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Author Topic: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons  (Read 2912 times)

Ian

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So, six months ago Jack did a piece by piece assessment of how I could go about monetizing my site, ForgottenWeapons.com (Episode 44 of 5MWJ). I thought it sounded pretty good, and said I would do everything he suggested for six months and see how it went.

Well, I didn't quite live up to it. I did some of the things, but not all.

#1: Start blogging daily. Did that, right from the beginning and it is the most effective change I made. My traffic has literally doubled since November, from ~35k pageviews/month to ~75k in March (and continuing to grow). This wasn't even too difficult, because my previous schedule had been three majot posts per week. I kept those going, and added three more - one book review, one vintage photo, and one miscellaneous commentary. Those three new ones take significantly less time to write than my regular comtent, but they're still delivering good value to my readers.

#2: Start reviewing books and products through Amazon. Did that too, although pretty much all books so far. I've had a number of readers tell me they really enjoy my weekly video book reviews, although my Amazon affiliate isn't doing much financially (about $25/month). However, I have gotten a couple free books from authors out of the blue, and it has helped put me in contact with authors I will be able to visit, interview, etc. I also reviewed a couple physical products and gave away free ones to readers, which worked out well for all parties (one holster maker ended up with a big new client because of publicity from my review and giveaway of his work).

#3: Write a couple ebooks. Haven't done it yet. I haven't put aside the time to get this done, although I have several books in the planning stages. This will be a big part of my monetization, and I'm really trying to make more progress on it (especially after listing to Jack's first premium-content video).

#4: Produce a DVD. Haven't done it yet. The first gunsmithing project for that video is underway, but it taking a long time to do. This is on the list of things to do for sure, though.

#5: Advertising sponsors. So far so good! I have gotten three, at $100 per month and a fourth (sort of - long story) in trade for gun goodies. All three of the cash sponsors wanted a full year's worth and paid in full up front. One of them was even a completely cold approach from a trade show, and I'm thrilled to have that work out. In another 6 weeks or so I plan to do a marketing campaign based on Jack's second premium content video, and hopefully can sell out my remaining ad space that way.

Conclusions:

Even though I have only really actively done about half of what Jack recommended, the challenge has been a fantastic success for me (more so than I can even talk about right now). And hey, if I can do that with a blog about stuff that is so rare that many of the things I talk about can't be bought even if you have a pile of money, you can do it with more mainstream subjects.

Joshuab

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 10:52:03 AM »
Ian,

I appreciate the update. I like your site and think you're doing it right. Keep up the good work and give another update when you can.

Joshuab

UFAB

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 10:38:39 AM »
This is cool to read. Looking forward to your next report when you have done more of what Jack suggested.

LJH

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 10:39:41 AM »
Thanks for the report, Ian. Very encouraging.

CandyBabyE

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 11:14:24 PM »
Thanks for updating us. Loved your site. I have a friend who's into first gen Colts and Winchesters.
That's an ambitious list you have there. Remember how you eat an elephant and don't get discouraged. Just keep taking that one bite after the other.

You're doing great in my book.

Candy

Maverick9110e

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 09:39:47 AM »
Awesome story to hear! I know a lot of gun forums bring up strange firearms and wierd questions about them you might want to cruise some of them and join up and post about your site if the forum lets you.

Ian

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 06:28:24 AM »
Happily, it's gotten to the point where I don't really need to go out and drop lines in individual forums. I'm getting 3000-3200 page views per day now, and getting mentioned in a lot of forums I'd never heard of before.

Also, I think it's a lot more useful to get organic links form forums rather than drop them in myself. There's no way I have enough time to subscribe to a bunch of new forums and actually pay attention to them, and I find it a bit off-putting when I see some newbie with 1 or 2 posts swing though and just link to their own place. I link a fair number of my posts in the one or two forums I visit regularly, and let all the others find out about me on their own.

gunpreparedness

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 11:24:20 AM »
Your getting a good bit of traffic. Did I see that your blog is just about a year old? How did you get it to grow so rapidly? I personally gain about 50 daily visitors a month. I'm not sure how to increase it that quickly.
GunPreparedness.com
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Ian

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 09:49:23 PM »
I've been running it as a blog since December 2010, and as of November 2011 I was getting about 1000 pageviews per day. At that point I went three three posts per week to six, and my traffic has tripled in about 8 months.

r00tbeer

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 05:45:04 PM »
Great job man!

apocalypticfiction

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Re: Six month report on the Jack Spirko Challenge with Forgotten Weapons
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 05:01:19 PM »
Congrats! Nice Site!