Many moons ago, I started writing a blog about my new online English teaching job. I did this for two reasons…
a) There was hardly any information out there! I luckily got the job thanks to my already employed friend prepping me for the interview.
b) There was a $100 referral bonus if you recommend a new teacher. I saw DigiNo as a way to make a quick buck, as well as help people get this mysterious job.
This niche website has grown way beyond what I expected it to be. I spent 6 months writing content without really making any cash at all. I could barely afford food, let alone pay for the website hosting.
Giving up on Increasing my Online Teaching Income
I was going to call it quits on the whole thing…until my readers began messaging me. I started getting thank you messages for how much the content helped them get the job, as well as continuing to help them teach online to the best of their ability.
So I stopped thinking about money. I would find a way to pay for the hosting as well as food. And I would continue to help people as much as I could within the world of online teaching!
This is when I finally started making online revenue through DigiNo, as you will see from the article below:
Serve, Don't Sell
When you don't know what to do with your life…try and help the lives of others!
So that's why now I want to take a quick break from helping with online teaching…
…and write this article to tell you exactly how I created DigiNo and all the things I used to do it.
Each thing I recommend is a product I use, and I will earn a commission if you decide to use it yourself. This is how I keep DigiNo running…and also how I buy food!
Affiliate marketing is a huge part of how DigiNo operates, so I want to be completely honest with you about it…and also help you to do it yourself!
So let's get started!
Here is a contents list to help you jump to each of the 12 steps in the article:
Alongside this article, you can also check out my free video course below on making passive income from niche websites:
First thing's first; to create DigiNo, I needed a website…
1) Web Hosting with BlueHost and a WordPress Site
I initially started using another host, but switched as I found BlueHost to be cheaper. Also it is incredibly optimised for WordPress.
What is BlueHost?
If you wanna open a shop that sells fruit and vegetables…you need to get a building to sell them from.
This building is your WordPress website…but the rent for this building is your internet hosting.
And BlueHost is the best host on the net! It's really cheap and so much easier to get started than the other hosts I tried.
The process is simple:
- Get your Domain:
3. Then install WordPress with 1-click!
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a website builder that you can use to make affiliate marketing sites or other niche website ideas.
Niche Website Meaning
The niche website definition is a website that focuses on a very specific subject. This is a way of attracting a concentrated source of internet traffic rather than targeting something high competition and generic, such as “Wrestling” for example.
Niche Website Ideas
More suitable niche website examples would be:
- best wrestling shoes
- cheap wrestling gear
- wrestling kneepads
QUICK WIN – Low Competition Niches
These niche website idea keywords are actually low competition niches on Google – so go knock yourself out!
Creating a lot of content related to low competition niche keywords will drastically increase your chances of ranking on Google and getting people to click on your site – as you are showcasing exactly what they are searching for!
Back to WordPress…
I used WordPress to create my site. I stick with WordPress as it is the industry standard.
WordPress vs Wix
I used Wix once when first starting out and although it is a lot easier to create a site with it's drag-and-drop building function…it won't rank as well or function as smoothly as a WordPress site.
Wix vs WordPress SEO
The issue I encountered was that my Wix posts just wouldn't rank on Google. The SEO (search engine optimization) is more authoritative on WordPress due to it being the industry standard.
I switched from Wix when they released an app called “SEO Blog” as a way to rank articles better on search engines. So that basically told me that their standard blog builder had issues which they tried to rectify.
I went to WordPress and never looked back. Calling a blog an “SEO Blog” is like calling a restaurant a “Food Restaurant”. See you later, Wix!
So after all these WordPress vs Wix SEO issues…now I had DigiNo.org ready to roll!
And you can get started on creating your site through my link below:
I'll earn a commission if you get your hosting through DigiNo's links. This is an example of the affiliate marketing I mentioned earlier.
(I'll make sure to point out each time something is an affiliate link…so you can get an idea of the endless passive income possibilities that your own website provides!)
So anyway, I had my website…but then I realised something…
…I had no idea what I was doing.
2) Learned Skills from Skillshare and Blinkist
So now I had my domain, hosting plan and WordPress site…I needed the skills to make the site.
I have always been a writer, so writing the content was no problem. But when it came to WordPress and graphic design, I was (and still am) a massive newbie.
So luckily, I found Skillshare.
What is Skillshare?
This is a learning platform with thousands of video courses on skills from web design to cooking.
What's awesome about it is, you get 2 months free when you first sign up.
(Affiliate link alert! I earn a commission when you sign up to the free trial of Skillshare).
Free Trials are Awesome
Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't have a lot of cash when I was building DigiNo, so I owe so much to free trials of tools. That's why I like to promote them whenever I can.
Plus the 2 months free of Skillshare is the most generous one I've found.
How I Made the Most of my 2 Free Months of Skillshare
I binged it harder than I binged the last series of Breaking Bad on Netflix.
I absorbed knowledge from every online skill course I could about making money online and even stuff like excel spreadsheets.
It's only a tenner a month after the free trial ends so I signed up. I kept on absorbing course until I felt the urge to stop learning and put my new skills to work.
Teaching on Skillshare
I even ended up becoming a Skillshare teacher myself (online teaching isn't just limited to ESL).
As a teacher, every time someone signs up for the 2 month free trial from my link, I get $10.
Also if people watch my classes such as my Get Hired as an Online Teacher course, I earn revenue per minute watched
Check out my earnings report on Skillshare by clicking the image below:
So it's not only a source of knowledge, but also a source of passive income!
Check out this page if you want to become a Skillshare teacher too:
(We both get $50 bonus if you do it through DigiNo!)
Check out my article below comparing Skillshare to one of its competitors to get more detail about how it all works:
Or if you prefer to learn from books rather than video, I've got just the thing for you…
Best Online Income Books
As well as the skill courses, I've always been a big reader. But when reading for knowledge instead of pleasure.
One of the best books I read on making passive income online and internet business was called Interpreneur.
Interpreneur is a book by Simon Coulson who started the Internet Business School. He went from an office in England to rubbing shoulders with Richard Branson on Necker Island – all down to making £20 million through niche website ideas.
This book explained his journey so simply and made it feel like making a successful niche website was possible.
You can read my book review of ‘Interpreneur' below by clicking the image of the day I met Simon Coulson at one of his talks in London:
Click the picture to read more about Interpreneur.
But as my workload increased, sometimes I found it too time-consuming to read entire books compared to learning from videos on Skillshare.
However, my problems were solved by an app called Blinkist.
What is Blinkist?
This app condenses books into short written and audio summaries. So you can get the main juice from a book about SEO or about online income in about 10 minutes!
Skillshare and Blinkist combined turned me into a learning machine! And the whole self-education experience gave me a huge belief that making DigiNo a success was possible!
Check out Blinkist below:
3) Made Logo and Images with Canva
What is Canva?
Canva is a graphic design website that makes things simple. I made the DigiNo logo myself on there and make all of the imagery you see on the site with Canva.
This isn't even an affiliate link, I just love the website so I'll happily promote them.
See Canva in action and check out my article and video of me making my online teaching background:
Becoming a Hermit
However, all this graphic design can get quite time-consuming. I made everything on DigiNo completely solo and I swear I didn't see the sun for months (but to be fair, I was living in Scotland at the time).
So to avoid becoming a permanent hermit, I recommend learning from my mistakes. There is an alternative if you would rather concentrate on just a few skills and leave some tasks to someone else…
4) Hired Cheap Freelancers with Fiverr and iWriter
For really long and time-consuming tasks, I decided to start hiring freelancers if I could afford it.
Don't worry! It's not too expensive at all, in fact, it will cost you around a ‘Fiverr'.
What is Fiverr?
Fiverr is a website where you can hire people for a minimum of $5 to do just about anything!
I have hired freelancers to write articles, make logos, book covers etc.
I detail how I've used Fiverr to create ebooks and physical books in the article below:
So if you need help with producing written content…or if you don't trust your web design skills…then you can always pay someone on Fiverr to do it for you!
Check out Fiverr at the link below and find someone to do something that you don't want to:
This is also an affiliate link. I will earn money if you start hiring people.
There are countless referral opportunities online…not just in online teaching referral programs!
However, there is a better alternative for outsourcing written content specifically…
What is iWriter?
iWriter is similar to Fiverr, however it specializes purely in content writing.
iWriter vs Fiverr
I tend not to use Fiverr for writing content after having bad experiences with poor grammar.
With iWriter, the articles are always a very high quality…and for the same price as Fiverr as well.
Click the image below to read more about Fiverr vs iWriter:
But I tend to use this sparingly, as I like my content to be written from me (it is what gives your website its character I believe)…however, with things like electronic product descriptions, iWriter is ideal!
How to use iWriter
Simply give a brief description of the article you want written and pay the cash based on your chosen word count. iWriter will then work its magic and find a writer somewhere in the world to write it.
5) Performed Keyword Research with LongTailPro
Ok, so now, I have a website up, I have it looking all good and I have lots of online teaching things to talk about…
…but it's no good making a website if no one will be able to find it!
So from Skillshare and Blinkist, I learned SEO – Search Engine Optimisation.
You need this for your site to show up on Google… and an aspect of SEO is keywords.
These are the words people type into Google to find content. So these words need to be littered and precisely arranged within your website and content.
Google's spiders will then read your content, see the focus keywords and direct search engine users towards your relevant content to their needs.
How To Find Profitable Keywords with Low Competition
You can do this using Google's Keyword Planner, but I basically went on a spree of using free trials of SEO software.
Here are 3 SEO software free trials for you right here:
But one of these was so good that I actually did the unthinkable…I paid for it past the free trial!
I signed up for the free trial of LongTailPro. This really blew my mind how all of this information was available. I could use the interface to find keywords that were low-competition with high monthly searches- thus making it easier to rank for!
For a more in-depth guide on LongTailPro, check out my article below:
But SEO software is very expensive, as it is targeted at businesses with higher budgets than an online teacher sat at his laptop in his gym shorts.
SEO Software Pricing
To pay for SEMrush will cost you around $100 a month!
Market Samurai is better as after your free trial you get a chance to buy it forever for under $100.
Which is the same figure you will get from just one online teacher referral!
However, I found the Market Samurai interface to be kind of awful. It felt like I was using a really old Windows PC from the 90s – not cool!
So why did I pay for Long Tail Pro?
LongTailPro was just as good as the expensive SEMrush, with a much cleaner user interface experience than Market Samurai…
…and LongTailPro only costs $25 a month!
This is an absolute steal for SEO software!
Now I mine for gold every morning – then create an article title out of the keyword, before sending it to iWriter to help me produce articles with a high chance of ranking on Google in bulk.
Content creation paradise!
Here's the free trial of LongTailPro again if you wanna give it a go:
(Affiliate link, of course)
6) Created Automations and Email Lists with ConvertKit
Now that I had visitors to the site, I needed a way to keep them as an audience…sort of like meeting a new friend at a bar but not getting their facebook…you may never see them again!
So that's when you wanna create an email list. I chose ConvertKit as it is so easy to use all the automations.
What is a ConvertKit automation?
is when you set up an action to happen when a site visitor does a certain action.
For example with my online course, when it was previously hosted on my website instead of Skillshare, I set up an automation that sends them an email with the password once they sign up with the course.
You can also segment your list. This means that I can send different emails to current teachers as well as hopeful teachers. The content of those emails are going to be drastically different.
ConvertKit vs MailChimp
I was previously using a software called MailChimp, but I found it to be so clunky and unclear. The processes were just overly complicated and I crossed my fingers every time I sent an email that I did it right.
ConvertKit just made everything so easy and clear. And I'm still finding new ways to use all of the cool features…rather than spending 20 minutes figuring out how to insert an image in a MailChimp email.
Here is an in-depth article comparing the two in my ConvertKit Review:
But you can also have a go yourself by signing up to the ConvertKit free trial here:
I probably don't need to tell you that this is also another affiliate link!
Best Affiliate Marketing Companies
ConvertKit's affiliate program is second to none. I talk about it in detail in the ConvertKit vs MailChimp review above.
Affiliate marketing is simple when you promote incredibly helpful products that you use yourself. You don't need a copy of Affiliate Marketing for Dummies when you write about products that you know so well from your own personal use.
7) Recorded Videos with Budget YouTube Equipment
Video content makes the user experience of a website so much easier. And on WordPress you can easily embed your YouTube videos into your articles.
So along with all my articles, I was adamant that I should have a video with each one, so that people could connect with me and see me as a real person.
A lot of people seem to approach the prospect of online teaching with caution. So if they could see me in videos as just a regular guy who is doing the job, then it instantly brings it more legitimacy.
How do I film YouTube Videos?
So I have slowly acquired a lot of equipment that has allowed me to film videos in my room/classroom, whilst using ManyCam and whilst travelling around Thailand outside of the classroom.
Below is the article listing all of the equipment and software I use to make YouTube videos:
(Most of these are Amazon affiliate links)
8) Learned How To Get YouTube Videos Viewed By Thousands!
It's all good making this content…but I wanted my videos to get seen of course!
SEO not only helps you to rank on Google, but when you apply keywords that people are searching for into your YouTube tags, then this helps more people see your videos.
But I'll give you a quick-win here – the best keyword research tool for YouTube is free!
YouTube Channel Keywords – Top Tip!
Just type your subject into the YouTube search bar, for instance, ‘online teaching' and then take a look at the dropdown of all the auto-suggestions. These are all long tail keywords that people are searching for in volume!
That's some cheap SEO!
You can use these YouTube channel keywords as video titles, or as tags for your video. However, the benefits of having something like LongTailPro is it tells you the volume it is being searched and how likely you are to rank for it on Google.
But it is still a great little lifehack for YouTube!
If you want more little quick-win tips like this, then feel free to sign up when you get to the end of this article so I can share to you all the cool passive income tricks I discover along the way.
9) Made Video Creating Easier with Content Samurai
Then I got to a point where I was making a lot of videos. The nature of these videos really didn't require me to sit in front of the camera and awkwardly read information from my articles on my phone. So I found a software that converted my articles into videos.
Content is King!
This then made creating easily digestible information pieces ,such as the video below, an absolute breeze:
The aim of a video like this is to promote the puppets so that people click on my Amazon affiliate links so I can earn commission if they buy them. (But I'll go into Amazon affiliate another time, otherwise this article will get too dense.)
I mention this as Content Samurai is a great way to make passive income – not just products, but with teacher referrals as well! That's why I make them for my comparison articles such as DaDa vs Cambly.
See Content Samurai in Action
I have made a demo video and article of this software below if you want to check it out:
And if you wish to play along with my demo, then grab yourself the free trial below:
TRY CONTENT SAMURAI
(Affiliate link Samurai!)
10) Set Goals to on Social Media Stay Motivated
Working on a project like this takes time. And like a long distance runner, it helps to have a cheering crowd to get you over the finish line.
Having a community to share your goals with makes it feel a little less lonely as you plug away on your niche website ideas.
Having a ‘Clear Mind'
I've always lived by a to-do list. I even made up my own kind of to-do list called ‘Clear Mind'.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of moving parts that make up an online business…and seeing all of them stack up on your to-do list is an instant motivation killer.
I had to stay motivated
So I came up with ‘Clear Mind' to solve this and keep my productivity on track.
It's simple. Just take out a different piece of paper from your to-do list (or new note on your laptop note app) and write one task on there from your to do list.
Once it's done tick it off on Clear Mind and on your main to-do list…and rinse and repeat.
Here's a quick video demonstration:
Thomas Frank – Study With Me – Pomodoro Technique
Go study videos have been so helpful in my productivity agenda. You put on a YouTube video of someone doing their work and you work along with them.
Here is the one I use with a guy called Thomas Frank of College Info Geek. His one is great because he uses the Pomodoro technique of working for 25 minute intervals with a 5 minute break. Here it is below:
It seems strange but for some reason it really helps me concentrate. It's the power of community.
Setting Goals as part of a community with Facebook
So as you can see, I think about this way too much, so it's good to share in the productivity obsession with other people!
You can't always nip away to a mastermind group or co-working session, so Facebook groups help you to share your goals with others in order to keep each other motivated.
Here's the Online Teacher Paradise if you'd like to join:
Social media can become a sort-of accountability group for achieving your goals.
11) Monetized My Site With Ads Through Monumetric
Due to setting all these monthly goals of producing set-amount of content (content is king, remember!) and rapidly improving my SEO with the help of LongTailPro and rising social media presence…
…I was starting to get a lot of traffic. However, the Google Adsense ads I had installed were only giving me pennies in revenue.
I didn't understand. I read so many articles about how people were raking it in from ads.
So I started chopping and changing my Adsense ad structure on the site…still pennies.
People just weren't clicking on the ads…and I don't blame them, I never do it either!
In my novice knowledge of ads, I assumed Adsense was the only option…but then a friend directed me to Monumetric.
What is Monumetric?
This is an ad network (formerly known as The Blogger Network) that sets up ads on your site and optimizes the display for you.
And wanna know the best thing about Monumetric?
You earn ad revenue by impression, not by click (like Adsense). This means that you earn from people just scrolling past the ads.
So now I could stop worrying about getting people to click on ads…but just get people to read my content and scroll past the advertising banners (which felt so much better for the soul!)
Here is an example of my daily passive earnings through Monumetric:
DigiNo and Monumetric
You can now apply for Monumetric through DigiNo as I've partnered with them. This will fast-track your application and I can give you guidance on how to boost your revenue. Just click below to get started:
Fast-track your Monumetric Application!
This affiliate link is an exclusive to DigiNo. Monumetric doesn't have an affiliate program. So this means I can give you support if your application is accepted with Monumetric through DigiNo!
Here's an article I've written that details some of my progress and earnings with Monumetric:
12) Upgraded my Website with StudioPress and Genesis Framework
The time came where the bird outgrew its nest. DigiNo was getting more and more complex, and my original WordPress theme was struggling to contain it.
It was time for an upgrade.
That's when I stumbled upon the Genesis Framework and the SPI Pro theme by Studiopress.
The theme sits upon the framework, allowing you to customise it easily without touching code.
It's great for creating an advanced looking website…with not so advanced skills!
Here is the theme I used at the link below:
And that's how I created DigiNo. There is loads more I could write about everything but this is really the most important stuff and a good starter. I have included everything I use on the DigiNo resource page as well.
Come and join me on the passive income journey and sign up below to receive updates of all the new tricks I find. Just sign up on the page below:
And to finish up neatly, here's a nice list of each thing I mentioned below so you can check it all out.
|Tool & Link||Description|
|BlueHost||Website Hosting and Wordpress|
|Skillshare||Learning platform (2 month free trial)|
|Blinkist||Book summary app (free trial)|
|Canva||Graphic design website|
|Fiverr||Hire cheap freelancers|
|iWriter||Hire cheap writers|
|Long Tail Pro||Affordable keyword research (free trial)|
|ConvertKit||Email Marketing Software (free 30 day trial)|
|YouTube Equipment & Software||Article|
|Content Samurai||Easy Video Creator (free 7 day trial)|
|Timepop||Goal sharing app (free)|
|SPI Pro Theme||My Wordpress Theme|
And be sure to check out my free passive income video course by clicking the button below:
And head to the resource page below for even more helpful tools to create that passive income!