Paul from

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Success With Site Build It

Paul from

When Paul from contacted me and showed me his traffic stats I saw a typical growth of a site where someone is working hard “behind the scenes”. It takes time for Google and other search engines to really take your site seriously, but when they do, it’s a completely different “ball game”.

Paul's marathon site

1. Why did you decide for SBI?
Well, let’s go back to 2007. This is when it all started. In summer 2007 I decided  to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to experience the ultimate feeling of freedom and being one with nature.

When I finally made it to the summit in January 2008 I knew this feeling of freedom in all its aspects was something I wanted to strive for in my life. The journey started…

At that time I was already working in the online marketing field and by today I still work as a consultant. I thought about building an international online business myself, but was not sure how and what.

I knew I wanted to go international, although I am living in The Netherlands. The English spoken target market is way bigger than the Dutch!

After researching dozens of topics online I knew SBI could be a fit! Great testimonials and a logical model (Content -> Traffic -> Presell -> Monetize) made me sign up back in April 2008.

I will come back to this later, but I actually started my website in November 2010 and paid around $ 750 subscription fees for nothing. But, no regrets! 🙂

Why I waited so long? I changed my job, moved to another place, met a great woman… Let’s say a lot of excuses not to start.

2. Did you know what you wanted to write about or did you have to find a niche? How did you decide?
Yes, I had a couple of ideas but which one was the best? I was not sure so I decided to search the internet for an experienced SBI’er.

In summer 2010 I came in contact with a Site Build It Certified Webmaster and decided to work together in the first phase of my website.

I decided my topic after a thorough niche finding interview. The first selection contained:
–    Peanut allergy (As you might guess I am allergic to that 🙂 )
–    Social Media (A topic that I thought was really booming)
–    Running (Started running in 2004 after a bet with one of my friends in college)

Running and more specific Marathon Training was a logical choice. Social Media was too broad and competitive for a first website. Peanut Allergy didn’t have enough potential and Marathon Training is my passion and has lots of (monetization) potential.

Over the last 10 years I read dozens of books and information from other resources so I consider my knowledge of running (related aspects) to be quite good! And of course I have a lot of running experience myself!

3. How did you progress?
The first step to take was making a blueprint of all the possible keywords that were not too competitive, had good value and thereby lots of potential. We used the brainstormer in SBI and laid the foundation for my website. A blueprint of 150 keywords was the result.

My website and the first 10 pages of content were a fact in December 2010. I learned to work with SBI by clearly following the Action Guide and just DOING it! Besides that I read many, many articles online.

traffic growth

Major things that I remember:
–    November 2010: I registered my domain
–    December 2010: I wrote my first pages
–    July 2011: I reached 100 unique visitors per day
–    November 2011: I reached 300 unique visitors per day
–    End of 2011: I reached the 100 pages mark and my trust in building freedom was getting higher
–    January 2012: I reached  500 unique visitors per day and I received my first check $$$ (I have a lot of monetization ideas, but this was not my first priority, I know the money will come)

4. Can you share a few tips of what really worked well for getting more traffic?
Great question Tomaz, let me post 5 tips:

Tip #1: quality over quantity
It is better to build one very well researched page than two pages you wrote in less than an hour. The relevancy of your content and how appealing it is to your visitors will determine your success.

For example, if you write a great article that interests your visitors there is a huge chance that they will share it with their friends / on the internet. Automatic link building -> KA-CHING!

Bad pages will get a high bounce and lower ranking in the search engines.

Tip #2: keep building over time
In my experience it is better to build 1 or 2 pages a week instead of one week 2 or 4 and the other week no pages at all.

You will gradually feed the engines and visitors with more fresh, great content and establish a steady presence online. Of course it is no problem if you don’t publish new content every week but you got my idea. Keep feeding the engines, especially in your way to the first 100 – 200 pages.

Tip #3: establish relationships online
Over the last year I built a network of people who can help me succeed with my website/business.

For example, I am a regular contributor to other blogs. In return for interesting content I receive a few free links back to my website. In need of guest blogs? Try one of these 10 searches in Google:

“looking for guest bloggers”
“Write for Us”
“Submit a Guest Post”
“Submit Guest Post”
“Become a Guest Blogger”
“This guest post was written”
“About the Author”

Combine the search query above with your niche and I am sure you will find many opportunities for getting good links.

Tip #4: leverage the power of social media
Define a stategy for social media. The potential of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ … is enormous but don’t start without a clear strategy.

Research the internet to get a great idea for these places or simply visit the SBI Forums and read other success stories and try it yourself!

Tip #5: there are no competitors, only friends
It may sound weird, but think about the advantages instead of disadvantages of having other websites in your niche.

If they sell great products you can probably become a reseller (through affiliate programs). If both websites supplement each other’s content, you can make a link exchange. The opportunities are endless. In every niche there is enough space for another great website!

Bonus tip #6: do what you are the best and outsource the rest
Think big, act big. On almost every aspect of internet marketing I found a partner online.

I know I can write content, build links, publish messages in social media land and I can go on for a while. The problem is time. I am combining this online adventure with a fulltime job, so I decided to outsource some activities to speed things up.

Among others I have good experience with Site Build It Certified Webmasters, and

What you can do is first build an online presence yourself. At the time you earn some dollars you can decide to reinvest this in outsourcing activities. This way you can grow your business faster.

5. Your plans for the future?
I’d like to grow my marathon training blog towards a successful business and probably build one or two more in the coming years to secure a steady income.

My ultimate goal: It sounds great, but isn’t simple: becoming free! 🙂

Why? I don’t mind working for a boss to a certain extent, but I want to get more control over my life in terms of when and from where to work, when to go on Holidays and for how long, when to visit friends and family and I can continue for hours.

You know, current economy isn’t stable and the future is insecure for many people. I am very determined to succeed and in the future I hope to help others achieve the same!

I wish you all the best and you can always contact me if you have any questions.


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  1. Great post and interesting tips. I really appreciate you sharing your ideas about the guest blogging.

    I was an a similar trac not too long ago but with the latest Google Algo change, my traffic got really impacted. And I thought I was doing it right with not too much advertising above the fold.
    But since my website is still the old fashioned narrow two column layout, one centered 336 pixel ad, took about 50% of the space above the fold. So Google punished my site and now my page ranking is where it was month ago. Ah well. Lesson learned. I deleted most of the ads and hopefully the traffic and ranking will come back.

    BTW: What did you do for link building? Can you share some tips?


    Paul Reply:

    @Anna Bohl, I am sorry to hear about the drop in your rankings. If you keep on building quality content and links and avoid too many ads above the fold, you will definitely go up again. Try to mix ads with a few affiliate links and selling Ebooks. Diversify your strategy and you will do alright.

    About linkbuilding, I used and still use many different tactics. You should have a diversified set of links (both nofollow as well as dofollow links). Build link over time and make it look natural.

    Try to mix up the following:
    – Directory submissions
    – Commenting on influencing blogs
    – Forums
    – Guest blogging
    – Link exchanges with relevant sites in your niche
    – Article directories (e.g. Ezines)
    – Article spinning (make sure your articles are unique to a certain extent)
    – Web 2.0 properties (e.g. Squidoo, Hubpages)

    In order to get some experience with linkbuilding it is better not to outsource everything from the beginning. If you decide to outsource you can give NeedAnArticle, Fiverr, oDesk and Elance a try. But think about: what you pay is what you get is often true.

    One more thing, if you are not sure about the relevance of a link source and it might hurt your site but you still want to give it a try, I would not link to your money site (main site) but another site that has a link pointing to your main site instead. Then you lower the risk of a negative impact on your main site.

    I wish you good luck on your online journey!



  2. Hi Tomaz and Paul,
    Thank you very much for your informative article! This is one of the best blog posts that I’ve read, especially about the tip for finding sites that are looking for guest bloggers.

    I’ve heard that writing guest posts is a great way to get quality backlinks, but never knew how to go about looking for places that accept guest posts and turns out it’s easy! I’ve already found one by plugging in your sample keywords + my niche. Thanks again for the great tips!


    Paul Reply:

    @Gloria, You’re more than welcome! I hope you can find many more guest blogging opportunities. Cheers, Paul


  3. Guys,

    What a great post. This is perfect and very inspiring for those who want to make it online. You guys offer great tips in this article. I am tweeting this and making a post about it on my site.

    Nice work guys!


    Paul Reply:

    @ToddJir, Many thanks for your kind words! We are looking forward to reading your post.



    Toddjir Reply:

    @Paul, Done guys, post is up. Let me know what you think.


    Paul Reply:

    @Toddjir, looks good Todd, thanks!

  4. Paul,

    Thanks for the great answers. I love to hear people who are having success online and are willing to share. Thanks for sharing some of your excellent strategies.


    Paul Reply:

    @Matt, more than welcome Matt! I hope my insights can help you to grow your online presence / business.


  5. Wow, what a great story. It’s awesome to see other SBI’ers doing great.

    My curious questions is what made you go for this topic considering the plethora of marathon training information out there?

    My first thought would have been: “there is too much running information out there already”…


    Paul Reply:

    @Luis@wealth-steps, thanks! My compliments to your website, it looks great!

    It’s a good question.

    Sports and especially running have been and still are very important in my life. In the last 10 years I read so many things about running. There are dozens of books on my shelves here; this besides all the articles I copied or made prints on. 🙂

    So as far as I can judge my knowledge and passion on this topic are very high. Besides that I felt that many running sites are not well organized and/or built purely for advertising needs. I want to take it to the next step with lots of other monetization models in my mind.

    If you choose a topic on which you don’t have enough knowledge and/or passion it is far more difficult to succeed.

    And there is always room for another great website in a particular niche and I hope I am building one of them.

    To summarize: it is a combination of passion, knowledge and monetization potential. In my opinion you can beat many established websites in your area if you are determined enough and bring enough focus in your efforts!

    Good luck Luis!


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