So I've been bringing you some deals recently from media temple – the hosting company that I use for this blog as well as numerous other sites of mine. Media Temple is also very popular with other bloggers and if you run a design or development site, chances are you've thought about hosting on MT.
I got an email this morning with an insane offer from Mediatemple which can be used for the next two days only. It's part of a world cup promotion
Be quick this only lasts for two days. If you've been thinking about setting up a new site and want to get the best hosting money can buy, at an incredible price then make sure you take advantage of this coupon.
I already have one authority site, and it performs really well for both SEO and revenue. And now I want to build another. So I'm setting myself a simple challenge for 2014, to build an authority site.
Authority sites contain a large amount of content, which usually isn't focused on a very small niche. Instead it targets a larger audience and doesn't just rely on search traffic from Google. Authority sites will usually have large social followings and the site's content will be shared a lot through social media. Building an authority site takes months of work, and there will be a period at the beginning where it will seem as though there is no point to all the work. You keep posting content, and Google isn't showing you any love. But if you persevere, and manage to create a site with a good pagerank and search traffic, it will deliver revenue for years to come.
So here is my template for an authority site:
Niche – i'm choosing a general topic that I can easily write about: productivity. I've written countless articles on this topic in the past and I can easily create more content on my own.
Content – I'll aim for the articles I write to be over 500 words each. They'll also all contain an image, which will help them get shared on social networks. I'm going to be producing content that I believe could go “viral”.
Frequency – I'm aiming to post 1 new article per day. Anymore and I'll burn out. Any less and I don't think I'll succeed. I won't need to keep up this regimen after a few months where I can drop back to 1 post per week. Google does prefer fresh content.
SEO – No backlink building. I'll be linking to my site from existing properties I own, just so that visitors can discover my new website. But that's pretty much all the off page SEO i'll be doing. I'm going to do lots of internal linking (something which I've never done enough of in the past).
Monetization – Adsense. I'm only going to add the adsense code when I start seeing a regular influx of traffic. I don't bother adding ads on a site that isn't going to make at least $1 a day. It's not worth the hassle otherwise.
Social – I'll try and build a large twitter following for the site. I've always found this challenging and social is my weak spot. I'm going to automate it as much as I can.
Design – I've gone for a premium wordpress theme which I know how to monetize. I've seen it used on a friends site which generates 2k+ per month in adsense revenue. I'm going to use the same ad placements (when I start getting traffic).
Hosting – I'm going to opt for some premium hosting, just so the site has some room to grow and I don't need to worry about moving it later on. Therefore i'm putting it on Mediatemple. MT is amazing hosting and much less spammy then Hostgator (which I also use).
Marketing/Advertising – I've got a couple of ideas. I think I will try a couple of different forms of advertising and o some case studies. But to begin with I want growth to be organic, and I don't want to spend money until I've got lots of content created.
So that's about it. I'll keep you posted with a weekly update of how the site is progressing.
Google is still showing extra love to long form content. Google has even create a special section on Google Search for long articles. This means that your word count really does matter. Longer articles, with content that people actually want to share is what's going to rank best on Google. Therefore, it's probably a better strategy to create fewer longer articles, then pumping out short form content on a regular basis. However…
2) Google Loves New Content
Recent algorithm changes on Google will push older content down in favour of newer articles, even if the newer article is of lesser quality. Now while I don't personally believe this is good news, this is the reality. If you want to see continuous growth then you are going to have to continuously blog. Your older articles will continue to get traffic but not at the same ratio as newer content.
3) Your Posts Should Contain Images
Facebook and Twitter now both allow images to be shown when you Tweet or post to FB. Facebook has even publicly announced that they favour posts that contain images. That means, if you post a link to facebook and it doesn't contain an image, hardly anyone is going to end up seeing it. Therefore, you must include images in every single blog post if you want to maximise sharing on Twitter and Facebook.
4) Google+ Is Become More Relevant
Although I don't believe it's necessary to build a large following on Google+, it is now essential for a blogger to create a profile on Google+. Doing so, will enable your avatar to be shown next to Google search results, which does increase click through rates. Goolge+ may also factor into the search rankings and pages that have been shared on Google+ may rank higher in the future.
5) It's Important to Own Your Own Blog
We've seen a lot of new platforms in 2013 for blogging. Tumblr took off big time, Medium was born and boutique blogging tools such as Ghost were built. In five years time, many of these platforms will no longer exist. They will have been bought and sold or shut down. And your content, your hard earned marketing efforts will all have disappeared. If you seriously want to build a long term income and consistent traffic, then you have to own your own blog. While everyone else is bailing out to hosted platforms, you need to play it smart in 2014 and stick with your own self-hosted blog. In the long run it makes much more sense to place your content (which is extremely valuable) on an asset you own.
Remember, you can't sell a medium blog, but you can sell a self hosted wordpress blog. Who do you want to make money for? Yourself, or the founders or a blogging platform.
5) It's Going to Take Longer to See $$$ Returns
For new bloggers it's going to be harder to see returns on their work. It's much harder than it was a few years ago to rank well in Google. You can't just pump your content full of keywords and expect it to rank. That simply doesn't work. It now takes longer to build authority and your rankings. This doesn't mean you shouldn't start a blog in 2014. It just means that you can't expect to start earning money within a couple of months. The reality is that it may now take a year or more.
But the flip side is that once you have established an authority site, it will continue raking in the revenue and the revenue won't suddenly disappear like a niche site would.
6) SEO is Pretty Much Dead
Some people will tell you that you need to still build backlinks. If you're still building crappy backlinks then sooner or later Google will take action. There is no benefit to building backlinks for long term success. Concentrate instead on building a social following. In the future that is going to have even more value in search engine rankings.
I've never been a fan of Google Analytics. I've always found the interface to be too complicated. And it's just too difficult to get a good overview of what's going on in your website.
I've been using Clicky for the past 5 years, and I think it is much, much better.
Clicky is a realtime analytics platform. That means there is no waiting to see your analytics reports. As soon as a visitor hits your website, it will appear in clicky.
It tracks everything you could want – visitors, content, entrance/exit pages, bounce rate, referrer etc.
But what I love best about clicky is its interface – it has what I believe to be the very best interface of all the analytics programs. It is simple to use and data is displayed in a logical fashion. Clicky is the best Analytics tool.
Last month I made over $1.9k from online methods, doing relatively little work. Here is my earnings report for the month of February. I was inspired by other bloggers who shared their income and so I'm doing the same. This has been my best month yet.
As you can see Forex was the stand out performer. Most of my income came from copy trading, where I followed the successful traders on eToro and automatically copied what they did. The result worked out well! I also used Easy-Forex to do manual trading. I started with a $500 account there.
My adsense revenue took a massive decline. I'll explain why in an upcoming post, where I show you how to make $60 a day from adsense using a viral technique, but it only lasts for a short time.
I've traded on a number of different forex platforms. But I find myself always coming back to my favorite of the bunch, etoro. This past month, I've made over $500 through a combination of copy trading and by opening my own trades.
Here is my review of the etoro platform.
eToro is Web Based
Unlike MT4, which is offered by every other forex broker, etoro is web based. This means you can use it on a Mac (yay!) and PC and they also offer iphone and android apps for mobile trading.
You also don't need to download anything and there is zero setup.
The platform is really well designed and by far the easiest and simplest forex trading platform.
eToro is the Broker
eToro is both the broker and the trading platform. This means that the experience is seamless and you don't need to do any setup.
They Have Simplified Trading
You won't need to worry about things like available margin, lot sizes, market execution etc. eToro has dramatically simplified the way you trade forex. You just choose how much you want to put towards a trade ($2, $5, $20 etc) and then open it. This makes money management extremely simple.
Choose the Leverage on a Trade by Trade Basis
With every other forex broker I've tried, you are forced into choosing the account leverage on registration and you are stuck with it. Furthermore, some even don't offer a choice.
With etoro, you choose the leverage for each trade you open. This means you can choose to trade with a low leverage and employ a low risk trading style.
You Can invest in Stock, Currency and Commodities.
The cool think about etoro is that it isn't just forex. You can also invest in numerous popular stocks. Opening a stock trade can be done with as little as $50. If you've ever wanted to invest in a company like Apple or Google, you can do it easily with just $50 on etoro.
eToro is by far the best platform for those looking to start investing in forex. The learning curve is small and even if you have no experience you can still invest using copy trader.
Each week I'm going to suggest a new etoro user you can copy trade. I often get asked via email who are the best traders to follow. So from now on, I'll share with you some of the traders that I have analysed and think could be copied.
Here are the stats on abd1986. Over the past 30 days, he has had an impressive gain of over 100%. But this isn't just a short term spike, over the past 12 months he has had a gain of over 420%.
On average his trades are open for 3 days, which means, you shouldn't get stuck with lots of open trades waiting for them to eventually get closed. He opens no high risk trades and has shown steady growth over the past 12 months.
I've been trading using the social trading platform, zulutrade for the last few months. The one slight issue I have with Zulutrade are the robots. Forex robots can work wonderfully for months and then suddenly start chewing through your cash. If they did work consistently there would be a lot more millionaires in the world.
eToro is a social trading platform that allows you to follow traders and automatically copy their trades. The great thing about the platform is that you can autotrade with as little as $50. This means, it's well within the reach of the new investor to follow a number of traders and diversify your portfolio.
There are also no robots on etoro as they use their own platform which doesn't allow it.
Furthermore etoro is huge. It has by far the largest number of traders. I'm looking forward to seeing how this platform grows over a number of years. I think there is a lot of potential!
I like setting myself challenges. And one of the challenges I have set myself is to create enough passive income to support myself. Currently I'm living at home with my parents. As much as I love them, this really does suck for a young guy like myself. I want to get out there and start living. It's time for me to grow up and be a man. And a big part of this is earning an income.
One of my dreams is to be able to travel all over the world for an entire year or more. I've done some travelling before, but I've always had to return home after a month or so because of money.
That's why a passive income would be awesome.
How Am I Going to Build my Income?
I'm going to be building 1-10 different websites. They will each focus on having “viral” content. The type of stuff you've seen on Reddit. I recently came up with a method for getting a fairly reliable source of traffic and making a website go viral.
I can build a website within 24 hours and have it making $50 a day in adsense revenue within 2 days. The tricky part is keeping this money flowing in. So far, I've only been able to keep it going for a few days. My challenge will be to make it more reliable and to go from one authority site to 10+.
I don't use any blackhat methods. Everything is above board and legal. I also don't rely on Google for traffic – I've been burned by Google sooooo many times I don't even bother with even 1 second of SEO work. I know better ways to generate traffic.
Why Do I Need a Diary?
One big problem I have is motivation. Often I start a project and just don't follow through. I'm starting to get better with this. My aim with this diary is to hold myself accountable. I don't care if anybody reads it or not. It's just here to remind me to get out of bed each day and start working.