by Toniy
14 replies
Hey there Guys and Girls,

Toniy here, hope the weekend's been a joyful one for everyone

I have a question.

Essentially, the idea of a passive income is becoming more and more appealling to me (I'm currently a service provider, which essentially means I'm constantly on the hunt for clients).

I love the work, but not knowing where the next paycheque (yep, 'cheque') is coming from can be kind of a downer at times.

Anyway... being a writer and generally fun guy to be around, I have an idea for what I suppose would be best described as a blog.

The knowledge / information would generally be stuff that isn't covered in the mainstream (but is incredibly useful) and it would be very entertaining to read... again, because I'm such a fun guy

Trouble is... The market I'd be entering seems to be extremely competitive.

The standard traffic method is obviously SEO. But I think there's probably a snowball's chance in hell of ranking high.

So is the idea dead in the water, or could there be hope?


I'd love to hear any suggestions and insights, you'd have my infinite gratitude in return

Any more info you need, I'll be glad to provide.

All the very best guys,

Toniy
#idea
  • Profile picture of the author Dadelius
    If you love the idea, go for it.

    If you can tie in user generated content with your idea you could turn it into a great source of passive (advertising) income. If you love to write though, then you should do it either way.
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  • Profile picture of the author gamzu
    Hi Toniy,

    When you say that the obvious source of traffic would be SEO and that there is a snoballs chance in hell of getting traffic - I really have to question your nieche.

    If your nieche is overrun and your information is fun and useful but not really life changing, then it sounds to me like it ain't too great to focus on.

    Good luck in any case....
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian McMullan
    Toniy

    A good start is to have a good product idea, but the first thing you need before you start is to see who you are going to sell to first. Find a market that is hungry for specific information or answers to problems then create something to sell to them.
    This stacks the deck in your favour. It will not guarantee you success but it will certainly put you on the right foot to get started.

    Too many people(me included when i started) created something I thought was a whopper of a product and sat down and wondered who I could sell it to.
    Hope this helps

    Ian
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    There are many other ways to get traffic to your site other than SEO and Google. Try to rank high in Bing and Yahoo. Seek out other free and paid marketing strategies that can truly build your business. Trust me i would know.
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  • Profile picture of the author Exel
    SEO is appealing because of the passive income, but the downside is that you depend
    on many things you can't control, also if you say that the competition is huge, it might
    take forever to rank your site high.
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    • Profile picture of the author tylerherman
      Popular niches sometimes have other ways of gaining lots of traffic aside from search engines. Social media, social sharing, forums, guest posts all can provide a significant amount if you put in the time. Not what the top sites are getting but a big enough piece to make a little cash. If you say you can't get a rank in the niche consider those options.

      If you really enjoy writing why not find another niche you enjoy. There can't be only one thing you know about.
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  • Profile picture of the author theebookcavern
    Hey Toniy,

    If traffic is the only issue and you know you can monetise it provided you get the traffic, I'd just go for it. Get the blog up, write a few posts and see what happens. You might be surprised at the results you get. I've had a few of the articles on my fitness blog rank very highly for competitive keywords on Google with no expectations. Sometimes articles perform a lot better than you expect without doing any offsite SEO on them.

    However, Exel makes a very good point - you are relying on a lot of things you can't control. Google can change the rules at any time and your traffic can go from lots to virtually nothing if they do an update. So whilst, I'd definitely give it a go I'd make it one of many projects. There's too much out of your hands for it to be solely relied upon.

    Hope this helps,

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author A P Geofrey
    If you love the idea, and as you say you are a fun guy and are having fun sharing it with the world wide web, then I think that is the best thing about it. All the others such as passive income and .... comes after for me though
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Go for it! And even if it doesn't turn out the way you planned you'll learn a lot you can use later down the line. I wrote the stuff below last week in a thread where a guy was looking for a way to break into a competitive niche.

    Since then I've posted it another time for a similar thread. Third time is a charm. You can ignore the stuff about finding something you like since you already have that part down. The rest, especially # 3 is the plan.

    1. Find something you like and you know about. Yes, you can find a profitable market or niche and try to cash it. But if you don't actually enjoy what you're doing failure often comes quickly. Trust me on this. People who know how to push cash buttons in markets outside of their field of expertise most often leaned what buttons to push working at something they both understood going in and enjoyed working it. If you get this part right the rest is simple.

    2. Identify a product or service based on what you know about the market. This is why #1 is so important. Another reason is, if you know about a market it's likely you can relate to your buyers. That means you understand their hopes, dreams, desires and what makes them tick. With this understanding you'll know how to position yourself to serve them.

    3. Create a community around your market. Set up a Blog. Add great content to it often. Get guest posters to post. Put up a link partner page and trade links with others. Go to article directories and get the best articles you can find on your niche and post them, giving the author credit. Be mindful of keywords and the whole SEO trip but DO NOT be a slave to it. Go to Youtube and find videos that fit your niche and ask the video creator if you can use his or her video, then give that person credit and maybe a link. Write relevant and objective reviews on stuff in your market. And of course, while you're creating this community, be building a list.

    4. If you do the stuff in #3 you're going to start seeing a lot of traffic and should be getting a lot of signups to your list. Once you've built trust, start offering affiliate products or creating your own stuff and offer it to your list. That's it. It takes some time to set this up but once it's going it snowballs really fast.

    The whole trick to marketing is providing value. The mistake most people make is they try to start selling on day one before anyone knows or trusts them. Build a community with great resources for your visitors and the sales will naturally follow.
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    • Profile picture of the author Toniy
      Hey fellas,

      Apologies for the delay, got caught up in what not and such...

      Dadelius - That's exactly what I was hoping to hear man, thanks. The more I think about it, the more content I come up with, the more ideas for connecting with users / site visitors etc. I come up with / learn about. Cheers!

      gamzu - I understand man, it didn't exactly give a hopeful overtone to that post did I? :p The information itself, could certainly be life changing. In fact it has been for me, and I know it would be for many others. My talent would be to communicate that information in a way others could use, and would want to use. Appreciate the good luck, cheers!

      Ian McMullan - Nice insight Ian, thanks! I actually had a product idea almost the same time I had the idea for the blog. In recent days it seems like I might have a way to tie the two together quite nicely. Good to know I'm on the right track though!

      Randall Magwood - Hey Randall, once again man that's the kind of thing I was hoping to hear. Again I haven't delved into practical IM for a long time, only enough really for me to be able to do my work well you know? Good shout though, I'm on it!

      Exel - Yeah that's what I was thinking, big, sexy passive incomes The competition is huge in the macro market, but as you bore down a little, turns out there are still some opportunities (I'll go into that at the end of the post...)

      thebookcavern - Thanks man, advice that's both hopeful AND realistic It seems to me that Google's looking more and more at the value of the content. For example if you can whack together 100 good posts, have them drip release on the blog over the course of a few days, it's going to like it and it'll reward it. A little on-page SEO goes a long way here... And you seem to have run into the same kind of thing with your blog (congrats by the way!). But I'll go for it.

      tylerherman - Yeah man, the more I look into blog marketing, the less I see focused direcly on traditional SEO. Or at least, the other techniques used outside of SEO give you a boost in traffic regardless, but that in turn tends to increase your long term googley ranks And you're right, I could happily write about several topics... They're just all topics that are intensely competitive... At least without a little further research...

      Social App Zone - And THAT good sir is exactly, word-for-word what I was hoping to see Gives me a lot of hope there... I always assumed the social scene would be (one of) the most effective way(s) to promote a blog, considering the nature of blogging. But back then, no one seemed to agree! Looks like it's time to revisit...

      Justin Stowe - We're basically talking about the concept of treating it more like a business than a hobby, right? Which is totally correct. Writing the content would be the fun part... The marketing is what makes it 'work' and the thing that's sets a successful blog apart from everyone's mom's blog I think I can hit those two points nicely, cheers!

      A P Geofrey - Well... I am a fun guy :p And I like what you're saying. It's a principle that seems to help a lot of people out actually. Let the money focus drift out of mind for a little while and just focus on putting as much of yourself into creating something valuable instead... at least until things start to pick up!

      travlinguy - Hey buddy, thanks for the detail and encouragement Agree totally on getting involved only in something you enjoy. Hell it's the same reason I've had 10 different jobs in about as many years... I didn't enjoy them enough. Same reason I don't involve myself in the 'hats for pets' niche... I don't give a damn!

      Point 2 is very profound and rings very true also. I had a product in mind beforehand, because it's the product I wish I had probably as much as 5 years ago. It also seems to be severely lacking even in today's market. The information CAN be found, but it's not always easy.

      Point 3 is gold. I really like this man, thanks so much. It's unlikely I'll ever run out of ideas for content there... and even better, I'll enjoy doing all of that stuff Point 4, awesome.

      I agree... value trumps everything for a long-lasting, sustainable business. Nicely done sir.




      NOW A STORY / UPDATE - Here's what I suppose you'd call a 'damaging admission'. It's going to make me look like an absolute fool, ignorant mofo, dickhead... any one of those things. Could it damage my credibility as a serious marketer?

      Yep.

      Will it be hilarious for you to read.

      Perhaps.

      So about a year ago I set up a blog in a niche I was very happy working in, and knew plenty about.

      But when I did my keyword research, I didn't use [exact] match and obviously ended up with wildly optimistic search volumes!

      So I ploughed ahead anyway, threw a load of posts up, had them release every 2-3 days or so over the course of a few months.

      I didn't put any advertising up, no monetization whatsoever in the hopes of hitting the 'value first' angle and went with it.

      I didn't backlink, I didn't guest post, I didn't market at all.

      But I got up to #2 in Google for the keyword phrase I was targetting. All I had was continuous content and an exact match domain name.

      I had a few decent free WP plugins to help along the way I guess, but that's it.

      I installed google analytics, checked the traffic after I realised I'd hit #2 and was pretty shocked with what I found.

      2 visitors in 2 months.

      And with that, I decided '**** this' and moved onto other projects.

      Recently however, the domain for that site expired. I was still at #2 so I decided to figure out why the hell I was only getting 1 visitor to the site each month if I was lucky. Also, not from English speaking countries, but whatever.

      I did an [exact] match for the keyword phrase... 6,000+ searches per month.

      I looked at analytics... 2 visitors.

      So I asked a friend of mine, who's more in the know about these things than I am, about it.

      He said "Yeah that's pretty nuts... Have you checked CPanel in your hosting?"

      I said "........ What?"

      He said "Yeah."

      I said "... I can do that?"

      He said "Yeah."

      So off I go to the CPanel I hadn't seen in about 6 months and found the traffic thingy.

      .................
      .................
      ................. 10,000 visitors per month for 3 months.

      ................. 6,000+ visitors per month for almost a year.


      I had a nervous breakdown for about an hour, renewed the domain and I'm now waiting for that bad boy to get up and running again.

      I think I'll revamp the whole thing, keep the content, adjust the appearance to make it more user friendly and professional looking... and FINALLY monetize it.

      But christ, talk about embarrassing, right?

      Anyway gents, thanks so much for your input. Your insights and advice are going to be really useful when I go for #1
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
    I think everyone makes that exact/broad mistake at the start of their ventures. I know I did.

    You want to look into why your analytics was only showing you 2 visits per month. Make sure it's installed correctly etc. I've found Cpanel analytics can be over-optimistic in as much as they count all sorts of bots/spiders and what-not as legit "Visitors". Where as counters that you install on you site tend recognise them and to ignore them. I might be wrong there, but it's worth double checking.

    Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    Thanks FreeMeal, glad I'm not alone!

    I've been tempted to look into why Analytics ****ed me over, but I'll save that for when I've got time to focus on it.

    At the moment Google's still showing my search result as 'This domain is parked'... hopefully that'll change soon as I'm only getting half the visitors as per usual.

    I checked the detailed traffic reports in CPanel and while it seems to total bots and people and all that, it also seems to separate them as well... which is good going considering there's still a few thousand showing
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