How Nick English’s Footwear Site Earns 5 Figures Per Month From SEO and Link Building
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After Nick English spent a few years working at a fitness startup, he had a good idea of what it would take to create his own business.
He brainstormed ideas and one of them really stuck out to him: men’s footwear. Stridewise was born.
He worked tirelessly on his site for years, using unique marketing strategies to help him stand out and surpass the competition. Today he ranks in the top 3 for major keywords in his industry, he’s branched out to include other clothing on his site, and he’s earning 5 figures per month.
Keep reading to find out:
- How he learned about SEO and website development
- Why and how he chose his niche
- How big his team is
- Where his income comes from
- How much traffic his site gets
- His unique marketing strategy
- His thoughts on SEO
- His approach to link building
- His content creation process
- His biggest challenge
- His main accomplishment
- His advice for other entrepreneurs
- Meet Nick English
- Why He Created His Website
- How Much He’s Earning
- Nick’s Main Marketing Strategy
- The Importance of SEO
- Keyword Research and Link Building
- Nick’s Content Creation Process
- His Email List
- His Favorite Resources and Tools
- Nick’s Biggest Challenge
- His Greatest Accomplishment
- His Main Mistake
- His Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
Meet Nick English
I was born and raised in subtropical Queensland, Australia, and moved to New York with my girlfriend after I finished a double master’s in journalism and international relations.
Before that, though, I lived on every continent (except Antarctica) working as a teacher and an aid worker.
When I moved to NYC, I worked as a health and fitness writer, mostly covering nutrition for outlets like Men’s Health, Popular Science, and World’s Strongest Man.
Why He Created His Website
After a few years of working at a fitness content startup, I had a decent idea of how to grow a profitable website and decided it was time to strike out on my own.
I came up with some ideas I was passionate about—Thai kickboxing, cooking, menswear— and found a consultant to help me find out what I had the best chance at making a living from.
The consultant noticed my boots and asked if that was an idea I’d be comfortable pursuing. I thought that was a great idea, he ran the numbers, and Stridewise was a go-ahead.
I started with a basic WordPress blog and the idea to write two articles a week: one informative (eg. a guide to leather grades) and one review with a video.
I thought it’d just be my hands holding a pair of boots and talking about the pros and cons, but as video became a more and more important part of digital marketing, I wound up doing videos on everything from factory visits in Spain to a week-long attempt to make my own boots in Guatemala.
I’ve visited seven countries to make videos for my YouTube channel; it’s been a ton of fun!
Today I have a full-time videographer, a full-time writer, and two part-time editors, and I try to publish as often as I can.
The site started with boots and expanded to other areas of durable, sustainable menswear, so now I’m at the top of Google for “best boots” and “best waxed jackets,” and I’ve got goals to hit ‘best leather jackets’ and others.
I started the site in 2017 and have about 500 articles published right now. To be honest, I’ve gone weeks without publishing an article and need to get better at publishing daily.
How Much He’s Earning
The site generates 5 figures per month.
The income is from many sources: affiliate commissions, on-site ads, YouTube ads, and pixel sharing.
Most people see me as a YouTuber because I try to post two videos per week, but the vast majority of my revenue comes from the website, not YouTube.
It took about three years of part-time work on my weekends to get to a point where I could quit my job.
Pixel sharing lets a brand target its ads at people who come to my site.
For instance, if you come to my article reading about waxed jackets, a certain company that sells them will start popping up in your Instagram ads.
My site gets about 300,000 pageviews per month.
I probably work on my business about 30 hours per week. I try to outsource whenever I can so that I can have a lifestyle I enjoy.
Nick’s Main Marketing Strategy
Publishing regularly, maintaining a YouTube channel, and working with link building agencies have been key to my growth.
It’s a free ad for the brand, and I just ask for a post on their company’s blog about the video with a link back to my site. This is how I get links in really high-value domains coming back to my site, which is terrific for boosting my authority with Google.
I try to post to YouTube twice a week and post an article three times a week. Updating old content is just as valuable as publishing new content, so I try to do that once or twice a week as well.
A good example of a brand I’ve done the video strategy for is Carmina, a well-known but somewhat reclusive Spanish brand.
I visited their factory on a European trip, made two videos there, and got a very valuable link on their blog. No other blogger has pulled that off.
The Importance of SEO
I consider Stridewise to be an SEO brand; it’s everything. I use Ahrefs and competitors for content ideas, and I invest a lot in link building.
SEO is my main strategy for traffic and has been from the beginning. My background is in SEO rather than social media branding.
Keyword Research and Link Building
I pay for Ahrefs to help with keywords and content ideas. Screaming Frog SEO Spider is also a helpful website for optimizing my site's SEO, along with optimizing page speed, for which I have a freelance coder on retainer.
I mostly use Ahrefs to check the search volume for terms, articles, and videos I’m considering to see if it’s worth publishing, and also to help create an “FAQ” block and to know which headings and sections to include articles.
Link building is super important. I have two agencies with different strengths building links for me.
Nick’s Content Creation Process
In addition to following keyword suggestions from the aforementioned tools, I try to do a few videos/articles per month that are just fun, like “15 mistakes I’ve made reviewing boots” and “The meanest comments I’ve received,” stuff with no search value but it’s engaging.
Because I actually like my niche, a lot of my ideas just come to me. I also like to socialize at meetups in New York City, and I meet interesting characters there sometimes.
For instance, I just met a guy last week with 50 leather jackets and I thought it’d be fun to do a video on how he built his collection.
His Email List
I do have an email list but I don’t focus on it as much as I should.
I have a pop-up that gives the reader an exclusive PDF on 11 ways to save money on boots.
Enter your email, and get the guide!
I’m also considering other strategies, like a quiz for “What boot are you?” and they enter their email to get the answer.
His Favorite Resources and Tools
The Unemployable Podcast is one I listen to, and when it comes to tools, I can’t live without my link building agencies, Ahrefs, and Google Analytics.
Nick’s Biggest Challenge
When I started, I had zero, and now I have one who has made a habit of plagiarizing my content and poaching my writers.
It’s insanely frustrating and has made me have to work more than I’d like. But hey, that’s business.
His Greatest Accomplishment
Hitting number 1 on Google for “best boots” is probably my greatest accomplishment.
That was the goal when I started, and I’m super proud of it.
His Main Mistake
My main mistake to date is spending too long with employees who weren’t very good because I didn’t want to hurt them by firing them.
His Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
If they’re making money online, especially in SEO, be prepared to go years without making a profit!
Don’t quit your day job until you’ve got enough revenue sources to generate what you need.
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