Why is my Niche Site failing? I would love to have your insights about it

25 replies
I started the website July 2015. I have been publishing content since then. But now, I feel like it's not going anywhere.

I tried promoting (in a non-sleazy way) on Facebook groups, sub-reddits, and anywhere I feel there is a community that needs my content.

I also did link building, proper on-page and off-page SEO. I even hired an SEO agency to help me.

So far, nothing.

I'm in the brink of quitting. In fact, I haven't published content for almost a month.

Is there something I'm missing?

or should I call it quits and start on another project?

this is my website by the way --- gastricsleevedietguide. com
#failing #insights #love #niche #site
  • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
    You haven't provided data: searches/ traffic / sales. Based on what do you feel that you're getting no where?

    On your site, I see areas I would improve. Sidebar ads are not in the hot spots.
    Your featured ad leads to a guide and you only implement a content lock on a few lines, leaving most of the article exposed.
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    • Profile picture of the author bluegim
      Originally Posted by professorrosado View Post

      You haven't provided data: searches/ traffic / sales. Based on what do you feel that you're getting no where?

      On your site, I see areas I would improve. Sidebar ads are not in the hot spots.
      Your featured ad leads to a guide and you only implement a content lock on a few lines, leaving most of the article exposed.
      I'm not getting anywhere in terms of ranking. I was 45 a few weeks ago. And then it went to 39. and then it got back to 60+. Now it's sitting at 70+ range in the SERPs in the past few days.

      What are the side bar hot spots? I have not heard of this before.

      As for the content lock, I wanted it to be some sort of content upgrade. Should I add 1 or 2 more?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Marriott
    You don't say what is "not" happening with your site. So I am assuming you want to rank in Google and get organic traffic to your site.

    I am also assuming your main keyword is gastric sleeve diet.

    I do not see your site on page one for that keyword. So probably you need more high quality backlinks. But of course there are penalties that can stop your site ranking.

    Your first place to start is to compare your site to your competitors. Use Majestic.com and moz.com open site explorer to check your back links, back link profiles, anchor text profiles, trust flow etc, page and domain authority.

    Find Moz's SEO training on their site to get good grasp of SEO related stuff.

    I notice your Page and domain authority are pretty low so that is indicative of a need for more high quality links.

    But do a comparison with your competitors (those on Google page one). from that you may even find places to get some good backlinks.

    You mention facebook. Do you have a specific faceboook page for that site? And any other high authority social site as well.

    I notice that there is both a pinterest page of that name and a YouTube video on page one in my search. So sites with authority are ranking for that keyword. Create some vids and a pinterest page. They may rank easily and linking from them to your site will help your own rankings.

    Maximise your ad revenue/clicks by ensuring you have your full "allowance" of ads above the fold.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeVietri
      Don't give up, you have something solid that can be improved

      while seo, social media and all these traffic generation strategies have their place and you should definitely consider implementing them.

      you main focus should be on attracting an audience,

      meaning that when someone finds your site, you want that person to keep becoming back to it as a loyal reader.

      now that is easier said then done so here are some more things to consider

      1. what is your message?

      you need to have a clear message that resonates with the type of people that would be looking for a gastric sleeve diet.

      and they should not have to look around your site or read your content to figure out what you can do for them, and how you are going to do it.

      If people feel that you can provide them with a solution then they will keep coming back

      2. what problems do you specifically solve?

      find out what problem the people who are looking for a gastric sleeve diet are having and TELL them up front and clearly that you understand their pain and that you might have the solution to their problems

      3. another thing is that there is too much cutler

      when I enter the home page I do not know where to click or where to go next.

      instead I have to stop and read everything and then make my decision.

      you must make it very clear what you want people to do once they are on your site.

      I would recommend cutting down on the menu items, like
      Tips, guide, and receipts could all be one tap labeled resources (just an example)


      4. I did not see any sign up forms

      You MUST build an email list, with out it you are spinning your tires in the mud.

      an email list allows you to retain visitors and possibly form a relationship with them that will make them come back to your site.

      Bottom line is that without an email list it will be a lot harder to make money form your site.


      the last thing is that you should make sure if there is a big enough audience for this niche,

      I don't know if you have done your research..

      but it might just be that not enough people are looking for a Gastric Sleeve diet.

      Hope that helped

      Mike Vietri
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      • Profile picture of the author bluegim
        Originally Posted by MikeVietri View Post


        4. I did not see any sign up forms

        You MUST build an email list, with out it you are spinning your tires in the mud.

        an email list allows you to retain visitors and possibly form a relationship with them that will make them come back to your site.

        Bottom line is that without an email list it will be a lot harder to make money form your site.


        the last thing is that you should make sure if there is a big enough audience for this niche,

        I don't know if you have done your research..

        but it might just be that not enough people are looking for a Gastric Sleeve diet.

        Hope that helped

        Mike Vietri
        I was focused on writing content and never did it enter my mind to create an email list. I'll try to make an ebook or recipe book just like what comment #5 said. I'll have that as my "ethical bribe" for getting email ads.

        As for the audience -- YES!
        The audience is big. It's increasing actually because more and more people are willing to undergo gastric sleeve surgery. I've already researched the audience, their likes, dislikes and etc. before I started creating the website. I wanted to make sure that the content I create can really help them.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaypoole
    As Mike says with his tip #4 above, I don't see you trying to capture the site visitor. All that work in getting people to your site, or the money in ads is largely wasted. So I'd suggest putting together (for instance) a handy recipe pack of half a dozen or so recipes that you already have on your site and maybe with some extra bonus ones that you highlight. This helps you a lot - especially because list building is a culmulative thing and when you may have a quiet month and only add a few doen new subscribers, then you'll feel so much better knowing that those few still added to the 500, 1,000 or whatever you already have and are sending out regular content and promotions to.
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    • Profile picture of the author arrival7
      Show your site to some of the best minds here on the forum, I am sure after they see your site, you will know EXACTLY what to do. You have to give us more details and a visual.
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    • Profile picture of the author bluegim
      Originally Posted by Tony Marriott View Post

      You don't say what is "not" happening with your site. So I am assuming you want to rank in Google and get organic traffic to your site.

      I am also assuming your main keyword is gastric sleeve diet.

      I do not see your site on page one for that keyword. So probably you need more high quality backlinks. But of course there are penalties that can stop your site ranking.

      Your first place to start is to compare your site to your competitors. Use Majestic.com and moz.com open site explorer to check your back links, back link profiles, anchor text profiles, trust flow etc, page and domain authority.

      Find Moz's SEO training on their site to get good grasp of SEO related stuff.

      I notice your Page and domain authority are pretty low so that is indicative of a need for more high quality links.

      But do a comparison with your competitors (those on Google page one). from that you may even find places to get some good backlinks.

      You mention facebook. Do you have a specific faceboook page for that site? And any other high authority social site as well.

      I notice that there is both a pinterest page of that name and a YouTube video on page one in my search. So sites with authority are ranking for that keyword. Create some vids and a pinterest page. They may rank easily and linking from them to your site will help your own rankings.

      Maximise your ad revenue/clicks by ensuring you have your full "allowance" of ads above the fold.
      I have a Facebook page. I have been promoting some stuff there, too. I've been commenting on different weight loss surgery Facebook pages. But I only promoted on Facebook, though. I haven't tried Pinterest or Youtube yet. But I will try. One last push!! haha.


      Originally Posted by MikeVietri View Post

      Don't give up, you have something solid that can be improved

      while seo, social media and all these traffic generation strategies have their place and you should definitely consider implementing them.

      you main focus should be on attracting an audience,

      meaning that when someone finds your site, you want that person to keep becoming back to it as a loyal reader.

      now that is easier said then done so here are some more things to consider

      1. what is your message?

      you need to have a clear message that resonates with the type of people that would be looking for a gastric sleeve diet.

      and they should not have to look around your site or read your content to figure out what you can do for them, and how you are going to do it.

      If people feel that you can provide them with a solution then they will keep coming back

      2. what problems do you specifically solve?

      find out what problem the people who are looking for a gastric sleeve diet are having and TELL them up front and clearly that you understand their pain and that you might have the solution to their problems

      3. another thing is that there is too much cutler

      when I enter the home page I do not know where to click or where to go next.

      instead I have to stop and read everything and then make my decision.

      you must make it very clear what you want people to do once they are on your site.

      I would recommend cutting down on the menu items, like
      Tips, guide, and receipts could all be one tap labeled resources (just an example)


      4. I did not see any sign up forms

      You MUST build an email list, with out it you are spinning your tires in the mud.

      an email list allows you to retain visitors and possibly form a relationship with them that will make them come back to your site.

      Bottom line is that without an email list it will be a lot harder to make money form your site.


      the last thing is that you should make sure if there is a big enough audience for this niche,

      I don't know if you have done your research..

      but it might just be that not enough people are looking for a Gastric Sleeve diet.

      Hope that helped

      Mike Vietri
      Thanks! I needed insight and you have provided a great deal of it!
      Never looked it at that perspective before. i will make sure to answer the questions you've outlined.
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      Direct-Response Copywriter and Content Strategist

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  • Profile picture of the author donpurdum
    When I went to your site I have no idea if your site is for recipe's, weight loss, or for those who have specifically experienced gastric bypass surgery?

    Because there is not a central, coherent message that is relevant, compelling or inspiring I don't know what to do with your content or if it's even for me?

    In a recent B2B Web Usability Report the study concluded that nearly 50% of an audience leaves a website immediately due to a lack of message.

    IBM recently came out with another study where 80% of respondents said that websites have no relevance to their specific needs or situations.

    The internet works on the following formula:

    Clarity + Focus = Execution

    What has happened is that you skipped clarity, went straight to focus (which are strategies via content marketing, blogging and social media in this case).

    You got the cart before the horse.

    The result of clarity is that you get hyper-specific by creating content that is relevant for one person who has one problem/need/desire and offer them one solution; per piece of content.

    When you're clear your audience ought to be saying to themselves; "OMG, how did you know...?" and they ought to be told exactly what to do so that they can do it.

    The way you get clarity is by working through the following questions:

    1. What are the "specific" problems you are passionate about solving?
    2. What are the tangible values your customers experience and how do they feel about the experience?
    3. What are the "specific" problems you solve for each tangible value?
    4. Who are you "specifically" solve each problem for (in detail)?
    5. How are your products or services "a" part of "a" solution?

    It's not as easy as the questions look, but the results of fighting through this are extremely rewarding for both you and your audience.

    Hope that makes sense to you?

    If your're interested there are more details on this page of my site: http://www.unveiltheweb.com/begin-here/

    If you need any help don't hesitate to reach out to me.

    ~ Don Purdum
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    • Profile picture of the author bluegim
      Originally Posted by donpurdum View Post

      When I went to your site I have no idea if your site is for recipe's, weight loss, or for those who have specifically experienced gastric bypass surgery?

      Because there is not a central, coherent message that is relevant, compelling or inspiring I don't know what to do with your content or if it's even for me?

      In a recent B2B Web Usability Report the study concluded that nearly 50% of an audience leaves a website immediately due to a lack of message.

      IBM recently came out with another study where 80% of respondents said that websites have no relevance to their specific needs or situations.

      The internet works on the following formula:

      Clarity + Focus = Execution

      What has happened is that you skipped clarity, went straight to focus (which are strategies via content marketing, blogging and social media in this case).

      You got the cart before the horse.

      The result of clarity is that you get hyper-specific by creating content that is relevant for one person who has one problem/need/desire and offer them one solution; per piece of content.

      When you're clear your audience ought to be saying to themselves; "OMG, how did you know...?" and they ought to be told exactly what to do so that they can do it.

      The way you get clarity is by working through the following questions:

      1. What are the "specific" problems you are passionate about solving?
      2. What are the tangible values your customers experience and how do they feel about the experience?
      3. What are the "specific" problems you solve for each tangible value?
      4. Who are you "specifically" solve each problem for (in detail)?
      5. How are your products or services "a" part of "a" solution?

      It's not as easy as the questions look, but the results of fighting through this are extremely rewarding for both you and your audience.

      Hope that makes sense to you?

      If your're interested there are more details on this page of my site: Branding, Consulting and Coaching Services

      If you need any help don't hesitate to reach out to me.

      ~ Don Purdum
      This is gold! Thanks for the link, too. I have a template to follow for a "Get Started" page.

      Maybe that's why I'm struggling. I was too busy creating content people I felt people wanted to know or read. I forgot to re-arrange where I put them. I need to form a more coherent website where I will tell people what to do or where to go.

      Got it!

      That may be one of the reasons why my bounce rate is sky high! I'll try to fix this and find a way to deliver a clear-cut message from the get-go.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeVietri
        Originally Posted by bluegim View Post

        This is gold! Thanks for the link, too. I have a template to follow for a "Get Started" page.

        Maybe that's why I'm struggling. I was too busy creating content people I felt people wanted to know or read. I forgot to re-arrange where I put them. I need to form a more coherent website where I will tell people what to do or where to go.

        Got it!

        That may be one of the reasons why my bounce rate is sky high! I'll try to fix this and find a way to deliver a clear-cut message from the get-go.
        Glad to hear you are gaining clarity!

        make SURE to dive into Don Purdum content, as I learn a lot of this stuff form him!

        He is a master mind at explaining this.

        Particularly in his book "The Shift"
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Thanks! I needed insight and you have provided a great deal of it!
        Never looked it at that perspective before. i will make sure to answer the questions you've outlined.


        Just remember to slow down and build a solid foundation,

        as don talks about in his book the shift

        He says and I totally agree with that if you do not do the hard work of truly clarify the question that he has outlined above,

        Then it will show in your marketing, and you will struggle because of what you have not done yet.

        which is clarifying what Business you are really in

        as he says, it is your job to know what the problems are and then isolate them into common ideas and principles.

        in order to appeal to your target audience.

        Doing this work and answering these questions is hard and maybe even a little bit uncomfortable because,

        it forces us to view our businesses as the world see it, not as we see our self,

        When I discovered Don I could a full day to clarify these question and I actually wrote them down and answered every single one of them to the best of my abilities.

        and from now on it is just a matter of developing my message as my self and my brand grows.

        Definitely Pick Up His Book!!

        where is talk about this more in detail.



        Best of luck to you!

        ~ Mike Vietri
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      • Profile picture of the author donpurdum
        Absolutely! It's a normal mistake that many make... they get the cart before the horse.

        You really have to figure out the details first that then get hyper specific when you create your content.

        Glad I could be of some help!

        ~ Don
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  • Profile picture of the author nanotrip
    Have you tried with High PR backlinks?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      I took a look at your site. There's nothing there that would lead me to trust you at all.

      Your About page has no qualifications, just some generic "we" language. We are talking about a surgical procedure here, after all. People, when they do find it, have no reason to go past the home page.

      The other thing that stood out is that many of the pages I tried to look at loaded very slowly, some so much so that I gave up.

      Instead of a blog layout, with a list of posts, I'd try something like "What do you want to do today?" with links to different pages. Recipe posts grouped on a category page, with an intro on why these recipes were selected for gastric sleeve patients. Another link to the category page for info about the surgery for pre-op patients. Another one for post-op patients.

      A couple of people mentioned list building, which should be a no-brainer.

      Your job is to help people find what they are looking for, and give them some reason to believe you might know what you're talking about. Right now, it's just another affiliate blog, and I have to guess where to find what I'm looking for, including the product you're trying to promote.
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      • Profile picture of the author bluegim
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I took a look at your site. There's nothing there that would lead me to trust you at all.

        Your About page has no qualifications, just some generic "we" language. We are talking about a surgical procedure here, after all. People, when they do find it, have no reason to go past the home page.

        The other thing that stood out is that many of the pages I tried to look at loaded very slowly, some so much so that I gave up.

        Instead of a blog layout, with a list of posts, I'd try something like "What do you want to do today?" with links to different pages. Recipe posts grouped on a category page, with an intro on why these recipes were selected for gastric sleeve patients. Another link to the category page for info about the surgery for pre-op patients. Another one for post-op patients.

        A couple of people mentioned list building, which should be a no-brainer.

        Your job is to help people find what they are looking for, and give them some reason to believe you might know what you're talking about. Right now, it's just another affiliate blog, and I have to guess where to find what I'm looking for, including the product you're trying to promote.

        Thanks! I'll work on the About page ASAP.

        And I'll try to make a list and make the website clearer for new visitors.

        I'm actually not selling any products. I plan on using Google adsense to monetize my site.
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    Originally Posted by bluegim View Post

    I started the website July 2015. I have been publishing content since then. But now, I feel like it's not going anywhere.
    I tried promoting (in a non-sleazy way) on Facebook groups, sub-reddits, and anywhere I feel there is a community that needs my content.
    I also did link building, proper on-page and off-page SEO. I even hired an SEO agency to help me.
    So far, nothing.
    I'm in the brink of quitting. In fact, I haven't published content for almost a month.
    Is there something I'm missing?
    or should I call it quits and start on another project?
    The site looks good, as well as the navigation structure.
    However, I wonder how you measure your success or goals?
    Do you use analytics or anything?
    And also, just a minor thing I noticed on your homepage that I hope you can improve.
    The logo, it doesn't looked like a logo for me, it looked like more of a banner, maybe because of the ad links under it. I hope you can improve it, and make it more noticeable. And I hope you can move the ad links somewhere.
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    • Profile picture of the author bluegim
      Originally Posted by st0nec0ld View Post

      The site looks good, as well as the navigation structure.
      However, I wonder how you measure your success or goals?
      Do you use analytics or anything?
      And also, just a minor thing I noticed on your homepage that I hope you can improve.
      The logo, it doesn't looked like a logo for me, it looked like more of a banner, maybe because of the ad links under it. I hope you can improve it, and make it more noticeable. And I hope you can move the ad links somewhere.
      My goal is, of course, to make money with site.
      But more than that, I really want to help people out. Before I created the site, I did some research. There are no content geared toward people who plan to undergo gastric sleeve surgery.

      If there were, it were mostly essays or blogs of doctors which are too technical. I wanted to provide an alternative, easy to read, and informative blog where people can go to when they need gastric sleeve surgery advice.

      That's why I'm kind of bummed because my bounce rate is sky-high! It averages around 80-90 percent.

      So maybe my short-term goal is lessen the bounce rate and get more visitors.

      Success is having it earn passive income through ads and get subscribers (which I'm working on right now)
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  • Profile picture of the author modgerody
    Try running some paid traffic to your website and see what type of results you get from the users. Then use that to gauge what adjustments might need to be made.

    You can spend forever trying to rank a website, especially one in the super competitive weight loss niche. I would try and market your site using FB ads and generate a userbase....get some likes to a fanpage, and then go from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Businessdoc
    Your topic choice is quite specific.
    Who is your target audience?
    Like someone stated, there is no one attached to the blog, no individual or even a company name.
    Great layout.
    July till now is a long time. Have you considered trying to sell it via flipp. Maybe someone there may give you an offer that will make you give it up?

    Another thing is that the articles have no references. This may be needed, especially since there are no name/pertinent qualifications.
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  • Profile picture of the author reachintan
    Hey there,


    Your blog looks just fine. Monetize your site by applying for Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher, and Amazon Affiliate programs.

    The only thing lacking is regular content. I suggest you to post one blog every 3 days and promote the same extensively on social media.

    If you need any help, you can reach out to me on my blog.


    Regards,
    Chintan
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    Chintan Mehta

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  • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
    I'm a diet momma. all about diets all the time.

    You need a list ; maybe a free ebook

    And your theme isn't attractive enough to make me stay.

    I recommend you look into getting advice on how to promote your website better or you hire some help that can aid in writing content and promoting.

    I think you have a good skeleton of a website and it just needs some "fat" to make it a money maker. Your niche is extremely specific so you have to think creatively to get income in.

    Keep it up honey -- just add some fat and you'll be great.
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    keep moving forward

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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by donpurdum View Post

      When I went to your site I have no idea if your site is for recipe's, weight loss, or for those who have specifically experienced gastric bypass surgery?
      Yeah, I got this too. Way too much clutter looking on main page.

      I'd kick that adsense out to start and then decide where to stick it in after some massive rearranging.

      I noticed someone else has a youtube video first page- that should be an easy spot to grab.

      I had issues with your navigation. Just didn't come across clear - but again that adsense at the top in the way it is in your top banner blinded me.

      I'd kick the index page off the front and go with a static front page that could help people navigate as to what they are looking for from your site more quickly.

      I looked at one of your recipes, and you had an accompanying video - which I'm on the fence about. The video was not that actual recipe you'd shared. It was a similar dish but different ingredients and different amounts.

      Just clicked another one and the guy is selling razors on his video before getting to the recipe - which also looks like a similar thing but it's not the recipe on your site. What's worse is all kinds of food is flashed up in the beginning of the video that I'm pretty sure is not recommended food for someone on this diet. lol

      As this sits in, I'm thinking about "gastric sleeve diet" which has nothing to do with the actual surgery. The diet is what happens after right? So this in my mind should be the real focus on the site.

      If I just had the surgery and was looking for what I could eat after the fact then I could see your site as a resource for recipes - and what I'd really be wanting to see (I think, just one person here) is an actual MENU PLAN where someone gives me a plotted out first week or two after the surgery and tells me what to eat and when for easing into things. And give me a grocery list and everything I need to prepare for that first week or two into the gate. THEN I can come back and start going through more recipes.

      That other stuff on the site would get kicked into the corner of "other related stuff."

      The primary focus of the site is not clear, the navigation is not clear enough for me, and yes you should be collecting names on that site.

      Get a new banner image at the top. That one isn't helping you one bit.

      Oh, and consider a better recipes plugin for wordpress. They have ones that show nutritional content etc.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        You'd greatly increase the effectiveness of any SEO work done if you made your home page a static page. The way it is, every time you post, you're changing what Google takes into account when it decides how to rank your page...
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  • Profile picture of the author extrememan
    I feel your pain. But really consider monetizing your blog by collecting leads with an opt-in form on your side bar. Somewhere above the fold. Then you can email daily to your list with blog posts for repeated customers. And then you can get organic and repeat visitors from your mailing list with an autoresponder.
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  • Profile picture of the author cmfreer
    From what I have been learning, free advertising is slower mostly. paid advertising may get things moving along. YouTube is a good way to promote and get your site out too from what I have heard.
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