This month's report will be a little bit lean as I've been rather busy with a lot of other things besides niche marketing. Let's get straight to it then.
Penguin RecoveryLast month I recovered a site that suffered a penalty from the Google Penguin update. I set out to do it again and I'm pleased to say that I have seemed to repeat that process.
The second site that I actively worked on recovery is now back on page 1 at about the 4th spot or so. It hovers between positions 4-6 on any given day. The thing that is weird about this is that what is ranking are the site's tags and categories; things that I haven't built any links to and/or neglected to do so.
In this particular niche, I emulated the style of the top sites, so I went with a general press release submission as the primary focus. I found a guy on the TrafficPlanet forums that does this and so I tried it out. Some of the press releases are also ranking on page 1 and page 2, so I own more real estate so to speak.
Nonetheless, the behaviour is bizarre and I'm not sure why the tags are ranking. The site doesn't earn as much as it used to, but it's back in the black and I expect it to rise further. Again, not sure why this is happening.
Another strange thing is that I checked the PageRank of each individual page and the highest PR can be found on the contact page! I'm not even sure how I managed to do that. I suppose it just goes to show how useless PR is on your actual site as a metric that matters.
On another note, any other sites that have tanked at all were recreated on new domains that are more brandable and lend well to authority-style URLs if I choose to build up the site in the future. I suppose you could say that I treat the domain name as "disposable" if they are akin to "blahblahblahHQ.com" like the thousands of other crappy niche sites out there. So I'm picking better domains from now on and that means less exact match domains (EMDs) in my portfolio. In the grand scheme of things since EMD owners are easy to outrank anyway, and if you have the brandable domain I think you'll get the edge in the long run.
Ultimate Niche Finder
I did an Ultimate Niche Finder review and produced a series of 4 videos for it, going over the basic features and how I use it in my operation. I made a few sales with it, so I'm pretty happy about that. These are my first real affiliate sales ever, since most people know me as an AdSense guy.
I've replaced SECockpit with Ultimate Niche Finder as my first-line keyword research tool of choice for the time being. I am still cranking out niche sites, just not at the furious pace I was 5-6 months ago. So it makes sense to switch over for the cost savings and reduction in my overall expenses.
Key Activities in May 2012
I didn't really set many goals from last month's report. The primary focus was to see where the dust settled from the Penguin 1.0 and 1.1 updates. Regardless, I did keep up steady work on my Penguin Recovery case study, which seemed to be going well. I failed on creating my local SEO site and CPA website, but I ended up doing a review for my new keyword tool instead.
Total May Earnings: $1221.57 (-$306.48 from April)
- AdSense Earnings: $1095.25 (-$356.80 from April)
- Affiliate Earnings: $31.32 (+$31.32 from April, previously no earnings)
- Fiverr Earnings: $95 (+$19 from April)
I predicted that May would be a month with losses as a result from Google Penguin, so I wasn't surprised at the numbers. Losing that income sucks for sure, but it's better to lose a few fingers in order to save the whole hand. Especially since I have a better outlook on the future and what I should be doing to sustain my income levels.
My Fiverr gig continues to do well. I am apparently now a level 2 seller, whatever that means. Anyway, I am selling SEMRush reports for those who do not wish to subscribe to the tool on a monthly basis.
I get asked all sorts of questions from my gig that go WAY beyond what it's for. More along the lines of "What do you think we should do in this situation?" or "What strategy do you recommend for X, Y, and Z?" I should probably setup a new gig for that: Ask me anything and I'll tell you what I think for $5. LOL.
I did speak last month about two new opportunities that presented themselves to me. I talked about one last month regarding a local SEO client. His interest seems to have waned so I have relaxed off of that front for now.
The other opportunity has become a reality and will surface the next couple of weeks. Something that will fundamentally change the way I do things, which is probably deserving of its own blog post. So I've decided to leave that out of the scope of this report. Keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks.
New Automation Tool
As you may know I'm a fan of automation and outsourcing where possible to streamline the business. I've been testing all sorts of trials of various software tools lately that help with backlinking or managing my portfolio. Sadly most are abysmal when it comes to backlinking, but I've found one to be the "least bad" out of all them that I think might be worth the purchase. I'm currently testing it now, but if it's worth a review I'll be sure to do a more detailed post on it.
For the curious, the tool is called Ultimate Demon (UD). I first learned of it while taking a peak at Joseph Archibald's blog when he mentioned Backlinks Genie. I didn't like that tool, but started searching for alternatives and found UD.
I have a feeling that at the very least I can use it to replace Unique Article Wizard, but it does a whole lot more than that, which is why it interests me.
Goals for June 2012
Although less exciting, it's business for me as usual:
- I will reclaim my lost income through building new sites, building up current sites, or recovering old sites. This is in specific order of priority.
- I will once again shoot for $1200/month through AdSense-based sites.
June is a very busy month for me personally so I'm needing to set the bar pretty low (again). That new opportunity that I mentioned above is what is going to consume a lot of time and will be something that I need to focus on. Again, you'll be sure to hear about it in the coming weeks.
See you in a bit.