NWP Update 1: Learning from a First-timer’s Mistakes

images (1)Howdy 😉

It’s been over a month since I published my last article on setting up a website with WordPress. You guys have been missing me huh? Me too 🙂 I really want to write something to keep you updated with my progress but I had some problems with time management and productivity so that I can’t find any time left to write a detailed post. Hope you guys forgive me on that! Today I have a lots to say so let’s get straight into the point: My first niche site was a failure. A BIG ONE!

Why? Let me explain 🙂

As you may probably know, the niche I selected was “acne treatment” and the keyword chosen was “how to clear acne” which has 1000 searches per month and the KC (Keyword Competitiveness) of 25 according to LongTail Pro . After researching the keyword carefully, I went straight and bought the domain howtoclearacneguide.com. I then setup a blank site with very minimal Onpage SEO and pointed 2 high PR domains to the site..

Why did I do that?

To test the competition of the keyword :). As I expected, the site shot to page 2 of Google immediately after 2 days. So I was right, I had chosen the right keyword which was easy to rank. But, why would you still call this site a failure? You may ask. Stay calm. Keep listening to my story 🙂

Then I removed the two high PR links to make my site back to normal and then after 2 weeks I started adding content to it. Here comes my failure story. Knowing this would be my winner (at that time), I confidently invested money on content creation. I wanted to have the highest quality content added to the site so I use some expensive content creation services, here is the detail:

  • Homepage article: 1500 words – 4-start writer at TextBroker: $33
  • Review article for Acne No More (a Clickbank product I was going to promote): 1000 words – CopyorDie.com : $30
  • 14 secondary articles: 11,000 words –  My secret writer : $90
  • Total Invest on Content Creation: $153
  • Total Invest on Site: $160 ($7 is for domain)

I then waited for 2 weeks. The site didn’t rank. Another 2 weeks passed. My niche site was still nowhere to be found in Google. One of my friends who is very good at SEO said that my site was penalized by Google because at that time he checked the backlink profile using https://www.majesticseo.com/ and noticed that my site was getting 100 backlinks with 100% exact match anchor text. All the backlinks are from my high PR domains !!! but it was only a 5 page website. How on earth it can generated over 100 backlinks to my niche site? I later found out that all the links were from the old indexed page of my high pr site which was very weird.

Finally I decided to deindex the site and switch to the domain howtoclearacnehq.com. And this site got problem with indexing. Again, I didn’t know why. After 2 weeks, Google only indexed 4 pages. I thought I would not waste my time anymore on this project. So I let it go 🙂 I wont care about it anymore but I still use the content for another site of mine.

What I have learned?

  • Don’t invest too much money on one project. Keep the initial investment low.
  • Build sites slowly and be patient.
  • Be careful with high PR links. They are powerful but you have to use them properly.
  • Keyword research is still the most important part, but be aware of the niche as well. My old “acne” niche was quite competitive. Yes the keyword I chose was low competition but the site will not be easy to scale up as other keywords are pretty tough. We should look for a market where the overall competition of a whole market is easy not only for a few keywords.

What now? Is your niche website project ended for good? You may ask.


I’d never give up on anything. I will keep building niche sites and will build a lot more as I love this business model. Of course it will take time to learn the process but I will not fail unless I give up 🙂 And that happens on my 2nd site 😉

This is a short update so I will not tell you in detail about my site. Just a quick sneak peek to get you excited 😉

Introducing my 2nd niche website

My new baby is just 1 month and 2 day old and it is ranking at #2 of Google with just a little backlinks (previously it ranked #3 without backlinks) for the main keyword.


The good thing is that I already have a good ROI on it. I invest total $56 for content creation and domain name on it. And it already made nearly $80 with Amazon affiliate program till April 1st so i think this month this niche website can bring me over $100. Not bad for a 1 month old website. See the screenshot below.

Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 3.54.16 PM

Ok. It’s enough for today. If you are curious on my website and want to learn how I built this niche site from scratch, be sure to subscribe to my email list so that you can get a notification when I publish a new post. It’s gotta be a long and informative article =).

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.

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  • Hi Tung,

    Now I understand. I was checking out your website few days ago and I thought you give up.. I’m happy you’re back.

    Do you use a plugin to make money with amazon? Is it a review website? I’m curious 🙂 Will you reveal the domain name of your new niche site?

    I have 3 websites that I monetize with amazon but my conversation rate is 2-3%…

    PS: I’m french and I only create websites for the french market 😀

    • Oh.. now it clear … i’d never =)

      yeah it’s a website that target a general term with a big comparison chart in the homepage. I dont use any plugin.

      I will reveal anything 🙂 A little scared but i have to be transparent =) So i hope people will not harm my site 🙁

      Yeah go for local market is very good. French market is a lucrative one I think. Am I right? 🙂

      • like spencer’s website? 🙂

        If you will reveal the domain name, you will probably have some new competitors… but that’s how it works.
        Personally, I never created a website in english (my english is too bad for this :P).

        Yeah, French market is ok 🙂 There is money to be made here. Usually, you have just watch what people do in the US market and do the same :D.

  • Hey,

    Thanks for this post.

    Reason for failure of your first site technically crazy and eye-opener for newbie like me. Learned something new, so thank you again.

    I have 2-3 questions if you find time to answer them:

    1) Is it possible to rank blank site in google, as you written in this post?

    2) Are you using contents from deindexed site in your new site?

    3) How many visitors you are getting per day? Let me guess. 1000 searches a month, 2nd on google listing for that keyword. Around 20 visitors a day or more?

    • 1. Yes, I’m having a site that rank #1 without any content on it 🙂 just some headline with keyword
      2. yes. It’s ok
      3. Average 25 per day. But i will bump in the next few days 😉 The reason will be revealed in the next article =)

      • Hey Tang,

        Last 2 answers are known territory.

        Answer 1 is a shocker after all the algorithm updates. Can you reveal keyword and site to help readers understand this? I am absolutely fine if you say big NO. 🙂

        Anyways, thanks for helping us.
        Priyank, Your Indian Friend.

  • 1-Where do you get domains name from for such a low price? $7. I think you should have put their link in the article.
    2-Don’t invest too much in content creation, what numbers are you having in mind?
    Great, keep going!

  • Thanks bro, It’s nice article. The lesson I learned from you in this article is staying patient, Google now is more smarter, but it brings to the reader useful information either.

    But who know that without testing and failing, right? Welcome back, it’s a long time since last article. I hope you now could write more useful articles like rocket 🙂

    All the best for you!

  • Hi Trung, you have done really great with your first niche site. I have too started a new site a few months ago, and right now monetizing it with Google AdSense only. Already ranking on the first page of Google for the keyword having more than 500000 GMS. Working great so far. And yeah, best of luck with your new site :D.


  • Good post. I guess my question is why you would start by putting up a site with no content, yet have 2 high PR sites link to it? That is a red flag to google, no?

    PS. Any interest in having guest posts on your blog?

    • To test the niche. if i can rank fast by using high pr links, that keyword is easy 😀
      Yeah a having a guest post published would be cool but it has to be of high quality with practical tips

  • Tung,

    Great post! Am I correct in my understanding that it was the ton of high PR links with exact keyword that did you in?

    You seem to have a really good product there, or the way you make your review post is excellent because on average that is an expensive product and a conversion of 8% is really high.

    If you don’t mind it would really be great if you could share how to achieve high conversion rates.

  • Can you please elaborate a bit what you mean by “little backlinking”? I think I did some kind of mistake with my website too because it doesn’t want to rank for it’s primary keyword. Either I did the mistake or I need quality links, I don’t know.

    Thanks for your answer.

  • Only one failure so far? I’ve had several since I started building niche sites about a year ago. For most of the past year, including enduring the EMD update, I’ve been trying to figure out which direction to take my online business.

    I’m currently working on revitalizing a few of my older niche sites that never got up there in the rankings. I know a whole lot more now than I did when I first built them. For some of the sites I’m not even going to try, so I’m de-indexing and deleting the content, but saving it for use on a different site in the future. I don’t want all that time I spent on creating content to be a total waste!

    Congratulations on your early success with the new niche site! That’s awesome and is both motivating and encouraging to me to start a brand new niche site around some type of product I can sell thru Amazon.

  • Tung – thanks for sharing this project.
    I launched my first niche site around April 12. I wrote great content on the homepage and have about 5 other pages with nice articles on them. The main keyword is OK but not super competitive (about 2000 exact pm).
    So, almost two weeks have passed and my homepage is nowhere to be found on Google. Everything is indexed, just not ranking. Actually some of the subpages are ranking but those keywords are much less competitive.

    Should I wait longer before taking any action? I would expect at least to be in top 500 in Google but nothing. How long does it usually take to get ranked after you are indexed?


      • Tung – what’s odd is that now one of my obscure subpages (in fact just a category page) is ranking 120 in google for the main keyword but the homepage which is targeting that keyword is still not ranking. Doesn’t this seem odd?

        Maybe a penalty but I’m not sure why, it’s all hand written content from me.

  • Hey a wannabe teen internet marketer here, I was wondering how you do the keyword research is it via market smaurai and how do you suggest a teen with minimal money start a site preferably with low comp.

  • Hi Tung,

    I enjoyed reading your post and it got me super excited. I’m now thinking to try something of my own. I wanted to ask, how do you get backlinks – do you guest post or buy them? I heard high PR sites are not very keen to give a link to a new website…


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