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One of the things that undoubtedly helped me to succeed online was seeing that other people were having success. It wasn’t so much specific examples – not many people shared them when I was starting out to be honest – but just knowing that someone had figured out this making money on the internet thing showed me that I could do it too.
It’s natural to get inspired by the success story of others. I remember hearing about a grandmother who had been writing her whole life but was always scared to get feedback on her work. After finally publishing her book well past the age of 80, she said it was the best thing she’s ever done. It became quite the internet sensation as it really sunk in the idea of “it’s never too late”.
Today I want to announce my own success story. Hopefully. With the launch of a brand new niche site case study where I build a website from scratch and share the results with you all, in public, via this website.
This isn’t something entirely new. Friends like Pat and Spencer have ran their own case studies and had great results. Both from the success of the sites they built and the reactions from their audience. Some of you may remember I also ran my own case study a few years ago, but other business opportunities got in the way and it just didn’t go like I had originally planned.
Most case studies, particularly those that start with a site built from scratch, are generally just a blogger who runs a popular site sharing the results of their own marketing efforts in a new industry. More recently I’ve seen a number of case studies where someone who has had success in this field instead teaches someone else how to build a profitable site and follows their journey.
While those are beneficial to both blogger and reader, I don’t just want to follow that mold. This is ViperChill. If I’m going to do something, we are going to do it different. Do it big.
The reason I say we, is because there’s 3 of us.
One niche. Three websites. Three different people competing against each other. Live, for free, with nothing to sell you.
I get asked fairly frequently about whether I would be interested in working with someone to help them build a niche site. This invariably either involves them “generously” giving me a small percentage of the site income if they make a profit or is someone who just wants to intern for me to learn what I do.
Since I never know these people, it’s hard to commit to work with someone who might stop working in a few weeks and honestly, if I’m going to be putting so much time into one website, I would much prefer it to be my own.
The intern idea is always a nice gesture, but I’m too paranoid to trust someone I’ve never met with my business operations. At least operations where they would actually learn anything interesting.
I was contacted by Mr.V a few months ago when he had the idea of doing a public case study where I teach him how to build a profitable site and he follows my advice. This would mean that you don’t just get the results of someone who has clearly had success online already. Instead you see the results of a self-professed ‘newbie’ who hasn’t profited from the internet before.
This would be more challenging, but a lot more realistic.
It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard the idea, but it came to me at a time where I could use another site in my arsenal for marketing that isn’t primarily SEO focused. This is something I haven’t had for quite some time.
First of all, the people involved are:
Each of us will be building a website from scratch and starting our marketing efforts on November 1st 2013. This is not just a typical competition between the three of us though. We each have limitations on what we can do.
Glen’s limitations are that I cannot purchase a single backlink, get links from any blog networks or basically do anything to artificially increase my own link count. My focus is going to be entirely social and trying to get links the Google-recommended way. By creating great content in an industry where I have zero authority or presence.
Diggy’s limitations are that he isn’t allowed to rely on great content to build his site. Instead he must focus entirely on SEO. He is allowed to use link networks, build spammy links and anything else he thinks will work.
Mr V’s limitations are simply that he is a beginner to building and profiting from niche websites. He’s allowed to write great content, focus on SEO, buy ads or anything else he wants to do.
All of us have a $1,000 budget for phase one of the project (the first 2-3 months). I think this is a realistic figure that other people could replicate if they wanted to give making a living from the internet a real try. We couldn’t do this for free simply because you have to price in domains, a website theme, hosting, and so on. Every single little fee will also be accounted into this $1K budget.
To summarise, that means we’re approaching one niche from three different angles:
The end goal is trying to build sites which make money. We will of course also be sharing things like traffic stats, traffic sources and any conversions we make whether financial or for an email list.
Though I have no idea if myself and Diggy will make any money – at least not in the short-term – we will get some results. There is no doubt our sites will get traffic. Adding someone into the mix who has not built a lot of sites before gives this case study a different dynamic.
For every question that I am asked by Mr.V, I will make sure to share the answers that I provided to him via this blog. This means that I’m not just covering the things I think you (beginners especially) might have problems with, but answering actual problems that are found on the journey by someone in your shoes.
I know this wont appeal to long-term, successful marketers, but I hope people who are struggling online will get a lot out of this.
The only reason I’m calling him Mr.V and not by his real name, yet, is because I don’t know him. It’s possible that he wont put any time into this project or disappear from the internet. I really don’t think that will happen, but I’m just protecting his identity in case anything comes up before we start the challenge (again, that’s November 1st).
I will be the owner of his domain – until the end of the challenge when I transfer it to him – to ensure that we have a third person for the project. If he disappears, then someone else could easily take over and it wouldn’t ruin the case study.
I thought I would give you a reader an opportunity to put their stamp on this case study by helping us make it amazing.
The first area I need help with giving the case study a name I can use for future updates. I had phrases like “Niche Site Trio” and “Triple Threat Niche Case Study” in my head but lets be honest, they aren’t that great. I have no doubt someone reading this could come up with something better.
The other area I need help is if you see anything missing with this idea or something else I could do to make the case study better for you. Are the limitations that myself and Diggy have a stupid idea? Should the budget be lower (or higher)? Anything you want to make sure we do? The best feedback / suggestion (even if it isn’t used) will be rewarded.
So, that’s two chances to win $250 from me direct to your Paypal account.
When you consider that people are leaving their homes and moving out to Asia for the possibility to make $1,000/m doing this online stuff, this is something I’m going to be taking very seriously. Even a few hundred dollars per month extra would be a lot for a great deal of the audience here, so I want to provide an on-going case study that is going to help people see what is possible.
Look out for the next update in two weeks when we start, and I look forward to the comments…