Saturday Morning Reflection

Saturday mornings are great downtime for me and I feel that the hour I get when I take my son for football (soccer) practise is important. Not because I get to stand on the sidelines, shouting abuse at the 11 year olds on the opposing team, but because I get to sit in the clubhouse, drink a coffee and just think (and write).

Today, I have been thinking about a site I own that has done very poorly since it was created. I paid for the keyword research and a list of items from Amazon that are popular and would serve as “review fodder” to generate sales.  I also paid over $200 for the content on the site, which is excellent quality, but since it has been launched, the site has done diddly-squat in terms of earnings for me.

Due to the fact that I did not write the content myself and have sunk some cash into it, I have been paying it some more attention that my per thinner sites, but I can’t seem to get it working for me.

So this morning, while my kid dodges the snowflakes on the pitch, I have been sipping coffee and doing a brain dump on the future plans for the site and why it might be going wrong. This hour has allowed me some freedom and quiet to be objective as possible and hopefully my thoughts are now more cleared on why the site is failing.  There is no internet at the clubhouse, so it’s just me and my thoughts.

  1. The products it promotes are “big” and normally installed by a contractor rather than a home owner. Would someone visiting my site actually buy anything from my Amazon links? Probably not, unless they are looking to buy a replacement part.
  2. I have used services on Fiverr to generate crappy links back to the site from social bookmarks and directories. Has this had a negative effect on my site? Possibly. I don’t even know if those backlinks are even indexed or recognised through tools such as Market Samurai. Edit – I have checked and there are none of these back links showing in MS at all – so money and time well spent.  Edit2 – I have checked the data from ahrefs.com and the site is showing 69 backlinks.  Market Samurai reports 5 links.
  3. I have not created many backlinks myself to the site. The content itself is quite “dry” and would not generate any links from people reading it, unless they clicked the share buttons by accident. Therefore, I might have to create more backlinks myself.
  4. The monetization of the site might be all wrong. I have a mixture of Amazon, Adsense and some Share-A-Sale companies on there which might be confusing and makes the site look a little messy. I need to examine which is the best way to make money using this site and stick with that.
  5. The content on the site is quite generic, although good quality and does offer information in the format of a guide. Is it really what my visitors want to know? Is it useful? What do they do after reading it? How do I turn them into a money making opportunity?  Why does the site exist?

There are many other facets that I have thought about this cold and wintery Saturday morning and they will take time to investigate and apply, but I am determined to make this site work.

I have to remember that it exists for my visitors, not for Google (or solely for me to make money), so the content should be compelling, share worthy and interesting. A common buzzword within the IT industry that I work in is that something should “add value”.

Where is the “value” in my site?

I need to create an action plan for this site as well as work on the Niche Site Challenge too, which will be an interesting challenge for me as my time is limited.

Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound!

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