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JOURNEY [Journey #3] Amazon Affiliate Niche Site | Goal: 300€ Per Month

ThulfWaatu

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Overview

My first journey was a flop, but I learned a great deal from that:
  • Sauna **** tube site (August, 2017 - 2018).

My second journey has been a success for a nice side income:
  • Hobby site (3rd of March, 2018 - 2019+),
  • 1st Affiliate site (5th of April, 2018 - 2019+).

With the experience I've gained from those projects, I'm embarking on yet another journey.
  • 2nd Affiliate Site (7th of June, 2019).

54061

This affiliate site will be monetized with Amazon; outdoors sports.


PLANS
This will be the 1st affiliate niche site in my ambitious plan of building an affiliate niche site EMPIRE in order to secure a financially more stable future for myself. One where I wouldn't have to worry about money (I'm not an abitious type of person and can live frugally if I knew that I could always use the money if something went wrong). One where I'd let robots do the unfulfilling work me or something like that.


(In the ultimate scale, I hope the climate change doesn't become too big of a problem nor that a comet or a superflare hit the Earth in my lifetime - imagine the chaos if either did; I'd need to have a backup plan involving settling somewhere like the Kingdom of Bhutan in that case, if they'd welcome me that is ^^)

I'm going to build this niche site following the layout of this niche empire site's pillar post: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; except that I'm not going to neither use such an overall content plan nor will I link such sites together because I feel Google algorithm at one point will catch on to this shady tactic sooner or later. I'm in it for the long-term benefits.

The GOAL is for the site to start generating around 300€ a month, which is not too much to ask for I've learned to know. The bigger plan is to have multiple these sites each generating 100€+ each month. If I'm getting enough money with these sites, I will have the capital to invest it in other baskets as well so that I wouldn't have all the eggs in a single one (because if something were to happen to... idk, to Amazon, I'd be toast).

The only and only problem is that I work at a snail pace... This is a problem I somehow need to overcome I guess.



TECHNICAL
The domain is bought via Namecheap for 1 year. It's hosted by Host Goala premium shared hosting plan ($20 per year, starting from next billing cycle it will be $26 per year due to Cpanel price increase). I've implemented https for this site and it's using a relatively optimized simple free theme (Roseta).

I love simplicity, minimalistic feel to things. Less distractions, more focused mind...


(this quote is not directly related to what I said above)


SEO
Compared to my 1st affiliate site's niche, this 2nd affiliate site's niche is a little more complicated to work around. Similarly to the 1st affiliate niche site, the competition for this one is also relatively low - although this time there's less room to snap untouched keywords due to the nature of this niche, I'm sure I can snap a few if I do my research thoroughly.

The on-page SEO for the affiliate site will follow the same principle as it is in my 1st affiliate site:
  • keyword research is completed;
  • 1500-4000+ word articles with pictures, short paragraphs, useful content, etc are planned;
  • interlinking to useful and relevant sources within the site itself with ultimate pillar content for each bigger money keyword is the method;
  • [user friendly - useful yet simple and pleasant overall feel of the site(s)]

The off-page SEO is not something I'm overly concerned about. I feel like there's no need for it in all actuality. I'm pretty sure that simply having better content will do the trick over time. This site is also summer-seasonal, so I hopefully won't feel the desperate urge to push my content with scammy backlinks because they won't have the needed effect outside the season anyway.



MONI
This time around I've payed only 1 year in advance. This is in case the niche turns out to be harder to rank for than it seems. I'm fairly certain that it's sure to make at least some money now that I know it's something in the realms of possibility. Just needs content and time...

This time I do have a small budget from the 1st affiliate site's monthly earnings for oursourceing content from this second affiliate niche site, BUT I'll try to create the content myself, at least at first, in order to learn about this niche and come off as trustworthy for the readers (I personally hate the obvious affiliate sites that just don't provide any actual value).


Expenses:
  • 1 domain: $9.06 (June, 2019 - June, 2020)
  • hosting: $20 (June, 2019 - June, 2020)
  • total: $29.06
Earnings:
  • not monetized yet


INSPIRATION

54066


54067


Did I miss anything? I hope I didn't...


On a sidenote...
My current 1st affiliate niche site can lose its profitability overnight.
I'm well aware that this niche site Empire project can very easily fail too.
These are few of the reasons behind building enough income sources - to mitigate potential drawbacks in life in general.



To safeguard myself mentally from a possible failure.
Nobody really knows what they're actually doing, even if they seem to have it all figured out.
 

ThulfWaatu

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CONTENT PLAN
It's basically this:
  • single review posts (supports a pillar post)
  • info posts (supports a pillart post)
  • pillar posts (buying guide, best, best cheap, best for, etc)
 

ThulfWaatu

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CONTENT PLAN
It's basically this:
  • single review posts (supports a pillar post)
  • info posts (supports a pillart post)
  • pillar posts (buying guide, best, best cheap, best for, etc)
I think I'm just going to learn about the niche the few first months before I can write anything down...

So the main focus is on "info posts".

This one is a little more complicated of a niche. I can't really just open up a competitor's info post and start writing my own based on the information there - most such posts are little personal experience driven perspectives on the matter and I can't really compete with those, and coming up with new interesting and useful angles to approach these matters has been somewhat difficult to come up with as I don't know much of anything about this area yet.

I'm just stacking topics to write about like crazy right now and I'm not sure where to start.

I'm thinking I should start with the basics. A la the niche is exotic table settings and I would start with the basics:
  • what the heck is a table?
  • a stool?
  • a fork?
  • a spoon?
  • etc
In the process I would learn about these topics myself. I'd start to extinguish why a normal spoon is a normal spoon and not an exotic spoon. And from there I would slowly get to know about exotic spoons, etc. This way I'd rack up enough supporting articles to link to from further articles for references to back up my research conclusions and opinions etc. But this is a painfully slow and monetarily unrewarding undertaking.

HOWEVER!
The SUPER AWESOME part is that there really isn't much of such information in huge quantities AND the keyword research tools show that people are actually searching for such basic concepts! I made have a chance to see some traffic trickle in early on if I do this right.

That will be my entry point to this relatively competitive experience-based niche. Because remember, I won't be using any backlinks this time either.
 

Rainer

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Glad to see you starting up another site! Are you also planning to create site(s) for other seasons besides summer?
 

ThulfWaatu

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Glad to see you starting up another site! Are you also planning to create site(s) for other seasons besides summer?
I definitely should start an evergreen niche site as well at some point. I just don't yet feel like it though.

I'm still kind of mentally blocked from believing that making money online as a whole is a possibility (there are methods probably so easy that simply just peeing would technically be harder of an endeavor). I've at least grown to know that it's somewhat easy with a summer seasonal affiliate niche site, I now know what to expect and so there's not many . I'll slowly break out of this comfort zone in a snail pace. I don't feel comfortable with taking uneducated risks.


It sounds extremely retarded when I put it like that, but when I was studying philosophy/psychology/sociology, it became evident how actually stupid we humans are in general. We've adapted to certain norms and whatnot that seem logical and no brainers, but these too are actually extremely retarded. It's a kind of paradox... I could fake it till I make it, but that's not how I want to live with myself.

I'm pretty sure it sounds retarded because I lack the skill to put this concept into words...

I'll probably have to sleep on it before I realize how utterly retarded it all actually ended up sounding... I'm not sure why I'm posting this even. For any1 in confusion, try to look past the superficial maybe?
 

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you have put hardwork and your post looks like a billionaire speaking who is taking risks and getting rewarded but still is hopeful can do better it's good all i can say for you now
 

ThulfWaatu

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you have put hardwork and your post looks like a billionaire speaking who is taking risks and getting rewarded but still is hopeful can do better it's good all i can say for you now
**** hard work (sry for the language, no offense, I apologize). However, I do like the risk part. :Thumbsup:


So with that said, I'm changing up the content plan a little and make use of the budget that the first affiliate site has granted me (I tend to only invest into online projects what money I've gained from online projects). It's going to be a sort of mini experiment (and I truly hope this works out - in theory it should).

I'm going to outsource most of the info and single review (filler) posts for as cheap as possible while maintaining some level of quality still. I will not take it personally when the articles turn out to be of shitty quality in my point of view, and I will try to avoid from fixing them too much (I need to toughen up and not give a shit somehow). After all, the filler articles are not aimed at readers per se, it's more for Google to think that I know what I'm talking about when I start to publish money articles (these I won't be outsourcing but rather create by myself).

https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/16711797/****-it-well-do-it-live.jpg​

PHASE 1

About 10 to 20 info posts that are between 1000 and 2000 words long. ($2.50 per 500 words)
About the amount of review posts that will be included in the money post. ($4 per 500 words)
"Best cheap" carefully constructed money post from which I hope to grab a few sales at least. (mine' time...)

As for the budget, I'm thinking I'm willing to spend up to 150€ for this experiment.



PHASE 2

If it's not powering up after that then I'll need to start putting some extra work into it...

However, if it should start showing signs of improvement early on, I'll start the next site in this same fashion.
 

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.


It sounds extremely retarded when I put it like that, but when I was studying philosophy/psychology/sociology, it became evident how actually stupid we humans are in general. We've adapted to certain norms and whatnot that seem logical and no brainers, but these too are actually extremely retarded. It's a kind of paradox... I could fake it till I make it, but that's not how I want to live with myself.

I'm pretty sure it sounds retarded because I lack the skill to put this concept into words...

Its because you change from a working bee into an entrepreneur. Risk taking is something that is out of the comfort zone and people like knowing whats coming. At least, that is what I think. Just as with your last few guides I will follow your journey and see where it all ends up and try to incorporate your nifty ideas in my projects.

Looking forward to your posts, and best of luck! You deserve it for all the hard work you do. Its a fresh breeze of air among the sea of "payment proof pls", "how does it work", "guide me thro every step" people. :Thumbsup:
 

ThulfWaatu

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Its because you change from a working bee into an entrepreneur. Risk taking is something that is out of the comfort zone and people like knowing whats coming. At least, that is what I think. Just as with your last few guides I will follow your journey and see where it all ends up and try to incorporate your nifty ideas in my projects.

Looking forward to your posts, and best of luck! You deserve it for all the hard work you do. Its a fresh breeze of air among the sea of "payment proof pls", "how does it work", "guide me thro every step" people. :Thumbsup:

...

Also forgot to add, I love the memes, they convey the emotions very well and I lol'ed a few times because I know the feeling.
Yeah, I guess you're right. And thanks!


I'll need to up my game when it comes to outsourcing the writing. I need to pay a little more and order from multiple writers rather than rely on the cheapest one I found. She/he is really taking her/his time writing a single article... I've written 3 info posts so far while I was getting anxious waiting for the delivery of that single article.

I've also taken a full week off from doing anything with the sites. I'm hoping this is somewhat refreshing when I get back to the sites.
 

ThulfWaatu

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I should just stick to taking things slow (snail pace). I've been trying to rush this site, but it's clearly not working (for me).


Some introspective pondering
I thought of outsourcing all the supportive content and building the money pillar article(s) myself. Pretty simple plan and fairly actionable in theory. However, like this, I haven't gotten to know much of anything about the niche deeply enough to feel comfortable writing some convincing stuff. Even though the reader might not even see it as fake, it does feel like that to me and that's the problem. And since I'm going to learn about all the details involved, I might as well write about them myself at that point.

It all starts to come back to me how it was with the first affiliate site where I didn't know much of anything about that niche either. Sure, every1 can use simple reasoning to understand the basics of something, for example, of a tree you might see when looking out the window. No shit, right? A tree. It might have leaves, it might have those spikey things instead. It might grow this or that tall. It might grow in this or that environment, etc. No shit, right? Every1 can come up with all that all by themselves. Nothing to write home about. And when outsourcing content, that is exactly what I'm going to get.... Superficial crap, a "No shit, Sherlock!" type of stuff in sugar coating.


All that makes me feel like I've got
an obsessive compulsive disorder or something. ^^



I'm pretty sure it's more to do with having some level of understanding of what actually works and on the other hand what needs artificial boosting (backlinks) just to have that same effect... Or something like that.

When have I ever NOT rewritten the outsourced content anyway? Knowing this, I still for some reason cling to the chance of maybe some writer actually knows what they're doing as I keep outsourcing it...
 

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Small question, why do you keep hiring people that have no past experience in writing whatsoever?
A bit of rewriting makes sense since not every writer knows your preferred writing style. But when you consistently need to do their job yourself it makes no sense to hire these people. This isnt meant in a rude way, this is just a simple observation.
In the past you had more luck writing your own content and as far as I could read you actually had fun doing it!
You decided the quality, you decided the content.
It is only fair to expect a certain amount of quality from the writers you hire, and a certain amount of passion for the product. Especially with the amounts of money you throw at the problem.
Depending on your strategy I would personally just start writing again. Simply because it worked for you! That was what made you money. Your writing style is engaging and makes people click through to your affiliate links.
If you aren't in the mood nor have the time you could always shoot me a message, and I could see if we would be a match. I write for dirt cheap prices, and you would know what kinda quality you can expect.
A good example would be this article.
Its a bit on the short side, but it shows what kind of work I deliver. I actually understand that you have passion for your projects.
I cant guarantee that we can work together because I don't know what niche website you maintain. But if it is a possibility I am sure we can work something out. :Thumbsup:
My apologies for the self promotion, but I honestly dislike the fact that people are taking your hard earned money and deliver sh*tty work.
 

ThulfWaatu

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Small question, why do you keep hiring people that have no past experience in writing whatsoever?
A bit of rewriting makes sense since not every writer knows your preferred writing style. But when you consistently need to do their job yourself it makes no sense to hire these people. This isnt meant in a rude way, this is just a simple observation.
In the past you had more luck writing your own content and as far as I could read you actually had fun doing it!
You decided the quality, you decided the content.
It is only fair to expect a certain amount of quality from the writers you hire, and a certain amount of passion for the product. Especially with the amounts of money you throw at the problem.
Depending on your strategy I would personally just start writing again. Simply because it worked for you! That was what made you money. Your writing style is engaging and makes people click through to your affiliate links.
If you aren't in the mood nor have the time you could always shoot me a message, and I could see if we would be a match. I write for dirt cheap prices, and you would know what kinda quality you can expect.
A good example would be this article.
Its a bit on the short side, but it shows what kind of work I deliver. I actually understand that you have passion for your projects.
I cant guarantee that we can work together because I don't know what niche website you maintain. But if it is a possibility I am sure we can work something out. :Thumbsup:
My apologies for the self promotion, but I honestly dislike the fact that people are taking your hard earned money and deliver sh*tty work.
Here's a lot to unpack.

They cost $1 per 100 words at most. They are cheap. The writers have probably writtern thousands of content pieces about various topics for their clients. They make their offer sound nice and dandy, and the clients mostly give good feedback (real site owners). I keep trying out such writers in the hopes that at least some of them write differently from the norm. But at the end of the day, what they write is all just superficial crap in my point of view. I'm well aware of all that and I try to just cope with it, but I get the urge to fix things up which leads me to basically rewriting the whole thing my way.

That's why I thought of going at a snail pace again. Taking it slow, but far, by writing the stuff myself, essentially.


This average writer's piece of content is simply horrible.
The grammar mistakes and the ugly wording aside, who's supposed to read all of that? What information are they supposed to get from it? How will that information help guide them towards action? The first sentence makes me puke. And when given benefit of doubt and reading a little further it's all the same "No shit, Sherlock..." or worse. IT HAS NO VALUE - it's super bland; bla, bla, bla, bla... GET TO THE ******* POINT ALREADY (hint: there is no compelling argument made). Its shitty intro is longer than the content itself, and the content itself is only just an extentsion of the intro. There are hundreds of more mistakes of that scale and it makes me sincerely cry a little as something within me just gets stabbed to death as I read it.


Your content is okay. It reads ok, no mistakes, no weird sentences. Everything's just ok.
 

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UPDATE
(July, 2019)

2nd Affiliate Site 07.06.2019 - 31.07.2019.png


It seems due to the inactivity for the entirety of the first month (June) the site has been put into a Google sandbox of sorts. It's just not going to rank right off the bat like the 1st affiliate site did. Instead, this one is probably gonna blow up at some point in terms of traffic...

I ordered 6 articles for $43, each being 1000 words long. I had to throw 5 of the 6 ordered articles to the trash bin to start with. I ended up rewriting 4 of them entirely from scratch and the 5th outsourced topic I didn't bother to write at all anymore. They were that bad. That was $33 flying off the cliff. However, the final article that cost me $10 (1$ per 100 words) was somewhat usable (though off-topic and fairly shit too, but not utterly shit). I was like, **** it! And just published it... Overall, I ended up writing 6 of those 7 articles myself entirely.

For upcoming content I'll try to do some of it myself while I continue to outsource most of it in hopes of finding a decent writer.

I've going to write only a couple more info posts and then I'll get down to writing review posts after which I'll write the "Best Cheap Niche Products" pillar post. I'm aiming at 30 posts in total before I start up the next site.


Expenses:

  • 1 domain: $9.06 (June, 2019 - June, 2020)
  • hosting: $20 (June, 2019 - June, 2020)
  • outsourced content: $43 (1 article)
  • total: $72.06
Earnings:
  • not monetized yet
 

ThulfWaatu

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Finished my first "review" type post.

Now I need to polish it and create a template out of it in order to use it as "instructions manual" for the content writers I'm looking to outsource this stuff to. By "polishing" I mean making it more readable, more intuitive. I also try and cram "people also ask" Q&A into the post where it makes sense, and that also in an intuitive manner. + lots of other little things.


I wonder...
Once Google starts to pick up on this site, how will these articles perform. There seems to be no direct competition for the most part, but those seemingly competing for these keywords are some SUPER OLD authority sites... If there's anything I've learned so far... I should easily outrank them over time. Those sites are so old they are not at all using SEO-friendly tactics anymore. And even if they're not old, they haven't had to worry about competition as well, so they haven't felt the need to up their game either. They are like the old wooden mechanical clocks next to the latest technology of android phones... I kind of feel bad for them if I my site does outrank them the way I expect.
 

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Love your journeys dude, I think your journeys motivates people! ( 100% for me :3 ) Also, I love your memes too, makes the post more fun to read. Keep up the good work.
 

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UPDATE
(August, 2019)

2nd Affiliate Site 07.06.2019 - 31.08.2019.png

Spent a whopping $181 on new content of which not even half is yet published on the site (mainly because of how bad it was in most cases). I did find 2 writers that did a decent enough job. In total, I bought at least 1 article from about 6 or 7 writers.

Traffic basically doesn't exist at this point. It's bot traffic scraping pictures and linking to them in return most likely. This is what I saw with the 1st affiliate site as well.

Before this month, I didn't have interlinks nor relevant pictures in the posts. I'm thinking, as an on-page SEO factor, this might start to move things quicker in terms of traffic from now on.

-

The main keyword is going to be "best cheap [niche products]" again. This time, there is not 1 competitor for that particular keyword while there are people searching for it. The reason for that is probably that there is no cheap product in this niche...

So the plan is to rank for the "best cheap" keyword for which there are people searching for it, but convincingly guide the visitors to the main keyword "best [niche products]" they have to buy from anyway if they wanted to try out this niche. One could call it a "twist", because I'm still going to get the targeted traffic to competitive (10+ years niche authority) keywords. I wonder how this will pan out in the long term.

I'm mentally ready to get nothing out of this "project". The main keywords are way too competitive, but I may have a chance here and there and turn the tables around with those "twists".

A little more on secondary keywords:
I mentioned earlier that there are keywords/topics for which the keyword tools show searches for, but that have basically no posts written for. Now... I have some of such posts written, but they're not ranking for shit right now. There can be 2 possible reasons for that: semantic keywords or not enough rank power*. To my surprise, I'm not sure if it's both or just one of them at play...
  1. semantic keywords...
    What I mean by that is that the tools might show searches for those keywords, but that Google has determined that there's another reason as to why people are writing those search queries into Google search. So writing an article aimed at tackling the keyword directly might be the exact opposite thing the searchers were looking for. Until I've written the "best cheap [niche products]" article, I can't tackle this on if it turned out to be the sole case.

  2. not enough rank power*
    What I mean by this is that the site is just super new among the super old sites in this niche, so it's natural to assume Google doesn't yet trust this new player (my site) entering this niche just like that.


I'm hoping that the latter (not enough rank power*) is the culprit because then I don't have to start derailing from my original plan and that I can actually see this template of a site do its thing from which I can generate multiple more sites using this same "SEO strategy". But when I look at those "easy to rank keywords" critically, some of them give off the semantic vibe for sure as the niche is super old (I can bet my life on the likelihood that you've heard of it too, whoever you might be) and I don't quite have it in me to believe that people are actually looking for some of the more basic aspects of this niche as if they haven't found an answer for... Maybe they're looking for something more advanced in the disguise of simpler wording or the like...


To put this whole operation into a simple to understand perspective, a direct mention of the "cheap [niche products]" (not even "best cheap...") appears already on the 2nd page in SERP as a simple thread on Reddit. Now that's what I think is essentially "a super easy keyword". ^^

Though semantically almost every post before the reddit thread mentions a "best budget" product in their lists of "best [niche products]", which is meant as the cheapest best buy option out there. But it's not "cheap"... and those sites don't point out that there really isn't a "cheap" product in this niche which is why people searching for the "cheap" version will bounce and look for the post that will talk about the "actually cheap" products... My future post!




Expenses:
  • 1 domain: $9.06 (June, 2019 - June, 2020)
  • hosting: $20 (June, 2019 - June, 2020)
  • outsourced content: $224
  • total: $253.06
Earnings:
  • not monetized yet
 

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You must have patience with affiliate sites, you must keep pushing SEO optimized content as much as possible, about 15-20 articles per month is good quantity, I'm sure you also knew that, if keywords are not that competitive you have a good chance ranking without backlinks, only on-page SEO will do. I wish you good luck! Keep us updated!
 

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You must have patience with affiliate sites, you must keep pushing SEO optimized content as much as possible, about 15-20 articles per month is good quantity, I'm sure you also knew that, if keywords are not that competitive you have a good chance ranking without backlinks, only on-page SEO will do. I wish you good luck! Keep us updated!
Thanks for the encouraging words. Though I'm going at it at a snail pace, still...
 

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So I've been thinking of polishing my content plan.


My initial plan was simple, but it's not working yet. And I'm growing impatient. My plan B was backlinks, but now that it has come to that I kind of don't want to go down that path.

So instead of building backlinks, I figured I'd simply change up the content plan a little bit.

I've started on mindmaping this entire niche. There's a lot of things to touch on (I feel overwhelmed), but most of those things are all over the place (a bit of it here, a bit of it there, and so on - takes some digging just to get the basics right). This new plan involves organizing all that shit.

It's a mess
this niche. I can't quite put my finger on why, but given that it's got such a long history, dating back to the 90's, I'd say it's because most of the content is out of date and the new content simply just piled up on the old to a point where things are confusing for a passer-by (not to the old timers). Since some of the authority guys haven't updated the old stuff, the new fake ones have just picked up the old info and mixed it all together over the years and that's why it looks so shit. Even the writers I paid to do the research for what they were tasked to write about ended up mixing all kinds of bullshit info together without a second though...

[Rant; example] Like... If a product in a long ass line of products was first launched in 2009 and hasn't been a supported product by it' own brand for many years now that it is 2019, and with similar products coming out many times per year from at least 8 different brands and with technological advancements and shit, HOW THE **** CAN THAT 2009 PRODUCT BE ONE OF THE BEST AROUND IN 2000 and ******* 19????????


I'll start with making sense of the outdated content by creating "lists" of niche products where everything is categorized and explained to paint a clear picture of the niche in a convincing/reassuring way (I might twist things it in my favor though). These "lists" will lead up to the "best cheap" pillar post hopefully with some traffic circling around the site by then. Because right now I get more confused by these things when I read my own reviews written by those "high quality, research, bla bla bla" writers parroting CLEARLY ancient stuff as if they were sparkling new...
 
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