This is a little post about my experiences with The Keyword Academy (TKA).
TKA was a membership site and keyword finding service. I think it started in 2009 or something. I was a member in 2010 and 2011. Then Google changed and made it harder to rank micro niche sites and it all faded away.
For your monthly membership you got a few benefits:
1. A forum where you could chat with other members.
2. A tool called the Niche Refinery. Maybe that's where I got the idea for the Niche Laboratory! Anyway, Niche Refinery was quite cool. You put in your niche and it would find some keywords, plus how easy it could be to rank for them. I think it was (like a lot of other tools at the time) powered by the Google Keyword Tool. On the downside it was a batch processor. In other words you put in your job and 2 hours (or days!) later you got the results. It was a nice idea but - hey - the Niche Laboratory works in around 30 seconds and finds much better long tail keywords!!!
3. A guest blogging type system where you could post on other people's WordPress blogs. Maybe this was the forerunner of private blog networks (PBN's). At the time I didn't have many WordPress sites so I didn't use this much. I just remembered the name - it was called Postrunner.
4. Tools for keeping track of how many words you wrote. I did some insane amount of typing - in fact I wore my keyboard out!
5. Maybe there was coaching by the founders. I can't remember the details.
A nice thing is that the community supported each other, especially with respect to our goals.
Some "big" names were members. I remember Fraser who founded Universe Today and who (I think) was earning over $5000 a month online.
We were all in awe at how much Universe Today earned every month! And the funny thing was Fraser nearly didn't start his site because he thought the niche was saturated. After all NASA were on the web since it started and they post tonnes of stuff in the space niche!
There was also Lisse who was really active on HubPages and had a few niche sites. I remember they mostly got hit by the Google Panda and Penguin updates. However I think she started doing well with Kindle e-book publishing. The lesson here is that sometimes you can go in a completely different direction. Plus there's more to making money online than just making WordPress blogs!
So 7 years on, what are the other lessons we can learn from TKA?
Lesson One: Pretty much all of the $1000+ monthly income earners like myself and Fraser had sites that were not in the dieting/weight loss/seo/dog training or other popular niches! At the time my big earning sites were in software and online dating.
Lesson Two: Keyword Research is important. However, I'd like to widen that and say that user-centric writing is key to a successful site. In other words, write content about what users are actually searching for. Keyword research using tools like the Niche Laboratory can certainly help in your search for article ideas!
Lesson Three: Get some MOTIVATION. TKA members were successful because of the motivation to keep writing. There were daily, weekly and monthly word counts targets to meet. And each member could put a little badge on their profile to show their current monthly income. Aiming for that $50 badge when you were currently making $10 was a huge incentive to keep working.
I hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane.
If you remember TKA or think it is a great idea then please register and post your comments below. BTW when you register for the forum here you can also SAVE YOUR NICHE LABORATORY JOBS! There will also be other advantages to registering!
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