Michael Carruth: How A Return To A Childhood Passion For BMX Bikes Became An $80,000 A Year Online Community Business

By Yaro Starak
5 Comments

Mike Carruth was a school dropout at 14 years old. Rather than being a lost kid, he knew exactly what he wanted to do – become a journalist and photographer for the BMX bike scene – which he did.

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]

As the computer era dawned, Mike became proficient at digital photo editing, using the early tools available at the time. This experience with computers eventually led to a new business, a partnership with some friends to teach people how to use Mac computers.

After 15 years as a computer trainer Mike had enough. He sold out of the business without any concrete plans for what to do next.

Michael CarruthFate intervened as Mike came across VintageBMX.com, where he found many of his childhood BMX buddies participating on a daily basis. He joined in and rediscovered his love for all things BMX.

Mike mentioned to the owner of VintageBMX that he would be interested in buying the site if he was ever interested in selling. Two weeks later a deal was done.

VintageBMX is a forum community, so when an opportunity to purchase BMXNews.com came up, Mike jumped at it and added a news content site to his growing portfolio.

How Mike Grew His Network From $4,500 To $80,000 A Year

When Mike initially took over the BMX sites they were making $4,500 a year. There was clear potential to earn more with over one million page views a month coming to the community.

In the interview you will hear how Mike made a simple change to the advertising pricing system used on the sites, and expanded to include features like photography, adding a third site to his network – PhotosArePosted.com.

Mike also explains how he interacts with the community in the real world, making sure that his BMX sites are the leaders in the space, so he can charge premium pricing for ads.

This is a great interview for anyone who has a hobby passion and wants to turn it into an online business based on a community. BMX is not the biggest niche in the world, but as Mike demonstrates, if you can create a destination for the community, there is money to be made.

Mike’s story is a brilliant example of how to buy sites as a way to enter a market and have a thriving website from day one. This is the same strategy I teach inside my How To Buy And Sell Blogs And Websites E-Guide Package.

Relevant Links

Enjoy the interview with Mike.

Talk to you soon,

Yaro Starak
Entrepreneurs-Journey.com

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]

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5 Comments

  • This is so cool that I came across this as I’m in the process of reconnecting to one of my childhood passions – playing the American Football video game – Madden.

    I can count on one hand the number of video games I was obsessed with when I was a kid. I was in the fourth grade when Nintendo came to the market and I wasn’t all that interested in the fantasy story line games like Zelda but was instead drawn to Tecmo Bowl – the first football video I’ve ever played.

    When I got into my teens I never really played any games but when I got into my 20’s I started playing Madden again on Nintendo 64 and Playstation. And then on a whim I took advantage of the Black Friday deals on the PS3 and Madden and have gotten full on addicted going on to buy the PS4.

    But besides the game being fun as hell to play, we ran some ad words tests on Madden tutorials and received a shock as the responsiveness to these ads was OFF THE CHARTS. This market is hyper active and this has led to us to talking to some of these authorities teaching about how to play better about joint venturing with them to help them sell more of their stuff.

    So I can totally relate to this post and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to hear Mike’s story here. It’s so cool to see he’s knocking it out of the park while having fun. I hope more people reading can do the same. :)

  • Who would have thought that there would be a market for vintage BMX bikes, not me, I was very surprised. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I was so shocked as there is a market for pretty much anything online these days.

  • Monetizing from advertising is really hard business i bet he earns most of his income by selling stuff because it really needs lots of pageviews to earn decent from advertising business model.

    • Thanks for the interview, Yaro…it was great fun. Thanks also for the kind words by the commenters.

      Laura Paul – most of our revenue comes from advertising. The balance is made up of small streams–a small membership donation, freelance work I do for our advertisers (writing, design and photography), and the smallest stream of all is merchandise (though I am working to “10x” that by the end of this year). Our audience is one of the largest in the world for our niche.

      Because it’s SO niche, it’s not a traditional operating environment, where you are selling ads based on CPM. We sell a value-added package that includes buttons and banner ads, plus some other services at a flat rate of $3600 per year. Very approachable, and works like gangbusters for the advertisers.

      Best,

      M

      • Brandon

        Micheal you’re living my dream, congratulations. I’ve always been a huge fan of BMX and have wondered about a way to turn it into an online business, and you’re doing just that. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see someone doing what you’re doing, this interview is a real inspiration for me. I’d love to talk to you more about how you’ve got to where you’re at, I have NO experience running any kind of business online but I’m very curious about it now that I know that it’s really possible to turn your passion into your occupation like you’ve done.

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