“Sick and Tired of All This Foggy Business!”

Silviu Constantinescu“Hi John,

Well, finding a suitable niche is my problem. I tried my hand with a general topic: weight loss.

I created a blog in 2012 in this niche. I developed that blog for a whole year. I wrote about 250 posts and promote them through social media networks like: Facebook (profile and page), Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest (profile account). I used text, images, videos. I wrote short articles, tried stories, used huge loads of videos.

It is difficult to say exactly how many links I posted on my Facebook profile during that year. More than 1000. Also another 400-500 on my FB page. I wrote status updates, clicked Like thousands of times, make hundreds of comments, tried everything to engage those people there.

The results was: 100 friends, 50 likes and a ban from Facebook for trying to make friends among the people I don’t know.

I worked even harder on Pinterest. In one year I posted 6000 pins. I joined Pinterest groups, I made comments, used keywords with the pins, followed the stars, tagged experts, everything I knew.

Result: 100 followers and 2 copyright warnings. This is what I got for one year work on Pinterest.

Things didn’t go well with Twitter either. Got only 200-300 followers.

The final traffic for my blog in the weight loss niche was 25-50 visitors a day. After one year (!) And the blog looked more empty than Sahara.

The niche was too general and I wasn’t able to decide for a more targeted niche. Finally, I deleted the blog.

In 2013 I started another blog (about 6-7 months ago). This time in internet marketing niche.

I tried another method: creating high quality content (long articles with images, niches, videos, graphical elements etc.), then promoted my blog with blog comments and social media.

I wrote about 100 posts. The engagement was good and I have got more than 1000 comments so far. However the traffic is still low. Very low.

More than two years, 2000 dollars spent and still no sign of success.

I face the same problem: the niche is too general. I was even warned: “narrow your niche otherwise you won’t make any money”.

I have no idea what to choose. I am sick and tired of all this foggy business. I feel the need to talk to somebody that is more experienced than me.

You seem a patient man. More patient than all those I have met so far. Could you help me narrow my niche?

Have a wonderful day

Silviu

http://netmarketsuccess.com”

 

Hi Silviu,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to write in. I appreciate you sharing all that in the belief that I might, and can, help you with your online business.

After reading through your comments and taking a look at your Internet marketing blog, here’s some advice and insights I’d like to offer:

It’s About You

Successful blogs are as much about the helpful, unique content as they are about YOU. People want to connect with you. Yes, they want information but they want to know who is behind the story; what are their experiences and why should I learn from them?

Whatever niche you decide to go into for your blog, make sure it is something you’re passionate about, or at least interested in.

Make It Natural

Promoting your website 1,000 times on your Facebook profile is a big no no! Facebook profiles are not about your business. Facebook profiles are for your personal life. Yes, it’s okay to talk about your business every now and again but never overdo it. It’s important to understand the platform you’re promoting from and what is socially acceptable.

Facebook pages are a different story. If your Facebook page is created for, and targeted towards your niche then it is totally acceptable to promote your blog. Even then, however, don’t overdo it. Provide excellent content and have your site visible on your page so that your fans know where they need to go to to get more from you.

The same advice goes for Pinterest and Twitter.

Choosing a Niche

It’s okay to start off your blog in a niche without narrowing down into a sub niche if you’re unsure which sub niche you want to go into.

Blogs are organic. They grow and change over time. Just like you and me! As you continue to build your blog and contribute to it, you might find that you naturally begin heading towards a specific sub niche. If that’s the case, then go with it.

Realistic Expectations

Blogs are a long-term business model. They are solid and will earn you a LOT of money… if you STICK WITH IT!

Getting 25 – 50 visitors per day from the search engines is a GREAT result. Even after one year. I like to keep an eye on my blog’s Alexa ranking. As long as your Alexa ranking is getting better then you’re doing the right thing.

The more you continue to add to your blog on a regular basis, the more traffic it will get. Consistently. If you still had that weight loss blog today and had continued to contribute to it regularly you might have 100 visitors per day. After a few years you’d have hundreds or even thousands of unique, targeted visitors every day.

As far as your Internet marketing blog goes, it’s a great looking site. Continue with it. The only change I would recommend is that you make it more personal. Give more of yourself on the blog; i.e. photos of yourself and commentary. Make it about your experiences in Internet marketing. No need to hype it up. Just be yourself 🙂

Lastly, let me tell you with all sincerity that you ARE successful. You’ve achieved more in the last two years than most people every do online. If you continue you will have greater success. The key is to stick with it. Don’t go from one project to another.

Wishing you all the best,

John

 

Is there any other advice you would offer Silviu? Leave a comment below!

10 thoughts on ““Sick and Tired of All This Foggy Business!””

  1. I kind of feel bad about my comment, did not mean to publicly bash or anything like that. Hope I did not come off to harsh.

    And you are absolutely right, there should be a compelling opt-in, I was thinking same thing. Like I said, nothing to make money, ads, listbuilding, ect.

    I do give the guy BIG props, asking for advice. Most people are too stubborn, or let their pride get in the way.

    We all struggle at times, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve struggled over the years. It’s not sunny every day. 🙂

  2. Hi John and Ron,

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to come to my blog and make these evaluations.

    I do not have anything for sale on the blog because my idea was to drive some traffic first and only then start to put offers, ads etc. Traffic for me begins from 200 visitors a day, at least. At this moments there are only about 30 visitors a day.

    The same reason for not having an opt in form. I wanted to create content first and only then sell something.

    I write an ebook these days and soon it will be an opt in form. I will also apply your advice and place some banners. I have two products, for example that I use and know very well from experience.

    The main problem still remains. The blog has developed, gradually for about 7 months now, but I don’t feel I begin to head naturally towards something.

    I was able to rule out some domains I know I don’t want, like everything that implies programming, coding or things that needs artistic skills, like web design. So I know what I don’t want.

    But I do not know what I want, yet. The idea was to talk to somebody that has a lot of experience in internet marketing and to brainstorm some ideas. What is this? What is that? What works today? etc.

    Anyway, thank you for your feedback. I will think about all that you said.

    Have a wonderful day

  3. I only know Silviu a little, from reading and commenting on his blog.

    It’s quite easy to see why he’s not making money with this blog. He’s not selling anything! There is nothing for sale! Don’t want to bust the guys chops, he seems like a nice guy, but he’s not going to have any chance of making money if he has nothing for sale.

    There is not ONE ad in the sidebar, not one money making link. I checked all the blog pages, and nothing for sale there as well.

    There could be promotions in the blog posts, but I don’t think I’ve seen any. I’m not saying to make it a banner farm, but this is business, he wants to make money, so why is there nothing for sale?

    Am I missing something?

    I had a customer contact me just yesterday, bought some things from me, and getting frustrated that he wasn’t making any money. I checked his site and sure enough, he was hardly pushing anything.

    Maybe folks are to afraid that is they try selling, they will alienate their visitors? Sorry, again, this is business, we are here to make money, so there is going to be things for sale.

    Didn’t mean to be pushy, just see this kind of thing come up often. Just my two cents. I tried contacting Silviu, but his contact form wasn’t working, and couldn’t find an email address.

    1. Thanks for that insight Ron. Yes, that’s a HUGE issue hahaha! You can make money if you’re not promoting anything 🙂

      After I wrote my comments I thought further about Silviu’s blog and was going to add that there needed to be an opt in form on the sidebar so that visitors could be turned into subscribers and customers.

  4. Why wait for anything to put ads up? Even with limited traffic, there is still a chance of making sales. Even with limited or small amounts of traffic, it only takes one visitor to click a ad and go buy something from your link. No? Sorry, guess I don’t understand that. When ever I create a site, one of the first things I do is put up advertising. I want it to be ready for traffic as sales right from the start.

    Same thing goes for an opt-in. Why wait? Even at 30 hits a day, with a low 10% conversion is 3 new subscribers a day. 90 new potential customers or buyers a month. Heck set up follow up messages, so your not writing emails every day for only a few people, your building a system. Plus that way, it’s set up and running.

    As for your give-away for your opt-in, no more excuses, get it done and get it up. Or get something that is already done, slap a new cover and title on it and call it a day. Don’t be like most people (myself included sometimes) and take forever to get it done, or never get it done. As you know, unfinished stuff gains nothing.

    Honestly, if your traffic is only 30 hits a day after 7 months, there is more to it. Blog commenting along could drive 100 hits a day or more in short time. What have you done for traffic? Maybe you haven’t done as much as you’ve thought? Maybe your spending more time on your own site, rather than promotion? Just a thought. Of course, you also need to do more than just blog commenting and social media.

    I am not expert or guru, and john will probably have better idea’s than me, but I thought of a few things if you want to hear them.

    First off you might want to think about getting a different theme. Sorry, but the theme your using has to be one of the most over-used theme’s on the net. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great theme, I’ve used it myself. But the problem is your site looks exactly like 100’s of other sites. Same colors and all. I know, I’ve seen them. Bet I can even guess where you got the theme, or the idea to use it, from John Thornhill right? So have 100’s of others. Like anything, you need to stand out, be unique, and right now your site looks like SO many others.

    Another important aspect, and i hope you don’t take this wrong, but your blog titles are pretty boring. Think about it, your post titles are the first thing people see when they hit your site. It’s about all they see on social media. It’s almost all they see about you when you comment on blogs that use Comment Luv. How many people click on a commenters name link? But if you have a great title listed from comment luv, that’s where you get the juice. Least in my opinion. That could be another big reason for your low traffic.

    I am no master as writing hot titles, but i do know it can make a huge difference in so many ways. Think like a surfer… if you were surfing the social websites and you saw your titles, how likely would you click on them? Not trying to be rude, just saying that alone could greatly increase your business and traffic.

    Another thought, might be to spice up your post content, they do kind of read as a little “stiff”, maybe it’s the teacher coming out? Just saying if it was more interesting to read, more entertaining, little humor maybe , might help a lot.

    As far as what to get into, don’t know if any one can give you the perfect answer, it depends. I think you can make money in most any niche (give there is a big enough demand), if you put your efforts into it. You just need to choose what’s best for you, what you might know, what you might enjoy? Not that only certain things are “hot”. Most everything has the potential.

    There are so many niches in the IM market, making money will ALWAYS be in demand. Making more or anything from a website, traffic, listbuilding, email marketing, ect, ect. Maybe john has more detail.

    Okay, enough from me, I’ve rambled to long now. Just my two cents.

  5. Hi Ron,

    I want to tell you that you and John are the first people in 7 months who bothered to analyze my site and make an honest evaluation. All the rest were very polite. They kept silence or praised me: “What a nice blog. What a great blogger. You are awesome.”
    The result was that I kept making mistakes after mistakes.

    The theme in question is Flexsqueeze, paid version. The free version was very used in 2011 and 2012 and that is why you felt you know it from somewhere.

    Thank you for your feedback. I would like to hear more from you but not here, in this post. Could you, please, use the email from the comment I made to your site?

    Have a wonderful day

  6. Hi John, Silviu & Ron,

    This has started a really interesting discussion with some fantastic tips coming out from John and Ron, I’m so glad I found this post with my morning cup of tea! 🙂

    Re when to start monetizing your blog, I have heard some mixed reviews about this. Some people (who are very successful themselves) say to monetize straight away and others (who are also very successful, for example John Chow) say to wait until you build up traffic first.
    I remember watching a video of John Chow saying to wait around 8 months first! I thought, ‘Really, 8 months JC?!’ The guy’s obviously a legend in the blogging world and knows far more than a lot of people when it comes to blogging (and definitely far more than myself, lol) but I personally couldn’t wait that long before monetizing, far too impatient! 🙂

    I personally agree with Ron on this point and don’t see the harm in monetizing early, if you are getting some traffic then why not make the most of it.

    I think if you have only two posts but 10 ads then that would look really bad and defo put people off but if it’s done in proportion, perhaps 80% content (or 90 in the beginning) and 10-20% promotional and done tastefully then it can look great and be effective.

    Silviu also made a really interesting point, that everyone who left a comment on his blog has been so polite and said ‘great job!’ When I first started blogging I was really worried about more experienced bloggers coming and ripping my blog apart in the comments lol, but as I go into it I found that generally, all the people I have come across so far are really polite, decent people who are willing to help.
    It seems blogging etiquette to be polite and congratulate the blogger on a good post, part of their post, blog design etc before getting into the meat of your comment and maybe this is in the hope that the comment is more likely to get approved..? But very few people will go on and give an honest opinion of the kind of things discussed here in this post and comments, which can actually be very helpful and constructive. As long as it’s done in a polite way and is constructive then those kind of comments can really be valuable. Having said this, I haven’t commented on anyone’s blog yet in such a way as I don’t really consider myself an authority on blogging yet to do so.

    I think this post is gold to Silviu (and others like myself reading it) and makes me want someone to give feedback about my blog too! :)) Perhaps I will ask on a forum, it may prove very interesting and useful!

    Cheers guy’s,

    Steve

  7. Hi Silviu,

    One more thing while I remember… Going back to what Ron said about writing punchier post titles, this is something I think I also need to work on. I read an interesting post the other day by Adrienne Smith and she was talking about some of Jon Morrow’s techniques. He has a free ebook on this, I haven’t read it yet but it sounds good from what Adrienne was saying so it is now on my reading list. Here’s the link; http://boostblogtraffic.com/headlinehacks/

    Cheers,

    Steve

    1. Great Call Steve. I know I have the ebook somewhere I need to dig it out again. One thing I do is have binders on my desk and one of those is headlines. It’s full of swipes and headlines I’ve found here and there and around the net. Very helpful when I’m stuck for an idea. Of course I don’t use them as is, just as “starters”. Often it’s just enough to spark an headline idea.

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