I’m one of those people that like to give things a go. This is a good trait in general but it does mean that I end up with a lot on my plate. As a consequence some of the things that should receive a lot of attention end up being neglected a little.
Currently I have:
- 8 niche websites (some based around affiliate marketing and some on Google Adsense).
- an online course (with associated website).
- a subscription service (website & email newsletters).
- an ECommerce physical products brand (currently based on Amazon & website).
- an app/software product.
- and this website/blog.
I am a one-man-band. I do hire freelancers from time to time and have had some University interns come work on some projects, but in the main I do everything myself.
In 2016 this is one of my main goals. I will get other people to do a lot of the work on some of my projects while I spend more time developing the others. As I write I do not plan to start anything new in 2016, but I will never say never…
What I will get help with.
My 8 niche websites. These websites are mainly content based and I will look to get regular writers to create and publish content on my websites. I will even try and get them to come up with the content ideas leaving me completely free from this side of things.
One or two of these niche websites could grow into something considerably bigger because they already have a healthy audience (one in particular gets up to 800/900 unique visits per day) while only scratching the surface of their particular niche. If I can get a good person working on these sites they could grow and evolve significantly and open up a new can of worms in terms of opportunities and monetisation.
Research, writing, and then publishing content takes a fair amount of time and is something I do (did) myself. This means that I spend a lot of time doing this but it also means that I did not publish enough high quality content on the websites, which means they did not grow as much as I hoped in 2015. They did grow because I did publish content and the websites got older (more domain age), but they should have grown a lot more. Saying this I just noticed today when I checked my Analytics that one of these websites jumped from around 100 visitors a day to pushing 400 🙂 I guess this is a combination of a domain age trigger point in Google and a batch of new content I published a few months ago.
Also, because I did spend time on these niche websites it meant it took time away from other areas, which also did not progress as much as they should have. Again they did progress but not as much as they should have.
I will look to hire regular writers and website publishers, investing a few hundred pounds per month to cover content across all websites. While this takes away some of my profits I need to look at the bigger picture, which is the more I invest in these websites the bigger and more popular they will become, meaning they will return my investment plus a lot more in the future.
I will probably look at freelancer websites such as peopleperhour.com and also look at tapping into the University’s intern program again. Ideally I will work with the same people for extended periods of time and thus build up a good working relationship and confidence in their ability to write and publish good quality content.
My online course.
Currently I have one course that you can see at Earn1000.co.uk. It’s aimed at people who want to get into making money online, and walks through the entire process of creating an Amazon affiliate website, just like the ones I have setup and maintain.
This course is not complete at the time of writing, but I plan to get it complete before the end of January 2016 (i.e. this month). It is a 19 module course and currently 14 are complete. I am building a brand new website in real time as I work through the modules, which means it is taking me a bit longer to complete. But what it means is that people can follow along and I can guarantee that if they complete all modules they will have an Amazon affiliate website up and running and I’m pretty confident it will attract visitors and make money. The website I have build in the course has already made a few sales and it is not even finished 🙂
So, this is something I will continue to do myself. I will complete the final modules and then actively promote it. I have not decided on the final cost of this course. Currently I am giving it away for free over a 19 week period. If you sign up for the course you will get an email each week with a link the the next module. When I complete the course I will have an option to pay to get all modules at once. Also I will probably setup a complementary community where people can ask for help and get extra information. I have a few other plans too which will be introduced as time goes on…
My subscription service
I love football betting, or probably more accurately I love analyzing data and trying to find trends in big data sets. I have been testing a selection process that uses the odds of football matches to find games that don’t often end in a draw. I have been recording and publishing these selections since February 2015, which accumulate to 323 tips to date.
From these 232 selections 265 have won (i.e. not ended in a draw). That’s 82% win rate and from 1pt level (liability) stakes it is currently +25.74pts. That means if you bet £100 liability stakes (i.e. you risk £100 per bet) you would be £2574 in profit.
If you want to check it out it’s here: http://sportstrading.guru/
I setup a website around these tips and offered a free and paid subscription just as a test to see if people would sign up. I promoted this service on ClickBank and posted a few Tweets on Twitter. That is all I have done in terms of promotion. One affiliate from ClickBank found me and is trialing my tips and publishing the results on their blog. Coincidentally I had a record 22 winning tips in a row which went down well, and I got a few signups off it.
Currently I have 116 free subscriptions and 6 paying subscriptions (paying £30/month). Only issue however is that ClickBank requires a 60-day money back guarantee, so I have had a few paying subscriptions that have left after a few weeks. I think this big money back timescale will be something that loses me a lot of subscribers because people want a big win straight away while my tips are for a steady upwards trend over time.
Anyway, my plans are to continue trialing these tips but I will step up promotion. I will reach out to more affiliates to see if they will talk about me to their audience, plus I will get more active on social media. I am also going to look at my subscription plans, maybe eliminating my free service, or at least revising it. If I can get more paying subscribers I will look to see if other advertising options are viable, such as Google Adwords.
This one is more simple, expand and grow…
How will I expand? Well my next batch of samples just arrived this morning from my supplier in China. I currently have one product selling on Amazon.co.uk and I want to introduce at least two more. I decided to stick with my same supplier because all has been good so far, so I went through their product list and selected a few products that I feel have potential and complement my current product.
There are 7 new samples to look at (I have not opened the parcel yet), and I hope to move forward with two, possibly more.
I will brand the products, possibly alter them slightly, and create custom packaging. I will then look to sell them individually and as part of a bundle on Amazon. Depending on how well sales go I will look to sell via other channels (including my website).
I will be the person in charge of this aspect of the ECommerce business.
How will I grow? I have a website setup for my ECommerce brand, but it is essentially a static website. I am going to start a targeted blog on this website and get experienced people to create the content for me. I want lots and lots of content so that I can attract a good targeted audience through Google and other search engines. Also I want to start to appear on the radar of other similar bloggers so that I can get some promotion this way.
Currently I am relying on Amazon and their organic and paid traffic, but ideally I want to attract my own traffic to my own website, which I may or may not send to my products on Amazon (another option is to sell direct from my website).
Additionally I want to grow an email list and community around my brand, which the blog will be the main aspect of.
This is the one project that I do have help on. I have a developer partner who is creating the App. To product is my idea and I am in charge of managing and marketing this App, while my App partner will be in charge of the technical aspects.
Still very early stages here but a prototype is coming along and hopefully early in 2016 we can get a beta version out into the public to see how it goes. We have the initial concept nailed down so it is relying now on my developer to complete a few more tasks then I will get out and about promoting it and getting in used in real life.
We have not decided on the money making direction yet. It could be a free (limited) version with a paid full version. Or it could be paid from the start or completely free and make money from advertising. The feedback from the beta testing will help us decide.
This website – neilcurtis.me.
I want to make this website a priority. I really enjoy speaking and discussing what I do online. I don’t want this to be about my life, family, and stuff like this, although some of this may work its way in from time to time. I really want this to be a sounding board for what I am doing and thinking. Primarily this will help keep me accountable and it will also help me remember what I have done and where I have made progress or not made progress.
One thing 2015 has told me is that you never know what will happen. The App was not even a twinkle of a thought at the start of 2015 and the same is true of my football tips subscription service. The online course and ECommerce ventures had not started and my primary focus was my niche websites. So by the end of 2015 things had changed a lot.
So, if you are thinking of starting but feel it is too late or things take too long then think again. Things can happen pretty quickly if you put a little effort in.
Anyway, back to this website. I plan to write shorter update type posts but also longer in-depth articles. Kind of How-To articles maybe around what I do. Such as how to start an ECommerce brand on Amazon, or how to start your first affiliate website, how to start an online course, or how to create an App or other things I have experience in.
These kinds of articles exist already I’m sure because I am not the only one playing around online, but if I can add some useful content that will help grow this websites appeal and get discussions going then I will be happy.
Neilcurtis.me makes a little money through affiliate commissions and I have done some consultancy work in the past, but I am not going to do any in the future, or at least I don’t plan to do any, but as I said before never say never. I don’t have a clear idea of how this website will make money, but I know if I have a strong readership and get a lot of visitors daily then I don’t have to worry. Maybe this website will just help promote my other ventures such as my online course. Maybe I will create new courses related to this website, or maybe I will have some affiliate products or products of my own?
This is not important to me at the moment. My money (which I need to live off) will come through my other projects and neilcurtis.me can evolve without this constraint.
There you go, these are my plans for 2016. I have a lot to do but if I can get reliable content writers and publishers for my niche websites and my ECommerce blog then I will have plenty of time to do these other things. My online course is probably a hard working month away from completion, my subscription football tips website will grow organically and without too much work hopefully – or go pear shaped and close down, hopefully not 🙁
The ECommerce business will take some work initially but I have a few ideas on how to get good writers for the website which will also incorporate cross-promotion with other bloggers. As I mentioned my new product samples are here and hopefully they are good so I can get cracking introducing these into Amazon. If things go well I may try and get my wife involved in the management/organisation of this business 🙂
The App will not take too much of my time for now and that just leaves this website. So while busy it is manageable but only if I am committed to investing some money into my websites and remove myself from the content creation process, or at least the majority of it.
It would be great to hear your plans, just comment below.