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How To Get Yourself In Google Featured Snippet {How To Rank In Position 0}

Google Featured Snippets are commonly known as Position 0 properties on SERP if you come from a SEO background. If you are not from the amazingly beautiful (is it though) world of SEO, you might know it as Google’s Featured Snippet. Google also officially calls it as Featured Snippet so we will do the same.

Before we move on, let’s address that fundamental question.

What Are Google Snippets? 

A Google snippet is a block of information that Google places on top of everything on a search query. The goal is to offer ‘users’ a summary of his/her query so that Google can save the user’s time. The Google snippet will almost always have a picture & an URL back to the website where Google got that information.

Here’s how a Google Snippet looks like as per Google:

featured snippets in google search

Here’s how the snippet actually looks like in real life: 

Google snippet real life example

This is the first result you receive when searching for “what can my dog eat”. The result gives you a very brief information about the topic you searched for from mom.me and you can always go to that website to know more.

As you can see from the actual summary, it is not that informative. When I search for “what can my dog eat”, I want names of food items and not the name of a Ph.D. There’s a reason behind this though. As websites are getting more into Google Snippet, they have started to realize that if you give too much information on the snippet itself, a traffic might not click on the link to go to the actual website to know more.

That’s where it gets tricky and we will talk more about that later.

So you now know, what is Google snippet. Let’s talk about the importance of this thing.

Why Snippet Matters?

Why are we bothered about Google snippet? How is this important for us, the internet marketers? Search Engine Land actually ran a study few months ago and the results are very interesting. They used a sample website and analyzed their data before and after appearing on snippet. Believe it or not, the sample website received a 516% increase on search traffic which clearly proves the importance of snippets.

Some of my own websites saw positive jumps in CTR after appearing on Snippet and it is obvious. However, the importance of Snippet is a lot more than the usual CTRs and position 0s.

In case if you do not know already, voice is currently taking over all the searches and it is predicted that, within next 5 years, almost half of internet searches will come from voice. Desktop computers have almost went obsolete for common people and laptops are on the way. Most people now use cellphone to search information and when you are on your cellphone, you will obviously like to speaking to the assistant than typing in your search query.

This is not me speaking out of my intuition. Branded3 did an analysis recently and announced that almost all Google searches will come from voice within 2020.

Why are we talking about voice search in the middle of Google Snippet? 

When you are searching using your voice and you have specific questions in mind, Google Assistant or Siri will often read out the Google Snippet for that particular search query.

Don’t believe me?

Go to Google Assistant or Siri and ask “What’s the Age of The Universe”.

You get the point, right?

Now it is time to address our main concern.

How To Get Into Google Snippet

Let’s talk about strategies that you can use to get onto Google Snippet. Before we talk about strategies, it is important to know that there’s no fixed rules to get into Google Snippet as per Google. But is it though?

There are still tactics that you can use to increase your chances to get into Google Snippet. I have done it personally many times and this worked both positively and negatively for me. Let’s talk about some of the strategies that you can use.

Offering Answers

I want you to think about addressing Google Snippet as addressing someone who’s on mobile. This is technically not logical but this is eventually going to help you. Always write your articles to offer answers to people regarding their questions.

How would you know what people have in their mind as questions?

There are tools such as Answer The Public that you can use to find questions that people have regarding a particular topic. Let me show you how.

Suppose, I am writing an article about cat health. I want to appear on snippet. What questions do I address inside my article?

answer the public data for snippet

See a huge list of questions that Answer The Public gives me to address in the article? Obviously, I can’t address everything and everything is not going to be relevant either, so I take the ones I find important and goes with the topic that I have in mind.

I recommend that you do not only use this tool to get the questions that people might have regarding a topic. Put yourself in your traffic’s shoes and try to think about the questions that they might have. List down all the questions before starting the article and you will have better chances of getting into the snippet.

Regular SEO Still Works

Moz.com ran a study where they analyzed around a thousand snippet results to see the effect of regular SEO to get on there. The result actually matches with my personal experience so I am feeling confident about sharing this with you.

9 out of 10 times, Google is going to pick one of the results on the first page and give it a position on Snippet. However, ranking 1st on organic results does not mean that you will automatically guarantee a position in the snippets. There are websites that are ranked at the lower end of first page but are still dominating position 0 on snippet. But you will hardly find a website that is not on the first page organic result but is on snippet. That rarely happens.

So what do we do? We still follow our regular SEO strategies which includes primarily acquiring backlinks but don’t forget to focus on your on page SEO too as that’s getting more and more important in 2018.

Bounce Rate (Or Dwell Time)

Bounce rate has a direct correlation with appearing in Google Snippet and it makes sense. See how I made “makes sense” bold? In the SEO eco-system of 2018, you should not get involved in anything that does not make sense to do. What do I mean by that? Avoid creating Web 2.0 properties for backlinks or doing thousands of irrelevant blog comments a day as they don’t make sense. Get one backlink a week by emailing to website owners who will accept your guest post because that makes sense. See what I mean?

Anyway, the reason that bounce rate directly effects your Snippet is because once Google sees that people are spending time on your website, it makes sense to them to give you that position 0. If people are not spending time on that particular webpage, it gives Google a negative signal about the content quality of your page which eventually will decrease your organic ranking too.

Tweak Your Content

You don’t always need to create new pieces of content to get into the snippet. Sometimes, tweaking your content can do the trick too and I am now going to repeat myself again.

How do you tweak your content to target snippet? Simply add more question-answer parts within your page. Snippet loves q/a parts and some websites had great success with it too. Here’s Kids Health utilizing the strategy:

question answer for snippet

This page is ranking for countless Google Snippets and the reason is very clear. They address questions and THAT’s it.

Now, before I started writing this article, I did some research among Internet Marketers and found interesting point of views. One of which is that Google Snippet actually reduces your traffic instead of increasing it.

Is that true? If yes, how to opt out from Google Snippet? Is that even an option? Let’s talk about it.

Is Google Snippet A Bad Thing?

Let me first explain to you how Google Snippet is considered a bad thing among SEOs & Internet Marketers. Suppose, you want to know who are the judges of Shark Tank, alright?

Here’s what you get when you search for it.

snippet is bad

Now assume you are the owner of Wikipedia. What will happen?

People will get their information without even clicking on your website. If they are searching from cellphone using assistant, the assistant is going to read out the same thing available on snippet which means that the traffics will not attend your website anymore.

Sounds bad, right?

Remember I told you at the introduction of this article that we will talk about this topic later? This is the time. So Snippet can cut you from both ends and if you really don’t know how to structure information in a way so that you can be in Snippet but still attract people to click on your site, one option is to opt out from Snippet.

How to Opt Out From Google Snippet, you ask?

According to Google, “You can opt out of featured snippets by preventing snippets on your page using the <meta name="googlebot" content="nosnippet"> tag on your page. This will remove all snippets on your page, including those in regular search results.”

Unless you are deliberately using this code to opt out from Snippet, you are automatically in consideration to be there from Google’s point of view.

What do I personally think about all these?

I am sure you understood by now, I am high on voice and as voice search is a real thing in 2018 and beyond, more and more search results are going to see Snippet. This means that less traffic are going to visit your website, especially with specific question queries. You have to learn how to play around these traffic to take them to your website.

We still don’t know how voice is going to disrupt the SEO industry. There is a huge chance that voice optimization will have a lot to do with Google’s snippet results.

More on that later.

How to Design A Site Being a Noob: Authority Journey Episode 5

If you have followed the authority site journey till now, you know that we chose a topic, we bought our domain and hosting & we went live with our website before. It is time to design the website.

I will confess.

I hate designing websites and I am not good at it. Or probably, I am not good at it and that’s why I don’t enjoy designing website. Whatever it is, I recommend you not to take design advice from me. Having said that, I am not that bad and you can probably create a basic layout of a website with my help.

Our site is live here: StudentsInDublin.com

I am not linking to it as I do not want that site to have a backlink from this domain. We will talk more about that when we discuss SEO.

Let’s get back to work again.

Designing a website has become super easy over the years. Especially with the penetration of WordPress, it is dead easy for anyone to build a website. This website that you are reading the article on is built using WordPress and I highly recommend WordPress to everyone.

Why?

It is free. It has a lot of plugins and extras that will help you to better manage your content and media & it is easy to sell a website built with WordPress.

Having said that, there are some other platforms that you can look up to if you are building a special kind of website.

For example, if you are building an E-commerce website where you will sell products, Shopify is probably a better option than WordPress. I would strongly recommend you not to go for those page builder type solutions such as Wix, Squarespace and etc. They do not offer a lot of options and they are mostly for one-two page sites. Our goal is way bigger than that.

The first thing that you will require to design the website is a theme. When it comes to themes, I recommend Themeforest with all I have. They are cheap, they have a great support and they have a LOT of OPTIONS.

Simply type the topic of your website and do a search. I am sure you will find a ton of great themes that you will like. Choose one of those and buy it.

Now Install it on your website and you are done.

I am not going to give you a detailed guide on how to design a website. Simply because, it is not possible to teach someone web design with a blog post. If you want to know more about web design or if you are stuck here, I recommend that you do a YouTube search with “how to build a WordPress site” and you will receive more than enough tutorials.

What next?

Now that our site is ready (you can see it live), we will start focusing on content. Content is the only variable that makes difference on Google’s eye and if you do not have quality content on your website, you are never going to get ranked, no matter how strong your SEO game is.

That’s it for today. When I will post another update of authority journey, I will talk about content.

Cheers

Going Live With Our Site: Authority Journey Episode 4

That time has come.

We are now live. I literally just installed WordPress on that site and started writing this blog post. The next task would be designing our site. How much did we spend so far on our site? Not much, I believe.

I bought a domain for three years which was around $30, the SSL certificate was around $20 for 3 years and the hosting is $40/year. That’s $90 I spent so far.

But wait, I am not done yet. It is now time to look into the design aspects of the site.

Here’s how the site looks right now:

building an authority website

That terrible WordPress first page look, I know.

But don’t worry, we are gonna make it better.

How, you ask?

I say, we got Themeforest. Themeforest is the biggest bank of WordPress themes on planet. They sell millions of copies each day and it is unlikely that you would not find something that you don’t like.

Now what if you don’t find anything that you like on Themeforest? There are a few other marketplaces that you can try. For example, there’s Elegantthemes.com and they are awesome. There’s mythemeshop.com who are also good. I am sure, you will find something that you like in at least one of these marketplaces.

The next alternative option would be to go to Upwork.com and hire a WordPress developer who will build a website from scratch for you.

The theme that I will be using for this site is Divi from Elegant Themes. I know some of you will disagree but I don’t really recommend Divi for beginners. When I was a beginner in IM, I used to play with Themeforest themes and they were great for me. Now that I have grown up a bit and want more options, I am going with Divi.

Another reason: Divi has amazing ready layouts for travel kinda blogs. I am getting old (I am going to be 25 in 20 days) and I don’t like creating sites from scratch anymore. I like ready stuff.

Here’s what we are going to do today. I will be designing the site using Divi. You should also pick a theme and design the site that you are building (if you are building one with me).

Going live with your site is an amazing feeling. It always gives me a high, I am sure it is the same for all of you.

I won’t have a lot of time today otherwise, I would have also setup all the social pages for our site. Once again, be realistic and be intelligent about the social media channels that you are choosing. On an ideal scenario, you will be choosing everything and you will be available everywhere but that doesn’t happen when you are just starting.

So be realistic and keep the monetization goals in mind.

What are our monetization strategies for this site? Let’s think about it.

  • We might offer consultancy services to students who are coming to Ireland for studies
  • We might sell affiliate products
  • We might do display ads

and etc.

Based on the monetization strategies, where do you think we should focus much when it comes to social media? We need to target students who are around 20, right?

The ideal options then should be Facebook & Instagram. I will leave Instagram for now because I want to do the whole project on my own without involving anyone and I don’t have that much time.

So Facebook, it is. See how strategic and simple that was?

Select one, two or three maximum social media channels where you will stay active. Remember, if you are not going to stay active on that particular social media, there’s no point creating an account there. Accounts don’t help, trust me.

Alright, now that we are live with our site and have our theme ready, it is time to design. Let me design and I will also let you design your stuff.

I will be seeing you on the next blog where we might talk about the outline, important plugins and etc.

A little about my current scene: My birthday is in this month and this will be the first time in life when I will have to be alone on my birthday. I am not an emotional crybaby but this hurts. I don’t want to go back to Ireland.

Authority Journey Episode 3: Who’s The Best Hosting Provider In 2018?

We bought a domain in episode 2, remember?

Today is episode 3 and we will be buying our hosting. It is 2018 now so happy new year to all of you. 2018 is going to be awesome. My new year’s resolution for this year is to work like a donkey and not think about outcomes at all. I am turning 25 and I have understood that these are the best years of my work life. I can always relax later if I want to later on (I don’t really enjoy relaxing either).

Anyway, back to reality.

There are two companies that I vouch for when it comes to hosting. There are multiple reasons and yes, net neutrality is also one of them. But that’s not the primary one.

The company that I now recommend everyone for hosting is Siteground. They are not the cheapest like some of those $1 hosting companies but you can be assured that your site is not going to die in the middle of the day for no reason. Obviously, the live chat support is there but that’s there for a lot of other companies and it is not a big deal anymore.

I was a big advocate of Namecheap too and then they ended up doing weird maintenance schedules. Don’t get me wrong, they are still a very good hosting company for the price that you have to pay but I think Siteground’s $3/month deal is worth it.

Another pro tip: When you are buying a hosting, don’t buy a big package thinking that you will end up getting millions of visitors from the 2nd day on your website. It doesn’t work like that. When you will get more visitors, you can always upgrade your hosting so there’s no real point of buying a costly package from the very first date.

Who’s The Best Hosting Provider in 2018?

I am not going to create a review section here because frankly, I haven’t used all the hosting companies out there. Most websites create a table with stars and ratings to get those juicy affiliate commissions, I will try to stay honest.

Focus on Net Neutrality 

It is pretty certain that Net Neutrality will hit the US market in next 2 years. The possibility is very high that hosting companies are going to take the most of it by paying to be on the ‘first lane’ of internet. I would definitely stay with a hosting company that I think is big enough to achieve that. Yes, you can always shift hosting companies even at the dead end but I never liked moving (life advice) and I would stay with one hosting from the beginning.

Fast Speed

This is a no brainer. The thing is, I don’t know about you guys, but wherever I host my sites, the speed pretty much used to look the same to me. So I decided to ran a weird test.

How about we judge the hosting companies on the speed of their homepage loading time and then decide?

I will be using GTmetrix for this test. Let’s start with Namecheap.

namecheap loading speed

The ideal page load time according to Google is 3 seconds or less. Namecheap loads at 4.4s. I will let you decide if it’s good or bad.

Let’s try Siteground now.

Siteground loading speed

The loading speed is a bit better and the page size is way lower.

As this is fun, let’s do it for a few other companies too. What about Bluehost?

bluehost loading speed

I have never been a fan of Bluehost and let me clearly tell you the reason that why people recommend Bluehost. They offer the most when it comes to affiliate commissions. That’s why. Period.

Anyway, as we are picking Siteground for our project, let’s not continue this game. You can play it on your own hours. I should also tell you that this is not a scientific method of testing web hosting companies. Load speed may vary depending on a lot of factors, but it is the simplest way of knowing who to go for.

If they can’t offer themselves great speed, how would they do the same with you?

Support

Support is very very important to me. I am not a tech guy and I don’t know the meaning of all those technical terms. I enjoy doing one click WordPress installs and I hate FTP, the old ways of installing sites. Therefore, I like to go with a company that has a 24/7 support. Pretty much all the good hosting companies now offer you live chat support for 24/7. If you are a pro you might not need it but for me, it is a must.

Uptime Guarantee

I am not going to go away from reality. It doesn’t really matter if your site is down for an hour in 6 months when you are just a beginner. Nobody is coming to your website anyways, right? Having said that, it doesn’t really justify Namecheap’s weird maintenance schedules. I would always go with companies that offer 99% uptime guarantees.

Ease

This would be my last one and every hosting company is pretty much on the same ground with this in 2018. It should be easy to do everything. We have passed those times when it used to cost thousands of dollars and time to launch a website. We now think of an idea and start a business on the next day which is awesome. I want my hosting to support that mentality. Whether it is installing my SSL certificate or just a simple query about something technical, I want somebody to be there to answer my questions and the ease of being with that hosting company should be there all the time.

Now let’s get back to real life. I am taking the basic start up plan of Siteground for our Authority project. When we start seeing positive results (10k visitors a month), we might upgrade to the next one. That’s for later though.

Now my task would be to design the site. I am a terrible designer but I am not going to take help from my team as I want to do everything like it is 2012.

I will keep on updating you.

Cheers

 

Authority Journey Episode 2: Buying a Domain in 2018

I am assuming you already read the first announcement and episode 1. I will not be boring you with the same statements over and over again. Instead of that, let’s get  into today’s topic. Today is December 27th btw and it is post-christmas here in Bangladesh. Christmas is not really celebrated here so it is a regular day. I am watching all my international friends having fun on my newsfeed and getting jealous.

Back to reality.

As you can remember, we already selected our topic of interest for the website in episode 1. Our topic was to build a site targeting students in Ireland. Today is time to get a domain for our venture.

I know most of you have bought domains in life. It is not rocket science. I prefer Namecheap when it comes to domain and I prefer Siteground for hosting. Before we get into the details on how to buy a domain, let’s talk about important stuff that you should know in 2018.

Buying a domain post 2017 is slightly different than buying one like before. There are a few things that we need to keep in mind if we want SEO benefits from our domains later on. What do I mean?

Things You Need to Know When Buying a Domain in 2018

Let’s prepare a list of things that you must know (or act accordingly) if you are buying a domain in 2018. There’s no exceptions to these and I have tested almost all of the points myself in last couple of years. Let’s begin.

ssl certificate

SSL Certificate (HTTPS) is a Must: There has been talks about whether you actually need a SSL certificate or this is just for those who process payments on their website. It is now clear that Google will not rank your website if you don’t have a SSL certificate. Yes, websites that are already ranked might not get de-ranked for not having SSL but if you are starting a new site and if you don’t get a SSL certificate, you will never get ranked. I have tested it with different sites and the result has always been the same.

So yes, SSL certificate is a must.

Register Domain For More Than a Year: This seems a bit confusing but it looks like Google is preferring domains that are registered for more than a year when it comes to ranking. It is logical if you think about it. Google doesn’t want to manipulate their search results every year and buying a domain for more than a year gives a signal that the person is serious with the domain. I highly recommend that you buy your domain for at least 3 years to give a strong signal to Google.

.com Rules: 2017 saw a boom in .xyz domains. Many went ahead and registered this TLD, primarily because it was cheap. Google doesn’t like it when you play with cheap domains. You won’t have to take my words to figure out that .com is still ruling the game. Do any Google search and you will see the .com to other TLD ratio on the results. Whatever type of website you are creating, be it a organization or a review site, .com should be your first preference.

Don’t Buy From GoDaddy: When I am saying GoDaddy, I actually am meaning domain providers who sell you domains for cheap on the first year and then makes up the profit on the second year onwards. For example, GoDaddy will offer you domains even for $1 for the first year but from 2nd year onwards, it becomes $15/year. There are other domain sellers out there who do the same. Try to stay away from these scams.

I have always preferred Namecheap for their consistent pricing and a great customer support. I might be a bit biased towards them with my affiliate link too.

Short-Sweet Name Wins: I go against this rule all the time but that’s not a wise thing to do. If you can stick to a short and sweet name, that will help you in the long run. If you have to have long domain name, make sure that it is at least meaningful.

EMD Still Gets an Edge: In case if you don’t know what an EMD is, EMD stands for exact match domain. To simplify, suppose the topic of your website is dog food and the name of your domain is dogfood.com, that’s an EMD. EMDs still receive better rankings from Google but the effect is on the decline. If you are playing the long game like I am, you should not focus on EMD at all.

Why?

They are terrible for branding and branding always wins at the end of the day.

Always Check History: Big Big mistake if you are not checking the history of a domain. Checking a domain’s history is fairly simple. Go to archive.org and put the domain name that you want to check the history for. If the domain was used before, you will find the history here. In general, I will avoid anything that has a history whether it is positive or negative.

No Dash or Numbers In Between: What is easy to remember and type? Khalidfarhan.com or Khalid-Farhan or Khalid22Farhan.com? You get the idea, right? Try to keep it simple. Do not go for a dash or numbers in between your domain name.

No Bad SEO History: When we talked about checking the old look of a particular domain, I told you to avoid domains that were previously used by someone else. What if you really like the name and it is now available? You can still take it if the SEO history looks decent.

How to check that?

Head over to Moz’s Open Site Explorer & put your domain on the search bar. Check the SEO history both with http and https versions of the domain. Once you hit the search, you will start seeing details such as authority, backlinks and SPAM score. If the SPAM score is even 1, avoid that domain.

Now that we know all of these, what’s the domain name that we will be selecting for our Authority Journey?

StudentsinDublin.com

Believe it or not, the name is available and yes, I just registered it for 3 years. Yay!

Lucky me!

Anyway, I bought it from Namecheap and the next step would be buying hosting from SiteGround. More on that on our next update.

A bit more about my current scenario. I am still in Bangladesh and will be here till 18th of January. I have become a complete potato couch. The only difference is that I am working from my couch (that goes against the core definition of potato couch, I think).

Never mind.

See you in the next update.

Authority Journey Episode 1: Selecting Our Topic Of Site

In case if you don’t know what this is all about, I started a journey of creating an authority website a while back. You can find the announcement and first episode here. The idea is fairly simple. I am creating a website that will make money online and I am sharing every piece of information with you in the process.

In today’s update, we will talk about the importance of selecting the right topic for your website.

Selecting topic is a very tricky thing for most digital entrepreneurs. If I talk about my personal experience with website creators, the most common issue that I saw is either going too left or right when selecting a topic. What do I mean by that?

There are 4 key points that you need to keep in consideration while selecting the topic of your website.

  • It has to be interesting to you
  • You have to be able to offer enough value
  • It has to have an audience
  • Most importantly, it has to solve a problem

Now please focus.

I know what many “gurus” will tell you. It doesn’t really matter whether you have interest in a particular topic or not. If you see ‘potential’, go for it. That’s crap. If you don’t have interest, you will not run that website for more than 6 months. I have been there on multiple occasions and I know how it plays out. Interest is very important.

The second point is being able to offer enough value. Suppose, I am super interested in soccer (I only like Barcelona in real life). Do I know more about soccer than anybody out there? No, I don’t. Can I answer more soccer questions that most people in a pub on any given date? Nope!

Therefore, would it be a good idea to start a website around soccer?

NOPE.

The third point is having an audience to target. This is again very important and this goes back to the rule of MVP (minimum viable product). One of the major rules of starting a startup is having a TAM that’s big enough. In case if you are not familiar with TAM, it represents total addressable market.

Off topic: There’s a brilliant book called Disciplined Entrepreneurship that illustrates 24 steps  of starting a startup. I recommend reading it. In your case, the startup would be your website. That’s the only difference.

Now, what’s the forth point? That’s being able to solve a problem. Now, the problem doesn’t have to be a super huge one. You don’t have to solve the problem of transportation like Uber with your website. You can solve the problem of getting good cat food reviews for elderly cats with a website. See how we go to niche audience?

That’s the power of a website and that’s where you will be able to thrive. You can obviously go big and try to talk about all sorts of cat foods on your website. However, the best idea would be to go as niche as possible. That way, you are reducing your competition and you are becoming an authority on a very small topic. Remember, people like to listen to the authority and not a generalist. One reason, my company Passive Journal saw massive success is because we only focused on Amazon affiliate marketers on that business, not even all affiliate marketers. That helps.

Having said that, if you are confident and if you think you have the skills to go broad, you can always do that too. My suggestion at this point would be to keep it simple with a vision to go big later on.

Now that we are done with the theory. What is it that we are going to do from here?

Before I started writing this article, I have already decided my topic for the project. It is going to be “Living in Ireland as a student”. The website will mostly target students but it will also try to target other segments (tourists for example) later on once the site goes big.

As I am done selecting my topic, let’s also create all the episode titles so that I don’t become confused. I tend to forget how I want to structure something if I don’t write it.

  • Episode 0: Announcement
  • Episode 1: Topic Selection
  • Episode 2: All about Domains + Getting our domain
  • Episode 3: All about Hosting + getting our hosting
  • Episode 4: Designing our site

December is almost over. I am still in Bangladesh, enjoying an awesome time here. My flight to Dublin is on January 13th and I already hate the idea of going back haha.

I think I will post the next update a week from now.

Cheers everyone

Creating An Authority Website To Make Money: Episode 0

I am assuming you don’t know me. That’s alright (hurts a bit though). I have actually ran case studies like these before on some of my other blogs. They were transparent and so will this one be. The idea is very simple. I want to create an authority website in 2018 which will make money online.

How much?

I don’t know. I don’t really care about that at this moment (call me ‘goal-less’). However, if this site goes up to 2-4k/month by the end of 2018, I would call it a success.

What’s the plan?

I will be building an authority website to make money in 2018 and beyond and I will also be showing you every single process that I am going through to make it happen. I will keep on publishing blog posts here on KhalidFarhan.com on a weekly basis to help you understand what’s happening.

What do I want from you in return?

Nothing!

Please understand that I am actually doing it for myself and not for you. The reason that I am blogging about the whole experience is to keep myself on my toes. I know if I don’t blog about it, I will be slow and eventually, I might end up not finishing the site at all. I am a lazy guy who loves to wake up late in the morning.

But NO!

Now I have all of you to push me forward. Let’s do this together and I am sure, we will have our final smiles at the end of the day (read year).

Episode 0 is all about the announcement. I don’t know what the site will be about at this point, I don’t know what the goals of the specific site will be but we will figure it out together.

Here’s the budget that I will have for this project:

Wait for it.

It is $500 

Yes, you read it right. It will be only $500 and there’s reason behind that.

I have been involved in Internet marketing for a long time now and those of you who read my life story already know about all those. I can actually not do anything new and try to focus on the businesses that I have at this moment but that’s not exciting enough. At the same time, I want to give back to the community. This seems like a win-win for me.

I will be able to give back to the wonderful community and at the same time, I will also be owning a blog that makes money.

How cool is that?

Today is December 13th and I am actually in Bangladesh for my Christmas holidays. I will again go back to Dublin on mid-January but we will get started with the website within this week.

Consider this article the first post + announcement of the journey. Over the weeks ahead, I will tell you how I am doing this, literally from buying a domain to getting that payment, I will show it all.

Before we go ahead and start working, it is important to fix some schedules. I will also try to talk about this journey on our podcast but it will be more of a blog post based series.

Here’re the things that I will do this week:

  • Leave from all the food and tech groups on FB. They kill a lot of my time
  • Spend less time watching Friends over and over again

That’s pretty much it. I am not a spoiled kid. The only tension that I have at this moment is the fact that I have other businesses and they require my attention. Otherwise, I would be able to focus more on this Authority Website journey. However, let’s take it as a challenge. There’s nothing that we cannot do if we hustle enough.

A bit more about my personal scenario at this moment. I am home here in Bangladesh, seeing my mom after 3 months was amazing. I don’t really show emotions. But it feels great. Also, when I am in Ireland, I cook and eat (I am terrible at it). My mom is an amazing cook so I will surely gain weight in this 1 month phase.

We don’t celebrate Christmas here in Bangladesh. That gives me more opportunities to work and to work hard. That’s exactly what I am going to do with this Authority website journey.

Wish me luck in the comments. I really need it (+ I want to know you a bit more).

Thank you for always being there with my blog.

My Journey: From Where I Came to 2017

Hey There!

I am glad you have managed time to read a post of mine. This is the first article that I am writing for KhalidFarhan.com. So I thought, what better way would it be to start the site than talking about my journey so far as an Internet marketer?

Let’s get started.

I am someone from Bangladesh. I will turn 25 on January 27th, 2018. I am not a young guy anymore and I think I deserve to have a blog under my own domain name now. Why? Let me take you through a history lane.

I was born in a lower middle class family back in 1993. My mom was a journalist and my dad used to be a ‘businessman’. The family broke when I was at around class 6/7 (I forgot). Childhood wasn’t that exciting for me. My mom got divorced and me and her started living this tough life. It was difficult.

I remember, my grandfather (from my mom’s side) used to live in a village. We were living in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We couldn’t afford great food. We were not starving but whenever my grandfather and grandmother used to come visit us, they would bring a lot of food for me and my mom. It was really tough but we managed it well. My mom worked really hard to help my education.

I was not a great student back in school but I wasn’t bad either. My mom worked as a news editor for a newspaper and situation was getting better day by day. I was living my regular life. She never really let me understand what we were going through. As you know, we understand everything but we pretend not do. I was doing the same.

When I was in my 11th standard, things were pretty decent monetarily in our family. We were not rich but we were having a decent middle-class life. I started as a freelancer at around that time. I think it was 2011 when I first registered on Upwork.com. They called it Odesk back in the days. I registered as a writer and my first job that I got there was as a content writer where I had to write 500 words for $1.

I was happy. I was grinding and getting around $100/Month. Life was good. That was a decent amount of money for a kid like me who didn’t really spend much. This continued for a few years. I remember I had a girlfriend at that time. It was tough for me to get phone bills to talk to her. Freelancing definitely helped. She was also very helpful in my journey as a freelancer. Again, I was happy.

Days went by. I started my undergrad in a good business school. Marketing has become my passion by then and I didn’t hesitate to change my line of studies from science to business. This is the same time when I started a company called ‘Pet Accessories’. You wouldn’t find it Googling. It was not really a company but a F-Commerce with a FB page, products sourced from Ali-express using the USD I was earning as a freelancer and ‘fb boosts’. FB was super underpriced (As Gary Veynerchuck says) which definitely helped. I built that business for the first two years of my undergrad studies & then I sold it for around $3000 to someone.

Why did I sell it? I was getting bored. The business was making decent money but I wasn’t enjoying the process anymore. Also, I hated product sourcing and dealing with deliveries and everything else. It was an escape for me.

I moved on and started building affiliate websites. Mostly targeting Amazon’s associate program. I failed miserably initially but then it worked out. I started having little success and I also loved the attention (and the money). I later on built Passivejournal which is why most of you know me now. That’s the time when I started actively talking about my journey as an affiliate and what I do.

I sold a few sites and started getting invites to podcasts. Here’s one that I did with Spencer. These were my initial breakouts so I was so damn happy about all these. Passive Journal is still a big part of my life. I still oversee all the operations and we have a few services for niche site owners (content & seo kinda stuff) that I am really proud of. Also, we are planning to do something for that Bangladeshi community where I came from with Passive Journal (A massive course kind of a thing) which we will launch in mid 2018.

Anyway, so that’s me. Now I am living in Dublin, Ireland. I am doing my MSc here in Digital Marketing Strategy in a college called Trinity College Dublin. If you are ever here, do send me an email. I will give you a free Book of Kells tour. I am a Trinity student so it is free for me. Otherwise, you would have to pay 13 euros. Everything is crazy expensive here in Dublin haha.

I am an immigrant so I always calculate even today. If I go get a burger for 5 euros, my subconscious mind calculates what I could do with 500 BDT (Bangladeshi currency equivalent of 5 euros) if I lived in Bangladesh. I remember those tough days that I had and I try to stay grounded all the time.

Life is good. I am happy.

Thank you everyone who had contributions in this journey. Even if I don’t know you, trust me, I pray for your success too.

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