How Carl Broadbent Lost His Job and Built a Content Website Portfolio

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How Carl lost his job and built a content website portfolio

In 2017, Carl Broadbent‘s life took a sudden turn when he received news that he’d lost his job of seven years. While he quickly found another job as a manager for a large supermarket chain in the UK, the experience had a life-changing impact.

As Carl started his new job, he felt like he was going from one rat race to another. He was relieved to have a job, but it required long hours, and he “hated every minute of it.”

He couldn’t help but wonder if it was possible to make a career change that would give him the freedom and flexibility he desired.

Carl immediately began his quest to find something better. He searched Google using phrases like “how to make money online” and came across a YouTube video on how to build a website.

While millions of people search for ways to make money online, most never take the next step to try the recommended methods. But Carl is not like most people. He immediately took action and built his first website the same day he watched the video!

Carl’s first site was about Monty Python, which was a spur-of-the-moment decision based on his love of the movie.

After realizing the site had limited opportunities, he decided to leave that project and devote his attention to a site centered around tropical fish. Carl worked at a pet store with tropical fish when he was younger, and this background equipped him with a wealth of knowledge on the topic.

Carl plugged away at his website for several months, continuing to expand his knowledge and experience.

A Stroke of Good Fortune

About a year and a half after beginning his online journey, Carl entered a contest by leaving a comment on an Income School video. To his surprise, he won the contest and got in-person training for free. In 2019, Jim and Ricky, the co-founders of Income School, flew to the UK and spent two days in Carl’s home, providing coaching and guidance on his tropical fish website.

Although Carl was already making some progress with his site before the coaching from Jim and Ricky, he says that training helped him get more organized and follow a process for success.

In addition to the tropical fish site, Carl also worked on growing a handful of other content sites monetized with affiliate programs and display ads.

Going Full-Time

As Carl’s website portfolio grew, he pondered the possibility and timing of leaving his full-time job. As a cautious person with a family to provide for, he didn’t want to walk away from his job too soon.

As it turns out, Carl reached the point where his websites made three times as much as his salary before leaving the job in 2020 (about three years after his online journey began).

The Portfolio Approach

Carl’s approach involves growing and managing a portfolio of websites rather than focusing on a single project. Most of Carl’s sites are monetized with display ads and affiliate marketing.

He also sells his sites relatively quickly rather than holding on for the long term (a similar strategy to Will Williams). Over the past five years, he’s sold 25 different sites. His approach is to grow the sites until they reach a valuation of about $20,000-$30,000+, and then he sells them.

“I like having the cash injection from selling a site,” Carl says. “Plus, sites that sell for less than $50k are much easier to sell than larger sites.”

By selling off some of the sites in his portfolio, Carl aims for 2-3 lump sums each year, in addition to the monthly income from his portfolio. He says, “It gives me the cash flow to try new things like building digital assets and doing public case studies.”

Carl turns to his network when selling a website rather than listing it on a website marketplace. “That’s part of growing a trusted brand. It opens the doors to things like that,” Carl says. “Having a targeted and loyal audience has been huge for me over the past five years.”

Carl’s Content Strategy

Like many other bloggers and content website owners, Carl has tweaked his content strategy due to the impact of recent Google search algorithm updates.

Before 2022, Carl focused exclusively on longtail keywords and SEO-driven content. After Google began rolling out the Helpful Content Updates, he’s focused more on content topics and clusters.

Carl has also dedicated more time and effort to social media and video content. “The return on investment for video and shortform content is much better than written content right now,” Carl says. “That could all change again in the future, but right now, the reason is huge for shortform content.”

The changing landscape has also impacted Carl’s overall view of the sites in his portfolio. “I now look at monetization more than traffic,” he says. “I would rather have a blog that gets 10k pageviews but makes $5,000 a month than a site that gets 300k pageviews and only makes $3,000 a month.”

Carl shares income reports, updates, and tips through his blog and YouTube channel, where he has over 11,000 subscribers.

Other Projects

Aside from working on his portfolio of sites, Carl is also working on a few other projects, including faceless YouTube channels and the Popcorn WordPress theme for bloggers.

But the project that Carl is most passionate about is Affiliate Gathering, an in-person event in the UK for bloggers and niche website entrepreneurs. “This industry can be hard when things like Google updates hit your site, and I feel we all need support,” Carl says. “That’s why I started Affiliate Gathering, and I love what the event is turning into. It’s a go-to event each year for bloggers and content creators.”

Carl hopes to expand the Affiliate Gathering conference in the future, maybe even to new countries.

Affiliate Gathering

Although a job loss is something no one wants, Carl Broadbent turned this negative experience into motivation, leading to life-changing results. He had no previous experience but took action and put in the work needed to succeed.

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