A Dumb Mistake and Starting Over

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I feel like I need to apologize as I admit to you (my readers) that I have made a terrible mistake with the niche site that I chose to do as part of this Niche Site (the Dumb Way) Follow-Along. As mentioned in my Choosing a Niche… post, part of the reason that I picked the election site was that nobody would steal my idea and build a copycat site due to the fact that the site will be dead after the election. My thought was that I could get it to rank quickly and make some easy money and then move on. This was due in part to my over-confidence because of my first niche site getting to #1 so quickly and easily. Well, it’s not ranking quickly and there are only two months left until the presidential election.

Why Isn’t My Niche Site Ranking?

Just two short weeks ago (about 3 weeks after I started the site) it was already ranking as high as #25 in Google! I was stoked, thinking that I was well on my way to the first page by the beginning of September. This would give me two decent months of earnings on the site before it died. But then it dropped off of the Google rankings altogether. I’m not exactly sure why, but I have a hunch.

I had recently come across a social bookmarking service called SocialAdr. I signed up for the free account and started using it right away solely to build links to my election niche site, http://electionday2012.net. In fact, I have been using the service for the past three weeks and as of today, I have 188 links pointing to my niche site all from different social bookmarking services and from different users. I thought the idea and the process that SocialAdr utilizes was fool-proof and quite awesome. I still think so, but I can’t help but wonder if this quick build up of only social bookmarking links is causing my site to get penalized.

There is an option/setting within SocialAdr to change the rate at which links will be created pointing to your site. I left it on “normal,” but perhaps I should have used either “slow,” or “drip.” I think if I use SocialAdr for another site in the future, I will use “drip,” to have the links build up at a much slower rate which will make it look even more natural.

If you want to check out this service for yourself, please do so through this link – SocialAdr.com (affiliate link). Again, I am not a paid user of their service yet – still using the free account as I test it out. Please tell me what you think about SocialAdr.

So, my massive amount of backlinks in a very short time may have something to do with why I am not ranking. I don’t know. Maybe I just picked a keyword that is impossible to rank for in such a short amount of time. I’ve been working hard on the site. I have 10 posts up that I think are very highly optimized for my keyword – election day 2012. My intent was to keep adding posts to this site using a content curation method all the way through the end of September. Perhaps I would start to rank if I did that, but then the stupidity of all of this hit me. If I am hoping to rank by October, that leaves me only one month to earn on this site before it dies in early November. How dumb is that?!

A Niche Site With an Expiration Date is NOT Passive Income

The title of this website is Dumb Passive Income. It’s purpose is to show others exactly what I am doing to create passive income. Even if this site did start to rank and earn a little bit of income, there will be nothing passive about it after November 6th! I am actively (not passively) working on a site that isn’t even earning while knowing that the site will be dead in a few short months. Hey, I don’t call myself “dumb” for no reason! So, while this is very dumb, it is absolutely not creating any passive income. For this reason, I feel like I should share and highlight a different site for this follow-along.

Starting Over With My Niche Site (the Dumb Way) Follow-Along

Luckily, for me, I realized my mis-hap before I got too far in this follow-along. One of my main reasons for starting over is that people will be reading this follow-along series in the future. If they click over to a niche site that has long since been dead, well, what kind of proof is that?

I still have 6 domains that I’ve purchased for niche sites that I haven’t done anything with yet. I am going to re-analyze those and pick one to use for this follow-along. Labor Day weekend is coming up and I will be relaxing away from home. But, right after that I am going to hit the ground running on the new niche site for this follow-along.

I’m sorry if I’ve wasted any of your time with my mistake. But then again,this is the best way to learn – through mistakes. Hopefully somebody will read about my mistakes and not make the same ones in the future. My next post as part of this series will highlight how I chose my niche and conducted the keyword research for the new site.

Until then, remember that there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.


12 thoughts on “A Dumb Mistake and Starting Over”

  1. I don’t think you wasted our time at all. What I like about following the niche site is that you’re running into walls so we don’t have to ourselves. Good stuff!

    • I feel like almost my entire internet marketing experiment has been nothing but running into a giant wall. My optimism remains though and I am confident that I am about to break through.

      Thanks for stopping by Average Joe.

    • Ha! That’ll be the day. Making Pat Flynn-type money is not even close to my radar. But you just never know in this crazy internet world when something is going to take off.

  2. Matt – I appreciate the honesty! It’s kind of refreshing to see someone do things not like Pat Flynn. Even though you realized your mistake, that’s okay – now you’ll probably never make it again. I’ll have to try out SocialAdr. That sounds like an interesting service.

    • Actually, if you followed Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel posts, he made a crucial mistake towards the beginning just like me and corrected it openly. The difference between Pat Flynn and me is that he does this stuff full time, so he has all the time in the world to get things right before he posts them. I barely have 2 hours a day to work on my stuff.

      The concept of SocialAdr is really cool. It takes me less than a minute each day to visit my dashboard on their site and hit the Quickshare button in order to earn credits. More credits can be earned by manually Tweeting, Facebook Liking, etc other peoples links. The amount of your bookmarks that get shared by others depends on your number of credits. Obviously, credits can also be bought if you choose to use one of the paid membership options. But again, I wonder if my quick build up of links via SocialAdr has something to do with my sight not ranking anymore. I don’t know, so my advice would be to use with caution and try the Drip setting if you choose to use it. Also, it initially took me about 2 hours to set up all my social bookmarking accounts initially. Let me know if you have any questions.

  3. Hi Matt

    All that matter is you’ve analysed and taken action. The niche sucks and its time to start again. Niche site building and monetisation is a brutal game and very few keep going ling enough to break through.

    Majestic SEO is only showing about 20 links so far. You need to understand that just because the link has been created doesn’t meant its indexed or being counted.
    Also social bookmarking is useful to get you url indexed but is not going to push you up the rankings a lot.Lastly 30 bookmarks per url is enough.
    So yes vary the anchor text a lot (20% exact the rest varied up) and use the slow or drip. Link building is a slow game. The first 90 days need to go by before you can take a view on a new site.

    Too anybody thats interested some thoughts about the comments below
    Pat Flynn worked for many many YEARS before he broke through people should read his blog from the beginning Neither did he work at it full time to start with, He’s just hard working and focused (plus doesn’t sleep a lot).
    If you cant find 3 hours in your day to work on your business, your sleeping, partying or watching to much TV. Of course you dont have to work at your business thats up to you.

    • Thanks again for your insight Steve. Watch, it will be just my luck that the election site will start to rank and get a little bit of traffic right before it dies. Oh well. Live and learn – and NO, I am not giving up anytime soon. Giving up on the election site, yes. But giving up on niche sites and trying to create passive income, no way. I’m determined to make this work.

      4 of my remaining 6 domains that I have purchased should be much easier to rank on the first page fairly quickly and probably without much or any linkbuilding. I’m eager to choose which one I am going to share.

      I understand what you’re saying about Pat Flynn. I’m actually a big fan. I’ve read much of his blog as of late and have listened to every single podcast he’s published. I’ve learned a ton from him, but have nowhere near the time that he has to put into my business. His “be everywhere” approach is great, but impossible for somebody like me – at this point anyway.

      Have a great weekend… looking forward to revealing my new niche next week!

  4. Btw, just a thought I had went I went to you election site. You should have a link to allow visitors to register to vote! Just a thought. I can understand the initial thoughts you had behind the site and I can also see where you are today on it. Lesson learned.

    • I actually did think of that Steve. In fact, if the site ever got ranked and started getting traffic I was going to do an entire post on the subject, along with a link to a pretty cool site that I found for registering to vote via absentee ballot. But, as you’ve read, I gave up on that site. Still watching it though to see if it magically starts to rank.

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