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HomeAffiliate MarketingHow This 38-Yr-Outdated's 4 Journey Web sites Generate 6 Figures Per Yr...

How This 38-Yr-Outdated’s 4 Journey Web sites Generate 6 Figures Per Yr From search engine marketing

Nina Ragusa All the time dreamed of seeing the world. She was keen to begin exploring however was hesitant since she did not have anybody to go together with.

Nina took a leap of religion and traveled to Thailand on her personal. Initially, she was going to spend a 12 months overseas, however she obtained so hooked on touring that she stayed on the street for over a decade.

She created her first website, The place within the World is Nina , to doc her travels. She did so properly that she determined to copy her technique, occurring to create three extra profitable journey websites.

Right now she’s residing her dream and seeing the world whereas incomes six figures a 12 months from her portfolio of web sites.

Preserve studying to search out out:

  • How she began out residing overseas
  • Why she determined to create different area of interest websites
  • What niches she selected and why
  • The place her revenue comes from
  • How her websites carried out in the course of the pandemic
  • How a lot visitors her websites get
  • Her principal advertising methods
  • How she feels about search engine marketing
  • How she approaches key phrase analysis and hyperlink constructing
  • Her content material creation technique
  • How she grows her electronic mail lists
  • Her favourite assets and instruments
  • Her greatest problem
  • Her biggest accomplishment
  • Her principal mistake
  • Her recommendation for different entrepreneurs

Meet Nina Ragusa

Hello, I’m Nina, from Florida, USA!

Ever since I used to be little, I’ve cherished the concept of touring world wide. I used to be tremendous into geography class and cherished enjoying “The place within the World is Carmen Sandiego?” 

I used to be fascinated with all the things I couldn’t get in my yard (which is loads when your yard is a flat swamp land!)

I used to assume you wanted some huge cash to see the world, however I did not need to wait till I used to be previous and retired to begin exploring. So, I began wanting into how I may journey with out ready eternally, and possibly even work whereas I used to be at it to maintain my pockets topped up.

For the longest time, I did not need to journey on my own as a result of, that’s scary and loopy, proper? I saved hoping to discover a pal who was as excited to journey as I used to be, however after ready for greater than two years and nobody exhibiting up, I made a decision I had sufficient of ready. 

So, on Might 5, 2011, I simply went for it and flew to Thailand all alone. I didn’t actually have a lodge reserved for my first night time! And what was alleged to be only a 12 months overseas changed into over a decade! 

I lived in Southeast Asia for 4 years on my own, met my associate Garrett in Thailand, and we have been touring collectively ever since. I’ve labored and lived on six continents!

After I first moved overseas, I began educating English in Thailand. I undoubtedly wasn’t wealthy, however educating English confirmed me that I did not want to return house to make a residing. There have been loads of jobs on the market for me that might maintain me on the street. 

And identical to that, what began as a one-year journey changed into an entire new lifetime of me residing world wide.

I’ve now labored 11 journey jobs (it’s sort of my factor that I really like to speak about and assist folks obtain), and I used to be running a blog the entire means, however didn’t notice it could possibly be an actual job till about 5 years into doing it! Now, running a blog is my full-time job.

Pinch me! I get to assist folks journey longer and higher and assist them discover out about alternatives to work and stay overseas, alternatives they didn’t know existed?! Woo!

Why She Created Her Websites

I created my first weblog, a common journey weblog, completely by chance. I used to be merely conserving a web-based diary beginning in 2011 on a now-defunct web site. Finally, I moved over to WordPress as soon as I realized what that was in 2012-ish. 

It nonetheless took me a couple of years later to appreciate running a blog could possibly be a job. After “making it” with my common journey website, I made a decision to begin a distinct segment website with my associate in 2019 concerning the state of Oregon, the place he’s from.

We love touring on the West Coast, and area of interest websites had been one thing I wished to dabble in since I knew I may recreate the success I had with my first web site simply with a extra niched-down subject! 

It seems it was not solely an important thought as a result of it was an underserved area of interest, but additionally nice timing to begin it in 2019 since everyone knows what occurred in 2020! 

After our success with Oregon, we continued increasing with the identical technique into Washington and California. 

We invested the earnings of our first 12 months with Oregon right into a enterprise car to assist us create content material for the opposite websites. We bought an old-school 1974 VW Bus we named Lucy!  

This was the start of making a number of income streams to strengthen the muse for our enterprise, and COVID was motivator for our area of interest website push. 

Additionally, we may seize content material simply in 1-2 months and have content material to publish for the entire 12 months whereas we traveled internationally.

Our 4 websites are:
– The place within the World is Nina (Sure, after “The place within the World is Carmen Sandiego?”)
– Oregon is for Journey
– Washington is for Journey
– California is for Journey

We even have a non-travel-related fifth website I do not speak about a lot because it’s our first website that we’re experimenting with as an affiliate website on greater ticket gadgets in an underserved area of interest. Thus far, it’s doing fairly good, contemplating how little we work on it. 

We’re taking in round $300-$500/month in affiliate income with that website. Because the merchandise are for higher-ticket gadgets, a great deal of visitors and purchases will not be actually wanted. All we’d like is a couple of good gross sales per thirty days to make it price it.

How A lot She’s Incomes

As they are saying, the primary one is at all times the toughest! 

It took me years to make first rate cash with my principal journey website, round 6-ish years or so (bear in mind, it took me ages to appreciate it may even be an actual job! Doh!). 

That being mentioned, 2019 was my finest 12 months as I made round $85k simply on my principal journey web site! I used to be over the moon watching $5000, $7000, and $9000 roll in every month! 

I began the Oregon website and was once more over the moon with the progress regardless of the 2020 pandemic. It really labored in our favor since we made it on Mediavine in February 2020 (what luck!), and since no one may journey, they had been of their backyards. 

The Oregon website exploded whereas my principal journey weblog faltered. I’ve had my principal journey weblog on the again burner since 2020. I put most effort into our West Coast blogs, and sadly, my principal website hasn’t come near its pre-pandemic numbers. 

Oregon web site visitors
Oregon web site visitors performing properly in the course of the pandemic
Oregon web site advert income

Hopefully, I could make it again in 2024 since I’m lastly prioritizing it after neglecting it for about 4 years.

We make wherever from $100,000 to $200,000/12 months with our blogs and companies. We largely make our cash from Mediavine advertisements, associates, and companies. 

We now have solely had one long-term shopper since 2018 that provides us round $25,000 to 45,000/12 months for our companies (YouTube movies and weblog content material largely, and my associate is the one who manages it). 

We had a giant shopper that wanted journey content material in 2022 and that boosted us over $100,000 alone that 12 months, which was superior (however a ton of labor).

Most of our affiliate revenue is from lodging bookings (Keep 22) and some different particular associates within the journey area of interest.

Nina’s Site visitors Stats

Pre-pandemic, I used to be getting round 150k/month-to-month views on my principal website. That’s all the way down to lower than 50k/month now. I’ve not too long ago began engaged on it once more, although, so I can’t be too mad since I let it sit for thus lengthy.

The one unlucky factor about our PNW blogs is that they’re very seasonal. No person visits in winter! However in summer season, they do pop off fairly properly. 

We get round 70k-100k/month every on Washington and Oregon within the summers and all the way down to round 40k/month every within the winters.

Her Major Advertising and marketing Technique

I used to be lastly getting on the e-mail technique when the pandemic took my principal website out, so I needed to shift. E mail works higher whenever you even have visitors and I wasn’t getting a lot! 

Throughout these onerous 2020-2021 years, I shifted and went all in on TikTok, and it was the one factor that saved me from eager to spiral right into a deep running a blog despair! 

TikTok was nice throughout these years (it’s waned for me these days, however I additionally have not been placing within the work as a lot both). It helped me reel in visitors that wasn’t from Google, which was all I used to be getting earlier than. 

Folks don’t notice that folks do like going to your web site from TikTok; actually, I’ve had loads of days the place my visitors shot up as a result of I went semi-viral on TikTok and gained a whole lot of electronic mail subscribers and 1000’s of views. 

My principal drivers from social media are folks studying about how they will stay and work overseas, digital nomad jobs, easy methods to work on-line with out expertise, and my free guides that information them to my book.

My principal technique remains to be search engine marketing, however as we all know, issues have gotten tougher over time.

In 2024, I’m going to work tougher on electronic mail advertising and decide again up my TikTok recreation a bit extra, too.

Her Ideas on search engine marketing

Since I realized about search engine marketing and it “clicked” for me, I grew to become obsessive about it. I love nerding out on search engine marketing analysis and discovering enjoyable and superior key phrases I need to write about. It’s crucial for my enterprise and the primary means I’m even a full-time blogger. 

Being a blogger with out search engine marketing and really earning profits from it…? I’m undecided if it is attainable?! 

You possibly can see when search engine marketing “clicked” on my principal journey website

One in all my finest methods is “child posts,” which I don’t know if I can declare this title, nevertheless it’s what I’ve been calling what I do for a few years, however I basically love writing child posts. These are shorter posts on a really small subject. 

For instance, a weblog submit on a selected hike in a state park, or a sure seaside. This can be a complete weblog submit on simply this one tiny subject, a child submit, if you’ll. These may not deliver within the hordes of readers many bloggers need, however a variety of these child posts add as much as an honest chunk of views, plus they hammer in my authority for the bigger subject. 

Once more, let’s take the instance of a hike. I’ll write a child submit on XYZ hike – the particular hike solely, and what you’ll want to find out about it. I’d even write one other child submit on one other hike referred to as the ABC hike. 

And these two climbing posts are a part of my larger “finest hikes in 123 Nationwide Park.” I then write the “finest issues to do in 123 Nationwide Park” and embrace these two hikes, plus hyperlink to my “finest hikes” article, thus rising my data and authority on this nationwide park.

Such a clustering content material isn’t actually new or authentic, nevertheless it’s a “again to fundamentals” idea that some bloggers overlook about, particularly journey bloggers who’re continuously going for the “large shiny key phrases” they discovered for his or her subsequent vacation spot.

Key phrase Analysis

I merely write what I need to write about, however I be certain that there’s an honest key phrase that goes together with the subject I would like! 

Whereas I don’t 100% write for search engine marketing, it’s largely what I do write about, however I assume I’m fortunate in the truth that it normally strains up with my pursuits. 

Finest hikes? Finest seashores? How did I get a working vacation visa in Australia? Digital nomad stuff? Low-cost nations to stay in? Journey jobs? Woo! I really like these subjects, and they’re typically superior key phrases to go for. 

Even when the quantity isn’t a lot (500ish/month, let’s say), I like the subject, I do know it advantages my readers, and it’s going to mesh properly with the content material on my weblog anyway, so I’m going for it. 

I really like having clusters and having tons of weblog posts a couple of sure space or subject. Because of this I believe my area of interest websites are literally extra enjoyable than my journey weblog. I really like rising extra a couple of surrounding subject; it’s much more rewarding. 

So, like I discussed above, I’ll write tons of child posts to help my larger articles. I hardly ever will write a “issues to do___” submit with out having at the very least 3 “child posts” stemming from it. Even this isn’t splendid sufficient for me, however typically it’s what it’s for my principal journey weblog. 

My area of interest websites? I normally have a hoard of child posts to hyperlink to, and I believe that is one in all my finest key phrase methods. I’ll discover a “larger” key phrase like “finest waterfall hikes in ___” and I’ll have a child submit for nearly each single waterfall hike I point out. I normally attempt to intention for key phrases that supply essentially the most alternative for me to stem off a bunch of child posts! I really like child posts, are you able to inform!?

The larger my cluster, the higher. So, when key phrase researching, I look out for these mega clusters that I can actually get into.

Hyperlink Constructing

I’d say hyperlink constructing is fairly vital. I took my new California website from a DA0 to a DA16 in just some months. All I did was take part in a couple of hyperlink constructing threads, did a few visitor posts, and did 1 or 2 HARO call-outs within the interval of some months. 

I take advantage of a couple of hyperlink constructing methods, one being a hyperlink constructing group that I take advantage of sometimes on Fb. I do visitor posting, however I want to enhance my frequency right here. I do some weblog collaboration articles (these are the simplest! You will discover these teams on Fb, too), and naturally, HARO. 

HARO is definitely hit and miss, and it’s, most of the time, a miss. However when it’s successful? It’s hit! You’ll normally get a hyperlink again from a excessive authority web site with a excessive DA and possibly even get talked about in a prime on-line web site, even Forbes! 

My greatest HARO win was again in 2016 or so when Enterprise Insider one way or the other favored me sufficient to do a characteristic on me, and it sort of went viral! 

I even obtained one other follow-up article written by me, and this, thus far, was one in all my finest running a blog wins on HARO. I want I may get one other one like this that falls in my lap this simply! 

Not solely did I get some nice backlinks (my article was even translated into quite a few languages), however I obtained a large increase in followers on Instagram, too.

And lastly, I take advantage of Hyperlink Whisper for inner linking! The day I signed up and paid for it, I knocked out so many missed hyperlink alternatives! I used to be shocked and embarrassed at what number of weblog posts I did not hyperlink again to. 

I used to pay my VA to do that as soon as each month, and now, with a couple of clicks, it will get accomplished a lot quicker.

Her Content material Creation Course of

I’ve 526 revealed weblog posts on my principal journey website (which was nearer to 650, however I not too long ago did a giant culling). And my three different area of interest websites have a mixed 286.

My move goes one thing alongside the strains of:

  1. Key phrase analysis
  2. *do the factor I’m writing about and take in depth voice notes*
  3. Define weblog
  4. Write
  5. Evaluate article
  6. Full media
  7. Format article
  8. Edit
  9. Publish

I ought to add a move for promotion, however my present technique is *discuss concerning the new submit whenever you bear in mind to.* Oops!

Her E mail Lists

I undoubtedly use electronic mail. The Develop Highlight has made all of the distinction. I provide a couple of freebies and entice sign-ups that means. The Develop Highlight makes it fairly and highlights the e-mail field greater than different plugins to encourage sign-ups. I ship an electronic mail twice month-to-month. 

Apart from Google visitors and “pure” electronic mail sign-ups this manner, each time I’ve a semi-viral submit on Reels or TikTok, I get a couple of hundred new electronic mail subscribers. 

Site visitors spike following a viral TikTok

I level them to my free guides that they’ve to join. These guides additionally hyperlink to my product, which is an book!

How A lot She Works

I work round 5 “actual” hours per day or so. My associate and I worth our sluggish mornings with espresso and convos, and our brains flip to mush after hammering away for 5 hours. 

We used to grind all day day by day, however have slowed down loads. We all know we may earn more money if we chipped away tougher, however we don’t care! We don’t need to get burnt out (been there, accomplished that!)

Since we journey loads, we at all times take a couple of weeks off right here or a month off there. And I’m basically ineffective in December since that’s after I go to my household, and I get little or no accomplished.

Once we do our street journeys for our area of interest websites, we barely even contact our computer systems. We’re simply van-living round and exploring, and people journeys are normally 6-8 weeks lengthy.

Her Favourite Assets

I’ve gone by way of SO many assets, and I sort of obtained out of it for some time, if I’m being trustworthy. 

After selecting myself up a bit and slowly getting again into utilizing assets, I’ve to say, Nina’s search engine marketing group (not me, one other Nina!) on Fb is a superb useful resource. She is basically superior at explaining issues and making issues make sense within the complicated world of search engine marketing.

And I’ve been a long-time listener of Brandon’s Running a blog Millionaire podcast. He’s been doing this for a very long time, and his podcasts are actually useful and to the purpose.

I do know it’s nonetheless controversial in our area, however should you’re writing off AI, you’re lacking out. Many individuals assume it’s a horrible software, however they haven’t tried utilizing it appropriately. I gained’t get into an excessive amount of right here, however for bloggers, it’s an immensely useful software when used appropriately! 

In case you assume utilizing AI is actually asking ChatGPT to “write a weblog submit on the highest 10 issues to do in Rome,” copying and pasting it into WordPress, and hitting publish, you’d be appropriate: AI is freaking terrible! 

However when used appropriately, really prompting it, pasting in your voice notes out of your go to, after which modifying it as an actual stay human, you might be saving so a lot effort and time. 

I simply wrote three weblog posts in sooner or later as a result of I used AI. I might have been fortunate to have written one with out utilizing AI. And sure, I edited all of them in nice element, and you’ll by no means know I used AI if I did not let you know. I’m undecided I may stay with out it now! It makes me a machine.

Oh, I even used ChatGPT to assist me edit this interview right here, so my proofreading time went from over an hour to a matter of minutes!

Her Go-To Instruments

Apart from my ChatGPT talked about above…

My life can be in chaos and shambles with out Asana, telling me what to do and what assignments want doing day by day. I can maintain tabs on the crew simpler and on myself!

Affilimate helps me maintain observe of what my associates are doing, which is one thing I seemed to extend final 12 months, and in that 12 months, I greater than tripled my revenue from associates. 

The software itself doesn’t essentially assist me improve my revenue, however the knowledge and progress in a single, handy platform (relatively than logging into the 1000 affiliate platforms) assist me higher observe and perceive it! Even utilizing their affiliate deep linking software helps minimize my time/my VA’s time down by loads!

This is likely to be a bizarre one, however YouTube is one other “software” I can’t stay with out. We don’t simply use it to study; we love GrowingAnnanas exercises to get us up from our desks! Severely, running a blog at a desk for hours will get painful, sure, for actual! I’ve a “cracking” shoulder that makes me really feel historical, and I used to be borderline getting carpal tunnel for a minute there! 

This line of labor shouldn’t be nice in your physique, so yeah—remember to maneuver! Your physique and mind are your life’s finest and most wanted instruments. Our life-style makes it straightforward to overlook about ourselves and our well-being.

I let it go for some time, however her at-home exercises have me making myself a precedence once more!

Her Largest Problem

The adjustments! I’m at all times up for a problem, however typically within the running a blog recreation, simply whenever you assume, “You bought it,” one other main change occurs… 

Whether or not that’s a Google replace, a brand new revolutionary software, or a freaking pandemic. Change is inevitable, and I’m not afraid of it. I simply want I may benefit from the trip for greater than a second earlier than being thrown a brand new wrench to make use of.

Her Best Accomplishment

Merely *being an entrepreneur.*

I by no means would have thought I might turn into one. 2011 Nina thought she was going to show English in Thailand for a 12 months after which get caught behind a desk at a soul-sucking job for the subsequent 30 to 40 years.

This was by no means my purpose. This was by no means my dream. This was by no means one thing I assumed I may do. I could not have fathomed this life earlier than. And but, right here I’m!

I’ve grown a enterprise the place I can take cost and oversee relatively than do grunt work for a capped revenue.

I’ve created a enterprise the place I can spend over a month with my household and assist them, and barely log in on-line and know I’m nonetheless producing revenue. 

I’ve developed a enterprise that provides me final freedom and suppleness in my life—one thing I actually didn’t know existed for some time and one thing I assumed would take me eternally to attain.

I’ve obtained a enterprise I’m pleased with and love doing, which gives me with an important life. Severely—pinch me!

What She Needs She Knew When She Began

I want I had recognized concerning the significance of analyzing and testing.

I’m nice at implementing, however I could possibly be higher at trialing, testing, and understanding if issues are working! I’ve not too long ago began to get higher at this, like utilizing warmth maps and really wanting again on analytics and graphs, and many others., to see if what I’m doing is working. 

I obtained used to only doing and letting it trip, in no matter route it went in and didn’t really see what was working or not! 

I’m bettering at analyzing all the things and seeing what’s working and never working. It could appear a bit foolish, however again within the day, running a blog gave the impression to be a bit simpler, and no matter you probably did, it sort of labored. 

These days, it’s not flying! It’s essential to analyze your knowledge and cease spinning your wheels by doing issues that aren’t working. I threw spaghetti on the wall and let it stick or fall, however discovering out how and why it was sticking and one of the best ways to make it stick is making extra of a distinction now.

Her Major Mistake

Grinding in circles… I labored so onerous in my starting years, however I used to be getting into circles listening to all the things everybody was saying in Fb teams, on YouTube, and many others… I wanted to only go onerous on studying a very powerful factor—search engine marketing. 

As soon as I began grinding in a single route, I began going someplace! I used to be making an attempt to study and apply 27935403 various things, plus making an attempt to go onerous on Instagram (after I didn’t need to be an influencer anyway! Only a blogger!)

Her Recommendation for Different Entrepreneurs

Don’t wait too lengthy to rent assist. The second I employed a VA and writers, I began making more cash. 

Sure, it should value you, however you’ll be able to’t do all the things. You’ll burn out and stagnate shortly as a result of there’s solely a lot a singular individual can do.

Additionally, don’t put all of your eggs in a single basket. I might have been completely taken out as a blogger when the pandemic hit if I didn’t begin diversifying in 2019!

Being cussed and never being somebody who provides up simply are good traits to have. I wished this so badly, and although it took me some time to get right here, I made it! 

And it’s superior to look again in any respect the instances you wished to throw within the towel and see all of your onerous work (learn: stubbornness) really labored out! 

There was no means I used to be giving up, not after I understood the liberty having your personal enterprise may present for me. I used to be immediately addicted to creating it occur. That is the best way to go should you’re on the lookout for extra freedom. 

However the path will likely be bumpy till you make it over the hill!

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