How to Survive the Summer Slump

There’s an old saying, “You can plant a tree any month with an ‘r’ in it,” which means you’ll have the most success during the months with more naturally occurring rainfall. Of course you can plant trees any month of the year (as long as the ground is not frozen), but from May to August you’re going to have to water the trees to keep them alive. The same thing is true for building up an Internet business because if traffic is rain, then it ‘rains’ the least in months without an ‘r’ in them, which may explain why September traditionally sees the most traffic and is the most productive month. The correlation between traffic and productivity is thought to be because people are getting ‘back to work’ and feeling refreshed after the many events and vacations they took over the summer. Taken a step further, the reason for the down-turn in Internet traffic is probably due to those same events and vacations – and generally people are inside less. Yes, people browse the Internet on their phones, but most Internet (non app) purchases are made from a traditional computer browser.

So what does that mean for Internet marketers?

The first step is to recognise what is happening. You can’t and won’t change human behavior, but you can do two things to help keep your business from experiencing a summer slump:

1. Build during the down time.
2. Build for the down time.

Build during the summer for fall, winter, and spring sales

If most to all of your traffic is organic, you’re going to want to build and backlink before you expect the most sales. It doesn’t make sense to build and launch a new web site or product for Christmas in December. There is just not enough time to become a market leader. However, if you had built for Christmas during the summer, you would be poised for success come December.

Build web sites or products specifically for the summer down times

You may have heard of the Internet marketing term, “evergreen markets”, which means markets that are always in season. Commodities like food and energy are good examples, but evergreen markets are susceptible to downturns in overall traffic, so building a ‘summer niche’ during the winter months is recommended for riding out the summer slump. Some ideas include travel, outdoor sporting equipment, camping gear, or clothing.

6 Steps to Making Money Online

Using proven, repeatable techniques there is little risk and great rewards involved in marketing products for profit.

When you use keywords that people are searching for, you naturally drive traffic to your site, which in turn makes you money online. But how do you find the right keywords and how do you know what people are searching for?

There are six key steps to this process which will answer all of these questions:

  1. Find Micro-Niche Keywords – Identify a micro-niche inside a penetrable market that has profitable products that people are already selling. A micro-niche is a subset of a market niche.
  2. Verify Keyword Volume – Using WordTracker and/or the Google External Keyword Tool, make sure searches are over 80 per day and that there are under 30,000 search results overall.
  3. Verify Keyword Competition – Determine whether or not you will be able to penetrate the top 10 results in Google based on the number of top-level domains listed, their age, and number of backlinks.
  4. Produce Keyword-Rich Content – Write content for your primary landing page that also contains your primary keywords and links to sub-pages that contain longer keyword phrases.
  5. Promote Using Keywords – Write articles, blog posts, and lenses for posting on other web sites that link back to your sub-pages with your longer keyword phrases. Post at least two Youtube videos.
  6. Sell Products or the Web Site Itself – At this point, if you followed all of the steps, you should be making money online by selling products.  If not, then consider selling the domain for a profit online at Flippa or Sedo.

The rate of success with this method is roughly 1 out of 8 and marketing and testing can take anywhere from 1 to 30 days.  Success is defined as more money coming in than is going out each month and that includes all opportunity costs (time that could have been spent making money in other activities).  Tracking is critical not only with the data of the results, but with the finances and time spent.

Top 5 Quick and Dirty Hosted Blog Publishing Services

Whether or not you have your own domain, sooner or later you’re going to have the need for a hosted blog platform to create more backlinks.

Webories, the web directories web site, has two articles on hosted blog publishing services* (“Top 5 Hosted Blog Publishing Services” and “Top 5 Hosted Micro-Blogging Publishing Services”) that I would like to add to with my top 5 ‘quick and dirty’ hosted blog publishing services. Some of these are new to me, but they come recommended by The Challenge, which I also recommend for anyone starting out making money online.

  1. LiveJournal – a free blog publishing service centered around it’s users. There are paid options to make it more secure. “Discover global communities of friends who share your unique passions and interests.”
  2. Xanga – “The Blogging Community” is a free blog publishing service. It’s ad based, but paid options reduce the number of ads. You can also get a personalized URL (domain name). If you do, make sure it contains your primary keywords.
  3. Blogger – Blogger is an easy way to share your thoughts about anything. There are a host of features to make blogging as simple and effective as possible and integrating with Google Adsense is a snap.
  4. Identi.ca – Identi.ca is a micro-blogging service. Join for free to share short (140 character) notices which are broadcast to their friends and fans using the Web, RSS, or instant messages.
  5. Posterous – Posterous lets you post things online fast using email. You email us at post@posterous.com and we reply instantly with your new posterous site. If you can use email, you can have your own website to share thoughts and media with friends, family and the world. And they don’t care what anyone says, “Posterous is NOT a micro blog!”

*A blog publishing service is inherently hosted by someone else who manages the server, its software, and its settings. It’s a kind of software-as-a-service, or SAAS thing. Blog platforms, on the other hand, is blogging software that you host on your own server or hosting company’s server. You manage the software and its settings. A good example is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a blog publishing service while WordPress.org is a blog platform. They both use the same software – the difference is in who maintains it: you or them.