How to build a niche website

I wrote this almost a year ago, but never published it. I think part of my problem is that I want every post to be perfect. Since the arrival of my son two months ago, my free time has pretty much been negative. Please forgive me if I have left anything out or its not perfect, but the follow post should be a great guide for building your first niche blog or website.

1. Brainstorm potential site ideas – What are your passions, what do you love to do, think about what topics are always on your mind, if you could do anything next weekend what would that be. This is not easy, but if you dig deep you will find something. Just make sure you enjoy it other wise you abandon it with in a few weeks.

2. Select domain I have been using Godaddy for years and think even thought there are cheaper register I stick with Godaddy for convenience. I have also used , network solutions,

3. Select hosting. The hosting companies I use have one click set up which makes setting up a website extremely easy. I can have a new site up and running in less than five minutes. I use and recommend the following providers.
total choice hosting

4. Build the site
Use wordpress one click in your hosting package to have a site up in minutes

5. Choose a theme. There are plenty of simple free themes or you can use select a premium theme.

6. Get site indexed

7. Submit Your Site to Search Engines
To submit website to Google, click here.
save the file into a notepage with a .html like google-site-verification: google504e11a978986f36.html
save this file into your www
if you have done it correct it will open a page and show you the code
if you have done it correctly it will be verified and direct you to your dashboard
To submit website to Yahoo, click here.
To submit website to Bing, click here.

8. Write articles
Use odesk, elance or someone in your network that can write articles $5-10 per article.
Each article should be 300-500 words
Provide them with the themes and then word the title of the post around the keywords you are targeting
have them provide you with the titles of the articles so you can approve
check each article with the premium version of copyscape: to ensure they weren’t just copied from another website. (only .05 cents per article)
Do not add all articles your site in one go. Set up a schedule to add one a week (this can easily be done in wordpress)

9. So you can get some links to the posts submit the posts to the relevant blog carnivals here:
You can also use this page to comment on some blogs which have the commentLuv plugin installed (only a few though, I definitely wouldn’t go over the top with this tactic) to get some links for each post.

10. Start your own carnival and post on your site. Here is a great example of a carnival

11. I would also think about getting your writer to write some more posts or use some of the best ones that they wrote to give to other bloggers for guest posts so that you can get a link back this way. You can you this link to find great guestblogging locations:

12. Links!
get links
get links
get links
check to see how many links you have

13. Start tracking keywords
I used to use’s free ranking tracking mozzilla plugin

14. Once you are tracking a lot of keywords google will block your IP and the rank checker will return no results. You can then upgrade to a premium service like Advance Web Rankings software

15. Plan to let website marinate for 4-6 months to see if you can get organic listings
Once you have steady traffic its time to start monetizing

Adsense, Affiliate links – cj, linkshare, clickbank and many more

Please remember that your site will not be successful overnight. Its going to take hours and days of work, but if you work hard you will be successful!

I am sure I left a many things out. Please comment below on what tips and tricks you recommend.

Posted in Internet Marketing, Make Money Online, Uncategorized, Wordpress | 1 Comment

Shoemoney trades dog for pot

Jeremy Shoemoney Original Affiliate Gangsta

How many of you have heard of Jeremy Shoemoney Shoemaker? You know the guy that took a picture of his a $132,994 check he received from google adsense. He was one of the original affiliate marketers and is now super affiliate 10x over. Affiliate Summit West 2012 was a few weeks ago and I was really bummed that I was unable to attend. One of the people that I was looking forward to running into was Jeremy. I just got a link to his keynote and wanted to share the video with you all. I have been following Jeremy for many years and had never heard some of the stories he tells in the video below.

Oh and it was not shoemoney who traded the dog for pot, it was a girl he was trying to date. Check it out below!!!!!

Posted in Make Money Online | Leave a comment

Buying a Multi Unit Investment Property in Washington DC

Floor plans multi unit Washington DC

Two weeks ago my wife and I set out to purchased a 3 unit building in Washington DC. If you know me you know that I love real estate especially in Columbia Heights Washington DC. I purchased my first property in CH back in 2003 and have been fascinated with this neighborhood and obsessed with trying to buy more property here ever since.

The problem with this neighborhood is that every thing is really expensive and its very hard to find a deal let alone a steal.

It has been over a year since we purchased our last house and it is time for us to pick up another property. I started searching just for kicks a couple months ago, but we were not really in a good position to buy. However two weeks ago I noticed this multi-unit and it looked very interesting.

Its located on the corner of 14th and Taylor. I called up my realtor and said we need to see this asap! I have always wanted a multi-unit and this looked really good. When it comes to being a landlord having having 3 units in the same building is so convenient. Plus the fact that you are getting 3 units for just a couple hundred thousand more than what some single family homes are going for made it seem like a decent deal.

So the next day we checked out this property. I think I pretty much knew right away that I wanted this building after just walking around the outside of this impressive 4 story building. After checking out the top floor 2 bed 2 bath plus loft I was sold. Although it was not updated the top floor unit was in very good condition. It was in move in condition and would not need anything except maybe a dishwasher, but even that could wait a year or two.

We next went down to unit 2 and that was in the same condition. I was really getting excited. After we came home we spoke about briefly we new right away it was time to put in a offer. We called up our agent and told her to come back. We quickly ran the numbers and made an offer of $815k with the seller paying 25k at closing. A couple days went by with no word from the seller and then we received some feedback. The seller wanted to counter at $825 with 25k back in closing help.

I was ecstatic! I was really excited to be very close to buying my first multi unit property.

Now comes reality! I want to first make it clear that we were very interested in buying this property and had all intentions of carrying out our obligations. However with the seller taking their time it gave us time to really thing about this property.

We started running the numbers again, but this time took a hard look at operating expenses. With a house you really do not have that many expenses except Mortgage, Insurance, Maintenance.

There were also some unknowns. One thing I failed to mention was that we never were able to take a look at the lower level 3 bedroom 2 bathroom unit. It was the only unit that had a tenant so on that day we were not able to check it out. We assumed that it would need work before renting it out, but just had no idea how much that would be. I am assuming a total make over which could have been anywhere from 20-50k. I guess we should have looked at it before making our final decision, but how bad could it have been? (joke!!!) I am sure it was probably really bad!

So with all that said and not even counting how much it would take to fix up the lower level unit take a look at the numbers below.

With this building we had
Mortgage – $4000 even after 170k down payment
Insurance – $3000-3500 per year (note:we only pay $600 per year for our house)
Maintenance – ? this was really unknown, but for budget purposes we assumed $10,000 (this sounds high, but its a 4 story building that is almost 100 years old so you have to figure you will have issues though out the year.
Trash Removal – $2400 per year (note:trash removal on a single family is on the city)
Water – ? lets assume $200. While we can try to pad our rent to make up for this, there is only so much we can charge for this unit (with a single family tenant pays water bill

Mortgage $4000 + Insurance $250 + Maintenance $833 + Water $200 + Trash $200 = $5483

Total rental income 3 units x average of $2000 rent = $6000 = cash flow $516

So I know those are rough numbers and I made a few assumtions, but I think I am pretty close with this.

So as we started to put it all together we saw that there was not going to be as much cash flow as we thought. Now this is not the biggest problem. The larger problem was that we were going to have to put down 170k down payment. We would have been able to come up with money, but would have had to borrow it which would not have been a great idea. Also, that is a huge nugget of cash to put down with so little short term return. I am a big believer of being in the for the long run, but this does not leave any room for error.

With a new baby being totally leveraged is not the best thing. The stress of worrying about what if something happened and we needed some cash was not a good feeling.

One other hesitation was the distance to both the Columbia Heights Metro and Petworth. It was 11 blocks to CH and 7 blocks to Petworth. I think it would have been a great long term investment, but coming off so much cash was a bit scary for us. So with the seller dragging there feet we decided to pull out of the deal and walk away.

It will be interesting to see this area of Columbia Heights develop and I am sure that this building will sell for at least 1 mil or 1.2 mil in a few years. The other long term plan we had was to turn this building into condos. 3 units at ~500 = 1.5 mil so if you purchased it at $825 put 200-250 into renovations you would have a profit of 200-300k.

What do you think? Was this a good deal? Would you have purchased this?

Posted in Washington DC Real Estate | 3 Comments

WordPress Fatal error: Call to undefined function on line 2102

This is the fatal error I received when I upgraded to wordpress 3.3.1

I just tried to upgrade to wordpress 3.3.1 and got the following Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_rtl() in /home/escapeth/public_html/wp-includes/general-template.php on line 2102 .

I freaked out for a minute, but then contacted my hosting provider. Luckily they quickly figured out what was wrong. I opened a ticket and within 10 minutes they had it all figured out. The problem was with one of the plugins. For some reason its not compatible with the wordpress upgrade and caused this fatal error. I always read the “make sure you backup your files” message, but never pay much attention to it. I do have an automatic backup that runs once a week, so hopefully if I ever have a major problem the worst thing that would happen is I lose a weeks worth of content.

If you receive this fatal error the first thing you need to check is your plugins. However, the problem is that once you try to upgrade and if unsuccessful you will not be able to get back into your admin console. The first step is to go into your files and change the name of your plugin file. Since you will not be able to access your wordpress dashboard, you will either have to access via filezilla or via your hosting package. My hosting provider changed the file name for me and everything is working great now.

I think the problem was from using the Pop Up Domination plugin. I am pretty sure I was using a very old version which I am sure they have a new upgraded version. But since I had it turned off and was not using it I didn’t have the newest version.

I will have to go back in and add all the plugins I was previously using, but that is much better than totally losing my site.

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Buying multi unit investment properties in Washington DC

My fascination for investing in Washington DC is not going away. One of my goals has been to own a mutli unit property. There are a ton of great investment properties in Washington DC, but I especially like the idea of buying multi unit properties. When DC was being develop back in the early 1900′s there were many large Victorians and row houses built. With the population of DC growing rapidly a lot of these large properties are being converted into multi units.

I was mulling over a single family house that was a solid investment deal, but it just went under contract and is no longer available. So after not jumping on that I started looking for our next potential property. I searched and noticed a very interesting multi unit. It is at the top of our budget, but figured lets take a look and see.

We went and looked and wrote an offer a couple hours later.

Fingers are crossed that it will be accepted!

Posted in Washington DC Real Estate | Leave a comment

Google Quick Scroll

While doing a search to find where my website was ranking for “tutorial to create a website hotels” I noticed a odd box on the lower right hand corner of my IE browser. It really threw me off and I had no clue what it was. I tried to click on it, but it was frozen. I looked it up and realize that it was called Quick Scroll. Apparently google rolled this out over a year ago and I had no clue. This was the first time I have ever seen it or even heard about this. When I did a search for it the first post I saw was a post from our good pal and legend Bill Slawski I guess that since I normally use firefox they must not have ever been able to automatically enable it like they did on IE. But even still I am surprised that it never popped up for me before.

With all the recent changes I am excited yet scared with how the Search Engines are going to evolve over the next couple of years.

What do yo think about google quick scroll?

Posted in Search Engine Optimization | Leave a comment

How do I get adsense to wrap around my blog post

Quick tip for those that are using Adsense in your blogs. If you would like the text in your blog post to wrap around your adsense add you simple need to add the following code.

So at the beginning of your blog post ad:

<div style= “float: left;”>300×250 Adsense Code Here</div>

So again what that would look like is: <div style=”float: left;”>then add your complete adsense code and then add</div>

If you want the adsense to be on the right side of the post simply delete float: left and add float: right;

You can also use a plugin that will help automate this and all you have to do is add <!–adsense–>, but I will show you how to do that in another post.

What ways are you using to add adsense into your blogs?

Updated with video

Posted in Make Money Online, Wordpress | 4 Comments

Creating mobile phone applications for iPhone iPod iPad and Android

Part of this blog is exploring ways to make money online. I started getting interested in mobile applications back in 2007. The Apple store just opened up and it was a new frontier “The Wild West”. A few of my friends were really into mobile and started building apps. They were extremely rudimentary, but were getting downloads and even making money. While I paid attention I never really put much effort into it. We all talked about it, but I was all talk and no action. Looking back I am kicking myself imagining what could have been if I would have just focused back then!

Well enough is enough and I am ready to build my first Iphone / Ipod / Ipad application. Once I have a working Iphone application I will create it on Android.

My plan is to document every step I take and then walk you through to show exactly how I thought up the idea, planned it out, got it built, go to market strategy and then also share the results. The following is what I will discuss in upcoming posts. Stay tuned!!!

  • Idea
  • Building mock up in Powerpoint
  • Organizing Data using excel spreadsheet
  • Building website to help promote
  • Search Engine Marketing plan for promotion
  • Success?
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

3 steps to buying real estate in Colombia Heights Washington DC

It is a great time to buy property in Washington DC! I am in love with Washington DC real estate. I have been researching and studying Washington DC real estate since 2003 and have successfully purchased three cash flow positive investment properties in Washington DC. There are several strict rules that you need to stick by, but if you follow these rules I think you will be safe.

Fist of all you need to think long term. Ok, I know you are saying to yourself wtf I know this already, but please keep reading. What I am talking about is building passive income from real estate investments. I am in this for 15-25 years. I want to purchase a property and earn $500-2000 per month off each property. There is a way to do this now!

Second is location. Ok, again I know your are saying wtf, but please hear me out. You have to purchase with in 6-7 blocks from an underground metro. Your better off if its 3-4 blocks, but 6-7 will work.

Third is size. A one bedroom condo will work, but you will be in much better shape if you have a 3-4 bedroom house with outdoor space. Each bedroom can rent for on average of $1000. So that means you will collect $3000-$4000 per property. If you buy right your mortgage will be around $2000-$3000 per month meaning you are earning $1000-$2000 in passive income.

Select the best candidates and perform background checks. If you buy in the right neighborhood you will have a huge pool of tenants to select from. When we posted our house for rent on craigslist we had 45-60 people respond to the add. I was overwhelmed, but was able to select the most qualified candidates. Use a company like Data Verification Services out of Everett, Washington to do a background check.

Next post I will explore Georgia Avenue and why I think its going to be the next Connecticut or Wisconsin Avenue


Tips for new landlords: Setting up direct deposit, maintenance, and more.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Its been almost one year since we left on our amazing journey

I just wanted to take this moment. Almost one year ago today we jumped on a one way flight bound for El Salvador. We did a bunch of research in advance, but did not have an exact plan. We knew that we wanted to start in El Salvador and end in Bolivia. We even thought maybe we would make it down to Argentina. The journey was amazing and we are so happy we did it.

We could just have easily decided not to take the risk and stay at our jobs. Looking back that would have been one of the biggest mistakes and missed opportunities we had ever made. This adventure really taught us a lot about life and our relationship. There were bumps along the way, but overall we had a really good time. I think at some points we were so caught up in the journey that we were not fully enjoying the trip, but other times we would sit back and really take in the adventure.

We are now back in Washington DC enjoying our two week old son. We are back in our house and I now work from home.

Looking back I am so happy we dropped everything, quit our day jobs and went on our amazing Latin America adventure.

Posted in Updates | 3 Comments