As much as it pains me to say it, Rustic Coasters are officially discontinued.  The only set of Rustic Coasters sold were the one set sold on eBay.  Who knows, maybe someday they might be a collector's item!

A little over 2 months ago I made my first post on this site.  I had big dreams of being successful with what I thought was an innovative new idea.  I thought readers would latch on to the experiment and root for the underdog.

I truly believed that if you were passionate enough about an idea and stuck with it that there would be eventual success.

I spent many late nights coming up with ideas and countless hours creating videos (of which only one ever saw the light of day).  I assured my wife that it would take off, that my effort would pay off. 

I told her there are tons of people out there making a living from their blog.  I let her know that with enough work and effort, I too would be able to quit the job I dread going to every morning.

Somehow, over the past couple of months I managed to get a small amount of traffic on this site.  There are roughly 50 readers that visit this site daily.  I don't know who you are, but seeing that there were a few people out there reading what I wrote gave me motivation to continue.

I thought that all I needed was the right person to see my site and share it with their friends.  Once this happened I believed it would surely take off.

I apologize to anyone that was rooting for the idea behind this site.  Starting a website or blog is much more difficult than I could have ever imagined.

If you have your own website or blog, or have dreams of starting one, you know there is an abundance of information out there on how to be successful at it.

The problem is that much of the information is contradictory.  What works for one person, may not work for another.  There are just too many variables.

The New Direction

Has this experience dashed any hope of a successful blog?  It did at first, but not anymore.  After the bad experience I had attempting to start BadIdeaExperiment.com I learned something very valuable. 

The only person that knows how to find success is you!

When creating this blog I followed the advice of blog experts.  This blog was my first attempt, so I'm sure I did all kinds of things wrong.

I was so focused on what I was being told that I ignored my own instinct.

Just because another person had success doing something one way, doesn't mean it's the right way for you.

Due to this blog not gaining any visibility, I decided to try something.  I decided to create another blog.  A blog that I would create the way I wanted to, not listening to the blogging experts.

What happened with this blog?  It has taken off like a rocket!  At least in my eyes it has.  In two weeks I was able to take my blog from 0 visitors to over 7000 unique visitors in the course of 14 days.

This felt like a huge accomplishment.  In over 2 months, this site hasn't come close to those numbers.  I don't know the reasoning behind this.  I'd like to think it was because I stopped listening to the professionals and just did what I felt was right, but I have no data to back that up.

At this point you are probably expecting me to pitch you a product, give you information on how you can do this too.  Well, I'm not going to try selling you anything.

So what's the point of this site now?  I want to help you make your blog successful.

To try and help you out, I'm only going to charge $0.

That's right; I'm not going to charge you anything.

The new purpose of this site is to help out fellow bloggers.  I want to knock down the roadblocks that many bloggers face when starting out.  I can't guarantee that I know how to make your blog successful, but I will try to offer as much help as I can.

I would like you to contact me and let me know how I might be able to help you.  If what you’re asking is not something I can help with, I will attempt to point you in the direction of someone who may be able to help.

I have no idea what type of response this new direction will receive, but I will reply as quickly as possible to your questions.  With your permission I may also reach out to the readers of this site in regards to your question.

Where did this sudden change of direction come from?  I happened to come across an article online that was very interesting about an individual named Adam Grant.  He has a different outlook on the world than most.  He wrote a book about it called Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.  I reached out to Adam via email for advice; I truly never expected to receive a response.   

After some time I had forgotten about the email I sent him.  Several weeks later I was surprised to find a response from him in my inbox. 

I opened it expecting a generic non-personal email, but it was quite the opposite.  He took the time to personally respond, mentioning that my Rustic Coaster website made him laugh.

He said he didn't believe he could answer my question, but he suggested I contact another individual.  I contacted that person the same day and this person was exactly the right person I needed to get my creative gears going.  This person helped me out and asked nothing in return. 

This experience is what motivated me to change directions on this blog.  I'm not going to try and sell you any blogging methods or strategies.  Some might consider this new direction a "Bad Idea", so luckily, the domain name still fits.

In closing, feel free to contact me about your blog and I'll see how I can help.

 
 
Happy Monday!  I know it's been a while since my last post, but I want to assure you that I have not given up.  In fact, there's been a flurry of activity in Rustic Coaster land recently.  Unfortunately all of the activity has been the efforts on my end.  So how are things going?  Following is a breakdown of my efforts thus far:

 
 
Today I'm posting on a topic that doesn't directly focus on the Bad Idea Experiment, but is still highly relevant. If you're not already aware, the Bad Idea Experiment is my first attempt ever at a blog, or even a website for that matter. While looking for information and advice on blogging I've been in touch with many helpful and encouraging individuals.  On the other hand, I've also run into nearly just as many negative individuals. These negative people seem to have a goal of driving any hope of having a successful blog right into the ground. It is one thing to offer constructive criticism, it is quite another to bash or insult another person's idea.

 
 
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First and foremost, I have posted my first attempt at an advertisement for the Rustic Coaster on Youtube.  This is my first ever attempt at creating or editing any kind of video and I'm pretty happy with how it has turned out.  I created the video in hopes of driving traffic to RusticCoaster.com.  If you watch the video in its entirety you will also see I put the name of this website at the end of the video as well.  I debated on whether or not to include this site as I'd like to keep the "bad idea" and this website separate.  In the end I decided to include this website at the end as this blog is fairly new and I'm still working on driving traffic here as well.  Once this blog becomes established you will no longer see this website associated with any of the bad ideas or products.


 
 
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As you can guess from the title, or perhaps the image to the left, the internet's best source for Rustic Drink Coasters has arrived.  It's not anything overly fancy but I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt.  There are still a few kinks to work out and I haven't quite put any plan together on how to promote it to start getting visitors.  In fact, I haven't even figured out how to have it generate income.  For the time being I have ridiculously overpriced the drink coasters at $49.99.  There is little chance of selling the coasters but I'm not sure that is my main interest.  I'm wondering if a better strategy might be to drive traffic to the site in an attempt to generate revenue from affiliates.  Regardless of what I do, for now the goal is traffic, traffic, traffic!

In the meantime, I'd like to invite you to check out www.RusticCoaster.com and let me know your thoughts below.

 
 
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Well I'm back (and married), it's been a hectic past few days.  Our wedding turned out amazing, even better than I would have expected.  There were a few hiccups along the way, but that's to be expected with so much going on.  

Enough about me, lets get talking about some drink coasters.  The ebay auction for my set of drink coasters has ended.  Did you happen to notice the picture above?  The one with the little red circle?  The one that says Winning bid?  Yup, they sold.  Unfortunately they only sold for the starting price of 99 cents, but did I mention they sold?  At the time the listing ended there were 485 views and 10 watchers.  Not too bad.  


 
 
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The end of my drink coaster listing is nearing and I have some exciting news today, at least in my eyes.  Apparently it doesn't take too much to excite me.  I logged into my ebay account today and I am approaching 400 views (387 to be exact).  This being my first attempt at selling drink coasters I don't think that's too shabby.  I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I think I have a shot at actually selling these.


 
 
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I'm posting with slightly more enthusiasm today.  Sharing my ebay listing after my last post seemed to pay off as the views approached 60 the following day.  While continuing to monitor the view count I continued researching ways to find more ways to drive traffic to my listing. 

I found an overwhelming amount of information on how to drive traffic to websites.  There are many individuals out there who have put a lot of time and effort into finding strategies to obtain traffic.  Until now I didn't even realize what a hot topic this is for marketers.  During my search I also picked up a few other tips on promoting a product or website.  One recommendation that was often given was to try one strategy at a time.  What works for one website or product may not work for another.  if you attempt all the strategies to drive traffic at once, you might not always be sure which ones are paying off and which ones are a waste of time.  Heeding this advice, I am going to try one traffic building strategy to begin with.



 
 
In yesterday's post I shared my plan of getting the word out about my ebay listing.  This was done by sharing my ebay listing with family members in hopes they would tell others about it.  From what I've gathered they aren't very good about sharing my bad idea.  Currently I have 16 views on my Rustic Coasters.  I will have to expand my efforts and resort to sharing my listing with those outside my family.  I'm confident this will increase the listing exposure slightly.  I do have another plan up my sleeve that I will cover in an upcoming post which I believe will significantly increase the traffic to my listing.

It's still early in my endeavor, so I'm staying confident.  I do understand that what I hope to achieve will not be easy, but the plan is to try and keep a positive attitude and keep plugging away.

 
 
Welcome back.  After completing my post yesterday it occurred to me that there would likely be very few people turning to ebay to purchase drink coasters.  If you are in dire need of drink coasters you'd probably just run to the store to buy some.  Then again, I'm not quite sure what would constitute a dire need of such an item.  In order to get someone to purchase my set of Rustic Drink Coasters I would need to get the word out and point people directly to my listing. 

I began doing this by sharing my ebay listing via text with members of my family.  Some thought it was funny, and some didn't quite understand the point of such a listing.  I wasn't concerned if they liked it or not, my goal was to have them share my ebay listing with someone else.  In turn, I'm hoping whoever learned of it would share with another person and so on. As of right now I have less than 10 views on my listing and I'm confident those are just from my family and I.  Hopefully this number will start increasing in the next day or two.



In the meantime I'm working on educating myself further on internet marketing in hopes of picking up some strategies to market the drink coasters.  Do you have any suggestions or experience?  Please comment below.  Thanks for reading!