Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, Same Experiment

I am so glad it is a new year. I had many ups and downs in 2012 but I ended the year on a good note. I made almost $200 with Squidoo and nearly the same amount with InfoBarrel in December. My experiment is going well. I currently have 39 lenses in my main Squidoo account and I have 21 written and are waiting to get published. I decided that I am going to write all 500 lenses before I publish the lenses. I hate going back and forth, from one task to another. I want to get all the lenses written, then published and then backlinked.

I still don't know what I'm going to do about backlinking. A couple of my lenses started ranking right away so I added them to a few bookmarking sites and backlinked them on InfoBarrel. I think I made things worse because they fell in rankings after that. I am trying to create diverse anchor texts but it's so hard not to, especially with social bookmarking sites that only let you use the title of the lens for the anchor.

I recently heard about something people have been doing to backlink their niche sites and I think it might work for my lenses. People are buying expired domains with backlinks still pointing at them. When they set up the websites, they still have link juice and Google thinks the site is useful based on the old links. Any links put on the site are deemed high quality by Google. A few backlinks by these previously expired domains goes along ways. All I would need to rank my Squidoo lenses for their keywords is around 5-10 high authority backlinks. I could buy 10 expired domains with high authority and use them to link to my Squidoo lenses. Then I wouldn't have to scramble around finding useful links. I really think this could work.

However, I'm not even close to backlinking the lenses. I've got to get them written and published first. I HATE writing but I love designing and publishing. I want to get the writing out of the way so I can do the fun publishing stuff. It's probably going to take at least a month to get all of the writing done. I wish I could pay someone to do the writing for me but I just don't have the funds to outsource. I don't know how I'm going to get through this. I need to write around 440 lenses still. The most I can write in a day is 12 or 13. Today I wrote 11 and my brain is fried. I just need to keep thinking about the future and how awesome it will be when these lenses are published. I should be making a couple thousand dollars a month which would be so amazing. I could take a month vacation and still make money. I couldn't do that very often because lenses need to be updated once in a while but I think I could leave them for a month or two without anything bad happening to them.

Goals for 2013
  • Write, Publish and Backlink 500 lenses
  • Write 100 InfoBarrel Articles
  • Rank at least 250 lenses in the top 10 in Google for their main keyword

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Future of InfoBarrel Experiment

I haven't posted in a while but I'd like to update everyone on how the experiment is going. Well, I never got to see The Who in November. So sad. Oh, wait, that wasn't part of the experiment. Haha. But really, I have written 35 articles on Squidoo and they have made around $80 so far in December. That's a much better ROI than InfoBarrel. Last month on InfoBarrel, I made $93.23 on Adsense, $64.40 on Amazon and $0.52 on Chikita for a total of $158.15 on 150 lenses articles. InfoBarrel has added an Amazon module so I can promote 1 product per 200 words. That's 5 products per 1,000 word article. I put the modules on all of my articles and I have only seen an increase in Amazon sales on one article. My sales have plummeted on the rest of my articles. I'm not sure what is going on. I would love to be able to make a living just on my InfoBarrel articles alone as it's my favorite writing site but Squidoo has a much better rate of investment. So I have another plan (I know, you are probably sick of me making plans and not following through). I spent all of November doing keyword research. I came up with a list of 500 keywords that get at least 1,000 views a month, make at least $1 CPC and look like they should be easy to rank for. I'm going to write 2 articles for each keyword and put one article on InfoBarrel and the other article on Squidoo. The InfoBarrel article will link to the Squidoo article. It should take around 2-3 months to get all of the articles/lenses written. Then I will spend time backlinking the lenses that don't rank right away. I'm hoping that the 500 articles/lenses will make at least $2,500 a month on Squidoo and $1,000 a month on InfoBarrel. That's enough to pay all my bills each month. It would definitely lower the stress I feel each month when the bills come around and I realize that I can't pay all of them. I am hoping to be done with this plan by the middle of February so I'll post another update in March.

Shameless plug: Bar Blenders

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Taking A Break

You could probably see this coming from a mile away but I'm going to put this experiment on hold. I really think there's a big potential with Squidoo and I want to take advantage of it. Someone on InfoBarrel has around 300 Squidoo lenses and is making over $4,000 a month. Crazy! My new "experiment" is to write 300 lenses as soon as possible. Squidoo lenses are easier to write than InfoBarrel and I can put more links in each lens. With InfoBarrel, I'm limited to two links in each article. I can put unlimited Amazon links in my Squidoo lenses. I'm hoping this will lead to more money. Since the lenses are easier to write, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to create all 300 lenses in less than a month. Then I can get back to my InfoBarrel experiment or I can pay someone to write InfoBarrel articles for me.

Although this blog is about InfoBarrel, I still want to put my plan on paper (or on a blog post) so here is my Squidoo plan:

Tonight, I created a Facebook page for my Squidoo articles as well as started a Twitter account, Pinterest account and a Stumble Upon account. I also got a new email address. This will make it easier to promote my articles. I also came up with six different niches I want to focus on for these 300 articles. I think I am going to set up a new Squidoo account for each niche just to keep them all separate. I am going to write 50 lenses for each account. I already came up with 50 ideas for one account. I still need to do this for the other 5 accounts. After I get all 6 accounts set up and found lens ideas for all accounts, I will start by writing 10 lenses a day. I will post each lens on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Stumble Upon. That should get the lenses indexed quickly. For each account, I will like 50 lenses and comment on a few of them. This should help get some Squidlikes which are important for ranking within Squidoo (though I'm not expecting to make much money with the tiers). After I get all 300 lenses done, I might do some backlinking on other article sites to help get my sites ranking better.

I've gotta go. One of my favorite bands, The Who, is on the Olympics Closing Ceremonies right now. I hope to see them in November - if I can make enough money by then to buy a ticket.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Daily Update 08/10

Time really flies when you are hard at work. I didn't realize it had been 3 days since I posted an update. It's getting late so I'm going to make this brief.
  • The spun intro I made looks great but I'm not sure it's going to be considered unique enough. I'm going to use it anyway and, if Admin complains about it, I will have to rewrite them.
  • I've got about 30 intros done but, now that I've got the spun intro done, I should be able to get all 400 intros completed tomorrow. *Unless I decide that the spun article isn't unique enough for 400 articles. Then I will use the current spun intro for 200 articles and I will write another spun intro for 200 articles.
  • Squidoo is awesome! I'm getting a ton of views on my 2 lenses plus I've already made $1.65. I'm currently working on a Halloween lens that I'm hoping will get a lot of views. I think I'm going to try to create 1 lens a day based on the topics of my InfoBarrel articles. I'm tempted to drop the InfoBarrel experiment and switch to a Squidoo challenge but I'm going to stick to this. I never finish what I start so I need to get this done before I attempt anything else.
If I don't post over the weekend, I plan on completing the intros for all 400 articles. I will finish my Halloween lens and I might make one or two more lenses. Next week, I will start finishing the InfoBarrel articles and get them posted so they can start making money.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Daily Update 08/07

Did I ever mention how much I hate to write introductions? They are pretty much useless but I have to include them to get the word count up and to let the big G know what the article is about. I was going to write 50 intros a day and knock all 400 of them out in a week. Right now, that's not going to happen. I wrote 3 intros today. Three!! I can't believe it takes me so long to write these useless paragraphs. If you are reading the article, you already know what it's about and you don't need me to tell you. I think I have discovered a way to create a lot of unique intros easily - like in a few seconds I can have an amazing (well, maybe not amazing but pretty good) introduction. The plan is to write 3-5 introductions that could be used for just about any article. I will paste the intros into The Best Spinner and I will rewrite each sentence 2-3 times and I will spin on the word level manually. All I will have to do to get a great intro is to copy one of the spun intros and replace the starred words with my keyword. I will, of course, edit the intros to make sure they make sense and are on topic. I might even change a sentence or two just to make them more unique. I should be able to do intros a lot faster this way. So far today, I wrote one of the intros and I will write the other two before bed. I hope to get them spun tomorrow and then I can just go through the articles and copy and paste the new intros. It should really help speed things along.

I'll let you know how it works tomorrow.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Daily Update 08/06

In terms of income, I had a very productive day today. In terms of writing articles, I didn't even come close to my goal. Last night, I was looking at my new year's resolutions and realized that I wasn't close at hitting any of them. I decided that I should probably get down to business if I want to get at least one of them done by next year. I picked the resolution to pay off my car loan by the end of the year. Actually, I'm going to try to do it by the end of the month. I need to make $290 by September 1st or $15 a day. So that is what I spent most of the day doing. I worked my butt off on Mturk to make $15. I only got 3 intros written for my InfoBarrel experiment. Hopefully tomorrow I can reach my daily goal of 50 intros and make $15. It should be easier to work tomorrow. My dad turned the power off in my office today so he could work on some lighting in the basement. I had to work upstairs in the dining room which sucked because my mom had the TV on all day. It was a huge distraction. There will be no distractions tomorrow. I will reach my goal of 400 articles by the end of the month and I will pay off my car loan. I can do it!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Daily Update 08/05

I tried to take the weekend off but it was too hard to stay away. I created folders for each week in August and added 100 folders for each week. I labeled the folders with the name of the article. I ran out of article ideas with about 250 articles left so I had to do some keyword research for those last 250 articles. I'm going to do a combination of Halloween and fall articles for the last week of August. Hopefully they will have matured enough by Halloween to start making money.

Yesterday, I created two Squidoo lenses and started on a 3rd lens. I'm still not sure how I feel about Squidoo. I like that there is very little writing involved. I just have to write a short intro and then write a sentence or two for each module I decide to use. I'm not sure how well my lenses are going to rank being as they are so short. I'm also worried about the work in progress thing. If your lenses haven't been updated or aren't ranking, they fall into a work in progress state which means that they won't be ranked at all and won't make any money. I don't really have the time to be updating my lenses very often. Anyways, I'll see how these three lenses rank this month and then make more if they rank well.

Today, I worked on writing introductions for my InfoBarrel articles. I'm going to try to get all of the introductions written and the research done for all 400 articles by Monday of next week. This means that I'll have to write 50 intros a day which is totally doable. After that, I will have the next three weeks to write 400 articles. Since I will have all of the intros and research done, they shouldn't be very hard to write. If I write and post 25 articles a day, I'll get them all done by the end of the month.

So that's the plan for this month. I'll try to post another update tomorrow night and let y'all know how it's going.