Are You Over Complicating Things?

Last Update: November 30, 2012

New people often get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and things required to get going in this business.

  • What niche should I choose?
  • I have to make sure to select the right keywords (or I am screwed)
  • Finding the "perfect" domain name.
  • Setting up a website
  • Do I have all the right plug-ins
  • Make sure I set up Analytics ( you better be tracking my friend, seriously)
  • Now I have to figure out to write engaging and unique content for site visitors AND make it so they click on something that gives me a CHANCE of making money?
omg, omg, OMFG!!!

Let's calm down for a second....

It is true that all of these things are important and at some point we want to make sure we have everything in place to give ourselves the best chance to succeed.

Let's take a moment and simplify a couple things.

What niche should I choose?
Here's the approach I take with new people and it is going to help with pretty much every step after choosing a niche.

Forget about what niche markets make a bunch of money...

Your focus as a newbie should be in building sites that rank and get traffic.....PERIOD...

I know you are thinking "Steve, I want / need to make money"...

Guess what? Sites that rank and get traffic make money if you have the right content on the site.

The easiest way to get the right content and choose a niche to get started is to find things you know about, love or have a passion.

There is no easier way to craft content for a site than to write about something that interests you.

I also recommend using the Google Adsense program...

This is because new people tend to try and "sell" when they begin writing content. You should not be trying to sell affiliate products. The merchant is the sales person.

With Adsense ads you are just going to write your little heart out about things you enjoy and let Google place the relevant ads for you. There is no way for you to sell with Adsense ads.

Are you going to make a ton of money with Adsense?

Maybe, maybe not. Conventional thinking is that I can make more money on an affiliate product that earns me a $20 commission than I can on an Adsense ad that pays me 20 cents.

That affiliate product only pays you $20 if the visitor goes to the merchant site and actually buys. Adsense pays you on the click. Each click is money earned, not the hope for money earned.

Using affiliate products over Adsense in the long run will probably make you more money on an annual basis, but when you are new the point is to start doing something.


Stop sitting around analyzing the hell out of stuff and worrying about making the right decisions.

I can promise you that if you do nothing then you will NEVER have a chance of making money. If you do something every day then your chances increase every day.

Forget worrying about making mistakes and failing....

You are going to make mistakes and fail no matter how much you analyze and try to be perfect.

If you are tracking the results of what you are doing then you will begin to understand what works and does not work for you.

Just go do it....

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gmee Premium
A note about passion, since people I've talked to claim not have any. Let's call it "something that you're willing to dig into, research, and write about for several months." If it's a topic that you just don't want to write about, you won't.

I like the note about Adsense. One thing to check first. Go to google and search some of your keywords. If no ads are showing (and they don't for World of Warcraft, for example) then you might want another niche or go ahead and link to affiliate products (of which there are a few.) At the other extreme, if your niche is something money/finance/mortgage related you'll find tons of google ads.

"Do something every day" is excellent advice. If you don't feel like writing something then go get a link someplace that people actually visit (see the appropriate WA guides for that.)
gmee Premium
By the way, that adsense free World of Warcraft site has been paying all my bills for years.
Kyle Premium
People tend to think that analyzing everything they do will lead to better results when in fact it is quite the contrary. If you analyze, you are not taking action. YOU have no idea what people are going to like without experience as to what they like (in terms of content, in terms of promotions, etc) ...and the only way to determine this is by DOING.

If you are analyzing data, you are wasting your time. If you are analyzing a niche before you choose it, you are wasting your time. If you are not doing and reading all day, you are wasting your time.

Be willing to fall if you want to experience success. If you are not living close enough to the edge you are not going to see what is below you.
joniki Premium
This is 100% true. I fail a ton to this very day. There are sites I create that do not do well and merchants I use that do not convert well. I think the key is to become "thick skinned" and keep on keeping on.

Failure is not always a result of something we may have done wrong. Not all niche ideas are going to be winners. As we become proficient we can eliminate the dogs to an extent, but we are always going to try things and see what sticks.
Kyle Premium
I have some what at the time were "failure horror stories' but looking back these were some of my best learning experiences.

Working tirelessly on a site for a month only to have rules change that made my site no longer a viable way to earn revenue.

Working on projects here at WA only to never roll them out because we didn't like what they were. Lots of these things at the time are frustrating, but in hindsight are some of the best learning experiences.
WVLadyRebel Premium
I am so glad you wrote this! I was beginning to feel like a crazed juggler! I am going to slow down and do one or two things a day, and after that, if I have time for more, I will do more. I have been trying to write articles for the 30 in 30 days and do several other things too. I go to bed exhausted! You just saved my life I do believe. Thanks so much for getting my focus back on track.
joniki Premium
Content writing can be one of the biggest challenges for new people. There have been people I work with that eventually throw their hands up and say "I simply cannot write stuff"

It is certainly a critical component to what we are doing, but I firmly believe it is a skill anyone can learn.

I know my spelling, grammar and sentence structure is not always perfect and guess what?

It does not bother me....

I have had people point it out to me and I have a simple response...

"That's nice, how much money did you make online last year Mr/Mrs Perfect"

While they are spending their time analyzing my level of literacy, I'm making money....

This generally pisses them off even more.
shelby500 Premium
Yep thats me! I always feel overwhelmed! but just doing one thing a day definitely simplifies things. Thank you for the advice, at least I know I am not the only one that feels like that :o)
joniki Premium
We all feel that way getting started and is the reason there is such a high failure rate. People get so wrapped up in the process making it complicated and they quit.
Very well put Steve! Helpful advice indeed. Thank you!
WVLadyRebel Premium
He sure has good timing! I really needed to hear that right now.