What It's About
A restyled strategy turns this modest fashion blog into a six-figure hustle.
Words of Wisdom
Building an audience is not for the faint of heart. It's a slow grind. Brock has some words of encouragement, "When I had very little traffic, it’s the comments that kept me going. These random strangers somehow found me, read my content, and took the time to interact. That’s what really kept me going—that audience engagement."
Brock set up a Hue lightbulb to flash green when he got his first ebook sale. When it went off, he was thrilled! His girlfriend didn’t think it was as cool as he did.
Notes from Chris
Episode 1082Brock McGoff was like many of us. He’d come across affiliate marketing blogs and saw people making money online. He was hooked on the idea of finding his own way, working for himself, and having the freedom to build something of his own making. He started a few small websites, including one on modern decor tips, but was struggling to put real effort into them. Inevitably, he’d look at the low traffic numbers—just a few visits per day—and burn out. So Brock decided to try something new. Instead of creating a site and trying to be the authority, he’d take on the role of what he calls “The Curious Reader.” He wouldn’t write as if he had all the answers, but as if he was genuinely exploring his next topic … because, he was. The topic he settled on was men’s fashion, but not just fashion for all men. Brock focused on short men’s fashion, to be precise. He wanted to be a better-looking guy, but most fashion blogs were written for taller men with bulkier frames. As a shorter man—a man of modest height, you might say—that advice wasn’t all that helpful for him, and he figured he wasn’t alone. He opened TheModestMan.com at the end of 2012 and started to publish articles every week. He wrote about getting clothes tailored to fit better, having custom clothes made, and brands he really liked. There was no grand strategy or thought process—he just did what felt natural. Bought a pair of chino pants from the Banana Republic? Write a review! Learned a new way to pair a coat and tie? Share a guide! Brock can remember the first time he had fifty people read his articles in a single day. It was incredible! Of course, most days were just ten to fifteen. But despite the small numbers, something was different. People—complete strangers—were commenting. Unlike earlier attempts to create niche sites, these readers were actually engaging with Brock’s content. In 2013, Brock started trying to get readers in new ways. He went to the men’s style blogs he’d been reading and pitched article ideas to them. The big publications said no (or didn’t respond), but when he landed his first guest post at PrimerMagazine.com—a mid-sized website—he also landed his first referral traffic. That post also helped Google to see that The Modest Man wasn’t another fleeting hobby, but something with real potential and value. Google started ranking Brock’s own content higher, and organic search traffic slowly grew. Over the years, he expanded to a YouTube channel and started making videos. He got his website approved on AdThrive, a premium display ad platform. He joined affiliate programs with brands directly, rather than relying on Amazon. In 2019, TheModestMan.com generated a profit in the low six-figures, but Brock’s not done yet. He’s looking to accelerate growth over the next six months, and is considering selling it a year or two from now. His dream of making his own way in the world has become a reality, and along the way, he’s been able to help thousands of readers become more confident with authentic, practical style advice.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- TheModestMan.com Learn more at Brock's blog, the Modest Man.
- Primer Magazine: One of the first sites that Brock guest posted on to help improve his own SEO rankings.
- Once Brock had a strong proven audience, he got connected to Adthrive.com which helped generate income through Ads placed on his site.
- Aussie Man Eats Only Potatoes for 365 Days: A man in Australia spends a year eating nothing but potatoes to conquer his food addiction. Along the way, he loses 121 pounds and gains a $1,500 a month side hustle.
- Jealous Designer Starts Popular Art Blog: Jealousy leads to opportunity when a bored graphic designer channels her love of artwork into an online masterpiece.
- Texas Blogger Turns Weekend Adventures Into $2,000/Month: Hair today, gone tomorrow: a Texas woman turns her Instagram account into a mane event.
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