Monthly Round-up: February 2012

The second month of the new year is now over and after a disappointing January last month I was hoping for a bit of a turn around and to start heading back to where I was in 2011.

Unfortunately this was not to be and February 2012 started off in the same fashion as the previous month in terms of sales.

Beginning of the End or a New Beginning?

Now that the month is over and the results are in it looks like January wasn’t a blip and this is how it is now for me in regards to earnings from my current crop of sites as they stand. My earnings for 2012 are just under 50% down on my average earnings for 2011 and take me back to well over a year in terms of level of income. This sucks big time but I guess its the price I have to pay for taking my eyes off the ball for a good 5-6 months while life got busy for a while.

I’ve learned the hard way that this isn’t passive income!

So where do I go from here? Is it the end of my time in affiliate marketing, should I try and shore up my sites and attempt to get them ranking again or do I take a new approach? I don’t have the time or money to try and fix all my sites and I don’t feel entirely like giving up just yet so I guess its time to change things up a bit. I will try and salvage my top five sites and leave the rest for now. Even if they drop even further in the SERPS they might just benefit from some ageing of the domains.

Battle Plan

I’m going to add new content to my top five sites and do some link building for the new and old content on them. Then I’m going to look at starting some new sites that have been better keyword researched and have the potential to earn money all year round and at a higher level than my existing sites which even when they were at number one never brought in big bucks. Starting new sites might seem like a bit of a bad idea when I’ve already got loads that need attention but I feel like a new direction or beginning is needed.

10 Sites Making £200 Per Month Each

In a previous post I asked what does a £400 / $630 a month site look like. I never found the answer to that question but I have set my sights a bit lower and my mission for 2012 is to build 10 sites that make £200 per month each. Five of those are likely to be existing sites and five might be new ones or perhaps existing sites once I’ve had a look at what I’ve got and taken stock. I’m going to be strict with myself and only focus on these 10 sites. It is going to be hard but I’m really determined to get my earnings up to £2000 per month as soon as possible. I’m not sure if these sites will be product sites, adsense sites or what but I will decide before the end of March and then start in April. Whatever I decide they will have a fair amount of content rather than trying to get by on the minimum.

Starting in April should give me at least six months to get them up and running and earning £200 each. Too ambitious? What do you think?

Link Building in February

I’ve been using Unique Article Wizard for a few months now and had hired someone from Odesk to write articles to submit into the service for me. This was costing me about $4 per submission which was on top of the $67 per month I was paying for UAW. Each submission tends to get accepted to about 100-120 sites and each submission can have two backlinks in. I normally link to two different sites from each article. This was working out fairly expensive and was taking quite a long time to get the articles done and into UAW. The VA was doing about five a week which isn’t really enough in my opinion. So after looking around for a better way I stumbled onto a service called Article Builder.

Article Builder

This service, from the people who made The Best Spinner, basically builds articles for you from a range of niches and topics that you can then submit into services like Article Ranks and Unique Article Wizard. Someone was kind enough to let me have a go on their account and I quickly discovered I could generate and then submit an article into UAW in a matter of minutes. Although this service is $300 / £180 per year I think it will save me loads of time and cost in terms of hiring someone to write the content for me.

I’ve not yet signed up as am very skint this month but am probably going to do so this week.

If anyone knows of any discounts for this service floating around let me know please!

Unique Article Wizard on Steroids!

As I said I was previously paying someone to write and submit articles into UAW at a rate of five per week. If this was for one site it might be ok but with the amount of sites I have and the fact I was linking to Web 2.0s that link to my main sites as well as linking directly to the money sites with UAW it wasn’t really time or cost effective.

But after trying Article Builder I was able to really hammer UAW and could do 10 submissions in minutes. With each submission pointing to two Web 2.0 sites I could really start to power-up some one of my tier 1 and 2 satellite sites as well as doing lots of deep linking to inner pages on my money sites.

I’m going to keep this up for a month and see if it helps but people are still reporting good results from UAW so I’m going to keep the faith for a bit longer.

Going back to Article Ranks

Now that I have content on tap I decided to give Article Ranks another try. I signed up a while a go and used it for a bit but not consistently as I didn’t have the content to submit into it. Now that I have access to Article Builder I can simply generate a spun article and then paste it into Article Ranks. I still have to add my URL into the body of the article but that isn’t too much of a hassle. Article Ranks seems to only submit your articles to a few sites but they seem to be better quality than the UAW ones. I will give this a try for a while alongside UAW and see how that goes.

New Service: Link Authority

I wrote about my experiences and testing using this new-ish backlinking tool earlier in February. I tested it on one site and saw good results quickly so rolled it out to a few of my other sites. Link Authority works like Build My Rank in that you write a 150 word article and then submit it to one site (of their choosing) and get one backlink to your site from a website which has a Google page rank of two or higher. This is quite time consuming as you have to write the 150 articles or pay someone else to do it. The results seem worth the hassle and with prices starting from as low as $12 per month it is definitely worth a try. I’m currently trying out a few writers on Odesk who can write the 150 word articles for $0.50 per article so that will save me some time. Unfortunately the content from Article Builder isn’t unique enough for this system.

Backlink Banzai

I’ve read quite a few good reviews of service that is new to me called Backlink Banzai. It seems totally hands off and is $67 a month which is quite a lot but if it can get just one of my sites ranking well then it will easily pay for itself. I am really tempted to give it a try but just don’t have £45 spare to try it when I’m not sure it works or not. Has anyone tried it or heard anything about it? People say their website looks hideous but I rather like it!

On the Hunt For PR Domains

Both Link Authority and Article Ranks allow you to submit your own websites into their network and by doing so you earn credits so that you can use their services without paying money. So this month I will be looking to buy a few cheap domains with page rank that I can do just that with. I can use the content from Article Builder to beef up the domains. Article Builder has a function that allows it to post directly to a website so I can set them up on auto pilot which should be interesting. I’ve read quite a few people are doing this with their Made for Adsense sites. If anyone knows where I can find some PR2+ domains from let me know please.

My Adsense Sites

Speaking of Adsnese I now have about 15 of those micro niche Adsense sites that people like Spencer from Niche Pursuits make. They are finally starting to rank now and are getting a few clicks but none are on page one yet so it is early days. I hope this model works out for me as these sites are easy to totally outsource and could be very hands off. If so they could be a great way to get some extra money coming despite my lack of time.

Affiliate Earnings for February

I think that about covers it (in 1500 words)! As I said this was another poor month much like January 2012.

My earnings for February 2012 were £718 / $1136

Sad but true! This blog made £20 which was the most its made for a long time but the rest came from my niche product sites. Like last month this doesn’t cover my daily living expenses for the month let alone give me anything to re-invest. Luckily I get paid a few months in arrears from Amazon and Awin so I’ve got a bit of breathing space. Also I have been informed by the powers that be that if I don’t get things back on track and bringing in £2000 by around August time I will have to get a full time job again. It seems whenever I give up my day job things go wrong and I end up dropping my income and then being forced back into work.

I’m really hoping that it doesn’t come to that again as I don’t think I could bare it!

How was your February?

Tools I used this month:

16 thoughts on “Monthly Round-up: February 2012

  1. Gary

    Why focus on 10 sites that may earn 200 each, why not focus on fewer that could potentially earn £1-2k each per month?

    Think bigger in terms of potential, but try be realistic on what you can afford and build on that and reinvest as much as you can to grow

    Good luck Joe
    Gary

  2. Joe

    @Gary: sounds good but to be honest I wouldn’t know where to begin when it came to making a site that makes £1000 per month, let a lone a few of them! I’m not that confident in my skills to put all that time and effort into a site that big in case it doesn’t pay off.

    Unless you’ve got any pointers? ;-)

  3. Jason

    Joe,

    I’m finding too that with the tools and scheduling, it’s possible to concentrate on one site a few days and have a at least a couple months of backlinking laid out. Then move to the next site. It seems this is what Spencer is doing as he does 3 UAW and 3 MAN and that’s it. Then after a while, maybe comes back for another round. With ArticleBuilder, you can export already spun content or are you spinning the article you export from the system?

    I may be purchasing as well. I tried finding an affiliate program for it, but there doesn’t appear to be one. If there’s access to one once you purchase, let know me. I would love to support your site through that if I decide to purchase.
    Jason recently posted..Unique Article Wizard – Case Study

  4. Ben Norman

    Hi, interesting stuff. You’re certainly further down the line than me when it come to making money on the internet, I’ve subscribed in order to steal some of your ideas!

    Have you considered other options, such as building sites which offer a functionality or service, as well as just information in article form? That’s the route I’m currently looking at but I’ve no idea how successful it will be, interested to hear your experiences.

  5. Joe

    Hi Ben. I think offering a service is the way to go. If you can give your visitors something of real value they will spread the word and keep coming back. I guess that is the dream any ways. Just a lot hard to do than simple articles. If I had more time I’d do the course over at Niche Video Tycoon as it sounds really good and something not many people are doing.

    Good luck with your projects, going to have a look at your blog now.

  6. Joe

    Hi Jason. Yes, I am doing something similar re scheduling. I am doing about 5-10 submission into UAW at one time for a site but setting the post rate to about 5 per day. That means they should run for about 20 days and still get about 25-50 posts per day. Could even lower it to 3 per day and draw it out for a month.

    If I was confident that UAW actually worked then I would do this for all my sites but not sure if it would really be that effective.

    But with Link Authority in there too which you can also schedule you could submit articles into that to get posted at a rate of one or two a day for a month. But Link Authority articles need to be totally unique so would take more work.

    With Article Builder you can generate the super spun articles in spin tax but so far I have been using the standard generator.

    When you generate an article you can choose how many version you can generate on the same topic. I choose three and then just paste each version into UAW for one submission. You can tell Article Builder to generate the articles with the same number of paragraphs so they can be used in UAW which is good. For Article Ranks I set article builder to spin the paragraphs so I can just paste the whole lot into Article Ranks. I guess this would work with other tools like MAN and ALN?

    I don’t think Article Builder has an affiliate programme. The best deal I’ve seen is a guy on Warrior Forum offering a free tool to anyone who buys through his link. The tools are AMR, Bookmarking Demon, and a few others so might be worth going through him. I’ve not signed up as still using someone else’s account but when they kick me off I will definitely be signing up. If you believe in the power of UAW it seems a waste not to use it.

  7. Andre Garde

    Hi Joe,

    February was good for me but I am a looooooong way off from my goal. If I had your income, I’d essentially be sitting pretty. I’m secretly jealous of pre-2012 IM’ers. They simply didn’t have to deal with as many Google updates in rapid succession.

    Anyway, with regards to PR2+ domains, the best place is probably DigitalPoint forums if you want cheap. Otherwise you’ll have to go to a place that specifically sells high PR expired domains. You can check Domain Samurai, FreshDrop.net, ExpiredDomains.net, or DropDay.com. Some of those are paid services I think.
    Andre Garde recently posted..February 2012 Progress Report

  8. Shane

    I’ve pretty much stopped using spun content for now. I use MyBlogGuest for decent quality relevent backlinks, I had been using BMR for high PR backlinks but have since switched that to LinkAuthority which I love at the minute. I then use ArticleRanks for the little bit of spun content I use and use this to link to my site and a couple of other urls such as guest blogs/link authority/web 2.0 etc.

    I;ve got a list of 17 PR3+ article directories which I submit to (using 1 unique article which I spin by hand at word level). I still use AMR but for backlinking other backlinks rather than the money site now.

    Never had any decent results from UAW. Used them for a month and dont think I ever saw 1 decent link from them.

    Never used backlink banzai, but they refuse to offer any sort of report or much info on the type of links. From what I can see its basically 1000 article directories with a few web 2.0/wikis etc mixed in, then 1000 scrapebox and 1000 xrumer links to 100 of those. For $67 there are better services which – most of which actually provide some sort of report. The only benefit I can see is that it is handsfree.

    Especially with the way Google is going, I think you need to be thinking quality over quantity. Its definately the way Im going. I used to generate thousands of links for 1 site in a month – mostly low quality article directories, profile links etc. I’ve cut that down to less than 100 per month now (high quality manual approved directories, guest blogs, decent web 2.0 sites, pumper sites etc) and seem to be getting good results (although only 6 weeks or so in). The biggest benefit so far with using decent links is that you dont need to worry about them getting indexed – pretty much every link is indexed within hours.

    For PR domains – check digitalpoint or look through godaddy auctions for a domain with PR. Dont forget to check the backlinks of the domains first though.
    Shane recently posted..Guest Blogging For Backlinks & Content

  9. Kent @ Niche Site Tips

    Congrats. Feb was an awesome month for you.

    I’m just curious if the income is from this blog (Affiliate marketing)? Adsense, or Amazon etc?

    I love to explore other Income Stream and love to catch up with you. This year, I gonna try out Ebay EPN and see how it plays out.

    I’m also testing Link Authority and most of my links built on PR3 blogs. I just added a PR2 blog to the network and add a few more.

    Great Cost effective comparing to BMR or other blog network. I am still in love with UAW and $67 is a major part of my monthly expense.

  10. Joe

    Hi Kent. It was one of my worst months for years but I guess it is better than nothing. Only about $30 was from this blog. The rest is from amazon style product niche sites. I too use LA and UAW. Love LA not convinced about UAW yet though.

  11. Jim

    Hi Joe,

    I’m in the same boat, I started nearly 3 years ago after seeing Smingle’s thread on exact match domains.

    90% of my sites got hit by the Panda update last year and have never recovered therefore my earnings have pretty much dried up which is a real shame. I’ve been concentrating on a larger site the last couple of months where I hope to sell direct advertising as it’s quite niche.

    I think AM is over for me and I will probably let my sites die as I simply don’t have time to try and revive them (even if it’s possible). The return just isn’t worth it for the amount of effort anymore.

    I think big sites were always the way forward from the very start, wish I had taken that advice 3 years ago rather than buy 100+ exact match domains and bash out one site after another.

  12. Joe

    Hi Jim. That is a real shame to hear. How many sites did you have up and running? How many pages were they? I think I got about 50-70 sites in various states of completion but only a few become good earners. It is sad to hear you are quitting the game. Was the Panda decimation really that bad? Good luck with your big site. I agree it would’ve been nice to have started on a big site three years ago but we didn’t know then what we know now. Besides, how gutting would it be to see a three year old big site get taking down by Google?

  13. Lisa

    Joe, why not try creating a website where you can outsource writers and spin articles for a fee? I think you could do well in that area! Just figure out how much the average writer changes plus add your own fee for using UAW or another service.

  14. Joe

    That would be a good project although I find it hard to find good spinners and writers that charge a fee low enough where you could make money from it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge