Since the very beginning of the Internet, everybody has tried one way or another to make money online. Some have succeeded while most internet entrepreneurs got to the point where they had to sell the computer to pay the rent. In the past 5 years, blogging has become the buzz for for those who want to make money online. Throughout the years, I’ve experienced different blogging business models. Since several web enterprises turned out to be a total massacre while others were simply just a big nightmare, I thought of making an analogy with different horror movies:
This is the most common type of blog; the guy who has an opinion and wants to share it with the world. Just like everyone knows about the Exorcist, everybody knows someone who has a blog. The movie is a classic and respects some basics of a good horror movie;
– Talks about Demons (the ultimate form of evil)
– Include a little girl (what is more frightening that a little girl staring at you?)
– Has some gross scenes (remember when the head spins 360?)
Well the classic blog has its own basics:
– Written on a consistent basis
– Gives your opinion on several topics
– Interacts with readers and other bloggers
As The Exorcist was controversial, if you write on controversial topics, your chances of getting more attendance (read traffic) are improved.
Real Blog Examples: The Financial Blogger at First
I started TFB with the classic blog in mind. I had a voice and wanted people to hear it. Plain and simple. I scored my biggest success at first with my opinion on the controversial company Primerica and on my controversial way of investing; leveraging!
You may or may not like the Saw series. It was specialized in a very specific horror movie type: puzzles, mechanics and ultimate gore scenes. The thing with this movie is that if you like the first one, you will like the others. And you will really like them. Why? Because they keep serving the same sauce with different recipes. This is what a specialized blog does: it hits a specific topic and goes very deep into it.
Specialized blogs experience some great success as they are built on a certain level of authority. The author is known to be an expert in this domain and people are following him because they want to know everything he does regarding a specific topic. If you liked the first Saw (I did!), you were probably eager to see the next one and so on. However, if you can’t reinvent yourself, your specialized blog may end-up as Saw did: into a repetitive series of scenes (I mean, there are so many Saw movies and they all look the same!). If you want to play the specialized blog card, make sure to have a topic that evolves over time.
If you don’t want to hear about techno stocks, forget about IS. Same thing if you are not interested in dividends with DGB! These are very specialized blogs with a unique goal: share as much information and thoughts about a very specific topic.
Original but limited budget movie, limited number of (unknown) actors, simple stories with no possibilities of a sequel (well they shouldn’t have done it anyway!); this is what The Blair Witch Was All About. The Blair Witch Project was built around a very original concept that was used to the maximum; filming an amateur-like horror movie around a “true” story.
A niche website is very similar in many ways; it should be very specific, aimed at a smaller, well-defined audience and should not evolve over time. We are talking here about a relatively static type of website where you have one topic, get on top of it and cover all the angles. The major different between the niche website and the specialized website is the fact that the latter keeps being updated on a regular basis. The niche website should have a determined number of articles and topics. Your success depends on the very same thing as the Blair Witch Project; is the audience you targeted big enough and have you reached them?
These are my first 2 niche websites. They are still under construction and I have a lot of little things to tweak before starting another one. However, the number of articles is almost done with both of them and I definitely play the keyword games on both of them.
What is Resident Evil truly about? A cute girl, guns & blades and tons of zombies to kill. When you go see this movie, you don’t really care about the plot, you just want to see blood and cool stunts. It is usually a good money maker at the box office and doesn’t require much effort to write. This is what an all-in massacre blog is about.
These “cheap” types of blogs exist to get found by Google through SEO. Their content is not really interesting but they sure have a lot of keywords. You usually get sponsored posts, and other paid advertising all over the place. The goal is simple; put money in the owner’s pocket.
Some people have more than 100 sites and run them like zombie killers: they put adsense, get paid advertisers and fill the rest with other affiliate websites. There are tons of advertisers looking to create content just to include their links. Sometimes the content is good, sometimes, it’s far from being enjoyable!
Real Blog Example: Subprime Mortgage Plan
Yup, I do have a few all-in massacre blogs! Surprised? Well, it’s not a big part of my business and I don’t really like them either. They were born from the first steps of our company and they are still earning a few bucks here and there.
In my opinion, Freddy is the ultimate horror movie icon. For others it will be Mike Myers from Halloween and the younger readers will surely prefer Scream. Nonetheless, they are all iconic. They can’t die, they are bigger than their movies. You can recognize their mark easily (man I want that glove with those claws!) and you identify them by the way they do things (kill people in their nightmares!). Most importantly, these are very hard to create and when you have a icon horror movie character, you just hit the jackpot!
Brand Blogs are very hard to create and maintain. Famous bloggers like JD from Get Rich Slowly, John Chow or more recently Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income are well known in their niche and thinking that I will become the next one is almost like insulting them. Nonetheless, this is my goal with The Financial Blogger. Yet, I don’t have a real blog example to give from my own company but I want TFB to become MY brand. Something that will follow me for many years to come J. 2011 is a turning point for this blog and for my whole company. I’m already starting to feel the wind of change…
One thing to remember; You Don’t Want to End-up Mixing Models!
In all honesty, I know people (and I have experienced this myself) who have had success with all kinds of blogging business models. The key is to determine which model you want to create with your blog and stick to it.
Unfortunately, there is one huge mistake several people make; they mix more than one type and try to create a hybrid model. This is what happens when Freddy meets Mike Myers for example… a very bad movie!
And you, Which Horror Movie Does Your Blog Looks Like?
Comments: 4 Read More
I saw that on Mint and I thought of sharing this with you. It’s a great infographic on the decision to rent or buy a house. Enjoy!
Provided by Mint.comComments: 2 Read More
This week on the site I shared with you guys the only checklist you need for starting your own business. The piece was designed to simplify the whole process of starting a business. Another goal was to perhaps motivate those of you that have been on the edge of breaking out on your own. Check out the article and I look forward to your feedback.
It’s time for another Yakezie roundup:
1. What To Say Or Do If You’ve Been Unemployed For A While @ Financial Samurai.
2. Effective Habits That Have Helped Me Work Less & Get More Done @ The Extra Money Blog.
4. The Ultimate Guide To Sharing Your Passion @ Financially Poor.
5. Sustainability Tip #55: Keep a Cold One The Fridge @ Sustainable PF.
6. Canadian Discount Brokers @ Money Smarts Blog.
8. Reader Asks About Selling Home to Pay Off Debt @ PF By The Book.
9. youngandthrifty Net Worth Update: February 2011 @ Young and Thrifty.
10. Give Your Money a Purpose @ Frugal Confessions.
11. The Best Hotel Values in America, Volume I @ Control Your Cash.
12. How Instructional Design Can Help Bloggers Present Material for their Readers @ Delivery Away Debt.
13. Alberta Bakken @ Beating The Index.
14. Quick Tips To Insure A Smooth Transaction With The IRS @ Personal Finance Firewall.
15. Certified Financial Planner, Los Angeles @ Wealth Pilgrim.Comments: 6 Read More
As the summer approaches and the college semester ends people will be making some major changes in life. Some folks will move across the country. Some will start a new job. Some will move in with their significant other. Moving in with someone in your 20s is a major life decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I personally couldn’t imagine getting married or moving in with someone any time soon. For those of you that are moving in with your partner, this post is for you.
What to consider before moving in with someone?
You first need to decide if you as a couple will purchase a property or if you will start off by renting. Don’t take this decision lightly because it can have major implications if you end up buying a place and then break up a few months down the road (it happens). A friend of mine bought a condo with his girlfriend of two years. Everything was going well until they realized that they had different goals in life and ended up breaking up. This is where things got sticky. Selling a condo shortly after you’ve purchased it can cause a severe major loss for the moving that you need to spending on lawyers, closings costs, and taxes.
Renting is usually a safe bet when you first move in with someone that you’ve been dating for a short while. Well that’s unless you decide to be a little more traditional and choose to wait until marriage before moving in.
Will the higher income earner pay more for expenses? Will everything be split right down the middle 50/50. This is a discussion that you need to have before you move in together. Some important expenses to consider are:
My friend’s live-in girlfriend recently complained about not paying her half of the rent because of her individual subscriptions that are eating up her budget. What you do at this point is solely up to you since every relationship is unique.
What debt does each person bring to the table? Just because you’re moving in together it doesn’t mean that you’re getting married and sharing debt. With that being said debt is really important because it will affect the amount of extra money (disposable income) that the person has to play around with each month. Your girlfriend may want to go on a nice weekend getaway every month, while you’re stressing about paying off your student loans or credit card debt.
How will your finances work now that you live together? Will you give this person access to your banking information? These are sensitive topics that you need to approach respectfully so that you don’t end up sleeping on the couch. The idea that most financially conscious couples recommend is that you each have your own banking account, but you split a “household account” where you each put in money to pay for the household expenses.
I had a former girlfriend get upset with me when I wouldn’t share my pin number with her. Will you share your pin number with your girlfriend when she moves in?
Do you share financial goals as a couple? My friend moved in with his long term girlfriend without really discussing goals. He wants to own nice toys. She wants to save up for kids. Ooops. If you have similar goals (save up for a home) then you guys can work together as a couple to reach these goals. If you have individual goals then you’re going to have to figure out how this will impact your financial situation at the moment.
Moving in with the person that you’re dating can be very challenging, both emotionally and financially. If you cover your bases and discuss the sensitive topics now, you can save yourself lots of trouble down the line.
Do you guys have any interesting stories to share about moving in with someone?
(photo credit: Jessa BC)Comments: 2 Read More
Last Monday, I was telling you that I’m not quite sure how many websites I own. This unknown number will actually increase in the upcoming months as I intend to create several small money making machines also known as niche websites. My first project is called Home Security System Canada. This is obviously a site related to home security systems and I chose Canada for 2 reasons:
#1 it’s a market that I know and I am familiar with most home security system providers.
#2 it’s a smaller market than the US and therefore, it’s easier to rank for specific keywords.
So, today I’ll be telling you how I have created this niche website within a month. The site is not completely done yet but I really wanted to share my first experience while building it. In this first post, I’m going back to the very beginning of the creation of my Home Security System Review Site: How I used Market Samurai to build my first niche website.
To be honest, Market Samurai is an amazing software. However, it has one very big flaw; it is too flexible and it lets users spend countless hours on it! This article will explain how to use Market Samurai and find what you are looking for within a couple of hours.
Keywords Research; the Mother of All Income
If you are going to create niche websites, the most important thing you have to do is to do keyword research. It should not take too long if you follow some simple rules:
#1 GET MARKET SAMURAI
#2 GET STARTED WITH YOUR FIRST KEYWORD
Here’s the first screen you will see once you start Market Samurai:
Type in the keyword you want to start with and your new project will be created automatically. Then, go to the keywords section and enter your criteria:
In order to keep things simple, just select a minimum of 2 words up to a maximum of 10 words. Once Market Samurai has run the keyword research, you will get up to 800 results. In my experience, you usually get around 100 potential keywords so the research should not take too long.
#3 ANALYSE YOUR KEYWORDS
Once you are done with the research, next step is to click on “analyze keywords” at the bottom of the screen:
In the next screen, you must change the following setup for a quick and useful analysis:
First thing you change is the *SEOT*. This is the estimated number of visits you can get if you hit the first spot in google for this specific keyword. The goal is to get a “winner keyword” that will bring some visits. I usually use 50 as I am trying to keep the competition very low. Smaller keywords draw less attention. I don’t mind about creating a niche website getting 1,000 visits per month, I just want these people to click on my ads and generate income ;-).
Second point to change is the number of pages pointing towards this keyword. In order to play with the small guys, I use 80,000 to 100,000. While this is still a huge number, it is not much compared to important keywords (try to run a research about “stock” or “google” for fun 😉 ).
With only these 2 parameters, you will be left with a handful of keywords to analyze. You can actually use all of them but you need to pick one for your domain. This is when point #4 comes into play:
#4 ANALYZE THE COMPETITION
Within your original project, you now go to “SEO Competition” section:
After running the SEO competition, you will see a screen that will look like the following:
These are the top websites related to your original keywords. This chart will help you select the right keyword for your new niche website. As you can see, I was lucky as Home Security System Canada was not taken.
In order to quickly analyze this chart, you just look at the following column while keeping in mind that the color “red” is bad and the color “green” means low competition:
The point is obviously to find a “master keyword” that will be found throughout your site (in your site description, in your domain name, in your category, your headers, etc). So you want to make sure that you have some chance of being on the first page of Google in a short period of time (if not, you won’t get many visits; e.g. you won’t make much money!).
#5 GET YOUR DOMAIN NAME
That’s it! You now have your main keyword in mind and some “sub” keywords to use for future articles on your niche website. The last challenge of the day will be to go to Go Daddy and register your domain name. I use Go Daddy for all my domain names as it is much easier to manage a single account and their platform is very easy to use.
Ideally, you want to buy the exact same name as your keyword. In my case, I was lucky enough to find a nice combination of the keywords I was looking for with homesecuritysystemcanada.com. I wanted to plug “Home Security System Canada” in a single domain. One easy trick if you can’t find anything with your exact keyword is to use “HQ” at the end of your domain. Those are usually available ;-).
Additional note: as you can see, I didn’t take a “huge keyword”. However, I knew that home security was a good topics from a previous experience I had on another of my site. This is why I have decided to go ahead with this site. So far, I have made $41 in February (the site was created in January). So the technique seems to work well 😉
If you have any questions regarding keyword research with Market Samurai, just comment below, I’ll be happy to share more info ;-D
A TRICK TO BUY MARKET SAMURAI AT DISCOUNT!
Here’s quick trick to save a few bucks on Market Samurai. Register for the free version here and then, once it expires, you will receive a special offer to by Market Samurai at a discount price ;-).Comments: 16 Read More
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