What’s up guys?

Sep 16, 2015
Mason kissing Hulk

Sometimes, you just have to kiss an ass

I’m back! Sorry to steal that line from Jack Nicholson and the “Shining”, but it’s been awhile, eh? Been busy, busy, busy. Life happens, right? I have been doing LOTS of on-line marketing research, reselling (mostly on Amazon and ebay) and even created my own private label products. Unfortunately, I’ve let the documentation of all of it fall off the face of the earth. Woops. No more!

Lets catch up. Since we’ve talked, I’ve increased my on-line income to about $1200 a month. Not much, you say, and I suppose it’s all relative, however what I like about this figure is that I literally spend less than TEN hours a month to make this amount. For me, time is money. I just don’t have much of it. I have adopted a little boy who is now three, and I work full time as a professional consultant, I maintain a 14 acre farm with multiple animals by myself (single parent). When do I find time for this on-line hobby? Well, let’s see, it’s 11:08 pm as I speak and my boy is sleeping beside me. We will be up at 5 AM to take him to daycare and from there on to my 9-5, followed by the hour commute home and supper and baths,feed the animals, do the chores, and then we are back to internet marketing time at 11.

Tv?  Couch? What are these things I have heard of in the world of fantasy?

People do this? Lounge?

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What exactly have I been doing to make an extra $1200 a month?

Mostly selling on Amazon.com.

What do I sell? All kinds of things! Food, games (these are my favorite), books, small appliances, hardware…almost anything except jewelry and clothes.

Where do I get these things? My favorite place is Salvation Army because they are CHEAP. Next are garage sales, Craigslist, auctions, and clearance racks in retail stores.

There is such a huge rush in selling a product for literally 10 times what you paid for it, that makes this the funnest job in the world! Who can not like this!

What’s the bad side of this?

Well, one corner of my dining room has been designated the “Amazon corner”. It is stacked with product, packaging material, boxes, labels, and a scale. When the stack gets too large or too valuable, I drag myself over to the computer, login to Amazon, tell them what I have to sell and they tell me where to ship it. I then go about my way, labeling and putting things into boxes, sealing them, printing UPS labels and loading them into my truck. This is the part I consider work. The next day, I drop the boxes at my local UPS shipping center (which happens to be Staples for me) and I feel this big sense of accomplishment for making money. I know that within a weeks time, those products will be available on Amazon and I will instantly start to sell and realize a profit on my investment. Incredible.

Want an example, you say?

Ok. Three weeks ago, I went on Craigslist. An add had just been placed for about 20 college text books. No prices, just “make an offer.” I looked most of them up on Amazon and found that the average used price was $40 per book. You can also tell a little bit about the demand for an item from the Amazon listing and get an idea of how fast it will sell. Based on this little bit of research, I figured I was really interested in about 10 of the 20 books. So sent an email to the seller, “How much do you want for your books? What do you think is fair?” He says, “Which ones are you interested in?” I gave him my list. He replied, “How about $5 each?” And so the deal was made. I bought 10 books for $50, met him in a parking lot the next day and carted my books home to my “warehouse”. I sent them to Amazon and sold three the second they hit the site. Within a week I had sold all ten for a grand total of $528. Wow. How cool. Now, you’re right, this is not all profit. It cost me $15 to ship them and Amazon kept around $180 in exchange for their marketing and shipping to the customer. Net profit, turned $50 into over $250 after expenses, in two weeks with an hour of total “work”.

Can I make a living from these small deals? Not me. But man, is it a blast! And what’s nice is I do as much or as little as I want. Recently, I needed to come up with a little extra cash for something I really didn’t need, I just really wanted. I couldn’t justify it in the grand scheme of things, with two kids in college, an aging truck and a million animals to feed. BUT, when I realized all I had to do was make a couple of good finds to flip on Amazon, that became my new goal. I found two brand new water purifiers at GoodWill for $4 each. Sold both of them in a week for $45. Well on my way to that little perk that I would normally put off for a better time.

As you can see, I get a little pumped talking about this stuff. It’s so fun, and I’ve met some great people on Facebook and youtube that do the same thing. We geek out on our finds and call it the “thrill of the hunt”.

Private label product

Products from China?

Next time, I’ll give you the rundown on the private label products that I had manufactured in CHINA and shipped to my company headquarters (Aka, my bedroom.) That has been an interesting learning experience. Profitable? Well, we will see. Until next time, do something fun!

A step by step guide to creating an authority web site:

 

  1. Pick a topic that interests you
  2. Research the topic through Google adwords.
  3. Find a specific area within the topic that is searched for often but has a low number of competing sites
  4. Pick a domain name for the topic
  5. Pick a web host provider to host your new website
  6. Install WordPress
  7. Configure WordPress and start writing content
  8. Promote your site and build links
  9. Add google adsense and other affiliate links
  10. Update content

 

An authority website is simply a website that people can go to in order to obtain accurate, up to date information about a given topic.

In order for an authority website to be a source of income, two things must occur.
First, the site must become visible to users searching google, yahoo, etc. for certain “key words”. The more often and higher up on the search result list the site is returned, the more traffic the site will gain and the more money it will make.
Second, the site must include potential sources of income, for example pay-per-click ads through google adsense or affiliate earning through advertisements for associated sites or services.

 

In a former life, I used to be a forensic scientist, so I have a passion for this career path and know a lot about it. For that reason, I naturally considered forensic science as a topic for an authority site. My goal in creating an authority site, is to rank number 1 in google search results for related key word searches.

 

To see how difficult this would be, I typed the words “forensic science” into a google search bar and evaluated the resulting list. What I saw was a wiki page, a few government owned sites, and a few private sites. As I looked at the content of all of these sites, I was not too impressed. Most had not only a small amount of content, but also some basic, un-inspiring posts as well. I couldn’t help but to think, “well, I could easily make a site that provides more and better information than all of these.”

So based on what I saw on competing sites, I decided to choose forensic science as my “authority” site topic. That was probably mistake #1. What I didn’t realize was that content alone is not the only factor to consider when trying to out-rank existing sites.

 

Google also takes into consideration:

  • the age of the website,
  • the number of other sites linking back to your site (backlinks),
  • the name of the website itself,
  • and a slew of other factors.

 

While my reasoning for choosing forensic science based on the content of the competition may have been a bit naive, I still see my quest to reach #1 on google as attainable. But I want to point out it probably would have helped a lot if I had studied up on all of these factors before picking a topic.

 

So if you are holding back on starting your own website because you don’t want to make a “newbie” mistake, let this be an example to you that mistakes can be overcome. It’s better to do something with mistakes than do nothing at all. Every day that you wait is a day that you are missing out on your journey to potential income.

 

After deciding there wasn’t much in the way of competition for the key words “forensic science”, I went into the Google keywords research tool and looked at the potential for traffic and pay-per-click (ppc) rates for people searching for “forensic science”. What I found was the average reimbursement a site received when a visitor clicked on a forensic science ad was around $5. That’s pretty good, in my humble opinion.

 

I was also able to see that google considered this keyword to be “highly competitive”, probably due to the age of the sites already existing as forensic science authority sites and the number of links they have.

 

In addition, there’s a whole slew of “related” keywords that my site would be sure to attract, if it contained all the content I planned on cranking out. These include things like “forensic scientist”, “forensic biology”, “DNA analysis”, “forensic toxicology”, etc. Because of my past work experience, I am very familiar with these terms and feel I could easily write a post about each.

 

Another main factor I took into consideration was traffic. Google Keyword Research Tool informed me that an average of 49,500 global searches a month are entered for the phrase “forensic science”. When people search for a term in Google, 40% of the time they will click on the sites at the top of the list. Therefore, a #1 ranked site for forensic science could expect a monthly search volume of 19,800 visitiors (49,500 x 40%). If even 5% of those visitors clicked on an adsense ad, the site would earn approximately $4950/month. Not too bad.

 

So, having decided on a keyword, my next step was to pick a domain name. A domain name is simply the name of your site. It is what a user would type into the address bar of their browser to get directly to the website. Since I chose the forensic science keyword, I wanted to have the words “Forensic Science” in my domain name. Having your keyword in your domain name is one thing google search engines look for when returning search results. Since our goal is to be found be google and ranked #1, this is an advantage I was not willing to overlook.

 

In order to pick a domain name, I went here, to GoDaddy.com and used their domain name search tool. This tool is very easy to use, just type in your desired name and click search. GoDaddy will tell you if the name is available and if not it will even suggest similar names that are available. Unfortunately, www.forensicScience.com was already taken, so I chose to modify it slightly by adding “HQ” to the end of the name. This domain name was availabe and I was in business. I personally like to use the .com extension, although you can use something less popular like .net, .info, .biz, etc. While there is no verifiable evidence that .com sites earn rank points in google over the others, there does seem to be some indication that they do. Just to make sure, I went ahead and bought ForensicScienceHQ.com, ForensicScienceHQ.net and ForensicScienceHQ.info. My plan is to have all of these domain names point to the same site.


GoDaddy
had a special on pricing, so I paid $9.99 for the .com name, and only $0.99 for the .net and .info names. You can purchase domain names at about a half a gillion sites, such as HostGator.com, BlueHost.com etc, but they are all roughly the same price. I chose goDaddy because I’ve used them before and find them easy to use, with good customer service. By they way, the goDaddy links I’ve provided here are affiliate links, so if you choose to use them I will get a commission for your purchase and I want to say thank you! It is very much appreciated.
$1.99 Domains* at GoDaddy.com

 

This next step, working with WordPress, was completely new to me. WordPress is basically a tool to build your website. Now remember, I am a computer programmer by profession, so the idea of using a “kiddy” tool for people with no technical skills was a hard pill for me to swallow. But, based on the great reviews I had read from many, many folks about how easy and extensible it was, I decided to give it a try. I am sooooo glad that I did. WordPress is awesome. It is a free tool that you can either use on their site (WordPress.com) or you can download onto your own self-hosted server. What’s the difference? If you use the wordpress.com site, you can’t use the domain name you just purchased. So, for example, lets say you wanted to have a site about turtle races.

 

If you picked the domain name www.TurtleRaces.com. and chose to use the wordpress.com site, your followers would have to type in wordpress.com\turtleraces to get to your site. This is not easy, and not good for google rankings. If you host your own site through a hosting provider like GoDaddy, you install WordPress on your account and assign your domain name to the site. This way, visitors type in www.TurtleRaces.com and they are taken directly to your awesome looking wordpress site.

 

There is some expense to this option, as most self-hosting plans cost around six to seven dollars per month. However, another benefit to buying your own hosting plan is that you can run an unlimited number of websites for a single fee. So if you love the results your getting from TurtleRaces.com, you can start another site, maybe www.RabbitFarming.com and you don’t have to pay any extra, except to register the domain name.

 

So I set up my hosting plan, installed WordPress.com, picked a theme to make it look all forensic-like and was ready to add my first post. I realize this may be a bit confusing for some of you, so I’ve put together a video which you can watch that walks you through the entire process of getting a hosting plan and installing wordpress. The entire process can literally be done from start to finish in less than ten minutes, and you can have your site up and running and ready to write your first post. I’m in the process of adding the final edits to the video and will have it posted soon. Of course, if you have any questions or need my help with anything, just send me an email or write a comment below.