Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Challenge Story: The Essay Guru

Site The Essay Guru About the site Originally intended to sell a self-written e-book on essay-writing techniques, priced at £6.99 (approx $12). Realised that needed more information on site to draw visitors in so expanded with a series of articles (again self-penned) – thanks as usual to Gary for the idea. Also used this opportunity to add Adsense to the site to generate extra income. Investment Around £50 on hosting, domain and “Dotwidget for downloads” script. Income Adsense: $8.03. E-books sold: 0. Positives ~ Exciting to learn about generating income online and develop own site. ~ Potential for earnings to increase over time and supplement income from the full-time “day job” Negatives ~ Despite keyword-rich text and attempted SE optimisation, have struggled to attract visitors – still single figures most days. ~ Site is in Google but not for the key search phrases – sandbox issue? ~ Low Adsense earnings – though clicks seem to earn quite well so potential for decent return if can achieve traffic increase. ~ E-book took a fair amount of time and effort to write, so disappointing to receive no sales. Some thoughts ~ Been very busy (bought and moved house just before Christmas) so unable to work on promoting the site in appropriate places; perhaps need to work on this more. ~ Maybe need to look into specific opportunities for promoting the e-book. ~ Possible conflict between the aims of the site – partly for visitors to only stay briefly and then depart via the Adsense adverts, or do I want people to stay longer and think about buying the e-book? If the articles are really good then it might encourage people to buy the book, but then the Adsense income will drop (not that it’s huge now!) ~ Perhaps if lack of interest in e-book continues, I should scrap it and use the content (which is quite good I hope) to build up the size of the website and concentrate on Adsense. Overall Pleased to have taken part but the experiment has shown that this AIS thing isn’t as easy as some people may believe! Still, determined to stick with it and keep playing around with the site – I’ve got another 11 months till deciding whether to renew the hosting. Long-term aim is naturally – like every other online entrepreneur – to come up with the next million-dollar idea...

Well done to Tom. Though the site has not performed as Tom hoped, it's plain to see that some lessons have been learned for future AIS efforts!

New URL: www.osworld.biz - thanks!

6 Comments:

At 2/01/2006 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Thanks Gary.

Judging by the table, I imagine I'll be coming fairly low in the rankings!

Still, if Google ever kicks in I might see an improvement.

If anyone has any suggestions or constructive criticism it would be more than welcome!

 
At 2/01/2006 12:30:00 PM, Anonymous One Dollar A Day said...

Very interesting site - loads of original content and on a good high paying keyword.

I think, as you say, the only reason you have not done better is down to not getting enough traffic.

Did you do any promotion at all or get any incoming links from high PR sites? You may well find that now burt has placed a link to your site here, the spiders will come visiting very soon and it could take off!

I would make sure that all your article pages contain links to your ebook page with a bit of sales spiel "if you found this article helpful, why not try our ebook etc".

I would also submit your articles to some of the article sites - this will give you loads of one-way backlinks and visitors.

Overall, I think this site has huge potential, good stuff.

 
At 2/01/2006 01:29:00 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Cheers for the supportive words!

Traffic is definitely the key; as I said I'm still in single figures and feel the site deserves more than that! I didn't do any promotion really, except linking to the site from an existing indexed site I own to try to get it in the listings quickly. As you said, having a couple of incoming links from Burt's site may help.

The spiders have been, and the site is in MSN. As I said the site is also in Google but only if you search for "the essay guru"; it doesn't seem to show up for keyword searches like "essay help". I gather that this is the sandbox effect, and that it can last several months. Bit odd tho, surely everyone else's sites in this competition - seeing as they are all equally new - should have had the same problem?

Good idea on the links to the ebook on each article. I've done this on a couple but will make sure they all have them. As I mentioned, though, I'm unsure whether this will be a good thing (bringing ebook sales) or a bad thing (diverting clicks away from the adverts)?

Out of interest, what made you say it is a high paying keyword? Is this info available anywhere, or did you just pick it up from my comments?

Oh and congrats on your site - you've obviously done well financially, and it seems like things are getting better day on day!

Tom

(PS Managed some short-term traffic increases with some 'creative' promotional techniques - namely adding links to the site on relevant Wikipedia articles - however moderators have repeatedly removed the link as spam.. )

 
At 2/01/2006 01:51:00 PM, Anonymous Sarah said...

Tom - If it exists (but i won't get into that here) the apparent sandbox picks and chooses who goes in it.

However looking at your site from an SEO perspective you do not have any header tags for a start. Tables can work but because you're using them you need to work on those little extras as much as possible. Besides your page title, nothing else is really 'pushing' your key phrases so I wouldn't expect to see your site on the front page of Google anyhow.

 
At 2/01/2006 03:08:00 PM, Anonymous One Dollar A Day said...

Tom, if you put your base keyword of "essay" into the Overture Bid Tool you'll see there are 7 or so advertisers bidding over $1 which I usually take as a good sign. I haven't had a chance to check out the competition on "essay" and related phrases but it certainly seems to be a decent paying keyword.

Don't foget to submit your articles to some article sites, this is one of the key things that the marketing "gurus" are doing at the moment :)

 
At 2/02/2006 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Thanks for the ideas guys, I'll certainly give them a bash and won't be giving up on the site just yet.

(I did leave a comment yesterday but it seems to have disappeared into an interweb black hole)

 

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