Day One Hundred and Three

Today was a better day. I'm still really, really down from everything with the house, but I feel like it was a better day.

I talked to my coach today and he suggested taking a break from the product I was developing for the niche site. He recommended continuing to work on traffic generation for the niche site, so I will do that for an hour each day. But his suggestion was to work for 30 days on a product for NBBC, which is really the site I'm most passionate about. That made me feel excited and got some wheels turning in my head.

I've already gotten a little survey ready that I'm going to send out to my list to get an idea of what people are wanting and what I need to include in the product. Then I'm going to get to work on that πŸ™‚ It will be good to have something to focus on.

The entry here on this blog went live today: Keyword and Topic Research

Photo by jorge.correa

Keyword and Topic Research

I had an idea for the niche that I wanted to dig into with this little test site. I'm already in the natural fertility niche, and this was a spin-off of that niche that I'd toyed with already and gotten some good response to. I wanted to take it further and create a stand-alone site that could really delve into it.

The first thing I needed to do, though, was keyword research.

Passion vs. Profit

I've covered this fully in my post on Profitable Keywords vs. Passion but I want to mention it again here. It's really important, in my opinion, that you target a niche where you at least have some interest.

Now, it's possible you'll have an outsourced worker doing a lot of the content creation and marketing of your site for you. That's just fine. I want to get to the point where outsourced workers are doing essentially all of my backlinking. But there's a good chance that you're going to write at least some of the content. Even if you're not writing a word, you want to know that your site is providing value to your target audience.

So I do think it's important that a measure of interest come into your work.

That said, look for the profitable spin on your subjects of interest. What do people who are interested in your niche need? How can you help them get what they need? What information can you give them?

Help people in a way that they need to be helped… you can best do this in an area you're passionate about.

Use this brainstorming as a jumping-off point.

Work Those Keywords

I had an idea for my site, but I needed to see if it panned out financially. I followed the exact steps that I show you in my keyword research video, so check that out when you have the time. I walk you step-by-step through my research in a particular niche (and come up with two possible site concepts!)

I used those steps to go through keywords and verify that the niche I was looking into would be profitable. I also got a great idea for exactly what phrases people were looking for in the niche.

I was surprised by some of what I found, so it was good to get a feel for what people were really after. It also helped a rough plan for my site start to form in my head. I'll go through this more in-depth when I detail the content creation for the site.

One thing I found frustrating with keyword research was how many topics came up that were related to women who were already pregnant (my niche is targeting them before they get pregnant). Some of Market Samurai's filters and options really helped cut down on these irrelevant searches, so I was glad I was using a fully-featured tool. (You'll see me use some of these options on the video)

Products Here and Products There (Products… Everywhere!)

At this point I had a topic I was interested in, and I knew it had the search numbers to back it. I also know that there are a couple of well-established sites in the search engines but I feel pretty confident I can get myself into the top three and eventually #1 πŸ™‚

So the next thing was to figure out if people were really paying for this information. See, this is a topic that I can really help somebody find out information on, but I've done a lot of research on it. I've dug through a lot of stuff, and well, I've spent a lot of time organizing things. I want somebody who values my time and efforts enough to pay for it.

So, off I went to check out the money aspect:

  • Books on Amazon for sale? Check!
  • Products on Clickbank for sale? Check! (good gravity and sales are important, too… Check!)
  • Related products? Check!

There are physical products used by women in this niche, which I can recommend. One of my top affiliate merchants in my fertility niche has some products that can cater to these women. It's always great to know I can use a merchant that provides great products, offers a good commission, and pays their commissions!

This little niche market isn't a huge, booming market like weight loss… but it's definitely making money through information products and physical products.

Can We Start a Dialogue?

One final check for me before I solidified this niche as my site concept. I went and checked out forums.

People often say look and see if you can find forums to verify that there's traffic and interest. I knew that from my research above. The gold I mine in the forums is further information on exactly what my visitors are going to be looking for when they hit my site. Forum “hot topics” are exactly the gold I want.

You can also check out Twitter, Facebook, etc. – the social media sites to see what you can find. But this niche is a niche that women and families tend to be very private about, so they're much more likely to use a private forum dedicated to the niche than social media. Think about which fits your niche better.

Okay, so all of this research yielded me a nice niche where I have some interest. The numbers and sales potential back it up.

Please note I'm planning on making my own product funnel for this niche. I will serve some Adsense on the site, but it's not “made for ads” — it's made to sell my own products and funnel into my own back-end system πŸ™‚ So I didn't really look too much at ad yields, other than as an overall traffic measure.

Β Photo byΒ stockerre

Day One Hundred and Two

It's really hard to be motivated to do anything after a big let-down, but I know that I need to. I don't want to spend tons of time whining, so I'll just say that today I worked on writing some, read some, but didn't do a lot of work otherwise.

I did get an entry done for this blog, which will go live tomorrow. I'm trying to write one entry per week for each of my four major sites, and work on traffic generation and product creation besides that. I've been working some on a sales letter, but there's no doubt that my New Years momentum is gone :p

I need to work on not getting attached to this property/house-hunting thing, but it's hard not to.

Photo by angelrravoler

Day One Hundred and One

So you got the half post today… I've spent a lot more time crying. But eventually I have to drive on. I don't know when that eventually is going to be. I suppose that I'll probably do so more crying. They come in waves, the feelings. One minute I feel hopeful, the next, totally depressed.

I am trying to remember to have faith because that is what is going to get us from this house in the city to the home in the country we're waiting for.

I'm also trying to let this be a continual push to keep working on my projects. Really there's still a lot left to 2012, and a lot of time left to accomplish my goals before the end of the year. Things are moving along. I have a good coach and Scott is helping me with formatting. Things are slow going as I learn how to do things and learn how to delegate things. But getting away from doing it all myself is helpful. I need to learn to get help and to move it away from all me. I want to manage my sites… I don't really want to be in the nitty-gritty anymore (except for product creation). Anyways.

So this week is probably going to be a lesson in tears and hopefully faith.

By Friday I want to have all the videos on my list of videos recorded. So hold me to that.

I did do a lot of writing today and I am about to go do some more. I also wrote done which videos I need to make so I can get cracking on that tomorrow.

Photo by psd

Day One Hundred and a Half

So today was a crushing blow, to say the least. Our offer wasn't accepted on the house. I've cried for sure, but otherwise feel I remained reasonably calm (thus far). My emotions have run a huge gamut, though. It feels a little hypocritical to say that I'm angry when I spent part of yesterday lecturing a kid on how anger is really not a productive emotion.

It is productive when it spurs you to (constructive) action. It's not when it causes you to simply rage or to wallow in self-pity. I'm trying to use mine to fuel me to write articles that need to be written and take action steps that need to be taken.

I keep despairing silently on the inside, that it's all useless, though. Everything keeps slapping me in the face, reminding me I'm not good enough, that I can't make enough, that I can't do enough to make this a reality. We didn't bid higher on the house because “we couldn't afford it.” That's what makes me angry. It was justified 6,000 ways, but the fact of the matter is, I wanted that house and I wanted to say “sure, bid just above asking price.” Instead, it was thousands under asking price. Even at asking price, that house would have been a steal.

So I've spent most of today praying that I will have the drive to keep going to make myself successful so that “I can't afford it” stops being in my freaking vocabulary.

I've also been praying that I'll remember that money isn't everything, and that amazing things happen when you stick to your convictions — things you never could have foreseen. It's easy to talk that talk, about our convictions, but it's much harder to walk the walk. In a sense this house thing is about that… about sticking with staying out of debt.

But it still gives me 3rd degree burns to think that “don't go into debt” means our situation is mostly impossible. Buying a house and land with what won't put us in debt… I've been watching the market for months and even in this depressed economy… it will take a miracle. I was hoping this house would be the miracle, but again, a slap in the face about why I'm not good enough. I can try and say that it was too far away and 25 minutes was too far… but you know, inside I don't feel that way. Inside I feel angry.

Again, I realize anger is not a terribly productive emotion, so I'm instead trying to push myself to write yet more articles that feel like the same article I've written a thousand times. And I really need to buckle down and work on my sales letter. At least I feel like I'm getting out the blog posts I need to. Except, of course, these 365 entries, which I keep falling behind on.

In the sermon last Sunday, the preacher said, “don't ask ‘Why Me, God' when challenges come… ask ‘What Next?'” I know I need to take that to heart. God doesn't always answer prayers exactly how you ask them. I feel really crummy when I think I'm upset over a stupid house when there are people out there who watch their children die. They have to move forward from that… all I have to do is keep praying for the right house.

But as much as I mentally berate myself, I'm still angry that I didn't have 10k more to bid… 15k more to bid… that I'm not the one who will be closing on that house in a few weeks. I still feel like a failure, and wonder how many more times I need to dust myself off and drive on. I don't want to be part time anymore, and I don't want to make “just a little to help” anymore. I don't want to be scared anymore, either.

Day One Hundred

My stomach is in knots tonight and it's hard to do anything. We didn't hear about the house. Part of me wants to keep hoping, part of me thinks it's futile. I let myself look at the house pictures today for the first time since we found out there were multiple bids on it.

That was probably a mistake, but I did it. I need to think that this move is actually, really going to happen — even if it's not to this particular house (I still hope it is). Sometimes, though, it feels so far away, like we've put up so many barriers for ourselves that this will not really happen. We'll be stuck here on this street for forver, in this house, with this tiny yard. I mean, it's not a bad house. It's just not where I want to be. So much is riding on “when we get the farm.” It's starting to sound almost desperate.

Part of that is because we are close, so we're slowing down life in this house — not planting, not doing much because we are intending to put this on the market. But in a lot of ways it feels like a holding pattern for a dream that will never com true.

It's ironic that we should listen to a sermon on faith yesterday, and it should be so tested right now. It's so hard to stand in faith that we will actually get where we want to be. I want to snap my fingers and find the right house, and be there.

That hasn't happened. Thus far all I've realized is that I really don't think I want to be in Kalkaska county, because all the houses there look scrubby. I've realized that packing for this move is going to be a lot of work. I've realized I'm terrified nobody will want this house because I really don't want to paint the kids' room! I've realized it's going to be about 10k to get a solid second vehicle with the features and safety features we want. I've realized that I really just want to move. I want to start being on the mythical farm… now.

And I've realized I'm ready to start feeling like a success. It drives Scott crazy because he says that I am. There are some things I'd really love to accomplish. I mean, I do feel like I'm successful in some things. I do well managing the household and teaching the children. I do feel like I could be a better mother sometimes, and certainly better at controlling my temper and attitude. But I feel I do fairly well with things.

But with my business I've slogged along a “part time” for so long it's infuriating to me. I want big time… I want full time income. I want my sites to do more than just “help” here and there. I want them to be vibrant businesses. I want them to pay for the car we need. I want them to cover the down payment. I want them to cover the house. So we can get what we want. Fast. I'm tired of playing in the little league.

Today I did do a ton of article writing, though that's about all that I did. I need to get the system for distributing my content underway and bringing me traffic. That's part of what tomorrow will be devoted towards. At least I'm back to getting writing done.

Photo by Erik Charlton

Day Ninety Nine

Today was a lovely day. Easter Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, a day to remember my Lord. We relaxed, enjoyed family and nice food, and remembered what it means to have faith.

I wrote a post that went live a few days ago about the reasons for this day:

You Don't Have to Work

Now I wait with hope for tomorrow, hope that we will hear good news on the house front.

Photo by kirstyhall

Day Ninety Eight

Frustrated a bit today since I didn't get all that I'd hoped to done. I did get some things around the house done, but not as much with cleaning out inboxes (physical and virtual) or work projects.

I did get a bit of reading done, though.

I've been reading a book about staging your home to sell and realize I need to do a whole lot more decluttering around our house. Even if we aren't here when the property is shown (because we'll be in the new house), everything I leave cluttered now is junk I have to pack. So I really need to do some work.

It's much harder this time than last time, though, when it was just me and small children. Now everyone complains about me doing stuff and it's hard. I have to determine what to keep out, what to store, and what can be given away. Books are especially big since we have so many of them between me, Scott, and the kids. So many are kept but never read. I wish we could just replace them all with ebooks! Sometimes it's good to have the physical book for reference stuff, but ebooks are so nice in so many ways.

I know I'll figure something out… I pray about it and usually a solution comes to me. But it's still really hard to balance everything. Spring cleanup for our city is soon, and I hope we can let go of some furniture and outdoor stuff that's in bad repair.

Anyways, going to go and try to work on some articles and social media stuff tonight πŸ™‚

Photo by kirstyhall

Day Ninety Seven

Today was my sweet hubby's birthday so, accordingly, we spent most of the day relaxing and enjoying the world's most wonderful man πŸ™‚

I did get some articles written and I also finished a business book I've been working through, so those were some nice accomplishments. I also worked a little more on a sales letter I've been drafting.

All in all it was a good day. Happy Birthday to the love of my life and one of the biggest reasons I'm here πŸ™‚

Photo by janetmck

Day Ninety Six

Solid strategy… that's what I got today in my coaching class and I'm so glad for it. It's a solid, concrete plan which I can work and scale in the future.

I also got some theme updates done to various WordPress sites and did some light reading and some writing. I got a newsletter ready for NBBC. I'm ashamed to say I haven't sent it out in a month, so it really needs to go out.

I'm making serious tracks in the email backlog. Even though this week is really hard because of all of the house emotions, I still feel like I'm making progress.

Photo by Paul Lowry