Am I Doing Too Much?

Following my last post Write On The Money, where I gave you some idea of the mountain of sites that I seem to have created over the past year or so, I’ll carry that theme on in some way with a shorter post asking the question “Am I doing too much?”

Well, if you count up the hours I spend in front of this thing every day – that’s seven days a week – it can seem overwhelming. I spend upwards of 12 hours a day constantly writing, building websites and populating them with all the things that they need to be populated with. Add to that the occasional battles with hackers, the more constant wrestling with spammers in the forum I run, not to mention keeping up a presence in there so the members know their forum is being run by someone and you have a recipe for a full schedule of work.

But that’s not all.

What about the freelance writing?

Oh yes, that. That’s the part that keeps my paypal account fluid so that I can keep buying more domains, pay for hosting and any other business related software or tools that I may need. It also pays the bills, which some may consider to have some importance in running a household. Mmm.

I’m currently in the middle of a 200 article job that is keeping me more than just a little busy, so that takes precedence over everything else. Whatever time I have left at the end of the day after completing my daily quota of freelance work is for building more sites, checking out the expired domains lists for anything interesting, writing some articles for SEO and in-links to my newer sites and finally, if there’s any time left at all – I’ll write a blog post in one of my established blogs.

Like this one tonight!

Now, many bloggers who poke their heads around the corner here and in some of my other older, established blogs might be forgiven for thinking that I’m letting these blogs go downhill by not updating them regularly. Well, that’s not the case.

I don’t judge my blogs’ performance on the number of feed readers I have or even the number of social visitors I get. While they are important as its good to have people read what you write. Or it gets pretty lonely writing to a audience of the dog sitting on my lap – and he can’t read! But of importance when it comes to earning an income online from these blogs, which is their prime reason for existing and why I’m paying for hosting rather than doing it on free blog platforms.

I have plenty of those too, which I write on just for the fun of writing. But what makes money online is attracting good numbers of organic search traffic from the search engines for certain keyword terms. They are the people that will generate the income by clicking on affiliate links etc, whereas social visitors tend not to.

I believe I’ve written about this ad nauseum in other blogs of mine, so I won’t labour the point here. Suffice it to say that I’ll make entries in my older blogs just to keep them current and updated in th eeyes of the search engines rather than those of the readers, because – hate to say it – the search engines provide my bread and butter visitors.

That’s why I’m putting so much effort into so many new websites, squidoo lenses, Hub Pages and blogs. They are all part of the master plan to raise the authority and traffic of my main sites, which can make money for me in the niches they occupy only by ranking highly enough to be attracting organic search traffic.

So back to my original question. “Am I doing too much?”

Probably.

But then I should follow that question with “Is it really necessary?”

The only answer to that, assuming I don’t want to go back to working 9 to 5 for some asshole boss who demands a “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir” attitude, is a resounding YES!

Terry Didcott

Write On The Money

Its high time I followed my last post Who Unleashed that Blogger?, with something else as time is beginning to pass with greater spans between entries in my flagship blog here. So I shall write on! The money part of the title is just a play on words, as we shall see…

The subject that will soon be on the tips of all bloggers typing fingers is Google Page Rank. Yep, its that time again!

I’ve already noticed the green bar that mark my sites are a changing on some of them. So far, it seems nothing has lost any PR and quite a few have gained a notch. Most notably are some of the expired domains I bought a few months ago with page rank that lost it all in previous page rank shake-ups. A few of them have been recognised by Google and given a PR1 – ok it won’t set the worlkd alight, but its a start as it means Google acknowledge their existence and maybe some of their in-links are starting to show up again. Time may well restore their original page rank.

As it’s early days, its probably not worth speculating on all my many sites just yet, as I’m sure the meter will bounce around a bit for a few days before settling on their final ranks for the next few months until the next change.

Which brings me to the subject of in-links or back links as they are more commonly known in Internet Marketing and SEO circles. It’s pretty clear that in order to make a mark on the search engines’ indexes you need a lot of good quality, one way inbound links to your site. As much as we all know that, the getting of those links is a lot of laborious work that unfortunately has to be done if we want to stand a chance at competing for that first page, never mind the first place on it.

Two problems have evolved from my own program of online business expansion.

The first is my ever growing menagerie of websites, self hosted blogs, free blogs, squidoo lenses, hub pages and the rest. They all need to be tended in order for them to grow, but the more I acquire and develop, the tougher it becomes to keep up with them all. My tally of domains has now exceeded 50. My subdomain sites are now 14. My free blogs tally exceeds 60. My squidoo lens tally exceeds 40. I’ve only just started on hub pages, but have 5 of them already. They all need content and with around 170 individual sites ourt there now, its a real problem getting them all updated with fresh content, never mind writing additional articles to submit to article directories and of course let’s not forget my income generating freelance writing work that takes a big chunk of my day!

Admittedly, a lot of the free blogs and squidoo lenses are there to augment and drive traffic to the main websites, as well as provide additional links and promotional material that will help the main sites to grow. So they don’t need to be updated quite as often as the main sites do. My problem is that now the main sites have grown in such numbers that they themselves are becoming difficult to keep up to date with fresh content and ever more links.

I know that there are software tools that can generate links for a site and they are tempting to use to boost up the sites’ in-link tallies, but those links are very low quality and are only any use simply because of their sheer quantity. How much use they will be in the long run is anybody’s guess. As I’m working for the long term and not short term gain, I’m content to take it at a more natural pace, obtainingthe necessary links I need raise the authority of a smaller selection of my main sites, so that they, in turn, can be used to bring up other sites as I acquire them.

So now the task doesn’t seem quite so daunting as it first did. The sheer number of free blogs (which, incidentally will continue to grow) do not need a great deal of inbound links in order to be useful, as they will probably never need to attain high page rank for themselves as they are not necessarily there to make money for themselves. Also, they are what they are – free blogs. I don’t own them and cannot therefore ultimately control their ultimate fate. They belong to the blog host as does their content, so it make much more sense to me to be working towards getting good page rank and SERPs authority for my own hosted sites as they fall under the category of cyber real estate that I can sell at a later date should I wish to.

Someone made the analogy that I think fits nicely here.

Your own hosted websites and blogs with domains that you own are like a house that you own. You can improve it and then sell it for a profit and buy a better one if and when you choose. Free hosted blogs are like an apartment that you rent. if you want to move to someplace else, you just up and go. If you make any improvements, the owner of the property benefits in the long run, not you.

So while renting has its advantages, like you don’t have to invest money in the property, you also don’t get any of the benefits of its rise in value over time. While you have to invest in your own home on the other hand, you get back the value of any improvements plus it gains in value over time, which you also benefit from.

Just the same as buying your own domains as opposed to renting a free blog. The free blog has its advantages, but you can’t sell it later after you’ve put a lot of work into it to make it great, wheras the same work put into a domain/website that you own will benefit you in the long term with a hefty profit shoudld you decide to sell it.

Food for thought!

Terry Didcott