Disclaimer: this is, as you can see, a very long post. It has 3 main parts: motivation, marketing and SEO. Scroll down to the one that interests you. I am making this thread out of 2 reasons: I noticed I am learning quicker and I am getting new ideas by teaching and talking to other people, so basically it's for myself; And the second reason this thread exists is that it could help some of you: I know you won't be many, because one has to be in right place at the right time. I am far from being a guru or from making a great income in internet marketing but what I am offering you in the next lecture is an inspiration and a method to think outside of the box, just the way I did it. About me: when the teacher asked us, in the first grade: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" everybody responded with a profession, and I was the only one who said "I want to be a millionaire!". In romanian money, even back then, being a millionaire wasn't something very hard to achieve, but then again, I didn't think of being a millionaire as somebody who's got a lot of money, but rather a way of being. Therefore, when the teacher responded "But Dan, that's not a profession" I said "So what? That's what I want to be". I don't think I remember this at all, I think that what I have is a memory generated by imagination, but my mother keeps reminding me because it was a new experience for her: she didn't know how to take it, it was something so unusual that she remembers every detail of the conversation she had with my teacher. Since then, I've been through a lot, I've lost my way several times, I even forgot what my purpose is that I went to counselors to advice me what to do with my life. I was getting answers, but I wasn't asking the right questions. I've stumbled a lot, had my ups and downs and right now I am here, a moment when I know I am on the right track, I know exactly what I want to do, there is no fog between me and my objective and nothing will stop me to get there. From now on, it's just a matter of time. I think the biggest challenge was to find my objective, to understand it and to define it properly, to be able to say it out loud in a few words: I want to be a millionaire. Getting there was a journey of its own, of searching and searching and searching and... Finding. I believe every person has it's own purpose, but not many life trajectories get to intersect with that purpose. The world provides us an immense diversity, getting our eyes entangled in experiences other people want. I've tried to imitate those who seemed happy, who seemed that they've reached their purpose; and some of them really did, but it was their purpose. I've merely adopted the form of happiness, but not the essence. Because I didn't understand. Now I do. I want you to get here too, but you can't if you are not ready. There is no simple way to transfer my understanding to you, all I can do is to encourage you to keep going until you find your purpose. After that it's easy, you just go and get it. In the fog I was talking about earlier, a light began to blink around 2-3 years ago and it became brighter as I tried to reach it. This is a stupid shit metaphor, just to make it apply to everyone who's listening right now. The fog was me being lazy. I thought of myself as being lazy. I thought that was me. I was very disorganized, unhappy with what I was and I kept wondering in the dark. The light means my purpose. Since I began to see it, it has become clearer to me that actually I am not lazy. I just wasn't on my right track and since I've found it everything I do is give myself the right tools to become what I want. Even when I am not actually working, I am working for myself: when I watch a movie, I don't get a movie just to fill my time, I try to find one that would add value to me, I find one that depicts traits of character I want for myself, analyze them, try to think about all the situations I could use them. I don't have buddies any more. I've slowly limited the interaction with people who can't add value to myself. When I go out for a beer I want to talk to people who might give me a few ideas to think about. I offer the same thing in return. I don't have friends just for not being lonely and to have someone to spend time with. To sum up the last paragraph: identify all things that keep you from getting to your objective and press "delete". I know some of the things I've said earlier might sound like cliches and that is because you've heard them before. What I tried to do was to give you my experience, in the hope that these might help you understand through real examples. I try my best to help. Looking at my experience from a different perspective, leaving the idea sphere, I'm gonna tell you the facts, of how I got here: In my journey of defining my objective, of wandering through the forest, I found this glade, which, ironically enough, was called "The BLACK Hat World". In this meadow, a lot of dubious characters were scouring, many of them were trying to find food for their little and vulnerable ego, predators, trying to find their next victim, and you could feel the lurkers watching everything. This place was also animated with clowns trying to do different stunts to get attention and what I found to be really amusing is that the best ones were given honorable titles: "The Legendary MuscleTeen", "Nishat, the PeerLess". These were the ones willing to go the extra mile. Yet, through all of this dark, animated, jungle carnival I saw a light. I understood that everybody is gathering here because they get what they are after. I kept coming back, I was lurking from outside for a few months and one year ago I made it official. I signed up. Needless to say how many things I've learned here, because most of you feel the same. The Black Hat World has become my training ground. When I talk about it to my friends, I say it is my second university. "When do you graduate?" "Never. You keep learning for as long as you want to, you keep practicing for an indefinite time and there are no annual fees except if you want a hunting permit and a place to the hunters' table." A few days ago, while casually exploring a resource, called Godaddy Auctions, I found what it seemed to be a gem: a one year old EMD with almost $100 CPC. I acted instantly and took it without analyzing too much. Naturally, I ran back here and made the big announcement "Hey guys! Look what I've found!", like someone would give a shit. Since then, I have concentrated extensively on it, doing research on the topic and how can I get the best out of it. It has come to my understanding that a big gem is just a rock if you don't polish it. Of course, I could sell it for $1000 or maybe 2k, so it's a quite valuable finding, but I also can use it to get this money daily and to learn through the process so I can become better for the next time a bigger gem appears. So I did my research and came up with a plan: MARKETING Like any IMer, I said to myself: hey, I could do just fine if I throw in some articles, put Adsense on it and do a little SEO. Well, I could do this, I have all the tools necessary. But that's not a wise choice in the long term. What if I get 100 clicks on ads per day and the big brown eyed mastodon decides that I get too much pie and bans me? This is my gem, why should I let someone shit on it? So if I can't go only to the mastodon with a history of stealing pies, then who? Why would anyone want to pay me? This is a question I suggest you pose to yourself: why would anyone want to pay you? Nobody wants to pay you because you are great at SEO or because you have mad designing skills. You will get paid by others only if you bring value to them. This is what marketing is based on: value exchange. You value money, your customers value the things you give them in exchange of their money and will pay you if they feel it's worth it. Whether you give them a boost on their business or you give them something to be happy about, that is value to them. So the next question arose: how can I offer value to my customers? Wait... Who are my customers? Well, the ones who pay me... Adsense. No! Adsense is not your customer. For my niche I identified 2 types of customers: the people who want to get their shit done and the people who get shit done for the first category. I analyzed each one and try to understand what could I possibly offer so they could pay me. First category: I will offer information, I will offer my time, my skills and expertise to find the best for getting shit done. Second: I will offer exposure to the first category and therefore bringing value to their business. I will also get my money from them and I can sell them through multiple streams. What I just did, was to show you how to get control over your business by understanding what you are doing. Don't go and aimlessly build 100 autoblogs and put Adsense on them. Don't sell your fake facebook game hacks through shitty CPA. This will get you some money, but not in the long term. It's just a matter of time until that stream of cash gets hit by something like pfff, I don't know, Matt Cutts. And what are you left with? I tell you what: whining about it on forums, asking yourself "what have I done wrong? Why is this happening to me?". And you know what? Nobody gives a shit. Instead, concentrate your efforts on how can you bring value to the world. Therefore, on understanding my niche and customers: I have a highly targeted, highly competitive and very rewarding niche. I went on analyzing my customers until I came up with 1 group in one category and 2 groups in the other. They are my target audience and I asked the following questions so I could understand them: [a] Who is my target audience? Ex: homeowners with families who have kids, a car, a pet, a job who live in US and they are likely to need a service, which led me to the next question: What are their interests and how can I bring value to them? Ex: they are interested in a service (dog grooming for example) and they are likely to have this side interests (how can they build a house for their pet, or you can solve another problem for them. if your guide brings value to them, they are very likely to buy the complete 2 hours video step by step guide on how to build a dog house for only $27.99) [c] Where can I find them? Simple: they live in US, so I'll have to deliver my sales pitch through a site ranked highly in US. Are they likely to have a FB? Hell yeah! Therefore I build a page for their interest and a group where all dog owners can share their experience about how they built a doghouse following my videos and they also invite friends who will be so overwhelmed with the good reviews that they will build a doghouse before even having a dog. I'm sure we will see an increase of gravity on pet-related CB products in the next few weeks, but I needed to use an example. On the other hand, there won't be much spam because many people are too lazy when confronted with an article longer than 2 sentences. On the other hand, I'd love if you could tickle my ego by giving a feedback on the information I provide but also on my writing style. Have I succeeded in capturing your interest? This was a crash course on how I understand marketing, and now I'll get more in-depth with my SEO STRATEGY I have already built the site and added 10 authority articles. These are 500 to 1200 word articles with valuable information hitting the main kw which is the EMD and a few others which are closely related. I have another 5 ready to post and I will add one every 2-3 days and keep building until I have around 30. I feel I can talk all there is on this extremely targeted niche in 15 articles and the rest of them will be basically the same ideas with a new form, but targeting different long tails, and, therefore, interests. The first part of the SEO strategy is to create a content worth to share. I made Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, pinterest and tumblr connecting to the website and I've scheduled posts every 2-3 days on each. I know this might be a little but I want to build this as natural as possible. Of course, most of the posts have hooks like "Did you know you can get more value to yourself if you click my link?" Second part of the SEO strategy is to get juice and links. For this, I will build 4 high quality web 2.0's and set GSA campaigns for each. I will point them to my main site one at a time and maybe will also buy some high quality backlinks here. I will have socials for each of these 4, so I will tier link the socials too. I don't stress too much on usual link building, but rather on social media. I think the most important thing right now in getting high rankings and high traffic is google plus. Google can track down pluses and getting them naturally while having the rest set up as natural as possible is the key to getting on the first place in searches in no time. Another part of the link building strategy is link baiting: once I will have some traffic on my site, I will contact people in the second category and offer them awards to put on their site. I will also charge them for sending leads by recommending them. There are some serious players here, most of them with PR3 to PR6 and very few with kws' in the root domain. This is also how I turn my opponents into highly supporting allies. In 2-3 weeks I will make a high quality video to send traffic to my site and set a GSA campaign for it too. I will build a video every month and try to get real video testimonials. Of course in a short time I will have a facebook group too, and a forum so I could build trust and a community which will recommend my services. Well, this is it. I don't end this with "to be continued" and three dots because I don't plan to do so. I don't want to state publicly my earnings nor do I feel the need to keep track on my evolution here. The only evolution I care about is my thinking, and I feel it. Writing this has cleared up my thoughts, helped me organize them, lay out a plan and now I will proceed on following the plan. I hope this reading gave you inspiration, a few ideas, maybe even a better understanding, a new angle on things, because that would mean we both won. If you won too, you liked this reading and you want to share it with the world, please do so and don't forget to tickle my ego: my name is Dan M. I'd like to hear some insights from SEO master predators in the BHW jungle so maybe you could help a cub tweak it's hunting strategy. Thanks.