Ever since the Google face slap in March, 2012, I’ve been working overdrive to ensure the survival of our species. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s pretending that I have nothing, and that each day is a challenge to put biscuits on the table. Every time there is an assault on my existence or a potential reduction in income, I think back to the days when I worked at McDonald’s from 6am until whenever for $3.25 an hour and I get motivated!
The first step is to pontificate: “What If A Major Income Source Went To Zero?” From this post, we are reminded to be grateful for what we have, diversify, and be grateful some more. There are some great comments in the post which I encourage you all to read.
The second step is to go back to the beginning, and ask ourselves, “What is our value proposition to our readers and clients?” “Why would someone want to visit my site over the millions of other sites out there?” From these questions, came The Yakezie Value Proposition and The Financial Samurai Value Proposition. These are back to basics posts which re-anchor why it is that we do what we do. After doing anything for a while, we sometimes forget what is most important to us, and we lose focus.
The third step is to analyze one’s own income streams and figure out areas for improvement. In “Achieving Financial Freedom One Income Slice At A Time“, I go through step by step the various passive and active income streams, and potential bonus income streams. The process has helped alleviate any irrational fear that I will end up begging on the streets. In fact, through a deep dive analysis I’ve come to realize I have more income streams than I originally thought because I totally forgot about my private equity and private real estate investments. An even greater reward is that several readers have commented similar findings!
The final step is actually putting pontification into motion.
INTRODUCING FINANCIAL SAMURAI ONLINE CONSULTING (FSOS)
Consulting is a very personal and unscalable business that I enjoy. I’ve been paid randomly for my advice on subjects that range from the internet to helping with one’s career. Do note that the large majority of my advice has also been unpaid and I’m happy with that. There’s never been a formal consulting offering to the public or a price to charge. Payment has always been ad hoc, or through simple offerings such as a beer, a steak dinner, accounting help, website design, or a week’s stay in Maui (sweet!).
I love consulting because I think it is inherent in all of us to want to pass on valuable knowledge to others. The Yakezie Forums, both private and public are an incredible resource of free information which I’ve helped provide, and receive at the same time. What I’ve noticed through countless interactions with others is the need for more 1-on-1, personalized help beyond what’s available online.
Thanks to Google, I decided to think about a specific product which I think could help new, or frustrated bloggers gain more traffic and recognition to their sites. I wanted to offer something tangible where results will be immediate. We all know that at the end of the day, traffic is the most important metric for a site. Traffic is real-time feedback on whether the internet world enjoys your content or not.
I thought about what I love to do, and where my strengths are as a blogger. It is clear that I love to write and connect with others. It’s also interesting to note that I get e-mails every single week from advertisers who want to write content on Financial Samurai and pay me hundreds of dollars per post. I’ve declined 99% of them because the content is horrible and the price didn’t justify me spending the time to re-write the post. Instead, how good would it be to get write something I’m proud of, and get compensated as well. Ironically, if I was just out of college and making less, I would probably accept many more of such advertisement posts.
Combining these various aspects, I’ve decided to come up with the “Get On The Map” product. You can learn more about it on Financial Samurai.
GET ON THE MAP!
The “Get On The Map” service is targeted at bloggers who are serious about blogging, but either don’t know where to start, are too shy to connect with others, are suffocating for time, or just want a jump start to their blogging careers.
I went through 6 months of toil, and plenty of rejections and non-responses before things started picking up. From spring to the fall of 2009, you probably couldn’t avoid seeing my name in the comments section of many blogs because I spent probably 20 hours a week at least, reading and interacting. I was the blogosphere’s biggest fan.
Yet, despite my persistent attempts to reach out to bigger bloggers to guest post or staff-write, it was rejection after rejection after rejection. One blogger even held a staff-writing contest that published 7 different posts and I didn’t even get a response after sending an outline and writing a comment on the staff-writing post itself! He eventually responded, but it was too late. The staff writer was already chosen, and I was left wasting my time and re-submitting to other sites again.
If only I could just get on the map somehow. If only someone bigger out there would notice me and just give me a chance. There were many times I wanted to give up during my initial 6 month period, but I decided to soldier on. For those of you who are on the edge of giving up, and who feel they need that supercharge, you’ve now got yourselves a product.
The Get On The Map product entails me writing or working with you to create your own Whale Post on your site. From there, I will write a quality sister post on Financial Samurai that discusses the viewpoints and commentary of your whale post. We will create a dance that will drive traffic towards your site. From there, we will formulate a game plan for you to reset your readership base to a higher level, and build your momentum. The final aspect is tapping into my network of advertisers.
Example of a blogger who benefitted from Get On The Map who has seen a 40% jump in daily traffic since:
THE CONFIDENCE TO TAKE RISKS AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Without Google changing their algorithms to improve their profits at the expense of the little guys, it’s unlikely that I would ever create the “Get On The Map” product. Without Google instilling fear into the hearts of many bloggers, it is unlikely that I would have the motivation to put my product and services out there for people to criticize, applaud, hate, or thank.
I’m sure some will wonder about the $980 pricing because I myself am wondering about the pricing. If I make $300 an hour, and plan to spend roughly 10 hours on the Get On The Map product with a client, is a 70% discount to my time worth it? I concluded that given I’m just starting out, that I would go with this introductory price and see what kind of demand is out there. The good thing for the newest clientele is that I will probably go even farther to make sure the product works for them.
I’ve only got room for three or four Get On The Map clients a month because my time is limited and I want to give as much attention to my clients as possible. I’m excited to see how it goes and see whether or not this is a viable product long-term. I do believe clients will benefit far greater than the cost of the product over the course of a year given many of us know what a lucrative hobby or viable full-time job blogging can be.
Thanks again Google, and for that matter, thank you adversity for giving me the motivation to carry on and think of new ideas!
Readers, what are some of things you’ve done in the face of adversity? What have you done since the Google changes? Why haven’t you written your value proposition post yet? Note: When you search “Financial Samurai” on Google, the Value Proposition post comes up as the first sub post, even though it’s new and not the most trafficked. Coincidence?