Daily Progress Report #1

Hard at work

Hard at work

New Niche Sites

I have several expired domains that have been sitting around in my accounts for over a year.  So far I’ve done nothing with them besides add a blank wordpress install.  All of these domains have regained their PR and receive a trickle of visitors every day.  These are the domains I’m going to use for my new niche site projects.

I’ve gone through and installed the default set of plugins that I use on my niche sites. I’ve also customized the themes and colors, registered social accounts, and added standard disclosure/privacy/contact/about pages.

Existing Niche Sites

This series is going to follow the process of launching some new niche sites, but I already have a stable of sites that I created back in the dark ages (that’d be around 2008 or so).  100% of my spammy microniche MFA type sites are already gone, but what remains in my portfolio are absolute GOLD.  These are sites that I’ve set up over 5 years ago and haven’t touched since for more than a couple hours every year when I do maintenance and backups.

Despite this neglect, they are still earning money from affiliate sales.

So along with launching new sites I’m going to brush the dust off of these sites and give them some TLC and content upgrades.

Sell but don’t be a sleaze.

It’s hard to believe but my lame niche sites which sell widgets actually get subscribers and commenters who thank me for the useful information.   Maybe it’s because I don’t try to scam my readers and flog any and all junk products with a high commission. Not all affiliate marketers are EV1LLLLL!

Respect your readers and they’ll reward you with their business and loyalty.

Optimize and squeeze every last cent out of your sites.

I’ve said it a bunch of times and I’ll say it a million more times, but I’m lazy and so far my strategy has just been to throw things up and hope for the best.  It’s obviously worked out so far since I’m not sleeping on the streets, but I want to get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t before I expand.

One of the easiest ways to increase your income is to optimize your existing sites and get more out of the work you’ve already done. I want to find the best content formats and layouts before I deploy the system and launch any new projects.  This means I want to find out some simple facts such as…

  • Which links are getting the most clicks?  Product images?  Buy buttons? In-content text links? Ads?
  • Which content formats get readers who are likely to click through to the merchant site?
  • Which opt-in forms get the most subscribers?  Should I declutter and get rid of inefficient forms?
  • Which social sharing buttons are people clicking?

I’ll be using clicky to track actions and goals.  It’s a simple matter of adding some javascript and css to my existing content.  Simple but boring work.

What I’ve done this week

  • Laid the groundwork for 4 new sites.
  • Answered emails from visitors.
  • Replied to comments asking for product recommendations.
  • Added tracking code to existing content.
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