Alex from DehydratorBook.com
Alex from DehydratorBook.com has created a niche site that while it may not give him financial freedom yet, it provides him with $500 per month and keeps on growing.
And Alex now knows how to do more of the sites like that. And that knowledge is in my experience priceless.
My SBI site is DehydratorBook.com, which reviews food dehydrators and offers recipes.
For the last six months, the site has averaged over $500 a month. I
built it to learn about online marketing, so any money it generates is
a cool bonus.
1. Did you know what you wanted to write about or did you have to find a niche?
I didn’t know what I wanted to build a site around when I ordered SBI.
Since I wasn’t going to be relying on my SBI site to pay the bills, I
knew I could take my time. The Action Guide recommended not getting
stuck on an idea too early, and I remembered that.
After reading the guide, which took a weekend because of all the links
and notes, I checked out the forums. The brainstorming thread you
started was about 20 pages long at the time.
(Last time I checked, it was over 40. That thread is a must-read for
anyone that can’t decide on a site concept.)
After the forums, I visited your vacuum site. I think you can see
your influence, as I wound up building a site about food dehydrators.
(I took nearly two months to decide on that.)
You may remember I emailed you for your thoughts on the idea, and you
predicted an average of $500 per month for the site. That would’ve
been good enough for me, so I moved forward with it.
It also helped that I’ve wanted a dehydrator for a long time and the site (it’s a
business!) was a reasonable excuse to splurge on an Excalibur dehydrator.
2. How did you progress?
It took three months before I had my first 100 unique visitors in a
day. I didn’t start putting ads up until then. I started with Amazon
because they carried all the items I was going to write about. Also,
because they sells so many things, I knew there was a chance I could
get commissions on items that had nothing to do with my site.
I use a little Adsense on a few pages and tested Chitika for a short
time too. It didn’t make sense to me to be sending traffic to those
advertisers, since I already knew what they’re selling.
I could get cents for the click, but maybe that click to Amazon would’ve earned several dollars. So on product review pages, I don’t use Adsense, but
I have some pages (like recipes) where I don’t have anything to sell,
so I use it on a few of those.
By December (the site launched in late May), the site was averaging
only 275 uniques/day, but still earned about $650. January traffic
and commissions dropped (probably a natural thing), and then I slowed
down work on the site because I got bored.
At one point, I took down all Adsense code, because I thought I’d
rather have my traffic to go Amazon. But I went to the Affiliate
Convention in LA, and keynote speaker Danny Sullivan joked that he
never heard of a site getting penalized for having too much Adsense.
I put it back on a few pages, and while I’m not saying that was the
cause, the effect was those pages’ rankings improved.
For two or three months, I stopped updating the site. Traffic and
rankings were stable (stagnant), and I didn’t think it had potential
to earn much more. I moved my site from SBI to another server when it
was time to renew. The site was fine, but I forgot that it would
break all the C2 pages.
I left things broken for a little while, but when I came back to it, I saw traffic and revenue were improving. So I felt it was time to fix it up, but it would’ve been too much trouble to rebuild all the forms and submissions. I moved back to SiteSell.
Now the site gets 600 uniques/day and it looks like this month will
set a new high for income.
3. Can you share a few tips of what really worked well for getting more traffic?
I think getting a guest post on the site wisebread.com was the biggest
break. That article was syndicated on msn.com, and that’s when I
learned the quality of a link was much more important than quantity.
When evaluating links, one of the best advice I read was to judge it
for its traffic instead of trying to guess its potential SEO benefits.
The idea is that traffic leads to exposure, which can lead to links
(or perhaps, sales).
For SEO, I emailed you for advice on the Yahoo Directory, and you said
it’s worth the fee. I got that, and then submitted to a few more paid
directories. They hardly send any traffic, but what I like is they’re
expensive for your competition to copy.
(Yes, I realize it was just the previous paragraph that I suggested
looking at traffic, but I don’t think anyone expects directories to
send much. With directories, I look at the page my site would be
listed on and consider if I want to be associated with the others that
4. Your plans for the future? (or anything else you’d like to share!)
I’m surprised the site is still growing, hitting 700 visitors for the
first time yesterday, so I think I’ll be adding more pages and working
on links. According to Yahoo, I only have a couple hundred backlinks,
and that’s far from safe. I see a lot of competing sites popping up
(everyone should be using Google Alerts), so that motivates me to keep
I don’t have plans for another SBI site, but I’ve been able to apply a
lot of what I’ve learned in the AG to my other projects.
Thanks again for letting me share my SBI story here. And more thanks
for sharing your success and ideas, both here and on the boards.