For this month I decided to write out a couple goals at the beginning to make sure that I know what I need to focus on as last month I had a couple lapses that shouldn’t happen.
I’m also doing a mini-link-building test to see whether blog comments still help, and if they do help whether comments on relevant sites with low authority or comments on non-relevant sites with high authority help the most.
If you don’t want to read the whole post you can go down to the TL;DR for a quick summary of what happened during the month!
Here are the names with brief descriptions:
- Best Track Spikes– This is the site found in this post. I’m showing everything I can with this site.
- BAB– I created this site back in May and it’s been fairly successful up to this point. The products are fairly low value, but it’s my biggest site right now and it increases my Amazon percentages a lot.
- MPC– I also created this site back in May and it’s also been fairly successful. The products are even cheaper than on BAB, but I sell at least 30-40 per month.
- BFST– This is one of the 3 smaller sites that I created about a month ago. Fairly cheap/average products.
- BFSC– Another smaller site that I created a month ago. Fairly cheap products.
- BBC– And yet another smaller site that I created a month ago. The products on this site are the most expensive so I’ll focus on getting this site higher in the SERPs soon.
- BNT– This site has the most expensive products by far. $500-$5,000+ I just created it last month so I don’t expect any sales until December or February, but when the sales do come I’ll get huge commissions!
- Tester Reviews– This is a community review site that anyone can submit their reviews to with their Amazon link in the review. You can check it out here if you’re interested!
If you don’t want the detailed day-by-day information click here to go to the TL;DR section for a quick summary of the month.
Goals For The Month
Creating a couple of non-BS goals for the month was surprisingly hard, but here they are!
- Add 3 articles to BNT. This is my highest product site and it’s already ranking fairly well 2 weeks after it’s up so I know I can get it into the top 10 and get some money from it.
- Add 5 quality articles to BAB. If I want to make it an authority site I need to add more articles, but I also need to make them as high quality as possible.
- Do at least 5 blog comments per week with links to BFST and BFSC. This is part of my blogging comment SEO experiment and I need these sites to rank a bit higher in the SERPs.
- Create 1 Web 2.0 for BFST and BFSC.
- Create a couple of lead magnets and start collecting emails on BAB. If I want to sell the site an email list can increase the value. Plus if I get 100 or so people signed up I could advertise niche related items in my email.
- +Other goals that are too specific that I can’t talk about without giving away my sites.
Best Track Spikes
Some of these updates are very long so once again CLICK HERE to go to the TL;DR part of this post for a summary.
I finished setting up this post and spend a couple hours reading about lead-magnets and email subscriptions.
It’s not necessarily related to my Amazon sites, but it could be useful for my BAB site later on.
Posted 2 comments on strong non-niche-related sites for BFSC and 2 comments on fairly strong niche-related sites for BFST as part of my blog comment experiment.
I know that not all of the comments will get approved, but I can check how many links I have at the end of the month using WebMaster tools and I’ll see if they affected anything or not.
Busy with college apps.
Something really strange is happening to my BAB site.
I thought it was penalized as on Google Webmasters because my clicks have been at 0 for a couple days and my impressions have been steadily dropping.
However that doesn’t make sense as SerpLab and Google Webmasters show that my rankings didn’t change and I still get about 5-10 daily sales so I obviously still have traffic.
I checked Google Analytics and as you can see I’ve steadily been getting more and more visitors every day.
I also checked my User Acquisition to make sure that I wasn’t getting crazy social traffic with no organic traffic, but most of my traffic is organic.
Google Webmasters is freaking out, and I’m not exactly sure why.
I’ve been learning more and more about effective copywriting and communication, but I haven’t been working on my sites at all.
I feel like this challenge will end with me not working on this at all during the week and then trying to catch up during the weekend and I don’t want that to happen.
Even 15 minutes of work per day can add up to a lot in 5 months.
15*150 = 2250 minutes = 37.5 hours.
Created an Aweber List for BAB, created a quick auto-responder with 3 emails and added an opt-in form to 3 of the most popular pages on my site.
I didn’t create any lead magnets as I don’t see a point in actively pursuing email leads for this site, but that might change later.
I’m at the point where I can outsource most of my work, but I want to finish this challenge without any outside assistance as I believe you learn more that way.
Tomorrow is the first day of school for me so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to accomplish in the following couple weeks, but I’ll do my best to keep working hard and growing my sites for Black Friday and Christmas!
I think I finally figured out why BFSC, and BBC still aren’t getting ranked yet.
I used the Panguin Tool to figure out when the last Google Update was and it looks like another Panda update happened around July 15th. (It’s not exact as it takes some time to roll out.)
For those of you who don’t know, Panda is the Google update that penalized weak content sites and thin affiliate sites.
Here’s a graph of all the latest Google updates with my Best Track Spikes traffic.
That red line on the right is the latest Panda update which ended up happening right as my websites went live.
BFST had some non-affiliate articles on it at that point, but the other two sites were just published and all they had was one “top 3” article with a bunch of Amazon links.
This is both good and bad.
It’s good because I know what I need to do to fix it, but it’s bad because these sites might not be “depenalized” by January or February so I only have 7 sites to work with to get to $600 per month.
How I plan to get rid of the penalty:
- Write 3 niche-related (loosely-related) articles for a total of 2,000+ words. (No affiliate links in the posts. Just links to strong, niche related websites.)
- Schedule one article per week.
- Comb through the sites once again to make sure they’re not overoptimized.
- Look at the plugins and make sure they’re not creating any issues once again. (They shouldn’t as these are the plugins I use on all of my sites, but it’s worth a check)
- Post 1 niche-related article every month until the update runs. (This should help “dilute” my affiliate links and hopefully will show that my sites actually offer value to the visitors.)
I was home for a total of 30 minutes today so I didn’t do anything.
Got my first subscriber for BAB!
I posted a 600 word article on BFSC. The article had 4-5 links to authority sites in the niche, but had no Amazon Affiliate links or links to other areas of my site.
I’m hoping that the next Panda update brings good news instead of bad news…
If the site doesn’t start earning by the end of this 6 month challenge I’ll either try to sell it to get my time-investment back or just leave it be and see if it starts ranking after aging a bit more.
So far this month my conversion rate is incredibly high at 14.19% because of my BAB site.
I also got 1 more subscriber on the site, so maybe I should create a couple of lead-magnets to get more people on the list.
I decided to do another little experiment.
I will post niche-related articles to BFSC without any Amazon Affiliate links in hopes of getting rid of the Panda penalty, but for BBC I will only post articles with Amazon Affiliate links in them.
This will let me see what works and what doesn’t work for getting rid of Panda penalties and hopefully teach you something new in the process.
I went through all of my sites and updated all of my plugins and themes.
September 13th- 18th
I had to put the project on hold as there is too many school-related things to do.
I’ll do my best to get back on the horse soon enough, but right now I don’t have the time to work on my websites.
I didn’t do any work except for updating my plugins and themes on all of my sites to make sure there are no security problems.
I need to write college letters and apply to some of the colleges by November 1st, but then I have until January 1st for the rest, so I might just focus on school now and Amazon later.
Finished this post and started my post for the second month.
Here are the most important things that happened during the month of September!
- Kept my income at around $280 per month from these sites.
- Added an email opt-in form on BAB and got to 13 subscribers without any lead magnets. (Day 7)
- De-indexed the author and tag pages on all my sites and decreased the keyword density in my articles to avoid over-optimization.
- Figured out that BAB wasn’t penalized even though it seemed like it was based on Google Webmaster tools. (Day 4)
- Added a niche related article to BFSC to try to get it un-penalized. (Day 10)
Things Realized/Thought About:
- BFSC and BBC were probably hit by the Panda update on July 15th. (Day 8)
- I don’t have as much time as I would like to work on these sites, but they can still bring me a nice solid income every month because I put in the work during the summer.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions I’d love to answer them in the comments below!
Have you started your Amazon Affiliate site yet? If not, tell me why in the comments!