Adem Djemil : Blog » Blog Archive » Updating this blog » Adem Djemil : Blog

This blog really is a bit boring isn’t it? It’s typical that I can put so much time and effort into making other websites but when it comes to my own I opt for the default template and zero character.

I have tried to have a play with the theme and if you have visited over the past couple of weeks you will have noticed some different themes in use but they didn’t really do anything for me. I think I just need to sit down, decide what I want from this site, and actually put some work into it which sounds easy when I’m just typing here.

How nice does this site look? Clean, simple, and concise. I think my problem is that I don’t actually know what my blog is about. It started off as a personal blog, then a blog about Ramsgate where I was desperate for content and visitors, and now it’s shifted to me reporting on my online ventures with niche sites. With over 7 years worth of archives it’s hard to know what to do.

Most of my spare time online is spent researching passive income and finding ways I can increase my earnings outside of my 9-5 job and I think this is where the site has to go next. So the plan is:

  • New site structure
  • New theme
  • Better content

If I can monetise this site then that will be an added bonus but I will do this in a smart way so as not to be too in your face.

Is that a deal then? Watch this space.

Adem Djemil : Blog » Blog Archive » How to remove sludge from a radiator » Adem Djemil : Blog

After not doing it at the weekend, last night I got a chance to have a look at a couple of the upstairs radiators which needed to be flushed out. Research suggested that they were full of sludge, where the insides of the radiator corrode causing this rust to build up,  and so this needed to be removed. Read about sludge here and also about how it effects your radiator here.

Emptying sludge from a radiator…messy

I turned off the heating, closed the lockshield and thermostat valves, turned off the mains water, and then drained the system. Once this was done I removed the radiators (keeping the valves on both ends), and took them to the bath. It then got very messy.

If these were downstairs (and it wasn’t night time) then I’d be doing this outside and flushing them out with a hose, but needs must and so I used the shower to flush them out as best I could. After putting the valves back on (which I’d removed in order to flush), the rads were put back on, everything else was turned back on and after a nice amount of time I bled the de-sludged radiators (as they were full of air) and they filled with lovely hot water. Job done.

By no means does this mean that I won’t need to get an engineer out at sometime to check over the boiler, but for the moment it delays it and there is now warmth upstairs. Hurrah!

Future plans: There are a couple more radiators which have sludge in so they need to be flushed, and once they are all done I’ll add some central heating cleaning and protection additives.

July 2011 Income Report | Adem Djemil : Blog

July was a very busy month for me, but unfortunately for my niche sites it wasn’t spent on them! I had a 3 day Stag weekend in Scotland, followed by a 4 day stag weekend in Wales, a wedding, and then finally the whole business of selling my house. Add this to my full-time job and that doesn’t leave much time for my niche sites, but I guess that’s one of the ideas of passive income in that the money still trickles in with minimal day to day effort.

I did a lot of work on my main niche site ‘P’ in May and I’ve been reaping the rewards since. I’ve also dabbled in my second niche site ‘F’ but done very little on it which is a pity as I know it’s got potential but I need to spend some quality time on it.

The Numbers

June Income July Income Difference
Niche Site P £237.74 £340.36 £102.62
Niche Site F £0.79 £8.22 £7.42 £3.03 £3.27 £0.24
TOTAL £241.56 £351.85 £110.29

A massive £110.29 increase in my passive income from June’s AdSense revenue put my monthly income up to £351.85 in July or $576 for those who deal in US dollars. That is massive and it’s great to have that added to my normal monthly income from my day job.

What have I learned this month?

The main thing I’ve learned that you cannot control your AdSense earnings as there are too many factors that account for your earning. Just because you are getting traffic it doesn’t always mean that visitors will click on your adverts, and the average amount of daily clicks you get will never be constant. The other factor is that the CPC (Cost per Click) can vary greatly and there is nothing you can do about it. Choosing a good niche will help you get high paying advertisers but they will also have a budget and sometimes advertisors just aren’t in the mood to pay too well. I’ve had clicks worth £5 and I’ve had clicks worth 15p, all on the same content but it just depended on who was advertising.

The chart to the right shows how much I currently depend on niche site P and so I definitely need to expand niche site F and hopefully that will be a bigger chunk next month. Of course you can never depend on your passive income but it’s certainly a nice bonus at the end of the month!

11 Awesome WordPress Plugins For Your Niche Sites | Adem Djemil : Blog

Once you’ve built a few niche sites and got to know your favourite plugins you will use them time and time again, and so I thought I would share my favoured plugins with you all. This isn’t an extensive list and there are bound to be ones that I don’t include, but this is just a sample of those that really add value to a site and can make your life easier.

All in One SEO Pack

This does what it says on the tin and offers out-of-the-box search engine optimisation for your WordPress blog. One of the better feature is the ability to override post titles so they are displayed differently in search engines which is great for testing without changing your posts url.

Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics is the daddy of monitoring your sites stats especially since Google is where most of your traffic will be coming from. You will need to set up an Analytics account with Google and then you will be asked to paste some code into your site so that they can track it. Simply enter your analytics code into this plugin to authorise your site and it will start tracking.

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to index your site and alert them when you make any changes.

Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu

This hasn’t got much to do with SEO and niche sites but it’s the first plugin I install on a new WordPress site as it removes the sidebar menu and provides a horizontal drop down menu instead which helps with navigation in the admin area of your WordPress installation. It really is a must.

Pretty Link Lite

This is a way of shrinking or masking your links which is great for affiliate sites allowing you to display a friendly url as well as being able to track them.

Quick Adsense

This allows you to insert your AdSense code into posts/pages/sidebars with minimal effort. Paste your various advert codes into the plugin and then say where you want them to go. This allows you to experiment with their positions putting ads at the end of posts, the beginning, or even the middle and specifying their alignment so they fit in snugly with your text.

SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2

This increases blog traffic by strengthening on page SEO, increasing the number of indexed pages, and auto converts search terms into post tags so that more of your pages are indexed. This also displays incoming search terms on the footer of your post or on your sidebar which can mean more visits but also helps you with keyword research and perhaps what words you should be looking to optimise or write new content on.

SexyBookmarks (by Shareaholic)

You will have seen this on quite a few blogs (and this one) and it adds an attractive social bookmarking menu to your posts, pages, or homepage. I would click on this far more often than any other bookmarking plugin and you can easily select which social bookmarking links to display.

Strictly Auto Tags

Tagging is a great way to get more pages indexed by search engines and can also increase site traffic but it’s all to easily to forget this and not add any tags to your articles. This plugin will scan your post and add the most relevant and appropriate tags but in a really smart way. Hit ‘publish’ and the tags are automatically added.

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded

This enables people who comment on your site to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries and if you’re running a niche site you want to get as much returning traffic as possible. You can also have this as ‘opt out’ as well as ‘opt in’ so that the box is already ticked when a user comments meaning they are more likely to be subscribed to that comment stream. This may annoy some but it’s easy to either untick or unsubscribe.

Tweet old post

When running a niche site you will probably set up a twitter account for it too but it’s not always easy to keep this updated so why not use this plugin to keep your twitter stream (and your followers) populated with links back to articles on your site? You can specify the age of posts, exclude categories, add additional text, add hashtags based on the tags on your post, and lots more. Then just set the intervals you would like to publish your tweets at.

I’ve sold my house in Ramsgate | Adem Djemil : Blog

It’s been a very hectic month and this has mostly been in part to the fact that I’ve just sold my house which I bought in March 2009. Regular readers and friends may remember that it needed a lot of work done to it and I even made a video to show how bad a state it was in:

It was a great first house for me but the time came to sell it as I want to buy somewhere with my fiancee and after many viewings someone decided to buy it for a bargain price. It’s quite a tricky time to sell a house with the few buyers around wanted to pay as little as possible. I’ve done fine though as I bought the house cheap and although I won’t be making much profit, I won’t be making any losses so I can’t complain.

I was a little sad today though as I said goodbye to he house for one last time, checked all the rooms to make sure I hadn’t left anything, and then I locked up and that was that. The end of an era.

I’ve got good memories of the place though and I thought it was fitting that I made another video to document the changes from when I first bought it:

The end.

September Income Report | Adem Djemil : Blog

A good start but then…

At the start of the month I thought I was heading for a bumper niche site payday with my main site bringing in almost £100 in the first 3 5 days. ‘Woo Hoo’ I thought but then something bad happened and I was punished by Google with the site getting a ‘minus 6o penalty’. I wasn’t sure what had happened but after doing some research it looks like my backlinking and site structure had come under scrutiny from Google and I had contravened their website guidelines policy. At the end of the day it’s pretty hard to pinpoint it to one specific thing but I believe it was because I built up too many backlinks too quickly, used the same keyword for most of my links, and also commented on some poor quality blogs.

The majority of my backlinks came from commenting on blogs, some of which were just a bit spammy, I’ll admit to that, so I know that was wrong but it’s interesting how Google works this out. If I were a competitor then I could spend some time spamming comments with my competitors details and hopefully see if Google would apply a penalty to them.

Tricky times but it’s all a learning curve and has influenced my link-building policy for the future. I am only commenting on blogs that are relevant to the niche I’m in, and yet again only useful comments that add some quality. The other thing is not to focus too much on keywords for backlinks and instead think about how a novice would write. They wouldn’t jam in keywords and instead it would all be a lot looser and more organic. Lessons learnt then and as usual I’m taking this a month at a time.

So now onto the numbers:

July Income August Income Difference
Niche Site P £384.83 £127.27 (£257.56)
Niche Site F £11.24 £50.98 £39.74 £2.86 £1.98 (£0.88)
Niche Site C
£0.00 £1.54 £1.54
Niche Site P2
Niche Site E
TOTAL £398.93 £181.77 ($282.65) (£217.16)

As you can see my overall income has taken quite a knock but that was always the risk with having one major earner so I’m not going to focus on that and instead focus on the positives of getting my other nice sites rolling.

Site F has seen a big jump in earnings which was partially helped by a £16.85 click late in the month (someone clearly isn’t using AdWords that effieciently) but even without that it was a good rise and I’m very happy with that.

Site C also saw a few clicks and started bringing in revenue and the aim as always is to increase this amount much like I have done with Site F. This means I now have 3 niche sites earning me money and we’re on the way to spreading the revenue and leaving me at less risk of suffering the same fate as this month.

I have submitted Site P for a reconsideration request from Google but I have read stories of it taking years to get back up the rankings so I fully expect my earnings to drop next month too.

Aims for the future

So I’ve got three sites earning revenue and as you can see from the above table I’m creating Site P2 and Site E, which if you’re good at maths, will bring me up to five sites  (excluding my blog). The route I will be going down is to create many sites each earning a small percentage of my overall revenue, and ideally I would like to have ten sites up and running and earning money by the New Year.

The thing to remember is that all this revenue is extra to my usual 9-5 job and for the moment if I make no money or suffer a drop in my AdSense income then I am not greatly effected (apart from my pride) but if I can succeed and keep building more sites then this could be something that would require more of my time in exchange for the income it brings.

How to make money from blogging | Adem Djemil : Blog

photo credit: jo.sau

It’s dream most of us probably have had from time to time and wouldn’t it be great if something you loved doing made you money in the process too?

Three of the most common ways of making money from blogging are:

  • Advertising (adsense, selling advert spots directly)
  • Affiliate schemes (writing articles about products and linking to them earning a percentage of sales)
  • Selling products (eBooks are pretty big right now, and perhaps you could write one and sell it?)

Of course these don’t work with any blog or website, the thing you need is visitors, and specifically visitors that are interested in what you have to say. Getting visitors relies on many factors, such as keywords, trends, content, backlinks, etc and even if you are an seo guru it still won’t guarantee the amount of visitors you need to make a decent living from your blog.

I’ve been reading quite a lot into this subject and if this is something that you are interested in then you might want to check out these blogs from people that are actually blogging for a living:

  • Viperchill
  • Blog Tyrant
  • Problogger

The above bloggers are the exception in that they make huge amounts of money from blogging, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a bit of the action.

If you want more info on this subject then here is a great article that further explains ‘How Bloggers Make Money From Blogs‘.

What I’ve learned after getting punished by Google | Adem Djemil : Blog

My AdSense earnings for the beginning of the month were great, for the first few days they were amazing, but then something happened and they dropped down to only a couple of quid a day. What happened? The answer is that niche site P which had been ranking at #1 in Google for my main keyword had dropped down the search rankings in amazing fashion and was now languishing around the 7th page on Google which as you know is nowhere. To say I was disappointed is understating it as I’ve been happy to have been able to increase my earnings month on month but what started out as a month with great potential is now one where I will take a big drop in my passive earnings.

In my previous Income Report I wrote

The way I look at it is that I’ve earned over £1000 from my sites in less than 4 months and if I didn’t earn anymore then it was great fun whilst it lasted.

and it looks like that’s what going to happen for the moment. I’m still earning a little but nothing like before.

Why have I dropped in the Google rankings?

I’m only 4 months into my passive income journey and it’s all a learning curve but I believe I have been penalised due to my backlinking strategy which mostly revolved around using comments on blogs to get a variety of links back to the site. Some people won’t agree with this and will say it’s a bit shady but I will placate them slightly by saying that it wasn’t automated and involved me reading the blogs and leaving unique and relevant comments with my name linking to my niche site. I’ve now learnt that this is not the best way to go about things, but as I said I’m learning and am happy I’ve made these mistakes whilst my sites are still young.

I also focused primarily on one set of keywords and yet again this was a mistake. The Google algorithm is an intelligent thing and things like this stick out like a sore thumb and there is nothing ‘organic’ about it. It looks like you’re trying to cheat the system and I guess that’s what I was trying to do. All the SEO I’m learning is from what I see others doing and so I’m just as guilty and will now review my backlink strategy to something a little more honest.

SEO myths exposed and honest SEO

I came across an article today from Robert Dempsey called In Defense Of Search Engine Optimization which contained quite a lot of relevant information regarding the situation I find myself in. I’ve followed quite a few of the ‘SEO myths’ he mentioned and if you’re involved in SEO, especially if it’s your business, then it’s worth a read. Basically he has dismissed the ways I’ve gone about promoting my niche sites and proposes what actually works in SEO.

How SEO should work in theory and how it actually works

If a site is useful then it should naturally attract visitors and all the links will be organic with very little effort needed from the publisher apart from making sure the article is well written and original. I found Robert’s article useful and I’ve linked to it which is the way it should work on the internet but we all know that isn’t the case and there will always be competition to rank high on Google whilst there is money at stake. I am primarily making my niche sites to make money so I want to rank high on Google but I am now reviewing my strategy and will try and be a bit more ethical in my linkbuilding and how I attract traffic to the site. I could just follow the rat race, and do as others are doing, but Google are getting wise to this, and so I’m going to start being more responsible as I want my sites to be ranking for the long haul and not just a flash in the pan waiting to be punished by Google who provide most of my web traffic.

Link-worthy and Share-worthy content

Right from the beginning we’ve been told that ‘content is king’ and somewhere along the way that switched to ‘AdSense is king’ so the focus for me is ensuring that the people who are reading my websites and articles want to share them and that my sites have the option to to that simply. At the moment they don’t have a ‘share this’ button or anything along the lines so that’s the way to go which should hopefully improve my backlinks and spread the word to get more visitors. I’ll also be going through all my content and ensuring it is well written, unique, and that people actually would want to read them rather than them just being filler content for a site to solely provide me with income.