I probably knew this a while ago but it just punched me in the face last night
Every Monday night, I meet-up with three other guys producing websites for my Master Mind Group Meeting. Each week, a different member is in the “hot seat” where he shares a problem or project he is currently working on. It was my turn last Monday. From time to time, I have a spark in my mind and the urge for creation haunts me down until I build a new site.
These urges have created sites such as my EMT resource. They are relatively small niche sites generating roughly $30 to $50 per month. I put about 25 hours of work on it and I’m getting 1 hour per month worth of my time back since then. It’s been a year, so I’m still short on this project. Not sure it’s the right way to do business though… Anyways, back to my Monday Master Mind Story:
My project of the week was one of those sparks resulting in another small niche site project. I had researched keywords using Market Samurai, built the site structures (topics, categories, etc) along with traffic and monetization strategies. The discussion went well until we hit the nail; my traffic and monetization strategies were obsolete.
I’ve been in this industry for too long I guess. Long enough to have experience, but so long as to get cozy in a single business model without looking outside of it. I have been using pretty much the same strategy for the past 6 years on most of my websites and this is probably killing my business.
I’m well diversified and the business model has been proven to be stable. However, I have lost the connection to the “new waves” and am realizing that I’m falling behind. Most people talk about link building, keyword research, web 2.0 properties and other SEO strategies. The trick is that everybody uses the same strategy and Google knows it.
So if you are starting your site today, all the reading you do and the courses you take won’t lead you to anything. It will definitely work over a short period of time but your site will crash and burn upon a Google update. Therefore, most link building strategy is probably useless over the long haul. It is useless because Google will sooner or later find your pattern and then, your site will be penalized. Their latest techniques were based on looking at an abnormal amount of exact keyword match use for anchor text. When you think about it, what are the odds that 200 links to your site all use the same 5 keywords? So much for link building, huh?
The traffic building techniques are changing and the monetization strategies have evolved as well. The no brainer ways were to optimize your adsense blocks, write a few affiliate reviews hope to make conversions. It is still working (I’m still making a lot of money with these techniques), but this is not where the money is.
Ahhh…. That’s a great question… which I don’t have a direct answer for yet! But this is what I’ll be working on in the next few weeks! I’m not out of resources for the moment and I’m already working on other ways to make money so far…
I’ve been repeating this for at least a year now: the money is in the list. The main reason why I focus so much on my newsletter strategy is because I can attach my reader to my site without the help of Google. My subscribers follow my blogs and will come back to read an article each time I send them an email. The key here is to catch as many readers as possible that come to my site through Google the first time.
This is another of my projects that will look like a “real business model” and a more classical way of making money. I still have the target to launch my membership website by the end of the year. It will be coupled with another investing book which I should finish in the next six weeks. Using Amazon has been a great strategy to boost our income in 2012 and we will continue on this route.
Instead of focusing on keyword research and link building strategies, I’ll try something completely different for my future sites: create an awesome user experience. This is how I can make sure my readers will come to my site, bookmark it, subscribe to my newsletter and follow my suggestions for affiliate programs. Instead of trying to make a quick buck from Adsense and have visitors leave as soon as they come in, I will try to make them stick around and read 3, 4, 5 pages of my sites and have them take an action. I’m not reinventing the wheel here but I think the future of making money online will go there.
Another important point is to use search engines other than Google. Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Podcasts are all ways to generate traffic towards a site that are independent of your keyword ranking abilities. We got our mic and software to do screen captures so we should be entering into the production phase shortly.
I’ll probably start with a 5 minute market review podcast for my investing sites. Since I follow the markets with passion, it won’t be hard to produced a 5 minute show weekly! I hope to build my brand and gather more loyal readers that way.
So this is where I’m standing at right now. I don’t have a clear answer nor a clear strategy but I’ll be working on my structure first and then, implement different things. What are you doing different now for your sites? Have you used any of these strategies yet?
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