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Keyword Chef Founder Ben Adler Shares How To Choose The Best Topics To Grow Your Blog



Keyword Chef Founder Ben Adler Shares How To Choose The Best Topics To Grow Your Blog

Hope you’re ready for some actionable tips to improve your keyword research.

On this week’s episode of the Niche Pursuits podcast, Keyword Chef founder Ben Adler highlights the proven tactics he’s learned over the years to go after the right topics and grow several successful niche sites.

These are the same strategies he built into the filtering system of his popular keyword research tool – ensuring users can discover the most high-value, low-competition keywords available.

And he talks about how you can use and benefit from these strategies!

He shares important insights on:

  • Understanding search intent
  • How to assess and analyze low-competition in the SERPs
  • Using keyword research to help with niche selection
  • Common keyword research mistakes
  • And many more topics that’ll bring you tons of value…

This is a must-listen for anyone looking to save time and money by targeting the right topics using proven research methods.

Do not miss it!

Topics Ben Adler Covers

  • How Ben got into niche sites
  • His programming background
  • How he learned SEO
  • The evolution of keyword research
  • How he grew his Facebook group
  • Ways Keyword Chef helps with competitor analysis
  • Why user-generated content can be easier to out-rank
  • How to assess SERPs with YouTube videos
  • Misspelt and grammatically incorrect keywords
  • Difference between related vs relevant subtopics
  • How to choose primary vs secondary keywords
  • Keyword Chef current numbers
  • And a whole lot more…

Sponsored by: Search Intelligence and

Watch The Interview

Read The Transcription

Jared: Are you ready to jumpstart your next big idea? Then? Welcome to the Niche Pursuits Podcast. It’s all about helping you find your niche, getting the motivation and strategies you need, and growing your ideas into something real.

Jared: Welcome to the niche. Podcast today. Our guest is Ben Adler from Keyword Chef, a keyword research tool. Ben joins us today to talk about, you guessed it, keyword research. He’s quite the expert at it given that he developed his own. SaaS product to help website builders with their keyword research. Ben is a background in website building.

We, we touch on some of the websites he’s built, but the majority of the interview is spent talking about keyword research. He shares a lot of great tips for how to find low competition keywords how to understand search intent. What types of keyword queries you should go after, which ones are evidence of low competition.

We kind of get into some discussions on the idea of topical authority keyword clustering a little bit. And I also pick his brain on which type of niches to look for when you’re looking to start a. While keyword research is normally done, once you pick a niche Ben shares some pretty good compelling reasons, some pretty good reasons for why you might want to be doing keyword research before you pick a niche.

We talk a little bit about keyword chef how he started it. It’s a fun story hearing how he developed this keyword research tool and the types of queries that it can help you find. So I hope you enjoy today’s interview with Ben and we’ll see you on the other. Introducing niche Are you looking to scale your niche site portfolio or build your first website?

Look no further than niche With a portfolio of successful websites and over 700 plus satisfied clients. The [email protected] have the skills and experience to help you. From keyword research to link building content writing to done for you websites. Niche offers a full range of services to help your content site grow.

As the thing goes, a trial is worth more than a thousand words, and they’re offering a special trial just for new customers. You get 5,000 words of content completely free with your order of 10,000 plus traffic. Don’t miss this opportunity. Head on over to niche and take advantage of this amazing trial offer.

Again, it’s niche sites, plural. Niche Go claim your free content today. Before we jump into the podcast, I wanted to let you know that today’s episode is sponsored by Search Intelligence. Here’s a short clip of Ferry from Search Intelligence showing you how their agency built digital PR links to a client’s website.

In this video, 

Ben: I will show you how we landed a placement on BBC and dozens of links in massive regional online publications such as Wears Online, daily Posts, and many more. This PR campaign was about the easiest place to pass your driving test for the first time in the uk.

Jared: This is how 

Ben: we’ve. We simply went to Dal website, found the latest car driving test data by test center, and downloaded the data in a CSB format. Once we had the data, all we had to do is to look at the number of total tests per test center, then look at the number of first time passes to calculate the percentage of people who passed their test for the first time.

Once we had the percentage. We created a press release with our findings. Then we went to Rox Hill and found journalists who talk about driving tests and also looked for journalists who write in regional publications in the uk. In total, we have found about 1,800 journalists and sent them our press release by email.

Within less than a day. Our story got picked up by PBC Cornwell, life Wells online, and dozens of other publications in the UK providing our client a tsunami of back links. Perfectly relevant to the audience of the client who is a specialist in learner driver car insurance. I hope this video is helpful and it shows you how you can also build links with freely available data from 

Jared: official sources.

If you want similar link building PR campaigns for your. Head to search and get in touch with them now.

All right. Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast. My name is Jared Baumann, and today we are joined by Ben Adler with Keyword Chef Ben. 

Ben: Welcome. Hey, Jared. 


Jared: you. Yeah, good to be here. Thanks for ha for coming on board. And and I’m really looking forward to the interview today. I already kind of buried the lead.

You are with Keyword Chef, which means that we are gonna be talking a lot about keyword research today. And I feel like this one’s been a long time coming. I know that you had an interview on the blog, on the Niche Pursuits blog a while back and stuff, so it’s gonna, it’s gonna be really good to have you on the podcast today.

Thanks for. Good. Thank you. 

Ben: Why 

Jared: don’t why don’t you catch us up a bit on, on who you are and maybe a little bit of your background before Keyword Chef was was started. 

Ben: Yeah. I like doing this because it’s, I, I kind of think it’s a cool story, but it’s about me, so , but it’s okay. I asked, I, I have a developer background and I was with a job for maybe nine years doing program.

And during that time I was always interested in like making money online and passive income, but I didn’t know anything about the world of making money online because it is a new world for people who don’t know about it. Oh yeah. So, you know, I was just looking for ideas and I was browsing and Reddit one day and I came across this post from someone with a vacuum cleaner website and he was doing.

And he actually shared his website. So I, I looked at the website and it, it didn’t look very good and I thought, Hey, I could do this because I’m a developer. Mm-hmm. I didn’t know anything about SEO at the time, . But this person was making $500 a month with this vacuum cleaner website and that like, I was like, wow, I could do this.

So that was like my aha moment into. Affiliate marketing and blogging. So I, I built a couple sites. They, I wasn’t really into them. They didn’t really work out. They were, they were bad niches. And then a few months later or whatever I was still thinking of ideas for niches and I found one that didn’t really have much competition at the time.

So I kind of got lucky. So I, I built a review. because that’s all I knew because I was copying this other website I saw about the vacuum cleaners. So I just reviewed, I didn’t even know much about keywords at the time. I just reviewed all the products in my category. Mm-hmm. . I read like every single Amazon review, you know, I read user manuals, I watched videos, and I made these really helpful articles.

And then I compared the articles like you. Product A versus product B. Mm-hmm. . And that was a good strategy because I already knew all the information, so these articles were easier to write because I already did the individual one, so I just compared them. Mm-hmm. . So I just, I just made that review website and then this, this was way back when Amazon rates were better.

But in like December, that site was making like 6,000 a month. And then it started going downhill. As you know, Amazon cut commissions. I had more competition. And then I put ads on the website, which helped which I should have done long before, but I thought ads were spammy , so I missed out, out on a lot of money.

Anyways, I made a couple other sites and during this time, , I built a Facebook group to help teach people how to build these niche websites. Okay. I, I still run that Facebook group now. It’s very active. So I was building this online community and then at one point I was getting good at keyword research and I thought, you know, with my programming background, I could automate my keyword research process make it into a software tool and then sell it to my Facebook group.

So that’s, that’s how it all started, basically. 

Jared: So that’s how it started is, yeah. But, but you didn’t intend to start this community for marketing a keyword tool, ? No. You had other intentions with for it? 

Ben: Yeah. I actually started it to sell a course. I didn’t make a course. I got a few signups, but I realized I really didn’t like making courses.

Software was much more enjoyable for me. , even though I had discontinued the course, you know, I still kept the group active. And I just sold them a different product that was better. 

Jared: So it was better. Yeah. And I mean, I’ve gotta imagine your programming background obviously had a big influence on the keyword tool you created Keyword Chef.

But how much, I mean, do you feel like it gave you any advantages in terms of the websites that you built?

Ben: Maybe a little bit, you know, I might do some HT mail and CSS to make certain things look pretty. But you know, there’s so many templates and plugins out there, and you could hire someone off five or for $5 to make a little. Snippet box if you, if you really wanted to. So yeah, I mean, it, it, it did help a little bit, but it wasn’t like a huge advantage or, or anything.


Jared: I’m curious, like how did you teach yourself seo in essence? I mean, it sounds like you ranked these websites based on, I mean, good keyword research. know, writing really helpful articles and then, you know, getting Amazon affiliate commissions from ’em. Like how did you, how did you learn how to, how to do this?

I mean I, I, I get that you maybe picked a couple in the wrong niche, but we all do that. , our first sites are rarely ones. We’re looking back on proud of or necessarily rank that well, but what, I mean, what turned the corner for you? How did you figure it out? So you got such a successful site? 

Ben: Yeah. One thing was like lack of competition, which really.

and then, you know, I was teaching myself SEO at the time from like Neil Patel and Brian Dean from Backlinko. You know, so if I had a question, like I would research a lot of things like, does title length matter for SEO ? Right. Or, or like, how long should an article be? So I, I would just research things as they went along.

But what really turned the page for me with keyword research is from income school. Are you familiar with them? Mm-hmm. ? Yeah. I didn’t take their course, but they had a free video on their YouTube channel talking about how if you find forums ranking the certs, that’s a good sign of low competition.

Right. So I was like, I was like, wow. So that. Blew the door open for me in terms of getting good at keyword research. 

Jared: Let’s talk a bit about, and, cause I’m sure it’s evolved, especially with you building a tool, but let’s talk about the early days of keyword research. What was working for you? Where did you find the keywords for your biggest articles, or what kind of methods did you use to end up getting the, the money-making articles, you know, and 

Ben: yeah.

Most of my money came from like, the reviews, and I didn’t, like I said, I, I just reviewed all the products in my niche. But when I started doing more like info based articles mm, mm-hmm. Basically I would like go to Google Auto suggest and do what’s called the Alphabet super method and just type in like why is, you know, product name and see what comes up for.

Auto complete suggestions, and those are real keyword words people are searching for. And Google is telling you this for free. . Yep. So it’s a, it’s a free keyword research method. And then to get the search volume I was using keywords everywhere. Mm-hmm. . And that will tell you the search volume right in the erp and even in the auto complete suggestions.

It’s really cheap. It’s like $10 for like a hundred thousand. Search volume checks. But there’s a free tool out there called like Surfer seo, another Chrome extension, which is free. So if you’re on like a really tight budget, you don’t wanna spend any money on keyword research at all this is a good free way to start finding keywords and then, You can analyze the surface manually to see which ones have forms on them.

It is more tedious, but you know, it, it teaches you what to look for and what to search for to get good at q re research. So once you know what to look for, then you can optimize using these tools. 

Jared: Right, right. Uh, I mean, it sounds like you were in the on the early side of what you know now. You called and referred to frequently as topical authority , you know, without maybe that being a focus year is, it sounds like you were just writing a lot of content about the topic based on you know, a very manual keyword research process.

Ben: Yeah. In some ways I was like, like I said, reviewing every product that probably told Google I was the website to go to about reviews for mm-hmm. , our products. 

Jared: Well why did you end up like were you automating or were you setting out, I guess, to build a tool? I, I’m just curious, were you setting out to do it, to solve your own problem, to kind of make your keyword research process quicker?

Or did you, did you kind of think, I got something here, I got a programming background. Let’s take this, let’s take this concept to market. 

Ben: Even though, like, I still use my own tool, ex, like that’s the only tool I use now for keyword research. . It was the second thing, like taking it to market was my main focus.

Like I’ve, I’ve always wanted to have my own software company, but I thought I needed to like, hire a bunch of employees and things like that. I, I didn’t understand the SASS model at the time. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But along the way I learned about sass and I was like, oh, this could be a, this could be a sas.

So I, like, I committed to making it into, A good product to market. That’s 

Jared: great. That’s great. Okay. Well let’s talk a bit about the tool you created and I’m curious to get the story of the build and, and, and maybe you know, what it took to get the product from a concept to something that you were able to release to the public.

Ben: Yeah. It actually started on like my whiteboard, like I like to plan things out. You know, there’s a lot of pieces involved in a keyword research tool. It’s like, how do you get the keywords, how do you get the, the volume? How, how do you get the search, how do you analyze the c ? And, and you need to make all that, like anytime you’re working with a lot of data, you know, you need to make it cost effective.

You need to make it fast. So it’s like, how do I manage all this data, make it cost effective? So that was like, The first planning purpose, like the first planning stage, stage one is just like mapping things out. And then it’s just like programming it and, you know, how do I, am I gonna scrape the data?

Am I gonna use an api? You know, how do I store the data? And I, I just, I just built it and learned along the way, like how to, like, you know, Full stack applications and things like that. Right, 

Jared: right. Is you, you kind of teased it when you came out with the tool. It sounds like you relied pretty heavily in the community.

You had, you had built up. How did you build up that community? If you, you know, like this community you had, it was, it was intended to launch a course. It sounds like you didn’t really go very far in the course. So how did the community get so built up? What was, what was kind of behind the community and, and its growth?

Ben: Yeah. So I, you know, when I first learned about courses, I was like, oh, courses are a good business model. I’ll, I’ll create a group for that. So that’s when it started. So I was already active in some of the Facebook groups already. So, you know, I did some research about how to build Facebook groups, and what I learned was like you can set up what’s called a profile funnel, which is basically advertising your group on your Facebook profile.

If you’re in online marketing, you pro, you’ve probably seen these I’ve heard all over. Yep, yep. So I, I did that and then I, I didn’t spam people , but I went into other groups and I just started helping people, like answering questions and really just become a valuable member of the community. And, you know, sooner or later, you know, people get to know you.

They’ll send you a friend request and things like that. . And then at one point I posted on my Facebook wall saying, Hey I’m making a group teaching people how to make review websites. Do you wanna join? So from that post on my wall, I got the first like 50 members in my Facebook group. And then I just tried, like I did, I put a ton of helpful content in my group.

Like I made a mini course I made. Guides that were like 5, 6, 700 words long that were basically blog post. And I would pin them in the group. And when people joined the group, they’re like, wow, this is super helpful. Like some people would charge, you know, an arm and lake for this information you’re giving away for free

So I just made the group really valuable. You know, I moderated it from spam and I just helped people and, you know, I did advertise it in a few other groups here and there. And some other bloggers, they actually reviewed my group for like the best affiliate marketing groups on Facebook. Oh, nice.

I don’t know how much I got from that, but, you know. Yeah. , I probably only got a few members that way. 

Jared: Of course that would be a review that, that a blogger would write. I didn’t even think about that. It’s, yeah. So very ironic. 

Ben: Yeah, in the beginning, like the group owner is gonna be doing most of the work, trying to keep the group active and it’s just like, you know, answering every peop everyone’s questions.

My philosophy is like if someone asks a question in your group, you don’t want that answer to go unan that question to go unanswered because like people posting groups where they can be helped. Right, right. If no one was getting help in your group, they’re going to a different group to get help. So I was just very attentive and like very helpful, responding to questions and just like over time the group, you know, just grew over time.


Jared: And that probably also made it so that. When you launched the when you launched Keyword Chef, like you were able to talk about it in a way that people understood you as a trusted, helpful member of the community, not just someone trying to kind of, you know, pitch a product. I, I, you know, full circle

Ben: Yeah, exactly. I tell people, like marketing to me is just helping people. Like, I’m not very good at copy or emails or funnels. I didn’t send emails until like years later. So I just like, you know, I like doing things online. I like helping people. I like community. So that’s, that’s what I do. And that works for me.

Jared: So what, like, tell us a bit about what Keyword Chef does. There’s, there’s a lot of different keyword research tools out there. Yeah. Does it embody really some of the things you’ve already talked about in terms of the way you do keyword research? Like what, what’s the like what’s the core differentiator, the unique part about Keyword Chef when it comes to 

Ben: research?

Yeah. So everything I mentioned about doing keyword research manually, that’s automated now into Keyword Chef. So it will find keywords, it’ll get the volume for you. But the one thing it does really well is it will analyze the ERP results for a keyword. So what a lot of people do manually is when they’re analyzing competition for a keyword they’ll go to.

They’ll google that keyword and they’ll look at the top 10 results. Mm-hmm. to figure out who the competition is. Right. So if you have, imagine if you have a thousand keywords go into the SERP every time for a thousand keywords on each of those. That’s gonna take days literally, right. . There’s nothing more tedious than checking the syrup.

For a thousand D keywords. But what keyword Jeff does, it analyzes the search for you. And it highlights ones that have things like forums ranking on the first page or social sites or free blog websites like, you know, like blog spot for example. Or e-commerce sites. So you can really analyze any type of site you want, and you can even add your own website.

If you know who a competitor is, that’s easy to outrank. You can even add that website for it to analyze. So it’s analyzing these ses in real time for all the keywords and telling you which ones are, are, are easy based on your own criteria, you know? Mm-hmm. . So it’s, it’s like a customizable competition metric that’s very transparent.

Jared: And so just for people who are, listen, Who might not be aware of the way that that your keyword research tool is put together. It sounds like what it’s pulling out is, hey, we want to analyze what is low competition. And so it’s really trying to say, and, and you went through it like forums. What, what else?

Free blog sites. So that’s like a Tumblr or something like that. Like a blog spot, those kind of things. Yeah. What el like what are other signs of low competition? Like, hey, if you see this in the SRP results for your keyword chances are if you write a really good post on this you know, you can outrank it because you see these signs.

Ben: Yep, exactly. So anything with like user generated content, so that could be a forum. Or it could be like Reddit or Cora. Yep, 

Jared: yep. Reddit, Cora. Okay. 

Ben: Or it could be a social website, like Twitter or you know, like a Facebook or, or Tumblr like you said. I also say free blog websites because like generally speaking, if you have like a free blog website, you probably aren’t very good at seo.

So , 

Jared: so my first blog was on the free blog spot. This is back in like the early two thousands for the record. But yeah, like I totally, I I remember the day when the day came, when it was like, you know, if we really wanna rank for anything, we’re gonna probably have to switch this to a regular WordPress blog, not a free blog spot account.

But, and then we had to do the migration. I have my first migration, all that, but yeah, yeah. No, no, good point. We were not taking Bloggings seriously back. We were on a blog spot website. 

Ben: Yeah, exactly. More serious bloggers tend to use WordPress. Other things are like files, so maybe like a p a pdf.

Oh yeah. Okay. Mm-hmm. . So I can look for those as well. And then depending on the search intent, possibly e-commerce, right? So if someone’s looking for like a rich, informational article to read and e-commerce is showing. There’s a search intent mismatch there. So the e-commerce site in that case would be low competition.

Got it. But if someone is looking for something to buy and Amazon shows up, or another e-commerce site, then that’s probably not low competition because the user wants to buy something. 

Jared: So the difference there would. I’m looking outside and it’s raining right now. So the difference there would be if I’m searching for how to find or how to pick a good rain jacket.

and Amazon is showing up right away, there might be an opportunity to write an informational article that would satisfy that query versus if I just type rain jacket 

Ben: or like, like, or buy Buy a rain jacket or 

Jared: something. Yeah, buy a rain jacket or, yeah. Right. And that’s, that’s gonna be more of an e-commerce type query where, you know, that would those, that would be the difference where if you see an Amazon ranking, when it would be good to go after it and when it would be not good to go after it.


Ben: So you kinda have to use your brain, you know, what is the search? What does a user want in terms of results? And then evaluate your comp, your criteria based on that. 

Jared: So let me get your opinion on this. I, I mean, I run into this a lot at our agency when we’re doing you know, finding different topics to write about.

But you know, when you see a Reddit, you would think, well, Reddit’s a very popular website as an, I’m just using Reddit as an example. By the way, you could use this for any number of them, but Reddit’s a very popular website. It’s. Probably pretty trusted in terms of a domain by Google. So in your opinion, like why is it that when a Reddit result shows up in the top results for a search, it’s actually a fairly easy keyword to target?

Ben: Yeah, that’s a good question. Because if you’re just going by like DA 

Jared: or something, right? Like domain authority or whatever you want to, whatever metric you wanna call it, Reddit is 

Ben: gonna be very high because it probably has tons of backlinks. So, so this is, well, Ida isn’t always so Reddit, like any other user drain array content where users are logging in and typing whatever they want these sites, they’re not very SEO optimized.

If you go to a Reddit post it, it doesn’t, it doesn’t have like headers and sub-headers. It doesn’t have internal links. A lot of the things that people write might be off topic, they might be funny, memes or jokes. It’s not gonna be as in depth most of the time. So because it’s user-generated content, that means the content is probably poor, quality, disorganized.

And these sites, they don’t have a lot of the basic on page SEO signals, like I said, like subheaders, internal links. Mm-hmm. Images with proper alt tag. So it’s just very poorly optimized for those reasons. So if I say it like that is ranking and it’s poorly optimized, it probably means it’s an easy keyword word.

Yeah, and 

Jared: I agree with you because it’s amazing how when you’ll see the like a forum ranking high, like it, it usually is pretty beatable. You know, even for brand new website, I mean, I wanna say brand new, I use air quotes here to be, you know, every, every situation is a little different, but newer websites can rank for these types of querie.

Oh yeah, definitely. 

Ben: I, I’ve, I’ve done it without backlinks, like your helpful content will out rank these poorly optimized sites. 

Jared: Before we jump into the podcast, I wanted to let you know that today’s episode is sponsored by Search Intelligence. Here’s a short clip of Ferry from Search Intelligence showing you how their agency built digital PR links to a client’s website.

In this video, 

Ben: I will show you how we landed a placement on BBC and dozens of links in massive regional online publications such as Words. Daily post and many more. This PR campaign was about the easiest place to pass your driving test for the first time 

Jared: in the 

Ben: uk.

This is how we’ve done it. We simply went to D Value website, found the latest car driving test data via test center, and downloaded the data in a CSV format. Once we had the data, all we have to do is to look at the number of total tests for test center, then look at the number of first time. To calculate the percentage of people who passed their tests for the first time.

Once we had the percentage numbers. We created a press release with our findings. Then we went to Rox Hill and found journalists who talk about driving tests and also looked for journalists who write in regional publications in the uk. In total, we have found about 1,800 journalists and sent them our press release by email.

Within less than a day. Our story got picked up by BBC Corn Life Wells Online, and dozens of other publications in the UK providing our client a tsunami of backlinks. Perfectly relevant to the audience of the client who is a specialist in learner driver car insurance. I hope this video is helpful and it shows you how you can also build links with freely available data from official.

Jared: If you want similar link building PR campaigns for your website, head to search and get in touch with them now. So, I mean, in terms of low competition, what are some other, are there any others? You’ve already gone through a lot of them, by the way. So I don’t mean to, to imply there’s more, but are there any other kind of giveaways?

Like let me give you an example that I’m thinking of recently. If I see a u a bunch of YouTube results in the query, should I go after that or should I not go after that? One side says YouTube is user generated, but the other side says, Google’s showing a preference for video there, and my blog post wouldn’t do well like some of these scenarios.

Now I have questions for you, for you, about, and from your opinion, what you see. Yeah. 

Ben: Videos are tricky. I think in cases where the query is like a how-to, or the user wants to see something visual, like how to tie a tie, right? . People wanna see a video on how to tie a tie, they don’t wanna read about it.

Mm-hmm. . So in that case, when the user wants to see something visual video is what the user wants to see and that it’s gonna be harder to beat that video with an article. That makes sense. If, if it’s more like just something that people wanna read instead. Yeah. Maybe a video would be easier to outrank in that case.

Mm-hmm. . Yeah, I, I do, I do see that. So just like be mindful of search intent and what the user wants in, in that case. 

Jared: When it comes to the tool, when it comes to keyword chef how do, how, like, how do you guys measure? Or is there a way to measure intent? I think of my own keyword research and I oftentimes will end up with a lot of keywords, but I have a hard time figuring out which one.

I should write and which ones are related and I should not write because you don’t wanna write all of ’em because they’re all somewhat similar sometimes. Yeah. You know, how do you guys and, and just where in your opinion, does one kind of sift through and pick, which is the quote unquote write keyword to focus on versus the similar ones?


Ben: So there’s two ways Keyword Chef helps with this. The first is it has like a built-in filtering system. It will actually remove keywords and not show them. And these are keywords like if, if you’re searching for pizza and a keyword comes up like pizza near me, like you wouldn’t want a blogger to write about that because they’re not gonna rank for it, right?

Yep. So I have a filtering process where I, I remove a bunch of those keywords that a blogger should not write about. So that kind of and the other part is I have like categories. So like if you, if you only wanna see questions, you can select questions or if you only wanna see how to keywords which could be a lot of video, like people want to know how to do things and see it visually.

So I actually have a separate category just for how to I have a separate category for best if you’re doing the reviews. . So you’re not gonna see like a lot of like keywords where people just wanna buy things right away, like e-commerce stuff. I, I tend to weed those out. Mm-hmm. . But people can like pick their own search intent based on the category they want and, and it might not be perfect all the time.

So it’s like you always have to use your brain, of course, when using a keyboard research tool. 

Jared: That’s a good disclaimer to always put out there, but you’d be surprised by. You know how often people will just take what’s on the spreadsheet and write it, so it’s a good, it’s a good disclaimer to put out there I’m just going on my, I, I gathered, you know, the different keyword research questions that I get, you know, from whether it’s Twitter or some of that. I, I get these and I thought I’d ask you, so some of them some of these are not necessarily my questions, but they’re questions I get asked a decent amount.

But here’s one that I hear a lot and I, I’d love your clarity on it. Grammatically incorrect keyword. Or keywords that you know don’t flow naturally. Obviously, you know, s e o people, people who are focused on search engine optimization, they’re taught to use the keyword to get it, you know, in the title, to get it on the, the, the h one of the H two to work it in.

Grammatically incorrect. How do you work it in? I mean, so what, what are your recommendations for using keywords that, you know, are missing a, a or an and or a, the, that grammatically aren’t quite right and how to use them in an article when you’re researching. 

Ben: So with like, typo isn’t like grammatically incorrect.

I think there’s well there’s two ways to look at this. Some people in, some people intentionally go after misspellings. And they think they’ll rank higher for that misspelling if they misspell the keyword in their article. I think I’ve never done this, but I think in some cases that might work for certain keywords perhaps, where Google doesn’t have a lot of information and thinks the misspelling might be an actual separate keyword.

Jared: Right. The actual intent 

Ben: behind it. So if maybe for some keywords where Google has limited information, that might work. But you know, Google. Most misspellings Google is like, knows what the user actually wants. You know, they, they even have a thing like, did you mean blah, blah, blah, to fix your typo, right?

Jared: Yep. You’re right. Yeah, they do. And they, they actually, they ought to correct it for you. They’re like, well, yeah, I’m pretty sure you meant this. So we actually ran the query on this. If you’d like to go back to your misspelling, hit this button. . 

Ben: Exactly. So like I was searching for some programming query the other day, and.

I was searching for like tabs, like, you know, like brow, like browser tabs. And the search results were all about tables, so , so it actually showed me. Incorrect results based on my query because I thought I wanted something else. , 

Jared: right. It actually, yeah, no, and that does happen. I, I’m trying to think of a scenario that happened to me somewhat recently too, where I’m looking, I’m like, why did I get all these results?

And I go back up at the top, but it changed my query. It’s just cuz I didn’t know how to, that that’s the problem for me is I’m just a terrible speller. So I end up getting a lot of bad results because I don’t know how to spell something. You know, you’re a bad speller when Google can’t figure out what you’re trying to talk 

Ben: about.

Yes. Yeah. You gotta use that voice . 

Jared: I do. Yeah. No, you’re right. I, I sometimes do it just cuz I don’t know how to 

Ben: spell it. Yeah. But the other point you bring up is like, do I need the exact key word in Yeah. My article and for good practice, like, I like to include the key word in my article but it’s not super necessary.

Google has been getting away from exact keyword matches and it has a lot better understanding about like the topic that the user actually wants. A few months ago I did an analysis of a couple pages of some random websites, and I found like the keywords they were ranking for, and I went to their page and I did a search on that page for the keyword they were ranking for, which on the first page, And there were like two dozen keyword they were ranking for on the first page that weren’t mentioned anywhere in the blog article.

So Google is smart to figure out what you want but it doesn’t, I think it’s still good practice to weave in naturally. The keyword here and there in your, into your article is just to help Google figure out, figure out your website. But you mentioned like grammatical stuff. Like do I need the word the, or a, like, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t worry about being exactly like that.

Just like get the main keywords in there. Those words are actually called like stop words and, excuse me. Some SEOs recommend like ignoring the stop or, you know, like a, and the, and, and things like that. So overall advice just like write helpful content, weave in the keywords naturally. Just don’t keyword stuff and just kind of cover the topic thoroughly and match the search intent.

Jared: You, you teased it, so I’ll, I’ll go there. What are some other keyword, you know, research mistakes that you see people making or that you run into, you know, running keyword chef. 

Ben: Yeah. A big thing is not matching the search intent. Right. One article I was helping someone out with, it was like, how to grow how, what was it?

It, it was like time of year, the best time of year to grow tomatoes or, or something. Mm-hmm. . And they were talking about like the health benefits of tomatoes. And, and if you have like a lot of content that’s like not very relevant to the main query, that, that’s like one mistake. So just because something is like related doesn’t mean it’s relevant to the query.

Mm-hmm. , does that make sense? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. So I’ve, I’ve hired writers about like, I don’t wanna give my niche away, but like

Try to find an, think of an example, like okay. Like I talked about like how to

like how to change a tire on a car, right? Mm-hmm. . Okay. That was the article I gave to my writer to write, and he started talking about like, The history of cars or, or something . Yep. Even though it’s still about cars, like there’s you learning about the history of cars isn’t gonna solve the the user’s problem.

So you wanna think about like, does this information help solve the user’s problem? You know, 

Jared: it’s a good point because with all the tools out there that try to tell you like how many words you need, right? And you know how many this article should be, this many words based on a variety of factors.

Sometimes writers, Struggle a bit to match word count, right? So you might end up with the history of cars and, you know, a little three paragraphs on Henry Ford and and you’re right, like the readers just like, I just wanna change my tire. I don’t really need, right. I think we had someone on the podcast recently where we see this a lot is recipes, right?

Where it’s like, I just wanna know how to, how to make like I made salsa last night for my family and I. The first result, I’m like, I don’t need to know the history of salsa. Really don’t need to know where it’s coming from. Just wanna know how to make salsa. 

Ben: Yeah. I mean, yeah, exactly. You know, maybe talk about how the flavors interact with each other, how they, how certain things enhance 

Jared: flavors.

Yeah. I, and I’m good knowing, like I should buy Roma tomatoes instead of this other one. Like, that’s awesome. Tell me that stuff, but I don’t need to know the origin of the tomato . 

Ben: Right. E exactly. That’s another good example of what not to do, . 

Jared: Okay. That, that’s fine. Another question I get and, and it’s on my list, so I’ll ask it how do you know whether to write an article on the topic or whether to include that keyword or topic in a bigger article?

I asked this question a lot in the podcast and I know there’s no like one size fits all answer, so I get that and but, but what are your thoughts on that? You know, like we get these queries that it’s like, man, should I write an article on that? Or should I include that in the article? You know, and, and, and I’m, I’m just curious where you come, come in at seeing so many keyword queries.


Ben: is a, I get what you mean. Like, do I combine two articles, two articles and two keywords and two, one, or keep them separate? And I still struggle with this myself. There’s a couple things I can help. One is, Looking at the search intent, and well, what you can do is do a you can actually Google one keyword and then Google the other keyword.

And if you see a lot of overlapping search results between the two keywords that means Google thinks the search intent is very similar. So that’s one way you can get an idea of what Google thinks. If the two articles, the two keywords should be combined or not, right? Mm. , but sometimes, like you still don’t know even doing that.

Yeah. And that, that process can still be tedious if you have a lot of keywords. So there, there are tools out there that do this. It’s called like keyword clustering. Right? But if you wanna do like a freeway it is like, I try to think of like what keyword would be like the top level keyword. . And then what, like if the next, if a keyword would be a secondary like question that user might have, so like how to change a tire.

It might be like a sub-question someone might have is like which way do I, in which order do I put the lug nuts in? Like, that would be a separate process. And, and oh, that would be like part of the same process as change s higher. So yes. Yep. In that case, think about like if they fit into, fit together that way, and then make it into one article.

But sometimes it’s, it’s just very hard to tell for certain keywords. And, oh, another thing you can do is like, does this article, can I answer this article with enough words to have it be its own separate. If, if this other keyword, if I can only write like 300 words on it, I might just include it in a different article.

Jared: Yeah. And, and and I That’s a good, that’s a really good point. A lot of times you’ll google the keyword and you’ll be a little perplexed, right? Like, well, there’s a couple articles that are on that specific topic. There’s a couple that aren’t. But I like that idea of take, take the both keywords and then see if you’re getting similar results.

And if you are, you’re right. Like Google’s probably got the intent fairly similar for those. That’s a really good tip. 

Ben: Yeah. So if. Eight out of the 10 articles are the same. , that’s a good sign to combine the 

Jared: keywords. Right. And following that analogy, so if you, if you Google like how to maybe you’re, you’re writing the, the article on how to change a tire and you’re, you’re wonder like, oh, should I write a different article on how to change a Ford tire or how to change a truck tire, or how to change a Nissan tire.

But you would go search each of those and it’s the same, how to change a truck how to change a tire. K articles keep coming up. You kind of know, eh, yeah. Similar search intent. Got it. Okay. You know, you mentioned earlier when you were trying to, when you were trying to find an example about, about your niche with your websites and, and I have my list, I wanna ask you about finding niches and y you know, like how, how often do you see people using keyword research to actually find a niche?

And how important do you think it is to be using keyword research maybe before you pick what niche to go into? 

Ben: Yeah, so I think, I know some people do use keyword research tools to find niches. Basically they’ll just plug in a topic and then they’ll use, ah, drafts to like see what websites are ranking.

And if there’s a lot of low DA sites for that keyword word, they might pick that niche, you know? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But I do think it’s important to do actual keyword. Before you even buy a domain, and the reasoning is like, it seems out of order, but really you wanna make sure you have a good runway before you take off.

So if I can’t find like 50 low competition keywords of niche, like I don’t wanna start that site. Mm-hmm. , if I can only find a few key words, because I don’t wanna start something, write all these articles and then later find out. Oh, this is a lot tougher than I thought, you know? Mm-hmm. . So you wanna like plan your runway ahead of time before you pick a.

Jared: It’s a good point cuz you know, a lot of, a lot of times the recommendation will be to, in order to validate a niche, it’s go look and, you know, see what’s ranking. And if there are some websites out there that aren’t really strong or really built out, then that might be a, a good niche. But you’re right, you also need to make sure that as a new website, you have enough of a runway to get lift off with your, with your, with your writers.

What other tips do you have for people? For people starting their website, how to pick a niche. Any other insights you have from both your experience as a website owner, but also from from the keyword research side? 

Ben: So when I first started, like the niche I picked that I talked about that was successful I didn’t own the product.

I, I didn’t care about the product. I just made that website for money and I was very passionate about making it successful. But as time goes on, like affiliate websites start becoming more of a grind, especially if you’re writing articles yourself. Like burnout is real, writing articles all the time and researching things that you don’t care about

Jared: So you sound like you speak from 

Ben: experience . Yeah. So my suggestion now mostly for two reasons is like, you know, pick something you’re interested. To like, prevent that burnout. And secondly, if like, if you’re already more knowledgeable in a topic about that, you write that, you create a niche about you, you’re gonna have an advantage.

Like, because you’re able to talk about things in details, and especially now with like the Eats, Google Eats they want, you know, writers with experience and e. Which is you, you know, you don’t have to be like the most expert person, but you know, Google calls these people everyday experts. You know, if you’ve been you don’t have to be like the top world tennis player, but if you’ve been playing tennis for five years compared to a beginner, you are considered an everyday expert.

Like mm-hmm. , you understand the topic a lot, so you’re able to write about things. You’re able to like, maybe take a picture of your rackets, of your court of. Of your tennis shoes, like all those, all that media you’re adding in personal experience and stories, that’s a unfair advantage you have compared to someone who is just outsourcing to a general writer.

So yeah, pick something you’re passionate about. You know, like people forget about like, you know, adding love to their. There’s sites, which I think goes a long way. 

Jared: Do you see that I mean, how important, I guess from, from what you see is is, is is the number of low competition queries you find? Like, for example, if.

You had a niche that you were really excited about, but it was a little bit more competitive when you started digging into the keywords versus a, a topic that you were kind of far less compe far less interested in, but had hundreds of low competition keywords, you know, which, where would you li lie on that?

I’m just curious, which, which one would you pick? 

Ben: Me personally, where I’m at now, I’d be more apt to pick something. More interested in, 

Jared: and that’s cuz you kind of stay invested more along the way. And, and you, you, you’d feel more excited long term about it. 

Ben: Yeah, I, I, I would wanna build like more of like a long term brand.

I might make, you know, I might start doing YouTube videos and. I can’t do that if I don’t really know much about the topic. Right. . 

Jared: So, so the perfect scenario is to find something that has something you’re interested in, but also a good, like you talked about, like a good runway of, in your words, at least 50 low competition queries.


Ben: And like, if you write good articles, like if the competition is higher, you might still rank for them. It’ll, it’ll just take you longer, you know, because a good articles. Acquire backlinks over time. I mean, it’s not gonna be the fastest method, but if you’re passionate about something and you stick to it, you know, you can still make it successful.

Mm-hmm. . 

Jared: Mm-hmm. . I wanna bring it back to Keyword Chef and I mean, you know, talk a little bit. It’s been a, it’s been around for, for how, when did you start it? I didn’t even ask you at the front end. What year did you, did you launch it? It was like, it’s like 

Ben: two years old. I started. January a couple years ago.

So it’s just like two years. 

Jared: Wow. Two years. And it’s your, it’s your full-time income now. It’s what you do full-time. Yep. Yep. And congratulations. That’s amazing. That is really cool. What What are some do you, I mean, are two years old now? What are some you know so some, any numbers you can share with us in terms of, I mean, I don’t know how many, how many keywords you guys run on a, on a, on a daily or monthly basis, or just, I mean, I’m just trying to get an idea of the scope that you’re dealing with with a SaaS product.

Ben: Yeah. So we, like, in terms of serving keywords, we’ve served, like the last time I’ve checked we served like 37 million. Keywords. We have like 30,000 users in the, in the database. Yeah, some of those are duplicates, of course, . Oh, which I don’t mind, as long as people aren’t like abusing the system.

Yeah, that’s, that’s PE people really like it. 

Jared: Yeah. Congratulations. That’s awesome. Thanks. If you can let us know where to direct people and where people can follow along with what you’re doing. And you, you still love the community, right? 

Ben: Yeah, 

Jared: I have my Facebook group. Okay. Yeah. Just share that.

Where, where can people find the Facebook group? Yeah. It’s called Affiliate Niche Builders. 

Ben: Okay. Just like Google it in the, not Google it. Facebook it. 

Jared: Facebook. Yep. Search it in the Facebook. In the Facebook search bar. 

Ben: Yeah. And then Keyword Jeff is keyword And I’m always available on like Messenger or email, ben keyword

But you know, I, I like helping people if you ask a question. I’ll, I’ll get back to you. 

Jared: I can tell. Yeah, I can tell you have a, you have a heart for that. It’s, that’s that one that is pretty clear. Ben, thanks so much for coming on board. We’ll get some of those we’ll get those links listed in the show notes.

People can go if they wanna join your Facebook community. I have any questions. Obviously we talked about starting a website. We talked about keyword research. We talked about topical you know, topical authorities, search intent. Like these are a lot of topics that a lot of people, especially, In the early days of a website have, have, I have a lot of questions on, so I, I’m glad I kept a nice log of keyword related questions and could kind of hit you with a lot of those along the way.

So thanks for joining us here on the podcast. I really appreciate it, 

Ben: jar. Thanks for having me. 

Jared: Introducing niche Are you looking to scale your niche site portfolio or build your first website? Look no further than niche with a portfolio of successful. And over 700 plus satisfied clients.

The [email protected] have the skills and experience to help you succeed from keyword research to link building content writing to done for you websites. Niche offers a full range of services to help your content site grow as the same goes at trial is worth more than a thousand words, and they’re offering a special trial just for new customers.

You get 5,000 words of content completely. With your order of 10,000 plus traffic back links, don’t miss this opportunity. Head on over to niche and take advantage of this amazing trial offer. Again, it’s niche sites, plural. Niche Go claim your free content today. I wanted to let you know that today’s episode is sponsored by Search Intelligence.

Here’s a short clip of Ferry from Search Intelligence showing you how their agency built digital PR links to a client’s website. 

Ben: In this video, I will show you how we landed a placement on BBC and dozens of links in massive regional online publications such as Words. BOLs and many more. This PR campaign was about the easiest place to pass your driving test for the first time in the uk.

This is how we’ve done it. We simply went to D Value website, found the latest car driving test data via test center, and downloaded the data in a CSV format. Once we had the data, all we had to do is to look at the number of total tests per test center, then look at the number of first time. To calculate the percentage of people who passed their tests for the first time.

Once we had the percentage numbers. We created a press release with our findings. Then we went to Rox Hill and found journalists who talk about driving tests and also looked for journalists who write in regional publications in the uk. In total, we have found about 1,800 journalists and sent them our press release by email.

Within less than a day. Our story got picked up by BBC Corn Life Wells online, and dozens of other publications in the UK providing our client a tsunami of backlinks. Perfectly relevant to the audience of the client who is a specialist in learner driver car insurance. I hope this video is helpful and it shows you how you can also build links with freely available data from 

Jared: official sources.

If you want similar link building PR campaigns for your. Head to search and get in touch with them now.

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This 34-Year-Old Built a $15k/Month Using SEO to Share Her Healthy Recipes



This 34-Year-Old Built a $15k/Month Using SEO to Share Her Healthy Recipes

Elysia Cartlidge is living proof that success will come if you work hard and don’t give up.

As a registered dietician with a full-time corporate job and two small kids, Elysia had a full plate and not much time. But she started her website, Haute & Healthy Living, originally as a hobby. A few years later, when she realized she could monetize it, she shifted her focus to healthy recipes, doubled down on SEO, and worked extremely hard on the weekends and when her kids were napping or sleeping.

Today she has a thriving website earning up to $15k per month.

Keep reading to find out:

  • Why she started her blog
  • What happened after she took her first blogging course
  • How long it took her to join Mediavine
  • Where her income comes from
  • How much she works on her site
  • Her marketing strategies
  • Her thoughts on SEO and social media
  • How she approaches keyword research and link building
  • How she creates content
  • Her favorite resources and tools
  • Her biggest challenge
  • Her greatest accomplishment
  • Her main mistake
  • Her advice for other entrepreneurs

Meet Elysia Cartlidge

My name is Elysia, and I’m a wife and mother to two little boys, Leo and Max, who are 5 and 2 ½ years old. I have a Master’s in applied nutrition and have been a registered dietitian for 11 years. I was a retail dietitian for 8 years before making the decision to quit and run my online business full-time in January 2022. 

Why She Created Haute and Healthy Living

I decided to create my website Haute & Healthy Living, back in 2015 strictly as a hobby. I had just started my first corporate job as a dietitian and was looking for a creative outlet to work on outside of my day job.

When I first launched my website, it was intended to be a lifestyle blog. I posted about recipes, fitness, home decor, DIY projects, and beauty – pretty much all the things that I loved. I never had any plan to turn my website into a business.

I posted about random topics for about 8 months and then I completely stopped posting on my blog during 2016 and 2017 because I got engaged and was busy with wedding planning. Then shortly after the wedding, I got pregnant and had no energy or desire to blog. 

During my maternity leave in 2018 with my first son, I decided to start dipping my toes in the world of blogging again. My mom sent me a link to a course called Elite Blog Academy, and I decided to take the course since I had some time while my baby was sleeping. Through the course, I learned that you could monetize a blog and turn it into a business, which to me was completely mind-blowing!

From that point on, I made it a goal of mine that I would monetize my blog and one day quit my job and blog full-time. My husband, family, and friends were supportive, but I think everyone questioned if you can actually make money from a blog. I made it my personal mission to prove that I could do it. 

I niched down to just posting healthier recipes and started implementing some of the strategies from the course. I managed to grow my blog traffic to a point where I qualified for Mediavine a year later, in March 2019. 

That was the game changer. Since being with Mediavine, my monthly revenue has continued to grow to the point where I was able to quit my full-time job after my second maternity leave in January 2022. 

Although I started out covering a wide range of topics, I now focus on posting easy and healthy recipes for busy families. 

How Much Money She’s Making

As I mentioned, every month my blog revenue continues to grow, but it’s currently bringing in about 10-15K per month, depending on the month. I’m on track to make around $130-150k this year. 

The majority of my revenue comes from ads, but I do make some money from selling my ebooks (a few hundred dollars per month) and from affiliate marketing as well (around $100/per month). 

I will also launch another website in the next couple of months, which I hope to monetize in the next couple of years to help further diversify my income. 

Although I launched my website in 2015, I started truly taking it seriously and treating it more like a business in 2018, so it’s taken me about 5 years to reach this revenue level. 

I had to work on it very much part-time during this time period since I was also working full-time at my corporate job and tending to two young children. 

I pretty much built my business at night when my kids were sleeping, on weekends when I wasn’t working my other job, and during my maternity leaves while my kids were napping or sleeping. 

On average, I probably work on my business 35 hours per week, though it varies weekly depending on how much my kids are home with me.

Elysia’s Marketing Strategy

I don’t really have any unique marketing strategy that I’m using. My goal is always to produce high-quality content and to use keyword research to help people find my content. That’s my primary marketing strategy. 

I’m always trying to improve my food photography as well, which can help with marketing since people will be more likely to want to try a recipe if it looks good. 

Finally, I use Pinterest to help share my content, which also brings in some traffic.

Her Thoughts on SEO and Social Media

SEO is incredibly important for my business since most of my traffic comes from search engines. 

Aside from Pinterest (which I outsource), I currently don’t use much social media to grow my website. If you saw my number of followers, you probably would think that my website isn’t very successful since I have less than 5000 followers on Instagram and Facebook combined and don’t even have a TikTok account. 

I decided to stop posting on Instagram a little over a year ago and only post on FB when I think of it. I found that social media was a major time suck, the algorithms kept changing, and the ROI wasn’t there. So I switched gears and focused the majority of my time on SEO and developing blog content, and that’s when I started seeing the most growth. 

If you compare this January and February to the same time last year, my traffic is up about 80%. The moral of the story is you can still be successful and see growth without having a massive following, so don’t get caught up in the vanity metrics.  

1680050197 465 This 34 Year Old Built a 15kMonth Using SEO to Share Her

Keyword Research 

I search for my initial ideas using keyword research to determine which recipes to develop. I implement strategies from Stupid Simple SEO and Cooking with Keywords, two courses I took to help me better understand keyword research. 

I try to target lower competition keywords so that people can find my content, rather than going for super competitive keywords, which can be difficult to rank for. 

Link Building

Link building is very important, although I probably haven’t devoted as much time to it as I should, as there aren’t enough hours in the day. I hope that focusing on SEO and getting content to rank in top positions on Google will help organically generate backlinks. 

I also provide links to my content in roundup groups that other bloggers can use on their sites if they choose to help with backlinks. Additionally, I use my expertise as an RD to sometimes contribute to publications like Insider, Livestrong, Women’s Health, Eat This, Health, etc., when the opportunity presents itself to help build up authority since these sites have a high DA. 

Her Content Creation Process

Currently, I try to post about 2 new recipes and update one old recipe per week. I’d love to do more, but at this point, quality is more important to me than quantity. This amount is what I find to be the most manageable during this busy phase of life with young children. 

When it comes to my process, first, I’ll come up with initial recipe ideas by conducting keyword research. Then I’ll select a recipe idea from my list and test it (usually multiple times) and make any necessary tweaks before photographing it, editing the photos, conducting additional keyword research, coming up with a post outline, drafting up the post, and inputting the images. 

A lot of work goes into creating each post, so it’s definitely more than just coming up with a recipe and posting it on the blog. 

Her Email List

I do have an email list that I email weekly. I mostly grow it by using opt-ins on my site. People who choose to subscribe will be added to my email list.

Elysia’s Favorite Resources

Some of my favorite podcasts are EatBlogTalk, the Blogging Millionaire, and Food Blogger Pro. I also like the TopHatRank webinars for learning about best practices for SEO. 

Her Top Tools

I use KeySearch for keyword research and find that it’s affordable without being overly complicated like some of the other tools out there. 

I also like Asana for building my content calendar since I can easily move things around. 

Finally, I use Excel spreadsheets. I find tracking my content in spreadsheets is the best way to keep track of content ideas and keywords since I’m constantly adding new ideas.

Her Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge I’ve faced is staying up to date on the latest best practices, the constant fluctuations with algorithms, and the never-ending Google updates. 

In the blogging world, things are constantly evolving, so you have to be prepared for a bit of a roller coaster ride. 

Her Most Impressive Accomplishment

My most important accomplishment thus far has been building up my business to the point where I could quit my corporate job after my maternity leave and pursue my online business full-time.

This not only allowed more flexibility and time to spend with my children, but it also proved to myself and those around me that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. 

Growing my business to this point was all done while having a full-time job and a very demanding newborn and a toddler. It was not an easy journey, but I feel incredibly blessed knowing that the hard work has paid off and that I now get to wake up every morning and work on something that I’m truly excited about.

What She Wishes She Knew When She Started

I wish I had known that you have to post content that people are searching for. If you fail to do this, chances are people won’t be able to find you, which can definitely slow your growth.

I probably would have been much further ahead if I had known this from the start. But learning and mistakes are all part of the journey! 

Her Biggest Mistake

Speaking of mistakes, mine is not focusing on SEO sooner. In the beginning, I posted random recipes that had catchy titles, rather than focusing on what people were actually searching for. 

When I started focusing on SEO and meeting my readers’ needs, my business began to grow. I’m still going back now and fixing the mistakes that I made. 

Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

You can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

The key is showing up consistently and putting the work in.

The difference between those who succeed and those who fail, is the ones who succeed are the people who continue to put the work in even when the odds are against them. 

Do more of what’s working and less of what’s not. Through consistency and regularly assessing and refining your strategy, you will eventually find success. 

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How to make money in podcasting (Complete guide for 2023)



How to make money in podcasting (Complete guide for 2023)

When you work hard on your podcast, it shows. Hours of dedication put into creating well-crafted, interesting content pays off with a fine-tuned product— your very own podcast. A show that listeners discover and keep coming back to week after week. And while having a great show and a growing audience is rewarding, you may want to get the full benefit from your work. We’re talking about a payday.

Whether you’re a bedroom podcaster or a seasoned pro, Acast believes that everyone deserves to find their audience and make money from their craft. So if you’re looking for tools to turn your passion into a side hustle or even a career, we’ve got you covered.

Getting podcasters paid is our business at Acast. We provide creators with the best monetization tools that enable them to find a model that works for both them and their audience. From ads and sponsorship to subscriptions and one-time payments, Acast makes it easy to get paid for doing what you love. We’ve already paid out over $240 million to creators, and they’re all earning in different ways — we put the creator in control.

In this article, we will talk about how to make money podcasting and the different monetization methods available on Acast and beyond. We’ll cover how to get started with ads, sponsorships, and subscriptions, and how you can track your earnings and growth with clear and transparent metrics. As well as touching on additional revenue streams such as merch, live events, and affiliate marketing.

Why and when should I monetize my podcast?

Look, we know that not everyone gets into podcasting to make money. In fact, we don’t encourage people to start a podcast specifically to make a quick buck — it doesn’t work like that, but more on this later. But the beauty of podcasting is that it allows you to turn a passion project into a side hustle that can earn you money and, if you’re lucky, even develop into a career. If you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll want a strategy when it comes to monetizing your show.

Getting paid will allow you to sustain making episodes. For example, if you have an interview podcast, you can attract more guests by offering a fee for their time. If your podcast involves traveling, you can fund your next trip to produce future episodes. You may decide to hire specialists such as sound designers, social media managers, or a producer, to take your show to the next level and improve the quality of the show going forward.

Having a little extra money in your pocket can pay for essential podcasting equipment and recording gear. Maybe there’s a snazzy new microphone you’ve been coveting, or you want to upgrade your editing software. If you don’t record at home, monetizing can also help pay for regular studio time in a professional podcast studio.

As for when to start monetizing, it’s down to the individual. You can start straight away with ads on platforms like Acast to open up an income stream, and there’s no risk in launching a subscription early on to start developing your offering. Keep in mind there are some limitations on how much revenue you can generate while your audience is limited, but there’s nothing wrong with starting early.

What do I need to start monetizing my podcast?

As we said, we don’t encourage people to start a podcast to make money fast. Podcasting is a medium that takes planning, managing, and a fair bit of hard work to start seeing success—don’t rush to the bank after starting a podcast with one episode.

While there’s no definitive list of things you need to start making money from podcasting, as it can differ from podcast to podcast. Here are the foundations that you should have in place before exploring monetization:

Quality content

When you’re starting out with a new podcast, it’s important to focus on creating the best possible content you can. This all starts with your idea, concept, and format for the podcast. Something that plays to your strengths as a creator, and offers listeners something different that they can’t hear on any other podcast. We love the phrase “Build it, and they will come” because it is so true in podcasting. We’ve got a great guide for how to start a podcast called Aclass Essentials with tons of helpful insights into how to create quality content, which is a great place to start.

Building an audience

Building and sustaining a podcast audience is crucial for monetizing — it’s your audience that advertisers are paying you to reach, or the listeners themselves who will support you financially. Ultimately, it’s a case of steadily growing your podcast and building your audience — keeping listeners tuning in, episode after episode. It’s about making sure that they don’t “dip in”, but rather hit the follow button and keep coming back for future episodes.

It’s all about consistency, which is the fuel for podcast growth. Keep a regular release schedule, and use seasons to give yourself a break. Your listeners are creatures of habit, and podcast listening is habitual behavior, so they’ll appreciate knowing exactly when new episodes are out.

The best and most obvious way of getting an audience to return is simply to ask them. Make sure you always tell listeners their support matters and tell them to follow wherever they get their podcasts — as well as leave a positive review. Point out you’ve got social media accounts they can follow, and that you’d love to hear from them. The relationship between the podcast host and the listener is an unusually close one, so make the most of this bond.

Some podcasters take advantage of other marketing channels to entice returning listeners. This could take the shape of an email newsletter, dropping a reminder of the next episode into listeners’ inboxes. Your podcast should feel like a club, where your most valuable listeners are the ones who keep coming back – the ones who reach out to let you know they’re listening. Let them know you’re listening, too.

Choosing the best podcast monetization platforms

If you’re serious about developing a successful podcast monetization strategy, your best bet is to work with specialized partners in generating revenue for your podcast. These platforms offer tools that do all the heavy lifting for you, so you can focus on doing what you do best — making podcasts. Platforms and tools vary in what they provide; from podcast advertising networks, membership subscriptions, one-off payments, donations, merch, and more.

There are a lot of choices out there, which can leave podcasters feeling overwhelmed about which platforms to choose. That’s why Acast developed its podcast hosting platform to be a one-stop shop for the most effective podcast monetization. Podcasters can access our podcaster advertising network, the ‘Acast Marketplace’, where they can monetize with ads and, once they’re big enough, sponsorships. We also have our industry-leading subscriptions and one-time payments tool ‘Acast+’, which allows podcasters to get paid directly by listeners in return for premium content, ad-free episodes, and much more. You can find out more about these monetization tools below.

How do podcasts make money?

Here we go, your complete guide to the various podcast monetization methods, along with helpful explainers and tips on how to get started.

Podcast advertising and sponsorships

Podcast ads and sponsorships are the bread and butter of podcast monetization. If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, chances are you’ve heard what these sound like. These commercial messages from brands and businesses are what put the most money in podcasters’ pockets and keep podcasts free for listeners.

First, let’s define a few important terms:

  • Ads are shorter commercial messages in podcasts, usually, 30-60 seconds in length, that are typically created by the advertiser, brand, or business themselves. These will often feature their own signature voice, tone, or music associated with that brand. 
  • Sponsorships are commercial messages that are direct endorsements of a brand, often read by the podcast creator themself — also known as host-read sponsorship. These are typically longer, around 1-3 minutes in length. As sponsorships are personally created and read by podcasters, this ad format is suitable for podcasts with bigger listenerships.
  • Dynamic Ad Insertion is a technology that inserts ads and sponsorships into your podcast, which Acast invented all the way back in 2014. Dynamically inserted ads and sponsorships are heard on your podcast episodes at the right time, targeting the right audience, across all of your shows’ episodes. This means that your podcast, no matter how far back in your catalog your listens are taking place, will generate passive income even from episodes published years ago. Neat!

In the majority of cases, it’s recommended that you sign up for a podcast host that’s got a built-in podcast advertising network, like Acast. On Acast’s platform, you have everything you need for podcast creation, publishing, and monetizing — including access to the Acast Marketplace where you can start making money through ads and sponsorship that uses dynamic ad insertion, and manage and track your revenue all from the same place.

Monetizing with Acast means you can make money from advertising no matter what app is used by your podcast listeners, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and any other app that catches your RSS feed.

One of the beauties of podcasting is just how individual and tailor-made advertising can be, so we’d encourage even beginners to see how ads can start working for you, whatever stage you’re at in your podcasting journey.

Acast works with the world’s biggest and best brands, so you don’t have to worry about any dodgy ads. On top of this, we ensure that ads sound right at home on your show by putting you in control of setting criteria for any brands or categories that you don’t feel are right for your listeners. It’s our job to make sure your audience hears the right ad that won’t interfere with their experience.

You also have control of showing us exactly where you want ads to be heard in your episodes, using what is known as ‘Ad Markers’.

  • Pre-roll markers usually play at the very start of your episode
  • Post-roll markers usually play toward the end of your episode
  • Mid-roll markers can be placed in the middle of any episode that is at least 10 minutes long. And want to know a secret? – this tends to be the most lucrative ad spot.

Before an ad plays in your episode, we play our iconic audio logo (the Acast North Star) to let your listeners know the difference between your show and the ads.

Once ads are in your episodes, it’s time to get paid. The amount of money you earn depends on the number of listens, your show category, how brand-safe your content is, and a few other factors. Crucially, ad revenue is dependent on CPM (Cost Per Mille), which is a fancy way to say the cost-per-thousand impressions (listens) from your listeners. This can range between advertisers, but typically falls between $5-50 per CPM. Once you’ve reached a certain monthly threshold (for example, $50 in the US), you’ll receive simple steps to tell us where to send your money. You can also track your earnings through the dashboard with our transparent metrics.

As your podcast grows and you get bigger, you may find that advertisers want to hear from you directly, in your voice. These are podcast sponsorships, and Acast can help connect you with sponsors. Sponsorships are podcast host recorded endorsements of a product or brand read aloud by the podcast creator. Podcasts allow you to fully take control of advertising in your own style. In fact, it’s that personal connection between you and the listener that our advertisers want to tap into. Eligibility for the sponsorship on Acast starts at 500 listens per week, but sponsorship campaigns are managed on a case-by-case basis through our dedicated podcast sales team.

Of course, there’s the option of going it alone and pitching potential sponsors yourself for your podcast. Before you reach out, you’ll need to have some numbers ready. Advertisers will want to know how many downloads or listens your podcast gets, and therefore how many impressions their ad is likely to get. In other words, how many people are likely to hear it. You should also be prepared to talk in detail about who your listeners are, and why they’d be interested in the sponsor. For most podcasters, this is very time-consuming and difficult to manage whilst doing everything else it takes to create a podcast. And keep in mind, if you have your own baked-in ads you are not eligible for sponsorship opportunities from Acast.

Podcast subscriptions, memberships, and premium content

Working with brands isn’t the only route for making money in podcasting, increasingly a lot of creators are supported directly by their listeners through subscriptions or memberships, as well as one-off payments for premium content. And you may not need masses of listeners to make this work – you just need them to be really into what you’re doing.

It’s a bit of a different approach to advertising – one that relies on building a loyal audience base before it can be truly sustainable. But when it works it can be so effective in creating revenue that grows alongside your show’s popularity and helps you build a strong, two-way relationship with the people who are investing in you. 

There are a few platforms out there for podcast subscriptions, such as Supercast and Patreon—which Acast has integration with. Acast also has its own supercharged subscription tool called Acast+, which is included in its hosting platform. Think of Acast+ as the ultimate podcast membership club, all available through the same platform you host and publish your podcast.

Podcast subscriptions and premium content are a way to offer listeners all sorts of benefits or perks in return for a monthly fee, or one-time payment. Essentially you’re creating a paywall for exclusive content. Acast+ subscriptions work across pretty much every listening app including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Podcast Addict, and many others. This means a super seamless experience for your listeners. No changing apps or even feeds to access their Acast+ benefits.

Let’s look first at monthly subscribers—that is, listeners who pay a monthly subscription fee, set by you to access benefits. On average, we’ve seen that around 2-5% of audiences could become paying subscribers using Acast+. Shows that promote frequently and persistently can see upwards of 7-10%. This process can take a while – podcasts are slow-burning experiences built on trust and faith so don’t be disheartened if things take a while to ramp up. Persevere, focus on your show, and the subscribers will come in time.

You’ll need to work out what you can offer your listeners in return for their subscription. You can set up a range of tiers for different amounts of money and assign perks to each. Benefits that you can offer through Acast+ include:

  • Ad-free episodes: Acast can automatically remove ads from episodes for paying listeners. 
  • Bonus episodes: Exclusive podcast content for the people who love it most.
  • Early access: Get episodes to your superfans before anyone else can listen.
  • Access to archive: Holding back your archive is a great way of turning new listeners into paying subscribers

You can also customize these tiers to fit with the themes and stories of your show. Take a look at some of Acast’s popular podcasts that are using Acast+, including WTF With Marc Maron, Sh**ged, Married, Annoyed, and Owning It.

Acast+ brings all the tools you need to convert your audience to membership, including a dynamically-inserted intro message added to your regular episodes, explaining what your subscription is and how to subscribe. And cleverly, you can make sure these messages aren’t served to any existing subscribers. You can also put a custom call-to-action in your show notes so people can easily click straight through to your subscription offering.

You can also test your listeners’ appetite for subscriptions with one-time payments for special episodes, bonus content, or bundles of episodes in one go. This can be a really great, low-stakes way of bringing them closer to your show without the pressure of ongoing payments. You’re also not limited to podcasts. Audio content like audiobooks, stand-up sets, live recordings, and more can all be delivered to your audience through Acast+.

You don’t just make money with Podcast subscriptions, they’re also a great way of building an email list—which you can use to build a closer relationship with your biggest fans.

Podcast subscriptions work because they are a great example of what makes podcasts so special. It’s about you, it’s about what you love and connecting you with the people who love what you do.

Affiliate programs

Affiliate programs allow you to earn commission by promoting a business’s products or services. When your listeners use your affiliate link to make a purchase, you earn a percentage of the sale. Here are some steps to help you make money in podcasting using affiliate programs:

  • Choose a niche: Identify a specific niche that your podcast caters to. For example, if you host a podcast about personal finance, you can promote affiliate products related to finance and investments.
  • Find affiliate programs: Research and find affiliate programs that align with your niche. There are several affiliate networks available, such as Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and Commission Junction. Acast also has its own affiliate program.
  • Select products: Choose products or services that you genuinely believe in or have used yourself. It is crucial to promote high-quality products that will provide value to your listeners.
  • Promote products on your podcast: Once you have selected the products, you can promote them on your podcast by creating engaging ad spots. You can also add links to the show notes or your podcast website.
  • Track your earnings: Keep track of your earnings from affiliate marketing to determine the effectiveness of your efforts. This will help you make adjustments to your strategy and optimize your earnings.

Acast has its very own affiliate program, which can earn you a 30% recurring commission every month for each podcast customer you refer to Acast who signs up for one of our paid-for plans. This is perfect for podcasters as you’re already speaking to people interested in the medium, and can talk from experience about the joys of podcasting.

Additional ways to monetize your podcast

Donations and crowdfunding

Similar to one-time payments, there are tools to request one-off donations from your listeners to support the podcast. People often phrase this to their listeners as helping them buy a cup of coffee, a beer, or an in-joke related to their podcast. You can do this through Acast+ easily by creating a one-time payment tier and customizing the message.

Crowdfunding is a slightly different approach than a donation, but still involves your fans contributing to support the podcast. Usually, creators will launch a crowdfunding campaign to launch a new podcast or series, using platforms like Kickstarter—which has a whole section dedicated to funding podcast projects. For example, James Acaster, co-host of Off Menu, funded a new podcast using Kickstarter.


Another way to earn money directly from your diehard fans is by selling merchandise. This is a great way to put money in the bank but also to build a community with your audience around your podcast — like a real fan club. Using e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Everpress or specialist merch platforms like Spring, you can create branded t-shirts, mugs, hats, or even books or an online course that ties in with the topic of your show.

Live events, live streams, and gigs

In-person live events and live streams offer podcasters the opportunity to connect with their audience in a more intimate way. The relationship between podcasters and listeners is unlike any other medium, so many fans want to be able to interact with their favorite podcasters. You can run events such as live Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes looks at your show, and even exclusive interviews with your guests. And the best part? You can charge your audience to access these events.

To get started, you’ll need to choose a platform to host your live events and live streams. There are plenty of options out there, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and Zoom. You’ll also want to promote your event through your podcast, social media, and email list to get as many people to attend as possible.

And here’s an idea, why not try using one-time payments on Acast+ to sell tickets to your live events?


There you have it, a comprehensive look at all the different ways to earn money through podcasting. Monetizing is just one aspect of podcasting, but an important one if you’re looking to turn your passion into a profitable venture. From ads and sponsorships to merchandise and subscriptions, there is a monetization strategy that can work for you and your audience. At Acast, we offer a variety of tools and features to help you monetize your podcast on your own terms. Get started by signing up or switching to Acast today.

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