Follow One Course Until Success

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Follow One Course Until Success

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.

Niche Sites

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.

This Blog

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.

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.

Inspired by…

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.

Keyword Research

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.

Get Long Tail Pro

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.

The Ultimate Azon Theme

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.

Check Out 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.

Try AWeber - First Month FREE

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.

Learn More About LeadPages

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.

RankXL Niche Site Course

  • 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.

Ninja Outreach - Free for 14 Days

Bottom Linethe 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 EasyAzon – 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).

AmaSuite - Exclusive Discount

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).

FREE Guide – Producing Content for Amazon Niche Sites

FREE Guide – How to Find (Retail) Items to Sell on Amazon

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

Follow One Course Until Success

Image Credit: “Sunrise 8-25-2015” by Raymond Shobe via Flickr

  • Great article Matt! I’m all for focusing and is the biggest reason I haven’t blogged on davenicosia.com over the past year. In the beginning of 2015 I vowed to FOCUS on one thing – Ultimate Azon Theme and since I have my online earnings have increased faster than ever.

    Now I’m switching focus to my new plugin WP ComPEAR for the next 6 – 12 months. My goal is to focus on just those two things until I can make a full time living, quit my job, and work for myself once and for all.

    Once WP CoMPEAR is going great and I reach full time status – I have plans in place to focus on a new business model and WordPress theme that will have many addons – and be my single business to focus on.

    My advice on the other sites? If you are REALLY going to focus as much as possible – sell them off now before they dip too much form lack of attention and use the extra $$ to grow your new focused website even more!

    • Great plans Dave. Obviously, you are a testament to the power of FOCUS. My hope is to be another testament after several months. Once I get this thing working – I’ll have some really great stuff to blog about on this blog. After my ONE site is successful – this blog will likely be my next ONE Thing. Can’t wait!

      Good advice on my other sites – except that they’re not even hardly worth selling at this point. I’ll just take the small amounts of passive income that are coming in from them and use that money to keep funding what I’m doing.

  • I think another good point for beginners – is that since you don’t even necessarily know what options for making money are out there, and which ones you like and are good at – it’s still a good idea to try out some different things. I would still recommend picking one website and monetization method and focusing on it for a while – but then if you’re not positive you love it try something else.

    Maybe focus on exploring many different options. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t test out many different methods and websites before I TRULY got focused.

    • Again Dave – good advice. We were all beginners at some point. And that is when it is hardest to stay focused. Because you don’t know what to focus on yet!

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  • Dave Starr

    A great strategy Matthew. By all means, follow through with it, I beleive it is certainly the way to go. Just throw us an update from time to time in an email. All the best.

    • Definitely Dave. Not being able to update on my blog is going to be tough for me. But I have to stay focused. I’ve kind of been wanting to start a Facebook group or page for Dumb Passive Income anyway – so this might be my perfect excuse to finally do that. And that would be a great place to post short updates. Regardless – I still plan to stay in touch with my email list.

      • Dave Starr

        Maybe it’s just because I’m an Old F*rt, or maybe because I am just a grouch (I’m guilty on both counts), but FaceBook is way too much of a time sink. You could easily do a weekly blog update for the time you’ll spend trying to keep a FB group or page updated. But hey, that’s just my (non-humble) opinion. Do what works for you.

        • Point taken Dave. And I know what you mean. The thing is – I’m part of a few private and public FB groups. I don’t let myself get caught ‘wasting’ time in them while on my computer. Almost all of my FB stuff is done via my phone during times that I’m not at my computer anyway.

  • I don’t have a lot to add, but wanted to say good luck, Matt. The prospect of focusing on one thing sounds exciting. I’ve actually started listening to that little voice in my head that tells me to stop chasing that new shiny thing and focus on what I want to accomplish. It’s given me new purpose, and I hope it does the same for you. Go get it!

    • Thanks a lot for the words of encouragement Brian! Those little voices in our heads are enough to drive us nuts – aren’t they?

  • Peter Tremayne

    Great post Matt, and very timely!
    I’m very much in the same window as you and really need to focus on one site instead of my many niche sites.
    I have a site in the mens grooming niche which brings in around $100 a month. Nothing great, but I know if I focussed purely on this one site instead of messing about with so many others, I could build it up to a $2000+/month site.
    Going to get that The One Thing audio book too!
    Here’s to focus!! 🙂
    Peter

    • To focus!! Cheers! (as I raise my imaginary glass) It actually feels really good, here in my first week of focusing. Knowing exactly what I’ll be working on when I wake up each morning – rather than seeing which way the wind is blowing each day and working on whatever my email inbox dictates.

      Enjoy ‘The One Thing’ – I know you will. In the middle of my 3rd time through it and I’m still learning things and picking up on things that apparently I didn’t catch my first 2 times through it.

  • Mike

    Hey Matt!
    Long time no speak! I think you are doing the right move! I did focus on my investing website for over a year now and I can say I have an online company again :-). Focus is everything! good luck with your new project!

    • Yo Mike! Great to hear from you. Yeah – it’s been awhile. Thanks for the reassurance. And glad to hear that things are going well for you.

  • Matt, most people can relate to your situation. I had a spare five minutes at work today and your site was the one I looked up—-not the “guru” sites. I ran into the same thing this past year with my niche site. I am right on the cusp of ranking for some good kw’s so I buckled down and have focused soley on that….at the expense of my blog. Keep your chin up and keep pounding….!

    • Scott – cool to hear that you chose to look me up over the guru’s! haha – Just trying to keep it real over here. To be honest – this blog is where I would prefer to spend all of my time. But I really feel that I need a super-successful niche site under my belt before I feel qualified and credible enough to show others how to do the same. I have all of the knowledge to do it. I just need to execute. And that’s what this focus experiment is all about.

  • Keep it up Matt! You’ll figure it out!

    • That’s the plan Mike! Thanks for stopping by and checking in…

  • hi matt, your income reports really arent that bad, but i certainly agree with the scaling back and concentrating on just one thing. I killed a bunch of sites earlier in the year to focus on a core set of sites. Even now im wondering just to strip it back even more and focus on one. Looking forward to see how it goes and good luck

    • Thanks Paul. I know my reports aren’t THAT bad. But I know they can be better. Good luck to you as well with everything.

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  • Chuck McCall

    Hi, Matt- Know that “Nothing” on this site has been taken in vain!! “I Have Been Following You” and shall continue! I am one who is in search of exactly what you are- that is why I am here!! ( I am too also a truck driver for FedEx). And I have had the “Advantage” of watching and keeping track of You in your progress! “Do Not Stop”

    • That’s awesome Chuck! Great to have a fellow trucker on board! Don’t worry. I’m not stopping. I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to. This internet marketing and blogging stuff somehow got into my blood. It’s simply something I just do and I can’t imagine not doing it anymore. I’m going to reach the success I am aiming for with this ONE Thing site – then I’ll be back blogging on Dumb Passive Income hardcore!

  • Dude I love how you are sharing what we all go through.
    Bro it’s a phase we all go though. I’m also in a shift where I’m refocusing on what I can give and developing my own training.
    I’m too moving away from niche sites and targeting my focus. I’ll be shooting you an email to see if we can share notes! Here’s to an awesome 2016 buddy.

    • Yeah Tony – to an awesome 2016! Although I’m not exactly ‘moving away’ from niche sites… I’m still hyper-focused on my ONE niche site. Just taking it to a level where I’ve never taken another site before. And hopefully if all works out like I think it will – a private label product with Amazon FBA will be part of it.

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  • Tom

    BIG POST, so brutally honest as well!

    I really enjoyed The One Thing and totally agree with the concept.

    I look forward to seeing what you will be producing with your increased focus 😉

    Will add into my social sharing as my followers will love this!

    Thanks
    Tom

    • Thanks Tom! Focusing on ONE thing is working out pretty well for me. The income isn’t quite there yet – but I’m about to move into the phase where I start promoting the site big time. We’ll see how it goes…

      • Tom

        I believe in you bro!

  • Huge move. I got nothing but respect for you brother!
    I pulled a similar move 3 months ago… not quite as extreme though!
    Sending you an email now 🙂
    Konrad

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