What do you think about passive income?
Have you always thought that it wasn’t possible or it is something that other people can do but not you? Or have you ever wanted to create a side project that can generate revenue for your business passively? If so, this episode is for you.
In this episode of Art of Online Business, I sat down with one of my Accelerator coaching members, Kristin Hanes, to talk about how she generates multiple five-figures in passive income from her niche website every month without selling anything.
Kristin Hanes is a former radio news journalist and now publisher at the Wayward Home, where she teaches people how to live an alternative lifestyle in a campervan, RV, sailboat or tiny home. Kristin built her niche site from the ground up knowing nothing about online business, and five years later, averages 400,000 monthly pageviews, reaches 2.5 million people per year and brings in six figures of revenue. Kristin splits her time between a Sprinter van in the U.S. and a sailboat in Mexico. Her first foray into tiny living was in a Toyota Prius, in which she lived for four months with her partner, Tom.
Kristin creates truly passive income every single month while being a digital nomad and now she’s showing others how to do what she does. She really is proof that creating a niche site is a great way to generate income while working as much or as little as you want.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Kristin got started with blogging
- The importance of SEO when growing a website
- The type of traffic she is getting right now
- The revenue that she brings in from her website
- What Kristin’s work schedule looks like
- Why she decided to create a course and what she teaches
- Tips for finding writers and good VAs
- The strengths and weaknesses of using AI
- How Kristin approaches marketing for her course without ads
Links & Resources:
- The Art of Online Business website
- DM me on Instagram
- Visit my YouTube channel
- The Art of Online Business clips on YouTube
- Full episodes of The Art of Online Business Podcast on YouTube
- The Art of Online Business Podcast website
- Check out my Accelerator coaching program
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Kristen Hanes's Links:
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Honestly, if I didn't want to work, I wouldn't have to. That's the beauty of it. And the beauty of passive income is if I just decided I'm going to do five hours year round, it'd be fine. Like nothing would happen. I'm just trying to improve my business and my site, which is why sometimes I work a lot, but it's really not necessary, which is an amazing thing. What's up, my friends? Rick Moretti here. Welcome to the Art of Online Business podcast. I'm really excited about today's episode because if. You think this whole notion of passive income is a farce is not possible is Yeah, it's something that other people can do, but not you. This episode is going to be for you. If you've wanted to add a side project. To your already existing. Business that maybe your team can work on in the different times in their schedule, maybe when they have some free time and create an asset for you that can generate revenue.
This episode is going to be for you. I'm really excited to welcome. Kristin Haines to. The podcast here. She's one of my accelerator coaching. Members and she. Owns the website The Wayward. Home.com. And when she joined Accelerator. Or when she applied for Accelerator, she was. A referral from one of our members. And and I met Kristin. We started chatting and she said yeah, I was asking her about revenue and how she generates it and all this other stuff.
And she's like, Yeah, we generate, I'm not going to give it away. Right now because it's. A lot. And she talks about it and she's like. Yeah, we generate multiple five figures from. My website just. On ad revenue. And affiliates. And I was like, Wait, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. What. You're generating that much money per month from. Your website. Just in, You're not. Selling a course. Or anything like that. And she's like, No. Like that's what we do. And I was like, That's amazing. And the whole reason. That she joined Accelerator is because she. Wanted to add another.
Revenue stream to.
The business and. She wasn't sure what to. Do. And we talk. All about that, the whole process here and the episode here today. But Kristin has created this amazing. Website that creates truly passive. Income every single month. And and. She and her partner, Tom. They live full. Time, as you're going to hear. In a van for part of the year. And they live on a. Sailboat the other part of. The year. And with knowing that, I. Want to. Apologize up front. We do have some technical. Difficulties during. The interview here today. Our editors try their best to get, you know, clean up as much as possible. But she's literally pulled over on the side of the road doing. The interview.
Because. She's a. Nomad. You know, they live out of their van and they also live out of a sailboat. And I wanted to share this with you because this is possible creating an asset. That can generate. Revenue. For you, you know, on a passive basis. Yes, there's. Work that goes in. But the idea is it's generating revenue even when you're not working on it. And that's why I want to bring it on, bring Kristin on here today. And I'm really excited to to welcome Kristin Haines to the podcast. So without further ado, let's go hang out with Kristin and talk about niche websites. So you are sitting in your RV right now, pulled off the freeway, off the like you're in Southern California here, right? You're pulled off the freeway.
Yeah. And you are connected through what? Starlink. Starlink satellite Internet. So there's a huge dish outside my van pointed north that I'm hoping isn't going to cut out during this call. And I'm in a parking lot on the side of the road. So, yeah, very glamorous. Amazing. It sounds like something out of. Like the Terminator. No, through StarLink. I know. Through satellites orbiting. I mean, it's amazing. It's amazing technology. But this is what you do. This is your life.
Like you. You and your partner live. In an RV. Yeah, we live in this van I'm in right now and on a sailboat, and we travel around and stop when we need to connect to internet and work and also do a lot of playing and fun things too. So yeah, it's very unique, always changing lifestyle. How did you. Because I could. Never do this. Like I first of. All, my wife and I. Would never be be able to live in such a small space together. But how did you. How did you get. Into this? Well, it's kind of a funny story. And it all started in 2015 when I'd only known my partner Tom for six months, and he had a wild idea that he wanted to move into his Prius. And we're living in San Francisco in a shared, like, housing situation.
Wait, wait, wait. And that's how. Move into his Prius. Yes, his Prius. Like. Like intentionally. Intentionally. Okay, cool. Okay. Because we both had good jobs, full time jobs. And he just had this idea like, I don't want to pay rent, like in San Francisco. I mean, you can spend 30,000, 40,000 a year in rent. So his idea was, I'm going to try to live really tiny. I'm going to buy a sailboat with cash. I'm going to move into my Prius. I'm going to buck the system. And I thought he was nuts. I'm like, there's no way I'm going to do that, you know?
Yeah, But I started joining him. I still had my house and I would start joining him in the in the Prius and we're camping. And I was like, This is kind of fun. You know, I'm a backpacker. I'm a camper at heart. And I and I liked it. I'm like, why am I paying rent? And so I moved with him into his Prius. And that was kind of our our initial journey into tiny living. In 2015, it was four months long. It was short, but it was, you know, I guess I found out I really liked him during that time.
So I would hope so. That's like that is like the fastest way to figure out if you like somebody. It sure is. Yeah. So I'll be gone. Wait, how did that work? Both of you were living in the Prius? Yes, but we'd go to work during the day, so we had our full time jobs in San Francisco, and we'd go to the gym, and that's where we would shower and we'd work out, and they had really nice. We joined a very fancy gym and they'd had free coffee in the morning. So we spent a lot of time at the gym and then we had a storage unit that we would play music in jamming, like drumming and guitar, and then we'd sleep in the Prius. So we weren't just like in the Prius all the time.
It was kind of like our bed only. So yeah, it was unique. Did you have to be in like certain. Like, did you have to go to like, you know. Like Walmart parking lots or something. Like that where that's. Or how did you I'm just curious how does that, how does that work? Yeah, we went everywhere from local campgrounds to sleeping in like a marina parking lot to there's a beautiful rest stop that overlooks San Francisco up to there. And we slept in my work parking lot. I was working at KGO radio. They had a gated parking lot, and I would just swipe my card and we'd go sleep in there and nobody ever knew.
Nice. Nice. Yeah. So when did you start the Wayward Home? So that was in 2017. So I was laid off from my job at KGO in 2016 and had to figure out what to do for money. Because once you're, you know, radio news journalist like, well, what do I do now? It's not like you're you have a skill set that's super marketable. And so that was a challenge, figuring out what to do. So what made you did you start documenting what you were doing? Like, what was what was the impetus behind starting it?
Yeah. So what I noticed since I was in the news media and I was reading articles that kept popping up on major news outlets about people living Alternatively, this was back in 2016, 2017, kind of before it was more mainstream and I was seeing these articles pop up and they were very popular because there's always been, you know, a housing crisis in San Francisco.
And so I started to see the popularity of these and I was like, Well, why doesn't someone, you know me, create a website where I would tell these people's stories? So it started out with me interviewing people about their journey into tiny living like vans, RVs, sailboats.
So I wanted to tell their stories. And then I had a local newspaper in town where I had connections, and they started republishing those stories, which got me a lot of traffic and backlinks initially. So that's kind of how that that started. What was the intention behind it like? Because, I mean, we're going to get into how much, you know, you generate from it and. And all this stuff, but was it just sort of like a passion project or did you did you see potential for generating revenue through it? I definitely wanted to generate revenue because I had read an article about a woman, Michelle Schroeder, gardener and making sense of sense.
And I read that she made $100,000 a month on a. Personal finance blog and she lived in an RV. She later purchased a sailboat and a van. But I was like, Oh my gosh, blogs can make money. I'm going to do that. And so I decided that's what I was going to do. And that's why I started the Wayward at Home is to try to generate it into an income machine for myself, you know? So I didn't know what I was doing at first, but that was definitely the goal. So, so, so talk about that. You did know what you were doing. You've created the wayward home.com where you're talking.
About what you're doing, documenting what you're doing. Van life. How did you teach yourself like, what was what went into that? Yeah. So initially I, I purchased a big blogging course. It was an $800 course and I was living on unemployment. You know, I had lost my job. I was hardly making any money living in the Bay Area. But I'm like, if I'm going to learn this, I have to take classes. You know, there's no way that I'm going to teach myself. It was called Elite Blog Academy, and I was so excited on that day to start taking that course and to learn about how to create a money making blog.
So that was the first step, and that was only about a month after I started the site because I knew like I needed help. I had no idea what an online business even was or what a blog or a niche site was. I knew nothing came from total scratch. So this is one of those I feel like this is one of those topics that a lot of people hear about and they're like, Oh, this will never work for me. Like, this isn't this isn't possible when it comes to a niche site generating really good revenue, what would you like? How long did it take you to get to a point where it. Was generating. Like some decent revenue? Well, what's funny is so six months after I started the site, a company reached out to me, called Four Wheel Campers, and they said, I want to put an ad on your home page. And I was like, I charge them $500.
And that was thrilling. And so that's when it started making a little bit of revenue. I got on a major ad network called Mediavine within six months. I knew, you know, that was my goal. I needed to get traffic. I needed to get on this ad network. And once I got on that network, things just started going up and up and up because that's how I based my business on is I wanted page views, I wanted ad revenue, and that was my goal from the very beginning. And so I made that happen relatively quickly, just taking these classes and learning as much as possible. So I do think anybody can do it because I knew nothing like so it's possible.
And generating money within six months. From a site. Now that was a few years ago. Is it still possible today? I think it is, definitely, yeah, because I just started another niche site in January just to test some of my theories that I've learned. And it's already getting traffic. It's already getting clicks out to like affiliates. It's it hasn't made money yet, but it is getting those clicks. And so I'm seeing that progression of like, yes, this could make money, definitely.
And so that's really encouraging news. Well, it's only February 23rd. The day we're recording this, so it's only been like, what, like four weeks or five weeks that you've had this now? Yes, exactly.
And it's already getting Google traffic. And I'm just floored. If you do pick the right niche and know how to do keyword research, which I actually did not know how to do on the wayward home for a long time, you can like get a head start with this stuff. Do you have to be so? So I want to kind of want to kind of like how much traffic were you getting after six months on the wayward. Home such that you had an advertiser reach. Out to you. And they were probably like, Holy cow, I'll pay you $500 if that's all you're going to charge. Me. But then you started. To get, you know, Mediavine and the and the. Ad network. How much traffic were you getting at that point? So to get in Mediavine at that point, you needed 25,000 sessions a month. And so that was my goal and most of that came from Pinterest at the time. I learned how to market on Pinterest, which I absolutely hated, but I did it and posting in Facebook groups. None of it was SEO or it was SEO by accident. And so but I did get that traffic that 25,000 a month to qualify for mediavine.
And so yeah, I made the goal. And then so that was when was that? That was, was that 20 you said 2017. That was 2018 when I got on MEDIAVINE So about six months later. Yeah. Okay. So like four years ago ish talk about what the, what the site has been doing since in the past four years. Yeah. So since then I decided to learn about SEO search engine optimization, getting rankings on Google. And so I took a course and it was a really challenging course. It took a lot of time and it was very in-depth, but I implemented it and after doing that, I think that was either in early 2018 or 19, I can't remember which year, but once I started doing SEO, my traffic just skyrocketed and went way up.
It soared after that. And in the six months after I did that course and started implementing SEO, and that's when I really saw things start to improve. And but I did get hit with a Google update, which is something else that happens and that like destroyed the traffic. But I just kept doing SEO and I kept at it and it's, it's doing really well and it has been doing well for a long time. And so I attribute it to that course I took. And knowing SEO and wish I had known right off the bat. But, you know, it's all a learning curve. So, yeah, so what are the types of things that you're doing? And I want to like I. Want to talk about like how much traffic. You're getting now if you're open to.
Sharing, like how much you're generating. Now. More about like, you know, when the Google, when the Google slap comes not really slap, but like an update comes that messes with your traffic. Like I want to talk more about that too. But like, is it just as quote unquote, simple as. Continuing. To add the right kind of. Content. To the site? Yeah, adding the keyword research. Correct? Yeah. And it's also based on what I would look at is what is Google ranking? So I had several areas on my site. I have a van life, an RV, a tiny home and a and a sailboat or boat life category.
And I started to look closer at like, what is Google ranking quickly? What is Google putting on the page and how can I write more similar content to what they are seeing me as an expert in? And so I kind of choose to kind of follow Google's lead a little bit. And so I stopped publishing boating articles because I just wasn't ranking for those, getting traffic for those, and I focused on all the other categories. And since I started doing that and looking for for keywords that other people weren't really writing articles on, that's what really launched my site up and on Google in the first page of Google for many articles. So what kind of traffic are you getting now?
The beginning of 2023. Yeah. So now is my slowest time of year, but I'm getting around 300,000 page views a month and that usually goes up in the summer, probably more five in the 5 to 600 range. But in the winter it's more around the 300 range. So yeah, doing pretty, doing pretty well and I'm still targeting more keywords and hoping to get even more traffic. That's the goal. And so yeah, so. It's just you're just continuing to add add to it. Yeah. So just start, you know, keep on targeting new keywords. I have writers and they target new keywords and I update old articles all the time and I assign those to writers and I notice they go up immediately on to the first page of Google after I update those. So that's the current strategy to to get even more traffic to the site to. Keep updating articles.
Yeah, updating old articles is very important while adding new articles too. So Google likes to see that you're constantly refreshing your content and working on your site and making it better. Okay, well, how do you know like which articles to be updating? Yeah. So I use a tool called Ahrefs and I can select you can use a variety of different views on there to see which keywords are falling in rankings. And so I will use that tool and I look and see if an article fell to the second page of Google, a few changes and a few updates. I'll put it back on the first page pretty reliably and so I'll focus on those. And that's another way to just keep the traffic going.
Is a tool like that telling you what they recommend, what. It recommends. In order to get back on. The first page. Nope, not at all. Not at all. That's just something that I have to look at and analyze and think, how can I make this better? Because in the meantime, other people have come out with similar blogs and they're writing these articles, and sometimes they're copying my articles, not copying word for word, but definitely my topics. And I'm like, Well, how can I get my topic back on top of their topic that they copied from me in the first place?
A lot of it is that. That's that's part of the that's part of the game. That you're playing. It's a big it's a big game. Yeah. Gotcha. Okay. So what kind of revenue? And I know that this is kind of the quote, slow time of the year, but with that kind of traffic, 300 ish. Thousand. During the winter months, up to half 1 million to 600,000in the summer months, what kind of traffic are you looking at? What kind of revenue are you looking at? Yeah. So this is also my lowest ad network time of year because the RPMs are way lower. Advertisers take a huge break after the fourth quarter and the RPMs are cut way down. But that being said, still last month, 12,000 in ad revenue.
And then if you put you know about 4000 on affiliates on top of that. So that was maybe $16,000 a month. This month, the ad revenue just goes up and up and up through summer. So this month I'll probably be more like 14 or 15,000 in ad revenue. So maybe 20,000 around now. And I'm hoping my revenue will be pushed up to the more $30,000 range this summer when the ad network RPMs are at their highest. So it's kind of a cyclical thing where they go down in winter and back up in summer. So people are listening right. Now saying, holy cow, 30 grand a month. From this website. How much how much time are you actually spending on it on, say, a weekly basis?
That varies greatly? Also, my work is very cyclical, just like the ad revenue, but there will be some weeks where I will work, you know, maybe 30, 40 hours on my business, not necessarily just the site, but all aspects of the business. And then there's times where I'm working like five hours a week and so it's like, it'll be. Like three months of five hours a week and a few months of maybe 30 hours a week. So it really moves around quite a bit, depending on what I'm doing and if I'm on my sailboat and, you know, but, you know, honestly, if I didn't want to work, I wouldn't have to.
That's the beauty of it. And the beauty of passive income is if I just decided I'm going to do five hours year round, it'd be fine. Like nothing would happen. I'm just trying to improve my business and my site, which is why sometimes I work a lot, but it's really not necessary, which is an amazing thing. So. So you're basically choosing it sounds like this is the type of business that you've set up. It's like I get to choose how much or as little as I want to work. That about, Right? Exactly. And that's how I wanted it to be. Yeah. I want it to be very passive. I wanted a team of people, writers and an assistant so that the business would chug along regardless of whether I wanted to work or not.
And so I pretty much removed myself from the equation. I still do the keyword research and create the content briefs for the writers, but aside from that, it's pretty hands off and that's how I designed it. And yeah, just when I worked longer days, I just, I want to be working on a project or something related to the business. So I. Want to hear what. The process, what your process is. And then also I. Want to get. I'd love to get your thoughts and your vantage point. On AI and how it's affecting. All of this and. So forth.
Before we hit there, you have you created a course. And so I want to talk about that real quick because when you joined Accelerator. The big reason was like, I. Want to create another form of another stream of income that's. Not that's outside of the, the advertising revenue. From from the traffic. And I think we pretty quickly got to. Why don't you teach people what you're doing? Why don't you teach people how you've gotten to what you are doing right now? Because and I told you, I said, I will be the first person to buy your course. So. Yes, yes, I know. So talk about that process a little bit as because you did it really quickly.
And you went through the normal. Process that I teach is like, all right, let's not create. Anything. Until you validate it. So talk about that process just just a little bit so that people can kind of hear like, all right, you didn't have a course and you're like, all right, what do I what do I create here? Yeah. Yeah. This whole thing was pretty much a whirlwind for me and also amazing because I had no idea I could create a course on niche sites. Like, I didn't think I knew anything about it. You know, you're always thinking you don't know anything because you have these gurus that that I learned from all the time. And I'm like, They're the ones that know about it.
I'm going to refer people to them. And you were like, Well, you obviously know about it. You've created this, this whole system. And you walked me through those steps, and it was very interesting for me to see based on that, that, oh, I do have this knowledge base that I can create a course on. So that was kind of, you know, an amazing first call with you. And then when you said to pre-sell it, I was like, What? Like people do that. Like, that's the scariest thing I've ever heard. Like, nobody's going to buy this thing. You know, there's it's no way. But, you know, so I had that in mind.
I created this outline and someone else with an accelerator. Neil She helped me figure out that you need to create that outline in one day because I was telling her, I'm going to do this in three months. And she's like, What are you talking about? You know everything already. So with you and her telling me these things, I was able to get the outline done in about three days and you helped me with the sales emails to my audience, and I thought nobody would buy this thing. And I was just floored by the response. You know, I thought two people might buy it. So how many. How many people did buy it? 53. 53 people? Yeah. And you told me that, you know, validating you look at around 50 and I was like, there's no way I'm going to get 50.
Nope. Sold 50 in 5 days of email sequences. And I was just, you know, super shocked. And that was amazing experience. I was like, time to create the course. So. So you did. So you sold 50 courses within the first five days. You sold a few. Since since then, but you really haven't been. Promoting it a whole lot since then also. So what do you teach in, in the course? Yeah. So the course is like every, like the total basics of someone who wants to create a niche website that they can, you know, get passive income from. And you know, I wanted to, to teach someone everything that I didn't know in the beginning that would have made my site successful probably even faster, which is choosing a profitable niche. I walk people through exactly how to validate and choose a niche that will be profitable and can rank on Google, which is very important.
And also you know how to do keyword research, how to find the keywords that your site will rank for and how to write for the Internet. Because a lot of people don't know how to write a blog post, how to create headings. And so I have a whole section on that. And even setting up the site, which is my least favorite thing to do ever, I have a tutorial on how I could set up a very basic site with someone who hates doing that. And so and you know, everything monetization, affiliates, everything that you need to get that site ready for that Google traffic and choosing the correct keywords.
So that's what it's all about. So do you have your promise of the course. In front of you? You know, Oh, I wish I did. You know, I could probably grab it really quick, but yeah, I know you helped me work on this, this promise, which. Yeah, So, so go ahead and pull that up if you don't mind. So. And while you're doing that. You do have it. Go ahead. I have it. It's so it's really good. At the end of this course, you'll have a brand new niche website optimized for traffic ads and affiliate revenue for long term passive income you can make anywhere.
That's that's the promise. And so yeah. And so yeah, you helped me with that and that was, that was really fun to think about and, and word that and get that out there to people. This is so for everybody listening like. Having that promise. So read that read that again Kristin because. It's really clear it's a little bit long and we knew that. However, there's no there's no question. Mark about what this course is. And. What the change is that you're going to go through as you as. You know, from. When you start the course till the end, this is the change that's going to happen. So can you read that again? Yeah. At the end of this course, you'll have a brand new niche website optimized for traffic ads and affiliate revenue for long term passive income you can make anywhere. It's like, amazing. Amazing.
Yeah. It also really what I also. Love about that is at the very end, like. You can make from anywhere. That's really speaking to your specific. Audience. Right? Because because people are going to. See that and they're going to say, well, wait a minute, I don't live in a van or I don't live in a sailboat, or is this for me? And so it's like, well, yes, like, yeah. If you already have a. Business and you want to. Add something on the side, as a project like this, you follow the steps. This can work for you.
Yeah, it's basically built for anyone and I put that on there just, yeah, as you said, to cater to my audience and to help my audience realize that, yeah, as a nomad, this is a great business. But of course it's a great business for anybody who just wants to create passive income. I mean, it's a phenomenal business. I can't even believe I'm doing it. Still have to pinch myself. I'm like, This is working. This is amazing. So anybody can do it. It's so fun because this is like I look at this and like, this is a really fun project to to to add to the business.
And this is what I'm going to do this myself. And, you know, and I got this from one of my mentors, James Schramko, and he he calls it like a forever project. And so you create a forever project for your team so that when they're not busy, like if you have full. Time, if they're not busy, they're. Working on this. Forever project. And so. A niche site is a perfect example of something that can be a quote forever project that they can be working. On. If they're like, Oh, okay, I have free time now. They can go. Go work on this. Yeah, I totally agree.
And what some people do for niche websites is, you know, put up 30 articles or something and just wait like wait for them to start ranking, you know, check Google search console, see which keywords are starting to get ranked and like so you don't have to like tend to it constantly. You can put articles up and wait. You can let it go on the back burner for a while, like it's okay. It's not going to just crash and burn. It'll likely just keep on gaining keywords as long as you do work on it. But it doesn't have to be daily, it doesn't have to be a huge grind.
And so that's something that I am going to do on my new niche site is I'm going to put up a probably 30 and I'm going to to wait a little while and see what happens while researching topics, but just, you know, sit on it for a bit and see see how it's going. So when. You put up 30. Articles, are you putting them up all at once or. Are you kind of like spreading them out? How does that work? Yeah, I'm spreading them out because I also hired writers for this just to expedite the process. So it's just depending on when they turn it in, when I have the time to upload it and format it and stuff. So yeah, it's a little bit it's dripped out, but right now it does have about 12 articles on it. So I'm making my way there.
And you said it's already ranking. It's already ranking. It's already keywords. Yeah, it's gotten like 80 clicks in the last few weeks and it's ranking for hundreds of keywords. So this is good news. So. Well, I want to give the link to. If that's cool. I want to give the link to. To your course. How much is a course, by the way? So it is 197 right now so and yeah 197. 197 very. Inexpensive. Why did you price it so inexpensively. Yeah. So I wanted to help nomads like me because I knew in the in the beginning, like I did not have much money, but I paid for an $800 course.
And you know, while that course did help me, it did not give me any SEO training or really the ability to rank and get Google traffic. And I was like, I wish I could have paid for a more affordable course, like a 197 course at that time. And a lot of nomads don't have a ton of money, at least the ones that I interact with. They're trying to get ahead. They're trying to create passive income to achieve their dream. And I want to help them do that without having them need to spend a ton of money. So I'm really wanting to help my fellow nomads, you know, create businesses and be able to explore the world and achieve their dreams.
And so that's why I kept it at a more affordable price point. Yeah. Amazing. 197. It's the way the wayward home.com/course is. Yes. The wayward. Home.com/course. And I'll link it up in the show. Notes for the episode here today. But I love that you want to make this as accessible as as possible. And again. It's not just for. You know, nomads or it's like like I said, I. Was one of the first people who who jumped in on this. And I told another. Person the other day, Neil, actually. You know, in Accelerator, she's like sent me the link, I want this. This is amazing. Yeah. So anybody can, even if you have a small business and want to get traffic to your site like and I had a woman by it that wants to help market her book and I'm like, if you write these blog posts in your niche, you'll get more traffic.
You can sell more books. Like, really, anyone can benefit from learning keyword research, SEO, any business can benefit from that. So it can help a lot of people. So when it comes to SEO, what. Are some like? You know, it used to be. That we were just told, you know, like. We were just told like it was a known thing or a given thing that it. Just like, all right, just use these SEO plugins. On. Your WordPress. Site and you're good to go like you're good to go from an SEO perspective. But more recently, I say more recently in the past few years. Like it's like, no, no, no, no, that's not the case. Where do you fall with that? Yeah, so I use Yoast and that's a plugin and I do use it, but I use it as a very loose guide.
I think that it is really cool and helpful if you already have your keywords selected, if you already know what is Page SEO, what components do you need to have in your article? You know how to write a blog post. If you input the keyword into that plugin, they'll give you some little tips like Oh, more of your images need alt tags with the keyword more of your headings need. Maybe add the keyword a few more times, but you have to know your keyword first or else it makes no sense. So I do use it, but I just use it to make sure that I hit that keyword often enough. It's very basic guide. I would never rely on it, just a little helping hand on the side.
So Gotcha. Okay. Okay. So another question that comes up a lot when that people are thinking about with this sort of thing is like, what is the ongoing cost to be able to create niche sites? So a lot of that depends on if a person wants to hire writers or not. If you're doing all of it alone, of course the cost is going to be very low. But I tend to pay writers between 1 and $300 an article, so some of my biggest costs are to contractors.
So I have writers, I have virtual to virtual assistants, and they're definitely my biggest expense, you know, maybe 5000 a month or more in in these writers. But they're the reason why I'm making so much money is, you know, if they're excellent writers, but if you if you don't have writers, all you're going to have to pay for is, you know, your hosting and your domain and maybe a keyword research tool. There's cheaper ones, there's more expensive ones. But you could be running a niche site for, you know, a couple hundred bucks a month. Really. You know, if you're keeping it pretty, you know, hands on, you know, you're doing most of the work, you know, in that scenario, but really inexpensive. Yeah. Where do you. Find. The right so. With your like. What is your process?
So you obviously you've been running your site for a while and you've really dialed in this. And by the way, this is the process that you teach in the course, correct? Yeah, exactly. What is the process? So I start out by finding a low, you know, I could rank for higher competition keywords because I have a good day now. My my domain authority is around 50, which is really good, but I still like finding keywords nobody else is writing about because instead of competing, I prefer to come up with my own topics and articles.
So I'll look. I usually use Ahrefs and I find keywords through there and I use Google to verify that keyword and see who else is writing articles on that topic. And if it looks like not many people are writing about it, I love it. Like this is going to be my topic and my keyword, so I plug that into Surfer SEO. That creates a content brief for a writer. And you know, I write, I write a headline on there that I want use, and I'll sometimes I'll type notes right in there like, This is a listicle. You're going to select eight best RVs with a washing machine, you know, or whatever the topic is. And yeah, and I put it in a spreadsheet for them. They, they write the thing perfectly for SEO.
They're amazing. And my VA in the Philippines uploads the articles and adds them to WordPress and publishes them. And so this, you know, assigning these articles would probably take me an hour, a month maybe. And so and then everything else is hands off with the writers and the virtual assistant. But I have really good people and good writers that I trust, and that's the only reason this is possible. So that's it. That begs that question. Where do you find the writers? Yeah. So give away your secret, you. Know, like. But, but where where do we find writers that that understand. What we're doing here?
So I found two writers on Pro Blogger. They have a job board. And so you pay like 75 bucks to post an ad on Pro Blogger. And I'll make sure that they have experience in what I want. And so I hired some really good writers through there. And then the other ones have actually been referrals. So I have, you know, a tiny house writer that was through the tiny house, you know, a friend of mine who lives in a house and has a website. I asked her and then, you know, someone else was a sailor. And so I just have found them through my network. But Pro Blogger is highly recommended. I've found some really good people on there.
Do they have to specialize in or do they have to have knowledge of your niche? Yes, definitely. Okay. I have very specific writers like the van of Van Life writers. They live in vans. You know, they have these experiences. And I put their bylines on my blog and I put, you know, their their bios and their photos and stuff. So they need to be living the life. And so and I love to support nomads as well. So I do have people niched out into those different categories on my site and those are my my writers. Got it. That makes sense. You said they're about it's about 100 to $300 per article that you said. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Most of. Then my paid $0.10 per word.
And so that depends on the length of the the article. Okay. So now it begs the question. I was in. So I'm in an AI mastermind. And at the time recording this, I just had one. Of our weekly calls yesterday. And somebody was talking. About how to like the type of prompt that one could put. Into Chatgpt. That is. Based on a keyword. And I was like. That is brilliant. I like copied it. So I have it. And I was like, That's really smart. Now, what is your thought? And by the way, I don't want to go off on a tangent, but I saw an email yesterday.
From somebody that said all this. All this talk in the online space about AI, and I'm going to not talk about AI because I want, you know, I'm we're all about personal touch and, you know, person to person and all this other stuff. And it's just like missing the point, right? This is the way that I look at this is not replacing person to person. It's giving us the opportunity to expedite. Some things that we do. Is this an area that we can leverage. Ai for. Niche sites? And what I'm also not saying. Is take whatever that chatgpt spits out or some other tool. Copy paste Done. I'm not saying that.
So what are your I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Yeah. So I think it can be very beneficial for niche sites for people that do want to expedite the process, especially with maybe getting article ideas or article outlines or, you know, things like that that don't require the actual writing. Because I've experimented with AI over the years with the first one, which I think was Jasper, and that was maybe, you know, a year, year and a half ago. And I did not like what it was writing. I didn't I did not like it. It required tons of editing on my part. It was spitting out things. I had to constantly fact check. And I was like, Gosh, this would be easier for me to just write or for me to assign to somebody.
And so I gave up on AI for article writing a long time ago, and I have tried it recently too, and I'm like, I do not like what this is writing. So But what did you like about it? It just sounded so mechanical. The style wasn't conversational enough, like to be very conversational. I could tell it didn't really know what it was talking about, and I did still had to verify some some things that it spits out and it's like not always correct. And so I just don't trust it. I'm like, I don't find it to be very trustworthy. And so but I do as an assistant, you know, like I said, for the ideas or for headlines, you know, stuff like that. I think it's very powerful and I've used it for that. But for the actual writing, I'm just not sold on it. So. Okay. Yeah. That's fair.
And there's there's different ways like I'm learning more and more about how to. Get it to write more in. Your voice and conversational. Like somebody shared a prompt with. Me yesterday and it was like, How. In the world did you come up with this? And this guy is an industrial engineer. And so like, that's the that's the way his brain works. And I was like. Blown away. Like, holy cow, that you actually come up with this, but. It actually works. And so it just kind. Of it's so fascinating. That, you know, one. Can do these types of. Things. And again, I'm not saying it's a copy and paste. Sort of thing. Now, if somebody is going to do. A niche site and they do want to hire writers like kind of like to what your process is. And they're like, there's no one's going to specialize in my niche. Right? To find a writer that specialized. Like, what would you say? Yeah. So I would think they could use AI, you know, to help them come up with the article, but definitely change it.
Go in there and change some paragraphs, make sure it's accurate, but it can be a good tool if you need to spit out a ton of content and you can't find a writer that that can help you do it way faster.
So I think a lot of people do use it in that way. And even if they just use it, you know, to come up with the article idea and the headings and the subheadings, it can rapidly make that process go way faster to put up a lot of content on a niche site without like painstakingly writing everything yourself. But yeah, go through edit it, check it and make sure it knows what it's talking about. Now, if we if we were. To go to a site like, like, you know, pro blogger, you know. Darren's had that site. For. Years and years and years and we're all. Excited, but yet we don't find somebody. In our niche. What do you. Recommend doing if like, All right, you know, I want to find a writer or writers to be able to work on this for me. What do you recommend doing? You know, I think what I would do is I would try out some other platforms.
You know, there's other ones that I have actually used, which one is writer access.com. And you have access to so many writers on there. You can put out a casting call, which I've done before, and you can say like, I need writers and usually a ton of people will will apply for that. And I don't know, I guess if a niche is so obscure, like is it really going to make like a really is it going to get enough traffic as a niche website anyway? And so, you know, you want it to be something that will get traffic on Google.
So you hope somewhere there's people that are that know what they're talking about and are within, you know, doing that thing. So which is. What you teach in the course. It's like, all right. Is this a profitable niche that. You should actually go after? Exactly, Because it's not going to get traffic, it's too niche. Then you have another problem is that you won't be getting enough traffic to make a decent living off of it. Right. Gotcha. Gotcha. Is there anything that we haven't covered that you think like definitely needs to be.
Said about creating niche sites? Like is this. Not is this for. Pretty much anybody who is interested in this or is there like. You know, it's probably not for you know, if you're looking at this type of niche, probably. Probably not. Yeah. Well, the niche definitely, you know, matters quite a bit and that's all I talk about that a lot. Like what will your niche be? How technical is it? Is it in the medical field? Because if it's in the medical field, you need to be certified in that area. You can't just start talking about stuff that you're not. If you're not a doctor or a nurse. Like you can't really have a site like that. And that's called, you know, Google is very specific about who can run specific sites. So people need to really think about that, you know, finance, health and wellbeing, money, you know, everything in those niches is very complicated.
But if it's a casual niche, like something you love to do, a hobby, hiking, backpacking, I don't know. There's so many things out there that can be written about that don't require a degree. And so I think that that anybody can really do it. If you choose your niche correctly and you love it and you have that determination to make it work because it takes a while to make a decent living off of it. And so someone has to understand it's not going to be like, I'm going to make tons of money in the first year because you're probably not, but you will be growing this long term passive income machine if you keep working on it and trying even when it gets hard and you're knocked down by Google updates and whatever. But it's possible.
You know, I always tell people, if I can do it, you can do it because I hate web design. And I and I never, never knew about online business, you know. So if I can do it, really, anybody can do it. You just have to want to learn. You know, that's a big thing, too. And you do it in a matter how many modules did it come out to be like eight Your course?
Yeah, eight. Yeah. So eight. Eight modules teaches you step by step. Like start to finish. Yeah. Yeah. They're very bucks. Yeah. And they're bite sized videos. Someone told me like I like your videos are all under ten minutes, usually around five. They're very short so you can like go back and watch it and it's not painful and you're not scrolling through like half an hour of me talking. It's like very specific. And I learned that as a radio news reporter, I had 30 seconds to deliver a story. It's like, get that info out and make it to the point and succinct so people can learn the process. So that was my goal with the course. Yeah, that's what it's all about, making it like so that. People can get through it. In one session.
They can sit down like, All right, I'm going to do module whatever, two, lesson three Now I'm going to dive right into it. Good to go. I can learn this and go implement. And just so everybody. Knows where where Kristen's at with the course now that she's validated it. Okay, now what? You know, it's like, all right, now we start to market it. Now we start. To and, you know, part of. This part of what we're looking at now. Is I don't think there's no need to run ads at this point. You know, Chris and I just. Talked about this last week from when. We're recording this. There's no need to run ads to. It at this point. Because Kristen gets so much traffic to her site that. There's segmentation that she can do within the site.
And, you know, she's added a money section to the site. So like, you know, if you're if you're looking. To make money as a nomad, boom, like this is front and center and having. Opt ins that are relevant to the course that people can opt in for and then go through. A, you know, an email sequence and. Offer the course. At 197. Is not like you have to. Do a webinar or anything.
Like that. It's just like, there, there it is. And so there's lots of different ways that Kristen's going to be selling this course now that it's created, now that it's validated. Without at this point needing ads. So yeah, that was surprising. When you said that, I was like, Oh my gosh, that's so true. Like I have all this free organic traffic coming in and just working with you to optimize, you know, what are those opt ins and what are those email sequences that I can create for for past because I want this to. Be another passive income stream.
So yeah, and so that's really exciting to be working on that with just the organic traffic on the site. So that's been fun to learn about. Awesome. Thank you, Kristen, for coming on and sharing all this. Again, the link for the course is the wayward home.com/course. Like I said earlier, I was one of the first person, first people to buy it and. I have already have a domain. I don't even know if I think it's a brilliant domain myself. But I have. I haven't looked into it yet. Like to see like, is this a good. Niche to get into? I think it is. But hey. I got to use the tools that you teach, so yeah. That's so exciting.
I can't wait to see what happens. Yeah. So the wayward home.com is the website the wayward. Home.com/course is the course URL. Kristen, thank you so much for coming on here. I really appreciate it. Yeah. And just one thing I want to say is that you are an amazing coach. You know, anyone who's thinking of coming on with you and getting your advice is I highly recommend, like every time I walk away from a coaching session, I'm just so happy. And I'm like, That was so brilliant. I just can't even handle it. So thank you for all your help and advice and you're phenomenal. So just appreciate that a great deal. So thank you. Thanks so much. Appreciate it. Yeah, Thank you. All right. Definitely go pick up Kristen's.
Course, the wayward home.com/course. All about how to create. A niche website. She takes you. Through step by step. It's less than $200 for the course. And yeah, like I said, I'm doing this. Myself because I'm really excited. About this as a side project. Right. And thank you. As always, my friend, for listening to today's episode. If you've not already, make sure to. Leave a quick rating and review. For the show over on Apple Podcasts. It still really helps the show reach more people that we can be helping with the podcast here and make sure to subscribe.
Also in the process, we have two episodes here a week. And so if you're listening on Apple Podcasts, click subscribe. If you're listening on Spotify or. Whatever, hit that follow. Button or the plus button so that you don't miss. Any of the episodes that I do here. On the show. And yeah, as. Always, thank you, my friend, for taking. Your time to tune. In. I do not take your attention lightly. I appreciate you. Until next episode, my friend. Be well and I'll chat with you soon.