I apologize for the lack of new blog posts lately. At this rate, I won’t make my 140 blog post goal this year.
While I could certainly be putting more work hours in each day, I had a number of things pop up lately which took away from my blogging and work time.
This post will summarize what I’ve been working on lately and give updates on some of my more recent projects:
Movie Vault Hacked
I’ve had various servers and websites of mine hacked numerous times. It’s one of the reasons why I have so many backup redundancies in place.
When you run a lot of websites, many with 3rd party scripts and plugins, you are prone to be “hacked” sooner or later, usually due to a vulnerability in one of those 3rd-party scripts or plugins you installed.
Unfortunately, this happened to Movie-Vault.com recently, and so I was busy working with HostGator support to clean it up. It ended up taking several “cleaning up’s” before we were finally able to finally expunge the malware from the site completely.
This sucked, because Google detected the malware and “blocked” our websites on Chrome and Firefox (Google Toolbar) as well as anyone coming from the Google search engine.
Fortunately, after reporting to Google that our site was clean, they were quick in giving it the green light again. Thanks also to HostGator for cleaning and securing the site after the malware attack.
Anyway, I’ve gone through this type of thing a lot before, so it’s nothing new… but very annoying and rather time consuming to deal with.
My ‘New’ Project
I’ve been busy with my ‘new’ project, which I still haven’t unveiled yet, and isn’t so ‘new’ anymore either.
I had spent a lot of time writing out very detailed descriptions to my designer and programmers for the revamp of the site. The new design is now finished and is currently being converted to XHTML/CSS and should be up in about a week. Once the new design is up, I’ll finally reveal what the site is. I promise.
I’m investing a lot of money and time into this project. It’s certainly risky… but it’s hard to get anywhere worthwhile without taking a risk here and there. Plus, it’s a calculated risk.
I’m really relying that this project takes off, though. My income over the past couple of years hasn’t been the greatest, and I could sure use a “pick-me-up”.
Lessening the Load
One of the biggest mistakes (if not the biggest) I made business-wise was diversifying my portfolio to the extent that I went overboard.
While I know that some people are able to juggle a lot of sites well, the truth is that I am not. I need to focus more on a much smaller number of sites, instead of trying to tend to a lot of sites at once. Besides, any risk in an existing income-generating website suddenly going under, is greatly exaggerated.
Therefore, I’ve begun to try to offload some more of my “network”. A couple of days ago, I put up a couple of my zero-traffic websites, and a couple dozen of my domain names.
So far, there has been no interest in any of them, but I felt it was still worth trying to offload them as I simply don’t have the time to focus on them.
I won’t go into any detail on my SEO updates here, as that is what my SEO update post reports are for, but since I know many of you are interested in hearing an update, here’s a very quick recap.
First and foremost, a few days ago, my affiliate site got sandboxed for the first time. This is very unfortunate since it was finally starting to rank extremely well. It has stayed in the sandbox since… my SEO guy thinks that my previous SEO guy must have removed a lot of his backlinks, but I’m undecided on that. I can only hope it will return to where it was…
My movie keywords have made very slow, gradual improvement and are now appearing on page 2. However, will probably need to get to page 1 before any decent traffic is awarded from them.
The surprising change is that RankPay made significant progress on my 2 keywords I’m running through them. I’m now ranked #35 and #43 for them! Please remember that these 2 keywords receive nearly 6 million EXACT Google searches a month, making ranking value much higher.
For example, even though I’m on page 4 for these searches, I am already receiving an average of 27 visits a day from them. That is phenomenally high for page 4.
And I don’t even have to pay them since I’m not in the top 30 yet 🙂 Although it’s still too early to give a final concrete review of RankPay, I would actually recommend them right now based on the recent performance I’ve seen. Plus, their customer support is great.
I worked out a special deal with them so that if you sign up and use the promo code “TYLERCRUZ”, you’ll get an instant $50 credit applied to your account.
Lastly, I added 2 new keywords for my SEO guy. This time, however, I’m paying him a large flat fee once he gets them ranked in the top-3, and then a low monthly rate to keep them there. After a few days, he already has me ranked #9 and #50 for them.
Work on RobotWarz ceased for a long time because the developers were having internal company issues. People were leaving or being fired, and a lot of restructuring was being done.
The owner contacted me a little while back to explain everything and to try to get the project back on track again. I had agreed to continue the project if he could deliver me a sample of the “Arena” in action, before I committed to anything.
The last time I spoke to him, they were nearly done the Arena, but needed clarification on how the various Attributes would interact with each other.
Our time and language/communication differences have stalled the progress once again. I need to catch the owner on Skype very late my time so that I can see what’s going on.
Lesson learned from developing a game so far: be prepared to spend at LEAST $30,000 if you want a simple game developed. That is, if you want it developed on time, with quality, and professionalism. Also, get everything done by the same developer/agency.
Weight Loss Update
Since I have dedicated posts to my weight loss updates, I’ll keep this update very short.
A couple days ago, I had my lowest weight so far this challenge, although it was still slightly above the minimum pace I need to make the challenge.
Unfortunately, I gained 0.6 lbs. yesterday, and somehow gained an extra entire pound today. I don’t know why, as I’ve been eating pretty good and have been exercising, even increasing my daily walks.
I do have badminton tonight though, so I’m hoping that will help my numbers tomorrow.
The thing is, based on my current weight as I write this, I am already 3.3 lbs. behind the minimum pace for the challenge!
My only comfort is knowing that Paul is doing even worse than me – 4.5 lbs. behind the minimum pace.
I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to show you better numbers when I do my next weight loss update post.
Lethargy: Never Conquered
I’ve done numerous posts on this before, but lethargy remains one of my biggest enemies.
As I write this, I am incredibly lethargic. It is difficult to look at the screen and type. In fact, I am forcing myself to work… it’s a real challenge to focus and stay alert.
I can’t blame this on diet or exercise… at least I think I can’t, because I’m eating quite well due to my weight loss challenge, and am exercising every day. Perhaps I’m simply not doing enough?
I don’t know what it is, but it sucks.
Perhaps it’s just lack of sleep. I didn’t have the best sleep last night, but it wasn’t the worst either. I usually nap once a day, however, and usually feel my best shortly after I get up from my nap.
Maybe I’m just not a morning person?
Anyhow, that sums up what I’ve been busy with lately. Overall, not the best of news… in fact, rather depressing.
Nevertheless, I’m staying positive and hope to be able to turn things around soon!