Niche Surfer is now Digital Surfer!

Stephen Hockman from SEO Chatter

Stephen Hockman





I’ve sold niche sites for 30-40X monthly earnings which translates into more than $100,000 per sale.

published: February 26, 2022

The Interview

1. Where do you live?


2. When did you start creating content?


3. Are you a full-time Creator?

Yes. 2019 is when I quit my 9-5 job to be a full-time creator. Before that year, I was creating on a part-time basis.

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

I created several affiliate websites that grew rather quickly in terms of traffic and earnings. After I reached the $5,000 per month mark, it seemed like this could be a viable way to make a full-time income.

Then after I hit the $10,000 per month mark, I knew that this was a better use of my time to earn money because I made more than the yearly salary I was receiving at my full-time job in a mostly-passive manner.

5. How many niche sites have you created?

12 or more

6. How many are you still running now?


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

I’ve sold niche sites for 30-40X monthly earnings which translates into more than $100,000 per sale. However, a few sites were sold for less than $10,000 because they were not very earning much income yet and I wanted to offload them from my portfolio.

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

2-3 because of lack of ongoing interest

9. How much are you earning each month?


10. What are your current streams of revenue?

  • Affiliate Sales
  • Display Ads
  • Books and eBooks
  • Digital Products & Courses

11. What are your Top 3 on-page SEO strategies?

1. Put your main keyword in at least these 5 areas: Meta Title, Meta Description, URL, H1, and the first H2.

2. Create optimized internal links by using your main keyword in the anchor text. But don’t go above 30% exact match for internal anchors to avoid over-optimization.

3. Meeting search intent and having the necessary entities on the page is becoming more important for SEO. You need to have a good balance of on-page SEO by putting your keywords in the right places as well as giving Google the type of content the algorithm wants to see and the specific entity relationships to rank a web page in the top 10 positions on the SERPs.

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

Finding good writers and building a team to do the day-to-day operations of niche site building. A lot of freelancers and agencies say they can write well-optimized and in-depth content, but it often comes back falling short of what Google wants to see in the content to rank it high in the SERPs.

Most of the people I know that are good with niche sites are building their own sites, so it has been hard to find, teach, and retain good team members.

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

  • Google Search Console
  • Mangools SEO Suite
  • Link Whisper

14. What has been the biggest mistake you made?

I changed the H1 tag for a high-performing page that was making several hundred dollars per day in affiliate commissions to target a new secondary keyword.

It tanked the page and I lost my top 10 spot for a few weeks before it bounced back by reverting the change.

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

Going all-in on niche site building in 2019. Before then, my success and scalability was limited because I could only work on my sites for a few hours per day. Now I can work on them all day long and do exactly what needs to be done without any constraints to grow them.

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

Following a specific (and repeatable) on-page SEO strategy. Every page I optimize uses the same method for on-page SEO no matter what topic or keyword it covers. This strategy helps my content get maximum rankings for its target keywords so I can rely less on backlinks for rankings.

17. What’s your 12 month goal?

To reach 100,000 monthly sessions on my SEO Chatter website.

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

I am an active blogger on SEO so I monitor all of the top SEO news sites and experts on Twitter and YouTube.

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

Peanuts. Gotta have that protein and crunch!

20. Where can people follow you?

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

I sell a course on on-page SEO called “Mastering On-Page SEO” that teaches my complete system from optimizing on-page SEO elements.

By following the strategies in that course, you can maximize your rankings for any keyword before you even think about building links. Which may not even be necessary depending on the competitiveness of the keyword. Learn more about the course.

Check Out These Other Niche Creator Q&As