This is more of a personal blog post on where I plan to move my focus and direction in 2013. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, as I wasn’t sure people would be interested in reading it.
The long and the short of it is this year I am going to be focusing a lot less on client work and back my own abilities to build up a handful of websites that can generate a “passive income”.
Of course there is never a truly “passive income” but what I aim to do is invest my time upfront to build websites that can generate an income which I can reinvest in to new projects.
Ever since I became a full time SEO consultant I have been working a lot of hours, and although I could put up my prices it’s a realisation that offering SEO services is never really a long term solution for my own personal goals.
I decided to work for myself so that I could spend more time with the family and a good man reminded me that kids spell love… T-I-M-E
I also found inspiration from this post from Hiten Shah:
In January, you get a lot of posts with tips about how to make the New Year awesome.
A lot of those posts are garbage. Really, they are.
If you’re actually practicing being a conscious and growth-focused entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be waiting for some socially acceptable milestone to inspire yourself to become better than you are.
You have to be continually igniting that flame from within, regardless of what the calendar date is.
So, how do you do that? By doing what scares you the most.
I’m serious. You see, usually, the “right” thing to do is the one action that really scares the s*** out of you.
Once you know what that is in terms of your business (or maybe your life), go do it.
And I don’t mean do it all half-assed and crazy–you’ve got to think before you act, spend a small amount of time planning, and then move on that plan right away.
Tips are good. But those ones that roll around every New Year just don’t help because they let your brain and your focus atrophy the rest of the year.
Resolve to scare yourself each day. This is way better than a new year’s resolution.
The thing is building my own sites and making them rank doesn’t scare me but cutting back on client work so that I can reap the benefits in a few months from now does, especially with 2 young kids to provide for. So there will be a few lean months in our household as I wait for a positive ROI on these projects, but then again the most exciting and lucrative gambles are the ones where we back ourselves.
I got into online marketing by running a couple of music blogs back in the hedonistic days of 2006. I then learnt about the magical and mystical world of SEO and how I could quickly build a website, throw up some content and get a few links and make some money via Adsense.
My addiction moved on to affiliate marketing, and paid search too, and then it got serious as I learnt about creating PHP scripts that offered up personalised landing pages which would pull in content from Yahoo images based on the keyword and I made sure that all these crappy pages were getting indexed, giving me more content and more search traffic.
At my peak I had over 120 websites – I was in a serious spiral of churn and burn… Find what works then scale it.
But these sites taught me more about online marketing than reading any blog or course would have ever done. I was A/B testing everything, I was learning how to make people move through a site, how can I get people to spend more, how can I get more people to link to me that can send me more traffic.
Change of Direction
After about 12 months a friend asked me to build him a website and rank it so he could get more sales for his business, then more friends asked me and more. I realised that I couldn’t just build spammy links for these people they weren’t as risk averse as I was and after all they had businesses that had other people depending upon them for a pay cheque every month.
So I began to do SEO properly – the nice friendly neighbourhood white hat way. I then found more and more businesses who needed online marketing consultancy and those businesses who didn’t believe in paying upfront for SEO I created lead generation sites and then sold them referrals.
Towards the end of 2010 I was getting jittery with my personal sites I knew Google were getting smarter and I received a very good offer for my portfolio from a local guy I knew who had been good enough to share some of his affiliate marketing secrets with me.
If I had held on to these sites I can tell you the four horsemen of the affiliate marketing apocalypse would have ridden in to town and by that I mean:
- Panda would have got them
- Penguin would have got them
- Parton would have got them
- EMD update would have got them
Some people may be shaking their heads but you know what I can guarantee there are hundreds of “white hat” SEO’s who had some sideline sites like these that brought in a little extra income for them to enjoy themselves at a weekend with.
So what’s that got to do with any of this Chris?
Well a lot of people still have the perception that to succeed in affiliate marketing you need to do it in a dirty way. But even though the very early days of my online marketing career were playing in this space I know that there are many affiliate marketers having a lot of success doing things the “right way”.
I want to show people, that you don’t have to build crappy sites to succeed. If you invest the time and money into building websites that people actually want to use you can make a decent income from them whatever your monetisation strategy.
I plan to chronicle my journey on this blog, it probably means there are going to be a few different types of post from time to time than you are used to. But hopefully I can give you real examples from what I am doing. All too often there is a lot theory in online marketing blogs but I plan to be able to share as much detail as possible with you from my projects.
I’ll keep this short as I have rambled on a bit but I plan to announce some of my projects very soon.