Dave Fox on FOCUS and General Update 2018


in this video I interviewed Dave Fox we
get a full update from Dave and if you’re not familiar with Dave he’s been
on the YouTube channel a few times and he’s been on the niche site project blog
as well so we’ll put links below for all those other appearances that he’s had
but we get an update in summer of 2018 and we hear what he’s been up to a
couple of the things that we get into is focus which I talk about all the time
and we talk about why a portfolio of sites may not be as great as you think
it is so before we get to the interview Dave does have a YouTube channel of his
own so do check it out he is a musician by trade and that’s what his channel is
so be sure to check out Dave’s channel hey what’s up it’s Doug Pennington here
and I’m sitting with my friend Dave Fox how are you doing pretty good pretty
good are you doing great doing great it’s a little rainy here in Bozeman
today at least it’s not snowing so I got that afternoon since it’s like June so so a lot of people do know who you are
they’ve seen you know other interviews that you’ve done on the channel and just
you know you’re out there a little bit just in the internet marketing community
but for people that don’t know you can you give us a little introduction like
who are you what do you do now how’d you get involved in like internet marketing
okay and I’ve been doing this for about four years now I started when my life
kind of tanked at some point several years ago and I was just sort of looking
for something else to do I was teaching music for about ten years just locally
in my area that was going okay and wasn’t making a lot of money but I
really need something else to do and I just sort of stumbled on on this and
just immediately started trying to make it work that happened then the first
year of doing that stuff like the affiliate marketing was sort of just
like really chaotic and like I tried all sorts of different crazy things and then
eventually I started to get things on track so yeah that’s short short what
happened and so you got started about four years ago and about three years ago
is when you and I connected and we have you know other interviews like
incrementally over time but you and I started working
gather I coached you for about five or six sessions in the first half of 2015
yeah and it was slow growth I would say right yeah
pretty much like all my old sites were essentially like had to be just sort of
like cut off and throwing them in the bin and I started a new site and then
that was with you I started my site that actually started going in that like a
progressive kind of direction you know cool I think for reference point like if
I remember right it took about six months to make the first hundred bucks
and then buy you know another six months you were up around a thousand or fifteen
hundred bucks and then within like eighteen months you were like five
thousand something like that right yeah well that was with the help of like a
couple other sites that I started but basically like after the first year
things were like off and running I guess so it took there’s that point where I
was I kept talking to you and being like what’s happening like who’s around the
six-month mark right were things yeah it started to take off so cool cool and I
just I always want to emphasize that people you know they’re they think
they’re behind or something like that but it literally takes some time and I
think your perseverance is like a really good example of like persistence and
maybe I don’t know stubbornness I don’t know if you would call it that but I
mean yeah you get it done you get it done it took a lot of hard work and you
just didn’t you know roll out of bed and you know start making what you’re making
so in by day let’s catch up so that that was like a year and a half ago a couple
years ago so yeah you update us on like your earnings right now and sort of
traffic just across your portfolio of sites okay so yeah like earnings last
time I talked to I think it was like 5,000 a month thing is where I was at
and things basically are still at that level but I think you know like at that
point I think a year ago it was like I was reaching the 5,000 a month and I was
starting to get there and now it’s sort of just like it’s it’s there and it’s
kind of going a little bit up from there but it’s around the same spot but it’s
due to the fact that there was a bunch of stuff that happened in the past year
that kind of like brought me down quite a bit okay where I could get back up to
that point got it for reference it sounds like you made it up to about five
to seven thousand per month a couple years ago and then it sort of dropped
down a little bit yeah ocellated around 5,000 or so and
yeah you mentioned there were some issues can you just the really high
level just tell us a little bit about that yeah well the first one I guess
like most people would know this that there have been involved in a mark the
internet marketing world but the Amazon when Amazon changed their pay structure
that really screwed over a lot of people including myself and that was a big one
too because it was it was like unexpected and also really kind of hard
to recover from in a sense because you had to like totally re nap like
configure your sites shortly sided and then so that was last March and then
then there was around Christmas I got nailed by like a pretty heavy google
penalty where most of my sites were like had got no traffic for a couple months
due to like a penalty so that was also that wasn’t like even worse okay and we
don’t have time in this video to unpack all of that with the manual penalty
because this is I mean this is big news of course and what we I know you and I
had a discussion earlier so I could say it had to do with negative SEO and we’re
gonna go over in a future video like what you experienced and then how to get
over it so that’ll be yeah pretty cool and at this point you’re recovered and
traffic seems to have returned right yeah everything’s pretty good now good
to know good to know okay so I wouldn’t a rewind just a little bit and talk
about focus and I talked about this often a lot of times it’s just a
reminder for myself but you know one thing you said earlier is when you and I
started to work together you basically killed a few of your your initial sites
that you started working on and then you focused on one so can you kind of take
us back to you know why that was effective for you
so basically I had at least I have like four sites that I was working on like
scrambling around trying to make them like you know function properly and then
I had this new site that was like a kind of a new concept for me it was just like
using like the stuff that you’re teaching me and the two styles of site
didn’t really coexist properly and so at some point something prompted me to just
delete those old sites because they were just really taking a lot of energy for
me in order to even like fix them you know so I was trying to
constantly trying to fix what was wrong with them but they were so kind of far
gone that like fixing them was like kind of a crazy proposition so once I got rid
of them I was it was way easier to work on my new site and like move forward
right you know I remember a couple of the sites you know one or two of them
were really going to be like almost impossible to monetize they got a lot of
traffic like they got a surprising amount of traffic but like it just
wasn’t gonna work out and then another one had like a product that was just too
cheap right it just wasn’t gonna work out so at that point like you’d already
put time into it and you were like I really I don’t want to throw them away
and it was really just taking up space in your mind even though maybe you only
had to spend like ten minutes on it once a week it was still like you were
thinking about it you know so once you I mean you literally in the preparation
call you told me that you literally like deleted the sites right you didn’t like
metaphorically stop working on them you won’t double you did them right i
straight-up deleted but I had it like the thing is that sort of goes back into
like when I was with Hostgator and I was you know on their servers with these
sites and they were starting to sit there was like almost a sign like it
wasn’t like a like a cosmic sign that it was some sort of sign because they
started messaging me saying like you’ve run out of inodes you have no I know is
left and I was like I don’t know what that means so I started trying to talk
to them about that I don’t like it’s just essentially I guess I know it’s I’m
not sure if it applies anywhere else other than post Gator but these inodes
were like files and I had no more file space left on on the servers so they’re
like you literally have to cut back on your eye nose and I’m like well how do I
do that they’re like oh you just have to start deleting things and why not so I
started deleting things kind of randomly from those sites and then I was just
like you know what I like I’m just gonna delete the entire site because it’s like
this is just stupid now that’s what happened one night I was like delete and
then all like all four of them were just gone I could have I didn’t even back
them up and it was kind of weird too because I like had been working on it
for a year yeah you really I mean you burned the bridge no going back alright
well in that that was a dramatic turn but it also allowed you to
like really focus down and like work hard on your one site that was starting
to get some traction that was really cool I mean obviously it panned out now
let’s fast-forward I think it was like around the fall of like 20 2016 when
thing like you had been making good money for over a year right you’ve been
making good money for over a year and I remember you were like hey man uh I’m
gonna branch out I’m gonna launch more sites right do you remember this
conversation we had yeah yeah so so you launched a bunch of sites and I was like
hey you know what it’s gonna be a little hard I know you have money to reinvest
but can you tell us how that experience went because a lot of people think
that’s what they’re gonna do portfolio of sites
how’d it go for you I love my sites and I still have those sites so I don’t
regret like making them at the same time it like took a lot of extra work to get
those sites established like way more work than you could possibly imagine if
you haven’t done that before so you know – if it’s especially if the site isn’t
just like a very very specific like micro niche thing if it’s sort of like a
little bit broad like you’re asking for a lot because there’s a lot of stuff to
do and then to like get them up and then maintain them and then expand them it
was kind of crazy like at that point I went into like working from like several
hours a day to working like kind of all day on all these sites just all the time
so it got pretty crazy yep and you hire a team of people right do you recall how
many folks were working for you it dude that stretched yeah like I had I started
hiring more writers cuz I had like a couple writers for my main site and then
like initially I do the writing for the sites to get them off the ground but
that’s a really kind of tough job too but yeah I had like four or five writers
now I was like paying more people to do more content and it was just
logistically growing you know like in terms of the scope so yeah yeah and I
know just for me trying to hire people even if you have like an unlimited
budget the overhead to like work with all the new people and the interactions
it just takes so much brainpower so it’s like you can’t do anything else so if
you maybe if you weren’t writing at all or something like that or if certain
things were on autopilot you could have only managed the people
which I mean some people don’t like managing people at all so how was it by
the way I mean did you enjoy managing the team of writers or yeah like I think
I learned a lot about how to like get the right people on board with the site
because there’s a whole like sort of strategy or art form to getting writers
that actually can write properly for the site that you’re asking them to write
for so it’s not just hiring you know anybody it’s like you have to go through
an interview process and then make sure even initially that you’ve like put out
there like you have to know about this topic if you don’t know about it like
please don’t apply for this job and then people just swarm you because they’re
like money money money and they want money and then you’re trying to
negotiate all these deals with these people and meanwhile in the back of my
head I’m like I’m gonna be rich I’m just like put I’m hardcore like going at
these sites thinking like well if I have one site and then I have now I have
three sites I’m gonna have like so much more it’s just gonna be like a huge
success so it’s optimism right but it also just like starts burying you and
work right so it sounds like the growth didn’t come like you expected so dude
what can you attribute that to well the sites did like like they still
are up and they still I think are pretty good sites but uh you know just the fact
that I guess if we’re talking about focus like my focus just got kind of
like spread a little bit thin for that and it’s still like that for me which is
why I’m trying to sell a site or two at this point and quick note right the in
March of 2017 you mentioned this Dave Amazon changed
the Commission rate so currently you’re making about the same as you were but in
reality like your earnings at that point in March dropped by what like thirty
five percent right yeah it was thirty five okay yeah so in a lot of people
it’s around like most people ended up losing revenue from like 25% to 50%
depending on the primary focus of the their site so I mean it was dramatic
you stayed relatively even but in reality you probably grew by about
thirty five percent it just you can’t see it ya know it’s sort of like it’s
sort of depressing to me to think about how like I could how much I would
be making if that hadn’t happened right and I mean I’m in the same boat man I
know what you’re saying exactly yeah it was really yeah things are recovered and
that’s good so we can focus on that then you mentioned you you alluded to you
thinking of maybe selling a couple sites so if people want to contact you can
they get in touch with you about it yeah for sure like I’m always willing to chat
about that it sounds like you want to sell some of the sites so you could like
refocus on you know the ones that you’re most interested in have most potential
is that right yeah well I mean like to be honest I have like eight sites now so
I went like totally insane making like more and more sites because once you
have like a good idea you’re like I have to kind of try it so like I just kept
trying new ideas and I don’t regret all of them but like definitely there was a
couple sites like there was a site that I started like two years ago or maybe a
year and a half ago that I worked on for a year that was sort of in that in let’s
say the wedding niche and I thought it was gonna be like huge and so I put a
lot of effort into it only to sell it like a year later because I could not
stand it anymore I was just like why the hell am I doing this like I can’t deal
with the site it was so the scope of it was so huge that like it kind of broke
me right so I had to sell that was like an emergency sell of that site to get it
out of my face like I couldn’t deal with it yeah sure I guess before we finish up
and again we’re gonna do a couple other videos Dave and I are gonna talk about
what to do when your site gets hit with negative SEO and recovering from a
penalty and we’re also gonna talk about white hat outreach and add their videos
but before we we break on this one Dave can you like give us an idea of the
earnings for the whatever a couple of the sites that you’re thinking of
selling just to give people like a relative yeah the site that I was
thinking of selling is but so it makes about a thousand a month it’s one of the
more consistent sites it’s just a little bit out of my wheelhouse as far as the
topic so that’s the one that I’m kind of thinking of selling at some point okay
cool all right well thanks Dave and I always
good to get an update folks be sure – you know check out the other videos
which should be in a playlist so thanks Dave no problem
cool yeah alright thanks Dave really appreciate you taking time today and be
sure to check out Dave’s channel it’s really cool
great music over there and look out for the other two videos so we’re going to
talk about negative SEO and why it had outreach in a couple other videos so we
get into the nitty-gritty and provide like actionable tips out of those so be
sure to check out those other videos as well you

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