".......and unfortunately nearly all make money online blogs are crap, so he, Dave, decided to write his own. It's pretty spankin."
Dalai Lama
Nov 022010
 

Do you feel sick?

I do. So does the Wife. We have spent the last few months writing for niches that convert well for Christmas, so much so that if I write about another XXXXXXXXXXX I just may explode my tiny brain. Christmas niches are invaluable for earning some amazing additional revenue. Get it right and there is a good years wage to be made in a few short months.

But I contradict myself, as I know for a fact that I will be blasting out 10 BuildΒ  My Rank articles a day to my main site and countless postrunners, stupid and pointless Magic Article Submitter article directory articles (that never seem to work), using Backlinks Philippines runs to get crazy serps jumps, and anything else I can think of to improve my rankings.

I find ways to look for blogs to comment on with high PR, I steal ideas from forums, I do anything I can in the never ending attempt to rank number one for everything in the world that relates to my niche. Ezine articles links to Hubpages? Surely someone else has already done that? Look for new places to get links from.

My one niche is down $4,500 for October because I have neglected it for the month, my Christmas one is up thousands, I have lost a site entirely to the Google Gods apart from for image traffic (which actually converts), the Wife has lost two sites.

Welcome to the Google dance for those that have not been there before. Sites go up, down, sideways and then disappear down a hole like a rabbit of some killer Viagra. What can you do?

You can carry on like normal, adding content and backlinks and try not to cry. You may be sandboxed for 6 months or more or it may just be the dance for a few days but you must just carry on like Google means nothing to you. It is hard and it makes you want to cry.

Many of the commenters have stated that they have lost sites to the sandbox and it happens to us all sooner or later. Just carry on and push on out the other side. If you have lost all your earnings then use Hubpages, Snipsly or whatever and write good content andΒ  backlink them to replace your lost earnings, it is do-able.

But anyway, I digress.

The point of this article is that you should be feeling sick at this time of the year. You can make a fortune at Christmas. The Wife and her Many Many THOUSANDS of dollars for October leaves me in no doubt. My site that made $750 all year until September but now makes thousands every month leaves me in no doubt.

If you don’t have a Christmas niche then you are missing out big time, any item that is a possible Christmas gift should be promoted until you really want to take a lie down.

This Internet Marketing sickness should be with you until the online stores close the doors on guaranteed Christmas delivery. And then relax.

That is our plan this year. Last year we were working boxing day and every day since then until I write this. Apart from a week in Dubrovnik. Here I am looking cool:

This year we are going to have a Christmas break and recoup our strength. We have come an unbelievable distance in terms of earnings since a year ago and I know it is down to hard work.

So what’s the score then?

EDIT: Let me just write some nonsense here so that the bullet points look all nice and tidy and show up under the image. Ta very much like.

Here is what it is not down to:

  • Reading blogs
  • Writing this bloody blog
  • Answering emails and chatting online
  • Buying an e-book
  • Looking for any shortcuts
  • Wondering if this game really does work

Here is what it is down to:

  • Writing content
  • Spending ten times as much time backlinking the content as writing it
  • Working 8 hours a day and then sipping on the Vino drip to relax in the evening (Cava preferred)
  • Bouncing ideas off each other (invaluable)
  • Doubling up on profitable niches (at least). There are ten listings for grabs on page 1, get as many as you can.
  • Focusing on profitable sites and forgetting the others (within reason)
  • Realizing that you can make a full time living off a single page on a single site
  • Understanding that if you find a profitable niche then you need not look for another one (ever)
  • Building up a profitable niche until you can not stand the site of it and then carrying on regardless as it makes the money
  • Understanding that we can’t all make money from a niche we have an interest in (that is a luxury few of you can afford to even consider)
  • Making sure that if a site simply does not work out and convert that we have the sense to shrug and move on
  • Testing a new niche but never spending too much time on it when there are already profitable ones that we know convert
  • Thanking your God of choice that we were so poor two years ago that the Wife left me for 3 months to work in the UK with 3 young Dogs, 4 chickens, me doing building work for people and trying to understand how to make a website, a backlink and what the **** is a blog. WordPress????
  • Thanking myself for figuring it out even if I did then spend 6 months (and the Wife) writing stuff that makes no money and thinking that adsense was the best way to make money with websites.
  • Persevering in the face of mounting debts and eating on a miniscule budget for a year.
  • Now realizing that we are so lucky to be able to do this job and set our own hours and live the best life ever
  • Carry on backlinking til you PUKE

This Is Not A Game

This game is not a game. It gets harder every day. Every man and his manky Dog wants to make a living online and it is harder to rank every day. Large sites are going to be the future.

You wait until one day you wake up and find that exact match domains mean nothing. If that is what you rely on then you better get busy.

Now having sites that are 1 and 2 years old has really woken me up to the amazing beauty of a general niche site. You do n0t need an exact match domain to rank for the most competitive terms in your niche. The older my sites get the less links to them they need to rank well. Age and a history of consistent backlinks is the most important factor.

Find your niche and then never look back. Don’t look for another one, build out the site until it is unbeatable. And hopefully you have a niche that is good for Christmas. I and the Wife are working our butts off to make our Christmas money and then it is going to actually be a relaxing Christmas time where for the first time in many years we can actually afford to buy each other a present.

I cann0t tell you how beautiful a thing that is (and my Wife). To not be worrying about money is a dream for many and it was for us.

Stay Optimistic

I can’t help it, I am happy. I pretty much always am. Even when we owed thousands and were working from 1 laptop and getting up and 6 in the morning to take a turn on it and we could not afford heating for our cottage I was optimistic. I always told the Wife that something would turn up when we were poor and it did.

This game that is not a game is tough.

But the ones that stay focused and optimistic will last.

Yes, it is hard but it works. All it takes is that one golden page or niche and your job is done. Then it is just about scale. If you stay confident that this actually works then you will make more money than you could dream of. Just keep plugging away at it.

But I do mean that you have to take it seriously. You need to put in the work. Just because you don’t feel like it is not an excuse. I literally feel ill sometimes after I have been writing about a single topic day after day and feel so bored. But it is worth it. Once the work is done it leads to a different life.

Stay away from blogs, don’t read anything apart from your own content and just get on with the work that will pay off for years to come. You know what to do, are you letting yourself down by not focusing and just putting a smile on your face and staying motivated?

Right, back to the grind. I will relax near to Chrimbo and then I am going to blast my way to my $30,000 a month goal in the new year, if we don’t get there this month that is. We shall see.

 Posted by at 12:08 pm

  109 Responses to “Internet Marketing Sickness”

  1. Well said. Me and my mate have been talking about “internal motivation” and how money per se is not that good a motivator. But when we look at what we are doing with regards to the change in lifestyle it can bring about, it makes hitting daily word targets something that we want to do. Even though my targets are much lower than yours, it feels good to get there on a daily basis.

    Another thing I have been thinking about is outsourcing on a bigger scale. This is something they talk about a lot on TKA but until recently I never bothered with their videos. Some real good stuff. So for my sites that are making me some coin I am buying BMR and 300 word Postrunner articles as well as doing my own and also working on newer sites to try to get a few more “supersites” on the go.

    Increasing my earnings five fold will bring me into the “not worrying about money” category. I’m looking forward to joining you!

    p.s. Is that a beer wine belly under that t-shirt?

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Lando @ Docking Bay 94,

    Wine belly?

    Those are abs of solid steel my man.

    Well, maybe with a little bit of 37 year old “spread” too πŸ˜‰

    Good point about outsourcing Lando, I definitely want to look in to it properly in the new year and cut back on the time spent on this here laptop.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1kiddlattimer Reply:

    @Lando @ Docking Bay 94,

    I’m sure many of you already know this but for a lot of you who don’t please consider this…

    When you are outsourcing… HAVE A PLAN!

    I work 50 hours a week at a FT job so obviously 8 hours a day of writing doesn’t work for me (someday soon I hope it will). I started outsourcing about 6 months ago and I spent a LOT of money on articles I don’t even use anymore because I was so scatterbrained about it.

    Outsourcing is great if you know exactly what you want but if you’re buying content just to have content save your money.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lando @ Docking Bay 94 Reply:

    @kiddlattimer,

    Thanks dude. Yeah, I totally agree. My current plan is to outsource the backlinks of my performing sites. I’m figuring with more backlinks they will make more money. This gives me more time to develop new sites. Once they start making a few hundred, outsource the backlinks and move on.

    Build My Rank offer the auto posted $2 articles and I use a writer that posts Postrunners for me so everything is on auto-pilot. Even when I type offline then do an upload, it can take a good half hour to put 10 articles into Postrunner so oursourcing where I would have to upload stuff is not that attractive to me.

  2. Thankfully, you advised me to get that one December related clothing review domain, Dave.

    It’s jumpin’ without me having to do a thing about it.

    Now if only the other site could regain its traffic…

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Blackthorne,

    Hey Man that is great news, I had totally forgotten about it. If it is working now then I would just start adding just a few links a day and keep it consistent with no big jumps about the place.

  3. Thanks for motivation. Yes it is needed when you see a google dance.

    By the way cool pic….

    Good luck for your new year goal.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Raj,

    Thanks, I am gonna reach the goal next year if I possibly can. Then my Thai Island awaits.

    You see Lando, that is how to be nice, not comments about big bellies πŸ˜‰

  4. Nice to hear you get these results from 8 hour days – that sounds quite sane & sustainable over the long term. Sometimes I see other people talking (bragging really) about their 14-18 hour days & I just think – well, if that’s what it takes, you can count me out.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Cat,

    There has to be a balance I think. But I bet that a lot of those folks include just being at their computer as working. Get them to write content for 8 hours a day and it would be a different story.

    8 hours of solid work is a killer as far as I am concerned, with maybe a half hour for messing about writing articles like this one.

  5. Is that you? Totally not what I pictured. It’s always fun to actually see people you know online.

    Good luck with Christmas traffic. I chose to ignore Christmas and just work on my existing sites but now I am wishing I had just one for fun. Oh well.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Carrie,

    That’s me in Dubrovnik old town. It was amazing. You can walk around the whole town on the walls, it really was a special experience, especially as we did it early before the hordes arrived.

    There is always next year Carrie or go mad doing some Hubs. My Mum just did about 55 in 3 weeks and she really had to include learning how to do them in that time. She only learned what a link was yesterday after I explained it for not the first time πŸ˜‰

  6. Thanks for another great post Dave. It can be hard to stay motivated, so it helps to see you have come so far. You are very lucky to have somebody working alongside you.
    Good luck to you both, I am sure you will reach your goal.
    You have a great attitude.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Suzanne,

    Thanks. Having someone to talk about this stuff to in the real world sure does help. I am sure it must be tough for folks whose friends and partners haven’t got a clue what they are on about.

    Not that I do half the time.

  7. I have 4 main niches with nothing for Christmas. One of them is sort of seasonal but still produces nicely throughout the year. Multiple blogs for each niche, all of them on the first page of Daddy G. This helps balance my earnings throughout the year as each month I make a similar amount.

    None of them are product blogs like you have but I am starting a few of those. BMR is doing better for me now as more are indexing. It does work.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Seth,

    That sounds like exactly what more peeps should aim for. Getting a few sites for the same niche to dominate and also as a bit of insurance.

    So, and adsense Guy then? Or something else entirely. Next year I am going to release my own product which will be a nice change.

    Don’t worry, nothing to do with this site though πŸ˜‰

    Although I wouldn’t mind getting in to the private consultation business. Some dudes rake it in giving people an hours time via email or whatever.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Seth Reply:

    @Dave, Adsense and affiliate products about 50/50

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Seth,
    When you have multiple blogs for the same niche, do you write in a different style, different theme and layout?
    It is something I am considering. You could own most of the first page for something that you know converts and you know what it takes to get to the first page. That would make a lot of sense.
    I am beginning to see why Dave keeps saying you would only need to find a handful of products to make a full time income.
    By the way Dave when you said a couple of days ago how well your Wife was doing. Were these sales from Hubs or her own sites? She sure is giving you some competition.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Suzanne,

    It is a mixture of both really. She likes to mix it up and never rely on just one piece of content. Lessons learned from the past.

    She is totally beating me for Amazon by loads, but I can’t say I am complaining. She is very proud of what she has achieved and so am I. But I still beat her for other income sources (for now).

  8. You pointed out what you feel like in points. Very true, Only one golden page can bring money as compared to other.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @All is well,

    It’s like a quest. Find that one great converting page or niche and the search is over. A tough competition item that you can rank for can be the answer to making a good living online.

    Finding it is the tough part. I have a lot (a real lot) of stinky stinkers out here in t’internet land.

  9. I decided to take advantage of Halloween this year and now I have plenty of money for Christmas gifts (since I won’t be seeing this money until Dec or Jan).

    I also have a general Christmas gift blog that I started last year and I decided to do my best to make some money off it this year. I’m trying to focus on things that are hot for christmas gifts but will also sell pretty well during the year as well instead of just seasonal Christmas items.

    I definitely think that it is a good idea to take advantage of holidays and seasonal items. Some people complain about only making money 1 or 2 months a year, but if you can find some awesome seasonal keywords to rank for and make $20,000 in that month or two, wouldn’t you be pretty happy with that money rather than struggling to make a few thousand every other month with other niches. I would take that $20,000 and be awfully happy with it and look forward to doubling it next year.

    BTW, you just gave me the motivation to stop complaining about writing product reviews (something I am so sick of right now) and just go and do it!

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Tiffany,

    Great points. There is nothing wrong with making a killing for just a month or even a day if the payoff is good.

    I haven’t touched on Halloween yet but I think I may just do so next year. The main problem for us is being in Spain, it is hard to know what is all the rage in the US.

    We can get UK tv for ideas from adverts but us Brits seem loather to spend money like Americans do.

    Good luck with the reviews, but don’t tell anyone how good a keyword that is. Ssshhhhhhhhhh.

  10. Damn……..this is the thousand dollar question. What are the christmas items??

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Ridua,

    White socks πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, what do you want? What do family want? What do friends want?

    Then go write about it.

    And again……………

    and again…………………………..

    …………………………………………..until you feel a little bit sickie.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ridua Reply:

    I want nothing. My family?? I have no idea. Give me some tips Dave or anybody.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Steph Reply:

    @Ridua, Toys – look for things like top toys 2010. Sites like Hasbro and ToysRus list their picks for this Christmas, as well as Amazon and news sites. All of us parents of young children like shopping online – you don’t have to take your kids with you! You can also browse the Amazon bestsellers for ideas.

    I agree with socks though – I personally wouldn’t mind some nice workout socks for Christmas! πŸ™‚

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @Ridua, http://lmgtfy.com/?q=christmas+gift+ideas ;o)

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig,

    πŸ˜‰

  11. Going off-topic – there’s been a new search engine launched:

    http://blekko.com/

    It’s not a Google killer. No, the value of this new engine is that it tells you all about the backlinks each listing has.

    Do a search, and then when you get the results, click on the blue “links” link under the url you are interested in, and they list the backlinks they have found for that url.

    So fret not if Yahoo site explorer is kaput, there’s a new source of backlinks info around.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1teatree Reply:

    @teatree, P.S. If you click the blue “seo” link, it gives you all sorts of cool data about duplicate content, crawl stats and so on

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1teatree Reply:

    @teatree, It also lets you check what sites have a particular adsense id on.

    type in

    /adsense=xyz (the id without the pub bit)

    and it returns all pages with that adsense id. Bit scary!

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1All is well Reply:

    @teatree, Wow easiest way to track adsense websites. I was using other url for this purpose till now.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @teatree,

    That looks interesting. They really like to show blogger and typepad in their search results though. But I will have a play around with that I think.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @teatree,

    I took a closer look, although quick, at http://blekko.com/ after Leo wrote about it too http://leodimilo.com/blekko-equals-total-competitive-research-online/

    The adsense option is scary. Click the adsense button after you put a domain in and you really can see all the other sites that id has.

    That is way to easy and it means anyone can see all your adsense sites if they find one.

    Time for everyone to at least maybe have two accounts if they are worried about folks finding all their niches.

    Interesting data is very easy with blekko but it kind of sucks as a search engine. This site is not even in their index (boo hoo).

    Thanks for bringing it up teatree.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @teatree, Leo posted about this on Facebook today (or yesterday perhaps…I saw it today, anyway). I have to say, it currently reports far less links than Yahoo (at least in the small, unscientific, study I carried out earlier), but some of the other SEO information it gives seems incredibly useful.

    I hadn’t discovered the Adsense bit yet. People pay good money for following Adsense IDs; it’s very interesting (and, as you say, a little scary) that you can now get it for free. Does it do Analytics IDs too?

  12. Thanks for yet another motivational post Dave, iv banned myself to reading this blog only and not a fan of forums so thats not a problem try to do 2 hours of actual work after college and extra on weekends just sit there and type i believe what your saying so the only reason things haven’t worked yet is because of my laziness Β£100-Β£200 a month would work wonders for me so iv just got to get on with it i know its achievable got a Β£60 check through today but its taken 3 months to accumulate.

    A question if i may and you have the time to answer, do you think it is better to have a site around one niche or could a general site about anything work? basically like an article site so you can build up authority and then use it in any niche or does it just not work like that, sort of like a mini hubpages i suppose.

    Good luck with your goals $30,000 a month is crazy and Dubrovnik looks a whole lot warmer than Briton looking forward to being able to go abroad.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @len,

    If you made 60 then it is just a matter of scale. Either rank that content and associated content number 1 or build more (I would def do both).

    A general site can definitely work. I have a few. Great for testing too. But if you want to earn money quick then I would try to learn about buying aged domains and do a general site on that, something that already has authority. And add in loads of Hubs, Infobarrels etc and you should be at 200 a month in no time.

  13. I started following this blog I think around June. Dave and this blog have done more for my online career than all of the other ebooks, videos, and B.S. stuff I found online…COMBINED. What really struck a chord with me about Dave is that he did NOT sugar coat anything. He said it would be hard (although I do not find it hard, but I find it busy work). I was in the Marine Corps and that is hard! I love doing the internet marketing thing so it is not something I consider hard but I understand what he means.

    Dave has given me, and the rest of you that read this, the one single best piece of advice anyone could give someone wanting to make a living online….YOU MUST DO THE WORK!

    The second best piece of advice Dave has given is that you should spend 90% of your time getting backlinks and 10% of your time putting up content. I have found this to be AMAZINGLY dead on advice. It works and works really really well.

    I am pretty sure I understand what got my best site sand boxed by Google, and although it is disappointing I am one step further ahead of the game now because I understand the mistake.

    Following what Dave practices (although still not doing enough backlinking) I have started two Christmas related sites since October 2nd, one of them is converting at about 45% (which stuns me) and I have first spot on the fist page of Google for four out of my five keyword phrases….the other spot is in the fifth spot. This accomplished doing as Dave preaches.

    On the second Christmas site, which was started October 28th, and sells the number one selling toy on Amazon (should I even say that!! LOL) I am in the 10th spot on the first page of Google for my number one keyword phrase, number 6 for my second keyword phrase, and number 7 for my third keyword phrase. Now I am not naive, I know that I might end up falling in rankings here in a bit… but for now…the site is making sales already!!!! Could not be happier, well I could if it were number one for those phrases. The point is to say that this stuff works!!! But you MUST do as Dave says and put the work in.

    My God, Amazon tells you what is selling really well!!! Just start putting the work in. When I had to leave the Philippines on October 18th and leave my fiance there it was one of the saddest days of my life. I want to live there with her and I want to come and go as I please…I no longer have any doubt that within six months or so I will be able to do that. Thank you Dave.

    Now Google, dammit, let my best site out of your sandbox!!!!

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Todd,

    Inspirational Dude and thanks for the compliments. And great news about the new sites.

    This is what I keep telling people, it is not too late for Christmas. I did my main Chrimbo site last October and it still made $2K by the end of the year. Now it is doing loads more than that for the last few months every month. Never too late to start, especially with a very item specific domain name. Although you do risk it being taken off you if the copyright owners get funny, but not very likely to happen.

    Congrats Todd and I hope you inspired a lot of peeps, I think you did.

  14. One more thing to say….I actually thought Dave was some old fat guy (not that there is anything wrong with that!) so when I saw the pic I was sorta surprised.

    Dude, you are young and a pretty good looking guy!

    I wish you and your gal the best.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Todd,

    Blush.

  15. Small niches, Big Sites.

    Build a big site in a small niche and in 5 years you’ll either be dominating that niche or have been bought out by the company dominating the larger version of that niche. Example, if you set out to dominate the left handed golf clubs niche, building a multi-hundred page site about left handed golf clubs, in 5 years you’ll either be bought out by Golfclubs.com, or be dominating “left handed golf clubs” and all associated keywords.

    Either way, you’ll make enough to live a nice upper-middle class life in the US or Europe.

    The days of having 100 longtail keyword matched domains of 3 pages each are over.

    Instead, put 300 pages of themed content on a brandable domain and never look back. This is, of course, after you have determined that the niche pays out, but that SHOULD go without saying.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Jeremy,

    Couldn’t agree more Dude. Never rely on the domain name to get you where you want to be. It could mean nothing in a few years.

    Quality backlinked content, and a lot of it is going to be the way to go.

  16. Now let’s see the unedited photo before you cropped out your white socks!

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig,

    I had sandals on over them too πŸ˜‰

  17. Great pic – and it’s always nice to put a face to the blog so to speak.

    I agree that IM gets harder everyday – but I enjoy a challenge, and it just makes all those newbs give up all the sooner. I don’t mind – I’m patient.

    But I do have one gripe – if I stay away from reading blogs (yours included) what I am going to do while I sip my morning coffee. I can’t type one handed. πŸ˜‰

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Tracey,

    You are the exception Tracey. We know what work has to be done, but for those a bit newer I think once they have the basics down they would do well to stay away from most sites and forums.

    I gotta have my morning coffee too.

  18. Yes, like Todd I got my eyes opened there, I thought you were an old fat guy like me. But, on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, or something like that πŸ˜‰

    The motivation talk is sorely needed by many of us. The one’s who make it are the ones who will stay at the grind … works online, works off.

    I’m also glad you mentioned EMD’s (Exact Match Domains). Especially in many forums (typically, of course, a big time waster … meaning a hole in one’s pocket), EMD’s are argued for and against constantly.

    There’s no need to argue. Pick a niche you want to serve. Type it in Google (non-personalizes). Guess what? For virtually any niche you can think of, EMD’s (those with the main keyword(s) in the URL, will show up … typically three or four out of the first ten.

    So if you see an EMD available and you want that niche, heck yes, buy it … but if you don’t see an easy EMD to grab, forget about it and build anyway … the odds are still very much in your favor. Google says this, by actual results, not some old fat guy named Dave.

    When Google speaks, I listen. And get busy folks, less than 60 dyas bow ’til Christmas.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Dave Starr,

    Great advice. An emd is nice but it is not the be all and end all unless you want a quick small site to make so fast cash. And in the future it may mean nothing.

    For a long term site it really will not matter what it is called as long as you put in the work and the content.

    Why does everyone think I was a chunky old Dude?

    Does my youthful spirit not shine through like a shining beacon of hope πŸ˜‰

  19. Well I am stunned by Google again. The Christmas site I started on October 2nd and was doing very well…well I have been slapped to no mans land for EVERY single keyword phrase I was going after. Some of them were phrases that did not get a lot of searches but converted well…others got a LOT of searches and converted even better.

    I wrote the reply above, checked my rankings, and took a nap. I woke up 90 minutes later, checked my rankings, and KABOOM! All gone. Not one of them in the top 15 pages. Again, this is not the dance….this is a slap. I must be doing something wrong here. It also happened to my best site a month ago.

    I have NOT thrown a lot of links at this site….maybe 30 in the last 10 days or so. I do not consider that a lot of links to 15 page site. Any ideas on what I am doing wrong. This is a tough one…I can only hope this site comes back soon.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Todd,

    It happened to my new site last year, it went for 2 weeks then came back. Google is being funny lately Todd, it may be back as I write this?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Blackthorne Reply:

    @Todd, That other site of yours that got slapped previously… how old, big and authoritive was that?

    I’ve only seen sites slapped that were lacking in either the age, size or authority department.

    A couple of bigguns I’ve had for some time now, are still doing fine despite numerous algorithm changes over the years.

  20. I missed part of the post when I saw the ocean-in the picture. I don’t think I would work if I was there-my Husband and I would just sit on the beach the whole time and pan handle!

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Kelly,

    That is not where we live though, just went for a holiday. But we didn0t even look at a laptop for the week, which was amazingly relaxing.

  21. Dave, you are so successful because of one thing, and one thing only in my opinion πŸ˜›

    You continuously perform successful actions that carry you towards successful results. This post is really deep for me because I am slowly standing to understand the liberation that this “sickness” brings with it. It is total freedom.

    You have the advantage over a lot of people, but that advantage is within everybody’s reach. It takes far less faith on your part to understand the simple fact that making money online basically comes down to just writing content and spending all of your time finding links for it. Once you actually begin to make money and see how it works, you don’t work 1 day out of the week and then take 6 days off protesting that the whole MMO thing is bull. You understand what it takes to rank for keywords, you understand the dances the search engines will take you on and you especially understand the fact that you can’t just sit back and wish your way to an online income.

    All of the skills you need to learn you can pick up while you are investing the time and effort into your business. Success in itself has a huge snowball effect and as you begin to realize this, it only becomes easier to create more success and develop the mindset required to build your business to whatever size or scale you want it to be. Once you prove to yourself that everything is possible, then all the barriers are taken away and the sky literally becomes the limit. You definitely need to have a clear purpose and goal in mind while working your sites, and you can’t let anything stop you. Everyday you should be doing a certain amount of work that will realistically take your closer to your goals. Start small, hit one goal and then move on to the next. You have to start with a number that you can believe and once you achieve it, will compel you to push on towards ever higher and higher numbers and goals. This is another reason why I don’t focus and concentrate on my income as my primary goal. I concentrate on getting a certain amount of work done per day, because I know that work will translate and eventually manifest as the income I am looking for; this keeps life interesting towards me and helps me to feel I am working on developing my self and my skills as a human being rather then a mindless robot posting about garbage I don’t care about.

    I’ve learned that before you can worry about the money, you need to worry about yourself and cultivating the mental habits necessary to make money online. Discipline, hard work and persistence towards a goal are the only things that matter. It doesn’t matter how many hours a day you can spend dreaming about the potential of your websites; if you don’t work them until you feel sick, you might as well find a new hobby, because that is all that will ever be to you with a mental attitude like that. At the end of the day, you need to train yourself to continually perform successful actions, and in our world, it all comes down to publishing content and getting backlinks to that content in the amount and volume required to make the amount of money you wish to make.

    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Steve,

    Amazing. That should have been a blog post.

    Five stars and top of the class to Steve. Everyone should read that and take note, that is the way to be a success.

    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Steve,

    If there was a thank you button I would use it.

    I too will come back and read it again. It is hard to stay focused sometimes when things don’t go quite as you planned. I try to keep in mind that Dave is doing well by working hard and staying committed to his goal.

    +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Suzanne,

    Comment voting is now enabled so we can all thank Steve and anyone else we want with a point.

    A bit silly but we can at least say nice things to peeps who leave a good comment.

    Vote away.

    I wonder who will get the most positive marks.

    It’s like getting gold stars in school. I am a little excited now.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Reply:

    @Steve,

    I am just glad that you guys enjoyed it πŸ˜€

    I’ve just realized that after all of this time, this entire business is a mind game and when you develop the mental attitude necessary to play the game then you’ve set yourself free. It’s that simple and these days when I do work I don’t look at my income to tell me whether or not I was “successful” that day. I know if I can spit out X amount of work per day then I am a success no matter what I end up making. It’s all about consistency, and it pays off big time.

    Too bad I don’t have a “How To Make Money Online” website of my own, I could have gotten a righteous backlink with that post πŸ˜‰ Maybe I need to look into competing with Steve Pavlina instead :p

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Steve,

    It was a great comment. All the work will pay off at some point, that is what everyone has to keep in mind. All of that content maturing on the web and slowly growing your business in what everyone needs to keep in mind.

  22. Dave, I’ve been wondering how you came up with the $30k/ month number. How did you figure out that is how much a Thai island would cost? How do you go about buying a Thai island?

    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Josh,

    You just go to the Thai Island shop πŸ˜‰

    The figure is just a goal I have for me and the Wife to earn between us. A year ago it was a hundred dollars a day. 2 years ago it was any money a day.

    Now I know what can be achieved it keeps me motivated to work hard.

    I think an Island would cost a fortune but I am definitely on track to buy a beach house here in Spain to go with our mountain home that we live in. But a small Thai property would be nice on a little deserted Island. The Island thing is a little tongue in cheek really but who knows. I have a lot of years ahead of me, fingers crossed.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Josh Reply:

    @Dave,

    Hahaha, at first I thought the Thai island thing was tongue in cheek but after a while I started thinking you were serious. Its definitely an achievable goal for you.

    I have looked a Mediterranean beachfront property online and I am amazed how cheap it is. For half the price of the house I’m living in(only 3 bedrooms) you can get a house twice the size with a pool and right on the beach. Granted, I do live in southwest Colorado and the cost of living here is ridiculous. Either way, beach house like that in the US would run millions of dollars. A beach house in Spain sounds like an incredible idea.

    I have another question- my amazon account is based in the UK so I get paid in pounds. What happens when they put this in my bank account? I’m asking because I assume you get paid in dollars and then its switched to Euros. Do you lose a chunk of what you make or do they just do a direct conversion?

    Also, your right. People are insane during christmas with Amazon. I have only had one sale and it was Β£1,162 off of a random longtail on a site I haven’t really started working on yet. Hopefully this is the niche and not the season haha

    Thanks man.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Josh,

    The payment is so convoluted. Earn money 1 month, a cheque arrives2 months later. You pay it in in dollars. It gets converted to your currency right away.

    Then here we pay like 7 euros for the craziness of it then having to be sent back to America to be cleared. Same process for the UK according to the Wife too.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Josh Reply:

    @Dave,

    Thanks.

    The Net 60 payment schedule is by far my least favorite thing about Amazon. I don’t think there is any way around it though.

  23. That was a brilliant post Steve. Well said and so true. I think I will come back and read that each time I hit a down point and there are many cuz you can put in so much work upfront and not see rewards.

    Dave it is so nice to be able to put a picture to your name !! I think everyone thinks you were a big guy probably cuz you sit at the computer all day long and then drink wine all evening……though I bet that house you are building keeps you fit; plastering walls and what not. I actually thought the guy from Fiverr.com video who did your BMR review was you the first time I saw that.

    Great post heading here and as always you send out good reminders just when we need them most. Thx.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Tara,

    Another one who thought I was a little lardy!

    I am sure the vino will catch up with me soon enough though, it is encroaching day by day.

    That was inspirational from Steve wasn’t it? Great stuff.

  24. Dave, Can I ask a vaguely technical question… do you direct UK visitors to amazon.co.uk and US visitors to amazon.com and if so, how do you do it? I get a mix of traffic from around the world, though the main split is UK/US and sending someone to the “wrong” Amazon site is not beneficial to either them or me. Thanks for the great work BTW – only you and the legend that is Griz are on my bookmarks (need all the time possible for actually DOING stuff, but it’s nice to indulge in a bit of affirmation now and then i.e. reading something that chimes with my own experience).

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Kat,

    There is this plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/amazon-affiliate-link-localizer/ that is supposed to send peeps to the right country for Amazon but I couldn’t get it to work right but if you can give me a shout. You put in your ids for both countries then it is meant to convert any link depending on the visitor location.

    To be honest I have little luck with UK traffic for almost anything. I do usually try to just put a general link to the UK on sites so that people have the option but my niches seem to only do well in the US. Although the Wife made like 1700 UK pounds last month and likes to tell me about THAT now and then.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Dave,

    I couldn’t get the plugin to work either.

    My UK traffic converts better than US at the moment. Trouble with writing for US, I have to remember to misspell words.

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust on Elance Reply:

    @Suzanne,

    OH YEAH – like America didn’t INVENT INGLISH.

    However you spell it. Oh…hold on – we didn’t invent the lingo?? That’s NOT what Al Gore said.

    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @JamestheJust on Elance,

    And you do spell it wrong. I hate that I can’t write recognise, colour, grey, etc without the damn red squiggly line showing up.

  25. I just wrote a poem……………

    An Ode To IM

    I spin

    I spam

    I spew

    Out content to the web

    I wonder was it worth it all

    When Google tells me…………….

    I’M DEAD

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust on Elance Reply:

    @Dave,

    Watch out, Edgar Allen Poe. Don’t harsh my mellow.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @JamestheJust on Elance,

    Sorry Man.

  26. Thank you. I’m so grateful for this heartfelt post. You’ve motivated beyond words this morning.

    Here’s to a abundantly prosperous Holiday!

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Sunshine,

    You are more than welcome, and thanks for the kind comment.

  27. G’day Dave,
    You mentioned 10 spots being available for any given phrase. Would you buy a handful of domains and try to get all of them on the first page or would you use other properties such as hubpages, squidoo etc?

    Cheers mate

    Craig

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig Mc,

    If you have reseller hosting then I would go for getting a good number of my own sites there and mixing in some Hubs etc too.

  28. Keepin’ it gangsta, playa! That was awesome. I’m taking your advice and getting off your blog. So there.

    (That was so worth the wait, Dave!)

  29. Hi Dave, thank you for all the advice and the good humour you put on your posts. I wanted to ask you if you are still using the Free Article System?

    Cheers,

    Kostas.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Kostas,

    To be honest I am not. It is worth a run for the free links but I haven’t used it since I began using some paid networks. Plus I can’t handle spinning 400 words, it makes my brain melt. I would get someone on Fiverr to spin a few articles for you and put them on. Or do it manually.

  30. Just an update on my main site that disappeared.

    It has started to appear in google for a couple of keywords for just one post so far.

    Now the thing that has me confused is that the keywords are not those that the post is optimised for. They are not in my title tags etc, and for one of the results the all in one SEO description is all messed up, while the other result shows it as it should be(both for the same page).

    I am just a little concerned that I have changed something on my site that has messed things up. Although because I have other sites that dropped suddenly as well I don’t think that is the case.

    Just a bit frustrated really because I am making some sales for my keywords through articles and other sources that are on page 2 and 3, and also images.

    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Suzanne,

    Firstly if you are making sales via articles then give them a boost on to page 1 so you increase your earnings. I know when I did a lot of ezinearticles that I could generate good money if the resource box was done well.

    And it does sound like you are just going through the dance. G is looking at how to classify your site and it will get worked out in the end.

    There is definitely a lot of algo changes going on and a lot of odd ranking movements, just go with the flow and be patient.

    OR KNOCK ON BIG G’S DOOR AND TELL THEM TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER AND THAT YOU WANT TO BE NUMBER 1 FOR EVERYTHIG GODSDAMMIT!

    Um, yeah, 1 or the other πŸ˜‰

    I do wonder if paid traffic is actually less of a headache than seo at times.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Kim Reply:

    @Dave,
    Interesting you should mention that about paid traffic. I’ve started to feel a little sick about all the dancing and sandboxing, and have started experimenting with PPC. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing and I got raped the first day (thank god I set a dollar limit). I have a new site up with a downloadable product, and I want to see how well I can do with PPC and building a list so I don’t have to rely so much on backlinks. We’ll see.

    Thanks for your great blog. I read it daily, the comments are especially useful. And I’m one of those who thought you were an old guy! I bet your wife doesn’t have a wobbly bottom, either.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Kim,

    She does. Just the way I like it!

    I think I am going to take some very tentative steps with PPC in the new year too, putting your eggs in one basket and all that.

    Glad you like the site Kim. It has come as a real surprise to me I must be honest. I love all the comments and the way we all interact. Mad that my favorite site, and one that actually has good content from loads of people gets no traffic via search. I think the topics are a little too hot and I only ever did one set of links to this site. I would rather it was fun that a part of the daily grind.

    But all this comment content must get some search engine love one day. We shall see.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Dave,

    Thanks Dave, have been doing that. That’s why I really hope it’s the dance, if my articles can get to page two and three, and they are spun, then my post “should” be above it for content. The post in question is long and well optimised, but that might not be how google sees it.

    The articles were submitted with AMR and are not even the top directories. Part of me wonders if this is something to do with it though, I used the scheduler but think it might have upset things. Saying that though not all the articles are indexed and it didn’t disappear straight away. The domain is over two years old and I thought it would be OK.

    I haven’t used AMR on my other sites that disappeared though so don’t think that is the whole story.

    Setting up a new site on same theme, going to do it slightly differently and experiment with Facebook Fan Pages. I would like to see if there is a way to stop being so dependent on G.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Lorecee Reply:

    @Dave, if you’re thinking about paid traffic, you might look into Amazon’s PPC programs, which are in their infancy so much cheaper than Adwords. Heavily searched keywords must get decent traffic; not sure how good the CTR is, though.

    I’ve used Adwords myself on a small scale and did great ($1.50 gross sales for every .50 spent) but I think it was more dumb luck than skill.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Lorecee,

    The problem with that is that a lot of my stuff is on Amazon! But it may work for a few of my niches actually. I honestly hadn’t thought about them I will check it out. Thanks.

    That was a great conversion, what a return.

  31. Hey Suzanne – I am happy to take a look at your site structure/on page SEO to see if anything is amiss. Sounds like it’s just dancing, but more than happy to have a look for you.

    Dave can probably vouch for me that I’m not going to steal your keywords : )

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Billy,

    Don’t trust him Suzanne, he wears a blue hat!

    And his weird blog won’t let you comment without signing in or something. But I will have a glass on you Billy, even if I didn’t comment on your blog to say ta πŸ˜‰

    Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Billy,

    Thanks Billy would be interested in your help.

    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Billy Reply:

    @Suzanne, feel free to drop me a note:

    suzanne.20.billybluehat@spamgourmet.com

    (this will go through to my real address, and I can get back to you directly)

    Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Billy,

    Thanks for your help Billy, it was good of you to spare the time.

  32. Just when traffic was picking up to my slapped (?) site, today I get out of bed and check to stats to find an abysmal 5 visits to it all night.

    If you go up and down more than once, it’s actually more of a dance than a slap, innit?

    (think about that one!!!)

    Vote -1 Vote +1Blackthorne Reply:

    Dave…. you’ve done some dancing around as well I believe?

    You just keep going on despite the fact that G screws you over every once in a while?

    Do you think slapped/dancing sites can still make it big in the future?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Blackthorne,

    Nearly every single site will come out the other end and get its right spot in the serps. I have a 2 year old site that is dancing for some competitive terms.

    The answer. I just sent a 120 backlinks philippines run to it to shock it in to submission. Plus it already has over 1000 indexed links pointing to a single page I want to rank.

    Never give up and either forget about the site for a while or continue to backlink until G submits and lets you rank.

    The Wife lost a site that would be making (and was) thousands a month. Build a Hub and rank that in the meantime.

    I am currently spending about 6 hours a day backlinking a single site for a handful of terms, it is over $400 so far this month and will going up daily until its peak at the middle of December, quite exciting. Plus even if your site is in the sandbox etc it will come out at some point and if you have backlinked it it will rank high.

    Or send paid traffic and try not to get burned.

    All just part of the game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Blackthorne Reply:

    @Dave, Thanks Dave.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Blackthorne Reply:

    @Dave, So… the site that the wife ‘lost’… Has it lost its rankings or is it deindexed?

    Was it an authoritive site?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Blackthorne,

    All our sites are killer big sites or big sites in the making. We don’t make 5 or 10 page sites really. It is still indexed it just got a major slap but after a few months it is now slowly returning a few longtails (like 2 !).

    Vote -1 Vote +1Blackthorne Reply:

    @Dave, My site is also a killer site in the making.

    But a killer site in the making is not a killer site.

    I assume your wife’s site didn’t have age and authority yet.

    (just like mine)

    Vote -1 Vote +1All is well Reply:

    @Dave,
    Hi dave, I was wondering why my site was not making some money. On the other side my hubs earning is tripled every day.

    After adding 150 short articles…Yest it made half dollar. Traffic is very less 30 per day. Most of my aricles was not getting enough traffic. So, last two days i added 100 profile links to main domain. This main domain don’t have any targeted keyword. It is like laptop. I am first giving 20 bookmarking to every page. Top site in this niche has alexa rank of 500, 1500, 2000, 5000, 10000. Which shows they will getting 100k page view pers day.

    Now i have selected 150 another post to be optimized giving lot backlink. I hope with in next two three months. i will do better. Still i have to add thousands of pages in future.

    Another site is very high cpc, highly competitive website. selected 20 articles for now to be optimized. Surely easy way to make nice money once it will rank. I have targetted almost every thing.

    And my lowest cpc website. which make $3 per month. Now i started two more. And for this i started building backlinks. So, that i can earn $30 per month atleast. Right now, i am holding various authority site projects. Will start as soon as we get good results. from these 5.

    Overall i am very happy. I will surely leave my job in next one year and start SEO company and do major projects online.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @All is well,

    It is not about the amount of posts on the site but the number of links to each one and the difficulty of the keywords.

    i.e I have an article directory that has over 2000 unique articles on it but it only makes a few dollars every day. If the content was all backlinked it would make a fortune though. But I don’t have time or inclination.

    I would say to not post any content unless you give it a minimum of 10 backlinks from forum profiles or postrunner etc. Bookmarking will make little different to rankings.

    Just remember that any piece of content that you have and gets clicks or makes a little can make a lot more. Rank it number 1 and then go for other terms related to it as well and rank them top too.

    I would not add thousands of articles until the site has a history of a year or two of every piece of content getting lots of backlinks. Then when you get real authority status new articles will rank on their own.

    Vote -1 Vote +1All is well Reply:

    @Dave,
    Basically not high quality articles. But i will follow your advice strictly. I will add backlinks to the posts which is getting some visitors and make them rank in top 3. And continue collecting some more articles. Also, will add some links + profile links + 10 dofollow bookmarking + Hubpages, wordpress.com/ blogspot links with commenting.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @Dave, You’re right that bookmarking will make little difference. One of my affiliate sites has been fairly stable at #7 for its main keyword. I bookmarked it at a couple of hundred sites, and it didn’t help its rankings at all. Didn’t hurt, either, mind.

  33. This article by HoboSEO seals the deal on link cloaking if anyone is still wondering.

    Sites Treated Differently For A While Regardless Of Inbound Quality Signals
    http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/seo-blog/sites-treated-differently-regardless-of-inbound-quality-signals/

    I just ordered a new WP plugin that is a clone of http://agaskar.com/post/106141451/wordpress-amazon-associate-filter except that the aff. code is only generated for a user once the page is loaded using JS. BTW, does UK traffic convert for anyone*? Dave? I might as well get the geo-location thing sorted once and for all with the same plugin if it does.

    * I get less than 1% UK traffic for my sites so don’t have my own numbers to go on. Didn’t the IPK guy make all of his money off of UK traffic?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Wishal,

    That was an interesting read. I don’t use cloaking at all and have never had a problem, even with a ton of affiliate links on them from the get go.

    But new sites are definitely a lot more prone to the sandbox for me than they ever were before. Maybe they have tightened up the algo?

    In all but one niche the UK traffic converts terribly. But the good converting ones are with a uk domain and hosted in the UK too, I think that makes a real difference. Peeps seem a lot happier actually clicking out on a .co.uk domain.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Wishal,

    My UK traffic converts OK. 5.73% last month, but then I don’t have a US figure to compare. This is across 3 separate niches. My US traffic is small and doesn’t convert, going to work on that next.

    My sites have co.uk domain but aren’t hosted in UK. I just changed it in webmasters.

    Personally if I am shopping online I would normally go for a co.uk domain, unless it was something I knew like play.com. Also if I go to a site and see the dollar sign I usually click the back button, it is the first thing I look for.

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