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Our Game Plan For 2017 - Where We're Going, We Don't Need SEO

Well, maybe we will...

Number One's Focus For 2017

In the past, I have generally relied on SEO to send traffic to my websites. I would like to move further away from SEO and instead focus more on other ways to get traffic. SEO will still play a role, but I just don't want it to be a major focus. I need to diversify.

I want to focus more on:

  • Info marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Paid traffic
  • Social media
  • Parasite SEO

The goal of the last four activities above will be to drive traffic and get people on my email list. Email is a communication medium that is very appealing to me, mostly because of it's downright simplicity.

Everyone always says the money is in the list, so I'd like to see how true that is.

For a representation of what I'm aiming for, here's a graphic I made with XMind, which is a really nifty mind mapping software.

Info Products

I'd like to get some courses up on Udemy and similar platforms. I have no experience with this, so it will be an adventure. I'll do what everyone else does, find a problem in a specific niche, and then make the solution and sell it. On Udemy, the course will be primarily video.

Notice that the arrow goes both ways from email list and info products. This is because I'll use my email list to send traffic to my info products, and I'll also use info products to get people onto my email list. On sites like Udemy, I'm not sure if this will be possible, but I have heard you can use kindle ebooks to promote your email list.

Email Marketing

The gist will be to create squeeze pages that offer some juicy information in exchange for someone's email. From there I deliver the information as promised, after they double opt-in, and then I develop trust and promote my info product and other helpful affiliate products.

Content Marketing

The aim here will be to publish helpful content on various high-traffic websites, with the goal of getting them to visit my squeeze pages or my info products. Content marketing could include social media and... well, it's definition could probably encompass everything I listed here...

Semantics aside, how about we pretend content marketing means everything else not specifically mentioned; including guest posting, podcasting, infographics, etc.

Paid Traffic

I'll be experimenting with all sorts of paid traffic: facebook ads, twitter ads, pinterest ads, solo ads, bing ads, etc. The paid traffic will go to my squeeze pages.

Social Media

I'll share engaging content on the top social media platforms such as youtube, twitter, facebook, and pinterest, with the purpose of getting people to visit my squeeze page where they can opt-in to my email list. I will also use social media to promote my info products, parasite SEO pages, and various articles published elsewhere through my content marketing efforts.

Parasite SEO

Here I will be leveraging the authority of popular websites in order to rank the content I post on them. The goal will be to create content that targets certain keywords, post it to a high-authority website, and then boost the parasite with backlinks so it ranks for that keyword.

Off To The Races...

That sums up my focus for the remainder of 2017. My first step will be to either procrastinate and create imaginary roadblocks, or to go out and buy the most expensive make money online course I can find.

Forget it, I think I'll watch some Z-Nation.

Number Two's Goals For 2017: Authority Site Network

It may be 4 months into the year already, but that doesn't mean it's too late for a goals post.

My goals are centered around building an authority site network, so I will focus on:

  • Converting my niche sites into authority sites
  • Diversifying traffic
  • Automating processes

Adopt a Daily Routine That Doesn't Suck

We all want our daily routines to look something like this:

But in the solopreneur game, when you are starting out - a stage I know well because I've been stuck there - your days can and will be met with exploding amps. Sometimes because of self-screwups, freak accidents, or sabotage because somebody wants what you have more than you do.

If you are the captain of time and space, you probably won't have to deal with this, and can go on living your perfect fucking life.

But if you're not captain of time and space, I like to believe - have to believe - there's still hope.

If one were to diagram our daily routines, it'd look more like this.

This is also a great example of how Machine Learning works - a form of artificial intelligence, currently being used by Google to deliver more accurate search results, and organize your gmail inbox.

The direction your day goes is largely controlled by forces that make setting one path, one schedule, to follow every day pretty dang difficult.

This isn't to say you shouldn't try. We have to try.

But instead of making a giant diagram that looks like a giant game of plinko, start with something simple, and add to it as you go.

This is what I threw together, and is a basic draft for what will eventually be similar to the diagram above. It looks nothing like the above diagram because it's a draft, that also shows what my routine looked like before.

Video will sometimes be replaced with other similar, creative activities like writing; and likewise for the other green boxes. I will add more branches as I encounter new obstacles.

I'm excited about this process because it more accurately represents me as a person, and how I work. For years I tried to box myself into a fixed routine, failing 100% of the time. Rather than fight how I work, I will embrace it.

And if you find yourself hard to box into a daily routine, then maybe this will work for you too.

Transform Average Niche Sites Into Above Average Authority Sites

My goal for 2017 is to create an authority site network. This will built off the back of 1 website, which I'll share with you below.

First, here is how the site is basically setup:

Like most wordpress blogs, traffic goes to 3 parts: categories, posts, and pages. To establish this as the 1st authority site in the network, I will be changing a couple of things.

Categories will no longer be something a user can navigate through to find relevant posts. Instead, users will be taken directly to Pages, which will be highly informational pages that will become valuable resources for the topic.

There is no word limit set for these Resource Pages. The plan is to add as much as needed to make them the most valuable place online for the topic. Moreso, I want them to be pages a viewer would want to live in. To add to the resource qualities of the page, I will add lists of posts on the site that fit the topic.

A Tool will be created that will essentially be a database that users can do highly targeted searches through to find products that meet their needs. If it works, it should be pretty awesome, and something with huge sharing potential.

To give you an idea of where the site currently at, here's a screenshot of how many posts, pages, and words are it has:

And what kind of traffic does a niche site with 251 posts, 75 pages, and 130,406 words get?

 

That's been slapped by panda and penguin in the past?

The above screenshot is from my Addthis dashboard, which gives me almost everything I care to know in one convenient panel. I don't use google analytics (GA) because it's a pain in the ass, and 99% of the time the stats are skewed beyond belief because some Russian gets his rocks off messing with everyones stats. Tools that are popular like GA, tend to get messed with.

I use Addthis because it's simple and to the point, and has kick ass sharing tools.

 

Now that you've seen my niche sites stats, here's 4 metrics I want to improve, and how I plan to do so:

  • More traffic from social sources
  • More traffic from bing
  • More shares
  • More follows

Create an Authority Site Network

So far, the network is a simple collection of 3 topically related websites.

Authority site #1 is the niche site I shared with you above. Authority site #2 and the Community Site are nothing more than sites with a few pages. Once I am done with #1, I will repeat the process on #2. Because the niches for each site are so similar, I'll be able to use the same systems and processes I used on #1 to build out #2, quickly and easily.

To keep this Goals post from being longer than it needs to be, I'm going to save explaining how the niches are similar, and what inspirations/examples I've come across in a new separate post on Authority Site Networks (subscribe to the newsletter to get notified when this post is released).

Essential Tools I am Using to Make This Happen

I would not be able to do this without these tools. They are absolutely key in building my network, because I use them practically every day. Non of these links are affiliate.

  • Scapple - This is what I used to make the simple looking mindmap-style graphics above. I say mindmap-style because scapple isn't just a mindmapping tool. It can be used to quickly take notes and draft up operating procedures. The developer describes it as a freeform text editor - which puts it in an entirely different box than normal text editors.  It is insanely fast and intuitive to use, and because so, I love finding any reason to use it.
  • DesktopServer - If you want to make a TON of changes to a website, a great solution is to download a copy of it and host it locally on your own computer. This lets you edit the entire thing without worry of breaking it and ruining the visitors experience. I use DesktopServer because it makes hosting a website right on your machine easy. When I am done making changes to my sites I can then export the entire install right to my server, overwriting the current website with the new, revamped version.
  • InfiniteWP - This platform makes managing wordpress sites easy. The biggest benefit being that it isn't bloated like Jetpack, which also offers centralized management of all your wordpress sites. What it does come with is a better suite of tools that help you protect, monitor, and maintain your sites. I currently have it running on my computer, via a local install, through DesktopServer.
  • Ubot - I'm using this to automate some things. There's still a lot to learn on my end about bot building, but what I have created with it so far helps me stay on top of my niche, and automate repetitive tasks.
  • Easel.ly - An easy to use infographic creator that I have been using for a couple years now to make simple, yet valuable infographics. It is cheap, fast, and fun to use.
  • PowerDirector - The fastest and easiest video editor out there that can also produce professional videos for niche sites. Uploading to Youtube is stupid fast and simple. I am using this for standalone videos that require a more professional touch than the service below.
  • Lumen5 - Like Animoto, this tool allows you to create simple slideshow style videos for sharing on social media. However, it's differentiating feature is that it helps you create these videos out of pre-existing content on your site. The videos it produces are perfect for Twitter, and maybe Facebook. I'm learning my niche site Facebook page has fans with hella-high standards, and lumen5 vids may not be of high enough quality for their liking. Stuck-up bastards.
  • GravityForms - Smooth and versatile as hell. I sometimes get lost in how much can be done with it. It's almost not even a form builder, but an entire CMS in itself. I'm using it to create a pretty sweet feature for my niche site. I could've used another plugin to create this feature, but the benefit of using GravityForms is that it is a plugin that is going to be around for the foreseeable future, whereas most other plugins will not.  The fewer plugins I rely on, the better.
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