Now that I’ve actually started earning some money (rather than spending all of it), I’m going to be giving updates on what I did that actually seemed to work, or not, and my thoughts as to where I’m going to go from here.
May 2012 was an exciting month for me. It started off pretty quickly and I tried to keep my expectations under control. If you’ve looked at my last few months, you can see that they’re up and down and a bit all over the board. This was the first month where everything I did seemed to start clicking a little bit, minus my main headphone site’s traffic.
Google Penguin Update – the Pains it has caused
I don’t know what the heck went wrong, but apparently Google didn’t like some of the link building I did in the beginning because about a month ago, my traffic dropped from about 150 hits a day to 80. And then, in the past 5 days, it’s taken another hit – I’m now seeing about half of that! To say that this is frustrating would be an understatement of gigantic proportions. It’s obviously extremely frustrating when you spend as much time as I have writing quality articles and posting videos that are extremely relevant and not just fluff like 90% of internet marketers tend to do. The one thing I can tell you that has probably killed me though is when I first started the link building process, I bought Article Marketing Robot and I did the auto-subscribe to all the sites that were listed in the build and then I began posting a few articles to each of these sites. Well, it looks like it might have come back to bite me in the butt. I don’t know if this is the case or not, but that just means that I need to re-double my efforts and start building more quality links back to my site.
Building Quality Links
After seeing the tremendous negative impact that the Penguin update had on my site, I started looking at the leaders in the headphone industry and going to their sites and contributing. The key here is I’m actually contributing, offering opinions, and generally speaking doing my best to make sure I’m helping people out with making decisions when picking headphones. I’m NOT, and I repeat not, just trolling the sites and looking for link juice. That being said, though, I’m most definitely making sure that my signature has my primary site in it, and when possible, I do create a link back to my site to a relevant page to help another user out. I’ve seen a significant jump in traffic from this one move and while it’s not traffic from Google itself, it’s relevant, highly targeted traffic from one of the most visited headphone sites on the web – I’ll call that a win.
Obviously, I can’t stop there and I’ll need to build more high quality links on other sites and spend a decent amount of time doing that. The biggest problem is making the time between writing (or doing video) reviews to put on my site and going to other sites to help put some content there. That’s probably the biggest struggle and one I’m trying to work out.
Key Activities in May
So one of the biggest things I did in May was to start contacting other headphone manufacturers a bit more aggressively. I started out with a couple of manufacturers in the beginning that I will forever be grateful to for taking a guy with startup written all over him and working with me. I’ve found that calling companies and speaking to the right people will more times than not yield positive responses, especially if you are cordial and respectful to the person on the other end of the phone. One thing I will recommend is never just e-mail or leave a voicemail. If you don’t get a live person to speak to, hang up and call back in 30 minutes. You absolutely must be persistent because these people are busy and if you want to be rewarded with a new relationship, then you need to put forth the effort to create that tie. I’ve successfully built two more business relationships with headphone manufacturers this month and I plan to do at least as many more this coming month. I consider this a huge success.
Areas of Struggle
So the positive is I made two more ties with headphone manufacturers, but the downside is that the number of reviews I need to complete in a fairly short period of time just about tripled! I can’t complain about this, but each review probably takes in upwards of 4 hours to complete from taking photos to videos, to editing and then cutting the finished product. So, that being said, I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me. If I keep growing these relationships as I plan to, I’m going to have to figure out how I can schedule my time and evaluations so that I can speed up my production times. This will be an ongoing test to see how I can more efficiently create the content that’s needed to continue the success of my headphone site.