If you have been following this blog for a while you will know that I (and the rest of the team at NoHatMedia) have offered monthly internships whereby readers can partner with me on win-win projects. There have been various iterations of the internships, but they essentially provide an opportunity for a win-win scenario and have proven to be very popular.
After each internship I have partnered up with one or two interns that have proven to be a good fit in terms of personality, work ethic and creativity. This has resulted in further projects and one such example is Greg Nunan, who was a v3 intern from July 2013.
Over the past 6 months, despite working only part-time online (he has a full-time job), Greg and I were able to successfully develop an expired domain into a very profitable money site. Following that success we built out another new domain that is also earning 4 figures/mo., and we are moving forward with a batch of over 15 sites in partnership. It has been a fantastic win-win partnership where we have each leveraged each other’s strengths.
Given his success, I thought I would invite Greg to do a Q and A style interview to help illustrate how YOU can benefit from the NoHatSEO internships.
Hey Greg, to start things off could you tell us a little about yourself? Who you are, where you come from and your online marketing experience pre-July 2013 v3 internship.
Sure! Firstly, thanks for the invite Hayden, I appreciate everything you do to help us mere part-timers online!
I’m 29, I live in Australia with my wife and three daughters (aged 2, 4 & 6). Offline, I have had a number of businesses over the past 10 years and I currently work full-time in a fitness franchise group that my wife and I bought into in 2006.
I got serious about learning SEO during 2010 after paying thousands for really bad SEO on our fitness company website.
My interest intensified to the point of mid 2012, where I couldn’t resist the bug any longer and started learning how to make money from websites for myself.
I spent the first 6 months working my way though the steep learning curve, following guys like Pat and Spencer and having some OK success along the way.
Things started to take off for me once I came across your interview with Spencer about finding expired domains. I threw myself into watching all your videos on how to find domains, use them to rank sites etc and was able to rank sites far easier than in the past.
Somehow, I missed your v1 and v2 internship promotion but I came across your v3 internship blog post invite and decided that the opportunity to learn from someone with your skills was too good to pass up!
Were you unsure or skeptical about starting the internship?
Yeah there’s always some apprehension starting something new. We didn’t know each other and of course there’s a brief moment where you wonder if this guy is going to pocket $500 from a bunch of interns with no intention of refunding it (the fee to start was $500, refundable based on performance)!
Also, there was some self-doubt in terms of wondering if I would be up to the standard of other interns.
In the end, I sat somewhere between the least-skilled and most-skilled in my intern group and I had nothing to worry about anyway because you work at your own pace in the internships.
Why did you ultimately decide to commit to the internship?
Despite that little bit of self-doubt there, I went ahead because I saw $500 and 30 days of time as a bargain price to pay for access to one of the best “SEO minds” in the world. I saw it as a short-cut to making the kind of money I want to make. There wasn’t much to lose from having a go.
Readers will probably want to know about the money you’ve made through our partnership, so as much as you are comfortable sharing, can you outline how the internship has benefited you financially?
The aim of the v3 internship was to build out an expired domain into a money site (note we now only use expired domains to link build fresh money sites).
I happened to be reasonably successful in turning my expired domain into a money site that is on track to be making $3000/mo in Adsense income.
If we were to sell that site, it would be valued upwards of $50k right now and I can see it being a $5k+ per month site before the end of 2014, which puts it in the 6-figures value range.
But in terms of a snapshot of overall financial benefit, it’s best to focus on the initial group of 5 sites we launched together in September-October 2013 immediately following my internship.
Those sites are just over 4 months old, but the combined revenue from our internship site plus the first 5 partnership sites we built in partnership, will get close to $6k in January.
We’ve got the 10 or so other newer sites that we have just launched too, which are not big income earners just yet, but there’s no reason why we can’t exceed our income levels per site with that batch.
So to sum it up, we’re averaging about $1k profit per month per site now after 6 months of working together and that is largely through Adsense which is only the short-term montetization strategy.
There is NO WAY, even after splitting the revenue with you, that I would have been able to achieve that level of average earnings trying to do it all myself. There’s only one site out of the first 6 that isn’t either making decent income or heading in the right direction.
I’ll include some screenshots to illustrate the growth trend of the sites. January has been kind to our sites!
Adsense screenshots of 3 of the first 6 sites we did
And some direct advertising sales on one of the sites. Last 14 days
In your opinion, what are the other key benefits of the internships?
Quicker results – It’s a lonely world bashing away at it on your own. I saw the internship as a way to learn 24 months worth of skills in a 30 day time-frame, which has proven to be the case for sure.
Relationships – Obviously learning from you has been huge, but I’ve also been able to network with other interns and learn crazy stuff like how to get Wikipedia links, ninja SEO tips and really understanding what’s working in SEO right now (which is vastly different to what was working 6 months ago).
Cutting expenses – We have an intern group-buy of some SEO tools to cut down costs and many of us have traded PBN links with each other so we don’t have to build out as many of our own PBN sites.
Tools – The biggest challenge working online as a part-timer is the lack of time to get done all that you have planned. Access to your tools, and guidance on which tools to invest in, has been handy for sure.
Accountability – Everyone goes through ups and downs in motivation and I certainly found the requirement to hit our agreed weekly deadlines to be a great way to keep on track.
Guidance – There’s not a single ultra-successful person on the planet that doesn’t promote the benefits of surrounding yourself with mentors. A 2 minute skype chat can save hours of wasted time. It’s VERY handy having a mentor to double check that you’re on the right path.
The list goes on really…
Based on your experience as an intern, who should register for upcoming internships and why?
Prior “success” online isn’t a necessity but if you have made some money online and have some experience with the basics of working with WordPress, basic SEO etc you’ll do fine.
Pretty much, if you have been following and actioning what guys like Pat and Spencer are teaching, that gives you a great base to work from.
If you are already making well into 4 or even 5 figures monthly, there’s guys like you that have done internships as a way to learn how to scale and build new connections. When you’re at that level, a 10-20% improvement makes a big difference.
Basically, if you feel like you could do with a fast-track to results and are willing to make a short-term initial commitment, then you should go for it.
In terms of time, you need to be able to commit 10-15 hours per week to account for the “learning time” and the “doing time”. You are challenged throughout the internship to learn new things, which requires time. In saying that, I’ve found that the new things you need to learn are the exact things you’ve been meaning to learn anyway, but have put off until now.
And you need to come into it with a clear understanding that working with Hayden doesn’t guarantee results. Not every intern will make money from it. Some in my internship didn’t, but if you go through it, you will be 100% guaranteed to learn new skills that you can use to get quicker results.
Two things I know to be true are:
- These internships are not going to be around for ever so the longer people wait, the higher the likelihood they’ll miss out.
- There’s benefit to getting in early. If you look at Scott, Phil and Han, those guys got the chance to partner with you with No Hat Media because they were in early in internships 1 and 2. I got my opportunity to partner with you on a ton of sites as someone who did well in v3. The longer people wait, the fewer opportunities will open up.
Greg will be working with me to run the next round of internships (more details coming soon). If you have any questions for me or for him, feel free to comment away!