I had no idea I would end up with the Essential Music Practice website when I first thought about writing a book about music practice. I wrote the outline and a couple of example chapters to send to traditional paper-based publishers.
I had printed out the pages to check through them and a student of mine saw them and asked if he could have an electronic copy. I duly provided him with a PDF file and at the same time started thinking that maybe having an electronic copy of the book would be a good idea. I could start a blog and sell my book as a download from there. I had no idea at the time of how to build a business online, I just jumped in!
I wrote a couple of articles on my blog and went from no views to 2 views within minutes… that was my Mum and Dad out of the way, now for the rest of the world! Unfortunately it didn't quite happen as I thought. Nobody came rushing to my blog wanting to read, comment and get involved in the music practice revolution. I was searching around the internet looking for how to get more traffic to my blog. At some point I became distracted and ended up on an the About Me page of another website and ended up clicking a link to an article on why blogging isn't always the best way to build an online business. It was by the founder of a website builder called Site Build It. I read some of the other things on the Site Build It (aka SBI) pages and started to think this might be the way forward, so I signed up and started following the SBI research process. WOW! The more I read, the more I understood why people didn't come flocking to my blog! If I was going to understand how to build a business online I needed to understand how Google worked, how to build traffic to my site, how to build up links to my site… so many things! I realized that even if people were actively looking for music practice, or metronomes, or any other practice related information, it was unlikely they'd find me. I decided to follow the SBI plan and see if it worked. Given the number of people who had taken to the internet to say how happy they were with the service provided, I thought it was worth a shot and so the Essential Music Practice website was born!
After a couple of months I had followed the incredibly detailed and informative course files and videos SBI provided and had around 20 pages online, and approximately 50 visitors per day. I had used the SBI tools to ensure I had Google's criteria correct for my page and that I was building pages for good keywords. You have no idea how amazed I was when I logged into my account and saw that a couple of pages on the Essential Music Practice site were ranking in the top ten at Google! And the best bit? It all seemed to happen in the background. I used their blockbuilder (which is now a much easier to use WYSIWYG Blockbuilder with a huge number of bells and whistles to get you building pages fast) to build my pages (no HTML or programming knowledge necessary - good job as I didn't have any at that point, although I know more now!), used their analysis tool to check I had used my keywords correctly and hit the submit button. All the rest happened in the background. The other major feature was the forums. The people there are so helpful and somebody always takes the time to answer a question or point you in the right direction if they can. I've even managed to help a few newbies myself now, which just goes to show how much I have learned about how to build a business online over the last couple of years.
The SBI philosophy was one of gradual building of an online business and I gradually developed the Essential Music Practice site slowly but surely. They made it clear that this was no get rich quick scheme that so many people seem to be selling today. The telling point for me was a comment in one of the SBI training videos.
"You can't beat Google. They hire some of the most intelligent people on the planet to work with them. So even if somebody does manage to manipulate their search engine for a short time, by the time you buy the book, Google has plugged the hole"
I had already seen the "I make 4587 dollars a day and here's the photoshopped proof" pictures all over the place. SBI actually made sense. It taught me how to build up regular, free traffic (I have never bought any advertising) that has grown steadily over the last couple of years. I hadn't realized the important difference between learning how to build a website and how to build a business online, but I was sure in my mind that I wouldn't have even 1/100 of the traffic I have to my Essential Music Practice site if I had continued with my blog.
I am now getting over 10,000 visitors a month to the Essential Music Practice site! I have sold plenty of copies of my book, Practice Makes Perfect, and also have an income from Google Ads and other sources connected with my site. I still can't believe I have done it sometimes. A few weeks ago I was searching for some material for students and as I read down the web page a quote caught my attention. It sounded very familiar and as I got to the end I realized why… it was credited to me! Somebody had bought my book and was quoting from it on their website! My website is sitting at number 2 on Google for my main keywords (without quotes) and many of my other pages rank in the top 10 in Google, Yahoo and Bing searches. There are versions of my book selling on the iBookstore and Amazon Kindle Store . There is even a print copy available now. I have even developed an iOS Music Practice App I could never have done it without SBI and I'm sure my traffic, and more importantly income from my site, will continue to grow over the next few years. In fact, I was so impressed with how my music practice site is going I have just started Essential Music Theory to compliment the Essential Music Practice site with SBI as well!
Quite a few people ask if I think they could build a content site like the Essential Music Practice site. I always answer yes! I had no idea about HTML or any other web building language when I started out, and if I can do it, anyone can! The main thing you need is a passion for a particular subject. It could be anything becasue if you are interested, others will be too! So head over the the Solo Build It website and see what you think. If you are unsure or have any other questions about how I built the Essential Music Practice website, just contact me and I'll help out if I can. Good luck if you decide to give it a try, and I'll probably see you in the forums!
Frustrated with your practice? Read Practice Makes Perfect and hack the 10,000 hour rule. Cut your practice time by up to 25%! Make faster progress, learn pieces and scales faster, memorize more easily, and much more. "If you play an instrument you need this book!"
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