Being Bloody Minded And Soaring Earnings To New Heights

So, I know that things have been really rather quiet since the forum has opened. I guess that if I am being honest I love the chatty side of things when it comes to IM, and that has mostly moved to the Pond. And I have not been blogging much here, as frankly I haven’t had much to say.

A lot of what would normally be posted here is posted in the forum, and that is just the way the cookie crumbles. I can’t face writing something there then basically repeating myself here, dat be stooopid.

But, and I know you are all getting excited (not), I got the inspiration today, and this is the way I have always worked when it comes to the make money blogs. I do not want to post just for the sake of it, that be daft innit. So I wait for the inspiration to hit, and when it happens I get busy.

And this is sort of what this post is about today, getting busy, but in the right way.

Focusing In On Your Niche

Unless you are a very nooby noob then you will be earning a little bit of cash. It may even be a lot of cash. What a lot is is down to you I guess, it’s all relative. But the one thing that I have become dramatically aware of this year is that some real focus and dedication can turn what is a “good” niche into a downright bloody amazing one.

And this is the problem with a lot of folks in IM, me included. Not taking real advantage of the niche that is earning you the most money, or has the potential to do so.

People are unfocused and they flit from one thing to another without giving anything the full attention it deserves.

I have said a number of times that you could spend your life working one niche, and for a lot of people this is probably the best advice I could give you.

Stop dicking about onΒ  the Internet and get serious.

If you want to earn a lot of money that is. A real focus is needed if you really and truly do want to make the most of a site, or a niche,Β  that you are doing quite well in. You need to put all of your efforts into it and you need to really make sure that this is real effort, and not just play.

By play I mean that you say you are going to make this site, or niche, happen and rank number one for thousands and thousands of keywords, but really you just send a few links a day, write the odd post, and dick about on Facebook. Which, by the way, I have been very absent from of late.

So, lets’ take a look at what I have been doing of late to begin to be reaching doubling what I have been earning from a niche.

Building Out The Other Properties

Yeah, that old chestnut. It bears repeating though. Do NOT rely on just one website if you are making good money in a niche. Build out other properties and put some work into them. Buy aged domains, put content on them, backlink them and use them for links. You need to cover yourself if something happens to your main site. Begin today and make sure that you always have a good number of backup sites in place. I cannot stress this enough, and you really should do this, as soon as possible.

Web 2.0

In the Web 2.0 Marketing book I go into Web 2.0 strategies in depth, but I wanted to give you an update on my findings over the last few months.

I have been building out 10 Web 2.0 properties to each post on a site that has the most potential, and has the best rewards if I can get to number 1 for the main terms. Most posts already rank for tens if not hundreds of longtails and lately I have been chasing the short main terms.

Which is the best way to approach things by the way. Don’t target the main competitive term for a site or a post straight away. These things take time and why should you suddenly get top rankings for the best keywords when you have no history behind you? It makes sense to first be popular for longtails that people have used to come across your site.

So check your stats and backlink for any terms you are given, and get to number one for them. That way you show the Google Gods that you deserve the results they are giving you. You build on them until you begin to rank decently for the main tough terms then it is time to go to town on them.

For me this means that you gradually begin to build up your attack. Begin with BMR and other things and gradually shorten your keyword anchors until you are backlinking for the tough term. By the way Build My Rank is still working amazing well and is by far the best backlinking solution I have ever come across.

Take The Trial Or Sign Up HERE

But such things are often not enough for tough terms. You need to take it further. And my results have been pretty amazing, I have to say.

So, once the history is there for the longtail and related terms I have been getting serious.

10 Web 2.0 for a post and then each of those gets a shed load of links. Stacking your links is Old Skool but still works like a dream. I have been using fivver for AMR blasts, wiki links, social bookmarks, forum profiles, you name it, I done it innit. All those links are giving an amazing boost to the chosen properties and the results have been impressive.

Number 1 rankings for a ton of short tail terms that has increased traffic by fifty percent and increased earnings dramatically. And this is what it is going to take, at least, for you to rank for some great terms. But you need a history behind you for strategies like this to work. You need to build up your authority. You need to rank for longtails, you need satellites with good PR to send real juice to your main sites. And then you top it off with a final push of more strong links for the shorttail, and often it is enough. If you think things like this happen overnight, think again. We are talking years of hard work to lead up to things like this in many cases.

Never forgetting that in all likelihood you are going to earn more overall by ranking for hundreds of longtails a post. Never forget the longtail.

It takes dedication and a long term view to really dominate your niche. And you should be thinking of having plenty of satellite sites, aged domains if possible, Web 2.0, and anything else you can think of. But that is not enough, you need to go a bit:

Backlink Bonkers

Not in an overtly aggressive way, don’t get me wrong, but you need to begin to focus on your main niche if you are to soar the earnings. Make one niche your sole priority in life until it is doing so well that you are near enough running out of keywords to rank for. Which should be pretty much an impossibility if you make proper sites.

What I mean by backlink bonkers is that you need to begin to strengthen your backlink profile. Begin to really stack your links. Don’t just leave your links after they are made. Like with the Web 2.0 example it may well be time to begin to backlink all your backlinks. Use fiverr, or, and this is what I use, Backlink Solutions, Backlinks Philippines and Build My Rank. Pretty much the only backlinking services I recommend. At least publicly. If you are a Pond member then you know about some of the private things we have going on, a certain Moldovian Man in particular has been giving everyone some astonishing results πŸ˜‰

Not Stopping

This is where most let themselves down…………………

ooh, a shiny thing.

Forget it.

You don’t need it.

Stick to your main niche and forget about everything else until you are sick as sick can be. And that could be years. It probably will be, this game is not easy. You need to put in the hours, days, months and years of work to make something amazing in terms of earnings. Just don’t stop, make it a mission.

I work a few main niches, some with months worth of breaks as I have work set up to run without me. But there is always temptation. I now limit myself with other niches, or don’t work them at all. But let me tell you it is not easy. Here is a list of some of my Amazon stats. This is what each site earned last year.

  1. $350
  2. 189
  3. 1585
  4. 54
  5. 160
  6. 54
  7. 0
  8. 803
  9. 279
  10. 1886
  11. 484
  12. 183
  13. 6000
  14. 6674
  15. 206
  16. 1519
  17. 1020
  18. 2563
  19. 289
  20. 200
  21. 820
  22. 310
  23. 2000
  24. 2043
  25. 795
  26. 14500

All different sites, niches and ages. Some brand new, some a few years old, all peripherals. All could be built up to earn more, but the reality is that there are other sites that do so much better. But it ain’t easy. That all adds up to a bit. Which is why I always say that it “all adds up”. Build out a ton of niche sites to begin with. And once you find the winners you have to leave all the above alone and pick the best few. Tough but worth it.

Don’t Run Out Of Steam

This is where most people really do come unstuck. They can’t stand it any longer. They can’t bear to write another word about “white socks”, it is inane and pointless andΒ  they need to do something else.

Stay poor Dude.

The people who really make a great success of a niche and reap the real rewards, life changing rewards, are the ones who will stick with a niche or two for years and years. They work it every day, they work hard at it, they dream abut it and they pay off their mortgage.

I see so much crap online when I look at MMO blogs that frankly I am of a mind to delete the lot of them from my reader. Nearly every one is full of total crap. It’s useless. You see stuff about engaging your readers, the usual 7 reasons why and all that stuff. The bottom lineΒ  is that you need to rank for your keywords.

That’s it. Decent copy, rankings, next.

If you don’t want to run out of steam then the bottom line is this, don’t.

It is totally down to you to suck it up and get on with it.

We have had numerous conversations in the pond about this. And my answer is not what some like to hear. Others see it as realistic. People say they have no interest in the niche, they want to work their passion site, the one that makes bugger all money. Go ahead, the reality is that this is not a luxury most of us have. The sites that YOU love the most may not be the ones that earn the most or have the most potential.

Do you see this as a job or something to have fun at?

I see it as a way to make money. Sure I have sites that I love and will spend some time on now and then, but the bottom line is that I want to earn money, and I WAN T to do this by ranking number one for thousands of terms for a niche.

I want to provide the solution to the searchers query and be the owner ofΒ  a helpful site, but I want to earn as much as I can too. And this means sucking it up and working any niche that has the most potential

The bottom line is that unless you are earning more money than you know what to do with then my advice is just get on with it. It’s better than working in aΒ  factory isn’t it?

Make It Your Mission In Life

Make number one rankings for tens of thousands of keywords your mission in life. Don’t think about stopping, don’t think about giving up, this is your future. Get used to it, it is the path you have chosen. Millions, maybe billions of people would give anything to be in theΒ  position that you are in. Don’t let them or yourself down. Make something of the chance and the knowledge you have somehow acquired.

Dominate your niche until you are untouchable. Satellites, authority sites, Web 2.0, dare I say a forum?

Whatever it takes.

Leave the luxury of a passion site for those that are either jammy buggers and can earn untold millions from their passion, or simply want to play about online, and get backlinking for your “white socks” sites, love it or hate it, the bottom line is that what you love may not be bringing home the bacon, more like a small pack of pork scratchings.

42 Responses to “Focus”

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  1. Rob Thomas says:

    Hey Dave

    Bet your fed up of me commenting all the time by now lol.

    This post was perfect timing for me as I have been “playing” about online over the last few weeks.

    FOCUS is a massive problem of mine I have to admit, I always go from one thing to the next. How long would you give a site before moving on though?

    I guess I know the answers to all my questions really, which is just type until your fingers wont let you press another key.

    Thanks for the post Dave.

    Rob Thomas

    • Dave says:

      Rob, the more the merrier Dude πŸ˜‰

      It’s impossible to say how long to focus on one niche or site, but you have to give them a proper go before you move on. My best advice is to build our a ton of sites to start with and then see what has the most potential. Then put all your energy into the best few, and then never let anything get in your way until you earn what you want to.

      The main thing is no messing about. You should be building 4 or 5 sites a week until you have a good stable of them. It allows them all to age a little and then you go back and work on them and take the winners to new heights.

      • Lynn says:

        This is what made me step back and realize I couldn’t just keep ignoring those empty sites I have. They need content and age while I work on massive amounts of content for my money makers and while I am still looking for better niches.

        • Dave says:

          Lynn, exactly. You just never know what you will uncover if you get them going with content. You may find that magic niche πŸ˜‰

  2. Sudarshan says:

    Another great post from Dave… I realized about the importance of aged domains today and will be using it in all my upcoming niche sites… Thanks for pointing out the truth Dave… I know it’s a bit hard to digest the fact that your passion site won’t make you money always!! But that’s the way it is.. So lets suck it up and produce more websites πŸ™‚

    • Dave says:

      Sudarshan, oops, you had hit the spam filter for some reason. Good job I checked, I never normally do.

      It sounds like your first aged domain buy is going to be great, looking forward to hearing the updates in the Pond. And very true words Dude, let’s just suck it on up and make da money, that’s what we are here for right?

      I mean, how many people have jobs where they actually love it? Not many I would wager. I love IM not always all my sites, as far as the topics are concerned. Doesn’t mean you can’t make top notch content and be the best there is though.

  3. Rob Thomas says:

    That was a fast reply fair play.

    I am just frustrated at the moment because I have hit a wall in terms of earnings, I have been around the same level for months now.

    I guess I need to find a level of work I can stick to because I usually do a massive amount for a few days then burn out.

    fk it anyway I have decided what my plan is and I am just going to FOCUS on it and see what happens.

    Thanks as always for your help Dave

    Rob Thomas

  4. Emma says:

    I love your motivating posts Dave! Great stuff!

  5. Anthony says:

    Ya plus one for BuildMyRank. I think its still one of the best tricks since EMD’s.

  6. Gayan says:

    Hey Dave!, long time no seeeeeee πŸ˜‰ …

    First of all, although I don’t have to say this as some of your above mentioned status speak up for themselves :), but I hope you’re doing well (and “Wifey” too).

    Excellent post man. Enjoyed it from start to the end. So Thank you!.

    Anyhow, for the record, in one of my sites, one day I just wrote a post about few upcoming computer products, and added like 4 amazon links in it.

    In the last Christmas season, that post alone earned somewhere close to $300, now that is a small amount in comparison with you dudes -;) but I was stunned by the fact that, what a single post with few amazonnnnneeeee links can do.

    The post is now way below in G because some big sites started to post about those products … but still, this really gave me some inspiration of how powerful amazon can be.

    And also, humbly mentioning, one of the things that I learned from that experience is, the importance of writing about upcoming products, as you can easily rank for some, and it might be for few weeks, until the “big dudes” come down on ya ;-), but it might worth it, sometimes (btw, those computers had somewhat, decent price tags which also helped while “collecting” amazon affiliate commissions, I think :D).

    I know, you’ve been telling this for years, but until that it happens to oneself … oh man!.

    I’m planing to this with an aged domain … anyhow, I need to focus, focus the heck out of me brains! ;-). Thanks for the post man. I really needed this.

    • Dave says:

      Gayan, all good here, thanks for asking. Hope you are well too. And nice going Dude, you did really well with that post. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them πŸ˜‰ getting in early for new releases can be very lucrative for sure, so always keep them eyes peeled. Thankls for the comment, great to see you doing so well.

  7. Matts says:

    This is so dead on Dave, I wish this post was glued on first page of all MMO blogs that there is out there. Still the advice given build a “passion site” is given in about every course there is.

    One quick tip, I think you should add a “MY Blog” link in the navbar inside pond. I were about to miss this post and I am so old school so i don’t use RSS feeds and I tend to go direct to the pond login page. I think a lot of folks do the same. Anyways great stuff.

    • Dave says:

      Matts, glad you liked it. And good tip about the Pond, I will see what I can do. Thanks.

      Now, go build that passion site! Joke.

  8. donlaw says:

    Thanks for the post Dave. I especially like the part about working sites that are profitable even though they may not be your passions site. It seems all the “Gurus” today tell you go and make a passion site and the money will role in…what a bunch of crap!

    I hate the MMO industry. I’d rather write about outdoor stuff….hunting, fishing, camping, boating, etc. And I have some popular sites in those niches…but by far and away my main income comes from my MMO sites. Krazy money Dave, Krazy money I tell ya!!!

    There’s been a few times I’ve actually felt guilty about how much money I was making per week. It was like “dayuum! Some people don’t make this in a year!” Then I realize how much work and money I’ve poured into those sites over the years and the guilt goes away and is replaced with “those sites should be making more!”

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

    • Dave says:

      donlaw, yep, my motto is earn the money, and that’s it. If you can give good info then it doesn’t have to be a passion.

      OK, you have me intrigued, sounds like you are doing amazing. And I am with you Dude, we work hard and deserve the success, and the money can be amazing. Cool eh? I wouldn’t change it for a thing. Long may it continue.

  9. Sometimes it takes several boots in the face to realize that even though you think “you’re different to the 95% who fail online” you’re actually slap bang in the middle – failing for the same reason everyone else is – chasing unrealistic, well sold dreams. Very cool post and very well timed.

    Thanks, will be back πŸ™‚

  10. Kerry says:


    Love the post. Thanks for that.

    Question: do you send backlink solutions links straight to your money sites? Do you filter them through web2.0 pages?

    Just curious.

    Thanks again


    • Dave says:

      Kerry, thanks. I used to but bottled it for main money earners as my paranoia grew. But the reality is that I still send them to satellites, and then they rank. So I don’t know why I worry really πŸ˜‰

      But once I do one run for a site then I do filter them, yes. And backlinking your web 2.0’s is extremely powerful at the moment. I have been seeing some amazing results this year.

      • Kerry says:

        when you “do a run for a site” is that sending bls links to the homepage, a particular money page, or throughout the site?

        • Dave says:

          Kerry I hardly ever link to my home pages, I link mostly to internal money pages. And normally that would be to 2 or 3 money posts with a BLS run, I usually do 100 spins with 3 urls. But if you do that it will be a lot of exact anchors so you need to have a variety of less optimized links from other places. Or do smaller runs and change the keywords for each url.

  11. Kerry says:

    Dave, do you have any sites where Amazon links coexist with CJ (or PJ, etc.) links? Do you find any problems with doing so? Have you ever changed a link from an amazon link to a CJ link? How did the commissions compare (larger com for product, but no potential for additional sales)?

    Just curious. Thanks.

    • Dave says:

      Kerry for a couple of niches, and this is very limited in terms of experience, I have swapped between CJ and Amazon and there have never been any probs in terms of rankings changes. And coexisting has never been an issue either.

      What I did find though was that coversions were insanely better for Amazon. But that may just have been the niches, but judging by what they were I don’t think so. If Amazon have it I now always use them without question. Even a lower commission was more than made up for with many more sales, and more sales of unrelated items etc.

      But, as always, do your own testing and come back and tell me how wrong I got it πŸ˜‰

  12. George says:

    So do I really have to write an endless topics about White Socks? Anyway, it’s really much better than working on a factory.

  13. Wesley Banks says:

    Awesome post Dave. I’ve been struggling the past couple months with focus, but it’s a matter of will and I just have to step it up.

    I do have one question. You said all the sites you listed were “peripherals.” Do you mean that those 26 sites are very similar niches? Like you may have made a site about “camping gear” that did awesome and then zeroed in on specific products within the niche? Just curious.

    • Dave says:

      Wesley, thanks.

      I just meant that they are not main money sites. They are in many different niches but none of them really gets full on FOCUS or attention like bigger earners do. It’s all about priorities, and sticking with sites that have the most potential, or are doing the best currently.

  14. Gary says:


    Instead of creating 20 satellite sites and trying to rank them and then create backlinks to your money site, how about finding some high PR blogs in the niche and renting ad space to put backlinks to the money site. Will that work?

    • Dave says:

      Gary, absolutely Dude. I have never been into buying links or ads but it is something I am going to look into. You can drive traffic and boost rankings the same as with satellites, Web 2.0 etc.

      Just watch the costs. If they are too high then you could just as well buy some high PR domains and have full control.

  15. Bryan says:

    Hi Dave,

    Great post. I’m been holding back a bit with new sites, for I’m unemployed and have been trying to get some sites making more but some of my best pages on the one site that started making money tanked during the last alg. change. My newer pages are doing better, then them. I think I figured out the problem, but I should be pumping out more sites, so I have more streams of income.

    I was wondering about the Web. 2.0. sites. Do you try to rank them and use long tail anchors, or are these based on primary keywords? It sounded that you’re trying to first rank your money sites for longtails for after awhile you’ll see stats including those long tail searches. I wasn’t sure though if you were using the Web2 sites for longtails.

    I appreciate your contributions, and I’ll be joing the Pond sometime soon.

    • Dave says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Bryan. Normally I build Web 2.0 for links, so I use the main keywords for both the name of the property and as the anchored link pointing to a money site. As there are a limited amount I like to use them to max effect. I will then use things like BMR etc for lots of longtails to money sites.

      And hey, be great to see you in the Pond πŸ˜‰

  16. Wesley Banks says:

    Dave, I’ve got a few random questions for you.

    My understanding (from this post) is that in addition to those 26 sites you also have another set of sites (your main earners). I’m curious how long it took you to build out all these sites and at what point did you decide to just focus on a few of the winners?

    Is there a monetary break line, like if Site X hits $XXXX dollars per month then forget everything else and just work on getting multiple sites up in that niche?

    I’m also curious how much content and what type of content you have on these sites. The problem I’m running into is creating sites around niches that have TONS of products and getting carried away by trying to do lots of product reviews. Do product review type posts make up the majority of your content? Or are these smaller sites based around just 1-2 products and then several posts that contain helpful information?

    Sorry for all the questions, just been kind of struggling to take it to the next level lately.

    • Dave says:

      Wesley, it took a few years for them to really get going. I decided to focus on certain sites as soon as I saw that the earnings ratios were good. i.e as soon as a site shows the niche converts well I will focus in on it. I don’t base it on what it currently earns, I base it on the potential it has. If it got 10 peeps a day and made money then I would know that it was a niche to really work hard in.

      It’s a tough call as to site layout. Like you I always struggled to know what to write. In the past I have been very guilty of basically doing a lot of multiple posts to cover different buying terms for a single porduct. Now I just do 1 killer post to cover everything I can. But all my main sites cover multiple products, not millions, maybe 20 and upwards.

      But my main sites are not really review sites, they are information sites with aff links. But that really comes down to the niche. Some you will have to write reviews just to fill out the copy, others have enough information so that you can just do that in your own voice.

      Not sure if this is gonna help or not!

      • Wesley Banks says:

        That was actually really helpful.

        I think one of my problems is getting away from sites with review style posts and really creating just an overall great site, full of information. The root cause seems to be that I typically find a niche by starting with a product. For instance, I may see a product in a magazine or at the store and go home to find out it’s a low comp keyword. Instantly I’ll create a site that revolves around doing, for example, 20 product reviews with aff links and 40 information posts with no aff links. Yes, that model makes money, but at the end of the day it doesn’t seem long term.

        So, when you talk about your main sites being information sites with aff links, that you have enough informatin for to talk about in your own voice that peeks my interest. I guess my question is what is your starting point to find these niches? Do you start with a physical product and work yourself into a niche or do you start with a solution to a problem and link out to products as you offer answers via posts?

        I don’t struggle to find good niches, but I struggle on the information side, on offering awesome stuff from a unique perspective instead of just writing reviews.

        • Dave says:

          Wesley, it’s a tough one Dude. It is why I like broad niches. I don’t know if you have seen the communal Pond site, but that is a good starting point. A niche where you can put up an aff post when you want, but where there is also basically an unlimited amount of informational post ideas to write about too.

          I guess I always start out with a product, the main thing is finding stuff in niches where it warrants adding lots of information. So, rather than White Socks you would maybe go with Hair Care. There would be products to write about but also a never ending number of different information articles you could write about. Plus you could make it personal and funny, and put a unique slant on it. I dunno, it is hard to put into words actually!

          • Wesley Banks says:

            Dave, last question (I promise).

            I hear what you’re saying about broad niches, but I’ve always been worried that it makes it more difficult to rank. For instance, I might write about hair care and then someone swoops in and writes just about hair curlers and out ranks me easily because they’re more targeted. Is that a completely unwarranted concern?

            • Dave says:

              Wesley, short term it is a concern, long term it isn’t. It’s hard to get your head around, but over a few years the larger more authority style site will win out. It is just a matter of keeping the faith over the short term though, when it seems like all the work isn’t paying off as it should.

              Personally, the anwer is: build out a ton of smaller satellites and rank them, and keep plugging away at the broader niche site so it will win out in the end. That way you earn well from the more focused small sites, while you slowly then overtake them, and everyone else, as you finally get real authority status for the large site.

              If you find a good niche then I would always go for it full bore. It can basically be a site you can work on for a lifetime. Scary stuff!

              And no problem asking questions, it’s cool to have some activity here and chat about these things. Even though I am no expert, I can assure you of that πŸ˜‰

  17. Pierre says:

    That’s a fucking great post. I did read a lot of english blogs about seo today because I needed to see other point view before planning some new link building/seo strategies for my website. I found your because you have probably be quoted as a good ressource by one of the previous blog I did read, and yes you are, excellent stuff here.