Esteban Pau’s mission is to help his peers realize that it’s possible to make a living online. Find out how it all got started.
Revenue of $150/mo
Email list size of 290
Founded in 2015
Hello! What’s your background, and what is your blog about?
Hey, my name is Esteban Pau and I was born and raised in Luxembourg. A lot of people never heard about the tiny country and I don’t really look like your average Luxemburger. I say that because my background is actually Brazilian, German Italian.
My mom is Brazilian and my Dad’s half German half Italian (Sardinian).
I studied Media and Cultural Studies in London, worked for J.P.Morgan in Luxembourg, quit my job for another one which I had the be let go off before my first day and was unemployed for almost a year which is when I started my blog.
My Path To Passive Income blog basically talks about the opportunity people have to make a living online.
When I first discovered affiliate blogs I stumbled on a few online income reports which literally blew my mind. People were making tens of thousands of dollars online while I was working myself to death in a job I hated.
Having no online marketing skills whatsoever and wanting to join those success stories I thought I’d create a similar blog, but starting from the bottom sharing my story. Therefore I believe most of my readers are also at the bottom and can learn from my mistakes!
What motivated you to get started with the blog?
So as I mentioned in the introduction, I constantly stumbled on affiliate income reports which were so high I couldn’t believe this was actually true. I’m talking about people making $100,000 a month from the comfort of their homes.
I wanted to create the same type of website that shared ideas and ways to generate this money online, which is why I named it “MyPathToPassiveIncome”. However, the only thing which always put me off when I read these blogs, was that these people seemed to be experts for years.
So whenever they launched a new product, website or advertisement campaign, it was easy to succeed thanks to their brand name. When you’re just starting out, no one knows you and success doesn’t just happen over night.
Therefore I Wanted to start fresh and show everyone it’s achievable but it takes time.
I didn’t have any expertise or knowledge when I started. I literally just read every piece of information that crossed my path, from inspiring people such as Neil Patel, Pat Flynn etc.
At first I wasted a lot of time and money trying to jump on every product that promised quick and easy money. But I think a lot of us fall down that path. But since I’ve found a sort of mentor, I decided to stick to affiliate marketing and make it work.
I actually started my blog, in my last month of employment at J.P. Morgan. I hated my job so much, doing tons of overtime at the dullest job.
I had just quit my job for another one, but that company went bankrupt and had to let me go before I could start my first day. Luckily this gave me the opportunity to have a small financial monthly help, whilst trying to make my blog work.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to create the salary I’d love to have to be able to live off my online earnings, however, I learned a lot in those 8 months.
Now I’ve fully employed again and I’m still trying to make it work.
What are some strategies you have used for building up the traffic?
I have to admit I’m still pretty bad at generating traffic and I don’t see through the magic tricks SEO seem to hide. Basically I’ve started off ignoring a lot of the basics in the beginning. Once I re-read all the strategies I understood that the basics are often everything you need to make it work.
So what I found to be working the best is: keyword research, using the keyword in different headers, continuous posting, lots of interlinking, even more backlinks and repeat!
I tried Facebook ads, Google ads and all other sorts of ads, but I always wasted more money than I earned doing that. Social media can be very powerful but it is also very time consuming. I also run a newsletter but haven’t managed to monetize that either.
My favorite traffic sources are purely SEO based and collaborations such as guest posts, roundups, partnerships and getting backlinks through these.
My most successful posts are always the ones where I speak from the heart. I review a lot of products that I’ve personally tried and people can see when I’m being honest. Roundups are also great because you talk to a lot of like-minded people and your readers get a bulk information of things you both are interested in.
Other than that I can’t stress enough to keep posting quality content. In the beginning I wrote a lot of 500 word blog posts but they were almost pointless. Now I don’t post anything under 1,500 with images and links to useful sources. You want your readers to get great quality in an easy to read way.
How have you grown the email list?
As mentioned previously, I do have an email list but I haven’t managed to monetize it yet. I have a list of just under 300 and I have an automated email sequence which is in desperate need of an update.
Therefore I can’t share much knowledge on how to grow your list, but I do know that the only reason I get subscribers, is due to the free content offered on my site! By signing up they get a quick “how-to” guide on how to create their first website for free!
How do you write great content that performs well?
When I do have an article I want to create and post for my readers, I actually devote a good day to it.
First I start by getting a piece of paper and writing down all the headers to have a rough idea of what structure I’m going to follow. Then I write down 3-5 bullet points to each header, which helps me follow a linear path of the content itself.
Then I start typing away like a madman.
Once I’m happy with the content, I start at the top again and add links (If I haven’t done so already whilst writing), of sources where I found the information from or to support an argument. Additionally, I add some internal links to get the traffic flowing around my site which is also great for SEO purposes.
Finally, I add images to break up the wall of texts and make the post more attractive and easier to read (also great for SEO).
I typically find my topics if I learned something new, or discovered something I want my readers to learn about as well.
A good tip is to keep your sentences short, paragraphs small and add bullet points, images, possibly videos and catchy headers.
As for biggest lessons learned on well-performing content, don’t write nonsense just to fill out space and have long content. Write from the heart and the rest will follow.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome with your blog? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
The hardest bit was definitely to continue and keep going. Even today I find it hard and demotivating to see my earnings when I compare myself to other experts out there. Many seem to achieve success in no time and I’m in my third year trying to make this work.
But when I look at the numbers and reflect to where I’ve started and where I’m now, it keeps me going.
I’ve made so many dumb decisions, such as, jumping from one idea to the next. Not only did I waste a lot of money, more importantly I listened to the wrong people and wasted a lot of time.
It can be very tough seeing through BS and finding honest people online. But what I’ve learned is, pick out one way to make money and stick to it. Regardless of what person A said and how quick his wealth came or that person B swears on method “X”, find your own path!
I chose to do affiliate marketing and every time I tried something else I lost money and wasted time.
In 2017 I devoted myself entirely to one affiliate site and almost made as much money online as I made in my job! Once you get comfortable you can slowly branch out, try a few other methods to include other streams of income.
Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Finding a mentor was a massive help. I’m not even sure he knows he’s been my mentor because we don’t talk that much, but the information he’s given me and his honesty was very eye-opening. I kept telling him about projects I Wanted to launch and create and he always gave me the kind of “yea try it if you like” type of answer.
It made me question whether or not I should do it. But then I looked back to the advice he’s given me and the success that followed after following his advice, it became clear I should just stick to what I’m good at.
Another huge push forward are the good old-fashioned books. I kicked off my online story thanks to “The 4 hour Work Week”, before that I got the entrepreneurial mindset thanks to “rich dad poor dad” and now I try to read a new book every month.
Books keep your brain sharp and every book (no matter how boring it is) teaches me a little something. Even if it’s just a sentence, every bit helps.
Talking to like-minded people also helps a lot as well as having a routine. I try to put a little work into my sites no matter how tired, busy or unmotivated I am.
Ideally I like to keep a checklist and complete a minimum of 70% of it a day. There are many people that seem lucky and achieve success very quick. I’ve always thought of myself as an unlucky person. But having found affiliate marketing, having found a mentor, having found skills to make something worth 40k out of nothing does seem like a lucky persons path.
We do have to be lucky if we want to make money but we create our own luck in a way!
What’s your advice for bloggers who are just starting out?
The best advice is definitely to learn the basics. I feel like people are increasingly becoming impatient and want things to happen ASAP!
Unfortunately the world doesn’t run that way. Our attention span is shorter and information needs to be sent and received quicker. However, the basics are always the foundation of everything. You can’t build a house without having the blueprint, the basic pillars and walls.'I’ve made so many dumb decisions, such as, jumping from one idea to the next.'Click To Tweet
The same goes for any type of project. Plan it out before you launch yourself at it. If you want to launch a YouTube channel, you have to have a theme first, if you want a niche site, you need a product first. How will you market it? Where’s your traffic going to come from? Etc. Don’t switch from affiliate products to PPC just to realize you want to go back to affiliate earnings.
I always recommend the same course on my site (Wealthy Affiliate) as it really takes you by the hand and teaches you the fundamentals.
I also highly recommend the books I mentioned above and my personal book. I really don’t care about making the extra $1 if you do buy my book because I haven’t sold many copies at all and it’s not about the money.
What I do care about is how every time someone actually read it, they told me it inspired them to create a second stream of income online!
Where can we go to learn more?