An Infographic Business Plan…
I did not take my decision to commit to creating a full time income online lightly. When I quit my job in December 2010, the plan was to pursue freelance production management work. As it turned out I went from a prospective production manager, to an iPod repair shop owner, to full time article marketer all in 19 days. Somewhere towards the beginning of that whirlwind, I found a blog called Smart Passive Income that inspired me to tackle working online full time.
Passive income, blogging, and Internet marketing were not new concepts to me, I just hadn’t found a way to implement them that seemed promising enough for me to pursue. It appeared that you needed to rely just a little too much on luck for me to take it seriously. If it wasn’t luck, then it seemed like you had to push scammy products on the elderly or something.
Thanks to Pat, and subsequently many other bloggers and authors I found it was not only possible to earn a real living online, but that other people were already doing it successfully. I was happy to find that there were ways to legitimately work for a living online, and it wasn’t just hoping to get in on the ground level of the next pyramid scheme.
What I found most encouraging about Internet entrepreneurship is that there are literally an infinite amount of ways to earn money online. Rather than focus on one particular method, my approach is to take the four I found to be most promising and leverage each against one another.
4 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online
Article Writing: There are a number of revenue sharing websites which allow you to produce content in exchange for a portion of the advertising revenue. Some of the most popular are eHow, hubpages.com, squidoo, although eHow has since closed it’s compensation program. After hearing about it from several bloggers (including Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income) I decided to look into Infobarrel more seriously. I was delighted to find that they were an up and coming revenue sharing site with HUGE potential. I don’t pass up opportunities very often so I researched a little further and discovered a few encouraging things.
- Their compensation system is extremely straight forward. 75% of all revenue generated on your articles goes directly to you, with bonus potential of up to 90%. (Squidoo and Hubpages have somewhat complex “tier” systems that I didn’t like)
- The owners/founders really seemed to care. I actually first heard of Infobarrel through a video of Ryan Mackenzie (one of the owners) and he seemed like a cool guy. Members of the site confirmed my assumptions.
- The Infobarrel community is outstanding. I will guarantee you this much, you will not find a nicer group of people. Anywhere. Literally after my first post to the forum everyone treated me like I’d been a part of the group for years.
- There is a considerable chance that Infobarrel will be one of the biggest revenue sharing sites on the web. I haven’t actually looked into this myself, I’m just taking other people’s word, but there is a lot of “buzz” about the future of Infobarrel. (See Howie’s guest post about it on Jonathan Volk’s Blog)
Affiliate Marketing/ Niche Sites: While there are plenty of success stories of people who exclusively write articles for revenue sharing sites full time, I wanted a little diversification added to my income stream. Even though I believe in Infobarrel 110%, it’s always important to have an exit strategy. After reading about (you guessed it) Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel, I learned it was possible to become an affiliate marketer without having the generic spammy sales page with highlighted numbers and testimonials and hurry now because this price won’t last crap.
I found the key to ethically promoting products online and earning sustainable commissions is to actually provide your customers with new information. Where as most niche sites are about generating as much traffic to a site as possible to flip quick sales, if you create a valuable resource people will keep coming back. Sales will not only increase, but continue growing over the long term.
As I said, I’m taking a different approach to niche sites. Rather than do keyword research and put all of the work into constructing a valuable website without knowing exactly how the keyword will perform, I’m going to first leverage Infobarrel’s page rank to test keywords.
Each month, I will create 2 niche sites based on the 2 best performing articles on Infobarrel of the previous month. In other words, whichever articles make me the most money, I’ll create much larger sites that have more income potential than a single article. This is a long term strategy, as I will most likely not see results from my niche sites for several months. However, once I do, they will significantly boost my long term earning potential as I gather multiple mailing lists spread out over multiple niches.
Mystery Product: There are certainly plenty of Internet marketers making millions selling other people’s products. However, in order to have complete creative license of my empire, in addition to further diversifying my income, launching my own mystery product is what this journey is all about. I believe my own product will provide the higher earnings, more freedom, flexibility, and greater value to my readers.
Entrepreneurship is about creativity, innovation, and freedom. I think being in control of the creation, development, marketing, launch, and execution of my own product with my own name on it will satisfy every one of those characteristics that every entrepreneur longs for.
How I Will Accomplish This Goal In Six Months
Accomplishing what most probloggers suggest takes a minimum of at least 12 months will not be an easy task. At the end of this thing, I will have written approximately 275,000 words (or about 3.5 books) for Infobarrel alone. Not to mention 8 blogs posts per month on MikeForShort, 2 guest posts per month, AND the extra content for the niche sites, AND the mystery product.
With all of the graphic design, website development, comment/email management, and research for all of these articles, at the very minimum I have a full time job on my hands. Which is why I have decided to dedicate myself FULL TIME to this endeavour.
With the savings we have accumulated over the last few years and with Lauren working, we should be able to cover all of our expenses without falling behind. The problem is, we definitely won’t be getting ahead with me at home everyday unless I succeed.
I have allowed myself six months to dedicate everything I have to this project in hopes Lauren and I can jump-start our dream of being location independent. If I fail, then at least I won’t regret not trying.
My dream is not to never have to work. My dream is to choose when and where I work without the hassle of applying for visas, finding jobs and permanent residences. I believe this dream is realistic if I follow my plan.
Getting Started: The Plan For January
Before getting started actually writing anything at all, it is very important to make sure that not only are people searching for what you have to say, but also that you are able to be found through Google easily. This is done with keyword research.
There are plenty of tools that help you find good keywords both free and paid. The free way is to search topics on the Google Keyword Tool, and then assess how competitive the keyword is by using a Firefox extension called SEO for firefox. This way works perfectly fine, but with the volume of keywords I am going to need (at least 540) a paid tool called Market Samurai made the job not only manageable, but actually enjoyable. (I’ve actually considered starting a business selling hot keywords because I’ve found keyword research so enjoyable.) I’ll go into all of the features of Market Samurai in a later post or video, suffice to say that using it, I started the month of January off with 117 ripe keywords.
Now that I have my first batch of keywords in place, I can begin writing 3 articles a day on Infobarrel to start building my portfolio. Since I have no articles from December to turn into niche sites, I will divide up that extra time into writing extra articles, and working on MikeForShort updates. Additionally, I have a huge task in front of me in January to start getting the word out about my plan, and my blog.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about my plan, I hope you stick around and watch my progress. Hopefully there is something you can take away from this blog to apply to your own projects.