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EXECUTION My Blogging Journey and Content System Creation Process

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nicheevolution

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I had meant to start this progress thread a few weeks back but have been going through some personal events recently that really made me hit some really low points in my life.

Like many others here, I have a dream of escaping the shackles that bind us towards the slow lane and living a live of mediocrity. Stressful crappy job with a boss breathing down your neck or crappy coworkers, being trapped by debt, and exchanging 5 for 2 days.

Unfortunately despite my best efforts in the past to drive on the fastlane, my previous business attempts have been one failure after failure. In fact, I had started a blog a few years back and abandoned it after getting zero traction on it.

Like many, I believed a lot of the BS out there on the market about how these people made money when in fact, it seems a lot of them made their fortune teaching how to make money rather then making their money through what they teach.

I see this all the time, youtubers promoting some affiliate program that they are either not even registered in and then talking about how much money they are making or others that are enrolled in the programs yet their affiliate sales from promoting the programs earns them more then what they make from the program that teaches them how to make money from a blog.

Its quite difficult a lot times to tell what is real vs what is smoke and mirrors.

After a failed youtube channel launch attempt while I was on vacation, I managed to meet a fellow digital nomad that does blackhat seo and internet marketing type of things for a living.

He introduced me to a youtube channel that teaches blogging for beginners and pitches that you can go from zero to making six figure income in 24 months time.

Of course, I was skeptical of it due to all the bullshit out there and also my previous failed attempt at blogging but I figured, why not just give it a try one more time and so my blogging journey began yet again, however this time I had someone to hold my hand at least figuratively.

I learned things like keyword research, how to look at competitors, how to format my blog posts, seo, etc unlike my first blog which I knew zero about seo and blogging.

So I plowed away nonstop pumping out content week after week and at first, I saw nada, zero, zip, but then starting around month 4-5 traffic picked up on my site.

I was estatic and I even earned around $60ish dollars on it too!

I always made sure to put out the best content that was available, based on what my competitors were doing. I used images, tables, and long form thoroughly written articles that I was sure was the beat piece of content out there, and surely enough I was rewarded for it as I started to climb up the SERPS and even won several featured snippets and got #1 positions on several keywords.

The traffic continued to climb, especially after the six month mark when I finally got out of the google sandbox.

I was seeing 20%+ increases in site visitors and pageviews a month.

However, I quickly discovered that the figures that the instructors from the youtuber channel were giving for benchmarks for earnings were grossly inflated.

I was making 1/4 or a 1/3 of what they said I should have been making based on my traffic levels.

I also discovered that where your users come from make a huge difference in your income. Sites with visitors from the USA make a hell of a lot more in terms of advertising revenue, and even affiliate sales compared to other countries. This was never mentioned in their program.

Also depending on what niche your in, amazon associates can be pretty much worthless for promoting affiliate products, much to my detriment.

But the biggest issue that they didn't mention were those god awful google algorithm updates which seems to be happening practically every month nowadays which wrecks havoc on your traffic and visitors.

I was seeing exponential growth month after month until these algorithm updates starting to rain down from the skies reducing my traffic levels, and after every algorithm update, my traffic levels would be like a yo yo, swinging back and forth. One month I would be down and then the next, it would go back up again like someone with bipolar disorder.

My site is completely whitehat with the exception of leaving blog comments and 1-2 forum posts links. I did no black hat linkbuilding and I had tried my best to optimize on-site seo so I couldn't tell wtf was going on and why my traffic was dropping like that, and how older shittier websites with thin content from back in 2014, and even some sites that weren't even relevant to the query was beating me. My only guess as to why they are ranking above me is because of their domain authority which unfortunately if your the new guy on the block, you can't really do much about it in the short term.

Also as of late I have been noticing a lot of sites getting de-index, including mines. As soon as I resubmit a request for indexing, my keywords and SERPS would suddenly reappear again, but then after another update, its vanished. I seems to be a bug on google's end.

Luckily, I had started another youtube channel as another supplemental source for getting traffic to the site and I get little bits and pieces here and there everyday. The channel surprisingly is doing a lot better then I had expected.

As of writing this, it has over 3k subs in under 6 months and I only uploaded less than 20 videos on the channel. One of my videos also went semi-viral and has over 200k views so far, and all of my videos all have over 1k views with several in the 5 digits. I also get around 30 subs a day.

The channel hasn't been monetized yet because I am waiting to hit 10k subs before monetizing it because I am afraid that if 1-2 of the videos gets demonetized, it will stop being suggested and thus the subs will die, but I reason that If I had at least 10k subs then they could help pull up the weight for future videos in case that happens and let the channel continue growing. Also my videos are not very PC-friendly therefore, there is some risk of demonetization.

I also had built a pinterest account but some jackass troll reported my account for spam despite me hardly even pinning anything on it. In fact, I hadn't even pinned a single pin for a whole week before they banned me. There's a lot of jackass swj and trolls out there with nothing better to do with their time to go around reporting accounts for no reason.

I had the same experience on quora as well. Some troll had reported my answer despite me writing out a long detailed thoughtful answer much better then anyone else's because their was a link on it. I got the account re-opened but I stopped using it altogether after the second time it happened. I saw some people on quora brag that they saw it as their job to go around policing any answers that had links on it. There's a lot of people without nothing better to do with their time then try to wreck yours.

No biggy, because pinterest brought me little to no traffic. Its only good for certain niches.

I also started an email list several months back and currently have around 160 opt ins. Nothing crazy. I only get around 30 or so opt ins each month.

In addition, I had started a new blog as well in a different niche however I made two critical mistakes.
  • The niche I picked has very low cost products to promote on amazon which means I would be earning around $1 a sale.
  • I have zero interest in this niche and find it very difficult to continue writing topics on it unlike my first blog.
  • In addition, there is some competition here, especially for buyer intent keywords which I don't see myself being able to rank in the top 5-6.

So far, I have continued to grind it out and try to push out new content on my first blog but I tell you, I'm quickly reaching my last straw here.

What spurred me to finally start this tread today was because of a hater on my blog leaving me a hateful comment that really got under my nerves.

As of my late, my motivation and mood has really taken a hit.

As I got more and more popular both on my blog and my youtube channel and developed a fanbase, I also seemed to have attracted a lot of haters.

I would see daily comments on my youtube channel such as:
"Your a liar!"
"You don't know what your talking about"
"Your an idiot!"

All these haters and trolls are starting to take their toll on me.

In addition, I recently got dumped by my girlfriend because she thought I was wasting my time with this "fool's dream" and I should have followed the traditional path and getting a regular job like everyone else. Which only makes me question my decision even more. I thought she would have been more supportive or at least given me more time but I guess not.

I find it kind of funny that just like MJ DeMarco, I got dumped for the same reasons.

My earnings right now aren't anywhere near where I would like them to be and my traffic has been decreasing again and even some of my pages are getting de-indexed since that stupid google algorithm update a few days ago, on top of the one about 2 weeks ago which I managed to recover from.

Just seems like nothing is working in my favor right now.

Here are my current stats:

Main blog: almost 10 months old now

About 50+ articles written. Mix of informational and buyer intent. Probably 70% informational/ 30% buyer intent.

Earnings: A little under $400 USD last month, has been going up little by little each month.

Traffic: 20k + last month, has since gone down by around 10-15% down to recent algorithm update :(

Second Blog: About 4-5 months old

10 articles written, all informational

Not monetized yet due to low traffic levels, although do have 8 keywords ranking on the first page of google right now.

Third Blog: Brand new

Domain name bought and site setup but no posts written.

Mistakes made:

The niche I selected for my main blog was a little too narrow and thus the amount of content I can write for it and also the search volume isn't that high and in fact, I was closing in on running out of topics to write about.

I also messed up the niche selection for my second blog and in fact made a poor choice which was even worse then my first blog niche selection. I quickly found out that the affiliate commissions would be way too low based on this niche topic. There's also a lot more competition in this niche.

I should have focused more on buyer intent keywords instead of just writing informational articles which helped me attract a lot of cheapskate freeloaders coming to my site looking for free information.

In fact, I get a lot of fan mail from people asking for advice and information, and even some people asking if we can meetup one on one. I'm really considering charging these people money for wanting my expertise which I'm sure would be a deterrent for them contacting me looking for free advice and consulting.

Going forward:

I recently signed up for ahrefs trial and spent 6 whole days doing nothing except keyword research until my eyes were burning from staring at the computer all day and my wrists were killing me from the carpal tunnel syndrome of typing all day but I must have compiled at least several thousand different keywords for all of my blogs.

With this new list, I now have enough topics to write at least 100 pieces of content for each site and probably more.

Blog #1

-Continue publishing content and shift the focus on more buyer intent keywords.
-Sign up for more affiliate offers and related offers to my niche
-Continue pumping out more youtube videos and try to get the sub base to at least 10k subs and the monetize
-Try a different lead magnet to improve email opt-ins. I'm currently using a free short ebook but considering switching it over to an email course + giving the ebook as well
-Write an ebook and sell it once I get to at least 50k pageviews or have at least 1-2k email subs
-Expand my niche upwards so that I can attract a larger audience and go after higher volume keywords as well as more buyer intent keywords

Blog #2

-I recently purchased an expired domain with a higher domain authority and planning on switching my old domain over to this new one (301 redirect?)
-Write more broader topics with my new domain that can target higher priced affiliate items
-Hire freelance writers to write a few articles for the blog using the funds from blog #1
-Write up a freelance writer guidelines sheet so that I don't get garbage back from the writers
-Monetize the blog once I hit at least 50-100 pageviews a day

Blog #3

-Buy new domain name (don't like the current one because its too broad)
-Setup site
-Write a few articles and then outsource the rest

Email list Building

I will need to look for a new email autoresponder because I just found out that my current one (mailchimp) doesn't allow you to send out affiliate offers which is pretty lame. I'm using their free plan at the moment and can't do automation series emails neither which I need to build the list up quicker. These autoresponder plans are quite pricey so I plan on using a free one to build the list up to 1k before switching over to a paid plan.

Once I switch over to a paid one that is affiliate marketing friendly, I can start promoting affiliate offers to hopefully recoup some of my costs and hopefully even make a little extra profit too.

I don't like spreading myself out so thin between the blogs therefore to make it easier for myself, I plan on using some of my earnings to hire writers to write the articles for me so that I can focus on my main blog which I have the most expertise. I can't really outsource writing for it because its specialized content unless I hire an expert who I have seen in action before.

Education

Continue learning and reading books/watching videos about internet marketing and blogging.
I'm still a complete newbie to all of this and feel like its quite overwhelming for someone like me.

Goals for 2020

Hit $500 USD a month within 4 months from now
Hit $700 USD within 6-7 months from now
Hit $1000 USD within 9-10 months from now
Hit 60k pageviews a month on blog #1
Hit 30k pageviews on blog #2
Hit 20k pageviews on blog #3
Hit at least 10k youtube subs within 6 months (most likely will hit based on current stats and future projections based on social blade)
Monetize youtube channel
Blog #2 earn at least $100 USD a month
Blog #3 earn at least $200 USD a month
Hit 2k email subs
Complete ebook digital product to sell

The reality of the situation

Before starting this journey, I didn't realize that blogging could be so sophisticated and hard. In fact, I think I work harder on this than any job I ever had. There's not a day that goes by where I don't question my decision and whether or not I should just throw in the towel and quit. There is just so much doubts going on in my mind right now. My friend says that I need to be patient and give it more time, but I am quickly approaching that last straw right now, and these haters I come across on a daily basis certainly ain't making it easier.

I also suspect I got hit with negative seo by competitors or haters because I have a lot of spammy porn links linking to my domain, along with some other junk. I was told to wait it out by my friend and not to disavow the links yet or it might have a more negative effect on my traffic. A lot of people play dirty in this realm.

That's why I told myself that if I don't make at least $500 USD within 4 months time from now, I'm gonna quit. That's over a year of blogging yet I can't continue making less than $500 a month. There comes a time when you got to ask yourself whether or not this business is the right one for you or if you should switch your focus to something else. I'm dreading returning back to a job but if I don't start seeing some results soon I'm gonna be left with no choice.

I didn't realize that I would be a one person team doing 3 people's jobs when I started this journey. I certainly hope that as my income improves, I can start hiring people to help take some of these tasks off my hands because I haven't even taken a day off in months now. Everyday has either been fixing something wrong with the websites, trying to setup a new site, researching article ideas, writing and publishing content, making new youtube videos, or reading books or watching youtube videos to continue upgrading my skillset.

In addition, after going through these last couple of google algorithm updates, it has really shown me how important having control is. I never want to be at the mercy of some corporation or someone else. I'm sure affiliate companies can also screw over their affiliates as well. This has lead me to ponder about how I can exact more control over my blogs in the future (sell more of my own digital products, diversify, building up my email lists, etc.)

like MJ DeMarco, I also love warm sunny weather which is why I have decided that once I hit around 1k USD a month, I'm leaving the F*ck outta North America and going somewhere warmer again with a lower cost of living.
 

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Jonathan Hoch

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Whats the explained logic behind not disavowing bad links???!!
 

Hassan

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I'm also in the content marketing game. Keep going I smell solid progress here!
 
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nicheevolution

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Whats the explained logic behind not disavowing bad links???!!
I would assume that you lose the link juice but I'm not 100% sure and how do you determine what is helping your domain rating vs causing it to decrease? If you have a spammy looking site with a domain authority of 30 that is linking back to you, is it helping you or hurting you?
 
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nicheevolution

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I just had an idea while I slept last night. I could actually leverage my subs on youtube to sell my ebook product in the future. I can kind of treat it like a mailing list per a say because there's currently a lot of engagements on my videos. 1 video has over 500 comments. Say I can get that number of subs to at least 10, 20, 30k then I think those are solid numbers to promote an ebook to in addition to my email list subs. I don't know what % of people usually buy from these lists but I think a conservative number would be around 2-2.5%.

Also the ebook product I will be creating will be serving an unmet need. There's currently only 2 ebooks that cover this subject area but I have owned both and to be honest, they aren't very good and the content is very thin eg. less than 100 pages. I confident that I can produce a much better product for the consumer.
 

Dark Water

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Love this post - you're in the trenches. And you're running into obstacles because you keep taking action - that's a good thing. As you figure out why Google's algorithm is currently ranking you lower or another site is giving you bad SEO, you overcome that while the next guy might not be working as hard and won't keep up. Each obstacle is like a little barrier to entry that gives you that much more separation from the pack.

I think you need to keep pressing on. It sounds like you're on the cusp of something bigger. You're making $400/month from your blog. Going from $0-$400 is surely harder than going from $400-$1000. Now you just have to scale. Keep it legit on all platforms (including Quora/Pinterest where you ran into troubles) and work on ways to create more control for yourself like you said.

Is your $400/month purely from Amazon?
 
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nicheevolution

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Love this post - you're in the trenches. And you're running into obstacles because you keep taking action - that's a good thing. As you figure out why Google's algorithm is currently ranking you lower or another site is giving you bad SEO, you overcome that while the next guy might not be working as hard and won't keep up. Each obstacle is like a little barrier to entry that gives you that much more separation from the pack.

I think you need to keep pressing on. It sounds like you're on the cusp of something bigger. You're making $400/month from your blog. Going from $0-$400 is surely harder than going from $400-$1000. Now you just have to scale. Keep it legit on all platforms (including Quora/Pinterest where you ran into troubles) and work on ways to create more control for yourself like you said.

Is your $400/month purely from Amazon?
Nah I made like $5 off of amazon lol. Its from another affiliate + ad revenue. I plan on switching my current ad agency to a premium one once I hit their minimum traffic levels (25k sessions). I know they are more picky about their % of traffic from the usa so I have my fingers cross that I can get in when the time comes. The ad revenue should theoretically double at least if I can get in.

Amazon makes like practically no dent to my earnings, which is why I intend on getting those other websites up and running because I know they are more amazon friendly for recommending products that are higher ticket. I'm thinking in the future I may outsource keyword research to a third party for these two blogs and then outsource the writing too once my main blog earns me enough income to invest back into the business. It will drastically help take my hands off of those two so that I can manage my main blog and once those two blogs start earning income, I can just take the earnings from them and invest back into the blogs rather then use my main blogs earnings.

I also had some employee or owner from a competing company that has a similiar product as my affiliate offer leave me a nasty comment trying to bash my affiliate offer and then magically rave about this "other " company. I knew it was bullshit because that company has like a 1 out of 5 stars on the better business bureau and lots of people claimed they got scammed on it too. My eyes are quickly opening up to how dirty and underhanded people can get out in the real world.
 
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nicheevolution

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Update:

I wish I had better news but it's been a brutal 2 months since I last posted.

Google has continued to roll out algorithm updates several times each month now it seems and dropped my rankings and lots of keywords are lost.

Furthermore, to add insult to injury I discovered 3 other issues:

  1. Some assholes have stolen my content and repurposed it, trying to outrank me. They basically stole my headlines, subheads, key ideas from some of my articles and then paraphrased it or spinning the contents. I found a few websites even stealing my exact headline from my article too.
  2. Some a**hole, maybe the same ones as above, have continued their negative SEO attack by continuing to send spammy backlinks to my domain.
  3. Google released a new algorithm update which essentially reduces your click through rates because if you win the snippets, they now only show your page once rather than twice like previously. This has caused a drop in traffic as well.
  4. Now as if these problems weren't bad enough, covid-19 soon hit and it seems to be having a negative effect on a lot of websites.
To deal with all of these problems this was what I did:

  1. I have signed up for dmca protection and sprinkling my content with my brand name. I'm not sure how much this will help though and the consensus it seems from people who I ask online is that you can't do anything about it, which blows. I guess it's better then nothing.
  2. After seeing my traffic continue to slide, I decided to take a gamble and leap of faith and disavowed all of those spammy backlinks. And guess what happened? After about 1-2 weeks, my traffic number started to climb right back up, but then google pushed another algorithm update around the same time. I'm not sure if its due to the algorithm update or due to me disavowing the bad backlinks, but traffic has returned a bit, although nowhere near as high as before, in fact I'd say I have about a 25-30% drop still from peak levels. So what can I conclude from this? Disavowing backlinks does not hurt your traffic levels and may actually help improve your traffic levels and rankings. What this tells me is that there are a lot of bullshit advice out there on the net. If I hadn't listened to that bullshit advice telling me to just leave the spammy backlinks alone because google is "smart enough" to recognize it or that it would hurt your rankings, I could have potentially recovered my traffic levels much quicker than before.
  3. To make up for the shortfall in traffic, I have had to publish more content.
My earnings have also vanished into thin air. I went from making almost $400 USD a month about 2 months ago to now less than $30 USD for this month based on current projections. I know at least part of the reason for this is due to covid-19 and some traffic loss.

To make up for this shortfall, I basically went and created a brand new site in a different niche and managed to write 20 articles on it so far. I also did a little blog commenting to build a few backlinks to the site. I'm not expecting the site to be making much money yet nor getting a lot of traffic until the 6 month mark due to being placed in the google sandbox, however it's been 2 months now and I'm not even getting at least 1 organic visit to the site from google which is quite worrying. I've even won at least 1 snippet that I know of and are ranked #1 yet barely getting any traffic at all to the site.

In addition to the new website, I also suspect that one of the reasons why I ain't earning more money is because a lot of my content is informational content rather than buyer intent types of articles. What this means is that I'm getting a lot of people just looking for free info rather than looking to spend any money. This has made me switch up article creation process and I'm now looking at creating more buyer intent type of articles which will hopefully help increase earnings.

Lastly, I have now realized how important backlinks are. Since these recent algorithm updates, I have noticed some new top authority websites either ranking below me immediately or overtaking my rankings due to the simple fact that they have a high domain rating and lots of backlinks even if their content is crap and very thin ie. 300 words whereas I created a 3000+ article with lots of pictures, tables, videos, etc. This has lead to me putting a greater emphasize on acquiring links, however, my initial attempts to do blogger outreach has failed and haven't gotten a single reply back despite contacting several websites. This is quite discouraging. I think if I am still not able to acquire backlinks then I might be forced to use blackhat tactics.

This period has been absolutely brutal like receiving several kicks to the balls back to back.

I am on a very thin thread right now of quitting. It's just been setback after setback, obstacle after obstacle. I'm not even sure what I should be doing anymore.

I thought there was supposed to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
 
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nicheevolution

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Update:

I wish I had better news for this update but things have gotten a lot worse, as if my previous problems weren't bad enough.

The site is on it's last legs after the May 4th broad core update from google :(

Apparently a lot of legit websites got hammered including mines.

I was already trying to recover from the previous algorithm update but then this stupid update rolled out and essentially wiped out most of my traffic and now I'm down to around 25% of my original traffic levels. Damn it stings!

Now you would think that my competitors also won because I'm down but it affected all of them, all across the board. Using a tool like semrush shows that they all took huge hits like myself.

The only sites that really won and took up the top spots on the serps were mainly social media sites like Pinterest, reddit, youtube, medium, stock photography sites like gettyimages, shutterstock, and I even saw a few completely related websites beating me, along with my competitors.

If google was trying to give user's the best queries, well then they f*cked up!

This has been a horrible year for me.

First it was the regular monthly algorithm updates, then covid-19, then amazon cut commission rates, then the google broad core update in May, and I just found today that mediavine has increased their requirements to be a publisher with them from 25k sessions a month to 50k sessions.

That means it will take me double the amount of time now to apply to their ad network assuming I even hit 50k sessions a month.

It feels like I'm slowly being cornered bit by bit each month.

My second website is still stuck in the sandbox and is only getting 1-4 hits a day from organic searches which is pathetic.

Right now I'm in panic mood and trying to figure out how to get through this phase.

I've seen doubled down on email marketing and have been devoting a lot of time to learning how to master email marketing and building up my email list. I had originally switched to a paid autoresponder service (convertkit) from MailChimp right before the broad core update on may 4th because I knew I had to have more control and stability over my traffic, but did not expect to get hit so hard so quickly.

I figure with an email list, google or anyone of those other SOB's out there cannot try to screw me over again in the future because I have control over my email list.

Right now the list is still pretty small (270 signups), and I was supposed to be getting around 2, maybe 3 opt-ins a day before that update but now it's down to around 1-2 a day.

I'm looking at other ways right now to increase email signups such as adding in more content upgrades and creating lead magnet freebies to mention on the end of my youtube channel.

I'm also nearly done writing about 6-7 months worth of emails that I will automate and send on a weekly basis.

I had neglected email for so long (wish I had focused more on it sooner) and didn't realize it's importance until now.

Right now my other main source of traffic is coming from youtube and the channel is doing well for some reason even though I haven't posted a video in months now.

Once I get all of these emails done and scheduled to be automatically sent out, I can shift my focus to youtube again.

Since writing the emails in batches, I have learned that I should be doing work in batches so that my audience never runs out of material to read/watch and it allows me more time to focus on other areas.

I'm planning on creating a batch of youtube videos (8-12) and then promoting my lead magnet to hopefully increase email opt-ins exponentially.

I already have had a reader ask me when I was going to release an ebook so I'm hoping that I can increase my mailing list to a sufficient level (1k?) and then start working on my ebook and then hopefully sell it to them and make a bit of money that I could then reinvest back into the business and create 2-3 more premium products that cost more money and then rinse and repeat.

I also have plans to create 1 more website (travel niche) to diversify my income as well but right now my plate is full. The more websites I have, I figure the less impact this will have on me, plus the travel niche isn't in the YMYL which google isn't as much of a prick about.

That's all for now.
 
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nicheevolution

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:( I just can't seem to catch a break...


Update:

Well as you can see from the picture, google decimated my traffic and frankly, I'm not sure if I can recover from this.

I've been focusing all of my attention now on email marketing and just completed 8 months worth of newsletter emails + a months worth of a welcome email series for a total of 9 months worth of emails that are automated and send out with my autoresponder.

I've also just created an ebook content upgrade for one of my most popular articles (peaked around 70-100 visits a day) but after this latest google update is getting around 9-10 visits a day now but so far haven't gotten any opt-ins yet. I'm going to create another 4-5 content upgrades and sprinkle them into my website via new blog posts and embedding them to older most popular ones.

I'm also going to replace my main lead magnet that comes up via a pop-up box which is only getting me a conversion rate of less than 0.5% and hopefully get it up to at least the industry average which is around 2%.

My second site is starting to see a slight uptick in organic traffic but not from google. Most of the traffic seems to be coming from bing. Google is still being cheap with the traffic and giving me around 1-3 hits a day and my site still has 2 more months to go before it's out of the sandbox. Hopefully, I can fall back on this site to make up for the shortfall in traffic and earnings and also to diversify my income.

Lastly, I still got my youtube channel which has over 6k subs and I'm going to start targeting them with lead magnets as well to increase email signups. I'm planning on making at least 8-12 videos within the next month and I'm hoping with a good lead magnet and landing page I can convert around 10% of them. This I believe is pretty much the extent of what I can do and I'm crossing my fingers that I will be able to get a good chunk of conversions to my email list.

If only I had known about these google algorithm updates in the past when I first started my site then maybe I could have action taken to beef up my email list last year :(

I'm not sure what to do anymore at this point. This is making me depressed seeing all of my hard work for over a year just get flushed down the toilet like that due to something I don't even have control over. I tried to create the best content and give the most value to my readers but now garbage sites or huge authority sites have overtaken all of the top positions.
 

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Defection

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Jeez, this has made for pretty harsh reading man. I certainly feel your pain here.

I admire your persistence and really hope that things pick up for you soon.
 

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Martin.G

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Things like this happen with Google all the time, and of course it's not funny at all. But you have a chance to find what is going wrong with your blog. Maybe it's lack of good backlinks or better content. You have there an opportunity to improve.

In my experience, that dancing in positions and visit is because your website doesn't have much authority. Soy you have two options, improve authority or create more blogs to diversify the risk of lack of control with Google. Also, maybe you have a penalization but it's difficult to say without studying the site.

Don't throw your towel yet. It's not easy to make SEO, you are going to spend a couple of years trying to figure it out how it works, but at the end you are going to get a lot of experience.
 

Lex DeVille

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View attachment 33790

:( I just can't seem to catch a break...


Update:

Well as you can see from the picture, google decimated my traffic and frankly, I'm not sure if I can recover from this.

I've been focusing all of my attention now on email marketing and just completed 8 months worth of newsletter emails + a months worth of a welcome email series for a total of 9 months worth of emails that are automated and send out with my autoresponder.

I've also just created an ebook content upgrade for one of my most popular articles (peaked around 70-100 visits a day) but after this latest google update is getting around 9-10 visits a day now but so far haven't gotten any opt-ins yet. I'm going to create another 4-5 content upgrades and sprinkle them into my website via new blog posts and embedding them to older most popular ones.

I'm also going to replace my main lead magnet that comes up via a pop-up box which is only getting me a conversion rate of less than 0.5% and hopefully get it up to at least the industry average which is around 2%.

My second site is starting to see a slight uptick in organic traffic but not from google. Most of the traffic seems to be coming from bing. Google is still being cheap with the traffic and giving me around 1-3 hits a day and my site still has 2 more months to go before it's out of the sandbox. Hopefully, I can fall back on this site to make up for the shortfall in traffic and earnings and also to diversify my income.

Lastly, I still got my youtube channel which has over 6k subs and I'm going to start targeting them with lead magnets as well to increase email signups. I'm planning on making at least 8-12 videos within the next month and I'm hoping with a good lead magnet and landing page I can convert around 10% of them. This I believe is pretty much the extent of what I can do and I'm crossing my fingers that I will be able to get a good chunk of conversions to my email list.

If only I had known about these google algorithm updates in the past when I first started my site then maybe I could have action taken to beef up my email list last year :(

I'm not sure what to do anymore at this point. This is making me depressed seeing all of my hard work for over a year just get flushed down the toilet like that due to something I don't even have control over. I tried to create the best content and give the most value to my readers but now garbage sites or huge authority sites have overtaken all of the top positions.
I don't get why you're so focused on site traffic and Google search. Income School promotes affiliates and ads, but they also say numerous times that neither of those are where the "real" money is. They put huge emphasis on YouTube for lead generation and email lists for targeted promotion now.

The backend approach they started with still works off and on as you've described in previous posts, but it's pretty clear that the overall business model has to have more focus on the type of media people are consuming (YouTube) and selling products you own that solve a real problem for those people.

You've already demonstrated the power of YouTube for yourself. You got results. That should be a primary focus leading into an opt-in and ultimately leading into a product sell. The blog should really be more of an afterthought at this point. Basically just another touchpoint to catch readers who might be going through Google.

Income School also runs Facebook and Google ads. So that is worth a mention as well.

Beyond that, I would suggest looking to more unconventional (unsexy) niches where others aren't as likely to copy you and where there are less people searching overall but the end-products being searched for are high-priced, and there is a desire for information products that help people use the product.

When profit per customer increases you need less customers to achieve the same results. So you really don't need search rank to make a profitable blog.

Forget Google's search algorithms. Bring people to your site and products with YouTube for traffic and guest posts on larger blogs or media outlets for authority if authority is really so important.
 

Andy Black

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This was interesting. @Phikey had only posted that video ty e day before:
 
OP
OP
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nicheevolution

New Contributor
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Jan 10, 2020
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Things like this happen with Google all the time, and of course it's not funny at all. But you have a chance to find what is going wrong with your blog. Maybe it's lack of good backlinks or better content. You have there an opportunity to improve.

In my experience, that dancing in positions and visit is because your website doesn't have much authority. Soy you have two options, improve authority or create more blogs to diversify the risk of lack of control with Google. Also, maybe you have a penalization but it's difficult to say without studying the site.

Don't throw your towel yet. It's not easy to make SEO, you are going to spend a couple of years trying to figure it out how it works, but at the end you are going to get a lot of experience.
It's definitely not the content. I always receive a lot of good feedback from readers about my content, and actually have some people try to copy content which led to me installing a dmca badge and some content protection plugin on my site.

My guess would be that it's down to backlinks which I don't have many. I tried the outreach approach in the past but didn't get anywhere. The people in my niche are quite how do I put this in a nice way "petty" when it comes to guest posts and backlinks. They don't really give each other guest post opportunities nor link to each other's blogs.

I did acquire 2 backlinks in the previous months through an SEO agency but they weren't cheap links by any means.

One of them seems to have helped stabilize the ranking fluctuations for one article that I got backlinks too.

I was contemplating getting some more backlinks and saw one seller sell 5 niche edit links but was hestiant to get it due to high link velocity? With getting backlinks this way it's always a big risk as you can get penalized if caught.

But the strange thing is some of the sites that went up to #1-2 positions that I used to hold are sites with next to no authority, which makes it odd. Even less backlinks then me. It seems this update punished sites that where in the middle. Big authority sites like Pinterest, reddit, facebook, etc gained, and tiny sites gained, while medium sized sites got hit really bad. Now the question about authority is also a little strange, one of the top websites if not the top one got hit as well and based on their semrush data has been on a downward spiral since last year. They have a big authority too.

My site has no manual penalization according to search console so I can only guess that it's due to the algorithm from google that was recently updated in May. A tonne of sites tanked due to it.

Do you suggest I just say F*ck it and get those 5 backlinks and continue sprinkling more backlinks each month to beef up the backlink profile of the site?
 
OP
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nicheevolution

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Jan 10, 2020
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I don't get why you're so focused on site traffic and Google search. Income School promotes affiliates and ads, but they also say numerous times that neither of those are where the "real" money is. They put huge emphasis on YouTube for lead generation and email lists for targeted promotion now.

The backend approach they started with still works off and on as you've described in previous posts, but it's pretty clear that the overall business model has to have more focus on the type of media people are consuming (YouTube) and selling products you own that solve a real problem for those people.

You've already demonstrated the power of YouTube for yourself. You got results. That should be a primary focus leading into an opt-in and ultimately leading into a product sell. The blog should really be more of an afterthought at this point. Basically just another touchpoint to catch readers who might be going through Google.

Income School also runs Facebook and Google ads. So that is worth a mention as well.

Beyond that, I would suggest looking to more unconventional (unsexy) niches where others aren't as likely to copy you and where there are less people searching overall but the end-products being searched for are high-priced, and there is a desire for information products that help people use the product.

When profit per customer increases you need less customers to achieve the same results. So you really don't need search rank to make a profitable blog.

Forget Google's search algorithms. Bring people to your site and products with YouTube for traffic and guest posts on larger blogs or media outlets for authority if authority is really so important.
I stopped watching their videos several months ago and stopped following their methods.

There was a recent announcement by google that guest posts should now be tagged as nofollow so my guess is that guest posting won't be that much helpful in the near future for building authority.

It seems they are really trying to police websites now.

I'm most likely going to be moving away from ads going forward. They are killing my site speed and google apparently is going to take look at this as a major ranking factor in 2021 according to their latest core web vitals announcement.

I guess going forward, it's going to just be YT as my main lead generation tool, and diversifying even more of my website portfolio in several niches.

I'll give these a try and see how it goes. thx
 

Martin.G

Contributor
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It's definitely not the content. I always receive a lot of good feedback from readers about my content, and actually have some people try to copy content which led to me installing a dmca badge and some content protection plugin on my site.

My guess would be that it's down to backlinks which I don't have many. I tried the outreach approach in the past but didn't get anywhere. The people in my niche are quite how do I put this in a nice way "petty" when it comes to guest posts and backlinks. They don't really give each other guest post opportunities nor link to each other's blogs.

I did acquire 2 backlinks in the previous months through an SEO agency but they weren't cheap links by any means.

One of them seems to have helped stabilize the ranking fluctuations for one article that I got backlinks too.

I was contemplating getting some more backlinks and saw one seller sell 5 niche edit links but was hestiant to get it due to high link velocity? With getting backlinks this way it's always a big risk as you can get penalized if caught.

But the strange thing is some of the sites that went up to #1-2 positions that I used to hold are sites with next to no authority, which makes it odd. Even less backlinks then me. It seems this update punished sites that where in the middle. Big authority sites like Pinterest, reddit, facebook, etc gained, and tiny sites gained, while medium sized sites got hit really bad. Now the question about authority is also a little strange, one of the top websites if not the top one got hit as well and based on their semrush data has been on a downward spiral since last year. They have a big authority too.

My site has no manual penalization according to search console so I can only guess that it's due to the algorithm from google that was recently updated in May. A tonne of sites tanked due to it.

Do you suggest I just say F*ck it and get those 5 backlinks and continue sprinkling more backlinks each month to beef up the backlink profile of the site?
You shouldn't get a lot of links in a short time because that can get you a penalization for sure. Well, it's depends, but the possibilities are greater.

In January, when google roll out a big update, I saw a lot of movement in the SERP. Specially with sites with a lot of authority. Also, I saw that sites like Pinterest rank better that blogs with much information. Then in May some things changes, but not at the same level of January. If your site gain a lot of traffic at the beginning of the year and then you lost it in the May, maybe is Google adjusting things.

My advice (I am not considered an expert) is that you should continue working in the content first, try to figure it up if the response the search intention. Sometimes we can create an excellent big content, with images, videos and other things but the visitor only want to answer a yer or no question. If you say that people love it, continue doing that, that a good thing.

Also, try to get links, but really good one. Maybe not in your niche, but in other similar. Like for example, if you have a niche about cellphones, a blog talking about computers or video games could be a good fit.

Maybe a guest post. I know you think that it is a bad idea, but I don't think the same. If you get 5 guest post per week it is going to look bad, but if you get one per month, and you write a great post that offer value is a different thing. A good link is a link that get you traffics, so if you write something that help people, they are going to want to visit your blog and get more. And that for Google is a very good thing.

The problems start when you do it in a blog that sell guest post and have many. I listen a podcast a couple month ago (I don't remember which, maybe authority hacker or SEO 101) that talk about that. Specially a blog that have a lot of this kind of articles. At the end, it got a penalization that the outgoing links don't transfer link juice.

The guideline say that if you have a guest post in your blog they have to be nofollow. But as SEO, if we comply with everything we are told is like we can't do anything.

Try one or a couple of links, don't spam, keep the good work with the content and, in the end, Google is going to see the "good" work that you put in the blog.

Be a SEO is more a work of patient, so if you have a rough month don't lose your faith. Try to improve and make things better, it is an opportunity for that. I don't mean that you don't do it now, but always we can improve.

I hope that what I wrote has sense, because I wrote a lot and English is not my main language.
 
OP
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nicheevolution

New Contributor
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Jan 10, 2020
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You shouldn't get a lot of links in a short time because that can get you a penalization for sure. Well, it's depends, but the possibilities are greater.

In January, when google roll out a big update, I saw a lot of movement in the SERP. Specially with sites with a lot of authority. Also, I saw that sites like Pinterest rank better that blogs with much information. Then in May some things changes, but not at the same level of January. If your site gain a lot of traffic at the beginning of the year and then you lost it in the May, maybe is Google adjusting things.

My advice (I am not considered an expert) is that you should continue working in the content first, try to figure it up if the response the search intention. Sometimes we can create an excellent big content, with images, videos and other things but the visitor only want to answer a yer or no question. If you say that people love it, continue doing that, that a good thing.

Also, try to get links, but really good one. Maybe not in your niche, but in other similar. Like for example, if you have a niche about cellphones, a blog talking about computers or video games could be a good fit.

Maybe a guest post. I know you think that it is a bad idea, but I don't think the same. If you get 5 guest post per week it is going to look bad, but if you get one per month, and you write a great post that offer value is a different thing. A good link is a link that get you traffics, so if you write something that help people, they are going to want to visit your blog and get more. And that for Google is a very good thing.

The problems start when you do it in a blog that sell guest post and have many. I listen a podcast a couple month ago (I don't remember which, maybe authority hacker or SEO 101) that talk about that. Specially a blog that have a lot of this kind of articles. At the end, it got a penalization that the outgoing links don't transfer link juice.

The guideline say that if you have a guest post in your blog they have to be nofollow. But as SEO, if we comply with everything we are told is like we can't do anything.

Try one or a couple of links, don't spam, keep the good work with the content and, in the end, Google is going to see the "good" work that you put in the blog.

Be a SEO is more a work of patient, so if you have a rough month don't lose your faith. Try to improve and make things better, it is an opportunity for that. I don't mean that you don't do it now, but always we can improve.

I hope that what I wrote has sense, because I wrote a lot and English is not my main language.
I'm not saying getting guest posts are bad, what I mean is getting guest posts through outreach isn't that good anymore due to google telling people to use the nofollow tag so you get no link juice. I still think buying a guest link (more like contextual link) is ok.

I also tried to do guest post outreach previous in my niche but got no takers. In fact, I wrote one guest post and submitted to one guy and heard nothing back. He had a guest post submission area on his blog. I followed up with him but still got no reply back. Quite rude to be honest and a waste of my time. I spent 2-3 days writing out an excellent blog post for him and proof-read it a few times as well. It was much better quality and in-depth compared to his previous articles.

But now I am seeing that his blog is posting junk articles with a lot of huge grammar and spelling mistakes and it looks like he's selling backlinks so I'm glad I didn't get a guest post off of his site. Some niches welcome guests post like my second site (sports) but this niche for some reason attracts really petty types of people that don't want to help each other out.

Right now I am leaning towards buying a package of 5 links (guy only says in packages of at least 5 links) and asking the guy to space them out over a week. I'll of course have to look at the anchor text ratio and be very careful about which anchor text that I use and I also don't plan on linking all of the links to 5 articles. Maybe only 1 link to each different article.

Do you think this would be a safe option? I'm hoping that this will help with the site authority issue.
 

KeepGoin

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Hey Nichee,

I have a blog that I am working on as well. I never build backlinks, I never read my competitors articles or give a damn about them stealing my shit. What I do is constantly try to find ways to increase the user experience and conversions.

This has led me to go from 1k in may to 2k this month despite rate cuts. But what I do is try to write an article every single day of the week. I focus on my writing, buttons, intros, optimizing for mobile, and speed. I glanced over your words and saw a lot of things like "can't catch a break, x isn't working, y happened". I think you just need to keep hammering away until you break through that wall, every day.

The only thing you can control is your output.

Keep trying and you will get there. Scale with the internet means anything is possible, for me I needed amazon to get my wheels spinning and the extra money has allowed me to really take risks now. Many people make 50k a month on a website without having to rip anyone off, just with helpful advice/articles.
 

Martin.G

Contributor
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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jan 31, 2019
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Argentina
I'm not saying getting guest posts are bad, what I mean is getting guest posts through outreach isn't that good anymore due to google telling people to use the nofollow tag so you get no link juice. I still think buying a guest link (more like contextual link) is ok.

I also tried to do guest post outreach previous in my niche but got no takers. In fact, I wrote one guest post and submitted to one guy and heard nothing back. He had a guest post submission area on his blog. I followed up with him but still got no reply back. Quite rude to be honest and a waste of my time. I spent 2-3 days writing out an excellent blog post for him and proof-read it a few times as well. It was much better quality and in-depth compared to his previous articles.

But now I am seeing that his blog is posting junk articles with a lot of huge grammar and spelling mistakes and it looks like he's selling backlinks so I'm glad I didn't get a guest post off of his site. Some niches welcome guests post like my second site (sports) but this niche for some reason attracts really petty types of people that don't want to help each other out.

Right now I am leaning towards buying a package of 5 links (guy only says in packages of at least 5 links) and asking the guy to space them out over a week. I'll of course have to look at the anchor text ratio and be very careful about which anchor text that I use and I also don't plan on linking all of the links to 5 articles. Maybe only 1 link to each different article.

Do you think this would be a safe option? I'm hoping that this will help with the site authority issue.
I never buy backlinks. If it's a serious project you should get it manually and make sure that are high quality. You can pay, but not the packs, probably are spam in sites that you can get for free, like profiles o forums.
 
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nicheevolution

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Hey Nichee,

I have a blog that I am working on as well. I never build backlinks, I never read my competitors articles or give a damn about them stealing my shit. What I do is constantly try to find ways to increase the user experience and conversions.

This has led me to go from 1k in may to 2k this month despite rate cuts. But what I do is try to write an article every single day of the week. I focus on my writing, buttons, intros, optimizing for mobile, and speed. I glanced over your words and saw a lot of things like "can't catch a break, x isn't working, y happened". I think you just need to keep hammering away until you break through that wall, every day.

The only thing you can control is your output.

Keep trying and you will get there. Scale with the internet means anything is possible, for me I needed amazon to get my wheels spinning and the extra money has allowed me to really take risks now. Many people make 50k a month on a website without having to rip anyone off, just with helpful advice/articles.
Congrats on hitting 2k this month. I hope that I can hit 2k sometime in the near future as well.
 

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nicheevolution

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Jan 10, 2020
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I never buy backlinks. If it's a serious project you should get it manually and make sure that are high quality. You can pay, but not the packs, probably are spam in sites that you can get for free, like profiles o forums.
I tried that route months ago, email outreach, haro, submitted guest posts to sites that said they are accepting guest posts, leaving comments trying to talk with webmasters to build relationships but for some reason or another in this niche, people just don't want to help each other. Even buying backlinks directly in this niche is sparse. And earning natural backlinks is tough. There was one incidence where one of my competitors who runs a forum, had a member link to one of my YT videos because the video is good and then the webmaster removed the thread. Talk about being petty.

If it weren't for these reasons, I probably wouldn't go this route either. In my other niche, webmasters seems to be quite happy to network and talk to each other and I'm sure asking to guest post wouldn't be quite as bad as this one.

Websites of course need to be carefully checked such as if it has any real traffic, manual penalties, etc.

Nearly all of the backlinks that my competitors acquired were paid backlinks according to ahrefs, and I'm sure a few are using hidden pbn links too which I won't touch at all.
 
Last edited:

KeepGoin

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Congrats on hitting 2k this month. I hope that I can hit 2k sometime in the near future as well.
Thanks. And even if you don't hit the number you want, don't let it consume you.

I've developed a bad habit of checking analytics/earnings. You start to notice you're watching graphs more than making content that helps people. It's a slippery slope, and I'm glad I saw your post. It was a reminder for me to get back into being the student and having humility.
 
OP
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nicheevolution

New Contributor
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Thanks. And even if you don't hit the number you want, don't let it consume you.

I've developed a bad habit of checking analytics/earnings. You start to notice you're watching graphs more than making content that helps people. It's a slippery slope, and I'm glad I saw your post. It was a reminder for me to get back into being the student and having humility.
Yeah tell me about it. I've become OCD with looking at my analytics 10-15 times a day now lol.
 

Private Witt

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Yeah tell me about it. I've become OCD with looking at my analytics 10-15 times a day now lol.
Me too man.

You seem to know a lot about SEO, would you ever consider earning extra money off other's projects if opportunity came up for independent contractor work or are you 100% just on own stuff.
 
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nicheevolution

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Me too man.

You seem to know a lot about SEO, would you ever consider earning extra money off other's projects if opportunity came up for independent contractor work or are you 100% just on own stuff.
I hardly consider myself an expert on SEO. I'm advanced beginner at best when it comes to SEO. I wouldn't brush aside an opportunity that came along but of course I would have to make sure that I am qualified for the work first.
 

Martin.G

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I tried that route months ago, email outreach, haro, submitted guest posts to sites that said they are accepting guest posts, leaving comments trying to talk with webmasters to build relationships but for some reason or another in this niche, people just don't want to help each other. Even buying backlinks directly in this niche is sparse. And earning natural backlinks is tough. There was one incidence where one of my competitors who runs a forum, had a member link to one of my YT videos because the video is good and then the webmaster removed the thread. Talk about being petty.

If it weren't for these reasons, I probably wouldn't go this route either. In my other niche, webmasters seems to be quite happy to network and talk to each other and I'm sure asking to guest post wouldn't be quite as bad as this one.

Websites of course need to be carefully checked such as if it has any real traffic, manual penalties, etc.

Nearly all of the backlinks that my competitors acquired were paid backlinks according to ahrefs, and I'm sure a few are using hidden pbn links too which I won't touch at all.
The problem with guest post is that the site openly accept that kind of post I am not think is worth the effort to get a link from there. Maybe if you reach others webmasters and help their sharing their content in social networks and comment before ask for a guest you can get one. The best links are not easy to get, if not all your competition can get one too.

PBN and paid link are "good" backlinks to boost rank up, but at the end you are going to get a penalization.

I don't remember if you said it the post, but how much time have you been working in this project?
 
OP
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nicheevolution

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Jan 10, 2020
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The problem with guest post is that the site openly accept that kind of post I am not think is worth the effort to get a link from there. Maybe if you reach others webmasters and help their sharing their content in social networks and comment before ask for a guest you can get one. The best links are not easy to get, if not all your competition can get one too.

PBN and paid link are "good" backlinks to boost rank up, but at the end you are going to get a penalization.

I don't remember if you said it the post, but how much time have you been working in this project?
It doesn't work like that in my niche. Nearly all of my competitors are using paid backlinks cause rarely does anyone backlink to each other. People in my niche just don't backlink to each other even if the competitor has good info.

The site is over 1 year old now. I'm slowly transitioning over to email marketing because SEO is not predictable and your traffic can be wiped out overnight. At least with email, you control your audience and google or anybody else cannot take that way from you.
 

Martin.G

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It doesn't work like that in my niche. Nearly all of my competitors are using paid backlinks cause rarely does anyone backlink to each other. People in my niche just don't backlink to each other even if the competitor has good info.

The site is over 1 year old now. I'm slowly transitioning over to email marketing because SEO is not predictable and your traffic can be wiped out overnight. At least with email, you control your audience and google or anybody else cannot take that way from you.
That's a good strategy.
 

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