T. Kern Campbell is bullish on blogging.
The 2003 Pfeiffer University MBA graduate runs RockTide Media, LLC, a multi-million dollar digital media and publishing business that controls 15 blogs, each of which shares consumer-friendly information on a different subject. His company’s websites appeal to people who share interests similar to his, including lovers of automotive vehicles (Four Wheel Trends); vacationers (Addicted to Vacation); and owners of Goldendoodle dogs (Golden Doodle Advice). Most of the money his sites generate comes from ads (95%), with the remainder from affiliate marketing.
The roots of this success are so modest that Campbell can scarcely believe what he’s accomplished so far.
“When I started working on old Jeeps and then writing about them, I never thought it would turn into a viable business,” he said. “I certainly never believed it could or would turn into a multi-million dollar one.”
Campbell first became enamored with Jeep Grand Wagoneers during his early childhood. He remembers his grandfather transporting him in one to the grandfather’s getaway home in Boone, where they’d ski down nearby mountains. Campbell later appreciated the “cool factor” of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer as the four-door vehicle with wood-grain siding began to appear in clothing commercials and nostalgic Christmas photos.
“I always wanted one,” Campbell said. “There was something about it that just seemed kind of neat.”
In 2016, Campbell bought a used Jeep Grand Wagoneer as a “project vehicle” that he began restoring in a variety of ways. The work was a way for Campbell to unwind after coming home from his day job at Financial Analysts of Raleigh, where he’s a senior wealth analyst. He tackled tasks such as fixing the vehicle’s headlights, repairing its radio, and ensuring its door…