest ads too. Pinterest ads tend to be a lot cheaper.
And while the Pinterest ads manager platform doesn’t have as many metrics, and it’s not nearly as scalable as Facebook, it’s still a lot cheaper.
Pinterest is still a really, really great place to get started.
Alex actually was running our ads by himself for a long time. But for a few years now, we’ve had people helping us run our ads, just so that we can focus on other areas of the business.
But Facebook has definitely worked out the best for us.
Check out Lauren’s Pinterest course Pinterest Traffic Avalanche
Q. Are there any blogging or email marketing myths that you’d like to dispel?
One thing we’re realizing is that some people I believe, are beginning to think that blogging is dead.
I think traditional blogging, perhaps is dying. I mean, we say that although, every day, we’re all on Google, googling stuff. And we’re still getting blogs and websites popping up as search results.
So I don’t think that it’s dead. But I believe that it’s definitely evolving, and we’re evolving with it.
So for anybody, who is thinking about starting a blog or who’s even thinking about abandoning their blog, I would just encourage people to really think of themselves more as content creators.
I’m seeing this big trend now in online business space, where everyone is kind of talking now about being content creators and coaches, because that’s kind of all-encompassing.
You know what? Yes, we have a blog, but we really only published maybe two or three articles a year.
Because actually, the bulk of our content now is coming from our YouTube channel and our podcast.
Yet the blog is still where all of our content lives. It’s like the home for our business. It’s what connects everything.
But we have these other platforms, where we can reach other audiences and kind of bring them in all together.
Plus, our email list really is where everyone is centrally located, that’s where our audience really exists.
But I would just tell people to think a little bit outside the box.
There are so many different channels to be able to express yourself now that I think it’s important to just think about who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Think about where you can best reach that person because while I was definitely afraid to do podcasting for so long, I realized so much that this is exactly what my audience needs.
Like, they need to hear me talking about the random struggles I have from week to week! I’ve never had a platform to be able to share that with them before with such constant, updated information.
So blogging definitely isn’t isn’t dead. No matter what kind of online business you’re you’re trying to launch, there are just so many different platforms to be able to do it now.
So just really think about what serves you the best but also what is going to serve your audience the best as well.
Q. Thank you so much, Lauren. Where can everybody find and follow you online?
Growing Niche Sites That Earn $100k/Month – Conclusion
To find out how to scale and SELL your blog and online business, read this.
And be sure to check out Lauren’s 6 Figure Blogger course.