It’s been a very long time since I wrote a general update on my various projects and what exactly I’ve been up to. In fact, I just went through my archives and had to scroll down all the way to a post in August 2006 in order to find my last general update on my projects.
After then, it seems, I would only give updates on my projects on an individual basis (1 post per project). Therefore, I thought it might be nice to give an overall summary of the status of some of my projects and what I’ve been working on lately.
I know a lot (if not most) readers know this already, but my blog is not the only site I run. I have a few dozen sites under my belt, and while not all of these are large sites, a few of them are and require time and focus. In addition, I always have something new going on the site or in the works.
I’ll try to focus on only mentioning the projects and sites I’ve been working on lately and not mention e-mail/advertisers/etc.
I still spend the vast majority of my working time on my blog. Who said blogging is passive income? It’s not. It takes a lot of time and work.
Surprisingly, while I spend a lot of time putting together my posts, a lot of the time is taken up by simply dealing with others. I get a lot of blog-related e-mail and I usually respond to most of them even though I don’t really have the time to or shouldn’t, but I like to help when I can.
Then there’s advertisers to deal with and setting up and running contests and competitions. There’s updating the blog’s plugins and software, maintaining up-to-date side pages, etc.
Blogging, for me anyway, takes a lot of time and remains the most time-intensive project I have going.
The Big Project
I haven’t told anyone yet, save for a few closer web entrepreneur friends who have vowed secrecy, about a new project I’ve been working on. I only started it about a couple weeks ago, and it’s rather funny how it came about.
Basically I had a friend copy one of my ideas a few weeks back and initially I was very angry, but that only lasted about 10-minutes. See, I don’t get angry easily and am a very easy-going guy so I decided to funnel that anger into something positive instead, and hence this new project was born. I don’t get angry; I don’t even get even. I get better. In many ways, the “copy” situation was good for me since I wouldn’t have started this project and was the catalyst for pushing me. I had the idea for this project for several months, but never got myself motivated enough to start it.
I’ll be unveiling the project once it goes live. I’m sure I’ll get a couple copycats once it’s finished, but by then should be quite ahead of the game that it won’t matter. That’s why I’m keeping is hush-hush for now.
For the past 20-work hours I’ve been busy working with designers to come up with a good design and structure for the site. It started off pretty bad, but we’ve evolved it to the point now where I’m starting to get excited about the project again. Once the design is finished I’ll be commissioning for it to be coded to HTML/CSS.
Once that is finished, I have a backend programming team who I’ve worked with in the past that does a good job (they did PublisherSpot) which I’ll be hiring again for this project. I suspect everything won’t be complete until February since there is a fair bit of backend programming required.
I’ve spent $2,000 on the design, and the conversion to HTML/CSS will probably cost me around $400. I’m going to guess the programming will cost around $4,000-$5,000 so in total I’m putting $7,000-$8,000 into the initial development of this project. I’ll probably spend a few thousand in marketing afterwards for the launch as well.
Wish me luck on this. It could easily flop, but it’s a great idea and business model and hasn’t been done before.
While there have been no new features added to PublisherSpot.com recently, we’ve been pretty good at adding new content at a regular rate. We added reviews of the networks AdValiant, Amped Media, Hydra Network, Entrecard, and RocketProfit in November.
That makes a total of 51 networks reviewed on the site now, with all of the relevant and important information such as payment methods, payment frequency, features, etc.
When I have more time I might consider “expanding” the site from 800×600 to 1024×768, but that isn’t cheap or easy.
About 5-6 weeks ago I made a few changes to PokerForums.org.
First, I appointed some members as news posters and changed the default/index page to display news instead of the forum. So far, the volunteer news posters have done a great job and I think the news has helped the site as it seems to have increased the “Active Members” count from 260ish to 305ish.
Secondly, I appointed a member as Tournament Director and he holds and runs weekly poker tournaments for the forum. In addition to scheduling them and setting them up, he also posts a report of the tournament on the newly founded News Page which gives incentive for members to participate in them.
Advertising has slowed on the site over the past year, especially during the past few months, but not horribly. Mainly a bunch of text link advertisers pulled out since the site has been a PR0 for a while, but I don’t blame them and it’s not the end of the world.
When I have more time I’d like to modernize the site better and create some custom-programmed features of the site including an integrated Tournament Ladder, but that is a big undertaking and is on the far backburner for now.
PPC Affiliate Marketing
I’m a lazy bastard and I’m not proud of it. I used to be, a couple years ago. I used to joke and poke fun of how lazy I was. But I’m not proud of that anymore. Now I just find it unfortunate. Part of me wants to blame my laziness on ADD, but I don’t have ADD. It just has to be laziness.
There is so much money to be made in PPC Affiliate Marketing and I see so many people around me making ridiculous amount of money with it. And what do I do? I just sit back counting my toes saying that “I’m too busy”, “Don’t have time for it”, or “Will get back to it soon”.
While there is some truth to that, the fact is that I’m not working 24/7. Hell, I’m not even working 5/7.
Laugh and mock if you want, but I honestly believe that I could be making $100,000+ a month from PPC affiliate marketing if I only applied myself and worked hard. The only thing that is stopping me is… me.
I guess part of the problem is that my other sites are bringing me in money and I need that money, while PPC affiliate marketing has its up and downs in the beginning. But there’s so much money to be made that I can’t let that stop me.
As far as my campaigns… I’ve still just left that ONE campaign I started like 6-7 months ago and haven’t touched it at all for about 3-4 months now. It’s making around $250-$300 profit a month.
Movie-Vault.com is in so badly need of reprogramming that I haven’t really touched the site feature/programming wise for literally years.
I have, though, been doing occasional updates on the site such as updating the New in Theatres and New Trailers lists as well as keeping the popular Name That Flick game up to date twice a week. But other than the occasional content update, I haven’t done anything new to the site.
I did put it up for sale a while ago but there were no interested buyers. Not for my asking price anyway. While I understand my asking price is far and above the revenue made from the site, I feel that the content and age of the site justifies it.
It makes $500/month passively and I was asking $25,000 minimum bid and reserve. While that’s a 4-year multiplier, I’m not selling a site with potential that is making $500/month passively for 1-2 year’s profit. I’d rather just sit on it and keep the free $500/month.
Maybe one day I’ll finally revamp it. I just don’t have the time these days. Here the link to the sale for the curious.
MovieForums.org has very slowly but gradually increasing in size and traffic. It now has 3,500+ members and 337 active members (members who have been active on the site in the past 30 days).
I appointed a long-time member as head moderator a few months ago, and he has really saved me a lot of time with taking care of spam and other moderating duties. He even suggests a lot of ideas for improvements to the site… never anything huge or groundbreaking – just things such as adding new smilies, removing certain elements, or adding a certain plugin. But this allows me to effectively leave the site on it’s own and let the community handle and grow itself.
I love forums. Forums only suck getting started or handling the rare “forum drama” moments (those with larger forums will know what I’m talking about).
This is one of my smaller, newer sites.
I hired a woman, who goes by the handle joanna on the forums, as a moderator 3 weeks ago. However, in addition to just moderating the site, I’m having her really put a lot of time into the site to help it grow, so she’s been posting everyday, making new threads and posts.
Getting a new forum started is extremely difficult as it’s a classic catch-22 scenario (how do you get members to come when there’s no content on the site?) which is why I needed her help. She’s only referred a couple people to the forum so far but told me she’s working on getting more.
For the price, she’s pretty good, although she’s slowed down the past week. Hopefully she’s not starting to get tired of it. It can be very lonely and frustrating posting all by yourself on a forum…
What do you think?
Anyhow, that’s the update on some of the stuff I’ve been working on lately. Let me know how you liked it and if you’d like to see more such “update summaries” in the future.