How I Turned My Life Around, Built 2 Businesses and Skyrocketed My Income Thanks Largely to Google
Hi, I’m Ali and I run two fairly successful blogs.
As of writing this, my articles have been read over 15+ million times, yet I still suck at writing and my old writing teacher would probably pass out if she knew what I ended up doing for a living.
My road to working from home, tuning my own websites, wasn’t the usual one.
I never studied anything related to computers or coding, and I was never that good of a writer. In fact, I nearly failed my writing class in 7th grade.
To make matters worse, I write in English, while I live in Finland and speak Finnish.
Oh, did I mention that my “real job” used to be a car mechanic?
Since a lot of people are curious about my backstory, and I don’t want to spend the precious space available on my websites “about” section. I’ve decided to detail my journey to Medium instead and link people here when they ask.
Here’s how a car mechanic with no coding experience and poor writing skills ended up building two highly successful websites…
2012, a Very Different Time for Me
I gratuated from technical school as a car mechanic in the spring of 2012, and right after that, ended up working in a nearby repair shop fixing cars, lawn-movers, tractors, anything with an engine basically.
I always felt like I was supposed to be doing something else, but somehow had drifted into studying cars, and eventually working with them.
To put it bluntly, I hated every second of it. The job is as stressful as one can imagine, especially in the beginning before you gain expertise and confidence.
It did not help that I was working in a place which let you do as much hours as you wanted, which ended up in 10+ hour days for most of the time. My boss was extremely tight with speed and efficiency, which brought immense stress upon me if I didn’t find out the faults in customers car inhumanly fast.
I was slowly burning myself out from the work even though I hadn’t even been there long. I was losing sleep and thinking about work all the time, which caused serious issues in my relationship and aggravated my alcohol consumption (which wasn’t even habitual before).
Luckily, in Finland all men have to go to semi-mandatory military service when they reach adulthood — usually rather quickly after finishing school.
For me this meant that my enlistment would start in the January of 2013. Allowing me to effectively “pause” my work as a car mechanic for the duration of my service.
2013, The Year of Massive Changes
I traveled roughly 300km to my assigned barracks for the first time in early January of 2013.
Knowing that this was going to be my home for the next 6–12 months, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but even the realization of going into military as a boot seemed far more relaxing than fixing cars on a daily basis under immense stress & expectations.
I ended up enjoying my time in the military, quickly passing through the initial 8 weeks of bootcamp, after which I was chosen for NCO-school, through which I also breezed by in which felt like weeks but was really 4 months.
After this I had served for six months. This is the time when a lot of infantry men are released back into their civil life, but since I had gone through the NCO route, I was given the rank of sub-sergeant (I think its equivalent to Corporal in the US) and my service time would exceed to 1-year, teaching the ways to new boots and NCOs for the remaining 6-months.
Again, it felt like time was just passing by, and I was eventually promoted to sergeant near the end of my service. This is also close to when I started dreading the fact that I would have to return back to my civil life soon, back to that shitty job, back to fixing cars on a horrible wage.
This is when I made a promise to myself that I would never work as a car mechanic ever again. I had 1-month before my service ended, but I was damn sure I would never be picking up the wrench again (metaphorically speaking, I have since worked a bit on my own car :) ).
So I informed my boss that I would quit, while also informing my relatives that I was not going to do what I did before.
When they asked what I was going to do to provide for myself. I told them I wasn’t sure.
This was a massive leap of faith, especially to someone who had been conditioned to believe that life is about school and the 8–5 grind.
And this also made my relatives seemingly insane, especially my parents, who spent most of their time calling to each other about how stupid I was for doing this, and then calling to me — both separately — telling the same things.
(they are divorced, and weren’t calling from the same house, haha).
Much against my previous habits (perhaps I had learned how to be a man in the military) I didn’t back down and succumb into their demands of returning to my old job.
Instead I was spending all the bus rides between my home and barracks (about 300 kilometer drive with plenty of stops) scrolling through my phone, furiously googling myself a new job or career.
Through some luck or destiny, I stumbled upon a website called Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn, which teached very clearly, step-by-step, how to build a website, write a blog, and make it popular through just writing great content which would eventually rank high in the Google search engine, and generate ad-revenue while simultaneously providing value to the readers.
I spent the last month of my service researching Flynn’s website and other similar resources, priming myself for what was to come.
I would become a blogger, and something I never though I would be; an entrepreneur.
Luckily, I had a topic in mind already.
I was going to write about men’s health, natural hormone optimization, and bodybuilding related content.
It might seem unlikely that a car mechanic could write of such topics, but I didn’t mention how I had spent most of my free-time from 15 year old an onwards reading about hormones and bodybuilding.
I had already familiarized myself with the endocrine system and how it worked, and frequently borrowed medical journals and med-school study books that endocrinologists read from the library. Not for anything else than to understand how my own body worked and how to optimize my nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle and training.
So to make a long-story short. I eventually spent my yearly tax returns from the military payments (~$250) into a domain “AnabolicMen.Com” and a hosting-service.
So now I had a website, no job, the army had paid for my 1-months rent for the following month after my service ended (which they do to everyone), and a fire under my ass to either make it or break it.
2014, Scrambling Together a Website
Once I had my website up and running, ready to just start pouring in content, I did some keyword research.
I was running certain tools to figure out how many people were searching for different keywords in my “topic” or “niche”.
Things like “how to increase testosterone naturally”, “how to build wide shoulders”, etc.
After I had compiled a list of about 100 potential topics. I locked myself in and started writing.
Tens of articles per week, with thousands of words in each.
I knew how I would make money too. Each time someone would read my content, they would be exposed to few affiliate links to some supplements I mentioned, this would earn me a small commission. However, I made sure to not overdo it, and always kept recommending only the stuff I had used myself and found enough scientific validity for.
Another way of monetization was an e-book called Testosterone I/O (currently known as TestShock) written by my soon to be friend Christopher Walker. He had extremely good information about natural hormone optimization, and offered generous commissions to anyone selling his book. So of course I didn’t forget to mention it once in a while.
It didn’t took too long for me to log into my Amazon account and see that I had made $7 one day.
It might not seem like much, but to realize that I had made it myself, through my own website was a ground-breaking moment for me. Now that I think back, it probably ranks in my top 5 happiest moments of all time.
Realizing that I could make $7, I knew I could work twice as hard to make $14, and even harder to make $28. The sky was the limit.
So that’s what I did for most of 2014.
Even 2016, when I briefly worked together with Chris Walker and a company behind him called Better Foundation (some AM readers might remember this).
Then in 2016 I decided to test if I could copy my methods to create another site from scratch, and I did so with one of my new-found interests; beard growth, launching a site called “BeardResource.com”.
It too became wildly successful, with some posts raking in hundreds of thousands of views.
2017 was spent mostly working on Anabolic Men and Beard Resource…
And in 2018, I’m still doing this.
In fact, when I’m done writing this piece, I’m going to continue on a post about the best beard combs on the beard blog.
And that’s how I eventually make money. Someone comes into the article from Google, finds a nice comb, clicks an Amazon link and buys it, leaving me couple dollars of commission.
I’m not a millionaire, but I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars through Amazon and promoting e-books & courses.
And I’m yet to spend a dime on ads. All the traffic is generated through Google, through people who genuinely want to read about what I write.
This is why I have to thank Google for making it all possible, and Pat Flynn for for creating Smart Passive Income and doing such good work with search engine optimization that I eventually found his site…
…from Google, mind you.