At the start of this year I sent one email out to people on my newsletter offering a one on one consulting call. I figured that January would be the best time of the year to try and set people down the right path and in about two weeks I did over a dozen one on one calls. I’ve since raised my rates to $249 an hour here (up from $200 and frankly I should charge more than that), but I wasn’t really doing this for the money so much as I wanted to hear what people need help with most.

Here’s What I Learned:

1. Most people don’t understand how to do link building right:

There is a severe lack of understanding on how to build links to smaller niche websites as well as tactics used to build links to larger websites. So what I’ll be doing is buying monthly memberships to every major monthly recurring article marketing / link building style services out there (tell me what ones you want to see in the comments) and documenting case studies on my blog showing me (or one of my VA’s) using them.

My goal is to find some software service(s) that I can wholeheartedly recommend for building links more quickly to smaller niche websites. Higher end link building is something I can talk about as well, but so many people are interested in the niche website building aspect and they get stopped because of link building. Even if this costs me a few thousand dollars in subscription fees this should be worth it to be able to show some useable data to you. I’m not going to reveal the niche websites I’ll be doing the link building on (see this post for why), but I will document rankings, total number of links built etc.

2. Most people don’t understand how to find a good niche

This was another trend. Too many people had crappy niches that they’d selected. I think I might do a webinar talking about this in the future and sharing some of the tools I use, but more importantly how to interpret the data these tools provide into actionable tactics. More on this to come.

3. Most people don’t understand how to set up a niche website correctly

I saw a lot of poorly placed advertisements, bad looking websites, complaints about the time it takes to make a unique look for each website etc. I also received at least one hundred emails over 2011 just from people asking for feedback on their websites so I already knew this was a problem area. This is something I’m certain I can clear up for you. I’m going to be hosting a webinar with another niche marketing expert very soon (make sure you’re on the newsletter to get the invite). We’ve been working on the solution to this problem in the form of a WordPress theme that we’re calling the last niche website theme you’ll ever need to buy (presumptuous you say? if you come on the webinar you’ll see what we mean). We’ve been working on this project with a team of programmers since Oct 2011 and it’s finally ready for a limited beta release where we’ll be selling it at a discount to people that make it on the webinar.

In any case, we won’t just be pitching our theme on the webinar but just discussing general site construction as a whole and showing how the theme solves the problems.

Jan 30th Update: Do you want to be a beta tester? The theme is just about done, but we want a few beta testers to help out. Please contact me here if you want to work on the theme, provide feedback, submit bug reports and get the final theme for free.

Overall Impressions:

I know this feedback came from a small sample size of people when compared to the thousands of people on my newsletter, thousands that read my blog and listen to my podcast etc. but I’m sure there must be more of you struggling with these concepts and tactics. So I’m going to be spending some time talking about the topics above in upcoming blog posts.

1st: What link building services do you want me to pay for?

i.e. Unique Article Wizard, Build My Rank etc. etc.

2nd: What else do you want to learn from me in 2012?