Niche Site Mistakes – Some big Mistakes I made on one of my Sites
I made some big niche site mistakes that I hope readers will hopefully avoid after reading of my mistakes.
I’m not going to write a biography here about me. You can go to my personal blog for that.
My Original Idea for a Site
Way back, at least six or seven years ago I got the “brilliant” idea to see if I could find out what “Luck” was. Aside from the dictionary definition and what Wikipedia or other encyclopedias said, I was hoping I could pinpoint more specifically what luck was.
I spent many long days and hours spread out over months, searching the internet to see what I could find out about luck. To my surprise my searching turned out to be essentially a big fat zero.
Virtually nothing substantial was found. Also I read a few books on the subject and sensed it was futile to keep researching. I gave up and forgot all about luck.
One day my son came by and told me about a new site called Fiverr. It sounded interesting so I checked it out. Afterwards it hit me that maybe I could find someone to do research and write articles for me on good luck.
I didn’t have time to do it myself but maybe I could find someone on Fiverr who could. I’d pay them Fiverr gig size money and then I could put up a site about good luck. This leads us to my first big mistake.
Ignoring Keyword Research
I knew some keyword research was necessary in order to pick a niche that was feasible to create a website about. Personally I never put too much faith in keywords even though I knew they must be important.
Regardless, I did some keyword research, but the results were less than stellar. I used a combination of one paid keyword tool and several free keyword tools. It included Google AdWords Keyword tool, which I felt was the best of the free tools.
Had I paid attention to the keyword results I would have known such a “niche” was too broad. It was unfocused, not enough products available to sell, and had some other negative characteristics. By this time my decision to create a site on good luck overruled common sense.
I had already forgotten the aspect of making money with such a site. I “assumed” that if I had enough content on the site that would make up for the poor market or niche. This is another mistake some of you might make.
Picking a Niche where very little Information is Available
I was so anxious to put up a site about Luck I simply ignored the fact there was very little information available. That being the case, the site would probably end up being just a few pages. That’s not the niche site I hoped to build.
Maybe if I could find a writer on Fiverr that could write some articles on good luck I could put up a site anyway. So I set up a gig on Fiverr asking for an article writer that could write two articles on good luck.
I didn’t get any positive response the first week. After about a week several people finally responded that they could write one article, But I could tell from their response and/or seeing samples of their writing, they just wouldn’t fit the bill for what I wanted.
I knew five dollars was really too little for a quality article, but I thought I would feel out the market on Fiverr anyway.
Fiverr to the Rescue
I was again about to abandon a site about good luck when I got a response on Fiverr. Someone replied “I can do it.”
It was from a young writer from India. First I was elated that someone was interested, but then thinking about India I was very leery about even responding. That was because of some previous bad experiences with article writing from India.
I was trying not to let that cloud my mind. I knew I really couldn’t judge everyone just because I had some previous bad experiences. So I decided to follow up on her response and had her write two articles for me about luck. Her two trial articles were very good.
In spite of my concerns about India writers I had a good feeling about her ability to write quality articles. So I decided to have her write 30 articles on good luck for me. Mind you, I still had very little information about luck, either good or bad.
I Massaged my Niche into Superstitions
Since it now appeared that I was “out of luck” finding much information on luck, I decided to concentrate on good luck superstitions. It seemed that superstitions and luck go hand in hand.
Because of the lack of information on the internet about luck I decided to try something else. Gathering my thoughts I bought all the books on Amazon I could find about luck, about seventeen books.
I re-read five books on luck in my book collection plus all the books I bought. I was disgusted to find there was only one book that had any real research on luck. It was very minimal at best.
I commissioned my writer from India to write 400 articles on good luck. I knew there was essentially no information on the Internet. So I sent her about fourteen of the books I had purchased. I told her to write articles about what she found in those books. That was, for all practical purposes, superstitions.
I knew I needed a lot of content on the site to have a good chance to make money. More pages indexed meant more potential visitors finding my site. I registered wishgoodluck.com and put up my Wish Good Luck (WGL) site. That was Jul 23, 2010. It’s still getting traffic, but only about a 20th as much as in early 2012. This leads me to the next big mistake I made:
I didn’t pick a Niche where people are passionate or spending money
I was interested in luck, specifically good luck but if you think about it how many people pay much attention to luck? I’d say not too many. Aside from that, how many people are interested in any details about luck?
Very few. Probably not enough to even buy an inexpensive book on it. If luck is a niche, it is a very vague niche where it is unlikely there is little, if any, commonality among those in such a niche.
It turned out that all my hopes about having a site delving into and explaining luck was a pipe dream. I was either forced to forget having a site about luck or necessarily incorporating superstitions into the site.
That’s what I did – add a lot, in fact almost all the content is about superstitions, of which so many are supposed to bring one good luck or bad luck.
Could I ever make back the money I spent on the site?
Not many are looking for data on superstitions or spending much money on such things. Yes you do find a few eCommerce stores on the internet selling all sorts of superstitious items, but my guess is that the people buying them are very superstitious and such buying may quite likely be impulse buying.
OK, so I shelled out a lot of money to have a few hundred articles written, almost exclusively about superstitions involving good and bad luck. I realized that to even get my money back I would need a LOT of traffic to the site.
This was a major challenge. Additionally I could not add my personal observations about superstitions except to say I didn’t believe in probably 99% of them. The other 1% I had serious doubts about. This eliminated me blogging about the topic and saving money on content.
I decided not to try to sell trinkets, pendants, talismans, good luck charms and an assortment of similar items. I figured it would be too much work and bring in too little returns. That left me to try to make money off of ads on the site.
I had already added Google AdSense to the site, but it didn’t bring in enough money to even buy a fast food hamburger, fries, and a drink. And that was over a whole month’s period of time. I needed a lot more traffic. That wasn’t going to be easy, but I had to try. Even so, realistically the money aspect of the site was minimal to none.
A Big Mistake Paying for Links or Traffic
I decided to try a different kind of paid traffic source. I thought it would be a fast way to get more traffic. Actually I was really going after free traffic by using a paid source to position my site better in Google.
I picked four of my other sites plus my good luck site and paid for a traffic service. It promised to send those sites goo gobs of traffic within a few months. It was a blog network that put links on their sites pages back to my sites. I could monitor the progress and tell if it was working or not.
These are frowned upon by Google nowadays. I think back then too from what I understand. I monitored the service. A few of the keywords did move up in Google search positions. It worked better for the other four sites but not very well on WGL. I figured it need more time so I used the service for three months.
Nothing worthwhile came out of that and I effectively wasted some $450 that I really couldn’t afford to waste. Of that, the amount spent on WGL was $90 or $30/month. Same for each of the other four sites. Since I had five sites the total cost was $450. Money totally wasted! Don’t do this!
Carefully choose WordPress Plugins
I definitely recommend WordPress sites for almost any type of site, especially for the beginner. Being a programmer I had thousands of dollars of software to create sites and work with images. All were scrapped for the ease and simplicity of WordPress.
I bought and used a couple of paid plugins on the site to help get traffic to the site through content. One was to get content from article directories and the other from Yahoo Answers.
I bought WP Robot which I justified by thinking I could use it on some of my other sites. In fact, I did set it up on one or two other sites, but never really used it on those except to try it out and examine the results.
I used WP Robot for a few months. It did its job well, pulling articles off an article directory and creating pages from the article. After a short while I decided I had enough content from article directories.
There weren’t many articles on superstitions and virtually none on luck, so I knew my days of using it on WGL were limited. I quit using the plugin.
My Site became Huge very Fast
I figured I needed another type of content on the site. I bought Digi Traffic Multiplier. It too is a great plugin for WordPress and does exactly as advertised. Rather than explain it, just check out this page and others. Note the questions and answers. That is the output of the plugin. The admin image, Suzi Q, I added in for an extra touch.
That is a great plugin and served me well, maybe too well. For when one of Google’s updates rolled around in April 2102 I lost a little traffic. Then over the next few months I had lost about 90% of the traffic the site originally had.
I cannot fault Digi Traffic Multiplier, or WP Robot, however. They gave me hundreds of pages of questions and answers plus articles. I fault myself because what I had done was pay attention to some of the so-called gurus of SEO. I had optimized the alt tags on hundreds of pages created from those plugins.
Many pages had twelve or more questions and dozens of images. I feel sure I went astray adding keywords in most of those alt tags for the images. That led to a lot of work removing those alt tag keywords. It was a major job.
I ultimately decided to remove over 1000 pages from the site. That eliminated the time and effort changing alt tags and SEOing the content. Almost all those pages I removed were generated by the above two plugins.
Site too big/too much traffic for the hosting plan
Very few of you will run into this problem. Who wouldn’t want to have a lot of traffic going to their site?
The money I wasted in that paid linking strategy and the two indicated paid plugins was a big mistake. Yes I think they were responsible for a lot of visitors, especially the two plugins. Using those strategies, however, probably doomed the site.
When I was submitting a new fresh article a day for at least a half a year I seemed to get a lot more traffic that way. That is very costly if you are paying someone to write content.
Some niches, however, may not support so many articles so that tactic may not work for a lot of small sites. This mistake listed below is not specifically related, but should apply anyway. It especially did in my situation.
DO NOT try to work on multiple websites at the same time
This won’t apply to many people. I have so many ideas and websites. I try so many things it is very hard for me to work on just one website. I definitely don’t recommend working on multiple websites simultaneously. Stick with one website until it becomes successful.
If after a period of time you see it may not meet your expectations and then decide to scrap the idea, fine. You need to concentrate all your efforts getting one site to perform well.
I hope telling of my mistakes will help others avoid the same mistakes I made.
These were major mistakes I made on this particular site. What mistakes have you made in researching and putting up a site? What about promoting it? Let me hear of your mistakes and successes. We can probably all benefit from that.
If you read this after about the end of December 2016 it is quite likely the site will be down – permanently.