Khalid Farhan is a 21-year-old from Bangladesh who has made an established career for himself by first freelancing on sites such as Freelancer.com and then pivoting and creating niche websites with affiliate links, building them up and then selling on for a profit. Niche websites, affiliate links and selling your expertise through Freelance sites are all fantastic income earning ideas.
Khalid has a great story to tell about how he first got started, his failures and off course his success story.
We had the chance to speak to Khalid with a Q&A session, so let’s get to it!
1. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?
I am Khalid, from Dhaka, Bangladesh which is the capital of our country. I will be very careful when I talk about Bangladesh this time because when I was featured in Nichepursuits the last time, people thought I disrespected my country as Spencer researched and described Bangladesh as a low-income country. Well, Bangladesh is a beautiful country with the longest sea beach, alright? Peace!
2. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME IN INVOLVED IN THE WORLD OF TECH?
My background is not that interesting I believe. I was a science student till school. I was a good student but obviously, study never attracted me. So when I was deciding about my bachelors, I chose business and shifted from science to business administration. My mum hated that decision as she always wanted me to be an engineer. To be honest, I did not want to study and I thought, business would be easier.
3. DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR?
I did not have any mentor in this process. My only mentor was Google.com and that is it. I never did any coaching sessions in my whole entrepreneurial journey. Not that I deny the importance of coaching though. In fact, I now have my own coaching sessions that I conduct with Passive Journal. To be honest, when I started my journey, internet marketing was not that popular and there were not mentors available everywhere to teach. Google was the only help I could get and I used that.
4. WHEN YOU BEGIN FREELANCING VIA FREELANCER.COM ETC. WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES WERE YOU SELLING?
By the time I was finishing my schooling, I started my freelancing career with Upwork (it was called Odesk back then). I wasn’t earning a great amount but the ability to earn at a school level was great for me. I was enjoying. If you ask me what inspired me to be involved in the tech world and if I am honest about it, the answer is money! Yes, I loved to earn and the feeling of being able to buy whatever you want with your own money is indescribable. That was my biggest inspiration and I will not lie about that.
5. WHAT WAS THE MONTHLY INCOME THAT YOU WERE EARNING FROM FREELANCING?
When I began my freelancing career, my sole skill was being a writer. I used to write an eBook per week for around $50-$60 and I was happy. Apart from that, occasionally I used to get a big enough project of $100-$200 and I was even happier. My demand back then was very little and I was satisfied with whatever I am doing online. I think this is very important to understand. If you do not enjoy what you are doing and if you are not happy about it, you cannot really do it! I meet a lot of people who ask me, how can they earn from online and I always try to figure out, whether they want to work online because they like it or they want to just earn and leave. If you are of the second type, life is tough! Trust me.
6. HOW DID YOU PIVOT AND MOVE INTO CREATING NICHE WEBSITES, AFFILIATE MARKETING ETC. ?
Niche websites and affiliate marketing came as a fluke in my journey. So, I started my affiliate marketing journey in 2015. The main reason that why I entered into this industry is because of the business aspect of things. You see, making and working on niche sites is like a business. You have to source content, design and then the SEO and all- the business framework attracted me and I jumped in. I didn’t expect a lot from this industry initially. I was doing great with my freelancing journey. My income was around $1000 per month or even more at times via freelancing as I then was not working as a writer but as a project manager mostly. Then I entered into the niche business and my life changed.
7. WHERE DID YOU DISCOVER INFORMATION AND ADVICE ON HOW TO CREATE NICHE WEBSITES?
Niche Pursuits was my biggest motivator in this journey. As every other affiliate marketer out there knows, Niche Pursuits is your best friend if you are interested in Amazon affiliate marketing. Apart from that, I was always inspired seeing Patt Flynn from Smart Passive Income. Apart from them, I used a number of sites from Google to learn. I used to sit and continue to search all day and night. My laptop was always being charged as I was continuously working. Ah, those hussle days!
8. WHEN DID YOU LAUNCH YOUR FIRST SITE? WAS IT A SUCCESS?
My first site was a big failure. It was in the horse niche. I forgot the exact time but I think it was around September time, 2015. I didn’t know much about affiliate marketing and to be honest, I was alright with the failure. I didn’t think that I would create magic on the first site. It was a nice experience with around $600 wasted.
9. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE AND WHATS STEPS DID YOU TAKE NEXT?
By the way, people call me a successful amazon affiliate marketer these days but I even fail now too! Yes, that’s right. I create around 2-3 sites a month for myself and mostly 50% works for me. The rest are failures. I don’t know about the other entrepreneurs but in my case, I love failing as those sites teach me a lot more than the successful ones. I keep on experimenting may be that is another reason why I fail so much.
10. DO YOU ARRANGE EVERYTHING YOURSELF ON YOUR WEBSITES OR DO YOU EMPLOY OTHERS TO HELP?
I have a small team who manage my tasks. I now have different services too in my blog Passive Journal and this same team works on those services too. It is not a big team though. A few content writers, a designer and some temporary project based workers from all over the world. I don’t think it is possible for me to arrange everything on my own as I came far enough.
11. WHAT IS YOUR SEO STRATEGY?
Well, the SEO strategy of mine is mostly white hat based. I don’t do anything special. Probably I keep on working till I see results. Some of my sites have tons and tons of content and some have a few thousands. I take content very seriously. Oh, I recently started using PBN too. Though I am yet to see any results, but I am hopeful as I built this network on my own. I believe that within 2-3 years from now, we do not have to do SEO anymore to rank sites. Google will come up with updates to vanish stuff like web 2, blog comment links and so on. It will all be measured based on content. I am waiting for that day to come.
12. WHAT WOULD YOU CLASS AS YOUR FIRST BIG SUCCESS?
My first big success was a site that I sold for $4000 this year. $4000 might not be a lot of money but it was for me and I was super happy. It was a big site on a tech niche with around 5000 monthly search for the term best+keyword.
( Khalid sold one November 2015 for $ 26,000 !!! )
13. HOW MANY SITES HAVE YOU NOW CREATED AND HOW MANY HAVE YOU NOW SOLD?
I create minimum 1 site a month, and 2-3 mostly depending on how busy I am. I have sold around 10+ sites to the international market and as I also have niche site building service now, if I include those then the list will be of around 30-40 sites so far.
14. WHAT ARE YOU PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
My sole plan is to work on my blog and services right now. I am soon going to launch some big services on the field of content and I am very hopeful about those. Who knows, maybe I will look for a partner too to take care of some parts of my business.
15. WHAT TIPS AND ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OUR READERS TRYING TO EARN AN EXTRA INCOME FOR THEMSELVES AND TO ACHIEVE A DREAM?
In my personal life, my plan is to go for my masters in 2017. I will be done with my bachelors this year. I am trying to figure out which country to go to for my masters. Let’s see what happens.
I have one simple tip for your readers. Keep on hustling. I really get pissed when I hear things like ‘but I don’t know how to create a WordPress site’ or ‘I don’t know how to do SEO’. Well, if you do not want to earn then I don’t have any problem but if you do, try to learn those right now! It is not rocket science and if you really want to earn, you have to stop complaining and start learning.
Never complain in life. Be happy with whatever you have and try to achieve more from there. I still remember that when I started my journey as a freelancer 6 years ago from now, I had to buy internet allowance in a gigabyte scale from operators. Internet was not popular in our country back then. A gigabyte used to cost around $4.6 and the time frame was 24 hours. I lived that life and I continued to hustle.
I had problems in life like most others have. I had cried many times. But I did not stop working hard. Even today, I can work for 12 hours without any complaints and I will be happy about it if I know that I am working hard for the right cause.
I don’t know anybody who can say that they work smart for 12 hours a day and still is a failure. Yes, that is life.
You can read more about Khalid’s journey and services on his website www.passivejournal.com
Are you interested in reading Khalid’s guest article on Niche Pursuits? You can read that here.
Khalid has several courses on Udemy which you can take a look at here.
I love Khalid Farhan’s attitude towards life and learning in general. He has applied himself and taught himself everything he needs to know to become a success. The simple takeaway for me is to take action and get results, if you want to learn information about a new topic to earn an extra income then listen to podcasts, watch videos and read articles. There are lots of great income earning ideas to explore and anybody can earn extra revenue for themselves, you just need to apply yourself.