2 year old site, where to go from here?

22 replies
Hi, this is my first thread here so be nice!
Been reading lots of posts and it does get a bit confusing in here. So many choices, so little time!

OK, here is my situation.
I started a site about 2 years ago through SBI (yeah I know ). After working on it for about one year I quit SBI, redesigned the site and took my hosting elsewhere.
I have tried AdSense ($70 to date), affiliates (Amazon, B&H) with no success. Tried the free ebook and mailing list thing, and gave up on that.

I know my niche is awkward, as it is a small niche within a very big one. ie "landscape photography". Not a very good money making niche unfortunately, but it something I am passionate about.

I was on position 4, page 1 for Google, before I stopped working on the site for about 6-9 months. I have just started rejuvenating it over the past few months. Traffic is slow, <100 UV per day, and always been the same.

I have just added a forum to the site, which is, I think, is the way to go forward. Members create the content, you get their email addresses and when it builds up it can be monetized (64 members so far, in a couple of weeks).

The question is, what is the best way to get the forum page on to the first page for Google?

Like everyone else on here I want to get some online income, and I am not greedy, anything from $50-$100 per day would be a life changer for me. I am prepared to spend some money to get things happening (not too much though!).

Any suggestions to get this site happening or just forget about it and move on to something else?

PS Not sure if I can put a link to the site here.
#site #year
  • Profile picture of the author ozlizard
    Gee, I would of thought someone would have at least tried to sell me something by now, he said cynically....
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    • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
      Well a few things:

      1. Nothing is wrong with the SBI model in general. Content > Traffic > Presell > Monetize. Most forms of internet marketing involve creating some form of content in order to attract visitors who you then try to sell stuff to. This is how pretty much everything online works. SBI just focuses on SEO traffic.

      2. Your site doesn't seem like a very "money-focused" niche. You probably won't find any affiliate products under the topic of 'landscape photography fine art' to sell and make a commission off of. It's possible there are art-related methods of monetization that I don't know about, but you'll have to find them yourself.

      3. You only have 56 pages of content on your website. Very few people are going to make lots of money with that little content by using the SEO free traffic model. I'm sure there are many IM'ers who only have a few pages on their website and make tons of money, but those guys are probably driving traffic to their website via some other method like making Youtube videos or building a list and marketing to them. If you want lots of traffic and therefore money with an SEO-based content site, you need lots of good content. Eventually you'll want to make hundreds of pages or more.

      Overall, I would recommend choosing a different niche and starting out with your monetization plan. What I mean by this is that you need to plan out the primary steps of your business. Think about how you are going to 1) get traffic, 2) sell to that traffic, and 3) make money off that sale. Those are the three main components of a successful online business.

      An example of different models could be:

      1) Make keyword-focused Youtube videos containing product reviews.
      2) Include an affiliate link to the product in your video description.
      3) You make money when someone buys via your link.

      1) Make SEO content pages like you are now.
      2) Sell affiliate products from Amazon or Clickbank or elsewhere on your pages.
      3) You make money when someone buys via your links.

      1) Make a sales page on your website for your own ebook.
      2) Post in lots of related forums and include a link to your sales page.
      3) You make money when someone buys your ebook.

      Etc.

      There are many ways of making money online, but ultimately they all come down to: 1) Create an offer for a product that someone can buy, 2) get your offer in front of as many targeted viewers as possible, 3) make a profit when they buy.
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  • Profile picture of the author ozlizard
    Thanks for that Curtis, you have given me plenty to think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woodward82
    I actually read a thread today, that might be of some help to you.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...s-i-build.html
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    • Profile picture of the author A2DKristi
      I could not disagree more with Curtis. (No surprise there.)

      If this is a topic that you're passionate about, you need to stick with it!

      I'm assuming you're a photographer, right? Then write articles about the specifics of landscape photography. Write articles about specific camera equipment you prefer for the type of photography you use. Write articles about when to use what lens, and why. Write about the times of day to take great pictures, and the different effects of the lighting at different times of day. Take gorgeous pictures, and turn each photo, or each set of photos, into an article, telling how you chose the spot, why you chose it, how you set up, what equipment (lenses, etc.) you used, camera settings you used, etc.

      And no affiliates? Are you kidding, Curtis? There are loads of photography-related affiliate opportunities out there, and plenty of ways to incorporate them into a landscape photography-related website.

      Network with other photography bloggers and website owners. Set up a Google+ account and join photography groups. Do the same on LinkedIn. Set up a Facebook page for your site, and start getting social.

      And most importantly, set up a Pinterest account!!! With a website or blog that is photography-based, you absolutely must have a Pinterest account, and start getting your photos onto Pinterest so that they'll be shared. (Just be sure to watermark with your website address.)

      Create gorgeous landscape photos and then use a photo editing software to add inspiration sayings on top. Those silly things seem to be a huge hit on Pinterest, so use it to your advantage to drive traffic to your site!

      My goodness...I'm not a photographer, and really have no interest in it, and yet just thinking about ways that you can get this site off the ground, and monetize it, makes me giddy.

      You absolutely need to stick with it if you love it. There's PLENTY you can do with a niche site like that.
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      • Profile picture of the author A2DKristi
        I'll also add that I make a full-time income on an information-based blog. I don't sell any products. So again, I disagree with Curtis that it ultimately comes down to creating a product that someone can buy.

        You absolutely do not need to sell a product to make money online.
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        • Profile picture of the author A2DKristi
          Okay, sorry to post three times in a row here, but I wanted to leave a link that I hope will encourage you.

          I'm not sure if you've ever heard of The Pioneer Woman before, but she has an incredibly popular blog (Alexa rank of under 7,000), and one entire section on her blog is about photography.

          While she's not a "landscape photographer", I still think if you peruse her blog, you'll find loads of inspiration for your own website, and ways that you can really grow your site and make is a great resource for people wanting info on landscape photography.

          Pioneer Woman Photography | Ree Drummond
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        • Profile picture of the author koreancowboy
          Originally Posted by A2DKristi View Post

          I'll also add that I make a full-time income on an information-based blog. I don't sell any products. So again, I disagree with Curtis that it ultimately comes down to creating a product that someone can buy.

          You absolutely do not need to sell a product to make money online.
          Hi Kristi,

          I'm an auto journalist/dating writer. What's your blog? I'm just curious, as my sites tend to be information-centric.
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          I provide consulting for companies that use Adobe AEM...you can check out what I've done so far.

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          • Profile picture of the author A2DKristi
            Originally Posted by koreancowboy View Post

            Hi Kristi,

            I'm an auto journalist/dating writer. What's your blog? I'm just curious, as my sites tend to be information-centric.
            It's called Addicted 2 Decorating. I just added my website to my user profile.
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            • Profile picture of the author koreancowboy
              Originally Posted by A2DKristi View Post

              It's called Addicted 2 Decorating. I just added my website to my user profile.
              LOVE your site! I've been a home remodeller for over 20 years (I'm only 35, I got started young)...great stuff!
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              I provide consulting for companies that use Adobe AEM...you can check out what I've done so far.

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      • Profile picture of the author SEOAiko
        Originally Posted by A2DKristi View Post

        And most importantly, set up a Pinterest account!!! With a website or blog that is photography-based, you absolutely must have a Pinterest account, and start getting your photos onto Pinterest so that they'll be shared. (Just be sure to watermark with your website address.)
        You are so right A2DKristi! Pinterest will help you gain tons of traffic and it's very easy to manage. There are lots of tips on how to maximize its use and of course, if you have excellent content, most likely, people will follow you. Also, you can get a pin it button for your website
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      • Profile picture of the author KevinRB
        Originally Posted by A2DKristi View Post

        I could not disagree more with Curtis. (No surprise there.)

        If this is a topic that you're passionate about, you need to stick with it!

        I'm assuming you're a photographer, right? Then write articles about the specifics of landscape photography. Write articles about specific camera equipment you prefer for the type of photography you use. Write articles about when to use what lens, and why. Write about the times of day to take great pictures, and the different effects of the lighting at different times of day. Take gorgeous pictures, and turn each photo, or each set of photos, into an article, telling how you chose the spot, why you chose it, how you set up, what equipment (lenses, etc.) you used, camera settings you used, etc.

        And no affiliates? Are you kidding, Curtis? There are loads of photography-related affiliate opportunities out there, and plenty of ways to incorporate them into a landscape photography-related website.

        Network with other photography bloggers and website owners. Set up a Google+ account and join photography groups. Do the same on LinkedIn. Set up a Facebook page for your site, and start getting social.

        And most importantly, set up a Pinterest account!!! With a website or blog that is photography-based, you absolutely must have a Pinterest account, and start getting your photos onto Pinterest so that they'll be shared. (Just be sure to watermark with your website address.)

        Create gorgeous landscape photos and then use a photo editing software to add inspiration sayings on top. Those silly things seem to be a huge hit on Pinterest, so use it to your advantage to drive traffic to your site!

        My goodness...I'm not a photographer, and really have no interest in it, and yet just thinking about ways that you can get this site off the ground, and monetize it, makes me giddy.

        You absolutely need to stick with it if you love it. There's PLENTY you can do with a niche site like that.
        Very sound advice A2DKristi any site that contains GREAT images will rock using Facebook, Pinterest and even Twitter!!

        Unfortunately i would discount the advice from Curtis2011 as it is based upon SBI techniques which no longer work.

        Social networking sites hold ALL the keys to the treasure chest for high quality image sites like yours.
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        • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
          Originally Posted by A2DKristi View Post

          I could not disagree more with Curtis. (No surprise there.)
          Originally Posted by KevinRB View Post

          Very sound advice A2DKristi any site that contains GREAT images will rock using Facebook, Pinterest and even Twitter!!

          Unfortunately i would discount the advice from Curtis2011 as it is based upon SBI techniques which no longer work.

          Social networking sites hold ALL the keys to the treasure chest for high quality image sites like yours.
          Why do I get the feeling you guys are following me :rolleyes:

          Originally Posted by KevinRB View Post

          Unfortunately i would discount the advice from Curtis2011 as it is based upon SBI techniques which no longer work.
          Two of the strategies that I outlined for him (promote products via forum links, and make youtube videos to get traffic) have nothing to do with SBI.

          And as for SEO, plenty of people still make bank with it every day. You don't have to follow exact SBI instructions for SEO in order to use SEO yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author ozlizard
    Thanks for all the great advice! I have dabbled with Pinterest, but will check it out again.
    I have a Facebook page for my site with over 500 followers and Twitter tag as well with over 1,000 followers. I also have a group on Linkden with over 800 members. I think I need a lot more content so will try to add more. Thanks for the blog link, I will check that out too.
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  • Profile picture of the author ozlizard
    SBI was a great way to dip your toes into the water, just don't hang around long enough to drink the Kool-Aid!

    I would have to say that I have learnt more on the "outside" and in this forum. That is once you get past the smoke, mirrors and snake oil

    PS I remember a "Curtis" from SBI is that you mate?
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    • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
      Originally Posted by ozlizard View Post

      SBI was a great way to dip your toes into the water, just don't hang around long enough to drink the Kool-Aid!

      I would have to say that I have learnt more on the "outside" and in this forum. That is once you get past the smoke, mirrors and snake oil

      PS I remember a "Curtis" from SBI is that you mate?
      Might be. But I remember seeing at least one other Curtis in there from time to time.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinRB
    A2DKristi said:
    And most importantly, set up a Pinterest account!!! With a website or blog that is photography-based, you absolutely must have a Pinterest account, and start getting your photos onto Pinterest so that they'll be shared. (Just be sure to watermark with your website address.)

    Create gorgeous landscape photos and then use a photo editing software to add inspiration sayings on top. Those silly things seem to be a huge hit on Pinterest, so use it to your advantage to drive traffic to your site!

    My goodness...I'm not a photographer, and really have no interest in it, and yet just thinking about ways that you can get this site off the ground, and monetize it, makes me giddy.

    You absolutely need to stick with it if you love it. There's PLENTY you can do with a niche site like that.
    Here a great Pinterest strategy to help you hit the ground running and get loads of followers:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/social-m...-month-so.html
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  • Profile picture of the author ozlizard
    Thanks for that link Kevin! You mention asking people to be contributors but try as I may I could not find that option anywhere!
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  • Profile picture of the author betterwtveter
    You need a more focused product or service base to attract people to your main focus. Your forum is a great start, but getting involved in the social network is a great booster for traffic such as youtube, facebook, twitter, and so forth.
    Focus on a main product and promote the heck out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mert
    My ultimate question is this: what makes you think forum will help you generate $$$?

    I mean, you said it already and it did not work. Why not try going for offline marketing instead? I think there's a lot of money in there than trying the same thing all over again.
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  • Profile picture of the author ozlizard
    My ultimate question is this: what makes you think forum will help you generate $$$?
    People love forums. I am a member of 4 (including this one) and they all have memberships over 50,000. Some of them are in pretty small niches too. I am sure it is a long term strategy however if it is your forum you have access to all their emails, plus you can monetise the site with adsense etc. It can't be bad!

    PS BTW how much money do you think passes through this forum
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  • Profile picture of the author rjames
    I think its a mistake for someone to go after or stick with a niche that isnt making money just because they are passionate about it. For me, the niche that makes me money is the one I'm passionate about
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