Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Why My 11 Year Old Son Has His Own Blog! (And why it applies to YOU)

When I received my summons a few weeks ago, my heart sank. My sons teachers wanted to talk to me about "his progress"...or lack of it as the case may be!! He's a bit of a dreamer. A lot like his Mother! Sound familiar? He doesn't really know what it is he's meant to be doing so he isn't really doing anything - now i bet that sounds familiar!

So after ruling out other issues that could e effecting the way he learns, we decided to put him to work online. Yup. He's opened his very first wordpress blog and is the newest and proudest owner of any gaming site you have ever come across.

What do you care? Seriously, what has this got to do with you?

Alright, it's not like he's opened his own Clickbank account and made his first dollar within days, But, there are some underlying lessons that he is learning that can help you  too.

Not even 5 days old and he had 22 visitors trampling through his blog today. He's averaging about 17 per day. How awesome is that? And if we think about the fact that only 1-2% of readers will click through and buy something, if he was advertising something - Amazon perhaps - he would make his first sale this week.

Okay, now if that sale each week generated $25, you could go ahead and repeat the process and make $50 per week...see where this is going?

When the "guru's take you inside their Clickbank accounts, they aren't showing you the results of one website. You're seeing the results of dozens, sometimes hundreds of blogs, websites, articles and email lists that are all working side by side. This is the direction that you should be moving in. World Wide (Web) domination.

If you haven't already started a blog, then you need to read my older posts about Starting a Profitable blog and/or Choosing and Targeting a Profitable Niche and THEN go ahead and get started.

If you DO already have a blog, I'm wondering how long it took you to build up to 22 visitors per day?

I'm going to share with you what my 11 year old son has done to get that growing trickle of traffic after just a few days. Now you know this is going to be easy stuff because...come ooon...a kid is doing it. And not just any kid, a kid who has trouble focusing on anything other than how to get past that  impossible level on his computer game.

And there's you first clue. He's created a blog about something that he already has a broad knowledge about. (A computer game.)

This doesn't mean that it's going to be a successful blog as far as money making. But it will be successful because regular additions to blogs are important to Google and he's going to be motivated to make new posts.

More content equals better page rank. Better page rank equals more free traffic. More traffic doesn't always mean more sales...but  it sure helps!

Is he indexed? Absolutely. We did this by means of a few little tricks. Namely backlinks.

The first port of call was Social Monkee. He opened his free account and starting pumping out 25 backlinks per day since day one. That means that there's already 100 one way backlinks already floating around out there. It takes him a few minutes after each post to head over to the Social Monkee dashboard and submit his latest post. 25 quality backlinks in minutes - I love that site!!

The next port of call was call upon me. Coz what are Mum's for? I spent about 3 minutes pumping out an article about the game in question then submitted it to my own site, Ranked !n. The following morning (we work after school), although he still wasn't indexed, he already had 2 visitors from Ranked !n pay him a visit. Niiice!!

Now we aren't talking big numbers here, but you gotta remember that this blog is still hours old at this point.

One of the other little tricks that I like to do, is use the Google Reader to track my own sites. Any RSS feed will do. I figure that since it's Google tech that I'm using, it's like waving a big red flag saying "I'M HERE, CHECK ME OWWWT...INDEX ME!"

After a few days, I finally peer pressured young Cody into letting me make a Facebook announcement. Between us, we don't have hundreds of friends - not even a hundred. But it was just another way of bringing in the traffic, getting word out there and getting some syndication happening. A proud Nana made a comment, her friends see it. One of her friends is surprised that a kid has his own blog, she shares it with her friends. And so on.

Google crawls big sites like Facebook everyday which also means that the crawlers are reaching Cody's blog in record time.

And that's all well and good, he's indexed, he's got heaps of backlinks, but why would anyone want to stay on his blog after finding it? What's he writing about?

He's not the best speller in the world. He's eleven. But he does have the same advantage as every single one of you...

Watching over my shoulder.

A MENTOR.

He knows that he has to write about things that interest him. The same questions he asked himself when he fist bought the game in question, he knows his readers are going to be searching for the same questions.

He's writing useful content!

Cheats, glitches, reviews. And he's not just helping other kids decide if it's the right game for them. He's also targeting their parents too! Now that's one clever cookie.

Every headline of every post is rich in keywords. Every time he writes a bullet point list, he's using keywords.

All of his posts are arranged into categories. Every post has at least 5 tags attached to it (should be more, but he's gotta learn some lessons by himself).

Okay, so I'm a little biased. But gosh darn it I love this kid!

These are all the things that I have been teaching you right here. Things that I have written about in great length. This kid has overheard a few comments I make here and there at home and now he's applying SEO techniques!

I think I'm creating a monster!! If he keeps this up, he's not going to want to finish school because he's going to see the money to be made from right here in the comfort of our own living room.

I've been making a lot of posts about re-framing the problem this week. And here is another perfect example of what it means to think outside the square. Here I was sitting in front of his teachers desk thinking "What can I do to make him learn from these teachers? HOw can I make sure that he does the homework that he tells me doesn't even exist?"

It was only after I got home that I realized he doesn't have to learn from those teachers -- but he does have to show them that he knows what they're talking about. He might not practice is spelling or grammar via his homework -- but as long as he's learning, that's what's really important, right.

I mean who cares where you get the fertilizer from as long as the vegie patch is thriving.

And after a quick re-frame I stopped asking "How can I make him learn?" and started asking "How can I arm him with the skills he needs or better yet, how can I get him to teach himself the skills he's going to need in the workforce one day?"

That's what the re-frame (commonly called thinking outside the square) really means. Taking a difficult problem and turning it into an easier question.

So let's just re-cap what young blogmaster Cody has done to get some traffic flowing.




Until next time (looking into the way Google works)...good luck folks. Go and check out his work at Furon Invasion for yourself.

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