Kick Your Blog to the Top with Mixed Market Arts

Blog contests have become very popular — I’m running one myself — and no prize can be quite as lucrative as a free review on John Chow dot Com. More important the $450 face value is the John Chow Effect that the recipient inevitably receives.

Collin Lahay of Mixed Market Arts was the winner of one such contest hosted by JollyJo. If Collin’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s already been featured in a review on this blog before!

Who is Collin LaHay?

Far too many people on the web claim to be experts and take on an unearned air of authority. According to Collin’s About page, he didn’t want to start a blog about internet marketing and building traffic until he was able to do it himself. He “made it a personal goal to run my own websites for exactly one year before I could consider myself a professional internet marketer.”

mixedmarketarts-collin.jpg

Collin is only 18 years old, but he claims to “have a lot more experience than most adults when it comes to internet marketing.” Is 12 months enough to develop a wealth of experience? Starting with a nearly non-existent knowledge base, Collin now claims that he is an expert in SEO, link building, viral marketing, and maximizing traffic.

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Oh, and as I mentioned in the introduction, Collin has already been featured on John Chow dot Com in the past. That’s because one of his ventures was rssHugger. Here’s the initial review, as well as a follow-up post. Collin has since sold rssHugger, along with WordHugger, for $13,000.

What is Mixed Market Arts?

I had to do a double-take on the name of Collin Lahay’s blog, because for a moment, I thought it said mixed martial arts. You know, the kind of thing with Tito Ortiz and company. As much as Collin would love to enter the octagon, his blog is Mixed Market Arts and it focuses on how to “kick your way to the top with my blog marketing strategies.” Don’t let the guy in the karate gi fool you; there’s no busting of wood planks on Mixed Market Arts.

Instead, you get a bunch of tips and information about how to best market (and monetize) your blog. Common posts on Mixed Market Arts will focus on things like SEOMeter and why Technorati sucks.

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Blog Marketing Tips

Although Mixed Market Arts has only been around since November 2007, there is already a healthy archive of posts that are worth reading. Collin almost manages to maintain the one post per day schedule, missing the odd day here and there. Most of the posts focus on SEO, blog marketing, increasing traffic, and so forth, but Collin also tosses in some off-topic content from time to time, just to spice it up.

Here are a few posts that caught my eye.

Layout and Design

It’s immediately obvious what color scheme Collin was shooting for with Mixed Market Arts. There’s a lot of orange on his site, highlighted by plenty of white space and some light blue highlights. This color scheme somehow screams Halloween to me, and I imagine it’s because the orange makes me think of pumpkins. Other than that, I think that the core layout works quite well. The header image could be a little more eye-catching, but the template is functional.

In terms of monetization, Mixed Market Arts has a 468 banner next to the header image and a 120 skyscraper in the right-most sidebar. There are also three 125×125 buttons above the fold, but I’ll get to those in just a moment. I’m usually not a huge fan of three-column layouts and Mixed Market Arts is no exception. Other than the skyscraper ad, the third column serves little purpose.

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You’ll also notice that Mixed Market Arts makes use of the recently popular “fat” footer, not unlike the one used on John Chow dot Com. What’s weird is that the Tag Cloud section is currently occupied by an Alexa widget. Collin might want to fix that.

Win Free Advertising on MMA

Despite his young age, Collin LaHay looks like he’s off to a good start with his “make money online” adventure. Mixed Market Arts has been added to my RSS reader and I’ll be reading up on some of the tips, tricks, and strategies that will continue to be featured on his blog.

In the meantime, anyone interested in some free advertising might want to read up about a blog contest where you can win a one month 125×125 ad button on Mixed Market Arts. Full details can be found here, but enter soon because the contest ends on Thursday night!


43 thoughts on “Kick Your Blog to the Top with Mixed Market Arts”

  1. Mike Huang says:

    Oh WOW! I got linked to! 🙂

    But yea, Collin is an amazing person. His ideas are making him thousands, but maybe millions in the future?

    -Mike

    1. Yup you did Mike 😛

      Looks like Collin’s strategy is “create it, make the buzz and sell it”, and I have to honest, it does work.

    2. You are right, he is at a great start, I mean with so many great plans at 18, who knows where he could be in the future.
      Click for Nick

    3. Collin LaHay says:

      Thanks for the post John! This will not be the last review you see from me. =)

      I also wanted to state that I also have another contest where I am giving away $25 every week:
      http://mixedmarketarts.com/2008/01/20/the-weekly-winner-contest/

      Feel free to enter both if you would like.

    4. limadang.com says:

      Agree with you Mike, he may become a millionaire.

  2. Gary R. Hess says:

    Nice. I have been visiting that site for a while now, nice to see he is getting listed on a site like JohnChow.com even if it is because of a contest.

    1. It was actually because he paid for a review, the contest was just extra.

      1. Nevermind, I’m an idiot. I somehow missed the JollyJo part 🙁 Sorry!

  3. Asela says:

    Awesome! I am gonna give him a visit right now… btw John, is this a paid review or a free one? I am doing a revamp of my own site and blog and would really like some links from you… pls let me know if this is possible. Thanks in advance for all the great posts and ideas.

    1. Gary R. Hess says:

      It was through a contest.

      1. Asela says:

        Ah ok. Thank you Gary for the clarification 🙂

  4. Chip says:

    I have only 6 months of internet marketing and money-making blogging, but I have 6 years of web design and SEO. Yet there are many more things to learn from now on for me.

  5. I’m good at mis-reading titles. I thought this was about Mixed Martial Arts. It’s nice to see another young internet entrepreneur making money online!

    1. Yeah, it took me a while to realise that as well. I was scratching my head trying to work out why John had a review of a MMA site on his blog:)

  6. Jonk says:

    @ Collin

    Och, nice site but mate, time to get a new photo!

    For what it’s worth, a kid wearing a suit still looks like a kid wearing a suit.

    While I can look past that, you should only try to fill an image that you can be convincing in. In this case, cheap suit, cheap shirt, cheap tie, cheap hair-cut in a cheap portrait photo might not send the right message. I’m not trying to offend.

    A few tips from a guy who makes money on the side helping guys dress. Lose the hair-gel, get the hair off the fore-head, pick some casual-rich type clothes (IE. preppy) and avoid the cheap portrait like the plague.

    Oh, and..

    “At the time of this post, I am 18 years old, but do not let my age turn you away, for I have a lot more experience than most adults when it comes to internet marketing.”

    How about making your age a positive, not a negative. You’re exciting, young, and fresh but also a proven pro.

    Good luck with it mate, I don’t think you need it. You seem to have the drive.

    1. Collin LaHay says:

      Thanks for the comment. I might consider a photo in my pajamas next to a few cans of soda next time. =P

      The age comment was because people generalize about ages and think that a 50 year old is able to make more money than myself, mainly because he is “more experienced.” It was just a comment stating that age doesn’t matter if you are talented/dedicated.

  7. Jollyjo says:

    Collin deserves the highest of praise. I remember on the particular day he tried to make his entry for the Jollyjo John Chow Review Me contest. For some reason the contact feature on the site would not work ❓ but Collin was hardly affected.

    He kept trying and emailing until finally. He knew he wanted another feature on JC and nothing would stop him. His meticulous approach comes through in a well-organised, well-written, informative blog. If there was ever one likely to succeed I would definitely vote for Collin.

    Hearty congratulations indeed!

  8. @Mystery commentator – That is good advice for Collin – I think the suit can serve its purpose, but why not play up the age thing? Also, it is all about how you frame yourself, so I agree with turning the age thing into a positive, don’t begin by apologizing for your age, begin by bragging about it…

  9. Love the name and the design is very simple, yet sexy. From what I can see, the content is pretty good too.
    😈

  10. I thought we were past the age of worrying about who wears what. The guy is already making money; you can’t argue with success.

    1. While it is impressive that he’s made a fair amount of money, first impressions really can drive people away (or keep them). I agree that the picture isn’t very good. I’d change it.

      It’s pretty cool though what Collin has accomplished. Both WordHugger and rssHugger are innovative, and Mixed Market Arts offers some unique quality content – there’s some interesting ways to get links.

  11. Nice blog Colin and way to go on your success with it since only being around from Nov of 2007.

  12. well john chow just got you one new RSS subscriber thats for sure…

  13. Ryan says:

    I have just discovered your blog… let me just say… its great… i appreciate the ideas. 😛

  14. This is DAMN AWESOME! I am 13-year’s old 😳 and I have few bunch of ideas for future. I can’t imagine what will happen to me when I am 18 👿

    1. Within 2 days sense I’ve started my blog I managed to receive 200 visitors/day and 350 page views/day without paying a penny 🙄

      1. I don’t see an Adsense or PPC ads on your blog?

    2. With hard work and learning, there is no saying what you can do.

      1. David Chew says:

        And with good content does help you to gain more readers. :mrgreen:

  15. I know Technorati sucks, but why won’t they index my tags? I have a couple of blogs they index tags on, but on my Affiliate Confession they won’t even though it has a 92 authority. What’s up with that?

  16. Collin LaHay says:

    The tags at the bottom will be added later.

    I was doing a private case study to see if Alexa ranks more visitors if you use their widgets, rather than just toolbar impressions.

    I will let everyone know how my study goes.

  17. Steve says:

    I think he sold a bit too soon. Unless he wasn’t pulling in much revenue, I think it was a huge mistake to sell. Obviously, someone thinks it is worth at least $13k, thus I would have held out for a better offer or promoted the service a bit more and cashed out later down the road for a much larger “shoemoney-esque” pay check.

  18. Mike says:

    Great post. I am relatively new to the blog world having started my blog in November of 07. It is great to read about success stories like this.

    Myself I have tried two routes in building traffic. One is holding interviews with people of interest to my readers. Two is holding a promotion, my first being giving away an Ipod Nano. Both have helped me get a start I never really expected. It is great and I hope it continues.

    Whether I am able to capitalize on traffic and make money is secondary to getting to meet and network with new people.

    Mike
    Dropthemike.com

  19. limadang.com says:

    i think he know lots of things and i start to love his blog..nice design and layout too.

  20. Eva White says:

    Marketing is the key. You market yourself well and you have reached.

  21. David Chew says:

    He looks like earning a lot of money. 😀

  22. Katie says:

    Wow I’m so happy for him. Congrats to you Colin! 🙂

    ~Katie

  23. RacerX says:

    I thought is said…Mixed Marital Arts- refocusing a spouses negative energy back at them!
    😀

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