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Journey to Paying Off Student Loans - Portfolio of Websites

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by hopkism, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. hopkism

    hopkism Newbie

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    The Goal

    My main goal is to make $500 per month. That is the minimum payment required on my student loans. If I can start with that goal then my wife and I can save more of our wages for saving and investing. More specifically, September has been keyword research, October is going to be content creation and November will be backlink building. I'm giving myself December as the month to tweak things to cover up any loose ends. January is the deadline. January I must see minimum income of $500. Technically, I should start seeing money trickle in in October.

    I'm out of work due to injury till January so I'm stuck at home with at least 8 hours a day, five days a week. Can I do it?

    My background

    I started IM a few years ago and gave up. I had a few big months ($300-500) but most of the time was struggling to make $20-50 and putting in lots of time. I wasted way too much time on it. Now that I'm married and more mature, my time is worth more than money.

    Coming back from a two year break I have my head on better and am more disciplined. I used to waste hours searching blogs for SEO tips and secrets. Remember studying the gold rush in school? The gold miners weren't the ones who made the most long lasting profit. It was the people selling shovels, the newspapers spreading the stories and the insurance companies collecting huge premiums.

    Now I work hard to write original articles fast. I never used keyword research and am now ensuring that all of my work is researched before I plunge in. Now I budget a small amount of time to learning about IM and SEO. Many of these bloggers are only gurus and ninja's (stupid phrase anyways) because we visit their pages and worship each update as mana from heaven. Trust in your research and trust in your business skills.

    As a secondary goal I will learn to work smart and not hard. I will develop a dedicated and solid game plan that can be duplicated in the future. The goal here is to work really hard now and scale it back to find the minimums that I will need in the future and then exceed those to exceed output of profits.

    How I will Do it - Diversified Opportunities

    I will be doing it through a portfolio of similar and different websites. I kept one of my blogs from a few years ago active by paying the hosting and domain name so it is aged and it still gets 1,000 visitors a month each month without me doing anything.

    The second and third websites will be Amazon niche authority sites. I have spent the past few weeks researching through various tools and have chosen two niches with little competition, high sales and tons of long tails. They are evergreen, boring and relevant year round. The domains and the overall theme of both sites will be incredibly helpful and subtle in their affiliate marketing. As a secondary goal, this is something I'm trying to duplicate once I figure it out.

    Third, I am an excellent and fast writer. I will be soliciting professionals to write content for their websites but also publish in magazines and journals (I already am now, just not so much as I'd like). My rate is far higher than the Fiverr-like writers so although I do get fewer clients, the articles net quite a bit more.

    Finally, I will be giving myself a little extra security by doing a few odds and ends to cover my bases. I own a few domain names that I will be developing that are more fun and less affiliate worthy. They are not related to commerce. I will experiment with Adsense and some other networks that will probably make significantly less. The benefit here is that once built these sites will almost never need updating, but will only make $1-2 a day.

    Bottom Line: I'm a huge proponent of diversification of income. Unfortunately the bulk of my plan will weigh heavily on Google and organic traffic. I don't trust them at all and who knows how long this game will last. Thus as soon as I can start getting profit in, minus my expenses and covering my minimum student loan payments, I will be exploring other methods of not only getting traffic but making money online. Just last week I put together a 10,000 word rough draft for an ebook on a hobby I'm pretty passionate about. I need to keep that up.

    What I Need from you Guys

    Be real with me. Play devil's advocate. I will not settle for failure here. I will either succeed and keep working or I will fail and move on to a more fruitful topic. If you have some advice or experience, please share it with me. If you have questions about one of my processes or believe one or more is better/worse let me know. If my goals are too high or too low let me know.

    I will update at the end of the month to check up and make sure my research goals are done and that everything is in place for October.
     
  2. hopkism

    hopkism Newbie

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    I know it's a lot of reading but I tried to break it up for ease of glancing through it all. I would love the feedback.

    Today I actually wrote 4,000 words of an introduction to a hobby blog complete with long tail h3 and bold phrases. I'm feeling very pumped!
     
  3. SocialCreativeOnline

    SocialCreativeOnline Newbie

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    sounds like a good plan, I'd aim for way higher than 500/month though. I wish you the best
     
  4. dragiia

    dragiia BANNED BANNED

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    3-months doesn't give you a lot of time, especially if you're starting from scratch.
     
  5. MichaelJon

    MichaelJon Registered Member

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    Good stuff OP. Will be watching this closely.. Out of curiosity, does your old blog create any income at the moment? You said it gets around 1,000 visitors a month. Is it monetized? It just seems like that might be a great place to start earning (or increase current earnings) as you already have consitant traffic? Rather than building out entirely new sites first? Just my 2 cents :)

    Also, pleased to see someone else has the same perspective as me when it comes to these so called 'gurus'! They are 'gurus' because they say they are and we nod our heads and agree out of sheer ignorance :)

    Good luck!
     
  6. hopkism

    hopkism Newbie

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    Thanks for the questions. The main blog has been active since 2011. It made about $50 a month on affiliate sales then with a few big months. In the last two years it made minor Adsense earning, like $20 a month and about $20 a month from Amazon. I have since taken off all of the Adsense, improved the Amazon links (increasing them where helpful) and am pushing the CJ affiliates because they are far more useful, have a longer cookie period and pay way better. So far, my CTR is awesome! I only get about 50 unique visitors a day but average 10-15 clicks. Obviously I'd like to find ways to increase both.
     
  7. hopkism

    hopkism Newbie

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    What would you recommend for time period? I have one blog that is several years old that I hope to lead the way. Profits past my costs and the goal of going towards the student loans can help put advertising, shares and link building in the other properties. It may sound cliche but these really will require little effort once established, maybe a few hours a month each. I learned the hard way years ago about putting in senseless time and how it can easily escape you. They will be updated but only as needed and only when I have something of value.

    The start-from-scratch websites are also following a niche site formula, but one that actually works towards authority. I'm thoroughly researching the topics and writing, encompassing and original research, reviews and commentary on them. Unlike made or Adsense sites or most Amazon affiliate sites they will not focus on the spammy nature or desperation for clicks. On top of that, the topics are so evergreen that decades could pass and the information will still be useful, relevevant and the products they are built around sell. On top of that, I have back up affiliates for both if Amazon's program tanks and plans for direct advertising. The one catch is going to be that I am relying on search traffic almost exclusively.
     
  8. hopkism

    hopkism Newbie

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    Quick Update: Almost a month has passed and I have had some really nice successes.

    I have finished two 10,000+ word eBooks on passionate topics. They are going in highly niche categories so sales will be irregular but very evergreen. I'm having them professionally edited now.

    My old blog got two leads last month at $50 each, out of only 40 visitors a day. I would love to break out of that number though...

    One of my niche sites is fully wrote and looking really pretty. I have Amazon links and some key affiliate links sprinkled throughout. Because I used an old domain with lots of backlinks it was indexed immediately. I have done some pretty solid guest posting with it so it should see a surge in traffic in the next couple of months.