A common thread I’ve seen among those who are working on creating niche blogs is how to manage them, particularly as the number of niche blogs rise from just a few to dozens. Others have wondered about content creation and management, such as “How often to post?” or “How good should the articles be?” In this post, I’ll go over some of the techniques I’ve been using to manage my niche blogs as well as throwing in a few other observations I have.
A Simple Spreadsheet
One question I’ve seen asked from time to time is how do you keep up with logins and passwords for your blogs as well as other pertinent information about them? I keep an Excel spreadsheet that has a master niche blog list that has a column for each of these items:
- Blog Name - The name of the blog
- Blog URL - The base URL of the blog
- Login Name - The Login name used
- Password - The password used
- Last Update - The last time the blog was updated
- Next Update - The next time I want to add a post to this blog
- Blog Keywords - The main keywords I’m targeting for this blog
- Monetization Method - The type of monetization used (Adsense, Affiliate, Product Feed)
- Notes - Any other quick reference info about the blog
This information puts all the basics about the blogs in one handy place. You could use just about anything to create this list from a spreadsheet program like Excel to even a plain text file written using Notepad. I like using Excel for the sorting features myself, but anything that allows you to keep you niche blogs basic information organized should work.
On some blogs, I keep a more detailed sheet that includes information about the search terms used to find the blog, the number of visits per day, earnings results and so forth. I’m still working on refining exactly what data I want to track here. It’s been an ongoing process to figure which metrics are worth tracking and which aren’t all that useful to me.
How Often To Post?
Here’s another question I see asked frequently, “How often should I post on a niche blog? I can’t post to 20-30 blogs everyday!” This is my content building strategy for my niche blogs.
First, I try to build a foundation of about 10 articles rather quickly, within a few days of starting the blog. I’ve tried to make use of Grizzly’s long and rambling post technique with these articles to insure that they’re rich with keyword goodness. In some cases, I’ve doubled up the PLR articles I’ve rewritten to get articles of around 1000 words in length. With this foundation in place, I can begin link building and hopefully getting indexed by Google.
Next, I put together an update schedule for the blog based on how hot the topic is and how well it is performing. Generally I try to plan on a new post about every 5-30 days. Remember, I’m not looking for repeat readers who’re hungry for fresh, daily, content but for one time search visitors who’re looking for an answer to a question. I want to add just enough to keep the Googlebot interested but not so much that it looks like an autogenerated spam site or so little that it looks like a dead site.
Another thing that I will point out is that some of my best performing Adsense sites haven’t been updated for over 6 months. You can let a site just sit there and it will usually still earn. With Google, site longevity seems to carry a lot of weight. Also remember that comments from visitors and certain Wordpress plugins can give the illusion of an updated page even if the main content is static.
Taking Advantage of Hot Topics
Here’s another technique I use when I have a situation where I see a niche blog’s search hits increasing for particular keywords or long tail terms or if I want to take advantage of long tail searches for a current news event (see my SNL’s Democratic Debate: Obama vs. Clinton post for an example of latching onto such an event here on OpTempo).
If I find this kind of hot topic, I’ll temporarily increase the post frequency on my target blog. In one case where there was a lot of long tail search activity due to a news event I increased it to 3 posts a day for a couple of days and I’ve created a new post there just about every day since then. Each new post reinforces the long tails that people are using to find the blog. Plus I also have added some more combinations. This pushed that particular niche blog up from less than 10 hits a day to over 300 a day. From my observations, tracking and reinforcing your long tail search activity pays off well.
Article Quality and Adsense
This is a little rant I have about article quality. During my recent move I needed some information about installing a particular appliance. I did a Google search on it and found several obvious niche blogs along with manufacturers pages at the top of the results. I decided to check out the niche blogs.
Unfortunately, most were very poor quality, little more than keyword stuffed pages with filler sentences. To make matters worse for both me, the searcher, and the site owner, they were displaying PSA ads or cheap ringtone or eBay ads. These ads were useless to me and probably anyone else who might have reached this page.
The lesson here is that there is a considerable difference between how the Google search bot and the Adsense serving bot interpret the content of a web page. While the search engine looks closely at keywords, for example “220 volt outlet“, it doesn’t appear to make any serious, in depth, quality judgement about the content of the page. However, the Adsense bot seems to be more discriminating about the ads it will show based on your site’s content. It appears to do a lot more checking as to the relevance of the the information as well as general site and user data it might have stored. If it doesn’t like what you’re saying, you get the 1-3 cent a click ads.
My observation on my own sites have been that you get better Adsense ads when you ramble somewhat coherently on the topic at hand rather than just presenting keyword stuffed junk. It also helps to have strong tags beyond just the keyword(s) you’re targeting. Roughly a little more than half of your bold/strong and header tagged text should be the primary keywords while others would be secondary and tertiary keyword phrases.I’ve also found that using several well targeted WordPress tags as well as meta-tag values seem to help as well, particularly if you have a video content heavy blog.
OK, that winds up some of the niche blog rambling I had stored up from the month. Let me know if you have any more questions or observations on this topic.