Niche Site Case Study 009: Setbacks & Slow Results Are The True Test

by Benji Walklet on September 10, 2013 · 1 comment

Setbacks & Slow Results Are The True Test

It has been a long hiatus for me here as far as my niche site updates and general internet marketing posts go. I could throw a whole bunch of excuses out there like: “I’ve been on vacation” or “I’ve been really busy with other projects,” but I’ll spare you. The truth is that there is never room for excuses. You always have to be holding yourself accountable. I’ll be the first to say “my bad” here for such a long delay.

The truth is, I almost didn’t take the time to publish this post.

You see, I hardly have any updates for you with my niche project. Well, that isn’t entirely true…I DO have updates, but they aren’t necessarily exciting ones. Still, my goal is to have you ironically inspired by the end of the post for the lack of progress (more on this later).

So what has happened since July 25th, 2013?

First, the somewhat good news (in terms of progress):

I added 3 articles/reviews to my new niche site

EEK! Now that I’ve typed that out it seems like nothing. Especially since these weren’t posts I wrote myself.

What I’m not too disappointed with however, is that the process of getting these articles and reviews is becoming more automated with each order I put into Textbroker. I now have a consistent template for each of my reviews, as well as a few writers I’ve been putting in direct orders with.

The winning point here is that even when you make slow progress, the more steps you take the better and more efficient you become at doing what you need to do.

3 articles is frankly abysmal over a 1 and a half month span, so I need to speed things up a bit. But I’m not too discouraged, as I don’t expect to encounter the same setback I experienced a few weeks ago…

I updated to Thesis 2.1 and Marketer’s Delight 3.1

Who cares…right? I realize this might not mean anything to most people, so bear with me for a second as I try and explain.

You see, I’m kind of OCD in some ways, especially when it comes to things like software and technology. Whenever a software update is available, whether it be for my iPhone or WordPress or whatever, I have to update it as soon as possible.

I have a similar compulsion when it comes to email. I have to keep my inbox free of unread emails on a day to day basis. Something about it just makes me feel tidy.

So what does this have to do with updating Thesis (my WordPress Theme) and MD3 (my Thesis Skin)? Well, I lost ALL of my customizations by making the update. DOH!

As a result of my sick compulsion, I had to redo a whole bunch of the customizations on my niche site. It took hours upon hours, with a lot of procrastination in between. In fact, I still haven’t finished recovering all of the customizations. Fortunately I’m not as OCD about recovering the customizations as I am about keeping software up-to-date, so I won’t use that as an excuse to move forward with the important developments for my niche site.

Rankings

I’m not ranking top 64 for my target keyword…and I’m not even ranking in the top 200 results for my target keyword.

Ouch.

Am I discouraged? A little bit, given how long I’ve been on this project already I figured I could at least crack the 200. But at the end of the day, I have 9 posts on my site.

9 posts is nothing. I don’t think I deserve top 200 for that…and I definitely don’t deserve top 64.

If I get to 20 posts and still find that I’m not ranking, then I can start panicking a little bit. But for now, I’m not going to worry about it. Oh, and I have gotten some traffic from good keywords according to analytics. The bounce rates are extremely high though, so hopefully that changes when these keywords start bringing in more visitors.

Costs and Earnings

I have updated costs for you below. Basically the only change since post 006 has come from the cost of additional articles.

Costs

  • Web Domain – $8.99 (1 year)
  • Web Hosting – Added for “free” to my hosting account, which is $120.87/yr
  • Thesis 2 for WordPress – free upgrade
  • Marketer’s Delight 3 skin – free upgrade
  • Content Writers via Elance.com and Textbroker – $188.46 (9 articles)
  • Video Content Creation via Elance.com – 27.40

Total: $224.85

Earnings

I know I said I would have AdSense up and configured in my last post, but with the WordPress updating debacle I had to hold off on this. Also, I am not getting nearly enough traffic yet to justify setting up any kind of monetization just yet. Next time…promise!

Total: $0

So I’m in the hole $225 so far. Could be worse. Fortunately, my only other niche site has brought in $500 in each of the last 2 months, so I’m going to continue to reinvest this money into the development of my new niche site. Technically, I could spend $500 this month on the development of my new site and be breaking even…so I’m going to try and start thinking in terms of ROI across all of my web properties.

My domain dilemma revisited

In my last post I discussed my qualms with having a PMD (phrase match domain) housing my site. I had been redirecting my site’s branded domain to the PMD, although for the long run I was thinking of doing the opposite given the fact that PMDs are becoming less useful for SEO.

I’ve since taken the advice of two commenters in the last post (shout out to Neale and Jamie!) and moved my site to the branded domain. The PMD will now redirect to the branded domain. Not sure where I will direct links yet, but I’ll keep you all posted.

Let your discouragement motivate you!

We all hit road blocks. I’ve clearly hit a big one with this project. The road to success has been much slower, but the key is that you don’t give up.

If you are in a similar situation I would love to hear about it. Most importantly, don’t give up!

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About Benji Walklet
Benji Walklet is the owner, founder, and main writer of Search and Perch, a holistic internet marketing blog for entrepreneurs. When he's not on his computer he's either playing some hoops (basketball, duh), reading a book, or hanging out with friends and family.

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  • Andy

    I am in a similar sport with one of my sites…its been up for months, it has 20+ pages of decent content, I bought a LayeredLinks package for my main keyword, made all my links to Amazon as NoFollow…but am still stuck on the 500+ ranking on Google…I dont know what I am doing wrong at all. Bing and Yahoo doesnt seem to have a problem as i am ranking on both in the top 20s for my keyword…its just Google that doesnt seem to like my site/content.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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