Taking Stock And A 12 Month Strategy

Yes I am still here.

Thank you to all the people who’ve asked if everything is okay, and where I am. Your concern is appreciated, I’ve just been lying low.

Well, actually I’ve taken a little time out to take stock and decide which direction I’m going in this next financial year. I’ve now decided what to do and hopefully you’ll come with me for the journey.

This last few months I’ve deviated from what I know works, and I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation.

First of all, what do I know works? The answer to that is right at the top of this blog, “Product Creation, Traffic, List Building, Automation.”

You create a product, you get some traffic to take a look at your offer, you build your list, and then you automate the whole process.

Cool. I’ll carry on doing that this year.

In fact I’ll be concentrating more on list building than anything else this year, and I’ll be implementing it in everything I do. I’ve decided to make list building my “hedgehog” concept from now onwards. ie no project is pursued unless it builds a list.

Secondly, what have I been experimenting with?

At the beginning of November I was introduced to IPK. I immediately saw the untapped potential and so off I went full steam ahead and created the Price Comparison service together with a method of quickly building sites thrown in for free.

This also captured my wife’s imagination and attention and she started building mini sites to take advantage of the huge empty market that was out there. She also focussed on creating some hub sites, and two of those have just begun to pay off, with two of the sites making her a total of around £65.00 ($97.50) in the first 10 days of this month.

When the children go back to school next week she’ll be concentrating on adding more content to those hub sites to get them onto page 1 of Google.

Which raises another interesting point.

She’s made that £65.00 ($97.50) from just a few visitors a day – around 30-35 average – mostly from Yahoo, MSN and some ISPs own search pages. Google so far has hardly been in the running at all, sending only 1 or 2 visitors a day.

When she gets her sites off page 5-ish of Google and onto page 1, traffic will kick in big time and her earnings will soar.

She’s never done anything like this before, and I’ve been really pleased that 1) she really got to grips with the whole site building thing (the Site Builder makes it easy) and 2) she’s making money from it and can see that her income will grow in time as long as she sticks at it.

As a result of what’s been going on with the mini-sites I’ve also been experimenting with autoblogging, with some very pleasing and exciting results.

It’s funny. You know how some things just bubble around and are there in the background but nothing happens? And then suddenly they “come of age” and everyone’s paying attention to them?

Well, it’s autoblogging’s turn to stand in the spotlight.

I mentioned automation above, and autoblogging is a perfect example of this.

You set up a niche blog, you set up a pile of relevant articles from a free article site to be posted, and push the button. From that point on you forget the blog and move onto the next one.

Here’s a great and recent example. I set up an autoblog 5 weeks ago about petrol lawnmowers. I grabbed a load of articles and queued them up for gradual release over 6 weeks to see how it would do.

There’s no advertising on that site yet, and I’m due to revisit it in the next week to put on a huge pile of articles and also some monetisation. (No, I WON’T be using AdSense.)

So far there are 84 posts and with no links from anywhere I’m now getting 4 or 5 visitors a day for the exact search terms I want people to find the site by. Google has indexed 75 pages but the site isn’t yet in the first 10 pages.

Not a lot of visitors yet, but my plans are to shortly apply a linking strategy which will boost the number of back links and traffic to the site.

The next steps for that site are:-

#1 – Queue a whole load more articles which will appear over the next 12 months.
#2 – Apply a good linking strategy.
#3 – Monetise the site with a few “lawnmower reviews” and Price Comparisons, and also a few ads using AdSpurt and Amazon (and maybe eBay) widgets.
#4 – Link to my REAL petrol lawnmower site. 😉
#5 – Forget about it.

Okay I won’t completely forget about it, as I’ll probably make changes to it as I like to experiment. Experimentation and a bit of thought and applied logic is what will make the site really pay off.

At the end of the day, this autoblogging site is disposable. Notice I said that I’ll be using it to link to my real site. Google likes it when related sites link to other sites. Not reciprocal links mind, just one way.

So if I apply a good solid linking strategy to both sites, and then link the autoblog to my real site, then the real site should do quite well. Especially if I create a couple of other related sites via autoblogging.

Finally, I’ll be automating the creation of my mini-sites by farming the work out to staff in the Philippines and Manila where the employment costs are much lower.

(I’m reliably told that there’s a technical college in Manila where the undergrads speak good English, are well-educated and like to make a bit of cash doing web work.)

So there we have it. My strategy for the next 12 months.

#1 – Continue to create new and useful products for my own business and sell them. Make list building my “hedgehog” concept.
#2 – Create niche mini-sites (monetised with Price Comparisons) using a combination of WordPress and my Site Builder service. (Build niche lists.)
#3 – Create niche autoblogs where I both monetise them and also use them to link to my real niche mini-sites in #2. (Build niche lists.)
#4 – Pay other people to do #2 and #3 for me.

I hope you can see that having a good strategy and knowing just what you’re going to be doing and how, is well worth taking some time out to decide.

Maybe you’ll decide that my strategy or at least parts of it are good ones and will work for you too.

I’ll share more with you as it happens, IF I get feedback that’s what you want me to do.

-Frank Haywood

By |April 14th, 2009|internet business|9 Comments

Choosing Keywords and Good Domain Names for IPK Sites

I’ve come up with a preliminary method of deciding which keywords and domains to register for IPK sites.

Simply it’s the number of exact match search multiplied by the number of phrse match search, and then dividing it by the number of competing pages in Google to come up with a number you can use to make your decision. I’ve called this the x-factor as I’m feeling a bit unimaginative at the moment.

(exact match x phrase match) / competing pages = x-factor

It seems that if the x-factor is more than about 50, then it’s a good choice. This method isn’t perfect and could do with a little work, but it seems good enough to make most decisions on until I can come up with something better.

I’ve posted a good few examples on the Unoffical IPK Forum and gone into more detail too. Here’s a selection of them:-

#1 – ( 3,600 x 9,900) / 18,000,000 = 1.98
#2 – ( 2,900 x 14,800) / 201,000 = 213.53
#3 – (22,200 x 110,000) / 399,000 = 6120.30
#4 – (33,100 x 33,100) / 101,000,000 = 10.85

I’m very interested in what you think about this, so please go check out the forum post and either leave a comment there or here.

http://www.vendiva.com/forum/index.php/topic,249.0.html

-Frank Haywood

By |February 16th, 2009|internet business|Comments Off on Choosing Keywords and Good Domain Names for IPK Sites

Site Builder Now Live

After a few 20 hour days, the Site Builder which currently comes as part of the Price Comparison Service is now live.

Personally I think it’s a stunning bit of software and will cut your creation time of IPK style sites dramatically. My wife has started using it and has given it a double thumbs up which believe me, is no mean award. 😉

Until last week she’d never built a web site in her life.

We have plans to add in some other little bits and pieces too, but I don’t want to spoil the fun.

The price of the unlimited price comparisons and sites has now gone up to $30 / month as I said it would do. Congrats to those people who took it at the early bird reduced price.

-Frank Haywood

By |January 16th, 2009|internet business|3 Comments

Site Building Service Beta

After a few 20 hour days the beta Site Builder is ready to launch. This is currently free to everyone using the Price Comparison Service and Paul and I feel it’s reason enough alone to subscribe to the service.

We reckon it will cut down the time needed to build an IPK style site to around an hour or less.

To give you an idea of how it works, last week my wife started putting up sites using the best web editor around – Dreamweaver – under my tuition. She put her first site up in around 4 hours using my own personally tweaked template which is designed for speed. Her second site took around 2h 30 to do. And she’s been getting faster since.

Today she sat down with the final version of the Site Builder and put up a site again in about 2h 30. She said that even though it was new to her yesterday, it was far easier to put up a site with it as most of the keywords etc. were already filled in. All she had to do was add some text around the pre-filled links and amend a couple of graphics.

What slowed her down was me talking too much.

Now I know that’s not much of a testimonial – it is my wife after all – but bear in mind only 3 people have even seen the Site Builder at all so far.

Tomorrow we’ll be enabling it for everyone using the Price Comparison Service. I’ll say it again, it’s a beta. It’s a VERY GOOD beta, but there may be one or two niggles. We’ve squashed most of the bugs in the last few days and it would be naive of us to expect we have them all.

In a few days time when we have all the bugs out, we’ll take it out of beta.

As I said earlier, it’s free to everyone using the Price Comparison Service.

It won’t stay like that forever though. Shortly we’ll be raising the price of the Comparison Service and the Site Builder will become a separate paid for service. That isn’t a scarcity tactic to get you to sign up now, it’s just the way we decided to do things all along.

Anyone who already has the Site Builder as part of the Price Comparison Service will continue to get it for free as long as they remain subscribed.

If you’re umming and ahhing, stop it.

Grab the Price Comparison Service now while it’s at its lowest price and get the Site Builder included for free.

Now that’s what I call a bonus! :)

-Frank Haywood

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, come take a look at the forum and say hello. http://www.vendiva.com/forum/

By |January 14th, 2009|internet business|2 Comments

Info Product Killer Price Comparison Service Expanding

The price comparison service I launched just before Christmas has been steadily getting better.

It’s worth mentioning that the Link Share API seemed to be broken and was returning intermittent data, but they’ve now fixed it. I bet their merchants were none too pleased with that happening just before Christmas…

As an example of how very useful the price comparison service is, since Amazon ran out of Jumperoos (my example product), I’ve still been making money through the site.

This is because people have been able to pursue and purchase their Jumperoos from different sites which is just what I wanted. When Amazon get some more stock back in, I’ll benefit from their very nice 7.5% commission, but for now I can live with 2% to 5% commission from other online stores without any effort as the prices are updated automatically each day.

Great stuff! :)

We’ve now also added a few more affiliate networks to the price comparison service and are planning on adding even more. The current networks we have in the system are Affiliate Window, Amazon UK, Amazon US, Commission Junction, Tradedoubler, and of course Link Share mentioned above.

The next network we have targetted for inclusion at users request is the Pepperjam Network – we’re just waiting approval ourselves before looking at their API.

Even better than this though is that Paul and I have been discussing in more detail the topic of adding a site builder as part of the service.

This means you’ll be able to start a project, select from a range of pre-done site templates, upload your graphics and add some text, enter your FTP details, click a button and your site will be published directly to your domain.

We’re also going to include some “boiler plate” text that you can use to pad out a site so it doesn’t hurt your brain too much by having to write everything from scratch. And also have a “notepad” area where you can copy and paste all your notes while creating a site.

That means you’ll be able to do the bulk of your site creation within the site builder to begin with, and our plan is you’ll be able to eventually do everything including graphics.

We know that the graphics part of it might be a bit difficult to envision, but we think that with a bit of forethought and some clever programming, we can allow you to resize images and add text in a range of fonts and position it, and then apply some simple styling to it such as drop shadow and glow etc. by using GD and ImageMagick.

A bit of a tall order we know, but that’s our final aim.

What we thought was the best route was to go for it ASAP and then build it up from there. Paul tells me we have a lot of the code already written, and he thinks he can have a prototype up and running in a couple of days…

Wow!

As soon as we’ve had a play with it ourselves and we can see it’s working okay, we’ll release it to everyone that’s currently enjoying the price comparison service.

Anyone joining at a later date will be charged for it as a separate service, price TBA.

Everyone that was smart enough to pick up on the price comparison service will get it included at the current low rate.

I say current because there are still some places left for this first phase. Once all 80 slots are taken then the price goes up, but for now at least all prices are 50% off.

If you’ve been umming and ahhing about taking up the service, well my advice is grab it now before it goes up and you end up also having to pay for the site builder too.

Yes, I’m still including access to the site builder when we release it.

Go take a look at the details at the link below, it’s a one dollar one month trial.

http://www.vendiva.com/subscribe-price-comparisons.php

-Frank Haywood

By |January 8th, 2009|internet business|1 Comment