Complete 30 Day Challenge Failure – That’s It – I’m off…!!! #30DC

I have followed the 30 Day Challenge since the end of January and carefully gone through the training and actions
– but my site has failed!!!

It has somehow been thrown in the abyss of Google rankings and after trying ‘this and that’ advice, so freely available on the web, it doesn’t seem to recover.

It hasn’t earned a penny … Or a cent … just a 5 views … and 3 of them were mine.

What a waste of time! All that learning, all that effort! All for nothing!!! Here I am, planning on making a million by the end of the year and so far nothing, nil, nought …

However, I can imagine quite a few people of the 30 Day Challenge getting to that point and wondered really how they dealt with this miserable situation.

In fact I want to hear from you! What is your experience?

Here is mine anyway … But beware … It is actually a positive one … if not a little longer than I had originally expected…

Before I begin there is of course the very unnecessary and totally unprofessional use of a YouTube video that comes to mind while I write this. It’s becoming traditional. Only to me mind you … because usually I am the only one to read my blog. The music here is from the ‘late as you can get’ and IMHO the most interesting part of the 1970’s. I used to turn the beginning of this up really really loud when I was younger; really, it seemed to smooth the teenage angst… It is Complicated Game by XTC – It says it all… Go on! – Turn it right up…
When I get better at this I will probably add pictures like everyone else does…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9GIxfbfob0

Back to the 30 Day Challenge – I started with the preseason preamble, began the challenge itself and made it in action to about half-way through. I followed the instructions as close as I could, making sure I didn’t miss any of the advice. I realised however that things were not going well. Not well at all… in fact. I simply couldn’t believe how badly the site was doing… My progress stopped right there waiting for the chance to get into the third week and play with AdWords. What a shame!


What went wrong?

I’m glad I asked myself this question … I did take one step differently. I did prefer not to use Traffic Bug because of the problems I had heard from others using it and because I had very little experience in this area, I decided I would do this manually. Not at first a pleasant experience, there are loads of things I am sure that Traffic Bug was to take care of and make life easier for the 30 Day Challengers but for me I am happy I chose not to. I will say however if Traffic Bug does redeem itself then it should be used by anyone who is completely new to the Internet when taking on the challenge – this is a complicated area and may get worse as time goes on.

So I learned about the many different kinds of sites and how they fit in, social bookmarking sites, social news sites, social hosting sites, social networking sites, microblogging sites and of course the rising value of social video sites. I learned a little about the culture and society surrounding them all and realised that to use many of them effectively I had to join in and participate if I was to take full advantage of them – All worth it.


So was it just because I didn’t use Traffic Bug?

No, IMHO I don’t think so; in the future I would definitely use a service like this if I knew what it was doing. A service like this, that you could define what you want done and have it automated and reported on would be worth a lot of money. Most of the work done here is laborious, tedious, boring, the type of thing where you need some good music playing or should be listening to a good audio on something new to learn about … I mean, it is bad…

But it wasn’t the reason for the failure…


How do you know this … ‘Oh Internet marketing newbie’?

I have seen that just a very small subset of what is being taught in the 30 Day Challenge is effective in making money for the ones doing it. Just by :-

  • choosing a desirable long tail niche,
  • finding a top level domain name with the keyword as the name,
  • creating a site with a few pages,
  • putting up information on the site with the keywords in,
  • planting some AdSense,
  • and just blasting through any subject of article through EzineArticles one or more times pointing to your site.

This can get you in some cases position 1 and most times within the Top 10 of the Google SERPs. There are variations of that around and although the sites do not earn much and may not last long they are easy to do and some people are doing great there. The effort that went into my 30 Day Challenge site was in effect much more effective than those and would have been overkill for that kind of niche.


Could you have been Google Slapped, Google Sandboxed, Google Kickboxed or some other evil Google manhandling?

Well Google Slapped applies really only to Adwords campaigns, so maybe not that. Again, this comes back to using Traffic Bug, where it might take care of this and the answer to that question isn’t something I cannot give definitely. It may have been, but I didn’t get dropped completely, my progress in the SERPs just seems to be slow and hard work. I did try to make my effort over days and not do it all at once. A possibility, …?


Could it be your content was utter rubbish?

Ahem…

I have been in a fight on this one over and over again. I actually hate my writing, I hate reading it, I see all sorts of negative things that when I ask other people about they never seem to pick up on and say things like ‘you missed a comma there?’. Some people said they actually like it and it surprises me – maybe they are being kind. The real question is though – Was it rubbish to Google’s avid little bot reading through my articles and pages? There is a possibility here too. I did pick up on the fact that maybe my style of jumping from one subject to another might give the Google spider a little indigestion now and then, but from what I have seen of pages on the Top 10, this really was nothing to be too concerned about. I do feel IMHO that it will become more important in more competitive areas though, I am sure Google covers the fact that if a page is supposed to be about apples and contains stuff mostly about oranges and widgets then this must be covered in detail by Google in their algorithm. So I am consciously now trying to write in the language and using keywords of the niche, I tend to look at what the content is held in the pages of the Top 10 that helps it partly just to be there and follow the same keywords. It sounds like a plan that may be important but it something I will need to look at later.

So the answer is No!, not that my content is utter rubbish, the jury is still out on that, but whether it would have affected my position negatively in the SERPs, I think not. I do hope before the jury gets back however I get to learn enough from the successful copywriters and get it right though – this is an important area to learn.

The writing however didn’t come easy…


Writing a story about writing…Hmmm?…Here goes…

I will say though that this one part of the whole process was really difficult. My first article of about 500 words took me 14 hours to do!!!

It was an extremely painful process. Being unsure of what I was meant to do involved something like this:-

  • watching the 30 Day Challenge videos over and over again,
  • search the forums,
  • searching the Internet,
  • searching my Facebook, my Twitter,
  • making copious amounts of coffee,
  • play on the Wii with my son (I love those charm challenged Rabbids),
  • searching my mind by doing all sorts of clearing and sorting techniques on my desk, in the garden, in the house
  • and then to read many Gary Halbert newsletters,
  • a few videos on the same subject,
  • a look at what others have written (and I found quite a few on the same keyword strangely enough),
  • a look at Facebook, Twitter (now of course there’s Buzz) again

All in all, a very busy but totally ineffective exercise where I found I was 10 hours into it I had written as many as two words – and that was my keyword!

I realised I need to remove all distractions. I thought that I would bring all the information together on the subject and paste them into OneNote and hopefully will have all the material I needed, writing it would be so easy. So neatly arranged was the mass of information gathered into groups, sections and notes that I thought that was it – I must have what I needed by now.

But I didn’t know what to write. 12 hours so far for one article.

I remembered then that one thing that could be done was to pick a successful article in Market Samurai Find Content module and just rewrite it. Well I had avoided that in a way because I wanted to be able to write my own articles without help or stealing anyone else’s ideas. I looked anyway and found quite a few articles targeting the same keyword and tried it on one of them. I didn’t like it, but at least I had written something I could use. Still working through it I found I wanted to write something else, I had my own way of putting it across, so my own sentences started to appear, about the keyword but from a different angle.

Then more sentences…

I found I was deleting my rewrites and replacing them with my own unique article that wasn’t covered by any of the ones already in EzineArticles or indeed elsewhere. After almost 14 hours I had written something that after a few changes here and there became my first page on my 30 Day Challenge site. Result!!!

A similar process happened to the second social hosted article – took me 6 hours. But then the next was 2 hours. It was getting easier, as I did it more and more. I find now that when I am sure of my subject I can possibly write almost 800 words in 30 minutes, but that is not the rule – it’ll be normally between 30 minutes and 2 hours…

I never thought I could achieve that … Even though I kept telling myself that I could do it… It really took a lot of effort to break it.

This article your reading here though isn’t like that, I have spent a lot of time thinking and correcting this over days because I hope to achieve some positive outcome with it. Anyway, back to the plot…


Did you pick the wrong Niche then? Didn’t you follow the instructions?

I followed the instructions properly I am sure. I went over it finding niches quite a few times and it is a very useful activity because you learn so much about what helps a site get into the Top 10 ranking. I just love Market Samurai for this and found another little tool called Micro Niche Finder that was really easy and quick for finding possible candidate microniches. Micro Niche Finder though does need the full analysis of Market Samurai to be sure.

The real reason I am confident in this area was when I seemed to be consistently finding 30 Day Challenge like sites, running from WordPressDirect, using the same safe themes, site structures, with similarly niched keywords as categories, amongst a load of other identifying traits. Other kinds of sites similarly created were jumping into the micro niches that I found. Many using a template or style that I could credit XFactor of the Warrior Forums for and others of varying systems which were more interesting to look at. So in the end I was confident that I used the right method for finding the niche.


What’s left then – I tell you what – let’s blame someone else?

The good thing with Market Samurai is that you can really investigate a niche quite deeply. You many need to do a few iterations each time you find a competitive site but at least you don’t have to manually do all the checks yourself. I found before by looking at the backlinks to a site you can figure out pretty much how they are competing. If any of the sites look interesting you can check them out in Rank Checker and get an idea of what they are doing. You might find many unusual backlinking strategies there and figure out really which ones are actually working for them. Of course you can also find which sites you can get yourself get high PR links from too. This investigation into the niche I was targeting led me to clusters of sites, all linking to each other in different ways. Looking up and reading about link wheels, pyramids and other entities made me realise what was going on there. Comparing all this with what I found I understood that this area was not as free of competition as it first appeared!

As an aside I developed a new system I can guarantee no one yet has thought of – I called it the Tesseract system, anyway enough of that boring stuff.

The niche was in fact filled with coming and going entities, domain names in the plural, using a synonym, in many semantically close niches providing similar information and of course after the same products. The alarm bell should have gone off when finding it easy to find content on this niche!

So if I could allow myself to blame someone else there it is. I thought the analogy that fits this would be we were all wasting time and effort fighting over the same sweet when there was probably a large buffet nearby just waiting to be eaten from.


So who is to blame then – Only YOU left!!!

No! Not ‘you’ the reader – ‘You’ the writer. Me, so to speak.

Notice I didn’t blame the 30 Day Challenge, as I understand the information presented there is way beyond whatever existed before by many systems that charged incredible amounts of money. However, I don’t think Ed Dale and his team can prepare anyone for failure by offering methods to check for or systems to follow. I think it has to come down to psychology – being prepared for these failures and how to recover. I don’t think any fluffy course in positive thinking quite meets the needs either. It really has to be understood and possibly experienced…


Failure is part of the system

… Oh! Very good! Very deep and meaningless… So we’re all going to fail?


So there it is – the reasons for failure. I think is probably a mix of some or all of the above and maybe any number of reasons that I cannot yet answer. In trying to find the answer to this lethargic search engine ranking it was highly unlikely I could search around and find the solution to it immediately. To do this would take ‘time’, ‘monitoring’ and ‘testing’. Therefore, the immediate reaction of searching to find the answer to this could easily lead you off elsewhere, back into the endless night of following the latest methods or marketing product. I lost a few days in this cycle and although I learned a great deal I was not any closer to the immediate problem. I may have struck lucky but in reality there are so many ways that can possible fail, there wasn’t really a helpful solution.

My other, rather instinctive approach was to throw everything at it and fight it out of the abyss. This seemingly noble and externally positive reaction may be more to do with desperation than it is to sense. I am at the point where I can see the mistakes I (and I am sure many others) make and understand that we need to stop sometimes and think over how we spend our time effectively.

We cannot force Google to change their algorithm and we don’t know the plans of those we are in competition with. We need to move on. I decided that was that – I’m off!!

Getting back to my first 30 Day Challenge … it is clear to me that it hasn’t actually failed – until I give up on it.

It will become a test niche – I will keep participating in it, test different ideas or methods on it, keep plugging away at it, bookmarking or articles and so on. But I will not devote too much time to it. There are other niches to look for – easier ones to start with. Some of them may fail but statistically most of them won’t, if they do, they will become further ideal test niches. The methods and systems I will learn as this goes forward will hopefully allow me to figure out how to overcome the obstacles that have come up and why they happened. There is a danger I am sure many will have here of giving up – I have the luxury that I know I cannot – not under any circumstances…

Like I have said before, as if it is something of great importance, (it’s not – it’s all relative) I have been with the Internet a long time and Internet Marketing was something I have read a lot about, I have seen many products and seen the success of many. With all that knowledge (again relative) I wasn’t prepared for how much I had learned doing the 30 Day Challenge – and I have finished the whole challenge academically, but not in action. This stuff is always changing, always evolving, always new ways will appear (or re-appear) and there is no way you can keep up with it in totality. You can spend the rest of your time learning about it and you will be really busy doing that, but in fact if you were like me, that is ALL you did.


Here is the truth about the situation that I can say, from my heart, with all honesty.


I knew it all along.


So do you.


This is the secret that you have been waiting for – the thing that will take you from failure to success.

As guaranteed as life can possibly give you.


If you don’t do this then you will fail!!!


Without any effort.


Without exception.


The most fundamental thing of all…


You MUST…


Right that’s it this post is long enough … I’ll finish it tomorrow if I have time …


YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST…


TAKE ACTION.


Yawn – Doesn’t sound much does it – but it is a fact of life, in the mind, in the physical world, even in the spiritual world if you enter there …


You need to take ACTION – REGULARLY


It could be MASSIVE ACTION – or it may be a little bit now and again – but it does need to be regular. Not reading the forums or the latest of what the 30 Day Challenge ‘Coming Home’ crew are up to – but regular ACTION.


You will get results in Action but not Inaction.


That action isn’t in your Facebook or Twitter messages popping up. It’s in the direction you wish to go, to reach the point where you can say you have done it!!


Stay FOCUSED on the OUTCOME you want to achieve


This is not some wishy-washy ‘wonderful world’ ridden stuff, no images of sunshine and fresh flowers growing and dancing in the summer breeze forever, no eternal images of happy almost unbearably ecstatic people who have reached the highest level of – well – Maslow’s hierarchy – and do not have a worry in the world – believe me I am not a great follower of that.

I just know that from the successes I have had in life before getting here. The only time I really made a difference and done anything notable was not just the enthusiasm and creativity of doing something special, but by the hard work of ACTION.

My own story is that with a fall or two I forgot this, or rather, I knew it academically 100% but for my own reasons failed to do it – I would get distracted and look elsewhere, learn more, find out new ways and so on. I could become the most knowledgeable idiot if I continued.

Somehow too I managed to gain the worst critic that anyone could ever have, that I can say quite honestly nearly destroyed me – if you think about it you probably know who it was

– It was me!!

My critic made me an expert in failure and took me through many dark places that I didn’t wish to go and it was really only at the end of last year something changed. I looked at myself and what I was doing – it made me feel really bad. I eventually made myself a resolution that I had to change – but that is another story – Thank heavens you might think…


You see I have written this for those of you that face the same failures as me – or even similar ones?


I know the DANGER in letting go at this moment and the waste of time and effort that is created. I knew it would be no good me writing it later because I will in ‘all probability’ become successful and you wouldn’t believe me – not really. You’ll imagine that I had it easy, had an easy break and that this was just a rehashed post of someone who is being condescending, looking down at the terrible pitiful situations that you can get into and then just as painfully for you, saying, ‘Well look at me! Look at how successful I am now!’.


Well this is real time, front line stuff, totally from the heart and genuine – I know the situation only too well and I certainly cannot stay here long – I personally do not have a choice.


I want this to be something that I can leave in this moment of time that is not only helpful to anyone now but for those in the future. The critic inside me reminds me of Rimmer in Red Dwarf, whose ego would allow him to think his writing would inspire space cadets to look up to him for years into the future. Well this is not ego, it is here and now, because I do feel everything as I write and know it to be true. I will give into my ego and take on the identity from an old poem though, ‘I am Thursday’s child – with far to go’.


Can I leave you with an analogy I hope might be helpful… Just when you thought it was all over…


Look Out – Car Crash Blog Post Coming!!!

I have been testing an analogy that came to mind as I was writing on how these changes take place. Bear with me with this one – it does seem to work.

It’s like a car going forward on a slippery road at a reasonable speed but then the driver suddenly changes direction and puts his foot down.

A lot of furious wheel spinning takes place as the car swerves and spins but the car is still going in the same direction. The driver keeps aiming for this new direction and frantically tries to control the car, but importantly still focuses on going in this new direction.

It takes what seems an age for the driver to take control of the car and it is probably one of the most stressful experiences he has had on his journey but he concentrates solely on the new direction he wants to take.

The car is out of control at this moment, as it moves too far away from the direction the driver now wishes to go he compensates immediately.

Quite a few mistakes are made in compensating, purely to the stress and because everything is happening so quickly. He may over compensate, he may not get it quite right and the car may spin more it should. The driver may wish to stop and get out, after all this is not a pleasant experience; it feels like you are losing complete control. The driver may question whether he made the right decision and want to just let the car go wherever it wants. The poor driver may look really stupid to the people who are seeing this and he may well want to go back to continuing normally. Just like the crowd he perceives as watching him.

The driver struggles to maintain this new focus, this new direction, works hard and sometimes frantically turning towards it. The car eventually shows signs of slowing down from its old direction, the wheels begin to bite and finally he gains more and more control over the steering wheel. At last something is happening – the car now begins to move in the right direction. The driver is absolutely elated that at last his efforts are beginning to pay off, this is probably the most magical moment of the experience that he will remember.

The car is now going as intended. The driver now has full control over it. Whether he takes this direction fast or slow and how quickly he gets past any obstacles in the road is under his control.

Now that is the analogy … I would hope that the new direction is a positive one, one that is of benefit to the driver, one that has been taken by the other successful drivers who have made their way before him. Of course it may be somewhere different that no one has thought of, the driver is in control at least.

At the beginning of the changes the driver had it easy in driving, there was little effort needed, he was following wherever the road took him. The reason the driver changed may have been because he saw that if he carried on the same road he would have crashed into a wall. In any case with or without effort of the driver he had momentum.

The road is life and it is slippery because it is difficult do the things that we think of, that we know we should be doing. Making changes requires effort that may or may not make any difference on the road of life. But obviously by taking definite action some of it will stick to the surface of the road.

The momentum is our life behind us, all the decisions and actions we have made push us in the direction we follow. Making drastic changes will be a stressful time and will require us to focus on the new direction constantly to make sure we don’t give up.

The strength of our decisions and actions governs our speed on this road and where it will eventually take us. Some may have a comfortable road ahead of them and only the occasional obstacle spoils the journey, they will continue as always. Others may already be taking a positive direction and the change in direction would mean a small turn of the wheel; this will be easier for them. Some however, may have taken the wrong road and have worked out if they continue it will be dangerous for them, changing direction can be done a little easier, they have the time to turn it around.

Finally some may have a brick wall right in front of them, they have not been concentrating on the journey and been preoccupied with the distractions on their way. They may have developed a habit of choosing the wrong road, it may have been fun or they got stuck into certain habits. Some may even mistakenly believe that they couldn’t drive in the first place so life took them on a journey outside of their control. With the brick wall in front of you, or the end of the road or the wolf at the door – They are the ones who have to Do It Now!


Do not let your efforts go to waste, do not give up, keep compensating, keep trying to take control, just keep going and

… Well … You might just make it!



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If you have got here and reading this then you either skipped to the conclusion, treating this like some of those awful lengthy sales letters or web pages when all you want to know is the price, or you actually read this all!!

If the latter, then I would love to hear your stories or comments, are you a failure like me?

Did you get back up to fight again or did you lie down and take up another hobby?
What was your experience of the 30 Day Challenge like or did you make it using another system?

What useful tips can you give to others to get over their failures attempting to make money online? This is the biggest obstacle that frustrates many people ‘who have actually made it‘, when they try to help others – and most do want to.

Do you drink coffee or tea?

Do you have a bunch of spam links you want to promote your viagra site with? Goodbye…

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  • I can see the post reflects and connects with many newbies frustrated with IM. I am one of them, but I’m not giving up. Shawn, I hope this post inspires people not to completely give up.
    .-= Elevic Pernis´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • I can see the post reflects and connects with many newbies frustrated with IM. I am one of them, but I’m not giving up. Shawn, I hope this post inspires people not to completely give up.
    .-= Elevic Pernis´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • Shawn

    Thank you Elevic – It is I think the most important hurdle for newbies, there are so many distractions that get in the way, especially when you are not 100% confident in what you are doing.

    Let me know later how you get on Elevic 🙂

  • Shawn

    Thank you Elevic – It is I think the most important hurdle for newbies, there are so many distractions that get in the way, especially when you are not 100% confident in what you are doing.

    Let me know later how you get on Elevic 🙂

  • Kerry

    I found your blog while researching the status of my own blog as your site actually is on page 3 of my name search. Long story short, I found your blog and found myself chuckling as I read through so much of it. I did my first Challenge in 2008. I made a whopping 52¢! Oh wait, that was the whole sale only 2¢ was the commission. LOL.

    I attempted again the second year only because after leaving my original site alone and doing nothing for 6 months after the Challenge I noticed that my traffic was increasing. I was getting like 20-30 hits a day. WOW! Nothing compared to the success stories that I had heard so much about during the challenge but hey, I was newbie. About 7 days into the 2009 Challenge, I was notified that I was being laid off because the job I had was being dissolved. I let go of the project in trade for starting my own business. During this year though and aprat from the challenge, I did manage to apply some of the techniques to that first site I had started. And I found a product that was actually attracting more hits. And my traffic to the site was now 50-60 a day and raising steadily all be it slowly.

    The Challenge 2010 got me really jazzed. I had found another product and a redesign of my original site and now my traffic was up to around 100/day. This year’s Challenge I did not continue efforts with the original site. I had another site that I needed more traffic to and had found a really great keyphrase to use within it. So I did not follow the plan as it was designed. I knew I would have to work harder to get it to work because it was within another site. I chronicled my daily adventure for the first 4 modules and then abandoned my efforts. Not because I wsa not getting results. I was. In fact, I still am just with the work done from the first 4 modules. I abandoned this years Challenge because I really did not have the energy to apply to that topic. And I felt I needed to focus my energy on the company that I had started a year before which involved teaching and being a virtual webmaster of sorts.

    Strangely, 2 months after the challenge those articles I wrote and the keyphrases I picked are the top pages of that site I was using. I know that at any time I could go back and pick up where I left off and have that all work out too, just like my original site (which is now getting nearly 200 hits a day). But until I make the time to DO that, I can be content knowing that everyday I learn something (and I do learn something everyday) is one day closer to being who and where I want to be. Until then I love helping others learn what I know and teaching web design and development. I learned those skills from the first challenge and some of the tools and techniques taught there.

    The Challenge is a huge toolbox. I will continue to join every year because it is always fresh and new and I always learn from it. More importantly I have learned to take action with those tools and use them in ways that help me move forward and continue to build MY momentum.

    Thanks for your time, sorry this got so long!
    Kerry 🙂
    http://kerrycarron.com

    • Shawn Du’Mmett

      Hi Kerry – Thanks a lot for reading through my blog, I noticed my traffic double 🙂

      I hadn’t realised I wrote so much on the Challenge stuff – I was taking notes module by module of the Challenge 2010 but found it was taking up a lot of valuable time and I could see loads of others dropping away so I stopped. However, I did of course finish it – late, got distracted by Dan Raine’s Intern program for a little while, which unfortunately took place while life went into overdrive and – in short – I failed that too…
      Looking back over the Challenge and how people were getting on with it in their forums I think it really comes down to one thing … just go for something you are really interested in (that is so important) and keep going.

      I see from playing on other sites, Google adores even rubbish posted daily rather than well thought out weekly updates (sadly), so if you just keep on writing, regularly and consistently you win. I am reminded here of a line from the late Gary Halbert in a Mike Fortin conference call – “Strive to be effective – efficiency is just a bonus”. Most of what is taught, Challenge and other products, is really the efficiency, the effectiveness is really just getting on with it.

      Don’t pay too much time to learning (though testing is ‘golden’) and BE who you want to be NOW, the world will catch up ultimately…

      Thanks for dropping by Kerry 🙂