How I built a $5K to $20K per month business using no paid traffic

25 replies
I just wanted to share my story here as a means of giving back to this community. I have received lots of great advice here on WF, so this is my way of contributing. Consider this to be a free WSO!

I am not trying to sell anything here. I'm not in the IM or MMO niche. I'm simply sharing my story and what has worked for me. Feel free to read if you are interested.

Also, I'm not going to be sharing my website here. If you do enough digging, you can probably find me.

Anyway here it is...

The Mindset
  • You HAVE to start somewhere, or you will never succeed
  • You HAVE to stick with it until you succeed, or you will not succeed
  • Expect to spend about 6 months to 1 year in the "building phase" where you won't make much money at all, if any. It takes A LOT of willpower to push yourself through this phase, but it is worth it.

The Objective

Build a website which will be the platform that you sell your digital product from. Digital products are awesome because any sale you make is pure profit. It also costs you next to nothing to create one. The biggest investment with creating a website and a digital product is your time.

I suggest building a video course that you can price however you want. My specific product started out as just a single "course", but has since evolved into an entire "membership" containing many courses. I still sell the entire package for just a single, one-time fee.

My product started out priced at $47, then increased to $59 after a couple years, then to $69. The price is a one-time fee. This single product has been my bread and butter.

I made my first sale just 2 days after making the product available online. However, I spent about 10 months in the "building phase" prior to this first sale.

Once you have a simple website online, and a digital product to sell. Set it up such that the product can be auto-delivered once someone makes a purchase. This allows you to separate yourself from the actual sales (aka. passive income). There are many ways to do this, but I simply use "Memberpress", which is a WordPress plugin that allows you to "protect" content. Once someone pays, they can access the content. You can "protect" anything you want...downloadable products, specific web pages, etc. Memberpress also easily integrates with email list services such as Aweber, which is the service that I use.

Once you have the website setup with a digital product that can be auto-delivered, you now have a "product" to sell. Since it's a digital product, you have infinite copies. Now you just have to let people know about it.

The Email List

I didn't understand just how important it was to build an email list until after I started making it a priority. I made plenty of sales prior to prioritizing the email list, and considering that I only had one single product to sell for a one-time fee, it made zero sense to me why I would need an email list.

However, I paid an internet marketing coach about 3 years ago to help me improve my business. I paid $5K for this coaching, and the one bit of advice I got out of him was "build a list". I already heard that advice countless times before, but for some reason you tend to implement suggestions when you pay $5K for them.

I took his advice, and I made it such that people have 2 options when they come to my site:

1.) Become a free member in exchange for the email address

2.) Become an upgraded member in exchange for the one-time fee

Initially I only had one single list, but I quickly made sure to have a "buyers list" and a "prospect list". This can all be easily done using Memberpress and any email list software.

Although I was going through the motions of building these lists, I still didn't understand the "why" behind it.

It wasn't until I was in business for a few years that the "why" became apparent to me. I realized that people on the prospect list would eventually end up buying from me if:

1.) I kept in contact with them by sending out weekly free content

2.) I offered a sale every once in a while

Those that were on the "buyers list" would eventually buy from me again after I eventually created a second digital product.

Whenever I send out a weekly email, I send it to both the prospect list and the buyers list. This allows me to keep in contact with the list, so that when it comes time to sell something, they know who I am

Yes, you can make money without the list. However the list simply allows to make exponentially more.

The list is absolutely where the money is at!!

The Autosponder Series

When someone joins your list, they should be sent a series of emails. If it is the prospect list, then they should receive a series of emails designed to:

1.) Give valuable free content

2.) Sell your product

I have a series of 4 emails that a prospect gets when they join my list. Each email is packed with valuable content, which is just a taste of the full product. Each email makes it extremely easy for them to buy my product if they choose to.

If the list is the buyers list, they should still receive some emails automatically. These emails aren't necessarily designed to sell (at least not right away), but they are more just to thank them for buying and to offer some guidance as to how to use the product.

Also in the buyers list, one of these Autosponder emails asks them to leave a review. I have collected about 700 reviews from doing this.

I have just recently implemented my second product, which is presented to a buyer 3 months after they made their initial purchase. This is second product is new. I have had $20K months prior to doing this, selling just one single product.

As I said, I have had many killer months with just one single product. This second product is just icing on the cake.

Make sure to segment your list(s) such that they do not start receiving your "weekly emails" until after they have completed the Autosponder sequence. This can easily be done in any email software. I use Aweber to do this.

To summarize:

Prospect joins my list to get the free stuff that I'm giving away on my site. They receive 4 emails over the course of 2 weeks. If they do not buy, then they start receiving my "weekly emails".

Once a prospect buys, they are immediately removed from prospect list and added to buyers list.

Once someone is added to buyers list, they receive some onboarding emails and a request for review email. After this sequence is complete, they start receiving my "weekly emails".

After 3 months those who are on the buyers list are pitched my 2nd product.

The Traffic

Many people choose to use paid traffic. Personally I never had much luck with paid traffic. I hope to master this skill one day, but I haven't yet given it a legitimate effort to really achieve success.

I get all my traffic by hustling my ass off. I make a new YouTube video every week. I now have about 200 videos on YouTube.

I also share a lot of my free content on Reddit and in relevant Facebook groups.

Do this every single day, and you'll have a steadily growing WARM audience.

Paid traffic is instant traffic. Organic traffic takes time and persistence. Whichever method you choose, just get them over to your website where they can join your list and buy your product.

Free Content

Here's the deal with free content...I give ALL of my knowledge away for free. However, the fact that I have something for sale means that a percentage of my audience will buy it.

If you are giving something away from your website, only give it away once they give you their email address.

If you are giving something away elsewhere, aside from your website (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), then the objective is to get them to your website and join your list. Any free content that you give away should include a link to your website. That link should then have the goal of getting them to join your email list.

The Money

I made a few sales at first (after the building phase of course). I think I made a little over $100 in my first monetized month. Next month, I made about $300.

After a few months I was clearing $1K on the regular.

It took about 2 to 3 years after the building phase that I was clearing $5K on the regular. $5K/month was my initial goal when starting all this. It took me about 3 years to achieve this goal on a consistent basis.

People have laughed at me in entrepreneur groups (and even once on this forum) because it took this long to achieve $5K/month, so I'm sure it can be done faster. However that's how long it took for me.

Since achieving my $5K/month goal, it has been fluctuating each month, but hasn't dipped below that in a few years.

My best month ever was around $22K.

I have had several months where I cleared $10K, and a couple where I cleared $20K. I haven't dipped below $5K in about 2 or 3 years though. I consider this a decent full-time living, but $10K/month is ideal.

It's INSANE how much potential there is on the internet. Like, you cant even fathom how many people are on this planet. My audience is mostly older, retired men. I didn't plan for that. It just is what it is. I'm currently trying to start getting into the younger crowd...which is why I'm going to start experimenting with Tik Tok and Instagram (as much as I dread doing this).

A smart person once said:

"Most people drastically OVERESTIMATE how much they will earn in the first year of internet marketing, but they drastically UNDERESTIMATE how much they will earn if they stick with it for 5 years".

I am in my 5th year, and I agree with this completely!!

I could go on for much longer about this, but I'll just leave it as it is. Feel free to ask any questions you'd like. I'll be glad to answer them.

Thanks to all the amazing members on this forum that have helped me along the way!!
#$20k #$5k #built #business #month #paid #traffic
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  • Is Reddit and Facebook groups the only places socially where you share your free content?
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    • Profile picture of the author Bkelly301
      Originally Posted by faisalmaximus View Post

      Thanks for sharing the idea. The worst part is creating Autosponder emails. Do you have any suggestion for this?
      My product has A TON of content, which is the result of continuously adding to it for the past 5 to 6 years. So my Autosponder sequence is just "free samples" with a big "buy now" button which gives an easy opportunity to upgrade!

      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Is Reddit and Facebook groups the only places socially where you share your free content?
      YouTube is my #1 source of traffic!! Facebook and Reddit are nice, but no where near as good as YouTube!
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  • Thank you, Bkelly301. This is a lot of good, solid information. I've been at this game for a while so I know how important a list is and those sorts of things.
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  • Profile picture of the author freeabs
    A good piece of solid info and although it still the usual old boring principles, it is HIGHLY effective. The problem is that MANY people are still looking for that quick way to make money online. There are 3 things that people lack when they go into internet marketing

    1) Clarity - Not sure what their goals are
    2) Consistency - Drifting in and out of taking action and long lapses of inaction in between.
    3) Patience - Start off on a hot note but fizzle out a couple of weeks, some even days later and claim it doesn't work.

    If you can get these 3 things out of the way, then you can be successful online.
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  • Profile picture of the author TobiMDD
    This is a very inspiring story. And it shows one very important thing that most people who want to get started with internet marketing don't understand yet. They are always sold the dream of quick money online - it all sounds so great and so fast and so easy and so hassle-free, so they are inclined to try something and give up if it doesn't work right away.

    But the truth is exactly the other one, namely that you have to work very long and very persistently on one single thing until you achieve success with this one thing. And that can take several months or even years, as in your case. I think that's the case with almost everyone who is successful online in some way.

    The sooner you realize that as a newbie the less struggle and the less failure you have to experience. Unfortunately, I was not spared this, for example, I had to go this hard way of failure and the realization until I eventually understood that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aubrey Fineza
    Be consistent and know your goals from the very first start so you could know what you are really working for or not. Just stick to the plan and be persevere. God bless to all business minded here!
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  • Profile picture of the author azam567khan
    how much you are earning each month after 5 years of work.

    please reply with your answer, so that we get motivation in our long term work journey
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    • Originally Posted by azam567khan View Post

      how much you are earning each month after 5 years of work.

      please reply with your answer, so that we get motivation in our long term work journey
      The answer is literally in the thread title and in his first post.

      Also, you can look at this person's previous posts and threads and learn a university degree's worth of marketing knowledge as he's shared his journey over the years and been advised by some of the best Warriors here.

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  • Profile picture of the author TeeBaggs
    Great read! Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author davehayes
    Thats a really interesting and very inspiring post. Thanks for sharing

    Read the reviews on list building & blog promotion, so you save time & money

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  • Profile picture of the author maxsi
    GREAT stuff here, thanks :-)

    1) yes I know tons of people that don't use youtube, it means losing an huge part of FREE traffic and sales. It's a bit insane but the reality.

    2) yes free valuable content allow you to create potential connections and JV.

    What can I add here => one good JV gives $30K in profits per month
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  • Profile picture of the author m alyounis
    Thank you, very useful information to start making a good income
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  • Profile picture of the author Hearandnow
    Wow - this is incredibly generous to share. Thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author Kavitazen
    Very informative information about free traffic with paying amount..
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    Congrats on your progress thus far. Your success story is one of the best on WF in a long, long time. It's a true testament of what can be accomplished if you stick with it and build a solid business around something you have true knowledge of... instead of just trying to make a quick buck.

    I look forward to your continued success. I personally believe boosting your website/sales pages with a copywriter could give you a nice boost. And I think your funnel could kill with paid traffic. I would consider testing a lead magnet funnel from Facebook.

    Great job so far and best of luck with your continued success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jim Schaub
    Excellent guide. You covered some great points. Thanks!
    Get Sales on Demand
    How I Built an Email List of 30,116 People >> WATCH THIS VIDEO
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  • Profile picture of the author Darryl Smith
    It is a case that you took your time, learnt the hard truth and stuck to your guns irrespective of what others said (where are they now anyway?)...
    Your mentor sounds lust like mine - same message = just do it!
    Well done on the success and it is yours to enjoy - which nobody can take away.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Click Swap
    first of all, awesome, awesome, awesome post

    Second, you said you give away all of your knowledge for free, what do you give for then in the paid content?

    Just trying to get a feel for how i can give even more

    Just trying to get some clarity

    but thank you so much for posting this!
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  • However, I paid an internet marketing coach about 3 years ago to help me improve my business. I paid $5K for this coaching, and the one bit of advice I got out of him was "build a list".

    So many online myself included, were in denial of this for years.

    Assume you also paid $5000 and get started!

    *Information Marketing will certainly have huge profit margins and also eCommerce with any consistent revenue would attract potential investors lightning quick.


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  • Profile picture of the author anwar001
    Nice post. There are several takeaways from this one but I do have to disagree with you on some things. For example, it need not always take a year or a pretty long time to start getting consistent income, you can achieve it at a far quicker rate if you follow a well-laid down plan or invest some money in outsourcing or advertising.

    However I do agree with the point that many people may grossly overestimate the money they can make in the first year. One major reason for this could be the fake gurus and the misleading IM products that make the whole thing seem like a cakewalk, which would make people develop false notions about the whole online business.

    Anyways, below I paste some takeaways that I really like and agree with from your post:

    You HAVE to start somewhere, or you will never succeed

    You HAVE to stick with it until you succeed, or you will not succeed

    Most people drastically OVERESTIMATE how much they will earn in the first year of internet marketing, but they drastically UNDERESTIMATE how much they will earn if they stick with it for 5 years".
    Get Hundreds of Super Targeted Traffic in Any Niche from Facebook - 3 Step Organic FB Marketing

    25 Guidelines For Massive Affiliate Success - Whether you are a beginner or an expert, read these principles and refer back to them many times
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  • Profile picture of the author Intlegit
    Excellent tips thanks for giving out this tips, it is already helpful

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  • Profile picture of the author onesocialmedia
    Love your story! I love the idea for reddit traffic. hardly utilize that. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author hardworker2013
    It is amazing how you have made good money without paid traffic, that is remarkable. I take it you are into high ticket sales with those high earnings monthly. SEO is free traffic but you have to spend some money to rank your web content for high volume keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author IM2Pat
    Great post and useful tips! Sites like this are fantastic at utilizing the ol 'Interwebs' for useful, helpful ways to help society. Thanks again,
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