Ooooh, this thread is old......... Still not making much money from site
Anyone that's curious for an update, I'm passed the $50 mark on adsense, but that's because I've been working on my new blog, lightningshock.
Other than what I wrote in the article Andreas posted there, to offer a quick summary of what I have learned since creating the thread:
Alexa, PageRank, rank checking, etc. is a useless practice. You should focus on the real people that visit your site, and write for them, not computers.
Link Exchanges, schemes, etc. are useless. See the post about it I wrote: Top 10 Reasons Link Exchanges Aren't Important
Thinking about various writing techniques: write about something no one else has written before, write something controversial, write in a style that will attract the traffic to your site. Put yourself in your visitors shoes: Would you be willing to stay and read everything you wrote? Or if you were visiting that blog would you be likely to subscribe to its feed? So basically, try to STAND OUT from the rest as much as you can.
Don't try to rely heavily on SE Traffic, it's a free source of traffic and you should look at other ways.
Also, Do NOT look at Social Media sites for reliable traffic, a VERY small amount of it actually converts into sales and clicks, their purpose leads to my next point....
Networking, Networking, Networking, I'll say it again, Networking is what's important. When your pages are marked on sites like stumbleupon, the actual link is not what you should be focusing on, it doesn't do much in the terms of search engines, algorithms, etc. The people who SEE the link is what really counts, and other social networkers will be more likely to link to your site organically, which drive the best kind of visitors to your site, targeted traffic.
I like to think of making money from a website as "icing on the cake". Once you have the core ingredients (Great content, links you didn't even have to ask for) is when the real benefits will come in.
One final note, I've written a few posts on my lightningshock blog explaining in more greater detail about everything I've learned so far, in case anyone was curious about it