Well, I’m back out of hiding – for now at least. I’ve been getting a lot of feedback so I thought I would make a post to update everyone on what’s happened since I left off in March.
First off, I obviously haven’t posted much in a while. The main reason for that is I pretty much got burned out shortly after I made my last post. I was really working in overdrive from about last August up until March and I think it finally just caught up with me. I needed to take a little time to chill out and relax a little bit, and that’s largely what I did. It came at a bad time considering I just had a breakthrough with my EPN sites, but overall I think a little R&R will make me more productive in the months ahead. I don’t quite feel back to normal yet, but I’m just about back to 100% and I’ve been a lot more productive over the last week or so.
Anyway, now for the updates…
100 EPN Sites
Obviously a ton has happened with this. I made the switch on all 100 sites, removing PHPBay from every last one in favor of EPN widgets. This in itself took me a long time, and was probably part of the catalyst for getting burned out. Anyway, much as I saw with my original test group, pretty much all 100 sites returned to the SERPS for their targeted keywords once they were indexed and PHPBay was no longer part of the site. In many cases the sites returned within the first 2 pages of SERPS, so this was definitely a great boost. Regardless, I’ll still have to do quite a bit of SEO work on each and every site in order to bring them all to full fruition.
I’m afraid I was initially too quick to judge PHPBay. I recently ran an additional test… On one of my sites that I had removed PHPBay from and saw it returned to a #2 ranking for its main keyword, I decided to try removing the EPN widgets and replacing them with a regular ebay RSS feed. As soon as the site was spidered, it dropped from #2 to not being in the top 200 results. I replaced the EPN widgets and the site returned to its #2 ranking again. This tells me that the problem was not related to PHPBay, but rather RSS feeds. The reason I can really think of why this would happen would be as a result of adding all the additional content from the feed to a page already targeted towards specific keywords.
Results wise, my EPN earnings were up about 30% or so last month, from the previous month, and many of the sites were not indexed and didn’t begin ranking again until well after the 15th of March, so overall I’m pretty happy with the results. This month, I’m on track for about another 30% increase over last month, so that is definitely encouraging since I haven’t touched any of the sites since I replaced the code last month.
Micro Niche Snipers
I’ve got a total of 25 of these, most of which were set up between January and February of this year. For the month of March, these sites earned me just about $130 total. I figure that they costed me about $35/each to deploy, so I’ve already paid for a good chunk of them, which is making this look like a pretty decent investment so far. As it stands now, I don’t believe I’m going to top $130 this month – I might reach it again, or fall slightly short, which is still good. I haven’t done any additional promotion on any of these sites since they were deployed – save for maybe a couple of the first ones I built at the end of 09. Overall, this has gone well, but I still haven’t decided where I’m going to go with it. I have to decide between building more sites like it, or focusing on maximizing this first group. I’m leaning towards the latter right now.
One of the things that really pissed me off over the last month was a problem I had with JustHost. I originally created an account with JustHost because I found a coupon that gave me the entire first year of hosting free. In retrospect, I wish I would have just paid for a hosting account with a reputable host instead. I’m not going to get too far into the specifics, but basically their setup is poorly run, their customer service is ignorant and extremely unhelpful, and they seem to actually be proactively looking for ways to cancel people’s hosting accounts. The long and short of it is, I had between 20-30 small sites hosted there, and my account was cancelled, leaving me to deal with the hassle of moving all these sites elsewhere. Based on this, JustHost is offically on my shit list, and I absolutely do not recommend them under any circumstances.
As a result of all this, I’m going to be taking all the sites from my JustHost account and completely redoing them as static HTML. The great thing about static HTML sites is that they’re super portable and require basically no maintenance. This means, there’s very little to worry about in terms of getting jerked around by a host, or security issues. Of course there are negatives as well – the main thing being that by using wordpress as a platform, you greatly increase the number of pages in each site. For example, if done correctly, 5 posts can turn in to 20 – 50 pages worth of indexable stuff for search engines. Also, the ease of installing wordpress and setting up sites is something I’ve really grown to like. Regardless, I’m going to be creating a handful of static niche site templates – from scratch – and design them to be super easy to set up and deploy. I’m going to test on this batch of sites, and based on the results decide how to move forward. One thing I know for sure, at least for now, I really don’t want to set up another huge quantity of WordPress sites that I have to worry about managing. Maybe that will change in the future, but for now I’m not interested.
Plans Moving Forward
So obviously I trashed all my March plans, for the most part, and haven’t really done much in the way of MMO at all for the last 4 weeks or so. Now I’m getting back into the swing of things, and I do have some plans.
The first of which is to set up the sites I mentioned above on new hosting as static HTML. I hope to have that completed by mid-next week.
Second – I’m going to choose a handful of my EPN sites that seem to have the highest potential in terms of earnings, and send a ton of links to them. Also, after another month of data, or so, I’m going to have to start looking at the effectiveness of the EPN widgets in terms of conversions. I want to have a good amount of data before I do so, and I want to have a good chunk of these sites performing close to full potential to get a really good idea.
Third – I’ve got plans for at least 2-3 new large sites. I really want to work on developing some quality flagship sites – I have a couple right now, and I feel like I should be working more on this. I think they’re the best bet long term, and it’s much easier to manage 1 x 100 page site than 100 niche sites, so if I can master building large sites like I have with niche sites, I’ll be in great shape and probably be creating less overall work for myself.
That’s basically it. I’m hoping to start posting more frequently here, and please keep the questions and comments coming.