I’m finding that residing in the Philippines is certainly an experience which is not bereft of a variety of trials and tribulations. Power cuts left, right, and center. Internet connection going AWOL for hours on end. The amount of times I’ve lost work in the previous five months since I’ve been here in Lapu Lapu…
Anyways, we must be thankful for the good things and try not to focus on the bad – so I keep telling myself.
Hang on a mo mo – I best back up my work!
The New Project
My new project for 2013… and I’m sincerely hoping it’s going to be the start of the best work I’ve ever done, both online and off!
Fact is that this may turn out to be a series of projects, depending on how successful the first one is.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I took some inspiration from Pat Flynn’s podcast series whereby he interviews/ talks to a variety of folks who are successful within niches OTHER THAN the make-money-online thing. So, thanks to Pat for that!
Otherwise though, I still insist that to be successful at blogging, or at creating a personalized website in a diary-type format if you will (erm, I guess that is a weblog), you have to have a passion for the subject matter. Agreed?
Until recently, I’ve not been aware of any personal passions other than erm… make-money-online. But although I proclaimed a few months ago that I was tiring of that challenge, I think I was just kidding myself about that. Thusly, if I can take a new angle, then all the better. A successful life online is not all about SEO and Goole now, is it.
Food Comparisons and the Reason for my New Project
And I do indeed have a new angle!
How did this come about? After all, as I say, I wasn’t aware of any passions outside of the online marketing thing.
Well, living in Cebu, Philippines has forced me to grasp hold of a new “hobby”.
There’s a number of things I miss a lot about Malaysia (oddly, there are very FEW things I miss about the UK!!), and one of the uppermost is food! The food in Malaysia is awesomely fantastic, even for a vegetarian, whereas I’ve found the food in the Philippines to be lacking in almost every department you can imagine.
Supermarkets are actually pretty good, even though of course there are items that you crave for that you’ll never see on the supermarket shelves. In fact, it’s more than the food – it’s the whole eating experience. Nevertheless, to compensate to some extent, why not cook much more at home? Makes some sense, right? I really don’t enjoy washing dishes, but when needs must…
Food is a comfort thing, and I suspect because I miss Malaysia so much I’m seeking some refuge in good food. Well, as mentioned, I appear to be on a losing battle unless I harness my own culinary powers for once in my life.
Sampan on South China Sea, Malaysia
Living in Asia has really nurtured my love affair with the foods of the world. I can sit in front of the television for half the day watching cooking programs, which is cool because I can also become more familiar with the foods in both South and North America. And yes they do sell stuff like Tacos and Nachos in the supermarkets here in central Philippines, which is great!
Further however, having a child on its way makes me want to improve my own culinary abilities. For sure, it will be a while before little kiddie will be sitting with us at the dining table enjoying his or her food. Nevertheless, it’s never too soon to begin to learn about how to best present food for young kids so that they will in fact actually eat it. I remember as a young child and I was forced to eat the bland stuff that my mother laid in front of me at meal times. I really don’t want that for my own child. Therefore, I can take it upon myself now to improve my mastery of being a more creative culinary expert.
Having said that, I’ll be working on the minimalist side of minimal. The house I stay in has gas, but there’s no oven. But then, that’s hardly unusual in this part of the world. Very many homes do not possess any cooking facilities other than a log fire outside the front door. Thus oven-focused cooking will not be part of my set-up. At least for now.
None of my places in Kuching had an oven either, other than a little bitty thing that was fine for heating up frozen French fries and cooking up some toasted bread, and nothing much more than that. But eating out in Kuching was an utter delight, where eating out here in Lapu Lapu is nothing to write home about to say the least of it!
What’s more, most of my culinary wares (plates, cutlery, and a variety of other accoutrements) I’ve left in Kuching and I had little to no intention of buying a whole bunch of new stuff yet – not at least until I’m more settled (truth be told, I’m not at all settled, but that’s just between you and I).
And one other thing – space in my new place is very much at a premium. The kitchen is so damp that mushrooms are growing out of the cupboard doors. The last time I lived in such a poorly maintained property was when I was a student some 25 years ago. Oh well, life goes on… Again, the relatively poor living conditions within my rented property pale in comparison to how most people live in the Philippines, so I’m happy for the small mercy I’ve been shown in this life.
What are my intentions, and will my new project be of benefit to you?
And yes, I think so. Even if you have little interest in cooking or are far from the best cook (I’m really not that good at cooking and probably never will be but that’s not at all the point), you can still learn from what I intend to do (the skills and knowledge will generally be transferable to other niches).
And there will be no-holds-barred either. I’ll be up front about everything I do and why I do it.
One of the main reasons. NO… The MAIN reason why people fail online is that they struggle to get visitors to their site/s. After that, the main problem is converting to sale.
Well, a cooking blog works a little differently to many other niche sites. For sure, Google can play a HUGE part, and I fully intend to make the most of that through the long tail ranking (currently that appears to be failing – Google are indexing my site, but I’ve achieved little to no decent search engine rankings). But then you’ve got sites like Pinterest with a massive Alexa ranking of 36 (and that’s constantly on the rise), thus reliance on the goodness of Google is diminshed rather nicely.
Apparently something like 70% of the images on Pinterest are cooking-related images. WOW! What if we can get a little slice of that pie?! I bet you we can! Not to say that the general punter from Pinterest is necessarily going to be our best customer, but you never know.
And then there are websites that accept foodie images other than Pinterest. If you have a few successful submissions to those sites on a regular basis you can attract many thousands of unique vistors.
And then, there’s YouTube to consider. Should you be comfortable filming your culinary works, YouTube (and perhaps other video sites besides YouTube) no doubt will be a good friend.
Monetizing a Cooking Site
What about monetizing the site? How do you successfully monetize a cooking blog or website? That’s a question I always wondered about, but never actually knew the answer to.
Yup, good old AdSense does well with cooking niches. There’s a ton of affilite stuff that sells well in the cooking niche. And that includes eBooks too – it’s not just culinary bits and bobs from Amazon. And then there’s the option to advertise (via banners and the like) for other successful sites that lend themselves to the culinary niche, for which you can gain a very nice income too, providing your blog is gaining popularity.
As you develop your own skills in this niche, you can create eBooks yourself. Recipe books are massively popular on Kindle, but that’s just for starters (pardoning my pun).
In reality, although I want to pursue my love affair with food, at the same time, I also wish to pursue my love affair with making money online. After all, if it were not for that, I would never have been able to spend the years in South East Asia that I have. And although my life at the moment is a bit more of a trial (and arguably an ERROR) than I’d like it to be, I’m sure I can turn things around rather nicely. How about you join me on that journey starting today?
As it currently stands, on 3rd of January 2013, my cooking blog is nine days old. It’s not attracted a single visitor as far as I know (I’ve only just introduced Statcounter in order to keep track of my site’s visitor count). Thus it’s a freshly hatched site and it’s raring to go.
By all means watch from the sidelines as I grow the blog from strength to strength. I’ll be updating my blog here regularly with progress made (or otherwise). Or, if you like, why not join me on the journey? All the nuts and bolts of what you need to get underway are written up on the site (I’ve been very busy with it over the past week, but do pardon any “rough” areas since progress has been a little on the erratic side).
Finally for now, I did say that my intentions were to “follow through” on this project should it be successful. What do I mean by that?
Well, let’s face what is factual. If you can successfully achieve a solid monthly income from a food blog, what’s to stop you from entering other niches and using many of the same skill sets you learned in setting up and maintaining your food blog?
For sure, not all niches are going to fit the bill here, but I would be willing to bet there are a whole bunch that do! As far as I can see it right now, I’m thinking it may be possible to outsource the work for a food blog once its’ gained some measure of success. By doing so, you’re freed up to pursue other niches in a somewhat similar fashion, because you can rely on something of a passive income from the first project to see you through.
One step at a time is best, but it’s well worth keeping your ultimate goal in mind as you progress.
The URL to my new blog?