This week I’m pleased to feature Alex Whalley the founder of AlexWhalley.com
Don’t miss last week’s interview with Francisco Perez the founder of iBlogZone.com
Life is too short.
Bills and stress cause us to get in a rush to worry about how are we ever going to make enough money to get ahead.
Imagine if we were in a rush to enjoy life and have fun while earning money at the same time?
That’s why I want you to meet Alex Whalley, here’s some stats on his site:
Domain Registered: January 2010
Alexa Traffic rank: 130,356
Twitter followers: 10,489
Facebook likes/ recommendations: 1,272 / 3,114
Google+ circles: 898
I first wrote about Alex’s site when I was researching blogs for the #IBCT.
If you’ve been following me for long you know I harp about strategy constantly.
It’s not what you do but how you do it that makes the difference in the results you’ll get online.
What impresses me the most about Alex wasn’t his awards for winning SEO contests or the money his niche sites have earned him, it’s his writing style.
One of the most annoying things that you have to figure out when you start a blog is finding what experts call your “voice”.
That is the tone you use or the impression that you leave with your readers when you write.
The BIG question is do you want to come off sounding like a newspaper reporter, a college instructor, a close friend, YOUR MOM, what?
Alex has figured out a way to explain intricate details about boring topics like search engine optimization in a way that is easy to understand and freaking hilarious at the same time.
He’s kinda like the kid in Algebra class who’s cracking jokes in the back of the class and then when the teacher calls him out he goes to the chalkboard and can explain and solve the equation with ease. Then the teacher kicks him out of class anyway because everyone’s laughing, right? Did you have that type of teacher? Did you ever have a classmate like that?
Ok, alright. Enough of me let’s get to the discussion with Alex Whalley the founder of AlexWhalley.com
Alex is in Australia I’m in Florida, Google maps says we’re only 16,344 miles or 513 hours apart. (26,303 KM)
This past January marked the three year anniversary for your domain AlexWhalley.com with all that’s changed in the SEO world what has remained the same about your approach to building a profitable niche site?
The one constant that has never changed is the importance of quality content.
Before the updates it was important to write quality content because it was the only way to get articles accepted on popular blogs within that niche or even within higher ranking article directories.
Beyond that it was a pride thing LOL. If the content was going to be linking back to my money site or even was to be posted ON the site itself then I wanted it to be grammatically coherent as well as adding value.
The onus now on quality content is for a totally different reason, because not only does bad content get you the slap from Google, it also does not drive social engagement – something that is becoming increasingly important in SEO since the recent updates.
Why didn’t you quit blogging when times were tough?
Funny thing is, I kinda did. There was a period last year where I didnt post for about 6 months, and even when I finally did it was a haphazard attempt at best.
For me the blog was never about making money, it was more for the fun of it – a place to learn the ins and outs of the online world whilst getting to do 2 things I love – writing and socializing.
I think the reason I never really quit per se is due to the fact that I never put pressure on myself to make it a primary source of income, that and the fact that whenever I would get back into it, even if it was sporadic, I would connect back with some of the people who had helped make it fun along the way – bloggers who were now big names in the IM/blogging niche too I might add. (and good on them I say!) These engagements, regardless of how brief reminded me why I enjoyed the blogosphere and helped afford me the motivation to kick things up a notch (again).
What is the biggest mistake you notice new bloggers making that’s hurting their ability to make money with their niche sites?
Well the answer is kind of in the question to be honest.
If I had never started my blog then I would have made ten times more from my niche sites.
In fact one of the reasons I faded away from the blogosphere for the time that I did was because the Panda update caused me to lose a large percentage of my niche site income and it forced me to take stock and focus back on the SEO side of things in an attempt to figure out how to get them back.
Blogging is a social thing that requires large amounts of time to really make an impact – time that would be better spent building a niche site (or ten) and ranking them for profits. Build Rank Profit… and THEN blog
The other big mistake I see bloggers making, at least those who do it within the IM niche and are trying to turn a profit is a failure to be specific.
Having your own product or service is hugely important, especially in this IM niche but even without one you can do well – you just need to find one specific area to specialize in and focus solely on that (even Social media is too broad.
You want to REALLY define your chosen area or topic, so if you wanted to focus on Social Media then choose one specific platform and find something within that to deal with)
Finish this sentence:
I noticed the biggest improvement for my niche sites when I stopped _____ and I started ______.
I noticed the biggest improvement for my niche sites happened when I stopped automating various SEO processes and using various link building tools and I started manually doing all the legwork.
Granted I still outsourced most of the various elements like content creation and web2.0 creation but actually creating the strategy and building the structure is ALWAYS done by me and only me.
There’s a thin line between love and hate. I understand you love SEO but, what do you hate about it?
I love the creativity and out of the box thinking that good SEO requires, I hate the tedious side of it like analyzing competitors and crafting content based on the results.
Everyone talks about the importance of being passionate about your chosen niche and it is never truer than when you are doing this CONSTANTLY.
Passion is not necessary in my opinion, but mild interest certainly is! If I have to write another article about such-and-such I will kill myself! (and that kinda thing)
What is your favorite smart phone: iPhone or Android?
iPhone – but only because I made the mistake of starting with it and iTunes formatting took over my entire music collection. (Damn you Steve Jobs!)
What is your favorite social media platform? FB G+ TW TUMBLER?
Facebook – but give me a few months and that may change to Google+ – I see big things for it and am already noticing positive SE results due to the Google Authorship that is attached.
I hate Twitter – too much noise and to be honest I never really took the time to learn how to utilise it properly
What is your favorite JDM make/model?
LOL – nice. JDM – or Japanese Domestic Market refers to cars built in Japan, and usually applies to high performance imports from the likes of Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi (to name a few) – I have owned three Mitsubishi Legnum VR4s (Station wagon variant of the Galant) and I love them to bits. 4WD with Active Yaw control like the Evolution rally cars and a twin turbo V6 wrapped in a car that to the uninitiated looks like a family wagon… Can anyone say sleeper?!
Of course anything with a Mitsubishi Evolution badge works for me too – LOVE LOVE LOVE the evo (6.5 Tommi Makkinen edition FTW)
What I learned from Alex Whalley the founder of AlexWhalley.com
#1 – IF YOU WANT IT DONE RIGHT, DO IT YOURSELF.
Automation and outsourcing is cool and all but in the end you can only take out of something what you put in to it.
Want more out? Put more in.
Manually building backlinks or taking the time to promote your site yourself adds value and saves you money as you don’t have to worry about paying an outsourcer who doesn’t really care about what you’re doing and only wants your money.
#2 – BLOGGING IS FOR FUN. BUILDING, RANKING AND PROFITING FROM NICHE SITES IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.
My favorite quote from our discussion was “Build Rank Profit… and THEN blog” this is excellent advise and a great strategy that’s very easy to understand.
It’s not complicated, there is no enigma wrapped in bacon if you know what I mean.
Last year I launched my first niche site and I made thousands so I know all about the hard work it takes to build a site, rank it, and profit from it. After doing this people started noticing my main blog because I guess I had something worth wile to share.
This is the best strategy.
Instead of worrying about becoming a “popular blogger” focus on accomplishing something with your niche site first.
That way you’ll earn money and learn at the same time.
Do you want to learn how to Build, Profit, and Rank your niche site like Alex?
Read all of his posts since 2010 or subscribe for email updates from his blog.
#3 – WORK HARD PLAY HARD.
Once you know what you’re doing you can enjoy the fact that you get to do this internet thing for a living.
There is a huge demand for people with these skills as the internet continues to grow at a tremendous pace.
There’s a lot of money on the table so that means there’s also a lot of work required.
If you focus on doing what’s needed and not worrying about the popularity contests you’ll come out much better.
This will allow you to blog for fun not for followers, there’s a big difference.
The ironic thing is you could end up with a TON of social followers anyway without even really trying. You can see that Alex has over ten thousand follows on Twitter and he doesn’t even like this platform, lol.
I want to thank Alex Whalley for taking the time to do this interview.
I know you could have promoted one of your niche sites and got PAID but instead you shared knowledge and I appreciate that, thank you.
That’s it for this episode.
Don’t miss the first interview in the what I learned series featuring Steve Scott – The Six-Figure Affiliate Blogger.
You can also browse all of the latest interviews here.
Featured Blog Posts Subscribe for Free updates