It Seems Like Ages Since I Last Updated

Well, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve last updated this blog, but I’ve been busy (which is a good thing). I’ve actually done quite a few things lately:

- I purchased the SEO WSB software which I’ve been using to build up a couple larger content sites
- I’ve been using an great bit of software to help me write my articles (I can’t disclose too much about it…yet)
- I’ve actually altered my game plan a little bit as I actually started to develop my websites

This has paid off for me in more ways than just finances, but I’ll start with the finances first. The new site I just set up steadily brings in $2 per day in Adsense revenue alone (which is definitely a great accomplishment for its short life on the web so far), and my affiliate commissions are steadily increasing.

I haven’t met my challenge’s $100 per day goal as yet, but my sites are well on their way.

I mentioned that this project was about more than just money for me. In this short period of time, I’ve learned to look at the extended picture - i.e. the big picture. The sites that I’m starting today will ultimately end up paying for my retirement in a few years - yes, you heard me right…”few” years.

The more care and dedication you put into something, the more you will get out of it in the long run. Because of this, I’ve decided to put a great deal of care and dedication to each of the sites that I’m putting up on the web and all the content will be originally written by myself. I don’t mind spending the extra time now and delaying my gratification.

I remember a question that Aaron Wall asked a while back on his blog -I can’t remember his exact wording, but it was along the lines of - if you had to show your site to a Google representative, would you be embarrassed? That got me thinking, and to be quite honest - I want to be proud of every single site I put onto the web. I do that same courtesy for each of my clients, why wouldn’t I do the same for myself.

And just because your site is thought out and well crafted doesn’t mean it can’t be monetized ;) . That’s it for the quick update, now it’s back to work for a few more hours before I hit the sack. I’ll definitely try and keep everyone in the loop a little more often.

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Progress Report

It’s been a while since I actually updated you all on the progress of my $100 per day challenge and I apologize - things have been crazy busy for me.

So far, this is what I have done:

  • I came up with an idea (you need to be registered and logged in to view)
  • registered a brand new domain to test it out
  • I’ve created the template (about 3 hours)
  • created the About/Disclaimer/TOS pages (yes, they were necessary - 2 hours)
  • written 10 highly targeted articles
  • Submitted my link to 5 niche directories (no general directories for me)

I’ve actually broken a couple cardinal rules with this website:

  1. I registered a .info name instead of .com (it was cheaper, and since this was only a test site, I didn’t want to waste too much money if it bombed)
  2. It’s easy to remember, however, it’s longer than I would have liked
  3. It’s a super competitive niche - no little puny keywords for me LOL

My traffic is still pretty low, but I’m making some progress with it - In 7 days I’ve already earned:

  • $1.50 from AdSense
  • $15 from affiliate sales (I’ve only made one sale so far - but I foresee a whole lot more in the future)

Not too shabby if I do say so myself, I’ve already recouped the cost of domain registration ($2.88) and now I can work on turning this into a very profitable website.

And as for traffic generation, I know I said I’d tell you the moment I decided on something, so here’s the update. I found a program called Stealth Traffic Secrets and I took the plunge.

What was so convincing about this program which prompted me to sign up? It only cost $1 for the first month (hey, I said I was cheap) and I figure 30 days would be plenty of time for me to go through all the offerings on the website and see if it’s really worth the $7 per month thereafter.

I’m planning a full write up on Stealth Traffic Secrets once I’ve had a chance to go through it all and utilize some of the techniques to drive targeted traffic to my site.

So that’s it for me so far - I’ll update on my previous site plans later - I’m dead tired right now, so I apologize now if my post seems a little incoherent, I promise I’ll do better after I catch a nap.

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Time To Apply What You’ve Learned

Earlier, I talked about the importance of getting yourself educated. Now that I’ve finished reading (or well, semi-finished), it’s time to actually apply what I’ve learned to some real world examples.

Personally, this can be the scariest part because it will mark whether or not you experience success. But some times you just have to buck up and dive in feet first without questioning it. If you start questioning everything, you may run into analysis paralysis and we all know how dangerous that can be.

I’ve not had much time to work on my $100 per day project due to some prior obligations and some other issues, but I have managed to do something (and that’s always the biggest hurdle). I finished setting up one of my 3 pre-researched mini content sites.

I toyed with the idea of using WordPress as the content management system as Nadav suggested (a good suggestion by the way), however, I decided for what I wanted to accomplish - WordPress proved to have too steep a time requirement. What I wanted to accomplish was very simple and it was a wise decision, for me, to develop the website locally using a Dreamweaver template.

1. I have complete control of the layout. I know you can customize WP, but it would take more time to figure out the ins and outs of getting WP to look the way you want while still being fully functional - at least without learning PHP or hiring someone to do it for you. Remember, I’m cheap.

2. I have static pages. For this particular project, I’d rather have the static pages than having the pages generated on the fly.

Best advice: look closely at your project’s needs, then look at the tools at your disposal and then decide which would best fit your needs.

So, I know you’re all pretty anxious for some results so, here goes. Since my first project will be Adsense powered, I used some of the techniques found in the Adsense Secrets Revealed guide.

The site has been up for 2 days. I just checked my Adsense account this morning and boy was I blown away at what I saw! I have an average click through rate of 5.4% and I’m well on my way to earning back the domain registration fee of that website in less than a month :D .

The traffic came solely from the 3 link exchanges I did (I haven’t actually started marketing the site yet). I will be applying a few more changes to the site over the next week and I want to add at least 25 more pages of content and then I’ll start my traffic campaign (I haven’t found a book or program yet, but I’m hoping I will find one by then).

Total marketing cost so far: $0

A good education pays.

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First, We Learn

Since I am achieving my goals by utilizing some foreign techniques (to me, at least), I figured it was time for me to collect some reading material. I decided that I will not choose to learn “the hard way” - it’s kind of redundant, and if someone’s already done it for me, why in the world would I put myself through the same torture :D .

<sidenote>
When starting an online business, it’s a good idea to budget for business expenses such as learning materials, domain registration, hosting, and marketing costs.
</sidenote>

I mentioned earlier that I purchased Google Adsense Secrets Revealed: What Google Never Told You About Earning Money With AdSense and I highly recommend it.

I am very glad I own this book because it will help me in structuring my three content sites. A full review has been placed on my “neverending” to-do list.

I’ve also purchased James Martell’s 2005 Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook and I will be structuring my main content site based on it’s instruction.

It’s a fairly thick book and something I probably won’t get through in the next day or two, but I feel it will definitely help me in the long run. It’s one of those “long term business” plan type books (and it’s definitely good to have a long term business plan). I’ve also added a full review on my “neverending” to-do list.

Total business expense for learning materials so far: $246 (it may even be tax deductible - please consult your accountant because I’m not one).

Both of these books were pricey to me (if you haven’t already picked up on it, I’m very cheap). I did my research to see if I could get by without these two sources, I asked trusted friends and did some research on the authors. I weighed the pros and cons and realized, I will probably earn more and faster with these books than without.

While most of the information in these book can be found online with a lot (and I do mean a lot) of research, tracking, notation, & trial and error, I don’t have that kind of time.

My best advice, do what’s best for you to get you where you need to be. If you cannot afford the outlay for instruction right now, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and work a little harder.

My final education purchase will be regarding traffic generation. In order for the AdSense revenue to come pouring in, I will need quality traffic and quality rankings.

That’s all for now. I’ll update when I’ve found a suitable program for getting traffic.

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The Initial $100 per day Game Plan

Since I decided to take Nadav’s $100 per day challenge, I sat down and came up with a rough game plan and road map for achieving this goal.
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