We’re currently a three-man operation, and couldn’t thank you enough for your interest in our past, present and future.
We’ve collectively been building websites for 14 years, and finding gaps in the market (the premise behind gaps) has been integral to our success.
At 16 years old I (Glen) started my first website focused on DJ’s. It was creatively called MyDJSpace at the height of MySpace’s popularity. The site quickly passed 10,000 users and was even featured in the book Dj’ing for Dummies, but its success was short-lived.
At 17 years old I left my friends and family to move to Cape Town, South Africa, to work for a digital agency offering marketing solutions for brands like Hewlett Packard, Land Rover and Barcadi.
I didn’t know a single person in South Africa and as an introverted teenager, quickly had to grow up and learn more about the world than I currently knew.
As I was learning so much about the world around me, I decided to start a personal development blog to document my thoughts on the world and what I knew.
The blog was called PluginID. It’s no longer online but it looked something like this.
I would love to say PluginID became an overnight success in the personal development world, but the truth is that after a whopping eight months of blogging, we had reached 1,000 subscribers.
Back then building an email list was not a “thing” and I focused solely on gaining RSS readers.
4 months later, I had finally passed 4,000 subscribers.
When I sold the blog, 18 months after launch, our feedburner chicklet had just passed more than 7,000 subscribers.
Although PluginID was my “baby”, I decided it was time for someone else to take on the blog and it’s next chapter, and sold the site for a mid five-figure fee.
The primary reason that PluginID was successful was because I found a gap in the market when it came to traffic generation. Guest blogging was just becoming a ‘thing’ and I decided to milk it for all it was worth.
In a single month my writing was featured on over 20 other blogs in the space, and I probably wrote 50+ articles for other websites. Some of which were huge at the time, such as Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits which reaches millions of visitors per month.
Today guest blogging is more frowned upon and a tactic mostly used by those looking for higher search engine rankings, but when I saw that writing for other people’s blogs was becoming the norm, I capitalised on the opportunity.
Solving my own problem created a six-figure WordPress plugin
Before PluginID I had started my own SEO “agency”, ViperChill.com
The name was a combination of my favourite car at the time, the Dodge Viper (thanks to Gran Turismo) and just a word I added on the end to make the brand seem ‘relaxed’.
It was one of the first websites I started at 16 years old and I built it to not only share my experiments with learning how to rank in Google, but to also offer services to those wishing to rank higher in Google as well.
After 18 months of trying to grow the brand and land clients I landed exactly…zero.
Not a single person in my first year and a half wanted to pay me for marketing services.
Then someone suggested I started a blog on the topic to show I knew what I was talking about. At the time WordPress was just taking off as a blogging platform so I added a blog to the site to perhaps show my knowledge on the topic.
That blog looked something like this.
While I did eventually attract clients willing to pay me for search engine optimisation services, my success was so sproradic that the results were far from what I could call a success story.
After the sale of PluginID I re-launched ViperChill and today it is one of the largest SEO blogs in the world, with over 70,000 subscribers and 100,000+ monthly visitors.
At the time I was using Aweber for my email list and the options it had in place for designing your opt-in forms was minimal. This was well before people were using content upgrades or pop-ups to gain new leads.
This presented me with my next gap in the market: People needed a better way to collect leads and split-test their opt-in forms for maximum conversions.
I teamed up with one of my best friends and incredible developers, Graeme Boy, to create a plugin we named OptinSkin.
(Side note: Today, 5 years later, Graeme is working for an incredible start-up in San Fransico called Raise.me. I couldn’t be happier for his success).
Though we had many hiccups along the way with OptinSkin, it was a product we were both incredibly proud of. As far as I know, we were the first plugin to ever offer split-testing for opt-in forms on a blog.
For three years it was the number one best-selling product on Clickbank in the ‘software’ category, and generated a few hundred thousand dollars in that time period.
A few years back I sold OptinSkin as it was hard to support something when you’re not a programmer yourself, but it’s nice to see (unlike PluginID) it’s still live today. I can’t say whether or not it is still being updated though.
The site you see is the site I created way back when, along with the cheesy promo video.
Today we run a number of niche-focused SEO agencies
If you’re read the entirety of this page then you’ll know that my first foray into running an SEO agency was a total failure.
I loved SEO (and still do today) but just couldn’t convince anyone to hire me for my services.
That brings us to gap number three.
Along with my business partner Diggy, we realised that creating SEO companies for specific regions (like Singapore) and industries (like Automotive) made the challenge of closing clients 100x easier.
Today around 70% of businesses are pitched SEO services at least once per week so it’s a tough market to crack and stand out in.
However, instead of offering every kind of service to everyone – as I did when I started ViperChill – we were now branding ourselves as “The SEO agency for businesses in Singapore” and angled all promotions as only working with that local area.
Potential clients started thinking “This is the agency for me” rather than “Not another pitch from an SEO guy”.
As over writing we have 11 agencies focused on specific markets, with 2015 being a record year for us, bringing in 7-figures for the year.
SEO is basically my ‘thing’, and it’s what I focus on the most. I write about it over at ViperChill. My work has picked up a bit of traction over the years and quite a bit of press.
That’s the former head of SEO at Microsoft using my information on 16 companies dominating Google (right side of the slide) in a recent presentation.
gaps is something we’ve built a number of times over the last few years
The biggest problem I’ve encountered in my online journey is having too many ideas and spreading my work efforts too thin.
Literally on a daily basis I come up with new website ideas I would love to create and implement myself. However, I quickly learned to say ‘no’ to more projects than yes.
In 2011 I launched Cloud niche, an email list focused on sending those website ideas to my audience at ViperChill.
Here’s how that site looked.
I only sent 8 niche ideas to email subscribers, but received over 1,000 “thank you” email replies in return.
Ironically, I would later go on to brand cloud niche as the world’s worst email list.
While people seemed to love the ideas, so few (if any at all) seemed to take action on them.
Many would report to me that while they loved the ideas, they too were focusing on too many projects, and they just wanted to get new ideas to “see how my brain worked”.
Because I didn’t want people to experience the same problem as me – having too many ideas to focus on – I decided to close the list.
However, as my mind works, I still couldn’t stop finding great success stories with potential gaps in the market that I could capitalise on.
More recently, around 18 months ago, I re-launched and rebranded the email list as ‘inc ideas’.
Because I was more focused on SEO updates rather than niche ideas, the number of emails I sent were once again fewer than ten.
Each time I’ve shared a business opportunity, the feedback has always been incredible.
However, me sharing these ideas has always been an ‘add-on’ to ViperChill, rather than something I really focused on updating on a frequent basis.
Gaps was created to change that, and create a home for these ideas that plague my mind and distract me from what I’m already working on.
In other words, I need to get these ideas out of my head, and gaps is the new home for that.
Unlike previous attempts to inspire people with incredible business opportunities, I’m now sharing detailed action plans to go along with every opportunity, in the hope that people will take action and be successful.
After all, there are people who have had success with the information I’ve covered.
Such as Daniel,
I truly hope you enjoy what we’re creating here, and if you’re interested in future updates, please do hit the link below to subscribe. We send emails 24 hours before our posts go live on social media so you can be the first, to be the first.