I have been building an authority site in a competitive niche for the past year, writing high quality articles for various subtopics within the niche. I monetize it with adsense and amazon.
Just to give you an example, it's something like tabletguide(dot)com with articles about samsung tablets, iPads, how to maximize tablet battery life, etc etc.
I have written 40 articles on the site so far. My bounce rate is under 50%, average time on site is 2 minutes, average page views is 2.5, etc etc. What I consider at least to be "good" numbers. Basically all my traffic is organic google searches.
Here is the problem.. I am still getting no traffic. About 20 uniques a day. These long-tail keywords I am trying to rank for are very very slowly improving their rank, but until I hit the front page with them it doesn't make a difference of course.
I am definitely not an SEO expert at all, but my on-site SEO I have optimized myself and my off-site SEO has consisted of a Matt Laclear first page guarantee (I wasted it by giving them an easy-ish keyword) and a couple fiverr social bookmarking gigs (not the spammy 20,000 backlink ones, just a couple high-rated 150 dripped backlink ones). I hesitate to use more social bookmarking backlinks because I know it is exactly what google is trying to get rid of.
I've submitted about 8 of the articles to EZA, and they get a couple views and generate a couple backlinks - but not nearly enough to make a difference. I know I should be submitting all of them, but some are shorter than the 400 word limit and I just don't see the benefit when the 8 I have submitted are doing basically zilch for me.
The Matt Laclear SEO definitely helped, and I've been slowly but surely crawling up the rankings for a few of the longer tail keywords I was targeting as my initial plan. But it just isn't resulting in a meaningful traffic increase.
I bet so many wannabe IMers do exactly what I have done passively over the course of a year. Then they say forget it.
I have made about 15 bucks off of the site in 10 months. It is pretty hard to tell myself to keep plugging away and writing articles when you just see little to no results. I really don't know what I should be doing at this point.
Anyway I just wanted to say this is the point that we all reach that separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. The people who succeed in IM dial it up a notch, and the people who don't succumb to their doubts. And I can't say that I blame them for doing so.