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Forget the Quick Buck & Play the Long Game

Think Big! It is often touted by many business giants.

However, my online business strategy is more of a systematic/grind it out approach.

My approach I believe provides a high probability of reasonable success but I do give up the opportunity to hit the grand slam.

Many of those that did hit a business grand slam credit “thinking big” and swinging for the fences.

Today’s post is great because it provides(with $millions of reasons why is he right) the argument for why thinking bigger is better then hitting the singles/doubles.

3 sports references in the intro – must be a new record!

Alan is a successful online/offline businessman who has sold a company he founded for several million dollars. Clearly someone who knows what he is talking about and shares his thoughts on the question of big thinking vs small thinking.

His approach isn’t for everyone but he has the success to back it up and clearly some…

brass

His six figure website challenge project is the largest in scope and also has the highest upside potential. It is also the one that will end up costing the most to get started.

Very interesting to see the different strategies from successful talented people in the six figure challenge group!

Take it away Alan…

thinkbig

A couple of years ago I started to set aside some analysis time to look into what makes niche sites work really well. Clear patterns emerged quickly. One one end of the spectrum were the ‘live fast, die young” sites, those that can be seen to rise and fall very quickly, especially when the latest search engine algorithms change. You’ll be familiar with them – thin content, few pages, poor grammar and dubious backlinks. And the temptation for many, when seeing one of these sites at the height of its SERP success, is to follow what appears to be a successful formula. Hey, it’s ranking, so why not? But deep down we know that this seedy side of SEM eventually won’t, and doesn’t even deserve to, succeed.

 

Small Thinking = Focusing on Keywords and Not Problems

Then there are the sites focusing completely on one keyword, making them just look ‘unnatural’.

One such site I’ve come across is a ticking time bomb for more than one reason. Although it’s based around one main key phrase, it actually has some pretty well-written content, a good partial-match domain name and a few good pages of relevant, OK quality content. And even though it clearly exists only to be an affiliate site, one could almost forgive the authors for monetizing at least some of its traffic. However, a bit of extra profiling revealed that every single one of its backlinks come from hacked sites. Yep, the site owner has decided to find vulnerable Joomla sites and exploit them by uploading a file with links back to their money site. Presumably the site owner is comfortable with this short-term thinking approach, but it’s just a matter of time until the site is going to crash and burn with a heavy penalty.

 

Small Thinking = Not Considering Humans!

It’s been said before by others but it’s incredible how so many Internet Marketers don’t stop to consider how their web site is viewed from the perspective of an actual user. Users being you and me, we’re not going to be taken in by the thin content. We hate poor grammar and will be out of the bad neighborhood once it dawns on us that we’ve turned down the wrong street. Bounce.

 

Big Thinking = Add Value Beyond Just “Words”

On the other end of the scale are the sites that have done things the right way and then taken things to the next level, starting with giving visitors engaging content that’s interesting and useful. The types that SEM evangelists tell you to emulate. They naturally attract links and popularity. A classic example is the ‘comparison site’ model. Many of these start as hobby sites and just grow. Sometimes, after establishing a following, a bit of technology is thrown into the mix, like live quotes from insurance companies. This might seem to be going beyond the initial skill set of someone who just wants to write a static web site but if you keep the momentum going and figure that it’s worthwhile for your audience then it might just pay to get some third-party assistance.

 

Big Thinking = Dominate a Market and Sell for $87,000,000

A great example is moneysavingexpert.com, a site started by UK financial journalist Martin Lewis in 2003. The site was put together to offer financial advice to consumers and grew to become a popular comparison site for mortgages, loans and ways to save money. This lent it perfectly to the affiliate commission model and it stayed true to it’s commitment of showing its visitors the best deals available regardless of the commissions paid by it’s affiliate partners. In short, it earned trust and respect.

Less than a decade after the site was started, it was sold for a staggering £87,000,000 (USD $128,000,000) to one of its competitors,moneysupermarket.com.

If Martin can do it, so can you.

Big Thinking = Take the Plunge & Go Full Time

Taking risk is not for everyone, but if you’re going to get serious about making things happen then you are going to need to put the pressure on yourself. Things won’t happen overnight and naturally you’ll need patience to execute your strategy and get results. The missing ingredient is often your time which is required to realise the vision.

When deciding to take the leap of faith and leave the secure world of full-time employment to start up my first company, the first 6 months or so were financially challenging. But if you back yourself and work hard then the probability of success is high. Once you think about ‘The worst that can happen’ – in many cases, needing to go back to a permanent job again after a set time period – things might not seem all that overwhelming.

Research

If you’re going to do well at something you’re going to need to know your stuff. One of those things is your niche subject matter and the other is building and promoting your site. There’s a lot to know. If there’s a successful competitor, find out what makes them so good. Find out how to improve on that success.

 

Delegate

It’s difficult for most people to ‘let go’ and delegate elements of their business to others. However, there are only so many hours that you can work in a day. At some point you’re going to need help. It could start off on a tight budget and that’s where the global economy could help. Odesk, fiverr, eLance all could be useful.

Prepare to Spend Money

If you’re going to set up a business you can’t realistically expect to generate a load of income on a shoestring. Well, you can probably get so far but eventually there will be something that will likely force you to loosen the purse strings. The bare minimum is your domain and hosting costs. This might extend to software marketing tools (e.g. backlink checkers, competitor analysis tools, social media tools) or even some FB & traditional advertising to get some likes beyond your group of kind friends.

This doesn’t necessarily need to be a great deal of funds but it’s a good idea to earmark a certain amount per month to dip into should you need it. It may even be a great excuse, um I mean ‘reason’ to get that new laptop you’ve had your eye on, too…

 

Think Big

Depending on your niche, your site could have significant growth potential. The more (well-directed) effort that you invest in it should help you to expand content. Creating communities, mailing lists, forums and the like can provide a solid base for that growth.

For inspiration, take a trip in the WayBack Machine and check out what moneysavingexpert.com looked like back in 2003. Probably not too dissimilar from something that you could set up, right?

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

About the Author Jon Haver

I am a 31 year old husband, father of 2, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours. I am not a GURU but just a regular guy who is grinding out 12+hr days to build a life for my family on terms.
Jon Haver, Online Entrepreneur

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4 comments
Yaro says March 19, 2015

Nice post Alan!

You need to be natural when creating and growing niche websites and go full time like Alan said.
It takes the same time to work on full time big website (aka authority website) as working and growing niche website.

Thanks,
Yaro

Reply
Dave Madnani says March 19, 2015

Think big and think outside the box.

I think there are quite a few examples out there now that we should be using for inspiration like:

thisiswhyimbroke.com (over $20,000 in Amazon earnings per month) & skyscanner.net ($800 million dollar valuation!)

Great post guys 🙂

Reply
GDB says March 19, 2015

Thank you for sharing this Alan. With all due respect to you and your accomplishments, I hope the advice above will be considered ‘Thinking normal’ or even just ‘Thinking’ sooner rather than later. 🙂

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