Meta Post 2 – Testing Things in Parallel

Today marks a benchmark. I finally installed adsense on Smart Getaways for Couples. I’m waiting for final approval, which can take up to a week. There’s still a lot to do in terms of SEO – I want to see the impact a couple of juice links I’ve got pending have when they’re published and crawled – but it allows me to “back burner” SGFC for a bit while I work on some other things.

Which brings me to my new, carefully-searched, niche site that I would have used had I participated in Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel 2.0. It’s call You Can Be A Trainer, and the keyword is how to become a personal trainer. (And now it has its first link with anchor text.) Unlike Pat Flynn or Spencer Haws, I don’t need to worry that a link from Breaking Ferriss will warp my metrics, since it has nowhere near the readership of those blogs. Instead, I’m trying to implement, in small-scale, the methodology of a niche-siter I spoke about earlier in the week: Hayden Miyamoto.

Hayden, you’ll recall, launches literally hundreds of niche sites in parallel, monetizing only those that pop up naturally to the top 20 in google. By launching the sites with some basic content, Hayden can “real-world-test” how good his keyword research was. I can’t do this for hundreds of sites, but I can do it with two-or-three. And it occurs to me this might be the best way to spend the next several weeks. If you look at You Can Be A Trainer, it’s extremely basic – one article (though I’m going to give it four-or-five before leaving it), a free WordPress theme, and not many bells-and-whistles. That’s by design. It’s true, I shot for the stars from day-one with Smart Getaways, but that was hardly necessary to test my keyword.

The metrics for “how to become a personal trainer” looked great: astounding monthly exact-match search volume, and great theoretical adwords cost-per-click (which will mean more money for adsense, and will compensate for lower conversion rates, even though I want my conversion rates to be great), relative to competitiveness. I wrote a few months ago about the basic algorithm I used to tease out “how to become”.

Anyway, I’ve sort of “gone the distance” with Smart Getaways – launching the site, creating the content, doing the on-site and off-site SEO, and it’s ranking well, but it may have a difficult time busting the “top ten” bubble. I’ll do my best, but I’m fully content that SGFC be a “long term project” – a labor of love that I spend years researching and writing, that eventually ranks well for a spate of keywords I never intended. But by Spencer Haws standards “weekend getaways from NYC” is a poor keyword choice. Max of 3600 monthly exact-match searches, and hella competitive. I want to see if the more meticulously-researched “how to become a personal trainer” performs better on its own.

It only takes a couple of days to launch a site, throw up some really decent basic content, toss a couple of backlinks with anchor text its way, and wait-and-see. So I’m going to be doing this for a few other sites as well. One niche site ranking well is great. Several is even better. Developing a battle-tested method for seeing which ones are worth it to try to rank, then extrapolating a flow-chart for the fastest route to monetization, is a hack, and we know how I love those.

I’m still brainstorming products, and I’ll keep you posted about those. And the race to “dollar one” continues.

Stay tuned.

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