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After The Honeymoon

The Honeymoon Is OverVirtually every project you’ll start online will have what I call a “Honeymoon Period”.

It’s the time (normally 2-3 months) when you’re extremely excited about a new project. Normally you’ll be extremely focused and driven in the Honeymoon Period and you’ll take big strides towards achieving your goal.

But time and time again, projects die. Motivation fades.

This can happen for lots of reasons…

Some people give up when they don’t get the instant gratification and “breakthrough” results they’re looking for.

Other times life just gets in the way.

Regardless of what kills your motivation, the result is always the same. You end up moving further away from your goal, and in many cases back to square one.

It used to happen to me…a lot. And I know it’s happens to countless other marketers as well.

The biggest shame though, is that quite often people lose drive and motivation right before they’re about to start seeing results.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s assume you’ve started a new website packed with information about gardening, and you’re monetizing it with affiliate marketing.

Your goal initially is to get enough traffic to be able to drive 1 sale each day, and you’re counting on getting top rankings in Google to do it.

So you get started. You dive into SEO and you’re strictly following a link building plan.

You start building links, and all of a sudden you’ve got what’s called “Positive Link Growth”…it’ll look something like this:

Google likes seeing positive link growth, and little by little starts rewarding you with rankings…

First your site gets indexed in the Google search engine, then you start getting rankings for a couple of obscure keywords.

You keep battling away, building links.

You’re now 10 weeks into your project and still haven’t made a sale.

You start doubting yourself and questioning whether you’ve made a mistake…

Perhaps the niche was wrong?

Or perhaps your link building was too aggressive and Google has penalized your site…?

You decide to focus your attention elsewhere for a while, perhaps your site just needs some time to “age” and you plan on returning to it at a later date…

In the meantime, perhaps you’ll explore some other opportunity that’s been bugging you for a while…in any case, you stop building links for a couple of months.

All of a sudden, your link growth changes…you’ve now got a negative pattern like this (it’s called “Negative Link Growth”):

Google realizes you’re no longer working on your site, so you start to lose the rankings you initially had…after all, with so many websites to choose from, why would Google want a stagnant site at the top of it’s rankings?

Things are going backwards and success looks further away than ever before.

You discard your project and continue hunting for the one thing that’ll give you a breakthrough…perhaps you’re already in a new Honeymoon Period with something new…

++++

Regardless of what kind of project you’re pursuing online, you WILL experience ups and downs and you WILL go through the Honeymoon Period.

In order to succeed, you need to stay focused.

More often than not, LESS is MORE.

  • Work on fewer sites, but make them top notch.
  • Work on fewer Kindle eBooks, but make each one the best in its category.
  • Create fewer eCommerce stores, but give them the attention they deserve.

More About Link Growth

In the past, Google didn’t put much importance on Link Growth (also known as Link Velocity) when ranking websites. In the last 6 months however, it’s become one of the most important SEO factors.

When looking at my own websites performances, I’ve seen rankings slowly decline on websites that have negative link growth patterns.

Negative link growth is usually the result of links disappearing. Sometimes the pages they’re on might get taken down (for example a Squidoo lens), or perhaps the domains they’re on might simply expire.

Websites with stagnant link profiles (when a website isn’t getting any new links, but also isn’t losing existing links) can also slowly lose their rankings.

MajesticSEO.com and AHRefs.com both allow you to quickly and easily check your link growth. The video below shows you how you can do this:

It’s very important that you keep some good links trickling into your sites.

It’s not hard to do, it only takes a couple of minutes per day, and it’ll make your website perform over a long period of time. Not only that, but you’ll also end up being in the fortunate position of having rankings for 1000’s of keywords.

In two weeks time (on my “1st of the month” update on AidanBooth.com) I’ll share the EXACT strategy I use to ensure my websites perform well over a long period of time and rank for 1000’s of keywords.

I’ve never shared this strategy before, so I look forward to getting it to you!

Thanks for visiting,

Aidan

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38 Comments so far:

  1. Chris says:

    Yup, I get this way. If it wasn’t for the knowledge of my other successful sites … that I built them in November but didn’t see results until April or May … I would probably have this “itch” to start on some new sites! Thanks for the new info on link velocity, too. I didn’t think Google took this into account.

  2. Barb says:

    This is my pattern for a few sites/ideas I have now and then. Need to focus. I hope you will list some of the ideal places to link from. Do you use article sites anymore?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Barb, YES, absolutely, I still use Article sites. Ezine Articles and Go Articles (the old “classics”) are still a great starting point.

  3. Excellent advice, Aidan…

    It happened to me a few times in the past already.
    This year I’ve made a decision though, to start focusing on a single website.

    Here is a tip, corollary to that decision.
    Based on past content from multiple other websites, I can now re-purpose that content, spruce it up with search strings I’ve found brought in traffic already and let the older sites gracefully die slowly, while the new one will flourish (hopefully).
    It is hard for me to see sites already ranking well slowly drifting (and to have to give up on them) but I think on the medium/long term, I’ll be much better with the new approach.

    Better build ONE authority site than multiple small(er/ish) ones…

  4. michael says:

    Awesome post – thanks for this!

  5. Mike W. says:

    I’ve never seen anyone write about this but I’m glad you did because it is so true. It is very easy to get discouraged when you are working so hard to build a website and get rankings and pouring your heart and soul into a project only to see little to no results during the first few months.

    I struggle with this myself but one way that I overcome it is to remind myself of the things I want to achieve in the long run, such as financial freedom. As with most things in life, the things that are worth having don’t usually come easy but the rewards of persistence and diligence usually outweigh the cost.

    Thanks for speaking on this important issue that we all face as internet marketers.

  6. The honeymoon theory is so true. I can’t tell you how many projects, websites, etc I’ve started over the past 10 years and left them, probably just before they start becoming profitable. I now think back and say “if only I’d stuck with it”, imagine where I’d be.

    I started TechNowNews.com back in December, and it has slowly made it’s way up the search results for a few keywords, and traffic is growing, even if only slightly, but growing non the less.

    I’m dedicated to the site, I’ve had my doubts about if this was the right niche to jump into. It is my passion, but monetizing it is more difficult than I’d originally thought it would be. But I’m sticking with it. I have a set plan of where I want the site to go, and steps to get it there, even if it takes longer than I want.

    Thanks Aidan for another wonderful post.

  7. Dead right Aidan. I’ve fallen in and out of this so many times. Many times I’ve persistently worked on some of my better sites and they are always my best traffic sites. It has been said so many times that if you treat Internet marketing like a hobby it will pay you like a hobby. If you treat it like a business, you will get business results. When I say a business, if you had a conventional business and only opened the doors when you feel good – you’ll never succeed. If you opened your doors every day, even when you feel lousy, your chances of success are massively increased.

  8. Nice post Aidan -and relevant.

    I wonder about that stuff quite frequently -the slump in link building. If one has a few sites, it’s almost as if you need a person to do nothing but keep up with building links on (1) existing sites and (2) hi PR sites and other personal link network properties (to maintain pagerank, etc.).

    There’s only so many hours in a day -so in order to free up our time to pursue new projects …
    I wrestle with that constantly. I’m anxious to see your strategy.

    Dave C

    • Aidan says:

      You’ll find the strategy useful for sure Dave, and it’s also something you can easily outsource…check back on August 1st :)

  9. Richard says:

    Aidan, once again you provide inspiration.
    I already own a conventional business and there are many times, that I wanted to close the door.
    I agree it takes time to build a business and gain customers. I have to say that I have outsourced much of my current website, however I have begun the basics of another couple.

    It is difficult to wrestle a conventional business, and that of starting new projects, but if you focus even when the chips are down you will achieve alot.

    again thanks Aidan

    Richard W

  10. Mark says:

    Great article and video Aidan, looking forward to your new strategy…

  11. Jan says:

    Great information, Aidan! I really struggle with backlinking. I have several different affiliate sites and often find myself second-guessing what I am doing. I recently made a commitment to myself to do as you said and set up a few backlinks per site each week so that there is a gradual growth over time. Though I get impatient to see results (who doesn´t in this business?!) I know it is best to move forward slowly – even very slowly – than not at all.

    So thanks for your great articles and your encouragement on the forums!

  12. I want to share with you a story that my grandfather told me years ago

    I was a little boy…”the story of an apple grower who started with one acre of apple trees”

    He told me the story of an apple grower who started with one acre of apple trees.

    “Planting that first acre” my grandfather said, “was hard. The farmer did not have much money, and the farmer sold them. With his profits, he bought two more acres and planted more Trees. Soon he had over a hundred acres of apples trees, all producing apples. It started slowly, but he knew if he kept doing what he was doing, he would soon be a very rich man.”

    Though this example was very simple one, it served me well..

    Yes, but what about bugs or drought? I ask him…

    It’s a valid question. And successful business owner don’t count on everything going perfectly.

    PS:this is true when you build your first website that is HARD after for a min you see the snowball effect rolling and then move on the next one ..just like the farmer did when bought more acres to planted more trees..this same step

    I HOPE y’all love it
    cheers

    • Aidan says:

      Very relevant – thanks!

      • Yep…no at problem also want to thank you for you hard work.. here posting good value in facts WE all thank you !!
        But this story is better simple one ..i think is the same step as the farmer did is the same step with the website ..first 1 is hard and then next is little easy .. also have the main FOCUS

  13. Paul Warner says:

    Very good post and worth always keeping in mind because I know from experience playing guitar and tennis that you go through periods in both where you are playing really well then suddenly out of the blue you’re not hitting the tennis ball as well as you should, or playing and creating music feels dried up. I know you have to stay focused, keep learning, keep trying new things, and sometimes just getting away from it for a day or two renews the vigor to get back to it. Personally I think the Internet and trying to build a business, considering all the programs I haven’t been able to afford, that would advance things that much more quickly, is pretty damn scary.

  14. Alex says:

    I am quoting these lines,

    “In two weeks time (on my “1st of the month” update on AidanBooth.com) I’ll share the EXACT strategy I use to ensure my websites perform well over a long period of time and rank for 1000’s of keywords.”

    So, can you please give the link of this post? Thanks.

  15. Nick says:

    Hey Aidan, Amazing. Thanks so much for the info.

    I had a question when running domains through majestic seo for the domains summary.

    Is it more ideal refer to the the root domain, the subdomain (www.) or the URL (http://www)?

    Just curious because I get different numbers for all three.

    Thanks!

    Nick

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Nick, I usually use the root domain when using Majestic SEO…it really depends though…try both, and take the one that has more results…

  16. Henriette says:

    Hi Aidan,

    I was reading your update on social media and since I am interested in outsourcing in that area, I tried to follow your link to ‘Social Media Company’ however the link is broken.

    I tried socialmediacompany.com, but there is only an awfully long video and no obvious information/pricing on outsourcing.

    Would you please post the link again.

    Thanks
    Henriette

  17. Russ Turner says:

    For one man bands like me it becomes so confusing when we get conficting advice. For example you place great emphasis on backlinking yet another person in a similar capacity to you suggests the importance of backling is not so great post Panda 2 and “Branding” is now the key, whilst others stress that content is still king.

    To my mind the correct balance of these many factors is the real key and to create a site from which the visitor derives real benefit.

    But, returning to the “One Man Band” scenario, given Googles agressive approach I believe we cannot compete effectively and it is only organizations with an experienced “Team” who will flourish.

    I was building really well until Sept 12 when G blew me out of the water, I fought back to no avail and so this old man is retiring.

    I wish you youngsters well but do believe the future is corporate.

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Russ,

      With regards to Link Building vs Branding vs Content is King, I think all three are important, and that they aren’t mutually exclusive from one another…you can build a great link that passes powerful link juice AND improve your branding at the same time. Great content by itself won’t be good enough, neither will great links, neither will great branding…in my opinion, you NEED all three working together to have the best success.

      In fact, if you check out my latest post about Hit Lists, this is exactly what I’m recommending.

      It will always be a challenge to compete with corporate giants, but THEY can never compete with an individual passionate about a certain niche, or an individual who specializes in something.

      Let me give you an example…

      If someone passionate about car audio is looking to buy a new speaker system for their car, they can choose to buy at Amazon.com where they won’t get any support, OR they can choose to buy at “CarAudioSpecialists.com” (I’ve made that domain up) and they’ll get expert support, advice, and a bigger selection. Amazon doesn’t really attempt to compete with specialists.

      Let’s take another example…

      CDLTrainingHub.com…that’s a simple website I made. No giant trucking company is even attempting to go after the same keywords…and since I have a page about every State (“CDL Training In Kansas” etc), there’s massive scope to what I can cover…I’m certainly not worried about competing with a corporate giant.

      Another example…

      I live in Argentina, I’ve been in Buenos Aires 7 years now, I’ve purchased property here, I’ve open a bank account here, I know a lot about this city and especially about life as a foreigner here (and the challenges that come with it). I could easily document all this knowledge (which just came to me naturally over time…I’m not a specialist) and create a Kindle book called “The Ex-Pat Guide to Living in Buenos Aires”. That kind of book could easily make sales every day…no corporate giant can compete with that kind of personalized and human story…

      I know internet marketing has it’s ups and downs…but over time, the UP’s massively outnumber the DOWN’s…Internet Marketing is absolutely a viable business model, people just need to be prepared for the occasional obstacle and people need to work on diversifying their income streams.

      Thanks for your comment Russ, I hope to see you back here again soon :)

    • Chris says:

      It definitely is a difficult business. However, I tune out all the noise over branding and corporations, because my new websites are handily beating most of them – plus, what Aidan has us target (ie Clickbank products) corporations won’t touch.

      My “fight” with corporations went on from 2009-2012 – I had a party site, I had excellent rankings, and I was beating Disney for some party theme pages. Then along came Panda and Penguin, and though my site was very high quality, I had a bad backlink profile (too many keyword links, not enough branding.)

      It’s not that Disney “won”, it’s that their site has a much more diversified backlink profile. If I decided to redo the fight on that certain keyword with a new website (using my website name and profile name as backlinks), I could probably beat them again …

      (Actually, I just checked the keyword, and it’s all Pinterest and Youtube videos now, so Disney and I both lost!)

      Anyway, the point is, you have to be passionate and creative about your topics. Corporations will always win with their own product keywords … and they should … so you should target keywords about those products … instead of trying to rank for “Nike xx model shoes” try to rank for “what are the best shoes for running in the mountains?” – you will win with useful content on subjects that readers will find interesting and informative, because you will have your own personal touch and opinions … your readers will then click that buy button at the end of your article to buy the shoes you recommend.

  18. Mike Moser says:

    Aiden, Any news with the replacement on “Squiddo” is dead situation?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Mike,

      YES! In about 1 week you’ll have a new demo video showing you the new website I’ve started using…I’ll send you an email about it once it’s ready.

  19. Ricardo says:

    Aidan, I think you’re right with the Honeymoon period. I’ve experienced this before and I used to pick up a lot of projects at the same time but this is the worst thing someone can do.

    I think it’s important to build links every day or at least make the effort to create new links.

    I’ll waiting your video about how you rank on 1000 of keywords on Google.

  20. Azeem Diwan says:

    Hi Aidan
    Joined the EFormula two days ago.First impression? So far so good! However ‘honeymoon’ has just started. You RIGHTLY have said ‘lack of motivation kills honeymoon’.
    Having gone through at least half of similar programs, I can confidently say through experience that motivation killers are: Difficult to follow or confusing instructions, lack of initial or planned success, feeling stranded due to lack of proper support when in difficulties, info overload etc.
    I wish, hope and pray my honeymoon phase with the EFormula progresses from the ‘honeymoon’ phase to ’till death do us part’ phase. Which I think is shall we say more ‘permanent?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Azeem,

      Congratulations on your purchase! We’re excited to start this program, we have a lot of VERY exciting stuff in store for you :)

      I completely agree on the motivation killers… I think you’ll be fine with eFormula Evolution, just follow through week by week, ask for support when you need it, and take small steps forward until you’ve launched your products… don’t stop… just keep moving forward until you make it :)

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