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My Journey to £2k ($3k) per month - Lead Gen & Amazon Sites

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by FossilWall, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    Hi, my name's FossilWall and I'm an alc...sorry, wrong forum

    Let's try this again.

    Hi, my name is FossilWall (maybe; perhaps not what my Birth Certificate says) and I'm coming back to IM. I'm about 5 years clean and this is my first relapse.

    I'm a long time lurker and love the Journey section. There is one thing that tends to bug me about journey's though; the lack of personality behind the journey. Now many of the best one's are by people well known on the forum, so I understand it. But for my one I wanted to add a bit of colour in terms of who I am, why I am doing this, what motivates me, etc.

    If you don't care you can skip the next section and move on down to the "Journey" section. I'll do a quick TL;DR at that point.

    About Me

    Because it's all about me. Or all about the money. Or both. Or possibly neither, and it's all about my kid(s). It probably changes depending on which voice in my head I'm listening to.

    I used to do some IM stuff. Micro Niche Sites when they were actually working (thank you EMDs) and made decent bank off of them. Then Google changed the game with some dodgy penalty calls (n.b. for sports metaphors you can usually assume I am referring to rugby, one of my 3 main passions, the other 2 being family and drinking. Not necessarily in that order). I allso used to do some freelance writing, nothing great, just a few cents a word, but it aid the bills (I went to edit out those typos, but given the context, they're funnier being left in).

    A few paragraphs in and I'm remembering that old Mark Twain quote

    "Sorry for writing such a long letter, I didn't have time to write a short one". It's 10.30, which is well passed my normal bed time, and I can't be bothered to properly structure my writing to keep it short and punchy.

    Anyway let's try keep this shorter than my Dissertation (which was on Mystery Cults in Ancient Greece, since no one asked). To that end...some bullet points.


    • Mid 30s
    • Married
    • A 2 year old son, another child on the way in December
    • Living in London (though from Wales. For those outside the UK: that's the bit of Britain you never heard of, but probably thought was part of England. For the English, that's the bit with the sheep and the big sign on the map saying "here be dragons" - oh and we beat you at rugby despite having to ask members of the crowd if they were fit enough to play).
    • Working in Engineering Recruitment (trades, mostly).
    • Overweight (pretending I'm doing something about it)
    • Former cig smoker, now on ecigs
    • Love beer and JD - but rarely get to indulge as I have a kid and my wife is a nurse so works a lot of nights

    Ok, that's more than enough personal information. Now let's look at the "why" before we get to the "how".

    I earn well at my job. It's very commission heavy so hard to completely estimate, but if I averaged the last few months out I'd be on about £60k (bit under $100k if I remember the exchange rate, which I don't). My wife earns well also, Our comibined income is probably a bit over £100k. Not in the 1% club, but enough that we can't complain.

    So why go into IM? Well a few reasons


    1. We're trying to buy a house in London. That sh*t is expensive. To make things worse my credit score used to be awful. I spent a lot of time and effort paying off debts and my last credit report showed...that I did a search of my credit report. That's it. Plus side is, it's no longer bad. Downside is, it's nowhere near good enough to get a mortgage (working on getting credit to improve it now). Which leaves us getting a place entirely on my wife's credit. So any money I bring in would be useful (though I don't plan on using it for that, see below).
    2. I'm good at my job. 1 year in at the new company and I'm billing well, with it going up each and every month. This leads to me being paid well, and it should continue to climb for awhile yet. HOWEVER I look at the money I'm making vs the cost of the tools I'm being provided with and have come to the conclusion that I would be far better off running my own recruitment company.
    3. I did the maths. £2k a month would be enough for me to pay for the tools I need, and to cover my childcare costs (2 days a week as my wife works shifts and can cover the other 3).
    4. Having a 2nd child has got me thinking about money in a BIG way!
    5. I HATE having a boss. I'm an argumentative, opinionated sod. Biting my lip for a year has led me to have a very calloused lip. So that my wife doesn't have to continue kissing the lip equivalent of a cauliflower ear (Google rugby cauliflower ear if you don't understand the reference. Though don't blame me for what you can't unsee) I need to stop answering to people.
    6. A lot of good schools in the area are private schools. My local one is about £20k a year! I need to make some money so my children don't end up in innercity gangs (ok, unlikely, but it's what our awful tabloids tell me so it must be true).

    That should cover the whys for now.

    TL;DR - Want to start up my own business to make serious dough. Need seed money. Want to be my own boss. Mouths to feed and gangs to avoid. If you didn't read the bit above you missed a very funny joke involving Leprechaun gangs street fighting with Honey Badgers. Maybe.


    The Plan

    "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" - quote from every rubbish management book I have ever read.

    So the plan right now is as close to the back of a fag packet sort of planning as someone who no longer smokes fags is likely to get. I've read this forum A LOT and hit on 2 models I like


    1. Authority niche site (50-60 quality posts) based around Amazon affiliates stuff.
    2. Lead gen for "real" businesses.

    Now both appeal to me. A lot. I was trying to pick one, then I remembered something. Actually I didn't, I got distracted by a squirrel or something, but that reminded me of that thing I then remembered. I get bored. Easily.

    I was reading a book a week or so ago (see, distracted already...but it does somewhat get back to my rambling half point) about lack of follow through, and how people tend not to follow through with things for different reasons, but they always follow through on others (e.g. I always wash the dishes, come what may. I always read my son his bed time story on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends (I work late Monday and Thursday), I always remember to drink water after a heavy boozing session so I don't feel like death the next day).

    Where was I going? Squirrel....ah yes...

    In that book it suggested a few things. Hold yourself accountable (hence this journey thread), go with what you know about yourself and use that.

    So I know I get bored easily. That I like learning new things. Which suggests, to me, trying multiple angles at the same time. I do it in work (e.g. I get bored just recruiting plumbers, so I also recruit gas engineers, electricians, carpenters, etc, no matter how much my Director wants me to specialise) and it, well, works for me. So why should IM be any different?

    So that's my plan. Go for Lead Gen AND go for Amazon.

    Where am I now? Right at the beginning, well, close to it.

    My Starting Point

    First up I have a £200 / month budget. That's what I can afford to spare based on the rest going to savings for a house, childcare, living costs, booze. I haven't decided how to spend that yet. £200 isn't a huge amount, but it's roughly £300 more than I could afford first time I got into IM.

    I have one lead gen niche selected. A local niche in a UK city. Not going to be a big money maker. Reckon I could rent it for about £100 a month (not planning on per lead for this one). It's more a proof of concept sort of thing.

    An Amazon account that was approved years ago and I think is still active (I had a personal blog that, whilst not a big money maker, did make some Amazon sales and was more a labour of love anyway). Same with adsense (though not planning on using that at the moment).

    I also have hosting which I have paid for for years, for no good reason to be honest.

    Going Forward

    Plan for tomorrow

    1. buy a domain and get up some base pages for the new lead gen page (my wife is on nights so it's just me and the boy for most of the day, not able to do much till his nap).
    2. Brain Storm ideas for niches in both Amazon and Lead Gen

    Oh, one more thing...squirrel. Damn it, not what I meant.

    The book I mentioned (were you paying attention. Yes I mean you at the back, the one with his hands down his pants thinking of opening a new tab up for some porn watching) also suggested an idea on follow through. Well actually it suggested an awful lot but I think I spent most of it with my hands down my pants thinking of watching porn as well. But one idea that stuck...

    The concept was a certain type of punishment (no, not that sort) if you don't follow through with your plans. Since money is a motivator for me then a fine makes sense. So I will donate £10 to a political party I despise (I don't want to get dragged into a political argument here so I won't say who) everytime I go 2 days without doing SOMETHING to move my efforts forward (unless I give at least a weeks notice on here), even if it's just a small thing like a couple of blog comments for links, etc. As a certain supermarket says, Live Better for Less. Or maybe I meant the other one.

    I will also fine myself £10 to the same party everytime I go more than a week without updating this journey. Based on my usual lack of follow through that party will be making some decent wedge off of me. Hopefully NOT wanting that to happen will spur me one.

    p.s. mid December through to early Jan doesn't count as I'll be having a new born, so things may be a little manic.

    ANYWAY

    Well done to all of you who read all of this (I would make a "thanks Mum" joke here, but I REALLY hope she doesn't read this forum). I hope to see both of you back here for my next post....ohhh, a squirrel.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  2. DeniX3

    DeniX3 Power Member

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    Thanks for the nice read and good luck. I didn't know that living in London is so damn expensive...
    Did you thought about going somewhere else?
     
  3. anilpendu

    anilpendu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Good luck with your journey
     
  4. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    Cheers!

    One of the most expensive cities in the world, real estate wise. I'd love to move back to Wales but my wife is a high ranking nurse who is used to a certain standard of hospital that Wales can't provide, and the odds of them having an opening at her level are slim so would mean a substantial pay cut (plus loss of London weighting)

    If I can get a business off the ground and earn well before bring on an employee I may be able to convince her as she'd only have to work part time (which is what she's hoping for and why she is prepared to take the risk of me starting my own company if I can get the funds together)

    On the plus side homes in Wales sell for the same amount as a parking spot in London, I wish I were joking
     
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  5. password01

    password01 Regular Member

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    Hey Fellow Londoner,

    Sure is bloody expensive here.. good stuff trying to buy a house. I'm not sure i'll ever be able to afford it! Where you planning on buying, maybe when you start banking from this journey you can head to Mayfair LMAO!

    Well anyway, best of luck!

    BTW, can you please tell me what an "authority site is" ?

    Cheers mate!

    P.S. If you need any simple software tools made, PM me! I'd a dev!
     
  6. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    We were hoping crystal palace but it'a gone up a bit too much. Wonder if there's any correlation between house prices and premiership football?

    Staying south of the river. South Norwood is one option, but a but too close to Croydon for my wife's tastes. Personally I'd rather go a bit further afield and get more for our money...but we all know the women where the money trousers these days, or is it just me in a skirt? That's English rugby for yiu!

    Authority site, in this case, means a quality site with a lot of good information, loads of pages that provide real value in a specific niche - rather than your burn and churn sites. Something people will be happy they read, and will have learnt something doing it or, t put it in a less verbose, more obvious way, a site that gives real authority in a niche because of both the quality and quantitype of information
     
  7. password01

    password01 Regular Member

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    I see.. i'm relatively new here anyway so don't really know many areas. I'm in Clapham now. Crazy expensive to buy but I got an alright deal to rent.

    You explained that well, thanks. I guess there's nothing really blackhat about that at all. It's a legit business really, but I guess, as the operator you don't do much as everything is outsourced? Maybe not everything but i'm lazy so would try that lmao.
     
  8. martyyyy

    martyyyy Regular Member

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    "See those two houses over there? mines the one in the middle"

    "Whose coat is this jacket?"

    "I didn't have any bread so I had toast instead"

    "Where too are you?"

    WELSH PEOPLE :)
     
  9. tg01

    tg01 Regular Member

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    Good luck with the Journey. Another fellow newbie to SW London here.
    By the sounds of things you have most bases covered. Similarly not an expert by any means, though if you need any guidance (have a micro niche / on its way to being a micro authority site with 60+ articles) get in touch.
     
  10. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    Ah Clapham; know it well. I bet it was bouncing for the rugby yesterday. A lot of aussies/kiwis/saffas in that direction. If you're new there then a quick tip: avoid infernos. Been dragged there after many a rugby match, it never ends well. Actually, to be honest, I never know how it ends. If I'm drunk enough to agree to go there, then I'm drunk enough to not remember anything!

    On outsourcing...I'll be outsourcing a lot of it, especially the content for Amazon sites, the content for Web 2.0s, etc. I think, to begin with, i'll be writing the lead gen sites myself so that I can get the hang of them, tweak them, test then, etc.

    I'll post a bit on my lead gen plans in a few hours when my little monster goes for a nap and I can get the laptop out without him wanting to smash the buttons with the same force that Thor swings mjolner
     
  11. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    Welsh clichés but no sheep jokes, come on, you can do better.

    I do say that last one though. Another my English mates laugh at, but is common in Wales, "I'll be there now, in a minute"
     
  12. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    First step forward, domain and UK hosting (my current host is hostgator and I wanted UK based for this) for my first lead gen effort is purchased. I have bought a fresh domain, I had considered trying to hunt an expired UK one with decent metrics but what I am targeting is rather specific so decided against it. I don't want to spend days trawling (or spend a lot of money) trying to get what I needed.

    Let's do the money thing 1st

    • Income -£0
    • Out Goings
      Domain - Free with hosting
      Hosting - £10 (billed quarterly, so £3.33 a month).
    • Total = -£10


    So I haven't really described my lead gen model. To be honest I'm not going to go into a huge amount of detail here, because it has been done far better by many other people elsewhere. The concept is simple...it must be because I can understand it.

    Simple Concept


    • Choose a service in an industry where they NEED people calling in leads/sales to them
    • Set up a site based around that industry, with calling a phone number being a call to action
    • Traffic can come from a number of sources, SEO is often not the best choice. But it's what I am doing for this one because a) I'm not in that city to try some other tricks and b) this is just a proof of concept at this stage
    • Forward those calls to your client
    • Either charge per lead, per sale or a flat rental fee.

    For this one I'm going for a flat rental fee because overall this is not a big money maker. It is, however, a very easy keyword to rank for so it works in my mind as a proof of concept before moving on to bigger fish. If I can get it ranking, get some calls coming and rent it out - even if it's only for £50 or £100 a month, I know it'll be worth going after the bigger bucks. As a side note, £100 a month is actually an important barrier as I'm paying £100 / month for tools that I'm using for a completely different business that a friend of mine is running.

    I'm going to be doing all the on page writing for this site. I'm not the best copywriter in the World, but I can string some words together in a semi-coherent sentence, doing it myself will allow me to see what works and tweak it if I feel something is going wrong. The offsite Web 2.0s, PBNs, etc will be my own sites/pages but I will have someone else write them as I am rather time poor (I wish I could put "cash rich" in front of that, but I wouldn't be doing this if that were true).

    Obviously not going to give away my keywords but it's in the female beauty niche. As a fat, bald, rugby player with a broken nose and a front tooth missing I know nothing about the niche, so I have some learning to do. (On the tooth thing: I've paid about £3k getting that fixed a number of times over the last few years, only to break it when playing rugby again. So I came to terms with it and will fix it when I quit playing. I haven't played in 2 years since having my son, but the moment I get it fixed is the moment I admit to myself that I am no longer a rugby player, and I can't quite do that yet)

    Off to do some reading of sites in the same niche to understand them and see what I can lift that they've done well.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  13. rizumarian

    rizumarian Junior Member

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    Good luck with your jouney , keep us updated!
     
  14. GhostVision

    GhostVision Power Member

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    Good luck op... also I start my first site for amazon. Subscribed
     
  15. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    Typing all these replies out on my tablet (as in a big phone style thing, not using a multi-vitamin to press keys on a laptop) so I'll keep things brief
    Cheers!


    Us Londoners are taking over, almost as if it's a major city with a more tech savvy demographic or something? Nah, just a coincidence. And cheers, i'll tap you up if I'm struggling!

    Thanks, and I'm intending to. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions apparently. I wonder if the devil makes you take your shoes off when you're on it, so that you don't scuff his favourites

    And good luck to you too!

    BTW a few of you have sent me private messages (why would predictive text think I wanted to say private massages? Actually it's right, send me those instead), the site tells me I can't reply till I have made 15 posts, I will reply as soon as I am able to...but I don't agree with just spamming replies to threads just to be able to PM, so it may be a day or two
     
  16. password01

    password01 Regular Member

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    Ok, was wondering why you didn't reply.

    You can't spam by replying posts - I tried LMAO!

    Also, posts in certain forums don't count :/
     
  17. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    Think how much richer we would all be if we didn't waste time and instead focused on what could make us money. I say this entirely because I just wasted about an hour of my life arguing with a few people about the NHS. I felt I had facts and figures backing up my argument (no point dredging up what side of what argument I was to get into it on here), they presented none (bet they say something different, such is our own internal bias, for all I know I could be lying to myself) - but still I kept arguing and trying to change the opinions of some people I knew I wouldn't change the opinion of.

    Now imagine if I used that 60 minutes to try make money. And the rest of each day I spend reading Facebook, or browsing pointless articles (even if they claim to be able to help me improve my business, thank you "Entrepreneur"). I, and I'm sure most of you, would be considerably better off.

    Anyway, I digress. In case you hadn't noticed by now, I have a tendency to do that.

    What I have achieved since the last update

    Wordpress, theme (just a rubbish free one for now, will shop around for a better one further down the line, don't want to get bogged in those details whilst there is some more structural work to do) and plugins have been installed. Thr 700 word front page article has been written. I need to now find some usable images.

    This is all based on that lead gen site (UK city specific, female beauty niche).

    The targets for tomorrow are get up, shower, dress, take boy to nursery, go to work, make money, get boy from nursery (hopefully the same boy I took there in the morning), go home, put boy to bed, write another couple of articles, go to bed.

    That was probably more information that you were expecting. But I didn't want to overload you with info such as what colour socks I'll be wearing (black) or what I'm going to have for lunch (salad, unless I give into temptation).

    There, I bet you're glad you read this update now.

    Off to browse images of women under the pretense of working. Suddenly this niche doesn't seem as boring as it did when I was writing 700 words.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  18. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    10 posts now, 5 more and I can reply to PMs!

    Good to know re some forums not counting towards post counts. Thank goodness this one does.

    Cheers. I personally wish for a lottery win for myself, but thanks for using one of your wishes on me ;)

    Whilst I like to think I'm a great help, the Mrs usually thinks otherwise. And in this thread I think otherwise.

    But if you got a great help from my Leprechaun Street Gangs vs Honey Badgers story then I'm glad to be of assistance.
     
  19. nnahlee

    nnahlee BANNED BANNED

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    good luck on your journey
     
  20. FossilWall

    FossilWall Newbie

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    Moving forward is happening. It's not at 100mph, but it was never going to be...a 60 hour a week job, a 2 year old and a wife that works shifts (meaning I have the monster to myself), I have very little time to myself to be able to work. In fact I'm thinking of pulling a sickie on Tuesday (because that's a day the monster will be in childcare), a) to get an hour or two to myself and b) to allow me time to focus on the large Amazon site.


    I need time to focus on that because once the niche is selected and the keywords done I can "automate" a lot of that by outsourcing the article writing, web 2.0 creation, PBN domain gathering, etc. But in order to get there I need to find the keywords and niche. Which takes a bit of time, I find keyword research for big sites is rather like pringles...no one can ever just dip in and out... it's all or nothing


    But that doesn't mean nothing has been done.

    Since yesterday


    1. I have a set of images for my beauty niche lead gen site
    2. I have written another 2 articles for the site. 1 more and then I'll get them all online.
    3. I have found another keyword for lead gen work. This time in the local home contractor niche, a different UK city and one I am more familiar with (meaning I have got drunk there more than once, and might even remember it the next day). I've bought a suitable domain for that.

    I've also been having some thoughts. In real life I recruit into the engineering market. A lot are domestic trades people (electricians, plumbers, etc). But I used to have a specialty recruiting into industrial firms and it's something I'm growing again at the moment.


    Industrial companies pay huge sums of money for equipment. Automated conveyor systems, food process machinery, weighing equipment, scanners, packaging machinery. All massively expensive bits of kit. I've been kicking around a way of lead genning for that, sort of, but more as a broker, just using the internet to try capture a lead.


    There's a lot of issues with the model, and it's only something that popped into my head just before I fell asleep. The idea is still "normal" lead gen and Amazon sites for now. But if I am able to quit my day job and so be working for myself (where I will be able to take random calls, and where I will be dealing with industrial engineering companies more frequently) then it might become more viable.


    No flesh to put to the bones of that idea, and one I won't be pursuing for a year or two, but just a thought I had and one you guys may be able to use. Anyone here do anything along those lines?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015