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[Journey] Foundations, automation, scaling: to be profitable enough to leave my day job

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by elpaisito, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    I have been working (development) of a my own dog food software that will let me scrape content from other sources, spin it, post to money sites, and repeat that process to feed various first tier sites for linkbuilding purposes. I think that my system is mature enough to open this thread and tell my experiences from this automation process and to express on this journal the ups and downs of this experiment.

    I used to make good money in 2008 from Adsense (1.5K per month), then my best sites were penalized and it's been hard to come back. I gave up, and had to take a "normal" job to subsists during this years, but I have been reading at BHW these couple of years and decided to take action a few months ago and come back and try again to get some money from another online venture.

    Considering that programming is my main skill I tried to automate the process that I know. Building money sites, building sites to backlink my money sites and throw PPC ads on those money sites. I haven't learned how to make money from CPA, so I have to go to the Adsense / other PPC ads route. My main goal is to make at least 400 per month by december 2012, but this is not the "top" goal of this project, but to achieve a good foundation in order to scale up to make a good chunk of money in the future.

    Right now I am making $ 250 per month, but expenses are at $120, so it's necessary to expand the money sites (currently 16), to near 60 by the end of the year. I think if I can build 10 to 12 sites per month, then I will reach that goal, and consequently achieve the $400 per month mark. I will explain with more detail in the upcoming days my infrastructure and current state of my sites and earnings.

    My other goal is to stop procrastinating too much. Sometimes facebook and other stuff make me lose focus on the things that are important for this new business. I want to dedicate at least 2 daily hours to this project to make it succeed. And succeed means to leave my daily job and invest in some other projects (perhaps offline).
     
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  2. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    My current state.

    bhw-17092012.png

    I have 2 networks wich I consider as money sites. Those are backlinked from tier 1 network. I know that I have to backup that network from a second layer, but that's something I will do during this weekend. I have to develop a module in my system that gets the feeds from my first tier and automatically link to those articles from the second layer.

    Currently I am working with wordpress (selfhosted) only. But I want to include tumblr and blogger to add it to the mix.

    I am aware that I have to add many domains to support my network. At this time I am using only 12 domains (with Wordpress multisite enabled) to create hundreds of wp blogs on them using Link Farm Evolution. I just use LFE in order to create those blogs, but after that my software takes care of the harvesting of the sources, formatting of the content, spinning and then the posting to my money sites.

    With my software I am able to split my sites in what I call "topics", but perhaps could be called "niches". So, let's say that I have a money site for the "sport" topic, then the tier 1 sites linking to it will be related to "sports". That is something I thought since the first time I wanted to develop this project.

    I have a few servers in order to host the tier 1. Perhaps not enough to keep a low domains / IP ratio. But that's something I have to invest later. I have 2 servers (1 dedicated, 1 vps) to host my money sites. After that I have a windows VPS that use to run my software 24/7 building content for my money sites and also backlinking the articles.

    Of course all this system is far from perfect. Too much footprints at the moment, but I think is a good foundation to start from. With this experiment I want to know if it is possible to automate this process or if, at some point, I will get caught.

    If you have some question, throw them, I will try to answer. Of course, I can not reveal some sensitive data from my project, but whatever I can answer I will do it.
     
  3. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    I have been working on feeding properties with lots of content. I have to moderate my OBL average because linking on 80% of articles looks very suspicious, another task for the weekend. Earnings keeping stable aprox ~ $9.00 per day.

    I have plans to buy 10 more domains by the end of the month, next weekend will be looking for sources to feed those.
     
  4. briptech

    briptech Power Member

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    Great post, mate, very inspirational. I wish you the best with your endeavour. Subscribed.
     
  5. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    I couldn't work this weekend on development because I had some problem with my Windows VPS wich I use as a poster. Then I had to figure out where get a new poster, so I had to research about how to run Windows inside a Linux VPS (I have a dedicated but that is for my money sites).

    I had to compare various options, from VM Ware, Virtualbox and others, but there is one that didn't need so much resources: QEMU.

    QEMU is an emulator that runs inside Linux and that is capable of running a virtual machine of almost every operating system. I needed Windows and made run despite the 1GB of RAM of the host system. Just gave it 768MB or RAM to the virtual windows and it's up and running 24/7.

    There are some youtube videos showing how to config and run Windows thanks to QEMU. But I can tell you is possible to do it inside a VPS.
     
  6. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    This an end of the month update (september)
    Just closed over $300 income. Expenses where a bit higher of $100. Some of my sites started to earn more than 20 per month, and that is something great. I noticed that sites need more than 4-5 months to start generating a good income, and that also says that we need to be patient.

    I wasn't affected for the recent EMD Update, but that doesn't mean that I am doing everything perfect. I want to keep a really low profile so I will be working with one partner (co-worker) in extending this model. He is going to buy more domains and I am going to feed them with content.

    I am analyzing how to get a better machine to post to my sites. I feel that VPS start to go too slow at some point, so I have to get a dedicated box for this purpose, specially if more sites are coming.

    This previous weekend I worked in my software to make it post to blogger (actually by mail, so every site that accepts mail posts will be targeted), but I couldn't run a serious test, that will be this next weekend.

    From today to friday I will be looking for offers from domain registars. I lost the chance to register at a $5.99 price with moniker, but anyways I have to keep looking for.

    That's all for the moment.
     
  7. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    Everything is working fine these days. I have a complete automated system that is working good, and now I just want to take to the next level. But I need money. I'll be waiting for my next adsense check to expand my first tier network with 10 or more domains. Perhaps it does not look too much, but I know that they will help to get a better distribution of by backlincking.

    This weekend I will start tunning my system to post to blogger and other mail enabled CMS. I hope to make a good second tier with these kind of properties.

    Last week I bought three domains to set up as money sites. I will be setting them up this weekend, too.

    On the earnings side, I hope I can reach $380 this month, that's perhaps $50 more than my last month, wich is a good increase ratio per month.
     
  8. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    Just a quick end of the month update: I just passed the $440 mark this month. Now I need to really scale this thing up.
     
  9. Darkcloud27

    Darkcloud27 Junior Member

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    Following
     
  10. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    I bought 20 domains to add to the money sites. I am currently earning almost 500 per month now, but I think I can expand it with these sites that I am going to incubate for 2-3 months before monetize them. I have also found some great offers at lowendbox to get vps very cheap. RAM is more important for my hosting needs, so I have to get the more RAM I can get per node.
     
  11. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    I made a mistake with 10 sites I bought a couple of months ago. I tried to set them up with a new ad$en$e account, but the account was banned almost a week later. Of course there is always a high risk with this kind of automated sites, but that risk incresases as the ad$en$e account is newer. So, if you are out there reading this, remember, a new ad$en$e account and new automated domains are not a good mix.
     
  12. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    "Throw many things to the wall, something will stick"
    That is my model at this time. I am launching 10 sites per month in average, and I plan to monetize them when they start generating at least 200 pageviews per day. There is not only one niche, and I plan to explore many of them. I have currently identified some good niches that perhaps deserve better attention and I am thinking in hiring some people in my country to write on those topics that are more profitable. From those 10 sites per month something is going to stick and those are going to be the niches to work harder on.

    I am in Central America and getting reasonable cheap english and spanish writers shouldn't be so difficult, but first I want to be sure about what are they going to write and this project is helping me on identifying what the best niches are. This will be a second part of this project, but the idea is there, and the profits from this project will help me fund the second one. But I will keep this post updated with the news about earnings and improvements to the automatic machine.
     
  13. elpaisito

    elpaisito Registered Member

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    December was a great month getting more than USD 600 for the first time with this automation project. The summary of this year takes to me acknowledge that it was easy to surpass the 400 mark. And I even think that getting to 1000 could have been easy, but it's better to get there at a slow pace. Trying to go too fast could have get me banned in the first weeks, but I am still getting some money and I plan to invest it in some whitehat ventures.

    This automation project doesn't come to an end. I will continue to grow it as much as I can, but I will look to increase my earnings by launching new sites, hiring some people here in my country to grow them more naturally. My new plan is to keep researching hot niches through the automation projects, but build authority / human made sites for those niches that are proven to be profitable, and that project will be documented here at BHW.

    I think that's all for now!!!