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How To Diversify Revenue And Monetization Models (with Deacon Hayes from Well Kept Wallet)

Ben chats with Deacon Hayes about models for monetizing websites, diversifying revenue streams, and scaling content production. Listen to the episode here!

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Audio Transcription:

Ben Aston

Welcome to the Indie Media Club Podcast, I’m Ben Aston, founder of the Indie Media Club. We’re on a mission to help independent, bootstrapped media entrepreneurs succeed, to help people who create, promote, and monetize through content. Do it better. Check out indiemedia.club to find out more. 

Ben Aston

So today, I’m joined by Deacon Hayes and Deacon’s a financial planner who became an author, and along the way on this journey, he launched a website called WellKeptWallet.com. He’s amassed a huge following on this mission to transform people’s lives through personal finance education. 

Ben Aston

So keep listening to today’s podcast to learn about how to leverage your personal, professional expertise to build revenue-generating content and community. 

Ben Aston

Hey, Deacon, thank you so much for joining us today. 

Deacon Hayes

Hey, Ben, thanks for having me. 

Ben Aston

So let’s go back to the beginning where this all started in terms of the website you launched, wellkeptwallet.com, you were a financial adviser. But what was the moment where you thought, hey, this could be a website. This is this could be more than just me giving individuals financial advice. This could be something. What was that? What was that trigger moment for you? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, well, it was really my wife and I getting married and realizing we had this debt. We had $52,000 in consumer debt and realized, hey, we have a negative net worth and we’re just starting out our life. And so Well Kept Wallet, it was a way to kind of share how we paid off our debt and realized like, oh, wow, we could actually reach people with this message of how to save money, how to make money, how to pay off debt. But so really, it was just getting married and kind of putting all of our finances on paper and saying, hey, we’ve got to do something about this debt and we gotta do something fast. 

Ben Aston

And so you don’t want to say, well, what what’s the idea when you launched the site that it would be a revenue-generating stream for you? Or was that just it just happened that you realized, hey, we’re making money from this? 

Deacon Hayes

No, actually, it was literally I didn’t even know what a blog was. I just decided, hey, I’m going to create this website. I’ve always wanted to create a website. I’ve dabbled in other stuff but never had any success with it. And so it was something that I was just interested in. And so I really had no plan to make money with it, but then realized that this could actually be something. 

Ben Aston

And so you were creating content, you were publishing content on the site. You would then began to make some money through it. How did what was the revenue streams for you? 

Deacon Hayes

Well, it was interesting. So back in the day, I had a buddy reach out to me and he worked for like a marketing company. And he said, hey, I’ve got a client from the USA, the insurance company that would love to advertise on your site, you know, like one hundred fifty bucks for three months or something like that. And I’m like, really like I don’t have any visitors. Right. I like maybe have ten people on the site. So that’s like, oh, one hundred fifty bucks. You know, all I got to do is put something on my sidebar for this person. And so I realized I could actually make money from it. And then I found ad sense, which was Google’s way of putting ads on your website very easily as a small publisher. But I was making just pennies a day, you know, maybe like a couple of bucks a month or something, you know. But what was interesting, though, what actually kind of hit like hit it out of the park that made me realize, hey, there’s something here, was I was able to get a local news segment where they came out to our condo and they said, hey, we want to film you talking about paying off your debt and that kind of thing. And so the camera guy was like, hey, can I film your budget? Like, you know, that I created I called it a financial game plan. And I’m like, sure, why not? So he just goes over my computer, he films it and they put on the segment that, hey, if you want to download Deacon’s form, you know, go to wellkeptwallet.com. Well, what I didn’t realize was it was a Fox 10 segment. It’s syndicated around the United States. So it was actually like in Fox in California and Fox in New York. It’s all of a sudden it had all these people coming to my website to download my, you know, my free financial platform. And I made like $3,000 bucks in a matter of just a few days. And I was like, you got to be kidding me. How is this possible? Because up to that point, I made a hundred fifty bucks from selling an ad and I made like pennies from ad sense. Right. So that just blew my mind of, like, wow, there’s a potential here. 

Ben Aston

Yeah. So, I mean, that’s an interesting progression. Yeah. From, you know, hundreds of visitors to thousands. Was that just a one-off spike that you were able to enjoy and then just kept plodding on, or was that then a catalyst for getting bigger or more, more news exposure and driving up these, using PR to generate traffic. 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah. So I realized, like, hey, it is like a you know, you get the spike and then it goes away. Right. And so, you know, I did I just said, hey, I’m going to start doing some more PR. But it was always the same thing. It’s like you get you get the exposure. People come to the site and then they leave. And then eventually I learned about email marketing and I would capture, you know, email addresses so that I could now create a community and then I could reach out these people and keep them coming back. But still, I wanted more steady traffic and PR really didn’t provide that for me. So that’s that’s really what I started researching, search engine optimization, and that’s really kind of what started to catapult our traffic. 

Ben Aston

Yeah, let’s talk big picture. So, I mean, what gets you out of bed in the morning? What gets you excited to keep doing what you’re doing? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, it’s interesting because it started out with the personal finance side of things. Right. But now I just like helping people when it comes to whatever their goals are. Right. And so I have multiple websites now. Well Kept Wallet’s like the main website, but for me, it’s just. Yeah, how can we create great content that’s going to help people make better choices in life so that they can live a better life? Right. And so Well Kept Wallet is the main way that I do that. And it’s really exciting to be able to say, hey, you know, here’s ways that you can save money. Here’s ways you can make money. Here’s how you pay off your debt fast because this helps people have a better life. And so that that gets me excited. 

Ben Aston

That’s cool. And so let’s go back to this approach for building visibility and and generating revenue through display ads, all the talk about monetization models in a minute. But you talked about how you realized PR generated these spikes, which were great. But in order to generate that kind of consistent traffic, you’d started diving more into SEO. So can you talk through your kind of process or mindset when you’re building out content to generate traffic through SEO? How does what is your approach to that? 

Deacon Hayes

It’s definitely evolved over the years. Yeah, I think part of it is initially was saying, OK, we want to have these main verticals. We want to be and make money, save money, pay off debt. And then in those categories you saying, hey, well, what pieces of content need to exist for each one of those verticals? And so looking at like, what are the top 10 posts? Well, you know, if it’s making money, a lot of people want to make money on the side. A lot of people want to make money from home. A lot of people want to make money from different age groups, whether you’re a kid, teenager, college student, adult. So we just kind of wrote all of that content and really kind of tried to be a resource for, hey, here’s how you make money. And then on save money, it’s like, OK, well, here’s ways you can trim your electricity bill. Here’s ways that you can save on your car insurance, whatever it might be. Some build out that save money and then the payoff that the same thing. So really just kind of saying, hey, what needs to be in those categories that people are searching for? And we use tools, obviously, that will tell us, are people searching for this or not, like the Google ads planner, which is free, which will give us an estimate search volume or Ahrefs or SEM Rush like there’s all sorts of tools. But just basically want to see, are people searching for these things? Do they fit in kind of our mission in our verticals that we’re trying to rank in and then we write that content.

Ben Aston

And so you write the content and publish it. Obviously, people find it through Google, but then how are you building your audience in your community? I think I looked at your Facebook page. You’ve got like 66,000 followers or likes. I can’t remember what it was. Anyway, there’s a huge bunch of people that are following you totally through that process of how you help someone transition from a, I guess, a one-time visitor to a part of your community or a repeat visitor. 

Deacon Hayes

So that’s totally changed over the years, too. But currently what we’re doing is we have a sequence that’s called the Thousand Dollar Savings Challenge, and we have it on exit intent. So people come to the website, they read some content, and then they’re like, they’re about to click the  X button. That’s when they’ll see a pop up. Oh, I think only on desktop. I don’t even know if we have it on mobile, which is kind of interesting. Now that I say it out loud, I’m like, well, most of our people from mobile anyways, I’ll look into that. But we have a Facebook group that we send people to that’s for the thousand dollar savings challenge to encourage them to like, hey, save your first thousand bucks. If you if maybe it’s for some people it’s a larger goal. Right. They’re trying to do their, you know, their emergency fund and they’re trying to fund that. But it’s basically we’re trying to create this community of people that are saving money, a common goal to better their financial lives. And so that’s kind of the system that we use now. We used to go to the Facebook page, but now we found that groups are just much better to engage with people. 

Ben Aston

And so, OK, so they’re in the group or they’re in the page, and what happens then? How is that how does that help you generate revenue or how does that help you build the community? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, so the revenue part has to be determined. No. So I think really it’s more of. Yeah. Engaging people where they’re at and so in the groups will give them encouragement of like, hey, how much have you saved this week. Here’s a challenge that you can do. You know, look through your monthly expenses and see what you can cut this week, see do you have a gift card laying around? Use that gift card instead of paying cash for dinner tonight, know whatever it might be. And then we have articles that we share in the group as well. And those articles obviously will have some monetization in either display ads or affiliate ads. And so really, that’s. It’s kind of the model that we’re using on the on the social side, I will say that’s a small segment of what we do, but that’s kind of what we’re doing today. 

Ben Aston

So in terms of monetization, your main methods are affiliate links and display ads, right? 

Deacon Hayes

Correct. Yeah, we used to have sponsored content, but we stopped that, I think, about a year or two ago. 

Ben Aston

And yeah, talk about those two monetization models. What you like about it, would you not like about it? What do you I mean, you just said you dropped another monetization model. What’s kind of driving that decision to monetize in that way? And how do you see that evolving? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, I think I mean, in the ideal world, affiliates is the best way to go because it’s like, hey, here are brands that I believe in, that if we can create a funnel to those brands, it’s a win-win situation. The consumer wins because they’re getting a good service or product that’s going to help them achieve their goal. The product wins because they get a customer and we win because we get paid. Right. And so it’s just like perfect situation, in my mind. The display ads are kind of like you do it because there’s no other way to monetize certain posts. Right. And you have less control over that. There’s more it’s not as good of a user experience, but there’s ways that we’ve gone, you know, we’ve minimized the amount of ads that show we don’t have a leader board like we do all sorts of stuff to kind of make the ad experience not overwhelming and still a good user experience. So so really, for me, it was like, hey, how can we shift more to the affiliate side, focus less on display ads. And the sponsored content, I just don’t like the brands basically want to control what you say and how you say it and where it’s placed and how much exposure. And I’m like, well, I don’t want to do that. Like, I’m here for the readers, not for the brands. And so that’s why sponsored content just didn’t jive with me. 

Ben Aston

Yeah. And have you tried monetizing the community directly in any way or digital products try selling those to them?

Deacon Hayes

I have. And I’ve had some mixed results with that. I have a course that I created called Debt Free Eighteen Months really just kind of outlining like here’s how we paid off our debt in 18 months and teaching people to create smart goals and they don’t have to say 18 months for them. It could be twenty four, it could be six, whatever. So I did that and I’ve had some success with that. I had a trip wire that was like how to save two hundred fifty dollars a month, which is like three grand a year. So it’s like for seven bucks, here’s how to save three grand a year. That did pretty well. But at the end of the day, there becomes now customer service issues being able to log in or not satisfied or actually no one’s never been not satisfied. Everybody’s always satisfied. But I’m just kidding. It’s yeah. So it’s one of those things where it just it creates a lot more dynamics where I like a simple business, I like a business that’s very straightforward, not complex. And so when I when I had those pieces in the equation, it seemed like things, the reward was a lot less than the risk. And so I decided to kind of shift gears. 

Ben Aston

Yeah. And I mean, let’s talk about keeping things simple and let’s talk about, you know, the nuts and bolts of how you make all this happen. I went to your About Page. Looks like you have lots of people listed on the about page who are involved in making all this happen. So tell me about how you’ve built your team and how you structure it and how that’s changed, that you’re creating content, publishing content, engaging with your community. What’s the team you started with and how has that evolved? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah. So the first thing I did was hire a staff writer when I was first trying to say, hey, what do I need? Like, I’m actually not the best writer. I admit that. And so I said, well, let me find somebody that has a similar value system to me and hire them to write content. So I hired this lady, Laurie, and she’s written for me for about I think about eight years now. So she’s been with me the longest. And so I start off with like a flat fee of like, I’ll pay you this much for, you know, for an article. But now we do by word is kind of how we do it as far as we pay, I don’t know, ten to twenty cents a word depending on how much experience they have. But then I was like, OK, well, now I’m going to hire a second writer. Well, then I had a second writer. I’m like, well, I don’t want to manage the writers, so I need to hire someone to manage the writers. And so I found someone that was kind of like a virtual assistant, but she kind of grew into a bigger role of, you know, managing writer, editor, graphic design, all this stuff, you know, so today, that’s kind of where we’re at a transition from that that person that was managing the blog to a new lady, Julie was amazing, who basically oversees everything. But yeah, we just use Asana to kind of assign tasks and we say, OK, here’s this article, let’s do this day. Here’s the drafts, do the graphics, do the published post, all the different things that have to happen. I’ll just get trapped in there and everybody gets assigned a day and all that good stuff, and so that’s kind of how the process goes. 

Ben Aston

And so in terms of that, I mean, you talked before about you’ve got these kind of like main content pillars that you’re building content around, making money, saving money, getting out of debt. Who’s the one who’s kind of architecting the kind of the backlog of posts that need to be written? And how are you deciding how to prioritize what to write about? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, that’s there’s not it’s more of an art than a science. I think. So I personally have gotten the article ideas and topics. I have like a backlog of four hundred like I think we could have post for the next two years, but then it’s, it’s more of like since Google is what sends most of our traffic, we have to be cognizant of what does Google view our site as. And so certain things that I would like to rank for, I can’t rank for just because it’s not relevant in the eyes of Google. And so I have stuff that’s like maybe a wish list of like, hey, maybe someday we could write these, but we don’t want to put the resources behind it because it’s not going to pay off. So really, it’s more of like Google views us kind of as a consumer site right now, which means more of like where can you get the best deals on tires and where can you, you know, get free stuff online, like just more, less money topics and more consumer advice, you know, or consumer help. So we just kind of cater a lot of the stuff that we do around that. We also, you know, are just kind of keep a pulse on like what does our audience need, you know? 

Deacon Hayes

So even if we don’t rank for it, we might write it just to say, hey, this is something we can share with our email list. So we share in social media, that kind of thing. 

Ben Aston

And so when you’re when you’re creating content, you have a handle on how much it costs you to produce and publish a piece of content. You talk about you’re paying your writers 10 to 20 cents per word, which actually sounds quite a lot. And based on the conversations that we’ve been having with people, I mean, I think you get what you pay for. But overall, I mean, there’s a big process, right? There’s the ideation. There’s that backlog you’re talking about. And then we’re going through this process of getting that out to writers, getting the draft back, editing it, getting revisions, getting the graphics, getting it published, promoting it. Do you know how much it costs to produce a piece of content end to end? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, so when we used to do sponsored content, I had to calculate that because I’m like these brands would ask us to publish it and they say we’ll pay five hundred bucks. And I’d say it costs me more than five hundred dollars to produce this article. So it’s not worth my time. And so because what if you said, OK, at 20 cents a word for a 2,000 word article, that’s four hundred bucks. We still have to pay an editor. We still to pay a graphic designer. We still have to pay it SEO person. We still have to pay the manager like you still have all the hosting costs. And so it’s like in a day, it’s like it’s five, 500 to a thousand dollars for a piece of content for us. To your point, it is high. And the reason why it’s high is because we’re in the YMYL category, your money or your life. And so Google, they don’t want us to hire people overseas to write these articles about people in the United States who have money problems. They want people that are are experts in their field to write about these different things. So like we have a licensed realtor who writes about real estate. We have someone that has investing experience, writing about investing. And so that costs more, unfortunately, on the business side. But it’s worth it because it’s paid off. But, yeah, I mean, that’s kind of why we pay that extra fee and why it costs more to produce content for us. 

Ben Aston

Yeah, no, that makes total sense. And then so you’ve kind of calculated, hey, a post will cost between five hundred to a thousand dollars to produce. When you decide whether or not that piece of content is worth creating, how do you calculate the ROI on your content? And do you do that from a very broad, OK, this year we spend about this much and we made that much? Or are you calculating ROI down to a content, a post level? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah. Like once again I like to keep it simple Ben. So for me, I basically use what our RPMs are for our ad network. So let’s just say that they’re for easy numbers. $10 per thousand visitors. Right. I can calculate about how many visitors I’m going to get. So let’s just say that I’m I know this post is probably going to get 10,000 visitors a month. So if I say, well, ten times ten is one hundred, so one hundred bucks a month over the next six months, I’m going to make six hundred bucks. So that will pay for the article. Right. So I could have a break-even date of six months is kind of what I’m looking for is if I’m going to write this article, will I make my money back within six months. Sometimes if I really like the article, I’ll be like, OK, twelve months, eighteen months, whatever, because we’ll get paid down the road. But that’s usually how I calculate it. 

Ben Aston

Yeah, I mean, let’s talk about RPM you threw out ten. There’s an easy number to do some calculations off the back of. But how have you seen your RPM change over the years and how has video ads impacted that? 

Deacon Hayes

So I don’t run any video ads at all, actually. And so I know my ad network’s like why aren’t you running these? So I mean, user experience is huge for me. So like I look at a website and if all of a sudden it’s like I got an email pop up here, a video adhere, like I can’t even read the content. Right. And so for me personally, I was just a decision. I don’t want to do that. But I will say switching from like an ad sense to a media vine has been huge. So it’s like an ad network that we get, I think, 90 percent of the ad revenue. I’d have to double-check, but it’s a significant portion of the ad revenue. And I want to say we’re probably in that 15 to 20 range RPM. And so I use 10 because I own multiple sites and some get a lot lower than others. And so, you know, personal finance dictates higher RPM’s because you have financial products where I have a couponing site and that gets lower RPM’s because more coupons don’t really make money. So it’s a lot less margin there. 

Deacon Hayes

So they’ll have a lower RPM. 

Ben Aston

That’s helpful. I mean, I want to move on from talking about what you’re doing now to talk about where you’re going and where you see this going. And we’ve talked about Well Kept Wallet, you’ve talked about how you’ve got some other sites that you’ve launched as well. And you wrote a book as well, actually called You Can Retire Early. Tell us about how that book came about and how you see that kind of process evolving? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, so. Well, I had a buddy that, actually it was kind of scraps, so he didn’t want to write the book. So he’s like, hey, Deacon, if you want to contact these people, but no, so he was a published author and he’s like, I’ve already been there, done that, not interested. But this particular publisher wanted to have this book written. And I just thought, well, hey, I really want to give people a perspective of retirement that I think is a little bit different because I don’t ever actually want to retire early persay. But the book is more about financial independence. So how do you create the financial independence to do what you want, when you want, and then you can work five hours a week. You could go work for a nonprofit, you could go you could not work if you don’t want to. But most people want to do something productive. Right. And so that’s kind of the angle that I take in the book is more we talk about business investing in the stock market and real estate as ways to retire early or to create financial independence. And so I was really excited about that opportunity to be able to say, hey, here’s some real practical ways that if you want to have financial security for yourself earlier in life than most people, you know, here’s the roadmap for it. And so that was kind of how that all came about. 

Ben Aston

And for you, I mean, let’s dig into that for a second. But financial independence, I mean, there’s there’s a whole bunch of different things. You mentioned a few things high level there. But for you, in terms of the most impactful things that people can do in order to gain that financial independence based on your research and what you’ve done, what are the few things that actually drive the most value in terms of financial independence? Because as the you know, the scrimping and saving and not spending money, that’s I guess that’s one end. That’s a for me. For me, I feel like the negative end. And then that’s creating wealth which is, I guess on the other end of the spectrum now, obviously can be done in conjunction with one another. But for you, what has been the most impactful way that you’ve gained financial independence? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, so that’s the making money side of the equation. Right. And I think that’s where a lot of people in the FIRE movement, which is the financial independence, retire early where there’s a huge emphasis on savings. But to your point, it’s kind of the scarcity mindset. I only have limited resources and I’m going to save as much as I can versus saying, no, I want to have this like more abundance mindset. 

Deacon Hayes

That’s not from a new age perspective, but more of like, hey, there’s endless opportunity out there. Right. Like, I can figure out ways to make money. And so, like, we’re paying off our debt. I decided that I was going to go to yard sales and I would buy stuff that I knew and I would flip it on Amazon and eBay. Right. So I buy a router for five bucks and I’d sell for forty bucks. Right. Like, I found an opportunity for value, or I would I deliver pizzas at night. Like, I figured out ways to just create new revenue sources so that I’m bringing in multiple streams of income and not tied to just one to place. Right. Because at the time I was working for somebody else. But so that was kind of the aha moment of, well, if I do this over here, you know, if I sell that router, it took me twenty minutes work and I made thirty-five dollars. Or if I deliver a pizza an hour, I made fifteen bucks. I was like I’d much rather flip stuff than deliver. Right, so you start to have this equation in your head of like, oh, where could I spend my time most effectively to get the maximum reward? And so for me, I think that’s where a lot of people if they want to pursue financial independence, it’s going to be outside of their traditional W-2. It’s going to be how can you add value? How can you go out there? I know a lot of people that go on and do like virtual assistant work or they’ll do websites. That was one of the things that I did, actually. So when I quit being a financial planner and I had Well Kept Wallet, I was like, hey, I don’t make enough money to kind of offset my previous income. So I decided I’m going to build websites. And I went to a buddy and they had this horrendous flash website. And I’m like, I could build you a new website. He said, For how much? I’m like, I’m researching Googling like how much to charge for Website was like twelve hundred bucks. He’s like, I’m like, really. And then I figured out how to build a website. Right. And now my time per hour, my value per hour went up to like two hundred bucks an hour or whatever it was to create that website because it didn’t take long. Obviously, there’s a lot of research and figuring it out but so yeah. That make money side of the equation is huge as far as people that want to achieve financial independence quickly. 

Ben Aston

Yeah. And I think the hustling as well. I mean, this is very like Gary V, I love his videos where he’s, you know, going out, buying stuff, flipping it. But I think what I think the different thing that you’re talking about as well is developing skills to do that. So, you know, the skill, the ability to build a website and publish content actually creates a whole load of opportunity to create wealth. And it’s really not that complicated. If you haven’t got on the bandwagon of building a first website get on it, guys, if it’s so worth it. But going back to that original question, which is so you started work at Walmart, you’ve created some other sites as well. Where do you see this going? Where are you trying to get to and why? 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah, so I’m still kind of figuring that out then, but I would say what I get excited about is, is growing different properties. Right. And so, you know, the old school model, I think, of kind of creating a successful business was kind of like buying real estate and getting tenants and, you know, and so, like, what I give you, Website says, is kind of like online real estate, right. Of, hey, we can have multiple different types of properties, one in personal finance, one in mental health, one in-home electronics, and grow these up and use these systems and processes that I’ve created to be able to help those verticals grow and be successful and serve people in each one of those, you know. And so for me, I get excited about saying, hey, like, how can I do this on a bigger scale, help more people and use kind of these proven methods that we’ve seen to be successful? 

Ben Aston

Yeah, and, and what’s, as your doing that, You’ve obviously been doing this now for a while. What are the things that you find tough or what are some of the challenges that you’re dealing with right now as you as you’re doing that? 

Deacon Hayes

Well, so I will say I’m not perfect, right. So I’ve learned these I bought websites and I’m like, oh, I’m going to grow these things and they fail, you know? And so I’ve learned that, like, it does take a lot of trial and error. It’s not like it’s not as easy. If it was easy, everybody would do it right. So it’s a matter of like, OK, well, I got to have a criteria for buying websites before I did. And I was like, oh, it just has a good authority that’s been around for a while. Well, that’s not enough, you know, so really just kind of saying, OK, I’m going to have a criteria. And then once I have that criteria, it’s got to make sure it checks all these boxes, and then we’ll value it at this and then we acquire it and then we put these systems in place. And so really just kind of saying, like, we’re still kind of figuring that out. What works in one niche doesn’t necessarily work in another niche. And so, you know, there are things that are universal, but some things are a little bit more difficult. So just kind of learning as I go and so on.

Ben Aston

And so on your roadmap of building these sites out there, any particular milestones that for you? Yeah, things that you’re really trying to hit for whatever reason. 

Deacon Hayes

You know, it’s interesting. I. I don’t know, I’ve always had this idea in my head that 10 sites doing a million dollars a year, right? So ten million dollars a year in revenue, that was kind of like an exciting revenue goal or, you know, I’m less money. I guess I’m less money-motivated now. I’m more like people motivated. Right. So how many more people can we reach? You know? And so, you know, if we could get 10 sites are doing a million visitors a month, that’ll be fantastic. Well Kept Wallet, it has been there. You know, we’ve had ups and downs from Google algorithms. But, you know, that’s the goal is like, hey, how can we get more of these sites, reach more people, have a solid message, have a really good content team and just go out there and just serve people well. Right. And so that’s what gets me excited. 

Ben Aston

Yeah, that’s cool. Yeah. I think it’s great to have a goal beyond just financial goals. And I think thinking about. Yeah, actually what does this mean to create content that is good, that blesses people as they that’s a really worthy milestone. That’s really a worthy goal. They are making lots of money. If we want to have a positive impact in the world, thinking about how we can use the skills that we have to do that I think is great. So, yeah, good on you for that. Well, I want to close by just doing a lightning round. Just ask you some quick questions. So what is the best advice? Do you think you’ve ever received? 

Deacon Hayes

The best advice that I’ve ever received? I think diversification. Right. I think what I’ve found is I’ve gone all-in on one thing and that one thing failed. Right. And then just realizing, like there is value in having multiple income streams and not just one. Right. And so there’s a lot of trial and error that came with that of like, OK, this didn’t work out so well, but there were some positive aspects of it. Let me tweak it and do this. So really just kind of diversify my efforts, being willing to fail and try new things. 

Ben Aston

And which of your personal habits do you think has contributed most to your success? 

Deacon Hayes

Oh, man, my habits are yeah. I’m not the five hour wake up in the morning kind of guy. Right. So I would say I love to learn. I think that’s so like just reading audio books, watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts. So I think that desire to learn and grow, I think that’s the most important habit that I have. Right. Because I’m like I’m constantly I love that quote from Abraham Lincoln. It’s like, you know, I want to be better than the guy was yesterday. Right. Like, it’s so this idea of like, I want to grow and learn from my mistakes. I totally butchered that quote. But it’s something like that. And so the idea of just continuing to grow and to continue to learn, I think that habit has served me well. 

Ben Aston

So on that learning, on that learning journey, not development journey, is there a resource or tool that you recommend, particularly that you use regularly? 

Deacon Hayes

So I would say, well, I mean, not necessarily a tool, but there’s there’s a book that I like called The One Thing by Gary Keller. And I think that was crucial for me because I think as entrepreneurs, we can get stuck on like we have so many things to get done. And he has this principle. That’s one thing. If you do it, everything else becomes easy or unnecessary, and that is totally transforms my life. It’s given me time freedom. It’s giving me more financial resources because I focused on the things that really matter, the one thing that matters versus the a million things that don’t matter. Right. So that’s been super helpful. 

Ben Aston

Yeah, I love that. But it’s a good one. For someone at the beginning of their digital media journey, what is one piece of advice that you’d give them as maybe they’re trying to stop their content sites, they’re trying to start a blog, they’re trying to start a community. What’s one bit of advice that you give them that have served you? 

Deacon Hayes

Well, yeah, I would say having that strong. Why? Like, why are you going to do it? Because I think that the reality is, is it’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy. But if you have a way that drives you right. Like it could be, you want to create an automotive blog, you’re like, I really love cars. And I was frustrated because I never had anybody to teach me how to repair a car. So I’m going to do DIY videos on how to fix a car, you know, and that’s why it drives you, even though you’re not going to make money for six months to a year. Right. And so that strong way, I think is huge. 

Ben Aston

Awesome. Where can people find out more? We’ve talked about WellKeptWallet.com. Is there anywhere else people should go home to find out more about you? 

Deacon Hayes

That’s the best place for wellkeptwallet.com. And then on Twitter @deaconhayes is the tag, I guess you would call it. Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. 

Ben Aston

Yeah. Well Deacon, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been great having you with us. 

Deacon Hayes

Yeah. Thanks for having me, Ben. 

Ben Aston

And if you like what you heard today, please subscribe. Stay in touch on IndieMedia.Club and also leave us a review, too, if you like what you heard today, but until next time. Thank you so much for listening. 

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