How I turned a $200 into $xx,xxx using SEO

Sandhurst Digital

Sandhurst Digital

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So any time some one hears the word “inheritance” they instantly thing millions and millions of dollars yet in most cases this is not the case and personally I never like to think about inheritances I would rather be self made when it comes to money.

Today I have a different story about a family friend who passed away in 2005. Basically she did not have much money at all but she was once of the nicest people you would ever meet. We knew this lady because my dad use to work with her when he was younger so he kept in touch with her as she was like the mother figure of his office back in the day.

So in 2005 I was building websites and messing around with SEO at the same time, when they said you have been left $200 in the will. At the time I didn’t think much of it because I was working on numerous projects at the time. I thought to my self I would really like to turn this $200 into something more and make several thousand from it.

After working on SEO for a while I know it was going to be a good strategy to build traffic from. I thought quickly what were some ways I could yield revenue and traffic over a few years?

Back in 2005 SEO was different, you did not have all the big blogs like you do today, you did not have Twitter you did not even have Facebook to a degree. Most of the information was found by talking with like minded professionals on MSN or AIM messenger or by using Forums such as Digital Point and Webmaster World. Back in the day I was very active on these forums and used them daily and has thousands of posts.

How did I make $xx,XXX from SEO?

First step with any new site I work on is to pick a domain name, I went with a brand-able basically because short and easy to remember names will never loose money, out of the $200 that was like $50 gone. I think I purchased the domain from eBay.

So what were the next steps?

I decided my tactic to grow traffic was to build around 1,000 landing pages from keyword research in the funny images niche, basically what I was going to do is use a whole heap of images I had made, taken or acquired and build 1,000 content pages based on these images and match it up to the keyword research I had done.

First up was picking some keywords?

Keyword like EMO, Myspace, Car Names, Motivational Posters they all yield HUGE traffic but the thing is that they pay VERY poorly. Here are some of the top keyword to the site.


So from this keyword research I went and custom coded like 1,000 landing pages, at the time the site was built on HTML lol (old school) basically did a whole bunch of one page content quickly it was not he best content, also set up all the correct image tags. Then I used a whole bunch of web 2.0’s to push links to all the highest yielded search volume keywords. Back in 2005 web 2.0’s and other low level strategies such as high volume directories and article sites were a viable strategy in Googles eyes they were fine.

So some of the biggest wins for this site were from Google images search and also keyword search for the keywords above and more.

Now how did we make XX,XXX? from this site

Their were some strategies:

1. Adsense was a easy money maker:

So with 2.7 million impressions the site paid very poorly, it is probably wise to go with a higher paying smaller traffic niche in today’s market.


2. Links sales

Back in 2005-2008 Google had no problem with people paying for links, we use to sell like 20 x side bars for a good price on yearly basis.

Please note I would not advise any to to buy or sell links in 2013!!

3. CPM advertising.

We also use to run some CPM against the site.

How much traffic did the site get overall?

The site had well over 1,600,000+ unique visitors from organic search, sure this is only a small view of my total sites traffic overall I have driven well over 20 million + unique visitors from organic search to my sites

Extreme tracking

But yeah please note I have not used Extreme Tracking since 2006 hehe..

Overall what were some key take aways I can still use today?

1. Keyword Research is still highly important with any project.
2. Getting a brand-able domain name is still important.
3. Getting traffic from Google Image search is still important.
4. Do not use Extreme Tracking unless you have gone back in time to 2004.
5. Long tail traffic is still king, their is so much volume in the long tail.
6. Remember to network with like minded people to share SEO strategies and ideas, to this day I still connect with affiliates and people who can share information which is not found online.
7. Remember if some one gives you $200 you can still make $xx,XXX from it with SEO.

So overall I turned the $200 inheritance to over $xx,xxx from SEO. The site still lives on today from 2005 – 2013 and it still brings in a few bucks each month with ads, it still gets a few hundred visitors a day.

The only cost out side the $200 is your Time and determination, also please let note back in 2005 things were far easier with SEO compared to today!


I currently own a high performance SEO & Content Marketing Agency called: Prosperity Media.

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