While I doubt this to be completely true, it does bring to light a very important question…
Is your business 100% relying on Google for traffic?
If you answered this question with aÂ yes, then I’d like to suggest to you that you are in a long-term relationship with a partner that doesn’t have your best interest at heart!
As I have already written about in an earlier post, Google doesn’t care about you. They care only about providing their users with the highest quality search results possible. Not that there is anything wrong with this…in fact, it’s a pretty smart strategy forÂ them – just not so much for you.
So, knowing that you are basicallyÂ on your own when it comes to getting traffic to your website(s), the purpose of today’s post is to show you, by my own example, that it is not only possible, but also a very realistic business strategy.
Target Any Niche You Like
In the old days of building micro-niche sites (5-10 page sites build just for Adsense or affiliate offers), the name of the game was to find a high paying niche/keyword with very little SEO competition.
Way, way back, this was pretty easy to do. Over time, it became increasingly difficult because more and more people were doing it.
As a result of this, myself, and many others, avoided some of the best paying niches because of the fact that we’d likely never be able to rank for any of the keywords, and therefore, we wouldn’t make any money.
TheseÂ super-niches included things like dating & relationships, fitness & weight loss, self-help, forex & stock trading, make money online, and many more.Â
In my case, I built dozens and dozens of obscure little micro-niche sites and, over time, got the vast majority of them ranked on page one of Google.
Simultaneously, I built this blog and never really considered it as one of my niche sites. I also never had a plan to get any traffic from the search engines.
Instead, I thought (hoped) I could get traffic by creating a site that was filled with extremely helpful content that people actually wanted to read. In other words, I built an authority site in theÂ make money online niche full well knowing that SEO would never play much of a role in my success.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would learn as much about running an online business from this blog as I have.
As a result of running the Online Income Lab, I have learned how to build a brand, how to podcast, how to build a list, how to get social traffic, how to build a sales funnel, and sooooo much more.
And all of this happened because I wanted to create a place to keep track of (and share) my journey towards success with building micro-niche sites – which, ironically enough, isn’t even something I do any more!Â
In other words, by starting to build niche sites, I started down a path that has exposed me to all sorts of people and ideas that would have never otherwise come onto my radar screen. This is a perfect example of what I meant in an earlier post when I said that the best way to succeed in business was toÂ beÂ in business!Â
Where My Traffic Comes From
Since the beginning of 2012, this blog has received an average of 16,363 visitors per month and only 16.87% of which comes from search engines. A full 50% of the traffic is referred with the remainder coming directly to the site as repeat visitors.
What this means is that the future of this blog is far moreÂ dependent on my ability to create content that people are interested in,Â than it is on whether or not Google wants to send any traffic my way.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with getting traffic from Google. I’m just saying that if G is your only source of traffic, you are walking on thin ice.
In my case, I’m currently getting the bulk of my referralÂ traffic from:
- my mailing list
- my podcast
- my Youtube channel
- my Facebook page
- the Warrior ForumÂ (especially via a WSO)
- list swaps
As you can see, there are a lot of places from which you can get traffic, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Another terrific source that I have had success with in the past (and plan to use again) is guest posting. With a guest post, the idea is to write some epic content that gets published on someone else’s blog; thereby giving you exposure to their audience, some of whom will choose to become part of your audience.
Look for a future post from my on how to have success with guest posting. In the meantime, you might want to have a look at something special that I’m working on.
The Power of Building a Brand
Think about the best brands in the world and ask yourself if you first discovered them via a search engine?Â
More than likely, you heard about them through the media or by word of mouth – especially for new and upcoming brands.
Building a brand online isn’t as hard as you might think. It doesn’t take a truckload of cash, nor does it require you to be uber-talented at writing.
Instead, it takes, more than anything else, killer content, presented in a pleasing fashion on a consistent basis.
Trust me when I say that I am no branding guru. There are many folks much smarter than I am in this regard; yet, despite that, I have managed to create a blog in aÂ hyper-competitive niche that allows me to earn a full-time income by working only about one day a week.
Did it happen overnight? No. It took me about 18 months and approximately 145 posts to get to where I’m at today.Â With that said, it only took me about 10 months to ramp up the income to a level high enough to live on.
List Building for Extra Leverage
By far, the most valuable online asset you are ever going to build is your mailing list.
Sure, followers on social networks are important (they provide good social proof), but they are nowhere near as powerful as having someone’s email address.
For example, I have just over 2,000 followers on Facebook (you’re one, aren’t you?) and each time I publish to my timeline, my reach is only about 9% of my total audience.
Whereas when I mail my list, my open rate is typically much higher than that,Â plus, I know that the people that open the email are much more likely to actually read it and take any actions that I might be asking them to.
If you aren’t building a list now, its definitely time you got started.
You Can Do This
In case you are wondering just how much work this blog has been, let me say that its not as much as you might think.
145 posts is just 1.9 posts per week since January 2011.
Do you think you could publish 2 posts a week on a topic that you are passionate about? Yes, you could! In fact, if you followed this strategy, you could probably do much more than that.
Of course, its true that I was actively involved in building micro-niche sites (which took more time) and doing so gave me a lot to blog about; however, as you are going to see when I soon announce the next blog I’m going Â to launch, there are some very creative ways to come up with extremely valuable content that your readers willÂ love and share with others -Â without you having to writeÂ any of it.
The Goal of Today’s Post
I had only one goal when I wrote this post, and that was to instill in you the belief thatÂ you can do this.
There is no need to be fearful that it might not work, or feel overwhelmedÂ at the prospect of building something of value.
Building a successful online business can be done byÂ anyone who is 100% committed to achieving their goal of getting out of the rat race.Â
If you’d like to see the next blog that I’m starting, check this out.
What Do You Think?
Did I achieve my goal with today’s post? Did I miss anything? If you have thoughts, comments, or questions, please be sure and share them down in the comments below. Thanks so much, you rock