July 2012 Progress Report

| August 11, 2012 | 11 Comments

Sorry guys for the lateness on this one. I’ve been extremely busy lately and am working on multiple projects simultaneously. This progress report will be really short this time, and the format will be changing. This will be the last time I report my income for at least the next little while. July was a good month but since I am in the scaling up phase, I’m not going to have any extra income to speak of since it’s all going back into the business. Onto the updates.

Things I’ve Been Working On

My Custom Tool for Keyword Research

My preferred toolkit for niche marketing

My preferred toolkit for niche marketing. Photo by Steve Quinn.

I’ve been working on my own customized tool for doing keyword research using SEOmoz’s Keyword Research Difficulty Tool. I’ve automated half of the process and just need to figure out how to code the proper analysis piece, which is a bit tricky. I’m not using the API though; I am automating through the GUI. I’ve found that there is an upper limit of 300 keywords that you can process per day and SEOmoz won’t allow you to do more.

What I’ve done is to change my keyword research process, doing the first half all through Ultimate Niche Finder and manual “eyeball” analysis as I’ve always done. Next, I pump the resulting shortlist through my tool and then analyze it again to pick the keywords that will be my final choices. Almost like a sieve filter, I find that I’m able to weed out more duds up front, which helps in the long run since I won’t be building websites for them.

Creating New AdSense Sites

Website creation is back in full swing with a flurry of keyword research being done every day. I’ve invested heavily into new content, which has always been the bulk of my costs throughout my niche marketing “career”. By the end of the year I want to come to at least 100 sites that earn well enough to keep them on a permanent basis. Whatever duds I end up with often get thrown into my experimentation lab.

Also, by the end of the year I want my custom tools suite wrapped up so that I can launch sites much faster than I can right now. At the moment, I am electing not to use a VA and instead I’m focusing on refining my processes down to as much as a science as they can be. The reason for this is so that when I am able to do a fully-scalable operation, with virtual assistants and tools to help, that I’m not scaling up a process that doesn’t work properly or is inefficient.

My Private Network

I’m building my own private network and it is coming along rather nicely. Currently I have about 50 domains distributed amongst various hosts an IPs, and they are all in various stages of development right now. I’m having fun with this since I’m getting the opportunity to use my stylistic and creative templates for the sites that are much more graphically intense. I haven’t yet looked into TextLinkAds but I might do so in the future as that’s another revenue stream yet untapped.

Evaluating New WordPress Network Management Tools

I’ve come to a crossroads, which is causing me to look at my network management tool that I use currently:  ManageWP. My renewal is coming up in January or so and I’m starting to look at other tools that may possibly perform better or reduce my overall total cost of ownership. The tools that I’m looking at are:

These tools let you manage your WordPress sites en masse all from one central console. They are all either hosted or in some cases self-hosted. The last one on that list is the most interesting as it does a little bit more than what the previous three do. Also, it seems to be geared towards guys like me who need more advanced management. It looks promising, but I don’t want to call a winner yet. I’ll be doing a post on these tools to review on a high level why they might interest you.

Income Breakdown

Total July Earnings: $2199.94 (+$168.19 from June)

  • AdSense Earnings: $2176.57 (+$519.60 from June)
  • Affiliate Earnings: $23.37 (-$246.41 from June)

If you recall from last month I stopped doing my Fiverr gig and that’s why you don’t see it anymore. Also, there’s a big dip in affiliate earnings as I don’t really promote my major products (Ultimate Niche Finder and LinkAuthority) that much really. I prefer to let those ride for awhile and pick up affiliate earnings whenever they happen, because my focus is totally on scale at the moment.

I didn’t expect to earn that much actually. With Google Panda 3.9 though I got the benefit of having other people knocked out of the SERPs for me, so I gained a few rank increases here and there. I suppose that’s what caused the slight jump. Traditionally, Panda has never affected me. Only Penguin, and only once, but I recovered from that without any major issues. Really if you keep building sites these updates will be nothing more than a slight nuisance, and sometimes, a benefit.

Goals for August

I’m resurrecting the goals section of these posts to replace the income breakdown section. Basically I want hold myself accountable and keep tabs on what I’m up to, so I don’t lose focus on the end goals.

For August, I have a lot of personal commitments outside of both work and niche marketing, so I want to focus primarily on the following:

  • Linkbuild 5 sites using my private network. Ignore the type of linkbuilding done by competitors in the niche.

You can see that this is a drastic change from my adaptive strategy, which has worked really well for the past few months. For the past while I’ve always looked at link profiles to see whether or not I could replicate a similar setup to rank. This time, I’d like to go back to the generic strategy to see whether or not it’s better in terms of effort required.

In the long run though, I am never, ever going to do a 1-trick pony strategy. In my personal experience this will get your sites killed. The goal for August is simply to see how powerful the process is, because I can always build similar links that the competition has later. I randomly picked 5 of my new sites because that’s the amount I would be willing to lose for a time in case things go sour.

That’s it for July’s progress. See you in September!


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Category: Progress Reports

Comments (11)

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  1. amp says:

    Hi, thanks for the post. I’m quite surprised how despite your going to a more professional and robust shift towards a private network and “star topology” like network, your somehow still maintained from your previous (outdated?) type of niche network. Can I as are these sites the same from when you first started last year? how many do you have running solid and stable and are you going to link them with your new upcoming network? Thanks and looking forward to learn more.

    • Andre Garde says:

      Hi amp,

      I wouldn’t quite say that it’ll end up being a star topology as I don’t plan on interlinking. I want the end result to be a random, spaghetti-like mess, if that makes sense. I never had a serious private network before, just a test one. This will be the first time I used my own network. Although I don’t plan on linking to my current “stable” sites, which is just shy of 40% of my portfolio. The number keeps dropping because I add new sites and they take much longer to rank nowadays. Just going to try them on the 5 sites and see how it works, then mix it up going forward. A private network is an asset that can be used for other things than just linkbuilding for my own sites, so I’ll be looking to explore whatever opportunities come up.


      • amp says:

        Ah I see, that makes sense now. I also am in the stages of discovering sites and their authority over the coming months. I guess when it comes to building the ‘private’ network deal, it requires a bit of messing around with it to see what works best, thanks.

  2. Jason says:

    It’s becoming an inspirational story. Good luck on building your blog network. If you sell links publicly here, I may be interested if the niche is right (and the price).

    • Andre Garde says:

      Thanks, Jason. I actually hadn’t thought of selling links here. I’m not going to go that far until I see true benefit from links from my network.

      As far as inspiration goes, I think I’m really more about perspiration. Ha.

  3. Seth says:

    In reference to your private blog network …

    1. Which hosts have you decided to go with?
    2. How did you go about getting 50 unique IPs from the hosts you selected?


    • Andre Garde says:

      Hi Seth,

      Thanks for writing. To your questions:

      1. A combination of free and paid hosts that are extremely cheap. I searched free hosts from this list http://www.free-webhosts.com/free-mysql-database.php. Paid hosts I searched for ones that are about $0.50-$1.00/month.

      2. Not quite there yet. In order to secure the domains I divided them evenly into about 10 hosts, so I’m spreading them out more. It’ll take awhile but the migrations should be completed in a few days or so.

  4. bob says:

    I have a huge list of web 2.0 sites that are all, of course on different IP addresses and are free. You can have it if you like. Shoot me an email.

    I am starting a group that will be expressly for linking and the scheme will be based on page rank and 3 way linking. We will not be cross linking to each other but all putting in a certain number of links each to be available and then picking out sites in the group to link to.

    Right now it is just based on a forum, not on a automated system. People join, list their sites and find others in the same site category to link out to. It is all done manually. I’d be interested in knowing what you think of the idea.

    Not looking for a free advertisement here so I’m not posting the name or site url but I would like to have you join if you are interested. If you are not interested in joining the group I would like to tell you more about it and get your opinion on what you think of it.

    • Andre Garde says:

      Hi Bob,

      I won’t be participating myself but I’ll leave your comment up so that others can contact you if they wish to do so.

  5. Jon says:


    How have your sites been progressing lately. It looks like you are doing a lot of things right. Good luck!


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