This article is part of a series of case studies, where I showcase successful online entrepreneurs in a variety of niches and their inspirational business success stories online.
Meet Josh – Making money online since 2012
Recently I connected with Josh ‘from Oz’ a fellow affiliate marketer through the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Josh has been a Wealthy Affiliate member since 2012 and is living proof that, with hard work and perseverance, and follow a tried and tested template, you can and will make money online.
- Visit Josh at Wealthy Affiliate
Thank you, Josh for sharing your story with us.
An interview with Josh
Q. Tell us about yourself and your online business?
I first started looking online for ways to make money online back in 2012. The job I had at the time was slowing down and I was getting less and fewer hours to survive on. I fell for the classic Ponzi and MLM scams, tried surveys, and even lost a lot of money on Binary Trading.
It wasn’t until I was searching for reviews on some product or way to make money that I came across a site talking about affiliate marketing. Out of everything I had tried over the period of about 3-6 months, this sounded the most legit. So I joined and paid for my monthly membership. This site taught me how to build a website and make money online as an affiliate. My first 2 websites were massive failures due to my inexperience. I was tacking on huge broad niches.
So naturally I quit the program and thought it was a good idea to try my hand at being scammed more and more. Then I came across a website called Squidoo which shut its doors a few years ago now. But this website allowed anyone to create one page websites for free and rank in Google on the back of their authority. Millions of people used Squidoo.
So I applied the things I had previous learned about affiliate marketing to my one page websites on Squidoo. These were basically one keyword per post type of pages. But you could make them about any topic at all. It didn’t have to be niche related as they were only one page sites basically. So I did this for a few months and started making money from the Amazon associates program. Not heaps, but about $50 a month or so. However, I knew then that if I could make $1, I could make $10000.
After a while I decided it’s time to expand and create my own websites based on the successful Squidoo pages I had. So I went back to the original website where I learned everything about affiliate marketing and created a new site (Gaming Headsets). Re-did all the training and learned even more about affiliate marketing. (Still learn more everyday)
From there, the rest is history. I still make websites based around amazon products and I am still a yearly paying member at the one and only training website where it all began for me.
I also have one site that is about helping others achieve what I achieved online. On this site I review other internet marketing related products, share my success stories and the things I have learned over the years from choosing a niche to determining the difficulty of any website for any chosen keyword.
I have many other amazon product websites in many niches. My first successful niche site was in the gaming headset niche. But I have many more sites online now. This is how I make 90% of my online income. So I am very grateful to amazon’s affiliate program.
How did you first get into this niche?
None of my amazon affiliate websites are of very much interest to me. They are made based solely on low competition keywords. However, they are not that dull of niches that I couldn’t be bothered learning about.
My website about internet marketing came about because it had been something I had wanted to do ever since I knew it was possible to make money online. My friends and co-workers got a constant ear bashing about internet marketing every day as I had nowhere else to share my passion. However, I knew I didn’t want to create a site teaching others how to make money online until I was making a full time income online.
So in the beginning of 2016, Learn how to earn online was born. Yes it is a keyword rich domain which I am not completely against.
Q. What has been your biggest success in this niche?
My biggest success for all my sites combined is naturally going to be income related as they are not really passions of mine. Earning more than I would make in a week painting in one day online is still my highlight. Ranking on page on 3 times for one keyword is also kind of cool.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Being terminated from the Amazon associate program a few years back. This was pretty much the worst day of my life. I lost about $12,000 in commissions and felt like I had lost my license to make money.
Fortunately, I studied the TOS and rules for amazon and spent weeks fixing all my sites. I was making newbie errors most of us make as amazons TOS are as clear as mud. I then got told by amazon that I could create a new account, but my old account would lose all the commissions. I was probably the happiest person you would ever see that was told they were losing $12k or so.
I was happy because I knew I could make that money back in time and grow my business bigger and better. I was heavily reliant on amazon due to their range of products and my range of niches.
Besides that set back, the ongoing challenge I face is still similar to what many other beginners face. Managing time around social life, family and work while trying to fit in a few hours a day to work on a website. While I don’t really have a day job anymore, I have many more websites to manage now so I am stretched sometime still. I should have stuck to just a couple websites, but they are so addictive I want one in every niche.
Q. Name three essential tools of your trade and explain why are they so important to your business.
- Keyword tool is where it all starts – Since 2012 I have been a paying user of Jaaxy. To this day its the only keyword tool I use.
- Moz tool bar (free) – I use this browser add on to check out competitions domain and page authority.
- Various plugins which make call to action sections on my sites for amazon products.
What do you think are emerging trends in your niche in 2018?
Some of my sites are seasonal, so I have to make sure the products are still available next season. Other than that, I’m pretty relaxed about it all.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in your niche and why?
Make money online niche: Don’t do it! Haha, it’s a tough niche and conversions are harder to come by. But it can certainly be done. Lead by example and SHOW people how things are done. Just like ‘Kyle’ (founder of Wealthy Affiliate) has said so often. It builds trust and relationships with the readers/viewers.
Amazon product niches: Since amazon changed their commission structure in Mar 2017, I personally took a big hit. Lost between 30-35% monthly income (Which I’m still rebuilding). They changed it so that now, commissions are based on categories rather than volume of sales. Which is one reason I will never go back to the gaming niche as many of the products fall into a category that pays a lousy 2%.
So look at the commission structure on amazon, choose a higher paying category (over 4%) and build a niche around them categories. Also, look for products that sell for between $100-$400.
Your thoughts on Social Media?
I don’t really use social media too much. Abandoning accounts can be embarrassing?
Take us through a day in the life of Josh…
As I have 3 young kids under 7, the day times are pretty hectic. So I try to work 2-3 hours during the day when 2 of my kids go to school. Then once everyone goes to bed, I will try to work another 2-3 hours. However, I don’t have a set schedule (which does make it less productive), so some days I do no online work at all, or only work at night etc. When I’m not working, it’s usually spent with the kids, watching corny TV shows and doing bits and pieces around the house.
What were you like in high school?
The quiet achiever. Never intended to go to College/University and was happy enough to do an apprenticeship. Just your average kid I guess, just not as loud.
What’s the most interesting thing about you we wouldn’t learn from your online profile?
I never desired a better life for myself or family. It was only when push came to shove that I did something about it. I always imagined myself just scraping by in life.
Q. You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
Keep it as a babysitter for the kids.
This business is my main source of income for the household. My kids have a much better childhood than I did :). If it was all taken away from me tomorrow, I would redo it all again; even if it takes me three years to build it back up again. What’s three years out of the rest of your life!
* UPDATE *
Josh has kindly provided some further information about the income earning potential of Wealthy Affiliate. Check out the follow up post here!
Interested to learn more?
To learn more about Josh and his website How To Earn Money From Home, please visit learnhowtoearnfromhome.com
Your feedback and comments are always welcome, so feel free to drop me a note in the comments section below, or visit me over at Wealthy Affiliate.
Thanks for reading, Cheers, Karen