September was an unusual month for all the wrong reasons (what with my first niche site being unceremoniously dumped from the first page of Google, never to be seen again). With the demise of Modeling For Kids, I decided to start up a new authority site – Deal With Anxiety. It was to be a completely “white-hat” website, with no dodgy SEO antics. In September’s update I also touched upon a couple of “mystery projects” that were in the pipeline, which I later revealed to be my authority site joint venture with Joseph Archibald, and my writing job with WPMU.
At the start of October, I predicted that the month might not be particularly impressive in terms of earnings, but I remained upbeat about the future. So what has been going on over the last few weeks?
Authority Site Revival
Although my focus in October has mainly been elsewhere, my heart is still with authority sites, and I hope to make a good income out of them in the future.
Modeling For Kids
The death of Modeling For Kids has been well-documented on this blog. At present, I still haven’t done anything with the site. When I can find the time, I will take the site down and re-purpose the content on a brand new domain. After all, I got up to about $4 to $5 per day in 3 months – there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do that again (whilst being a bit more careful with my backlinking strategy!). The time cost should be pretty low, as I already have all of the content, ready to go.
My JV With Joseph Archibald
In other authority site news and as previously reported, I have been working on an authority site with Joseph Archibald. This site is yet to produce an income (or any kind of decent rankings), but we are definitely playing the long game with some pretty competitive keywords. I will let you know if anything interesting comes of this in the next few weeks, otherwise you will get the next update in November’s report!
Deal With Anxiety
My 6 week experiment to see how Google treats plenty of unique, quality content targeting very low-competition keywords is officially at an end. The conclusion? Within a 6 week window, Google took absolutely no interest in my site for any of the targeted keywords. I didn’t achieve any rankings above 90th during the experiment.
To be honest, I was surprised by this. The keywords I were targeting were very low-competition (for example, most had sites in the top 10 with no backlinks), and as such, I thought that I would have some ranking joy without having to do any backlinking.
This has not been the case, and as such, I have started a steady backlinking campaign. I am taking it very slowly (in part because I simply don’t have time for a more in-depth campaign), and will wait patiently to see how the site’s rankings develop.
If I do have success with my methods, I will of course be revealing all. In terms of keyword research, I follow the strategy that I have revealed in all its gory detail in my free eBook: Keyword Research & Competition Analysis Mastery.
October saw a big shift in my approach, towards freelance writing. I see this move as adding a powerful string to my bow. I am currently writing 5 articles per week for WPMU, which is bringing me in a healthy little income. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and hope I am not disappointing! When I leave work behind, I will look to expand my writing work so that I can be bringing in a steady income whilst I build up the more “speculative” parts of my business.
And that seamlessly brings me onto…
Leaving Work Behind
Yep – it’s happening folks. I don’t have an exact date yet, but it will not be too long. One thing is for sure – I will comfortably beat my deadline date of 23rd May that I set back in June! I have had some long discussions with my brother and my father (I work in a family business), and have come to the conclusion that it is time to take the plunge.
I am fortunate in that I have no dependents and can afford to take risks. It is going to be a very interesting few months! When I have formally set a date you will be the first to know, and at that time I will talk more about my short term plans, and how leaving work behind will come together for me.
Income & Expenditure – October 2011
The writing income is not of course “passive”, but I’m not too bothered about that – it can hopefully be a pretty reliable income stream (as opposed to the volatility of passive income). Having said that, it would be nice to see some separate income sources popping up within the next few months.
The main thing to take from this is that it is my first month in profit! There is clearly a very long way to go, but I am certainly heading in the right direction. I hope that November will be an even better month in terms of income.
There was one article that stood head and shoulders above the others in terms of popularity this month: 13 Steps To Leaving Work Behind – From The People Who Know. There are a three good reasons for this:
- It’s a list – people love lists
- It targets a popular topic
- It brings together the opinions of many well-known and respected internet marketers
I’ll be honest – this article was designed to be popular, and as such it did pretty well (I think it would have gone viral if it had been published on a more popular blog). I should probably do more “designed” articles, but I don’t tend to be ruthless enough with my marketing intentions. Instead of concentrating on creating “viral” articles, I instead write what I want to write about, and what I think my target audience will find useful. The two approaches often don’t go hand in hand. Food for thought perhaps!
What I am most proud of this month (although it was published on 2nd November) is the free eBook that I released just yesterday: Keyword Research & Competition Analysis Mastery. If you are at all interested in keyword research (and if you are reading this, I would be amazed if you are not), you need to read this guide – even if I do say so myself! Download it now.
What’s In Store For November?
Quite a lot! I will be setting a date for leaving work behind. Hopefully I will continue to grow into my role at WPMU. I will continue to develop the two active authority sites I am working on, and perhaps even Modeling For Kids will rise like a phoenix from the flames. We shall see!
Image courtesy of Alex Cockroach