Category Archives: Online Business Ideas

The Easiest Way To Build A Profitable Online Business Using Content Curation… But Is It Ethical?

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of talk about viral websites, I myself wrote a few articles about the topic within the members area of the Digital Academy. The Cash Curator is a system we devised using the successful viral methods.

cash curator tmbLearn How to Profit Using The Cash Curator In Our Digital Academy Here 

The information in those articles which I wrote was pretty powerful. when I say powerful I mean “I made $100,000 In A Week” powerful. If you look at the screenshot below you will see a comment left on an article (not mine) covering this subject back in 2014. The guy who left the comment said that he generated $100,000 in Australian dollars within a week with his website which was only a couple of months old.

curator content comment

That is powerful stuff and what is incredible is that many of the websites online that are making good money are not creating the content themselves. Well they are and they aren’t… let me explain.

curator content websites

These sites are curating content, placing it on their own websites which then gets shared across multiple social media platforms. They then generate revenue from advertising platforms such as Google AdSense, Taboola and Content Ad.

Scott DeLong is the master of curated viral content. He built and grew the popular ViralNova website, working from his bedroom he grew the site from nothing to a site generating hundreds of thousands of dollars per month within 8 months.

viralnova scott delong

He started by working 16 hours a day and when it really took off he paid 2 freelance writers to help create the content. This home based business with a team of only 3 people not only generated millions it was sold for a staggering $100 million to media company Zealot Networks 2 years later… within 2 years he went from zero to $100 million! And the content on this website was what? That is right, it was all curated content which Scott and his team copied from other sources.

So What Exactly Is Content Curation?

Content curation is basically taking content from other websites, social media and other people, repackaging and reshaping it and then sharing it via your own site. There is a big debate whether this is ethical and right. Many people believe it is theft and infringes copyright laws. It is if you basically take it from another website as you found it but if you rewrite it and build on it often you are safe.

This has been happening for years by many of the big players online. The big players I am referring to online are the traditional papers like the Daily Mail, The Mirror and the Telegraph etc.

Papers have been doing this for years way before the internet was thought about let alone created. They would trawl other papers and magazines for interesting information, re write it, share it in their own paper and add a source credit.

curatoed content

In the past they might have contacted people to get permission to use certain pictures and maybe even had to license images but since the birth of the internet this has changed a lot.

With so much piracy going on it would take years to take many websites to court for sharing your content. It is generally accepted that your stuff will be reused elsewhere and if the people put a source credit link back to the original post/article artwork it is often overlooked.

The source link is not just a nod in the direction to the original creator in acknowledgement but if it is hyperlinked back it acts as a backlink which as we know is very important online.

This doesn’t mean you can or should use other people’s work all of the time, it means it is more accepted. You should really get permission but with so many blogs and websites being created by fans for example the extra sharing is seen as free exposure and advertising.

Imagine you were an artist creating wall art and you wanted the world to see your work curated art contentwhich could lead to you getting commissions to do paid artwork. You would add your images to your website; you create a social media campaign and start the process of putting your work ‘out there.’

How would you feel if the Daily Mail did a two page spread about you and your artwork? You would feel great wouldn’t you? Imagine if the online version of the Daily Mail which is read by millions worldwide shared your artwork and it went viral.

You would feel great again, a lot of the readers who liked your artwork would then share it and more and more people would eventually see it.

Your artwork could be seen by millions in a matter of weeks or even days. A lot of websites know that anything that is placed on the internet is in reality put on there ‘to be seen’, you might personally want to control it better and not have your artwork stolen and used by other people however you cannot argue with the fact that it was put online to be seen. Why else would you have put it online?

With this in mind many people see that they can freely share interesting stories, photographs and artwork without worrying about copyright infringement because they are not technically using it for commercial gain and in fact giving the original source free advertising and traffic.

But the truth is; many websites ARE sharing other people’s content for commercial gain. They are running a commercial business and the pull is other people’s work.

curator content source link

DMCA Removal Request , Copyright Issues & Playing It Safe

As long as a website gives credit and links to the original source and do not publish the whole post as seen on another website they should be fine. To make it more safe many content curation websites will have a dedicated page with details about DMCA Removal Requests and an email that people can use to contact the site owners requesting posts to be removed.

This is usually the first step if people want to have content removed; it is far easier and cheaper than trying to get lawyers involved. When a site receives an email they simply remove the post and people go their own separate ways.

I will not go into great detail about DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) but it is a global law protecting people’s work online and if you use other people’s work unlawfully you can be asked to remove it and you must comply otherwise it will be enforced which means your hosting company will be contacted and your account suspended if you do not comply. You can read more here Digital Millennium Copyright Act

One of the reason some people will ask to have their work removed from content curation sites is that the website owners ARE using it for commercial gain. They may not be taking it and illegally adding it to DVD covers or turning it into wallpapers that are for sale or other products which are deemed commercial use but they are using it to generate traffic to their sites so they can generate money through advertising revenue.

That is a commercial set up and a business generating money using other people’s work. As I said earlier this has been happening for years, newspapers need to sell papers to make money and they did that by providing great information and if that meant sharing stories from other papers around the country or the world then they would do that.

The other important thing to remember is that you cannot copyright fact; you can only copyright something that has been created so if that is a photograph, a video, the way something is written or a piece of music then you have to be careful as they are works of art. Most newspapers and websites would rewrite the written information of a news report themselves which is factual and then license or ask to use any images which were usually granted free if the source of the image/story was credited, bit like a gentleman’s handshake agreement.

If you write about something and you were accurate and factual then it is likely that the recipient would be flattered and see it as ‘free advertising’ and let your post go however if you wrote something real sloppy with many inaccuracies then they may see it damaging to their reputation and career and they are more likely to ask for it to be removed. So it pays to make sure you are as factual and as close to the truth as you know it.

curator content websites 2

Sites like Bored Panda have become very popular and have been around for many years. These sites usually share cool and interesting things like artists work, stories and technology while other popular sites like the Huffington Post stick to sharing the news which as we know is big business and one built mainly on free content.

Some photographers and journalists are paid to write and take pictures but the stories themselves were free. As hard as is it to say this September 11th was great for the news companies, it was awful for mankind but it gave news channels and papers days, weeks, months and even years of free content that a lot of people found interesting.

sept 11 curated content

Creating A Content Curation Website Business

The reason these sites are popular is that they do not require a lot of skill and work. Now I say that carefully, there is some work involved, when the website grows you will need to keep on top of it and that is often done best by hiring people but if it is not generating a lot of money straight away you might decide to do it yourself.

The content itself may not require someone to lock themselves away in an isolated cottage and do hours of creative writing like an author would but you will need to spend some time writing or rewriting articles you find, saving images from articles and uploading them to your own site.

Remember Scott DeLong would spend around 16 hours a day creating content, sharing content and setting up Facebook advert campaigns. It was hard work but it paid off and he sold ViralNova for $100 million as well as the thousands he generated each month before selling it off.

It will take some time to find good stories and videos to rewrite, use and share. While I am on the subject of videos there are a lot of video based sites that generate money by sharing funny videos they find on YouTube.

Why don’t people go to YouTube to watch the videos? Because they do not know they want to see the video until it is posted and shared on social media. Videos can be embedded on any site thanks to the way YouTube is run. If you created a video content curation website that simply took videos from YouTube and shared them then you would have even less writing to worry about.

Creating a website is hard work when you have to create all of the unique content and get the traffic by sharing on social media and worrying about SEO while building a brand. With these types of sites most of the thinking and sharing is done for you.

curator content websites 3

Since it was talked about in the public arena more and more of these types of sites are appearing online. Some are regurgitating other competitors posts and articles whereas others are looking for the newest and latest stories in a bid to go viral.

Taking existing articles republishing them and then sharing them on social media is a lot easier especially when the content is liked by a lot more people than specific niches. This way there is a greater chance of posts going viral and that is what builds up the big traffic which can generate those ‘$100,000 in a week’ scenarios we all would like to experience.

I might like to read posts on topics such as ‘How To Generate 1000 Page views In A Day’ but many of my friends and family won’t but both myself and my friends are often interested in fun and interesting stories/pictures/videos like the one about the ‘Snake In Australia That Ate A Crocodile’

People are getting hosting packages that allow unlimited disc space and bandwidth at places like Hostgator then putting together a simple WordPress website. With little work a WordPress website is basically ready to take content. They would create a Facebook page, Twitter account and a Google + account so they can start growing an audience to share their posts with.

If you are still not sure how to get hosting or create a WordPress website then we have easy to follow video modules inside our Digital Academy. To learn more about the Digital Academy watch the video here: ‘It’s Not All About Sunshine, Speed Boats & Shiny Suits’ A Free Look Inside The Digital Academy.
its not all sunshine, speed boats and shiny suits
Once those few bits are sorted it is a case of sitting down, finding your content and then curating it into new posts. Some of the bigger websites have a small team of people overseas curating content and others are simply run by their young owners who spend their days looking for stuff and sharing it. If one article can generate $100,000 in a week I can see why they stay at home and do this instead of going out to work.

Generally the biggest content curation websites publish at least one article a day but most of them publish several posts a day. How much does Mashable publish in a day? As you can see from the image below it isn’t always new tech related stuff. They often curate fun content for traffic generation.

mashable curated content

They keep churning a lot of content out and they get a lot of shares. It is these masses of content and huge amounts of shares that drive traffic to their sites that generate the huge amounts of advertising revenue they can make or ask for.

So how do you find great articles, news, stories, videos and pictures to share?

There are four main ways I would search for ideas and they are

  1. ‘Like’ lots of pages on Facebook and watch what they publish and what all of your friends and family share on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram. These social networks are a great way to find new ideas, articles or even loads of fun images you can curate into a unique post of your own.
  2. Set up a Feedly account and have new posts and articles delivered into one place. Feedly has taken the place of the popular but now defunct Google Reader. You add all of the websites you like into Feedly and it will use their RSS feed and pull their latest posts into one account for you to peruse. The great thing about Feedly is that you do not need to keep going to all of your favourite websites, they are all there and you quickly scan posts to see if you like any. When you find a new website that could be interesting just add its URL to your Feedly account and you will now be updated of all of their new stuff. The website list can include all of the news websites and fun viral websites; it will save you a lot of time searching.
  3. Do a Google search, this one works better if you have an idea for a post. Let’s say that you wanted to do a post on pimped up camper vans, you type those words into Google and do both a web search and an image search. You will get back ideas and pictures that you can use as you will see in this interesting post ‘You Won’t Believe What These Guys Have Done To Their Vans 10 Pimped Up Vans & Crazy Campers
  4. Do a search on YouTube. YouTube is an incredible place; you find many great channels doing content curation using video as their main media. You will find videos doing many ‘Top Ten…’ videos of everything and I mean everything…  I recently saw a video for the ‘Top 10 Sexy Female Aliens’ Yes really! … And here it is 🙂

WatchMojo do loads of Top Ten style videos with clips they have curated and they add them to YouTube and share them on their own website.

Still you will get plenty of great ideas from YouTube and don’t forget you will get news reports and interesting fail videos by the bucket load too.

Only last night as a test I decided to do my own version of this post as a test ‘A Man Takes A Single Rake to The Beach. And When You Zoom Out And See It… Mind BLOWN’, it isn’t live but I did it in a Word Document as if I was doing it for real. This included downloading all 17 images and then placing them into my document, rewriting the content, adding source links and creating a new eye catching title as well as sourcing a new YouTube video to go with the post to make it more original.

I did this on my laptop while watching a film on the TV, it took me about half an hour and had I published it live on a WordPress website with some social media shares it would have been an hour tops. That isn’t bad really is it? I could have managed to have done more posts on a typical evening and had them scheduled but I started late and was only running a test so I do see this as a website business idea with a lot of potential.

When you consider that you could create and run a WordPress website for around £100 for the whole year (that includes the better hosting package with more disc space) it is a pretty cheap business model to get started with. The rest is really free, your content is based on other people’s work and content, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are free to use and they allow you to create things like groups, communities and pages for free to start growing a following.

You can if you wish spend some money on Facebook adverts to grow your page’s likes and this is recommended but then a couple of hundred pounds should be enough to kick start a viral effect to further grow your following.

So that is content curation, I guess you need to decide whether it is ethical or not and whether you want to get involved with it but I have shown you roughly what is involved and how to get started. I will leave that with you.  🙂

Remember: To learn how to build your own viral content curation website we have the several video tutorial modules inside the Digital Academy as well as our very own specially created Cash Curator system for our members using these viral content curation principles.

Check it out now by clicking the button below!

the digital academy

How One Family Made $100 Million In Two Years Using YouTube And A Grumpy Cat

Disney is not the land where dreams are made: It is the internet!

Not all internet wealth comes from hard work or specialised business systems. A lot of it has come from simply sharing fun stuff. If you are not yet aware, cats dominate the internet. Some say that the internet was just invented to share funny cat pictures and videos.

Their popularity can be seen everywhere. Today I wanted to talk to you about a family who have generated a whopping $100 million within two years thanks to their less than happy cat. The cat itself is probably very happy but it has a face which always looks sad and grumpy.

Introducing the internet sensation… Grumpy Cat!

grumpy cat

According to the UK newspaper The Independent (December 2014) Grumpy Cat’s owner Tabatha Bundesen and her family have reportedly earned $100 million which is a cool £64 million in real money.

Tabatha now 30 said:

“What she’s achieved in such a short time is unimaginable and absolutely mind-blowing. I was able to quit my job as a waitress within days of her first appearance on social media and the phone simply hasn’t stopped ringing since.”

Grumpy Cat whose real name is Tadar Sauce earned more in 2014 through merchandise sales, advertising  and other revenues than the world class professional Cristiano Ronaldo who earned an estimated £27.1 million and Gwyneth Paltrow whose income for 2013 was around £12 million.

That is incredible! It all started when they put a picture on the popular website Reddit. People accused the picture of not being real and that it was ‘photoshopped’ so Tabatha recorded a few videos and added them to YouTube. Those videos went viral and the rest is history as they say.

The Original Grumpy Cat!

Just look at this video. It has had nearly 20 million views!

Grumpy cat has her own website, she has nearly 140 products in her online store split into departments like ‘Electronics’, ‘Clothing’ and ‘Home & Pets’.

grumpy cat merchandise

She has been in her own movie “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever”, which was produced by Lionsgate –– the people behind several Jason Statham movies –– she has a couple of books on Amazon, one which was a New York Times bestseller, that are doing very well.

grumpy cat books

She even has her own range of coffees called ‘Grumppuccino’ which are available to buy in over 100 stores across the US.

grumpy cat coffee

Why I am saying she has I don’t really know as she has done very little herself. A lot of this is down to Tabatha and Grumpy Cat’s agent Ben Lashes. Ben is a self-proclaimed ‘meme manager’, whatever one of those are. He has turned the public’s love for funny cat images and videos into cold cash. He has managed other popular online cats including Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat.

Since Ben took over managing Grumpy Cat he has created a brand that has grown landing them the book and film deals as well as Grumpy Cat now being the official ‘Spokescat’ for Friskies. A deal with Nestle Purina PetCare what would be worth a small fortune.

Grumpy Cat is not the only cat to become an internet sensation and she certainly wasn’t the first. It is now generally accepted that posting a picture to Reddit, Twitter or Facebook or a video to YouTube can launch an internet sensation.

YouTube has generated millions of dollars for people because it allows average joe public to get their homemade videos out in front of millions of people.

Read:

technology rich and famous

How The Technology We Take For Granted Today Could Make You Rich And Famous

Some YouTube stars can earn more than Hollywood films and stars. Especially when you consider the return earned on products with the difference in layout costs.

Hollywood spends millions to make millions whereas Felix Kjellberg AKA PewDiePie, a Swedish video game commentator, would spend a miniscule amount compared to Hollywood and yet it is reported that he can make as much as $7.4 million in a year thanks to his YouTube based business.

Read:

Sitting On Your Bum Playing Video Games YouTube $7.4 million How To Profit From Creating Simple YouTube Videos

Sitting On Your Bum + Playing Video Games + YouTube = $7.4 million: How To Profit From Creating Simple YouTube Videos

So the questions are: Do you own a pet? Do you own a video camera? (smartphone will do) Do you want to make money doing something which is fun?

If the answers to all three questions are yes then you could be the next internet sensation like Grumpy Cat. Who knows?

But what we do know it that no one will ever know if they never try.

How One Marketer Makes $25,000-$30,000 A Month After Swapping Affiliate Marketing For Writing Kindle Ebooks.

Following on from last week’s post about people making a lot of money by writing fiction ebooks on Amazon Kindle I wanted to bring you another story of success. This time I am going to be talking about Steve Scott who was once a successful affiliate marketer but now he is a very successful author selling eBooks on Amazon Kindle.

Unlike last week’s article which focused on the fiction genres Steve Scott writes books which are helpful to people. They are motivational style books showing people how to make good habits. One of his most popular books is Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take 5 Minutes Or Less.

steve scott books

As you will see throughout this article, he has written books which are compilations of tips, tricks and advice covering many of life’s daily issues such as exercise, decluttering your home & life, writing to do lists and eating healthily.

Seriously? How hard can it be to write a book about de cluttering your house?

1. Find the things you do not want anymore…

2. Throw them in the bin! 🙂

steve scott books 2

Steve Scott is what is commonly being called an authorpreneur. The internet along with sites like Amazon and modern computing technologies like Kindle, tablets and eBooks has enabled people to make a lot of money from writing books and working from home.

How good does that sound? Working from home surrounded by your family and your toys choosing to work when you want without the stress and cost that comes with having to actually go to work. If you were not aware that going to work had a cost read this article here How Working Online From Home Can Save You Money.

Steve Scott did an interview in June 2015 where he said that he had 58 assets on Amazon Kindle. An asset to Steve is an ebook or ebook bundles and several of those are the same books but in different translations. As I write this I found only 23 books by Steve Scott but that is here in the UK without doing an indepth search. If all 23 books had at least 2 translations for the Spanish and Portuguese markets as an example then he would have 46 assets on there. So it does start to add up.

He also offers audio versions of many of his books and he also uses Amazon’s CreateSpace system to create on demand print books. He said that he does not sell many of the printed versions but –– and this is a very important but –– having the print version available to buy with a higher price makes people think that the Kindle version is at an acceptable price and helps to sell more of them. That single fast comparison of prices can really help you to sell more. Something to bear in mind if you decide to get involved in this business model.

steve scott books 3

As I mentioned earlier Steve was an affiliate marketer. For eight to nine years he did well earning passive income while he travelled around the world. He was running an internet marketing blog and as a way to drive traffic back to his website he decided to create an ebook from five old blog posts and put it on Amazon Kindle.

Not a lot happened for a few months but when he added a second book and added them to KDF Select offering them for free things began to move. Once they were taken off KDP Select they began to sell well sending more traffic to his website.

Some marketers write epic content (like I do 🙂 ) for their blogs and then they would often take their best information and create a product to sell on the internet marketing forum called the Warrior Forum.

Steve Scott had been thinking the same, but then he had the thought; why create all of this great content for his website and then try and create a product to sell on the Warrior Forum when he could just simple create epic content as a book full of actionable tips and advice and sell it cheaply on Amazon Kindle to a wider audience?

So that is what he started to do, and he didn’t look back. He had started to grow his own author/publishing empire which now generates between $25,000 and $30,000 (As declared in June 2015, it could be more or less now. I cannot say.)

steve scott books 4

Steve said the he wanted to move into writing fiction for one very great reason, one which I think is very powerful. Fiction stories do not need UPDATING! If you write tutorial articles or books or create tutorial videos for YouTube or a membership area, they will soon need updating.

I remember creating an ebook and a series of training videos showing how to use a specific email marketing software. I got it all finished only to find that the software was updated a couple of weeks later. The videos that I created could still be used but they did look different to what the users would see when they worked with the software.

Now think of great classics like Alice In Wonderland or the War Of The Worlds, they do not need to be updated. Hollywood has often updated them for new audiences when creating film versions of the stories using artistic license but the stories remain the same especially in book format.

When you write a fictional book it does not need updating and can be sold for many years. Only this week I bought an ebook version of a classic American Pulp Fiction story originally published in the 1930s. The story is set in the 1930s and when I read it that is where my mind goes.

spider

Whereas anything that offers advice and tips for a modern life can require updating and it might require it often. Think about how many times your smartphones, tablets, apps, computers and software get updated each year. It feels like it is all the time to me!

Fiction is a great business to get into. I believe this saying explains it nicely… If you think about it, the best job in the world has to be a fiction writer, if you become successful you basically make shit up and get paid for it. However the marketing is probably harder to do as there is a lot of competition.

Want to write fiction?

How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model.

Read this: How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model

It does depend on what non-fiction you write too, not everything needs updating. Many self help books cannot be updated as the techniques in self help books are hundreds of years old and still work today.

Anyway I digress, what today’s article is really all about is that you can make a lot of money selling non-fiction information products on Amazon Kindle just as Steve Scott has and does. This business requires very little technical ability. You do not need to have a website, you can have one if you want but it is not required and you can outsource most of the work if you so wish.

More importantly, Steve Scott was/is making around $25,000 upto $30,000 per month from writing books which he sells via Amazon Kindle.

Is this the home based business for you?

Oh and did I say that you can do this virtually anywhere in the world without the need for much more than a laptop?

How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model

Today I am going to discuss a business model that has been used very successfully by several people recently but the model itself is an old one. One which virtually died when new technology –– such as colour TVs became cheaper and more readily available –– destroyed its popularity with the masses.

It soon became outdated and was virtually unheard of again until now. The change in modern technology, the invention of the internet and the new phenomenon of the online self publishing system that Amazon Kindle and others have brought to the world has had a strange but interesting twist –– it has brought back the opportunity for people to make money from this old business method.

So what old business model am I talking about here? The business was known as ‘Pulp Fiction’ and it was named after the low grade paper that fiction stories were once printed on. The reason these stories were printed on low quality paper was that it was cheap and made them affordable.

pulp fiction covers 1

The USA had just experienced the big depression and the economy was at a low as was morale, publishers wanted to cheer people up and give them some excitement and adventure to allow them to escape the humdrum life that so many of them were living. But because people had very little spare money they needed to make it affordable and so they came up with the concept of hiring writers to create short fiction stories which they printed on cheap paper and sold cheap to the public.

The writers who needed work were paid pennies which kept the costs down. They might not have liked how little they were being paid but they needed the work. The idea of the Pulp Fiction business was similar to the Woolworths principle of stack them high and sell them low.

Instead of a long novel type book they would produce a collection of short stories and sell them. Many people couldn’t face reading a big thick book, they prefered the thinner comic style magazines. The stories were often in a series and spread out over time just like how TV shows are made today. Each episode is a new mini episode within one big story.

pulp fiction covers 2

Inside these Pulp Fiction magazines were crime and detective dramas, war stories, cowboy & westerns and science fiction stories based in outer space People loved them, people love to be entertained and that is what Mike Shreeve focused on when he made over $700,000 a year by starting his own Pulp Fiction empire.

Before starting his Pulp Fiction empire Mike spent several months studying the pulp fiction writers of the early twentieth century.

Mike along with many others has made good returns by writing short entertaining fiction stories which they have sold on sites like Amazon Kindle, Kobo, B&N and more. There are two ways to make this business work for you:

1 You can either write the short stories yourself which you self publish

2 Or you become a publisher and outsource the writing and then publish the stories under ‘pen names.’

Or there is a third option: do both!

Mike made a great point when he discussed the difference between his business model and other writers: Most writers want to become famous by having a bestseller on one of the popular lists such as the New York Times Bestseller list and those writers dream of that one bestselling book making a lot of money and changing their lives around. Mike on the other hand made his money from many books and not just one.

He said It’s the myth of the bestseller…Authors are the only business people (and if you want to make money selling books you are in business… no two ways about it…) that I know of who think that they can make a year’s salary off the sales of a single product. It doesn’t make sense.”

It is a very valid point, why do authors think that they can change their lives with just one product? Yes it has happened before for many people but it is never guaranteed.

Mike didn’t just write one long bestseller. They can take ages because writers get so lost in the writing. The story they write constantly changes, it is forever growing, it evolves because as you write you think up new ideas to add to the book and also novels have roughly 90,000 words and so they can take ages to write and edit.

pulp fiction covers 3
Mike along with others focused on writing shorter stories (called novelettes ) of 10,000 words more or less and they published them as a series. Any ideas that popped into their heads while they wrote they put into a list of ideas for future follow up stories.

This is what Mike had to say about it all: “Instead of trying to write one perfect book, write a higher quantity of your best books. It’s a slight difference, but so damn important. Do your best work 100% of the time, but don’t pretend you are going to write a bestseller. Instead, pretend that your life depends on finishing your writing for the day. Set higher goals. Get better. I never worry about whether my books will make a “list”. I only care that the books get finished.”

For every book that is finished it can be published and when it is published it has the potential to earn money. Mike had loads published which were bringing in money. In 2014 he published 36 books. If that sounds like a lot of writing to you then do not despair, he didn’t write most of them himself. He outsourced the writing.

David Lee Martin is another successful writer who self publishes short stories. David said that he generally pays between $100 and $130 for ghostwriters to write his short stories. He finds a target niche, creates a story outline with characters etc then sends the information to the writers who write the finished books. He may do some editing but his job mainly is to market the book. He creates the book covers himself because he loves playing around in Photoshop whereas Mike Shreeve prefers to outsource the covers.

So as you can see you do not need to write the books yourself but if you want to then you could. Mike published 36 books in 2014, that would be some going if you wrote the books yourself but I personally would say that –– if you were a discipline character –– you could write 25 great short stories in a year.

That means that you can write one book every two weeks. At 10,000 words per book, writing as little as 1000 words per day you should have a book done in ten days with four spare for editing. Now it sounds a little more achievable doesn’t it? I have tip that can help make writing 10,000 words a lot easier later on in the article.

Kindle Self Publishing Masterclass New ModuleThe more stories you have published the more sales you can generate. Here is something that you should consider as a publisher or writer. When someone reads a story that they really enjoyed they want to read another. If they loved the characters they may want to read another story featuring those characters or if they loved your writing style then they may want more of that. What happens if you publish a book and have nothing else for the reader to buy? They can get bored and forget about you.

Both Mike and David wrote/published under different pen names unlike James Patterson –– who is famous for outsourcing his writing! ––  so to make sure that people can access more of their work (under that pen name) they do something a lot of Novel Authors do not do: They write a series of separate short stories first and do not publish one until they have a few of the series ready and then publish several at the same time.

pulp fiction covers 5

This means that each new book in the series can cross sell the others and that they will be shown by sites like Amazon in the By The Same Author… section. Instead of selling one they can sell several at the same time to the same people without the fear of losing them later. Those who write longer books which takes months or even years to write will be making their fans wait ages for another book which can be damaging to sales.

The price point for these shorter stories vary from between $0.99 to $2.99 –– or pounds if you are in the UK. What is important is that you create great books, they may be short and the turnover is fast but you cannot publish sub standard books. Remember; the Pulp Fiction business of the 1930s printed on sub standard paper but the stories and cover art was the best they could produce. The quality of the stories on those sub standard pages was the most important thing.

James Patterson is one of the biggest selling authors of all time, he writes novels and he can publish a lot of them in a year because he too outsources a lot of the writing to co-authors. He creates the book ideas and sets about creating the characters and story and then has others to flesh it out. I was recently reading one of his books and noticed that all of his books have a lot of chapters and that many of those chapters are just a few pages long. I wanted to know why and so I found out.

james patterson and co authors

James Patterson likes to write a scene as a chapter, so for example, if he had two people talking in a kitchen about a murder, that would be a full chapter. If one of the people left and drove away leaving the other in the kitchen to mull over the discussion, that would be another chapter. So to help you write a short story I came up with a template.

The Short Story Template

When writing a short story of 10,000 words break it up into ten scenes which become ten chapters and each chapter should be around 1000 words each. This will help plan the story and if you prefer change the template to suit so if you prefer write 20 chapters of roughly 500 words and so on. This is not an exact science but a way to help set the story out. As James Patterson would tell you, it is easier to write a story when you have an outline or full plan to work to.

I would also say that the rule is to be flexible. If one chapter has 800 words and another 1057 then so be it. It is just a guide to help write 10,000 word stories. If you need more or less words/scenes and chapters then add them. Do what you need to do but remember, as Mike Shreeve said “I only care that the books get finished.” and so should you. Get them finished and get them published. That is the only true way to start making money from selling books on Amazon Kindle.

After the books are published to Amazon, Mike and David would then start to market them using Facebook adverts to send traffic to the sales page. They also build up email lists by giving away a free story and those email lists have made it possible for them to sell more books without using advertising meaning that they get more money and need to spend less on advertising.

But for now –– if this idea sounds good to you ––  you better start writing or planning your stories otherwise you have nothing to market.

Oh and by the way, I have written just under 2000 words in the last few hours for this article so writing 1000 – 2000 words a day can be done 🙂

Building A Profitable Lead Generation Website The Easy Way.

We have talked about websites making money from affiliate products like T-shirts and advertising networks like Google AdSense but there are other ways to make money from websites and one we have yet to explore is getting and selling leads to companies.

kyero 1

I will be using the website Keyro as the example. Keyro is a website which showcases Spanish property which is for sale or to rent including holiday lets.

kyero 2

The website collects email addresses and has its own email newsletter as well as a blog which offers news about the Spanish property market.

kyero 3

At first I wasn’t sure if they were paid by Spanish property agents to advertise their properties or whether they just ‘sucked’ the information from other people’s websites using RSS feeds and then sold those websites any leads or enquiries that they might get, but I see that Kyero have a link at the bottom of the site where they offer agents the chance to advertise properties on the site.

Why would Spanish property agents want to advertise on a third party website when they have their own website? The same reason that UK property agents advertise on RightMove and Zoopla, they reach a bigger audience because they focus on building a brand instead of the traditional company name which was usually named after its owner like ‘J. Campbell Estate Agents’ for example.

These websites focus on getting maximum coverage in Google and getting the best placements in the search results. Kyero translates the site into thirteen languages, something which most ‘traditional’ property company websites cannot do. Kyero banks on the fact that it is easy to remember, it is easy to find and is likely to be the first site people go to so it has a brand which makes it the field leader.

kyero info

When someone owns the ‘goto website’ in an industry they can charge a fee for placing ads, profiles or listings on that site, and companies that are looking to make sales and generate business they will pay to have their products and services placed in front of the traffic ‘leads’ who would be interested in their products and services.

kyero pricing

Building a site like Kyero isn’t cheap but like all websites and businesses Kyero looks a lot better now than it did a few years ago. Sites evolve and develop, you will never have the perfect site at the beginning, what is important is to get started and build something.

To build a site similar to Kyero in whatever niche you are interested in I would recommend finding many websites that have the products you want to promote and ‘borrow’ their listings to start off with.

So let’s imagine that we were developing a website to promote property in a specific country (keeping with the Kyero example), I would search for the best property agents in that territory and simply copy the listings on their site and add them it to the new site.

kyero facebook

I would then start to share the listings on social media building a Facebook page to mirror the website and a Twitter account and begin to grow the number of followers.

kyero information request

I would have an email form where people can email me to request details on each property and then I would forward on these details to the original property agents and open up a ‘dialogue’ with them discussing the amount of quality leads that you are planning to send them and discuss what it is worth to them.

Once you are sending leads to these companies, leads that they have not got themselves, leads which have come through your website you are in a great position to ask for money for your lead generation services as Kyero now do.

To be a featured agent on Kyero the basic price is €126 going up to €284 per month!

kyero featured property

Obviously you will want to build an email list using a newsletter and a blog where you can send people to read new articles.

kyero newsletter

The great thing about these types of websites is that you have all of the content that you need in front of you, there is very little creative writing needed, you simply take the information from other websites and use it on yours. Even on your blog and newsletter you can take the industry news and information from other websites in that industry, the news or government reports.

I am not saying that it is an easy business to start, there will be a lot of work, there is a website that needs developing at a price, there are listings to add to the site and share on social media and there is the work of promoting your website but this is a profitable business model.

When you can supply leads and traffic to businesses that need customers you have a profitable and valuable service. This business model can be used in many niches, from selling property to selling cars, from selling holidays to selling caravans. There are job sites that are generating leads for companies looking for workers and there are sites generating leads for tradesmen.

rated peopleThere may be a fantastic niche/industry that you know about that has yet been cornered which is calling out for a ‘branded’ site that can generate leads for many companies. Could you build the next big lead generation website?

What Niche Can You Run A Profitable Membership Website Around?

If you hadn’t realised it by now, one of the best types of online businesses is a membership website. The subscription model is a fantastic business because not only do you get paid a recurring income each month (for as long as a person is subscribing to your website) but you can create content once and sell it over and over again to many people.

Membership sites are not hard to set up, using the simple to use WordPress system to build your website you can use plugins like S2 Member to lock your content away behind a registration page with a PayPal subscribe button. It is a great plugin, we Minion’s recommend it because we use it ourselves.

s2 member

Membership sites can be built around any topic that you can think of, if you promote and market it well there will always be people willing to pay to access your site and enjoy your content.

Spotify and Netflix are technically membership sites as people pay a monthly subscription to access the content and then when they cancel their subscription they lose that access. Both Spotify and Netflix offer exceptional value for what you pay but they are also in a very huge market dominated by big companies like Sky TV, Amazon and many other TV/music companies.

However there are many MANY other niches and topics where you can start a membership website with paying subscribers. The adult business has shown this to be true, there are big porn companies that sell monthly subscriptions for users to access their adult videos and websites and there are smaller home run adult membership sites which are generating money via paying subscribers. (Click the above link or image below to read the article)

adult membership

Anyone can run a membership site as long as you can produce the content that keeps people subscribing. This can be easy if you love the niche that you build your membership website around or if you turn your website into one where the subscribers add the content for you. I remember many years ago reading about a membership site which was set up by a couple of gardening lovers, at one point they had over 70,000 members paying either a quarterly fee of $5 or an annual fee of $15.

These were people paying to access a website with a forum about gardening…. if there was one subject that you can find loads of information for free all over the place it is gardening. Since I can remember there has always been magazines, papers, TV shows and books focusing on gardening, and yet here were people paying to access a website about it.

Gardening might be too broad a subject today to have as a membership site, you might need to niche down a bit and focus on a specific area of gardening like growing vegetables, growing bonsai trees, indoor plants etc. These are topics that will have a keen group of fans looking for information.

If you are not sure how powerful membership websites can be think of them this way, a membership website is a kind of online magazine. People will happily pay for magazines that are published around the hobbies and topics that they love. Do you regularly buy magazines? If so then you have a great source of information for your membership website/online magazine. 🙂

magazines

The one thing that will keep people subscribing is to deliver quality content and when I say deliver quality content I do mean OVER delivering quality content. A successful business will always deliver more in value than what it takes in payment. This might sound harsh for anyone wanting to make money but the truth is when people feel like they are getting value for money especially if the value worth is greater than what they are paying for it they will keep paying and coming back for more.

With a membership website you can deliver more value than what you take in payment and still make a lot of money because you offer the content to many people. For example, if people paid £$20 a month and had access to a series of videos and that series was grown each month by five more videos which they thought was value for money… you only need to make five new videos each month even though you could have one hundred and thirty people paying for those videos.

It’s all about the numbers, to over deliver in content is actually very small when you have a lot of paying customers… you are not making new content for hundreds of subscribers… you are making content for one subscriber… which is enjoyed by hundreds of subscribers.

To end this article I shall list a few (and I mean a few) of the thousands if not millions of niches that you could possibly build a membership website around.

  • Football (Specific team fan club, football tutorials)
  • Rugby
  • Cricket
  • Breakdancing
  • Line dancing
  • BMXing
  • Snowboarding
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Cooking (Specific styles like Chinese, Thai & Indian)
  • Music (Specific genres & bands, music & instrument tutorials)
  • Fashion
  • Writing (Specific genre, writing tutorials)
  • Magic
  • Travel (Location specific)
  • Singing training
  • Acting lessons
  • Forex
  • Stocks & Shares
  • Poker
  • Gambling Tips
  • Horror and zombies
  • And the list goes on

If you want to know how to build a profitable website using WordPress register for the Digital Academy now… click the button below.

the digital academy

How The Technology We Take For Granted Today Could Make You Rich And Famous

In case you were not sure whether you were in a position to change your life with the technology we have available at our fingertips then I wanted to give you two comparisons to think about.

These two comparisons are in the music industry and involve two popular British acts, one is established and old and one is new. This article was inspired after watching two different shows on television last weekend.

I watched one show that was all about the 1980s and was called something along the lines Ten Years That Changed Britain, it discussed all the things that happened in those years which were groundbreaking and society changing like Margaret Thatcher’s Government, the Falklands War, The Acid House explosion and the British New Romantics music scene.

As part of the music scene it went on to discuss how the American TV channel MTV was changing the way we listened to music in our homes. MTV had given birth to the popular music video and UK bands like Duran Duran embraced this with their groundbreaking and expensive videos like the one for ‘Rio’.

duran duran rio

Martin Kemp and Tony Hadley from the popular British 80s band Spandau Ballet were interviewed for the show, Tony said that he had seen Duran Duran’s Rio video and wanted to do the same and so the record company sent the band around the world to exotic locations to film videos for their songs.

Martin said that in the early 1980s the band had made around four videos which had cost nearly £1 million each to make. These music videos were then sent to stations like MTV and other music shows so that they could be shown to millions of fans and help increase the sales of the band’s music, merchandise and gigs.

spandau ballet now

Spandau Ballet today, reformed and touring.

In those days, bands had to do a lot of television, radio and magazine appearances for exposure and that was all they could do, it was out of their hands. They had to rely on their fans tuning in to see those interviews at that scheduled time or buy those magazines.

Thirty Years Later: The Game Has Changed… A Lot!

So now we come to today, things are a little bit different, we live in an age of social media and smartphones which come with high resolution cameras and leads that can hook up to tablets and laptops easily. These are taken for granted today but they really are game changing tools, not just for the music industry but for many businesses.

technology

Let me explain:

On Sunday I watched a show called Sunday Brunch which always shows a clip of a music video of some new band, singer or song with a couple of lines of information just before the ad break. They showcased the talents of the relatively new singer Shannon Saunders.

shannon saunders video

The information that they gave about her was that her first music video was made for the cost of £9 and that it had been seen just under 1 million times on YouTube. I believe this is the video that they were talking about.

Heart of Blue – Shannon Saunders (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

How different is this to the Spandau Ballet and MTV days?

Ok so there are some big differences, Spandau Ballet was sent to foreign countries to film the videos and the record company footed the bill (which would be deducted later out of record sales though) whereas Shannon is filmed wandering around London.

However there is nothing stopping her from creating a similar video using the same methods while on holiday in several places, what is important here is that she has created a video for the cost of £9 probably using a mobile phone or tablet and then uploaded it to a free social media platform like YouTube which has been watched by nearly 1 million people!

If she is a YouTube Partner and generating money from Google AdSense (adverts shown on and around her video) then she would have easily made back a lot more than the £9 she spent thanks to the nine hundred thousand plus views the video has had.

simple youtube profitsAnd now she is getting exposure on popular TV shows because of her ‘own’ work.

We have technology now that we can use to do things that people in the 1980s could only dream of, the show that I watched about the 1980s showed people using the new ‘mobile phones’ from Vodafone, you remember the ones… the size of a brick and had to be carried with a battery pack that was the size of a smart car.

Today we have smart phones that allow us to record videos as we have seen above and to create and record music using incredible software and apps. Tor Miller is a musician who was given a lot of airtime on Radio 1 by the DJ Zane Lowe after he heard his debut song which was recorded entirely using his mobile phone.

Ok so these people are singer songwriters and musicians and have created music for which the videos were made but the technology we have access to can be used for doing so much more such as artwork, writing books and running online businesses… I am just using the music industry as an example and a comparison on how the world has changed.

webcam busines fi

In a recent article I mentioned how musicians were using the internet to broadcast gigs using webcams and how one DJ was running an online music school where he would use tools like Skype or Google Hangout to conduct interactive live lessons… you can read that article here… Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income

I want to show you some more examples of DJs and musicians using technology that we have available to us which was not affordable or readily available to the people in the 1980s.

Many DJs do live sets which are added to sites like YouTube and Facebook which are recorded using webcams and laptops. After the sad news that David Bowie had died the Canadian DJ Skratch Bastid did a short tribute to one of his heroes by cutting up two copies of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ song which you can see here.

Skratch Bastid – David Bowie Tribute “Let’s Dance” routine

Here is a snap of the same video which he uploaded to Facebook and take a look at the number of shares and likes it has had!

skratch bastid

Kutski is another DJ who does regular short scratch videos in his studio as the image below shows.

kutski scratch video

What I like about Kutski is that he puts some time and thought into creating his videos. They only take a minute or two to set up and probably an hour to edit but they are still relatively cheap and quick to do and they look very professional and can be powerful tools in his business.

He uses multiple camera angles and he has also spent a couple of hundred pounds buying a GoPro camera to create these fantastic short but exciting memories of events and weekends.

Kutski @ Paradox, Baltimore NYE 2015

I apologise if the music is a little too hard for you but I love it 🙂 But the point I want to get across is how they are utilising this incredible and cheap technology we all have access to and using it to keep fans interested and generate new sales and business.

Notice how many of the free to use social media platforms these people use… Kutski is a very busy DJ, he travels the world performing at big events and is pushing his ‘Keeping The Rave Alive’ brand as he goes and to help he is using all the free social media networks that are available as you will see in the screenshot below.

kutski keeping the rave alive

Kutski also produces a radio show/podcast which he uploads to music sites like Soundcloud & iTunes then shares the link across social media. It is all about getting the name and brand out there.

In many ways for DJs and musicians it is easy, they can do so much to share their own music and sets across the networks using videos but so can many other industries like chefs, artists, authors and even philosophers.

We have such great pieces of technology to hand that we can use, much of it is usually sat in our coat or trouser pockets most days. We can record audio, video, write articles, take pictures which we can upload to many different websites and networks within seconds from most places in the western world and we can connect with millions of people around the world quicker than it takes to order a coffee.

Currently we are living in the greatest time for personal technology, mankind has never had a period in history where we could do so much with so much ease and share it with so many people at the same time… with speed. If that is not impressive and has not made you realise that anything is possible for you then nothing will. 🙂

Do You Speak English? Would You Like To Get Paid To Talk?

Before we get into the bones of this post, as the title says, ‘Do You Speak English?’ English is the language of the internet but it is not the only language that people need, if English is not your native tongue then there is no reason why you cannot make money doing voice overs in your own language.

Recently I have discussed how people were making money using nothing more than their laptops and an internet connection incorporating maybe a webcam and a microphone which you can read here:

Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income

How Youngsters Are Making Thousands Each Month Using A Webcam Whilst Eating Their Tea!

Today I want to discuss another couple of ways that you can generate money using just a computer and a microphone. Laptops do come with built in microphones but for this I recommend getting a stand alone microphone or a headset which can cost as little as £15 so it is not a lot to invest in what is relatively a cheap business idea to set up.

If you can speak clearly and are able to read well then you could make money from home by becoming a voice over artist for other people. You get paid to read a script for their video productions.

Video is big business these days and companies are always looking for people with great clear voices to do the voice over work and for this they will pay a lot. If a video has the power to convert people into buying and generating a lot of money then it makes sense for these companies to pay a good sum for a professional job.

There are people who are making several thousand dollars each month from doing just that, people ask them to read out a short script into a microphone and record a short audio file which they send to them in exchange for money.

Depending on what the job is, people are earning anything from $50 for a short recording of a couple of minutes up to $1000 for a longer job.

In reality, to be a good voice over artist you just need to be able to read confidently and talk clearly with a voice that is not too dull or monotone. That basically is it… and the equipment needed is minimal too.

recording tools

A microphone/headset is required but very cheap to buy, the audio recording software I recommend called Audacity can be downloaded from the internet for free and if you need a software to record videos showing slide shows or pages on a website then there is a free software that you can use called Screencast-O-Matic.

vidcast profits buttonIn a system that we call Vidcast Profits we show you how to use the tools mentioned above and how to create great videos and audio recordings which you can sell for profit, you can access those training materials by joining the Digital Academy here:

the digital academyThis could be an ideal business for someone who does not want a lot of complicated work like building websites, writing content and trying to promote products to sell. This is a simple case of finding out what the client wants you to read then hitting the record button and reading it out loud into a microphone.

At first it might feel a little alien to you talking out loud all the time and so you might need to make a few re-recordings but with practice and learning a few editing tips you will be making perfect recordings in no time.

You might decide to set yourself up with a website to showcase your expertise and services but that is not necessary as there are several websites where you can set up profiles for potential clients to see.

These websites are ‘middleman websites’ which are market places or meeting places if you like where people who are offering their services meet with people looking for people with specific skillsets to do certain tasks such as voicing over videos.

upwork odesk

Sites like Elance.com (now part of the Upwork.com community) and Upwork.com (formerly Odesk.com) allow you to open up free accounts where you can offer your services and give examples of your work and you either ‘bid’ on jobs that clients have posted or clients can directly offer you work after going through your profile.

elance upwork

Payment is done through these sites using an escrow system, the client pays money to the website, the website holds it until the job is completed and the client is satisfied then it will release the funds and pay the person who did the work minus their small fee.

These websites take a 10% fee on all transactions, that is how they make their money but you as a service provider agree on a price with a client on how much you want to be paid for the work that you do.

If you wanted $100 (The dollar is the currency of the internet) for your work then you would agree that with the client first, if you were happy losing their 10% fee then that is great and you would take $90 for your troubles but if not then you would add enough to cover that 10% such as for $100 you would need to charge around $111.15.

That is basically all there is to this business idea, there are only a few tools needed and the only major skills you need are to be able to read and talk well. So could you make money doing this in your spare time?

vidcast profits button

From Puffin Ciggies To Smoking Hotwheels: How To Build A Smoking Hot Online Hobby Business

Today I wanted to discuss running an online business and website based around a hobby. We often get asked what is the best ‘topic’ to start an online business around and our answer is that often it can be your favourite pastime or hobby.

Everyone has a passion or a hobby that they enjoy doing and this is often the best thing to consider when starting an online business.

When it is a hobby that you enjoy which you do regularly you ‘know’ a lot about that subject and you can create a lot of good content around that topic mainly because you ‘know’ it so well. Content is king as they say and great content means that you can become an ‘authority’ in that niche.

When wanting to start an online business it is worth looking to see if there is much competition regarding your hobby and if it is possible that you can build a business around it because it is going to be easier to run a business around something you love and care about rather than something that you couldn’t care less about.

If you are not feeling love for the products or the business you are promoting then it can get really hard going, so with that in mind I decided to ask a close friend of mine about his new business plan and website which he has started recently focusing on the hobby he fell in love with while trying to stop smoking. I kid you not!

alex whalley troy snook

Alex Whalley is a blogger that I have know for several years and he is also an SEO expert so when I learned that he had started a new website www.mycustomhotwheels.com which was not about blogging or specialising in SEO I had to know more.

Below is the interview that he kindly did for us to explain what his new website is all about, what he did when setting it up, what he is doing now and where he is taking the business in the coming years.

mycustomhotwheels website front

Hi Alex, I see you have a new website, are you doing the site for fun and hoping it will grow or did you spot a gap in the market with your SEO knowledge and realise that you could build a business online doing something that you love?

Bit of both to be honest. First off you need to understand that I am a blogger and marketer at heart and so everything I do stems from these roots. Basically I had amassed a collection of Hotwheels and created dioramas for them and in so doing, had created the ability (with the click of a camera) to create endless amounts of content. And as you know content is king. Always has been always will be, end of story. Next question.

mycustomhotwheels alex room

*I actually launched the site with a how to guide (content) that I knew my target audience would salivate over. The result was a 1000 visitor count for the first 72 hours! I don’t care who you are (unless you are Guy Kawasaki) that’s huge!

Takeaway: Understand who your audience is and craft content that you know  they will eat up

Are you making any money from the website/business yet… if so roughly how much and is it roughly the same each month?

No it is not making money, nor is it monetized in any way (Yet, read on: Andi). I am building up a mailing list because the money is in the list apparently. I’ve personally never found much of it there but I hear these things.

mycustomhotwheels list

How is it making money?

Are you not listening Andy? 😛 (I asked before you answered the last question 😛 back at ya Alex 🙂 )

If not… are you planning to make money from the site and how?

Yes the plan is a long term one, 2 years to be precise. To go back to the first question in part, I realised there was a huge opportunity within this niche to build my own authority and in so doing create a place where everyone could go and share their own custom creations and inspire others (etc etc)

(Please Note: Alex who is a professional blogger and SEO expert has given himself 2 years to grow the site and business and is not expecting millions within a few weeks! Always start something new with at least 2 years in mind to give it time to work)  Further Reading: Expect To Have Realistic Expectations

Hotwheels customisers are a very vain bunch, and they are not internet savvy so what I have here is not only a market ready for a website they can call their own, I also have the most powerful weapon at my disposal – Other People’s Content!  As my authority builds people send me their own tips and tricks and I use these to build the content on the site and in so doing cement my authority even further.

The plan for monetizing the site long term is advertising. One can command top dollar when one is the go to site for a particular niche – any niche really! Short term I will be using Amazon and eBay affiliate networks to promote goods related to my topic – (just say Hotwheels Alex) yeah OK, Hotwheels.

Did you do any SEO keyword research before hand to determine whether you could get a good placing before building the site? 

Custom Hotwheels and Diecast Cars are the main two keywords I am trying to rank for. That exact phrase also happens to be my meta description 😉

I didn’t do research around the keywords because we’re talking Hotwheels here. Any niche relating to shopping, marketing, etc then YES, research until the cows come home. And then get them to assist you in researching some more! No, apart from basic Google searches and of course the Keyword planner to ascertain my long tails I really just started building the site, making sure to optimise for the main two terms and knowing that my content would do the rest of the work.

If so would you say that it is important to do SEO work upfront?

It’s stupidly important! Not only can it show you what keywords you should be targeting, it can show you who is dominating that space and can help save you wasting time chasing keywords you will never rank for.

Will you be doing much SEO work like link building or guest posting (if they still work) or not?

Yes I am actively building relationships with other customisers who own blogs. I am a regular contributor to one of the biggest diecast communities online at present and have been invited to be administrator on the biggest of them all – this is all a result of that authority I am building, ironically because I am the only one willing to put in the time to create the site and chase and catalogue all the relevant information that people want.

Is your main focus for traffic getting yourself into the local papers regularly? 😉

alex whalley paper

Cheeky sod 😉 That was a huge boost to my long  term goal and as you can imagine, has boosted my authority within the niche dramatically. Within 24 hours of that article going live I had received over 167 Facebook friend requests and my Page AND Group had both received 50 and 62 new likes/members respectively.

You can read that newspaper article here: From Puffin Ciggies To Smokin Hot Wheels

Will you be doing much in the way of social media sharing to get traffic such as Twitter, Facebook (pages and groups) G+ and YouTube?

Social Media actually accounts for 73% of my total traffic, with organic visitors accounting for only around 800 uniques each month (as I answer this) This shows that SEO is indeed gaining traction (I am monitoring my rankings in SEMRush and have moved over 100 spots to sit on the second page of Google for Custom Hotwheels. Diecast Cars on the other hand is taking a little more effort 😉 )

The main source is Instagram actually (I know, I had to learn and join the ham sandwich picture taking hipster crowd) and I am leveraging this social channel to build further relationships and extend my reach. I currently receive around 100 new likes every week and feed this audience teasers of upcoming posts so they will click through to my site .
mycustomhotwheels instagram

I also use Facebook and have amassed a 500+ strong group within a fairly short period. Who knows how far this will go?!

mycustomhotwheels facebook

Note: I use Google+ to further extend my reach and share my content but the main reason for this is for SEO benefits. Google will claim their own network has no greater impact over search results than any other social network but I call BS! The proof is in the rankings – and trust me when I tell you that you’ll rank higher if you are actively sharing your posts on Google+

Besides, Google + is a great way of finding targeted audiences to drip feed your best content to.

Do you think you could build a profitable site using social media traffic alone without the aid of any SEO for a very specific niche such as Hotwheels cars?

Definitely! In fact it is because it is Hotwheels that we could probably get away with no SEO at all. The reason? My target audience is not searching Google, they are trawling Instagram and sharing their custom work on Facebook, They are a young tech savvy crowd and they know where to find the good stuff. My job is to become the very ‘good stuff’ they seek 😉

mycustomhotwheels modification

Again the takeaway here is KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If you don’t know who you are talking to how can you possibly convince them to buy?

Is a placing on the first page of Google important to you?

It’s definitely something I would like to achieve but it plays second fiddle to authority. My primary focus is to build my own online authority. As I do this (through social and content) people will link to me and talk about me and click on me (all of which are within Google’s algorithm as being good things) and I will naturally see the benefits in the SERPs and then I win on both counts.

Now the more advanced questions would be things like have you built a Private Blog Network for your site or sites and would you?

No, never would either. Too much effort and unless you have IP masking and hosting scattered across the world it’s not worth the trouble. I do however build a web2.0 site (a blogger blog and/or a weebly blog) and use this to point those slightly ‘grey hat’ links to 😉

What would you say the total investment would be to build and run a site like yours?

How long’s a piece of string?!

Because I have a passion for collecting and customising Hotwheels it is not something I look at in terms of time. First time in my blogging/affiliate marketing career that I am running a site based purely on passion. Man, I’m going to make a killing….eventually.

Some Final Words From Andi:

Firstly I want to thank Alex for taking the time to answer my questions in a very detailed manner which I am sure that you found very interesting and useful.

I want to remind you that Alex is utilising all of the free social media platforms to get interest and ‘link juice’ to help his site grow and as he mentioned earlier he can create a lot of quality content because of what he has already done with his hobby and so he was able to utilise YouTube which is owned by Google and also great for traffic by creating videos.

So far he has done one video which is a walk around of his Hotwheels collection and dedicated Hotwheels room… and as you will see he has a HUGE collection and he also likes the word ‘random’ 🙂 but you will agree he has a lot of knowledge and information to write about.

Hotwheels, Dioramas and Diecast cars – My collection

If you have a hobby and want to build an online business then maybe you should consider using that as the idea for your website and business plan.

To learn more on how to build a hobby niche based website and online business then you need to join the Digital Academy:

the digital academy

Building Large Followings Using Facebook Groups, Pages & Twitter For Long Term Profits

This post was inspired by a couple of discussions that we had here in the Minion basement. We were discussing what could happen if people were more patient and didn’t need to generate money fast, giving them time to build up systems and traffic sources that could bring them a lot of profit in the future.

We discussed the growing trend for companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft to buy out websites, apps and services that were free but had grown where they had a lot of users and visitors. These large numbers of visitors and users mean that they become the valuable commodity.

company logo

What was a free system or website becomes very profitable in the eyes of big companies, they often buy them out and then either add paying adverts to the system as Facebook has with Instagram and Microsoft have with Skype or they use the system/website to heavily promote their own services and look for more custom.

This had us thinking about ways that you and I could do something similar on a lower level, we do not have thousands of pounds/dollars, certainly not hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars that we can invest in building up a free to use system that can become profitable like Instagram.

There are things that you can do which are free to use although some investment would certainly help the cause. Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are free to use social media platforms which allows you to build up big followings of people that you can reach.

Facebook is great because it allows you to create Facebook pages and groups around specific subjects which can allow you to reach a lot of people. Facebook does have some problems with their reach system and that is when you post an article to a Facebook page you might only reach a small percentage of your followers but that is not necessarily a big problem as you will see shortly.

When you have a large following on Facebook you can post links to affiliate offers on Amazon or to websites where visitors generate you money by clicking on adverts and even though not everyone will see your post there will be enough that do and will take action to generate you money. It would also be possible to post other people’s links to your followers for a price.

George Takei

Take Geroge Takei as an example, George played Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek programmes and films (which he seems to be dining out on it ever since ;-)). He and his husband Brad have a Facebook page each, they publish virtually the same posts and they are run by staff. How do I know this? Because they have videos made now and then featuring some of their social media team.

Brad Takei

The reason they have a team is that they are both very busy men and this is also a big business as you will soon see. Both George and Brad’s Facebook pages publish links to Amazon products such as T-Shirts using a model that we Minions call the No Hassle Commissions system which you can learn here in our Digital Academy:

no hassle commissionsYou will see that between the two of them they have over 10 million fans on their Facebook pages and I am more than certain they use Twitter and Google Plus. This is a big business to them, when you look at their pages you will see that they (rather their team) try out lots of new methods of posting content to their followers.

george takei posts

They generally share a lot of funny images, videos and articles. Now the articles come from lots of different websites but there are several which keep cropping up, sites like Distractify.com, Warpedspeed.com and Tickld.com which make me think that they have either a few clients who pay them good money to share an article or that they run several Cash Curator sites of their own or maybe it is a combination of the two.

A Cash Curator site is a website that is filled full of great fun content and that content is shared on social media driving traffic back to the website where the large numbers of traffic create large amounts of advertising and affiliate revenue.

If you would like to be shown how to run a successful Cash Curator site then you need to join the Digital Academy and get access to all of our tutorials, hosting, website theme, resources and support. Click The Button Below Now:

cash curator tmbThe fact that George and Brad have 10 million fans and followers on Facebook and maybe a load more on Twitter means that even if only 10% of their fans saw and acted on their posts they have reached 1 million people…. and that is a lot. When you look at the viral nature of sharing on Facebook many of their posts are seen by thousands more people.

George Takei post 2

They post regularly and they post a mixture of links to other websites, affiliate offers, funny pictures and videos as well as posting about some of George’s recent work like his Broadway play Allegiance and the occasional political & gay rights opinions and thoughts.

Now as you can see they reach a large audience and that large audience can help to bring in a lot of money and this is where the answer lies for this idea.

As Social media is a large free to use traffic source it makes great sense to create a plan where you build several pages and groups in Facebook and maybe a couple of Twitter accounts and slowly overtime build them up. The pages and groups can be about specific niches like a specific sport or they can be generally fun based pages where you share funny stuff.

If you wanted and could afford it you could run adverts to the pages, you could promote one or two posts a week or run ‘Like’ campaigns to build up the page numbers. If you did this you would need to keep an eye on your costs and factor it into the overall plan.

You see the whole plan is to build up a huge following of people and then when you have a lot you can start to send them to websites that you own where you can make money from advertising revenue and affiliate sales.

Once you have a large following you can also share links to affiliate products like cool or funny T-Shirts although I prefer to have T-shirts embedded within posts on a website as they look less spammy and can convert well in a post but you can still do that if you wish. George does that every now and then as do other popular FB pages.

GT Tshirt post
You do not need to have a following as big as George Takei although it would be nice but a smaller number could do a lot for you. You do not have to wait until you have hit the 1 million mark to start sharing monetised posts, it is up to you when you do but if you do it too soon then you can run the risk of upsetting people but if the monetisation plan is to generate money from adverts on websites which surround interesting posts then you should be safe as people generally do not see you as the person trying to make money out of them.

monetised page
If people pay you to share posts on your Facebook pages, groups and Twitter profiles then it is best to also go with the sites where the monetisation method is the same with adverts being the focus. If you start sharing too many products that people may not like then you could run the risk of losing followers.

To sell products to people who are not really looking for things to buy then you are recommended to follow the advice in this post What Can Bruce Lee’s ‘Art Of Fighting Without Fighting’ Style Teach Us About Affiliate Marketing?

Want to learn how to run one of many online businesses? Then why not take a 30 day money back guarantee trial of our Digital Academy with loads of video tutorials. Click the button below:

the digital academy