Niche Affiliate Income Results [Update #1]

Niche Affiliate IncomeIt’s been over a month since I’ve talked about my niche affiliate income sites.

A lot has happened with this project even though I haven’t really mentioned it lately.

So I thought I’d give a quick update and let you know how it’s coming along.

(Click here to get an overview of how I build niche affiliate websites.)

The main reason I’ve kept quiet about this project is I’m testing a lot of things.  So I didn’t want to recommend any specific technique till I was sure it actually works.

With that said, here are the preliminary results from the first site…

Niche Site X Results

This is the main project I’ve worked on for the last two months.  While I’m not going to reveal the  topic or URL, I will show the results:

What I’ve Invested…

Frankly, I’ve spent a lot of money  on this site.  Some of it was a complete waste of cash.  But other times, I made a couple of smart investments that improved my site.

Overall, I’m happy I spent this money.  It taught me a lot about what works (and doesn’t work) with building niche sites.

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve spent:

{Full Disclosure: I’ve included affiliate links to a few products. If you decide to buy, I’ll get a commission.  As always, this doesn’t affect any recommendation that I provide.}

  • Hoist SEO ($60): Builds a link wheel to your site.  It’s an okay service.  I did get backlinks and it helped my site get indexed.  But overall, I’m not sure if was worth the money.
  • Fiverr ($115):  Bought an assortment of Fiverr gigs.  These were for .Edu link packets, press release services, social media likes, and creating profile/forum profiles.  Some had great results and others didn’t.  (I’ll talk more about Fiverr in a future update.)
  • Buy Blog Reviews ($30):  You can get a review posted on blogs that have a decent Google Page Rank (PR).  Each review can cost anywhere between $1 to $10 – Depending on how much you’re willing to spend.  Again, I have mixed reviews about this site.  I did get a few quality reviews but they didn’t increase my search engine rankings.
  • Link from Blog ($13):  Same type of service as Buy Blog Reviews.  And it also didn’t have an impact on my rankings.
  • ($67): This site supposedly helps you get automated social media likes and bookmarks.  It’s a complete waste of time and money.  The software is hard to figure out and their “automated” accounts regularly get banned.  Plus there is no trial offer or refund policyStay away from this product!
  • Short Task ($20):  Great way to build a lot of social media buzz from sites like Twitter, Google +, and Facebook.  You can literally hire people to buzz your site for around $.03.
  • Web Wire Press Release ($24.95): Press releases are great for getting solid backlinks to your site.  But most services cost an arm and a leg.  Web Wire is different because it provides quality links while being affordable.  Highly recommended!
  • Smarter Submit ($15): In theory, .Edu links help with search engine rankings.  I bought a package from this site to get 50 .edu backlinks.  These links helped, but I’m not sure they’re worth the investment.
  • THE Best Spinner ($84):  This handy little tool lets you spin text and create many versions of the same article.  I don’t recommend you post these articles directly to your site.  But they’re great for creating “link juice” to 2nd level web properties that directly link to your site.  (Like a Web Wire press release.)
  • Unique Article Wizard ($67): A lot of people have successfully used this tool.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I used it to get a lot of backlinks to the pages pointing back to my site.  On the other hand, I’m not sure if it’s worth the $67 monthly price tag.  Only time will tell if this tool is worth it.
  • Build My Rank ($59): I’ve saved the best for last!  Build My Rank generates a single backlink to your site for every 150 word article you create.  Yes, it takes work.  But this service has produced the best results for my niche site.  If you want to learn more about this product, check out my Build My Rank review page.

As you see, I spent a lot of money on this site:

$554.95 invested!!!

Yes, that’s a lot of money to spend on a single site.  However I feel this money gave me an education about what works with search engine optimization.  Plus I’ll use these tools for all my future niche sites.

What Traffic I’ve Generated…

I’m targeting five different keyword phrases for this site which can potentially get over 50,000 visitors per month:

Niche Affiliate Website Keyword AnalysisYesterday I checked Scroogle Scraper and here’s how I’m currently ranked:

  • Keyword 1 (Tier 1): Ranked #12
  • Keyword 2 (Tier 2): Ranked #1
  • Keyword 3 (Tier 2): Ranked #3
  • Keyword 4 (Tier 2): Ranked #1, #2, #4, & #7 to #16 (Thanks Unique Article Wizard!)
  • Keyword 5 (Tier 2): Ranked #4 (“Niche product X” review keyword )

So far, so good!

I’m ranking well for a few long-tail keyword phrases.  Now all I have to do is ramp up my backlinking efforts to get more traffic to the primary keyword and “review” keyword pages.

So how much traffic are we talking about?

Here is a snapshot of my search engine traffic from the last two months:

Niche Affiliate Income Website Traffic

I’ll admit that 1,152 visitors doesn’t sound that impressive.

But you have to remember these people are looking for specific information about a specific product.  That means they’re coming to my niche site with a “buying mindset.”  So I don’t need a lot of traffic to make money.

What Money I’ve Made…

Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve earned from this site:

Niche Affiliate Website EarningsThere have been a total of 637 clicks to this affiliate product which has generated $300 in earnings.

One thing you might have noticed is the conversion rate is around .047%.  Not good.

But there is also something interesting here…This product does this weird thing where some sales that “Qualify” but are not “Approved.”  (Don’t ask me why they do this.)

In the last two months, I had two additional sales that weren’t approved.  What’s weird is  I’ve promoted this product for a year and I’ve only had one other sale not count:

Affiliate Product HistoryThis means I could have easily made $500 instead of $300.  It’s just bad luck that this particular site produced two sales that weren’t approved.

Anyway…$300 isn’t a bad start for this site and it’ll increase as I improve my search engine rankings.

Coming Soon...More Case Studies

Okay…Most of my time has been dedicated to working on the first site.

The good news is on Monday I’ll start working on the 2nd site.

Even better – With this site I’ll pull back the curtain and show every step of this process.  (Including URLs, keywords, and other techniques.)

One quick note…

I’ve decided to ditch the idea of the “Get Your Ex Back” project I mentioned in the last post.  I’m not really crazy about the topic and I wanted to do something a little outside my comfort zone.  So I’ve decided to postpone any effort to work on this site.

Instead I’ve picked a Clickbank product with a proven track record.  It has a couple of keywords that are real money makers.  Plus it promotes a tool that actually helps people in this market.

{I’ll give the specifics of this site in my next update.}

Finally I’m looking ahead into 2012 where my brother and I will be building additional niche sites:

  • An physical product that targets a spring seasonal item
  • An Adsense website that targets a profitable keyword
  • A “launch jacking” website which goes after products about to hit the market.
  • …and many more sites

Frankly I’m having a lot of fun building small niche websites.  It’s an interesting hobby that has taught me a lot about SEO and backlinks.  The best part is it’s a hobby that generates income 🙂

I still feel that the best income model is to build a long-term affiliate marketing business.  But it’s kind of nice to create small streams of revenue that don’t require a lot of maintenance.

Anyway…I’ll keep you posted on how this project is going.  I’ve barely scratch the surface of this project.  So stay tuned!

Take Action. Get Results.

54 thoughts on “Niche Affiliate Income Results [Update #1]”

  1. Hi Steve

    Very interesting post. It seems like you could have spent a lot less then the $554.95 and still gotten the same results. I’ll have to give some of these successful ones a try. I’m curious what you used from fiver as I have tried a couple of gigs.

    Can’t wait to see everything exposed for the next project.


  2. I am sure i could have done the same for less. A lot of this is about experimentation. On this site i know the payout is big (at 100$ per) so I can take more risks and at least have a great shot at recovering my money. The things that work…i will do more of on the next site. Hopefully I will boil down a perfect strategy after a few of these. I really do find them to be a fun distraction.

    As for Fiverr, a decent chunk of those were for BMR writers. But I am going to elance for that for the next batch. I will have a far more detailed report on that soon, though.

  3. I appreciate you being transparent and truthful about your results here, Steve. I found it interesting and informative.

    I, too, had thought about doing a Get Your Ex Back site a while back but decided I wasn’t interested enough. Good call.

    I’m interested in knowing more about the “launch jacking” site.


    • Thanks Peggy,

      Glad you found it informative.

      In brief (I will go into a lot more detail later) launch jacking is finding out about a new product that is being released (that hopefully looks good) and having some sort of a “review site” set up from day one to beat the competition. Sometimes this can be as simple as squidoo/hubpages for multiple products or real interactive sites.

      Of course these work for both marketer and product owner. For my “Affilate marketing without the Bulls**t” someone could have made a “AMNOBS Review” site before I went live (I mentioned it over a month before I went live) then when I do promotion for it many people will do google searches and find “AMNOBS Review” read it and then perhaps follow the link to the sales page. (thus gaining another person a 75% commission.

      There is more to it than that…but that is the idea in brief.

  4. Very useful post steve..i am currently trying to outsource my niche site activities so knowing the best services to use is great info.i just started using BMR.great service ,it has improved my ranking but writing all those articles takes a lot of work.unfortunately ,i cant outsource it to someone in fiverr because i dont have a paypal i should be outsourcing with elance to read about how well you do with using waiting for that post.see ya

    • MK,

      Elace (or odesk) is great for BMR. Bethany commented on another article about getting BMR outsourcing thru odesk for as little as .50 cents per article (in larger sets).

      I am also an “elance” guy and have my own project for BMR being bid on. I used fiverr as a test, because it is easier and quicker to get responses back…but long term elance is the way to go anyway. The cheapest price I found on fiverr was 1$ per job, so you get a lot better $$ efficiency through elance anyway

  5. Cool results, my man.

    I’ve been living on my micro-niche sites’ income exclusively since January of this year, I have to say that it does NOT need to cost that much to rank your stuff, but seeing you’re outsourcing I can understand that.

    I do all my own work at present, even when I had a job it’s just a matter of knowing what gives the best benefit and how much time it all takes. Streamlining your systems and then repeating page for page…

    Stuff works.

    Monthly I’ve averaged about $30 but my net income is 4 figures, so really it’s a matter of what you want to invest in: and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t require that much time, a few hours tops?

    I do a LOT of goofing off and family time, social time online…etc.

    Anyway, I hope you take all your keywords by storm my friend. I’ll have to reciprocate and do your plan in your book (I feel like we should switch shoes).

    Anyone reading Steve who hasn’t bought his book really oughta…just sayin’.

    • James,

      Yeah, a lot of this is experimentation. I am getting those products and testing them out, outsourcing some to get volume. etc.

      With the next product I will be more streamlined. (I know the first one has a good CTR and 100$ per sale means even a few sales pays me back. for the next ones I am out of my comfort zone)

      How do you manage 30$ a month in expenses, though. BMR and Magic submitter alone cost FAR more than $30 a month in expense and you use both of those, right?

      Or are you not counting the monthly/annual and one time purchase expenses (prorated)?

      • For the past 6 months I haven’t been paying anything monthly, but I’m not talking about hosting or the odd tool or book here for a one-time expense (like my recent light pen/pad, or AMR which is Article Marketing Robot – bought that when it was a WSO for $47).

        Anyhow, I just started with monthlies a few days ago (my BuildMyRank post signaled the start), and I still have credits at ArticleRanks and SocialAdr so won’t need to pay for those articles to be syndicated.

        Currently I don’t use Magic Submitter or UAW – reason being I found that AMR was more than sufficient to replace them and I really only syndicate articles / written content, not video or other links that Magic Submitter can submit (though it’s my fave all-in-one link builder).

        So when I realized that, I stopped with the monthlies and just used AMR and manual linking.

        Ranking for a longtail product review keyword is easy to do if you have good link resources – for that I export links of my competitors using 2 tools I’m writing up now (teaser alert) – but copycat SEO and AMR are more than plenty.

        Of course I build my own links – so if you outsource then you need more of an expense, but I find a lot of incompetence in link-building services, and I play my cards close to the chest on my niche sites: I don’t want them discovered, so I have an issue with outsourcing.

        (But I am re-thinking the one-man show after the new year. Only trouble is I want to pay people more than my inner capitalist says is wise, so I’m hemming and hawing…)

        Normal monthly expense on my business is really just hosting and my CDN at MaxCDN ($80 or so for a Terabyte after your first Terabyte, which actually lasts me a while!).

        This month I’m experimenting with some services:

        BMR (now a keeper)
        Authority Link Network (they have a free version)
        and some other stuff. 🙂

        More out of curiosity than anything, but the reason I’m going back into monthly services:

        1) I already spin/submit, or used to do it heavily – now I’m thinking of other ways to syndicate this content, different targets for C-Class IP differentiation and link diversity.

        2) See #1. I figure if I’m going to spin/submit – may as well find a few other places besides my 9k targets in AMR.

        (Of which around 30-40% get approved, and yes: you asked if I think it beats UAW: you can add your own article directory targets so long as they fit the current 9 or so scripts in the tool…so it beats UAW in spades, much easier to use.)

        • James,

          Wow man, what a complete answer. I had to read it a couple of times and make sure I soaked it all in! 🙂 -as well as bouncing around all the comments here and also making sure I got it all! 😉

          I think you have absolutely convinced me that AMR beat UAW hands down. Since I think UAW would be worthwhile at 97$ one time (rather than the monthly) it is not a hard push at all. If it is close to being as good it is worth it. If it really is better it is CERTAINLY worth it.

          So done and done, I am certainly giving it a shot!

          Thanks for a great writeup here.

  6. I’d forget about The Best Spinner and UAW. Google is not going to like the web properties that host articles from these tools (my opinion). They’ll just find an update to get rid of those properties and your links won’t mean anything.

    Cool results though. I can’t wait ’til you start reporting about the new niche site.

    • That’s what Panda was supposed to do, but that’s my point. I’m telling you it works not out of theory, it works regardless of what their press wants people to believe.

      Google ‘devalued’ article directories – yet their links still count and move rankings.

      Google ‘devalued’ the links TextLinkAds sent JC Penney earlier this year – and 90 days later they’re back on top and ranking just fine (links count: get them indexed and that’s that).

      Not pushing UAW, but any time someone says to “forget it” and I look at my rankings to double-check…I have to shake my head. To each his own.

      • BTW I should clarify my “I have to shake my head.” What I mean by that is that Google does such a great job in trying to put the ‘fear’ into everyone’s eyes about what works and what doesn’t – which is fine since less competition is not a bad thing.

        But until someone tests these theories (raising my hand here wildly), it’s not accurate SEO or advice to suggest staying away from X or Y or Z. Test, test test.

        I’d only suggest AMR over UAW b/c you get better results much cheaper, and can add your own personal list of sites and article directories, etc – without $67 a month (at that price, ArticleRanks is a much better choice anyway, or BMR).

        • I like the way you approach the matter James 😀 I also believe that we need to test things out on ourselves first before making any bold statement. Too bad I don’t have needed resources (cash to be specific) to do it on my own. That’s why I always find these case study posts like this one from Steve very helpful as they help me see the truth.

          Thanks again man, I’ve visited your blog and it looks very interesting! I will be hanging around 😀

          • Thanks, Duy. I’m actually trying not to hijack the conversation, it’s just a subject that I happen to know a lot about and deal with in a daily basis. I should add that these links are something that you can do “wrong” and knowing/testing thresholds is really something every business owner needs to do on their own sites/network before taking advice from me or anyone.

        • James…just to clarify. When you say AMR; do you mean Article Marketing Robot? If so, that’s one of the tools that I’m looking into. You think it’s a lot better than UAW?

          • Oh yeah, sorry – Article Marketing Robot, and the 1-time fee and ability to not only use its spinner (vs. TBS – though I own that, too and prefer TBS), but to add your own targets if you scrape them (or Google search…I have a tool that can find 1000’s of targets, I added a few thousand to my copy), it makes AMR much more of a value than UAW.

            The ease of use, too is much more streamlined than UAW (though UAW is where I first learned a lot of this).

            I know Pat Flynn has espoused Joseph Archibald’s linking method, and pushes UAW – and all respect to Pat (I love the guy), but UAW is totally out-dated. AMR is def’ the article tool that’s replaced it – but ArticleRanks is also a great service (with a free or pay as you go option, I prefer the monthly but not on their monthly service just yet – used to be), and gets links indexed much easier by itself than UAW ever did.

            Has a cheaper plan (inc. free) too – just food for thought – and they build links to your syndicated articles. I have a review on my site under “My Tools” in the header if you wanted to read what sets it apart from other networks, they’ve maintained a level of quality that UAW sacrificed early on.

            Anyway, I could go on but I want us to remain friends. 🙂

            • James,

              Damn man, I am going to have to put you on the payroll the way you have been rocking the comments here! ;).

              Btw, feel free to do that anytime. I think some of this debate/comments are awesome. I know you have given me a few good ideas. I hope/am sure some others should be getting some good out of all of this too.

              I think that is what makes blogging great…sometimes comments are where you learn the “real” secrets. Appreciate it man!

      • Yeah, I’m not a big fan of these types of “spinner” tools so I guess you’re right…”to each his own”. If it works for you then that’s great.

        • In specifics I am not sure I am sold on UAW. I have gotten the monthly subscription, used it and then cancelled it three times now (talk about indecisive)

          I am SURE it has a positive effect just not sure if it is 67$ worth of positive effects. I think it really matters HOW much you use it. For people doing a TON of niche sites…I can see where it would certainly be worth it. For authority/ one a few niche sites, I have seen it be effective…just not convinced on HOW effective (like I AM convinced with BMR)

          Now, TBS is great because you can use it for ANYTHING you spin and prorated it only costs 7$ a month. SO if you use it hot and heavy for a month and then slack for 2 months you aren’t getting raped for expenses.

          Like you say though, people can say whatever they want and make bold pronouncements. The only real way to know is to give a few of these a test drive.

          Most of the good ones do have some sort of a free test (or at least heavily discounted first month)

        • It’s all good – it’s def’ not for everyone. But does it work? Ah – if that’s the question, I have to say yes, in spades, regardless of the press from G.

  7. Awesome results Steve!

    For a 2 months old site, my figures are nothing comparing to yours… I understand that it takes time and efforts, but sometimes it just disappoints me. But that’s just me.

    One thing I want to ask you if you go with your 2nd site. Can you share with us how you build links to a new site to move it up on the SERPs slowly? I think my problem is I don’t know how to do so. Both my homepage and my money page get stuck on page 30 of Google without any signal of moving up LOL!

    I think I did something wrong right at the beginning that Google put my pages to its sandbox. Or maybe my link building practices are just not right (article spinning and syndication, blog commenting, forum backlinks, bookmarking, etc). Or I just overthink about it 😀

    I appreciate you about sharing with us what works and what doesn’t. I hope the list will be much smaller with your next case study (as well as the cost involved).

    I’m wholeheartedly waiting your new updates and case study man. Thanks a lot man!

    • Duy,

      Well, unlike this site (authority) I don’t plan on moving the new niche site up to slowly. I want it to rank FAST. So I am using a lot of the methods I don’t advocate for a site like this one.

      But yes, I will try to go into more detail. If you have any specific questions I don’t bring up feel free to ask in the comments and I will do my best to fill you in.
      (that one I will be talking about specifics so i won’t mind answering why I chose keyword A over keyword B.)

      You may have a penalty applied. It did happen to one site I had. It ranked for a while and then ended up with suddenly craptastic rankings.

      IMO, overdueing article syndication/spinning can (possibly) do that. As well as any automations for forum backlinks bookmarking etc.

      In general I think it best to go “light” on anything automated pointed directly at your sites. You can do some…but do it with care and caution…particularly if your domain is newer.

      Get buffer sites (Squidoo, hubpages, WordPress, etc etc.) Make those sites decent quality and point them to main one. Then do bulk of the “questionable” stuff and point it at those. your sites will have trickle down benefits and be insulated from being directly punished.

      The only one I am convinced enough on to point multiple links directly at my site frequently (so far…still experimenting) is BMR. But at its core that is all original content and should not be subject to any penalities.
      (plus it seriously works)

      If your sites are already subjected to penalities, though, I don’t know what to tell you. Sometimes it is a waiting game, but not sure it is worth pouring effort in if you don’t know if it will be effective.

      If you haven’t tried the free 10 BMR, I would try that for a specific keyword. If you have 10 BMR posts to the same page and generally same keyword(perhaps some slight variation) and it DOESNT move in a week…you may have an issue.

      • Thanks Steve for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate that!

        I will try 10 free links from BMR. But I don’t think it can turn the tide. I guess the biggest advantage BMR gives you is the way it distributes the links and indexes them. I mean you can plan out 14 posts for the first week of launching the site. That means 2 links a day and BMR helps you index those links within that day. And so on. It will help Google see the links linking to your site are growing slowly. And the next week, you will increase it to 3 or 4 links a day for example. It might be one of the main reasons why you can rank high within 2 months.

        But again, it’s just my guess. What is your opinion, Steve?

        • Well…sort of.

          Sure, long term, you want a steady progression like you are describing. But with only 10 (as a test) I would try to nail your exact keywords. check your rank before you hit with the articles and few days after. I would be pretty exact too. For instance with the site you have linked. Maybe (6) Gaming mouse Review as anchor text, (3) alternate keyword like: best gaming mouse and some related wildcard like razer gaming mouse see what happens to your search results after that. If it stays dead…well you may be in the doghouse. But if the specific example jumps a ton in search results you know you just need proper B/L methods. (just using those as an example since that is the site you have linked…of course you can target whatever links you think are best, just using those as an example)

  8. Hi Steve, good article. Where you mentioned “sales that “Qualify” but are not “Approved.”” is it possible that someone made a purchase but that purchase did not go through because they didn’t have fund or it was an unauthorized (fraudulent) use of Paypal/Credit Card. I know I get several of these on my website, money comes in but later its automatically reversed because of the above.

    And with regards to fiverr and fiverr alternatives like mine (gigtask), it is as you said, its all about experimenting. There are some great value, fantastic gig/job suppliers and there are some bad ones. Weed out the bad ones and stick to the good ones for future success.

    • Joe,

      Yeah, I am pretty sure that is what happens. Like I said, I have seen it happens before, it is just bad luck that i had back to back under such a short period of time, those -could- have been sales, which would of course put the site closer to being profitable already.

      I will have to check out gigtask and see what you have going on over there. 🙂

  9. Excellent case study. I really appreciate how much effort you did to learn things from it and share these learning to others. Very kind of you Steve. And you did not just have great learning, you made awesome results which proves the strategy effective. Very great indeed. And thanks for the details on the products you have used.

    • Thanks John,

      Frankly I am having a lot of fun playing around with th\is micro niches. It is a fairly different strategy from what I am used to, so it is fun to play with. Thanks for the comment and the positivity

  10. Awesome post, I really like the fact that you provided specific details of what you did for your niche site. One question I like to ask is why your Page CTR seems to be .5% when you are getting 600 clicks a month? Shouldn’t the rate be much higher?

  11. Actually the page CTR is 62% which is flat out awesome. The Conversion is .6% which is on the low side.

    There are reasons for this though. The CTR is high because a fair percentage comes looking for “product XXX review” so they are already primed to click to the following pages.

    But that also means they might be more likely to go on and look for more information and therefor not convert.

    I have sold a lot of products in this niche and frankly the conversion is usually 1-1.5% so that is running low.

    The CTR is probably low because of people continuing to look for more “info” along with the fact that the product is on the pricey side.

    So it is possibly a case of the positives being the reason for the negatives.

    Of course this is just guessing… It could be a statistical aberration but conversion is something I would certainly like to pick up on this one.

  12. Steve,

    Get your ex back…. That is funny. I just cracked out laughing as soon as I read that..(O:

    It is amazing how you go through all them products and provide us with information on which ones really work and which ones are crappy. You must have spend a lot of time on this and I can tell you did invest a lot of money (O:

    Can’t wait to read the followup Steve!

  13. I guess that in the end, you made a great investment. I agree with your point that the traffic you receive is not the real translation of the efficiency of your efforts, but the traffic that led to sales.

    • yeah, sales can vary, but generally you can expect a certain CTR on things. ONCe you know that in the long run you can get a pretty good idea of what things will be worth in the long run. (making the assumption that things stay the same)

  14. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the update. Just 1 thing that I hope to get clarification from you, which is the ranking of the keyword. What does tier 1 and tier 2 mean?

    Also, regarding BMR, what type of ratio do you do for your anchor? i.e. for 10 links to the post, do you target 7 anchored for your main keyword and 3 for variance for your main (main anchor = forex trading tips, variance of main = get forex trading tips)? Or do you just focus on your main keyword.


    • Tier 1 is just my way of saying “main keyword” that i am targetting. The other I am trying too, but not as hard.

      for only 10 links, I wouldn’t worry too much about the anchor text. Probably just hit your main keywords 70% with 30% varience.

      But for the ones I may end up having HUNDREDS pointed at eventually, i try a few things.

      1. I make sure I set the dates so they are random. So if I put in 20 articles all at once, I would probably string them over about 22-25 days, with some days having 2-3 and other days none.
      2. I would do exact main keyword maybe 30% of the time, with close variances (like your forex trading XXXXX) about another 40% then second keyword phrase for 20% and last 10% some sort of wildcard. (sometimes even site URL)

      …but this is when I am planning on ultimately doing a LOT. I am a little bit paranoid perhaps, but just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you, right?

  15. Thanks for this really helpful post Steve!
    I’m glad you are sharing your findings, you are helping me save a lot of money :).

    Have you written all your BMR posts yourself?
    The service is quite cheap but if you want to outsource it, it gets quite expensive quite fast.

    • Danny I actually do both. Between my brother and myself we have put in over 500 articles on our joint sites since we started using it. I would guess I have done about 30% of that, he has done about 40% and we have each outsourced a combined 30% worth.

      I have found a good writer on fiverr that does articles for 5 for 5$ and has yet to be rejected (so they are good short articles) an I am playing around with elance now for a bulk try….I have bids as low as 50 cents per…but not sure how that quality will be yet. We shall see.

  16. Thanks for the list. It is great to learn tools that actually work since it will definitely save me from a lot of bad investments. For now, I only have the best spinner and I am pretty satisfied with the output. I am hearing a lot of good things about build my rank. The total cost isn’t that bad as well.

    • Anthony,

      When you have to spin TBS is great. Even when I use the spin function in other programs I use that one. But the great thing about BMR is also that you DON’t spin them. I think it helps your total link profile to have more than just that one type of link.

      Thanks for the great comment!

  17. Nice case History! I agree with your strategy: ok, you spent a certain sum, but you got in return what every good markeeter should look for, targeted users. I don’t care if a lot of people come to my website or open my landing page without buying the products I sell. I need that only people interested in buying them online access it, that’s what makes the difference.

  18. Great inspirational post. One quick thing though, when you do find good gigs on fiver you should post a link to that person. Most of the backlink building services on fiver are not that great.

    • I do when i talk about a specific product or service (like I did for BMR) and I will when I write up my fiverr review. Unless I did not like the service. Then I usually don’t mention it rather than saying something negative. (unless it is REALLY bad)

  19. You have a pretty awesome conversion rate for your niche site. It just goes to show that you don’t need a ton of traffic to get conversions when you are getting targeted traffic. I would say you invested your money well, even in the sense that you were able to weed out the programs that don’t work for you and at the same time narrowed down the best programs for future use. You were able make a great list of recommendations. I’ll be checking out some of your recommendations.

  20. At least you got $300 out of your $554.95 investment. As others have pointed out, you could have done more for a lot less, but I appreciate you trying out all these services and saving the rest of us the trouble/cost. Think of it as taking one for the team!

    • 300 out of 500 really isn’t that bad when you think that if some of these moves help me to stay ranked I will keep getting commissions for a while. I am sure some are worthless and others questionable…but the only way to find out is to try them out…i do belive it sometimes takes money to money.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting Joe!

      Have a great upcoming holiday season

  21. Interesting case study. I love following case studies like this, though I’ve never had any success with niche sites. My first niche site is currently in google’s sandbox.

  22. Hello Old Friend 🙂

    Seems like you are putting in a ton of work to build backlinks to your niche site! And a big investment too! I don’t think I even use half of those you’ve mentioned there except some of them. I’m currently working on a few different niche sites on my own so I’ve neglected my blog for a while. I got to say I hate the link building part. And it is a lot of work!!

    Right now I outsource some of my work to Fiverr and oDesk. Noticed that you are going to outsource to Elance in one of your comments too. But I guess both oDesk and Elance might just be the same 😀 Got to hear your opinion on which is better if you’ve tried both. I mainly use oDesk to outsource content creation (some of it…)

    Got to agree with you on BMR. It is by far the best link building tool I’ve used so far. I’ve tried UAW which really disappointed me. Hardly improve my site rankings. BMR made a big difference in my rankings. Definitely recommend that.

    Been getting pretty decent earnings from those sites now but my main problem right now is conversion rates ( like you) and problems with site rankings. I’ve been reading lots of stuff on Copyblogger and some of your content on converting. Some of my sites just convert 4%. Really want to bring it up a lot more. I guess it is a lot of AB testing. And I wonder if you have any ideas on how to solve the problem of site rankings going up and down Google. I have a few sites that rank in the first page for a few days or a week before disappearing and then reappearing on the first page again.

    • Bryan,

      I think elance and odesk are basically the same (as far as I know neither is “better”. I have just always used elance, so it is the one I am comfortable with.

      It is good to hear that you are using/liking BMR too. I find it to be a huge benefit.

      Some site bounce seems to be natural. I guess the only answer to that is to keep trying to (slowly) build backlinks. Over time the poition will become a little bit more steady. Just don’t overdo it and get dinged by google

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