I always look forward to this time each week, where I get to share the progress of the second Niche Site Project! Let's jump right into it.
Today, I want to share some quick ranking and earnings, and then discuss links.
First, aPennyShaved.com is continuing to move up in the rankings for the keyword, “Best safety razor”. At the time of this post, the site is currently ranked #15 in Google! (Its made some significant jumps over the past week!) In addition, the site just showed up ranking for the first time today for the term “best electric shaver”…at #48…sweet!
Also, the site is starting to make some Amazon sales related to shaving products! As revealed on the call (video below), the site recently sold about 5 different shaving products…here's a screenshot below:
The site is well on its way! Great job Perrin!
Expenses and Private Blog Network Links
Going into the project, I made it very clear that Perrin would be required to invest up to $500 into this niche site project. So, where does he stand on expenses so far? Here's a quick breakdown:
- Domain – $10
- WordPress Theme – $47
- Link building VA (one-time cost) – $100
That's a total of $157 invested so far. The rest has been Perrin's time, as he's written all the content.
However, I also revealed that I allowed Perrin to use a few links from a Private Blog Network that Hayden Miyamoto built. Many of you expressed your disappointment in this move, because you said, these are links that no one else can get.
I wanted to address that briefly. As it turns out (as revealed in the last post here), you CAN get those same private network links. So, the only special treatment that Perrin is getting, is that he can access the blog network links about a week before everyone else. That's it.
“But everyone else has to pay for the blog network links!” You are correct. And to remedy this, I've asked Perrin to pay me exactly what it would cost any of you to get the same PBN links using Hayden's expired domain network.
I'm not going to reveal the exact cost of those links today, but if you want to see the pricing, you can join our live webinar tonight. I will just say that adding the $157 that Perrin has already invested, PLUS the network links; he still has plenty to invest in his website.
So, while I understand many of your concerns, the Niche Site Project still moves forward! And everything we have done and invested is still well within the original projected investment…anyone else can do the same, there have been no special privileges here.
Watch the Coaching Call!
We did our weekly coaching call, and some minor tweaks we made to the site to help it rank better, and much more. Enjoy!
Perrin's Week 10 Write-Up
The following is written by Perrin…
Ten weeks down! Our call was pretty short this week, but quite a bit happened, so we have a lot to talk about!
First: Status Report
My site is climbing slowly and steadily for its main keyword target: “Best safety razor,” and it’s climbing without any significant backlinks so far. That’s good news! It means the content and on-site structure is good enough to take notice.
Now, for about a week, the site was sitting at 500+, which obviously wasn’t what we wanted to see. So Spencer went through and audited my site, looking for absolutely anything I was doing differently than he normally does with his sites. He came up with three things:
1. No “www” in the URL. We didn’t think this was the problem, but it was different, so we marked it down
2. I had no outbound links! What was I thinking? Well, mostly, I was just assuming that my affiliate links counted as good, quality outbound links to an authoritative site (Amazon), but they didn’t. Google sees them as affiliate links, which are low-quality links.
3. Some of my pages were linking to themselves. Don’t ask me why – lol. I honestly don’t know.
So, I blocked out my Saturday morning and sat down to fix those things. I stuck a “www” at the front, added 3-5 links to authoritative websites in every single page and post, and I took out the self-links. And you know what? I went from ranking 500+ to 96 in one afternoon!
So we were pretty excited. The rankings continued to rise steadily for that keyword, and at the time of this call, I’m currently sitting at 46 with hardly any backlinks (Spencer's note: Now at 15 just a couple days after Perrin wrote this!) – all of my backlinks are from the 100 base links my outsourced link builder is building – which aren’t super strong and are mostly for link diversity (plus, at the time of the call, he’d only built about 35 links, and most probably weren’t indexed yet).
Even cooler, I’ve made a couple sales! So I’m starting to see the very first trickles of success, which is awesome! And I’m definitely excited to see the site grow over the next couple of weeks.
Now for the elephant in the room: using a PBN…
As you guys know, Spencer and I decided to use a PBN to get a few high-quality links. We’re using a next-gen PBN developed by Hayden Miyamoto.
I wanted to talk to you about that because some of you guys were pretty mad! More importantly, many of you felt as if PBNs were totally out of reach for you, which makes this project harder to follow. So I wanted to write about a couple of things here:
(1) It’s not a favor
(2) My reasoning for using a PBN and
(3) Why/how anyone can do it
It’s not a favor to me
Just to clarify, this was not a favor to me. I bought a handful of great links from Hayden’s network, and I paid the same price that people on the webinar will be offered. Plus, Niche Pursuits readers will soon have access to the same links. So this was definitely not Spencer doing me a favor (although I was something of a beta tester). This was just me making a business decision – and it’s a move you guys can make, too!
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And guys, it's important to me that you understand this part. A lot of the fun of this project is doing it with the Niche Pursuits community, and I wouldn't want to use anything everyone else didn't have access to.
Why I’m using a PBN
Also, I wouldn’t use just any PBN. I would (and am) only use a PBN focused on quality content in which the sites all have good, clean link profiles. I prefer not to associate my brand with spam – anywhere.
Also, PBNs are effective, relatively safe, and you can completely control the links. With the network we are using (which you can soon use too), for the content to pass moderation, it has to be original, and, more importantly, it has to be good. I wrote 5 high-quality, original articles based on my own research to be posted on the PBN sites. I spent time on them and made sure that anyone who came across them would learn something.
So I really believe the articles I wrote (and all the other articles on the network) add value for readers. And that’s great! I mean, links to my site are in the articles, so I’m very invested in their quality.
Why you can do it too
However, those kinds of links aren’t quite as effective as they used to be. Using PBN links is a good alternative.
For example, if you wanted to build your own network of 5 quality sites (using GoDaddy Auctions or a service like Jon Haver’s), you’d spend about $250 + hosting. If you bought links on a PBN, you’d spend a bit less.
But really, you can even spend less and get the results. Quinton over at The Lost Cyclist, for example, only has a couple of sites in his PBN (about one per major niche site), and he’s making a full-time income! So even one expired domain can drastically impact your rankings (provided you’ve done good keyword research and written good content).
The point is: if you’re planning to build a niche site with a $500 budget (which is my budget), expired domains/PBNs fit in nicely.
However, if you don’t want to spend money, there are lots of great resources out there that teach you out to find good expired domains without spending any money at all except domain registration ($9) and hosting. These methods take time, but you’ll definitely spend less. You can start here:
- Spencer’s podcasts with Hayden Miyamoto
- No Hat SEO’s tutorials
- Jon Haver’s massively detailed expired domain guide
- The upcoming webcast outlining the whole process
In short, expired domains fit into a reasonable niche site budget – and they can cost as little as $9 if you take the time to learn to find them. And, personally, I have no (ethical) problem using them because I choose extremely high-quality networks and write very high quality posts for them.
My question for those of you following along:
Where are you ranking? If your site was (or is) struggling like mine was, what did you tweak?
Til next time!
As always, Perrin and I would love to hear any comments or questions that you have in regards to this project. The site is starting to gain some traction, gain rankings, and even make some sales! We have lots of plans for the future and will be sharing all the details along the way.
If you have anything you would like to add to the discussion, leave a comment below!