Project Updates: June 22nd, 2011

June 22, 2011 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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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.

SEO Updates

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.

RobotWarz

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!

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Posted: June 22nd, 2011 under My Websites  

32 Responses to “Project Updates: June 22nd, 2011”

  1. LeSigh says:

    That’s so thoroughly depressing that even I feel bad about making fun of you. And that’s saying a lot.

    Here’s a free, honest piece of advice:

    Do stuff you enjoy.

    Your only real successes (pokerforums.org and flipping your StarCraft domains) both stemmed from things you actually personally enjoyed at the time.

    Your numerous fails all come when you’re doing what you think you should be doing to make money (affiliate marketing, developing a social media/online game, launching multiple crappy forum sites) but have zero personal interest in.

    I hate to say it, but the ad network you just bought is shaping up to be exactly the same. If you’re smart you’ll finish the coding, pretty it up a bit, and try to unload it for what you paid for it. You have zero interest in all the work that’s involved with in successfully running and growing an ad network. That’s like, seriously, a lot of work, and you’re not exactly a “work” guy.

    The only topics you seem to generate real interest for are games/toys and domain flipping. Why not focus on something as simple as that, as far as scooping up gems in the rough on topics you’re interested in, pay someone to polish them up, and re-sell them?

    And don’t break out into cold sweats at the thought of all that “work”, as you can still pay someone else far too much for what you could do yourself and still make some decent coin.

    It’s time to stop playing “Internet entrepreneur” and find some consistent way of making money that you can manage, on a daily basis, as you’re not going to be able to live off of past successes for forever.

    • Ryan says:

      I actually agree with this. I wouldn’t even consider Tyler an “internet entrepreneur” as it seems the only thing he’s really making money from (however little) is this blog. He’s not doing anything innovative and seems to want money to simply fall into his lap instead of creating innovative and world changing products.

      To be honest, I don’t think he’ll be able to live solely off his online income for much longer unless he changes things… and fast! Eventually ad revenues will begin to fall on things like this blog (as he posts less), MovieVault (as it gets hacked/neglected), and his various other sites with no real dedication.

      Take this as a wake up call, Tyler.

      • West says:

        Millions of people make a good living and don’t do anything innovative. Innovation does not guarantee success.

        I believe Tyler’s passion is making lots of money online and it looks like 1upads could be his golden ticket.

    • Matt Coddington says:

      More like LeWise.

  2. Ryan says:

    To be honest, at this point I think you should just scrap RobotWarz altogether. Save yourself some money, delays, and stress.

  3. James says:

    Yep, 1upads.com going down the pan.

    http://www.1upads.com/info.php

  4. wesley says:

    Being hacked repeatedly also has much to do with the programmers you choose.

    You may think interberry is good, but have you ever done a code review?

    Same with robotwarz, again issues with the programmers.

    Perhaps it would be best if you yourself took a course on programming PHP, and learned some of it’s best practices.

    That, or hire much more expensive programmers.

  5. Coincidentally even my blog was under hack attack from past one week. The hacker was inserting his silly iframes, counters and meta refresh code (to redirect onto another site) on my blog…Thanks to HostGator, they cleaned up the mess yesterday. Although my blog wasn’t caught under Google’s site scanner like yours did.

    Will just check out your rankpay offer; looks really great and helpful.

  6. Keith Zimmerman says:

    Great strategy on re-focusing on your core projects.

    Out of curiosity, where did you list your sites/domains for sale?

  7. CRM Software says:

    Sometimes you get busy with the other things which you don’t have in your list and then soon you realize to the main stuff, so the main thing is you are on a track now.

  8. I have to agree with LeSigh that it would be better if you concentrated on a website that was about something you had a passion for. It’s like the old saying goes – ‘If you do something you love, you never have to work a day in your life’.

    [blockquote]He’s not doing anything innovative and seems to want money to simply fall into his lap instead of creating innovative and world changing products.[/blockquote]

    I disagree with this. I don’t think you need to go out and make world changing products to make money from the web, far from it. The vast majority of companies that are making money are using tried and tested formulas. If you look at the history of any successful businessman you will see that they tested the waters in a lot of difference niches. Some may call them failures whilst others will recognise them as a learning experience.

    @Tyler – My feeling is that you have too many projects. In my opinion you would be better selling the majority of his websites and concentrating on just one. More importantly, you need to recognise which websites are failing and stop spending thousands of dollars on websites that aren’t bringing in any money. I know you have a few sites for sale just now so hopefully you are moving in the right direction.

    With regards to your diet, it’s difficult to comment without looking exactly at what you’re eating. Though I have no doubt that what you are eating is related to your lethargy.

    Losing weight isn’t rocket science. It isn’t hard if you genuinely want to lose weight. You’ve made a good start by drinking water and it’s good to walk most places too. Make small changes to your diet all the time and improve your whole mindset on what you eat and drink.

    It’s fairly straight forward though. You need to lose 3,500 calories from your diet to lose a pound of fat/weight. The maximum recommended weight to lose is 2 pounds per week (more if you’re really heavy but any more and the weight would likely yo-yo back on).

    So, if you wanted to lose 2 pounds a week the average man would have to lose 1,000 calories from his diet every day. The average man needs about 2,500 calories per day to live so by only eating 1,500 calories per day you would lose 2 pounds a week. If you burned 500 calories per day exercising you could eat 2,000 calories per day and lose the same weight. Obviously, it’s better to incorporate exercise with this as it will improve your metabolism.

    Remember, if you are doing weights etc you will be developing muscle, so you could be heavier but leaner. The best test is to look at yourself in the mirror and see if you look thinner. Keep at it. Change your eating habits for good and over time you will lose a lot of weight :)

  9. Bil Smith says:

    Have you read the Four Hour Body by any chance? It’s by Tim Ferriss (author of the 4 Hour Work Week) and it’s got an incredible diet in it. I’ve been on it for 7 weeks now and I’m down almost 30 pounds. Best part is, it’s easy to follow. He’s got a lot of information in there about proper sleeping habits and maintaining and increasing energy, too. I’ve got similar problems with being lethargic all the time and always feeling drained, but with the change in diet, increase in exercise and being more aware of my sleep schedule, I feel a lot better in the past two months than I have in a long time.

    • What’s the “gist” of his diet? Like what’s it about?

      • LeSigh says:

        There’s this new site called “Google” you might check out if you’re not too busy teleporting into alternate universes and shapeshifting into old ladies.

        It like, tells you things about stuff. Pretty nifty, plus it’s free and there’s no premium mentoring programs or $49.99 eBooks to buy or $1,000 Advanced Workshops to sign up for.

        • Awwww, it’s so sweet to see that you read all my Blog posts.

          So, can you use this “Google” you speak of and tell me what the 4 Hour Body diet is about? I’m too busy to do it myself.

          • LeSigh says:

            I’d comment more on your site, Cupcake, but I swear the damn bloated thing takes at least half an hour to load.

            Maybe you can shapeshift into a programmer from India and learn how to design a site that doesn’t take half an hour to load the home page?

            Why are you even pretending to be interested in any diet?

            You’ll just dismiss it or any other advice like you did with Weight Watchers and say: “My exhaustive nutritional studies disagree plus a lot of my fat friends tried that diet and it didn’t work so it’s obviously no good oh my LOOK there’s PIE nomnomnomnomnom…”

          • Paulymath says:

            Maybe you can save up and upgrade your 2,400 baud modem one day.

            Ironically, the programmer who did my site re-design is from India, so no need to shapeshift.

          • LeSigh says:

            Then you must be using the same programmers that Tyler is, Cupcake, if that bloated creation is the best they can do.

            http://www.iwebtool.com/speed_test

            Domain name Size Load Time
            1 http://www.paulymath.com 79.95 KB 8.86 seconds
            2 http://www.fatandproud.com 55.91 KB 0.84 second
            3 http://www.shoemoney.com 94.36 KB 0.98 seconds
            4 http://www.tylercruz.com 78.22 KB 0.71 seconds
            5 http://www.piediet.com 2.11 KB 0.2 seconds

            Congrats, that might be the only race you’ve won in your life.

            Granted, it’s a Slow Load race, but hey, take a victory lap.

            Oh wait, that’d involve exercise. Crap…

          • Rick B. says:

            Not to get involved in the squabbling, but he’s right about your site. I’m on a T1 at work and it takes about 10 second for your home page to load.

            It looks like you’re on shared hosting with nearly 600 other sites on that server so you might think about upgrading your hosting package or cutting down on all the plugins, as that’s a really slow load time.

  10. noobmoney says:

    LeSigh still stalking PaulyMath HAHA

  11. Ricky says:

    I’m really looking forward to see how RobotWarz.com turns out, I’ve been waiting for about 1.5 years for it’s launch.

  12. John D says:

    Hey Tyler,

    I was thinking about this when I was out earlier, you did a post or mention a program you used that showed how much time you were actually working, i.e. not including forums, blogs etc.

    I dont know what it was called or how it worked, but Id like to get a look at it, if you remember.

    Id still like to see more person updates also (Not for the weight loss, but how working online is effecting your offline life so others can see how someone online lives).

  13. Kimarie says:

    Lethargy could be due to low iron levels, maybe you should get it checked out?

  14. thats too bad that some of your sites get hacked, atleast you back them up

  15. George Tee says:

    Hi tyler, seems like you worked well a lot lately. Aww that’s awful, yes that could be from a third party plugin that was used on the site. I am clueless about your new website and I am really excited to know that. I do agree that you should work only few sites so you can focus on them. Good luck to your weight loss, I hope you can make it.

  16. Ryan says:

    Looks the the 1upads.com design is finally done. ;)

  17. Adnan says:

    keep the spirit high man, you’re still doing very great.and i really wonder that how you do handle so much of sites?i even can’t handle the only one :-p

  18. Movie Vault is my one of my favorite site from Tyler Network its hacking was a great mishap…

PeerFly

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