I had a great idea for a business about 2 weeks ago. Checked the domain name and it was available. Quickly plotted out a no-fail traffic strategy in my mind. Did some brief checks on dropshipping and production of the physical goods and everything was A-OK. It looked golden.
Still, I decided to sleep on it. What looks like a stroke of genius at 11pm can, and often does, pale in interestingness as soon as the next day.
Next morning comes and I still really like the idea. But I didn’t go ahead with it (yet). Why?
To have a successful business, you’ve got to get radically, painfully honest with yourself.
And that means being 100% dead-on truthful about the current status of your projects and whether you can realistically take on additional projects.
Last week Lynn Terry wrote this about taking ONE site from start to profit:
I always recommend that you focus 100% on ONE site or project – all the way from start to profit. And then to maximum profit potential, even… Your website is not finished until you’ve targeted every keyword phrase related to your topic, and you have a Top 3 ranking for each of them.
Wowza! Lynn’s not messing around!
While I don’t necessarily advocate only working on ONE site at a time, the heart of the message I absolutely agree with, and that is….
RADICAL INTERNET MARKETING HONESTY
- If you’re about to start a new business project, you better be done with the ones already on your plate!
Interestingly enough, folks often consider themselves “done” with a site/project because they find it’s not profitable. They’re not ranking high enough quickly enough and jump to thinking something must be wrong with the (keyword research, backlinks, conversion, traffic volume, etc.) data.
Fact is, most of the time, a lack of ranking, income, traffic etc. is directly related to our lack of actually being DONE with a project we once started with the best of intentions. We get bored. New ideas beckon to us. The work of content creation or link building gets tedious. So we lie in our own heads and say the work has been done.
It’s human nature, so we don’t need to get down on ourselves because of it. We just need to be aware, because once we’re aware of a habit or behavior, we can change it.
5 WAYS TO BE RADICALLY HONEST ABOUT YOUR IM BUSINESS
What does it mean to be “done” with a project? For those of us who build content / affiliate sites, here are some questions to ask yourself when you think you’re “done”:
- Did you do your keyword research? I mean really, really DO your keyword research. How competitive is your market? How many links, what PR, what types of linking domains do you need to beat your competition? How much traffic will you get at the #1 position for your top 5 keyphrases?
- Since you’ve got all the data to clobber your competition backlinks-wise, did you REALLY go out and get all those links? Do you have an internal linking plan as well? If you run your backlinks against your competition in Yahoo & Google, are you kicking the competition in the rear? Are the links you got really comparable (in PR, type of domains, variety of unique class C’s, hosts, registrars) to your competition? Is your anchor text comparably varied? Did you build links and are ranking for more than just your main KW phrase?
- Perhaps you’ve got your rank and your traffic but the site isn’t bringing in the kind of money you think you should be making. Have you tried different monetization methods (Adsense, affiliate offers, CPA offers, etc.)? Have you split-tested those different monetization methods against each other? Have you split-tested the size, color, placement of those monetization methods? This is how you maximize your revenue.
- Is your content crap? Really though, is it bad? Google announced on Friday that, “we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” If you’re running a pure autoblogging kind of set-up or other scraper site, you may be headed for a drop in rankings – or that could already be the reason you’re not getting the ranking you want. But even if you’re using original content, if visitors are hitting your site and they immediately think it sucks, they’re likely to hit the “Back” button instead of one of your monetization methods. Check your bounce rate – lower is better. Get real – is your content good enough to engage a real visitor?
- Are you building a list? Are you offering an incentive to encourage new subscribers to join? Have you split-tested opt-in boxes and call to action text? Do you have a follow up sequence in place for your list? Do you also broadcast to your list frequently to keep them coming back to your site or to introduce them to new products / services you have available?
Most of the time, there are still things to try before we have to turn in the towel, hang our heads and realize all this internet marketing nonsense was a waste of time.
You’re not done until the questions above are done.
But the good news on the flip side is, you haven’t failed until you’ve done all those things too.