Ron runs One Hour Professor, a blog in which he informs his readers how are things going on with his 6 other projects. Yes, as you have heard… His portfolio consists of six different websites, with different levels of success! Understand how Ron is making $10,000/Month by learning from his mistakes.
Hi Ron! What's your background, and what are you currently working on?
For those that don't know me, my name is Ron and I can be found over at OneHourProfessor.
In terms of my background, prior to getting involved in this online business stuff, I spent about eight years in corporate America.
Things were going well there, I had a six-figure job and a pretty good gig as a digital marketing manager, but I always felt a calling to be more entrepreneurial and the OneHourProfessor website was my first real introduction to this lifestyle.
Originally, I intended on making the One Hour Professor website into a hub of online courses that I could then sell to my audience.
At first, I was blogging on this website two to three times per week in an effort to gain an audience and I would say that I was mildly successful, but the courses never seemed to sell no matter what I tried.
The original idea of the website, and why it got its name, was that I was going to make one-hour long courses that will cover a very specific concept related to digital marketing and help my audience.
That isn’t at all how things turned out though. Although I still have the One Hour Professor website, that's just my home base to tell people about the number of different projects I have and what I learn as I go.
At this point, my core business is that I run a portfolio of successful websites which I’ve created from scratch that generates hundreds of thousands of page views every single month.
Here’s an image of my most successful website’s analytics from January:
My portfolio consists of six different websites that all vary in their level of success. About 80% of my income comes from one website, but I'm working to diversify this even further with my other websites so that my income comes from more revenue streams.
As of now, I make right around $10,000 of revenue each month and of that, the profit is right around $8,500. Most of the expenses that I have are centered around writers and editors of my content, which allows me to focus on bigger picture things. At this point, I have a team of five people working for me and although they are just part-time contractors, without them my businesses wouldn't succeed.
Here’s a quick snapshot of my Adsense earnings in January as that is the bulk of my earnings each month.
I think it’s important to note that my journey wasn’t easy and there were so many trials and difficulties since I’ve started. Because of this, one of the things that I've been very good about since the beginning was to make sure that I always publish a monthly income report. It's been really cool to look back in the history of everything to see how far I've come.
Here’s a snapshot of my last six months of income reports:
I think that my main motivation for becoming an entrepreneur wasn't so much financial as it was controlling my own schedule.
Something about having to deal with traffic every day, sit in a cubicle, and answer to a boss just never sat well with me and although it took me awhile to make the transition, it ate me away on the inside every single day.
Which is your business model?
As mentioned above, the original intention of One Hour Professor was to create courses for my audience and sell those courses.
While I do have one specific course that I give away for free which leads to purchasing another course, this idea never seems to work for me.
I found that the Internet marketing space is hypercompetitive and it's just so much easier to make a living in other areas.
That said, my business model on One Hour Professor now is more focused on affiliate marketing as opposed to selling courses.
Although I do sell a few courses a month, I’ve found that affiliate marketing is a much easier way to make money for this particular website.
Most of my affiliate marketing is centered around creating reviews and tutorials for various software programs or products that I use myself and earning a commission from them.
Which are your marketing strategies to grow your traffic?
Since I've created so many different websites from inception to their current state and have consistently repeated a model where my websites generate income, most of my marketing strategies are focused on three different areas now.
First is to find the right niche and focus on keyword research to make sure that the amount of search volume is worth creating a website. This is the most crucial part and when you decide whether creating the website is worth it in the first place.
The second step is creating quality content, and lots of it. At this point, I rarely write content myself and outsource most of it, but there are certain times when I'll write a blog post or a review because I feel like I know how to explain things better than some of my writers.
Usually what will happen on a new website I launch is I'll wait till I have about 50 articles on the site itself before I begin any outreach to try to link build.
Which brings me to my third and final step, link building. This is definitely where I spend the majority of my time nowadays and although it's an acquired skill, this is by far the most important skill you can have when marketing a website.
If you want to succeed with SEO, which is all that I really focus on, this is necessary to succeed.
Nowadays I spend most my time reviewing what my editor publishes on my websites and link building. I have a very systematic approach to everything that I do so I found a way to streamline the process so that I mostly just answer emails, and as I do that my content continues to be created by my team.
In the beginning, it wasn't this way, but now that I've got some decent revenue each month I can reinvest in growing the websites by hiring people to help.
Here’s a snapshot of my most successful site showing SEO traffic growth since I created it:
What were the biggest challenges you faced and obstacles you overcame?
I think that failure is something that every online entrepreneur talks about, and for me, this was the biggest obstacle that I faced.
I can't tell you how many different projects I tried and failed at.
I recall at one point creating videos on YouTube in an effort to get affiliate commissions through that channel, that didn't work.
I recall creating at least a dozen websites in various niches and they failed miserably because I had no idea what I was doing.
In fact, even with One Hour Professor I technically failed right from the start because the business model I originally chose didn't work.
For me, the failure itself is only failure if I don’t learn anything.
I would say that many of these failures were a blessing because they taught me a lot of great things on what I need to do and, more importantly, what I shouldn't do.
In terms of the other biggest challenges that I’ve faced, I was definitely blessed in that I had some Internet marketing knowledge prior to embarking on this journey, but web design is not a point of strength for me.
I'm still not a web designer, but I was able to find tools that helped me in creating (good enough) looking websites. Personally, I use Thrive Themes to create my websites and that's been an absolute godsend in helping me be successful.
My final challenge, and I would say that this is still a challenge, is trying to have a work/life balance. My wife yells at me nearly every single day because I'm typically working too late into the night and I’ve found that this is because I'm so passionate about what I do that I don't even consider it work.
That said, it's still something that I work on every single day and something that I struggle with because I truly enjoy what I do, but I obviously need to make room for my family in addition to work.
Which are your greatest disadvantages?
I would say that my greatest disadvantage from the start was always lack of money. Or, put in a better way, the amount of money that I couldn’t invest in my businesses.
Even now, I still have bills to pay every month, but if I had an extra $10,000-$20,000 to invest in my website and still live comfortably it would propel my growth significantly.
In addition to that, another great disadvantage that I have is I can't seem to create a funnel that really works with Facebook traffic. I can't tell you how many times I've tested this and how many hours and dollars I've wasted trying to make this happen, and I know some people can do it, but I'm not one of them.
As much as I would love to create a course and sell thousands of copies, I've pretty much given up on that dream and instead focus on creating websites in specific niches which tends to be the area that I'm good at.
For your pleasure, a quick snapshot of my old Homepage. Needless to say, I’ve come a long way.
During the process of building & growing One Hour Professor, which were the worst mistakes you committed?
It's hard to answer this question because I'm not really focused only on the One Hour Professor website.
That said, I do remember that I originally created the One Hour Professor website I focused far too much of my time on keyword research and basically, I was creating content that would get me some traffic but had absolutely no value for my business.
For instance, I remember at one point I spent many hours creating a blog post about various social media facts.
While this might have been an interesting topic, it didn't bring anybody into my website that I really wanted and it provided no business value whatsoever.
Beyond the One Hour Professor website, I'd say that the worst mistake I've committed to date is working on too many things at once.
Like most entrepreneurs, I have the shiny object syndrome tend to have way too many ideas come to me at one time. Because of this, there have been numerous times when I started three or four different projects and only follow through on one of them.
In order to really succeed with a website, you have to focus on first making it great. Then, once you have that done, you can create procedures and hire great writers that consistently pump out quality content. Once that’s done, you can hire an editor to manage everything and move to the next project.
Nowadays, I'll never work on more than two projects at once.
For me, this tends to work pretty well and I think that doing too many things at once is a very common mistake that most people need to avoid if they want to succeed.
My personal advice is to only work on one project at a time and put everything you have into it and be determined to succeed. If it does succeed, and you can create processes and build a team to manage it, then you can begin to work on other projects.
This is the exact path that I've taken (after many failures) and it's worked out pretty well so far.
If you had the chance of doing only one thing differently, what would it be?
If I could choose one thing that I'd like to do differently, it would definitely be to better understand and grow my social media presence on all of my websites.
I've never been much of a social media guy and while I do have personal accounts on various social media channels, it's never something that I really enjoyed.
That said, I do feel like there is a place in Internet marketing for this particular channel from a traffic standpoint and I wish that I was better at understanding how to grow my pages and reach my audience through organic traffic and paid methods.
Apart from mistakes, what are other sources of learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?
The learning process for me was an interesting one.
What I did when I started was listen to podcasts for hours on end during my commute from my corporate job. I knew it was time to stop listening and take action when I could come up with the answers to questions before anyone answered.
For instance, a podcast guest would ask a question and in my head I would say what the podcast host would reply before he said a word.
When I first started off, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income was my main go to.
That worked pretty well and got me in the right path, but I found that he typically focuses his content on those who are still beginning and since then I've had to discover other podcasts that are more in line with my current situation.
For me, those podcasts have been the Digital Journey Podcast, Masters of Scale, Freedom Flipping, My Wife Quit Her Job, How I Built This, Niche Pursuits, the Authority Hacker Podcast and lastly the Empire Flippers podcast.
For me, podcasts tend to be a much better solution when I'm trying to learn as I can listen to them while I work out, while I'm on a commute, or even while I'm relaxing. I prefer this over books and typically listening to the podcast at 2x speed.
Where can we go to learn more?
I think the best place to reach me is definitely the OneHourProfessor website.
This is my “home base” and it's where I'm able to connect with so many different people on their journey into this online business stuff.
I also have my entire portfolio of websites, like TranscriptionJobsHQ that I run, but I typically don't share these to try to deter copycats.
It's unfortunate that I had to do this, but in the past I did a podcast and within a month found three new sites in the exact same niche trying to copy what I did.
If people are really interested in learning more about my story and would like to get a free course to help them get started, they can click right here to read my post about the truth about online business.