Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More quality content, please.

It always comes down to this - and I've decided it's time, once again, to ramp up the quality content.

After noticing how my longer articles on the new sites got higher PageRank than the others, I decided to have new length and quality standards for my articles. Now, each article will be a minimum of 500 words, and I'm going to try to pack them with as much good information as possible.

And I think this is going to be easier than ever, because I've found a topic that I'm really enjoying writing about - more than most - DEFINITELY more than wood flooring!

My new goal is to write one article each day - but a really informational one - for one of my new sites. I'm still going to be focusing on the flooring site, too, but am going to hire writers for that - I just don't think I can squeeze yet another wood flooring article out! So here are the last two I wrote, and hopefully the last two I will write: Brazilian cherry flooring and Mesquite flooring.

I also came across a nice handful of PLR articles that I'm going to rewrite and expand upon for one of the new sites - and even though I wouldn't normally associate PLR with quality - I'm hoping that I can shape them enough to be useful and unique, while saving some writing time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Time's winged chariot hurrying near...

While I am not trying to get some action (as opposed to the speaker of "To His Coy Mistress"), I think the metaphor still works quite well (in business, as in life, and I'm sure Marvell was making a reference to life in general as well)... the time thing really got me today (even more than usual - which is a lot!) when I listened to quite an inspiring speech by Rich Schefren, if you've been perusing the forums and blogosphere, I'm sure you've heard about him.

I didn't really pay too much attention to him until I read this in Allan Gardyne's newsletter today: "If you think you don't have time to watch this video, then you need it more than anyone." And it was great... it really stresses the importance of creating leverage and utilizing your TIME.

Only problem for me is that I find it (creating leverage) really hard to do without much extra $$ :'(

But really, I did gain a LOT from it and would highly recommend checking it out.

One inspiring part of it is when he says that the internet is still the Wild West... but it won't be like that forever - now is the time to get on the ball!

But at my back I always hear
Times winged chariot hurrying near

-Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Anatomy of a Site

I've been a little hush-hush about the site I've been focusing on, but after watching it go down in the rankings, down in PR, and now to have half the pages drop off the Google index and the other half go into "supplemental" hell - I'm not too worried about it being copied!

It's kind of crazy that the site I'm working on the most seems to have been 'punished' the most by Google recently. So I thought I'd share everything I'm doing with it, see if I can pull it back up in the rankings, and if anyone sees any red flags or has any suggestions - I'd LOVE to hear them.

Despite all of the problems I've had with this site, I'm going to keep focusing on it, because if I can pull this one up from the depths of the SE's, I can pull any site up.

Site: A1 Wood Flooring

I'm trying to get some writing done before work in the mornings, and my only ruls for articles right now is to make them at least 300 words long. (I'd like to go for longer ones later).

Here are the ones I've added so far this week:
Exotic Hardwood: A Rare and Beautiful Addition for Home Decor
Red Oak Flooring: Lovely and Lasting
Hardwood Stairs
Resilient Flooring

And then I also wrote to articles for distribution this week, I am focusing on "hardwood flooring" on my distibution articles right now.

Current standing on MSN:
Page 13 for the KW "wood flooring"

Nowhere to be found on the others.

New Book on the Value of Niches

I was browsing NPR today and found a feature on a new book entitled The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson which "references a statistical trend to suggest that the market for items that are not "hits" will always be larger than that for the most popular items."

It's good to see that the numbers are there - so keep plugging at your niches, guys, no matter how rocky things get, I still think this is where it's at. And like BJ recently pointed out, from what other business can you take time off and still get paid?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

PageRank Update!

Looks like the tri-monthly PageRank update is rolling out. For me, the bad news is that some of the sub-pages of my old established sites went to zero. The good news is that some of my newest sites (some with no link exchanges) have new PR's of 3 and 4.

For whatever all that means!

BTW, on the new sites, and this may just be a coincidence, the only difference that I can see between the PR3 pages and the PR4 pages is that the ones that got PR4 have very long articles.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Record Lows

The past two days have been dark and overcast, with Adsense lows of close to zero. And as for my product - many are signing up for the newsletter, but no one's buying.

Okay, despite this very DEPRESSING trend, I'm going to maintain my bellicose attitude towards my site of focus and just keep promoting it like crazy. This is so obvious, but it was still a sort of revelation to me today: the benefit of writing over the same site for a long time is that you know that topic so well, that you get to a point where you can rattle off an article like it's nothin'. So while it's not getting more profitable at the moment... it is getting easier...

I mean, I can't really complain about not reaching my early retirement yet, there are worse things happening in the world.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Divide and Conquer

On the current content site that I'm heavily focusing on, rather than trying to promote the entire site, I'm going to work on promoting it one keyword at a time. I'm "dividing" the product pages right now and am first going to work on promoting the least competitive of those, then work my way up. My rule is, once that keyword has "conquered" its competition by getting into the top three on any of the three big engines, I'm going to move on to the next one, and so forth.

The Tactics: Promoting the keyword with PAD articles and possibly a press release. I've also paid someone $25 to manually submit the site to 220 directories.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Art of War

Lately I've been thinking of affiliate marketing as a battle, what with so much competition these days and even worse, all of the search engine do's and don'ts (link partners frowned upon, the mysterious sandbox, etc...).

So last week, to find some inspiration, I searched for some Sun Tzu's Art of War quotes.

I couldn't find any that seemed to fit very well, but in today's Affiliate Programs Newsletter, Allan Gardyne did, being uncannily timely as ever.

His newsletter had a theme of strategic thinking, and here was his ending quote:

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.
Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
- Sun Tzu

And it's one I really need to take to heart, I've got a short-term strategy, but I think I need to make a long-term one as well, and then plan out the best tactics for the mission.

Here are the latest skeletons for the challenge, I think these are the last challenge one I'm going to post, I'm too excited about some of the niches ;)
Restaurant Supplies
Art Supplies

Thursday, July 06, 2006

June Stats

Earnings: $614.11
Adwords: -$83.98

Newsletter Sign-ups for Product: 35

A little over $200 of that was made at CJ, coming partly from content sites, partly from advertising, and partly from a few of you who bought domains through this blog (thanks!). The rest was from Adsense and 1 product sale.

Another cool thing is that some of these new sites for the 40 site challenge are already generating some income.

I've been sticking to the focus schedule and writing articles for my content site that I'm working on and have also been working on getting the new sites up.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Few Fascinating Niches

Okay, that was sarcasm... they're actually pretty boring... but here are the latest for the 50 site challenge - no articles yet, just wanting to get these indexed right now:

[edit-changed mind on these]

I am really starting to believe that the "sandbox" has more to do with having a large ratio of link partners to one-way links than anything... so I'm going to try these with no partners.

On that note, I am happy to see that one of James Martell's very competitive sites - with few link partners - is getting pretty high on big G - maybe there is hope.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Three-way Focus

Okay, I've really got a lot going on here, what with the two challenges, my content sites, and the new digital products.

It is definitely time to focus in on things.

So, I've decided to break up my day's work into three areas:

1. Promote one product
I've got one ebook that seems to perform better than the others I've tried (although I haven't done any extensive testing, it just got A sale and more newsletter signups than the others. So this part will be easy: advertising with Adsense ($30.00/month for now), and sending out a newsletter about once a week (I already have my autoresponder set up to send nine out after signing up - no, not all at once).

2. Focus on one content site until it gets into the top three positions in at least one of the major SE's
So, I'm going to write articles for it, and hire my Elance authors to create PAD articles until this happens. Maybe submit it to some more directories. This area is going to require the most work.

3. Work on the challenges
This means getting each of those 50 sites up - for the moment I'm not even going to worry about getting the articles written for those - I'm just going to get the main pages up, link to them from here to get them indexed, and then after I get some articles going, link to them from PAD articles. I'm not going to do any link exchanges on these new ones.

Here's the latest, a bit of an awkward one: Nautical Museum. It's going to have facts about nautical history, historical ships, information on nautical stars and symbols, and, of course, pages for nautical products. I've always loved the ocean and just thought this would be a fun one to do.

I think focusing on certain things will really help me get things rolling again, I've been a bit lost in everything lately.