Online beginner earns over $100,000 working from home building passive websites

How to start an online business with Matt Raad and Chriss Smith

This is one of our favourite student success stories of how a total technophobe and internet newbie – the amazing Chriss Smith, absolutely blitzed it and learnt how to make a six figure income online working from home in rural Victoria.

Chriss came from zero digital skills, and didn’t even want to start an online business. But she saw the potential in having digital assets, and now builds her own portfolio of websites.

Chriss is a great example of how having a goal for financial freedom and then the drive, determination and patience to achieve this really pays off.

From a time where her websites seemed like they were getting zero traction and making no money, to today making her a very good income working from home – Chriss is an awesome inspiration to us all!

CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW to hear Chriss’s story…

Matt Raad:               Today we want to share with you Chriss’s story. I’ve personally coached Chriss for quite some time now. And I want to share with you the truth behind Chriss’s journey. To do that we will reference Matt’s graph. We all have our ups and downs. Is that the word you would use Chriss? [everyone laughs]

Matts Raads Favourite Online Success Graph – the beginning can be “bumpy” sometimes…

Chriss:             It’s been pretty much like that. Because when I first started I could barely send an email. I’d often say to my husband Mark, why isn’t it working? What’s not happening? I often had to close the computer down because I’d actively said I’m never going to have an online business. I don’t want a computer. I just don’t understand it.

Because when I first started (online) I could barely send an email” – Chriss Smith

I have a background in dressmaking, so I’m very tactile. I can feel it, I can see it, I can mould it. But when you’ve just got a flat screen there and you can’t actually touch things to move them around, it’s really hard.

How Chriss hit her goal of making $100,000 online…

So, I set a goal on January 1st, 2016, and I journalled every night before going to bed. I am going to hit my goal of $100,000 earned online.

Matt:               Take note of that everyone.

Chriss:             And by August I was thinking, hmm. I’m not going to hit it.

Matt:              Yes because she’s back at the beginning of the graph.

Chriss:             Correct, and then I had a fantastic finish to the year. So, I thought at the end of December, I will add up all my figures. So, I have basically Amazon affiliate commisions followed by eBooks, followed by AdSense, and altogether I hit $107,000.

Earning semi-passive income online gives Chriss stability…

Matt:               So now, how does it feel to know that you have that stable, and significant income?

Chriss:             It’s significant all right! It’s fantastic. It’s really good and it’s pretty passive too, which is what I like. So, I can go to bed at night and know that I’ll wake up in the morning and there’ll be money rolling in. And it’s very stable.

The perfect lifestyle business for Chriss and her family…

Matt:               And you live with Mark on a farm in a rural area.

Chriss:             Yes, we live on a farm in Gippsland, near Drouin and it’s very peaceful. We work from home. We have a fantastic vista, looking down a valley and we have a few cattle. We’ve got two dogs and it’s beautiful. We’ve got 30 acres there. We’re very lucky to be there.

Chriss’s main strategy is now building websites for a portfolio of digital assets

Matt:               Yes, that’s perfect, well done! So now your main strategy, and this is important for everyone, it’s not about buying websites. You’re building your own sites, aren’t you? So, you’re not using capital to create that $100,000 a year.

Chriss:             I mainly build websites now. I might buy the occasional one on Flippa. The last one I bought was a little one for $50 (on crib mattresses). But I like to make them myself, because that way I have full control of how the site looks. I like to control what the content is like, what the links are like, and it works really well.

The art of patience for SEO results…

Matt:               Those two sites are perfect examples. Chriss built these sites and was saying, “Matt, they’re just not making any money. I’m sick of these things. I’m just going to forget about them.” I said, “Chriss, it takes six to 12 months when you build a site, for SEO to kick in, for natural traffic to work”. And, was I right Chriss?

Chriss:             Yes. Matt’s always right! He’s a fantastic coach, and he’s always right and he’s always Awesome! [everyone laughs]

Matt:               [laughs] Thank you. But it was on the 12-month mark when they really kicked in, wasn’t it?

Chriss:             Yes it was.

Matt:               And so basically, here were these sites, which were effectively doing nothing. So when did they start making money?

Chriss built 2 Simple Websites that made $3000 – $4000 passive income per month…

Chriss:             So, the first site is roughly metal detecting niche. And the second site is in the ladies’ personal care niche. For the first year they made nothing, they just dragged along. But then the second year, they did really well on Amazon.

Now, the ladies shaving niche, that did US$1,600, which translates to roughly AUD$2,000 – $3,000. And the metal detecting one did US$800. And that one is very much a Christmas niche. So, at Christmas it just goes up like a rocket.

Matt:               So what do they make a month?

Chriss:             So now it averages about US$700 – $800. The metal detecting.

Matt:               Profit. Not sales. Pure profit. $US700 – $800 a month. So built from scratch, any of you in this room could build that sort of a site now. If you do the WebDev Accelerate program.

Chriss:             Yes you can.

Matt:               And it’s making about $700 or $800 and the other one’s doing about the same isn’t it.

Chriss:             No the women’s products website, that’s up to almost US$2,000 a month now. And that only has about 12 posts on it.

Matt:               So, US$600 to $700 per month, on site one. That’s one of your sites. And number two is making US$2,000 a month.

Chriss:             And that’s taken 2 1/2 years to get there.

Chriss has also created a portfolio of valuable website assets that can she sell for high multiples…

Matt:               The way these types of sites are selling on Flippa, would probably make them worth US$20,000 – $30,000, depending on how you sell it. This is because it’s obviously a very genuine, real site. Who would give Chriss $20,000 for that website right now? I would! I know Chriss, and I know what she’s done on these websites.

So think of the asset here that you’ve got, just with these two sites alone. That’s around $30,000 – because good Amazon affiliate sites are selling a bit more than 10, 20, 30 times multiples.

That’s out of thin air, out of your head. And it took 12 months (or a bit longer) to get to this point. But roughly after 12 to 18 months, you’ve got maybe US$45,000 – $50,000 in web assets. Sitting there that Chriss can just rely on if she needs it. Or she can just keep relying on the income for those sites. Built out of thin air.

Well done Chriss and thank you so much for getting up on our stage at our annual digital marketing conference and sharing this inspirational story with our community! We always get so much positive feedback on how Chriss has inspired so many in our community!

How You Can Start An Online Business Like Chriss…

We love these success stories like Chriss’s because this is what we specialise in teaching here at the eBusiness Institute – helping complete beginners transform their lives and incomes by getting online and setting up a portfolio of valuable income generating websites.

If you would like to learn about how to start an online business then make sure you check out our digital training courses here.

About The Author

Matt Raad

Matt Raad is a website investor, Angel Investor and leading educator in Digital Marketing, and is recognised as the Australian expert in buying, renovating and selling profitable websites and businesses. Find him on Facebook, LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

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