HomeAffiliate MarketingHow This 38-Yr-Outdated's 4 Journey Web sites Generate 6 Figures Per Yr...

How This 38-Yr-Outdated’s 4 Journey Web sites Generate 6 Figures Per Yr From search engine marketing


Nina Ragusa All the time dreamed of seeing the world. She was keen to begin exploring however was hesitant since she did not have anybody to go together with.

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Nina took a leap of religion and traveled to Thailand on her personal. Initially, she was going to spend a yr overseas, however she acquired so hooked on touring that she stayed on the street for over a decade.

She created her first website, The place within the World is Nina , to doc her travels. She did so effectively that she determined to copy her technique, occurring to create three extra profitable journey websites.

Right this moment she’s dwelling her dream and seeing the world whereas incomes six figures a yr from her portfolio of websites.

Hold studying to seek out out:

  • How she began out dwelling overseas
  • Why she determined to create different area of interest websites
  • What niches she selected and why
  • The place her earnings comes from
  • How her websites carried out in the course of the pandemic
  • How a lot visitors her websites get
  • Her important advertising methods
  • How she feels about search engine marketing
  • How she approaches key phrase analysis and hyperlink constructing
  • Her content material creation technique
  • How she grows her e-mail lists
  • Her favourite sources and instruments
  • Her largest problem
  • Her best accomplishment
  • Her important mistake
  • Her recommendation for different entrepreneurs

Meet Nina Ragusa

Hello, I’m Nina, from Florida, USA!

Ever since I used to be little, I’ve beloved the thought of touring around the globe. I used to be tremendous into geography class and beloved taking part in “The place within the World is Carmen Sandiego?” 

I used to be fascinated with all the things I couldn’t get in my yard (which is lots when your yard is a flat swamp land!)

I used to suppose you wanted some huge cash to see the world, however I did not need to wait till I used to be previous and retired to begin exploring. So, I began wanting into how I might journey with out ready without end, and perhaps even work whereas I used to be at it to maintain my pockets topped up.

For the longest time, I did not need to journey on my own as a result of, that’s scary and loopy, proper? I saved hoping to discover a good friend who was as excited to journey as I used to be, however after ready for greater than two years and nobody exhibiting up, I made a decision I had sufficient of ready. 

So, on Might 5, 2011, I simply went for it and flew to Thailand all alone. I didn’t also have a lodge reserved for my first night time! And what was speculated to be only a yr overseas was over a decade! 

I lived in Southeast Asia for 4 years on my own, met my accomplice Garrett in Thailand, and we have been touring collectively ever since. I’ve labored and lived on six continents!

After I first moved overseas, I began educating English in Thailand. I positively wasn’t wealthy, however educating English confirmed me that I did not want to return residence to make a dwelling. There have been loads of jobs on the market for me that would hold me on the street. 

And similar to that, what began as a one-year journey was a complete new lifetime of me dwelling around the globe.

I’ve now labored 11 journey jobs (it’s form of my factor that I like to speak about and assist folks obtain), and I used to be running a blog the entire method, however didn’t notice it might be an actual job till about 5 years into doing it! Now, running a blog is my full-time job.

Pinch me! I get to assist folks journey longer and higher and assist them discover out about alternatives to work and stay overseas, alternatives they didn’t know existed?! Woo!

Why She Created Her Websites

I created my first weblog, a basic journey weblog, completely by chance. I used to be merely conserving a web-based diary beginning in 2011 on a now-defunct web site. Finally, I moved over to WordPress as soon as I discovered what that was in 2012-ish. 

It nonetheless took me a couple of years later to comprehend running a blog might be a job. After “making it” with my basic journey website, I made a decision to begin a area of interest website with my accomplice in 2019 in regards to the state of Oregon, the place he’s from.

We love touring on the West Coast, and area of interest websites had been one thing I wished to dabble in since I knew I might recreate the success I had with my first web site simply with a extra niched-down subject! 

It seems it was not solely an ideal concept as a result of it was an underserved area of interest, but in addition nice timing to begin it in 2019 since everyone knows what occurred in 2020! 

After our success with Oregon, we continued increasing with the identical technique into Washington and California. 

We invested the earnings of our first yr with Oregon right into a enterprise automobile to assist us create content material for the opposite websites. We bought an old-school 1974 VW Bus we named Lucy!  

This was the start of making a number of income streams to strengthen the inspiration for our enterprise, and COVID was an excellent motivator for our area of interest website push. 

Additionally, we might seize content material simply in 1-2 months and have content material to publish for the entire yr whereas we traveled internationally.

Our 4 websites are:
The place within the World is Nina (Sure, after “The place within the World is Carmen Sandiego?”)
Oregon is for Journey
Washington is for Journey
California is for Journey

We even have a non-travel-related fifth website I do not discuss a lot because it’s our first website that we’re experimenting with as an affiliate website on greater ticket objects in an underserved area of interest. Thus far, it’s doing fairly good, contemplating how little we work on it. 

We’re taking in round $300-$500/month in affiliate income with that website. Because the merchandise are for higher-ticket objects, a great deal of visitors and purchases should not actually wanted. All we want is a couple of good gross sales per 30 days to make it value it.

How A lot She’s Incomes

As they are saying, the primary one is at all times the toughest! 

It took me years to make first rate cash with my important journey website, round 6-ish years or so (keep in mind, it took me ages to comprehend it might even be an actual job! Doh!). 

That being mentioned, 2019 was my greatest yr as I made round $85k simply on my important journey web site! I used to be over the moon watching $5000, $7000, and $9000 roll in every month! 

I began the Oregon website and was once more over the moon with the progress regardless of the 2020 pandemic. It truly labored in our favor since we made it on Mediavine in February 2020 (what luck!), and since no person might journey, they had been of their backyards. 

The Oregon website exploded whereas my important journey weblog faltered. I’ve had my important journey weblog on the again burner since 2020. I put most effort into our West Coast blogs, and sadly, my important website hasn’t come near its pre-pandemic numbers. 

Oregon web site visitors
Oregon web site visitors performing effectively in the course of the pandemic
Oregon web site advert income

Hopefully, I could make it again in 2024 since I’m lastly prioritizing it after neglecting it for about 4 years.

We make wherever from $100,000 to $200,000/yr with our blogs and companies. We largely make our cash from Mediavine adverts, associates, and companies. 

We have now solely had one long-term consumer since 2018 that offers us round $25,000 to 45,000/yr for our companies (YouTube movies and weblog content material largely, and my accomplice is the one who manages it). 

We had an enormous consumer that wanted journey content material in 2022 and that boosted us over $100,000 alone that yr, which was superior (however a ton of labor).

Most of our affiliate earnings is from lodging bookings (Keep 22) and some different particular associates within the journey area of interest.

Nina’s Visitors Stats

Pre-pandemic, I used to be getting round 150k/month-to-month views on my important website. That’s right down to lower than 50k/month now. I’ve not too long ago began engaged on it once more, although, so I can’t be too mad since I let it sit for therefore lengthy.

The one unlucky factor about our PNW blogs is that they’re very seasonal. No one visits in winter! However in summer time, they do pop off fairly effectively. 

We get round 70k-100k/month every on Washington and Oregon within the summers and right down to round 40k/month every within the winters.

Her Predominant Advertising Technique

I used to be lastly getting on the e-mail technique when the pandemic took my important website out, so I needed to shift. Electronic mail works higher while you even have visitors and I wasn’t getting a lot! 

Throughout these onerous 2020-2021 years, I shifted and went all in on TikTok, and it was the one factor that saved me from eager to spiral right into a deep running a blog despair! 

TikTok was nice throughout these years (it’s waned for me these days, however I additionally have not been placing within the work as a lot both). It helped me reel in visitors that wasn’t from Google, which was all I used to be getting earlier than. 

Folks don’t notice that individuals do like going to your web site from TikTok; actually, I’ve had lots of days the place my visitors shot up as a result of I went semi-viral on TikTok and gained a whole lot of e-mail subscribers and hundreds of views. 

My important drivers from social media are folks studying about how they will stay and work overseas, digital nomad jobs, the way to work on-line with out expertise, and my free guides that information them to my e-book.

My important technique continues to be search engine marketing, however as we all know, issues have gotten tougher through the years.

In 2024, I’m going to work tougher on e-mail advertising and choose again up my TikTok recreation a bit extra, too.

Her Ideas on search engine marketing

Since I discovered about search engine marketing and it “clicked” for me, I turned obsessive about it. I love nerding out on search engine marketing analysis and discovering enjoyable and superior key phrases I need to write about. It’s essential for my enterprise and the principle method I’m even a full-time blogger. 

Being a blogger with out search engine marketing and truly being profitable from it…? I’m undecided if it is doable?! 

You possibly can see when search engine marketing “clicked” on my important journey website

One in all my greatest methods is “child posts,” which I don’t know if I can declare this title, nevertheless it’s what I’ve been calling what I do for a few years, however I basically love writing child posts. These are shorter posts on a really small subject. 

For instance, a weblog put up on a particular hike in a state park, or a sure seashore. It is a entire weblog put up on simply this one tiny subject, a child put up, if you’ll. These may not convey within the hordes of readers many bloggers need, however a number of these child posts add as much as a good chunk of views, plus they hammer in my authority for the bigger subject. 

Once more, let’s take the instance of a hike. I’ll write a child put up on XYZ hike – the particular hike solely, and what it is advisable learn about it. I would even write one other child put up on one other hike referred to as the ABC hike. 

And these two mountaineering posts are a part of my larger “greatest hikes in 123 Nationwide Park.” I then write the “greatest issues to do in 123 Nationwide Park” and embody these two hikes, plus hyperlink to my “greatest hikes” article, thus rising my information and authority on this nationwide park.

One of these clustering content material isn’t actually new or unique, nevertheless it’s a “again to fundamentals” idea that some bloggers overlook about, particularly journey bloggers who’re continually going for the “massive shiny key phrases” they discovered for his or her subsequent vacation spot.

Key phrase Analysis

I merely write what I need to write about, however I ensure there’s a good key phrase that goes together with the subject I need! 

Whereas I don’t 100% write for search engine marketing, it’s largely what I do write about, however I suppose I’m fortunate in the truth that it often traces up with my pursuits. 

Finest hikes? Finest seashores? How did I get a working vacation visa in Australia? Digital nomad stuff? Low cost international locations to stay in? Journey jobs? Woo! I like these matters, and they’re typically superior key phrases to go for. 

Even when the amount isn’t a lot (500ish/month, let’s say), I like the subject, I do know it advantages my readers, and it’s going to mesh effectively with the content material on my weblog anyway, so I’m going for it. 

I like having clusters and having tons of weblog posts a couple of sure space or subject. For this reason I believe my area of interest websites are literally extra enjoyable than my journey weblog. I like rising extra a couple of surrounding subject; it’s much more rewarding. 

So, like I discussed above, I’ll write tons of child posts to assist my larger articles. I hardly ever will write a “issues to do___” put up with out having at the very least 3 “child posts” stemming from it. Even this isn’t very best sufficient for me, however generally it’s what it’s for my important journey weblog. 

My area of interest websites? I often have a hoard of child posts to hyperlink to, and I believe that is one in every of my greatest key phrase methods. I’ll discover a “larger” key phrase like “greatest waterfall hikes in ___” and I’ll have a child put up for nearly each single waterfall hike I point out. I often attempt to goal for key phrases that provide essentially the most alternative for me to stem off a bunch of child posts! I like child posts, are you able to inform!?

The larger my cluster, the higher. So, when key phrase researching, I look out for these mega clusters that I can actually get into.

Hyperlink Constructing

I’d say hyperlink constructing is fairly essential. I took my new California website from a DA0 to a DA16 in just some months. All I did was take part in a couple of hyperlink constructing threads, did a few visitor posts, and did 1 or 2 HARO call-outs within the interval of some months. 

I exploit a couple of hyperlink constructing methods, one being a hyperlink constructing group that I exploit sometimes on Fb. I do visitor posting, however I want to enhance my frequency right here. I do some weblog collaboration articles (these are the best! You’ll find these teams on Fb, too), and naturally, HARO. 

HARO is definitely hit and miss, and it’s, as a rule, a miss. However when it’s successful? It’s an excellent hit! You’ll often get a hyperlink again from a excessive authority web site with a excessive DA and perhaps even get talked about in a prime on-line web site, even Forbes! 

My largest HARO win was again in 2016 or so when Enterprise Insider by some means favored me sufficient to do a characteristic on me, and it form of went viral! 

I even acquired one other follow-up article written by me, and this, so far, was one in every of my greatest running a blog wins on HARO. I want I might get one other one like this that falls in my lap this simply! 

Not solely did I get some nice backlinks (my article was even translated into quite a few languages), however I acquired a large enhance in followers on Instagram, too.

And lastly, I exploit Hyperlink Whisper for inner linking! The day I signed up and paid for it, I knocked out so many missed hyperlink alternatives! I used to be shocked and embarrassed at what number of weblog posts I didn’t hyperlink again to. 

I used to pay my VA to do that as soon as each month, and now, with a couple of clicks, it will get performed a lot sooner.

Her Content material Creation Course of

I’ve 526 printed weblog posts on my important journey website (which was once nearer to 650, however I not too long ago did an enormous culling). And my three different area of interest websites have a mixed 286.

My stream goes one thing alongside the traces of:

  1. Key phrase analysis
  2. *do the factor I’m writing about and take in depth voice notes*
  3. Define weblog
  4. Write
  5. Evaluation article
  6. Full media
  7. Format article
  8. Edit
  9. Publish

I ought to add a stream for promotion, however my present technique is *discuss in regards to the new put up while you keep in mind to.* Oops!

Her Electronic mail Lists

I positively use e-mail. The Develop Highlight has made all of the distinction. I supply a couple of freebies and entice sign-ups that method. The Develop Highlight makes it fairly and highlights the e-mail field greater than different plugins to encourage sign-ups. I ship an e-mail twice month-to-month. 

Apart from Google visitors and “pure” e-mail sign-ups this fashion, each time I’ve a semi-viral put up on Reels or TikTok, I get a couple of hundred new e-mail subscribers. 

Visitors spike following a viral TikTok

I level them to my free guides that they’ve to enroll in. These guides additionally hyperlink to my product, which is an e-book!

How A lot She Works

I work round 5 “actual” hours per day or so. My accomplice and I worth our gradual mornings with espresso and convos, and our brains flip to mush after hammering away for 5 hours. 

We used to grind all day day by day, however have slowed down lots. We all know we might make more cash if we chipped away tougher, however we don’t care! We don’t need to get burnt out (been there, performed that!)

Since we journey lots, we at all times take a couple of weeks off right here or a month off there. And I’m basically ineffective in December since that’s once I go to my household, and I get little or no performed.

After we do our street journeys for our area of interest websites, we barely even contact our computer systems. We’re simply van-living round and exploring, and people journeys are often 6-8 weeks lengthy.

Her Favourite Sources

I’ve gone by SO many sources, and I form of acquired out of it for some time, if I’m being sincere. 

After selecting myself up a bit and slowly getting again into utilizing sources, I’ve to say, Nina’s search engine marketing group (not me, one other Nina!) on Fb is a superb useful resource. She is de facto superior at explaining issues and making issues make sense within the complicated world of search engine marketing.

And I’ve been a long-time listener of Brandon’s Running a blog Millionaire podcast. He’s been doing this for a very long time, and his podcasts are actually useful and to the purpose.

I do know it’s nonetheless controversial in our area, however for those who’re writing off AI, you’re lacking out. Many individuals suppose it’s a horrible software, however they haven’t tried utilizing it appropriately. I gained’t get into an excessive amount of right here, however for bloggers, it’s an immensely useful software when used appropriately! 

In the event you suppose utilizing AI is actually asking ChatGPT to “write a weblog put up on the highest 10 issues to do in Rome,” copying and pasting it into WordPress, and hitting publish, you’d be appropriate: AI is freaking terrible! 

However when used appropriately, truly prompting it, pasting in your voice notes out of your go to, after which enhancing it as an actual stay human, you’re saving so a lot effort and time. 

I simply wrote three weblog posts in at some point as a result of I used AI. I’d have been fortunate to have written one with out utilizing AI. And sure, I edited all of them in nice element, and you’ll by no means know I used AI if I did not inform you. I’m undecided I might stay with out it now! It makes me a machine.

Oh, I even used ChatGPT to assist me edit this interview right here, so my proofreading time went from over an hour to a matter of minutes!

Her Go-To Instruments

Apart from my ChatGPT talked about above…

My life could be in chaos and shambles with out Asana, telling me what to do and what assignments want doing day by day. I can hold tabs on the group simpler and on myself!

Affilimate helps me hold monitor of what my associates are doing, which is one thing I regarded to extend final yr, and in that yr, I greater than tripled my earnings from associates. 

The software itself doesn’t essentially assist me enhance my earnings, however the knowledge and progress in a single, handy platform (slightly than logging into the 1000 affiliate platforms) assist me higher monitor and perceive it! Even utilizing their affiliate deep linking software helps reduce my time/my VA’s time down by lots!

This is likely to be a bizarre one, however YouTube is one other “software” I can’t stay with out. We don’t simply use it to be taught; we love GrowingAnnanas exercises to get us up from our desks! Severely, running a blog at a desk for hours will get painful, sure, for actual! I’ve a “cracking” shoulder that makes me really feel historical, and I used to be borderline getting carpal tunnel for a minute there! 

This line of labor shouldn’t be nice to your physique, so yeah—remember to maneuver! Your physique and mind are your life’s greatest and most wanted instruments. Our life-style makes it straightforward to overlook about ourselves and our well-being.

I let it go for some time, however her at-home exercises have me making myself a precedence once more!

Her Largest Problem

The modifications! I’m at all times up for a problem, however generally within the running a blog recreation, simply while you suppose, “You bought it,” one other main change occurs… 

Whether or not that’s a Google replace, a brand new revolutionary software, or a freaking pandemic. Change is inevitable, and I’m not afraid of it. I simply want I might benefit from the experience for greater than a second earlier than being thrown a brand new wrench to make use of.

Her Biggest Accomplishment

Merely *being an entrepreneur.*

I by no means would have thought I’d turn out to be one. 2011 Nina thought she was going to show English in Thailand for a yr after which get caught behind a desk at a soul-sucking job for the subsequent 30 to 40 years.

This was by no means my purpose. This was by no means my dream. This was by no means one thing I believed I might do. I could not have fathomed this life earlier than. And but, right here I’m!

I’ve grown a enterprise the place I can take cost and oversee slightly than do grunt work for a capped earnings.

I’ve created a enterprise the place I can spend over a month with my household and assist them, and barely log in on-line and know I’m nonetheless producing earnings. 

I’ve developed a enterprise that offers me final freedom and suppleness in my life—one thing I really didn’t know existed for some time and one thing I believed would take me without end to realize.

I’ve acquired a enterprise I’m pleased with and love doing, which offers me with an ideal life. Severely—pinch me!

What She Needs She Knew When She Began

I want I had identified in regards to the significance of analyzing and testing.

I’m nice at implementing, however I might be higher at trialing, testing, and understanding if issues are working! I’ve not too long ago began to get higher at this, like utilizing warmth maps and truly wanting again on analytics and graphs, and many others., to see if what I’m doing is working. 

I acquired used to only doing and letting it experience, in no matter path it went in and didn’t truly see what was working or not! 

I’m enhancing at analyzing all the things and seeing what’s working and never working. It might appear a bit foolish, however again within the day, running a blog gave the impression to be a bit simpler, and no matter you probably did, it form of labored. 

These days, it’s not flying! You could analyze your knowledge and cease spinning your wheels by doing issues that aren’t working. I threw spaghetti on the wall and let it stick or fall, however discovering out how and why it was sticking and the easiest way to make it stick is making extra of a distinction now.

Her Predominant Mistake

Grinding in circles… I labored so onerous in my starting years, however I used to be stepping into circles listening to all the things everybody was saying in Fb teams, on YouTube, and many others… I wanted to only go onerous on studying an important factor—search engine marketing. 

As soon as I began grinding in a single path, I began going someplace! I used to be making an attempt to be taught and apply 27935403 various things, plus making an attempt to go onerous on Instagram (once I didn’t need to be an influencer anyway! Only a blogger!)

Her Recommendation for Different Entrepreneurs

Don’t wait too lengthy to rent assist. The second I employed a VA and writers, I began making extra money. 

Sure, it is going to price you, however you may’t do all the things. You’ll burn out and stagnate shortly as a result of there’s solely a lot a singular particular person can do.

Additionally, don’t put all of your eggs in a single basket. I’d have been completely taken out as a blogger when the pandemic hit if I didn’t begin diversifying in 2019!

Being cussed and never being somebody who provides up simply are good traits to have. I wished this so badly, and regardless that it took me some time to get right here, I made it! 

And it’s superior to look again in any respect the occasions you wished to throw within the towel and see all of your onerous work (learn: stubbornness) truly labored out! 

There was no method I used to be giving up, not after I understood the liberty having your personal enterprise might present for me. I used to be immediately addicted to creating it occur. That is the way in which to go for those who’re searching for extra freedom. 

However the path will probably be bumpy till you make it over the hill!





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