Welcome to Day 2 of Reboot Your Blog! In August of 2009, Stanford University released a study on the productivity of heavy multitaskers. Here are some choice findings:
[Multitaskers are] suckers for irrelevancy… Everything distracts them.
[Multitaskers] couldn’t help thinking about the task they weren’t doing. The high multitaskers are always drawing from all the information in front of them. They can’t keep things separate in their minds.
The low multitaskers did great. The high multitaskers were doing worse and worse the further they went along… and had difficulty keeping [the tasks] sorted in their brains.”
(I promise not to get all scientific with you every day of Reboot Your Blog!) But this study illustrates the exact problem we struggle with as entrepreneurs in the internet marketing space. [box type="alert" size="large"]By splitting your attention to nurturing tens, hundreds, even thousands of sites, projects and streams of income you’re diminishing your ability to focus on, complete and maximize any of them.[/box] Even though I told you not to, I’m pretty sure you thought about your Inventory Spreadsheet from yesterday. See how that works? Even when something isn’t supposed to be on your mind, it still is. This is even more reason to figure out which sites you need to get rid of and get rid of them. Because even if you don’t think you’re thinking about them you still are! Yesterday, you took inventory of all your domains, their current status, earnings and cost to maintain. Today, you’ll look over your inventory and determine which sites you should let go of and which sites you should keep and revamp throughout the rest of Reboot Your Blog. Consider it a “fresh start” – after today’s Reboot tasks, those projects that were mentally weighing you down (“I really should finish adding content to site XYZ…”), not producing and distracting you from the bigger picture will be eliminated.
DAY 02 OBJECTIVE
Determine which projects and domains should be let go of. Create a plan to get rid of them and implement it!
DAY 02 ASSIGNMENT
Consider yesterday’s Inventory Spreadsheet. Most likely, there are already a few sites or projects that jump out at you as losers – ones you know just aren’t earning what it costs to keep them. Highlight those in your spreadsheet with red. There are likely a few domains or projects that you know you want to keep. Perhaps they’re big earners for you (obviously, that would make sense to keep those!). Highlight those in green. And there are going to be projects that are in the “I dunno” phase. They’re not earning much, but they’ve got potential, or they just need a little bit more tweaking to get them where you want to be. Highlight those in yellow. Here’s an example of a completed spreadsheet: Let’s go over the rows and some typical situations you’ll encounter and decisions you’ll be making:
This site is getting traffic and earning (although modestly) each month. We’re guessing it’ll take about 5 more hours of work to complete the site. In this case, it’s at position #3 for it’s main keyword, and those 5 hours will be devoted to link building to bring the site’s rank higher (and therefore earn more income). The earnings are pretty low for the amount of traffic it gets, so perhaps we could be monetizing it more effectively too. It’s marked Yellow because we’re never CERTAIN how much time it’ll take to get our rank to #1, and although it’s covering it’s own costs, it’s not really blowing us out of the water with it’s monthly income.
This site is just not started. Probably a domain name we bought when we had a really good idea, but we just never got around to it. It’s going to require a ton of work (maybe that time would be better spent on Example.com above?) and it’s costing us about $1/month to own in domain renewals. It’s Red because our time could be better spent elsewhere and it’s costing us money and mental energy.
Here’s a site that’s active and it looks like we’ve done everything right. It’s earning more than it costs to keep each month and doesn’t require maintainence time. It’s in position #2 for it’s main keyword phrase (and if we spend some time on it perhaps we can take it to #1, that time should be added “Hours to complete.”) It’s green because it’s working well on its own and earning.
Example4.com isn’t earning nearly enough considering the traffic it’s getting and it’s rank at #1 for it’s main keyword phrase. It could be a situation where the market simply isn’t comprised of buyers or ad clickers, or it could be that the products that are being offered are not a close enough match to the market. It’s marked yellow because it’ll need some adjustments to really earn to it’s potential. With each line in your Inventory spreadsheet classified, go back and look over your GREEN and YELLOW rows. Remember that sometimes we want to keep hold of things for emotional reasons:
- I’ve already put in so much time!
- I’ve spent $XXX to buy the domain and build it!
- I just really love this idea and wanted it to work!
- I committed to the project and to not see it through would be another disappointment!
- I’m a failure.
These emotional reasons for hanging on to projects aren’t helpful to us, just as the Stanford study proved. They take too much mental energy – even when not working on them – and all our projects suffer as a result. Look closely at those projects you’ve mentally earmarked as “keepers.”
GET BRUTALLY HONEST!
Are you wanting to keep this project for emotional reasons? Are you attached to it? Remember, above all, this is a business. It’s about the bottom line (last I checked, internet marketers like us don’t have angel investors bailing us out whenever we need more cash!). If a project isn’t cutting it, it’s time to let it go. And don’t forget that not only does a project need to be earning income for it to make business sense, but it’s got to make sense as far as your time commitment to finish the project and then maintain it in the future. Letting go is a little scary, but it’s freeing too.Free up the time you have to work on productive sites and your mental energy by releasing those projects that are weighing you down.
What About the Keywords?
To make an informed decision about what you’ll keep and waht you’ll let go of, you absolutely must know what you’re dealing with in terms of traffic and competition for your main keyword phrase and any important secondary key phrases you may be targeting. Plus, trends wane and search data can fluctuate, so it’s imperative that you re-do your keyword research with Market Samurai so you’re working with the most recent data. Read my post on why you might not even want to use a main keyword phrase. Then, check out this video and post on doing market research for a niche as a whole. With your Reboot Your Blog sites you’ve already picked a niche (obviously), but it’s a good idea to run through the cross-checks outlined on this page to make sure it’s a viable market – or not.
11 Things To Look For When Evaluating Sites
- How much traffic the main keyword gets
- If you can pull in ranking and traffic for additional keywords (and the difficulty of doing so)
- Competition for main keywords
- Is it a “Buyer’s” market? Do people searching this keyword buy things, or are they browsing for more information or freebies?
- What position are your sites at for their main keyphrases? What will it take to get them to #1?
- Do you have the time, skills and money to take the site to #1 for it’s keyword?
- Does this site and niche have monetization potential beyond the basics (Adsense,
- Can you become an Owner in the niche – not just an affiliate? (…And do you want to?)
- Are you passionate about the topic? Does it make you feel good to be in this niche? Is that important to you?
- Do you have a source (yourself, if your truly interested in the topic, or someone else) who can publish intriguing, insider content regularly?
- Would my time be better spent elsewhere?
How Many Sites Should I Keep?
This is a question I just can’t answer for you – I know, it’d be a lot easier if I could. That’s why I asked you to get brutally honest with yourself. Only you know how much time you have to spend on your business. Only you know how much passion and motivation you have for a particular project. Only you know the keyword research and affiliate program intricacies of your particular markets. All of those factors will go into your decision as to what you keep and what you cull. Just get real – is it worth my time playing around with this site anymore? Do I really have the time for this given the other sites with higher earnings? Update your Inventory Spreadsheet to reflect this brutal, forthright honesty. You should have a few more red lines now. That’s ok, it’ll give you the focus you need to work on your green lines.
Where Do You Let Your Sites Go To?
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, or so the saying goes, right? Your partially developed domain, or site that’s just not earning up to par can be sold to someone who has the time, resources or motivation to give it the attention it deserves. The hottest place for selling websites and domains right now is Flippa, it’s a heavily trafficked auction house just for your web properties. Here’s a listing I completed for a site I just didn’t have passion to bring to it’s full potential: You can look at what I did to create a complete and thorough listing that brought in quite a few bidders and a tidy sum by the end of the auction. For the best listing, be as complete and honest as you possibly can about your site, it’s traffic and earnings. People want to know what they’re bidding on and buying! Look at the “Most Active Listings” and emulate the information they provide potential buyers. Also notice that many of the “Most Active” listings also have relatively low starting bids. Don’t set a starting bid so high no one will take the bite. Remember, you have nothing to lose and all the freedom, time and mental energy to gain for more lucrative projects. Also peek at the “Ended Unsold” listings to get an idea of what makes for an unattractive auction, so you don’t make the same mistakes. Many of the listings there are private (so don’t make your listings private!), have really high starting bids or tediously boring and cryptic titles. Once you’ve written one of these, you have a template for the next one and the one after. This is a formula! You can even use my listing salespage (plus my notes / explanations) as a template – access it here in Google Docs. You can download it or do a “Save As…” to save it to your Google account.
Some folks build entire businesses out of buying and selling websites just like this! If you’ve got a large inventory of sites, or you’re considering “flipping” as a business model, have a listen to the Dominiche Podcast. I listen every week. It’s how I got so smart about selling my own site! (Hint: The Dominiche Podcast isn’t just about buying and selling websites. It’s buying and selling EVERYTHING.) (Double Hint: You’re selling yourself every day, to your spouse, the cop who pulled you over and the dog groomer during every communication you have with them. Learning to sell isn’t just about websites, it’s a life skill.) List your RED sites on Flippa today, because tomorrow we’re going to dive into those sites you left “in the green” and make them over! I’ve been known to just delete a site from my hosting account and domain registrar. Sure, I didn’t earn anything back, but sometimes a choice is so poor (in niche, domain name, etc.) that it’s simpler just to let it go. That’s ok too. Be free little domains! Be free!