Hi guys, I have a very inspirational case study about Aisha Preece. Aisha Preece is the founder of Outandbeyond, a blog focused on finance, lifestyle, and location-independent living.
Aisha’s journey began as a lawyer and then in banking, but she still found herself wishing she was somewhere else.
She caught herself looking out the window wanting a different life but didn’t know where to start. Can you relate?
Wanting more, she explored online opportunities and started editing documents for professors (she started editing for free and eventually moved them over to paid clients ). Aisha eventually took a leap of faith, quitting her corporate job and started teaching Business English online while traveling.
Now Aisha runs multiple blogs, a freelance writing team, and offers courses and coaching to help others achieve their online dream jobs.
Her specialty is training passionate writers with no experience using this freelance writing course and eventually hiring them to join her writing team.
Inside OutAndBeyond.com, she shares her passion for helping others make money, save more, and live life on their terms.
In this case study, we will deep dive into Aisha’s niche, keyword, and monetization strategies and how she uses Keyword Chef.
About the sites
Here, we will learn about Aisha’s sites, her niche selection process, and how the sites are monetized:
- Main site is outandbeyond.com which receives nearly 250,000 visits per month
- Has a 4-step process for choosing a profitable niche
- Starts all sites on fresh domains
- Prefers to promote digital products
What kinds of sites have you been building?
My main site is outandbeyond.com where I receive over 8,000 visits per day. It’s my main site where I help teach how to make money online with side hustles. I also run 5 other niche sites where I monetize with ads, affiliate links and digital products .
Were these domains started fresh?
Yes, I started from scratch with clean domains. When you have a fresh domain you have full control and there’s no dodgy stuff. My 2nd site started right during the pandemic and using Keyword Chef was helpful to get into Mediavine. A year later I started a new site and my most recent site started at the end of last year.
What is your niche selection process? Do you pick niches you are personally interested in?
I have a four-step process for choosing a niche:
- My first step is to make sure there are lots of low competition keywords
- Then, I make sure it does well on Pinterest and that it’s an evergreen topic
- Next, I look at the competition and see how the niche can be monetized. I never start a niche if it can’t be monetized beyond ads.
- And lastly, I pick niches that I’m interested in. You can have a successful site if you don’t have interest, but it’s much more enjoyable if you do. If things don’t go well, you have sticking power.
How are your sites typically monetized?
I prefer not to promote physical products, so digital products are preferred. I also look at the competition and see their affiliate programs. Are there digital products being sold? I also search on Google for “Digital products for x niche” or “affiliate programs for x”. I also look at Etsy to see if there’s something I can create.
Using Keyword Chef to find keywords
Here, we will learn about Aisha’s keyword research process and how she used Keyword Chef to find keywords
- Searches for seed words and uses the Questions, How-to, and Wildcard categories
- Focuses on keywords that have a “it depends” answer.
- Uses PAA keywords for inspiration when building clusters.
How did you use Keyword Chef as part of your keyword research strategy?
Inside Keyword Chef, I searched for seed words and used the wildcard search. I focused on Questions and How-to keywords.
In the beginning, I would write 20-30 keywords about questions. I try to find keywords that have an “it depends” answer.
How did you find Keyword Chef compared to other tools like Semrush or Ahrefs?
Contrary to a lot of bloggers, I don’t use Semrush or Ahrefs. My audience doesn’t have big budgets, so I recommend Keysearch and Keyword Chef since I like to use the tools I promote.
Something I really like about Keyword Chef is how to find forums. That helped me get into Mediavine. I was able to find these keywords and pump out a lot of content.
Inside Keyword Chef, did you find the SERP Score to be accurate?
I’d say so. I normally do a check after manually so Keyword Chef saves me a lot of time. It’s been working for me.
Did you use Similar or PAA keywords inside Keyword Chef?
Yes, I actually look at them for inspiration. I ask, “how am I going to tackle this cluster?”. By looking at PAA keywords, I find new inspiration that Keysearch doesn’t give me.
Here, we will learn about Aisha’s content strategy
- Used to do a “shotgun approach”, but now focuses on keyword clusters
- Builds 30 articles per cluster
What’s your content strategy for building a new site?
I used to do a shotgun approach, but now I set up a system. I set up 30 articles per cluster (clusters here are main topics or categories). My goal is to see what Google likes. I’m not as structured as other site owners, but I know this is my cluster and these are my keywords.
How do you go about creating topical authority and targeting low-competition keywords at the same time, knowing that to gain topical authority, you might have to cover topics that are higher competition?
I will pick a pillar post, for example, “how to ski as a beginner”, and then focus on low-competition keywords around that.
Now we understand how Aisha finds keywords and creates clusters, we will dig into her publishing process.
- Focuses on writing all articles in the cluster first, then goes back to add affiliate links
- Works with a team of writers, but still writes some articles herself to keep her skills relevant
- Has a 3-step publishing process from Draft to Published.
After you found the keywords to target, describe your publishing process
Once we have a cluster of 30 keywords, we write the 30.
We ignore affiliate links and focus on making the content as useful as possible. The goal is to put it out there and let it start ranking.
Once they start ranking, then I sign up with 3-4 affiliate programs and go back to add affiliate links.
In WordPress, I use a reusable block for this. I make the block stand out and add it after the introduction. Then I’ll create specific affiliate posts that will have links all throughout them.
Are you working with a team or hiring writers?
Yes, I have a team of writers. Each of my writers starts as a writer from my writing workshop that they saw on Instagram. Once they gain experience, I ask them to become my writer or VA. I still write a few myself and I also guest post to keep my skills relevant. Writing newsletters help me hone my writing skills too.
Are you using any tools to help publish the articles?
I don’t use any optimization tools. My writers write in Google Docs, then my editor edits it, then my VA adds images and affiliate links.
My system includes :
- Google Docs with no pics,
- Google Docs with pics, and
- Google Drive with pictures.
The reason for this is that I want the VA to see the document without pictures and then manually upload them.
Now we know Aisha’s publishing process, we’ll look at other SEO efforts she took.
- Builds links with podcasts, guest posting, and Facebook collab groups
- Will allow guest posts from her writers and vice versa
- Will incorporate personal stories to keep readers engaged in content
Are you doing any outreach, guest posting, or link building?
I should be more. Obviously, I’m doing this and podcasts. My site is not just about blogging, but remote work and side hustles too.
For my smaller sites, I do guest posting but rarely. I will also go into Facebook groups and ask about guest posting. I allow my writers to guest post on my site which helps them build their portfolio and get a backlink. And I’ll guest post on their site as well.
Did you incorporate EEAT into your articles? If yes, how so?
I try to write seo optimized articles and add personal stories and experiences. People want to hear stories, that’s how they continue to keep reading the article.
How do you adapt to all the changes happening with SEO and AI?
With SEO, there is a fear of, “what if my traffic goes away?” The solution is to learn how to monetize your traffic better so you don’t need that much traffic. I suggest creating your own products. One idea is to create a mini-course addressing core problems and pain points.
For example, in the backyard gardening niche, a course could be how to set up a backyard garden and live off their produce.
If you’re not active in your niche, collaborate with experts to create a video just like you would pay a writer. Some experts are happy to share their knowledge for free. People will always want to help if they are talking about what they are interested in. Once you build a connection with someone, they want to learn from you.
I like to think about long-term sustainability. Good writing can also be used in newsletters and social media. What’s going to carry your business to the end is a brand and you can’t get there with only AI.
Tracking the Results
Let’s take a look at what kind of results Aisha achieved on her sites.
- Many articles were based on Keyword Chef keywords
- Ranking took a few weeks to a few months depending on the niche
- Was able to recover from Google updates by updating old content and publishing new content
How many articles were published? Were these keywords found using Keyword Chef?
My 2nd site has about 300 articles. At least 150 keywords were found using Keyword Chef which helped me get into Mediavine.
My 3rd site has about 200 articles, many of which were based on keywords found in Keyword Chef. Unfortunately, as I was preparing to get into Mediavine, the site was hacked and traffic plummeted.
How quickly did those articles start to rank?
- For the 2nd site, they took longer because they were in the tougher niche
- For the 3rd site, some were a few weeks and some were a few months
- And my 6th site, keywords started ranking within a few weeks.
Were you impacted by any Google updates?
At times I have been affected by Google updates. My advice is don’t panic and accept it as part and parcel of growing a blog. Update old content and publish new content. I’m able to do this because I don’t do any dodgy stuff. I know I did everything right so I just need to update old content and publish new content. That’s why I prefer to build fresh sites unless it’s a site you’re buying and then you can do your due diligence.
If you want to get in touch with Aisha for advice on how to grow and monetize your sites, drop her a DM on instagram, she always replies 🙂
You can also join her weekly email newsletter where she shares free blogging tips and pics and hacks of her working in different parts of the world so you can do the same.
She also has a few free resources for you :
- 7 Blog Income Reports (Over $10,000 a Month!)
- 11-Step Essential SEO Checklist For Google Traffic!
- 7-Step Strategy For Your First Affiliate Sale!
About Aisha Preece
Aisha Preece is the founder of Outandbeyond, a blog focused on finance, lifestyle, and location-independent living. Formerly a lawyer and banker, Aisha pursued her passion for online work, leading her to become a successful full-time blogger.