In this TL;DW episode, we’ll be extracting the essence of this YouTube video – How Grady Hudd Grew His Niche Site to $9K In Just 2 Years Without Any SEO Experience.
Here’s the original YouTube video :
(The video is slightly more than 1-hour long though; below is the 5-min TL;DW extract)
Grady is on the Niche Pursuits Podcast to talk about his website that has 170K page views and earns $9K a month.
Grady has a journalism background and he shares some of the advantages he feels like that gives him when it comes to building a website. His website had a slow ramp up, but once it got going, it really came swinging.
Grady’s website is in a really seasonal niche, hence, he shares about how to mitigate that, how to work around that, and how to build websites effectively.
Grady is an Australian website builder who did a journalism degree and worked in the journalism field for the past 10 years. He says that his background in journalism helps him with building niche websites.
He is still working full-time in journalism and he started all these as a side hobbies with his spare time.
Getting Started With Niche Sites
He started looking for ways to make money online and found out that people were making tens of thousands of dollars just by writing Vlogs. He started his first website and wrote 16 posts for it but got no result for three or four months before giving up.
It was after the pandemic hit and he spoke to his mate who had been chatting about the crazy ways to make money online that they started the main website.
His Current Setup
Grady currently has a 60 40 split on the earnings with his partner from the main site.
The main site is now around 2.5 years old with its peak at 170K bringing in around $9K monthly. It was in a seasonal downtrend now making around $2K monthly but is starting to climb.
He is now working on a new site of about 7-month having 2K views a month; it’s following the same trajectory of the main site.
He is now trying AI assisted writing with ChatGPT and other AI tools for his main site.
He got an old website made in 2018 which he re-uploaded the content a year back now doing 6K page(views) monthly.
Grady advised not to procrastinate on what niche to start; just start one (that you are passionate in) and reposition it if it don’t work after ie. 8-12 months.
He shared his “mind-blowing” first dollar was made with Amazon affiliate sales.
He followed the Alphabet Soup style keyword research with Google Auto-Complete – it involves searching for different question keywords, such as “should Labradors A … B .. C”, “can Labradors”, “do Labradors”, “how do Labradors” etc.
He is not into spending $200 a month on expensive keyword research tool like Ahrefs.
Content Creation Process
Grady highlighted that knowing your own niche is important; go for articles with more topical relevance.
Grady started out monetizing (and still do) with Amazon affiliate. They also use Genius Link, and run display ads with Ad Thrive.
They try to steer away from review-based content and focus more on informational content, which gets just as much traffic.
Their typical post length is around 1200 words; anything less than that makes the content too thin for search engine ranking.
He commented that he got a lot of ideas ie. monetizing the email list and with different search traffic, but it boils down to time when still on a full-time job.
He focused on writing content – though not fully optimizing everything, it still make a good side hustle.
The bulk of traffic came from United States. Hence, they pivoted away from .au to a .com so as to broaden the audience spectrum.
The seasonality is brutal, especially for people who are still deciding on what Niche to jump into. He was afraid he might be hit by a Google update but realised that (Google) trend traffic was identical every year, hence, gained confident that the site was not penalized by any update.
He advised to evaluate seasonality by looking at Google Search Console data. He felt that Google Trends is under-utilized for new content ideas and trends.
Keep publishing content! They planned to move away from more informational content to more products focused.
They also planned to leverage on email marketing.
Despite knowing link building is important, they are not really focusing in building links as they busy publishing content.
Deciding to Start a New Site
Grady struggled to focus on a project versus starting another. One suggestion he offered is to set weekly goal and focus on one core niche for “long enough” time before embarking on the next.
Nevertheless, he felt it is a smart move to have multiple sites – in case one site got hit by a Google update, the other can help to cushion the income.
Grady encourage one to start site/blogging – even without SEO experience, one will have a chance to make 5-figure a month.
TL;DR – The Golden Nugget
Just start blogging – keep publishing content!