Having Our Passions, And Our Profits Too

Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:49 am

What's the point of working on the Net if we're not doing something we're truly interested in?

If you have a passion you'd love to make a living writing about, but you're not sure if it can work, maybe this will help?

My passion is nature. I've got a couple of nature hobby sites, that make about $20 per month, by the easiest possible method.

I never really took the sites seriously, because I thought nature just wasn't a very profitable niche. I was probably right.

Recently it DUH! dawned on me that if I had 100 times as much income from these sites, I'd have my passion AND my business, all wrapped up in a nice little package. I'd be doing what I love, and making a living at it. I'd be retired basically. Some of us are, um, slow to catch on...

100 times more traffic and income sounds like a lot.

But, when I constructed the hobby sites I paid no attention to SEO. I didn't get links. I haven't added content in ages. I used only the very easiest income method. I was just fooling around.

Can you make $20 a month with a site on some topic you really love? If yes, you can probably make $2000 too. Just keep doing the same thing until you get there.

If like me, you've picked a not very profitable niche, you'll have to work harder at it than others. You'll have to create lots more content, and get lots more links.

So what?

If we sincerely enjoy our topic, it's not really work, right?

How do we turn work in to an experience that doesn't feel like work? Find something we love, and marry it, commit to it. Go for it.

Thank you for reading my sermon to myself.
Publisher-For-You
 
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:35 am

Niche selection definitely plays a very important role in affiliate marketing success. It is one factor that can make or break your AM dream. So much attention should be given when selecting a niche. We can find a profitable niche if we research properly. We often become every emotional about the niche we select rather doing market research.
affgem
 
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Re: Having Our Passions, And Our Profits Too

Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:32 pm

Publisher-For-You wrote:Some of us are, um, slow to catch on...


This is so true, alot of people give up really fast when dealing with affiliate marketing, or the classic line of "growing your business" seems that the word "business" scares people because they are more interested in "get rich quick" which for almost all is impossible. And if you are doing somthing you really really enjoy, like for me...i've spent 2.5 years working and testing, I still have nothing...but i have a few projects in the works, and what I truly enjoy doing is testing and asking myself "will this make me that 5, 10 20 100 a month" if so ...great. Basically what im saying is, if your slow to catch on, and have only been trying for a year, you havn't tried nearly long enough.
cdeagazio
 
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Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:16 pm

And that's where this forum comes in.
In my opinion, the Associate Programs is by far one of the best places on line to learn the tricks of the trade.

When we all share information here we help to shave off the time and money it takes to begin profiting from marketing.

For anyone discovering this forum for the first time, I would have to say that spending several hours now going through the topics related to your marketing strategies will save you weeks of banging your head against the wall in the future.
igezeum
 
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Re: Having Our Passions, And Our Profits Too

Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:50 pm

Yep. The older I get, the more convinced I am that I shouldn't be wasting time doing things I don't enjoy.

Over the years, I've started quite a few sites that I abandoned because I became bored with them.

Publisher-For-You wrote:I never really took the sites seriously, because I thought nature just wasn't a very profitable niche. I was probably right.

Phil, if you'd like to post links to those sites in the Site Review section, forum members may like to do a little brainstorming to help you come up with ways to generate more revenue from them.

Let's see if we help you boost your income 100 times. That's a nice challenge. :)
AllanGardyne
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Re: Having Our Passions, And Our Profits Too

Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:17 pm

AllanGardyne wrote:Yep. The older I get, the more convinced I am that I shouldn't be wasting time doing things I don't enjoy.


Makes sense to me. Life is short.

What's interesting to me is the realization that I may be able to do exactly what I love online, _IF_ I love it enough.

This empowers me by moving the playing field from the Net marketplace, to the inside of my own head.

Here's a simple test to see if we're in a position to use this "do what we love" strategy.

Would we still create a site on our topic if there were no income opportunities? Would we still work at it enthusiastically over a period of time?

If we can honestly answer yes to these questions, we've probably got a shot. What could be better than getting paid for doing something we were going to do anyway for free?

Over the years, I've started quite a few sites that I abandoned because I became bored with them.


Hoo boy, me too, me too.

Phil, if you'd like to post links to those sites in the Site Review section, forum members may like to do a little brainstorming to help you come up with ways to generate more revenue from them.

Let's see if we help you boost your income 100 times. That's a nice challenge. :)


Hey, thanks Allan. I'd love your advice, and might finally be ready to listen to it. You are a patient fellow. :-) I have some concerns about making my site a story on a webmaster forum, but I'll work on that.

What I'm doing now is...

1) Finishing up a new CMS built around SEO principles explained in a book, The Master Plan by Charles Heflin.

2) I'm going to fold all the little sites in to one site that will reach for authority site status. I have too many projects, too many. Trimming the list so I can focus.

3) Before I did ANYTHING, my wife and I sat down and committed to getting 25 links a day for at least the next year. I've learned, the hard way, that's it's pointless to start a site until I know what the marketing strategy is.

100 times more profit. Do we love our topic enough to do 100 times more of it? About to find out here...
Publisher-For-You
 
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Re: Having Our Passions, And Our Profits Too

Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:57 am

Publisher-For-You wrote:Before I did ANYTHING, my wife and I sat down and committed to getting 25 links a day for at least the next year. I've learned, the hard way, that's it's pointless to start a site until I know what the marketing strategy is.

Wow! That's a fantastic goal. If you achieve that, it's hard to imagine how your site could fail.
AllanGardyne
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Re: Having Our Passions, And Our Profits Too

Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:04 pm

AllanGardyne wrote:Wow! That's a fantastic goal. If you achieve that, it's hard to imagine how your site could fail.


Yes, agreed. Well, it's the doing not the declaring that matters, so we'll see how well we stick to it. I'm writing that here, so somewhere down the road you'll ask me how it's going. Leveraging the power of embarrassment!

10,000 links in 400 days. Here's our plan, please add your advice as needed.

First, I've reached out to my wife, and interested her in helping me get links for this site.

I just told her the truth flat out, that I suck at getting links, and need her help. It was also very helpful to be able to point to a tiny real world success that already exists, and explain that we just need to do lots more of the very same thing we'd already done, for free, for fun.

Here's a benefit of picking a niche based on a topic we both love. I could have never pulled her in to a site about something more profitable but less interesting, to us.

What's great about link building is you can make use of almost any friend, family member or hired employee, even if they know pretty much nothing about web business.

We don't have kids ourselves, but it would be a cool story if somebody pulled their entire family in to a site building project. The family could work on the site _together_ for a few years (instead of TV?), and then move to Hawaii to become surf bums, or whatever their dream is. Wouldn't that be a great education for the kids?

So, in one conversation, I cut the number of links I have to get every day in half.

Right now we're building a list of relevant blogs and forums where we can leave comments and links. It's a very broad topic, so we're shooting for a couple hundred unique domains.

Once we have our list, I'll load it in to a little script thing, which allows us to check each domain off as we leave each link. When we've made our way to the bottom of the list, the list is refreshed and we start again.

Then, I have another little script thingy that will keep a record of how many links we get each day, and track the total against the overall goal. In other words, we can tell at a glance whether we are on schedule in regards to our goal of 10,000 links in 400 days.

All of the above script things could be done on a piece of paper just as well. I just like to code. The part that matters is having some kind of motivation feedback loop system.

As readers can easily see, none of the above is advanced. No fancy knowledge or tools required. There's nothing to buy.

Link building is a great example of how what really matters in publishing is inside our own heads, not out on the net somewhere.

Will we stick with it day by day, and actually get the 10,000 links and the success we seek? The level of success my wife and I have with this project will be based on our relationship to the content, and each other.

That's where the competitive edge we seek is found, inside of ourselves. Someday this industry will mature to the point where this is what we're talking about most of the time.

In our story here, we'll see what happens as the rubber meets the road. An authority no less than Google has declared me the world's leading authority on "how to get lots of links." (see other thread) :-)

Let's find out if those Google guys know their stuff.
Publisher-For-You
 
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Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:33 am

Blog comments and forums? As I understand it, the THEORY says that such a pattern would look a bit unnatural to the search engines and so you should seek a wider variety of link sources.

Long before you reach your target you'll be able to tell if your system is working.

It might be interesting to keep a track of how many of your links on blogs are nofollow links. I use an SEO Firefox extension which makes it very easy to tell with links on sites are nofollowed.

I'm NOT suggesting you get only "do follow" links, because doing so would create an unnatural pattern.

Anyway, if you create heaps and heaps of links yourself, and if your site is worth linking to you'll attract attention and voluntary links from a variety of sources, so you may not have to worry about creating an unnatural links pattern.

It would be interesting to check, say once a month, to see how many links Yahoo! says you have, compared with the number of links you say you have.

As you probably know, you can do that by doing the following search at Yahoo!

link:www.example.com

I wouldn't bother doing the same search at Google because it will show you only a sample of the links it knows about.
AllanGardyne
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Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:27 pm

AllanGardyne wrote:Blog comments and forums? As I understand it, the THEORY says that such a pattern would look a bit unnatural to the search engines and so you should seek a wider variety of link sources.


Great point Allan, thanks, agreed.

I've wondered if/when the engines would discount or discard links on forums and blogs, given how many of those "votes" are from the owner of the linked domain. If the engines simply tossed links in Wordpress comments and phpBB posts, that would have a big impact on a lot of people's plans.

I'm sure such links will show up in Yahoo's link count, and some direct traffic does result. Clear on that much. How blog comment and forum sig links affect SERP rankings, no idea.

I belong to a membership site whose main purpose is to launch viral content. The members vote each other's content up Digg and other social media sites, where they hope their content will attract interest, be picked up by reviewers, go viral etc.

It's an interesting indirect method of boosting rankings. But, it of course depends entirely on our ability to create content that will go viral. Not so easy.

As is normal, members of that site are spending lots of time talking about the tactics and tools, but nobody is much interested in discussing how to actually create viral content. Thus, so far I've read no reports of anyone who has actually gone viral. The site is still young, am keeping an eye on it.

I have another long term link and content strategy in the works that might interest some readers here. I've set the site up so it can offer free forum hosting for nature topics. With luck, in theory, a few years from now lots of other folks will be creating most of the content and links on my site. We'll see...

It might be interesting to keep a track of how many of your links on blogs are nofollow links. I use an SEO Firefox extension which makes it very easy to tell with links on sites are nofollowed.


Ok, great idea, I could use that. Could you mention the name of this extension again please?

I'm NOT suggesting you get only "do follow" links, because doing so would create an unnatural pattern.


Gotcha, good point. It seems the highest traffic sites are often nofollow, while the smaller sites are usually dofollow. Either kind of link is welcomed here. High traffic is good.

For me, the bottom line, the real deciding factor, will be just whether we stick with it or not. And a key factor in that is, do we actually enjoy participating in these communities?

So, Job #1 is, have fun! :-)

Anyway, if you create heaps and heaps of links yourself, and if your site is worth linking to you'll attract attention and voluntary links from a variety of sources, so you may not have to worry about creating an unnatural links pattern.


Yes, that's the outcome we should all be working towards.

It would be interesting to check, say once a month, to see how many links Yahoo! says you have, compared with the number of links you say you have.


Already set up to check that everyday. :-) I've done this before, and it does look like Yahoo will record all these comment links. The part I don't know is, how do they use them in rankings calculations?

Thanks as always for the dialog Allan. Having you looking over our shoulder from time to time is most welcomed and appreciated.

Dear readers, if you're following this thread, please don't let all the little details distract you from the big picture.

The strategy we're trying here is to have so much fun building our site that we will naturally work on it relentlessly, compulsively, day after day, month after month, year after year.

What's fun, really fun, for you?
Publisher-For-You
 
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Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:43 pm

Publisher-For-You wrote:I belong to a membership site whose main purpose is to launch viral content. The members vote each other's content up Digg and other social media sites, where they hope their content will attract interest, be picked up by reviewers, go viral etc.

If I owned Digg, I'd join such groups.

If I were setting up such a group, I'd be trying hard to keep out of the limelight and to work really hard on attracting only members who could be relied on to create content that was worth linking to.

Thus, so far I've read no reports of anyone who has actually gone viral.

If you succeed, I'd love to read about it. Humorous stuff is often passed around. I've often thought I ought to hire a few clever students to create humorous stuff.

I've set the site up so it can offer free forum hosting for nature topics. With luck, in theory, a few years from now lots of other folks will be creating most of the content and links on my site.

It should work - just a matter of reaching the critical tipping point.

Ok, great idea, I could use that. Could you mention the name of this extension again please?

SEO For Firefox. http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/seo-for-firefox.html

...it does look like Yahoo will record all these comment links. The part I don't know is, how do they use them in rankings calculations?

Well, looking to the future... If you were a search engine engineer, how much importance would you place on links that SEO characters can race around the Internet getting? I think you'd try to invent some way of recognizing voluntary links. If so, the nearest you might come up with is recognizing links that are in the body of an article on sites that are related in subject matter.

If you've chosen a niche that SEO types usually ignore, that would nice.
AllanGardyne
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Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:02 am

To last longer in the game, one must match his interest with his program of choice as to ascertain that what he does is doing worthwhile. Some get bored with what they do and fall out, while others succumb at the first hint of failure. But in reality, those who have never failed, haven't tried something new.
geyser
 
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:57 am

Hi all, hope this finds you well.

Thought I'd drop by and offer an update to the thread.

Got my niche (nature) site off the ground, 200 pages or so. Traffic and income still modest as expected, no big story there, yet.

We gave forum and blog posting a serious try for a month. Was a learning experience, here's a few conclusions.

First, I'd fallen behind the times, and didn't realize how traumatized forum admins have been by spammers and hackers etc. Wow. Just getting in to many of the forums was kinda like applying for a job. I never did make it in to a number of forums, for various reasons.

Many of the forums, and almost all the blogs, use nofollow links. Thus, the SEO benefits seem limited. I guess the posting for SEO era is now pretty well over, as I'm sure was predicted by many.

Posting on blogs and forums does seem to generate a fairly significant, if temporary, boost in traffic.

And, posting is a good networking tool that can lead to productive marketing relationships.

And, you can learn a lot about your niche by seeing what others are doing. This might be the best reason to participate in communities.

And, meeting others with the same interests can be fun of course. Fun is good.

Temporary marketing solutions are not a great plan for me, so for promotion we're moving on from posting to a viral link building strategy.

So far, this looks to be much more promising. About 5,000 new links to our site in the past couple weeks.

As a result, I've raised our goal from getting 10,000 links, to 100,000 links.
If I want to survive in a niche like nature, I figure my only hope is to get really serious about links.

I'm actually finding link building a lot of fun now, for the first time in 13 years online. Who knew that could happen? Not me.

The next big milestone I'm shooting for is to get more backlinks than Allan. :-)

So, that's the new story line for the thread.

Can I out link one of the Net's best marketers? Will I be able to strut around in arrogant pompous victory? Or will I have to come back here later and suffer the humbling embarrassment of pathetic defeat?? Grab a big box of popcorn, pull up a chair, and stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion! :-)

If anybody wishes to follow this goofy story I've created to motivate my usually very lazy marketing self, you can do so by watching my link count in Yahoo's Site Explorer.

http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/se ... o=d&bwmf=s

As of today I have 1,200 links to my site, according to SiteExplorer. I need 20,000+ more to pull close to Allan.

Long way to go yet, it's back to work for me. Thanks for reading.
Publisher-For-You
 
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Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:21 am

Publisher-For-You wrote:The next big milestone I'm shooting for is to get more backlinks than Allan. :-)

I think I'd better get in early and admit defeat now.

With that new widget of yours, it looks as though you'll get people who put the widget on virtually every page of their site. Nice one!

By the way, if anyone is checking inlinks in Yahoo Site Explorer, make sure you use the main Yahoo Site Explorer, not for the example the New Zealand, Australian or Canadian versions, which in my experience all give different, smaller numbers. You wouldn't want to risk under-counting all Phil's links. :)
AllanGardyne
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Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:52 am

AllanGardyne wrote:I think I'd better get in early and admit defeat now.


Well, you're up against somebody who has long been the world's worst link builder, so you should be scared. :-)

But, I have a secret plan on how you can kick my butt. If you choose to, I'm completely sure you will. If I can just stay in the race, I'll be very happy.

With that new widget of yours, it looks as though you'll get people who put the widget on virtually every page of their site. Nice one!


Thanks, yes, that was a lucky insight. It happened very naturally. I coded this kind of feature for my own site, and after I'd looked at it on my own pages for a week, the larger lightbulb came on.

Now we'll see if I can turn that same lightbulb on in others. I've partnered with net veteran Will Bontrager on this one, and that's helping a lot. I'm really trying to escape "lone wolf syndrome" and my own personal limits, which are quite numerous.

You wouldn't want to risk under-counting all Phil's links. :)


Of course! If all this tacky bragging doesn't pan out, you'll want to be here later to see me have to eat this thread. :-)

Thanks for your interest Allan.
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