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My SEO Lab

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by SEOMadHatter, Aug 20, 2015.

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  1. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    about.png
    I used to be full time, mostly SEO. I ran an old journal elsewhere an age ago where I went from scratch to three figure days and broke that target pretty heavily.
    I kind of burned out a little after that and didn't diversify or anything so when stuff went wrong I took a big hit. But I was a kid. I live and I learn.

    I mostly stopped working hard for a while. Did some part time work and had some online projects just puttering away bolstering my income so I was making more money than I should with the hours I was putting in. Nothing huge but I'm all about the relative income.

    projects.png

    I'm not a programmer. But I wanted to learn. I won't be giving out the exact niche I wound up in but I ended up writing a piece of software which turned out pretty popular and got contracted to develop and maintain this software. There's some development work going down in the next few weeks with it and the first invoice should be going out for that which is a couple of thousand a month. Not a lot compared to what I really could have made if I'd decided to chase that niche myself but it's just not my kind of niche normally.

    So that's Project 1) Software development.

    Project 2 is somewhat related. I've never worked for someone else before (bar some very limited stuff) but was recently offered an opportunity to compete in one of the more competitive online niches. It's a wage of a few grand plus a decent rev share. It's an SEO project which means progress is going to be slow as always but I've a few months to prove myself there and this is probably going to be my main focus for the moment.

    Going by the metrics and a little digging I've ranked (and still do) in more competitive niches with a smaller budget and less work but this time I'm on someone else's deadline which means having to push it. As much as "pushing it" is really an option with SEO.

    Project 3 is going to be the catchall label for my other projects. They're in various states of disarray some making passive money and others needing some work to get to that point. I'm focusing on 2 or 3 three existing sites which I feel can really be something in their own right once I can spare the resources again from project 2 to work on their traffic.

    goals.png

    This seems like a good time to start a journal because Project 1 is about to get serious pretty soon, Project 2 has it's first invoice tomorrow and it's about set to start tracking the rankings soon. Project 3 won't see a lot of action but there's some money to be made when I make the time for it.

    It's primarily going to be an SEO journal. I'll update as often as I can which might be daily at points and more sporadic at others. It won't be structured, pretty or always specific to what I'm doing or the niches I'm in but hopefully it'll help keep me focused and maybe help someone out.

    So far in the last fortnight I applied what I learned working on the software project to build some custom SEO tools. Basically what I was doing before manually but taking out most of the grunt work for me. Don't worry I'm not going to claim some 'secret sauce' and sell this later. I don't sell to this niche - it's not my thing. But I did learn how to automate a lot of the work I would otherwise be doing manually allowing me to get more done.

    The goal by the end of this journal is to get to the $30k mark and diversify as much as possible. I enjoy parts of SEO - the testing, reading case studies and trying new things part. But I abhor SEO grunt work and don't trust third parties to do it properly. My short term goals are to perform and solidify projects 1 and 2. Then to expand the SEO in projects 3 and move into paid traffic. The part to this I really enjoy is the split testing and writing copy. I want to do more of that and less menial work to rank.

    I wish SEO was a matter of just make a better site than your competitors. But that's just not the case so I'll be testing different things to see what works and you might well see the results of a negative SEO test or two in the niche as well.

    today.png

    Today was a long one. Project 2 took a little bit to get off the ground to catch up on what was working in my SEO sites still ranking and write some of the software to automate what I wanted to do. Tomorrow is the first invoice so I wanted to put everything together to show clearly what I was aiming for. There'll be at least a few hours a day put into this project to get it ranking and a few months before it'll see any return but I fixed up most of the onsite work with some basic copy and video content. I'm experimenting with two interesting scripts which should 1) increase rankings and 2) increase the conversion rate. That'll need a little tinkering but it can sit for now. The onsite is considered "done" for the moment and I'll start focusing on the offsite while focusing on Project 1 for a bit.

    I've also had an issue with a full time writer I hired a few weeks back. He's just straight up copying content. It's crazy how slow his turnaround is and how little he understands the concept of "you don't need me to check every article - if you're copying and pasting then it's no good." I think he's getting replaced this week.

    Earnings.png

    Today really could of been a lot more profitable because there was work to be done but instead I focused on project 2 for the future.
    The earnings of the thread are not going to be 100% accurate I'm only counting income from projects 1,2 and 3 which I'm covering here not counting some other stuff I have going on but I don't think it would be fair to include them in an IM journal.

    After this month I'll do these monthly or something since that will give a better picture. I'm invoicing for a little over $3000 tomorrow but for today I picked up a few sales while I was working on Project 2.

    Today's earnings: $96.77
     
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  2. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    today.png
    I was really meant to be working on the software today but ended up doing a little work on the project 2 SEO. Had to fix up some plugin issues but everything seems to be getting indexed nice and quickly. There's no rankings to speak of yet (won't be for a while) but I'll be setting up tracking for it.

    I'm working on the offsite now keeping the servers busy but I might give it another day or two to focus on the onsite and bulk it out a bit more than I normally would. I'm aiming for somewhere in the region of 50+ articles from about 1-2k words each - more in some places. I can talk about the niche which makes it fairly easy.

    Kinda hit two birds with one stone today. I setup a web property to look like more of a news post with an interesting hook for the niche. You guys seem to be into Facebook groups so I figured I'll give that a go.

    Going to pick up a few Facebook accounts and let them sit a while. If I can spare the time I'll rig up my own script or just buy a public one to automate it. I'll use it to drive a little traffic to a Project 2 LP. I'm trying something a little out of the box with the niche that I think could work really well - but I'd like to drive a little traffic before working more on it.

    Earnings.png

    $3139

    There was more money to be made today but I slept in after a late night. I did get my SEO invoice out though.
     
  3. thedorf

    thedorf Supreme Member

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    Hey SEOMadHatter,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I believe you are on the right track. Hope to talk with you more soon.

    Phillip aka thedorf
     
  4. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    Weekend earnings: $400~ and today is looking pretty good.

    Today as mostly back on content creation. I'm going to have to devote some time to coding soon but I want to get this site all dressed up for Google and wanted to try some new stuff out. Going to give it another two weeks or so and I should hopefully see these keywords rank somewhere in the top 100. As soon as I'm seeing that I'll start dripping in these links that are sitting ready.

    Other than that I bought a bunch of Facebook accounts and proxies for a Facebook campaign I have my eye on. I'll start another journal for that one though the SEO updates will be as slow as ever.
     
  5. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    We're starting to see some traction on the SERPS. Longtails mostly ranking pretty far out from page 1 but it's a start and a good sign to see the domain ranking somewhere. Giving it some content and a few links. I want to see more SERPS listings before I start pushing it too hard though.
     
  6. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    One of my niche sites is getting about 500 UV's a day and it's been sitting doing... not much. So I'm building up a bit of a lead gen on it at some point today/tomorrow. Could be a nice little earner with some split testing.

    New site is picking up a little long tail traffic here and there but nothing to write home about yet. Still not wanting to build too many more links until it's sitting top 100 at least but I'll give it one or two decent ones this week.
     
  7. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    There's not a whole lot of point in journaling a new site so I'm leaving updates pretty widespread at the moment. It's going well site is indexing pretty quickly and rankings are slowly getting there. Longtails are around page 3-6 with the main keywords between 7-9 at the moment. Going to keep dripping in links, content and social signals.

    A lot of the menial work is scripted but *all* of the content whether on or off site is being manually created and I've given up on outsourcing for the moment. It's been hard to find someone who can write in a non promotional way for the niche so that's been pretty time consuming.

    The scripts have been doing really well. This is stuff I used to work 10 hours a day on done at the touch of a button. For third party stats everything I'm building is:
    Trust 25+
    Citation 30+
    DA 25+
    PA 35+
    Subnets: At least 75+

    Some of these stats are higher - in fact the average is a good bit higher but this has been the cut off point. They're third party stats so don't paint a whole picture but go through enough each day with with the help of some automated filters you can narrow down the decent ones pretty quick. It's been a while since I've worked on external linking for a site and I know for a fact my metrics were lower than this (and cost me a heck of a lot more) so I'm curious to see how much of a difference this will be.

    It's still a new domain unfortunately so I'm unlikely to see an overnight page 10 to rank #1 but I've ranked in tougher niches with less in the past.

    It's mostly push button but I do a quick manual check for spam or anything to indicate another SEO before dropping a link. The content is being created from scratch which is the real killer though. I've not worked on video or images the same way before that's been kind of fun and a good learning experience but the article writing is enough to drive me insane.

    Trying to pay real attention to mixing up the anchor text and the link sources (I've some other scripts I'm working on to help with this + drive some traffic while I'm there). I think the diversity so far is looking pretty decent.

    While all this is dripping in I'm building the site up. Getting to know the niche better but it's a pretty dull subject. Slowly grinding up to 100+ decent articles on the site itself. Going between 700-3000 words lots of media and several headaches.

    So the last two months have been a grind working on different projects here and there but I want to focus on this one more. I've learned that automation is golden and combined with a little manual work I can provide some value and not stand out like a sore thumb. I'm not saying it'll protect me from a Google slap but it can't hurt.

    I'm heading to Italy for a week or so when I come back I'm going to try my hand at finding a decent writer again so I can get back to some programming ideas I want to try. I'm also looking forward to getting this site more finished up. I've a few domains pretty aged at a few years old sitting on page 1-3 with a handful of links. I'd love to get the new scripts pointed their way and pick them up a bit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  8. LoftPower

    LoftPower Elite Member

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    Best of luck to you on this. Keep us updated on how it is all going for you.
     
  9. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Good luck although it looks like it's going well already.
    Where are you building the links - you using software or buying guest posts or similar?
     
  10. Sarseo

    Sarseo Regular Member

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    You r on The right seo way
     
  11. Bulkfollows

    Bulkfollows Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  12. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    I'm going for diversity and quality in the link building. It's not getting blasted with thousands or even hundreds but a handful of decent links a week. Some are free some have a price tag depends on the type of link.

    Updates:

    Between a quick trip abroad and some level of uncertainty with a JV partner I've not been overly productive lately. Still not entirely sure how stable the project is at the moment but I've had a late payment come through at least so I'm back to work.

    Things are ticking along nicely rankings wise. A ton of longtails took page 2/3 this week. An SEO journal is never going to be "All my main keywords are now rank #1 within a week" (not an honest one at least) but there's a ton of these longtails which will add up to thousands of visitors if they continue to improve.

    Due to the uncertainty the links for this main project slowed down but I've got everything up and running again now. Servers busy and I'm doing a real content push today and at least one other day this week.

    Going to try and set aside a day for my Facebook group testing and some programming projects I wanted to work on after tomorrow.

    The grind continues.
     
  13. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    More keywords landing on pages 2/3 with the main keywords around 5/6. I've never worked this much on a single site before it's a little weird for me usually I'm half working on a half dozen.

    Normally when I'm working on six sites I wish I had time just to work on one but now that I'm actually doing it the niche is boring and I don't get the benefit of assessing the randomness of rankings (which I firmly believe is a part of SEO) having to rely on one domain.

    I've been pushing the content front lately. Plenty of keywords in this niche to target and all my links are being created with manual content so I'm trying to get ahead on that.

    Since the site is gaining good quality links at what would normally be an unnatural rate (touch wood ranking are all rising above the board so it's not triggered something yet) I've been working on social signals to the domain and inner pages to give the impression of engagement and it won't hurt the social proof when it comes to converting visitors.

    Trying to tackle the minefield of diversifying my links now as well. My anchor text ratios are pretty good. There's not as many deep links as I'd like but I can work on that but I do want to mix up the types of link sources without rocking the boat too much.

    There's so much disagreement about the type of links which work at the moment. There's the obviously working homepage links and the (somehow) still working SAPE links but as soon as you start getting to press releases and 2.0 there's a strong argument for severe moderation.

    Yes Forbes probably has a thousand links from people's 2.0 blogs but they have the link portfolio to take it. If a smaller site with 100 links has 20% of that from 2.0 sites that could raise a flag.

    I've made a little time for coding. SEO related again this time and while it was mostly because I had the urge to play with some code I'm actually interested with this. There's a few kinks to work out but it's something a little out of the box. Once I fix the last bug it's also push button so I'll leave it to run in another niche and track serp movements.

    A million things still to do and a bunch of content still to add. Rankings increasing but the JV partner is a little impatient for results from a new site so I'm basically working full time on it at the moment.

    Once I free up a little time from this I want to:

    1) Pick up another half dozen keywords/small niches and throw together a quick 10 page site to leave to sit for six months. I've really refined and automated a lot of my SEO I'd like some new sites biding their time until I can start building them up.

    2) Restart the Facebook group testing. I've got a separate journal for that just haven't had the time lately. Think I'm going to set aside a half day a week at least.

    3) I've made a couple of handy little SEO tools for myself lately but there's a few more I have in mind. I might even start one tonight.
     
  14. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Regular Member

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    So I've managed to take negative SEO to another level - and yes this is a confirmed thing. Basically I can take (legally) take down a competitors PBN. I've still a little work to do before it's completely push button but the script is getting there. It's actually stupidly easy I'm surprised this isn't a bigger thing. I ran a quick test and watched a bunch of big chunky links fall.

    To be honest it was more of a proof of concept thing.

    Speaking of which something else I've been testing might of just worked. A site moved from #6 to #3 over the last 48 hours and it'd been holding still for a while before that. It wasn't my own (since it was a little high risk) just an unmarketed property in daft keyword. It's too small of a sample to say anything yet but it was worth the click of a button. I'll leave it running and maybe start another few isolated tests.

    Got offered a job if I relocated. Yet another script (I've been on a roll lately) automated 90% of the job so I offered my servers 24/7 work ethic if I can work on that remotely instead. Because I need another job but it shouldn't be that much extra work.

    A slight adaption to this script is going to automate my ability to reverse engineer what other SEOs are doing. While I like to test things for myself it doesn't hurt to watch other SEOs. This will make it much harder for conventional methods of hiding a PBN and if it links to a site ranking well in the SERPS it'll flag up and I can take a look to see if they're doing anything different to me.

    I've been really getting into automation lately. Honestly if I could find a decent writer I trusted enough to write my top tier content I'd not have to get out of bed.