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As I'm still recovering and Taiwan is locked down more or less, I've been doing a lot of thinking about control and how scary it is to not have control.
What can I actually control?
I can control how I take precautions to not get sick. I have more control on the precautions with my immediate family as well. But the further I go outside my circle, the less I can control or influence.
Even with all the precautions, I can't control whether I get sick or not. I still got sick.
It's the same with building affiliate websites. I can control everything that is displayed on the site, from the logo to the color scheme to the content articles. But when it comes to external factors on the site, there's far less I can control or influence.
Getting hit with the Google Product Reviews Update in April has crushed my monthly income for Site 1. It's unnerving because I don't know what'll happen when Google refreshes their Product Reviews Algo and if it'll like the site/content updates I made.
I can't control whether or not the next Google Update will hit my site. But I can control how I present my site to Google.
I can't control all the incoming links to my sites. But I can control some links.
I can't control whether site visitors click affiliate links or scroll through the article. But I can control how I present the content to visitors.
I can't control the monthly income. And that's scary.
Whether affiliate sites are a full-time or part-time gig for you, it's scary to not 100% control over your income.
It's important to recognize that and accept that. Then move on. Move forward.
Work on what you can control. It starts with ourselves and education.
There are many free and paid resources out there. The Learning SEO Roadmap is a great collection of links to free articles and courses.
Or if you like more of a structured course, I've taken Matt Diggity's Affiliate Lab ($200 Off with the aff link) and that's an amazing course that's constantly updated with more modules.
What's important is that we're always learning and working to improve ourselves and our sites.
If you allow comments or other User Generated Content on your site, you'll eventually be hit by spammers.
How does spam affect your site? I'll give you a hint, it's not positive.
Google gives their top tips on what you can do to prevent spam and to let Google know not to look (index) the spammy content.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Large list of affiliate programs that offer recurring revenue. There aren't any Amazon Associates or one-time product commissions here.
Ezoic has a series of articles about various ways to speed up your sites, by optimizing and removing certain unnecessary items that slow down sites. I'm sure they're basing many of these articles on what they're seeing from their LEAP speed tool data, now that many sites are using it.
What's interesting is they have a couple articles on optimizing and testing speed with the GeneratePress theme, which is what I use on all my sites. That makes me think it's the most popular theme for Ezoic users. Check out GeneratePress.
Sharing tools on lifetime deals that might be of interest for use in your online businesses.
Nifty - Project Management - This is the Project Management platform that I use. I've used Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Clickup, Slack, and Airtable in the past. I still use Nifty. It integrates with Google Docs, Drive, Dropbox, Slack, and Zoom.
Be.Live - Livestreaming Studio - A StreamYard alternative for all you YouTubers. After recording, it has a built-in editor to let you produce video content to repurpose immediately. And there's audio download for share on podcasts easily. I'm not a streamer, so I'm not sure how good this is compared to something like StreamYard.
Squirrly SEO - WordPress Plugin - RankMath and Yoast alternative. Meant to be "one tool for keyword research, content optimization, technical SEO, site audits, rank tracking, and more."
Authoritas - SEO Tool - Ahrefs and SEMrush alternative. They're trying ot be an all-in-one SEO tool, including keyword rankings, competitor research, crawling, backlinks, and SEO reporting. Newer tools will usually have less data overall, because they need time to crawl the interwebs, but if they do survive, you would have an amazing lifetime deal. Imagine if you had a lifetime deal at either Ahrefs or SEMrush (not that they had lifetime deals, but they do have old grandfathered deals).
Reslash - Virtual Rooms - This just seems cool if you want to get a bunch of people together. You'll have your own video bubble and as you move your bubble around the room, you're hearing things that your bubble is close to. There could be multiple conversations in one space and you only hear conversations that your bubble is next to. Watch the preview video.
Semrush took their backlink database and compared it to Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic. They also pit it head-to-head against Ahrefs with domains they received from social media.
Spoiler Alert: Semrush wins.
Even though it's written by Semrush, it's food for thought. I generally prefer Semrush for keywords and Ahrefs for backlinks, but this article is interesting. Maybe Semrush really has significantly expanded their backlink database, since I last used it many months ago.
Good look by Mushfiq on how to prepare your site to sell.
When selling your site, you want to maximize valuation while minimizing time on market. Positioning your site for sale can achieve both of these simultanously.
Mushfiq from TheWebsiteFlip.com and Spencer from Niche Pursuits team up to give you 5 outside the box ways to find keywords:
Using Google’s Related Search
Facebook group content
Manufacture and Brand sites
AHREFs Top Page report
How many of these are you using already?
Adam and Mark from Niche Website Builders share how they build sites and research keywords.
Great episode and lots to learn from here if you have trouble wrapping your head around how to start building sites.
If you're new to Niche Surfers, do check out my podcast episode with Adam on the NWB Podcast.
Internet Marketing Gold (IMG) is offering their "Netflix for SEOs" platform for $79/month until May 31st. Then it'll go up to $97/month.
They have 30 SEO courses that they're adding to continuously from some of the top SEOs out there, including from their co-founders Kyle Roof and Ted Kubaitis. The courses rotate in and out of IMG, so I can see why they did a monthly subscription. What's not as clear is if the courses will be continuously updated. I'm sure Kyle and Ted will, but not as sure about the other instructors.
A nice feature you get here is access to the IMG SEO Tests that're performed monthly. You can access to those, so you know what's working and not working. There's also an online community and weekly calls with Kyle and Ted it seems.
I haven't checked out their courses, but offering it here for anyone who's interested. Maybe you can get it for a month and take that month to go hardcore in learning everything you can.
Or you can get a course like Matt Diggity's Affiliate Lab, which I have and love. It's continuously updated and there's also an active, online community on Facebook. For Niche Surfer readers, there's a $200 discount.
Google has provided a comparison article to show you how Universal Analytics translates to the new Google Analytics 4 data.
Not many people use Google Analytics 4 (GA4), including me. There's a lot of Universal Analytics (UA) data that I'm used to that they don't show in GA4. I just haven't put in the time to get used to the new UI/UX yet.
I have both UA and GA4 continuing to collect data, so there's no lack of data on either. If you haven't setup GA4, because you're worried about losing UA data, you can add GA4 through a connected site tag. Follow these instructions from Google.
Matt Diggity interviews Koray Tugberk and there's a lot of great info here. Koray discusses how he used Topical Authority and Semantic SEO to success on 4 client sites. One site went from 10k to 200k monthly in 5 months. Another went from 0 to 330k monthly visitors in 6 months.
You'll want to read Koray's original Case Study article. It's a very interesting case study. For example, he "didn't use a footer or header menu" to keep the total number of links on each web page to less than 15.
LIKE NICHE SURFER?
Let me know! Reply or email me at [email protected]. I’d love to know what you think and if you have any ideas.
I’d also appreciate it if you shared it with fellow niche surfers.
Have a great week with taking your niche sites to another level!