First I want to say this site is amazing. I got into this about 6 weeks ago. Honestly I never even heard of SEO, wordpress, or any of the tools used to rank. Now, after 6 weeks of solid daily effort I've put a few sites up. First site. I used click bank affiliates, and tried going with meatballs strategy of manual posting on articles found with google alerts. I was getting a very small amount of traffic,and also had some problems with the site "bad theme". I now can create super sweet sites using just the 2011 theme "I cant believe how much I learned about wordpress!!" I did have a total of 3 order form submits, but never saw any money come from it. I decided that manual posting is too much work and wanted to try to rank a site. I then put up a couple articles with 1 keyword per article. example: in the title, in the url, 4% density, meta tags. Second site. Did loads of keyword research. I used mackdonjo's method found on here and also traffic travis. I found 7 keyword strings that get over 1000 Exact match US searches per word. I actually ended up ranking #1 for a one word keyword for a day! Now when I run rank tracker it only shows 1 of my words in top 100. I'm going nuts trying to figure out why I am not ranking, but I did do dumb, and that may be the issue. I blasted the site using no hands SEO about 5 days after making it : ( That was a dumb move. Here are my questions: Did I blow it by putting out spammy backlinks directly to my money sites? Will these sites ever rank good because the backlinks? As for a keyword that has pretty weak competition, cant I just rank 1st page for it with good onsite SEO? Probably not enough info on that to get a good answer. I know now that if I want backlinks then I need to build link pyramids.. moneysite - quality .gov or .edu sites - spammy sites to them. Does that sound about right? Any help would be apprieciated. I have a goal of having 50 micro niche sites at about $10 a day off of adsense, or one of my affiliate accounts. If anyone else is at about the same level I am, I would love to take some time to discuss strategies to get a fresh perspective. Thanks guys!!!!