It has been a hugely busy week for my offline work, and I can see it remaining like that for some time to come. So I was glad that I managed to get my new blog project that I discussed in my last post started over the previous weekend.
I just thought I would share a few details of what I’ve been doing so that it makes more sense in forthcoming progress reports.
What am I Trying to Achieve?
Well my initial aim for the project was to try and increase my AdSense earnings from the current slow trickle to something more satisfying. I also needed to try and do this without significantly increasing my online workload. I simply don’t have the additional time because of my other commitments.
What Project Did I Come up With?
Well I brainstormed several ideas using Micro Niche Finder, considered mini-sites, blogs, pseudo blogs etc. Eventually I decided to proceed with an idea I had been toying with for some months after finding a very nice .com domain name for it.
Without giving the niche away, it is basically a review blog, monetized both with AdSense and Amazon. It is fairly competitive and needs a lot of content before it gains any credibility, and I will also have to develop a pretty good blog community for the same reason. These things do go against my original goals to some extent, as they will need a lot of work. However, it is a niche that I love, and which takes up a considerable part of my leisure time already, so I can treat it as a long term project that I’m unlikely to lose interest in.
Strategy – Re-published Content
One of my strategies to mitigate the large amount of work required was to generate a proportion of my content from reviews already published on article directories such as Ezine and others. This is perfectly legitimate so long as you carefully follow their re-publishing guidelines, and retain full author credit, linking etc.
My main concern was that re-published content would not rank well in Google SERPs simply because it is duplicate content already indexed and published elsewhere. I thought this may take quite some time to prove as I have other new projects still in the Google sandbox several months after launch, despite being backlinked from various locations.
This turned out not to be the case, and I suspect it is because I also added AdSense for search to the new blog. I had wanted to use AdSense for Search in any case to maximize my AdSense impressions but noticed that after only a few hours of the domain being registered and the AdSense for Search code being in place that I was already indexed in Google!
I suppose it makes sense if you think about it. How could AdSense for Search work if it doesn’t index your site?
Anybody else experienced this? I’ve added the Search code to the sandboxed site I mentioned earlier to see if it was just a coincidence.
I managed to get the general layout pretty much as I wanted over last weekend. I went with a very simple free WP theme and added the following plugins to help with monetization and layout.
- AdSense Optimizer – to assist with ad placement and compliance with AdSense policy
- AdSense on Top – which works in conjunction with AO to give an AdSense link banner across the top of each page
- Iframe Embedder – to stop WP from messing up Amazon Iframe code
- Tiny MCE Advanced – to enhance the editor toolbar, mainly to quickly add tables
- Special Text Boxes – to neatly format multiple reviews within the same post
I have initially completed two review pages (one re-published and one written myself) and have a couple in draft awaiting completion.
Having noticed that the site had been indexed so quickly, I did some tests using Scroogle to see where they ranked. It is encouraging to see that the review page with the re-published content ranked as well as my own content. Not high in the results, I might add, but you wouldn’t expect that at this stage anyway.
I will probably continue to add a fifty/fifty mix of new and re-published content for the time being. When the site gains visitors and I have built up some sense of community, I already have the forms in place for people to add their own reviews, which will again hopefully help to keep the workload manageable.
That’s about the size of it for my progress so far, but I’ll be sure to provide updates as the site develops.