As far as making money online, this month hurt. It hurt real bad. Last month was my worst month in earning money online. This month made last month look like I had won the lottery. This is the trials and tribulations that come with making money online. I would not have it any other way.
You shouldn’t be on this road – Recalibrating
Anyone who has a GPS in their car is familiar with it saying “Recalibrating” if you miss a turn that it had told you to take. If you try to take a shortcut then you will also hear recalibrating. If the road you are on ends and you are forced to take an unplanned alternate route then you hear “recalibrating.” My internet marketing journey went through some major recalibrating in July.
Sometimes it takes a while for you to experience the fallout of any action. Well I felt the fallout this month. My monthly earnings will be very close to just $2k for this month. If I was on the road I had been own I could have expected to be at around $3.5k. That is a big fallout.
There is a saying that nothing has meaning except the meaning that you give it. I first heard this saying at a Tony Robbins UPW event. During the past month my coach brought this back to the forefront of my brain. How I react to this change is completely up to me.
The positive is that after explaining what happened to my coach, he asked me point blank what did I feel about it, what have I learned and what I am going to do about it. The clear answer was that this sucked. Saying that I told him that I now have a blueprint that I created to become the top affiliate for my biggest grossing affiliate program that allowed me to get multiple websites ranked on the first page of Google. I am going to take that blueprint and apply it to my new niche website. I will be able to reproduce the successful results in less time since I knew the correct path to follow.
My new Niche Website
I am participating in Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel 2.0 program. I did extensive research on possible keywords and different niches. The runner-up keywords that I chose not to use were:
- standup paddleboards
- container gardening
- hydrophonics gardening
It was very difficult not to pursue 2 of those keywords – hydrophonic gardening and standup paddleboards – but the universe has conspired to provide me with opportunities for both of them that I will explain later.
The keyword that I decided to use for the Niche Site Duel 2.0 is “HVAC Certification” and “HVAC Training”. HVAC training has 3,600 monthly searches and HVAC Certification has 2,400 monthly searches. As you can see these keywords are not very competitive. There are several other niche websites that provide information about certification and training for each of the 50 states but not much else competition.
There were 2 primary reasons that I chose this keyword over the others. The primary reason is that it allows me to mimic what Pat Flynn did with his website for security guard training on his intial Niche Site Duel. Success leaves clues. It worked for him so I can duplicate what he did and find the same success for myself. The other reason is that these 2 keywords – HVAC Training and HVAC Certification have huge CPC values in Google keyword tool. HVAC Training is at $10.39 and HVAC Certification is at $7.88. It was this potential that sold me on this keyword.
Building my Niche Website
My niche website is iHVAC Zone. Check it out. Most people participating in the Niche Site Duel 2.0 are not revealing their website and I struggled with whether or not to reveal it. My ultimate decision was this website’s tagline is “My Internet Marketing Journey.” I invite you to come along with me by having this blog and you can watch as I build my niche website.
I decided to use the genesis theme. This is a premium theme. I have always used Thesis or Flexibility themes but neither of them are responsive themes meaning they do not scale for people viewing your website on cell phones or tablets. Thesis does now have Thesis 2.0 theme but you just can’t upgrade from Thesis 1.0 to 2.0 because it has been completely redesigned. I didn’t want to take the time to learn the new features in Thesis 2.0 so that is why I ended up with the genesis theme. I spent $67 to purchase the genesis theme.
The first step in creating my website was to create a header image. I am a big fan of the Envato marketplace. Envato is a network of different websites that provide custom wordpress themes, royalty free graphic images, 3D images, royalty free music and videos. I went to photodune and purchased the images I used to create my header. I used PhotoShop to create text with special formatting to create the title.
The next step I took was to hire 6 writers on eLance.com to each write me 5 x 500 word articles. I provide the keywords or article titles for them to write on. I did not use any of the writers that I have used in the past because I wanted someone familiar with this industry because the articles were going to be technical in nature. I spent a total of $265.35 to pay these writers. That comes out to an average of $8.84 per article.
It took less than 5 days for me to get all of the articles written for me. I then spent about 2 hours proofreading the articles and posting them to my new website. I used PhotoDune to get the featured image for each blog post. I purchase the small version of any image and it only costs $1 per image. In total I spent $30 for images.
I setup the articles to publish 7 immediately so my website could start to get indexed by Google. I then set the remaining articles to drip feed every 2 days. The last article will publish on August 29th.
I used the following plugins on my website:
- Broken Link Checker
- Bulletproof Security
- Google XML sitemap
- Clean Contact
- Google Anilyticator
- nRelate Related Content
- Pretty Link Lite
- Top 10
- Wordfence Security
- WordPress Database Backup
Let me know if you think there are any other plugins that you think I should be using. Or if there is a better plugin that provides the same functionality for any listed above.
The next step was to create my static homepage. I am using a static homepage on my website instead of blog posts. I am mirroring Pat’s Security Guard Training website homepage on my website. I purchased a clickable map for $9. This map allows you to click on any state and be taken to a page that tells you about HVAC certification for that state.
Gathering the information for each state has been a very painful and long drawn out process. In fact I am on the border of actually hiring someone to find this information for me instead of continuing to do it for myself. If you click on the map be sure to click the southern states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, North and South Carolina as well as Texas and California. I have collected information for these states and the rest of the states are blank.
That is the extent of what I have done for my new niche website iHVACZone. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Celebrate Your Success
During July I went over my goals that I wrote down for 2013 with my coach. This was my half-way point review for the year. I was able to claim an abundance of successes in that many of my goals were already complete. There were some goals that I really haven’t even started working on and others that I am currently working on but just not finished yet.
My coach gave me some incredible advice on the goals that I have not even started on. He said they maybe goals for me but they just may not be 2013 goals. That one bit of advice gave me the freedom to scratch them from my 2013 goals and gave me the opportunity to focus on what was left to accomplish.
The one area that I had the last amount of success in was Celebration. My coach admonished me in the most perfect manner when I was telling him about losing my most productive affiliate programs. He asked me 2 simple questions: 1) How much did I earn in the first 6 months online and 2) How much did the 10 people that work in my department in my day job earn online or thru passive income? The answer to the first question was that I earned more online that I took home in my day job. The answer to the second question was I earned more than all 10 of them combined. He asked me why I shouldn’t celebrate that success.
In July I spent some time on myself. I spent a day at the spa being pampered. I purchased a few items for myself. I did a beauty makeover one day. The crowning moment came when I trade in my 15 year old 1998 Infiniti I30 car with 254,592 miles for a brand new 2013 Kia Optima EX. Here is a picture of my new car.
I struggled with having a car payment since last year I was able to achieve the enviable status of being completely debt free. But since I always hold onto cars for a long time it was ok. I am going to pay more than the monthly payment and pay $500/month and have it paid off in less than 4 years.
The car has leather seats and adjustable driver and passenger seats. It has a killer sound system. The greatest thing is that it has an AUX port where I can connect my iPod and list to my music, podcasts and Audible.com books while in the car. If you are not listening to podcasts then you need to start now. Podcasts allow you to listen to the struggles others had and what they did to overcome them and why they are successful today. Like I said before – SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES!
I have had over a dozen people contact me directly and say they have been reading my blog and wanted to know if I had a coaching program. I don’t but my coach has been pushing me to start doing this. If you are interested in a coaching program for me, I would love to get your feedback on what you would like to be included in the program. You can leave a comment below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All I ask is that you give me your feedback before August 9th. I am putting that deadline because in 7 hours I am getting on a plane with my Mother and Sister and heading to England for holiday. We return on the 9th. I will collect all the feedback and then work on creating a coaching program that provides as much of the requests that I receive.