A Powerful Strategy for Growth in 2011

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As many of you already know, I’m a active duty infantryman in the United States Army and I will be until the last week of March. In just under 2 months, I’m heading into online work full-time.

With that in mind, I’ve been reworking my strategies here at Site Sketch 101 in an effort to maximize traffic, profits and impact.

The Power of Intense Genuine Engagement

At the onset of the new year, I began engaging on Twitter in ways unlike I have ever done before. I began to visualize Twitter as a lounge filled with people and my task has been to shake hands and engage with as many of those folks as possible.

Some try to tell me that 140 characters isn’t enough to makes friends and to effectively connect with another human beings. I don’t let that short-sighted opinion stand in my way.

I’ve been working to meet as many folks as possible in person who I’ve met on social media or as a result of this blog. I’ve met folks for breakfast, I’ve run a half-marathon with a Twitter friend, and I’m working hard to make many new engagements throughout the year…especially once I’m free of the tight grip of Uncle Sam.

The Power of Consistent, High-Quality Linkbait

You’ve heard the adage Content is King and the more I work online, the more I find it to be true.

Seth Godin doesn’t allow comments, and he doesn’t engage on social media, but his writing is amazing. As a result of that simple fact, his articles receive hundreds of retweets and are frequently linked to and quoted across the web.

With that in mind, I’ve been throwing everything I know into producing powerful, linkable content every Monday. It’s part of a series that I’ve been calling The Power 15 since most of the articles have been lists of 15.

These articles have been receiving extra comments, tweets, stumbles and links. They’ve also been ranking incredibly fast on Google. In short, they’ve been driving powerful traffic to Site Sketch 101.

The Power of In-Content Affiliate Links

I generally make almost all of my online income from coaching, site development and other forms of active, work-for-pay income. The month of January was the first month that I decided to try to produce a passive income on the site here.

I did this by intermingling some affiliate links into a couple of my Power 15 posts.

In February, I hope to build on January’s success.


1 Inbound Link

This awesome site is linking here!

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  1. February 10, 2011

    Gibson Goff said:

    I had no idea about Seth Godin. Sure anchors the ‘Content is King’ theory. I needed to her that good word today!

    Thanks, Nick.

    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      He sure does, Gibson. He’s a powerful writing and folks know it and the results show it.

  2. February 10, 2011

    Roberto @ Psychbits said:

    First of all, thank you for your service.

    I have recently became one of your followers. I love great information that you provide. So with regards to content, I know that will be the easy part.

    I look forward to see your approach to twitter. Thanks for sharing this info.

  3. February 11, 2011

    Ryan Critchett said:

    Another explosion in the world of Site Sketch! I particularly align with our basis for making a connection, genuine engagement. I’ve become way more attracted to, and have been engaging in, deliberate relationship building on the net.

    I’m having a lunch with a guy next week that I met from the net. Turns out he lives about ten minutes from my place, is also an internet marketer and studies neuroscience too (I’m a brain fanatic). How cool is that?

    Good old Seth. He’s the guy you go to when you want, in 30 words or less, something that will drive you to create something awesome. I’m on his blog like everyday.

    Powerful post my friend. The 15 series rocks so far, keep it strong.

    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      You couldn’t have described Seth Godin more appropriately. His writing often is incredibly short and yet somehow he packs so much power that it just drives you to love reading it.

  4. February 11, 2011

    Thomas said:

    Nice to hear about you tactics Nicholas. I much traffic do you actually get on a great blog like yours? Maybe another idea for a blog if you want to share that information with us.

  5. February 11, 2011

    Seth Waite said:

    Nice to hear about your plans for the future and the different movements you’ll be making next.

    I’m sure you are going to rock the web so let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Thanks, Seth. I’m sure that we’ll be doing something together in the future.

  6. February 11, 2011

    Danny @ Firepole Marketing said:

    Hi Nick, I’m new on the blog, but I’m loving what I’m seeing. Being a former man in uniform myself, it was nice to hear that soon you’re switching to 100% online work!

    • February 11, 2011

      Ryan Critchett said:

      Danny! Nice to see you here man! You were in the service? Cool man. 19D, 1st Cav.

      • February 11, 2011

        Danny @ Firepole Marketing said:

        Hey Ryan, yup, but a different service – I served in the IDF (in Israel) for three years, mandatory service. Same same, though.

    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Thanks, Danny. I’m definitely pretty excited about it and having Site Sketch 101 as a platform, I don’t think I’ll have too much difficulty taking this venture to the next level.

  7. February 11, 2011

    Steve Roy said:

    I am really looking forward to seeing you online full-time.

    You are doing an outstanding job of creating a top notch brand now, I can only imigane what we are in store for soon.

    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Thanks, Steve. Also, is that a new profile picture that you’ve got set up there? It looks good?

      • February 14, 2011

        Steve Roy said:

        Yea, I thought it was time to ditch the little cartoon picture.

        Now you can add me to your top 10 ugliest bloggers list!!

  8. February 12, 2011

    Lisa said:


    First and foremost, thank you for your service to this country. 🙂
    Secondly, I totally agree with the intense GENUINE engagement. It can not be said enough that tip is a potential game changer. You are an engaging rock star, so kudos.
    I am looking forward to reading the power 15 articles.


    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Thanks for that Lisa. You just can’t underestimate the power of reaching out and engaging someone in a genuine conversation.

  9. February 12, 2011

    Brad Harmon said:

    Hey, Nicholas. I didn’t know I was falling victim to your link bait strategy. I just thought I was linking back to quality posts. 😉

    I love the way you’ve been using Twitter this year. It’s nice to see someone engaging in conversations and trying to develop relationships.

    It’ll be amazing to see what you accomplish doing this full-time.

    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Brad, although some folks do some crazy things to develop link-bait, I’m a firm believer that when you provide real value that it will generate links 100% organically just as you made reference to. You see something you like and you link to it. That’s what I think the key is to building inbound links.

  10. February 13, 2011

    Chris said:

    Nicholas, congrats on finishing your enlistment. As someone who has been through this before (6 years Army), I know it can often be an uncertain and somewhat frightening proposition. However, I know you’ll do fine as I have been a follower of this blog for quite some time and have seen it evolve into a great blog!

    • February 14, 2011

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      I really appreciate that sentiment, Chris. I do face that certain level of uncertainty but I’m also overwhelmed with the excitement of the opportunities that I’ve been working hard to set up and I’m so ready to move forward.

  11. February 14, 2011

    Eren Mckay said:

    Hi Nick,
    Engaging and building true long lasting relationships is essential to going anywhere online. And of course creating fantastic content is the basis of building an online presence. You have quite a list of pillar content. I read some of them but not all. I`ll have to check them out later.
    All the best,

  12. February 14, 2011

    Greg said:

    Fantastic article as always, followed you on twitter have been meaning to for a while, look forward to more advice for those of us who are just starting thanks 🙂

  13. February 14, 2011

    Emily from Video Avatar said:

    I agree that with the limit of 140 characters, we can do something about it like twitlonger, genuine connection with others builds our relationship with them at the same time our internet business has success potential.

  14. February 18, 2011

    Kavya Hari said:

    hello, initially i would like to thank nicholas for shared his information on here. And, powerful article will stay long years with the good support.

  15. February 18, 2011

    Kavya Hari said:

    hi, these information will be helpful for me to write the good article and to interact the social media now. Thanks a lot for sharing your information on here Nicholas.

  16. February 20, 2011

    AllieRambles said:

    Thank you for your service! And good luck on your online journey. Actually, you don’t need it, I think you got it down.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement on Twitter, you did make it feel like a huge lounge. And partially because you rock Twitter but mostly because your blog has awesome content, I will be here for a long time.

  17. March 5, 2011

    Nasif said:

    “Content is king” it was okay a few year back. Now it should be “Unique Content is king !”