Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

My Current Empire Building Strategy

This post is inspired by empire flippers.

Over time I have come to realize that ideas mean very little when building an empire. Ideas are in abundance, execution however is extremely hard to do.

Little did I know a “great idea” I had about 3 years ago will lead me to a new way of thinking about building an empire.

About 3 years ago I had a great idea, to provide a monthly service to potential property investors looking to find and buy positive cash flow property.

I created a sales page and began to market it using Google Adwords. Wanting more traffic to test my idea (and not having enough money) I looked to find free ways to generate traffic. I commented heavily on a property forum and started writing blog posts the get organic traffic from google.

The idea proved to be plausible but with a 9-5 job and a family to feed I didn’t have the time to pursue it (or the guts). Over the next 3 years I slowly added bits of content and eventually added advertising to the site to make a bit of money. I also started up a couple of other sites on the side also but did very little with them.

In 2012 I started investing some of the advertising money back into creating more content. The traffic to the site grew with little to no extra effort and in February 2013 I had a great month and decided to turn this into something more.

My new business model begins
In February 2013 I had 2 niche websites that were performing quite well in terms of traffic

CashFlowInvestor – The site mentioned above was generating enough traffic to get a check from Google every 2-3 months which I could use to pay for more content for the site.

TiredandSleepy – Was climbing the rankings in Google and despite traffic being triple what it was in January I didn’t even make enough money to cover my yearly domain name costs

The Insight
Here were two sites both delivering traffic. One generated money and one didn’t.

It occurred to me that the two markets were very different and one website had the potential to become great over time and the other would simply generate little to no income.

The Empire Building Model

1. Find a profitable market and get them to your website

I choose a topic that I want to go after (testing keywords in Google’s keyword tool) and create a niche website (5-10 articles) with really awesome content. I write the content myself.

…then I wait (6-12 months)

2. Reinvest profits or shut up shop

If the website starts generating traffic I can then see how much money it is making. If it makes money I reinvest the money into more content for the website which should grow the traffic even more.

If it doesn’t make any money (like TiredandSleepy which has traffic but no income) I just let it sit and die when the domain name expires.

3. Find products for your readers

Over time I get to build up a good base of web traffic from Google that is mostly passive.

I can then begin creating products for this market and testing them by letting my readers know about them and see if they buy the products. If they don’t like the product then try another idea for the same market.

Worst case scenario is I never find a suitable product for them. Even if this happens I am still making a good enough return from advertising to keep growing the content and the income that the site generates.

In Summary

My strategy is:

1. Test a market and find potential customers
2. Get them coming to me passively with no ongoing costs
3. Continually test ideas on this market until I find something that sticks.



3 responses to “My Current Empire Building Strategy”

  1. Justin says:

    Hey, Ryan…glad to hear we inspired some content here!

    I like your idea of testing through markets. I worry a bit about the 6-12 months waiting part. It would only take a few misses to put you out 12-18 months on your journey! That is, of course, if you’re building a couple of sites and then doing nothing during the rest of the time. My guess is you’re building more each month, eh? And then just determining the “winners” down the road?

    Best of luck on your journey…do let us know how it goes!

    • ryan says:

      How long does it take you guys before you know if a site is a winner? And how do you speed up the process of sorting the wheat from the chaff (aka good from bad?)

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