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A $300,000 Decision, Major Failures, and What’s to Come

by Sean Ogle | Last Updated: September 13, 2021

I’m gonna get real honest in this post.

This has been a long time coming, and I haven’t written it, because well….I haven’t figured it all out yet.

For the last few years, I haven’t had a great vision for the future of the Location Rebel blog.

I’ve thought about all kinds of different ways to take it. Do I keep it personal? Do I make it just about freelance writing, or niche sites?

Do I focus solely on leads for Location Rebel Academy? Do I not worry about that and focus on building affiliate revenue?

Is the blog still worth my time, or should I just stick with YouTube (this has been the default over the last few years.)

And with all of this, I know where the crux of my uncertainty and apprehension lies with it.

I know exactly why I’m having this dilemma.

Want to know what it is?

It’s because the DNA of this site, and much of what I enjoy the most about it, directly counters current best practices for growing a successful blog.

Conventional wisdom says you should niche down, cut all extraneous content, and focus solely on helping your audience achieve one thing.

And if I were smart, I’d burn this thing to the ground and focus solely on freelance writing or blogging.

Those are the two types of businesses where I’m able to add the most value.

But here’s the thing.

The whole reason this blog exists in the first place is due to the fact that I’ve never wanted to just focus on one thing.

I’ve got so many interests, and throughout the history of Location Rebel you see all of this chronicled.

I mean, let’s just take a look at a handful of posts over the last 12 years:

There’s no real theme, aside from the one of being able to create a brand around all of the stuff you love.

The whole reason this site grew to the stature and audience it has today is because of all the stories I told in the first few years.

I shared the ups and downs. The big wins and huge failures. The fun adventures and the crazy mishaps. The life lessons, and the reflective moments.

I haven’t done that at all lately.

I’ve been so hung up on traffic and doing things the “right” way, that I haven’t done anything on the blog.

We completely redesigned the site a couple weeks ago, and I didn’t even write a blog post to tell you!

Note: Watch the video here with the full rundown of what we did and more importantly why we did it:

My Biggest Bucket List Item in Years

Even crazier than the fact I didn’t write a blog post about our new site, is the fact that I knocked off one of the biggest bucket list items of my life this past week.

When I first created my bucket list back in 2009, the idea of selling a house for a profit seemed so far out there.

I mean, not only would I need to save up enough money for said house, but I’d have to live there long enough and make enough progress on it, to then sell it at some point in the future.

For a profit, no less!

That seemed like an impossibly long way off.

And it was.

When I created that bucket list goal I had around $7,000 to my name back in 2009. Throw in some student loans and my net worth was approximately ZERO.

On April 4th, 2014 I turned 29, closed on my first house, and got engaged.

Sean and Tate House 1

In front of our new house – 30 seconds before I proposed.

Last week we sold that house and netted just shy of $300,000 on it.

Selling a home for a profit

Minutes before walking out of our home for the last time.

Wow.

How times have changed.

And I wasn’t even going to write a post about it because “we don’t do that anymore.”

“Nobody cares.”

“Stick to nothing but freelance writing.”

But where the hell is the personality in that?

When teaching freelance writers how to grow their business, one of the most important things I say to include on your site is personality. 

That’s what is going to set you apart.

This site used to ooze personality.

But it turned into a commodity.

And then it did so again.

Now, it’s an out-of-date commodity.

I keep battling with myself on doing what want to do versus doing what I tell everyone else to do.

I’m going to be blunt for a second.

You know what I want to do with Location Rebel?

Whatever I want.

If you’re thinking about starting your first blog, niche site, or online business – don’t take this as advice.

The reality is that I can pretty much do whatever I want on this website, without too many adverse effects.

Over the last 12 years I’ve built up an email list, I’ve built a YouTube channel, I’ve built a world-class course and community, and I’ve built a sales funnel to it.

These days YouTube is driving far more leads to the community than this blog is.

So what does that mean? I look at it, as anything I do is going to be an improvement.

And if we’re doing great so far without creating much for the blog, then why wouldn’t I just turn it into a space where I do whatever I want.

Write about the things I want.

Share the stories I want.

Do what want.

Man, how selfish and egotistical does this sound?

Quite.

But way back in 2009 I made a very selfish decision when I decided to leave my job, leave my girlfriend at home, and move to Thailand.

The idea was that I wouldn’t be able to make anyone else happy, or add value to anyone else’s life, until I did a few things for myself.

I think in a way we’re back at that same point.

In order for me to continue to be valuable to others, I need to make sure I can stay excited about it for myself.

And I think one of the easiest ways to do that is to take the limiter off this blog. Write about whatever I want.

My feeling is that by making that one decision, I’ll be reinvigorated to create more content that will be useful to you as well.

I’m Still Human…

I think one of the reasons I’ve stopped sharing as much personal stuff on here (besides the aforementioned SEO reasons), is because of fear.

I’m positioned as the expert here. I teach people how to blog, freelance, get traffic, and make money online.

So what happens if I share failures of mine?

What happens when I tell you our traffic is down significantly this year?

Or that our email opt-ins are also down about 50% this year?

My fear is that I lose credibility and that will hurt our revenue.

If all of a sudden you don’t believe that I know what I’m talking about, you’ll go join some other course or follow someone else who does.

That’s just being honest.

But my hypothesis right now, is that by sharing things like this and opening up, it will actually have the opposite effect. I’ll gain more trust, by treating you like a real person and telling you the truth.

In terms of full transparency, despite opt-ins and traffic being down, we’ve had more people than ever join Location Rebel Academy this year.

On top of that we’ve had more success stories than ever, as well.

Time will tell.

Build a Lifestyle Business Giving You Freedom You've Always Wanted

Our 6-part course gives you a strategy to start right now. Put control of your life back in your hands. Sign up below and let’s do this together.

By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Location Rebel. We'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Where do we go from here?

So where do we go from here?

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure.

In the past, I’ve made bold statements, like I’m going to start writing about whatever I want, yada yada yada.

But I’ve rarely backed it up.

So I’m not going to do anything like that now.

What I am doing, is thinking a lot about this site, the past, the present, and the future.

We’ve got something unique here.

Something special.

And I’d like to give it more attention moving forward. I don’t know what type of content that will manifest itself as, but I’m excited to explore that.

Now that we have a new site design and we’ve done all the right things technically – there’s no excuse.

I can’t blame any success or failures of the site on the bloated website. Now it comes down to me, and one simple question:

Can we create content that people want to read?

We’ve been doing it for over 12 years very successfully, so I’d like to think we can.

But in order to do that, there’s one thing I’ve gotta do first:

Show up.

Not on YouTube.

Not on email.

Not in our forums and community.

But here. On the blog.

And that is exciting.

It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
Build a Lifestyle Business Giving You Freedom You've Always Wanted

Our 6-part course gives you a strategy to start right now. Put control of your life back in your hands. Sign up below and let’s do this together.

By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Location Rebel. We'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.