Interview with Alex Whalley, BuRP founder & Niche site geniusby Daniel Snyder on Mar 12, 2011 • 9:15 am 13 Comments
This week I interviewed Alex Whalley founder of Build, Rank and Profit, successful internet marketer, youthful looking father of two and Australian super genius. Build, Rank and Profit otherwise known as BuRP is an online course that Alex offers in modules where you can learn how to build your own niche site, monetize it through amazon associates and begin actually making some money. Find out more about the BuRP course right here, and don’t waste time – sign up today. By the way, the course works, I’ve been following it step by step and doing the homework, have built out my first niche site (more or less) and am slowly building traffic and backlinks,I even have sales already to speak of (the site is 10 days old at this writing).
1. Like every good interview must begin, tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you live? Why internet marketing and niche sites, and not some other online method of making money?
Hahaha, so already the assumption is that this is going to be a ‘good’ interview is it? No pressure now LOL! Ok, I’m a 32 year old father of two and I have been married for about 6 years now. I met my Wife when we both worked for IBM and I have always been in the sales and technology fields. Recently I made the move to ‘Daddy Day Care’ as my mates call it — because the wife works full time while I concentrate on my three babies, Harrison, Adelaide, and Niche Site Marketing.
Why Internet Marketing? I guess its because I look and act so young. What? Hear me out.. as superficial as this sounds, when you look very young it is hard to be taken seriously in the business world. I have a lot of good ideas and it seems that everyone starts on an equal footing online so I figured why not share them here instead.
Why Niche Sites? Well that bits easy. I didn’t want to waste valuable time building up credibility online just so I could convince my following to buy from me, I am too impatient for that. Besides — with 170 million keyword searches being conducted in Google every hour of every day, there were plenty of eager buyers already waiting to buy.
2. How did you come up with the concept for BuRP.
It all started with the Build Rank Profit concept. When I came up with that I knew it was a keeper, but there was another reason why it was chosen. I always take into account what acronym would be made out of words — both because I enjoy playing with them and because the last thing I want to do is create a brand that when shortened is not so positive for the brand. Had I thought of say ‘The Profits Only Organisation’ then I might have had to reassess, if you catch my drift.
So when I looked at the letters and saw that BRP was the result, I knew it was not entirely against the rules to sneak the second letter of Build into the equation. And then there was the tagline. SEO without the Hiccups is not only a memorable tagline and Unique Selling Point, it also ties in perfectly with the name above it.
3. How many niche sites do you think it is reasonable for one person to have? How many niche sites are you currently running?
I think the answer to that question relates to how well they have outsourced and or streamlined their SEO process. I have 21 niche sites that are making money at the moment, but realistically I only manage ten at a time properly before it starts getting really complicated.
4. Do you believe a person can make a full-time income from home running niche sites?
Yes and no. I believe that a person can make a fulltime income doing this, but I also think that by the time they have mastered the art of building and ranking their sites, they will leverage these skills in more profitable areas SO although the answer is technically yes, in short, with the skills you learn building and ranking niche sites – the chances are you’ll do a lot better!
5. Why Amazon associates? Are there any other affiliate programs you would recommend / suggest?
That’s a good question, and the main reason comes down to trust. I mentioned earlier that the reason I went into niche sites and organic search is because I do not have to build my own brand and/or trust in my readers — I don’t have any! Well Amazon is probably the only network where this is already taken care of. Although you can build a Clickbank site without an identity, the products are not tangible and in the world of digital products and ebooks (yes I know Amazon sell them too) trying to finalise that sale can come down to your sales copy and design skills. Sure you need a bit of this anyway, but with Amazon the conversion rates are so high you needn’t worry!
6. What are your thoughts on the 24 hour Amazon cookie (I know it has received a lot of negative opinion on the web)?
I think it’s smart and personally I like it! If I was as big as Amazon I would do the same thing — why? Competition, plain and simple. If you can get your product specific niche site to rank for the relevant buyer term, then who cares about the 24 hour cookie? Chances are, if they don’t buy now, they’ll find you again. I also like it because it gets so much bad press, which only means less affiliates entering my space! (says the guy promoting a free course showing you how to do it).
7. What do you think would be your number one piece of advice that you’d offer to someone looking to make income as an internet marketer with niche sites?
Take the time to learn the proper skills and don’t get swept up in the hype! Think logically and realise that SEO, like any skillset, takes time to learn and master, and no automatic system is ever going to do it all for you. SEO is the backbone of all online marketing in my opinion, because if you can get your page to rank, then you can safely profit (even if its just a bit) while you learn and master all the other elements that will make you the greatest marketer ever. In short — learn SEO first, and then worry about the finer points.
8. Can you share the URL’s of some of your niche sites with us? So our readers can take a look at what you’re building, and how it works. I know I spent time looking at your makita drill review site, which I began building out my first niche site myfireproofsafe.com
http://www.lightweight-stroller.net/ I built this site out after going through the headache of buying two myself, and realising they were as necessary as toilet paper — surely a winning product right? The Competition for the keyphrases I originally competed for are all GIANTS and so, although I am now making sales through longertail traffic, the focus had to move to what my analytics told me was the real winner…. The Maclaren brand
http://maclarenstroller.lightweight-stroller.net/ I built this site and chose to subdomain it to get a nice keyword rich URL, and I optimized this site for the Maclaren stroller brands. This site has seen a lot more traffic and sales than its mother site above. Lesson in this? Maybe but I can’t be bothered looking for it right now.
http://learn-magictricks.com/ Here’s a work in progress. Obviously NOT an Amazon associates site — still working out how I want to market this, you see my brother really is a magician and so Im thinking video marketing… anyway, I digress. Site still makes a little Adsense revenue so the lesson here is: ‘nyeah — who needs content? LOL (that is not a lesson!!)
9. What are your thoughts on harvesting content from the web? Particularly items like ezine articles? Should these be edited? Do you think google will take issue with the duplicate content? Is it important to link back to the original article?
I think it is important to always link back to an article if you copy it directly, but then I never want to link back to anyone, so I always edit the content. Mostly I steal titles and topic ideas as opposed to actual content. Im a big fan of creating my own content, and I think that is part of the secret to my success, so I personally have no problem with harvesting content, mainly because its my content that is ultimately going to be harvested. Thats the best way of looking at it I think. On that note, I do steal Youtube video reviews to add to my site, but in this case I always link back to the original owner.
10. Once a niche site is developed, has content, backlinks and traffic, it should in theory run itself, correct? What kind of maintenance is required on a niche site to keep it profitable?
That is correct. Something to keep in mind though is that although they do run themselves, it is actually the automated system that you have had to figure out originally that makes it run so well. If you do not do your homework and set out your link building stategy early on, then no the sites will not run themselves, their rankings will quickly slip and with them — your profits. One of the things I aimed to achieve when I created the content for the Build Rank Profit Course was to provide the members with the tools and skills to rank any site in any niche, monetized in any way.
Alex, thanks so much, this interview has been fantastic, and you are truly an internet marketer that I can say I look up to and have trust in. I’m glad to know you online! Feel free to visit me in Canada anytime.