Back from hiding guys. I know I said I would post more often, but I’ve been keeping my head down, working on new projects. Here’s a nice long post to break in the new years.
It’s a new year and it’s time for one of those self reflection and “what I learned” and “what I will do” sort of posts.
So I’ve been doing Internet Marketing for a bit over a year now. Last October, I created my first “niche” website. Since then my empire has expanded into the hundreds (I probably have thousands of properties when we count web 2.0’s). Not bad for a year. I started out making about 100 bucks a month after the first month. Since then, I’ve been able to quite my job and become a full time Internet Marketer (3 months ago).
I’ve learned a lot, had a lot of failures, but also met with success too.
Here’s some of the key things I’ve learned over the year.
1. Don’t trust the Google keyword tool
The Google keyword is not complete accurate. It’s sometimes way way way off. In terms of looking at the exact searches, take 50-75% of the total number you see – that’s what you are likely to work with. Remember, even at #1, you will never get all the searches. It’s my experience that you can bank on maybe 50-75 percent of the exact search you see, then count on getting 20-30% of those at number one. There are a few tricks you can do to increase the visitor counts I can talk about as well, but let’s save that for another post.
2. Create Lots and Lots of Sites
I’ve talked a lot about this being my current strategy. I want to be careful and say that this is certainly not the only strategy. You can make good money one fewer sites with more content and backlinks, or a single authority site in a competitive niche. The model that I’m trying to master right now is the adsense mini site. I’m also juggling a few authority sites, but I’m finding myself unable to do any backlink work because I don’t have the time. I’m going to have to go back to the authority site model in 6 months when I’m done with my mini site spree. I have one authority site that’s made almost 1000 bucks during December, for example. There are people with 10k a month authority sites (or more) out there too.
3. Diversify your income streams, niches and types of sites
I’ve talked a lot about this and for good reason. You need to protect your own ass. Don’t be a slave to any one model of making money. My suggestion is to build up a full time income (I consider this to be 3k USD a month, but you can “get by on 1500-2000, though you will be counting coupons) with each revenue source. You can try and diversify right away, but I personally find this just leaves you floundering around. Pick a way to make money, master it, and move to the next.
4. Adsense and Holidays don’t like each other
Adsense, especially in those niches that people are prone to visit while sitting at work, bored out of their mind, goes way the fuck down during any sort of holiday. My adsense took a trashing for the last 8 days of December. All holidays will see you with a decline in your Adsense earnings, so don’t panic. Weekends, especially for some niches, also tend to go down 30-50%. You can reduce this by diversifying into different niches – some do better on weekends and holidays than others.
5. Make your own damn sites, you are the master of your own ‘domain’
Web 2.0 sites like hubpages and infobarrel are a great way to make some quicker(er) money, but you have to split your earnings and you are always under the control of someone else. If these sites fall prey to spammers, the entire domain may get slapped by google. You also need to treat each “page” you create on one of these sites like a website and do basic run of backlinking. If you don’t, be prepared to see your earnings drop.
Backlinks, at least with Google’s current algorithm, are what prevent erosion of your search engine rankings.
6. Keyword research is king – If you fail at this, you will fail to make money
If you are working your ass off trying to make money online and failing, you are either doing one of two things wrong: your keyword research is crap or you aren’t getting backlinks. Fix one or both and you will make money.
7. Backlink every property you have
Support your support’s support sites. Bit of a tongue twister, eh? If you create a hubpage, infobarrel, squidoo, ezine, or whatever, try to at least send a few crappy backlinks to these. A web property with 0 backlinks gives very little juice. Add just a handful of easy backlinks to your property, and in time (especially if we are taking about a web 2.0 with some domain authority to start with), that little property can give a good shot of link juice. If you have dozens or a hundred backlinks that are backlinked, you may find you yourself sitting and staying high on the front page of google.
You’ll be surprised at how much money you can make by leaving the beaten internet marketing path. Try new things. You may fail, but hey, you might stumble on something new. I’ve made most of my money by trying things people haven’t. Remember, even failed sites are valuable because they can be used as link farms.
9. Network. The more friends online you have, the more success you may find. People in the MMO niche are generally pretty helpful, minus those trying to sell you products.
10. PR doesn’t matter
PR and search engine ranking are becoming less and less related. PR *can* indicate how easy it is to break into a niche, but it’s not always bang on and sometimes PR is way off. You need to look at other variables too.
11. Full time marketing does not equal full time work
I learned this one the hard way. Just because you quit your job to work as a full time marketer, it’s not easy to get work done when you have all this free time. You actually have to treat your job like you have a boss looking over your shoulder. It took me a full month and a week to get back into the groove of pushing myself to work.
12. Prepare for Christmas
I, regrettably, didn’t have a network in place for the Christmas shopping. I won’t make the same mistake next year — I think I’ll drop everything next August to prepare for the November/December shoppers. You can seriously make a year’s income in 2 months if you do it right.
Since every other make money online site out there is setting a New Years resolution, here’s my Top 5 Internet Marketing goals for the next year.
1. Make 20-30k a month. I still have some work to do here, but I think 20k a year is realistic. I’m going to work my ass off to make this a reality.
2. Set up 3 solid authority sites
3. Diversify into Amazon and EBay. Aim for 3k a month with each revenue type
4. Actually SEO this Make Money Online blog. I’ve done 0 SEO for this site. But, I’d like to actually spend some time trying to rank this site for some competitive Make Money Online terms – if only to help cut through most of the shit out there.
5. Start promoting Hairy Midget Thongs – I’ve been talking a lot about them, maybe I should start selling them?
Yet Another Homily About Making Money Online
The key to making money online is persistence. All about persistence. You try something, it doesn’t work. You try something else, it doesn’t work. You try something else it doesn’t work. You try something else, it works. Bingo, repeat this 100 times and you can quite your day job.
I’ll tell you something – the only way you can fail to make money with organic search engine marketing is failing to really try. I guarantee if you continue to create new sites, get backlinks, and test different markets, you will make money. The problem people seem to have is that they don’t realize how much work you actually have to put into the process and that instant results don’t always happen.
Making money on the internet is not an instant process. It can take months to start to see the fruits your labour. But I will promise you one thing – it get’s easier. You learn what works and what doesn’t. You optimize what works and discard what doesn’t. And you start to make more and more money.
It’s easy to get lost in this business, especially with my current strategy of mass producing mini sites. If you are going to juggle a lot of different sites, you need to really have some concrete goals. I strongly suggest you set yourself daily goals – 5 articles a day, one site a day, 10 backlinks a day, or whatever you feel you can REALISTICALLY set each day. And stick to this schedule. And for fucks sake, stick to it. Hand your kids to your hubby for a few hours, spend time working online rather than watching whatever crap passes as TV these days. Give up that Xbox 720 or whatever new video game system you got for Christmas. The point is, start spending time working online. For some people, you might have to sacrifice something, but anything valuable in life always has a cost. If you aren’t willing to pay the cost, don’t expect to get it.
I’m not trying to become the Internet Marketing version of Toney Robbins here with all this hurrah hurrah “I can fly if I put my mind to it” talk. But there is something to be said about your state of mind.
I’ve found that making money online is a MENTAL exercise. You need to have the right state of mind to achieve anything because you are putting yourself out on a limb, taking a risk trying to commit to this pie-in-the-sky model of making money.
It’s not easy to spend hours every day, hoping that at some indefinite point in time, you will make some money. It’s not easy explaining to wife, husband, uncle, aunt, or friend-at-McDonalds that you are spending hours every day trying to make money online.
We probably all have that Uncle who’s trying the next easy way of making fast money. I have one and every week he’s trying some new Amway scam, telling everyone within ear shot how much money his new business idea will be making.
But you know what, Internet Marketing is not some sell-bullshit-to-desperate people kind of thing – you can make money. And the proof is in the pudding when you can show those nice checks.
Guys, I can’t stress this enough. You need to try different ways of making money. Play with different revenue streams, play with different niches, play with different types of sites, play with different themes, play with different layouts, etc.
Test, track, test, track, optimize. A lot of people just want to put up a site and leave it in perpetuity, but this is a good way to leave money on the table. I like to set up a site and leave it for a couple months. I think change things around for a few weeks/month and track the changes.
I also encourage you guys to branch outside of Adsense. Adsense is great for some niches, but suck ass for other niches. And in some cases, you can make a lot more money with affiliate marketing.
Making Money Online with Long Tail Keywords
I thought I’d talk a bit about long tails, you know – “how to buy a cheap hair midget thong” or “brown hairy midget thongs” or “hairy midget thongs for children”.
When targeting organic search engine traffic, a good deal of your search engine traffic can come from “untargeted” long tails. Now I’ve been creating lots of mini sites for months, tinkering with different strategies for getting traffic. One strategy I played around with was setting up sites to only score long tail traffic.
Does it work? Partly. For SOME niches, you can set up sites and get long tails, but with a brand new site with no backlinks, you likely won’t get more than 2-4 people a day (if that) in long tails. Older sites and sites with backlinks get more.
In the RIGHT situation, you can actually get more long tail traffic than your main keyword.
Long tail searches can really add up. I’ve got one site – an authority site – that gets 1200 or so visitors a day. I’d say I get about 500 or so people a day from unplanned “long tail” searches.
Now there seems to be a lot of confusion about long tail traffic. You only get long tail traffic, in significant quantities, by getting backlinks to your site – there more the better.
Here’s why. If you set up a new site that doesn’t rank high for any terms, you won’t get a lot of long tail traffic – 1-4 people a day at most, usually.
To get a decent amount of long tail traffic, you are going to have to build up some keyword authority for a niche. Let’s say I create a new blog “How to buy a Hairy Midget Thong.” If you just sit on it and forget about it, say goodbye to getting anything other than trickle traffic.
There is a strategy with trickle traffic that can still make you money – either with Adsense or Ebay, but you need hundreds of sites to really see something tangible.
If you want more than trickle traffic, you need to develop some keyword authority for some terms in your niche. Once you get some authority for some long tails, google also ranks you for other “unplanned” combinations that contain those longtails or related longtails. For authority sites that rank for dozens (or hundreds) of terms, the long tail traffic can be substantial. For a mini site that ranks for a single keyword, you might only pull out 10-20 people a day from long tails. For a mini site with no ranking, get used to a couple people a day at most from long tails.
My work has been frozen t he past 10 days, ever since Christmas has come up. I’m currently working with some more sniper sites in different niches. I’ve got plans to test out WordPress Mage – there is some real potential there to rake it in from thin affiliate sites. I have the software but I haven’t had any time. This month I want to see about getting 10-30 sites set up though. I’m also going to do an experiment with micro niche finder. I’m thinking about creating 50-100 sites with it and we can collectively track the results. This software has a very good reputation, so I’m going to see what I can do with it. I pretty sure I can put it to good use here. I do have some plans for doing 100-200 solid ebay sites, 100 solid Amazon snipers, and so on. But right now, I’m building adsense sites for the next 4-6 months. After that, I’ll switch all out to affiliate sites and see what I can do.
So there we go guys. It’s a new year. Set a goal for your productivity and get to work. The mountain of Make Money Online is tall, but it’s time to start scaling it. If you haven’t made money yet, this is your year.
Happy (Late) New Years. I’ll see if I can cough out a new post in a few days. I don’t want to make any promises though – it takes me some real time to create a post here. I need to have a couple, fuck-around posts where I don’t have to come up with something profound.
Now go Make Money Online.