He Bought a Site With ZERO SEO Knowledge and 50x Earnings


  • The website in question is, which was acquired by Brock Yates in 2012.
  • Brock had zero experience in building or working on websites before buying the site.
  • The site was not an affiliate or a typical content site, but rather a forum-based site with 80,000 pages.
  • Despite not having much knowledge or experience, Brock managed to 50x the site’s earnings using a hands-off, passive approach.
  • Brock focuses on hiring good researchers and following a standard operating writing procedure.
  • The site has links from reputable sources such as Wikipedia, WikiHow, New York Times, and Reddit forums.
  • Brock has successfully obtained good content at a cheaper rate compared to others.
  • The site currently receives peak traffic of 150,000 to 180,000 pages per month and earns a mid five-figure annual revenue.
  • The site’s growth has been significant, starting from earning $60 a month to now earning mid five figures annually.
  • Brock attributes the growth to continuous learning, including following Niche Pursuits and Smart Passive Income.
  • The website is seasonal, with traffic peaking in the middle of the year
  • The speaker acquired the website without much knowledge or experience in keyword research.
  • Initially, the speaker used other people’s content and rewrote it but later discovered the option to outsource content creation.
  • The speaker used platforms like Text Broker and Fiverr to hire cheap writers but eventually moved to Upwork for simplicity and accounting purposes.
  • The website’s growth was a result of continuous learning, implementing systems, and tracking progress with spreadsheets.
  • The speaker held onto the website because it was their first site and had a memorable domain. They also invested in producing better quality content and had industry experts review it.
  • The speaker expanded and updated content over the years, with articles now ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 words and including relevant images.
  • The website’s resilience and branding, including federal and state trademarks, contributed to its success compared to other sites the speaker built.
  • The speaker mentioned the importance of having a well-rounded content repository and avoiding relying solely on list posts.
  • The website benefited from links gained due to confusion with a similar domain used by a large brand that did a lot of PR.
  • The speaker emphasized the importance of being thorough and deep with content and caring about the outcome for readers.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of hiring good researchers and subject matter experts to ensure reputable and knowledgeable content.
  • They have a specific writer for turtles who has been with them for almost four and has a background in law.
  • The writer’s research is on point, and their writing style has improved over the years with editing to fix any flow issues.
  • For medical pages, they have a partner herbologist who reviews the content and has written important guides.
  • The speaker believes that for general pages, having a good researcher who is thorough and provides references is enough, but for serious health-related topics, a subject matter expert should review it for ethics and accuracy.
  • The website publishes four articles a month with a backlog of 40 articles in the drafts waiting to be posted.
  • Content is updated between three and five articles a week, and the speaker uses Rank IQ for keyword optimization.
  • Hiring and filtering writers is done through Upwork, looking for a 90% success rate or above and evaluating their answers to specific turtle-related questions.
  • The initial pay rate is $10 per thousand words, which increases to 1.5 cents per word if the writer’s first article meets the standard.
  • The editor is also a writer for the website, and there is a four-part training program to teach them how to edit and format content for SEO.
  • The speaker values long-term relationships with their writers and editors, emphasizing the importance of caring about the website and adding value to the readers.
  • The speaker does not disclose any secret sauce to getting good content for a cheaper price.
  • The writer emphasizes the importance of hiring well and letting go of writers who don’t meet expectations after a few articles.
  • Standard operating procedures (Sops) are used to provide writers with clear guidelines on how to structure content.
  • SEO optimization is done after the content is written, as attempts to incorporate it during the writing process have resulted in missed keywords.
  • The writer values consistency, treating writers fairly, and providing them with regular work.
  • The website monetization breakdown is 90% from Medi Vine and 10% from Amazon Associates.
  • Other affiliate programs have been tried, but the less competitive niche limits the number of available affiliates.
  • Content length, adding images, breaking up text with bullet points and lists, and using larger font sizes are strategies to optimize ad impressions and increase revenue.
  • The speaker suggests removing the X button on ads to increase ad impressions.
  • The seasonality of the website is influenced by the turtle mating season, which increases traffic in the spring months.
  • Turtles have longer lifespans compared to other animals, with aquatic turtles living around 30 years and tortoises living up to 150 years.
  • The speaker initially had no backlink strategy but now relies on internal linking and the organic acquisition of backlinks from government and educational sites.
  • The site has links from reputable sources such as Wikipedia, wikiHow, New York Times, and Reddit forums.
  • Paying for link building services in the past did not have a significant impact on the site’s performance.
  • The owner of the website is considering selling it but only if the offer is good.
  • The site has been successful because it has stayed focused on its niche of turtles, tortoises, and sea turtles.
  • The owner has been protective of the site, not accepting guest posts or link insertions.
  • The site has remained stable despite algorithm updates.
  • The long-term plan for the site is to continue creating content, improving the reader experience, and growing the email list.
  • The owner is exploring video content on YouTube and plans to create AI-driven and more engaging videos featuring turtles and tortoises.
  • Owning the customer base and having a good foundation are important for long-term success, as Google and Amazon can change their algorithms and policies.
  • The owner advises perseverance and resilience when facing challenges.
  • People can follow the owner and learn more about his work at
  • The episode is sponsored by Search Intelligence, which offers digital PR and link building services.


How I Turned a Niche Forum-Based Website on Turtles into a Profitable Online Business

Are you passionate about a specific niche and dream of turning it into a successful online business? Look no further, because today I’m going to share my story of how I acquired a website focused on turtles with zero knowledge or experience and transformed it into a profitable venture.

Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of turtles, tortoises, and sea turtles and discover the secrets behind my success.

The Journey Begins: Acquiring

In 2012, I stumbled upon, a forum-based website dedicated to all things related to turtles. Despite my lack of expertise in website building and content creation, I was drawn to the potential of this niche and decided to take the plunge.

Little did I know that this leap of faith would turn out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

A Passive Approach and Hands-Off Management

Unlike typical content sites or affiliate websites, operated primarily as a forum with over 80,000 pages of valuable discussions and information.

Initially, I focused on maintaining the site’s existing content while gradually optimizing and monetizing it.

What sets my approach apart is that I aimed for a passive business model, allowing the site to generate steady income with minimal effort on my part.

The Power of Good Research and Standard Operating Procedures

One key factor in the success of is my commitment to hiring skilled researchers and subject-matter experts. These individuals provide authoritative and trustworthy content that caters to the needs of the turtle-loving community.

By following a well-established standard operating procedure, we ensure that our content consistently meets high-quality standards.

Establishing Credibility: Backlinks from Reputable Sources

Building credibility in a niche is vital, and has managed to obtain backlinks from reputable sources such as Wikipedia, WikiHow, the New York Times, and Reddit forums.

These sources not only drive traffic to our site but also establish our authority and expertise in the field.

Consistent Content Creation and Updates

To keep up with the demands of our audience, we publish four articles per month, with a backlog of 40 articles waiting to be posted. Additionally, we regularly update existing content to provide our readers with the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Our articles range from 3,000 to 10,000 words and are accompanied by relevant and engaging images.

Building a Strong Team of Writers and Editors

Finding talented and passionate writers is vital to maintaining the quality of our content.

Through platforms like Upwork, I carefully select writers with a 90% success rate or above, particularly those with a deep understanding of turtles. The initial pay rate is $10 per thousand words, with the potential for higher rates based on their performance.

Our editor, who is also a writer for the website, undergoes a comprehensive training program to ensure consistency and adherence to SEO guidelines.

Monetization Strategies and Revenue Streams

While our primary revenue stream is through MediVine, we also generate income through the Amazon Associates program. Although we have explored other affiliate programs, the limited number of affiliates within our niche restricts our options.

To optimize ad impressions and increase revenue, we focus on the length of our content, incorporating images, and strategically using bullet points and lists.

Ad optimization techniques, such as removing the X button on ads, have proven effective in maximizing impressions.

Embracing Seasonality and Growing Targeted Traffic experiences seasonal fluctuations in traffic, peaking during the turtle mating season in the spring months.

By understanding and capitalizing on these patterns, we can engage our audience when their interest is at its highest. This targeted traffic allows us to generate revenue and provide valuable content to a passionate community.

The Foundation of Success: Content Quality and Care for Readers

A strong foundation is crucial to long-term success. By investing in producing better-quality content and soliciting industry experts to review it, we have established a reputable brand within the turtle community.

By prioritizing the best interests of our readers and constantly improving the user experience, we aim to create a loyal following that keeps coming back.

A Final Word: Perseverance and Resilience

Building a successful online business is no easy feat. It requires perseverance, resilience, and a commitment to continuous learning.

My journey with has taught me the importance of staying true to your passion, embracing challenges, and never giving up.

As the saying goes, “If you get hit in the face, just get back up and keep going.” This philosophy has driven my success, and I hope it inspires you to pursue your own entrepreneurial dreams.

So, whether you’re a turtle enthusiast or simply intrigued by the story of transforming a niche website into a profitable online business, stands as a testament to the power of dedication and strategic decision-making.