Page dedicated to Keith Wilcox, the best stay at home dad on the net! He kindly submitted his thoughts on internet marketing for all of us to learn from:
I am a stay at home dad, and home schooler, of two boys aged 6 and 5. A few months ago I got it into my head that I would start a blog about raising and teaching kids. I would include every bit of information that I’ve learned throughout my life that has culminated in my ability to care for kids. My idea was that I would simply write one article per day that explained to people my methods for homeschooling and raising kids. What I have come to realize is that to be a successful online marketer requires a good deal of knowledge in it’s own right. It is not enough to be a good writer and have intelligent things to say. If my goal is to simply get my ideas on paper, so to speak, then what I already know is fine. If my goal is to disseminate that information through the internet to many people, then I need help. I’m not just a stay at home dad. I also home school my kids. I have almost no time to learn about internet marketing, and I have even less time to learn the technical aspects of how to run a website. It’s difficult to explain to people how little time I actually have; it’s just a fact that I don’t. But, not to fear. I have help.
Some people devote their lives to SEO and SEM. Dennis Yu is one of those people. He has poured his adult life into a constant study of how to make money online. He spends every waking moment either reading about SEO, talking to people about SEO, or doing SEO. He wasn’t always this way. I’ve known him for 22 years. He used to be a well rounded guy. These days his life is no less than a massive pile of SEO – every day. Well, that makes him one dimensional. It also makes him a gold mine of information for people like me who don’t know squat about SEO. People who are at the top of their field, in whatever they do, are one dimensional. It may be a lonely existence for them. For the rest of us, knowing someone like that can mean the difference between success and failure. I’m a great dad (I’ll pat myself on the back a little), but I have no prospect of making money on the internet without the expertise that Dennis and his company bring to the table. Blitzlocal (Dennis’ company) relies on people like me as much as we rely on them. We have the information that people want to hear (at least that’s what we hope) and Dennis knows how to get them to listen. Making money is not easy, it takes expertise in more than one area to achieve it and that means, usually, a team.
What I’ve learned about Writing Online
There are literally hundreds of dad blogs in existence. There are many thousands more mom blogs. How do they do it – make money? The answer is that they don’t. I’ve never seen another home schooling dad do it, and I don’t think there could be many home schooling moms making money online. I intend to be the exception, with Dennis’ help. In three months I have written 100 articles. My output has been good. My information has also been good. What hasn’t been so good is my formating and my linking. I write articles that are a bit too long for most web readers. My articles are between 1000 and 1500 words long. That means that, in order to capture the fleeting attention of a typical blog reader, that I will need very accurate linking and professional formating. Those two things I have been learning. Unlike the print media people online are unwilling to read straight text. These are the things people want:
- People want bolded key words. (They draw attention to good points!)
- They want referencing links with good anchor text, like if you were the best affiliate marketer
- They want pictures
- They want lists (like this one) that stand out from the rest of the text
- I have added a video section to my blog, too, because people like videos.
I wouldn’t be writing a blog at all if I didn’t have some hope of eventually making money. I can’t make money without learning, at least a little bit, about optimization. Optimization is a multitude of things. One primary aspect of optimization is networking. Our goal is to network with like-minded people to form a collective of information. I want what I say to reach many people while also making me money. My optimization focuses on finding people who are speaking to the same audience. My niche is being a stay-at-home home schooling dad. That’s a great niche. There are tons of stay at home moms fighting for traffic, a bunch of stay at home dads, and almost no stay-at-home home schooling dads. I can kill it as long as people can find me. A knee jerk reaction would be to link to as many sites as possible in as short as time as possible. That might lead to erroneous links. I don’t want to link to the guy who’s talking about positive thinking and who also has a billion links all displayed on his home page. I want to develop relationships with like minded bloggers who can then share traffic with me. I can only make money once all the pegs are in place to secure traffic. Most people give up before they get there. It isn’t easy, and it’s a long term strategy. I think it will pay off.
People won’t click on any of my ads if I don’t give them something they want in return. I spend about 3 hours a day preparing and editing my articles. I think long and hard about what I’m going to say before I even say it. I do that because helping people is what I want to do. I want to make money, sure. I can’t do that without helping people. The internet is no different than brick and mortar businesses. If I own a flower shop, and all I have to offer are dead and dying flowers nobody will spend their money with me. I could, if I were unscrupulous, spray my flowers with preservatives and wax to make them appear healthy. How many people, once they discovered my trickery, would return? No, I want to actually give people real advice that can help them in their daily lives as parents. I want people to come to my site, read an article or two, and leave with a good impression of me. That is what will get people to buy from me once I decide to start running ads. It’s a matter of honesty. The internet is a little short on honesty. I think that’s a niche in and of itself.
My blogging efforts so far have been modest. I’m only at PR2 and my traffic as roughly 100 unique visitors per day. Still, my primary goal is going strong. I am writing good articles that will help people. That’s the biggest point. Making money will come in time as I slowly learn more about optimization and continually tweak each article so that it best utilized the internet medium. Dennis and his company have provided invaluable assistance and technical resources without which I would not be where I am today. I recognize the expertise of people who devote their lives to being middlemen, people who are vital to the survival of the internet. An ocean can’t be crossed without transportation. The internet cannot be conquered without people who are experts at traversing it. That’s where blitzlocal and Dennis Yu come into play.