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No Ads. No Affiliate Links. Ever.
I feel bad that I haven’t updated you all on my million dollar case study. For those of you who missed the project, I’m aiming to build an affiliate site which makes $30,000 per month, that could theoretically be sold for $1M. Though this goal is difficult enough, I also challenged myself to do it in just 12 months. You can view the earlier posts on my case study here, here, and here.
My project relied heavily on an exact-match domain for my targetted keyphrase, which set me back $550. This reliance was my downfall, but it’s not the only hurdle I’ve faced along the way. As a quick update: The site is currently on page 2 of Google for a keyphrase which gets 100,000+ exact searches per month.
When I hit page one, I’m still very confident I can bring in the $30,000 per month I was expecting to make from the site. I actually think this is fairly conservative. It’s only a matter of months until this happens, so I’m very excited about it.
Since I’m 13 months into the project, I didn’t reach my target of achieving my goal in one year. There are a few reasons why I didn’t reach my target, so hopefully you can all learn something from my setbacks.
If you can get an exact-match .com domain name for your keyphrase, then it’s usually much easier to rank in search engines like Google. Thanks to my own .com, I was number one in Yahoo within a few weeks, and ranking highly in Bing. I’ve made some sales from this traffic, but nothing to brag about.
My lack of exact match love is because my keyphrase has the words ‘how to‘ in it. I assumed that they would be counted as part of an exact-match phrase, but I don’t think they are. I mainly think this because the word ‘how to‘ is never bolded in a URL in Google search results. Since it isn’t in bold, I don’t think it’s being counted in the domain.
On top of that, I don’t think I’m getting the rankings I would have if the exact-match domain was giving me some kind of bonus.
I was going to title this section “I’m a busy man” but I really hate when people use busyness as an excuse. We have enough time to work on anything we want, just not enough time to work on everything. So, instead of telling you I was far too busy to give much attention to this project (which is true), let’s just say I didn’t prioritise it properly in my list of things to do.
I’ve had a very busy year, especially with planning to leave South Africa (and even having my leaving party) then finding out the Thai embassy had lost my passport. Not a good thing when you’re not in your home country. As a side-note to those who are interested: I’m in South Africa for at least another five months, most of which are going to be spent working hard on this site and others.
Based on the work I’ve done, I don’t actually think I deserve to even rank on the second page of Google for my keyphrase. I have built some quality links, but a very small amount. If I’m going to get on the first page of Google for such a lucrative phrase, my current backlink efforts are just not going to cut it.
In a niche like this I can’t rely on going out and get tons of free links anyone can duplicate. I need high quality links, and they can take some work to get.
As of today, I’m actually in the process of turning this affiliate site into a personal blog. How’s that for a change of direction? Over time, the niche it is in has actually became something I’m really passionate about, and I want to start writing in the industry and sharing my personal progress.
I’m actually in a tricky situation, since I didn’t build links to the site myself, but had other people do it. For that reason, when I do reveal it to the world, I’m going to look a little shifty when most of the backlinks are under pen names. I guess that’s just an image I’m going to have to live with from my fellow marketers.
I’ll run the blog in a similar fashion as ViperChill, posting about once per week but only including high-quality, detailed articles. The new blog will also allow me to be far more personal in my writing, as the niche it is in is more personal in nature.
The idea of running another blog excites me, as I think it will allow readers of this site and my new one to connect with me on another level. I’m also curious to see how well I can do in another niche where I literally have zero presence. Unlike ViperChill, I won’t be focused too much on building a large readership, but using the blog format with my presence, to help with rankings in Google.
I’m currently working on the redesign, which is going to take a week or two, and then I’ll share the site with you all via my usual communication channels.
If you do have any questions about the project so far, feel free to ask them in the comments!