I got an email this morning promoting a new video training course showing you how to set up your own article directory using WordPress and free themes and plugins…
Now I’ve been there, and dunnit!
And after doing it… I just have to have a HUGE rave… which I will begin by asking…
“WHY would you ever WANT to set up your own article directory anyway?”
Well the idea is sound…
You get other people writing and submitting content for free… which Google picks up very quickly thanks to WordPress… your site builds some authority… you get more visitors… more clicks on ads etc.
But does that actually happen?
- Article Directory theme – for use with the Article Directory Plugin
Along with these plugins
- Login LockDown – to reduce forced login attempts
- Peter’s Collaboration E-mails – to send collaborative emails to users
- Peter’s Post Notes – to add a “notes” section to the post page
- Unique Article Wizard – auto publishing of articles from UAW
- Akismet – for comment spam protection
The idea was to build lots of pages with all this “fresh” content that Google loves to index… and that will drive lots of traffic to the site… so that people will click on the Adsense ads that are there… and I’ll be filthy rich in a matter of months… well, maybe not the last bit
The thinking here is that… because there are MOUNTAINS of WordPress sites that are nothing more than scraper sites – grabbing small snippets of info from RSS feeds and creating pages and pages covered in Adsense ads – yeah – really USEFUL stuff – NOT – but they are still making $$$ for their owners!
So I was gonna create something that was a lot better than that – with GENUINE and useful content that would rate well in the search engines… and be useful to my “human” visitors as well…
And… since people like to republish articles on their own sites, I should ALSO be getting some good backlinks by providing articles for that purpose? Right?
So How DID That Go?
Well… here’s some stats for ya…
- Site first established in June 2007 – so has good domain age and has lived on same web server all that time
- Been in WordPress article directory format since March 2009 using the Unique Article Wizard (UAW) WordPress plugin to populate directory with articles initially, until the “public” contributions took off at a reasonable rate in March 2010
- Current Google PR #1 – not the best with practically ZERO inbound links (so that strategy is stuffed – lol)
- Current # pages on site – 1700 articles + category and tag pages – (scored well there I suppose)
- Alexa rank 3 mth av – 403,359 : latest month – 293,398 – seems things are on the move according to that tool
- Historical Unique Visitors
- av 559/mth over 2007
- av 794/mth over 2008
- av 1055/mth over 2009
- av 1936/mth over 2010 – to end Sept
- Best Month – July 2010 with 3478 unique visitors
Summary so far
Well… the site is getting a reasonable volume of traffic each month – but 3000+ uniques is not as much as I would like, even though it is slowly, slowly increasing – BUT that is PROVIDED I regularly publish submissions.
Which was what did NOT happen in August/September as part of a test I was doing… to see what would happen to the traffic and the earnings is I went to “autopilot” mode and did nothing new – lol!
So why the test in the first place? Well… you’ve got to understand that there IS a fair bit on ONGOING effort required with such a site to manage the new posts that people are submitting.
March 2010 – 55 articles published
April 2010 – 78 articles published
May 2010 – 274 articles published
June 2010 – 574 articles published
July 2010 – 143 articles published – getting too much like hard work this!!!!
Aug/Sept 2010 – ZERO published – need a break to see what happens here.
As you can see… something started to kick in around May… so I turned the UAW plugin off as I now had more than enough “normal” submissions available.
And the flurry of activity in June resulted in good traffic for that and the next month… but BOY – it was some piece of work trying to publish all those articles!
Since few new posts were done over Aug/Sept, traffic was down for those months… back up to estimated 3200+ for current month following a few (67) new posts so far in October… with 380 new ones STILL pending review and publication!!!
Now… IF THESE SUBMISSIONS HAVE BEEN INTERESTING it might have made my efforts a little more rewarding… but the amount of absolute CRAP I had to deal with – seriously – was starting to drive me crazy!
People generally did NOT follow submission guidelines!
They packed their article with far too many SEO keywords and links.
Far too many articles were written with such appallingly bad English and grammar that I would be EMBARRASSED to publish them on any site, let alone offer them for syndication!
And when you used to collaboration plugin to advise them to make corrections and resubmit – they didn’t. They just totally ignored my “advice” and resubmitted!
Talk about bashing your head against a brick wall!
Now a few days ago, the domain came up for renewal… and there was a LOT of agonising over whether I should even bother or not?
Now IF you are wondering why I was thinking of scrapping this, have a look at my TOTAL earnings for this site since it was re-launched under the new format for the EIGHTEEN months from 1 April 2009… through to end September 2010…
Ready for it…
Building up the suspense here…
Want to take an educated wild guess?
Go on… after all… you’ve been told by all the gurus that you can EASILY earn a dollar a day from Adsense sites…
OK… I can’t wait any longer….
So here it is…
Total Earnings for April 2009 – Sept 2010 – Just under a hundred bucks.
So there you go people… and to all those sales pages out there telling ya you can so “easily” earn a dollar a day using this business model? Hah!
OK – but what about June and July – the two really “busy” months???
How about a bit more than $22 for BOTH months… so I got over $0.35c a day for my busiest months!
And five dollars plus change for August and two bucks for September
In this particular case, not a great reward for the amount of effort needed eh?
Now it is VERY important that you realise such earnings DO vary from one site to another, and depend on ALL sorts of things. I also run many other sites where I am VERY happy with the earnings from this business model.
It’s just, in this case, where I THOUGHT the market would be “ordinary” people viewing the articles and clicking on ads (as I have on my other sites)… it seems the actual visitors here are mainly a totally different crowd – mainly the webmaster/SEO/article writing people – who do not seem to be very click-happy at all.
And that’s one reason why I don’t have any such ads on THIS Site here… because the people viewing these pages don’t click on that type of ad!
Now before you go saying… “Yeah but you didn’t do this… or that…” I KNOW I didn’t
Because I didn’t have TIME to do much more with the site from May through to July – other than spending a couple of hours EACH nite approving posts, and “liaising” with authors to advise them of mistakes.
After all… I DO have other web sites that need attention too as part of my business, AND also have a life (sometimes).
Oh… I’d ALSO like to add that comment spam is a HUGE problem there… and thank God that Akismet was installed ‘cos it automatically now picks up an average of at least 10 spam comments every single day.
While that might not sound like much, but with 3,784 spams caught since it was installed, it would amount to a LOT of time wasted if I had to manually review and delete that many comments!!!
So… back to my original question then…
“WHY would you ever WANT to set up your own article directory anyway?”
After doing it… I probably would not do it again.
The ONLY reason I keep it alive for now, is to work out what else I can do with the site… maybe it’s time for me to investigate flipping it?
Hey… you wanna buy it? Established domain, existing traffic… all that stuff… looking for a new home
And if you can put some other sort of monetization into those pages…
It almost might be worth it.
Heck, I’ll even use WP-Twin to clone it for you for free!
Leave a comment below and let me know your offer if you are interested… And I would love to hear your comments about this post as well.
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