My Niche Site Progress - An (un)Update

What is so hard about internet marketing, really?  I mean think about it, building a blog takes the push a few buttons; graphics, content, backlinking, it can all be done for you, at relative bargain prices (or you can slog through it yourself).

Sure finding a niche to monetize can be time consuming, but is it really "difficult?"

Being a doctor, that's a hard job. One bad day and someone literally loses a life.  Cops, firefighters, they put their lives on the line for us all the time.  Physicists, molecular biologists, that's some hard shit there.

But internet marketing.  Come on.  This stuff is a walk in the park.

Then why the hell am I having such a hard time with it?

Let me give you an (un)update on what's been going on with my attempt to build passive income with a monetized niche site.

Previous posts covered why I chose to monetize my niche site with Amazon, how I built the site and filled it with content.  Next comes the backlinking. 

I had a sorta, kinda, maybe kind of plan.  It consisted of:
  • blog commenting
  • writing some articles (I won't call this article marketing)
  • some forum profiles
  • social bookmarking
  • a little pinging action
All standard stuff really.  And I was really into it too.  For a while.  I found some relevant blogs to comment on, left my keyword in the name form and got my comments to stick about 60% of the time.  But then what about do-follow vs no-follow?  Oh, and you got to have some .edu or .gov in you arsenal too.  Get good link juice there!  I wrote a few articles, left my keyword rich anchor text link in the resource box,submitted them to Ezine Articles, and boom, more links.  Found some high PR forums to create profiles on, left my keyword rich anchor text link in the profile.  It doesn't matter that the page with my link has a PR of n/a (not even a freakin' 0), I get the good stuff passed down from that main domain.  And the couple other things from my bullet list (see above).


I've been at this diligently for a good six weeks.  I get some organic traffic to my site via long-tail keywords (keywords that I am not choosing to actively rank for but are relative to my main keyword.  For me, these long-tails are product names+some term after it.  So, if you were ranking for mountain bike, a long-tail keyword could be "Specialized bike seat") but it only amounts to an average of 4 visitors a day.  For the month of February I have so far 35 clicks on Amazon but no sales.

But for the life of me I can't even crack the top 1000 in Google search results for my main keyword.  And, I think, here's why

I left a comment on a post related to my niche on (I found the site by reverse engineering my competition.  Note to self, write about this at a later date).  A couple days later my comment was accepted and all is good.  A few days later I am checking the amount of backlinks pointing to my site with Yahoo Site Explorer and all of a sudden I have 4000 backlinks! 

All from!

That's a lot of links and it happened in a very short amount of time.  The damn site uses a recent comments widget, so my keyword rich anchor text backlink ended up on every single page on this site (and this stupid site about celebrity gossip, makeup, and other bullshit has thousands and thousands of pages).  So Google sees a brand new site instantly receive thousands of backlinks all from the same site.

Well, I'm fucked.

I posted comments with a different name, dusting off the old AOL email address, on the sites newest posts to push myself off the recent comments widget and have since then seen a steady decrease in my backlinks.  But I have a feeling I landed in the dreaded Google sandbox. 

Oh, and this happened not once, but twice more.  I didn't get the same amount of backlinks, but it couldn't have been good.

So, I thought I would just slog on through this but lately, that small tiny voice in the back of my head, that small tiny voice of self doubt has grown into a full on choir.  We're talking church bells and all (and I'm Jewish!)

I haven't seen any improvement in my site's ranking.  And because I haven't seen any improvement in my site's ranking I have been working on it less and less (kinda the opposite thing to do, huh?). 

If I'm stuck in a sandbox or whatever, why try and get out?

Eric over at My 4 Hour Workweek just wrote about impatience being a killer to the new entrepreneur.  And I do have a mighty bad case of it.  He suggests that it is okay to walk away from whatever it is your doing, whether it be an hour or a few days, as long as you return to what it is your working on.  The break can lead to fresh perspective and leave you feeling recharged.

Well, I walked away, and for a minute there I thought I might not return. 

But, return I am.  Doing. 

I wrote about goals in my very first post and I think what I need to do is talk about smaller goals with deadlines in the very near future.  So that is what I am going to do here.  I am totally switching up how I backlink and want to give myself until end of April to at least crack the top 100 for my main keyword.  If I am not in the top 100 by end of April I am going to move on.  I will basically start over.

At least I have a plan. That wasn't so hard now, was it?


JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome said...

Lovely, 4000 links all at once. It is tough to monetize with Amazon, but you might want to check out Chezfat's Amazon experiment with travel mugs. He has a post on infobarrel about it, and one on my blog.

Lonnie said...

Yes, 4000 links all at once and all with the same anchor text as well! And now that I am pretty much removing blog commenting from my backlink strategy and want to stick with articles and web 2.0s, I don't know what to do since the google change! AHHHH!

Anyway, I am going to check out your site, I am definitely interested in that experiment.

Thanks for the comment!

Moon Hussain said...

Lonnie, that's unfortunate that you are having such a hard time. Indeed it can be discouraging as hell when you can't crack even the top 1000 of Google! I am experiencing the same difficulty with a couple of my sites, yet I did it easily with my .biz domain.
I strongly advise you to start creating more sites so you are not focused on the results of just one. You will notice that one strategy used on two sites may only work well for one. And it sucks to dwell on your own failure.
It could very well be that it may take you six months or so to get this domain to rank. Keep on moving and return to the site in a month to see what happens. I'd keep building backlinks but at a very slow amount (1-2 a day?)
Oh and I love using Blog Blueprint to create high PR links pointing to my sites. Seemed to make a huge difference with the .biz domain.

Lonnie said...

Great advice Moon! I've been thinking about switching gears the past couple of days, maybe building some adsense sites instead,, but don't want to feel like I was giving up. Your idea to continue to backlink very slowly to the "dead" site is great though.

Thanks for your thoughtful insight.

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