<![CDATA[An Attempt at Becoming One of The Bad Ideas That Made Money - Bad Idea Experiment]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 20:47:44 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[A New Direction, Rustic Coasters Discontinued]]>Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:42:53 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/08/a-new-direction-rustic-coasters-discontinued.htmlAs 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.

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<![CDATA[Failure to Launch]]>Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:16:26 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/07/failure-to-launch.htmlHappy 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:
The Rustic Coaster Video:

Have you ever met one of those people who think they are hilarious but no one else finds them funny? You know the guy that tells the lame jokes at a party.  You force yourself to laugh at his punch line in hopes to avoid awkward silence.  While listening to the jokester ramble, all you can think about is finding an out, a reason to escape the horrible comedy routine.  With my Rustic Coaster Video, I fear that I might be that guy.  For some odd reason I thought I would get better results.  I know it's not a video that would go viral, and it's not laugh out loud funny or anything.  However I did think it would be just odd enough to make those who viewed it curious to visit the site or maybe tell a friend about it.  I was very wrong, here are the dismal results:
A grand total of 41 views and zero likes after two weeks of being available on YouTube and FunnyorDie. I don't believe anyone who viewed the video even visited RusticCoaster.com.  Shortly after I posted the video I began work on another video to promote the Rustic Coaster.  It was to be a humorous video showing the manufacturing process and its multiple uses shown on the website.  I was so motivated I stayed up until 1:30 am on a Thursday to complete its filming.  After seeing the results of the first video it has not given me much inspiration to finish editing the video to release it.  However, in the spirit of the Bad Idea Experiment I will finish the video; it may just take a little longer.
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Behind the scenes of upcoming Rustic Coaster video
Organic Traffic:

In a previous post (Most Everyone That Consumes Liquid Does So With a Cup of Some Sort) I went over how I joined a wood working forum to try and drive traffic to my eBay listing.  I also attempted to do this with RusticCoaster.com.  I did have some short term success with this but I don't think this will be the answer to sustained traffic.  A few visitors here and there still trickle in from the forums, but nothing substantial.  As you can see below, traffic to RusticCoaster.com is nothing to write home about. The number to the right of the date is the number of visitors that day:
I've also shared my blog posts on Reddit and StumbleUpon but this has not driven much (if any) traffic either.  I'm thinking I need to be more active in following and commenting on those sites for my additions to get any attention.  I will start doing this and will report back on the results.  
Paid Traffic:

In order to maybe jump start RusticCoaster.com I've been exploring the idea of paying to advertise the site.  It seems this can be done pretty cheaply through Outbrain.com or StumbleUpon Paid Discovery.  Does anyone have any experience advertising with Outbrain or StumbleUpon? 
Sales:

As you can see, I still have not sold a single Rustic Coaster from the website.  I also have not generated any revenue from any other sources related to Rustic Coasters.  This is somewhat disappointing, but I'm going to keep on keepin' on!

Future:

I really did think I'd be further along at this point.  I wasn't expecting to be generating any revenue but I was expecting to start seeing traffic slowly grow.  Perhaps I need to step back and come up with a new approach to driving traffic.  If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them!  

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<![CDATA[Starting Your First Blog and How to Stay Motivated]]>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:00:43 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/07/starting-your-first-blog-and-how-to-stay-motivated.htmlToday 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.
I am well aware that this blog is a little out of the ordinary and doesn't necessarily solve an immediate problem for anyone.  If you've done any research on blogging, most advise you find a niche in which there is an immediate problem or need. Your job is to offer a solution to that problem and in turn you will have a successful blog. I wholeheartedly agree that this is a good strategy; however that is not the goal of this blog.  My goal with this blog is to inspire others. I want to be able to demonstrate that the seemingly impossible can be achieved if you stick with it. Is it a good idea to try and make a bad idea profitable? Probably not. Do I believe that it can be achieved if I stay motivated, stick with it and not let naysayers convince me to abandon the idea? You bet your rear end I do! As you can see, I have yet to make a single penny on my idea. If you want to get technical about it, I'm actually over 15 dollars in the red. I see this as a challenge and I still believe I will accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Now I'll step down off my imaginary soap box and get to the point of this post.  In my experience, starting a blog can be discouraging.  You are putting a lot of effort into something that provides very few immediate results. I wanted to share what I've been doing to keep myself motivated while in the early stages of my blogging journey. I'm doing this in hopes that it will keep others from giving up on what they're striving to achieve. While this post is geared more towards blogging, it can really be applied to anything:

-Use negativity as fuel: As briefly mentioned above, I made several posts on several different forums related to blogging. I shared my blog idea on some of them in hopes of receiving some help or creative feedback. Often times I was met with negativity or others suggesting I give up on the blog, saying it has no potential. I've also run into the same thing with a few friends and family I've shared my idea with. Don't let someone else’s negativity cause you to give up before you ever really get going. Instead, use this as motivation to prove them wrong. This might sound a little nutty, but write down these comments and refer to them whenever you need to get fired up. It sounds repetitive, but as I said, use them to fuel your motivation, not to stomp out your flame.

-Don't listen to the statistics: There are tons of statistics on the internet regarding how many blogs or websites are started and the percentage of them that fail. What do these statistics really mean to you? They mean nothing. You can't assume that just because other people gave up or weren't successful, that your website or blog will fail. Do you know the details of every website or blog in those statistics? Do you know the details of why they failed? Maybe they didn't fail at all; perhaps they just gave up after not seeing any results. How many blogs do you see out there that have tons of blog posts and don't have anyone visiting? I haven't come across any. On the other hand, how many blogs do you see with 5 or 6 posts that are insanely popular? I haven't come across any of these either. One thing I have run across quite often is a blog with 5 or 6 posts that someone has given up on, sometimes even though it had great content. What if these bloggers would have continued? Who knows what would have happened?

-Celebrate every success no matter how small: As previously mentioned this blog was started about a month ago. To be completely honest, it’s been rough as I haven't seen much traffic, only a few visitors here and there.  Initially this was very disappointing. After thinking about it further, I decided to view these as successes, not disappointments. If I tried a strategy to drive traffic and it resulted in 3 people visiting my site, that's 3 more people that now know my site exists. As I continue to work on my efforts to drive traffic, a few visitors here and there will eventually start to add up. What if 1 of those 3 visitors really enjoyed the site and perhaps shared it with a few others. In other words, every little success gets you closer to your ultimate goal no matter what it might be. Add up enough little successes and you'll be at your goal before you know it.

That's my short list I refer to when I'm trying to convince myself to keep going.  Do you have any strategies, stories or advice for staying motivated?  Please feel free to share them in the comments below. Now we return to our regularly scheduled Bad Idea Experiment.
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<![CDATA[New advertising campaign and efforts to drive traffic]]>Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:00:13 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/07/new-advertising-campaign-and-efforts-to-drive-traffic.htmlPicture
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.

View the Rustic Coaster Ad Here

Lately my main focus has been getting both this site and www.RusticCoaster.com noticed.  I haven't had much success so far but perhaps some of what I've done will take some time to see results.  The biggest acheivment was the youtube video.  There were several times I wanted to throw my laptop against the wall.  Creating and editing a video isn't all that simple, at least for someone who has had no prior experience.  The youtube video took me several hours to create and still didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped.  The next video I create should be a smoother process now that I'm more comfortable with the editing software I used.

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Finding free places to promote the websites has been extremely difficult.  I've posted on several forums and commented on several blogs but haven't seen much traffic.  There are small amounts here and there, but nothing significant.  Yesterday I began looking into search engine optimization which seems to be a very confusing topic with many different suggestions. I think my next step will be to reach out to other bloggers to see if they would be interested in mentioning either site in a post, or perhaps if they'd be interested in a guest post.  Until next time...  

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<![CDATA[Have You Visited www.RusticCoaster.com Recently?]]>Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:15:10 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/07/have-you-visited-wwwrusticcoastercom-recently.htmlPicture
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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<![CDATA[I have only scratched the surface of the drink coaster market]]>Wed, 25 Jun 2014 06:12:23 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/06/i-have-only-scratched-the-surface-of-the-drink-coaster-market.htmlPicture
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.  

Overall it can be considered a victory when looking at the whole picture.  The way I look at it, I was able to convince someone to pay me for a pretty much useless item.  I will be honest and say I think I got my hopes up a little too high. After the number of views and the number of watches I thought they might at least go for a few dollars. 

At this point you might be wondering what's next.  I mean the drink coasters sold, time to move on to the next bad idea, right?  Wrong, I beleive I have only scratched the surface of the drink coaster market. I've actually decided to create a website that features my coasters with a very convincing sales pitch.  I will be working on this here and there over the next few days.  Most of the content is already written. I plan on using the description from my ebay listing as a starting point. 

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that even after my first sale I'm still in the red on this endeavor.  There is a perfectly good excuse for this though, in the next update I'll be sharing my new website with you. I've already purchased the domain!  Yes, I do realize the wait will be agonizing for you, so I'll try to get it done quickly.  Until next time...

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<![CDATA[The End Is Near]]>Sat, 21 Jun 2014 06:10:30 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/06/the-end-is-near.htmlPicture
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.

Last time I shared my experience posting on the woodworking forums.  This taught me a few things.  I learned that you might get different results from different forums.  One of my forum posts didn't seem to generate much activity at all, while the other one was very engaged in my post and likely drove a large chunk of traffic to my ebay listing. So as they say, if it doesn't work at first, try try again.  It also seems to pay to take the time to actually participate in forum discussions if your primary reason is to drive traffic.  How many times have you seen a single post from a forum member and then you never hear from them again.  I think it seems worth the time to stick around for a while.  It never hurts to become expand your knowledge .  You might also create a few forum buddies in the process.

As a forewarning I will not be doing much more to actively promote my ebay listing before it ends.  It's certainly not because I don't want to, but as some of you may know I will be getting married on Saturday.  I'm afraid that my wedding will have to take priority over my bad idea for right now.  My next post will likely be late Monday or early Tuesday after the ebay auction has ended.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to share with you in my next post how much the drink coasters sold for... providing someone bids on them.  Next time you hear from me I'll be a married man!  Have a great weekend!
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<![CDATA[Most Everyone That Consumes Liquid Does So With a Cup of Some Sort]]>Fri, 20 Jun 2014 06:09:01 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/06/most-everyone-that-consumes-liquid-does-so-with-a-cup-of-some-sort.htmlPicture
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.




This is where the decision to go with drink coasters may not have been the wisest choice.  I say this because one of the ways to drive traffic is to participate in forums that are related to your product or your website.  Shockingly, I was having an extremely difficult time trying to find any popular and active forums relating to drink coasters.  You'd think drink coasters would be a hot item.  Most everyone that consumes liquid does so with a cup of some sort.  Instead of throwing my hands up in air and shutting the experiment down (it did cross my mind) I thought outside the box.

As the drink coasters were leftover wood chunks from a project I had been working on, I tried a search for woodworking forums to participate in.  Thankfully there is a large and active community of hobby woodworkers, this was a huge releif.  My bad idea is back on track!  In general if you want to drive traffic it is suggested to join a forum and actively contribute to it before attempting to promote your website or product.  I choose not to follow this suggestion in this instance mainly because it is only a 7 day auction. That doesn't allow much time to build up any type of reputation in a forum.  Below is what I posted to two different woodworking forums I joined:

"Post Title: Looking for suggestions on drink coasters

Hello all, first post here, happy to be a part of the community.  Hopefully this is the correct forum to post this.  I've just recently started to dabble in woodworking.  I bought a foreclosure about a year ago and have done quite a bit of remodeling... built a new kitchen island, made bathroom counter tops, and just recently finished a pergola in my backyard (getting married under it this Saturday!).  

Anyway, my better half is pretty creative and creates some pretty unique items.  She mostly makes these things out of scrap wood left over from other projects.  It seems that rustic/weathered wood items are becoming all the rage lately.  I thought I'd give it a shot and attempt to make something to see if I could create something like this.

I used some scrap wood and have re-purposed them as drink coasters.  However there doesn't seem to be much interest in them and I'm not quite sure why.  They look rustic, they are handmade, and they are unique.  I'm thinking perhaps they need some stain?  Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might be able to liven them up?  I've put some up for auction on ebay but I haven't sold any yet.

<ebay link was inserted here>

Any input would be greatly appreciated."

The reason I wrote a detailed forum post is to avoid being viewed as a spammer.  I also wanted to engage the members of the forum by telling them a little about myself and what I needed help with (everything in the post is %100 true by the way).  In the first forum it only generated one reply after a day.  I wasn't too worried about this as it didn't appear to be an extremely active forum.  The second forum I posted in ended up being more productive.  During the course of the day there were 26 replies to my request for assistance.  I would visit the forum on occassion during the day and post to keep the thread going.  At the end of the day I was approaching 200 views on my listing and had some fun conversation with a few friendly woodworkers.

I'll curious to see how many additional views this will generate over the next few days.  Do you have any suggestions for driving traffic?  Please comment below.
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<![CDATA[Sharing is Caring, Right?]]>Thu, 19 Jun 2014 06:08:02 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/06/sharing-is-caring-right.htmlIn 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.

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<![CDATA[In Dire Need of Drink Coasters]]>Wed, 18 Jun 2014 06:06:20 GMThttp://badideaexperiment.com/1/post/2014/06/in-dire-need-of-drink-coasters.htmlWelcome 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!
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