My First Niche Site: Update #8 – Phoenix From The Flames
This is Part #8 of a series. A list of all the other updates can be found at the bottom of this post.
It has been two months since my last niche site update, which was entitled “Disaster Strikes“. And aptly so, it turned out, as Modeling For Kids never recovered from its Google penalty.
At the time I was extremely disheartened, given all of the work I had put into it. Although it was only making $2 – $3 a day, the potential for more was clearly there. And beyond anything anything else, its relative success demonstrated that niche sites were a viable business model for me. If I set up 20 such sites (which would be completely feasible, given 8 hours a day in which to do so), I could theoretically produce a full time income.
With that said, sulking about what could have been was of no benefit to me whatsoever. Instead, the best thing to do was to assess what value I had left. The main value was in the articles themselves. Theoretically, if I started again and published the articles on a brand new domain, I could start the process from scratch and get back to where I was (and then go beyond). So long as I didn’t make any stupid backlinking mistakes again, I would be in business.
My New Plan
Modeling For Kids is no more. Go ahead and click the link – it’s gone. And once Google realizes that (which should be when one of its bots next visits), it will dump the site from its index. Once this has happened, I believe I can start again with a clean slate. What I absolutely do not want to do is start putting articles up on a new domain whilst (a) Modeling For Kids has those same articles and/or (b) Google has those articles in its index. I want Google to look at my new domain and see the content as fresh.
As you might expect, with six months worth of experience, my approach this time around will be rather different. My backlinking strategy is set in stone, and I know which keywords I hope to rank for and why. I certainly hope to be able to get back to where I was before quicker than first time around, but only time will tell.
I will initially be targeting five keywords. Once I have attained good rankings for some of these, I will reevaluate my position and consider additional keywords. Let’s take a look at each keyword in turn.
1st Keyword – 2,400 Searches Per Month
This is the keyword that started it all, six months ago. In reality, it is pretty rubbish, but I was ignorant of that at the time. It produces just 2,400 searches per month, which is nowhere near enough for an “anchor” keyword (i.e. one that forms the basis of an authority site). However, in the interests of diversification, I will throw some backlinks at this keyword.
As you can see, the onsite optimization among the top 10 sites is awful, but the numbers of backlinks are not inconsiderable. However, I know that many of those backlinks are extremely low quality. Given that my new site will not be well-optimized for this keyword, it will be interesting to see if I can still rank for this keyword.
2nd Keyword – 6,600 Searches Per Month
I never got beyond 3rd place for this keyword with my previous site, so it will be interesting to see how I fare this time around. As with the 1st keyword, the onsite optimization is poor, so I am confident that I can rank well for this, given time.
3rd Keyword – 27,100 Searches Per Month
Again, optimization isn’t great – there isn’t anything here that I don’t think I can overcome, given time. Whilst the relevance of the keyword to my content is certainly questionable, the high search numbers should compensate accordingly.
4th Keyword – 8,100 Searches Per Month
As seems to be the general theme with these keywords, the onsite optimization isn’t great. Additionally, the backlinking situation is nothing to be too concerned by. The domain ages are very hefty – only time will tell if that proves to be an issue.
5th Keyword – 9,900 Searches Per Month
This is a toughie. The top result especially is well optimized, with a decent number of backlinks. However, the index count is extremely low, so Google might look upon my site favorably if I produce lots of relevant content and remain patient.
My initial strategy will be very straightforward.
I will use Build My Rank (not an affiliate link – why?) to drip-feed backlinks with a variety of anchor texts (using the above keywords in addition to more generic anchor texts, like “click here”). Additionally, I will create web 2.0 sites (such as wordpress.com and Squidoo) that link back to the main site, and pump them full of a huge volume of low-quality keywords. The backlinks I create will link to various pages on the domain, not just the homepage.
That’s it! Nothing too fancy – just consistent and cautious backlinking over an extended period of time. I will pursue this strategy for a minimum of a one month, then evaluate my progress.
Content Creation Strategy
This one is simple. As before, I will publish three articles a week at regular times. The articles will be almost exactly the same as they were on the previous site, although I might take the opportunity to edit the titles to be more SEO friendly (as the articles were initially written without much thought to SEO at all).
One valuable lesson I learnt with Modeling For Kids was that the design is bloody irrelevant if you are getting no visitors. So I have started with just a very clean and simple design for my new site. If I start to attract a notable level of traffic and am getting a high bounce rate / low average site on time, I will consider a redesign. Until that point, spending any time on the design is a waste of time.
I am following the same line of thinking with monetization as I am with design. There is no point in monetizing a site that has no traffic. Once I am receiving a number of visitors that makes monetization worthwhile, I will put Adsense units in place.
Onwards and Upwards
The disastrous demise of Modeling For Kids is now a distant memory. It is time to use the content that I spent hours creating to better use. Google may have destroyed the value of my first site, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pick myself up and start again.
Read The Whole Series
- Update #1 – One Month In
- Update #2 – Metrics And Keyword Analysis
- Update #3 – Failure! Failure?
- Update #4 – The Power Of The Long Tail
- Update #5 – The Power Of Targeted Traffic
- Update #6 – We’re Number One!
- Update #7 – Disaster Strikes
- Update #8 – Phoenix From The Flames
- Update #9 – A Fresh Approach
Creative commons image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson