Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello, I’m Darrell. I live in sunny San Diego with my Wife, Sherry, and my 13-year-old Pug named Pearl.
I started an informational resource for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn all the tips, tricks, and tools to start a blog and grow it fast like a silicon valley start-up.
I write in-depth guides and provide reviews about online tools to help entrepreneurs on their journey. My site is called growthhackguides.com.
Currently, my company sells no product but makes money from referrals to tools and services I mention in my blog posts.
Once a user from my site clicks on a recommended link from a third-party organization, I am paid a commission if the user converts it into a sale on the third-party site. Online this is referred to as affiliate marketing.
I started growthhackguides.com to inspire and help people achieve their goals. I take pride in every post because I know those who land on my site and take action from the guides I produce may not have taken action if it wasn’t for the information that I took the time to write and break each step down into digestible chunks.
I also started Growthhackguides.com to generate passive income and utilize my time on the things I would like to do while still generating income without being in front of a computer 24/7. I love my business model because it creates a win-win-win situation.
I help others while helping themselves, and by helping themselves, they also help me generate income. It’s great! Every time I see that I earned a commission, I wonder what business that user will start or grow at a faster rate based on the information I provide.
My company helps solve the issues of aspiring entrepreneurs taking their first steps. I also help those who have already formed a business take it to the next level.
What's your backstory, and how did you come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea from talking to people that are not tech-savvy but have great ideas. I thought to myself; these folks need step-by-step guides to get started.
I wanted to leverage my decade of experience in digital marketing to help as many people as possible achieve their dreams. Unfortunately, many online sites want people to click on affiliate links to earn commissions without providing helpful information.
I vowed that Growthhackguides.com would provide helpful information rooted in deep knowledge of the online space.
I have worked for big companies at the leadership level. So I know how companies scale, and I know the steps to get started, I also have used a ton of tools to help companies scale before, so I know what is good and what is terrible and not worth your money to buy.
I wanted to provide helpful content without the fluff. The best business is rooted in truth, and that is my truth.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
What has worked the best is guest posting to attract users. My process involves reaching out to relevant high-domain authority sites pitching myself as an expert within the digital marketing space, and strategically mentioning other companies I would want a link from in my guest posts.
So what does this look like in practice? Let’s say you want a backlink from Hubspot. Write a post about the best CRMS to use mentioning Hubspot, then reach out to the director of content at Hubspot and say, I mentioned you on a high authority site.
Hubspot would be happy if you built a link for them and then might say hey do you want to work together and then you would say yes, that sounds great.
Or you could ask if you can write a post for Hubspot directly. Guess what? I am still waiting to hear a no, well not really, but you know what I mean 🙂 It works great. I call it the GBS tactic, which stands for guest post-bait-and-switch
How are you doing today, and what does the future look like?
I am doing well. The funny thing is the passive income from affiliate links is minimal currently. My focus was to make passive income the main focal point, which is still my main focus for the site. My profit comes from contracts from the site currently that can be 10k- 20k for engagements for people wanting to hire me for 3- 6 months at a time.
I make money from the site from affiliate programs too, but I would love to continuously receive 10- 20k commissions from the products and services I mention in my post.
What has been the best part of starting a remote business?
The best part of starting a remote business is the freedom to do things on your terms. I love the freedom just in general too. I love having something I can grow, like a plant.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I use a few tools, all for different things; of course, for email, I use Convertkit, and for SEO research, I use Ahrefs. I also use Content Studio for social media automation.
Additionally, I use a few plugins, Smush WP, to compress images and Yoast for on-page SEO optimization. I have several other tools I use as well.
What hosting platform are you using? Bluehost, Shopify, Kinsta, or something else?
I am using Cloudways which I highly recommend, but it is only for more technical folks. Cloudways gives you more control over server logs and caches. It’s excellent and allows you to choose your server location from the built-in CDN network.
What equipment have you found valuable for working remotely?
My response will differ from others, so first and foremost, buy what works for you. I love having a big monitor to have a split-screen situation.
When I am doing some coding or analytics analysis, it just makes my life easier. I also love having good music playing, so I love having my apple air pod pros.
I also have a stand for my computer and a Bluetooth mouse. The only other physical tool I use is a Bluetooth keyboard. On my list to buy is a Herman Miller chair.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources you've found?
I like product lead SEO by Eli Schwartz. That is a great book. I also love Tim Ferriss’s Tools Of Titans and The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. Also, any book Peter Thiel writes is gold.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to build a remote business or are just starting out?
I encourage people who want to start a business to believe in themselves and listen to others who have already achieved success. Success is not built overnight. I plan to dedicate myself to my craft.
I want to build my network to create growth for my business, which takes time and patience. Having faith in yourself and determination is the differentiating factor between successful people vs. those who are not.
So many people give up because they expect things to scale in year one, two, or even three. In the words of the late great Nipsey Hustle, it is a marathon. It is not a race, you must pace yourself accordingly and adapt and grow.
Where can we go to learn more?
Well, check out any posts I have written on growthhackguides.com. That is the best way to learn about my business and how to start your own business.