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.
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.
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.
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: