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Over the past week and a half or so, I’ve been mulling over and contemplating what I will be doing to create passive income after the setback due to the Google EMD update. Just after the update, my only site that was still ranking and earning was seemingly untouched. This surprised me, because it was my very first attempt at a niche site and was horribly built. It remained at #1 and was still getting a few ad clicks. Just yesterday, I checked again and it dropped from the #1 spot all the way down to #14. Micro niche sites are completely dead to me!
10 of the 12 domains that I own were initially purchased specifically for the purpose of building small adsense niche sites. All of these domains were either Exact Match Domains or partial match domains. Since the EMD update, I went back and did Google first page analysis again for each one of them. Of the sites that I have started, or was in the process of building (the sites that I wrote and published content on), pretty much all of them are dead. With current first page search results for the keywords targeted on each – I would have never gone after any of them in the first place. Of the remaining domains that I haven’t started yet – only one seems to still have potential. The problem is – the keyword for that one is something I really don’t care about and have no interest in researching, especially since I have no clue if I can actually get it to rank on the first page of Google anymore. In other words, I don’t know if the old way of analyzing Google’s first page of search results is still valid. I’m not even sure I was doing it right in the first place – since I only had one site that had any success.
The Next Phase of Websites For Me
So for now I am putting a halt to my micro niche site experiment. Luckily, two of the domains I originally purchased for possible smaller niche sites can be transitioned into the next type of website I am going to build. Both of these domains are on subject matters that interest me greatly – which is why I am excited to start working on them. My next phase of website building will incorporate everything I’ve learned over the past year about:
- Blogging and how to build traffic to a blog or website
- SEO – including on page, website structure and back end META data
- The importance of links – incoming and outgoing
- WordPress plugin utilization
- Adsense placement
- Amazon affiliate products
- Private Advertising
I’m still not an expert at any of this, but I certainly know a whole lot more than I did a year ago – which was nothing! Without going into too much detail right now – let’s just say that both of these sites will be larger sites. They will target not only the keyword that the domain was purchased around, but several long tail keywords as well. My new approach will actually be very similar to Spencer’s (from Niche Pursuits) plan going forward with niche sites. I’ve been following his blog anyway while building smaller niche sites and will definitely be paying attention as he transitions into larger sites.
Getting to and ranking on the first page of Google will be a bonus, but isn’t necessarily the goal with these sites. I will be using other ways to get traffic which will be discussed in detail in future posts. I have a few very specific strategies that I plan to utilize that I haven’t seen very many people talking about. One in particular is somewhat original and I like to think that I came up with it on my own. Again – I will write about it in detail after implementation.
Also, with the recent changes in Google, other webmasters likely won’t be going after the “low-hanging fruit” type keywords as much anymore. Before, if you found a great keyword that didn’t appear to be targeted by anybody else, you would keep it a secret. For obvious reasons, this was mainly to avoid competition. Now, I am building larger sites around keywords that others wouldn’t dream of going after. By not making ranking in Google my #1 goal, I see no reason to avoid competition and keep my niches secret. I will be revealing everything as I move forward with this latest website building experiment.
A Sigh of Relief
This whole setback from the Google EMD update has actually triggered a bit of a sense of relief for me. It seems crazy, I know. All of the work I’ve done on my niche sites over the past few months seems to be a total waste. But I am actually relieved that I won’t have to monitor and update so many sites at once. I do this side hustle thing on a very part-time basis. Currently, I have from 5am to 7am each morning before I have to start getting my son ready for school and then head to my day job myself. Being that it is very part-time, only managing a few sites will be much easier for me to handle.
I really liked the idea of building a whole bunch of small sites then just letting them sit and earn money. After all, passive income is the goal here. Set it and forget it would be ideal – but apparently, Google has other ideas. They don’t want those types of sites littering the top of their SERP’s anymore. This is fine with me. I am ready to roll with the punches and adjust my game plan. I’m actually very excited for the possibilities, and ventures to come, with my future sites. I can’t wait to get them rolling and start to share my new processes!
Other Passive Income
By the way – I also have other means of creating passive income that I plan to share very soon. This site will not be ONLY about building websites. It’s called Dumb Passive Income for a reason – because there are several other dumb ways to create passive income. I am in the process of implementing one of them right now and plan to share very soon.
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.
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He is the only known trucker who is blogging about creating passive income online. He is also the co-founder and co-creator of the most popular WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates – AmaLinks Pro.