078: DIY Pete Sveen – How To Make 6 Figures Teaching People How To Do It Yourself

How To Make 6 Figures Teaching People How To Do It Yourself With Pete Sveen

I first met Pete Sveen at the Ecommerce Fuel Live event in 2014. And then I saw the guy again at NMX where we finally had a chance to chat a little bit more.

Pete runs 2 awesome sites at ThinkEntrepreneurship.com and DIYPete.com. And he also runs a podcast as well.

But the reason I brought Pete on the show today is to talk about DIYPete. DIYPete.com is a site where Pete inspires others to build their own DIY projects. He’s been featured on the Art Of Manliness, Bob Vila’s show, Sirius radio and NBC. He’s attracted top sponsors like Ryobi, Quickcrete and Gorilla Glue.

Here’s what’s inspiring. Pete full on admits that he’s just an average do it yourselfer and not an expert. And what I like about Pete’s story is that he’s taken something that he loves doing and is passionate about and has turned that into a 6 figure income in under 2 years.

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What You’ll Learn

  • How Pete turned his passion into a business
  • How Pete makes a living with DIYPete.com
  • How to create a thriving YouTube channel
  • How to monetize a YouTube channel
  • The early keys when trying to build traffic to a website
  • How to solicit sponsors for your blog and YouTube
  • Advice on how to get started with YouTube for beginners.

Other Resources And Books


Steve: You are listening to the My Wife Quit her Job Podcast, where I bring in successful bootstrapped business owners to teach us what strategies are working and what strategies are not. Now this isn’t one of those podcasts where we bring on famous entrepreneurs simply to celebrate their success. Instead I have them take us back to the very beginning and delve deeply into the exact strategies they used early on to gain traction for their businesses.

Now if you enjoy this podcast please leave me a review on iTunes and enter my podcast contest where I’m giving away free one on one business consults every single month. For more information go to Mywifequitherjob.com/contest. And if you are interested in starting your own online business, be sure to sign up for my free six day mini course, where I show you how my wife and I managed to make over 100k in profit in our first year of business. Go to www.mywifequitherjob.com for more information, now on to the show.

Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host Steve Chou.

Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, today I’m thrilled to have Pete Sveen on the show. Now I first met Pete at the Ecommerce Fuel live event in 2014, and then saw the guy again at NMX where we finally had a chance to chat a little bit more. Now Pete runs two awesome sites, at thinkentreprenuership.com and DIYPete.com, and he also runs a podcast as well. But the reason I brought Pete on the show today, is to talk about DIY Pete. DIY Pete is a site where Pete inspires others to build their own DIY projects, and he’s been featured on the Art of Manliness, Bob [inaudible 00:02:07] show, Sirius radio and NBC.

And he has attracted a lot of top sponsors like Ryobi, QuikGrid, and Gorilla Glue. And here’s what’s cool about Pete. He fully admits that he is just an average do it yourselfer not an expert. And what I like about Pete’s story is that he’s taken something that he loves doing, and he is passionate about, and has turned into a six figure income in just a couple of years, and with that welcome to the show Pete, how are you doing today?

Pete: I’m great, thanks so much for having me on Steve, and quite the intro, I appreciate it.

Steve: Yeah, no I mean it’s amazing; it’s actually kind of rare that someone can take something that they are really passionate about, and actually turn that into a business in a relatively short period of time. Like I know I’m passionate about a lot of different things, but I don’t necessarily think I could turn a business out of those passions. So let’s start with just your quick background story, and how you got started and how your journey kind of led over to DIY Pete, because I know you have a whole bunch of different sites.

Pete: Yeah, well, I grew up in South Dakota, went to school in Nebraska, and then I packed up in [New Hall] [ph] and moved to Montana, because I always wanted to live in the mountains. But I studied entrepreneurship at Nebraska and started my first business in college. Then I started a number of different businesses in Bozeman Montana once I moved there, and got into internet marketing in about 2011. That’s where I launched thinkentrepreneurship.com, which is a resource for entrepreneurs too, and where I share what I have learned along my journey, and try to inspire others.

And then from that more recently in about 2000 — late 2013, early 2014, I started DIYPete.com, because I have always loved to build things, and my dad kind of got me started doing that as a young kid. I remember I sold snow cones to buy my first tool box. And so I started at an early age and with my internet marketing background that I had from think entrepreneurship and learning about affiliate programs, and how to kind of — I guess you could call it make money online.

I took that knowledge and put it into the DIY website, where I think there’s a lot of people who have great-great websites that share how to build things online. But they might not necessarily have that internet marketing background where they know how to monetize it. And so I think it really did help to have that background in the internet marketing to take into this new space that was less, or I guess you could say untouched.

Steve: I know you also saw — have an e-commerce store that sells signs, are you still running that? And kind of you have a whole bunch of these different sites, how do you juggle them all, and how do you decide what to prioritize?

Pete: That’s a great question, and I have primarily focused on DIY Pete because it’s seen the most growth, and it’s something that I enjoy doing the most. Then I share my story of what I have learned on the think entrepreneurship blogs, so that takes probably that second in line. And signsofthemountains.com where I sell skiing trail signs, I have had since 2011 as well. That brings in a steady income, and so I have maintained that. And I do have some help in running each of these different things, in writing articles, helping make signs, and then in filming and all that. So I do have some help, but I focus on what I’m most enjoying.

Steve: Okay, yeah, I know that totally make sense. And I actually did a little bit of research kind of in your niche on the DIY niche. And there’s actually a whole bunch of people doing similar things to what you are doing. So how did you know that you could actually take this passion of yours and actually make money with it? There’s a lot of competition.

Pete: Yeah, the first thing I knew that I could do is I could implement the affiliate marketing because I knew how to do that already. So I started by – well how I started this website was I was basically posting photos of some pictures that I had — pictures of projects I had created on Facebook and sharing with my friends. My friends started asking how did I build that, do you have any plans for this work; can I go to learn to build one of my own? And so that’s kind of when I got the idea of starting this website where I have plans and video– really detailed video tutorials. So then I started doing this website, and the first thing I did was I put products on Amazon. So I have an Amazon Associates account.

And what I do is in all of my posts and my plans; I have links to the tool that I use. So if I’m using a miter saw, maybe I’m using a drill, a lot of people that come to the website have never built something, or they are looking to see what tools they need, and then they can click on that tool, convert. And I do sell a lot of tools through that website, so that’s kind of what I first started doing to monetize the website.

Steve: Okay, and was — what I was trying to get at actually is, was this whole site — was the business aspect of it intentional, or did you kind of just start documenting your projects, and then saw that it started getting traction, and then you decided to monetize it?

Pete: Yeah, I think it was kind of a combination Steve, I knew that — well, in the beginning, I wasn’t making any money really, I mean it takes time. And so I was just doing it, and it was kind of funny, because I’d talk to friends or call and talk to my parents every Sunday, and they’d be like what did you work on this week? And I was like plans, and they are like, why, I mean does it make any money? So it took time to be able to monetize it. And so in the beginning it was kind of I had the intention of eventually wanting to monetize it, but it wasn’t there yet. And it did take some time, but now it’s there.

Steve: Okay, what I really like about your story Pete is that you are like the perfect example of someone who is really passionate about something, and has managed to create an awesome business out of it, because I know a lot of my listeners out there they have these passions and they are just afraid to get started, because a certain space might be too crowded. Like the DIY space there’s a lot of people out there, but you’ve kind of curved out your niche, and you’ve done an extremely good job with your videos and your presence and you’ve made it happen, so which is really cool.

And what I want to kind of go into with the listeners here is, I want to go into just the different ways that you kind of make money with DIY Pete, just to give people an idea. I know you have a ton fans and a great YouTube channel, but where does the revenue come from, can you break it down for us?

Pete: Sure, so like I said there are a variety of ways that is monetized. One is through Amazon, and that’s with the tools that are sold. A big source of the affiliate revenue is from software believe it or not, because I have the site and people see that I’m sharing projects and they might see that I’m doing this for a living. And so they want some advice on maybe how they can sell projects that they’ve created, a lot of these people are artists and craftsmen. And so they want to be able to sell their like work benches or benches for your kitchen tables, all this kind of stuff. So I recommend software to do that, primarily shopping carts like Bigcommerce or Shopify.

Steve: Okay, so this kind of ties into your sign business a little bit, right? Your experience with your sign business?

Pete: It does.

Steve: Okay

Pete: And then I also recommend hosting services like a lot of bloggers do, so that these people can start their own DIY blogs just like myself. And I don’t think of it as competition at all. I’m just there to you know I think the more projects that are out there, and the more people that can inspire others the better. So I think it’s a win-win there. So affiliate marketing is a big one for me at this point.

Another is sponsors. In the last year and a half or so, I’ve – I think it’s primarily come because of my YouTube channel, because people see that– they see my face, they build a connection and they learn who I am and then they see that these videos are helping a lot of people and reaching others. So that has helped in getting sponsors, and like you said I’ve worked with a number of big companies because of it.

And then I’m also doing product reviews, you may have– like I have a product review for Nest which is a thermostat made by Google. I have a product– I furnished my entire home with blinds from a blind company. And people are trying to reach out to bloggers right now, because they see what we are doing, they see our reach, and they see that we can help them convert sales.

Steve: Can we talk about those sponsorships real quick? How did you get them? Did they approach you? Did you approach them? What was the process involved?

Pete: I think over time I’ve kind of– you know you build your rapport. And first I could say, “Hey, I was on Sirius XM radio. And then the next thing I was on the news channel.” So I can keep saying more things that I’ve done to try and impress these people, so I could have them as a sponsor. So I would– I had an email template and I put in all the information on things that I’ve done of my statistics from my website. And then I’d send that out. And I probably send out ten and maybe hear back from one. So I did reach out. And then YouTube has helped in getting companies to actually contact me without having to contact them. So it’s kind of been a combination of the two, I’d say Steve.

Steve: Okay. So when you are reaching out, how do you know how much to charge? How do you know whether your stats are good enough? Like what are some of the metrics involved?

Pete: Yeah. So YouTube has seen the fastest growth from up to 17,000 subscribers, which is a lot for me. So I’ve taken this and I kind of compare against other people that are creating videos as well and seeing how they are doing it, like I’m in a masterminds where I talk with other DIY bloggers. So I’ve kind of been able to see behind the scenes what they charge, what they do. But in the beginning what I did, was, I was just like, “Wow, you know, they are going to send me Nest thermostat for free!”

Steve: I know that’s pretty awesome.

Pete: So I was doing a lot of them for free. And then like, for instance, the paying company that works with www.nfl.com, they reached out and they told me that they would pay me X amount for each video that I created. And so sometimes they’ve set the amount and as long as I felt that I was getting what it was worth out of it to take the time to create the video, then I went with it.

Steve: Okay. So in terms of when you are reaching out then, you kind of don’t talk about the price at all. Does it– is it very widely or? Basically how did you know that you had enough clout in order to get some of these deals?

Pete: Yeah, I think– I guess it was– I think when they started reaching out to me and said, “Hey, we’ll all throw out a dollar figure.” I mean some of these companies per video or per post where you know I’m doing a post, a video and then sharing it with my audience you are making in the four figures generally around $3,000 to $5,000 per project.

And so I guess kind of once I was reached out to a company and they gave me that, then I felt really confident that I could then go on to another big company and say, “Hey, I’ve got X amount from this company, what would you be willing to pay?” Or you know like, “This is what I would like, where could you come in?”

Steve: I see and so that figure– so I know YouTube people who have like a million subscribers and some have 500,000, 250,000, you have a good amount as well. And so does the subscriber count matter, or is it mainly– do they judge the payment based on the quality of your videos primarily? Do you see what I’m asking?

Pete: Yeah. And I think they do look at the subscriber rate a lot. But I was able– I mean when I had 8,000 to 10,000 subscribers, I was being reached out by some of these– you know these companies were contacting me. So I do think it was a lot with the quality of the videos and how I shared that company like in a good light if that makes sense.

Steve: Okay. And how do they– do they track their sales when you do one of these videos somehow?

Pete: Yeah. A lot of them use the Bitly links in the post. So I try and send everybody to my actual post on the www.diypete.com, and then whatever product that I’m– that’s being sponsored on that post is what we’ll try and put some links into so that they’ll click on it. I also do– I just did a project with meanworks.com [ph] where under the YouTube video there’s actually a Bitly link there so that they can get to that specific page, and get over to meanworks. And so they are able to track quite a bit of stuff.

Steve: Okay. And have you talked to some of your people regarding what like the metrics they would like to see and different things that you can do. Are they doing it primarily for branding or for direct sales? I imagine it’s a little bit of both. But I was just kind of wondering how it works and how they expect out of you.

Pete: Yeah. They expect me to share with all of my audience and to get it out to as many people as possible. And then really I think it’s a lot working with just getting people to know the brand. And something that I’ve found that works really well too in going and finding these sponsors, is just showing them my Amazon statistics. For instance, there was a company that I did a video for showing how to a hang a flat screen TV and to hide the wires behind the wall. And I can specifically track that this one post that I think it has 60,000 or so YouTube views right now. But this specific post is doing about $3,000 worth of sales for them each month, just for these things that hide—you know the skit that hides wires behind the wall.
So that’s really interesting, because you know I can take those numbers, and I’m still making an income off of that affiliate revenue only seven or eight percent from Amazon. But at the same time I’m be able to take these statistics and to show them to different companies too.

Steve: You know for your Amazon affiliate links, are they underneath the video, or are they in the post that kind of displays the video?

Pete: I don’t put them under the video. And that’s just because I’m not – you know if I would I would definitely put a disclaimer, but they are all on resources page on my website, and then in all of the downloadable plans on the website as well as in the post. So it will say “tools recommended” and then they just click on that.

Steve: Okay, for that particular project?

Pete: Exactly, yeah.

Steve: Okay, because you said that you have 17,000 subscribers but some of your videos have like over a quarter million viewers. And so clearly they are going viral on YouTube outside of what you have on your email list or whatever.

Pete: Yeah, YouTube, that’s my biggest traffic generator; YouTube and then Pinterest. So that’s why I’m putting my time – I kind of look back on what worked in 2014, why the do-it-yourself website has grown as it has. And it’s primarily due to YouTube because of the reach that it gets. I mean it’s a huge search engine.

And people when they are building things, they may be able to find plans on other peoples website, but a lot of them just need that hand holding or that extra step to see the actual process and to visualize it, so that they can in turn see which board to connect or which other piece of the project or how to do this next weld. So I think that the visual thing has been really big on YouTube and just the visualization of what I’m doing is where it helps so many people.

Steve: You are actually getting me excited to hear a little bit about YouTube, because even with a subscriber-base of 17K you are able to command four-figures sponsorship deals. Your videos are awesome. My wife and I just watched one before this interview, and the quality was top notch. So if you were to start over again and advice some people who are just starting out on YouTube, what sort of tips would you offer on just how to get your YouTube channel off its feet?

Pete: The first thing would just be sign up for your account, and then create content that is helpful for other people and that’s inspiring. You don’t have to have the top notch equipment right off the butt and I certainly didn’t.

Steve: What did you start out with?

Pete: I started out with an old – it was even called a DV recorder, so it was like the old tapes right before they came out with the digital cards or whatever they are called. And then I just had the built in microphone and Apple iMovie, so very, very bootstrapped start up there. And then I now moved on to a nice lovely little microphone so that I have better sound quality and then a nicer camera and lighting.

So I mean, you will definitely progress and learn what works best for you, but I think that having eventually as good a sound quality as possible is really key. And then just having a tripod and taking time to get some fun different shots and not just one view the entire video.

So I guess that’s what I would start up doing and then just making sure you are helping somebody in some way or another. I mean if you are helping one person, that’s making a difference. And that’s kind of what I thought of it as at a beginning, because of creating these videos, it turns out that it helped a few more than one person, which is awesome, and so I’m really happy.

Steve: For your videos, do you actually have help? Because I do notice that you have different camera angles. And are you by yourself when you are doing this, or do you have like a crew?

Pete: I’d say 90% of the time I’m all by myself doing it. Recently I did do a video, YouTube trailer, just where somebody came and did some filming and did more a real professional job. So that’s something that’s been more recent. But yeah, normally it’s just me in there, because I’m working on the projects when most of my friends are working. Sometimes I will hire some help if I need it, but primarily it’s just myself.

Steve: Wow, that’s incredible. So let’s say you’ve created your YouTube video. What are some of the next steps in your process to kind of get the word out outside of just relying on YouTube search?

Pete: The first thing I do once it’s uploaded, is share on Facebook and then on Pinterest. Pinterest, what I would do is – I spend a lot of time creating a good image where it has like five different photos for the actual Pinterest post, and then just has a brief over view of each step. So it’s a real tall image because Pinterest allows you to have as tall of image as you like, and then it just has to be just kind of narrow. So that is something that I put on there, and then I always create a set of plans with the project. And I put that into a program called Gumroad which – I don’t know if you are familiar with it or not?

Steve: Yeah. You can tell the listeners.

Pete: It’s a really cool program and what I’m trying to do is see if people are willing to donate for any of these plans, because I do have a couple for sale, but I was just kind of trying to test the waters. So I uploaded a few of my plans into this program called Gumroad, which allows you to see anything quickly and easily. They take, I think, it’s like a five percent cut and a small transaction fee– totally worth it though.

And so in my first month of putting one plan up just through the donate option, it brought in an extra $500 for one set of plans. And I have about 13 other plans that I’m working on currently that I can get laid up there pretty soon. So that’s kind of been something that’s fun to see, because that’s a lot of extra money when you think about it.

Steve: It is. Does that imply that you create your own designs for your stuff?

Pete: Sometimes I do. One of my most popular projects is a double chair bench plan, and I did create the plans for that. And then all of my concrete projects, I create the plans for those. There are some projects where, like for instance one of the dining tables that I made, that was designed by Ana White who is an amazing blogger up in Alaska.

And I made a few modifications to it, but I don’t create plans for things that I didn’t create. I just – I really love tri-table and I didn’t want to re-invent the wheel, so I created a video to share with others and even I talked with Ana White. So it’s kind of a little partnership deal where I’m helping her by inspiring more people and showing how to build her project with her plans.

Steve: Okay. Sorry I interrupted you Pete. You were talking about how you put stuff on Gumroad. Please continue.

Pete: Oh yeah. You know, I’m excited to continue experimenting with that donations– I didn’t know if people would be willing to donate, but some people will pay a dollar for my plans. And I’ve had up to $25 for a single set of plans from a donation. So that’s just been another way to learn how to monetize the website, that’s just kind of starting for me.

Steve: Just curious, why the donation model instead of just a straight sales model?

Pete: I think because these projects are ones that I created in the past and so – like maybe I created the video four or five months ago. And I had said, for the free plans, head over to www.diypete.com/ so and so. So I already said it was free. So I wasn’t like going to like change that. I think in the future I will be selling some plans.

And then, I’ve also done some things where I’m working on courses right now. And I collaborated with Bob Vila’s website and I have some courses coming out this year on his site. So that’s going to be another thing that’s just going to continue to bring in more traffic, and it’s another way that this site is monetized as well.

Steve: That’s incredible. Bob Vila, how did you get that gig? Was that– did he approach you or did you reach out?

Pete: That was– actually I was on a trip. I got an email from a PR person that worked for them, and she said that they had picked one of my projects to be on their website in a contest. I ended up winning the contest, and then they asked if I wanted to kind of collaborate and do some projects together. So that really worked out for the better.

Steve: That’s awesome.

Pete: Yeah super-fun.

Steve: Yeah because he’s huge. So you have your YouTube video and you have your plans and I imagine you post this on your DIY Pete website, right?

Pete: Yeah, everything goes to the website.

Steve: So are you trying to drive to your– people find you on YouTube and then you point them to your website, or is it the other way around? How does that work?

Pete: I try to get them from YouTube to my website just because– I mean YouTube people are finding me, but then my website is where I can give them more information, and then where they can get the plans; where I can collect email addresses; where I can get affiliate links clicked on; and where I can get them to see more of my projects, and hopefully kind of build the relationship with them. So my website is my home base where I always try to get them to come.

Steve: And you mentioned your email list. What are you sending them, and do you have an auto-responder sequence, and how often do you actually contact your subscribers?

Pete: Yeah, right now I’m emailing for each of my new plans as it comes out. So this ends up being about twice a month or so. And then if I have a new post that I create then I’ll send them an email as well. I’m collecting emails from the plans. So they…

Steve: Oh okay.

Pete: So like they’ll go through all lead pages to get the plans or through Gumroad now, and then I collect that email address. And the plans have really helped that. I mean you know they are free basically unless they donate, but that’s increased the number of subscribers a lot. So in the last– just since I started the donating thing, I’m getting about 75 to 100 new subscribers for that individual plan that I put up, which is awesome.

Steve: Nice. And then what do you do with those subscribers? Is there like a plan for the people that you have? Do you try to sell them other plans? Do you just point them to your content, or do you just keep them up to date of what’s going on?

Pete: Steve I’ve been keeping them up to date and sending them to plans. I need to get better at that. You know, there are so many things that I can improve on. That’s one of them is working with an auto-responder and figuring out how to– you know just the best ways to create my email plan. So that’s something that I’m still learning. And hopefully I can figure that out.

Steve: Okay. I was just curious because it sounds like you have a really good system here. People actually want these plans so they give you an email address for them. Clearly there’s demand for these plans. So it just sounds like a potential gold mine to me; just listening to you actually.

Pete: Yeah. I think it’s taken time, and I’m continuing to figure things out and hopefully it is more of a gold mine, but I’m having fun with it.

Steve: So did you actually start with your YouTube channel or did you start with your blog first?

Pete: I had the blog a little bit beforehand hand, but – wait here. Yeah, I mean it was pretty much the same time. Yeah because one of my first projects was– one was a desk and one was a table. So yeah, pretty much similar timeframe.

Steve: Okay, and then, in terms of– I’m just trying to get your perspective from someone who’s just starting, who wants to do kind of follow in your footsteps. Do you recommend that they put up the website first and then just start putting YouTube videos up, and then drive those people back to their site to collect emails, is that kind of the procedure that you started with?

Pete: Yeah, I mean, the first thing I would do is just set up a basic word press blog, that’s exactly what I did, it was cheap and easy to do myself. My website was all DIY as well; I made it all on my own. And then, yeah, so then you set up your YouTube channel, that’s easy to do and then just start creating content, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you look back at some of my videos– past videos, that’s the fun thing is you can see improvement along the way. Some of the first videos were probably horrific. And so they continue to hopefully get better, and to reach more people. So just get started and take action that’s what I would do.

Steve: Can we talk a little bit about your Pinterest strategy a little bit, so you mentioned you create a nice long graphic and then you pin it. Are you doing anything else? Are you pinning other people’s content? Are you doing collaborative boards? How are you expanding your Pinterest presence?

Pete: Collaborative, yeah. If you look at my Pinterest account, I’m still– I don’t have that many followers, but I’ve been able to reach a lot of people through doing collaborative boards with other DIYers who have huge followings, one primarily being Ana White. I’m on a couple of her boards, and the traffic is just crazy. One of the pins that just went up a couple of months ago has 43 000 re-pins, and then…

Steve: Holly, okay.

Pete: They just slowly add up and the ones that reach some of those audience– people with bigger audiences just create a snowball effect, so try and get on some more well known bloggers boards, and then just create nice images that look great. And I use a program called Canva which is free, and I definitely recommend it to listeners out there, if you’re looking for any easy way to create images and you are not awesome with Photoshop.

Steve: So, how do you get on these collaborative boards? I know you go to a lot of conferences and it’s outreach, but do you ever do any cold emails to get on these collaborative boards, or is it just all putting yourself out there and networking?

Pete: I think putting yourself out there and networking has been huge for me. There’s a few bloggers that I have reached out to because I haven’t met them in person, and I see that they are doing some amazing things. And so I have reached out to them and– something that has actually helped, when I reach out instead of doing a cold email, I’ll use a video recording software like QuickTime, I think it’s built into my computer, that’s what I use. And then I’ll just do like a 30 seconds to a minute long clip and say, ”Hey, I’m Pete, it’s great to see what you are up to, I would love to connect.”

And so they see a video of me, which definitely stands out, and I’ve also done just video recordings, I mean excuse me, audio recordings where I just record my voice quick, say a message a minute long, and generally I hear back when I do that. It just stands out a little bit.

Steve: Huh, that’s a good tip. So you record a video, put it on YouTube, and then send the link to the YouTube video in an email?

Pete: Yeah, but I– it’s a private– yeah, it’s all private though. It’s a private link.

Steve: Yeah, of course.

Pete: Yeah, and then something…

Steve: That’s a good strategy.

Pete: Yeah, and then something else that’s kind of stood out just a little bit is all of us we get so many questions from people that visit our sites, and so sometimes it’s actually quicker not to type a complete response, but to do a recorded audio response. And it stands out to the person that’s emailed you, so like somebody might ask how did– where do you get five inch screws to build this project? Well, I’ll just do a quick audio recording and the feedback I get there like first off usually they are excited to hear back, and then to get an audio response, really means a lot. So I think just doing little things that stand out go a long way.

Steve: How do you do that quickly, is there a piece of software that you use?

Pete: Yeah, well I use QuickTime a lot of the times, because the audio quality is the best, but some people use and I’m not sure, you probably have something that you use, I think its GIN.

Steve: Yes, Yeah.

Pete: Yeah, that stores it online and then you can just send then a link, so that might be you want to look into as well.

Steve: Yeah, because I mean, I get a lot of emails also and often times I can’t respond with like a full blown response, but this sounds like a happy medium there, because I can often pump out like an audio clip really quick.

Pete: Yeah, definitely give it a whirl; see if it’s a good fit for your audience as well.

Steve: So, are there any other traffic sources that you rely on? I mean you’ve mentioned YouTube and you’ve mentioned Pinterest, has Facebook or Twitter or any of those worked for you?

Pete: Twitter isn’t– Twitter doesn’t work for my industry as well, in my opinion at least it hasn’t for me, and so it’s not something I focus on. There’s just so many done social platforms that I think– you have to kind of narrow your focus. And so what works for my industry since it is visual is Pinterest and then Instagram has been another one. And that’s something I more recently got into, but it’s kind of grown somewhat quickly, so those two platforms have been biggest in my opinion.

Steve: Can we talk about Instagram a little bit, and what you’ve been doing to increase your Instagram account.

Pete: I’ve just been– basically I like and find as many other ‘Do it yourself’ bloggers, so that they kind of see me and then in turn hopefully like me back. And then I try to be consistent about putting up a photo everyday or every other day, and just I think being consistent is one of the biggest things as it is so many other parts of our businesses.

Steve: Okay, and then just gradually followers will just start finding you by just posting consistently?

Pete: Yeah, and I– my following is not huge by any means and I just got on it in the last couple of months, so I’m looking forward to learning from others and seeing what works and what doesn’t, but and then the other thing would be guest posting. That’s been probably one of the bigger things that helps grow the website and getting featured on The Art of Manliness or Make Magazine has definitely brought in a lot of traffic.

Steve: So when you guest post, are these guest videos, or are they hand written posts? Does that make sense?

Pete: Yeah, usually it’s both. So for The Art of Manliness I did it– I showed how to build a whiskey barrel coffee table, and then I did a really detailed post with all the instructions, and then a video tutorial. So they got– they were really happy because it was a lot of content and then it did mention them in the video. And I was happy, more than happy because it just kind of got my website rolling and got me a lot of traffic, and attention. So that was really helpful, guest blog posting.

Steve: That’s cool, and then have you purchased any ads or do you ever drive any pay per click traffic to your side or tried any of those things?

Pete: I don’t too much, I’ve really– the only thing I’ve done is on Facebook, sometimes I’ll do a little sponsored post, just because they– it seems like your post barely get out to anybody anymore on Facebook. So I’ll just do the sponsored thing, but I don’t generally spend money trying to get people to come to my website. I generally would rather get it on another website or on Pinterest, it’s– at least in my industry that would get you quite a bit of traffic I’d say.

Steve: Okay, and I was just curious, how does Think Entrepreneurship kind of all weave into all of this?

Pete: Well, yeah Think Entrepreneurship is resource for entrepreneurs and what I try and do is share my journey along the way and what I have learnt. So, just tips, like something I like to do is right hand written thank you cards when I’m on people’s podcasts, or when somebody gives me– I mean anything like that. And so like I said, the benefits of writing thank you cards, how they’ve helped me in business, and how they can help you.

I say– I talk about like software that helps me, I talk about things I’ve learnt, or conferences I’ve been to, so others out there who are maybe looking to go to conferences have an idea of what would be good to go to as somebody is getting started in blogging. So just a place where I share what I’ve learnt, and with the goal to hopefully inspire a couple of people.

Steve: Okay, the reason why I ask is, often times, at least for me it’s very difficult to work on multiple sites. And so Think Entrepreneurship obviously brings in a little bit of revenue as well, and so I was just kind of curious how you juggle all these things, you do this full time, right?

Pete: I do.

Steve: Okay.

Pete: Yap, [inaudible] [0:39:58].

Steve: Okay.

Pete: Yeah, and the DIY Projects with Pete like I said is the main focus. So I’m putting a lot more attention and working on a daily basis creating videos, creating content for other websites. And then more like once a month or a couple of times a month I’m doing something over at Think Entrepreneurship, so just enough to keep it constant and up there, but not something that’s taking up all of my time. And more recently I do now have help in writing some articles on that website, so that’s been a win-win as well.

Steve: I was just curious what is your posting frequency on DIP Pete, because I imagine these videos take a long time, right?

Pete: Yeah, it really depends on just the project. But I’m trying to put out at least one project a month, and you know if it’s a real– if it involves a video and it’s real detailed, yeah I can’t get out more than a month usually. So if it’s a quicker project then I might be able to get up one every other week. So I’m trying to be more consistent, that’s something I’m always trying to strive to be better at, and so yeah that’s kind of what I’m doing. And then I‘m also always working on other projects like that might not be for my website as well.

Steve: Care to share any of those– these are not business related…?

Pete: Oh, yeah okay.

Steve: Okay.

Pete: No, no they might be projects like for the Bob Vila Website, for Ryobi Company, because I do at least four, but as many projects as I can for them in a year. And then I do projects for just other blogs out there for instance Make Magazine. And so it’s a variety of different websites that these projects are going on, which continues to help kind of bring traffic to the overall website.

Steve: I see, so when you contribute to some of these other brands like Bob Vila and Ryobi, they actually drive traffic back to DIY Pete?

Pete: Yeah, but I always make sure that our link is included and that helps, because a lot of these websites like Humanworks.com I just did a post of them a couple of weeks ago, and that’s a pretty high ranking website that gets a lot of traffic. And so I link back from a website of that stature certainly helps in Google sites.

Steve: Oh yeah for sure. So I’m just curious for some of the listeners out there I’m just kind of curious about the time frames. When did you actually start seeing traffic– not traffic, but traction with the DIY Pete and your YouTube channel? And how many videos had you put out at that point?

Pete: Yes so I would say traction with the YouTube Channel and with the website overall business in about five to six months is kind of when I got some of my first big posts on other websites under my belts. And so I was seeing more– I was seeing over 1000 people a day, which was nice.

And then it’s kind of trickled from there as far as money coming in through Amazon which was my first source of revenue there before I made over a couple of hundred dollars that was probably around six/seven months. And then it’s just kind of kept going up from there. And now Amazon, it ranges between– about 800 to 1800 a month, it just kind of depends on who is buying what.

Steve: Yeah I imagine the holiday season is pretty huge of you too.

Pete: And the holidays are great and then just like the software that I sell, and some of the other affiliate programs started picking up just once I kept continuing to see more traffic. So it’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot definitely along the journey.

Steve: What about YouTube, do YouTube ads– do you run YouTube ads first of all, and do they actually bring in…?

Pete: I do.

Steve: Okay.

Pete: Well so what I’m seeing for traffic on the YouTube channel is about 140,000 views per month right now, and then it’s at the 17,000 subscribers. And the YouTube channel with that current traffic sees right between $400 a month to well actually about 400-700 right now at that current traffic. And then I also do Google AdSense, and that’s just on the sidebar of my website. And the reason I’m saying this together is because you get paid in one check from Google, so they add the AdSense to the YouTube earnings.

And then so my earnings on AdSense are right actually about the same right now as what I’m making. So I get a check for total around $800-1100 or so from Google right now at the current traffic I’m seeing, if that kind of gives you just a frame of reference.

Steve: That’s cool yeah I know thanks for sharing, thanks of sharing. You know Pete hey, your story is actually really inspiring, just the fact that it gives the listeners some inspiration that they can go out, find sometime they’re passionate about, and just do an incredible job of getting themselves out there, and actually be able to make a living with it. So I really appreciate hearing your story today.

Pete: Cool.

Steve: I don’t want to keep you here too long, but if anyone wants to kind of get in contact with you, or ask you any questions, and maybe get an audio reply, where can they find you?

Pete: Please do. You can stop over to my website DIYPete.com, and I would love to hear from you. My email address is Pete@DIYpete.com, and shoot me a message, let me know what you’re up to, and if you have any DIY questions, or anything else, or just want to chat, and I’ll get back to you, and I’d love to hear about what you’re up to.

Steve: Thanks a lot Pete, thanks of coming on the show.

Pete: Yeah you bet you, thanks so much Steve, have a good one.

Steve: All right take care.

Hope you enjoyed that episode. A lot of people actually contact me wanting to know how to make money online on a very low budget, and I always tell these people to simply put themselves out there whether be through writing, through podcasting, or through video. And Pete is the perfect example of someone who did just that, and now he makes a lot of money doing something that he loves.

For more information about this episode go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode78, and if you enjoyed this episode please go to iTunes and leave me a review. Because when you write me a review, it not only makes me proud, but it helps keep this podcast up in the ranks so other people can find this information, find the show more easily, and get awesome business advice from my guest. It’s also the best way to support the show.

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Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit her Job Podcast, where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information visit Steve’s blog and www.mywifequitherjob.com.

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2 thoughts on “078: DIY Pete Sveen – How To Make 6 Figures Teaching People How To Do It Yourself”

  1. Aaron says:

    One of the most authentic / real interviews at the site Steve. Loved hearing from Pete and his openness about what’s worked for him. Thanks!

  2. Tim Murphy says:

    Like to make things with my hands and wood tools

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