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[JOURNEY] PNVHQ Pays Off His Student Loans

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by pnvhq, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    If you don't want a long bio/mission statement, the journey starts on the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] post.


    First, a little about me...

    I've been on this forum since the beginning of this year. Poked my head into IM for a bit and made a few bucks here and there, then sat out for a bit. I'm back now, and I'm looking to really see what I can achieve in IM. I'm a firm believer in diversifying my skill set, and even though I am happy with my education and am confident in my career path, I still like the idea of multiple income streams.

    While I, like most of you, see this as a business pursuit, I am not going to take a "by any means necessary" approach. Specifically, I believe firmly in adding value to the world around me, so I won't be building sites just to rank and sell without actually being useful to my readers. I'd like to think that my education helps me to have things worth saying, and that the content I create will be worthwhile to my visitors. A fringe benefit of this should be that my sites will be less likely to be penalized, but that remains to be seen.

    Where I'm at...


    I currently have one site that I built back when I joined BHW. It was a small Amazon Associates site that produced between $80-100/month in income. Not much, but it was some seed money. It had become perfectly passive, which I liked, but had recently been dipping in terms of visits and conversions.

    I have also recently started a new site meant to be broader and more "authority". I know that term has been thrown around a lot, and thus I hesitate to use it here, especially in these nascent stages of its development. This site will be the primary focus of the journey, at least until I choose to further diversify into other sites or other IM pursuits.

    What I'm hoping for...


    Well as the title suggests, I'm hoping these endeavors will help me pay off my student loans in the future, loans that will be comfortably into the six-figure range. But that's only the money side.

    What I'm REALLY looking to get out of this journey is to bounce ideas and share successes and failures. We learn from our mistakes, but we can ALL succeed more if we learn from EACH OTHER'S mistakes. If you think I did something stupid, feel free to call me out, but please, please, please try to provide some input as to how you would have done things better.

    Also, in an effort to also promote transparency, I am going to name any BSTs that I have used as well. I plan on not holding back with my reviews, either. So if I was unimpressed with something, expect me to say so. I wouldn't want to post negativity in the sales thread and start a flame war, but I consider this thread my little slice of BHW, and I get to speak my mind.


    Now, onto the show!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  2. shizaru

    shizaru Regular Member

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    Goodluck on your journey pnvhq! :)
     
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  3. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    My approach to chronicling this journey is inspired by kinlee (http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...839-kinlees-journey-10-000-month-ppd-cpa.html), so I'll be giving each project I decide to undertake a code name. Hopefully I don't forget which is which. :p

    --------

    Project JumpStart

    This is the first site I built back in my first go around at BHW (see my first post). Visits and conversions are down, and I'll be looking to build it back up because it's been a nice small source of seed money, which can allow me to hopefully undertake bigger projects.

    Plan:

    1. Fresh backlinks—I have ordered a review copy of howard_hughes's web 2.0 BST, and am monitoring the SERP changes so far.

      Status: In Progress
      ...
    2. Fresh content—I write all of my own content for this site. It had 25 posts until recently, and a new post was added earlier this week. I plan on slowly creeping up into the 30-50 post range depending on whether I find enough topics and what the ROI on that seems to be.

      Status: In Progress
      ...
    3. New look—I wasn't a huge fan of the old look of the site (it felt too cluttered). The hope is to move to something a little easier on the eyes. I have been using a free version of the a new theme until I have the funds to buy said theme (or I decide I want a different one). I particularly like the font better on this theme and find there to be more white space overall. The theme I am using is GeneralPress by Magazine3. If anyone has a copy they'd like to make available to me, I'd be eternally grateful.

      Status: In Progress


    Project Behemoth

    This is my second (of two so far) site, and is intended to grow into an authority site. It is about a very broad niche that I should be very knowledgeable about. Again, I am writing all of my own content, with a mix of full articles, more blog-like posts, and short stubs, too. The goal is to monetize this with adsense primarily, along with some affiliate marketing.

    Plan:

    1. Fresh content—this is a very new site and my primary focus is on getting content for it. Since I'm a one-man show, I understand this will be a slow process.

      Status: In Progress
      ...
    2. Backlinks—Obviously I do not want to rush in with a bunch of low-quality links. The highest quality link packages are a little beyond my budget, however, so I'm trying to take a middle ground. So far I have tried Manual Hand Made Links (by deki33) and Royal Rank (by bluematter) from the BST section. I am also trying to create some of my own backlinks. I will expand upon this in a later post.

      Status: In Progress

    Updates

    JumpStart had been around 30 views/day and is now back into the 50s. At its peak, it was around 300, and had been running at approximately 100/day as recently as a couple months ago. Goal is to get this at least back to its $100/month status, though I'd like to see it get closer to $300-500/month. The potential is definitely there, as my primary keyword is of medium difficulty (as determined by Traffic Travis) with 14,800 monthly exact match searches.

    Behemoth barely has any visitors at this point, maybe 1-2/day. Not much is expected at this point, however. I did a trial run pointing my Linkworm links at a particular page, and it is currently sitting at 30 for its primary keyword.

    I will update expenses/revenue/profits on a monthly basis.


    Ask the Audience


    • What's your preferred tool for assessing keyword difficulty?
    • One area I'm very deficient in is social signals. Any recommendations? I do have facebook pages for each site, and twitter accounts, but they are currently desolate placeholders more than anything.
    • What other advice do you have?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  4. kinlee

    kinlee Supreme Member

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    The Google keyword tool has worked well for me. You can always type the keyword in google and look at your competition on the first page.
    If you're looking for social signals there are a few users offering that service in the marketplace.
    As far as other advice... I don't really have much to add except build up your facebook page at the same time. Every time you make a new post update your fb page as well.

    Good luck with your journey and thank you for the mention! :eek:

    PS: Write things down so you don't lose track of your projects. Evernote and Excel helps with that ;)
     
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  5. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    Thanks for posting!

    Does Google KW Planner give a good sense of competition? I see a lot of references around the forum to "easy", "medium", and "difficult" KWs, and assumed there was some sort of standardized way of assessing this.

    FB-wise, I was actually thinking of doing something a little different, where I provide short, sharable content rather than just links to the articles. I am hoping that will promote user engagement.

    And yes, I use Excel to track a lot of things, and now I have this thread to keep everything organized, too!
     
  6. ipodtouchhackerisher

    ipodtouchhackerisher Senior Member

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    I like this Journal so far! Keep it up and the format you are using is excellent and easy to follow.
     
  7. kinlee

    kinlee Supreme Member

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    Not really no, unless you're using Adsense to monetize your traffic. What I do is check the first page for my keyword on google, if they're all authority pages on the first page it might not be worth it. If not, I run the sites through ahrefs and check their backlink profile. It gives me a rough idea of how much work I have to put in to outrank them. You can also use semrush to check out what other keywords they're ranking for.

    I still would not leave the links out to the articles. If there's any people out there like me, (I assume there are quite a few) I don't sign up to the mailing list, I usually just like the facebook page instead to get my updates.
     
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  8. goldendeli

    goldendeli Regular Member

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    Good luck homey! I love these kinda forum posts. Now go hit those goals.
     
  9. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    Yes, sir!

    Fair point, I'll just be sure to provide something on top of article snippets, so users can presumably feel like they're getting something of value that they'd miss if they hadn't liked/subbed.
     
  10. imktng

    imktng Junior Member

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    Good luck Bud! Keep at it...don't give up! Subscribed! :)
     
  11. erickishere

    erickishere Elite Member

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    Good luck on your journey man. You have a solid plan going on :)
     
  12. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    Small Update:

    Behemoth just had a page pop up at page 8 from nowhere for a 6600/month medium competition KW. This wouldn't be exciting except that I haven't actually been building links to this page, so that's being driven entirely by on-page SEO and interlinking within the site. I am curious to watch how this page does to see how Google values my content itself.

    In other news, I just purchased some script-written content from irmscher. I figure that rather than going through the effort to come up with an article from scratch, I can just go in and edit an article and make it flow properly, etc. Obviously, none of these articles are going to touch my money site, and depending on how I feel about them, they may not even serve as Tier 1. But at $0.50 an article, I can't have my hopes too high, right?
     
  13. AquaticGamer

    AquaticGamer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  14. ContentLockPro

    ContentLockPro Power Member Premium Member

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    Well-picked and rare niche for you. Financial offers always has been a goldmine once you know how to drive traffic to them
     
  15. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    Hey guys, what's new? Here's a couple things I've been up to for Behemoth:

    Built a G+ page: For now all I've got is a short description, a verified link to the main site, and one "motivational picture" type post.
    Added a couple posts on FB: I linked one of my articles and also added the same motivational picture as was on the G+ account. I also phone-verified the account, so the url is branded now.
    Made a Pinterest account: Will be making various boards for different types of content. So far just reposted the motivational pic.
    Made a Squidoo lens: Let me go into a bit of detail on this below.
    Made a HubPages account: Again, see below.

    The Plan

    Behemoth is supposed to be an authority site. And I believe that a true authority site has a *presence* around the web. My goal is to have the most authoritative content go on the main site, but for each of the other related assets to also provide independent value. For example, Squidoo/HubPages may try to answer specific questions, do product reviews, or just present things in a more colloquial form. G+/FB/Twitter will have some links to the main site's articles as well as my lenses/hubs, but they will also feature shareable pictures/quotes/fun facts/etc. The idea being that each has an independent reason for people to pay attention, which expands the overall "reach" of Behemoth.

    Some might argue that this ultimately will dilute conversions/sales. I'll counter by saying it's better to have a ton of traffic that you don't know what to do with than to have no traffic for a "highly converting" product. And truthfully, my monetization strategy is still in its early stages. I've got some affiliate linking with a couple of major retailers, and I've of course got adsense on the site as well. But I've been careful not to make it seem like I'm ever pushing a product or trying to get a sale. To me, all that would do is diminish the authority in a reader's eyes (my competitors typically aren't selling anything).

    Shameless Call for Advice/Mentorship

    Like I said in my first post, my goal is to learn from this whole experience. If any of the established members on this forum would like to skype me to help me with their advice and insight, I'd greatly appreciate it. You're also welcome to offer support and input in the thread, but I figure skype offers the opportunity to discuss things more specifically.

    Thanks for reading everyone!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  16. tronox

    tronox Power Member

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    Just don't buy SEO services... I did and I am now buying SEO tools myself because services usually suck and you need to buy more of them if you are stuck at 2nd or 3rd pages. Personally, I ordered 1 service almost 3 weeks ago and see absolutely no improvement just some crappy spun web 2.0s built with 10 uniqueness rate...
     
  17. prab1996

    prab1996 Elite Member

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    have a good journey.

    good luck.

    -=-
     
  18. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    What tools would you recommend? I make an effort to avoid spun content, and I also try to build my own links. This is part of why I think having a wide web presence will also help. Each of these properties will have high-value content on them, so when they link back to Behemoth, it should be seen as a quality link (even if it is nofollowed).

    I'm also starting to think that links are becoming less and less important. At least in terms of quantity. Considering that I have pages climbing without any links built to them, I think Google is getting better at deciding if the on-page content is relevant to a reader or not. A few strong links can help get the ball rolling, but I'm willing to play a wait-and-see game here.

    That being said, I can't help but be intrigued by the Divine Authority BST. It's expensive, but I think I'll set it as a goal to be able to buy one of those links in the coming months.
     
  19. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    So I made a little infographic today. So far I've only posted it on Behemoth and added some text content below it as well. Should I wait for it to get indexed before posting it to my G+/FB/pinterest/etc? I wouldn't want Google to think I am hosting duplicate content, or does that not really apply to images? I put my site's info in the bottom corner of the graphic, but what else can I do to make sure that users who repost/share are giving me backlinks by doing so?
     
  20. pnvhq

    pnvhq Junior Member

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    So LikesTM was offering some free FB fans as a giveaway so I gave that a try. For better or for worse there are now 1,020 fans on my FB page for Behemoth. I had also started to make an ad and then stopped partway through, so FB offered me a $50 coupon. I decided to make a campaign with a total budget of $50 to see how that works out. My strategy was to take a CPM approach and really try to pin down a demographic that would be interested in my content. I gave myself a few more days before it starts so I can populate the page and make sure it looks like it is worth liking. I don't really have a perspective as to what a fair bid would be right now, so I've kept it low. If I'm not getting any impressions, I'll start bumping it up. If I get a lot of impressions and no likes, I'll have to rethink my strategy.

    JumpStart had 71 pageviews yesterday which is the best it's done since the beginning of the month. I think I need to focus a little more on it for now, since it's the one that actually makes some money. I've been hovering around the bottom of page 1 for my two best keywords. Maybe I should throw some social signals at them to get 'em higher?

    Update:

    It appears I've stumbled upon a ridiculously good KW to target with a post on Behemoth. Honestly, it seems almost too good to be true, and is almost certainly not going to be an evergreen KW. But since I'm just devoting one (hopefully extremely well-written) post to it instead of a whole site, it seems well worth the risk. I am excited to see how this little turn of events plays out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013