We're back with an update from Ryan Spadafora on Niche Site Project 3!
Today, we're actually going to reveal Ryan's site in our call. Since it's been awhile, here's a quick recap of the high level plan for Ryan's site:
- Focus on baseball and provide content based around skill development, coaching plans, and gear recommendations and reviews.
- Mix in product-focused affiliate content along with other shareable content types we talked about several months ago.
- Network and build links/shares/awareness by emailing people he includes in his various list-style posts.
- (Longer term) build a YouTube channel featuring Ryan giving baseball skill development lessons of his own, following a long tail strategy we outlined here.
The Struggle Continues…
In addition to revealing the site on our call today, we also talk about the struggles Ryan has experienced during the process. We knew coming in that he'd be working around a full-time schedule and a family – like many of you are doing. In Ryan's defense, his work schedule has become more grueling since we started this project and he's had some health/family issues that popped up unexpectedly.
In fact, he took some PTO in the middle of the day to record this call.
Obviously I've invested a chunk of personal time and effort in Ryan throughout this process, so nobody wants to see him succeed and get to the $500/month mark more than me.
What's been interesting is the mix of comments from you guys, the Niche Pursuits community, about Ryan's continued struggles. Generally, it seems like folks are in 1 of 2 camps:
- I'm glad to see someone like me who struggles to find time to do this on the side! Hang in there!
- We've all got problems. You gotta want it and make the time – no excuses!
Whichever side you fall on – I think you're both right!
Sometimes when you read case studies or success stories online, things get oversimplified and it can be deflating when it seems like others find success rather quickly and easily and you aren't seeing any results despite putting in the effort.
That's the fun part about doing a public niche site project – you never know what's going to happen.
Building a new site can be a lonely process that involves a bunch of self-doubt, optimism, joy, sadness, and everything in-between. If you're taking part in this journey, be sure to join the Niche SIte Project 3 Facebook group so you can connect with others going through the same things you are trying to build a profitable website.
While I think that many people can do this – it's not easy. Especially when you've never done it before, or if you've tried in the past and failed. You've got to believe in the process and make some sacrifices.
Let's face it, it's never a fun or convenient time to write a 3,000 word article.
You've just got to make the time – whether that means staying up late or getting up early, it comes down to how bad you want it.
Today I encourage Ryan on the call that it's not how you start, but how you finish.
Ryan has a list of about 50 solid, low competition keywords sitting in a Google doc right now and he really knows his stuff when it comes to the subject matter.
If I could wave a magic wand and Ryan would have completed just these 50 articles in the first half of 2016, with his knowledge of baseball and his talent as a writer, he'd be well on his way to his goal.
Unfortunately, I don't have a magic wand handy.
So the reality is that the site we're revealing today isn't seeing significant traffic (yet) or making any money (yet.) I say “yet” because Ryan is still determined to put in the work needed to make it happen – so the long term future of the site remains to be seen.
Other Topics Discussed
In addition to offering Ryan some encouragement to get re-focused and start knocking out the content on his to-do list, I also show a few little things on Ryan's site for him to take a look at:
Amazon Affiliate Links
I referenced this article which talks about complying with Amazon's terms of service with how you link to their products. Ryan had some anchor text that wasn't really obvious that it was going to a product page, so I suggested he clean that up to avoid any issues with his Amazon account.
If you're already to this stage on your site, don't miss our post full of ideas to maximize Amazon affiliate earnings.
As a rule, when I do curated style posts where I'm talking about a collection of ideas I learned from other people, like a list of baseball throwing drills, I like to reach out to everyone I link to or reference in any way in that post. I just give them a quick heads up and say “thanks” which is a good way to start a relationship with that person and possibly get a link or a social share of your content.
Lower Hanging Fruit First
At this point, Ryan has 10 published posts. A couple of them aren't really keyword-focused at all, which doesn't do a whole lot of good when your traffic is non-existent. I suggest that he start out with his lowest competition keywords and get those published, then add in these more general posts later once he's developed some traffic and (hopefully) an email list.
Set Short Term Goals
Staring at a huge list of keywords yet to be written can be overwhelming. I encouraged Ryan to start setting a shorter term goal of maybe doing 1 or 2 per week – something a little more measureable that would keep him on task as opposed to thinking “man, I've got to find time to write 50 articles.”
If you prefer to listen to the audio only, you can download it here.
When we started this process I had hoped to be revealing Ryan's site on a high note where we had met some traffic or earnings goal.
Clearly, we're not there yet.
The good news is, the story of Ryan's site is far from over.
In fact, if it were a book it would be like a very talented author had a compelling outline, then in the middle of writing chapter 1 got distracted and stopped making progress…
That can still be a great book, but not until the author finishes it.
Similarly, at this point it's up to Ryan. A website with 10 blog posts and a couple of links isn't going to do a whole lot, and he's well aware of that. However, I'm still confident in the plan and the strategy we've outlined for his site, and now it's time to execute.
If he does, $500/month and beyond won't be a problem. If he doesn't, FiveToolSchool.com will go down as another niche site idea that never really got off the ground (I've had a few of those myself over the years).
I still believe in Ryan, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to report back with positive updates in the months to come!
Building Niche Sites