Leaving Work Behind

The LWB Birthday Sale: 50% Off My Freelance Writing Guide!

Written by Tom Ewer on June 27, 2013. 13 Comments

Photo Credit: Modern Kiddo

Exactly two years ago today I took a deep breath and launched Leaving Work Behind.

To be honest, I can’t quite believe what has happened in just two short years — my life has changed dramatically; in terms of my circumstances, wealth, happiness, outlook, and just about any other way you could imagine.

If I had to name two things that have been the key catalysts to my success so far, they would be freelance writing and you — the loyal Leaving Work Behind reader. While freelance writing gave me the jumpstart I needed to launch a successful online business, it was the readers of this blog that kept me going despite continuous failure and saw me through to the promised land and beyond.

With that in mind, it only seems appropriate that I celebrate Leaving Work Behind’s second birthday by giving you the opportunity to purchase my freelance writing guide, Successful Freelance Writing Online, with a whopping 50% discount.

A Reward For Being Awesome

Freelance Writing Online

Buy now for just $10 with the discount code 2YEARSOLD.

That means you can pick up my guide, right now, for just $10! Alternatively you can go for the souped-up version with exclusive interviews and articles for just $15.

This is my humble way of saying thank you for being a loyal reader. The discount code will expire at midnight tomorrow (Friday 28th June) so you need to get in quick if you want to take advantage! Alternatively, email subscribers will be given a unique  code on in my usual newsletter on Monday that will remain valid for a week.

To take advantage of this awesome offer just head over to the Successful Freelance Writing Online sales page now, pick the version of the guide you would like, and insert the following discount coupon code at the checkout screen: 2YEARSOLD.

Please note that this offer does not extend to the premium version of the guide (which includes two private thirty-minute consultations with me). The price for that remains at $129.99 during this offer period.

If you can think of anyone who may be interested in this offer then feel free to share it with them by email, social media, telephone, carrier pigeon, or whatever other means that takes your fancy. Alternatively, click here to tweet out a message to your followers.

Thank you for being a loyal Leaving Work Behind reader; it does not go unnoticed. If you have any questions or comments or would simply like to wish the blog a happy birthday, please fire away in the comments section below!

How to Get More Twitter Followers (A Guide to Tweet Adder 4.0)

Written by Tom Ewer on June 24, 2013. 58 Comments

Tweet AdderTwitter is my social network of choice by a distance — to this day it refers more traffic to this blog than any other source (bar Google).

A great deal of my success with Twitter can be put down to a piece of software called Tweet Adder; something I have raved about here on Leaving Work Behind before. However, a few weeks ago a radical update was introduced that has led many people to believe that it is nowhere near as effective as it once was.

But as far as I am concerned, Tweet Adder is still the best solution for growing your Twitter following. In this post I want to demonstrate that it still has a lot to offer (and give you the opportunity to purchase it at a 20% discount). In fact, I believe that Tweet Adder 4.0 is the best version yet.

If you want to know how to get more Twitter followers, I have all the answers for you in this comprehensive guide. Enjoy!

There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase a product through one of them I will receive a commission. It will cost you nothing extra. I only ever endorse products that I have personally used and tested extensively. Thank you!

A Short History of Tweet Adder

For those of you who haven’t heard of Tweet Adder before, it is a piece of software (available for both Windows and Mac) that features various tools to help you to make the most of your Twitter profile.

It has historically been best known for its automated follow/un-follow feature, which enabled you to grow your Twitter following passively. The process was simple:

  1. You created a list of people to follow and Tweet Adder would automatically follow them via your Twitter account based upon set parameters (e.g. a hundred per day with each follow being separated by a period of three to six minutes).
  2. You set Tweet Adder to un-follow any Twitter user you followed who had not followed you back after a certain number of days.

A certain percentage of people you followed would follow you back and the rest would be un-followed (thus enabling you to follow more people). Un-following is arguably as important as following, as Twitter does not allow you to follow more people than are following you (beyond the first two thousand follows). Plus, following more people than there are people following you just looks plain spammy.

Although Tweet Adder has many more features, its automated follow/un-follow feature was the jewel in the crown and the reason why most people used it. Although the program could be used to spam Twitter users, when used responsibly it provided an opportunity for users to reach more people interested in what they had to offer and provide value to the Twitter community.

In a nutshell, Tweet Adder version 3.x was an elegant and effective solution for people looking to increase their Twitter following and was central to the strategy I used to increase my Twitter following to 10,000 in just one year.

Introducing Tweet Adder 4.0

However, further to a legal settlement with Twitter, Tweet Adder’s functionality was changed drastically for version 4.0. The biggest change was the removal of the automated follow/un-follow feature, which on the face of it seemed like a huge blow for Tweet Adder users.

As someone who has used Tweet Adder for a long time, rather than jump on the “Tweet Adder now sucks” bandwagon I thought I’d put the new version through its paces and see what it had to offer. I was rather pleased with what I found.

Yes — you can no longer automate follows and un-follows with Tweet Adder, but with a few tweaks made to my following strategy, I have been able to match my previous performance with the new version.

Not only that, but Tweet Adder 4.0 has a bunch of exclusive new features that takes its functionality beyond what was previously offered. Although I am going to focus solely on what I consider to be best practice for growing your Twitter following with Tweet Adder in this post, it actually has a whole lot more to offer than what I am going to cover today.

So, if you are interested in growing your Twitter following and are happy to spare just a few minutes per day to do so, read on!

What to Expect From This Guide

When it comes to growing your Twitter following with Tweet Adder, there are two things you need to worry about which are both covered in this guide:

  1. How to Use Tweet Adder
  2. Your Strategy

The first step is pretty straightforward — just about anyone who is familiar with Twitter could pick up Tweet Adder and start using it. Nonetheless, I am going to go through the process in detail so nothing is left to chance.

The real challenge is in figuring out your strategy — who you should follow, how many you should follow/un-follow, and when. If you haven’t used Tweet Adder before then you may have no idea where to start. But I’m here to help on that front — I’ll give you all the information you need so that you can use Tweet Adder safely and productively.

Before We Begin…

Although Tweet Adder is extremely powerful and capable of boosting your Twitter profile’s growth exponentially, it is not a silver bullet solution. In order for it to work you will need to ensure that you have a quality Twitter profile that is actually worth following.

Put simply, there is little point in following people in the hope that they will follow you back if your profile isn’t actually worth following. Your Twitter profile should be well branded, lively and interactional.

Click here to learn more about building a quality Twitter profile.

Setting Up Tweet Adder

Tweet Adder is free to download but you must purchase a registration key in order to use it (click here to find out how you can purchase Tweet Adder with a 20% discount!). Once you have your key you’ll need to activate it in Tweet Adder:

  1. Click on the “Registration” tab
  2. Copy and paste your key into the “Registration #” field
  3. Hit the “Activate Licence Button”

Tweet Adder Registration

Next you’ll need to add your Twitter profile to Tweet Adder:

  1. Click on the “Manage Users” tab
  2. Select your registration code at the bottom of the screen
  3. Type your Twitter username into the field near the bottom of the screen
  4. Click on “Add User”

You will be presented with a screen where you need to enter your Twitter password followed by an authorization code. By entering your password and the code you will be enabling Tweet Adder to access your account, but it will not make any changes unless you tell it to do so.

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to go!

How to Build a List of People to Follow

Before you start following people you will need to build a list of Twitter users who are likely to be interested in your profile. If you try to add people whose interests are not relevant to your site, you may find that you are reported as a spammer, which can lead to account suspension. As such, it is extremely important that you build a list of relevant people.

To do this you have six options, which are listed in the sidebar when you click on the “Manage Users” button followed by the name of the Twitter profile you want to work with.

Tweet Adder Follower Options

Each of the options are relatively self-explanatory — they each search for specific data within Twitter to find relevant matches:

The benefits of each search method should be pretty obvious. Personally I am a fan of Profile Data Search and Followers of a User, but whichever option you chose to go with is up to you.

I’ll use the “Followers of a User” feature as an example. If I follow people who follow a Twitter user in my niche, I can expect to follow people with similar interests. All I need to do is enter that person’s Twitter username into the relevant field and hit the Search button:

Search by username

Tweet Adder will search through the entire list of people following that Twitter user page by page (one hundred users per page) until it has (a) gone through the entire list or (b) you hit Stop. Either way, you will end up with a screen like this:

Twitter Profiles

Regardless of which method you use to find Twitter users to follow, you will always end up with a screen like the one above.

You now have four options:

  1. Follow users immediately (one by one)
  2. Discard users (one by one)
  3. Choose to follow users later (one by one)
  4. Choose to follow users later (in bulk)

I recommend that you choose to follow users later, for reasons I’ll reveal when I discuss my strategy.

How to Follow People

On the assumption that you have selected the “Follow Later” option, you will now have a pool of Twitter users that you can follow. Doing so is very simple:

  1. Click on the “Follow Later List”
  2. Next to each user, click either “Follow” or “Discard” (to remove from the list)

At this point you have an option — to follow “indiscriminately” or make a conscious choice as to who you should follow. I’ll discuss the relative merits of each approach when I discuss my strategy, but for the meantime it may be helpful to know that you can alter what is displayed on screen to help you with any decisions you choose to make.

The most useful thing you can do is switch from viewing the last tweet a person made to their profile bio. You can do this by clicking on the drop down box near the top of the screen and clicking on the relevant option:

Twitter profile description

You’ll find that you can click on the “Follow” button repeatedly to follow a number of Twitter users very quickly. Alternatively, you can take your time and follow or discard profiles as you see fit.

How to Un-Follow People

Un-following people is arguably as important as following — without carrying out this vital step, you’ll soon run out of available follows “in the bank” and you won’t be able to follow anyone else.

Much like when it comes to building a list of people to follow, you have multiple options for un-following people based upon various criteria:

Un-follow options

For the most part the options are self-explanatory but some do require clarification:

Some of these options are only useful if you want to take a fine tooth comb to your followings and manually filter out unwanted profiles. Generally I stick with the following methods:

I think that these three options cover most bases — it’ll get rid of people who haven’t followed me, who no longer want to follow me, and who are barely on Twitter anyway. That gives me plenty of room to add new follows — the rest can stay.

Once you have selected an option, un-following people is very similar to following them — just click the “UnFollow” button.

You also have an option to “Whitelist”:

Whitelist

Once someone is on your Whitelist, you can’t un-follow them (unless of course you remove them from your Whitelist).

You will also notice options at the bottom of some methods that will be self-explanatory. For instance, you will have the following options at the bottom of the “Not Following Back” screen:

Un-Follow options

How you set these options is up to you, but I would recommend them as set in the screenshot above.

Bringing It All Together (My Tweet Adder Strategy)

Now you know everything you need to know about using Tweet Adder, let’s talk tactics. I have been using Tweet Adder for a long time now and have honed my strategy down to a fine point. I had to adjust that strategy slightly for the new update, but for the most part it is the same.

In short, the more followers you have the more loose and fast you can be with Tweet Adder. When you’re just getting started you may want to pay more care and attention what you are doing, but once you have the momentum up you can choose to make it a task that takes just five minutes (or less) per day.

With the above in mind, I am going to offer up two strategies below: one for Twitter profiles with less than 1,000 followers and one for Twitter profiles with more than 1,000 followers. I’ll follow those up with some frequently asked questions that are relevant to both strategies.

1. Using Tweet Adder on Small Twitter Profiles

If you have a small Twitter profile then you have two priorities:

  1. Get more followers
  2. Follow people very selectively

The reasoning behind this approach is straightforward:

  1. If you get more followers then you can follow more people.
  2. If you follow people very selectively (i.e. only if you think there is a good chance of them following back) then you’ll get more followers (which means you can follow more people).

Ideally you will be attracting people from outside of Tweet Adder to help you with your cause. It is not within the scope of this post to explain how you can do that, but a few simple ideas are:

  1. Get all of your friends and family to follow you
  2. Add links to Twitter from your blog
  3. Ask your email subscribers to follow you
  4. Ask your followers on other social media networks to follow you

You want to develop as big a “base” as possibile in order to make it easier to develop your following with Tweet Adder. Don’t worry if you can only attract a handful of followers — no matter how small your profile is to start with, you can grow it in time. Please note that I do not recommend that you follow more people than you have following you (for reasons I will discuss later).

When it comes to following people, I recommend Tweet Search as the best option for your circumstances. You want to find and follow people who are talking about your topic right now. This can result in very high conversion rates.

Tweet search

This was a search for “interested in freelance writing”.

You may even want to re-tweet their tweets or send them a personalised tweet after you have followed them to capture their attention.

The un-following procedure is straightforward — I recommend that you utilize the methods I suggest under the How to Un-Follow People heading above. You may want to pad those methods out with the other options (such as people with no profile photo) if you’re getting close to your follow limit and need to find a way to dump some extra follows.

This process may sound quite long-winded but in reality it’s going to take you just a few minutes per day once you get into the flow of it, and there is no better way of building a Twitter profile. Each person you follow and engage with is a potential new reader of your blog — these people are literally waiting for you to find them!

2. Using Tweet Adder on Larger Twitter Profiles

This is the strategy I use — it’s quick and easy and takes no more than a few minutes per day to complete.

The first step is to build a to follow list from the followers of another user (who is of course relevant to your own profile). This is the quickest and easiest way to get your hands on a large number of people in one go. You’ll want to build a list of enough people to last you a week — I clear the list and create a new one (with a new Twitter user) every Monday. This reduces the likelihood of adding a bunch of people who are no longer active on Twitter.

You’ll want a long list of Twitter users in your niche so that you can cycle through them with a long enough gap before you get back around to the first user again. For instance, my list has thirty Twitter profiles on it and is always growing.

Once you have built your list, you should follow and un-follow approximately the same number of people every day. I recommend that you use the same un-follow methods I suggest under the How to Un-Follow People heading above.

How Many People Should You Follow/Un-Follow in a Day?

This is the million dollar question and there is no right answer.

One thing is for certain (in my opinion): you will not get into trouble if you follow and/or un-follow less than a hundred people per day. The following quote is directly from Twitter’s “Following rules and best practices“:

…if you don’t follow or un-follow hundreds of users in a single day, and you aren’t using automated methods of following users, you should be fine.

To me that makes it clear that Twitter are after people following and/or un-following in excess of several hundred people per day. And since Tweet Adder is no longer an automated following/un-following service, there’s nothing to worry about on that front.

So you can use ninety-nine as a benchmark to start with. Having said that, if you have a very small Twitter profile I would recommend that you stick to following less people than follow you — anything more looks spammy and will probably be a turn off to people considering following you. To be honest, there is probably a natural ceiling on the number of people you can follow which is below the number you would be comfortable with anyway.

At the time of writing I have approximately 15,000 Twitter followers and I follow between 300-400 people per day. Back when it was 5,000 I followed around 200 per day. I know people who have followed more but those are the numbers I am comfortable with. At the end of the day it is up to you to decide what you are comfortable with.

We can debate all day about limits that Twitter has, but I believe that if you have a good quality profile and you’re following people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer, the likelihood of your account being compromised is extremely small.

Should You Space Follows/Un-Follows Out?

This again comes down to a perception of risk management.

In a perfect world you would space your follows and un-follows out to make them seem as “natural” as possible, but you don’t want to spend all day on Tweet Adder, do you?

My compromise has been to split my follows into three “sessions” per day in which I follow and un-follow between 200-300 people (in total) per session. I do it when I start work in the morning, before I head off for lunch, and before I finish for the day. Each session typically takes me less than two minutes, so around five minutes per day in total.

How Risky Is Tweet Adder?

It is extremely unlikely that your profile will get banned in the first instance from using Tweet Adder’s follow/un-follow features. It is more likely that you will get suspended, but still unlikely in my opinion.

The evidence I have for this is based upon my own personal experience (having grown four separate profiles using Tweet Adder) and the fact that I have not once had someone email me telling me that they got banned through using Tweet Adder.

If you get suspended then you may want to reconsider your use of Tweet Adder. Until that point I wouldn’t worry about it.

Is  Tweet Adder Still Worth It?

When Tweet Adder was an automated service, most internet marketers waxed lyrical about its capabilities. It was truly brilliant — I know for a fact that my Twitter account would be nowhere near as big as it is without it (for proof of that, check out my Facebook page with its paltry number of fans by comparison).

But for the most part, Tweet Adder is still the same program. In fact, it now has a bunch of new features that make it even more valuable. The fact that you now have to spend an extra five minutes per day on a task that was once automated has been blown way out of proportion by many.

For everyone who has been screaming that Tweet Adder is now useless due its lack of automation, I ask why they can’t find five minutes per day to generate exponential growth of their Twitter account when they’ll spend far more time on other less effective marketing techniques. It makes no sense to me. If they really feel that it is that much of a chore then they could outsource it for pennies.

I still think Tweet Adder is the best solution for building your Twitter profile and one of the best online marketing tools that I’ve ever used. If you want to know how to get more Twitter followers then Tweet Adder is the answer. Quite frankly, if you want to build a bigger Twitter profile and you’ve read this far and still decide not to use it, I think you’re crazy. But I still love you 🙂

Purchase Tweet Adder With a 20% Discount!

In preparation for this post I emailed the developer of Tweet Adder, Jamie, and asked if he would be willing to offer my readers a discount on the software. He very kindly confirmed that he would be delighted to offer a whopping 20% discount!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click here to visit the Tweet Adder website
  2. Hit the “Buy Now” button
  3. Select what licence you would like
  4. On the checkout screen enter the coupon code TE20 (without the quotation marks)

With this discount you can pick up Tweet Adder for just $44 — that is a ridiculously small price to pay for the solution to building a huge Twitter following. I just wish similar products were available for every social media network!

Questions and Comments Are Welcomed

I know that I have covered a lot of ground in this post. You may well have questions and/or comments regarding Tweet Adder and/or my strategy, all of which are welcomed in the comments section. Fire away below and I’ll be happy to get back to you!

Purchase Tweet Adder here.

Why I Use Clicky Analytics Instead of Google

Written by Tom Ewer on June 21, 2013. 46 Comments

ClickySay what you will about Google but they are the kings of free online services.

Google Drive, Maps, Webmaster Tools, Gmail and Analytics are just a handful of what the search behemoth offers to public at no charge. What’s not to like?

Well, I tend to subscribe to the old saying that nothing in life is truly free. Although Google Analytics is an enormously powerful analytics package, I find it slow and cumbersome to use at times. And in my opinion, there is a superior option out there: Clicky Analytics.

In this post I want to demonstrate why. If you are an analytics addict like me, read on!

There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase a product through one of them I will receive a commission. It will cost you nothing extra. I only ever endorse products that I have personally used and tested extensively. Thank you!

One Simple Reason to Use Clicky Analytics

If you’re a sucker for aesthetics then you will not need to be sold on Clicky — it looks awesome:

Clicky Analytics

If you’re intimidated by the sheer amount of data to hand in Google Analytics, Clicky will be seriously refreshing. The interface is clean and uncluttered and contains only the information you are most likely to want to see at a glance.

Clicky has got a lot more going for it than just a pretty exterior though. If you’re anything like me then you tend to check your analytics more than once per day. Quite frankly, doing so in Google is a pain in the ass.

It goes a little something like this — once you’ve logged in you get a list of your sites:

Google Analytics

Two clicks later and you get presented with the last 30 days’ analytics for your site of choice:

Google Analytics

A few clicks later and you will finally be able to get a look at your stats for the day. If you want to look at another site, you’ll have to go back to the main screen and start the process all over again.

Now compare that with Clicky. This is the screen you get when you log in:

Clicky Main Screen

You’re presented with a list of your sites by order of the number of visitors that day with the vital information right in front of you. It’s everything I want, at a glance, presented immediately. If I want to see more I just need to click through.

What I Use Clicky Analytics For

While Google Analytics still has its uses (mainly for split testing), I use Clicky for just about everything relating to my site’s traffic.

Day-to-Day Monitoring

Although it can generally be considered a bad habit to check your analytics more than once per day, I’ve found over time that I just can’t help myself. So rather than fight the habit, I limit the time it takes me by using Clicky. A glance at my analytics will literally take just one click and a few seconds.

Checking Referring Webpages

I always like to keep an eye on what pages across the web are referring traffic to my site so that I can act accordingly.

The main screen for any of your websites on Clicky has a “Links” box that shows you all of the web pages that have referred visitors to any page on your website for the selected period:

Clicky Link

From this screen I can see that I’ve been getting some Twitter love as well as some traffic from a recent post I wrote on Bidsketch.

Depending on who is sending me traffic, I might check out the page and leave a comment or email a thank you note to the person responsible for linking to me.

Checking Popular Content

I also like to keep tabs on what content on my site is particularly popular — usually over the period of a few weeks rather than just a day. This is easily done via the “Content” box:

Clicky Content

I can typically find out some pretty interesting stuff from this information. For instance, I used the above data recently to discover that one of my older posts was attracting a relatively huge amount of traffic. I did some more digging and found that it was ranking for a high traffic keyword in Google. With that information in hand I optimized the post and was able to increase referrals even further.

By regularly checking on your most popular content you can identify clear trends. For instance, from the above I can also see that:

  1. Freelance writing posts are amongst the most popular on the site
  2. Posts that I spend a little time optimizing for SEO attract more visitors

You can use this kind of information to great effect.

What Else Can Clicky Analytics Do?

In short, a lot. Here are some other things I check with Clicky:

Are these things you can’t do with Google Analytics? Nope — but I much prefer using Clicky. It’s quick, clean, uncluttered and intuitive. I’ve been using it for around two years and love it.

To be honest, I’m not hugely technical when it comes to analytics — I tend to stick to the basics. I know that Google has a lot to offer, but to be honest I’ve never looked deeply into its capabilities, nor do I feel compelled to. Clicky offers everything I need

How Much Does It Cost?

Clicky is completely free for one site (up to 3,000 daily page views), so if you only have one site you’re good to go. If you have more then I urge you to give it a go with your main site — I’m confident you won’t regret it! Click here to try out Clicky now.

I’m on the Pro plan which is $79.99 per year (or $9.99 per month) and covers me for ten sites and 30,000 daily page views. That’ll keep me going for quite some time I think! To be honest, for the cost I think it’s a complete no-brainer. I much prefer it to Google Analytics and for the price of a cup of coffee a month, it’s not going to break the bank.

What do you think about Clicky? Have you used it before or are you tempted to give it a test drive having read this post? Let me know in the comments section below!

How to Succeed (The Hard Way)

Written by Tom Ewer on June 17, 2013. 40 Comments

DumbbellsSuccess is rarely easy.

It typically comes at a high price paid in a currency borne out of hard work and perseverance. To read of someone’s smooth ascent to success is to learn nothing — the battles for success are where the real lessons are learned.

Success is a topic at the forefront of my mind right now as I struggle with a health and fitness program called P90X that I started seven weeks ago. My story so far is a textbook example of everything that is real about the path to success: the hard work, unanswered questions, unforeseen complications and inevitable setbacks.

In this post I want to explain what I think it takes to succeed with anything in life — be it a fitness programme or an online business. Although the circumstances can be very different, the story is often the same.

You Will Never Be Completely Ready

Before I started P90X I had more questions than answers. There was so much about the program that I didn’t fully understand. That lack of knowledge was in part why I had never undertaking such an endeavour before.

So what changed? Well, I decided that I wouldn’t let a lack of knowledge stop me from trying. It was the same attitude I took to making money online — when I started back in May 2011 I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I decided to try something and see where it took me.

In reality I still have a huge number of questions and concerns about P90X. I wonder if I’m eating right and whether I have been pushing myself hard enough. I am concerned that my substitutes for the official supplements are not necessarily suitable. These are the type of concerns that can be seen as ample excuse to give up or never even try in the first place.

Success is not black and white. If you lack understanding in certain areas it does not make failure a certainty. It may reduce your chances of success, but the chance is still there to be taken. Furthermore, ignorance at the onset of an endeavour is often replaced by understanding gained through experience. There is no better feedback than that from personal experience.

It is highly unlikely that you will ever feel fully prepared for a potentially life-changing undertaking. As such, don’t use a lack of preparedness or understanding as an excuse for inaction. Someone with half the understanding that takes action has a far greater chance of success than someone with a complete understanding who does nothing.

You Will Struggle

Struggle is an inevitable presence on the path to success. By virtue of the fact that you are trying something challenging and outside of your comfort zone, you can expect to be presented with challenges and complications that you could not have possibly foreseen.

You will probably struggle more than you originally envisaged in ways that you could not have imagined. The key is in expecting to struggle and accepting it as an inevitability to be dealt with as and when it arises.

Those points at which you come up against a previously unforeseen challenge are typically pivotal moments. It is at those times that doubt will creep in. The temptation to simply give up will be strong. You will probably be required to work harder for the same outcome. Your actions in the face of those challenges play a huge part in determining your success.

Struggle shouldn’t be seen as an imposition — it is a marker of the potential for progress. If you are struggling you are not pushing yourself; if you are not pushing yourself you will not progress.

You cannot have success without struggle. It is something you should welcome as a sign that you are pushing yourself in the right direction.

You Will Question Yourself

As human beings we have a tendency to question our actions. Such questioning can be extremely valuable and should be welcomed, but you must ensure that the actions you take as a result are in your best interests.

In attempting to achieve something potentially life-changing, you will likely question yourself as to the worth of your endeavour. You will ask if what you are doing is worth the effort. You will ask if you what you are doing is actually likely of leading to the success that you crave. These questions are fuelled by doubt that can ultimately destroy what you are working towards.

Under such circumstances, you must seek to give yourself a valid answer. And there is only one way in which you can do so: to complete your undertaking.

You will only know if what you are doing is worth the effort by doing it. You will only know if what you are doing will lead to success by doing it. Anything else is guesswork.

In one respect, success and failure are both positive outcomes. Succeed and your reach your goal; fail and you will probably learn what you did wrong. That new understanding is invaluable and can fuel future success. If you give up then you have probably put in half the effort for none of the benefit. You must have more respect for yourself than that.

I am not saying that you should start something on a whim, but I am saying that once you have made the decision to try something, only the most compelling of questions should stop you from following the path you have started walking down.

It Isn’t a Case of Success or Failure

We all know what success is. We hope that we can achieve it through endeavour. But on the other hand, we fear failure. It is often what stops us from trying in the first place.

But in my opinion, if you try to succeed then failure is not an option. Even if you do not reach your goal, what you perceive as failure has probably empowered you with the potential to succeed in the future. You can dwell on the fact that you did not achieve your goal or you can recognise the value of what you have learned and move forwards.

Something you should be far more fearful of than failure is accepting the status quo. If you simply choose inaction then you are giving yourself a life sentence. Inaction gives you no chance of success. On the other hand, failure represents an opportunity to succeed in the future. It is a promise. It is one of the most valuable forms of education. It walks hand in hand with success.

What do you choose: inaction or action?

The One Hour Authority Site Project: My Make or Break Strategy

Written by Tom Ewer on June 13, 2013. 31 Comments
Photo Credit: Kalexanderson

Photo Credit: Kalexanderson

The following is part of an ongoing series, The One Hour Authority Site Project. If you’d like to read more about it then click here!

As my income has increased over the past few months and I have started making more than I ever have before, my attitude towards money has begun to shift.

I bought solid wood furniture for my new home office. I took my girlfriend to a very fancy (and rather expensive!) restaurant for her birthday. I paid someone to decorate my living room. These are all things I wouldn’t have done a couple of years ago. I would have shopped at Ikea, eaten at Frankie and Bennys and picked up a paintbrush.

You may be wondering what this has to do with my authority site project. Well, it’s related to my attitude towards money. Now that my business is profitable I have an opportunity, for the first time, to invest financially in my future success. And that is exactly what I plan on doing — I will be investing a sum of money in my authority site with the hope that it will offer me a return.

In this post I want to share exactly what my plans are in order to make this site a success. If it doesn’t work I will draw a line under this project and move on. If it does work then the potential for future growth could be huge (both with this project and others).

My Deadline

Just a couple of weeks ago I was floundering a bit. I had no direction.

What I needed was a deadline, as my friend Steve Scott told me in one of our mastermind meetings. He was totally right. I set myself a deadline for both my upcoming book and my authority site and my attitude towards the projects changed completely.

But how do you set a deadline for a blog? By their very nature blogs do not “finish,” do they?

Well, the deadline is intended to be an exercise in commercial viability. I have been working on my authority site (freeonlinedatingadvice.net) since September of last year, and in that time I have done a great deal of work and achieved very little. I have a site with over sixty articles, but no one is reading them.

So I decided that I would create an environment by which success was required in order for the project to move on. That’s what the deadline is about — if the site is unable to sustain itself (i.e. create an income that matches its outgoings) by my deadline, or at least shows the potential to do so, I will cut my losses and move on.

As I revealed in my last update, that deadline is Monday 12th August 2013. By then the site should be earning a minimum of $90 per month, which will enable me to hire writers on an ongoing basis to produce one post per week.

I am hoping that with the intensity of the project I will be able to surpass that goal comfortably, but I honestly have no idea of what the outcome will be. This is totally new ground for me.

My Budget

Once I had set my deadline I needed to define a budget — the amount of money I would invest in that time to give the project the best possible chance of success.

To be honest the budget is likely to be a bit of a moveable feast — I have no benchmark to compare against and no real idea as to what would be a sensible amount to invest. Provisionally I came up with a figure of $500, broken down as follows:

10x posts @ $20 = $200

10x guest posts @ $20 = $200

Infographic @ $100

I know one thing for certain — the budget will not go beyond $1,000. That is mental cutoff point at which I would have to draw a line. I don’t think expenditure will get that high though.

My Content Strategy

One of the things that had been holding me back from taking this project forward was a lack of time to produce new content. In reality I had become a bit burnt out from writing so many online dating articles.

However, that situation has now changed entirely. The content for my site is now in your hands — literally. In my last update I made a job offer to LWB readers and the response I got was far greater than I anticipated.

I received around thirty applications for the role of which many were really top quality. Although I had originally planned to hire just one writer, I ended up with three:

They will share writing responsibilities over the next eight weeks or so, with a schedule of 2-3 posts per week.

Not only that, I received guest posts from no less than seven other talented writers:

My sincere thanks go out to all of those who applied — it was a seriously tough decision narrowing the field down and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to pick from such a talented pool of writers.

My final choice of writers was led in part by a desire to have different “voices” on the blog, and I think I have achieved that. I’m really excited to see what Gina, Nick and Dave produce in the coming weeks.

My Marketing Strategy

I am delighted with future prospects for content on the site and have no doubt that my writers will produce great stuff. It is the marketing of the site that is the great unknown — will I be able to do enough of the right things over the next eight weeks to enable the site to break even?

Well, I certainly feel like I will be pulling out all the stops. My strategy will be based upon the advice contained within the awesome Point Blank SEO course, which I would recommend to anyone who wishes to boost the visibility of their site (both in the search engines and in general).

My approach will be made up of the following elements:

I will be spreading out this work over the coming weeks. My intended schedule is as follows:

The infographic is intended to be the coup de grâce — it will be sent out to every single website, blog and social media profile that I can dredge up in the niches of online dating, dating and relationships, women’s and men’s interests, and so on.

I have no doubt that I will think of additional tactics that I will implement as I go on as I am determined to give this site the best possible chance of success.

What Do You Think?

As always, I’d love to get your feedback on my plans. Do you think that I have a chance of success? Do you disagree with anything I have planned or do you have alternative and/or additional suggestions? Please let me know in the comments section below!