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Looking Back Before Moving On

By Yaro Starak
75 Comments

When I first started Entrepreneurs-Journey I wrote something that I believe was one of the most powerful rapport building pieces of content I have ever created.

I called it my “Business Timeline” and it was exactly what it sounds like, a chronicle of my life as an entrepreneur.

Since this blog began when I had already enjoyed a “career” as an entrepreneur, I had many stories to tell.

I used EJ to chronicle my experiences, in particular in an ongoing series that ended up being six parts long, taking people from my birth in 1979, briefly reviewing my upbringing, then from about the year 2000 onwards, giving a blow-by-blow account of all my business projects.

Around the year 2006 I stopped keeping it up to date, since most of my focus was then on EJ, so the blog posts I wrote were the story unfolding.

Then in 2009 as I turned 30 years old, I wrote a very popular post called How To Become Comfortable With Yourself.

This article was a reflection piece, reviewing many of my successes over the previous five years from age 25 to 30, and also talking about how negative I was during my early twenties when I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.

That article garnered over 250 comments and really struck a cord with people.

Why A Life Story Is So Important

When I created the Blog Mastermind training program, one of the lessons instructed my members to chronicle their life story, as it pertains to the subject of their blog.

Blogging, especially as an individual, is very much personality driven. Your success often comes because your audience likes you. They like what you write about and share a common interest, but they keep coming back because of your personality and how it comes through in your content.

The “Life Story” article or series is a great way to establish strong rapport and build your tribe. It’s the perfect combination of demonstrating why you know what you know, it captures attention because it uses the storytelling narrative style of writing and it demonstrates who you are as a person. This is a recipe for a strong connection with your audience.

It’s also a vital tool to introduce yourself to new readers. A small handful of your audience might have stayed with you for the long haul, but most will join you somewhere along the journey, not at the start. As a result, they won’t have any connection with your past, and your timeline article series is the best tool to summarise your history and build that connection.

The Last Few Years

I am now 33, only a few months away from my 34th birthday. Quite a number of people have been asking me what I am up to now. One friend, my Kenyan buddy Mwangi, who has been with EJ since the early days, suggested I continue my life story series again.

Initially I was hesitant. While I enjoy writing about myself, as every good blogger does (we have HUGE egos), for the first time I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to relive the last few years.

This is primarily because my mother had a stroke and spent 20 months in hospital before she died. As I wrote about in What Happens When Your Mother Dies I spent a lot of time in hospital with her. It wasn’t exactly a fun time – and not something I want to write about too much more than I already have.

From a business standpoint, things have been contracting rather than growing during this time. The main reason for this is because of some decisions I made. I closed down my two coaching programs, Blog Mastermind and Membership Site Mastermind because I want to update them. Leslie Samuel took over my other co-created with Gideon Shalwick program, Become A Blogger.

I experimented with EJ becoming a multi-author blog, which while good timing because it allowed me to focus on my mother when she first went into hospital, it didn’t have the desired effect on growth.

Although some of the columnists that came on board had some hit articles, and EJ had some great content during this time from some very smart and successful people, traffic stayed the same. Unfortunately the change harmed my connection with my audience. Some people left since they only came to EJ for my words and they still don’t realise that I’m once again the only writer here.

The one big new project I focused on during the last two years is CrankyAds. This project has gathered some traction and made some money, but it is far from what I want it to be due to the difficulty of software development.

Team CrankyAds have decided to leave the project in a holding pattern, supporting the service to let it grow organically, but not putting any more significant development into it, unless cash flow increases to cover hiring a developer.

I suspect we will sell CrankyAds towards the end of the year. I would certainly love to see it continue, but it needs someone who wants to continue to develop it.

During this time EJ itself has also contracted. Traffic has decreased for the first time ever. I’m not sure exactly what has caused the downturn, but around November 2012 traffic started to go down. Before this EJ has held steady for years, not going up or down significantly.

I suspect it is because Google decreased some of my long tail rankings. I believe it could be because I have had too many ads, or because I did a couple of sponsored posts for Visa or because my post frequency dropped to weekly, or perhaps I need more organic link building to maintain my position. It might be a combination of all these things.

I have been rolling out some slow changes to address these possible issues, so I will hopefully figure out what caused the traffic drop. This includes reducing the number of external ads on the site (I may drop advertising altogether if my strategy works out), and I’ve stopped doing any sponsored posts as well.

I want to increase content frequency, and marketing in general to bring more new visitors to EJ and increase incoming links, but I’ve made a very deliberate strategic decision to hold off on marketing or increasing content production until I have finished the business behind the marketing. I’ll explain what I mean by this in a future post.

The other change that has impacted my income is not promoting affiliate launches.

I used to promote five to ten big launches a year, each bringing in $5,000 to $20,000 in affiliate commissions. I decided that I want to focus more on selling my own training products and keep my community focused on what I stand for. I may still recommend the odd course or software now and then, but I’m a lot more picky now.

Income Drop

Needless to say, my income is not what it used to be. It has steadily decreased over the last few years for obvious reasons. If you close your training programs, stop promoting products and slowly pull the ads from your site, that doesn’t leave you with many income streams!

I have been okay thanks to ongoing affiliate commissions from recursive programs and I did a little private coaching earlier in the year. I don’t have a lot of expenses and I own my own home thanks to the proceeds from previous years.

You might be thinking what is wrong with me. Why say no to the $2,000 to $3,000 a month I was making in advertising, and the $5,000 to $10,000 per month in affiliate commissions, not to mention why take my best-selling products off the market?!?

There is a method behind my madness. It’s all focused on a strategy I want my business to be focused on. I made this decision because I believe my business will be better if I focus on what I am best at and enjoy – teaching through writing – and tighten up my niche focus.

It’s pretty obvious that the world of internet marketing and blogging has become a much more crowded place since I started. I’ve talked before about how important I believe having a tribe is, a group of people who love your style, what you stand for and teach. They have similar goals and aspirations and you can help them the most because you focus on their specific problems.

I believe the tribe is even more critical because a lot of people do similar things online. If I want to be helpful to my members, I need to be very good at one thing. I know what that one thing is, now it’s time for me to build a bigger business around it.

This might sound all a bit cryptic, that’s deliberate because this blog post isn’t meant to be about my change in strategic direction. If you really want to know what that is, stay tuned over the next 12 months and you will see me roll it out here on EJ.

Whether it works or not is yet to be determined of course. I am excited about teaching again, especially now that my focus is even narrower than it used to be.

Up Next: The Last Four Years

I’ve glossed over everything that has happened in the last four years in the above paragraphs. It’s been a challenging time for me both personally and professionally.

There’s a lot to learn when things aren’t going well, just as much as when things are on the up. Not everything has been bad over the last few years of course. You certainly learn how good your business really is when you leave it almost completely alone spending every day in hospital.

This is a transition period for me. The end of the previous period recently came to a close. I find it’s always a smart idea to review the last few years as you are about to start a new period, which is exactly what I am going to do in the next article.

I’ll take you through each of the above major decisions I made during the previous years since I turned 30, why I did them, what worked and what didn’t and how they have impacted the decision to follow the strategy I am about to roll out over the next 12 months.

This is a continuation of my Business Timeline, and I hope you find it valuable.

Stay tuned, there’s a lot I can reveal to you that might have a dramatic impact on what kind of business you decide to build as well.

Yaro Starak
Looking Back

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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75 Comments

  • The future of EJ sounds exciting, Yaro, I can’t wait to hear more. I was a member of the first intake of Blog Mastermind – I remember the lesson on the “about page” and have been meaning to make mine better for some time. Thanks for the reminder

    • p.s. I also left during the guest posting stage, but came back recently as I start my new venture with SproutSpire. As I said before, looking forward to seeing what you do in the future!

      • Thanks Carlie, I’m glad you decided to come back. I hope lots of other people realise I never actually left – I wrote still even while we had other authors.

  • Kieran McDonogh

    Thats what I’ve always loved about your blog Yaro is that you write from the heart and are very open about things (even if in a secretive “somethings coming” way, lol). Not sure which intake but yes am a student of majority of your programs (BM, MSM, BAB) and cant wait to see what you have in the EJ lab. Its so powerful to know whats working, what happens for what reason – all about cause and effect.

    Sounds like you have your eye firmly on a new prize, so am very excited to be apart of this next stage of your journey.

    You’re a rockstar Yaro – they will return ;)

    • Ahh thank you Kieren, I have always thought bloggers should be as famous as rockstars :-)

      • Only thing is, there are too many bloggers and too few rockstars.

  • I’m looking forward to reading more and discovering where your business is going next. I always considered you the “original and best” and as others have said, I didn’t really want to come here and read other people. Guest blogging works great on some sites of course, perhaps it was just not what we were used to here.

    I’ve recently been catching up with your podcasts and think these have got better and better. You ask the questions I want answers to, I’d be disappointed if these got lost in the business transition.

    Finally, I feel my own business is in transition this year and so love the connection I felt in hearing about yours.

    • Hi Marion – It’s becoming clear that I need to keep mentioning to people that EJ is back to being my solo blog. Even though I made the switch back over 18 months ago, not everyone realises.

      As for the podcasts, no they are not going, in fact I’m starting up an interviews club to go along with the podcast if people want more along those lines from me. I love the podcast too, so I won’t be stopping it.

      Thanks for your support!

  • Hey Yaro. This is the first time ever that I leave a comment on one of your blog posts. Why? Obviously because your post was so honest, even raw. However, I also like your guts to take something that’s working and saying, “Hey, it’s not going to be like this, but like that!”

    All the best, dude. I’m certainly cheering you on.

  • Masha

    Great article Yaro, keep them coming!!

  • Yaro – what is refreshing about this post is that it takes us through your thought process to take your business where it (and you) need to go next. The fact you are moving forward with heart and good core principles is self evident. I’m sure you’ll make the right decisions and will take EJ and your tribe to a new and better place. And who knows, maybe Google will love you for it too.

    • Thanks Andrew and Masha, I appreciate the support.

      Hopefully with some link building and a clean up of my SEO I can bounce back to where I was with Google. That being said, EJ still brings in a lot of new readers each day, so I’m not exactly starting from scratch!

  • I appreciate your solid honesty Yaro. I think a lot of us are going through a transition period. I’m really looking forward to your next post. And I think you are right about changing your focus. You are one of the blogging pioneers, and with the world moving so fast we are in need of your new vision. Lead on!

  • Dave

    As always, great post. But inquiring minds still want to know: “Why after 7 years of great service I cancelled my AWeber account and moved to a new system”?

    • I’ll explain that in the next article in the series Dave, or the maybe the article after it if the series ends up needing three parts since my change away from AWeber only happened last year. There’s a couple of years before that to cover first.

  • Jon

    The only constant in life is change… things go up and down but as long as you don’t lose sight of the visions over the horizon, you’ll do fine Yaro!

    Jon

    • Thanks Jon, and very true, I’m looking forward to an up curve in everything though, I’m over this “dip” period.

  • Stephen

    Well written. I appreciate you sharing your story.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and plans. You’re always a treat to read. And yes, I believe stopping the guest posts is a good idea because although the guest posters may have added some value to EJ, they have also superimposed their style on the original flow of your blog – something which the early followers, like myself, may haven’t appreciated.

  • I joined Blog mastermind several years back and I learned a lot from it. But compared to the time spent on blogging vs. other internet projects, blogging has brought me the LEAST income. But there were other benefits which were priceless. For example, I was invited to China on a fully sponsored trip to cover a motorcycle show. That city in China is restricted to tourists, but I got to experience it. I also landed on a good job because of the digital marketing expertise that was shown off through my blog. Thanks Yaro. Looking forward to what you have in store in the coming years.

    • Congrats Deepak – that’s exactly the kind of benefit you can get from blogging that is usually much easier than making money. Of course money is good, but it’s cool to feel like a special guest just because you are a blogger.

  • Wel done Yaro, everything in life happens for a higher purpose and I am so glad you are shining, healing and inspiring through the written word. Look after yourself, be kind and generous and keep giving from your heart.

  • hey Yaro , thanks for this wonderful blog post, i agree with you and the others about having a multi author blog , in EJ is not that good. and…..

    Thanks for your honesty

  • Mauro Veron

    Hi Yaro! This is the first time I comment on your blog and also the first time I read your site in about a year. I saw your newsletter and clicked on the link to this post because I resonated with what you wrote in the e-mail. I’m so glad to hear (read) your voice again, which (as you said) was exactly what drove me to start reading your blog a few years ago :)

    I’m eager to devour your content again!
    Hugs! :)

    • Welcome back Mauro! As I am learning, I need to keep telling people I’ve been writing at EJ as the solo contributor for more than a year now to make sure I bring people like you back.

  • Yaro, what you’re doing now impresses me even more, I look forward to the next blog and your next moves. I’m at the start of having the above website updated (it links to blogs), and feel more confident of doing that because of what I’ve read from you. I’m happy to have someone I ‘know’ look at changes in the field and tell me about them, while I get on with my
    energy therapy business — Thank you!

    • Thanks Annie, I am happy to help.

      It’s important to note that many of the changes I am doing are more related to personality things about me than anything in the market. That’s the one great thing about starting a project that doesn’t go according to plan – you learn why it didn’t work out and what about it wasn’t fun for you personally. Once you find something that remains fun for a long time – like for me it is writing – it gives you a nice sense of clarity about what model to follow.

  • Sounds like good things ahead for EJ and yourself, and I have to say your honesty here is very refreshing. Sometimes other things – like family and health – just have to take precedence over business, and actually it is a testament to how strong you built your foundations in the first place that this site is still doing well despite that. The change of focus for the future sounds like a great move.

  • ive been reading your blog since 2010 and here we are at 2013…
    your writings not only inspires me but what i like about it that you write from your heart… genuine that makes all the difference… keep writing Yaro.

  • Thanks for sharing, once again, Yaro. I can certainly relate to your decision to let go of lucrative and safe income streams to create something more meaningful for you (and presumably others). There seem to be a lot of people doing that these days (myself included). It will be wonderful to hear more on your plans for the coming year. Your candor and sincerity makes your posts so valuable on both a personal and professional level.

  • Hi Yaro-
    I just wanted to address this particular item you mentioned about drop in Google rank:
    You wrote — ” I suspect it is because Google decreased some of my long tail rankings. I believe it could be because I have had too many ads, or because I did a couple of sponsored posts for Visa or because my post frequency dropped to weekly, or perhaps I need more organic link building to maintain my position. It might be a combination of all these things”
    — FYI : Speaking from experience: if Google thought you had violated their policy concerning the use of Adsense – they would have disabled your adsense ads -and let you know by leaving you a message on your dashboard. This happened to me. It took more than several shots at fixing my site to their specifications before my ads were enabled again. My traffic dropped because of this -but I am working on building it up once more .

    • Hi Sylvia,

      I don’t actually use AdSense on EJ, I haven’t except for a brief test back in 2006.

      The kind of ads I am talking about are banners and text links I sell directly to paying advertisers. According to recent SEO reports, if your ratio of ads to content gets past a certain point with too many ads, it can harm your rankings.

      I’m not 100% convinced that is the issue with EJ as I have a very high content percentage given the length of my articles. However my strategy is about focusing ads towards my internal programs anyway, so pulling the externals from the site is something I want to do regardless of a potential SEO benefit.

  • Hi Yaro!
    I’ve been reading your blog since about 2007 and never left. That’s because I trusted you to choose the right guest posters for your audience, and you didn’t let me down. Everything is interesting, relevant and down-to-earth. Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the future! Thanks for all you do!
    –Barb

    • That’s great to hear Barb, I appreciate the long term support.

      Yaro

  • I’m returning to Brisbane – 1st time in 40 years since living there as a child! June 10 – 14. Any chance to meet for tea? Just to say “hi” and “thanks for your heartfelt and high quality blogging over the years. I’m not in the online marketing business, so nothing needed on my end. Just always great to connect in person with other great people.

    BTW, you were the first blogger I stumbled upon on the Internet a number of years back. I kept telling my journalist colleagues (I’m a former national business journalist) that there actually were people out there on the Internet who could write really well, and one of them is this guy called Yaro in Australia. Lots of skeptics in the traditional journalism crowd, but I think they are finally coming around :) Keep up the great writing – especially on the mindset aspect of business and life.

    • Thanks for the props on my writing to all your journalist friends Marie. I very almost went down the journalist path before I started blogging, but I think it might have been a hard course for me to study. I don’t like changing how I write so learning journalistic copy might have killed me!

      I’m actually in Sydney right now, not Brisbane. I will be back soon. Perhaps we can meet up at one of the networking events I go to like Silicon Beach Brisbane. Look that one up!

      Yaro

      • marie-jeanne juilland

        Yaro:

        We’re coming all the way from the US (Silicon Valley to be exact) to Brisbane, so we’ll probably miss each other then if you are in Sydney. We’ll be in Sydney June 8/9th, then Brisbane, Cairns, Bali, Tokyo and back to the US. Bringing the whole family to see where Mom had an amazing childhood :) Be well, and if you are in San Francisco/Silicon Valley area feel free to get in touch.

        Maire-Jeanne

  • Teej

    Hi Yaro

    I have read your blog since 2004. (10 yrs almost!)

    I remember ONE of the first things that impressed me was that you would always add (aff) after a link to let us know it was an affiliate link.

    That honesty was SO REFRESHING.

    I clicked your email to read about your changes, including from aWeber to Office Auto Pilot.

    Please tell me if I missed this part?

    Wishing you ALL the best.
    Teej

    • Thanks Teej! You know I can’t remember who it was, but there was another blogger around who used the (aff) phrase after their affiliate links that inspired me to do that briefly.

      I stopped doing it when I realised a lot of people had no idea what it meant. I write often enough in my articles back then that I was an affiliate marketer, so I assumed it was implied that my links to products were often affiliate links.

      You haven’t missed the explanation of why I moved away from AWeber. That’s coming up in the next couple of articles in this series.

      Yaro

  • Jerry

    Yaro , you are probably in the top five percentile in the world for teaching/helping in the business/personal development/inspirational market. Which is an extremely lucrative market. I know exactly where you could be. And it is a place where you will be in a position to really help multitudes who are literally suffering everyday because they ” need” the internet to be a place of financial deliverance. And I know you well know that. But what you personally have, in this particular place, others like you have reached the hundred thousand dollar a month level in less than a year. And it is doing wonderful work where the more you are free and true to the Yaro brand the more hopeless folks you will help and the more your daily life will be overflowing with a sense of value and purpose because you will help many, and the multitudes will be coming unto you literally like the multitudes came unto Jesus. And the honesty and the integrity of the whole entity will fit you perfectly because you will not have to make merchandise of the people. You will be simply doing what you have always done, giving out pearls of life.

    • Wow, talk about inspirational Jerry! I will roll out my plans and see where it all leads, hopefully somewhere along the lines of what you have written :-)

  • Mary

    Thanks for sharing so openly. It sounds like a true transformation.
    I did want to mention something that some said to me once in regards to your reference to the crowds of bloggers on line.

    He said “there is no room at the bottom, but a lot of room at the top”.
    I heard that in my 20s and it has stuck with me thru my middle age. You are the latter for sure, because you care.

    Have fun with your new endeavors. It will be fun to see how they evolve (and how you evolve) !
    Thank you for everything, Mary

    • Thanks Mary – I agree with the sentiment of that phrase, which I believe is trying to say that top performance is always rewarded.

      Thanks for your support!

      Yaro

  • Your honesty in speaking about what’s not working has earned my respect. As they say, tough times don’t last but tough people do. I have a feeling you’ll be fine in the end. All the best.

    • I have to admit it is hard to talk about not so good results when you are presenting yourself as a leader in an industry. We all know that no one gets perfect outcomes all the time, but when you are a teacher like myself, you always have this sense of pressure to be the best example of what you teach, which isn’t always the case.

      Yaro

  • Ross

    Yaro, regarding drop in google rankings. Try this site:http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/ at google.com. Google is showing only 30 results.
    Likely due to duplicate content. If you let google results show the rest by clicking the link at the bottom, then you get 6410 results. But there is a lot of tabs, and archives filling in the results. They don’t really add value I feel.
    I personally with whatever seo plugin you use would disable tags, archives , catergory from indexing into google for seo purposes
    e.g /date/2007/12 archive
    /tag/

    You can also edit the your sitemap xml plugin too , so only post/ pages are showing on it, as you can see here if you scroll down on yours. Categories are showing etc, and archives. http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/sitemap.xml

    Maybe you want to get secondary advice on the above. But is something I would look into.

    • Hi Ross, thanks for the tips, I will definitely take a look into it. My site has changed over the years so many times, perhaps some of my internal structure and related plugins are causing issues like duplicate content as you stated.

  • Viktoria

    Hi Yaro,

    I’m so happy you’ll be contributing to EJ on a more regular basis again.

    I started reading your blog in 2008, and you have been a great inspiration to me ever since. I think you are a wonderful writer and a very good person. You are right, it does seem that the web is busier than it was a few years ago, but you have nothing to worry about. Your blog is very unique and very personal. Every word you write comes from your heart, and I think you will always have loyal readers who will identify with you and will be excited to learn from your personal experiences.

    I want to thank you for your web-site and your advice, without it I would not be who I am today. Wishing you best of luck on your new entrepreneur’s journey! I look forward to more of your interesting articles.

    • Haha, Viktoria, I’ve been contributing as the sole regular writer on EJ for over one and a half years! It really shows you need to keep telling people about changes many times or they don’t realise. The same thing happened when I cut my hair, people still act surprised when they see in a video it’s not there anymore, even though I cut it three years ago.

      Thanks for your kind words of support too, I appreciate it :-)

  • Beautiful post Yaro. Cranky ads is a great idea and imho represents the best way for bloggers to earn money only that few advertisers use it. AdSense pays pennies to the great majority of bloggers and affiliate sales more or less the same, imho. Many earnings are pumped up and digging a bit it comes out. Like those courses when you have to sign fast and after a month they’re still open. :)

    Or those boasting high level of traffic but in reality struggle as everyone else.

    You know, everyone is successful at something if he or she sells a course or an ebook about it. Being this real is another thing.

    As for your drop in traffic, I’ve experienced it too even if I’m a kind of microbe in comparison with you, it depends from Google dance and how its engineers wake up in the morning or they faboulous algorithm, a side effect of its monopoly on the web.

    It seems a kind of ancient Roman Empire Arena with the G emperor saying thumb up or down depending on his daily feelings.

    Also it seems that having ads different from AdSense can affect rankings. All legends probably but who knows?

    Surely you’ll find a way out of this, at the end you’re Yaro Starak right? :)

    • Aha, that’s right Andrea, I am Yaro Starak and I do feel I know the value I offer, it’s just a case of getting it out there.

      And you are right too that Google is sort of a god in a lot of ways. If it wasn’t for my email newsletter I would very much be completely under the influence of what Google thinks of my site. I do get some other sources of traffic, but Google still accounts for about 60%, which is a hefty chunk!

      Good luck with your projects too – hopefully you can build yourself a tribe with an email list to help buffer yourself from Google changes.

  • Yaro, one of the main reasons I love to read your posts is the personal touch you put on them. You share your life with us and that is very special. I, too, suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and when I read your story, it was very inspiring to me. I can’t wait to hear what’s happening for you next and wish you the very best of luck!

    • Thanks Sheila,

      As I wrote you on email, I plan to put together a blog post and maybe a video too on dealing with anxiety and panic. I know it will help a lot of people.

      I personally have been almost 100% free from it for almost ten years now, which is something at the time I didn’t believe could be possible. Working on your own personal development and focusing on your strengths and using them to help people has really helped me.

      Yaro

  • Ya know Yaro life is about how I deal with “life” and how I “come back” instead of looking back.
    Relationships with others and with self create ongoing connections that money doesn’t effect. Integrity and sharing life seem to me to be the keys whether I am online or off it. I am so interested in how IM people focus on products and not people. I have been working for three years on getting experienced in the ways of an IM person and I do not continually follow many. You, Gideon and a few others have retained honesty within the industry and so I (and many others) still stay connected because I/they trust and belong to a tribe!
    We are about to do this to the Dating scene – our sites and membership program offers connection, support and belonging and hopefully will evolve into the tribe.
    My worry is we do not have a list to start with and may flounder a little… but focus is what it is all about – best wishes with your future endeavours and please stay focused and… I trust you!
    larry D

    • Thank you Larry for your comment. The best marketing always focuses on the person, not the product, but I understand how it may not seem like that with many of the internet marketers out there.

      I love the dating industry. I would like to perhaps one day enter that area too as I’ve had a lot of dating experience and feel I have a lot to teach. One business at a time of course!

      If you don’t have a list, you should get busy creating one first. It really is the key asset for a successful online business. I suspect you would not have come and read this article on my blog if you didn’t join my newsletter at one stage.

      Yaro

  • Hello Yaro,
    Your blog are as interesting as some fairy tale stories, I have read many people writing about how you need to relate yourself with the blog readers but most of them only use these words you make this happen.
    The stories which you shared in the blog about yourself and your own experiences and how it helps you to grow big, is certainly an example to all.
    Thanks for creating the magic again Mr. Magician.

    • Haha, I will have to tell my friends you called me a Magician Ajay as I happen to hang out with a few of them and try and avoid learning all their tricks.

      Thanks for your kind comments.

      Yaro

  • Hi Yaro, you are spot-on by highlighting the importance of personal stories in blogging. Personally, I would often connect to a blog based on personality behind it. If I do this, then it is possible that there are so many readers out there who equally make such connection.

    The personality behind a blog often speaks more for the blog than anything else. This is more particular when the person share a compelling story that adds value to the lives of the readers .

    That being said, I totally agree with the concept that “history helps to build a solid connection with readers”.

    Your Business Timeline is quite impressive and many would learn from it!
    I have also shared this comment in the IM social site – kingged.com where the content of this post was “kingged”.

    • Thank you Sunday, I’m glad you liked my timeline series.

      I actually had a re-read over the series in preparation for writing the new chapters and it was quite an enjoyable experience to reminisce. I had forgotten about many of the different website projects I had. I also can feel how “young” I am with everything I am talking about.

      It’s true, blogs really are online diaries (weblogs), which is what if felt like reading over mine – like reading back on my diary.

      Yaro

  • Hello Yaro,

    Glad you’re back on EJ again and planning to post regularly. As a long-time reader I missed your insights while you were away.

    Yes, transitions are hard – am going through some tough ones myself. They are such a great opportunity to learn, but sometimes it is difficult to hang on to hope while issues drag on.

    Am setting up my own spiritual blog now to share my experiences, and will be looking to you for inspiration!

    Mekhola

    • Hi Mekhola – I never left!

      I think that’s probably the most unsettling aspect for me, everyone thought I left back in 2011, but I never did, I’ve been writing the entire time, there were just some other people who helped me out that year. In 2012 it was almost all me again, but people don’t realise. I shall continue to tell people I am back though, lol!

      Good luck with your blog!

      Yaro

  • I love your idea Yaro of having your timeline available for your visitors to see!

    It is my belief that you do not influence with information. (You inform.) You do not influence with education. (You educate.)

    People don’t just want more information. They’re up to their eyeballs in information. They want FAITH – faith in you.

    They want faith in your goals, your success, your experience, your expertise. They want faith in “your way” for them that will give them their goals; give them success like yours. They want faith in themselves and their ability or likelihood of getting the goals shown to them.

    “Story is the path to faith.”
    The Story Factor by Anne Simmons

    I believe authority comes more so from personal narrative than your resume of qualifications or credentials and I’m looking forward Yaro to seeing how your narrative is going to influence what unfolds for you. :)

    • I totally agree Lewis, story telling is the key. I do find it strange sometimes though that you can focus so much on yourself, yet people love it. I guess people really love having someone to follow.

  • Funny I have been keeping up with my few fav websites and your one of them but I think you’re the only one I will always follow. Your a top guy and I only get that from everything you have done for us over the years, that’s how I see it anyway. So whatever you are planning I am sure will be great so hurry up with the updates cos I’m excited.

  • Hi Yaro, Been visiting your site and Gideon Shalwicks, on and off since 2008. Still trying to find a way to ditch my 9-5 and replace my income with a modest online business. The positive is I haven’t quit and still believe I can succeed. Looking forward in visting your site more often and reading future posts.

  • Maybe growing back your long hair will bring back your mojo and increase your income back to previous levels! I’ve been a fan since 2009 and I always enjoy your podcast interviews.

    • Haha, maybe KB, but I don’t think I can go back to that look. There could be a link between hair and success though…gulp!

  • Very love life story, it helps me learn a lot, I’m your number one fan and always support you on whatever you do.

  • Thank you so much Yaro for sharing your story. I may not comment much, but I love reading all of your articles. I agree with all the others in that you have always shown that you were a real person. I was a BAB student several years ago and you were a GREAT teacher. Although my reading did drop off a little during the time of the guest posts, I came back frequently to listen to the podcasts (old and new) and read articles when I saw that you’d posted them. Let me stop while I’m ahead…I feel like I’m in a confessional…LOL! But anyways, I’ll be following along and watching as you take EJ to the next level. Best wishes…

  • Hi Yaro – I too have been a reader of your blog for a number of years now. I think you made the right decision by returning to the helm and writing the posts yourself.

    This is my first time commenting and I am sure there are also a lot of other people like myself who read your blog.

    I used to spend hours listening to your podcasts and reading your posts. I find you are very well-spoken and detailed with the way you express yourself.

    You are the one who introduced me to the 80/20 rule which I still apply today. That one thing alone has helped me tremendously.

    I just want to say thanks for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to learning more from you and about you in the future.

    • Thanks for leaving a comment Randy. It’s good to hear from people who have been with me over the years and are still here.

      I’m glad to hear about you taking on board the 80/20 Rule, I agree, it’s had a huge impact on my life too.

      Yaro

  • Chris

    Yaro,

    Thank you for the way you write, revealing yourself and giving you to us.

    You help us believe that it’s possible; that we can perhaps make money online, or even earn a living online.

    This recent article is illuminating and I imagine humbling. We all make good and bad choices and go through ups and downs, and the trials of living.

    You’re kinda “up there” for the rest of us mortals and it’s refreshing to read about the real guy Yaro :)

    Be well, warmest,

    Chris

    • Thanks Chris, I appreciate the kind feedback. I know my brand is “up there” given how much I have published and my track record, but nothing works perfectly, that goes the same for all entrepreneurs.

      Yaro

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