It’s been another wild month here, and I haven’t posted in quite a while, but things are starting to move along real smoothly again. I think taking a step back from everything in March and taking some time to evaluate things really did me a lot of good, and I’ve been making progress across the board for the last 4-6 weeks.
As far as my niche sites go, I finally got just about all of my domains that were hosted with JustHost moved to new hosting and rebuilt as static HTML. It took me quite a bit of time to do it, and it will probably be a while before they are re-crawled fully and return to where they were previously at, but it feels good to have that done. I haven’t built any new niche sites since March, and I don’t have any plans to do so in the near future. I really want to focus in on maximizing the potential of what I’ve currently got in my portfolio, weed out the junk, and then move forward on bigger projects.
The first way I plan to do this is by taking a hard look at my AdSense snipers. Right now I’ve got about 25 that I set up over the last 6 months. Overall the project was a huge success and I’m really close to meeting my short term goal of $50/day in AdSense. That being said, there are pretty clearly some sites in the group that are performing a lot better than others. My plan for managing this is to take one of my well performing sites each month and build it out – meaning, add more content – posts and pictures, spend some time building out a good looking theme, and just generally transform the site from a basic “sniper” into a good looking, good quality site. This might result in some short term loss in earnings, but I think in the long run I will get a lot more out of these sites, and I don’t have to worry about having a portfolio of Junk tied to my AdSense. I think what I have right now is ok overall, but I want my operations to be as white-hat as possible.
On the flip side, I also want to take at least 1-2 of my low-performance snipers each month and transform them as well. Traffic isn’t necessarily the issue with these sites – in many cases, I just don’t know if adsense is the best way to monitize for them. So I will give the site a makeover, possibly add some more content, and then swap out AdSense for Amazon, promoting very specific products, and see what kind of results I get.
If everything goes according to plan with this, I should end up transforming this whole batch of snipers into good quality sites that should perform over the long term using either Amazon or Adsense. Like I said, I’ve only got about 25 of these, so it shouldn’t take that long to fully complete this project if I stick to my timeline.
That’s the AdSense snipers. As far as my EPN sites go, I can see I need to do some work here as well. First and foremost, my EPN earnings have been up quite a bit overall since March, so I’m happy about that, but my earnings specifically from my 100 EPN sites are still pretty lackluster. One issue is traffic. One of the things I’ve noticed really quickly, is that when I removed PHPBay from these sites and they were re-crawled and appeared to start ranking normally again, the sites that began ranking the best, by far were the ones with exact match domains. For example redwidgets.org ranks FAR easier than redwidgetsguide.com. Adding the random extra word into the domain definitely appears to make a huge difference, and I have a pretty even mix of domains like that, and EMDs. So I will obviously have to do a lot more linking if I want to fully maximize the potential of a lot of these sites. I’ve also noticed that out of the chunk of these sites that are getting a lot of clicks and impressions, in many cases, the amount of actual bids and winning bids is pretty low. I have a couple sites that are performing pretty well, but I have quite a few that have a good click to impression ratio, and very few, or no bids at all. This tells me that either: A. The EPN widgets aren’t as effective for generating winning bids as PHPBay was, or B. EPN isn’t the right monitization method for the site. At this point, I’m honestly not sure which is the case. I’m not in a huge rush on these sites, so I definitely want to continue gathering data, but at the same time, I am also planning to switch a couple of these sites that are getting good traffic but no sales over to Amazon to see if pushing specific products leads to higher conversion rates. Overall, I’m OK with the progress on these sites and my earnings are up so I’m not complaining. I’m only a few months away from the 1 year anniversary of the sites, so that may help with rankings as well. We’ll just have to see.
As far as MMO goes, the main thing I focused on this month other than restoring my former JustHost sites, was finding a really good quality domain name to build an authority site on. I spent a ton of time on this throughout the month, and April as well – in fact, I spent a lot more time on it than I ever expected to. The good news is, I finally got a nice domain about a week ago that I can get cracking on. I won’t go into huge detail, but it’s a good .com domain name with 2 nice, general keywords for specific niches, 9 years old, DMOZ listed and has a decent backlink profile. I lost a lot of auctions for other domains I really liked, but overall I’m pretty happy with this one that I ended up with.
Instead of doing the keyword research via Micro Niche Finder, I decided to use Niche Refinery for this project, and I’m going to try to follow the TKA method for building “supersites”. I’m pretty sure this is a foolproof method, I’ll be targeting keywords with much bigger potential, and overall I think my earning potential will be a lot better with this site as long as I see it through to fruition.
So right now I’ve got 1000 csv’s processing in Niche Refinery and within another day or two (hopefully) I should have a huge batch of keywords ready to target. Once I’ve got the keywords, I’m going to get a massive amount of articles written to go on the site, and additional articles to use as backlinks for each post. I’m really planning to pull out all the stops on this project – I’m going to spend a lot of time making sure I’ve got a really nice looking, unique theme, I’m going to try to add pictures to every post, and I may even try to work in a fair amount of videos as well. I ultimately want this site to be an authority and be able to dominate this particular niche, and I think focusing on that, rather than focusing on getting AdSense clicks right away is going to lead to much more long term success.
So for this month, I want to have at least 20 posts fully backlinked on the site, possibly more. I plan on working almost soley on this project all summer and I’m really committed to learning how to do this right, and making it a winner. If I can learn to build up these authority sites as well as I can now build niche sites, I think I’ll have a clear path to a huge long term passive income. Plus, I’ll be able to gradually whittle down the amount of small websites in my portfolio so I’ll have a lot less to manage overall.
In general, I’m really excited about this project and I’m putting my best effort forth. I’ve been looking for a good domain name since about March because I wanted to have one that would be good enough for me to put my best effort behind. Now that I’ve finally found it, it’s time to really get to work on the project this month. If all goes well, I feel like I should have a good idea whether this project will be a success within hopefully the next 3 months. Then I can think about maybe starting another large site, and if I’m confident in my ability, I will probably spend a lot more on the domain name, as I think getting a good domain is a critical part of this process.
In addition, I’ve got a really large aged sites that I’ve had forever that makes between 0 – $5/day in AdSense. Nothing to scoff at, but considering the age of the site, traffic, and quality of the content, I think it’s performing way under potential. My plan to ramp up the earnings on this site is to do 2 things.
1. I’m going to take one of the pages on the site that is currently getting very high traffic and add a ton of content to it, as well as promote an Amazon product specific to the content on that page. I think if a page is getting 20-30 visits a day minimum for a very specific keyword, I can be making a lot more than what I currently make with AdSense on that page, so I’m really going to try to make the page even more informative, and push a specific product through Amazon. If this is successful, I shouldn’t even need that high of a conversion rate to double what the SITE is making daily now, so I really think this will be a good approach.
2. I’m going to take another page from the site that isn’t necessarily getting a lot of traffic right now, but clearly targets a specific type of product. I’m going to again add a ton more content to the page – probably enough so I’ll end up with upwards of 2500 words at least including some pictures and videos as well. Then I’m going to again promote some specific Amazon products, and last, I’ll start sending links to that page. I’m hoping that vastly increasing the amount of words/content on the page will help me rank it easier, and that promoting specific Amazon products will ultimately help me make a lot more money off this site in general.
I plan to have all this work done early here in June, and hopefully I’ll have some nice results to share sometime later this month or early next month. This approach is a lot different than what I’ve been doing previously, but I think it’s kind of a no-brainer if you really think about it.
That’s basically all my MMO plans for the near future.
I also mentioned in last month’s recap that I was thinking about trying Bookmarking Demon. I did finally pull the trigger, and I started working with it about halfway through the month. This is something I was originally going to do last fall, but I read a ton of negative reviews of version 5, and I decided to go with Bookmark Wiz instead, which I’ve not really mentioned here because I don’t really use it. I’m actually glad I finally changed my mind about BMD, because so far I really like it. The big downside with this program is that there is a HUGE learning curve. It took me at least a week of working with it before I felt like I had any idea at all what the hell I was doing. Finally, I now do feel like I have a pretty good grasp on it, and I’m pretty happy with the results so far. It is a little time consuming, but it does get the job done. At the moment, I’m strictly using it to bookmark my existing backlinks – NOT for bookmarking my main sites. I think it will probably take a while before I can see the full results, but if it succeeds in getting my backlinks all indexed and juiced up, I’ll be extremely happy. I’m going to hold out on fully endorsing it for now and it may be another month or two at least before I can give a fair evaluation, but at the moment I will say things are looking good so far. I also own Blog Comment Demon and I decided to blow the dust off that and start using it as well. I have no idea whether it will help much or not, but we shall see. I might start looking into a good solution for directory submissions. I used to do a lot of directory submissions via an offshore company, but I’d like to find something easier and possibly automatic for that.
That’s pretty much my recap for May. I’ve made a lot of changes, but I really feel like I’m on the right path now, and even though it’s going to be harder work and the money isn’t going to be as easy right away, for the long term, I think I’ve finally got the roadmap for success down, and it’s now just a matter of doing the work and staying committed. I’m hoping my supersite project goes well so that I’ll have a lot of new information to share about building, managing and linking strategies. Only time will tell…