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lvl 1: My journey to creating a successful, money-making website

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by LinLicker, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    Hi everyone! As my title says, my goal is to create a successful website that makes money. I have a bunch of goals all leading up to my main goal, which is to eventually be able to quit my job, and this is just the first one on my list. I look at each of my goals as a level. Accomplishing this goal will be like completing level 1 in a video game. Getting to the point of quitting my job will be like completing the whole video game.

    I've abandoned projects in the past, and my excuse for it is because I didn't have a job at the time that I was working on them. I needed money and so I was impatient. When something didn't work, I would move on to the next thing instead of just sticking to it. This time around, I have a job. I have extra money to spend towards my websites, and won't be homeless if I'm not able to make any of it back. I'm in no rush and I feel no pressure to "make money fast." I can take my time and research as I go.

    Also, if anyone sees I'm doing something wrong and have any advice, please tell me. I don't get butthurt easily. Even if you want to just say "psh linlicker, you're definitely a noob that is going to abandon this journey like most people that start these journeys" GO AHEAD.

    I don't have an impressive background story. I've failed every time I've given this a try , and I know why and have learned, and still learning, from it. I HAVE made money online though but not from my own websites and not a lot. I've written for a website that gets millions of views every week. It wasnt my website. I was just hired to make blog posts daily. I also made a youtube channel with 11 videos (all made by myself). My highest viewed video has 14k views. And I got the mods of a sub on reddit with 30k subscribers (that usually has over 100 users online) to link to my videos in their sidebar. But I did nothing to make any money off of these videos. The reason I point these two things out is because I believe my experiences with them will help me. I will take what I learned from writing for that blog to attract readers to create attractive content for my website, and I will use the same format i used for those youtube videos to make videos for the website I will be working on now. and even though I've abandoned that channel, I'm thinking of linking the website that I will be working on in this journey, in the description of the some of these videos. The niches are not related, but still, it can't hurt right? Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.

    My Gameplan:

    **I will do a crap ton of research before going about each of these steps and include in the updates what exactly I'm doing and what helped me learn it.**
    1. Find a really good WP theme for my website. One mistake I've made in the past is I didn't put too much effort in the appearance of my websites. I usually just chose a free theme on wordpress that I thought looked nice and that was it. I will read up on the type of themes that usually attract readers.
    2. Website Format/Create HELPFUL content. I will pay attention to how I format the website and content. I will create all of my content myself. The content will consist of articles and youtube videos following the same format I used in my other youtube channel that I just told you guys about. I emphasized "helpful" and for a reason. I will go on more about that in my updates.
    3. Include Amazon Affiliate links to products related to my niche. I need to do more research on the best way to go about this, but I am thinking of purchasing those items myself and doing reviews on them instead of just creating fake reviews. I will make sure to take and include pictures of the items in my reviews. I'm assuming a review with a real picture and not the sales picture from the Amazon store page is more believable. Again, I have to do research
    4. Social Media. I will create Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest pages. One thing I will do is have giveaways of the amazon items I'm trying to promote to gain followers. To promote the giveaway, I will submit it to giveaway directories and comment on blogs/instagram pics/facebook posts related to my niche about the giveaway.
    5. Facebook Ads. I've used Facebook ads before and they've worked for me. The only problem is I was promoting links to a poorly set up blog. If my shitty blogs gained clicks from Facebook ads, I think if I follow the previous steps I've listed and not half-ass anything, I will get a decent amount of interest.

    I work in a kitchen full-time, and when I prepare orders for customers, one thing I ask myself before serving it is "would I eat this?" This way I never give someone a shitty plate. I will use that when going into this journey. I definitely shop online a lot and know what I want to see when deciding on if I should purchase an item or not. I will keep that in mind for every step that I complete during this journey (Would i like this facebook page? would i subscribe to the mailing list of this website? would i believe this review? would i buy this product based off of their review? etc.)

    Thanks for reading!

    Update 1
     
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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  2. galaxier

    galaxier Registered Member

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    hi, GL on your journey.

    I got some simple qns for you, are you promoting a affiliate website or will you be selling your own kitchen products?
     
  3. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    Thanks. I'm sorry, Idk if I understand you correctly.. I won't be promoting an affiliate website. I will be creating a website with affiliate links. and no, I won't be selling any kitchen products. I might have confused you when I mentioned that I work in a kitchen.

    edit: I'm stupid. I see what you're saying now. I will be promoting my website that will have affiliate links, so yea I will be promoting an affiliate website.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  4. tokokipiani

    tokokipiani Power Member

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    ", I'm thinking of linking the website that I will be working on in this journey, in the description of the some of these videos. The niches are not related, but still, it can't hurt right? Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong."

    I would not suggest you to link one niche to another. I think it is a bit spammy and users will not like to see videos, which are not related to their interest.
    Go only for one niche till the end!
     
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  5. nikchaing

    nikchaing Jr. VIP Jr. VIP UnGagged Attendee

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    Good luck OP. Do you have any type of budget in place or are you just freestylin it?
     
  6. galaxier

    galaxier Registered Member

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    Hahas.. it's cool.. Good luck on your journey. I'm creating one soon too so I was hoping to follow those who have started theirs already.
     
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  7. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    Thank you. I'm hoping to spend $200 - $300 altogether towards advertising, a link building service from here, fiverr gigs (for design stuff), and for buying items to review/giveaway.

    Thanks! Dumb question.. Will it still seem spammy even if I go about it in this way... "Thanks for watching my video. I've started a new website about xxx, and would really appreciate it if you guys could check it out"
     
  8. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    Ahh are you starting a journey similar to this one?
     
  9. tokokipiani

    tokokipiani Power Member

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    I would not go for it , if it is not related to the niche. Choice is yours
     
  10. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    UPDATE 1
    Wordpress theme

    So i've found what I think is good wordpress theme for my website. Here's a few things I paid attention to when choosing my theme:

    • Mobile friendly - Google has a mobile-friendly test tool where you can insert the url of your website and it tells you if it's mobile-friendly or not.
    • Cross browser compatible
    • Supports schema code
    • Color - I read a good article on how color stimulates senses.
    • Load speed - I used a tool called pingdom to check the load speed. It was under 1.05s. I read that an ideal time is below 1.5s.I will be using this again once I have my website set up with content/widgets/share buttons etc.
    • Vibe - This seems silly but I had to get a trustworthy-vibe from the theme. A lot of times when I go on a website that is selling something, if the design is shitty, I'm going to automatically think the product is shit or it's a scam and they will just take my money and run. You could sell me the urine of a dragon if the website looks trustworthy. I just might believe it's actually the urine of a dragon.

    Website formatting:
    Homepage: My homepage is static.The blog will be on a different page.
    Sidebar: My sidebar is going to start off with a "Recent post" section then become a popular posts section when i start getting traffic. The sidebar will also have a small categories section and social media buttons
    Footer: Not sure yet of what I will be putting in the footer

    Once I add content, I'll know more on how I will format my website and what categories and pages I should have besides the home page, review page, and blog.

    I've added a mailing form that popups when people have been on my website for a certain amount of time asking them to subscribe to my mailing list and how they wil be entered into my monthly giveaway if they do.

    Plugins

    • Wordpress SEO by Yoast
    • Google Analytics Dashboard
    • rel nofollow checkbox
    • Wordpress Popular Posts
    • Amazon Link
    • Popupally
    • Floating Social Bar

    Additional notes: I've discovered that sliders/carousels are bad for SEO. I tend to always enable the sliders, so this was something new to me. I'm definitely going to get away from those.

    My next step will be to read up more on how to write good, ranking articles and then add content to my website.

    Feel free to give me pointers/correct me on anything I've said.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  11. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    UPDATE 2
    Content
    Today I added content to the homepage, created a FAQ page, and added 1 more page of content. I will be adding way more content, but for right this is good since before all I had was a blank site.

    Here are things I paid attention to when writing my content:
    • Helpful - I made sure the content was very helpful and tried to answered any questions visitors may have right away. I didn't include any amazon affiliate links until the end of the post. I want the readers to learn about the product first.
    • Images and color - I included pictures in my content, bolded words that I thought would stand out to customers, and didn't just use black text. I also made sure each letter of each word was a different color :p (joking)
    • Paragraphs and indentions - this is obvious but having just a wall of text is big no-no. I'm not expert, but I know for sure no one likes to read a big wall of text. Think of when you see posts on here, if it's just a wall of text, you will most likely just skim it. Add colors, bolded text, and image and the post will most likely keep your attention.
    • Made sure it wasn't spammy - I made sure not to give off a "im trying to sell you something" vibe. When listing the amazon products that I was promoting, I suggested it instead of saying things like "GO BUY THIS NOW."
    • Keyword - I did not spam my keyword, but I made sure it was included into my content multiple times. The seo yoast plugin helps me know if I have my focus keyword in the content too much or too little.
    • Readability - Rabbitking has a good post on here about writing good articles that ranks. In it he explains why checking your readability is important. If you have the wordpress seo by yoast plugin, it should tell you what your readability (flesch reading ease) score is. I made sure to check mine.
    • Grammar/spelling - I proofread at least 3 times and used a grammar/spell checker.

    Subscribers
    After readers have been on my page for a certain amount of time, a popup appears asking them to subscribe. I use the popupalley plugin with mailchimp to make this happen. I don't want to be too spammy with the mailing form so I made sure to set it to where instead of it popping up whenever someone returns to my page, it will only popup every 14 days.

    To get people to sign up, I have a monthly giveaway for subscribers. Later on when I setup my facebook/instagram pages, I will send an email to the people who have subscribed saying how they can get extra entries into the giveaway by liking the facebook page or following me on instagram.

    Rank
    I know it's too soon to be checking where I'm ranking for my keyword, but I did anyway and discovered Im on the second page for the keyword on bing. Do people use bing? Is this a good thing?

    Anyway, that's my update for today. I have to go to work now :( so if any of you have any tips or anything for me, I won't see them until tonight.
     
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  12. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    UPDATE 3 - Facebook Commenting
    First off, I got my first newsletter subscriber. I've been promoting my site on facebook and getting likes here and there on the posts and comments I'm making. While this isn't big and I haven't gotten anyone to purchase the product i'm promoting yet, not that I expect to do so this soon, this is exciting for me. It makes me feel like maybe the content I've created so far is appealing and I chose a good niche. It also makes me feel that maybe my comments aren't coming off as too spammy, which is what I don't want at all. Now I just need to research more on how to "convert readers into customers."

    Here's an example of how I format my Facebook comments:

    Popular Facebook Page's Example Post: Did you know that washing your dishes by hand relieves stress?
    My Example Comment: This is true. I love washing dishes. Did you know there are dish soaps made specifically for relieving stress? There's a lot of great info on those type of dish soaps here *website url*

    This doesn't make sense but it's just an example.I'm still experimenting with this format of commenting and will change it up to see what does better.

    I haven't created a fan page for this website yet. I'm commenting from a "personal" facebook account (not my real personal facebook account) with what I think is a normal facebook picture to make it seem as if I am a normal facebook user and not a spam account.

    Commenting as soon as the facebook page posts

    The way I'm going to try and keep up with when popular fan pages related to my niche posts is I'm going to convert the the Facebook posts into an rss feed and use a feed notifier so I get notifications whenever the facebook page posts. This sounds complicated but it's really not, and I can go over how I do this if anyone wants me to.

    Also if there's a better way to be on top of when facebook pages post, I would reeeeally appreciate it if you told me.

    Blog commenting

    This is a method talked about a lot here. I think it's from meathead's guide but I'm not sure. I search my keyword on google, use the search tool to find articles made recently, and comment on them in the least spammiest way that I can.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  13. Munsteer

    Munsteer Newbie

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    In a nutshell
    Hey man, good luck with your journey! Hope you will be successful this time! :)
     
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  14. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    Thanks! Meeee too. I have a slight feeling I will be this time. and even if I'm not, I'm learning way more than I knew the other times I've attempted.
     
  15. BeatDaBest

    BeatDaBest Registered Member

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    Hm this thread looks pretty empty, but I'm not sure why. You seem to be very detailed about what you're doing.

    Good luck OP!

    I'm interested in seeing how successful you are in getting emails as I've read that most visitors to Amazon Affiliate sites aren't interested in leaving their email.
     
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  16. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    Thanks! Oh wow I didn't know that. Do you have any idea of why visitors to amazon affiliate sites don't usually leave their email? I have a total of 2 subscribers as of right now. omg so many right? :p

    It's not so obvious that I'm promoting items from amazon at first. and I also have the signup form formatted something like this "Want FREE XXXX? Just sign up for free tips sent directly to your email. You'll automatically be entered for a chance to win XXXX every month for as long as you're subscribed." and this is a product people run out of and buy more of, so a chance to win this every month isn't weird.

    I could just be naive in all of this though in thinking that I'm being subtle about the amazon affiliate links. I'm probably obvious as hell.
     
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  17. BeatDaBest

    BeatDaBest Registered Member

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    More often than not in IM I prefer to wait and see what happens, but for most affiliate sites the product is "buy one and done."

    If your product is something that people would need monthly, weekly, or whatnot then that would make more sense!

    One word of warning though, you cannot send Amazon Affiliate links through email as that is against their TOS so that's something to be weary about.

    Oh and most people wouldn't realize that the links are affiliate as the average Joe that's shopping online doesn't really know much about that. It might even work in your advantage as they might hover over the link and see that it leads to a respectable site and not pronpills.com.

    Cheers!
     
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  18. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    That's why I like to promote on Facebook. Not to offend or underestimate facebook users, hell I use facebook too, but I dont think the general "Facebook crowd" recognize amazon affiliate links or even know that amazon has an affiliate program. BUT i don't directly post my affiliate links on facebook. I link to my website... but now that you point this out, I'm wondering if I should be linking affiliate links instead of links to my site.

    I should know this already... Is it against amazon's TOS to post affiliate links on Facebook or even launch ads with them?
     
  19. BeatDaBest

    BeatDaBest Registered Member

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    Honestly I've never done it, but I remember reading about this on this forum somewhere. Search for it maybe?

    I know you're not allowed to shorten their links unless it's the Amazon link shortener, but Facebook wise I don't have any experience with it. Sorry!
     
  20. LinLicker

    LinLicker Junior Member

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    UPDATE 4
    As of right now, I have 3 newsletter subscribers :)

    Instagram
    I made an instagram account today for the website and have been liking/following. I'm doing it manually right now but will possibly use a bot later on down the road. The pictures I post on instagram will have some kind of helpful tip that I know will interest people with the url to my website included on it. I think most people like your picture without ever going to your profile so they never see the link in your bio. This is the reason why I include the link in my picture.

    Amazon's TOS

    BeatDaBest, Thanks for pointing the TOS out to me. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have even thought about going read the rules.

    You CAN post affiliate links on Facebook or any other social networks. You just can't use any outside services to shorten the url.

    Also, just in case some of you don't know this already, you can't include affiliate links in ebooks, PDF's, or documents.

    Two more things that may not be obvious is 1. links can't be included in the email version of your RSS feed and 2. if you post reviews from amazon, you have to include a link to that review or use the star rating through the product advertising API.

    Sorry if this is obvious to you guys already. Some of these are things I had no idea about. Here's the link to the participation requirements if any of you need to read it.
     
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