First $200 and $250 months! Must read for beginners
It's been awhile! I was finally able to quit my bakery job after making more money on online than I was working 1-2 days a week (weekends). I wrote a lengthy letter to my manager thanking him and the rest of upper management for all they had done for me over the last 3 1/2 years (June 2012 - December 2015). I got a text from a gal a couple days after I dropped off the letter; she told me that I had everyone in tears at work because of what I had written, which made me feel like I had gotten my message across the best that I could. I've always felt that I had the ability to write effectively to an audience, and that coupled with all the work I've put into my website has confirmed that in my heart and mind.
I'm going to try not to make this long winded, but knowing me it will probably end up being exactly that lol. I'm a writer at heart, and I convey my thoughts much easier through prose (as alluded to above). I want to make everything I write meaningful, insightful, and perhaps motivating for someone struggling. If only one person reads to the end and is affected in some way, I'll be ecstatic. Stats at the bottom! :P
September 14th, 2015
So I read over my last blog from 6 months ago, and realized how much I was doubting myself. I guy I used to work with in 2009, back when I was rotting at Walmart told me something so simple: "Man, don't EVER doubt yourself." I'll never forget it no matter how down I get, even now.
Moving forward, a lot has changed since September. I made sort of an unofficial vow that I would really buckle down, do the absolute best I could do from then on, and try to focus on what's important in life rather than get distracted by everything that everyone else is doing. Bye bye Facebook! I told myself I would focus less on results and more on helping people by writing the best content that I was capable of. I had to really take a step back and evaluate why things weren't progressing the way that I had expected: FAST and without much thought. LOL.
Don't believe me? I didn't check my results for a 3 month span at all! It was only until I spoke with Nathaniell that he suggested that I check my stats to see that I was actually making sales, Lol. I was confident that I had, but figured eh why not? So I did. The point is that you don't need to be obsessing over it. I check mine once a month to see what people are buying, and adjust accordingly. Overall, 95% of your focus should be on how your site is progressing. This has been hammered home at WA ad nausea.
So I think I've done pretty well thus far, but I'd like to apologize to anyone I've offended with any blunt remarks, shortsightedness, and general lack of patience. I'm very much a results oriented person. Even when I'm in the process of painting I just wish it would be done so I can step back and admire it. I've always been that way. A big picture sort of person if you will.
The irony of it all is that I obsess over small details. It doesn't make any sense I know. What I've learned about marketing thus far, and life in general is that it truly is a process. There are no shortcuts. There is no end result. We have to be pushing ourselves constantly if we're ever to accomplish great things.
Long story short:
I've changed a lot over the past few months, both as a person and as a businessman. I'm more focused now. I actually have quantifiable goals, a plan to carry them out, and I hold myself accountable. I cut a lot of nonsense out of my life. I left some people, things, and bad habits behind that were dragging me down. I changed my diet and now eat like a beast rather than a fat kid in a skinny body (aka fast food and junk). I changed my lifestyle. I'm changing my own thoughts and mindset, while forming good habits. I work out 3 times a week and I'm full of energy, more-so than I've ever been at any point in my entire life. I feel like a happy go lucky kid everyday. My mood has completely changed. No longer do I get annoyed or offended when people come at me all twisted. I just smile, laugh it off, and keep it moving. If I do get a little miffed, I can control it better to the point where it doesn't affect my entire day. There's no reason for me to even engage with teh folks who try to bring me down. That said, people overall have a different attitude and demeanor around me. I realized how I was treating others, and changed it. Now I'm given the respect that I deserve, but only because I earned it, by looking in the mirror and taking a hard glance at myself, what I stood for, and what I really represented. My former manager told me something that really stuck after a particularly frustrating day in early 2015.
"People are going to throw darts at you, and you will constantly be tested. It's how you react to it that will define you as a person."
Right now sitting here, I can say that I'm truly proud of who I'm becoming, and look forward to what the future has in store. It's all God's doing, and I'm not afraid to say it.
Big thanks to the following people for giving me some insight, support, kindness, and encouragement. And/or a nice kick in the pants (cough Jay).
- Jay. Your webinars were really a turning point for me and my business. Thank you!
- Kyle and Carson. For obvious reasons. The training is what kick started me in the right direction. The program is unbelievable. I'm really blessed to be a part of this. The more I think about it, the more I have to just stop and smile.
- Nathaniell Brenes. As my sponsor you've been nothing but helpful and patient. I really do appreciate everything you're doing for me.
- Dan Barth. Inspired me to create a logo. Told me there's a tipping point for content, and once you hit it watch out! Thanks bud!
- Colton James. Helped me out a lot with words of encouragement and CTA's. You're truly an inspiration!
- Steveo. Always there to answer a question no matter how ridiculous. Thanks man!
- Og Grover. Don't see much of him around, but he really touched my spirit with some true OG knowledge and encouragement on a few occasions.
- Eddy Salomon. Two of his early blogs really had a profound effect on my mindset even way back when I first started. Thank you!
This time around I'm gonna get straight to the point:
Organization is key. The more OCD you are about this, the better. Make folders inside of folders if you have to. This cuts down on time searching and makes it so you're clicking on autopilot when it comes time to write, insert, resize images, and generally get your page SEO ready. If you know exactly where everything is, then there's no thought behind it. Just action. Big thanks to Jay for imparting the concept of organization (what he credits to the success of his online business overall).
Have a plan. Nothing is worse than writing with no structure. Use templates if you have to. Cut down on time spent writing. Write down an exact schedule of your posts, and what you plan on blogging about. Make a 3 month content plan. Write down the start date and end date. Write how many posts you need for the goal. Track every single post and make a counter inside of a notepad document. The reward is getting closer and closer to the goal.
My goal from September to December 13th was 36 posts. I only wrote 20. I added that to the next 3 months and aimed for 52, which came out to 4.3/week. I finished it on 3/13 (Sunday), with one day to spare. Now I'm taking a week off to refuel, reorganize, and clean my site up (What perfect timing that Jay's upcoming webinar is on exactly that!). I figure I deserve a reward for accomplishing my goal! Don't make yourself miserable after you've reached a milestone. Pat yourself on the back and be happy! Take some time for yourself. Relax. Breathe.
Moving forward I'm gonna shoot for 72 over the next 3 months, (starting 3/21), averaging 6/week. It's possible if you have a desire and passion for what you're writing about. No excuses. Make it happen!
Passion. If you don't enjoy what you do, then why bother? Pick a niche you're really into. I read something yesterday that really stuck.
"If you went into a coma and woke up to a zombie apocalypse, would you still be passionate about your craft?"
If so, then keep doing it.
Be consistent. Stick to your schedule. Keep writing. Go back and edit old posts. Make them better. Look for errors which may be off putting to your readers. Clean up your blog once a week. Find crawl errors and fix them. Find spelling/grammar errors. Fix images if they're broken, etc. Be engaged in your niche at all times. Find inconsistencies in your posts and fix them if your opinions have changed. Look for changes in the merchandise, trends, etc. I came across a great quote from an article that has really resonated with me.
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
Repetition is key, but as always, make sure you're content is good! Don't get shiny object syndrome. Don't get distracted by stuff that's not going to move your business forward. Focus on one kick (one website). Stop getting distracted! BLOCK AS MUCH NOISE OUT OF YOUR LIFE AS POSSIBLE.
Keyword Research Correctly. Low hanging fruit is obviously what we're after, but SERPS are just as important. Analyze your competition before starting that blog!
Fix your CTA's. This was a big one for me. My call to actions were terrible. Big thanks to Colton and Jay for helping me with this.
Make sure your SEO is immaculate. Meta description, keyword in title and first paragraph, internal links, H3 tag at the bottom, good images, keyword in alt tag, etc.
https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/training/hot-seat-... (My site is actually in this one! :)
Help people, don't sell to them. Another huge one for me. Analyze your writing objectively. Are you coming off like a used car salesman? Fix it. Be objective and don't get over excited. Give your readers a chance to READ your content before they click away.
Create a brand. Design a simple logo and put it in the header. Use a favicon. Tell people about where you came from. Get a nice image of you. Building site trust is extremely important. Don't be annoying to your readers. They've clicked to your for a specific reason. Don't bombard them with ads and pop ups asking for their email! Do it in a non-intrusive way if you're going to. I put mine at the end of the article.
Evergreen content. Perhaps the most important thing for me right now. Create posts that will stand the test of time. Helpful stuff, How to's, etc. Think of the Who, What, Where, When, and Why? Create posts based off of these 5 words. Then sprinkle them throughout your content when the opportunity arises and watch your traffic and rankings soar! Internal links are really the Cat's Meow.
A/B split test. Find out what's working and what isn't. This is something I'm still learning to implement.
Be Social. I've been using G+ and my traffic seems to be going up. Reach out to people in your niche. If they don't answer it's not the end of the world. Look for different traffic sources. Get comments on your blog, engage with people in a genuine way. Don't just link drop and bounce.
Use conversion funnels. Example: The best studio headphones for mixing. 500-600 word blog, CTA at the end pointing to official review of said headphones, with link to amazon at THE END.
Provide a good UX. Very important. Make sure the reader knows they came to the right place. Give them exactly what they're looking for! Let them read your content first. Stop trying to rush the sale!
I'm sure I missed some stuff..
No, none of what I'm saying is original. It doesn't matter. Everyone needs to hear it over and over until it becomes second nature. The formula is right here in WA. I tested it. It works. Now it's a matter of scaling. That's it! If you do what Jay and Kyle say, you will go far. Take most everything else with a HUGE grain of salt. Of course there are exceptions. No offense to anyone.
My goal by years end is to quit my job, by making more money from my site in a month than I do there. That will mark 2 years at WA. I know it's possible if I continue to put in the time and effort. If it doesn't happen on that timetable? So what. Keep it moving. If I can make 250 dollars, I can make $2,500 and beyond. It's all in persistence. No lie. I almost gave up after 7 months. Not really but I was very discouraged. For what though? This is a process not a get rich quick scheme. Thanks DomW!
Now I feel like I'm right where I need to be. Nowhere to go but up! This program is the best thing that could have happened to me in regards to business and my life's goals.
I model my work ethic and drive after all of the people mentioned here as much as I possibly can, given my schedule. But I don't compare myself to them. When in doubt? Create content. Over and over until something sticks. Volume. Why be original when you can just do what works? I saw someone comment on one of Colton's blogs saying: "I'm still waiting for an original thought." Huh? Tell me who is truly original in this world. Please. No one. This isn't philosophy pal, it's repetition. Good habits. People who are successful hang around others who are successful. Point blank. As far as marketing, I obey Jay, hang around his webinars, and apply what he teaches. I'm becoming successful. Case and point. Not rocket science. Eat, breathe, and sleep your business, and success will follow. And I'm still nowhere close to where I want to be. That's how much work it takes.
Seriously, In June I had 9 clicks and 0 sales. September? 108 clicks, 0 sales. Big frowns. :(
February 2016? 1,887 clicks, $273.96. All smiles in a tough niche.
My stats (why my WA ranking has plummeted)
So if I had given up, the plane would never even have a chance to take off. Mind blowing.
- Returning visitors? Up.
- Pages/session? Up.
- Session duration? Up. (3:45-4:00 avg. per month nowadays).
- Bounce rate? Down. (Internal linking!)
- Conversion %? Up.
- Amazon clicks? Up.
- Trust? Up.
- Rankings? Up.
- Sales? Up.
Back when I made my very first sale I had 1,993 sessions overall.
Now: 26,448. Perspective? 8,000 in the last 30 days.
Most sessions in a day:
(April 28 - July 26th, 2015)
Last 3 months (Dec. 15th - March 13th 2016)
Well that's about it for today folks! Long winded? Sure. Necessary? Absolutely. Anyone can do this, and that's what this blog is ultimately about. This post is mostly for the people who are just starting out. Hopefully I can inspire someone new, or someone who has been struggling. Press on my friends and family!
To your success and God bless,