Niche Site Update #2: A Trickle of Income Already

My First Click

Early this week, my new niche site got its very first AdSense ad click.  While $0.42 is nothing to get too excited over, it came from only the tenth person to reach the site through an organic search in Google.  I will definitely need to get a a much larger sample of visitors before I can get an accurate idea of what the average click-through rate (CTR) is going to be for the site, but at least I know that my ads are placed where people are looking at them.  I’d love to get a CTR of 5% or higher on this site once the traffic starts coming in, and I think the AdSense ads so far have been relevant enough to the searchers that I will be able to achieve that goal.

Long-Tail Traffic

The site is already drawing organic search traffic every day, even without any of its primary keywords showing up on the first or second page of Google’s search results.  People are definitely searching for this kind of info on a regular basis, and it will be awesome when I succeed at tapping into that traffic stream.  I’m going to be very focused on getting those first-page Google rankings!  That, of course, means lots and lots of link building.

When I tried to create my first niche site, I took Pat Flynn’s advice and signed up for Blog Blueprint.  I love Pat, but as most of you who follow the blog know, Blog Blueprint was a bad idea.  It’s a shady company that just throws worthless links up on their spam farms for a hefty $67 a month.  For that same $67, you can sing up for The Keyword Academy (free for the first 30 days, and $33 a month for their Pro level subscription after that), and have access to their awesome PostRunner network for a full three months.  Feel free to use that extra dollar for whatever you like.  😉

What is PostRunner?

PostRunner is a network of about 1,400 websites owned and operated by TKA subscribers.  Members can submit up to 1000 backlinking articles through PostRunner for each month of membership in TKA.  Articles have to be 300 words or more, and can contain no more than two links.  PostRunner is similar to Blog Blueprint in its ease of use, ability to trickle out backlinks over time with its built-in scheduling option, and ability to create links from a wide variety of domains.  That is where the similarity ends, though.

First and foremost, most submissions to PostRunner sites are actually reviewed by a human before they are published.  Because each site is owned and operated by a real member of TKA, most incoherent junk articles get rejected by the site owners.  What this means is that the majority of the sites on which your links will appear actually have quality content on them instead of the spam farms that most of the paid services like Blog Blueprint and Unique Article Wizard use.

The site owners usually like to get quality content that can bring them traffic for ad revenue, so they tend to only let the good stuff through.  Some even go so far as to build links to your backlinking articles for you!  Because so many of the owners take good care of their sites, you will get a lot more link juice and ranking authority from a PostRunner site than you would get from automatic link-building services.

Secondly, you actually get to pick which sites you post to.  You get to see the real addresses of the sites before you submit your article, so you can check it out before deciding.  And once your post is published, you get the exact URL of the article so you can go and check it out.  Contrast that with how Blog Blueprint operates–they won’t tell you where your links are being created, because they don’t want you to see that they are putting them on a small selection of total garbage sites.

My Current Strategy

When I built my first niche site, I created a crappy, keyword-stuffed page. I then tried massive link-building tactics using horrible, spun content and spam farms that I had heard would work to get me ranked.  I spent quite a bit of time and more money than I should have, and I never got any decent rankings to show for it.

When I built my second site, I sat down and created what I thought would be really interesting and informative content.  Afterward, I threw a handful of higher-quality, free backlinks at it, then promptly forgot about it for several months.  It moved up to #2 in Google for its primary keyword phrase without any other work whatsoever, and it’s still there.

Obviously, the second method is cheaper, easier, and more productive than the first, and it’s the one I’ll be using as I go forward with the new site.  The only difference is that I plan on continuing to work on this site, rather than letting it fall dormant.  I have already posted a number of linking articles in PostRunner, and I plan on doing quite a few more over the next two months.

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