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Where Is Your Business Really Going?

Where Is Your Business Really Going?

As I write this post, I am sitting on the island of Kauai within site of the ocean.  For the past few days, I’ve been having the time of my life hiking to waterfalls, surfing, snorkeling with tropical fish and sea turtles, seeing the Napali coast and so much more.

But still through it all, I think about my business (even if it only for a few minutes each day 🙂 ).  Where is it going?  Will it survive while I’m on vacation?  How can I grow it and make it better?  Are there certain things that I could automate better  to free up my own time?

These are all things going through my mind, even while on vacation!

Luckily, I can say that my business is automated quite well.  Despite being gone and not spending much more than 15 or 20 minutes a day with my laptop even on, I still continue to sell near record amounts of Long Tail Pro, and people continue to find my niche sites and click on ads.  All of this occurs whether I am around or not.

However, there is more that I could do.  I haven’t fully outsourced the support side of Long Tail Pro and obviously I will always need to pay some attention to my blog here.

Even while on vacation, literally living the 4-hour work week (which I am finally reading for the first time by the way), I always tend to think about the big picture of my business.  (Trust me though, MOST of my day is spent really vacationing, and having a good time).

But here are some thoughts of how I can grow my business and make it better:

  • Implement more paid advertising to attract new users to Long Tail Pro and other products I own
  • Fully outsource the support side of my products
  • Focus on my winning niche sites and grow them more
  • Create better and higher quality niche sites that will stand the test of time (future post on this for sure).
  • Help others discover how the “Long Tail” can really be a boost to their business.

These are just a few of the ideas that come to mind when I think about where my business is really going.

So now, I want to turn it over to you: Where is your business really going?

You may not be on vacation or had a chance recently to think about the big picture of your business, but I encourage you to take just a few minutes right now and put some thought into it.

If you are so inclined, I would love to hear your plans for your business in the comments section below.  Where are you taking your business? and What are your plans to get it where your really want it to go?

I’ll respond as I have a chance; but for now, I have some zip lining to do…

48 Comments for this Post

  1. Jamie Alexander

    Jamie Alexander

    I’m (kind of) lucky at the moment because I get to travel the work writing articles, though I still get time to spend on my site which is great.

    My site has started making sales now and I have a decent conversion rate, so I”m really happy about that. The next stage is taking it up to a few grand per month so I can work on it a lot more.

    Then up to 5 figures per month over the next 2/3 years. But everything I do is aimed towards not spending much time on it. I ultimately want to find a way to make paid traffic profitable.

    Enjoy the rest of your hol 🙂

  2. Roche


    Great, this what internet business can offer. Doing business anywhere even at the top of the island. I must say that I envy..hehe.

    Talking about where my business going, it’s going to be a home run. Still learning the art of start, but definitely we’ll get there.

    By the way, LongTailPro is awesome for my niche research.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Hey Roche – every business has to start somewhere. Keep a great attitude, and hopefully you’ll get there!

  3. Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Hope you are enjoying your vacation Spencer! Right now the direction my business is going is simply: creation. Creation of new mobile apps, web apps, and kindle books. Between those three things I’m keeping busy 🙂


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sounds great – creating great products is an excellent business. Once you find a winning product, perhaps focus on growing and expanding it.

  4. Jeff Bronson

    Jeff Bronson

    It sounds like you are having a fantastic trip Spencer!

    You are in an ideal spot, to consider your next strategic move, great job!

    Personally, I working to get my consulting site going, and re-energize my online shop while packing away a huge emergency fund.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yep, have a great trip! Best of luck as you start up your consulting site…

  5. Enis


    Awesome place to be Spencer…
    I’ve just took a step in niche website creation after I read and reread thoroughly you blog.
    Obviously I tested Long Tail Pro and in my opinion this soft is really focused on mass production researches without pointless options we really don’t care
    I have read the 4-hour work week before I know your blog your post is a dream, but reachable.
    I think we have to be really really patient and steady and in some years maybe we will live the X-hour work week (with x the lower as possible)
    You are truly inspirational and i will make my own way because I believe in this business and big G is not an enemy just the rule maker which keep us adaptable…

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Enis – very true, you may have to work some long hours when you get started. That’s the reality. I worked a full-time job and did my internet business at night after I put my kids to bed for several years before I was able to quit my full time job. The hard work has paid off though.

  6. Jas


    Excellent! i like what you are doing. Starting out myself. You have stopped publishing your income reports. Any reason why? hope all is well.


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Jas – One big reason I stopped publishing income reports is because I didn’t want close friends and family (lots of them read my blog) knowing my exact income level. I can grow my business and blog without telling everyone about how much I make…

  7. Rob


    I hope you’re loving Kauai and not taking 1 day for-granted out there! My wife and I spent our Honeymoon there in May (stayed in the Princeville area), and it was a trip we’ll never forget.

    And I can relate on the not-being-able-to-stop-thinking-about-your-business-even-while-on-vacation curse. Even with all the fun we had, I still had moments in Kauai where I would find myself thinking about the direction of my business/fretting the whole thing would collapse while I was out sippin’ mai tai’s. Read: our honeymoon was right in the middle of the latest panda/penguin/othercuteanimal Google shakedown.

    That fretting led me to start seriously pursuing options for diversification. SEO money has been good to me, and it’s still a big part of my business model. But I’m now making a concerted effort to build new income streams that aren’t so reliant on the fickle G.

    Can’t say I wouldn’t mind finding myself in the Lihue airport right about now! If you get a chance, there’s a gas station in Princeville that makes a killer burger. Bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce, meat, and an onion ring on a bun. They call it the Braddah’s burger. It’s at the Chevron station inside the General Store. You won’t be disappointed.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Hey Rob – Kauai is AWESOME! You know what I’m talking about. I think all of us with a business think about it while on vacation and think about best and worst case scenarios. You certainly had a rough time with Penguin around the time of your trip.

      I think if you can find a product to develop or some other business model, you can really diversify.

      Thanks for the tip on Braddahs! We are actually in Poipu, but if we make it back up to Princeville – we’ll check it out! I’m loving the little restaurants we are finding. The smallest ones we have found are often the best – like “Chicken in a Barrel” and “Da Crack”!

  8. barry


    Starting to put a lot of my profit from PPC back into making authority sights. Don’t blame you for not wanting to show your income. How are your niche sights ranking?

  9. Niche Wolf

    Niche Wolf

    Hi Spencer, nice to hear that you are having a great time. You deserve every bit of it.

    I am currently pushing my business to the point where I can really have more time for having fun like you are doing now.

    Automation automation and more automation.


  10. Frank


    Nice Article Spencer. I’m living in Tokyo for my day job currently and loving it. However this will end soon and back to the grind in the states. I’m really working hard trying to learn and implement what you and the others are teaching. I started with micro sites but I’m focusing on a larger authority site now. I’m hoping to one day have the flexibility to live and work where i want. I enjoy working just trying to find that passion.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Best of luck Frank with the authority sites!

  11. Monja


    Hi Spencer – happy vacation! Hope you have a wonderful time. Still, just like me, you can’t get rid of business thoughts? More often than not business seems to be nothing to worry but a pleasure to think about plans for the future.
    I have been creating a new website, and i hired a programmer and designer from odesk. Right now, they drive me crazy, although the design looks good so far they seem not to be able to implement the functionality correctly.
    lesson learned: better you do not hire someone you don’t know but rather look for recommendations.

  12. bryan


    Great post Spencer! I hope that one day I can go on a vacation and still be making some decent money!

  13. Taylor


    Great Job Spencer! I own both of your products and love them:) How is you adsense revenue?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Taylor – Adsense revenue is still there. But its basically been flat (not growing) since May/June. I need to put more work into my sites…

  14. Alex


    Alright Spencer, I’m gonna give Long Tail Pro a spin since it seems like everybody and their mother has been promoting it lately. Thanks for the free trial and have fun in Hawaii, I was stationed on Oahu for three years in the Navy and miss it everyday. Cheers

  15. Steve Wyman

    Steve Wyman

    Hi Spencer

    Well LTpro is the best tool by far. I really really really (is that enough) NEED filters though 🙂

    I went back to Marketsamuri the other day just to make sure OMG its terrible in comparison… SO you deserve the success their.

    Im not at a point where i cant register and build all the domains i can find using it..

    As to my business

    Our business model is to

    develop profitable websites by
    carrying out detailed niche keyword research
    creating optimised sites using wordpress
    monetising with adsense
    and reselling established sites to other entrepreneurs
    all within a repeatable defined process.

    whilst working 7 days a week 15 hours a day and no holiday for 8 months and that was a weekend.

    I dont follow the work/life balance. Im with @GaryVee its time to crush it now.. Flat out and screaming

    And his brilliant “the climb, its the climb that drives me”

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Glad you LOVE long tail pro! Always working to improve it to keep everyone happy 🙂

      Best of luck with your business!

      • Steve Wyman

        Steve Wyman

        Best of luck to you as well.

        really really really want a filter for Advertising comp !

        would cut my work load by 5%

        and if or when you add SEO value ((cpc x local exact search) * 0.01, with the ability to filter as well, that would save me 15% of my research time!!

        keyword idea generator, Phrase to broad match % as well 🙂

        ok im stopping now.. lol


  16. Mike From Maine

    Mike From Maine


    I’m taking my business to the next level by doing interviews with experts in the Internet marketing field. See you on Monday 🙂

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sounds like a good plan 🙂

    • Josh Trevorson

      Josh Trevorson

      oh my mr negative walks on by

      Thats the model the snake OIL saleman uses the rent Drysmid of this world of IM.

      WSO testers are in no way experts. 20x is outside their sales range and they will drop back to 12-15x soon enough.

      Now if youd had spencer Haws and Adsense Flippers and Pat Flynn on now those guys know there stuff.

      Derek Sivers for all things

      Dan Andrews for Doing more than talking

      Chris Ducker for outsourcing and Crushing it online… and Offline <- thats key.

      BUT why are you diluting your brand anyway!
      Mike Form Maine <- the adsense guy …
      Mike form Maine <- another IM guy..

      Truely hate the way the videos stop and i have to click on a tiny thing to clear them or sign up for a newsletter…

  17. Chris


    Just bought LTP and I am very pleased with it. I found some great keywords and am currently working on making them into micro niche sites – using CTR.

    Quick question – do you have a post that breaks down the average timeline for adding adsense to a new site?

    I think I will wait 2-3 weeks after I have content before adding adsense to avoid any potential issues. Any comments

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I think 2 to 3 weeks is a good waiting period.

      • Daryl Mander

        Daryl Mander

        what issues are there with adding adsense any sooner? I tend to add adsense straight away – is that a big no no?

        • Harris Lowe

          Harris Lowe

          Hi Daryl

          Never had an issue and yet to loose an adsense account.

          Add as soon as the first article is added. not before though.

  18. KimP


    Awesome! Continue to enjoy your vacation!

    As for the business side of things. I’d really love to hear more about how one could do this:

    Fully outsource the support side of my products

    Would one do this with in-house outsourced help, or are there companies out there that will handle this for you?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Kim – lots of ways to go here. If you can find someone good on Elance or Odesk, you can hire a support person directly. I may try this route. But there are certainly companies that specialize in this area as well.

      • KimP


        Thank you, Spencer. I have some ideas for online software tools, but what turns me away is handling the support myself. I’ll look into this further.

  19. amp


    Glad your enjoying your time and good luck int he future mate, you bring many aspirations to all of us. God Bless.

  20. Luke


    I started “nicheing” in ’08 and was instinctually doing a lot of the things you advocate, but I’ve never had a formalized process or strategy. We had a conference call a few weeks back in which one customer service employee was recognized for 40 years of service. Even though I’m in outside sales and have a lot of freedom, this call was a huge wake-up call for me: If I don’t formalize my and expand my online business, I’ll end up dependent on an employer 40 years from now too. It was just the wake up call I needed. I have 7 sites that generate $4K per year. I’m using LTP to find new niches and I WILL have 50 new sites by COB 2012. Goal is 100 sites and $1 per site/day by end of Q1.


  21. Gino @ Pr0ductive

    Gino @ Pr0ductive

    Hey Spencer, I know this is off topic but it looks like the sh*t just hit the fan with Google and exact match domains, at least those with thin content and backlinks. Just curious, have your sites been affected at all?

    • Adrian Abrate

      Adrian Abrate

      My EMDs took a pretty big hit. Ouch. Although I think there is a silver lining to this issue, but that’s another discussion.

      My best aged domains which also have my highest quality content seemed to survive pretty well. Lots of the others didn’t. Very interested to hear Spencer’s thoughts on this latest algo update.

    • Luke


      Several of my sites have been affected, and it’s maddening. Most niche queries shouldn’t requires large authority sites. For instance, if I’m searching for the average cost of a worm farm, why do I need a 10,000 page juggernaut website when a 1 page site will effectively address the query?

  22. Kayyam


    I hope I can get at your level soon at this moment I’m at my house thinking how will I pay my rent on the 10th 🙁 I think I just have to keep positive attitude and work hard and1 day I’ll be setting at some amazing beach and enjoying life but till then I get back to work. Btw enjoy ur vacation

  23. Rabby


    Hey Spencer, nice to know you’ve been having a great time 🙂 I’ll drop an off topic but important question here. Now that Google is going after EMDs with their emd update, what do you think will happen? I have many sites that don’t rank after the update now!

    • Luke


      Let’s hope they’re just doing a Google “dance” and will return after the dust settles.

      • Rabby


        Well they did the dancing for a day or two…then disappeared 🙂 Thinking what should I do with all the domains I purchased 🙁

  24. Kevin


    Hello role model Spencer,

    I’ve read 4HWW but couldn’t decide on how to apply the principles. But now I’m doing some micro-niche work with your LTP, blog advice, and the course from the J&J at IBM. It was your guest interview there that attracted me to your site. Your analytical approach matches mine much better than J&J.

    I have practical goals for the micro-niche business. My wife and I are fortunate enough to have excellent jobs, so I’ll be pacing myself with site creation. With your blog help I believe I can work smarter and not harder do that I can enjoy today as I may not have a tomorrow.

    With that said does Odesk have a decent pool of SEO /micro niche experienced VA’s?

    Thanks for doing your site here. Much appreciated and best of luck.

  25. Bart


    Ironically it was a trip to Kauai last summer that got me started on the passive income road (LOVE Hanalei!). I am mired down in corporate America at present, but have started an iOS app development company – formed my LLC last weekend.

    Next up: niche site with an eBook and webinars.

    Can’t wait to escape the rat race, the universe is abundant and success will be mine!

    Mahalo Nui Loa!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Mahalo indeed! Best of luck with your business…

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