Writing Good Content and Guest Posting - Month 18
A Look Back at the First 6 Months
It took 6 months before I felt comfortable with the fundamentals of how to make money online:
- Build a website
- Create good content
- Market the website with guest posts
It sounds simple now, but at the beginning it was not. There are plenty of dead ends out there that are hard to avoid without experience. Everybody is trying to pull you into different directions. Only 6 months of going down dead ends can teach you how to spot and avoid them.
6 months of experience taught me to recognize what to avoid. I want to avoid shortcuts. I want to avoid get rich quick because making a website is not a get rich quick scheme. For the millionth time - if you want long term success then you must have good content. Buying links, or trying to trick Google or other bloggers to link to your website might work for the short term but for the long term it will fail.
By the 6th month I knew what this website should be. I created the following guidelines for myself:
- Focus on quality not quantity of content. Every web page should have a single purpose – provide value to the visitor. No web page will be created simply to increase the number of web pages on this site.
- Main source of traffic will be search engines. Proper SEO practices will be observed so that the main source of traffic is search engines.
- Only organic methods of getting backlinks. No buying backlinks or link exchanges. Only authentic backlinks via unsolicited links from other websites or by writing guest posts.
- In the beginning traffic is more important than revenue. Build traffic and then worry about making money. Once the traffic is there the revenue will follow.
Understanding what I wanted this website to become took 6 months. It took another 12 months to implement.
What Happened During Months 9 to 18?
There was no progress update for 9 months. Total silence. Month 9 was the last update for the next 9 months. Why were there no progress updates for 9 months? The answer is simple – there was nothing to update. Months 9 to 18 were all the same: adding content to the website and writing guest posts.
Months 9-18 have been boring. Writing new web pages, updating old pages, creating a new logo, submitting guest posts. Nothing fancy, no bright lights or explosions, just normal ho-hum work. Simply adding value to the website. One week I add a new page, another week a blog post, another week I do nothing.
I could of worked harder by creating more pages and doing more promotion. But I am worried about burn out. All my past endeavors ended with burnout - I would devote all my time and effort on one thing till I burn out, and then never looked at it again.
So I am being careful and not rushing or forcing anything. Taking my time, going at my own pace. My slow and steady must be working - 18 months and I am still at it. It is claimed that most people quite their websites in the first 6 months. The reason is that they work too hard. They devote all their time to it and when the results are slow to follow they get discouraged and quite. Be careful. Work at a pace that you can sustain. The hare runs fast but it dies of a heart attack. The turtle eventually wins the race.
Yes, it is taking a long time, but that does not worry me. All businesses, online or offline, take a long time if starting from scratch. Unless you invent perpetual motion and enter a market with no competition, there is nothing unusual waiting a couple years before the business produces returns. The beginning is about adding value to the business and gaining experience. The beginning is not about making lots of money.
The Benefit of Having 18 Months of Website Experience Behind You
There were many times when I almost did something that, had I done it, would have wasted a lot of time and money. And most likely caused me to give up making money online. Because I did not know what I was doing I was always at risk of accepting candy from strangers. Luckily, and it really was luck, I did not do anything that caused permanent damage.
But now, 18 months later, I know what I am doing. I am not making money, but I know what I need to do. I got my compass and I know where north is. Now it's just a matter of walking there.
I know that I want a website with good content and search engine traffic. I know that once the traffic is there I can begin to make money with advertising or affiliate sales. I know that it will take time.
If you are still in your first few months of making money online do not worry about being confused and easily misdirected. It's normal. You need to educate yourself by doing what you are doing – whatever it is. And in time you will figure things out. There will be a lot of noise around you – everybody telling, yelling and selling. Pay attention, but do not chase after every dangling carrot.
You will try to keep focus, but there will be times of distraction. You will go down the wrong path. You will waste time and probably some money. No problem – that is the learning process. Get back to the main path and keep going. Making mistakes is the only way to figure out what does not work for you.
After 18 months of making mistakes you will have a pretty good idea of what you want to do. With the noise gone and clarity ahead things become a lot easier. You become patient. You become diligent. You become confident. You no longer get sidetracked by shiny things.
This is the best state to be in because you can focus on your website. You can focus on writing content and getting backlinks. No more distractions. After 18 months the noise becomes easy to ignore. People try to sell you a new product or amazing idea but you do not care. People tell you that you are wasting your time but you do not care. People shout in your ear that their ideas are better then yours but you do not care.
It takes over a year to be able to filter out the noise and see clearly. But once you are there your chances of succeeding online increase drastically.
I Do Not Enjoy Socializing - Is That a Problem?
After 18 months of this website I confirmed something about myself that I already knew. I do not enjoy the company of other people.
I knew this about myself before. I sat at the back of the class. I ate my lunch in the car. I prefer my own office with a door.
An important aspect to this website is the blog. The website is factual and objective. The blog is personal and subjective. With the website I focus on the facts but the blog allows me to I write what I feel like writing.
Blogs are a social thing. Blog have a comment section giving readers the opportunity to communicate with the author. The bloggers are supposed to comment on the comments. It's an interaction - human to human. You say something then I say something back.
Hello how are you? Fine. How are you? Fine. Nice day today. Yes, a lot better than yesterday. Did you see the game last night?
I find chit chat very difficult. I avoid it like line ups with old ladies in them, I take the stairs to avoid the elevator - sweat and march up the stairs to avoid being asked 'how is your day going'.
Unfortunately to promote my blog I need to socialize. I need to be out there and mingle. Nice post, very informative, blah…
I tried socializing for a couple months. Then I could not do it any more. I still read other blogs but I tend not to comment. I do not want to make my opinion known nor do I care for their opinion about my opinion.
This attitude is not good for my blog. People leave comments on my blog and I reply nothing. I do not respond. Of course this is bad. They are looking for some back and forth - which I do not provide. The result: my last two blog posts have no comments. Not good.
Unfortunately I am not sure what I can do about this problem. For now I plan to just see what happens. Hopefully I can make this website a success without too much socializing. Or maybe once this website becomes a success and people want to listen to me I will be able to force the conversation to skip the 'chit-chat' aspect (remove comment section).
Otherwise if it turns out that socializing is necessary for success then I will need to force socializing out of me. Maybe put a bottle of vodka on my desk and hope that will get the socializing juices to flow.
How is the Website Progressing After 18 Months?
If a year ago an old lady with a crystal ball told me that in 18 months I will still be making a dollar a day I would call her a fraud and storm out of the tent.
1 dollar a day after 18 months is absurd. But that is the way it is. I wish it was more but I also wish I had shiny blue eyes. Nothing I can do about it.
It is a good thing that nobody convinced me early on that making money online takes a long time. If they did I never would have started. Now it's too late, I already started.
Regardless of my embarrassing low daily wage I am still happy. I have a good product - the website. I have some traffic - almost 200 visitors a day. And most important of all, there is progress.
Progress comes in tea spoon size doses but it comes. There is always some little thing that happens that encourages me to continue. Traffic increases, page rank increases, I get a selfless email praising the website, keywords move up in the Google search results page.
Progress in any form is what keeps me working for 1 dollar a day.
When Will the Next Website Progress Update Be?
The time between each progress update keeps getting longer and longer. First it was 1 month apart, then 3, then 9.
Will there even be another progress update?
I hope so. It has been 18 months and I do not want to quit. I am not as excited as I was during the first 3 months but at least it is not like it was during month 5 in which I almost quit.
The last 18 months have been up and down. There was excitement and then there was disappointment. Now there is understanding. I understand that to have successful website takes patience. Keep on plugging away creating more and more content, doing more and more marketing.
Of course, creating more content and marketing does not guarantee success. It is possible that 10 years from now I will be no farther along than I am now. Maybe this whole website is wrong and there is no audience for it. Maybe my content is boring and regardless how much I write and how many people are exposed to it the website will never succeed. Maybe - but I do not think so.
Prediction – Where will This Website be in 6 months (Month 24)
The next progress update will be in at least a year because nothing interesting will happen for the next year. I will keep creating good content and writing guest posts for backlinks. Traffic will increase. Revenue will increase. At month 24 this website will receive 500 visitors a day, mostly from search traffic, and earn about 5 dollars a day.
Continue rolling the snowball. It keeps getting bigger.
Want to know what happened next? Read Month Twenty Four. This Website Is Two Years In The Making Without Making Money
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