How Brian Dean sold his one-person company for MILLIONS of dollars

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8 days ago

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Brian Dean sold his one-person company for MILLIONS of dollars. He built a personal brand around SEO that amassed 1m organic visits/per month The exact steps he took and what you can copy 👇 [img:IiaRCVCRL]

Today, Backlinko's newsletter has over 170K subscribers. And, collectively SEMrush & Backlinko generate 2 MILLION+ organic traffic searches a month.

In 2008, after quitting his Ph.D. program he got his hands on "The 4-Hour Workweek by @tferriss" which got him into entrepreneurship.

He was doing a full-time job as a dietitian & as a side project, he created his first info product - an ebook on back pain. To manage things smoothly, he hired a few writers for his e-book business as well.

At the same time, he also started writing for other people. He was writing 12 articles per day for a fitness website. Clearly, he was far away from the "4 Hour Workweek"

But these side ventures were paying the bills & eventually he quit his full-time job.

Then he went into building niche websites for other people & in 2 years he made over 150 one-page websites. This was during the black-hat SEO boom.

Google Panda, halted traffic to his keyword-stuffed niche websites. Entire traffic was wiped out overnight [img:RHy7RFT_U]

His experience with Google Panda led him into the world of SEO.

He tried all the SEO tips & tricks, that he could discover until he found the solution. Later he made his own SEO system.

It took him 2 years to understand what happened with his websites & in 2013, he started Backlinko.

But at the time, big players like HubSpot were already in the game. So he decided to do everything that they were not doing.

- They were doing 7 short blogs every week He did a giant ‘Power Page’ every month [img:54nRR1Lr7]

- They had people hooked on their podcasts He launched an SEO training channel on YouTube [img:P8Q5IjjKv]

- They were heavily invested in social media He built an email newsletter.

This killer strategy gave Backlinko a competitive advantage & got the traction it required.

While everything was on point, the email list became its most significant growth driver. This email list generated almost 99% of its lifetime revenue.

Today, its newsletter has 170K+ subscribers, including marketers from companies like Apple, Disney, IBM, and Amazon. [img:AH1npPSh5]

All these blog posts & newsletters were free for people to consume. To leverage this audience & scale Backlinko, Dean built a course - "SEO That Works" & sold it for $497 a month [img:qeg0JFEaL]

His consistency with Backlinko put him right next to people like Niel Patel. He started getting invites to various podcasts, and events to share his knowledge & experiences. Backlinko was then the most robust SEO training resource on the internet. [img:95kkAcK1k]

With all these things Backlinko was stealing the lunch money of the major players in the game, HubSpot, Ahref, SEMrush, etc.

After bootstrapping Backlinko for 7 years & 1 Million visits/month, he decided to sell it to SEMrush for a mid-7-figure sum (allegedly)

Now Dean is working on another startup to help investors and entrepreneurs find trends before their trends.

Things to learn from this case study: - Understanding the domain to its core will let you disrupt any industry - Always know how your competitors do things - Consistent efforts beat all the odds - You can make a career in anything irrespective of your educational background

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