What made you launch your eMagazine?
I’ve been dabbling in websites for a couple years now, and have made dozens. After a few months of working on each one I tended to abandon them for various reasons. A few times the coding would get too complicated to add in a required feature, a couple times it was just waning interest that caused me to quit working on my site. This time, instead of focusing on making a lot of money and targeting niches I didn’t really enjoy- I decided to create an eMagazine on something I am passionate about. I’ve been running Elite Envy for almost a year now and it has seen some major growth. This month I’m on track to hit 30,000 unique visitors, so that is exciting and definitely has been my biggest website to date.
I really wanted to work for myself instead of someone else, so an internet business just seemed like the brightest idea. Low start-up costs, especially for someone like me who understands web programming, was a huge plus. Being able to set my own hours and work when I like is also great, and before long I am going to rely on it as my only source of income. Here’s to the future!
How have you monetized the magazine EliteEnvy?
Currently my website displays a few Adsense ads through a partnership with Google. In the future I intend to add a store for young entrepreneurs to customize business cards and apparel. I think I’ll introduce a small line of Elite Envy branded items as well- once I create a forum for dedicated readers. I also have included in many articles affiliate links to the applications and services I review. If the reader likes what my article has to offer and agrees, upon signing up I get a little bit of incentive to direct readers to their product or service. I typically stay away from Amazon affiliates and the like because of the major damage it does to SEO on those pages, but affiliates through ThemeForest and Zazzle work nicely.
Where do you think SEO is heading in 2015 and how do you think it will change from where it is right now?
Google is continually changing their algorithm for ranking pages, constantly making it better for those who use strictly white-hat ranking methods. I think as 2015 approaches and passes us by, we will see more reliance on social media business pages as a ranking factor. Google actually just added ranking improvements in rankings for websites that use SSL which was a little surprising, but a smart adjustment overall. Besides that, I think Google will continue to focus on ranking niche sites above broader category webpages, so the individual searching can find not just a page, but a whole website dedicated to their interests.
If someone was just learning online marketing, where would you direct them to start out?
Other than Elite Envy, you mean? Hahaha.
Well, I would have to say WarriorForum was, and still is, a great place to get your feet wet into the online marketing world. They tend to have a lot of users on at any given time that will help out newbies and answer any questions they may have. To someone new in the world of internet marketing getting the information you are looking for can be tricky, especially when you lack even common knowledge on the information you are looking for. That’s why I would suggest an internet marketing forum first, to help you get acclimated to the basics, since real users are there to guide you every step of the way.
For someone looking to write a blog, WordPress seems to be the best choice at the moment. The support is awesome and it makes creating websites a cinch compared to the old days of notepad and internet explorer. I recommend downloading WordPress and installing to your own web-host vs hosting with them. Back-end access to cpanel is required when you start to grow and want to make changes to the layout to help users. Hosting with WordPress makes it easier, but you will lack some of the customization options you would otherwise have at your disposal.
If you could leave our readers with one last piece of business advice, what would it be?
Work on something you are passionate about and don’t fret if you aren’t making money right away. Building a website takes an extreme amount of hard work, dedication and know how to really start making any real money. You will need to stay focused and keep plugging away at it each and every day, no matter how grim your income looks at the moment. As long as you keep working on it and growing, the money will come eventually.
If you have a partner looking to work on the site with you, that’s a great thing as well. Two people can keep each other motivated and the site will grow at double the speed. Focus on your content and enjoy what you are doing, or else you will get burned out quickly. If you write engaging articles and prominently display social sharing options (as well as asking your users to comment or share) the readers will come.