Taking a Break

I am taking a break from this blog nonsense. I will continue to work on the idea of making money online, but I think I will not be blogging about it for awhile.

My goal at this point is to create an ebook that sells. Then I want to tie that to several other properties so that each one can help sell the others. My long term purpose is to make a full time living from playing with the computer. My plan is to never have to go into the office again.

Can money be made here? Yes. I have made $50 this year. In all likelihood I will double that by the end of the year. But, obviously, I will need to do better than that if I am going to do this for a living.

I'll be back... when conditions warrant... or I just feel like saying something. See you then... bye!


Keyword Article Writing with Long Tail Pro

I wrote a handful of articles in May for InfoBarrel (IB). None of them were keyword targeted, mainly because I just wanted to push out some articles and see what would happen. Now, I want to produce a keyword targeted article and compare the results. So, I decided to do some kw research, and write an article accordingly.

The Beginning
I started by randomly looking around for ideas. I went to ClickBank, just to see what was happening there. ClickBank is popular with affiliate marketers because of its high commissions. They have tons of products to promote, some good and some not-so-good. Looking around there, I noticed in the Cooking, Food & Wine section, as well as Health & Fitness, the Paleo Diet was pretty popular. Alot of the Paleo products I looked at had a high Gravity score. On ClickBank, Gravity is a number that represents how well the product is selling over the last 12 days. A Gravity >20 is considered a Good Thing. And, indeed, alot of the Paleo Diet cookbooks, recipe books, and diet plans were doing that well and better.

I dont really have a platform to promote a diet product, so I cant really use ClickBank in that way at this moment. It would be easy enough to snap up a domain name and find a matching Paleo product, but at the moment, I am trying to practise doing kw research using the resources I already have. If I can show myself that I am capable of doing that, then I'll worry about jumping into new areas.

Whip Out the Long Tail!
Alright... so I want to do some research centered around the idea of the Paleo diet. Now is the time to fire up Long Tail Pro and see what I can find out! Starting with "Paleo Diet", I began looking at all of the related keywords that LTP could come up with. Many of them had high Local and Global Searches, meaning that alot of people are interested in the Paleo Diet.

Keyword Article Writing with Long Tail Pro
As you can see, "the paleo diet", is searched for 6,600 times each month in America, and another 9,900 times in the rest of the world. But, anyone searching for "the paleo diet" is probably not thinking of buying anything just yet. They are just doing some free research at this point. So, I looked through the list for something I thought might be product related. This, I thought, might be related to advertiser competion, so I sorted by Ad Competition (the supposed amount that advertisers pay Google) to see what came to the top. At the top of my list was "paleo meal delivery". Well, obviously, anyone look for a way to have their paleo meals delivered must be ready to buy!

No Delivery Here
I clicked on "paleo meal delivery" in Long Tail Pro, and that took me to the top ten listings for that search in Google, along with some information about each page. Using my niche formula (the Von Score), I cook down what I find there into one number for each page, then I average the top ten pages together to get a number that shows me how likely I am to rank for that keyword. My formula immediately showed me that "paleo meal delivery" scores a 32.64. That number is WAY to high... there is almost no chance that a simple IB article would crack the top ten on that one!

Red Alert!
So, back to keyword research. This time, I see that there is something called "The Paleo Solution". I assume that this is a product or book of some kind. "The Paleo Solution" gets 1600 searches a month. So I looked at that one. No good. I scored that one 42.37, which causes a red siren to pop out of the top of my computer and strobe the room. This is beyond red flag!

Okay... Try This One
Looking around at some of the other possibilities, I finally settle on "Paleo Diet Plan for Beginners". That phrase is only searched 110 times a month, so not that many are looking for it. But, on the other hand, half of the top ten spots have a PageRank of 0, and three of the top ten have No PR! The competition's average Von Score is just 21.75, and most of that comes from just one site. So, if it is possible to rank for anything, it should be possible to rank for this!

If I was going to build a new niche site, I would target something with more traffic! Yes, this keyword only gets 110 searches a month, but, all I want to do is rank for my keyword using an InfoBarrel article. Perhaps you could consider this a proof of concept. If the article, which I havent written yet, out performs my other articles, then I will know that this has worked!

What Next?
Now, I just need to write the article (I already created a draft on IB to ensure that my title "Paleo Diet Plan for Beginners" is reserved.) Then, I need to collect a couple of pictures of yummy looking meat, and look through the Paleo books at Amazon. Then, I will put it all together and post it. When the article posts to IB, I will put the link here!

And here it is


Traffic and Income Report - May 2013

For May, my income numbers remain dismal, when compared to some of the more well known MMO sites that I follow, like NichePursuits or My4HourWorkWeek... but, seriously improved over the April report! Although May is not quite over, I will share the month so far!

Niche Sites

Niche I (paralegal training)
The paralegal training site has had 54 visitors thus far in May. Because of the my poor keyword research (done without Long Tail Pro) there is little traffic, and as yet, no one has ever clicked on my ads! All of the income from the site has come from impression ads. In May, I made 3 cents from impression ads, which pushes the site to $0.07 in lifetime revenue.

The most popular searches have had to do with military paralegals and paralegal salaries. I have added materials in both of these areas, however, neither of these terms has sufficient traffic, according to LTP, to put much effort into it.

The PageRank for this site remains at 0, and the Alexa rank for the US is at #122,004.  Thus far, 5 backlinks have shown up for the page. I may do another campaign, just to see if I can bump it up.

For its main keywords, the site currently ranks 25th and 110th. Its third keyword does not rank. Except for a brief drop, this is where this page has lived since the beginning of April. Again, I do not expect this site to rise onto the first page of G, and will probably write it off at the end of the year.

The dual purpose of this site was to generate revenue, and create a site that would be useful for people looking for information on becoming a paralegal. Since few ever see the site, I think I have failed on both counts.

Niche II (Rats)
Site II has, so far, had 44 organic visitors in May. In April, that number was 37. These numbers have risen on the basis of a couple of long tails. A few weeks ago, I had a search hit the page looking for weather beer can kill rats. My page made the SERP because one of my categories was "Beer", leftover from the sites previous life. I was disappointed that the searcher was unable to find his answer on my page, and I was intrigued, so I did some research and created a post to answer the question. Since that time, this has proven the most popular way searchers find my page! Go figure!

The second most popular search result was "glue trap review'. For a few weeks, this page was ranking on page 1 of G. It has since fallen, perhaps partly because it was spammed by automated comments. I have since installed commentluv and a few other security apps on all my sites to prevent further problems.

The site's Alexa rank is now #101,234. Its PR remains 0, and it has two backlinks that have shown up.

This site is monetized with both AdSense and Amazon. The AdSense was dispalyed on the page as a text banner at the top of the page. Since that had not generated any revenue, I have replaced it with a 300x225 banner which is capable of showing impression ads, in hopes that it will at least bring in a few cents while I work on it.

This page also has Amazon affiliate links. These generated $1.01 in April, but have thus far made nothing in May. This may be because in part, I have neglected the site for most of the month.

This site is waiting to take off... it just needs some backlinking and it will be ready to go. Currently, for its main keyword, the site is sitting at 38th.


The Niche Blog has had 252 page views in the last 30 days. using Blogger, it is difficult to be more accurate than that, I'm afraid. Again, this site will eventually migrate out to a real web address, which should give me more control over the stats.


In May, so far, InfoBarrel has made a total of $0.22, bringing my all-time InfoBarrel revenue to $0.24! I have written 4 articles for that site. One surprising aspect of InfoBarrel is that, if you do not write anything (and I have not written in more than a week) your revenue stops coming in. If you arent active, there soimply isnt a way to find one of your articles, unless it shows up in a SERP.

In all of my InforBarrel articles written up to this point, none of them were done with any KW research... I just basically have been feeling out what happens when you just throw some content up there. I intend to write some KW researched  articles shortly just to see how they do.

BTW: On InfoBarrel, you CAN track which articles made how much! That is tres helpful.


I cant begin to tell you how stupid I thing the name "Bubblews" is, or how awful and kitchy I think their interface is. Just awful. I almost didnt post anything, because it looks like its meant for children. However, I decided I would give it a try. The criterion for posting are pretty low, so its pretty easy to smash out something. On Bubblews, I have churned out 5 (very trivial) posts. Revenue for these five posts? $4.19. What's more, I stopped writing there at the same time I stopped on Infobarrel, and in that time, my InfoBarrel revenue has not risen a penny, while the Bubblews money has continued to rise... in fact, almost half of the revenue has come since I stopped writing!

From this I conclude two things. First, In the long run, serious articles on IB are going to generate more revenue, because G likes IB, and your (KW researched) articles will show up on search results. Bubblews, because it is not trusted by G, and because so many of the articles there are so trivial, I believe that these articles will not make money in the long run. They generate revenue in the short-run because, as people explore your connections, they find your articles, and the articles stay posted in view on the category pages for a long time. So, while I work on something meaningful for IB, I will be be churning out some Bubble-crap for Bubblelews.

Lending Club

I still have not had time to pursue this, and at this rate I will not be able to. I may pull the plug.


For May, I made $4.41 on the internet. So, I am going to continue steaming ahead until I reach port, or hit an iceberg! that's the American Way. Clearly, what I need most is to improve my keyword research, and discover the backlinking strategy that works in 2013. Maybe blog comments and Facebook likes are the only things that still work?

I will be doing KW research for my future IB articles. If I find that I become good at doing KW research, then I will consider creating another niche site. Until then, I makes sense to learn these techniques in a cost free environment!


Time and Clarity

Learning from Mistakes

The purpose of The Niche Blog is to record my journey in making money online. I want to use this record to help guide myself and to jot down what I have learned so that I can use that knowledge to correct my course. The Niche Blog is a simple self correction mechanism.

What I've Learned This Week

Niche Sites

Niche Site 1 has been up and running for some four months. It has generated only a few pennies from impression ads, and almost all of that traffic was me, as GPT is one of the tabs that I leave open at all times on Firefox. Although it has been slowly climbing in G, it will probably never make the first page, because most of that page is dominated by .edu sites. When I started GPT, I did not understand that those sorts of sites are difficult to beat. If the current trend continues, I will let the GPT domain expire. Unless it starts to get some traffic, I have done all I am going to do with it at this point.

Site #2, eRATication, has made about three cents in the two months it has been up. It too is on the rise for its search terms, and, although I could be mistaken, I think it may one day break into page one. I will continue to work on this page and round it out a bit more.

Site #3 is the page you are on. The Niche Blog is not monetized, and it may never be monetized, and, as I said in the first paragraph,  that is not its purpose anyway.

Site #4: No, there isnt a site number four! But, I do own one more domain, which I bought to use as an email center for my backlinking campaign. It is TwoDollarMonkey.com. At this time it is just for email, but, in the future it may become the home of this blog.

Some Backlinking Thought

After putting AMR through its paces, I found it was easy and enjoyable to use. I REALLY like the spinner part of the program, but really the whole thing is great. However... there is a problem. I do not think that mass articles work anymore. After sending out hundreds of AMR articles, I saw no effect on rankings, and not one of those backlinks  ever showed up anywhere. I am not convinced that any of that work accomplished anything. I will run a campaign to support the rat site, but I will have a skeptical look on my face the whole time.

Thus far, the only successful backlinks are those associated with blog comment links.


Interesting... my SocialADR campaign was focused on creating backlinks to my link wheel. And, in fact, several of those links showed up in my Alexa toolbar. I had read many times that social links will not stick, and indeed, several weeks after these links appeared, they were gone again. It seems to me alot of mindless work to get just a couple of links for just a fortnight. Again, I will continue using this for now (I mean, it is free, after all)

Article Sites

Originally, I created an Infobarrel account so I could use it in the backlink strategy. Then I began seeing articles about some folks who were making a good income from sites like Infobarrel alone. So, I checked out my article and discovered that it had made 2 cents. After doing some research, it seemed that Infobarrel, Squidoo, and Bubblews could make more money (at least early  on) than a niche site could, and with no startup costs. So, I am writing some articles for these sites. Inforbarrel is now up to 9 cents, while I have made one thin dime on Bubblews. I dont think these sites could ever deliver the $3,000+ a month I am looking for, but I think 500/month is quite reasonable.

So... that is what I learned this week.
1. Niche sites are harder than they look.
2. Good kw research is paramount
3. Article writing is easier and more lucrative in the short run

I know that perhaps it appears that I am waffling on where my focus should be, but in reality I came into this not knowing anything about the reality of IMing, and, as time passes and my real world experience and research feed each other, I am learning that there is money to be farmed out of the internet... but it will take awhile, and many money traps have to be laid before the cash can be snagged.


From Russia with... um... Ulterior Motives?

Not much is happening here at TNB this week, so this will be a short post.

Rank - Niche Site I (aka, GPT) has reached #26 and #38 for two of its three keywords. The third keyword remains unranked. Until this week, all searches that have led people to GPT have been longtail keywords that are not particularly useful in terms of generating income. This week, for the first time, two people who were actually searching for relevant content visited my site. This is an indication that GPT is rising on both G and Yahoo. Hopefully this will translate into ever-increasing traffic.

Four backlinks have shown up for GPT on Alexa, a comment left on a relevant blog, and now several entries from the primary layer of the link wheel.  I'd like to start seeing some of my AMR links show up... to just at least reassure me that that was worth doing.

Niche Site II is now ranking at #64 for its main keyword. It is still unranked for its other two keywords. I still have not done much backlinking for this page, however, it has two backlinks, according to Alexa. I attribute this to having installed the Alexa toolbar. Both of the links are incidental blog posts, and it seems that as I visit them, Alexa is now watching, and recording those links. G and Y are unimpressed.

BTW - the Alexa rank of all three sites has been steadily rising. You and I know that is meaningless, but it is still fun to watch.

Income - Not much to report here. I made another 2 cents this week. The disturbing thing is that these are impression ads that are paying, and I am afraid that the entire income from the site is due to nothing more than the traffic created by me when I turn the computer on each morning. Again... nothing substantial will happen til we get on G's first page.

Russian Weirdness - Aside from the constant bombardment from Russian and Chinese spiders crawling my sites (which I have tried to throttled!) I have had a weird happening. I had a sudden spike here at TNB, all referrals from a particular web site. I went to that site to see what the deal was. It turned out that the site was some sort of Russian website that distributes bootleg movies. Apparently, this is what is known as "referrer spam", where the visitor to your site is not a visitor at all, but instead a bot that visits just long enough to be recorded in your stats. What is their intention? To have you click on their entry in the log and visit their page! These sites will be things like the bootleg movie site, porn, virus pages, and yep, I had several hits from something called Al Jizzera America. Which, I have to admit, REALLY pissed me off. Where are those Anonymous people? Where is the FBI? Why the hell is there an Al Jizzera America?



A Little More Money and A Little More Alexa

I have been wondering about this Alexa rank business. For two reasons: One was that I wondered if it helped with traffic or rankings or something, and two, I use the Web Rank tool bar, and it shows the Alexa rank for my page everytime I look at it. That made me curious. And also, I am competitive, I didnt like NOT ranking for something where others were ranking.

Anyway... I read that some said that that your site has to be visited by someone running the Alexa toolbar to be ranked (which seems pretty dumb to me). Others said absolutely not, Alexa, owned by Amazon, did not use their toolbar to measure rankings. Well, I HATE toolbars, anyway, so I tended to believe the latter. But, finally, curiosity got the best of me, and I installed the Alexa toolbar. That was last Friday. Today, three days later, niche site I, aka GPT, has an Alexa rank. You will be glad to know that GPT is now ranked 21.5 million. Which, I assume, is dead last.

Does this benefit me in some way? Probably not. But, and here is what I found interesting, the Web Rank toolbar also shows backlinks by G, Bing and Alexa. And suddenly, Alexa seems to know about a backlink to GPT. This backlink, apparently the only one that anyone can find anywhere on the internet, was from a blog post comment that I left on a related website back in February. Odd how it suddenly showed up.

Speaking of backlinks, there is also one showing up for one of my blogs that supports GPT. That one was found by Bing, and is from my efforts on SocialADR. I have found SocialADR interesting thus far, and a far easier way to generate links than mass article marketing. At this point, I have no way of knowing which is more effective.

MMO with InfoBarrel
I have neglected to write another InfoBarrel  article, but last night I logged on just to check out my account (no real reason) and I saw that my article had managed to make 2 cents. Great! I think I will write another article... and maybe I will actually put a link in this one!

Rank Check
Every Friday, I check my main keyphrases and see where I am ranking. GPT has dropped onto page 20 for one keyphrase, and is still unranked for the other two. Last week, it was ranked 28th. Nich Site II is now on page 5 for one of its keyphrases, but remains unranked for the other two (I do three keyphrases for each site). This is somewhat disturbing... I have done a linkwheel for GPT, and a SocialADR campaign, only to see it drop. I am unsure what is happening there.

Meanwhile... I have created only one blog that points to Niche Site II, yet it has risen on its own. Better on-page SEO? Better targeted text? Not sure.

At this time, my plan is to run one more SocialADR campaign on GPT, create the linkwheel for Niche Site II, and then run a SocialADR campaign on it as well, and hold off on mass article marketing until I see what happens with its page rank. And, while this is happening, I am going to churn out a couple of InfoBarrel articles, and link one of them to Niche Site II and one to GPT.

My internet marketing business, tentatively dubbed Two Dollar Monkey, has now made a grand total of $0.05. I really need to turn this around RSN (real soon, now) and make some headway.


Backlinking Thus Far

After some interruptions (life, you know) and a couple of outright mistakes, I have completed the first round of backlinks using the "link wheel" that everyone loves. I took an article that I had written for my page, and carefully spun it, mostly by hand, using AMR. Although much of AMR is clunky (it being a clearly utilitarian tool and not a smoothly polished "app", if you will) it gets the job done, and the spinner part works quite goodly. So lets break this down.

I wrote this article for the GPT web site and decided that, as an experiment, I would use it to do this first round of links.

I took the article and spun it using AMR. With the spintax in place, AMR can post the article an infinite number of times (although, infinity will hardly be needed). I also exported 10 spins to use on blogs and whatnot.

I created 5 new blogs using things like Tumblr, Wordpress, LiveJournal, etc. I made five of these. On each one, I posted a spun version (one of the ten that I had saved to the hard drive) of the original article. Each article has two links, one to the GPT homepage and another link to one of the pages deeper in, like, for example, the job board. Note: I did not do a blogger one. Anyone care to guess why?

Mass Submission
After I had the five blogs ready to go, I did a mass article submission using AMR. Of course, article submissions are not what they used to be, and so instead of thousands of possibilities, the list only included about 600 possibles. Of those, it managed to submit only 120 successfully. Instead of setting up a submission for each blog (as perhaps I should do) I opted to spin the links so that of the 120 articles, only about 24 point to each blog site. It seems to me that there are alot fewer article sites these days, probably because they were devalued by the evil G, they simply started going away. The days of being able to even do a mass submission may be numbered.

Each of these mass articles has 2 links in the "resource" box, not in the article itself. Again, the links randomly rotate between the 5 blogs.

I created an account on SocialADR, and began using it to drive links to both the main page and the blog sites. There is conflicting advice from internet marketing types on this, so I decided to mix it up. Since I am using the free version, it doesnt seem that very many links will be generated all at once. In any case, all I have to do now is log on each day, share 5 links that I like that were submitted by other folks, and then the links I have ready to share will be posted. It does not mean that my link will only be shared 5 times. Instead, for example, one of my links was submitted 18 times in a matter of seconds. So, that seems to be a good thing. Of course... assuming that these links actually help.

Since I was out of town on Friday, I was unable to do a rank check for my keywords (using LTP) to see where I am. After refocussing my keywords (I would prefer to say keyphrases, really) last week, I determined that I was off the page (in a bad way... i.e., not SERPed at all)  for all of my keywords. As of Monday night, I am ranking 28th for one of my keyphrases, but still zero on the other two.

Note: I have both the niche sites focused on three key words each.

Traffic has increased... which is to say, that I am now getting 1 or 2 people a week, and all of those on long tails associated with the military paralegals page.  Not sure if I should do something about this or not.

I will update the ranks after Friday when I see how they went.