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Unsatisfied – un·sat·is·fied, ənˈsadəsˌfīd, (adjective). Def: 1. not satisfied.
Unsatisfied is the best word I can think of to describe the results I’ve been able to achieve as far as creating passive income online. Simply stated, per the definition of the word – I’m not satisfied. I get up at 5am almost every single day and work on my websites and try to grow and improve my internet income streams. But quite frankly – my income levels suck! I should be earning more. Much, much more.
So… I’m about to do something drastic! It’s time for me to make a change. A big change. I don’t really like what I’m about to announce. But it needs to be done. In order for me to reach the level of success that I know I’m capable of – I see no other way than to make this extreme and radical move.
Identifying the Problem
I’ve known all along what my problem is. But I’ve been functioning in a state of denial for a couple of years now. And the problem is really two-fold.
- First off – I’ve spread myself way too thin by trying to run and manage so many sites.
- Secondly – I try to show others, via this blog, how to create passive income online – but my own results are only mediocre.
Those are really just two of the main problems. There are several more. Such as: my perfectionism, my (perceived) need to be in control of everything, comparing myself to others and also my internet ADD. But they all trace back to and are rooted in one thing – my lack of focus.
Since I don’t do this internet marketing thing full-time – I have very limited hours that I can devote to my efforts. It’s very much just a side hustle for me. Which is why it is difficult for me to effectively manage several niche sites, this blog, and even a small network of PBN sites. The keyword in that last sentence is effectively. I’ve been managing it all – just not as effectively as I would like. I am not producing the results that I desire.
I’ve seen hints of success with several of my niche sites at different times. But that success always fizzles out as I constantly shift my focus from one site to another. Having a regular writer and virtual assistant who work for me each and every week have helped immensely. But my leadership is obviously lacking and I have not lead my team in the right direction that will ultimately lead to the success levels that I desire.
The entire premise of this blog has always been for it to be kind of a miniature, scaled back version of Pat Flynn’s popular Smart Passive Income site. Not a copycat – but obviously inspired by Pat’s success. Pat makes a little bit of money from several smaller projects (niche sites, etc.) and he makes a ton of money by teaching others how he does that via his blog, his podcast and his YouTube videos. Openness and transparency have been the key to Pat’s success.
I thought I could do the same on my blog on a smaller level. And I have been doing the same. But I haven’t experienced the growth yet that I was hoping for. And I know exactly why. Because my niche site income sucks! Consider the following points…
- you shouldn’t take financial advice from a broke person
- you wouldn’t take diet/fitness advice from a fat person
- you don’t tend to trust “make money online” advice from somebody who isn’t making a lot of money online themselves (me)
I know that a very large percentage of new visitors to my site end up looking at my income reports. They want to see how much money I am making. I understand that my credibility suffers as a result of my pathetic niche site income. I’m sure if I were posting mid 4 figures or even 5 figures per month in income – people would take notice and start to pay attention.
Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products or services on other sites are affiliate links and I get paid a commission if you purchase or sign up. Thanks in advance for your support.
Fixing The Problem
Since I have identified and known about the problem – my lack of focus – it’s time I do something about it. I need to focus. But what does that mean exactly? Focus on what?
I need to have ONE THING to focus on. Largely inspired by the book, The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan – I’ve decided to focus on just one thing. One website. That’s it!
I’m going to pick one website to work on and devote 100% FOCUS (Follow One Course Until Success) to that site only. I’m going to take all of the knowledge and skills that I’ve learned over the past couple of years and implement them on that one site. I’m not going to stop until I have satisfactory success.
John Lee Dumas is part of my inspiration for this radical move. JLD (as he calls himself) is currently raking in over $200k per month with his Entrepreneur On Fire podcast and other related ventures. He puts out a daily podcast where he interviews successful entrepreneurs. I listen quite often – and I hear him mention the FOCUS acronym ALL THE TIME. Over and over and over again. Follow One Course Until Success!
I purchased the audio version of the book, The ONE Thing – several months ago. I’ve listened to it twice and I’m in the middle of listening to it again for the third time. It’s THAT good. And it pretty much argues the case for focusing on ONE thing better than anything else I’ve ever come across. Not only that – but this book also highlights specific strategies and walks you through the process of getting and staying focused on just ONE THING. I highly recommend this book. Very highly.
These two sources serve as great inspiration in and of themselves. But my own failure to achieve is my biggest source of inspiration. I know I can do better and I need to prove it to myself.
What is My ONE THING Going To Be?
My complete and entire focus (my ONE THING) will be on ONE website – my latest niche site! For the next several months (or until success) I will be working solely on that one niche website. Nothing else. Until success.
What Will I Be Giving Up?
I wish I could say that this blog is going to be my focus – my one thing. I definitely enjoy writing on this blog more than anything else. They say you should find your passion and build a site around that and the money will follow. Create a resource around your favorite hobby or about whatever it is you do, that you enjoy, in your spare time. Well – creating websites and generating income online kind of is my hobby and my passion. I love doing this stuff. And that is mostly what this blog is all about.
But I’m not going to focus on this blog at all as part of this paradigm shift. Nope. In fact, I’m going to temporarily quit blogging on this site altogether until I reach the success that I am shooting for. With one exception – I will continue to publish monthly income reports minus all of the detail. Numbers only with a graph at the end and maybe some really short commentary. I am committed to publishing my income reports each and every month – so those will continue.
I also must commit myself to completely ignoring my other niche sites. I’m even considering selling off a few of them so that they can’t possibly distract me. Otherwise, my other sites can just sit and age and earn small amounts of passive income. I hereby declare that I will not put any effort or devote any time to any of my sites except my ONE niche website. Total FOCUS. 100%!
Specifically – What Will I Be Focusing On?
The particular site that I will be working on is already in place. And I’m super excited about the potential. I actually started work on this site last May. The site will be monetized primarily by promoting Amazon products. But it won’t be your typical Amazon product review website. Lots and lots of the content will be informational in nature.
I did extensive keyword research with Long Tail Pro and found well over 200 very low competition keywords with great overall search volumes. I downloaded my list of keywords and put them into a Google spreadsheet that both my writer and my VA have access to.
My writer and VA have been producing and publishing great content since June and there are already 59 published posts (as of the day I am writing this). Three or four posts per week are being published with very little involvement from me. And I gotta say – the quality of these posts is better than anything I’ve ever published on any of my previous sites. My writer, my VA and myself have got a great system down and we’re all on the same page as far as getting content produced and published.
So if my involvement isn’t needed in the content creation process – what will I be doing? What exactly will I be focusing on?
Site Design and User Experience
Some of my focus will be on continuously improving site design and user experience. The site is built on The Ultimate Azon WordPress Theme (my full review here) – so I will be easily creating product sliders, comparison tables and drag-n-drop tools and placing them all over the place. I will also continuously experiment with site colors, fonts, graphics, layouts and anything else that makes the user experience better and increases conversions for me.
Note: If you want to be able to easily create comparison tables, product sliders and drag-n-drop tools just like you can with The Ultimate Azon Theme, but you don’t want to switch themes – there is now a WordPress plugin available that lets you do just that! Take a look at WP ComPEAR.
Building an Email List
One of the first things I am going to do is start an email list for the site. Free organic traffic from search engines is great – but building an email list will be imperative to be able to reach a percentage of those visitors in the future. Plus, if you didn’t know already – making money with email lists has been proven to be very effective!
AWeber is my preferred email service provider. I’ve been using them to build and manage all of my email lists from the very beginning. What I do with my email lists isn’t very complicated. I simply collect emails. Subscribers will receive a series of automated ‘follow-up’ emails which I send at predetermined intervals. And I send out ‘broadcast’ emails whenever it makes sense. Aweber is easy to figure out and use, they are priced fairly and their customer service was exceptional the one or two times that I had to contact them.
LeadPages is the only instrument that I use these days to collect leads to add to my email lists. More specifically, I almost exclusively use LeadBoxes (one of the tools within LeadPages) along with the content upgrade strategy. This technique has been working wonderfully both on this blog and on one of my other niche sites. I see no reason to not continue using this strategy to build the new email list on my new niche site.
Also, I’m producing an awesome giveaway for the site which will entice visitors to give me their email addresses. The giveaway is being written right now – and will probably take the form of an eBook when it is all said and done. Again, I will be able to create really awesome lead capture pages and certain types of pop up boxes really easily with LeadPages in order to capture email addresses and deliver this giveaway.
Test, Experiment and Split-Test
Testing and experimenting will be one of my constant responsibilities for the site. Testing different colors and layouts for the site overall. Testing different comparison tools within the Ultimate Azon Theme to see which are converting the best. Testing different lead generation tools within LeadPages to see which ones convert the best. Which, by the way, A/B testing can’t possibly be any easier than it is within LeadPages.
Outreach for Site Promotion, Traffic and Backlinks
This is where I actually plan on spending MOST of my time for the first several months. After I get the email capture strategies in place and get the site looking how I want – I’ll need to start promoting and getting traffic. I plan to use some Facebook ads to get initial traffic. But I don’t have unlimited money to spend and there needs to be a positive return on investment (ROI) for that.
So – much of my effort will be focused on outreach. And much of what I will be implementing here, I learned from two main sources…
- RankXL – A large portion of the RankXL Niche Site Course is devoted to exactly this – using outreach for promotion and (more importantly) for getting backlinks. I’ve been experimenting with these strategies on one of my older sites with success. So I plan to go full out with outreach to promote this new site and get natural links on real sites which will boost my SEO efforts with almost zero chance of Google penalties.
- Ninja Outreach – This is a tool that I purchased to help speed up and partially automate the outreach process. Ninja Outreach is kind of a game-changer and is a perfect complement to everything taught in the RankXL course. Plus, after purchasing Ninja Outreach, I started receiving a sequence of automated emails which turns out were extremely helpful. I learned some really valuable lessons and got some great tips and tricks from those emails which completely changed how I approach outreach overall.
Bottom Line – the vast majority of my time will be spent promoting my site and getting white-hat backlinks through outreach. Ninja Outreach will be my main weapon of choice and I will be implementing much of what I learned in the RankXL course.
Find More Products to Promote
Much of the content that is being published on my site is based around specific keywords that I found using Long Tail Pro. But at the same time – I need to have products to feature and promote through my Amazon affiliate links. (All Amazon links easily inserted using AmaLinks Pro – no chance I would attempt inserting Amazon links on a WordPress site without this plugin). The particular niche that my site is being built around happens to quite vast. It’s about a very specific type of product – but there are tons and tons of different options and accessories available in this particular market.
I like to feature ONLY products on my site that have high star ratings (usually at least 4), have lots of reviews (usually at least 100) and that will pay me a decent commission (minimum $1). How do I find these products? With a tool called the Azon Product Inspector – which happens to be one of four tools included within AmaSuite. This tool makes it super easy to search through Amazon’s massive database of products by keywords and then filter the results based on any criteria that you want (like the ones I just mentioned).
Note: If you are considering purchasing AmaSuite yourself – make sure you use one of my links to access my exclusive discount ($100 off if you choose the pay in full option!).
Private Label a Product to Sell on Amazon FBA
This part won’t happen right away. But part of my long term plans for this site is to actually produce and sell a private label product to sell via Amazon FBA. The particular product is already featured on the site and I’ve already done some preliminary research. (By the way – this is what else the AmaSuite tools are built for – researching products to private label and sell via FBA). And I know this product will have a real chance to be a big winner.
First things first though. I need to get regular traffic and earnings from the site and monitor the sales for the product while I am promoting it as an affiliate. After I see how well it sells – then I will produce my own version of the product and get it up for sale through Amazon FBA. Having the website and email list already in place will make it super easy to promote my product and get reviews on Amazon.
Want Updates on My Progress?
Although I won’t be writing and publishing massive blog posts on Dumb Passive Income for this duration – I will have the ability to send out short updates to my email list. I might even start up a Facebook group where I can easily post updates. If I end up starting the Facebook group – I will notify my email list and update this post.
Are you on my email list yet? If not, simply click one of the buttons below and enter your email address. As a Thank You – I’ll send you one or both of my best giveaways. (If you want both – you’ll have to enter your email address twice – once in each box).
Update: those giveaways are deprecated – sorry.
What Is My End Goal?
When will I know I have reached success? When can I stop following this ONE course? Most importantly – when can I start blogging on Dumb Passive Income again?!
It’s hard to quantify exactly – but the number that keeps running through my head is $2,000. I think I can get this site earning $2,000 per month pretty easily – just from affiliate sales. But once I get to $2,000 – why stop there? The potential audience reach is SO great with this niche and there are SO many products that I can promote both on the site itself and via email – I think I can take this site far past $2,000 per month. Especially after I start selling a private label product via FBA. Once that gets rolling – $5,000 or even $10,000 per month shouldn’t be out of the question!
But – this will only be possible if I actually STAY FOCUSED! So what am I going to do?I'm going to keep on trucking during the day and FOCUS on my ONE Thing the rest of the time.Click To Tweet
Image Credit: “Sunrise 8-25-2015” by Raymond Shobe via Flickr
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He is the only known trucker who is blogging about creating passive income online. He is also the co-founder and co-creator of the most popular WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates – AmaLinks Pro.