Don’t Forget Your Roots

Posted In: General Chat 

Happy New Year!

It’s taken me a full 14 days to get back into the swing of things with a blog post, but I’m back with the 1st post of 2009.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. Mine was fairly low key but proved rather difficult to overcome, my initial plan was to go back to “work” on or around the 2nd of January but that plan never saw the light of day.

It was actually around the 7th or 8th by the time I came back online for a full day of hard graft!

I decided to give myself a nice simple task, just to get me back into the swing of things – I would update my very first Internet Marketing website!

After taking a quick look at the domain registration information, I can see that it was registered in April 2005, so the site is almost 4 years old now.

If it were a child then the site would be at the perfect age, I could buy it a Scalextric, teach it to play football, show him (or her, I’m not sexist) how to bring Daddy a beer – it would be great!

But it wasn’t to be, whilst 4 years old is a great age for a humanoid, it’s not a great age for a website. I’d probably liken it to hitting puberty, things that once looked so sweet and innocent slowly turned into hairy monsters that were no longer fit for purpose.

A Monster

My poor 4 year old website was on the verge of getting a girl pregnant at the age of 16 – I couldn’t let it happen. I put on my TLC hat and started stage one of “Save Dan’s 1st Website”.

Before I tell you what I did, perhaps I should actually show you the site. Voilà:

My very first marketing website, I actually acquired it through John Thornhill’s eBook business program thingy (Click here for a $100 discount!). The website is fairly straight forward, I sell eBooks with resale rights for small amounts of money and the visitor also has the option to purchase a massive collection of books at a stupidly low price.

The El Passo Books site is actually based on a really, really, really, really old version of the website supplied in the eBook selling program. The website you get now contains newer eBooks and a fancy admin control panel so no web design knowledge is required, but I’d done a lot of SEO work on my old site so I didn’t really want to “throw it away” and go with the newer site.

So I decided to inject some botox and do a sly nip & tuck. In real terms it meant going through the site, changing to a better delivery system (DLGuard) weeding out any eBooks that were no longer working and generally turning it back into something that was a little more desirable to the visitor.

I’ll also come clean and admit to paying someone to check the eBooks and changing the payment buttons for me, but the job got done and that’s the main thing.

The one thing I did do myself was to take advantage of my 404 error page, which incidentally seems to get way more hits than it should – curse you eBook thieves, you’ll never find my stash!

So I created a small 9 day course showing people how they can sell the eBooks that they purchase from me. It’s a freebie and appears at the bottom of each page on the site and on the 404 error page:

I still have to go through the “All My eBooks” package and do some tweaking but I’ve got most of it done and it hasn’t taken me too long.

I could have just written the site off as an old codger but like many websites, and I suppose many people as well, just because something is old in years doesn’t mean you should underestimate it.

The site still gets a lot of traffic from Google on a daily basis, so I’d be doing a dis-service to myself if I put it out to stud and forgot about it.

After doing the changes, I already have some subscribers to the eCourse and I still see sales coming in each and every day. Thanks to me spending a couple of days of housekeeping on the site, it can live on for another year at least 🙂

So if you’ve got an old site setting there collecting virtual dust, get the cleaner out and spruce it up a bit, it’s a lot easier to tweak an existing site compared to building a new one from scratch.

And just as I finish typing this, a sale has come in from my El Passo Books website for £2.99, I think I’ll go and buy a bank!

Thanks for reading, and as always, comments make the world go round.


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12 Responses to “Don’t Forget Your Roots”
  1. Happy New Year Dan!

    As always, you’ve come up with a little gem there!

    I really think you should start compiling all these little nuggets of useful info in a collection. I’d certainly buy it! You always come up with the stuff no-one else seems to tell you! I especially loved the Custom Paypal Page guide.

    I have to admit though, I always finish reading your posts on cool little subjects like this with mixed thoughts: I’m always pleased I’ve discovered a new ‘nugget’ of information… But then I just HAVE to stop what I’m doing and go apply it to my sites right away, no matter how busy I am.

    Maybe you could give us advanced warning before you post, so I can plan it in my day.. LOL!

    Keep it up mate, Top Notch!


    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      Don’t go giving me any ideas 😉

      I was actually thinking of compiling some of the best blog posts into an eBook sometime last year but as usual I never got round to actually doing it.

      The custom PayPal page is actually one of the most popular posts on the blog, I think the page must have a good ranking on Google for “custom paypal checkout page” or something.

      I usually post on Thursdays….but the gap between the Thursdays varies!

  2. Pat Graham says:

    ‘Bout time you got back to work! I thought you were out chasing wild women and had given up posting for the adventure of the chase.


    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      It’s the wild women that are chasing me Pat, I have to fight them off….and if you believe that you’ll believe anything 🙂

  3. Hay Dan

    Happy new venture’s, great post that was my first money making site as well, years ago now though seems like yesterday…

    I left it for ages but optimized the site, and added a few different eBooks and whatever, should do the same really and make the most of the website.

    Have an awesome 2009


    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      Hi Daniel,
      I know what you mean, I actually got a shock when I looked at the registration date for the El Passo Books domain, I had no idea I’d been doing this for 4 years!

  4. great idea… another link for you to check -> I noticed that your audiobooks link goes 404….

    thanks again for another great post!

  5. Hi Dan,

    When I first saw the title of this post, I kind of started wondering if you maybe needed another week off?! Mainly just because it was slightly confusing, but then, I’ve done the odd one of two over on my blog. 😉

    I must admit that the first ever site I created online has been and gone, it never really got off the ground, and I’m sure I sold the domain. Although I can’t remember. But boy do I know it wasn’t a very good site what I put up, the design was alright, but anything else just wasn’t.

    Now I’m going to take a guess at this, but I’d bet 80% of people will remove their first ever site from the internet. And the other 20% will updates it. Just as this person you paid did, I bet they had fun checking through the numerous eBooks, and adding them to DLGuard!

    But yeah, don’t forget your roots! 😀


  6. What a great article I loved it I also have Johns ebook site and sadly needs some help.. your article has given me some great ideas about really assessing what ebooks to promote your support is wonderful I will follow you