I hate to admit it but I have been dreading to write this income report update.
I have been putting if off and procrastinating to hit the keys and get my thoughts and emotions down on paper for the month that was September.
To be honest… There is nothing good to report. 🙁 So if you want to save yourself I don’t mind if you shut down this tab in your browser now.
It was the hardest month I’ve had with my business since it began (although only a couple of months in). On top of that, I experienced a very painful time in my personal life which affected everything – especially my business.
I won’t go into details of what I had gone through as it is quite private. But what I will say is that if you have gone through a personal crisis you would agree that you just can’t think straight and get your head together.
And the deeper the crisis the worse it got.
For me it was very deep.
I felt like my world was falling apart.
This personal crisis that I was experiencing spilled over into my business to the point where very little work got done for the entire month. No income was made during the month which was an added blow.
In addition there were some significant learning curves with my niche site building that must be shared.
My PBN boo boo
After the I built my first money site I began the process of searching out expired domains to build my private blog network (PBN). Part of building a PBN or private link network (PLN), one of the techniques is to find expired domain names and build a new website that help your money websites rank in Google better. When checking the quality of the domains I failed to see if the if the domains were indexed on Google.
Well I failed to do the check.
However not every expired domain isn’t going to be indexed. That’s why they are expired. They just naturally fall away off Google.
But there must be something I have overlooked… I still very new to this whole process and sharpening my skills. It may be something else… In my untrained eye everything look legit.
I have 3 PBN sites and only 1 was reindexed in Google.
I’m trying to do everything I can to get Google to crawl my sites but they’re not playing ball.
Heres an excerpt of what the big G has to say about crawling sites.
“Once you submit your URL, you might need to wait some time for Google to process your request as well as crawl and index the page. Also, understand that we can’t guarantee that Google will index all your changes as Google relies on a complex algorithm to update indexed materials.”
and submitting a sitemap:
“Once you submit your sitemap, it can take some time before Google processes it. After your sitemap has been processed, it can take more time before Google can crawl and index the URLs included in your sitemap; although, Google can’t promise to crawl every URL in your sitemap, or index every crawled URL because we rely complex algorithms to make crawling decisions.”
So at the end of the day… Its up to Google. I’m am playing their game and by their rules.
Right now I’m trying to do some further digging to see if there is more I can uncover.
Its hard to overcome these hurdles early on but for now I will keep plugging away at these sites and see if I can get these babies indexed.
What am I going to try:
- Get more content on the websites
- Create Social media signals
- And make the website look as natural as possible.
More to come on this topic in the next income report.
The Big Dig
After following the courses expired domain PBN strategy. The first results where amazing with plenty of domains to look through to determine if they would be worthy of buying and building sites out of. With this strategy you might be lucky to find 3 or 4 domains that may have some potential.
However after conducting the same search once every 2-3 days over the following weeks, my results were far thinner than the initial test… as too were the expired domain results.
Once conducting the necessary due diligence I found that most searches showed unworthy results…
What I’ve come to learn that this is a game of patience.
You got keep working at finding the hidden nuggets out there as well as mixing up your strategy.
But as I need to get things moving a little quicker I’ve had to take some more drastic measures.
Dodgy Godaddy Auctions
In an effort to speed up my process of creating backlinks to my money sites via my own private link network, I began hunting around Godaddy domain auctions to find domains that had plenty of juice that can be flowed through my sites.
Thinking I was onto a good thing, I began to bid on some domains that were under $100 hoping to win one. However everytime I placed a bid someone or some robot came in and instantly bidded over the top of me! A they would continue to bid to way over $100.
I later learnt these were Proxy bids so anytime a human placed a bid, a program would automatically come and outbid you. Similar to the way Ebay works.
To me this was a lose-lose game so I quickly abandon this idea and moved on.
On top of that I learnt that there are some very nasty people in the online space who are watching these auctions to see who purchases these domains specifically for PBN’s. Down the track they come directly threaten you by naming your site, state your intentions then proceed to demand money from you to keep your site safe… talk about bribery!!!
Unfortunately using GoDaddy as a strategy for expired domains in the future is no longer an option.
The Massive Investment
After hitting many road blocks with creating a PBN/PLN through the less expensive yet more laborious methods. Noises were being made being about one of the big SEO guys in the affiliate marketing space was selling expired domains that had a ton of trust behind them.
From all the further research I had done it all seemed kosher.
Holding my breath, I bit the bullet and sunk US$600 into buying 10 domains from Domain Boy
The guys at Domain Boy was gracious enough to throw in an extra 3 domains on the early bird. Sweet!
Now to start getting these domains set up as part of my private blog network ASAP!
All seemed honky dory and then this happens!
Google PBN Crackdown
On the 23rd of September literally the day after I made my domain investment it was announced within the SEO community that Google were cracking down on PBN’s and that this strategy was now dead. Many peoples websites were affected to the point of being deindexed. Google’s reasoning was the websites contained ‘thin content’. Even some of the largest well known affiliate website out there were made examples of.
I had just sunk $600 into buying 10 domains the day before and now this!!!
Oh My God!
What was I going to do??
Running to the private Facebook group to get answers no one had anything definitive to say.
I felt gutted but my mentors said to wait until the dust settles.
Over the coming week it was concluded that the strategy was neither dead or alive but it was a game changer…
The new emphasis was now to make your PBN look as natural as possible so if Google does conduct a manual review on you that they can’t hang anything negative on your strategy.
For now I will continue getting building a Private Blog/Link Network but I will be proceeding with absolute caution.
Getting Geeked up.
10 days on the month was spent going to Phnom Penh for BarCamp and on the island of Koh Rong.
I had a great time at BarCamp spending time with my good friend Jeff who owns AngkorHub.
Jeff is an amazing networker and really wants to make an impact in Cambodia. He was nice enough to introduce my to all the team that works at Small World in Phnom Penh.
I must say this place is where its at for the future of Cambodia. This Co-work space is filled with a powerhouse of young talent lead and mentored by Rithy. I look forward to hopefully working with them in the future.
My time in Koh Rong however turned sour especially on my return to Phnom Penh after.
I was not only battling with the heavy burden personal issues but I fell violently ill only to once again battle another long bus trip back to Siem Reap the same day…. it was hell to say the least.
The Silver Lining
Although I have been putting off this post as it stirs up a lot of emotion, I have to take the time draw upon the positives that happened..
This month was significantly challenging for me in all directions which caused me to lose all focus.
There was definitely much to learn and I agree that it’s best that you learn from your mistakes sooner rather than later so you can quickly pivot and correct course.
The main take away is that building anything online takes time if you’re not an expert… and the main key is not to throw in the towel but maintain focus until all resources have been exhausted.
Even then the goals should stay the same, the only thing that changes is the approach.
This is the natural thought process of any entrepreneur… we are always looking at how we can achieve our simply and sooner.
Onto the figures.
- No Income this month – $0 🙁
- Domain name – $40
- Godaddy Auction – $5
- iWriter $51
- Squid Proxies – $17
- Spyder Spanker – $57
- Domain Boy – 10 domains (3 free) – $600
Total Expenses $770
September Net Total – $770
To highlight one of the great things that did happen in over the month, whilst Jeff from AngkorHub, Jon and I were in Phnom Penh, we gave birth to the idea of finding a way to connect Social consciences online marketers with NGO’s, Social Businesses and Enterprises or Business with a Corporate Social Responsibility, to help them move more of their products in order to help more people in need.
The idea is still in its infancy but gaining some serious tracking. Right now we are fine tuning the idea testing its validity.
Its been very exciting to see this project come life… Projects that matter is what really lights my fire. Everything that I do now with Affiliate Marketing is to help earn income to support me working on projects that have a deeper purpose and empower those in need. So watch this space!
Disclaimer: there are affiliate links in the post… 🙂