Q & A

Thanks to Gary for sending in some questions

As someone who is really only a few months into learning about the wide possibilities and opportunities available on the web (domaining/flipping/adsense/seo/leasing/mini-sites/affiliating/etc) one of my personal biggest problems is sheer information overload. Every day I seem to see some amazing new opportunity to make an income quicker than the way I just started. And the barrage of skills to learn, content to comprehend and tools to pick up is literally overwhelming. How do you guys deal with the mass of information out there and focusing on your tasks? How do you overcome distractions?

The amount of information available for free is simply mind numbing but it can be very helpful, most of the blogs out there simply regurgitate news and info so you need to find the sources and concentrate on them, you’ll find that if you spend many hours on forums and blogs everyday then your being unproductive – yes you pick up the odd bit of info but you waste days reading when all the real work happens away from forums & blogs. Set aside 30 minutes in the morning to scan the forums/blogs of interest and then get down to the practical work, you’ll achieve much more by doing rather than reading about others doing it.

And how do you select projects to work on – what criteria would you use to choose what to drop and what to take on?

I’m an opportunist so that is determined by what opportunities I can create, I don’t have any natural skills or specific experience so when I am hunting out domains or sites I will get one YES or purchase in maybe 100+ emails/contacts made, that yes determines what is added to my portfolio and then I work out whether I would be interested in developing it out, for example I have been wanting to do a geo project for a while and contacted around 50 domain owners trying to find something affordable and then an opportunity suddenly arose from nowhere, which I will talk about in a few weeks.

On a related note, I am sure there are many people like me who are working hard right now on a site that they are hoping to turn into a steady 2nd income. Now, more than ever, there seems to be such a wide range of places/ways to advertise and ways to invest/waste your money to seek/drag visitors to your site that it’s truly hard to know how to get a return of reasonable results for your investment. Have you ever considered some sort of mentor or advisory service (paid or free) to use your experience to help others out?

I am not sure Al or I would see ourselves as mentors or the finished article, we are both busy and very much in the middle of doing it ourselves, SMM is a free advice service though, although the idea of a UK workshop/version of Elite Retreat would be cool.

Any tips on how to know when to outsource? Personally I never know when I am better to learn to do something or outsource. So I do it all. But somewhere in my head is the idea that I should ideally not do anything other than oversee and manage – surely this would be a dream situation?

Al did a post on when to delegate and I did a post on the fact that you may need help along the way.

What sites, forums & blogs do you guys use and recommend? SelfMadeMinds always seems ahead of the pack, especially as you are writing about things in the past tense! Where do the ideas come from?

All our posts are our experiences which made the first year of writing really easy and fun as we have both made plenty of mistakes and tried and tested numerous methods along the way with various success. Forums and blogs are fun and at times educational but they do not offer me the best way to be productive, getting in touch with website & domain owners out of the blue offers greater opportunity. Acorn Domains is a daily visit but nothing else is a must read for me.

A lot of people would want to be in your shoes – but who do you look up to?
Who impresses you with what they do in business?

Loads of people and at the same time nobody in particular, no idol as such, I like to learn from anyone who has had success that has been earned, I especially admire people who have taught themselves and left their comfort zone to achieve their dreams, Al is an inspiration, – he set out his stall early and posted on DP that he planned on building his site(s) to leave his 9-5 job and become fully self employed and with continued success and growth is a real inspiration. I could never be that organised.

More than anything else I like to learn by my own tests, trials and mistakes and learn from experience rather than others, I don’t always take the quickest route – you can’t always believe what you read and you can find a way to make a success where others have failed.

What are the common mistakes in your opinion that you see people making online in their quest for financial success?

The common one’s would probably be:

Thinking about nothing but the money right at the start
Adding Adsense/adverts all over their site when it has little traffic and backlinks
Compromising on content quality
Not considering visitor retention highly enough
Not focusing on one website or niche, it’s easier to build in one area and later launch other sites off it, throwing up 100 sites won’t do it.

Readers Question – Things to check when buying a site

A reader question was sent in that I will discuss today and if you have anything to add please do so in the comments.

I’ve been to Sitepoint to have a look around but I don’t feel comfortable in evaluating the different opportunities.  Are they priced right? Are they really THAT passive? Are the traffic truly real? etc. I’m writing to you in the hope that you could either give me a few good hints or maybe point me in the right direction.

ShoppingSitepoint is probably still the largest and most active website buying/selling marketplace with more choice than ever before, more than that there are also many more buyers with budgets than there were a few years ago so the chances of making a sale are better even if it’s a high budget.

First you have to consider the motive for selling, for me I would not be interested in selling a zero maintenance website for 12 to 24 times the net monthly income so why would anyone else? Usually the main reason is either

  • They know the website has a shelf life and want out before it slumps
  • They need a quick injection of a large amount of cash for debt or investment

 So a major worry when buying a site in my eyes would be to satisfy yourself the subject matter is not a fad, not  a popular TV show forum that is getting cancelled or a technology that will soon be dated, if you can do your homework and feel secure that the reason for selling is genuine and the subject matter has longevity next up you need to weigh up whether the site is right for you and value it.

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