Life Update: Incorporating my Business, Working with Others and Plan for the Future
It’s been a while since I posted an update about my business here on AffiliateFYI.com. The truth is I’ve been quite busy starting new sites, improving my old ones, uploading/ordering content and talking with other affiliates. I’ve also written quite a few guest posts elsewhere (which is why I haven’t posted much here) and overall I’ve just been trying to relax a bit from SEO and blog updates – not putting myself under too much pressure on a monthly basis etc…
Penguin was a bit wake up call for me. It got me realizing that regardless of how much I knew about SEO or how much I’m making, you can lose it all in a flash. I always knew this was “technically” possible, it still shocked me quite a lot. All of this money I’m making just feels like a bubble at the moment, which is why I’m creating an overhaul of strategy.
How Have I Changed my Work Days?
Since Penguin, I’ve changed my business strategy and began working in a friend’s office with his employees for most of the week (I moved down to London). I’ve also been doing some SEO consulting for a start-up business in London.
This month, I met a nice/experienced group of affiliates with a solid company who are keen to work with me in some capacity. Right now I’m doing a little bit of SEO work for them but I’m sure we’ll move into doing more things in the future. They have some solid business operations and contacts in the industry and there’s a ton I feel I can learn from them.
All of theses things I’m doing – working in a friend’s offices, doing some monthly SEO consulting, and working with some other affiliates’ company, creates much more insurance for me down the line. Rather then just working for myself, I’ll have some solid job references and experience on my CV. This is essential having been working for myself straight out of University. Working for others also keeps my head down and keeps my attitude straight.
What’s Happening with My Business?
My affiliate business is still going strong and I’m doing a number of things to lower my risks and diversify my income.
First of all, I’m investing in some heavy content sites, which are going to offer real value to users. Examples include StudentMoney.co.uk, OddsWinner.com, BinaryOptions.net, Investing.co.uk and MoneyAdvisor.co.uk (I haven’t started developing these two yet). My plan going forward is to focus on high quality content, very little SEO (only really high quality, natural-looking backlinks), building a solid brand and developing email lists. I’m also avoiding chasing competitive keywords since this seems like a much higher risk strategy. My aim would be to get at least 300-500 static content pages (800+ words) on each of these sites, with a minimum of 30,000 traffic per month.
I’m still running a few gambling sites here or there but this is purely to re-invest the income into new content sites. I figure by investing more in content, email lists and brand building, and less on SEO, I’ll be far more insured against any future SEO updates. In fact, these sites should do better in future updates. I’m also planning to develop another niche mini-site, BettingSites.org.uk, next month, which should be a simple project to monetize, whilst also being used to SEO my main sports betting site.
I’ve also started to save up money in my business and negotiate fixed media deals 3-6 months in advance. Right now, I’m negotiating a 3-6 month pre-paid media deal in advance for one of my sites, which in itself should fund my entire business for the next 6 months, regardless of what happens.
While before I was re-investing all of the money I was making back into SEO, content and domains, nowadays I’ve decided to save up to 12 months income for my business. This means that even if my business is affected by any future SEO updates, I’ll have plenty of time to fix my sites. I think they’ll be a huge relief of pressure in my head knowing that I’ll have 12 months income stored away in my business.
My new business plan is something like this:
- Take out 25% of revenue as my salary/costs
- Re-invest 25%-40% of revenue back into my business (this should be more then enough to grow my portfolio)
- Keep the remaining 35%-50% as a cash reserve.
Incorporating my Business
Finally, I’m planning to incorporate my business this summer (ARG Media Ltd) and open a proper business bank account, which should allow me to manage my business much more professionally then before.