Paul from Marathon-Training-Tips.com
When Paul from marathon-training-tips.com contacted me and showed me his traffic stats I saw a typical growth of a site where someone is working hard “behind the scenes”. It takes time for Google and other search engines to really take your site seriously, but when they do, it’s a completely different “ball game”.
1. Why did you decide for SBI?
Well, let’s go back to 2007. This is when it all started. In summer 2007 I decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to experience the ultimate feeling of freedom and being one with nature.
When I finally made it to the summit in January 2008 I knew this feeling of freedom in all its aspects was something I wanted to strive for in my life. The journey started…
At that time I was already working in the online marketing field and by today I still work as a consultant. I thought about building an international online business myself, but was not sure how and what.
I knew I wanted to go international, although I am living in The Netherlands. The English spoken target market is way bigger than the Dutch!
After researching dozens of topics online I knew SBI could be a fit! Great testimonials and a logical model (Content -> Traffic -> Presell -> Monetize) made me sign up back in April 2008.
I will come back to this later, but I actually started my website Marathon-training-tips.com in November 2010 and paid around $ 750 subscription fees for nothing. But, no regrets! 🙂
Why I waited so long? I changed my job, moved to another place, met a great woman… Let’s say a lot of excuses not to start.
2. Did you know what you wanted to write about or did you have to find a niche? How did you decide?
Yes, I had a couple of ideas but which one was the best? I was not sure so I decided to search the internet for an experienced SBI’er.
In summer 2010 I came in contact with a Site Build It Certified Webmaster and decided to work together in the first phase of my website.
I decided my topic after a thorough niche finding interview. The first selection contained:
– Peanut allergy (As you might guess I am allergic to that 🙂 )
– Social Media (A topic that I thought was really booming)
– Running (Started running in 2004 after a bet with one of my friends in college)
Running and more specific Marathon Training was a logical choice. Social Media was too broad and competitive for a first website. Peanut Allergy didn’t have enough potential and Marathon Training is my passion and has lots of (monetization) potential.
Over the last 10 years I read dozens of books and information from other resources so I consider my knowledge of running (related aspects) to be quite good! And of course I have a lot of running experience myself!
3. How did you progress?
The first step to take was making a blueprint of all the possible keywords that were not too competitive, had good value and thereby lots of potential. We used the brainstormer in SBI and laid the foundation for my website. A blueprint of 150 keywords was the result.
My website and the first 10 pages of content were a fact in December 2010. I learned to work with SBI by clearly following the Action Guide and just DOING it! Besides that I read many, many articles online.
Major things that I remember:
– November 2010: I registered my domain
– December 2010: I wrote my first pages
– July 2011: I reached 100 unique visitors per day
– November 2011: I reached 300 unique visitors per day
– End of 2011: I reached the 100 pages mark and my trust in building freedom was getting higher
– January 2012: I reached 500 unique visitors per day and I received my first check $$$ (I have a lot of monetization ideas, but this was not my first priority, I know the money will come)
4. Can you share a few tips of what really worked well for getting more traffic?
Great question Tomaz, let me post 5 tips:
Tip #1: quality over quantity
It is better to build one very well researched page than two pages you wrote in less than an hour. The relevancy of your content and how appealing it is to your visitors will determine your success.
For example, if you write a great article that interests your visitors there is a huge chance that they will share it with their friends / on the internet. Automatic link building -> KA-CHING!
Bad pages will get a high bounce and lower ranking in the search engines.
Tip #2: keep building over time
In my experience it is better to build 1 or 2 pages a week instead of one week 2 or 4 and the other week no pages at all.
You will gradually feed the engines and visitors with more fresh, great content and establish a steady presence online. Of course it is no problem if you don’t publish new content every week but you got my idea. Keep feeding the engines, especially in your way to the first 100 – 200 pages.
Tip #3: establish relationships online
Over the last year I built a network of people who can help me succeed with my website/business.
For example, I am a regular contributor to other blogs. In return for interesting content I receive a few free links back to my website. In need of guest blogs? Try one of these 10 searches in Google:
“looking for guest bloggers”
“Write for Us”
“Submit a Guest Post”
“Submit Guest Post”
“Become a Guest Blogger”
“This guest post was written”
“About the Author”
Combine the search query above with your niche and I am sure you will find many opportunities for getting good links.
Tip #4: leverage the power of social media
Define a stategy for social media. The potential of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ … is enormous but don’t start without a clear strategy.
Research the internet to get a great idea for these places or simply visit the SBI Forums and read other success stories and try it yourself!
Tip #5: there are no competitors, only friends
It may sound weird, but think about the advantages instead of disadvantages of having other websites in your niche.
If they sell great products you can probably become a reseller (through affiliate programs). If both websites supplement each other’s content, you can make a link exchange. The opportunities are endless. In every niche there is enough space for another great website!
Bonus tip #6: do what you are the best and outsource the rest
Think big, act big. On almost every aspect of internet marketing I found a partner online.
I know I can write content, build links, publish messages in social media land and I can go on for a while. The problem is time. I am combining this online adventure with a fulltime job, so I decided to outsource some activities to speed things up.
Among others I have good experience with Site Build It Certified Webmasters, Fiverr.com and NeedAnArticle.com.
What you can do is first build an online presence yourself. At the time you earn some dollars you can decide to reinvest this in outsourcing activities. This way you can grow your business faster.
5. Your plans for the future?
I’d like to grow my marathon training blog towards a successful business and probably build one or two more in the coming years to secure a steady income.
My ultimate goal: It sounds great, but isn’t simple: becoming free! 🙂
Why? I don’t mind working for a boss to a certain extent, but I want to get more control over my life in terms of when and from where to work, when to go on Holidays and for how long, when to visit friends and family and I can continue for hours.
You know, current economy isn’t stable and the future is insecure for many people. I am very determined to succeed and in the future I hope to help others achieve the same!
I wish you all the best and you can always contact me if you have any questions.