I did some pretty serious hustling this week. At least it felt that way perhaps with only four or five days to put in a full seven days of work on my niche site with the Easter holiday. Happy belated Easter everyone! Alright, I’ve got a lot of detail about what I’ve done this week and a little bit of commentary along with it. I did the most on the content side:
* Received 10 backlinks from Build My Rank as part of the free trial and wrote the posts for it. I was somewhat happy with this service. It’s definitely a low maintenance way to get backlinks. With that said, most of the backlinks that I was getting were from PR 2 websites, and that fine, but I would have preferred if I could have gotten a couple more PR 3+ than what I was able to get from their network. Plus, by doing the actual work to get the backlinks I’m getting the information on more relevant sites. I think that helps dramatically with getting people to click the link. When the title is about Sail Boats and my post that’s up is totally unrelated that’s not a particularly user friendly set up. Likewise, doing the grunt work helps establish from connections in the niche, which I can turn into Twitter followers and otherwise plug into the niche site.
* I wrote three articles for article directories. I’m not sure if this applies to article directories but I’ve heard that it’s good for SEO purposes to have links from different domains, so I have been spreading the articles around. With that said, Ezine Articles is definitely my home base here. While they would probably be referring more traffic and I would get the dofollow link pre-farmer update, I’m still getting the most referral traffic from Ezine.
* I added three new pages to the niche site with high commercial intent. There are another dozen or so pages that I’d like to add to the site but I’m writing the ones with the greatest commercial intent first. Some of the search engine traffic that I’m getting to the site is incredibly targeted and is starting to click on the affiliate links but I also have some other content on the site that while it’s driving some traffic from what I can tell it’s not commercial. They are getting the information that they were searching for and leaving. I had hoped that I would be able to move them to a page with a commercial component to it before they bounced off the site but that hasn’t been the case.
I have also kept plugging away at commenting. All of this is starting to pay off. I have had one day with over twenty visitors and two days with nearly seventy page views. I haven’t, however, made any progress on the podcast or Facebook fan page. I also have to admit that while I’m updating the Twitter account a couple of times a week, there’s nothing to write home about there either. I find myself lacking the motivation to really move forward in the social space. I am active on Twitter outside of this niche. It’s been tasking managing Twitter account number three.
On our last webinar, we discussed metrics to watch, testing, and tweaking our niche sites. I think we’ve exposed another weakness of mine! I did set up Google analytics right away for this site but honestly there is so much going on there and I haven’t spent enough time with it to learn how to tame the beast. One option that Sarah suggested was Get Clicky, which after playing with the demo site, I’m going to try with this niche site since it’s free for one site. At some point, however, I’d like to get a better understanding of Google analytics since it is a free option even when handling multiple sites and it has a lot of functionality so long as you have put the time in to learn how to use it.
Likewise, it’s on my to-do list to learn more about Google Website Optimizer to conduct split tests. A/B testing is an area that really excites me. I’ve seen case studies on Unbounce and other places where they have been able to increase conversions significantly. Particularly once this niche climbs a little further in the rankings, I’d just be leaving money lying on the table if I weren’t paying close attention to conversions. This is another reason to check out Get Clicky since it gives you a lot of incite as to what actions your visitors are taking on the site. In turn, that will help you make decisions about how you are presenting content, where the content is located, and so on.
Finally, I’m anxious for this coming week’s lesson on scaling up the niche site and developing long term affiliate site strategies. In fact, looking back, I should have thought longer about my exit strategy. At first, I thought why build an asset only to sell it but as I’m getting more involved in this niche, there are some technical aspects of it that I won’t be able to become versed in unless I commit more time that I’m willing to right now all the while kicking my return on investment all the further down the road. I’ve been thinking more seriously about building up some reliable cash flow with this site and selling it, so I’m interested to hear more about exit strategies and developing several niche sites concurrently.