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Thread: Totally new to this...what should I do?

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    Totally new to this...what should I do?

    Hi all

    I'm a new member to this forum, which I discovered accidentally, (I was searching for hosting reviews!) and almost as new to making money online.
    As is the case with most people I guess, I started looking into making money on the internet when my personal circumstances changed. As the economic downturn has affected lots of people I suppose I'm not the only one looking into alternative income streams.
    Unfortunately for me my endeavours have remained at the research stage and the phrase "paralysis by analysis" has taken on a whole new meaning. This isn't the only limiting factor in my online money making career since raising a young family and working a 45 hour week also plays a part.
    I should mention that even in this information age, I have never owned, created or sold a website. I havent even started a blog...no not even a free one! So my initial question is should a luddite like me attempt to break into this industry? The reason I ask is because I know I'm not stupid, I'm no Einstein admittedly but I can turn my hand to most things I've tried in my offline life. But this industry with all its tech speak and jargon has a knack of making you seem daft very easily!

    I was really impressed with the list of 101 ways to make money online on this site as it has taken me months to sift through all the spammy "buy this ebook to get rich" type schemes to get through to the actual methodologies that do make money. Its implementing any of them that has been the stumbling block!


    Whilst this site, from my initial reading at least, tends to focus on buying and selling of sites to make money I want to start from the ground up. I have to scrape together some start up money and want to build niche sites with a view to using affiliate programs to earn commissions, selling physical products. I have decided to buy 10 domains in the first year and try and develop them. To you experienced people that may seem like childs play but to me its a steep learning curve. I have been dabbling in HTML and CSS but I think I want to use wordpress as a CMS. Its supposed to be easy but I've installed it locally on my machine but even that has me stumped sometimes!

    Does this seem a viable option? I understand I wont become a millionaire overnight, to be honest, if I can cover the cost of the sites themselves and make a bit of pocket money it will be a successful venture in my book (baby steps and all that)

    The part of this that has me really confused is figuring out how to gauge whether a niche is worth going after as a complete newbie. I'm trying to go after the 'low hanging fruit' as I've heard the longtails with little competition called but I cant work out how to decide which niches it would be possible to rank for? Surely its not just a case of throwing up lots of sites to see which stick, is it?

    Sorry for the long post. I've been reading for so long that I'm afraid this will remain simply another thing I tried and gave up on without ever really giving it a go.

    I hope I can go on in this industry to become someone who is able to offer advice rather than just gratefully accepting it.

    Any and all advice/tips are welcome.

    Thanks

    Slim

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    I have to scrape together some start up money and want to build niche sites with a view to using affiliate programs to earn commissions, selling physical products. I have decided to buy 10 domains in the first year and try and develop them.
    I love posts like yours because they show the poster has done his research and is willing to roll his sleeves up and get his hands dirty. It certainly beats the eight word posts I've seen in some places: "I want to make money. Tell me how"

    Our members here are usually helpful with stuff like this so I'm going to let them provide some answers for you. LukeMoulton from Flippa, Michelle from Michelle Adams, anybody else? Make this a nice thread for me - with a lot of relevant and helpful links, and I'll create a sticky thread for newbies - the people who come in here with various skills and the potential to make valuable contributions - but who lack some of the knowledge we do in some areas. The sticky would link to this thread and all other "How do I start?" threads and help other newcomers by giving them something to read and digest before they start asking questions (kinda like we've got a how to value a website thread and therefore don't get the numerous requests for valuations like we used to get in Sitepoint)

    Slim, welcome again, and I'll drop in here later.
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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    Hi Clinton

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I love posts like yours...
    Well thats a better reception than I got in a few other places! Although in my naivete, a lot of my early posts were like the one you mentioned. Until I realised that no one was going to give me all the answers.

    I guess I'm just looking for advice to help me get started and take some action!
    So to all the people Clinton referred to, is this idea viable? Should I be using wordpress? Is selling physical products still workable?
    Does my outlined idea have a glaring hole that I'm not seeing? And most importantly how do I decide which niches to attempt given my experience, or lack of it? I realise there is software to help do this but I have stayed away from these partly due to budgetary constraints but also because I'd like to understand how to do it manually. Kind of like long division...you could use a calculator but wheres the fun in that!
    Also how easy is it to get accepted with the various affiliate schemes? I assume they all want a site to see before hand. Would a wordpress blog layout with decent content be sufficient for this?

    Oh look, more questions!

    Thanks

    Slim

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    With the limitations you are dealing with (lack of both time and money), I'd suggest starting with one, not ten. Try to do something that's going to be fun for you, not just focused on make money. You're going to run into spots where it's hard to motivate yourself to work on the site, we all have times like that, and having it be something you enjoy will help you through those times. I would recommend a small content based website to start. Not a blog or forum those take much more time.

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    Slim, start by telling us about some things you're interested in. Hobbies, special interestes, etc. And, no I wouldn't recommend you start with an ecommerce site either. Not with your limitations of funds and time to deal with.

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    Hi Peter

    Thanks for your advice. I want to start a total of ten sites over the course of the year. The reasoning behind this is since I dont have any experience yet is to try different areas to see which converts best. I understand that I may not be able to commit to all ten straightaway so will be starting off with just one...10 is just where I want to be say at the end of year 1, not a concrete number though.

    When you say content based site do you mean pure html/css site rather than wordpress? As I said, coding and the technical side isnt my strongest suit and from what I've read wordpress is inherently better for natural SEO is it not? Also these wouldnt be ecommerce sites as such, with shopping carts tagged onto them but rather there to refer customers onto other shop sites where, hopefully, they would buy.
    I follow what you said about it taking longer for a forum or blog but I want to really use wordpress backend with the front looking more like a static site than a blog...just can't figure out how to do that yet! Would you advise against this in favour of a traditional content based html site?

    I totally agree with your point on doing something I'm interested in and my research into niches thus far has been along these lines. Its just that those areas already seem way beyond my reach in terms of competition. I guess my interests are too average! I knew I should have been raising bearded dragons instead of mountain biking and doing bmx stunts!

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    I've built many a content sites using Wordpress. It's a great platform to start with. Yes, it's typically considered a blog platform, but you can get Wordpress Themes that will make it into a content site.

    What makes you think you can't do a site about mountain biking? Just don't try to cover everything about mountain biking. The more niche you go inside the topic, the better. What I'd suggest is do some keyword research. What you want to find is a keyword within the topic of mountain biking that has some good volume, but is somewhere between the short head and long tail. What you want is a happy medium between demand for the keyword and competition for ranking for the keyword.

    Hope that makes sense.

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    Glad to hear you say that about wordpress. I thought I'd have to dig out the html for dummies book again for a minute there. Could you recommend any good wp themes for a nice clean looking frontend. I've been messing about with atuahualpa theme because it has its own built-in theme options as pure css is a bit much for me. And its free!

    I have been looking into various niches within mountain biking and have a list of possible areas to target. Would I be right in thinking that it helps, even slightly, if you can get an exact matching domain. I will be targetting specifically the UK so if I can get an exact .co.uk thats better than getting something more generic?

    I understand what you said about finding the happy medium of exact uk searches in google keyword tool and the competition. This is where I'm getting stuck. How do you decide whether something is achievable? At the moment I'm searching for the keyword in quotes on google and seeing what appears on page 1 (is this the same as allintitle:"keyword"?). Then i check these sites for the number of backlinks using yahoo site explorer. Is this enough? What other info should I be checking to decide? Would say a site with over a 100 backlinks be too hard for a newbie? Some sites I see on page 1 have very few backlinks, are these the ones I should be targetting? Am I overthinking it all? Its stuff like this that has me paralysed and not able to take any real action.

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    You know what, most any WP Theme can be made into a static content site. Some are better than others at it. I'm most familiar with Studio Press and their templates make good static content sites. A lot of Flippa scheisters use them, though, so I've been moving away from them. The main thing you can do is instead of using the typical home page, go in the admin section and change it so the home page is a special page you setup. Then, just build the rest of the site using pages instead of posts. Quite simple actually.

    Getting an exact match domain is big right now. It does help you rank in Google for the keyword. How long that advantage will last is anyone's guess. If the exact match domain is unregistered, that's a no-brainer. If someone has registered it and it's for sale, you could potentially buy it, but sometimes these domainers want stupid money for stuff like that. Get a .co.uk domain if UK is always going to be your primary market.

    You might want to install and familiarize yourself with tools like Aaron Wall's SEO for Firefox. There's no easy rule about what's too competitive, what keywords are worth going after, etc. Stuff like that comes with familiarity with the market, and therein lies one of the key reasons for limiting yourself to one site at first. You can't possibly learn ten markets in your spare time. Master one before you consider branching out. An exact match with a handful of backlinks can very often outrank a site with hundreds of backlinks. How many links a site has is just one measure of how competitive it is to rank against it.

    Yea, you're overthinking it. Don't worry if your first site fails. I have way more failures than successes. You're far better off getting going with a site that is doomed to fail than to keep analyzing the situation and not getting anything done. Get some real experience under your belt.

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  13. #10
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    Slim, if I were starting today I wouldn't think 10 domains. I'd concentrate on doing a really good job on one or two. Unless you're working full time on the sites, it would be difficult to give every site the attention it needed. Even if you picked static/evergreen sites, there's still linkbuilding etc., to do on the earlier ones.
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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