Well February has come and gone and now we’re getting into the thick of things here in March. I’ve been really busy over the last few weeks, which has definitely taken me away from my posting schedule I was working on. One of my main goals for the year was to average 3 posts a week, so I’ve got a little catching up to do, but I do have some plans in the works for that.

Anyway, February was a good month overall. I had a rocky January but got back on track and things have been rolling along quite nicely. I spent a lot of time working on my main business and clients, but I still found time to get a lot of work done in my MMO endeavors.  I’m going to start with a recap of my overall 2010 goals, and February goals, then move into a rundown on my micro niche sites, and some plans that I’ve got on tap.

First the overall goals:

1. Reach $50/Day in AdSense Earnings

Moving along nicely on this. My overall February Adsense earnings were down about 10%, HOWEVER, my best performing site still pulls in a good percentage of my AdSense earnings. Because of the nature of the site, I get a very large amount of traffic starting on Christmas day, and continuing steadily through January. After that, the traffic and earnings tend to level out – so well I was actually really close to my $50/day goal for December and January, I already knew it would be more work because eventually earnings from my main site would level off.  The good news is, while my earnings leveled off from my main site in February, I brought my income from other sites up, and ended up still having a good month. I’m still a little way out on this goal, but moving forward steadily.

2. Reach $50/Day in EPN Earnings

Still have a steep climb ahead of me here – earnings were UP in February, but I’m hovering between $15 – $25/day right now.  Ironically, since my post early in February regarding the massive difference between EPN earnings and my actual earnings on that one particular day, my EPC did improve and I ended up doing better on the month than I did in January, and since then things seem to be relatively stable. I actually have come up with a few new ideas for my 100 EPN sites to basically take 1 last shot of trying to force my way out of the sandbox on some of these sites, I don’t know if it will work or not, but more on that later…

3. Reach $200/Month in Amazon Earnings

Still way off on this too. I haven’t really done much with Amazon so far this year. It’s on the backburner for now, and I fully plan on working heavily on this in the latter half of the year.

4. Lose 20 Pounds in the next 2 Months

Sadly, I only ended up losing about 10 pounds total. Still nothing to scoff at, but I didn’t have a great month in February. Starting in March, I’ve made some new changes that have been working well so far, so I expect to drop the second 10 pounds soon if I can keep it up. I’ve found that staying committed to exercising daily is really difficult just due to the fact that it takes a lot of time out of the day that I could be working. That being said, I realize how important it is and I’m hoping that I can get more on track with this now.

5. Complete a Web Development Project I’ve Been Planning for 6 Months

I actually got a ton of work done on the project in February, I’ll cover this in more detail below.

6. Get My E-Commerce Site into the Top 5 in Google for a Very Competitive Keyword I’ve Been Targeting

Made great progress on this one as well. I’m sitting in 8th place right now for a really competitive keyword, and I’ve got a lot more stuff on deck for this project throughout the month of March. I can’t say for sure, but it is possible I could crack the top 5 and cross this one off the list by the end of the month.

7. Double Daily Organic Traffic to My E-Commerce Site

This goes hand in hand with the above – my organic traffic has been way up – not quite double, but getting there. In turn, sales have also been way up so far in 2010 and there’s a bright future ahead.

8. 20 x New Micro Niche Sites

Done! Yes this one I fully completed, and I’m already starting to reap the results. This was probably one of the easier goals on the list, but nice to have something to cross off nontheless. More on this later as well.

9. Get a Really Nice Sound System Installed in My Lincoln Town Car

My lovely wife Nicole did have plans to get this all done for my birthday last week, but things kind of fell through and we had to put it off a week. The EXCELLENT news is that she is literally getting it installed as I am writing this, and this goal is as good as done. Big shot out to Nicole for making this one happen – I can’t wait to test it out.

10. Post at Least 156 New Posts on This Site

Was on a good pace in January but I fell behind badly around the middle of last month. It’s really hard to come up with stuff to post so frequently, especially in between all my regular day to day stuff, but I know I can do it. My plan, hopefully in April or May, is to come up with a 30 day blog post series where I will be posting an installment once every day for a month. I haven’t exactly figured out the details yet, but I think it’s something I’m going to try, and we’ll just have to see how it goes.

February Goals – Recap

Did pretty well on my overall goals, nothing amazing, but still made progress. Here’s a recap of my February-specific goals:

1.  Get at least two of the goals above completed

Well, sort of got this one done. I did get 20 new niche sites built. I was hoping #2 would be losing 20 pounds but I fell short on that one. I’m getting my new sound system installed today, so I will have 2 overall goals complete, but didn’t quite make it by the end of February. Either way, I set the bar fairly high and I think I did OK.

2. Use MNF to find 100 topics for automotive site

As I stated in a post a couple weeks ago, I actually decided to put this one on the shelf for now. I did find about 60 keywords, but I want to spend a lot more time preparing for this project because I don’t know that much about the automotive niche, and I don’t think I’m ready yet. Instead of doing this, I added and backlinked 15 new posts to a couple existing sites I’ve had sitting around doing nothing for over a year. Just completed this a week or two yet, so it’s too early to give a lot of numbers on it, but I’m glad I went this route for now.

3. Get SOMETHING done on my resort web design business

Yes, yes, yes, I finally did get this one going. In fact, I got a lot more done than I anticipated. What I actually ended up doing was sit down with a paper and pen and I wrote out an action plan for the project – which mainly consisted of the things that needed to get done, and a general timeline on when I would be completing them. By doing this I was able to make great progress – I made up a custom design for the site itself and fully coded it. The site is actually live right now at Resort Web Design, however I still have a lot of work to do on creating the templates.  I’m really happy with the way the design turned out, and I think this one will be a winner. I mainly just have to keep plugging and hopefully get some of the templates ready this month. I was originally hoping for an April launch, but I’m now thinking that May is much more realistic, and even that may be a stretch. Either way, it’s still progress.

4. Get 1 of my first 6 micro niche snipers ranked in the top 3 for its main keyword

Got this accomplished too – in fact, I’ve had several ranking in the top 3 and even 2 or 3 currently ranking #1. I haven’t gone through and checked them all out for a week or so now, but I definitely knocked out this one, and I hope to have a lot more ranking in the top 3 at the end of this month.

5. Accomplish 4 other low priority tasks

Got this done as well – the two sites I had sitting around that I decided to add new posts to in lieu of my plans with the Automotive site were two of the items on this list, and I also banged out 3 other things. In fact, I’ve pretty much gotten rid of my separate “low-priority” list and I’m mostly just working from one main list now. I’m really glad I decided to do this one.

Conclusion

Wow, I really can’t say enough how creating these monthly goals helped me out. I was able to fully complete pretty much all the goals, with the exception of changing my plans on the automotive site and missing the cutoff for goal #1 by about a week. Overall, I think it was a huge sucess, it motivated me to do some extra work I might not have done, and overall it’s helped me be more productive, so I definitely plan to keep it up.

March Goals

1. Create 20 more Micro Niche Sites

I haven’t started on this at all yet, so I know it’s going to be a real crunch to get it done, but it’s something I want to keep going with so I’m really going to give it my best shot.

2. Fully backlink at least 10 of the 25 micro niche sites I currently have

I’ve been working hard at this all through February into March. All the new sites I’ve been putting out I’ve been partially backlinking from the beginning. Now, I just need to go back and fully backlink ones that need a boost. I’ve got probably at least 75% of all the sites in the first 2 pages for their main keyword, and probably half of those are on the first page. Ultimately I want to see all of these sites ranking at least in the top 3. I don’t think it’s going to take an incredible amount of work, but it will take some time.

3. Change things up on 20 of my 100 EPN sites

Here’s the deal with this one. I read an interesting post in a forum a couple weeks ago from someone I would consider a reputable source – and in forums, I don’t consider that many people to be reputable sources – so just to give you an idea. Anyway, he basically said that sites using well known scritpts like BANs and PHPBay (he specifically named those 2) have a hard time with Google because they are scripts that are already known to G to be abused by spammers, so despite the quality of the content on the site, it’s very possible that just the presence of a PHPBay footprint could be enough to get a site penalized. Now – I’m not taking this to mean that any site running PHPBay is automatically screwed, because I know for a fact that it isn’t the case. But I have thought about it long and hard, and I definitely see some truth to the point. Not only that, but the fact that NONE of my micro niche snipers are sandboxed right now and many of them rank so effortlessly, it really makes me wonder if I would be better off removing PHPBay from my 100 EPN sites. SO to test it out, I’m going to take 20 of the sites – for 10 of them, I’m going to completely remove PHPBay and replace it with EPN widgets or RSS feeds, directly generated from their site. I’ve never done this before, but I think it’s worth a try at least. For the other 10 sites – I’m going to take 5 of them, remove PHPBay and replace it with Adsense. For the other 5, I’m just going to completely remove any kind of ads whatsoever.

It will be really interesting to see what happens. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing happened at all, but there is an off chance that something might work, in which case I can apply it to the rest of the sites. The only thing that sucks about it is I really like PHPBay a lot, and I would hate to not be able to use it. But if it means I’ll be able to get some of these 100 sites earning money soon, it would be well worth it. Truly, I wish I would have did it a few months ago, and even more, I wish I wouldn’t have used PHPBay on all 100 sites to begin with. I can’t take back those decisisons now, so all I can do is try to move forward and find something that works.

4. Lose the last 10 pounds

Since it’s already off my main list now because I attached a specific date to it, I want to make sure I fully complete that goal. One of the biggest changes I’ve made so far this month is trying to wake up earlier and stick to a rough daily schedule. I’m a really good sleeper, and I hate waking up early, but by waking up at 8:30 every morning instead of 9:30 every morning, which would probably still be considered “sleeping in” by many people’s standards, I can give myself a whole extra hour every day, pretty much for free – that I can use for exercising. My goal is to exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times per day for 4 days a week, and 1 time per day for 3 days per week. So far this month, I’ve been on schedule with waking up earlier and I haven’t missed a workout yet. It’s going to be hard to do it for a whole month, but hopefully after 30 days of doing it I will have made a habit. Also, I’ve been making sure to drink at least a gallon of water every day, which I think will help a lot.

5. Average $5/day AdSense from my micro niche snipers by the end of the month

I will have a lot more on this one soon, but basically, without generating any reports right this second, I believe I’m averaging between $2-$3/day with my micro niche sites over the last two weeks – good considering I just finished out the last of my 20 sites last week, so most of that income is coming from the first batch of sites.  Really, I think I could do nothing to these sites for the rest of the month and I would be averaging $5/day by the last week of March, but especially by creating 20 new sites, I believe I will easily be able to hit this goal. I just don’t want to aim too high and be dissapointed. Hopefully my April goal will be at least $10/day, maybe more.

Final Thoughts

February went really well overall, and I’m making good progress on all my goals. I’m planning to work on updating my EPN sites right away, so hopefully I will have some news on that soon. I haven’t even begun to order content yet for my next 20 micro niche sites yet, so they will probably not factor into anything much this month, as I probably won’t have any of them live until at least the 20th. For now, I’m going to keep plugging away on backlinking the existing ones and trying to ramp up those earnings. Based on what happens this month, I’ll decide if I should scale it up even larger or move on to something else. I still really want to work on some authority-type adsense sites, but if there’s a lot of money to be made with these micro niche sites, I want to see it through to the end. So far, the earnings have been great – I was going to actually post a screeshot from February, but I think I’ll save it for my next post, which should be coming in the next couple days.

Speaking of upcoming posts – here’s a real quick rundown of what I have in mind – first, an update on my micro niche snipers, then I want to conclude the “case study” on them that I started in December. I kind of turned the case study into something more by continuing to add new sites, and got away from the actual case study aspects. I want to bring that part of this whole thing to a close and share some of my findings. I am hoping to have a new post up by Monday, Tuesday at the latest.

4 other low priority t

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