My Step 2 Niche Site Challenge Update

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Greetings fellow niche site challenge people! I just wanted to jump in and see how things are going for everyone else?

Things are coming along well for me. I've decided that it may be time to share what I've got just so others can see what I'm doing and I can get some feedback.

My site topic is Freight Broker Training, and it's the one that I've been working on for a little bit now. Don't feel compelled to visit my site if you don't want to – I didn't post it there to get traffic, but only to share what I've thus far done. I've got two other ideas for my new niche site, but I'm just not entirely sure if I can believe the results I'm seeing, as they look a little too good to be true on one, and a little too narrow, but decent opportunity, on the other.

This freight broker site is getting challenging. I'm trying to follow Pat's lead as closely as I can, but it's proving a bit difficult due to the different topics of our sites. I've done a bit of looking for affiliate opportunities, but I've not found anything yet, which is a bummer.

My big issue, as I'm sure it is for most, is traffic. After going back and looking at things, I think my niche is tougher than I originally thought, and it's proving difficult to break in to. But on the other hand, I've front page rankings for some derivative keywords, though they're not producing traffice.

A couple things I KNOW I need to do:

  • I need a better look. I'm using Studiopress for my theme which takes care of a lot of things for me, but I don't have a logo – just haven't had time to develop one yet.
  • Better content. The posts right now are a little dry, but I'm trying to follow Pat's lead of making a valuable resource site, so we've found some resources and are actually building our content according to what someone would find in freight broker school. At first it looked like a great idea, but after further thought, I'm not sure.

I'm working with a writer through Odesk and I give her a lot of direction, and we work together on our posts. I WAS using an article spinning and submission tool, but the ROI just wasn't there (at this point), so I cancelled it.

My concern in a post-Google Panda world is if this challenge can work, and I'd be interested to hear what folks think on this. A lot of Pat's challenge was before the massive Google update, but he's still ranking well.

Currently, I've got a lot of very low-quality backlinks, though, evidently there are a couple that are fairly good. I've been following the backlinking strategy from Tyrone's video, but interestingly enough, those backlinks are not showing in my Google Webmaster Tools – specifically Squidoo, and – at least not yet.

I've also noticed that Adsense doesn't ALWAYS render on my pages, which I find very strange. I don't know if it's my computer(s), or what but those ads aren't showing like I would like them to. I also need to do a LOT more work here. I've only got the one ad I'm displaying and I need to increase that, tactfully.

How are things going for you guys? Any backlinking/traffic building ideas you'd like to share?