Niche Surfer is now Digital Surfer!

Ryan Kangail from Rich Niches

Ryan Kangail (Rich Niches)


Oregon, USA



If you’re on the fence about starting a niche site, just go for it. Get started today! You have nothing to lose, but a little bit of your time…

published: March 12, 2022

The Interview

1. Where do you live?

I live in Oregon, USA. This is actually a bad location to be a content creator for the simple fact that there is an approximate 9% state income tax. That’s 9% Less money in your pocket or to reinvest to grow the business…

2. When did you start creating content?

I started my first real website in 2017 and wrote the first 100 articles myself. Since then, I’ve put that site on the back burner, as it was focused on travel hacking, which was too competitive for a first site. I now outsource most of my content for a variety of niche sites.

3. Are you a full-time Creator?

Yes, I’ve been self-employed for 4 years, working solely on niche sites. I only started taking profit out of the company this year, though.

4. What was the “Click” that made you decide you can make full-time money online.

After cashing out some previous investments that created a nice runway financially, I decided to go for it full-time with very little revenue coming in. Risk nothing, gain nothing. Right?!?

Fortunately, my wife supported me in the decision to dive in headfirst. She also had a job that covered most of our monthly expenses and gave us health insurance, which was key.

Looking back, I’m glad I took that leap of faith in myself because if I hadn’t done it then, I probably never would have. Our family has grown and we have more responsibilities now.

5. How many niche sites have you created?

I’m almost embarrassed to say this number, but here it goes… I currently own over 30 sites, but just 6 of the sites make 90% of my revenue.

I went a little bit overboard testing things out in 2021, but hopefully a few of the “seeds I’ve planted” will pay off nicely. The 30+ sites are a mixture of sites started on fresh domains, sites started on expired domains, aged domains, and buying some sites from brokers and off-market deals.

6. How many are you still running now?

I am still running every site I’ve started or bought. I plan to start selling some of them this year though, to both take some risk off the table, and make my business more manageable.

7. Have you sold any sites or online businesses? And what was the ROI like?

I have yet to sell any of my sites. Hopefully, I’ll have better data on selling by the end of this year.

8. How many sites or online businesses have failed or not gotten going?

A large portion of my sites are still pretty new so it’s still undetermined if they will succeed or fail. That being said, I have had a few sites that I started on expired domains that were absolute duds. They would seem to start getting a bit of traffic and then they’d fall off a cliff. I’ve since taken the content from those duds, and moved it to fresh domains, so we’ll see what happens to them now…

9. How much are you earning each month?

  • $10,001 – $50,000

10. What are your current streams of revenue?

  • Affiliate Sales
  • Display Ads

11. What are your Top on-page SEO strategies?

I keep it pretty simple with on-page SEO. I try to make sure the exact keyword is in the following places for every article, and that’s about it.

  • Title
  • URL
  • First Paragraph
  • H2 (maybe H3 too if it fits)
  • Last Paragraph
  • Featured Image Filename
  • Featured Image Title
  • Featured Image Alt Text
  • Meta Description

Oh, and I try to keep image sizes smaller to help with website speed.

12. What’s the biggest issue(s) that you’re facing today?

I’ve been using content agencies to write most of my content, which I’ve been able to get pretty good pricing with, but find that it often lacks in the quality I’m looking for. My biggest struggle is taking the time to find better writers for specific niches. I know they’re out there…

I think content agencies work fine for very simple topics, but for others that are technical or have a special lingo to them, it just doesn’t work out very well.

13. What tool(s) do you rely on the most?

I rely heavily on WP Rocket to help keep my site speeds good, Link Whisper to create internal links quickly, and Amalinks to quickly create Amazon links that look good.

Lately, I’ve been using Ubersuggest for keyword and backlink research. While I know it’s not the best tool out there, I have a lifetime subscription to it and it works well enough…

14. What has been the biggest mistake you made?

While I do think a lot of the testing I did in 2021 will pay off in the long run, it definitely took too much of my attention off my sites that are already working. I’ve spread myself too thin, which is why I’m focused on minimizing my portfolio in 2022.

15. What has been the best decision you’ve made?

The best decision I’ve made was to reach out to some website owners that weren’t even for sale. By doing this, I bought what is now my biggest site from someone who had abandoned it for the previous 5 or so years. It was a Blogspot site that I’ve since redirected to a domain using WordPress.

I purchased it for about $2500 and I’ve added about $7000 of content to the site. Two years later, it’s making about $4000 per month (average over last 6 months).

16. What’s one thing that you felt accelerated your journey the most?

I’d say it was first understanding how SEO worked. I took a course called SEO for Bloggers by Matt Giovanisci from Money Lab and it was the AHA moment I needed. It made me understand that keyword research was the skill I was missing.

17. What’s your 12 month goal?

As far as my niche site portfolio goes, my goals over the next 12 months are to minimize the number of sites I have by selling a few, and to hire VA’s to do the repetitive tasks that I’m currently doing myself.

I also plan to slowly build up my blog over at so that others can follow along on my niche site journey. Hopefully, I can help out a few other people along the way.

Our family is gaining a baby girl in a few months, so my ultimate goal is to have more time for my wife, 2-year-old son, and new daughter. Having more time with them is the reason I started any of this in the first place.

18. How do you stay up to date on the SEO, affiliate marketing, display ad, and other news?

I like Podcasts and Twitter to stay informed. Most of the SEO and niche site folks I follow are pretty active on Twitter. The cool thing about this community is that most people involved are very open to helping you out if you just reach out to them.

19. What do you eat or drink for fuel to keep going?

I get up pretty early (between 5-6 am), so I definitely drink a whole pot of coffee every morning from a good old-fashioned drip coffee maker. I also drink a superfood/veggie/vitamin mix drink called “Juce” daily.

20. Where can people follow you?

The best place to reach out to me is on Twitter: 

I’ll also be posting more frequently on my blog dedicated to niche sites:

BONUS: Anything else you’d like to share that can help others?

Just know that if you’re willing to learn, it’s possible to build a successful online business, no matter your background. I had no schooling or jobs in my past that helped me in this profession. The last job I had was working at a hospital, which was 100% unrelated and unfulfilling. Between blogs, Youtube, and Podcasts, all the information you need to learn this game is available for free online.

If you’re on the fence about starting a niche site, just go for it. Get started today! You have nothing to lose, but a little bit of your time…

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