This week on Greatwebsiteplans.com, we have the privilege of interviewing Wallet Squirrel, where founder Andrew Kraemer shares his passion for smart and creative ways to make, save and invest money.
G: Tell me about yourself, where you’re from, company goals, and company product or service?
WS: Hi, I’m Andrew the founder and finance ninja of the personal finance site, Wallet Squirrel.
It’s an odd name, but once I tell people it’s “all about saving your nuts”, it all makes sense.
I’m downtown Denver, if you’re in the area, let’s grab a beer.
I’m somewhat unique because I focus on two parts. I experiment different ways to earn extra income and then explain how I invest that extra income to create passive income.
I work about 20-30 hours a week on the website, and every second of it I learn something new.
Don’t get the wrong idea though, I’m not a guru or anything. I don’t have anything to sell you. There is no $20 course that will teach you to how to earn money online. In reality it’s a lot of hard work and it often feels like nothing is happening. It’s entirely possible though, and that’s what I share, freely.
G: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
WS: Most people when starting an Affiliate Website, they keep it hush. They don’t want to tell anyone for either the risk of failing and letting people know, or they feel embarrassed for creating something for the sole purpose of making money.
I did the same thing, I was embarrassed to tell people about my first couple affiliate websites.
My first website was Top5OnlineUniversities.com.
Man was it awful lol. I was so embarrassed by the fact it was so bad, I told no one. In fact, I even created a fake persona in the “About Me” page. Yes, it was that bad.
I find that the best Affiliate Websites though, are ones you are excited to share about with friends and family. I’ve shut down a couple of my past sites because they were awful and I wasn’t excited to share them with friends. So I’m starting once again with all my lessons learned to create a new affiliate site, one that I’m excited to share with people!
G: How do you approach building affiliate sites?
WS: I’ve built around 5 affiliate websites in my lifetime. Each one earned more and more money as I learned more about how they should be run. The biggest thing is keyword research and then writing good, long content. It’s simple in theory, but requires LOTS AND LOTS of continuous work.
I recently made of list of 50 different Amazon Affiliate Website Examples.
The biggest things I learned was the importance of keyword research, “niching down” and creating long, good content. These appear to be the recipe for a successful affiliate website.
G: Why do you believe it is very important to diversify? Based on your blog, you treat this as a vital aspect of your income building strategy.
WS: You read my blog! It’s always really exciting because even when you see the analytics of 100 views a day, it’s nice to hear from an individual person.
I do think it’s important to diversify. If you’re making all your money through an Amazon Affiliate Website and Amazon changes their affiliate program, that could ruin your entire online income!
Plus, if you’re making a significant amount of income through Google Adsense and you never try out the Amazon Affiliate Program. You could be missing out on an entirely new income stream.
It’s important to try out new ways because I can guarantee you’ll learn something new. Something could be harder, or it could be easier for you depending on your strengths as an entrepreneur.
G: How did you first learn about affiliate marketing, investing and other online marketing concepts?
WS: I actually learned from Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com. Listening to his podcast and website/income reports was a huge help in understanding that it was possible to earn money online. So I had to try it out.
I discovered from him how to earn money online, but he really never talks about the income he makes. What happens to it, is there a way to invest it, how does he make his money grow. That’s what I decided to write about in my blog!
Once you make money, there is a whole world to learn about investing that income to create continual passive income. In my case, most of my monthly income is made through dividends from investing and I do NOTHING to earn that. I just own it for owning a share in a company. I’m still blown away that this is a thing!
G: If you had $50 to spend on building an online income source, where would you put this money and how would you spend it?
WS: Good question!
I recently found a couple people on Fiverr. There are people on Fiverr who will create an entire Amazon Affiliate Website for you for $50.
So I would do a month or two of keyword research. Find the right niche and set up an amazon affiliate website. Then I would spend the next 4 months creating really good, long content and improve my SEO to gain google traffic.
You’ll start noticing that 10% of your traffic buys something or maybe 5%. Then you start tweaking your website to either convince more people (maybe 15%) to buy products from your website or generate more traffic to your website so that 5% conversion really makes money.
There are other professionals that can create a really good affiliate site for you, but this is just one example. You’ll still have to do a lot of work.
G: Getting friends and family on board: have your family members, friends been supportive/resistant to the idea of investing or affiliate marketing as a means to support oneself?
WS: This is what I referenced before about being embarrassed to tell people you have a website. However with Wallet Squirrel I’m completely proud of it and tell everyone!
I started off just telling a few people when it first started because I didn’t know how it would be received, but I got some great reactions and have become the personal finance expert in my group of friends.
I now go so far as posting new articles on my personal Facebook page for all my friends and family to see. It generates some great discussions and that’s what really motivates me to keep doing this. Now even my friends ask my to lunch about how to handle their loans or how to invest their money. I never tell them how to do anything, but always happy to share my experiences.
My parents still think this is just a hobby, but it’s a generational thing. I plan to use the tricks I learn on Wallet Squirrel to retire and live on my own means. I’m really looking forward to telling that to my parents one day. =P
G: Any last words?
WS: Just start! Figure out some way to make a little extra money. Even if it’s just selling thing on Craigslist or getting a cash back credit card. Getting your first extra income will make the world of difference and you can start investing that extra cash to create passive income!