When I leaped into this venture of building an online business, I attempted several things at once. I mean, I was all over the place. I started six websites at once and I wrote for all six for a while, then I started to run out of ideas…and interest. After a while, I was left with sad sites, void of content, that didn’t inspire or excite me. Not much of my effort on those sites produced any measurable results in the way of SEO or content creation and I’m pretty sure it was because of my lack of passion for the subject matter. I didn’t choose wisely. Instead, I attempted to create websites that I thought would find a captive audience.
I learned recently from an old Fizzle.co post that a website should pass three tests:
1. You should really care about the subject.
2. That subject should solve a problem.
3. The solution to that problem should be in demand.
Looking over my sites, I found that none of them met all three criteria. Some sites solved a problem, but not a big enough one to be in demand. Some of the sites were good ideas, but not of much interest to me personally. Some of the sites didn’t meet a single criteria. My conclusion was that, while I had learned a lot about internet marketing, I was in a rut creatively. My sites didn’t inspire me to inspire others, which is sort of the point.
I’m an action oriented person. When I want something done, I do it myself, which is fine, but working on several things at once can impede your progress on any one project. I basically diluted my creative juices by spreading them over too many projects at once. I’ve learned a great deal from my misguided endeavor and what I’m forcing myself to do now is to focus on one project to completion. I’m learning to back away from projects that don’t inspire me and devote my attention to the things that I am passionate about. It’s the only way I’m going to produce something of value for my audience.
I was recently asked by a dear friend what was the key to successfully sell on Ebay. My answer was a single word…Research.
Research is the key to successfully selling in an online auction format. Ebay, the most popular online auction happens to have the perfect tool. The Advanced Search feature enables you to see how past listings of your item sold. It also enables you to see what works in a listing and what doesn’t and can provide the very best way to make your listing a success. Here’s how I use it.
- On the home page at the top is a search box. To the right of the search button is the word “Advance”. Click that button. Type your item in the keywords box and select the “Completed Listings” box in the Search Included section.(you can also look at the sold listings, but I like to see the failed listings as well…I’ll explain that later.)
- You can make your keyword as specific or as general to your item as you wish. A general search will get you more results, but a specific search will offer you more feedback on your specific item. Example: if you’re selling a particular model of a pair of roller skates, you can specify your model in your first search just to see what your item specifically had been offered and sold for. Follow that up with a general search of the keyword “skates”. The reason you should do the general search is because not all Sellers are specific in their listings and some are not even familiar with the items they list, so your particular pair of skates could just be listed somewhere simply as “skates”.
- You will get a list of all listings. the green ones are those that were successfully sold and the red ones are those that didn’t sell. Take a close look at which items sold and study to see what distinguishes the successful listings from the unsuccessful ones. Also look closely at those items that sold for more money than the others and determine what was special about them.
There are mainly three things that I focus on while studying listings:
Advanced search is a great place to find detailed, well written descriptions of your item and guess what? It’s not against the rules to “borrow” well written listings. Just make sure the description actually describes your item. What you’ll discover is the more information you put in a listing, the less questions you will get from Buyers. I usually open Notepad on my computer and when I see a good description of my item, I copy and paste it in Notepad for later to use as a guideline to writing my own description.
I personally have found a great deal of success on Ebay by starting most of my items for sale at .99 cents. The idea of getting something at a discount fuels the popularity of competitive bidding and online auctions are competitive marketplaces. Buyers come to bid. If your starting price is too high, even if the prospective Buyer would pay that price, they may not bid. Most Buyers would rather compete to that price than to start there. You can set a Reserve price for a small fee that protects you from selling your item for less than you require for it if the bidding doesn’t meet your expectations.
AUCTION ENDING TIME
Sometimes the difference between items that sell and those that don’t can be as simple as the time the auction ends. Consider this; there will probably be fewer last minute Bidders for an item ending in the middle of the night than say the afternoon and the Seller would be missing out on the feeding frenzy that is the last few minutes of an auction. I personally know Buyers that only peruse Ending Soonest items because they like slipping a bid in while the seconds tick away. There are even apps you can buy that will bid on your items with just seconds left in the listing. The best way for me to find the most Buyers at the end of my auctions, which is the most critical time, is to schedule my listings to end in the afternoon. I don’t have proof, but I figure there’s more people on the internet in the afternoon than at any other time, especially at work. I live on the East coast, so I schedule my auctions to end at 3:30p in the afternoon. The reason is, working people on the East Coast are winding down their 9 to 5 work days at this time, while on the West Coast, they are heading to lunch.
Advanced Search offers this and other information that gives you the best opportunity to sell your item for the most money. A little research can go a long way.
After a long hiatus, I have returned to the origin of my creative growth as an internet Marketer…and let me tell you, I’m a changed man. I’ve learn a lot in a year, especially about myself. I’ve learned that this is NOT the business for shortcuts. Whenever I attempted to save time or money I ultimately ended up wasting both. I’ve also learned that you get what you pay for. When something seems to be a “steal of a deal”, chances are, there’s a reason. I learned what “black hat” means and how those tactics can end you before you even start. I would say that I’ve grown quite a bit in the last year, in every way but one. I’m still not a Writer and as I have discovered, that’s all my fault.
Some of us are born Writers, then some of us, like me, have to have it hammered into us. My most valuable lesson in the last 12 months I got from an older podcast by the fizzle.co guys. In one of their many incredible discussions, they concluded that, in order to become a great Blogger, you have to first be a bad Blogger, then a good one and then, as you learn more about your subject and how better to communicate in this form, you’ll eventually grow into a great Blogger. Common sense, right? Not for me.
This shouldn’t have been news to me. I should have learned this in art school when a very influential Instructor of my mine told me that every great Artist has to produce at least 1000 paintings that stink and disappoint before he will began to recognize his voice and know how to better express himself. Same concept offered to me 26 years ago, but not until the “Fizzle” Founders discussed it did I see the value. The lesson there is that when it’s your time to get it, you will get it.
So, having learned this great lesson, I attempt to work on my 1000 lousy paintings, writing my grossly inferior blog posts and gritting my teeth all the while. I hated what I was producing but I believed I was doing the right thing. No pain, no gain, right? Wrong, because I also didn’t get the Cardinal rule of blogging: WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE. Instead, I attempted, by market research, to find popular subjects and/or keywords to exploit in order to build my fortune. FAIL. In a year’s time there was little or no growth on my sites. No one was engaged nor were they inspired. Why would they be? There was nothing interesting there. There was no real risk being taken. There’s nothing put on the line. I wasn’t sticking my neck out and taking any chances. My eyes were opened as my second most important lesson slapped me across the kisser. Reading a blog written by a guy writing about subjects that he doesn’t care about is like watching a person juggle one ball. IT’S JUST PLAIN BORING.
Frustrated, I took bold action by taking down EVERY SINGLE SITE I BUILT FOR THE WRONG REASON. I scrapped them all. I had to. If I’m going to power through the mediocre posts, I have to at least love what I’m writing about, right?. If I don’t love it, I will tire of the failures that are bound to come. You see, I realize there’s no guarantee that I will build an audience with a subject I love, but I’m definitely sticking my neck out, risking rejection, just to find out. I think I’m finally on the right track and it feels daunting, but good. So, if I could go back in time and tell myself a year ago how to start and what to focus on, my advice would be four simple words; love it and leap.
Okay, so after my mountain top epiphany, I decided to slow down and develop my folders for each of my websites. It’s an idea I got from one of my Mentors, Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com. He designates a folder for each of his projects and he collects all of his ideas, along with a list of things to get done. I’m not the most organized person, so this idea was a revelation to me. I meticulously sorted all of my online business project ideas, along with a list of objectives for each project into their own folders. As the Brits say, I had everything sorted. Of course, that was just the first step.
Having all of my projects all neatly organized, I embarked on systematically advancing every folder. I tried to assign a day of the week to every project, thinking that I could commit available hours(or minutes) in a day to accomplishing at least something on each objectives list. When I played basketball in my youth, the coach would tell us that during a game, if we weren’t making our shots, to switch our focus to defense. The idea being that we could always be helping out the team, even in the times when our aim wasn’t exactly great. I would use this approach to contribute to each project. I would write much needed quality content and during the times I didn’t exactly feel inspired, I could develop the SEO of each project until the inspiration to write would return.
“The purpose of battle is to attain the greatest heights within your own limits.” ― Yukito Kishiro
I work a full time job, four ten hour days, with a two hour commute each way. In addition to that, I’m an active father, which means my time is at a serious premium. I have to make every single minute in a day count if I’m going to accomplish my goal of achieving the coveted “30 second commute.” I found it difficult to focus on a project and then “flip a switch” and focus on something else, even in the space of a day. I was attempting, quite unsuccessfully, to develop all of my projects simultaneously, which is a lot like the juggler who spins several plates at once, running to and fro, keeping them all going at the same time. I acknowledge the “plate spinning” approach was not conducive to my limited schedule, so instead I shifted gears and focused on a single project.
I took a niche site idea from keyword research the correct way, to completion and launch. I won’t reveal the site because I want to have it rank solely on organic traffic in order to monitor the effectiveness of my keyword research. I can, for the most part, file that folder away and focus solely on the next one. I could tell right away that it’s a much more effective way for me to work.
It was quite a learning experience to summon all of the lessons that I’ve learned through others and my own mistakes and put out what I think will eventually be a significant source of passive income. Now back to writing, or if I’m uninspired, more SEO. Wish me luck.
I appreciate and try to make good use of all of the lessons I’ve been taught over the course of my life, especially the ones that seem to reappear periodically, as if I’m being reminded of their importance and significance. One of these lessons is the value of separating myself and being still for a while in order to be inspired. I remember Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments” as Moses, going to the mountain top in order to hear clearly what his mission was. He returned to his people with two stone tablets, inscribed with a set of clear, concise directives. I have recently discovered that my place of clarity, a.k.a., my “mountain top” is my local General Aviation airport.
I love flying airplanes just above treetops. There’s something majestic about seeing the country from 2000-3000 feet above ground level or AGL. I’ve been a student pilot on and off for a while and occasionally take flight lessons. I plan to complete my Pilot certificate one day and whenever I’m looking to be inspired, refocused, or motivated, I just drive to my local airport and watch planes take off and land. It calms me and I can think clearly.
I’ve been struggling with one of my sites in terms of focusing it’s direction and defining my mission. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I leaped before I did good research and as a result, all of my keywords and domain names left a little to be desired, especially for this particular site. It had no single mission. It didn’t have a definitive direction of authority. It didn’t even have a product to offer my potential audience. My site was lost and undefined, somewhere between a niche site and an authority site. I decided my current frustrations were worthy of a trip to the airport.
I arrived with nothing but my cellphone, a notebook and pen, and my alto saxophone. (note: I’m also an aspiring improvisational jazz musician so a trip to an airport is the PERFECT place to practice or just play my sax and it relieves my family of having to hear John Coltrane’s “Naima” with my occasional upper register squeaks.)
Anyway, I sat still for a while and thought about what I wanted to achieve with the site in question. I asked myself a question we should all ask when pursuing a new idea; If I had to describe the project’s purpose in one or two sentences, would I be able to? I tried for a while to simply define what my mission was and I was unable to. It just never came to me and I couldn’t, for the life of me, narrow down what my main focus and mission were. What I realized is that my topic was too broad and undefined. I then decided to narrow it’s focus to target a specific audience, but not to make it too narrow. After writing down a bunch of ideas and doing all I could to try and salvage my uninspired domain name and keywords, I decided that it would be best to rebrand the site. It’s not that big of a deal, since I don’t yet have an audience and changing the direction of the site and narrowing my focus now will keep me engaged, inspire me to write more and improve my confidence along the way. I spent the rest of the afternoon at the airport, writing down a ton of ideas for promotion, planning and designing the new site and constructing outlines for several articles I’m going to write to offer my audience the value that will keep them coming back.
I won’t reveal the new domain just yet because I’m currently working on just how to handle the redirection of my present content and the eventual launch of the new site. My goal is to promote the rebranding in an effective way in order to create buzz and build anticipation. I’m blessed because now that I’ve learned from several missteps, I can proceed with the confidence that the important lessons I learned along the way will be put to good use in the future. I’m even more excited about the possibility of being able to tap into my “mountain top” when I’m suffering writer’s block or just feeling creatively stifled.
I’m not suggesting that you not participate in group meets and mastermind sessions to share ideas with peers. What I am suggesting is that you become acquainted with your “mountain top”, that place of solitude and introspection in your life that enables you to think clearly and make good sound decisions. Find out where that place is and go there from time to time, whether it’s just to clear your head, to ask yourself hard but necessary questions, to be inspired or to find your way back to your goals and I promise that you will return empowered with clarity.
I’ve decided to start over with one of my sites. It was my first ever website launched and I was initially very proud of it. Now that I’ve been learning more about the importance of leading with good content, I realize my site was basically a big ad with no real focus.
Have you ever been passionate about a subject, but really had no solutions to offer? I found myself in this predicament. The subject of the site is all about the advantages of building leverage against your day job. This is something I’ve done in my own career, quite successfully, but it’s difficult to articulate in a series of posts without sharing too much of my personal story. I have my own reasons for not wanting to be completely transparent and I hope it won’t hurt my chances of building trust with my audience. I’ve written a few articles for the site, but I’m finding it difficult to consistently add value so I’m presently in search of inspiration. This was one of a few sites I launched without having a full understanding of keywords or brand building so unfortunately, the domain name targets neither.
And wouldn’t you know it, I was listening to SPI episode #77 and Pat was interviewing John Lee Dumas of Entrepeneur on Fire. John quoted Albert Einstein:
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
This quote was EXACTLY what I needed to get me back on track. I’ve been licking the wounds that came from several ill-advised leaps into internet marketing with little or no knowledge so I accept that it’s time to slow down and build these sites the correct way. Because of my site’s lack of focus or lack of a specific product offer, I’ve decided to pull all monetization and I’m going to focus on building an audience by way of providing good content instead.
I believe in my site because I think it’s important to do whatever you can to protect yourself from the unpredictability of your day job. Pat’s and Nicole Dean’s stories are testament of that. They were both effected by layoffs. They just happened to take matters into their own hands and both built amazing businesses as a result. Not all of us will build businesses that will far exceed our day job incomes, but we can all prepare ourselves for the worst as a back up plan, even if we’re blessed to never need it.
I’m still very excited about my first site and as much as my eventual goal is to experience monetary success, I will continue to develop it by offering my audience value first.
I have made yet another grand discovery in my pursuit of passive income. My journey is weird in that every time I make a mistake building my business, along comes an SPI podcast to help me see the light. Something’s telling me that I should probably listen to more podcasts before I proceed. It certainly couldn’t hurt.
What’s probably obvious to most of you didn’t exactly click with me until I listened to Smart Passive Income Podcast #66 where Pat Flynn interviews Spencer Hawsof NichePursuits.com. Spencer and Pat discuss the importance of keyword research. As you may or may not know by now, I’m a leaper. I often throw caution to the wind and jump right into something before I research it and while taking action has it’s own merits, it has costs me dearly with my first few website projects. As I discussed in a previous post, I didn’t exactly understand the importance of SEO and particularly keyword research. I chose popular subjects that I knew and was passionate about, but I didn’t take into account my ability to rank for those outrageously competitive keywords. Now I understand that being able to rank for a keyword is essential to being found organically on the web unless, of course, you have either a million friends or a few very influential ones. I don’t have either, which is kind of how I got here.
I worked in sales not too long ago and frankly I hated it because I was bad at it. It was a three year self fulfilling prophecy. I was basically in a situation where I would have to build my business by way of cold calling potential clients. What I discovered is that the market that I was selling in was divided into two groups: those that needed what I had to offer and had to be educated and those that needed what I had to offer and already had it. In order for me to convince anyone to do business with me, I had to establish both trust and likeability. Pounding the pavement trying desperately to convince clients that they needed my product took a toll on my confidence. After quite a few no show appointments and broken promises to do business, I began to resent my potential clients. After all, I had done everything I could to equip myself with the tools to reach these clients. I listened to sales tapes and read books on how to sell and how to relate to people, I attended sales seminars and I even talked to successful salespersons who, like me, struggled when they first started. I got great advice and I was inspired to overcome my inability to close business, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t make a connection. I began to analyze why I couldn’t reach most of the people that I gave good sound information and advice to. I concluded that I couldn’t sell because I didn’t care and my potential clients could tell that I didn’t. They could see right through me.
So, I’m listening to a podcast when I have this epiphany. I can “sell” online, thus eliminating the need to establish trust in me and likeability of me. I can lead with good, helpful information and provide value on a website and NEVER have to deal with debilitating rejection. After all, not many people write you to tell you that they don’t want something you’re offering. This is going to be the perfect solution for my “people” problem. I’ll just put up a lemonade stand. Enter bad keywords. Keywords are so important to driving traffic to your website that you can actually have a great idea, not properly implement it and your amazing site will sit there and never find it’s audience. Sure, eventually someone could stumble on your content and share it, but what if they don’t or worse, what if it isn’t as good as you think it is? That can be a sobering revelation and I’m not certain, but it probably causes some of us to quit. BUT YOU CAN’T QUIT. You have to find your way through your bad writing and poor sentence structure and bad keywords and stupid domain name choices and every other mistake you make because at the end of all of your lessons is a better you.
So, I’ve burned a few bucks taking another one of my leaps and that’s okay. I realize that I will probably never rank for my chosen keywords but I can attempt to rank for other words that are less competitive with a little research and creative writing. All is not lost. I just need to stop leaping and start my next project with taking a nice long look. The greater lesson is this. No matter what I choose to do, whether online or face to face, I should be passionate about it and project that passion into my presentation. The fact is, people don’t care about what you’re selling. People care that you care.
Okay, so after launching four distinct websites, my focus turned to traffic and I gotta say, I’m a bit nervous about it. I began to research ways to drive traffic to my websites and I’ve learned a bit about black hat vs. white hat search engine optimization(SEO). Black hat is when you focus on the “gaming” of Google in order to manipulate search results by strategically stocking keywords and anchored links, writing articles, guest posting and making comments on popular blogs and other websites with the sole purpose of creating backlinks to your site. White hat SEO is when you create natural links back to your site simply by creating well written, good content, commenting and guest blogging because you actually have something to say. What I’ve discovered in my research is a bit discouraging. Apparently, Google works real hard to undermine the black hat bandits and often times, it’s at the expense of good sites with good content.
So let me get this straight. Robots are killing innocents because Google has not yet mastered human judgement in it’s algorithm? What chance have I got with this SEO stuff?
Google’s SEO guidelines are sort of like a dating experience I had when I was a teenager. There was this very attractive classmate of mine who pretty much kept to herself most of the time. I always thought it was kind of weird, but it didn’t matter because she was clearly out of my league.
(I won’t name her because she’s still around…and she hasn’t exactly aged gracefully.)
Anyway, this hot girl just decided one day that I was worthy of a date with her. I guess she was trying to make some other guy jealous or something or maybe she admired the very attentive and sensitive way I communicated with the girls who she and I both considered in my league. So somehow we ended up an item, and even for that short little while, I, Mr. Inconspicuous, the self professed “Invisible Man”, was for a short time accepted and even considered by some, “hot” by association. Things were great until I discovered why this gorgeous girl was alone most of the time. She was a bonafide Psycho who would show up at my house not speaking to me and somehow she expected me to know why. She wouldn’t provide any clues and the worse my desperate guesses of why she was angry were, the angrier she got. I put up with this treatment because again, she was WAY out of my league.
So what if Google’s the hot girl? I’m not saying Google’s nuttier as a fruitcake like the girl back in high school was, but what if I’m incapable of pleasing her? I have to consider for a minute that Google can’t actually be pleased. What if she’s finicky, hard to understand, and I spend a lot of time guessing wrong and being punished for it and never being awarded a spot on her coveted first page? I’m not completely convinced that Google is worth pursuing. Maybe a simpler course of SEO action would be to concentrate on Bing’s webmaster tool instead. I could use all I’ve learned about SEO for Google and focus those lessons solely on Bing. Who knows, maybe Bing and Yahoo will appreciate the attention, be grateful enough to respond and even rank my sites. And maybe, just maybe Google will see how attentive I am to the “average” search engines and appreciate me for my sensitivity. It’s probably not likely this course of action will work. After all, hot girls only truly fall for the invisible guys in movies, right?
I’ve come to a conclusion of what SEO strategy I will deploy. My strategy is to ignore SEO. It seems to be a bit of voodoo lately anyway. I’m not convinced anything works since the great Panda update. There’s not much evidence that I see. Besides, I would much rather become a better Blogger and internet marketer, build an audience one interested reader at a time and earn my way to good consistent traffic than to sell my soul to the Gods of those stupid robots. Wow, I feel much better now…. Thanks for listening!
Everyone has their own definition of success. To some, it’s only about money. To others it’s all about freedom to experience life on their own terms. My definition of success is having every opportunity to relentlessly pursue my passion for teaching. My interest in teaching is not limited to the traditional “classroom” approach. The way I see it, any time we’re sharing what we’ve learned with another person, we are, in essence, teaching.
Self development and preparation both play important roles in reaching my goal to teach. After all, you can’t teach what you haven’t yet learned. I consider myself reasonably focused. As a matter of fact, I once wrote an article about the importance of preparation and developing a plan of action before just leaping into something. If I could be so candid, I have a confession to make….
Hi, I’m Keith…and I’m a Leaper.(wow, that felt good.)
It just so happens that I don’t always practice what I preach. Case in point, I spent the last thirty or so days building four websites(including this one) without even the slightest consideration of a plan. Sure, I’m passionate about every single keyword that I pursued(although, because of said leap, my research was dead wrong) but I didn’t exactly take into account how in the world I was going to adequately provide content for four different websites. I am officially overwhelmed. I’ve decided to focus on this blog, which documents my growth in my understanding of the online business world, while occasionally writing quality content for my other sites.
As you can probably tell by now, I’m not a Writer. Not much of one anyway, so don’t be shocked by the misuse of the King’s English, crude sentence structure or punctuation that’s not quite up to today’s standards. Rest assured, I am currently looking to take a writing class to minimize the “cringe” factor in my posts. I happen to believe that you will forgive my literary shortcomings for now because of my passion and my willingness to lay it all out on the table for you to critique. I’m not at all nervous about that either because I am learning and therefore growing and growth is good. I have, however, come to the conclusion that it’s time to redefine my mission. It is my full intention to share with you what I know already and what I’ve recently learned, but only after I have a good understanding of the lessons I glean from my “Soft Mentors.”
What are “Soft Mentors”, you say? It’s the title I came up with to describe someone that I stalk(not really), study and hang onto every single word or thought that they share online. That doesn’t mean that I agree with everything they say, but I literally inhale all the content that feeds me because growth requires nourishment, right?
I have two such Mentors to date, sort of.
- Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com and
- pretty much everybody he’s interviewed on his podcast so far.
It’s been an interesting ride to this point. I have a LONG commute of two hours each way(yikes), so I listen to Pat and his guests discuss what a brand new Blogger has to do to get traffic, to optimize their site, to provide good content and basically to make the internet a better place. The challenge to me is to take the lessons from SPI’s first 50 episodes(that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far) and interpret them in “2014” speak. SEO is very different now, as is link building and some of the other lessons offered more than two years ago. I learned that the hard way.
I stumbled through building my niche site only to discover that I had mistaken Google Adwords Ad competition for search competition. I am now starting from scratch with a new keyword and I’ll build my next niche site using the lessons I learned from the experience of screwing up. The existing site I use as a great tool to develop other skills while I attempt to drive traffic to it.
Okay, so some time after my screw up, I’m listening to episode 49 of the Smart Passive Income podcast and I hear that guest Brendon Hufford of GiReviews.netis a reformed “Leaper.” He too, had acted before he fully understood and had cost himself Google ranking and precious traffic to his site. He was able to turn it around and build a pretty nice micro-niche business. To hear his recovery and subsequent success story encouraged me immensely. I had stumbled and made what I thought was a critical mistake, but I could recover from it because Brendon had. SpringcleaningHQ.com may not be lost after all.
I can not express to you what it means to be pursuing a different career path with NO knowledge and very little skill and yet be so optimistic about my future. I owe it all to my “Soft Mentors.” Here’s hoping someone will stalk me the same way one day….
Okay, so my initial approach to this project was to learn as much as I could and when I got a little bit of knowledge(and confidence), I would take a leap of faith. I challenged myself to build one of each of the sites that I’ve read about in the last month and the results are as follows:
1. www.SpringCleaningHQ.com, my niche site,
2. www.YourExtraHustle.com, my authority site,
3. www.JazzWithoutANet.com, my personal Blog,
4. and finally, this site to report it all.
Let me preface this report by saying that I can be a bit impulsive and some times it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. Consider this report a tale of having a result somewhere in the middle.
After reading a bit and watching a few Youtube videos, I thought I had an understanding of keywords. Needless to say, I did not. I made a pretty big mistake picking my niche site. My intent was to pick a keyword that was relevant to what I already knew with a high number of average monthly searches and low competition for results found. Instead, I used Google Adwords Keyword Planner and I mistakenly chose a keyword with low competition for Advertisers instead of results. I should have sought out keywords with HIGH competition for Advertisers. So, I stumbled right out of the gate. My site, which is dedicated to Spring Cleaning, has a few problems. It is woefully saddled by low advertising competition. It’s results competition on the first page of Google has an average page ranking of a 4, which puts me up against giants like Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens and Housekeeping magazine to name a few. Oh, and it was pointed out to me by a colleague in the Warrior forum that my keyword was not a selling keyword, which means that my niche is not exactly marketable to people looking to spend money. So, because of these blunders, my website is half niche, half authority site hybrid and all cautionary tale. Even still, I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish so far and I will continue to develop this site primarily by adding great content.
My actual authority site, designed around the concept of finding ways to make extra money, is coming along just great. Again, way too competitive keyword choices.(Yeah, I’m still trying to figure it out) I’ve added some pretty good content and I’m in the process of writing more articles to be featured on the site. I’m passionate about teaching people the importance of having a back up career, whether it’s to supplement their income, save for a specific financial goal or actually change careers, so I should be able to contribute a great deal to the site over time.
And finally, my personal blog about learning to play improvisational Jazz music is my pet project. It was created completely from html code, written exclusively by me. It’s basic, true enough, but I AM SO PROUD OF IT and I am learning the language of coding. Not bad for a newbie if I do say so myself.
Mistakes aside, I can feel myself growing and that’s very exciting to me. I have built and launched four distinct websites. I have added affiliate content, Adsense and my investment has been minimal. I’m also using three different hosting companies for these projects, just to be able to weigh the pros and cons of each. In the last 30 days, I’ve learned an awful lot about myself and it’s costs me very little money and time so far. Imagine just how better at this I will be at the end of the next thirty days.