So I have been with the greatest girl in the world for 2 months and 12 days. So if you wonder where I have been, its all her fault! I think I will be occupied for awhile! She is amazing and I love everything about her! Maybe I’ll post more in the coming weeks/months
Read the rest...
Derek Cladek on May 28th, 2010
Over the past few months I have learned what it takes to rank any website on the internet, mainly in Google. I remember the days where I would see a really competitive market and thought to myself “how I could never get involved because how could a small guy like me take on an empire of a site?” Then recently something struck me and I have had more confidence than I have had in the past eight months! I feel like I can do anything and the truth about it is, I can! We can do anything we set our minds to. I might sounds a little over confident, but its true, we can do anything and I know that failure will still be in my future, but its failure that will help me succeed. Failure is just lifes’ why of teaching us what works and what doesn’t work.
It’s really about who links to you and the process of getting those links. Many people will post content on a blog, do article marketing, or have their friends link to them, but what else is there? It seems like Google is changing almost every week and things that used to work in the past no longer work today. The stuff that works today, probably won’t work tomorrow. Its about finding what works today and going after that as much as you can, but at the same time finding other things that work. Getting links to your site is the biggest way to rank online. Google also loves new and fresh content, which is one way they say you can rank better online. For instance I created a blog post talking about pig farms in Uganda and that page ranks in Google for many terms about pig farms in Uganda and I never got a single link to that page. This shows that Google loves new content.
It is amazing to me when I see a small site out ranking another site we see as ‘too big to beat’, but more and more I see it happening. Over the past month I have gained a confidence in myself where I feel I can do anything or beat anyone (except a friend who I’d rather stay far way from and won’t disclose who he is.. you know who you are!)
Search Engine Optimization is just one of the many keys you need to out rank a website. We give the term SEO which encompasses a lot of what we do, but do we realize all of the little pieces that it takes to beat our competitors? I don’t find beating a competitor as the hardest and biggest obstacle anymore. The biggest obstacle I find myself in is finding the best or right markets to get in. Its about finding what sells online that you can’t really get anywhere else. That is why wedding favors is so huge! Where would you go to buy wedding favors in a store near you? I live by some pretty big cities and I couldn’t tell you a single place I could go.
Owning an Ecommerce store is a great way for anyone to make money online. I started my first online store in 2007 and haven’t stopped since. One of my biggest problems right now is finding that perfect niche, were its always going to be there and is not affected by a falling economy. I also would love to take on a few clients and do SEO work for them, but its a struggle finding those people. Most people create an SEO firm so they can find clients easier, but there are people like me who could probably do more for a company than those large SEO firms.
That’s enough for now. If you have questions don’t hesitate to ask or leave comments. I know my blog is pretty bare, but I hope to continue writing on what I have learned and am learning about SEO, Ecommerce and anything else I want to post!
Derek Cladek on May 27th, 2010
Whatever you write about on your blog is who you will attract. Kind of like whoever you hang out with is who you will become like. My mom always told me that when I was growing up so hanging out with some kids was out of the question. It wasn’t like we were smoking pot or doing drugs back then, we were just being kids and possibly being a little mischievous. You will find a ton of blogs talking about making money online because that is the crowd they are trying to attract. These people are looking to make their living online and so selling to them is much easier than some random visitor.
I only bring up this point because I talked about going to Uganda Africa to build a pig farm and many of my visitors since those first post have been people begging me to give them money or to help them start a pig farm somewhere in Africa. I did go to Uganda in the summer of 2009 and had a 45 foot by 15 foot building built to raise pigs. The farm is about an hours drive outside of the capital city of Kampala Uganda. It always depends on the condition of the roads because any road off the main road to Kampala is dirt with rather large ruts. After a few rain showers and you will be fording small rivers in the roads making your travel time to the pig farm much longer.
The purpose of this pig farm is to help support orphanages that are being built by a non profit organization that has been in Uganda for the past 22 years. The idea was to build a pig farm to generate money to help start other businesses throughout Uganda. These businesses would then generate enough capital to support the overall cause of raising orphans and to better help these people’s lives. It was a project that made sense, so I asked a few friends who donated money and in 2009 I brought with me $3,500 to build the farm.
I visited the pig farm a few weeks ago, May 2010 and their biggest complaint was that they needed more room. With six large pigs, four girls and two boys, one had just given birth to 10 piglets and three others were about to give birth. One of the obstacles, and there are many, is to teach these Africans to take the money from selling piglets to buy food, medicine and to start building onto the current structure. Instead of relying upon or always asking for money, they need to start using the resources they have to get the job done. In the America if we need to expand our business we either take the profits we have and build, or we go to the bank and get a loan. In Africa its something that needs to be taught.
Feeding the pigs is one of the biggest headaches right now. Cost of feed keeps going up and for a bag of Bran, it cost around 30,000 shillings (the current exchange rate is 2,233 shillings to the US dollar, the highest I have seen it). This could make a bag of Bran cost $13.44 and the bags usually last one week. We had planted Matoke trees around the piggery to help feed the pigs when those trees started producing its fruit. Another resource we are looking to plant are sweet potatoes to help supplement the food the pigs eat. Eventually we want the pig farm to be completely supported by the land and not outside food sources. This is also something that needs to be taught to the Africans because they expect the white man to pay for everything, including food.
I write all of these because I do get request for help, to send money to help someone start a piggery. I understand its difficult and I had to start a business with very little, but once you start something continue to grow it and expand and eventually you will have a successful and unstoppable business.
Derek Cladek on May 26th, 2010
What I have learned the past 9 months is that everything you do is about passion. If you have a passion to succeed you will succeed because nothing will stop you. Your passion becomes your driving force and its what gets you by another day. I have learned that I hate writing, but I love reading what other people write. I am definitely not the best at writing but I do love learning new things and teach others.
One of my biggest issues with school is that they teach people how to have a ‘safe and secure’ job. Well I am here to tell you school is a waste of time and money! I never completed college, mainly because I was going for Fire Fighting and when I started my own business I left that job and dream behind. I was a volunteer firefighter for almost two years and loved it. It’s one memory I love and miss most. What I got from that experience is that you need passion to succeed. In anything in life it will be your driving force.
I have learned these past few months a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and feel I could actually teach a college course on it. I don’t know a lot of technical things like CSS, PHP, Databases or even really how to design a website, but I do know who does! With SEO its a lot about who you know than what you know. I know what it takes to take a website to the top of google, but when I found the ‘who’ in SEO I got there a lot faster!
You can always learn something from anyone and that is why large bloggers make all their money on their blogs, because they have such a large following, people just want to learn from them. They show you their successes, but what about their failures? They hype you up to get you to join their list so they can eventually sell you something! These people make their money online that way. They bait you, hook you and catch you later! I am not against this or these bloggers, but what if you could teach people to be successful without ever selling them anything? How much respect would you get then?
I know this post is random, probably because I am a very random person, with many thoughts just floating around in my head. I never stop thinking about this stuff and how I can learn more about SEO. I will get ideas just randomly and will always write them down.
Here is the golden nugget for this post- Always write down every idea you have, no matter how dumb you think it is.
You know Thomas Edison said “I have not failed 1,000 times, I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb”
Your path to success will the driving force of your passion to succeed and finding every way that doesn’t work. SEO is partly about finding what doesn’t work and what does work. I have failed multiple times but its the one success that drives me and makes me successful.
Derek Cladek on August 5th, 2009
Since the middle of last month my tattoo site has been killing it with traffic, up over 45k visitors. I think I’m going to just let it ride now and see how long it will make money. The last time I made some major updates I let it go for 9 months before I did anything else to it and it kept making a consistent amount of money every month. It turns into a cash machine with very little maintenance involved. I pay about $10 each month for hosting and that is all.
Why would I let it go?
Well right now I am getting ready to leave for Africa for about 40 days so I really don’t have the time to add more pages and I am creating a new tattoo blog site to create another income stream. I want to be diverse in where I get money, which tattoos I don’t think will be going anywhere any time soon. The tattoo market can only get bigger and better as more and more people want their own tattoo.
When I get back from Africa I plan on adding more pages to the site, currently its only 153 pages. If I can add about 20 pages each month, it will only attract more people to the site.
The above picture is from Clickbank which on August 4th made four sales of the affiliate product on the site. There are a few days like yesterday that just makes the tattoo site really kill it with making money, while I do absolutely nothing. The last actual job I had back in 2007 I would make $134 a day, working 8 hours. So to make 101.45 from having a simple tattoo site just makes life even better.
Derek Cladek on August 3rd, 2009
I leave for Uganda Africa in seven days! Time is ticking away and I still need to raise money to build that pig farm. I have raised $500 so far of the $3,000 needed to build a large farm in Uganda. The pig farm’s main purpose is to support the building efforts of the Orphanages and Baby house in Uganda. The baby house is near Kampala, the Capitol and the Orphanages will be hours away in areas that have nothing. The main orphanage village being built right not is in an area called Soroti, which I believe is north east of Kampala. I was there in August 2006 and they had completed the construction of 2 buildings and the out houses.
As of September 2008 they had completed a total of 12 buildings but had no money for furnishing each building or paying for the orphans to stay in the houses. The goal of the village is to supply 10 kids with parents who will teach them what they need to know to survive and to make a living for themselves. Basically they will grow up in a family environment with parents and brothers and sisters. They will be taught how to farm, take care of livestock and how to build things. Not only will there be a school, but also a hospital.
It takes years right now to complete one task, as this orphan village has been under construction for a few years now. They are reliant upon outside donations and people to give funds. My goal is to make these projects self funded by the pig farms that will be built. The funds from the farms will go to start other businesses that will help pay the cost of the orphan villages and to one day pay for each child to be raised in a family environment.
The first picture is from the first night we stayed in the house. These are the first two buildings with a gathering of kids from the local area. I cannot really say there is a village as I didn’t really see anything. This orphan village is really in the middle of no where. When it gets dark out there isn’t a single light anywhere besides from the stars. I have never seen so many stars in my life, its amazing!
The only place to get drinking water is from this water hole. Every day people line up to fill their buckets full of water. The water is clean and cold, but this shows that the only thing out in this area is a watering hole. There is no electricity, no stores, no gas stations, no Starbucks. Nothing but you, the people and nature.
I leave so soon and cannot wait!
Derek Cladek on August 1st, 2009
July ended with a huge bang! The entire month of July the tattoo site did its best ever. Even though the site is almost three years old its never done this well. Not only did it beat any of its traffic records but also its income records from any other month.
I could go back and figure out a month by month stat, but that would take way to long. Instead I am just going to focus on each month from now on.
Here is what took place in July.
- I changed all of the ‘first link priority’ on every page to point to the home page of the site for the top level keyword.
- I found three really good link partners who helped the site gain a page rank of 3 from a 1.
- I added about 15 new pages and linked to each page.
- The sites traffic ended the month with 114,457 unique visitors, which is almost 48k more than any other month!
- Clickbank created $262.91 in profits
- Adsense created $578.64 in profits
Total Site Income: $841.55
I also started another tattoo blog which I plan on it being more profitable than this site. The blog has huge potential and will create repeat visitors, which is something my ‘adsense’ tattoo site lacks. No one really wants to go to that site everyday, mostly because there isn’t any new information on it.
Creating an adsense site is actually very easy, it just takes time, money and effort. You need to find something you love to talk about, something you are passionate about, otherwise you will never keep up with it. Once you have created the site, it takes alot of work to get links, create good titles, find linking partners, and then keeping the site updated. After a long time the site can run itself or you can hire someone to manage it, but it will take you to get it to that place.
Now mind you that this niche is a very huge niche but has very little money in it. If you found a niche that was much smaller but had a lot of money in it, you could do way better than this tattoo site. I know a guy who owns a blog who only talks about banking information, rates, cd rates, interest rates, credit cards and makes about $1,200 each month from it, AND he only gets about 500 visitors/day to his site.
How do you find out if a ‘search phrase’ has money in it?
The first step is to use a keyword research tool such as the one at wordtracker to find how many people are searching for what you are interested in.
Then you search your keywords on google to see how many ads are showing. How many sponsored links are there? If there are only a few, then you probably won’t make too much money from adsense but if there are many ads then your chances are good.
Start right now, start writing down every idea you have and see what you can find on wordtracker and search google for ideas. This is the first step.
Derek Cladek on July 27th, 2009
Working from home is awesome, until you get a nice heat wave and don’t have air conditioning! You think that after making so much money you would want to invest into some kind of air conditioning unit, but really it doesn’t get this hot in Seattle very much. This is one of those really really rare heat waves. In fact so many people don’t have AC units, the only places you will find them are in stores, restaurants and theaters. The forecast has temperatures going into the 90s almost all week. In Western Washington anything over 80 degrees in the summer is pretty warm and anything over 90 is rare and really hot!
Derek Cladek on July 23rd, 2009
So today is one of those days that everything lined up and went perfect for some reason. The tattoo site that I own also sells some clickbank products and for some reason it made three sales today! It averages about one sale each day while some days or even weeks it will go without a single sale. The commission on a sale usually ranges from $13 up to $26 so its just a nice extra income. Well today started off really well with two sales that equaled $51.09 just in commissions and another sale right before midnight, while the google Adsense ads made $19.
I remember the day when making a few dollars a day from this tattoo site was awesome, but never expected it to reach $83 in a single day. Of course the sites has had its better days and this ISN”T a record, but its been a long time since I have made that much money in one day.
This makes me wonder how much money is really out there to be had, just by the little work I have put into this site. Its three years old and is getting loads of traffic. This also makes me wonder how much work I can put into building another site like a blog just about tattoos and see the traffic to the blog increase dramatically. Hmm.. smells like another new website for me in the very near future. I’ll keep you updated on everything as always.
Derek Cladek on July 21st, 2009
I leave for Uganda Africa on August 10th for 39 days! The plan is to build at least one pig farm. The last time I was in Africa my friend Jack and I looked at what kind of business we could start in Uganda that would actually make money.
Most businesses in Africa are copied and what I mean by that is when a person opens a shop to sell paper within a few month that shop will be surrounded by at least 10 of the same exact stores! Talk about killing a market! That would really tick me off if I started a business and then had a ton of copycats, but I guess that is how business is. Just look at the thousands of ‘make money’ blogs on the net today! Everyone thinks they can make money just by having a blog, its not true.
What I learned in Africa is that you MUST have a unique idea and plan to succeed. After looking at everything from paper and ink to iPods and iPhones, we ended up finding that a piggery would do really well in Africa. While I was there in September 2008 we bought 9 pigs (6 females and 3 males) for about $15/each pig. When a pig is fat and ready to be sold to the market, they can go from anywhere between 250,000 Shillings to 400,000 shillings. At today’s exchange rate of a Shilling to US dollar it would be $119-190 US dollars.
While I was there in 2008 I was emailing a guy named Clark Covington who has his own online business helping other businesses. I told him what I was doing in Africa and what the plan was with building a pig farm. He told me he would love to help and within a day he sent me $300 US dollars which looks like a ton of money in Uganda. ($300 in Uganda is what an average person will make in a month).
Most Africans cannot afford to raise more than one pig so the competition is fairly light in Uganda for raising pigs. A man named Jacob who lives with his wife and children about 1 hour outside of Kampala Uganda started with a few pigs two years ago and when I saw them last, they had 48 pigs. They have a large covered pig pen with about 15 different stalls. The only problem they have with their pigs is the lack of food. Since Jacob lives so far away from most of the population, they have to feed the pigs scraps, any left over food and plants that are growing around the house. To buy
food is a struggle for them, since they are already living off the land, but if you had the money you could go into town and buy bags of bran or pig food. Most of his pigs where way under weight, malnourished and needed to be fed more. Pigs not only are one of the most popular foods in Uganda but they are easy to raise and feed, if you have the money. Pigs also reproduce at outstanding rates as a large female pig can give birth to 8-12 pigs at a time.
The Plan for August 2009
The plan for this trip is to transplant the original 8 pigs (1 killed itself) and their babies to a much larger pig farm. Right now they are in little houses built two feet off the ground. We are renting land at $6 each house per month and now have access to land where we can build a farm at any size we wish.
The picture above is from September 2008, so these pigs are much bigger now and are all pregnant.
These are the houses we had built for the pigs so that by the time we came back this year they would have enough room with all of the piglets.
We need enough funds to build a pig farm that can support between 150 to 200 pigs at a time. I have a friend named Vincent who has been coming to the US for the past three years and has stayed with us each time he comes. His family owns 40 acres just outside the capital, Kampala and has said that we could use 10 acres to build whatever we want. This land will be our starting point for building the pig farm and the funds from this farm will help support more to come.
Where Will The Money Go?
The purpose of these pig farms is to help build and finish orphanage villages that are being constructed today throughout Uganda. World Out Reach Ministries is a Non Profit organization that has been in Uganda for over 20 years building schools, churches and taking care of orphaned children and widows throughout Uganda. Today there are many obstacles in finishing projects that have been started for years. When I was in Uganda in August 2006 one of the orphan villages was being constructed and three buildings were finished. Going back in September 2008 they had a total of 12 buildings finished but no one was living in the completed houses. Right now only 490 children are sponsored and have homes. Children who would otherwise have no place to live, no family, nowhere to go, no hope, no job, no homes and no family.
I felt called in September 2008 to start building businesses in Uganda that will support the cause over there without having to rely upon the support of outsiders. People in America and the UK are the biggest supporters of what is going on in Uganda today, but in the near future I would like to see that the majority of support is coming from their own nation and to one day make everything self reliant on the businesses that we build today.
By starting today we can help change a nation and help them become reliant on themselves and not other peoples and nations.
What we need and what we expect in the next 365 days.
- $3,000 – $6,000 to start 1 or 2 pig farms within 1 hour of Kampala
- After building the first pig farm we will buy up to 50 pigs. (Each farm will hold 150-200 pigs)
- Buy enough food to feed 50 pigs for 3 months (1 Bag of food cost about $20)
- Pay a doctor to vaccinate each pig to keep them healthy. (Medicine Cost about $2/pig)
- Pay 3 people 50,000 Shillings/month to tend to the pigs. (Cost About $75/month)
- Plant a crop next to the pig farm to help feed the pigs.
- After the first pigs are born, sell a few to start a cash flow to buy more supplies, feed the pigs, pay the workers and doctor.
- Once the pigs have reproduced twice we should have enough funds to build 1-2 more farms, buy land and keep the process going.
- The end goal is to support the Orphanage Villages and Baby House to take care of babies with no parents.
If you ever wish to support what I will be doing in Uganda, please contact me and I will get you details on how you can support us! All donations will be 100% tax deductible. Thanks!
More Updates To Come!