Recently I received the following email from a Fat Stacks email newsletter reader:
I have been following you for too many years, don’t comment on blog posts, don’t reply to your emails. I decided at the end of 2015 to create a niche site in a popular but busy market… I followed your advice to write 23 articles. I got bored making .26 cents a month, didn’t have money ot invest in advertising and I walked away.
I checked back on that site a few months ago, I am now making $30 a month in revenue, and have decided I better start work, disappointed that I had not continued before…
I guess the point of this long winded email was to tell you, I know that your strategy works but you can’t make people do the work.
That’s $1.30 per article per month having not touched the site in 3.5 years. I suspect ad placement is not as good as it could be. With continued effort and improved ad placement, the site has huge potential.
She told me the niche, which I’m not going to divulge. It’s definitely a great niche with massive growth potential.
She’s motivated to dive back in which is great.
All it took was seeing that the site was working with only 23 articles and no effort put in for 3.5 years.
She now has some momentum that will hopefully drive her to take the site to dizzying heights.
How to get momentum
What is momentum?
Merriam-Webster defines it as “strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.”
I know all about momentum.
It’s a powerful motivator.
But it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
You need the following series of events when blogging for it to come about. They are:
1. Consistent focus and effort (event #1)
2. Some positive results (event #2)
3. A strong feeling of motivation (event #3).
When that series of events occurs, you’ve created a situation for blogging momentum.
Focus and Effort
The first series of events is “focus” and “effort”.
It’s important to break down “focus” and “effort”.
Focus is sticking with one thing until it can fly on its own.
The death-nail of many online businesses is trying to do too much at once, especially during the early days.
Juggling multiple sites without a team is not focusing. Results will be slower and potentially unlikely.
Effort is putting in the work. Whether it’s writing the content or coming up with funds to finance content. Continuous effort is needed.
The reader above put in a solid effort of 23 articles. While that was enough to get results, one thing people fail to realize in this business is that it takes many months for Google to start consistent traffic to a new websites. This is a fact of life one must accept when launching a site.
You can expedite that with hustle, outreach, guest blogging, social media, etc., but the consistent search traffic takes many months.
Until the results materialize, keep in mind the lag is not due to how you’re going about it but rather that’s how Google search operates. I’ve started enough new sites over the years to understand that.
This is probably one of the most frustrating parts of building a successful niche site… the waiting for results despite consistent focus and effort.
To keep going during this lag, you must have faith results will materialize. The problem, of course, is there is no guarantee results will materialize. You might think you’re doing a good job, but you aren’t.
How can you tell if you’re doing it right?
The only thing I can suggest is to compare your content to that which is already ranking. Is it as good? Better? You have to be objective about your assessment.
You don’t need much in terms of results to generate motivation.
I remember my first affiliate commission. It was $9.95. That $9.95 fueled my focus and effort unlike anything else. That $9.95 was proof that I could do this stuff.
Same with the reader above.
$30 per month is not much money. But it’s proof that publishing a niche site works. The gist of her email is she’s motivated to get going on the site again.
The only difference between $30 per month and $3,000 per month is the amount of quality content published on the site.
Yes, some technical aspects should be followed including solid keyword research, good on-site SEO. However, assuming the basics are understood and followed, it’s merely a matter of focus and effort.
Once you’re psychologically fueled with motivation, you can become unstoppable. Motivation will drive you to do more and do it better no matter what is required.
When you reach this stage, you will have momentum.
Arguably, the feeling of motivation is momentum in a psychological sense.
Psychological roller coaster ride
Despite have several fairly successful websites, I’m still subject to this momentum process. Let me give you an example.
I currently publish 9 websites.
All sites are at different stages revenue-wise.
When I see improved results with any one of the 9 sites, I jump on it and do more.
When a site hits a plateau (this happens all the time) my natural inclination is to focus less on it and divert more attention to sites with an upward trajectory.
It’s a psychological roller coaster ride that happens to people just starting out with one new blog to big niche site owners with many sites or one very large site.
When a site is growing, I’m excited to pour more time and money into it. When it’s plateaued, my natural inclination is to divert resources from it.
This is akin to throwing in the towel with one young site.
It makes no sense. If I have a game plan set out based on what’s worked for other sites, there’s no reason to stop the effort on any particular site, yet, that is the natural inclination.
What’s the solution?
You need to believe it’s going to work when it’s not yet generated results. Small results are excellent early-on but you’re also going to want improved results over time. When results plateau or diminish, it’s hard to maintain momentum.
For more established sites in a plateau or diminishing results, you have 3 options.
1. You forge ahead doing what you’ve done believing you’ll eventually enjoy improved results.
2. You assess what is happening and change your approach (I’ve done this many times – sometimes changing what you’re doing is necessary).
3. You call it quits realizing it’s never going to happen. I’m a believer in sticking with it long enough to give it a shot, but I’m also a realist and understand that not every site you start will work out. I’ve launched many such duds. Typically, I only choose this option when the environment has changed. When Facebook organic reach dropped, that was the end of focusing on free FB traffic. I had one site focused on free FB traffic, so I bailed on that site.
When I had sites penalized by Google back in 2012, I dropped those suckers. In other words, it has to be pretty extreme for me to drop a site.
The most difficult aspect of the process is deciding which one of the three solutions set out above to choose. I’m faced with those situations all the time. You will be (or have been) as well.
By default I choose number one, but I also have the advantage of experience and often know when I must choose number two. It’s been years since I’ve chosen number 3.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.