It’s official: I finally have a website that is NOT about personal finance. My latest creation, niche site 4 (which we’ll call NS4), is up and running.
For those of you who are new to my updates, this creation is an Amazon based niche website that centers around the theme of music and musical products for sale.
This is latest addition to my collection of niche sites that I’ve been building and promoting to help bring in more passive income. For this creation specifically my intended goal for this project is to create a website that uses Amazon as its primary source of monetization rather than Google Adsense. Lots of people who build niche sites claim that they get a far better return with the Amazon Affiliates program than they do with Google Adsense. That’s because if you can pick a product or group of products to promote that has a higher retail value, you could potentially make more in commissions with each conversion.
Plus: It’s simply a good idea to diversify where your income streams are coming from. (It’s just like in investing – don’t put all your eggs in one basket). Having a portion of my passive income come from Google Adsense as well as some place else like Amazon is way smarter than just relying on Adsense forever.
This style of website is a little bit different for me because all I’ve ever written about before was personal finance topics. I’ve got say – it’s been a refreshing change of pace!
Let’s take a look at what I did (and did not) accomplish during the cold, cold month of February:
NS4 Progress for February:
In early February I registered the domain, setup the website theme, and then began uploading whatever content I had written so far.
Where did that put us by the end of the month?
- Google Rank for the primary keyword: +500
- Search queries: 5
- Visitors: < 250
We’re really off to a rough, rough start! What the hell am I doing wrong?
Failure 1) Lack of Focus:
I can’t lie. I do feel as though I should be a lot further along with this project than I am right now.
Unfortunately the main reason I’m not further along than I should be: Lack of focus.
I’ve been distracted by a few other online income projects that have been occupying my attention. Because time is limited, I have not been able to work as much on content creation, back-linking, and networking as I should.
The Fix: There is really nothing else I can do here except make this website a priority! I’ve got to start working on the different aspects of building it and get real about outsourcing the parts that I won’t be able to do.
Failure 2) Not Enough Content:
Because I really love music and talking about it, I figured writing about it should be a breeze. And it was for the most part … when I had time!
Unfortunately I only wrote a total of 1 main post and 8 smaller posts for the website. That’s an okay start but certainly no where as far along as I need to be to make this site “great”. I really don’t want to settle until I have as many as 20 posts minimum. 50 posts would be even better!
The Fix: Because I can realize my fault, towards the end of February I did hop on Elance and find a writer to create 10 posts about music for me.
Thankfully I already have Long Tail Pro Platinum and have used it to research a ton of good keywords. So at least this part of the process is complete.
Failure 3) Not Enough Promotion:
This is one area that has really been stifling my progress.
I was working pretty well with a VA on Fiverr and my original plan was to hire him to find and do blog comments for this new site. Unfortunately that did not happen. He felt his schedule was too busy and so he declined my offer (despite it being more generous that what I usually offer).
I tried to hire a few other VA’s through Fiverr, but they all were not able to carry out the assignment. I also found out the hard way – Fiverr doesn’t allow refunds?? I was able to press and get one, but they said that if I asked again they’d cancel my account???
Just to get some traction, I did start making comments myself. This was good for me because I’m starting to compile a list of blogs that I can then send out to future VA’s to use for blog commenting. Plus – music blogs are way less intense to read and comment on than personal finance blogs!
I do intend to find another VA to regularly carry out the blog commenting. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to report in March.
On the Social Media / Bookmarking front, things have been going smoothly. My regular social media VA started building links to my new posts using my regular regimen of social media sites.
To help diversify my backlink profile, I decided to change things up by using a social media service called IMAutomator. The cost is only $12/month which works out to $3 per week; the same as I would have paid a VA. The benefit here is that unlike when you use a VA a service like this uses unique IP addresses for each submission. This helps make the links look less suspicion.
Don’t Other Webmasters Do Better Within the First 1-2 months?
Yes. Most of them do.
However I’m going to let you in on a secret. Most of the popular niche website builders are able to “game” the system by using their own personal private blog networks to build backlinks to the site right away.
Despite whether you think this is right or wrong, that’s how they do it. These webmasters get to control their own destiny by artificially getting the links they need.
Unfortunately I do not have a private blog network. Nor do I know anyone in the music blog world. So my plan for now is to blaze the trail using white-techniques like I’m already using. Though it will be a slow-go, I’m fine with going legit and avoiding another penalty like I got with NS3.
To give you an idea of what it costs to start a new niche website, here is a summary of the points I made above and the relative expenses for each:
- Domain Registration / Hosting / Privacy: $26 for the year. Because my iPage website hosting account allows me to host unlimited domains, I can simply share hosting from my “My Money Design” account without any additional cost. That’s pretty cheap!
- Logo: Unlike previous projects, I decided I wanted a really professional look right off the bat and decided to pay to get a nice logo made. I was able to get one from Fiverr for only $5.
- Content Creation: As I mentioned, I haven’t really been doing a very good job of making time to create the content myself. So to take care of this I have hired a freelance writer on Elance to ghost write 10 posts for me at $60. The cost to find and research keywords for these articles was negligible since I already use Long Tail Pro for all my websites.
- Blog Commenting: So far only $3 on Elance. This expense should increase as I find someone who can regularly perform this for me weekly.
- Social Media: Since I’m using my regular VA who takes care of this for ALL my websites, this area adds no extra cost to my weekly expenses. My only new expense here is the subscription to IMAutomator that I mentioned above for $12. After about one more month we’ll evaluate it and see if I need to continue using it or not.
Total Expenses: $106
Not too bad! Originally I was going to try to keep this project under $100 for the first month. So we’re not too far off.
Given the lack of time I had to devote to this project and the small investment cost for the writing and VA’s, I’m totally fine with this initial investment.
Niche Website Income Report – February 2014:
Despite the short month of February, we didn’t do too bad for income:
There is nothing new to report for NS1 – NS3.
- I am out of new content for all the sites and I don’t have any new posts in the works.
- I am still having my VA make a few social media / bookmark links every week.
- I’m continuing with my “guest post” effort and including links in there whenever I can.
I have noticed that for the second month in a row my Adsense income has decreased. I suppose its no surprise then that my Click to Impression ratio has also been decreasing. If this trend continues I may have to address this concern by spending a little time building new and fresh backlinks back to these sites to breathe some life into them.
Readers – I’m guilty of not spending enough time on my new niche website project. I’m interested: What do you do to focus on a particular project and avoid distractions?
Previous Niche Site Chapters:
- Starting the Next of My Extra Income Ideas – Building a Niche Website
- Niche Website Project Part 2 – The Unveiling
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 3
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 4
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 5
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 6
- Niche Website Update 7 – Site Number 2 Launched!
- Niche Website Update 8 – NS2 on the First Page Search Results Already!
- Niche Website Update 9 – Criticisms of My Second Niche Site
- Niche Website Update 10 – NS3 is a Failure (So Far) and I’m Glad
- Niche Website Update 11 – Doubling the Size of NS1 and NS2
- Niche Website Update 12 – Getting Click-Bombed and Over $600 of Passive Income!
- Niche Website Update 13 – NS3 May Be Lost But We Still Made $933 in Passive Income!
- Niche Website Update 14 – Creating an Amazon Niche Site and $439 in Passive Income!
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net