I know my experience is not unique. Two people that I follow regularly are Mark Mason from MasonWorld.com and Anna Hoffmann from TrafficGenerationCafe.com. Mark was missing from his blog from May to June and Anna left her blog behind for over a month. Check out Anna's recent first post after returning "I had a dream" for her explanation. It was actually refreshing to see some of the big hitters going through similar setbacks.
Just as easily however, one little thing could pull you right back in and give you that motivation and drive to continue on. I had two things get me re-focused and back on track recently.
After reading Anna's "I had a dream" post, I left a comment and gave her some info about a few things that she missed while she was away. Much to my surprise, she came over to my nichesitetool.com site and commented on a post of mine that I had linked to. Getting a comment or message from anyone and especially a heavy hitter like Anna, Mark or Pat Flynn is a big deal to a blogger and it really goes a long way as a motivator.
Additionally, last week I finally ordered a new laptop to replace mine that has been dying a slow death for over 8 months. One of the first things I did was install Market Samurai, which is the tool I use to do all my keyword research and behind the scenes work for my niche sites.
I ran a quick check on my own site and was super excited to see that I now have a page rank of 1 for this blog! I think I even let out a few WOOHOOs and did a little happy dance.
I've had this blog for about 1.5 years now and until recently the main site had a rank of 0. There is a lot that goes into page rank and it can change over time depending on what Google deems important, but it was great to see I was moving up in the world!
I checked my nichesitetool.com site and my alcatrazseries.com site and they went up as well! The niche site tool blog went to a page rank 1 and the alcatraz site went to a 2 in just the 6 months it has been out there! My cravingtravel.com site is still a 0, but I only have a few posts and haven't spent a lot of work on that yet, but now I have something to shoot for.
That really gave me some much needed feedback and a virtual pat on the back at a very good time. That validated that I'm doing something right and in the eyes of Google my sites are improving in quality. So my goal of making the internet a better place is heading in the right direction.
You can check the page rank of your site or any other site a number of different ways, but here is one quick easy way to check: http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php
A lot goes into that page rank number, your site design, traffic to your site, links to your site from other sites, speed that your site loads, etc. So there is no real way to say that this particular thing or that was the key factor, but I recently updated the design of this blog and took out a lot of the unnecessary customizations and that has resulted in much faster load times. I have a feeling those two things were contributing factors.
For the AlcatrazSeries.com site, I think the increase in page rank is most related to sheer traffic. A buddy and I set that site up in January because we liked the Alcatraz TV show that had just started on Fox and we wanted to see what type of traffic we could get by doing keyword research.
We decided on 'alcatraz series' for our phrase and domain name based on our research and it seems the research worked. I just checked and from January 1st of this year to now, we've had over 21,000 page views and just under 9,000 unique visitors with hardly any efforts to drive traffic to the site.
If you're at all interested in how to do similar keyword research yourself, check out my keyword research post on my niche tool site. There is a lot of good content and step by step actionable details to set yourself up for similar success from the start. You can see first hand that doing the research for a keyword phrase that already has traffic and results can move you from a PR0 to a PR2 site in less than 6 months, where my own blog with about 20x more content took a year and a half to get to a PR1 without that same kind of research.
It's quite interesting, even though the Alcatraz series ended here in the US in March, we consistently get a few likes on our Facebook page every week and we're up to 92 likes total. Based on a few comments recently, I realized that the series was shown later in the UK and we got a bump up in traffic over the last few weeks because the finale aired there. That is something I was unaware of and never would have expected and it just goes to show you how important page rank and ranking high in Google can be to expand your reach. We're ranked 4th on the main page of Google for the term "alcatraz series" and that is where we're getting almost all of our traffic from.
So all in all, I was very happy to see things are heading in the right direction! I'd still really like to get more immediate feedback in the form of daily comments on posts, but hopefully over time that will increase. And by all means, if you're reading this post, drop me a quick comment and just say hi! You can leave your name and a post to your blog or remain completely anonymous. Either way it means a lot and is greatly appreciated!