By no means is this a secret, magic or anything else that games the system.
This involves alot of sweat and tears and alot of elbow grease. But if you are willing to replicate this, you can dominate any niche. That's right any niche!
If you take the long term approach, you can climb even the biggest mountain. I hear alot of warriors saying, go for the low hanging fruit, long tail keywords and so on. Why! If you are willing to work, write about your passion or something that inspires you if its profitable.
This is what I have done to date (duration so far 8 months)
1. Content, but not just any bullshit, real original content that looks to inspire, teach, educate and touch the emotions. You want to build a community with plenty of returning visitors. The more pages you have google index, the more love you will recieve and the higher PR value your site will recieve.
2. Once you have a decent amount of content ( I did this after 10 posts), pay one of those services to submit your site to the directories. I know many warriors will argue that this is no longer practible or viable, but I did it anyway. I'm not preaching any method just explaining what I did. The service I used was SubmitEdge and the job they did was fantastic.
3. Submitted articles to Ezine and a handful of other directories. There is plenty of information here on the forum so I'm not going to explain the ins and outs of article marketing. (I read & listened to Tim G, Steve Wags, Andrew Hansen, Josh Spaulding & Allen Graves) Learn't alot and could never repay this guys for the information they provide.
4. Built my own little network around the main site. Squidoo and other web 2.0 sites and worked on them to increase their presence in the Serps. After a while the PR goodness and juices start to flow to your site. The backlinks that I've found to work best are within the posts. Links within posts from relevant sites are the backlinks you should chase.
5. Joined Unique Article Wizard and went on an article writting spree and submitted like crazy. Set each article to 50 submissions a day and never got sandboxed. Result, not alot of traffic, but a shit load of backlinks.
6. Joined Matt Callen's MyArticleNetwork and proceeded to write and submit articles. This service is by far the best because it allows you to add 3 backlinks within the article you write, which inevitably end up on a blog network of over 10,000 blogs. For me this has been a real winner, backlinks and a decent amount of traffic. Not only that, my blog authority since joining this service has skyrocketed and technorati is now showing me some love.
7. While all this was going on, I still added content to my blog. Original posts, the best content I could possibly write. Post length average is about 1,000 words. I'm not writting for the sake of writting or rewritting rubbish. Great Content, so the visitors that find my site are returning visitors. ( trust me returning visitors has a snowball effect)
8. Social Bookmark the shit out of your articles, network and main site. This has worked well for me. My Digg account has over 1,000 friends, once i submit something new, share it. Get them to vote it up. My propeller account has over 60 friends, but gooood friends. Once I share my posts with these guys, they prop up my article and guarantees me first page status with a dofollow backlink from a PR8. Sitting on the front page gives me an avalanche of traffic (not targetted I know, but traffic isn't my objective for this) Certain posts from these sites dominate the serps during the madness. Once they settle, this juice is passed on to my main site. Tip: If you can get 10 props from Propeller in a short period of time, you will get front page status and all the juice your site can handle.
9. If you follow the above, your network by now will have acquired some love from the serps and the PR of your network will have increased. Breaking news within your niche, no problem, write a post about it using the exact keywords, and like magic, your on top of the hill for that keyword.
10. As your site grows, its always a good idea to interlink your site. Certain keywords you want to rank for, use them as anchor links within your posts to other relevent posts on your blog. Trust me it helps and for some reason Yahoo loves it.
11. Started Outsourcing- Once you gain momentum you want to lift the bar.
Services used- Kathleen a fellow warrior started writting articles for me.
Another warrior started to write my UAW articles for submission.
James from the RichJerks.net(warrior also) further social bookmarked my site using his service called the authority bookmark. Can't recommend this service enough. Quick, proof of work and guess what, it F&^%ing works like a treat.
12. Continued to write posts for my site with the bots visiting daily now. Good times.
13. Guest posts on relevant Authority blogs. Once you start to dominate the serps other bloggers and site owners start to knock on your door. This is an excellent way to network. I've done several guest posts on the condition that I could have 2 backlinks within the posts. No problems. This is gold. Find the authority sites in your niche and write a few posts for them. Remeber backlinks within the posts.
14. Fast forward till now (after 8 months) I no longer worry about backlinks. Others link to my site. As long as I continue to write and update the site, I've managed to stay on the first page of google. It fluctuates between #3 and 9# out of 195,000,000 sites and I just keep adding content.
15. End result, traffic, traffic, traffic. Not just any traffic, targetted traffic.
16. The keyword I rank for has 19 million searches a month. Uniques are always climbing. But the returning visitors are the key. It snowballs every single month when I go over the stats from google Analytics.
Hope this helps or even inspires you to finally write about something you love. If your passion has alot of competition, so fu^&*ing what. Work and in a years time you will reap the rewards.
If you have any questions, shoot away I'm happy to answer or clarify things. If this is common knowledge I apologise in advance.
Before I go, On site SEO, why bother to learn it. There are plenty of themes that are optimised already for you. If you're going to worry about anything, worry about great content and more pages for google to index.
Love to hear your comments......Thomas