NOTE: On July 31, 2015, we conducted a phone interview with David Beart. What you are about to read is our written account taken from the 3 pages of notes from that 90 minute phone call.
David Beart is a retired commercial diver who is now a web marketer. He built the petprofessor.com from scratch into a site that garnered 25,000 visitors a day – all from organic search. The site generated revenue from Google adsense advertising to the tune of about $12k per month and he later sold it for $500,000 USD.
Says David, “I didn’t monetize the site properly. I was revenue ignorant. We could’ve turned petprofessor.com branded products into a revenue source. People would’ve paid for leashes, collars, dog bowls, and on and on. All the money we made was from advertising.”
In 2009, he launched ProfessorsHouse.com, a website which provides practical advice to common household questions like, “Why does my son pick his nose?” or “Why do dogs vomit?”
At its peak, the site was generating 22,000 page views per day and $10,000-$12,000 in monthly revenue from Google adsense.
With the site’s immense popularity, he was being solicited by banks, car dealers, universities, and other entities to sell links back to their website. He made between $250 – $1,000 for each contextual link in addition to the revenue from Adsense. “It was hard to turn down the additional revenue,” Beart says.
The problem is that selling links is against Google’s terms of service and when Google found out, the site got slapped with a penalty and his page views dropped from 22,000 per day to 2,000 per day.
So, he took the time to correct all the Google violations and slowly the site has recovered. Two years after the penalty, he’s at 5,000 page views per day, earning about $1,200 a month in advertising income.
But he’s got big plans for the future of Professor’s House that he expects will generate anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 page views per day, depending on the success of his idea.
What is your plan for taking taking the ProfessorsHouse.com from its current 5,000 daily page views to 50,000 daily page views?
We’re planning to build the world’s most pet friendly house. It’s going to have multiple rooms, so each pet can have their own room. A walk-in closet will be loaded with dog toys. The back yard will be made of astroturf. We’ll even have local chefs supply the food on the menu.
We expect to get the land donated – or get a really good deal on it – and so far over $40,000 in furnishings are being donated by manufacturers. Our contractor is building the house at cost.
Being that what we’re doing is unique, we expect to get a lot of media attention. We’ve already been contacted by 20 magazine editors, the New York Times, and lots of bloggers who want to cover the house’s progress.
So, with all of these relationships, media exposure, and social media, we’ll get lots of natural links to our websites, since they are the digital assets tied to the project. Petfriendlyhouse.com will feature updates on the construction and professorshouse.com will continue to provide feature articles with an entire section of the site dedicated to pets.
With so many organic links pointing at our sites, they’ll gain in domain authority, meaning our content will rank better and organic traffic will increase.
I’m projecting 10,000 visitors a day to petfriendlyhouse.com and 50,000 for professorshouse.com.
What’s going to happen when the house is completed?
We’re going to sell it and give all the proceeds to charity, one of which is the National Kidney Foundation. I had a transplant years ago, so I have a special relationship with that organization.
Our realtor is going to sell the house at no commission and since so much is being donated to build the house, we’re really maximizing the amount of money we’ll be able to give to charity.
What happens to the websites when the house is completed and sold?
I own the websites and will continue to monitor their value. I might just collect monthly revenue or I might sell one or both – we’ll see.
How are you going to monetize the two sites after the “world’s most friendly pet house” promotion is over?
There are a lot of opportunities. I’ve mentioned earlier that we could sell our own branded pet products on the sites. In addition, we could generate revenue from affiliate marketing or we could refer leads to pet related businesses in our niche, such as a pet hotel.
We’ve just started collecting emails (we only have 50 right now). There’s big potential in marketing products and services to a highly qualified opt-in email list.
Can you share your search engine optimization strategy for professorshouse.com?
It’s 95% content. I invest my money in paying writers to generate high quality blog posts based on common questions that come up in my own home and in conversations with friends.
The only SEO I do is to put the keyword phrase in the meta title, description, and within the content of the page. So, for our blog post, “Why does my son pick his nose?” I’ll make sure that phrase appears in all three places.
I look for one place on the site to link to the article and another place to link from. That’s it.
Do you do any keyword research for your content? Do you use Google’s keyword planner tool?
No. All the ideas for content come from the questions that have come up around the house. Being that I have a wife, a son, a daughter, and a dog, there is no end to the number of questions that arise.
Also, for me personally, having gone from being single to being married, that opens up a whole other set of topics and questions. To be frank, a lot of what is on Professors House has come straight from my own life and experiences.
I figure if we’re asking the questions, other people are to. So, that has been my guide. After all, marketing is supposed to be fun!