Ep 19 Part 1: Ruaan Nel on Getting to Five Figures a Month


In this episode of the Website Investing podcast, Richard again speaks with Ruaan Nel on how he has grown from a four-figure a month portfolio (previous episode) to well into five figures.

In this part 1, free subscribers get the first 45 minutes of the conversation; paying subscribers also get part 2 in their RSS feed. As is typical, part 2 elicits more insights as we get deeper into the conversation.


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Part 1 Show Notes

Ruann’s Current Portfolio

New Additions

Ruann has grown his portfolio and started a few websites since last speaking with Richard, with one failing and the others doing well despite the June Google update. Overall, he has 9 money sites earning more than $100 and is looking to add more. 

Selling Websites

Ruann has also been trying to sell websites out of his portfolio by listing them on brokerage sites like Empire Flippers, where he is yet to sell this one site he listed back in August. This site, however, which is currently his 2nd biggest in his portfolio at $3,000 in earnings, has been slowly growing despite Ruann not doing much to it, and despite the June update. He does very minimal things to it, like posting monthly blog posts. 

Dealing with Updates

Some of Ruann’s sites have been hit by the Amazon and Google updates, like one cycling niche website which took almost a 50% hit on its revenue. To deal with this, Ruann has had to do a lot of customer affiliate and private affiliate offers (such as AvantLink) to get good conversions. These really helped bring back the revenue, and even do better than it was doing before the Amazon update, as it’s now doing comfortably well at 5 figures a month.

Growing Websites

He’s also been trying to grow a website which he bought for $25k. So far, it’s been growing really quickly and is on track to get to $2,000 in earnings. Interestingly, he’s been doing nothing to the site itself, and is doing all the work on a staging domain through links and redirects from his main websites in his portfolio. 

Working With Redirects

To do this safely, he would usually do a 301 redirect, and also take part of the content and update it by adding new mini-reviews. He also makes sure that there are no internal links pointing to redirects. Those pages would then be hosted on the new site. By doing these, the link juice will go over to the other site, and will also carry some re-carry juice. 

He’s also not really paranoid about keeping those sites completely separate from Google. Considering that the redirects are done mainly to transfer posts to a more appropriate site, then Ruann believes that Google will not really mind it. 

Making Changes to his Main Sites

Ruann is hesitant to make big changes to his main sites all at once, and would rather stagger it over a period of time. Recently, he’s been making changes to a website he purchased by having it re-designed and having his editor going through all articles and posts to make sure that everything is readable and is in proper English. 

Increased Traffic

His main sites have recently been seeing an uptick in website traffic, thanks to the redirects he has done. Ruann tries to limit the redirects into the main site to just one per site. Moreover, the increased website traffic is also due to traffic from searches, thanks to the thousands of archived articles on the site. 

Buying New Sites

Whether or not Ruann buys sites is based on whether his SEO is in the mood to go shopping, and to monitor auctions. They mostly acquire auction domains, and would always stay away from expired domains. 


Ruann’s Strategy

Over time, Ruann and his team have been able to streamline their process for link-building. Their strategy consists of 50% guest posts, 20% to 30% being niche edits, and the rest going to PBNs. Guest posts are at the core of their strategy, and they usually get these guest posts from a list of guest writers they have, and from lists they share with other sites. They also do outreach by contacting their competitors and offering to do a link swap with them. Link swaps are also a good source of link-building. Ruann then supplements it with authority builders, which may be a bit on the expensive side, but are good with links and anchor text. Citations are also part of Ruann’s strategy, and he uses SEOButler for this. 


As for PBNs, he’s recently switched over to an extremely aggressive anchor text, which provides an exact match for an exact match for the PBN. Ruann says that he would like to get his power from this. The average domain rating for the PBNs he has are at 10 to 20 DR. He also gets the services of Rank Club to supplement his PBNs. 

Generally, PBNs are able to help boost a site’s ranking, even if they are toxic PBNs, as long as they are filtered through guest posts. They are actually able to take their toxic inventory and point it to their guest posts, thus giving it power.

Ruann also recommends no more than 8 to 12 outbound links for PBNs.

Episode 19 Part 2

In part 2 of this conversation we discuss:

  • Avoiding PBN patterns

  • The best way to redirect an aged SEO domain

  • Ruaan’s new acquisitions

  • How he was able to 9x his portfolio asset value over the last 12 months

Part 2 is for paying subscribers, you can access by hitting the button below.

Enjoyed this episode or have any questions? You can leave a comment at the bottom of the web version of this post.


Avi Silverberg (Producer) & Richard Patey (Host)