Online Success Story: Austin Concert Tickets

Online Success Story: Dee Bauer
http://www.AustinConcertTickets.net
My name is Dee Bauer and my website is about Austin TX concerts, theater, and sports.  The concept is to have a friendly, neighborhood site where my fellow Austinites can find major Austin events rather than hop all over the internet searching.

1. When did you set up your website?

Launched January 2010

2. What gave you the idea for this particular niche & website?

It was a combination of factors.  I love concerts and music, and originally sold concert tickets by advertising on Craigs List.  Eventually it became impossible to maintain my traffic with CL, so I went onto a couple of real estate sites and one diet site.  I had virtually no success with those.  I knew I could succeed with the ticket site if only I could get the traffic.  Thus AustinConcertTickets.net was born...

3. Did you have any experience with online business prior to creating this website?

Yes as stated above.. and I worked practically 24/7 for about three years prior with those sites.  I was bound and determined to succeed.

4. What did you do for work prior to setting up an online business?

Built houses and invested in real estate.  My husband has taken over the house building which supports me while I 'fail' my way to success!  :)

5. How did you initially promote your website, and if different - how do you promote it now?

My main goal when starting the Austin site, was to get traffic via SEO. So I wrote a lot of content, blog posted and did some article marketing.  I also set up Twitter from the get go because I like Twitter.  Facebook..  ahhh, not so much.  Just got FB going a couple of weeks ago.  I also had an intern who helped me write, and held a Willie Nelson ticket giveaway.

Going forward, I am working more on my link building, plus bringing back the giveaway (which I NEVER should have stopped)

6. Is your website profitable? Can you share some basic traffic & profit stats with us?

  • NOT according to Compete.com - but I average 15k unique monthly visitors.
  • Hit PR2 at the beginning of the year.
  • I began making a couple of hundred dollars per month at about the six month point and it has steadily grown since then.

7. What are your plans for the site going forward?

Growing it into a full-time income site by aggressively link building, promoting giveaways, cultivating relationships through Facebook and guest posting :)

8. What ONE piece of advice would you give someone interested in starting their own niche site or blog?

I'm sorry but I have to give two! 

Build a site on something you love AND focus, focus, focus.

Dee Bauer
http://www.austinconcerttickets.net

-Thank you Dee!  Congratulations on your success.

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Great site topic. I understand Austin is a huge mecca for concert-goers and has a fantastic music scene. Do you get a commission on ticket sales? If not, I wonder if you can arrange this because it could result in good revenue.

    You have a wonderful opportunity to build excellent subscriberships. I suspect many people will want to know new acts/events coming to Austin. The trick is balancing monetizing that subscribership and providing value. Again, if you could get a piece of the ticket sales, then you always have a way to monetize.

    I think it would be cool if you could also sell merchandise or promote as an affiliate - Tshirts etc. - whatever the bands sell. With 15K monthly uniques, you're well on your way. That's fantastic traffic for a local site. Congrats on your success. I believe your site can really take off being a big earner.

    Oh yeah, another monetization option is travel affiliate promotions. I suspect many people travel to Austin to see acts and the music scene. People living elsewhere will come to your site that offers loads of information and they could then click to travel booking sites.

    I didn't explore all of your site so if you're already implementing some of the above, I apologize for mentioning it.

    • Hi Peter! Thanks for the feedback..

      Yes, I make ticket commissions through the ticket broker/affiliate links.

      I've thought about taking down the Google ads in the header but I make about $100 on those, so I hesitate. But what do you think? Do the Header ads look totally tacky?

      I'm an affiliate for memorabilia but haven't tried it out yet.. The commissions are tiny but who knows? It could be good..

      And YES.. I like the travel idea too.. but have barely promoted that. It's an excellent idea though because we have people come to Austin for the ACL Festival and SXSW and they do need accommodations.

      Dee :)

      • I don't think your Adsense ads in the header are tacky at all. In fact you're very smart the way you have a gradient image seamlessly flowing into the ads. If you're making a $100 per month on them, I'd keep them.

        That said, testing is the mother to all answers. Take them down and see if your other revenue goes up and/or your bounce rate decreases.

  2. Great site! Hubby and I are huge concert goers! Congrats on your success so far as it sounds like it is going well! I love the idea of your giveaways too. Hey, care to share your FB page with us?

  3. Hey, great article! I actually really respect you, because it seems like you have set this webiste up to help the community, rather than benefit like some people.

    One thing I'm interested in is how much time you spend on this website, including researching what events are going on, or do people send their events to you by email?

    • Hi Jack! Yeah, I found that when I was looking to see what events were coming to town, I had to wade through a bunch of junk and/or go to the individual venue sites. Plus I love Austin and concerts so it's really a lot of fun. I also let local bands and events post for free on my site..

      And I do Presale tickets posts where I don't make a penny (Ticketmaster pays zero) BUT every time I do one of those 'community service' posts, I end up making a sale through my ticket affiliate link by people who don't want to wait for the presale I guess.

      Time? I spend so much time I really don't even know how much.. I used to work from about six in the morning till ten-eleven at night but now it's about six till maybe 2:00 in the afternoon. That is the only bad thing about a site like this.. It must be current or I'll lose my visitors. Case in point: Adele cancelled her concert and I had auto Tweets going out about how pp could buy Adele tickets. I only check Twitter every 2-3 days and when I got there, I was slammed on twitter. It was really embarrassing because it's my job to know that kind of thing.

      And the second part of your question. I do let people post their event on my site, but most of the posts I do personally (or outsource) are about an artist coming to town and I'm hoping visitors will buy tickets from me. :)

  4. Another inspiring success story. I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading stories about real people starting to make real money blogging and writing about things they love. I am not a huge concert goer but I do have many friends that are and I can understand the appeal.

    The idea for your website and blog is such a great idea! I have been to Austin many times and boy do they love their music down there! I am sure your website provides a wonderful service to these concert goers and would imagine that your site will only grow over time!

    Question: Do you outsource any of your work?

    Congrats on your success!

    • Hi Jenny.. Well YOU certainly have a cool niche, too! :)

      Outsource? YES, yes YES! Absolutely, but that's really because I've started opening concert/event sites in several cities and it's absolutely impossible to do multiple sites without help.

      First thing I started outsourcing was the writing. About half me and half other people's writing.

      I've also started outsourcing taking the posts live.. I'm really big on SEO so there is a lot of work to getting a post ready.. I created a system that works for the type of posts I need, and so now I have a VA do the posts. She puts them in draft and then I look it over before publishing.

      I outsourced my FB, the Welcome video on my site, all the graphics.. Most of the content altho now that I have most everything outsourced, I'm going to get back into writing more myself. I've just started outsourcing backlinks BUT did not outsource any of the backlinks to take the Austin site where it is. Basically, except for my intern (that I found on Twitter) helping me write for the Austin site in the beginning, I did everything myself until about three months ago.

      Luckily I also have a son who can help with the technical aspects.

  5. Note to all:

    It just occurred to me that since I wrote the article for Terry to post here, my PR2 has changed. I checked it a few days ago (after reading about the last Google shake up) and apparently I got caught in the downgrades. I went from my prized PR2..heck I only got to enjoy it since February :)... to PR0.

    I will say this, aside from getting my feathers ruffled it has not affected my traffic. That goes against what I think I know about rank, but that is my experience so far.

    Also I want to thank everyone for taking the time to comment about my site and ask questions. I really appreciate it. dee :)

  6. Dee,

    I wouldn't get to bent out of shape about your PR going down. (And it sounds to me like you aren't)

    I am still a noob at all of this but a lot of the people that I trust in this business who are also mentoring me have told me personally that PR is becoming less and less important. I know that goes against conventional wisdom but I personally think that is the case as well.

    Looks like it hasn't hurt you one bit!

    • Thank you for your kind words Jenny.. but to be totally honest, I am very bent out of shape about my new PR0.. LOL

      It's funny, but I've never felt the need to impress with a big house or fancy car, clothes, education, or whatever.. but I was really proud of that PR2. :) I don't know, it just felt like I won a Grammy or something.

      Wow, that's cool that you have mentors. I'm a big believer.. and I am very excited about Lynn's upcoming seminar on 'Ideal Lifestyle.' Did you sign up?

  7. Clarence says:

    Dee,

    I too want to congratulate you on your success. I also have a successful events website in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. Besides concerts, I post plays, seminars, festivals, cruises, and more. I started my site as a hobby about 5 years back with no internet marketing experience (as your can see from the URL http://www.HeadzUp-Events.com).

    Your traffic is awesome with 15K unique visitors. I need to follow your lead and focus more on SEO. My primary focus has been on listbuilding. I have about 10,000 subscribers mostly due to my newsletter. Do you have a newsletter? I also applaude you for receiving commissions for ticket sales. I tried that route with affiliate sales from ticketing sites but had little or no success. I agree with your reluctance to remove Adsense. It provides about $100-$150 per month for me.

    Dee, do you work with travel groups/agents? This can be another good source for monetizing. It has worked for me. Recently, a travel group promoting a Jazz Festival purchased a full one page ad on my site for exclusivity. They started with $1000.00 and are willing to pay more. Perhaps you can do something similar?

    I can't recommend listbuilding enough. It has been my primary source of income from the website. Local businesses promoting events pay a fee to send their ads to my mailing list. It earns me a steady income on a part time basis.

    I'd be happy for any advice on the SEO stuff. I think those traffic numbers are really good. I'd be willing to offer help in any way on list building.

  8. Hi Dee,

    I'm trying to set up a website that does something very similar. I really like how you have set up your site on something you are passionate about.

    The keyword I chose for my site doesn't get a lot of traffic but I thought I would experiment with how to get traffic before I moved onto something else. This article has helped me think about what to do next.

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