Whew – I last wrote on here in January 2017. The article I wrote was 2017: The Year of Website Audits (For Me).
In that article I stated that I was going to be going through all my existing websites, deciding whether I wanted to keep them or not and if so complete a full audit on them.
3 months later – I’m done!
It’s been quite the process but I was able to get it done way ahead of schedule. There were times where it looked like I wasn’t going to get it done until near the end of Summer. However I got in a roll and I upped the end date to June 1st. Then I managed to wrap up the very last one on April 21st, over a month ahead of schedule.
It was quite the interesting experience. At first it made me sad saying goodbye to some existing sites but I got used to it, and it made me a lot more cutthroat. There are some sites where I’ve been essentially burning money on for years and with them they still have potential – so I’ve been able to give myself a goal for them and if I don’t meet the financial go in that time I’ll have no qualms about dumping them.
It’s overall been a very cool process. I’ve came up with some great ideas for some sites to help either the conversions or just the general UX. I’ve looked at pages with high traffic and made changes and saw better monetization etc.
Then there are simple things that I was able to fix that were just mind blowing that they existed on my sites. BetNHL.ca for example. In the navigation bar at the top along with on the sidebar, there’s a link to “Schedules”. This lists the NHL schedules – simple enough right?
Well I checked the traffic first of all and in the last 365 days that page had over 20,000 unique visitors.
One problem – it hadn’t been updated since 2013.
Over 20,000 people had either searched for NHL schedules or browsed the site for NHL schedules for the 2016/2017 season and instead found a listing of schedules for 2013.
However it was things like that which I loved – being able to go through an entire site and find things like that. Look at where links were being clicked etc. Finding things that were working out well and then being able to apply them to other sites.
If you have the chance, I highly recommend it. They can be time consuming but they’re really worth it. From finding ways to enhance the UX to discovering silly 404s due to a typo. Quite the process, but well worth it.
Focusing on Existing Projects:
I think the biggest thing for me with this was being able to focus on all my existing projects.
That’s what the last two years have been about for me – doin gthat.
As any affiliate marketer knows – it’s extremely easy to just keep floating from new project to new project. You can put hundreds of hours into a project then you’ll get a random idea one morning while having a coffee. Next thing you know you’ve got a domain name and are focused on this entirely new thing – leaving what you worked hours on just gathering dust.
Over the last couple of years I’ve taken a step back from that. I believe I’ve launched just one project in the last couple of years actually which is BookSeries.org – and a large part of that was just to test out a new backend system we’re using.
Being able to focus on my current projects has been great. I talk to a lot of affiliate marketers daily and everyone is always jumping into new projects etc. One of the best things I could advise people to do is to take a step back. It’s been so refreshing to do this and so good for the mind.
It’s also been a great learning experience. In all my years of being an affiliate marketer(over 20!) this has probably been the most important and beneficial thing I’ve ever did.
I’d highly recommend doing the same.