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To Teach or To Create? Thoughts on Training Courses, Link Whisper, and Own The Yard

By Spencer Haws |

​As you develop skills in a certain area, there often comes a time when you can choose to either create more with that skill or you can teach others how to develop the skills you have developed.

When it comes to online marketing, that often becomes a question when you’ve had some success.  Should I double down and create more websites, products, etc using my skills?  Or should I create a training course that teaches other people how to create?

Don’t worry, I made the decision a few months ago to NOT teach online courses anymore, and I feel GREAT about that.  However, I did an interview this week (for my podcast) with a very successful entrepreneur who has gone all-in on teaching online courses.

He’s made over $2 million in the last year…from just 1 of his 5 courses.  Impressive!

(I’ll release that podcast interview in a few weeks…so be patient…).

Then earlier this week I got an email from a different successful entrepreneur that has stated about a year ago that he was quitting selling online courses.  Then his email this week retracted that statement and said he’s going to open the doors to his courses another time.

Hmmm.

I guess that just means the draw of selling online courses is VERY strong.  However, I’m happy to report that I’m not tempted to get back into that…and will stand firm in that decision.

I’m REALLY enjoying the process of creating right now.  Here’s an update on a couple things that I’ve been creating lately…

Link Whisper Update

First, Link Whisper is a creation of mine that I’m really proud of.

Just this week I’ve had more positive comments on how helpful Link Whisper is from users that I think I had all year from selling courses before.  I love that my creation is truly helping other people grow their businesses.

The latest update for Link Whisper now allows users to search by keyword to find even more relevant and powerful internal links. (It’s super powerful).

If you want to see how this new keyword search function works, you can see it in action right here.

Then just last night, I released an update that gives you the option to only see suggested links if it shares a category with the post you are editing.  This is also a super powerful way to build a silo structure that helps you establish topical authority.

Again, it’s an option – you choose the types of links you want to see.

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Overall, I’m enjoying the process of building and refining Link Whisper as a powerful software tool.  I’ve just hired a full-time US based developer and another customer service rep to help grow this business.

It’s great to create.

Own The Yard Update

The other project I continue to work on where I’m applying my skills (as opposed to teaching them) is with OwnTheYard.com (my Niche Site Project 4 site).

I know it’s been a couple months since I’ve provided an update, and that’s been on purpose.  I really want to work with a little bit of privacy without providing updates for every move I make.

I will simply say that I’m still working diligently on the site and continue to add new content.

I predicted as the transition from summer to fall and then winter happened that there would be a downtrend due to seasonality.  While this is partially true, I’m seeing some very positive results.

Yes, less people are searching for things like backyard games…however, my overall organic traffic from Google is actually trending upwards!  The reason is simple, some of my articles might be getting slightly less traffic (due to seasonality), but I continue to add more and more content…so overall my Google traffic is stable or trending slightly up.

The best part is that my keyword rankings are all improving (even if less people are searching for those keywords at the moment due to seasonality).

I’m hopeful for a big holiday season.  Then if these trends continue, my site should grow significantly when spring starts rolling around.

That’s all I’m going to say about my site for now.  I’m still working away adding lots of content, and my rankings for individual keywords are all trending very positively.

Niche Pursuits Updates…

Even though I don’t sell any online courses anymore, I do still like to provide free training through NichePursuits.com.  Here’s a few of the articles that were published on NichePursuits.com this week.

Overall, what decision will you make in your business?  Are you a teacher or a creator?  Or are you both?

I’ve made my decision…but the right decision may be different for you depending on your circumstances.  I don’t think there is a right or wrong choice, only choices that you are comfortable with.

Thanks again.




Niche Business Ideas | 16 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of NichePursuits.com. After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding LinkWhisper.com, and co-founding MotionInvest.com. You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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16 Comments

Conversation

Varun

Thank you so much for the post.

Nomar

Ah, I was wondering about OTY 🙂 Makes sense.
My main sites are the travel niche and my traffic is down as well. Ideal time to work on seo and on site optimization.

Franck

Thanks for the update, Spencer.
How much spent for OTY

Aaron Burton

I think if you have a powerful vision creating could make you more money than teaching. However things cost money & time. Not to mention most businesses fail. Teaching however is a lot more forgiving in that its more evergreen and far more leveraged. The thing is you can’t really teach if you’ve never tried to start your own thing. So its a catch 22 haha. Great post and congrats on your progress.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Aaron.

Walter

Really Great work, Thanks for share useful information. the posts on your blog are having informative and valuable content. Appreciate your efforts.

James

How did the latest Google algorithm (Nov ’19) change affect OMY?

James

Sorry, OTY…

Spencer Haws

I saw no impact, if anything a small positive improvement.

James Grayston

Wow. That is very interesting. Thanks,

David Hilcher

That is an interesting take on the traffic with owntheyard.com I am going to take that on board. So even though the traffic is down on stories, you create MORE stories which drives traffic. That makes sense, but I can see how some might find this counter intuitive.

Spencer Haws

I’m not sure what a “story” is. However, I’m saying that due to seasonality, some articles/keywords are getting search for less during this time of year. But because I now have many more articles, my traffic is not declining overall.

Angel

Spencer, you propelled me to my first ever niche website. I started this site around may this year (about 7 months now or so).

I have made my first 100$ via amazon, getting an average of 4k traffic monthly. I still want to improve on this although I have noticed that sales dropped within the past 10 days.

I am from Nigeria and i do follow all your posts on Facebook.

My testimony shows that not all Nigerian Youths are scammers after all.

Thank you sir.

Spencer Haws

Congrats! Glad your site is working out!

Steve

Hey Spencer, personally I don’t really understand/agree with that logic behind not selling courses. I mean, if you don’t have passion for it, I think that’s a good reason. But the whole concern about people “lumping you in” with posers who sell courses, I think those people are just cynical, and who really cares what they think?

I went through Organic Traffic Formula this year, and I really learned a lot from it. Personally I don’t think it cheapens anything to sell “how to” info behind something you know how to do. I’ve been hungry to learn these skill-sets, and online courses have been the best way to learn them because free content is usually much less comprehensive. When I buy a course, I know I’m getting the complete package of everything that person thinks I need to know to succeed. I’m grateful that I got your course back when it was available. It’s almost disappointing to hear there won’t be updated versions of it in the future—but I know I’ll still get value from your podcast and blog, too. So best wishes following the direction you want to go! You’ve been a helpful guide as I get started with my own sites.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Steve!

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