What I enjoy most is the freedom to work on my own terms, in my own time and to have full responsibility for the work I put in and the rewards I receive. - Heidi Holvoet, SBI! member since 2008

How This Sports Scientist Attracts 100K Visitors to His Website

Written By: Jan Lingen in Real-Life Success Lessons!, Success Stories | October 26, 2016

How This Sports Scientist Attracts 100K Visitors to His Website

I had a dream. I dreamt of owning an online business which generates passive income and at the same time enables me to work in the field that I love.

We spoke with Jan Lingen, a young sports scientist specializing in prevention and rehabilitation, about his dream. Jan was unhappy with his university job. He loved his field of work though; he had acquired so much knowledge about pain relief methods that really work.

But how could he use this first-hand experience to help people and earn a living for himself?  Let’s find out.  Follow along as Jan built his own personal success story and don’t miss the 5 key takeaways at the end!

Here we go…

1. Tell us a little about yourself, about your professional background, and how and why you decided to start your online business with SBI!.

In 2012 I was very unhappy with my job at the university, and decided to take a break. I had the dream of owning an online business which generates passive income and at the same time enables me to work in the field that I love, and where I knew I have something to say.

For the previous 8 years I had learned constantly about the human body. It all began back in school where I took sports and English as my major subjects for graduation. Afterwards I signed up at university to study sports science and specialized in the field of prevention and rehabilitation.

Being an over-enthusiastic person, who was always active but never performed any sport on a professional level, I was in pain quite often. Neither the standard studies in university nor doctors were of any help with relieving the pain. So I took up my own studies.

Jan diving in head first (Photo taken by his friend and photographer, Franz Schlegl)

I once overheard a friend talking about self-massage, which I found strange at the time, but still intriguing. Back then I had no money at all and could not afford good body workers, so I thought it would be awesome if I was able to treat myself.

Results came fast, and I kept experimenting a lot. I fell in love with therapy and began to apply all kinds of things, only sticking to those that got results. That was only possible because I was studying for myself and did not care about any “ideologies” in therapy, which are hammered into your brain in lots of training courses. This is horrible. It keeps you blind and numbs your mind.

It took some years until I became really good in treating different types of pain and also understanding the physiology of pain, with its physical and psychological components.

Now let’s go back to 2012: I was very much into personal development. I loved Steve Pavlina’s blog and followed it religiously. Steve taught me a lot and he was the one that recommended SBI! as the tool to use if you wanted to succeed on the Web. It was only because of the trust that Steve Pavlina had built up that I signed up for SBI! (I would have never done it without him). I was sitting in a hotel room in bed late at night and thought, I will just give it a try.

I started my work right away. Luckily I had another 2 months of holidays left. I spent whole days in coffee shops absorbing everything SBI! had to say; I loved it and there was so much to learn. I started to work on my online business and never stopped!

TAKEAWAY: We don’t expect visitors to SiteSell.com to believe everything that we write about SBI! to be a 100% true. It is, but heck… we’re biased. All we ask is that if you seriously want to take a new fork in the Road of Life, one that leads to self-reliance and spending time on your passion…

Just try it. Do we promise you’ll love it? Nope. There are 2 directions possible…

  1. You’ll realize that this is not for you, for any one of a number of reasons. Most people are looking for an easy way. There is none that works.
  1. Lights will go on and bells will ring. Well, OK, maybe not! But you WILL realize that SBI! Is exactly what you’ve been looking for, an all-in-one system that delivers all you need to focus on one thing only – building your business.

Those who stick with SBI! make up an amazing community who you’ll meet in the SBI!! Forums. They succeed at rates 10x greater than anywhere else. Just try it, no risk.


2. How did you settle upon your niche? How did you know it was the right one?

I just followed the SBI! Action Guide. 🙂 It really works. Of course you also have to use your brain and trust your instincts when it comes to planning your website and business.

The most important thing for me was to only go into a niche that I was knowledgeable about. A niche where I had something to say and where I had firsthand experience. I thinks that´s key.


You need to provide real value and overdeliver when you want your online business to succeed.
Tweet This


TAKEAWAY: When we ask our most accomplished SBI! users about their “success secret,” their answer inevitably is: “I followed the Action Guide.” And when you think about it, it makes sense. Let’s for a moment compare building an online business to baking a sumptuous chocolate cake (mmh, yummy). If you knew all the ingredients for your chocolate cake, but not how much of each you need and in which order, you’d be left to use trial and error until you eventually, if you were lucky, achieved the result you wanted.

It’s the same with your online business. Knowing the ingredients isn’t enough. Sure, you could go the trial and error route and eventually figure it out on your own. But why choose the hard way, when there is an easier way with proven results? SBI! provides the recipe, the tools and the support you need for building a profitable online business in the most efficient way possible.



Jan helps his visitors to relieve their pain; in the example above, he demonstrates with words and pictures how to loosen up tight neck muscles.

3. You started with your English site, painotopia.com and then built your German site, muskel-und-gelenkschmerzen.de. What was your reasoning behind creating a separate site in German, rather than offering your initial site in both languages?

I don’t remember really. I guess it was due to me being technically an absolute “fool,” so I probably decided it’s easiest to just launch a second site. 😀

UPDATE: Since we spoke with Jan, he has evolved his online business even further. To unify the look and feel of his English and German sites he merged them under a new domain, www.muscle-joint-pain.com. His visitors can now access both language versions (plus a third, French version), conveniently from one place.

He’s also moved from SBI! to SBI! for WP, combining the dynamic site-building capabilities of WordPress with SBI!’s proven business-building system.

Seems that Jan has long outgrown his “foolish” days as an online business newbie. When we congratulated him on this achievements, he said: “Without SBI! I would not be where I am today.”

4. Your German site is only about 2 years old, yet you get 100K visitors per month. How did you build so much traffic in a rather short period of time?

The first thing is that I had all the English pages. They “only” needed to be translated into German. So I had a huge base of content right at the launch. I also went carefully through my English site and thought very critically about what could and needed to be improved.

In the end I made the site bigger and at the same time easier to use. I just looked at the traffic numbers of my English site and left out pages that people were not interested in, even though I thought they were important — hard for the ego, so better let go of it.

What is also key is video. You need video! Why do I think that video is so important? Video keeps your visitors engaged, and provides one more info channel. There are people who like to read and then there are people who prefer to watch a video. Although adding videos to my site doesn’t directly result in more traffic, they improve the user experience, keeping my visitors longer on my site, which in turn is a positive signal for the search engines and helps improve my rankings.

Oh yes, and there is one more thing that I should point out: I hated the idea of failure!

So I spent three months working full time on carving out a blueprint for my English site. Three months reading almost every article on SBI!, three months doing hours of keyword research and creating different blueprints for my site. I only started to write my sites when I had the feeling I knew what I was doing.

TAKEAWAY: Getting 100,000 visitors per month on a two year old site is impressive. Mind-blowing even if you consider that the average blog or site gets fewer than 50 visitors per day, amounting to a meager 1,500 monthly visitors (less than half of what Jan’s site gets per day!). Granted, Jan had a headstart with his German site because he cleverly recycled the content from his English site (doesn’t sound foolish to me, Jan!).

But, this only worked so well because he had built such a strong foundation for his first e-business. The first 5 metaphorical “days” of the SBI! Action Guide are all about planning, researching and evaluating your business concept. You won’t write a single page or even register your domain name until you have a solid website blueprint in hand. Jan got this preparation phase perfectly right… and now reaps the rewards for it.

5. How many hours per week do you put into your online business? Are you the only person, or do you have other help?

I don’t know. I don’t count hours, and I don’t care actually. Sometimes I only work 10 hours a week, sometimes 10 hours a day. But when you consider thinking, reading, talking and planning for my business, then I probably work 24/7.

My best friend is what you’d typically call a “nerd” and also self-employed, so we naturally talk a lot about our businesses and share ideas. The only time my mind is not occupied with business is when I go training, climbing, or paragliding.

Climbing is one of Jan’s hobbies and one of the only times he doesn’t think about his business.

For the English site, I did it all myself. For the German site, I had and still have a web agency doing amazing work. On top of that I consider talking to my friends also as help. 🙂

TAKEAWAY: I asked Jan what kind of work he outsourced to the web agency. He explained that they created a “Corporate Identity” for him. And that he simply wanted to have an HTML5 site, and some more gadgets. With SBI!, you have the choice between using the in-built drag-and-drop page builder, or uploading your own HTML pages as Jan does.

Jan adds…

“Having said that: You do not need a web agency, at least not until you are very big, and even then it’s not mandatory I guess. From what I see, SBI! started to provide lots of cool new features which give you the ‘modern’ look. And it’s also true what SBI! teaches — it’s about content, about building lots of high quality content. My German site attracted around 70,000 visits per month with the old design, which looks very old school (similar to painotopia.com).”

Thank you Jan. We couldn’t have said it any better. While a modern design, mobile friendliness and a great user experience are important for online success, content still rules the house. Just take a look at the hundreds of SBI! sites in the top 0.5 percent of active websites. Many of them look “old school,” and yet they have more traffic than 99.5% of all 200 million active websites.

6. You said you made some mistakes that delayed monetizing your websites. Could you tell us more about those mistakes, and how to avoid them?

Sure! If you know your stuff, I would recommend to have something to sell (to create a little product) before you launch your site, and then create the content. Then you have something to bring in some cash (even if it’s only a few $$) from the very beginning.

Of course that strategy only works if your content will be great. If it isn´t, your online business will never succeed anyway, so what’s the point delaying the money part? That’s at least my opinion. You may disagree.

I really think if someone is honest to him- or herself about his or her abilities and puts in the work, it’s almost impossible to fail with SBI! — seriously!

If you fail, it’s your own fault. SBI! gives you all you need, as long as you also use your brain.

TAKEAWAY: When you browse Jan’s websites, you’ll notice that there are no ads and only a few products (his eBook and a couple of affiliate products) on his German site. So, how does Jan make money as a solopreneur? We’ll reserve the answer to this question for Jan’s follow up story in early 2017. You don’t want to miss this! Subscribe to SiteSell’s free newsletter to hear how Jan turns his website traffic into income.

Key Take Home Points

  1. Jan just tried it. The net is so full of “make money” sites that it’s hard to recognize SBI! for what it is. The folks who we really want as clients read the site closely enough to realize that SBI! is different in many ways. Still, how can you be sure? You could spend days more reading and still not be sure. Or you could…
Just try it.  You’ll KNOW soon enough.
  1. Jan’s secret to online business success? He followed SBI!’s proven process, the Action Guide. He understood how important building a strong foundation was for his business and spent 3 months planning before he launched his first site.
  2. Build outstanding content that your visitors will love (or don’t bother starting at all). Add visuals (images and video) to your content to accommodate different types of visitors. Some prefer reading. Some prefer watching videos.
  3. Focus on what works and replicate it, if possible. This can be small things, like writing a second page around a keyword that attracts lots of traffic, or it can be as big as creating a second website. In Jan’s case, creating a German version of his English website doubled the amount of traffic that he can now monetize.
  4. The key “takeaway of the takeaways?”  It was not easy, but SBI! did make building a profitable online business DO-able for Jan. See how there is nothing incredibly techy to this? Jan even admits that he’s “technically an absolute fool.” Just follow the Action Guide and do each step in order, the best you can. Add your knowledge, passion and personality in generous doses, and you WILL succeed.
Skip down to like or comment

Learn From More High-Traffic, Profitable Solopreneurs

  • Recent Success Stories With Takeaway Lessons. Read more recent inspiring stories from our blog. They deliver useful ideas and takeaway lessons from folks who’ve “done it and won it.” If they can do it, you can, too!
  • Multi-Year SBI! Reviews. We take a deep-dive into the long term, full business stories of several different types of solopreneur successes. They periodically update their progress so you can see how they and their businesses grow over a period of years. This gives you excellent insight into what solopreneurs can accomplish with real online businesses.
  • Hundreds of the “Top 0.5%.” Every one of these SBI! businesses (hundreds of them) rank in the top 1 million active websites (out of approximately 200 million!). That’s all the more impressive because 1) we are such a small community and 2) many Top 0.5% sites are mid-sized or large companies.

Solopreneurs fail at astronomical rates. SBI! makes you up to 100x more likely to succeed (that’s not a typo!). It will never be easy, but we do make it way more doable.

Scan the wide variety of solopreneurs who are winning in real niches. Use it to get a feeling for what SBIers do, as well as to generate ideas. What do you know? Turn it into a business.

Jan Lingen

Jan Lingen

As a teenager, Jan was passionate about playing the guitar and was going to study music. Chronic pain in his forearms shot down his plans. He regained his interest in sports, and went on to study sports science. Again he found himself in pain quite often, due to a stressed body and mind. Unsatisfied with conventional pain therapy, he began delving into body therapy and searched for ways to help himself. He combined different aspects of various body therapies and gradually got himself out of pain. Now he enjoys a life free of unnecessary pain. He uses this self-taught knowledge to help other people and build a profitable online business for himself. When he's not knee deep into planning and working on his business, he enjoys spending time in the mountains.
Jan Lingen

Latest posts by Jan Lingen (see all)

Join The Solo Build It! Community

Get the latest in best-practices and advice for your online business. Let each new article be delivered to your Inbox for free.