Friday Wrap: Manageable Lists

Today’s wrap is going to be short, earlier in the week I got one of those whiteboards that I had been thinking of getting for year’s and just never got around to doing.

I then put everything I had floating around in my head. “not good”

Not a good idea to fill it up like this.

Bad Idea way too much stuff as I have learnt in the past list’s or whiteboards are there to help you not overwhelm you, with about 6 months work on the board I ended up not knowing where to start and doing next to nothing for a few days.

Anyways I have now wiped it clean and added just what can be done for the day, “I can always refer back to the photo” The board has helped in a few other ways though adding a new product that floats through my mind to sell and needs to be researched. It has also allowed me to see very clearly what I need to be doing now, and that is anything that produces instant cash.

Luckily I have an extensive background with eBay and just a little less with other sales channels. When I arrived in Thailand I started looking for things I could easily sell on eBay “I’m inquisitive by nature and can happily walk around markets for hours” coming from America I had a pretty good Idea what I wanted small, repeatable, and upwards of $15 profit per sale. I found very little nothing fitting this criteria. I’m now looking at it differently and am finding lots of small lines I could develop at very little cost, 10 or so like this could easily be worth $500 a month been in Asia I also dont have to worry too much about the problem with eBay that it can be quite labor intensive, as help is cheap here. Something that makes eBay a very difficult back in the West.

I also spent a some time reading through the reports over at Niche Site Challenge It was interesting to follow some of the main contestants progress, more so as they most all revealed the sites. It’s pretty fascinating seeing just how much effort is put in to building back-links and how it is working well, I do have this nagging feeling that one day a lot of the back linking  methods been used today in mass with these type of sites will suddenly lose value overnight, another reason for me to diversify and get the basics covered by something that is not so volatile.

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Friday Wrap: A change of direction and things to do in 2012

This last week has been a very good week I launched my new site Staying in Thailand and it’s coming along very nicely I’ve also been reading a lot of other people’s sites and have noticed a flurry of posts with goals for 2012 I normally take a pass on this type of thing and that’s probably why my business has been failing. Motivated by all the guys and gals throwing around such large numbers, it’s made me think about what I should be doing, or should it be what I want for myself, more so as I now know what its like to just survive and travel and be semi retired.

When I was a lot younger I regularly set some very high goals for myself, most of the time I didn’t meet those goals occasionally I would fall a little short or even quite a lot short. What I’m realizing though is that by setting goals I would achieve far more than I would have with no goals at all.

So I have decided to dedicate this Friday’s post to the things that I’m aiming for during 2012 It would be real easy to sit down and add a few financial totals. The simple fact is I have been around long enough to know it is more about setting out a whole bunch of things to do, the financial totals will then pretty much look after themselves if you do those things.

#1 Creating content writing pages, this is not something that I enjoy doing; it is probably the thing that I’m least skilled at. I am finding though that I’m able to create content a little more quickly than I was a year ago and it’s not quite as painful each time.
My first goal is to create at least one new page of content every day for the whole year 365 pages. Simply doing this should increase my basic income by about 50% based on the number of pages that I already have in my portfolio. $6000

#2 Contact at least five other website owners each week, who could be interested in advertising on one of my websites, this goes back to the whole basis of ask and you shall receive, otherwise you get zilch $5000

#3 Finalize launch and promote my new product / service at www.zeromatch.com Keywords with little Competition that I created $3000

#4 Regain the authority that two of my websites once commanded before October enabling my base income to return to more than $1000 a month. $12000

#5 Find and maintain some small consulting jobs. $2500

#6 Start and maintain a small eBay business that generates $2500

#7 Sell some of my websites $5000

#8 Hire a full time VA – $6000

Total for all this is $30,000 for the year.

Whats real weird is just by writing down different things to do, the total I would have thrown out $20,000 on a good day, just jumped by 50% and no one single thing above is in anyway aggressive most are pretty conservative.

On a more personal note I like to get more technically savvy “think Google reader and the likes” I’m still kind of a dinosaur in these area’s only having recently ventured in to the realms of podcast’s, rss and more.

Travel to at least two new countries this is also weird considering that I was expecting to be traveling all over the world when I left America two years ago.

Lastly travel back for a holiday to England and America before June of 2013.

This is a whole lot of goals and feels like a total change in direction from where I was sitting 6 months ago, it feels good though and kind of exciting having a whole lot of stuff on my plate to do, something I’m much more accustomed too. I tried the not having to work and being semi retired over the last 18 months and found it to be not a great choice for myself. Here is to a busy 2012 year of the Dragon.

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December 2011 Earnings Report

December was pretty bad I ended up earning $538 this is equivalent to what I was earning about three years ago, looking at a 12 month rolling average I maintain. Towards the end of the month things started to look up a little, it seems like that I reached the bottom just before Christmas, which is quite logical because December is always an off month for me. Expenses for the month were pretty much the same as normal, domain renewals have gone down over the last few months as I’ve been getting rid of a lot of domains that before I would’ve kept, domain renewals are now running at approximately 4 domains a month’s + hosting of about $15 a month.

Even though my earnings and now running where they were three years ago I don’t expect it to take three years to get back to where I was in October, taking a guess it will take somewhere between six months to a year. One thing that I do feel certain about is that I will get back to the that same point and my business will be on a much more solid foundation than it ever was before.

Monthly Earnings from day 1

Even though it hurts financially to be knocked back 3 years I have to say that I’m quite happy about it, the reason being that I’m now working again and enjoying it, the last few years I’ve been given what can only be deemed as a pass with my earnings climbing 10 to 15% per year every year doing very little. If you had asked me three years ago what I thought about this business I would’ve said build it and forget it, this business is the best thing since sliced bread. I truly don’t believe today that this is the way to go or a model that has a sustainable future.

In December I ended up finishing one site, which was a total success in the sense that its earnings went from (X) to 2.5 x (X) a month. I think a few tweaks and another few pages could get that to 5 x (X) I also created a product related websites selling a service which I know quite a lot about, this is 75% finished. Finally in the last 10 days of the month I set up another site which is now live, it is a site that deals with Living in Thailand and what you get for less than $500 a month. Each day for 31 days during the month of January I will be adding a page about my expenses and activities that day showing how you can Live in Thailand well with less than $500 a month, plus a topic a day concerning the whole living in Thailand thing, based on my own experiences, not quite sure where it’s going to go exactly long term, what I do know is that I will have a 30 page website by the end of the month.

I’ve also started to do a lot more detailed testing during the month of December, which I’m ashamed to say I have never done before. Before experiments for me were in the mind, you do this you get that, seem to work, is making money. I’m now focusing on some very small points following them, monitoring them, and seeing what the results give. Most time the results are inconclusive but occasionally I’m seeing things, which are black-and-white which will enable me to upgrade a lot of my websites over to next year, in a logical proven way.

A couple of days back I decided to sit down with a list of domains and websites that I own and detail next to each one, very roughly what needs to be done with that website or domain to get to a point where I feel comfortable that it essentially finished and awaiting results. I have 342 days work in front of me, based on a very conservative estimate, so I have my work cut out for the next year and a very well defined roadmap.

After reading an article recommended by a friend the other day on how to write quickly, “maybe not professionally but fast” I honed in on a couple of things one was freestyle writing and the second was setting a time limit. Creating content has to be my least preferred thing and something I do not do well, In America I could afford quite easily to pay others to write for me so it was not a problem, as I look back now though I can see that’s what I was having written was not that good the business then was so easy that all you needed to do was just put it on the web and voila your making money, this method of doing business in my opinion is pretty much extinct. Sure one can still outsource content it needs to be very good though and one needs to edit it afterwards. The only other option “which I’m kind of stuck with” is to write it your self, as I need to develop my business which equals more content I’m having to learn how to write, and write quickly. After reading about freestyle writing and trying it, I decided to incorporate something that I continually go back to but never seem to stick with, using Dragons speech to text software. I have dabbled with this software for years now, buying the top of the line version before leaving It’s pretty awesome to say the least, it just has a huge learning curve if your aiming for 100% my last effort using it a few months back was better than the previous efforts, in that I learned to just talk and not look at the screen “sure it makes a few mistakes” around 20% the speed was incredible though. After giving this freestyle thing a go the other day I realized that I could do the freestyle part very easily with Dragon then just go back and edit afterwards. Initial results are promising I can talk a thousand words 3-4 times quicker than I can type.

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