Getting started… again!

It’s been quite some time since I last posted an update… a far too common occurrence with blogs! I have been actively working on ESL Jobs World, though, and thought it would be helpful to post some new information to get everyone caught up with where I am.

Building Traffic

The good news is that a lot of my efforts to build traffic to the site have been successful. I’ll get into the strategies in another post, but I’m happy to report that ESL Jobs World now ranks in the top 10 on Google, Yahoo and MSN for its primary keywords. It’s home page is now PR 5 with Google and it’s secondary pages are all PR 4. It took some time for my search engine optimization efforts to pay off, but it looks like fortunately they have done so.

Along with the increase in traffic has come–as you would expect–an increase in activity on the site. While in April very few jobs were being posted, at this point in early December the site averages anywhere between 50 and 100 per day. Yes, that’s per day! This is great news, as one of the keys to the long term success of the site is to make it attractive to the teachers that will visit to find work. It goes without saying that a job site without jobs would not be terribly useful.

Building Revenue

During the first six months of the site being live, I was very sparing in trying to monetize it in any way. I wanted to just let the content speak for itself, and not give visitors any reason whatsoever to turn away. Especially in my niche of education, members can have a toxic reaction to a feeling of being sold in any way.

Recently, though, with the visibility and credibility of the site increasing, I’ve added a few Google AdSense blocks. Nothing excessive, I hope. I experimented quite a bit with their size, shape, color and placement before I got what I felt didn’t detract from either usability or the overall look and feel I was trying to present.

I’ll go into more detail in a future post, but the bottom line is that the site is now earning a small but steady amount of income. My plan is to take my earnings and put them back into the site for the foreseeable future. I’ll be looking to optimize the earning potential of the site in upcoming weeks and months, and I’ll be sure to share my efforts along the way.

Enhancing Value

I’ve always been a big believer that the only way for a site to be truly successful is for it to consistently deliver something of value to its visitors. Figuring out what is valuable within your niche, though, can often be difficult. It can be a fine line between adding every bell and whistle that pops into your head and building content or features that actually entice people to visit and return.

I feel I’ve done reasonably well in this regard by doing the obvious… asking people their opinions! In a future post I’ll get into more details, but the kernel of what I’ve done has been to try to create a natural, repeated dialogue with my visitors. I’ve then looked for common themes, and acted in areas where I felt I reasonably could.

Looking Ahead

There’s so much that I’ve done in the past few months that I’ll be making an effort to go back and review what I’ve done. I’ll try to highlight as much as possible what worked and what didn’t work, as much to remind myself as to hopefully enable others to avoid my mistakes. I hope you’ll check back again to see!

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