David from Tips4Running.com
David from tips4running.com started his first site 2 years ago and just covered the costs of running the site in the first year.
Now, he is focused on becoming free. He will undoubtedly succeed since I’ve gotten to know his work ethic and optimism through the project on which we work together…
The allure of the internet. For me, it’s all about trying to earn my freedom.
Two years ago, I started up my first site running tips at tips4running.com. In early November, I started on my second site reviewing radiant floor heat at radiantheatreviewer.com. Below is my journey over the past two years on the internet.
I have to warn you. This story is very convoluted. As Tomaz can probably attest to, I get a bit long winded. I’ll condense it into my top tips, and then give you the details.
1. Your first site should be about something you like!
2. Don’t be afraid of trying to contact big fish.
3. If you aren’t an expert in your niche, get information from people who are.
4. When you find someone who can help you, do every thing you can to learn from them.
5. Don’t miss out on great opportunities.
6. Chase the money. Make a site about something expensive!
7. Being smart about work is better than working hard.
8. Have an ultimate goal.
Want all the details? Then keep on reading.
Here’s a little background. My day job is a Middle School Language Arts Teacher. Basically, my job is to teach and entertain 11-12 year old students for eight hours every day.
When my work day is over, I go home to my wife, my five year old son, my three year old daughter, and my one year old son. There is no safe haven for me! No matter where I go, there is an onslaught of work to be done. How will I ever escape?
I decided to turn to the internet. Why? Well, more and more people use it everyday. I figured, the internet is still like a child. It grows and grows everyday.
If I can create some good sites now, they will grow with the internet world and eventually, the pioneers of the web will rule the world. Too dramatic? Probably, but there is a hint of truth in this.
After I have taken care of all my school work, and after I have wrestled with my children and get them to bed, I get to work on my website projects. My wife asks me how I have the energy to manage my websites, work, and still be a great father.
My answer to her is simple. I won’t have this energy forever, so I am working hard now so I can relax later. As Tomaz has stated, you have to be uncomfortable for a little while.
November 2008 – Something I Like. I started up my first SBI site. I chose a niche that I was familiar with, running.
My site is based upon training information for beginner runners. Because, it really wasn’t constructed around a product, this site doesn’t earn big money. In the first year, I earned just over $300 total.
During the year one, I learned a lot about how the web really works. I read plenty of information from SBI. I followed the Action Guide. I built a lot of content, and felt pretty good about what I had accomplished.
Some of you probably think that making virtually no money the first year is a bad thing. Not necessarily. The first year is where you find out if you are willing to put in the consistent effort to learn and enhance your skills. I made plenty of mistakes, but that is how I learn.
One nice thing about working on a niche that I liked is I wasn’t discouraged with the learning process or the fact that my site wasn’t making money. I always had ideas for new content. I wasn’t worried about giving up on my website. I like running, so writing about running will always be fun to me.
June 2009 – Big Fish! I started interviewing people and posting these interviews on my website.
Some of the runners that I was lucky enough to interview are well known. These interviews naturally were linked up all over the web. Instantly, my site became relevant to people in the running world.
One particular interview lead me to way more money than I was earning. The interview was with a runner named Marius Bakken, who also has an SBI site about marathons.
November 2009 – Experts. Because of the professional relationship I established with Marius Bakken, he let me preview his eBook about marathon running.
When he released it, I became an affiliate. BAM! I started making a whole lot more money. Now when I say a whole lot, I mean compared to what I previously earned. He also encouraged me to write my own book on beginner running. Now I have my own product for sale through Clickbank.
June 2010 – Learn From the Best. I continued to exchange emails with Marius, and he mentions I should follow a blog named Freedom Ideas.
He said he has learned a lot from this blog. I quickly realize that this Tomaz guy from Freedom Ideas has put it all together. The best part is he is sharing this information for free. Every now and then, I post on his blog.
I even emailed him cold, and get this, he emailed me back!!! This guy must be for real, because he is willing to share with total internet strangers. I start to do a better job linking my site to the rest of the internet by reading his posts. My site doubles it’s traffic by simply finding stronger link sharing opportunities.
October 2010 – A Great Opportunity. Tomaz puts a post on Freedom Ideas about a vacuum project. He says he needs help.
I’ve got nothing to lose so I write up a review for my vacuum. I consistently pester him about the project over the next couple of weeks.
To my surprise, he actually picks me to help him create complete vacuum reviews for his vacuum site. I get the vacuums and run them through a series of tests. Then together we produce a video and written article.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from this experience. First of all, I start to understand the value of longer keyword driven articles. The last review I wrote was over 2,900 words. Why? Well, because I’m long winded, can’t you tell.
Tomaz asked for 2,000, but he was more than happy with the longer article. This means the search engines will see so many different word combinations for my review. More keyword combos means more traffic!
November 2010 – Chase the Money. With my running site, I earn over $300 per month. This is a huge change from the first year.
It does dawn on me that one site isn’t going to lead to financial independence. Now that I am working with Tomaz, I share some of my ideas for a second site. He also has a few suggestions, and I settle on radiantheatreviewer.com. I decided to investigate a topic I have no background knowledge on. In essence, I am chasing the money.
I do have a huge advantage this time. I know how to build a site. The content is easy to produce once I start reading and learning about radiant floor heat. I employ some of my previous tactics to help build my site.
Now it’s loaded with interviews, and keyword driven reviews. I am even attempting some new tactics such as outsourcing article writing. If I never try it, I’ll never learn if it would be an effective strategy for me.
December 2010 – Work Smart. Over the past two years, I have had to work very hard to get to this point.
My running site has over 175 pages of content, all created by me. I thought it really shouldn’t be this hard to earn some money. I wasn’t smart about creating keyword driven content.
Now, times have changed. I’ve learned through my mistakes. I value my time and efforts. When I sit down to work, I have a clear goal in mind.
Now my goals are tied into what I want to accomplish. For instance, in October of 2010, I set the goal of making $500 per month using the internet by January 2011.
Now I am much more specific about how I will accomplish the goal. Instead of saying, “I want $500,” I set a more concise goals such as, “I will add one new page of keyword driven content to my running site per week. I will complete three vacuum reviews this month.
I will create ten keyword driven articles to my radiant heat site per month. I will write five articles for different sites like ezinearticles per month. I will get five successful link exchanges this week.” The money follows after you accomplish goals like this.
The Future – I do have one ultimate goal. That I’ll keep to myself. I really believe I can achieve it though. That’s why I started building websites in the first place.
Now I ask you. What’s your ultimate goal? How will you achieve what you once thought was unreachable?
I’m a dreamer, and everyday, I keep working to make my dreams come true. Share your goals here. Ask questions. Maybe what you read and learn here will motivate you to achieve great things.