It’s my Birthday and my $562,150 dollar mistake.

Today is my Birthday! Woo! actually multiple Woo!  I have 7 friends, including two of my closest friends have birthdays this week.  Woo!

While everybody has birthdays, they  mean different things to different people.

If you’re like my grandfather you lose track and/or stop counting.

If you were like my stepmom, you’d believe birthdays are  ALL about the presents, and that the birthday should really be birth week.  Gifts and partying should start at the beginning and not end till the day after of the actual date.

Now presents are fun, but the  most important gifts, like freedom and peace of mind, you always have to get yourself.

For me Birthdays are a often time of renewal… at least that’s why the DMV tells me.

Looking back over what you’ve accomplished since the last couple, what you’d do differently if you could.
Looking forward with anticipation where you want to go and how to get there.

Looking back,

In 2004 birthday I had already gotten what was a internet lifestyle:

before I got how the internet works (ironic given I have worked on search engines),  I made a great living as an engineer.  I loved to build cool stuff and still do.

Via careful strategizing and negotiating with clients.

  • I worked for myself.
  • I worked from home
  • I had no commute
  • I had 3 day weekends every weekend.
  • I had challenging projects I enjoyed that let me grow and contribute and be recognized.
  • I could work anywhere and did: from Ireland, at my family’s place, staying with friends in Vegas, at a cafe overlooking the beach.

For many this was and still is the dream. I’ll teach some of this in my course on outsourcing.

In 2006 birthday I left that all behind…

In retrospect I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking.

Well almost everything behind, I still worked from home and had some flexibility in hours.  If you don’t mind that after 60-80 hours a week there aren’t lots of hours left.

But it was for a great cause!, the chance to reshape the broken education system…via making fun video games!!! and make some good money on the way.  build it they will come right?

I was surrounded by a  dream team, all giants in their respective fields. Former Disney execs, text book publisher, Emmy award winning graphic designers, brilliant and hella funny world class illusionist turned cartoonist. We had Millions of investment to fuel the development but no Vulture Capitalists to report to. How could we fail?

Fast forward

In 2008, my birthday sucked.

I woke up with both my hands hurting from Repetitive Strain Injury, hitting age 35 was like I had hit a wall.  My desire to build anything cool was frequently overshadowed by the depression and stress. All work no play makes Troy a dull boy.

But we had built it!  our  hard work had gotten our name on toys in Target, beloved clients like National Geographic, Dr. Suess, Guiness World Records. Exclusive digital rights.  We had award winning website,  relationships with, we were loved by teachers and actively used in the schools

You’d think that the world would be hunky dorey right?

Wrong.     Almost dead wrong actually.

There was almost no traffic, (well my personal blog got more traffic)  an what traffic was gotten wasn’t paying.

Finances sucked. millions had been burnt so far, the company was spending $100K to $140K a month, yet  in the many years only generated enough sales to buy a new car…OUCH!

But we were the dream team right? We had done it before, and we had great products, get connections,great website, surely being patient and  building it they would come.?   Being the stubborn type with 3 years of my life and now $562K personally invested I dug in harder. What other choices were there?

While I couldn’t see it at the time, this decision to dig in was prolonging the inevitable.  Turns out that the company was infected by a very serious disease that like chickenpox affects almost all internet companies in their youth, and some never get over.

I call this disease “solositism”.

Solosite as in solo-website.  They belief if you have a single perfect website and good products things will eventually with hard work and patience…magically will work out and you’ll be the next Apple/Amazon etc.

That works great if you are Amazon.  While sometimes the more you dump into a single site sometimes the worse it becomes.

In 2009, my birthday sucked hard.

I woke up after another painful release, and realized digging in to start the day, my inner fire was completely gone.    I couldn’t even find the pilot light ignitor.  I was so completely burnt out from nonstop 60-70hr weeks and despite every ounce of my being, trying had failed to make a dent in the problems.

As a almost perpetually creative person, it was scary as I had never experienced that level of void before.  I didn’t recognize myself.

I took a look around realized that the dream had turned into a hellish nightmare.

From the perpetual “we are only 2 months away” continual belt tightening and chipping in my networth had gone from the positive to the  -50K. OUCH!

The RSI had progressed I wasn’t sure I could continue the only career I’d ever loved known. OUCH!

My engineering skills couldn’t accept the failure.  My pride couldn’t accept MY failure.   There had to be a reason, So like a Rubiks cube, I turned the problem of what was there left and right to see if a solution existed.

Other companies made money on the web why didn’t we?

Other companies with smaller products seemed to exist fine, why didn’t we?

It’s this exact problem which is what got me started my interest in internet marketing to save that company and my years of investment.

However they were stuck in the old world, trying to be recreate another big brand brick and mortar business. This was fine in the 80’s and 90’s, but here it was 2009, the rules were different and changing fast.

Since they wouldn’t listen I started trying things on the side.  Even when I had results I still didn’t control the purse strings, couldn’t play the wretched internal politics,  and the shots were called by someone else.

It was then I came to the shocking conclusion,  the only way to win was not to play.

So I walked away and eventually lost everything.

I had bent so many times trying to make them see and making things work, I was making Gumby look inflexible.  It would have been smarter to leave much earlier and cut my losses. I t would have been much smarter to pick a company that knows it’s an internet company.

My role in the content development team was rather critical and impossible to replace.  I knew full well that my leaving would be like a hole in the side titanic, and all my investment would sink with it.  It was not an easy choice.

Also for the first time, I recognized that my new skills in internet marketing could lead to a very different life one where my efforts wouldn’t be subject to bad management and unaccountability and intense schedules I had faced as an engineer.  I didn’t know the answers but I at least knew I was in the 2009.

Starting my new life, I still consulted on the side as I rampd up my internet knowledge and started putting products on the market,  as the months progressed, I watch in horror from afar as the company limped along till the call from a friend that still worked there, that they had run out of money and everyone was sent home…with no warning. Talk about a sucky December for the guy who had just closed on a house that same day…

Brand first, traffic and conversion later if never.  Solositism is core part of what ate the millions of investment and thousands of man hours like a cancer.  That failure cascaded into financial difficulties at home, people losing their houses, this stress breaking up some lifelong friends and relationships.  What a hefty price to pay given how simple the cure is.

This is tragic, as it didn’t have to be that way.

While “build it they will come” had worked for me in prior projects, what I discovered since is that the times had changed it was no longer good enough.

  • building is NOT enough
  • building it they will NOT come
  • good products are not enough
  • having good brands are not enough.
  • a award winning website is not enough
  • good SEO positioning is not enough
  • good PPC positioning is not enough.

You’re probably wondering what’s left.   Sure wasn’t obvious to me!

The Cure for Solositism

I’ve learned that Solositism is particularly virulent among newbie internet companies regardless if they have millions at their disposal or not, and I unaware continued to carry it over to my other businesses until in some courses I found out how some Gurus did it.

Here’s a core lesson they shared.

In the search results you value/rank to Google

1)  is 10% what you do on that solo site, and 90% what happens do in places other than your site most often this is assumed in places you can’t control.
2) you can only get Google to like any particular page for a handful of typically closely related terms, while potentially hundreds or thousands of search terms could be getting traffic.

Gurus don’t leave these critical elements to chance. The solution is counter intuitive. You ned to have  more than one website, structured in a very particular way and have those sites specialize in functionality.

For example this is a 3 site network.

(Feeder#1)——> (Moneysite) <——–(Feeder#2)

Each of these is setup in a strategic way. The feeder sites help push the money site higher up in the search results.

The main site in the bottom is the ‘money site’ it’s the one we optimize for making sales.
The others are called feeder sites their goal is to catch traffic and send it towards the money site. They do this by linking in the posts, sidebars and or banners to the money site.
Together they form a blog network. That like a fishnet is synergistic  can get you way more traffic than any single site alone.  Blog networks can be extremely complex in competitive niches, but to start out with you should try:

The  3x5x5x5 Kickstarter Recipie

is a recipe to cure solositism has simple ingredients:

  • 3 websites (on different domains/hosts)
  • 5 categories (15 categories total)
  • 5 posts for each blog  (15 posts total initially)
  • 5 related keywords for each post based on the category (15×5 = 75 extended keyphrases)


Let’s look an an example using FarmVille (a popular game on FaceBook with a clickbank products that we can monetize with)

Stage 1: Blog Network Keyword Research

The seed keyword is the product name of:

  • farmville.

We need 3 domain keyword, this is the seed keyword with a “BUY!” oriented keyword.  Since farmville a game we’ll append “tips”, “secrets”, and “tricks” to the seed


  1. farmville tips
  2. farmville secrets
  3. farmville tricks

expanding those with the google keyword tool we get the following list of 15 (or more), which will be used for our categories

  1. farmville game
  2. farmville guide
  3. farmville secrets
  4. farmville strategy
  5. farmville strategies
  6. farmville auto
  7. farmville facebook
  8. farmville tips
  9. farmville cheat
  10. farmville cheats
  11. farmville cheats for money
  12. farmville cheats that work
  13. farmville cheats for coins
  14. farmville homes for sale
  15. hotels farmville

This gets separated roughtly into 3 piles (they can overlap a bit) of 5 for each blog.

  1. Categories for site#1:
    farmville auto
    farmville facebook
    farmville tips
    farmville homes for sale
    farmville game cards
  2. Categories for site#2:
    farmville auto
    farmville facebook
    farmville tips
    farmville homes for sale
    farmville game cards
  3. Categories for site #3:
    farmville cheat
    farmville cheats
    farmville cheats for money
    farmville cheats that work
    farmville cheats for coins

We would take each keyword and expand it to get 5 more, and we would optimize a single blog entry to incorporate these

farmville game cards expanded becomes our post/article keywords of:

  1. farmville game cards
  2. farmville game card
  3. farmville game card codes
  4. farmville game card numbers
  5. farmville game card pin
  6. farmville game card retailer

Stage 2: Creating the Blog Network

Now we would convert this into our blog network

First we’d register 3 different domains (on different hosting accounts)
farmville tips    becomes
farmville secrets  becomes
farmville tricks. becomes

One of these will be our money site, the other our feeder site.
Note: you can use free blogs like, Blogger for the feeders.
Then we would then start populating the blog.  would get the following categories we found earlier

  1. farmville auto
  2. farmville facebook
  3. farmville tips
  4. farmville homes for sale
  5. farmville game cards

Then for each of those categories we’d have a blog post 250- 500 word helpful articles containing that category name in the title, and links inside to the main money site where they can get more solutions.

EXAMPLE POST (just shows the first 2 keywords)

Title: How to get farmville game cards activated.
Post: Zynga has released FarmVille Game Cards that can be purchased at your local retailers such as Gamestop.

The problem was that there was no way to activate a farmville game card at the time. Since then, Zynga has upgraded and Facebook to include a place where you can activate and use your cards.

If you have a FarmVille Game Card that is not activating please visit the link

Past that you should run a backlink campaign to every page of every site.

The money site has a special static home “landing page” to get people the offer you’ve selected.

Wrapup and where to get more info on Blog Networks.

At this point you should have 3 blogs  on 3 different hosts working together to get you some traffic!

One of the experts in this area if Jeff Johnson.  He goes into great detail about how to set up a blog network in his prelaunch video here, and this material was taken from his first week where he creates the farmville sites and shows you how he researches, and a bunch of stuff I don’t have time to cover. In fact this how to was a part of the notes I’m giving as a part of my bonus for his new Traffic Video course which teaches this and pretty much every thing else, backlinking, product creation, conversion tactics.

Traffic Voodoo has been open for a few weeks, Jeff has told me that his stellar bonus ends at Friday 23rd 9pm EST tonight which along with my stellar bonus will get you your own cure for solositism…and my team we’ll do much of the grunt work of getting this blog network setup for you!

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With Jeff’s bonus that makes you have up to 4.

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