14
Feb

Lessons In Perseverance Part 4

Lessons In Perseverance Part 4It has been several weeks since my last post on perseverance and this one concludes the series. In this post I’ll touch on getting schooled in not putting all your eggs in one basket, namely the Adsense basket and in being a spammy affiliate.

Somewhere around January of 2006 I saw a serious decline in my Adsense earnings and experienced a drop from a high of approximately $1,300 per month to around half that much at about $650 per month. Unfortunately at that time Adsense was one of the very few programs I was using to monetize my sites except for some leads I was generating for Rentalo.com that paid $1 each and earning a little with a log cabin decor merchant. Overall my online earnings went from about $1,900 per month to about $1,000 per month and I was in deep trouble, especially with a spec home on the market that we couldn’t sell.

My best guess on what happened was that Google assessed my Adsense account some penalty or there was an overall shake-up on the kinds of ads lower performing publishers were displaying on their sites. I had seen single clicks in the vacation niche pay me as much as $2.50 each and that dropped to a high of about $1 per click. Two other significant things that occurred were my vacation site went from getting about 400 visitors a day to around 60 to 80 visitors per day and my Blogger spam blogs (yes, I have participated in spammy techniques) were either being deleted or dropping in rankings from one of the first 10 spots on the serps to 100th place or worse.

I learned a huge lesson in avoiding the get rich quick mentality when I lost rankings on my Blogspot spam blogs. I had found a way to get 1st page rankings on Yahoo for almost any term with 1,000 or less monthly searches. The way it worked was that you could create a new blog with the name of your chosen keyword such as “log cabin decor”, which was also the first part of your url, you then added a description containing the keyword which would appear under your blog title. The next step was to write one post containing your keyword and an affiliate link and the most important step was next. You then would go into one or several MyYahoo accounts and subscribe to your own rss feed and just like magic, your blog would be indexed on the first page of Yahoo and sometimes MSN in 2 days or less.

I was making about $250 to $300 per month in log cabin decor affiliate commissions and more in Adsense earnings, but this was a horrible business model because when Yahoo found out about this little trick, they shut it down and my earnings went with it. As a newbie affiliate I didn’t know any better, I was just reading and doing what was working for other people. However, I no longer spam because it only temporarily creates revenue and you can’t depend on it and as soon as you do, the party dries up. Here’s a great article about why you shouldn’t web spam.

I was also never really sure why my vacation site took a dive in traffic and was de-indexed. After a few months of tweaking and redirecting some 250 affiliate links, the site appears to be doing well again, but isn’t up to the traffic levels it once was. It is on my list to have another look at this site and redirect a few more affiliate links and continue to get incoming links. I use a meta-redirected page with a no-follow tag to redirect my affiliate links. In my experience, Google does not like to see too many affiliate links on a site and redirecting through what appears to be a link on your site helps take care of that. The practice of constantly trying to please Google however, is extremely annoying, but that discussion will have to wait for another post.

After all those adventures I’ve finally come to realize that the best practice is to build a strong foundation for your business and never rely on spammy techniques, one basket of eggs, one web hosting company, one niche or one way of doing things. While I’m not opposed to participating in a little gray hat fun when I read about a new technique, it is never anything I will spend serious time on again. A solid business foundation is much better for your long term bottom line.

If you haven’t had the chance, read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of Lessons In Perseverance.

Alan

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14 Responses to “Lessons In Perseverance Part 4”

  1. Yes Alan, i agree. I like to play a bit with the “law”, but in generally if you do that then you shouldn’t think one second that the income will stay.

  2. Nice to read about your experience with Blogspot / yahoo spamming techniques. I definitely agree that spamming will only provide temporary income and is not a good business model. Interesting that your vacation site has never fully recovered from its “dive”…

    Insightful post,

    Andrew

  3. I’m a firm believer that things like that always come back to haunt you. Something I tried to teach my kids and hoping they all heard me. But lesson learned and at least you’re moving on. Thumbs up to you.

  4. THe article was great but I especially liked the photo. Where do you get your stock photos?

  5. Ty,

    I get all my stock photos here:
    http://www.sxc.hu/index.phtml

    They do have some great photos and the best thing is that they’re free, all you have to do is register.

  6. Thanks

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m a new blogger and it really helps to learn from others.

  8. Hello, would you mind if i ask you for a link exchange?

  9. Monetization Network,

    Not trying to be rude here, but you don’t have any content to link to?

  10. […] hard to believe that it has taken more than 2 years to top my earnings, but if you’ve read lesson 4 in perseverance you’ll see that at one point Adsense revenue dropped by 50% over a 6 month period. […]

  11. Thanks for the informative series on your trials and tribulations! I appreciate the opportunity to learn from someone who learned e-commerce and website monetization the hard way (but that’s the best way I guess). :)

  12. veganmaster,

    Thanks for stopping by, I’m still learning the process.

  13. Good post. I’m with you on keeping a good foundation and like you am a little annoyed at Google’s new attitude that websites have to bend to their will.

    I noticed you don’t use Text Link Ads – is that because you think they are not a good long term solution? You could certainly make money with them.

  14. This is a really great post and it warns of the dangers of spamming… keep them coming :)

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