Well August has come and gone very quickly. When I first planned out this challenge, I didn’t remotely expect it to be this difficult. I’ve been building niche sites for a long time, and working with WordPress is what I do for a living, so a lot of it comes natural. What I wasn’t ready for was the extreme amount of work it takes to make sure each site gets done correctly.
When I say “correctly”, I really mean it. I’ve painstakingly made sure to follow the same procedure in adding the right amount of tags, setting up everything in the proper order, using unique themes on every site, making sure my phpbay tags on every single page of all 100 sites are showing the best possible ads they can be. For example, if I’m selling purple widgets, and I’ve got an article talking about random name brand purple widgets, I don’t just want to put “purple widgets” into my phpbay tag, I want to put the exact brand of purple widgets I’m talking about in that PARAGRAPH into my phpbay tag so that relevant ads will show to my visitors and I’ll get clicks. So far I know it’s working because I have a modest amount of traffic and I’m getting a nice number of clicks. Another example is the themes – I’ve gone into every single theme and removed the date from every possible template. I also make sure to change the h2 tags to h1 tags, if it requires changing the stylesheet, I do that, sometimes I even have to switch themes altogether after spending 20 minutes customizing one because it doesn’t look right. I’ve treated every site the same way and haven’t rushed any through at all, so the end result is going to be that much sweeter…
How I did…
When I last posted a few days ago, I was heading into the weekend fired up and ready to knock out all 100 sites before the end of the month. I had just finished an intense week of working on this project and really wanted to see it through. Unfortunately, I’m disappointed to say that I didn’t fully complete all 100 sites. It took me a little longer than expected to get sites 40-60 completed, and all the content was not completed and back to me by Monday as I was expecting – in fact I just received the last bit of it today, so no matter if I would have stayed up all weekend long, it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway because that last bit of content wasn’t ready – which was really my own fault for putting off the keyword research for too long, and not doing it all up front like I should have. Right now I’m sitting at about 75 complete and the rest should be done by the end of the week. All in all, not a bad performance. When it all boils down, it doesn’t really matter if I complete all 100 sites in 30 days or 40 days. What’s really important is that in setting the bar high for myself, in the form of this challenge, I’ve been able to squeeze in a lot more work on my MMO projects than I normally would throughout the course of a typical 30 day period.
So while normally, if I would have pumped out 10 new sites in a month, I would have considered it a success – and way above average performance, in the span of 40 days between Aug 1 – and the end of this week I will have completed 100 high quality, solidly constructed niche sites.
The combination of setting a goal + proper planning + extremely hard work, is one of the biggest secrets to making money online. I’ve been at this for over 2 years now and I learn something new every day. I’ve had a lot of success in the past year simply because of the amount of trial and error I’ve put in. I’ve done everything from affiliate marketing via PPC to buying existing sites off of digital point. In regards to SEO and link building, I’ve really tried everything. My main problem in the past was I was always looking for easy money, or easy links, and wasted too much time throwing different shit at the wall to see what would stick. Prime example – nearly 2 years ago, I first discovered the Buy/Sell/Trade room on Digital Point forums. Within the first 2 days I made my first purchase – a keyword rich .com domain name for $7.00. I slapped it online and put up about 30 posts with youtube videos related to the topic. Within 1 month I was making $50/month off the site via AdSense off the site with no additional promotion. Within 3 months, I was making $10/day. To this day it has been one of my most successful sites, and earns me hundreds – if not thousands of dollars each month. The downside to this story is that I spent the next year trolling the DP forums trying to find another “gem”. I’ve bought quite a few websites and domains, most have been complete shit, with a handful of really steady earners. I definitely haven’t lost money on the deal – in fact I’ve probably made quite a bit, but the point is I wasted a ton of time looking around in a forum sifting through peoples shit sites for sale, when I could have been making my own sites and building links. In reality, nobody is going to sell a quality site on Digital Point unless they have no clue what they’re doing, so while it’s possible to find good deals on there, and I definitely have, it’s a total waste of time because for every diamond in the rough, you have to sift through 100,000 awful sites.
Everything changed for me back in June when I discovered The Keyword Academy. I’m not going to go into a long sales pitch, but to make a long story short – the keyword research and link building methods they teach are excellent, but the main thing I’ve gotten out of it is organization, planning, focus and hard work. I completed the 100 hub page in 30 days challenge back in June, and I saw immediate results from that. TKA doesn’t teach anything regarding using EPN really, so I created this challenge to myself based on my own past experience with EPN.
Over the last 3 months, my perspective on making money online has completely changed. I’ve learned that while there are definitely a lot of ways to skirt the system and make quick money, they will never last. My focus now is on creating quality web properties that I will have for a long period of time, and will continue to get better and better with age. I also want to have as diverse a portfolio as possible – these 100 EPN sites will probably be the last new EPN sites I make for a long time. Once they are properly backlinked I can probably make an easy full time income off them. Now that I’ve got them up, I’m going to be focusing hard over the next several months on getting them properly backlinked so that they will rank where they should be ranking and realize their full potential. I look back on a lot of the sites I had deindexed and think about how much money I was making off of them, and the sad thing is, a lot of them never even came close to capturing top rankings for their keywords and reaching full potential, so I’m going to make sure I do things right this time.
So here’s my strategy for the future…
At the end of this week I will have all 100 of my sites up. At that point, I’m going to focus on nothing but building links to those sites. I’m going to start out, like I did with the first part of the challenge, spending a lot of time planning everything out. I’ve got 100 sites, and I don’t plan to use the same link building roadmap for all 100. I’m going to split things up – probably in groups of 20, and take a different approach with each group, to see what gets the best/quickest results. I’ve already started link building for the first 20 sites I got up – I submitted them to social bookmarking sites, directories, and started Ezines for a couple. I’ll plan out a different course of action with the remaining 80 sites, which I haven’t really done any promotion on at all at this point. So hopefully in 2-3 months, I should have a lot of these sites close to full potential, and also gain a ton of knowledge of what kind of promotion techniques are most effective for this kind of site, as well as an intimate knowledge of the 100 different niches I’ll be working in.
I know this is going to work because I’m already making money off the first 20 sites. I completed them around the 7th or 8th of August and made about $40.00 total off them for the month. Not bad as far as I’m concerned. Some of the newer sites I have are even better keywords, and I’m already ranking on the first page for a few of them, with a nice number of clicks – and this is with 0 promotion. The only variables are how long it takes to get the majority of these sites ranking, and how ebays new EPC model works out. I’m cautiously optimistic about both things.
I’ll also be sending links via Hubs, Infobarrels and other 2.0’s during this process which should also net me some extra earnings, as you can never have too many hubs or IBs. I’ve got a lot of hubs right now, but much fewer infobarrels and I’ve found that the IBs are getting a MUCH higher CTR and earning me a nice chunk of Adsense, so I am really looking forward to expanding in that area.
Based on how well I do in the next 2 months or so with these sites, I’m going to probably start a new challenge – I really would like to do 100 adsense sites in 30 days. After that I will probably never do 100 sites in 30 days ever again… Unless I decided to try Amazon. But in all seriousness, I want to get a good amount of these built up and working for me as soon as possible, then hopefully get to a point where I’m maybe putting out 20-50 new sites per month – because I’ll be able to dedicate more time to MMO at that point. I’ve also got a ton of aged domains that I want to breathe some new life into and start attacking more competitive niches.
The main point is, from now on I’m going to approach everything I do with a well thought out plan. I’m probably going to spend a couple days working on mapping out my link building strategy for my 100 EPN sites before I take much more action on it – as much as I’m dying to get them producing right away. I know this will help me stay on task and squeeze the most out of these sites.
So while I didn’t fully complete my 100 sites in August, I’m only going to spill over by 5-10 days, and I will have 100 new sites up already making money… So overall I’m extrememly pleased and I can’t wait to get busy building links like crazy this fall so I can really explode my income and roll it back into making even more money.
Look for more updates soon as I continue to progress, I hope to have a lot of cool findings to share.