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Authority Site Case Study

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by pyronaut, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    I've seen a lot of "Authority Site" journeys popping up here, so I thought why not jump on the bandwagon? It's been a long time since I really did much in the SEO sphere, so jumping in the deep end and trying to create an authority site in a pretty broad niche sounded like a good idea to me.

    My Niche
    My niche is pretty broad, And if I'm being honest it doesn't get that much traffic. But it's something I'm very interested in, so it's easier to write about, and find content for.

    My Site
    I'm going to be using an existing site. The site is about 9 months old, and I've never really done much to it. It gets about 50-100UV's a day, mostly from social media. For the most part I haven't done any SEO, and I've used the site more for testing out various wordpress plugins, and PHP tools. With this in mind, even though it is an aged site, it's backlink profile is pretty bland and it doesn't get much traffic from the SERPs anyway (max 5 visits a day).

    The site has posts going out once every 2 days for the main blog. These are small content snippets. It's kinda hard to describe how it works without telling you exactly what I'm writing about. But imagine that my site was based on a type of car (It's not!), and every 2 days, I post "stats" about that car, with a blurb. That's about it. So it's not really "great" content, but it's regular content. On top of this, I have wordpress "Pages" that I write massive articles about specific parts of the niche. For example, if it was a car blog, I might write an article about "Manual vs Automatic Transmissions". That's really generic, and I'm well aware the chances of ranking for something like that are tiny, but I feel I've got a pretty good shot at it. I don't want my articles to be too laser targeted, as it's about authority!

    The Plan
    My plan has a couple of prongs.
    - I want to obviously build quality backlinks at a decent pace. Most of the backlinks will be manual I feel as this is the best way to ensure quality. I own licenses to various SEO softwares (As well as developing my own tools myself), but I'd prefer to go the somewhat cheap route to show that you don't need a tonne of money to get going. So this will rule out most of the BST threads as well, as I don't want to "buy" my way to the top.
    - Create large social accounts for the site including a mailing list (More on this later). Again, most of these social accounts will be built up slowly, and without (too many) blackhat techniques. I already have a sizeable twitter and pinterest, but I want to keep building these.
    - Write even more large articles. People keep telling me to outsource this, but every single time I've outsourced, no one has had any idea about the topic and 5 minutes of research is not going to help in this regard. Creating large, helpful and informative articles will keep the search engines happy, and create great content that people will come back for.

    Note for all of this. I'm going to be doing it in my own time. I'm a regular guy, I enjoy my regular job, have an awesome family, this is just a side project of mine. I'll still try and post regular updates when I can though :)

    The Goal
    At the moment, I'm running adsense for monetization (may change), and I make around $1.80RPM (Revenue per mili), so that means to make $1000 in a month from this site, I'll need about 555k pageviews per month. That sounds like a lot, but I expect the RPM to increase as I get more traffic and work out better ad placements/ad providers, and remember that 555k is pageviews, not visitors. I expect that requirement to shoot downwards as I get more traffic. But for now, let's just make the goal $1000 month :).
     
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  2. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 1

    Yesterdays UVs : 66
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 112

    My first step in creating a well tiered backlinking strategy was to start building "authority" web 2.0 links. My general strategy is to create blogs on various web 2.0's, and slowly put articles, images, and videos on them to make them look extremely legit. They will also all drop the link to my site at different times. Today I started just with 5 web 2.0's to get started.

    In notepad, I wrote out quickly 5 posts for each web 2.0. Each post falls into a certain category.
    - Infographic
    - Video
    - Image Post (Non infographic)
    - Question (Sort of an article, but because it's written as a personal blog, I ask the audience a question)
    - Link to a social media account to follow. Written like "Hey I've been following this awesome person on twitter : XYZ, they tweet about blah blah".

    The sites I signed up to today were...
    - Wix.com
    - Live Journal
    - Webs.com
    - Jimdo.com
    - Blog.com

    For each one, I posted a different type of post. So wix got a video, jimdo got an infographic etc. At this point, I dropped a small article (200 or so words), with a deeplink to a particular article on my site from Livejournal ONLY (No other sites link to me yet). Every 2 days, I will drop another post onto these web 2.0's. But each time, only one web 2.0 will drop a link to my site. Even after my link is dropped on them, every 2 days posts will still go out of videos etc. This means that the site looks extremely legitimate and puts quite a bit of power behind the links. Also, each site has an about page that has been completely rewritten (and in a different style), making it look even more legitimate.

    Now, the bad. As it turns out, Wix, LiveJournal, and Webs.com are all no-follow to outgoing links :( That really sucks and I stuffed up there. I contemplated moving the posts to a different platform but for now I'll leave them there.

    The plan in the future is that each time I do a large article on my site, that I do another run of 5 "legitimate" posts on these web 2.0's, and somewhere in there I drop in a link to my site. That means only 1 in 6 posts on the web 2.0's link to my site, I think that's pretty good. And now that I have them up, it literally takes seconds to find videos/infographics for my niche.

    Going forward, I'll create some more web 2.0's (try and get more follow links though!), and continually build up my tier 1 web 2.0 network.

    Tomorrow, my plan is to take a look at my social profiles and ways to improve. Onward and upward!
     
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  3. arganrecords

    arganrecords Elite Member

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    You're right, you've to be expert in the topic you're writing to ensure the return of visitors. Otherwise you will not really help the visitors.
    The copywriter is good but standard arguments for an authoritative site can not help you in your goal.

    As methods of earning only AdSense and the mailing list? You will not use something inherent in affiliate marketing? Your niche allows it?

    Edit: I forgot to wish you good luck but I think you do not need luck, that you are an expert in what you do and I know you will do a great job (seeing the direction in which you moved the first day).
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  4. blackiesap

    blackiesap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Sounds like a plan.

    I am also going to build 2 sites.. The most difficult part for me is to find good article writers.

    Are you writing posts for your main site yourself as wel or outsourcing?
     
  5. arganrecords

    arganrecords Elite Member

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    The answer is in the initial thread that you should have read before answering.
     
  6. blackiesap

    blackiesap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    My bad, skimmed through the first post , obviously missed that part..

    Thanks for pointing out..
     
  7. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Possibly later on I will switch away from Adsense. I actually think Amazon could be the bigger earner with this, but the problem is it's mostly low ticket items so I would need to sell A LOT. At this point, with such low traffic it's not advantageous yet to set up split testing with ads, there won't be enough data to draw conclusions. Later on I'll try and test with different ads, but also different ad placements.

    In my post later today, I'll talk about how I'm using my mailing list now and ways that I'm trying to get more people onto it.

    All articles are written by myself. For an authority site, I think you need to know what you are talking about. In my case, I need to provide exact numbers and provide help to the reader so that they keep browsing the site. I think if you talk crap, you will have an instantly high bounce rate as it's really obvious if you don't know your stuff. With that being said, the "blog" articles are very small. It's more like a collection of specifications about something, and then with a blurb in the post (Maybe 4 sentences). These go out every 2 days. The actual articles that are providing massive benefits to the reader (And I hope later on the SERPS), go out much slower, but are much much larger in length.
     
  8. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 2

    Yesterdays UVs : 59
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 105


    Not a lot went on today. On a personal note, I recently got back from a massive trip around South America (Inca Trail was amazing!), so I'm massively jetlagged and trying to get back my sleep patterns. But here's a bit of what I did.

    I couldn't do anything with my web 2.0 link network. I'm trying to do a post every 2 days, so today was an off day, tomorrow I'll be posting another link in it. That's about it for SEO today although I did use http://www.openlinkprofiler.org to check out what links I currently have and where I need to work on. Definitely I need to work on some more "authority" links and non-nofollow links. That would be a GREAT start :)

    So today I took a look at my twitter account. At the moment I am following about 100 people a day via http://unfollowers.me/, everyday I login and unfollow the people that didn't follow me back and repeat. 100 a day is kinda low, but it's a good number right now to keep my twitter account churning over. I signed up for SocialOomph (free), to schedule tweets. At the moment I only scheduled "FollowFriday" tweets to make my twitter account look more normal. I scheduled enough of these to last a couple of months. I wanted to schedule some more, and I thought the best way would be to schedule infrographics/images etc. As I feel these will get the most "engagement". Unfortunately, Socialoomph doesn't allow for scheduling of tweets that contain images. That's a bummer so I did one manually to see the effects anyway.

    It's kinda new. But if you didn't know you can track what's happening with your twitter account at https://analytics.twitter.com. It tracks a TONNE of data that is super useful. At the moment I'm just checking how my regular tweets go compared to FollowFridays and the infographics.

    Also today I posted a link on Reddit. It did better than I expected, so I'll probably slowly post stuff up on Reddit as I go. I posted it on my own personal account, which I think will help in the long run as I comment a lot so my account looks legit. Besides, what I posted from my site is actually good information, not just spammy crap.

    Tomorrow, the plan is to take a look at some aspects of my site I'm not too thrilled about, and possibly plan a competition to gain more social followers. More on that later :)
     
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  9. himanuzo

    himanuzo Supreme Member

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    Keep updating this thread until you meet your goal - $1,000/mo. Good luck!
     
  10. nichexposure

    nichexposure Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Seems to me great SEO plan to build a niche site .I am thinking to follow your plan and build a website with your working plan .
     
  11. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 3

    Yesterdays UVs : 166
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 207


    A quick note about the stats. Yesterday I posted one of my longer articles on Reddit in a relevant subreddit. It was well received (Which I was surprised about), and gave me plenty to think about. Firstly, in the comments people mentioned wanting to see an article on topic ABC and XYZ. Great! So now I have some more topics to write about and I know they will be well received by people! Not only that, but it made me also realise that my article landing pages are pretty bad when it comes to bounce rate. Infact they are terrible. So today I spent the day retweaking my custom version of the wordpress plugin YARPP to work better on my blog pages. This means that underneath the article, they are presented with some nice thumbnails/titles of related posts to click through to. This will up my pageviews per visit considerably (Or atleast I hope).

    With Twitter today, I checked out the stats of my infographic tweet on https://analytics.twitter.com . It went great! Plenty of engagement which is good to see. A few legit retweets and favourites, so I know I'm on the right track for creating a twitter account that people actually want to follow. An interesting note, is that a small post went out today on my blog, and so far I'm seeing higher engagement on that post than I normally get on twitter. So mixing up my promotional posts with just random tweets and images seems to really help when I do need to send out a promotional tweet. Still way more work to do here though!

    Today was the next bit of my "Authority Web 2.0 link tier". I posted an article/image/video on each of my 5 Web 2.0 sites I have up and running. Well, except for blog.com which seems to be down for me (Which is a real pain because it's a follow site...). The site that I made link to my actual money site today was Wix.com (which is nofollow). The rest all just had various articles and stuff posted on them with NO outbound linking to make them more legit and for Google to lap them up.

    I have to run, meeting people at the bar. And tomorrow is also election day here in New Zealand so not sure how much I can get done tomorrow. But I'm thinking of possibly doing some small video marketing. Or basically re-upping videos related to my niche. If possibly, I'll try and watermark them with Camtasia or something, although that's not too important at this stage. I used to use I think it was TubeMogul to distribute videos, but it looks like they've gone all legit and non-free. So I could just upload them manually to Vimeo, DailyMotion and Youtube and see what happens.
     
  12. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 4

    Yesterdays UVs : 77
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 125


    Election day today in my country, so it's mostly been sitting in anticipation waiting for the results to start coming in (And now I'm here because the party I voted for is getting thrashed...)... Anyway. Today I took a look at video sites. I found a pretty decent video in my niche that was on a channel that seemed to be similar to what I'm looking for (e.g. It's on a channel of a person that obviously did not create it). I used http://www.clipconverter.cc/ to download it. I thought about watermarking it, but I felt that might annoy the original creator. So I just kept it the same and reuploaded it. Here's the sites and a bit of a rundown.

    Youtube.com - Obviously the biggest video site out. Allows links in the video description.
    Vimeo.com - Another big site. Although you're only supposed to upload videos you personally have created... we'll see. Allows links in the video description. Also allows links in your profile description, and has a section for website/facebook/twitter links in your profile. So I added them all.
    Dailymotion.com - Allows links in the video description. Does not allow links in your profile description. Does have a section in the profile to add your website/facebook/twitter.
    Veoh.com - For some reason, my video has been in "processing" all day, so unsure if your link is live on the video description. Does not allow links in your profile description. It has a section in your profile to add a website to your profile... but this doesn't seem to be clickable/an actual link. So... Not sure on this site.
    Metacafe.com - Does not work at all. I'm not even sure if metacafe is still useable. Seems kinda broken. Couldn't add videos/edit profile at all on my computer....
    4shared.com - Does not create a clickable link in your video description. Won't use again.
    Break.com - Unable to register my account for some reason....

    So... Not a hugely successful day, but sometimes that's the way it goes. I did atleast get a few live links up, and I have these accounts to use forever now. I'll probably upload a video every week or so to keep them rolling over. Any suggestions for other video sites to use that allow clickable links?
     
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  13. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 5 + 6

    Day Before Yesterdays UVs : 38
    Day Before Yesterdays Pageviews : 45

    Yesterdays UVs : 82
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 127


    Sorry I missed a day! But stats above. I didn't end up doing too much anyway. What I did manage to do was add another round of posts to my Web 2.0 network. This time it was Jimdo that gave a link back to my blog which is great as it's a follow link. That summed up my SEO efforts just for these two days, but I definitely formulated a small plan to kickstart the linking again in the coming weeks.

    For Twitter. I got exactly the response I was hoping for my FollowFriday. I got a retweet, a reply, and a favorite from the person I FollowFriday'd. They are actually a very influential blogger in my niche. To be fair, I don't think I really saw much of a roll on from it in terms of new follows, but I think it made my account look more legit in Twitters eyes. I also tweeted out another infographic that managed to get multiple retweets and favourites. I'm actually thinking that I will be able to up the amount of people I try and follow each day for a follow back as I'm starting to look WAY more natural with natural tweets, retweets and favourites.

    And the biggest news of them all. I started planning a new giveaway to do on the site. It will go out in about 4 days so at that time I'll share the details of how people can enter etc. But it should hopefully gain me a lot more social followers. The biggest thing with this is that Facebook has recently changed their rules that you can't incentivise likes on your page come november. So now is probably the last chance to run a giveaway for people liking your page (You can't even Like gate anymore!).

    So slow going, but it's all the ground work and seeing what works before we really take off :)
     
  14. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 7 + 8

    Day Before Yesterdays UVs : 67
    Day Before Yesterdays Pageviews : 95

    Yesterdays UVs : 58
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 76


    Again, a few hectic days. I've been falling behind on everything that I wanted to do. I'm doing all the content, SEO, Social Media, and web development (New features coming soon!) on my own. And I just can't keep up. Some things now need to be outsourced. Thank my lucky stars for the BHW Marketplace! I've decided (And through a set of lucky coincidences), to outsource some of the SEO to a BST thread here. It probably sounds a bit like cheating, and maybe it is. But it's ONE service here, and I'll still be doing various social media/SEO stuff, just the bulk of it will be offloaded. It's only just started, so I won't go on about the service here. I'll wait about a week before really digging into what I'm getting.

    Anyway, onto what I have actually been doing. I've decided to run a competition to increase my followers across all social media accounts. It basically works that, I give away a prize, and to enter, you have to like our facebook page, follow us on twitter etc. There were two options to run a competition like this.

    Rafflecopter - I've used them for 2 previous competitions. Pretty simple interface. The free option doesn't allow Pinterest or Viral (refer a friend) entries. The competition when embeded on your page looks kinda bleak (In this drab grey color). You can see all entries and verify that they have completed the action after the fact. e.g. If someone likes me on facebook. But by the time the competition ends, unlikes me, I can see all their details and make sure they can't win.

    Gleam.io - Never used them before, but look good. Really good system for setting up competitions. WAY more options in the free version of ways people can enter, including Pinterest and Viral entries. Looks super slick on your webpage after embedding (flash colors etc). But, you can't see entries as they come in. You can see the number of entries, but not the details of those people. So I can't even see how many people have used the "Like on facebook" option to enter... That's kinda lame. It also seems that no matter what entry someone uses, they still have to enter their email for contact details. I'm pretty sure on Rafflecopter this isn't the case, and I've just contacted the winners via DM on Twitter etc.

    So the winner is.....

    Gleam.io
    Actually, it kinda wins by default. I think some it's features are far worse than rafflecopter. The inability to see all users is actually a real big pain.. But I've used rafflecopter before so let's mix it up!

    At the time of writing this, the competition has already kicked off. Infact I'm actually a few days behind on these updates, so I'll past another in an hour or so for "Yesterday's" update. That will contain more details about the competition (hopefully!)
     
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  15. HelloInsomnia

    HelloInsomnia Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I don't think outsourcing is cheating, you should use all the resources you can to give the site the best advantage.
     
  16. Advancing

    Advancing Newbie

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    It's only cheating if you get caught! Good luck on your journey, subscribed.
     
  17. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 9

    Yesterdays UVs : 113
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 151


    The competition is now in full swing. As of this exact moment (e.g. Yesterday and a bit of today combined are)...

    Like The XYZ on Facebook 25
    Subscribe To Our Mailing List 13
    Follow XYZ on Twitter 13
    Follow XYZ on Pinterest 12
    Comment on This Blog Post 9
    Pin an image from this board 8
    Tweet on Twitter 3

    So in total we've had 83 entries, but that's from only 36 users. Still, I am pretty happy with how it's going. It's generated a tonne of traffic, and all those people that follow me on social networks or subscribe to the mailing list are future visitors anyway. I've got them locked into the cycle to see my updates and be return visitors time and time again.

    So how am I getting traffic with the competition? It's been reddit mostly generating the traffic. I posted in relevant subreddits to my niche, and people lap it up. I also sent an email out to my (small) mailing list, letting them know about the competition, and obviously my various social media accounts on FB, Twitter and Pinterest. The prize I'm giving away is about $16, so I want to see what sort of ROI I can get on that. Essentially if I can get even say 200 new followers on the various social media accounts from this, then that's $0.08 a like/follow etc. Which isn't too bad. That also doesn't count people that naturally now see my stuff because their friends are liking it etc. It also doesn't count the SEO/Buzz benefits I get and people linking to the competition anyway.

    We'll see how we go!
     
  18. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 10

    Yesterdays UVs : 204
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 361


    As you can see, huge amount of UV's from the competition which is great! The other amazing thing about it all, is that people coming for the competition are actually taking a good look around the site, not just entering and running. In total right of this moment, we've seen 122 total entries which is great! There is still 7 days left in the competition, so plenty of time to get more people on board. I'm sure I can crack the 200 entry mark easy!

    I haven't done much else today. Although I did manage to grab a list of future blog posts (Note, blog posts, not pages. Blog posts on my site are smaller bite size chunks, and the pages contain the more helpful articles etc). Imagine you have a site about "Nissan Cars". Essentially I used Google Adwords to list out the most popular models of Nissan sorted by monthly searches. Then bam, I can atleast write posts in order from highest search count to lowest.

    Tomorrow I plan to hopefully make a start on one of my longer articles I have planned to cash in further on this surge in traffic.
     
  19. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 11 + 12

    Day Before Yesterdays UVs : 120
    Day Before Yesterdays Pageviews : 173

    Yesterdays UVs : 74
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 95


    Entries for my competition I'm running have slowed down. Mostly because the Reddit gravy train ended. Or more so, I want to keep my account in good order, so I don't really feel like spamming every subreddit with my comp the best thing to do. Especially because some of my articles were REALLY well received, I want to lay back for a bit, and add links at a later date. So with that in mind, at this time right now, we are at 143 entries. Still pretty good, and I'm happy with that count really. I have a tonne of new Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest followers, and I've grown my mailing list aswell.

    A bit about that mailing list. So far I've only really used it for one purpose. That is once a week (On a Sunday), I send out that weeks blog posts in email format. It consists of the post title, the post image, and a small blurb underneath that image. At most there will be 4 blog posts in the email. From that, I get quite a good hit rate coming back and viewing the posts on my blog. Last week for instance, I had a 21.6% click through rate on my emails. Not bad! The blog post email also went out today, which for many of the people who entered the competition, it will be their first emailing from me, so I'm interested in what happens with the open/click rate. Most people tend to think that if you're entering a competition, you're gonna use a junk email. But let's wait and see :)

    Thus far, I have never emailed "offers" or other crap to my list. And I don't think I really ever will. I did send an email when I launched this competition, and it had a 17% click through rate, which really isn't that bad at all. I like the idea of the mailing list being a way to get people that like reading my blog, to keep coming back. Just reminding them about new posts/features.
     
  20. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Day 13 + 14

    Day Before Yesterdays UVs : 55
    Day Before Yesterdays Pageviews : 83

    Yesterdays UVs : 68
    Yesterdays Pageviews : 83


    A quiet few days. Sometimes I feel I work better when I take a couple of days off and do small day dreams of things to do rather than sitting at a keyboard all day. Given that I sit at a keyboard all day for my job anyway, when I get home often it's the last thing I want to be doing.

    Anyway, I was going to wait for my new larger article got indexed before I really pushed it, but it seems to be slow getting anywhere. I have a feeling it's because my internal site linking to Wordpress PAGES is really bad. Between blog posts it's good. I have a "Recent Posts" widget on the side, and a "Related Posts" widget at the bottom of every post, but maybe posts are missing out :\. I'll probably whip up a quick plugin/widget to add a "Recent Articles" or something on the sidebar, so that it speeds up indexing. In anycase, tomorrow I'll be posting this article on Reddit and across my social media accounts. It should get a bit of traffic from Reddit, but most of all, it will show whether I'm on the right track with my writing.

    For those wondering about my SEO efforts, I'm now happy to reveal that I've been using LinkLure with some pretty good results. Atleast I'm happy with the links they are providing, and it's at a good pace (Not just spamming my site with crappy trackbacks!). Anyway, you can read my review of the service here : http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/seo-link-building/694110-most-advanced-link-building-process-market-bar-none-4.html#post7257960. As I say in the review, not quite ready to reveal how much my SERPS have actually moved, cause it's only been a week! Let's wait a bit more to see just what comes of it (If anything). I'm prepared to be pretty honest about the service. I really hate when people write obvious BS or say "Yay I moved from position 500 to position 100". I mean yah, great, 400 places, to a position that also gets absolutely zero traffic.
     
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